"...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

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

FBC Jax Votes on Blogger Resolution Brought By Trustees

On Wednesday, February 25, 2009 at the FBC Jax regularly scheduled business meeting, Judge A.C. Soud, President of the FBC Jax Board of Trustees brought a motion to the church that included charges against the accused blogger, and also a statement of the church's intent to "confront aggressively" what would be deemed "...unjust criticism and ridicule of the ministry, staff, leadership, pastor, and people expressed to the general public at large in any form and by any means by any member of the church...". The motion was overwhelmingly approved by asking those in attendance to show their approval by standing to their feet.

Below is the transcript from the meeting of the motion. Video or audio of the motion will be provided soon:

Moderator: I'd like to recognize A.C. Soud, Jr., a trustee... uh... president, who will bring a resolution from the deacons.

Soud: Thank you uh... Keith. Uh, ladies and gentlemen, um... I'm going to uh... read to you, and you will be able to view them on the image mags... a resolution that was unanimously adopted by the trustees of the church, and the trustees obviously being an integral part of the deacons serving under... Keith's uh... leadership was brought to the same resolution. The same resolution was brought to the deacons at their meeting uh... Monday night. And it was uniformly and uh... unanimously adopted. And so the resolution I'm about to bring to you was adopted unanimously by the trustees, unanimously by a large group of deacons, and then we are going to uh... Keith will then ask for... uh... your vote as well when a motion is made. I am going to read it. It will be on the image mag so you can follow along.

Whereas it has come to the attention of the deacons of the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville that the ministry, staff, leadership, pastor, and people of the church have come under severe but false criticism and ridicule by means of a blog site on the internet which publishes to the world.

And whereas a current blog site owned and administered by an immediate past member of the church calling and advocating for the dissemination of such harmful opinions, false statements, and doctrine to all members of the church by using whatever contact means that are available including Sunday School rolls, with home and e-mail addresses, and phone numbers.

And whereas said member within the last three weeks has requested his letter be transferred to a sister church in Jacksonville, Florida but only after being advised that the discipline committee of the deacons would recommend to the deacon body that disciplinary action be taken against him for such conduct which the deacons find is contrary to Scripture and the bylaws of the church.

And whereas such opinions and false statements have the potential of causing financial and spiritual risk and damage to the church and its personnel, ministries, reputation, and good will however and by whatever means communicated as well as having the intent to be divisive and cause strife and disgruntlement among church members against the ministries, staff, leadership, pastor, and people.

And whereas the deacons believe it is in the best interest of the church that a policy be adopted by the deacons, trustees, and the church body condemning such action and conduct both now and in the future by any person or persons who are then members of the church whether such action and conduct is done, advocated, or communicated to other members of the church by whatever means is available to them.

And whereas members who participate or actively pursue a course of conduct like that described above will be confronted with their sin and approached in accordance with the biblical pattern for the purpose of reconciliation, restoration, and/or scriptural discipline.

And whereas it is not the intent of this resolution to suppress thought or freedom of expression in casual or official encounters but those which have a manifest aim and intent to cause a mood of disgruntlement, strife, and/or division among members of the church toward any person, ministry, operation, leadership, and/or pastor of the church.

And whereas the trustees of the church are charged with managing the legal and financial affairs of the church and are an integral part of the deacon body for the purpose of organizational and scriptural unity for the work and ministry of the church, and said trustees have likewise unanimously adopted such a resolution as this on February 18, 2009.

And whereas it is the belief and expression of the deacons herein that division, strife, and discord caused to church members and unjust criticism and ridicule of the ministry, staff, leadership, pastor, and people expressed to the general public at large in any form and by any means by any member of the church should be viewed as an attack against the Lord's church contrary to scriptural truth and confronted aggressively in accordance with Scripture and the disciplinary provisions of the bylaws of the church.

And whereas in such circumstances it would be detrimental to the ministry of the Lord and His church not to take any action or to defer taking action or to simply maintain and update a responsive website or to attempt to resolve any such issue in a court of law.

Now therefore be it resolved by the deacons of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville that the foregoing policy of biblical confrontation and restoration as stated above is hereby adopted and approved for the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville and requests this resolution be presented to the church body at its regular monthly business meeting to adopt, endorse, and encourage a policy strongly dealing with discipline and issues such as described above but in strict accordance with scriptural authority and the bylaws of the church by voting on this resolution.

Now, brother chairman uh... moderator... uh uh... I make a motion that this uh... resolution be adopted.

Moderator: Thank you, brother Soud. Ladies and gentlemen, you've heard the motion. Is there a second? I would appreciate it if you would approve this motion by standing. {pauses while most of congregation stands} Thank you very much. The motion carries. That will conclude our business meeting. {applause}

11 comments:

Junkster said...

Shorter translation:

Whereas the Watchdog has written a bunch of stuff on his blog that we don't like or agree with, but there isn't really anything we can do about it, we resolve that if anybody does anything like that again we will confront them and make sure everyone knows how much we don't like it (for the purpose of reconciliation, of course).

Anonymous said...

Of course.

Anonymous said...

You left out restoration.

it is written said...

Dr.Dog..I have one response to the content revealed of this meeting....WHAT!!!!

Anonymous said...

Whereas the Watchdog is solely, completely and undeniably the cause of any disgruntledness -- is that really a word??? --- at the FBC downtown "campus" and whereas there would never have been any disgruntledness if the Watchdog had never been allowed under free speech consideration to have a blog site and whereas...

The Whereas whereas etc etc last night was for the SOLE purpose of intimidating anyone from ever speaking a word again -- unless you look over your shoulder first...

The Dogs Dog said...

