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

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

Friday, April 30, 2010

To FBC Dallas, As You Approach "Commitment Sunday"

Dear First Baptist Church Dallas Lay People:

As your May 2 "Commitment Sunday" approaches, just some friendly words of encouragement and advice from the Watchdog. I don't know if you will reach your goal of $130 million, but I wish you the best in whatever comes about from your campaign. The marketing campaign and the messages targeted at your wallet and financial portfolios makes me question whether this is God's will or man's will. I personally have a difficult time with the magnitude of the project, but even moreso the textbook secular marketing techniques used to play on emotions to get you to part with your wealth.

But some friendly, albeit unsolicited, advice:

1. Be conservative in your pledge amount
You will be doing your pastor and your church a favor if you pledge on the conservative side - that is if you are pledging at all. If you believe, as I do, that the $130 million price tag is probably low, and you couple that with likely probability that the actual pledges that come in can be expected to be higher than the eventual receipts, this can spell financial disaster for your church.
Make sure that what you pledge is reasonable, within your means, and won't create a financial hardship for your family. You having plenty of money for your family, your kids' education, and helping others in need is more of God's will for you than a "Crystal Campus". And do not pledge or divert funds from your retirement to the program; the mega church pastors who advocate such building projects are not dipping into theirs, and they won't be around to help you in your old age.

Suppose if the actual price tag is $150 million - which is not far-fetched at all - and if the actual pledges that come in after 3 years are $100 million...you have just straddled your church with a $50 million debt that will cost tens of thousands of dollars per week to service the interest. In this case the "For Future Generations" will be referring to massive debt as well as a new campus.

If you believe the church should pay off the existing debt first and then bank maybe 10% of the new construction cost BEFORE embarking on construction, maybe you want to consider handing in your pledge card marked "undetermined" or "as the Lord provides".

2. An excessive pledge amount is not necessarily proof of great faith, and it does not mean you are a more faithful church member.
Don't get sucked into the idea that the more excessive or risky your pledge is, that the greater faith you are demonstrating. The televangelists use this trick all the time, your pledge to their ministry is the "seed" or the "bridge" to your blessings.

God doesn't expect you to give generously and sacrifically to a building fund. God can use your new buildings for His glory, no question, but he can also use your present facilities. Nowhere in the New Testament are believers encouraged to give to glamorous structures. They are commanded to be generous in helping fellow believers, and caring for the poor and widows. An excessive pledge will make your pastor happy, but it might be that God wants you to be doing OTHER good works with your money.

3. Be cautious in approving the project
If the estimated cost of the campus is $130 million, based on depressed construction costs, be safe and assume the cost will be a minimum of $150. If your church does not get to at least $150 million in committments, I would hesitate to approve the project. People mean well, and might make committments they can't keep - especially since the hard marketing techniques may lead to committments based on emotion and may never pan out. When you're talking about projects in the hundreds of millions of dollars, your church can face financial ruin if you're off 20% on both the costs and the giving side of the equation.

4. Don't overestimate the importance of new buildings.
Don't think that your new campus is going to necessarily reach one single more person for Christ than you would with the old buildings. It's cliche to say "buildings don't reach people for Christ", but it's so true. You might need new buildings to replace the ancient ones that are falling apart, but don't think for a second that anybody in Dallas is going to be impressed with your new facilities. There's nothing you can build that will outdo the world's construction. The Crystal Campus looks glamorous in the videos and marketing pieces, but its still just a steel and glass.

You might steal some sheep with the newness and the "wow factor" at the grand opening, but your facilities within a couple of years will be outdone by some other church, your technology will become outdated, and the luster will have worn off. What reaches people for Christ are loving, committed disciplies of Christ who share the gospel in word and deed. It doesn't hurt either to have a genuine God-called preacher, and small bible study groups of loving people are what changes lives, not buildings. If you have that now, you already have what you need to do God's will.

About the last point: I was at FBC Jacksonville when the Children's Building and Visitor's Center was built around 2000. It was billed as the most state-of-the-art children's church facility at the time, and probably was. It was to provide a singular focal point downtown with the "water feature" with the high and lifted up cross, on the campus' central street corner (sound familiar?). It would tie our campus together with several more sky walkways to the pre-school building and a path to the worship center. It was going to give us a central point to greet our visitors in a beautiful foyer and conference area - which incidentally was converted to the Pastor's Office Suite that your former pastor now resides in - but I digress. And it was paid for in cash - no risk, the money was given, and then it was built.

I don't have the exact numbers, but I'm not sure that the building did much to grow the Children's program, or reached more families for Christ. You see, FBC Jax already had the best children's director in Shelly Baumgartner, and the best children's music director in Nancy Brandt. More than that, it had workers that were totally sold out to discipling children and reaching families. I worked one year in 4th grade the first year the building was in operation, and was blown away by the steadfast commitment of these FBC Jax children's workers. They were going to fulfill God's will for their ministry whether it be in that new building, or back in the circa 1920 building they were in prior to that. To be fair, that building now houses the FBC Academy, so it is serving dual purposes, which is good.

The lesson is: it ain't the building at all, its the people in the building, and their genuine love for people...seeing people as sinners who need a savior and families that need to be loved - not as noses and nickels. If you have a wonderful state of the art campus and an abusive, angry preacher (which you don't - on the latter), you might as well be back in the 100-year old building. If you have the most modern campus and your church is all about attracting the rich, the "beautiful people", Dallas will sense it and be turned off to your message. If you have a "water feature" that changes colors with the season, but have serious long-term debt that stifles your ability to carry out needed ministries - well, you get the picture.

Build, if God leads. But be sure it is God leading, and not man.

That's my two-cent's worth, from the Watchdog.

And on Commitment Sunday tell Sandy Patty I said "Hi".

96 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your cautions. I believe they are well meant. Still, don't you find it difficult to make judgments from a distance--it presumes (1) one has command of the facts and (2) you have been called to render a verdict?

A couple of details: the existing debt is a part of the present project cost. Some very fine people on the Building Committee (and staff) have given immense hours to considering all the issues of a huge endeavor, weighing matters of taste as well as conviction (and the wisdom to tell the difference). Nothing has been rammed down anyone's throat. We've been challenged to rethink a lot of things this year. A good thing.

Yes, we have been led through a well-disciplined, well-orchestrated Campaign that has kept us focused long enough for God to work in our hearts and minds through this particular Project/Vision.

But to confuse (is is it possible?) a flawless ("textbook", your term) communication effort with a human manipulation is perhaps to make an ancient error. "Isn't this (just) the guy from Nazareth--you know, the carpenter's son?"

