"...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 19, 2008

Examples of the Poor Treatment of Women at the Hands of Jacksonville Churches

The recent news story of the public church discipline being carried out by Grace Community Church against one of their female church members is just another example of the poor treatment of women at the hands of Jacksonville's most prominent, fundamental (Baptist) churches. Here is the trend:

- pastors abuse, slander, or denegrate women

- those who seek to reveal the abuse - whether they are the abused or concerned Christians - they are intimidated by church leaders into silence

- the abusers are not held accountable within their own church power structure

- the abusers are not even held accountable by fellow pastors! While local pastors exert church discipline on church members - they do little to nothing to call out and stop the abuse of their fellow pastors

Here are some examples of the poor treatment of women at the hands of conservative, fundamental churches in Jacksonville:


- the church covered up the sexual abuse of their pastor, Bob Gray, for years. This was well documented by TV-12 in Jacksonville through a series of special investigation reports.

- one of the young women who brought the matter of her abuse forward to church leaders in the sat in the congregation as the pastor's sexual abuse was glossed over and mischaracterized as "neither sexual nor immoral", and was then given a standing ovation of support to the disgust of the young woman.

- According to some at the church, their current pastor Tom Messer admitted he knew of Gray's abuse at the time but did nothing to stop it.

- No proper "church discipline" for Bob Gray when accusers came forward - and apparently no church discipline for Tom Messer for not exposing Gray's abuse and recommending Gray for a missionary position knowing Gray was a child molester. Messer still claims there was no cover-up. Was "church discipline" carried out against Tom Messer?


- This church hired Darrel Gilyard in 1993 after he had pastored in Texas and Oklahoma and admitted to have abused his power as pastor in having sexual relations with church members and women coming to him for counseling. Gilyard's abuse was well know to Paige Patterson and Jerry Vines, as they were both Gilyard's biggest supporters and mentors in the 1980s.

- Hiring Gilyard and not warning the church of his past immediately put the women of this church at great risk from a serial sexual abuser. And as anyone could have guessed, Gilyard continued his abuse of women at Shiloh and is awaiting trial for several charges dealing with minors.

- There was one bright spot in that story - a local pastor who knew of Gilyard's past confronted Gilyard back in 1993 when he came to Shiloh, that he was unfit to pastor, and warned several leaders of the church in person and in writing of Gilyard's past. This pastor was "thanked" by having a complaint filed against him by the deacons of the church. If only more pastors were like this pastor - at least as concerned as much about "disciplining" abusing pastors as they are "disciplining" sinners in their churches.


- Dr. Mac Brunson spread a lie about Dr. Sheri Klouda from the pulpit in the summer of 2008, regarding her lawsuit against Paige Patterson and Brunson's alma mater, Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary. This lie was very hurtful to Dr. Klouda particularly considering Brunson was Klouda's pastor in Dallas. To date Brunson has not apologized to his congregation nor Klouda for his hurtful remarks

- The "Discipline Committee" of FBC Jacksonville has issued a Trespass Warning against the wife of a long-time member of the church who the church has accused of creating division in the church through this blog. The woman has served faithfully in the church for many years - and now she is banned from the church property for the sin of "associating" with her husband until she agrees to meet with the church Discipline Committee with her husband. As of this week no one from the church has contacted her, not even the pastor's wife, to discuss the sin of associating with her husband. The church would not even allow her to attend services with her child or to watch her child perform on a Wednesday night unless she agreed to meet with six men of the church.

- In a self-serving move to protect the church from lawsuits that might arise out of misdeeds by the church, FBC Jacksonville trustees have added a provision to their bylaws stating that members waive their rights to file any legal action against the church in a civil court or agency. This was added to the bylaws in 2007 with absolutely no explanation to the church prior to the vote.

- Mac Brunson accused two very famous pastor's wives (wives of Dr. Truett and Dr. Criswell of FBC Dallas) of creating problems in the church by openly opposing pastors. Very unorthodox for a pastor to publicly accuse and denegrate the name of pastor's wives - yet Mac doesn't have any problem doing that.


- now Grace Community comes on the scene as they seek to exert church discipline on a woman at the church who is accused of having an immoral relationship. One can only wonder how they determine which sins are worthy of this action: is it only those accused of sexual sins? What about greed, or gluttony? Those who are drunkards? Any men who have been unethical in their businesses, have they been rung up by the elders of Grace Community and exposed publicly before the church?

- this story has gone national, as it is now picked up by Fox News. Fox has posted a copy of the letter sent to the woman here. One sentence does sound threatening, almost coersion like: "...this third step [of the discipline process] will be carried out publicly on Sunday January 4th, 2008 [sic]. In order to avoid this, you may contact us through the church office, 904-268-8854". So unless she gives in to their demands, they will do something that she would not want them to do, which is make her sin public. Coersion? Sounds like it. I would like the church to produce one such letter with similar intimidating words that has ever been sent to a man in the church.

So that is the trend. When abuse occurs, silence the accusers. Gloss over the accusations. Mischaracterize the abuse and sin of the abusers. Intimidate those who call out the sin. Change the bylaws to take away rights of church members to hold the church civily responsible for their misdeed - but let the church hold members accountable through threatening letters and trespass warnings. Cover for the abusers and slanderers. Don't hold the abusers or the protectors of the abusers accountable. Tell lies about a woman if it helps your buddy at your alma mater. Issue a trespass warning against a woman and keep her from coming to church with her children since her husband is accused of creating division in the church. Send a letter of coercion to a woman that unless she stop her sinful ways the elders will "tell it to the church".

So who is next fundamental church to step up and be a "strong supporter" of the women in Jacksonville?

93 comments:

Anonymous said...

Titus 2:14 "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity; and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works". (KJV).

Peculiar means something other than normal. Normal means following the crowd. God identifies his people as "peculiar". The peculiar people do not follow the crowd since they abide and follow the scriptures. That would be all of the scriptures, not just some of them to have it your way. That's what some of these churches are doing now so they can get rid of some people that they don't like or who live differently than they. It's so nice to be a part of the "in crowd", you know the ones that hold all the marbles. Notice in Titus 2:12 that phrase "we should live soberly". Soberly--thoughtful in character not prejudiced. Another definition would be minding your own business. Not looking for the mote in someone's elses' eye when you have a BEAM in your own eye.

Back to peculiar. In some of the other translated bibles the word peculiar is replaced with "special". Maybe that's where some of these intellectual preachers come down on their members. I think a lot of them ignore Titus 3:2 "For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another". The normal person hates others: examples...actors, politicians, CEO's, preachers who haven't struck it rich yet, beauty queens, football greats, etc,etc. The problem centers around the flesh. Most of these guys whether they are the preacher, trustee, or deacon deals in the flesh.

I would recommend to all in church leadership that they take another look at the book of Titus. I believe the church which is made up of lost and saved sinners should spend more time on mending hearts rather than breaking them. Once you destroy someone spiritually it is almost certainly a fact that they will never darken a church door again. A pastor guilty of destroying the worsip of a member in his care is most certainly guilty of a devlish deed, and most certainly will answer for it. Jude 23 "And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh". Here the saved person is to serve others and be kind and gentle in mediating the love of Jesus Christ to some sinner rather than beating them over the head. The good Samaritan did what? Made sure the person was HEALED!!!!! To publicly crucify or in any way embarass a member, is NOT acceptable, nor indeed is it even Christian behavior. But many preachers, trustees, deacons, and other leadership do it callously every day. When if the light were to shine on them in return, they would hide because of their own guilt and part in destroying another. I might add that destroying one "under cover" so to speak, is just as damning to the party agrieved. His soul is hurt beyond what a pastor can restore. And preachers with God complexes, and ego driven personalities do it EVERYDAY.

Anonymous said...

Jax Watchdog, why do you go to such great lengths to hide you identity? If you truly had a case against the church, as you propose, one would think you would have no problem attaching your name to the "correction" cause. I know who you are, I just figured I would give you the opportunity to reveal yourself before I posted it here, even though you would have to approve it, if I wanted to let you. I know more about this stuff than you ever will, and yes, it is possible.

Thy Peace said...

WD, it's a sad day and age when the Church and the members go after sinners in vengeance for "sins" committed. All the while ignoring the people in power who continually sin and slander good people.

I am honestly at a loss here.

Why would I want to be a Christian in these Churches?

All I sense is they are waging a war on women, using theological basis that man is the head of the family and that woman is to submit to the husband.

The above explain the disciplinary trespass notice issued to the wife of the blogger/commenter.

But who disciplines the discpliners? And who can correct the people in power?

This truly feels like the end times. Wolves are in charge of the sheep. The shepherds have fled and they have deserted the sheep.

Tom Ascol and Danny Aiken have written much about church discipline. But without Love, Mercy, Tenderness and Humility ... what value does discipline have in a church?

