"...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

Monday, January 19, 2009

"An Act of Compassion"

Wonder what Mac would say if you asked him about rumors that long-term members have been thrown out of the church, and that it was done with trespass warnings and no direct communication or explanation with them?

"It's an act of compassion, if you want to know the truth" Mac would say.

Nah, he wouldn't characterize it that way would he? Well, that's what he said Sunday to his congregation in FBC Jacksonville. After sternly telling his congregation to "sit up, listen up, and GET THIS" ...Mac compares chronic absentee members who are drawn back to church through love and compassion of the church...to how members who have been "put out da fellowship" are drawn back...through loving, caring, compassionate church discipline. And he said putting people out of the church is "an act of compassion, if you want to know the honest truth."

So Mac's method of church discipline is just him being the loving, compassionate, shepherd-pastor. Of course. This contradicts his earlier statements that he is to "deal harshly" with wayward Christians to "put the fear of God in YOU [the congregation]."

This is so disingenuous, but a pattern Mac often repeats. When there is some issue that might be plaguing the church, some issue that Mac feels he needs to address, Mac will often do it in half truths or even out right lies. He's less interested in being 100% truthful and open and honest and transparent with his congregation, and more interested in sharing just enough truth to make himself look good. Let me explain.

Its very likely that the only people who have been "put out da fellowship" lately through the church discipline process are the couple who were served trespass warnings last month. As the word is out that the church has done this, Mac decides to give some sort of explanation. So people in his church that might be getting concerned because they heard people were thrown out of church ("disfellowshipped" as one blogger put it) with trespass warnings...Mac decides to characterize it as "an act of compassion" - a loving way to draw people back to the fellowship. If he were to share the facts about the delivery of a letter, a 10-day demand to meet with 6-men else the threat of membership revocation, trespass warnings for accused member and his wife, and refusal to let them to attend a Wednesday night service to watch their child perform...well, any reasonable person would say: "that ain't an act of compassion".

Mac does this routinely. Its one of the reasons that I stopped believing a long time ago what Mac Brunson says, either as a preacher or a historian. We have pointed out here how Mac lied about Sheri Klouda's testimony regarding her own view of the scriptural validity of her lawsuit against Paige Patterson. It was a clever lie, in that he didn't use her name, and was even "clever" enough to not use her gender but referred to her as "that person". The facts of the story he told were unmistakable - it was about Klouda and Patterson - but he wanted to tell it so as not to cause his people to be inquisitive, but those preachers who heard him would know that he was helping out his buddy Patterson by dissing Klouda. Shrewd, indeed.

Last summer when the heat was on over the land gift...Mac decides to boldly and arrogantly declare..."I'm paying for that house"....when the reality is he is NOT paying for the house in the sense that $300,000 of it (the value of the land on which it sits) was GIVEN to him three weeks after he arrived. Not to mention the pride and arrogance it takes to make such a bold declaration in front of a crowd of 8000 or so that donates their hard-earned money and therefore PAYS HIS SALARY that enables him to live in a million dollar home. Sometimes arrogance is so in-your-face that all you can do is step back and admire it....and there is a lot of it to admire in Mac.

He wants us to get behind him in his plan for a school...so he tells us that door-to-door evangelism doesn't work anymore (since nobody is ever at home anymore) and therefore a school is an absolute must to reach our city for Christ...which just is not factual. A Christian school funded by money given by people for ministry at FBC Jax is NOT a necessity to reach families with the gospel!! A school might be a good idea, but not because we must do it to reach our church's mission.

Another example of half-truth: Mac tells Jeff Brumley that his "salary is nowhere near $300,000"...which would be a half-truth, since a pastor's "salary" is only a fraction of his total compensation. No pastor at FBC Jax has ever, ever, commented on their salary to the media...but because Mac is getting heat he leaves the reporter with the quote about his "salary" and $300,000. If Mac wants the world to know the approximate figure of his "salary"...then he sure as heck ought to tell us the approximate figure of Team Brunson's total compensation package to give a truthful picture! But that wouldn't put him in a good light, so he won't share his compensation number, not in a million years. Just give a portion of the picture, the portion that works to his best interests.

Even in the Brumley article Mac characterizes the blog as being about his salary and the school...when those are not at all the primary issues raised on the Watchdog blog. Half the story once again.

