"...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

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Non-Tithers, Criticizers, People Who Don't Visit...All in the Hands of an Angry God

Many people who come to Christ do so from a religious upbringing where they were made to fear God, that God was some sort of heavenly dictator who was interested in "zapping" them for their misdeeds. Some, even in Catholic upbringing, were taught that their sin as believers was storing up wrath that God some day would unleash on them. This is a perversion of the gospel, that Christians are storing wrath for themselves that God will unleash on them eventually for their misdeeds. Its such a dangerous perversion because it does set up a huge barrier to people who have been manipulated in this fashion from ever considering the true gospel.

Well, leave it to Mac Brunson to carelessly handle scripture to present this sort of perverted gospel to his congregation on Sunday morning while he attempted to preach out of Romans 2. I have noted in the past month several occasions where Mac has carelessly handled history and facts in his sermons and even spread a lie about a former church member - and my point was if he is so careless to handle history as a "historian", then its likely he will mishandle scripture as a "preacher". And Sunday this was on full display.

I recommend my readers listen to this excerpt from his sermon:


I will be accused of taking it out of context I'm sure, but I invite people to visit Mac's 501(c)3 website Inlight Ministries, Inc. where you can listen to the full sermon.

In this clip Mac starts off by talking about Christians:

"When you don't visit, and you don't tithe and you criticize, and you slander..."

Obviously talking to Christians...he mentions "tithe"...and of course the Watchdog who is a "criticizer" and "slanderer"...

continuing:

"...and God doesn't pour wrath out on you, do you take lightly the forbearing of God?"

Then he describes how Israel had enjoyed the benefits of God, saw God move and pour out blessings....how God didn't pour out judgment in their disobedience...and then he says:

"..and this is what they thought: 'Because God has not judged us, God will not judge us'. That is a twisted, perverted theology of God's kindness, forbearance, and patience. And you sin in your sin and you never come to an altar, and you never go and say I have sinned, I want to make it right because God hasn't zapped you in the past and you think because God hasn't zapped you in the past God will not bring judgement on me in the future. That is perverted, perverted, perverted. He's talked about perversion in Chapter 1, he's now talking about a perversion of presumption upon the patience of God."

Interesting...so those of you who are not tithing, who are not visiting, who dare to criticize the pastor for his abuses of the church...you all, including me, are in danger of God's judgement. In fact its perversion, to not understand that God's wrath will not come.

Mac then goes on to quote his history professor from North Greenville College about the wisdom of "gods" and their "grinding mills":

"Because God has not judged you in the past does not mean the judgment of God won't fall tomorrow morning. The mills of the 'god's' grind slow, but they grind exceedingly fine...in other words God may not have judged you yet, but when it catches up to you, only God can help you then."

Still think Mac is on par with Adrian Rogers, Bro. Whitmire? What wonderful theology from Mac the SWBTS graduate. The Catholic church used that scare tactic, that manipulation, for years...God's gonna get ya! You better tithe...or God's gonna get ya! You don't visit? God's gonna get ya eventually? Why not teach it from a biblical perspective of sowing and reaping? That if we sow seeds of sin or disobedience, then we will hurt ourselves and we invite God's discipline as His Children...is God really waiting to zap Christians? Isn't he a loving heavenly Father who chastises his disobedient children?

Let's see how this theology preaches to Mac: Hey Mac, do you think that just because things are going great for you now...nice home, big salary, family on staff, going on nationwide TV next Sunday...that God will not judge you for your abuses at our church? Mac do you think you can use the sacred desk of our pulpit to spread a lie about Sheri Klouda and never apologize to us and to her, and God won't judge you? Do you actually think you can use our church finances to put yourself on nationwide TV and God will just let it go, no big deal? Do you think you can slander our congregation to pastors in North Carolina and call us a "hotbed of legalism" and God will stay patient with you? Do you not fear God, Mac? Mac, whatever "gods" you were referring to that have a slow grinding mill...know that those same mills of the "gods" grind exceedingly fine.

