"...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, November 15, 2008

First Baptist Church Ocala: A Church in Turmoil

Keep your eyes on the events unfolding at First Baptist Church of Ocala (Florida) with their new pastor, Mark Cummins. They are eerily similar to events here at our own church, only in hyper- speed motion.

FBC Ocala is a church of about 4000 members in a city located about 30 miles south of Gainesville. Their pastor of many years retired last year, and the church hired Mark Cummins from a church in Hollywood, Florida. After a year at the helm the church is embroiled in a very public, heated controversy that spilled out of the pews in the middle of the Sunday service.

Here is a brief synopsis of events leading up to today. Notice the similarities at our church.

The pastor search committee stumbled upon Cummins in South Florida in 2007 while they were interviewing another pastor. The search committee and Cummins hit it off and Cummins was hired by FBC Ocala with a 99% vote. The congregation knew very little about Cummins. They trusted the search committee, heard Cummins preach, and he was hired. He is a very dynamic speaker, full of energy and vigor in his preaching. Here's the news story from the Ocala Star Banner newspaper announcing the new pastor.
The hallmark of Cummins' first year was one of rapid change. Much of it has been welcomed by the church after years of slow to no growth. He and his family are were introduced as "Team Cummins".

Firing of "The Ocala Six": Several associate pastors left the first year of Cummins' tenure, but not a big deal apparently. However things began to spiral out of control two weeks ago when six of the associate pastors of the church with a combined 80+ years service at FBC Ocala were fired. They were fired after they sought a meeting with the deacons and trustees of the church to air grievances against Cummins questioning his "integrity", "trustworthiness", "credibility", and "drive for power". While its not quite clear the chain of events, the 6 associate pastors ended up meeting with the personnel committee who deemed their grievances without merit, and after the "Ocala 6" failed to show up for another meeting they were dismissed by the committee.

When the church was notified by the deacons and trustees of the firing of these 6 associate pastors, and no detailed information was given other than "insubordination", "rufusal to work with Cummins", and "violation of God's word", the members went into an uproar demanding answers how these beloved and respected ministers could be sent packing so quickly. Parrishioners this past Sunday began to storm the pulpit, yelling and demanding answers from Cummins.

After the blow-up at the service this past Sunday and the events were reported in the local paper, news reached the church members of Cummins' previous church in Hollywood, Florida. A rather lengthy online discussion began (those pesky blogs!) in the Ocala Star Banner news discussion forums between FBC Ocala members and those of Cummins' previous church.

Guess what? The events at FBC Ocala didn't surprise the people in Hollywood, Florida that were WELL AWARE of how Cummins operates. In fact a blogger who was well aware of the M.O. of Cummins from Hollywood blogged his experience with Cummins, wrote an article here earlier this week. Most recently he shared some lessons to be learned from the Hollywood/Ocala fiascos under Cummins. Both of these links are worth reading.

Comments from the Hollywood church members about Cummins that the people in FBC Ocala wish they knew before they hired Cummins:

"He was a very charismatic guy. We thought this guy was a tremendous candidate We cut short our search thinking he was the one.""

"He inspired us. We loved him."

"Soon, however, some unsettling changes took place, laying the foundation for events that tore the congregation in two."

What did Cummins do in Hollywood that began the church to question his leadership? 1. Changed the name of the church; 2. Some arbitrary and cruel changes that weren't well explained; 3. Lied in the pulpit or said things not consistent with things said outside the pulpit; 4. Twisted scripture.

People began to see that Cummins wanted to centralize power to himself and got rid of staff members who might challenge his leadership, and he was willing to turn church members on each other.

Any of this sounding familiar FBC Jax?

According to the Hollywood people, when Mark Cummins stepped in, members said you were either "for Mark or against Mark".

Cummins also was questioned in Hollywood about why special collections, separate from regular giving, were lumped into one account with no accountability to ensure that money given for a special cause was spent on that cause. Are our special offerings being accounted for separately at FBC Jax? We aren't even told by our staff what the final numbers are of the special offerings, so who knows if the money just goes into the general fund or not.

Said one of the long term staffers at Hollywood who left shortly after Cummins was hired: "It was cultish, and I recognized it immediately. I work for people who take the high road, not for people who take the low road. I did not want any of Mark Cummins' words, or influences, or decision-making to penetrate my ears or distill itself inside me. I wanted to get away from Mark Cummins clean. I fired him from my life, and I'm proud of that. Everybody else he manipulated out." The joke among former church members who left was whether people still at the church "were still drinking the Kool-Aid."

He goes on: "He turned friend against friend, brother against brother, sister against sister. People who were friends for years became adversaries. That is the biggest problem, because Mark Cummins destroys relationships. I hurt for the people of the First Baptist Church of Ocala, because I know what those people are going through. Unless they do something, it's going to get worse."

Here is a link to the lengthy online discussion at the Ocala Star Banner.

Here is a link to the story this morning in the Ocala Star Banner, and another story about Mark Cummins' view of events.

There is always Cummins' side of the story. And more will come out in the coming weeks. Will Mark Cummins' perhaps humble himself and admit that he handled things wrongly? That he should have provided leadership to prevent the firing of these men and give them a fair hearing?

A few comments:

FBC Jax readers, make no mistake: Mac is doing many of these same things at our church. He has gone just a bit slower...he has made sure to make alliances with the trustees and key people in leadership. What you see is at Ocala might have erupted at Jax, except we have the money to pay large severance packages to departing ministers, and we're paying big bucks for marketing and promotions consultants. This advice Mac has received has allowed Mac to change the bylaws to be in his favor so pesky church members or staff members can't make a public scene calling for his dismissal. Pastors like Mac and Mark Cummins view themselves as dictators, men put into the position of "pastor" to be the deliverer of God's one Holy plan for the church, which MUST be implemented. This is quite dangerous, because these pastors then view those who question them or express dissenting views daring to oppose the Holy plan as faithless, those who go along as faithful. Mac in fact views himself as "baptized in the holiness of God" with a vision straight from God, and he is willing to divide our church to implement it, as we'll see in the new $20 million capital program. You're either for Mac's plan, or you're against God. You question Mac's plan, if a deacon voices concern, they're "not trusting Jesus." Express concern about "Theology Driven Ministry"? Please leave. Sitting in the pew? You're "sinning against the Holy Spirit". Mac threatens us that he may make members sign pledges of our responsibilities to serve and to tithe and behaves as a bully in the pulpit. His disparaging remarks about us when he is out of the pulpit and willingness to slander women when preaching are hurtful. And now his willingness to pervert our pastor's conference into an advertising and marketing bonanza is almost too much to bear.

But you have to hand it to Mac: not only is Mac doing similar things to Cummins, but he has gone the extra mile and enriched himself and his family at the same time and still has the people giving him standing ovations. Can you imagine if in addition to all of these things about Cummins, it was found out that Cummins had taken large gifts from wealthy members when he arrived? What if he had put his wife and son on staff in newly created positions? What if they had found he slandered a SWBTS professor from the pulpit or aired commercials in the middle of his sermons for the family that gave him a large gift? What if he arrived and began selling Holy Land trips to the wealthiest members and took trips to Europe with the finance committee chairman?

And about bylaws: when these kinds of problems arise, its good for the members to know the bylaws. And any pastor that comes to a church to make changes and in the process changes the bylaws in the most secretive manner that he possibly can - that speaks of his trustworthiness and should cause members to be very suspicious of just what was changed in the bylaws and why.

