"...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

Monday, August 17, 2009

Another Lawsuit Involving a Jacksonville Church

Apparently there is another prominent Jacksonville church being sued by a church member - over access to financial records.

This time its Bethel Baptist Institutional Church, pastored by the Revs. Rudolph McKissick, Sr. and Jr. FBC Jax members will recall from their history that BBIC is the predominantly African-American church that split from FBC Jax way back in 1877. FBC Jax members will also recall that in 1999, FBC Jax and BBIC had a combined worship service at FBC Jax, where all 4 preachers (Vines, Lindsay, and the two McKissicks) preached, to honor and celebrate the historical connection between the two churches. Very memorable worship service.

According to articles by Jeff Brumley in the Florida Times Union on July 25th and August 16, 2009, several BBIC deacons are suing their church to gain access to financial records of the church, so that church members can be fully informed on how a $22 million dollar loan was spent by church leaders.

In Brumley's July 25th article, one of the deacons filing the suit was quoted:

"This guy [the church's attorney] is just giving us the run-around. They're hoping we're going to go away, and that's just not going to happen."

These deacons sound determined. Even persistent. To the pastor's credit, he did not comment, didn't call these men names, or claim they're mentally ill for their persistance and determination.

Says Brumley in the article:

"They're especially interested in seeing the details about the 2003 purchase of a Jacksonville hotel property for $2.6 million and a $22 million loan obtained in 2006 by church leaders, including pastors Rudolph McKissick Sr. and Rudolph McKissick Jr., court records show."

Hmmm...why not let members see financial records? What could possibly be wrong with that?

On what grounds is the church denying these members from gaining access to financial records of their own church at which they've served and financially supported?

According to Brumley, the church is drawing a distinction between being members of the "church", and being a member of the "corporation" - and guess what: these three deacons are not members of the "corporation" (darn). Now that is a new twist to church financial secrecy - the BBIC members have been writing their tithe checks to the "church", but apparently the money was really going to a "corporation" to which they do not belong, nullifying their rights to demand financial transparency on how money is spent. Oops, minor detail. And how does one "join" a corporation?

OK, let's clarify our scripture:

Jesus said: "Peter, you are the rock, and upon you I will build my corporation."

"And the Lord added to the corporation daily."

"...as Christ loved the corporation and gave Himself for it..."

Although BBIC is not a part of the Southern Baptist Convention, a similar legal struggle occured at Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee in 2007 and 2008. Church members wanted access to certain financial records of their church, and they filed a lawsuit after being denied access. These 80 or so church members were accused of being divisive and disruptive to the fellowship, and ultimately were thrown out of their church after a 2nd congregational vote to give 'em the "right boot of fellowship". (the first vote failed, so the pastor, Jerry Sutton, called for a 2nd vote). I blogged about Two Rivers last year here and here.

The sad ending to the Two Rivers saga is this: everyone lost. The members didn't get access to all the records they wanted and they were booted from the church. But on the other hand, in July 2008 Jerry Sutton, resigned as pastor, no doubt over this very public squabble that hurt the church's testimony in the city. No winners, only losers.

If there was a pseudo-winner, perhaps it was FBC Jax who had the benefit of carefully watching events unfold at Two Rivers, and in December 2007 FBC Jax changed their bylaws to eliminate the chance of that fiasco occuring at their church. The amended bylaws state that FBC Jax members forfeit their right to bring any civil action against the church in any court, and they removed the clause allowing the church members to call a special business meeting with a quorum of signatures. Both of those changes will ensure no wayward, recalcitrant FBC Jax member could demand access to financial records like those did at Two Rivers. The moment a lawsuit is filed as was done at Two Rivers and now BBIC, those members could be disfellowshipped for bringing the lawsuit against their bylaws, and a non-member could no longer claim a legal right to financial records. Pretty smart. I'm sure Jesus is very proud. The vast majority of FBC Jax members have no idea their bylaws were changed in this manner, as the pastor or Trustees or Deacons never bothered to explain it to them before asking them to vote on the changes. Strange, but true.

We'll follow the Bethel Baptist story and see what happens there and keep readers posted.

113 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a TRBC member, the only thing accomplished that I know of, is that Jerry Sutton most likely will NEVER be able to be a pastor again. That in itself, makes it all worthwhile. The remainder of the flock continues to try to rebuild this once mighty church.

Thy Peace said...

Both of those changes will ensure no wayward, recalcitrant FBC Jax member could demand access to financial records like those did at Two Rivers. The moment a lawsuit is filed as was done at Two Rivers and now BBIC, those members could be disfellowshipped for bringing the lawsuit against their bylaws, and a non-member could no longer claim a legal right to financial records. Pretty smart. I'm sure Jesus is very proud. The vast majority of FBC Jax members have no idea their bylaws were changed in this manner, as the pastor or Trustees or Deacons never bothered to explain it to them before asking them to vote on the changes. Strange, but true.

I am no lawyer, but these "traps" for plaintiff might be illegal or invalid. I am sure these instances of "traps" have occurred in the body of law cases and common sense tells me that for justice to prevail, these would have to be ruled illegal or invalid.

Anonymous said...

You are no different than all the ones you spend do much time trying to destroy. The only difference is that their life does not revolve around you.

Anonymous said...

You are no different than all the ones you spend do much time trying to destroy. The only difference is that their life does not revolve around you.

Anonymous said...

Y'all go get'em. Rein these bums in!

Anonymous said...

You people are like a bunch of 13 year old girls at a Jona Brothers concert. GET A LIFE!

Anonymous said...

Anon. 4:02-04:

Life doesn't revolve around greedy pastors either. At least it shouldn't!!!!Do you really believe these incidences of mismanagement and misdirected funds. Flagrant use of Gods money in order to build a lavish lifestyle for a pastor and family is the plan that Jesus had in mind for HIS church.?
No sir/mam HE DID NOT! Read your Bible if you own one, and find out what will happen to said persons on Judgement Day. Maybe you included. Got it?

Anonymous said...

4:l5": You get a life the one you have now is obviously being mismanaged. When you are 13 in a few years maybe you will like the Jona Brothers!

Anonymous said...

4:15 PM - Mah, your just someone with a meal-ticket to protect.

Anonymous said...

Mark Driscoll changed the bylaws at his church to give him authority and fired 2 other pastors who dared to disagree with him.

It is going on in quite a few places. And the sheeple are paying to allow it. Strange how so many folks are so desperate to follow a man. It is apocalytic in it's proportions what is going on out there in these institutions. The adoration of man. It is that simple.

He is seperating the sheep from the goats. And the sheep are leaving the institutions and joining the Body.

Truth Purveyor said...

Tom , I think that it is important to let everyone know that there are many "forms" of "Baptist" churches. Not all churches that use the term "Baptist" are Southern Baptist. In fact, most churches that use the name of "Baptist" are not in the SBC affiliation.

Many baptist churches, other than SBC, the pastors are the owners of the corporation and have absolute power. In some baptist churches the pastor actually owns the land and the buildings. This actually happened in the prior church that is now "Were for Jesus" out on Main Street.

Frankly, what is going on in Bethel, which calls it self an "institutional" Baptist church really has nothing in common as to the issues that you have brought up at FBCJ.

Sincerely,


T

Anonymous said...

I am no lawyer, but these "traps" for plaintiff might be illegal or invalid. I am sure these instances of "traps" have occurred in the body of law cases and common sense tells me that for justice to prevail, these would have to be ruled illegal or invalid.

August 17, 2009 3:44 PM

Not at all. Churches can pretty much do what they want. And when Mac can have the bylaws changed without a congregational vote, he can do pretty much what he wants.

Anonymous said...

You people are like a bunch of 13 year old girls at a Jona Brothers concert. GET A LIFE!

August 17, 2009 4:15 PM

I am sure you mean the sycophants like yourself crooning and paying to see great Mac preform on stage.

He will ask you to 'pay' more soon. be sure and always show up with your checkbook.

Anonymous said...

I support fully the right of any church member to find out how every penny is being spent at the church where they are members.

I would not attend a church where that could not be done, and I would not encourage others to do so.

I do not agree with a "town hall" type of polity, however, where 50% plus one of the members can call special meetings and upset the entire fellowship to debated minute points. But that is not what is happening at this church you have written about.

At our church, we have elders. The elders are affirmed by the congregation. The congregation affirms or does not affirm all major business (new buildings, loans, starting new congregations, approving staff etc.), but only after a unanimous recommendation from the elders. We do not have a politicized church.

I do not know enough about membership in the church vs. membership in the corporation.

The Two Rivers thing had another component to it that you may not have been aware of.

There is no doubt that a significant portion of the congregation was not pleased with the pastoral leadership. What percentage, I do not know, but not nearly enough to oust the pastor, but enough to make things uncomfortable.

There was a member in the church, a fellow named Frank Harris. He had a reputation of being involved in a strange development deal and also ended up selling worthless investments to several members of the church he had been attending. He was sued and judged to owe people lots of money.

Mr. Harris moved his membership to Two Rivers and I guess like too many Baptist churches was able to end up in a leading position without anyone knowing about his investment sales and development deals.

Harris got crossways with Jerry Sutton and eventually felt called to take Sutton on publicly over his leadership. Harris eventually accused Sutton of financial and sexual improprieties at the church. I think that the church committees looked into it and found nothing, but Harris would not give up.

So, the first thing that happened was - Harris was voted out of the church.

Well Harris and those who supported him were then joined by others who were not happy with the pastoral leadership.

