In the previous post we looked at the first four accusations made against the Watchdog by the "Discipline Committee" in their letter dated 11/28/08 sent to the man and wife they are wrongly accusing of being the owners and controllers of this blogsite. The letter contains specific accusations lettered "A" through "P". We will look here at the next 5 accusations.
"E. You have charged First Baptist Church of the manipulation of financial and ministerial responsibilities for personal gain."
Not sure how they would define "manipulation of financial and ministerial responsibilities"...sounds like some lawyer speak there. While this committee is very vague in their accusations made against the Watchdog , the Watchdog has been very specific in accusations against Mac Brunson to which they may be referring: Mac Brunson accepted a $300,000 land gift from one of the church donors just weeks after he arrived, he has displayed nepotistic tendencies in placing wife and son on staff in newly created positions of which the church has not been told what their ministerial responsibilities are...Mac has used the FBC Jax website to advertise for his "Holy Land" trips...he has used one of our most highly attended Sundays (Easter Sunday) to hold a special offering to raise funds to put his sermons back on nationwide TV (which by most reasonable standards is a budgeting issue and a recurring cost not subject to "special offerings). That's just a few. If pointing out those abuses of power is what they mean by "charged the First Baptist Church of the manipulation of financial and ministerial responsibilities for financial gain"...then the Watchdog is guilty as charged for pointing out those abuses.
"F. You have argued that First Baptist Church members should disregard and defy the decisions and policies of the clerical and lay leadership of the church"
Which "policies" and which "decisions" are they referring to? Very vague. Perhaps they are referring to "decisions" such as starting a school, or decisions such as starting a satellite ministry, or decisions to change the bylaws while keeping the congregation in the dark about what those changes were. In a church of tens of thousands of people, not everyone will agree with all of the "decisions" of the pastor, and some people will choose not to support those decisions with their money or their time and talent. The Watchdog has given his views of those big decisions made by the pastor, as well as smaller decisions: such as decisions to raise money for his TV ministry, decisions to utilize "church marketing firms", decisions to advertise Holy Land trips, his decision to call us names and belittle us from the pulpit, and a whole host of other decisions made by the pastor. As to which "policies" the Watchdog is accused of telling members they should disregard and defy is uncertain.
"G. You have held First Baptist Church's leaders in contempt before its own congregation and the world without restraint"
To hold someone in "contempt" would mean to belittle them, or to scorn them or to disrespect them. If pointing out abuses of a pastor and voicing an opinion on them is holding them in contempt, then perhaps the Watchdog is guilty. I would point out that the pastor himself is guilty of the very thing of which the Watchdog is accused, using this same standard, of holding the entire congregation in contempt as he belittles them on a regular basis with his condescending, looking-down-the-nose attitude, and he has done it without restraint as he continues this behavior. He has also shown contempt for Sheri Klouda in lying about her and not apologizing, and contempt for the memories of the late Mrs. Criswell and Mrs. Truett, as he has said disparaging remarks about them while functioning in his role as "pastor" of our church.
"H. You have questioned, without a factual basis, the legitimacy of the ministerial and operational policies of First Baptist Church."
Sounds like a repeat of letter F. Again, very vague.
"I. You have discouraged the success of the 23rd annual Pastors Conference and have repeatedly cast doubt on the integrity of its operations and objectives"
The Watchdog has expressed several concerns about the Pastors Conference - the latest of which is the charging of unusually large fees for the use of our facilities by other ministries - such as $750 for a display table, and up to $12,500 to display videos, banners, and to mention the ministry from the pulpit. The Watchdog has been VERY critical of transforming our Pastors Conference into a marketing bonanza where funds have been raised through the selling of promotional time. Our church facilities were built using the monies given by the people of God for the furtherence of the gospel - NOT so they could be used by Team Brunson and their marketing and promotions firms to raise revenues by charging access to non-profit ministries for the privilege of using the building. The Watchdog has also been critical of the decision to charge members entrance to portions of the conference. The Watchdog has also been critical of the pastor using the conference to give sole credit to his own son for its success, even going so far as to crediting his son for "raising $100,000, which is more than twice his salary" in front of the pastors and Dr. David Jeremiah who was on the platform. So yes, there has been much the Watchdog has said about the Pastors Conference. If shining light on these terrible decisions and commenting on WHY they are terrible decisions - if this harms the Pastors Conference - blame Team Brunson, not the Watchdog.
Here's a thought about "operational policies" of FBC Jax. Can someone please explain the role that Mrs. Brunson plays in our church? If she is on paid staff, and in the pastor's suite...and if she attends staff meetings...what is her position and role in defining the direction of our church? Is it defined in the bylaws? Is she a "co pastor"? What is her title, and what is her job description? Is her salary commensurate with her education, qualifications, and experience? No accusations. Just questions.
Tomorrow: Items J. through M.