Lastly I'll say this: if someone at the Hollywood church had written a blog about Cummins, perhaps the Ocala folks might have been warned and not hired Cummins, or at least they would have set up an employment agreement, some structure to the position of pastor to ensure that the same problems he had there were NOT repeated. As I've said over and over...pastoral abuse comes in many types...but when the abuser is not held accountable and called out, he will repeat his behavior. And note that these two men, Mac and Mark, likely are men of high moral integrity, wonderful fathers and husbands - but their one flaw is the abuse of their churches and the disdain they show for the people of God in the house of God.

And as Kev McCord said: it is dangerous for a church these days to elevate to senior pastor a man that we don't know inside and out and know his positives and negatives. The mistake FBC Jacksonville has made and FBC Ocala has made is they handed the reigns fully and completely to a man they didn't know.

And we're both paying the price.

111 comments:

RM said...

Always remember that there are two sides to every deal like this. Sure not defending that preacher but I can assure you that there are some vultures out there in the pews just waiting to act like morons.

You should live in Dallas. We have Ed Young preaching on having sex every day for a week and Robert Jeffries lambasting gay people--and all to fill those empty pews.

Wonder what we will hear and see next...

Anonymous said...

Do these guys go to a "special school" to learn how to "con" a church? Does this not tell you people in the churches something? These guys are NOT repeat NOT called men of God!! I don't care how much they think they are "clothed in the righteousness of God". My opinion is they are wolves clothed in sheeps clothing. They are "charlatans" of the first order! Why, why... do you people allow this to happen. I would change the locks on the doors, and refuse them admittance. They can't sue you, right. Maybe for the "hefty severance package" for he and the family employees (useless group). Remember the SBC, who sets these bandits in these churches in the first place, says you can't sue another Christian, so go for it. Get rid of them!!!! Beware you men studying for the ministry, you are being "tarnished" by these so called preachers. As a matter of fact, I would get out of the SBC and make my own way before I would have the SBC tag on my ministry. It is not the organization it once was.

Arthur Conan Doyle, using his character, "Sherlock Holmes", once wrote a fictional, story called "School for Scoundrels", I would suggest maybe this could apply in this case.

Anonymous said...

Can we say parasites, blood suckers. Here again is another shining example of a "duped" search committee. The one at FBCJ was so "holy" and self important that they fouled up "royally" and did a terrible disservice to this church. The "gilded lillies", failed on all points in using spiritual discernment.

As to the money, you will never know where your money goes. It just will disappear into the "coffers of compromise" used as a private fund for whatever, and the gutless wonders in charge of protecting the church will allow !!! Shame! Shame!

I like the part in the Ocala church where the members stormed the pulpit demanding answers. At least they have sense enough to recognize when they are being "taken", and refuse to be contolled by a ruthless dictator! FBCJ is not that smart. Ocala seems to have some righteous convictions, something sorely lacking in Jax.
At least the "6" in Ocala have some integrity, and they don't have the "Blood of the Church" on their hands.
And while we are at it, Who stood up for Calvin and Bobby? Did anyone other than Watchdog? You trustees knew these men and you stood by and let them walk the plank, that was gutless and cowardly. They were Good men actually called of God and you guys did nothing. Cowards!!!

Anonymous said...

The enablers serving Mac ( NOT God and NOT the church) could not possibly do so without having turned against "everything" they indicated they believed under the teaching of Dr. Lindsay. Dr. Lindsay would never allow any of this stuff to happen. And the enablers know it. So when were they lying? Were they lying to Dr.,Lindsay or are they lying to Mac now. I say they are compromisers that want to be in with the in crowd and will do whatever it takes to be "important. Poor pitiful people. They certainly have their part in ruining this church. Mac couldn't do it without them!!

And as to signing any pledge Mac thinks he is going to ask people to do. He can't make me sign anything. I would however, sign a petition to get him removed and out of here!!!

Anonymous said...

In recent years, the personnel committee of our congregation led the church to revise its personnel policies. Our state is one of the U.S.'s "employment at will" ones, but there was some thought to apply that state employment provision only to the associate ministers and support staff positions--not also to the senior pastor position, out of respect for the position. However, after some discussion--and input from a wise and experienced associate staff member or two--the personnel committee unanimously chose to apply the "at will" provision to all the congregation's employees, just in case (the senior pastor may recommend an associate minister be terminated, but has no authority on his own to do so--and, if he recommends it, must show adequate basis for it to the church's personnel committee, which should request hardcopies of annual performance reviews indicating previous difficulties which have gone uncorrected by the staff member despite staff development efforts). That's a wise move for churches, in my opinion, in any state. Another one: state specifically to whom the senior pastor reports as his supervisor, be it the entire congregation sitting in a business meeting, or the personnel committee, or even the deacon body. Just like associate ministers and support staff, senior pastors aren't perfect and error-free. Another good idea: state in the congregation's bylaws what disagreeing members may and may not do publicly (worship service or etc.) when they disagree with management decisions (no policy stating it to the contrary, members may do anything?--which elected member is stated as granted authority to determine?--courts will not intervene, and police officers probably won't unless individuals charge other individuals with laws broken).

Anonymous said...

Can anyone believe whats going on in the deep south bible belt. Now we are seeing church after church in Memphis, Daytona Beach, Ocala, Hollywood, and Jacksonville being torn apart by pastors who care more for what they can get out of a church, rather than what they can put into it. And some do not even believe we are in the LAST DAYS!!!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Readers: to follow the discussion down in Ocala, go to this news story

Star Banner: Legacy of Turmoil

and click on the "Comments" hyperlink just above the headline.

I'll keep you posted on events.

Anonymous said...

Guys, this goes on every day, in every city, state ,and has been for years. My previous pastor in s.w. Fl left because of financial improprieties and is now in western N.Y on at least his second church there. I guarantee no one there knows why he had to leave (he stated for a change in weather) Many are becoming more aware due to the "evil bloggers" These guys are charlatans and will continue to use "church speak" ( Lords will, man of God, called to another church, vision, etc.) to get away with their shenanigans. Because we take them at their word. Well those days are LONG GONE-time to use our God given brains, do the homework to find the real deal ( humble,loving,God fearing, Bible expositor who actually cares about the community he's in,rather than using us as a stepping stool to bigger and better. No wonder they hate blogging-we can now connect the dots on how they REALLY are and not just what they present to us.

Anonymous said...

rm,

I live in Dallas and am sickened by the accounts in the newspaper this past week. I hope the marketing companies are thrilled with the publicity that was generated. I don't think either Ed or Robert care about the damage they have done to the church except made the faithful attenders look like koolaid drinkers.

Anonymous said...

Guys, this goes on every day, in every city, state ,and has been for years. My previous pastor in s.w. Fl left because of financial improprieties and is now in western N.Y on at least his second church there. I guarantee no one there knows why he had to leave (he stated for a change in weather) Many are becoming more aware due to the "evil bloggers" These guys are charlatans and will continue to use "church speak" ( Lords will, man of God, called to another church, vision, etc.) to get away with their shenanigans. Because we take them at their word. Well those days are LONG GONE-time to use our God given brains, do the homework to find the real deal ( humble,loving,God fearing, Bible expositor who actually cares about the community he's in,rather than using us as a stepping stool to bigger and better. No wonder they hate blogging-we can now connect the dots on how they REALLY are and not just what they present to us.

Anonymous said...

RM @10:39

Do you have a problem with a preacher lambasting gays? Hmmm

Thy Peace said...

I sincerely wish ALL churches follow WD's suggestions here.

Just as they try to educate each church member with reading and studying the Bible, they should also train each member for active participation in church governance and decision making. They should do this for all members. And all members as in a congregational authority should have access to all the financial data and vote (real voting, not fake voting of y's and n's, with real discussions and deliberations) so that they have traction of their voices with the church directions.

