"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.