Matthew 7:15 (NIV) “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Matthew 24:11: (NIV) “…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”

2 Timothy 2:23 - 25 (NIV) - 23Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Mac: "Deacon Worriers are Not Trusting Jesus"

Experts on spiritual abuse say that some of the classic tactics of the spiritual abuser are to continually exert their power and remind others of their lofty position, and the setting up of unspoken and spoken rules. We saw an example of these rules being set up by Mac Brunson on Sunday night October 26th, when he took a shot at "worrying" deacons.

"Kingdoms are not built by people who worry...churches do not grow by people who worry, SO DON'T PUT THEM ON THE DEACON BODY. People are not saved by people who worry. Goals are not reached by people who worry. Worry does the believer no good."

What is so sad is that Mac offers no scripture or context for his comments. He doesn't bother explaining the difference between what might be "worry" and "spiritual discernment" or "Godly concern". In this sermon Mac is preaching about Jacob, and "worry" is one of the ways that Jacob "became his own worst enemy". This kind of preaching is "Osteenish" (Smyrl's word). Mac uses an Old Testament story, and tells it in narrative form and picks off from the story a list of Jacob's character traits from the story.

But then Mac explains what is the root of these people that Mac considers to be "worriers":

"All it is is a sign that you don't trust Jesus, that's all it is."

The message to our deacons and other church members is obvious, and it should send chills down the spine of church members: if even a deacon dares ask the pastor a question, or dare expresses concern over the direction of our church or the pastor's decisions....they will be labeled as a "worrier" and someone who is not "trusting Jesus" and unworthy of being a deacon. Perhaps Mac could show us in scripture where a deacon is to be one who "does not worry". As I said, this is classic spiritual abuser behavior. Talk to the folks at Trinity, and they will tell you that those who dared to raise questions about Bob Gray were told to "trust God". The more a person questioned behavior, the more they were told they weren't "trusting Jesus."

Sure, we're not talking about sexual abuse at FBC Jax. But this, like so many other problems I've pointed out under the Brunson regime, is a TERRIBLE and DANGEROUS precedent. We're told by our pastor to shut up and go along, else you're a marked person. Right now the questions might be about finances and soggy preschool buildings and budgets...but it just as well in the future might be over more serious matters.

Below is the audio of Mac's comments. At the end is an example of how he took a swipe at our finance committee behind their backs and accused them of not having enough faith when they expressed concern over financial expenditures.


Thy Peace said...

Fbcjax is done for. If I, a neophyte and a new Christian can detect all these logical errors and manipulation, why can't more mature Christians not detect the manipulation and errors in Pastor Mac's teachings.

It's very odd, that Pastor Mac does not manage his own finances, is not good at basic math by his own words, and he lectures fbcjax, finance committee, deacons and listeners to how to manage their money.

Sir, can you listen to your own words and apply then to your own life?

From one sermon to another, so many inconsistencies, I find it so hard to believe they let you to preach like this.

Kool-Aid it is. I would encourage the members to step away from Pastor Mac's teachings for at least 4 weeks and then come back and listen to him. You will notice all the errors.

The only thing that is in favor of Pastor Mac is his oratorical skills.

All he is doing is preaching by guilt and "faith", (which is not really a test of faith, but gross manipulation) that he himself will not practice.

Questioning dumb financial errors and the direction of the Church is not evil. Or going against God and Jesus. You Sir, for a lack of better word are misleading the sheep. I could choose bad words, but they would not do justice to what you are doing to the sheep.

I am sure other member will find the right words to describe what you are doing.

For heavens sake, why don't you just stick to the bible, you dolt. All your problems, you bring it on yourself and then you blame others for pointing them out to you.

Anonymous said...

Brunson is the "up and down christian" he talks about. He is up when everyone falls into place according to his direction. He is down when anyone questions his pontification of authority. He belittles the deacons. Mac is the one who takes God out of the equation. He continues to be the hypocrite and ungodly representative of a God and Jesus church.

When Huckabee compared SBCJ to the Vatican, he wasn't far from being on target. Mac is the Pontiff, known as Pope Brunson.

Seriously, the deacons should be guarded against such abuse of authority, or they become agents of hypocrisy.

He should worry about how he will respond to God considering his leadership and disclpine governing of a congregation and community.

My gosh, how ANGRY he comes across, never loving and kind nor encouraging. May God preserve and protect FBCJ from him.

Anonymous said...

A.C. Soud, you are directly responsible for allowing the apostasy of FBC Jax today. You glory in your past history and administrative participation in the history and legacy of FBCJ,as well as your wife. You both loved the church, honored it (especially Lindsay Jr. and Vines) yet you allow this sheep in wolves clothing to fool you; we all thought you were so much more astute and self-assured you would protect a heritage of godliness service as servants of God.

Some of us who actually attended your wedding to Ginger Gilder thought you would never waiver beyond your and her apprenticiship of Don and Betty Nichols, least of all Home Lindsay Lindsay, Jr.

Anonymous said...

Thy Peace,
I was sad when I read that you are a new Christian. I was sad because this kind of polemic should not be part of the discipleship diet. I would encourage you to heed your own warning to Mac, and stick to the Word of God.

Anonymous said...

Mac Brunson left FBC Dallas with 9 million in debt. That will be minuscule the debt FBCJ will inherit under Brunson's leadership.

Deacons, trustees and others in authority were never exposed to devils of deceit in a pulpit until Brunson. Brunson presented himself as the next, great expository of the gospel from the pulpit of FBCJ. They were mis-lead, as they experienced and believed 60 plus years of honesty and integrity in the pulpit was what Brunson represented going forward.

What fools Brunson, Maurilio, Debbie, Trey and others in agreement with the prostitution of the pulpit made of so many.

Anonymous said...


Now, where have I heard that word?

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:09am here again,

Thy Peace, you have been misguided and manipulated. The Watchdog has taken advantage of your open mind and your curiosity as a new believer and used them to his benefit. Much like Barack Obama has taken advantage of the hope that has lingered in the black community since the days of Martin Luther King, Jr.

What you read from the Watchdog is one-sided and inaccurate. He has taken your mind and filled it with false information. He has used your heart to promote a unregenerate, unchristian nature and you have clung to it.
You have become a pawn for the Watchdog. How, becuase you have fallen for his agenda, he allows you to post so many times. I know people who have presented logical arguments with CORRECT information in their comments, but yet they do not make it onto this blog. Why?
Because the Watchdog wants to promote his agenda, his view on the issues of our church. And with your gullible opinionated comments, he can do just that.

So, I urge you to come to our church for a Sunday or two and see what our church is really like. Get in the Bible and see what JESUS has to say about the issues that are in EVERY church. I think your viewpoint will become different. Don't rely on just some anonymous, spinless, backslidden believer to give you the lowdown on issues in a church.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Looks like we might have a J.S. poster here indeed. The word "polemic"...and one of his favorite words "unregenerate".

Notice Mac has many defenders, but no one wants to take up a defense.

They want to say things like:

I know people who have presented logical arguments with CORRECT information in their comments, but yet they do not make it onto this blog. Why?

Yep, I've blocked the truth from coming out! Actually, let's consider who might be compared to Obama - Mac was brought to our church just like Obama was - the "Messiah", the greatest expository preacher of the next generation. No vetting of him...we didnt' know who he was, barely heard of him. He was showered with gifts and huge salary and was crowned the new king...Michelle, er I mean Debbie, and son Trey all put on staff. Why, we needed THE WHOLE BRUNSON TEAM to be on staff to help us find our way. The fact is, the more we look at Obama, the more we realize how wanting he actually is. Ditto for Mac. How's that for a comparison to Obama?

Readers, I allow nearly all posts to come through...and am not interested in blocking any messages from Mac's defenders. Fact is there is so very few of them here for whatever reason.

By all means, Anon, you can post here and defend Mac all you want. Be my guest - but I think you are much more interested in attacking the unregenerate recalictrant, anonymous bloggers than you are defending your pastor.

Pick just one issue and defend Mac. I'll let the post through!

And readers, be sure to visit FBC Jax website to learn about the $20 million capital campaign that is about to begin at our church! If Mac is beating us up over $1 million, we can't wait to see how he is going to get us to commit to giving $20 million!