Democracy if not used, leads to lot of abuse. This is true in the secular world and in the Christian world.

Let's hope, people 100 years from now will thank all the "evil" bloggers.

Anonymous said...

RM,

Do you attend Ed Young's church? If not, I don't quite see how what the deem to be appropriate sermon material is any of your concern. And oh my lord, how dare a pastor tell the married couples (yeah, you seemed to leave the "married" part out even though it is right in the headline of the newspaper article) in his church to have sex every day for a week in the hopes it helps strenghtens their marriage.

You know....come to think of it this all sounds real familiar. Oh now I know where I heard that before... http://www.sptimes.com/2008/02/15/Life/God_wants_you_to_have.shtml

http://www.tampabay.com/news/humaninterest/article415080.ece

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Readers: Read Kev McCord's blog article here. When Kev heard that Cummins was hired at Ocala he knew there would be a shake up of the church staff so he was wise enough to do a pdf dump of the FBC Ocala staff website.

Living in the past, I wonder what the real story was behind the departure of Pigg, Howard, and Barton?

Anonymous said...

WD trying to answer your question: Pigg and Howard were the primary church transition pastors after Dr Lindsay passed. Jerry used them to handle the administrative chores (Pigg) and Sunday School programs (Howard). Howard also led the ss training for teachers on Wednesday nights and his wife also coordinated the New Members Class.

Dr Vines invested heavily into being their mentor, mentoring them into every aspect of "church" business and the handling of a mega church. Barton was moved from Middle School to the Singles Ministry which was a difficult assignment, especially since Barton had grown up under Dr Lindsay and knew which factors made Middle School so great under his leadership. Have no idea why they moved on, other than many speculate team Brunson desired to have less personnel around who were faithful to Vines and Lindsay. He probably wanted his own subordinates. He knew which ones would follow him and those that would not. I assume, like most CEO's he had a good chat with each of them. Perhaps he felt it would be a smoother sail if they moved on whereby he could sell his own brand and take whatever paths he wanted without interference from anyone. I think the A-Team had something to do with it as well. Probably they (Bruson and A-Team) discussed the transition team and what was expected of each in their role of serving team Brunson. It was also a means to an end, in while eliminating these positions and their costs, it made it easier for Brunson's family to be part of the package financially. Those that stayed were no threat, while the others then moved on and took their loyalty elsewhere, just surmising, as that is what goes on in most of corporate America. And we now know that the church has bought into this so-called corporate ideal. Thats why so many churches now engage marketing and sales promotions as the pastor relies heavily on these productions rather than in the old time religion. The old time religion which was part of FBC under both Lindsays for 60+ years and also spoken of by Dr Criswell in his last visit here in 1999, is no longer "cutting edge". You and I both know "cutting edge" wins everytime.

If Barton had been called to be a co-pastor with Carr I believe the church would have continued to have grown with real enthusiasm in reaching Jacksonville for Christ which WAS its main objective. Barton and Carr would have built a better more solid team having worked with Pigg, Howard, and Rodney. Most everyone loved Carr and Barton as they were kids that grew up in the church and really enjoyed serving the people and their children which is really hard to find in todays church environment. To most in the church today, its a job and not a calling. It was really strange that so many who served so long under Lindsay and Vines departed. Makes one wonder. But, one must remember, both Vines and Brunson said there would be big changes made at First!!!

Also, do not think badly of living in the past. Our best days were and still are in the PAST.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was an interesting comment by a user cjmerle

One more thing, why hasn't anyone mentioned the plans of Pastor Mark regarding the refinancing of FBCO,( I must interject here that the bank loan officer just happens to be the Deacon Chairman, Jeff Ruttenber, wonder what he has to gain out of this multi million dollar refi?) or his plans to merge with Trinity Baptist Church, or his requests in the 2009 budget to ADD $100,000 to the "Pastors Discretionary Account", or perhaps the $20,000 he took from this years "Pastors Discretionary Account" for his closing costs on the purchase of his personal home? Come on people, the handwriting is on the wall. This man is EVIL and is once again after the money and all the personal power he can gain. (I guess I got that part from the TV Station he wants FBCO to purchase for him for his PERSONAL use).

Anonymous said...

There is something vitally wrong here. I have never seen so many good people getting thrown out of Baptist churches they have served in for years and others leaving because they have been made unwelcome. FBCJ has always been about bringing people INTO the church not throwing or forcing them OUT. What can we do?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Well, no one is being thrown out of our church...although my sources tell me that Howard, Pigg, and Barton were "forced" out as you say.

But this is a sign of the times. We are turning out pastors who are interested in not starting churches or growing churches, but OVERTAKING churches and converting them into growth and money making entities using sales and marketing techniques.

I predict that at FBC Ocala the lay leaders will wise up and ask this guy to leave, he will lawyer up, and they will have to fork over a pretty penny to get him to go away.

And when its all done, we can say one great big THANK YOU to FBC Ocala for showing us how a congregation should react to an abusive pastor.

Anonymous said...

It depends on what you call being thrown out. If I told you my story you wouldn't believe it. Some very "Godly" attitudes, deciding who is in and who is out. You know "pillars" of the church. Makes one want to throw up. At the very least makes one reexamine what some Christians and churches are about. There is such a thing as being directly or INDIRECTLY being shunned and removed. This dismissive attitude has been around churches and pastors for a long time. I think some pastors think far too much of themselves. But, thank goodness, God keeps the records. My current attitude, adopted from experience and what I currently see is: If you want to suffer join a church. Remember to watch out for the cliques!!!! They are so Godly don't you know.

Anonymous said...

WD: That is why the bylaws of a church should be shown to all the members thirty days prior to any vote. Then the members can voice their objections on more than one occasion in church on Wednesday evenings in an open forum. Discussion should take place way before any vote is taken. To do otherwise is not democratic and is an invitation to the conflict we have now.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

How'd everyone like the tongue lashing this morning? Only Mac Brunson could manage to tell his people to love each other in the most unloving way possible. He is out of control. If I were a visitor, I would be running for the exits, and if I were a person who was thinking about trying out Sunday school, I would make sure to not go, after hear him say they are going to FORCE me to apply the bible by putting me in a small group.

When will the spineless leaders of our church confront this jerk about his abusive behavior in the pulpit. It is absolutely hurting our church.

And news flash for you Mac: you are the hypocrite. Do not lecture us about being a hypocrite, it is YOU sir.

And quick question: in your Pastors Conference promo this morning Mac it said "1600 pastors" would be attending. But in your promotional plan where you are selling advertising you say "3000 leaders". Why the difference? Does the 3000 include pastors' wives? Are they "leaders"? If I were paying $15,000 for the "platinum package" at the PC I'd be a bit concerned that you've overpriced the advertising rates on overinflated attendee numbers.

Hypocrite.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hey Mac, you want to lecture us about being hypocrites, talking behind other believers' backs...why did you go to Dallas and dredge up dirt on Mrs. Criswell and Mrs. Truett? Or is it OK to talk about people after they're dead? And why did you lie about Sheri Klouda from your pulpit this summer? Did you apologize for your lie? No? Why not?

Answer: you're a hypocrite. Got that? Let me let that sink in, Mac. You're a hypocrite of the worst kind. You're a bitter, angry, hypocrite pastor who abuses your church from the pulpit.

And you got lukewarm applause from the congregation because they're catching on. Most men in the church would punch your fat face if you spoke to their wives like you spoke to us today, but most men in our church are so spineless they sit there and Amen your abusive, angry words.

