"...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, December 11, 2009

Liberty and SWBTS: You're On the Clock! What Will You do With Sutton?

"I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren, but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers? Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren?"

--------

It was reported yesterday that Jerry Sutton, former pastor of Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and current professor at Liberty University has filed a libel lawsuit against his most vocal critic.

Baptist lay people should find this at least mildly surprising, if not shocking, because of what we've been taught from scripture regarding 1 Corinthians 6.

Liberty University and SWBTS: you're on the clock. Us SBC lay people are waiting to see what disciplinary action you will take against Jerry Sutton, a Liberty University professor and celebrated graduate at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, who has just filed a lawsuit against a fellow believer.

Yes, we're going to hold you to your doctrine. We've been taught by graduates and leaders of your institutions to interpret scripture literally, and when our pastors get to 1 Corinthians 6, we are told that this clearly forbids Christians taking each other to court.

Or do graduates from your institution just interpret scripture literally and profess to believe it, but when they get in a pickle they find some way to wiggle out, showing they really don't believe it?

Consider the following:

- Sutton, a SWBTS grad, took disciplinary action against his church members when he was pastor at Two Rivers Baptist church, and had them removed from the church after they filed a lawsuit to gain access to church financial records.

- Friends of Paige Patterson and SBC leaders roundly criticized Sheri Klouda, seminary professor at SWBTS, when she filed a gender-discrimination lawsuit as a last resort when she was fired from her postion for being a female. Through a very narrow interpretation of scripture we were told Dr. Klouda was violating scripture by teaching men in a classroom, and this required her to be removed from her job for which she was very well qualified.

- Mac Brunson, himself a SWBTS grad, from his pulpit in the summer of 2008 criticized Klouda for filing the lawsuit as he was preaching out of 1 Corinthians 6, claiming her lawsuit was in violation of the clear scripture on this in 1 Cor 6. He even went so far as to mischaracterize Klouda's own testimony about the scriptural validity of her case!

- Mac Brunson's church in December 2007 modified their bylaws, without any word of explanation, stating that a member of the church is not allowed to bring any legal action against the church, and that only biblical conciliation efforts shall provide the sole rememdy for any dispute arising against the Church, and that all members waive their rights to file legal action against the Church. So clearly, Mac Brunson believes lawsuits between believers, or believers and their Church, are sin.

- A certain pastor that I have not named, and like Sutton a former mega-church pastor and celebrated graduate of SWBTS, had his lawyer send me a threatening letter this summer demanding that I take a blog post down from 2008 that merely commented on news reports of this pastor's troubles at his former church. I responded that I would not take it down, as my blog post was based on multiple, credible news accounts, and I even talked personally with one of the authors who stood by his story.

- a blogger critical of Mac Brunson is called a "sociopath" in the local newspaper, and when said blogger files a defamation lawsuit, he is roundly criticized for violating 1 Corinthians 6.

So which is it? Does 1 Corinthians 6 forbid believers from using our God-ordained (according to scripture) government system for the settlement of disputes? Or does it not? Or are there certain circumstances that are justifed? Does one need to be a Greek scholar to be able to understand the nuances so they know when a lawsuit against a believer is justifed?

So we're waiting. We'd like to know.

Is Sutton in sin in filing such a lawsuit? If so, why is he doing it? If not, why was Klouda criticized by Sutton's SBC cohorts, and why did Sutton's church criticize some of its members for filing their own lawsuit?

Or is the answer much simpler: maybe the scripture should not be interpreted literally in 1 Cor 6, and maybe some pastors just teach this when its convenient or when it helps their friends, but when they get in a pinch and don't like how things are going in THEIR lives, the scripture goes out the window and they will do what they want? Or maybe scripture about lawsuits just applies to the plebe, and is used as a means to protect pastors and churches from lawsuits from their parishioners in the event they harm someone?

So SWBTS and Liberty, you're on the clock - we would love to hear what you say about this lawsuit and whether 1 Cor 6 applies to all of us, or if megachurch pastors have a special exemption.

We're waiting! Tick, tock, tick, tock...

