"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Friday, July 4, 2008

An Explanation Why the Secrecy of the Land Gift

An interesting development last night on our blog. Anonymous blogger "47" who has suddenly appeared here and has been more than cordial in his attempt to give answers to questions raised here offered an explanation as to why Mac Brunson COULD NOT announce the receipt of a $300,000 land gift given to him just weeks after he took the helm at FBC Jax..

I immediately called the explanation (politely) "horse dung". Then within minutes an anonymous attorney familiar with tax consequences of gifts given between employees of 501(c)3 religious organizations and shareholders, gave some clarification to 47's explanation.

Here is the salient portion of the attorney's explanation:

The gift was given from one "shareholder" of an organization to another "shareholder" of the organization. This, in and of itself, is absolutely harmless. Where it gets sticky is the fact that it was a "shareholder" giving a gift to an employee of the organization. Had Dr. Brunson announced that there was a member of the church, or "shareholder" in the organization, that had given him a substantially sized gift, the responsibilities that go along with that gift, would have then fallen on the whole organization. According to the churches 501(c)3, the announcing of such gift would be viewed as, or considered by law, as an employee associating the organization with the gift, therefore incurring tax consequences for the organization by the terms of the 501(c)3's Excess Benefit Transactions. Basically, had the deal been announced publicly, the government would have seen an employee who received a gift from a "shareholder" passing his tax responsibilities to the organization, having them pay his taxes.

Basically, had the deal been announced publicly, the government would have seen an employee who received a gift from a "shareholder" passing his tax responsibilities to the organization, having them pay his taxes.

Interesting explanation. I don't believe it. If I understand 47, Mac Brunson WOULD HAVE told us, perhaps he WANTED TO tell us about this incredible blessing of God...but doggone it those pesky IRS rules actually prevented him from doing so because tax consequences would have been incurred. It was in our best interest NOT to know!

As 47 said, answering these questions only leads to more questions. Here they are:

1. 47 I will assume you are a staff or family member that has close access to Mac Brunson. So, can you tell us the decision to not announce the gift was a conscious decision made at the time the gift was accepted? Did Mac WANT TO tell us, but shoot he just couldn't for our own good?

2. Is it really possible that the tax consequences to the church of this gift could be swayed by just a man explaining the nature of a gift, of expressing thanks, or just sharing the fact that a gift was given? Is that possible? Don't the facts surrounding the details of the gift: the relationship between the giver and receiver, the size of the gift, the timing of it in relation to his employment date, etc...don't the facts of the gift trump whether a man opens his mouth to announce a gift?

3. Approximately 18 months after the gift was given, in the middle of Mac's sermon he aired a professionally produced commercial for a business owned by the sons of the giver of the $300k land gift. Does this have any tax consequences to the IRS as how the gift is viewed?

And finally: regardless of the answers to these questions and whether "47" and the "anon attorney" are right or not...doesn't this all just stink? Couldn't the gift have been refused, or directed to the church so the church could best decide how the gift is used?

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey all again,

Watchdog, I have noticed that every time anyone posts information you can't refute due to your desire to simply not believe the answers presented, you assume it is a person on staff or a family member of the Pastor.

You are of course wrong in this assumption. I am not a staff member, nor a family member, just a person with a computer and google. If I have come to realize anything over the past few days of talking with you and exploring your posts, I tend to think that you desire no answer, but rather, you desire public acknowledgment. Nothing would please you more than to have the Pastor stand up in church one Sunday morning and talk about the by-laws being changed and his land. Why? Well, if he did stand up and publicly discuss these issues, it would allow you to feel as though you had some sway on the Pastor of First Baptist Jacksonville. It would allow you to feel as though you blog had a major impact on a man in the Pastors position. It would allow you to feel that you had a major impact on a man in the Pastors position.

You make several comments in previous posts claiming that you care nothing about the number of people who visit your blog or the amount of posts put on it. However, in the next post, you boast how the number of hits your blog receives is growing daily and you even went as far as to say in one post that all of the SBC was watching at what was being said here on this site. You boast of things you say you care nothing about.

Am I attacking you? No, I haven't yet and do not intend to do so, but by all means, continue to put what I say on the front page of this site. Since the "Independence From Mac" post didnt suffice, lets see how my front page ad works out.

47

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

"47" - you busted me. Yep, what I want is public acknowledgement. To demand that the pastor be open and honest with his congregation, I must certainly be a person who wants power.

You tried being nice to me, and that didn't sway me, so now you have to make assumptions about my motives. That's OK, I understand "47".

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

47: one thing about Mac. He doesn't know when to stop. His arrogance is breathtaking.

He preaches against "legalistic lists", yet doesn't even bother to explain what those are.

But on the otherhand, he has tithing on his legalistic list. Give 10%, you're OK. Don't give 10%, you're robbing God. Nothing less than 10% will do. Give 15% like him, well you're a great financial manager who God will bless.

He lives with huge "margin" because of the generosity of church members, and has the audacity to say "Praise Jesus you didn't get a raise because you'd have gotten further in debt". Tell that to the man in the congregation living hand to mouth whose business is suffering and can't pay his bills. Its arrogant, elitist, and NONSENSE.

