"...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 8, 2009

The Story of the Watchdog Blog - Part 1

SEE FRONT PAGE OF FLORIDA TIMES UNION

I realize that many of you reading this are first time visitors to this blog, perhaps directed here by the Jeff Brumley article in the Florida Times Union. This blog post will share a more expanded story - how this blog came into existence, and what the concerns were at FBC Jax that led to its inception.

My initial comment on the article: how sad to read the depths that Mac Brunson has sunk to. A pastor, a man supposedly called by God Himself to love and shepherd Christians, that he would unequivocally declare to a news reporter that I, one of his sheep until just recently, am "obsessive compulsive", and that I am "not stable at all", and the real humdinger that "What you're dealing with here is sociopath". Mac suddenly knows my mental state, when he has never met me, my wife, or my kids. Not one single conversation with the man and he declares me to be a sociopath. People who know me at FBC Jax and my new church and elsewhere know this is not true and just a pathetic attempt by Mac to attack the credibility of one of his critics. The sad truth is that Mac telling a news reporter this lie about one of his sheep speaks more to Mac's lack of character and lack of a pastor's heart than it does my mental state. Thank you, pastor, who never met me or my wife or my kids - for lying about me to Jeff Brumley - but I do forgive you, brother.

Here is the story of this blog, Part 1:

What Were the Concerns?

Back in the spring and summer of 2007 I saw Mac Brunson, the new pastor hired in spring 2006, begin to exhibit actions that raised some concerns with me and several other members. Some did express these concerns in person, some via e-mail, and others with anonymous emails. When those concerns we felt were being ignored, and some members were intimidated by deacons to stop discussing these concerns, and others were asked to outright leave if we couldn't fully support the pastor, I decided to try to effect change at FBC Jax through a blog.

I saw possible abuses at our church shortly after our new pastor arrived, regarding acceptance of a $307,000 land gift just three weeks after he arrived - even though his own Pastor's Guidebook cautions pastors against accepting large gifts! I watched as we spent $100,000 to renovate 3600+ square feet of our newly constructed children's building to provide the pastor and his wife and secretary luxury office suites. I saw the preacher vacate the pulpit unannounced, I heard him say he took several Sunday nights off because he had to finish a book manuscript. I saw us spending money on the A-Group, a church marketing consultant and promotions firms. The head of this firm, Maurilio Amorim, came to be involved in personnel decisions at FBC Jax the first year of Mac's tenure, at a church and city that he knew nothing about. I saw us develop promotions plans to "raise revenue" at our pastors conference through charging for advertising and selling "promotions packages".

I saw long-term pastors leave while we were told that "God called" them somewhere else…only to find that actually they were fired and some were treated very disrespectfully in their departure after decades of faithful service. I saw nepotism on full display, with family members put on staff without the congregation being told their ministry titles or responsibilities.

I saw a video testimony featuring the business owned by the sons of the man who gave the $307,000 land gift be played smack dab in the middle of the preacher's sermon. It looked like quid-pro-quo, pay-for-play, of the worst kind.

I then began to watch the preacher begin to display an attitude toward his congregation of condescension and anger, saying abusive things to his congregation as standard fare in his sermons. I heard of large salaries totaling near $500,000 per year total compensation for Team Brunson. I watched the church sponsor a non-Christian event called "Time to Stand For Israel" that had ties to bio-medical research firms, raising money for an Israeli hospital at which abortions were performed. My wife and I were even in the service on a Sunday night in 2008 when Brunson spoke a very hurtful, bald-faced lie about a seminary professor named Sheri Klouda.

I watched as our trustees made very significant changes to our bylaws in December 2007 without one word of explanation to the congregation.

As I saw these abuses pile up, I couldn't stay silent any longer.

I thought that someone needed to speak up against these abuses and demand the leadership explain them, and stop them. Unfortunately, no one did or no one could.

I knew that if I asked questions, as a mere layman with no power or influence or stature, they would not be answered completely, or worse that I would be singled out as a troublemaker and that not only would I not be able to make a difference, but I and my family might suffer ridicule or bannishment. I did send a few anonymous emails to the pastor that went unanswered. Then Brunson and even Jerry Vines preached about how wrong anonymous emails were. I in no way wanted to leave my church. We loved the church and its ministers and ministries. So, rightly or wrongly, I wasn't about to leave, and decided not to remain silent.

So I started a blog to get some of my concerns considered by others in the church and to provide a place where others could share their concerns.

The Blog Begins

The blog began August 2007. No marketing. No advertising. No strategy. No live streaming. Just a guy who started writing about abuses he had seen at his church. Slowly traffic began to come to the blog.

I thought someone in leadership would wake up and take the mantel and stop the abusive practices, and a blog would no longer be necessary.

I thought the pastor might become aware of the blog, and himself be convicted by a layperson's view of what was wrong at the church and stop his verbal abuse, and would even begin to answer important questions to his congregation.

Boy, was I wrong.

Why anonymous blogging? I preferred to blog anonymously so as not to draw attention to myself, or make the discussion about me personally. I decided to focus on what I saw and heard, and to give a voice to those things I considered abusive. I never wanted the blog to be distracted by who I was, or make myself the issue. And of course self-preservation played a role - some who criticize my anonymity have anonymously called that "cowardice" - but if not wanting my wife and kids to feel the pain of having their husband and dad ridiculed as a troublemaker at their beloved church is cowardice, then so be it.

As it turns out, as I have learned in very recent days and as reported by Jeff Brumley, the lengths to which the church has gone to identify me and intimidate me and silence me confirmed my fears! The church leadership did indeed seek to silent a vocal dissent - a man who saw questionable things going on at the church and demanded accountability and demanded answers on a blog caused all of the power and influence that was at the disposal of the big church downtown - the wealthy pastor, the retired and respected circuit judge, even a few long-time staffers and even JSO officials who go to the church - they all rose to action to find out who this blogger was. It was well known in the congregation that Mac wanted to know my identity so the blog could be shut down, and they had finally had enough and wanted to shut it down.

Did I effect change through this? Yes, there was change. But not the kind I envisioned. The plan to effect change backfired and it resulted in the wrong kind of change.

The Response to the Blog

Instead of the pastor becoming more open and honest, less abusive in his statements and attitudes from the pulpit, it only got worse. He began to talk about church discipline in threatening, certainly less than loving ways.

Instead of lay leaders requiring the pastor to explain some of the issues raised on the blog, and maybe making some small changes in church governance that would be more open and transparent, that would be more inviting of people like me who had legitimate questions, they changed the bylaws to create a discipline committee, retracted a key provision in the bylaws to take away a key component of congregational authority, and they declared all members to have forfeited their rights to ever take legal action against the church for any reason.

Not the kind of change we can believe in.

And they - the pastor and trustees - did this without explaining it to the congregation.

Apparently they were so infatuated with shutting down this ONE LONE voice, a man who had a blog - no budget, no staff, no marketing consultants - he had to be silenced at all costs.

The Search

Unbelievably, the leadership decided they could not ignore one single, solitary voice of dissent. The blog had to be shut down. Posters supporting the pastor claimed it was nothing more than lies and gossip and innuendo. I was slandering the pastor and the people of FBC Jax, they said. I was harming the church they said - while the pastor maintained it was harmless "beauty shop gossip" and that he never reads it. It was not the pastor's own words and actions that were harming the church, it was the Watchdog's highlighting of these words and actions that was the problem.

But the Watchdog had to be found. And the blog needed to be shut down. One voice of dissent was apparently one too many for the church leadership to stand.

The JSO was involved, State's attorney was involved, and apparently some sort of mail stealing or picture taking of the pastor's wife was alleged. This allowed the authorities to obtain subpoenas to force Google and Comcast to reveal my identity, as well as a few other bloggers critical of baptist preachers.

Now they knew who I was. Now what would they do with this information?

The new bylaws had created a discipline committee. Would the committee approach me in accordance with Matthew 18 as the preacher had preached about multiple times during the life of the blog? Would they ask him to stop blogging? Would they go and lovingly confront me with the evidence against me and offer to answer my questions and ask me to shut the blog down for the good of the church, maybe admit some of my concerns were valid and they would address those?

Not a chance.

Mac's sermon references to "biblical church discipline" according to Matthew 18 apparently were just a bunch of malarkey.

It was now they decided to do what Mac had preached about church discipline - they decided to "put the fear of God in me". They said they wanted "reconciliation and restoration." Their actions spoke just the opposite. Instead of biblical church discipline, they decided to intimidate and "shut him down". They said the matter was eccliastical, when they themselves used the public servants at JSO and SAO to find my identity.

The Discipline Letter and Trespass Warnings

On the eve of Thanksgiving, my friend John Blount - a man I have respected and loved ever since I was at FBC Jax - the man who was a wonderful Sunday School teacher to me in the men's department for 5 years - he called me and hung up before showing up at my door along with Kevin King to hand me a sealed envelope and quickly departed, refusing my invitation to come in. When he and Kevin King were at my door, I assumed these two men would inform me I had been identified, might ask me to stop blogging, or may be discuss some of my concerns, and maybe pray with me or for me.

Again, I was wrong.

Their letter said I had been identified to them as the blog owner, and it demanded that I meet with their discipline committee. It also contained trespass warnings for both me and my wife immediately banning us from the church under threat of arrest. I knew I would never meet with these men until they first told me the basis of their accusations and would allow me to bring representation. I wanted to know how I had been "positively identified" by these men. I suspected they had somehow gained access to my Internet records, had invaded my privacy. As I said before, it was my desire, and my right, to blog anonymously. As the popularity of the blog increased, as more and more people became aware of it, my anonymity was now more focused on self-preservation. I knew that I had a first amendment right to blog, and that I also had a right to stay anonymous. I believed I had done nothing wrong, and that they had no right to pry into my private Internet records to find what blog sites I did or did not own.

The committee seemed very afraid to allow any of my requests, so the meeting never occurred. On December 3rd they wouldn't even let me and my wife come to the church to watch our daughter sing a solo with her ensemble because we FIRST had to meet the 6 members of the discipline committee. So we dropped her off and hurried home to watch her sing on the Internet broadcast.

The following Sunday, December 7th, 2008, at 10:00 am the during the Sunday School hour, the church administration executed official trespass warnings with an officer of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office for both me and my wife - the reason for the trespass warning says "church misconduct". I have copies of these officially executed trespass warnings that are on file with JSO. Yes, my wife who did nothing but faithfully serve in that church for many years has a trespass warning on file downtown with the JSO for "church misconduct".

I suspected their deliverance of a 3 page letter, a list of 16 sins, and 2 trespass warnings was more of an attempt to intimidate me to shut the blog down, than it was at an honest attempt at their reported "restoration and reconciliation". I knew also that it was not in accordance with Matthew 18.

So I decided I would not be intimidated by these unbiblical tactics to try to get my blog to shut down. I was not going to be a coward and be bullied by these men because they didn't like what I was writing.

Next - Part 2: The Church Discipline Process

251 comments:

1 – 200 of 251   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Be strong brother. Pray that FBC congregation gets wise and throws these bums out. Or better yet find a real church.

Anonymous said...

The Lord is so proud of both sides!

BT said...

Many of us outside of the FBC world has suspected this sort of abuse for years. Thank you for exposing it!

Anonymous said...

You may or may not be a sociopath, but your last paragraph shows me you are full of pride and arrogance.

Why? Because you continue this carnal method of "not being intimidated" when you were never right in your methods in the first place, when many people tried to get you to meet with the staff, all the while claiming FBC is unbiblical in it's methods.

Thomas you cannot ignore the principles taught in "reaping and sowing" and neither can anyone else. Enjoy your "harvest".

Marie said...

Ummm, I am confused. I believe you have every right to speak and be heard (or be ignored, for that matter), unless it endangers another human beings life. Your thoughts are your thoughts, and your thoughts alone. Freedom of speech = Freedom of blog.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is forgetting that the "church" is the body of believers and not the staff or it's buildings.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a member of FBC but I believe everyone has the right to speak their mind! Isn’t that how this country was started? By people who right to speak freely was taking away by a so called king who believe we knew what the people needed better than they did. From what you said about the Rev. Mac Brunson and the trustee changing the bylaw without a say by the people sound a lot like what happen to the German people in the 1930’s so I guess the people at FBC better learn how to say “HEIR BRUNSON”

IT IS WRITTEN said...

Well Mac has been pretty much silent for the also 2 years since this blog has been going...Not one reply from the great one at FBC Jax...Now everyone please hush because Mac is about to speak...What will he say?...What great words of wisdom will almighty Mac impart to us underlings?...What Biblical enlightenment will this great scholar of Scripture reveal to the masses?..."Quiet","Quiet",.Here it comes....."Rich's persistent criticism over nearly two years indicates the writer has an "OBESSIVE COMPULSIVE PROBLEM" and is "NOT VERY STABLE AT ALL",What you're dealing with is a SOCIOPATH",..Brunson said.........."WHAT"!!!..Is that it!!!.Mac please show me what book of the Bible and chapter that qoute came from!!!..That qoute alone reveals to me that Mac is really the sociopath!!!..."Worse" and "Worse"!!!

Anonymous said...

As a former preacher and former member of both FBCJ and Belevue I am deeply concerned about the direction in which both are moving.

These ministries and many others have gone from being mega-ministries to being mega-businesses. They are powerful entities... I wish you well in your quest to right that which has gone so very wrong.

Anonymous said...

You may or may not be a sociopath, but your last paragraph shows me you are full of pride and arrogance.

Why? Because you continue this carnal method of "not being intimidated" when you were never right in your methods in the first place, when many people tried to get you to meet with the staff, all the while claiming FBC is unbiblical in it's methods.

Thomas you cannot ignore the principles taught in "reaping and sowing" and neither can anyone else. Enjoy your "harvest".

April 9, 2009 7:58 AM

Where do you people learn this stuff? It is like the Thomas Jefferson method of bible reading. I guess that IS probably taught at FBC Jax.

