"...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

Friday, July 24, 2009

I'm Disappointed and Saddened, Too (But Not Surprised)....

Interesting to hear the church leaders say they are "disappointed and saddened..."

Yeah, me too.

But not surprised, not one bit.

Here is the leadership of FBC Jax's statement regarding this lawsuit:

"The congregation and leadership of the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville is disappointed and saddened that Mr. Rich has chosen to seek resolution of His disagreements with the Church via the Court of Law. Despite numerous efforts by the church to facilitate resolution privately and in accordance with Holy Scripture, Mr. Rich has been unwilling to participate. Having made every effort to settle this matter biblically, the Church stands ready to have the matter addressed according to law, though this is not, and never has been our desire."

I'm saddened by this statement. I'm saddened to hear they are still misrepresenting the facts. Even sadder that they seem to think their congregation and those in SBC-circles around the country will buy it.

Let me provide a few responses to their statement:

1. This lawsuit has nothing to do with my "disagreements with the Church". Nothing at all. Perhaps they didn't read the lawsuit. It has to do with fraud, misrepresentation, and abuse of process...and it has to do with defamation, a pastor using his position and power to tell a malicioius, purposeful lie to the newspaper about my mental health to justify his church's actions. THAT is what this lawsuit is about.

2. "Despite numerous efforts by the church to facilitate resolution privately and in accordance with Holy Scripture"....I'm not sure what "numerous efforts" mean. There was no effort, unless you call showing up at my doorstep with trespass papers for me and my wife, and demanding that I appear before six leaders of the church with no representation, without given the chance to read the bylaws of the church, and not being told the basis of their allegations. Maybe one of their "numerous efforts" was their decision to not allow my wife entrance on the property to watch our daughter sing in her ensemble. They are claiming their process was "in accordance with Holy Scripture"? Not even close. They never, ever...not one single time...attempted resolution in accordance with Matthew 18.

3. "Mr. Rich has been unwilling to participate" ...bald-faced lie. Who wrote this? Do they even know the facts? After they received my identity from the JSO and demanded I appear before their committee of 6 leaders, I sent John Blount an email agreeing to meet with them, with three simple requests that could have been met in 5 minutes. Also, when offered the chance to meet with the deacons in February, I agreed! But John Blount told me they would not allow my wife to come, and they would not let me speak freely to defend myself from the charges against me. Also, a prominent pastor in the Southern Baptist Convention approached FBC Jax with an offer for a reconciliation meeting in March, but we received no response.

4. "Having made every effort to settle this matter biblically.." If this does get to court, maybe they will have to make the argument how their actions were according to the Bible. Their efforts were not biblical...but then again maybe they have some Old Testament scripture of how to deal with sinners they are referring to. I assume "biblically" means in accordance with Matthew 18, which they most certainly did not use.

5. "the Church stands ready to have the matter addressed according to law, though this is not, and never has been our desire" That last statement, "never has been our desire." Now that is TRUTH. I agree with them. They never thought they would have to defend their un-biblical actions in the local media, much less a court of law. But here we are.

For those of you new to the blog, here are some previous posts that will help, as they contain hyperlinks of documents and correspondence:

"The Subpoenas: Unmasking the Baptist Bloggers Under Force of Law"

"The Search for the Watchdog's Identity"

"The Story of the Watchdog Blog"

And, I recommend that you listen again to the Deacon's Resolution read by A.C. Soud on February 25, 2009 - keep in mind that this resolution was read and passed before the church leaders knew that it would be revealed publicly what actions they took with the JSO to find my identity.

69 comments:

Anonymous said...

"But John Blount told me they would not allow my wife to come,..."

Another example of Baptist men not being willing or able to deal with a Godly, strong Christian woman. These big bad bullies bow down to only one thing...the wife! They know they can bully men and impress their buddies, but they are scared to death when it comes to dealing with the one person who sees them as they really are. So when you asked to bring your wife down, panic must have hit. She was banned. A trespass warning is on the books with her name on it. She was not, and is not, allowed in to hear her daughter sing. She was made to sit out in the car. But let her come and speak to the deacons who gave approval to this? May it never be! So John Blount, tell Tom we make the rules here, and the rule is, his wife can't come. HAH!

Anonymous said...

Must be hard to be a deacon down there now. Every meeting you look into that other man's eyes and see his fear. You see his silence. You see his real motives for his service. You know and he knows, that you fear the regime of leadership and that if you speak out on behalf of this man and his wife, or even question how to make this right, you will be riduculed, black balled and removed from your position.

Can you men see it in each other's eyes? Can you see it in your wife's eyes? Or hear it in her voice? It's okay, we know you are afraid. But isn't there even one?

Anonymous said...

Since Mac and his members like the Old Testament and history so much more than preaching and applying the New Testament (God seemed so much more angry and doled out harsh punishment then. hee hee) Maybe they relate to Genesis 18 more then Matthew 18.

Genesis 18:32 Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?" He answered, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it."

I hope similar prayers are being made to God that if even 10 men willing to stand up for what is right are found at FBC Jax, God will not let Mac and Maurilio destroy it. What about it men? Is there even ONE? NOW is your time to be heard.

