"...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

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"Take it to a Ho' Nutha Level" - 30,000 Feet and Over $2 Million a Year?

Its been about 4 weeks since the Ed Young story broke about his leased jet and lavish lifestyle, and we have not heard the end of it for sure. Sadly, very few, if any, SBC leaders will dare call Ed Young out on the over-indulgence of his church leasing an 8 million dollar luxury jet. As I said a few weeks ago, it was the president of the Florida Baptist Convention, John Cross, who flew out to Fort Worth to defend Ed Young and the church's use of "private air travel". Imagine, a president of an SBC state convention defending a pastor's use of a luxury private jet. Wow.

Three weeks ago the SBC Today gang took up the issue on their podcast (2/11/10 podcast), and they pulled all their punches and would hardly say one critical word about Young.

Even the SBC Today gang guest on the 2/11 podcast, SWBTS seminary professor John Mark Yeates pooh-poohed the money issue, saying Ed Young is accountable only to God concerning how the church's money is spent. Unbelievably, Yeates dismissed the entire WFAA news report as a "smear" and characterized the Saturday 2/6/10 dog and pony show starring Young, Cross and Richard, as Young "attempting to be very, very transparent by opening the books". Huh? Opening the books? Yeates even defended Young's lifestyle by saying that "many of the clientele" at the church are much more affluent than Young and have larger houses. And none of the SBC Today gang challenged these nonsensical defenses offered up by Yeates.

So no one in any leadership position in the SBC will dare call Ed Young out on the plane or the lack of transparency about it. Further proof, as I have said many times on this blog: it is up to the lay people to reign in these guys by stopping the money flow. The IRS can help, if they would ever require 501(c)3 religious organizations to release detailed financial records to their donors as do other non-profits...I pray that day is soon approaching.

Speaking of money flow....its worth considering just how much money does this airplane siphon away from doing God's work each year. Since Ed Young and John Cross will never say, we'll have to make some assumptions:

- we shall assume the plane is indirectly leased by Fellowship Church and/or Fellowship Connection. While not the direct lessors, the names "Fellowship Church", "Fellowship Connection, and "Ed Young, Jr." appear on the lease document, and Ed's departure from FC is a condition of contract default (see page 6, paragraph 12 of the lease document here).

- we shall assume the plane is not a fractional, time-share kind of lease, and that Fellowship Church is the sole user of the plane, and therefore responsible for the operating and maintenance costs. If they are just sharing the plane with other users, I assume that information would have been shared on 2/6/10.

- we will assume that Ed Young or his business partners own some sort of stake in the lessor company, Medill Co, which was formed just weeks before the lease was signed. In fact, "Medill Co." is not a company, it is a Delaware Trust, and whoever has the financial interest in that trust is unknown and cannot be known.

So, what would it cost to lease, operate, and maintain this jet?

Let's consider the following:

1. Leasing Costs: Some research shows that the annual lease fee for a jet of this type might be on the order of 1% per month of the value of the plane. Brett Shipp put the plane's value at 8 million. A 1990 model of the plane is on the market at over $11 million, so the $8 million price tag is not unrealistic. This would put the the lease fee at around $80,000 per month. A bargain for sure.

2. Annual Maintenance Costs: According to this document, the annual fixed maintenance costs of the N188FJ Falcon 50 triple-engine jet would be nearly $700,000. That's just to put the thing in the hanger.

3. Per Nautical Mile Operating Costs: the same document puts the per nautical mile operating cost of Falcon 50 at about $8.50 per mile. Thus, a round trip to New York City would cost around $21,000. That's chump change to rap artists, NBA superstars...but it ain't chump change to the faithful church members who fork over their hard-earned money to their church. I'd like to see how much they would raise if they held a special offering to raise $20,000 on a Sunday to pay for Ed's jet fuel for his next speaking gig.

So this plane would cost about $1.7 million a year to lease and maintain, and if Ed flies about 75,000 miles per year, tack on another $640,000.

And perhaps the biggest questions to be answered: What is the residual, buy-out option that Medill Co. has at the end of the 10 year lease in 2017? We don't know. But a source on the Internet claims it is well below market, and the question then becomes: is Fellowship Church, through the 10 years of lease payments, purchasing a jet for Ed Young? We don't know, because they won't give any information on the lease terms.

And John Mark Yeates characterizes Ed Young as being "very, very transparent".

So, the total annual price to lease and operate and maintain private jet for rockstar megachurch preacher?

$2.3 million

The cost of wasted dollars for God's kingdom that could do so much other good?

Priceless.

The deafening silence from those in SBC leadership?

Not surprising.

70 comments:

Anonymous said...

No one in Baptist leadership "calls out" or criticizes any preacher brother. How can they. They are all in the business together! None of these guys preach about sin. They would be pointing the finger at themselves. The only "sin" they preach about is, how sinful the people are in the churches that don't give them all of the "tithe" money they want to keep them in their lavish lifestyles. So which one among them is without sin and is going to cast the first stone?

Anonymous said...

I do not see the guys at SBC Today having a lot in common with Ed Young, Jr. Maybe they do. But I would think that even though they are both Baptists and conservative evangelicals, that the guys at SBC Today are not cut out of the same cloth as Young. Granted, I don't know any of these folks too well, but I suspect it's not friendship that is motivating them.

Perhaps it is a combination of their theology and beliefs about local churches and such along with the fact that they don't know the facts (as your post really demonstrates) since all of the questions have not been answered.

But the one issue that can be taken up by all of us is simply the issue of financial openness and accountability to the members who give.

I believe that issue should be shouted from the roof tops.

