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

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

Friday, September 18, 2009

First Baptist Files to Dismiss Lawsuit

Jeff Brumley of the Florida Times Union has an article in today's paper (9/18/09) reporting the response by First Baptist Church Jacksonville to the lawsuit claiming defamation and fraud, misrepresentation, and abuse of process in the outting of this blogger and subsequent "smear campaign" taken by the church. First Baptist has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit based on church/state issues.

First Baptist Seeks to Dismiss Blogger's Suit

Interesting paragraph from the story, my emphasis:

"Ruling on whether church officials properly or improperly barred blogger Tom Rich and his wife from the premises or made defamatory statements about him would 'require excessive entanglement in church policies, practices and beliefs' on the part of the court, the Sept. 9 motion states."

Very interesting, and not surprising. However, the lawsuit doesn't have anything to do with church policies and practices, and doesn't really have anything to do with them barring us from FBC Jax. It has to do with the circumstances surrounding a criminal investigation being opened by the JSO resulting in subpoenas, and for defamatory statements made by Brunson to the newspaper about my mental health.

I would make one response to Brumley's article, where he says:

"From August 2007 to fall 2008, Rich published an anonymous blog critical of First Baptist Pastor Mac Brunson, slamming everything from his preaching and administrative style to decisions to open a church school and satellite campus...."

I would characterize the issues raised on the blog as these:

- Brunson's accepting of a $307,00 land gift from a wealthy church donor just weeks after arriving in Jacksonville, and then airing a commercial for the relatives of that donor in the middle of a sermon. I have asked Brunson to disclose this gift to the congregation, and explain it to the church congregation, and how this is acceptable in light of his own pastor's guidebook recommending pastors to not accept large gifts or live in executive homes;

- the change of church bylaws in December 2007 significantly changing the governance of the church, without anyone in church leadership explaining what these changes were, and why they were made. Changes including forming a discplinary committee, adding a clause that members forfeit their rights to bring legal action against the church, and removal of a clause that allows the church membership to call for a special business meeting. This blog has called for the leadership to explain these changes to the congregation.

- Jim Smyrl's inflammatory comments about Catholics - calling them a "cult" on the church blog, and from the pulpit, referring to Catholic priests as "cult leaders", and calling for FBC Jax members to confront their Catholic friends with the "truth" that they are "living a lie" (someone please call Sean Hannity so he can stop living his lie);

- the selling of "promotions packages" to Christian ministries to raise money during the Pastor's Conference - requiring ministries to pay $750 to put a display table up in the church, and charging up to $12,000 to ministries to purchase "ads" on the image screens and for the privilege of mentioning their ministry from the pulpit. The church is doing it once again this year, for the 2010 Pastor's Conference, even going so far as trying to sell the privilege of putting someone's name or ministry on bottled water or conference bags for $1000.

- outrageous fund-raising efforts by Brunson where he demanded his congregation to "give a million in two weeks" for "emergency" facility repairs, most of which were not emergencies...demanding the people give the million dollars under threat that their decades long tradition of being debt free would be broken.

- using the church website to advertise non-church functions like next year's "Trip Down the Danube with Mac and Debbie Brunson", an expensive luxury river cruise for the very rich;

- bullying and boorish behavior by Brunson in the pulpit, including: calling FBC Jax a "hotbed of legalism", praising God his congregants didn't get a raise, expressing hope that FEMA doesn't help Jacksonville if a hurricane hits, declaring God to be the direct cause of 9/11 and our economic collapse to punish Americans, and accusing those who disagree with him on the doctrine of tithing to be "doing the work of Satan". Too many examples of Brunson's poor pulpit behavior to even list here, but have been documented on the blog, and that citizens of Jacksonville have witnessed in the church broadcasts on TV-12.

123 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please tell me we aren't going to have to listen to yet another of your rants about the same old things. I think what we're seeing is that you are way over your head with your lawsuit. They are going to eat your lunch in court. The judge will probably laugh you out of the courthouse when you stand up and start listing these complaints.

Truth Purveyor said...

Tom, as you know I have supported you on many issues and opposed you on many issues. I do have the same opinion as the church attorney;

"Church attorney Edward Birk declined to comment, except to say the matter would be handled by the courts."

This is where it is and where it should stay. Only the courts can settle what is hearsay and what is fact. Blogging back and forth is strictly "hearsay". The facts will come out "under oath" in a court of law.

Whatever the decision of the courts will probably not settle the issue because passions are so strong on both sides, but at least the facts will be presented to the court and adjudicated.

As far as the outcome, let the chips fall where they may and the consequences be reaped. That is the beauty of America.

Sincerely,


T

Anonymous said...

Enjoy it why you can...looks like the fun is soon coming to an end...

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that the motion be denied. The reason: simple Mr Rich's constitutional rights of free speech were violated. This has nothing to do with a church/state issue. It could have been as easily done by an employee of a church or business and the same would hold true. The fact that his name was disclosed improperly has to be the main criteria upon which the judge will rule and nothing more nor less. Just my opinion.

Thy Peace said...

I would encourage FBC Jax Leadership to settle these cases with Watchdog. From my perspective, the Fbc Jax Leadership lost this issue in the Christian domain, based on how they reacted to Watchdog. Clearly (at least to me) the cases are not hinging on the internal church matters, but on the abuse of the power of state and spreading falsehoods about Watchdog.

Now the courts (if the cases go ahead), will only decide narrowly based on the interpretation of the law and it's applicability to the facts at hand.

The courts do not decide on moral values or ethical issues related to these cases. Forget about Christian values here. They would not even touch them here.

In the courts of public opinion all these are fair game.

Hence, I would also encourage Watchdog to write a book detailing this episode, fleshing out his family involvement. There is enough drama here, that down the road a possible movie or TV drama could be made out of it. Watchdog, when you write the book, retain all rights to it. If a movie is made and shown around, please post it on YouTube (yes, broken down in 10 minute segments) and I am certain this will go viral. I would also encourage you to publish this book (if you write it) with releasing your rights for Google Books for free dissemination. This will preserve the book for posterity in electronic format and ensure wide dissemination.

God bless you Yvette, Tom and his family.

Now at some point Church Pastors around the world will wonder, should we have answered some of these anonymous emails? Even Pastor Wade Burleson is against answering anonymous email or questions. But all this begs the question. Why don't these pastors ask themselves, why are these questioners choosing to ask anonymous questions? Yes they are afraid. Afraid of whom. Afraid of Church Leadership going postal on the questioners. Now what would be a Christian thing to do here? How about the pastors sincerely seeking anonymous questioners for the benefit of the questioners and not their (pastors) benefit.

Just some thoughts.

Arce said...

The church's attorneys are using a familiar tactic. When the facts are not on your side, argue the law, even law that is not applicable to the facts or the case. Church/state law has absolutely no relevance to a statement made outside of the church, or to the abuse of state processes, making of false statements to government officials, etc. Being a pastor does not put you above the law!

Anonymous said...

This is what some churches do. They "pull out" the "Separation of Church and State" when they get themselves in hot water. It's so bogus!!! The point is, MR. Richs rights under the constitution have been seriously violated!!! The investigating detective even concluded there was NO criminal activity involving Mr. Rich or the blog.!! But it was persued until the church GOT THE NAME. This is all the church wanted in the first place was THE NAME, so they could PUNISH him. The church is acting the victim here. Baloney! The preacher brought THE LAW in, not Mr. Rich. Mr. Rich was then on a greasy slide too, (pardon the pun) pergatory! For instance, there was NO POLICE REPORT made about "stolen mail, picture taking", yada yada. This to any "simple" mind can be seen through as a last minute excuse to find and punish Mr. Rich for daring to disagree with the "boys". Let me tell you one NEVER disagrees with the "boys". Hopefully the judge in this case will come to the right judgement on this one. I for one am very tired of churches being able to slander, and push members around because most of the laws favor them, and even stretched in their favor when they don't. Truly makes one NEVER want to even walk on church property. In some cases, in some churches, if one wants to walk into to trouble....join a church. I hope Mr,. Rich wins this, it's important for all of us little guys, that have suffered at the hands of some churches and some preachers.