And be sure to read the updated "Smyrls of Wisdom"...its a classic!

Also, just so we keep things straight, Trey Brunson is now the "Director of Projects and Development"

Mac says: "Its good to be da king!"

Thy Peace said...

To Anon 8:25pm and Anon 10:31pm:

I accept your admonition.

First, I will stick to my reading of the bible.

I will try to reduce my personal attacks on the leadership of fbcjax.

To be honest with you, you sound like Pastor Jim Smyrl. If you are, why don't you open up your blogs for open comments and anonymous comments. You can choose to not answer anonymous attackers, but if they ask questions in good faith, even if they are anonymous, why don't you answer them?

Why can't the leadership of fbcjax step into the internet age? Anonymous commentators are not all that bad. There are people behind the Anonymous ID's.

The other reason, people use Anonymous ID's on the internet, is for protection against retaliation and also lot of people do not wish their persona's to interfere with what they are saying. This is quite common, since the dawn of internet.

Now on the substance of your comments. Yes, it does look like I am following WD here. To be honest with you, my main concern is not fbcjax at all. My main motivation to coming to WD's site was with what happened Sheri Klouda and the abuses committed by Darrell Gilyard.

This has led me to the problems at SBC. I will grant you that I do not fully understand the politics of SBC, but there is much chicanery going on here.

My actual learning is taking place from the Bible, some of it from WD's site and comments, and now-a-days mostly from Pastor Wade's blog site.

I am learning and reading and studying.

I do not feel comfortable using abusive rhetoric against Pastor Mac or others.

But why can't ordinary people and members question the fbcjax leadership?

I recently found out what Martin Luther did. For heavens sake he was only 34 y.o. when he nailed the 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg. Granted Martin Luther was very devout and learned man. But he questioned. This is the important thing.

Now, I know you do not like WD here. I remember, once Pastor Mac preached a sermon on checking the authenticity of someone preaching or sayings. He gave an example of checking the authentic U.S. currency to detect counterfeiters.

I can tell you that WD and others have studied under Vines and Lindsay, and that they have studied the real stuff. I am not saying Pastor Mac is a counterfeit, but that you have to at least cede that WD and other dissenters who are of the "old guard" have at least studied the genuine article.

Anonymous said...

I knew sooner or later Mac would "turn" on the deacons. He has been here long enough, even for the very slow to catch on group, to see problems of gigantic porportions looming over FBCJ! He had to keep the deacons happy for a time. Once he had the church in full control,(bylaws, yes men) etc., then he felt secure enough to "weed out" anyone that did not appear "on board" completely with the Brunson reign. To say that Mac came here with a plan to divide and conquer is an understatement. Some got the picture immediately, others have been forced kicking and screaming into the light. A problem for some especially those in leadership, deacons etc., is they have now seen the problems but don't know how to separate themselves from a support mode without being embarassed to have supported him at all. The pendulum is beginning to swing the other way..... finally. As it must if the church is to ever be again what it once was. A SOUL WINNING CHURCH WHOSE ONLY LEADER IS THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.

Anonymous said...

thy peace

I have read your post many times and know you to be a discerning reader. 10:31 IS A TWISTED DEMOCRAT. Not all democrats are twisted but this Kool Aid drinker is a twisted SHEEP. He can not see the WOLF that preaches to him each Sunday.

The Lord will give us wisdom to see error. Mac is full of error and 10:31 is blind to the obvious.

We have a problem with Mac, thy peace, but there are many sound preachers that will preach God's Word. This problem will pass. Mac will either repent or we will look for another preacher.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:09am here again,


I am not a twisted Democrat. I, in fact, happen to be a very conservative church member who respects your opinions about the Watchdog, Pastor Wade, and the SBC. I would agree with you that the politics in churches have gotten out of hand, espcially in our Baptist churches.
But I would strongly urge you to continue studying the Word as you say you do, get involved with your local church and continue to immerse yourself in the Christian world before you make judgements about a certain pastor and church.
I would also tell you that it is important to guard against quick assumptions, whether it is about what the Watchdog says or what a pastor says. Compare what you hear and read to God's word and see what matches up and what doesn't.
As the Anon 11:18pm said, you are a discerning disciple and I think he/she is right. So be careful and be smart. Don't be quick to judge or assume just as this Anon 11:18pm has done with my political status, we see what that will get you.
God Bless you ThyPeace.

Anonymous said...

Deacons at FBCJAX,

BEWARE OF YOUR PASTOR. Would you put on sidearms to put fear in the hearts of your church members? Would you shut up anyone who would come to you with a problem in the church? Would you stop your brother or sister in the Lord from discussing problems with? Would you side with a preacher who pits deacons against members? Would you become and armed guard against God's people?


Thy Peace said...

To Pastor Jim Smyrl:

Yes, I agree with you that I am not a mature Christian. I have lot of learning and growing to do.

I have a bunch of suggestions and questions for you.

- Why don't you and Pastor Mac preach in the style of David Allen? I understand, you will say we are not David Allen. But please, I am talking about the expositional style of preaching.

- Why don't you use simple english to engage the average reader on your blog? I can see you have moderated your writing recently. But why use complex sentences? Why do you need to draw in four different concepts on one sentence, like a weaver does with threads of yarn?

- Why don't you open up your blog, for a true and genuinely open discussion?

- If you wish to defend PP and current SBC leadership's practices, why don't you head over to Pastor Wade's blog and sharpen your iron? I mostly read and ask simple questions there. There is some sparring that takes place, but mostly it's partisan. Please don't tell me that Pastor Wade's blog is evil and unregenerate.

- Did you know that the printing press aided Martin Luther in his distribution of his writings and protests against the Papacy? Do you know that bloggers are doing the same in the Southern Baptists? This includes both for and against PP and current leadership practices.


I will be fair and say, I do love your Church. I do love your Choir and Orchestra. I do not favor the modern interpretative style, but the old hymns are almost like being in heaven. Your Church has lot of good members. Including WD and other dissenters. They are not all that bad, once your know what's bothering them. Why don't you find out what is affecting these dissenters? And then try to correct for it. It can't be all that bad.

Anonymous said...

There is one very strange anomaly in Brunsons sermons. Having listened to points he brings I see a pattern. Something he preaches against, he does himself. The sermon of Oct.26 (A.M. I believe) almost every negative thing he charged others with, he was guilty of himself...BIG TIME. It's somewhat like this: if I preach against it, then no one will notice that I do it. Has anyone else seen this pattern. Maybe it is some kind of hidden psychological confession. Who knows.

One example is Macs several references to legalism. No one is more legalistic than Mac.He tells people not to gossip. Yet he went to N.C. and gossiped about the church, telling his audience how legalistic WE were. He gossiped about people he counseled in Dallas. And don't forget the most recent faux paux, he gossiped about the circumstances with Sheri Klouda. Another more permanent record is his recent book where he names all of the things young preachers should not do, yet he does most of them. Remember how he spoke against negotiating for NBA type salaries, and he did what when he came here. What about preachers were supposed to live "modest" lifestyles. Have any of you seen their cars? And the mansion.

Just pay attention the next time you get a "bashing", see if it doesn't work the other way around too. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Thy Peace: I wish you could have heard Dr. Lindsay (both of them), both of these men were very educated, yet were true servants of the Lord. They preached very simple sermons full of spiritual wisdom and instruction. They met you where you were in your walk with Jesus. They ministered through the scripture. They led the lost to Jesus. When you left church you were uplifted not made to feel beaten up, and depressed. These men knew Jesus well, and they wanted you to know HIM also. What a blessing for those of us who were here then!

Now, as for why Brunson and Smyrl don't preach simple sermons, is because they want to try to impress and dazzle you with "what they know". The Greek (who cares). You are supposed to be impressed. It's what they don't know that WORRIES me.

Anonymous said...


it looks like the pastor is about to strengthen his hold on the members by forcing the deacons to impose a fear campaign against anyone who complains to the deacons.


Guarddog, it is starting to get real ugly at FBCJAX!