SAB said...

Please take heart in bringing this action to the public law. Reading ACTS 16, Paul was accused by the magistrates, cast into prison, punnished, etc... Once the magistrates knew they made a mistake they wanted to handle it quietly but Paul made them publicly release them to expose them. Paul sets the example for public exposure of illigal behavior. VS 37
Allen

Anonymous said...

Speaking of wanting to handle it privately, didn't I read on earlier blog posts that your wife emailed the church, or called John Blount, and told him to remove your family from the church membership and to leave her family alone? Why didn't they honor her requests? Why did they serve her trespass warnings, yet not treat her as a person to discuss reconciliation. Is it because they see the man as the head of the home and the little lady can't take leadership in resolving this matter? But then why include her on the trespass warnings? Were they really afraid that this sweet lady who had worked with the children for many years (as an unpaid volunteer of course. No salary, office and benefits or kids put on staff for her) would be a threat to anyone's safety. Really? That is going to be their excuse?

And didn't Mr. Rich email John Blount and ask him to leave you alone. And expressly told him not to contact you again?. And yet he responded and said they were compelled to continue to take action against you even after you joined another church. And was it not until you discovered that subpoenas had been issued that all communication with the church stopped?

No, privately resolving this was NEVER their aim. They wanted to discover who you were so they could intimidate, discredit and destroy you, your marriage, and your life. They wanted to make a very public example of you of what happens when you question the big boys. And not just you, they were letting the entire SBC know how they were going to do it so others would slap them on the back and say "great job making that guy sorry he ever asked a question." Why else would the Deacon Resolution be placed on the website with a prominent promotional link to it for all the world to read?

How dare they now say they wanted to handle this privately? Hypoocrites and liars, they are indeed.

Anonymous said...

Yeah but they SURE weren't saddened to use law enforcement against the WD. Nice to see the reaction when the whip is reversed, when man bites dog.

Lying, hypocritical, full-of-it church folk!

Anonymous said...

LEAST WE FORGET THE FACTS:
..."and it has to do with defamation, a pastor using his position and power to tell a malicioius, purposeful lie to the newspaper about my mental health to justify his church's actions. THAT is what this lawsuit is about"
===================================
One would have thought the biblical leaders would have just said "No Comment" to the Florida Times Union, when first contacted but instead chose to characterize a member unjustly. They should have not responded to the media and said as other business organizations do "it's an internal issue".

They gave their statements foolishly which was read "nationaly" by thousands. Very inappropriate and poor judgement on their part.

A large audience of FBC members (past & present) could accurately and honestly testify that they have heard leaders stand on the pulpit and in their classrooms make critical comments about others they disagreed with. Okay for them to critize but not a member - that's complex!

Simply put is this case was mishandled - I'd do the same if I was classified in the media as a "socialpath" . . .this is not about money, it's about a "good name" being misrepresented!

No, I do not know the Rich Family and Yes, I am a member of FBC - what happened to him could very well put me on the "hit list" just because I'm blogging my personal feelings.

Provender said...

When churches begin to become big business operations more than churches, you can expect power plays like this. Though it's sad that the church has come to this, it is somewhat satisfying to see the powerful and the intimidators scrambling from the very law they used as a club. All bloggers should be incensed at what happened to WD. Spiritual abuse survivors are watching expectantly to see if there will finally be accountability in this case. We are with you, WD.

JDH said...

Tom, Do you think you deserve monetary compensation?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rich,
I have a question.When did you finally admit you were the watchdog? When John Blount was e-mailing you to come in for the discipline committe had you admitted to being the watchdog? Or when you wanted to talk to the deacons had you admited to being the watchdog? They knew you were because the police told them but when did you admit and confirm it to church leadership? On your website you did not admit it was you for sometime. So when did you actually confirm and admit it was you to the leaders of FBC? Was it when you admitted it to the Times Union that you actually confirmed and took ownership of your blog?

Anonymous said...

The irony is that the WD condemns pastor Brunson for accepting a gift, and would take offerings from people giving to the church by force of law.

Yaakov ben David said...

I hate to tell you this WD, but you and your wife were irresponsible when you allowed you child to attend anything at FBC while the both of you were unwelcome and banned from attendance. What were you thinking? What do you think your child had to go through with all those "loving baptist christians" all around. I will bet your child was seriously uncomfortable...unbelieveable.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I disagree with you Yaakov. We had no problem allowing our daughter to continue to attend her church while Blount was filing trespass papers against me and my wife with the JSO. We don't believe FBC Jax and the people there are bad, or would harm our daughter. The majority of people there are decent, committed Christians. We've know them for years and years - especially the people in Middle School dept. Nope, our daughter was fine, was not uncomfortable, and we have close family members that were there and still are there. If you think we have a fear or a hatred of the people of FBC Jax, you're sadly mistaken.

Yaakov ben David said...

Fear of FBC wasn't my point...but I understand what you are saying. After reading some of the comments on your blog, I can tell that there are some members of FBC who don't care for you or your wife. I was thinking more in terms of family unity and possibly exposing your child to someone who might be vindictive or mean-spirited to your child when you weren't there. I apologize.

