"...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

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Nobody Knows the Trouble Mac's Seen...

Just a few clips from Sunday 7/20, in the evening service.

Clip #1: Here Mac announces how he can determine the attitude of mom and dad based on spending a few minutes with a teenager. Listen to this clip. So if you have a rebellious teenager, keep him/her away from the Brunsons else Mac will assume you're filling your teenager with "garbage". Oh, notice that Mac explains how important, how contagious attitude is - all the while why he does with an arrogant, angry attitude. Priceless.

Clip #2: More than any preacher I've heard, Mac seems to want to tell his congregation on a regular basis how tough it is to be pastor of his church. No question pastors have pressures...but I mean to hear Mac describe his lot you'd think that he bears the weight of the free world on his shoulders. Its tiring Mac - just do your job, and quit telling us how we don't have a clue what we would do if we pastored the church. We do have an idea of things we would NOT do that you have done.

Mac says something in the clip that is very curious, and doesn't really make sense: "I can tell you something...its a position [FBC Jax pastor] where the weight of temptation is greater than anything you can imagine. You don't know, you don't have a clue." That is odd; "weight of temptation"? Whatever does he mean? Temptation to do what? Accept large gifts, put wife and son on staff, hold Israeli fundraisers, change bylaws with no explanations to the congregation? I guess Mac sure didn't hold up under those temptations, he gave in to every one!

Mac says in the quote that he has to "deal with more criticism in 30 minutes than you can handle in 6 months." Mac let me tell you something - the more you speak as though you know what life is like for the average person in your church the more painfully obvious it is that you don't have a clue. You don't understand that the pressures and criticism you face are likely nothing like the pressure the average working stiff in your congregation faces. Most people at work face intense competition from peers, demanding customers, supervisors who are pushing harder and harder, companies cutting back jobs and salaries from a troubled economy, and a paycheck shrinking as life's expenses increase without much of a raise if any. No one at work tells Joe Blow that they're "God's man"...they don't get to choose their supervisors...they don't have people lining up to give them free gifts, and they work in companies with strict nepotism rules forbidding them to hire their family members in their same office, and alas they must leave Fido at home. So PLEASE quit your bellyaching to us Mac about how hard things are; most of the pressure you feel now is likely you're own doing, the result of poor decisions you've made as pastor that you've never attempted to explain or apologize for. Your bellyaching falls on deaf ears - you have your family working with you, you have a lavish office suite with your wife, secretary, and dogs in the office. You rub elbows with the rich and powerful at Deerwood in your million dollar home and even though you abuse your congregation week after week people still love you and worship you. So you have a few recalcitrants giving you a hard time week after week about your poor leadership. Get over it. You have the keys to the church, and a flock of gullible sheep that will follow you anywhere.

Life ain't that bad Mac. But maybe as you say at FBC Jax you're in the "place of preparation" for something bigger. We could only hope.

25 comments:

anon said...
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Dwight said...

I missed church Sunday night due to travel but the clips you share do not say anything wrong.

I agree with his assessment concerning the attitude of the teenager. I can tell by the words you use here what is being discussed in your home, on the phone, email exchanges...

I know I harmed my children a few years back when I taught them, by my attitude, that church was a place of burden instead of a house of joy. To this day my eldest is still apprehensive towards church authority because of my words spoken. Shame on me.

I also have come to realize that no one who is a member of the church knows what it is like to be the pastor, except the pastor. We all have our opinions and most of those are wrong. Yet, many of us want to tell the pastor how he is doing wrong. Shame on us.

Dwight said...

In your original post you state:

Mac says in the quote that he has to "deal with more criticism in 30 minutes than you can handle in 6 months."

I recommend that you go back and listen, this is not what he stated. Close but removing one word changes the context.

anon said...
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sunnysummy242 said...