Anonymous said...

You are such a sissy dumbass...

Richard said...

Anon 6:55 AM

Please tell me we aren't going to have to listen to yet another of your rants about the same old things.

You aren't required to "listen to" any "rants." You chose to wake up this morning and log into a public blog. Your leader has already told you this is nothing more than beauty shop gossip. Why the interest so early in the morning? Shouldn't you be reading your bible and writing your checks to First Brunson Church?

The judge will probably laugh you out of the courthouse when you stand up and start listing these complaints.

I'm more inclined to believe that the judge will laugh Brunson, et al, out of the courthouse when they hear their responses to the charges.

I'm inclined to doubt that Brunson will ever make it to the stand because there is too much money to be spent to keep him OFF. However, I would LOVE to be able to read his depositions on the case. Watchdog, if this happens and you area able to, please post them.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Enjoy it why you can...looks like the fun is soon coming to an end...

September 18, 2009 7:32 AM

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@2
Clap, Clap, Clap,

One of America's greatest preacher's is the only one that has been having fun and enjoyment since his arrival here in Jacksonville, paid for by the members of First Baptist. Sad!

Richard said...

There is a Baptist church down in Mandarin that is suing the county for not rezoning 30 acres of rural property for yet ANOTHER mega church. If I'm not mistaken, the news article stated they had 4,000 members and that the proposed "campus" will cost $50 million.

Jacksonville church sues over zoning denial

Corporate mergers go on every day in this country. The Homer Dome has at least that many seats empty every week, and there is undoubtedly PLENTY of parking available. Just begin to think of the cost savings if First Baptist Church Jax was to "buy out" First Baptist Church Mandarin and merge the two.

HAH!

Anonymous said...

I got a good laugh just reading your response. Imagine what they will do when you try that in a court room.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:55."Please tell me we aren't going to have to listen to yet another of your rants about the same old things."

Clue...you don't have to read the paper or this blog...it is your choice.

Conservalutionist said...

Its sad that it has finally come to this. I don't always agree, but this issue has nothing to do with church and state. Hopefully the lawsuit wont get dismissed. I t would be nice to see this whole thing blow up in their face.

Anonymous said...

"Move on," "Give up," "Go away," "Why bother?" The same old chorus, I see. Seems like they wait breathlessly for each blog post so they can be first in line with the talking points.

Keep on shining truth, Watchdog.

Junkster said...

Anonymous said...
Please tell me we aren't going to have to listen to yet another of your rants about the same old things. I think what we're seeing is that you are way over your head with your lawsuit. They are going to eat your lunch in court. The judge will probably laugh you out of the courthouse when you stand up and start listing these complaints.


Some folks just dn't get it. The suit isn't about the Watchdog's complants about Mac Brunson, and it isn't about the church's disciplinary actions. It is about the abuse of the legal process and defamation. There is no excuse for it and the Watchdog's lawyer has formed an excdellent legal case by keeping it about things other than church doctrine or polity.

Anonymous said...

Conservalutionist,

Who's side are you on?

Anonymous said...

I am going to give more money to FBC Jax in hopes that this does go to court. Then it will be proven what a joke you are.

IF FBC SPOKE TRUTH said...

We didn't like what Tom was blogging about. So we wanted to bring pressure on him to shut it down. We tried directly yelling this from the pulpit. It didn't work. So when Chest of Joash giving was way down right after one of his posts telling members not to give, we had to go find out who he was. Not hard to do when a JSO detective works as mac's bodyguard. Sure there was no basis to get the subpoenas, so we made some up. Besides, Mr. Rich would never know how we found his identity and we certainly were not going to tell him even when he asked us before meeting with our committee. We told the deacons about this 91 days after the file was closed to make sure if anyone did find out, the records would be destroyed after 90 days. Then, of course, once we got his name, we then decided to use public pressure by telling the deacons who he was and by obtaining trespass warnings against him. And just in case he scoffed at that, we went after his wife too. When he kept blogging and found out how we obtained his name. We had to adjust. Calling him a coward and a sociopath served to discredit him.

Pretty simple really. Unfortunately, some basic fundamental rights of Tom and his wife were violated in our actions, so he had to seek justice in our court system. Through all this, we have refused to contact him or try to resolve this with him amicably.

Signed,

Truth in Press Releases/Statements

Anonymous said...

For those new readers who might be confused about the issues...here it is simplified for you:

"We will aggressively confront unjust criticism." A.C. Soud

This was read in a deacons's resolution at FBC Jax and posted on their website. (Subsequently quickly removed once it was discovered they had used the JSO and SAO to obtain subpoena's under the color of false criminal charges related to the blog.)

Anonymous said...

Just some thoughts.

Anon: September 18, 2009 9:08 AM
___________________________________
KEY WORDS . . ."lost this issue in the Christian domeain"

Well said Thy Peace - the verdict is in and reality is the church has lost, REALLY LOST!

We live in a new era with a new trend (which has a name)that simply means they want people to be out of the church walls to minister to people in whatever area God has called them to do.

I believe God has called Mr. Rich to set up this "Blog Ministry" to help people think and express their Christian beliefs and concerns.

Perhaps as Truth Purveyor stated blogging back and forth is strictly "hearsay" but what is proven fact is that Mrs. Rich was banned from our church property simply because she happened to be the mate of the "blogger".

Mrs. Rich, as an independent member of First Baptist, who stood on her own, with a spotless testimony, did not deserve being banned from being on property for a public event.

Thy Peace, thanks for your thoughts - I totally agree with you.

Member of FBCJ

Anonymous said...

Richard ....
FBCJax and FB of Mandarin are very similar churches. Both "pastors" are consumed with greed, power and prestige. I know this first hand in both instances. Are all churches going this route, or have they all already gone ??!

Anonymous said...

Please, please keep name-calling WD such low-brow terms as "sissy dumbass". You are doing a GREAT, GREAT job of helping out the other side in our favor.

Just proves the Dog's points....

Nice to know ya "CHRISTIAN" (Mac suppoters and Jax 'elite').

Anonymous said...

AHHH the depositions. I would love to read/hear the depositions. Now that would be very interesting. Churches get away with sooo much, because they CAN.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing to read how so many of you think you know Mac's every thought and that you have a perfect spiritual evaluation of FBC, Jax (and any other church you might observe.) You are the height of spiritual phariseeism and hypocrisy.

I doubt seriously if many of you even attend church and I'm fairly certainly even fewer of you are in any position of leadership in a church.

Conservalutionist said...

Anon 2:19
Im not on either side, I agree with some of both sides. I believe what the church did to Tom was wrong, but I think that somethings are blown way out of proportion by him as well. As I have my sources in the church, I can make certain decisions that most cant. I am objectively neutral. But in return it would still be nice to see the law show that Church and State have nothing to do with this issue hence "the blowing up in there face"

Anonymous said...

Conservalutionist,
Anon 2:19 again

You are right, both sides have done some things wrong. I can agree with that. But I don't think you can stay objectively neutral. Fox News claims to be "fair and balanced" but we all know they are considered to be the right wing biast news network.

In regards to your sources in the church, I know that your father plays an important role in the ministry of the church so I'm sure you do know some details about this whole situation that the general population of this blog will never be able to know.
But bear in mind, access to the inside comes with great responsibility. Some things should remain unspoken of. And privacy should be respected.

Have fun blogging Conservalutionist.

Anonymous said...

"It is amazing to read how so many of you think you know Mac's every thought and that you have a perfect spiritual evaluation of FBC, Jax (and any other church you might observe.) You are the height of spiritual phariseeism and hypocrisy."

No one needs to read Mac's mind. His actions are words are quite enough. Along with the other leaders and even those who blindly follow after them.

The spiritual evaluation comes from the Word. "They did what was right in their own eyes". The Western Church is much like Israel of the OT. In reality, it is not a church at all. Just buildings peddling the Gospel as merchandise. And many buy the product sold there.