Scott from Texas said...

I hate to keep coming back to my point from yesterday Tom, but if you confirm in your comment that you have family still at FBC and that you personally know that there are very sincere committed Christians that still attend there (by their own choosing), why file suit against those people. See, even though you dislike Brunson and the Leadership at the Church, you are suing FBC Jax, which is the whole. You are asking for damages from honest committed Christians who are following their dedication of tithing. I realize you disagree with how much Brunson makes or how the Church spends their money, but that is up to the Church to decide and who they appoint in those positions. To sue the Church is to sue the very people you just spoke highly of. That is not honoring the Kingdom, nor is it Biblical since you are filing lawsuit against your Christian Brother and Sisters according to 1 Cor.

Anonymous said...

so...when are you going to anwser about when you finally admitted you were the watchdog?
From all I 've read you never admitted it until the Times Union interview.

Anonymous said...

They were also not worried about their daughter because it was not common knowledge yet that they were the watchdog the night she sang. Nor had they admitteed to being the watchdog yet. So they were not scared because they were still anonymous except to the leaders of FBC and they had not admited that the leadership had the right family. They were still denying that Tom was and is the watchdog so no fear for their daughter. The church body at large was not aware of these actions by the church againt the Rich family nor were we aware he was the watchdog for sure.I was never told at church who the watchdog was . I found out from the news paper I am an active member.

Anonymous said...

The "someone" that is demanding to know when Mr. Rich admitted ownership of the "Watchdog Blog., I notice is blogging as Anonymous.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

About admitting my identity as the Watchdog:

No, I never admitted it to the church leaders. I desired to preserve my anonymity. But keep in mind, the absolutely refused to tell me how they identified me, although I asked them several times in writing.

But once Blount shared with the deacons in closed meeting, sworn to secrecy, that the State Attorney was involved and that "crimes" had been committed or aleged, that information was shared with me by some of the deacons, and I knew this whole situation was in another realm. And of course I was very curious as to why the leaders didn't share this information with ME when I asked from the very beginning. I thought, what POSSIBLE reason would they have for keeping that information from me? Why would they tell 50 to 100 men in a closed meeting, but NOT tell me? Wouldn't that information have let me know that I WAS positively identified? The fact that they never shared that with me told me perhaps something sinister was going on that they did not want me to know about concerning how they found my identity.

So I went off to find out just what these guys did to find my identity. It was not easy, because records at the JSO had been destroyed since there was no crime and the investigation had been closed nearly 5 months earlier, and my name appeared NO WHERE in any of the subpoenas or police reports. It was by an absolute stroke of luck that I confirmed positively that the subpoenas existed, else none of this, and I mean NONE of this would be in the newspaper today. So in one sense, one the serious flaws in their strategy was to tell the deacons about the "state attorney" being involved and releasing my name to the deacon body. It was totally unnecessary, given that the deacon's meeting occured almost a full month after we had already left FBC Jax and joined another church. But what was shared in that meeting will probably become more apparent very soon.

When Brumley contacted me in March, after I had found out what FBC Jax and JSO had done to find my identity and had posted it on my blog along with the subpoenas, he informed me the FTU was going to do a story on this. Because he DID have my identity, and was going to do a story on the subpoenas, I agreed to talk to him and share my story. I believe, but am not 100% sure, that Brumley got my name from the FBC Jax trespass papers filed with JSO.

But back to the original question of me not admitting I was the Watchdog:

Just as I never acknowledged my identity as the watchdog to the church because I desired to preserve my anonymity, likewise they never acknowledged to me how they found me out.

They could have sent me another letter in response to my request, saying simply:

"The JSO positively identified you as the owner as a part of a criminal investigation we requested into your blog."

So sure, its a legitimate question of me: Why did you not admit you were the WD.

My answer: Because I desired to stay anonymous as long as I could, until I confirmed positively that I was identified.

But it also is an equally legitimate question of the FBC Leadership: Why did you not just tell Rich at the beginning, or at least when he asked you, that he had been identified as part of a criminal investigation?

I think we NOW know the answer to THAT question.

Thy Peace said...

I have refrained from making this connection for a long time. After I found out who Watchdog was, my memory though sluggish made the connection from WD's daughter singing a song in both english and spanish one wed evening, a long time ago. After that song, I distinctly remember Pastor Mac question WD's daughter and say really stupid things.

I was truly then flabbergasted. For I could not believe a pastor to ask those questions or make rude statements to a 12 y.o. girl. It was very evident then that Mac got out of the wrong side of the bed that day and this feeling for Mac persisted till he came to deliver the sermon that day. Of course, at that time I did not know who Rich's were and I only made the connection after Watchdog's story was revealed by Brumley in the papers.

At that time, all I kept saying to myself ... What got into this pastor today?

The song sung by Rich's daughter then was excellent. But against the music program at Fbc Jax was always good and the singers terrific. I am always amazed at their professionalism, from the young to the old.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Thy Peace - in defense of Mac Brunson, when my daughter sang a solo last year he did make some comments to her aftewards, but I did not take them as rude at all. As I remember, he was trying to be complimentary and trying to be a gentleman. I think he asked if she spoke Spanish, since she sang in both English and Spanish. But definitely we did not find his comments improper.

