"...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

Friday, April 10, 2009

FBC Jax's Official Response to This Story

Many people might be wondering what is FBC Jax's official response to this story. I believe they delivered their response preemptively back on February 25, 2009 in a special business meeting. This business meeting can be seen in the first video below.

By Blount's own admission in yesterday's paper: "We became concerned enough to ask law enforcement, 'Is there the ability to find out where this is coming from?’" In other words, can you help us find the blogger?

There were no police reports of picture taking or mail stealing. I believe the church's intent in going to JSO was purely to find the identity of the blogger. Why did they want to find the blogger's identity? Was it to help the poor soul who they thought was in deep blog sin so they could go to him in accordance with Matthew 18? No. They instead used the subpoena to know where to deliver trespass warnings to the Watchdog "sociopath" that Mac has declared the Watchdog to be.

Fast forward to February: after they knew my family had already left the church because of the JSO trespass warnings, they decided to take one more swipe. They couldn't just let us go to another church. They couldn't let this tragic story go to waste. The trustees decided to write up a resolution condeming the blogger for his "unjust criticism" of the church, and then warn the other sheep if they get out of line they will do the same thing to them that they did to the blogger.

Listen carefully to this resolution as the President of the Trustees reads it, as it is in lawyerly prose. It really is chilling. You can also read the resolution, as the church has it proudly hyperlinked in the upper right hand corner of their church website.

The message in the 2nd half of the edict: if you get out of line, if you "unjustly criticize", or express "harmful opinions" about the church leadership, FBC Jax Trustees will consider it "an attack against the church of the Lord Jesus Christ", and you will be "confronted aggressively in accordance with scripture". I believe they were so proud of how they easily found out the Watchdog's identity, they wanted to put the fear of God in the rest of the sheep, letting them know they could do it and would do it again if necessary.

The 2nd video below is a sample of Mac's preaching - toward the end he delivers his "shut 'em down" advice to his church leadership...delivered just a week before the reading of the Deacon's Resolution.



106 comments:

Anonymous said...

Watchdog-

What is amazing to me is that it appears that they were content to let you spew your opinions and concerns, and they would just treat you like an annoying gnat. BUT when you started asking your readers, who are members of the church to not support the special $1,000,000 offering and withholding the tithe. When you asked your readers not to participate in the Chest of Joash offering (which apparently was a HUGE bust) then they went after you and decided to "Shut you down".
One rule of thumb in every unsettling issue we face, follow the money. And when you follow the money at FBCJAX, unfortunately it looks like it ends up at that lavish office suite in the children's building. Mess with their money and you mess with the bull.
I am publishing this anonymously, but apparently the JAX Sheriffs office working hand in hand with the church will propbably "out" me.

Thy Peace said...

Was it to help the poor soul who they thought was in deep blog sin so they could go to him in accordance with Matthew 18?

You are funny WD. Maybe they need to find help for Jim Smyrl who is in much bigger blog sin than you.

Jim Smyrl - Catholic Priests are "Cult Leaders"

"Catholic Cult Series" - Please Don't Do it Jim

We Must Assume Mac Agrees with Jimmy: Catholics are Cult Members

"Theology Driven" or "Jesus Driven" Ministry?

Smyrl on the Attack - This Time its Lifeway and Tom Rainer

Smyrl's Sermon on 3 John

Anna Mae said...

"The second thing you do is not answer back in the venom with which you are attacked."

This quote is taken directly from Mac's blog. Ever wonder why his words on paper (quoted above) differ from the words on his lips (as quoted in yesterday's news article).

Obviously, Mac can't help himself. The mouth always speaks what the inner heart really feels, doesn't it? Not good for Pastor Brunson.

Have a blessed day, Watchdog.

Anonymous said...

Does the JSO response mean that if I get an anonymous e-mail and feel "threatened" that they will identify the author of the note and tell me? Somehow, I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Anna Mae - another good example of Mac writing one thing and doing another. By the way, interesting that the prominent link to the Deacons' resolution is now off the church's website AND all blogs are currently not available. Hmmmm.

Contented Man said...

While this smacks of cult like behavior on the part of FBCJ, it isn't... it is, however, the behavior of BIG BUSINESS fearing a loss in revenue.

The resolution was obviously made for one reason and one reason only - to strike fear into the hearts of all those remaining in the pews.

Peer pressure will win out in most cases; a few will leave the church for another; still fewer will leave the faith entirely; a small (very small) number will stand firm for what is right and join Watchdog in his mission to expose hypocrisy and abuse of authority in the local church.

Anonymous said...

Attention Readers, Press and State Agencies - the issue is no longer political or ecclesiastical...the focus has now shifted to TWO ENTITIES: The Integrity Unit of the JSO (internal affairs) AND Angela Corey, the newly elected State Attorney. Only they can clean this mess up by conducting honest and far reaching investigations of the JSO and SA office respectively.

We trust them and rely on them to get it right and build trusts in their offices.

Will they cover for the detective like Frank Mackesy and John Rutherford even though there is NO evidence of any crimes or any "perceived threats" that can be documented by the detective?

Of course not. They need to get to the bottom of this and fast.

Anonymous said...

So now the church has posted its official response on its website here: http://www.fbcjax.com/images/uploads/Response%20to%20TU%20Article%2004-09-2009.pdf

It is a short, two sentence statement from Mac Brunson. The second sentence reads "We pray and deeply desire that these unmerited distractions will be preempted by His sacrifcial gift and life-giving resurrection."

Is it just me, or is it ridiculous for Mac to actively participate in the article by calling WD a sociopath, obsessive, in need of help, etc. one day, and then the next day issue a statement calling the very article in which he was quoted an "unmerited distraction"?

I would ask Mac this: If the article is unmerited, why did you and Blount agree to be interviewed for it? Why didn't you use the newspaper article, which will certainly have a much greater readership than any PDF on the church website, as a venue for sharing "the majesty of His sacrificial death and life-giving resurrection," rather than using it to further attack a former church member by calling him names?

Go back and read the article from the Times-Union, and substitute Mac's statement today for his quotes in the article. See how much better that would have been, Mac? Tsk, tsk... Next time you need to call Maurillio before giving a quote to the newspaper...

Anonymous said...

So now the church has posted its official response on its website here: http://www.fbcjax.com/images/uploads/Response%20to%20TU%20Article%2004-09-2009.pdf

It is a short, two sentence statement from Mac Brunson. The second sentence reads "We pray and deeply desire that these unmerited distractions will be preempted by His sacrifcial gift and life-giving resurrection."

Is it just me, or is it ridiculous for Mac to actively participate in the article by calling WD a sociopath, obsessive, in need of help, etc. one day, and then the next day issue a statement calling the very article in which he was quoted an "unmerited distraction"?