But he is the robber of God. He accepted a huge salary, then turned around and took a $300,000 gift from one of our donors instead of using his power and influence to direct that giver to give the gift to the Lord's work and not to him personally.

And lo and behold we find out he counsels other pastors to not even accept cars as gifts.

Breathtaking.

Now we're told that he just COULD NOT tell us even if he wanted to about the gift, because of the tax consequences to the church.

Its really just too much.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog, if it is easier for you to not believe something, then dont believe it. I never said the Pastor absolutely couldn't have told the church of the gift, but he chose not too and you are going to have to deal with that.

That land was a personal gift that had nothing to do with the church. You have told people on this blog to stop giving to the church, so why would you now say that the Pastor should have considered giving the land to the church? You write about how it was a slap in the face for the Pastor to call the church legalistic while you sit there and post about how the Pastor should have done this, and he should have done this this way and should have handled that this way.
In some posts you say you dont care about things, then you turn around and brag about those things. You praise Vines in some posts, and in others you criticize him. You say you desire for the church to grow, then you post that the church should be independent from the Pastor. You say you care about titles, then you dont care about them but care about salaries.

I see the Pastor on Sunday nights and Wednesday nights after the service standing down front talking to people, if you really want answers, go ask him for yourself. Clearly he isn't going to post on this site, so go ask him in person. If these issues are so important, and as you feel, are tearing the church apart, then go ask him these questions yourself. All you are doing on this blog is running from one assumption to another and discussing issues with people you dont know, and who certainly dont have any more of a clue than you. So go to the source, get your answers.

47

Bird Dog said...

I fully agree with the WD on this. Brunson's silence is getting us no where, way to fast. He needs to address the issue!

"47" as in Agent 47 from the Hitman game series? If thats what your referencing with your tag then your on dangerous ground. If not, my bad.

Peace & love,
Bird Dog

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

47: don't back away from what you offered.

You offered an explanation as to why the pastor could not tell us. It is logical to assume that if one offers the reason why he could not tell us, then this means that he would have told us but for the reason offered he COULD NOT. Else why offer the explanation.

I'm still willing to eat my hat if I find out that what you and lawyer say is true: that a man merely standing in front of the church telling us of a gift, could sway the church consequences to the church. I just don't believe that that act, words spoken, trumps the facts surrounding the gift and motives of the giver and receiver trump when it comes to tax consequences. Not my final word on it, but that is where I am at now.

Happy 4th of July "47".

BigBird said...

Let us do the math. He has a very nice house because he has been faithful with the sale of four homes. He has about 28-30 years in the ministry. This would equate to a move about every seven years. Let us see; 2.5 years served at FBCJ. How long before the Cloud moves again?
People, he is using our precious church family to build a resume. He has protected his "intellectual propery" with a separate 501(c)3.
My word ,we can not even see archived services on the net.
What are we thinking?

oc said...

Is it not ironic that these blog "lawyers" are now desperately trying to justify the questionable actions of someone who is supposed to be a preacher of the Gospel; the very Gospel that is supposed to set us free from sin and legalism? Yet legal eagles now swoop in and want to do their "loophole" thing. A little less than honest, isn't it?
This is all way too much.

Forget the "law" as tax responsibilies go. How about what the Bible says concerning being honest and up-front? What does God require? The standard, man-made laws fall way short of God's intent for us, and, as in this instance, using the "law" is often a pitiful CYA attempt. It is extraction and distraction rather than repentance. It is certainly less than what God expects. So if being honest hurts the church financially, then so be it. If they lose tax-exemption, so be it. If it's God's church, it will survive. This legal loophole attempt of avoiding responsibility under the law is exactly the fecal matter WD said it was. And as I read my Bible, I bet it's not a sweet aroma to my God.

oc.

Anonymous said...

WD: Notice the lawyer attention and attempts to answer the land question, only comes now when you call for giving to be stopped or reduced!! Interesting that again money will move people.

I think Sen. Grassley would find this interesting also.

As to Pastor Position being exalted, this very type of situation has reduced "pastor position" to a less than admiral state. These (some) preachers do this stuff to themselves and wonder why they loose respect of the very people they are supposed to SERVE and lead. Amazing!!!

oc said...

And further, when did it become ok to "compartmentalize" our lives? Why is there such a thing as a "private life", if indeed there is nothing to hide? It's none of our business what the pastor does? Huh? What Bible have you been reading??? I have seen several posts saying what a pastor does in his "private life" is "none of our business". No, that is ignorant and against the Bible. As Christians, none of us should have a "private life". A "private life" is just an excuse to have an affair with the world, and an attempt to try to get away with it. Show me from Scripture, where a Christian is told to hide their life from others.
Those who "compartmentalize" their life have made "culture" their Gospel. But the Bible does not agree with their assessment.

oc.

Anonymous said...

Voice of Reason says:

Let's see if I follow this: 47 said "That land was a personal gift that had nothing to do with the church."