They sent a request for records that involved the identification of church members, church records, addresses of all members etc. They were going to try and claim that Harris' ouster wasn't done legally because not all members were notified or there was enough of a percentage etc.

The request also asked for financial records. This is not a bad thing. But the request (which I have seen) was really too broad. It went back 5 or more years and involved every credit card receipt etc.

What made things get worse was the response of the church to Mr. Harris and his supporters.

Instead of parsing through the document request and producing what could easily be produced with what was available on hand, the church's attorneys took the position that these members could see nothing. Not one document.

So, the angry members (sans Harris - because he had been kicked out of the church by a 2/3rds vote of the membership) sued the church.

More on the next post.

Louis

Anonymous said...

The suit was against Sutton, the Administrative Pastor, the Chariman of the Deacons and the head of the Finance Committee and a church secretary. It asked for Sutton to be ousted, for the committees to be dissolved and for damages etc.

The court did the right thing, in my opinion.

It saw these dissident members as wrongfully trying to use a court process to control how the church was run when they did not have the support of the members of the church. The membership records, also, the court ruled were not subject to disclosure pursuant to the First Amendment.

On the financial records, however, the court ruled that the state nonprofit corporation law permitted the members access to those, but I think that there was some limitation.

I understand that a bunch of records were turned over that showed nothing. There were no missing funds. Sutton had eaten some lunches at a nice restaurant and the church bought some suits for interns, one of whom was a Sutton relative etc. But no major improprieties.

The church had committees that reviewed this annually, and they had never questioned any of the expenses, and annual budgets were approved in regular order. (Note, some of the staff of the church discarded some records, I think, during the disclosure process, but the court did not find that to be a violation of the court's order. I really don't believe the court thought that what was thrown away was significant).

So, the lawsuit eventually withered. Sutton wearied of controversy, even though the lawsuit turned out well and left to teach at Liberty (I think). Sutton got a generous retirement package, which was appropriate in that he had 20 or 25 years of service there.

The members who sued all left the church (even though they got what they wanted - Sutton gone).

I agree - it was lose, lose situation.

But I am not sure that fbc jax's doings were related to Two Rivers.

I will say that the legal strategy recommended and employed by Two Rivers' lawyers (I think it was Jay Sekulow's group) was couterproductive.

Yes, membership records and such are private and the First Amendment does apply to this.

But to deny producing any records - any at all, seemed like a overreaching strategy. Surely in retrospect, it would have been better for the church to have produced the financial records that were readily available and object to the others as being overly broad.

I am sure that dissident members were on a fishing expedition in their requests, and their lawsuit was bogus, as the court ruled. But Two Rivers would have looked a lot better by having a more reasonable response to the request.

I hope that the members you mentioned will get to see the records and will find out what happened to the money.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Tom,

It looks like you got the wool pulled over your eyes while you were still at FBC, Jax. Why didn't you stand up and raise a question on the night that they made the by-law change public? Or perhaps that may have been the time that you were lying about your identity.

I'm sure Jesus isn't proud of anything any of you folks are doing. The whole thing is a disgusting testimony to pathetic Christians--both in the pulpit and in the pew.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:09...I don't think Jesus has anything to do with any of this. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He never changes as He is perfect in every way. Unfortunately, a lot of humanity ignores the Bible way, and either goes off half cocked or just in the flesh..either way it creates hard feelings among members, those opposed, those who approve and the fence sitters who don't budge in either direction. We'll just have to wait and see how these things all pan out in the future, however, as a Christian we should all be ashamed of how church is playing politics in these critical days. So sad. No wonder people are leaving the church rather than joining.

Thy Peace said...

The Wartburg Watch > First Baptist Church, Jacksonville: Just Another Same Old, Same Old.
Before we launched The Wartburg Watch, we knew of the controversy surrounding an anonymous blogger who was a member of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida (FBC JAX). However, our focus early on was aimed at what we considered to be more “important” matters within Christendom. As the situation at FBC JAX has played out over the last several months, the issues surrounding this case have become vitally important to us. We cannot stress strongly enough that anyone who believes in religious liberty, free speech, and Christian righteousness and honesty should be following this situation very closely. It's our intention to spend the rest of the week focusing on this most unusual case between "FBC Watchdog" and First Baptist Church of Jacksonville.

Before presenting the facts of the case, we want to make a few things patently clear.

1. We have absolutely no ties to Florida. Furthermore, neither of us has ever lived there.

2. We do not personally know Mac Brunson, anyone on the Board of Trustees at FBC JAX, or Tom and Yvette Rich. In other words, we do not have a horse in this race.

3. We initiated contact with Tom Rich after reading about his situation and offered to tell his story on The Wartburg Watch. Since that time, we have talked with him on a few occasions.

4. We are deeply committed evangelical Christians who were members of Southern Baptist churches up until this year (2009) when we began to take notice of the shenanigans happening within the denomination. If you have been reading our blog, you know several of the issues in the SBC that trouble us.

5.We are attempting to obtain statements from Mac Brunson, Mr. Hinson, and the Florida State Attorney General’s Office.

Thy Peace said...

A telling comment about the state of SBC from Les Puryear's post The NAMB Coup d'├ętat:

Greg Alford said...
Once upon a time I thought all Southern Baptist were the good guys… that turned out to be just a fairytale.

Then I thought I know the good guys (the one’s who wore the white hats of the CR) from the bad guys (the one’s who wore the black hats of the Liberal’s)…

Now nobody wares hats anymore and I can’t for the life of me tell the good guys from the bad guys. I read someone above reference the “powers that be”… just who is that in the SBC today? Who’s in charge of things around here?

It’s gotten such that I don’t know who to trust anymore… so (I hate to admit it) I find it hard to trust anyone in the SBC anymore. Yes, Yes, I know there are still a lot of very good men in the SBC, but unless someone starts being a lot more forthcoming with what in the world is going on… I really don’t think I can trust anyone in the SBC right now.

Grace Always,

August 17, 2009 5:07 PM
.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:25 - Where in the bible does it tell you, and please show one specific expample, that you are to hold any pastor accountable for his shortcomings? If you can't come up with just one, than you need to wise up sir and stop being a pinhead.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:25 - Where in the bible does it tell you, and please show one specific expample, that you are to hold any pastor accountable for his shortcomings? If you can't come up with just one, than you need to wise up sir and stop being a pinhead.

August 18, 2009 7:57 AM

Hmm. Every single verse that applies to you, applies to a pastor, too. Or, have all your pastors failed to teach you that? Of course, you could study on your own for a change.

Lydia said...

(Clap, Clap, Clap)

Very good performance, Louis. Right out of the CR playbook. But you add an interesting twist with your 'neutral' analysis of the lawsuit.

First, make sure that the dissidents are painted as worse than the celebrity, greedy, authoritarian pastor.

Second, Make sure the leader of the dissidents is painted as a shady rogue. (This makes the greedy, sneaky pastor look more sympathetic and divert folks to the 'real' bad guy). The rogue dissident just wanted the pastor's power. Sure, Louis.

Third, make sure you get support from your cronies in the SBC and to spread the word about the rogue dissidents.

And Louis always adds his imfamous Q.E.D.

It amazes me that we expect more Christian behavior from the 'laymen' than we do our pastors. Hmm. One wonders what we are paying them to be. Certainly not models of Christian behavior. How silly of us.

But my favorite part is where you say the destroyed records were nothing and with the records they DID turn over they only found 'minor' impropriaties. Uh huh. I am sure those destroyed records were no big deal.

Funny how these situations never seem to matter to the institutions that hire these pastors.

But this comment was especially interesting:

"Surely in retrospect, it would have been better for the church to have produced the financial records that were readily available and object to the others as being overly broad."

huh? Overly broad?

And...

"The church had committees that reviewed this annually, and they had never questioned any of the expenses, and annual budgets were approved in regular order"

Sure, we all know how independent the committees are in a celebrity pastors church. After all, it is HIS church. I mean if the committee checked everything then the dissidents should not have had a problem with the church paying for the pastor's daughters big wedding. And stuff like that. How shallow of them. After all, she is the celebrity's daughter and deserves the best at the expense of the Body. But then, Sutton made enough to pay for the big wedding himself.

Louis, good to see you are back on task as the PR mouthpiece for SBC celebrity pastors.

Lydia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

do you twitter fbcjax watchdog? I mean i can't believe it if you don't. You are everywhere else.

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

As usual, thanks for your interest in my writing.

It is too bad that you interpret what I write the way you do.

You restated my piece in your own words, and then condemned your summary.

If I have missed a fact here, I would be glad to hear a correction from you or anyone.

Here are some facts that you might want to know:

1. The church did not pay for the daughter's wedding. (you got that fact completely wrong). It was the wedding RECEPTION to which the entire church was invited. The finance committee Recommended and Approved that expenditure. You may not like that, and you may think that the Suttons should have paid for it. That's fine. But there is no wrongdoing here. No basis for a lawsuit. No basis for claiming theft etc., which is what the plaintiffs were claiming.

2. Again, the Court did not find anything wrong with the staff having discarded some records during the production of documents to the plaintiffs.

I can't believe that you feel you can make a judgment about something that you don't even know about. If the Court found nothing wrong with it, after hearing the explanation and comments from the attorneys on both sides, what makes you think that you are wiser than the court and can make a judgment about something when you have none of the facts?

Doesn't the Bible say that a wise person doesn't make a judgment until he hears the entire matter? Is there a footnote in your Bible that says, "Except Lydia"?