I would ask Mac this: If the article is unmerited, why did you and Blount agree to be interviewed for it? Why didn't you use the newspaper article, which will certainly have a much greater readership than any PDF on the church website, as a venue for sharing "the majesty of His sacrificial death and life-giving resurrection," rather than using it to further attack a former church member by calling him names?

Go back and read the article from the Times-Union, and substitute Mac's statement today for his quotes in the article. See how much better that would have been, Mac? Tsk, tsk... Next time you need to call Maurillio before giving a quote to the newspaper...

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rich-
I live in Jax, but have no affiliation with the FBC. What they do within the church is the none of my business...EXCEPT when they team up with the JSO to silence a critic. CHurch and state, hand in hand, making attempts to infringe upon your civil rights. It's just not right.

This organization incorrectly gets a bad rap, but they may be of great assistance in this matter. They do good work. You should contact them.

ACLU
Northeast Florida Regional Office
4830 Atlantic Boulevard
Jacksonville, FL 32207
Legal Complaints: 866-516-0825
Phone: 904-391-1884

mirele said...

Looks like Mac Brunson and FBC Jax have taken their cues from L. Ron Hubbard and the "church" of $cientology. So much of what Brunson, et.al. did here come straight out of the $cientology book of dirty tricks. "Dead Agenting," investigations, exposing critics, trying to trash their reputations...gosh. I can't even begin to figure out where in the Gospels that Jesus said to his followers that they should use the secular authorities in this manner.

And my mother wonders why I don't go to church. I see this kind of abuse of power all over the place.

Anonymous said...

This is a David and Goliath situation; You guess who is whom. But remember how that turned out. I wish you well, Mr. Rich. It is now a fight for freedom of speech and the 1st Amendment.
It will be interesting to note the "voting pattern" next election for our city.

Anonymous said...

In every picture, or other representation of Jesus on the Cross. Jesus is on the front of the Cross for all to see His sacrifice for us. I often wonder why so many hide behind the Cross, to justify their deeds.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is going to believe what they want.

No one is going to change their mind.

Obviously, no one is going to change their heart.

FBC will not sue Tom Rich.

Tom Rich will not sue FBC.

Rich's supporters are going to continue to vehemently support him.

Brunson's supporters are going to vehemently support him.

Therefore, what is the point you ask?

I guess all this blogging back and forth gives folks some way to entertain themselves from their boring occupations or the time they spend looking for a new occupation.

Ho hum, I guess it is time to move on the something more important like spreading the Gospel to all the world, praying for our so called leaders in Washington DC, etc. Oh yes, as Sandra Bullock said in Miss Congeniality: praying for world peace.

Anonymous said...

I hope you plan to pursue a civil lawsuit against this "church"!

Richard said...

I'm not sure why you would think that no one will change their minds. It seems to me that the whole point of the blog was to bring issues out into the light, so that the average church member would have a better idea of what's going on behind the scenes. It seems like a lot of things that went on were things that an individual church member might question, on their own, but there were no channels available *inside* the church to discuss these issues. People were almost certainly afraid to bring the issues up freely amongst other church members, for fear that they'd be accused of raising a stink. I imagine that with all this publicity, a number of people who would instinctually support their pastor will actually read up a little more about it (which they can *only* do because of this blog), and they may actually choose differently.

Anonymous said...

Your story has reached me in Texas, and my heart goes out to you! Thank you for turning the tables in the temple court.

As someone who loves Jesus but hates the abuse of power done in his name, this type of thing disgusts me. Keep up the good work!

I'm going to post this anonymously so the Jax Police Dept. doesn't come after me too.

Anonymous said...

April 10, 2009 1:01 PM - what is the point? The point is that Constitutional and Federal rights were violated by the Big Church and Big Brother. Read Mark Woods' excellent article in the Jacksonville Times-Union paper Metro section today to get an unbiased summary of the issues.

And my guess is that you are wrong, wrong, wrong, about whether Mr. Rich will be suing John Blount, Mac Brunson, Debbie Brunson, A.C. Soud, FBC Jacksonville, Inc. and the rest of the trustees. :)

Anonymous said...

"Brunson's supporters are going to vehemently support him."

Especially with more money. It is always about more money. I hope they are prepared to keep forking it over.

Anonymous said...

"Ho hum, I guess it is time to move on the something more important like spreading the Gospel to all the world,..."

One would have to KNOW the Gospel to spread it. It helps to practice what one preaches, too.

Anonymous said...

I hope you plan to pursue a civil lawsuit against this "church"!

April 10, 2009 1:12 PM

It is almost impossible to sue a church. They know this. The Judge and Sheriff (both members) investigators are well aware of this. Mac is well aware of this. Paige Patterson knows this which is why his attorney argued that SWBTS was a 'church' when Klouda filed discrimination charges. (His attorney was a member of an SBC church, too)

Why do you think they have been so blatently arrogant about this? They know they can get by with it.

Churches can get by with just about anything. And they do all the time.

Don't get me wrong. Folks sue churches all the time. I know one mega that has a full time staff member that does nothing but deal with paperwork for the attorneys. Last I heard, there were about 6 lawsuits pending in that one mega church.

It is usually a lost cause. The church will spend more time trying to keep it hidden from the pew sitter than anything else. They will even start preaching more sermons about the evils of lawsuits in case it does come out as it always does. This also serves to rally the pew sitters who never once think about all the money the lawyers are making or if there are some real concerns. they just believe whatever they are told from the pulpit.

But, you can not re-elect your sheriff or Attorney General. And folks can quit giving Mac money.

You can even hold the governor of Fla accountable for not dealing with this properly since the church used the civil authorities for it's own purposes.

In reality, it is guys like Mac and Patterson that are going to cause the laws to change toward churches. They, and many others, will be poster boys for why the church should not have tax deductable offerings. And they will be the loudest to scream about it, too.

Matt

BSP said...

Please pursue a lawsuit against this cult.

Please stand up for the freedom of speech in this country.

Please help fight for the first amendment.

This incident CANNOT go unchecked. If we are afraid to criticize our government - if we are afraid to criticize our churches - if we are afraid to make our voices heard then we truly are lost.

The ramifications of how deep this goes are scary indeed but you must stand up for what is right - four yourself, for your family, for the citizens of Jacksonville and for this nation.

Do the right thing and turn up the heat on these cult leaders and false prophets.

Anonymous said...

Let me be the first to ask Maurilio Amorim to fire John Blount and Kevin King immediately. These guys were the goons that hand delivered the trespass warnings to Rich and his wife without first even talking to the man. Plus, Blount seems to be the point man on this.

No matter what side you are on, I think we can all agree that this was not handled biblically or professionally. John Blount needs to be dismissed immediately. Why have this layman holdover from the Vines and Lindsey era anyway?

