"...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

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What Would Jesus CHARGE?

When I read in the FBC Jax Pastor's Conference "promotions brochure" that a company/ministry can purchase a "Platinum Promotions" Package that includes various advertising perks, video displays in the church and dining room, print display ads, banners around the church, perhaps the two perks that gall me the most is this:

"Emcee recognition and thank you from the stage"

and

"1 Premium Booth Location"

So part of the $12,500 "Platinum Package" promotions includes getting the "emcee" (I didn't know we had an "emcee" - master of ceremonies I assume - at a pastor's conference. I thought we had a pastor, a music minister, etc.) to say a few words from the "stage" (I didn't know we had a "stage" - I thought it was a pulpit on a platform).

And if you have $12,500 we'll give you a "premium booth location"...that idiot, that plebe that only has $750, we'll stick him by door number 6 on the east end of the RLA. But you, the guy with the deep pockets - we'll put you right outside the doors of the main sanctuary. Wow.

So in this 2nd installment of "What Would Jesus _______", we'll ask the question: What Would Jesus CHARGE? That is, if Jesus were the Senior Pastor of FBC Jacksonville, what would he charge ministries, if anything, to come into our church to have access to the people of our church and our visiting pastors?

Remember the context: the Times Union posed the question "What Would Jesus Blog?" implying that if Jesus were here today he most certainly would NOT be blogging anonymously, and he wouldn't dare to hold the mighty mega pastors accountable. How DARE Jesus say ANYTHING calling into question the integrity of Mac Brunson! So Mac and the Times Union ask "What Would Jesus Blog", so we shall use the same measuring stick against Mac and his ministries, to see how they measure up to the standards of Jesus.

When I see that we are marketing and selling "emcee recognition and thank you from the stage" that tells me we are at FBC Jacksonville willing to sell the very words uttered in the sanctuary. That scares me.

Were Jesus' words for sale? Could kudos from Jesus be bought for a price? Would he put ads in the middle of his sermons and his illustrations? In short: WHAT WOULD JESUS CHARGE?

Imagine Jesus saying any of the following:

"Hey Peter - if you donate 5000 shekels to my ministry, I will in turn give you a PREMIUM spot at the Last Supper...and me, the EMCEE of the supper, I'll even say a few words of what a great guy you are!"

"Hey Andrew - which package would you like? For 10 pieces of silver I'll walk on the water for you, and for an extra 5 pieces you can 'upgrade' to my 'premium package' and watch me moonwalk on the water. "

"You moneychangers in the temple...which of you purchased the Platinum and Silver packages? You plebe that bought the Bronze packages, how dare you set up shop in the 'premim' locations of my Father's House reserved for the Platinum and Silver moneychangers. Only those who paid the $12,500 are allowed THIS close to the temple!"

"Hey Lazarus, no problem recognizing you and calling your name and raising you from the dead. It was the LEAST I could do since you gave me that sweet land deal in Galillee."

"Suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light up a lamp manufactured by Smitty's Gospel Lighting and Fixtures, sweep the house and search until she finds it?"

Just a hunch, but I don't think Jesus would have said those things.

Jesus wouldn't blog? OK. But would Jesus use his resources to hire a marketing firm in Nashville and would he use his resources to hire a promotions firm in Atlanta to develop a promotions plan to charge ministries for having advertising access to his followers? If not, why is Mac, "God's man", doing these things?

Doesn't it all just stink? That our church is engaged in this sort of "marketing bonanza"? Doesn't it make you uncomfortable? Shouldn't perhaps the church stay away from this kind of activity? If we're hosting an event IN OUR CHURCH....how can we justify charging huge sums of money for advertising space? It does not cost us anywhere near $750 to allow a ministry to put a table up in our foyer area to showcase their ministry, nor does it cost $12,500 to provide the services listed above - even if we think those are things we should do. "Pay for Play", as they say.