" I doubt seriously if many of you even attend church and I'm fairly certainly even fewer of you are in any position of leadership in a church."

I am curious as to why you think this is some standard for truth? I was in leadership for many years and was as depraved a man calling evil good and good evil. I relished my status and position.

In reality, such leadership positions, as you term them, are huge snares for sin. It is so easy to believe you are something great because of the lofty titles and position. You start believing that 'God put you there'. (How quick we are to forget that God was angry that Israel wanted a king)

But when one finally realizes that it is not a leadership position at all... but a servants lowliness that serves others, that dog can no longer hunt. It is of the world's system and has nothing at all to do with God's economy which produces only servants who toil, humbly and in love for the Master and His followers.

Matt

1 Thess 2

Even so, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you, not the Good News of God only, but also our own souls, because you had become very dear to us. 9 For you remember, brothers, our labor and travail; for working night and day, that we might not burden any of you, we preached to you the Good News of God. 10 You are witnesses with God, how holy, righteously, and blamelessly we behaved ourselves toward you who believe.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:36. Does leadership in a church make one more spiritual? You are either extremely young or extremely arrogant, perhaps both. Do you not realize that many who blog. here have and are currently involved in various areas of responsibilities in churches. There are pastors who blog., here. People in past and present levels of "leadership" that you could only dane to apprehend. So before you render your own faulty assessments, please understand that others are way ahead of you in the "spiritual" maturity.

Anonymous said...

Boy that's some hideous lookin' lighthouse. What an eyesore!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I would suggest that the motion be denied. The reason: simple Mr Rich's constitutional rights of free speech were violated. This has nothing to do with a church/state issue. It could


That is interesting. It appears that Mr. Rich continues to exercise his right of free speech... However absurd. What a great country.

Anonymous said...

It looks like this is only the beginning of legal activities. I do not expect that FBC is going to run out of lawyers before Tom, or his lawyers, runs out of cash to pay legal fees.

Anonymous said...

detective even concluded there was NO criminal activity involving Mr. Rich or the blog.!! But it was persued until the church GOT THE NAME. This is all the church wanted in the first place was THE NAME, so they could PUNISH him. The church is acting the victim here. Baloney! The preacher

One question....

Who started this? Who poked at the hornets nest?

Anonymous said...

Who started this? Who poked at the hornets nest?

September 18, 2009 10:59 PM

This is an interesting observation. Would you be willing to live with a hornet's nest in your home? Would you tell your child, 'Let's not bother it. Let's just ignore it'.

Or, would you send your child out and then, put on a protective suit and remove it even if it meant you might still be stung many times?

Hornet's nests, brood of vipers, wolves and wolf packs. They are the same.

Matt

Anonymous said...

"Positions of leadership in the church"......
Anon.9/18 5:36 LEADERSHIP
Is a position of leadership in the church of Laodicea, in the last days, supposed to be a good thing? One might ask what "kind" of leadership. A servant of the Lord or a follower of man. Which is it? A position of leadership that leads others to Christ, or a position of leadership that is celebrity in a starring role.

Matt:23: the entire chapter is about Jesus denouncing the scribes, pharisees, and hypocrites.
vs. 5: Jesus speaks: "But all their works they do for to be seen of men".

There are those that truly serve with a servants heart. The Lord knows who they are.

Heb.4:12: "For the word of God is......a discerner of the thoughts and intent of the heart".

Anonymous said...

As usual, if you present a different viewpoint or dare disagree then you are "immature" and the others are always "mature" and "right."

What a crock!

If you will notice most of Tom's posts and his supporters' posts are anti-church, anti-leadership, and always anti-pastor. Seems like a bunch of people who have gone nowhere in their personal lives and jealous of those who have.

Anonymous said...

Matt,

You seem to be a fairly intelligent person. Certainly you understand my analogy that draws attention to the fact that Tom picked the fight. He has made some horrible accusations and libelous statements of FBC personnel. His blog came at a time when questionable events that related to security occurred. Apparently, the investigators used the "leave no stone unturned" approach and this blog became public record. I do not think that anyone from FBC was harassing Tom or forcing him to take a part at FBC. FBC is free for anyone to join. There are very few restrictions for continued membership. It is very difficult to get anyone removed from the role as a member. You really have to work at getting thrown out. My suggestions to all of the watchdog wannabes is to read the terms and conditions of the blog service that you use and understand that if anyone, with legal authority, asks then you might be exposed and rightfully held to account for your words.

Bro./Pastor Rod H. said...

"If you will notice most of Tom's posts and his supporters' posts are anti-church, anti-leadership, and always anti-pastor. Seems like a bunch of people who have gone nowhere in their personal lives and jealous of those who have."

September 19, 2009 7:12 AM

Anon you are incorrect!

Most of the bloogers are not anti-church, anti-leadership, and always anti-pastor.

We are anti-corrupt-church,anti-corrupt-leadership,and anti-corrupt-pastors!!!

Bro./Pastor Rod H. said...

" His blog came at a time when questionable events that related to security occurred. Apparently, the investigators used the "leave no stone unturned" approach and this blog became public record."

September 19, 2009 7:12 AM

Anon there were "NO" questionable events!!!

The problem for Mac and FBCJ was that "QUESTIONS" were being asked!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon,

I must admit, I found it a bit amusing you say I will be held accountable for my words. At least you know my name. What is yours?

"There are very few restrictions for continued membership. It is very difficult to get anyone removed from the role as a member.You really have to work at getting thrown out. ."

I have heard that. Even if one is a sexual predator they are rarely removed. Being removed is usually reserved for the crime of questioning the pastor publicly for his public words and actions.


" My suggestions to all of the watchdog wannabes is to read the terms and conditions of the blog service that you use and understand that if anyone, with legal authority, asks then you might be exposed and rightfully held to account for your words."

I doubt that any here have a quibble with the terms and conditions. What they have a problem with are the lies told to get the investigation and subpeonas in the first place. The words on this blog were not enough to warrant that so other, more serious, accusations were made such as stalking, and stealing mail.

Perhaps you are as impressed as I am as I to the perfect timing on official reports being destroyed and Tom's name being outed. Why not out his name 90 days before when they found it out? Why wait until they could legally destroy the reports because they found no wrong doing? As some have asked, are they still looking for the mail theif or the stalker? I am sure they are still out there, right?

Basically, you are saying that no one has the right to question the pastor publicly or point out the hypocrisy of his words and deeds publicly. Can you show me the scriptural warrant for that thinking?

I thought your analogy of poking the hornets nest perfect. You are teaching that the hornet's nest should be left alone and Tom was in sin for letting folks know it was there. I simply disagreed with you. It needs to be removed even if it means getting stung in the process.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Anon. As usual immaturity always reveals itself. And as usual makes assumptions that you have no knowledge of. You assume to know much about the personal lives of those who blog here. Since there are MANY who blog here, how is that possible. I think since there are so many dissenting and negative views regarding REAL LIFE experiences with churches, pastors, etc., your analysis that "people are jealous" of churches, pastors,etc., doesen't hold water. Once one has "suffered" pain of some sort, one rarely wants to feel it again. But you will learn this, in "your personal life" as you "mature", while you are "going somewhere". And I think most mature Christians will agree that people do not hate churches nor do they hate preachers, just the opposite actually, as most of us pray for the Lord to help them and we pray that THEY will go Gods way. What we hate is the wrong direction toward the world and the things of the world that many churches and preachers have gone toward.

"Only what's done for Christ will last"!!

Anonymous said...

Matt,

Basically, you are saying that no one has the right to question the pastor publicly or point out the hypocrisy of his words and deeds publicly. Can you show me the scriptural warrant for that thinking?

My words are my words. The other words are yours.

Stick to facts. When there is opinion or assumption, then you should point it out:

"Appaarently, Assuming, In my opinion, as was told to me, and etc."

If you have a quote from an involved resource then use it and state who you are quoting.

