"...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, March 25, 2009

INSP Network - "Televangelist Gunslingers"

Watch this investigative report by a Charlotte TV station on the INSP Network that aired this past December. This is the network that FBC Jax broadcasts on, and that Mac Brunson asked for a special offering last Easter to raise $180,000 to purchase air time on.

Pay particular attention to the means that INSP, which is located in Charlotte, uses to raise money (prosperity gospel), and note the salary and home size of the president of the organization.


I, for one, could not donate money to any organization that gives money or is associated with these "Televangelist Gunslingers", as this report calls them. I can't believe any bible-believing church would need to affiliate with the likes of these folks to spread the gospel. If non-church 501(c)3 ministries want to broadcast and pay for the air time through donations of viewers, I suppose I can see that, but I sure hope there are no churches taking money from God's people, who are taught "storehouse tithing", and then a portion of their tithes goes to a network like this where the leader is living high on the hog, and that preaches the false prosperity gospel.

But that's just me.

89 comments:

Anonymous said...

Money is the root to all evil..whether in the world are in the church. What amazes me is that a lot of people buy into this get rich gospel. Most of these guys have very little knowledge of the bible and even less of doctrine. They are like the wind, they come and go. Always, another one to come and stand in their place. How tragic and sad that they have any following at all. But, most preachers don't preach against them as they might upset someone who is also paying their way. Pitiful!!!

Anonymous said...

Watchdog, thanks as you are now a watchman on the wall. The only bad thing is that the wall is getting bigger and bigger. A lot of people are being fooled thinking that God is going to make them millionaires or even blessing them for being so dumb. Thats why the bible says to try the spirits. Lot of bad ones out there getting rich off of the gullible.

Anonymous said...

The folks who run the Network seem to be prospering.

Anonymous said...

Boy, IF I were interested in getting rich off of Christian givers, I would want to get on this network as soon as possible. But where could I ever come up with $180,000.00? Hmmmm...

Anonymous said...

Well, at least you can 'watch' dog them. Because of their legal status they have to report certain things.

Churches don't have to report such things. You can hide a lot of stuff in a mega church budget that does not have to be reported.

Anonymous said...

Matt - I'm looking forward to you weighing on this.

- Big Fan

happy gram said...

this is one of the MANY things that give christians a bad name..

happy gram said...

i, too, enjoy (and respect) matt's contributions.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog, I've followed you for several years, now. I am a regular worshiper at FBC Jax once a year in the Pastors' Conference; have been since 2003. FBC Jax is an unusual church with an extremely tremendous opportunity to reach people before the Coming of Jesus. Why not focus on the Great Commission and continue to be the blessing you are to so many people across America via InLight. God is the one keeping score. We all must give account before Him. Who knows how soon that will be? We are just reminded to be ready 'cause no one the "day or the hour" our Lord comes. ><>

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I agree - if FBC Jax needs to use INSP to spread the gospel and they believe that is the best use of the funds they give to INSP, then I'm all for it. Go for it.

I'm just saying that I personally would not give to any ministry that would give funds to INSP. I agree with the ministry watchdog group on the video who says he would caution anyone to give money to INSP because of their lack of accountability and transparency, and that they at times solicit funds to go directly to the CEO. Not only would I not give any money to INSP, I wouldn't give to a ministry that gives money to the INSP. I am not interested in padding the wallets of Curello and Murdoch, and I don't believe in the prosperity gospel they preach. In my view they are snake oil salesmen, and I don't want any part of that "ministry".

Anonymous said...

Well, at least you can 'watch' dog them. Because of their legal status they have to report certain things.

Churches don't have to report such things. You can hide a lot of stuff in a mega church budget that does not have to be reported.

March 25, 2009 4:27 PM

Sorry, I wrote this and forgot to sign it.

Ever wonder why so many mega church pastors have another 501c3 ministry? As if pastoring a mega church is not enough?

It is a safety net!

If they are as lucky as John Hagee, they can disband the 501c3 where they HAVE to report compensation of top leadership, revenues, etc and just run it through the church where no one is the wiser and the IRS does not require such things from churches.

Hagee can do this because he is the king of his kingdom. Literally.

But even when you check out the 501c3 status of say, InTouch ministries, and others, they do not have to report book royalites, speaking engagements, etc. Just compensation and whatever the ministry sells. So you can sell the books/CD/DVD's and report that but you do not have to report the royalties off the same books. It is another seperate income stream.

The amount of money these guys rake in is staggering. Even the smaller ones.

You cannot go by their church salary or even the salary in the 501c3. Most have their wives or children (in laws are good because they have different last names) as the top earners in the 501c3.

The book royalties and speaking gigs are not usually reported as income for the church, either. It is income for the pastor. And don't forget the tax advantages! I know one pastor who gets 100,000 Per YEAR as housing allowance.

Royalties have been a point of contention in some mega's but it rarely makes it way outside the elders or leaders. they are so thrilled to have a celebrity they keep this contention between themselves. I know of one mega that allowed the pastor to keep his royalties but made the others (staff ministers who were gaining a following) sign agreements that the church would get the royalty since they worked there, used church resources and time to write it. The big guy got a pass.

Think of the size of a mega church and think of that as an instant market for your book. Add to that your cronies promoting your book in their own churches because you do it for them.

The Christian 'market' is huge and it is also a perfect niche market. If the pastor says read this book, folks buy it.

Matt

Anonymous said...

I can say this with complete confidence. Dr. Lindsay never made a dime from anything connected to his ministry except the salary the church paid him. He did not take trips or cruises where he was paid a fee to bring others along. Indeed he rarely took a vacation to the mountains, as he did not like leaving the church. He did not write books that he was paid for. He wrote pamphlets that were distributed free within the church, and were given away by those who visited the lost. Question: Do those phamplets still exist. They were great soul winning tools. Also, do you still have a visitation program at FBCJ?I mean for the express purpose of leading the lost to Jesus. I have never known any one more called to the ministry than the Lindsays. They had no ego, only humility, and a fierce desire to serve the Lord, preach the Word, and lead the lost to Jesus Christ. Maybe that is why we had a great church........then.

Anonymous said...

It is a good thing that bloggers did not exist years ago when the Lindsay's were at FBC. After all the only way anyone could anonymously complain about the nepotism there was to write an anonymous letter. What a novel idea. Remember, Lindsay Sr and Jr.- father and son, the first of their kind in the country? Scandalous, but no one "blogged" about that in their day.

The only way anyone could claim that the church was "wasting" money bringing in children on buses was to write an anonymous letter. Remember, these were the poorer of our society in Jacksonville. Obviously, their parents could not "Tithe" to FBC since only most of them never showed up but sent their children to church so they could have time by themselves.

Remember, the evil, nonspiritual preaching of storehouse tithing and giving got FBC out of debt by 1943 and debt free from then until now! What a bunch of ungodly, pagans those FBC folks are.

Opps, I forgot that you can't use the word tithe and that WD does not believe in it. Remember WD all those sermons you heard that "the tithe is the Lord's and "bring ye all of the Tithes into the storehouse." Did you write anonymously for all the years you heard that preached for the pulpit?

No one "blogged" about ALL THE MONEY being spent to buy downtown buildings that no one wanted. Were the Lindsay's building their empire on the backs of the poor Homerites? Remember, how little money was spent to make these purchases before everyone else caught on that FBC was buying property?

No one "blogged" about all the money spent to put Homer Lindsay and Jerry Vines on TV and radio in Jacksonville and other places! Remember, all of the money the preachers raised from the pulpit. What a lack of trust in God to just "impress" people to give to such a frivolous waste of the fleeced flocks resources.

When Vines came to FBC, no one blogged that HE LIVED IN A GUARDED, GATED COMMUNITY, now did they. Oh, I forgot, "bloggers" had not been created yet. But letter writing had been! Oh, how come no one has "blogged" about all of the "profit" that Vines made when he sold that private , gated community home and built a new home in Georgia valued at over a million dollars from money he fleeced from the backs of all of us working poor sheep at FBC for over 23 years? Remember?

When Lindsay Sr and Jr died no one "blogged" when FBC paid the flocks valuable resources to these fine ladies to the tune of $25,000.00 per year. Even though their husbands were paid very handsome for their "service" to the sheep and had a retirement and very generous anniversary gifts on an annual basis. I recall many of these "misappropriations" of the flocks finances in excess of $20,000.00 per gift. Remember?

I do not recall anyone "blogging" about using valuable church resources fleeced thru the evil teaching of storehouse tithing to start a Pastors Conference. After all, what did all of these poor, lowly fellow fleecers have the offer the BIG, BAD FBC? Remember?

Finally, what about that miss use of scripture for "The Chest of Joash" services held every year since 1940 when FBC had the largest debt in the Southern Baptist Convention? After all, this chest was really Homer Jr's "toy" box that his uncle had built for him and that Homer Sr. "borrowed" for Jr in order to further fleece the ignorant Homerites to get out of debt, build newer and bigger buildings, all debt free of course, so that the Lindsay's could further their father-son nepotism team and line their pockets. Again, with a nice portion of the flocks fleeced funds. Remember.

But, I guess most folks either don't remember or simply don't care since it was and still is "ALL ABOUT THE MONEY"! Or at least some bloggers would have you believe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon: March 25, 2009 6:57 PM If you think that is the only time to visit and witness of the saving power of Jesus Christ, then you missed the point!

oc said...

After reading some of what he tweets from his twitter bragging about his rich and famous lifestyle, I wonder if Maurilio is hooked up in all this prosperity thing somehow. And I wonder if he has some connection to the INSP network.

Anonymous said...

Not "money"--but "the love of money is the root of all evil" (1 Timothy 6:10).

Work made for hire restrictions apply in Florida? Without a specific provision for it, no pastor is to make an extra dime for work he does on the church's time. Lindsey was right, unless a contract said otherwise.