I guess anon thinks John was 'carnal' to write about Diotrephes in a letter for all to read for 2000 years. There is no evidence that John even knew Diotrephes! But he had reports from others that Diotrephes was putting other brothers out of the church.


Or perhaps Paul was in sin for rebuking Peter publicly without going to him in private first. But then Paul went further and wrote about it in a letter that was passed from church to church and read by millions for 2000 years.

Yeah, they really teach the bible at FBC Jax, don't they. No, just the parts that benefit Mac. Now that is pride and arrogance. So are all the other issues that WD has written about that pertain to Mac. Nothing but pride and arrogance and you just blindly follow along.

Anonymous said...

A SOCIOPATH? I've read this blog for almost a year, never agreed with one thing you said, or not much of what you said, Watchdog. Until this whole mess broke loose about the trespass warrant, the TIFFANY CROFT warrant, the BBC BLOGGER warrant, and now? I just sat there in amazement and read that article this morning. To say that Dr. Brunson needs to think before he speaks is the understatement of the century. I have no idea how this will all shake out in the end, but in my view, everything you said, Watchdog, has been proven, and sadly way more. How can someone of Dr. Brunsons intelligence not realize that the story is no longer what YOU did, Watchdog, its what THEY DID. It breaks my heart, too.

Anonymous said...

Both WD and FBC are guilty of some form of irrational exuberance. Both are guilty of being heavy handed to some degree. And both should be held liable for any provable wrong doing.

Anonymous said...

But who should be held more accountable? An anonymous church member who blogs, or a PASTOR, CHURCH STAFF, DEACONS, etc. Who do think is more accountable in the eyes of GOD in other words?

Anonymous said...

WOW! I had heard of inappropriate actions before by some of the FBC leadership and had friends who experienced it first hand however, this just confirms the concerns I had of the ‘mega-church’. Thank you for sharing your eye opening experiences. I will pray for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that you say you and your family never met Mac. I thought you were this super-spiritual man who did everything at your church (or at least according to Wade Burleson). You do love to paint yourself as a hero of the faith when in reality you are nothing more than a trouble maker who got exactly what he deserved. My prayers go out to your new church and pastor because they are going to need it.

IT IS WRITTEN said...

"Both WD and FBC are guilty of some form of irrational exuberance. Both are guilty of being heavy handed to some degree. And both should be held liable for any provable wrong doing."

April 9, 2009 8:49 AM......Anon help here a moment!!!..Please tell me where Dr.Dog is guilty of "irrational exuberance" please!!!..Is wanting transparency in a Church that supposedly represent Jesus Christ the incarnate truth,"wrong doing"?..Is it "irrational exuberance"...Where was Dr.Dog during the Linday's and Vines administrations?....And now all of a sudden Pope Mac comes in and Dr.Dog looses his mind and goes "sociopathic"!!!..."Give me a break"!!!

Anonymous said...

Well, Mac went and did it. He is on the books as calling you a sociopath. Not very Christian and extremely unwise from even a secular view.

He looks even more like a naked emperor who is furious that anyone dare say he is naked. That person must be a sociopath!

Quite frankly, I was a bit surprised to see that he would be quoted saying something like that. It only goes to show he has no grip on reality and has been too isolated as an untouchable celebrity and is getting very bad counsel if any at all. He is allowing his anger to dictate his response.

Where is that police report of a stalker and mail theft? Where is it? Why is there no record of that anywhere?

Because it was never true.

It was a pretext to get the subpeona's. And we all know that if we, as ordinanry citizens, tried to do the same...we would NEVER have the pull to get that done without some inside help.

If there was a serious concern about stalking or mail theft, there would be a police report.

The people of Fla should be outraged.

Anonymous said...

So let me get things straight Tom Rich, are you now admitting to being the FBCJax Watchdog? If so then you have purposely LIED and mislead in your comments on this blog after you were exposed. I would say that you are not trustworthy in much of anything you say!

Anonymous said...

Buddy, you have way too much time on your hands. Idle hands are the devils playthings, or something like that. Get a life. And no, I don't belong to FBC, or am even a baptist, but you people eat your own dead and dying.

B. W. Fullford said...

Brunson is a failure, don't pretend otherwise. His comments in the article speak more to his heart than any sermon. Being a resident of Jacksonville for 19 years I don't find these tactics by FBCJax shocking in the least. Please keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Never heard of this blog until reading the TU article.

What a shame that we as a community have allowed a church to gain so much power, that they can trample on a private citizens rights. Shame on First Baptist, shame on JSO, and shame on all others involved in this witch hunt. Our founding fathers would be ashamed. Hopefully someone will step in and hold these rouge public servants who abused their power accountable.

Keep up the good fight.

Anonymous said...

I believe an independent investigation should be called to look into JSO and FBC impropriety. Maybe at the federal level. This shouldn't go away. This is big news and it's about time FBC be held accountable.

Someone also needs to seriously look at the tax-exempt status of FBC and their books.

Brunson to be reminded that the 1st amendment isn't there just for him.

Anonymous said...

It Is Written, BOTH sides are guilty, in my opinion.

WD, is guilty of blogging things as fact, when they are his opinion. His words, not mine.

FBC staff, is guilty of giving credibility to WD's blog and then crossing the line of going after his identity in the way that they did, in my opinion.

If you Google "sociopath" you could apply the "current" definition to all of the players, in my opinion.

Did it ever occur to supporters of both sides that it is quite possible that both sides sincerely believe their positions and sincerely made legitimate efforts that they felt were warranted, however misguided their methods are perceived by others?

Anonymous said...

The men at the top do not desire that THEIR church be embarrassed...that is the bottom line. You had to be identified otherwise no whereas'es could pronounced against you. Giving them more power, they think. You paid the ultimate price by being told to get out...thats what they want..no division...just follow the leader. That's what they DO. If you are not a "go along, get along, suck up then you are just not in the club. As one who was treated like "dirt" down there, I feel somewhat vindicated, due to this blog., and it's exposure of how people can be treated if not, one of the club. I have never handed my sovereignty, nor my brains, nor my beliefs and faith over to any human. And I am not going to do it now. I owe ALL to Jesus Christ who saved me and Who I will spend eternity with. To Jesus I will bow, but until I see Jesus, I bow to no man on earth!

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, I do not believe any violation of law occurred if all parties concerned honestly and legitimately felt that potential criminal wrong doing was occurring. Assuming that it was all a ruse on the church staffs part, proving that in court would be difficult.

At the end of the day, I hope all sides can resolve their differences in a Christ like manner.

Anonymous said...

So let me get things straight Tom Rich, are you now admitting to being the FBCJax Watchdog? If so then you have purposely LIED and mislead in your comments on this blog after you were exposed. I would say that you are not trustworthy in much of anything you say!

April 9, 2009 9:08 AM

LOL! These are folks that will NEVER get it. You mean after the subpeona's and trespass warnings and NO police reports, you don't think the WD KNEW the kind of people he was dealing with! He was wise to stay anon for as long as he could. One of you blind Mac followers would probably have tried to hurt his family.

These are people that REFUSED to allow him to have representation at a meeting! Real nice guys. Real Christian. And they are the ones with the Christian 'titles'.

It was meant to go this far so folks could see what their leaders were really all about. But many are still blind and will follow blindly.

Blame WD all you want and ignore Mac. That is what he expects you to do. And you are a good little follower, aren't you.

Anonymous said...

"In my opinion, I do not believe any violation of law occurred if all parties concerned honestly and legitimately felt that potential criminal wrong doing was occurring. Assuming that it was all a ruse on the church staffs part, proving that in court would be difficult."

Where is the POLICE report? They claimed criminal activity. Now, where are the reports? Could YOU get subpeona's based on that?

Anonymous said...

It a real shame that this Pastor didn't offer any kind of spritual advise in that interview or prayers.To me he sounded and it read like a man full of pride and feels like he is superman and can't nobody touch him,because he powerful and know powerful people.Are we as believers ever going to get back to doing what the bible says?

A concern brother!
Aj.Jordan

IT IS WRITTEN said...

It is incredible to me that Mac can comment to a reporter that he thinks that Dr.Dog is a "SOCIOPATH"....But he is conveniently "SILENT" when it comes to answering questions about his 300,000 dollar salary,his plans to open a church school,his construction of a "lavish" office suite,accepting a 307,000 land gift from church members for his home(1,000,000)and putting his wife on the payroll...Quote..."Brunson declined to discuss his home and salary,but maintained he is one of the lowest-paid mega Pastor in the SBC"..Close quote..."WHAT"!!!!.The fact that he did'nt deny any of these aforemention questions tells you all you need to know about the person who is Mac Brunson!!!Mac believes in his arrogance that he deserves a 300,000 + salary and the perks that accompany his prestigious postion!!!.Mac is as deceptive as Benny Hinn or any of the other charlatans that are fleecing people out of their money's!!!..A far worst casualty from all this is that this "sociopath" Mac is hurting his congregation spiritually by not teaching them the entire counsel of God!!!..Thanks Dr.Dog for revealing to all;"the person who is Mac Brunson"!!!.And it is not pretty!!

Anonymous said...

IT IS WRITTEN, you are right in some things and wrong in others.

The land, the house, his salary, the school, the satellite church, are totally irrelevant,in my opinion.


The office, his wife and son on staff positions could be considered by some as concerning. The last time I checked, Brunson does not hire people nor does he set their salaries.

Comparing Brunson to a known fake and false faith healer is beyond the pale and not a valid comparison, in my opinion.

And by the way, neither my opinion nor yours really has any relevance except to this blog and all of the pontification that all of us are doing.

Charlene said...

Here's what Mr. Brunson said about WD:
“obsessive compulsive problem” and is “not very stable at all,” Brunson said.

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

Now, I have never spoken on this blog before. But I am compelled to speak at this point. Based on the comment of Mr. brunson's about the WD, it seems as though he is not at all the pastor he should be according to the Scriptures. Rather he wants the covers to be kept over his ill doings and shut the mouths of all who don't agree with him. What is now happening is, Jesus has uncovered the sins of the pastor. I just can not believe it! Here it is Mr. Brunson has another great oppportunity to say something that would cause somebody to want to know the Lord and what does he do? He opens his mouth and attacks this man instead of making a positive impact for the name of Christ. It would have been better if he had done just as Jesus did when He stood before His accusers and opened not his mouth. Why didn't he say something about Jesus??? I'm trying very hard to understand why he doesn't say SOMETHING about the Lord (especially being a "pastor"). Isn't that whom he loves?? Mr. Brunson please show some evidence that your life is guided by Jesus Christ.
Step up to the plate and do something fruitful! Please!

signed: Charlene

Anonymous said...

keep the faith and continue writing.

and by faith i mean the real thing, not the corporate version.

fbc stopped acting like a church a long long time ago. too bad because i am sure there are a few good people in the congregation.

IT IS WRITTEN said...

Anon 10:06am..The only difference between Mac and Benny Hinn is the content and delivery of their preaching!!!.Both are basically preaching for money!!!.It's all about money and power,but mostly the money!!!.The N.T.warns us over and over that the motivation for most and "I" did say most preachers is the "MONEY"!!!..Are you telling me that Mac should be paid almost as much as the President of the United States who is responsible for a population of 320,000,000 people?...Money,money,money is the big draw for men like Mac!!!.Let's see how long Mac would preach for free!!!

Anonymous said...

I should add to my comments from 7:58 that the days of "If you don't like it, go to church somewhere else." are just about over at FBCJAX.

There is nothing wrong with answering questions, even if you think they are unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

Beware of the Mac Attack!

Anonymous said...

Why obtain the private information from Google regarding Tiffany Croft and the owner of Newbbcopernforum.blogspot? Hmmm. Blount says he has no idea why those other blogs were involved? Maybe Mac or Debbie know why? Detective Hinson needs to have a good answer for that one, or he may have to tell the truth about who told himn to get that information if it wasn't John Blount.

And does ANYONE really believe that Mac doesn't make MORE than 99%of all mega church pastors? Don't forget Mac, the IRS considers the $307K land gift "compensation", so don't forget to include that in your "salary."

Anonymous said...

Hey Mac - go ahead and ignore and spit at anonymous emails and change those bylaws and use the JSO to do your dirty work. I just had some questions. You chose to have a blog instead, and now your face is front and center on the front page of the newspaper brother. Nice testimony to the city on Easter weekend.

Wonderfully handled Mac. Beautifully done.

Anonymous said...

Does this not remind one of a man who spoke out against the abuse of the Church some two thousand years ago? He too was hunted down and silenced. However the truth he spoke then, still lives.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to, "I don't agree with you but I defend to the death your right to say it?"

Your church is behaving like a cult. Worse, if anyone objects, they've got the cops in their hip pocket to step in and throw some more muscle around. You're taking on a powerful force, a religious lynch mob. Best of luck to you.

No one expects the Inquisition.

Ghost said...

Watchdog,

First of all I just want to leave you some words of encouragement. God bless you for having the courage to bring this story into the media. We can see the hatred written about you on this blog, and I am sure there is so much more that we cannot see being sent to your email address and possibly even your house. It takes great courage to stand up for what is right. However know that you do not stand alone. There are a great many people at FBC Jacksonville who are saddened that this has come to this but are relieved that Mac is finally dealing with the consequences of his actions. Stay strong and stay close to the Lord to give you the strength you will need in this fight. Continue telling your story, so that others may see these abuses and those responsible will have to finally give answers.

In regards to the article, I sincerely applaud Jeff Brumley and the Times Union for having the courage to run this article. I am sure they will be threatened with things such as boycotts by church members and sponsorships being pulled. Jeff Brumley-you did the right thing. Good for you.

It is so sad to see Mac's comments in the paper. This man is filled with arrogance, rage and anger. It is sad that his poor judgement and hate filled words were printed for all of Jacksonville to see. Mac has been exposed and it is clear he is ready to lash out.