Does this not concern anyone? Is this not just a dangerous line to cross? You give me a certain sum of money, and I'll say certain words from the platform that you will like and will benefit you. Show us the money, and you tell us what to say on the platform. Is that what our church is about now? Are we that BRAZEN that we will do this and openly sell it? We promote certain ministries based on their ability to pay for it? We're auctioning words and kudos to the highest bidder? Who has $12,500? Well if you fork it over we'll promote your product or ministry out the wazoo for you...we'll treat our members and our pastor guests as though they are a "target market" to be advertised to. Want to sell your "Bible on CD" series? Pay us and Jim Caviezel can come here and promote it and our sheep will think its a "testimony" and not a "commercial". Ouch. I feel duped. I thought it was a testimony. It was a commercial.

Come on people. Were you a bit alarmed at how Trey patted the Soles 4 Souls guy so hard on the back this Sunday that his fillings nearly came out? And did that ministry pay for that recongition given by Trey from the platform? I wonder: did THAT ministry pay us for putting a ":60 video promotion from the stage?" Why not? If we're charging ministries for promotion time at the PC, why not charge this ministry? Or do we only charge certain ministries for the privilege of promoting themselves? If that is so, what is the criteria? Who decides who pays and who doesn't pay for promotion time? Does Mac and Trey decide which ministries have to pay to be promoted, and which ones get the promotions for free?

This is what our church was always accused of doing in decades past. Don't you remember rumors in Jacksonville that the more money you give the closer you can sit to the front and other phony charges having to do with money and privilege in the church? We have become what we were falsely accused of in the past! Now apparently if we give enough money to the church we get our business or ministry recognized, you can purchase words of promotion, and you can even purchase "premium booth space". If we give enough money or land to the pastor, he'll promote our relatives' business during one of his sermons.

I warned FBC Jax last year that hosting a non-evangelistic fund raiser for Jewish hospital at our church because certain deacons wanted it, no matter how noble the cause may or may not be...was just not a line we should cross and it opens us up to all sorts of shenanigans.

We are now seeing those in our face - selling marketing and promotions in our own sanctuary.

And no one seems to care.

It must be of God, if "God's man" is behind it, right?

While I am sickened to watch this governor in Illinois be exposed for his "pay to play" schemes, I can't help but be reminded of our own "pay to play" scheme - if you want recognition at our church for your ministry, you're gonna have to pay to play, baby. What is so odd about this governor is not just his schemes, but the BRAZENESS of him willing to do it and talk about it. We are no less brazen when we develop promotions plan to "sell" to ministries the privilege of having marketing and advertising access to the people of FBC Jax and our visiting pastors.

Let it be said:

THE EYES AND EARS OF THE GOOD PEOPLE OF FBC JAX AND OUR VISITORS ARE NOT A COMMIDITY TO BE SOLD TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER BY MAC AND TREY.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

Team Brunson - the real money for you all is to publish the New Mac Brunson Version (NMBV) of the Bible and you can sell promos within the context of each verse. Imagine how lucrative: For example

Jesus said "Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like COLLINS BUILDERS building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. (Premium Placement of capital letters for $307,000 land gift to pastor and his wife.)

Versus:

"But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house WITH SOME OTHER JACKSONVILLE BUILDER on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great."
(Dr. Brunson recommends Collins Builders. They are not open Sundays.)

Anonymous said...

If I paid those funds to be promoted and marketed, I would be very, very critical if the "emcee" gives any kudos to Junior Hill Ministries, or Jerry Vines ministries, or Love Worth Finding ministries because I am guessing those folks won't have to pay a cent to be here. Can you imagine any of the above paying Trey or Mac $12,500 of their contributions so they can have a booth in the Main auditorium, or so they can have Mac or Trey (emcee) say some nice words about their ministries?

How unfair would it seem to those that paid big bucks if they knew, or even suspected, friends of Mac did not have to pay a dime.

Junior Hill has a great ministry and I sure hope and pray we are not trying to gouge his contributors by demanding they give FBC Jax $12,500 for us to show love and support for his ministry.

Hey Mac - you were GIVEN a $307K piece of land for LOVE AND AFFECTION. Shouldn't you also give other ministries booths and kudos from the stage for love and affection too?

Sounds like the prostitution of FBC Jax is out in the open now. No more need to blame it on the bloggers.

