Matthew 7:15 (NIV) “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Matthew 24:11: (NIV) “…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”

2 Timothy 2:23 - 25 (NIV) - 23Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Lawsuit is Filed...

A lawsuit was filed in Duval County on April 27th. Defendants are the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO), and the State Attorney's Office (SAO) and the respective men involved from each agency that were significant parties.

There have been several local news reports in print and TV media about the lawsuit. You can see those links at the "Media Coverage Links" in the column to the right. Thanks to http://newbbcopenforum.blogspot.com/ and to our friend "Thy Peace" for establishing and maintaining that list.

Since the story broke in the local news earlier in April, and more recently since the lawsuit was filed, many people have called and emailed us to ask us what were the grievances that started this blog, and how did this ever end up at this stage, in litigation.

For answers to these questions, I would refer readers to the previous posts on this blog:

The Story of the Watchdog - April 8, 2009

The Search for the Watchdog's Identity - March 19, 2009

The blog remains open for discussion of these issues.

And as always, anonymous speech is welcomed.

216 comments:

1 – 200 of 216   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Oh wow! I'm excited. Now you can start harping on the same things again. How much Mac makes (which you don't even know), about his accepting the land, about changing the by-laws (which was voted on by the church and not by Mac himself), by the lack of transparency (and that coming from someone that didn't have the integrity to even identify himself on the blog), his wife and son working, and on and on.

Too bad you can't find something new to blog about. Why don't you blog about your new church and pastor and the way that church is run. I for one would sure like to hear that.

Anonymous said...

Good job WD. Good job. Get them all straight. Let their own system tear them up! I'm sick of em all! They need to be taught that you can not do what you want inspite of who you are or how much money you have. Sue them all and let God sort them out!

Anonymous said...

WD, I am a former member of FBC and my first thought was that your actions were totally wrong. When I took the time to read your allegations and ponder them, I felt you were doing the right thing. I certainly don't know all the facts, but I do know that a leader of the church should be transparent and above reproach. May the truth come out, and as Jesus says, "the Truth will set you free."

Anonymous said...

Why aren't you suing FBC Jax? Biblical principle? Lawyer's advice?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:44: Glad to see that you also have a grasp on some of the concerns that we bloggers have inquired about. Indeed this is why this blog., is in existance. Questions that have gone unanswered for too long. Such as your point that the church at large does not know what they are paying Team Brunson. This in itself is really unbelieveable. Especially in hard economic times when many are losing their jobs and many are being asked to take cuts is salaries. One wonders if the investment (an unknown factor), in Team Brunson is justified at this point as litigation is pending. There is also the question of what is really in the pastors contract and would said contract be acceptable to the church? All unknown by a church paying for it. In reference to the passage of the by-laws that were "over-hauled" by the preacher; these as we know were not seen by the church members but they blindly were LED to vote for passage, "trusting" leadership to "do the right thing". You know sort of like the passage of the "stimulus package" by congress without being read by any of them. Same deal.

I notice that you questioned the integrity of the blog owner because he did not identify himself, when as we see YOUR comments are also posted as ANONYMOUS.

I do not know the blog., owner nor his family, but the unfairness of some comments compel me to respond. As to the blog., owners new church and pastor, I would say that is in no way pertinent to this discussion. Besides, I doubt that the blog., owner would have joined any other church IF he saw problems with it!
One can only pray that the wounds of this once vital church can be healed and that it can again be what it once was; a strong witness for Jesus.

Anonymous said...

http://www.sbcpc.net/page1/page1.html

Look who is speaking at this year's Pastors Conference at the annual SBC Convention in Louisville in June.

He needs to bow out. He needs to be ASKED to bow out by the Convention leaders. They will not get one more red cent from me for the CP. IF this is what they support, then what 'Gospel' are they sending out there? The prosperity gospel for pastors?

He has miused his pastoral function, used Caesar to try to silence those who question him and called WD a sociopath to a reporter. He is in love with material things of the world. He accepted a large gift when he told pastors not to in his book. He put his wife and son on the payroll to further enrich his family. He peddles the gospel for profit.

The SBC is dead. I do not care how many are in it. 16 million (yeah right) or 6 million. It is full of dry bones.

Anonymous said...

Tell me what Mac Brunson has done for the poor. Has he Took them in and gave them shelter? Has he took our cities children from broken homes and gave them places to go besides the cruel city streets? How many of you have been welcome in his home? When you were sick did he visit you and pray for your recovery. Or is it true that when you pull back his veil you find only smoke and big fat mirrors.

Anonymous said...

I would challenge any of you to name more than a handful of mega churches (or even large churches) in which the entire congregation knows the salary packages of the pastor and staff. Some of you can't stand the fact that a church is run the way that is decided by the members. If you don't like the method of governance you can leave, never join it in the first place, or get enough votes to change it. Blogging and griping isn't going to do a thing.

As for those who were blindly led by Mac to change the by-laws then you need to grow a backbone. You have noone to blame but yourself.

BTW, my anonymous postings have nothing to do with the fact that Tom Rich didn't have the integrity to meet with the pastor before starting and maintaining his anonymous blog.

Anonymous said...

"blogging and griping isn't going to do a thing"

True, unless by chance you have a pastor dumb enough to have his staff call the JSO, open an investigation, subpoena the blogger's Comcast records, give up the guy's name, close the investigation, then give the guy a letter banning he and his wife without ever speaking to him. And then you're dumb enough to tell the 100 deacons his name and mention "state attorney's office" to the deacons and tell them not to tell anyone, and you have the ex-judge bash him to the church in a deacon's resolution. Then the guy hears "state attorney's office" from a few deacons, goes and gets the sheriff's records, finds the subpoenas, and then the pastor is stupid enough to call the guy a sociopath. Then, and only then, does the blog get front page news, and the whole city reads the blog.

Then, and only after all of that happens, can we say:

Blogging IS going to do something.

Way to go Mac and John Blount, because your own actions have ensured that the blog is read around the world, and your actions will be examined by a judge and a jury after depositions are taken.

I think blogging, in this case, IS going to do something. It already has done something.

Its made FBC Jax and Mac Brunson the laughingstock of the SBC.

Anonymous said...

Psalm 19:14 (NASB)
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.

Former FBC Insider said...

"If you don't like the method of governance you can leave,"

Status quo for The Church Of The Open Door, tell them to leave. How many times have we seen this phrase in their posts? Take the hint Jax, they want you OUT. They like the current cult members, I mean club members. They will start taking applications for membership next. The more the blind groupies post the louder their true testimony is broadcast to the world.

All are welcome here.
And we really mean it :)

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:58..I think it very odd if not most strange that the American citizen knows what the President, the Senators, the Congressmen/women salries are yet the pastors salary is a SECRET. When Dr Lindsay was hired his salary was known, when his son came in 1968 his salary was known, when Vines came in 1982 his salary was known...and when I say known I mean by all. It was open knowledge to the entire congregation as they voted for them and the 100-150 deacons let their wives know and they kids know and then everybody knew...its that simple. Now only 7-10 hand picked know...very disappointing behavior to say the least.

Anonymous said...

The truth is you can not defend what has happened. It does not matter how many mega churches we can name that knows the salary of the Pastor. The fact remains. Lost is the glory of God when a Church puts profit before people.

Anonymous said...

anon 8:46 Thanks for the history lesson. Additionally, how many other mega pastors have influenced sheriffs and state attorneys to secure information on their members? I bet that number is less than 2!!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:58: WHO'S YOUR DADDY?

Anonymous said...

You know, everybody on each side of this seems to take such delight in the others downfall. Dr. Brunson seems to take great delight in namecalling. Some of you other guys on here keep saying stuff like "they're going down", "make em pay".......
I hate the whole thing. No matter who I think is right and wrong, this just makes me hate religion as a whole. Watchdog, I gotta tell ya...buddy....I really think maybe you should consider getting your family out of this city for the duration of this. You have NO IDEA what these people are capable of. I think somewhere in the back of your head you are hanging on to some false notion that there is some kind of Christian principles involved with these people. Theres only one....its their motto and they live by it....BRING HIM DOWN. RUIN HIM. NO QUESTIONS EVER.
Do I sound like I don't know what I'm talking about? Churches are scary places; add the cops in and you got a real problem. Yikes. Been there. Get out of here dog.

Anonymous said...

7:58 you made a reference to someone named Tom Rich that wouldnt be the famous wrestler "Wildfire Tommy Rich" would it?

Former FBC Insider said...

Mad Mac won't give up his speaking engagement at the SBC, and we can only hope that Mike Huckabee will go over a few of his book topics with Mad Mac, like: Character Makes a Difference, From Hope To Higher Ground, Do The Right Thing... Any of these should be a big ole pile of help to the Mac Man right about now.

Anonymous said...

Be sure to include Tom Rich in that group of laughing stock. He belongs there as well as the others you listed.

The whole episode is a sick joke.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:58: Challenge accepted! Most Mega Churches are of the same ilk. Which makes the point as to who's benefiting from churches today! If financial matters, such as salaries, benefits and perks are undisclosed that creates a breeding ground of distrust that eventually contaminates the relationship between the pastor and the members. Thus, the amount of money coming into the church through giving is reduced because of that distrust element. Transparency is always the best way. Total honesty is always preferable and beneficial to the health of the church. To not be forthcoming when questioned gives a picture of "things done in the dark": an unsavory undertone.
Now, as to your further comments: I'am allowing you some latitude in your lack of comprehension of the facts, due to your obvious immaturity.
The acceptance of the church being run today (I would make that RUINED today) IS THE PROBLEM. Many are not accepting it. The further statement that the church members decide anything is a blatent misnomer. How anyone can think the members are consulted in decision making is mind boggling. Witness, (no pun intended), the WHEREAS resolution: Where only one set of statements, obviously favorable to the pastor was presented. Hardly fair play, and hardly the complete picture. But a vote was unfairly called for.
As to leaving the church, or being told to leave: NOT YOUR CALL. This is the angry arrogant attitude that has taken over. Suppose someone moves into your home of many years, that you built, pay for and love: tells you, if you don't like their manners, and their taking over and changing everthing without your permission, or even informing you of such plans, you can just leave. That is what dissenters (people asking questions) are being told to do. Keep in mind they have paid for, served, and poured their life into this church. How would you feel under those circumstances? Ever heard the expression "CHURCH HOME"?
As to the votes to change it: Stay Tuned".
As to the by-law changes: Is there anyone left that doesn't get this? Everyone by now has recognized the "back-room" decisions being made and the pitiful attempts to make it appear approved by the entire church. Previously "trusting" people that voted "yes" or "OK" are NOW seeing how the "slick tatics" work. A problem that most did not expect from this once great church.
As to the blogger meeting with the pastor. I think enough evidence has been presented here on this blog., to show that: 1. That was not likely, 2. The blogger would have no chance of a reasonable discussion. 3. The answers would NOT be forthcoming. As the previous lady stated that DID openly, with her name, E Mail the pastor, and received a "generic" reply. 4. The outcome most likely would be the same, a "marked" church member labeled as a trouble maker. More arrogance displayed, and more of the "I Rule" don't challenge me attitude.

Summation: The "situation" has become the "stumbling block". There is not likely a way out with the same administration in charge. The priority has become the minority. This church must get back to what it stood for: Preaching Jesus, not history. Preaching Salvation through the shed Blood of Jesus Christ!!! The priority must again become leading the lost to Jesus. Witnessing for Jesus is a priority! Many souls hang in the balance today. How will we answer for that? I would not want to be a stumbling block.

Anonymous said...

Since when is it illegal to make $300,000 a year or accept a land gift? Last time I checked, it wasn't. Get a life.

Bennett Willis said...

BTW, my anonymous postings have nothing to do with the fact that Tom Rich didn't have the integrity to meet with the pastor before starting and maintaining his anonymous blog.

May 3, 2009 7:58 AM
OK, I'll ask the question. Why are you blogging anonymously? What are you concerned about? You may tell me anonymously. :)

Bennett Willis

Anonymous said...

eewww... The Great Chuck Colson sure is slumming with that lineup! Goes from bad to worse.

Anonymous said...

" If you don't like the method of governance you can leave"

We ARE leaving! We are leaving in droves!

Anonymous said...

I am horrified by a pastor that accepts $300k per year as compensation when many members are doubtless struggling to pay the electric bill. I am horrified that this church that has been so beneficial to so many seems mortally wounded and the reputation of the followers of Christ dragged through the mud.

The whole episode makes me feel ill. The bible instructs us to be like the Bereans who checked the scripture to see if these things were true. We must not follow a person but Jesus. I identify with everyone who wants to defend the pastor and make this go away, but you have to be discerning and not blind.

Anonymous said...

If you're so worried about paying someone's electric bill then advertise in the paper that you will give them your paycheck.

NONE of you bloggers on here know for sure what Mac's salary actually is so get a life and get over it. It was handled and determined by the proper authorities in that church and is therefore none of our business.

Tom Rich is just chaffing at the fact that he was included in the decision making process. I can't understand why not though since Wade Burleson has told us what a spiritual giant he is. Sounds like the proof is in the pudding.

NFLP said...

"The proof of the pudding is in the tasting."

It's time we demand our clergy lead humble lifestyles.

Now they compete to see how much money they can separate from believers. Make them compete to display how humble they can be.

NFLP

Anonymous said...

"NONE of you bloggers on here know for sure what Mac's salary actually is so get a life and get over it. It was handled and determined by the proper authorities in that church and "

Interesting concept. Who are the 'proper authorities' in the ekklesia?

Do you always allow others to think and act for you?

Matt

Anonymous said...

anon 6:54.. Believe it not the proper authorities are the congregation that put their offerings in the collection plate week after week. I suppose its none of their business...right? How wrong you are.

Anonymous said...

The LORD handles every situation. He knows everyone's needs and while some people have more than others, and some people have less than others, we are commanded to be thankful for what we have. Greed doesn't get anyone anywhere, all it causes is jealousy.

"Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others." -2 Corinthians 9:6-8

I've never seen people really go without. Yes, people are struggling to pay bills these days. Key word "struggling." But God provides for every need. I've seen families that struggle to get food on the table, yet still tithe because they trust the Lord will provide. And the next day have mysteriously received a check in the mail from an anonymous person. I've seen people go through some horrible situations, but yet thank God. So don't say its wrong for someone to get paid more than someone else. That's NOT your business. It's not. What do you really care anyway? God cares for His people and always makes a way to take care of them. So stop worrying about what a pastor gets paid. It's not getting you anywhere in life. This is only our temporary home. Why are you worrying yourselves with things that don't matter in His Kingdom? Why don't you start focusing on YOURSELF and what God has called every Christian to do: Be a disciple. Be a witness. You can't be a great witness if you continue to moan and gripe about someone else's situation you have no control over. Let God handle it.