Fire John Blount. And take Kevin King with him. Mac deserves much better than what these guys got him. Very poorly handled, very poorly handled.

Anonymous said...

Matt, spoken like a true Pharisee! Cudos!

Anonymous said...

When you listen to the "Deacons Resolution" read by the judge it will send chills up your spine to think that this is a church!

It is a little bit odd that the deacons resolution which was posted prominently on the home page of FBCJ website is now gone from there. To remove it now is just a little bit late, isn't it??? People can now come to this blog and hear it read which is much more ominous-sounding than if you had read it.

Funny thing, you don't hear him read out anything about breaking the law and yet that was the premise for getting the Watchdog's identity to begin with. It makes my skin crawl...

Anonymous said...

What is really sad is that the people out there who want more ammunition to hate the church, they have it with all of this mess - no matter whose side they are on. Dr. Lindsay would be horrified. PLEASE do not engage the ACLU - as big of a mess as all of this is - it would be even bigger with them involved.

Thy Peace said...

All the below links are from EFF:

Bloggers' Rights

Anonymity

Legal Guide for Bloggers

Contact EFF
Can EFF represent me?

Maybe. EFF is a small, grassroots legal advocacy nonprofit supported by member contributions. We provide pro bono (free) legal assistance in cases where we believe we can help shape the law. Unfortunately, we have a relatively small number of very hardworking attorneys, so we do not have the resources to defend everyone who asks, no matter how deserving. If we cannot assist you, we will make every effort to put you in touch with attorneys who can. If you're in trouble, you can contact us at information@eff.org.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Anon 11:31,

I had a feeling that would happen. Here ya go.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Looks like Mac Brunson and FBC Jax have taken their cues from L. Ron Hubbard and the 'church' of $cientology."

Here is an interesting comparison of the biblical way and the L. Ron Hubbard way. Which side do Mac & Co.'s methods most resemble?

Merritt Island said...

Hmmmm... who do I believe some would be anonymous stalker or Jim Whitmire who I've known since the 1970s?

Easy choice.

Anonymous said...

They're "Linking Lives" to something... but it ain't Jesus Christ.

This is wrong, just wrong.

I honestly think this "pastor" needs to reimburse the city and the state for every dime spent by the JSO and the State Attorney's Office on this case. Not the church on his behalf, but the pastor himself.

Put it this way: I would not have my tax dollars used for personal witch hunts, no matter who they are against. The second it was clear there was no evidence (or that evidence could not be produced) they (JSO and the state) needed to stop it and shut it down.

Turn it around and look at it from the opposite direction: how many women can't get any help from the JSO against a stalker because they have no "concrete" evidence -- even when they have phone records and the like? But the danger (*cough*) inherent in this one blogger's questions was SO life-threatening to FBC and Mac Brunson that even without evidence -- ANY evidence, just the mere suggestion of wrongdoing -- subpoenas were served, investigations were conducted, your privacy invaded, your identity revealed, etc.

So, so very wrong.

I am all for police officers and very grateful that they put themselves in harm's way every day to keep me and mine safe. But there's a few bad apples in every bunch: this detective is one of them, and frankly, I don't think his leaders are worth much either.

It is interesting that Brunson chose the word "sociopath" (basically, a conscienceless person) to characterize you. It is a fact that 4% of the general population are sociopathic (1 in 25) but in certain populations, such as law enforcement, medicine, and the church, it can go up to as high as 20% (1 in 5) because sociopaths are drawn to power, even petty sorts of power. They love the professional mantle of heroicism because they don't like questions, and they assume the goodness of the profession as their own even when they least have right to it. So when I heard "sociopath" I thought it was dead on right -- for him and his buddies.

So, so wrong.

My warmest wishes to you and your family for what you must have gone through -- what a wonderful thing that it is finally being shown for what it is. Take care!

Full Court said...

Mac Brunson is going to answer to God for molesting you.


mo·lest (mə lest′, mō-)
transitive verb
to annoy, interfere with, or meddle with so as to trouble or harm, or with intent to trouble or harm.

Anonymous said...

Funny thing -- FBC and Mac Brunson started out trying to out this blogger, but it appears that they themselves are now outed...

I've been reading the comments here and on jacksonville.com to the original story and Mark Woods' followup, and there are few to none of a positive nature toward FBC's actions. I say "few to none" because the obviously FBC-positive (blame the blogger for being divisive) comments are pretty much all from people who have only ever logged on to jacksonville.com one -- in other words, they created an account solely to throw stones at the blogger. I did not see any from regular contributors, though there may be some and I just missed it.

The outing are the outed. :)

Anonymous said...

Let's see,
the investigation was in November... but nothing happened.
Then late in February FBC Jax started actions against WD ....
That would be the 90 days needed so that the JSO could

"conveniently destroy their records of the investigation"

Anonymous said...

Merritt Island said...
"Hmmmm... who do I believe some would be anonymous stalker or Jim Whitmire who I've known since the 1970s? Easy choice.
April 10, 2009 6:47 PM"

What exactly does that mean?

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm... who do I believe some would be anonymous stalker or Jim Whitmire who I've known since the 1970s?

Easy choice.

April 10, 2009 6:47 PM

Whitmire has a lot to lose. Wonder if you know his compenstation package.... I hear it is close to what folks are saying Brunson's is which makes me think Brunson's is higher than reported.

But I am not sure what you are not believing? Are you not believing a church got their double dipping security guy to file criminal complaints against 3 bloggers so he could get their private information?

Or are you not believing there is anything wrong with that?

Anonymous said...

Was it worth it, FBC Jax, to push your weight around and make sure the blogger was "outed" and "humiliated"? Was it worth it? Has it all turned out the way you planned?

(and why did you ban my email again? Oh thats right, YOU DIDN'T. Yeah. Right. Ok then.)

Remember back a few weeks ago when the blogger said he was going to stop the blog, and had joined another church? And then you just all of a sudden had to make a STINK? Do you wish you could go back now, and do like Dr. Brunson said and NOT ANSWER YOUR ACCUSERS?

One side of the face says one thing, the other side another. And thats why people like me believe NOTHING that you say.

(But you didn't ban my email from your counseling center. Yeah. Right. Sure. Ok. Whatever.)

Do you know how bad a person like me wishes they had NEVER gone to a counseling center at FBC Jax? How totally insecure I now feel in the privacy of my comments?

Oh, thats right. People like me DESERVE what we get.

Yeah RIGHT. SURE. WHATEVA. You don't want to hear the next comment I have to make to people like you.

Good luck, cause you are surely going to need it.

GOD? Oh thats right, I don't put HIM on YOUR level. Thats the biggest trick of the enemy of them all.

Anonymous said...

and thank you anon 12:49.

debbiekaufman said...