Hopefully this will lead to some people higher up in the church questioning Mac. I know many of the deacons have lived in fear of speaking out, but hopefully this will help them draw the courage. Mac has officially embarassed our church and the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ on the front page of the Florida Times Union...when are you deacons going to say "enough is enough" and demand accountability from this man? Who will be the first within the church to have the courage to stand up for what is right before our church is further embarassed, drug down into the gutter, and eventually destroyed?

I hope a full legal investigation is brought forward and Brunson and Hinson are held legally accountable for their actions. Hinson should at the very least have to resign his position at the JSO that he does not continue to embarass the badge worn by so many brave and honorable men in this city.

If there was ever a time to pray for our church it is right now. As David Allen told us after Dr. Vines left we need to pray that the cloud will move. Only this time our hope is that the dark cloud that is the Brunson regime will move on before our church is completely destroyed.

Anonymous said...

My thouhts and prayers go out to the people of First Baptist. Your Church is like your home, no wants wants to leave it. The years of First Baptist being the best and brightest left with Dr Vines. These people have been led to trust thier leaders because they always could in the past. i hope they open thier eyes and see that what they loved as a home church has now become nothing but a BIG business.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi Ghost - nice to hear from you.

Thanks for the words of encouragement.

I do want to clarify for the record: I did not seek to put this in the media. I believe Jeff Brumley found my name out by the only piece of information that was a public record with my name on it relative to this case: the 12/10/08 trespass warnings filed with the JSO against me and my wife. He contacted me, and when he told me he was going to do a story on this from the angle of JSO's involvement, I felt it right to meet with Jeff and tell him our side of the story. I believe he did a very complete, fair job of reporting this story.

Contented Man said...

Ghost and Watchdog,

Please don't be naive. The likelihood that any of the deacons or other church leaders might stand up and do the right thing is highly unlikely. They are under entirely too much peer pressure and stand to lose too much on a personal level as well.

Those men are like the proverbial frog in a slowly heated pot of water. The water is coming to a boil but they sense absolutely nothing different. I believe many, perhaps most, of them are well-meaning but are just too close to the situation to see it for what it is.

That ship (FBC) is huge and running full steam ahead. It will not be easy to turn and there is probably noone willing who is in a position to do anything to change the course.

As a former member who saw this coming years ago I wish you well and while I do hope you can make a difference, I have serious doubts. Be tenacious as a bulldog but remain objectively wise and gentle as you move forward.

Anonymous said...

"Heir Brunson" Pass the Koolaide.

Anonymous said...

That's cute. Someone claiming T.U. as a "Liberal God-hating paper" (I kinda recall T.U. kowtowing to repubs in the past) just posted Dog's personal contact information on the T.U. comments.

"Love thy neighbor" indeed. I hate how FBCJers are complete hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

someone has posted your address and phone numbers on jacksonville.com 3rd page of comments

Anonymous said...

Mac Brunson might as well have personally contacted Jeff Brumley and told him to write a negative article about FBCJ. No, I'm not saying Jeff Brumley wrote an ugly article about FBCJ -- I read it and it is exceedingly fair, representing both sides.

But no matter how you slice it, it makes FBCJ look like a dictatorship run by Brunson and his "yes men." It shows Brunson to be the man we all were afraid he was.

Can you imagine a preacher saying that a person he never personally knew is a sociopath??? And he said it to the newspaper???

Brunson voluntarily stepped in it a long time ago -- and he had a full understanding of the way to stop this blog in the very beginning but he chose to be arrogant instead!!!

I don't think he can do anything now to "fix it." He really blew it royally for FBCJ!

IT IS WRITTEN said...

"Mackesy said the three bloggers didn’t need to be contacted because Hinson uncovered nothing criminal.
“The detective hasn’t done anything wrong,” he said.

It was also proper for Hinson to provide First Baptist’s leadership with Rich’s identity despite finding no criminal evidence, Mackesy said, so it could take whatever internal action it felt necessary for its own safety.

“I’d be disappointed in the detective if [he] didn’t do it,” he said.".....Now pay close attention to the double talk of the undersheriff "Mackesy"...Hinson found "NO" criminal activity but it was appropriate for Det.Hinson to reveal Dr.Dog's name for the Churches safety?......"UNBELIEVABLE"!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I read with OUTRAGE the article in this morning's Times Union about your story. First. I will tell you I do not like lawyers. I just happen to be one. What I read incensed me as a clear violation of several of your constitutional rights. I am a civil right lawyer and Jeff Brumley has covered some of my cases. Please do not interpret this as an attempt by me to solicit your case. I am not. However, I will be more than happy to help you in anyway I can . You have been violated by your church, people who you believed where your friends and certainly the State and City. I am a person of faith however not of your faith. I strongly believe when good people like you have been put through what you have my help and legal expertise is why God put me on this earth. Please feel free to email me with an questions or concerns or how I may help you. I will do this voluntarily and it would be a privilege to help you. My email is goodlovinlis@comcast.net

IT IS WRITTEN said...

Dr.Dog you have shown great courage in standing against the rich,the influential,and the powerful...But God will share His Glory with no one!!!...God used you as a tool to expose the character of Mac!!!..Jesus said "Out of the abundance of the heart a man speaks"[Matt.12:34b-35]... So what comes out of the leader of one of the largest Churches in America?...."He is a OBESESSIVE COMPULSIVE and a SOCIOPATH"...This great preacher of the SBC could not come up with a better quote than "THAT"!!!.Is anyone telling me that Mac couldn't find some applicable Scripture to quote than calling Dr.Dog that!!!...I know the rest of us ignorant sociopathic malcontents can not do better;but "Mac" this highly educated learned man couldn't find the right words from his heart to represent Christ and FBC Jax?..."Mac" is his words,and his word reveals "Mac"

Anonymous said...

The overwhelming majority of decision making deacons, if not all of them, that I know at FBC are men that cannot be bought, bribed, brow beaten, or bullied by anyone, including Mac Brunson or any of the church staff. I think WD has clearly implied this in his own personal comments.

It has been others viewing this blog that has labeled and libeled the deacons at FBC and not WD, although he has provided the forum for folks to trash men that they do not personally or professionally know.

Again, I believe both sides truly are confident in their perception of what each believes as truth. Only an adjudication in a court of law will ever settle anyone's mind. And even if something like this went that far, which scripture teaches against and I personally think would be a tragedy to the Gospel of Christ, at the end of the day no "hearts" would be changed at all. It is like those for or against homosexuality, abortion, atheism, and liberal vs. conservative.

We all just need to pray for God to look past our foolishness and keep the main thing the main thing, and that is going to all the world and sharing the Gospel.

Anonymous said...

How has anyone who is in the wrong in this soap opera being helped to be more like Christ by the actions of the opposite side?

Has any of WD's supporters done anything practical to godly to help MB be more Christ like?

I have not seen or heard a positive towards this.

Has any of MB's supporters done anything practical or godly to help WD be more like Christ?

Nor have I have not seen or heard a positive towards this.

If anyone is aware of such, I would like to hear because I truly would like to see God's hand of mercy towards the opposition through either WD or MB.

Anonymous said...

anyone who thinks the freedom to speech applies to all facets of life is an idiot. freedom of speach only applies to what you can say to the government. if it was true for everything, there would be no libel/slander lawsuits against people running their mouths. you better be careful what you say.

Anonymous said...

The government may grant us the freedom of speech but Christ does not grant us such a freedom.

Anonymous said...

As citizens of the USA, no matter what we are speaking about, we do have the right of freedom of speech as long as we are not telling lies -- which we have not! And those of you who come here and say that it isn't biblical have no idea what you're talking about! And, I'm sure it has just been an oversight, but you have failed to mention that Mac Brunson used or let others use, truly ungodly methods to shut down the WD. He could have done it differently and using Biblical method he could have contacted the WD long long ago.

The incredibly sad part is that those of you who come here to "help" Mac Brunson or FBCJ are sadly mistaken if you think that's what has been accomplished when you leave those uninformed, and therefore ignorant comments.

Concerning the deacons actions, I do know for a fact that they were told PARTIAL TRUTHS (about the photography of DB & stolen mail & comments posted on this site) so that the hot dogs at the top could convince them to vote the way they did. I know many of the deacons well and they would never have voted for that resolution if they had known the WHOLE TRUTH.

This is hideous that because of the ungodly attitude of the people at the top, we now have FBCJ on the front page of the newspaper and folks, it ain't pretty!

spencer said...

"The government may grant us the freedom of speech but Christ does not grant us such a freedom."

What is the basis of this statement?

This makes me sick. The fact that my tax dollars went to supporting this by way of JSO (who are DEFENDING themselves?!?!) is unbelievable. I'm writing my congressman. Seems like there is a violation of the establishment clause here somewhere.

KSA said...

It is obscene the lengths these "Godly" people would go through to silence a congregant whose simply voicing their concerns. I'm absolutely appalled but more than that I'm disappointed that you are unable to continue "blogging from the inside." The FBC Jax congregation needs someone like you to stand up for them and expose the wrongdoings of people they are allowing to lead them (not to mention paying insane amounts of money for).

Why not have another concerned FBC Jax member be a correspondent for the Watchdog? They already know who you are and have silenced you by kicking you out, but that doesn't mean they can find the identity of anyone who contributes to your blog as long as you're the one posting their stories. You were giving a voice to people who had none. There's no reason to stop now.

I'm sure you have regular readers who would be willing to go undercover for the Watchdog if only to have a safe forum to express their concerns. If I went to FBC Jax, I would absolutely help out.

Anonymous said...

Tom,

Thanks for speaking the minds of so many people of what was a great church.

Smryl and Blount are next.. they are Brunson little hit men. Neither one are true men of God but cowards.

Its ashame to see the devil having a field day at FBCJ.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and allowing us to share ours.

By the way, I hope you are enjoying your new church. Any room on the pew?

Anonymous said...

WD, stay strong. There will be many who come at you, but be confident knowing that you are doing what you believe is right, sticking with your principles, never waivering, staying strong in your convictions. Those are Christian principles which I have heard Mac Brunson preach about. But now he calls those principles "sociopathic" and "obsessive compulsive".

Today I am proud of you that you stood up to powerful, even abusive people who would go to great lengths to "shut you down". It must have been tempting to do just that and forget it. But you stood strong and endured their wrath and the criticism of others.

Stay strong, WD. Many of us are out here who stand beside you and want to see justice prevail. God Bless.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I am glad to read the news article.

The explanation by the police department is about as I expected. At least on its face, there appears to be a logical explanation for what FBC did and why they did it. It also appears to address the "conflict of interest" concern that had been raised.

I was surprised to learn that material relating to the case was destroyed after 90 days.

From a legal standpoint, this thing could still unravel, but it doesn't look like it at this point.

The reporter actually did a good job reporting both sides. I would have assumed that if the church had done something potentially illegal, that there would be more about it in the article.

The one logical disconnect that I am finding in all of this is the Dog's claim that the church was going to shut down his blog or keep him from expressing his opinion.

The standard for doing that is almost unreachable. It appears that all the church wanted to do was kick this guy out. I haven't read anywhere where they have tried to shut down his blog. I don't think they can do that.

At the end of the day, we appear to have a disgruntled church member who is (right or wrong) out of step with the majority of the other people attending the church. A person like that can remain and be in the minority. Or that person can leave and find a place that he likes better. It's just that simple.

Finally, calling the Dog obsessive/compulsive (not the official diagnosis) is completely inconsistent with the facts. The Dog has been tenacious to the point of being obsessive.

Calling the Dog a sociopath, even though I am sure it is meant in as a non-medical opinion (I don't think that Dr. Brunson is a medical doctor or psychologist) is not wise. It could be (I don't know Florida law) skating just on the edge of slander. The pastor could have said some things that expressed his opinion without using these words. I am surprised he said that. (e.g. "I don't know anything about this person's mental state, but I question what is going on with a guy who does this kind of thing." etc.)

At the end of the article, the Dog made a nice plug for a book that I have heard of. That was clever, and I am sure was much appreciated.

I hope all of this works out for everyone.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Dr. Brunson for putting First Baptist Church on the front page of the newspaper in such a favorable light! Now all the unsaved people will be so drawn to the Gospel we won't be able to keep them away!

Someone posted under the TU story that he/she wondered why Dr. Brunson choosing to call the WD a sociopath was the best thing he could come up with.

I also wonder. Why couldn't he have said something like: I am so sorry this man's good name has been plastered on the front page of the paper and I am going to personally contact him and let him know that somehow this thing got out of hand... Something, ANYTHING other than calling him a sociopath!

Anonymous said...

How dare you? How dare you criticize the monolithic FBC with intelligent, rationale, and logical discourse? Mega-churches = Mega-bucks and, unfortunately, the leaders of these institutions often become so enamoured with their trappings of power that they are unable to focus on the true Word of God. Instead they focus on recrimination against those that stand in the way of their immense egos. Blog on brother - spare not the hypocritical who seek to serve themselves instead of the Lord.

Lydia said...

"Again, I believe both sides truly are confident in their perception of what each believes as truth. "

So, it is a LIE that the church got subpeona's and it is a LIE there is no police report on the alledged criminal complaints?

Those are truth. Facts.


"Has any of MB's supporters done anything practical or godly to help WD be more like Christ?"

Now here is a very strange comment. The sheep are responsible to make the shepherd a shepherd.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:22, if these deacons are as you say you should be encouraging them to personally go to the top and get resolution.

Lydia said...

Hi Louis,

I see you are here giving your 'legal' opinions. For those of you not familiar with Louis, he claims to be a lawyer and is always giving worldly secular advice on Wade's blog. Louis almost always sides with whomever is in power. He is very much into hierarchies. Note how he tries to appear 'balanced' but always comes out a bit more on the side of whomever has the bigger title.

Note how he backs up MB's 'obessive' claim about WD but with caveats to make it look 'balanced'.

Don't worry. He did the same with the Klouda situation. He thought that was no big deal at all what was done to her.