47 - Do you honestly believe that. Does J.D.Collins believe that. Can you even intelligently defend such a statement? You suggested that the WD thinks he will "have sway over the pastor at FBC Jax" due to this blog, yet you don't believe a man giving $307K to the pastor of the FBC Jax had "nothing to do with the church." Do you realize what you are saying? So in other words, he just gave the gift to some new resident of Jacksonville, here only 3 weeks, that just coincidently happened to be the new pastor of the church. I can't argue against something so ridiculous. Surely I am misunderstanding you.

And secondly, it is my understanding that whatever the recipient of the gift calls it, or whatever he publicly announces about the nature of the gift, the IRS (they tend to know about these things better than we do) will look at the deed. The deed says "for love and affection." I will let Mr. Attorney tell us the tax significance of using those words on a deed and why two people making such a land transaction would dare to use them.

Thirdly, public records show that J.D. Collins gives thousands to political campaigns to support a candidate. No problem with that. But why does he do this? Perhaps to gain influence (or "sway" as you call it) with them after elected? If not, why do so many people give to candidates? And as for J.D. Collins, he even gave money to BOTH candidates in a race just to make sure he had supported the winner! Now, J.D. Collins, who I admit is certainly no gullible sheep but is obviously a successful, calculating Christian businessman, gives to pick-up truck drivin, Krispy Kreme eatin good ole Mac a $307K piece of land on the golf course in Deerwood only 3 weeks after Mac arrives. Yet you say it had nothing to do with the church and that it is the WD who seeks "sway." I guess you also believe the commercial for Collins Builders which was played in the middle of the pastor's sermon, was also just to make a sermon point? Honestly, had you EVER seen a commercial for ANY member EVER played in our church before? Yes or no? Why not? So, why was this one?

Come on 47 and Mr. Attorney, you can do better than that. When you do, I will be back to discuss your posts again.

Jerry Gerber

Anonymous said...

Voice of Reason adds:

Hey Watchdog - don't worry about eating your hat. You are right on with your common sense and logic. Here is some information from the IRS cite:

Exemption Requirements

To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and NONE of its earnings may inure to ANY private SHAREHOLDER or individual.

The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of PRIVATE interests, and NO PART of a section 501(c)(3) organization's net earnings may INURE TO THE BENEFIT of ANY PRIVATE shareholder or individual.

"IF THE ORGANIZATION ENGAGES IN AN EXCESS BENEFIT TRANSACTION WITH A PERSON HAVING SUBSTANTIAL INFLUENCE OVER THE ORGANIZATION, AN EXCISE TAX MAY BE IMPOSED ON THE PERSON AND ANY ORGANIZATION MANAGERS AGREEING TO THE TRANSACTION." (47 and Mr. Attorney - no mention here of "announcing" the gift to the congregation at all.)

So since our pastor is clearly a "person having substantial influence over the organization" an EXCISE TAX may be imposed on THE PERSON (Mac) and ANY organization managers (YES MEN) AGREEING TO THE TRANSACTION.

So the questions WD has been asking remain relevant: Who knew about the gift at the church, was it part of the relocation package, and what was the real motive and intent of J.D. Collins in giving it and in Mac and Debbie Brunson accepting it. The Deed says for "love and affection." What do YOU say?

Anonymous said...

Voice of Reason - your comments are 100% right on! Remember how evangelicals were outraged at Bill Clinton's (and Hillary's) private lives and private business dealings? Yet is was his liberal supporters crying "what he does in his private life doesn't matter." Now we have members of FBC Jax saying this about the pastor?!

Also, thanks for stating what I felt in my spirit but couldn't get it onto the page: "Forget the "law" as tax responsibilies go. How about what the Bible says concerning being honest and up-front? What does God require? The standard, man-made laws fall way short of God's intent for us, and, as in this instance, using the "law" is often a pitiful CYA attempt. It is extraction and distraction rather than repentance. It is certainly less than what God expects."

Amen! Mac and his handlers and our yes men have fallen way short in this area. Or "missed the mark" so to speak. Or put another way: S-I-N. There is sin in the camp. Mac knows what happens when there is sin in the camp. He loves OT and history, so trying to bury some plunder in the tent is not the wisest choice for a man OR his entire family.

Anonymous said...

REMINDER - this Sunday is the first Sunday of July. PLEASE exercise your responsiblity to WITHHOLD GOD'S MONEY from Mac and Debbie and give it to someone you know in need this week. Then report back to us here how God used HIS money (call it the tithe if you must) to bless those in your neighborhood, family, school or church. Don't worry about Mac, he still has his big donors and a $14 million budget to do "God's work" for us. Thanks everyone!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

My "logic" all along regarding this gift has been as follows:

- it might, MIGHT be understandable that a member of the church ("shareholder") would give a sizeable gift to their pastor out of genuine "love and affection". If a relationship exists between a member and the pastor, one can argue that the gift did not have anything to do with the pastor's "position", but out of, well "LOVE AND AFFECTION".

