"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Smyrl: Stay Silent, and We'll All Be Under Muslim Law

Jeff Brumley has a story in today's Florida Times Union about Jacksonville's largest Muslim mosque installing their golden domes on their worship center. Click here to read it.

Dr. Jim Smyrl, preacher at First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, noticed these domes going up while riding his motorcycle recently, and mentioned it in his May 20th, 2009 sermon. And he tried to stir his followers at FBC Jax to action using scare tactics by saying the following:

"I'm riding my motorcycle down 9A the other day. I look over, and the dome on Jacksonville's newest Muslim mosque is being put in place. It's amazing, Christians will rally for everything but what God says is important...But when it comes to engaging the enemy and the greatest weapon he's used in the last 1400 years, listen, to conquer all of Asia, to conquer much of Europe, what he's doing today he's doing it the same way with Islam in America today and the church is silent. And a big dome goes up in our city and we sit back passively and say 'Well, if that's what they want to believe, alright." Well, get ready brother, 'cause your grandchildren are going to come under Muslim law if you keep silent."

Sure, spread the gospel - minister to the Muslims and try to convert them to faith in Christ. But do FBC Jax members need to be compelled to do this through scare tactics, Smyrl? How about out of LOVE for Muslims - isn't that enough to compel us to witness? Or must we FIRST offend every group that we are trying to reach?

And what does Smyrl want the people of FBC Jax to do? Should we NOT let them believe what they want? Should we force the Muslims to pray and accept Jesus, and tell them to tithe? Does Jim want FBC Jax members to "rally" against the dome? And if they stay silent, Jim declares their grandchildren will come under Muslim law? Really? We're all in danger of coming under MUSLIM LAW? How so? A scarier thought, and perhaps more realistic possibility, is that we will all come under FBC Jax law some day - and will be told which books to read and not to read, if we dare "unjustly criticize" the church downtown we'll be investigated, and if we don't vote as FBC Jax wants us to they will claim we need to repent.

You see, the Muslims aren't the first to be the focus of Smyrl's preaching and writing. Let's see who Jim Smyrl and FBC Jax has taken shots at since last November:

1. Obama Voters who are Christians: Smyrl said in his "Voting Yourself Out of Fellowship" article on November 14th last year that Christians who "voted for the continuous murder of the unborn" (e.g. voted for Obama) needed to repent to be restored to Christian fellowship. According to Smyrl, Obama voters committed the "...sin of voting in a manner that misrepresents God's character" - Jim says these recalcitrants need to repent of their "sin". Yep, don't vote as Jim believes, and you are not worthy of fellowship with him, apparently. Scary stuff.

2. Catholics: Smyrl has referred to a Catholic priest as a cult leader, and declared the entire Catholic religion a cult, and Smyrl says that FBC Jax members must confront their Catholic friends of the "lie" they have lived and believed as Catholics.

3. First Baptist Church Dallas: In January, Jim characterized FBC Dallas' new TV commercial as "blasphemous self promotion" - because they had a very tastefully done TV commercial that highlighted the church's ministries in the downtown metroplex. Smyrl used selected words from their commercial to purposely make it seem as if the commercial was blaspheming God, when it most certainly was NOT.

4. Lifeway Bookstores: In February, Jim claimed the leader of Lifeway Bookstores had agreed to pull the book "The Shack" from Lifeway shelves, only to later go back on his word. Jim called for Baptists to sever ties with Lifeway for selling such "heretical" material, since the average Baptist has not been taught to "read critically" and would be misled by reading a book like "The Shack".

So Jim goes after quite a few groups: Baptists, Catholics, Christians voting for Obama, Christian bookstores selling books he doesn't approve of...and now Muslims.

And by the way, Smyrl might want to check his facts - it was not a "new" mosque that was being built in Jacksonville off of 9A - the mosque is the "Islamic Center of Northeast Florida" which was built in 1984, and is now only getting the domes put in place. So it suited his purposes to make his listeners believe it is a new mosque being built [GASP], and we all had better act quickly else we'll all be forced to worship Allah.

Jim, try compelling your church members to witness on the basis of love, not fear. That's how Jesus did it.

85 comments:

Poor in Jax said...

When you teach hate. You become hate. FBCJax is looking like a bunch of Rednecks looking for a fight with anyone who does not share its veiws. And as someone who was born and raised on the Norhside, If you go looking hard enough. Your going to find one. Getting on the pony is not the hard part. Its getting off.

Former FBC Insider said...

WD, You're exactly right. Hate and criticism is NOT the way to open dialogue or to persuade another to choose your way of thinking. Not to mention, how are you going to work John 3:16 into that conversation? The days of loving people into the fellowship are long gone under Mac and his minions. Dr. Lindsey used to have a saying, "What is in your heart will eventually come out of your mouth." We see that every time one of the FBCJ leadership opens their mouth; hatred, name calling, taunting and mocking. It sickens me. There is no sign of love, only arrogance remains.

It must be very difficult on the ride home from church each week when asking the kids what they learned in the services. Think of all the deprogramming that will need to be done, all the explanations of the hatred that is thrown around that place like bird seed at a wedding. And they are afraid of public school? At least the public school system has rules about that sort of thing. Can you imagine when those kids at FBCJ start repeating some of this garbage at school or in their neighborhood? What a mess. The line for the millstones is getting longer.

Ruined testimonies. That's what hatred, criticism and arrogance breeds, ruined testimonies.

SJR said...

God forbid this be a country where you're free to practice (or not practice) whatever religion you choose...

Anonymous said...

Was it me or did the Pastor seem angry this morning.I like the way he said congratulation graduates and then went right into a video about what the church is doing in Muslim countries.I think that could of waited till next week instead of today.Today belonged to the graduating Seniors and instead of having a special sermon for the Seniors he just continued his Sermon series.

Anonymous said...

freedom of speech, freedom of religion.....
what exactly are people supposed to be doing about the muslim golden domes?

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:30:

Yes, he seemed angry to me too. I thought the same thing you said also...it seemed a bit out of place to show the video. But then again Mac was trying to make the point that our church is 'doing something good' but that didn't get in the Times Union. He seemed to be trying to obliqely respond to the article in the Times Untion on Tuesday that quoted AC Soud.