Anonymous said...

" do not recall anyone "blogging" about using valuable church resources fleeced thru the evil teaching of storehouse tithing to start a Pastors Conference. After all, what did all of these poor, lowly fellow fleecers have the offer the BIG, BAD FBC? Remember?"

Dear anon, You seem to think no one questioned before blogs. Not so. But, and this is important, most folks believed what they were taught and had few resources to check teaching. Even today, very few own the BDAG.

The biggest problem celebrity pastors face today is the fact that ANY member can read an interlinear for free online. Not to mention all the other free Greek and Hebrew translation resources.

But perhaps you can show me where in the NC that tithing is taught? Offerings, yes. Offerings to care for those in need in the Body and for those planting churches. Is the "storehouse" you referred to your church building? Are you saying it is a Jewish temple? Because it sure sounds like it.

If that is what Rev Lindsey preached, he was wrong. I am not critisizing him just stating biblical facts. Tithing is OC and consisted of more than money. As a matter of fact, it was much more than 10%. More like 37%. If I remember correctly, the 10% was the temple tax or perhaps it was for the Levite Priest? I cannot remember.

BTW: Jesus paid the temple tax with a coin from a fish. Remember that story? He paid it because Peter told them that Jesus would and Jesus kept the law perfectly. But go read what Jesus told Peter about it.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:40pm I missed no point. I simply asked is there still a visitation program. That is the way this church grew, grew, and grew. It also was the best way for silent partners to learn how to witness by going out with a speaking partner. It was also one special time during the week that the many in the church body could meet together, get the prospects and hopefully win the lost to Jesus Christ. As information, I did this for years and witnessed the results. It was the best of times. And no there are other times to witness...in the store, in the schools, in the neighboorhood, walking, garage sales, speaking to those that do work for/with you, on vacation, in the malls, etc,etc. Thank you.

Junkster said...

From the Inlight Ministries website, http://www.inlight.org):

Dr. Brunson preaches with an incomparable boldness and conviction, challenging believers to greater mission and ministry by living as caring Christian citizens.Through the transparency of his servant's heart, he calls viewers to prayer and unity so that above all, the name of Jesus Christ is glorified.

I wonder who wrote that?



Word verification: sparspar

Junkster said...

Anon March 25, 2009 7:38 PM,

Sadly there may be far more truth in what you intended as sarcasm than you realize.

Anonymous said...

To the unkind person with the bad memory: 7:38 PM. No one was concerned about the Father/Son duo then or later, as was proven, both were called preachers of the Word. Not paid employees brought on board. And the entire church VOTED as whether or not to call Dr. Lindsay Jr.
Regarding bussing of children to hear the Word: What's FBCJ doing today? They can attend a school if they can afford the tuition. Most of the members children cannot afford to attend, but they gave to start it. The children that were bussed to FBCJ in the past most likely would not have heard the Word at all, if not for the bussing.
You proved the point... debt free until now...(your words).
People gave because they wanted to, whether they believed in tithing or not, some more than the tithe.
How misinformed you are. You could not possibly have known either of the Lindsays. The last thing the Lindsays had or desired was an empire. How often we heard Jesus was their entire focus. Dr. Lindsay Jr., was given a raise by the deacons, which he returned to the church each month, because he said "God was taking care of him and he did not need it". Dr. Lindsay Sr., gave his house back to the church after Mrs. Lindsay Sr., death.
As to the church acquiring property: Looks like they used it all. No one wanted downtown property in those days. Everything was going "out" to the suburbs. But the church had enough foresight to buy it as they DID DRAW people to the downtown church, by PREACHING THE WORD. Also good foresight on their part, as look what the church has now. Enough room for a school.
As to money to put FBCJ on TV. Only God knows how many have been saved through the TV ministry. Better save that question for eternity. I do know I regularly heard around the community that many people would come home from their churches in time to hear Dr. Lindsay on TV. There was a Catholic Priest that was a friend of Dr. Lindsay Jr., that listened to him weekly. He had many friends amongst other preachers in town. At least the TV ministry was self supporting,. The church never sold books, trips or any other commodity, nor did the TV minisrty ask for any donations, as some ministries do.
The previous blog., was in regard to Dr. Lindsay, not in regard to Dr. Vines.
And most of all every dime was accounted for during the Lindsay tenure. There was complete transparency at all times. Nothing hidden in the statements. They always had time to answer any questions. As to your very unkind remarks concerning the Lindsay wives, you are completely inaccurate. Your figures are a complete fabrication. But both Lindsay wives contributed more than they could have ever been paid for to this church, and more than that, the number of souls in Heaven because of their witnessing can never have an earthly pricetag!!!!! The lives that these women touched can only be accounted for in Heaven. They never asked for anything.

The Pastors Conference was a great blessing to pastors attending and indeed to the church itself, in the past. Remember!
The debt you describe (prior 1940) was incurred prior to either Lindsay at the helm. They NEVER lined their pockets. Their standard of living was very modest to say the least. They rarely took any vacation, it was usually a few days in the mountains. You purport a falsehood to say either lined their pockets. Why would you say something like that? Anyone who knew them at all, knew better than that.

And if you felt fleeced why would you give? You refer to yourself as them making money "off of US poor working sheep". Very confusing.
I take it you did not get saved under their ministry!

Anonymous said...

Incredible that anyone would think that by bashing Dr. Lindsay, either of them, and the Mrs. Lindsays, that they somehow are defending Team Brunson. That HAD to be written by a family member, or very, very close friend of the Brunson's who only heard about the Lindsay's and just can't seem to get it as to how different Team Brunson is compared to the Lindsay's. One was a real "man of God", a humble servant that loved Jesus and taught others to love Jesus. And one was a CEO celebrity who built his own personal wealth and brand by use of the A-Group and Maurilio Amorim.

Anonymous said...

If, and I mean IF, the WD was stalking Mrs. Brunson, why would they need the google address of Tiffany Croft and slyons45? Anyone taking pictures of her and stalking her should be investigated, interviewed and watched,maybe even arrested. They would have much greater concerns than a nice Christian man raising questions about their nepotism and Maurilio Amorim. Either way, IP addresses should NOT be obtained when dealing with potential stalkers. There is NO connection. Like O.J., I am sure the church is continuing to "hunt down the real stalker" now that they know the WD was not him.

And the guy who shot the pastor was not "disgruntled" with the pastor. He was not blogging about the pastor. He was a murderous and suicidal nut. Not someone who was blogging about the pastor with concerns about land gifts, commercials played during the service, misuse of funds, angry preaching, etc.

Get real, people.

The church was angry about the CONTENT of the blog. It effected attendance and giving in their opinion, so they went to shut it down by intimidation tactics. They used their member, Detective Hinson to obtain the information, then close his file. They took the information and began harrassing the WD and his family to try to get them to subject themselves to a kangaroo court. Embarrassing acts, not according to Scripture and not according to church by-laws.

Hypothetically, can it all be explained nicely? Sure. But realistically, using common sense...No. It stinks and needs to be fully exposed and investigated.

Anonymous said...

But it won't be fully investigated, and it won't be changed. You all, the time has come to forget it. Really, when its all said and done, this blog isn't going to change anything. This is what the church wants. The blogger gone. Any questioners gone. No questions, no discussions, no nothing but complete and total agreement, and if you can't fall in to that pattern, you can leave. No concern for the souls of the people involved or their hurt. So leave. Ya'll, just forget it. Its not worth their pastor praying down the wrath of God on you. Really. Its just not worth it. God is the only one who can do anything about this now. Maybe He wants it this way. I for one stopped caring about this and never will again. Its not worth it, its never been worth it, and nobody cares. People in this day and age don't care about much of anything except money, do they?

IT IS WRITTEN said...

I don't know why all the fuss about old Mac being on the INSP Network....That's where all the "HUCKERS" are right!!!!

IT IS WRITTEN said...

Excuse me...Make that "HUCKSTERS"

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:38. You are 100% clueless. You could have never known the Lindsays. Whatever someone else is telling you they are also 100% wrong. The Lindsays never lined their pockets. They lived very modestly. Their homes are still there. Go by and look for yourself then you might learn something. You have no idea of what you are trying to sell on here. But, take it somewhere else. Also, you should be ashamed of defaming people who are dead. They cannot defend themselves. Some seem to feel it is fair game to critize the dead, especially with biased and incorrect opinions. But, you will have to defend your statements in heaven before them. You are disgraceful, uninformed, and just plain simple minded. The Lindsays themselves would be the first to correct your misguided opinions. Could it be that you are listening to past tapes and forming erroneous conclusions and opinions?

Anonymous said...

"Its not worth their pastor praying down the wrath of God on you. Really. Its just not worth it. God is the only one who can do anything about this now. Maybe He wants it this way. I for one stopped caring about this and never will again."

You bring up a good point here. I believe that what we are seeing in the Christian sector of the West is already God's judgement. We just do not recognize it. He left the building long ago and wrote: Ichabod.

We expect a calamity of His Wrath. but the truth is, that many times, He just leaves us to our own devices and look what we make of it. Shiny temples that serve us with activities and a social life. Leaders, like the old Levite priests, who are corrupt and self serving but no one will dare say so.

One thing He taught me is to look for broken people who are being remolded in His Image. (Matt 5) Those are the believers.

But we really have bought into parts of the prosperity gospel (even though we deny it) because we think those folks are the ones God does not like or He would materially bless them. He is blessing them spiritually.

We really do believe that numbers mean success or rightness of direction. We will even say that God is blessing this ministry because of numbers and money. But we rarely look at quality or fruit. I am not so sure many of us would recognize what is good or bad fruit anymore.

IT IS WRITTEN said...