Unless you are Tom, the investigator, or a directly involved FBC leader, the fact of the matter is that you do not know who is lying...do you?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - I'm glad that you claim to know the truth, and others who express their views on what has happened based on what we do know, you call it speculation.

Therefore, I assume that you posting here as an anonymous person ARE an insider with the JSO or FBC Jax and are here proclaiming to know the facts, while everyone else is just speculating.

Guess what that makes you?

A witness.

And guess what happens to witnesses during discovery.

They may be asked to give a deposition.

And guess if a witness is anonymous, and needs to be depositioned?

Subpoenas are issued to find out who the anonymous poster is that proclaimed to know certain facts.

So, don't think you're entitled to your anonymity here, big boy. You and other anon posters here proclaiming to have inside information just might find their anonymity broken so they can give testimony.

And I'm sure you wouldn't mind that at all.

Anonymous said...

"Unless you are Tom, the investigator, or a directly involved FBC leader, the fact of the matter is that you do not know who is lying...do you?"

It does not take a rocket scientist to recognize the tactics used in the entire process. I have already mentioned the convenient and perfect timing about the destruction of the official reports by Hinson.

Are you trying to imply that Tom was stalking Brunson's wife and stoled his mail? I thought he was exonerated from that. Are they still looking for the stalker? The mail robber?

What exactly did Tiffany Croft lie about? Why was BBCOpen forum investigated?

Matt wrote:

"Basically, you are saying that no one has the right to question the pastor publicly or point out the hypocrisy of his words and deeds publicly. Can you show me the scriptural warrant for that thinking?"

Anon responded:

"My words are my words. The other words are yours."

You do vague well, too.

So Tom DOES have the right to publicly question and disagree with a public pastor's actions and teaching on a blog?

Which is it?

And while you are at it, why not tell us what Tom has posted on the blog that are lies and/or libelous? Give us a list.

Like I said, I thought the Hornet's nest analogy was near perfect.

Instead of playing word games why not just be direct?

Matt

Anonymous said...

Well if we are going to stick words in each others mouths......

So, dog, you are saying that even though you have assured all of the posters here that you would respect their anonymity and privacy, you might still subject us all to the same privacy depriving treatment that you claim that you are subjected to? You are moderating the posts. If you don't like a post you do not have to approve it.

Hypocrisy??

tch tch

My question was: Who stirred the hornets nest?

If you need clarity, then here is a similar question.

Who instigated this whole matter? What was it that started the whole thing?

My point is that it seems that you are the one that started this, in my humble opinion.

I hope that helps you!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Wow. I'm sorry you can't seem to differentiate.

If by chance, say, in discovery that anonymous posters were "witnesses", it would be a lawyer going to a judge, and making a motion to that judge to ask for a subpoena for that person's identity.

Then legal arguments are made, and even the anonymous person would be able to defend themselves and their anonymity through a lawyer.

There is no comparison between someone legally trying to find someone's identity out who is a witness in a legal dispute, and false accusations or misrepresentations made to a friend of the church who is on staff with the sheriff's department for the purpose of finding someone's identity so that a church disciplinary process may be executed.

Big difference, at least to most people. But to those who side with the church, very little difference, because they view the ends as justifying the means, and they look at it in juvenile terms like you as a matter of "who started it." Yes, that is the way to examine these matters. The husband smacks the wife....but who started it, right? Its not right and wrong apparently, but just who "started it" - whoever "started it", well, that person had it coming. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

I am $60.00 per hour plus travel time. My accompanying lawyer is $120 per hour. I can assure you that you are welcome to depose me at any time...as long as I get paid up front, I will show up. I have nothing to hide.


Let me know if you think that I can assist you.

Thy Peace said...

Who instigated this whole matter? What was it that started the whole thing?.

IMHO it was Mac who started all this. He could have been much more, been a better and humbler pastor who reached out to everyone in spite of differences, who also sought consensus before proceeding or making major changes to a church.

Anonymous said...

" am $60.00 per hour plus travel time. My accompanying lawyer is $120 per hour. I can assure you that you are welcome to depose me at any time...as long as I get paid up front, I will show up. I have nothing to hide. "

Now that is hilarious! You FBCJax members are something else.

Anonymous said...

"My question was: Who stirred the hornets nest?"

And I, my friend, pointed out that you are admitting there IS a hornets nest at FBCJax.

I was quite proud of you for admitting that.

Matt

New BBC Open Forum said...

Lines from the playbook.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Great post at Baptist Planet:

Seriously? The First Amendment means the church is above the law?

First Baptist Church of Jacksonville attorneys argue that a fraud, misrepresentation and defamation suit by the formerly anonymous author of FBC Jax Watchdog should be dismissed because ruling “require excessive entanglement [by the courts] in church policies, practices and beliefs.”

That's the wrong issue.

The core issue is abuse of power to unmask the until-then anonymous author of the blog FBC Jax Watchdog, and subsequent events and statements. The suit by blogger Tom Rich appears to make no allegations with regard to protected "church policies, practices and beliefs."

Under the circumstances, the "excessive entanglement" argument seems to imply that freedom of religion is somehow attended by a right to immunity by churches from the legal consequences of their actions.

Bad argument/bad idea.

The most important general public issue is the failure of law enforcement officials to meet or attempt to meet readily available ethical and legal standards for unmasking an anonymous blogger.

Anonymity "is sometimes required if one is to both make responsible contributions to public discourse, and also put bread on the family table." As a result, protecting blogger anonymity is a part of "protecting the discourse itself," which is at the core of our democracy. Protection of that overarching public interest in anonymity of expression has resulted in successful legal battles to prevent unmaskings whose palpable goal was to suppress free expression. But not all bloggers survive unscathed simply because they deserve to do so.

The general public interest in the protection of anonymous expression should have been addressed in court with regard to FBC Jax Watchdog, not circumvented by way of a criminal investigation which was officially closed without charges or meaningful official report. There is we feel a general public interest in seeing the debate joined in open court not, not dismissed on the basis of the FBC Jacksonville freedom of religion pretext.

Anonymous said...

It is hard to comment with any real knowledge without having read the complaint and the motion to dismiss.

With that huge caveat, my initial reaction is that if the Dog's lawsuit against the church does not seek to reverse the action the church took against him, but only seeks damages for the allegedly providing false information to the legal authorities and for Dr. Brunson's alleged defamatory statements, then the First Amendment defense will not be effective.

Because the lawsuit against the JSO and the SAO are in Federal Court, the pleadings can be read. I have read some of them. The JSO and SAO's motions to dismiss appear to be on solid ground, but it depends on whether there are any issues of fact or only questions of law.

Louis

Anonymous said...

As you always remind us, Louis

Where do you practice law, Louis? Give us the name of your firm. Let us check your credentials.

Lydia said...

Louis, Since you are back, I wanted to tell you that the bloggers at wartburg watch would like to talk to you. They are wanting your sources of information on Frank Harris of Two Rivers.

You seriously castigated him here in order to defend Sutton and they would like to know your sources. You can find their e-mail here:

http://www.thewartburgwatch.com/tww/blog/blog.html

Arce said...

Having reviewed the entire blog as anattorney, from the position of possibly representing a church in this situation, I can say that Tom made no libelous statements. In fact, most of the information in the blog was quotes taken from Mac Brunson's sermons, writings, and the like and showing how inconsistent there were in certain respects.

His accusations: Land gift (contrary to Brunson's advice to pastors), expensive house in gated community, Advertisement during worship for a business (quid pro quo for land/house construction billed at less than cost?), family members on the payroll with no job descriptions, expensive office space created for Brunson, wife and dogs, and preaching a false doctrine related to storehouse giving. Also the repeated absences to preach elsewhere for fees, and advertising and leading a cruise that only the wealthy can afford.

Those "awful accusations" are all true! So they are not libelous. The truth, no matter how ugly, is not libelous.

Arce said...

Witness, other than expert witnesses named as such by a party, do not get paid for being deposed, nor do they receive attorney fees. (And a $120/hour attorney will likely get you into trouble, not protect you at a deposition!!!)