Deacons I know you to be better than that. I know you to be standing in the Lords grace. Mac will continue to bring a wall between him and the members. Mac is causing problems and they will only get bigger. How long will you put up with that which you know in your mind and heart to be wrong?
Like the scripture says. GET UP!

it is written said...

Thy Peace do not be distracted by this blogger who is trying to persuade you that after examining the evidence given by Dr.Dog,the video's of Pope Brunson(good term)messages,his demeanor and all of his other abuses(salary,home,trips,nepotism,condesending attitude,etc)that you are somehow being mislead.No I submit to you that you are far more DISCERNING than he/they are.In Acts 17 verse 11 Luke wrote that the Berean's "were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica,for they received the Word with great eagerness,EXAMINING THE SCRIPTURES DAILY to see whether these things WERE SO"!!Jesus said that"you will KNOW THEM(wolves)by their FRUITS"[Matt.7:15-16].Lets examine some of Pope Brunson's fruit:(1)Greed.Greed is and always will be until Christ comes a sure sign of a wolf.Greed is characteristic that the Apostle Paul states disqualifies a man from the ministry[1Tim.3:3;Titus 1:7].(2)Authoritarian:(my way are the highway)He lords his position over Christ sheep in stead of leading by a humble,loving example[1Pet.5:2-3],in contrast to Dr.Homer Lindsay who display such a humble spirit that people trusted him and were willing to follow him anywhere.(3)Self-centered and self-seeking:Like Diotrephes in 3 John 9-10 he seeks to destroy and dscredit anyone who would dare to oppose him.(4)Deceptive with Scripture:He takes the Scpirtures and thru deceitful philosophical interpretation and the overuse and misuse of history make the Scriptures say what he wants them to say.(5)Dishonest:He slandered Mrs Klouda without a hint of an apopolgy.(6)Ruinous:If it's true that he left FBC Dallas 9 million dollars in debt and now he's about to finanicially bankrupt FBC Jax and destroy this Church that Dr.Lindsay had debt free.(7)Ecumenical:Brunson hosts events without any regard for whether they are any-christian or not.[1Kings 18:20-40].(8)Compromiser:Pope Brunson goes to the world(A-group)to help him figure out how to reach the lost for Christ when to the Bible clearly says preach Christ and Him crucified.Thy Peace you are right on target.You are far far more discerning than Pope Brunsons subjects who will blindly follow him inspite of the overwhelming evidence against him.Also Thy Peace the Bible warns repeatedly that as we near the return of Jesus Christ that many false prophets will come and infiltrate the Church and unfortunely deceive the majority of people[Matt.24:5,11,24].Dr.Dog please stay at it.You my friend are light in darkness to many at FBC Jax.

Anonymous said...

$20 million campaign; for what, you can't repair your buildings today without begging. What gives? Will Brunson do what he did in Dallas, put them in debt, got what he wanted then left? Have your deacons and trustees pre-approved this campaign, without question and involvement and participation from members? Seems there is no leadership at FBC except through a power hungry Pontiff and Bishops.

Anonymous said...

Dis Trey get a hefty raise to support his new title. What a shame a 23 year old just can't seem to find work except through handouts from Pop and Mom. All the while laughing on the way to the bank. All of them.

Are the trustees and deacons allowing themselves to be directed and influenced by such an inexperienced and unaccomplished pup?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I don't like to put down someone for their youth, but a 23 or 24 year old "Director of Projects and Development"? If one were to write a job description for a mega church "Director of Projects and Development"...I can assure you that Trey would not meet the qualifications and experience. Let's get real.

At least we know what Trey's title is. For Ms. Brunson we don't even know her title - my hunch is she is running the church behind the scenes.

As our church embarks on a new $20 million capital campaign, which I'll be writing about in the next week ...are there any readers from Dallas that can tell us what to watch out for? Mac led your church into a capital campaign and left in the middle of it, and I recall some people posting here on both sides - some saying he did a great job in getting the church to build a much-needed facility that was worth much more than the debt he left behind, but others saying Mac was deceptive in that he promised that the church would pay as they go and no debt would be incurred. But as time moved on he moved away from that position when funds didn't come in as fast as needed and thus the church incurred millions in debt. Don't want to rehash Dallas' history on this, but perhaps some readers in Dallas can give advice to FBC Jax members on what to watch out for, or things we should be concerned about as Mac launches this massive campaign.

it is written said...

wor·ry::verb (used without object) 1. to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret.
2. to move with effort: an old car worrying uphill.
–verb (used with object) 3. to torment with cares, anxieties, etc.; trouble; plague.
4. to seize, esp. by the throat, with the teeth and shake or mangle, as one animal does another.
5. to harass by repeated biting, snapping, etc.
–noun 6. a worried condition or feeling; uneasiness or anxiety.
7. a cause of uneasiness or anxiety; trouble.
8. act of worrying. The FBC Jax deacons should be worried;worried about where Pope Brunson is leading them.BOY FBC JAX YOU ARE IN SERIOUS SERIOUS TROUBLE!! Worse and worse Dr.Dog.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Its simple - go along with Mac's 20 million dollar promotional, fund raising plan...don't ask questions...don't express any objections...else you aren't "trusting Jesus".

Its likely that Mac has worked closely with the trustees on this 20 million dollar promotional, fund raising plan...and probably even presented it to the deacons. Maybe in the deacons meeting there were a few expressions of concern prompting his "don't put them on the deacon board" statement.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Mac's 20 million dollar plan and its promotion shows us a new day is here church. Mac really is the "Obama" of change!

Mac used our previous pastors words and images Sunday morning so I'll go ahead and "live in the past" and point out how what Mac is doing is COMPLETELY BACKWARDS to how Homer, Homer, and Jerry let the church into church growth. The use of their images and words the Sunday before unveiling the 20 million campaign was a clever marketing strategy - tie Mac to the previous pastors - you sheep supported the vision of these men, and you now must support the vision of the new man. Very clever.

Our previous pastors cast a vision for the people (didn't need a marekting firm) and would tell us what they believed God's plan was - whether it be a new sanctuary, a new children's building, parking garages; and they consulted with MEN IN THE CHURCH to develop the plan, not with a marketing firm in Nashville or their wife or their 22 year old sons. They would cast the vision and then let the Holy Spirit move in the hearts of people to give if they felt led by God to support the vision, and when the giving took place (and it always did) and funds were raised and put in the bank (they always were), we all knew God moved! Do you get that Mac? We knew God moved, and we knew that God was in the plan...not because Homer told us the plan, but God confirmed the plan through the giving of His people in the church. It really is that simple.

But in this day of "Obama like change" at FBC this new day of church marketing, Maurilio Amorim, the A-Group, advertising, fund raising and promotions and nepotism, the process has been turned on its head! Here's the new process:

God (and M.A. and Honey) have told Mac what the plan is, Mac has told the deacons and trustees (we hope!) and Mac is now telling US what the plan is (see the FBC Jax website). He will and has hired the A-Group to promote and advertise and market the plan to CONVINCE US IT REALLY IS GOD'S PLAN, and Mac will use the pulpit to guilt us into supporting and giving to the plan! He will sell the plan in his sermons. He will use scripture to say things that it doesn't say to get us to suppor the plan (like "the church in Rome was a group of satellite churches"). In fact, the plan is already underway, since the school has started, the plans are underway for the satellite, the Foundation is already started, and the architects are delivering the facility plans. So Mac is moving forward, and he will NOT...he absolutely will NOT be waiting to see if God is in it as evidenced by our giving. No, he will tell us: If you don't want to go into debt, then you better give. The plan is the plan, and he will execute it. The only question is: how much will we be in debt when it is over.

Will this plan work? Maybe. Man can do great things through promotions, videos, pressure, marketing firms, fund raising, etc. See also: "Barrack Obama campaign".

Lastly, what was the secret of FBC Jax's growth while staying out of debt? Our pastors recognized that God's way for our church was casting a vision, letting God work in the hearts of His people to give, when the money is raised we know God wants us to move forward. People give when God moves in their hearts to give (read the NT method of giving), and they give less when placed under threat or coersion or duty or fear of debt (see also "IRS").

So we shall see. Man's efforts can do many great things.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Not trying to pick on Trey...but since we don't know what his job description is we can at least view his own perspective of what his job is:

Trey's Professional Bio

Notice that he "oversees" the "projects" at the church.