And Louis claims to be an elder of a church. But his focus is always about pragmatism and his views always secular. But his views always leave him a bit of wiggle room just in case. Note:

"I was surprised to learn that material relating to the case was destroyed after 90 days."

Yeah. Strange huh.

I have been reading Louis' comments for about 2 years now. My husband pointed out his clever comments back on teh Outpost and said he is slicker than Clinton with the careful parsing persuasion techniques.

bob said...

This comes as no surprise to the community at large. FBC has bullied this city for decades. Of course, as a former "professional" Roman Catholic, I know first hand that a religious hierarchy can be far more cruel and vindictive than any secular body. I am impressed that the TU has the nerve to print this story. And as always, the sheep suffer.

Anonymous said...

Lydia, perhaps you should reread my comments on both sides perception of truth. Your anger is blinding your judgment of what was said. This was not an attack of either party but what I perceive as truth. Strictly, my opinion though.

Lydia said...

BTW: Louis is the type of guy who would vote to protect the church leaders even if it meant bloodying a member in order to do so. Our churches are full of such men.

IT IS WRITTEN said...

"Someone posted under the TU story that he/she wondered why Dr. Brunson choosing to call the WD a sociopath was the best thing he could come up with.

I also wonder. Why couldn't he have said something like: I am so sorry this man's good name has been plastered on the front page of the paper and I am going to personally contact him and let him know that somehow this thing got out of hand... Something, ANYTHING other than calling him a sociopath!"

April 9, 2009 3:31 PM......"Listen","Listen","Listen"!!!..When Mac made those statements about Dr.Dog, that is "WHO" Brunson really "IS"..Don't be "CONFUSED" ,the real Mac is the one who made that "sociopath" statement to the reporter!!...The phony Mac is the one who stands in the pulpit and pretends to be a preacher of the Gospel!!!.."NOW DO WE UNDERSTAND?"

Anonymous said...

"The government may grant us the freedom of speech but Christ does not grant us such a freedom."

What is the basis of this statement?
_ _ _ _

Do you disagree with the statement? Why?

For the sake of clarity, let me approach it this way...

As Christians:

1 - We no longer belong to ourselves but to Jesus.

2 - Our words are no longer ours to be spoken but His to be heard.

3 - According to scripture it is taught we have no personal rights (Luke 17:7,8, preached by Dr. Sam Cathey, in part).

4 - Psalm 19:4

5 - Romans 6:22

Anonymous said...

Mac may not be able to shut down your blog, but he can sue you for slander because he, of course, will say that everything you've said is a lie. I happen to think most all you've said about him is true because he conducted himself the same way at FBC Dallas but it probably has gone a little too far. Like many have advised, if you don't like Mac, find another church. I know you've probably been a member there for years and hate to leave, but it's just not worth the misery.

Anonymous said...

"The government may grant us the freedom of speech but Christ does not grant us such a freedom."

What is the basis of this statement?
_ _ _ _

Do you disagree with the statement? Why?

For the sake of clarity, let me approach it this way...

As Christians:

1 - We no longer belong to ourselves but to Jesus.

2 - Our words are no longer ours to be spoken but His to be heard.

3 - According to scripture it is taught we have no personal rights (Luke 17:7,8, preached by Dr. Sam Cathey, in part).

4 - Psalm 19:4

5 - Romans 6:22

Just a few samples...

Lydia said...

Louis, Maybe you can explain this comment in the article from the point guy at FBCJax for the subpeona's:

"Blount said he had no idea why Hinson looked into two other blogs, tiffanycroft.blogspot.com and newbbcopenforum.blogspot.com."

So, the ivestigator guy, who is member, just took it upon himself to investigate 2 other blogs for no reason? What criminal complaints are against them? Can I do that, too? Can I call up my sheriff's office and get the same treatment?

And you say there is nothing wrong here...no big deal?

And what book did WD promote in the article? Could it be that the tactics used against Mr. Rich just happen to be hard ball? Where do you think MB learned these tactics? Same type of people Wade is writing about in his book Hard Ball Religion.

Lydia said...

Lydia, perhaps you should reread my comments on both sides perception of truth. Your anger is blinding your judgment of what was said. This was not an attack of either party but what I perceive as truth. Strictly, my opinion though.

April 9, 2009 3:56 PM

Trust me, honey. I read your comment. Like Pontius Pilate you ask: What is truth.

Alex said...

From what I have read since the Times Union article it appears to me that FBC is a business and that Marc Brunson is the CEO. That however is NOT what alarms me so much. How can JSO allow an officer (who attends the church) to obtain PRIVATE information by issuing a SUBPOENA for simply speaking his mind? We have rights in this country! We are not a police state! Robert Hinson the detective should be FIRED. After he found no criminal conduct he should never have revealed any identities. Jacksonville has the highest murder rate in the state and JSO has MORE TO WORRY ABOUT than these unconstitutional practices.

Anonymous said...

11Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. (read this one in an interlinear to understand what it is saying)

19Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. 20Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning

Go and study what consitutes 'witnesses' in the OT. It might surprise you.

We have a duty to warn others of wolves, hirlings and false teachers. Flee from these business organizations that market Jesus for personal profit.

17Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.



Matt

Anonymous said...

Was a member of FBC from 1966 as a baby, until 2006. Used to sit in the taperecorder room on Sun nites and do firewatch with Rodney Stone.
saw the thermometer raising money for the Ruth Lindsay grow then saw the 3rd edition built. Saw what you speak about Mac coming before he even got there. First indication was the joy of his departure in Dallas. I did have a lot of inside info about his salary the office plans and just about all your issues b4 they came to fruition. Our family left about 3 weeks after his arrival.
I find your website encouraging and i back your fight 100% however I do offer this analysis.
I strongly believe that we are in the Laodicean age of the church and believe that what we see is definitely a "Luke Warm" church and it is easy to see it being spewed out of God's mouth. Don't take my word just review Rev 3:14-22, Compare that to Rev 3:1-13 (Philadelphian church)
Phil.. church being the great preacher's such as H.Lindsay Adrian Roger's, Criswell etc. (Vines auspiciously discluded) now we have what we have.
the churches are off course. the attitude of the church including its congregation is off the mark
this is a nationwide problem. worldwide for that matter. My prayer is that christians alike look to the true "lighthouse" for guidance.

Anonymous said...

Matt, you claim to be a retired and reforming Pharisee. Based on how long and deeply involved you were with "megas" that must mean that you are living off of the sheep that you fleeced all those years.

Perhaps Matt is a pseudonym for Ted Haggard. What say you reverend?

Anonymous said...

Well, I see the assessed value of Mac's home is almost 1 mill. But the tax value is only about 900,000.. Perfect for a humble man of the cloth.

Way to go FBCJax! You should be proud of your celebrity.

How much you guys wanna bet he has a severance contract that would blow your minds. A golden parachute of sorts that would tide him over until he takes his 6 figure job with some SBC entity.

Of course, I doubt the church leadership has made it public. You may want to be asking about now...

IT IS WRITTEN said...

"Matt, you claim to be a retired and reforming Pharisee. Based on how long and deeply involved you were with "megas" that must mean that you are living off of the sheep that you fleeced all those years.

Perhaps Matt is a pseudonym for Ted Haggard. What say you reverend?"

April 9, 2009 4:46 PM

These comments above are the mumblings of a true imbecile!!!....Matt please keep on blogging,the Lord is truly using you!!!

Anonymous said...

As previously stated, the Matt-haters are truly Mac-homers and by their REDICULOUSLY IMMATURE comments (see random fool at 4:46), they only serve to drive Matt's points home.

Anonymous said...

Matt, you claim to be a retired and reforming Pharisee. Based on how long and deeply involved you were with "megas" that must mean that you are living off of the sheep that you fleeced all those years.

Perhaps Matt is a pseudonym for Ted Haggard. What say you reverend?

April 9, 2009 4:46 PM

I could not live long enough to make the amends I feel are owed for my part in the grand deception. But no, I was a layman but very involved. (I use the term layman for want of a better description even though I do not believe the clergy/laity lie anymore. We are all ministers if we are saved. There are no layman in the Body of Christ. But there are 'professional Christians' who do make a grand living)

I can understand your bitterness toward me.

Matt

bob said...

gee... what did i say so wrong?

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

You are always breaking my heart!

I am glad your husband thinks I am clever. I just wish he had used someone else for a comparison.

As you can see, I have not said that this is no big deal. But, it appears that the police investigator's superiors do not consider this a big deal. I am going by what they said, not by my own knowledge.

It just appeared to me weeks ago when I first read about this, and still does, that there was some information in the stories that might form a basis for the issuance of a subpoena. Again, this is a matter of Florida law, which I do not know.

Also, the profiles of the people identified in the acitivity relating to the Dog have the kinds of backgrounds that would cause them to be circumspect.

I don't know why the inspector looked at the other blogs. But we are not in the middle of that. His superior was aware that he did that. Interestingly, FBC was not aware of that and apparently had nothing to do with it, according to Blount.

Take care.

Louis

Anonymous said...

I guess it should be of no surprise what Mr. Brunson has and continues to do all in the name of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I have but one question. Can Mr. Brunson or anyone else please tell me why a so called pastor would resort to name calling (sociopath)when given one of the greatest opportunities to really represent Christ among so many souls.

I'm thinking...maybe Mr. Brunson should have done as Jesus did when standing before His accusers prior to His death on the cross; and that is...He opened not his mouth. It really would have been better for Mr. Brunson not to have opened his mouth since he responded by saying, "we're dealing with a sociopath." In saying that, he only revealed what's in his heart. And beleive me, it doesn't sound like he's interested in showing others the way to Christ. In fact he has probably turned many from the way, the truth and the life.
Mr. Brunson, you can have another chance to clear this up. Let's pretend as though this is your first response to WD's blogsite. Now what do you say?

Thy Peace said...

New BBC Open Forum > Who's really the sociopath here?

It was also proper for Hinson to provide First Baptist's leadership with Rich's identity despite finding no criminal evidence, Mackesy said, so it could take whatever internal action it felt necessary for its own safety.

"I'd be disappointed in the detective if [he] didn't do it," he said.

* Okay, so let me get this straight. The JSO finds NO evidence of any criminal activity, but yet they thought it was appropriate to reveal Watchdog's personal information to FBC Jax's "leadership" so they could take whatever action necessary for their "safety." What "internal action" did they think was deemed necessary at that point? Trespass orders against the man and his wife? Why not go all the way and issue three little trespass orders against their children? Why did the announcement and reading of the infamous "whereas" resolution which FBC Jax proudly displays on their website (or here should it mysteriously disappear) never mention Thomas Rich's name? Were they concerned they might have targeted the wrong person? Did they have enough brain cells still working to realize that Thomas Rich could sue the pants off them?

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.

* I think this statement speaks much more about Brunson's own mental state than that of the Watchdog.

"The imbalance is him refusing to address the concerns of his congregation," Rich said of Brunson's comments. Rich said his blog gets about 1,000 hits a day and that he regularly hears from people who agree with his criticisms but are afraid to come forward.

* I've heard the same from Bellevue members (mostly former members). It's all about money and power, and if they even perceive a threat to either, they will try to destroy you.

Gonzo said...

Let me think, $300,000 salary, seems like a lot of money for a man of God. If Mac truly is a man of God why doesn't he live as Jesus did; a man with just enough to survive. How many of his flock have to scrape and do without to tithe? How many of the people who walk the streets just outside his church could be benefited by that $300,000 a year. How many of the Reverend's flock have luxury offices? How many people could have been housed with the $100,000 used to create these excessive suites?

The power wielded by the FBC is scarey, they sway political decisions, police activities, and judicial deecrees. Isn't that what our forefather's fled when they formed our great nation? Seperation of church and state? Not in Jacksonville and not at the FBC.

BaptistPlanet said...

Slander and/or libel suit seems unlikely to succeed since Mac is almost inevitably a public figure for purposes of the kinds of commentary made here, and with regard to factual issues, the Watchdog has focused on matters for which he had demonstrated verification.
His practice of putting supporting documents together with blog entries was probably a saving grace. Looks like a saving grace from here.

Anonymous said...

Gonzo, more revisionist history on your part? Might read your history again before you post about why our forefathers came here.

Anonymous said...

Well Mac, look where your vendetta has gotten you. To think all you had to do was answer a concerned member's questions. Since you seemed to think you were above such condescension, you've succeeded in dragging the whole church down with you, quite possibly into a legal mess. Remember what you said in your book? "Guard against greed. It'll do you in". So, was it worth it?

Church members, Watchdog has paid a high price to warn you all of what's been happening; how you respond is in your hands, and one day you will give an accounting to God. For those so enthralled with Mac the celebrity, 'there is none so blind as he who will not see'.

Watchdog, you are to be commeneded, and thanked. In spite of the cost to you and your family, you did what a true Christian ought to do. The easy thing would've been to see the problems and say "but I don't want trouble" but you did your best to expose the wolf in the flock. I for one am grateful that there are still people such as yourself who put Christian duty above taking the easy road. God bless you and your family and may you get justice for what was done to you by your "loving, Christian church". Wake up FBCJax members while there's still time.

D

Anonymous said...

"First indication was the joy of his departure in Dallas."
-April 9, 2009 4:38 PM

How do you know this?

Neil R. said...

I was directed to your site by a friend of mine. Both of us attended FBC for the better part of our young lives. We were there for both Homer G. Lindsay's and Jerry Vines's ministries. We attended guest sermons by Darrel Gilyard. We went to the summer camp. We went on choir tours. We knocked on people's doors on Saturdays. Both of us were mistreated at some point in our time spent there by those who should have been shepherding us. Instead of teaching us the right way and reinforcing that behavior, they simply punished the behavior they did not like and gave us no praise, no love. I should not say this as a blanket statement, since some there did treat us right. I can remember being defended by a choir leader named Rodney Price.