Anonymous said...

That was your daughter who sang the solo on Lord, I Believe in You!

High School Choir sang that song in 2006 in Mexico.

Anonymous said...

As I recalled too ,pastor Brunon did say some things(jokingly)to watchdog's daughter that might have sounded offensive to some.If I recalled correctly , he asked her if she was married, complimenting her looks ,and then letting boys know that she wasn't. Again , he was just kidding,but I can see how some might have been offended or thought it was inappropiate for the pastor to say those remarks.

Bro./Pastor Rod H. said...

"I realize you disagree with how much Brunson makes"

Scott from Texas

Scott what Dr.Dog is asking for is relatively small when you consider the 300,000 that Mac is undeservingly taking from FBCJ!


No man is worth 300,000 to preach the Gospel; "NO ONE"

Doug said...

Tom;

You state....

"It was by an absolute stroke of luck that I confirmed positively that the subpoenas existed,"

No Tom, it was not a stroke of luck, it was GODS divine intervention into a situation he controls. You have been used to expose one of these men who has abused GODS calling and they are simply receiving the disciplining hand of our LORD. The Bible is very clear concerning deceptive men.

I know you already know this and I speak from personal experiences.....

You must always Pray about this situation and always follow HIS direction and will for your life before proceeding with any plans.

Make nothing be of your will but GODS will.

He gives us discernment IF we are a disciple for Christ. My prayer is that you continue to seek his will and pray that you continue to ask for his direction and protection, especially for you and your family.

You will sometime feel you are all alone in this battle, but please know I along with many other will be right there with you.

I know, I went through a very similar situation, but tried another route.

And to all the "MACKER - BACKERS", tell those within the Baptist Mafia, if you toss, it's your loss!

The Internet- The Great Equalizer

God Bless.

Anonymous said...

Sorry you couldn't work it out between you two, but do you really have to sue? Is it worth destroying a church in the Body of Christ? Is it worth making us Christians look worse than the bad rap we already have? I encourage you to seek the Lord on this matter and reconsider this move. I know the Lord wouldn't do this because His Word says not to. Please, I beg you, in the name of Christ, please consider dropping this lawsuit.

"If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church! 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."

1 Corinthians 6:1-8

Anonymous said...

I contacted the Electronic Frontier Foundation and gave them a few details from the news reports. Their reply indicated they would likely have assisted you in quashing the subpoenas had you contacted them at the time the subpoenas were issued. They may still be able to help if you or your attorney contacts the organization. Though their pockets aren't limitless they have a history of providing legal support in some cases as far as the US Supreme Court. I hope you or your attorney will contact them. What was done by FBC and the JSO is wrong. I hope you will be able to find justice and in doing so protect others from similar behavior.

Thy Peace said...

Their reply indicated they would likely have assisted you in quashing the subpoenas had you contacted them at the time the subpoenas were issued.

That is why JSO went by the route of using Criminal Subpoenas, instead of Civil Subpoenas. They thought they were being very clever. That nobody would know about it. Sometimes they are too clever for themselves. EFF would have helped only in the case of Civil Subpoenas, if the defendant was informed about it. But not for Criminal Subpoenas, where the defendant has no clue what is being done.

Bro./Pastor Rod H. said...

"Sorry you couldn't work it out between you two, but do you really have to sue? Is it worth destroying a church in the Body of Christ? Is it worth making us Christians look worse than the bad rap we already have?"

July 24, 2009 9:37 PM


Anon Mac has done a pretty good job of destroying FBCJ all by his lonesome!!!!

FBCJ themselves hatch a scheme to use the courts to find out who Dr.Dog was!!!


Mac by his own actions have done more to harm the cause of Christ than Dr.Dog will ever do..He as the leader has the greater responsibility..

Satan always goes after the leader or he plants one!!!

Anonymous said...

To those who are trotting out 1 Corinthians 6 (which most likely Mac is promoting in this situation) do not forget that Mac brought in the magistrate first. He is the one that made it a legal magisterial issue by using the arm of civil government to go after Tom. Why this does not bother folks is beyond me. Perhaps they just do not know better.

Mac took a 'matter' to the civil law instead of working it out with a brother.

You cannot have it both ways. Saying it is ok for Mac to use the arm of the government for his personal needs but not for Tom to then vindicate his name.

What some are saying is that Tom should be more spiritually mature than Mac. Quite frankly, most Mac defenders have been making just that point.

Anonymous said...

Seems that it frequently comes back to the fact that you lied about who you were as long as you could. They are going to nail your posterior to the wall when they get you into an open court.

You'd better get out now because I don't think you want what is fixing to happen to you. You are playing a game way over your head and you don't even know it.

Thy Peace said...

You'd better get out now because I don't think you want what is fixing to happen to you. You are playing a game way over your head and you don't even know it.

You sir, are playing this game way over your head. Get out while you can! That is stop commenting! Without knowing the courage, persistence and tenacity required of Watchdog to persist. What Watchdog is doing may sound crazy and stupid to you, but he has been consistently watchful and carefully thinking through his actions. I challenge any of us if we could do what Watchdog is doing. The honest answer would be NONE. No one has the courage to do this.