Anon 7:38pm 03/25/09....I don't no anything about Homer Sr.;But you have no idea about what you're talking about when it comes to Homer Jr....He was one of the finest Christian men I have had the priviledge of knowing,and the same concerning Mrs Lindsay!!!..Blog about something you know about!!!

Anonymous said...

Special Report . . . . FBCJ

Just a quick note. FBC people the guy named Matt blogging is not Matt Blythe who grew up at FBCJ.

I was surprised when he called me and had a long time friend think it was him. The Blythe I know would not ever spend time discussing another church's issues when he is serving elsewhere.

He only knew of this blog because of our friendship and he and I were casually discussing it sometime ago.

Anyone who truly knows Matt Blythe would not get him confused with the Matt posting on this blog. There is a huge difference between the two.

This is not Matt B. posting this here either just a friend who holds him in high esteem. Matt B. has never even seen this blog.

Matt has been serving in a different church for years and focuses on his walk, his children and his church . . . thats why I love the guy!

Dog thanks for letting me clear this up!!!

You may now return to your regular bickering and Bible verse slinging between Christians

IT IS WRITTEN said...

Ditto 10:30am(Matt ?)....Paul clearly predicted a Scriptual and spiritual rejection of Biblical truth[2Thess.2:3]...An absolute dearth of Scriptual understanding perpetrated by "wolves" disguised as "shepherds" and "sheeple" with "itching ears" and a total lack of "Biblical discernment"; A recipe for religious deception on a cataclysmic scale!!!..There is beginning and will be a "Famine in the Land"[Amos 8:11-12]!!!

In His Service said...

All of the anons that misread what I wrote, please reread it in the context of "satire". My comments are satirical in nature. A form of militant irony. Not an affront the the great men who have led FBC since 1943.

Several points. In the past when folks did not like something they would face to face talk to each other about them, but at the end of the day, we would support the called ministers of the fellowship. Which in my opinion is how it should be. As you know, there would be those who would write anonymous letters to the staff. As you also know, they would just end up in the trash where they belonged.

Today, if someone such as WD does not like something, people blog all of the hate and vitriol that we have seen on this blog. And that is against both parties. But it all started 18 months earlier of anonymity than when WD was identified.

If those who thought I was being negative and not satirical, then what I posted would be taken out of context. The point is that all of the things WD blogs about and is trying to make a mountain out of occurred in the past. The real difference is that we did not put up with the type of gossip that we see here in this blog. We had respect for those in leadership and allowed them to lead us as the Lord impressed them. Even when one might disagree with them-we still showed respect.

For the record, I NEVER had any issues with any of their leading and to this day have the utmost respect for their memory and the memory of their dear sweet wives. I wished that we would have done more for those ladies after they were widowed.

Matt, as far as the tithe goes. No one that I know that respects the leadership past or present at FBC give a tinkers hoot what your opinion is about it. For the life of me I cannot understand how WD and his family stayed at FBC for almost twenty years with all of the preaching about "tithing". I can still hear the pastors say "The tithe is the Lord's" and "bring ye all of the tithes into the storehouse". All of you folks that don't like that term, sorry, but that is what has been taught at FBC since 1940. I can also still hear them say to "go forth" and tell others about Jesus. That is why I am befuddled about WD's negative comments on tithing and giving at FBC.

Anon, you are so correct. The Lindsays were the finest men that I have ever known as far as their integrity and ministry. It was due to what God was and has been doing thru the ministry at FBC that I gave up a military career to stay in Jacksonville to raise my family and serve in the fellowship. All of the ridiculous posts about transparency, salaries, and church bylaws make no sense. For the over thirty years that I attended business meetings and received all of the reports, never once did I think that there was not transparency. Nor did it ever break down what pastors and staff were paid to the individual. Never!

Not once did I or anyone else that I have know has ever "checked out the church" bylaws. Not in this or any other fellowship that I have attended. Why, because non of us felt that relevancy and we respected our leaders and trusted that the Lord was directing their paths.

I also knew that the Matt that post here was not Matt Blythe since my oldest child grew up with him. Matt has too much integrity to blog against the staff or fellowship at FBC, even if he might disagree with anything.

Although some of the negative bloggers will take this the wrong way, I am very proud of FBC of what has been accomplished in the past and what is being accomplished today. And even though I may question certain things and yes I even might have a few disagreements, at the end of the day I will wholehearted prayerfully support my pastor and staff.

Finally, attending at FBC is a "CHOICE"! Giving to the fellowship either in what some would call tithing is a "CHOICE"!!!
Prayerfully supporting the pastors and staff is a "CHOICE"!!! Faithfully visiting those in the community who need Jesus, whether on your own or organized visitation is a "CHOICE"!!! Serving in a Sunday School class, the choir or orchestra, or preschool is a "CHOICE"!!!! Attending the weekly services, Sunday school or training classes is a "CHOICE"!!!!

BUT, you also have another choice. The same choice that you have with the television or radio.

"YOU CAN CHANGE THE CHANNEL TO SOMETHING THAT YOU LIKE"!!!!!!!!!!!! No one in America makes you do anything that you don't want to do. YOU HAVE A CHOICE!!!! You can find a fellowship that suits your needs better.

AND, when you find that fellowship STOP blogging about another one that you do not believe in or support. That is what Dr. Lindsay Sr and Jr would do. That is what Dr. Vines would do. How about having a little integrity and follow their example. Which by the way is the same example of Jesus.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I did catch your sarcasm. But you were drawing parallels that just don't wash...like Vines' house and gated community as compared to Brunsons.

Regarding the tithe.

Homer Lindsay taught tithing out of the bible. He didn't yell at people about it. He didn't say that it was what his dad did so we must do it. He didn't yell "TAKE IT UP WIT DA BOOK, BRUDDER" He taught it. However, along with storehouse tithing from the OT, Lindsay and Vines both taught NT giving concepts of giving out of love for Jesus. Brunson's thrust last September leading up to the Chest of Joash was giving out of duty and OT requirements.

Brunson has never, not one time taught his views on tithing. He has just used audio and video clips of the Lindsays, and yellls "WE HAVE IT ON THE TAPE!" that our previous pastors taught it. Really? Who cares? He tells us to not look to the past, but he does on a very important subject as giving. Why doesn't Mac preach a sermon explaining to his sheep and new Christians what the Bible says about giving? Can't he show us WHERE in "da book" the tithing is taught and explain it to us, and how it fits in with new testament verses?

Here's my opinion: I believe Mac knows tithing, storehouse tithing is not defensible in scripture, else he would teach it. I believe that he views it as the best way to "raise money" at FBC Jax since we were did it for so long. He is getting frustrated that people aren't giving as much, and he is upset when a blogger voices his opinion that storehouse tithing is not scriptural. This was one of the charges against me...that I was spreading "false statements and doctrine" that A.C. Soud read on Feb 25th....if a person doesn't agree with Mac on storehouse tithing, you are accused of teaching false doctrine....although he himself has not taught it in 3 years. Lots of history, but no clear explanation of his doctrinal stance from scripture on storehouse tithing. Just "TAKE IT UP WIT DA BOOK".

So instead of screaming "TAKE IT UP WIT DA BOOK" I think as pastor of the church he should "TEACH IT FROM DA BOOK, BRUDDER". He could teach us what scripture says, put it in great historical contexts, and show some videos of Homer Lindsay.

I'll never forget the abusive sermon last fall when he said that when you join FBC Jax, you were expected to tithe. Then he said:

"You didn't know you were supposed to tithe? Well you know it now."

As though just because Mac says it, then it must be so. That is abusive, legalistic preaching, and heavy-handed preaching to the sheep.

Homer never handled his sheep this way. He TAUGHT them. He didn't CRAM it down their throats.

In His Service said...

WD, that is what is so fascinating about the human condition and God's Grace.

I, my family, and all of my friends attended the very same services that you blog about. We are all independent thinkers and strong in our walk with the Lord. None of us ever got out of the sermons the things that you are blogging about.

Non of us blindly follow any man or ministry. All of us are very active in service in the fellowship and are not bench warmers. All of us give of the blessings that the Lord has bestowed on us. And yes, we even "tithe" whether you are anyone else like that idea.

I served for years with your lovely wife in preschool and know her to be a very great lady. Why did you not blog on the fact that the women after Ms Hawk single handedly almost destroyed the entire preschool in the three years or so that she was there. It took Dr. Vines leaving to get anyone to fire the woman.

That sir would of been a great service to FBC. What you are doing now is not. As a matter of fact your blog is so unread that it was over 18 months before I knew the thing existed. For the most part the majority of folks that I know have never even seen the thing and barely even heard of it. Your message, if that is what you think that it is, is not getting traction.

An for the record, even though I am known by the many, I am not a deacon and do not wish to be. Except, since your blog, my thoughts have been pushed towards serving in that capacity. I am not as you and others like to note "one of the privileged" but I can talk to the pastor or the staff any time that I wish. That has never been a problem.

Even though will read my post I am not so arrogant to think that anything I write will make an impact on your thought process. However, if you were one of my own children I would tell you to get on with your life and stop wasting your time, talent and energy trying to cause discord within the fellowship of your former church.

Like you, there are things that I may have some issue with, just as I had some issues with previous pastors sometimes, but I would never let my "issue" do anything that might disrupt the fellowship of believers at FBC.

And, like you, if it really got to me, I would got to another fellowship. But that is what the Lindsay's taught me to do, and I guess to many who blog against FBC and the staff that is anathema! But I sincerely wish you and your family the best.

The Sparrow said...