I am teaching through II Corthinthians right now. One of the issues in that book is the disappointment that some in the Corinthian church had with Paul because he would NOT take patronage from them (a common practice in those days, which demonstrated the wealth and connections of those paying the patronage). Paul made tents and supported himself, instead.

But, also, then the Corinthians made the charge that Paul wasn't really living off his tent making income. He was getting money, under the table, from others whom the Corinthians were supporting.

So, Paul refused their patronage, or, in the alternative, took hidden donations but claimed he made his money making tents.

The entire issue was corrosive and disruptive in the Corinthian church.

All of this to say that the handling of money in churches and the kingdom of God should be transparent to those who give. Hidden trusts, multiple corporations being formed and related to other corporations without the knowledge of the congregation is not a proper or healthy way to run things.

On the airplane lease, I am still baffled. It looks like such a bad deal. Why would a church do that.

Can't one charter a jet from time to time, as needed? Sure it would be expensive. But that is surely wiser and more defensible than the expensive scenarios that you lay out.

If these practices have become or are becoming routine, it will have an impact. People vote with their feet. Slowly they lose confidence.

I truly think that the way to address this is for pastors and people who believe it disclosure to talk about it, not necessarily in relation to some scandal (though I am not criticizing your post here), but independently, as a theological good.

People will get that. And people and churches who do that will lead.

And leadership will rule the day.

It may not change all of the bad examples out there. But it will have an impact.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Dog,

This type of travel is common among SBC mega church leadership. Not sayin it is right or wrong, good or bad. Just sayin it is common practice. Dr. Brunson travels this way on ocassion, Dr. Hunt, Dr. Vines, Dr. Young, Sr., Dr. Gaines, etc.- they all have access to immediate, fast, luxury travel. Whether they lease it or not, I do not know. But they ALL have access to it and they ALL use it.

Tom Parker said...

The SBC has come a long way from 1979 but it has been the wrong way. I wonder how many of these "big shots" would stay if most of the money and perks were removed from them.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Can't one charter a jet from time to time, as needed?"

Can someone please explain to me under what circumstances a pastor would ever need to charter a jet? They're getting paid big bucks to pastor their congregations but spend as much as half their time jet-setting around the world, often getting paid for speaking engagements, etc. What's wrong with simply staying home and doing their jobs? It's probably not nearly as much fun, but I bet if they ever tried it they'd find it's a lot more rewarding -- just not financially.

Anonymous said...

New BBC:

Hold on Cowboy!

No need to get all exercised.

My question, in context, asks if it is not cheaper to charter a jet that to own one outright? I am not advocating for either.

Of course, if you and others want to spend time on that question - have at it.

I'll hang up and listen.

By the way, I had asked you a few posts back if you actually went to Bellevue or still go there or what. You never responded. If you don't want people to know, that's fine. I just haven't followed you that much.

I am curious if Dr. Rogers ever flew on a jet chartered by Bellevue?

Louis

New BBC Open Forum said...

I wasn't directing my question at you, Louis, nor was I trying to be argumentative. It was merely my observation based upon your statement. In answer to your question, of course it would be cheaper to occasionally rent a jet rather than own one. I thought that was obvious, but I'm glad we're in agreement. My point was, why would a pastor ever need to rent a private jet? I mean, the vast majority of us have never been on a private jet, much less ever needed to rent one.

I saw your questions, and if I'd wanted to answer I would have. I seem to recall questions about your ties to the SBC which you've never answered, but that's your prerogative to share or not. The NBBCOF is not about me. Thanks for asking though.

I have no idea if AR ever flew on a private jet or if he did if Bellevue sponsored it. It wouldn't surprise me, but I simply don't know. I don't know that Steve Gaines has access to a private jet either as a commenter upthread stated. All I've heard him say about flying is that he refuses to fly coach because he's so big and tall. Therefore, that leaves first class commercial, a private jet, driving (or being driven), or... here's a novel concept... staying home and serving those he's getting paid to serve.

So far this year he's been on a 10-day trip to the Holy Land (wonder how many free tickets and/or the price of tickets he pocketed off that), and he's supposedly on a cruise to the Bahamas with Charles Stanley this week in addition to being away Sunday night addressing a group of Methodist ministers in Mississippi and hobnobbing with Ralph Reed at lunch Monday in Nashville. Next Wednesday he's slated to speak at SWBTS. (Maybe EY will give him a ride on his private jet while he's in Fort Worth.) Those are just the things that have been "advertised."

Anonymous said...

I don't know and I don't care if Rogers, Vines, et al traveled on private jets. If they did, and they did so with money you thought you were giving "to God", than you were duped. I hope that was not a defense, as it only makes it worse. You mean we Southern Baptists give SO MUCH "to God" that our humble pastor/shepherds have the cash flow and funds to travel by luxury jet? My feeling is that we pay for this at the expense of the "least of these" who are in need and wonder where God is and doubt His love.

Shame on us. Our "heroes" travel and live like pro athletes while God's hurting people suffer. It is inexcusable and indefensible. How do we stop it? Quit giving so much money that they can afford to do it. Please.

Anonymous said...

New BBC continued:

I visit this blog because it is interesting. I find Dog's fight with FBC Jax interesting. So I am really interested in the legal aspect of what is unfolding. But from a personal standpoint, I really do not care what happens to the lawsuit. I don't know Dog, Brunson, or anyone who goes to FBC Jax (to my knowledge).

But I come back to this blog because it is well done and interesting, and Dog writes well.