Wouldn't you concede that it's possible you don't know more than the judge knows in this case? (And please don't proceed as a defense to impugn this judge, too).

I suspect that you haven't read one pleading in this case - or maybe even the press reports. But you are more than willing to make certain judgments when other people close to the situation with the authority to do something about it have looked into it and found nothing.

3. Frank Harris, and his ouster from the church by a vote of the congregation is what led to the court case. Frank Harris was involved in shady investment deals and an almost crazy development deal. The Tennessee Court of Appeals made about as much fun of him in the case that was filed against him by investors who lost hundreds of thousands of dollars as a court can make.

I can't change that fact for you, as much as you would like for me to.

If I had a beef with Two Rivers, it would be that they let a man like this come into its congregation and rise to a level of leadership that he did without knowing he had been involved in this kind of thing. Just because a guy can quote Bible verses and makes a good impression doesn't mean that he's a good person.

4. The Two Rivers congregation looked into every one of the allegations that Harris made (and yes, it was Harris who was leading this. I can't change that fact for you), and found them all to be baseless.

More to come.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

Continuing -

Just to show you how malevolent this guy was, Harris went and found a former secretary who had been fired from the church years earlier to write an "affidavit" stating that Sutton was having an affair with another woman. The "affidavit" was really not an affidavit (I won't get into the technicalities), but at any rate, there was absolutely no truth to it. The woman had no personal knowledge of any such matter, but it was based on suspicion alone. Sutton denied it. The alleged "other woman" denied it (she was no longer a member at Two Rivers when all of this broke). But it was terribly embarrasing.

Can you imagine if a poltical opponent of one of your heros, went and found a former disgruntled employee and put an affidavit together for them like that - that would openly accuse a minister of being involved in sexual infidelity? What would you think about a person like that?

One thing I will say about the Dog is that he has identified specfically his disagreements with FBC Jax and its pastor. I know what his complaints are.

I would be very dispappointed if the Dog went and dug up some former disgruntled staff person at FBC Jax or FBC Dallas who had been fired, and then got them to write a letter saying that Mac Brunson had an affair with so and so. Surely, even you would have to believe that to be beyond the pale.

5. After looking into all of Harris' complaints (many of which were restated in the lawsuit), the church issued a formal letter clearing Sutton of all the allegations.

I hope that these facts are helpful to you. I suspect that they are not because you write from emotion - wanting to make your point without looking at the facts.

You are a good writer, but your writing would be so much better if you worked more of facts and stopped letting your emotions run ahead of you and stopped impugning people's (even people you can't name) motives and character without basis.

I clearly stated that I do believe that every member of a church should be able to see where every dime is spent and that I would not encourage people to go to a church where that was not the practice.

And yet, you clearly ignore that big point of agreement that I had with the Dog when he posted this.

I also suspect that this Bethel Church in Jax has something fishy going on and I hope that the court gets to the bottom of that.

But you just ignore that to fuss about points related to a church lawsuit that you obviously know litte about.

I wish you the best in all things, but mostly, that your writing and communications would be friendlier and based on the facts that exist in a given situation and that you afford some level of good will toward people.

Thanks.

Louis

Louis

Anonymous said...

watchdog, does it ever occur to you that maybe the people at Bethel don't want your big mouth running about their church?

Thy Peace said...

Grace and Truth to You [Wade Burleson] > A Personal Confession, A Public Challenge.
It has been said that when the old Irish immersed a babe at baptism they would leave out the babe’s right arm so that it would remain “pagan for good fighting.” I have sometimes wondered if it is our custom as Baptists to plunge all but the convert’s mouth into the baptismal waters to keep the Baptist tongue “pagan for good fighting.”

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 11:13 - yes, it did occur to me, and I don't suppose Jeff Brumley was too concerned about whether they wanted him to write an article on the front page of the Times Union about their church. Maybe Jeff will apologize for his "big mouth" in daring to write about it. I don't suppose FBC Jax was too happy either about a front page story on how FBC Jax and a "Cop teamed up to out a blogger." Jeff and his "big mouth"....if he would just shut up, everything would be ok, right?

I'm a blogger writing about issues of concern to me, one of them being mega churches who preach the false doctrine of "storehouse tithing" to people at the church, telling them that God says they must give 10% of their income TO THE CHURCH else they are sinning and won't receive God's blessings....then when in this day of financial accountability and transparency in most areas of public discourse, these churches won't let the givers see any detail of any financial records.

These mega church pastors tell people to trust God and give 10% of their income to the church, but they themselves do NOT trust God in allowing the givers to inquire as to how the funds are spent.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:25 - Where in the bible does it tell you, and please show one specific expample, that you are to hold any pastor accountable for his shortcomings? If you can't come up with just one, than you need to wise up sir and stop being a pinhead.

August 18, 2009 7:57 AM
_________________________________

Hey anon - show me just one scripture where it says the WD needs to show you one scripture before he can try and hold the pastor accountable for his shortcomings.

Anonymous said...

watchdog, does it ever occur to you that maybe the people at Bethel don't want your big mouth running about their church?

August 18, 2009 11:13 AM
______________________________

If you don't want the WD running his mouth about your church, be open and transparent about your millions.

Anonymous said...

If I ask you to give me a $100 to buy food for the hungry, you have every right to ask me about how I spent that money. If I bought $100 worth of food, I will gladly show you the receipt and even solicit you to give more if you can. However, if I filled up my tank with gas first for $45.00, then bought myself lunch for $10.00. Then only bought $45.00 for groceries, I may be hesitant to tell you what I did with the money for fear you might realize you can give the $100 directly to the poor and cut out the middle man. Now imagine if you gave me $1 million dollars every month and I put my wife and son on salary, and hired friends like Maurilion. I would KNOW, KNOW, KNOW, that if you or anyone else found out where your money "to God" was really giving, you would not give one more dime. Therefore, I must, at any and all cost, NEVER allow for detailed spending reports to become public. It is very simple really. You call for transparency, and that can NEVER, EVER happen. So you must be outted, discredited, and shut down. You must. Understand?

Anonymous said...

Here's an interesting factoid.

Today I read that a church (Remnant Fellowship Church in Brentwood, TN) is suing a guy who runs a blog called spiritwatch.com.

I know nothing about the facts, but thought some people on here might find it interesting.

Louis

Lydia said...

"If the Court found nothing wrong with it, after hearing the explanation and comments from the attorneys on both sides, what makes you think that you are wiser than the court and can make a judgment about something when you have none of the facts?
"

It is simple. I have a higher standard to answer to than the court. I wish these pastors did, too. And you.

Yes, I am aware of the facts:

1. So, the reception is different than the wedding? The reception is the MOST EXPENSIVE part of any wedding.

I do not care if the entire church had voted to pay for the reception, (which they did not) the pastor should have refused it unless they are going to pay for all members daughters who get married and invite the whole church.

3. Louis, you make right/wrong conclusions based on what a secular court says.

Well, abortion is legal so that makes it right?

I would not expect the court to tell me what is Christian behavior and what isn't. I am sad that you do that.

"3. Frank Harris, and his ouster from the church by a vote of the congregation is what led to the court case. Frank Harris was involved in shady investment deals and an almost crazy development deal. The Tennessee Court of Appeals made about as much fun of him in the case that was filed against him by investors who lost hundreds of thousands of dollars as a court can make."

I do not care if he was John Gotti. What difference does that make to how the leadership of the church behaved in response. And we are PAYING them to act like Christians.

The evil Mr. Harris (I have no doubt he was shady) did everyone a favor by forcing the situation and showing what lie beneath the image maker and celebrity pastor. God does use evil people, you know. Sometimes even makes Jack Asses speak to get a point across. Unfortunatly, the sheeple follow man and many did not know what a Christian response would look like.

Maybe, just maybe, this whole scandal will lead them to actually study scripture on their own for a change.

"If I had a beef with Two Rivers, it would be that they let a man like this come into its congregation and rise to a level of leadership that he did without knowing he had been involved in this kind of thing. Just because a guy can quote Bible verses and makes a good impression doesn't mean that he's a good person."

Exactly. We found out the pastor was a lot like him. Now he is teaching future pastors! Now, if the shady guy had gone to seminary, he would be 'leading' the church, officially, in your view and would be excused.

"4. The Two Rivers congregation looked into every one of the allegations that Harris made (and yes, it was Harris who was leading this. I can't change that fact for you), and found them all to be baseless."

You mean the sheeple who did not know what a Christian response to the bad people who asked to see the finances would like like?

"More to come."

Ditto

Anonymous said...

Louis - 1
Lydia - 0

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Sorry, but I tend to side with Lydia on this Two Rivers issue.

I've heard from a few people who know more about the TRBC issues than Louis does...and there is more to the story than Louis may be aware of.

Louis: question for you - why did Sutton "retire"? If it is as one-sided as you say, and it was a group of malcontents led by a shady character trying to bring a pastor down...why did Sutton leave? And can you share with us the current state of that church, and what happened as a result of this debacle with Sutton and the lawsuit?

Anonymous said...

There are other "courts" or law enforcement agencies that continue to look into matters at TRBC. A lot of money (thousands per month)was wired somewhere... no one seems to know where. Supposedly to a church in Italy, but they didn't get the money. Very interesting. I suspect that none of us knows everything that went on at Two Rivers. But I saw lots of receipts for questionable items charged to the church. One that stands out in my mind is used furniture in Orlando, FL where Sutton's daughter was living at the time.

