"...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

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mac Brunson's Hand Is in Your Pocket

Mac Brunson's sermon Sunday September 21 was a classic sermon that characterizes perfectly his first 2 1/2 years at our church. It had it all. It was full of half-truths, misuses of scripture, attempts to persuade not through the truth of the Word and prompting of the Holy Spirit but through coersion and guilt. Mac did all he could to get his hand on your wallet this Sunday - only problem is he has a problem with the truth. Mac admitted early in the sermon he didn't really want to preach that morning - perhaps he should have stuck with his gut feeling and spared us the ensuing abuse that was about to come.

Here are some of the "highlights" (or "lowlights") of Mac's sermon from Sunday:

1. The Church in Rome was a Group of Satellite Churches: Mac again this Sunday told his congregation that the churches in Rome were really a group of "satellite" churches. If by that he means "satellite" in the way we use that term today, he's a liar. There was no mother church that the churches reported to. The churches in Rome met in people's houses. There was no rock star preacher who went around preaching to them. In fact just the opposite: the case can be made that the collective churches were "autonomous" churches and certainly not "satellites". But Mac thinks enough of his sheep are biblically illiterate that he can make them think his plan for satellites is directly from the scripture - just by saying it. But I've shown multiple times that Mac plays loose with historical facts and scripture if it suits his purposes. This is a classic example of that. But his sheep are smarter than he thinks.

2. You Should Keep Your Commitments: Mac showed what a hypocrite he is by again this week lecturing us on how we should be keeping our commitments. "When you make the commitments, you stick with the commitments" he proclaimed. He said it once, and got no response from the congregation...so he repeated it again...and then again until he got a smattering of "Amens". Only problem is he should be preaching to himself. He embarrassed our church by not keeping his commitment to attend meetings of the Crime Prevention Steering Committee set up by Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton and to which Mac committed to attend. So who's not keeping their commitments?

3. Mac Says Not to Use Your Gifts in the Community, Only in Church: Mac proclaimed that Christians have a responsibility to use their gifts not in the community but in the church. In Mac's mind, the world starts and ends with First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, that any good that will come to Jacksonville must be through his church. At least he's consistent: he says we should only be serving in church and not in the community...and so very little of our church budget goes to helping the needy in Jacksonville - in fact many more times the annual FBC Jax budget that goes to helping our community goes to paying Mac and family their salary.

4. Mac Says Inlight Ministries is the Preaching Ministry of FBC Jax: He says several times "he gave this ministry to the church" and that Inlight Ministries is the "teaching ministry of FBC Jacksonville." That's a lie. Its his ministry. Its the teaching ministry of Mac Brunson, not FBC Jacksonville. You say "what's the big deal?" It shows how disingenous Mac is. When Mac left Dallas, he brought this ministry with him because its HIS ministry. When he leaves FBC Jacksonville, he will take that ministry and the programming brand equity that the hundreds of thousands of dollars from our church have purchased, with him to his next endeavor just as he did when he left Dallas. When he says he "gave" this ministry to us and its "our ministry", he means that money coming in to the ministry goes to FBC Jax to buy air time - OF COURSE IT DOES! It would be scandalous if it did NOT, since our church members funded the INSP program costs! If this is our ministry, then he can shut down his http://www.inlight.org/ website. But Mac has come under pressure for taking hundreds of thousands of dollars of money from us to broadcast HIS sermons on INSP network, so his response is to tell us that its "our" ministry when it is NOT.

Most megachurch pastors have their own websites. The sermons they prepare and preach are their own intellectual property and they can make them available on their websites. Not a problem. Robert Jeffress who replaced Mac Brunson at Dallas, has his own ministry called "Pathway to Victory" separate and distinct from the ministry of FBC Dallas. And if the church decides to contribute money to the pastor's ministry to help fund his broadcast, and its communicated to the church and its in the budget and the church votes on the budget, great. But look at how Mac does it: he has his ministry, he wants to be on national TV like his fellow mega pastors, he holds a special offering on the largest attendance Sunday of the year to put his ministry back on TV, he gets back on TV using money from FBC Jax, and now he is telling us that its "our ministry" and not "his ministry". This is Clintonesque parsing of words. He did the same with the "Time to Stand with Israel". He told us "we're not sponsoring it, we're just hosting it."

5. Mac Proclaims to Know what the Lindsays Would Say About Satellite Ministries: Very interesting that Mac proclaims to know what two men that he never met, Homer Lindsay Sr, and Jr, would say about his plan to start satellites. Its likely that neither would be in favor of a satellite church that Mac has planned, but might be for a church plant. But whatever the case, can't he stand on his own and make the case himself for satellites? Must he lie about churches in Rome being satellites, and telling us that our deceased pastors would be for it? He has yelled at us as always looking to the past and worshipping previous pastors, but when it suits his purposes he not only looks to our previous pastors, but presumes to know what they would say when he never even so much as shook their hands in his life. Interesting that he only tells us what the dead pastors would say...I wonder what Vines would say about satellites?