I don't believe it. Mac has quoted Chuck Swindoll completely out of context. Chuck is speaking of legalists who are joy killers not of those who are trying to right wrongs by speaking out publicly. Unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights :“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Anonymous said...

"Key Ruling Backs Blog and Web Rights"

An interesting case from 2005...

"The decision of the Supreme Court helps provide protection for anonymous bloggers and anonymous speakers in general from lawsuits which have little or no merit and are filed solely to intimidate the speaker or suppress the speech," said David Finger, a Wilmington attorney representing John Doe No. 1.

Anonymous said...

WD (or Tom Rich or whoever you are) you got exactly what you deserve. If you had any amount of integrity in the beginning none of this would have ever happened. Any member who causes the problems you caused should have been removed--and guess what, you were! Now you need to move on since you are no longer a member of FBC, Jacksonville.

Full Court said...

I wonder if the idiots at FBC JAX and the JSO have ever heard of a civil suit filed under "color of law" statues?

"In order to allege a civil rights claim in federal court against a law enforcement officer or a law enforcement agency, the person bringing the lawsuit must show that a “person,” “acting under color of law,” violated a federally protected right."

New BBC Open Forum said...

Merritt Island said...

Hmmmm... who do I believe some would be anonymous stalker or Jim Whitmire who I've known since the 1970s?

Easy choice.


Could you elaborate, please? What's Jim saying?

"Would be anonymous stalker"???

Good grief. All the sugar in that Kool-Aid is affecting your brain!

Of all the crazy things surrounding the events of the past three years (it's been like living in the Twilight Zone much of the time), one of the most difficult to understand is how someone like Jim Whitmire, a man with an apparently spotless reputation, can support Mac Brunson, especially considering the way Jim was tossed aside like a used Kleenex by Steve Gaines at Bellevue.

Anon 9:20 p.m.,

I'm hearing the same rumor here and had the same thought as you, but I still find it amazing the things people will support and do, all for the love of money. I don't know why I'm ever surprised anymore. "Following the money" seems to be the way of life for many now.

Walwus said...

I used to attend FBC myself back in the good ol' days. Also worked there for several years. Back in the day I would even use the skating rink on the 4th floor after Wednesday evening services. I can't tell you when or how it exactly happened but something changed over the course of time with the Administration at FBC. I watched as a once flourishing College and Career Department was decimated. I saw strong youth pastors that basically were forced out and let go keep the new Admin from butting heads with the old Admin. That along with other considerations influenced my decision to change churches after 10 years of attendance.

Some people say FBC is run like a business. I disagree; I liken it to more of a Socialistic Empire. You have a head, a governing body below that and then masses below that. The head decides what the governing body should vote on and then filters the information that is given to the masses. I'm not quite sure if all of that is entirely Biblical hence the reason that I choose not to attend there anymore, (although I'm sure they still have me on the roster).

People that staunchly defend their church regardless of what it does are called blind followers and you shouldn't be dissuaded by them WD. It's the ones that engage you in active and meaningful conversation that you should be addressing.

I'm not concerned about the "wrath" of FBC. Been there before, it does not bother me. If you need help just let me know.

Anonymous said...

Tom: I am a Pastor here in Jacksonville and I fully support your desire for transparency.We as Pastor's should live in a glass house,and in such a way that people see the life and love of Jesus Christ in us.Mac Brunson appears to me to be consumed a lust for power,which is now becoming a common trait in us Pastor's and it is definetly not Biblical.As a Pastor I see the temptation by Satan to exploit and Lord my position over His people,but it must be resisted by submitting to the Power and the leadinf of the Holy Spirit.What Brunson should have done was as the greater servant meet with you when he found out that you had concerns about how things were being done at FBCJ.But what Mac has done is open up an opportunity for the enemies of Christ to ridcule and mock the Lord,His Church(not the building)and His message.His unfortunate use of phychological terms such as "obessive compulsive" and "sociopath" possibly indicates a poor choice of word in the heat of the moment(for all are sinners)are a far deeper issue of meglomania and a desire for absolute power(absolute power corrupts)!Jesus stated that "out of one's heart the mouth utters".As one who has experienced this type of abuse of power(Darrell Gilyard),unless the problem is dealt with in a Biblical manner,it never ends pretty,as we now see.In following this blog for sometime (via Tiffanycroftblogspot.com)I believe your concerns were and are legitimate and unfortunately FBCJ has handled it heavy-handed manner.I wish this to end in a Christ honoring manner.But Tom as one who has stood against Pastoral abuse(Darrell Gilyard)there is a terrible price to pay and you my brother in Christ are now experiencing it!But look to Christ the "Author and finisher of our faith" for strength to sustain you in this fight for truth and transparency.I will be especially praying for you and for the good people of FBCJ.I also pray that the leaders of FBCJ examine themselves and the way the are conducting themselves,because Biblically they have the greater responsibilty:"To whom much is given;much is required"!

Anonymous said...

Right now, knowing only what we know so far, John Blount,Kevin King, Detective Hinson, and Asst. State Attorney Siegel HAVE TO GO! Unless they can show they acted in good faith based on hard evidence of some crime or threat they HAVE TO GO! The only way they can truly defend themselves is to have Mac Brunson and/or Debbie Brunson come forward on the record and convince us all that in fact they were being threatened in some provable way. ("Claiming it happened" is NOT "evidence" sufficient to have subpoenas issued.)

If Mac and Debbie can't or won't do this...then they are the ones that HAVE TO GO!

This is not about money. This is about trust, transparency and integrity in our city of Jacksonville!

This is NOT going to go away based on written press releases from the JSO and First Baptist Church! Yes, it is Easter Mac, but you are the ONE who initiated these criminal actions and trespass warnings, and now you will reap what you have sown sir. God is not mocked. Good luck with that, Mac.

"The mills of the God's grind slow, but they grind exceedingly fine. And when God's judgment comes, only God can help you then." quote from Mac Brunson, ironically now, about his OWN actions.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Bill O'Reilly would be interested in this story?

Anonymous said...

Anon April 10 11:56 pm:

You said "...Any member who causes the problems you caused should have been removed--and guess what, you were!..."

What problems exactly were caused by Mr. Rich? You might want to go back and check to see who is at the root of any problems you claim.

What if Mr. Rich was 100% wrong in his blog? A shepherd DOES NOT stomp all over one of his sheep! A Pastor, if he doesn't know who the person is, would send a message (by posting in the blog) asking if he could come to Mr. Rich's house. A Pastor would lovingly try to find out what he could do to answer any questions. A shepherd loves his sheep. A Pastor loves his people.

Mac Brunson is the cause of the problems and you posting otherwise doesn't change that. Why? Because Brunson is the one who chose to stomp around and throw a temper tantrum instead of going to the person to try to understand. But I think probably there was no way for Mac Brunson to do that because he knew the things he had done were flat out wrong! And a RULER never admits he's wrong.

