"...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 12, 2009

Ready for the Fleecing

One of the problems created when a pastor accepts land gifts worth $300,000 when they come to town, immediately and brazenly begins to use nepotism, lies with disdain about a woman who is in conflict with one of Mac's friends, talks his congregation down behind our backs and then allows the bylaws to be changed giving him even MORE power than previous pastors and taking rights away from deacons and congregation without a single word of explanation to the congregation...and when he stands in the pulpit and demands we fork over 1 million dollars in two weeks to fix repairs of the facility that he SHOULD have included in the church budget...one of the problems these abuses and others create is a lack of trust between pastor and congregation.

Trust between congregation and pastor is important.

I don't trust Mac Brunson. After nearly 3 years, I and others are conditioned to look closely at MOTIVES. I refuse to drink the Mac Brunson Kool Aid and place the same trust in him as was placed in previous pastors.

When a church is "pastor led" as ours has been for decades - that is he has sole authority to hire/fire staff, appoints his trustees, has a provision in the bylaws stating that members are to "love and esteem" the Pastor and to "manifest a tender regard for his reputation"...it requires the congregation to have immense TRUST in the leadership, motives, and direction of the pastor of the church. This worked very well under Lindsay and Vines. Men of high integrity - who didn't use their positions as pastor to give "splash over" blessings to their family through nepotism - and who demonstrated their love for the congregation over and over and actually earned their trust. They didn't give their wives a co-pastor position and use the TV ministry to give their wife airtime as now is happening on our TV broadcasts (if she is Mac's co-pastor, can't we just admit it like so many other mega ministries have -like Joel Osteen has?).

My point: this hyper "pastor led" system doesn't work with Team Brunson.

While obviously many still do trust them, its obvious that many more are catching on and either are completely disgusted and have left, or they are scratching their heads and holding on, hoping that nothing here on this blog is true.

I say all of that to say that when Mac expresses concern in January about how we spend our money (after thanking Jesus in the fall that we aren't getting raises), and assumes in the pulpit that we're all a bunch of mindless overspenders - and is going to force us in our Sunday School to look at financial matters in February...I ask, WHY? What are his motives? Does he love us, and want the best for us and our families financially? Or is this part of he and the Nashville marketing firm's fund raising technique this spring culminating in the grand fleecing of getting us to give $20 million dollars so we don't go into debt to implement his "vision"?

Mac's sermon on 1/4 I think is the "kick off" for the campaign to get us to give money to support his vision...and it will be cast in this light: if you want to keep the church out of debt, if you love the church, and if you respect Lindsay and Vines, you will fall in line with all of his vision. By the way, if you read about the vision on the website, it calls for satellites in all sides of town - not church plants but satellits to spread the FBC/Brunson brand...must be there are so many "sorry" churches in town that just aren't reaching Jacksonville with the gospel. Mac I predict will continue to attack our spending habits and money management, will load us with guilt about our lifestyles...it all just rings hollow while he and his wife are living in a million dollar home, using our church website to entice the wealthier members to spend thousands to accompany them and the "Brunson family" to the Holy Land. Why, yes, a call for prudence and a halt to the over-spending....of course after they have already "gotten theirs" - by accepting the land gift from one of our wealthy members and putting the family on the pay roll. Sounds great.

I predict the next three months will be the execution of one long promotions plan developed by our church marketers to maximize revenue to the $20 million vision. Small groups will be used to help shape people's views. Instead of casting the vision to everyone and letting the Holy Spirit work on us and letting us begin to give money out of our convictions and promptings of the Holy Spirit, the vision is in full swing - and we will either pay for it or we will go into debt.

Below is a collection of clips from the 1/4 sermon...with some commentary on the hypocrisy and condescension of Mac Brunson contained therein. This is a taste of what you will hear over the next few months as Mac tries to get us to support his vision and to give the money to support it - and when he gets done executing the strategy in March - IT WILL BE OFF TO THE HOLY LAND with the wealthier members of the church while the plebe stay back state-side and work and look for jobs to pay for the vision.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

20 MILLION?????

In our Pastors Conferences we have overflowed into other parts of the church to view the proceedings ON SCREEN. ie. SATELITE. My question is where would you rather be, in the SATELITE ROOM OR IN THE MAIN AUDITORIUM WHERE THE LIVE PROGRAM IS????

The same question has to be asked about FBCJAX. Do you want to be in Church where LIVE SERVICE IS ONGOING or [satellite] SITTING IN A ROOM LOOKING AT A VIDEO SCREEN WITH A ROCK BAND PLAYING FOR ENTERTAINMENT?

TRANSPARENCY: Mac wants to start FOUR SATELITES AROUND JACKSONVILLE. These satellites are all going to be in SHORT DRIVING DISTANCE FROM DOWNTOWN JAX. ALL OF THESE PEOPLE COULD DRIVE TO OUR DOWNTOWN CHURCH TO VIEW THE SERVICE LIVE.

