"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Friday, December 5, 2008

Church Discipline - FBC Jax Style - Part 1

Since the church business meeting of 11/27/07 over a year ago when the church voted to change its bylaws without any explanation of or discussion of the changes, it was said by some posters that the changes included the addition of a discipline committee, with members appointed by the pastor himself. We now know there is a discipline committee, as was discussed yesterday on this blog a church member and his wife have been issued a tresspass warning by this committee and a letter demanding they appear before the discipline committee as a condition of ever again attending church services or functions. The charges? Creating division in the church through this blog they are accused of owning or controlling.

As I am trying to get the letters provided to me by 11:51 in a postable form that doesn't show all of the names of the parties involved as he has requested, I would like to contrast this hidden, secretive, establishment of a discipline committee at our church, to how Adrian Rogers at Bellevue Baptist Church (BBC) established such a discipline committee in 1997.

If you click here, you can read a motion brought before the church from Adrian Rogers to his congregation dated June 11, 1997 regarding the formation of a discipline committee. While the BBC motion does have some flaws, at least the motion to form the committee was shared with the BBC congregation. You see, Mac doesn't trust his congregation to tell them about his discipline committee. He had to keep it hidden. He was present at the 11/27/07 business meeting, but never rose to explain, prior to the vote, what was being voted on. Members were not given copies of the bylaws prior to the vote. Total, complete silence on the discipline committee. Contast that with the BBC "motion" which was obviously read at a church business meeting, and the congregation approved it.

What does this contrast between FBC Jax and BBC's discipline committe formation and operation tell us? A few things:

1. Adrian Rogers trusted his people. He didn't need to establish the committee in the most secretive manner possible like Mac. He wrote it down in a motion. And brought it before the church for a vote. This shows that Adrian Rogers respected the "congregational rule" of the church. Mac and his trustees involved in the bylaw changes acted very cowardly. If Mac and the trustees trusted God in this matter, they would have explained the committee to the congregation in some form or fashion.

2. The BBC motion explains, although somewhat vaguely, how the committee will operate and what are its duties. We have no clue as to what the FBC Jax committee's duties are at our church, as we don't have copies of the bylaws. The Anon poster yesterday who was issued tresspass warnings by the church until they meet with the committee has ASKED for a copy of the bylaws and he tells me so far they have not provided them or told him that they would provide them. He was sent a letter demanding that he appear alone before a committee of six men who obviously have tremendous power (they have issued trespass warnings for he and his wife!) without even the courtesy of a copy of the bylaws.

3. The BBC motion does explain the committee, in "severe cases" has the right to remove certain members from fellowship. That should have caused some concern by BBC members, as this circumvents the principle of congregational rule, and might also violate church bylaws if the bylaws require members to be voted in and out by the congregation. But again, it was shared with the congregation and they knew what they were voting on. Do the bylaws grant such powers to the FBC Jax discipline committee? Don't know.

4. It doesn't appear that the BBC discipline committee is a "standing" committee as it says its members will be selected "as needed" from the deacons. A sort of "sub committee" if you will of the deacon body. What about our committee? Who appoints them? Are they voted on by the church? Do the deacons vote on the members of the committee? Or is it the pastor's committee and he is free to appoint members? If the BBC committee is formed "as needed", this would mean that the committee members would be selected according to the type of sin and the person or position of the person being accused. And in cases involving charges of a member being "divisive", they can make sure that the members of the committee are as impartial and removed from the conflict as possible.

5. The BBC motion provides for an appeal process. Makes sense, doesn't it? Do the FBC Jax 11/27/07 by law changes spell out an appeal process for members being disciplined? Don't know, haven't read them. And the Anon 11:51 doesn't know either as the church he says has so far refused to give him a copy of the bylaws where such information would be found. He has just been barred from his church until he meets with a committee that he doesn't know how it was formed, what its powers are, or what his appeal rights might or might not be.

Even if he wanted to appeal this process, or complain of his treatment by this committee, who would Anon 11:51 go to? To his loving pastor? He appointed the discipline committee members. To the Chairman of the Deacons? He's the Chairman of the Discipline Committee. To the President of the Trustees? He's on the discipline committee ! OK, try the Vice Chair of the Deacons - darn, he's on the committee as well. THESE GUYS LEAVE NOTHING TO CHANCE! They are running the entire show.

Adrian Rogers' methods versus Mac Brunson's methods. What a contrast. Does it surprise us? Not me. Not one bit. Its a new day, a new breed of pastor. One obsessed with power and control. One who wishes to bully his people and intimidate them. Mac said Wednesday night, and this is a direct quote that I wrote down:

"...the Word of God tells me [he doesn't say what verse] that if an elder like that [a fomer staff member in Dallas] commits sin I am to deal with him harshly in front of the congregation to put the fear of God in YOU."