The Word (whether written or incarnate; both are living): divine or the product of human action? Many have stumbled over this question, to their peril.

Perhaps the wisest human thought I have heard regarding this Project was from Kay Brady, beloved octegenarian Bible teacher at FBCOD, at a Good Friday service last year: "If God is in it, it will happen!"

Anonymous said...

Prayerfully Read and Study as a Berean this before you pledge:

http://prayershack.freeservers.com/tithing-comments.html

Anonymous said...

I know and love Kay Brady. But don't turn her statement around. She didn't say "if it happens, that means God was in it."

Waterford NOT said...

Dear Big Cry-stall Palace. Why not fund 10 start-up ministies for $10M each in the Metroplex...you save $30-50M and you reach a whole lot more people. Take the message TO the unwashed and be better stewards in a tough economy. $10M will buy a whole lota salvation if your ego doesn't get in the your way.

Early Bird said...

Is just me or is Sandi Patty starting to look more like Paige Patterson and Homer Jr?

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that the $130 million has already been pledged. So I would say that after tomorrow, there could be $150 million or more. Still, pledges are one thing; money in the bank is quite different. It still sounds more reasonable to collect the money over the next 3 years and build without debt.

Re: the campaign. I've heard most of the Sunday sermons during the campaign and I haven't heard any truly Biblical preaching. Everything has been centered around the building program. If I were a prospective member, I would run far, far away from a church that appears to only want my money.

Anonymous said...

"we have been led through a well-disciplined, well-orchestrated Campaign that has kept us focused long enough for God to work in our hearts and minds through this particular Project/Vision"

The campaign has droned on forever. If it's God's will, why such a sales pitch? How long is "long enough for God to work in our hearts and minds"? Either God is in it and will move in the hearts of people or He isn't. We didn't need such a long campaign for God's will to become evident.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anon 5:51. Plant churches. You do not need a lot of money to plant small churches around the community.

But planting small churches is not grand. And it does not allow for the celebrity pastor to revered by many.

I believe another FBCDallas commenter a few threads ago said they wanted to reach the city yuppies with their grand building. I have to wonder what folks will be saved 'to' in such an environment. So very shallow!

Anonymous said...

To the defenders of Cooper:

And if you don't allow yourself to use such language in private you won't have to fear accidentally using it in public.

What you guys are really saying is that because it was not part of the teaching and was supposed to be private, it was not really sin in his heart. The heart of a long time Christian who leads young men who are studying to be pastors.

What is it you guys really believe about being Born Again? It is scary.

Johnny D. said...

"Suppose if the actual price tag is $150 million - which is not far-fetched at all - and if the actual pledges that come in after 3 years are $100 million...you have just straddled your church with a $50 million debt that will cost tens of thousands of dollars per week to service the interest. In this case the "For Future Generations" will be referring to massive debt as well as a new campus."

Wow, Dog. Sounds like what our imperial federal government has done to us serfs. FEDZILLA is ever hungry, and must munch down ever increasing amounts of the people's wealth. You think the church budget game is fun, wait'll this last and final government debt bubble blows. The catastrophe will be far-reaching - but I digress.

Good advice here. I hope the parishioners there take it.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog,

Sounds to me like you don't want FBC Dallas to accomplish its goals. And I have read enough of your blogs to know that you will certainly rejoice if they don't meet their goal.
I am still not understanding exactly why you spend so much time writing about another congregation of which you are not a member nor giver I assume.
I just see so much judgment and condemnation in these comments, not necessarily by you, but certainly enabled by you.
What are your thoughts on making judgments and being so concerned about other Christ-centered congregations.

Jason

Anonymous said...

Does everyone everywhere have a right to any opinion? I'm not sure why anyone cares that someone inside or outside any particular church has an opinion about what is happening at that church, unless of course they know of something that should remain hidden. Many churches (not thinking of any one in particular) have a lot of skeletons that want to hide.

The responses haven't been balanced. There are more opposed than for the FBCD program. As in all other areas of life, people who are opposed are more likely to sit down and write something than people who are for an issue. Human nature? Perhaps. Are all responses being published? Probably, within reason.

Anonymous said...

I am sick and tired of all the building and visions supposedly from God. I think ALL mega churches operate way way outside the will of God.(period)

Anonymous said...

"I am still not understanding exactly why you spend so much time writing about another congregation of which you are not a member nor giver I assume."

Anyone noticed how prevalent this thinking is in SBC circles. There is basically little "kingdom" thinking. They simply do not understand it. Never been taught it.


If the people in a specific local church think something is of Christ or ok, then we are wrong to question it.

But then, history and even the Word show us that the masses or majorities are easily led and are usually wrong.

Me thinks they have never read about the Jerusalem council in Acts and the implication that we must concerned with what those who profess Christ are teaching and doing.

Of course, they believe whatever they are told by the leaders of the "local church".

Does God want quality or quantity due to man's vision and plans?

Anonymous said...

Does everyone everywhere have a right to any opinion? I'm not sure why anyone cares that someone inside or outside any particular church has an opinion about what is happening at that church,

Because when I witness, those of you who get lots of media attention as representing Christ with your towers of babel and celebrities to impress man, make it harder for nobody humble servants of the Lord. Unbelievers equate the Gospel with your "show" and materialism.

Happens all the time. We spend way too much time explaining the "Christians" away.

Anonymous said...

OFF TOPIC:
Please stop using the term "Campus". Campus is a New Age, Purpose driven term, that "bothers" me. I remember when it was first used around FBCJ. Trying to make church more relevant I guess. Sunday School became (I believe) Bible Fellowship classes. At least until everyone decided to go back to using the term Sunday School classes. Some times using "cutting edge" technical terms just "flops" and looks stupid. Just a pet peeve of mine. Sort of like people showing up for food served on Sunday in the Sunday School class than for the Bible lessons. Just "Preach the Word"!!!! Thanks for allowing me to say this.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who are sick and tired of the show, entertainment, fancy buildings, etc., may I recommend a few sites and books to help you understand what a real Body of Christ does and does not look like:

Read Pagan Christianity

http://www.searchingtogether.org/
Great articles and a video on the clergy/laity lie on this site

(Zens is a former pastor who left the "institutional church" when he realized the clergy/laity lie)

There is a movement out there to go back to the NT model of the ekklesia. Where all believers are gifted by the Holy Spirit with differing gifts and edify one another. All have input when they meet. It is so exciting. Pray the Lord directs your path so that you can mature as a believer. If you are listening to one guy every week for years, you will not mature past him. And that is dangerous.

FMBJR said...

When I read about building projects in the name of reaching people for Jesus that costs in the millions it really makes me want to cry. Yes cry!