Dear Watchdog,

As you probably know, I have been reading your blog, normally several times a day, since August of 2008.
1. I have often thought of the obvious comparison: Dr. Lindsey hiring his son, Homer Jr. and Mac Brunson hiring HIS son, Trey. On the surface, it appears that both are guilty of nepotism.
2. However, there is one HUGE difference. Homer Jr. was famous in his own right. He had been a servant of God in GROWNING a church in Miami. Trey had no track record when he was hired at First Baptist Church, Jacksonville.
3. Homer Jr. was so successful in Miami that he could have taken almost any vacant pastor position in America. Other churches knew how special he was. I cannot speak about the number of churches clamoring for the services of Trey for I do not know the answer. I doubt that there was the same demand for Trey as for Homer Jr.
4. The people at FBC already knew Homer Jr. and some of them knew him very well. I have been on group retreats with youth from his Miami church and FBC. At these camps, Homer Jr. wanted us to study the bible, give testimony, pray, and have worship services. If Homer Jr. was involved, we spent almost all of our time working on our commitment to Jesus and building our faith. As a somewhat normal teenager, I would have preferred to play and swim and hike much more of the time. However, there was no doubt that his commitment to our Lord was genuine. We had years to get to know him. He seemed like a good fit for FPC. I have no experience with Trey.
5. It is clear that there was some nepotism on the half of Homer Sr. OF COURSE he helped his son. It was a huge advantage for his son. Homer Sr. had been president of the SBC. He was also pastor of a legendary church in Jax. He helped in son in many ways. Any father would have done similarly. However, it is also clear that his son was one of the best, if not THE best qualified to assume a position at FBC. Mac did not have a compelling reason to hire Trey other than their relationship father/son relationship ( not to minimize the importance of such a relationship, please).
6. Is this reason enough to go after Team Brunson? Of course not. However, this is just one symptom of a much larger disease. It is the cumulative effect of multiple events that confirms the diagnosis. I am a simple man and I cannot say what is wrong exactly. Is it a local phenomenon? Is it endemic to the SBC? Or does it speak volumes about what mainstream religion has become?
7. People miss the point when they speculate how Homer Sr. or Jr. would handle this situation. Our benchmark must ALWAYS be Jesus. Not a man. Sure, both Homers were men of God and good men. They would be the FIRST to tell you to look to Jesus as a way to live your life.
8. How to fix the problems at FBC?
9. It is not that hard to do, actually. However, because of the pride of Mac Brunson, I doubt that it will ever occur. I pray daily that God will provide a way to heal FBC.
10. So what is the fix? Well, what would Jesus do? How would Jesus heal our church?
11. Jesus would go to visit the Watchdog and his family in private and apologize. Next, Jesus would go before the congregation and discuss the land donation He received. He would tell us exactly what it cost, what it is worth, everything. He would explain truthfully and simply all the details about hiring His wife and son.. Then He admits before the congregation of FBC that he has made some mistakes. He humbly, truthfully and sincerely apologizes for what he did to Ms. Kloudi, the WD and his family, and for his poor judgment in the other things. He asks that you forgive Him and that you pray for Him.
12. This is all that Mac needs to do. I would forgive him in a second and I think the congregation would. Sure, it would be great if Mac could evolve into a compassionate and loving man in the pulpit. Our congregation at FBC is so desperately hungry for any sign of love from our pastor. We are beaten down in our daily lives. We need to be inspired and feel LOVED on Sundays.
13. Mac would not have to disclose his salary or resign from the church. It would be great if FBC became transparent. I mean, why do we have to HIDE ANYTHING here at FBC? As a servant of God, shouldn’t our actions be representative of our spiritual beliefs? Should we expect MORE secrecy in a church than we do in a business???
14. Will we see Mac handle this whole situation in a humbly and Godly manner? I pray with all my heart that he does.
15. Lately your posts have been less sarcastic. You present the facts in a much more objective way. This is FAR more compelling. No tone you can adopt can be more damning than the cold facts of what has occurred.
16. I apologize for the length of this blog.
Yours in Christ,
Sparrow

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

In His Service - you know my wife, great. So why are you blogging anonymously, if I may ask? What are you embarrassed about? Give us your name. Go on the record. You know my name, let's have your name. Or do you know that the church leadership doesn't want you blogging and you fear that they will come down on you for blogging?

About the blog being unread...I agree. Very few people read this blog as compared to the vast FBC Jax membership.

That is what makes it so remarkable that Mac Brunson was so infatuated with finding my identity to "shut it down". They can't take just one anonymous, little-read blogger who is critical of him?

And if there was some sort of problem with the offerings on Chest of Joash that warranted a call to the JSO...it certainly wasn't a little read blog, but something else.

In His Service said...

WD, if you think that I am not my own man you are wrong. Mac Brunson nor anyone else at FBC have anything over me.

I shall remain anonymous for now, because my name is not necessary to this discussion. Besides, you are not using your name either. You are FBC JAX Watchdog and I am In His Service.

It is also my position, and my "opinion" that your blogging about your "opinions" of things at FBC is patently wrong and not something that the Lindsays or the Vines, much less the Lord would condone. It is also my "opinion" that it is doing a great disservice to the local fellowship and the body of Christ and is not helping do anything more than fan the flames of hate. Hate against you and your family and hate against the fellowship at FBC and ultimately hate for the body of Christ.

Since I am not a deacon, I was not privy to all that was discussed. All of the men that you and others rail against I have personally and professionally known for over thirty years and know that they cannot be shamed, bought, cajoled, intimidated or persuaded to do what is against their Lord and against their character. But obviously, that is not your "opinion".

Your "real name" has never been slandered. Mentioning your blog is not the legal equivalent of slander. And if your name was mentioned at the private meeting of the deacons, that also is not slander. However, you putting is print is libel. Even when you post the inflammatory and derogatory posts of others.

I will agree with that at face value there appears to be things that I might have done differently, but there again, I do not have all of the facts. Frankly, at this point any damage done to either side is done whether intentional or unintentional.

Just like you say giving my name lends credibility, so you thinking your blog has the credibility to decrease giving is absurd. This economy is the total reason that giving is off, not your blog. Although I am not a fearful type of person, I have several hundred of my friends who have lost their jobs and are truly fearful. That and only that is why giving is down. In my "opinion" of course.

It does sadden me that all of this has been playing out the way that it has. I know it must grieve the heart of God. That is why I say that cooler heads should prevail. Folks should move on with doing the things that really count and that is leading people to a saving knowledge of Jesus, and keep the main thing the main thing. Blessings.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Chest of Joash and storehouse tithing - those were methods given to Homer Lindsay, Sr. BY GOD, and USED BY GOD to fund ministry for decades. Lindsay, JR. carried on the traditions, USED BY GOD. Nothing wrong, or cheesy with that.

But Maurilio Amorim and the A-Group and Team Brunson use the Chest and OT tithing as a duty as cash cows to "raise revenue from giving units" and suddenly the Chest IS cheesy and legalistic tithing should not be used anymore. Did Maurilio mention the chest or tithing in his seminar at the pastor's conferency on "fundraising in the church?'

No, this is Old Testament, tradition, "living in the past" and is not cutting edge like Maurilio, so it would not be used at all...UNLESS, they thought they could use it to fleece the sheep.

Period. My opinion based on the way these guys operate. A once blessed means for God's people to give, has been PROSTITUTED. Think about it for a few minutes. I am right aren't I boys?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Your reasons for anonymity are the same as mine were. Yet I had the church administrator go to the JSO about potential crimes associated with this blog, a subpoena was issued to Google, then Comcast, then my identity was given to the church so they could issue trespass warnings to intimidate me to shut the blog down. Hopefully you won't suffer the same fate. I doubt it, since you aren't critical of the church.

I was serious when I said that this is a little read blog when compared to the vast membership, which is why I agree with you - this blog has no impact on giving at the church or opinions on people at the church - which as I say makes the administration seem so paranoid that they had to come after me and my wife so harshly. And that an edict needed to be read by A.C. Soud. Mighty sensitive, to go to these lengths to shut down a little read blog.

Yes, my name was slandered as reported by multiple deacons present at the meeting. I was accused of crimes against Mrs. Brunson. Not as the Watchdog, but with my real name.

Anonymous said...

"In the past when folks did not like something they would face to face talk to each other about them, but at the end of the day, we would support the called ministers of the fellowship. Which in my opinion is how it should be. As you know, there would be those who would write anonymous letters to the staff. As you also know, they would just end up in the trash where they belonged."

In the past, pastors did not isolate themselves and think of the pew sitter as well...a pew sitter. They were all a part of the Body of Christ. The hand cannot say to the eye, I have no need of you.

The big changes in how the SBC views pastors started with the rise of the mega. Now, he is a celebrity and good luck getting him on the phone or dropping by his office.

"Matt, as far as the tithe goes. No one that I know that respects the leadership past or present at FBC give a tinkers hoot what your opinion is about it."

You do not care what the NT teaches about giving? It does not teach tithing. In fact, it teaches MUCH MORE than OC tithing. Jesus Christ raised the bar from tithing to sacrificial giving.


" For the life of me I cannot understand how WD and his family stayed at FBC for almost twenty years with all of the preaching about "tithing". "

Probably for several reasons. One being that, like me, he also just believed whatever he was taught on the subject and did not realize, like me, we are in a New Covenant. Actually, Jesus raised the giving standard in the NC.

"I can still hear the pastors say "The tithe is the Lord's" and "bring ye all of the tithes into the storehouse". All of you folks that don't like that term, sorry, but that is what has been taught at FBC since 1940."

I take it you have not read about the Bereans.


Matt

Anonymous said...

WD:

Yes, your name was slandered because without an ounce of any proof your name was spoken at that deacons' meeting and it was said that there was a good possibility that you were the one who had photographed Debbie Brunson while she was out jogging.

The anon who says he's not a deacon and doesn't want to be one -- baloney! He doesn't want to be one because he is very likely unqualified to be one. I think he's a member of "the family" or a close friend of theirs.