Based on what I know about the Anon 11:51 situation, our discipline committee is acting more like a gestapo, as someone posted yesterday. A man is accused of being divisive in the church through blogging, so the committee as a first step of "reconciliation and restoration"... writes a letter outlining the sins, attaches a trespass warrant banning the man AND his wife from the property until they meet with the committee. I haven't yet found that part of the church discipline process yet in Matthew 18, but maybe its in the Greek text that only Mac himself understands. The committee then sends two of the most long time tenured staff members to the man's house on Thanksgiving Eve, one of them his former Sunday School teacher he says, to deliver the letter, with no explanation. The man immediately replies (he has given me the copy of his reply letter) he will gladly meet with them if he can get the bylaws in advance to understand his rights and the committee's function, and if he can bring representation. By the way, the man explained in his reply to the committee that they wished to see their daughter sing this past Wednesday night and desired the tresspass warnings to be removed, but the man says the committee refused unless he and his wife FIRST met with the committee without the bylaws being provided, and without any representation, prior to the Wednesday night service. So the man said he and his wife complied with the trespass warnings and did not attend the services with their daughter.

A new day in Southern Baptist life.

Welcome to the Mac Brunson era.

And lastly, may I say this to our friends in the southern part of Duval County:

Be forewarned, those of you down in southern Duval County where the FBC Jax is bringing their "brand" of church in their Southern campus, and those of you in "life link" groups down there. If you join First Baptist Church Jax and attend the Southern campus that opens next spring, you too will be subject to this discipline committee. You will be subjecting yourself to a church that uses these very same tactics. Why not find a church in your area that has a loving pastor not interested in branding himself...not interested in jobs for the family, national TV programs to promote their preaching and their brand....a pastor that won't form a committee without telling you, that is empowered to serve you trespass warnings if they even suspect you are blogging things they don't like.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

WD - Does anyone remember the interview of Mac you linked to where Mac says blogs are just like "a bunch of women sitting around a beauty shop." And remember when Vines ignored and disregarded, and "spit on" anonymous bloggers/letters/emails?

Well, why so much effort to stop the beauty shop chatter, Mac? Why change the by-laws in such a way that technically complied with the requirements to change them, but in reality limited the access to them? Why form a discipline committee and put both the president of the trustees and the chairman of the deacons on that committee? Why use that committee to ban a man and his wife from the church due to chatting in a beauty salon? And why do this NOW when various blogs have been up for two years?

You answer these questions for yourself and you will know a lot more about Mac Brunson and what is really going on at our church.

Thy Peace said...

By the way, the man explained in his reply to the committee that they wished to see their daughter sing this past Wednesday night and desired the tresspass warnings to be removed, but the man says the committee refused unless he and his wife FIRST met with the committee without the bylaws being provided, and without any representation, prior to the Wednesday night service. So the man said he and his wife complied with the trespass warnings and did not attend the services with their daughter.

A very, very sad day for fbcjax. Lindsays: Are you listening and watching what is happening to your beloved church and members? Hope you convey your thoughts to Our Lord Jesus Christ to convict these "bodies of authority" who are self appointed, self congratulated, who hive five each other and who rule by fear, diktat and no legal recourse.

All for leaving comments on a public blog, though questioning fbcjax leadership.

Shame on you leaders. You should ALL dress in sackcloth and repent. Leave you expensive suits, your money, your prestige, your standing in community, your praise of fellow men.

ALL this is filthy rags to Our Lord Jesus Christ.
-----------------------------------
Matthew 26:45-68 (King James Version)
45Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

46Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.

47And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.

48Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.

49And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.

50And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus and took him.

51And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear.

52Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

53Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?

54But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?

55In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.

56But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.

57And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.

58But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.

59Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;

60But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,

61And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.

62And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?

63But Jesus held his peace, And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.

64Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

65Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.

66What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.

67Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,
68Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?

Anonymous said...

Mac was guilty of beauty shop chatter when he and the attorney dished Sherri Klouda. Did the discipline committee address that issue. Don't bother to respond, we know the answer.

Also, Maurilio blogged or twittered about WD, so what's the difference. Oh yeah, it's OK if you are on "the list."

The only list anyone should be interested in is the "roll call" up yonder! What a discipline committee that will be.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the committee violated any laws in the process of discovering Anon. 11:51's identity. Did they engage in any illegal hacking to find out who he was?

Anon. 11:51, what purpose is served by continuing to remain anonymous now that the committee knows who you are? If you reveal yourself, people who support you can rally around you.

