"...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

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Pastor Expresses Concern for the FBC Jax Pastor's Conference

Jeff Haney is the pastor of Pinecrest Baptist Church in Corinth, MS. I have been reading his blog, Change Worth Making, since he wrote several articles recently on storehouse tithing addressing the criticisms of storehouse tithing expressed on this blog. He has commented on a few of the tithing posts here on this blog.

However his latest article, first baptist church, jacksonville, florida pastor's conference, I thought worth sharing with the WD readers as he expresses his support of, but concern for, the directon of the FBC Jax Pastor's Conference.

Jeff says he has made the trek to Jacksonville since 2004, and said his first time attending was like he had "died and gone back to seminary", and he loved the "Anti-Calvinistic, Loudly Conservative, and explosively fundamental" flavor of the conference.

But Jeff is concerned the conference, and perhaps FBCJ, is not heading in the right direction.

His concerns:

- the change in tone concerning Calvinism: Jeff points out that he could count on the conference having a very anti-Calvinist flavor, that is not so anymore with some of the speakers they have had (Jeff mentions Mohler and Nelson, although he didn't mention Chandler who was there last year).

- change in FBC Jax ministry methods: Jeff points out that he was impressed in years past with the FBCJ youth ministry under Calvin Carr and the strong stands Carr took against "Cotton Candy" youth ministry - and Jeff says some of the attitudes at FBCJ seem to have changed in recent years regarding ministry.

And Jeff praises the music under the direction of Jim Whitmire; no one would argue with that.

Jeff raises valid points. The conference was started back in the day when the SBC looked to FBCJ for leadership - pastors wanted to know what the FBCJ secret was, and they came to see and hear what was going on. There is no question the attendance is much down over the glory days of the conference in the 1990's and early 2000's. Is it because of concerns that others have about Calvinism, or is it something else?

67 comments:

Former FBC Insider said...

He's nailed it.
Things are different, very different. You can feel it, hear it and see it. I've worked many Pastor's Conferences pre-Mac and one post-Mac. The changes were coming even then. I'm glad to see that Haney has discernment in his experiences with the FBCJ Pastor's Conference. Maybe next year he won't attend. Maybe he will inspire other pastors to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading and not attend as well. You can look around at the attendance and see the huge drop in what used to be overflow crowds.

What does FBCJ really have to teach nowadays anyway?

What screams louder than any sermon from that pulpit or classes from those buildings is that Mac has made a public mess and has not since cleaned it up.

They can't hear the message due to the messenger. God hasn't used a donkey in a long time.

Junkster said...

Calvinism is the least of worries in the SBC. "Anti-Calvinism" and "anti-non-Calvinism" are a much bigger problem.

Anonymous said...

Junkster, I can not understand where you are coming from. What are your alluding to?

What is this problem as you see it?

Anonymous said...

Yup, things are so bad at FBCJ that they are adding two more television broadcasts every weekend.

Anonymous said...

Dog,

Like many bloggers you cherry pick what you like but omit other key info. In this case his closing statement(sorry FFBCI)dI am fully aware of the controversies surrounding Mac Brunson, and the watch dog blog. I believe offended church members had some legitimate points, and Dr. Brunson could have handled it better. I don’t believe that Dr. Brunson is a greedy, grumpy, sheep beater. I believe that some of my church members could raise legitimate points with me, and I believe that I could have handle many things better in my ministry than I have. Because church members have legitimate complaints, and because pastors do not always handle things the best, doesn’t mean anything more than churches, and pastors, are sinful human beings, trying to present a perfect loving Savior to a lost and dying world.

With that being said, Dr. Vines, Dr. Hill, Dr. Allen, and Dr. Patterson are worth the price of admission. The sermons they bring have always been eye opening, and soul touching messages straight from the Word of God. I have always been refreshed and renewed by what they have prepared for this meeting, and their dedication to expository preaching. The members of the church are beyond outstanding. Their kindness, and warm friendliness, and whole hearted effort, make this a truly enjoyable occasion.

If you are in the area, or have the time and resources, it is still generally worth the trip. (And I haven’t even mentioned the wonderful music that is led by Jim Whitmire.)

I can certainly say for me and my wife that making this an annual trip thus far, has been a change worth making.
on't really say that he no longer plans to attend:

Anonymous said...