Did you notice how irritated Mac seemed to be right before the offering was taken? He said something to the affect that tithing was mandated and giving was not supposed to done according to man's heart. He apparently doesn't believe II Cor 9:7 or must have some other intrepretation other than what it says.

Anonymous said...

MB and JS are both blowhards and the best advice (from an admitted non-theologian) is RUN DON'T WALK....

Anonymous said...

JS isn't going to quit spouting-off until Jax is ethnically cleansed. That's what he REALLY wants.

Anonymous said...

But Jim is soooo cool. He rides a motorcycle and has five guns. My hero...

Anonymous said...

WD - it seems gas prices are going up again. Is God "working behind the scenes" again, as Mac stated last year when gas was almost $4.00 per gallon? What did we do now, Mac, that God is raising gas prices to get our attention? Maybe if we give more to your budget God will be happier with us? If I give more to FBC Jax, will I get a better return on my "investment," really?

Anonymous said...

What is the "Dr." for in front of Jim Smyrl's name? Is he a medical doctor? Or does he have a juris doctor? A doctorate in economics? or History? Or English, or Mathematics? What was his dissertation on? I would like to read it. Or did the church have to hide it like they do his blog entries?

Doctor Jim Smyrl. Doctor of what? Someone call a doctor! Hey, we have Dr. Smyrl. You have to love this motorcycle ridin, gun toting, cult leader.

Anonymous said...

This is not preaching hate. Dr. Smyrl maybe right. Radical Islam has a devastating agenda and that includes world domination.He also has some great points about Catholicism. It may not be a cult but it diminhses Christ and is in itself a false religion.

Anonymous said...

Seems Attendance is up! I see all you hypocrites keep coming every week then run home to blog against our beloved church! becareful speaking against God's man. If it's so bad why do you keep coming EVERY SERVICE. God is using this Preacher.. I thank God for FBC and will give more than 10% cause God gives me it back 100 fold! thank God for pastor Brunson. I know this will never make it on the blog cause i support FBC!

Anonymous said...

The times-union is a Dying newspaper the only people that read it is a bunch of old foggies!if you don't believe me, check the decline of subscriptions. The times-union will be bankrupt within 5 years and FBCJAX will be here long after all you haters are gone! Long live God's most powerful Church in Jax!

Anonymous said...

June 1, 10:15 a.m. - "I thank God for FBC and will give more than 10% cause God gives me it back 100 fold!"

Sounds pretty shallow and self-serving to me. No mention of Jesus, just of FBC Jax. And you give "cause God gives it back 100 fold?" Really? Sounds like a ponzi scheme to me. And why the 10% figure? That sounds awful small. Is that some number you have been told is required and since you give it you feel more spiritual? No where in the bible does it say Christians are to give 10%, yet some self-righteous folks who give this paltry amount sound so proud and self rightous about it.

I give also, not to FBC Jax, but to the Lord's ministry here on earth, to faithful folks who use the money to minister Jesus' love to people, not use it to build their beloved preacher's wealth and brand. I also don't expect anything in return. I have already received salvation and blessings and so I want to be a part of giving to the Lord's work. If I wanted, or expected "100 fold" back, I would check my motives. If I give help to an orphan or widow or poor and needy person, or to my children, or to a Christian brother, it is NOT to "get even more back." That is a sick, worldly, and non-christian view of giving. But I guess that is how they have sold it to you and you bought it. Sad and sick and it enables charlatans to continue their ways.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I just listened to Smyrl's sermon. What can I do? What MUST I do, Jim, to make sure my grandchildren don't grow up under Moslim rule? Lead us Jim. I am ready to take action under your leadership. I am very afraid now what might happen if I sit silently and do nothing. Thanks for waking me up and rallying me about this new mosque. I am waiting on your directions, Jim.

Anonymous said...

Long live the most powerful blog in Jacksonville!

Anonymous said...

Check out all the sickening pride of the fbcjax supporters (or just Brunson family members chimining in). How disgusting!!!!

Anonymous said...

When I say God gives it back to me 100 fold im not talking about money but salvation watching over my family and he died on the cross for me! I am a loving Christian 10% is just a starting point. I also take time to spend with substance abuse addicts. I am sorry I offended you! Fbc jax is were God brought me to serve. I believe God wants me to expect a blessing back when I give of my money ad gifts there is no hate in words.

Anonymous said...

I love Jesus and thank him for bringing Pastor Brunson to FbcJax.Once again I give 10% as a starting point. The 100 fold Jesus gives in return, First is my salvation, protecting my family and all spiritual blessing. I was never talking about monetary value Jesus wants his children to expect blessing he tells his children to ask! Sorry i offended anyone but I also give my time in spreading the gospel to addicts and down trodden. Thank you Jesus for meeting All my need 100 fold even 1000 fold! (that doesn't mean monetarly)

Anonymous said...

To: June 1, 2009 11:41 AM

Yea, nice backpedalling.

That usually happens when the ignorantly arrogant get put in their place. Face it, you got your head handed to you for good reason.

Good work June 1, 2009 10:36 AM

Anonymous said...

Don't apologize to this blogger apparently he doesn't realize Jesus gives back 100 fold in so many ways, when we faithfully give to his work! Jesus wants you to have FAITH and believe he will bless you 100 fold as JESUS meets your needs. That person has no right judging you..He's seems to be the charlatan. (He probaly won't have the humility to apoligize-cause he so fill with hate towar FBC)

Anonymous said...

Wow well thank you I see you are a mature loving Christian! (Jesus resist the proud!) I am showing humilty and trying to better explain myself! i was wrong and must daily ask my precious savior to forgive me! My head is not my problem it's my heart which Jesus is working on it every second of the day! It good to know you have reach the pinnacle Christianity

Anonymous said...

I am a long time member of FBC and I can't Believe Rev.Smryl attacked Catholics. He shows NO compassion. I'm all for standing up for the gospel but you can show Love.

Anon said...

Anonymous said...
The times-union is a Dying newspaper the only people that read it is a bunch of old foggies!if you don't believe me, check the decline of subscriptions.