Is it to punish the sinner, as they in the World, by sending them to prisons?

Or is it convince them through the love and mercy of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to sin no more?

Will this same church welcome this lady, who is being accused of being in sin, after she gets married and wants (I can not imagine why) to go back to this church?

Is sin a one time act? or acts committed continually? Can people change their hearts? Can Grace be showered on the sinners, by The Holy Spirit?

What about the sin of the leaders? Why does their sin have to be "hidden", till it's exposed on national tv and papers?

The above are the reasons why, ordinary sheep are disillusioned with churches now. This is the reason why the sheep scatter.

I sincerely pray that this lady being outed in Grace Community Church, though she left/resigned from the church, find some peace and love from Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you are comparing statements made by Dr. Brunson with terrible actions made by Gilyard and Gray. Okay, I know you think it is an example of abuse, but what a desperate stretch! Your attempts to bash Dr. Brunson and his good work in as many ways possible is going to ridiculous extremes!

Anonymous said...

December 19, 2008 12:36 PM - again, you miss the whole point of the article. He is not comparing Brunson to these men. He is comparing people like YOU, who defended these men and attacked the accusers instead. YOU are ALLOWING these kinds of leaders to continue. In all those situations, like Mac's, the sheep refuse to demand accountability and transparency of their beloved leader. Yet, they discipline the sheep instead of the leader. So, the congregations of these men are all the same, though the men had different weaknesses. Mac's sins are pride, greed, and bitterness. But I dare say that even if his weaknesses were sexual, the exact same defenses would be raised and the bloggers would still be getting "disciplined" for discussing it. Think about it. Its true.

Anonymous said...

To the anons who keep wanting to know the indentity of the WD. Please explain to me why that would change anything? I still don't see it. If an anon blogger posts about the land gift or the nepotism, what difference will it make to anyone if a person reveals his identity here and then blogs about nepotism and land deals. The issues remain the same. I continue to wonder why this would be an issue. Some person is fed up with this kind of abusive leadership and chooses to blog about it. No one has to read the posts here. Yet, thousands do. Obviously, the people reading and commenting (like yourselves) don't see the WD's identity or lack of it, a concern. They are more interested in what Mac is doing to abuse his position at FBC Jax then they are with the name of the person or people blogging here.

This is what the Discipline Committee fails to understand. Banning one blogger here is not going to stop the rest of us. In fact, they just give us more interesting fodder for the rest of the thousands of readers to consider and comment on.

They have really miscalculated how to deal with this blog from the beginning. Their choices early on were the basis of forming the blog, and their actions and reactions since have made it wildly popular and even more necessary as the weeks go by. Poor judgment, lack of wisdon, and horrible leadership fuel the fire.

But at least they were able to stop one family from attending services with their children. Nice job, boys. Go get em.

Anonymous said...

CHANGE CHANGE CHANGE


CHANGE THE SUBJECT: Change the focus.

We were told repeatedly before Mac came of the tenure of the average pastor at any one church being only 4 to 5 years. Congregations were having trouble with their pastors. Pastors were moving from church to church.

Along comes Rick warren SMALL GROUPS AND THE DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE. This was done to change the focus of the problems in the church, FROM PASTOR TO MEMBERS.

With the problem of changing from a TRADITIONAL CHURCH TO A CONTEMPORARY CHURCH THEY NEEDED TO TAKE THE FOCUS, OF PROBLEMS, OFF OF THE PASTOR.

They would, put the problems on THE BACKS of the DESCENTING CHURCH MEMBERS.

That way you would put the focus of problems away from the pastor and onto the the malcontent members.

With the focus away from the Pastor, he could continue to change the church. THIS IS WHAT HAS BEEN DONE HERE AT FBC JAX.

Now comes the SMALL GROUPS. John Wesley, some say was the father of the small groups. One of the bad things about small groups is CONTROL. If used improperly the leaders in the groups can sway the groups in the direction THE PASTOR WANTS THEM TO GO.

COVENANTS: Wesley, once small groups was installed, started COVENANTS TO DIRECT PEOPLE HOW TO GET CLOSER TO THE LORD. That sounds good, but [MORE CONTROL].

FBC JAX HAS BEEN USING COVENANTS FOR SOME TIME. It was not a big deal at first. Didn't the Deacons have to sign a COVENANT BEFORE THEY COULD BECOME A DEACON AT FBCJAX? The bylaws even has a COVENANT IN MEMBERSHIP. Until this point new members have not had to SIGN A COVENANT.

Watchdog has mentioned that may be coming, and I agree. [more control]
MORE DISCIPLINE!

The women are taking the brunt of the discipline now BUT MEN, BEWARE, YOUR TIME IS COMING.

Anonymous said...

I hate to disappoint you but Mrs. Criswell did exactly what Mac said she did. I am not sure about the other stuff but I know personally about Mrs. Criswell and the things she said and did.

Anonymous said...

I think RM is right. Watchdog was the one served with the trespass papers.

If you remember earlier on in this blog, the Watchdog said he had people giving his threats toward his family and he even had people come over to his house to discourage him from blogging. So there are people at the church who know who the watchdog is. It wouldn't surprise me if he was the one served by the discipline committee.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Disappoint me? I'm not defending Mrs. Criswell. What has happened at FBC Dallas in the past 20 years is matter of public record of which books have been written. My point is not to defend Mrs. Criswell. If Mac's charges be true of Mrs. Criswell or not be true, why does Mac have to live in the past and include that information in his sermons? Does a man of God dredge up the sins of women in the past and gossip about them to students at Criswell and SWBTS?

The context of Mac's statements about Mrs. Criswell and Mrs. Truett - which he made last month at Criswell College at SWBTS chapel services - were to DEFEND HIMSELF and explain how hard mega church pastors like himself have it! Boo, hoo, hoo....poor Mac is living the life of a "martyr" mega church pastor. Imagine that! A pastor who is so insecure, so cold-hearted, that to defend himself, to convince students of just how hard his life is as a mega church pastor - he needs to bring up dirt on two pastors' wives...one of them that again he was the pastor of! He was the pastor of Mrs. Criswell! And he was the pastor of Sheri Klouda. One can only imagine how long it will be before he finds it in his best interests to say negative things about Mrs. Lindsay.

Also, no matter what Mrs. Criswell did or didn't do....would Dr. Criswell or Dr. Pruett appreciate Mac saying what he said about their wives? Would Mac have EVER said those things about their wives while Dr. Truett and Dr. Criswell were alive? Of course not.

And let me remind you: a reliable source has posted on this blog that Mac's statements about Mrs. Truett may not be factual.

Mac likes to behave in church as though he is the perfect gentlemen - helping women up and down the stairs of the pulpit platform....but he figuritively gave a swift kick down the stairs to Mrs. Criswell, Mrs. Truett, Sheri Klouda, and the woman his committee has banned from the church....a gentleman would never, ever use his pulpit and his position and his power to speak ill of a woman - whether the charges be true or not.

Anonymous said...

It certainly would surprise me if WD was the one served!!!

Anonymous said...

I see that Gilyard is due in court again on the 22nd for pre-trial.

Anonymous said...

I believe someone should report to the IMB how Debbie Brunson has based some on the board. This was reported several months ago. I guess she gets a pass though, because she's Mac's "associated with" spouse.

Also, the counselor who took it upon herself to smear the woman at Grace Community was nothing but a garden type gossip, as were and are everyone involved with that situation, including the pastor and leaders of that church. What about the woman that kept a look-out at the accused woman's house; that is stalking in the bare sense, and full-blown gossiping on a larger scale. Self righteous individuals who want to be considered important and "doing God's will" but in reality should be served with discipline papers themselves, including the pastors and leaders. Why not bring some of the men that visit bars and prostitutes up before the committee, you all know some members of that church fall into those categories.

I hope the accused comes to church on Jan 4th with an attorney who will bring charges against these hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:06

What if the WD is exposed and the church expels and/exposes him. It would only serve as a catalyst to further the cause.

Deeper truths probably will be revealed about FBCJ.

Anonymous said...

Readers - I was visited by church leadership and advised to stop blogging. I have stopped except for the occasional comment on this and various other blogs. I am not the WD, nor was I ever served any trespass warnings. Just wanted to clarify that there are many more participants here than the WD and the one family that was banned.

I support a free press, free speech, the right to dissent, the right to bear arms, concealed weapons permits, and blogging. I also support due process and equal protection under the law for ALL Americans. But that's just me. :)

Anonymous said...

Shame on whoever speaks of the dead. It's awfull easy to speak harshly about the dead...since they cannot defend themselves. Why not speak harshly about the living...well they may come back to haunt you...my,my,my.

Anonymous said...

Secret evidence? Illegally obtained evidence? Hearsay? Trespass warnings? Church Discipline? By-laws that are "agreed to by all members" that are not given to the members?