And the follow up is important. Only WD is able to do this. Whether he will be successful remains to be seen in the courts, but do not say he has not thought through all these possibilities, before committing himself.

Anonymous said...

To those who think "Why didn't you go to your pastor and work it out"?
First: He has to BE a pastor. It is absolutely impossible to"reason" with someone that thinks himself ABOVE the rest of us. And certainly ABOVE be questioned or "reasoned" with by anyone. Many pastors forget they are to serve God, but think they ARE Gods. If you haven't been in the position of trying to "reason" with "The Pastor" (whomever he is) then you can't imagine how past difficult it is to get anywhere in your quest. Not all pastors are so lofty, but most are and certainly most of the megas. The key is whether there is a true calling of God on the pastor, and if so has he stayed TRUE to it or sold out for the things of the world!!!!

Anonymous said...

"Get out while you can. You are way in over your head".....I have always felt one MUST stand for what is right, even if you lose. Because at least you STOOD for what was right. If everyone RAN away there would never be justice anywhere. We would all be ruled by others. Suppose the Pilgrims had taken your advice and not left England for America. We would all still be under another Monarchy and ruling class. I like England but I am American. Tom is doing what's right!!! Someone once said; "It's very easy to do justice, very hard to do RIGHT'!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Many of you are forgetting it was Mac that went to the "law" first. And once he knew who Mr. Rich was, he (Mac) didn't go to Mr. Rich to "straighten" anything out. Certainly did not practice Matt.l8. He just wanted to "Shut em down". So don't require so much of Mr. Rich if you don't require ANYTHING of Brunson!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Very true, Thy Peace.

Don't think I haven't counted the cost here. I realize if these suits get very far, I'll be giving my deposition and those are never, ever comfortable. I realize the other side has a defense, and they will make it and make it very strongly. We have a side to this, more than even I've revealed on this blog, and we will make it strongly. That is the American justice system.

To the pastor in Texas who is threatening to sue me for defamation - if he honestly believes I have defamed him on my blog, then he has a right to sue me if I won't see things his way. How silly for me to tell him, "You should not sue me because of 1 Cor 6".

There are people out there that DO want me to just drop it and go away, some out of concern for me, but some who don't have my best interests in mind but they because how messy this will become for the church as the truth is revealed on both sides. But events have occured, words have been said on both sides, that take us to this point.

But I believe sincerely what I am doing is the right thing to do as an American citizen and as a Christian. I will be criticized by Christians who misinterpret 1 Corinthians to mean that Christian leaders can abuse their power and should not be held accountable in courts of law by other Christians. Even at FBC Jax, some of the revenue raised comes from the money of lawyers who make a decent living from filing lawsuits, sometimes between Christians. If only we could all settle our matters out of court that would be ideal, but sometimes it is not possible. We know that is true, and our country has a court system that recognizes that as well. I have no problem understanding that God has established our court system to fairly judge cases such as these.

Anonymous said...

It is really beyond comprehension that people can say Tom is doing a disservice to Christianity and Christian witness.

If you are a believer you should want to know the TRUTH!

If the leadership lied and made up a tall tale just so they could find out who the Watchdog was you are telling me you don't want to know they lied?

You'd rather sit blindly following liars (if it's proven true, though we do know we were lied to about some of our previous staff being "called" elsewhere when they were actually fired) than get to the bottom the story and KNOW whether they lied.

If you don't want to know if they lied then what does that say about you?

Anonymous said...

I think you are doing wrong watchdog. I think you should drop it, even if it destroys you and your self-worth. I got lied about at church, and it was actually worse statements than they said about you. I didn't sue, I didn't go before the church and defend myself, and two people got fired as a result. I didn't even try to get any justice. My life was still destroyed after that. And I didn't even sue. Nor did I ever do a thing to cause those people to lie about me. I was innocent. When you mess with the church, though, even when its not your fault, you gotta be very very very careful. Its the CHURCH watchdog. Sometimes there are more important things than justice for ourselves, clearing OUR name, etc. You caused a lot of this.

Former FBC Insider said...

Scott from Texas said...
"You are asking for damages from honest committed Christians who are following their dedication of tithing. I realize you disagree with how much Brunson makes or how the Church spends their money, but that is up to the Church to decide and who they appoint in those positions. To sue the Church is to sue the very people you just spoke highly of. That is not honoring the Kingdom, nor is it Biblical since you are filing lawsuit against your Christian Brother and Sisters according to 1 Cor."

Here's where I think you and a few others have it wrong, every one of us as Christians are held accountable for WHERE we assemble and pledge our allegiance, our time, our money and our service. Every one of the members at FBCJ will be held accountable for staying under the leadership of Mac Brunson when they KNOW or DOUBT he is leading the church away from what God wants. Each FBCJ member is accountable for continuing to support financially a church and it's leadership when they KNOW that church and those leaders are not behaving in a way that is pleasing to God.

They have complete freedom and hopefully a tad of discernment. They have the choice to make whether to stay or go. Believe me, it can be painful and difficult.