Anonymous said...

To question how money that is offered to the Body is spent is not greedy. It is stewardship.

We will answer for how we spent what has been entrusted to us. I have heard many mega church pastors tell their spectators just the opposite. They have a reason for doing such. They say, give and don't ask for it is up to God. But it isn't in that environment. It is mere depraved humans making the decisions behind closed doors and those who question are 'jealous, greedy and sinning'.

It is best to get out of such an 'organization' because it is not a church.

Ironically, the offerings taken up in the early church were mostly used to take care of those in the Body who were lacking. The widows and others in other cities being persecuted. Some was given to send the Gospel to other areas. The focus was not on pastor's salary as it is today. Paul did not want to be a burden so he made tents.

I got a chuckle reading about the shareholders of several fortune 500's bemoaning their non existent returns when the CEO's of these failures were taking 30 million in bonuses. The CEO's feel they are entitled. For what, I do not know.

But at least their compensation HAS to be published by law. In the church, there is no such law but it should be the choice of transparancy and ethics. But, sadly, it isn't. And even questioning is now considered sin.How far we have come from the Baptistic belief of a Holy Priesthood!

Best to stop giving blindly and get out of such a place. You will answer for your stewardship.

Matt

Anonymous said...

HELP WANTED

St. Johns County Sheriff detective for security detail at the new First Baptist Jax satellite campus in Ponte Vedra, locatd in St. John's County.

Will be responsible for security of premises during services, investigating any all mail stealing and photo taking, investigating any vitriolic websites about our church, pastor, or baptists in general. Must have experience in completing and obtaining subpoenas from the 4th Circuit State Attorney's Office to help the church in its discipline process and must have experience in timely document shredding. Must be able to write police reports for investigations involving subpoenas at the church with the utmost brevity.

If interested, contact Detective Hinson at the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Anonymous said...

Was reading Mac's statement on tithing...the LORD has intuitively led me to NEVER join an assembly where a preaches and twists the scriptures like that. Number 1 Malachi's decree on tithing is primarily directed only to the priests and secondly when is the local bank account "a storehouse?" Thirdly, if you study OT tithing much of it is so tied into the antonement aspects of the temple. Perhaps a better place to start for the average NT believer is with the third tithe 3.33% if needing a starting point in giving.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how well these Mega Pastors would fare if they really had to "WORK" out in the workplace. Could they "cut it", where people arn't so nice to them. Arn't so "trusting" of them. Where the "market" is tough, and they don't "walk on water" in the eyes of their competitors. They certainly could NOT tell their employers to pay them these huge amounts of money as they DEMAND from the church! Neither could they get such large tax breaks that most of us must pay. Can you imagine telling your EMPLOYER "if you don't like what I do then YOU can leave the company". And by the way, "you must hire my family also, no questioned asked". Pay us what we demand, and how much, is none of your business". So the question comes up, who is really the boss here. The employer-church, or the hireling-preacher???

Anonymous said...

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT: Most of us who work must answer to "someone". We must pay ridiculous taxes, even with a good CPA. Most of us don't have major tax shelters. And most of us are TOLD what our salaries will be. We hope that insurance is available, etc. We MAY get two weeks off for a vacation, after working for a year. No PERKS, we are lucky if free parking is included and we don't have to ride the bus in the rain. As to our job security...well, "good luck". And after 30-40 years(hopefully) we may or may not get a small pension and a cheap watch for retirement, that is if we don't die first. Only preachers get to show up after several vacations a year, and actually demand 10% minimum of the rest of your salary. Using Old Testament doctrine that they twist to make you feel guilty for not giving them more. All the while being tax exempt in many areas, while we pay the max. What a job!! How do I get one of these? I can CALL MYSELF a preacher too.

Anonymous said...

wonder how well these Mega Pastors would fare if they really had to "WORK" out in the workplace. Could they "cut it", where people arn't so nice to them. Arn't so "trusting" of them. Where the "market" is tough, and they don't "walk on water" in the eyes of their competitors. They certainly could NOT tell their employers to pay them these huge amounts of money as they DEMAND from the church! Neither could they get such large tax breaks that most of us must pay. Can you imagine telling your EMPLOYER "if you don't like what I do then YOU can leave the company". And by the way, "you must hire my family also, no questioned asked". Pay us what we demand, and how much, is none of your business". So the question comes up, who is really the boss here. The employer-church, or the hireling-preacher???

May 4, 2009 7:32 AM

Actually, after a while most of them forget where they came from. One can get 'used' to a certain lifestyle and entitlement quite fast.

They really have no basic relatability to the average spectator in the pew. Tney are surrounded, for the most part, with like thinking men who are movers and shakers in the community. It becomes a very inward focused club of sorts.

To give you one example of this thinking, in one mega church, the associate pastor, still in his early 30's told the elder board he needed a big raise (something like 5-7,000) per year because his wife was expecting their third child.

He thought this request was perfectly legit. It never dawned on him that no one else in his congregation could make such a request from their employer and get it. He had been in ministry in a mega church since he was 24 and had no other real world experience. He usually got what he wanted. He was very well taken care of and already made way over the median income of the average pew sitter. At the time he asked, he was making a low six figure income.

There really is an entitlement mentality. I have heard every justification under the sun for the large salaries. My favorite is when their position is compared to the CEO of a large company with thousands of employees. (They equate the members interchangably as employees and customers, depending on the most convenient scenerio)

To be totally honest, I doubt very seriously many of these men would last in the real world unless their job consisted of motivational speaking or something similar. But they have carved a unique niche in the mega church market. People pay them well to hear them speak and to perhaps get to shake their hand in the hall.

It is a form of idolatry. It is not that different from buying your daughter Hannah Montana clothes. She likes Hannah Montana and wants to identify with her and is more than willing for you to make Montana richer by you paying for the right to identify with her.

Or maybe a sports metaphor is better. The mega is like the home team and you are more than willing to pay for tickets and trinkets to make sure the star quarterback is paid well.

Matt

Anonymous said...

The proper authorities in a church are those authorized by the church itself. Since we aren't Methodists, we are free to choose our own method of governance. FBC, Jax chose their method and that is how things are done. If you don't like it, leave or don't join in the first place.

BTW, for all you nay sayers and whiners, I sent Mac an email on the church website last Friday and got a personal response from him last night.

Seems like Tom Rich is howling about something that doesn't happen. BUT--I signed my name to my email to perhaps that is the big difference!

I am also not a member of FBC, Jax so I imagine he would answer a church member much sooner than someone who isn't a member.

Food for thought isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the ten percent preachers demand is BEFORE taxes are taken out. Ten percent on the Gross amount!!!! That IS gross. Most of the perks preachers get are not taxable. So even if they give 20%, it's made up to them in non-taxable perks and other tax breaks. True many small churches and preachers don't fit in this mega-catagory. I exclude them from my comments. If they are truly "called" by God to preach.

Former FBC Insider said...

Anonymous said... May 4, 2009 9:13 AM
"BTW, for all you nay sayers and whiners, I sent Mac an email on the church website last Friday and got a personal response from him last night."

If we were keeping score, and we're not, that's one for you and as you can see by this blog site, way too many in the other column. We've been on the inside, wanted a face to face, therefore the whole anonymous part goes out the window, request denied.
Mind sharing what your email was regarding? A contribution? An explanation? Subject matter seems to make a difference.
Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

BTW, for all you nay sayers and whiners, I sent Mac an email on the church website last Friday and got a personal response from him last night.

Seems like Tom Rich is howling about something that doesn't happen. BUT--I signed my name to my email to perhaps that is the big difference!

I am also not a member of FBC, Jax so I imagine he would answer a church member much sooner than someone who isn't a member.

Food for thought isn't it?

May 4, 2009 9:13 AM

Not really. He reads the blog and anyone who thinks he and his staff do not are fooling themselves. Since this has become a public situation, I am sure he is cleaning up his act to keep what he has at the mega. A big topic here has been Mac ignoring folks. It makes perfect sense he would work to change that perception.

His financial future depends on this.

Matt

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Editorial from the Times Union, from a staff writer who is a member of FBC Jax.

Blogger Can't Have it Both Ways

Anonymous said...

"I am also not a member of FBC, Jax so I imagine he would answer a church member much sooner than someone who isn't a member."

Actually, judging by most mega pastors I know, the opposite is more likely to be true.

He needs new customers. You are a prospect. Even if you deny it.

Anonymous said...

That is a great editorial. Makes a lot more sense than the endless postulating that goes on in here. Perhaps Tom should read it and then get ready for his court date.

BTW, the email I sent Mac was dealing specifically with this blog and the actions of removing the Richs from the church fellowship. Mac wasn't hiding or evading.

Since I believe in "prosperity for all" I will be glad to send you a copy of mine and Mac's emails for a mere $50 contribution to our church's building fund. Let me know if you are interested in some real live proof.

Anonymous said...

Non Member,Food For Thought Isn't It: 9:15 AM.: Here's your food for thought. Don't you find it strange that he answers your E Mail but won't answer his own church members? Also from your tone you are sympathitic to his position. That makes you a "friend" not a "foe". Therefore, you are not a preceived threat to his position.

Anonymous said...

Matt:

Once I heard a relatively young associate pastor who had not been out of seminary long say the same thing, "The church should pay me a salary that allows me to meet my needs and obligations."

I thought then, and I think now, that the statement is off base.

Sure, a church should pay a fair salary. A church may use objective standards (church administrative group surveys and such) and subjective job performance evaluations.

A church may also look at its congregation, the overall size, the overall budget, and the financial demographic.

It's not scientific, but any member of the church should be able to see what the staff is paid and the basis for that.

Staff members should not essentially set their own salaries based on the needs that they have.

At least that's my opinion.

By the way, I have heard you and others talk about Mega churches. I "know them when I see them", but it there some sort of standard that you and others go by when you discuss that. Also, do you think that all Megas are bad because they are Megas, or do they all have the same polity, and that is what makes them bad? Put another way, are there any Megas that you admire because they are run well and appropriately?

Thanks.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Tom, that was a mighty interesting 'editorial' by Mr. Freuk or whatever his name is.

Problem is, he left out quite a few relevant facts. It also seemed a bit hypocritical since newspapers quote anonymous sources all the time. Would Mr. Fruek be the first the howl if the JSO investigated those sources and outed them to the public?

Would folks talk to reporters if they could not be trusted?

That would mean no more whistleblowers anywhere.

Mr Fruek has done a great service to Mac. He has probably found himself in a bit of an awkward situation in his workplace. But then again, many mega's are good customers of the local daily.

In one mega, a regional car dealer elder spends hundredsof thousands with the local daily. They are quite careful what they print. I have to wonder at the number of advertisers that attend FBCJax?

I consider it a miracle that TU covered this at all considering the gravitas FBC Jax has in your city. But do expect them to consider their advertisers. Many dailies are going out of business.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I want to commend Tom for pointing out positions that are not supportive of him. He shows more maturity than Mac in that respect.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Shout-out to you Matt. ALWAYS good to hear your wise words and spot-on perspective.

Mega pastors are all about the money and not losing it. They will do anything to keep it. They are like prostitutes really. Kinda sick isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Louis: Actually, FBC DOES know where all the money goes... But once again, if you don't go there, how would you know that? At least once a month on Wednesday nights they give out a prayer sheet (every week) with several sheets of the budget in it. It details where all the money goes, to each position, missionaries, etc. So we are aware of what they do with our money... And btw, I've emailed the pastor numerous times and always got a direct answer, so saying he doesn't answer people back is just ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Anon:

I have not said what FBC does or does not do.

Please read my post carefully. I have not charged FBC with any particular budgetary practice.

I was speaking about a young associate pastor I knew one time.

Thanks.

Louis

Anonymous said...

"By the way, I have heard you and others talk about Mega churches. I "know them when I see them", but it there some sort of standard that you and others go by when you discuss that. Also, do you think that all Megas are bad because they are Megas, or do they all have the same polity, and that is what makes them bad? Put another way, are there any Megas that you admire because they are run well and appropriately?"

Great questions.
There are many definitions for what constitutes a mega church. I have my own homemade definition based on years of dealing with them.

It is a mega church if you, as a committed 'part' of the local Body, cannot POSSIBLY know every other 'part' of the Body personally as a brother or sister in Christ. Sharing burdens, rejoicing, etc.

My definition is based on what it means to be part of a local Body of Christ that I meet with to worship and edify each other in Christ. However, the needs of the Body in other places affect me, too. When they hurt, we should help them, etc.

On to mega's:

Some mega's start out as small churches with no calculated grand vision of becoming a mega. Some start out with the calculated grand vision and work toward it quickly.

There is a bit of difference between the church that grew from 20 to 18,000 in 40 years than the church that grew to 3000 in 2 years.

In the former, you are more likely to have quite a few mature believers during the stages of growth. That makes a huge difference as it grows for accountability reasons. But even after 20-30 years, the offspring of the mature believers most likely are not. They ended up being raised in 'programs' and 'activities' and very little deep study of the Word. Because that is how the system evolved. So they become products of the 'system' as it grows.

The problem is that the mega MUST become so systemitized that it becomes about maintaining the 'system'. Church growth becomes the focus because you must be building and you discover that as many are going out the back as are coming in the front. And you have to pay the bills. And the 'ministry' of the mega becomes more important than the actual human beings in the pew.

But it is dangerous to focus on church growth when most professing believers in the church are immature. (Scripture tells us we will NOT stay immature if we are regenerated) You end up with thousands drinking milk with very few to feed them meat. Those who are only interested in meat eventually leave. (this is happening in much larger numbers than it was even 6 years ago)

Most folks in a mega church have NO clue what the Body really is and what it is to be about. I include the leaders in that statement.

The further away the leadership is from the average pew sitter, the less it operates as a true Body of Christ. (Yes, I know you are thinking of small groups...and that is the mega answer to this problem. And it is a band aid. Actually a church within a church. Why not plant a church instead?)

But consider that the main guy..the 'celebrity' on the big screen in worship is not accessible to the average pew sitter.It is impossible for it to be so. And to be a mega, you must have a celebrity pastor and great programs. He is the draw. Not Christ.

As we become more and more infatuated with 'human authority' and Christian celebrities in the Body, we set up systems that mimic what we see in the world and call it the Body of Christ.

I have seen every kind of polity in mega churches and it makes no difference when it comes to the problems because the focus is always going to be maintaining the system. It has to be. In a way, the system becomes a prison of sorts.

Whether it is elder lead or congregational polity. The system that must be in place to maintain makes either structure effectively work the exact same way.

You end up with a small group of folks making the decisions. In the congregational polity structure, the small group decides what issues are even brought to the congregation.