Of course, Ben Cole, in my opinion, was the best writer is SBC life. I am sorry that he left the ministry with what I thought was a very sad final post. But I am happy that he went to pursue something he loves.

I am rambling at this point, but just wanted to give you a feel for who I am.

I enjoy many of your comments even though we don't always agree. We agree more often than you might think.

On the plane thing, you are right. My question was rhetorical. But that is what baffles me. A church can still use a private jet if it needs one by renting from time to time. That cost must fall greatly below the cost of ownership. It just doesn't make sense.

I think someone commenting above said that Baptist pastors are loath to criticize one another. I think that is right, unless it it a striclty theological issue, most pastors I have known over the years would not speak publicly about things involving Ed Young, Jr.

See you around.

Louis

Anonymous said...

New BBC:

I really don't mind at all your not answering the questions.

I just know that I asked them late in the comment thread, so I wasn't sure what happened. I understand that you don't want to, and that's fine.

Some folks have told their history, so to speak, over time on their blogs, and I was concerned that I had missed yours and that knowing it might help us communicate.

My SBC "ties" so to speak are not that extensive.

Was raised in a traditional Pres church that was fairly liberal. Became a Christian in High School and was active in youth ministry for a good while (as a layteen). Did not even know what the SBC was. Did not grow up in a Baptist church and really don't know a lot about all that.

I went to a Baptist college in the late 70s, became a CR supporter as a result, and have been a CR supporter since. But I consider the CR to have ended around 1992 or so when the CBF formed. So, the CR is over, and is not still going on.

I don't attribute everthing good in the SBC or everthing bad to the CR. One can hold to good theology and still be a poor leader or still have bad ideas etc. Or one can hold to rotten theology and have great leadership skills (except in leading people to believe correct theology).

I don't name my church in my commenting because these comments are mine, not my church's. Some of the people in my church might love what I say. Some might blanch. My wife hates it when I tell people when I watch Sunday School that I like to watch Southpark.

I see the blog world as a place to exhcange and discuss ideas. I don't mind a bit that people are annonymous on the internet. That's been around in Baptist life forever since Crawford Toy used to write liberal theological articles under the name Synex (I think I have that right).

I don't reveal my identity here because it's not relevant. I also have some concern that there may unstable people who read or participate in these types of forums. There's no way to know. So I stay relatively, but not completely annonymous.

I also don't "hunt" for people who comment here or try to figure out who they are. I think that is creepy, personally.

I am not employed by the SBC or any state convention and never have been, nor do I aspire to be really.

I go to the Convention as often as I can. Having done that for 25 years now, one gets to know a lot of people. So, even though I have not and don't ever anticipate working with the SBC in any way, I do know a lot of people. I don't think that some of the people on this blog could grasp how varied my "Baptist" contacts and friends are. That can be measured by the number of times people attack me for sticking up for my mega pastor friends, or something like that.


Louis

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:16. You are absolutely correct. The deacon boards accept this without question as the pastor has them in his pocket. The only way to stop this nonsense is to reduce giving by 50% so that there is no MONEY for private planes or boats to carry them in first class. Let them drive or fly second class and be a regular guy!!!

Anonymous said...

I see Marshal Louis is back playing his pragmatic fence sitting games acting like he is so wise.

Of course the SBCToday guys even cirlced the wagons for Caner. They are protecting Ed Young SR's son. DUH. It is that simple. Besides they have an Fla SBC president to protect, too.

BBC, Isn't it interesting how he brings up the same old question? This facebook friend of Marilio's probably wants to help Gaines scope you out. Do NOT trust Louis. He is a sneaky snake in the grass.

Been reading him for a long long time. And guess what. With a bit of digging, I found out he is an ambulance chaser!

New BBC Open Forum said...

"I don't reveal my identity here because it's not relevant. I also have some concern that there may unstable people who read or participate in these types of forums. There's no way to know. So I stay relatively, but not completely annonymous."

Exactly.

"So, even though I have not and don't ever anticipate working with the SBC in any way, I do know a lot of people. I don't think that some of the people on this blog could grasp how varied my 'Baptist' contacts and friends are."

Were you attempting to be funny or are we supposed to be impressed? Question: Are the people appointed by the EC to various boards and agencies not "working with" the SBC?

Anon 7:46,

I don't know about any of that.

Anonymous said...

"So, even though I have not and don't ever anticipate working with the SBC in any way, I do know a lot of people. I don't think that some of the people on this blog could grasp how varied my 'Baptist' contacts and friends are."


Hmmm. Wasn't Marshall Louis on the Southern Baptist Foundation Board at one time?

Marshall Louis, how is that not working for or with the SBC?

Kerygma said...

Gee, one more problem inerrancy didn't solve.

Anonymous said...

Louis...er Marshall wrote:

"So, even though I have not and don't ever anticipate working with the SBC in any way, I do know a lot of people. I don't think that some of the people on this blog could grasp how varied my 'Baptist' contacts and friends are."

Well, check out this article:

http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=32362

Scroll to almost the bottom for this paragraph about Louis...er Marshall:


-- elected John Blackman and Marshall Albritton, both of Nashville, to serve as Southern Baptist Foundation trustees beginning in June for a three-year to expire in 2013. Blackman is a retired vice president and senior portfolio manager from SunTrust Bank who previously served on the foundation's board from 2003-09. Albritton is an attorney with Parker, Lawrence, Cantrell & Dean who previously on the foundation's board from 1993-96.


Now, Louis....er Marshall...what was that you were saying about you do not "anticipate working with the SBC in any way"? Perhaps you do not see the Southern Baptist Foundation as being a part of the SBC? I am sure they do.