I was in the service Sunday night and heard every word Mac said. The only thing that ran thru my mind on more than one occasion was that Mac had read this blog. I cannot imagine someone dedicating an entire blog to defaming my name, my family's name, my choice of profession and my performance at that job. The "everyday worker" has been mentioned. I am an everyday worker. Some days I do really well and I make my employers proud. Some days I foul up in a big way and they are disappointed. Fortunately for me, I have a quarterly review behind closed doors. It seems that some have taken it upon themselves to give Mac a public daily review. Mac's message was about staying positive, focusing on the spiritual and not the material. He even emphasized the importance of Godly influence in the home that needs to be presented from the parents. I am astounded that anyone can even pretend to be offended or taken aback that Mac would take a minute out of a 30+ min sermon to comment on his feelings concerning this blog. You write this blog to get his attention. Well you got his attention. If you think this blog will somehow change his practices, you must have realized by now that you mistaken. PLEASE do not let the irony escape you that you are criticizing Mac for complaining to you about how you are on this blog complaining about him!

Dwight said...

Anon said: "I think it is important that we teach our children how to think and that includes scrutinizing the actions and words of a preacher against the Word of God."

Who said that someone who is not apprehensive towards authority is not a thinking person. That is a stretch.

Your use of the term scrutinize does not fit, for me.

scru·ti·nize – verb (used with object)

1. to examine in detail with careful or critical attention.

The problem anon with this is we may teach our children to think, scrutinize every word and action of those in authority --- look for wrong we train them to not look for truth, that which is right.

You also state: "The Bible is my only authority."

If you have kids make sure you let them know you have no, none, authority over them. Let them use their thinking minds to interpret scripture without any leadership from man. Whoops, there goes the church.

A slippery slope my friend.

Alabama Pastor said...

As a pastor who has worked quite a few "Joe Blow" jobs, I can testify that nothing I've ever done in the secular world compares with the pressures, stress, and scrutiny that comes along with being a pastor. It's not only tough on the individual, but it's often extremely hard on the minister's family. It's no surprise that pastors leave the ministry at an astounding rate.

BTW, Watchdog, you may have some legitmate grievances, but the public forum you are using to air out the FBC Jax dirty laundry is disgraceful. Please shut this blog down and find a more Christ-honoring way of addressing internal problems.

Danny said...
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Dwight said...

Brother Alabama Pastor

I agree with your post but it has become obvious that the correction of the pastor is far more important than edifying the body of Christ.

Why do terrorists wear masks?

mythreesons said...

As I sat here and read this, my heart is pounding! I am in utter disbelief at this blog! I would honestly HATE to be in your shoes where you have taken it upon yourself to criticize a pastor - that is NOT your place. It is only God's place to judge. By the things you write and complain about, you are doing FAR worse; by trying to stir things up. I listened to the clips from this message and as far as I am concerned, this pastor said nothing wrong! It is obvious to me that you are looking hard for things and scrutinizing every word to see if you can make an issue out of anything! Shame on you! I would imagine that God would be very displeased with this whole fbc jax watchdog, and all of the disention that you could and are sowing through this sight. And, you must have an awful lot of spare time on your hands to be able to spend so much time listening to these sermons, scrutinizing them and then posting about them. If you love the Lord so much, why don't you use your time, instead of trying to tear a church apart, to do something that would last for eternity! This won't!

And, one more thing, I don't go to FBC (although I did for years and moved away), but if YOU go there- shame on you for going to a church where you are just trying to find things you don't like, place judgment and get other people on your side. Nothing you are doing here is good! As a Christian, I would ask that you stop this site immediately... and you really need to get your heart right before the Lord, I would HATE to be in your shoes on judgment day! I beg of you to search your heart and true motives before the Lord.

Numbers 14:36&37
"As for the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land and who returned and made all the congergation grumble against him by bringing out a bad report concerning the land, even those men who brought out the very bad report of the land died by a plague before the Lord."

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi Brother "Dwight" - your reference to terrorists using masks. Are you comparing people who are blogging about abuses at their church, who do so anonymously, to "terrorists"? If so, should not terrorists be killed?