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

You should not sue a Christian brother.

If you become a defendant of a frivulous lawsuit because the plaintiff believes that you will not counter sue as a matter of principal and Biblical teaching...

All bets are off. Get lawyered up.

You absolutely have the right to defend yourself. If your defense is to counter-sue then let it rip!

Sue the idiot back to the stone age.

Er ah.. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

How do you know he is a Christian brother? His actions were libelous and slander.

Anonymous said...

All bets are off. Get lawyered up.
December 11, 2009 8:41 PM
___________________________________

Ah...just what I suspected. At times these conservative, jot and tittle inerrantists throw the scripture out the window under certain circumstances they choose.

Anonymous said...

How do you know he is a Christian brother? His actions were libelous and slander.

December 11, 2009 10:45 PM
___________________________________

Are you speaking of mac brunson when he called the WD a "sociopath" and it was printed in the local newspaper?

And isn't "truth" a defense to defamation charges in the Sutton case?

Anonymous said...

"joyfully announces"
"premiere preachers"
"We are thrilled"
"is a gifted"
"published three monographs"
"extensive and successful Senior Pastor experience"
"growing the congregation"
"is our drill sergeant to carve out expositors of Scripture"

Need anyone say more???

JERRY SUTTON JOINS FACULTY
Dr. Sutton
Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and Graduate School joyfully announces the appointment of Dr. Jerry Sutton as Associate Professor Christian Proclamation and Pastoral Theology. Dr. Sutton brings to our faculty extensive and successful Senior Pastor experience, having recently retired as pastor of Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville, TN. He and his wife, Fern, ministered there for over twenty years, growing the congregation at a location just across from Opryland. He has preached all across the United States and in numerous locations overseas. He is among the premiere preachers in evangelical circles today.

Dr. Sutton is a gifted homiletician and a student of Southern Baptist Life. He has published three monographs, The Baptist Reformation (2000), The Way Back Home (2002), and A Matter of Conviction (2008). He has served in numerous capacities with the Southern Baptist Convention, including First Vice President 2005-2006, President of the SBC Pastor’s Conference in 2000, and Trustee of Lifeway Christian Resources 1990-1998.

Dr. Sutton earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of South Alabama; and a Master of Divinity and PhD at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Even as an active Senior Pastor, he has taught as adjunct faculty for Southern Seminary and at Southwestern Seminary.
Dr. Caner enthusiastically comments, “We are thrilled that Dr. Sutton has chosen to invest in the lives of the next generation. Preaching is still the prime focus of God’s called. Sutton is our drill sergeant to carve out expositors of Scripture for the twenty-first century. He joins the rest of our experienced faculty to train God’s ‘green berets’.”

Dr. Sutton is married to the former Fern Misrok, who is a Licensed Professional Counselor. They have two daughters, Ashley Arbo and Holly Sutton.

Anonymous said...

And isn't "truth" a defense to defamation charges in the Sutton case?

My point is that if someone is frivulously suing you, then you have the right to hit them back in kind. There has to be some sort of detterent.

Some of these wingnuts will go after a pastor because they know that the pastor will not hit back. I say let them hit back.

Dr Who said...

Another one of those Fake Ministers with one of those FAKE DR of Divinity degrees?

Dr Who is on it...

I am sick of these tares!

Anonymous said...

Some of these wingnuts will go after a pastor because they know that the pastor will not hit back. I say let them hit back.

December 12, 2009 6:54 AM

So, he should not model humility and grace for his followers that he is in "authority over"?

When it comes to Christian behavior, pastors get all the loopholes!

Anonymous said...

This lawsuit is meant to send a message to other churches who dare go against the pastor. The SBC is in crisis and they know it. They know that the stuff coming out and being made public about the tyrants in the pulpit is hurting them. Instead of using this as a lesson to be learned they are doing only what they know: War.

Sutton is supported by the power base or else he would not last at Liberty with a law suit against former sheep.

This does not say much for Liberty or the SBC.

Anonymous said...