In Both, you also end up with staff members being very careful what the leadership knows. Especially when the information is negative. No one wants to be that messenger.

Information that flows up is selective. So, the handfull of people are usually making decisions with selective and/or incomplete information. I have seen it way too often.

If we study what the ekklesia really is and set our eyes on Christ, we will eventually get out of these systems.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Matt:

Thanks for your thoughts.

I am sending them to our pastor and elders (not with your name on them).

We started our church with 10 adults in 1992.

We have grown, but very slowly, by word of mouth and friend to friend invitations.

I believe that our pastor and elders are still very accessible, but that could change if we are not careful. Your descriptions are the very things that we are trying to avoid.

We have had growth, and with that growth come challenges. But we don't ever want to be about running a "thing" or paying the bills.

We have intentionally kept our programming pared down, so that we don't have big programming needs. And we are trying to keep the staff small and manageable.

I know that you may not agree with elders per se, and that's o.k., but I want you to know that what you have written could have been said by our pastor or any of our elders. Hearing it from someone who is not connected to our church is helpful.

I have said all of this, not to condemn or criticize the way any other church runs its ministries. But much of what you said resonates with what we feel that God has called us to.

Thanks, again.

Louis

Anonymous said...

RIGHT ON TARGET ONCE AGAIN, Matt. Well done!

For all of you in support of the mega, I suggest you read anything by A.W. Tozer or most recently, the book, "Quitting Church".

Most of you supporting the mega have a vested intrest in doing so (i.e. usually financial); Or, you are so spiritually immature or otherwise of such poor discernment that you stuff yourself silly with all the programs and activities. Or you just plain buy the BS coming out of these hog pastors.

Anonymous said...

"We have intentionally kept our programming pared down, so that we don't have big programming needs. And we are trying to keep the staff small and manageable."

This is key. We don't want to muzzle the ox but we must take care in paying for functions that should be done by the Body. Mega's have paid staff doing what the Body members should be doing for one another. In this way, offerings can go to help those in the Body in need and forthe Great commission just like the NT churches.

"I know that you may not agree with elders per se, and that's o.k., but I want you to know that what you have written could have been said by our pastor or any of our elders. Hearing it from someone who is not connected to our church is helpful."

I am not against elders. Elders are nothing more than those lowly servants who are mature in the faith and guide others to be also. I am against what the 'systems' try to pass off as an elder. It is not an 'office' or a title. It could be the maintenance man with grime under his fingernails. I doubt that making tents was a white collar position

Matt

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:48 Regarding Budget in Prayer Sheet: I have compared present budget sheet with those of the past years (many past years) and can tell you that a Philadelphia lawyer/accountant/code breaker could not figure it out. Plus it is printed in "fly-speck" print, and unreadable most of the time. And good for you that your receive E-Mail answers that makes you a special person. Maybe the complaints are "finally" getting through that the pastor/E Mail responder(?) does not communicate. I expect some communication will transpire for awhile.

Anonymous said...

I like the thought that everyone knows the salaries of the president, congressmen and...

We also know of these people those who gave to their campaign and how much. This is what we do for total transparency. Who here who is a member of FBC would be willing to let the church be transparent about your giving? Probably not because this has always been and will continue to be a one sided argument about only one group has to be transparent.

Anonymous said...

Attn: 2:15 P.M."Transparency for all"...... You are a little confused here. It is the MEMBERS that EMPLOY the pastor and should KNOW how much they pay him. God, whom we give money to (supposedly and not the preacher).....already knows what we give!!!!

Besides only a small group of the "chosen insiders" know ANYTHING about the church. Everyone else just grazes in the field.

Anonymous said...

Another reason folks stay in a church that is no longer what it should be-RELATIONSHIPS. It is VERY difficult for one to leave after years of building friendships and worshipping together with people you've come to love. A better way to put it is..HEART WRENCHING.

Anonymous said...

May 3, 2009 4:41 PM wrote - since when is it illegal to make $300,000 a year or accept a land gift? Last time I checked, it wasn't. Get a life.

You are right. And since when is it illegal to play a commercial for the family of the person who gave you the gift. That also, is not illegal.

No one has claimed Mac has done anything illegal. Since when is a preacher looking at pornography on the internet illegal? Or what about a preacher calling a former member a sociopath? No, you and Mac are clear, and we agree, we are not saying he did anything illegal. We are just saying his actions have compromised his ability to lead and therefore, he needs to be more open and transparent about all the "legal' things he is doing.

Anonymous said...

"Who here who is a member of FBC would be willing to let the church be transparent about your giving?"

I am very open and transparent with the church about how much I give to it. I write a check, they send me a receipt for tax purposes. I even tell the IRS about it. The church has full transparency with regard to how much I am giving.

Are you implying they should tell OTHERS about how much I am giving? If so, I don't get the point. Who cares? Transparency is only required of those who solicit donations and then put their wife and son on staff, accept expensive gifts, and use their position and the church budget to promote themselves.

I do agree that Mac doesn't have to be transparent if he doesn't want to and no one else cares. That is why some here have said the ONLY way to get Mac and other mega pastors to be more transparent is to STOP giving! Then, and only then, might they realize they must change or donations will continue to fall.

Anonymous said...

The problem some of you fail to grasp is that MOST of the people in FBCJax are not concerned with the tranparency issue. And since it is run by the members you have been out voted. There may not have been an official vote on this subject but that is the way it has been done for a long long time.

I understand how some want the transparency, but if you cannot get it and are that concerned the money given is not being handled properly then I would simply leave the church. And I agree with a prior writer that relationships make it hard to leave a church.

Anonymous said...

Of course he answered your e-mail if it said "Thanks for being our wonderful, stupendous pastor, I'm sorry you have to have reporters breathing down your neck because they are just wrong wrong wrong and I agree you did the right thing in calling the guy a sociopath..."

Anonymous said...

The way I see it you have the following options:

1. Publish the salaries, perks, and everything for every staff member. Also include the giving records of everyone in the church.

2. Do not let people who do not give (and be sure to check them at the door) be a part of any business meeting. Since they do not give financially they are not entitled to a vote.

Implementation of either of these would be a welcome change in any church. I'm sure a bunch of you will howl but the ones that usually do the howling are the ones who don't give at all or give very little.

Anonymous said...

"Who here who is a member of FBC would be willing to let the church be transparent about your giving?"


I am very transparent. Here is what I give: $0.00. I don't pay prostitutes.

Anonymous said...

The Anonymous HELP WANTED response is great! Mac must be brought down and I hope it happens!

Anonymous said...

The SBC is a cult. The second definition of a cult from the OED:

A small religious group regarded as strange or as imposing excessive control over members.

Once the SBC went from God is Love to It's our way or the highway, they crossed over into being a cult.

Former FBC Insider said...

Anonymous said...
Since I believe in "prosperity for all" I will be glad to send you a copy of mine and Mac's emails for a mere $50 contribution to our church's building fund. Let me know if you are interested in some real live proof.

Please do. I can't wait to see what you had to say that stroked his ego, or his pocket book that prompted a reply to the positive. (so you say) About that $50 donation, I'll pass. I gave at the office, um I mean the church, what's the difference?

Anonymous said...

The lawsuit has added a new dimension to this perplexing tragedy. The dissenters are entitled to their opinions via radio, tv, newspapers, blogs, conversations, etc. What this church did not need was having the city police try to determine who the Watchdog was. It was totally unnecessary and has now created a gulf between those that were once sitting on the fence and those that support the position of the church. They fence sitters, a lot of them) have now moved on to support the Watchdog and in particular his freedom to have private conversations without allowing anyone to know his name.

I believe the court will do the right thing by reviewing what was the real reason Watchdog's name was permitted to be given to the church. It was none of their business what his name was as he is entitled to his privacy. Lets hope that is one freedom that cannot be taken away by ANYONE!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm saddened by all of this, FBC was once a beacon of hope and integrity for this city, under Dr. Homer G. Lindsey. Dr. Brunson's mistake was to accept a large gift from a wealthy FBC member, and receive other "gifts" like a condo to stay in, and a large house built at cost. When Brunson made the decision to accept those gifts he was bought and paid for on the spot, his term at FBC was condemned before he ever began. Had he said "no thanks, I think I will live amoung the "people" he would have a more credible position to preach from. Those wealthy FBC members think that they are "special", that God has blessed them because they are "good people". I know one of those "good people", and I can tell you he paid a huge price for his wealth, a price of divorce,a broken home, children who felt abandoned, and who turned to drugs and sex. His "treasure" surely is here on earth, not on heavenly things. Dr. Lindsey would have never took this blog all that seriousely, he would have said "let him blog, let me preach". Lindsey turned down hugh raises while pastor of FBC, and also turned down an offer of a bigger home, he said "I dont need a bigger home, I dont need more money, I will be happy with what I have". Lindsey was never afraid of someone attacking him, he was never afraid to die. He often said "when the Lord is ready for me I'll go, not before, or after". Dr. Brunson, sell every thing you have, give it to the poor, and take us his cross, and follow him.

Anonymous said...

Former FBC Insider,

Sorry but you don't get to see either of the emails without the $50.00. Since I'm sure you didn't tithe when you were a member I'd probably just donate the money back to FBC, Jax to make up for what you didn't give.

Also, the email I sent him was very generic in nature and did not show my views about this issue at all. I simply asked about the Tom Rich situation and got a quick and very specific reply.

Its something you will wish you had paid to see.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it humorous as well as predictable how the Mac supporters are trying to turn it around to YOUR giving?

Anonymous said...

Anon May 4, 2009 4:47 PM:

Your post is hilarious! And very childish! You really should go back and read your own remarks.

This is a simple case of Follow the Money!

You obviously fail to realize that many who now support the blogger's stance were some of the best tithers. It's exceedingly obvious that when the money slowed down that's when the "shut him down" rhetoric picked up its pace. Up 'til then it's apparent that the blogger could be ignored!

A lot of us may be little guys but we are the little guys who have moved to other churches and have been giving our monies there. And you know what? A lot of little guys who gave regularly add up to a lot of money!

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable, the Times Union Phil Fretz editorial was the MOST VIEWED and MOST COMMENTED news story of the day on the Times Union website - and boy did the commenters let Phil have it! This is quite remarkable, considering no one really knows Phil, and it was just an obsure editorial with (obviously) very little thought put into it - and the city responded and made it the most viewed article of the day.

There is such incredible interest in this story in Jacksonville. This thing has blown up in Mac's face - that this story has gotten this far out of control should demand someone at FBC Jax in some leadership position should be out the door for sheer incompetance. Didn't FBC Jax pay Mario Amorin for marketing? Should not Mario have advised these guys on what NOT to do? Doesn't FBC Jax pay a full time staffer for public relations? Isn't Deb Brunson Mac's handler and scheduler? Couldn't they see their actions might have led to this PR nightmare? Or do they view this as proof they are in God's will, and this media coverage is just Satan's attack on the church, and the bloggers are Satan's little devils?

Most residents in this city, and even most CHRISTIANS in this city see this case for what it is - a church and a JSO detective teaming up to out a critic of the church so that he could be disciplined - done under the color of law. Dangerous stuff, really, and an important case for the city of Jacksonville.

But many of the FBC Jax folks, including Phil Frentz have their "Brunson Blinders" on and can't see it.

Anonymous said...

There's an old saying: "Let sleeping dogs lie". It appears someone forgot this advice. Now they have let the dog loose and awakened him from his sleep. Kinda like Pearl Harbor...they awoke the sleeping GIANT!!

Anonymous said...

"That is why some here have said the ONLY way to get Mac and other mega pastors to be more transparent is to STOP giving!'

That's sound theology. Where can we find in scripture to STOP giving because something is happening we don't like? It probably works in a setting where those who give think the church is theirs and not God's.

If it is the Lord's church, then give...

...If it is not His church, then leave quickly.

Anonymous said...

The integrity shown by the Lindsays, both Sr., and Jr., was a lesson in life. Blessed were those of us who saw it. Blessed were those that allowed it to form some part of our own standards. Blessed was the church that had these two men as leaders. Integrity cannot be adopted if it isn't there. Cannot be bought. False is any person without it. Sad is any church that has lost it.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Couldn't they see their actions might have led to this PR nightmare? Or do they view this as proof they are in God's will, and this media coverage is just Satan's attack on the church, and the bloggers are Satan's little devils?.

The latter... or some variation like "tools of Satan." That's what they'll cry. Who knows if they really believe it?

Anonymous said...

So you're suing the police.

*You are going to take money away from the protection of your community and the protection of children so that your "rights" can be vendicated?

Is this truly what Chirst would do?

I wonder if Jesus considered suing rome after they crucified him.

Anonymous said...

all you people commenting about salaries, please leave a comment with how much money you make in your job. please include details on retirement or insurance benefits as well.

Anonymous said...

Anon May 5, 2009 2:49 AM
"Is this truly what Chirst would do?"

Well I don't know what "Chirst" would do but does anyone remember what God's payback was after the crucifixion?

Matt 27:51 "...and the earth did quake, and the rocks were rent..."

Wonder how much this little tremor cost the Roman government?

and this was even after "Christ" asked His Father to "..forgive them.." in LUKE 23:34

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:53 - Apples and oranges, Anon. If YOU paid my salary, my benefits, my retirement then yes, you should expect to know what they are. Members of FBC who pay the Pastor's salary should expect some transparency at the very least, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

Attention: 2:49 A.M.,,,6:30 A.m. Most likely same person:

I am not the Watchdog, I am an average person that reads this blog. My opinion and comments are as follows; as to taking money away from the community if I were suing under said circumstances, I would say: I pay taxes to be protected by the authorities. I would not expect or fear that the same authorities would take UNJUST and UNWARRENTED actions against me.
I would not be able to receive "special treatment", from anyone.

6:30: As to me showing my income, retirement or insurance benefits: I'am not calling myself a preacher, asking for public trust, therefore, receiving large amounts of money, or gifts such as a free $307,000 plot of land etc., etc.,etc. I notice YOU have remained anonymous also, and have not been forthcoming with same info.

God, through the Apostle Paul said...

I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? But instead, one brother goes to law against another—and this in front of unbelievers! The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers.

Anonymous said...

May 4, 2009 4:47 PM - your post tells us all a lot about Team Brunson and confirms our deepest fears! You are brainwashed and warped in your thinking if you claim to be a follower of Christ. Where would ANY of your options be in the Bible? Not allowing people to vote that don't give?!. Are you serious? Look how far we have come in our churches. So it IS all about the money at FBC Jax after all. You can't be a voting member if you don't give 10% of your gross income, no matter what we do with that money? Sir, if you really believe that, please don't actually say it. That is offensive to EVERY believer in Christ, even those that do give above and beyond the tithe.

