Update: Readers, please see the comments section and read the excerpt that I have placed there from Dr. Vines commentary on the scripture of Jesus driving the moneychangers from the temple, and the relevance of this scripture to the modern day church. Oh that our staff and lay leaders would call on our pastor to repent.
-----------------When one looks at the fact that our pastor and his son, along with their marketing firm and promotions firm are selling advertising at the Pastor's conference - ads on the Imag, print ads in the brochures, time in the pulpit - TV ads in the dining room - and even charging Christian ministries $750 just to put a table in our buildings during the conference ....we have to ask this question:
Where are the godly leaders in our church who will stand up and say this is wrong - who will drive out the money changers for Jesus?Or are all the men in our church: the deacons, the trustees, the Sunday School directors...are they now "yes men" and afraid to stand up to the pastor and his wife?
OK, maybe the men won't stand up. I do know that our church is FILLED with discerning, godly women. Perhaps it will take women to stand up to Mac and Honey and Trey and the A-Group?
Let's do the roll call:
"OK, those of you men who have served as ministers and lay leaders under Homer Lindsay, Jr. and Jerry Vines...which of you will dare to stand up and tell the pastor you won't stand for our church facilities to be sold for advertising? Which of you will demand that Christian ministries NOT be charged $750 for the privilege of setting a table in our church facilities that were built for the glory of God and the furtherance of the gospel, NOT for money-making conferences? OK, here's the roll call...."
"Rev. John Blount, Jr" - you and your family have a long heritage of service at this church. You know this is wrong. Have you tried to stop it? When you became a "reverend" a few years ago did that mean you now are more loyal to the pastor than to the Lord?
"Rev. Steve Clifton" - come on Steve, put a stop to this. Don't be afraid for your job. Go to the pastor and tell him, and he won't listen, go with another. You have a stellar reputation and will have no problem finding another church if your stand gets you bounced out (I mean if God "calls" you somewhere else). If the pastor doesn't listen, then bring it before the church.
"Rev. Kevin King" - you served under Homer Lindsay in lay leadership, and now are in full time ministry. You KNOW Homer would never stand for our facilities to be sold, for advertisements on the I-mags to be sold, for time on our platform to be sold to advertise products. Make Homer proud and stand against these abuses, sir.
"David Kaye" - you're in a powerful position, sir. You know its wrong to market our facilities, don't you? Even if the money raised is going to offset costs in other areas, is God's plan for us to use facilities built with the money of God's people to now sell access to businesses and ministries? But maybe you won't stand up to Mac because Mac wrote a blurb for your new book just months after he arrived. So perhaps you owe him your loyalty for that and can't say anything. OK, we understand.
"Rev. Jim Smyrl" - you wrote a blog article calling for financial accountability in churches - something tells me that before you came here and subjected yourself to Mac's leadership that you would not have stood for a church to seek out advertisers to put commercials on TVs in our dining room, ads on I-Mags in the main auditorium - and certainly, you who have modeled yourself after Jerry Vines would know that accepting money from advertisers to give a "testimony" on the main platform on church on Sunday is a stench to the Lord's nostrils. Surely you know that this sort of thing drew the ire of our Lord who threw the "money changers" out of the temple. But is your cush job and six-figure salary keeping you from standing up to this?
"Rev. Whitmire" - you are perhaps the most godly man on our staff. We can tell you are a man who walks with Jesus. You knew Homer and Jerry and Adrian. You sat under Adrian Rogers' preaching for years. Never did Adrian Rogers seek to use the facilities built for the worship and glory of God to raise revenues by selling advertising space. Please Jim, be the voice of reason - we need a godly, MATURE man of God to bring reason to this madness. Its "amateur hour" down there at FBC Jax - we're being run by twenty-somethings who don't know any better and by marketing consultants in Nashville. We need you Jim. Perhaps you were brought to us for more than just filling the gap between Rodney and the next guy.
"Miss Nancy and Miss Shelly" - you knew Homer and that this sort of marketing bonanza was never envisioned for our church. You are VERY respected in our church. You can make a difference. Stand up to them. If they fire you, you will be fine.
"Rev. Allen, Jr." - as an executive pastor now, you can make a difference. You grew up at our church and know that saints didn't build the facilities so that we could charge advertising space. You heard Homer preach that some things might not be sin, but they are moving towards sin and should be avoided. You can't argue that selling advertising in our Pastor's Conference isn't leading us in a direction we want to avoid. Speak up, young man. If you get fired, we'll know what for, and the Lord will use you elsewhere. You are a fine young preacher and the Lord will take care of you.
"Dr. George Kemp" - we know you came with Dr. Brunson from Dallas, and won't say anything. We understand. But you're a discerning man, perhaps you can work behind the scenes to tell Mac that this is WRONG.
"Trustees" - we know you were hand-picked by Mac for your position. Many of you are friends with Team Brunson. Some of you have traveled with them and dined with them. But you are not beholden to the Brunsons. Your job as Trustee is to look out for the long term health of our ministry. Surely you men know that this is wrong. Don't rubber stamp it.
"Deacons" - remember, you are to serve the members...you are not agents of the pastor. Your loyalty should be to the Lord and His church, and NOT to the pastor. Surely, there are some of you who find this promotions plan offensive. OK, then speak up. And if you believe there are deacons who are not aware of it, you should let them know.
OK, that's a roll call. Who will it be? Who will step up? Who will be the first? Who loves the Lord more than they love their jobs and financial security and status with the pastor?