However, as we grew into adulthood we both left the church and then, eventually, I left my faith. My move to agnosticism (I am no atheist. I simply do not name God) was not the result of my treatment at the hands of those at FBC. I maintained my faith well after I left the Church. I came to my beliefs legitimately and they are not part of my comment here.

I understand why you posted anonymously but I think that, like Dr King and Gandhi, your family would have understood and supported you if you came out vocally and openly to shed light on these shenanigans. But what is done is done and can't be undone. I support what you have done.

I would like to act surprised at the behavior of the Church and the JSO but I cannot. I know Kevin King as he is (or at least was) friends with my aunt and uncle. I cannot say I am surprised that he would be amongst those who came to your house.

I do not oppose the beliefs of others, especially when they are attempting to do right and make the world a better place. However, some use the power and attention they receive by leading religious (and other) organizations to their own ends.

I always looked at some of the things built in that Church while I was there (the skating rink, the giant stadium auditorium, the parking garages) and wondered how many hungry people that could have fed, how many shelters that could have built, or how many poor children may have received medical care by using just a fraction of that money.

Despite my own beliefs, I respect Christian leaders like Tony Campollo, who ask these same questions and view their answers as important to their faith. I am sorry you had to experience what you did and I applaud you bringing it to light.

I hope your faith sustains you and, if your faith proves truth, you will be vindicated in the next world.

Keep your head up, brother!

Anonymous said...

Why do people still want to worship a person or religion or a building? The only one that can save is Jesus Christ. Follow Him & you will be saved & have eternal life.

Too many people go to church to be a part of a social event, get rid of their guilt because of the way they live, or because they were dragged there by there parents so they drag their kids their because it is "the right thing to do".

Who is your faith in? What is your faith in? It can only be in Jesus Christ & no man or church or ministry of any kind.

Take some time & get quite. Be honest with yourself & know what & why you believe. If you can honestly say that it does not matter who is the preacher or what kind of a building you worship in, and you are at peace with Jesus Christ being your only source & strength, then you are way ahead of so many people. Then pray to God to give you peace about FBC. If not, make sure you are not just living a fake life & just going to a church to be seen by others.

It hurts me as a Christian to see these kind of things happen to the church. I do not attend FBC, but pray that whatever God wants to be exposed & dealt with, to be brought to light. Whatever is not honoring & pleasing & giving glory to God, needs to be exposed, talked about, dealt with, & then the healing can begin.

Anonymous said...

I am not a member of FBC but have watched on TV for years with my elderly mother. Since Pastor Brunson has been there, we have watched much less. We do not like the way he talks to his congregation or the arrogance he projects from the pulpit. He has forgotten that the church hired him to lead them, and they can just as easily fire him. I am truly amazed he has lasted this long. I have been Baptist all of my life and have never heard of someone being bannished from the church. If he thought you were truly a sociopath, as a Christian he would want to help you, not throw you away. This alone, to me, says a lot about the man. You will continue to be in my prayers watchdog. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there, dude. You've moved to another church, so maybe it is time to move on. Personally, if I was you, I'd give up on the whole church thing. It's corrupt, and your experience is just more proof. About the only way you can be assured you're not being long-hosed by any church is to belong to a church that is run by a volunteer pastor and staff. Money and power corrupt. FBC is a prime example of that self-evident truth.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that this pastor (as well as many others) go out of their way so as not to appear "too political" from the pulpit so as not to jeopardize the tax exempt status; yet are eager to exploit any and every political advantage to destroy dissenters and shut down the spotlight seeking truth. Mr. Rich's expose' of the obvious contradiction between what Brunson says in his book and what he actually does in his life is a classic example of hypocrisy. I'd like to hear Brunson's explanation for those discrepancies.

Anonymous said...

Folks not all churches are this way. We all are sinners and this concerns me that what has just happens will turn people off. God is still God and his son Jesus paid the price for our sins. Sometimes the church does make a mistake. Just remember its not the church that saves you it is Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

If you don't like the church then don't go, find another. Obama is spending us into the poor house and you spend your time worried about how a guy runs his church. Put your effort somewhere else where it might matter.

Anonymous said...

"Sometimes the church does make a mistake."

A mistake?

A mistake is forgetting to lock the door or turn off the oven.

This was deceitful, willfull and premeditated by church leaders. It is called sin. See Hebrews 10:26-31

Anonymous said...

This crap is ridiculous, and the reason I remain an atheist. Grow up.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Sometimes the church does make a mistake."

I'm sure it was just a mistake of the mind, not the heart. (I heard that somewhere.)

As someone so perceptively pointed out tonight, stealing mail is a federal offense and would not be investigated by the JSO. The USPS has their own investigators.

oc said...

Anon 9:41.

You have looked and found a convenient excuse to ignore God.
And we are it.
Yet I will tell you you that will not answer to any of us. You will ultimately answer to Him. I'm sorry we have been your excuse to ignore the truth. We will have to answer to Him for that. But even still, you will answer to your avoidance of accountability to Him.

You looked for an excuse. You found it. I'm just sorry it came from His own. Yet it is but just excuse. Not a reason. I pray you will look beyond us and see Him.

oc.

Anonymous said...

Brunson ranting against sociopathy feels sadly similar to Swaggart ranting against fornication. It is often by such accusations that men reveal their inner selves.

Anonymous said...

Just saw this on TV.

You seem to be a very unstable person. With the recent church shootings the church needs to be applauded for doing its due diligence to protect its members from an obviously obsessed person whose behavior seems frighteningly close to stalking.

Anonymous said...

A picture of the preacher with a red circle and a line through it seems a lot like a threat. You need help. Get some. If church is filled with freaks like you, that is a good reason not to go.

Joseph Rhodes said...

Good for you for not being deterred from doing what you know to be right by a bunch of thugs.

I am a survivor of First Baptist Church myself, and it hasn't just been Brunson...Vines drove a Lexus and would not reveal his salary.

These pharisees are so far from imitating Christ it makes my heart truly sad.

oc said...

I want to know where from the Bible Brunson got his justification to invoke secular justice to answer a church matter.
oc.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:58 & 11:02

I think both posts are the same person -- and I wonder if you are on staff at FBCJ or related to the Brunsons.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:58 and 11:02 So you just saw Tom on TV! I too just saw the same SHORT TV news article. This article came on after you posted. Why, your minds were made up before you saw the TV article. You must be on staff at FBCJ. Talk about judgemental. Who here is unstable and needs help?

Anonymous said...

I think you have every right to speak your mind about the way you feel about what is going on there, If the church wanted to avoid this then they should have responded to your emails.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rich:

I am so sorry that you and your family have been dragged through the mud. Even if you were 100% wrong, the preacher & his assistants have treated you horribly!

How can we invite people to come with us to church? Who would want to come to a church where the preacher calls long-time members names?

Okay, let's say he didn't know who the Watchdog was at the beginning and so he couldn't go talk to him. But he most certainly knew the name once the subpoena revealed it. Why didn't he go to the Watchdog then? That's what a real pastor would have done!

oc said...

Where in the Scriptures did Brunson get the justification to invoke secular justice into a church matter?

oc.

Anonymous said...

Tom,

You were a bit more plump than I had pictured, probably a little to much snacking on the debbie cakes while sitting in front of the computer huh? . . . I see now why you were in fear for your safety, ever heard of the word exercise. You know being fat is a sin also?!? And no sin is greater than another so you and Mac are one in the same!

Anonymous said...

So I guess very soon we will see Mac crying about the attacks on himself and his family. I am sure this will probably happen Sunday morning. I just wish someone would try and tell me that I am not welcome in the house of the Lord.

No One Special said...

Odd that Brunson will conveniently have to be out of town on Sunday??

Anonymous said...

I notice that one of the bloggers made critical comments about what they saw on TV. The only problem is, the TV interview was a few minutes AFTER 11:00 PM. The blog., is registered as being sent 10:58 PM. So is this blogger clairvoyant, or did they have a comment in the "wings", awaiting the TV interview. Either way the blog., was sent prematurely. You can't have seen it before it was broadcast.

Anonymous said...

I've seen Dr. Brunson's salary listed as $300k. For a church the size of FBCJ I don't believe for a moment that amount is anywhere near his total compensation package. Salary means nothing. For tax purposes preachers keep their "salary" low. You have to look at the total compensation package to get an idea of how much they're making.

New BBC Open Forum said...

If you're talking about the First Coast and FOX 30 interviews, I saw those on the respective stations' websites almost four hours ago.

Anonymous said...

Jesus Wept

Anonymous said...

Churches exist:

1) To make money.
2) Mind control.

Hopefully, you've finally come to realize this.

Lydia said...

"Also, the profiles of the people identified in the acitivity relating to the Dog have the kinds of backgrounds that would cause them to be circumspect."

HUH? Elaborate with details, please.

"I don't know why the inspector looked at the other blogs. But we are not in the middle of that. His superior was aware that he did that. Interestingly, FBC was not aware of that and apparently had nothing to do with it, according to Blount."

We are not in the middle of that? Huh? If you notice, they came back later and did the other bloggers. Why? Are you implying that Tiffany and BBC do not deserve some answers as to what their alledged criminal activities were?

The more you write, the less you say. It is all a smoke screen.

Anonymous said...

11:46 pm:
Wow, how old are you? What a pathetic waste of time your words were...that hatred will eat you alive brother - that would be a sin, oops I meant shame!

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

Tom, I have been in corporate American all my life but the cruelest most insulting people I have ever interacted with were in mega churches. I think it has to do with the power principle and of course, the new religion of 'churchianity'.

When they attack the messenger it is because they have no other defense. Alway remember that.

I think some believe that if they think they are saved (perhaps because they said a prayer or walked an ailse when they were 6) they can say or do anything and it will be forgiven. These are folks that are not real familiar with Hebrews 10 or 1 John.

I watched the newscast and thought you came off rather well. You looked very nice, too.

Anonymous said...

Boy, if that's not a typical Southern Baptist Church thing-to-do (this is the first time I've read your blog). Stay strong.

Anonymous said...

Does Brunson not know what slander and libel are?

Anonymous said...

I think I'd like to hear the real story of why he left FBC Dallas. Anyone know? Was it only for the money offered at FBCJax?

Anonymous said...

Can every one please not attack Tom's physical appearance. This is not about that.

What it is about is the money. Tom and all of the FBC dissenters focus on the money. Why? Do you not realize that Vines made significantly more than Brunson?

Unfortunately, this will never get resolved to anyone's satisfaction. The FBC and Brunson haters will continue to blog hate on their side and the Tom Rich, aka WD, aka FBCJAXWatchdog haters will continue to do the same.

And Jesus will continue to weep, the lost will still be lost and need a Savior, and they will need someone to tell them, and yes, there could also be some who like King Agrippa are almost persuaded; had it not been for all of the back and forth on this blog.

Anonymous said...

There is not and has not been anything posted on the net about Brunson at FBC Dallas that I have found.

I would like to know how many of hundreds of thousands of dollars, or over a million dollars, he made off his home there in Texas and invested in his home here. He bought before the boom in 1999 and sold at the top of the boom.

I would also like to know how much of a pay cut he took to come to FBC JAX from FBC Dallas. There are a lot more folks that give a lot more money than the peons in here in Cowford, aka known as Jacksonville.

Anonymous said...

Is the Jacksonville Sheriff an elected position?

Anonymous said...

The congregation should be checking out Mac's serverance agreement about now. I bet they will be shocked at what he negotiated. Most likely it is for a few years salary plus other expenses.

Got a million lying around over at FBC Jax to get rid of Mac?

Anonymous said...

I listened to Dr. Lindsay's sermon yesterday, that thank goodness, are still being broadcast. He was preaching about Saul. He said that once a leader starts thinking himself important, and gets his eyes off God, these things happen: he becomes arrogant, angry, cruel, power hungry, is consumed with his own self-importance, see's no wrong in himself or his direction. He said; wisdom flees him. This was a powerful sermon on how, in this case a king of Israel, but applied this to all who lead, especially preachers. I wish this sermon could be re-broadcast IN CHURCH. We have come so far from what we were. Listening to this man of God (Dr. Lindsay) preach such simple wisdom directly from the Bible really brings home where we are and what we need to get back to. There was much more I just hit the hi-lites. Dr. Lindsay also said when these things happen to the "leader", then the leader is of no use or benefit to those he is supposed to lead.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:08 am:

From what we've read from folks at Dallas (in other posts here) there were people in Dallas who tried to speak up about what he had done to them in a fairly short period of time, such as getting them into debt. But, as you can guess, they said he was not happy about the questioning of his methods.

When Brunson was getting ready to come to FBCJ, did you hear how he ripped up the people who dared to comment to the newspaper that they already knew he was leaving Dallas, though it was very close to the time when he arrived here. It didn't occur to me until later but I was thinking how the Dallas people must have felt to realize he wasn't even going to inform them apparently until the very last minute.

Have any of us learned anything here? I am questioning why we have dynasties instead of loving churches. I'm hoping that all the abuse we've read about that has come out of the dynasties will signal the beginning of the end of mega churches.

To Anon 11:46 pm:

I'm so sorry that you believe comments about someone's weight is appropriate debate. It's not.

Anonymous said...

So now this is what the world is presented with as their view of the church on Good Friday.

Satan is VERY pleased.

Anonymous said...

Anon: 8:15 AM: Vines did not make more SALARY than Brunson. Mrs. Vines was not on payroll and Dr. Vines did not receive "free land" on which to build his home here. Dr. Vines had four children, none of them were on staff. Neither were Mrs. Lindsay 1st or 2nd, or Dr. Lindsay Jr.s, four children.

Mr. Rich did not "create" this problem at FBCJ, he just reported on it. So stop trying to make it Mr. Rich's fault that there is trouble down there! Mr. Rich is a "whistle blower", thank goodness we have people still brave enough to "blow".

Anon.8:22: Re: The Money: The point is THE MONEY given to any preacher is God's money, given by members for Gods Work. The question here is, this money going for God's Work or a man's benefit.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

To Anon 11:46 - no problem on the comment about me being "plump". Of all the criticism I've received, yours is the one that is most true!