Expert witnesses who are deposed are paid by the party who names them as an expert witness.

So Anon, if you get a subpoena for a deposition, or to testify at a trial, and have not been named as an expert, then tough. Also, if you are both a fact witness and an expert witness, you will likely be disqualified from being an expert witness, or the deposition will be divided into fact and expert issues, and you will be paid only for the expert portion.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Thy Peace - I think it was Blount and Soud who started it, my opinion. When they decided to call Hinson the day after chest of Joash about "vitriol" on the blog and claim a connection between pictures, stalking, mail stealing, etc. and a blog that the pastor was fuming about, THAT started THIS legal process. It was the raw arrogance of releasing my name to the deacons after I had left the church and mentioning to them that the "State attorney was involved" implying criminal behavior on my part, then Soud lying to the congregation about the timing of my family's departure in his Deacons Resolution....that all started it, and kept the ball rolling until here we are now. By the way, did I say "Soud lied"? Yes I did. He lied. He said I left FBC Jax only after I was told that the discipline process was to begin. It was the reverse. I left the church, and 10 days after I left, after FBC Jax had been notified I left the church, THAT is when Blount called me after nearly 2 months of silence to let me know they were cranking up their discipline machine.

The trespass paper issued to my wife for "associating with me" and then the church filing a trespass paper on my wife for the trumped up accusations of "church misconduct"...that just solidified my resolve to see this all through to the end.

I am committed to staying the course until the federal and state judges either throw the cases out, or we get answers to what happened last year that resulted in subpoenas being issued to Comcast and Google on my blog and Tiffany Croft's and newbbcopenforum.

And I am committed to maintaining this blog as a place where pastoral shenanigans can be exposed.

Anonymous said...

Darn,

Just when I thought I had him.

I would be very surprised if the rules of the court do not allow for compensation of deposed individuals, especially for those whose time you waste. It is unreasonable for anyone to assume that my time is worthless and that there is no expense involved in my travel. I think that you would be hard pressed to find a judge or a court that avoids your responsiblilty of just compensation to parties that have no substantial interest.

Arce said...

If you put yourself in the spotlight by claiming insider knowledge, then that is YOUR responsibility, not the blogger's. And you may end of subpoenaed as a result. The law generally bars paying witnesses for fear that payment would slant their testimony away from the truth. So no payments. Testifying is your civic duty if you have information.

So, you have made yourself a potential target of a subpoena by claiming knowledge. If it upsets you, go look in the mirror and say something inappropriate to yourself.

Anonymous said...

In the picture on the post: Is that a parking garage next to the 'lighthouse'?

Anonymous said...

Louis:

Would it be possible for you to comment about anything without using the words if, then, or but?

Anonymous said...

anony 8:31,

How much are you compensated when you're called for jury duty?

Anonymous said...

Louis:

Would it be possible for you to comment about anything without using the words if, then, or but?

September 20, 2009 12:50 AM

That is what the 250 bucks an hour is for. Knowing precisly when and how to use those words.

It is actually a step up. My lawyer only knew the word, no.

Anonymous said...

Arce,

That is a very good point. Everyone that posts in here should understand that they might come under legal or public scrutiny. Watchdog is, apparently, the moderator and takes on responsiblilty for everything that is posted on the blog, according to the terms and conditions that he agreed to. I doubt that anyone close to the matter would dare to post anything here.

Not that I am at all intimidated by yours or the watchdogs threats to me. I never claimed to have close knowledge of this matter. My only knowledge is what I have read in the newspaper, observed in news reports, and what has appeared on this blog.

Watchdog set this up as a moderated and anonymous posting blog for the public use and, as far as I know, I am free to exercise my right of free speech and to remain anonymous at his expressed invitation. If dog wants to change the rules he can do so by resetting the preferences or change to a provider that allows and requires log in.

I am strictly against most of the Watchdogs ideas and unconvinced that he, in my opinion, set this blog up to edify the church body. Instead, there are legal actions going on and public involvement in a matter that could have been handled by the church.

Perhaps both sides of this issue would handle things differently today.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 7:19 A.M.: your statement:
"Public matter that could have been handled by the church".

Are you kidding? Handled by the church!!!! Well, we know how fairly that would have turned out.I don't know how the church can use this church/state argument, when the CHURCH called the law in the first place!!!! I guess if the church wants to use the law for it's actions that is ok, but when an individual seeks justice against the actions the church comitted against them (an individual and family) then it's a separation of church and state issue. And, we are supposed to think individuals get justice. HA. Churches are like most money making organizations, they have "loopholes" everywhere!!!

Anonymous said...

Looks like anon 7:19 is CYA...just in case.

Of course this anon has been attacking WD and acting like he/she is some sort of insider for quite a while now. And this person wants free speech for themselves but not for WD. And the beauty of it all is that this anon is traceable just like WD was if need be.

Mac does no favors to his 'followers' when he role models for them to be hateful and braggerts. You see, guys like Mac expect you to support them but they NEVER support you when it comes down to it. They would leave you high and dry if it served them.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Exactly, like truth purveyor. Its very likely he is an insider, or at least a lay leader who knows the skinny, and therefore a witness. Anonymous witnesses might have to defend their anonymity - unless someone has a friend at JSO who can just pull a subpoena and we can bypass that inconvenience.

Anonymous said...

Anon:

September 19, 2009, 5:56 p.m.

Let me get this right. You, a person who posts anonymously, wants me to post the name of the law firm so "we" (you) can check out my credentials?

You request is declined.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Let me get this right. You, a person who posts anonymously, wants me to post the name of the law firm so "we" (you) can check out my credentials?

You request is declined.

Louis

September 20, 2009 3:00 PM

That is correct. You present yourself as a lawyer (I do not) and give us your analysis as a lawyer (I do not).

Of course you are free to decline the request as many of us here are free to question your impersonation as legal expert. From reading your comments here at FBCJax, I dare say you have not met a rogue in the pulpits of the SBC you won't defend in your nefarious way.

All tell, I would think you would be proud to present your credentials in the service of the SBC.

Woodrow

Anonymous said...

dude, i was in the elevator today and your name has made the elevator wall.

gabriella422001 said...

I mean the CHURCH elevator, not just some random elevator here in this city. Maybe i didn't make myself clear. I think its a bit tacky and should be possibly REMOVED. Sort of like YOU were, I mean, if they remove you, they can remove your name from the elevator?

gabriella422001 said...

I would have done somthing, but all i had was lipstick and eyeliner and I didn't want to mess them up. Sorry. gee....see this is all still in full swang.

Jim said...

A lighthouse attached to a parking garage about 20 miles from the Atlantic coast. Well, isn't that special. How much does FBC JAX pay in taxes for all their multi-level parking garages downtown. That real estate that has nothing to do with the free exercise of religion (worship) and can be used during the week to generate revenue apart from religious tithes or offerings. They must pay some tax, I just wonder what the rate might be, especially when taxes on my Jacksonville home are being increased. Heck, why not tax all church or other religious properties not used directly for religious worship?

Anonymous said...

Anon Sept 20, 12:50:

No. "If", "then" and "but" are necessary qualifiers.

I am trying to be careful because there may be a lot of things about this matter that I do not know.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Anon:

You are certainly free to question me and whether I am a lawyer. That is fine.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Re: Parking Garage Revenue

I don't about J'town but FBC Dallas made, I was once told several years ago, about $100,000 a year in revenue off just ONE of their garages.

So there you go...

Anonymous said...

No. "If", "then" and "but" are necessary qualifiers.

I am trying to be careful because there may be a lot of things about this matter that I do not know.

Louis

September 20, 2009 3:56 PM

And that would be the point, precisely, concerning your expert legal analyses here. However much you know or do not know, you certainly are more than willing to slip in your opinion in the guise of legal expertise judiciously placing the above qualifiers as insurance. Well done.

But that brings me to this: What, exactly then, would be your point in gracing us with your 'legal' analyses? To what end?

"You are certainly free to question me and whether I am a lawyer. That is fine."