Have you ever heard the phrase "too little too late"? Mac Brunson could have fixed this a LONG time ago. But he handed it over to men who either did exactly what they were told -- do whatever is necessary to get rid of the blogger! -- or the power-happy men took it into their own hands, decided to go for blood and got a lot more aggressive than they should have by calling in the law. So now, no matter what Brunson does to try to fix it, it's too little too late.

And that, dear one, is Mac Brunson's fault! He is personally responsible for blackening the reputation of FBC & the Church in general.

It's a very sad day for FBC Jacksonville because no matter what might have happened in the past we could walk away with confidence in knowing there was a defense for how anything was handled. But today, the day before Easter 2009, we can't do that.

Anonymous said...

Anon April 10, 2009 11:09 AM:

What? You don't believe the police and the SA would come to your aid if you asked them to investigate someone who "I thought might be taking photos of me?" Who "I thought might have stolen my mail?"

You are 100% correct. They wouldn't lift a finger!

Anonymous said...

After reading the newspaper article the other day and reading some of the comments by TU readers I just have to say one thing:

I am glad Shirley Lindsay is not here to see this! She just might get hold of Mac Brunson by the collar, tell him in no uncertain terms what he's done wrong and how he had better get out of town!

Anonymous said...

I am so sick of the prideful arrogant pretenders that claim humbleness but who display exactly the opposite. Where is the kindness in using Gestapo tactics to track down your own member and make public dishonest statements about this fine man and his fine family. Where is the humility in extracting a huge salary for yourself, your wife and Jr ? What makes you so special to take $100,000 of tithes and spend them on a lavish office? Welcome to the information age where feedback is available to and for all places where we work, shop and worship. You cannot "shut em down" no matter how much you stomp and turn red in the face" Feedback will forever follow a public ministry. If all of the principals involved here are actually born again from above, you will all have to be together for an eternity. Why not right now put the pride aside and restore this fine family. It does not make any sense to beat the sheep. Go after the sheep. Feed my Sheep !!! Feed my Sheep !!! May the Grace of God cover all who are involved and let the world see the Love and Grace of our precious Savior.

T Rex said...

Behind the gates at Deerwood

The McMansion is in Deerwood and behind locked and guarded gates. How in the world could a man the size of Watchdog Rich ever sneek in, steal mail and take pics of McDeb as she trotted around the estate?

I challenge anyone to accomplish this feat as was alledged to the JSO.

Anonymous said...

T-Rex: Supposedly the stalking/photo-taking took place at the borrowed condo up on Amelia Island which they lived in for approx. one year after their arrival in Jax.

And they were so concerned and scared that they filed a police report on it right then. Oh, there was NO police report filed? That's right, no police report was filed. That's how concerned they were about it!

So, I guess when they decided to go after Rich they had to come up with something. Yeah, one time somebody took a picture of my wife and uh, uh, yeah, somebody stold our mail once and uh, that's why we uh, reported that to the post office. Oh, there was no report to the police or post office about any stolen mail? Hmmmmmm and I do believe that would be a federal matter.

Sure, we believe the stalking and stolen mail really happened...

Elizabeth & Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
T Rex said...

I am what I am.

I'm not afraid to post my name.

So, McDeb was jogging on the Island and not in Deah-woood. Mail was stolen on the Island and not Deah-wooood. Tommy ole man, have you been stalking McDonald that long?

Dude, your way tooo big to stalk anything but a Twinkie. Physical evidence points to your innocence on the charge of stalking McDeb. Wonder what kind of mail they were fearful you might discover?

Anonymous said...

Anon.12:20: AMEN!! Mrs. Shirley was a very Godly lady. But she did not "suffer fools gladly". She knew when right was right and when wrong was wrong. I almost wish she could have a say in this matter, some of this may never have happened. I truly feel "trespass papers", would never have been served. She was a lady that handled things with Godly grace and love. But would never put up with the "embarrassment" to the Lord, the church body, or to her husbands legacy. Dr. Lindsay left this church in good spiritual, and financial shape. He was indeed a "good shepherd". Thank the Lord we had them while we did.

Anonymous said...

I have to be somewhat amazed by those that come on here and demand that Mac and a bunch of others leave. These are the same people that don't have the courage to meet with Mac and/or stand up in a business meeting and be counted.

But oh wait! They aren't even members of FBC, Jacksonville.

And to those super spiritual pastors who come on here and pontificate about Mac and how they evaluate his life and ministry--grow up and shut up. You haven't walked in his shoes so you don't know the whole story and besides that, he isn't your pastor and you don't contribute to FBC, Jax so you sure don't have any say. I wonder how you would feel if the pastor down the street started evaluating you and your ministry. Of course--you would be howling to the high heavens.

The stench of Phariseeism permeates this blog. Its time for WD to move on to better things and start working in his new church. (That is if they trust him enough to ever use him in any capacity.)

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rich,

You have lost nothing worth keeping and gained much by leaving FBC Jax. Through all of this, let that be a thought of comfort and peace when things get tough.

Thank you for speaking out. Having once been involved in a church with similar scenarios, I understand why you wanted to keep your blog anonymous.

God can be found in many places. Fortunately for all of us, no one church or denomination holds the rights to His presence, no matter how much some people want that to be true.

Cokehead said...

I support you 100% - you've displayed blogging as a great tool to expose hypocrites, regardless of their organization.

I'm always appalled at these churches that have rich pastors and poor churchgoers. It always saddens me - honestly, if the Christians that went to these churches applied themselves to live by their religious text, the world would be a much better place.

That said, I'm an atheist, and I'd honestly just rather have all churches be hospitals or something actually useful. But I am with you in the criticism of these particular vampiric religious leaders - regardless of your creed, what the pastor here is doing is flat out wrong.

I'm sure a great many other atheists join me in saying good luck.

-Craig

Anonymous said...

I can't believe all this garbage is going on. Especially with yout character, watchdog. I would have expected a lot more Christ-like out of you, especially since you claim that you are this prestigious Christian. If you didn't like FBC, why didn't you just leave and keep your mouth shut? People say, what would Jesus do? Well I know what he would have done. He would have ignored the abuse and turned the other cheek, but you did the exact opposite. When Jesus was mocked, ridiculed, blasphemed, denied, what did he do? When he was hanging on the cross and abused by the Romans, what did he do? He didn't mock them back, or whine about his suffering, or slander them for all the wrong doings they did to him. No. He was silent. He suffered. He did the RIGHT thing, the MATURE thing. He could have struck them dead right there, or called thousands of angels to destroy them, or he could have even come down for the cross, but he didn't. According to the Constitution you have the right to your opinion, but that doesn't make it right about what you've done, does it? I know high schoolers that would have acted more mature than you are right now, yet you have whined and whined about how you were "abused" and didn't agree with things inside the church. Well as Mac would say, put on your BIG BOY pants and get over it! Life goes on! If you don't like something, then leave! I don't like things the President does or believes, but do I slander him and post it everywhere? No. So build yourself and bridge and get over it!