And yet some bloggers call the WD and other anon commenters cowards. All of the discussions here are documented with links to public records or with audio and video clips. Nothing secret about what is being blogged about.

So who are the cowards after all? Read the list above again and you tell me.

Anonymous said...

"I hope the accused comes to church on Jan 4th with an attorney who will bring charges against these hypocrites." - December 19, 2008 3:53 PM

Don't worry. I don't know for sure about the Grace situation, but I do know that lawyers for the church and for the accused members at FBC Jax are standing by, watching this blog and the actions of the discipline committee very closely. Both are most likely waiting for the best time to file their civil complaints and start giving media interviews. The case will be tried in the papers and the discovery will be very interesting. Some lawyers live for this kind of excitement and publicity. The WD will give us all front row seats and help keep the mainstream media accountable. It will be David (accused sheep) versus Goliath (FBC Jacksonville, Inc., Mac Brunson and Trustees) Who won that last David vs Goliath battle anyway?

RM said...

Regardless of what Mrs. Criswell did or didn't do, a man of class never would have said those things. Dr. Criswell was a man above reproach and always a genuine gentleman. Mrs. Criswell just had a bit of trouble letting go of being the pastor's wife and that's understandable.

Anonymous said...

Mrs Criswell taught a MIXED gender SS class of 300 for many many years. SHE TAUGHT MEN WHEN THEY WERE TELLING US HOW SINFUL IT WAS.

Yet it was ok since she said she was under her husband's authority, even though he was not in the room and she was on the radio, too!

You guys don't get it. There are rules and then there are rules. As Orwell said, some animals are more equal than others.

Trust me, Brunson, Patteron or any others would not DARE say a word about Mrs. Criswell if the old man were alive. Cowards.


Maria

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Below is the direct link to the audio of Mac's sermons at Criswell College and SWBTS on 11/5 and 11/6. This provides the context of his remarks on Mrs. Criswell and Mrs. Truett. His sermon to the students was to inform them that no matter how godly they are, they will be attacked at their churches. He then spends a portion of his sermon to try to dispel the "myths" of mega church pastors - that their lives are much harder than anyone knows - and even claims that they do not receive "massive amounts" of money. He then uses Mrs. Criswell and Mrs. Truett as examples of pastors' wives who "turned on" the new pastors - according to Mac Mrs. Truett "turned on" Dr. Criswell when he came to FBC Dallas, and then he makes his snide remark "Isn't it interesting how history repeats itself" referring to how Mrs. Criswell turned on Mac and his predecessors.

Mac even drags Dr. Criswell through the mud by declaring that the most often told story that Criswell told Mac was how Truett's wife turned on him! Wow!!! Does anybody really believe that Criswell was always telling the story of how Truett's wife turned on him? My word, Mac. You are a piece of work.

I am trying to envision Adrian Rogers, or Jerry Vines, or Homer Lindsay ever standing in a pulpit and telling derogatory stories about another man's wife. It really is breath taking. Its almost as breath-taking as watching 'ole Blogo up in Illinois declare his innocence.

Mac said: "...Dr. Truett's wife turned on him - isn't it interesting how history repeats itself - how she turned against him and turned on him and sought EVERY way she could to have him fired. She influenced some of the deacons, drove a wedge between the preacher and some of his deacon body..." What an evil woman Mrs. Truett must have been to have accomplished that much hardship on the new pastor! Did Mrs. Truett really do those things? If so, we'll label Mac's sermon "gossip". If its not true, we'll label it "lying".

Listen to Mac Yourself. Be sure not to be drinking any beverages as you listen, else you might spew it all over your monitor.

RM said...

Maria,

None of these guys would dare say a thing about Mrs. Criswell if MRS. CRISWELL were alive... She could definitely take care of herself.

Besides that, when Mac came to FBC, Dallas, Mrs. Criswell was way too old to be bothered with him.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

RM - what do you know of Mac's charges against Mrs. Truett? Any truth to those? As I recall a seminary professor posted here a month or so ago and said there is credible historical evidence to refute what Mac said.

Thy Peace said...

WD, here is the comment mentioning former SWBTS history professor Dr. Leon McBeth reporting on Mrs. Truett, here

Thy Peace said...

Here is the other side of the story on Grace Community Church practice of Church Discipline.

Pyromaniacs: BREAKING NEWS: church dares to practice NT Christianity!

Anonymous said...

http://www.topix.com/city/jacksonville-fl/2008/12/woman-says-church-threatening-to-make-sins-public
To read what the world thinks about whats happening at Grace Community Church go to this website from here in Jacksonville and read what they are saying. Alot of people blogging about this don't even go to church and something like this gives them even more reason not to want to go to church

Junkster said...

Thanks, Thy Peace, for posting the link to the Pyromaniacs article.

Watchdog,
I think you know from my prior comments that I agree with you about abusive churches and pastors. Like you, I am disturbed and disgusted by the arrogance, greed, power trips, and self-righteousness displayed by too many who are called "leaders" in today's churches. And I am with you on every example you provided of poor treatment of women by churches -- except for this issue of Ms. Hancock and Grace Community Church.

The practice of church discipline when someone is in open and unrepented sin is biblical, historical, appropriate, and even necessary. The tone and content of the the letter from the church to Ms. Hancock indicates a genuine concern for her spiritual well-being, a desire for her restoration, and a commitment on the part of the church leadership to obeying the Lord's will and commands. I think those things are to be commended.

Just as you should not be chastised for pointing out Mac's sins and calling for them to be dealt with, Grace Commnity Church should not be chastised for doing the same with this woman's sins. For all we know, they have done the same with others, both male and female, for all manner of sins. It just isn't fair to assume otherwise.

I do have concerns about how some of the particulars of Ms. Hancock's situation have been handled, specifically: (1) The situation was apparently brought to leaders in the church prematurely (the first person to learn of her sin should have privately encouraged her to repent before discussing the situation with anyone else), (2) church members spied on her whereabouts (they should assume the best about her and not go around digging for dirt), and (3) she is required to meet with the elders to demonstrate repentance (there's nothing about meeting with elders or a committee anywhere in the Matthew 18 passage).

But in spite of those concerns, the church has the right and responsibility to call her out publically before the congregation if she continues to refuse to repent (which is evident by her words and her choice to try to leave the church rather than face the consequences of her actions). It's not easy or pleasant, but it is the right thing for the church to do. Loving someone enough to follow the Lord's commands regarding them is not abuse.

Anonymous said...

Junkster: Appreciate your comments and well taken; however, the person that was a counselor to the accused transgressed in her authority as a counselor, she then GOSSIPED her opinion, rather than directly to the pastor. One of the gossipers actually stalked the accused during the night and reported to the "accountable committee." That in itself is liable.

I want to know who the stalker was and why was she was allowed to participate in a "hangman's court." She and the counselor are both guilty of behavior that should result in censor from everyone!

Anonymous said...

Junkster: How many men have been brought to public rebuke are men? Come on, give us the details so we may make an acceptable comparison.

Anonymous said...

Paige Patterson would surely approve of the actions of Grace Community Church, unless, of course, the results did not interfere with his wife's, Dorothy, demonstration of cooking dinner in the seminary for which she is generaously paid.

RM said...

WD,

I would tend to believe Dr. McBeth's comments about Mrs. Truett. I knew Dr. & Mrs. Criswell personally so I can stand behind what I say in that arena. I also know Joel Gregory and know what he went through when he came to FBC, Dallas. Otis Hawkins had fewer problems but then he was much more of a statesman.

I have yet to figure out how Mac ended up at FBC, Dallas, since he sure didn't fit the mold.

Anonymous said...

I remember Dr. Criswell preaching at FBCJ in the 1950's when Dr. Lindsay Sr. was the pastor in the Hobson Auditorium. Dr. Criswell spoke very highly of Dr. Truett on that occasion. Anyone can claim something that cannot be disputed especially by a deceased person. However, their (the deceases') remarks in their sermons would be evidence that can be supported. I would hope, that if someone has something either positive or negative to place on this blog, that they would give date, time, and place. As for me, I do not believe Dr. Criswell's sermon was even taped, so that cannot at this moment be substantiated. Also, Dr Billy Graham preached here in 1959 in the Hobson and that message was probably never taped, so I cannot give you proof, however I heard both sermons and know that they were given. Anyone else remember?
Additionally, the Bible says we are to think on things that are lovely. This entire tragedy reveals a lack of love. Such a shame.

Anonymous said...