Television is a means for spreading of the Word of God. That is a good thing. To use television or any other venue and not use it to spread the gospel is a waste of time talent and treasure. If television is not for the cause of Christ and Jesus is not the main focus you should just call it entertainment. As I see it FBCJAX uses television to fill the needs of MAN.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

No intent to "cherry pick" - I hyperlinked Jeff's article so readers can read it in its entirety, and summarized and commented on the portions that might be relevant to the readers. Jeff is attending the conference, looks forward to it, but the fact is, he is concerned - even says he is not sure he will be able to recommend it in the future, based on the trends he sees.

Cherry picking might be what YOU just did. You cut and paste a portion of this entire article.

You left out this part in your copy/paste:

"They were clear, they were solid, and they were settled strong on one side of nearly every issue.

That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. I know that Vines has retired, and Rogers has relocated. I know that Mac Brunson is a different man, and I have never had a problem with him at all. However it seems that the issues on which they once took a strong clear stand, they are now giving a soft blurry touch.

It was either last year or the year before that Tommy Nelson loudly declared – “I paid good money to be a five star calvinist” Al Mohler, of course we know is a Calvinist. But even the non-Calvinist are less and less distinctive about their stand. They are no longer adamant about Calvinism being a heresy. The Doctrine of Separation does not seem to be given the same press that it used to, at least with what I have seen in recent years."

Interesting observations to say the least, from a conservative baptist pastor.

Anonymous said...

The Pasors Conferance, since Vines, has increasingly become more:
1. Purpose Driven
2. Calvinistic
3. Man centered
4. Esoteric
5. Gnostic
6. New Age

In my opinion.

Show me where I am wrong?

Matt, what do you say?

Dog this may be a little harsh but it is meant to be. FBCJAX has been going down hill every since Brunson arrived. Just look back over the last few years and remember ALL of the many issues that this blog has discussed. They are numerous.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - I think if you are making claims like "gnostic" and "new age" and "esoteric" - the onus is on you to tell us why, not for someone to tell you why not. :)

It might be more "Calvinistic", just in terms of there being a few Calvinists that speak. But I think this is an attempt by Brunson to widen the tent, and allow some of the younger guys to speak, and not so much of a push of a Calvinist agenda.

But it does cause me to wonder: maybe the success of the conference in years past was its distinctiveness as Jeff pointed out. Maybe the changes that have been made at FBCJ and at the PC have made it just like any other conference that is out there - instead of drawing more people these changes have drawn less of those that did come year after year because of the distinctives. Perhaps the brand "FBCJ Pastor's Conference" just ain't what it used to be, and more pastors are staying away, or choosing to go to the myriad of other conferences that are available to them. However, I doubt any conference out there will match the music at FBC.

Junkster said...

Anonymous said...
Junkster, I can not understand where you are coming from. What are your alluding to?

What is this problem as you see it?

January 21, 2010 10:01 AM


I see many problems in the SBC. In this case I am referring to a spirit of separatism over cooperation; i.e., both Calvinists and non-Calvinists who are unwilling to set aside their theological differences in order to work together to take the gospel to the world.

Other problems I see in the SBC lately are (in no particular order):
(1) Narrowing of the parameters of cooperation (this includes the Calvinism/non-Calvinism divide, and things like requiring Landmark and cessationist views and practices for missionary service)
(2) A focus on pastoral authority rather than priesthood of the believer
(3) A creedal approach to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000(requiring allegiance to a man-made document that includes tertiary doctrines, such as complementarianism)
(4) A resurgence of KJV-only-ism
(5) Unwillingness of the national organization to lead and fund a cooperative effort to address ministerial abuse and misconduct
(6) General worldliness and materialism, especially in mega churches and mega-church pastors

Anonymous said...

WD, i assume that you are anti-calvinistic by this post?

This is a question.

Anonymous said...

Strange that from 60AD to 1550AD no one heard of John Calvin and his ideas. The Bible makes it clear that there is "nothing new" under the Sun and this includes whatever John Calvin had to say. Stick with the Bible and do not get distracted by things some others have to say as it is just plain divisive. It takes our eyes off of Jesus and places them on men. There is none righteousness no not one. I like the idea above concerning priesthood of the believer. We are all ministers one way or the other. Share your faith and quit the notion that some man has a grip on the Bible... The Word of God is our teacher!!!

Anonymous said...

Yup, things are so bad at FBCJ that they are adding two more television broadcasts every weekend.

January 21, 2010 10:02 AM

___________________________________

Yup, the more television exposure a ministry has the better things are with that ministry, right? Or you really didn't mean to correlate those two did you?

The multi-millionaire preachers all did it by buying more air time and soliciting donations from many more people that way.