Quite interesting too that before he left Dallas he was the "Assistant Executive Pastor", not bad for a 21 year old to be the "Assistant Executive Pastor"!!! Who needs Doug Pigg and Howard Lewis when you can hire 21 year old Trey Brunson!

Also as part of his job description he "oversees" the No Limits department. Any of our other department directors on staff and getting paid for your ministry? Can any of the Brunsons do any lay ministry at our church, or do they all need to be paid? We know the answer.

Trey has a great job, because by "oversee" it means that he gets to hire and use the A Group and a promotions firm in Atlanta to do his Pastor's Conference "coordination" and "promotion". And he can get credit by dear old dad on the platform in front of thousands of pastors (also known as "potential employers) for "raising $100,000". The brazenness of the Brunson clan nepotism is breathtaking...but you have to respect it!

Sorry, but when you put your son on staff for $50,000 as a director and he is just out of college and unproven in any major full time ministry position, you invite criticism of yourself and your son. That's ONE of the reasons nepotism is bad for your family, and bad for the organization.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Dallas readers:

Can you confirm what Trey has on his public professional resume?

He says he was "promoted" and "oversaw" the entire re-organizational process. He also says that he assisted and ovesaw the entire organization and the establishment of a $50 million facility.

Really? Did Trey Brunson have such a prominent position as a 21 year old college student while at FBC Dallas?

mpenni said...

I am both amazed and very disappointed in the vitriol and divisive ranting that I have encountered here. Who do you think this slanderous talk pleases more, God or satan? After reading some of these postings, my mind immediately produces an image of the devil smiling and saying, "Yes, keep up the good work!" Watchdog, you mentioned that there are very few Brunson supporters here. Is that really the case, or do you choose to block many of them? Perhaps many of them are unaware of this site, as I was until yesterday.

Regarding Pastor Brunson, have you neglectfully forgotten that God brought him to FBCJ and that choosing him was the result of an incredible amount of prayer and trusting in God for His direction. Dr. Brunson faithfully preaches from the Word of God with passion and with a highly respectable love for Jesus and our church. I appreciate his use of word origins and history in his sermons. Using these tools adds depth and helps clarify the points he is striving to make. His preaching style, if fact, really effectively uses a strong delivery combined with excellent research that gives the attentive listener a lot to consider and a clear understanding of the message. For one to suggest that preaching this way is simply to impress people is evidence of simple-mindedness and demonstrative of a lack of the desire to grow spiritually and learn more about the things of God. As a member of FBCJ for 25 years, I can vividly recall many instances of Dr. Vines explaining Greek word origins and being very in-depth. Why is it wrong for Dr. Brunson to preach that way?

Apparently there are some people that think Dr. Brunson is too critical and harsh. Did the Apostle Paul not admonish and warn some of the churches of his time in his preaching and letters? Isn't it a responsible pastor's role to warn his congregation about its spiritual temperature and preach against sin? I remember with great happiness many sermons in which Dr. Lindsay Jr. did some serious stepping on toes. He wasn't afraid to preach boldly and say what had to be said. Praise God for the great work that he and Dr. Vines did at FBCJ and for the many people that were saved from sin and became believers in Jesus during their leadership!

Praise God for the great work that Dr. Brunson has been able to do! Don't allow yourself to be deceived! Please don't get distracted by something as insignificant as his wife and son being on the church staff. Really, come on now. Please don't complain about the money that he has to raise. Do you think that he enjoys having to do that? I'm sure it's the part of ministry that he least likes. Yes, our church has been debt-free, and, by the way, it seems to me that Dr. Brunson aims to continue that tradition! God is using our Pastor and wants His church to be united and not trapped by arguments and division!
Just look at what God is doing through our church PRESENTLY, yes, through Dr. Brunson and his staff, and be thankful. People are still coming to Jesus Christ and I have never in 25 years as a member seen a greater emphasis on missions than I do now. Is there a problem with that? Should we ignore Matthew 28:19 and not invest so much in missions? Should the church not spend money on its physical property and on its goal to be the salt and light that God requires of it?

Please consider these questions and pray about whether or not you are being a help or a hindrance to the cause of Jesus Christ! It's no joke people, we are in a very tough pivotal moment in our country, and churches that truly believe in God need to stand up for what is right and not become beleaguered by complaining about the person God has chosen to be their leader!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

mpenni - thanks for posting here.

Maybe you're right, that a lot of Brunson supporters aren't aware of this site. Feel free to pass it on!

No, I don't block Brunson supporters. I do occasionally have to block people who come here to bash the bloggers, but I don't mind Brunson supporters posting here.

God didn't bring Brunson here. Men and women on the search committee, and their knowledge of Vines' desire to have Brunson come, and their offer and negotiation with Team Brunson over many months, is what brought him here. To boil it down to say "God brought him here" and thus we are not to question his decisions because it was God who brought him here is to be incredibly naive and gullible.

But I would tell you to read some of my posts, and do so with an open mind, and seek God's direction in what you should believe about Team Brunson and what they are doing to our church. I will tell you also: don't be deceived by the Brunsons.

Anonymous said...

Trey is 23/24 and according to his resume, he's been working since 1996 with more managerial skills than a 50-60 year old excutive. ???

My, My, this poor babe has been working since we was in diapers.

Anonymous said...

I am beginning to be convinced that FBCJ deserves the Brunson team. They seem to like being led by and "controlled: by an omnipotent ruler, yes ruler.

Anonymous said...

FBCJ is no longer a church. It is purely and simply a business. It should no longer be considered a non-profit organization.

The behind-the-scenes, Hollywood scripted agenda is more revealing than anyone would have imagined two short years ago.

The Adult Sunday School lesson in this month's study from Lifeway leads me to wonder why it was even written, if pastors and leaders do not follow the words of Romans 12 which directs us to consecrate yourselves to Christ by our actions and words. The study title "Not Conformed But Transformed" surely is a lesson and ideal we all should aspire to. Not just the average Joe, but leaders and those in areas of responsibility.

Anonymous said...

watchdog, do you know how much mac is going to charge for tuition at the fbc academy? I know it will cost an arm and a leg but do you think it will cost me my soul too?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Only thing we have to go on right now on tuition is the pro forma financials shared with the church on the night of the unannounced vote to take $500,000 from the church funds to start the school

If you divided the anticipated tuition revenue by the anticipated enrollment, it was around $8000 per student.

Yes, very expensive. Your soul? No. Just your wallet.

mark pennington said...

What kind of proof is there that Dr. Brunson was chosen by man and not by God? God uses people that he has put into places of authority to do certain jobs, such as select pastors. Why do you insist on doubting the validity of this process? I have read your other posts. That probably explains my sick feeling and headache. I see no basis for such ridicule and consternation. I do keep an open mind; that is, in regard to the Bible and what God knows is best and not what man thinks is best. Okay, I'm also open to other people's opinions, but I'm very careful to not be easily swayed by them. So far, I have only read unabashed venom that can only harm God's work and cause discord. What exactly do you want in a pastor? One that preaches sugar-coated messages and makes people feel good? Many people obviously like that kind of unbiblical leadership. Look at the growth and attendance at Joel Osteen's church. That's good, but are the people hearing what they need and being led in the right direction to salvation and a life that is pleasing to God and not just good for one's self-esteem and financial position? Would you like a pastor that has no interest in missions and no desire to preach to other congregations to minister to them? Okay, so maybe Dr. Brunson doesn't give us a one month or one week notice every time he goes to preach to other churches. Is that really such a big deal? NO! Of course not. Neither is spending money on the church and teaching the members to be obedient and tithe. By the way, knowing that Dr. Brunson is here as a result of God's will is not being naive and gullible. It is called having faith in God and trusting that He knows what He is doing!

mark pennington said...

Anonymous said...
I am beginning to be convinced that FBCJ deserves the Brunson team. They seem to like being led by and "controlled: by an omnipotent ruler, yes ruler.