...because the trend is the internet, they are read at jacksonville.com by us young'uns.
Sounds like you read the TU.


Anonymous said...
This is not preaching hate. Dr. Smyrl maybe right. Radical Islam has a devastating agenda and that includes world domination.He also has some great points about Catholicism.


Point is, his method. He is as radical in his hateful statements as he feels they are in their beliefs.

Anon in Jax said...

Anonymous said...
When I say God gives it back to me 100 fold im not talking about money but salvation watching over my family and he died on the cross for me! I am a loving Christian 10%is just a starting point.


So you're saying your salvation is a result of your monetary gift to the church? Are you Catholic?

Anonymous said...

God may give back to you 100 fold. I agree with that. But yet the FBC Jax wants cash, cash, cash and occasionally land. They don't tell YOU to give in other areas of blessing. Try telling them that you are giving in ways other than money. NO WAY! You MUST give cold hard cash. But your blessings may NOT be in cash. Your fridge might last longer, your tires might last longer, you may have health, you may even get some money for your job. But that is all from God because you gave MONEY to them. Sick, sick, sick. You have been manipulated by FBC Jax so they can build their pastor's family brand and personal wealth. Wake up.

Anonymous said...

Readers - believe what you want. Argue all you want. Spin all you want. The bottom line is this: YOU MUST GIVE MONEY to FBC JAX. Period. Rationalize it all you want, but you MUST give cash. Thanks.

Donny McCall

Anonymous said...

My relationship with Christ starts at salvation. my giving is a result of obedience to his Lordship. its part of how i feel to give to God's work. My salvation is a free gift from God! I should have never mention tithing thats between me and Jesus! I Love you my brother. I needed to clarify i am not perfect but i thank Jesus for saving my soul! I am a blood bought Christian and i love my Catholic friends,

Anonymous said...

TO 100% return on tithing:

Each time you post, you spin yourself in circles and deepen your confusion. What you SHOULD have done (using your words) is not have posted your prideful folly in the first place.

Anonymous said...

I am a current FBC member and proud of it. I also know the blogger and have considered him and his family friends of mine. I don't understand what the purpose of this blog is, except it seems to promote hate itself. Read the comments...

I understand how someone could not like everything a pastor says or does, but we have the freedom to move on, which, I thought the blogger was trying to do...why keep up the hate and negative reporting. Why watch the sermons just for the purpose of tearing them apart and critisizing? Why not use the time to watch a pastor you do like and learn some biblical truths you do agree with.

I love my pastor, Dr. Mac Brunson, and I support him as the man God has put in my life to teach me His Word.

Remember, in your painting of Dr. Brunson as a mean-spirited, hate-filled man, your brush is hitting the whole church and destroying all the good that FBC does. And yes, we do good too.

Anonymous said...

"I believe God wants me to expect a blessing back when I give of my money ad gifts there is no hate in words."

This is what Ken Copeland teaches. And Joel Osteen. I had no idea that FBC Jax an SBC church was this bad but if members believe this, it really is bad.

You never know, the 'blessing' you might get is being burnt at the Stake for HIs Name Sake like many believers who went before us.

I wonder what Barnabus expected back when he sold his estate and gave it to the Body of Christ to help out widows and Orphans. (not to build and maintain big buildings and pay high salaries for the Apostles)

Anonymous said...

"Jesus wants you to have FAITH and believe he will bless you 100 fold as JESUS meets your needs. "

The key to this is understanding what God might view as your 'needs'.It usually is not what WE think is our need. Hence, the misunderstanding. God ONLY disciplines those who are HIS. That usually means some hard times and suffering to grow in Holiness.

Is God meeting your needs when your baby dies of cancer?

See this kind of thinking and teaching is quite dangerous if not understood properly.

That kind of teaching is not usually modeled by mega church pastors. They tend to want YOU to suffer and sacrifice for the 'church' to pay bills. Which is why they teach 'tithing' which is not in the NT at all. Jesus Christ raised the bar from tithing to giving sacrificially. And not to maintain big buildings or pay high salaries to shepherds. It would be more biblical to give to a Christian brother or sister in real need than to give it to the building fund or to pay high salaries.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Two questions I would love to know the answers to but accept that I never will: 1.) How would Dr. Lindsay, Sr or Jr have handled a muslim mosque going up in the beloved Jacksonville? 2.) With the extraordinary witness that both Lidsay's had, would the muslims even have enough converts to build such a mosque? Or would they all be t the miracle of downtown Jacksonville.

Anonymous said...

hey watch puppy to scared to post all of the comments, now I know why you would not go and talk to the pastor yourself.

Anonymous said...

Do you think God would rather you tithe to FBC or help some of its members who are having a tough time? The Bible does say that we are to help those of the household of faith. What would you think if you knew there were families where the parents were eating less so their kids can get full? In my years at the church I can say that those who were most quick to help others who were need were usually the people who also were in the same social class, rarely the really wealthy who helped feed them. I'm not saying the wealth are stingy just that there are plenty of hurting people in the church and wonder.

Anonymous said...

"They tend to want YOU to suffer and sacrifice for the 'church' to pay bills.

And to underwrite their lifestyles.

Edith Dawson said...