It is an odd thing. Even the crusaders wanted to honor God. The way they do things did not glorify God though it was their desire to glorify. I feel we have a generation of ministers who mean to do well but they lack the guide and counsel of the Holy Spirit. I have never met Sutton so I can not and should not comment on him. But there is nothing wrong with discussing the Biblical expects of our actions and see where we need to stand. Preaching on Proverbs 18:1-2 this Sunday. This is a good verse for all of us on both sides of the issue. Never can go wrong with the counsel of scipture.

Pastor Chris

Anonymous said...

"I have never met Sutton so I can not and should not comment on him. But there is nothing wrong with discussing the Biblical expects of our actions and see where we need to stand"

Sutton is a public teacher/preacher and now professor to those entering the ministry. His actions and behavior are fair game in relation to what he taught and even to biblical admonitions.

That is the problem today. Folks say they cannot comment on someone who is a Christian celebrity because they do not know them personally. Most folks do not know mega church pastors personally and never will. This is a strawman.

Give me one good biblical reason for Sutton to see legal redress against his former sheep? He was in power and authority and had the stage. He has a stage today at Liberty.

From all indicators, Sutton has let his ego rule him.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the I Corinthians 6 passage is twisted and contorted by many people. You are right to question why the prohibition applies in some cases and not in others.

I support the right of a person to pursue criminal and civil remedies against persons who commit criminal and civil wrongs.

I personally do not believe that Paul was arguing for a system where people could place themselves above the law so that they could commit wrongs and face no justice.

And I believe that the courts are more objective decision makers in those cases than the churches or denominations where these cases take place. Plus, the courts are required to apply the law, and the trial court decisions are subject to appellate review. Churches and Christians often engage in a patchwork analysis of situations, pulling out various scriptures to support their prejudices to reach a desired result.

As for the merits of this case, I am not going to predict what will happen or cheerlead.

We don't know what Mr. Harris wrote in his 14 page letter to Liberty. Apparently, Liberty was unimpressed.

If Mr. Harris has some really good, clear information, he may have truth as a defense. On the other hand if his disappointment or anger at Sutton caused him to say things that weren't true, he could be in trouble.

These guys have already faced one another in court. Harris was the director of the lawsuit against Two Rivers, and the court dismissed that lawsuit. Harris also filed a personal lawsuit against Sutton previously. That lawsuit was dismissed, too.

Time will tell. The court will have to sort this out.

But it is the Dog's right to have his issues considered by the court, as it was Dr. Klouda's, as it is Dr. Sutton's.

Louis

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

My view is that if Harris is defaming Sutton - meaning he is spreading lies about Sutton, and Sutton has gone to Harris and told him they are lies, and has asked Harris to recant and apologize, and Harris refuses (because Harris believes they are NOT lies and presumably has documents to back himself up) and continues to do these things, then I have no problem with Sutton filing a defamation suit against Harris. This will force Harris to produce his proof of what he says, present it to Sutton's attorneys through discovery, and Sutton can defend himself and Harris will defend himself.

But my point of this article is to point out the super-sized hypocrisy in guys like Sutton going the legal route, while most of Sutton's CR cohorts were criticizing Klouda, saying she was in violation of a direct order from scripture forbidding lawsuits between believers when she sought civil justice through the courts, and while Sutton's church was kicking out dissidents for them filing a lawsuit to gain access to records they believed they had a legal right to.

So go for it, Sutton. Get ready, because discovery will be painful - for both sides. And expect to be criticized for the hypocrisy that others perceive in your actions.

Anonymous said...

Is there any evidence that Sutton spoke out against Klouda sueing?

If so, you might be able to make a case of "super-sized hypocrisy."

If not, just linking Sutton so you can 'point out" your anti's is a wrong you commit against Sutton.

Of course you seem to like painting with a very wide brush.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

News reports said that Sutton demanded that those who filed the lawsuit needed to repent of their "sin". Very clear that Sutton believed back then that lawsuits were wrong. So maybe now we can assume that he doesn't think ALL lawsuits are wrong, just those against hom or his church.

Anonymous said...

