"...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

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Times Union: JSO and FBC Jax - "Troubling Issues"

Below is the staff editorial appearing in today's Florida Times Union. I agree with the Times Union...."TROUBLING" indeed...that our JSO investigated a blog that had no criminal activity and advocated no criminal activity, to the point of finding its author....and to the point of giving the name of the author to the church.

Headline: JSO and First Baptist - Troubling Issues

The case, now closed, involving a police investigation of a blogger and First Baptist Church raises serious issues.

First, there is a perception that one of Jacksonville's most influential institutions used its influence with the Sheriff's Office against a man who had been criticizing it. This raises free speech issues.

Second, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has ethics rules that allows an investigator who works on the security detail of the church he attends to conduct the investigation.

Sheriff John Rutherford has stated that his department acted appropriately in every respect. See his statement on this page [click here].

The fact that an investigation was conducted and that information was shared with the complainant is routine practice, he said.

The investigator who conducted the work was only doing his regular job, the same actions he would take if any other faith group issued a complaint, Rutherford said.

But there are several factors that raise troubling concerns:

Weak link to criminal activity: The church was concerned about stolen mail and photos taken of the pastor's wife. But linking them to a critical blogger seemed a stretch. While the blogger's posts were critical, they did not appear to justify a police investigation.

As Rutherford wrote in his statement, the investigation was shut down because "no criminal conduct or significant threat to the church was determined to exist."

Beef up JSO's ethics code: The code forbids officers from investigating matters involving their families, JSO spokeswoman Lauri-Ellen Smith told the Times-Union, but permits probes involving friends, neighbors and churches.

Conflicts could arise in any area in which officers have close personal involvement. That could include businesses, schools, outside activities, and, especially, their places of worship. In this case, the investigating officer had both a religious and business relationship.

The Sheriff's Office should reexamine its ethics code, perhaps in concert with the city's ethics office, to prevent similar situations from happening.

The goal should be to avoid perceptions of favoritism. This case certainly fostered that perception.

161 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dawg, you need to get a good attorney and file a suit against FBC and Mac Brunson.

Anonymous said...

From the Times-Union editorial "Weak link to criminal activity: The church was concerned about stolen mail and photos taken of the pastor's wife. But linking them to a critical blogger seemed a stretch."

A stretch is right! And the stretch was Ok'd because the staff at FBCJ knew there was no other way to get the blogger's name.

Thank you Mac Brunson and staff. You have today given FBCJ and the Church a black eye!

Anonymous said...

The only way that this story will not get swept under the rug (which is exactly what the city would like to happen to it) is by you pursuing legal action.

Please do not give up - a lot of people in this city are behind you 100-percent.

Take them to task.

Anonymous said...

Posted today under the TU editorial: Let's face it. This will soon be gone from the pages of this newspaper. JSO and the State Attorney's office may be cleared of any technical wrong-doing in this case. But the issue won't be gone from people's minds because, though the identity of the blog owner may have been obtained within the technical parameters of the law, it still has a really BAD smell to it. It's a shame for the First Baptist Church members because their church will now carry a permanent black eye in the community. It's a shame for the City of Jacksonville residents, JSO and the State Attorney's office because you will now have a permanent black eye as well. People do remember this sort of thing for a very LONG time.

Be careful what you're willing to do for someone just because they are influential and remember that according to Scripture, you can be sure your sin will find you out. In secular language it is said this way: What goes around comes around. Not smellin' good, FBCJ, JSO, and SA. Not smellin' good at all.

Arce said...

This is not legal advice, but. As an attorney, I believe that a federal law may well have been broken by Hinson, the JSO and the SA, and that law includes criminal penalties. A visit with the local U.S. Attorney or Assistant U.S. Attorney may be the appropriate first place to start.

Second, I think there may well have been a libel committed by Mac Brunson in his comments to the newspaper. That is a state law issue more than federal. A civil trial attorney may be the most appropriate consult regarding that issue.

Finally, as a Christian and a Baptist (deacon as well) I believe that congregational governance is biblical and that the pastor is to be a servant of the laity with the laity in control of the church business. Bad things inevitably happen when one person has too much control in a Baptist church.

BTW, where you see an abuse of power, there is usually also another abuse, financial, sexual, or whatever, and vice versa.

Contented Man said...

Dawg,

Please do continue this fight. In that I am not a member of FBCJ, I'm not overly concerned with what's going on there. In fact, I knew nothing of it until it hit the papers.

However, I am gravely concerned about how the JSO handled this matter and I think every law-abiding citizen of Jacksonville should be as well.

Doug said...

Two Simple Questions I would like to ask in kindness:

1. Why didn't the blogger use his name when posting these improprieties?

I know men who have done this, but they have put their name to it to add credibility and integrity to what the accusations were.

2. Why didn't the Pastor, Teacher, Deacon, or anybody at the Church go to the blogger when they first found out he was the blogger on this site, and do as stated in Matthew?

I think they had the wrong attitude and should have been following Biblical Principles.

Following Christ , not MAN

Doug

Anonymous said...

"We don't have lawyers good enough [to handle the case] in the Office of General Counsel. We'd have to hire Hank Coxe, and that would cost a fortune."
-Hon. Mayor John Peyton, speaking at a Rotary Club of Jax meeting, as quoted by the Jax Financial News Daily Record.

Peyton's apparent point was that the General Counsel's Office wouldn't be up to the challenge if the city had to defend itself against a lawsuit from Waste Management over the Trail Ridge Landfill.

(FOLIO WEEKLY APRIL 14-20, PG. 10)

Anonymous said...

Sheriff Rutherford is spinning.........
and the more he tries to defend the actions of Hinson, the more he spins. He should have just kept his mouth closed and no one would have ever known just how silly HE really is. Now he needs to go right along with; Brunson, Hinson, the deacons involved at FBCJ and who ever else is cahoots.

Truth Purveyor said...

Arce, I believe that you are incorrect on several issues. Hopefully Tom will post my rather long list. It was Tom Rich who, before his identity was known, could be thought of as guilty of libel. Also, Tom Rich has absolute power as to whom he publishes any posts. Numerous posts that he allowed to be seen could be taken as possible security threats and warranted of investigation. Frankly, nasty stuff written by both sides could be considered threatening, also.

Notwithstanding, some of the things that Brunson has said or written could also be construed as libel and slander. You as well as I know that the burden of proof for libel and slander is a very high bar indeed.

As far as Federal laws that have been broken, it seems that all of the information published about blogging directly says that the laws have not caught up with the reality of blogging and that there are those groups pushing to have federal privacy statutes encompass bloggers.

Until the laws are changed the right of privacy as applied in the federal statutes for bloggers are tenuous at best, and rightfully or wrongfully are not valid. And if they were ever to propose legislation in that regard, we all know that the 535 idiots that we have in Washington probably would not have the guts to pass such legislation.

It must be restated that your suppositions of "other abuses" going on is mere speculation and hearsay as it applies to this blog. Although I do respect the rights of those who disagree their opinion, on both sides.

There are irrefutable facts on both sides. Unfortunately, there is a tremendous amount of hearsay that also has been blogged by both sides in this forum.

Once again, until Tom Rich files a lawsuit against whomever he wishes and the case has been adjudicated, nothing will be solved. I doubt very seriously that Brunson or FBC would file any type of lawsuit against Mr. Rich.

Whether Tom posts this or not, there are several truths that folks seem to be ignoring.

1. An authorized Pastor selection committee was voted on by FBC to search for a new Pastor and given authorization to "vet" all possible candidates.

2. This pastor, Brunson, was presented to the fellowship and voted upon to be the new pastor.

3. Brunson accepted the position without knowing what his compensation would be. This is the way that it has always been done at FBC.

4. He lived in a members condo in Amelia Island, not because he asked for it, or was worthy of it, but was offered by the leading of the Holy Spirit in the man's life who had the property. And also due to the generosity of the property owner, Brunson and his wife were allowed to stay there until a new home could be built for them.

5. His salary and compensation was not known to him or negotiated by him, but was the offer authorized by the search and finance committee.

6. Yes, he was given a property to build a home on. Also, not because he asked for it, or deserved it, or negotiated this as a condition of coming to FBC, but because a very committed servant of the Lord felt led by the Holy Spirit to gift the property to Brunson.

7. The fact that this property is in a gated community is just a fact and does not reflect anything other than coincidence as to where it was located. The man that gifted the property bought it some 25 years or so ago. I personally feel all of the blogging about it is "everyone's right" to know about the land gift is ludicrous.

8. As far as Brunson's wife being on salary is also not really relevant as she is directly working in ministry with her husband. I know what it is and is very paltry indeed, and I think that making an issue of this does not have a leg to stand on per se.

9. The fact that Brunson's son Trey works at FBC also really is not an issue. Many a pastor has a son or daughter working in ministry with them. Besides, any hiring has to be authorized by the finance committee, trustees, etc. The same is true with his wife working there with him in.

10. In the over thirty years that I have been an active member at FBC, once a month the finance committee publishes a written budget report for all to see and is given out when folks come into the service. What some are saying here is that they want more detail "accountability" than what has been provided for the last 70 years or so and want to know who is getting what in the finest detail. Such as their salary, benefits, retirement, vacation, etc. I think that this is totally unwarranted.

11. All of the trustees and deacons are approved by the church fellowship. What many on this blog are saying is that we should be doing it differently than has been done in thousands of churches, including this one, for the last several hundred years. By that I mean that all of these "trusted" men should provide resumes, background checks, etc., and then they are to be voted on like we do our public officials using some form of written ballot. Something other than a standing or oral vote. I think this is bunk.

12. Tom blogged anonymously for a long time. I, like most everyone, would not reply to anonymously posted blogs, emails, or letters. I know that Tom sincerely feels like he was doing the FBC fellowship a favor by blogging on what he perceived as wrongs, but that is not how the overwhelming majority of members feel.

13. I do believe that Tom and others have a right to their opinion, and yes, even have the right to blog about it, but as I said previously, do it without making threats that can be construed as worthy of investigation. Do it in a Christ honoring way. Do it in a way that leads people to the Savior and not away.

14. The bylaw issue is something else that makes no sense to me. I have been born again since 1970 and in all the churches that I have worshiped at, I have never, not once, asked to see the bylaws, were they were kept, or how do I access them. I am sure that Mr. Rich never has either, and I am could also speculate that he never viewed or studied the bylaws of his new church either.

15. Finally, I do wish that everyone could settle their differences in a Christ like manner that would bring glory to God and not hurt the cause of Christ. I do believe that both parties have said things that they wish they could take back. Personally, I have not liked the tone of the discussion from either side. And yet, I do sincerely wish that there could be healing for all.


Sincerely,

T

p.s. Tom thanks for posting my thought here!

Anonymous said...

Erm, Doug, when the "church" in question acts more like L. Ron Hubbard's Scientology and not as we might expect followers of Jesus to act, most NORMAL people are going to stay anonymous.

And, the actions of Mac Brunson and FBC Jax totally bear out the prudence of WD's actions. After all, it's not just WD that is covered by the no trespass order, but also his wife, who was not involved. Add to that the police inestigation and finally Brunson calling WD a "sociopath," and, yes, FBC Jax has more in common with Scientology than Jesus.

-- deana holmes

PASTOR/BROTHER ROD HENDRIX said...

Watchdog I support you 100% in your quest for Pastoral and Church transparency. Some of the abuses that you have chronicled strangely resemble some of the same techiques used by Darrell Gilyard an it's leaders when we confronted him over financial and sexually improprieties.To many times people sit an watch as Patsor's abuse and fleece the people for their own personal gain; Always under the guise of representing God! I also stood with and supported Tiffany Croft after Gilyard was arrested and I will stand in support of you as well. I have personally experienced what it is like to confront those in power at a Church as they attempt to protect their leader when he is in error.I never thought I would see a day when FBCJ would be embroiled in a scandal such as this.There is certainly something amiss at FBCJ. Christianity has and is suffering a black eye!

New BBC Open Forum said...

Who Hijacked My Church?

Anonymous said...

Funny how those outside of FBC Jax see clearly how the church is abusing the system to out a blogger and the mishandling of this matter by the church, yet those in the church continue to try and blame the blogger and make the focus about him. Isn't this what cults do? Only those outside the cult see the abuse while those inside love, respect and follow "God's man" no matter what. Kudos to the citizens of Jacksonville and those in the media for calling out FBC Jax on this one. Dr. Lindsey taught us to be "fruit inspectors" and the fruit of Team Brunson and Maurilio Amorim is rotten and stinks. And the band played on...

Anonymous said...

Truth Purveyor:
Re; No 1...Can you furnish one other name that the selection committee offered the position?

Re: No 3...As information, the entire congregation knew what Dr Lindsay's salary was to be as they all knew what the amount was and discussed it prior to their vote in 1968 to have him join his father as co-pastor. Also, all the deacons knew what Dr Vines salary was going to be when he came onboard as co-pastor with Dr Lindsay since they voted and knew what the amount was prior to voting on the amount offered and then they approved it.

Neither one of the Lindsays or Vines hired their wives or children and I doubt previous pastors did either. Just because some other churches do, does not make it the proper thing. I believe you will find it the exception rather than the rule.

No 13. What threats are you talking about?

Arce said...

As an attorney, I have read and reviewed the entire Watchdog blog over the past several weeks, taking the perspective of an attorney looking for some basis for a criminal complaint against the Watchdog. I have found none.

What the WD (or Tom Rich if you prefer) has done is to pose questions that are rather legitimate and appropriate for a member of a Baptist church to ask, and to post excerpts from Mac Brunson sermons and other statements by Brunson. None of that was or is legally inappropriate or actionable.

Others have posted things to the blog that might be considered questionable, but none seemed to pose a threat to Brunson or the church, nor did any appear slanderous against Brunson, the church or any of its members. Some came close to the line.

However, even a moderated blog can be considered an open forum, particularly if the moderator does not screen out any but the most egregious posts. Thus the WD is not responsible for the content of posts by others. In any case, none appeared criminal and, because Mr. Brunson has made himself a public figure (on TV, etc.), probably also not legally actionable.

In contrast, Mr. Brunson has made comments about Mr. Rich that would constitute slander in some jurisdictions. In addition, others posting to the blog have repeated those comments. Further, it appears that Mr. Brunson or other church officers have made statements about Mr. Rich to the discipline committee and to the deacons, including accusations of stalking and theft of mail; these may also be slanderous.