And just for the record, I know several people who live in the "gated, guarded" community where Dr. Vines lived. It ain't nothin' special and wasn't when Dr. Vines lived there either!

IT IS WRITTEN said...

In His Service said......."However, if you were one of my own children I would tell you to get on with your life and stop wasting your time, talent and energy trying to cause discord within the fellowship of your former church." ......."In His Service" I for once agree with you on that statement....It is a waste of Dr.Dog's "VALUABLE TIME"!!!...To those who agree with Dr.Dog they agree,and for those who disagree they have made up their minds to disagree...The only thing left for Dr.Dog to do is to clear his name against the false accussations contrived by FBCJ leaders....Dr.Dog was not wrong in bringing these issues to the light and the reaction of the leaders at FBC Jax as far as I'm concerned legitimize his concerns....But as I have said before "IT IS OVER"....Now lets sit back and watch...."WORSE and WORSE"!!!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

And if that was John Blount that spread that vicious lie that I was photographing Deb Brunson, then someone lied to John Blount. I know John Blount and even though he himself has executed trespass warnings against my wife with the Jax Sheriff's Office for church misconduct, I still believe him to be a man of honor and integrity. Someone lied to John because I at no time, anywhere did anything of the sort of photographing Deb Brunson, or stealing their mail as was alleged also in the meeting. Just the notion of it is absurd and ridiculous.

I tried to call and email John Blount to discuss this lie he told about me, but he didn't return my calls.

So I'll just say it here: John, you slandered me. You have believed a lie someone told you - I know that because I don't believe you would ever make something like that up.

And to think Mac is making himself on his blog this week, and in his sermon this past Sunday to be the one slandered. It defies logic what is happening down at the church.

But John Blount - I don't hold this against you, and I have already forgiven you for slandering me and issuing trespass warnings against my wife, because I know you have been lied to by someone you greatly respect. I would just like to know who it was John that told you that lie about me.

Anonymous said...

" This economy is the total reason that giving is off, not your blog."

Not necessarily. You can go back to the 70's and see that was not exactly the case then for churches when interest rates were in the teens and we were in a recession. But there were almost no known mega's back then.

Most mega's have experienced a climax in giving and attendance the last 4-5 years. It depends on how they report numbers. One mega dropped so bad that they started counting the kids under 3 who were not in worship to bring the 4worship service numbers closer to what they had been reporting. Since there approximately anywhere from 1000 to 3000 kids under 3 during each service, this helped.

But, giving in a mega is very different than many smaller churches. It is a fact, and they know it, that if attendance is down, giving will be too. People are not likely to mail the check. We called them nickels and noses. We planned diligently for the low attendance months.

Your regular givers for the most part are those over 50. They still 'tithe' but not as much as those over 70. Because FBC Jax is an older church you probably have a good senior population. Most megas are not more than 30 years old.

Mega's need attendance to keep the money flowing in. People will give if sitting there and they know it. That is why you have such sheep beating sermons on tithing. Gaines even told his folks that some were driving stolen cars. You know desperation is setting in.

If you could see the electric bill for one month at FBCJax, you might get a better picture of what it takes to run the place. Then look at your 'tithe' check for that month. And you realize you have not even tapped the surface of what it takes to keep it running. Now, project that out for a few years with the typical attendance. It is scary stuff.

Pastor might have to take a cut. Or give up his housing allowance. But usually, they just lay off other people.

Matt

IT IS WRITTEN said...

Matt said......."Pastor might have to take a cut. Or give up his housing allowance. But usually, they just lay off other people."......."Matt" tell me it ain't so!!!!.You's gots to kidding,right!!!.Are you trying to tell me that the mega Pastor does'nt care enough about the sheeple; "err" sheep as to take a pay cut!!!..What in the world is the Church coming too!!!![Acts 4:34-35]

Anonymous said...

In His Service - you seem to want to engage some of the issues, yet you continue to sound like you are making excuses and avoiding the simple fact that the Brunsons have acted in a way that impacted their ability to lead this church. When questions were asked, they took measure after measure to have those asking removed or silenced. They are even proud of their resolution and posted it on the internet.

But sir - please address the issues. Need I list them all here again? He/She did not show up here to preach for weeks after being called; he worked on his book after he came and missed time in the pulpit to complete his book; he traveled extensively to earn money in other pulpits; he had the children's building conference room built out at a cost of over $100,000 for luxury office suites BEFORE he even arrived when Vines or Lindsay's offices were available; he promoted Holy Land trips, promoted his son's wedding reception, and accepted the $307K land gift all while living an hour from the church on Amelia Island on the ocean. In His Service...please, did not ANY of this, or ALL of it taken together, cause you any concern? Then he added wife and son to staff, HIRED MAURILIO, built a million dollar home on the golf course in Deerwood, and continued to do things he expressly counseled against in his book; then the bylaws were changed without making copies available to the members and without even explaining what the changes were. This doesn't concern you It Is Written? What about the angry sermons, his criticizing us to other congregations, his making himself the victim?

Please sir, you seem to have some thoughts on this blog. Why not respond to your thoughts on the above?

Thank you.

VOR

Anonymous said...

What is going to affect donations to charity organizations is the current administration. Obama is going to reduce the allowable amount given by reducing the tax rate advantage. Secondly, a lot of people are out of work and are going through their savings until its all gone and they won't have anything to give,. Third, the televangelists are getting millions because a lot of church members are watching them rather than attending church for all kinds of reasons. It has to be this way in order for the One World Government to come into existence. You ain't seen anything yet. Worse..and still worse.

In His Service said...

Matt, "who is we" and what is your background that would entice us to give credibility to your posts?

In His Service said...

WD, my reason for anonymity was not and is not the same as yours. For several reasons.

If I had your concerns, which I do not, I would have gone to someone starting with Mac Brunson to discuss them. I certainly would not blog about them to the public.

As I said before, I have no status at FBC other than being a very active member and raising a very active family there. I am very well known for those reasons by a large portion of our fellowship. Revealing my name would add no credibility to this blog. Nor would it expose me to some type of retribution from any of the staff at FBC.

I have no direct knowledge of the stalking or email thing but I have seen other posts on this blog. Even without these two allegations I thought there was enough being written on the blog, specifically libel, that could give probable cause to obtain the information.

As I told you in the past, I can empathize with your wife in this matter. With what I have seen thus far serving a trespass warrant on her did not make any sense to me. I only glanced at them once and you blocked out your name, so I could not tell if it specifically listed you both or just you.

You are right about the possibility that someone else said something to Blount and that he acted in good faith. I hope that is the case.

Matt, I am still looking for your response to my previous post. Your suppositions are off base when it comes to FBC, in my opinion, of course. Attendance has been steadily increasing since Brunson came. Attendance was definitely on the decline the last few years that Vines was in the pulpit which would correlate to your 4-5 year ago comment.

Since you claim to be someone else in some other place, maybe you should get on a plane and visit on Sunday morning and see for yourself the demographics. I will even pick you up from the airport and let you stay with my wife and me at our home.

Anonymous said...

Hey satire.3-26 12:14: We did not make the mistake. You did. If we took what you said out of context!!!You are the one who said it and now you have the audacity to blame us for what YOU blogged. Sad indeed. Thanks for telling us about integrity now that you have shown yours!!! Additionally, people in the U.S. still have the right to their opinion and whether they use this blog or a thousand others they will speak their minds. Some can dish it out but can't take it. Yes, indeed we have a CHOICE!!Thank you.

In His Service said...

Sparrow, I agree with a lot of your suppositions, but there are lot that I don't.

All of the posts about the lot are still ridiculous. It was a gift from a very generous man who could easily write a check for all of the construction work ht we are talking about doing. What all of this lot talk really oils down to the basis of all human emotions. How come no one is complaining that the housue was built for the builders cost? And not the same family that donated the lot.

And bringing up Sherri Klouda not Kloudi, is also not relevant and has absolutely nothing to do with FBC.

As far as going and apologizing to WD and his family. For what? He has not slandered WD and his wife, nor has he libeled them. WD on the other hand has committed libel, but not slander. For 18 months WD had many opportunity to go to Brunson and express his concerns.

I agree with you Mr. Sparrow, it would be good if all of this could be resolved. But all of this railing about the lot, the house, the salary, the wife and son working at church is wearing thin.

If any party is guilty of willingly and with malice misusing whatever methods they did and are guilty of a crime they should stand accountable. This blog is not that forum.

Again, I have attended all of the same services that you and your fellow bloggers have attended with some of use for over thirty years. All of the thousands of folks that I know do not see things the way this blog portrays.

And as It IS Written has posted we will have to sit back and watch what happens. Blessings.

In His Service said...

Anon 5:10 PM: I am sorry that you missed the point. Obviously my satire offended you and I humbly apologize and ask your forgiveness.

I, like you have no honor and integrity except as given by the grace of our Lord.

IT IS WRITTEN said...

In His Service....Remember a crowd does not necessarily signify that a church is spiritually healthy....It can also be sign that it's "pragmatic" remember the Church of Laodicea[Rev.3:14-22]!!!

Truett said...

Friends,
I am a southern Baptist pastor and have been for over 20 yrs. The Church I pastor is growing, in every way including financially. I am not a member of the “Since I came club” God is blessing and I am very thankful. I love God’s people, and am a strong believer that you should “Treat everybody you meet with extra kindness, because everyone is hurting somewhere”.

I believe there is a strong correlation between caring Shepherds and loved sheep, and shared responsibility in giving from hearts that He has redeemed! I honestly haven’t had to teach tithing (Though I believe in it and have tithed my entire Christian life) I have discovered that Gods people know that giving ( Financially) is just a small part of giving ( Our lives) back to the one who has given us, life eternal!

I am saddened to hear of the struggles that have been described in this blog.