And I thank you for granting me permission to do what has already been done. My mind is at rest.



Woodrow

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Readers - congrats to Jeff Brumley, the Florida Times Union who broke the FBC Jax/JSO story in April...as he won an award at the recent Regligion Newswriters Association convention in Minneapolis:

"Religion Reporter of the Year--Mid-sized Newspapers
Publications with weekday circulations between 50,001 and 150,000 compete in the Cornell Award. Jeff Brumley of The Florida Times-Union won first place for an extended look at how faith meets modern life. Judges said his stories "...provide authoritative voices for context but also give readers a glimpse of how regular folks fit in. The writing is smooth and easy to read." Brumley won $1,000."


Brumley and the Times Union went with the FBC Jax/JSO story, and have continued to go after it, much to the dislike of the FBC Jax heavy-hitters. Even Brunson himself has whined from his pulpit about how the newspaper doesn't want to print positive stories about FBC Jax - which is totally ridiculous, if anyone who has been in Jacksonville for a decade or more knows.

I like Jeff, and I believe he has done an excellent job in his writing on this story thus far - and has presented the facts in a fair and objective manner.

Congrats to Jeff for the award and recognition received from his peers.

Anonymous said...

Woodrow:

We all have opinions, now, don't we.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

Must be my day for disappointing people. I am going to decline becoming a source or a source of sources for blogs. I have nothing against the folks you mention.

I think that the best sources for any research they might want to do are the court cases, which are public record and the church itself. All of the court opinions can be obtained from the clerks. I think that I cited the Court of Appeals opinion. The church would have, I suspect, the allegations made and the results of the church looking into those. The church is probably not interested in going through all of this, but I don't know. And some of the allegations are so both sensational and there was no confirming information found that the church would probably not want to repeat them by releasing any information. But I will leave that with them.

At any rate, I would refer them to those primary sources.

Louis

Lydia said...

"I think that the best sources for any research they might want to do are the court cases, which are public record and the church itself. All of the court opinions can be obtained from the clerks. I think that I cited the Court of Appeals opinion. The church would have, I suspect, the allegations made and the results of the church looking into those. The church is probably not interested in going through all of this, but I don't know. And some of the allegations are so both sensational and there was no confirming information found that the church would probably not want to repeat them by releasing any information. But I will leave that with them. "

Now, that is too bad, Louis. Especially since you were so eager to defend Sutton by referencing them here without citing or linking source material.

I am still confused why they would allow such a crook to teach Sunday School all those years leading up to his 'dissent' from Sutton.

Johnny D. said...

"You are such a sissy dumbass..."

My how saved you are. I bet you've been in church for years. Decades even.

Really, the more I read this stuff, I'd like to say I'm "shocked" but I'm really not surprised. I see zero evidence of God's supposed power from those that post from the FBC side.

Really, what is your problem, FBC posters? Why do you come here? Why read this if it is causing you to sin? And in your beliefs, that is exactly what it is doing. Yet, you keep coming back. Weird, strange sayings from you people. One clown said he was now going to send in more money to FBC so as to help defeat Tom. Aside from the tasty irony in that statement, how strange you are, anonymous poster. Don't you want the courts to try and get to the truth? I do. What are you afraid of? The truth is the truth, and the truth is good.

Yeah, I know already. You're afraid because you have something invested in the power part of FBC, and you can see the day coming when that side of FBC just might be embarrassed and kicked to the curb. Well, from my perspective as an atheist, your side has already had its ass thoroughly kicked and discredited.

Making charges up and then having a detective on Mac's goon squad check them out. Yeah, that's Biblical. What a nest of vipers the leadership is down at FBC. A real brood - all wrapped up and sleeping in a tangled nest of lies.

Tom, I'm convinced these anonymous posters coming here are deacons and other men in leadership positions at FBCJ. I'm sure of it. The rank and file at FBCJ are good people and would not stoop to such yellow-belly BS. That's what makes this so deliciously rich and satisfying, Tom. It's not just you doing the exposing - you're driving them to expose themselves.

Arce said...

Anon, September 20, 2009 7:19 AM

I have never threatened you! All I said was that you have made yourself a potential target of a subpoena by claiming inside knwowledge, and that subpoenaed non-espert witnesses do not get compensated. That was not a threat, it was a statement of fact.

Get some education and some sense before you start accusing people of threatening you. False accusations can be considered libelous.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi Johnny D - I truly hope you are wrong. I would like to think that these posters are young, over-zealous members who don't know any better. Arguments like "but you started it" must be coming from some very, very immature minds who believe right and wrong must be decided on who "started" something...

Johnny D. said...

Well, Tom, unlike FBC leadership, I can admit it when I am proven wrong. You may be right about the source, but these defense/attack posts from the other side are just too sustained, too regular. Personally, I give young people more credit than that. These posts are, in my opinion, coming from older, set-in-their ways folks in positions of power - positions they now see threatened. With the economy on the rocks, and now you exposing the FBC leadership for what it is, they have got to be looking at kicking out some on the payroll due to the decreased "tithes."

We'll see eventually - especially if you do get your day in court and get your richly deserved vindication.

Anyhow, I don't have to be right. It's just my observation/opinion.

Anonymous said...

Yes most of the people at FBC Jax are truly strange and weird. Same with FBC Dallas, but then most of them LIKELY aren't truly saved either. It's all about business and social connections for the most part.

Give me an cool atheist to hang out with ANY DAY over these people.

Anonymous said...

"Making charges up and then having a detective on Mac's goon squad check them out. Yeah, that's Biblical. What a nest of vipers the leadership is down at FBC. A real brood - all wrapped up and sleeping in a tangled nest of lies."


RACK HIM!! Amen to that brother. Love how an athiest GETS IT, Unlike the oh-so-smart "Church Folk".

Anonymous said...

September 2009 Letter:

THE "THE CHEST OF JOASH" letter states that the offering this year will go towards budget to help catch up the mininistry needs in the church.

My unprofessional opinion is that Brunson is leading the charge in church spending - the chain of what the tradition was set up for has been broken - sorry to burst everyone's bubble, but it is no longer a "apecial tradition" as it once was.

The letter also tells us that we are living in economically challenging days and need to take care of our own immediate needs at home - as the letter states "in times past, we have designated the offering for special projects, in times past, we did not witness this:

"Land gift (contrary to Brunson's advice to pastors), expensive house in gated community, Advertisement during worship for a business (quid pro quo for land/house construction billed at less than cost?), family members on the payroll with no job descriptions, expensive office space created for Brunson, wife and dogs, and preaching a false doctrine related to storehouse giving. Also the repeated absences to preach elsewhere for fees, and advertising and leading a cruise that only the wealthy can afford."

Anonymous said...

I had know idea that this blog was full of athiest...but I must say I am not surprised!!

Anonymous said...

My point is that it seems that you are the one that started this, in my humble opinion.
___________________________________

"This" started when Mac Brunson began negotiating the free beach condo, renovation of the children's building conference room for luxury suites and accepted the land gift. All within the first 3 weeks of his arrival or sooner. The blog did not start until months or over a year later.

Vines didn't travel in and "spit" at anonmyous emails and high five millionaire Mac until well over one year later.

The "investigation" wasn't opened until after the Chest of Joash offering was incredibly low; and the deacons were not given Tom's name until 91 days after the investigative file had been closed.

We all know who started it. And it wasn't Tom.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps both sides of this issue would handle things differently today.

September 20, 2009 7:19 AM
___________________________________

Well, so far, FBC Jax is NOT handling anything differently. They see themselves as infallible, like the Pope. Today is a brand new day, and so far, every action they have taken ("aggressively confronting" criticism, slandering Tom and his family to the deacons and members, and deacon reolutions, JSO involvement, SAO subpoena's, whining to Patterson and Vines, angry preaching, begging for more money, etc.) they CONTINUE to repeat their position, standing by and continuing to do this to the very day.