How sad that people actually believe and think the way anon May 4, 2009 4:47 PM does.

Anonymous said...

May 5, 2009 6:30 AM wrote - "all you people commenting about salaries, please leave a comment with how much money you make in your job. please include details on retirement or insurance benefits as well."

Why? Who wants to know? Are you going to stop giving money to me if I don't disclose this? Well then, I won't.

Anonymous said...

May 4, 2009 11:30 PM wrote: - Where can we find in scripture to STOP giving because something is happening we don't like? It probably works in a setting where those who give think the church is theirs and not God's. If it is the Lord's church, then give......If it is not His church, then leave quickly."

Fair enough. It is NOT God's church, but it is Mac and Debbie and Maurilio's and the rich yes men who enable them with GOD's money. No, I won't leave. I will demand transparency and accountability.

Where is that in the Bible? Ever heard of "STEWARDSHIP." We are called to be good steward's of our finances, and giving them to Mac and Honey and Trey and Maurilio with NO transparency and accountability is NOT Biblical stewardship.

Now, you tell me where in the Bible anyone ever gave 10% of their wages to a local body of believers.

Email your pastor that question and I might pay $50.00 to hear his response. Better yet, why doesn't he answer it to the very people he is insisting have to do so? Why not preach it some Sunday morning instead of spending so much time on slander, and anonymous bloggers and "attacks" on him. I think the whole city knows the answer to that one.

Anonymous said...

To Anon. May 4, 2009 10:11 PM:

Indeed it is. Typical of those with no legs to stand on - flip the script and make it about you, not the real issue. It's called a diversionary tactic and it's a cheap trick and total fallacy. Kinda like, "Well, what about you? (wah wah - crying like a baby having a temper tantrum.)"

Anonymous said...

2. Do not let people who do not give (and be sure to check them at the door) be a part of any business meeting. Since they do not give financially they are not entitled to a vote.

Implementation of either of these would be a welcome change in any church. I'm sure a bunch of you will howl but the ones that usually do the howling are the ones who don't give at all or give very little.

May 4, 2009 4:47 PM

Isn't it a wonderful thing that scripture does NOT teach this? Barnabus certainly did not think this way when he sold his estate to help the widows in the new Body of Christ. The widows were not told they had no standing in the Body because they did not give. All spiritual gifts welcome. No standing based on giving. As a matter of fact, scripture rebukes those who save the best seats for the wealthy. (That is a metaphor for special treatment, friends)

The widow with her mites was praised very highly by our Lord. And it was done in front of the Pharisees and meant to rebuke them.

The problem is that the Body of Christ is now focused on money. There has to be lots of it to operate these temples of entertainment and pay a class of "professional" Christians.

I sure wish more folks from FBCJax would crack open their dusty bibles. The more they comment, the more we see the level of biblical ignorance.

God's economy is very different from what is being 'taught and caught' at that church.

Matt

Anonymous said...

all you people commenting about salaries, please leave a comment with how much money you make in your job. please include details on retirement or insurance benefits as well.

May 5, 2009 6:30 AM

I did not realize I had solicited offerings from for ministry. Can you show me where I have done that and I will gladly open the books to you.

Matt

Bennett Willis said...

Also, the email I sent him was very generic in nature and did not show my views about this issue at all. I simply asked about the Tom Rich situation and got a quick and very specific reply.

Its something you will wish you had paid to see.

May 4, 2009 10:03 PM

Ah, you got the autoresponse. Efficient! Most questions are repeats or easy answers and this seems like one of them these days. You get an answer and it is the "true and right" answer but you should not think that you got a personal answer. Copy/paste is wonderful. I have whole comment sentences that I enter when I'm grading files by typing a few letters. Saves a lot of time.

Bennett Willis

Anonymous said...

Anon May 4, 2009 10:03 pm -

You said "the email I sent him was very generic in nature..."

Of course you got an answer to an e-mail with a very generic comment about Mr. Rich. And you know what? You did not get an answer from Brunson. You got an automated type answer from his staff. Believe me, I know what I'm talking about.

Why are you posting as Anonymous? Wasn't that one of the things you complained about others doing? You are so funny and I think I know exactly who you are. In your mind, as long as the preacher said it then that makes it truth. That just ain't so pal! You have no idea who you're dealing with there in those downtown offices.

Just sit back and take a look at what's been done in the campaign to oust the blogger and think about it for a minute. Does it seem to you that there's been any Biblical influence in their actions? It's shameful what has been done! Shameful!

Brunson, Blount & Hinson should find a new place to go. Preferably outside of Jacksonville.

Anonymous said...

"Also, the email I sent him was very generic in nature and did not show my views about this issue at all. I simply asked about the Tom Rich situation and got a quick and very specific reply."

What email address did you send this to?

Would you be so kind as to cut and paste the response here so we have evidence of your words?

Anonymous said...

It is funny how so many try to call people on posting anoymously when they challenge posting anonymously.

The reason they do it is because when this bunch gets a name associated with comments they do not like, they pile on, bring up the past comments and disparage them.

Then they accuse FBCJax of doing the same thing.

Rather intesting observation on how this blog wants one thing but does not want to give it themselves. And by the way, working for a non-profit does not mean you live by a higher standard, but being a Christian does require it-FROM BOTH SIDES.

Anonymous said...

"The problem is that the Body of Christ is now focused on money. There has to be lots of it to operate these temples of entertainment and pay a class of "professional" Christians"

AMEN BRUUUTTTHHHAAA!!! Matt tellin' it like it is. I wish these Mac lovers would leave. Their attempts to defend by attacking are so sorry. They dig themselves deeper in the hole.

Anonymous said...

Everyone's quick to bring down the hammer of "where does it say that in Scripture".

Well here are my two cents. Where does it say in Scripture that a church must make public what it pays its pastors?

To my knowledge it doesn't.

I'm pretty sure Jesus had to get free meals, clothing, lodging, etc. But no where in the Scripture is the amount this totalled to recorded. Interesting.

Bro./Pastor Rod said...

"I sure wish more folks from FBCJax would crack open their dusty bibles. The more they comment, the more we see the level of biblical ignorance.

God's economy is very different from what is being 'taught and caught' at that church.

Matt"

May 5, 2009 10:44 AM




Absolutely correct Matt and also I enjoy your post so much and have learned a lot.This is the truly crux of the problem!The Biblical understanding of most professing Christians is totally inadequate therefore allowing them to be taken advantage of by Scripture twisting preachers especially concerning money. It's all about the money not the person's spiritual well being. Most Christians and those professing Christianity would be surprised by the wealth of information in the Bible concerning unscrupulous men twisting the Scirptures for their own enrichment. Like you've stated many times before Matt,the Church in the Book of Acts looks and operates nothing like Churches today,and the sad fact is most people sitting in them have no clue;And thats a sad commentary!

Anonymous said...

"Well here are my two cents. Where does it say in Scripture that a church must make public what it pays its pastors? "

Scripture does not mention "Trinity", either but it is implied throughout the Word.

Pastor is mentioned ONCE in the NT. So why do we have so many "pastors"?

Look at the 'process' of dealing with offerings in the NT. Then look at all the passages about money.

It should become clear to you that your comment above is referring to the LETTER of some law. But Christians look at the spirit of the teaching. (BTW: It was no secret in the OT what the Levite priests were given)

Openess and transparancy are the Christian way in the Body.

Everyone wants to say it is no ones business but now we are hearing from the secular public on this topic.

We may have fooled ourselves into believing things such as there must be some verse that says explicitly that a pastor has to divulge his total income he takes from the Body in order for the Body to be transparent.

But we have not fooled them.

I understand that you might not care what they think of Christians.

Matt

Anonymous said...

It would seem that if the money Mac Brunson makes was released it would become another element to hold against him, no matter what it is.

This information can not be released to the church when the church members (or at least some of them like Mr. Rich) will go public with the information they discover. Mr. Rich made this a matter beyond the church walls and it has become international in scope for the inquiry minds wanting to know the latest and juiciest news about a church in someones cross hairs.

No matter how noble anyone wants to make the actions of Mr. Rich, his actions have laid the foundation for less transparency, not more.

Why would a church want to give a disgruntled member information when the member seeking it has done little except to publicly expose that to which he disagrees?

Bottom line is God has laid the ways to deal with these things among the brethren and God's ways have not been followed by Mr. Rich.

I do believe Mac Brunson has handled this stuff in a terrible manner and I have conveyed my thoughts on this. Mr. Rich, the one who began the pursuit is the one who should have taken the first biblical step in dealing with this.

Does Mac Brunson owe Mr. Rich an apology? Yes.

Does Mr. Rich owe Mac Brunson an apology? Absolutely.

Will either make such a step? Absolutely Not!

See you in court and may the God being dishonored somehow show Himself through all this mess.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure Jesus had to get free meals, clothing, lodging, etc. But no where in the Scripture is the amount this totalled to recorded. Interesting.

May 5, 2009 1:24 PM

I find your comment above a mockery of my Lord.

19 And a scribe came up and said to him, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." 20And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." Matthew 8

Matt

Anonymous said...

Anon you said "Well here are my two cents. Where does it say in Scripture that a church must make public what it pays its pastors?
To my knowledge it doesn't."

Where does the Bible specifically state that we should not drive over the speed limit? And where is it specifically stated that you should not kick your dog? Where does the Bible specifically say that you should not slap the face of the person who just ran over your foot with a grocery cart? Where is the specific language that says I should get my mate something to drink when I get up to get something for myself?

Of course the Bible doesn't use that language any more than your comment about the pastor's salary. But it does say that we are to be honorable before God and man.

If a pastor has nothing to hide he would have no problem with his members knowing how much he makes.

An honorable pastor with nothing to hide would not lash out and commit libel against anyone!

Anonymous said...

A couple of points on Mac's salary:

1. It was not one of the main issues raised on this blog. Land gift was, salary was not. Go look it up, you'll see Mac's salary was not. Most people know the range of the mega church pastors, and Mac is in that range, no doubt about it.

2. People defending Mac on this blog and in the Times Union commenters, say that his salary private, and no one needs to know, and its no one's business, and its a church matter. Sounds good, but they can't have it both ways. It was MAC HIMSELF who went on the record about how much money he makes to the media! So while Mac does not want anyone to know the EXACT income he makes, he DOES want to defend himself by saying publicly:

a. he doesn't make anywhere near $300,000 (Times Union article Dec 2008), and

b. he is is one of the lowest paid mega church pastors in country (Times Union article April 2009).

So which is it? Is his salary private information and only for those in the upper echelons of church leadership to know, or should all of Jacksonville know what he makes? I might tend to say Mac believes it to be the latter, else why would he mention AT ALL information about his salary?

So really the questions to be answered are:

- Was Mac honest in his claims about his salary? Does he REALLY make a lot less than $300,000?

and

- Is Mac REALLY one of the lowest paid mega church pastors in the southern baptist convention?

Those are the questions to be answered regarding his salary. Its not "how much does Mac make"....its "did Mac tell the truth about his salary to the Media."

This writer believe the answer is "No".

Anonymous said...

And by the way, when we say "salary" we mean:

a. salary

b. wife's salary (since we don't really know what her position is, and she comes and goes as she pleases)

c. housing allowance

d. car allowance

e. clothing allowce

f. ___________ allowance (fill in the blank)

We're talking total Brunson compensation from FBC Jax.

A lot less than $300,000?

One of the lowest SBC pastor's comp packages in the country?

If so, I'll eat the W-2.

Anonymous said...

"It would seem that if the money Mac Brunson makes was released it would become another element to hold against him, no matter what it is."

Friend, they all know this. That is why it is a secret from day one. It is why mega church pastors never make their salary known. Nor the salary of most of the senior staffers. (Folks don't like to pay big money to those who work about 30 hours a week. And that is hard week for most mega church staffers)

This is why Mac can say with a straight face that he is not the HIGHEST paid mega church pastor. How does he know? He does. It is how they can negotiate their packages by comparisons.It is not that different than recruiting CEO's who do the same type of research on compensation. It is like being in the Fortune 500 CEO club. They take one anothers calls.

We did it all the time. What is Willow Creek paying a staff minister? Taking into consideration, size of church, local, etc, it is how compensation is negotiated for senior staff positions.

My guess is that Mac has also negotiated a nice severence package. Folks may want to start inquiring about that as they pay lawyers with offerings money to sit in on depositions.

"his information can not be released to the church when the church members (or at least some of them like Mr. Rich) will go public with the information they discover. Mr. Rich made this a matter beyond the church walls and it has become international in scope for the inquiry minds wanting to know the latest and juiciest news about a church in someones cross hairs."

So what? What are you ashamed of? Open the windows. Are you so squeamish about criticism? As a Christian? We should become used to it. Unfortuantly, they are not critisizing us about the Gospel. Just our behavior.

'o matter how noble anyone wants to make the actions of Mr. Rich, his actions have laid the foundation for less transparency, not more.'

This is completely illogical. As if you were going to get transparancy before this blog? If anything this blog has made them think twice about their actions. But I hope folks will still come out of these entertainment temples and stop funding them.

'hy would a church want to give a disgruntled member information when the member seeking it has done little except to publicly expose that to which he disagrees?"

The leadership ws not going to give this information to a perfectly happy member. You do not seem to understand that. But that same member heard the same tithing sermons.

"ottom line is God has laid the ways to deal with these things among the brethren and God's ways have not been followed by Mr. Rich."

You must elaborate on this one. If you are referring to Matthew 18, you are mistaken. Public behavior and teaching do not apply to Matthew 18. Especially with a leader in the Body who is very public and WANTS to be public.

" do believe Mac Brunson has handled this stuff in a terrible manner and I have conveyed my thoughts on this. Mr. Rich, the one who began the pursuit is the one who should have taken the first biblical step in dealing with this."

Even with all the information that has been given on this situation, there are folks that still believe that is was Mr. Rich who should have been biblical but not Brunson. He is held to a higher standard than Brunson. So be it. It is the only way they can live with the fact that they have supported Brunson for so long.

It really is amazing what these celebrity pastors can get by with. I saw it all the time. Too many folks are stuck following a human and not Christ

I suppose you think John was not biblical for calling out Diotrephes in a letter for all the churches to read for 2000 years? Or, perhaps Paul was in sin for publicly rebuking Peter and then WRITING about it in a letter for all to read for 2000 years.

Is that what you mean by being biblical?

"Does Mac Brunson owe Mr. Rich an apology? Yes."

No. That is silly. 'Sorry' is NOT repentance. Mac has disqualifed himself as an elder.

"Does Mr. Rich owe Mac Brunson an apology? Absolutely."