November 4, 2008 1:36 PM

Yes, they like to be led by the Omnipotent Ruler named Jesus Christ! Are you new to the concept that God uses men that He ordains to be decision makers and leaders? Moses was chosen by God and he both chastised and exhorted his followers. No doubt, there were those that grumbled about him too.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi Mark - I'm saying we mustn't defend a pastor against accusations by saying "God put him in his position". We mustn't tell people who are criticizing a pastor that their criticism is baseless because he is "God's man" or that "God put him in his position". That is dangerous ground.

Now, I have been at this church for 20+ years, have sat under Lindsay and Vines, and I'm as "conservative" as you would find...but to criticize Brunson for his abusive preaching doesn't mean that I want "sugar coated" messages. We as a people of the Bible want a pastor who PREACHES THE BIBLE and doesn't use the Bible to make his personal points to us. Many (not all) of Brunsons sermons are more Osteenish...Brunson is NOT a bible expositor as we were told when he came. He mis-uses scriptures many times to make it say what he wants to fit the point that he wants to make. I've pointed out many of these in my blog.

He is abusing our church...I hope that more people will wake up to this fact before its too late. I can only hope that you and other men in our church will at least consider what I've said here on this blog, as distasteful as it may seem to you.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Mark: Darrell Gilyard was also "chosen by God" to be pastor. Also Bob Grey was "God's man". Don't be so gullible as to come here and tell us that Mac is "chosen by God".

Not equating Gilyard's and Gray's abuses to Brunson's abuse of our church, but the point is: get over this thought that Mac Brunson and pastors are special men that have special annointing and that we should all file in lock step behind them based on their title and position and "God's annointing". Get real Mark, and view things as they are: Mac has a good job, its the Senior Pastor of FBC Jax. Its a job like you have at your place of employment. He is no more noble or spiritual or special to God in his position than you are in yours. Its a wonderful job that allows him to put his family on paid salary. Its wonderful in that his employer pays him tens of thousands of dollars PER MONTH, allowing him to live in a very large, comfortable home. God didn't interview him for the job, God didn't negotiate with him on his salary, and Jesus doesn't pay him his salary or sign his check. His salary comes from the generosity of the good people of FBC Jax who faithfully give their money to further the gospel through FBC Jax's ministries.

Now...about Homer and Homer and Jerry....we followed their leadership, and we granted them comfortable salaries...not because they were special annointed men and better than anyone was because they proved themselves to be faithful to God's call THROUGH YEARS AND YEARS OF SERVICE. Mac came here demanding our followship from day 1 based on his position.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:09am here again,

Dear Watchdog,

I believe Mark Pennington and the other men as well as myself have considered what you said. While we respect your opinions, we disagree with your viewpoint of God ordained men. Now, we are not saying that these "Men of God" are not excusable from examination of the believers heart when it comes to the disernment of the scriptures and what the preacher is saying. It's important to make the Bible the litmus test, no doubt. But, if you think our pastor preaches "Osteemish" sermons, then that's fine. But that doesn't add up to your story of his abusive preaching style you claim to come from the pulpit every Sunday. I have heard Joel Osteen preach and it is not abusive. In fact, it is too soft in my opinion. So I don't know why you claim Pastor Brunson is "Osteemish" and "Abusive" all at once. You can't be both because they are quite opposite of each other.
But back to the real issues here. There is obviously a fine line between the Watchdog and the Brunson supporters. I think that line is defined by faith as Mr. Pennington has pointed out.
What I think will happen is that we will see how things turn out. If it is perhaps God's will for Pastor Brunson to lead us as our God called Shepherd then he will do so. But, if there are sincerely problems that the Watchdog has talked about, I believe God will move in the situation.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I'll clarify:

Mac's preaching is all over the map.

Sometimes he is dead on, and sticks to the Bible and text, and doesn't use his sermon to grind an axe or twist scripture to make a point and he doesn't talk down his nose to us or speak condescendingly to his listeners. Sometimes. These rare occurances are often Wed night sermons. These sermons are few and far between.

But sometimes he is Osteenish in that he only vaguely uses scripture to help support him in the points HE wants to make. I'm not saying that he's trying to be wishy washy and lovey dovey and "feel good" like Osteen. I mean that he is just up there to give us an interesting "talk" to tell us what HE thinks about something, and he will only lightly use scripture. No exposition of scripture.

But he pretty consistently uses his pulpit as a bully pulpit, to attack and belittle his congregation, to intimidate them, to talk down his nose to them, and he speaks to his listeners as though excluding himself. I've never head a preacher who more consistently attacks the congregation, and paints them all with the same broad brush than Mac does. It really is amazing.

He uses history to the extent that he loses many of his listeners (especially younger listeners who have little knowledge of historical contexts that he uses) while recounting history for 5 or 6 minutes straight in the middle of his sermons.

I said it before...those who have sat under Lindsay and Vines know what consistent bible exposition preaching is like, and what it does in the believer's life, and how it allows the Holy Spirit to convict when conviction is needed, how it brings encouragement when encouragement is needed. Mac is not that. He is a performer. He is a speaker. He is an orator. He might be better suited as a professor somewhere, but as a loving humble shepherd to teach and lead his flock...he is not.

For me, when I heard Mac call our congregation a "hotbed of legalism" behind our backs, and when I heard him carelessly slander Sheri Klouda from our told me that he is not a God-called preacher. He has shown NO humility to his congregation - he has never apologized and never will for these and other abuses of our congregation.

Finally, for whatever flaws or shortcomings that a preacher has in his preaching abilities...most of them will be overlooked when the preacher exhibits genuine humility and love to his people. I've sat under preachers in my younger days that were poor to moderate in their preaching abilities...but their people loved them and followed them because the pastor lived and preached with humility and great love for his people.

Oh the day when we will have a loving, humble preacher once again.

Anonymous said...

Jesus said that He would leave us another Comforter: The Holy Ghost. Its the Holy Ghost that points one to Jesus Christ because the Father draws men to Himself. Thats the real story. Its not man, its not John Calvin, its the Trinity that saves a man...pure and simple just like the Bible declares.

Whether one has doubts, troubles, instinct, experiences in the past, worry, whatever they had better be concerned in what their pastor is getting them to do. They could be headed for deep waters, off a cliff, church split, or bankruptcy. When one follows a man, that is what they are doing following a man.

If you follow a man you had better know that he is gentle, kind, humble, not easily provoked, and one who preaches the whole council of God. And who does not tell stories just to be telling stories rather than what the BIBLE states!!! You can find these men on tv every Sunday. They use the tv to make filthy lucre. Some of you know who these men are. Enough said!!!

Anonymous said...

God's Man,

Men let us get something straight right now. NOT ALL MEN IN THE MINISTRY ARE GOD'S MEN.

Look at all of the drunks and sexual abusers in not only the Catholic and Reformed churches, but also in the BAPTIST CHURCHES.

In my 30 plus years as a christian I have know some of them. These are just men who have gone bad. All pastors have a target on their back and the DEVIL is a very good shot. Agreed? Good, called of God pastors, have strayed from the path that the Lord has set out for them and have gone into SIN.

Therefore, it should not be surprising when any pastor gets off track. Some pastors are able to stand against the whiles of the Devil better than others.

The question we have to ask ourselves is when do we stop following a pastor who has gone bad? Ask the brothers at Trinity. How long should the members of that church let Bob Gray
abuse those children? How long? Come on! How long?

No, there are times when God's children must say ENOUGH.

We at FBCJAX have seen pastor Brunson getting off track. We have factually shown were the problem lies. The pastor knows this and refuses to change.

The readers have to decide if MAC BRUNSON A CALLED MAN OF GOD has gone to far off track. Is it time to say ENOUGH?

Listen men, we want to support our pastor. We consider the position that he holds. We are not men who desire to go against our pastor. Do you seriously believe that we have anything to gain here?

God help all of us!

We pray that God's man will repent.

Anonymous said...

mpenni 12:14

Your quote about WD and bloggers:
"After reading some of these postings, my mind immediately produces an image of the devil smiling and saying, "Yes, keep up the good work!"

Guess what, that is exactly how some of us imagine the devil is smiling and saying about Brunson.

Your quote about the posts:
"Who do you think this slanderous talk pleases more, God or Satan?"

That should be your question to Mr. Brunson, trustees and deacons.