This is not legal advice. It is merely the opinion of a Christian, Baptist, Deacon, attorney.

Anonymous said...

So let's see,

you get outed by the police because you were talking trash about your church.

Now everyone's advice: Sue the church.

Mac Brunson is not the only one who will give account of his treatment of God's Bride on judgment day.

Arce said...

I also saw no "trash" talk from the WD!

Anonymous said...

And who the hell really cares? You're beating a dead horse to death with this ongoing BS.

Anonymous said...

"And who the hell really cares? You're beating a dead horse to death with this ongoing BS."

April 17, 2009 7:46 AM

Spoken like a true Brunsonite!!!

Anonymous said...

It is time for you to handle the legal actions that you may want on your own time as you see fit. I think it is time you move on and let the Church alone since you are no longer a member and are yourself as you accuse Dr. Brunson of just hurting the church by continuing this.

Voice of Reason said...

Purveyor of Truth or "T" - thanks for your efforts to actually address the concerns raised here. Had that kind of effort at dialogue been attempted in the beginning, perhaps we wouldn't be here. Let's try to continue it and build on it. I hope others will not be disrespectful to you and that you will continue to try and dialogue here.

Some things of concern you did not mention:

1.) What do you think about the pastor calling Tom a "sociopath" in an article that ended up on the front page Easter weekend? How might that effect Tom's reputation in the community?

2.) Do you agree with most Brunson supporters that simply by virtue of asking a question of this pastor that you are a "hater" or that you are "divisive" or that you "hate the pastor?" or my favorite...you are "attacking" him?

3.) What are your thoughts on the pastor writing one thing in his Pastor's Guidebook and then doing the opposite. (For example: accepting large gifts from members.)

4.) What do you think, really, of our paying tens of thousands of dollars per year to Maurilio Amorim to help us market and brand our church?

5.) How did you feel when the pastor said "give a million dollars...in two weeks" and then turned and walked away from the microphone? How did you feel when the actual giving was only about 25% of that? Was it just coincidence that the JSO opened its criminal investigation the very next day after the dismal offering?

6. Are you concerned that once Mr. Rich's identity was obtained, not ONE person from the church contacted him in accordance with Matthew 18?

7. Do you believe the trespass warnings against Tom and his wife, were necessary due to "church misconduct?" Was there any threat in allowing Mrs. Rich to watch her daughter sing on a Wednesday night? If not, why didn't Reverend Blount allow her attend. Especially since actual trespass warnings were not actually filed with Officer Butler until two weeks later during the Sunday School hour?

8. Were you at the deacons meeting where a one-side presentation was made against Mr. Rich and stalking and mail stealing charges were also discussed? Did you get the impression, as many others did, that the blogger was also doing these things, or may have been doing these things? Did you have to sign in for that meeting? If so, is that normal protocol for a deacons meeting? Were you aware that Mr. Rich wanted to attend and speak at that meeting in his defense but was not allowed by Reverend Blount?

9. Why do you think the ONLY ad ever played for a member's business during a sermon was played for Collins Builders? Have you seen one before, or since? Is it just coincidence that J.D. Collins was the one you say was "guided by the Holy Spirit" to give the land gift?

10. Do you, honestly, have ANY investments in Israeli bio-medical technology? If not, were you concerned about A.C and Ginger Soud holding a fundraiser in our church, with our choir singing in their robes, to raise funds for an Israeli hospital that performs abortions.

Well, I could go on. But I hope you will also address some of these issues. Rather than argue your points in your first 15 comments, I want to know your thoughts on these issues.

Thanks for coming on and attempting to dialogue with us about these issues.

VOR

Anonymous said...

April 17, 2009 8:50 AM - I agree both Tom and Dr. Brunson continue to "hurt the church" by continuing this conflict. Here is my solution: Tom moves on and deals with his ruined reputation for the rest of his life in his workplace and community and new church AND Dr. Brunson also moves on. Meaning he steps down as the pastor of FBC Jax.

I present this as a motion, do I hear a second? All in favor keep reading this post? Opposed? Motion carried. Let me know when Brunson resigns. My guess is the blog and lawsuits will stop that same day.

Anonymous said...

For years we (the sheep) only saw what they (Patterson, Brunson, Gaines, Hawkins etc.) wanted us to see. And we thought highly of them. So...why do you think they consider the internet the enemy? Because now the average Joe can connect the dots...and see how they REALLY operate. And that translates to a loss of power which causes anger which leads to doing really stupid things. And next thing you know you're on the front page of the paper. WOW! ( I think at some point I would have just answered the emails.)

Anonymous said...

You folks are a pathetic joke. If anyone disagrees with you then they are a "Brunsonite." Just shows your insecurities.

I'd like to know just how many of the posters on here are actually members of FBC, Jacksonville. I doubt if there are many. Seems like the lack of response from the church and its leaders basically says they don't give a tinker's dam about this blog and those that write on it.

My opinion is that both sides are wrong in this issue and its a disgrace to airing all of the church's (and Tom Rich's) dirty linen in public.

Grow up folks. This whole thing is a sick joke.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Anon 9:29,

I beg to differ. This blog, to my understanding, was never about getting rid of Mac Brunson. It was about obtaining the answers to some honest questions and getting the leadership to be more transparent. Many times Watchdog has stated that if Mac would just come clean, answer the questions honestly, and genuinely apologize for his actions (Sunday's "non-apology" doesn't cut it) that there would be no need for the blog. So no, this isn't about getting Mac Brunson to resign. If Mac resigns today, this thing isn't going away. Mac & Co. and the JSO have acted inappropriately, likely illegally, and they need to all be held accountable. The contention that we just want our respective pastors to resign and all will be well is as ridiculous as saying it's all about the music or the color of the carpet. A lot of people still don't "get it."

Anonymous said...

Truth Purveyor: In my opinion you couldn't be a purveyor of truth because it is apparent in what you posted here that you don't know the truth. You are basing your statements on hearsay. Some of us here don't need to listen to hearsay. We've been there through this whole mess and have seen the abuse for ourselves.

You don't have to "construe" anything to see plainly that Mac Brunson slandered Mr. Rich when he gave his comments to the TU reporter.

Mac Brunson is the one who could have simply met with people, answered their signed/unsigned e-mails and took a loving attitude at the BEGINNING. This blog would never have been created had he handled things correctly and in accordance with the Bible. Something you seem to be totally unaware of is that people did contact Brunson in the beginning --BEFORE this blog was even thought of. Some of them were granted an audience and then when their concerns were presented they were told to "find somewhere where you can be happy. But don't look for a perfect church - blah blah blah..."

Tom Rich has not been guilty of libel! And you will notice that Brunson has not claimed he's been libeled. He goes right to his pronoucements, with his Mighty Mouse imitation, to say that he is the protector of the church. Well, in my opinion he has done much more to harm the church than to protect it!

You, Mr./Mrs. Truth Purveyor,have no idea what the "majority" of members thinks of the issues in this blog but you have been told the majority agrees because everyone stood up when asked (intimidated) to do so. (I know of a few brave souls who stayed seated but it must have taken a tremendous amount of courage to do so!)

Unfortunately for Brunson etc., I think that there are a whole lot of people who have had their eyes opened to a not-so-loving preacher who chooses to call someone names rather than personally contact them.

You mentioned that you have never had a need to look at by-laws. Well, then shame on you and all of us for never asking about the by-laws! Members were told that if they wished to see the changes to the by-laws they could go to the library, ask for a copy of the by-laws and sign their name in order to see them. Then a person could sit down in the library and read them. You don't think that requirement is the tiniest bit odd??? I think that would be intimidating and likely caused a lot of people to not go and look because it might have been seen as divisive or negative. Do you think perhaps the "powers that be" at FBCJ got a list of the names of those who looked at the by-laws? You bet they did. They probably investigated the tithes given by each by-law reader, and based on the dollars given, they decided who to investigate further and who to just leave alone.

No, Mr./Mrs. Truth Purveyor, I don't think you have provided us with truth here. I think you have no idea of the full weight of the issues that have come to light.

Anonymous said...

I think the JSO investigation was warranted even if there was no criminal intent. I don't think Mr. Rich was guilty of a crime or even intended to commit a crime, but with the recent church shootings they had no choice. Given that if something did happen they would have been accused of worse, and by that I mean not investigating when they had the chance.

You WD blog supporters claim those on the FBC side are so blinded and close-minded yet you are unwilling to even consider this possibility.

The JSO does not need you criticism over doing their job. If it is to continue you should focus on those asking for the investigation.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

The Baseline Scenario > The Department Of Justice Is On Line Two.

I don’t generally overreact to news (from the NYT this morning, on the AIG-Goldman connection that runs through Edward Liddy’s stock ownership), but this has gone far enough.

Have we completely lost of sense of what is and is not a conflict of interest? Have we really built a system in which greed fully overshadows responsibility? Is it not time for a complete rethink of what constitutes acceptable executive behavior?

One of our country’s leading corporate attorneys made a telling point to me on Wednesday night, “the only way to control executive behavior is to criminalize it,” i.e., civil penalties do not change behavior - the prospect of jail time has to be on the table. His broader point was that antitrust action can make a difference in today’s world, but only if this includes potential criminal charges
.
.
NPR > Fresh Air with Terry Gross > Fighting America's 'Financial Oligarchy'.
.
Fresh Air from WHYY, April 15, 2009 · Former International Monetary Fund chief economist Simon Johnson has advised many countries in financial crisis. When it comes to America's current economic woes, Johnson says that U.S. suffers from "financial oligarchies" — government officials and elite members of the financial sector that run the country like a profit-seeking company.

In his article "The Quiet Coup" in the May issue of The Atlantic Monthly, Johnson explains that the close connections between government officials and financial leaders are a major part of the U.S.'s economic problems:

"We face at least two major, interrelated problems," Johnson writes. "The first is a desperately ill banking sector that threatens to choke off any incipient recovery that the fiscal stimulus might generate. The second is a political balance of power that gives the financial sector a veto over public policy, even as that sector loses popular support"
.
.
NPR > Suggesting Story Ideas to NPR.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:17am:

I second! I agree. This has to happen. Mac is done at FBC Jax. Hasn't preached the same since.

Anonymous said...

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

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 9:29am-

You seem to have forgotten that there is a third party in this conflict....the JSO.

The JSO teamed up with the church, and used their resources, in an attempt to silence a critic.

I am not a member of FBC. For all I care, the church can buy the Pastor Wayne Weaver's home in Ortega and pay him in blue buttons. It's not my concern.

But when church and state partner together to silence criticism, it becomes my concern.

So count me as opposed.

Anonymous said...

"13. I do believe that Tom and others have a right to their opinion, and yes, even have the right to blog about it, but as I said previously, do it without making threats that can be construed as worthy of investigation. Do it in a Christ honoring way. Do it in a way that leads people to the Savior and not away."

You need to reference the threats you cite. Link to them on this blog in quotations, please.

And as to leading folks to Christ, playing commercials from one of his supporters who gave him land is quite questionable. Not to mention many of his sermons I have heard. He is more into leading folks to 'give'.

Anyway, cite the threats in quotes. And lets discuss them intelligently whether they can be construed as threats by a reasonable person.

And if you have access to the police reports, it would help to link to those, too. Seems no one has seen them. I would love to see the date and time the police were called about a stalker and about mail theft.

Thanks for your cooperation

Anonymous said...

I saw this about FBC Jax on another blog:

"That church has been sheltering Dave Hyles for years without warning the congregation about him or ever confronting Dave over his unbelievable history of domestic abuse, pornography, and adultery."

Is this true about FBCJax? Hyles went there!!!! And was NOT disciplined???????

DMagoh said...

While I dont think what the JSO did was right, and while your concerns about the pastor at FBC Jax may or may not be founded (I make no judgement about that)...

...I see no authority in the scripture allowing a church member to ANONYMOUSLY air his grievances about his church or pastor.

If you have issues with your pastor, you should handle them Biblically, not through some anonymous and public airing of dirty laundry.

I think you should seriously ask yourself the question, "Is Jesus pleased with my blog that is belittling his church publically and anonymously?"

The pastor may be doing some things he should not be doing, I do not know because I am not there. But I do know that your public and anonymous blogging is doing more harm to the Kingdom than any gifts the pastor has accepted, or offices he has built.

I do notice that "Comment moderation" has been enabled and that "all comments must be approved the blog author". It will be interesting to see if you believe in first amendment rights when it pertains to someone who has a different opinion than you. Will you post my comment?

Anonymous said...

Amen to everything Arce says. You need to take his advice, Watchdog. Brunson might find out he's not as big as he thinks.

oc said...

"...I see no authority in the scripture allowing a church member to ANONYMOUSLY air his grievances about his church or pastor."

I see no authority in the scripture for allowing a church to cuddle up with secular government in an effort to silence a member of the congregation because that individual dissents from questionable actions of the leadership concerning that said church.
Show me that. Then we'll talk.

oc.

Anonymous said...

FBCJ and Mac Brunson have made some key errors in the way this thing has been handled. Their reputation in this community has taken a serious hit. Brunson has all but proven many of WD's posts about his pontificating abuses. WD. . .stick around and see this thing through and hold FBCJ and Mac accountable since no one at FBCJ will man up and do it.

DMagoh said...

In an earlier post OC said, "I see no authority in the scripture for allowing a church to cuddle up with secular government in an effort to silence a member of the congregation because that individual dissents from questionable actions of the leadership concerning that said church.
Show me that. Then we'll talk."

So what you are saying is, since what the pastor is doing is wrong, it is okay for the blogger to do something that is wrong? Yeah, I remember Jesus saying something about wronging those that wrong you... oh wait a minute, that was not Jesus, that was the Pharisees talking.

The bottom line is - the blogger has no authority from scripture to anonymously and publically air his grievances about the pastor or church, NO MATTER HOW WRONG THE PASTOR MAY BE. There is a Biblical way to handle those things.

oc said...

DMagoh,
Are you so blinded that you cannot see the absurdity of what you have just said?

You just proved my point with your own statement. I don't know what else to say, except thank you.

oc.

Anonymous said...