"We don't know what Mr. Harris wrote in his 14 page letter to Liberty. Apparently, Liberty was unimpressed. "

Marshall Louis, Liberty being unimpressed does not say much...considering Liberty.

Duke

Anonymous said...

WD -

I've looked, searched google and other search engines and can not find a link between Sutton and Klouda.

can you give them?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Can you tell me where I said such connection exists?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Below is an excerpt of an open letter to "Living Stream Ministries" signed by over 70 evangelical Christian scholars , one of which is Sutton's boss at Liberty, Ergun Caner. In this document they call for them to stop using "lawsuits" and "threatened litigation" to resolve conflicts. Gee, I wonder if Ergun Caner will call for Sutton cease from his "lawsuits" and the Texas pastor's "threatened litigation" against the Watchdog.

"If the leadership of Living Stream Ministry and the 'local churches' regard evangelical Christians as fellow believers, we request that they publicly renounce the use of lawsuits and the threat of lawsuits against evangelical Christians to answer criticisms or resolve conflicts. The New Testament strongly discourages the use of lawsuits to settle disputes among Christians (see 1 Corinthians 6:1-8).

If the leadership of Living Stream Ministry and the "local churches" do not regard evangelical Christian churches, organizations, and ministries as legitimate Christian entities, we ask that they publicly resign their membership in all associations of evangelical churches and ministries.

In either case, we respectfully request that the leadership of Living Stream Ministry and the "local churches" discontinue their practice of using litigation and threatened litigation to answer criticisms or settle disputes with Christian organizations and individuals."

Anonymous said...

http://www.open-letter.org


-

Anonymous said...

When it comes to Christian behavior, pastors get all the loopholes

Dr. Sutton may not have a Biblical foundation to sue. That is a tough one. On the one hand you have someone that is bitter and trying to disrupt your life and ministry, yet he is not suing you. How do you deter if everyone knows that you are not going to do anything about it?

My point is that Pastors have the right to defend themselves and if a counter-suit is part of the defense then so be it. Light 'em up. Let 'em have it. There is only one way to get everything out on the table...Counter-Sue. Nothing is wrong with a little offense to help the defense.

In the case of the WD vs. Brunson, I think that Brunson is almost obligated to counter-sue. I cannot imagine an effective defense without a counter suit. Brunson has been accused of far worse and relatively more damaging than "sociopath."

Anonymous said...

Tom Rich is going to try Brunson in court, after multiple years of trying him in the court of public discussion. if tom had owned a newspaper, my guess is that anti-Mac stuff would have run on the front page daily.

If Mac is doing the church wrong, let the church decide what to do. It seems they have but for a few who can't let the church choose their own direction.

It seems there has been more interest in talking about Mac and the dislike for him and his life the past two years by many than talking about the life and likes of Jesus.

If half the energy to unseat Mac had been used to share the gospel, how many people might now, know Jesus?

Anonymous said...

" How do you deter if everyone knows that you are not going to do anything about it? "

But Sutton chose the job of pastor. He is supposed to know how to deal as a Christian with problem people. He is supposed to model the Beatitudes. That is what he was paid to do.

You are describing him as a corporate CEO.

Perhaps, like hirlings, he chose the wrong career.

We will wait and see if Mac publicly denouces Sutton's behavior. Pack a lunch.

But then, all this came about because of Sutton's furtive behavior and thinking he is entitled.

Anonymous said...

"If Mac is doing the church wrong, let the church decide what to do"

Let's look at the statement in another example:

If Hitler is doing Germany wrong, let the German People decide what to do.

Alot of people took your advice.

Anonymous said...

If half the energy to unseat Mac had been used to share the gospel, how many people might now, know Jesus?

December 13, 2009 6:58 AM

The people following Mac do not know Jesus because they have no discernment between hirling and true follower. Now, what was your point? Is it that the unbelievers in your community look at Mac's actions and think: That is Christianity? And they pay that guy all that money to behave like that?

Anonymous said...

Anon:6:58: "how many people might now know Jesus".

Don't know....depends on whether or not and how much Jesus was preached from the pulpit.