Yes, slowly they grind. Ask Darrell Gilyard how slow they grind. He abused women at his churches for decades, while men in his church stood by and waited for "God to handle it". Ask Bob Gray how slow they exceedingly grind. He abused little boys and girls for years, and instead of men stepping in and putting a stop to it they shipped him off to Germany where he likely abused more boys and girls. The mills of these "gods" grinded so very slow for Bob Gray. And they're grinding quite slowly at our church right now.

I know the answer from some of Mac's defenders is that Mac wasn't talking about Christians here, but was talking about the lost. He didn't make it clear...his mentioning of tithes and visiting left his listeners with the idea that God is going to zap them unless they repent. Not a loving God wanting to discipline them - no, "zapping" by God.

We've gone from "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" to "Non-Tithing Christians in the Hands of a Zapping God and Angry Preacher." God help us.

On a lighter note: I'll close with a clip that fits the category of "much truth is spoken in jest" - listen to this clip where Mac says: "What about this church? God gave you Dr. Lindsay Sr, Dr. Lindsay Jr, Dr. Vines, do you think lightly of the kindness of God....now that he's brought judgment on you [followed by nervous laughter]"

8 comments:

anon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I just don't get Smyrl. He speaks as though the problem at our church is that people don't like change, and that is holding our church back. And then he plays the "Homer Lindsay" card.

First of all...what change is it that people are upset about? And if there is, SO WHAT? That was the point about Homer: people complained about the drums, gospel music, etc...but the point was he didn't waste his time blasting his opposition from the pulpit, and whining like a little boy about how tough his job is, the intense pressure, and how much opposition he faced! HE LED. HE LED. Not "lied"...drop the "i" from "lied" Mac...Homer just LED. So shut up about how we don't like change...and just implement the change.

So Mac and Jim, quick bellyaching, quit telling your congregation that God is gonna get 'em...just lead where you want to go.

As I have said over and over and over again...Mac will have a difficult time leading our church ANYWHERE INTO ANYTHING so long as he doesn't come clean with his congregation about the abuses his first two years chronicled on this blog. If he thinks its tough now...wait until he and Maurillio try to sell the church on a long-term debt project.

And Jim - you could have saved us the lecture about how people in the church don't own the church. Tell your co-pastor Mac that HE doesn't own the church. FBC Jax is not the "Brunson family full-employment agency"...its the church, and it has donors, and he shouldn't be taking large gifts on the side from donors whilst taking a huge paycheck and having wife and son on staff. We know we don't own the church...save your lecture for the next "creative session" with Mac and Maurillio at Deerwood about who owns the church.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Readers:

You might find it interesting to visit Maurillio's blog - its hyperlinked on the front page of my blog.

Maurillio Amorim owns the A-Group, a church marketing firm that Mac uses at FBC Jax. You'll see that he had decided to take a swipe at me, the Watchdog, a member of FBC Jax, one of the churches that employes him. He has said things that he presumes to be true about me that are not, and lies about my blogging about him.

Here's what he says about the Watchdog, a member of the church that hires him (he is giving reasons why his "twittering" can cause him problems):

10. Post fun tweets about your Vegas vacation and watch some crazy, anonymous fundamentalist jerk turn you into this money-spending, luxury-loving, pleasure-driven Satanist on his loser hate blog. (Do I sound bitter?). I guess what happens in Vegas should really stay there.

Shows you the amateurish, juvenile nature of the man. He is hired by FBC Jax and is paid by the money people at our church give to God, and he doesn't like the blog of one of the members of his client's church, where I did little more that draw attention to his twitter posts about his Vegas vacation AND his 6-head shower (things HE HIMSELF posted on twitter!).

He presumes to know that I'm a fundamentalist (maybe Maurilio is a liberal? Isn't that the tag line that liberals love to throw at people who believe the Bible?), calls me "crazy", "loser", and that I have a "hate blog".