Dog, I can tell you the church is a shell of its former self. Attendance each Sunday is about 300-325 per service in a 3,000 seat sanctuary. And obviously, money is very tight. Most of those "bad" people that were thrown out of the church were mighty stewards. They were teachers, givers, deacons, and lovers of Jesus. Their behavior sometimes was not so good, but they were righteously angry to see the church they spent their life building, torn down by a greedy, narcissistic tyrant.

Lydia said...

"Just to show you how malevolent this guy was, Harris went and found a former secretary who had been fired from the church years earlier to write an "affidavit" stating that Sutton was having an affair with another woman. The "affidavit" was really not an affidavit ."

Sutton had his big leadership moment to really deal with this guy in a Christian biblical manner and HE BLEW IT. Explain to me how this bad guy's behavior gets a pastor (paid to be a professional Christian) off the hook with his response?

"Can you imagine if a poltical opponent of one of your heros, went and found a former disgruntled employee and put an affidavit together for them like that - etc...?"

But we are not talking about the secular world, Louis. Something you cannot seem to grasp. I expect the world to act like the world. I should not think it should be the norm in the Body of Christ.


"5. After looking into all of Harris' complaints (many of which were restated in the lawsuit), the church issued a formal letter clearing Sutton of all the allegations."

You are speaking of the sheeple who follow after Sutton and thought his response was Christian, right? Is that what you mean by 'the church'? Look at the thousands following Mac and Steve Gaines to this day!

So, why did Sutton end up leaving with that exoneration and support?

"I hope that these facts are helpful to you. I suspect that they are not because you write from emotion - wanting to make your point without looking at the facts."

Nice try with the 'emotion' slur. You really should take a closer look at topic of 'emotion'. The coldest calculating criminal is acting on 'emotion'. Even indifference is an 'emotion'

But, if you can use the tactic of painting me as a hysterical female, your job is done.

But let's look at the 'facts'. You have stated that YOU are an elder. I am nothing. A nobody. I have no grand titles.

So why all the emotionalism to defend Sutton and his response to a spiritual problem at Two Rivers? (wink) And all the trouble to try and convince us that secular court decisions are what decide Christlike behavior? (sigh)

"You are a good writer, but your writing would be so much better if you worked more of facts and stopped letting your emotions run ahead of you and stopped impugning people's (even people you can't name) motives and character without basis."

Motives are a moot point. They simply do not matter. We can only go on actual behavior and words to judge fruit.

Lydia said...

"I clearly stated that I do believe that every member of a church should be able to see where every dime is spent and that I would not encourage people to go to a church where that was not the practice."

Then your defense of Sutton is a bit strange. It is not his church. It belongs to Christ...if it was a real church...which I doubt. Real Bodies of Christ actually act Christlike most of the time. In a real church, Sutton would have opened the books and modeled a Christlike response to his detractors (that is what he is paid for, right?) And the sleazy laymen would never have been in leadership.

"And yet, you clearly ignore that big point of agreement that I had with the Dog when he posted this."

Because you project a cognitive
dissonance in your comments on this subject. You bring us worldly analysis, worldly solutions and conclusions to SPIRITUAL PROBLEMS.


" also suspect that this Bethel Church in Jax has something fishy going on and I hope that the court gets to the bottom of that."

Why? Why can't Christians get to the bottom of it using the Word? Why don't Christians expect their leaders to consistently behave in a Christlike manner...no matter what the cost?

Why? Because they do not know what that would look like in practice.

"I wish you the best in all things, but mostly, that your writing and communications would be friendlier and based on the facts that exist in a given situation and that you afford some level of good will toward people."

You mean give the hirlings a pass? Would that be the definition of friendly to you?

My goal is to get as many people prayerfully in the Word as possible so they will have the wisdom and discernment to recognize wolves and hirlings. And get out of these Laodicean churches.

You think too much like the world, Louis.

Anonymous said...

Louis and Lydia please go take your cat fight somewhere else.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I find the discourse between Lydia and Louis to be on topic and very informative. They are more than welcome to debate this issue here.

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

If you will go back and read my original comment, please note that I have said from the very beginning that every member of a church has a right to know how every penny is spent. I think that every church should be organized that way.

Please do not construe or understand my comments to say anything else.

I also said that Two Rivers, in my opinion, should have responded to the request for financial information unless it went back a number of years and was too difficult to obtain due to staff resources etc.

I, also, do not think it is a good thing for the church to pay for the pastor's daughter's wedding reception. (I can appreciate how a pastor would be between a rock and a hard place on that - feeling as though you had to invite everyone, so as not to offend anyone, and then being forced to pay for cake etc. for 3000 or 5000 people. That's why the committee, I understand, offered that). But I still would not go for that.

I note that you have agreed, at least for the sake of argument, that Mr. Harris had baggage. Even though I have emphasized that, I do understand that not everyone in the lawsuit had that baggage or the problems that Mr. Harris had.

My comments beyond the above related to the lawsuit and whether there was a valid basis for the lawsuit.

I cannot judge that the discarding of records was wrong because 1) I don't know what records were involved, 2) I don't know who threw them away, and 3) I don't know why they threw them away.

When that happened, the judge had ordered that financial records be made available. When the records were thrown away, the matter came before the court and the plaintiffs complained. The court looked into it, and found no basis for wrongdoing.

I see that you are appealing to the Bible to find some wrongdoing here.

But I still say to you that if you don't know the answers to the 3 things that I posed above then you are still not in a position to make a judgment - even if you are claiming to do so from the Bible.

I know that courts treat their orders seriously, and that this judge would have hammered people for violating an order by throwing away records that she had ordered to be turned over. She did not.

My comments were not to judge the 25 year pastorate of Dr. Sutton. I have no way of doing that. I never went to that church. I would not be in a position to say he was great, a fake, a tyrant a whatever.

My comments were about the lawsuit and whether there was any legal basis for the 50 or so members to sue the church. In my opinion, there was not. They were in minority position in the church, and they simply tried to use the court process to achieve changes that they could not get their fellow members to buy into.

They may have been right on some matters (see my comments above), and they may have been right about Dr. Sutton. But I am sure whether Dr. Sutton was a good pastor or not was a matter of opinion. The courts are not to be used for kicking out pastors that a minority in the church don't like.

So, again, on the principles of disclosure, I am in total agreement, as I have said from the beginning.

On judging Sutton's pastorate, I have not done that, and would not presume to do that, not having spent one day in that church.

On analyzining the lawsuit and the bases that were used for it, I am in a position to read what the court found and why it dismissed the lawsuit.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Dog:

Thanks for the affirmation. I tried to post an informative post about the Two Rivers lawsuit for contrast with the Bethel situation.

Lydia responded, and I have replied.

Thanks for the forum

Louis

Anonymous said...

I could not resist.

The case involving Frank Harris, the leader of the dissident group at Two Rivers, is called Hardcastle v. Harris, No.M2002-01087-COA-R3-CV, filed December 8, 2004. You can call the Court of Appeals in Tennessee for a copy.

Here is the set up from Judge Koch, who now sits on the Tennessee Supreme Court:

"Frank Harris operates several businesses in Madison, Tennessee. He owns a small real estate business called Impact and a small company called Impact International, Inc. that manufacturers industrial lubricants. He has aspirations of becoming a major developer and entrepreneur. The centerpiece of his plans is a 'perpetual world's fair type development' called Uniquest. As Mr. Harris envisions it, the development will consist of twelve theme parks spread over 50,000 acres in Warren County. He estimates that the development will cost approximately 'fifty billion dollars.'

Mr. Harris decided that he needed ten million dollars in 'seed money' to get Uniquest off the ground. In the late 1990s, after his efforts to obtain bank financing for the project proved unsuccessful, Mr. Harris began searching for business opportunities that would enable him to raise a great deal of capital in a short period of time. Sometime in 1997 or 1998, Mr. Harris became acquainted with Ron Hogsed, who lived in Erwin, Tennessee, and began discussing a number of get-rich-quick schemes."

This is direclty from the court's opinion. I suggest that those of you who are interested get a copy of this opinion.

It goes on to say that Mr. Harris got people into an "asset enhancement program" that among other things promised participants investing between $10,000 and $24,999would earn 25% returns per month.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Hey, Bethel's not my church, I was just sayin is all. (I go to FBC on occasion) Gosh, does Watchdog have to involve himself in all church controversies...its sorta uh, sociopathetic. (im just bored lookin for somethin to read)

Dee Lauderdale said...

"to see the church they spent their life building"

That phrase drives me nuts and should drive anybody who knows the bible nuts. You can accuse me of whatever you want but here's what the bible says about who builds churches:

"And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." Matthew 16:18.

If you look this verse up you'll see that it's in red, which means these are the words of Jesus. He build churches. When people say they built the church, they are slipping into idolatry.

I always sign my name.

Dee Lauderdale
www.deelauderdale.com

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

My understanding is that Two Rivers tried to deal biblically with Harris. First, I understand that Sutton talked to him directly.

When that did not work, other staff/deacons etc. became involved.

They asked Mr. Harris to stop using his Sunday School class as a platform for teaching against the pastor, others on the staff, and against the new contemporary serivce. Harris refused.

They then met with Mr. Harris to discuss his grievances and asked him to stop handing out flyers at the church saying that Sutton and others on the staff were bad etc. He refused.

Finally, the Trustees called a meeting of the church and the church voted to oust Mr. Harris.

I think that's Matthew 18 to the letter.

Then Harris tried to come back on the property after he had been removed from the church. The church sent him a letter asking him not to come.