During the time our Savior walked the same earth we stumble thru did He ever conduct a well orchestrated building project? Were His words edited, carefully crafted by mortals to sound pleasing to tickle our ears? Manipulative.

Since when are pastors on the same level as Samuel, Nathan, Elijah?

So we rely on a building, man made, that will costs additional millions to maintain structurally, much less with furnishings etc. to reach our members as well as those who need to hear and receive the good news.

Most folks will be intimidated by a building and not benefit from the so called intent of reaching those for Christ, unless they are able to afford the accoutrements they allow acceptance.

The Holy Spirit dwells in a temple not made with hands and bought with the precious blood of Christ. So why don't we just utilize our priceless temples to reach our community with the real things they need. The good news is to help those with food, clothing, single mothers that have home repairs, cars that need to be maintained so they can provide for their children, the list goes on and on.

Missionaries that cannot go to the field for lack of funds or that have to make sacrifices to stay because our pastors want to be defined by how big their church is and the budget, building projects.

Now I am angry forget the tears.

Why cant pastors preach grace giving, even if they want to call it a tithe that's ok with me but in reading the old testament giving was done with reverence not just as if someone is paying a bill.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Dog -

Wise counsel! The younger believers in any church could benefit from the older members who have been through multiple building programs, and encountered increased debt as a result

I'm really surprised that FBCD didn't go with starting multiple "campus" or "satellite" venues as that seems to be the Purpose Driven fad.

I, too, am deeply sorrowed to see all these millions thrown at a building, when so many of the parishioners are struggling financially. I don't believe we can hammer that home enough !!

Even if FBCD set aside a "tithe" of the 130 million, that 13 million dollars would certainly help a bunch of folks in need !!!

Older FBCJ member

Anonymous said...

Jason,
One of the reason's that Dallas is interesting in our conversation on this blog is that we here in Jacksonville hear so much from Mac Brunson about the wonderful ministry of your great church and many of your members travel here to join our group for traveling journey's. We even pay one of your members, Mr. Peterson to oversee our trips, so we are sorta joined at the neck here.

Mac Brunson just came home from a trip to Paris and River Cruise and sends members a letter requesting $100,000 plus to support another group of young people to go on a so called mission trip to the beautiful country of Argentina. All this man has done since he arrived from Dallas is travel and plead for more money in the name of the Lord - what a life!

Anonymous said...

3:52 Anonymous

But I believe the campaign is under the leadership of Pastor Jeffries, not Pastor Brunson. And it is sure nice to hear the kind words spoken by Pastor Brunson about the Body of Believers at FBCD.
I do not attend FBCD, but am familiar with her ministries and outreach. I don't know Mr. Peterson but I do doubt he is on the payroll of FBC Jax, is he a travel agent?
If the Personnel Manual at FBC Jax allows Pastor Brunson off for an allotted number of weeks for vacation, then I sure don't see why a trip to Paris TX or Paris France would matter a whole lot. If the Personnel Manual does not allow him to have vacation days or if he is not allowed to travel outside of the country, then he needs to be reprimanded for breaking the policies of FBC Jax.

Jason

Anonymous said...

Dear fellow members of First Baptist Church Dallas,

Tomorrow will be a great day in the 140-year history of our church. Over the last three months, there has been much communication, but that pales in comparison to the talk over the last 90 years of building a new sanctuary.

Under Dr. Truett, the church first considered building a new sanctuary in the 1920s. A new sanctuary has been discussed, considered and studied since 1968. You heard Dr. Criswell in his own words, unedited, from the 1970s.

And now it is our time. As The Watchdog has previously encouraged, be obedient to God and Him alone tomorrow. The glory will be His.

Let me assure you of a few things:

No outside marketing firms were used. Your staff together with a few Godly freelance workers, created all communications. We serve you and it has been our honor to tell the great story of our church.

The moving testimonial stories you have witnessed are all authentic and not marketing tactics. If you have a doubt ask the dear people when you run into them tomorrow in Sunday School.

The rumors, as speculated on this site, are not accurate.

This is a unique time when families from as many as five generations will come together and insure that this church will remain, now in our third century, a lighthouse for Jesus Christ.

We are not a fad or a trend. We are God’s faithful people. The bride of Christ. And tomorrow will be our joy.

John Grable
Minister of Communication
First Baptist Church Dallas

Thy Peace said...

I am impressed that an official of FBC Dallas has commented here. Watchdog, your readership is growing. God's blessings to you and to your family.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Thanks John for chiming in.

Indeed, obey God, not man.

A few comments in response to yours:

- I don't agree that tomorrow will insure your church remains a "lighthouse for Jesus Christ". Raising $130 million in pledges will in no way "insure" that the church remains a lighthouse. Your church can still be a lighthouse for many decades with or without a new campus, sanctuary, water structure, etc.

- I trust that if your leadership is truly open to the Lord speaking to people, that you will allow the church to consider several options on how to proceed given the commitments. The church could decide to go slower, and raise the money to pay off old debt first, then bank a portion of what is needed. Or it could phase the project to make it less risky. Or vote to go full bore after the entire campus. But whichever way you go, in the meantime, you can still be a lighthouse with our without the $130 mill.

- Can you be a bit more specific as to what "rumors" you are referring to?

- I've never implied that the testimonies were not real or authentic. However, I would NOT encourage anyone to give based on testimonies of other people, or to be influenced by the stories of others - especially when people speak of dipping into their retirement accounts. Everyone knows that testimonials are one of the most effective marketing techniques employed in any fund-raising endeavor, having peers give testimonies to influence the decisions of the undecided. That's not to be critical, it's just the way it is.

- But I noticed that not one of the testimonies was from someone who said "I feel at this time I can't afford to give much" or "the Lord really hasn't convinced me that this is the right thing for our church" or "I don't think that we should be building with still so much debt hanging over us from the last building project." Your testimonies were carefully selected to elicit a certain response from the congregation - namely encouraging people to give large gifts. I also think it was shameless for your pastor to tell people to "slice off a large chunk" of their assets as a way to spiritual health.

But I wish you and FBC Dallas the best tomorrow. I'll continue to follow the Crystal Campus story at FBC Dallas on the blog.

Tell Sandi I said "Hi"!

Anonymous said...

WD, Dead on. I work in a mega and these "techniques" are rampant. It is passionate people that make the difference, not a bldg. But in SBC life we somehow give credit to pastors who build. Meanwhile the gospel is spreading like crazy in movements around the world where buildings are not affordable.

Anonymous said...