Anonymous said...

anon 4:36 - now you have me really worried. I give money to both Jerry Vines ministries and Junior Hill ministries because I love both of those men and want to encourage them and help them get their sermons out to as many people as possible. My concern is that some of my donations will actually be getting funneled right back to FBC Jacksonville, where I stopped giving because of a lack of transparency from the new pastor. So, if I see that these ministries have paid for promotion at the PC, I will be led to stop giving to those ministries as well. How sad.

Anonymous said...

WD - is what you are saying is that the next time we hear Mac talk about how much he loves Junior Hill; or how great a man Jerry Vines is; or all the good things Paige Patterson is doing at SWBTS...those men PAID to be promoted "by the emcee from the stage?" Or worse yet, are you saying that from now on, NOTHING that Mac says or does in our church can be trusted since he MIGHT be getting paid to say or do it? I cannot believe this is happening. Where will it all end, charging members for "season tickets" like sporting events?

Why not? Let Dave Bristowe buy his seats so he can set up front. No more saving seats in the auditorium will be needed. And why not build some luxury suites for the big donors? This is awesome. Why hadn't someone thought of this sooner?

And then we could begin selling indulgences! Oh wait, the Catholic church already did that. (see Martin Luther's chief gripe.)

Way to go Mac. Maximize that revenue on the backs of God's people.

Anonymous said...

FBC Jax members - now we know why Donald Brunson, Jr. is nicknamed "Mac." It is short for "Maximize" as in how to maximize revenue from gullible tithers.

MACsimize Brunson. Everytime he opens his mouth I will see Dr. MAX, not good ole boy Mac.

Anonymous said...

Dog- why don't you grow a pair of balls and expose who you are. It is very easy to standback and type away - why not have a town forum meeting and discuss your concerns. Candidly, you are a coward. You rip apart people anonymously - big man. Grow a pair you dog!

Anonymous said...

Interesting, look what Gina has on her blog.

http://www.fbcjaxblog.com/ginaford/

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5:22...Obviously, you are not a member of FBC. Members at FBC do not talk this way. You are crass and crude. You need to go wash your mouth out with soap.

Thy Peace said...

This from Smyrl's blog:

Technical Difficulties
We’re sorry, but due to some technical difficulties, this blog will be down for a few days.

Anonymous said...

Now I have heard it all. The pulpit area is now a "stage". Well, if that's true then all that stand on it are performers. How sad.

Anonymous said...

What would Jesus Charge: answer....

He did not own a silver box,
Or paper green and red,
God gave to me his precious gift
Laid within a manger bed,
There was no evergreen to which his gift was tied,
Upon a bare tree on a hill, his gift was hung and died.

Anonymous said...

What would Jesus Charge: answer....

He did not own a silver box,
Or paper green and red,
God gave to me his precious gift
Laid within a manger bed,
There was no evergreen to which his gift was tied,
Upon a bare tree on a hill, his gift was hung and died.

Anonymous said...

Heard a really great sermon this afternoon from Dr Lindsay. It was taped back in 1984. He preached on Jesus. He said the fellowship was not perfect, our families were not perfect, etc., talking about the fraility of man. He knew that we all were different and not robots. Sorry that the church leaders just want robots...good luck...ain't going to happen. We are different and I kinda like it that way. Can you imagine 30,000 Jones, Clintons, or Obamas. God made us all different, its a real shame some would like us to all be the same. Wishfull thinking. II Tim chapter 3 vs 7 "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth". If those "ever learning" would just concentrate on the Bible they would come to the truth. Thats the only book that contains truth 100% every time. Throw the philosophy, socological, and scientific books out if you expect to locate truth. Paul, said science falsely called.That would be evolution and what man thinks compared to what God did in 6 days and wrote in His Bible. Enjoy while you still have the ability to read the Bible. One day they will take it away from you and burn it up.Of course you may be on the way up.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:22 you said: "Dog- why don't you grow a pair of balls and expose who you are. It is very easy to standback and type away - why not have a town forum meeting and discuss your concerns. Candidly, you are a coward. You rip apart people anonymously - big man. Grow a pair you dog"!