How is Marilio?

Just what we need. More deceivers on our Boards.

Anonymous said...

Gee, one more problem inerrancy didn't solve.

March 4, 2010 9:58 PM

Hysterical! One would think the CR's cry for inerrancy would have brought more humility.

Anonymous said...

BBC:

You are not supposed to be impressed!

Anon:

That's exactly what I mean.

Louis

Lydia said...

Wow, Louis! You are something else. Cannot say that I am surprised, though.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone caught on to the mega pastors COMPLETE CONTROL of MONEY, MISSIONS, AND MANPOWER? In the real world CEO's exercise little control over any of these. They are responsible for the bottom line, however they normally have four or five direct reports (individuals) who get that job accomplished. The mega pastor has way too much authority and if you disagree with them you are HISTORY. You might as well start looking for another position elsewhere cause you "ain't" going to be around very long no matter how long you have served in the church. As a matter if fact if you disagree at all with a mega pastor you are history. Must "put down" a possible individual that might question. Someone that knows more or has a better knowledge of scripture, someone that makes more sense than the mega.

Whats ironic is that when the new pastor comes in they change EVERYTHING. Question? If the previous mega pastor had sufficient money, mission investment, and manpower why is a total change necessary? Got any ideas? Just thinking.

Anonymous said...

Does it suprise you that no one really cares about the church any more, let alone show any interest, or spiritual sensitivity, to the Gospel?
I, for one, do not. I was, once, in church every time the door opened. I guess now my understanding has been opened up, and what I see are grown men that are no more that common thiefs, making a lot of money, not paying taxes on their housing allowances, etc, and have nerve to claim that God speaks through them. Or has many say, God laid it upon my heart. Nice.

Jon G said...

New BBC Open Forum,

I think a lot of your facts and even a lot of your opinions are right on and at least fairly accurate.
However, the massive amount that you have pastors making off of trips isn't accurate, at least trips that I have led with our pastor.
Normally there is $350 built in per passenger to pay for the pastor and his wife, which is at $6600. So that is 19 paying passengers. But there is also costs of brochures and advertizing that comes out of pastor's pockets ($350-$500), meetings before the trip with snacks and meeting rooms ($125) and then extras on the trip itself like tips, Lord Supper elements, extra payment to get into more remote areas with your team ($350). You add in meals for the trip leaders and that equals to $400). So know the trip leader has spent $1350 of his own money. He will now need 22 paying passengers to go to help pay a way to the pastor/speaker and his wife.

That brings a little more insight...many pastors make nothing or little on each of these trips unless there are groups of 50+ travelling each trip.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Integrity (doing the right thing when no one is looking) is missing in church leadership today. Discernment is missing among the average congregant today. Put the two together and it adds up to disaster. The culture is in the shape it is in because the church is no longer salt nor light to this world. The church no longer leads; it follows whatever the latest fad or gimmick is that comes down the pike. Instead of being a God-pleaser it is a pleaser of the masses. We are definitely in the days of the church of Laodicea; the days when people will no longer desire sound doctrine but will follow teachers who will tickle their ears. Sadly, the Southern Baptists have now gone the way of the once more liberal denominations. There are churches here and there with godly pastors who are teaching sound doctrine and are not living lavish lifestyles. But they are becoming fewer and farther between.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Jon G,

I almost fainted when I saw your comment thinking it was a different "Jon."

There were over 80 on the January Holy Land trip. Let's use your example and assume the usual 1-for-5 ratio of free tickets (or the price thereof). To make the math simpler, assume 84 people went, and 70 of those paid. Assuming each paid an extra $350 (and just from the prices I saw for that trip, they're probably paying twice that much -- they'd have to be considering they're paying an extra 20%), that would be an extra $24,500. Even if the host has paid $1350 out of pocket, he's still got a LOT left over.

Also, if the people going on the trip are aware of the arrangement and how much extra they're paying, then they have no gripe. However, a lot of the time people aren't aware of all the free tickets (or money) the host is receiving. It's probably assumed that the host and his wife are going free. It's not necessarily assumed he's pocketing thousands of dollars and/or giving away free trips to his friends and family.

I know a couple who went on one of these "church-sponsored" cruises one time. I don't remember what they said they paid, but two women didn't make their reservations in time but still wanted to go, so they went through a travel agency to book a cabin. It turned out they paid almost $1000 less per person than everyone else. Even with the travel agency making a profit, that showed just how much the host was making in free tickets and/or cash.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Wow, Louis. Karma....

Lydia said...

I know a couple who went on one of these "church-sponsored" cruises one time. I don't remember what they said they paid, but two women didn't make their reservations in time but still wanted to go, so they went through a travel agency to book a cabin. It turned out they paid almost $1000 less per person than everyone else. Even with the travel agency making a profit, that showed just how much the host was making in free tickets and/or cash.

March 5, 2010 11:17 PM

There is a well known SBC pastor from my neck of the woods (now deceased) who made such a fortune with these trips, he started his own Christian travel agency. It well known here. And a "pastor" always hosts the trips.

They are excursions to the Holy Land and other "mission" type areas such as China (trip to Lotties house).

Friends of mine who have gone on several did some checking and found they could have SAVED by going through another source. Everyone seems to think the trip is more spiritual or something when it is the pastors trip.

Anonymous said...

"My wife hates it when I tell people when I watch Sunday School that I like to watch Southpark."


Prime example of what is wrong in our churches today.

"A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways" (James 1:8)

No One Special said...

I know it not in reference to this post, but thought it interesting. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,588172,00.html?loomia_ow=t0:s0:a4:g4:r4:c0.000000:b0:z5

Anonymous said...