:)

DShroom said...

I'm not peeved at the church issue as much as I am at the fact that someone can abuse their privledge within the JSO. I do hope that IA is investigating this "Officer". I would find an ACLU lawyer and see if you have a case. They love privacy violation cases... keep up the fight until "YOU" are satisfied. Screw everyone else and what they think.

Anonymous said...

Please set up a paypal account so we can support you financially.

Anonymous said...

Pay cut? Mega preachers don't take pay-cuts. Where have you been? They always "negotiate up". Pay cut is not in their vocabulary. A salary increase, plus perks and other "requirements", are always part of their "stimulus package".

Anonymous said...

to anon April 10, 2009 9:04 AM: Yes, and I'm sure satan is also pleased that Brunson came up with the word sociopath to describe a member of his church when Brunson had never even met Mr. Rich.

The ugly reflection on FBCJ & the Church in the newspaper & on TV can be laid at the feet of Brunson. And he knows it's true, folks, but given his reaction to questions so far, we can fully expect him to scream and carry on from the pulpit about how the watchdog has caused any and all of his problems.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rich: I am older than you, and have been a member longer, so I have the advantage of seeing the "before and after" of this once great church, that was "sold out" to Jesus, instead of just being "sold out". I remember seeing you and your lovely wife around church. I wish to thank you for your stand and for this blog., you are a brave, concerned gentleman. I wish you and your family well.

James M. said...

How many times did you and/or your buddies call the news station before they decided to run your story?

It is a good thing you got "outed." After the stalker like behavior you have exhibited to cry about someone knowing who you are is ironic.

But of course the real reason you are upset about being outed it you have plenty to be ashamed of.

Reminds me of an old Elvis tune from when I was a boy.

You may throw your rock and hide your hand
Working in the dark against your fellow man
As sure as God made the day and the night
What you do in the dark will be brought to the light
You may run and hide, slip and slide
Trying to take the mote from your neighbour's eyes
As sure as God made the rich and poor
You gonna reap just what you saw

Anonymous said...

To April 10, 2009 9:21 AM

No the REAL source is this insane vendetta that Mr. Rich has been carrying out against First Baptist Jacksonville and Mac Brunson.

Did you know Mr. Rich's stalking went so far as to track down a speeding ticket of Mr. Brunson and get a copy of it? (Oooooooo.... 39 in a 30! Stone him!)

That is not something a normal person does.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi James - I never sought the media. Brumley found me through the JSO trespass warnings filed by FBC Jax. The TV stations contacted me yesterday.

James M. said...

I don't believe that. Dollars to do-nuts says someone called.

Still, if you would do things you should be ashamed of, you'd have no reason to hide your identity.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Mac Brunson, A.C. Soud and Maurilio Amorim...previously this blog was written by some anonymous coward, was not widely read in the city and had no credibility. But they couldn't leave it alone could they? Nope, had to find out who he was and issue an "edict" to display on the church web site. Now the blog is read by thousands, the blogger is publicly standing behind what he writes, and the blog has front page newspaper and lead news story credibility.

Again, Barney Fife and boys over at FBC Jax just can't get it right when it comes to dealing with criticism. Let's see what their next miscalcuation is... I can't wait.

Thy Peace said...

Today was the first time I found out who Watchdog is. I just watched the video clips. You are doing good Watchdog. Please go about making as much noise as possible with Grace and Truth. God bless you, Sir.

In lot of ways, it's sad to see Pastor Mac use these abusive tactics to stifle dissent and criticism. Christ would have been honored if the Fbc Jax Leadership embraced dissenters in Christian Love.

Here are posts made by Pastor Wade Burleson, as related to Fbc Jax Watchdog:

The Untouchables: Spiritually Elite Leaders and the Unwillingness to Be Held Accountable
Elite and powerful SBC leaders must be reading from the same playbook. Do what you want when you want. Don't accept being questioned. And, if somebody has the gall to question your decisions or actions, attack the person.

In my opinion there should never be any hesitancy for any Southern Baptist to ask any question he or she desires of someone in 'authority.' If a church member has a question about my salary or benefits, wants a copy of our church bylaws, or desires information about our ministries, he will be given answers to his questions in full -and commended for asking. The same freedom should be given to trustees and board members of Christian non-profits. Full transparency in all aspects of any Christian ministry is not just desired, it should be expected. However, it is my belief that there has risen a culture in the SBC, reinforced by training received at many of our seminaries (not all), that emphasizes pastoral authority and seeks to convince people that they are not to "touch the Lord's anointed." It's as if some leaders in the SBC expect to be treated as kings, and everyones' calling in life is to serve the king and tell him how wonderful he is. CHRISTIAN ministry should be just the opposite. Any leader should be known as a servant to all. A true leader welcomes all questions and answers them fully, and he will not care what people say about him because he is not in the ministry for personal advancement but for the kingdom of Christ's sake.

In short, nobody in the SBC should be considered untouchable.


Lessons in Dealing with a Disgruntled Member
This post is a personal testimony. It is offered as an illustration on how to deal with a disgruntled member or member(s) of a large church. There are those who say that no church member ought to express opposition to the pastor's decisions. Some say that the pastor is the Lord's anointed, and to question his ministry, or his decision making, or his integrity is simply rebellion against God.

Not so. No pastor is beyond the scope of scrutiny. Further, it is not the questioning of the pastor that is the problem. Rather, it is the response of the pastor to the questions that is often the problem. Many pastors, whether it be for personal insecurity reasons, fear of exposure, or a false understanding of "church unity," will deal harshly with those who question their leadership. This post is offered as an example of how a pastor and church can deal with a disgruntled member in an effective manner.


Anonymous Writing Is Not Intrinsically Evil
Basically, the history of anonymity in writing is long and rich. Usually (almost always) anonymous writing is done by those NOT in power rightly criticizing those IN POWER who are in a position to shut-up and shut-down the anonymous source, thus putting an end to the public’s knowledge of the corruption. Those of you who are so quick to call others cowards can do so precisely because you support those in power or have nothing to lose (i.e. you’re not in ministry at a SB church or institution!). It’s OK to put your name on your criticism of Wade or Watchdog, because if some of the “higher-ups” look you up or run into you at the state or national convention (and believe me, they do!), they’ll thank you and pat your back! NOT take you to task or blacklist you like they have others!

Those of you who want to throw the term “coward” around, open your eyes to the reality of what’s happening. Look at what happened to Wade. Read the reports at fbcjaxwatchdog. Look at the facts. This man (whoever he is) was a loyal member of the church for MANY years under Lindsey/ Vines; why would he just “snap” when Dr. Brunson came on board? Could there be some substance to his accusations? You’ll never know because you don’t want to.

It’s easy to sit on the winning side and take pot-shots at the whistle-blowers. It’s easy to call them cowards and discredit their work so readily. It’s much tougher to admit that these MIGHT just be honest Christian people telling the truth. It’s much tougher for many in the SBC today to admit that their heroes might be flawed."


Spiritual Abuse Masked as Spiritual Authority
Spiritual abuse is when a leader uses his or her religious position of authority to control, intimidate or dominate another person. It also occurs when a person in need of answers, help or support is denigrated for either questioning the "Lord's anointed" or not being "spiritual" enough to submit to the decisions of the religious authority.

Your Honor, Please Help Us Understand
Sometimes I shudder when I think about the hard ball tactics used by some Southern Baptists to silence dissent. For the majority of my twenty five years of ministry, there has been a belief in me that most Southern Baptist leaders understand humility, servant leadership, and the grace that is needed to endure dissent. However, after reading the comments on FBC Jacksonville Watchdog's Blog, and specifically those comments that reveal how subpoenas were issued to discover the identity of the owner of the Watchdog blog - as well as reading all the relevant public documents myself - there have arisen in my mind a few questions. These questions relate to whether or not FBC church leaders used church members involved in law enforcement and the courts to illegally obtained the private information of a United States citizen who wished to remain anonymous, including the identity of a blogger going by the pseudonym Watchdog. Further, there are legitimate questions that should be asked to discern whether or not FBC church leadership used that information they possibly gleaned through law enforcement to in any way intimidate, threaten, or coerce the Watchdog into silence. I do not have the answers to the following questions, I am simply asking. These questions were to be asked personally and privately of FBC leadership, but phone calls have been unreturned for three weeks now, so it is entirely appropriate to ask them publicly.

The High Cost of Stifling Criticism and Dissent
Most historians say that Adams was not elected President for a second term because he pushed Congress to pass The Alien and Sedition Acts. President Adams was very sensitive to criticism, and though he claimed the Acts were designed to protect the United States, most citizens attacked the acts as unconstitutional and believed they were designed to stifle criticism of President Adam's and his administration. Newspaper editors, political pundits and even some ministers were arrested for speaking out against the government and President Adams. The Sedition Act (officially call An Act for the Punishment of Certain Crimes against the United States) made it a federal crime to publish "false, scandalous, and malicious writing" against the government or its officials. Most historians agree that the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts was the low point of President Adam's administration and believe it directly contributed to his removal from office. Thomas Jefferson denounced the Sedition Act as invalid and a violation of the First Amendment, and he was elected President in 1800, ending John Adam's term as President after only four years.

One of these days men and women with power, whether it be ecclesiastical, political or corporate will learn that attempts to stifle dissent and criticism will only ultimately result in the people you lead turning against you. It was true in 1798 and it's true 210 years later.


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

Whatever the case may be, and setting aside any problems within an SBC church that may be real or imagined, it is a sad day in America when the police and courts can be manipulated and used by a powerful church in the manner they seem to have been used in Jacksonville, Florida.

-----------------------------------
Wade Burleson said...
Watchdog,

My first comment on your site. As you know, it has been my policy to refrain from commenting here or drawing attention to your site because of your anonymity. It was only after the trespass warning was issued, and what seemed to me to be hard ball tactics were being used against you that you received communication from me.

It was through our phone conversation that you convinced me you possessed a legitimate worrty that a powerful organization might seek to do harm to you because of the questions you were asking and concerns you were raising. This harm might involve sullying your reputation in Jacksonville, limiting your business dealings, and forbidding your family's involvment in the church were your identity to be discovered. You said to me at the time, "All I am doing is wanting answers to questions that somebody needs to ask."

What struck me about our phone conversation was your curiosity as to how administration at FBC Jacksonville came to know your identity - in fact, you were not even sure they did, but the issue of a trespass warning was a strong indication THEY were confident they knew he you were. At the time, I stated the only way they could be so absolutely sure of your identity was to obtain from your Internet provider the information. Of course, there are Federal laws and state statutes that protect a person's right to free speech - even anonymously. So, if someone did violate your privacy and obtain your private records from Comcast, then they would either have to have some powerful friends do them a favor or they would have to falsely allege some type of criminal activity and convince an honorable judge they needed your identity.
...
My point is a simple one. It seems your concerns over remaining anonymous have been justified. The tactics taken to reveal your identity seem to have crossed a line. If police were involved last year, and administrators at FBC were informed that there was "no crime" in what was being written, but then this year administrators went back to police and "alleged" criminal activitiy (i.e. "stalking, "stealing mail,") you have a pattern of intimidation developing in order to obtain your idenity. I am believing the best - that someone powerful simply called in a favor. But, if someone actually invented a "criminal" allegation to get those records, then somebody, somewhere, is in deep do-do.

All I can say is this: If I were a police officer, or a judge, or a city official, or a state's attorney involved in obtaining records from Comcast in order to identify who the Watchog is, I would be sweating bullets. In my experience, Federal Grand Juries do not take lightly to the abuse of political and police authority to shut down someone's free speech. Worse, if false allegations were used as the basis for the subpoena, that in itself is a criminal act. The records should show, specifically the subpoena records, the police reports, including field investigations and open and closed cases, and the Florida state attorney records.

God willing, nobody was so stupid at FBC to establish a pattern of behavior over the course of the last several months that will implicate FBC using their influence to illegally obtain your identity. If someone at FBC actual did what it seems is required to get your identity, then this could FBC Jacksonville saga could get very interesting.

And frankly, if someone did violate the law, they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of that law. There's no hiding. The excuse "but we are the people of God" is hollow.

The law is the law.

In His Grace,


Wade

MARCH 13, 2009 1:41 PM

-----------------------------------

Anonymous said...

Lydia and BBC:

I have either not been clear or you guys are reading something into what I have written.

I have said that I don't know why the police inspector obtained a warrant for Tiffany Croft or BBC's blog. I don't know personally, and since I don't work at the Jax police department, I am not "in the middle" of the goings on and have no knowledge of why they did that.

I hope that explains what I meant.

I cannot logically infer whey they would look at the other blogs and since I don't work at the police department, I am not involved in the investigation and have no insight into their thinking.

Hope this explains to you what I meant.

Louis

Anonymous said...

FBC Jax Watchdog:

Do I understand correctly that it was the media who revealed your name publicly for the first time?

I am not implying anything by that, I am just trying to confirm the facts.

Thanks.

By the way, not that you are asking for this type compliment, and this is not meant as a commentary on the right or wrong of the situation, but I do want to compliment you on your writing. You write very well.

Louis

Anonymous said...

April 10, 2009 9:34 AM - ever think that your Elvis lyrics apply to Mac, Blount and Hinson? They were the ones "working in the dark" and NOW their deeds, done in secret, are front page news! THEY are reaping what they sowed.

Anonymous said...

Neil R.:

Read your comment and was struck by how balanced it was.

We apparently disagree on faith issues given the place that you have apparently come to.

But your comment (assuming it is true, and I have no reason to doubt it, it's just that this is a blog, after all) has what appears to be an honest reflection on your experiences.

The church is filled with good and bad, and it appears that you have learned a lesson that many people in life never learn.

Some people have negative experiences, and they become bitter and hateful for the rest of their lives. Some of the comments in the blogoshpere are testimonials to that.

I do not read that in your comment. I believe that is a testimony to your intelligence and emotional stability, both of which are gifts of God and probably nutured by parents and your work as a person.

