"...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, April 15, 2009

Re-Run: The Danger of Unchecked Pastoral Authority

Below is an article originally posting here on 1/14/09. I believe its worth considering again.

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Last Saturday (1/10/09) SBC pastor Wade Burleson wrote an article at his blog about leadership and used Ted Haggard's moral failures as a back drop. What I took away from Wade's article is this: lay leaders do much harm to their churches and ministries, and even do great harm to the pastors themselves, when they give pastors virtually full control of a church, within a system designed for minimum accountability, and very little transparency and openness with the members.

I would say the potential for harm is even greater when we hire a new pastor that has no track record with the lay leaders and the congregation. It makes virtually no sense at all to concentrate power over a mega church and its staff and ministries in one man that is a virtual UNKNOWN to the congregation. I believe this is perhaps our biggest mistake as a church during our pastoral transition after Vines.

Too bad our trustees - most of whom are learned business men and lawyers and leaders - didn't have the foresight to see potential problems of our pastor-led system with a new pastor. We failed to make some important bylaw changes to reduce the power of the new pastor...which would make sense given that he was an UNKNOWN. As we shall see starting tomorrow as we look at the bylaw changes at FBC Jax from December 2007, not only did we give the same power and control of our church to Mac Brunson that our very seasoned and trusted pastors had, but we actually gave him MORE POWER, LESS ACCOUNTABILITY in the bylaw changes of December 2007...while not even making sure the most faithful and trusted members understood the changes and how they impacted their church and their church membership. Shameful. Shameful.

Now I'm sure Burleson didn't have Team Brunson and our lay leadership in mind when he wrote his article, but boy it sure fits our situation and the leadership of Mac Brunson. By the way, Burleson, contrary to slanderous remarks made to our church staff by a certain FBC Jax staff member at our church who has served with Burleson at the IMB...he IS a solid, bible inerrancy conservative SBC pastor...who happened to fall out of favor with the SBC big wigs for using his blog to hold the IMB accountable for decisions he believed were harmful to the SBC. Its a story too long to tell here, but his blog is probably the most read blog in the SBC and a definite must read.

Here are some excerpts from his article cut and pasted here. Please see if any of these statements could or might apply to Team Brunson:

From WADE BURLESON's January 10 blog article:

"We Christians should take an honest look at what it is we think qualifies a person to lead."

"We have pastors who bully those who question them,... and other actions that lead me to believe we have a God-complex among some of our leaders."

Nothing more "bullying" than issuing trespass warnings to suspected bloggers and their wives. Ask the members - there is a aire of fear at the church, that those who question the leadership will be singled out or asked to leave. This entire blog is about the "bullying" and intimidation of Mac Brunson from the pulpit.

"This false sense of moral invincibility has led to a climate where transparency, honesty, and personal integrity are no longer a part of our corporate faith."

Amen. We have to realize that our leaders need accountability. For instance, Mac loves his family so much, he is such a wonderful husband and father (I mean that sincerely), that if not checked he may use his position as pastor to give ALL of them jobs at our church. That is a "weakness" that he has that needs to be checked through some system of accountability like most other churches have through a personnel committee and perhaps a nepotism policy.

"Had people known of his [Haggard's] struggles, they could have held him accountable. Had people had the sense that their leader was fallible, they might have never given him such unbridled freedom and authority."

I think admiting one's mistakes to the congregation would be a starting point. When a lie is told, apologize. When you blasted us to a group in North Carolina, explain your words or apologize. Its OK Mac to let us know you've done something wrong or hurtful.

"The problem with organized Christianity is not the gospel. The problem with organized Christianity is that too many Christians have forgotten that leaders are fallible."

"Yet, in my mind,the true gospel is only strengthened when Christian leaders lose their public sense of absolute authority and spiritual perfection. Anybody who presumes to talk on behalf of God should remember that the treasure we possess (the gospel) is carried in fragile, clay jars."

"The lust for power and absolute authority, the lust for fleshly gratification and paralyzing materialism, and the lust for personal recognition and praise are all inner demons that every SBC pastor and leader faces. The only way to prevent leaders from acting out on such temptations is to realize that these sins are common to fallen man, to never bestow absolute authority or unbridled freedom on any man, and to resist the idea that any Christian leader is beyond being questioned."