Anonymous said...

Banning the man's wife, and not allowing the wife to go watch her daughter sing in the service? For the sin of being the wife of a man accused of blogging? Isn't that just another example of the poor treatment of women by abusive pastors? If a respected man in the church had a wife accused of blogging, would he be issued a trespass warrant by the church? I don't think so.

What did Jerry Vines used to say?

If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy?

That must be ONE unhappy Mama, who was refused entrance to the church to see her daughter sing with the choir. Maybe Deb Brunson will intervene and help this Mama be allowed to accompany her kids to church.

Anonymous said...

Quick comment about media coverage:
While it is true that most media would not be interested in this- It's still worth a try. There has been coverage of stuff like this before, but not here in Jacksonville.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:51 here, I do not want my name to be broadcast. I see some person hid my name in a message that was published on this site I would like that removed, I guess that is someone on the inside of the church trying to scare us or intimate us, but whatever I cannot do anything about that. And I want noone to rally around me at all certainly no one at the FBC. My wife is emotionally crushed at her treatment by these men at the church of keeping her from attending service especially when they knew our daughter was singing a special number that night and my wife wasnt allowed on the church grounds without the threat of arrest. Just the sight of a trespass warning issued by her church leaders with her name, height, weight, race, eye color, hair color was bad enough as though the police were after her or on the lookout for her. My wife has served at that church much more faithfully than I ever did, and has been a loving and caring, serving member and an advocate for everything this church has done the past 20 years, and now this and I suppose we are forbid forever to go to the church since I will not go to a comittee meeting under their terms. So we will move on and worship elsewhere as we wait and see what happens next. As the church leaders spread our name around I guess we are fodder for Mac's sermon examples, I don't want any sympathy from these people or the people at the church.

Anonymous said...

A copy of the amendments to the bylaws is available via the state of Florida website; if you have a copy of the original bylaws, then you probably have a fairly complete copy of the document. Often, a quorum consists of those members present during announced business meetings--so that the congregation doesn't grind to halt with too few attending; the simple majority or super-majority voting for a motion carries the motion. Usually, simple majority votes are needed for bylaw changes--but due notice must be given in advance, and more than one reading may be required; in the case of some churches, a super-majority vote is necessary. The amendment to the FBC-Jacksonville bylaws indicates that the board of trustees serves the congregation and at its pleasure, I believe; otherwise, in the religious non-profit world, what has happened is referred to as a renegade board of directors which has run away with the church--apparently, with the full knowledge and cooperation of the senior pastor (and staff, and deacons, and etc.). If that assessment isn't so, then some elected leader of the congregation with courage should stand up publicly and say so, and explain why.

There are members of the Baptist press, and Christian lawyers, who would follow up with a story such as this and seek full disclosure of events. Contact information for them is available at: www.google.com. Resolution for the whole thing is found at: Matthew 18.

RM said...

If they had told my wife she couldn't come hear our daughter sing my entire family would be out the door forever more--and we would shake the dust from our feet when we left.

These people are absolutely nuts! You should all get away from them, find a new church, and get on with a happy life.

In all my years of being a Southern Baptist (since I born) I have never heard of anything so disgusting. Its so bad that I can't even actually believe that its being done.

Anonymous said...

For those that continue to bring up Matthew 18: apparently it was NOT followed by the church in dealing with this man and his wife. Why should a member follow it if the pastor, staff, deacons and trustees refuse to do so?

Also, I believe Matthew 18 applies to sins among fellow believers and is not a good strategy for a layman versus clergy dispute. There was no such distinction between the clergy and the laity at the time of the writing of Matthew 18. This man made distinction is one of the problems that allows for pastoral abuse. So the Bible does not really contain any guidelines for sheep abused by the pastor and elders. So please quit bringing up Matthew 18 in this context.

Dr. Lindsay and Dr. Vines taught us to always look at the context of verses. You people are taking Matthew 18 out of its context as if that is going to solve anything. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

What if we associate with cult members like Catholics. Will we have trespass orders issued against us? If Catholics are cult members, are they allowed at this church?

RM said...

WD,

Please hurry and post the entire letter that this family received. I think it would really shine a light on exactly what they have done...

Thy Peace said...

Now that we know that fbcjax leadership thinks 11:51 is WD, can we look at this in new light?

Thanks Be Unto Our Pastor

Were these top two men standing behind Mac and congratulating him for his good job in identifying WD?

Or is this a first step to flex the disciplinary committee's claws?

Whatever the reasons, I predict this will boost WD's blog stats. Also more members will get to know Mac's antics. I also predict they will get to see the light.

And you will see Mac get more angry. All his efforts are frustrated. All because he does not wish to see the light.