I've posted this before, but i think it bears repeating here. I was convicted a while back that I had been committing what I'd like to call treason (a violation of allegiance to one's sovereign). I was taught a long time ago by a missionary writer (Kay Friederichsen) that it is a testimony to the world where your church membership lies. We are accountable to God for the ship we sail on and the flag that is flown by that ship. It shows where our allegiance lies. It shows the world if we are on God's ship or if we are on a pirate ship. Because I let my name sit on the rolls at FBCJ, I was convicted that I was violating my allegiance to God.

2 Corinthians 6:17
"Therefore, come out from among unbelievers,and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things,and I will welcome you."

The Bible talks a lot about separation; tears from chaff, sheep from goats, good influences from bad influences, etc...

Read the flow of The Word.

Get Out.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Maybe because THEY are part of, and they help finance, the "creepy crawlies".

Anonymous said...

"You are asking for damages from honest committed Christians who are following their dedication of tithing."

If they were honest, they would not be financing such things. Ignorance is no longer an excuse.

Junkster said...

When people point to 1 Cor 6 to claim that Christians should never sue other Christians, they seem to ignore they key words "trivial cases". The 1 Cor 6 passage is talking about frivilous suits over minor matters, which Christians should be able to settle among themselves, and it says that believers should even be willing be wronged or cheated in those minor matters rather than bring insignificant disputes between brothers and sisters in Christ before unbelievers to judge. It means it is a bad testimony to be world if those who claim to follow Christ are unwilling to be humble and not make a big deal over every little grievance.

The passage does not say Christians should never sue other Christans in any circumstanced whatsoever. Some matters are not "trivial" and it is appropriate to bring them to the civil courts to address. When a case has far reaching impacts and legal implications, such as what FBCJ, Brunson, Soud, et al did to the Watchdog, it is anything but trivial.

Embarassed and now EX FBCJ member said...

To those who think Tom is wrong in filing this suit, let's think of all the things he and his family are having to endure at the hands of FBCJ. I first hand know the power of this church. When pointed in the right direction, the power is a great and awesome thing. However, when this is point in the wrong direction, the effects can far out reach the good. I think the church is using the funds it receives in tithes wrongly. When Tom wins this(which I am fervently praying for), then ole Mac will just have to take a pay cut to cover the costs. With the state of the economy as it is right now, if I can survive on less 10,000 a year for unemployment, then mac doesn't need 300,000. I remember a time when the church would use these funds to help those less fortunate with food clothing and other nessecities Since Mac's arrival, none but the highest paid matter. I truly believe that this church which was built on the precepts of christ has lost sight of all but their own interest. Seriously, when did a place of worship become a place of profit. Let us not forget that Jesus himself would be sickened. Wasn't it he would through the money changers out of the church....

Anonymous said...

I thought trivial pursuits was a tv program!!!

Anonymous said...

I believe a lot of you do not know your Bible. Didn't Paul the greatest Christian of the NT appeal to Caesar? There you go...take him as an example when people have wronged you. Caesar was the highest authority in the WORLD and Paul as a citizen of Rome made his legal appeal to the highest legal authority.

Anonymous said...

I Tim 1:8. Just as information to all those who seem to want WD not to litigate. "The law is good, if a man use it lawfully". WD is using the court system lawfully, therefore, it is good.

Former FBC Insider said...

It's time for the FBCJ church members to own up to their decisions to stay.

Here's some hardball questions:

For those who choose to stay at FBCJ, it means you want to willingly give your financial support to your church's and Mac's efforts in defending themselves in court.

You are making that choice by remaining idle there.

You are agreeing that there was no wrong doing.

You are choosing to have funds distributed to this legal battle that both your church and Mac have brought upon themselves rather than handling it God's way.

Would Mac need your money in a legal defense fund rather than having your building repairs done that Mac told you about last week?

He is asking you for money for just about everything.

Where will it really go?

How will you really ever know?

How can you trust him?

God will hold you accountable for your decision.

Making NO decision IS a decision!

God's Ship?

Or

Pirate Ship?

Anonymous said...

I want to personally encourage Tom to go to court and get things out in the open. When Mac's lawyers get you on the stand you will wither under their attacks and you will be ridiculed in ways that you don't even dream possible. You don't have the financial resources to compete with them and will be fodder for their fires.

The best part is that they will expose you for the troublemaker that you are and have been and then when the judge throws the whole case out of court you will have done all this stupid stuff for nothing.

Good luck as you proceed. We'll all be watching closely. I do hope you will us updated on the blog when you do go to trial so we don't have to just trust the biased media.

Anonymous said...

ANSWERS (SORTA) TO FORMER MEMBER!

For those who choose to stay at FBCJ, it means you want to willingly give your financial support to your church's and Mac's efforts in defending themselves in court........NOT WILLING - THERE ARE MANY "STOREHOUSES" FOR ONE TO BE OBEDIENT IN THEIR TITHES & LOVE OFFERINGS OTHER THAN THE BANK OF FBC.

You are making that choice by remaining idle there. . .NOT TRUE, MANY ARE SEASONED BELIEVERS WHO FEEL THEY CAN'T ABANDON THE YOUNG BELIEVERS IN THE WORD.