I have in my ministry journey experienced conflict, (Thankfully rare) and underserved in my opinion and deeply hurtful.

I also know that the root of conflict is poor communication. When will Pastors and God’s people learn to adhere to Ephesians 4: 29-32?


“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4: 29-32).


I believe the writer of this blog has asked legitimate questions, I also believe Dr. Brunson has been deeply wounded by not only what is written, but by having to squarely face, (even if privately) the legitimate issues brought out.

I am equally saddened that it came to this. I (speaking as a Pastor) am not afraid of answering anything and everything that is a concern to Gods people. After following this blog for a time, and after sensing the authors’ heart, I would not be afraid to have him as a member of the Church God has called me to serve.

Sir, your family has been hurt, the staff at First has been hurt….plenty of hurt to go around, my prayer for you and everyone is, that His people would say enough!

From now on its, Ephesians 4: 29-32…for me, for us….for God, for a watching cynical world. Ephesians 4: 29-32 for every heart that knows the Lord Jesus Christ!

Anonymous said...

Matt, "who is we" and what is your background that would entice us to give credibility to your posts?

March 26, 2009 4:37 PM

I don't claim to be anything but a recovering Pharisee. Not much to be proud of, quite frankly.

Anonymous said...

"Matt, I am still looking for your response to my previous post. Your suppositions are off base when it comes to FBC, in my opinion, of course."

I thought I did answer you. Perhaps it was not the answer you were looking for?


"Attendance has been steadily increasing since Brunson came. Attendance was definitely on the decline the last few years that Vines was in the pulpit which would correlate to your 4-5 year ago comment."

That is great! Then why all the beat the sheep tithing sermons?

"Since you claim to be someone else in some other place, maybe you should get on a plane and visit on Sunday morning and see for yourself the demographics. I will even pick you up from the airport and let you stay with my wife and me at our home."

No thanks. I have visited many megas in my career and they all basically operated exactly the same and looked alike. Sort of like malls do no matter what city you are in.

But, each mega will tell you how 'unique' they are. That was definitely one constant.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Victim my eye. Dr Lindsay Jr BUILT a church in Miami and his first staff member came only after he had grown 1000 members from 34. He worked 7 day weeks. Did not travel to preach or politic anywhere. He did not write books. He studyed the word and preached it in season and out of season and preached the whole gospel, not just the feel good part. He never used his pulpit to promote himself and he was consistent in turning down raises for himself. He lived a meager life in the same house he came to Jacksonville to live in. He was a man of honor not a charlatan. He would be disgusted with the capture of wealth at the expense of the congregations, that is so well demonstrated here and enabled by that spineless group of yes men that are only concerned about their own position. Hello, WAKE UP !!!! Get you PRIDE behind all of you. RESIGN NOW

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:50 pm. Amen brother. One other thing he has heard...well done my good and faithful servant. Pastors should put that on their refrigerators and desks and pray every day that they would be counted to be in that group.

IT IS WRITTEN said...

Pastor Truett..."Thank You" for your most gracious words to Dr.Dog..You sir appear to be a man after God's Own Heart..."Bless You Sir"!!!

Truett said...

It is written,

Your kindness has refreshed my spirit. Please pray that I will always be a man after God's own, heart, and I just have done the same for you!

With Appreciation,
Truett

IT IS WRITTEN said...

Anon 6:50pm 03/26/09..."Amen" my brother/sister "Amen"...There are/were not many men in the mold of Homer Lindsay Jr.!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon.3-26 6:50 PM: AMEN! I WISH WE COULD PRINT YOUR POST AND PLACE IT ON THE BILLBOARD NEXT TO THE CHURCH, FOR ALL TO READ, ESPECIALLY LEADERSHIP AND THE "YES MEN". You are correct Dr. Lindsay was a CALLED OF GOD preacher, that's the difference!!!!

Anonymous said...

Truett:

Your humble, godly spirit shows through in your writing.

A humble, godly spirit is exactly what's missing in the leadership @FBCJ!

Many of us who come and post here are concerned that FBCJ has become just another mega church. Something is wrong in expanding to the "south campus." It's absolutely wrong if at some point the plans do not include turning that location loose as an independent church with her own pastor! It's just another opportunity for showing "We are the biggest and best" and guess whose name will be at the center of it all???

As to the remarks that have been posted here from time to time stating that FBCJ is just as vital as ever, take a look around you on Wednesday & Sunday nights. The attendance is pathetic!

New BBC Open Forum said...

I haven't read all the comments yet, so forgive me if someone has already mentioned this, but TBN and Daystar are no better. Love Worth Finding, Dr. Adrian Rogers' ministry (old services filmed at Bellevue) are broadcast on TBN and their affiliated station, The Church Channel. Charles Stanley's In Touch is on Daystar. The INSP network doesn't sound any different that these. Are there any other choices in the national market? Even with local broadcasting, I dare say most stations broadcast programming that many of us would find "objectionable." It seems to me churches and ministries have two choices. Either overlook the bad and use the available resources to get your message out and convince yourself the ends justify the means (which they may or may not), or don't get your message out.

Former FBC employee said...

If people are basing Church attendance on the reports that come from Church Leadership, rest assured the reports are not accurate. As someone who has worked at FBC, attendance was always going up - at least on paper.

There would be times when there would be drop offs in attendance, but rest assured, those declines always turned upward.

Additional "people" are added each and every week as "floaters" - people who were not in Sunday School but were in still somewhere on campus.

If attendance didn't "look" right, extra people always seemed to show up somewhere.

It's all a numbers game.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Money is the root to all evil."

No, the love of money is the root of all evil. This is probably one of the most misquoted verses in the Bible.

Anonymous said...

"If people are basing Church attendance on the reports that come from Church Leadership, rest assured the reports are not accurate. As someone who has worked at FBC, attendance was always going up - at least on paper."

Mega's use all sorts of tricks on the reporting numbers game. Another problem is that many attend but never join. And some folks join and then rarely attend.

The words 'member' and 'attendance' are interchangable in the mega world.

Some folks attend and never join. And some join and rarely attend.

One mega, which had numbers dropping off, reported in their numbers people attending the 12 step programs as 'members' because they 'joined' a group that met at the church. Since they had about 30 of these groups meeting during the week, it helped keep the numbers looking good.

Matt

Anonymous said...

In His Service - still no response to the concerns I asked you about? Don't worry, no one else from the church has been able to come on here and deal with them either in the last two and a half years. We don't let you slide with not addressing the issues.

If you can't see the problem with the land gift, just ask Mac. He addresses large gifts in his Pastor's Guidebook.

You mention just a few of the issues you seem to be able to explain away. Please deal with the ones I raised above in the comments to you, sir.

After two plus years, we are all still waiting for a defense of the indefensible.

By the way, are you confirming for us all that Howard White had that house built for cost? Below market value? Yikes! Not really helping the pastor with that disclosure ya think?

VOR

Anonymous said...

Let's see if I can summarize the blog: New pastor comes in and based on many actions over a two year time span, one member opines that the new pastor is a charlatan and a jerk.
One member out of about 25,000 decides to post facts and information about concerns he has about the charlatan jerk.
Church "disagrees" with the "unjust" criticism and begins to do whatever it has to do to shut down the one man's blog. (They never offer any rebuttal to the actions that first resulted in the one man seeing the pastor as a charlatan and jerk.)
Unable to intimidate the man, they don't even bother to go to him, or meet with him. Instead, they enlist the help of a detective/member, who uses his position to have the SA issue subpoenas under the color of law. Once the man's identity is obtained, trespass warnings are issued to thet man, and his wife, and a kangaroo court is convened. The man is not allowed to hear or address any charges against him. Then a meeting of deacons is held, not all deacons, just some, and they all must sign in first. Then the accused is slandered by name, partial information is given out, and he is accused of being a criminal. Deacons then begin to spread the word about the man and his family in the community, church and to his new church. In the meantime, criminal investigations continue and the man retains state and federal attorneys to file civil actions against all parties involved at the appropriate time.

Am I missing something?

IT IS WRITTEN said...

This has truly,truly become tragic!!!.Not only has FBC Jax inner working been exposed but the,but the inner working of many Churches also!!!.The place that people look too as the proclaimers of "TRUTH" have become nothing more than the perpetrators of lies!!!."Just" as the Bible predicted that near the return of the Lord Jesus Christ that deceptive,greedy people would arise teaching perverse things to draw disciples for themselves...Men looking for the opportunity to fleece the sheep and the tares for filthy lucre!!!.Unregenerate men who see the sheep and the ministry as a means too and end!!!..Men who see ministry as a job opportunity rather than a calling!!.Men who take their ill-gotten loot and then sport their deceivings right in front of the ignorant givers they have fleeced it from!!!."How do the flaunt their ill-gotten booty before baffled givers you ask"???."I'm glad you ask"!!.They buy milloin dollar houses..They drive expensive luxury auto's..They dress in custom made clothing..They purchase the finest jewelry..They travel the country and the globe at their leisure..They use 100,000 dollars to enlarge there office for the satisfaction of their ego's...They employ their family members so that they can enrich them at the flocks expense..They spare no expense for themselves..They believe themselves to deserving of gain..They twist the scriptures to keep the sheep docile and the tares entertained...They cohort with un-godly consultants who wouldn't know Jesus if He return from Heaven in their sights...They prositute the facilities under the guise of a "Day of Faith" with people from all type of religions or lack of to pray for their cities;And act that even the Prophet Elijah would find abhorent[1Kings 18:21]..They attempt to destroy anyone who would dare to confront them with legitimate question!!.They slander individuals under the cloak of anonymity!!.They remain silent as their mercinaries carry out his dastartly whims ..All of this unbelievably happening in the "Churches"!!!....I truly now understand Jesus poignant "Words" to the religious leaders of His time in Matt.23:38 "Behold,"YOUR HOUSE" is left unto you desolate"!!!....Tragic,truly tragic!!!..."WORSE AND WORSE" ; "WORSE AND WORSE"

Anonymous said...

anon 3:29 it is hard to go to someone who hides for over 18 months anonymously, now isn't it?!!