However, I did appreciate knowing you have been at FBCJ for 25+ years; your discernment about the current leadership indicates you have not taken seriously how God's people should be treated and how a pastor is only a servant, rather than a dictator.

Missions are vital, but a pastor should be a loving Shepard putting his congregation first rather than admonishing them to follow, without question, his self-appointed and misleading authority of what is right for the church.

Surely hope you decide to take a closer look.

Anonymous said...

mpenni 12:14

Yes, Lindsay Jr. would at times loudly tell us right from wrong, but he was not stealing our wallets to promote his own agenda.

Anonymous said...

Hello Mark,

From your earlier post:

"What exactly do you want in a pastor?"

Only two things, honesty and transparency! It is the opinion many share at FBC. However, we are hesitant because of implied intimidation to call the pastor to accountability. What a shame.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 12:09am - why can't Team Brunson lead as he is doing, but just do by being open and honest and transparent with us. My problem is not that he and Jim Smyrl are arrogant, pompous asses. My concern is that they change by-laws without making the proposed changes readily available to us without having to sign them out. If they can't be open and honest about finances and by-laws, then they will continue to lead with a cloud of mistrust. So the issue is not that Team Brunson is abusing is that they are doing so without being open and transparent. In other words, if they kept doing the exact same things, but did them with transparency and accountability, there would be no reason for this blog. But they choose to ignore anonymous emails and continue to hide finances and by-law changes. So they will get some blogging about it. Again, why would someone blog about information that is readily available to all? For example, if the whole church knew of his salary, or knew of the land gift, and voted on it and approved it, then what point would there be to blog about it? NONE. But the reality is that if people knew about these things they would be outraged and take action.

The more they try to fight to keep information hidden, and keep ignoring anonymous emails, then the blog will thrive. For better or worse. So, yeah, Brunson and Smyrl are a couple of PRI__ __ S, but it is the lack of transparency that makes people blog about them.

Think about it.

Anonymous said...

Mark P.

About men in positions of authority, ask yourself this question; did God put persons such as Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussein in positions of authoritarian rule? Not saying Brunson is that extreme, the point being God allows us the supreme gift of choice.

Please do not assume God was the instrument that allowed Brunson to occupy the FBCJ pulpit, regardless the hard work, dedication of the search committee and others. Satan is deceiving, beguiling and ever for cunning.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:51pm,

12:09am here again,

Here are your words so I don't misquote you:

In other words, if they kept doing the exact same things, but did them with transparency and accountability, there would be no reason for this blog.

This doesn't make sense to me. Here's what I'm getting out of that statement. You say that there is nothing wrong with the actions of the pastor BUT you want them to be transparent. My question is now, how do you know what the actions are if they are not transparent? It's not lining up.
So, since you are fine with the actions of our pastor, you are ok with the pastors suite, the $900,000.00 Emergency Building Fund, the Time to Stand with Israel, the Holy Land trips, all of which are issues the Watchdog has problems with. But yet you say, you have no problem with them as long as you know about them.

Well I'm here to tell you, you get budget reports every month, the office is right there in plain sight, the Holy Land Trip is open to anyone, you can even go, The Time To Stand with Israel was planned and announeced to the congregation and you could have even gone to that too. Transparency is not the problem and according to your statement, neither are the actions and decisions.
So what is the problem exactly? You're arguing from a Watchdog standpoint but your arguments sound supportive of the Pastor.
Please explain further.

If transparency is the problem, I would encourage you to join a different church. Either way, the Lord's work will go on whether you approve or disapprove.
And one other thing, God doesn't need our money, neither does Pastor Brunson. What God wants is a unified church to do his work, and that's exactly what he has at FBCJax. And what our pastor wants is to change lives and to reach the lost in our city under the direction of God and that's exactly what is happening at FBCJax.

Anonymous said...

Most people realize that the term "dead weight" used by Rick Warren and even FBCJ describes the exact folks they truly want to leave the churches. These are the long-term, faithful, serving and "older" congregants that have a solid base of the bible, an unequaled belief that pastors are to be gentle and kind, yet firm in biblical convictions and admonish sins against the Holy Spirit.

But more importantly:::: They want these older folks out of the church, because many now are existing on less income than when working, or current economic events have diminished their capacity to give to the church as they once did. These churches now want to appeal to a younger, hipper and less inhibited generation that is quite vulnerable to expositions of anyone who addresses them in their genre. That is what is happening at so many Baptist church, and now most especially FBCJ. Mac, Debbie and Trey Brunson support this egregious attempt to demean the true meaning of a bible based church and leader.

The term so lovingly applied to the south,"Bible Belt" is no longer applicable.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 8:33

Oh contrare....Mac Brunson DOES need our money. He needs it VERY badly. That is why he has a marketing firm from Nashville and a promotions firm in Atlanta. He will be using our money to hire a marketing firm to help convince us to give more of our money to Mac's vision for our church. Mac very badly wants us to give more of our money. And if we don't....he will just put the church further into debt.

Anonymous said...

Why not disengage and de-commission the A-Group and their Atlanta by-product; use their fees to upgrade the facilities and promotional campaigns upcoming.

Why doesn't the staff at FBCJ have the on-site abilities to promote the church themselves. Are they so inadequate or self-absorbed in their pigeon holes of blah, blah, blah leadership?

Once a poster how many pastors are on staff and paid by FBCJ; aren't any qualified to promote the church agenda without outside advertising contracts.

Anonymous said...

6:50: You are correct. Have the trustees discussed these issues you have raised? If not, then there is very little if any thing that can be done to put things right!!!Some people,unfortunately, will never repent as they see repentance as a failure, and would never admit they could be WRONG.

One other thing, when a CEO does not meet plan (revenues greater than expenses) in this case expenses are greater than revenue, they normally are fired. There is still that possibility especially during this economic meltdown. But then Mac has promised or threatened to "borrow" us into debt.

I don't look for the trustees to do anything. They are the most self absorbed, egotistical, group of men in the church. Most of these men have been here for a long time and many of us had their number years ago. What I don't understand is how they have managed to help this preacher "ruin" this church and get away with it. Except that behind our backs they have LET the preacher steal this church. Through bylaw changes no one knows anything about and intimidation. What they can't see is the preacher only lets them stay "in power" as long as they support him. If they don''s off with their head. He doesn't care any more for them than he does any church member. It's just what they can do to help him keep control of this church and the purse strings. So forget the God's man stuff. This is a hostile takeover of a "business". Period, pure and simple.

If I were one of these "enablers", I would be so ashamed to let the Lord down and to let my church down, just to compromise and keep my pitiful position of pseudo importance!!! They are so desparate to be SOMEBODY. Badly done you guys.

Anonymous said...

At the risk of imparting a depressing thought: As the churches goes the nation.

Anonymous said...

8:38 Your are so right. Its like when the old folks are no longer able to help put them in a nursing home. All of their funds go to the nursing homes and the church won't see any of it. How many of our pastors are presently or have ever been interested in nursing homes? Oh, thats right older people don't do much FOR the church. So why would the church do anything for them. Unless you are very rich, and the pastor can put you on a guilt trip to use or leave a ton of money to "the church". We have a neglected ministry in the old folks,. But of course we should give money we don't have to "missions", when we have a mission field , right in front of us. By the way, it looks like if we don't have enough money for repairs to the church maybe, we gave TOO MUCH to missions!, so we could look "mission minded" to the SBC. Money management in the church is a joke. Spend, spend, spend, where did it go. Oh, my , we are broke. How did that happen. How much do we have to borrow and what do we have to put up for collateral.

Anonymous said...

WD: In your 12:35 blog., today you stated that the search committee knew of Vines desire to bring Brunson here to take this church. If Vines was such a good preacher, why would he want Brunson to have this church? He had to know what would happen here. After being one of the preachers here for several years. And another strange thing. Why did Vines come here to his previous church at the pastors conference and say, "You would have to pay me big bucks to be yo preacha". I don't think Lindsay would have let Mac in the front door.

Thy Peace said...

Anon 10:20pm:

Please check these comments, they might answer your question.

How NOT to Preach a Stewardship Sermon: Thy Peace said ...