T -

Your 15 points were very, very, very well written. Every point was right on correct, especially #13, quote:

"I do believe that Tom and others have a right to their opinion, and yes, even have the right to blog about it, but as I said previously, do it without making threats that can be construed as worthy of investigation. Do it in a Christ honoring way. Do it in a way that leads people to the Savior and not away."My biggest fear about this blog site is not about who is right and who is wrong, but how many unsaved have viewed this blog site and decided with certainty that they would never care to know the Lord. I have no doubt that it has happened, but how many have been completely lost for eternity? 3? 10? 50? Perhaps even much more.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to say, but all of these comments from those condemning Tom and defending actions of FBCJ, they demonstrate the marks of a cult in the downtown church. Sad thing is, people around town are paying close attention and see this for what it is.

Someone dares to question the authority of the mighty religious leader, dares to point out questionable actions: by his very actions he is guilty of the vilest of sin, he is accused of "attacking" and "slandering" the leader, he is accused of attacking the church global and attacking Jesus Himself, he is accused of being the cause of others falling away from the faith or failing to see the light. Scary stuff. It is very cultic.

Strangley enough, these very same people who cry "stop blogging and trust God to handle things", demonstrate by their own condemning words that they themselves don't trust God to be big enough to accomplish His sovereign will despite a blogger.

Sad thing is, the people of Jacksonville are watching these events closely, and they don't see what they like at the big church downtown.

Anonymous said...

anon 4:06 pm Yes it's true that DH has been at FBC for a few years. Began attending under Vines leadership. Haven't seen him in quite a while so don't think he's still there.

oc said...

"The bottom line is - the blogger has no authority from scripture to anonymously and publically air his grievances about the pastor or church, NO MATTER HOW WRONG THE PASTOR MAY BE. There is a Biblical way to handle those things."


Oh no. Surely you didn't say that.
At least not on purpose.

But I'll go with you for just a minute...

You talk about authority...And the authority Brunson has is what? Show me the scriptural authority that Mac has to involve the secular legal and political powers in order to squelch dissention from a congregant who has a complaint about his ministry. Do the Scriptures tell the church to go to the secular law and make up stalking and mail fraud charges against a complainant? Where do you see Mac following the Scriptures in that?
Again, please show me from scripture that Mac is justified to do so.

oc.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog, you get a lot of unsolicited legal advice here, but you need some blogging advice.

Get yourself a Blogger nickname and post under that. And, it takes 2 minutes to set up a gmail account so that you may be contacted privately if someone so chooses.

As it is, the obvious confusion of not even posting "Watchdog" at the end of your posts my serve you at this point, but the ease with which one can wreak havoc in your comments is something to be addressed, in order to assure your readers that "Anonymous" really is you. You certainly owe that much to your cause. You don't want to deal with trolls, and neither do your readers.

One comment by some "anon" posing as you is all it will take.

And then you will be stepping and fetching to prove it was not you who said it, and it will take acres of writing to keep everything straight.

CYA, and soon.

Anonymous said...

Aha! Found your email and profile link. I didn't see it there last week. Thanks.

Still, why aren't you signed in when you comment so that you are protecting your validity?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - my profile and email link have always been there.

You're assuming that I'm posting anonymously. Not true. I have been mostly silent in the past few weeks, with just a few posts here and there under FBC Jax Watchdog.

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy the comments by someone telling someone to "man up" and do something.

Usually people that say that are: men, usually over 45, no sex at home, fat or overweight, terrible self-image, balding, obsessed with sex, blue collar, and in no position of authority in a church (other maybe than being an usher).

Grow up guys.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarification. I hadn't gone back through very many previous posts since the "outing" in the news, so I was baffled as to why I didn't see your name in the comments. Though to be honest, it did seem that some were speaking "for you" in a convincing way. Not seeing your profile link was certainly a brain-fart on my part!

Keep fighting the good fight.

Anonymous said...

OC: 2:08 AM: Very good points. (and I am not the Watchdog).

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:02 AM quoted and then said the following:

"I do believe that Tom and others have a right to their opinion, and yes, even have the right to blog about it, but as I said previously, do it without making threats that can be construed as worthy of investigation. Do it in a Christ honoring way. Do it in a way that leads people to the Savior and not away." My biggest fear about this blog site is not about who is right and who is wrong, but how many unsaved have viewed this blog site and decided with certainty that they would never care to know the Lord. I have no doubt that it has happened, but how many have been completely lost for eternity? 3? 10? 50? Perhaps even much more.

First, as to the bit you're quoting from another poster, how nice of him to recognize Tom's freedom of speech rights. Would be that FBCJ would do the same. I have been all over this blog and not seen one word that could be construed as a threat - unless you're a paranoid mega-church pastor with a lot of salary, benefits and power to lose. Which shouldn't really matter to Brunson, because if he's got half a brain, at that salary and the other "gifts" and "perks" he has, if he's not at least a millionaire, he's a total moron.

As to your comment, Anonymous 1:02, your fear is unfounded, is it not? Can't God save those He wills to be saved? You're afraid that some lost soul would come here and read and swear off the church forever? I thought if one was picked for salvation then one couldn't swear that off no matter what? It's a very confusing religion you serve. If the God of the Bible is real, I think that God can overcome a little blog.

I swore it all off long before this blog, and it wasn't because of blogs, it was because of people like Brunson and his followers. Hypocrites to the bone, and just a slight read-through of the posts here by his followers with their fleshed-out language and obvious impatience with WD, is exhibit A. It was realizing the Bible contradicts itself (free will and predestination anyone?) all over the place. It was being honest with myself, no matter how painful it was, and finally admitting that contradictions do exist in the Bible.

You will say, "They're not contradictions, you just don't understand them" to which I reply, "So, it really does take men to tell me what the Bible means because I'm not smart enough to figure it out. I reject that. Men wrote it, and men interpret it, and men oppress other men and women with it and their interpretations of it."

For example, Mac Brunson knows the Bible does not teach "tithing" in the N.T. era, but that does not stop him. He wants your money. He knows tithing is bogus as sure as the sun will come up tomorrow. But he doesn't care. Like our government and the POWER to tax, Mac (and many other "preachers") will never give up that POWER. If he really believed in true tithing, he'd have you bringing produce and wine to church too. For some reason, only money works now.

God is great, strong and all-powerful. He just can't handle money. He always needs more, and Mac is going to get it for Him.

Anonymous said...

Some pro-Brunson bloggers try to intimate that there are threats. What threats? I have seen NO threats. Indeed I have seen no crime committed by Mr. Rich. The only "threat" I saw was the "outing" of Mr. Rich by the JSO to the church and the publishing of his name. He is not protected by an organization or any personal guards. So Mr. Rich is the one that has been the victim here. But I perceive NO threats to either or anyone on this blog!!!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Jonathan Turley, law professor and frequent "talking head" commentator on TV, chimes in on the case:

Jonathan Turley 4/13/09 Article

Anonymous said...

"I do believe that Tom and others have a right to their opinion, and yes, even have the right to blog about it, but as I said previously, do it without making threats that can be construed as worthy of investigation. Do it in a Christ honoring way. Do it in a way that leads people to the Savior and not away."My biggest fear about this blog site is not about who is right and who is wrong, but how many unsaved have viewed this blog site and decided with certainty that they would never care to know the Lord. I have no doubt that it has happened, but how many have been completely lost for eternity? 3? 10? 50? Perhaps even much more.

April 18, 2009 1:02 AM

This type of thinking is so very man centered and is what is taught in many of our churches. The real point is this: Make sure we hide our dirty laundry well so that as phonies we can 'lead' people to Christ.

For starters, churches like FBCJax, do not lead people to Christ. They lead them to 'church' and 'churchianity'. Folks assume if they say a prayer, walk the ailse and get involved in church, they are saved.

Secondly, a good reading of scripture will show you that God is Sovereign and nothing could stop His work of salvation. A good reading would also show folks that God did not normally use the noble and influential to do His work in the NT. He used 'the simple minded', poor and in some situations the uneducated.

Ironically, the professionally educated Pharisee, Paul, was sent to the 'Gentiles' who were not impressed with someone educated by Gamaliel. The uneducated Apostles were sent to the Jews first. Oh, irony of ironies!

The comment above only proves the point that some of us are so very concerned about today: Few understand salvation and regeneration.

And even fewer are concerned with the purity of the Bride.

The 'ekklesia' is not a building. It is truly regnerated people who are the 'temple' where God dwells. Those folks where God dwells are not concerned with earthly matters, power,influence, wealth or 'numbers'.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Matt,

Just wondering if you are a member of FBC, Jax?

Anonymous said...

Matt, are you a Calvinist?

Thy Peace said...

WD:

Is it possible for you to do a review of Pastor Wade Burleson's book: Hardball Religion
Feeling the Fury of Fundamentalism
?

Here are some of the current book reviews at Smyth & Helwys.

Anonymous said...

"Matt,

Just wondering if you are a member of FBC, Jax?"

April 18, 2009 11:26 AM

I am part of the Body of Christ. The 'universal' ekklesia.

"Matt, are you a Calvinist?"

I do not follow the doctrines of men. We already have the best teacher. The Holy Spirit Who illuminates truth to us if we study and pray.

I believe that those who believe in election and those who believe in free will can both be truly saved. It is about regeneration not what they believe about the process of salvation.

I believe that Wesley, Ravenhill, Spurgeon, Pink and Ryle are praising God in paradise right now. All these folks were part of the Body of Christ while they were on earth. Despite their differences in the process of salvation. All had the fruit of regeneration in their behavior and teachings.

Paul heard the preaching of Stephen while he was being stoned and it did not move him one bit. He had to have the Damascus road experience. However, Lydia 'heard' the truth and her heart was opened to receive it.

I often think of the parable of the the seed being sown. If the heart is regenerated, the seed takes root and grows. Ezekial 36 is something worth reading on this subject.

Matt

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to tell you what I've learned from this blog and from being a member of FBCJ.

This blog has reminded me that we cannot look up to ANY man and expect him to live up to any expectations. They will disappoint us every time. I have learned that we cannot look up to Mac Brunson because he will disappoint us every time. In my own humble opinion I think Mac Brunson probably was called to the ministry and has somehwere along the line lost his way and is now called to the ministry of Mac Brunson and family. In my opinion I think he knows some of the error of his ways but he's too much into it to give it up now.

I've learned that the meaning of starting a new church does not mean starting a new "campus" of the church. I believe if you're going to start a new church then do it! Get a congregation going there and let the congregation call a preacher to lead them! Let them be autonomous!

I've learned that probably MB assigned JB the duty of getting the blog shut down and JB went further than he intended -- or anyway, he thought he could get away with it and was surprised to find he might have to answer questions about his methods. Frankly, I think he should be fired, along with Det. Hinson.

I've learned that I'm wise to go to a smaller church because there's just too much room for abuse behind those big closed doors downtown. There are too many layers in the chain of command at FBCJ. There's way too much money being wasted on salaries and especially on the incredibly large salary & perks of MB and family.

I've learned that there are bloggers who come here and post hate, claiming to be children of God but they are lying to themselves, not to God. There have been numerous postings from "important" people at FBCJ and they've posted hateful hearsay.

I've learned that when a church has to make a deacons' resolution and post it on their website, it's a pathetic attempt at intimidating the little guy from stating his opinions or asking unpopular questions.

I've learned that a person who finds it necessary to yell and stomp just convinces me that he's probably guilty as charged.

I've learned that MB does not deserve to be a pastor. He should leave now.

Anonymous said...

Matt: Indeed, something we hear very little about from any preacher, is Repentance. People do not like to acknowledge sin, therefore they have little to say about REPENTANCE.

Anonymous said...

Mutt,

You know where your heading as many others do. Go get your money . . . it fell right in your lap now your just playing chess making you no more transparent than anybody else.

You are no different, your love of FBCJ is obvious . . . you will fleece the church with a lawsuit too. It won;t even make it to court. When you hit mediation they;ll pay you off and all that you stood for will be paid off and you can then feel the spirit to move on.

The interesting thing is when part of the accomodations to paying you off is the removal of this blog completely and you do it all for the money . . . you will be as crooked as those you accuse.

That is funny! Good Boy. And that teaches your family what? I dare you not to take the money and just accept a resignation only otherwise all you "claim" to be important to you is a lie.

i know what you will do . . . your all the same. Then oc and all your other goons will find another cause to scream about.

Your not what you appear. Brunson may not be either but don;t think all outsiders fall for your rehtoric!

Anonymous said...

Matt,

I didn't ask you if you were part of the universal church, I asked you if you were a member of FBC, Jacksonville.

I did like the last post directed to the Mutt. There won't be any resignations forthcoming but if there is money offered, I'm sure he'll take it and run. Typical of guys (and women in Memphis) who run anonymous blogs. Too bad Tom isn't anonymous anymore. Kind of snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.

Anonymous said...

"I didn't ask you if you were part of the universal church, I asked you if you were a member of FBC, Jacksonville. "

Yes, your intentions are clear. However, I am convinced you are a member of the business organization named FBC Jax but are you a part of the universal Body of Christ? That is who He will be coming for: His Bride. The ekklesia.

For example, the Galatian church was not one home church in Galatia. They identified by 'regions' not 'local ekklesia' as you are suggesting. And each region had it own set of problems. Example: In Ephesus the temple of Artemus was considered one of the wonders of the world and had influence on the Body in that region. They were pagans who taught that Eve was created first and it was a fertility cult.

The Epistles were copied and passed around from ekklesia to ekklesia in many parts of the old world before what we now know as the NT scriptures. As a matter of fact, the books we know as John, 1,2 and 3 John and Revelation were some of the last ones to be written sometime after AD 90 and hand copied and carried from Ephesus to all the other regional Bodies. This does not suggest local church autonomy. All were part of the Body of Christ if truly regenerated. (We see in Revelation that some might not be who were in the churches)

The Jerusalem council in Acts should put this 'local church members only' are allowed to weigh in on behavioral problems and false teaching, to rest.

They thought of themselves as ONE Body of Christ.

On another note: "membership" in a local church NT style is nothing like we see today in churchianity. Therefore the constant quipping about this is really a moot point. One I will ignore after this comment.

One other reason why I do not think 'church membership' matters in this case is because your own pastor and other "members" took it outside the "local church" to the secular authorities and also to investigate others who are NOT members of your local business organization (church).

But I do understand where you are coming from. So many in the 'Baptist Identity' movement are making local church autonomy a huge issue. It actually helps to protect pedophiles on staff, sexual perversion from becoming public knowledge, financial impropriaties, etc. See, other leaders will not say a thing because of this wrong headed notion of local church autonomy. Members are expect to police their own which they do not do becasue they have bought into the idea that the pastor is a sort of CEO and his elders/deacons his board of directors. They are biblically ignorant.