Pastor Pryme said...

If half the energy to unseat Mac had been used to share the gospel, how many people might now, know Jesus?

And if ALL the money spent on buildings, salaries, 'religious stuff' etc. to all the "churches" were spent directly on sharing the gospel and caring for our own brothers and sisters in Christ, "there [would be] no poor among them" and many who are still lost would now be saved.

I say, chuck the whole institutional monster and starve it of what it craves: cold hard cash. Begin anew by being the Body, a family, a community. I'd rather err on the side of not paying enough than of tempting some who mistake spiritual gifts for paid offices. Give all your charitable funds directly to those who need them, and we'll see an end to all this silly personality worship and lawsuits.

Dr Who said...

ANON 12 13 6:58

You say.....

"If half the energy to unseat Mac had been used to share the gospel, how many people might now, know Jesus?"

I say;

Probably the same amount as you if you had used that same energy amount"..

Pastor Pryme said...

Don't know....depends on whether or not and how much Jesus was preached from the pulpit.

While it's imperative that those who teach scripture do a thorough job, we must remember that gatherings of believers are for believers, who by definition already know Jesus. Yes of course there may be unbelievers present, but the meeting is primarily for believers.

There is no "pulpit" anywhere in the Bible. Only individuals going around spreading the gospel. THAT is how people get saved. How they are taught after that is the realm of the Bible teacher, but evangelism is out in the world, by ALL believers.

And that is where the money should go.

Anonymous said...

"Don't know....depends on whether or not and how much Jesus was preached from the pulpit.
"

The pulpit was introduced around 300 AD. It was part of the Pagan Temple that had great 'orators'. The pew was also introduced at the same time. This was when Constantine made Christianity legal and compulsory. They simply turned the Pagan Temples into churches and kept many of the temple traditions such as a pulpit, one speaker, pews, altars, stage, etc. None of it has anything to do with Christianity.

It is not inherently sinful except that we tend to make it so by claiming it as a necessary part of Worship.

Actually, paying one guy to speak every week is dangerous. As we see all over Christendom. Folks don't study on their own and start following the great speaker.

1 Corin 14 outlines a better way.

Anonymous said...

""If Mac is doing the church wrong, let the church decide what to do"

Let's look at the statement in another example:

If Hitler is doing Germany wrong, let the German People decide what to do.

Alot of people took your advice.""

WOW, comparing Mac to Hitler and Tom is suing him because he called him a sociopath (or something like that)?

I wonder if that is the comparison Jesus would have made?

Anonymous said...

"The people following Mac do not know Jesus because they have no discernment between hirling and true follower. Now, what was your point? Is it that the unbelievers in your community look at Mac's actions and think: That is Christianity? And they pay that guy all that money to behave like that?"

WOW, WOW! I am amazed at anyone who wold try and play God. But hey, maybe there is some reason you know who is saved and who is not?

1 Cor. 2:11 (NASB)
For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.

WOW, could you tell us who you are so we could get an autograph?

PLEASE....

Anonymous said...

"Anon:6:58: "how many people might now know Jesus".

Don't know....depends on whether or not and how much Jesus was preached from the pulpit."

Whew... That lets me off the hook to tell others, it is up to the preacher, preaching. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Whew... That lets me off the hook to tell others, it is up to the preacher, preaching. Thanks for sharing.

December 13, 2009 3:26 PM

If you haven't noticed this blog has helped to educate those taught by hirlings. So, his preaching is not really what I would call preaching the Gospel. Perhaps he will "preach" on his Danube cruise.

So who does Mac witness to? His celebrity friends he hangs with?

FBC/DAL member said...

Pastor Pryme,
Just wondering...have you read the book "Pagan Christianity"? A lot of your comments make me think you have. If not, then get a copy and read it...in fact everyone on this blog should read it. Very enlightening book by Frank Viola and George Book.

Anonymous said...

Stay on point guys.

Watchdog needs to change the name of the blog to the "FBCJAX Mud Sling."

Can we have one discussion where everyone refrains from the mocking and condescending comments?