I don't know anything first hand about any of these issues, so I am not going to comment on whose right and wrong etc.

But thanks for expressing yourself in such an intelligent and balanced way.

A lot of us in the blog world could learn from you.

I do hope you come to faith, but that is another discussion for another day, and is one that probably should not be carried on here.

Take care.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Check out Mark Woods' column in today's paper:

Church's Use of Power Troubling
http://www.jacksonville.com/news/columnists/mark_woods/2009-04-10/story/churchs_use_of_power_is_troubling

He gets it exactly right. This story is just beginning.

Dee Lauderdale said...

I am respectfully asking that the owner push the PAUSE button on this blog until Monday in memory and honor of the one who's name we bear.

Dee Lauderdale

Anonymous said...

Louis: For heaven's sake, please read the blog before commenting. You will find it answers most of your questions.

James M: Are you a member at FBCJ? The thing is, you need to, um, maybe read the blog before commenting because you sort of come across as having no idea what any of this is about.

Voice of Reason said...

Readers: once the church filed the criminal complaint and had JSO issue trespass warnings against Mr. and Mrs. Rich, the press (Jeff Brumley)was able to identify and contact Mr. Rich. Mr. Brumley did what he was trained to do, and he did it well. Good jounalism and an excellent front page story that was fair and right on issue.

The church chose to escalate this matter from one anonymous email, up to one anonymous blog, to a full fledged criminal investigation that yielded nothing. Then instead of "closing" the matter like JSO Detective Hinson did, they used the information obtained anyway to hand the man trespass warnings and require him to submit to some kangaroo court without any representation or be forever banned from the church. Let's be clear, he was not banned for any "perceived threats." He was banned for "church misconduct", ie: blogging. And not just blogging of course, since the staff at FBC Jax have blogs. It was the content of the blog they didn't like. Classic violation of 1st Amendment laws and Federally protected free speech. Why do you think we have these Constitutional provisions and laws if they are not going to be enforced or protected by local law enforcement?

In this case, the ends definitely do not justify the means.

This story is just beginning. Hinson and Siegel have a lot of explaining to do. The Integrity unit of JSO and Angela Corey will get this right.

Thy Peace said...

New BBC Open Forum said...
Excellent point. Stealing mail is a federal offense. The JSO would not investigate this type of crime. The USPS has their own investigators.

The Jax TV stations are on this...

First Coast News

FOX 30

9:24 PM, APRIL 09, 2009

Anonymous said...

Dee - let's see if Mac pushes the PAUSE button in his efforts to raise cash from those attending Easter services. And let's see if he uses his sermons Sunday to raise cash or defend himself, or paint himself as victim, or attack the blogger, or try and steal sheep down at the South Campus. No, Mac hasn't paused, and neither will the WD. Two obsessive compulsive sociopaths going after it in Mac's chosen forum...a public blog. (Since he can't respond to anonymous emails according to himself, Vines and scripture? NO just according to himself, Vines and other proud pastors.)

Anonymous said...

"Have any of us learned anything here? I am questioning why we have dynasties instead of loving churches."

Keep on questioning, praying and searchng the scriptures. you are on the right track. And note what you do NOT see in the NT church as you read.

Matt

Anonymous said...

"So now this is what the world is presented with as their view of the church on Good Friday."

Christians want folks to see the truth. They are transparent.

The timing is perfect. What is hidden will be made known. We have kept things hidden for too long.

Seek His Kingdom first and you will find the Body of Christ

Matt

Dee Lauderdale said...

Annon 10:26, that's a very sad attitude to take.

I don't live in Jax, don't know any of the parties involved. But as a former pastor I do know this, God has an unblemished record in dealing with his disobedient children and He does not need our help. If Dr. Brunson is out of line, God WILL deal with him. He's taken down bigger men than him. If the Watchdog is out of line, God WILL deal with him.

Surely everybody needs a break from the stress this is putting on their lives and what better way to do it than fasting from all blogging until Monday and instead focus on the empty tomb.

Lydia said...

"I have either not been clear or you guys are reading something into what I have written."

You are never clear, Louis, until someone presses you to the wall. You do it on purpose to plant seeds. I have been reading you for many years now. I know your tactics.

"I have said that I don't know why the police inspector obtained a warrant for Tiffany Croft or BBC's blog. I don't know personally, and since I don't work at the Jax police department, I am not "in the middle" of the goings on and have no knowledge of why they did that."

Actually, that is NOT what you said. you said this:

Louis wrote:
Also, the profiles of the people identified in the acitivity relating to the Dog have the kinds of backgrounds that would cause them to be circumspect."

We are ASKING YOU to tell us what you mean by PROFILES causing them to be circumspect. And we are asking you to give us details of why you said this.


"I hope that explains what I meant."

It never does. You are always vague and then come back and try to fix it without saying anything.

"I cannot logically infer whey they would look at the other blogs and since I don't work at the police department, I am not involved in the investigation and have no insight into their thinking."

Here we go. You are assuming they had good cause. Not only to go after Tom Rich (where are the police reports?) but after Tiffany Croft and BBC? I am asking YOU what possbile good cause could they have? I suppose you actually believe there is no corruption here. As a matter of fact, you are proving my point that you always side or make excuses for whomever has authority and power.

"Hope this explains to you what I meant."

Nope. You are being the same 'Louis' you have always been over at the OUtpost and on Wade's blog. I recall you used the same tactics about the Klouda situation.

You are always trying to convince us we don't have enough information to see the EVIL we see right before us.

Anonymous said...

Keep the faith. I think what you are uncovering right now (although it may be painful for those involved) it may be exactly what the Brunson family and the leadership of FBC Jax needs. We're praying for you and the congregation that this will bring about revival on the church!

-member of FBC Dallas

Lydia said...

"Do I understand correctly that it was the media who revealed your name publicly for the first time?"

Trick question.

"I am not implying anything by that, I am just trying to confirm the facts."

Sure Louis. You want to make a big deal about the church not making it public when they passed a resolution against him.

However, what you should be asking is why Mac did not seek Tom out when he learned his name back during Thanksgiving. That should be your concern. Especially since you claim to an 'elder'.


"By the way, not that you are asking for this type compliment, and this is not meant as a commentary on the right or wrong of the situation, but I do want to compliment you on your writing. You write very well. "

He does this over at Wade's blog, too. It is the Eddy Haskell method.

Anonymous said...

"To April 10, 2009 9:21 AM No the REAL source is this insane vendetta that Mr. Rich has been carrying out against First Baptist Jacksonville and Mac Brunson. Did you know Mr. Rich's stalking went so far as to track down a speeding ticket of Mr. Brunson and get a copy of it? (Oooooooo.... 39 in a 30! Stone him!)That is not something a normal person does.
April 10, 2009 9:40 AM"

You are way off the mark in your comments above. I'm going to have say that maybe I need to question your mental state. Yeah, that's it, normal people don't come to a blog and vehemently comment on things that he doesn't know anything about. it's obvious that you're operating on hearsay. If you heard things from Blount then you have been told partial truths.

By the way, did your source of information tell you the Brunsons were so scared and concerned about Mr. Rich's so-called "stalking" actions that they didn't even file a police report when they say Mr.
Rich photographed Debbie Brunson and when they say he stold their mail.

Do you want to know why there were no police reports for these "stalking" crimes? Those things DID NOT happen, that's why!

Anonymous said...

"I don't live in Jax, don't know any of the parties involved. But as a former pastor I do know this, God has an unblemished record in dealing with his disobedient children and He does not need our help. If Dr. Brunson is out of line, God WILL deal with him. He's taken down bigger men than him. If the Watchdog is out of line, God WILL deal with him."

These types of comments from supposed pastors concern me very much. I have to wonder why a pastor thinks all the Epistles were written? To deal with situations in the church? We even see some rebuking in the Epistles naming names for all to read. Including Paul publicly rebuking Peter.

Mr. Lauderdale, would you say you should not seek to discipline a member who is publicly sinning as in 1 Corin 5. Or should we just let it go and let God handle it.

Perhaps you think there is some special pass for pastors, who are mentioned once in the NT?

God is calling folks to come out of these profitable temples of entertainment to a REAL Body of Christ. Our Lord is to be front and center. Not the celebrity pastor. And people are finding this out. Finally.

Your comment seems to be communicating that we should ignore the Epistles. You are not the first pastor to suggest such when it comes to protecting your own.

Matt

Dee Lauderdale said...

Matt,

Please don't read into my comments that which I did not write. I never said to ignore any part of Scripture and you know it. Careful, you're chip is showing.

Everybody is under authority in the local church and that authority is Jesus, He is the senior pastor.

I'm not gonna get in debate with anybody here because most of you have already made up your mind and don't want to be bothered with Scripture. All I'll say is that if FBC Jax were biblically organized, that is being lead by elders, this would not be happening. Dr. Brunson AND the watchdog would be confronted according to biblical processes. There is nothing in the NT that says a church is lead by Deacons or a majority vote. That is simply poor Baptist heritage.

I think everyone would agree that any time a person insulates himself from accountability, problems always occur. One of the troubling things I've noticed in this type blog is people trying to undermine the Scripturally given position of Pastor. Yes, there have been and will continue to be men who serve in this role that it do it a great disservice, but that doesn't mean you throw the baby out with the bath water.

Anyway, I was just hoping that Easter was more important than blogging. Guess I was wrong.

Peace out.

Anonymous said...

The bible states that the pastor is to treat one similar in age as a "brother". Would this be like Cain treated Abel, Joseph's brothers treated Joseph, Esau treated his brother Jacob? Appears if a pastor wanted to know how to treat one of his sheep he would desire to talk to him/her rather than sic the police on em. No restitution, no brotherly love, this is where the church has turned. The church age is over and you can believe it. The truth does set one free...Lastly, where is the forgiveness? Seventy times seven...490 times ...and not once was there a meeting between the pastor and the member, except on the pastors terms. Strange going ons here. But, if you ignore the Bible then anything can happen and normally will!!!

Anonymous said...

All speeding tickets in Duval County are public record and can be freely accessed online, including PDF scans of the original.

It's not "stalking" to check the online records that the county makes available to the public on the Internet.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not gonna get in debate with anybody here because most of you have already made up your mind and don't want to be bothered with Scripture. All I'll say is that if FBC Jax were biblically organized, that is being lead by elders, this would not be happening."

That is strange. I have seen more evil and abuse in mega churches that were run by elders. Titles have nothing to do with it. Titles do not specially 'anoint' as some seem to think. An elder is a 'function' of the Body and you will recognize one by reading Matt 5. Also, all believers if really saved are gifted to serve the Body of Christ.

"I think everyone would agree that any time a person insulates himself from accountability, problems always occur. One of the troubling things I've noticed in this type blog is people trying to undermine the Scripturally given position of Pastor."

Could you quote some NC scripture on that 'position', please?


Matt

Anonymous said...

"Anyway, I was just hoping that Easter was more important than blogging. Guess I was wrong."

Truth is always important. But there are many that do not think so. They will even use Christ to hide truth. I don't envy them at all. I fear for them.

How on earth could one worship in 'Spirit and Truth' at FBC Jax?

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

Why must you continue to break my heart?

I am sorry I misunderstood. I thought you wanted an explanation for something else.

As to the reference of being circumspect, here's what I meant.

As I understand it, the profiles of the people involved include a police detective (and now, apparently, his superior who has told a news outlet that the officer acted appropriately), one or more attorneys in the State Attorney's office, and a retired Circuit Court Judge. Those are the profiles of the people I was referring to.

"Circumspect" means careful to consider all circumstances and possible consequences, prudent.

I said that people with the profiles of being involved in law enforcement in some way or another are usually careful in considering all of the circumstances and prudent.

The question that I have been interested in is to what extent the law may have been broken in obtaining the Dog's name.

And one point in that analysis is to remember that the profiles of the people involved are people who have careers in law enforcement.

Now, law enforcement officers make mistakes and commit wrongs all of the time.

But, unless they are in the "heat of the battle" (e.g. a hot pursuit with a suspect), or something like that, the presumption for my analysis is that these folks know more about Florida law than I do (and I assume most of the people on this blog), and that accordingly, they would probably be careful in what they do, to do it in such a way that it is not a violation of law.

I believe that is a fair starting point for analyzing the legal issues here.

Now, if you or someone else on this blog personally knows the people involved, and can vouch that the investigator, the people in the State's attorney's office, or the retired Circuit Court Judge, are dunderheads or theives etc., then I would take that into the analysis.

Otherwise, I am going to start with the presumption that police officers, people in the office of the State Attorney, and a retired Circuit Court Judge would be careful not to act illegally.

I believe that is good way to proceed when discussing the legalities of a situation where we have as few facts as we have.

You may want to proceed differently, and that's fine by me if you do.

As far as confirming that the news media was the first to identify the Dog to the public, I am not seeing a trick in that question. If you see a trick, then by all means, don't answer it. For I will have tricked you.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Anon:

Thanks for the exhortation.

I'll try.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

Eddy Haskell. Pretty funny.

I don't remember any girl characters.

I'll guess you have to settle for Larry Mondello's mother.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Voice of Reason:

Not to dismiss your argument, but you should know that the First Amendment and freedom of speech addresses GOVERNMENT interference with speech.

A private entity, a person, a business or a church can restrict speech. In so doing, it is not a violation of the First Amendment.

It may not be wise for private individuals/entities to restrict speech, but it is not a violation of the First Amendment.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Dee Lauderdale 11:25: Dee please get real. Surely you don't think every man/woman that calls HIMSELF/HERSELF a preacher/pastor is one. You use the term "scripturally given position of the pastor". I think you should understand the preachers/pastors are to be GOD CALLED. For your info, not all bibles read the same verses of "scripture" the same way. Again that would be GOD CALLED, not a scripturally GIVEN position.
Unfortunately the "baby's bath water" is full of opportunist, in the "ministry" and on nation wide TV, to make MONEY.