Also, we have not heard from "It Is Written" in a while. How are you "It Is Written"?

Anonymous said...

I thought this blog was just the WD posting anonymously to himself and that only one or two people even read the blog or blogged here? If so, why would the church even bother with trying to discipline someone for it.

I thought other members have also been approached in the past year or more by lay church leaders about this blog? Will the church be apologizing to those families that they hurt with those accusations now that they "know" anon 11:51 is the WD? Or will they apologize to anon 11:51 too when they realize they have been misled and have jumped to wrong conclusions?

Have you men no conscience? You owe some FORMER members a big apology for your accusations.

These men have NO Christ-like behavior in them. Come on lay leaders, contact those you accused before and apologize to them if you wish to maintain any integrity with them or with your own peers.

Big Tuna said...

Unbelievable. Sounds like something the Klinton/Kommunist/NoObama thought police would try to do. Is this legal? Can they keep a member off property? Where's a good ambulance chaser when you need an opinion.

Glad I escaped the rat hole that FBCJax has become. Free at last, thank God I'm free at last!

I must admit that when I found this place I was skeptical but I have seen the light Dog. If you need another spy, I might even fly in to see old friends and do a little undercover recon. Me and the Judge (Soud) were buds. Can you see me wearing a wire to get the inside scoop from Stimler, Soud et al....

He, he, he...so much fun!

GO GATORS!!!!

Anonymous said...

Lindsays and Vines, and other pastors by the hundreds of thousands, agree: principle behind Matthew 18 applies.

Thy Peace said...

"I thought other members have also been approached in the past year or more by lay church leaders about this blog?"

Is this true? Has this happened before? I have not heard of this before.

Wow! This is amazing!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

If Matthew 18 applies Anon, it certainly isn't being implemented by the church in this matter as far as I can tell. As always, Mac Brunson talks a big game...he's "Mr. Church Discipline in accordance with Mat 18", but in this case I don't see even a remote resemblence of Mat 18 discipline. Step 1: Write Letter Accusing Church Member. Step 2: Send two men to deliver letter w/ no explanation of the sin Step 3: Issue Trespass Warnings for man AND wife. Step 4: Deny access to church functions until meeting with discipline committee takes place Step 5: Deny request of man and wife to watch their girl sing in front of the church. I'm still looking in my bible for that process.

Now, if someone can point out the Mat 18 in those steps, we're all ears. Perhaps Mac can find that in the Greek, or one of his super duper Greek study texts that he likes to tell us about. Maybe a few words in the bible that we can cross out and replace with what they REALLY mean. Maybe one of the greek words for "go to your brother" means "disciplo comitteeo" in Greek. I mean really. Stop with the Mat 18 nonsense.

Thy Peace said...

As per:

Akin's 8 Theological Essentials for the SBC

CAN THEOLOGICALLY DRIVEN PREACHING HELP RESCUE THE SBC?
By: Daniel L. Akin

3) The recovery of the lost jewels of church discipline and genuine disciple-making as essential marks of the Church.
Church discipline is clearly and repeatedly taught in the New Testament, yet most do not preach on it or practice it. Jesus addresses it in Matt. 18:15-20 and Paul does so several times in 1 Cor. 5:1-13; 2 Cor. 2:5-11; Gal. 6:1-2; and Titus 3:9-11.
Theologically it is to disobey the plain teachings of Scripture and ignore the necessity of church discipline in maintaining the purity of the church.
First, we must preach and teach our people what the Bible says about church discipline.
Second, we must begin to implement church discipline lovingly, wisely, gently, carefully and slowly.
Third, we must apply discipline to areas like absentee membership as well as the specific list provided by Paul in 1 Cor. 5.

I am sure this example of TDM will come in handy for the Premium Sessions of Pastors Conference 2009.

Big Tuna said...

Some religious bigots are so good at quoting only the scripture that backs up their arguments and from my experience, bap-tisssts are some of the most arrogant, know-it-alls at this (while they crouch behind their massive gluttonous bellies) Sorry Homer, I know you tried to loose weight.

Get off the Matt 18 crap and get real. Sorry Dog, some of these perps have me torqued up.

Anonymous said...

The rope did not tighten so much when the posts were about Mac and the Brunson team per Se, it has become volatile after the WD called on individual lay leaders by name to step up and be accountable for lack of leadership and spineless efforts to demean the average congregant of FBCJ; they took it personal being named as part of the tearing-down of the legacy of the past. We know the past is the past and will never be as was, but it was proven success. The Brunson team cannot deliver as those in the past so he goes about using and abusing. The trustees, deacons, 210 and others are his map to enjoy his self-appointed, self-ordained, family and marketing driven agendas of taking over and bulldozing those in their way.