Mac, stop abusing our church. I saw people leaving in the middle of your bitter, angry sermon.

You and Smyrl love the small groups, and you're ramming them down our throats. Another news flash Mac: SMALL GROUPS ARE NOT THE ONLY WAY THAT THE WORD OF GOD CAN BE TAUGHT AND APPLIED. But to you, since its yours and Smyrl's idea, it MUST be done your way, and if we don't like it we're out of God's will. Total rubbish.

You're driving people away from the church, Mac. But you can't control yourself. The anger you have on the inside comes out every sermon.

Anonymous said...

The anger and bitterness you have on the inside comes out every post.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

FBC Jax - if you wonder how Mac thinks he can preach the crap he preached today and get away with it, its because he has total power in the church.

He has changed our bylaws and narrowed the scope of power to him and the men that he alone nominates to be on his board.

This is the m.o. of Mark Cummins at FBC Ocala.

And it is how churches are taken over by abusive, power hungry pastors who are more interested in THEIR brand and THEIR way of doing things (disguised as God's way) than they are doing the hard work of providing loving leadership of the church.

Read this article by Kev McCurvey who writes about bylaw changes of Mark Cummins.

Open your eyes FBC Jax. The king has no clothes, and its an ugly sight.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 2:53 - sure, I'll admit it. I'm angry, and OK, maybe bitter.

But I'm angry over an abusive, power hungry pastor who is interested in ramrodding his agenda down our throats and does it in the most unloving way possible - which drives members and visitors alike away from the church.

So yes, I'm angry, I'll admit it

But unlike Mac, I'm not trying to disguise my bitterness and anger as being messages from God.

Mac is a bitter, angry pastor who uses his pulpit to spew his anger toward the people that he should be lovingly leading.

Anonymous said...

Then why don't you leave the church? And if there are so many like you who don't like the way things are going, why don't they leave too? You talk a really big game blogger, but you of course don't do anything except come here and post about what everyone else should do.

Why won't you leave? I know I for one would not put my spiritual well being and my families spiritual well being in the back seat to my "saving a church." What does that mean anyway? Saving the church? Don't you basically mean saving the reputation it once had? It is a set of buildings in downtown Jacksonville that people meet to worship. There are plenty others in town that might be right up your alley. If First Baptist has lost it's way like you claim it has, then it isn't worth saving. This is where I believe you certainly are worshipping the past. No one is holding you there. No one is holding any other member who doesn't like it there. No church has ever held me there when I felt the direction it was going was not what I felt it needed to be. I would not be so arrogant to decide that buildng and it's past memories were worth the spiritual chaos it would cause me and my family. Btw, I say this as a former member of FBC Jax, not a Mac Brunson defender, sheep, or abusee as you will probably claim.

Thy Peace said...

It looks like fbcjax is feeling the effects of the economic downturn and their receipts are down. Hence Pastor Mac, preaching about tithing as the first thing the members should do out of love for Jesus Christ.

About Sunday School's to be in small groups, is that to identify who the trouble makers are? By forcing them in small groups, "so they can not hide" as per Pastor Mac.

I am wondering how the Kettle drive is occurring?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that's it. Because trouble makers are gonna spill their guts in a small group. I am sure every other church that used this model did it for the same reason too. Give me a break! They are going to this model because it is a more modern one. Thats the reason. End of story. I am not gonna argue over whether small groups are biblical or not because I don't know and I don't care. However, if it isn't and he doesn't have scripture to back it up he shouldn't have said that. It is false teaching.

Mac Brunson is the pastor, he and his staff have determined this is the best way to move forward. Every other church in America who has small groups now went through this too.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

But with arrogant pastors like Mac, they have determined that we MUST go small group. I'm not saying they are wrong, they most certainly are NOT wrong. It is a PREFERENCE. Some people love them, some people dislike them (many men are just not wanting to open up and discuss things in Sunday School)...some are indifferent.

But a pastor in a large church like ours to be angry because some don't like it, as though it is an absolute MUST that we MUST be small groups so they MAKE us apply the Bible....that is SCARY!!!! What if I don't want to be in a small group? Does that make me bad? Must I go to a small group because my pastor says so?

Anonymous said...

No, you can leave the church if you like (which as of this writing you haven't responded to), not attend the small group, hang out in the hallway, stand out on the corner with the guy who plays the trumpet, serve in the childrens department, or go sit in the library since I believe it is open and post a new blog if you like.

What makes First Baptist different from every other church who dissolved the traditional Sunday School and went with Small Groups? I have been to several, none of them have both. Why is it everyone has to tailor everything to what you want? There has never been a church I have been to where I have liked everything, and truth be told, personally I don't like small groups either. I also don't really like Sunday School period but that is another matter altogether. When I have attended churches (like my current one) that has Small Groups, I have a choice. Apparenty I have 3. I can go to the class as it is and deal with it, realizing many people enjoy this type of setting and go along. I can not attend which is also my perogative and not worry about it. And in 2008, the new third option, I can attend the class and church, come home, sit on my computer and blog about how much I hate it all. Option 1 and 2 are the more adult ways to handle the situation IMO.

Anonymous said...

Well, if you don't like it in Sunday School, leave. There are plenty of folk at FBC like that. You don't have to do anything there.

Thy Peace, your speculation on Sunday School is laughable. We don't have Sunday school on television or the internet. Just how do you spend your Sundays? Do you actually interact with a church where you live? Is that church perfect?
Thy Peace let us know.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawg,

Did you see the name of the company on the van of the lawnmowing company where the owner participated in overseas missions?

OOOH. Maybe he mows the pastors lawn for free? Something new to rant about?

Anonymous said...

I participate in a small group in Sunday School. No one forces me to participate. You must have a scary group.

Thy Peace said...

I only asked the sunday school groups questions, because Pastor Mac seems to be reading this blog. He has made references to people hiding behind masks and them approaching other church members with a friendly word and smile and then slandering or questioning someone or the leadership. He seems to paint a broad brush.

I grant you, he is a good speaker.

But the more he focuses on this blog, he is making a mistake. Why is that?

If he and fbcjax admin becomes more transparent and involves all the members with a true democratic debate and questioning, then WD will be come irrelevant.

But when they do not do that, and they react to WD here, they are making a big mistake. Because lot of the members will want to know why that is and they will head to WD's blog. This has happened many, many times in the past.

I do not know, why Pastor Mac wants to help WD with his readership?

Anonymous said...

Small groups are Purpose Driven. That's what PD does. It's a form of CONTROL. It is somewhat like programs in some schools, I have heard of in the past, that encouraged the students to "talk" about their parents and things going on within the family. We all know there are some people that given a platform will talk about anything and anyone. CONTROL. CONTROL! It's all about maintaining CONTROL of the people. It also makes it easier to identify dissenters, as some people are not smart enough to keep their mouth shut in church. At least until it can do some good, say through voting or questioning.

So, Mac is angry. What's new. I have never seen a called preacher constantly "angry" with the very people he supposed to love! And whether people stay or go that's their business!!!!

Watchdog, I know this blog takes your time and effort. I want to say thank you for doing it. You give us a chance to express our concerns that we would not otherwise have. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thy Peace,

Do you realize that "what seems" is just that - speculation on your part.

Pastor was giving his comments, it seems, about the Dog(again it seems).
Dog should be pleased. He gets upset if Pastor seems to speak about him and he gets upset when he doesn't.

Democracy in churches? LOL! You said you were a newbe to this. Please list some churches that are democracies?