The discussion topic is whether the SWBTS should take action against Sutton and whether a pastor has a right to sue someone for deffamatory remarks.

Anonymous said...

"Watchdog needs to change the name of the blog to the "FBCJAX Mud Sling."

Can we have one discussion where everyone refrains from the mocking and condescending comments?"

Pot>kettle>black

But I am sure it is ok when you do it. Your pastor told you so.

Anonymous said...

In the case of the WD vs. Brunson, I think that Brunson is almost obligated to counter-sue. I cannot imagine an effective defense without a counter suit. Brunson has been accused of far worse and relatively more damaging than "sociopath."
___________________________________

Brunson has not beeen accused of far worse. Facts have been presented. I know you don't want me to run through them all again do you? Condo on beach, nepotism, promotion of Holy Land trips, accepted $307,000 land gift from J.D. Collins weeks after arriving, then later played a commercial for Collins Builders in the middle of the a.m. preaching service, wrote a pastor's guidebook saying not to accept large gifts or live in executive homes, lives in million dollar home, puts wife and son on staff (nepotism), changes by-laws without discussion or explanation, uses personal friend and church employee Detective Robert A. Hinson to obtain subpoenas from the State Attorney to find identity of WD, then without contacting WD, has WD and his wife banned from premises, then gives name of WD to deacon body, who give it to WD's new church, then calls WD a sociopath to newspaper reporter, issues "agressively confront" deacon's resolution, uses church sanctuary and choir to promote/host giving to a Jewish hospital that performs abortions (emceed by trustee president A.C. Soud and his wife Ginger),need I go on? Really? What part of that is "slander" or "much worse?"

Anonymous said...

Our ONLY hope of ever getting Mac Brunson to answer the concerns discussed on this blog is for him to counter-sue the WD. Then, truth is a defense, so WD and Mac will need to have full discovery from everyone to see if what WD has said is true or not. I am hoping and praying that Mac counter-sues. Why hasn't A.C. Soud advised him to "agressively defend" himself by counter suing? Let's find out the truth about that land gift, nepotism, salaries, and other items discussed by the WD. Are they slanderous lies, or are they TRUTH? We need a counter suit to find out. Will we get it? WD quickly sued when he was slandered, will Mac? Maybe he hasn't been slandered at all?

Anonymous said...

FBC Mudsling - I like it. Maybe I will use it on my blog, which I plan to start as soon as this one stops.

Or www.millionairemacmanipulations.com might get fired up. And manipulative sermons disected.

Jon G said...

Anon 9:37,

You say you want Mac to counter-sue so that you can find out the truth "about that land gift, nepotism, salaries, and other items discussed by the WD."
Are any of those items illegal? Felonies or misdeamnors? He was given a land gift, he hired some family members, salaries are set by committees. Would you like Mac to be prosecuted for that?
Have some undeniable proof of a broken law, and you have a story. Spread some gossip and you have sin.

Jon

Anonymous said...

"Are any of those items illegal? Felonies or misdeamnors? He was given a land gift, he hired some family members, salaries are set by committees. Would you like Mac to be prosecuted for that?"


So, you base your Christian life on what is legal and illegal according to the secular government?

No one has said Mac should be prosecuted for those things. You are setting up strawmen and being hyperbolic..and silly.

Anonymous said...

WD is not a beliver.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - I am a "beliver". I be-livin' , so that makes me a "beliver". :)

If you meant to say I'm not a believer, it depends on what you mean. A believer in Christ, yes I am. Sorry to break the news to you, but I am your brother in Christ.

Jon G said...

Anon 6:28,

First of all, it is so much easier if you have a name - just make up one if you want to stay anonymous.
Secondly, the theme of this blog is lawsuits, legalities, taking someone to court, and litigation. So yes I am staying on point by writing that Mac Brunson, as far as anyone can tell, has not broken law NOR broken FBC Jax Constitution or by-laws.
I think if you don't trust your pastor or like his style or personality - you should simply move on to another church IF the majority of the church continues to support him, vote for changes the pastor endorses and attends church - people vote with their feet.
Comparing Mac to Adolph Hitler and FBC Jax to Germany as blogged on here yesterday. And comparing the preacher to a pagan orator - now THAT is hyperbole and even worse - out of control!