I guess there is a new commandment I have not read yet in the Bible;

Give your money to the church and their leaders and I will have a special place in heaven ...just for you. -

GUARANTEED

oh me.....

This Baptist cult thing gets so out of hand sometimes and people just let it happen.

Drink that Kool Aide Dallas - Drink it well.

Slow to speak said...

This time I totally agree with WD. With the economy going south, folks struggling to pay their bills, hunger and homelessness, this Building Campaign is crazy! FBC is not that big a church anyway so the need for this sounds like EGO! 130 Million...Are you kidding me...that Cowboy Hat is cutting off the blood supply to your Brain!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you tomorrow John. As the Holy Spirit leads willing and faith-filled hearts tomorrow, I pray it will be a resounding celebration of what God's people can do.
The church needs updates and new facilities and facelifts - otherwise you will strap generation 40 years from now with a larger project.
I pray it goes well, that the Lord is honor and that the Lord fights the battles for you.
Without faith, it is impossible to please the Lord.

Jason

Anonymous said...

"Chiming in"?

You ought to be flattered, Mr. Dawg. Don't put your homies down.

Say hello to Sandi uself.
Say hello to Snoop for me.

'Sup.....

Anonymous said...

Ok John, so no outside firm was hired. FBCD just brought you on staff so no outside marketing professional was needed! Your bio on the church site gives some insight into your professional background. I'm not knocking your work -- clearly you are good at what you do -- just pointing out to the readers here that the in house vs outside marketing expertise is, in this case, a distinction without a difference.

Ovalsia said...

Minister of Communications

Other than Christ, who and where was that in the Bible?

I only need one communicator and he ain't NO Minister - especially in these days...

Anonymous said...

Ovalsia,

There also is no youth minister, custodian, women's minister, associate pastor, or church receptionists mentioned in the Bible - so your argument really doesn't hold. Unless all of those should not be on staff in your opinion!

Of course no handrails, air-conditioning, ramps, locks, guest cards, sound systems, parking spaces, hymnals, nor pulpit is mentioned in the Bible either - so I assume you attend a church that has none of these. Correct?

Jason

Anonymous said...

There also is no youth minister, custodian, women's minister, associate pastor, or church receptionists mentioned in the Bible - so your argument really doesn't hold. Unless all of those should not be on staff in your opinion!

Of course no handrails, air-conditioning, ramps, locks, guest cards, sound systems, parking spaces, hymnals, nor pulpit is mentioned in the Bible either - so I assume you attend a church that has none of these. Correct?

Jason

May 2, 2010 8:34 AM

Jason, I think you are on to something important. None of those things are mentioned in the NT Body of Christ, so why do we have them? Obviously they were not needed for the ekklesia to meet, minister to one another or even grow the Body by planting other Body's of Christ.

But they sure have become a diversion. Especially the money it takes to fund it all. We could be using that money to help other believers like they did in the NT with the Jerusalem believers.

Anonymous said...

Dear fellow members of First Baptist Church Dallas,

Tomorrow will be a great day in the 140-year history of our church. Over the last three months, there has been much communication, but that pales in comparison to the talk over the last 90 years of building a new sanctuary.

Under Dr. Truett, the church first considered building a new sanctuary in the 1920s. A new sanctuary has been discussed, considered and studied since 1968. You heard Dr. Criswell in his own words, unedited, from the 1970s.

And now it is our time. As The Watchdog has previously encouraged, be obedient to God and Him alone tomorrow. The glory will be His.

Let me assure you of a few things:

No outside marketing firms were used. Your staff together with a few Godly freelance workers, created all communications. We serve you and it has been our honor to tell the great story of our church.

The moving testimonial stories you have witnessed are all authentic and not marketing tactics. If you have a doubt ask the dear people when you run into them tomorrow in Sunday School.

The rumors, as speculated on this site, are not accurate.

This is a unique time when families from as many as five generations will come together and insure that this church will remain, now in our third century, a lighthouse for Jesus Christ.

We are not a fad or a trend. We are God’s faithful people. The bride of Christ. And tomorrow will be our joy.

John Grable
Minister of Communication
First Baptist Church Dallas

May 1, 2010 5:42 PM


This is called "damage control" spin. And John is staying on "message".

They certainly do not need a big new shiney building to be God's faithful people. In fact, it is just the opposite.


Matt

Lunch Bucket Sam said...

Enquiring minds want to know...did they get the Dough$$$$$$. Will Dallas be saved? Will civilization still exist if they don't. Does God really care if they build that big huuge crystal monument(idol) to ego?

Anonymous said...

"John Grable
Minister of Communication
First Baptist Church Dallas"


John is just earning his nice paycheck. Kinda strange he felt the need to come on these sinful blogs and defend the big fancy building project. Wonder why he would bother?

Does one learn PR for churches in seminary these days?

Anonymous said...

The big announcement is on May 16 so we won't officially know until then. No Sunday school that day, one church service (everyone won't fit in the auditorium so they'll have to remote to other places), and free catered dinner on the grounds (in the parking lot that will become the the multi-story building connected by the sky bridge to the auditorium).

Anonymous said...

"John is just earning his nice paycheck. Kinda strange he felt the need to come on these sinful blogs and defend the big fancy building project. Wonder why he would bother?"

John would bother because they (the staff at FBCD) know there are FBCD people commenting on here. Trouble is, they don't know how many or how influential. Puttin' out fires....or tryin' to.

Anonymous said...

Does one learn PR for churches in seminary these days?

I don't know, but Grable didn't. Graduated from Baylor with a radio/TV/film degree 32 years ago. (No seminary listed on his online resume.) Has made a career in marketing, most recently at The Richards Group as a "Broadcast Brand Producer" before coming to FBCD.

His FBCD bio states:

"Minister of Communications John Grable holds more than 32 years of experience in broadcasting, advertising, media and ministry. A major asset to First Baptist Dallas, Grable comes to us having led top-tier national TV programming and brand campaigns, and with years of service to the local church, prominent ministry organizations, and Southern Baptist agencies. He and his wife, Kim, have three adult daughters. Contact him by e-mail at communications@firstdallas.org."

Grable was hired in 2008 if I recall, shortly before the "exploratory committee" was formed that studied and recommended the new campus project. I believe Jeffress brought in a man of his experience and expertise for the precise purpose of selling this project.

Slow to speak said...

I was praying for all the folks at FBC and for the service today. Did Jerry Jones attend? Is it true that the new campus will look like a minature Cowboy Stadium? Is there a Tony Romo prayer room? Will the new podium for the Pastor to preach from be shaped like a football? Is all of this really necessary...you gave your retirement savings for this....

Anonymous said...