You sir, are the reason why many bloggers who have the audacity to point out abuses by pastors, choose to stay anonymous. You've made the case very well as to why anonymity is preferred on this blog.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Danny - thanks for the tip on the Smyrl blog.

I noticed John Blount has a blog as well. We could do without the photoshopped photo though John.

I find Smyrl's writing quite confusing. His blog is slightly less confusing than some of his stuff at his 501(c)3 website, but I think quite a few people will scratch their heads and say "huh?". I've known a few people who consider themselves very "scholarly" and can't write so that the average person can really understand what they are saying. Smyrl is one of those. He likes to impress with really big words and long sentences. He preaches much better than he can write that's for sure.

His little acronym for "blog" as "boys lusting over glory" or something like that to be very juvenile, and just plain uncreative. I can picture the staff getting a good chuckle when Jim tells them of his little acronym for "blog". I could have come up with a few much better than that in about 5 seconds, like "bad legalists out for glory" or "baptists love our God" or something like that...but "boys lusting over glory"....sheesh. Come on Jim, you can do better.

I also loved this quote from Jim's blog entry explaining the high and mighty purpose of his blog - apparently made before Jim was aware of Maurilio Amorim's "twitter" site:

The pattern this blog [Smyrl's blog] will mirror is not one of submitting my life’s activities or inner most contemplations on the world to the world, but rather a pattern that seeks to help believers, including myself, in a pursuit of biblical thinking, biblical living, biblical relating, and biblical proclaiming. The narcissistic tendencies of those that innately believe the world actually cares what they had for dinner or where they went shopping is a course of carnality I will avoid.

Amen to that Jim. Sounds like an indictment of Maurilio's "twitter" site where he tells us about his 6-head shower, the expensive lunches, days at the spa in Vegas, and how he "needs" to be inspired by the Cirque de Soley, etc. etc. But I do appreciate Maurilio's twitter site, its great to see God's tithes and offering given by God's people, hard at work in the life of Maurilio Amorim. Very inspiring!

Keep on blogging Jim! More thoughts on Jim's blog and the "hypcrisy" later.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi Bama Pastor - thanks for joining the discussion.

No doubt pastors face immense pressures. But would you not agree there is a HUGE difference between the mega church pastor and the pastor of an average church around size 200 or so? A typical pastor carries a tremendous work load since so many of the "ministry" responsibilities fall on his shoulders - visiting the sick, marriages, funerals, operation of the church, AND prepare 2 sermons and 1 bible study per week, etc. etc. The time and pressures are immense, for a relatively low salary. And to top it all off, most small churches are run by strong lay leaders, maybe more elderly gentlemen who were around when the church was founded, etc...and sometimes these men will try to usurp (love that word, borrowed it from Mac) the power of the Pastor. I'm generalizing here: but pressures on the average pastor are IMMENSE.

The the mega church pastor is a whole different story - a different set of pressures for sure....but I would make the case that a guy in Mac's position has it MUCH, MUCH easier than the typical pastor and to hear him whine about how tough it is makes me, well, slightly ill. He has a staff of 20+ full time ministers to do the ministry of the church. His primary responsibility is to prepare for sermons. He has ministers to visit the sick (although he does it too - but the point is that it is not at all on his shoulders), that run the business side of the church, he has high-priced consultants that fly in from Tennessee to help him make important decisions like the color of the lights to shine on the wall, the graphics for the next sermon series....he has his wife working with him and his dogs, and his son on staff with him, a full time secretary.

And to top it all off: from day 1 the lay leaders gave Mac full control of operational decisions in the church, and I mean FULL CONTROL. He answers to no man (only to God and maybe the Mrs).