" I'm sorry to burst your bubble here , but every major heresy that has been inflicted on God's people for the last 2,000 years has come from organized groups with leaders who thought they knew God's mind better than anyone around them . Conversely ,virtually every move of God among people hungering for Him was rejected by the church of that day and were excluded , ex communicated ,or executed for following God . If that is where you hope to find security , I'm afraid it is sorely misplaced . Jesus didn't tell us that going to church would keep us safe , but that trusting Him would . He gave us an anoiting of the Spirit so that we would know the difference between truth and error . That anointing is cultivated as we learn His ways in the Word and grow closer to his heart . It will help you to recognize when expressions of church you share life with become destructive in His work in you . Not all groups become destructive a true leader can not devour others . Those who treat leaders as if they have some special anointing are most susceptible to being deceived by them .It seems those people who assume or who are given the most human authority forget how to say no to their own appetites and desires . It is so easy for any of us to end up serving ourselves when we think we're serving others by keeping an institution functioning . . Not all of those leaders who mismanage end up badly broken . Many are real servants who only want to help others and they have been led to believe this is the best way to do it . Always separate the failures of the system from the hearts of the people in it . Any human system will eventually dehumanize the very people it seeks to serve and those it dehumanizes the most are those who think they lead it . But not everyone is given over to the priorites of that system . Many walk inside of it without being given over to it . They live in the Fathers life and graciously help others as He gives them opportunity . Those who walk in His way do not seek out leadership positions knowing that leaders will be judged much more harshly . Leaders can become arrogant and puffed up with pride this can cause people to fall away from the faith it is the same as murder . If people can't see arrogance in a leader they will not be convinced of his moral failure . Money , power , and women are usually the downfall of any leadership position . Our worst moments come from grabbing for ourselves that which God has not given us .You can't mistake your own agenda for God's wisdom . The fear of FBC was a loss of attendance . The leadership acted out of fear rather than putting their faith in God and trusting Him . His purpose will win over humanities greatest failures on His behalf . When people discover what it means to live in the Father they won't need to be brow beaten , threatened , and shamed from the pulpit . Their relationship with Him will guide them if the pastor has done his job properly . Certainly we can help one another learn to grow in "trust" that growth is the prerequisite for sharing life together not the fruit of it . How many decisions and church policies were made because the Pastor was afraid of people not coming , not growing , not giving money or falling through the cracks and getting lost ? 90% of Church staff discussions are made because of concerns that someone would make a mistake hurting themselves or embarrassing the congregation . What FBC did was based on fear not on trust . It's all about protecting the machine not ministering. FBC's insecurity is passed on to it's congregants to keep them involved . Placing people in fear does not help them grow in the Saviors love and trust . If the Pastor doesn't trust God neither will his people . Where's the love , and who get's the glory ? It is my prayer that both parties will reconcile . Blessed are the peace makers . Who are we trusting here Him or our own devices ? Excerpts from , " So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore" , Wayne Jacobsen and Dave Coleman

Anonymous said...

Why delay posting this to bury it? Why not let everyone read it?

I am a current FBC member and proud of it. I also know the blogger and have considered him and his family friends of mine. I don't understand what the purpose of this blog is, except it seems to promote hate itself. Read the comments...

I understand how someone could not like everything a pastor says or does, but we have the freedom to move on, which, I thought the blogger was trying to do...why keep up the hate and negative reporting. Why watch the sermons just for the purpose of tearing them apart and critisizing? Why not use the time to watch a pastor you do like and learn some biblical truths you do agree with.

I love my pastor, Dr. Mac Brunson, and I support him as the man God has put in my life to teach me His Word.

Remember, in your painting of Dr. Brunson as a mean-spirited, hate-filled man, your brush is hitting the whole church and destroying all the good that FBC does. And yes, we do good too.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - I feel sorry for you that you would write something like that, and not have the courage to give your name. :) If you are proud to be a FBC Jax member as you say, why not post your name?

This blog doesn't promote hate. Perhaps you must believe that, in order to stay there at that church - demonize the blog - it can't be true what is happening at the church - its just "hate". Perhaps that is just a defense mechanism to help you cope with what is happening at your church.

"hate and negative reporting" - I assume you are referring to my commenting on Smyrl's comments on Catholics and Muslims. You should be happy that this blog is drawing attention to Jim's words, as I assume you agree with Smyrl and have no problem in light being shone on his words.

That's great that you love your pastor. But I think you can read the Bible yourself, and God doesn't have to put "man in your life" to teach you the Bible. Scary stuff.

This blog is not painting Brunson as a hate-filled person, or mean spirited. His words and actions speak for themselves, and people can judge for themselves.

Anonymous said...

I believe Smyrl has been tasked with diverting the attention of the congregation to other matters and he is doing so by presenting extreme positions. Therefore, the congregations attention is diverted while the "church" continues to rape the congregation (disgusting word used to describe the disgusting situation). I also believe Smyrl is more than willing to take on the task because he is hoping for some national recognitioin to elevate his national status as a "preacher".

Anonymous said...

June 2, 12:07 says: "And yes, we do good too."

Really? Like what? Seriously. With a $15,000,000.00 budget every single year, year after year, what "good" are you doing that is not for yourselves or for your own children? Sure, I realize some members are out doing good and happen to attend FBC Jax. But corporately, other than giving a very small fraction of that $15,000,000.00 to some good causes, what the H _ _ _ is FBC Jax doing that if it shut down tomorrow the city of Jacksonville would miss or even notice.

Anonymous said...

If the church isn't careful,God's permissive will may allow the day to come for muslims to purchase FBC and place a golden dome where the lighthouse is today.

Anonymous said...

"I love my pastor, Dr. Mac Brunson, and I support him as the man God has put in my life to teach me His Word."

Unfortuantly, many spectators at church think this way. One wonders why the Word was perserved for centuries so that the masses could rely on ONE man to teach them when they can read, pray and being priests themselves in the Holy Priesthood can have the BEST Teacher teaching them.

This is simply the worship of man. And this poor person will never have the discernment to know if he is being taught wrong or not because he seriously believes that God has assigned ONE human being to teach him. He does not realize that he, alone, is responsible for what he believes and is responsible for being a Berean.

This is s typical view and why you see so much misunderstanding of scripture on this blog from FBC Jax people. They simply do not know better because they have been taught the pastor is a sort of earthly priest. Actually, it is a very Catholic type of belief which is ironic.

Matt

Former FBC Insider said...

Anonymous said...
Remember, in your painting of Dr. Brunson as a mean-spirited, hate-filled man, your brush is hitting the whole church and destroying all the good that FBC does. And yes, we do good too.

June 2, 2009 12:07 AM


You are going to have to include the Front Page of the Times-Union and Channel 12 where FBC is broadcast to the city and Brunson's own Pod cast and Blog in this comment because BRUNSON himself is the one "painting" himself as a "mean-spirited" and "hate-filled man" to quote your own words. This is all evidence. This is not "he said, she said".