"See you in court and may the God being dishonored somehow show Himself through all this mess."

He already has. You missed it.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Don't forget slush funds. Some of them have anywhere from 1000 to 25,000 as a slush fund for whatever.

Some even have book funds for buying books. And entertaining as in Christmas parties at their homes. Free vacations. Complete office set up in their homes with the latest technology, blackberries, ISP, etc.

There is a lot that is paid for by the church that would not show up on any disclosure. Keep in mind, they do not have to shell out personal dollars for most of their lifestyle.

And never forget the para church organizations they all run from their position as mega church pastor. Those lines can blur when looking at the time spent on church business at the same time writing books and speaking engagments. All income sources

Matt

Anonymous said...

So, the land gift is the main issue of this blog? That's fine to make it the main issue but the problem then comes that the church, at large, had nothing to do with the land gift so therefore they have no business in hearing what Mac receives as a gift. None of the church tithes or offerings went to this expense. No one but the giver of the gift, was out any money or value? Paying his salary does not give anyone in membership the right to know what he receives from book royalties, speaking engagements or other ventures that come with being the pastor of FBCJ. If he receives moneys or gifts from an outside source, that is between him, the government and God.

So how much did the Lindsay's make or Dr. Vines? How much did Dr. Vines make off speaking engagements and book royalties? How much transparency was there, then, really?

Anonymous said...

To all you people who are saying that the Church has a right to know a pastors salary. My point in saying, that Jesus took free things and no where was it recorded and no where in Scripture is it said that Leaders of the church are to make public their compensation, was

1. NOT to make a mockery of our Lord. If I did that in any way Matt I am very sorry. I think the Lord knew my motives and they were not to mock Him. He knows in my life I have done so, and He has forgiven me, but at this particular time I was not.

2. It was to say that most of you on this blog are arguing for a purer congregational form of church government. You want checks and balances (possibly an elder guided system rather than a single Senior Pastor, or maybe a pure democracy). The point is that I assume FBC Jax is a congregational form of government in some sense and they are the ones who haven't gotten the bylaws changed to where the Pastors salary is made known to the congregation. But if a local autonomous body of believers decides not to make what they pay their leaders public it is not a sin. No where in Scripture is publication of salaries commanded!

Anonymous said...

An employee of JEA who takes a $5000 gift from a vendor who does business with JEA will be fired ON THE SPOT for taking such a gift. Does not matter one bit that JEA was out of any money or not by accepting the gift. Its the appearance of impropriety, and favors and influence that might have been purchased by the giver of the gift. It compromises the impartiality of the gift receiver. This is why Mac said in his book for pastors they should not accept gifts from church members. Mac said it, not I.

And don't forget the infomerical played for the sons of the giver of the gift. THAT is why a pastor should not accept large gifts from wealthy members - since any advantages shown to the giver of the gift would give the appearance of being given in return for the gift.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Comment from last night...

There's an old saying: "Let sleeping dogs lie". It appears someone forgot this advice. Now they have let the dog loose and awakened him from his sleep. Kinda like Pearl Harbor...they awoke the sleeping GIANT!!.

The Watchdog's detractors say it's all "lies and slander," so perhaps a more fitting expression would be... "Let lying dogs sleep."

Anonymous said...

We have many of the current administration telling those that want transparency..."If you don't like it leave". Well, I tell you what...We DON"T like it and why don't you all (current administration), leave. We were here FIRST!!!!. Got it!!!

Anonymous said...

PRESS RELEASE:

Dear members of FBC Jax, JSO, State Attorneys office, and citizens of Jacksonville.

I wish to summarize this issue for all of you. I was sent some questions by members that I refused, and continue to refuse to answer, no matter what. I don't care what harm is done to the church or to the Lord. I would rather have a blog about me and rather defend lawsuits, then answer the questions. And since this one blogger won't just go away, it seems he is willing to pursue his answers in court and will use public pressure via blogging. For this I have slandered him as a sociopath. My congregation loved that and they support me fully. I get hootin and hollerin each week and the occasional standing ovation while he gets shunned by our members.

Why don't I answer his questions?

1) I am too proud and too arrogant to give this nobody any answers.

2) The answers would be of great embarrassment to me and to the FBC Jax and to those men who continue to enable me. No way I can EVER let the members and citizens of Jacksonville know the answers to some of those questions.

3) I don't have to answer them. People continue to give over $1 million dollars EVERY month to the church, they don't demand any accountability as to where those funds go (they are trusting God to worry about that), and people continue to join our church and the South Campus. So I must be doing something right.

Signed,

Dr. Donny Mack Brumson

Anonymous said...

Anon - you wrote: "Why would a church want to give a disgruntled member information when the member seeking it has done little except to publicly expose that to which he disagrees?"

You have it backward. Mr. Rich was not "disgruntled" when he asked for some transparency, not to himself, but to the congregation. Why must the church go to such lengths to keep basic information secret. What are they afraid of if this amount gets out? If there is nothing to hide, then hide nothing. The public will be drawn to churches that are open and accountable and transparent.

Anonymous said...

Not trying to make any comparison here - believe me!

However I keep thinking about how open and transparent the Billy Graham Crusade always was.

Anyone could look at the books and that's why most people have a great deal of respect for BGC.

The same cannot be said for FBCJ.

Anonymous said...

"That's fine to make it the main issue but the problem then comes that the church, at large, had nothing to do with the land gift so therefore they have no business in hearing what Mac receives as a gift. None of the church tithes or offerings went to this expense. No one but the giver of the gift, was out any money or value? Paying his salary does not give anyone in membership the right to know what he receives from book royalties, speaking engagements or other ventures that come with being the pastor of FBCJ. If he receives moneys or gifts from an outside source, that is between him, the government and God."

Many think like you do which is why most young guys at seminary are wanting a mega church staff position first.

And Paul made tents so as not to be a burden.

Matt

Anonymous said...

But if a local autonomous body of believers decides not to make what they pay their leaders public it is not a sin. No where in Scripture is publication of salaries commanded!

May 5, 2009 3:11 PM

Using your logic, I would say scripture does not command them to keep it a secret from the Body.

Matt

Anonymous said...

"Many think like you do which is why most young guys at seminary are wanting a mega church staff position first."

Can we mark this up as your opinion or do you have some hard facts to back up such a claim?

When I was in seminary I do not know many, if any, who were looking for the mega church position. Most were wanting to preach... anywhere they could. The preacher boys who have surrendered to the ministry during the time I was their pastor are not in it for such a thing. This would be only 5 men, presently in seminary. about a dozen or so who have already graduated and are now serving somewhere and none in a mega church.

I'd think if "MOST" as you claim, at least one of the almost 20 would be in a mega church or have tried to get there. But NONE of these fine men fit your OPINION.

Anonymous said...

Could we just settle this in the squared circle. Wildfire Tom Rich versus The American Dream Big Mac.It would be a classic a simple country preacher going against a computer blogging city boy. I think this would sell out the SBC and u could get ppv money as well. Somebody please get the WWE offices involved.

Anonymous said...

You should look at the shell of a former mega church that is Two Rivers in Nashville. This is what happens when you have an arrogant narcissist as a "pastor". There is little chance for a church to thrive when there is sin and pride (and lies) in the pulpit. TRBC now has a huge building with few to fill it....and many broken hearts to boot.

Anonymous said...

4:30 P.M. "Surrendering to the Ministry", etc'

What is this "surendering to the ministry" stuff. This sounds like someone has chased them down and they have finally given up to be offered on some type of alter. As to these "fine young men" serving in positions other than MEGA churches..well, there arn't that many Mega's around. And dollars to donuts, if they were offered a Mega they would not turn it down. I will acknowledge that there are Godly men that have been called by God to be preachers. But the goings on in most churches, especially Megas, have so tarnished the perception of preachers in general that it is indeed sad for the Godly men that are truly called. I would rather give my money to a good charity (and I know some) than to any church I can think of at this present time. Maybe that is why 2,000 Baptist preachers quit the "ministry" every year. The market it is no longer there for them, and the Megas are dwindling. The problem is it's now a business. Jesus is not preeminent. Many have left their calling.

Anonymous said...

"I'd think if "MOST" as you claim, at least one of the almost 20 would be in a mega church or have tried to get there."

Tried is the operative word.

Perhaps it would help you to see the vast amount of resumes coming in to mega churches from seminary students. Or, live in a seminary city. Or watch them practically prostrate themselves over the celebrity pastors who visit campus for the internships at their mega's that position themf or a staff position. Even researcher will do.

What is funny is that most will not admit they want to be on a mega church staff but they sure do line up for the internships and send in the resumes. As a few of them recently told me, if I do not get on at _____ then I will settle for a small church if that is all I can get.

Think about it. Starting salary at a mega church after internship is going to be anywhere from 50 grand on up for a staff minister. The ones I was associated with started more like 70,000. A country church might be able to start at 30,000.

I just doubt they admit that to each other. One reason they do this is because of how it works at mega's. It is MUCH harder to get on at a mega if you come from a very small church unless you have some sort of an in. They think that the person 'won't understand us' and has no experience with size. It is important to have that 'experience' on your resume.

Glad you were not one of these guys. But you will have to excuse me because I have gone through the stacks of resumes every year sitting on these committees. There are no shortage of seminary preacher boys applying to mega's.

If you are the preachers son, you should not have to worry. Most of them are given some ministry or at one mega they did not want to appear nepotistic so they made him the 'senior researcher for sermon series'. Not bad for 100,000 grand a year, huh?

Matt

Matt

Anonymous said...

To Anon. 3:48,

Good job at trying to sound like Brunson. Too bad he wouldn't say that. We all know you made up that whole comment, you even spelled his name wrong. It's not Mack Brumson, it's Mac Brunson. Ha what an idiot...

Anonymous said...

I think it's pretty ironic how the WD is upset his identity was revealed and that he has free speech, yet he has to approve every comment posted on here before it is public. That doesn't make any sense... Shouldn't EVERYONE have free speech then?

marshall said...

Keep up the good work. I just blogged about you and the violation of privacy you went through http://www.adventcreative.com/no-such-thing-as-an-anonymous-blogger

Anonymous said...

"What's down in the well comes up in the bucket." You are seeing Mac for who he really is. Fight the good fight, Dog! Don't back down!

J. Williamson said...

Paul,

No surprise to see direct scriptural admonition 100% ignored by this crew.

What Mr. Rich is doing is in clear violation of black letter on white page scripture, yet he is cheered on.

gmommy said...

And of course you would have us cheer the Mac machine. Sorry.

J. Williamson said...

"And of course you would have us cheer the Mac machine."


No. I don't care who you cheer or don't cheer. I don't care if you go to his church or don't go to his church. Personally I've never met the man.

I would however have you and others obey the word of God.

Anonymous said...

I think it's pretty ironic how the WD is upset his identity was revealed and that he has free speech, yet he has to approve every comment posted on here before it is public. That doesn't make any sense... Shouldn't EVERYONE have free speech then?

May 5, 2009 7:11 PM

Hmmmmmm. Then why does he publish so many insulting comments about himself?

Anonymous said...

No surprise to see direct scriptural admonition 100% ignored by this crew.

What Mr. Rich is doing is in clear violation of black letter on white page scripture, yet he is cheered on.

May 5, 2009 11:15 PM

Chapter and verse, please. In context. As others have pointed out then John was in violation and Paul, too for what they wrote.

But of course, I am sure you think Mac is still qualified as an edler as per 1 Timothy even those it says must be 'above reproach to the OUTSIDE'

Anonymous said...

I would however have you and others obey the word of God.

May 6, 2009 12:08 AM

Calling out wolves and warning of wolves is obeying the Word. Do you actually want folks to follow someone like Mac Brunson? If you do, you do not know the Word of God. If they want to follow Christ they must get out of that place. How you can read the Word and think FBCJax looks like a real church is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

I would however have you and others obey the word of God.

May 6, 2009 12:08 AM

How is that when you don't even seem to understand it. Do you always go around saying vague things like this without backing it up with teaching in context OR ignoring what those who are in leadership have already done to ignore the Word?

Why don't you start with those who are PAID big bucks to teach the Word of God. They don't seem to obey it.

Perhaps their titles scare you.

Anonymous said...

Mr Williamson..In all due respect you and some others have it all wrong. Its not Brunson's church... if it is a church it belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ and HIS alone. Too many are following a MAN and not the LORD. Whenever this occurs there is always going to be problems of enormity!!!!

One other thing...it was not Mr Rich who ignored scripture...it was the two reverends who started this charade with the trespass papers, who didn't see Mr Rich. All he is currently doing, is legally protecting his rights to privacy as a citizen of our county. And to that I, and many others, applaud him. Thats why we have courts to determine the actual facts of this case. If justice is done, Mr. Rich's rights and indeed ours, will prevail. Thank you.

Bro.Rod Hendrix said...

""And of course you would have us cheer the Mac machine."


No. I don't care who you cheer or don't cheer. I don't care if you go to his church or don't go to his church. Personally I've never met the man.

I would however have you and others obey the word of God.

May 6, 2009 12:08 AM



Number one Mac doesn't have a Church, it is suppose to be Christ Church!(2)Are your admonitions "J" directed at Mac as well? (3)Mac said that the Bible is 99.99 percent correct,then maybe Matt 18 is not in his Bible! (4)It has already been proven that Mac will not answer direct questions by personal meeting or e-mail whether given to him anon or not! (5)His comments(sociopath)to newspaper reporter were reprehensible! So while you are blasting WD make sure your righteous anger is also vented toward Mac who bears the greater responsibility do to his position!

Still Waiting said...

All of us are still waiting for Tom Rich to list exactly what his rules of transparancy and accountabilty would be! Only one blogger and not the man who started all this has not spoken precisely what this list of rules would be. Please provide your detailed list! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

You would be waiting quite a long time for Tom Rich's list to appear here. Now in the legal realm, all of Mr. Rich's 'rules for transparency' as you call them are not necessary. Now the rules of discovery apply and no rules for transparency are needed. All of his questions, they all come from his lawyer directly to the sheriff, to the prosecutor's office, and to the First Baptist Church during the discovery process. No blog is necessary now. And no anonymous letters or emails. Rest assured, Mr. Rich's name will be on the requests to produce and the interrogatories, so don't you worry bout that. Of course there will be plenty of 'transparency' at the depositions, rest assured, Still Waiting. What you will have to wait for are transcripts from the depositions, there will be full transparency there I believe and answers to many of Mr. Rich's questions.

Anonymous said...

I have been taught that in life you have three basic kinds of people.
The Lawyers who argue about the way things should happen.
The Voyeurs who just watch things happen.
And the Warriors who make things happen.
The Watchdog Tom Rich is the Warrior. God calls people like him from time to time to right things that offend him. As the old line goes, The Pen is more mighty than the sword. God is with you in your quest Tom.