Why won't ONE of them have enough sense to say, "hey men, the strategy and direction we have taken so far has hurt the church. Let's humble ourselves, show some kindness, and approach this man and his wife in love and see if we can't get all of this resolved today. This blog and the lawsuit are not only diminishing our pastor's reputation, but it hurts our finances, it hurts our reputation in the city corporately and individually, and it hurts the cause of Christ. So why not rather be wronged and go to this brother now that it has gone so far as to be front page news, TV news, and litigation in state and Federal Court. None of us expected this to go so far. And it hadn't gone this far until we used the JSO and SAO and banned this man from our church. Let's try to resolve it today before more damage is done. After all, when our pastor and his wife and our staff and Hinson and Siegel and Blount and several deacons are all put on the record, under oath, this is only going to get much worse and much more public. So as for me, I am in favor of a different approach now? Any one second that?"

In my opinion, many men probably do want to see this done. But Mac (his wife perhaps?) and Soud are too proud, too arrogant, and too offended by being questioned and by not being bowed down to, they will NOT do the right thing. I mean, there were bloggers before Soud became trustee president and they were not dealt with this way, and they quietly moved on.

Continued in the next post...

Anonymous said...

(continued from above)So here are some simple ideas...

1) instead of ignoring and spitting at anonymous emails. Let's respond to them lovingly, and when possible, answer the concerns, just DON"T ignore them,

2) let's rescind that deacon's resolution. It makes us look very defensive about any criticism, arrogant, and bullying,

3.) let's reverse the changes to the bylaws. Those changes were like adding fuel to the fire. People wanted more transparency and accountability, and we changed the bylaws to give them less

4.) Let's explain why the land gift was accepted despite the Pastor's Guidebook saying not to accept such gifts. Many people still have questions about this that are unresolved.

5.) Let's explain why we played the Collins Builder's commercial during the sermon, the one and only time this has ever been done. It sure looks like quid pro quo, pay for play, if we don't address this.

6.) Let's remove A.C. Soud as trustee. He and his wife emceed the Night to Stand with Israel fundraiser, and since some believe he has personal investments in Israeli biomedical technology, he has lost some credibility in many people's eyes, plus he has taken much of this way to personal and it is about him now, so he needs to be removed as soon as possible,

7.) Let's call Tom and Yvette and see if they will be open to dinner, to discuss if there is anything we can do at this point to get the lawsuits dropped and the blog closed down. If they won't, at least we tried and some credibility will be restored.

8.) Let's apologize to the city and to our members for our handling of this matter, specifically stating what we did and why, and then ask our congregation and the city to forgive us and move on. We can lay the blame at one or two over zealous trustees and staff members and then fire them to show the world we mean what we say. John Blount has been the point man on this, he delivered the trespass warnings personally, he opened the investigation, he knew Tom best and never called or talked to him about this, and obviously, he has mishandled this from start to finish. Blount needs to go and now!

9.) Let's consider Matthew 18.

10.) Let's lift the trespass warnings and invite Tom and Yvette to our campus for anything they choose to come to, as long as they notify us in advance they are coming. We want to make sure they don't cause any disturbance as well as protect them from some nuts. (Which is why we have bodyguards in the first place, we know some fanatical Christians might act dangerously toward our pastor or other members.)

All of the above are quick, easy, and inexpensive. But boy would they take some humbling, Christ-like folks to implement them. Let's all see what FBC Jax decides to do instead of the above.

Anonymous said...

And it hadn't gone this far until we used the JSO and SAO and banned this man from our church.
___________________________________

True. I wonder whose ideas those gems were? Trespassing a member and his wife, using the JSO, obtaining subpoena's, "resolving" to aggressivel confront criticism...hmmm. Any trustees have a legal background? I think it is clear who may have come up with these great ideas.

Anonymous said...

Roman Catholicism is by no means a cult nor resembles one. Where is the radical leadership that runs the church? The pope is merely a governor of the denomination. Medival Roman Catholism did slip into that mode but that no longer exists. Apsotasy, yes look at the syncretism in Latin America! but not a cult.

Anonymous said...

Rich, put out your "95 thesis" to them and drop the lawsuit. Seek "true" revival in Florida! Does anyone know how much money was made in Pennescola out of that false one? A bunch...do the research.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever thought about having Tom Rich do the following:

1. Shut down his blog.
2. Send a formal apology to FBC, Jax for all the trouble he has caused.
3. Ask Mac and his family for their forgiveness for all the evil things he has said about them.
4. Have Tom and his wife invite Mac and his wife over to their home for dinner.

Since Tom started this whole mess (with his blog and his anonymous identity) then perhaps he should start the path of spiritual healing.

I guess we'll see who is actually spiritual now.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever thought about having Tom Rich do the following:

1. Shut down his blog.
2. Send a formal apology to FBC, Jax for all the trouble he has caused.
3. Ask Mac and his family for their forgiveness for all the evil things he has said about them.
4. Have Tom and his wife invite Mac and his wife over to their home for dinner.

Since Tom started this whole mess (with his blog and his anonymous identity) then perhaps he should start the path of spiritual healing.

I guess we'll see who is actually spiritual now.

September 21, 2009 12:22 PM

Aren't you paying Mac an awful lot of money to be your 'spiritual leader' and 'role model' for Christlikeness?

Strange that you would expect followers and dissenters of his behavior to model that for Mac.

If Mac was wronged should he not respond like Christ? Did he? No.

What exactly are you paying Mac so much to do?

Anonymous said...

anon September 21, 2009 12:22 PM -
Since Tom started this whole mess (with his blog and his anonymous identity) then perhaps he should start the path of spiritual healing.
__________________________________HHey, it looks like Tom is just not spiritual enough to do what you suggest. Or maybe he is a coward. So unfortunately, it looks like Mac and the church (who ARE more spiritual and more mature and are not such cowards) will need to step up and try to resolve this first. I don't think Tom is going to be the one to do it. Given that, you might want to reconsider what the CHURCH LEADERSHIP might be able to do? Anything THEY might be able to do now to resolve this? Or is it all up to one former member, Tom? Also, he is no longer anonymous now, so they can contact him right? And they are the ones that used the JSO and state attorney to open an investigation correct? And they are the ones with trespass warnings, correct? And they have NEVER even asked Tom to stop blogging have they? Ever? Not even once, have they? So why are YOU suggesting it?

Or put another way, a non-christian flips me the bird in traffic, so I road rage into his car and cause an accident. He is not a christian and is suing me. My pastor advises me to go talk with the man and apologize, but I say, "he started it" and "he should apologize to me first for flipping me the bird." It never occurs to me that maybe I should go to him since I am more spiritual and plus, he is the one I want to drop the lawsuit. :) Right?

Anonymous said...

Can this church be salvaged? I am betting (joke) against it. This church is riddled with a malignant case of self-righteousnes, complicated with side effects of prideful arrogance. All leading to a terminal diagnosis of "it's over". I am glad I wasn't part of the group that brought this great church (in the past) down. At least I won't have to face the Lord and answer to why I hurt members there. Anon 10:05, your points 1-10 were right on target. But, they will never see it that way due to the above diagnosis of pride and arrogance. Humility and Christian reconciliation (?).....they don't understand the concept. Plus, if they reconciled with one, then many of us might come out of the "woodwork" and demand an apology also, and that could take a long time to get around to everyone.
Prov. chp.15 vs.33: "The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility".

Anonymous said...

Tom has no credibility ANYWHERE except here on his therapy blog...all you Mac supporters need to leave him alone so he can play with his friends.

Anonymous said...

Tsk, tsk, you boys are always trying to turn the tables and make Mac the culprit. It was Tom who started the blog so he should be the one to take the first step to reconciliation. Pure and simple.....

After all Tom has said about Mac and FBC, Jax, I doubt seriously that things will ever be reconciled. I guess they will both stand before the Lord on the Judgment Day and give an account for their asinine behavior.

(Please spare us all the constant listing of things that Tom doesn't like about Mac. We're all adults and we can read.)

Johnny D. said...

Anonymous said...
I had know idea that this blog was full of athiest...but I must say I am not surprised!!