Anonymous said...

WD, Was Brunson claiming that you were stalking his wife while she was jogging in a gated community with security guards?

If someone was able to get in there to do that, did she run for the guard person immediately and report this? Did she call the police immediately? Did she give a date this happened?

There should be some documetation of her reporting this to her community security and the police.

Anonymous said...

"On February 27, the Maryland Court of Appeals – the state's highest court -- set down some clear rules for when, in that state, a plaintiff challenging an anonymous online posting as defamatory can find out the poster's identity from an Internet Service Provider (ISP). In so doing, the court considered both the poster's right to free speech – including the First Amendment right, recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court, to speak anonymously – and the plaintiff's right to seek a legal remedy for defamation.

"In this column, I'll explain the rules the Maryland court chose, and some of the alternatives that other courts have endorsed. I will contend that the Maryland court chose a wise solution in a still-developing area of law.

"I will also argue, however, that a federal solution in this area would be a better way for America to address the major differences between online and offline anonymous speech, the way these differences affect defamation law, and the national (and international) nature of the Internet itself.

"The Maryland Court's Ruling on the Notice Requirement

"To begin, the Maryland court agreed with other states' courts that the plaintiff should be required to attempt to notify the anonymous defendant of the lawsuit against him or her, by posting the information on the same message board or other online forum where the allegedly defamatory communication had appeared.

"It's no surprise that this reasonable, common-sense requirement has gained courts' favor: It places a minimal burden on the plaintiff while protecting defendants and their First Amendment rights, which include the right to speak anonymously.

"Also, it's commonly agreed that it is a key component of due process that the plaintiff must make reasonable efforts to let the defendant know he is being sued. That's why the requirements for valid service of process are laid down by the law, and why sometimes courts require newspaper announcements to be made relating to cases before them.

"The Maryland Court's Ruling on the Test for Disclosure of the Defendant's Identity

"Much more controversial, among the states, than the notice question, is the question of what must be shown by a defamation plaintiff before he or she can force an ISP to unmask an anonymous poster. The Maryland Court isolated four different tests courts have used or considered: (1) the plaintiff must produce facts sufficient to defeat a motion for summary judgment; (2) the plaintiff's allegations must be sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss the complaint; (3) the plaintiff must have a good faith basis for the suit; (4) the plaintiff must establish facts sufficient to make out a prima facie case as to each of the elements of defamation, including damages and, if such a case is made, the court must balance the defendant's First Amendment right to anonymity against the plaintiff's right to seek a remedy for claimed defamation in deciding whether to unmask the defendant.

"Which of these four tests is the best? To begin, even a strong First Amendment advocate like myself must recognize that the first test – the ability to survive a summary judgment motion -- puts too high a burden on the plaintiff.

"To prove defamation, a plaintiff must establish a false, defamatory statement, made with the requisite level of intent, that caused damages. Thus, in order to defeat a summary judgment motion, the plaintiff will need to adduce proof of intent -- either "actual malice," defined as knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard as to truth or falsity (for public-figure defendants) or negligence (for private figures). That proof is typically collected in two ways – by deposing the defendant and by examining documents that evidence the plaintiff's state of mind. But, of course, it's impossible to depose or get documents from an anonymous defendant. Thus, this test essentially asks the plaintiff to do something that is impossible: figure out what a defendant knew or thought, without even knowing who he or she is. (The interesting solution of anonymous discovery might solve this issue – but would be very unusual and novel.)

"What about the second test – the ability to survive a motion to dismiss? This test is too easy to pass.

"Granted, sometimes motions to dismiss do get rid of meritless defamation cases – for instance, if the statement at issue isn't really defamatory, if the statement is of opinion rather than fact, or if the statement is true enough ("substantially true") for First Amendment purposes, even if it is not true in every detail. But generally, a false statement and the mere allegations that the defendant had the required state of mind and that the plaintiff suffered damages, will allow a defamation plaintiff to survive a motion to dismiss. Thus, this test will predictably unmask anonymous posters even when they did not have the required state of mind and/or when the plaintiff did not suffer damages. The third test – the "good faith basis" test -- is similarly too weak, as well as being disturbingly vague.

"That leaves us with the fourth test, which the Maryland Court of Appeals wisely embraced: a prima facie case, plus a balancing test. This is the best of the four alternative, yet it still has some disturbing features. To make out a prima facie case, the plaintiff will have to put forth at least some evidence on each element – thus, for instance, preventing cases from being brought when there are no concrete damages. For example, suppose a restaurant sues an anonymous poster for a poor review. If the restaurant's profits have remained steady despite the review, the court may hold that there is no prima facie case as to damages.

"But again, even under this fourth test, it will be hard for the plaintiff to put forth any state-of-mind evidence without knowing who the defendant is, and having the ability to pose discovery requests to him or her.

"Also, the addition of the balancing test – weighing the need to enforce defamation law against First Amendment concerns, based on the specifics of the given case -- seems somewhat redundant. The test seems likely to protect speech on subjects of intense public interest – for there, the First Amendment aspect is greatest. Yet, when speech concerns such subjects, it seems likely that the plaintiff may not be able to make a prima facie case as to state of mind anyway, for actual malice is likely to be required. And generally, it is a little odd for a court to take the First Amendment into account twice – first in devising the plaintiff's showing, and then second in the balancing test.

"No wonder, then, that three of the Maryland Court of Appeals judges agreed with the prima facie case test that the majority adopted, but saw no need to impose an additional balancing test as well.

"How the Role of Anonymous Speech Changed with the Advent of the Internet – and Why We Need a Federal Solution

"In sum, the Maryland Court of Appeals was wise in choosing the better options from the menu of solutions that courts have thus far imposed. But the gradual process that is occurring here – common-law development of the standards, along with state courts' watching and learning from other state courts' successes and mistakes – seems wrong in light of the transformative nature of the Internet, and the fact that its audience is national, not local.

"Prior to the Internet, of course, individuals' anonymous speech typically had a limited audience. Modern newspapers and other publications generally wouldn't publish anonymous writings (as they had back in the Framers' time, when pseudonyms were common) so such writings' impact was generally local -- confined to, say, unsigned leaflets in a local election. If anonymous speech was widely distributed – as with Deep Throat, Watergate, and the Washington Post – it was first filtered through reporters, who could themselves be sued and, in some cases, forced to reveal their sources or face jail.

"Depending on your point of view, those reporters either provided a worthy check to balance anonymity against veracity, or else created an unjustifiable screen through which certain individuals – often, individuals with fairly homogeneous backgrounds and viewpoints – could keep some stories and claims from reaching a wide audience, while letting others through. Reporters were gatekeepers, but was that function honorable, or pernicious? The answer varied based on the facts of the given story or claim and the viewpoint of the person commenting.

"Now, the gate is gone. Individuals can speak directly and anonymously on the Internet. At first glance, that reality might seem to obviously call for the strengthening of defamation law – on the theory that individuals can now speak to a mass audience and thus inflict massive damage to reputation. But upon closer examination, the answer is not as clear. Internet readers will naturally discount the weight of anonymous speech, because they know they have no ability to verify it. And the target of the speech can generally reply quickly and effectively on the Internet, too – and also reach a mass audience. Thus, the huge power disparity between the speaker and the target was a more likely situation in the pre-Internet world, than in this one. In addition, I expect to see more effective ways for targets (and their defenders) to reply to their critics as the Internet continues to evolve.

"As a matter of policy, it might be a good idea to simply get rid of defamation law on the Internet, and replace it with a means by which those who are attacked can effectively reply to the same audience their attacker reached. This solution would be a kind of Internet fairness doctrine, but because the space for speech on the Internet is near-limitless, it would not be plagued by the problems that the broadcast fairness doctrine has suffered. Rather than choosing speakers to represent "the other side," sites would simply be required to leave message boards open, and to allow new posters to connect their messages with old threads, in order to reply to statements attacking them.

"A federal statute embodying this limited right-of-reply might be preferable to allowing courts to craft fifty different solutions to the problem of how to address anonymous speech on what is truly a national (and international) forum. But until Congress or a federal agency takes action, we will be left pretending that the Internet's national forum is no different than the town square."

FROM:
http://writ.news.findlaw.com/hilden/20090316.html?=features

Anonymous said...

This whole blog has degenerated into a bash preachers site where people who probably aren't even faithful in their church attendance can pontificate about being so spiritual and being able to detect spirituality (or the lack of it) in everyone they observe. Its all just a bunch of posturing and trying to act so spiritual and discerning.

The saddest part is reading stuff by people who think the Lindsays were God incarnate and without fault--I just wonder how faithful these people were when the Lindsays were here. Seems like the people at Bellevue in Memphis are doing the same thing as they won't let Adrian Rogers go on to glory. They actually still play his taped sermons as if he was still here and up until recently were conducting a Bible conference where you paid to sit and listen to his taped messages. I knew Adrian as a personal friend and I'm sure he would be embarassed by the way they are canonizing him--and usually to the detriment of whoever their current pastor might be.

It will be a great day when you sanctimonious folks run out of preachers to roast--and then you will have to turn on yourselves and it won't be a pretty sight.

Anonymous said...

It will be a great day when you sanctimonious folks run out of preachers to roast--and then you will have to turn on yourselves and it won't be a pretty sight.

March 27, 2009 9:52 PM

You don't think these questions are pertinent:

"Was Brunson claiming that you were stalking his wife while she was jogging in a gated community with security guards?