- But, when the pastor comes, and accepts a gift given for "LOVE AND AFFECTION" as stated on the deed, and its known that the pastor has been here three weeks, it just doesn't pass the smell test. How can there be "love and affection" compelling the gift exchange? It looks today, and has always looked like, this was less of a gift and more of what we can now call an "excess benefit transaction". And if Mr. Gerber is right, then perhaps the church does owe taxes on this so-called "gift" - irrespective of whether it was announced or not from the pulpit.

oc said...

Ah, come on Jerry. I think you are asking way too much from 47 and mr. attorney. I see your post as asking for honesty, instead of excuses and loopholes. What are you thinking, my brother? Are you asking way too much from those who are supposed to be following the Christ. :)

PS. I sure am glad Jesus didn't look for an attorney in order to get out of things, He actually had more than legal reason to not submit Himself to the Cross, since indeed it was our sin and guilt. It was not all legal, but instead, the other "L" word triumphed with the Father. And so it was and still is. Jesus decided on the other "L" word. He would have been justified to choose the other "L" word, but instead He decided to do the will of the Father. Thank God that He did.

oc.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Since Mac has shown a tendency for knowing what Homer would think of certain events today in our church (using on several occasions the disrespectful "rolling in his grave" remark regarding our beloved pastor) despite him not knowing Homer personally, I would love to hear Mac tell us what Homer would say about this talk of quarter of a million dollar gifts, "shareholders", "employees", and "excess benefit transactions".

Like I said before: Mac had to know that accepting that gift after only three weeks here in Jax, would eventually create a raucus...but it was just TOO GOOD to pass up.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

This whole saga of the land gift gives "legalism" a whole new meaning in the context of church.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hey kiddos at FBC Jax...you can learn well from this example of why the pastor didn't tell us about the land gift:

Scene: Dad and son talking in living room after son returns from school:

Dad: Son, I heard that you got in trouble at school two months ago, and you were suspended from school for three days. Yet I wasn't told about it by you. I had to find out from one of the parents of your friend who thought I knew. I thought we agreed that you would be open and honest with me, and tell me if something happens to you whether it be good or bad. I thought we had a relationship built on trust and respect. If so, why did you decide to keep this news from me?

Son: we do have a relationship on trust dad. But mom and I talked it over, and we agreed that we just COULD NOT tell you. I mean I really, really wanted to tell you, and I would have if I could have. But we knew that if we told you that this would place an incredible burden on you. You might have had to go meet with the principal, take time away from your work schedule, and it just would have added a stress that you didn't need. Besides, honestly, we just didn't think you would understand really that it was no big deal. So mom and I handled it, no problem, its over and behind us and we just need to move on. We mustn't really harp on this. I didn't tell you for your own good - because I love you so much dad I didn't tell you....now, dad, can I borrow the car keys?

Hmmmm.....

Anonymous said...

Watchdog - what does "three weeks after he arrived" have anything to do with a $307K gift? Don't you believe in "LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT?"

ROFL when I visualize Mac and Debbie driving out of the parking lot at 3830 Crown Point Road. That had to be a feeling like no other. Maybe even a high five? I wonder if they drove the Lexus or the Jaguar that day. God really spoke clearly that day didn't he!

Love at first sight between J.D. Collins and Donald McCall Brunson, Jr. from North Carolina by way of Dallas, Texas. I just can't get the thought out of my mind.

;)

Anonymous said...

I believe WD is not interested in explanations, disclosure, or any other kind of information that Mac, 47, or anyone else could offer. It will never be enough. I believe WD wants a Team Brunson exit, and will feel a great sense of accomplishment for "saving" the church should that ever happen.

Anonymous said...

Rm'

TRUST! IN MY OPINION

Mac did not trust that we would approve of his accepting the land, and he would not trust that the members would approve of his bring in the PURPOSE DRIVEN movement. So he did not tell them!

These kind of pastors never do. They will sneek in and do their deeds. They count the cost of doing the deed, then COUNT THE COST OF THE MONEY. Like the saying goes, if you can't do the time don't do the crime. Well they figure I'm only here for seven years and I'm out of here.

I CAN DO THE TIME AND THE CRIME SO I WILL COUNT MY MONEY.

RM did they teach that down in Texas? We know that liberalism is rampant in certain parts of the BAPTIST CONVENTIONS. I guess they are being pressed by the likes of T D JAKES AND JOEL. JOEL a big time PD after the likes of Robert Schuller.

By the way which Convention are you part of? SBC, SBTC, NTBA , BGCT or a combination.

I think I know, but again I could be wrong.

oc said...

Anon 10:54,

Disclosure? Where is it? I believe many are afraid of what could be disclosed. Why the secrets? Why don't you know the facts regarding your very own church? If it is indeed your church, why is it so easy for you to give it away?
You don't even have a clue as to what the pastor is being paid. That is just ludicrous. My boss knows exactly how much I'm being paid...
Maybe that's the problem. Some think that a "pastor" is above all us "regular" Christians. If you think that's the case, you are VERY wrong, and need to do more study.
I will never be a part of a congregation who does not know the salary of the pastor and staff. Duh, even the "world" demands more responsibility for the leader than what you have demanded for your church.
Do you think that's right? Walmart and Fed Ex expect more responsibility from their leaders than what you expect from the pastor of your church which Jesus have founded? What????