6. Mac Calls Those Who Don't Serve "Blackmailers" and "Sinning Against the Holy Spirit": Mac is a divider. If there are people in the church who aren't serving in any official capacity, he doesn't appeal to them to serve out of love for Jesus, or to give of their time to serve out of love for their church or fellow church members...but out of guilt. And if you don't serve - then you are a "blackmailer" and you are "sinning against the Holy Spirit". No scripture to back up his claim. Doesn't have to. In Mac's church, if he says it, then it is so. Our pastors warned us of this kind of abuse - they have always told us to measure words said in the pulpit against scripture..

7. The Group That is Not Happy About God Moving in Our Congregation: In Mac's church, if you're not fully behind Mac, you're against him and against God. Mac refers to those in our church who are not happy about God moving in our congregation. Again, Mac's attempt to divide his church - be happy about what he wants, or you're against God. Mac loves to do this with his opposition: instead of dealing lovingly and gently with those who have concerns with his leadership, instead of addressing directly concerns that people have, he instead mischaracterizes them as being "not happy about God moving" in our church, and thereby belittles them and can conveniently ignore their legitimate concerns. Classic Mac Brunson strategy.

In the next article we'll look at Mac's legalistic approach to motivating people to open their wallets and give to his church.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should call the preacher "Mac the Magician", because of his ability to maneuver your money. Now you see it, Now you don't.

The reason it is hard to "fool" the church about what's in the bible, is, thankfully, past, actually "CALLED by GOD" Pastors, taught us faithfully what it said. We are not the illiterate group Brunson thinks we are. But, we have trusted him far too long. He has been given more trust than he deserves, and way too much MONEY for he and his family. Dr. Lindsay, used to say when someone is new or young in the ministry we should TRY the SPIRITS. We didn't do that here and we have been taken. Now, TRUSTEES get over your self importance and FIX IT. Do your job protect the church!!!!! You will eventually have to explain to God why you didn't. Take a vote and rescind those "stacked in favor of Mac" by-laws. You have no business being Trustees of anything if you don't. Can't you see that Mac's cancer of leadership has spread to you and people no longer respect you all. Your clique is cracked!!! FIX IT!!!

Anonymous said...

Send Mac and the trustees a message tomorrow.... don't give them a dime!!!!! Give it to someone in your family or immediate aquaintance that needs help!!!!

Anonymous said...

If I blow my budget, no one "bails" me out. I live with it. Leadership knew these repairs were coming up. Why didn't they stop the hemorrhage of money going to Brunsons schemes? Now its time to pay the piper. Stop the money flow now before it worsens. Mac is like a teenager let loose with a credit card that he doesn't have to pay for. Is anyone awake down there? Does anyone care????

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - this is why I was against Mac's "scheme" of asking for a special offering ON EASTER SUNDAY, the largest attendance day of the year, to raise money for "media evangelism" (which was primarily to put himself on TV)...the church leaders knew. The knew our church facilitie were suffering and in need of hundreds of thousands in repairs. And they let Mac hold his hand out for money to put himself on TV.

Thy Peace said...

I do not wish to make this comparison of current fbcjax. I feel I am being compelled to. No, not by the Devil or the Evil Satan. Something is welling up in my heart to say this and I say this very reluctantly.

The current fbcjax is heading to become a cult.

Please let me explain.

Excerpted from here:
Definition of a Cult

"
Psychological definition
Studies of the psychological aspects of cults focus on the individual person, and factors relating to the choice to become involved as well as the subsequent effects on individuals. Under one view, an important factor is coercive persuasion which suppresses the ability of people to reason, think critically, and make choices in their own best interest.
Studies of religious, political, and other cults have identified a number of key steps in this type of coercive persuasion:
People are put in physically or emotionally distressing situations;
Their problems are reduced to one simple explanation, which is repeatedly emphasized;
They receive unconditional love, acceptance, and attention from a charismatic leader;
They get a new identity based on the group;
They are subject to entrapment (isolation from friends, relatives, and the mainstream culture) and their access to information is severely controlled.

B.I.T.E.
Steven Alan Hassan, former member of the Unification Church, and now an exit counselor and mental health counselor, has developed his own model, the BITE Model, to determine how destructive mind control can be understood in terms of four basic components, which form the acronym BITE:
Behavior Control
Information Control
Thought Control
Emotional Control

It is important to understand that destructive mind control can be determined when the overall effect of these four components promotes dependency and obedience to some leader or cause. It is not necessary for every single item on the list to be present. Mind controlled cult members can live in their own apartments, have nine-to-five jobs, be married with children, and still be unable to think for themselves and act independently.
"

I understand articles in wikipedia might contain errors, but they can be checked against their references.