The members of the discipline committee who accused the brother as being the WD are part and parcel of this ungodly, now profit for self church. Individuals no longer are important.

Actually, these guys and ladies deserve what they are getting. I just cannot believe they are so very inept in discernment!

Thy Peace said...

The Wall Street Journal: Banned From Church
On a quiet Sunday morning in June, as worshippers settled into the pews at Allen Baptist Church in southwestern Michigan, Pastor Jason Burrick grabbed his cellphone and dialed 911. When a dispatcher answered, the preacher said a former congregant was in the sanctuary. "And we need to, um, have her out A.S.A.P."


Half an hour later, 71-year-old Karolyn Caskey, a church member for nearly 50 years who had taught Sunday school and regularly donated 10% of her pension, was led out by a state trooper and a county sheriff's officer. One held her purse and Bible. The other put her in handcuffs. (Listen to the 911 call)

The charge was trespassing, but Mrs. Caskey's real offense, in her pastor's view, was spiritual. Several months earlier, when she had questioned his authority, he'd charged her with spreading "a spirit of cancer and discord" and expelled her from the congregation. "I've been shunned," she says.

-----------------------------------

Thy Peace said...

FOUNDERS MINISTRIES BLOG: WSJ on church discipline
When a person is removed from the membership of a church in keeping with our Lord's teaching in Matthew 18, he or she is not to be "shunned." Neither should they be forbidden to sit under the public preaching of the gospel. They need the gospel and, while we cannot treat them as members any longer, we should welcome them the same way we would a "Gentile or tax collector" (in other words, an unbeliever). We recently had a member who was excommunicated several years ago show up for a worship service. I was glad he was there and told him so. I prayed for him during the worship, that God would capture his heart with the gospel. This is far from the caricature that is portrayed in the WSJ.

There is a difference in church discipline and "pastor discipline." I have known of a few cases where overly zealous pastors tried to remove problem members in the name of church discipline. But, because their congregations had not been adequately taught and were not fully on board with the process, it really wasn't "church" discipline at all.

One of the first things a faithful pastor must do when he finds that a church has neglected the practice of corrective church discipline is teach. He must carefully explain passages like the one cited above and 1 Corinthians 5. Then he must teach some more. And then some more. He must lead the membership to see and embrace what the Bible says about the integrity of a church's identity and testimony as the body of Christ. Only after a congregatoin has been adequately taught can they be expected to properly carry out the practice of church discipline.

Where this goal is intentionally pursued with patience and love, the practice often can be reinstituted in a healthy, God-honoring way. This is one of the greatest needs in American evangelical churches in our day. While caricatures must be avoided and abusive practices must be rejected, the engagement of loving oversight and accountability breeds vitality and unity in a church.

Kyle B Gulledge said...

Unbelievable!!! I wonder if this disciplinary committee is checking on any members who might be hanging out at bars and getting skunk drunk, or those who are out committing adultery or anything like that. Or are they just bullying those who dare to read or post on this blog? How upside-down.

Anonymous said...

Re Matt 18:15-17.

Please study and give more attention to what Matthew wrote being inspired by the Holy Spirit when practicing church discipline.

"Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican".

1. Observe the person who has been offended goes ALONE to the person who trespassed against him. No one is to accompany that one person since it is no one else's responsibility as they are not involved in the dispute. If the dispute can be remedied by that first meeting no one else will ever know about it. However, if he would not hear, then another meeting is required.

2. Then, take one or two more with YOU (which would make two or three) witnesses, if one took one or he chose two more to go with him. Note let every word be established. Such as: did something get stolen; what was it that was stolen, color of it, etc. Who lied: what exactly was said to whom about you, etc. What sin was committed against you, name it and all facts,etc.
And if the one who made the trespass neglects to hear the two or three what happens next?

3. Tell it to the whole church assembly and if he doesn't hear them then let him be as a heathen man and a publican.

Two things needed for clarification. The book of Matthew is written to the Jews. So be very careful when ascribing some things to the resurrected Christ that pertains to the pre-resurrected Christ. A. There is unconditional forgiveness to any lost person or any Christian who sins against you in a personal matter. It's up to you as a Christian to first go and attempt to reconcile that brother and NO ONE ELSE. If you send someone else first you have disobeyed the Word of God as it is clearly only between two people. This is why the Holy Spirit gives us a perfect manner in which to deal with faults between individuals.

B. Conditional forgiveness is based on the person repenting of his deed and making things right: returning stolen property, telling another third person that they lied about the situation, or make good on whatever transpired and never practice that sin again.