What I do not understand is how some person in this controversy we do not know, can be judged by any of us. That's not our job...it belongs to Christ. We have no idea how long this woman has been a member of the church, what her relationship is with the Lord, how and when did she accept the Lord as savior and many other things. I'm just glad God is the God of the second chance, third, fifty-fourth, nine hundred, and twenty thousand, etc. That's why He gave us and Peter the example of 70 times 7 we are to forgive one another. This old world beats us up enough without our having to be mean spirited against one who may be still on "milk". We are not all at the same level in our Christian walk. Please have some charity for this woman. I recall Jesus asking the woman caught in adultry "woman where are thine accusers" after he wrote something on the ground which made all those men walk away. Note whatever Jesus wrote, those men knew what it meant to them individually. And whatever Jesus wrote down no one to this day has the faintest notion of what those words were...Jesus is not interested in knowing what sins people have...no, He's only interested in forgiveness. One last thing, Jesus said " I have not come to call the righteouss to repentance but the unrighteous". Read Philippians 2 vs 3 "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves". We are to regard others more importantly than ourselves. Who washed whose feet? The Word can always be trusted when dealing with each other in spiritual matters. We sometimes forget the whole counsel of God needs to be applied not just one small section in Matthew. Satan loves to seperate us and make circumstances more important than they seem. God help us!!!

Junkster said...

Ananymous 10:11 PM,
You asked me how many men brought to public rebuke are men. I don't know if any men were brought to public rebuke at that particular church. But if any men were, my guess would be that all of those men were men. I personally don't know any men who are women. Do you?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Valid points, Junkster.

However: I sense in the letter concern for her spiritual welfare, but it goes beyond that. They are telling her that unless she acts in accordance to how THEY want her to act - that is CALL US at this phone number (they don't even say who "us" is in the letter)...unless she behaves exactly as they prescribe, they threaten her that they we will do something they are assuming she will not like, that is "tell it to the church". I sense coersion. And I just wonder if the same tactic would take place from male elders to a male member accused of an offense. Just wondering.

Similar to the letter sent to the accused at FBC Jax - you have been accused, and unless you take the steps we prescribe, which start with a meeting with 6 men of the church, we will, in fact WE HAVE ALREADY banned you from the church. You cannot come back to the church, you and your wife, until you do exactly as we say.

Another problem I suppose however and what concerns me the most is the consistency of these pastors who decided to implement "biblical discipline".

Which sins are they going to exercise church discipline for? Is it just 40-something women who are accused or even admit to having a sexual relationship with their boyfriends? Will they be going after habitial liars? What about people who gossip in the church or spy on people? What about teenagers listening to rock music? Country music? Smokers? People using alcohol on a regular basis? What about pastors who are very greedy and take huge gifts from members of the church instead of handing the gifts over to the church to decide how they should be used? I mean just where do they draw the line as to what "sin" they decide to try to get people to repent of else letters are sent and trespass warnings issued?

Mac has been referring to "biblical church discipline" multiple times in the past year since the revised bylaws were passed - and many times it has been in a threatening or intimidating way.

Their new and improved bylaws have a process in them now (which the members have not had explained to them) by which Mac and the discipline committe will exercise church discipline against members and it is NOT in accordance with Mat 18. The very first step is if a member is accused of an offense possibly requiring church discipline, the discipline committee meets with the pastor to determine if the offense gives rise to scriptural church discipline. So you have six men and the pastor who decide who is, and who is NOT going to have church discipline exercised on them - the bylaws seem to say that disciplinary offenses are those that involve members holding or disseminating unscriptural doctines, or those that are the cause of strife or division in the church - and I suppose any others that the Pastor and the discipline committee deem worthy as disciplinary offenses. So their target now is people accused of causing division by their blogging. And the wives who happen to be associating with men who are accused of blogging.

The next step of the process is for the Deacons to send a written notice detailing the allegations against them and they investigate the matter, if there is substance to the allegations then the accused is offered a meeting. There is no statement in the bylaws that Matt 18 applies to the process. The process does not involve one brother going to the brother, then two. Its the pastor and committee determining its an offense, then sending a letter, and then investigating the matter and inviting them to come to a meeting. And although not mentioned in the bylaws, part of that process must be Trespass Warnings to coerce members to meet with the committee.

So here they are exercising church discipline against a family whose father and husband is accused of creating division in the church through this blog. And they have determined that the accusations are so egregious that they needed to ban the members from the church grounds even before meeting with the accused - in an attempt, presumably, to coerce them to meet or to put fear in them to behave in ways they would like the accused to behave.

These same new bylaws do spell out Mat 18 as a process, but only for member-member disputes, and for grievances of a member against the church, the pastor, and the staff. So while Mat 18 DOES apply to members having a grievance against the pastor and staff, it does NOT apply when the church has a grievance against a church member. The bylaws require the member to seek resolution according to Matt 18 when a member has a grievance against the church, and if none resolution then the CHURCH decides what the next step will be...culminating ultimately in a mediator appointed by the Florida Baptist Convention...and a little clause stating that members have forfeited their rights to seek any civil action against the church for their grievance - maybe we can call that the "Bob Gray" or "Trinity Baptist" clause.

I am absolutely flabbergasted at the extent to which the bylaws have been changed as they relate to church discipline and rights of members AND deacons...power was taken away from members and deacons and concentrated in the lap of the pastor and his trustees....and the men didn't have the guts to explain what they were doing and WHY they did it. They just did it. More to follow.

Anonymous said...

RM It appears to me that these POSITIONS are passed around in a good ole boy club.

THE PROBLEMS ARRISES WITH HOW YOU VOTE FOR THESE GUYS.

When you let the PULPIT COMMITTEE pick the pastor and then they have an UP OR DOWN vote on the man, the congregation just goes along with the recommendation of the pulpit committee.

And don't give me,he is God's man.

No he is the PULPIT COMMITTEES MAN.

Junkster said...

Watchdog,
I agree with your 11:32 PM comments, especially everythng to do with the action of the FBCJax leadership against the accused blogger, and the bylaw changes. Utterly disgraceful.

Anonymous said...

So... you oppose church discipline in the case of the woman put support it in Bob Gray's case. That's so hypocritical especially when the heart of their sin is the same.

Anonymous said...

Anon.5:29 AM: Bob Gray and any other PASTOR, was and are in a position of TRUST, involving innocent children!!!! Hardly the same case of this woman. Not a valid comparison. Gray was asking for public trust, in running a school where parents trusted him with their most precious gift, their children. Plus he stood in the pulpit, another area of public trust. Evidently lying every step of the way, as he was SUPPOSED to preach Gods Word to the masses.

Anonymous said...

The Book of Matthew was written to the Jew not the Gentiles. If you will notice Jesus is answering the questions posed to him by Jews vs 1-2, 21. So do not be so quick to bring forward to the Gentiles what Jesus was teaching the Jews. The Gentiles were not even allowed to enter the sactuary as they were considered unclean. The Gentiles do not get into Christ until after the book of Acts chapter 10 vs 34-48. The Holy Spirit shows up in vs 44.

Thy Peace said...

Pyromanics: Church discipline survey
"Lifting one theme from the previous post that many seem to be missing:
How many of you attend or know of churches whose constitutions/bylaws expressly state that running away does not cancel the discipline process?

NOTE WELL THE RULES:

1. I did not ask how many of you do not attend or know of such churches
2. I did not ask how many of you think it is a bad idea
3. I did not invite people who rebel against the sort of accountability the Bible lays out to vent your spleens

I think the question is pretty clear. Please answer it, or move along."


I do not know how fbcjax members will answer this survey? First you have to know the constitution and bylaws. I guess you have to go the libray, sign your name and then read the bylaws.

Maybe for new members, they explicitly state the bylaws and discipline provisions for fbcjax?

I am curious to know. This aspect is very troubling to me. I will have to admit this is an alien concept to me. But again, I do not have Church experience you all seem to have.

Anonymous said...

I recently joined FBC Jacsonville. I was not given any by-laws and I did not sign anything stating I had read them. I can't imagine I am bound by any provisions I did not read or sign. What if it says I promise to give 20% of my income in those by-laws? Or that I cannot sue for sexual molestation of my children? Are you people serious. Of course those by-laws are not binding.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Don't worry - the bylaws don't say you have to give 20% of your income...the number is only 10%...just kidding. Although Mac did preach about your responsibilities as a member this summer. Might want to listen to this. You are expected to tithe Mac says - and he says in this little clip "if you didn't know it before, YOU KNOW IT NOW" - in the typical arrogant, threatening, non-loving Mac Brunson fashion. And Mac says you are expected to come to every service - and disses the listeners by sarcasticly saying "I'll bet some of you didn't know we had three services"....

The bylaws also say you as a member are to honor, esteem, and love your pastor, and to manifest a tender regard for his reputation. That is a requirement. In the bylaws. That you weren't given a copy of when you joined.