What you are saying is that we should be able to do what we want and only those who are members are allowed to say anything. But even then, we know THAT is not true.

Your notion is cult thinking. It is called 'millieu control' and it is quite effective. But it has nothing to do with scripture.

If it did, John would never have publicly rebuked Diotrephes in a letter for folks to read for thousands of years. Because it would have been a 'local church matter'.

Your type of thinking is why we have so many denominations today. And why we see so much spiritual abuse and impropriaties.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Yea thats my point Mac is not resigning . . . so for the mutt to "stand by his convictions" he is going to have to fight a long hard fight. Which if he believes the way he has claimed for almost two years he will stand firm as all his goons say he does.

It will cost him time, money and energy away from his family but well worth it to expose such a devil to the world.

But if he just shuts up and goes away after getting paid it sort of minimizes him and his plight and exposes him to be the same he claims to be fighting against.

What to do, what to do . . . I know what he'll do "Show me the Money!" And when he does take the money guess who it will be from, his loving friends he speaks of so often down at FBCJ

What a mess for the mutt . . .

Thy Peace said...

Some interesting links from EFF:

Boston College Campus Police: "Using Prompt Commands" May Be a Sign of Criminal Activity.
Should Boston College Linux users be looking over their shoulders?

In his application, the investigating officer asked that he be permitted to seize the student's computers and other personal effects because they might yield evidence of the crimes of "Obtaining computer services by Fraud or Misrepresentation" and "Unauthorized access to a computer system." Aside from the remarkable overreach by campus and state police in trying to paint a student as suspicious in part because he can navigate a non-Windows computer environment, nothing cited in the warrant application could possibly constitute the cited criminal offenses. There are no assertions that a commercial (i.e. for pay) commercial service was defrauded, a necessary element of any "Obtaining computer services by Fraud or Misrepresentation" allegation. Similarly, the investigating officer doesn't explain how sending an e-mail to a campus mailing list might constitute "unauthorized access to a computer system."
.
.
US Government Rules that Use of Proxies Need Not Merit Extra Jail Time.
As Schoen told the Commission, "While proxies may be an advanced technology, using a proxy is often no more difficult than using Microsoft Word. Many kinds of people use proxies for all sorts of legitimate purposes, so only a court can reliably assess which uses are truly employed as a 'sophisticated means' of committing a crime and which are for privacy, free speech or some other innocent purpose.".
.
In Warrantless Wiretapping Case, Obama DOJ's New Arguments Are Worse Than Bush's.
Again, the gulf between Candidate Obama and President Obama is striking. As a candidate, Obama ran promising a new era of government transparency and accountability, an end to the Bush DOJ's radical theories of executive power, and reform of the PATRIOT Act. But, this week, Obama's own Department Of Justice has argued that, under the PATRIOT Act, the government shall be entirely unaccountable for surveilling Americans in violation of its own laws.

This isn't change we can believe in. This is change for the worse.
.
.
iPods, First Sale, President Obama, and the Queen of England.
President Obama reportedly gave an iPod, loaded with 40 show tunes, to England's Queen Elizabeth II as a gift. Did he violate the law when he did so?

You know your copyright laws are broken when there is no easy answer to this question.

And all of this even before you start asking what happens when the Queen connects her new iPod to her computer, thereby making even more copies (the UK, after all, lacks a fair use doctrine)... UPDATE: Prof. Michael Froomkin points out that the Queen enjoys sovereign immunity under UK law because she is, well, the sovereign.

Of course, no one thinks that copyright owners are going to send lawyers after either President Obama or the Queen over this. But none of us should want a world where even our leaders--much less the rest of us--can't figure out how copyright law operates in their daily lives.
.
.
Surveillance Self-Defense.

Thy Peace said...

The following links are from Under Much Grace Blog:
.
Milieu Control (Lifton 101).
Most simply stated, “Milieu Control” is the control of an environment by controlling the information and activities within the environment. Pertaining to manipulative and closed groups, this involves control of communication and generation of acceptable information to be disseminated among the membership. Ultimately, the group seeks to control the thought environment of individual members, and it is this internal milieu control that produces the isolation from society at large. The cognitive dissonance produced by the incongruent messages received from the outside creates the natural desire to withdraw or filter information that does not coincide with information within the group. It’s too draining and stressful to constantly try to reckon conflicting worldviews, so isolationism seen in closed systems of thought is often a necessary adaptation. Healthy people do filter information, but in closed systems, the group dictates what sources of information are restricted in an effort to maintain compliance and limit dissent..
.
Showing posts with label LIfton: Milieu Control.

Anonymous said...

April 18, 2009 7:38 PM - you are way over stating it dude. The WD will not accept any settlement. Like Mac said, the WD is persistent. He is not like Mac and cannot be bought and paid for by men throwing money at him. He wants answers from Mac and Debbie and John Blount, under oath. And he will get them. We agree Mac won't resign, just like Gilyard didn't and like Bob Gray didn't and like Jimmy Swaggart didn't. These guys get caught red handed and their sheep are so gullible, they actually RALLY around the abuser. Nothing but standing ovations for Mac NO MATTER WHAT is revealed. Poor Mac is the victim, remember. So YOU keep giving and supporting him NO MATTER WHAT.

So, it is about holding Mac, the JSO and SAO accountable. The lawsuits will do that. And win or lose, the WD gets his answers, these guys are held accountable, and the WD moves on. It is not about money. But....if that is what it takes to get the attention of th money lovers down at FBC Jax, why not? I mean Mac took his $307K from a member, why not the WD get much more from many more such members?

I kind of like the thought of that.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 11:11, don't assume anything about my motives or what we will or won't do. I do want the truth to come out, that is for sure.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Hi everyone!

**looks around and notices trolls are still present**

**turns and exits**

Anonymous said...

mutt,

No listen to your goons . . . lol. Look at the nasty monsters that have come out from under their rocks. they are the followers of great mutt who does his dirty work and defends him the way the brunsonites defend him.

What will you take money or truth? You will take the money!!! and your goons will be shocked, not me brother.

By the way I don't go to FBCJ anymore after 20 some years. I left because the Brunson era was not my taste. So you can not claim I'm pro Brunson.

You will sell out just like those you try to attack thats all I am saying. Tom I don't care for you anymore than Brunson but your goons act as if you're this righteous warrior . . . don't let them down.

Your reputation in front of your family and goons hangs in the balance . . . :) It is already ruined on one half but can you spin this hard enough to save it in front of the other half?

The internet goons will blindly stand by you regardless. You will take the money and you will pull down this blog . . . your goons will be shocked!

- the prophet

Thy Peace said...

Jax News > Readers respond to detective's investigation of critical blogger.
.
News that the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and First Baptist Church teamed up to uncover a blogger critical of Pastor Mac Brunson has caused an outpouring of emotion in the community.

Some say Detective Robert Hinson, also a member of the church and Brunson's security detail, was right to disclose the blogger's name to the church despite finding no criminal activity had occurred. Others say it was unethical for Hinson to even conduct the investigation, let alone release Thomas Rich's identity to the church hierarchy.

The resulting banishment of Rich and his wife from the church has outraged some and pleased others.

The Times-Union asked readers recently to e-mail their views of the issue. About 50 responded. Here are some of those responses, many of which have been edited for brevity and clarity.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rich,
Online Conservative Blog Hotair has picked up your story.

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/04/19/subpoena-outs-blogger-in-church-row/#comment-2117482

Romabit said...

Please consider contacting the ACLU for professional legal advice about this case, which is really about the police corruption and abuse of power. I don't know anything about Florida or your church, but from across the world your story is being shared online, through Digg and Stumble and other media sites. I added it myself to a few places, to get the word out. There are many Christians that have encountered persecution at the hands of those that claim to have the moral high ground. Jesus himself comes to mind.
Remember to live a Christ like life, and ask forgiveness for sins past that you may now live a life above reproach. I take no sides in the accusations made on this issue, except to say that police and authorities are in OUR service and are responsible for enforcing OUR laws. The church vs. watchdog issue resides only in the hearts of those involved: if your intention is anything other than shining the light of Christ on injustice and it's victims, then perhaps it is you (yes, you reading this) who should change your heart. No matter what, imagine your adversary as Jesus himself and treat him/her with the same respect you would give the Savior. It was His only commandment, to love each other as he has loved us.

Anonymous said...

Prophet,

By any chance is your name Santini Corleone? You sure sound like him.

Anonymous said...

Matt,

Sorry to disappoint you (and to relegate your rantings about churches to a nod) but I am NOT a member of FBC, Jax.

I was asking because you seem to think you have this inate spiritual ability to know what everyone is thinking, what they are doing, and their motives and ulterior motives. To be able to do that, you would have to be God and you sure aren't Him.

Your speculations are merely that--idle speculations of someone that isn't even a member of the church (the local body of baptized believers that call themselves FBC, Jax.)

Anonymous said...

"I was asking because you seem to think you have this inate spiritual ability to know what everyone is thinking, what they are doing, and their motives and ulterior motives. To be able to do that, you would have to be God and you sure aren't Him."

One does not have to be a mind reader. One just needs to look at words and actions over a period of time to discern fruit. Mac has been around for a while and well known.

Motives don't matter a bit. Never did.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Sorry to disappoint you but motives do matter.

The sad thing is that since you aren't a member, then you don't actually know the facts either. Watchdog is hardly a source of genuine truth.

Former FBC Insider said...

It's easy to pick out the current Brunson followers, they feel free to spew their anger and ridicule those that don't agree with them... just like Mac Daddy. Two years of it as their shining example has been enough for them to pick up that behavior without a thought. It's normal to them now. Sad but true.

Anonymous said...

Call the ACLU man, they will help you.

Anonymous said...

"Sorry to disappoint you but motives do matter"

How is that? Why do motives matter when it comes to behavior and teaching in the Body of Christ?

Jesus teaches us to look at fruit. Period. He goes quite into depth about it. No where does He tell us to judge WHY the heart and mind do and say what they do. But we are taught to judge behavior (IN THE BODY ONLY) and teaching.

What you want to believe is that one can have good intentions, do very wrong things and the 'good intentions' make that ok. Wrong behavior and wrong teaching are what is to be judged. And we have also been given a good look in scripture of what it means when teaching and behavior do not match.

You make blanket statements but refuse to back them up with scriptural content or even basic reasoning. Tell me why motives matter when it comes to professing adult believers in the Body of Christ. I am sincerely interested in hearing what you have to say on the matter.

Matt

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is that since you aren't a member, then you don't actually know the facts either. Watchdog is hardly a source of genuine truth.

April 20, 2009 8:16 AM

The subpeona's are not truth? The trespass warnings are not truth?

Matt

New BBC Open Forum said...

"What you want to believe is that one can have good intentions, do very wrong things and the 'good intentions' make that ok."I think I've heard this before. What was it? "It was a mistake of the mind, not the heart"? Yeah, that's it!

Fairlyodddmother said...

You need to sic the ACLU on these guys!!

Anonymous said...

ACLU

Anti Christian Legal Union

Yes, they enjoy ripping up the Church.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, it looks like the church needs to be held accountable. In the areas of sexual abuse AND in financial abuse AND in abuse of power to "shut em down." Bring on the ACLU...the church has abused its position of trust.

Anonymous said...

ANON 4:06 PM In the more than three decades at FBC, I have never heard of the name Dave Hyles. For the record, the church does not hide or shelter anyone. You may think that if you wish, that is your opinion. And the last time that I checked, and our beloved Matt will concur, that the church is for sin sick folks who need the healing touch of the Lord. I am sure that you probably think bringing something like that up would be detrimental to FBC, but your hypocritical charge is just that. Hypocritical!

Anonymous said...

And the last time that I checked, and our beloved Matt will concur, that the church is for sin sick folks who need the healing touch of the Lord. I am sure that you probably think bringing something like that up would be detrimental to FBC, but your hypocritical charge is just that. Hypocritical!

April 20, 2009 11:48 AM

Actually it is not. Read 1 Corin 5 very closely. If Hyles was accepted into the church knowing the situation without public repentence, (true repentence which takes time to see fruit) then the church is literally protecting evil and teaching that this behavior is no big deal. Paul has some serious words for this in that passage.

The confusion between 'we are all sinners therefore we always continue to sin' is one of the most misunderstood doctrines.

The church is NOT a hospital for sinners. That thinking is why we are where we are now. That suggests that we never get out of our hospital beds, rip out the IV's and walk in the light eating meat. That cannot be true because scripture teaches just the opposite. Walking in the light denotes a lifestyle of growing in Holiness.

The problem is we do not understand sin. Our very thoughts are sinful. God is so Holy that we do not even recognize the sin in our hearts that never becomes an action of sin.

As we grow in Holiness, things we would not have thought of as sin now we see as sin because it is 'missing the mark' of Gods perfection. It is a far cry from the evil "actions" of sin we see all around us every day even at church. We have dumbed down sin to the degree that we are desensitized to it. I often look at it this way. 70 years ago even an agnostic would think of certain things as wrong. Like say, bearing so much flesh at the beach. Today, professing Christians are wearing skimpy bikini's on the beach.

What changed? Our definition of sin. Our definition of Holiness.

We forget so easily than when the church was being formed in Acts, that God struck Ananias and Sapphira down for lying. Peter said they lied to God/Holy Spirit. That is how serious God takes the purity of His Bride.

We have been taught to excuse our sin by saying that all fall short so it is no big deal. He does not require perfection. And thank the Lord, that He does not. But that is no excuse for continuing to only drink milk and never feast on the meat of the Word. That is no excuse for not growing in Holiness and seeking to take our thoughts captive and making them obedient to Jesus Christ. That is a long way from condoning evil actions.

Read all of 1 John, not just the parts we like. Then go on over to Hebrews 10:26-31 and Matthew 7 to get a taste of truth.

The process of sanctification is one step forward and 2 steps back. the point is that we are in daily repentence and striving to be obedient to God.

Saying 'sorry' is not repentence. Repentence is brokeness for sin. Turning away from the sin. The Holy Spirit convicts us and we are broken and turn away. We are changed. It is a work of the Holy Spirit.

Some of you may not realize this but the biggest problem in our churches is pornography. And not just in the pew. It is the dirty secret no one wants to talk about. Pornography leads to spouse abuse, rape, pedophilia, etc.