This is so true today more than ever. We see this right in front of our eyes at FBC Jax.

"The SBC church, institution or agency that believes the "leader" is beyond simple accountability will find that leader has the capability to ruin the organization. When and if that happens, the fault will reside not only with the leader, but those laymen who were unable to see that a lack of transparency is the first indication that something is wrong."

Exactly. An unchekced leader has the capacity to ruin an organization, and if it happens, the blame falls not just on him, but the laymen, the churchmen, who didn't stop it.

AMEN and AMEN!

The Watchdog has been saying virtually the same thing for months on this blog. As I said Wade may not have had Team Brunson in mind when he wrote that article, but if the shoe fits...

Do any of you lay leaders at FBC Jax get it? Do you realize what you have done by changing those by-laws and giving full authority and power to Team Brunson (which means Mac, Deb, Trey, and Maurilio) with no real accountability or transparency? Do you think you've done them or our church any favors in this?

I pray that some of you staff and lay leaders will read this blog and wake up.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your mind will never be changed! Even after you sue and lose in court! Sad for everyone!

Anonymous said...

This is not just happening at FBCJax. It is happening in churches all over the US. There is an idolization of our leaders.

Much of this started when the Christian market boomed back in the 80's and the rise of the mega. Christianity became a profitable niche for everything from books to house decor items.

As the market grew, many of these folks started consolidating their power in churches by changing bylaws, stopping business meetings with congregational polity, etc.

It was able to happen because folks do not read scripture and do not pray for discernment.

In reality, many baptist churches look more Roman Catholic in their structure today than they did 30 years ago. They make a big deal about local church autonomy but in reality that local church is more like a Vatican with a little pope.

dodge said...

Mr. Rich.

I have no knowledge of FBC Jax but your allegations of concerns as related in Asso. Baptist Press do not surprise me . . . not because of any individual but because of our generally sinful nature.

That being said, anonymous, public blogging is hardly the biblical way to deal with such behavior. Your actions are as unbiblical as those you protest. This is not how the Bible tells us to redress a problem - anonymously and on the internet.

I would encourage to to pursue a biblical route instead.

Jeff Straub, Minnesota

Anonymous said...

Jeff Straub:

We tried to follow a biblical route. Have you ever tried to talk to a brick wall? That's the whole issue here, from day one. There are no ears to hear what they don't want to hear.

Thy Peace said...

WD, my take on suing in Jacksonville or Florida courts:

FBC Jax influence is clearly seen in both the levers of power in the city and state and the courts. I honestly do not think you will be heard in the local or state courts.

For privacy issues and 1st amendment rights, only the federal courts are more independent and less likely to be swayed by local influence.

Also, it might be preferable for you to enlist any outside watchdog non-profit agencies that fight for privacy issues.

I do not think any courts will interfere with internal matters of a church (unless they are of gross abuse, either sexual or monetary), but they clearly can speak on what happened outside the church. So you may not be able to change anyone's attitude within the church by filing suits, but you can clearly influence future church induced state action against bloggers and the invasion of privacy as a result.

This will not be an easy fight. For federal suits take time, effort and money.

I would encourage you, as you have honed some of your writing skills, to think of writing a book. As the Lord leads.

Anonymous said...

In the business world, upper management does not cross the CEO, otherwise they will be looking for a new job.

Within a church, the upper management desires recognition. They stay neutral bending their knee to the pastor, less they find themselves on the outs with him and no longer one of the inner circle. Also, sometimes they are "called" elsewhere. Unless they are family, of course. Yes, its that simple. Ego has more to do within a church than in business...in the business world they have to feed their families in the church they have to feed their egos....disgraceful behavior.

Anonymous said...

"Jeff Straub:

We tried to follow a biblical route. Have you ever tried to talk to a brick wall? That's the whole issue here, from day one. There are no ears to hear what they don't want to hear.

April 16, 2009 8:40 AM "

As I understand this there were anonymous emails sent, they were not answered. There was never an attempt to meet face to face with any of the staff.

Then when there were no answers, this blog was started to try to get some answers.