Maybe John Cross will tell us Louis, er Marshall, is one of the most transparent people he has ever met.

Anonymous said...

"My wife hates it when I tell people when I teach Sunday School that I like to watch Southpark."

A prime example of what is wrong with our churches today.

"A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways" (James 1:8).

Anonymous said...

Lydia and New BBC:

You need to read more closely before connecting the wrong dots.

I would appreciate your prayers as I serve you and the other folks in the SBC when I go back on the Foundation Board.

Louis

Lydia said...

You need to read more closely before connecting the wrong dots.

I would appreciate your prayers as I serve you and the other folks in the SBC when I go back on the Foundation Board.

Louis

March 6, 2010 1:47 PM

We are not nearly as smart as you are so please, connect the "dots" for us.

I am more likely to pray that godly people with the pure wisdom from above are appointed. Not pragmatic lawyers who deceive.

But that is unlikely in the SBC environment of today.

Anonymous said...

"That brings a little more insight...many pastors make nothing or little on each of these trips unless there are groups of 50+ travelling each trip."

Whether they make nothing, little or much, why is it appropriate for them to leave their flocks multiple times per year to go on these cruises/trips? It is neither appropriate nor necessary for them to fly first class or lease private jets at the expense of the church. How can they justify being so self-indulgent with monies that are given sacrificially by many who are suffering in these tough economic times?

Anonymous said...

March 6 3:15pm. To answer your question...they don't care, its that simple!!!!

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

All the same, I would still appreciate your prayers, seriously.

How in the world have you been deceived?

You have always said that I was pragmatic, but that is not mutually exclusive with being godly. But, that's why I covet the prayers of all.

Louis

Lydia said...

Louis, You sure are going to lots of trouble to NOT explain how we did not connect the dots on your own statement.

Marshall Louis Albritton wrote on this thread:

"So, even though I have not and don't ever anticipate working with the SBC in any way, I do know a lot of people. I don't think that some of the people on this blog could grasp how varied my 'Baptist' contacts and friends are."

Then, anonymous gives us a link to your being appointed to the SBFoundation Board.

How is that not anticipating working with the SBC in "any way"?

Seriously, I would love to hear the parsing on this one. How is it that your above comment was not deceptive? My kids gets punished for lesser lies than that.

Anonymous said...

When I think about all of the money I wasted in giving, tithing and attending church for many, many years I get very sad. I was one of those "talked into" believing that tithing was a NT doctrine. NOT SO! When I finally realized I had been brainwashed I stopped. But, much, much too late. I think of how that money could have helped someone in need, instead of giving to a "bottomless pit". I refinanced my home two times in order to "PAY THE TITHE", how stupid was that. I couldn't pay the tithe and my bills also. So I fell behind on the bills. But one time I refinanced and gave the money outright to the church. How stupid. Thank goodness, it is coming to the forefront, how false this doctrine is, and how false the preacher celebrities are that continue to brainwash people into believing it. I now give to help people I know that are in dire need, and there are plenty around us all now that need help desperately! Church's were MAYBE once worth giving to, but in my opinion, not anymore. They arn't what they once were.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure about Yeates but I understand his comment because it is the reflection of Page Patterson and his philosophy of the pastoral office. Pastor tend to reach a status of not beyond reproach but a status who are you to question me. I am only accountable to God. No we are accountable to each other. I think Paul gives the best example of what the heart of the pastor should be. I am willing not to take your money and work to show you that it is about the Gospel. Eventhough it is my right to get paid but I am not so you can not say anything bad about me.

Some of these pastor are going to have to open the books if it is truly about the Gospel. They have been backed into a corner and the question is what is more important your pride or the showing everyone that you are trustworthy.

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

This is exactly what I am talking about.

You are usually pretty sharp. But here you got ahead of yourself and started name calling.

You got my quote right, "So, even though I have not and don't ever anticipate working with the SBC in any way..." but missed everything beyond that.

My board service years ago is no secret. You know that I had served on an SBC board before because I have discussed it before - with you and others in a comment thread. Given that, my quote would make no sense with the meaning you have urged.

It may have been on this blog, but I am sure that it was on the Grace and Truth to You blog.

If you really want to verify that, you can.

People (I think you, in fact) have suspected in the blog world that I was an SBC employee or vendor to the SBC. I am not.

Some on this blog have asked the Dog if I am on staff at FBC Jax. I am not.

The SBC lawyers are Augie Boto (sp?), he is in-house with the Executive Committee, and Guenther & Jordan, who have been the Convention's counsel for years. I have never served in those capacities.

I would be glad to serve in those capacities if I felt the Lord calling me in that direction and the door was opened. But it never has, and I don't anticipate that it will. So I have not worked with the SBC and don't think I will.

I have gone to do missions (not empoyed) with the SBC. I have given to the SBC. I have attended the SBC meetings. I was appointed to serve on a committee one year at the Convention. And I have served on a board of the SBC. You also know that I am a fan of the CR and was involved in that. So, I have been active in the SBC.

But I am not the SBC's lawyer. That, after all, is my life's work.

This is not really that hard.

I hope this helps you.

Again, you were not deceived in any way.

By the way, if you are going to use my name, it would be good if you could get the order of my name correct.

I do look forward to dialoging with you further.

Thanks.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Louis: Not convincing.To quote Shakespear, "Me thinks he protesteth too much".