The saga of the entire Hyles type of Christianity is very grievious. Here is a rundown on David Hyles:

former Youth Minister, First Baptist Church of Hammond; ex-pastor, Miller Road Baptist Church (Garland, Texas); serial adulterer; divorcé; cohabitator; alleged child abuser; suspected child killer

After somebody at Hyles’ church discovered porn magazines containing ads for group sex which featured photos of Hyles having sex with church member Brenda Stevens (by some accounts, she was the daughter of a deacon), it came out that Hyles had had extramarital sex with some 19 female members of the church.

Every one of these women was apparently stupid enough to think she was Brother Dave’s “one-and-only,” according to a taped phone conversation with Dave’s wife Paula. And, as you can guess, more than a few marriages where destroyed when the truth came out.

What happened next: Miller Road Baptist threw him out, his wife divorced him and took off with their two kids, and he started living with Stevens (out of — gasp! — wedlock) in Illinois.

Where it gets really tragic: Stevens had a small son, Brent. Dave Hyles was suspected of abusing the boy — who had suffered some eight or nine broken bones in his short life, which had never been treated. Brent was taken out of Hyles and Steven’s Illinois home and given to his biological father in Texas. Within a few months, for reasons beyond comprehension, Brent was returned to Stevens.

And then, in late 1985, 15-month-old Brent was found dead in his crib. Hyles, who had been alone with the child, claimed he found him, not breathing, and called police.

A coroner’s inquest into Brent’s death (at which Hyles took exercised his Fifth Amendment rights — and which the baby’s mother didn’t even attend) was thwarted because the little boy had been embalmed and buried the very next day, before a proper autopsy could be performed. (An empty bottle of Actifed — for which a prescription had been filled only the day before Brent’s death — was found at the scene.)

Without any physical evidence of wrongoing, Hyles was not indicted. The case remains open.

In the mid-1990s, Hyles went to work teaching Sunday school at a Pinellas Park Baptist Church in Florida — which reportedly expelled him on charges of adultery. It’s also been reported that he was thrown out of the next church he attended (Berean Baptist Church in Orange Park, Florida), for “sexual misconduct” with three different women.

(One of those women was church secretary Joyce Phaneuf, who was arrested for prostitution in 2003.

Just when you think it can’t get any more tragic: Hyles finally married Stevens, and they had their own child together, a boy named Jack David. In March, 1999, when the child was five years old, Stevens ran over him with her car, killing him. She claims he must have fallen out of the vehicle, and she didn’t know it.

Where Hyles is now: We’re not really sure, but, ironically, in 2003, Dave Hyles was spotted attending worship services at Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville — whose former pastor Bob Gray was, in early 2006, arrested on multiple counts of sexual battery against children (and whose current pastor appears to have tried to cover up the abuse).

Last we heard, Dave was a member of the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, whose pastor is Jerry Vines, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Without true brokeness and repentence before the Body of Christ, can the church worship in Spirit and Truth with this man attending? Repentence takes time to see the fruit. Are the children being protected? Are there women there being pursued by this man?

These things can be well hidden in mega's. Sheer size is protection for many of these types.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Matt,

Should we follow the Chinese home churches?

Anonymous said...

I want to add that the ekklesia was intended to be made up of Born Again, (regenerated) Christians. In other words, folks were added to the church after they were saved. We see only one instance of folks just happening to come in (I think it is in Corinthians and about tongues). They did not come to the ekklesia to GET saved. (This is how we do it, we invite them to church and hope it rubs off on them. That is why our churches are filled with biblically ignorant unregenerate)

The ekklesia were 'called out' ones who went OUT with the Gospe message.

This is one reason we have so much teaching in the Epistles about false teachers, wolves, those who come in to spy out our liberty, etc. Paul warned about this in Acts 20. The Epistles are chock full of teaching on this matter and the problems in the Body.

So much that we believe are the traditions of men and therefore meaningless in many cases. Not all. For example, where is an altar call in the Body described in the NT? Where is a pulpit? Where do we see ONE guy always preaching? Who was the pastor of the church at Corinth? The elders? Philippi?

Matt

No One Special said...

So I was at Walmart last night and while standing in line, I noticed a guy wearing a black FBC colored shirt. In some small talk, I said, "Hmmmm First Baptist eh??", He said, "yes", I said, "So, how's that pastor working out for you guy's down there" smiling waiting for the answer.

Answer: Middle finger salute.

I just responded: "Yea, that what I figured, have a blessed day sir" and just laughed.

Ron in Houston said...

Well, your story is getting legs and is becoming known outside of Florida.

What happened to you is so wrong and so very scary at the same time.

Personally, I hope you sue the pants off them.

BROTHER/PASTOR ROD HENDRIX said...

Matt very provacative thoughts!I really enjoy reading your comments,and how true they are!

Thy Peace said...

Legal Schnauzer > Blogger Draws the Ire of a Southern Mega-Church

Anonymous said...

Hey, what happened to "Purveyor of Truth?" He came on sounding as if there were actually defensible answers to some questions, but when engaged, he disappeared? I will repost my comment below in case he comes back on the blog. But not only is his screen name arrogant "purveyor of TRUTH", but it is an outrigth lie. He is a purveyor all right, but I need to get my hip boots on when he tries to engage the issues and then runs when asked some straight questions.


Some things of concern you did not mention:

1.) What do you think about the pastor calling Tom a "sociopath" in an article that ended up on the front page Easter weekend? How might that effect Tom's reputation in the community?

2.) Do you agree with most Brunson supporters that simply by virtue of asking a question of this pastor that you are a "hater" or that you are "divisive" or that you "hate the pastor?" or my favorite...you are "attacking" him?

3.) What are your thoughts on the pastor writing one thing in his Pastor's Guidebook and then doing the opposite. (For example: accepting large gifts from members.)

4.) What do you think, really, of our paying tens of thousands of dollars per year to Maurilio Amorim to help us market and brand our church?

5.) How did you feel when the pastor said "give a million dollars...in two weeks" and then turned and walked away from the microphone? How did you feel when the actual giving was only about 25% of that? Was it just coincidence that the JSO opened its criminal investigation the very next day after the dismal offering?

6. Are you concerned that once Mr. Rich's identity was obtained, not ONE person from the church contacted him in accordance with Matthew 18?

7. Do you believe the trespass warnings against Tom and his wife, were necessary due to "church misconduct?" Was there any threat in allowing Mrs. Rich to watch her daughter sing on a Wednesday night? If not, why didn't Reverend Blount allow her attend. Especially since actual trespass warnings were not actually filed with Officer Butler until two weeks later during the Sunday School hour?

8. Were you at the deacons meeting where a one-side presentation was made against Mr. Rich and stalking and mail stealing charges were also discussed? Did you get the impression, as many others did, that the blogger was also doing these things, or may have been doing these things? Did you have to sign in for that meeting? If so, is that normal protocol for a deacons meeting? Were you aware that Mr. Rich wanted to attend and speak at that meeting in his defense but was not allowed by Reverend Blount?

9. Why do you think the ONLY ad ever played for a member's business during a sermon was played for Collins Builders? Have you seen one before, or since? Is it just coincidence that J.D. Collins was the one you say was "guided by the Holy Spirit" to give the land gift?

10. Do you, honestly, have ANY investments in Israeli bio-medical technology? If not, were you concerned about A.C and Ginger Soud holding a fundraiser in our church, with our choir singing in their robes, to raise funds for an Israeli hospital that performs abortions.

Well, I could go on. But I hope you will also address some of these issues. Rather than argue your points in your first 15 comments, I want to know your thoughts on these issues.

Thanks for coming on and attempting to dialogue with us about these issues.

VOR

Thy Peace said...

Jacksonville First Baptist Has Police Out Anonymous Blogger

Anonymous said...

"So I was at Walmart last night and while standing in line, I noticed a guy wearing a black FBC colored shirt. In some small talk, I said, "Hmmmm First Baptist eh??", He said, "yes", I said, "So, how's that pastor working out for you guy's down there" smiling waiting for the answer.

Answer: Middle finger salute."

Seriously? a guy in Walmart wearing an FBCJax gave you the finger for asking how the pastor is working out?

Where is Mario or Maurillo whatever his name is. Probably getting a pedicure by Theresa while he twitters.

We know it is not a real church but I thought at least they would try to pretend to be one. That guy is great PR for the church, eh? I think we are finding out that it is full of such folks.

Anonymous said...

Awesome Thy Mess . . . the atheists are chiming in, well God Bless! Finally!

Anonymous said...

Dawg,

Your restraint is an extreme example of Christian love. I can only assume that it is your dedication and adherence to Christian values that you have not yet sued the JSO for their overt infringemet of your right to privacy and free speech. Believe me, JSO would be singing a different tune reagarding their "appropriate" actions during their investigation once they receive a lawsuit.

Similarly, Mac's slanderous statements regarding you deserve legal action (against Mac personally, not FBC).

Standing up for your rights is not un-Christian. Lawyer up Dawg. Your fight is right.

Anonymous said...

Matt,

Should we follow the Chinese home churches?

April 20, 2009 12:52 PM

I am assuming you mean the organization of these churches? Very informal?

(I have an old friend who has been in and out of China working with the underground churches. These folks are willing to die for their faith. The women in these churches sound amazing to me. They street witness and preach and are arrested and tortured routinely. Don't be fooled, there are government approved churches there, too. Those are the ones that famous pastors visit when going to China. They are NOT the same thing.)

I am not against brick and morter churches ( as it grows, I think it is wise to plant new churches)

I attend one and right now we are focusing on Eph 4 as the foundation to build our spiritual unity. We are determined at this point not to focus on building programs but people. We want all members to pray for spiritual gifts and for those gifts to be exercised for the edification of the Body. Easier said than done.

We are Baptist but not typical as we have total budgetary transparancy. Everything is open. Nothing hidden. We have
women deacons and have no problem scripturally with them teaching anyone requardless of gender. (Those are some of the most misinterpreted proof texts out there. I say this as someone who was totally against women teaching men for many years. I was a fool that thought I understood scripture but I ignored all the obvious contradictions in both the Old and New Covenants)

Our goal is spiritual maturity and quite frankly, many of those are our women. What Paul wrote has been horribly twisted for thousands of years to benefit a patriarchal view of culture. I know that is very controversial but I would advise folks to first study Gen 1-3 alone with the Holy Spirit as their ONLY teacher. Much has been taught wrong about our sisters. God help us. Wewill answer for attempting to shut up half of all believers.

Elders choose themselves by their spiritual maturity. It could be the maintenance man or the stay at home mom. They are recognized by their love for the Body and their commitment to the Word in context. In effect, they live out the Word of God. They 'model' and 'stand before us' not as authorities but as servants to all in the Body.

But folks are leaving the institutional church in droves. And to our surprise, it is not those who are 'not of us'. It is those who are tired of the circus, the shallow teaching and supporting charalatans who have made ministry a career ladder who are looking to write their next big seller and have their own para church ministry all the while being a pastor of a church.

Barna has done some interesting research on this. Recently a book came out called 'Quitting Church' that also chronicles what is going on. I think we will hear more and more on this.

Mega's are hurting...they have climaxed and are now changing strategies. The granddaddy mega, Willow Creek came out a few years back and said they got it all wrong and changed...guess what...their programs. They saw the problems but their solution was wrong. They gave their shallow teaching a cursory look but really did not change much. Now most mega's are into the multiple campuses/sat church model to grow. It is a response to declining membership. It is desperation to look like they are growing. They are also appealing more and more the culture. My opinion is that Driscoll's church is built on this premise. He is one angry dude. He is following the mega principle with a twist of quasi-Calvinist legalism. People love rules because it is easier to follow rules than abide in Christ. That is why Christian 'books' sell well. Folks are looking for the magic formula to live by.

I don't know but that we will eventually be forced into home churches. For the remnant. I see a day coming when tax deductions for offering will be eliminated. I think it will probably be soon. That will change everything as it will also effect the tax status of the church, land, buildings, etc. Mega's will struggle to pay even the light bill on those monstrosities. The days of flowing money are catching up to them.
(Mega's depend on attendance for offerings)

To be truthful, I am not so sure that will be a bad thing for us. Persecution purifies the church. The church was built on the blood of the martyrs. Read Acts 5-6. Strange what happened after Ananias and Sapphira. We also have history to show how persecution is the precursor to our Baptist heritage.

I am not a huge fan of Barna but he does do some great research. I would check out his book, Pagan Christianity to get an understanding for what is tradition of men when it comes to church. He gets the history right in that book.

Jon Zens is also an excellent resource for what is really 'church'. Just google 'searching together'.

I see the internet as a huge blessing to the Body. So many are searching for regenerate believers to pray with, study with, etc. They are finding one another online. They are from different denominations who are willing to put away the secondary differences to Magnify His Name and build one another up in the Lord.

What a huge blessing for us. Let's pray for each other. Constantly.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Great.

Now this whole thing is being mocked by Atheist websites.

That is what happens when you take Church issues outside the church. There is plenty of blame to go around on that, but much of it lays at the feet of Mr. Rich, NBBCOF and their ilk.

Arce said...

Matt

I really appreciate some of the things you talk about in your post regarding your church and have similar approaches to gender, transparency, etc. as part of my "free-radical" faith in the Incarnate Word. Would love to be able to communicate with you off the blog.

Arce

Truth Purveyor said...

VOR aka Voice of Truth, I have not forgotten your request. I have been very busy. While I am working on answering your questions, could you please help me out? Everyone keeps saying more transparency, etc. Could you list specifically how and in what format you and the others are saying is needed? I am not clear as to the specific methodology that y'all are asking for.

I will get back to you shortly with the answers that you seek.

Sincerely,

T

Truth Purveyor said...

VOR,

Some things of concern you did not mention: I will attempt to answer you completely, although I know that you might disagree with my answers.

1.) What do you think about the pastor calling Tom a "sociopath" in an article that ended up on the front page Easter weekend?

ANS: Not the best choice of words
in my opinion.

How might that effect Tom's reputation in the community?

ANS: I don't think that most people take seriously any comment of that nature. Nor do I think that it would hurt his reputation.

2.) Do you agree with most Brunson supporters that simply by virtue of asking a question of this pastor that you are a "hater" or that you are "divisive" or that you "hate the pastor?"

ANS: No I do not.

or my favorite...you are "attacking" him?

ANS: As far as attacking, I feel that it can be construed as that.