Hey Maurillio, NEWS FLASH: I'm a member of the church that sends you a paycheck. Do you and Mac meet at Deerwood and talk about the Watchdog? Do you regularly attack members of the churches that are your clients? If I was a pastor of a church who used your services, I see that you blog about every detail of your life...then attack someone from my church (no matter that you don't like his blog)...I would turn the spicket off from my church to your wallet REAL QUICK. In my next post of my blog welcoming you as one of my readers, I'll be sure to point out some of your other clients so they will see how you have chosen your little twitter and blog site to attack one of your clients. I think your other clients will find that very bothersome.

And if you bother to read my blogs that mention you Maurilio, you'll see that my beef is not with you. Its with our pastor. I never said you were "Satanic"...but I guess Mac and Jim Smyrl have learned from you how to treat church members who dare to critique their actions and demand accountability. Say false things about them, lie about them, and call them "fundamentalist" and "legalist" and "traditionalist". Did you help Mac come up with his catch phrase "hotbed of legalism"...maybe FBC Jax is a "hotbed of fundamentalism" Maurilio?

You ARE bitter Maurilio, as you said. The sad thing is, perhaps its rubbed off on our pastor too.

All I know is that if I were a consultant to churches, I wouldn't be blogging about my extravagent vacations to Vegas, days at the spa, my $50 lunches; I would be much more discrete. But if I DID blog about my life...I wouldn't call a member of one of my client's churches terrible names who didn't like it.

Its now so clear to see why you and Mac are such close friends. It all makes more sense now Maurillio.

oc said...

I just think he should show up here and explain himself.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

OC - I did post on Maurillio's blog, and he quickly replied that he wasn't referring to me.

I replied asking him who he was referring to, which "hate blog" had given him grief over his trip to Vegas, since I haven't see any other blogs out there about Maurillio.

Maybe I'm the one who is over-sensitive here, but unless Maurillio points to a specific "hate blog" that he WAS referring to, I'll assume he was referring to the Watchdog and my "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" post.

oc said...

You aren't over-sensitive. That's exactly what he was referring to.
Looks like a little back-pedaling to me.

oc said...

Marillio said:
"10. Post fun tweets about your Vegas vacation and watch some crazy, anonymous fundamentalist jerk turn you into this money-spending, luxury-loving, pleasure-driven Satanist on his loser hate blog. (Do I sound bitter?). I guess what happens in Vegas should really stay there."

And I said something like this:


What crazy, anonymous,fundamentalest jerk from a "hate blog" were you referring to? Be man enough to either identify or apologize.

And then my post immediately dissappeared.

That says it all to me.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

O.C. - I guess Maurilio was just being sarcastic in saying it wasn't me. With the "you've been so kind and gracious toward me" remark its quite clear. I'm a bit slow sometimes in figuring these things out.

But Maurilio is young and has a lot of maturing to do. Young men who achieve much success like he has sometimes don't deal with the success well, and they get very cocky. How unwise that he thinks "twittering" (which is what boys and girls today do called "texting" - twittering is texting to the extreme) like a teenager about the details of his life is the wise thing for a Christian man to do. Sorry, but men I respect that have lives and are serious men don't "text message" people throughout the day. I might send a text to my loved ones here and there, but I wouldn't presume to think anyone would want to read about the details of my life. But Maurilio will learn as he matures. And one of his clients will eventually tell him to quit acting like a texting teenager, and that he should under no circumstances express hatred publicly on a blog about one of the church members, no matter how recalcitrant the member might seem.

So Maurilio - grow up guy. Stop the texting like a little boy, and have a private life...and don't attack church members of your clients. Its not only unwise, its just not good business sense...something that I thought you had...if you don't have enough business sense to know not to attack one of your clients' church members, I wonder how much "marketing sense" you have that would cause FBC Jax to want to hire you for your help in church marketing? But, maybe it all makes sense. We're hearing a continual stream of whining from Brunson and Smyrl about how stuck in the past our church is, so maybe your advice to Mac is not selling too well to the "fundamentalists" down at FBC Jax.

How was the 6-head shower this morning?