Why should the Kingdom demand less than what the world gets by with?And why would you expect equal or less standards for the saved? Christians should be above and beyond. Salt and Light. To resemble the world makes no sense in God's economy.

oc.

oc said...

"now, dad, can I borrow the car keys?"


No my son. Instead you may now bare your behind and get ready for an *** whoopin'. Remember this.

Anonymous said...

If my words are to be misunderstood on purpose, then by all means, misconstrue all you want.

The Pastor could have announced the land deal to the congregation, but chose not too for personal reasons, and by what I have come to understand about the 501(c)3, for tax purposes.

Voice of Reason, I thank you for posting the information of the 501(c)3. It looks like the same information I found as well and had planned on posting the link today, but you beat me to it.

Youre exactly right, it says no where that a public announcement would cause tax consequences, however, if you re-read the information, it does say this:

"NO PART of a section 501(c)(3) organization's net earnings may INURE TO THE BENEFIT of ANY PRIVATE shareholder or individual."

This is how I know the land had nothing to do with the church. I am not saying that JD Collins didn't have his own agenda, but saying that he did can't be proven. The land deal itself was in no way associated with the church, and by publicly announcing that a shareholder from the organization had given a substantially sized gift to an employee of the organization, would have in return associated the organization with the gift, making it and Excess Benefit Transaction.

On the deed itself, it does not give any exact dollar amounts as to what was paid on the land. It simply says a gift. No one here knows that the Pastor didn't pay for some of the land and that the actual "gift" was a reduced price.

Why was the land not given to the church? For one, what would the church do with a lot of land in Deerwood? Also, had the land been given to the church, then given to the Pastor, the church would then have to pay for the land and its taxes, and yes, if that had happened, Watchdog you would have a problem with the church paying for the Pastors housing expenses.

Its not simply the announcing of the gift to the church, but it is the linking of the two that would cause tax consequences for the church.

Besides, why do you care about taxes of the church and its financial moves? You dont give money to the church anymore.

You say that you are to hold your Pastor accountable and that God calls us to do this. I agree, but when reviewing your blog, I see no one holding him accountable but rather, upset people who post their feelings by writing put-downs and name calling. I feel quite confident that this sort of "accountability" is not what God would desire. You may say, "well God wouldn't want the Pastor to do this, and this, and say these things...". Thats all well and good, but the Bible says that God is the judge of the intentions of a mans heart. You aren't holding any man accountable by constant questioning and name calling, so when do you think you will try to step aside and let God handle the situation?

47

RM said...

Good morning everyone. I missed last night so I have a lot to catch up on...

First, we are members of the SBC and the BGCT. I know way too much about the SBTC to be associated with them. If you think your church lacks transparency you should see them.

I never said that Mac wasn't PD but new styles of worship, songs, and Biblical translations are nothing new. They have been going on for years. Some of the PD guidelines aren't Biblical but you have to read them and decide for yourself.

Personally, I am waiting for someone to give me some land worth $300,000 and then our church and I will have a huge praise service (with a praise band and praise songs) thanking Jesus for His generosity. But then, I'd be more than willing to share all the details with my church if someone so chooses to give me something like that. Only problem for me is that I couldn't afford to pay the taxes on that much land.

Anonymous said...

Dear OC - I have never known, nor cared, what any of my pastors have made, ever. There is just so much more to life than church politics and drama. There really is.

Our lives should not revolve around a church, a pastor or any other spiritual leader, but around the Lord Himself. As Baptists we have wrongly made our churches and our pastors the objects of our worship.

10:54

oc said...

47... please man. Please reconsider your position.

What I see coming from you is a bunch of the world's ethics. Anyone can meet those standards. But "Christians" are called to higher standards.

Guess what? What's "legal" may not be godly. But go right on ahead with your "legalistic" thinking. It is just that which perpetuates criminal thinking. Because it soon becomes a matter of how far can I go? What can I get by with?

What you seem to defend doesn't sound anything like "being beyond reproach", or "fleeing the appearance of evil", does it?

Are you sure you want to continue on the path you have chosen? If so, let's go ahead and meet at high noon. You with your law books, and me with the Bible.
And even as I say this , I grieve, because it is so sad to kill the unarmed.

oc.

oc said...

In other words, "Don't bring a knife to a gunfight."


oc.

Stephen said...

Jesus is Lord!!!

Anonymous said...

Would you turn down a piece of land if someone was to give it to you?

Anonymous said...

OC

I feel you have directed an attitude toward me to uphold that this very blog has yet to achieve.

You claim that what is legal may not always be Godly, and I would of course agree with you. However, the one thing that remains to be over looked in this situation is the fact that the land given had no relation to the church. No where on the deed is the church mentioned. It was a personal and private gift, and therefore, an irrelevant topic to be discussed about to the congregation. Every person has a private life, including the Pastor.