If that is the case one could hardly claim "We tried to follow a biblical route."

If that was not the case please tell me what you did otherwise either in signed letters/emails, phone calls or meetings.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Straub from Minnesota:

Throughout this blog's pages you will find the stories of different people who DID try to get to the pastor. Perhaps you should try contacting the mega-church preacher in this case. Now if you tell him you're media he might talk to you but be prepared for him to ignore the issues and tell you how he is interested in just one thing: PROTECTING THIS CHURCH! AND WILL DO ANYTHING NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH THAT GOAL!

Jeff Straub from Minnesota, unless & until you've read this full blog you will have no idea of how many people tried to contact him and how many separate issues are involved. Some who actually were allowed through the veil of the chain of command were told to like it or leave!

Anonymous said...

WD was wise not to meet. His concerns were not about private sin issues between him and Brunson. His concerns were for the whole Body and what was happening.

I have witnessed what happens to those who try and meet. First of all, they have to be someone of consequence to get the mega pastor't time or they are sent to a staff minister (who is towing the party line). Sometimes they will get the ear of an elder or deacon but they are usually part of the problem, too.

If they have some power and influence they may get a meeting I have seen the following happen:

They are treated with respect and their concerns are heard. (The mega pastor will try to win them over. AFter all, they are charismatic and this works for them a lot)

After the meeting, elders and others are called to give them an update. A silent campaign begins to marginalize that person's concerns. Even to the point of saying one thing in the pulpit and doing another. The whole strategy becomes one to marginalize the dissenter so they cannot cause problems for the status quo. It is necessary to do this ONLY because the dissenter has some influence and power.

If they have no influence or power, they rarely get a chance to air their concerns in a sit down meeting. And such concerns cannot be handled in a 2 sec handshake in the hall. Those are the celebrity pastor's 'appearances' and he usually has a body guard or 'walker' with him to shoo such folks away in a nice manner. He is an important and busy man, after all.

It amazes me that folks think this could be handled in a biblical manner. We are not dealing with a biblical elder. Mac has proved this with how he has handled it so far. He proved it with the subpeona's and the trespass warning. (He has proved it in other ways but I won't go into them because they have been covered on this blog)

What they really mean is that Tom should never had said anything. He should have just left quietly. This would be a derliction of duty to warn others and have shown a lack of love for those who are blindly following a cult leader because of his title and never questioning his very questionable sermons and behaviors.

Matt

Anonymous said...

I have not weighed in on whether FBC Jax did the right or wrong thing in calling or retaining the pastor or changing the bylaws.

I have seen a lot of wrangling in recent years in both so-called conservative and moderate churches. The reasons for the wrangling vary.

The churches that get through these things the best are the ones with strong, but godly lay leadership and a deliberative decision making process that is not conducted in large, plenary sessions where anyone can grab a mic, and, depending on how persuasive they are, can move the majority of a large crowd to follow them.

I note that some people on this blog have had negative experiences with an elder form of government.

Actually, any form of government can be bad, if the people in the decision making capacity are ungodly or are not knowledgeable about the matters upon which they are deciding.

We formed our congregation in 1992. We have a plurality of leadership, elders, with the pastor being one elder.

The church votes on all major matters, including the hiring of staff, but not without a unanimous recommendation from the elders.

An elder (including the pastor) can be dismissed by a 2/3rd vote of the elders.

The elders are approved by the congregation.

We have found that this arrangement keeps the church from becoming a "one man" show. If the pastor wants to do something, he has to get the elders on board. If they congregation doesn't approve, they can vote it down.

All of the congregational votes are done by secret written ballots which are collected during a Sunday when the vote is taking place. We don't do that in the service, but it's done in the foyer, all day, so people can vote when it's convenient for them.

We have not had a controversy of any kind in 16 years of ministry. Votes to approve elders, hire staff, build buildings etc. have never been lower than 92%.

We have never had a disagreeable business meeting.

This is only our experience. I do not recommend this model as something that every church must do. Each congregation has its own history that should be honored.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Matt:

I read your description of how the Mega churches you have been involved with handle the "access" issue. Seems deplorable to me.