Cokehead said...

Anonymous (#61?):

I imagine Jesus would also use paragraphs when accusing one of being unchristian ;)

Also, what you're suggesting is somewhat insane. Personally, if I was a Christian, I'd consider this vampiric pastor to be much more insulting to my god than speaking out against him.

-Cokehead

Anonymous said...

To anon 7:19 -

You wrote "why didn't you just leave and keep your mouth shut? People say, what would Jesus do? Well I know what he would have done. He would have ignored the abuse and turned the other cheek" Yes, that's just what Jesus did in the temple, didn't He? Just looked the other way - He didn't toss over any tables and throw out the money changers, did He?

You say "When Jesus was mocked, ridiculed, blasphemed, denied, what did he do? When he was hanging on the cross and abused by the Romans, what did he do? He didn't mock them back, or whine about his suffering, or slander them for all the wrong doings they did to him. No. He was silent. He suffered. He did the RIGHT thing, the MATURE thing."

That sounds awfully close to your admitting that Watchdog was mistreated, slandered and had much wrong done to him, doesn't it? And you say the RIGHT thing, the MATURE thing in such situations is to suffer. Instead of focusing on Watchdog's treatment or behavior, why are you not questioning church "leaders" that would drive away a fellow Christian (if indeed the "leaders" are Christians) instead of seeking to resolve his very real concerns? After all, isn't that what Jesus taught in His parable of the lost sheep? Go after a wayward sheep and bring him back to the fold? Does He say drive off anyone who disagrees with you? Slander them to anyone who will listen? On the contrary, that is just how the Pharisees treated dissent. So your questions ought to be for the FBC leadership...but you know they wouldn't answer you either, don't you? As I said before, there is non so blind as he who will not see. Just more confirmation that Watchdog's concerns were quite valid.

D

Anonymous said...

Stay strong Mr. Rich, the Lord knows about it all.

Full Court said...

To anyone complaining about the wonderful work that Mr. Tom Rich has done is exposing the wolf in sheeps clothing at FBC JAX, maybe you should read your Bible.

You say that Mr. Rich should just take the abuses that are flowing from the pulpit at FBC JAX and "turn the other cheek" because that is what Jesus would do???

How very wrong you are.

When the money changers were abusing the sanctuary of the synagogue, what did Christ do?

Turn the other cheek?

No.

John 2:14  And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:

15  And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;

16  And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.

17  And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

A pastor doesn't own a church. The membership has the right to expose any misdeeds that happen in the church.

The days of good 'ol boys covering for each other while they raid the coffers and prattle about with great swelling words of vanity about themselves should have died with the pharisees.

Matthew 23:25  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

Matthew 23:27  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.

But as obvioused by the publised words of Mac Brunson, Phariseemism is alive and well at FBC JAX.


Matthew 7:15  ¶Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Anonymous said...

"If you didn't like FBC, why didn't you just leave and keep your mouth shut? People say, what would Jesus do? Well I know what he would have done. He would have ignored the abuse and turned the other cheek, but you did the exact opposite. When Jesus was mocked, ridiculed, blasphemed, denied, what did he do? "

Actually, Jesus was quite hard on the religious leaders of His day. He called them vipers, white washed tombs and other names. He told them they were like cups clean on the outside and filthy inside. Read Matt 5-23 to get the picture of what Jesus thought of the religious leaders.

If you knew scripture, you would know why. They were also milking folks by robbing the temple and putting burdens on them they were not themselves living up to. They were using their power and position for personal gain.

Read the OT and find out why Jesus was so angry with them. The Prophets are a good place to start.

A good friend of mine has a whole study on how the modern church is mirroring the behavior of Israel in the Old Covenant. He is dead on and the parallels are frightening. When you read Revelation do you have any idea what it means when He tells the churches He will remove the Lampstand?

But we have no excuse because we no longer have Levite Priests or a temple. All that was replaced in the New Covenant with Jesus Christ as our High Priest and the temple is now 'us'. Not a church building.

What you are suggesting above is really quite ridiculous when you analyze it.

What you are saying is that WD should have sacrificed himself for folks who claim to be saved! Not only saved but saved LEADERS. Think about it.

So, if you want to know what Jesus really did with the religious leaders of His day who were acting like Mac, read Matt 5-23.

The Pharisees would have also called WD a sociopath publicly. But then, we don't seem to expect much from our pastors these days.

Robin Hughes Patton said...

I hope you have an excellent counselor/attorney. Obviously, the only sociopath involved is the slanderer your good name.

My mother's father, Dr. Dick H. Hall, Jr., was a Baptist minister, PHD from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. He built up Decatur, Ga's FBC and was a founding member of Americans United (Americans United,defenders of the separation of church and state.) He would be appalled.

Thanks for your courage and leadership!

Anonymous said...

Tom, I think it is really wise of you to post the comments from Mac supporters. I gives folks an idea of how shallow and biblically ignorant some of our SBC mega churches really are.

I agree with another commenter that Mac probably wishes they would quit commenting. Wonder why he took the resolution off the website after the newspaper article ?

Interesting.

Robin Hughes Patton said...

I hope you have an excellent counselor/attorney. Obviously, the only sociopath involved is the slanderer your good name.

My mother's father, Dr. Dick H. Hall, Jr., was a Baptist minister, PHD from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. He built up Decatur, Ga's FBC and was a founding member of Americans United (Americans United, defenders of the separation of church and state.) He would be appalled.

Thanks for your courage and leadership!

Thy Peace said...

WD, I have a strong suspicion that this story will go national in the future. It's already unraveling.

God bless you, brother in Christ.

Anonymous said...

Anon 719,

Your same standard applies to Mac but he chooses to whine, complain and call watchdog names in a public forum like the Times-Union. Isn't he called to a higher standard as a pastor?

Anonymous said...

The Watchdog can dish it out but can't take it!

Anonymous said...

To all of you followers of WD--its rather interesting that you seem to think you are the spiritual ones and are the only ones who know the true meaning of Scripture. Grow up and get a grip.

When a man encourages the church not to tithe and support programs of their church he needs to be removed--and he was!

I just wonder how many of us bloggers on here are actually members of FBC, Jacksonville? I think you would be surprised at how many are not. People have been complaining about pastors' salaries for decades--its nothing new and probably is here to stay.

If you don't like what the pastor makes, get yourself appointed/elected to the Personnel and/or Budget committee and do something about it. Otherwise, support your church or find one that you can.