You sir are no less a coward. You talk a big game, but cannot deliver the touchdown. Nice try.

Get some yourself!

Anonymous said...

WD,I'm still laughing that your identity has been unmasked and you were trespassed from the church. So how are you going to get all your "insider info" now???

Anonymous said...

anon 7:25 p.m. - the WD was there last Sunday just as he has been every Sunday. Get used to it.

Anonymous said...

What would Jesus charge: Depart from me you workers of iniquity I never knew you. Note these workers of iniquity claim to be doing the work of the Lord...but only as a show of religion all the while, using their platform for money, position, and prestige. Man looks on the outside, but God looks on the inside. There are going to be a lot of surprises for those who are sitting in the CHIEF SEATS, that pray outwardly to a crowd, hobnob with the rich and famous and appear pious and spiritual. The little old widow, who threw in her two mites, will be sitting at the table of the Lord, while the evil ones will be cast into outer darkness. She and unnamed thousands, who served the lord in anonimity, will be first at that banquet table. In heaven trustee deacon, and senior pastor will not be recognized. The only person recognized there will be faithful and good servant. Note the word SERVANT.....

Anonymous said...

Jesus would charge -0-. He did not come to save the righteous, but rather the lost children of Israel. Thank God, us gentiles were grafted in. Jesus ate with the publicans and the down and outers, not the up and comers. No trustees or deacons here. It's really funny how these mega church preachers pretend to know so much about the bible (they get it out of the Greek)(which text?) that they ignore every truth that would hold THEM accountable to the least discerning Christian. It's also funny that THEY make excuses for everything WORLDLY that goes on within the church. THEY are supposed to be teaching Bible truths,and lifestyle Christian ethics to their members. Most members are so Bible ignorant that they just nod and dose off to sleep having paid their "dues", when the offering plate was passed. Then they wonder how their churches get in such bad shape. That's what a lot of these mega preachers count on. However, God is watching, and I for one, would not want to be in their shoes on JUDGEMENT DAY.

Anonymous said...

Just a little off point: Did you watch the interview between Cynthia McFadden and George Bush on Nightline. She asked the President, "Do you believe the Bible is literally true". His answer: "Probably not. No, I'm not a literalist." He also said he didn't believe the New Testament was true. How sad. Who does he pray to?

Where did he learn that? But, know what? Every week ministers hold up the Bible and say to their congregations, "they believe the bible to be inerrant", when they themselves don't really believe it, nor do they live by it. How do I know they don't believe it? Because they change Gods word to fit the circumstance they want to portray, whether it's accurate or not. Oh yes, they believe in the Greek or Hebrew text but not the English. The only place we go now, as the church, is DOWN. We have arrived at the place where MAN knows more than God, (they think). God help us. The creation will never know more than the CREATOR.

Anonymous said...

This is off-topic, but interesting.

Pages 78-79 of Mac's book "The New Guidebook for Pastors" include these guidelines:

"We Lead Most Effectively When We Lead from Humility"

"We Lead Most Effectively When We Lead from Gentleness"

"We Lead Best When We Lead without Partiality".

Anonymous said...

New Guide Book for Pastors.... Humility, gentleness, without partiality... seems to clash with serving NO TRESPASS PAPERS on members.

Anonymous said...

WD, you are on target! Too many ministries are "selling" their recommendations and their endorsements. What a shame!

But (and since you have mentioned him in the past because Mac spoke for him at his meeting in Pigeon Forge) I thought you would be interested to know that the Phil Waldrep is taking a strong stand against this type of money raising.

At his large women's retreat in Branson and Gatlinburg this year Phil Waldrep explained from the stage why there are no ads or "sponsors" at his confereces. Waldrep said: "We do not have financial sponsors with advertising during our conferences, although they are often offered. We do not believe worship is for sale. If you hear a kind word or endorsement of another organization you can be assured we believe in it and have not, directly or indirectly, received any compensation, financial or otherwise, for our words."


When I heard it, I tested the waters. I contacted his office and offered to "buy" a booth and an endorsement for a "large donation." I was told "thanks, but no thanks. It is against our ministry's policies."