Then Mr. Harris obtained (I do not know the full extend of his involvement here) the so-called affidavit from a former secretary. Harris sent it to Sutton threatening to release it further unless Sutton would meet with him further and apparenlty make changes Harris wanted. When Sutton and the Church would not agree with Harris' demands, the affidavit was given wider circulation. This necessitated the Personnel Committee and the Finance Commmittee looking into the matters raised. There was unanimous agreement by the committees and the deacons that there was no truth to the allegations.

Then Harris and the others started asking for financial info etc.

When they did not get what they wanted, they sued the church, not just to get records, but to oust the Pastor, the Trustees, the Deacons, the Commmittees etc. and basically asked the court to run the church.

I think that the church tried to respond reasonably to Mr. Harris, but they were not able to get anywhere.

The others glommed on to Harris' complaints, even though, as I have said, most of them were not cut out of the same cloth.

Louis

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

An example of how bad pastoral leadership effects people working for them.

Emily Hunter McGowin tells their side of the story for their leaving the Church in Cincinnati area.

Think. Laugh. Weep. Worship. [Emily Hunter McGowin] > What Happened: August '07 to August '09.
(Note: There are many sides to every story and I can only tell ours from mine. I do not pretend that I am blameless or that I do not have anything to learn from the story that follows. I have put this post off for many months, but I share it with you now because I feel like its time. You will notice I have disabled the "reader comments." I do so because I don't believe it is necessary to debate the story as I present it, or to allow free reign for negative things to be said about the church, the pastor, or us. As I see it, our story is what it is.)
...
I'm sure there will be varying opinions about the choices we've made. I'm sure many will call us stupid, naive, foolish, arrogant, etc. But, to put it bluntly, we don't care. Though we're struggling financially and may lose our home to foreclosure, though we have felt spiritually adrift and even abandoned at times, though we've been deeply lonely without a stable community of faith, we have found liberation from the situation and the pastor's domineering leadership to be a sweet and welcomed relief. When there is peace in nothing else, there is peace in that.

Anonymous said...

Dog:

You asked what has happened to Two Rivers.

I think that they are trying to hang in there.

I don't know the attendance figures but from some I have talked to they are well above the 300 or so stated above.

When the Harris and lawsuit stuff was going on they were around 900 to 1000. I believe they are at 600 to 700 now.

It would have taken a 2/3 vote to remove Dr. Sutton. Even at his lowest, he was nowhere near below 50% support, let alone a 2/3 removal. But it was just very trying. Pastoring under that circumstance became joyless.

So, he decided to retire early, and he was given by a secret church vote, a retirement package worth around $300,000.

It was a "lose-lose". Sutton said, if I stay, the plaintiffs are never going to let up and the church will have turmoil. If I leave, I know that there are many who will leave because they feel like a minority was allowed to run me off.

He left. The plaintiffs left. Sutton's supporters left.

The ones remaining are carrying on.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Tom,

I would like to make a very serious suggestion for your prayerful consideration.

Since you are such an expert on how a church should be run and the proper duties and responsibilities of a pastor, why not start your own church there in Jacksonville?

Perhaps you can get all those who are mad at FBC, Jax to come and join you and then we can all see the level of transparency and openness you believe in when you are actually in charge of something.

Just a little suggestion for your consideration.

Lydia said...

Louis, You are still spinning for the SBC big shots.


Step out of your pragmatic lawyer role (if you are one) and think about the cognitive dissonance of your comments. The facts are that you are always using worldly analysis, worldly solutions and conclusions to EVERY SINGLE scandal that has come down the pike in the SBC since the OUTpost days.

You wrote this:

"I cannot judge that the discarding of records was wrong because 1) I don't know what records were involved, 2) I don't know who threw them away, and 3) I don't know why they threw them away.

When that happened, the judge had ordered that financial records be made available. When the records were thrown away, the matter came before the court and the plaintiffs complained. The court looked into it, and found no basis for wrongdoing.

I see that you are appealing to the Bible to find some wrongdoing here.

But I still say to you that if you don't know the answers to the 3 things that I posed above then you are still not in a position to make a judgment - even if you are claiming to do so from the Bible."

As an elder, you really do not see anything wrong with this type of thinking, do you? Scary.

This is no different than folks saying they cannot make a judgment because the documents at JSO were destroyed. How convenient.

Can you say, 'timing'.

Those who were paid to act like professional Christians in the Two Rivers situation could not even 'pretend' to act like Christians?

Are you claiming that this evil man with WELL KNOWN DOCUMENTED SCANDALS in his life, secretly infiltrated the church as a godly man and then suddenly challenged the pastor?

THEY ALLOWED THIS CROOK TO TEACH SUNDAY SCHOOL?

And the leadership was practicing Matt 18 while getting rid of what might be evidence?

BTW: Asking for church financial documents to be open to the members is not a Matthew 18 offense.

Anonymous said...

"Since you are such an expert on how a church should be run and the proper duties and responsibilities of a pastor, why not start your own church there in Jacksonville?"

Tom, Just think of the tax benefits alone! Tax free Housing allowance. No social security taxes. You could even start your own 501c3 to run your books and speaking engagements through while the sheeple are paying your salary.

Its a great gig, man. But you have to be charismatic and not care about all that humilty and servant stuff in scripture.

Anonymous said...

"It would have taken a 2/3 vote to remove Dr. Sutton. Even at his lowest, he was nowhere near below 50% support, let alone a 2/3 removal. But it was just very trying. Pastoring under that circumstance became joyless."

Yeah, the money drying up can be joyless. At least he got his few hundred grand and could go to Liberty

Anonymous said...

"My comments were not to judge the 25 year pastorate of Dr. Sutton. I have no way of doing that. I never went to that church. I would not be in a position to say he was great, a fake, a tyrant a whatever."

Have you by any chance ever made a judgement on say...Bill Clinton's 8 years in office? Or would you not do that because you do not know him? Or maybe you do know him so you can make a judgement.

Dee Lauderdale said...

"No social security taxes."

That is factually incorrect. An ordained minister can opt out of social security if he so chooses but he is not automatically exempt.

Anonymous said...

"No social security taxes."

That is factually incorrect. An ordained minister can opt out of social security if he so chooses but he is not automatically exempt.

August 18, 2009 5:44 PM

The point is: YOU have a CHOICE.

And that is good for you because SS is a horrible deal. Even with the stock market crashes, we would do much better outside the SS system investing the same amount they would take out.

Hey,Are you the same Dee Lauderdale who used to comment at pastors.com a while back on how to get rid of resistors in the church?

Anonymous said...

A pastor has the option of opting out of SS TAX only in a 2 year window after his ordination upon making more than $400 in 2 consecative years. Which I would not suggest because not every pastor will have a nice cushion to fall back on in later years. Upon filing the form you have to be approved it is not automatic. Eventhough a pastor is considered self employed, He is considered an employee of the church if:

1. They can hire and fire him
2. They provide a place for him to work.
3. He is there on a regular basis.
Does not have to meet all these to be considered an employee.
That means pastor gets a w2 and not a 1099. So all that stuff you think you can right off is wrong. You have to go above and beyond your standard deduction to see any fruits. THere are benefits like dedicating partion of your salary for education and other stuff because it takes you SS Taxble income down. But that is use it or loose it money. THe big plus is Housing allowance. If you over estimate that expense then what is left over at the end of the year becomes taxable income. So aim big because you are not going loose that money if you do not use it all for that purpose. Now with the land deal. I am not sure of all the details. He should of been taxed on fair market value. From my understanding it was not from the church, but anything an employee(ministry staff and non-ministry staff) of thechurch recieves financially must be reported as income. I found that out last week at a seminar. There is no such thing as financial benevolence for a church employee if it is from the church. It is income. Our churches are hurting because they do not know the laws and it will come back and bite us one day.
Pastor Chris

Anonymous said...

Pastor Chris,

Did you not see the word CHOICE? At least you HAD one.

I am quite familiar with tax laws for ministers. A friend of mine conducts seminars on them for several churches.

What is it with whiney pastors these days?

Anonymous said...

I was stating some facts I learned a few weeks back. I am thankful I have a job that allows me to pay all this stuff. Also I wrote the previous reply not to what you wrote because it did not exist when I wrote it. So no I did not see the word "Choice." Brother, you are way to defensive and starting to be a little offensive. I might be seeing you in the wrong light. Please forgive me if I am.

If that whiney comments was towards me then you assumed and spoke without knowledge. Like I said I learned stuff that I was unaware of that as a pastor that the church needs to be aware of.

Besides, If you read the form for exemption you will notice that you have to have grounds of being a conscientious objector. So that means it is not a choice. It is an option only if you meet the guidelines. So it is a possibilty for a pastor if he meets the standards but I have met very few who actually have conscientious objection. In clear concious I have to say I am against recieving any social insurance or benefits provided by the government because of religious belief or I am part of a religious order that has taken a vow of proverty. I come to find out that most pastors object to parting with their money. I do not want to call you Mr. Friend of Tax Consultant. Do you have a first name of nick name I can address you with. Hey I can call you FTC. Anyway I hope you have blessed night.
Pastor Chris

Thy Peace said...

The Wartburg Watch > The Way Of Love Versus Hypocrisy.
Here is another thought. Could there have been a way that Mac Brunson and his pastors could have handled this situation that would have turned out better? How about trying the way of love and humility. When Tom wrote his anonymous note to Mac, couldn't Pastor Brunson have made an announcement at church that went something like this: "I know that there are probably people out there who strongly disagree with me about my finances. I would love to dialogue with each and every one of you. I promise that I will take no action against you for revealing yourself to me. In fact, I will do you one better. I will invite you over to the beautiful house that you helped me to purchase, my wife will make a great dinner, and we will sit down over dessert and hash this out, brother to brother. Our love for one another as brothers in Christ is far more important to me than any embarrassment that I might have at getting called out on my lifestyle. You, anonymous person, mean more to me than my pride. Pray for me. I love you, brother, whoever you are."