Finally you skipped my last question again(as you have in the past- only answer the easy stuff).
Again--Just how do you spend your Sundays? Do you actually interact with a church where you live? Is that church perfect?
Thy Peace let us know.

Anonymous said...

ANON 4:42

Why the problem with control? Did you have that same problem with your parents controlling you, your supervisor controlling you. You just don't like anyone telling you what to do.

Guess what, we as Christians are supposed to control ourselves.

C'mon tell us how your Sunday School class is controlling you.

Anonymous said...

STOP GIVING THE MONEY! JUST STOP GIVING THE MONEY!! One thing Mac has to have is MONEY. Don't vote, or allow him to sell property, borrow money to pay himself with. Get control of the money, vote out the current money handlers. Control the money and you control Mac.

Anonymous said...

Would anyone out there care to leave specifics about being personally controlled in Sunday School at FBC Jax?

No, I didn't think so.

Otherwise wear a tinfoil hat.

Anonymous said...

The Church that Fell Asleep
The church at Sardis wasn't desperately wicked. It just wasn't paying attention.
Revelation 3:1–6

"The letter to the church at Sardis best presents the subtle danger that churches in comfortable societies are susceptible to. It is easy to slide into complacency without realizing we are slipping toward the fire".

Anonymous said...

And here we go ladies and gentlemen....the latest idiotic round of the anti-purpose driven message has come. Yes....all small groups I have been in have been all about control....never about having a tight knit group of believers holding each other accountable and walking through life together, never about discussing the bible and doing bible studies together, its one sole mission was ALWAYS control. An absolutely laughable assessment if you have ever been in one for any length of time.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:42 PM

You are right!

You said " Watchdog, I know this blog takes your time and effort. I want to say thank you for doing it. You give us a chance to express our concerns that we would not otherwise have. Thanks!"

If it wasn't for Watchdog, you wouldn't have had a concern.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Don't engage this Kool Aid drinker.

This blog is not to discuss PD.

Its not to discuss control in SS.

Its to discuss the abuses, the arrogance, and anger of Donald Brunson.

These Kool Aid drinkers are so stupid that they can't objectively look at their pastor yelling in anger at the church, knowing this turns people away from the church and away from Christianity.

They can't face it.

So they have to come here to attack bloggers.

But the one anon is absolutely right.

Stop giving the money, and Mac has no power.

And yes...there is no reason to show the man's lawnmower business for the testimony. I don't mind, but its just very odd. Let's have him give a missions testimony - OK, go out to his house and get a shot of him backing out of his trailer, and get the name of his business in the shot.

Just weird.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:07PM

Are you saying this is what is going on in your particular small group in Sunday School? Change groups.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawg,

Any opinion on what Brunson talked about with all the men at 8:30AM?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Its not about small groups.

Its about the pastor and Jim the Pearl Smyrl being all about forcing them down our throats, and then angrily preaching to us that we MUST do it. That if we're going to apply scripture we MUST do it in a small group.

Its utter nonsense to do what Mac is doing! But he and Smyrl have to do it. Its their baby. They know better. They're "Dr's". They know how the Bible MUST be studied. They KNOW what we must do.

And our spineless staff members can't stand up to Brunson and Honey and Trey.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Sorry, wasn't there.

I was busy putting my sheep armor on before the service.

Anonymous said...

Hi, its me the Kool Aid Drinker.

This Blog isn't about Sunday School or PD? You, sir, are the one who raised these topics.

Are you "contolling" what people discuss on your Blog?

You can give it but can't take it.

Anonymous said...

Kool Aid drinker - SHUT UP and leave our blog!

Anonymous said...

Thank you 5:58! My question is we MUST be in small groups to study the Bible? Well I guess we were total failures in S.S. in the past how did we ever last this long without this latest pronouncement? Guess FBCJ was wrong in the past and our preachers were wrong to have S/S. the "old way". I wonder we survived as a church. Wasn't it in the "old days" (before Brunson) that we had a "full" church and were being blessed with so many people coming to Jesus? You poor stupid people you and our past Godly pastors were doing it wrong all this time.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

BRAVO! BRAVO!

EN'CORE! EN'CORE!

WHAT A PERFORMANCE!!

AN OSCAR WINNING PERFORMANCE!!!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

If this guy was 1/100th the preacher he thinks he is, he would be FANTASTIC.

Anonymous said...

As is the usual Jacksonville way. If you want to change something you are saying the old way was wrong all these years according to some people.

Anon 6:36 Please save the spazzing out. No one and I doubt even Mac Brunson ever said anything like what you bring forth. If you don't like the direction things are going, why don't you and Watchdog (who still refuses to answer any of my previous responses of why he stays or why FBC should not do Small groups exclusively) leave and go find another church? Maybe then you would be happy.

No one said going to small groups means anyone has been doing anything wrong before. Why can this not be tried and see if it works or not? What is so wrong with doing something different? Again, if you don't like it, LEAVE!

Anonymous said...

Former long time (20 year) FBC member who had enough and left last year. I'm curious about what exactly is FBC Jax doing to encourage or force small groups? Does traditional Sunday School no longer exist? I know for me personally for the year or two before I left I got more out of my Sunday School teachers lesson than the church service. It was a large class probably because the teaching was so good. Are those classes gone now? How did they transition them? Do all the small groups meet on Sunday morning or are some throughout the week?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I don't owe you any answers. And you haven't defended the point of Mac speaking abusively and arrogantly and condescendingly to his congregation ONCE AGAIN. But I don't expect you to defend what is defenseless. I only expect you to come here to tell me to leave.

My points about small groups:

Mac preaches small groups as though we MUST do them in order to accomplish the desired goal of "bible application". He said it today. We must do it. He is going to FORCE us to do it he said.

Small groups, large groups. Pairs. Triplets. Quads....I don't care how you study the bible. But if the man wants us to do small groups, lovingly explain it, encourage it, ask us to try it...ask us to give it some time. Acknowledge lovingly that some might not like it at first, but that he is confident that we will. Tell us that no change is permanent, but we want to try this out for a year to see if it is God's will. All of those would be things a loving, shepherd pastor would tell their congregation about changes in SS.

An arrogant, out of control, power freak of a pastor - a man who views himself as getting messages from God as to EXACTLY what we should do...only THAT kind of pastor would say what he said today and other days.

That's my point. I don't care what size your group is. Its the absolue arrogance of the Mac.

Why don't I leave? The more I am here to see Mac, the more I'm convinced not to leave. I'm not going to leave my church. I won't leave, precisely because its what Mac wants me to do. It what all abusive pastors do. They want to run people off. I won't do it. I'm not leaving.

And his crying tonight was BEAUTIFUL. I haven't seen crying like that since Tammy Faye Baker...and maybe Rod Parsely. Mac gave Rod Parsely's crying shows a run for the money! It was wonderful theatrics!! I just wish he would cry when he apologizes for treating us like ignorant imbeciles from the pulpit, and I wish he would cry over his slander and gossip from the pulpit. That's what he should be crying over.

The word has been used here before, I'll use it again:

CHARLETON

Mac is a charleton.

Anonymous said...

Lets get this out in the open now. The reason I don't defend Mac Brunson's "actions" is not because they are not defendable, it is because, last I checked, my name is not Mac Brunson. Want him to defend his actions, some of which I find probably as reprehensible as you do, ask him! That would be like me asking the obsessive person who rants on about PD stuff to defend your actions. I am not gonna ask him when I can ask you directly.