Talk to Brunson about "destroying all the good that FBC has done". Try to get an appointment with Mac to discuss his destroying of all the good that FBC has done. All of your good is on the Front Page of the News and the Internet. It's ugly. And it's all Brunson.

Anonymous said...

All have sinned and come short of the glory of the LORD. This is the reason God gave us the Bible. We are to STUDY it and check and verify what every man says. Men are just mortals like all the rest of us...subject to making errors. No one is perfect...no not one. Making critical comments about anothers religion is meaningless. They won't change and neither will you who are making these statements.

When and it pleases God he will send his Son back to claim his bride. Until then and then alone we should just study our bibles. If given an opportunity to witness to a lost person regardless of their denomination then speak the truth to them in love. Thats what is required. No wonder the world is going to hell faster than a snowball over a volcano. Witnessing out of anger helps no one.

Tired of Matt and his arrogance said...

Matt, I cannot wait till eternity to find out what a pompous, prideful, and arrogant human being that you are. I cannot believe all of the people that deify you on this blog.

We will probably find out in eternity that you are not who you claim to be except some lonely, pitiful failure in life.

Anonymous said...

I can't agree that it is all on Brunson. A.C. Soud shares a large portion of responsibility for the way this was handled. In addition to NOT calling Tom a coward in the newspaper, he could've met with Tom and Yvette without issuing trespass warnings first. A meeting as required in Matthew 18 may have resolved this mess a long timie ago. Matt 18 says nothing about a letter and trespass warnings delivered to the member's home. He also could have agreed to meet with Tom as part of the discipline committee under the reasonable terms Tom requested. He could have hired a private investigator to find out Tom's indentity instead of allowing Hinson to open up a sham criminal investigation. He could have been honest about the reasons he hosted the Night to Stand with Israel and the fundraising for a jewish hospital that performed abortions. He could have passed on reading the hateful and aggressive and confrontational deacon resolution.

Yes, as a long time deacon and current sitting president of FBC Jax, Inc., current trustee and current discipline committee member, A.C. Soud had multiple opportunities to get this resolved in a Christ-like and Godly manner. So to be clear, I blame Mac for causing the blogging, but I blame Soud for the way it was handled. If any man has more pride and arrogance and self-righteousness than Mac Brunson, that man is A.C. Soud. Just my opinion based on what I have observed and read about on this blog. :)

Anonymous said...

I don't always agree with Rev. Smyrl but it seems like he's doing what you've been doing for some time - trying to rile everybody up in order to make change. Maybe you should listen to your own advice.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, all you folks that berate church - not just First Baptist - need to find another hobby. Perhaps helping others.

Anonymous said...

Matt, I cannot wait till eternity to find out what a pompous, prideful, and arrogant human being that you are. I cannot believe all of the people that deify you on this blog.

We will probably find out in eternity that you are not who you claim to be except some lonely, pitiful failure in life.

June 2, 2009 5:13 PM

You are right on all accounts, friend except for anyone deifying me. That would be blasphemous. I can understand why you would think agreement is deifying someone. You may have been unconsciously taught that.

We see that all the time here concerning the leadership of FBC Jax. One commenter even went so far as to say:

"I love my pastor, Dr. Mac Brunson, and I support him as the man God has put in my life to teach me His Word"

This is quite sad as we are all depraved sinners only saved by grace if we are saved. If saved, we all have anointing. Look at what John wrote:

26 These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. 27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. (1 John 2)

If we are truly saved, we have anointing and the Holy Spirit teaches us through the Word. We do not need one person to teach us. That is dangerous. As a matter of fact, in Corinthians, Paul recommends that 2 or 3 teach/preach and the others judge. We are all to be Bereans. We are all to be a part of the edification of the Body. Not just a few.

I should probably start adding a disclaimer on my comments for those who tend to follow man: Be a Berean and test all teaching. Prove me wrong by the Word. But make sure you use the whole pericope. I am willing and open to be corrected from the Word.

And I agree with you that I am prideful and arrogant. I am also a pitiful failure as I have made known here.

I fight the flesh daily.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Seriously, all you folks that berate church - not just First Baptist - need to find another hobby. Perhaps helping others.

June 2, 2009 5:25 PM

We are. Nothing will help them more than to come out of these ridiculous self serving institutions some call a church.

The best thing they could do for their spiritual well being is to stop listening to Mac and go somewhere alone (prayer closet) and pray and beg God to teach them through the Word. They have been taught MANY wrong things through sermons and BEHAVIORS of their leaders.

Only then will they be able to see truth of what they are supporting.

Anonymous said...

TO "Tired of Matt and his arrogance said"

'scuse me Jerk, but Matt has been nothing but humble here. Yes he has several fans because of that and he speaks the truth in love. There has been NO arrogance from him, at all. No the arrogance comes from your nasty mean heart.

It's very apparant that you are just jeoulous and envious.

Anonymous said...

At least Matt doesn't use the screen name of "Truth Purveyor." Now THAT would be arrogant.

Anonymous said...

pI am so glad that i am a Muslim. The way You christians treat each other is scary. All here are welcome to visit our beautiful new mosque and see how people truly love each other, we don't bicker over a "church we don't even like" like I am reading here. Why would anyone want to be a christian to be attack by other so caled peace loving christians. Allah is great you people sending converts to us by the droves. Keep up the good work! i will be waiting to read the hate filled respones to my loving observation.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Can the FBC members do anything else besides call people names?

What on earth is happening to you people?

Let him who thinketh he stand take heed lest he fall.

You shake hands with a smile on Sunday and yet you come on here and won't address one single issue, just a bunch of name calling. Would you stick the knife in my back while shaking my hand? What have you become?


I'm very serious!

Can one of you explain why it is ok for Brunson to tell pastors in a guidebook NOT to accept expensive gifts, live in executive home, or drive fancy cars, to meet with an unhappy member "personally" yet does not / would not?

Anonymous said...

I realize you are in a battle with the FBCJax staffers but really this message is being given by more than just Jim Smyrl. Many preachers are telling their congregations the same thing.