Mac could send VISTITATION TEAMS OUT INTO THOSE AREAS AND INVITE [THE SATELITE PEOPLE] TO ATTEND OUR DOWNTOWN CHURCH. AT NO COST TO THE CHURCH. DID YOU READ THAT? AT NO COST TO THE CHURCH. AT NO COST TO THE CHURCH!!!!

Mac has not been here 3 years and has not GROWN THE CHURCH. THE CHURCH HAS LOST THOUSANDS OF MEMBERS.

Mac should first demonstrate that he can grow the DOWNTOWN CHURCH before he ventures off on some FINANCIALLY UNSOUND PROGRAM OF SATELITE GROWTH.

There are already OVER 250 BAPTIST CHURCHES AROUND JACKSONVILLE. Do we need more? ABSOLUTLY! Say the average church size in the U. S. is 100, there is plenty of room for more churches in a city of 700,000. Or what ever our population is.

My point is the A-Group in not giving Mac good financial WISDOM.

How many churches could you start with $20,000,000? 20? 200? We could go on with this reasoning but the point is Mac could lead more people to the Lord by a strong visitation program; by STRONG PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL. LIKE THE WAY CHARLES SPURGEON DID IT.

Mac don't listen to Maurilio, listen to the Watchdog. WATCHDOG has said you could be a great preacher IF YOU WOULD PREACH THE GOSPEL. BUT FOR NOW IT LOOKS LIKE YOU DO NOT WANT TO PREACH THE GOSPEL.

WHY NOT LOOK TO JESUS AND DO WHAT HE WANTS YOU TO DO. PREACH THE GOSPEL!!!

Change is sometimes good Mac. You should change your mind and forget the SATELLITES. Don't ask for MILLIONS FROM THE MEMBERS WHEN YOU CAN BUILD THE CHURCH THE WAY JESUS WANTED IT BUILT.

DEBTLESS!!!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

A small part of the 20 million (I think its a million and a half) goes to the satellites, another million or so to the school, and then multi millions is going into renovating the preschool building, and renovating the downtown auditorium to add risers and create sunday school space for the senior citizens.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon providing the blog link - I am not really interested in posting excerpts from other FBC bloggers who compare Mac Brunson to Moses, and who declare that the Watchdog is "Korah" and is going to "perish with the assembly"...and declares that blogging about abusive pastors is akin to blogging against the Lord himself....its so ridiculous that I don't really want to give them a platform here on my blog to spout their nonsense and predict my demise. If what they are saying is worth anything, let them get traffic to their blog on their own.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog I know that Mac is wanting most of the 20 Mill. for renovation, and maybe a tenth for the Satelites, but he still wants to move the church. And even if we don't move, we should reverse the program. Spend one tenth on renovations and nine tenths on CHURCH GROWTH. DON'T DOWNSIZE THE MAIN AUDITORIUM JUST SO HE CAN PREACH TO A FULL[SMALLER] HOUSE. Don't waste money on renovations.

LET'S EVANGELIZE JACKSONVILLE. BUILD MORE CHURCHES. START A COLLEGE. GROW MORE PREACHERS. WIN MORE SOULS. USE THE 20 MILL DIFFERENTLY.

THATS ALL I'M SAYING WATCHDOG.

MAC THINK BIG. BE A BIG MAN FOR JESUS. THINK BIG NOT DIVIDED [SATELITES].

WE WOULD ALL BE BEHIND YOU MAC if he would repent.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

If Mac wants to "move" (which I take to mean "relocate") why would he spend millions on renovations? I believe he does want a multi-campus church with campuses all over the city.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that the congregation has a very large amount of power, even if it is not used. Members have a right to debate motions, propose amendments to motions, and to make motions. (Members do technically make motions now. When the Moderator says "I'll entertain a motion that blah blah blah...", the person who yells out "Motion" is the one who is actually making a motion.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog the thinking about downtown churches is this.

Change- Large downtown churches are dinosaurs. They can't expand. They are another pastors building. Mac wants his DYNASTY.

If you can't change the downtown church, move the church to another large piece of land and build the church the way you want it.

What Mac is doing now is intermediate. He is having difficulty changing the church. He came in here with a Contemporary Christian Service{loud music, more music, more groups with choir as a backup, feel good preaching less gospel preaching,get out from behind the pulpit, no ties etc}. Contemporary Christian Music [more praise music, more pentecostal music, rock bands, more drums, more uptempo music, more MANTRA TYPE MUSIC-sing a phrase over and over and over. Preaching [preaching that talks more about man and his problems and less about Jesus and his love]

So what happened? Mac has brought in all of the above. He is meeting resistance. Members and their money are still leaving. He wanted the dissenters to leave but not those who tithe big. He is at a crossroad. If they get the money to renovate they will renovate and still build the satellites. The satellites is the main thing.

I never bought into the belief that he wanted his building plan to go through.

I believe that he wants to move the church out of downtown. Why would anyone want to DOWNSIZE THE MAIN AUDITORIUM? Has this EVER BEEN DONE? TO PREACH TO A SMALLER GROUP? YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING!