And yes, the bylaws to say that by your joining, you agree to not file any....it says ANY LEGAL ACTION against the church. Was that explained in the counseling room when you shook your counselor's hand and they gave you the "yellow envelope"? Did you get a copy of the bylaws? So yes, if the church through their negligence allows a pedophile to "minister" to your kids and harms your kids, the church says you have waived your right to sue them.

Its in the bylaws.

Wow.

Yep, that's First Baptist - putting women and children first!!

RM said...

WD,

Since you have obviously seen or have a copy of the by-laws why not put them on here for all of us to read for ourselves?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Bylaws? Who in the world has a copy of the bylaws? Only those who visit the church library and sign their name to check them out are allowed to see the bylaws and no copies are ever given to the members. Copy of the bylaws?

:)

RM said...

Well, at least go read them and then come back and tell us first hand about all of the changes and little weird parts. We'd love hearing about it...

Anonymous said...

I have read you blog over the past few days and remained quiet but it is clear you are not familiar with church discipline. First I have been a layperson at several churches that use discipline. I have seen it administered at least four times maybe five in thirty years. Of those times it was a woman, only once. One time I was involved in investigating a brother's PC (it was a church PC) for evidence. When we confronted him he confessed, repented and sought help. He is now a vital member of his church and we are dear friends.

Church discipline works. In addition when you volunteer to join a church, you accept the rules and by-laws. If the church uses discipline and spells it out, you have no choice but to accept it if you agreed to those rules.

Having said all that, I ma not expecting you to be open minded enough to accept that any very but yours it correct.

Anonymous said...

Clearly you only approve posts you argree with, who's the real hypocrite?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Sure, loving church discipline can work, no doubt about it.

Coersion to get people to behave in certain ways that certain leaders in the church deem appropriate, doesn't work well. Writing letters to people and demanding they call or meet people is neither biblical nor loving.

And members can't be expected to agree to documents they have not read, or have had explained to them. So your assertion that members by joining "accept the rules and bylaws" must assume that the "rules and bylaws" have either been presented to them or explained to them. At FBC Jax, members have not been given copies of the bylaws...and in fact when they made significant changes to the bylaws in Dec 2007 that affected significantly the conditions of their membership the pastor didn't bother to show any leadership in at least EXPLAINING the changes.

RM said...

WD,

I can assure you that your Discipline Committee will take steps to remove you from membership. Sounds like that have started it already and its only going to get worse. If you ignore their requests to meet you will never be permitted back on the campus.

You should meet with them and be sure to remember everything so you can blog about it when you get home.

Anonymous said...

RM

There you go again RM. You tell Watchdog that they will never let him back on CAMPUS. Not, they will never him back in CHURCH.

RM you continue to display the effects and WORDS THAT THE PURPOSE DRIVEN CHURCH has left on you.

I feel sorry for you brother. You as a pastor should know enough to search out what is behind this movement.

Your decision making will continually be effected by what you believe Warren to be.

Some have said Rick Warren is a "dangerous man". You like Mac Brunson obviously call Warren a friend.

The problems with FBC JAX is grounded in the TRUST that Mac Brunson has in Warren.

Read the Purpose Driven Church and see how Warren TWIST SCRIPTURE to justify his beliefs.

You have got to be blind not to see the error that is before you.

As for the DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE kicking Watchdog OFF CAMPUS, SO?

WHAT IS LEFT THERE? Friends? YES! SPIRIT LED PASTOR? NO!

The fact is RM, maybe you do not want Watchdog to be right. If he is right then maybe you are wrong.

Anonymous said...

Your blog posts have been very general and you have referred to Grace Community Church (GCC) hand in hand with FBC. So I assume you know FBC to be like GCC. Clearly they are not. GCC makes sure every new member has a handbook with the by-laws and details of the role that members are expected to play. BTW, the expectations are published in a positive manor. Showing how a believer can apply his talents in the church to the glory of God. In addition, the idea of church discipline is discussed. BTW, I have seen it used in the past at another church here in JAX. And of the times I saw it used, it was mostly men, and in fact of the four times I saw it used there, three were men, two were on staff and thus expected to be held to a higher standard. The one woman was a woman who was involved in an adulterous relationship and trying to say it was what God told her to do. The bible gives us the way to deal with discipline for our good. Do people abuse it, I am sure that happens, but for believers to accuse their fellow brothers without knowing the facts is inexcusable. Pastors, elders and deacons are in the positions they hold for the very purpose of protecting the church from falling into depravity due to a lack of integrity. It is never easy to administer discipline. To assume the leaders who do so do it in malice and not trust that they could be godly men is pretty judgmental. I know the people involved in this situation. All of them, Rebbecca and her kids. They are in my small group. I can tell you the people who administered the discipline did so with heavy hearts after much prayer and counseling. They were very concerned for the kids and the message they were getting. BTW the kids are college age and are both very strong but new believers. This attack has been hard on them. The condemnation and ridicule has been very difficult. Their mother even regrets bringing this out.

But then, you knew all that right? You have all the facts and are ready to judge. It seems the same thing you accuse FBC of is what you are doing to GCC.

I remain anonymous because the vicious way the community has treated the Christians acting on their beliefs in accordance with the by-laws we all agreed to.

Anonymous said...

The Bible contains a lot of "woe" to those who practice evil...scribes and Pharisees, those that call evil good, pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture, rich, blind guides, etc. But, there is one verse that stands out and should be well noted: Luke 11:52 "Woe unto you, lawyers for ye have taken away the key of knowledge; ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered".

Notice Jesus did not say this to carpenters, brickmasons, plumbers, shepherds, stonemasons,or any of the other tradesmen....no he said it to LAWYERS.

It appears from the text that Jesus was telling the lawyers that they were the ones who were guilty of keeping some from entering in, so they could not receive the key (a means of gaining or preventing entrance, possession, or control)to knowledge. Could this be a warning to those (lawyers) who think up these trespass ideas and the manner in which discipline is handled? I would be most careful if I were a lawyer, particularly if my task was to "hinder" anyone from seeking the key of knowledge. Not that "knowledge" is in any way evident at FBCJ, presently. Christ is the source for all wisdom and knowledge. This is what got the scribes and Pharisees in trouble with God as they laid one burden after another on the people. Yet these same men never raised a finger to aid the afflicted, the widows or orphans. It was also these same men that were so envious of Jesus that lead them to have him crucified. Didn't they say let his blood be on our hands?

From my study of scriptures no one has "arrived" in their spirituality. We are all commanded to forbear one another, and forgive one another (Colossians 3:13. There is nothing to be exchanged between either the grieved party or the one who did the grieving. Its just to be done. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice. What did he say? Father forgive them for they know not what they do.

God defintely put this passage in His Bible so that the lawyers would have ample warning then as well as today. They will not be held innocent of this mischief if they later claim they never knew this or had a copy or they were just "following" the dictates of the pastor...its there for them to read unlike those unfortunate ones who never get to see the By-Laws or whatever some pastor or small group gets together and dreams up.

I wonder if those that serve trespass warnings or send letters have ever read Colossians 2:17 "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him". Did those that sent out the two trespass servers say "take this out in the name of Jesus? When they handed it to the woman (at Grace) did the two deacons say "take this in the name of Jesus". And then go back and tell whomever "we did this in the name of Jesus". Pitiful isn't it. Shame on any and all that practice such behavior. Whoever you are you have been tricked into believing a lie. Its not of Christ to do this act, and whoever told you to do so is also guilty. To whom much is given, much is required!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Most of these Baptist churces are an elder led church. The members just give money and follow. That is what is expected out of sheep. Just an occasional blaaah which gets the sheep nothing. They have no vote it was already decided long before they knew it came and passed.

Anonymous said...

I can assure you that your Discipline Committee will take steps to remove you from membership.

RM,

You're right - that is IF they ever really find out who the watchdog is. In the meantime, they seem to be targeting various members who, for whatever reasons, they think are associated with this blog. I suppose they believe they'll eventually hit the watchdog.

Are you seriously suggesting the watchdog request a meeting with the discipline committee? Why on earth would he want to do that?

Anonymous said...

If a church has to have by-laws of indoctrination, such as love the pastor, tithe 10% of your gross income, and agree to certain positions that one might not agree initially, then maybe the by-laws need to be altered. Suggestion: pass them out to all the members and have them mark through those portions they dislike. Let 12 members go over the changes and then bring the results to the entire church. This will allow for open dissent which does not occur when trustees or deacon boards are in authority rather than the membership. Then discuss every part agreed to and also not agreed to for four Wednesday nights, and on each section, approve or discard them. A new set can then be posted on the bulletin boards for all to see and take home if they so desire. Everything done openly and fairly. Additionally, any new members should have a copy and given thirty days to make up their mind if they desire to join the church having had opportunity to study and meditate over joining said church. Any future agreements or disagreements can be likewise be discussed and then agreed. This will enable the entire membership to approve what they (all the members) believe to be in the best interest of the group. In a group of 20,000 or more the MEMBERS should be involved not just rubber stamp something they have yet to see!!!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 5:30 - thanks for posting here.