Maybe Mac needs to talk with his buddy Phil Waldrep about his convictions!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Now that is interesting.

Kudos to Phil Waldrep.

Allow me to use a Mac'ism...one of his most abusive comments ever against us, where he asked us to pray about being his prayer partners, then a few weeks later when Mac didn't like the results of our praying because he didn't get the number of men he wanted (Doesn't a man of God trust God that when he asks people to pray that the results are up to the Lord?) he lashed out angrily at the men invoking the name of Homer...let's take that little Mac temper tantrum earlier this year (click here to listen to it) and modify it slightly and put it back on Mac:

"7 years after Homer Lindsay died, in a church where he rose up men to serve Christ, and we can't find 50 men who will stand up against a pastor who is using our sanctuary to advertise and sell marketing messages..[crickets chirping]...Did the Watchdog just say that?......YOU BETTER BELIEVE HE DID. AND IF HOMER WERE ALIVE TODAY, HE'D WANT TO KNOW WHERE THE MEN ARE TOO."

Where are the men of God in our church who will put a stop to the marketing and prostituting of our pulpit and church? There are none left apparently. The men of the church in charge are more interested in finding out who some blogger is, issuing trespass warnings delivered by staff members of the church, threatening a man and his wife if they ever step foot again in the church...than they are in stopping a pastor from using our church to sell advertising and promotions.

Now sad.

Would Homer Lindsay, Jr. in a million years ever have allowed advertising space, and "emcee recognitions" and "premium booth locations" to be sold for thousands of dollars? Would Homer put an ad in the middle of his sermon for a construction company right after he talked about Jesus in the garden?

Not a chance.

The men in our church who are idly standing by while this is going on, especially those in lay leadership positions who DID serve under Homer Lindsay, Jr....they are accountable for disgracing our church.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog,

I am in agreement with you in getting something 'done' about Mac's abusive behavior.

In your post this evening you write:

"The men in our church who are idly standing by while this is going on, especially those in lay leadership positions who DID serve under Homer Lindsay, Jr....they are accountable for disgracing our church."

Well, what can 'lay' folks do? The power structure at the church is tough to break.

Would you consider putting a link under Mac's abuses that says something like, "Mac's Yes-Men...the Chosen Trustees" and list each trustee's name and publically available contact information?

I think that over time visitors to this site will contact these men and put pressure on them to do something.

Also, having their names associated with the clear abuses of Mac would embarrass some of them into action when they became aware that their 'good' names were out in the open.

I don't think folks really know who these 'lay' trustees really are...I am for doing something so please give this idea some thought.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

This issue is directly tied to the nepotism issue.

You see, we can assume that son Trey is the driving force behind the promotions. And since Maurilio is the trusted "church marketing consultant" and close friend of Trey and the Brunsons, he likely is involved in pushing this scheme as well.

Mac publicly praised his son for "raising $100,000" for the 2008 Pastor's Conference - which presumably is the amount of money raised with the "Promotions Plan" for last year that is almost identical for the one now used to raise funds for the 2009 firm. This plan is developed by a promotions firm in Atlanta under the direction of Trey according to Trey's own bio on the Internet. Furthermore, Mac said in his interview with SBC Today in March 2008 that the entire conference success was due to Trey, that the whole conference "was on his shoulders".

So this is PRECISELY one of the many dangers that nepotism presents to an organization. Nepotism is not just the danger that an unqualified family member will be hired and money squandered, although that is a concern. Sometimes the more insideous consequences of nepotism is that decisions will be made within the organziation by a close family member and NOT be subjected to the same scrutiny and evaluation and clear, level-headed analysis as when it is a regular employee or minister. Terrible decisions that would be immediately identified by the leader of the organization, or that would be identified by others in the organization and spoken against - are suddenly implemented. The leader is biased in favoring plans of his relative, and others in the organization may feel intimidated and fear for their jobs if they were to raise objections. Very dangerous. In the most severe and worst-case scenario, in cases of abuse allegations against a family member there is cover up and denial instead of investigations and justice.