Reaching people for Christ, or increaing our own market share and branding to increase our own influence and wealth? You would have to look at Mac's actions over the past few years to figure that one out.

Like Jesus would say, "TV is the best way to reach people." Even if it cost the sheep millions of dollars that might have gone to feed and clothe "the least of these."

Pathetic. "I go to FBC Jax! Look at my church! Things must be great! We are adding two new broadcasts! Amen! Awesome!"

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 11:45 am. I'm neutral in the Calvinism debate. I actually think Mac Brunson gave the best explanation of the balance between a person's responsibility to exercise his will to accept the offer of salvation, and God's role in calling people to be saved.

Anonymous said...

Is it because of concerns that others have about Calvinism, or is it something else?
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
My answer is that the "something else" is that members see a lot of monies paid for these celebrity millionaire preachers to come in and inspire the low paid pastors who they assume not to have the same spiritual knowledge that they have been blessed with. They strut and almost glow with arrogance.

Reality is that downtown FBCJ has lost it's golden touch and is loosing out to other churches - some have standing room only and pews are filled = what is taught at the PC is same material these churches. The good old days are gone at FBCJ.

Anonymous said...

I am attending the Pastor's Conference for the first time this year, and therefore have nothing to say about past conferencenes. I am a reformed SBC pastor who values those who do not share my theological convictions. With that said, I am very excited about the line up. FBC Jax has done a great job in bringing speakers that represent the diversity of the SBC. This should be a very informative and inspiring conference no matter where you stand on Calvinism.

Anonymous said...

Junkster, brother thanks for your reply.

No doubt that there are honest concurns in the SBC. The spread of modernism is eccelerating. Good men who desire to take a stand for doctrinal beliefs may be trying to plug the dam. But as you know there are others who are just protecting their back side.

Remember it is not what they write but WHAT THEY DO.

Anonymous said...

" Anonymous said...
Yup, things are so bad at FBCJ that they are adding two more television broadcasts every weekend."

January 21, 2010 10:02 AM


Joel Olsteen is adding more television broadcast as well;

So what's your point?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:25 you say you are a reformed SBC. That, I guess, is different from the Reformed Baptist who began in the late 1800's when Liberalism was abounding in England. You remember this was the period when the heretics Wescott and Hort emerged. If you are in the Reformed movement then you may be a Calvinist as the Reformed Baptists were. You will be in good company at FBCJAX. Calvinism is beginning to grow there. They are still under the radar but are slowly Emerging.

Speaking of Emerging, you will be happy to see Alvin Reid who will be speaking there. He will be talking about the Convergent Church and the Emergent Church. As if there is any difference.

Yes you will be quite pleased if you want to see eccuminism in practice.

By the way there will be some Baptist there too.

Anonymous said...

"Matt, what do you say?"

I would advise these guys to save their churches money, stay home, pray and study... seeking the Holy Spirit to teach them.

Matt

Anonymous said...

JUST FOR THE RECORD

In an era, or NEW AGE, when men are in an ever increasing hurry to CHANGE everything that Baptist believe and are; they may make headway in the short run but will lose in the long run. God is still in control. These change agents and their desire to become like the world will prove devistating to them, their families, communities and country. Take Jesus out of your bible, church and life and you will be left wanting, an empty shell of what you once were.

The reason that preachers have stopped coming to the FBCJAX Pastors Conferance is not because there are other conferances that they would rather attend. The reason that they don't come is because Jesus is not the main focus of FBCJAX. Money, Man and church growth are the new subjects of the Conferance.

Preachers have always come to FBCJAX to hear about Jesus. They came to see how FBCJAX preached Jesus. Jesus in Sunday School, Jesus in music, Jesus in visitation, Jesus in giving, Jesus in administration, Jesus in the pulpit, Jesus in everything that FBCJAX did.

They felt the love of FBCJAX church members because chuch members were in love with Jesus.

Then when the pastors left they were full of Jesus and they took that back to their churches.

I don't since that at FBCJAX now. Change at FBCJAX in the past meant, how to be better in the will of God. Change today means how to be in agreement with the rest of the world.

We are a sorry lot if we continue down this road.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 3:08, have you read the Convergent Church by Alvin Reid? His basic premise is to hold to sound doctrine as we seek to reach our communities for Christ. This is much different than the Emerging Church Movement.

And are you saying that if Baptists don't hold to your idea of what a Baptist is they are some how ecumenical? Please explain.

Entertained said...

You did "cherry pick" dog... You need some journalistic training.