32yrs@bbc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"When I think about all of the money I wasted in giving, tithing and attending church for many, many years I get very sad. I was one of those "talked into" believing that tithing was a NT doctrine"

If you gave as a "duty" then it was wasted. If you gave to a church where the money was obviously being misused, then it was wasted. If you gave out of a heart of thankfulness for all the Lord has given you, and you gave to a church with integrity, then the money was not wasted.

Why would attending church be a waste? Unless you were attending an apostate church where false doctrine was being taught.

Here's a good quote with
"conviction" as its context:
"Whatever anyone can talk you into, they can just as easily talk you out of" - Adrian Rogers.

Lydia said...

Louis or Marshall (which seems to be what you go by outside of blogs as far as I can tell),

I have been reading your comments since the SBCOutpost and Wades blog for several years. Not once, do I recall you mentioning you were on any SBC affiliated Boards. And yes, people, including me, did speculate that you were somehow involved. Turns out we were not wrong but just did not know in what capacity.

For the record--You said on this thread:

"So, even though I have not and don't ever anticipate working with the SBC in any way, I do know a lot of people. I don't think that some of the people on this blog could grasp how varied my 'Baptist' contacts and friends are."


Now that an article was linked showing otherwise, the above is really a lie. (Same as deception for those of you in Rio Linda)

In your world it is not a lie because that is how you people operate and rationalize.

Which is why these blogs exist.

Anonymous said...

If you gave as a "duty" then it was wasted. If you gave to a church where the money was obviously being misused, then it was wasted. If you gave out of a heart of thankfulness for all the Lord has given you, and you gave to a church with integrity, then the money was not wasted.
___________________________________

I agree. Therefore, ALL money given to FBC Jax under the leadership of Mac and Maurilio, has been WASTED.

Anonymous said...

"Whatever anyone can talk you into, they can just as easily talk you out of" - Adrian Rogers.
___________________________________

Exactly. Which is why church staff are so upset with blogs that tell the truth about tithing. They know many of those they "talked into" tithing may now be talked out of it. :) Gotta "shut em down" to keep the cash rolling in.

Anonymous said...

RE: Lydia & Louis
Would you guys please exchange phone numbers and settle your differences over the telephone instead of taking up blog space here. Most of us here don't give a rat's hiney about "whatever" you are talking about.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I have been told that Rick Warren and Joel Osteen are part of a movement or cult that forms the basis of the "Purpose Driven Church". This movement was started by Dr. Shuler of the Chrystal Cathedral. Basically, it is the Seeker Freindly movement with emphasis on watering down the Gospel and making it so Generic that it appeals to everyone, regardless of religious denomination. This movement is consuming Christianity and is now bringing in Catholics, Jews and Muslims. This movement (cult) may form into the Whore of Babylon as described in the book of revelation. That is, a one world religion that appears to worship God, but in effect serves Satan. I do not see any evidence to the contrary that this is exactly what is happening ..... Right Before Our Eyes!

New BBC Open Forum said...

Louis,

I'm not sure what dots I'm connecting that I shouldn't. While you answered a lot of questions I didn't ask, you never answered the only question I did ask, namely, are the people appointed by the EC to various boards and agencies not "working with" the SBC?

Perhaps we have a different definition of "working with."

"You know that I had served on an SBC board before because I have discussed it before - with you and others in a comment thread."

I don't remember that either. Not at all.

Anonymous said...

Louis, Lydia,
& BBC guy:
Take your arguments, allegations, and tit for tat to some other forum. The rest of here don't care who did what, when, or where. What does your private dialogue have to do with the private jet article?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon guy...put a sock in it, por favor. This is an appropriate forum for their discussion. Louis has been a commentor on this blog for over about 2 years, so its a relevant discussion. Until we make a post "Meet Louis, Friend of Maurilio", they can post their comments here.

Thanks for allowing me that latitude here on my blog.

:)

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember Achan's sin,
the Lord's anger and Israel's defeat at Ai? Read Joshua 7. There was "sin in the camp" (v.11) and God's blessing was withdrawn until that sin was taken care of.
There's a principle in this recorded event that applies today.

There is sin in the camp of many SBC churches and it is not being dealt with. Is it any wonder SBC churches are in chaos and losing
members? Until the leadership and pastors humble themselves before
HOLY God, turn away from desiring lavish lifestyles, entertaining their congregations with sermons plucked from the internet and music that appeals to the flesh instead of the Spirit, and lording it over their people with arrogant authority, they and their churches will not have the blessing of God nor the power of His Spirit.

Thy Peace said...

This comment may not make lot of sense to new readers as Wade Burleson took all comments to his blog off line.

Louis made this comment, which was quoted by Wade Burleson in this post:

(3). One SBC lawyer opined "It is a serious ethical breach for lawyers (which I am) to receive mail from other people like this. Ah, if only you preachers would live up to the standards set by the bar associations. [Wade Burleson here ...] I freely acknowledge that my decision does not live up to the ethical standard of attorneys, and were I one, I would welcome any censure or punishment handed out.

If any lawyers or even non-lawyers can comment on the above, that would be helpful.

Anonymous said...

Louis, Lydia,
& BBC guy:
Take your arguments, allegations, and tit for tat to some other forum. The rest of here don't care who did what, when, or where. What does your private dialogue have to do with the private jet article?

March 8, 2010 2:32 PM


Actually, it has everything to do with it from a birds eye view. It goes to the depths of institutionalized sin in the SBC.

It showcases how they think and rationalize their sin and deception. It is ingrained and they think nothing of it. It shows how hard their hearts are and at many levels. Louis thinks it is amusing and asks for our prayers.

I do pray for purity in the SBC.