Jon

Pastor Pryme said...

Just wondering...have you read the book "Pagan Christianity"?

Yes I have! I have that book along with several others of his. Now I don't agree with him on everything, and am dismayed by his support of contemplative prayer, but his writings on what the Body was meant to be are very good. I've read other such authors too, such as Chip Brodgen, and hope that the original paradigm of Christian life can be restored.

There are problems in the "house church" movement as with any other, but I think everything boils down to how much we trust the Spirit instead of trying to take matters into our own hands. When we do the latter we are basically producing an "Ishmael", but if we really trust God and do the former, we get more people saved and growing.

Anonymous said...

Sutton may have fallen right into Frank Harris' trap. Now Sutton will be deposed, and so will others that have covered for him. The TRUTH will avail...and, it's not defamation if it's the truth.

Arce said...

Anyone can sue, but most lawyers will not take a case, nor counter-sue, unless there are allegations of an offense (e.g., a tort) with the possibility of being sustained by evidence.

As far as I can tell, having read the entirety of this blog, there is nothing that WD has done here that constitutes a tort or other offense of the law that would allow Mac Brunson to counter-sue.

Defamation is the subject matter of WD's suit against Brunson, and that is clearly provable by the reporting in the newspaper, including the intent to have his statement widely distributed since it was told to a reporter.

And while truth is a defense, proving that WD is a sociopath would be difficult, since there is no record of the WD committing any offense of the law.

Truth is also a defense for the WD for any claim against him by Brunson, so Brunson probably should not sue, since that would result in proving many of the allegations in this blog.

The writer is an attorney but this is not legal advice, just commentary.

Anonymous said...

"First of all, it is so much easier if you have a name - just make up one if you want to stay anonymous.
Secondly, the theme of this blog is lawsuits, legalities, taking someone to court, and litigation. So yes I am staying on point by writing that Mac Brunson, as far as anyone can tell, has not broken law NOR broken FBC Jax Constitution or by-laws."

How would you know? Where are the bylaws? Where they changed?

And since when does a Christian seperate their Christian walk into what is legal and illegal? I thought walking in the Light is what is God honoring, truth, humility and transparancy?



"I think if you don't trust your pastor or like his style or personality - you should simply move on to another church IF the majority of the church continues to support him, vote for changes the pastor endorses and attends church - people vote with their feet."

No, it is not HIS church. The TRUTH must always be spoken. And when behavior is wrong, evil or unjust someone must speak out. And when there is no transparancy, someone must make that known. The church is Christ's Bride and HE WILL present a pure Bride to Himself. Not perfect...but PURE.

Of course, the lemmings in the pews have been taught that to speak out about anythign that disagrees is a sin. They make perfect followers of 'men'.


"Comparing Mac to Adolph Hitler and FBC Jax to Germany as blogged on here yesterday. And comparing the preacher to a pagan orator - now THAT is hyperbole and even worse - out of control!
"

You were being shown the illogic of your position. Not to mention unbiblical advice. Here is the exchange:

""If Mac is doing the church wrong, let the church decide what to do"

Let's look at the statement in another example:

If Hitler is doing Germany wrong, let the German People decide what to do. "

That is not comparing Mac to Hilter. It is comparing your postion on what to DO about Mac to exactly what happened in Germany.

Folks MUST turn a blind eye to evil or wrong behavior for it to continue. The other problem is that wrong behavior then becomes the norm and folks can no longer distinguish. That is what has happened at FBCJax. Mac NEEDS for them to be biblically ignorant and spiritually dead in order to continue.

So, let the church decide means you think anyone who speaks out on wrong teaching or bad behavior is wrong because the people have decided it is ok and they like it.

That is like saying all the Jim Jones followers like him and you should not say anything even though they all move to Guyana and drink koolaid.

Tell me, just where do you draw the line? If the entire church voted to bring in Ted Haggard as Pastor would you speak out about the violation of 1 Tim 3? Or would you just leave and say nothing?