Dee Lauderdale said...

"Hey,Are you the same Dee Lauderdale who used to comment at pastors.com a while back on how to get rid of resistors in the church?"

Yep, one and the same. And I'm still "open, honest and transparent" about my identity.

Anonymous said...

8:33 - You proved my point. You need to wise up. Stop living your life on hot air. You can not show one biblical example of our requirement to hold pastors accountable for their shortcomings.

Anonymous said...

"8:33 - You proved my point. You need to wise up. Stop living your life on hot air. You can not show one biblical example of our requirement to hold pastors accountable for their shortcomings."

August 19, 2009 7:55 AM

1Tim.5:17-20 holds Elder accountable.

1Tim.3:1-7;Titus 1:5-10::
Hold Elders accountable for their actions by giving a criterion for their choosing,rejecting or disqualification if they violate these Biblical qualifications.

1Cor.9:26-27::
The Apostle Paul discipline himself and his actions so as not to be disqualified from ministry.

2Tim.2:19-3:1-7::
Paul exhorts Timothy to purge himself from dishonor so that he could be a vessel of honor and worthy for the Master's use.
Also Paul warned Timothy to turn away selfish,thankless men who have a form of Godliness but deny the Holy Spirit's Power.

The Bible is replete from O.T.
and N.T.with references of how leaders should conduct themselves.

Anonymous said...

"You can not show one biblical example of our requirement to hold pastors accountable for their shortcomings."

Try reading it. What you are asking for are proof texts. Of course, that is probably what you are fed on. So, you don't know any better.

Try this one: The Greek for appoint in Acts 14 is cheirotoneo which means 'hand reacher' or voting.

You can start there.

Your mistake is thinking the OT priesthood structure is brought forth to the New Covenant. You have probably been taught that. Many have been taught that error.

If we are not to hold pastors (mentioned once in the NT) accoutable then we would all end up being in bondage to their sin. Or drinking their kool aid in Guyana. Because many with a title do not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Just a title.

Anonymous said...

"Hey,Are you the same Dee Lauderdale who used to comment at pastors.com a while back on how to get rid of resistors in the church?"

Yep, one and the same. And I'm still "open, honest and transparent" about my identity.

August 18, 2009 10:19 PM

Good for you. Funny how they took the 'transitioning the church' (which means getting rid of resistors) forum out of public view.

Still plotting how to get rid of those who disagree with you? Or is your work done?

Anonymous said...

"In clear concious I have to say I am against recieving any social insurance or benefits provided by the government because of religious belief or I am part of a religious order that has taken a vow of proverty. I come to find out that most pastors object to parting with their money. "

But your conscious has no problem in being supported by those who
DO pay SS taxes and will someday receive them. Of course, that is different, right?

But it is a good thing those folks are willing to part with THEIR money to pay you.

Anonymous said...

FTC,

"But your conscious has no problem in being supported by those who
DO pay SS taxes and will someday receive them. Of course, that is different, right?"

You are assuming again Brother. not once did I say I have opt out. I was stating how the forms address the issue of opting out. Maybe I should have put it in qoutations. I did not opt out because I had no reason. As a single pastor I paid close to $9,000 in taxes on a $34,000 salary. I am not griping just stating a fact. It looks like I will have to be percise with you. If there is anything in this response that sets you off then just ask me what did I mean. I would be glad to explain. Next time just ask me so did you opt out or what every the topic is. THen you would have a reason to call me out if I said yes. I pray that you have a Christ fill day.

Anonymous said...

Also,

Anonymous ftc, can you creat an account with a false identity. I think I with you on some of the stuff you say but it is hard to tell because I am not sure if that is all you.

Pastor Chris

Anonymous said...

"As a single pastor I paid close to $9,000 in taxes on a $34,000 salary."

August 19, 2009 9:39 AM


Thank you for your transparency sir.

Attention Mac the above statement is what is called being transparent!

Anonymous said...

Anon:

I can make a judgment about Bill Clinton's 8 years as President based on the public nature of the Presidency and the fact that every decision is reported on, covered in detail and usually analyzed in the public debate by people on all sides of the political spectrum.

My knowledge of Dr. Sutton's pastorate of Two Rivers for say 25 years or so is very limited. I have never been there, have never participated in the life of the church, and along the way was not reading any reports or material published by or about the church.

I have given my thoughts about the lawsuit because that was a very public matter. I have read much of the court file and the news reports covering the lawsuit.

I hope that explains the difference for you.

Louis

Dee Lauderdale said...

"Good for you. Funny how they took the 'transitioning the church' (which means getting rid of resistors) forum out of public view.

Still plotting how to get rid of those who disagree with you? Or is your work done?"

Actually I quit going to the site after they made everybody talk nice and sing kum by yah together. But I've always known how to get rid of malcontent, got my panties in a wad, people-do Matthew 18. I've never met a person who had a true concern who feared a conversation with me and I've never met a trouble maker who had the guts to face me and have a conversation. You see bullies are pretty much the same no matter the age, they are only tough when they aren't confronted.

I know my tone is harsh but most you people on this site need to grow up. Especially the men. If you don't have the guts and confidence in your convictions to sign your name, then you need to keep your mouth shut.

Too many churches are full of wimpy, limp-wristed men and THAT is why the majority of them are declining. We need MEN who will stand up for what is right AND do it in the God prescribed way, face to face and out in the open. Real men have no respect for those who did any other way.

BTW, on the whole "resistors" thing, I know real resistors and you are no resistor, you're just mad because you didn't get picked to sit at the cool kids table.

As always I'm Dee Lauderdale and you can reach me at dee.lauderale@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

FTC,

I doing what I charging you with. I assuming that you wrote that last reply about my opting out post. Sorry for that if it is not you. Still have a blessed day.

Pastor Chris

Anonymous said...

"In clear concious I have to say I am against recieving any social insurance or benefits provided by the government because of religious belief or I am part of a religious order that has taken a vow of proverty. I come to find out that most pastors object to parting with their money. "


Pastor Chris,

This above was your quote. Which part of that did I miunderstand? Did you mean to say that?

Steven

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

You need to read more carefully.

Again, I have told you that a church should make its financial records available to the members and that I would recommend that people go to a church where that was not the policy.

I don't know why you have such a difficult time reading that and acknowledging where I am coming from.

And, again, I cannot make a judgment that the destruction of the records in this case was wrong, in light of the fact that the court found no violation, unless I know what was destroyed, who destroyed it and why it was destroyed. For all I know, the records were 30years old and had no bearing on the procedures or Sutton's tenure. It would seem to me that we all should know some facts before we make judgments.

The Matt 18 procedures were not employed because of the records request. Please re-read, again, what I outlined in Mr. Harris' behavior. I think if someone in your church who was teaching a Sunday School class started attacking the pastor in class, and started handing out flyers at church as people were coming in that were derogatory of the pastor and the deacons etc. that you would be upset, too. I think that Matt 18 applies to that.

Also, if you ever want to take the time to read a copy of the lawsuit (which I am sure you will not do) you will have a more informed perspective.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dee. You have given us another example of the arrogant, Rambo type pastor taking over the churches these days.

Neato how you can live off people's money and at the same time insult them unless they agree with you, of course.

Good thing you are a pastor. You would not get far climbing the ladder in the real world with that attitude.

BTW: Are you implying that Alexander Hamilton was a sissy?

Steven

Anonymous said...

Dave,

what I am stating is not that I am against it but you have to be able to say I am against it. Which I could not. I feel you took it as I am saying that I opted out which I can see how. What I am trying to do is have a conversation without the quick come back shots. One of the things that is difficult with posting is you never know the heart of the person who is posting. Once again, have a good day brother. I need to prepare for tonight so will post more later.
Pastor Chris

Pastor Chris

Lydia said...

"You need to read more carefully."

I AM reading you carefully. You are so immersed in your worldy pragmatism you cannot see the cognitive dissonance of your own comments! It is alive and well in this last comment, too!

So never mind. I have pointed it out 3 times. It did not take. You will continue with worldly analysis, conclusions and solutions to spiritual problems.

Just stop being an elder, please. Elders are to be spiritually mature which brings godly wisdom and discernment. Not with worldly wisdom.

Dee Lauderdale said...

Yo Steven, FYI I'm not doing church work right now, I work in the defense industry. Aren't facts pesky things? But thanks for jumping to conclusions and for signing your name.

Anonymous said...

Steven,

Sorry for calling you Dave.

Chris

Anonymous said...

Usually when a man or pastor starts calling other men wimpy and limp-wristed they are either insecure in their own masculinity or lean toward homosexuality themselves. I would hate to sit under a pastor who thinks that about the men in his church and worst of all, how masculine he is.

Dee Lauderdale said...

"Usually when a man or pastor starts calling other men wimpy and limp-wristed they are either insecure in their own masculinity or lean toward homosexuality themselves. I would hate to sit under a pastor who thinks that about the men in his church and worst of all, how masculine he is."

thanks for the long distance psychoanalysis! BTW, what did you think when Brunson called Tom a sociopath?

I really have got to go, you see I've got this thing called a life! Peace Out!

Anonymous said...