You have talent. Your bias is present in your writing.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:22,
Dr. Reid believes that you can learn from the Emergent Church new and better ways to be an evangelical.

You need to research what Brian Mclauren and the Emergent Church is all about. It will not take you long to uncover what the movement believes.

When you hear anyone say we are in a new era be alert. This is NEW AGE talk. You will find that the very words that the Emergent Church uses mean different things to them than what you believe them to be.

Alvin Reid uses the phrase new era. If he believes that Brian Mclauren is an example of Christianity then either he has not done his homework or...

There are many false prophets and pide pipers out there.

Just be careful.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:07. Your number 4 regarding KJV. Where do you see this is happening? I find most megas use anything but the KJV. Sort of like "pick up your copy of any Bible" when they are using the NIV, NASV, the Message, etc,etc. It would be great if they did use the KJV only, however, I doubt this is occuring. I actually left the SBC because, they left the KJV. I have noticed since the SBC and many preachers have left the KJV, trouble of one sort or another has risen in the denomination. When the preachers were preaching out of the same Bible, Gods Word was not open to confusion and speculation as to meaning. But like most things when modern progressivism takes over anything goes. The sadder for those who may not get saved because of watered down, missing and incorrect doctrines. You intellectuals need not reply we KJV people have heard your arguments and found them wanting.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:16

It is evident you have not read The Convergent Church. Reid spends considerable time showing the errors of the Emerging Church Movement - especially Mclauren. Please do not speak negatively about areas you obviously have no clear understanding of.

Anonymous said...

Good Old Days are gone. The music under Brooks was AWESOME!
I still go to Church now, and were singing the SAME songs under Brooks. Its just not the same!
I hear music on Sunday that we sang back in the 1998 conference.
I look around and see alot of choir members that are not in the choir, good singers, I wonder WHY?
We don't have any good singers, we have to pay to bring in good singers.We lost the best we had!I can remember the auditorium being packed with an over flow, just about every night. The LOVE and the PRAISE for JESUS is just not the same!Go listen to the cd's back ten years ago, and hear the PRAISE coming from our CHURCH!
We don't even use our song books anymore, they just sit, never being opened. Time has CHANGED but one thing JESUS has akways been the same yesterday and today. Seems FBC has changed.

Former FBC Insider said...

BINGO! Anon January 21, 2010 5:19 PM

From the inside looking out, it was the same facts that you stated. It was evident starting with the hearts of the people in charge, the new people in charge.
The direction of FBCJ has changed.

I'd love to see some posts from pastors/ministry workers who attend this year. I'd love to see what you went in expecting and what you left with. I'm not talking about the guest speakers so much as I'm talking about the FBCJ infrastructure, their methods, Sunday School, visitation, (you're gonna love that one) etc... Just curious to see another's point of view from the outside.

Mac's campaign slogan could have been 'Yes We Can', because
'Yes He Did'.

Anonymous said...

I love and respect Dr. Whitmire, but I agree with anonymous from 1:32 a.m. It's just not the same. I've been attending Pastor's Conference since '97. It was all about Jesus, and reaching people for Jesus.

Last year, on "finale night" the building might have been half full. Choir specials were same ones I'd heard before -- not too much that was brand new. Congregation singing was arrangements that Rodney had used, and at the end, Dr. Whitmire would wait on the applause and it was minimal.

Something has happened and the conference has lost it's life.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

What's with this comment from yesterday?

"Yup, things are so bad at FBCJ that they are adding two more television broadcasts every weekend."

FBCJ is buying more air time? Where? More at INSP? Or maybe TBN? or maybe the HC?

Anonymous said...

Isn't the root of calvinism pride...like I'm chosen and you're not?
Its all so KKK to me.
But this is a southern church.

Anonymous said...

"If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." Samuel Adams, 1776

Substitute the word "government" with the word "church" and the word "patriots" with "churchmen" and Adams is right on target with FBC Jax.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:27 Jan.21

Dr Reid speaks highly of Brian McLauren. PERIOD!!!

Be not deceived:evil communication corrupt good manners. 1 COR. 15:33 You may not have that scripture in your COPY of the bible.

Brian Mclauren is neo-evangelical, New Age, ecumenical, in the world and of the world.

He is out to get the children and the grandchildren. He is not worried by the old foggies. He, therefore, is not apposed to drinking, hard rock, R rated movies, imodesty, and things of the world. He is against Fundamentalist Baptist.

He does not believe in a literal 6 day creation of the world, does not believe in Separation, believes in the dialogue with heretics,

He associates with men like Leonard Sweet.