Listen to the sermon today....only Satan was against the building....Satan was the cause of Dr. Cooper making a racist statement....I cannot believe I actually gave sacrificially to this church for 30 years....not one more penny. I am physically sick over the garbage this one man has brought into our church.

DW said...

Waterford Not- $10 million to plant a church? It would take nothing near that to plant a solid bible-believing church in the metroplex.

Though I am interested to know, did FBC Dallas seriously consider planting churches as an alternative to spending $130 million on a mega?

Anonymous said...

"only Satan was against"

"Satan was the cause of "

Has a ring to it don't you think?

God appoves what someone wants.

And you Demonize anything or anyone that is against what you want.

Go Jeffries

Anonymous said...

Off Topic:
I visited Bellevue Baptist Church for the first time in years yesterday just to see what was going on over there.

Surprisingly the crowd was fairly large. The music sounded good (traditional service 9:30 am), but the sermon title dropped my jaw.

“Enforcing Church Discipline” – are you kidding me? From the guy who let a child molester run the children’s department at the church for six months and didn’t announce it until the Commercial Appeal ran a story.

Now that takes some ego or a complete lack of any kind of insight. I guess he never would have decided to preach on that subject if he had any clue that he was guilty of what he was preaching against.

He ran off a laundry list of offenses including doing things that are spoken against in the Bible and being arrogant and doing what you want to do instead (especially church leaders).

It perfectly described his actions in his first year at Bellevue. Then he pointed his finger and said in a loud voice: “The Bible says to remove the evil man from the church.” I looked at my wife and shook my head. Wow.

At one point he read off a list of offenses and asked “does that remind you of anyone?”

Yes, sadly it does.

Anonymous said...

"If I were a prospective member, I would run far, far away from a church that appears to only want my money."


I went there for a few years and trust me, that is all they want. And if you don't have any, or much of it, or aren't from the right schools, or didn't grow up in the church - you won't be very "popular" there. Miserable, miserable game-playing people.

Anonymous said...

Watch Dog, you are so right. I too have a problem with the magnitude of the thing. I am a faithful member of FBD. I know a lot of the buildings are old and not even up to code, and those need to be rebuilt or repaired. But we have an absolutely beautiful sanctuary that still looks like a sanctuary, not an arena. And we have the new Criswell Center which has S.S. rooms, and the nursery and children's area has already been redone and is quite nice and adequate. I can't help but believe this is just Jeffress' plan so he can get a bigger feather in his cap for the biggest building program ever. He started talking about a new building when he hadn't even been here 6 months. And I have a huge problem with the money we have spent on advertising -- even place mats -- c'mon give me a break! Jeffress sounds exactly like those TV preachers begging for money. He has told us we are to give more than we can or it will not be "a sacrificial gift." He has told us to take money out of our retirement and 401K's. I'm sorry, I don't believe the Lord expects us to do that. I am a single person and I do plan to give to the campaign, but I will not take money from what I must live on during retirement. I think he has gone too far. Now yesterday we all passed by the receptacles and dropped in our commitment cards. We are to hear the results on May 16. Now do you for one minute think he's going to say, "Sorry the whole thing is canned. We didn't get the money?" After he's done all this marketing he's going to let it be known that it failed? Of course not. He's going to build this whether it puts us in debt or not. Oh, and one other thing. Jeffress has told us if we don't give the money to build this, First Dallas will die on the vine and be no more and it will be our fault. This church has been here or over 100 years and it's not going to dry up. Somebody needs to buy him a little white Nehru suit like Benny Hinn!!

WishIhadknown said...

Yes siree, I can feel the love. How about you.

Anonymous said...

"....Satan was the cause of Dr. Cooper making a racist statement"


Give me a break. Other races make racist statements and comments against white people all the time. And have you ever heard of other races bending over backwards to defend whites and take a stand against their own race for their comments? NOPE! Yes this is off-topic and opens a can of worms, but get over the "white-guilt" already!

ANYWAY.......

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

VTM Bottomline [Paul Burleson] > MOVING FROM THE TITHE TO GRACE GIVING----ONE MAN'S JOURNEY.

Grace, Mercy and Peace be unto you on this day of our Lord. Several weeks and months ago, you were informed of my theological shift from tithing to grace giving. After 30 years of tithing and pondering this matter in my heart and studying both camps who argue for and against tithing, I told you of my personal decision. Since that time, I have been buried in study about this topic and have concluded that the tithe teaching lacks scholarship and cannot be biblically proven in the New Covenant beyond a shadow of doubt. The tithe teachers in the body of Christ who force or mandate tithing would not withstand a cross-examination on a witness stand by a counsel of scholars, Elders and theologians who have studied to show themselves approved and rightly divided the Word of Truth.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Christianity Today > Bloggers Target Seminary President.

Liberty University's board of directors has declined to take public action against Ergun Caner, president of the university seminary, as bloggers raise doubts about Caner's account of his childhood as a Muslim.

Elmer Towns, co-founder of Liberty University and dean of the School of Religion, says there will be no official reprimand or demotion of Ergun Caner. Towns, who had a hand in hiring Caner, says the Liberty board has held an inquiry and directors are satisfied that Caner has done nothing theologically inappropriate.

"It's not an ethical issue, it's not a moral issue," Towns told Christianity Today on April 27. "We give faculty a certain amount of theological leverage. The arguments of the bloggers would not stand up in court."

U Know I'm Right said...

Spot on DW. A cool $10M will build a NICE satelite church. Heck, I have a better idea. Rent out space in the 100's of vacant retail spaces and for $500K you could outfit a nice place. The day of the big mega church is drawing to a close and these egomaniacs are blinded to that reality. Quite building edificies/monuments to your ego and claiming it is for the Lawd and needed to reach the heathen for Jeeesus. Can you say Amen Brutha!

Anonymous said...

You bad bad bloggers...you are threatening the gravy train.

Anonymous said...

As information, the Lord said in the scriptures that the Gates of Hell could not prevail against His church. If a church folds today then it is apparent it was of no earthly good. I have seen a lot of them, and frankly some of the larger ones would do the Lord a favor if they padlocked their doors or converted them to homeless shelters. Just because a building exist and has a sign out front claiming to be a church does not make it one. Get over this idea that millions have to be spent in order to bring people into the Kingdom of God. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Sadly, the megas know this and when the money dries up, they will claim the lack of funding is all the members fault as they didn't trust God to open up all their wallets, savings, 401K's, etc, etc. Never questioning their own decisions as NOT what God wanted. Nothing is more out of Gods will than an ego ridden mega preacher thinking he has the "inside track" with the Lord!

Anonymous said...