It is not just the mega church preachers with jets. It is the layman lawyer elder of Grace Community Church in Nashville
on the SBC Foundation Board who said he was not 'anticipating working with the SBC'.

The more he protests that we just did not understand him instead of repenting, only shows how ingrained this problem of rationalizing sin really is.

He and Ed Young are really not that far apart in tactics.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your thoughts and comments.

New BBC, no.

I think working with the SBC means working with them. I have not worked with the SBC Executive Committee, either in house or as outside General Counsel. I have not done that and don't anticipate doing that.

That's what I meant.

I understand that you, Lydia and others disagree. That's fine.

I cannot remember all who were present when I discussed the fact that I was on a board previously. Ron West asked me which board. But I thought that you were. He is on Grace and Truth to you a lot but maybe other places, too.

Thy Peace, I have not commented on Wade's blog in a while because I don't have a blog profile, and Wade turned off the anonymous option. I did see the question, but had no way of responding.

But to answer your question, I was referring the ABA Model Rules of Conduct. There is a rule in there about receiving correspondence (from an expert or attorney) that is not intended for you. I don't have the citation, and haven't looked at is in some time.

I have 3 hours of Ethics CLE every year, and this has been a topic. I can't site that for you.

The Model Rules obviously cite 1 example specifically, but in lectures I have heard, the application is broader.

The basic practice is that if you receive a letter that is sent to someone else, a lawyer is not supposed to use it. That's what I have been taught and that's how I practice.

Just think if that were not the practice. I might have friends that are junior associates, paralegals and secretaries all over town. If I could get correspondence from the firms where they worked because they leaked it to me, and that would be o.k., the legal system could not operate.

If I get a letter on my desk that is not addressed to me, I call the recipient and/or the author and try to get it to them, or ask if they meant to send it to me.

Plus, I think it is a rude thing to do unless one has the author's or recipient's permission or either has broadcast it and made it public. Then, it's fair game.

I still don't see what's wrong with old saying that gentlemen don't read other people's mail.

Can anyone tell me why that's not the preferred practice?

Again, if the letter were sent out by the recipient or author or if it became public already, that would be fine.

And let me hasten to add that we don't know what happened with the letter in question.

The author has said he did not intend for it to be sent out.

One recipient, Danny Akin, has said he did not intend to send it out.

We don't know who the other recipient is. So, the facts are not in.

I was simply making about point about the use of correspondence.

I have no idea what happened here, and it appears that will remain the case.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Dog:

As usual, you have a gift for insight.

It seems that some really do want to see a post about "Maurilio and Louis", or some derivation of that. One guy or gal really is Jones'n for it.

I will say it is disappointing to be called a liar or deceiving. That is hurtful.

But it is sort of an accomplishment (in a weird way) to think that I have gotten into people's heads. I have, apparently, become the kind of guy on the internet whom people want to find out about. All without trying.

I am the reluctant celebrity.

If you ever want to do a post about me, I might consider cooperating. But I am not suggesting it.

Just the opposite. If your blog gets to the point where I become the topic, that might be a signal to you.

It would really be more boring than you think.

Louis

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Louis - just joking with you. No one here really cares about your identity, at least I don't. You're welcome to comment here. I know you and Lydia have had it out on my blog and I think elsewhere, but I have found your commentary here to be insightful. So no, an anonymous blogging lawyer in Memphis is of no interest to me on this blog.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

But Louis - I am curious...why be anonymous? Why would you be afraid for people to know who you were when blogging on this blog and elsewhere? Would you say you were a "coward" for doing this anonymously? Or did you have valid reasons? Did your SBC contacts, your pastor, etc. know you were "Louis" blogging on the WD blog and elsewhere?

Lydia said...

Louis,

You said what you said:

"So, even though I have not and don't ever anticipate working with the SBC in any way, I do know a lot of people. I don't think that some of the people on this blog could grasp how varied my 'Baptist' contacts and friends are."


Note: You said in "ANY WAY". That communicates as a lawyer or a layman or in any capacity with the SBC

Then we find out you are on the SBC Foundation Board.

You got caught. I guess it is too much to hope for true repentance? But then, you deny you have anything to repent for


Imagine the surprise when some saw
he was a face book friend of Marilio after commenting here so many times and never mentioning the connection when it was THE topic of the blog so many times.

Yet, Louis commented here as an objective bystander.

I guess it slipped his mind that he 'friended' him.

Nashville is not that big, is it?

Louis, I certainly hope you are not planing some legal action against Tom or anyone else over this. Or any covert ruining of folks.But that would too much to ask of the SBC types.

Lydia said...

"Just the opposite. If your blog gets to the point where I become the topic, that might be a signal to you."


Actually, Louis, you are just a microcosm of a much bigger problem in the SBC. We are thanking you for giving us such a glaring example. Your 15 minutes of fame.

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

I am not planning anything except to continue to comment on blogs and do what I am doing now.

And I am no more or less objective than you or anyone else who expresses their opinions.

My opinions either stand up to logic, godly wisdom and good sense, or they don't, just like anyone else's.

Take care.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Dog:

Thanks for the compliment.

And I hope that you know that my compliments of you in the past were sincere.

I know that you could give a hoot about who I am, but it was apparently important to some.

I have said before why I just comment under my first name only.

There are lots of people in the blog world with made up names or who comment under the anonymous option, which I think is fine. However, because of that, I have no way of knowing who is on blogs. So, I have wanted to be careful for myself, my family, my church, my business etc.

I still don't know who lots of other folks are in the blog world, even the ones that use proper names. Lydia could be Hortense or Joe for all I know. Didn't know who you were until your identity was revealed.