Believes in contemplative mysticism which is at the heart of the Emergent Church Movement.

But I suppose Dr Reid would say that the Emergent Church is

COOL, COOL,COOL!!!

No Anon, I have not read the book.

Birds of a feather...

Anonymous said...

Feb.27-28th FBCJAX will expand to 4 local broadcasts. WJXT-4 Sat. 11pm, WJXX-25 Sun. 6:30am, WTLV-12 Sun. 8am & 10:30am. (via @FBCJaxMedia)
5 days ago

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:27

Is this in your Bible?

"For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people." 1 Peter 2:15

Slandering another believer without truly knowing that person's stance is ignorance in action. You have not read Alvin Reid's works, therefore have no grounds to judge him in any way. Please do yourself a favor and know what you are talking about before you make such defamatory statements.

Anonymous said...

The post marked for Anon 11:27 was meant for Anon 11:40 10/22.

Sorry for the confusion.

Anonymous said...

Slandering another believer without truly knowing that person's stance is ignorance in action. You have not read Alvin Reid's works, therefore have no grounds to judge him in any way. Please do yourself a favor and know what you are talking about before you make such defamatory statements."

January 22, 2010 12:47 PM

I personally do not have to read Reids work to know that I am so weary of all the chatter, books, conferences and other distractions in what is now considered Christendom.

We do not need new methods and people are not really different in terms of sin and lostness than they were 2000 years ago. People are still saved by street preaching and one on one witnessing. God is even using dreams to save some Muslims who then go seeking other believers (very carefully)

They are LESS likely to be truly saved by an invite to church. If they are truly saved they seek out other believers but more importantly they are truly seeking Christ. You cannot keep them away.

Let us not seek to save them to churchianity. You only make more two fold sons of hell.

Matt

PS: If folks were reading the Word in direct proportion to what they are spending on Christians "how- to" books, Christendom would look a lot different.

Anonymous said...

I have never attended a FBC Jax Pastor's Conference. I have heard about them but not really known much about them.

I know that many years ago, they were sort of pre-Convention meetings for the SBC conservatives and that usually the conservative who would be running for the SBC presidency was identified.

I just looked at the list of this year's speakers. The differences between them in some regards are huge. Junior Hill and Al Mohler, for example, are about as different as night and day.

But, we are talking about a continuim.

The one, common denominator is that all of the speakers are thoroughly conservative. Not a moderate or liberal among them.

That's expected, because moderates and liberals would not put on a conference that was Bible focused (unless it was to descontruct the Bible through higher criticism). It would be some Bible with lots of politics (e.g. poverty initiatives, global warming, separation of church and state, racial reconciliation, interfaith dialogue, "Being Baptist" etc.)

I will not be attending this, but hope it goes well, as all of the guys appear to love the Lord and the Word. I might have issues with one or more of them on some points of doctrine, but who cares.

As for the music, I would not expect it to appeal to me given the kind of vibe I get from the website. But the content of much of the music should be good, and that is what counts. Anyway, afterall - it's not a music conference.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Matt,

I am the guy who has been defending Reid and I agree with all you just said. My concern is with the atmosphere of anti this and anti that seems to hover over many of the previous statements. Most of these anti comments come from people who do not even know about the things they are against! Yes - we must return to the Scriptures and yes we must share the gospel, but Christ has called His church to do this together. We must be careful not to align ourselves with those who do not follow sound doctrine, but it ok to serve with those whose methods may differ from our own.

I'm just saying...

Anonymous said...

10:15 AM: Not only has the conference lost it's life, the entire attitude of the church in general is tired, weak and enemic. It has no purpose. Those long time members must know this. But, they don't want to admit the mistake was made and the Candlestick has gone out of the church. But, what can you expect when a church on fire for Jesus (which WAS THE SECRET of FBCJ) has been turned into a social meeting place and a business opportunity. It really lost it's way when Dr. Lindsay died. After that it became a shell of what it was. Lindsay was sold out to Jesus and led the people to be also. I don't know if Calvanism is the problem, but I strongly suspect it to be a major player, or just plain business types running and ruining it. Maybe both. But, it has definitely lost it's way and it's mission.

As to the Pastors Conference, well, having attended ALL of them since the beginning as a member of FBCJ I can tell you it is a sad thing to see what has happened to it. Many of the speakers are worldly, the entire attitude of the conference is like a sales conference hawking goods. Back slapping and the "I am ok, your ok", good ole boys. Remember this one, "You gotta pay me big bucks to be your preacher". Yes, that was certainly from God wasn't it. No it was from one of the mega's. Some are trying to hold on and bring it back, some have good intentions and are praying that Jesus will once again be preeminent. Pray for this church, it needs it. I pray for it to once again be the mighty witness for Jesus it once was.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

"...like a sales conference hawking goods."