"We give faculty a certain amount of theological leverage."

To twist a story to fit their agenda.

Liberty University currently has 10,000 on campus students with current plans to increase that to 15,000 and long range plans to go to 20,000 students.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Anonymous said...

As a student of First Baptist Academy, I understand the need for reconstruction for parts of the FBC grounds that the academy takes part on, such as the dilapidated and ancient Burt building.

However, I do not see the need to spend 130 million on transforming the church to attract members. Did they not just recently build the Criswell building? And where is the academy placed in all of this? How will it affect us as a whole? These are some of the questions I have yet to recieve the answers to.

But more importantly, for me at least, a church is simply a gathering place to worship God among fellow believers. A fancy building isn't going to attract members. Not for the right reasons, at least. It doesn't matter what the church looks like. If the focus is on the outside appearance and materialistic features of the church, then it will just become an empty, emotionless place. No real value at all. I think we all should focus on the spiritual condition of our community. What is important in the eyes of Jesus Christ? How much money you pledge? No, I don't beleive that.

Anonymous said...

Where does the First Baptist Academy stand in this plan?
Did we not just build the Criswell building?

How will this attract new members? A church should be a place for worship and teaching of God's word in a community of beleivers. The fancy design and technology casts a negative light over the church. I feel as if this community is no longer focused on God, but rather on numbers and superficial motives. Does God care how much money I pledge for a 130 million dollar facility? No, I don't beleive so. I beleive He only cares about what's in our hearts and living according to His purpose. We can share the message of Christ and reach out to others.

It dissapoints me as a student of FBA, any argument I have against the church is discouraged from being heard. I feel as if everything I have been taught here at school is being contradicted. Does my opinion not count? In my Bible class we have been discussing reasons youth leave the church. Materialism and hypocricy are two of the top reasons. You might want to watch out FBC.

Anonymous said...

To borrow a phrase from a secular movie:

"We are Laodicea"

Anonymous said...

Wonder how so many people in the past were SAVED in TENTS where revivals were preached.

Anonymous said...

"Wonder how so many people in the past were SAVED in TENTS where revivals were preached."

Don't forget the countless millions of people reached in stadiums all around the world with Billy Graham and others presenting the Gospel!

New BBC Open Forum said...

I visited Bellevue Baptist Church for the first time in years yesterday just to see what was going on over there.

Surprisingly the crowd was fairly large. The music sounded good (traditional service 9:30 am), but the sermon title dropped my jaw.

“Enforcing Church Discipline” – are you kidding me? From the guy who let a child molester run the children’s department at the church for six months and didn’t announce it until the Commercial Appeal ran a story.


Anon May 3rd 10:13 a.m.,

You couldn't have picked a more perfect Sunday to observe Steve Gaines in action!

Good points, although the crowd was not "large" in comparison to what the crowds were 5-6 years ago, or even 4 years ago.

What did you think of the the "church fight" story?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I do not believe John grable when he said, "no outside marketing firms were used."

Anonymous said...

John Grable IS the outside marketing group; he just happens to be on staff. It would be the same as hiring The Richards Group. That's where he came from. And I agree with someone earlier who said that Robert probably hired him with this end in mind, that he would provide the marketing campaign for the new complex. It's getting embarrassing to be in the service where ALL anyone talks about is the fund raising for the new building. This has been going on for WEEKS.

Anonymous said...

FBC Dallas members, Seriously consider this simple question and answer it truthfully. Who gets the glory?

Anonymous said...

"If I were a prospective member, I would run far, far away from a church that appears to only want my money."

I'm a long-time member and I'M running as far, far away as I can. I'm literally sick of hearing about gimme, gimme, gimme for an outlandish BUILDING. We haven't heard a "real" sermon in weeks! The church is not a building, but the people. I tried to stay because I love the people, but I have lost respect for Robert and it just doesn't wash anymore. I want to hear the Bible taught and God will lead me to a church that does just that! As far as I'm concerned Robert is no better than any of the other televangelists..including Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker! They wanted their names to be a household word also...and they got exactly what they wanted and they reaped what they sowed. Bilking the elderly...that is LOW LOW LOW! I'm seeking a church that is missions minded and truly cares about people...

Anonymous said...

"I'm seeking a church that is missions minded and truly cares about people..."

I've heard that First Baptist Carrollton may be such a church. They have a good rep for being missions minded and I know of some who are quite happy there.

Don't know how much longer we'll stay. When there are only 2 services, one at 9:30 (so called blended) and the other (very contemporary like in Center Stage now) at 10:50 we may have no choice. It is my understanding that our Sunday school class (spiritual family) that meets at 9:30 will move to 8:00 (unacceptable time for us personally). Don't quite understand why our Sunday school couldn't meet at 10:50 since I'm pretty sure our folks won't want to go contemporary.

Anonymous said...

Todays pastors (ha) don't care about people or what people want. They just care about the money!!! So they shove the people around and expect them to like it. It's Gods will don't you know.

Anonymous said...

The current megas are more and more parallel to administrations or regimes in DC. When a new religious CEO takes over a mega he lays down his ambitions to the sheep, and either they love it or leave. The CEO is perfectly happy to cleanhouse and watch all but the sheep leave - unless they are millionaires willing to buy access. Then he appears to be pandering to them until the money dries up. Otherwise the CEO wants HIS people only who are towing the line 100%. The troubling thing for FBCD, is that there may not be enough people towing the line 100%. We'll have to wait and see, but I doubt it. I have watched as so many great people who contributed to the church financially have left. I worry if the current crop of rubber-neckers will be there for the long term.

Our family too has just about taken all we can. The exit strategy is in place and I don't even think we will make it thru the month. Mother's Day is a good excuse to leave town and miss; and I don't even think we will go back to hear the big announcement and back slapping on the 16th.

We will miss some really great people there but my family is starving for sincere Christian leadership. Sad.

Anonymous said...

"Mother's Day is a good excuse to leave town and miss; and I don't even think we will go back to hear the big announcement and back slapping on the 16th."

We did that on a holiday weekend 26 years ago when we joined FBCD. Our former church never missed us despite the fact that we had sat on the third row pew for years and never missed a Sunday and were active in Sunday school & Wednesday night activities. We finally told them we had changed churches when they called us a month later to invite us to a Sunday school party. Until now, FBCD has been different. I have never felt like just a number until now, and the number is not being counted present, it's the amount in my pocket that I can give to the program. We didn't turn in a pledge card and don't plan to. So, we got another one in the mail this week to stack with the 3 others we had already received. We're expecting a phone call or perhaps a knock on the door next. At this point we SO don't have ANYTHING to give, but if we did we would use it to support one of the many missions in Big D that FBCD has withdrawn support from since Robert arrived.