Please follow the next 3 to 4 comments.

mark pennington said...

Anonymous said...
Mark P.

About men in positions of authority, ask yourself this question; did God put persons such as Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussein in positions of authoritarian rule? Not saying Brunson is that extreme, the point being God allows us the supreme gift of choice.

Ask yourself this question; Were the leaders you mentioned pastors or politicians? What do those tyrants have to do with out topic of church leadership? Of course Dr. Brunson isn't that extreme and to make any comparison is unwarranted,irresponsible and facetious! Don't you think that God would intervene if His will wasn't being done. Remember, He knows more than us and has the kind of power to change things that is beyond our comprehension. Even though you may not see it through your conspiracy tainted vision, God is at work in our church and great things are happening. That wouldn't be the case if our God wasn't the One who chose our leadership.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Great questions. I'll add one:

Why would Vines go preach at Darrell Gilyard's church after he retired, when he KNEW that Gilyard had tried to seduce one of Vines' own young women at FBC Jax, and even when he knew that Gilyard was a sexual predator, preying on women in his previous churches?

Answer: poor judgment, I hope, and not for money. Vines was a great preacher, one of the best in my opinion, but his judgment in preaching at Gilyard's church and his pursuing of Brunson are blights on his legacy. Then when he came here for PC 2007 and spit on anonymous emails and made his "you don't pay me 'nuff to be yo' preachah, brutha" quote...disgraceful. But with his years of faithfulness to feed the sheep and love the church...I hold no grudges and forgive Vines and have fond memories of the years he was my pastor.

The Brunson fiasco and subsequent fleecing of our church are harder to explain. Brunson had quite a few people duped. We had absolutely no clue that he was driven by marketing and promotions and looked to a church marketing firm as he does. We had no idea he would come here and live on Amelia Island for a year, build a million dollar mansion on a piece of property given by a wealthy church member...had no idea that wife and son were given jobs the day he was hired....none of this was known by the congregation when they voted...he was a blank slate and we trusted our previous pastor and search committee that they had done their due diligence, but obviously not. We had no clue he has a love of history that is equal and perhaps exceeds his love of scripture...that he would come here and berate us, and cut us down, and call us legalistic, and complain to other pastors behind our backs. We never saw it coming. Its so bad, that a large chunk of FBC Jax members can't face the reality that we have an abusive pastor. They can't deal with it for to face the reality is to face that our church is in deep decline. We suffer almost from a perverse sense of pride...that we can't face up to the problem we have with Brunson and to rid ourselves of him would mean that others in our city would see us as fallible. So many of our members have either left or they have drunk the Kool Aid.

To Vines' credit, he knew that for a smooth transition it would have been best to work with the new pastor as co-pastor...Vines was humble enough to share the pastorship with Lindsay...but now that we know Brunson's ego is larger than the auditorium and the RLA combined, and that he and honey have a penchant for the luxuries of life and gifts and perks...its clear to see why he didn't come to pastor with Vines when asked. He would have had to take a lower salary, wouldn't have been able to bring Honey and son on staff, certainly would not have been able to bring Maurilio here.

But the blame of where we are at NOW, with no fault of Vines. It lies squarely on Brunson himself, and probably more on the current lay leaders - the trustees and the chairman and vice chairman of the deacons. They have allowed this to happen, they have gone along with Brunson and allowed him to go UNCHECKED.

Likely when Brunson went to FBC Dallas, he didn't have the run of the place...he was a younger NC preacher who was probably in awe of FBC Dallas...he wasn't introduced at that point to the "church marketing" concepts of Maurilio Amorim. He probably wasn't plugged into the power structure of the SBC like he is now...and he didn't know how to play the game of salary negotiations and gifts and perks. Once he got there and saw the money and the power that a pastor could have, he learned the game, found that churches could be run by the same principles of large firms through the power of persuasion, marketing, and promotions. Once he learned the system, he brought the entire game to FBC Jax where he knew the rules of the power game from Day 1 and maximized his opportunities - putting his wife on staff, getting a full time job for his son way above his experience and qualifications...he really took us to the cleaners. And it all happend under the noses of the trustees.

So here we are...that is the FBC world according to Watchdog...

mark pennington said...

The church is not in debt, so this assertion about going further into debt is invalid.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Mark, brother. You are terribly misguided. It is your lack of discernment that gives Christians a bad name. And it is your shallow view that allows much abuse to occur in churches all over this country.

You say:

Don't you think that God would intervene if His will wasn't being done. Remember, He knows more than us and has the kind of power to change things that is beyond our comprehension.

That is dangerous. It is absurd. Why did God not "intervene" when Gray was molesting boys and girls? Where was God's power when Gilyard was texting obscene messages to teenagers, and engaging in sex acts in his office with young women? Why did God not intervene in these affairs? Did God NOT have the power? Did God NOT want to intervene, sir?

Answer? God was waiting for MEN to act. God doesn't walk into the pastor's studies and stop molestation. God doesn't walk on earth and put handcuffs on perverts like Gilyard before he preys on young women. God is expecting Christian men to stand up to abusers. Jesus is not walking on the earth to stop pastors from lying in pulpits and slandering women professors. God isn't sitting on finance committees or personnel comittees or on a trustee boards to object to a pastor selling ads on a pastor conference brochure for $1000 and selling "promotional packages" including stage time for $15,000. God depends on men to stop these things.

God doesn't stop abuse. Men stop abuse. God uses men to do it. So please, stop hiding behind the excuse of "God has the power to change things." Yes he does, but he uses men to recognize when change is needed, and to carry out the change.

Anonymous said...

anon 10:20 Thats the million dollar question that has puzzled many of us. Maybe JV has been blinded by friendship or maybe we really didn't know him like we thought. ( I've sadly come to this conclusion) But I can tell you he is one of the BEST expositional preachers and always came across as humble. However many of us were shocked at his behavior at the Pastor's Conference.

Anonymous said...

On God or man and a pastor in view of a call: over the years, my family and I (as a pastor) have learned that we will know what to do if the congregation knows what to do.

Anonymous said...

Does no one have a copy of the previous bylaws of the church? You know that they continue to stand if they were violated in order to establish the present ones, right? Act on those bylaws to address the matter.

It often seems that church members don't have a copy of their congregations' bylaws--or, if they have them, that they have no clue what the bylaws are or what they say.

Anonymous said...

WD: Excellent answer to Mark. God indeed expects men to "do the right things". Otherwise, we would all be robots. People expect Utopia on earth. We won't have Heaven until we GET TO Heaven! I have said man's free will can be used for good or bad. Unfortunately we are feeling the result of many "bad" decisions today. Man is corrupt and sinful, that is why it took the shed Blood of Jesus to save us.

Your comments re: Dr. Vines decision to "sponsor" Brunson: I am a tad less charitable than you here. Vines is the one that said from the pulpit" you have no idea of the changes coming to this church." I think he knew what we were in for. We now, after the fact, look to the "men" of the church to get us out of this situation.

Anonymous said...

I served with a pastor once who, in his mind, came to be the preacher of the church but not the pastor of the church--as he tried to explain later to our deacons. He held an earned PhD in Old Testament studies, but day to day the degree did the congregation little good; he didn't provide pastoral care or much leadership--and wouldn't go down the street half a block from the parsonage to visit a member dying of congestive heart failure. His sermon illustrations mostly came from viewing TV shows--which seemed to mean that he spent a lot of time in front of the tube. While he was paid a lot better than the other full-time ministry staff members (whose kids all qualified for free/reduced lunches at school--meaning that the state we lived in understood we needed to be ministered to as families!), he expected us to do his pastoral care responsibilities for him. Individually and as a staff, we tried to help him understand how things were and what members of the church were saying to us about him; but he never "joined the team," or admitted any faults/failures--until he was on his way out. The thing came to a head for me when, from vacation, he phoned to ask me to cover a very important base for him that he'd forgotten about--after several reminders not to; I went to the chairman of the congregation's personnel committee to report the matter so that, I told him, when the pastor came to him after returning from vacation to say that he wanted me fired, the chairman would know why I reamed out the pastor (did I mention it was the straw that broke the camel's back, and that God hasn't made a pastor yet that I'm afraid of if he's wrong? respect the office, not necessarily the man in it). The personnel committee chairman understood what was being said, prayed all night about the situation, and took control of the matter on the very next day. When the pastor came to say that he'd be leaving, I told him that I believed he should stay and grow up--just like the rest of us in ministry positions. None of us come to our positions with all the gifts or skills needed for the job (so, for Pete's sake, don't pay any pastor anywhere near $100,000 even if your congregation can afford it unless the cost of living honestly requires it!); we all must mature in our abilities and attitudes--and we have each other to serve with as a team for improving each other, as iron sharpens iron, if we'll humble ourselves enough to do it.