3.) What are your thoughts on the pastor writing one thing in his Pastor's Guidebook and then doing the opposite. (For example: accepting large gifts from members.)

ANS: I have never read it, don't know where it is, when it was published or how it was disseminated. I would say if he used terms like "be cautious", "carefully consider", "what is the motive of the giver", etc. then those throwing this up as a defense are taking what he wrote out of context.

4.) What do you think, really, of our paying tens of thousands of dollars per year to Maurilio Amorim to help us market and brand our church?

ANS: The first that I heard of this was on this blog. Personally, if this is what the deacon and pastoral leadership feels is in the churches best interest, then I am fine with it.

5.) How did you feel when the pastor said "give a million dollars...in two weeks" and then turned and walked away from the microphone?

ANS: Frankly, that did not register on my radar screen the way you and others have portrayed it.

How did you feel when the actual giving was only about 25% of that?

ANS: This also did not bother me. I have seen many, any times in the past when our previous pastors made similar large requests and the funds did not show up overnight. Remember, the escalator?

Was it just coincidence that the JSO opened its criminal investigation the very next day after the dismal offering?

ANS: I do not know if your timeline is correct. I certainly cannot remember that happening when you say. As far as any coincidence, I would have no knowledge to really base an answer on. Sorry.

6. Are you concerned that once Mr. Rich's identity was obtained, not ONE person from the church contacted him in accordance with Matthew 18?

ANS: Here is where we really will disagree? It was Mr. Rich who since July 07 was blogging anonymously about issues that "HE" had since the pastor came. Personally, I think that he should have done what you said and gone directly to the pastor as Tom Rich instead of blogging the way that he did. Personally, I might have done things differently, but that is me.

7. Do you believe the trespass warnings against Tom and his wife, were necessary due to "church misconduct?"

ANS: Frankly, I concur withe the trespass warning on Mr. Rich, but I personally did not see the need for one on his wife.

Was there any threat in allowing Mrs. Rich to watch her daughter sing on a Wednesday night? If not, why didn't Reverend Blount allow her attend. Especially since actual trespass warnings were not actually filed with Officer Butler until two weeks later during the Sunday School hour?

ANS: I do not feel that there was any threat on her part. I am not Reverend Blount and do not know the genesis of that decision, nor can I expound on the timing of the trespass warrants since I do not have more detailed knowledge.

8. Were you at the deacons meeting where a one-side presentation was made against Mr. Rich and stalking and mail stealing charges were also discussed?

ANS: No I was not there.

Did you get the impression, as many others did, that the blogger was also doing these things, or may have been doing these things?

ANS: Sorry, I was not there.

Did you have to sign in for that meeting?

ANS: Sorry, I was not there.

If so, is that normal protocol for a deacons meeting?

ANS: Sorry, I do not know.

Were you aware that Mr. Rich wanted to attend and speak at that meeting in his defense but was not allowed by Reverend Blount?

ANS: Yes, after the fact like most everyone else. I do know that he wanted to have "representation" at the meeting and they considered that request as more judicial and not ecclesiastical, which I don't think that was to be the tone of the meeting.

9. Why do you think the ONLY ad ever played for a member's business during a sermon was played for Collins Builders? Have you seen one before, or since? Is it just coincidence that J.D. Collins was the one you say was "guided by the Holy Spirit" to give the land gift?

ANS: I was present at that service and did not take this the way everyone else has been so critical of. I took from the sermon how these young men honor the Lord in their business like Truett Cathy does with Chik-fil-a, and not as an advertisement for Collins Builders. Besides these guys obviously invest a lot in advertising because I see have seen them in the past and see them today advertising in all forms of radio, television, and print media. Personally, I think y'all are libeling good men who have pure motives.

10. Do you, honestly, have ANY investments in Israeli bio-medical technology?

ANS: No. Frankly I have never heard of these investments, although I am extremely heavily invested in the market.

If not, were you concerned about A.C and Ginger Soud holding a fundraiser in our church, with our choir singing in their robes, to raise funds for an Israeli hospital that performs abortions.

ANS: I did not take this as a fundraiser at all. Nor did I see ant subversive nature in the meeting. I know that numerous pastors around the country support this type of "support Israel" meetings. The last time that I checked the Choir and orchestra do everything on a volunteer basis.

I hope that I was able to answer your questions, although I know that you and others will not like all of my answers.

VOR, please don't forget to answer my previous question. Looking forward to our discourse.

Sincerely,

T

Thy Peace said...

This is a great interview. Please listen to it.

Mainstream Baptist > Podcast: Wade Burleson Interview.
.
Podcast (7MB Mp3) of Dr. Bruce Prescott's 4-19-09 "Religious Talk" radio interview with Rev. Wade Burleson, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Oklahoma and author of "Hardball Religion: Feeling the Fury of Fundamentalism."

We talk about Burleson's transition from being a trusted foot soldier in the post-1979 Southern Baptist Convention to being a dissident blogger against SBC fundamentalism. His blogging proved so controversial that he became the only Southern Baptist trustee to ever be "recommended for removal or officially censured." Despite that, Burleson and other dissident SBC bloggers were instrumental in electing Frank Page as President of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2006 and 2007.

Anonymous said...

While I doubt this will get through either, let it be stated for the record that some comments that to not suit the blog owners agenda are not making it through.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Not true Anon.

The only posts that have not made it through are very UGLY, profane posts that have said things about Brunson.

Some posters have posted things under very old posts, and of course you won't see those here in this post.

If there's something that didn't make it through, post it again.

I am not interested in keeping posts out - even very ugly ones about me I'll let through unless they are profane.

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight. The reverend used the police to find out who the blogger was. Then the trespass notice was delivered by two reverends to the bloggers house, in person, by them.

Normally, the individuals who hand out such notices are officers of the court. So wouldn't this be unusual, in that the two reverends are doing what is done by officers of the court? Isn't this backwards? I hope that this type of legal work will not catch on as it could lead to some very interesting legal improprieties. Is this even legal or binding under state statutes? Any attorney out there knows how this is normally accomplished and should be handled? No one has mentioned this so far, and I just had this question. Thank you.

Voice of Reason said...

Purveyor of Truth - thanks for your answers. That wasn't so hard was it. Perhaps had Mac just done exactly what you had done many months ago,the blog would never have been needed.

And as you point out, I do not agree with your answers in some cases, and in many others find it hard to believe you don't know the answer or don't find some of the actions troubling. But still, I respect the fact that you did answer them and folks who read your answers can draw their own conclusions.

Thanks for the dialogue. Not much light shone on any of the troublesome issues, but at least you demonstrate that attempting to answer some concerns is not so difficult.

VOR

New BBC Open Forum said...

"I have never read it, don't know where it is, when it was published or how it was disseminated."

"The first that I heard of this was on this blog."

"I do not know if your timeline is correct. I certainly cannot remember that happening when you say. As far as any coincidence, I would have no knowledge to really base an answer on. Sorry."

"I am not Reverend Blount and do not know the genesis of that decision, nor can I expound on the timing of the trespass warrants since I do not have more detailed knowledge."

"No I was not there."

"Sorry, I was not there."

"Sorry, I was not there."

"Sorry, I do not know."

"No. Frankly I have never heard of these investments, although I am extremely heavily invested in the market."
No disrespect intended, but for someone who claims to be the "purveyor of truth" you don't seem to know very much about it.

Anonymous said...

I would say Truth Purveyor voluntarily lives with his head in the sand.

There have been a number of posters who have said if WD had just gone to the preacher and revealed who he was blah blah then this blog would never have been needed in the first place. Even to this very day people have contacted the preacher with signed e-mails & signed letters and all that happens is screaming and stomping from the pulpit about negative people -- don't be sending me e-mails!!

I have personally contacted him and he didn't react very well. He skirted the issue one time and the other he just didn't want to talk about the topic at all.

Regarding the advertisement for the Collins boys, no one suggested that the Collins boys ASKED for an advertisement. But boy they got one for free and it just didn't smell too good to folks who knew the true score, (that is that their Daddy had made an extemely large gift to the preacher). IT STUNK! Though it might not be illegal to accept that kind of gift, we need to avoid the very appearance of impropriety! That goes double for a preacher!

So don't come here posting that nothing inappropriate has happened when you have NO CLUE what really goes on behind those big doors downtown!!!

Doug said...

The Internet, the Great Equalizer!

Mac's ministry at this church is history. Guaranteed!

He will be resigning soon if he is a smart man.

Been there, seen this before - twice as a matter of fact.

Again I say,.... THE INTERNET, THE GREAT EQUALIZER

DOUG

Anonymous said...

I believe Mrs. Rich could definitely win a lawsuit against offending parties, as she did nothing wrong and was treated very badly. Not allowed entrance to the church she had served, nor to see her child perform. They just "shut her down".

Anonymous said...

Yes, Tom should file a lawsuit to further demonstrate his carnality and complete disregard for others in FBCJax.

Anonymous said...

Sorry folks, but the church is the one that ISSUED trespass papers.The Rich's were the RECIPIENTS!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon April 20; 9:59

You really need a Florida lawyer. I am not licensed there.

I was involved in a trespass case a few years ago, and one of the big issues that came up was whether the owner had ever told the defendant to leave or not enter the premises. There was some dispute on that point and it became a big deal at the trial.

It's like a "No Trespassing" sign posted on property. If a person goes on that land and had reason to see the sign, they can be prosecuted. If there is no sign, and the person goes on the property, they have to be asked to leave first. If they don't, then they can be prosecuted.

So, generally, the owner first must tell the person to leave or stay off the property.

This message can be delivered by the owner. Law enforcement does not have to be involved.

The only advantage to having law enforcement involved is possibly removing any question as to whether the letter was delivered.

But I don't think that is an issue here. There is no dispute that the letter has been delivered.

Since the letter has been delivered, if the recipient of the letter now comes on the property, the police can be called to remove the person.

If the letter had not been delivered, there might be some people who would tell the Dog to leave and others who would tell him that he could stay. The letter is the official action of the church, and it has been delivered.

These things are prerequisites to any further action.

Again, this is all very general and is subject to what additional specifics Florida might have.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Louis 10:43...Thanks for your input, however, we have here something quite unique. A member of a local church and his wife which are just like everyone else a member in good standing is given a trespass notice without first being given an opportunity to provide their side of the dispute. What about this exact senario?

Anonymous said...

"demonstrate his carnality and complete disregard for others in FBCJax"

No that would characterize Mac! And you are demonstrating YOUR complete lack of good judgment and discernment.

Anonymous said...

Louis:

I would say the majority of readers here didn't need an 11 paragraph explanation of trespass legalities.

And as usual your post comes across as if you had never understood one single word concerning what has taken place @FBCJ.

A person blogged negatively, not illegally! The preacher and staff did not like being blogged about. They decided to cook up something with "possible criminal overtones" and with that gained the blogger's name. They issued trespass warnings. The newspaper reporter found the info and contacted WD. When the preacher was asked to comment he decided to call the WD names instead of approaching him from a biblical viewpoint. And here we are.

And yes, it IS as simple as that!

Anonymous said...

Thy peace what is the deal with you and Wade? Every blog you put an article up about him even when it does not pertain to the subject at hand. Why don't you move to Enid and join his church you love so much?
It Is Written you remind me of the pastor who so wants to have a megachurch your always commenting on FBCJax why dont you worry about your own church or do you have one of the ones that is small for a reason and can look after it one day a week?

None of the rantings on here is going to change anything. It just gives Christians a bad name. This is the kind of things lost people use for a reason not to join the church.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

TP and IIW - I appreciate your contributions here and you are always welcome to post.

Anonymous said...

Anon April 21:

Please know that I am not commenting on the right or wrong of the situation per se. I was only trying to provide what little bit I know about trespass law.

I do not believe that in order for an owner to request that someone not come on their property or leave their property that they have to give the owner an opportunity to present their side. (I am not saying that they shouldn't be allowed to, but only that to my knowledge it is not legally required).

So, that if the owner has notified someone not to come on their property, and has delivered something like the letters in this case, the police are not going to "look behind" that letter to see if the owner is making a good or fair decision. The police, if called, will simply ask the person to leave.

The original question was, Who has to deliver the trespass warning letters, the police or may the owner do it themselves.

My belief (subject to a Florida law expert) is that the owner can do that.

Sorry if I continue to miss the point. Thanks for your understanding.

Louis

Thy Peace said...

Thanks Watchdog for your support.

WSJ: Banned From Church.
.
On a quiet Sunday morning in June, as worshippers settled into the pews at Allen Baptist Church in southwestern Michigan, Pastor Jason Burrick grabbed his cellphone and dialed 911. When a dispatcher answered, the preacher said a former congregant was in the sanctuary. "And we need to, um, have her out A.S.A.P."

Half an hour later, 71-year-old Karolyn Caskey, a church member for nearly 50 years who had taught Sunday school and regularly donated 10% of her pension, was led out by a state trooper and a county sheriff's officer. One held her purse and Bible. The other put her in handcuffs. (Listen to the 911 call)

The charge was trespassing, but Mrs. Caskey's real offense, in her pastor's view, was spiritual. Several months earlier, when she had questioned his authority, he'd charged her with spreading "a spirit of cancer and discord" and expelled her from the congregation. "I've been shunned," she says.
.
.
.
.
Tom Ascol, does things little differently about this aspect. Here are his comments:
WSJ on church discipline.
When a person is removed from the membership of a church in keeping with our Lord's teaching in Matthew 18, he or she is not to be "shunned." Neither should they be forbidden to sit under the public preaching of the gospel. They need the gospel and, while we cannot treat them as members any longer, we should welcome them the same way we would a "Gentile or tax collector" (in other words, an unbeliever). We recently had a member who was excommunicated several years ago show up for a worship service. I was glad he was there and told him so. I prayed for him during the worship, that God would capture his heart with the gospel. This is far from the caricature that is portrayed in the WSJ.

There is a difference in church discipline and "pastor discipline." I have known of a few cases where overly zealous pastors tried to remove problem members in the name of church discipline. But, because their congregations had not been adequately taught and were not fully on board with the process, it really wasn't "church" discipline at all.

One of the first things a faithful pastor must do when he finds that a church has neglected the practice of corrective church discipline is teach. He must carefully explain passages like the one cited above and 1 Corinthians 5. Then he must teach some more. And then some more. He must lead the membership to see and embrace what the Bible says about the integrity of a church's identity and testimony as the body of Christ. Only after a congregatoin has been adequately taught can they be expected to properly carry out the practice of church discipline.