Bro. Rod said...

"All of us are still waiting for Tom Rich to list exactly what his rules of transparancy and accountabilty would be! Only one blogger and not the man who started all this has not spoken precisely what this list of rules would be. Please provide your detailed list! Thanks!

May 6, 2009 8:29 AM"



This is what John MacAuthur calls willful ignorance! Tom has listed over and over and over the issues that should be transparent within not just FBCJ but all Churches! A previous blogger noted Billy Grahams ministry as an example of ministerial transparency! Mr.Rich no need to re-list all of yours and others concerns regarding these issues, "Still Waiting" can go through the WD archives and get all of the info!

Bro.Rod said...

"I have been taught that in life you have three basic kinds of people.
The Lawyers who argue about the way things should happen.
The Voyeurs who just watch things happen.
And the Warriors who make things happen.
The Watchdog Tom Rich is the Warrior. God calls people like him from time to time to right things that offend him. As the old line goes, The Pen is more mighty than the sword. God is with you in your quest Tom.

May 6, 2009 8:40 AM"


Anon I agree with your comments 100 percent![1Pet:4:17]!

J. Williamson said...

"Chapter and verse, please. In context. "

"I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? But instead, one brother goes to law against another—and this in front of unbelievers! The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers."

I was simply agreeing with God's word.

Let's presume that Mr. Brunson has done wrong. Scripture expressly forbids Christians suing each other, even if they have been wronged. Still we cheer on the violation on God's word.

If I were speaking to Mr. Brunson I may have some advice for him, but I'm not right now. I'm speaking to those here who wish to ignore scripture when it interferes with their agenda.

Still Waiting on Mac said...

I am not waiting on anything from Tom Rich. (Who is he, by the way? I never heard of him and don't really care what "list" he might have or not have. He is not my pastor or deacon or SS teacher) However, I was part of a group of "concerned members" who contributed to an email sent to Mac some about 2 years ago that asked him some straightforward questions. I am still waiting on him to hit "reply" and answer those. Or at least answer them to his congregation. Or maybe when I read the deposition transcripts then I will stop waiting. But until then...I am still waiting...and blogging. :)

But like Mac says: The mills of the gods grind slow. I would add, the wheels of justice also grind slow. Mac's fun is just BEGINNING. The past was simply PRELUDE. It's time to seriously seek answers now. No more anon emails, and no more Mr. Nice Guy blogging, Mac. We hoped these methods would get a loving response from you. You asked for it, you got it.

And I would hate to be the person who screened that initial email and advised you not to respond. They look pretty STUPID now, don't ya think!

Anonymous said...

J. Williamson - the Bible says to defend the oppressed and speak up for those without a voice. Are you actually saying that if a Christian runs a red light and crashes into your wife or daughter or son and breaks their legs that you are not entitled to seek redress in the courts of law for fair compensation under the law? What about medical malpractice performed by a Christian doctor. Can't sue them for their wrongdoing and negligence? If a ride at Disney malfunctions and harms you, will you drop any claim for damages if it would involve suing a Christian? What if you are a victim of a crime done to you by a Christian businessman. Would you tell him, "well that's okay. You committed a crime, but I am obeying God and will not sue you for restitution for what you stole from me? If a Christian mechanic rips you off, you will let it go and not seek justice in the courts?

Is trustee Adrian Soud a sinner for making a living as a personal injury lawyer prior to becoming a judge? If so, why no sermons from Dr. Brunson regarding these sinful lawyers who sue others? Why no discipline committee action against Jeff Soud for ongoing, continuous sin of representing plaintiff's in personal injury actions, some of which are against other Christians.

No, your efforts to make people "obey" God, by obeying YOU and your interpretation and application of a selected scripture, out of context, is frightening. Bob Gray and Darrel Gilyard and Mac Brunson also use scripture to get what they want. What is it YOU want? Really?

Anonymous said...

"Chapter and verse, please. In context. "

"I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? But instead, one brother goes to law against another—and this in front of unbelievers! The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers.""

Nice try. But you do not understand this in context. First of all, Brunson called in the civil Magistrate FIRST.

Of course, he did this secretly between a few big wigs in power so you give him a pass.

"Suing" in the scriptures fits his going to the Magistrate FIRST with investigation, subpeonas and trespass warnings. Brunson MADE this a CIVIL matter of law. Not Mr. Rich. Brunson had every opportunity to respond Biblically for HOW LONG? And chose not to.

"I was simply agreeing with God's word."

Obviously not.

"Let's presume that Mr. Brunson has done wrong. Scripture expressly forbids Christians suing each other, even if they have been wronged. Still we cheer on the violation on God's word."

YOU are cheering on the violation of God's Word by ignoring that Brunson no longer qualfies as an Elder. He must be above reproach to the OUTSIDE. Read 1 Timothy.

"If I were speaking to Mr. Brunson I may have some advice for him, but I'm not right now."

Of course not. How could you? It is MUCH harder to hold the guy with the lofty title accountable. Nearly impossible. He would swat you away like a fly.

" I'm speaking to those here who wish to ignore scripture when it interferes with their agenda."

AS you have proven you are doing the same thing here by ignoring that Brunson is no longer qualified to be an elder as per 1 Timothy.

But it is much easier to come on here anonymous and accuse faceless folks as violating scripture. Man up and confront Brunson about bringing IN THE CIVIL MAGISTRATE FIRST and being unqualifed as an Elder as per 1 Timothy:

7Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

TOO LATE. It is already happened. He is disqualified.

He represents Christianity to the pagans! And he used the civil magistrate to go after one of his own sheep wo questioned him publicly. Now it is all over the news.

Now, he needs to resign, repent and get out of ministry.

Anonymous said...

"Is trustee Adrian Soud a sinner for making a living as a personal injury lawyer prior to becoming a judge? If so, why no sermons from Dr. Brunson regarding these sinful lawyers who sue others? Why no discipline committee action against Jeff Soud for ongoing, continuous sin of representing plaintiff's in personal injury actions, some of which are against other Christians."

EXCELLENT POINT

What say you Mr. Williamson? If it
is always a sin for Christians to sue other Christians then how could a 'Christian' make a living filing lawsuits?

Perhaps there are rules for some Christians and not for others?

Anonymous said...

Soud is a Personal Injury Attorney???? Well that explains everything! They're notorious for their crook ways.

Anonymous said...

"He represents Christianity to the pagans! And he used the civil magistrate to go after one of his own sheep wo questioned him publicly"

That sums it all up right there. Disgusting. Pastors these days are rotten and totally untrustworthy.

Bro.Rod H. said...

"Let's presume that Mr. Brunson has done wrong. "

That statement alone "J" is absolutely laughable!

J. Williamson said...

If one person is not abiding by scripture, that does not give us a pass to also ignore scripture.

God is not grading on the curve.

Bro.Rod H. said...

"That sums it all up right there. Disgusting. Pastors these days are rotten and totally untrustworthy.

May 6, 2009 10:03 AM"


"ANON" not all Pastors are hirilings! Remember God always has a "Ram in the bush"! Unfortunately as we near the second coming of Christ the Biblical predictions are for a plethora of unscrupulous people to aspire to the ministry! I've said it once and I will say it again "There is BIG MONEY in ministry" and this is the driving motivation for "MANY" modern preachers! What profession can you go into where countless numbers of dollars come your way with basically no accountablity from anyone? "THE PASTORATE"!!! Then you as the Pastor throw in a little GOD as a fear factor and have the "gift of gabb" and the "wolf in sheeps clothing" can now rack up on the unsuspecting sheep! But "THEN" a monkey(no pun Tom)wrench comes in,a sheep that has discernment and begins to ask questions: "OH,OH" "shut'em down", can't have him waking of the sheep and spoiling the Pastor racket! Now we see the saga that is FBCJ!!!

Bro.Rod H. said...

"If one person is not abiding by scripture, that does not give us a pass to also ignore scripture."


"J" are you then admitting that Mac the Pastor is not abiding by Scipture or is it just Mr.Rich? And if Mac is not abiding by the Scriptures,then why does he not send himself a trespass warning?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bro Rod. It is a saying i learned from a very wise old man.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Williamson 9:11 A.M.:

What planet do you live on? Under your premise no one who is a Christian should ever expect justice to be rendered on their behalf on this earth! Just take whatever disaster some other Christian (?) causes and suffer. Do you not understand how fast a lost world would hide under the protection of calling themselves christians in order to take advantage of another Christian. Many would "rip off", steal from, defraud and in all sorts of unchristian ways, harm and injure their fellow "Christians"(?).

Get real! I certainly hope another "Christian"(?) doesn't cause you major distress, as you are a sitting duck for the unscrupulous!!!!

1st Timothy chp.1 vs. 8: "But we know the law is good, if a man use it lawfully"; Also, in vs.10B we see "and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound DOCTRINE". In Titus, Paul admonishes Titus to obey the magistrates, and further into chp. 3, tells Titus to bring the lawyer Zenas with him when he comes that nothing be wanting.

Zenas was a Godly lawyer, highly respected by Paul. Which shows that all lawyers are not the same and some are even Christians.

Does not FBCJ have Christian lawyers in their membership, indeed even some judges. How have they performed their occupations if not sueing and judging others, even I dare say some Christians involved in litigations they have handled.

So I would say Mr.Rich, is entitled to his day in court to seek justice!

Tikatu said...

Mr. Williamson,

With all due respect, please reread the blog entry.

Mr. Rich is suing "the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO), and the State Attorney's Office (SAO) and the respective men involved from each agency that were significant parties."

Not Mac Brunson.

Mr. Brunson, however, will have much to do in this case as the JSO acted at his behest.

Your argument from Scripture seems to be predicated on a Rich vs. Brunson lawsuit. This is not the case.

Anonymous said...

If one person is not abiding by scripture, that does not give us a pass to also ignore scripture.

God is not grading on the curve.

May 6, 2009 10:29 AM

Spoken like a true Pharisee while you ignore the scripture in what you DO. Have you told Brunson to his face that God is not grading on the curve? Or just faceless anonymous commenters?

If you want your message listened to here...perhaps you should grow a spine and confront Brunson publicly for using the Magristrate FIRST and for violating 1 Tim 3.

Anonymous said...

"If one person is not abiding by scripture, that does not give us a pass to also ignore scripture."

But I thought the pastor was our role model.

Anonymous said...

"If one person is not abiding by scripture, that does not give us a pass to also ignore scripture."

Wait! The Pastor, Brunson, modeled going to the courts for us. He got subpeonas. So, it must be ok to use the courts against another Christian. The pastor did it.

Sick of the Rich Supporters said...

Brudda Rob, you are wrong about Billy Graham. His ministry did not pay and still does not pay his expenses. Nor does anyone know what he receives since he has a benefactor other than the BGEA that pays him.

As far as Anon 9:27 am goes, most of the time "concerned" members typically means, we don't like you, we don't like your ideas, we think that if Joe Collins will give you property, then he should give us property also, etc.

As a concerned member of FBC for over three decades, you and your other "concerned" member class are full of CRAP. Our bylaws are set up for you to go to the deacons and the trustees, not directly to the pastor.

As far as transparency goes, FBC has and will always do the following:

1. Once a month the budget summary is printed and distributed in the wed. evening service. Maybe you and the other "concerned" members do not attend, but that is when it is distributed to everyone who takes it from an ushers hand.

2. Mac Brunson does not have power like a lot on this blog seem to think to write checks and control the flow of funds. That is done by a committee, PERIOD.

3. Our finances are not like pentecostal, catholic, and other independent churches where the pastor controls the funds and writes the checks.

4. Each year the FBC budget expenditures are independently audited by an outside CPA firm to insure the integrity of the process set up for over the last hundred years and is available for anyone to look at it.

5. All of the negative blogging shows one thing: IT IS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY!!!!!!!!!!1

6. Not a one of you folks have even brou8ght up the fact that he bought a house when he was at FBD at the low of the market and sold it at the very top of the market. Who knows, he could have tripled or quadrupled his money on that deal.

Most of the folks blogging in support of Tom Rich, do not attend FBC, have no type of interest in our fellowship, or are former members of FBC, or are atheists trying to say "see", or other "outsiders" from other parts of the country trying to stir the pot and get their owned warped opinions across.

Frankly, y'alls BEEF, although it is an extremely weak one, is really with the deacons and the trustees and not with Mac Brunson.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize WD was suing MB personally.

Anonymous said...

"ANON" not all Pastors are hirilings!"

No they are not. Praise God. I would highly recommend folks getting out of mega's and going into some of these small churches where the pastors really need some support. They need prayer warriors and encouragement as they face incredible odds against them. And with those odds againt them, you will see the Hand of God. Why? Because there is no other explanation. In that way, God gets the Glory for Himself.

You don't see that over at the rich mega. You see men getting the Glory for themselves. You see people joining a club or for the activities or events but rarely do you see a seriously regenerated heart because of hearing the Gospel.

The only way some of these ministers are making it at all is because God provides just in time daily. No security for these guys.

Pray and ask God to show you a brother that could use both your financial and spiritual support in ministry. It won't be as glamorous as a mega and you might have to get your hands a bit dirty dealing with some of the least of these.

But, it brings Him the Glory. Not us!

Matt

Anonymous said...

Those on each side of this issue have different perspectives on how things ought to be done. Neither group (or individual) is willing to take the high road while at the same time both groups believe they are taking the high road. All we have left is one side being vocal and demanding information but now suing because a persons anonymity has been discovered. While the other side is sitting quietly knowing it will shortly all go away because the only target being sued in a government target.

Waste of time and money.

Lydia said...

"Brudda Rob, you are wrong about Billy Graham. His ministry did not pay and still does not pay his expenses. Nor does anyone know what he receives since he has a benefactor other than the BGEA that pays him."

That is a twisted version of the truth. Since I have a dear friend that works for Franklin, I have some understanding of how it works. The reason for his large income is FOR many of his personal expenses.

"As far as Anon 9:27 am goes, most of the time "concerned" members typically means, we don't like you, we don't like your ideas, we think that if Joe Collins will give you property, then he should give us property also, etc."

So anyone who questions the impropriaty of that transaction is just jealous? That may play at FBCJax and I am sure it does. But it shows very little fear of God. Since your pastor does not care what may look improper to those outside (a commercial during Worship?) no one in their right mind should be jealous if they fear a Holy God.

"As a concerned member of FBC for over three decades, you and your other "concerned" member class are full of CRAP. Our bylaws are set up for you to go to the deacons and the trustees, not directly to the pastor."

Are you referring to the changed bylaws? Were those changes communicated to the Body and voted on? Or did a group of folks rubber stamp them?