So if I were a pastor toiling in a church of 250, dealing with a grumpy chairman of the deacons who thinks my $45,000 salary is too much and didn't like my sermon Sunday, and I had two weddings on Saturday and a funeral next Monday, and the finance committee won't let me hire my wife as secretary for $7 an hour for 15 hours per week...and then I heard poor Mac tell me about his "heavy weight of temptation" and the intensne "criticism" he is under...I would say "WELL WHAT DID YA EXPECT? Come try serving where I serve, earning what I earn...and you might suddenly like it at FBC Jax."

So really Bama pastor...Mac's complaining of how tough it is falls on deaf ears. He is making mega money at a mega church, and when you do stupid things, and when you pop-off from the pulpit saying things that weren't well thought out to thousands of people...you gonna get criticized. Solution: don't do stupid things, don't go into sermons unprepared and popping off and stretching the truth....and things will be a lot better and the six figure salary and million dollar executive home and luxury car will all be much more enjoyable.

And lastly: I said because of a huge staff like we have at FBC Jax Mac gets to concentrate on his sermon prep: he can't even prepare three sermons in a week - usually one, maybe two. This summer Mac has been masterful: stretching each Sunday morning sermon into two sermons, morning and night...and having Smyrl or someone else take Wed nights. What a gig Mac has!

Dwight said...

For any who are concerned, my comment about the hooded terrorist was only to demonstrate their cowardice while all the times thinking they are brave. I can see how someone might misconstrue my words. I hope this clarifies.

I apologize if anyone other the the dog thought I was thinking that any anonymous poster ought to be killed. I was not thinking such.

Of course this is not the O'Reilly factor, this blog is the spin zone.

I wonder why the dog did not ask me without the accusing tone.

c said...

Aren't you afraid that if you read Jim Smyrl's blog they will get your IP number Watchdog?

Alabama Pastor said...

Thanks for the response, Watchdog.

$45,000 would be a nice raise for me. I'll take it!

With that being said, I don't begrudge Mac for the money he is being paid. And I don't think you're a bad person for having some concerns. I just believe their is a more appropriate way to deal with things.

Just my two cents. Gotta run. Hospital visit to make. :)

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Dwight - come on guy. You asked "Why do terrorists wear masks?"

You inferrence was obvious. Terrorists wear masks or try to stay hidden, and so do anonymous bloggers...and you're comparing bloggers to terrorists. Its OK, I'm not offended and you don't owe me an apology. But you drew the comparison.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

C - excellent point. With so few readers of their blog, it wouldn't be difficult at all for them to get my IP address when I hit the site. But that's OK.

The blog appears that its been up for a month or so; since its an "official" blog of FBC Jax I wonder why they don't hyperlink to it from their website or have mentioned it to the congregation.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Aimee - thanks for your note, and thank you for your prayers.

I know it is shocking to see a web site like this when you have been raised all your life and all your adult life you have followed faithfully the leadership of your pastor. I have too. Whether you agree with this forum of sharing information or not (and most do not think this is right), I do recommend that you read the information here with an open mind. That way you can pray for me, and you can pray more wisely for your pastor.

Dwight said...

Dog,

I gave you my honest intent, for you to say otherwise is to...

1 - call me a liar
2 - play God and say you can read my heart and mind.

Is this how you want to portray yourself?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Is that you RP?

Dwight - If you're apologizing for equating anonymous bloggers to terrorists, apology accepted.

Danny said...
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stephenwebb said...

Do you attend this church? Are you a member or just a "watchdog" from an outsiders standpoint? Just curious.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi Stephen - member of the church.

About your question posted way back in a previous thread asking me about how much I earn, what I give, etc.

As soon as readers here start sending me money, giving me gifts, and hire me to be their pastor and "God's man", I'll let everyone know my salary or my giving habits. Since you and no other readers pay my salary, I don't owe you an answer of my salary. As soon as I start taking your money to pay my bills, especially if I start living a lavish lifestyle above most of the people giving me money, THEN I'll fully disclose my salary.

RM said...

Seems that the tone has drastically changed on here since no more anonymous comments are received... Perhaps that should tell you something.