My guess is that most of your church's associate ministers are keeping their heads down waiting for the men of the church--any men in the church--to bring the thing to light and get it resolved. Some of you may be talking to some of those pastors but not mentioning it for fear of getting them in trouble somehow (good idea). Guys in the ministry with lots of years of experience BUT a lower role in the organization can offer really great, sound, biblical advice; lots of times, laymen ignore them or are too afraid to take any action--but the associate staff members start not think much of those laymen! If the associate staff members think badly of the FBCJax laymen posting here, I'd say THAT'S the reason why--not because they consider you renegades; I would, if you didn't do more than blog about it--my family's livelihood and future would depend on your action and I'd be stuck otherwise, which isn't either ethical or fair.

Just sharing some very real thoughts based on some very real experiences (and, yes, the experiences described were in a church smaller than FBCJax--are very many congregations LARGER than FBCJax? In our state, it was a good sized church--so why the church didn't pay better, I never knew, but I'm not there now.)

Thy Peace said...

"God doesn't walk on earth ..."

Teresa of Avila

Christ Has No Body

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

Anonymous said...

ll:50 you don't understand. It doesn't matter whether we have copies of the bylaws now or previous, as some have both. THE TRUSTEES ARE BEHIND MAC NO MATTER WHAT AND THEY RUN THE SHOW. If anyone challenged them it would be "Little Big Horn" all over again. Out you go.

Anonymous said...

These trustee types have been looking down their nose at many of us for years (most of us arn't rich and famous) we don't quite meet the financial and "social" standard THEY do , so we don;t count except what little money we can bring in. So trying to reason with these guys is impossible. The only thing we can do is keep praying or leave as many have. Many of us feel the pain of having lost our previous Godly pastors and now having NO church. We have served the Lord faithfully where we have been ALLOWED to. Many of us are nobody in the eyes of this ADMINISTRATION if anything we are considered dissenters and somebody to "get rid of". But we still have faith in Jesus and we are looking for His return when He will wipe away all tears. Even the ones we have cried over this church. Pray for us that have lost our church because we are "nobody" except to Jesus who is everything to us. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:44:

I'm no dummy, I assure you. What I understand is that what you indicate simply is not possible if the previous bylaws don't say so; the bylaws are the legally-recognized operating documents of the church. They may be changed as their contents state, but not otherwise; all members--rich or poor or in-between--must adhere to them and conform their behavior accordingly. The bylaws should reflect an accurate understanding of the Scriptures. Standing on the previous bylaws may require a outing of folks blogging here, but right's right. How about, at the least, posting excerpts of the previous (still valid?) bylaws which have been violated so that your members reading here--who don't have a copy or can't understand the copy they have--will know the legal leg they stand on for accusations made? Seems like the least that could be done.

"Trustee" is not a biblical position in the life of the NT church anyway (a corporate requirement--of no practical consequence to those elected to fill the slot in almost all churches). Congregational polity may permit it, if it doesn't otherwise violate Scripture; and, congregational polity can take the position away.

Is there an attorney blogging in this thread? He needs to speak up to share a legal viewpoint on this. The church cannot simply be stolen from its contributing members.

it is written said...

For those defenders who think that just because a man is a Pastor that God has called him. Please explain what JESUS meant when He warned of WOLVES in SHEEP clothing in Matt.7:15. Who are the false Christ and false prophets JESUS' mentioned in Matt.24:5,11,24? The Apostle Paul urged the Ephesus Elders night and day for three years about GREVIOUS WOLVES and men teaching PERVERSE(distorted) things infiltrating their Church; Who were these interlopers?[Acts 20:28-31].The Corinthian Christians were alerted to men who were masquerading as MINISTERS of rigtheous when in fact they were proxies of Satan who was himself presenting himself as an ANGEL of LIGHT.Who are they?[2Cor.11:3,13-15].Paul warned the Christians in Galatia of dangerous men who were distorting the Gospel,and condemned those false teachers[Gal 1:7-9].GOD GAVE TRUE PREACHERS to counter the false so that the Ephesus believers would not be "TOSSED TO AND FRO,with every wind of doctrine(Teaching),by the SLEIGHT of men,and cunning craftiness,whereby they lie in wait to DECEIVE"[Eph.4:14]. The Colossians were in danger of being lead away "through philosophy(et.Psychology,history,etc) and vain deceit,after the traditions of MEN,and not after CHRIST[Col.2:8].The Holy Spirit discloses in Scripture of "doctrines(Teachings) of demons" being perpetrated by HYPOCRITICAL LIARS(Preachers)who have NO conscience[1Tim.4:1]. Timothy was charged to preach the Word because a time was coming when people would not LISTEN TO SOUND DOCTRINE,but chose teachers(Preachers) who will tell them what they want to hears versus what they need to hear.[2Tim.4:14]. Titus was informed to deal with "many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers(PREACHERS);who mouths must be stopped,who SUBVERT whole houses,teaching things which they ought not,FOR FILTHY LUCRE'S SAKE[Titus 1:10-11].Peter gets in on the action by warning the early Christians and those today of FALSE TEACHERS INFILTRATING the Church and teaching "FEIGNED"(plastos;plastics;false)words to make merchandise(gain,money) of the people[2Pet.2:1-3].Finally the bond-servant Jude counciled the believers to "earnestly contend(battle) for the faith(truth) which was ONCE delivered to the saints". Why this warning? "For there are certain MEN(false teachers)CREPT IN UNAWARES"[Jude 4]. Lets put to rest this NONSENSE that just because a man is a pastor or preacher that it was God who called him. Many are called by Satan,money,power,prestige,sex or other selfish reasons. This also believe that I have only given you a small sampling of what the Bible warns about deceptive men posing as Prophets,Apostles,Pastors,Teachers,and Evangelist,the Bible is replete with these references.We are commanded to be Berean Christian and "SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES DAILY,whether those things be so".[Acts 17:11].That means that you examine every thing taught and done by me or anyone else by the written Word of God(THE BIBLE).Jesus stated that"you will know them by their fruit".Also the responsibility of a Pastor is to protect,nuture, care for be an example for the people of God over which HE has been made the overseer; To feed the flock of GOD which HE has purchase with HIS ON BLOOD[Acts 20:28].FBC Jax I've said it once and I'll say it again base on what I seen and been personally told by members and Dr.Dogs blog:You guys are in big trouble with Brunson unless he changes!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:09 a.m. - to answer your question...

Those things you listed are wrong in my opinion and are reason enough for me to quietly leave the church. They were done in the open and yes, the church and the city were well aware of them. I would not blog about them, but I would leave since apparently that is what that congregation is now all about. (Not being Jesus to others and ministering to them, but rather building schools and programs and raising funds and expanding the brand, and following celebrities and marketing firms.)

However, when by-laws are changed secretly, and salaries and job descriptions remain secret, and land gifts are accepted upon arrival, and commercials are played during the preaching hour, and anyone asking questions are visited by deacons and anonymous emailers are ignored and spat upon, then, sir, a blog is needed. You got that? If not, then get two weeks. :)

Anonymous said...

The deacons have already been told that debt will be incurred if the giving stays down.
Try to be objective and not so defensive.

Anonymous said...

If giving continues to decline, because of the economy and possibly because people are tired of "bleeding money" for this preacher and his family, maybe before we borrow money, we should "reassess" salaries of the "top jobs". And just how necessary is it we have the A group and the promotional firm in Atlanta. How many "support" systems must one preacher have. The Holy Spirit was in charge before. But now man is in charge and I guess we see where that gets us.