September 21, 2009 9:25 AM

Of course you are. First, it would be "atheists" in the plural, not singular - especially since you led off with "full of" implying more than one.

I should be a bit more clear. I'm somewhere between agnostic and atheist. Leave it at that.

As for you, anonymous, you're just a zit on Mac's ass. You're here so he can "pop" you all over this blog. Go on, admit it - be proud of yourself. You couldn't put any deep thought into anything beyond a popsicle and Mac's next sermon - speaking of which - compare in sugary calories that do nothing but get you ready to send in another tithe while you come here and sin all over Tom's blog.

No nothing, shallow freak. Wear it.

Anonymous said...

anons - you are wasting your time trying to reason with these mac supporters. If they had any ability to reason, they would not still be down there attending, not to mention giving him over a million dollars week in and week out.

Anonymous said...

Following the logic of the mac supporters:

When your kid disobeys it is the parents fault for point that out. Too bad, parents you are bad for trying to correct your kids. The kids need to kick you out of your homes.

Anonymous said...

I believe too much water has passed over the dam now for any apologies to be made and be of any consequence. Ain't gonna happen. It would not bring closure to the legal entanglement that was commenced against the Dog. The Dog needs his day in court. Whats better than a ruling by a judge as to what happens when someones constitutional rights have been violated, especially when that person has left the congregation and moved their letter signaling they have moved on!!! The church started the legal matter, so let it continue in the courts, where it belongs, for all to witness and see that justice is properly done. Assuming it will be justice. Which remains to be seen.

Anonymous said...

"If the church would do its job there would no need for welfare in this country".....Keith Green (Christian singer and prophet)

Anonymous said...

When I watch FBC, Jax on tv it seems they are doing quite well. Everyone is upbeat, the music is good, the preaching is passable and the sanctuary is full. Looks like Tom isn't having the effect that he desired. BTW, giving is down everywhere in Christendom so don't try to blame that all on Mac. Perhaps Tom should shoulder some of the blame for that with his anonymous blog.

Anonymous said...

And what part of the blame is the church supposed to shoulder?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:12 Keith meant that "Should the church be dependent on the government?" Welfare should always stay at the local level because it is more manageable that way. Bloated salaries only encourage more governmental control. This is why our politics is so triangulated in the country. Brunson ignoring this issue only makes it worse. The only tithe that I can possibly see carried over in the NT is the welfare tithe. The other two dealt with the Jewish Temple and Isreal governmental taxes. The apostles gave and sought to NOT be a burden on the assemblies. Read and study Thessalonians as see where Paul stated this.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:12 In Michigan, there is currently 18 percent unemployment. Don't you think that even in the slightest that the mentality that Brunson has is problematic a lacks theological support.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
When I watch FBC, Jax on tv it seems they are doing quite well. Everyone is upbeat, the music is good, the preaching is passable and the sanctuary is full. Looks like Tom isn't having the effect that he desired. BTW, giving is down everywhere in Christendom so don't try to blame that all on Mac. Perhaps Tom should shoulder some of the blame for that with his anonymous blog.

September 22, 2009 7:17 AM
_________________________________

You said "when you watch TV" it appears FBC is doing well.

There is no worry as Mac says "giving is up", membership is up" and FBC is doing great . . .
even you say the preaching is passable (right, we even listen to a message on why we must now have discipline in the church)

the sanctuary is full. . .NOT, if you were actually there you would see plenty of empty seats with lots of elbow room in between people - we have a great camera crew, especially for the viewers on TV.

Whatever, you can rest easy and not worry about this blog, as Mac tells us that all is well at FBC, however since his arrival he has informed us that along with other changes he has had to adopt a "discipline" policy for the church. Mmmmmm!

Almost forgot to add the good news is that we've been told that the TV and internet audience has increased, so thanks for your assessment, but my VIEW is just the opposite of yours.

Anonymous said...

My 10:12 comment of "what part of the blame should the church shoulder", was not meant as a support of the churches position, but as a question/statement meant to ask why the church thinks the current problems are "someone elses fault, and not any of the blame for this problem is theirs. Guess I didn't phrase my sentence correctly. My support is with WD.

Anonymous said...

We didn't need a dicipline policy until "recently". Right!!! Seems like things were ok under the Lindsays.

Anonymous said...

If your view of the church is so accurate (and all those who support Tom Rich), then you should either get out and join another church or get your butts into gear and start winning more people to Jesus. After all, it is your church as you so frequently tell us and I would think you would be busy growing it instead of complaining about every jot and tittle.

Too bad you don't have Tom there to help you any more. All he does is sit on the outside and complain.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - why not get busy yourself and stop reading this blog so much, and start winning people to Jesus? You say you are, huh? You mean I shouldn't infer that because you read this blog every day that you're NOT also winning people to Jesus?

And stop complaining about this blog complaining. Maybe there is something thing worse than a complainer: someone complaining about a complainer. So move on and stop reading about all the complaining, and do something for the Lord. :)

Anonymous said...

If your view of the church is so accurate (and all those who support Tom Rich), then you should either get out and join another church or get your butts into gear and start winning more people to Jesus."
_________________________________
Answer:
We were there before Mac and the church does not belong to him personally, btw, asking legitimate questions is not complaining.

As for getting our butts in gear and start winning more people to Jesus, bringing a "Catholic" neighbor was not a pleasant experience when "Jimmy" went on a rant from the pulpit tearing down the denomination she was brought up in.

Was very embarrasing - weeks, months, years, inviting this person and then this hateful and rage sermon was preached.

Our "butts" are in gear - the seed I planted above died, thanks to Jimmy and his ever so loving sermon.

Being Brunson is known as one of America's greatest preachers, he probably will move on soon to his next endeavor so don't feel the need to take your advice to "get out" or "join another church".

P.S.
Johnny D . . .this individual is what I call one of those true blood annoying "in your face" Baptist who would have never won me over to the Lord. I became a believer, through LOVE!

Anonymous said...

"We were there before Mac and the church does not belong to him personally,"

That is where you are wrong. It does belong to him personally. He has proved it many times over since he came. And they just go along.

Anonymous said...

Tom has no credibility ANYWHERE except here on his therapy blog...all you Mac supporters need to leave him alone so he can play with his friends.
________________________________

This was the goal of Mac Brunson and A.C. Soud when they slandered Tom in the newspaper and in the halls of the church and in those closed door meetings. Try and destroy the man's credibility. It hasn't worked. His credibility has gone up in everyone's eyes except the mac supporters.

They wish they could have found some real dirt on this Christian man who has been a good father, good husband, good church member, and law abiding, tax paying citizen. They found nothing on him so they made stuff up, called him names, and went after his wife. Pathetic. It is the church, Brunson, and Soud who have lost tons of credibility in all of this. And you can bet they will do something about it too. We have yet to see what happens to the man who dares question or criticize these two "godly" Christian men, right? They will continue to show their true colors.

Anonymous said...

I always start my morning reading this spiritual garbage. It just makes me glad I'm saved and don't live in Jax or go to your church (or Tom's new one either.)

Its always funny that Tom castigates those who blog anonymously and then tells people if they don't like the complaining then quit reading the blog.

Sounds like what you were told at FBC, Jax and you didn't like it much did you?

Practice what you preach you hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

Well anon 5:58, tell that to Mac!! "Take it up with Mac!" Mac never practiced what he preached! That was one of the reasons this blog was started! Don't you see it? FBC Jax started this mess...Tom simply responded to them. You can't blame the WD for the hypocrisy only FBC Jax.

Anonymous said...

And yes Tom does have plenty of credibility! He has two masters degrees from the University of Florida and is working on another one!

Anonymous said...

The Bible says in Proverbs 16:18,"Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall."

Mac and his trustees are very arrogant and prideful. The Bible itself SAYS that prides goes before destruction! Mac and his FBC Jax trustees are going to be destroyed. Their haughty spirits will bring them down. AND if you disagree...well then, TAKE IT UP WITH THE BOOK! lol no I would never be that mean. ;)