There should be plenty of that this year, as their website shows they have sold ALL of their "promotions packages". Not sure if they were succesful in getting someone to fork over money to get their name on the bottled water or the conference bags or the conference pens. If so, maybe someone would come here and tell us which ministry decided to purchase advertising from FBCJ PC.

Just remember, when the "EMCEE" says something nice about a ministry, know that they likely paid for that endorsement through the promotions packages.

Anonymous said...

"We must be careful not to align ourselves with those who do not follow sound doctrine, but it ok to serve with those whose methods may differ from our own. "

I get a bit nervous, based on experience, when I hear the words 'sound doctrine'.

If you are referring to the full Gospel such as Paul was referring to in Acts 20, then great. But in my experience those words have been used more in situations concerning secondary and tertiary non salvic issues. The SBC is full of that kind of 'sound doctrine'.

I think METHODS are very important because they have been elevated to primary status within Christendom. Methods are the lifeblood of building huge churches and bringing in lots of money. These 'methods' are taking the place of the Holy Spirit far too often.

To me, sound doctrine includes both the bad news and the good news of salvation. What we typically find in Christendom is one or the other being taught to the exclusion of both. And even more typically, lots of stuff being added that is not in there.

Just some thoughts...I always like to define things so everyone can know what the other means.

Matt

Lydia said...

"The one, common denominator is that all of the speakers are thoroughly conservative. Not a moderate or liberal among them."


Conservative how? Politically?

Anonymous said...

The biggest reason for adding additional TV programs is as one stated "some are trying to hold on and bring it back" ...it will just be repeats and reruns of same sermons but TV is sucessful with bringing in the monies as the Duke has made quotes about receiving letters with checks to the church.

Someone has to help support this multi-millionaire preacher, so it's reasonable to think additional TV programs will bring in monies from all the "home bound" folks. Nothing but a sales tool!

After this exhausting PC comes the Mac Brunson family "mission" River Cruise. . .yep, he's a great role model for the young pastors he mentors.

FBC Choir Member said...

"We don't have any good singers, we have to pay to bring in good singers.We lost the best we had!I can remember the auditorium being packed with an over flow, just about every night. The LOVE and the PRAISE for JESUS is just not the same!Go listen to the cd's back ten years ago, and hear the PRAISE coming from our CHURCH!"

The Rev. Dr. James D. Whitmire is making us learn 4 new songs for Pastors' Conference. Also, don't forget that our Christmas program was all new music. Plus we're going to be on Daniel Crews' new CD!

If you think we could do better why don't you come and submit to an audition and try to join? We especially need more men like me. It's the only time of the week I get to wear a gorgeous robe.

BTW, where do you think all the very good singers went?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

FBC Choir Member - thanks for posting. I think the choir as a whole under the direction of Whitmire is still is on top of their game - at least from what I see on TV and online. Some of the FBC "groups" leave a bit to be desired. Also, it does seem your numbers are down and the choir is a bit thinner than years past.

My only concern is that you state you're a man, yet you used the words "gorgeous robe" and only during choir do you get to wear it. That is just a bit troubling. I don't think I've ever called any garment I've worn "gorgeous". And you certainly can wear a "gorgeous robe" in your own house, and we'll never know.

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

No. Theologically.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Why is it that whenever someone has something critical to say of a preacher or a professor, someone always comes on and says two things: (1) you don't know what you are talking about and (2) you are slandering the man.

Wow. Must we know all about someone and have perfect knowledge to use our judgment? Is it "slander" to share our opinions about what we observe? Are these professional/paid clergymen above any accountability then?

Anonymous said...

Are all of these speakers at the conferance CONSERVATIVES?

Hey! They might not even be considered BAPTISTS.

Do you need to be a Separatist to be a Baptist? CLEARLY , CLEARLY there are speakers who are not Separatist. Mac Brunson IS NOT a Separatist.

If you have rock music, dress down {deacons no ties on Wednesdays}, no emphesis on visitation are you a conservative? FBCJ is doing this.

Would the Purpose Driven church program be conservative? That is the pattern that FBCJ uses.

No it dose not look like FBCJ is a conservative church.

If you use NEW VERSION bibles, can you call yourself a conservate or are you a modernist?