For the record I don't believe any woman is ever scriptually, God called or in any other way called other than by themselves to preach.
1st Timothy:Chp. 3 vs.2: "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife". A bishop being the same as a pastor/preacher "scriptually". Are you the husband of one wife??

Dee Lauderdale said...

Anon 12:21

Classic case of jumping to conclusions and running your mouth when you don't know the facts. I'm a dude. Of course I don't know your sex or name because you're a coward and don't sign your name.

Matt, why don't you read the Epistles you accuse me of ignoring, you'll find pastor listed several times.


You people are hilarious.

www.deelauderdale.com

Dee Lauderdale

Anonymous said...

Dee if you are a dude, then glad to hear it. Pardon my "boy named Sue" assumptions. My error. I still stand by my comments.

Lydia said...

"I am sorry I misunderstood. I thought you wanted an explanation for something else."

Clever. I have heard this one before.

"As to the reference of being circumspect, here's what I meant.

As I understand it, the profiles of the people involved include a police detective (and now, apparently, his superior who has told a news outlet that the officer acted appropriately), one or more attorneys in the State Attorney's office, and a retired Circuit Court Judge. Those are the profiles of the people I was referring to."

Then why not say so in the first comment. You are a lawyer and know better. Or, are you?

"Circumspect" means careful to consider all circumstances and possible consequences, prudent."

I know what it means. Now, tell me why there is no police report for any of the alledged criminal complaints against Tiffany, BBC and WD?

" said that people with the profiles of being involved in law enforcement in some way or another are usually careful in considering all of the circumstances and prudent."

REally? Where is the documentation of the alledged criminal complaints? Are you telling me that Hinson went on word of mouth to get the subpeona's with NO documentation? Would he do that for the average citizen?

"he question that I have been interested in is to what extent the law may have been broken in obtaining the Dog's name."

They are in a position to destroy records now aren't they? They are in the position to cover up. What about ethics? Morals? Mr. Elder.

"nd one point in that analysis is to remember that the profiles of the people involved are people who have careers in law enforcement."

Well, I guess that means they are automatically honest.

"ow, law enforcement officers make mistakes and commit wrongs all of the time."

Like a conflict of interest?

"ut, unless they are in the "heat of the battle" (e.g. a hot pursuit with a suspect), or something like that, the presumption for my analysis is that these folks know more about Florida law than I do (and I assume most of the people on this blog), and that accordingly, they would probably be careful in what they do, to do it in such a way that it is not a violation of law."

This is one of Louis' famous implications that the peasants are ignorant. He does this all the time at Wade's blog.

" believe that is a fair starting point for analyzing the legal issues here."

Of course, it puts the authorities in the cat bird seat! The peasants must wait for their edicts that they really do have clothes on.

"ow, if you or someone else on this blog personally knows the people involved, and can vouch that the investigator, the people in the State's attorney's office, or the retired Circuit Court Judge, are dunderheads or theives etc., then I would take that into the analysis."

Their ACTIONS were not enough for you. Smart men do dumb stuff all the time. This is your defense of them? Smart men know what might be able to get by with based on their gravitas.


"therwise, I am going to start with the presumption that police officers, people in the office of the State Attorney, and a retired Circuit Court Judge would be careful not to act illegally."

Oh, so ethics have nothing to do with it. Only black and white legalities. And you call yourself an elder. Mr. Lawyer, Abortions are 'legal', too, to use your own argument.

" believe that is good way to proceed when discussing the legalities of a situation where we have as few facts as we have."

What facts are you missing? The police reports or criminal complaints that are documented against Tom, BBC and Tiffany?

Are those the 'facts' you need? Truth is, you have never sided with the less powerful. Not even Klouda's treatment by Patterson. You just argued for Patterson's rights and what was 'legal' for the seminary to do.

Anonymous said...

"Matt, why don't you read the Epistles you accuse me of ignoring, you'll find pastor listed several times. "

Please give references.

Matt

Lydia said...

BBC, Didn't "Dee" come on your blog a while back and try the same stuff? As I recall some even found him on the church transition pages of Pastors.com running his mouth about getting rid of folks who do not go along with the 'pastor'.

These 'pastors' are too much.

Anonymous said...

"Of course I don't know your sex or name because you're a coward and don't sign your name."

You've said you are not a member of FBCJ, and don't even live in Jacksonville. I guess it's easy to stand back and call people cowards for not giving their names while it is extremely easy for you to give yours because you have nothing to lose. Didn't you just accuse someone else of jumping to conclusions?

I would have thought you were a female also because it's an unusual first name for a man.

The bottom line is this: You have no understanding of what has gone on @FBCJ. Brunson could have kept this out of the paper if he had taken the simple step of following Scripture.

Rob said...

This is all so sad.

I can't believe any of this would have happened under Homer Lindsay Jr.

oc said...

Where in the Scriptures did Brunson get the justification to invoke secular justice into a church matter? Still asking.

oc.

Mark Pennington said...

ANON April 9, 2009 11:46 PM:

What an absurd,shallow, and completely useless comment to make! I'm in disbelief and can only wonder why you would want to portray yourself as being so superficial. Given the gravity of this situation, it's very disturbing to see that shameful statement as the only input you have decided to offer.

Anonymous said...

Louis - what?? The JSO and SA offices the church used to find out his identity ARE government entities. Used by the church in this case.

Like you, I don't claim to know all the facts. Which is why I am waiting to hear from Internal Affairs and Angela Corey before being too dogmatic here.

And I don't ever think that just because someone is a pastor, or police officer, or attorney that they "know" what is right and that they always "do" what is right. That belief and trust people have in them is precisely why any perception of something that they did that may not smell right, should immediately be looked into. Don't you agree?

Anonymous said...

Louis is a troll. Time to start ignoring him.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:26:

I agree with your points.

This thing is not over. As I said in my original comment, this thing could still unravel.

I am not betting on any outcome. I have hunches, but that's all.

I have found, however, that a lot of people who may not even be remotely connected to this church have a real cheerleading mentality. And they get really angry if anything is pointed out that might dampen their expectation for some outcome.

Internal affairs, a court, or whomever, may have something to say. I agree completely.

If the legal system finds that the investigator or the state's attorney did something improper, we should be pleased that justice was rendered to right a wrong.

Conversely, if they find out that the investigator and state's attorney did nothing improper, we should be pleased that justice was rendered there, too.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:27:

That's really weak.

Surely you are not the same guy as Anon 2:26?

Louis

Mike said...

My name is Mike. I hide from no one. I am not a member of FBC, I do happen to watch the service every Sunday and in the past I have thought about joining the church as I currently do not have a church home. I can say that the recent events and reactions from this church and its staff have not helped my cause and has effectively pushed me away from that church. I am not saying it has pushed me away from Christianity, only from joining FBC. I feel it is shameful that a church would decide that it is better to protect a pastors financial mis-dealings than it is to uphold the law. What was it that Mac Brunson said a couple of weeks ago..something to the effect of give the government what is theirs because it is worldly, well I would think it safe to assume that the laws of the country fall in line with this as well. So in my opinion the church should respect the laws of the land along with the constitution. What this church did was sinister in using church connections at JSO to trump up charges so they could get an identification of someone that didn't want to give his identification to begin with. They trampled on this authors rights and freedoms granted to him in our beloved country. I sincerely hope that you(WD) look for legal avenues to go after this church and its staff that were involved, including the JSO detective whose actions scream misconduct in every sense of the word. I do not hope for you to take legal action out of grudge or retribution, but rather for the people that this has effected. If this church is allowed to sidestep our rights as citizens and act in a corrupt manner as if they were a Mafia of some type then their actions will be repeated to some other poor soul that they don't happen to like for whatever reason. Again, I am utterly appalled by the events that have taken place and no longer have any respect for Mac Brunson or his deacons. And Detective Hinson, shame on you for misusing your position with the government to further along misconduct of a church. I'll end with this, multiple times throughout the history of the world, we have seen big powers be it a church, government, army or what say you, think that their size and power were untouchable; only to be toppled over and forgotten expect to the history books.

PS: I find it fascinating that those of you that post on here, that do not agree with this author of this blog, post as anonymous people and do leave you name. One word for your type: Cowards.

Anonymous said...

So much for anonymous blogging and speaking out. Since this is out in the open, the people are seeing what really is going on in the FBC. Good expose!

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

You are right. I am only discussing the legalities of this situation.

I am not making judgments about the people, their motives, whether they are ethical or moral. I don't feel qualified to do that in this case.

You ask a lot of questions about the police investigation that I don't know the answer to.

You also made a statement about police conflict of interest.

I know zero about that topic. I read the news report where the officer's superior said that there was no conflict of interest problem.

Maybe the superior is wrong. I don't know, and I am not going to act like I know. That's the only info we have now.

Maybe the officer's superior is also a member at FBC Jax, and maybe he's involved somehow. I just don't know.

What I have said about this situation is true with the other situations you mentioned.

In all of those, I was looking at the legal issues, which are of an interest to me.

Lots of people comment on the legal aspects of some of the SBC issues. I like to do that too.

Louis

Lydia said...

"I have found, however, that a lot of people who may not even be remotely connected to this church have a real cheerleading mentality. And they get really angry if anything is pointed out that might dampen their expectation for some outcome."

Once again, Louis is only concerned for legal outcomes and who 'wins'. Not ethics or morality. Note that he never has an opinion about those things. And he is an elder.

And he tries awfully hard to insult the 'cheerleaders' for ethics and morality in our churches.

Lydia said...

Look at his example and note that whatever the authorities say means it is right and justice has been rendered. He thinks the same thing about pastors and seminary presidents:

"If the legal system finds that the investigator or the state's attorney did something improper, we should be pleased that justice was rendered to right a wrong.

Conversely, if they find out that the investigator and state's attorney did nothing improper, we should be pleased that justice was rendered there, too."

Note, we have already heard from the Sheriff's office that they acted in the right and did nothing wrong.

None of this has ANYTHING to do with whether Mac is qualified as an elder ala 1 Tim. And you only need be a 'member' of the Body of Christ to point that out. Not to mention that fact that Mac made this about folks who are NOT members of FBCJax like Tiffany and BBC. He is the one who took it out of the local church.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Oh my goodness, Lydia, you're right! I'd completely forgotten about old Dee "I'm a guy, you idiot" Lauderdale. He did indeed drop in on the NBBCOF two years ago. Here are some select quotes of his from the pastors.com site:

"Some know that Bellevue Baptist in Memphis is in the middle of a church war.

Speaking of those same people he wrote...

These people are pagan vipers who have decided that they and they alone are the only ones who can approve what happens in a church."

...

"Sheep are stupid and need to lead! OK, that's gonna make some people mad but it irritates the crap out of me when martyred church people refer to themselves as sheep who need to be tended to by shepards (sic). If they really knew what they were saying about themselves I doubt they would continue to use that imagery!"

I assume he meant "need to be led."

Then he said...

"Here's a verse that God has used to remind me of how I'm susposed to behave as a pastor in leading a church, especialy in these types of situations:

'Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights.A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.' 2 Timothy 2:23-25 (NLT)"


Yep, that's "Mr. to you" Dee Lauderdale, a guy with a real pastor's heart! Just warms your cockles, doesn't it?

oc said...

Hey Louis.
You seem the lawyerly type. Maybe you can answer my request...
Who killed the Christ?

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

How could anyone stalk the guy's wife if the guy has a security detail? Where were they?

Not only that, but where was she when it [whatever "it" was] happened? What date, time?

How did she come to believe it was a "stalker" if it was an isolated incident? Is there no police report for this specific incidence?

Pfft. Every time I walk away from this story something else occurs to me that just defies all explanation, like this.

Lydia said...

"I am not making judgments about the people, their motives, whether they are ethical or moral. I don't feel qualified to do that in this case."

You are not qualified to be an elder if you do not see that what Mac has been doing and has done is wrong.

You have made judgements about plenty of people on Wade's blog but you also claimed they were liberals. You even went so far to tell a story about one man and was set straight by another blogger who knew the man and the situation more intimately than you did. But you believed what you were told by the CR hero's.

So, don't tell me you don't make
judgements on people. You do it all the time.

And the whole 'motives' position is silly. What difference do motives make with wrong behavior?

New BBC Open Forum said...

Louis,

First you said this:

"Also, the profiles of the people identified in the acitivity relating to the Dog [I assume that would be Tiffany Croft and myself] have the kinds of backgrounds that would cause them [the JSO] to be circumspect."

Then when called on it, you backpedal (as you have a habit of doing) and say you meant something different.

"I have either not been clear or you guys are reading something into what I have written.

"I have said that I don't know why the police inspector obtained a warrant for Tiffany Croft or BBC's blog. I don't know personally, and since I don't work at the Jax police department, I am not 'in the middle' of the goings on and have no knowledge of why they did that.

"I hope that explains what I meant.

"I cannot logically infer whey they would look at the other blogs and since I don't work at the police department, I am not involved in the investigation and have no insight into their thinking.

"Hope this explains to you what I meant."


No, Louis, that doesn't explain what you meant by your original statement. It appears to me you stated very clearly the first time what you meant. You're very shrewd, Louis. A purposely vague pronoun here, words that sound similar to other words there, little hints dropped here and there... but people are onto your little word games.

So I'll ask you again, what do you know or what were you inferring about my background or Tiffany Croft's background (since we're the only two "people [known to be] identified in the activity relating to the Dog") that makes you believe the JSO needed to "circumspectly" investigate either of us? You said what you said, and I believe you meant what you said. Now, please be a man and own your own words!

Anonymous said...

Mike: All I can tell you is that we are in the Laodicean church age. The church is neither hot nor cold. Apostacy reigns. Never follow a man as they will disappoint you every time. The bible tells us to study to show thyself a worker than needeth not to be ashamed. Notice the word "study". The Lord wants us to each study His word and find the truths for ourselves. There are many deceivers out there so be careful. God bless you in your further studies.

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