You are agreeing that there was no wrong doing.....VERY WRONG, WE DO AGREE HOW THIS WAS HANDLED WAS VERY WRONG - ANOTHER EXAMPLE WHY PEOPLE LIKE YOU ARE NOW A FORMER INSIDER. NOT ALL THAT ATTEND ARE BLIND.

You are choosing to have funds distributed to this legal battle that both your church and Mac have brought upon themselves rather than handling it God's way. . .THE DEACONS & STAFF ARE THE FINANCIAL MANAGERS WHO CONTROL THE $$$$ . . .

Would Mac need your money in a legal defense fund rather than having your building repairs done that Mac told you about last week?
. . .LET'S HOPE THEY JUST MAKE A PLEA FOR A "LOVE OFFERING" WITH THOSE WHO MADE THE DECISIONS TO HANDLE THE MANNER IN THE WAY THEY DID!

He is asking you for money for just about everything.. . .TRUE!

Where will it really go?... GOOD QUESTION!

How will you really ever know?... WE WON'T!

How can you trust him? . . . A "MAN" IS KNOWN BY HIS WORDS. "WORDS" WERE SPOTLIGHTED IN THE FLORIDA TIMES UNION. EVERYTHING THAT COMES OUT OF ONES MOUTH CARRIES A LOT OF WEIGHT ON WHOM WE CAN REALLY TRUST!

God will hold you accountable for your decision. . .THUS FAR, BEING PATIENT IN DECISION MAKING - IT'S DIFFICULT TO LEAVE BEHIND SOMETHING THAT WAS SO PRECIOUS & BELOVED.

Making NO decision IS a decision! . . . (APPRECIATE YOUR FOOD FOR THOUGHT)

God's Ship? . . .SEASONED & WISE BELIEVERS STILL ON BOARD! BUT IT'S OBVIOUS THE SHIP IS LEAKING!

Or

Pirate Ship? . . .PIRATE SHIP'S HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO BE RESCUED.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 7:53

I don't fear Mac, and I don't fear his lawyers. I have the resources, and we'll take this as far as it goes. If we run out of resources, we'll get some more.

If the cases are all thrown out, so be it. I can accept that.

You sound more like a person that is desperate. You are hoping upon hope, that the cases are thrown out, you are hoping that Mac's lawyers rake me over the coals, and that would be great for you that I am exposed as a "trouble maker".

Maybe so. Maybe not. I'll accept what happens.

But what if that does NOT happen?

Can you deal with that?

Thy Peace said...

Good luck as you proceed. We'll all be watching closely. I do hope you will us updated on the blog when you do go to trial so we don't have to just trust the biased media.

Thanks for the back handed complement to Watchdog.

1. You are hoping and fairly certain that Watchdog would be humiliated in the courts.

2. You do not trust the biased media.

3. Implicity, you do not seem to trust Fbc Jax Leadership to keep you informed.

4. You are asking Watchdog to inform you in the blog about the court proceedings, while you are hoping he would be humiliated.

Why?

Because Watchdog is more objective than all the others?

This is priceless! Thanks for the complement to Watchdog.

Anonymous said...

This is more than about Mac and he knows it. The SBC is watching and will give resources to protect Mac. There are too many greedy charalatans like Mac in the SBC for them not to fear what happens in this case. For their sake, Mac has to win and they will do all they can to see to it.

That might have a lot to do with that other pastor sending you a copyrighted letter from his attorney about one of your posts. Nevermind it was in the news! (Are these guys silly or what?)

Thy Peace said...

We all know Mac and Fbc Jax does not need any monetary support from SBC. My feeling is they are 100 to 1000 times have more resources than Watchdog.

This is not based on how much money one has or resources they have.

It is all about Law and Truth.

It is possibly WD might fail in Law, but it appears he and his lawyer are fairly convinced that their approach is correct and has a reasonable chance of success in determining the Truth.

I have only one request, if WD wins the case, may he request his case and example be used as a sermon example in Mac's sermons. I know this is 100% unlikely, but let us hope. Why?

Since Mac loves the underdog and uses their examples in his sermons. So let us hope, WD wins and becomes a sermon example in Mac's own sermon. That would be a sweet victory.

I know it will never happen. That is Mac will never admit he did wrong, if WD has an upper hand in the courts. Let us pray and hope that WD has the upper hand in the courts.

J. L. Watts said...

Jax, I support you, and you are in my prayers.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

"Provender" made the following post tonight, but on an older thread that likely no one is reading. Its a good one, so here it is:

"Look Moses. If you don't like Pharaoh, nobody's forcing you to stick around Just go back to Sinai. Hey, Elijah. Lay off Ahab and Jezebel. They are your leaders and you're showing nothing but disrespect. You should be ashamed of yourself. Ezekiel, stop the dramatics. You must really think you're something lying on your side in protest for days on end. What kind of example do you think you're showing? Get with the program or get out. John the Baptist, you are a troublemaker. What business is it of yours to point out Herod's sin? We are all sinners! And his girlfriends? Now that's low. Don't you realize what the Romans are saying about God's people now? You are giving us all a bad name. Paul! How dare you stand up to Peter like that about not eating with the Gentiles! Don't you know he's one of the first apostles? Touch not the Lord's anointed! You are giving the church a black eye!... "

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

NYT > Op-Ed > Not a Victim, but a Hero.
MEERWALA, Pakistan

After being kidnapped at the age of 16 by a group of thugs and enduring a year of rapes and beatings, Assiya Rafiq was delivered to the police and thought her problems were over.