There is no doubt that Islam is a false religion and they do seek to dominate the world with their religion but a refocused effort of evangelism and discipleship is what is needed, not fear mongering.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog, I am telling you, it is time for this to come to an end.
FBC Jax is never going to be perfect.
You can sit and wait till hell freezes over if you think you are going to get an apology. Yes, it was cruel to be called the names you were called on the front page of the newspaper. I got called a drug addict nearly 17 years ago in a church. It was a lie. I have YET to hear ONE PERSON apologize to me. NOT ONE. I never will. I have had to accept that nobody was sorry and nobody was Christian and nobody was interested in the truth, and nobody gave a you know what. I didn't write a blog about that church, I didn't do anything to deserve it. But Watchdog, you keep going and going with this blog. This blog is WHY you were called the names you were called. Like you think someday you are going to change the mind of Mac Brunson. You aren't. He isn't apologizing to you now or ever. He thinks he did right. Whether he did, or didn't, the situation isn't changing. And the more you keep going with this, the worse YOU look. I was almost on your side there for awhile. I still think its HORRIBLE they called you names, they criminally subpeoned innocent people, they seem to not want certain people in church, and Paige Patterson looked the other way on Darrell Gilyard (a whole nother story, sort of, but not really) But it doesn't matter, cause that won't change the situation.
Let the court decide your case, shut this down and move on. Why don't you clean their slate for your own sake? When all the words in the world from all of you aren't going to change a thing, WHY WASTE THEM????????????????? You aren't going to change ANYTHING. So change yourself.....

Anonymous said...

and yes anon, Baptists will stick the knife in your back while shaking your hand. So will a lot of other people, its human nature. The question isn't will they...its will I?

Bro./Pastor Rod H. said...

"pI am so glad that i am a Muslim. The way You christians treat each other is scary. All here are welcome to visit our beautiful new mosque and see how people truly love each other, we don't bicker over a "church we don't even like" like I am reading here. Why would anyone want to be a christian to be attack by other so caled peace loving christians. Allah is great you people sending converts to us by the droves. Keep up the good work! i will be waiting to read the hate filled respones to my loving observation.

June 3, 2009 5:17 AM"


"NO THANKS"My friend!
Vertually all terrorism around the world today is being perpetrated by the followers of Islam. Islam in many country will not allow Christianity to exist and many times kill or severely restict those who are allowed to practice it. Islam as a matter of fact will not allow any other religions to be practiced in most muslim countries. Islam subjugates women to third class citizenship. Islam will not allow women to be educated. Islam in many counties require women to wear burka's .Islam in many muslim countries encourages people to become suicide bombers and killers. Islam does not teach love of others unlike them,Islam teaches subjugation by force of "all" to serve and obey allah. Jesus said He was the Way,the Truth,and the Life,no one comes unto the Father(The true God not allah)except thru Him[John 14:6].Christianity by this statement along is superior to all religions,including Islam!!! True Christianity can not be judged by how "some" of their followers act because we have the Bible to reference;But Islam is how the "majority" of those in the Middle East pratice it because that's what the Koran teach. May you come to know the only Savior Jesus Christ!!!

Anonymous said...

"I got called a drug addict nearly 17 years ago in a church. It was a lie. I have YET to hear ONE PERSON apologize to me. NOT ONE. I never will. I have had to accept that nobody was sorry and nobody was Christian and nobody was interested in the truth, and nobody gave a you know what. I didn't write a blog about that church, I didn't do anything to deserve it."

Are you trying in your own way to convince folks that we should not expect the Body of Christ to be and act like a true Body of Christ?

Only a fool would expect perfection. How about basic truth, love, transparancy, humility...just the basic things that are taught in scripture. Seems that is too much for some folks to expect.

Who taught you that you should expect to be lied about and persecuted by OTHER Christians? Who taught you that lie?

YOu are to expect it by unbelievers but I can see now that many are being taught they should expect it by other believrs and take it as normal.

That is how far the church has fallen from Ananias and Sapphira. It is not the true church.

Why would you stay in a fake church that perpetuates lies. That makes you an accessory.

Get out while you can

Anonymous said...

"Let the court decide your case, shut this down and move on. Why don't you clean their slate for your own sake? When all the words in the world from all of you aren't going to change a thing, WHY WASTE THEM????????????????? You aren't going to change ANYTHING. So change yourself....."

Why don't you stop reading here? Do the same thing you advise Tom to do. Stop reading here. It is obviously a waste of time for you. You are not changing anything. So change yourself.....

Anonymous said...

"pI am so glad that i am a Muslim. The way You christians treat each other is scary. "

Friend, True Christians do not treat each other this way. But anyone can claim Christ. Just as many claim Allah who kill the innocent as you claim to be a peaceful religion. And you believe that Issa was a good prophet not the Son of God.

Here is the difference between us:

You send your sons (and even daughters, now) to kill themselves and kill others, even innocent children, in order please Allah and gain favor in Paradise. You claim this is doing good for Allah because they are infidels.

We know that...

God the Father sent HIS ONLY SON, Jesus Christ, to die for US, even though we are guilty of sin and do not deserve it, so that we can spend eternity in Paradise with Him praising Him forever.

One expects you to sacrfice YOUR sons. The True God sacrificed HIS OWN SON for our sake. He is GREAT LOVE. UNDESERVED LOVE.

Even for you.


Matt

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 11:49

Sorry, but you assume too much.

I don't expect FBC Jax to be perfect.

I don't expect an apology from anybody.

I'm sorry you were called a drug addict and that no one apologized.

But I don't want an apology.

I didn't write a blog because someone wronged me or called me a name so I could get some sort of apology. I started a blog to shine a light on what was happening at FBC Jax. And I'll do that as long as I please. Sorry you don't like that, but if you don't please don't come to read this blog.

One thing I do know, is I will never change the mind of Mac Brunson. But I'm not trying to change his mind. I do think it is good for the people of Jacksonville to hear and see what is going on at the church, to know what he and Smyrl say.

You say you're sorry they called me horrible names, and "criminally subpoened" innocent people. Yep, too bad they did those things, because they are newsworthy, and there is a lawsuit now that will shine a light on what they did and why they did it. That will be good.

And this blog will still be here. I'll use it to get the word out on the lawsuits, and also to shine more light on the antics of abusive churches. Sorry that you don't like that, but that's the way it is.