So what you are basically saying is you need to have your head patted, led by the hand, and told how wonderful you as a congregation are in order to be "ok" with changing? Bull! The problem is that for 60 years you were never asked to change much of anything in that church except buildings and service times and now the truth is you can't deal with it. You claim that you have no problem with the new bible translation being used, you have no problem with the new music being sung, you have no problem with small groups, you have no problem with new ideas; you just want them presented in a loving way. Well, I don't believe you, not that you will care. Why should I? You are the same one who has now taken to claiming the pastors tears were fake. So, if you can take that position, I can take mine. You have complained about EVERYTHING this guy has done since the day he walked in the door practically. I have never once seen you say "I like this idea, I hope it succeeds." Never!

You say you aren't gonna leave "your" church like you own the place. You don't. Again, if you aren't being spiritually fed there I wouldn't be calling it mine. But then again, I don't worship the churches I attend like you apparently do.

Anonymous said...

Finally,

Why don't I leave? The more I am here to see Mac, the more I'm convinced not to leave. I'm not going to leave my church. I won't leave, precisely because its what Mac wants me to do. It what all abusive pastors do. They want to run people off. I won't do it. I'm not leaving.

MY church? It's Jesus' church.

No you won't leave because your purpose would be diminished. Your ego would not be fed.

My church - now that is arrogance.

gmommy said...

WD,
Did Mac use the "quivering lip" script??? If so, I know where he borrowed it.

And the anon who told you to leave....seen that script used alot!!

It's amazing that more intelligent Christians don't see these patterns going on in more than just the 2 SBC churches.

You'd at least think these self annointed "pastors" would be a little original.
They would be boring if they weren't getting away with their corporate take overs so easily.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I don't expect to have my head patted.

Nor do I expect to be yelled at by some bald, fat, arrogant, and now may I say, EMOTIONALLY UNSTABLE, man who is going to manipulate me by force and yelling. If he came in my house and spoke to me in that tone and volume I would throw the man out of my house for being so darn rude.

If you and others enjoy being yelled at, more power to ya.

I don't think many members do, and I sure know that visitors don't.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Yep.

My church.

As in "I'm a member"

Sorry you're splitting hairs guy.

Why not analyzie and parse Mac's words like you do mine.

I'm a member, therefore in one sense its my church, and your church, and Mac's church...all the members of the church.

But OK:

I'm not going to leave Jesus' church.

Junkster said...

Then Jesus, seeing the multitudes, opened his mouth spake unto them these words, "Blessed are they, who, when they do not like it, they leave."
The Gospel According to Judas, Chapter 3, Verse 16.

And when the crowd was gathered, Peter lifted his voice and cried, "If thou likest it not, leave!"
The Acts of the Apostle's Co-Workers, Chapter 3, Verse 16.

I beseech ye therefore, brethren, as dearly beloved members of the family and household of God, if you do not like it, leave.
The Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Recalcitrants in Berea, Chapter 3, Verse 16.

Such love ...

Anonymous said...

How low can you go?

I guess you are buff and bronze and not bald and fat.

You would call Jesus an unshaven and unwashed hippie.

Why are your attacks on his body?

Anonymous said...

And now you take to insulting the pastors characteristics. I love it. You claim you have no hatred for the man, but yet you sit there in front of your computer and insult him. Yet, you call HIM emotionally unstable?!

I would also assume if you went to someone else's house or someone else's place of business where you were not required to stay, you would walk out and not go back if they "yelled" at you. So, if you assume he's yelling at you, LEAVE!

For the record, as I have stated previously, I have seen your pastors messages on both your local NBC channel and on INSP. I don't hear the yelling you claim is going on. Maybe it's YOU with the problem, not him.

And yes Anon 8:11;it is arrogance. This churches reputation is his God. He must defend IT harder than his own spiritual walk the church was intended to help in.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

No quivering lip.

Full blow weeping.

Then yelling.

Then belittling.

The more weeping. I mean open bawling.

Save your tears Mac for repentence over how you've treated your church and others.

Anonymous said...

Junkster,

Why are you making fun of the Bible with snide remarks?

What will Jesus say when you stand before him?

You are making light of the Word.

Anonymous said...

Junkster,

Don't forget, "verily, verily I say unto you, if thou hast problems with your teacher, thou shalt blog about him namelessly."
I believe that's in one of the 4 gospels also.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I can go almost as low as slandering a godly woman professor from the pulpit.

I can go about as low as dredging up terrible facts about the past of my former church, and raking two pastors' wives through the mud in front of seminary students in Fort Worth, TX.

I would never go as low as arrogantly telling a congregation to fork over $1 million cash money in two weeks else their 50 year run of being debt free is over.

By I draw the line there. I would NEVER go any lower than that.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Junkser makes light of it in jest.

Mac twists scripture to manipulate people.

"And the people didst drink the Kool Aid"

Anonymous said...

DAWG,


YOU ARE AS MUCH A COWARD AS YOU CALL BRUNSON BEING ARROGANT.

I DON'T MIND HIM YELLING AT ME AS I AM NOT PERFECT LIKE YOU.

Anonymous said...

SO YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT JUNKSTER MEANS?????????????

THEN YOU MUST HAVE CREATED HIM.

WHY ARE YOU EAGER TO DEFEND ALL OF THESE NONMEMBERS.

THY PEACE AND IT IS WRITTEN CAN'T BE REAL. YOU CHANGE SLIGHTLY YOUR STYLE FROM EACH OF THEIRS BUT YOU ARE ALL ONE- DAWG.

Anonymous said...

Well if he twists the scriptures as you (and your little band followers) claim he does and the majority of people buy it as they seem to (in your world) then maybe that doesn't say a lot for the biblical teaching that went on there for decades does it? Maybe the people aren't as biblically literate as one would think they should be, would they? And so you are staying in "YOUR" church why again?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

You BUSTED Me!!!

Good job!

Anonymous said...

Lets see....

"I can go almost as low as slandering a godly woman professor from the pulpit." She has never proven that anything has been said by Brunson is slanderous. Are you an attorney?
"I can go about as low as dredging up terrible facts about the past of my former church, and raking two pastors' wives through the mud in front of seminary students in Fort Worth, TX." Yes, they are facts.

"I would never go as low as arrogantly telling a congregation to fork over $1 million cash money in two weeks else their 50 year run of being debt free is over." I didn't see or hear it as being arrogant but factual.

"By I draw the line there. I would NEVER go any lower than that." Wow, then what have you been doing since you started this blog?

Thy Peace said...

Is it so hard for Pastor Mac and his defenders to live the Christian life they espouse? I know lot of times, I am convicted of the comments I make and I will admit to them readily.

The best defense and argument against WD and recalcitrants would be for the leadership of fbcjax to live and practice Christian Way.

Show WD and others, of your LOVE. I am learning this the hard way, myself. I am learning I can not hate people and pray for them at the same time.

The more I read and reflect on the Word, I am convinced we do not practice what Jesus would want us to do.

If only the leaders become true servants of the body of Christ, then ALL will be healed.

I know this places lot of burden on the leadership, but they need to do this truthfully. If they are not true to Christ, then nothing will be healed. The body of Christ will break up.

Each member of the body is also to follow the Word and be like Christ.

And that includes me too.

Anonymous said...

Wow you had quite the day and the Mac Brunson Baptist Church today. I on the other hand heard a sermon about God's love and that only through him will you be saved. We had 15 visitors at our small church of 150 and 1 decided to join and receive baptism next week.

Imagine what your preacher could do if he actually preached of God's glory.

Junkster said...

My point, apparently lost on some, was to point out the audacity of anyone ever saying to a member of the body of Christ, of the family of God, "If you don't like it, leave."