Yo Steven, FYI I'm not doing church work right now, I work in the defense industry. Aren't facts pesky things? But thanks for jumping to conclusions and for signing your name.

August 19, 2009 10:36 AM

Dee, That is the best news I have heard all day. Just curious, why all the hanging out at pastors.com interacting about resistors. Were you a pastor before?



Steven

Anonymous said...

When Mac called Tom a sociopath I thought it was right.

Obviously, by your response I have properly diagnosed your propensities.

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

Wow.

Now you are telling me to stop being an elder at my church?

That is an 'interesting' direction for a conversation like this to go.

On that score - God has called and equipped me for that, the congregation has affirmed that calling, and I have been serving for 16 years.


Louis

Anonymous said...

Louis and Lydia,

Sleepless in Seattle remake?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Maybe these two are James Carville and Mary Matalin?

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Anonymous said...

Ok,

I going to open myself up for this one. As a pastor it would be nice to have a majority of the say so with out all the hoops to jump through. I am not saying no oversight. I remember sitting in a committee meeting and I wanted to do some outreach events. I remember saying during the meeting hey lets do this. One said well that involves the kitchen we will have to get with kitchen committee first and then....I found it annoying because all the red tape. I know why we do things this way but it can get annoying. Now mega churches I can not see how you can run something with 5000 plus without having having a central group that makes all the choices to a certain degree. Sometimes it takes a pastor with a strong hand and if you are that kind of pastor then you better be humble and have nothing to hide. A man rightous before God will be seen as rightous before the flock. If they do give you some trouble because of the direction that God is leading the church then God will deal with it. You just need to keep leading and part of that is leading by example. THe pulpit is not the place to air your frustration unless the frustration is of spiritual nature and it is meant for to grow your saints. THe pulpit is not the place to defend egos,personal agendas,pride, or a platform for politicians unless they are preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Pastor Chris

Anonymous said...

Anon and Dog:

Great comments!

Louis

Anonymous said...

Anon 8-l8 7:57 AM Who needs Bible verses,re:holding pastors accountable. If you start your study in Genesis you will find your question almost quoted by Cain...Am I my brothers keeper. Throughout the Bible almost in every chapter there is the instruction of one individual telling another of their faults. Check out Moses telling Pharoah many times until the death of the first born. Check out Job having to pray and forgive his friends in order for them to get right with God. Check out Esther who saved the nation of Israel. Check out Daniel, Ezekiel, and Jonah where they communicate directly with the Kings of their day.

In the New Testament you find Peter telling Anaisas and Sapphria about their lying to the Holy Ghost. You will find Paul telling King Agrippa and Festus their faults. Jesus spoke to the Jewish Leaders and told them theirs. Peter and John did likewise. And may I suggest that Kings and Princes are in a more elevated position than some pastor whatever his religion.

I believe you think that because a pastor is a pastor that God always calls him to the ministry. That is your mistaken belief. There are good pastors and some not so good. We have all taken on the sin of Adam and carry it to the grave. Putting pastors above other members of the body of Christ is a terrible mistake. Each has their own respective position within the body. Taking into account just a few places within scripture where we are all accountable within the body to rebuke, reprove, and instruct each other to Holiness. Lastly, review the importance of Prov 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. This attribute not only concerns morality but wisdom and intellectual pursuits. Jude 23...And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. I can assume that many a backslidden pastor has had to come to repentance of his actions and hopefully a friend advised him on what he should do to recover.

As to your statement: Show me one verse where a pastor is held accountable: Try this one. 1Cor.9:vs.l4..."Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel". (Accountability, I would say). vs.l6:..."For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of; for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! (More accountability, I would say). Vs. 17-l8:..17."For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me." Vs.l8: "What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may abuse not my power in the gospel". (Definite accountability, I would say).

In 1 Timothy chp.4 vs. 11-l6 (read all) Paul charges Timothy in vs. ll: "These things command and teach". Read vs.12,13,14,15,. Vs. l6"Take heed unto thyself, and continue in them; for in doing this thou shalt save theyself, and them that hear thee". (ACCOUNTABILITY!!!!!)

Lydia said...

Lydia:

Wow.

Now you are telling me to stop being an elder at my church?

That is an 'interesting' direction for a conversation like this to go.

On that score - God has called and equipped me for that, the congregation has affirmed that calling, and I have been serving for 16 years.


Louis

August 19, 2009 2:45 PM

That is their perogative. Based on reading you for several years, I would question the 'God calling me bit' and exactly HOW you think you are equipped. Mainly because of your consistent worldly pragmatism with spiritual problems.

Everyone is saying they are called by God. Even Mac says it. And so did Jim Jones.

Every single true believer is eqipped with a spiritual gift and called to minister.

You still have not told us why the crook was teaching SS in the first place at Two Rivers. Only the bad stuff he did while teaching. What did they expect when they ignored his scandals and let him teach? Did you not see a deeper problem in that church when you were regaling us with your laser like focus on HIS evil deeds? The man was teaching...get it?

Elders do not have the magisterial authority of Calvin or the prestige of Caiphas. They look like Matthew 5...the salt elements.

They are servants. Not leaders. But so few understand that anymore.

Anonymous said...

Lydia you are soooo correct..

A lot of deacons I know need to just wait on tables!!! That should be their ministry for awhile. Sometimes humility must be "acquired", when it is naturally missing. As most things in the world are, the servant has the attitude that he must be served. But, isn't this the problem... they are in the world!!! So very much is done in the flesh, under the guise of "a calling" or of "serving". When many call themselves, thus the "serve me" attitude.

Thy Peace said...

The Wartburg Watch > Fbc Jacksonville + Mac Brunson > Shenanigans And Subpoenas.
I find it interesting that FBC Jax began the investigation into Tom Rich’s blog the day after their members' commitment cards (a promise to give a certain amount in the coming year) came in 50% lower than expected for the annual fund and 75% lower for the special appeal for an extra million dollars.

Anonymous said...

Those who are so quick to judge whether a person is humble, transparent, or a servant usually possess none of those qualities themselves. Just a bunch of malcontents looking for something to criticize.

Lydia said...

Those who are so quick to judge whether a person is humble, transparent, or a servant usually possess none of those qualities themselves. Just a bunch of malcontents looking for something to criticize.

August 20, 2009 9:15 AM

Nothing quick about it. Been almost 4 years in coming. Remember, I have no lofty title conferred upon me by men, no followers obeying my words and commands and no gravitas.

So, why are you so threatened?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8-19 6:59
Please explain how you are holding anyone accountable? Are you speaking directly with Mac? Are you praying with him and for him? If you are going to site biblical examples, you should at least be able to relate to them in your position. Otherwise, you are the mistaken one. Slander is not demonstrated in the examples you gave? Where exactly are you getting your direction?

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

I'll leave off on this last comment but you did ask how in the world Two Rivers let a guy like Frank Harris waltz into their congregation and become the teacher of a big class and even chairman of the deacons.

If you will go back again and read my earlier post in this stream, I too, am critical of Two Rivers for that.

I think that Two Rivers, however, is very typical of many Baptist Churches. People can join the church, quote lots of scripture and seem very spiritual. That is what Harris did, apparently. His father was an independent Baptist pastor, I understand, in a community not far from the town where Two Rivers is located. So, Harris grew up in church and knew all of the lingo.

Apparently, the people that Harris hurt with his investment deal were from previous churches where he attended. So, he just moved his membership. Apparently, he was faithful at Two Rivers, gave money, had a winning personality and a teaching presence (perhapst by the genes from his dad) and was genuinely interested in spiritual issues.

The Two Rivers folks were not involved or knowledgeable about the lawsuit and did not know about Harris' background.

Many pastors and people in evangelical churches are sincere, kind and trusting - too trusting. That's what happened here.

At our church we run a criminal background check on every person who works with the children or youth and they have to fill out a form asking for lots of personal information and references.

For staff, it is much more rigorous.

Given the way people move in their life times and the urban nature of society, grifters and people with lots of baggage can show up at church and end up in important positions, if the church is not careful.

Since we do not have "elections" at our church, people like this can't simple be "elected" to positions.

To be an elder is the toughest test. In addition to the background test (and probably Google searches - done informally), a person has to be at our church for several years before becoming an elder and can't become one without the independent judgment of each elder. The voting is by secret ballot. That way no single elder or group of elders, even the pastor, cannot lobby for people and every one else just goes along with it. So, the person has to get unanimous vote of the elders for recommendation to the congregation. Then the congregation either affirms or does not affirm the recommendation, and that is by secret ballot as well and there is a place for any person to write a concern they have about the person being recommended. They don't have to give their name, but they can.

Most churches are so trusting, they welcome people in on the very Sunday they walk down the aisle, and in 6 months they'll vote to support them for just about any position if the pastor makes a speech in their favor and then calls for a hand held vote.

Sounds like a friendly, informal way to do business. But it actually lacks proper investigation and deliberation and can actually be an abusive way to conduct business. But that' what I find at too many Baptist churches.

By the way, you really should be accurate about how long you have been reading my posts. By my recollection, I first posted on Outpost during the Klouda lawsuit, which I seem to remember was dismissed in the spring of 2008. I think by blog life started in 2007. You can go back and research my first post if you want.

But you have not been reading my comments for "Several Years".

I know that you are not trying to lie about it, because you are not an untruthful person. But some context might give a more accurate picture.

Thanks.

Louis

Dee Lauderdale said...

To all, sorry about yesterday. I'm not a member of FBC Jax, so none of this is any of my business and I should not insert myself into the discussion. Plus I was intentionally trying to push buttons, again not the Jesus way. So, again I apologize and I really am gone. Take care.