It is so good to be able to come here and blow off steam. Thanks Watchdog for giving us a forum. No leader at our church cares what we think.

Anonymous said...

Anyone in the Dallas area willing to name churches who DO care about the members, missions, the Word, etc.? It DOES NOT have to be Baptist. South of 635. I'm a traditionalist but like blended. Sorry, I can't take JUST a band and choruses...too old to change I guess.

I stopped tithing at FBD the first of the year. I prayed hard and long about this since I was brought up that God'll get ya if you don't! Amazingly (or not) God has actually told me each payday where He wants my money to go. Gives me chillbumps. I actually feel like my paltry sum is helping real people, ministries and missions.

Anonymous said...

Today Randy Riggins preached a real sermon with bible verses not paraphrased to fit an agenda. It was about humility. First time in close to two years I have heard a sermon in the sanctuary. The day would have been perfect except that at the end, the ending benediction was another plug for the building with the anthem and the new glorious building plans.

Yes we have not sent in a pledge card because if we did it would say 0 and nobody in our family wants the mafia after us. We too expect a phone call soon. We will not be there next week to hear what we already know. The truth is not forthcoming from anyone at the church anyway. Intergrity is all but gone from all the leadership.

We also found out this week that a faithful godly woman was let go because she had the conviction to do what most men at the church are too scared to do...she spoke the truth.

Please let us know where we can look next week for a new church home. Real music and bible teaching. I will give up the programs and love we felt for over 40 years but we have no other choice.

I am not sure how Robert, Mark and Doran sleep at night but I trust that regardless of them, God is in control and He is faithful and good.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone in the Dallas area willing to name churches who DO care about the members, missions, the Word, etc.? It DOES NOT have to be Baptist. South of 635."

Try First Baptist Duncanville. I know them to be missions minded and with blended services. Have never heard their pastor, but I believe this church would be worth checking out.

Anonymous said...

At this point we SO don't have ANYTHING to give, but if we did we would use it to support one of the many missions in Big D that FBCD has withdrawn support from since Robert arrived.

What missions has FBCD withdrawn support from?

Anonymous said...

"We also found out this week that a faithful godly woman was let go because she had the conviction to do what most men at the church are too scared to do...she spoke the truth."

She wasn't just let go, she was maligned, ridiculed and profaned. Not the first time our MOM has used profanity. Oh the tales we in the choir could tell. But to call anyone, much less a member of your staff a "female dog"...reprehensible. Where is Robert now? But then Robert has his own names for those who disagree with his demolition derby. Listen to an early sermon where we are called deadwood and other sweet names. He did warn us. If we disagreed with him he would just build it up around us and the deadwood would leave. He will get his wish, at least as it concerns me and my $$$.

Anonymous said...

I stopped tithing about a year ago at FBCD, after they had the big raffle to give away a car. It was a jeep that sat out on Kadane plaza for a couple weeks, just like a golden calf. The gimmick was, come to church and win a car.
With that kind of integrity and devotion to the gospel, I lost all confidence in this leadership.

Now the crystal palace is claimed to be dire need for the gospel's sake.I suppose the Holy Spirit can't really work without a shiny new building. They could have taken much better care of their existing facilities, there are years of deferred maintenance and needed updates on the life safety systems.

I did not turn a card, walked out just as they started the processions for members to show their support. I too, am looking for a church body that is not afraid to sing hymns, not afraid of the doctrines in them, nor concerned what people think of them.

THese little camp fire songs used in corporate worship are so shallow, we steal God's rightful praise and honor, with these redundant little holy mantras.

Remember, Aaron gave the Israelites what they wanted when Moses was away.

THey wanted a big shiny idol, and this messenger of God bowed to the wishes of his people, the market studies then said they wanted it so. Well, they got what they wanted, to Aaron's shame.

What a heartbreaker, I take no joy in saying these things. What has happened here??? When did things get off track?

Anonymous said...

Do you find it odd that this Sunday there will be no live feed of the "victory" Sunday on the internet? Will not be taped either? I think they are getting wise that the comments they make will be a record of their words and thoughts. Easier to deny. Clinton would have never come clean without the dress.....

Anonymous said...

Seriously? They are not putting the service live online? If everything Jeffress is saying about this being necessary to draw people in is true, why hide the "truth" of the big victory Sunday?

(another side note: victory over who?)

Anonymous said...

Maybe some of the evil bloggers will be there and let us in on the scoop, maybe even take in a digital recorder (hint, hint). I'm assuming no media, not even on KCBI, who will probably be playing a rerun. However, there will be some feed somehow, else how will they get on the local news or even the national news, since Robert has grandstanded his way onto those outlets also.

We personally are taking this Sunday as an opportunity to visit a church in our community as we prepare our exit strategy.

Anonymous said...

Where did you find out that Sunday would not be live? I checked on the web page for Live Services and it looks like it's counting down to this coming Sunday.

Anonymous said...

I guess I found my own answer in the church newsletter online: "You will not want to miss Announcement Sunday, May 16. We will all meet together in one service at 10am (there will be no Sunday School that day). CenterStage, Heritage Chapel, Coleman Hall, and other venues will be available to view the service that morning as we announce to all of our church family what the members of our congregation have committed to the creation of our new campus. Additionally, Mark Lovvorn will answer the question “where do we go from here?” by outlining the schedule for recommendations, church discussion and vote, and groundbreaking. The service that morning will not be broadcast on KCBI radio. After the service, our entire church will enjoy a complimentary lunch and great fellowship time throughout our campus.

Anonymous said...

May 12, 2010 2:43 PM Anon

It was announced Sunday that we would not be broadcasting the services this Sunday on KCBI or on the Internet....

Anonymous said...

If everything is open and above board, why take steps to hide the big announcement and proceedings?

If this project is all about bring more people in, why shut them out on this oh-so-important day?

If FBCD wants to be seen as more inclusive of others in Dallas, why be so exclusive about who can hear the big announcement and witness the great vote?

This move toward secrecy does not help the church's image as an elite, exclusive club.

Anonymous said...

Church leaders want a BIG crowd in the house for their BIG announcement. They don't want anyone staying home. That is why the service is not being aired. (And also probably, to prevent clips from being posted on anyone's blog.) :)

If the goal has been reached, you can bet on local media coverage in some form. The 'biggest this,' the 'largest that' in modern church history is sure to be reported.

Meanwhile seems like the fissures beneath the surface continue to widen.

Anonymous said...

Maybe just maybe if we raise enough money, we can lease a jet and truly start reaching the "lost".