We're not talking about a club or business or a gathering of friends and acquaintences -- we are talking about the household and family of God. It takes a truly heartless, insensitive, arrogant, and unloving spirit to ever say those words to a member of a family.

If my mother walked into my house and saw me doing something I shouldn't, and I said to her, "Hey, lady, if you don't like it, leave", what kind of son would I be? Shouldn't I rather repent of my wrongdoing? Or suppose I was doing nothing really wrong, but just something she didn't personally like -- if she complained, ought I say, "Sorry, woman, if you don't like it, leave"? Or ought I show deference to a loved and respected member of my family and either forego my wishes in favor of hers, or at least seek to kindly work together with her for a mutually acceptable resolution?

I am not one to be dogmatic about much, but this I know -- no one, not pastor nor staff nor fellow member of a church body, nor outsider, is EVER right to tell someone who is unhappy about matters at their church that they should leave. And if you don't like that truth, feel free to criticize how I chose to communicate it.

Anonymous said...

Yo Junkster,

You say............. no one, not pastor nor staff nor fellow member of a church body, nor outsider, is EVER right to tell someone who is unhappy about matters at their church that they should leave.

Yeah but aside from this Blog what have you said.

And you mock other Church goers with twisting Biblical verses, YES I WOULD ASK YOU TO LEAVE.

Anonymous said...

Thy Peace,


Why are you so quiet?

Anonymous said...

Junkster,

I would be inclined to agree with you if everything hadn't changed in the last few years. But this is not a case where the pastor and leadership had a falling out with a few deacons and everyone chose sides and there just needs to be some reconciling between the two sides, all of which have worked well together for years.

There is a difference between not liking how something is being done, and not being able to follow the leadership of the church. You are right, the church is not a business or anything else you said. It is much more important than that. It is supposed to strenghten your walk with Christ, it is supposed to be where you serve in ministry, and partner with the church body AND leadership to make a difference in whatever level of outreach your church is called to. The blogger appears unable to believe in the leadership of his current church. That leadership (and because of it, some of the philosophy of how to do things) has changed since the blogger joined the church however long ago it was. Therefore, it is obviously not for him anymore. He should move on to one that is a better fit for him. One in which he can be happy, believe in the leadership, serve happily, and not blog all his complaints.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I don't "believe" in leadership. They don't have to be sinless. They just have to have integrity in keeping with their important, visible position in our community. Mac is not worthy of the position of pastor at FBC Jax as evidenced by his many, many abuses. Sooner or later the truth will come out and he will be gone, and we will ALL (you and me) will be left to pick up the pieces while he and Honey are on to their next endeavor. Believe it. Its coming.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

The crying doesn't move me one bit.

Perhaps there is turmoil in his life...some family issue, or health issue...and he's particularly sensitive and prone to emotions.

But he said "let's read this together"...then he went about reading it...and breaking down..weeping...sobbing...lip quivering. I've seen it TOO MUCH...WAY TOO MUCH by TV pastors trying to manipulate people, and I've RARELY seen that by respected men of God who are preaching the Bible.

To me it was Tammy Faye and Rod Parsley.

He wants us to think he's super spiritual and will cry over an old testament scripture.

But again, I haven't drunk the Kook Aid so maybe if I had I would have been weeping with him

Anonymous said...

I cry for joy knowing that Jesus accepted me.

I must be a charlatan.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

It was a show.

A spectacle.

Maybe genuine in that he was crying over some aspect in his life that the scripture reminded him of as he was reading it. Maybe it made him think of his dad, or his sons that he loves so much. But I've never known a man that when speaking to thousands, live, can't control his emotions, and breaks down and sobs. Never seen it in a real bible preacher. Seen it in the movies. Seen it on the hair channel. But not in the pulpit. Maybe a tear shed over Jesus. But not Joseph and his brothers.

But I enjoyed it. It was good entertainment.

But just call me a cynic and recalcitrant.

Anonymous said...

Still curious here. Would someone explain how FBC Jax is converting to small groups?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:25

We still have a teacher for the first half hour. Then there are volunteers who discuss a few application questions for the next half hour. We also pray.
No one is forced to participate. Some in our class leave after the teacher ends his part.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

For adults classes, they still have a "master lesson" if you will, then they break up into groups where the group leader has a study or question sheet and they pose questions to the group. They started this with the youth, and are implementing it throughout the entire church.

But I don't see anything wrong with it...but I get a little nervous when some angry pastor who already has done things that are extremely questionable and does not explain them to us...when he tells us we MUST do it....and that he is going to MAKE us apply scripture - implying that if we're to apply scripture to our lives it MUST be done in a small group.

I myself can't stand small groups. I have no interest in "sharing" with someone my problems in a small group at church. Maybe I'm old fashioned, or have some sort of quirk about me that makes me very uneasy about small groups. But some people love them, and that is fine.

But don't ram it down my throat as though its a directive straight from God that we all must huddle in small groups.

But that is how Mac leads...he can't build consensus, or persuade in gentle, reasonable fashion. Its my way, baby, shut up, stop complaining, and follow my "godly" leadership....or just leave!

[pssst....I'm not leaving]

Anonymous said...

Dog,

Besides Brunsons statements has anyone in your class strongarmed you?

Yes, Mac comes on strong but there a lot of folks who do need it like me.

Just a quirk of mine too. :)

Anonymous said...

Why do you have problems sharing your problems with believers when you share them with the entire blogosphere?
Don't fool yourself that nonbelievers are not reading you too.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the explanation of how the small groups work at FBC. Getting way off topic here but with that explanation now I'm wondering, is there still breakfast and fellowship time before hand? It seems there woulnd't be time. Call me unspiritual but I loved the first 20 minutes of Sunday School where we would eat and catch up with everyone.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I can see how you sharing your problems honestly would be a problem. "Hi, I can't stand the pastor or leadership of this church. So much so I blog about them, insult them, and have no interest in following any of their leadership. Nor do I have any interest in your group. In fact, I can't wait to get home so I can blog about how much I hated it too" Yeah, I can see how that might be a small problem for you.

[pssst.....it's your life you're ruining, not mine. If you want to stay there and be miserable, be my guest. I just hope I am there the day they find out who you are and run you out of the place once and for all...then you will have to find another church to worship]

[psssst again...I will keep harping on you to leave though because you have yet to answer it with any normal thinking logic]

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

pssst. Did you drink the Cherry or Grape?

it is written said...

Anon 8:32pm Nov.16,2008......I assure you that I am not Dr.Dog or Thy Peace.I live in Jacksonville,was baptisted by Dr.Lindsay in the mid 70's and have several friends who still attend FBC Jax.Also I am Black American where as I believe that Dr.Dog is Caucasian.But Black or White given the evidence that Dr.Dog has clearly provided and watching Brunson's own actions leave me personally to believe that Brunson is just another greedy self-absorbed preacher who abuses and pilfer the people of God for their on benefit!!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

And I'm also the other 600 people flying all over the world to hit the blog to fool everyone in thinking that there is a wide readership.

This blog has Brunson spooked.

Because he knows people all over the SBC are reading it and finding out what a greedy, nepotistic charleton he is.

gabriella422001 said...

FBC Jax Watchdog you really scare me. You are more bitter sounding every day. How much time are you spending on this thing? ARE you and thy peace and whoever else that is one and the same person, because I have to admit, I have had the same thought. Why would Thy Peace spend so much time on an FBC JAX blog when this person doesn't even live here or go to FBC Jax? From watching it on the internet? Huh? It doesn't make any sense to me. What are you getting out of this except a big fat headache? how do you think you can judge if somebody is crying real tears? Oh my gosh, dude, you have flipped. Why are you doing this when you KNOW the Bible says as you judge people so you will be judged?????