So, when I first started commenting on blogs, I just used my first name.

I am in Nashville, not Memphis.

I would still do an interview, but I bet the real world stuff is more bizarre than my life.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Dog:

Forgot to answer one of your questions.

Who knows that I blog under my first but not last name?

My pastor knows that I blog under my first name because I have told him how much fun I have on different blogs. But he doesn't read blogs.

One guy in my church blogs (I think he is still in my church), and he knows who I am. But I don't think that anyone else in our church is involved in the SBC blog world.

One friend who teaches at a seminary immediately recognized me on another blog a couple of years ago, so he knows. I rarely see him on blogs. Never on this one.

I told someone at the Convention last year who lives in N.C.

A missionary friend (who is no longer with the IMB and left with quite some fanfare) knows who I am. But I am not sure that he blogs. At least I have not seen him.

I have no problem with people I know knowing who I am. It's the folks who are out there that I don't know that give me concern. Not enough concern to really worry. But just enough to maintain some separation. I think that is a pretty common practice from what I can see in the blog world.

Take care.

Louis

Anonymous said...

The basic practice is that if you receive a letter that is sent to someone else, a lawyer is not supposed to use it. That's what I have been taught and that's how I practice.
__________________________________

Louis - that is true but that does not apply here and you and I both know it. You are really back pedaling and looking quite unprofessional to us other lawyers. As you know, Wade did not receive or intercept an email sent to someone else. He received an email sent directly and purposely TO HIM from a staffer at the seminary. He most certainly can use it.

Now, had that email been accidentally been sent to a lawyer, then the ABA Code of Conduct is clear: if it was sent in error to someone and the lawyer received it by mistake, he should return it and not use it.

Example: If you email me something about Wade, and I email him telling him what you sent and copying him on your email, he can publish it and so could any lawyer, without violating any codes of conduct. But if you meant to privately email your lawyer about Wade, and mistakenly copied Wade's lawyer, I would think that Wade's lawyer would ethically not be able to give it to Wade to post on the internet.

Make sense? ?

Layman

Anonymous said...

I am not planning anything except to continue to comment on blogs and do what I am doing now.

My opinions either stand up to logic, godly wisdom and good sense, or they don't, just like anyone else's.
_________________________________

Louis, isn't that exactly what Tom did that got him accused of crimes, him and his wife banned from his church property, and has resulted in two lawsuits? Him just continuing on blogging? And his opinions standing up to logic or not?

Think about it. They just had to shut him down. As a lawyer, that should infuriate you. The use of the JSO and SAO to find him and them use trespass warnings in an effort to shut him down. Then slandering him by calling him a sociopath in the local newspaper.

Would you expect to be treated like this for blogging your opinions here? What would you do about it if you were?

Maybe you and Maurilio can get mac to apologize?

And what about Judge A.C. Soud calling him a coward, for doing exactly what you are doing? Again, in the newspaper. How would you like a prominent, respected Judge, calling you a coward in the local newspaper because you blogged anonymously?

These are the kinds of people we are dealing with at FBC Jax. Sin in the camp for sure.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with people I know knowing who I am. It's the folks who are out there that I don't know that give me concern. Not enough concern to really worry. But just enough to maintain some separation. I think that is a pretty common practice from what I can see in the blog world.
_________________________________

Louis, maybe you can help explain this to Judge Soud and the administration and supporters of FBC Jax who blog here criticizing Tom. They just can't accept that anyone would want to remain anonymous on the internet. Especially when blogging about a church that has connections with the JSO and SAO. :)

Anonymous said...

Layman:

Yes, your example makes sense. But in your example, I sent you an email talking about another person. As the recipient, you certainly can publish it to the other person or anyone you want.

And you are also right. The ABA Model Rules do not apply here. But in my earlier discussions, I mentioned how this is handled in legal circles. I brought it up here again only because Thy Peace asked what I was referring to, and I wanted to answer him/her.

Finally, don't misunderstand what I have said about this subject. No judgment can ultimately be made about this because we don't know the facts.

If either recipient (Dr. Akin or the other person, whom we don't know) released the email, there would be no problem at all. Again, as the recipient, they can publish it, give it to friends, give it to staffers etc.

But I believe if some staffer stole the email or copied it without the recipient's permission, that is not right. The staffer might lie about it to whomever he gave the email, and the person receiving should not be fussed at there either, in my opinion.

So, I am not making an ultimate judgment on this without all the facts.

I just know if a private letter or email showed up on my desk that I would want to make sure that the author or the recipient had either made it public or didn't care who saw it, or as in your example, intended to send it to me.

I hope I am making sense.

Louis

Anonymous said...

If the e-mail was sent using the address on the SEBTS website for Akin, it was very foolish to think that was private. And I believe Les said he used that email addy.

Louis, you have been the master here at dodging the hard questions concering your statement: "I am not anticipating working with the SBC any time".

And all the time knowing you are appointed to an SBC Foundation Board.


Duke

Anonymous said...

Well, Duke, we all see things differently. Don't we?

I look forward to continuing to dialogue with you in the future.

Louis

Anonymous said...

"Well, Duke, we all see things differently. Don't we?

I look forward to continuing to dialogue with you in the future.

Louis"


Louis, you are good at dodging the hard questions. I never look forward to conversing with those who deceive others.

Duke

Anonymous said...

So Ed Young is wrong for diverting money to himself that could be used to share the Gospel, then aren't you just as wrong for spending all your time tearing down Mac Brunson and all the church's you don't like. How is what you do and all the others that post similar comments, any different?
It's hard to sling mud when you are standing in it.