Dee Lauderdale

Thy Peace said...

At our church we run a criminal background check on every person who works with the children or youth and they have to fill out a form asking for lots of personal information and references.

For staff, it is much more rigorous.

Given the way people move in their life times and the urban nature of society, grifters and people with lots of baggage can show up at church and end up in important positions, if the church is not careful
.

This is not a criticism.

I wonder how the early apostles would have fared under this scrutiny. Christ's temperament and humility is a better gauge.

Anonymous said...

8:33 - You proved my point. You need to wise up. Stop living your life on hot air. You can not show one biblical example of our requirement to hold pastors accountable for their shortcomings.

August 19, 2009 7:55 AM
___________________________________

And you cannot show me one where I must show you one. But it does say the pastor should be above reproach, and it has qualifications, so the clear assumption is that someone must hold the person in that position accountable. But I agree, nothing in scripture that says I am to do it. So what? Any scripture that says I can't try to since he oversees $15 million per year of "God's money." Why is this an ongoing concern of yours? Must I have scripture that says I can do this before I can do this? Why?

Anonymous said...

Those who are so quick to judge whether a person is humble, transparent, or a servant usually possess none of those qualities themselves. Just a bunch of malcontents looking for something to criticize.

August 20, 2009 9:15 AM
___________________________________

Do rational thinking men really think that a bunch of anonymous bloggers need to be open, honest and transparent about finances (or anything else) when they receive no money from anyone, hold no leadership position, and have never abused their position to promote their own personal wealth and brand? Whoever writes those kinds of things is equating writing on a blog to being the new pastor at a mega-church with a $15 million dollar budget. Really? A blogger needs to be transparent about his finances he earns privately if he is to question how $15 million is being spent that is publicly solicited from donors?

Is this how the Mac supporters use logic and reasoning?

Anonymous said...

To the anon who is looking for a specific verse...there is no verse that says you can drive a car but I bet you do. How about a stove or refrigerator. Use your brain. Sometinmes wisdom is taken from an individual since they don't care to have it or seek it. You are a real trip!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:05 and 6:21 8/20/09
My purpose was to determine what example you were following by what seems to be an effort to humiliate and tear down Mac Brunson. I have never seen that example provided to us in scripture and since you have not been able site one, I will assume that you have not either. You have obviously come up with this on your own. That was all I wanted to determine. You made it pretty easy.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:01. You failed to read 6:59 pm on August 19...

Anonymous said...

9:04 - Again, none of those examples relate to the attitude of this blog site. Accountability is obviously a purpose of fellowship. The biblical examples, which you have done a great job quoting, do not demonstrate the manner in which it appears you believe is the best way to hold someone accountable. Your methodology results in tension and bitterness...as demonstrated on this blog site...not in the bible. Holding someone accountable is a way of showing Christ love towards them, not to humiliate and destroy them.

Anonymous said...

August 21, 2009 10:08 AM - if this blog is not the "right" way or biblical way to hold Mac accountable then why don't YOU, brother, step up and do it the "right" way? Are you not concerned with ANY of these issues we are discussing? If not, then you are biased towards the blog itself and not about "right" methods being used. But if you do agree with even ONE concern raised here, then YOU, brother, should handle it with love and according to scripture. Why haven't you?

Anonymous said...

To the "head in the sand" defender of pastors. You insist that pastors are not biblically required to be accountable. If you are capable of reading and UNDERSTANDING a Bible, you will find that pastors above all ARE accountable for ALL of their actions. They must not become STUMBLING BLOCKS to the lost or to the saved. They are required to obey God and His Word. Many mega pastors forget the requirements that are supposed to be sacred in the trust given them to preach.

You have been given verse after verse FROM THE BIBLE, you have been given examples, as well. You insist that a preacher is not to be accountable for his ministry. You sir are deluded, ill informed and blatently WRONG!!! If you cannot take scripture as proof then their is no remedy for you. If accountability is not required from a pastor then your Bible is full of error. Since the Bible IS NOT full of error, the fault lies with your determination to defend an indefensable position. Hopefully, you require accountability from your government, family, your doctor, maybe others in which you have placed trust, as well as financial trust (like your bank). The question is why would you TRY to defend a position as false as not requiring accountability from a pastor WHEN YOUR BIBLE STATES ACCOUNABILITY IS REQUIRED OF A PASTOR. SEE PREVIOUS VERSES GIVEN YOU. You do indeed live with a very narrow level of understanding of the Bible. And of the requirements of a pastor. If one looked at the position of being a pastor strictly on a secular basis (God forbid)then would any reasonable person simply TRUST another person to teach him the Bible, would same reasonable person hand over sums of money without accountability for how it is used, where is it spent. Would same reasonable person trust the leading of an unaccountable pastor to lead others including the lost to the saving Grace of Jesus Christ? I think NOT. Try and prove the Spirits!!!! As we see in history, many men have "called" themselves pastor and have been proven false. Some are even now in jail. Trust was given, money was given and accountability was not required until AFTER disaster struck. Yes sir, the Bible DOES require accountability. But more than that GOD requires it. You, I and every other "CHRISTIAN" will give an ACCOUNT at the Judgement Seat of Christ. The lost judged and ACCOUNTABLE to God at the Great White Throne Judgement.

2 Cor. 5 vs.:10: "For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." This sir is the judgement and acccountability the Christian will face. This is a judgement for rewards, nevertheless, it is a judgement and an accountability. Many will receive few rewards, because of their unaccountability. (cont.)

Lydia said...

Louis, Thanks for the lecture on how your church chooses elders. I am familiar with that process and have seen horrible fruit from it. It easily becomes the elder boys club.

Pew sitters from this structure are usually followers and not an active part of the priesthood on a level field. They play 'follow the elder' and whatever recommendations they make. Sorry, but have seen it too many times.

You can do all the criminal background checks you want. We do them, too. But spiritual discernment is not something that comes from pragmatism. It comes from the indwelling Holy Spirit and the Body of Christ knowing each other intimately. (in a spiritual way)

We both know this does not happen in large churches. The sheer size prohibits that. And we are the worse for it. Because we are quick to adopt business principles for operation and not developing spiriutal gifts for edification.

It is tough work keeping the Bride pure. But we are called to do just that.

I find it a bit surprising that Harris' type of scandal had not reached anyone at Two Rivers. I still maintain that Two Rivers brought this upon themselves for not opening the books. That should be a huge red flag. But Harris' evil seems to override that important fact for some.

"By the way, you really should be accurate about how long you have been reading my posts. By my recollection, I first posted on Outpost during the Klouda lawsuit, which I seem to remember was dismissed in the spring of 2008. I think by blog life started in 2007. You can go back and research my first post if you want."

From my recollection, you were posting long before she even filed suit. And you posted on other topics. But since the Outpost is defunct, we cannot check exact dates. Perhaps it just seems that long to me. :o)

I will start revising my estimation to 2 years. By the way, how many is several? Can it be 2? Or is few, 2? And several means 3 or more? Not sure.

I am sure that would be important in court.

Lydia said...

To all, sorry about yesterday. I'm not a member of FBC Jax, so none of this is any of my business and I should not insert myself into the discussion. Plus I was intentionally trying to push buttons, again not the Jesus way. So, again I apologize and I really am gone. Take care.

Dee Lauderdale

August 20, 2009 10:22 AM

Dee, It was a blessing to me to read this today.

Anonymous said...

11:19 - All I wanted was for you to admit that this is not the right way. Thank you for that. For accountability to exist, there must be real fellowship and community. I don't have either with Mac Brunson. Apparently you do not either. My only objective in this dialog was to find out what you were all about and where you were coming from. I have found that out. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Accountability cont.....Rev.chp.20 vs. 11-l5.. "And I saw a great white throne. and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them." vs. 12: " And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." vs. 13: "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them; and they judged every man according to their works.: vs. 14: "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." vs. 15: "And whhosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire".

Matthew 12:36 Jesus speaks..."But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give ACCOUNT thereof in the day of judgement".
This would include preachers who are human and not perfect, and who also WILL be accountable.

1Cor.chp.4 vs.1 "Let a man so account of us, as OF THE MINISTERS OF CHRIST, abd the stewards of the mysteries of God."
MINISTERS/PASTORS...ARE TO BE ACCOUNTABLE!!!!!

1Peter chp.4 vs.5-6 "Who shall give a n account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. vs. 6 For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, (lost) that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit."

You are taking exception to the Bible when you speak of tension and bitterness. Sometimes tension and bitterness happen and the hope is that the end result will be one of getting people back to the Word, and to the things that are truly OF CHRIST. Finally preachers/pastors/ministers whatever they are called are most definitely called to be accountable for ALL of their actions/words. Otherwise, how are they to be believed about anything they say or do?

1 John chp.4 vs.i "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
ACCOUNTABILITY!!!!

Anonymous said...

21st 4:45 - This blog is about nothing but tension and bitterness. Can you provide any results to this blog that would confirm your "hope" in a revival?

Anonymous said...

If this blog bothers you and you think it is all about tension and bitterness, why upset yourself by reading it. As to a hope for revival, that should be on the hearts of everyone, starting with the PREACHER (all preachers in all churches). After all he is the shepherd.

Anonymous said...

You are right about that. If it was on the heart of the people following this blog we would all be better off. I don't often read anything on here, again, just wanted to confirm that you guys are about your own agenda and not God's. You more than solidified that. Thanks!!