The story i am interested in is Nov. 16 1:00 pm anonymous. There is definately such a thing as indirectly driving a person out of a church.

I still say if you all just LEAVE, then you don't have to worry anymore about "staying a member" and "what they think".....who CARES what they think, think for yourself and go find a place you can support and where you can worship God...cause how you can worship God feeling the way you do passes me by.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

OK everyone. I admit it. I'm gabriella, thy peace, junkser, and all the Anons. Its all me.

And I fly around the world with my laptop hitting the site from multiple cities to fool everyone on the site tracker to thinking there are lots of people reading this.

About the tears...I think they're fake. I've never seen a grown man, other than in the movies...stand in front of a crowd and weep...weep....then yell...then cry and yell in the same sentence.

Its theatrics. Its Rod Parsley. Its Jimmy Swaggart. Not even John Hagee cries like that.

Thy Peace said...

I have practically stopped watching fbcjax. I only watched it yesterday morning. At the rate I am going, I have probably watched it once a month and that too is declining.

I am not WD.

Yes, I did watch fbcjax for more than one year and assiduously listened to Pastor Mac's sermons every day for the past year.

I have given up on ALL that.

I still feel the way the fbcjax leadership is going about this fight with WD in the wrong way. If they went along with the Christian Way, they would win. Otherwise they will lose.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Thy Peace, admit it. You ARE me.

Thy Peace said...

I confess my crimes.

I am after all WD.

In truth, on the tracker, you will most often see me as coming from Europe or California.

On top of it, I am such a klutz and naive person and a biblically illiterate person. I will also admit to being clueless lot of times.

it is written said...

Gabriella422001.........I imagine that Jesus sounded and acted a little angry when He saw the phony Pharisee's(the preachers of that day)perverting His Father's house for sordid gain[John 2:13-17].I've personally seen and confronted these so called men of God..And what they eventually do is end up dividing and destroying the local Church and causing the little ones of Christ to stumble.I WILL REPEAT AGAIN::::::That anytime a so-called man of God shakes down a Church for hundreds of thousands in salaries and perks HE IS A RAVENOUS WOLF,A CHARLATAN,A SWINDLER OF THE HIGHEST ORDER!!...I'm almost certain that I read in Acts 9 that when the Apostle Paul was CALLED by the LORD JESUS CHRIST on the road to Damascus that he(Paul)negotiated a contract with the LORD of GLORY for 400,000 per year,a 1 million dollar house,a housing and car allowance,a benefits package for retirement and health,a refurbished office at a cost of 100,000 dollars of the members money for him,his wife and theirs mutts or else he(Paul)would not go and preach the Gospel!!...Again I repeat that the Bible states that in "THE LAST DAYS THAT THERE WILL BE AN INCREASE IN FALSE PROPHETS AND TEACHERS waiting for and opportunity to lead the people astray and to fleece the flock for as much as they and get.The Bible is repleat with prediction's of VICIOUS WOLVES not sparing the FLOCK[Acts 20:29-31].My point being!!!!If Dr.Dog were not angry over what is happening in FBC Jax I would wonder if he loves the Lord and is willing to fight for the truth in His Church[Num.25:10-13].(Now let me get back to blogging as my alter ego..The Watchdog)!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Regarding small groups, let's do like Mac and dig up what Homer and Jerry used to say:

"Small group Bible Studies are nothing more than a group of people sitting around pooling their ignorance."

Vines and Lindsay...you have to love the way they shared the TRUTH!

Anonymous said...

Interesting special on CNN last night about Jim Jones. So many similarities its sickening. Has Mac asked any of you to move to a compound somewhere?

Over 900 men, women and children were killed. We joke about "drinking the Kool-Aid" but when people follow charismatic leaders who claim to be speaking for GOD almighty, and the followers refuse to listen to dissenters, and all dissent is squelched, THEN cults are formed. And ALWAYS, sexual and financial abuse follows. ALWAYS. None of these types of leaders ever were found to have NOT taken the dollars or their men, women and children for sexual pleasure.

Mac supporters...one very serious personal question for you to consider way down deep in your heart: WOULD you, if he asked, and told you it was God's will, follow Mac to a private compound? A private school for your kids maybe? Seriously, would you? And if you did, would you be upset at any dissenters? Would you embarrass them, hurt them, riducule them, hate them, or kill them if you could? And you say the WD is scary?

Anonymous said...

The discussions of whether the blogger is blogging to himself or not is really stupid and irrelevant. If he is that hard up for attention he is writing to himself then so be it. He can have the wrong attitude about things under 800 different personas if he wants.

Anonymous said...

Here is what I say to all of this, just watch the money and the attendance. It is all going down. Speaking of the budget we got on Wednesday, where have they hidden the pastor and staff salaries? It use to be a line item. Now the lines are so blurred you can't see anything. What happened to full disclosure?

Also, I believe once again in the morning service, we were told what decisions "they" have made about something. What happened to sharing with the congregation where we are going and what we are doing? Speaking of which, are we still opening a satelite in the spring? Shouldn't there be announcements, excitement, planning, something? How can FBC embark on a huge initiative for the church and yet we hear nothing!

WD, thanks for all that you do you truly keep people accountable, seeing that our deacons don't.

Anonymous said...

anon 11:11 a.m. - they only share with you when they need your money. So, either everyone continues to give it freely with no questions asked; or, they have the loan approval already so they don't need to tell you anything.

Stop giving and watch how open and transparent the budget becomes. Keep giving and watch Team Brunson and the A-group spend it as they choose to feed their own interests and egos.

gabriella422001 said...

JIM JONES? The SIMILARITIES???? I don't even go there anymore, but that is LUDICROUS! Ya'll, come ON....Now you are comparing Dr. Brunson to JIM JONES???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? This is becoming more ridiculous by the day.

and FBC JAX watchdog you aren't me...when I had difficulties I LEFT rather than spread my ill humor all around. I realize I have problems just like the next person, and I don't try to flip it back and say the church is ALL AT FAULT. I'm trying to look in the mirror and see my own faults instead. And I LEFT the church. I know there are charlatan pastors as well as the next person, but to compare Dr. Brunson to Jim Jones, now THATS INSANE. Sorry for any misspellings, I worked all night.

Anonymous said...

gabriella - calm down. I am NOT comparing Jim Jones to Mac Brunson. No way, no how, not even close. I AM comparing the responses of some of those attacking the Watchdog to the followers of Jim Jones. You see why it is so hard to communicate with supporters of these men. I compared the followers, not the men. And you accuse me of comparing Mac Bruson to Jim Jones. Come on supporters of mac, you can read, and do better, than that. Think, please!

Anonymous said...

Gabriella: we are talking about the frame of mind of the people that are so easily influenced as to not see the real picture in their church. The "frame of mind" the naivete whereby people accept whatever the pastor does and says blindly, without question, even when it is plainly his agenda and not Gods. No one says he is a Jim Jones! But he must answer to the people he wants to lead or they will never trust him as a dictator type.

Anonymous said...

I came on to this blog by reading an article about another pastor. How sad that so much time & effort has been spent on this instead of souls.First thing we all need to do in every situation is pray!

Anonymous said...

www.fbctruth.com

Anonymous said...

How sad that this blogger is out to destroy the body of Christ all because of his hatred for an individual. GOD HELP YOU!

Anonymous said...

Mark Cummins resigned on November 25th. The FBC Ocala 6 ministers were given their jobs back at last night's (November 30th) business meeting, which is a answer to prayer.