Anonymous said...

Since the Criswell era there has been a way for news outlets to get direct feed at the church. That move was made to keep them out of the auditorium during the services. Before they did that, I've seen times that there were so many people in there with various kinds of cameras it was truly disruptive.

Sunday should probably be about taking care of family business within the church, so I don't think it is necessarily a negative that the news isn't going to be broadcast live. Believe me, the highlights will be on the local and perhaps national news. As far as not having anything for anyone to blog. Just about everyone there now has a phone with a camera. Outsiders will have photos if they want them, just not live at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:11
Ditto
This is a time for the Church Family to meet and worship without all the broadcasts.

I do not agree with anything the negative folks out here are doing to FBCD, both members and nonmembers but they have their right to debate.

However at the end of the day, nothing we do or say will please these folks. They will attack this program until we are finished and on into the future so why would we broadcast and give all these disenters material to spoof and attack with, it would be twisted to meet their needs. We love the Lord and feel Robert is leading us in the direction He has for us. I personally feel that while they have every right to express their opinions we should not put it out there to allow this group to attack His mission for our Church.

Anonymous said...

I think that "withholding ammo" from dissenters is precisely the reason for not broadcasting this week. I just never expected a supporter to admit it! Of course this admission begs the obvious question: just what is Robert going to say that could be so damaging in the hands of a dissenter?

I thought this project was all about bringing people in. So why shut them out now? In other words, what is there to hide?

Anonymous said...

From Anon 11:52
Because you have made up your mind that this is outside God's will and nothing we can say or do will ever change your mind so why should we open it up to the spin masters? Why should we put it out there just to be spoofed? Why should we open up to attacks? It is to bring people into the church, so if they want to see this they need to come in.


The reality is we disagree on what God's will is for our church, I am not bothered at all about the debate but I agree we should not add fuel to the spin fire.

Anonymous said...

Cont.

Sorry I left out repsonse to your last comment.

There is nothing to hide, we have been very open and attacked for it. It is just time for the church to celebrate as a family and not a time for all the dissenters to join in. Sorry if you can't live with that but it is what it is.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree....

They should be able to celebrate their beautiful golden calf without us saying anything.

Former member who gave generously to the new Criswell Center ( for those who claim we do not support any change)

Anonymous said...

Ok. I appreciate your honesty. I just think it smacks of the very kind of elitism and exclusivity that the church has been accused of for decades. Of course, I suppose a closed "worship service" pales in comparison to a $130 million building in terms of furthering stereotypes of the church and it's members.

Anytime doors are closed, suspicions are raised. In this case, it seems to contradict the stated purpose of the project ("reach more people") to shut down existing methods of reaching people. Doing so basically sends the message that the church is more concerned about how it's inner workings would be perceived or "spun" than it is about it's stated purpose of reaching others. In my opinion, if this Sunday's service were truly a "worship" service and a proclamation of the Gospel, shutting down broadcasts would not be necessay. But we both know that's not what it's all about this week. At least you are honest about what's going on, unlike many.

Anonymous said...

I try to be honest.

I don't see it as a closed service, those that we will likely reach with this program are welcome to come a participate. There will be other services to reach to distance people to listen to.

I do see it as worship, again while everyone has the right to their opinion we do believe this is His will and this is a family celebration and not somehting to be tossed out there for the attacks.

To clarify one more point, I am not in the know. This may not be the actual reasons I just happen to agree with it. There is no way anything we do will satisify this group of people and I must say you guys have proven you have no issue with very harsh attacks on those you disagree with. So why throw the pearls before the swine to be chewed up, disected and twisted?

Anonymous said...

I just found this site when I googled FBCD, since I live in Dallas. Wow. Amazing. Are you kidding me?

Really--If a lost person stumbled on this site and started reading, would your comments make them more interested or less interested in becoming a Christian and/or visiting a local church?

And to all you debbie downer FBCD bloggers:

If you dislike Jeffress and the building program that much, are that unhappy, feel you've been misled or not listened to, then why not leave now and save yourself the misery? I mean Jeffress will probably be there awhile. Any reason you have to stay?

Seriously, life's too short to attend a church where you're unhappy or don't like the Pastor. Be good to your spiritual health and your physical health and find a place of worship where you'll be happy. Dallas is filled with great churches--Southern Baptist or not. Ask God to show you the way. He will.

And my suggestion: don't even visit a church that does not have new or newer (post 1980s) facilities. That way, you'll probably never have to be bothered by a building campaign, and you can give generously to missions, the homeless, etc!

And to all, every time you feel the urge to post something to this blog, wow, stop yourself, pick up your Bible and/or start praying. Read 20 or 30 Psalms or Tozer or your favorite Christian writer! Pray for the lost. Pray for missionaries. Pray for the sick and dying. Or, get up and go volunteer at a homeless shelter or nursing home or food bank.

Do one of those, and don't worry about responding to my comments. I won't waste the time to come back.

Folks, this blog is like a mosquito bite. Mom always said that if you scratch it, it gets worse and keeps itching, but if you leave it alone, it will go away...

Anonymous said...

"debbie downer"? Boy that's a new one I havent heard in about 15 years...

It's about so much more than you can begin to know, 6:58. There is much back story, and much truth to emerge.

But yes, we're done, sadly, as are many others.

Anonymous said...

6:52- i genuinely appreciate your honesty and civility on this topic. Clearly we disagree on whether the project is appropriate, but I'm glad you don't resort to personal attacks as 6:58 did. Thanks.

6:58- I think the reason many have trouble just walking away is that many have been around through multiple eras. So your opinion that Jeffress will be here a while may not be shared by all. After staying around through Gregory, Hawkins, and Brunson, not to mention interims Fish and Hemphill, many may think Jeffress will be here today, gone tomorrow too. As we saw with Mac, big buildings and debt don't necessarily obligate a pastor to stay. And when a new "call" comes, promises tend to be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

It is too bad that people stopped posting comments to this blog. It was an interesting stream of opinions.

Marcia said...

I'm also a member of FBCD and have been for almost 40 years. I agree with Watchdog 100 percent about Jeffress new Palace for the wealthy, just my opinion.

About ten years ago Mac Brunson was pastor of FBCD and was begging for money -- mucho dinero.

Criswell asked for money, too, but nothing in the world like what Robert Jeffress and Mac Brunson have asked. Watchdog, you've got Mac, and I've got Jeffress. However, I'll give to John 3:16 first, just one problem,

Just wondering if Jeffress and Brunson got all their marketing techniques under the Emergent Rick Warren and Schuller!!!

Apostasy by the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Marcia Hendricks