Well, if we're going to ask "What Would Jesus Blog", and if the newspaper is going to give Mac the platform from which to deny that he is earning $300,000 per year - without the reporter demanding proof or requiring a firm number...then let's ask a few "What Would Jesus Do" type questions of our own in the next few articles.
Let's examine Mac's actions in light of what Jesus would do, since Mac says he is our "undershepherd".
First question we'll consider:
What Would Jesus Earn?
Pehaps this would have been a good question for Mac after he said he doesn't make "anywhere near $300,000". If Jesus were our pastor, what would he earn? If Jesus were here on earth, and he were our pastor at First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, would he:
- be earning a salary 10 times the average church member?
- would he be driving a Lexus and Jaguar?
- would he have spent $100,000 of God's people's money to build himself a 3000 square foot office building in a building constructed not for a pastor but for the children of FBC Jacksonville?
- would Jesus use his position as pastor to give jobs and salaries to unqualified family members who didn't go through any legit interview and hiring process?
- would Jesus take a salary of up to $400,000 total compensation? (come on Mac, make a liar out of me and release you and your wife's total compensation number - don't forget to include ALL allowances, and honoraria from your speaking engagements and holy land trips and pastor's conferences)
- would Jesus take a gift of $300,000 from one of the church donors when Jesus knew that his people had already given him a generous salary and benefit package, and knowing he had told other preachers to not do this....or would Jesus perhaps taken the ethical, high road and politely encouraged the man to donate that gift to the Lord's work?
- would Jesus charge $750 to "exhibitors" so they could have a table in our church during the pastor's conference to inform the pastors of their ministry? (what a deal - $750 to use a table at the church - but you do get two awesome badges, use of two luxury folding chairs, and those awesome power strips and a cloth drape! We'll even run the vacuum for you - we might add that we'll give you two parking spaces and free, unlimited drinking fountain water)
Not trying to be overly critical. But if we're going to ask WHAT WOULD JESUS BLOG, then it stands to reason that we should look at the pastor's actions himself and compare them to what Jesus would do.
So come on...WHAT WOULD JESUS BLOG? I don't know if he would blog...but I can tell you what Jesus DID do...he drove the guys from the temple that used the temple to enrich themselves. No blogging, but he drove the money-hungry scoundrels out of the temple. No trespass warnings delivered by his hirelings...no sir...he was a man and faced them himself and drove them out.
Let's face it FBC Jacksonville...we have entered a church age where there is HUGE MONEY TO BE MADE IN THE NAME OF GOD AND "MINISTRY". We've always known that, as we've watched televangelists operate and enrich themselves over the past 20+ years. But wake up FBC Jacksonville...YOU ARE NOW PART OF THE GAME - YOU ARE NOW FUNDING IT! Its not just televangelists, the day of money-making pastors and families is here on our doorstep as evidenced by:
1. Mac and wife are making hundreds of thousands of dollars per year and living lavish life styles....where does the money come from? From the people of God who give their tithes to God.
2. Son is making a salary of around $50,000 (by Mac's own admission) at our church as a man with no seminary training and holds a "Director" position at our church...he would never have been given any ministry responsibility in our church with a 4-year degree from a bible college at the age of 22...except that his last name was "Brunson". Where does the money come from for Trey's salary and bennies? From the people of God who give their tithes to God. If last name is the qualification for employment, then please someone contact Doyle Brunson to hire him as our Director of Texas Hold 'Em.
3. Even the guy who was here in town with the "Soles 4 Souls"....that son patted on the back so hard Sunday morning his fillings nearly came out....wonderful ministry and all of that...but he is pulling a salary of $265,500 (that's pretty close to $300,000) and his COO is pulling $108,000 from his non-profit Christian ministry. I'm not criticizing him for this - perhaps he needs that money and does wonderful things with his high salary. But my point is: where does the money and labor come from that allow him to operate this ministry and earn the hefty salary from his 501(c)3? From companies and God's people donating shoes, money and their time. What a business model - start a 501(c)3 and pay yourself a huge salary as the CEO.
4. Even Maurilio Amorim, our church marketing consultant (who by the way is a consultant for the Soles 4 Souls guy)...has a very successful business where he helps churches apply business marketing principles to help them "brand" their church to appeal to the "target market". Where does the money come from to pay Maurilio for his church marketing? From God's people, of course. At least Maurilio is operating in a competitive market of other firms and he is providing very valuable services in his web design and print media function of his business. Maurilio doesn't demand money from a congregation, and doesn't hold "special offerings" for his pet projects. So I'll be very kind to Maurilio in that regard. But STILL...God's people giving money "to God" have large amounts of money given to Maurilio's firm to "market" and promote their church...there's something not quite right about that.
5. We now are selling advertising space at our Pastor's Conference to increase revenues. Selling advertising. In the church. On the image screens. In the dining room TVs. I know, its hard to believe. I'm sure they would tell us the noble things done with this promotions money; but no matter - the ends don't justify the means. Click here to view the "promotions plan" yourself.
So what WOULD Jesus earn?