Having said this and I'm trying to make this short and simple, do not forget vs.34-35 "And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespass". This passage would apply to ALL in the church, whether it be pastor, deacon, or general member. Even more so to the one in authority that is able to control all circumstances regarding the church, members and any discipline that is handed down. The burden lies with the pastor first to resolve the problem within the spiritual guidelines of scripture.

I believe we all have been to I John 1:9. And we need to go there regularly especially when things, circumstances, and people act toward one another in these trying days. God help us.

Anonymous said...

I'm an outsider to this whole dispute at your church, but have seen similar behavior elsewhere.

Your pastor seems somewhat frightened at the idea of dissent in the congregation. It may be that he's concerned that a sufficiently high level of dissent may result in his removal.

What is the value of the assets of your church? Is it possible you have a group of insiders who would see a profit potential in driving off most of the congregation and then appropriating the assets of the church for personal benefit?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon re. bylaws:

Go to yahoo.com, get an email address with a nondescript name, and scan the documents and email them to the watchdog if you wish. Email address is in watchdog profile.

Thy Peace said...

WD, in your profile, your email address is not showing.

WD's Email Address

If you wish to get google gmail accounts:

New Google GMail Accounts

-----------------------------------
Wiki: For Want of a Nail (proverb)
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.


For want of answering some anon questions to pastor ...

Big Tuna said...

Dog, just saw in the Times Onion that there is a pience in Sundays paper about folks like you (us). Have you been interviewed? Wonder if your blog will be mentioned by name? What great publicity. Imagine the hits after this story breaks.

Anonymous said...

Big Tuna,

where do you see about the article tomorrow?

Lin said...

"Two things needed for clarification. The book of Matthew is written to the Jews. So be very careful when ascribing some things to the resurrected Christ that pertains to the pre-resurrected Christ. "

Huh? It was also written 'pre'church. The principles still apply. Between brothers and sisters, there is NO clergy-laity in scripture. There are NO offices that elevate one believer over another. There are only functions that gifting from the Holy Spirit. Not titles conferred by men.

The problem is that the one sinned against by a mega church pastor cannot even get near him to discuss it.

That is why it is not a true Body of Christ and cannot operate as a true Body.



"A. There is unconditional forgiveness to any lost person or any Christian who sins against you in a personal matter."

Huh? Forgiveness and reconcilation/fellowship are two different things. A great study on forgiveness (the most misunderstood concept in Christendom and much abused by many self seeking pastors) is Unpacking Forgiveness.

Matthew 18 does NOT work in hierarchical mega churches. I wrote a blog post about what it looks like:

http://coffeetradernews.blogspot.com/2007/09/adventures-of-matthew-18-in-mega.html

oc said...

"There are NO offices that elevate one believer over another. There are only functions that gifting from the Holy Spirit. Not titles conferred by men."

Amen, Lin. Levels and offices are but a construct of men. The Bible knows nothing concerning different levels of status. (Galatians 3:28).
All are one in Christ Jesus.

Anonymous said...

2:11 Anon:
As far as the offices of one believer over another. You are correct, however, in most churches especially Baptist, its the preacher that is No. 1, Trustees are No. 2, Deacons No. 3, and members next, depending on how much money they give. Unfortunately, this is the church age today rather than the Bibilical way. One of the main reasons why churches are failing today.
It will only get worse since man is hungry for power, money, status, influence, position, etc,etc. All worldly aims. I believe we are in the age of the "falling away" of the church spoken of in 2 Thess. Chp. 2 Vs. 3.
The inaccesibility of a pastor is his problem. This is exactly the point. The pastor refuses to conform to his responsibility as laid out in Matt. l8. The Word still stands.
The Body of Believers is, the SAVED body of believers that will be resurrected. There are saved people in every denomination. The Body of Believers is not A church group as there are lost and saved people in every church. As I am sure you will agree the Body of Believers are ALL who trust Jesus Christ and His Shed Blood on the Cross for the forgiveness of their sins. And who look for His return.