From a logistical standpoint, I can see that someone like Dr. Rogers or Rick Warren would have a devil of a time meeting with every person who might have concerns and who would want to meet. I don't have a suggestion for how to solve that.

But I took your post (based on experience) to really be critical of the intent of all the handling process. The goal is to grant phony access and then marginalize.

That is inexcusable.

It's sad that has happened to you or that it goes on.

I hope you are in a church now where you don't have to deal with that.

Louis

Lydia said...

"The churches that get through these things the best are the ones with strong, but godly lay leadership and a deliberative decision making process that is not conducted in large, plenary sessions where anyone can grab a mic, and, depending on how persuasive they are, can move the majority of a large crowd to follow them."

No, the lower caste system peasants cannot be trusted with spiritual things or to talk to the entire Body they are part of. Especially women. (The eye can say to the hand: your opinion is not as spiritual as mine)

"We have never had a disagreeable business meeting."

Of course not. They aren't allowed to speak unless they have a title!

who would dare since an issue does not even make it to the floor until the godly elders have decided they are for it.

That is like your boss saying, the matter has been decided, now you can vote.

All your ballot vote does is to gage if folks are supporting your already decided issue.

Louis, you have said you are an elder there and those who have been reading you for a while know of your worldly pragmatism when it comes to church and issues related.

The problem is that folks put blind trust in a title. They would not recognize a biblical elder if they met one.

Good move on not allowing others in the Body to speak at the meetings.

Anonymous said...

Matt April 16, 2009 11:17 AM: You're right on the money!

I am thankful for this blog because my eyes have been fully opened to the abuses of mega church pastor behavior. They will smile and talk small talk for 15 seconds but will always be in a hurry and will be hustled off when a serious question is introduced.

Here's something I've realized: Let's put aside the "right" of a pastor to earn a $300,000+ yearly salary plus all the perks. Instead, let's ask the question: Why would a man who has been called to the ministry of the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ WANT to have that kind of salary? So, no wonder he didn't want to discuss his salary. It must be embarrassing! You gotta know it's a stumbling block to those who are being sought out to attend FBC! People call it the "wealthy" church. But 99% of the people who sacrificially give to the furtherance of the Gospel aren't anywhere close to wealthy. But people see Mac & Debbie Brunson's style of living, and can plainly see that they live on a grand level.

There will be some who will come and post that I am jealous. That couldn't be further from the truth because I am content with what God has given me. My plan is always to tell others about Jesus and invite them to come to church with me. I find that I can no longer invite people to FBC because, in my opinion, the preacher doesn't have clean hands. He has said he isn't perfect, and we already knew that and weren't expecting him to be perfect. But we were expecting a "pastor" not a surly businessman.

It seems to me that when the pastoral search committee went looking they disregarded the qualities a pastor should have. They didn't get to know him and we, the members, weren't allowed to do so. The members made the mistake of trusting the search committee. But what choice did we have? We didn't have a choice and that's when the members began to allow the wool to be pulled over our eyes. But we didn't protest when we were told to stand in agreement to show that we wanted Dr. Mac Brunson to be our pastor. We just stood up because we didn't want to appear negative or quarrelsome. And it's been downhill ever since...

Concerned Citizen of Jacksonville said...

If memory serves me, one of the primary reasons for for the Anabaptist Schism (for the lay-folk: that was the point where the ancestors of the modern Baptist Church split from the Roman Catholic Church) was a concentration of power in the hands of a church leader (Pope), who was given unchecked authority, and who influenced government officials to suppress dissent. This seems to be very much the same thing that is being addressed here. I also would like to note that there has been such activity on a broader scale on behalf of FBC for years. FBC uses their power to restrict access to areas of downtown Jacksonville at least two days a week. They disrupt public transportation, which many citizens of Jacksonville rely on to reach work. This disruption often can cause loss of employment. The JSO officers that enforce all of this use FBC membership as a condition in settling traffic issues (Imagine someone causing an accident, but not being charged because they were a member...)
Sad as it is, FBC has been doing this to citizens of Jacksonville for more than a decade... with tacit support from JSO and the City Council.

Anonymous said...

Concerned Citizen of Jacksonville:

I agree with your analysis of the anabaptist issue.