Dog, you should post my last comment, it was right on, provocative, creative and very funny. Don't go baptissssss on me because I mentioned a cold adult beverage or a part of the female anatomy.

I got your rear view ole buddy.

New BBC Open Forum said...

I don't know Mr. Soud from Adam. Never heard of him until the recent chatter on your blog. He may very well be "well-respected" in your community, but I've come to realize that "well-respected" is often just a code word for "rich" -- regardless of how someone arrived. There are lots of "well-respected men in the community" at Bellevue who've exhibited similar behavior and worse. We were just a year or so ahead of you in this process and got to see it sooner. My impression of him was he's a short, milquetoast of a man with a bad dye job and a Napoleon complex. He did not appear to be comfortable up there and didn't impress me at all. It's been my observation that when these guys are, shall we say, "embellishing" something that they "uh" and "um" and "ah" and trip all over their tongues. You heard that with Mr. Soud. We've seen it with Steve Gaines and Paige Patterson. These guys are veteran public speakers, and when they're comfortable and being truthful they're smooth as silk, but when they're not they fall apart.

I know nothing of his reputation as a judge, but if he will go along with this charade, if he will stand in the pulpit of a church and lie through his teeth, it makes me think there is more than meets the eye and that perhaps he could have sometimes been "influenced" in his role as a judge, too. Of course, that's just my impression.

The deacon chairman looked like a sad, beaten-down man who would rather not have been there, but by golly he's going to go along to keep his position and the "prestige" it carries with it. His humble demeanor while carrying out the "vote" only made him appear gutless. "I would appreciate it if you would approve this motion by standing. {pauses while most of congregation stands} Thank you very much. The motion carries." LOL! That's how they vote at Bellevue, too! No secret ballots, no call for "Nays," just "All in favor please stand. Thank you. The motion carries." Robert must be spinning in his grave. They know most of the sheeple aren't going to rock the boat though, and by having a standing vote, peer pressure alone and the desire not to stand out will bring people to their feet for anything. Every time they successfully ram through something like this they only become more emboldened. Kudos to the people who had the courage to sit last night! Rest assured your names were noted, and you may soon be called to appear before the discipline committee, too.

What I cannot get over is Jim Whitmire's going along with all this. His story about the shepherd leaving the "ninety and nine" sheep and going after the one who was lost was quite ironic given the fact FBC Jax's shepherd and his shepherd boys had just figuratively shoved one of their sheep off the cliff. How can Jim stand at Mac Brunson's side, even call him the finest preacher he's ever heard (for a man who sat under Adrian Rogers for over 30 years, that's laughable), and go along with all this? Zipping up the bubble and insulating yourself doesn't cut it because by your silence and your remaining there and standing at Mac's side, you ARE tacitly going along with all of it. You would think after his deplorable treatment at the hands of Steve Gaines and Bellevue that Jim Whitmire, of all people, would see Mac Brunson for the abusive charlatan he is. Is an attractive salary and a bayfront condo really worth it?

Speaking of Mac, I noticed he was conspicuously absent last night. So typical. He lets other people do his dirty work.

Regardless of the fact last night's meeting was a total sham, one thing I noticed was you apparently still have monthly business meetings. Bellevue's bylaws (written in 1929, they're half a page long and have never been changed) also call for monthly business meetings, but hey, bylaws schmylaws, we don't care! All they have now is an annual business meeting on a Sunday morning at the conclusion of a very long worship service. Last year over half the people walked out before it started. In 2007 they killed the mics and shut down the meeting when people were still lined up to speak. Last year only two people had the courage to ask questions, and both were quickly dismissed.

Here is Steve Gaines at another church describing an "information meeting" at Bellevue the night before. A little over halfway in he says, "We sat everybody down. Said, 'This is not a business meeting. It's an information meeting.' What that meant is, 'We're gonna talk.' Heh heh heh. 'But you're not.' Heh heh heh heh heh. Heh heh heh ha ha. I didn't just fall off the cabbage truck, amen?! Aha ha ha heh heh. I've been around this for a long time. Amen!" Does this remind you of anyone? Hint: "Shut 'em down!"

Last night was an absolutely disgusting display of deplorable (but not surprising) behavior by men who've lost their consciences. While I was watching it my first thought was I wouldn't want to be standing anywhere near Mr. Soud because there just might be a lightning bolt with his name on it. From the way his eyes were darting around while he was reading, I wondered if that thought hadn't crossed his mind as well.

You all need to flee that place! God has most assuredly left the building.

Anonymous said...

Amen Brutha BBC on the post. Yeah this kinda shizzle is why I switched denominations.

Anonymous said...

This whole thing is absurd! You can't regulate speech and thought. Or can you? Has the constitution already been nullified by our new President?

So, can we judge by the number of responses to this post that the threats are working? Don't you usually have more people responded? Are the people there afraid they might lose their church membership if they respond?

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking we will begin to see a lot of free speech being silenced or threatened under this new President. My State is beginning the gun and ammo watch. Satan is laughing at the uproar he can cause in our churches, while the world is getting more and more violent and intolerant of Christians. We best be looking up for our Redemption is drawing nigh, I hope.

Anonymous said...

This is my first time on this blog, I had never heard of it until this stuff in the paper about FBC. As a person who is a christian, but not a church member of any church, I have to say that this is the reason I gave up all churches. God is not in them, nor is christ. You all worship money and power and being right at all cost. I pray many times a day, I worship God in everything I do, and do not need or want a church to tell me if I am doing it right or not. Remember one of Jesus's last actions was to throw the money changers out of the temple. God does not need a big fancy building or expensive ministers who start to think of themselves as gods.