"Unpacking forgiveness" (?). I am not clear as to your statement here. But fellowship was not mentioned in my original blog. I was explaining that in this passage to the JEWS (no mention of pre-church in the scripture here). If we apply this to the church today then the responsibility lies with the pastor as the "supposed authority" to reach out with reconciliation, or explaination to resolve a problem IF he perceives one requiring church discipline. He, as the pastor should never take a step toward church discipline, where he sends someone out under his authority to discipline a member, without having first followed the pattern set forth in Matt: l8. The pastor must first obey Matt: l8, before requiring the member to do so. Sending two persons to an unsuspecting church member with a accusation, without having tried himself to correct the problem, is not scriptural. As in this case, it is also unscriptual in requiring a member to meet with 6 other men who have NO PART in the dispute other than being brought into it by the pastor in the form of a "tribunal". The pastor still has not met with the "accused". The accused is being asked to"repent" without meeting his accuser and without an opportunity to correct or explain the position that he is being accused. Also he is being asked to meet this tribunal without anyone else present. This is also unscriptual. This group of 6, have already "decided" that they will represent the pastors position, and it is clear that the "accused" will have no chance to explain anything that he is concerned about. In want of a better term, this would be a "Kangaroo court". And unless you are prepared to be humiliated and "beg for some type of forgivenes,to be forever chastened and watched, it is a done deal. You must usually leave. This meeting is just a formality to "notify you".

As to unconditional forgiveness: The Lord is the only one that can truly "unconditionally forgive". Man in a sinful unregenerated body is not capable of doing this without the work of the Holy Spirit. The problem is always forgetting a wrong. Which stays in the earthly human mind.
Agree that Matt. 18 doesn't work in the church, as I have stated above, and in my original blog. One problem being that pastors and lay persons alike try to apply Matt.18, to others and not to themselves as I have explained. This is the problem, as I see it, currently.
In most of these cases, the pastor, himself, does not obey Matt. 18. As this one has not.

Another unfortunate side effect in this particular is this: The action being taken here will also apply to this mans wife and children, this is not scriptural as the wife and children are deemed guilty by being his family. A note of history: This is not the French Revolution, where entire families were sent to the guillotine!

Anonymous said...

""Unpacking forgiveness" (?). I am not clear as to your statement here. But fellowship was not mentioned in my original blog.'

It is a book that teaches what the bible really teaches about forgiveness that is not taught in most churches today.

"If we apply this to the church today then the responsibility lies with the pastor as the "supposed authority" to reach out with reconciliation, or explaination to resolve a problem IF he perceives one requiring church discipline."

That is a fallacy. The pastor is NOT an authority. We have made it into an office and we cannot see past that. He is SUPPOSED to be a member of the body with a spiritual gift for preaching/teaching. Elders are simply the spiritually mature. Not a title conferred by men. Everyone who is truly saved recognizes the spirutally mature. They oversee...they don't 'lord it over'. Any discipline that must be done is done with tears in thier eyes and a goal of salvation for the true sinner. (see 1 Corin 5). You will see in this passage that Paul is instructing the WHOLE church to deal with this sexually immoral person. Notjust elders. Any discipline in the Body is to include the entire body.

The only authority in the Body is Jesus Christ and the Word. Humans in the Body have no authority over other believers. That is why we are called a Holy Priesthood.

My point in all of this is that this church is not a true body of Christ. And Brunson is a hirling.


" He, as the pastor should never take a step toward church discipline, where he sends someone out under his authority to discipline a member, without having first followed the pattern set forth in Matt: l8. The pastor must first obey Matt: l8, before requiring the member to do so. "

Was Brunson sinned against personally by one of the other members of the Body?

It does not sound like it. Sounds like Brunson and his cronies are the ones sinning against another member.

Why would anyone stay at a place like this? Stupid question considering a whole bunch of people once drank poisoned kool aid because their 'pastor' told them to.


"Sending two persons to an unsuspecting church member with a accusation, without having tried himself to correct the problem, is not scriptural. As in this case, it is also unscriptual in requiring a member to meet with 6 other men who have NO PART in the dispute other than being brought into it by the pastor in the form of a "tribunal". The pastor still has not met with the "accused". The accused is being asked to"repent" without meeting his accuser and without an opportunity to correct or explain the position that he is being accused. Also he is being asked to meet this tribunal without anyone else present. This is also unscriptual."

It is spiritual abuse. It is a star chamber...a kangeroo court that has nothing to do with the Body of Christ.

" As to unconditional forgiveness: The Lord is the only one that can truly "unconditionally forgive". Man in a sinful unregenerated body is not capable of doing this without the work of the Holy Spirit. The problem is always forgetting a wrong. Which stays in the earthly human mind."

Sorry I did not communicate clearly. We can 'forgive' someone who sins against us but if they do not repent and are continually wicked, they are in danger of hell. My point was we can forgive but we cannot fellowship/reconile with those who do evil deeds and call themselves a brother.

The so-called 'brothers' here are doing evil deeds. Worse, they are doing them in the Name of Christ. They should be quaking in thier boots but they are blind.

"Another unfortunate side effect in this particular is this: The action being taken here will also apply to this mans wife and children, this is not scriptural as the wife and children are deemed guilty by being his family. A note of history: This is not the French Revolution, where entire families were sent to the guillotine!"