From what I gather about your church it is a "reformed" theology church - your pastor is SBC seminary trained and is likely a Calvinist - can you confirm if that is true? I did read on our church website that you have a process by which people become members, and its not just a "walk the aisle" and you've joined kind of church - I think that is good.

The point I tried to make in my first article on this subject was how your church likely being smaller and newer, probably has been this way from its inception. And contrasted to my church, FBC Jax - that your members ARE told what are in the bylaws, ARE told what the discipline process is and probably DO sign a membership acknowledgement of some sort that they understand the rules of the church...after they have gone through some training classes. Good for your church if that is true.

That is a complete contrast to our church, where members are NOT explained the discipline process - in fact the pastor never even explained the significant bylaw changes passed Dec 2007. A member at our church charged with being divisive and a whole host of other offenses was issued a trespass warning he and his wife - they asked for a copy of the bylaws so that they could understand the discipline process and STILL have not received them from the church and thus don't even understand what process they are being subjected to or what their rights are within the process. So FBC Jax expects members to abide by member covenants contained in the bylaws and won't even provide copies to the members. That is odd to say the least.

My issue with your church is the manner in which you are communicating with this person - a letter telling her that unless she calls the church and meets the demands of the church you will "tell it to the church"...I guess if that is the process she signed up for so be it.

Perhaps you can help the readers here understand another question: how does your board of elders decide what offenses require this process? Is there a list of specific sins for which you initiate the discipline process? Do your bylaws specifically state that a letter of warning shall be sent at some point as this woman received?

Anonymous said...

I think we are creating a serious precedent by discipline committees approaching members of churches to ask them to leave because they are expressing their opinion, make bad decisions, have trouble with immortal actions, or any other sins. I believe Jesus loved everyone, included everyone, nurtured everyone. I don't believe my Bible tells me anywhere that Jesus dismissed anyone, excommunicate anyone, reject anyone. WHY do the churches, including FBCJAX or Grace Community, think they have a right to be GOD.? If we were all judged by our sin, the the churches would be EMPTY. There is NOT one person, including Mac Brunson or Scott Christmas who is without sin. No wonder the world hates our churches, they get more love and acceptance by their peers as oppose to the church!

SHAME on the CHURCH!!!

Anonymous said...

Who is spiritually qualified to discipline another in the church? Who is brazen enough to say his/her hands are clean enough to discipline another? Is this not why it took the sinless Blood of Jesus to save us. Only Jesus can judge sin. The problem at FBCJ is these people (trustees, deacons, discipline committee) are following a man!!! Instead of the Word of God. IF PREACHERS (THE TRULY CALLED ONES) PREACHED THE WORD, THEN PEOPLE WOULD LIKELY BE LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT UNTO REPENTANCE!!!!! MEN ARE NOW TRYING TO TAKE THE PLACE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN CONVICTING OTHERS OF SIN. This is not their place, or their job. The Word convicts. It's sharper than a two edged sword. Preach the Word!!!! Knowing how sinful some of these puffed up, self-righteous zealots are, I am amazed they have the gall to serve trespass papers on anyone. If the preachers of the world just preached the word and left the convicting to God, then things would be in the right order. If a person ASKS for guidance or conuseling, then a preacher is to give it FROM THE WORD, himself. Not involving other sinners in the process. Therefore, making public, a private matter. Who can trust a preacher now in this "tell all" society? These man made judges do not do God a favor, nor are they qualified too. If churches are going to practice writing letters, issuing trespass letters, taking people and their sins before the church, getting it in the newspaper, basically crucifying people publicly, then they need to do it to everyone in the church over ALL of their sins. That really gives them something to do. And who is immune to sin. Once all of the members are admonished then the preacher, and trustees and deacons, and yes, even the discipline committee members can have all of their sins made public and everyone can be found GUILTY. See why JUDGEMENT belongs to the Lord? PREACH THE WORD!!! Let the Holy Spirit convict. If one fails to repent it is between him and God. And God IS capable of dealing with the unrepentant!!!

Anonymous said...

It looks like the church could take a lesson from President Bush as Commander in Chief: "DONT TELL POLICY". NO WONDER PEOPLE ARE LEAVING THE CHURCH.

Anonymous said...

You cannot legislate spirituality. The government tried it with Prohibtion.

Once the church tries to go down that hill it will be a very slippery slope. Hardly anyone can get back up the hill as those in charge of the legislature would never admit they made a MISTAKE. What you need is a clean house and do away with such nonsense. Everyone sins and may I say everyone and daily. That's why we all need I John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins; and to cleanse us from all unrighteouness".

Did anyone see to who we are to confess: Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ only....Confessing your sins to some other sinner is not in my BIBLE. Jesus told us to go into the closet and pray....not to some who think they are holier than thou.

Thy Peace said...

WD and Readers:

Can any one of you please comment on the practices of fbcjax as related to Church Discipline under Lindsay Jr., Lindsay Sr. and Vines?

How was this handled in the past? I am trying get all this in proper perspective and understanding.

Thanks for your help.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:52 I don't know where you live to be posting at 4:52 in the morning brother but I sure like your reasoning.

Dr. Lindsay used to do his counseling from the pulpit. In my 20+ years at FBC JAX, I only remember two cases of discipline. You would think there would be more in a church of 28,000.

No if your church majors on LOVE AND COMPASSION; IN BEING THANKFUL FOR ALL THAT JESUS HAS DONE FOR US, THERE IS LITTLE ROOM FOR DISCIPLINE.

FBC JAX IS PURPOSE DRIVEN AS IS GRACE COMMUNITY CHURCH. It is no wonder that they have gone to disciplining the discenters and just about anyone who will not bow to the preachers.

FIRST, as in First Baptist Jax has become the Legalizers. Next will be the introduction of SIGNED COVENANTS WHICH WILL FURTHER CONTROL THE MEMBERS.

This will bring the church into additional BONDAGE. Mac will continue to disobey God by forcing the members to SIGN VOWES AND OTHES.

LORD SEND US A SPIRIT LED PREACHER!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:26 I've been there somewhat longer. Never saw any discipline under either Lindsay or Vines involving the general membership. They all three (Lindsay Sr., Jr. and Vines) The reason for their dismissal was known through the gossip grapevine, but was NEVER used against them in a public forum, As a matter of fact, the pastors NEVER spoke of it to anyone. They dealt with the person(s) involved and no one else. The most recent incident (not a staff member) just a member, was made public by the person himself and the actions taken by law enforcement. But, even this was handled quietly within the pervue of the pastor. There was no public example made BY THE PASTOR OR THE CHURCH. Most wife beaters, alcoholics, drug addicts were accepted into the fellowship. Sinners saved by Grace, as are we all. Don't get the discipline angle now being used as the only remedy...sounds like they want to get rid of some who won't follow!!

Anonymous said...

Today, our family watched the program for FBC on TV. I was so embarrased to see people in blue jeans with HOLES in them! I had to explain to my grandchildren, really didn't know what to say.

Through the years, the wonderful programs that have been out our Church. The wonderful Chancecl Choir singing. This will not be again.

I thought the program today was in bad taste, and I know the older people in the Church, did not enjoy the MUSIC! It was AWFUL!

I can't BELIEVE this is WHAT our CHURCH has come TOOO!!!

We were all sick, and got sicker, so WE turned the channel. We did not care to watch such singing as this at Christmas. We certainly need to get back to the basics.

Our Church will NEVER be the SAME!
No wonder so many member have left, are going to other church's to hear the gospel and great SINGING for the LORD!

FBC is into this NEW LIFE AGE, and SORRY WE DON'T CARE for this. TAke it back, and give us some good Southern Gospel Music. Lets take a vote and see what the Church has to say. We do have a right, just because Brunson does not care for Southern Gospel, HE doesn't have to MAKE the PEOPLE SUFFER!

Please, tell me where did these people come from and how much did we PAY them? I was so embarrased.

God listen to your children praying, we need to get our Church back!

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:14: AGREE!!!! THE MUSIC WAS INDEED HORRIBLE. MAKES ONE WONDER WHAT STUFF WILL BE TAUGHT AT THE NEW SCHOOL. We don't need the new age, the new theology driven, the new purpose driven, the new "change", the new slant on the old gospel, the new school. We really don't need the new age Bible versions. The new small cell classes. As a matter of fact we don't need this "new" preacher.

Anonymous said...

I am reading a lot about Mrs. Criswell and Mrs. Truett at the old FBCD. While I cannot attest to Mrs. Truett (I'm just not that old) I can tell you that Mrs. Criswell was a battle axe, and I do not shy away from that description.