But then, you see nothing wrong in Mac's teaching or behavior so what is the point?

Duke

Anonymous said...

Are any of those items illegal? Felonies or misdeamnors? He was given a land gift, he hired some family members, salaries are set by committees. Would you like Mac to be prosecuted for that?
___________________________________

Jon - of course not. Are saying any of those things slanderous? Of course not. My point was the latter, not the former.

Jon G said...

Duke,

You are comparing the church at FBC Jax to Germany.
Has there been a time when Mac said FBC Jax was HIS church? Or does the direction of the church rest upon the congregationalist paradigm? I believe the church called Mac as their pastor, I believe the church voted to adopt new guidelines, I believe the church voted to adopt the budget and the new school. So I say again, if you don't agree with the congregationalist dynamic nor the pastor - MOVE ON!!
Duke, then you call Mac evil in your blog. Then you compare him to Jim Jones and Ted Haggard. Get a grip dude, you are losing it! And by the way, Ted Haggard did lose his job on a congregationally approved elder decision.
Duke, you need to move back into reality man.

Anonymous said...

You are comparing the church at FBC Jax to Germany.
Has there been a time when Mac said FBC Jax was HIS church? Or does the direction of the church rest upon the congregationalist paradigm? I believe the church called Mac as their pastor, I believe the church voted to adopt new guidelines, I believe the church voted to adopt the budget and the new school. So I say again, if you don't agree with the congregationalist dynamic nor the pastor - MOVE ON!!
Duke, then you call Mac evil in your blog. Then you compare him to Jim Jones and Ted Haggard. Get a grip dude, you are losing it! And by the way, Ted Haggard did lose his job on a congregationally approved elder decision.
Duke, you need to move back into reality man.

December 14, 2009 8:32 PM
You are comparing the church at FBC Jax to Germany.
Has there been a time when Mac said FBC Jax was HIS church? Or does the direction of the church rest upon the congregationalist paradigm? I believe the church called Mac as their pastor, I believe the church voted to adopt new guidelines, I believe the church voted to adopt the budget and the new school. So I say again, if you don't agree with the congregationalist dynamic nor the pastor - MOVE ON!!
Duke, then you call Mac evil in your blog. Then you compare him to Jim Jones and Ted Haggard. Get a grip dude, you are losing it! And by the way, Ted Haggard did lose his job on a congregationally approved elder decision.
Duke, you need to move back into reality man.

December 14, 2009 8:32 PM
Jon, are you really this ignorant? Both biblically and when it comes to logic?

You are still insisting that if a group decides something is right that means it is right.

Jon G said...

Anon 6:46,

For some reason you believe that if you decide something is right then it is right as it pertains to FBC Jax and Mac Brunson - that is crazier to me than than group think.
A church with a trust in Christ, a commitment to God's Word and a reliance upon the Holy Spirit (as I have observed in FBC Jax) CAN make a decision as a body of Christ that reflects the Spirit's direction.
You blog as if they are a cult, with drug-induced members, led by a Koreshian sycophant.
I think you need to get a life man.

Jon

Anonymous said...

For some reason you believe that if you decide something is right then it is right as it pertains to FBC Jax and Mac Brunson - that is crazier to me than than group think.
A church with a trust in Christ, a commitment to God's Word and a reliance upon the Holy Spirit (as I have observed in FBC Jax) CAN make a decision as a body of Christ that reflects the Spirit's direction.
You blog as if they are a cult, with drug-induced members, led by a Koreshian sycophant.
I think you need to get a life man.

Jon

December 15, 2009 8:56 AM

I think you need to read your Bible begging the Holy Spirit to teach you. FBCJax is the 'visible' church. Fallen away. 2 Thess.

Read the letters to the churches in Rev. God hates the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. And that is what FBCJax teaches.

Duke

Anonymous said...

Jon, Let me chime in here and show you just how ignorant the folks in the pews can be. This man STILL has followers and is in the SBC:

http://stopbaptistpredators.blogspot.com/