You infer that I am not living above reproach. That is more than fine for you to think that, but why dont we take a look at the creator of this blog for a moment, who also has made the statement that the Pastor has given the appearance of evil. Watchdog has been confronted with many issues on this site that he/she has yet to address, which is fine if thats how he/she decides to handle the issues. One of these is the name calling of the Pastor on this site and his allowance of others to call the Pastor all sorts of names such as Texas Carpetbagger, thief, liar, hypocrite and pompous ass, just to name a few. Im sorry to tell you that this site and its creator fall short in living above reproach in this area. Watchdog has called for his/her readers to stop giving to the church. Is this even Biblical? I am not saying you must give 10%, but if Watchdog wants to truly follow the New Test. churches example, he/she needs to know that the New Test. church would collect the entire paycheck from a member and decide how much that person would receive out of it. Percentages aside, were commanded to give and Watchdog has told us not too. Is this living above reproach?

I would say to you OC that before you point a finger and click your spurs, you should evaluate everything. There are people on this site who feel they have been wronged by the Pastor in some way, and are so eager to rally with others who share the same feelings, that they fail to realize they have become exactly what they accuse another of being. Whether it be through agreeing with the unproven accusations brought by Watchdog, the use of name calling or the decision to mock another who does not share in their upset.

Live above reproach? Every poster on here who has a negative word about the Pastor say they are trying to hold him accountable. How can this site, its creator or those who post negatively of the Pastor, in any way hold him accountable when they themselves struggle with living above reproach?

I am not held to your standards, Watchdogs standards or any one else's. No man judges me but God.

47

oc said...

47 says, even while ignoring my questions..."However, the one thing that remains to be over looked in this situation is the fact that the land given had no relation to the church".

Oh yeah? The land has no relation to the church, so the pastor having the land has no relation to the church? Get a grip on a pastor's 'calling'. You may find that it means much more than you think. It's not like signing a contract to work at 7 Eleven. Pull your head out. When a pastor answers a call, he offers his life on the alter. I don't think many people understand this, and I'm starting to think Brunson doesn't know it either. But for sure, you don't understand. It's all legal, isn't it?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

47: I can defend myself just fine, and don't need OC to do that for me. So you can direct your comments about me and the blog to me if you like.

This is a blog. I'm a blogger. Blogs serve a purpose, they are usually about a specific topic, and they are a place where people sharing that interest come to interact. That is all. Yes, some things said here are troubling, some I've said disturb people. Maybe said some things I wished I hadn't. But this is a blog. Even the pastor has said that some blogs serve a very important purpose.

To compare people's words here, in an open forum designed for the free exchange of ideas to the Pastor's behavior as pastor of the FBC Jax is absolutely ludicrous. Blogs are what they are. Some people that post here are Christians, some are not, some have good motives some have bad. Its mostly an open forum where people speak their minds. So yes, ugly things are said sometimes. But golly gee whiz, to address issues of the pastor's abuses of our church by saying, "well, you guys at this blog also are doing bad things, so who are you to point things out about the pastor" is juvenile. And I have things I have yet to address on this site? My God man, I'm a guy who has a blog, I don't answer to you or your questions - I'm not your pastor, I don't take money from you or God's people, I'm not God's man leading the readers of the blog to spread the gospel. So there are no "issues I have yet to address"...its a blog for crying out loud...and besides, if I did address those issues whatever they are 47, you would only have more questions for me! ;)

And 47 you have lost all credibility to actually come here and say the land gift has no relation to the church, that its the pastor's private life, and is not open for criticism or discussion by the church. That is utter RUBBISH and if you would just stop and THINK you might realize that. The only reason Mac was offered that gift, hear me: THE ONLY REASON HE WAS OFFERED THAT GIFT WAS BECAUSE HE HAD JUST ACCEPTED THE OFFER OF PASTOR OF OUR CHURCH THEREFORE IT IS RELATED TO OUR CHURCH!!!! It was NOT because he and J.D. Collins loved each other, or J.D. had affection for Mac, or they had a long-term close personal relationship, or that Mac won a raffle held by J.D. Collins and, SURPRISE, Mac was the winner. I'm not saying this to be critical of J.D. Collins, he may choose to give a gift to whoever he likes. I'm saying this to say you have lost your mind to tell us the gift has no relationship to the church and is not our concern. IT WAS OUR CHURCH HIRING MAC, AND PAYING HIM TO MOVE HERE AND AGREEING TO A SALARY AND JOBS FOR WIFE AND FAMILY THAT LED HIM HERE, AND IT WAS HIM COMING HERE THAT LED TO THE GIFT BEING OFFERED.