I have lived in Dallas for years, my best friend spent time on the staff at First Dallas prior to Dr. Brunson's coming there. And Mrs. Criswell was not about saving her husband's legacy, but her own.

Prior to his death, she KICKED Dr. Criswell out of her (their) home. Why did she do that? Because, she didn't want him making a mess of the house, she didn't want nurses and later hospice workers coming in to her home (they might steal something)where they had an antique collection worth over $3million according to the Dallas Morning News.

So Dr. Criswell lived his last days in the home of a godly, caring and loving layman Mr. Jack Pogue who waited and served and treated Dr. Criswell like a father. A true demonstration of Christian character and love, lacking from his own wife.

And if you are wondering well that poor old woman was too old to be taking care of him by herself. The Criswell's for years didn't do anything by themselves. They had security at the home and staff members and affluent church members would check on them and spend the day at the home tending to any and all needs, even doing their grocery shopping.

Now I am not here to defend Dr. Brunson, I see too much on this blog to do that, but I will stand by the truth. And I know that time and time again he did face off with "Mrs. C" face to face and with her emissaries that she had dispatched from her kingdom (Sunday School Class).

Thank God that you at FBCJAX did not have that problem with Mrs. Lindsay.

God bless Dr. Criswell.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Battle axe or not....a preacher will class, a Godly preacher, would never stand in a pulpit and speak ill of a preacher's wife.

And Mac didn't say "isn't it interesting how history repeats itself" about Criswell's wife to say she was a battle axe, but to say that she opposed him just like Truett's wife opposed Criswell.

Mac - first class all the way!

Anonymous said...

It would be better for a church to close its doors rather than rejoice in this so called discipline. I believe it does a lot more harm than good. It reminds me of countries without freedom. Where family members turn in their own relatives, in order to get approval, or in some cases rewards. We hopefully , have not reached the point in this country, where we lose our right to go about our own business. Whether we agree with someone elses life style or not, it is still THEIR life!!!!! They must answer for THEIR actions. How many of us could stand close scrunity of our lives? And, would we want our personal business out in the open for others to judge? I think not!!! So much for spying on your neighbor or classmates in Sunday School. Do they even teach in public school anymore the saying "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" or is this forbidden because of political correctness??? This political correctnes has carried over to the church. The church has it's own political environment, as many can testify to. It does not belong in the church. We must remember that Jesus is the head of the church, not pastors, trustee, deacons, sunday school workers, and above all NOT THE DISCIPLINE COMM. So before you judge another, remember it is Jesus who will judge you. Right pastors????

Anonymous said...

Watchdog: One must first, HAVE class, to SHOW class!!

RM said...

Well, I have to admit that this is the first time in my life and ministry that I have been accused of being a purpose driven pastor--and also that I count Rick Warren as a friend. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I didn't know Homer Lindsey but I would imagine that our views of theology and the pastorate were nearly identical. I consider among my heroes Dr. Charles Stanley, Dr. Adrian Rogers, and Dr. W.A. Criswell--and I know/knew all of them personally so I can attest to their character.

I think the purpose driven church movement is creating problems in a lot of churches. I wouldn't consider Mac a PD preacher--I would consider him deluded and probably an ego maniac if what I am reading is true. I do however think there a lot of good new ideas out there and not all change is sinful or wrong. Remember: THE METHODS MAY CHANGE BUT THE MESSAGE REMAINS THE SAME.

Call me lots of things but please don't call me a Purpose Driven pastor... You don't know my heart, mind, or ministry.

Anonymous said...

What did Mrs Criswell oppose Mac on? Was it the $55 Million program. If not, what was it, as you got my curiousity up. Her opposition may proove very interesting. Thanks.

Junkster said...

As I understand him, Watchdog isn't saying that all church discipline is wrong, only that some churches go about it the wrong way, and that it can be used by people with power to surpress those without power. But, people, church discipline itself is biblical. It is right. It needs to be done a lot more than it is. It isn't some new fangled idea thought up by the PD crowd. It was commanded by both Jesus and Paul.

There are right ways to do church discipline and wrong ways, and right motives and wrong ones. But let's not throw out the baby with the baptistry water. Let's do the right thing in the right ways. Let's be true to all of God's Word, including the difficult things, not just the warm fuzzy parts we like.

Perhaps those who are commenting here as if all church dicipline is bad have not read some of the relevant Bible passages, such as:

1 Corinthians 5
1It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father's wife. 2And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? 3Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. 4When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.
6Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? 7Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.
9I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you."


Matthew 18:15-17
15"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other

(I threw that last one in for the anonymous poster who said the Bible doesn't tell us to confess our sins to other sinners. It most certainly does.)

Thy Peace said...

"treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector."

Junkster, can you elaborate on this passage. I am curious about how you would treat someone, if they were once brothers or sisters in Christ, but are found to be sinning, and now they are like pagans.

How would your behavior towards these persons be?

Thy Peace said...

"But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. "

This reasoning was used by one of the IMB leaders, to shun Pastor Wade, by refusing to eat with him.

Junkster said...

Thy Peace,
I personally think that treating someone as a "tax-collector or pagan" means relating to them as an unbeliever rather than as a believer. That is, to lovingly share the truth with them about their need to submit to and follow Christ. And to withhold from the them priviledges of church membership, including the fellowship of communion around the Lord's table.

The treatment Wade received by others on the IMB board was totally uncalled for. Just an example of people abusing the scriptire to try to justify unjustifiable behavior.

Anonymous said...

Junkster 8:47: My BIBLE KJV READS "FAULT" NOT SINS. Therein lies the problem. It's perfectly alright to confess a "fault" such as driving on the wrong side of the road, throwing cigaretts out the window, bumping into someone, and a thousand other such errors. You know, when you tell someone thats my fault and beg their pardon for the error. Hardly the same as a SIN. Did you not read you are to confess your sins to GOD and Him alone rather than a man. Any you pastors want to chirp in here? I know that Catholics confess their sins to a man (priest), but even here God tells us to call no man father but the Father which is in heaven. So this act would be against scripture. First, I find fault with your suggestion of anyone confessing their sins to anyone other than God Almighty. Secondly, no human being is able to forgive you of a sin so why tell them. They have enough problems with their own sins which neither you or anyone else needs to hear nor can they cover them...it takes the BLOOD.

Thy Peace said...

Biblos: James 5:16

James 5:16

CONFESS YOUR SINS TO ONE ANOTHER James 5:16

Anonymous said...

Junkster I Cor 5:11...Be careful in choosing whom not to eat with...it could be your real brother, or another family member, or business associate. The text has to do with maintaining a close association. Quite naturally a Christian would and should witness to this person whether he/she was related in order to assist in guiding them to the truth if given the opportunity. Certainly not to condemn them. Even Jesus said He did not come to condemn us, so why should we be any different. I think mingling with he/she might not be the best thing to do if one were a weak Christian, however, you know Jesus even ate with the Publicans and sinners. A lot of those got saved. But, Jesus was perfect and regardless who he approached or came into contact he never sinned. I think it fair to say we might not be able to do the same in our mingling with that person on a consistent basis. However, it might just be at one of these encounters your relative, friend, or business associate might reach out to God for forgiveness just from observing and talking to you. You might be the only one who could reach he/she, and if you refuse you could lose he/she not only for that meeting but forever. Lastly, Jesus said " A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another" John 13:34...that would be anyone not just a select group...Like the Bible states, he that winnith souls is wise.

oc said...

Junkster said:

"Thy Peace,
I personally think that treating someone as a "tax-collector or pagan" means relating to them as an unbeliever rather than as a believer. That is, to lovingly share the truth with them about their need to submit to and follow Christ. And to withhold from the them priviledges of church membership, including the fellowship of communion around the Lord's table."

While at the same time remembering that we don't deserve any of His grace either. Church membership, Lord's supper, or anything else included.

Just sayin'.
oc.

Anonymous said...

Junkster and others - save the quoting of scripture out of context. The ONLY authority these bullies on the discipline committee have to act against a person was given to them by the by-laws. Unfortunately, those by-laws must be agreed to by the membership who have a knowing vote on them, and this was not done. But even having said that, if the person decides to no longer abide by any such by-laws, they can simply withdraw their membership. The church can say to us "you agreed to these by-laws (and agreed to tithe) when you joined this church." This is a LIE. I agreed to neither when I joined. I agreed that I was a lost sinner and I needed and wanted Christ as Savior and Lord. But still, even if I DID agree to them when I joined, I changed my mind, refuse to abide by them, and therefore, withdraw my membership or am removed from the membership by a committee. That is fine. But trying to enforce the by-laws AFTER I am no longer a member... Get real. That is ONLY to intimidate and "put the fear of God into" the remaining sheep who will be scared, are defenseless, and have no shepherd to defend them. Grace Church and Mac Brunson and both Discipline Committees are bullies against defenseless sheep who need shepherds. Who will stand up to these bullies who are using their positions to intimidate and hurt harmless, defenseless sheep?