However, your info on the traffic situation in and around the FBC area would fall into the category of rumor. There are lots of stories about FBC. This traffic story is one of them.

Lydia said...

"If memory serves me, one of the primary reasons for for the Anabaptist Schism (for the lay-folk: that was the point where the ancestors of the modern Baptist Church split from the Roman Catholic Church) was a concentration of power in the hands of a church leader (Pope), who was given unchecked authority, and who influenced government officials to suppress dissent. "

The Anabaptists split from the Reformers, too, over the same 'popish' issues of church/state, no practising of the priesthood of believer, infant baptism and sacraments. Many of those who split were clergy or students in both Catholic and REformed who came to their conclusions studying scripture. (Scripture was not usually read and studied by the 'layperson'). They became marked men and women and many were drowned and tortured.

The Reformers were a lot like Rome in their structure even though they did split over works salvation, as Rome taught. They retained the structure of authority, the infant babtism and sacraments and persecuted the Ana Baptists who had to constantly move around and ended up in the Netherlands where they immigrated to England/ America.

Most folks trace the American Baptist church to John Smyth. But that is debatebale. Some try to say we are descended from the Puritans but that is even more debatable. The Puritans died out for a good reason. The Baptists did not for a very good reason.

It is fascinating to read both sides of this history. The victors write history so you have to dig deep.

Anonymous said...

Matt: 11:17: You have described EXACTLY how the PROCEDURE goes. Smile be pleasant, but once you are out of earshot, thinking, naively, that you have had a good influence on the preacher or person you have met with, well then, the campaign starts against you. You are DISCUSSED,checked on to see how much influence, money or position you have. Then the surgical procedures start to get rid of you if you don't "come around". Believe me it is quite painful to go through. My question is: do they take a course on how to do this stuff to people, or is it just a natural result of challenging the preacher? The bible has NOTHING to do with this PROCEDURE!!!! Matt's assessment is "right on".

Anonymous said...

"Concerned Citizen of Jacksonville said...
I also would like to note that there has been such activity on a broader scale on behalf of FBC for years. FBC uses their power to restrict access to areas of downtown Jacksonville at least two days a week. They disrupt public transportation, which many citizens of Jacksonville rely on to reach work. This disruption often can cause loss of employment. The JSO officers that enforce all of this use FBC membership as a condition in settling traffic issues (Imagine someone causing an accident, but not being charged because they were a member...)
Sad as it is, FBC has been doing this to citizens of Jacksonville for more than a decade... with tacit support from JSO and the City Council.

April 16, 2009 12:27 PM "

Actually all FBC does is hire JSO officers to control traffic so that everyone can leave in a timely and orderly manner. It is not that disruptive to go around it for what amounts to an hour three times a week.

The Jaguars do much worse on Sundays when they play in town. You practically have to drive all the way around downtown if you are not in the traffic leaving a game.

Anonymous said...

"My question is: do they take a course on how to do this stuff to people, or is it just a natural result of challenging the preacher?"

There used to be an open forum on Pastors.com (Rick Warren) on how to deal with dissenters and 'transitioning the church'. It was for pastors but many folks found it and the reading there blew their minds. Few could believe 'pastors' were writing what they read there. It was like reading the tales of corporate raiders. Barbarians at the gate stuff. Eventually they wisened up and made it private.

And yes, they share ideas all the time. Mega's talk to each other all the time. Many send staffer's to them to learn 'best practices', etc., etc. And they compete with each other to sell sermons, drama skits, literature, etc., to other growing churches. (The business aspect of this is astonishing. )

I would sit in meetings and go along with how to deal with dissenters. It always boiled down to who they were and what kind of influence they had.

(Also remember that if there is some serious heresy being taught in a bible class, it can take a while before that reaches the upper levels, too. It goes both ways.)

The main thing is that they want them to leave. There is no thought of a 'Body of Christ'. There is no thought of the Holy Priesthood in these situations.