Now, what would be an example of a gift that has no relationship to the church? Perhaps that would help you. If Mac receives a gift from one of his seminary buddies in North Carolina that is not a member of our church, THAT would have no relationship whatsoever to our church. It doesn't deal with our church. That is Mac's "private life" as you say (boy I'm glad I never heard Homer talk about his "pastor life" and "private life"). If Mac developed a close relationship with a member of FBC Dallas, and he gives Mac a nice gift when he moves to Jax because he loves Mac and appreciates all that Mac did for him as his pastor in Dallas, fine - it would be nuts for FBC Jax members to be concerned about that. That you can't make the distinction between these cases that INDEED HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH OUR CHURCH, and accepting a gift only three weeks here from a man he did not know but is a member of our church, is disturbing. I can only hope and pray that YOUR view is not the prevailing view of the lay leadership of our church or we are in deep trouble. Perhaps it is time to ask the IRS to look into this gift and report this activity at our church to the IRS hotline as potential tax shenanigans.

You say:

"How can this site, its creator or those who post negatively of the Pastor, in any way hold him accountable when they themselves struggle with living above reproach?"

Yep, love that logic. You don't approve with the people on this blog blogging their concerns about the pastor, and therefore in your eyes we are disqualified from holding him accountable. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be anyone else in positions of leadership willing to hold him accountable. But then its up to God to handle it right?

oc said...

PS. 47. I wasn't pointing anyone out. You did a good job of that yourself. But I will say this. It's not wrong to point out wrong.

oc.

Anonymous said...

WD: You mention the prevailing view of leadership.... you must be kidding their blind. They can't see anything but the bright star in the pulpit!!!

WD, must I still be kind to 47?

I would hate to be the IRS agent assigned this case. He/she will never get any information out of this church. This church doesn't answer questions. Their "above" that. So give up IRS, you have no power even if you are the U.S. Govt.

NEWS FLASH: JESUS IS LORD, not the preacher!!!

oc said...

"Dear OC - I have never known, nor cared, what any of my pastors have made, ever. There is just so much more to life than church politics and drama. There really is.
Our lives should not revolve around a church, a pastor or any other spiritual leader, but around the Lord Himself. As Baptists we have wrongly made our churches and our pastors the objects of our worship."

10:54

July 4, 2008 3:37 PM".


oc says:
What? We must live in different worlds. It looks like this to me...

I suppose if you don't care what the pastor makes, you are either...

1. Not contributing to the church anyway and don't care if the church is carrying out it's mission, or even that the pastor's family is eating and paying their bills,

Or,

2. You are a bad steward of God given resources and you just like to throw money around.

Which is it?
And guess what anon? Your church represents your Lord working in the world. It shouldn't be so easy to dismiss the church as you do. I believe you had better care more about His Bride, for whom He is coming for, and remember, it's not all about you.

oc.

Anonymous said...

As one has raised money for 501(c)(3) organizations, I must admit, the attorney is incorrectly stating the position of the land gift. (With no disrespect to him, most attorneys do not work enough with the IRS side of non-profits to know the law.)

The land gift was given directly to the pastor. Based on the information that I have read, it was not given to the church and then to the pastor. Therefore, the church could not and would not have any legal ramifications if the gift was announced.

What the IRS is seeking to avoid (and, thus, imposes a penalty) is when people give a gift (such as land) to a church with the specific stipulation that the land be given to the pastor. The giver would (in theory) be allowed to deduct the gift as a donation and the pastor was receive the land without cost.

Remember, the IRS' primary purpose is to be sure that individuals or organizations are avoiding taxation by using abusing non-profit rules.

In other words, announcing the gift would be fine. After all, it is public knowledge anyway!

(One other note, the church MAY face problems for advertising for a for-public organization IF the organization did not compensate the church for it!)

I think a tax attorney could be a great help in settling this matter for all minds!

Anonymous said...

OC - believe me if I ever worried that my pastor wasn't eating or paying his bills I WOULD speak up. However I'm quite sure that all my pastors past and present - since I've been a Baptist anyway - make a good deal more money than I ever will. They certainly drive nicer cars and live in nicer houses.

Which is fine, because they put up with so much baloney and deal with so many behind the scenes agendas that the average church member is never aware of, and probably wouldn't even believe how some people REALLY behave. (I know this from the inside as I serve on a church staff.)

And yet I love the church and want God to use it and bless it. There's something about it that I cannot walk away from, even though it is deeply disappointing at times. (The disappointing part is what WE have done to it. There could be a whole other blog devoted to why our worship services are so mechanical and so over produced, to the point where they shouldn't even be called worship services. And that's just one example.) So as to your judgment about bad stewardship and throwing money around and not loving the Bride of Christ...well you can think what you want.

You got one thing right in your post, though, OC. We DO live in different worlds. Very different thinking indeed.

Hope you all get the answers you want out of all this. Yet it's obvious that having the information is not all you're after.

oc said...

Well jeepers. I think the matter could have been settled easily by being up front and honest. What a strange concept, especially for your pastor. Hmmm....I wonder if anyone ever thought about that?
Like maybe considering Matthew 5-7.

You know what? All this bantering is sickening. IRS allows this, IRS allows that. Who cares about the IRS? What is important is...what is right before the Lord????
Sin is sin. Call it that, ask forgiveness,repent of it, and move on.

But the CYA attempts do not work.
Excuses do not equal repentance.

oc.

oc said...

