"...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

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Strange Explanation of Pedophile Priests...

Jim Smyrl, Mac Brunson's right-hand man at FBC Jax who has been preaching Wednesday nights this summer, gave an interesting explanation of the root cause of the Catholic Church pedophile priest scandal in a recent sermon on the decline of the church in America :

"...how could that happen [12,000 pedophile priests]?....There was a little historical event called the reformation that was denied. And when you deny the sufficiency of the Lord Jesus Christ as the only mediator and the sufficiency of scripture alone as the only authority you will unleash all your sin."

Click here to listen to the entire clip.

I'm not sure I buy that explanation. It sure doesn't explain why there are many Southern Baptist and Independent Church pastors who have abused boys and girls.

Does it make sense to trace the pedophile priest scandal back to the Catholic church's failure to acknowledge the reformations of Martin Luther? Or could it more be blamed on sick, abusive men who feel empowered to abuse their power as "God's man" to seduce the innocent, operating in a climate where there is no organizational structure by which "God's man" is held accountable by other men, and where the needs and welfare of the "church" organization trumps the welfare of the abused?

I think that explanation is more realistic than tracing the problem back to the reformation. And it sure explains the abuses of Darrel Gilyard and Bob Gray.

9 comments:

RM said...

I realize this is off topic but I wanted to write that I watched the Jax television show tonight here in Texas. Here are my observations:

1. Mac came across as a little too engulfed in history and probably lost his audience. I thought his crying when he read the Genesis passage was a bit melodramatic but I'll trust God that it was authentic. He did a good job leading up to the invitation and actually stayed to lead it.

2. The graphics and presentation was awesome and showed a lot of class.

3. The music minister came across as a little plastic and looked a bit like a used car salesman. Didn't fit the presentation.

4. I was impressed that the church was packed. I thought people had quit coming???

Overall, I felt my 30 minutes were well spent and I was blessed.

Just my humble opinion of how your church is coming across here in Texas.

Luke said...

He actually makes a good point when he says:

"when you deny the sufficiency of the Lord Jesus Christ as the only mediator and the sufficiency of scripture alone as the only authority you will unleash all your sin"

The problem is all of our sins have already been released and it is only through our Lord Jesus Christ that we can overcome that. So, yes, in one respect, he is right; they don't have Christ and that will inevitably lead to sin.

Following Christ, however, does not eliminate the sin in our lifes (protestant, catholic, or otherwise) and last I checked, no one sin was any worse than another. So why draw the line?

I didn't hear the entire sermon, so I'm assuming this is out of context and won't comment on his portrayal of Catholicism.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

rm - thanks for the update on the broadcast. I do remember the service where Mac cried as reading Genesis...it was about 2 or 3 months ago.

As far as attendance - the Sunday am service is very well attended. It is about where it was when Mac arrived, about 7000 to 8000 in attendance. Sunday night and Wednesday night is a different matter, as we don't have but maybe at best 1/3 of the Sunday night and Wednesday night attendance when Mac arrived.

The music man you described is Jim Whitmire, who served at Bellevue under Adrian Rogers until Steve Gaines gave him the boot. Jim is the real deal, and we are very fortunate to have him during these difficult times having to put up with Mac.

If you would be so kind, can you give some answers to the following regarding the broadcast?

How long was the broadcast?

What was the name of the broadcast? Was it put forth as a ministry of FBC Jax, or as an "Inlight Ministries" broadcast?

Were donations solicited at the end? If so, were they to be sent to Inlight Ministries or to FBC Jacksonville? What website was put forth on the screen: www.fbcjax.com or www.inlight.org?

Did Mac speak to the TV audience at the beginning or the end? If so, what was the setting and what was his message? Look for Mac's wife to be sitting with him in the intro and/or conclusion message to the TV audience - just my prediction.

Was there any music put forth?

Thanks in advance

RM said...

Glad to help. I guess I'm your eyes in Texas...

The broadcast was 30 minutes long on the Verizon Inspiration channel. It was listed as First Baptist Church--Jacksonville and there was no solicitation of funds. Overall I thought it was good and had great pictures of people in the church when they were telling about the broadcast.

Sorry if I hurt someone's feelings about Jim Whitmire. I didn't know who he was. He sang in front of the choir (which I thought was huge) and just came across a little plastic but that's fine with me if you guys like him.

The whole service was a bit too "Baptist" for most of Texas but I think it fits your audience well. Now that I know that it was an old broadcast I can understand why the church was full.

I'll be sure to watch again next Sunday and see what we see.

RM said...

Sorry but I didn't answer all your questions...

Mac did not address the tv audience at all. I liked the fact that there was no solicitation of funds. Be sure to thank your church for paying for our enjoyment.

Hope this helps.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Thanks RM for the input! I thought the broadcast was an hour long. None of Mac's sermons are less than 30 minutes, so with some music I don't see how they fit a sermon into 30 minutes. Must be doing some serious editing of the sermons. That would be a GREAT thing actually for a national audience. No need to put the bashings of the congregation, maybe edit out the angry parts where he takes his glasses off when he gets mad at the lack of response from the congregation...edit out the slandering of Sheri Klouda or the historical illustrations that are factually incorrect. Hopefully the editors are reading the blog so they can get a heads-up on what to cut out of the sermons. Maybe we can do that service here on the blog, we can post what 10 minutes of each sermon need to be edited out for the national audience. :)

RM said...

To be honest, I kind of watched to check out one of his rantings but they weren't there.

I would imagine there was about 23 minutes worth of preaching so they did some serious editing. At least that way they can remove the offensive parts.

I would have enjoyed more music since I thought your choir was first class. A few specials might even be good--and a little less preaching...

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Thanks DB - I didn't realize they talked about public schools in the 5:00 pm service with Ken Ham.

You are right, the FBC Academy will be over priced for 90% of the congregation - there are several private Christian schools in the Jax area that are 1/2 the price of what Mac will be charging...and you don't have to drive downtown. Have they published tuition rates yet for the 2009-2010 school year? I just know the pro-formas they published in a business meeting when they voted to take, er I mean "borrow"...$100,000 of ministry money from the church to start the school...that dividing the revenue by enrollment projections put the number at around $10k per kid.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

If you want the rants of Mac just go to his 501(c)3 website. After being under Mac for 2 1/2 years now, when I listen to another preacher, any preacher, I am almost shocked at what its like to hear a humble, controlled, prepared, man of God teaching his people from the Word. Listening to a Mac sermon is very tiring and exhausting.