The mega mentality is that there are more where they came from. But the goal is to have 'unity' in personal relationships. (Not spiritual unity). Some even require folks sign a covenant to join that says they will not critisize the pastor or church. (The language is more vague than that but the concept is clear: questioning the leaders is sinful and satanic. And since there is love at first sight, the new member cannot imagine ever having a problem with such wondeful people)

In one mega church of about 14,000 about 10 years ago, there was dissent from a very wealthy member who owned a bunch of companies in town. It was all kept under wraps and it helped the leaders that this person had questionable business practices. (He was also a former elder) So as their campaign began, he upped and left abruptly, BUT he took 15 other very wealthy couples with them and they started a church (They hired a pastor) which is an active church toay of about 1500. Those 15 couples represented almost 5 mill a year the church lost. The church leaders were stunned. They had no idea what was brewing. (Another like them beat them at their own game). Now 15 couples and their kids is no big deal to a mega. But their wealth capacity was a big deal. It is all about who you are.

They learned a lesson from that episode: Who is allowed to dissent and who isn't.

And what was funny is that none of the leaders would even mention their names. It was like they fell off the face of the earth. And they were all social friends who took vacations together all the time, skiiing together in Vail and sharing villas in Hawaii.

One mistake that Mac has made that many mega pastors do NOT make very often is that he shows his anger and ego on stage. Most of them do not do this because they are too smart. They want to leave the impression of how nice and humble they are. He also could have used better advisors for his game. One mega church pastor claimed he did not want his big house but the elders insisted on it as a gift to him and his wife for their service. He said this from stage many times. Now, who can argue with that? Even though at that time they were asking single moms to be more frugal to give to the new building project.

It is a business, folks.

Matt

Anonymous said...

You are just wasting you time in continuing to obsess over this matter, WD. NO amount of money will satisfy your feelings, because in the end you will still be as bitter as you started. No one at FBC cares what you think, plainly stated. What good are you even trying to come of this situation? I see none whatsoever. If FBC believed all your lies and gossip, don't you think we would have immediately followed you? It seems that you're the only one in the church that has such hate. Thank God you aren't a part of it anymore. We can worship in peace. So just get over yourself, move on, stop OBSESSING! Your continuous posts obviously show how crazy you are and how you cannot get over what has happened. God always told us NOT to hold a grudge, yet you are infinitely holding one. Let's see how many rewards you get in Heaven for this one...

Anonymous said...

To Concerned Citizen...

Oh please... Come on. Who would lose their job over a few streets being closed off? Especially on a Sunday (which most people don't work on Sundays) and Wednesday nights after 7:30. That is just nonesense. There is barely any traffic on those streets at the time they block them off, and I've never heard complaints except from the silly one you just made. Try again.

Anonymous said...

Matt 4:03: My suspicions have not gone unrewarded. I said years ago, that the church was run like a business and the preacher was the CEO. This did not help my "standing" in the church. But, the "cat" is now out of the bag, and many people see things as they are. I have often said also, that there is not five cents difference in the way the Baptist church (megas) are run from the Catholic church. This was an unforgiveable attitude to have at that time. I was basically shunned and treated as an "odd-ball" to be avoided. It is somewhat gratifying to confirm that I was not the horrible person that was spiritually lacking. In this case the doctor was sick, not the patient. I have recovered, but I would not go back to that church if they paid me a ton of money. I would have to "sell-out" to do it. No thanks. How would I explain to the Lord, who gave me spiritual discernment in the first place, to recognize these things early on.
I do not rejoice in the position that the church is in today. I find it so very sad, but they will not see what they don't want to see.

Anonymous said...

Well then get over it! Move on! You are not helping yourself or your family like you think. You are ruining your own reputation, as well as your Christian reputation, and I'm sure the Lord is sad to see that. I'm sure he's very disappointed in how you have handled things immaturely. If you have moved on like you say, then show that you have. Delete the blog then! What good is it doing if you have "moved on?" To me it shows your obsessiveness with the situation and how you just want fame; people to continue to hear you out no matter how ludacris you talk. Thats all this is. It's past the point of people sympathizing with you. Pray and put this in God's hands. You don't TRUST him with the situation at all and have decided to take matters into your own hands. If you trusted God like you claim you do, then do it. Trust him. Let HIM handle this situation. Let HIM punish the wrongdoers whoever they may be. It is not your place. He knows who is right and who is wrong, you don't have to continue pointing fingers when you can't even point a finger at yourself for everything horrible you have said. So just let GOD take over.