So just about any idea that Trey comes up with may be hailed as "brilliant" by mom and dad in the Pastor's suite. Isn't Trey AWESOME? Aren't his ideas for raising money BRILLIANT? And who under Mac's employ as a minister is going to march in and tell him the promotions are a bad idea? Tell Dad or Mom that Jr's ideas for promotions are not good? Not good for one's job security.

Which leads us back to the lay leaders, our new "elders"...the "TRUSTEES"...they are the ones who should step in and squelch this nonsense. But they are not impartial either as they are appointed by the pastor and hobnob with him. One of them traveled to Europe on a vacation. One of the prominent lay leaders had Mac endorse his book just months after Mac arrived in town.

About Maurilio: Those who know the Brunsons and who were at the 2006 wedding know that Maurilio is like a family member, like a 3rd son of the Brunsons. When the church is hiring a company to do our website design, and also do be involved in "church marketing", is it wise that we sole source this to a guy who is like a son to the pastor?

If the promotions concept is the idea of Maurilio and Trey, then this shows the ineptness of Brunson's leadership, and it indicts the lay leaders who are allowing this to transpire on their watch.

Mac should know that selling promotions at our church was a bad idea whether it comes from son, Maurilio, or whoever. He is to have discernment. The lay leaders are charged to not follow the pastor blindly, but to watch what is best for the church. They should not have even allowed a situation where the pastor's 22 year old son could have such influence in our church, and should have used their business smarts and discernment to see that such problems could arise.

Anonymous said...

I think that Phil knows what money changers are all about. It's regrettable that some here in Jax buy into this racket. It lessens the church, not only in the eyes of real believers, but outsiders as well. How pitiful.

Anonymous said...

Which leads us back to the lay leaders, our new "elders"...the "TRUSTEES"...they are the ones who should step in and squelch this nonsense.

aka "The Elders We Didn't Know We Had"

Anonymous said...

Mac should borrow an idea from the sports stadiums and sell the naming rights to the church. How much money does the church get from calling itself "First Baptist Church"? Zero. But if the name were changed to "Bank of America Church of Jacksonville," now that could bring in millions.

Anonymous said...

What "Elders".? Another change instituted (Elders?, we haven't been told about "Elders". I guess we are an Elder led church now. No, It's a pastor led church. No it's a trustee led church. No it's a deacon led church. Make that an ELPATRDE, led church.
Who's on first, what's on second, and I don't know's on third!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Not sure what happened to Jim Smyrl's blog. I went there today for my daily devotion to study about the Catholic Cult, and his blog site at the FBC Jax website says "technical difficulties".

Not sure how one has "technical difficulties" with a blog site. Especially when the other two blogs at the site are still up.

But if you visit his 501(c)3 site you'll see he is ramping that up. He has a nice tie-less picture, and has resources there for pastors, and he finally can put the PhD after his name since his degree was FINALLY conferred on him by Southeastern Seminary last week.

So maybe the church has wised up and is going to move his Catholic Cult articles over to his 501(c)3 site as the Watchdog begged.

If anyone wants to donate money to Jim's ministry, he has a link there so money can be raised for his ministry. Visit his site at: www.loyalheartministries.com.

Thy Peace said...

About elder/pastor led and congregationally governed:

Fbcjax is drawing heavily from TDM (Theology Driven Ministry) which was voiced by Danny Aiken here. Here is the excerpt related to church governance:
5) The vision for a faithful and authentic biblical ecclesiology (Acts. 2; Eph. 4; Pastorals)
First, there must be the 4 marks of 1) a regenerate Church membership, 2) the Word, 3) the Ordinances and 4) Church Discipline. Second the local church should be elder/pastor led and congregationally governed. Here, in my judgment, there is room for flexibility in terms of patterns, structure and implementation.
As we move forward in this century, Pastors will need to give particular attention to a theology of stewardship and discipleship.
The members of our churches must move from being shoppers to buyers to investors.