Then, she said, four police officers took turns raping her.

The next step for Assiya was obvious: She should commit suicide. That’s the customary escape in rural Pakistan for a raped woman, as the only way to cleanse the disgrace to her entire family.

Instead, Assiya summoned the unimaginable courage to go public and fight back. She is seeking to prosecute both her kidnappers and the police, despite threats against her and her younger sisters. This is a kid who left me awed and biting my lip; this isn’t a tale of victimization but of valor, empowerment and uncommon heroism.

Former FBC Insider said...

Anonymous July 25, 2009 8:44 PM,

I'm so happy to see your post, happier still to see you truly are not a blind follower as you've shared your experiences with us at FBCJ.

Please know you have my prayers.
I was a member for over 30 years myself. I've been where you are and it hurt.

Thank you for your insight.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog, what would you say if you thought that about 99 percent of the people at FBC just kind of don't think of you at all? Not as anything important or relevant, not as a martyr for your cause, not as a saint Joan of arc type. Just not at all. The church goes on, there are more important things about that church than this watchdog issue.
If you think that Dr. Brunson is like some um egomaniac, and he thinks you are a sociopath, would it surprise you to learn that probably the majority of the people don't think about either thing. Its not the primary concern.
I just say that cause all this comparing you to Biblical martyrs etc is annoyingly ridiculous. Its just not true. Dude, you aren't a martyr. The church isn't about you watchdog. Its supposed to be about Jesus and souls and things like that. Im sorry its not all about you, but thats the way it is. There are thousands of people there, and they all got their own issues.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 3:42

That is wonderful news. I hope it stays that way.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

And I agree with everything you've said, Anon.

Anonymous said...

July 26, 2009 3:42 PM - I agree that 99% of the membership don't even think about this blog. So why so many angry sermons about anonymous bloggers, "shutting em down" and the use of the JSO and SAO and deacon resolutions. Couldn't these leaders and members just let God handle this blog? Hmmm. It seems Tom should have had the wisdom to just drop it and let God handle it, but these great men of God in leadership positions lacked any wisdom, or faith, to do the same.

Anonymous said...

anon 3:42. I suppose that the reason you had to post here. You got issues!!!

Anonymous said...

The majority of folks at FBC Jax do not know anything because they are not told anything. Everything in a mega comes through a filter carefully devised and managed by a handful. They like being lemmings or they would not be there.

As one mega goer told me just last week: No one expects anything from me there. I can go to church and be anonymous.

Provender said...

I have a feeling Watchdog isn't all that interested in being in the spotlight or being Joan of Arc. That's the kind of grandiosity leaders of abusive groups and churches exhibit, and their sycophants expect to find it everywhere else. Many of us are interested in seeing spiritual bullies stopped and in seeing charlatans exposed. But I have a feeling that there are many families in your organization only now beginning to look into the issues WD has brought up and that there is a feeling in the pit of their stomachs that they may have been for too long contributing to a system that wounds rather than builds up. Watchdog has exposed unsavory practices. He hasn't caused them. God give you the mettle you will need to take on this behemoth, Watchdog.

Anonymous said...

So now we have threat number 3:

"You'd better get out now because I don't think you want what is fixing to happen to you. You are playing a game way over your head and you don't even know it."

JSO may want to reconsider their evaluation re the previous threats and now this one. If they fail to protect your family they will be in major hot water.

Maybe Hinson will volunteer his time to be the Watchdog's personal body guard! LOL, not holding my breath waiting for that to happen!

Anonymous said...

yes 4:50 I'm 3:42 and you are so astutely correct. And some of the people sitting around me yesterday also had issues, and I hate to see people trying to destroy a church that might be able to help people with "issues".

Anonymous said...

yes 4:50 I'm 3:42 and you are so astutely correct. And some of the people sitting around me yesterday also had issues, and I hate to see people trying to destroy a church that might be able to help people with "issues".

July 27, 2009 12:25 PM

How can a church help people with spiritual issues when the leadership acts like gangsters?

That would be like the hens going to the fox for protection.

Arce said...

The Watchdog is not trying to destroy the church. He has been and is trying to get the church to be the pure Bride of Christ that it is supposed to be. Now the church leadership has been exposed as hypocritical plotters who do not follow the NT teachings, but use the civil and criminal authorities to remove people from the fellowship and also use the public media to attack and damage people. The church needs to purify itself not of people like the WD but of those who waste financial resources, amend bylaws behind the scenes, and take other steps to increase their worldly power. Get rid of Mac and the other nasties that have supported and plotted with him and you will have made a great stride toward purification. Perhaps then, the WD might consider dropping the part of the suit that names the church as a defendant, perhaps replacing the church with the Mac Minions in his suit.

Anonymous said...

GANGSTERS? you got to be kidding me