'OC - believe me if I ever worried that my pastor wasn't eating or paying his bills I WOULD speak up. However I'm quite sure that all my pastors past and present - since I've been a Baptist anyway - make a good deal more money than I ever will. They certainly drive nicer cars and live in nicer houses.'



oc says...
If you are so confident in that, then you are going to the wrong church. Think about it.
Give your money and time to another church and to a pastor and his family who struggles. And quit being so self assurred and uppity.

oc.

Anonymous said...

Your church is on dangerous ground with the IRS.

If this gift was anything other than purely a man who, with telling no one at the church, especially the search committee or trustees or any other committee involved, just decided that he was going to be kind and give that gift because of his affection for his pastor...the church may be in trouble with the IRS. And I must add, putting "love and affection" on the deed is not the only consideration used to make this determination.

If for instance, the man giving the gift told the search committee that he wanted to give this gift to the pastor, and they communicated it to the pastor in advance...trouble.

If the committee approached the man who was known to be generous and had great wealth, and asked him if he could sweeten the pot to entice the pastor...big trouble.

The timing of the gift, and the relationship of the giver and receiver are what is suspect here and would draw the IRS' attention.

If any of those scenarios are close to what happened, then the church may be accused of engaging in an "excess benefit transaction" with a "disqualifed person" (the pastor), and the fact the giver gave it directly to the pastor and not through the church where there is likely the only common connection between giver and receiver, is quite troublesome.

And none of this, absolutely none of these scenarios has anything to do with whether anyone in the church announced the gift or gave recognition to the giver. In fact I would aruge the opposite is true. The fact that it was NOT announced makes one think that they wanted as few people to know as possible to draw less attention to the gift, so that it would not be seen as an excess benefit transaction. Nondisclosure to interested parties of such transactions usually breeds suspicion.

So the IRS, if they were ever to look more deeply at that transaction to see if it were an excess benefit transaction would talk to the parties involved - committee members, the giver, the pastor and wife, staff members - people who could shed light on the question of whether the gift was anything other than a giver deciding to give a person he hardly knew who was to be his pastor a very large gift for nothing in return but love and affection.

oc said...

And anon, I am not impressed that you worked as church staff. Maybe others are impressed. Keep throwing that out here. I myself was a pastor, and so I know much about church staff. And I do know this much. You, like myself, are just a sinner forgiven by God. I am not, and you are not.... special.

So you go on ahead and work at getting rid of the label, because God is not impressed. It's not an "E" ticket to Heaven.
Why would you detour those who seek God?

oc.

Anonymous said...

OC - i've never mentioned that I worked on church staff until my most recent post. That was the first time.

What deters people from the kingdom is our phoniness and our legalism. And believe me in terms of being "special" I'm not even a speck on the dustpan...no, if you are doing church work the way it is supposed to be done, "unto the Lord," trust me the only One you will be special to is Him.

OC I'm going to leave this with you now. I've got stuff to do. As I said, different worlds, different views.

And yours is obviously right so I will quit wasting my time.

Many blessings! 10:54

oc said...

Hey anon. I totally agree with you. It's often phoniness and legalism that drives people away from even listening to the Lord's gift of eternal life.

Guess what anon? I love you.
With no good reason. Like He loves me too, with no good reason.

I love you my friend.

oc.

oc said...

And furthermore anon,

I have often found myself wrong. will you pray for me?

oc.

RM said...

With all of the junk you guys are printing today I can understand why some of you "were" pastors. This stuff is getting ridiculous. We're all part of the same family so quit this stupid fighting.

Anonymous said...

RM

Thanks for being open about your beliefs. The full blown PURPOSE DRIVEN pastors would not admit that they were PD unless they were surrounded by other PD people. They will remain silent and secretive until the have completed their transition.

The whole country has been undergoing major belief and method changing lately. I've read that thousands of churches have been destroyed by the PD movement. And thousands of the Lord's saints have left their churches.

RM I've noticed that the BGCT leadership does not believe in the inerrancy of God's Word. And that many of its churches have split. Like, 1776 churches are now in the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention.

Has that inpacted you and what is your stand on the inerrancy issue?

OC, maybe you could enlighten us also. Thank you!

Watchdog through this blog has enabled us to see how destructive this method of secretely bringing this PURPOSE DRIVEN ERROR into our church has been. Once you start keeping secrete, some things, that technique spills over into other areas. Thus we have this $ 307,000 secrete problem.

Thanks again!



Eagle

oc said...

Anon 4:01,

Since you asked me, I will tell you. I have always believed, and always taught, and continue to believe and teach, whenever I have such opportunity, the inerrancy of the Scriptures. It is the Word, God breathed.

oc.

RM said...

Good questions there... I don't subscribe to the leadership of the BGCT and I sure don't support their stand on inerrancy--but supporting the SBTC is even scarier. You think you are worried about knowing the staff salaries in your church you should try to find out what the SBTC pays their leadership.

Just so you don't get worried about me becoming PD--I believe in the absolute inerrancy of God's Word and I even believe the maps were inspired. Nothing will change my belief and commitment to God's Word.