No One Special said...

Here some more good press for FBC this lovely Easter Morning.

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2009-04-12/story/fbc_blogger_feels_privacy_was_violated

Anonymous said...

But Brunson said Rich’s persistent criticism over nearly two years indicates the writer has an “obsessive compulsive problem” and is “not very stable at all,” Brunson said.

“What you’re dealing with is a sociopath,” Brunson said.


Did he really call you a sociopath and in print? Talk about opening the door to a possible lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

Inspite of all the spin coming from FBCJ,JSO,SA and any other experts.The wheels of Furher Brunson's regime are beginning to come off.

Marc said...

Fight the good fight watchdog, keep the light shining on FBC for they are like cockroaches scurrying for cover.

I SEE YOU said...

Report Brumley."Dr.Brunson what about the accusations of WD concerning your land gift,your million dollar home,your expensive auto's,your 300,000 + dollar salary,your wife also drawing a salary,your secretly changing Church by-laws,your spending 100,000 dollars on your lavish office for you,your wife and your dogs,your advertising for Collins builders during Church services,your illegal use of JSO and the SA office,your hypocrisy concerning what you write in your book on Pastoring and how you act in your Church,your abusive style of preaching. "Sir how do you answer to these serious allegations". That #$%@#%$# is an "obessive compulsive" and a "sociopath"!

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that according to Dog his rights as an American trump the word of God. He did not follow Matthew 18 in anyway and yet he keeps crying I have a constituional right to say what I want to about Dr Brunson and the church. It is my right stomp stomp I am American stomp stomp that trumps the word of God stomp.Hey the law says you can do lots of things that are not appropriate for church and are against the word. Following your logic Dr Brunson has every right to say whatever he wants and do what ever he wants

Anonymous said...

"hen a man encourages the church not to tithe and support programs of their church he needs to be removed--and he was"

Hey, in Cuba, they throw you in jail for disagreeing with the Regime. In Saudia Arabia they just cut off your head for questioning the Monarch.

You got off easy, WD.

A Concerned Pastor said...

Mr. Rich, I too am a pastor in northeast Florida. Although I think the tresspass warrant on your wife was questionable, I do agree that FBC had ligitimate concerns! If I were in there position I can see investigating things! Hope all will get resolved for the Kingdoms sake.

A Concerned Pastor

Anonymous said...

"He did not follow Matthew 18 in anyway and yet he keeps crying"

Matthew 18 in a mega! Now that is funny.

Besides, Matthew 18 is not for wolves and hirlings. Those you publicly rebuke

Anonymous said...

I wish to register my support for your concerns. I sent this letter to your former pastor at his address (pastor@fbcjax.com) and suggest to your readers that they also do so.

Dear Pastor,

I do not know you, but I have striven as a prayerful Christian to evaluate the evidence for and against you in the recent blog controversy. Please take my desire to write you and express this view in measured tones as a token of my earnestness.

Pastor, as one who has had seen the corrupting touch of the "touch not the Lord's anointed" mentality in my own church (in which I had spent 16 years, including many years in volunteer service before voicing any concern at its direction), I see all the same hallmarks. Your use of a friend with access to police processes has greatly inflamed and publicised a situation that could have been dealt with internally, and with love towards a concerned parishioner. Personally, I feel your attitude is reprehensible. Your sincere belief that you are serving a "higher cause" is no excuse, and to use such poor ethical judgement to ensure criticism is universally "shut down" is a poor testimony indeed. I am sure that very many people who had never heard of you before will now mark you as a greedy hypocrite, since I will add that no Pastor who is truly in His service ought accept remuneration so grossly in excess of those of the flock he tends.

You will dissemble, I dare say, by claiming I am misinformed. I hope you will accept that your Easter press-release does nothing to correct any such misapprehension, seeing as it contains nothing to refute the claims made against you and your policeman friend.

Please do not waste your time replying. If further action against yourself or the policeman who illegally exercised his influence at your instigation ensues, rest assured I will retain a satisfied interest.

Thy Peace said...

Jax News > FBC blogger feels privacy was violated
Law enforcement says his privacy rights weren't violated, but there are concerns about the investigation


We want to hear from you

A Jacksonville Sheriff's detective investigates possible threats against his own congregation and, despite finding no wrongdoing, outs an anonymous blogger to First Baptist Church. Tell us your thoughts on how the case was handled and if it could or should have been approached differently. E-mail religion reporter Jeff Brumley at jeff.brumley@jacksonville.com. Reader comments will appear in a future edition of The Florida Times-Union and on Jacksonville.com.

A formerly anonymous blogger says his First Amendment and privacy rights may have been violated when authorities revealed his identity to First Baptist Church in Jacksonville.

Police, the State Attorney's Office and a state law enforcement expert disagree.

But experts on criminal investigations, electronic privacy rights and constitutional law say the First Baptist case at the very least raises valid free speech and privacy questions.

Also disputed is whether the detective who identified and outed the blogger acted unethically because he belongs to the downtown megachurch and the security detail of its pastor, the Rev. Mac Brunson.

Some local and state law enforcement officials said Hinson acted ethically in investigating a case involving his own church. He also was correct to reveal Rich's name to church leaders even after determining no crimes were committed, they said. Current and past prosecutors said the subpoenas issued to Google were properly obtained.

"If it happened again we would handle it the same way," Undersheriff Frank Mackesy said.

Anonymous said...

He thinks that by calling you a "sociopath", he can make you one.
Thats what they don't get, they can't make you what they allude to you being. They can't do it. They don't have the power.

I read that article in the paper this morning, and see that all the "locals" are going to cover for him. Ok, thats fine. But they can't change the truth. And sadly, a whole lot of people have now seen it, in spite of what has been "said".

I don't presume to speak for God in this situation, but thats the factor that the "locals" need to take in to consideration. He can do what man cannot. There is nothing covered that won't be revealed, hidden that won't be made known.

Thy Peace said...

Some discussions taking place on the blogosphere on Fbc Jax Watchdog, both current and past:
-----------------------------------
Pastor Wade Burleson's blog:

Comment by Wade on Fbc Jax blog

The Untouchables: Spiritually Elite Leaders and the Unwillingness to Be Held Accountable

Lessons in Dealing with a Disgruntled Member

Anonymous Writing Is Not Intrinsically Evil

Spiritual Abuse Masked as Spiritual Authority

Your Honor, Please Help Us Understand

The High Cost of Stifling Criticism and Dissent

Abuse of Authority: It Must Not Be Ignored
-----------------------------------
New BBC Open Forum Blog:

Who's really the sociopath here?

This is the "Biblical Pattern" for Church Discipline?