FBC Jax, we need to be very concerned...as Mac leads us into the $20 million "Next Generation" campaign, can we trust him to tell us the whole truth, even when it might not make him look good? Can he ever tell us that he made a mistake? Does he have it within himself to accept responsibility and change course if things don't go as planned? If the $20 million is not pledged, does he have it within himself to say that perhaps part of his vision wasn't God's will, or will he turn on us and charge us as being "worriers", faithless, and "not trusting Jesus"? We shall see, but I think I know the answer.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just wow. Wish I went to your church instead of the church where the preacher talks about Jesus. Man, what was I thinking.

Anonymous said...

The "word is out" among the members that folks have been disciplined? Who at FBCJax DOESN'T know that a couple has been disciplined?--Is that kept a secret too?

The dysfunction of this congregation is SO OBVIOUS!

Rick said...

So let me get this straight. The Sunday School teacher is NEVER to drop a person from the roll who actually wants to be dropped from the Sunday School roll, but the Pastor and the Discipline Committee have the power to REMOVE a person from the church roll who has expressed that he or she doesn't want to be dropped from the church roll - and both actions are called "acts" of love and compassion?

Remind me if I ever move to Jacksonville to only join the Sunday School at FBC and not the church.

:)

Thy Peace said...

It's called mental gymnastics.

Anonymous said...

FBCD member here. I read this blog years ago and assumed, after it closed, that Mac had gotten things settled down there. I can see here now that things have gotten even kookier. Dallas knew that Mac had some anger management issues and we feel. your. pain.

Its painful to watch Mac's 'gymnastics' on the church discipline issue. wow. It is hard to understand why he would even bother going there but I can tell you from experience that once someone or something gets under his skin he will let it consume him. Buckle up. There is abundant and prolonged brow-beating ahead for you.

America's mega-churches are lead mostly by negative, controlling ego-maniacs these days. The power and riches must be exquisite or they wouldn't fight so hard to protect the position. Think about it.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

FBCD Member, someone else from your church says the A-Group is no longer used at Dallas, but the church website still shows it being powered by the "A-Group". Why are they getting rid of Maurilio? What role did the A-Group have at FBCD? Is your church proceeding with the new pastors vision for building a new worship facility? I recall him casting that vision last year at some point. Can you give us an update on how things are going at your church since Jeffress came on board?

it is written said...

Hey Mac!..What happened to bringing the couple before the Church explaining their SINS and then with the congregations approval removing them from the Church..Anyone with just a cursory knowledge of Scripture could see that what you have done-MAC-is un-Biblical..Also MAC a half-truth is a WHOLE LIE!!..The Anon FBCD 12:27am is absolutely correct that Pope Mac has ANGER issues and does not know the Biblical way to handle it..This is why he talks down to his congregation..How dare anyone would questioned the OMNISCIENCE of the LORD MAC!!!!Dr.Dog this guy is beyond change,when you ascend to the high position of MEGA PASTOR and be as disfunctional personally as MAC-THE-MESS is..HE PROBABLY CAN'T OR WON'T CHANGE; The CAN'T being the greater fact...Just as the FBCD member blogged;:GET READY,GET READY;GET READY::Buckle up it's going to get;;;;;WORSE AND WORSE!!!

Thy Peace said...

What's happening with Jim Smyrl's blog? Is he deleting his stuff by accident? Or is something else happening?

Anonymous said...

What should we do as Christians and as a member of FBC Jax?

Anonymous said...

Mac is right to say biblical, New Testament church discipline is loving and compassionate, although to the persons being disciplined it may not seem so. The problem as I see it is the discipline process outlined on your website here against you or whoever, is that it is NOT anything close to church discipline as outlined in scripture. That makes it neither loving nor compassionate - but it may serve the purposes of Mac and lay leaders to cut ties totally with you (or whoever was expelled).

Anonymous said...

A while back someone posted something with links to several books; they sounded interesting so I got several. Have just started reading "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse" and thought a few quotes would fit well here:

"Quite a number of us wanted more information about how church finanaces were being spent....When I asked some questions at an elders' meeting - boy did the room get icy. Later I was told to stop trying to create a faction in the church." p.21

"the individual is left bearing a weight of guilt, judgment or condemnation, and confusion about their worth and standing as a Christian. It's at this point, we say, that spirituality has become abusive." p 22

"...examine your own practice of Christianity first. Are you practicing grace...or are you trying to force people to live under laws, rules or formulas for spirituality that cause them to feel weighed down, unable to measure up to your standards?" p. 25

"...it is not permissible to talk about problems, hurts and abuses in the abusive system...the victim is made to feel at fault for questioning or pointing out the problem" p 32 (paging Watchdog here!)