And you say I should shut this blog down. I will no sooner shut this blog down than Mac Brunson or A.C. Soud would ever apologize for anything they've ever said or done in this matter. That will not happen, nor will this blog be shut down.

Thy Peace said...

I have always wondered why fbc jax leadership could not see the writing on the wall ...

If you do searches in say Google on some of the content of this blog, this blog shows up mostly in the first page and sometimes in the first 3 pages. What it means is, the ranking of the blog as related to those searches (of words) is high.

* Granted that Google will modify the searches based on your past history of searches, but you still get the above results, if you hide your google persona, before you do the searches.

And it is going to get worse (from fbc jax leadership's perspective). Once a national news outlet or tv program picks up on this. Then no amount of hand wringing will get this out of the news.

Anonymous said...

According to a recent book I studied "The Challenge of the Cults and New Religions: Their History, Their Doctrine, and Our Response" by Ron Rhodes, the Catholic Church is close to his definition of a cult. He does not classify them as such but if you go down the criteria he gives the title does fit.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine just sent me links to 5 lawsuits against my former mega church. None of them have been in the news...yet. He sent links to court cases on the docket that have been filed. Every single one of them are about treatment of people.

Two of them are by members being man handled, one in the parking lot and the other on the premises by the police who work for the mega as off duty cops.

Three of them are former employees suing over wrong treatment. Even to the point of being slandered.

Anonymous said...

First Baptist churches everywhere often are the largest congregations with the most activities and resources in their cities. They also can be the least relevant congregations in their cities--and few things are sadder to see than a First Baptist Church dying, but many people attend the church they do only because it is the best of several poor churches in town; as soon as one which appears to be higher in quality and more real in ministry comes along, those folks will go to check it out. If it is true, they will stay there.

I think the congregation which is FBCJax has one thing to do--it is the same one thing that Poedunk Holler Baptist Church has to do: get lost people saved by getting saved people on-mission with God in this world while time remains before Jesus' second coming. To the extent that FBC or any church does that, it is a success biblically; to the extent that it does not, then that church is NOT a great church no matter what anyone says about it--and it does not necessarily deserve to remain in operation, wasting precious Kingdom resources on things not affecting eternity.

The above does not happen by accident. It happens, in part, when the leaders of the congregation--paid or otherwise, but certainly paid--gather the members to one point (where the Lord Jesus is standing, with a Bible in His hand) and move them forward in fellowship to change the world with Christ. If the leadership at FBCJax believes that it can accomplish its one-and-only biblical mission without the good-hearted cooperation of all of its members, then that leadership is foolish. No pastor can be all about himself and meet the Scripture's requirements of him; if that is the case, the man should resign from the pastorate and go to be something else with a lower expectation for the position. Otherwise--and certainly if he has written a book or two on the subject--that pastor must keep his pride swallowed, deal with all-comers and their questions, keep the congregation focused despite those questions, and maintain the morale of the body while it carries out the Great Commission's tasks.

That just seems right to me, and not so hard.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious if the Sunday after Rev King's infamous pastors and staff are God's gift to you sermon, if anyone heard the same thing in their Sunday School class.

I've been wondering what scripture was the basis for his statement. I found some articles via google where Eph 4:11 is sued. Isn't the scripture stating 'pastor' is a gift to a person. Pastor is a spiritual gift given to an individual correct? I don't see how they are saying that this scripture is stating that the pastor is a gift to the church. Maybe it's just me.

Anonymous said...

I saw this quote from Anderson Cooper and couldn't help but think how true it is for mega-church pastors (Brunson, Gaines) and their wannabe staff (Smyrl, King, Blount) and how it applies to judges (Soud) and other folks who are shown respect and given notoriety in their profession. Does it apply to your preacher?

"The world reacts very strangely to people they see on TV, and I can begin to understand how anchor monsters are made. If you`re not careful, you can become used to being treated as though you`re special and begin to expect it. For a reporter, that`s the kiss of death." Anderson Cooper

I would add that it is the kiss of death for churches too. Why do we make such "monsters" in our churches?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

The sermon referred to by anon 8:22 is Kevin King's sermon in May on a Wed night (archived in the FBC Video Archives) where Kevin does boldly declare that "the pastor and staff" are "Gifts of God" to the congregation, whether they realize it or not.

And he also elaborated that the consequence of them being "Gifts of God", is that to "grumble" against them is to actually grumble against God himself.

That is frightening stuff - especially in a city where that very same garbage is what allowed predators like Gray and Gilyard do their deeds. To criticize or "grumble" against them was to grumble against God himself. It is dangerous territory when spiritual leaders start saying they are gifts from God and not to be "grumbled against".

Anonymous said...

mr. irrelevant, I heard that the biggest loser was in town. I think they are looking for contestants. I think you are a big mac away from a stroke or even a heart attack. Just my thoughts.... dont go away mad, just go away

Former FBC Insider said...

James 1:26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.

Do you suppose Mac missed this one?

Anonymous said...

"James 1:26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.

Do you suppose Mac missed this one?"

No but the WD and his supporters sure have.

Anonymous said...

June 4, 2009 11:07 AM

When I see you and others say things like this it really gets me closer to believing there is no hope for FBC JAX.

If you really think that it is perfectly fine for Brunson to call Tom a sociopath in the newspapers, AC Soud to call Tom a cooward in the newspaper, and Brunson to tell other pastors in his Guidebook what "not" to do while he is doing exactly what he tells others "not" to do, then there is a big problem.

How do you justify this?

Seriously, it looks to the world like FBC JAX members are self righteous, holier than thou, do no wrong cause you determine what is wrong.

Brunson's sermons are right back at him and it seems like no one down there can see it.

Anonymous said...

To the WD - I want to encourage you in your steadfastness to continue blogging and shining the light on not only Mac Brunson and his obvious abuses, but also on the members of the congregation who are so willing to allow this kind of leadership to continue. Perhaps many members will begin to question their motives on why they attend this church and why they subject themselves and their children to a man such as Mac Brunson. I see that many people want you to just go away, or to move on, but that would only serve to enable the leadership to continue to operate without any light being shone on their actions and words. Not to mention, the church has chosen to use the JSO and SAO to "out" you so they could trespass you and your wife. As many have written here, this type of treatment of your wife and family compels you to vigorously defend this illegal, and unethical, and abusive action by the church against a family in their congregation. Going away for you now is no more an option than the church deciding to be transparent and accountable to the congregation.

