A couple of audio clips of Homer Lindsay, Jr. as I share my last thoughts on Mac's remix of "And the Iron Did Swim":
"Jesus be Glorified"
"Its a Miracle"
- Mac is stuck on this "cutting edge" theme. Its the buzzword amongst his staff. Our communications director says on her blog that our new logo is "cutting edge". Well, we might be trying to be "cutting edge", what ever that is, but contrary to what Mac says our church was not cutting edge. We just looked for ways to teach the bible, and proclaim Jesus, and get people saved. That's all. The secret is there was no secret. What God did in "the miracle of downtown Jacksonville" was not manufactured by man trying to be cutting edge. God did a miracle in Jacksonville as we were led by called preachers who just preached the Bible, with people not having any seminary training or "certificates" but love for Jesus and knowledge of the Bible teaching and applying the Bible in Sunday School. Our "cutting edge" was people devoted not to a preacher, not to a program, and not even to the church (no need for calls for the "churchmen" to rise up) - but people devoted to Jesus Christ.
- I don't fault Mac for starting certificate programs at our church, or desiring for Sunday School teachers to have more Bible knowledge through formal training. But those who sat under the preaching of Vines and Lindsay where the Bible was preached Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and on Sunday morning in Sunday School - after a year or so people HAD MORE BIBLE KNOWLEDGE THAN MOST PEOPLE COMING OUT OF SEMINARY!!! The people of FBC Jax had so much knowledge of the Bible because our preachers weren't giving us history lessons - they really did preach the Bible every single Sunday. And our Sunday School teachers taught us lessons that WERE application...we didn't need to huddle in small groups and ask each other how a verse made us feel.
- Homer Jr. was a called preacher. Never said he wanted to be a lawyer, or that he was smart enough and had the drive and ambition to be successful outside the ministry as Mac as proclaimed of himself. He was a preacher in North Miami when his dad asked him to pray about coming to serve as co-pastor. Homer at first refused, but eventually he did come. Not to a $300k piece of land and 5000+ square foot home in Deerwood, not to have a huge pastor's office suite built, not to put Ms. Shirley on staff. Not to preach sporadically to finish his book manuscript (unlike the millionaire preachers today, Homer declared that nothing he ever said or did or wrote was copyright worthy, since God can't be copyrighted). He didn't come to raise money to put himself on national TV or hold "Time to Stand for Israel" events. He didn't come either to advertise in our bulletin "Holy Land Trips" for the very rich to travel to Israel. He came to get busy in doing local ministry, and in the first 3 years of his ministry the Sunday School attendance doubled. And Homer doesn't brag, he acknowledged over and over: it was all God's doing, nothing manufactured by man, no "theology driven ministry"...no dynamic preacher, no history-laced sermons - all a miracle of God.
- Quite interesting that Mac mentioned that the first building program after our church got out of debt in 1943 was what is now the 6th Grade Building. Mac says that Homer Lindsay, Sr. borrowed $350,000 to build that building. Why bring that up? Because I predict this is Mac signaling that he will be leading us to go into debt again. What Mac doesn't understand is that for the past 60 years God's people built the buildings at FBC Jax as they saw God moving, and space was needed. And the church used the moving through the people giving as a sign it was time to build. And the people's tithes and offerings were used to maintain our facilities. We didn't spend money on high-priced preachers and national TV time and then took special offerings for maintenance of the facilities.
- Mac again couldn't help but to continue his abusive preaching. Had to knock us for not amening enough on one of his excellent points. And he has never yelled at us more forcefully than he did Sunday about older men helping younger men see what God has done in the past. Only problem is that Mac spent his first two years telling us to NOT dwell on the past, that successes in the past have nothing to do with successes in the future - but now he screamed at the top of his lungs that we should help younger people look to the past...followed with a "Did you hear me? Is that clear? All right." as though he were talking to a rebellious teenager. That is abusive preaching. Enough to scare little kids causing them to ask "why is that guy so mad, Mommy?".
From this sermon I get the sense that Mac views himself to be another Homer Lindsay, Sr. Now that I have learned Homer, Sr. was going to be a lawyer until he was called to preach, it makes sense that Mac is saying that now too! Mac views himself in the same position as Homer Sr. in 1940: he has come to save a dying church as Homer Lindsay, Sr did in 1940. That Mac sees a parallel between the $1 million in needed repairs and the debt Homer, Sr. had to retire in 1943. And that Mac will have to start a building program, perhaps borrowing money, just like Homer, Sr. did in 1943. To quote Lloyd Benson in 1988: "I knew Dr. Lindsay, Dr. Lindsay was a friend of mine..."
Lastly, at the end of Mac's sermon, a glimmer of light. Mac let's us know the Lord spoke to him that he needs to let God handle the needs for the money - what a novel thought - how 'bout if Mac trusts God, trusts the Holy Spirit to move in the hearts of people, instead of beating people up with guilt and fear to motivate them to give. Its a little too late...after beating us up and not even bothering to mention the New Testament plan for Christian giving or calling on people to give out of love for Jesus, its just a little too late.
Mac will be on vacation for a couple of weeks. Let's see what the Lord does with him while he's away.