Also, please see here for detailed lecture notes of Danny Akin on TDM. Here are some more excepts:
VI. The Church
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an
autonomous local congregation of baptized believers,
associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the
gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed
by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges
invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the
gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates
under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes.
In such a congregation each member is responsible and
accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are
pastors and deacons. While both men and women are
gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is
limited to men as qualified by Scripture.
The New Testament speaks also of the church as the
Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the
ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people,
and nation.16
Drawing from and building on this article, let me narrow the focus and address
several crucial observations as to what constitutes a faithful and authentic
ecclesiology in our day. First, there must be the 4 marks of 1) a regenerate
Church membership, 2) the Word, 3) the Ordinances and 4) Church Discipline.
Second the local church should be elder/pastor led and congregationally
governed. Here, in my judgment, there is room for flexibility in terms of patterns,
structure and implementation. Giving priority to biblical theology demands this.

Scripture does not specify the number of elders, though they are almost always
noted in the plural. It is interesting to discover throughout our Baptist history that
our confessions, until recently, favored the terms bishops and elders. These terms
also were almost always in the plural, though always there has been debate
concerning plurality vs. single elder.17 However, there is no debate that a
properly constituted church will have both elders and deacons.
Scripture does not set forth the specifics of congregationalism, though
congregationalism in some form clearly is the most defensible form of church
government based upon the New Testament.
As we move forward in this century, Pastors will need to give particular
attention to a theology of stewardship and discipleship. Churches are
renegotiating how they finance their ministries, do missions, and support this
thing called the Cooperative Program. A new and younger generation must
properly be instructed, discipled and equipped so that they might do their work of
ministry and financially support the work of ministry. Every member a minister
and every member a giver is biblical and essential. The members of our churches
must move from being shoppers to buyers to investors. Capable and trusted
leadership at the top is a must if this is to happen both denominationally and
congregationally, both nationally and locally.


Also Danny Akin is well regarded by Calvinists within SBC and was recently identified as a cooperating non-Calvinist here. The debate after John 3:16 conference is still going on, though it's smouldering now.

So now in light of the above information, how should be say fbcjax is being governed?

Clearly it's elder/pastor led, but where is the congregationally governed portion as per the scriptures and TDM writings? Maybe I am misunderstanding TDM here, but I doubt it. Something is not right here.

Thy Peace said...

WD, I has also publicized about Jim Smyrl's Catholic Cults series here. Maybe they are getting feedback from all the different blog sites about this series of Jim Smyrl.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

A follow-up to my nepotism post above...I didnt' mean to leave the deacons out of the discussion, as they certainly are lay leadership.

One could reasonably expect them to exert some leadership from them in holding the pastor accountable when he allows advertising and promotions to be marketed and sold by a promotions firm in Atlanta...but Mac covered his bases there, by declaring "worrisome deacons" are "not trusting Jesus" and should not be on the "deacon board".

Anonymous said...

"If anyone wants to donate money to Jim's ministry, he has a link there so money can be raised for his ministry."

LOL! Good one! I'll be sure to send him something... if there's anything left after I send my monthly "seed" offerings to Benny Hinn, Peter Popoff, and Robert Tilton.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Adrian Rogers of Bellevue always said his church was "pastor-led, deacon-served, committee-operated and congregation-approved." By the time things trickled down to the plebe, they were merely acting as a big, dumb rubber stamp.

Today most of these megachurches are "pastor-ruled, deacon-approved, committee-rubber-stamped, and congregation-kept-in-the-dark."

Anonymous said...

As a man, if I were Trey, I would be embarrassed and ashamed that I had to ride the coattails of my parents to secure a job. Or, perhaps they are so domineering he had no other choice but to follow orders, as they need him to protect their backs within the organization, and to keep an eye on everyone else.

I go with the fact that at age 22/23 when he first began work there, no where else would pay someone so young such as salary. It usually takes years of proving ones self.

Thy Peace said...

Please check these posts:

What Language Does Your Church Speak?

Spiritual Abuse

I derived the above links from Cindy's latest post on More on Church-Speak and Loaded Language.

Anonymous said...

10:23 You are so right. Just remember, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Anonymous said...