Anonymous said...

"I was basically shunned and treated as an "odd-ball" to be avoided. It is somewhat gratifying to confirm that I was not the horrible person that was spiritually lacking."

Do you know WHY you were shunned? Take a minute to think about it... How would YOU feel if someone started a blog about you, saying horrible things about your character, called you names, and slandered your reputation, yet didn't know this person? Wouldn't you feel upset? I knew I would if that happened to me. Yet you didn't have the guts to meet with the pastor to talk about your concerns, and you EXPECT for them to see the "wrong they are doing?" How can they understand when you wouldn't talk or meet with them about it? That doesn't make any sense. And now you probably will never get that opportunity because everyone knows your reputation and is going to want to stay away from you. How sad. And for you to DENY that you basically have no sin in this matter "It is somewhat gratifying to confirm that I was not the horrible person that was spiritually lacking" is such a blaspheme to God's face. EVERYONE is a sinner. We all fall short of his glory. That is not something a Christian would say. Satan is the one who will deceive you into thinking you are more righteous than you are.

"No one is holy like the Lord! There is no one besides you;there is no Rock like our God.Stop acting so proud and haughty!Don’t speak with such arrogance!For the Lord is a God who knows what you have done;he will judge your actions." -1 Samuel 2:2-3

Remember, God opposes the proud, but favors the humble. Pray for humility.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 11:42 - you are wrong in your assumption that I wrote that post.

Anonymous said...

11:42 comments: Who are you addressing your comments? Your rambling does not fit my comment nor my situation. Very confusing, as you are way off base.

Anonymous said...

11:42: I was commenting to Matt about churches (megas primarily) in general, and my experience in one church years ago. I was not speaking as Watchdog or FBCJ. You have assumed and applied my remarks incorrectly.

Anonymous said...

Well my bad. It doesn't matter though, my comment was for WD anyway.

Anonymous said...

April 17, 2009 8:56 AM - hey, go away. Follow your own advice and "let God handle it." Trust HIM to "shut em down." You don't need to come on here and take matters into your own hands by asking WD to stop this blog. And why haven't you signed your name?

Such inconsistent and hypocritical people try to come here and be persuasive? Wow. So lame.

Anonymous said...

Anon April 16, 2009 5:49 PM: You said "Thank God you aren't a part of it anymore. We can worship in peace."

Wow! It sounds like you have learned that wonderful, loving attitude during the worship services at FBCJ! It's obvious that you have no clue whatsoever as to what has gone on behind closed doors @FBCJ. I hope you never have to ask a question or makea comment to someone about your personal opinions.

You say that WD is telling lies. You would not know the truth if it bit you in the rear.

Anonymous said...

Anon April 16, 2009 5:49 PM:
"Your continuous posts obviously show how crazy you are and how you cannot get over what has happened."

How do you know that there have been "continuous posts?" Have you been obsessing over this blog? Why don't you quit worrying about it and just move on? Why don't you just "Get over it!"

You say that the WD can't get over what happened. Oh. What is it that "happened?"

Dee Lauderdale said...

sorry to see you've decided to censor comment. the sad part is no one will know you're true colors because you control what's seen on this blog. Oh, wait a minute someone will know, you will, every morning you have to face yourself. dude, you seriously need to man up.

Anonymous said...

The article is accurate. But, you can not say that this mentality only existed with Dr.Brunson. It was worse under Vines. He himself said in a sermon in 2005 that he is not accountable to the congregation but only to his "peers." By this he meant his mega-pastor church buddies.

I think Dr. Brunson is of a much different heart, he has empathy. His predecessor lacked such and near the end, the entire church took notice.

Anonymous said...

4-22/6:43 AM (Comments regarding Vines) Thank goodness someone finally said this. DITTO!

Anonymous said...

I went to this FBC church and found them to be phony. If you don't immediatley "join" the church your ignored by all. And the "sunday classes" are full of crazies, always talking about "church cults" this is why the RNC lost in 2006 and 2008 and will continue to lose because its full of FBC types mixing "politics with power" the last time church and state were mixed people burned at the stake, put into slavery to pick cotten, and sent to Iraq.