If someone was able to get in there to do that, did she run for the guard person immediately and report this? Did she call the police immediately? Did she give a date this happened?

There should be some documetation of her reporting this to her community security and the police."

That is not bashing. That is just asking serious questions since a criminal subpeona was filed to find WD by a church.

How is asking quesitons bashing? Unless, of course, you think it is a sin to question the actions of church leadership. If so, they we can go back to Geneva in the 1600's.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Seems like the people at Bellevue in Memphis are doing the same thing as they won't let Adrian Rogers go on to glory. They actually still play his taped sermons as if he was still here and up until recently were conducting a Bible conference where you paid to sit and listen to his taped messages. I knew Adrian as a personal friend and I'm sure he would be embarassed by the way they are canonizing him--and usually to the detriment of whoever their current pastor might be."

Whoa, whoa, whoa! If you were a "personal friend" of Adrian Rogers surely you must realize that neither Bellevue nor its current members or staff have anything to do with the broadcasting of his sermons on TV. Love Worth Finding is a 501(c)(3) organization (look it up on Guidestar) that is totally independent from Bellevue Baptist Church.

Adrian Rogers went on to glory over three years ago. Too soon IMO, but we all eventually die. Nobody's hindering him. I do think you make a valid point that some people have "canonized" him. I've no doubt he would be embarrassed by this, too. There was a discussion on our blog today about this very thing after someone posted a quote from one of his sermons as if it were set in stone. I said there, and I'll repeat it here...

Last I looked there were 66 books in the Bible, and there is no book of Adrian. I mean no disrepect to Dr. Rogers or his memory, but as much as some people would like to think so, just because Dr. Rogers (or any other preacher) said something doesn't make it the gospel truth. I think he would have been the first one to tell you that. Didn't he used to say, "Don't take my word for it... "?

LWF is reaching the globe with the gospel of Christ through the timeless preaching of Dr. Adrian Rogers. If you have a problem with that, maybe you should take it up with them. You can reach them M-F at 901-382-7900. I bet if you tell them you were a "personal friend" of Dr. Rogers they'll put you right through to the president!

As far as the paid conferences go, all I can think of is the Adrian Rogers Pastor Training Institute. Formerly a part of LWF, it too is now a separate 501(c)(3) based in Florida and headed by his son, Steve Rogers.

Please get your facts straight before spouting off about something you obviously know nothing about.

Anonymous said...

anon 3:29 what you are missing are the Facts, all the facts for the 18 months prior to Wds reveal!

Anonymous said...

'anon 3:29 it is hard to go to someone who hides for over 18 months anonymously, now isn't it?!!'

ANSWER: They found out his identity approximately October 9, 2008. Served trespass warnings after finding no criminal activity on the blog (November 24 or so), then had a private closed meeting about him months later. Are you really stating you don't think they knew who he was and that is why they have never, to this day, called him or visited him to discuss the blog or the issues raised on it?

Another weak "defense" of the indefensible.

Anonymous said...

Question: Has Mac Brunson done ANYTHING that would show he is willing to be more open and transparent? If yes, what? If not, why not?

Anonymous said...

Anon: RE: Sanctimonious Folks: 9:52 PM: A "word" of explanation is due here, if you please. I notice you refer to this blog., as a preacher bashing site, and then continue on the BASH and ROAST the Lindsays, even though they are dead. Were you a member at FBCJ when the Lindsays were here? The fact that people admired the HUMILITY, the verse by verse PREACHING of the REAL BIBLE, the kindness shown EACH member (rich or poor), the actual commitment to JESUS, and the burning desire to lead as many as possible to the SAVING GRACE of JESUS is what people admired about the Lindsays. People that recognized that about them did and still do posess SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT, otherwise, these same people would accept false doctrine or accept just any "personality" that wants to call himself a preacher, behind the pulpit. There is no substitute for a God called preacher. When God has His hand on a ministry, people know it. IT IS CALLED SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT. I don't think people believed then or now that the Lindsays were God Incarnate, that is an insult to the Lindsays and to the people that admired their preaching. The Lindsays were HUMBLE people always pointing to JESUS, never to themselves. Dr. Lindsay Jr., was very shy, one on one, and did not like attention drawn to himself, personally. As to whether or not people actually were in attendance.... obviously they were, or so many would not be as outspoken about their ministry now. Plus, check the attendance with those that were around then. If you wanted "a good seat" you better get to the service early. This was true on Sunday, and much of the time on Wed. I learned much about the Word, and about the character of true christians that have helped me for many, many years. I thank God that we had the Lindsays to show forth JESUS.

And us who pontificate (your word) do posess Spiritual Discernment otherwise we would not recognize a "real preacher" and God working through him, when we see and hear one. Thank you!!!!

Anonymous said...

I know plenty about it but as usual you are the unimpeachable source for all things at Bellevue. The fact still exists that his tapes, sermons, books and whatever else are being canonized as if he were still alive. I'm sure he's not wasting any time in Heaven watching this fiasco down here.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Friend" of Adrian Rogers,

Well, you must not know as much as you think. You were the one who stated "the people at Bellevue" are responsible for marketing Dr. Rogers' books and tapes and broadcasting his sermons. They are not. Most of the people who work at LWF are not members of Bellevue. As I explained, LWF and the ARPTI are not connected to Bellevue. I gave you the number for LWF. If what they're doing is so objectionable to you, feel free to give them a call and voice your displeasure.

I did agree with you that some people have (and did) put him on a pedestal, and I agree he would be embarrassed about the way some people have "canonized" him (your word).

So am I to understand that you think when any preacher dies his books and tapes should be destroyed and any videotapes of his sermons should never be broadcast again? Hmmm... do I detect a hint of jealousy?

Thy Peace said...

Wade's blog > Abuse of Authority: It Must Not Be Ignored

Having been clear about my preferences that Southern Baptists write what needs to be said and sign one's name to what is written, it is still quite disturbing to me to read the unfolding saga at FBC Jacksonville, Florida. Local Jacksonville law enforcement officers, former Florida circuit court judges, and other members of FBC, all friends of the pastor, seemed to have used secular Florida authorities to unethically and possibly illegally obtain subpoenas to reveal the identity and other private information of the owners of the FBC Jacksonville Watchdog and New BBC Open Forum and Tiffany Croft's blogs.

A local Jacksonville reporter is doing some background for a story that the newspaper will be running about this in the near future. It seems that someone in the Jacksonville Police department suggested to the reporter that the subpoenas were issued because there may be some kind of ongoing federal investigation into these blogs. I was asked yesterday what I thought of such a statement from the local Jacksonville police officer. I responded with two words.

"That's bull."

I've seen this kind of thing happen time and time again. Stupid decisions are made by certain leaders to try to "shut down" the person who is asking questions. Then, those same leaders go behind closed doors and allege the person asking questions is of corrupt character and if people really knew the whole story, then they would never doubt why "leadership" did what they did. In short, when leaders get "caught" using hard ball tactics to shut down dissent, they act as if things are really worse than they are - in order to cover themselves. I can assure you federal officials are more interested in terrorists seeking to destroy the United States than they are church members, annymous or not, who are asking questions that pertain to their pastor.

The sad part about the saga at FBC Jacksonville is that secular authorities have now been sucked into church politics. It seems to me that someone in the Jacksonville police department or court system could, at best, lose their jobs. At worst, there is the making of an enormous lawsuit for public officials abusing their authority to help friends. If you think public officials, particularly court judges and law enforcement officials, are beyond corruption, then you obviously haven't been following the the horrid story of the Pennsylvania judge who used his position for personal gain.

New BBC Open Forum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I haven't read all the comments so perhaps someone has already mentioned this, but my very first thought when I saw the paper today was that this Brunson guy needs to repay the state and the city every single penny that was spent on this witch hunt. I see nothing slanderous in the list of abuses on this blog -- though I can see very clearly why Brunson would be upset.

To be honest, just based on what I have seen so far and not having first person knowledge of any of it, I would have a very, very serious problem ever attending or visiting this church. Fortunately for me, it ain't the only church around! But I am very sorry that the people at FBC have to go through this, because this kind of behavior in leadership ALWAYS creates dissent.

For what it's worth, Brunson's actions to shut this blog down and silence the blogger speak more to me about the veracity of the charges than anything this blogger might have said on his own.

I can't say it enough: Brunson needs to pay the city and state back for every single dime of public money that was spent carrying out this personal witch hunt, for using the law and public servants to squelch the very valid questions any conscientious Christian would have about his/her church.

Seriously. This is just wrong. And scary, too.

Anonymous said...

Hey, if someone is called a sociopath in a newspaper article in an obvious attempt to cast doubt on that person's mental state, isn't that grounds for some kind of lawsuit? What possible qualifications could a baptist preacher have that would give him the ability to diagnose someone as a sociopath?

Anonymous said...

Watchdog - you've done a good service to the community -
The rapture already occurred and this is the garbage God left behind.

Jack said...

WWJD? I rarely leave comments on a blog, but this story just floored me. Today's churches are businesses after the almighty dollar. Members of one church trying to get members of other churches to leave and come with them. Why, they want your money.. Why is the pastor of FBC Jax worried about some blog? Shouldn't he be worried about people in need? "$$$$" Why is JSO using resources to find a blogger for a church, when he did nothing wrong? I thought they were short staff? ummm? Why is everyone being anonymous? All of this in the name of "God" WOW!!!
Sign me up....

Anonymous said...

This is the reason I no longer attend a church God is not the main point of view anymore. Everyone is talking about everyone, it's more like a fashion show, speak the word of God. Chruches are not the same anymore. Banned from a chruch? I thought Gods house always had it's doors open. Mr. Rich you are a great person and I look up to you. God will look after you and your family. I will pray for you all. As for the man that says hes a pastor I feel sorry for you, I hope one day you find God.