Where this goal is intentionally pursued with patience and love, the practice often can be reinstituted in a healthy, God-honoring way. This is one of the greatest needs in American evangelical churches in our day. While caricatures must be avoided and abusive practices must be rejected, the engagement of loving oversight and accountability breeds vitality and unity in a church.

Lydia said...

Louis 10:43...Thanks for your input, however, we have here something quite unique. A member of a local church and his wife which are just like everyone else a member in good standing is given a trespass notice without first being given an opportunity to provide their side of the dispute. What about this exact senario?

April 21, 2009 11:41 AM

You will soon find out that Louis does not bother himself with the basics of Christian ethics or Christian behavior. And he claims to be an elder.

(He also had NO problem with what Paige Patterson did to Dr. Klouda)

Asking Louis such questions is like asking the wolf what he thinks about the chicken coop.

I have been reading Louis for a long long time...way back on the Outpost.

Lydia said...

"Please know that I am not commenting on the right or wrong of the situation per se."

He never does. But if you read him long enough and closely, you will see that he always errs on teh side of the powerful and the authorities.

I would not want him for a lawyer (if he is one) NOR an elder.

New BBC Open Forum said...

What would have been interesting had Watchdog not mentioned the letter and trespass notices to Mrs. Watchdog. Then if she'd accompanied her daughter to the Wednesday night service to hear her sing... wonder what Mac & Co. would have done then? Can't you just see security dragging a lady out of the building who has no clue what her "sin" is?

Of course, we have a precedent at Bellevue. There they dragged out a 15-year-old girl who was reportedly sitting peacefully in an evening service, handcuffed her, and the off-duty police officer/rent-a-cop cussed her out in front of several witnesses. (This same officer was demoted and later fired for an on-duty incident after which he unsuccessfully attempted to get his job back.) Yet he's still at Bellevue, driving busloads of junior high kids out of state on choir trips and last I heard, still on security detail at the church. Yep, these sheeple must be kept in line!

Anonymous said...

"It's like a "No Trespassing" sign posted on property. If a person goes on that land and had reason to see the sign, they can be prosecuted. If there is no sign, and the person goes on the property, they have to be asked to leave first. If they don't, then they can be prosecuted."

In Florida you are not required to "post" your property anymore. A few years ago the laws were changed. This is of interest to me as I am a hunter and must know if I am hunting legally while on private or public land. So I can be issued a ticket or arrested for trespassing even without knowing I am trespassing. However, most of the time people are simply asked to leave and not come back.

IT IS WRITTEN said...

"It Is Written you remind me of the pastor who so wants to have a megachurch your always commenting on FBCJax why dont you worry about your own church or do you have one of the ones that is small for a reason and can look after it one day a week?"


April 21, 2009 12:23 PM....

Thanks for the compliment!!!.And yes I do have a small congregation;But a quality congregation of Biblically sound happy fellow believers!!!.I assure you that I don't spend one restless moment worrying about becoming a mega-church!!!.Our members understand that's it's all about Christ and His purposes and not about us!!!.Our members all understand that all men are fallible,including me so therefore "follow me,as I follow Christ";But know and keep your eyes on Jesus for He is your Lord!!!.And yes it does bother me when I see Pastoral abuses in any so-called Church and I admire Dr.Dog for his courage in standing against the corruption in FBC Jax!!!.Finally considering your above statement I see you are another of the Mac defenders lacking anykind of spiritual discernment!!![1Thess.5:21;2Tim.4:3]

Anonymous said...

It's ironic that so many FBCJ-ers are complaining that Mr. Rich has blackened the church's name, etc, etc. No one outside your church would have known, much less cared, about this blog if the church had not taken the step of using its influence to obtain a questionable warrant to violate the privacy rights of a citizen. That makes both the church and the JSO appear shockingly corrupt.

So Mr. Rich - one more vote for you to contact the ACLU and sue JSO as well as FBCJ.

Anonymous said...

None of the rantings on here is going to change anything. It just gives Christians a bad name. This is the kind of things lost people use for a reason not to join the church.

April 21, 2009 12:23 PM

Contrary to popular thought, joining a church does not save anyone.

Matt

Junkster said...

New BBC Open Forum said...
What would have been interesting had Watchdog not mentioned the letter and trespass notices to Mrs. Watchdog. Then if she'd accompanied her daughter to the Wednesday night service to hear her sing... wonder what Mac & Co. would have done then? Can't you just see security dragging a lady out of the building who has no clue what her "sin" is?

Of course, we have a precedent at Bellevue. There they dragged out a 15-year-old girl who was reportedly sitting peacefully in an evening service, handcuffed her, and the off-duty police officer/rent-a-cop cussed her out in front of several witnesses. (This same officer was demoted and later fired for an on-duty incident after which he unsuccessfully attempted to get his job back.) Yet he's still at Bellevue, driving busloads of junior high kids out of state on choir trips and last I heard, still on security detail at the church. Yep, these sheeple must be kept in line!

April 21, 2009 1:03 PM
Quote from the article:

"Once someone has proven that they're willing to abuse their authority, I think you've got to think twice before you're willing to put somebody back in that position and give them that power again," Simpson said.Well, that just about says it all, huh?

Truth Purveyor said...

Thy Peace, there is a lot more to the story of Karolyn Caskey if you research more than the one article you listed.

One major point was that this is a fundamentalist Independent Baptist Church. Unlike Southern Baptist, these churches are totally autonomous. These churches are on the farthermost right side of Christendom, and then they are right of that. They are also notorious for the extremes they go in church discipline.

If you do more research you will find that she had a trespass warrant on her and when the police were brought in she was asked numerous times, very politely, to leave the premises. She not once, but many times refused to leave, even with the threat of arrest. The police were obligated by statute to enforce the warrant when she profoundly refused to leave. Even after many attempts to have her leave peaceably.

The only semblance this case has with FBC is the trespass warrants being issued. But just like that case if these warrants are violated, then the police must enforce them if asked. My statements here have nothing to do with how right or wrong I or others think the warrants are, just the rule of law.

Sincerely,

T

New BBC Open Forum said...

Junk,

That's exactly the part that jumped out at me.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"One major point was that this is a fundamentalist Independent Baptist Church. Unlike Southern Baptist, these churches are totally autonomous.".

Southern Baptist churches are totally autonomous, too. At least that's the argument the SBC uses when it refuses to create a database of convicted and credibly accused sexual predators.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to share a few comments from the current Midnight Call magazine, which seem to fit here:

Regarding Elisha and his refusal to accept Naaman's large offer of money after curing him of leprosy: "Elisha knew of the potential danger"

"One of the most tragic developments we see in so-called men of God is when they begin to bring about "blessing" for themselves and to abuse the gifts God has given them"

and

"We find proof of our faith in our everyday lives. In our lives and service for Jesus, our motivation and qualifications are reflected. How far prepared are we to turn our lives over to Him, give our possessions to Him, and show a true pilgrim's attitude?"

Mac, have any thoughts on this?

D

New BBC Open Forum said...

I'm reading Too Great a Temptation by Joel Gregory. He was the guy FBC Dallas hired to be the pastor in 1991, but W.A. Criswell refused to step down, remaining as "Senior Pastor." Amazingly, Gregory lasted 21 months. What's interesting about it is what you read between the lines about the SBC and megachurches in general. I feel the need to take a shower every time I put it down.

A couple of quotes, the first regarding the vote to have a co-pastor...

Not surprisingly, the vote to find a co-pastor was "unanimous." Every vote since 1944 had been unanimous, for one very good reason: Criswell never asked for an opposing vote. He would simply call for the vote, witness the show of hands, and declare by fiat, "That's all of us." Most folks thought the floor of the old sanctuary would fall through if anyone ever voted no. Observers noted, however, a growing number of abstentions over the recent years.
Hey, just like they do it at BBC and FBC Jax!

Charles Stanley, at their infamous little airport meeting/marathon (which included Jerry Vines, Adrian Rogers, and a handful of other mega pastors) to save Paige Patterson from being fired by the trustees of Criswell College, was paraphrased by Gregory...

After opening the meeting I [Gregory] let the visiting dignitaries have their say. And have it they did. These pastors were not in the habit of interference from laymen in their churches. They ruled like kings. They proceeded to lecture the trustees [of Criswell College] at length concerning the person and value of Paige Patterson. Jerry Vines and Charles Stanley were clearly hot. Stanley recounted his own battles at First Baptist, Atlanta. On his accession to the pastorate, an oligarchy of laypersons opposed him. He then spelled out to Bo Sexton [trustee chairman] and the trustees the horrible things that had happened to the families of those who opposed him: disease, death, divorce, etc. The implication was clear: if you touch Paige Patterson, God will get you. I was sitting next to Bo and thought he would explode.
Ick, ick, iiiiick!!!

Anonymous said...

Many can tell you, that to be on the opposite side of an opinion, whether on purpose or accidentially, when dealing with some mega preachers, will bring you pain and suffering. Some people are so naive as to believe they can speak freely to "their pastor" and remain in good fellowship, or indeed remain in the fold. Not so....prepare to suffer or leave, or both. Your church life as you knew it is OVER. Maybe this is why people blog., anonymously.

Thy Peace said...

Wade's blog > Censure, Censorship, and Church Citizenship.
.
"I received a phone call from an older sounding man from Florida. He gave me his name but it was hard to understand on my cell phone. His purpose in calling me as the Director of Missions of Cherokee Strip Baptist Association was for me to report you to an "ethics committee" in the association to get you censored . He said you were writing harmful things on your blog concerning the leadership at the FBC in Jacksonville,FLA . I asked him a particular instance in which you had harmed the church's leadership. He would not list anything but he said that he would send me the blog material. I told him I was not interested because I did not spend time reading any blog except for the one that keeps up with LSU sports ! After the conversation, I read your blog and found the various entries related to Jacksonville. I do appreciate the way you asked the right questions in seeking to find the truth."

"The reasons that I share this with you is two-fold : (1) I am proud of your leadership in pastoring in such away that your church is really committed to missions in Enid and around the world and in giving to the Cooperative Program ; and (2) I am proud of the way you use your special communication skills to present other sides of issues in seeking the truth."

I do not know who it was that called my Director of Missions, nor am I interested in knowing his identity. However, I think the phone call evidences why it is that some Southern Baptists feel like they must write anonymously. It seems a few churchmen have a knack for trying to intimidate others into silence. In the end, it never works.

Thy Peace said...

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

Comment by Pastor Wade on Fbc Jax Watchdog's blog.

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

Lessons in Dealing with a Disgruntled Member.

Anonymous Writing Is Not Intrinsically Evil.

Spiritual Abuse Masked as Spiritual Authority.

Your Honor, Please Help Us Understand.

The High Cost of Stifling Criticism and Dissent.

Abuse of Authority: It Must Not Be Ignored.

Censure, Censorship, and Church Citizenship.
----------------------------------
New BBC Open Forum Blog:

Who's really the sociopath here?.

This is the "Biblical Pattern" for Church Discipline?.

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

Jacksonville, FL Church Cover-up - Déjà Vu, Bellevue?.

Spending God's Money.
-----------------------------------
Jacksonville Times-Union:

Unmasked blogger blames First Baptist, Sheriff's Office
A subpoena is used to obtain critic's identity from Google
.

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

Jax News >Readers respond to detective's investigation of critical blogger.

Church's use of power is troubling.
-----------------------------------
First Coast News.

FOX 30.
-----------------------------------
From Stop Baptist Predators:

FBC-Jax: "Big Brother meets Big Church".

Bully Bylaws.

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

The Big Daddy Weave > Megachurch Passes Resolution Against Blogger.

Baptist Planet > Fbc Jax posts.
-----------------------------------
Baptist Life Forums:

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

Making criticism criminal.

Church discipline according to FBCJax.

FBC Jax Calls for Sever of Ties to Lifeway Over "The Shack".
-----------------------------------
From around the world:

Science Blog > Pharyngula > Mac Brunson, Baptist tyrant and greedy Pharisee.

ExChristian.net > Church pulls strings in an attempt to muzzle a blogger critical of the leadership.

Legal Schnauzer > Blogger Draws the Ire of a Southern Mega-Church.

Jacksonville First Baptist Has Police Out Anonymous Blogger.

WebProNews > Google Helps Identify Anonymous Blogger.

JONATHAN TURLEY > Baptist Church Accused of Using Florida Detective to Uncover and Identify Critical Blogger.

Business Week > FBC blogger feels privacy was violated: Law enforcement says his privacy rights weren't violated, but there are concerns about the investigation. [The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville].

Deep Thoughts > Where is the love?.

Photography is Not a Crime
It’s a First Amendment Right > Florida cop abuses subpoena authority against bloggers who criticize pastors
.

Forums > Law enforcement exposes blogger for pastor after revealing salary.

The People's Forum > Unmasked blogger blames First Baptist, Sheriff's Office - A subpoena is used to obtain critic's identity from Google.

at-Largely > Alert, press under attack: blogger critical of church pastor targeted by cop who is member of the church....

Bene Diction Blogs On > Whereas…the FBC Jax Watchdog blog.

Bene Diction Blogs On > SBC Jax Watchblog update.

Bene Diction Blogs On > Whereas, First Baptist Church Jacksonville and law enforcement.

Christian School Confidential > to the blogger's of Jacksonville.

my TPM blog > And yet again -- another blogger outing.

ABP News > Authorities expose blogger who has been hounding FBC Jacksonville.

Daily Kos > FL megachurch security detail/sheriff's dept unmasks blogger's ID.

Megachurch Uses Police to Out Critical Blogger's Identity.

First Baptist Church of Jacksonville Florida: Snakes and Vipers.

On my soapbox RE: FBC Downtown.

Hot Air > Subpoena outs blogger in church row.
-----------------------------------
Debbie Kaufman's blog:

Enough Is Enough.
-----------------------------------

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Thanks Thy Peace for posting those.

Incredible how much interest there is in this.

Truth Purveyor said...

To the Mrs New BBC Open Forum, you posted:

"Of course, we have a precedent at Bellevue."

This is not a precedent by any stretch of the imagination or jurisprudence. As far as we are concerned in Florida, this is hearsay and has nothing to do with trespass warrants. If this teen was allegedly removed from the service for being disruptive and the Officer abused his authority, then shame on him and he deserves what he gets. If he is still serving at your church, and does not repeat his bad behavior, then what is wrong with that? Driving folks on a bus is hardly a leadership position.