How many of these other speakers subscribe to these practices?

Well???

Anonymous said...

They are adding the extra 2 TV runs so more in the JAX area will be able to see all the empty pews in the auditorium each Sunday. So sad. Maybe they are hoping the old members will watch on TV and give their tithes online.

Lydia said...

"No. Theologically".

On what doctrines?



Orthodox Christians do not use so many seeker type methods.

Entertained said...

Grasping at straws dog.

Some of your readers might want to offer their homes to incoming pastors. It is a tough economic year and many could use some free lodging.

Anonymous said...

Some of your readers might want to offer their homes to incoming pastors. It is a tough economic year and many could use some free lodging.

January 23, 2010 9:33 AM

Another reason it would be wise to stay home save the travel expense, and seek the BEST Teacher, the Holy Spirit, to teach them.

Remember, conferences exist to promote specific pastors, books, dvds and materials. Do we not have enough adulation of mere man?

Anonymous said...

i have never heard anything remotely resembling rock music at FBCJ...i'd love to hear a cool guitar riff now and then. but nooooooooooooo......

Anonymous said...

Dear Entertained:

Some of your readers might want to offer their homes to incoming pastors. It is a tough economic year and many could use some free lodging
=================================
Another suggestion would be if all of those "guest pastors" would stay at an economy hotel instead of the plush downtown Omni and eat at McDonald's instead of Ruth Chris and The Chart House - just think of how many could be housed with this savings.

The sad thing is there truly are pastor's just as talented but are not the millionaire preachers - we the people who write on this blog are not greedy nor selfish. Who do you think is paying for this conference - we are!

Anonymous said...

Watchdog, just to let your readers know that this year marks 10 years that Dr. Lindsay died. I remember that during the 2000 Pastors conference Dr. Lindsays son died and a few weeks later Dr. Lindsay died. It seems like yesterday that I remember his funeral service on a Wed. night and how channel 12 carried the service live for an hour. Its ashame that we were not allowed to honor Dr. Lindsays retirement the way we did Dr. Vines. I know the church had big plans to honor him but it looks like God had bigger plans.

Anonymous said...

I believe Homer III died the first day of the 2000 Conference somewhere around Feb 6. Dr Lindsay died on Feb 13 and was buried on the 16th. That day was the largest funeral procession in Jacksonville I had ever attended or seen. God bless his memory and especially to those of his family.

Anonymous said...

Someone mentioned visitation being way down. There use to be hundreds out on Tuesday nights. What has changed? Calvinist certainly don't believe in visiting since all that will get saved have already been saved!!!

Aaron said...

Ok, I am really tired of this anti Calvinism rhetoric. I am a Calvinist, I read the ESV version of the Bible, I am the deacon of the mens ministry at my church, I am moving in july to help plant a church which will be elder led and i will become an elder after a evaluation and training process.

First, the past is the past, let it go! There is nothing wrong with remembering the past, but it does not serve the kingdom to sit around an reminisce about the music we sang in 1998. Check out the theologically sound lyrics of Shai linne a christian rap artist he, gets the gospel and how to use it in his style of music.

Second if you truly believe mega churches to be evil pray for their destruction to end their abuse and sinful ways. Stop going to a mega church and take your wisdom to the country church down the road with 10 members.

Lastly as a calvinist not one preacher(who i personally know) that has labeled me as such has offered to sit down and pray for me and show me Biblically why what i believe is wrong. I am living in an apartment and i am systematically trying to visiting every apartment looking for an opportunity to share the gospel. Not because of Faith or my church asked me to, but because I am a Calvinist and believe people get saved by hearing the word.

My challenge is for anyone (or your pastor if you are not equipped to do so) here to take the time to sit down with me help me to see why Calvinism is Biblically wrong. If i am in error do you love me enough as your brother in Christ correct my theology. My number is 575.706.7274

Grace and Peace

Anonymous said...

"My challenge is for anyone (or your pastor if you are not equipped to do so) here to take the time to sit down with me help me to see why Calvinism is Biblically wrong. If i am in error do you love me enough as your brother in Christ correct my theology. My number is 575.706.7274"

Brother, you may not be a Calvinist. I also believe in predestination, limited atonement, perserverence of the saints and total depravity. It is in the Word. But those doctrines are not Calvin's. They are from the Lord. So why give him credit?

Unless you are willing to support church/state government, magistrates, sacraments, padeobaptism, etc, you cannot be a Calvinist. Do you support those things?