Also, you have shown yourself not to be a coward, but exactly the opposite. You must be a brave man of character and conviction to continue on in your efforts to expose the abuses found in our mega churches, and particularly, at FBC Jax. I have to assume that you are feeling pressure from within yourself, from your new church, your friends, and even your own family, to "move on" and let this go. I applaud you for not letting this pressure convince you to stop. These guys need to have their actions and words see the light of day where it can be scrutinized and weighed against reality and scripture and seen by people all over the world for what it is.

Why you? I don't know and you probably don't either. The rest of us don't seem to care, or don't seem to see the abuses, or are indeed cowards and not willing to stand up and demand accountability of our church leaders.

I am praying for you and your family and that all of this blogging is merely God's way of using one man to expose these abuses. Some may call you irrelevant, and I am sure they wish it so. Personally, maybe you are, but obviously your blog is very very relevant.

Keep up the good fight and keep on keeping on.

A loyal reader

Anonymous said...

"When I see you and others say things like this it really gets me closer to believing there is no hope for FBC JAX.

If you really think that it is perfectly fine for Brunson to call Tom a sociopath in the newspapers, AC Soud to call Tom a cooward in the newspaper, and Brunson to tell other pastors in his Guidebook what "not" to do while he is doing exactly what he tells others "not" to do, then there is a big problem.

How do you justify this?

Seriously, it looks to the world like FBC JAX members are self righteous, holier than thou, do no wrong cause you determine what is wrong.

Brunson's sermons are right back at him and it seems like no one down there can see it.

June 4, 2009 11:19 AM"

You act as if Tom is completely innocent of anything. This blog has been a standard bearer in name calling of Dr. Brunson. Here are few examples.

Tom has accused the pastor of "major fleecing". (Nov 25 2007)

Tom invited the Senate to investigate the pastor as if he is violating IRS law. (Nov 6 2007)

Tom compared his land gift to a "shady land deal". (Oct 15 2007)

Tom has called Dr. Brunson "spineless". (Nov. 29 2007).

Tom has called him "angry and condescending". (March 17 2008)

Tom has called him a "flaming hypocrite". (Jan 7 2009).

These are just from HIS articles HE posted on this blog. The comments allowed in responses contain worse comments.

Why?

If all you truly want to do is resolve "valid concerns" why change it into name calling?

Someone has apologized to Tom for the name calling. When is someone going to apologize to Dr. Brunson?

Anonymous said...

"Really? Like what? Seriously. With a $15,000,000.00 budget every single year, year after year, what "good" are you doing that is not for yourselves or for your own children?"

I absolutely AGREE! FBCJax spends far far more making videos of the "Good" we do than the actual good costs to do.

The pittance of $1000 per month given to the homeless shelter always struck me as ridiculously low.

Anonymous said...

Hey anon June 4, 2009 2:38 PM - I will be glad to apologize in the same manner Dr. Brunson did:

"I am not infallible. I am not perfect, just ask my wife. ha ha. I make mistakes but they are only in defense of the members of FBC Jax."

There. How's that for not apologizing to anyone in particular about anything in particular.

And are you really reading the blog so carefully that you can provide references for quotes? That is scary. I read the blog everyday and couldn't tell you when something was said.

What Mac said was wrong and untrue and published on the front page of the newspaper. It deserved a specific retraction and specific apology to Mr. Rich. What Tom blogged anonymously IS in fact his true opinion, he is NOT sorry for blogging that opinion, and he owes no one an apology. Nice try making Mac the victim. Again. Poor Mac, he is the one that deserves an apology. When will someone, anyone, apologize to poor old victim Mac?

Grape is my favorite, although cherry Kool-aid is good too.

Anonymous said...

"And are you really reading the blog so carefully that you can provide references for quotes? That is scary. I read the blog everyday and couldn't tell you when something was said."

No but I have read this blog enought to know that if I put up a charge of "you have called Dr. Brunson names" then it will only be confronted with a challenge to list when it was done. Therefore I did not BEFORE you could use that line on me.

What Tom has been writing for 2 years is a biased blog set out to remove staff from FBCJax on the WORLD WIDE WEB. I would wager he would hound Dr. Brunson even if he left FBCJax and pastored at another church. And you know why, because Tom is obessive compulsive. He can't stop, he has tried a couple of times. But the attention he has is just to good to pass up. So in that sense what Dr. Brunson wrote is true.

Judge Soud called him a coward because he did not openly confront the church on his "concerns". It is cowardly to write anonymously about your own church and pastor. So that is true.

By the way, it must be nice to have rules for everyone else and none for yourself.

Anonymous said...

You people need to get your psychological disorders straight...obsessive compulsive is not the same as a sociopath.

Anonymous said...

"What Tom has been writing for 2 years is a biased blog set out to remove staff from FBCJax"

The only staff removal that has occured has been from Mac himself. So you are WRONG.

Anonymous said...

$1000 per month to the homeless shelter????? ARE U KIDDING ME??? A $15MM Budget and the homeless get $1K??

Talk about robbing God!

Anonymous said...

It's pointless to talk to any leadership at church about concerns. They have run people off and will continue to do so apparently.

The Bible does tell us to examine the fruit of believers. Elevating a pastor above that is wrong and is not Biblical.

The leadership can't stand it that the fruit, and/or lack thereof, of the leaders is being examined. So you see the continued ploy of coming on here and trying to make Brunson the victim and Tom the bad guy.

Why won't you answer "why" it is ok for Brunson to give certain directives to other pastors in his Guidebook but he doesn't do what he tells them to do?

Why won't you answer that question? If he is so above reproach like so many of the anti-watchdog postings claim, then why is it ok for Brunson to contradict his own book?

Anonymous said...

After a while, the Smyrls of this world implode by overdosing on their own hatred . . .