I am not saying current fbcjax is a cult, but it's heading there.

The facts that compel me to make the above statement is from the header post of Watchdog.

The only cure for this is to the following:
- Check what is said in the pulpit against the Scriptures
- Think and reason independently (on your own)
- Read the bible daily, pray and meditate on the Word
- Request from current fbcjax, ALL the financial information pertaining to the running of fbcjax (You are entitled to this information, because you are partners in Christ. Whoever says otherwise, they are lying and arrogant. If they only wish deacons and trustees should have access and not you, then they are hiding something)

Anonymous said...

Thy Peace...You are on the right trail. Southern Baptist in general are a CULT. Many have been aware of this for years. Its a shame more people don't recognize it. As the Godly older pastors have passed from the scene, the cult and the marketeers have taken over!!! Its all for profit now.

Thy Peace said...

There is an article posted by Pastor Wade Burleson on his blog:
The Southern Baptist Convention Is Not a Cult: We Just Sometimes Act Like We Are

My thoughts on fbcjax heading to a "cult" like status were formed independently of the above article.

But the above article is an interesting read and so are the discussions.

Anonymous said...

FBC Jax Members - Which makes you angrier, that rich CEO's need a $70 Billion dollar bail-out from YOU. Or that Mac Brunson, a rich CEO pastor, needs a $1 million dollar bail-out from YOU?

You have no choice but to pay the IRS, but you don't have to bail Mac and Honey out. Let him have faith in God, or himself, to raise the millions. Please don't YOU give it to him. Amen.

gabriella422001 said...

Did you watch that show on channel 34 before the debate or something about cults? I think that was last night, i got my days mixed up from working all three shifts. FBC isn't a cult unless you make it one...If you think for yourself, NOTHING can become a cult to you. But I still say, the whole focus of everything right now in the USA is a mindset of go along, never question, never THINK. (i don't think first baptist is deliberately setting out to be a cult...some churches, however, I do believe have an agenda like that. Maybe Im wrong and southern baptists including First Baptist do that too.

Thy Peace said...

To Gabriella422001:

I live up north about 1000 miles from Jacksonville. I do not watch TV or read newspapers :-(

I try to stay out of reading about politics. I feel it's too depressing.

When I first started watching fbcjax web broadcasts, I had no knowledge about Southern Baptists, or their politics, did not know anything about Paige Patterson or Wade Burleson or Lindsays or Vines ... I was totally clueless :-)

I only found out about Watchdog, when Dr. Brunson mentioned for the 4th time, about his anguish about bloggers and them smearing him ... I googled for blogs related to fbcjax ... and ended up on Watchdog's articles.

I agree with you that if one thinks for themselves, then they will not fall for cults.

I was troubled for about 10 months, when I watched fbcjax broadcasts, about the statements Dr. Brunson made in his sermons.

Example:
Dr. Brunson would say, one should tithe, and that God would bless them. If God did not bless them, to come and see him and he would make good on that promise.

I personally think, that was a foolish thing for Dr. Brunson to say.

I tried to push it behind me, saying .. Ok. Dr. Brunson is just getting carried away with his sermons and I will let it pass for now.

As I think back over the past year, there were other statements that were similar in vein.

Another example:
Dr. Brunson would say about church discipline. He would ask brother drummer if it bother him about church discipline. Then he would say, watch who it unnerves. (They must be doing something wrong.)

Not so much about tithing ... but I felt he was manipulating me (us) to do what he wants to be done. I understand, they are for noble causes, but it's wrong to manipulate people.

I do not know if he knows he is doing it at all. He does it a lot.

So this manipulation bothered me.

I also did not like the politics at fbcjax. Him rejecting people who thought differently than him.

Now I find out, he has made wholesale changes in the internal structures of fbcjax governance.

I do not like other people telling me what to think, how to act or behave unless mentioned in the scriptures, followed by a biblical exposition of its truths.

Lot of times, I do not always do what the bible tells me to do. This is my struggle or walk with Jesus :-)

In light of the above, I felt they (fbcjax) were heading in the direction of the cults.

Please see also about TDM (Theology Driven Ministry). The name itself is so lame ... What should drive each person is their walk with Jesus. We do not need fancy titles to compete with Purpose Driven Ministry and others.

Anonymous said...

I think what Pastor Mac has been preaching on lately has been needed for a long time in the church and I applaud his efforts.

Anonymous said...

If you have a problem with a brother in Christ (even if it is an illegitimate one) you take it up with Him only*. Otherwise you are gossiping and are no better yourself. And in the sermon you should have been looking for a way to better your Christian walk, if you have one, instead of looking for faults that are nonexistent; at least the ones that you accused.