I am quite familiar with the young guys coming out of seminary or who have signed on with the Young, Restless and Reformed crowd who love a rousing debate on Calvinism. The problem with these debates is that one has to define the terms before we start.

For example: To a Calvinist, total depravity is really "total inability".

The thing is, why debate at all? A Calvinist can be saved,it is not a salvic issue. The Free Will person can be saved so the Free Willer can be saved also.

Why call it Calvinism? Isn't that deifying a human? Pretend like you are not allowed to use that term or TULIP and explain your doctrine.

When that happens, it is amazing how close both Calvinist and anti Calvinists are in doctrine.

It might help to not be offended if you guys would stop calling it "Calvinism". Because, it isn't unless you are calling on the magistrate, offering sacraments and baptizing babies.

BTW: If Calvin was so brilliant, why didn't he know those things were not Biblical? Just wondering...

Blessings,

Matt

Anonymous said...

The Pastor's Conference has had its hay day.. Unfortunately, FBCJ is no longer unique, evangelistic, or being led by a God fearing man. In this economic down turn, save your money pastors and stay home!

Anonymous said...

Dear sweet choir member,

Where have all the good singers gone to other churches where the music is Christ centered, has a bit faster tempo, brings you to the throne of God. When is FBCJ gonna put put Dr. Whitmire in retirement where he belongs. Yes he is a sweet man and very nice, but has lost all musicality! He doesn't expect the best and therefore doesn't get the best. The choir can only be as good as its leader. The choir has no leader!

Further more, the music that is played is straight from the 70s, I believe we are in 2010!

Finally, the choir is not motivated, encouraged, challenged, or even directed.

Plus the leadership of the choir lead double lives, so what do you expect?

Well, one final comment, our pastor does not care about the music, it has taken a backseat to missions!

I was a member of the choir for years and therefore, my information is factual. I have found another church where the music program is top drawer!

Anonymous said...

I attended church last night and heard Dr. Brunson mention out of the blue that he was not considering the position at the IMB(International Mission Board), what would predicate someone saying that? Why would you mention something like that except to point attention to one self. What I thought was interesting was that no one clapped or responded that he was staying. Had Dr. Linsday said that, the entire church would have erupted in applause because they would be thrilled that he would have stayed.

What is the real reason they he take the position at the IMB?

New BBC Open Forum said...

"I attended church last night and heard Dr. Brunson mention out of the blue that he was not considering the position at the IMB(International Mission Board), what would predicate someone saying that? Why would you mention something like that except to point attention to one self."

Probably because, incredibly, he's being groomed for president of the SBC.

Anonymous said...

The FBCJ conference is a train wreck because the "powers that be""
1. hired outside people to run it instead of letting the "people" of the church run it. For years and years, the "folks" set up booths, decorated, taught courses, etc.
Today, outside "professionals" are paid to run the conference and the "folks" are left out of the equation. What's sad is that a "sign up sheet" was passed in Sunday Schools for volunteers to man areas... Are you kidding??? A sign up sheet at the once fabulous FBC! Back in the day that would be unheard of.....

2. The conference went after BIG money, even charging members to go to the conference! Back in the day, members went, filled seats and made the event exciting, fun and full and for FREE.
Also... money driven was evidenced by the thousands paid to the church by booths(schools, ministers, etc.) Before, there were a few booths but only a few.....and they did not cost an arm and a leg.

3. The "staff" now runs the FBCJ. Once, the "lay people" ran the church under the direction of the leadership.

4.The music is a nightmare. Whitmire is a nice man. He drags out every song, the music is alot of praise music that the members don't even know. Disaster...The church does not have a choir in the loft on most Sunday nights and not on Wed. It is a sad day at the FBCJ.

5. The preaching from Brunson is great, no doubt but the church itself is failing, I'm sorry to say.

6. I miss my old church!

Anonymous said...

Air Time- It is interesting to me there is so much blog about increasing air time. Brunson is, without question a great preacher. The increase in air time is one of the proofs of that. But, the church is dying. Only good preaching cannot keep a church together. It takes the "people" engaged with Jesus. While he's a great preacher, his staff does not let go of the leadership to let the people "live out Jesus" at the church, in the church, etc. As a result, the church is slowly dying. It is very, very sad.
So...while Brunson increases the radio or tv spots, the financial backing is going to dry up as the people do . Only the staff teaches now at FBCJ where in the past, lay people were busy serving Jesus... It's a sad, sad day at FBCJ

Anonymous said...

Count me in as one who began attending the conference in 1998 and ceased attending in 2007, because of the flavor and style in which the PC was heading!