This man is wise to run away from these hirlings. It is not the Body of Christ.

Lin

Anonymous said...

Lin: We agree on the principles. If you will notice several things stated as "tongue in cheek" so to speak, such as "supposed authority". Jesus is the head of the church, this is my point that man takes the "authority" unto himself even against scripture. We agree that "the church" is not the BODY of Believers that are the True Church. I believe we agree on points we just say the same thing differently. Blessings to you. And above all I wish Jesus Christ to be glorified. I wish to hurt no one with words here, only to bring scripture and reality to the fore.

Christa Brown said...

Different context - I know - but there are basic parallels in the lack of clergy accountability. I've heard countless stories of Baptist clergy sex abuse victims who were hammered over the head with Matthew 18. Then they wound up being retraumatized and even more wounded by the purported "process." Nowadays, whenever I hear about "Matthew 18" being spouted by Southern Baptist pastors, ministers, and deacons, I figure that, in reality, they're using it as nothing more than a code-word for "church intimidation tactics" and "church cover-up."

Anon 11:51 - My sympathies to you and your wife and your family. There is no excuse for the hurt that's been heaped onto you.

Anonymous said...

Krista Brown:

Thank you for your post. Your insight into these hideous situations is valued and appreciated.

Where were the so called "concerned men of God at FBCJ" when Darrell Gilyard was being promoted and part of the inner circle of SBC and FBCJ with his connections to the past pastor?

Please continue with the diligence we so much admire and appreciate in bringing pastor and clergy abuse to the limelight.

Anonymous said...

Forget Matthew 18, the discipline has. They are self-serving, spineless and self-absorbed in sering an ungodly leader.

oc said...

Christa,
Yeah, the perversion goes on.
It's all because we won't come to grips with Galatians 3:28. Until the people of God rise up and realize the concept that a pastor is no more special to the Lord than a mere "pew sitter" is, then the abuse will continue because of the idea of office and station which never had no business in the life of the church, but yet is something sent from Satan.

If our churches were run biblically, then there would be no
tactics, no intimidation, no need for cover up.

Amd no abuse.

Anonymous said...

Christa,

None of us can fully understand the abuse, trials and tribulations you have experienced under the leadership of SBC leadership. We know your years of exposing these evils disguised as God's elite have met with unbelievable opposition and ridicule; but we, as the few in the know, realize and recognize those in power to be the subjects of evil represented by their leader, Satan.

Blessings:

oc said...

I just find this all anti-Christ.
Yeah, I said that.

Why? Because no matter what 11:51 did or did not do, nothing warranted the punishment towards his wife.

Condemn someone because of "association"?

Well then you need to condemn Jesus too. Look who He associated with. Me.

Just sayin'.
oc.

it is written said...

Dr.Dog.......WORSE and WORSE.....Brunson is nothing but a FRAUD acting out what he thinks it means to be a pastor....He lords the position over the Lord's sheep as though they belong to him clearly against the direction of the Scriptures[1Pet.5:1-3]....This guy is not going to change because he believes he is right and everybody else is wrong...Brunson believes that he is being persecuted for serving Christ when in fact he is abusing and fleecing the faithful.....I watched on TV his sermon about Joseph from last week and his feign attempt at being emotionally overcome by the story....RIDICULOUS....This guy is a piece of work....I also read Brumley's story in the paper,an as expected he wouldn't dare tell the truth and the true reason for this blog....Too all you people who believe Brunson and his henchmen can be approached with civility....The proof is in the handling of the falsely accused members wife....I repeat no TRUE MAN of God would rape a Church for multiple hundreds of thousands dollars to preach the glorious Gospel in which supposedly he has been called and compelled to proclaim....BRUNSON IS A HIRELING PLAIN AND SIMPLE...Take away his money and you'll see just how committed to Jesus Christ and the Gospel he really is......WORSE AND WORSE Dr.Dog.... WORSE AND WORSE!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Watchdog is Mac devoid of wisdom? He would not even go to 11:51 and talk things over. What kind of pastor is he? No love, no compassion, no desire to make things right. Just, you are guilty 11:51!

I feel sorry for the poor members at FBC JAX. They know what Mac is and they stay there praying things will improve.

Well have they improved? Are they going to get better? Maybe!

Maybe if Mac gets rid of this PURPOSE DRIVEN GUY MAURILIO and starts running the church himself, maybe. Mac told us in the beginning that there are certain things that he can't do. Rick Warren said the same thing.

Well maybe being a PASTOR is one of the things Mac can't do. We don't know. Maybe all that Mac can do is teach. What we do know is that things are looking pretty bad.

Can Mac Repent? Sure.

Will he?