Anonymous said...

Let me say that confessing your sins to anyone other than to God is sinful. How many people have you told your sins to and how many people have told you of their sins?
Faults yes, sins no. Its none of your business nor is it any of theirs. This is just plain stupidity.Why would anyone think one sinner can judge, admonish or FORGIVE a sin of another. How does one think a person can forgive the sins of another, when they, the listener can't forgive his own sins. Otherwise, we would constantly be calling each other with sin after sin to be forgiven. I personally don't want to hear garbage from others. I have enough of my own to bring before the Lord. The eternal forgiveness MUST come from Jesus alone as HE is the only one qualified to do so.

I found that the more people know about a person the more they use it against you. It's human nature. If someone tells another something negative about themselves, the tendency is for the hearer to recoil against what they are being told and then to develop a critical nature and spread the sin incident to others who also judge the offender. Why does this happen? BECAUSE WE ARE ALL SINNERS AND ARE IN SINFUL EARTHLY BODIES. WE ARE NOT JESUS, AND WE ARE NOT SINLESS AND ABLE TO JUDGE AS HE IS!!!!!! The simple and saving truth is Jesus is the perfect sacrifice that died on the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins. It was He alone, that has provided Salvation for man.

If someone should find a Christian that they trust to seek advice from, if there is a question or decision to be made, then one can seek out advice or counsel from that Christian. But confessing sin to anyone other than God through the shed Blood of Jesus is incorrect.

OT... Isaiah 64:6: "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away". This is Old Testament, before the Cross, but it is true. Now we have Jesus.

Anonymous said...

It has occured to me, as we have evidenced, one might not want to "tell" a fault or sin to the pastor as he is quick to repeat it from the pulpit to all present and listening. Once speaking a confidence to ones pastor was guaranteed (even by law), to be kept confidential. But as we have seen a FBCJ, this is no longer the case. A pastor, priest, doctors etc. cannot be forced in a court of law to reveal a confidence told him.

I have observed how telling ones sin, faults, confidences within the church, sunday school, etc., has led to extreme suffering, and mental anguish. Sometimes it is masqueraded as "counseling", or "spiritual advice", the latest word tag is "mentoring". This stuff is being sold to new Christian, and is sometimes used as a form of control, as in cults. This is baloney. Sometimes (not all) if one person gets a tidbit of gossip about another, it is disguised as "concern" for the poor sinful one. And suddenly it's all over the church. And everyone knows the unfortunate sinners business, and of course, they say "lets just pray for so and so", that makes it alright to tell the world, someone elses faults. And of course, many have all the answers for the unfortunate one, adding to the confusion. And sure enough the preacher gets hold of it and here it comes from the pulpit. How glorious!!!

As a matter of fact, I have observed through many years, how the failure of pastors, trustees, deacons, and even others in "leadership", FAIL to admit ANY sin or FAULT of their own. They are too smart for that. How would they keep their exalted positions? One must never see fault in anyone who professes perfection, or who is supposed to be qualified to judge and lead you. Feet of clay, gentlemen, feet of clay. Now is it understood that NO ONE but JESUS can forgive sins!!!!!! As the old hymn goes. "Take It To The Lord In Prayer". But then we don't sing these hymns anymore.

Anonymous said...

This is why I don't like organized religion. I love Jesus, but I don't love the way the Catholic Church, or the SBC, think because I want to associate with other belivers that I have to adhere to all of their rules and hierachies and committees and structured bull_ _ _ _!

Anyone remember how Jesus treated the women caught in adultery? What about the woman at the well? You staff and committee members should be ashamed of yourself. And yet you profit financially greatly from the "business of religion." Marketing the Truth for a luxurious lifestyle. Charlatans, all of you.

Anonymous said...

Secret evidence. Illegally obtained evidence. Hearsay. Come on "Discipline committee", us bloggers want to know how you are going to conduct business against the families who join FBC Jacksonville and the current members.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

10:54 You are so right. That's why that verse "come out from among them" applies to you and thousands of others who have left the church. Don't worry about leaving as they could care less about whether you, are anyone else leaves...its all about money...the love of money is the root of all evil...they know it but will not give it up. And believe me, they check to see how much you are giving before they mistreat you. Depending on WHO you are or HOW MUCH you are giving to support THEM, determines your standing in the so called church!!!!! The rest are all sitting on the fence waiting to see who else will jump off. The church is dead spiritually. Jesus Christ can't even get in, since in this Laodicean (Rev.) age, He's knocking on the outside of the door. It can and will only get WORSE!!!! But, all you Kool Aid drinkers keep lying to yourself, and giving wads of money, to support this counterfeit "church". Others "wised up" long ago.

Anonymous said...

to those knocking Junkster and the "faults" / "Sins" comparison. Most translations choose the word "sin" in 1611 it was probably understood this referred to sins. To those who don't want to do this based on "experience" since when does experience trump the scripture. I would say we need to be careful to realize this does not specify doing it to a pastor or church body. But I can tell you nothing is more life changing then a group of men / women you can share openly and honestly with and pray for one another. If you share without prayer you are leaving out the last line of this verse... and yes my pastor is in the group I am a part of and is as sinful and repentant as the rest of us. Those churches are out there. Find one and you can quick complaining about organized religion and your church and experience the body of Christ the way he has instructed us to.

Anonymous said...

I recently joined FBC Jacsonville. I was not given any by-laws and I did not sign anything stating I had read them. I can't imagine I am bound by any provisions I did not read or sign. What if it says I promise to give 20% of my income in those by-laws? Or that I cannot sue for sexual molestation of my children? Are you people serious. Of course those by-laws are not binding.

December 20, 2008 11:05 AM

You guys are not considering the legal aspects of the bylaws of religious 501c3.

The bylaws are most certainly binding. Ignorance of the law is never an excuse. Can you imagine ignorance of the law used as a defense? I can hear the court now...you mean you joined this church and never asked to read the bylaws? YOu mean you never went to read them at the Library and signed your name?

As a matter of fact, there is little precedence for suing a church and winning in such cases. Churches are exempt from most laws because of their legal status in teh US. (You can sue an individual IN the church. Or you can accuse an individual in the church for crimes such as sexual molestation)

But sue a church? Good luck. Trust me, pastors and elders are quite familiar with the laws protecting churches. And if they are sued individually, they circles the wagons because it was a 'group' decision (as in elders, etc). The whole set up is great for those who love to have power, control and lord it over others. They are protected by law.

Sam

Anonymous said...

Members of FBC Jax - think about it, your property values are online, and you know the leadership looks at those to see what kind of money you have. And if you work for the city, your salary is online via the jackonsville.com web site databank link. So they know where you live and how much you make. And they should be disciplining those of you who when you joined, became obligated to tithe and are not doing so.

First they came for the bloggers and I did nothing...then they came for ME!

Anonymous said...

Sam - by-laws and statutes do NOT stop third parties from suing churches for negligence, criminal activities or other such matters. I agree there are some Constitutional hurdles that protect churches in some areas. (The Sheri Klouda decision spelled some of those out like hiring practices, discrimination, ministerial decisions, etc.) However, other wrongs can be sought. Some of which Sheri Klouda's were barred only due to statute of limitations having expired.

Let me be clear: Church members do NOT waive their Constitutional rights at the door, no matter what releases they sign, or by-laws that are in effect. Even the Catholic church was held liable for billions in damages as a result of their sexual molestation by priests. Large confidential settlements are usually part of the payments, so you don't hear about these types of cases.

Why do you think the church conducts background checks on children's workers and other employees and demands that liability waivers be signed by anyone going on a church sponsored trip? They know they can and will be sued otherwise. There are even a few larger attorney firms that do nothing but defend churches and pastors being sued.

Google David Gibbs and the Christian Law Association if you have any doubt about churches being subject to a lawsuit. Mr. Gibbs' organization provides advice on how to avoid exposure such suits and defends churches from suits. They don't win them all, I can assure you.

And ask Trinity Baptist and their lawyers about whether their by-laws prevented any civil suit against them.

I can't believe you would believe what you wrote; or you know it is not true but you wanted to mislead others?

Are you on staff at a church?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:37. Your statement that faults meant sins in the year 1611. Observe the authors of the 1611 Bible used the word faults four (4) times while they used sin hundreds of times. Those bible scholars knew the difference. They were exposed to the texts and spent several years producing that book. Have no doubt about their knowing the difference between a fault and a sin as there surely is one and they knew when to use the proper word.

Junkster said...

To the Anonymous who was so critical of my comments:

I don't think you are open to dialog or instruction so I am not going to discuss the matter further with you at this time.

Junkster said...

OC,
Agreed, of course.