No, I believe he wanted the CHANGES TO THE BUILDINGS TO BE SO DISTASTEFUL THAT THE PLAN WOULD MEET WITH SO MUCH OPPOSITION THAT IT WOULD NOT BE APPROVED.

With the infighting continuing more people would leave, the offerings would go down and the membership would decrease to the point that Mac would have to say; Loyal men, we no longer can finance the downtown operation. WE HAVE TO MOVE IF WE ARE GOING TO SUCCEED IN GROWING THE CHURCH. THE KOOL AID DRINKERS WOULD AGREE.

Now they would begin selling off the buildings . The old children's building would go first, then the the rest with the success of that sale. The profits from the sale of the buildings would be used to buy the land then build the new bigger church.

No, I believe that it was always the plan to move the church.

Anonymous said...

Shorter Westminster Catechism-

Is that what Mac said his wife said. Isn't that Presbyterian verbiage. Is Mrs. Brunson still Presbyterian? If so when did she get saved? As a baby? Is she saved? When did she join FBCJ?

DOES IT MATTER?

Anonymous said...

Question?? Does anyone have the results on the satelites? I have not heard Mac or Jim express anything recently on the number of those attending, profession of faith, baptizing, and how many have actually joined the church.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Did want to express that I thought Mac Brunson's sermon Sunday night 1/11 was a very good one, one of his better ones. It shed light on the story of Joseph's grace to his brothers and family like I haven't seen before in scripture...and yet he did a great job tying it back to our current lives. Very helpful, full of Bible, full of Jesus, full of help for families. Definitely worth listening to.

When I hear a sermon like that one, I can't help but think: oh that Mac would stop the theatrics in most of his sermons, stop the anger and the yelling and the finger pointing and intimidation and Amen'ing himself...stop the lecturing about small groups and leaving sermons early...and just preach the Word. Just preach the Word. Just teach the Word and stop trying to be the Holy Spirit through yelling and guilt and mocking and condescension. Just preach the Word Mac like you did Sunday night. Be loving, helpful...preach the truth, yes. We can handle the truth even when it is convicting. Somewhere along the way Mac you have developed this vision of your congregation that we can't handle the truth, that we must have it rammed down our throats to get it. We have had truthful, hard-hitting preaching here for decades - but we've had the truth given in love and in a spirit of humbleness. Give the people the whole truth, don't pull punches, but do it in a spirit and love and genuine concern for your people. You can stop with the intro music and video from the A-Group. You don't need so much history...you need to preach more Bible, more Jesus, more love, more truth. You can do it Mac. THAT is what will make FBC Jax great. Its not the wonderful vision that you and the A-Group came up with. What will make our church great is NOT the A-Group, not the satellites or forcing people into small groups or even Jim Smyrl's "TDM". Some of those MIGHT be helpful...but what has made the FBC Jax great all these years is not these side things...its the faithful preaching of the Word of God, Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night. We can have all the great plans and consultants and ministry models...but without a loving pastor, one that loves the entire congregation through his humility in the pulpit and expressed through faithful preaching...we will perish. So minimize the travel. Minimize self. Maximize the preaching and teaching. Major on Jesus, minor on history. Magnify love and humbleness, minimize self and programs.

One other helpful tip for Mac: be sure that your words measure up with your actions and the actions of those in leadership positions at the church. Mac said in his sermon:

"God used Joseph to show grace to the family. Who is the hardest people of all to show grace to?...the hardest place of all to show grace is in the family. What about the family of God? You got somebody that's a member in this church that you can't speak to? Then let me tell you something, when you go to bed tonight you need to get right with Jesus Christ."

When Mac says this, I can't help but think about the long-time members banned from the church with trespass warnings without so much as a peep from the pastor or the pastor's wife or any of the staff. No attempt to address them face-to-face. Just a hand-delivered letter and trespass warnings and no explanation. No grace extended at all. OK, so the pastor and his discipline committee believe this couple is the Watchdog, that they have him nailed...and their family is banished from the church with the threat of arrest if they darken the doors because of the harm they believe this couple has done to the church. Many people at FBC Jax are happy about these events, that they've discovered (they think) who the Watchdog is and he is banished, good riddance. I understand that. But it doesn't measure up to Mac's words in his own sermon.

So does Mac just preach the Word, or does he also live by it? Does he tell his church family to act one way, and he and the lay leaders act another way? How can he tell us that we should show grace to the church family members, yet he and those in his highest level of lay leadership - trustees and head deacons - don't show grace - or are there some that don't deserve grace, or that grace must be shown only after trespass warnings are given?

Just something to think about.

Thy Peace said...

Amen. [to WD's last comment]

it is written said...

Dr.Dog your 1:00am blog was outstanding and to the point..If Mac is humble enough to except the advice that you have given in that blog it would go a long way to restoring trust and return FBC Jax to it's former glory.

Anonymous said...

I did not realize Lindsay Sr's sermons were taped?