These are just a few of the things that jumped out as I read, and I'm not even 40 pages into the book. There is definitely a problem in your church, and the more I read this book, not to mention this blog, the more the finger seems to be pointing at the man in the pulpit and his deacons & trustees. People of FBCJax, now more than ever, keep your eyes on your Bibles and on Jesus. You are all so fortunate to have Watchdog's voice crying in the wilderness. Blog on Watchdog, you're doing a good thing here. Your church has my prayers.

D

Anonymous said...

Dog, have you seen the new Mac commercials? They feature he and his wife on a park bench, and they say something along the lines of "we've been partners in ministry for 30 years", and "we've been through a lot in life..." and therefore "let us walk with you", and "our doors are open". Pretty good TV spot. Wondered if you saw it and what are your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it strange how these mega church pastors hold up the Bible with one hand and claim its the inerrant Word of God. Then with the other hand they direct that certain people gotta go since they do not fall in line!!! Sort of like the Democratic Party,you are either with them or against them, as there is no in between. Nice to be the King. When you are the King you make all the rules and regulations and everyone else just bends the knee. If you don't like the Kingdom, you just up and leave. That is what America is all about. Our forefathers did not desire to be in a land without freedom of thought or action. Thats why and how America was settled by those long ago immigrants...mainly the Puritans first.

You have not seen anything yet, since America is now overthrowing Capitalism for Socialism, the church is now and
has been going down a slippery slope for about 50-75 years. The church is weak and the pastors are as well. When was the last time you heard a good sermon on sin, the grave, and hell? Its not nice to talk about those things anymore, you might upset somebody!
So while people are rushing headlong into oblivion and hell the pastors give you twenty minutes of puff to make you feel good all the while asking for more money for them and their families needs. They are the richest amongst us today. Just listen to what they say...you can't remember the sermon thirty minutes later its so confusing and distorted. I'm sorry,but thats whats happening folks.

We are definitely in the Last Days,and there is no sign of a REVIVAL. Its going to get worse and worse until its over,and Jesus returns. We see apostasy all over and through the church of our age. Don't be so disappointed since Jesus said that this has to occur. Once it gets so bad that God is fed up with it, we'll be out of here. Even come quickly Lord Jesus is my prayer and should be the prayer of everyone that is a child of God!!! This old world is going to be burned up...all of it...nothing will be left to remind us of what awaits in Heaven. Prayer and one on one witnessing is the only thing that matters during these days. If you are looking for a church you won't find it. They are GONE!!! Thats why it is so important to witness. Two in the bed, one taken one left. Two in the field, one taken, one left. There is nothing about people in a building being taken. Its the individual believer that is going to be taken up in the air regardless of where he/she is at that moment in time. Keep praying and witnessing as it could be tonight. All the signs are there,its just the trumpet that needs to be blown. Praise God.

Anonymous said...

Jeremiah 12:10...."Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my protion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness". KJV

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Smyrl takes a swipe at First Baptist Dallas

Smyrl tonight read the opening lines of the new First Dallas branding commercial (see it at www.firstdallas.org), and Smyrl called it blasphemous. Of course he didn't say it was Dallas, but since Jim gave direct quotes there was no doubt that Smyrl was referring to Dallas as he quoted it:

"I am an anchor, I am the sanctuary, I am reverent moments of respite, I am a merciful hand, I am a witness, I am a promise, I am central to the life of this city"...and Smyrl said this commercial was "blasphemous self-promotion" because those statements he read were not describing God or Jesus, but rather the church.

"That is blasphemous self-promotion" is what Smyrl called it.

BLASPHEMOUS SELF-PROMOTION

Now, I just wonder what marketing consultant came up with that little video for First Dallas that Smyrl said was "blasphemous self-promotion". Was it the A-Group, our own marketing firm? They are or were a consultant to Dallas.

Wouldn't that be ironic if the A-Group and Maurilio was involved in coming up with that video that our assistant pastor called "blasphemous self promotion"?

And who are we to criticize a church for "blasphemous self-promotion"? We are KING when it comes to promoting and fund-raising at our church.

Go get 'em Smyrl!

Anonymous said...

And who is it selling advertising spots at the pastors conference?