We are all sinners, perhaps except you, and capable of behaving badly. Mam, I am confident this applies to you also. We all have done things in a public forum that we are not proud of, but 1 John 1:9 still applies.

Trespass Warrants in Florida can only be enforced if the recipient receives it and those who pursued the trespass warrant wishes to have it enforced by the rule of law. Again, I personally have no knowledge as to why one was issued on Mr. Rich's wife, but the fact that it was is still law. And if a trespass warrant is violated and a police officer enforces it, they will ask the person to leave the premises voluntarily. If the person refuses this lawful order, even though opinions vary on the validity of the warrant, the officer is obligated to remove this person bodily.

In summary, trying to use your "precedent" is not legitimate in relation to this issue.

Sincerely,

T

Anonymous said...

"In summary, trying to use your "precedent" is not legitimate in relation to this issue."

Huh? Another lawyer at work here?

You certainly have the knack to conveniently overlook the non biblical behavior in mega's like so many do.

Mac and Gaines had the same role model: Paige Patterson

Truth Purveyor said...

Mrs New BBC Open Forum, I would like to post about this statement that you made also:

"Southern Baptist churches are totally autonomous, too. At least that's the argument the SBC uses when it refuses to create a database of convicted and credibly accused sexual predators."

I can see the reason you and others might want to create a database of "convicted" sexual predators. I think that the fact that they are "convicted" they are already on State databases as sexual offenders. That may be the reason why the SBC does not see a need to create a database.

Personally, I would like to see a Federal database, since these predators move around and many times they do not register as required by law with the State that they move too. As a victim of childhood sexual abuse, this is what we should all be blogging and lobbying for.

As far as your comment for those that are "credibly accused", there is no such legal standing. The Constitution clearly states that we are presumed innocent until adjudicated in a court of law by a jury of our peers. I have been involved in many a case were the person that was "credibly accused" were in fact totally innocent and adjudicated accordingly.

To the best of my knowledge, I don't think any denomination publishes a list of "convicted" predators.

Also, the innuendo about this guy named Dave Hyles that was allegedly protected by FBC and Jerry Vines is pure hearsay. His father was the pastor at Berean Independent Baptist church in Fleming Island, Fl and I have lived in that area for over a decade and never heard of any of these alleged abuses. That does not mean that they might have existed, though.

The last time I checked, churches do not do a background check to allow someone to join their fellowship. FBC like many other churches interested in protecting children do run extremely detailed background checks on anyone who wishes to teach or have any type of contact.

Mr. Rich's wife can confirm that the preschool area FBC had pictures of all those convicted of sexual crimes that a background check or someone reporting to FBC was aware of. That is the most any one can reasonably do to protect these innocent ones.

In summary, "convicted" no problem, "credibly" accused or otherwise, is a violation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Sincerely,


T

Truth Purveyor said...

Anon 10:06, obviously you have had bad experiences with lawyers. All of yours or anyone else's posting will not change the fact that the greatness of America is it's reliance on the Rule of Law. This, like religious freedom, was one of the reason our forefathers came to this land.

Without the rule of law, we would be another Iraq or Iran. As far as overlooking something, that is not my modus operandi. I do not look at things strictly under man's law, but also prayerfully strive to meld God's Law into my thought process. Therefore, your attempts to disparage my motives and comments as irrelevant are baseless.

As far as what is biblical and non-biblical behavior, that too is a matter of a person's perspective and history. All of my homosexual friends think we are all "hate-mongers" because we believe what the scripture teaches on the subject. They also disagree with what we as Christians perceive as God's view on marriage.

I can come up with an equal number of people on both sides of the issues in this blog that fervently believe their positions are totally supported by Scripture.

As far as Mac and Gaines having the same role model, this too is strictly your opinion and I am sure that you have many ways to support your position. Personally, I hope that all pastors, deacons, trustees, and lay people have only Jesus as their role model. That is the most that any of us can pray for.

In summary, please don't lump lawyers all in the same box. By the way, do you know why the University of Florida stopped using rats in their medical experiments and started using lawyers? Their students were falling in love with the rats!

Sincerely,


T

Lydia said...

Truth purveyor:

You have the same problem that Louis does. You cannot separate Caesar from God.

The Body should not operate on worldly principles like you suggest.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Come on Truth Purveyor - if you know what my wife would or wouldn't know, why not tell us who you are?

I had my reasons for being anonymous, what are yours?

Anonymous said...

In ref to On my soapbox: RE FBC Downtown....and all this general blog stuff......

The one thing reading this whole blog stuff has done is made me see that I was SO not alone in feeling like I was unwelcome at FBC Jax. Don't ya'll at FBC Jax care that you make SO MANY PEOPLE feel unwelcome? Reading all the stuff people have written about the church over the years and how they operate and their whole general reputation just makes me feel so much better that I was unwelcome there. Its great. I feel honored. Rather than feeling bad about it I now feel great! Really! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

To 12:21 PM.... How far this church has come from what it was under the Lindsay's. How far it has come from it's mission of bringing people to the saving Grace of Jesus Christ. How sad to see what it is now. No wonder "so many" feel unwelcome. We have nothing in common. "Come out from among them, and be ye separate". Thats what they want you to do anyway. Leave!

There are still good people there, but for how long? Very sad.

Truth Purveyor said...

Mrs Lydia, you said;

"You have the same problem that Louis does. You cannot separate Caesar from God."

Not true! I can make the distinction and the separation and do it all the time. You do not know me or know my heart and are therefore in no position to be my judge.

Frankly, the posts that I have read of Louis indicates to me he may be a charlatan but at the least he is an internet carpetbagger. Before everyone things that I am calling him names look up the definitions.

"The Body should not operate on worldly principles like you suggest."

I totally agree with you on this point, however, all I hear from pro Rich supporters is to sue FBC and Brunson, and anyone else that might be deemed important. This is not the way the Lord would have things done. Don't anyone respond with your ugly tones, because there are several things that I feel were not done right on the other side.

If you and others truly practiced what you preach in this regard, then none of this would have been proclaimed before Caesar's media and encouraging other media outlets to jump on this bandwagon.

Mrs Lydia, because we are to be "in the world and not of the world" we still must function within society and within the laws of this land. That is true whether we like it or not.

Sincerely,


T

Truth Purveyor said...

Mr. Rich, I did not say I knew what your wife would or would not do. I was making the point that it would be hard to enforce a trespass warrant if one had never been received. Also, that only if someone at FBC wanted the warrant enforced could anything be done by the authorities. Also, the authorities would never "drag" someone off property if they were compliant to a lawful order of the police.

As far as my identity, I fear no man and I am not answerable to any, but my identity is irrelevant. I merely wish to attempt to be a voice not driven by emotion but by the rule of law, which at the end of the day if any of this is litigated, that is what drives our judicial system and not the internal rules of the local body of Christ.

Mr. Rich, I think that you will agree that I have attempted to be most respectful of everyone and not be driven by emotions.


Sincerely,


T

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Truth Purveyor

I understand your reasoning in wanting to be anonymous.

Would you be upset if I told you that you had been positively identified to me, and I knew who you were, and that I was going to reveal your identity?

Lydia said...

"If you and others truly practiced what you preach in this regard, then none of this would have been proclaimed before Caesar's media and encouraging other media outlets to jump on this bandwagon."

Either you do not understand how mega's work in this respect or you are one of the shills for Brunson and understand perfectly how they work when it comes to such things.

"Mrs Lydia, because we are to be "in the world and not of the world" we still must function within society and within the laws of this land. That is true whether we like it or not."

So explain to me how that works when a church uses the civil government to issue subpeona's on several folks (two who are not members) in order to obtain their private information.

Is that what you are talking about above? Can you show me in scripture where Brunson can rationalize such wordly actions as an overseer?

See, you DO have a hard time separating Caesar and God. Your comments prove it.

Anonymous said...

Truth Purveyor - with all due respect, when your screen name is "truth purveyor", it IS relevant who you are.

I appreciate your dialogue here, but as Wade does on his blog, if you are going to come on repeatedly and claim to be a lawyer, or staffer, or any kind of insider, you should reveal your name or position.

Anyway, the WD said the same thing about his identity not being relevant to what he was posting, yet Brunson supporters repeatedly called him a coward with no credibility. Should we also assume then you are a coward with no credibility. Of course, I don't think so. I like hearing your views.

We agree on a lot of things, and you even admit that the church and its leadership have "not done things right." This gives you some credibility.

I agree it is a shame that lawsuits are necessary and forthcoming to get to the bottom of this mess. If only Mac had chosen to respond with love and humility and kindness (These traits are "in the book, brutha!)when asked about his questionable pattern of actions we wouldn't be here.

But at least the message from Brunson (and Soud) is clear: If you dare ask questions you will be aggressively confronted and shut down and the only way you will ever get any questions answered is if you are persistent enough to file suit. (Which by the way, would NOT have happened had Mac not involved the JSO and SAO and called Tom a sociopath.)

Can we agree on that much?

Thy Peace said...

Some more activity on the blogs on fbc jax:

Conservatism is Dead > Accept that the Republican Party is seriously screwed.

Civil Commotion > Holy Man of the Day: Pastor Mac Brunson.

The Writing On The Wall > church blogger watchdog may be put to sleep for sniffing around.

Street Prophets > Jacksonville Detective Subpoenas Google To ID Blogger Critical Of Mega-Church Pastor.

Little Miss Attila > Hm. Looks Like Bob Hymers Isn’t the Only Power-Crazy Pastor Out There.

Google Helps Identify Anonymous Blogger.

Insight > Anonymous Blogger Messes with Church… Church messes back….

Pogo Was Right > FL: FBC blogger feels privacy was violated.

Thy Peace said...

Some more activity on the blogs on fbc jax:

hazy but clearing > First Baptist Church of Jacksonville.

Mark Byron > Mainline Disease and the Southern Baptists.

irReligion > UNMASKED BLOGGER BLAMES FIRST BAPTIST, SHERIFF’S OFFICE.

Ex-Angry Citizen > Unmasked blogger blames First Baptist, Sheriff’s Office.

SocraticGadfly > Fla sheriff violates church-state AND mixes civil-criminal law – and Google complies.

GodDiscussion > Church Kicks Out Member for Blog.

The Armchair Intelligentsia Blog > Unmasked blogger blames First Baptist, Sheriff's Office.

BARTHOLOMEW’S NOTES ON RELIGION > Pastor Brunson vs a Blogger.

Anonymous said...

I look at this list of links to blog sites all over the "political" spectrum and numerous news stories and think of the story of Sampson. When Sampson was "outed" into public view and intended to be an object of derision he pulled down the building. "So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life."

This should me a lesson to us all.

Bennett Willis

Anonymous said...

"Also, the innuendo about this guy named Dave Hyles that was allegedly protected by FBC and Jerry Vines is pure hearsay. His father was the pastor at Berean Independent Baptist church in Fleming Island, Fl and I have lived in that area for over a decade and never heard of any of these alleged abuses. That does not mean that they might have existed, though."

Huh?

T.P. Now you're credibility is totally shot. The pastor of Berean Baptist is Tom Neal. He's one of the cult like independents that worshipped Jack Hyles (pastor of FBC Hammond Indiana and arguably the Big Dog of that world bf his death). Dave Hyles is the son and his escapades are well documented as well as disgusting. A simple internet search would be recommended bf posting as fact.

Contented Man said...

Bennett Willis said:

I look at this list of links to blog sites all over the "political" spectrum and numerous news stories and think of the story of Sampson. When Sampson was "outed" into public view and intended to be an object of derision he pulled down the building. "So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life."

This should me a lesson to us all.

Bennett Willis
_____________________________

What would that lesson be, Bennett? That it is better to allow the pastor of the most influential church in Jacksonville and one of the most influential in America lead that once great church body astray? I HOPE that isn't what you are implying!

What this man is doing to that body of believers and their reputation in the city of Jacksonville is nothing less than appalling. When a preacher's focus is on himself and the "organization" rather than on the Gospel and the people he has been called to SHEPHERD, then it is incumbant upon someone (in the case, the someone is Mr. Rich) to stand up and speak the truth.

If the pillars are pulled down on that once great institution it will not be the fault of Mr. Rich but rather, the fault will lie at the feet of Mac and the deacons who have allowed him to run amok, trampling the simple message of the Gospel.

Anonymous said...

Can I just say one thing...you can post this or not...I just want this to go to you ....My heart breaks over this issue...here in these blogs and others people..you are trying to destroy a church from the inside out...Tearing down a pastor who is leadin the people accoriding to the word of God...over issues such as salaries and tithing and ministry you dislike...I can't stand it...This is the church I grew up in...I am the same age as your son...I grew up with you guys...Give this up...stop it..move on...this does no good for the glory of God...As Christians we are not called to argue and fight with each other..to tear down men in ministry because we disagree...We are called to glorify and exalt God in what we do...You are not doing so...No one is...all these blogs add up to are long drawn out mean comments and arguments...How could you do this...this probably won't affect you because your mind is made up...but from the heart of a student in college who does not want to see this happen among God's people..I beg you to stop...Get over this..this is not of God...We are a part of the bride of Christ and should be building up his kingdom and preparing for his return...not fighting over this...you may think you are doing some good...but sir, I strongly disagree...all this does is destroy the ministry of the church ...any church...which in this age of postmodernism is already declining...so you can decide to disregard this ..but really..I do not feel that God is truly pleased with you..stop again and consider how this glorifies God... because to a young Christian college student, I don't see it...I just see a bunch of hurt, anger, and violent comments. I will continue to pray that God will sort this mess out somehow...not in favor of either side...but maybe to save the face of the church and the bride of Christ.

Anonymous said...

Look, I do not think that anyone wants to deprive you or anyone of free speech.

Think about it. There are a few people that would take matters a bit too seriously. Just a few months ago there was the tragedy in Maryville. At some level, it is important for church leaders to maintain security standards for the church. If there is even a slight inkling of seriousness, then leaders must report potential problems...for everyones safety.

I admit that you raised questions and concerns. You did it in public and, quite frankly, should be prepared to take as you give.

It appears that someone involved with your blog was linked and identified as potentially harmful.

Maria said...

Thanks

Men's Suit said...

From the Times-Union editorial "Weak link to criminal activity.Please do not give up - a lot of people in this city are behind you 100%.