The Legacy of Paige Patterson and Paul Pressler

Darrell Gilyard Arrested While Patterson Attempts Damage Control

Some Thoughts on "Church Authority" and "Church Discipline"

Spending God's Money

Jacksonville, FL Church Cover-up - Déjà Vu, Bellevue?
-----------------------------------
ExChristian.net > Church pulls strings in an attempt to muzzle a blogger critical of the leadership

Science Blog > Pharyngula > Mac Brunson, Baptist tyrant and greedy Pharisee
-----------------------------------
Baptist Life Forums:

Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Making criticism criminal

Church discipline according to FBCJax

FBC Jax Calls for Sever of Ties to Lifeway Over "The Shack"
-----------------------------------
Baptist Planet > Fbc Jax posts
-----------------------------------
From Stop Baptist Predators:

Bully Bylaws

Mac Brunson on Gilyard & Patterson
-----------------------------------
Women In Ministry > Reaching unity in the faith without authoritarian control

The Big Daddy Weave > Megachurch Passes Resolution Against Blogger
-----------------------------------

Croc Detector said...

Anon 8:57 What a croc you nebulous letter is.

Anonymous said...

"If I were in there position I can see investigating things!"

Ok then, where is the police report and documentation of his concerns. I mean, even a date his wife thought she was being stalked would be nice. How come there is NO documenation? Anywhere?

Anonymous said...

Why did they take the resolution down? Could it be that it made them look 'obesessive'.

Why is it that the AG and Sheriff's office are conveniently forgetting their subpeona's of Tiffany Croft and BBCOpenforum? Where are the police reports of their alledged criminal activity?

Junkster said...

Happy Easter, everyone! Jesus is risen!

No One Special said...

Interesting Reading


http://baptistplanet.wordpress.com/2009/04/09/fbc-jax-watchdog-wrongly-unmasked/

Anonymous said...

why not get the pastor and the blogger and have a sit down in front of the congregation. Have a moderator and work it out. The blogger can say his spill and have Mac Brunson respond. WHY NOT????

Anonymous said...

Mega-churches aren't about Christianity. Anybody with any knowledge of the bible should be adamantly opposed to these behemoth bureaucrats.

Complaining about this is like complaining about being blacklisted from Satan's dinner party.

xoites said...

Posted this on Reddit:

Although i think the church has a right to kick anybody out for any reason (after all they are working for an all knowing all loving God who forgives all sinners) the Department of Justice should investigate the Sheriff's Department, the District Attorney and the Judge involved in this case and if any wrong doing is found (i can pretty much see it from way over here) charges should be filed, indictments handed down and asses should be kicked, tried and if convicted; sentenced.

Anonymous said...

unbelievable. It's shocking and disgusting that the police were involved & your name was given to the church.

Things seems pretty backwards in the Baptist Church.. and in the state of Florida.

unbelievable.

Bald Eagle said...

Watchdog,
Some have suggested that you entertain a "civil lawsuit" against the church. I do not think that is the correct course of action. However, as a citizen of Jacksonville, and a retired Baptist minister not related to FBCJAX, I strongly urge you to seek legal action against Detective Hinson, JSO and the City of Jacksonville. May I suggest two desired outcomes from the case: (1) suspension and demotion of Detective Hinson for abuse of authority and termination of the Chief of Detectives for gross incompetence and lack of judgement for allowing Detective Hinson to investigate a case in which he had undue personal interest. (2) forbid all publicly salaried law enforcement officers from "moonlighting" as security guards for Jacksonville area churches. It is not unusual to see JSO officers, in uniform, serving as security for local churches. Of course they are "off-duty" and are paid by the church or volunteer their time. However, isn't it odd that institutions which pay no taxes can take advantage of the expensive training, uniform and equipment paid for by tax dollars for private security purposes. There are several private security firms around, they should be employed for ecclesiastical security. Continue your struggle Watchdog. Get a lawyer or call ACLU, we're in 1st Amendment territory.

Anonymous said...

"However, isn't it odd that institutions which pay no taxes can take advantage of the expensive training, uniform and equipment paid for by tax dollars for private security purposes."

Um, actually church members do pay taxes. Are you suggesting that if there were an emergency at the church that the police, fire department, etc should not respond? I think you need to think about what you said for a minute. It does not make any sense.

Cokehead said...

Churches don't pay taxes. Why, then, do they get some relatively exclusive taxpayer-funded trained officers to act as rent-a-cops?

Do you get this ability? Could your business/home hire trained police officers as guards?

Likely not. Therefore, the church is getting special treatment from a government entity - which is illegal.

Anonymous said...

Cokehead,

Many businesses hire off-duty police officers for security purposes. My sister is a police officer and works at a Honey-Baked Ham store during the holiday season. It is perfectly acceptable. If it legal for some companies to hire off-duty police officers, it must remain legal for religious organizations to hire them as well. There would be a huge problem if a church could not hire them simply on religious grounds. That would be a violation of the constitution.

Cokehead said...

Point ceded.

Still, police acting illegally at religious organization's whims for the purpose of a witchhunt is still very much illegal.

Anonymous said...

Cokehead,

Agreed.

Deadwood said...

Sue.
Interview attorneys that specialize in suing the police and 'churches' and have won.

The cop got a warrant under false pretenses. Happens all the time.

Say, we stopped you because someone reported a robbery...

Get the gist?

Get a tidy sum, shut them up and by the looks of it, that 'pastor' is already threatening you with violence using some biblical horse dung wording.

They'll settle out of court, because they don't want to be outed in the paper themselves.

F— 'em.

Fierce-Rabbit said...

Hmmm. A minister using taxpayer-funded sources to track down detractors? Sounds to me like the church should be investigated and probably lose its tax-free status.

Anonymous said...

This blog has got me a crying! Mac has always been good to me. He screams at me when I am good and He screams at me when I am Bad. I know what I am going to get when I go to Church every Sunday...A Whipping. He beat the King James out of me a couple of weeks ago and the sorry ol' Watchdog is getting Mac all riled up! Please stop irritating Mac! Let him get back to preaching about important stuff like Smoking them Cigs and the evils of Texas Hold 'Em and women wearing tube tops. You gonna drive this Southern Baptist to drinking.

Anonymous said...

WD, I have just read the most recent article and it has peaked my interest in this story. Frankly, I am furious that a detective, on or off duty, has the right or power to investigate ANYONE without probable cause of a crime. Worse that the investigation was initiated by a church. Scary!

I will freely admit that I am atheist, but I fiercly defend your right to believe as you wish. You, sir, have been terribly wronged, by your church, and by our government. I commend you for your courage and will be following your blog inasmuch as time permits.

Wait... I hear a knock at the door. Cops sure work fast.

Tess said...

These megachurches are bilking people out of their money -- money which is going straight into the pastors' pockets, and not towards anything useful for society. I'm glad someone is speaking up about this!