For a discription of what is happening in the mega churches today, I recomend reading "The greatest enemy of the modern church" by Jerry Grace which can be found on his web site at "sbcouthouse.blogspot.com.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:04am...Thanks for the website. It is very revealing of how dictator type pastors shut people up, especially when they are found out, lying and speaking lies to quell any opposition. And they do it all in the name of GOD. How sorry are these guys???

Anonymous said...

I think marketing is a good ploy by the mega church pastors. Look at this way, when tithing is down and the congregation shrinks: whose to blame? Certainly not the pastor. No, it was the marketing guru. So lets spend another $425,233.12 and hire another one that can take us to higher heights. Yeah, all say aye, the motion passed.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Where did that number come from?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

D - got 'em.

Still recommend finding someone who can scan them, then email them. Much easier that way.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

The $425k number - can the anon explain specifically? Fees paid to church marketing consultants?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Wonderful service last night.

What a refreshing message from someone last night, the musician who was discussing Compassion International, imploring people to sponsor a child. His message was how he and his wife realized there's more to life than gathering wealth and living in large houses. What a contrast to the message that the average mega church pastor sends to his congregation through his life style: mega church pastors are not interested primarily in needs of others, but through their lifestyles they are more intent on gaining wealth, accepting gifts, building large houses, spreading the wealth around the family, etc. They are more intent NOT ON ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO GIVE MONEY TO HELP THE DYING AROUND THE WORLD, but they encourage them to give money to buy TV time on a Christian network, to give money to put roofs on buildings when that money was already given through the budget.

Anonymous said...

Compassion International has over $300 million per year in revenues, yet their top executive has total compensation of about $220,000.

If a $220,000 salary is appropriate for heading a $300 million non-profit operation, then what type of salary would be appropriate for heading a much, much smaller operation such as FBC Jax?

Anonymous said...

WD You realize that marketing consultants charge for: Website Design, maintenance, brain storming, fees for increasing donations, fees for travel, fees for other team consultants, fees for third parties (outsourcing) that visit and take surveys, fees for sermon packages, fees for on line donations, etc,etc. These add up depending on what the consultant accomplishes, and what the pastors require. Also, the fees for downsizing a church. The consultant recommends removing certain people in order to streamline the ministry and this alone can be a hefty fee as it takes a lot of time and the entire focus of the ministry has to be reviewed which can take weeks or even months dependent on how many consultants are involved. The $425k figure is a good estimate of what these fees would total if the entire process was evaluated.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog: As information, I am sure some know, but just to reiterate; when consultants are hired by large corporations to downsize, the fees can run into millions depending on the size (number of employees), scope (various levels of management), and geographical layout of the company.

These reductions in employees normally runs around 15-20% whereby some salaried positions are eliminated or consolidated. A thorough anaylsis of the company, is necessary and many hours are required in interviewing company personnel and objectives, streamlining functions, evaluating various tasks, etc.,. This procedure can last several months, especially if the corporation is large. The consulting business has been very valuable and cost effective in mergers and acquisitions. It is also lucerative. With the current economic trend, consultants have more to do today, than ever before. The larger and more complex the corporation, normally, the larger the fee. Observe, the firms not only enjoy savings from reductions in salaries, but insurance, retirement, office, and production expenses. The bottom line (total savings) drives the format for the total review and recommendation for change and alteration of existing facilities to meeting current supply and demand.

To a lesser extent, the brand is reviewed for possible change as well. The value is always on the end user or product. These "marketing groups" don't work for free.

I say all of this to show how the world has now come into the church. The money spent on "marketing groups", being given as tithes and offerings, is now going to pay for worldly advice, where we once relied on the Holy Spirit to guide and lead the church. Instead of money going to the furtherance of the Gospel we now pay ad men. Gone is the church we knew existing to reach the lost for Jesus Christ. I doubt that Salvation of the lost has any place or consideration in the plans of many "marketing groups". Nor, is the Word of God, considered a main function of the church today. Churches have now become an opportunity for "business types", and "marketing groups" to make big bucks. These groups have formed an "unholy alliance" (pardon the pun) with the "figurehead pastor" and we now have a balance sheet in one hand and a translated bible in another. Truly the church of Laodicea.