"As far as transparency goes, FBC has and will always do the following:

1. Once a month the budget summary is printed and distributed in the wed. evening service. Maybe you and the other "concerned" members do not attend, but that is when it is distributed to everyone who takes it from an ushers hand."

I have a long history with mega's and the figures we passed out included some very broad categories. Are specifics provided if one questions? Or do they dare question?

"2. Mac Brunson does not have power like a lot on this blog seem to think to write checks and control the flow of funds. That is done by a committee, PERIOD."

Of course he does not. He has a very willing committee that looks up to him and is at this moment enabling much of the sin that goes on there. A committee that was quite willing to pay his wife and son as staffers. Should folks at FBCJax trust their wisdom? I think not.

"3. Our finances are not like pentecostal, catholic, and other independent churches where the pastor controls the funds and writes the checks."

Personally, I know very few pastors who write checks. That really has nothing to do with the inquiries and impropriaties.

"4. Each year the FBC budget expenditures are independently audited by an outside CPA firm to insure the integrity of the process set up for over the last hundred years and is available for anyone to look at it."

Now this one is hilarious. The auditors are going to point out the excesses? They are not Christian ethicists. They are looking for legalities. And since churches are not bound by most labor or tax laws, this one is even more hilarious.

"5. All of the negative blogging shows one thing: IT IS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY!!!!!!!!!!1"

As it is with your pastor. His sermons prove it.

"6. Not a one of you folks have even brou8ght up the fact that he bought a house when he was at FBD at the low of the market and sold it at the very top of the market. Who knows, he could have tripled or quadrupled his money on that deal."

What on earth does that have to do with anything? If it is true. I would double check that to make sure FBC Dallas did not have someone well heeled buy it to get him out of town. I have seen a few deals like that before.

Another thought on this is how much was put into the home by FBCDallas to increase the value? I know one pastor of FBCDallas that had an architect add an office and it was furnised by a posh interior designer in Dallas. All paid for by the church.

"Most of the folks blogging in support of Tom Rich, do not attend FBC, have no type of interest in our fellowship, or are former members of FBC, or are atheists trying to say "see", or other "outsiders" from other parts of the country trying to stir the pot and get their owned warped opinions across."

Should you not be the model of propriety for the 'atheists' here? Are you taught to hate atheists at FBCJax?

Remember: Elders must be above reproach to the outside world. The 'outside world' would include atheists.

Why do you insist on giving athiests so much ammunition against greedy faux Christians?

Me thinks you folks at FBCJax need to go somewhere alone and really study the Word. Everytime you speak, you prove you know not the Word at all.

"rankly, y'alls BEEF, although it is an extremely weak one, is really with the deacons and the trustees and not with Mac Brunson."

So, it was really a deacon or trustee that told the reporter that Mr. Rich was a sociopath? And it was a deacon or Trustee that put a gun to his head and forced him to hire his family? Forced him to accept a land gift? A very high salary.

Poor Mac.

Bro.Rod.H. said...

Matt

May 6, 2009 2:22 PM


Matt "AMEN,AMEN,AMEN" on your entire 2:22pm post!!!

Member in third Row said...

I think its funny How some of the Brunsonites would like to beleive that most of the posters on this blog are not members of FBCjax. Go ahead and think that. But next Sunday look around you we are everywhere. We might just be sitting next to you. Maybe even the one you thought agreed with you. And when the time is right. We will stand as one.

Anonymous said...

Those on each side of this issue have different perspectives on how things ought to be done. Neither group (or individual) is willing to take the high road while at the same time both groups believe they are taking the high road. All we have left is one side being vocal and demanding information but now suing because a persons anonymity has been discovered. While the other side is sitting quietly knowing it will shortly all go away because the only target being sued in a government target.

Waste of time and money.

May 6, 2009 2:49 PM

Not at all. Most mega church pastors in the SBC are following ths saga. They want to learn to be more clever and wise in how they fleece the sheep.

Just think, you can get subpeona's on a member, give them a trespass warning, ignoring 1 Corin 6 and 1
Tim 3 and STILL preach at the pastors conference of the SBC!

Says a lot about how dead the SBC really is. The Holy Spirit left long ago or we would not have so many charlatans like Brunson, Gaines, Patterson, Sutton, Stanley, etc., etc.,

Anonymous said...

Sick of the Rich Supporters wrote:

Brudda Rob, you are wrong about Billy Graham. His ministry did not pay and still does not pay his expenses. Nor does anyone know what he receives since he has a benefactor other than the BGEA that pays him.

Response: You are a liar! This is NOT true. Liar.

As far as Anon 9:27 am goes, most of the time "concerned" members typically means, we don't like you, we don't like your ideas, we think that if Joe Collins will give you property, then he should give us property also, etc.

Response: You are a liar! This is NOT true. Liar. Mac Brunson's Pastor's Guidebook says NOT to accept such gifts. We never said we didn't like Mac's (Maurilio's?) ideas, but only that he needed to be transparent about such a large gift received so soon after he arrived and in conflict with his own book. He refused and jerks like you accuse of all kinds of things just for asking. Jerk.


As a concerned member of FBC for over three decades, you and your other "concerned" member class are full of CRAP. Our bylaws are set up for you to go to the deacons and the trustees, not directly to the pastor.

Response: You are a liar! This is NOT true. Liar. Brunsonites have said over and over again this could have all been prevented if Tom had only gone to the pastor. Now you claim our bylaws say to go to the deacons. This was tried. The deacons said we were "attacking" him and asked us to leave the church.


As far as transparency goes, FBC has and will always do the following:

1. Once a month the budget summary is printed and distributed in the wed. evening service. Maybe you and the other "concerned" members do not attend, but that is when it is distributed to everyone who takes it from an ushers hand.

Response: You are a liar! This is NOT true. Liar. I do attend. The budget summary does not give any details on the areas of concern and it has less detail now, after requests for more transparency, than it ever did before. That is a fact. Liar.


2. Mac Brunson does not have power like a lot on this blog seem to think to write checks and control the flow of funds. That is done by a committee, PERIOD.

Response: You are a liar! This is NOT true. Liar. The new by-laws dissolved the committees and gave the power to Brunson and his yes men. Liar.


3. Our finances are not like pentecostal, catholic, and other independent churches where the pastor controls the funds and writes the checks.

Response: You are a liar! This is NOT true. Liar.


4. Each year the FBC budget expenditures are independently audited by an outside CPA firm to insure the integrity of the process set up for over the last hundred years and is available for anyone to look at it.

Response: You are a liar! This is NOT true. Liar. No way anyone can "look at it."


5. All of the negative blogging shows one thing: IT IS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY!!!!!!!!!!1

YES. We agree on this one!

6. Not a one of you folks have even brou8ght up the fact that he bought a house when he was at FBD at the low of the market and sold it at the very top of the market. Who knows, he could have tripled or quadrupled his money on that deal.

Response: You are a liar! This is NOT true. Liar. We don't know this as I am sure he never disclosed this information to anyone except family. Are YOU family?


Most of the folks blogging in support of Tom Rich, do not attend FBC, have no type of interest in our fellowship, or are former members of FBC, or are atheists trying to say "see", or other "outsiders" from other parts of the country trying to stir the pot and get their owned warped opinions across.

Response: You are a liar! This is NOT true. Liar. You wish this true!


Frankly, y'alls BEEF, although it is an extremely weak one, is really with the deacons and the trustees and not with Mac Brunson.

Response: You are a liar! This is NOT true. Liar. My problem IS with Team Brunson. (and Maurilio)

Bro.Rod H. said...

" Lydia said...
"Brudda Rob, you are wrong about Billy Graham. His ministry did not pay and still does not pay his expenses. Nor does anyone know what he receives since he has a benefactor other than the BGEA that pays him."


"Sista Lydia" I stand corrected.I will also research it,Thanks!

Anonymous said...

"Another thought on this is how much was put into the home by FBCDallas to increase the value? I know one pastor of FBCDallas that had an architect add an office and it was furnised by a posh interior designer in Dallas. All paid for by the church"

You are talking about Joel Gregory and that was 20 yrs. ago! He was very open about this in his book, so it's not you are exposing ANYTHING relevent to the Mac Brunson Scandal. Genius.

Lydia said...

"You are talking about Joel Gregory and that was 20 yrs. ago! He was very open about this in his book, so it's not you are exposing ANYTHING relevent to the Mac Brunson Scandal. Genius.

May 6, 2009 4:29 PM

Are we on the playground? Could you possibly be a grown adult?

I was simply musing about drastic upturns in the value of a property to make someone rich as one suggested here. And the fact that Brunson comes from FBC Dallas where he learned his 'trade' quite well.

Do you honestly think FBC Dallas STOPPED such things for their celebrity pastors because Joel Gregory wrote about it? A bit naive? What happened is that more celebrity pastors got very worldly wise about their compensation packages, perks AND severance agreements. Not more biblical...just worldly wise. Hidden better. Thanks to Joel.

They still accept all the lifestyle freebies. And they still command tax free housing allowance. Even when the homes are valued in the millions.

Nice gig. And that is all it is: A gig.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Let's presume that Mr. Brunson has done wrong. Scripture expressly forbids Christians suing each other, even if they have been wronged.".

So let me get this straight. Let's say someone who claims to be a Christian wrongs you or a member of your family. Perhaps he rapes your teenage daughter, murders your wife, embezzles money from you or a business you own, intentionally burns your house down, or drives under the influence, runs into you, totals your car, kills your wife and children, and leaves you paralyzed for life and requiring 24/7 care.

Are you saying that in any of those examples (criminal charges by the local, state, or federal government notwithstanding) that you would never sue for damages in a court of law?

If not, what would be the "biblical way" of handling things like this?

Lydia said...

"So let me get this straight. Let's say someone who claims to be a Christian wrongs you or a member of your family. Perhaps he rapes your teenage daughter, murders your wife, embezzles money from you or a business you own, intentionally burns your house down, or drives under the influence, runs into you, totals your car, kills your wife and children, and leaves you paralyzed for life and requiring 24/7 care."

We have witnessed many such men getting by with sexual perversion and the congregation VOTING to keep them on staff. Or to keep those on staff who KNEW about it and did nothing. The latter happened at Trinity Baptist in Jax. Never mind the CIVIL laws broken. That is how far away we are from biblical literacy. And why we should be VERY careful what church we are in.

The sin of 'suing' a 'professed' Christian is considered much worse than sexual perversion by a leader in the church OR the pastor using the civil courts to get subpeonas and trespass warnings...

Anonymous said...

Sick of Rich Supporters 2:14:

This is coming from someone that also is a long time member. You are trying to put "rose colored glasses " on the readers. You are trying to make everything look transparent. Forget it. You recommend that people speak with the trustees and deacons. Are you kidding. You could get gold out of Fort Knox quicker than you could get answers out of anyone down there. What you skip is the pastor has hand picked his "men". All of them do EXACTLY as he tells them. So please don't try to put a good face on a bad picture. As to the by-laws, no one has them. As to the budget sheet passed out monthly...no one can read it. And it is ALL ABOUT THE MONEY.

Jeri said...

Go Dog Go! I doubt anything anybody does will bring the corrupt SBC leadership to genuine repentance. But the next best thing is hold them up to public rebuke. And we desperately need to let the civil authorities know that they are not to become the arm of the church. History has taught us how devastatingly bad such a policy is. The good ol' boys in the JSO need a shake up and some sidewalk time to remember who they actually work for (and no, it is not FBC) and the responsibilities they have to the entire community.

Anonymous said...

11 people joined our Baptist church last Sunday. All of them have copies of our congregation's bylaws. No big deal--for people with a clear conscience.

Anonymous said...

Hey Lydia, Cool you heels, I'm on Dog's side. I am the May 6, 2009 4:29 PM post and my point was the Joel Gregory thing is irrelevant to this whole thing.

As for FBCD being corrupt then and corrupt now, absolutely, they are corrupt as hell (former member here under Mac). I've come to figure that First Baptist (fill any city name here)is all corrupt. From senior pastors, music ministers, on down to the dang youth pastors, none are to be trusted these days, really. Sheep-fleecing sycophants - All of them!

Anonymous said...

George W. Truett as First Baptist Church-Dallas senior pastor: paid an adequate salary, but not an exorbinate one. Got an allowance, of sorts, from his salary by his wife each month--who knew that Dr. Truett would give everything away if he got it all at once. Gave away overcoats all winter long to people on the streets of Dallas without one--his own overcoat each time. One meeting at the church's parsonage interrupted about 30 times by people knocking on the door to ask Dr. Truett for help (his second-in-command investigated and found the curbs in the neighborhood marked to point to the parsonage--and to the pastor who would help). When he died, the entire city of Dallas shut down in his honor; not since.

God give us more George W. Truetts. And, let's all be one.

Anonymous said...

A church administrator here, humbly/honestly encouraging Mr. Rich to proceed with his lawsuit--please. The matter needs clarity for the sake of the future, when similar circumstances occur in other places. A church administrator was responsible, in part, for FBCJ present situation; but, I believe, without knowing what he was doing and without good guidance from anyone else.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

All First Baptist churches everywhere, and their staffs, a problem: not hardly. Been a member of six of them, and served on the ministry staffs of 4 of those over 20+ years. In all cases: didn't have time for the foolish described at this blogsite--had new members by the scores to assimilate into the lives of those churches and to help find their places of service. Pace was incredible, blessings were outstanding, people were ordinary but available for service, staff members were honest people, all was above-board at those FBCs. Just saying.

Anonymous said...

Staffer 10:06: The First Baptist of today and the FBC's of yesterday are two different things. As the previous blogger mentioned, we had the George W. Truetts, and the Homer Lindsays (Sr. & Jr.). But as was advertised at FBCJ after Lindsay died: "Change was coming". And sure enough it did.

Former FBC Insider said...

Member in third Row said...
"I think its funny How some of the Brunsonites would like to beleive that most of the posters on this blog are not members of FBCjax. Go ahead and think that. But next Sunday look around you we are everywhere. We might just be sitting next to you. Maybe even the one you thought agreed with you. And when the time is right. We will stand as one."

Thanks for posting. I agree with you. I thought a lot of the posters here looked familiar. I've been where you are, balcony level, center, near media.

May 6, 2009 3:30 PM

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:06. Would you be so kind to tell us the names of those churches and where they are located whereby we can better understand where you are coming from? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Anon May 6, 2009 10:01 PM: No, I believe you are totally incorrect about someone in administration at FBC not knowing what they were doing.

The truth is, they knew exactly what they were doing. They just thought they would get away with it!

Anonymous said...

TO May 7, 2009 11:23 AM:

Where did it say that I said they don't know what they are doing? I said they were corrupt, not incompetent.

