Here is the quote from Mac on Sunday 9/7:
"When we [Mac and Debbie] came here...do you know how terrifying it is to walk in and be pastor of a church? In a place...not unless you're a pastor do you even understand what I'm saying. You walk into a place, you know nobody, you're on trial, people immediately begin to point out your flaws. 'I don't like this', 'Why did he do that?', 'Why did he preach out of that Bible?', 'Why did he say that?', 'Why did he say this'?, 'Why does he dress like that?....the least thing we can do, the LEAST thing we can do is to hold back judgement and express love"
The above statement comes just before the invitation, after a sermon where he is telling his congregation that their gifts of the spirit are useless unless they have the fruit of the Spirit, which is love.
Some comments on Mac's little explanation of how tough it was when he came here:
- his comment is absolute rubbish, and anyone who was here the first 6 months of Mac's tenure knows it. Any pastor, of any church, is going to have detractors. Mac knows that. All preachers know that. Especially the new guy. Make no mistake, the church was 99% behind Mac Brunson when he came here. Sure, there were people who didn't like him using the NASB instead of the KJV (I myself didn't care). But he was loved by the people when he came. We trusted that our search committee, hand picked by Jerry Vines, had selected the right man for the job. We were behind Mac Brunson. Those that were here when he preached in view of a call know it, and Mac and Honey know it...and for sure the search committee and lay leadership of our church know it more than anyone. Besides, true leaders lead...they don't complain about their detractors, they don't lash out at their criticizers...they just, well, they just lead. (see also "George Bush"). So Mac, shut up about how tough it is or was. Take the money you're given, live the high life in Deerwood, and just cry on your closest friends' shoulders like Paige Patterson and Maurilio Amorim about the abuse you've had to endure. And if possible, leave open the possiblity that whatever abuse you feel you've had to endure may have been your own doing.
- Why must one be a pastor to know what he is talking about? Would he please get over the idea that being a pastor is the loftiest, most responsible, weighty position in the world? Why does he continually say that we can't understand how tough he has it? A person in a position of leadership, even in a business organization knows that he will be second-guessed, he will be mis-read, and people will be skeptical - even moreso in the secular world than in a church where a good number of the people worship the pastor. These megachurch pastors are given six-figure salaries, wonderful benefits, have grown men kissing their ring finger and telling them how great they are and how the preacher is "God's man"....and in Mac's case: we built him a $100,000 personal office suite for wife and secretary and dogs before he came using the most prime space on our entire campus...a member gave him free rent at a multi-million dollar ocean-front condo for he and his family until their million dollar mansion was built...his wife and son were put on staff...and he was given a 2-month long paid vacation before he ever showed up to start his job, and we allowed him to bring his own church marketing consultant with him from Day 1. We paid big money to promote Mac on Father's Day 2006 by holding a service at our minor league ballpark: "Sermon on the Mound" we called it (should have been "sermonette on the mound"). Now you tell me...does that sound so "terrifying"...does that sound like he was "on trial" when he came here? Come on Mac, you lose more and more credibility every time you try to poor-mouth us about how tough you have or had it!
- Mac's statement is consistent with his view of our church ever since he came here, and it explains why he treats us as he does. I wrote last year about how Paige Patterson told the student body at SWBTS that Mac was under attack ever since he came to our church by "recalcitrants", and likened his treatment by FBC Jax as wanting to "kill" Mac Brunson. Mac is a liar. He lied about his treatment at our church to Paige Patterson. He then slandered us to the pastors in North Carolina earlier this year that we are a "hotbed of legalism". He lied in the FBC Jax pulpit about Sheri Klouda, a former church member of his at FBC Dallas and he will not apologize. Mac Brunson and Debbie Brunson were treated like king and queen when they came...and yes, when you draw a $300,000 dollar salary, and you run an organization as big as our church, you're going to have a very small percentage of the people give you a hard time - it comes with the territory and with the large salary. Ask Jerry Vines.
- Mac makes no attempt to try to understand his congregation. He only wants to be understood, but doesn't want to understand us. If he doesn't feel enough love, than we are an unloving congregation. If he feels there are people not happy with his leadership style or direction because they are sending him questioning emails, then the congregation is a bunch of complainers. Its never possible in his mind that the problem is with HIM. Its always the congregation. A pastoral transition can be difficult for a congregation, and the first year or so was very tough. And to see him come in and start taking liberties with our church with jobs for family, unannounced absences from the pulpit, complaining how we are stuck in the past, yelling at us because not enough people volunteered to pray with the pastor...all of this is tough on us too. But in Mac's mind, like many of the big names in the SBC that he's buddies with - if there's a problem in a megachurch, its the people and never the preacher's fault.
- His view of the congregation as treating him poorly, and being complainers and stuck in the past and unloving toward people...is how he in general views congregations I'm convinced. Mac wrote a book "Why Churches Die"...and the book is basically a thorough examination of all the possible ways a church congregation or church members can screw up a church. In fact the introduction of the book is entitled "Church Would be Easy Without People".
So Mac, everybody knows you were treated well when you came. And they know now, through this blog, why you're having difficulty leading FBC Jax. Its not the congregation, sir. Its you. Take a long look at yourself Mac before you look down your pious nose at us. If you were a truthful, discerning man, you would lavish praise on your congregation for how they are treating you, and how they treated you when you came and you would lead us in love and not in harshness and demanding our followship. But you can't do it. You must desire us all to line up and kiss your ring and follow you in lockstep and never question your authority, else in your book we're mistreating you.