Thanks to the ole Dog and other truth-exposers, these phony "Men of God" aren't going to continue to get away with it, by and large. There will always be suckers out there, so these goat-herders will usually be financed to the grave, just not as well-financed.

I think they learn this crap in the seminaries. A very astute person once told me that the seminaries are the devil's playground. Judging from the garbage they're putting out there, I'd agree.

Anonymous said...

To Anon May 7, 2009 12:40 PM

You said: "TO May 7, 2009 11:23 AM: Where did it say that I said they don't know what they are doing? I said they were corrupt, not incompetent."

Sorry, I guess I got the idea from this: "A church administrator was responsible, in part, for FBCJ present situation; but, I believe, without knowing what he was doing and without good guidance from anyone else."

I must say that your immediate curt reply to my post DOES indeed back up your claim that you are a church administrator. :-)

Anonymous said...

This post comes from another former FBC member. Been attending another church and have met up with three other families who were long-time members at FBCJ.

People are just fed up with the ATTITUDE of Mac Brunson. When you come right down to it it's the whole problem. Mac Brunson probably could have gotten away with the changes he made and the ethical wrongs but he chose to be arrogant! He could have quietly addressed the issues long ago and the blog likely would never have materialized!

It's pretty amazing to me that members & staff at FBC continue to jump on here and talk about how the WD should have been a man and gone to the preacher. They can't seem to face up to the fact that Mac Brunson is the root cause. If they would stop for a minute and go back and study their posts they would see how childish and even hateful their posts are -- not EXACTLY a Christ-like attitude. But I do understand you are copying your preacher.

A once-great Christian witness in this city, FBCJ now lays in ruins. The youth group numbers are dwindling quickly. Be honest, look up at the number of teens in the choir loft as compared to just a couple years ago. Be honest, look around you and see how the Sunday night and Wednesday night crowds have shrunk. It's not going to get better under Mac Brunson.

Someone down there had better wake up and see what's happening to the youth. Guess what? When you don't have a growing youth program your church will die. Or should I just leave and instruction? Last one out of FBCJ please turn out the lights.

Anonymous said...

Three comments:

(1) It would be nice, on Mothers Day, if the pastor and leadership would apologize to Mrs. Rich.

(2) Look at the long history of this church, and the true Christian witness it has been. Ask what changed, what is different now. When did this CHANGE take place? Who brought it about?

(3) I think most mega preachers are of the same ilk. The have a God complex, and arrogance is a trait most obvious. They think far too much of themselves and have become stumbling blocks to those truly seeking the Lord. And to the Lords work in general. Which brings up the question have they truly been called by God to the ministry? I cannot WORSHIP in an environment where the preacher is the God.

Former FBC Insider said...

To Anonymous... May 8, 2009 10:49 AM

Exactly!
The arrogant attitude is contagious. Is it considered an epidemic if 6,000 people are suffering from the same disease?

Anonymous said...

Anon May 8, 2009 12:13 PM

Precisely! I also cannot worship in a church where the preacher puts himself in the place of God!

I have had serious questions for a very long time as to whether Mac Brunson was called by God or whether he was called by the search committee who decided he was the right one. If you recall, Mac Brunson told of how he got the call and told them no. Apparently he told them no more than once. Is that when the committee decided to sweeten the deal so that he would be more inclined to accept the call to FBCJ? I would think the answer to that question is YES.

Anonymous said...

To Anon May 8, 2009 12:13 PM: Yes it would be nice if the preacher & administration would ask for forgiveness from Mr. AND Mrs. Rich.

However, I think we all know it, it just won't ever happen because pride and arrogance is what caused this whole mess to begin with. And they just won't let go of their pride.

Pride goeth before a fall...

Anonymous said...

CHANGE...... I think our country and our churches have had just about all of the change we can stand. None of the CHANGE is good nor is it GODLY. It is ironic that the churches are following the direction of national events and change. Some of the same things taking place in both realms. Good going preachers!!!!

Anonymous said...

anon 10:49 am
I truly don't think MB "chose" to be arrogant. I believe it is who he is. You know like a leopard can't change his spots sorta thing. What thinking person would have let things go this far IF it was in their control?

Gone Fishin said...

CHANGE & TRANSPARENCY: That is all this blog is about. Rich did not like the changes and didn't like the response he got on his ideas of transparency therefore he just blogged about it until he crossed the PC threshold for it to be investigated.

All of this back and forth makes me want to quit going to any local church and just go fishing.

Anonymous said...

Gone Fishin May 8, 2009 3:13 PM

Sorry, I have to call you on that bit of fakery...

Anonymous said...

Anon May 8, 2009 2:54 PM You may have a point there. Okay, let me rephrase that: Mac Brunson let his temperament rule him instead of being a thinking person.

Seriously, I always thought that a preacher had a higher level of responsibility than you or I. You know, he puts aside his feelings to ser, uh, ser, uh SERVE his congregation!

I guess I was mistaken.

Anonymous said...

Anon.3:13

You are exactly right Change and Trensparency IS what this blog., is about.

I hear the fish are biting, good luck.

Anonymous said...

(3) I think most mega preachers are of the same ilk. The have a God complex, and arrogance is a trait most obvious. They think far too much of themselves and have become stumbling blocks to those truly seeking the Lord. And to the Lords work in general. Which brings up the question have they truly been called by God to the ministry? I cannot WORSHIP in an environment where the preacher is the God.

May 8, 2009 12:13 PM

All true believers are 'called' into 'ministry'.

The difference between what is in scripture and what we see in church history is that humans 'institutionalized' ministry and made it into a 'professional office' of professional Christians for hire. Humans added pulpits, altars, invitations, special buildings (think of Europe and the empty Cathedrals), etc. None of that is in the NC.

The NT ekklesia had no pulpits, no buildings, no altars, etc.

If we are truly saved, we are ALL called to be 'ministers'. We are all given special gifts by the Holy Spirit to edify the Body. It was NEVER intended for one man to be in charge of the Body and to teach/preach.

If you look closely, it takes more 'worldly' skills and characteristics to pastor a mega church than it does spiritual maturity. Spiritual maturity clashes with the very system in place. Because the "system" must be served and maintained.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Matt: 5:10: I thought that was what I said. With less detail. I am one of those "say what you mean, mean what you say" people. You know, a hit the accelerator and go type. Thanks, always welcome your insights.

Anonymous said...

Matt: 5:10: I thought that was what I said. With less detail. I am one of those "say what you mean, mean what you say" people. You know, a hit the accelerator and go type. Thanks, always welcome your insights.

May 8, 2009 5:29 PM

Sorry Friend. I was basically agreeing and expounding on what you said. We tend to hold pastors up as some sort of icon they were never meant to be in scripture. The whole concept of being 'called' into ministry is misunderstood. We all are called in some capacity.

Who is the 'pastor' of the church in Philippi? Corinth?
Are we sure all churches had pastors? How come ALL Epistles were not written to the Pastors only? The Elders?

In Corinthians, Paul tells them to have 2-3 speak and the others judge what was said.

That is a long way from what we do now, huh?

Matt

Anonymous said...

I grew up in a Church that on Sunday, If you had more than 100 people, You were at a revival. Funds were raised for paying the light bill with car washes and cake sales. The pastor received no salary. Everyone welcomed you and if you needed to talk to the Pastor that was never a problem. Just walk up to him after the service. That was the day before the so called Mega Church. You might get better prices at walmart or Sams Club. But as to matters of the Soul, I will take that little Church with dinner on the grounds any day.

Pastor Mark said...

I have read comments that have suggested that preachers are all charlatans, and their motives are suspect.

I am writing to remind you that, that is a generality, not true of all pastors!

Many of my heroes pastor smaller churches, and are amazing men of God! There are no small churches in the “Kingdom Of God"!

I am praying that there will be a resolve to surrender pride and agendas to the one who can bring healing to the ongoing saga in Jacksonville.

I have had only one opportunity to contact Dr. Brunson, several years ago when he was in Dallas, it was after sharing the story that follows my memories of meeting Dr. Adrian Rogers, over the 20 + years of my own ministry.

Dr Brunson was prompt in his reply, and affirming.

This is a tribute in memory of a mega Church Pastor who touched my life in a profound way, and a surprise that reminded me that God can remind you in a moment of his nearness. Mega Church Pastors can be decidedly men of God...one such man was Adrian Rogers.

The great Scottish preacher Peter Marshall once said “It’s not the duration of a life that counts but the donation”. How thankful Southern Baptist should be for the duration and donation of the life of Adrian Rogers.

Dr. Rogers pastored the historic Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis Tennessee, from 1972 until his retirement in 2005. He left for heaven in November of the same year.

He was a three time president of the Southern Baptist Convention, a preacher without peer, and a statesman in the first order.

I had the opportunity to meet him on four different occasions, each time he looked intently into my eyes, and expressed genuine and heartfelt interest in my own ministry journey.

He was so very kind, I never felt rushed in his presence, it was if I was the most important person in the world to him.

Dr. Rogers reminds me of another great man of God the legendary George W. Truett pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas from 1897- 1944.

Dr. Truett like Dr. Rogers was a world renowned preacher, a dignified statesman, on one occasion preaching to 15,000 from the steps of the Capital building in Washington D.C, and a three time president of our beloved convention.

Little did I know, that my admiration for Dr. Truett would be enhanced by an event that is way beyond coincidence!

In the course of my own pastoral duties I visited several years ago (2005) in the home of a guest that attended the church I was pastoring at the time .

In meeting him, I discovered an 85 year old man with a PhD from the University of Colorado, who taught pharmaceutical chemistry there for 48 years!

In our conversation I quickly discovered that he did his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas, and had lived in Dallas for a time. I asked a question that I couldn't’t wait to ask . . . did you ever hear the far-famed preacher Dr. George W. Truett.

His reply . . . yes, he had not only heard him but had met Dr. Truett on several occasions, in fact he lived in the YMCA across the street from First Dallas!

Stunned by listening to him recall events that took place more than six decades before, I was about to be further astonished.

His precious wife reached into a stack of papers on the table where we were seated and handed me two letters written by Dr. Truett to American service men and women waging war at that time!

On the day I visited them they just happened to be cleaning out their filing cabinet!

The letters were written in June and September of 1943! Each letter pledged continued prayers from Dr. Truett and the people of First Dallas for those in the ongoing conflict.

The letters revealed a busy pastor, not to busy to care and personally write the several hundred sons and daughters of the great First Baptist Dallas who were serving at war.

The letters were signed . . . yes signed . . . “Your Pastor and Friend George W. Truett.”

Before I left this precious couple gifted me those two 62 year old letters!

Only God could place a Pastor in a home in Boulder, Colorado to meet an 85 year old professor who then presented a gift that is framed and will be cherished for the rest of my life.

I am sure that in the decades ahead the generations following will ask us . . . did you ever hear Dr. Adrian Rogers preach?

They will wait with anticipation as they hear what he was like and who knows . . . if God grants you a long life (duration) you will make a (donation) into the life of a young minister fifty or so years from now.

RichardM said...

WD, I have watched all of this from a distance as I was a former member of FBC and staff member. I have decided to say what I think.

Most comments are attacking Mac for his salary. The reality is that the salary is not the issue. The church can hire him for whatever they want. Just like any other business.

The venom I see towards FBC comes from an image that has been created by them over the years. I know personally the other pastors had their weaknesses as well, as we all do.

With all that said, I also believe you have a right to challenge the legality of what has taken place. I have many members tell me you were a coward for being anonymous. Well, whethr you are or not is for you to address. However, being anonymous is not ILLEGAL. I understand you have a right to address the issues regarding the legalities of what has taken place.

I regret you get attacked personally by others in the Body of Christ. Anonymity is not illegal in the USA as far as I know.

I only ask that you keep to the legal matters at hand and hope that all comments stay focused on that issues. Character assassination does our Savior a far greater disservice.
Like someone told me recently, "why would I want your God, you people are just as screwed up as the rest of us." Sadly, it was the FBC JAX decisions that led to this person renouncing interest in Christ.

I refuse to take sides in this matter. I know and respect you and Mac. I believe you are both good men. If forced I am on the side of the Father and the laws of the USA. If laws were broken, then consequences must happen, as it would for anyone.
Just my 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

Pastor Mark ll:41 Sadly there seem to be no heroes on the horizion like these spiritual giants, Rogers, Truett and yes, the Lindsays. I have letters of equal blessing from both Lindsay Sr., and Jr. I can tell you we most likely will never see men of the caliber and committment of these men. The old saying about "having big shoes to fill", certainly seems to be true. Maybe you, or some pastor in a small church can do it. I pray so. We so desperately need more pastor heroes. We have have had enough of the others. God bless you and thanks for reminding me that we once had gifts from God in these men.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi Richard - thanks for chiming in here.

Yes, many of the comments of late here in this blog, and in blogs and media reports all over the country, assume the major issue on this blog for the past year and a half with Mac Brunson was his salary and not the weightier issues like his land gift and the by law changes. Even Mac himself, in his comments made to the media about this blog have been about his salary. If one goes back and reads they will see salary is not one of the major issues here. Discussed, yes, but far from being a major issue.

As I said, people all over the country commenting on this story bring up the pastor's salary. This is interesting. Large compensation packages of mega church pastors is something that offends many non-Christians, it is a stumbling block. You see, this is why there is no transparency in these mega churches when it comes to matters of pastor compensation and gifts. If it were a matter of public record how much these pastors were paid in total - I'm talking salary & benefits, the tax-free allowances, the outside renumeration from their 501(c)3's and book deals and speaking fees and direct gifts from their followers, it would offend people inside and outside the church, and giving would suffer - so they must not, at any cost, be transparent with pastor compensation numbers.

I can understand the policy of keeping Mac's salary private - I don't agree with it, but I understand it. But Mac likes to have it both ways. He won't in a million years reveal his total compensation to the very people who are paying it, but at the same time he goes on the record with the Times Union to state his salary is no where near $300,000 (meaningless information since the meaningful number for a pastor is total compensation not salary), and he also wants to tell people he is one of the lowest paid mega church pastors in the SBC. Mac gives out dribs and drabs of information about his salary to defend himself against that criticism, but he will never EVER be totally transparent and give us all the information to the people that are giving the money. We know the answer to that, I think.

I predict a day will come when the IRS will demand 501(c)3 religious organizations be transparent with finances - requiring disclosure of what is paid to the heads of these organizations and their family members, and the gifts they receive. And that will serve the body of Christ well, since it will cause the money given to these men and their families to be moderated, and allow people to give more freely as they know how the money is spent, and will free up money for ministry as less of it goes into the pocketbooks of these preachers and their family members.

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