"...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

Saturday, November 6, 2010

What Others are Saying About the Lawsuit...

Readers: take a look at these two articles having to do with the First Amendment lawsuit against the City of Jacksonville recently settled. There are many more out there that can be found by doing a Google search. These are two of particular interest that I wanted my readers to take a look at, along with the comments.

One of the articles is by Jonathan Turley, famous law professor and legal commentator (click here for bio). It is interesting to see how those outside of our city have viewed this case.

"I Sued the Sheriff..." - November 1, 2010 by Jonathan Turley

Turley wrote a longer article about this case shortly after the news story broke in April 2009, you can click here to read it.

The other recent article:

"Lawsuit Settled After Cop Revealed Anonymous Blogger, Then Destroyed Records to 'Protect Civil Rights' " - November 5, 2010 by Mike Masnick

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

From Turley's blog article:

"overnment officials count on the apathy of the citizenry when they overstep their bounds. It is the courage of individuals like Rich that helps protect our freedoms."

Amen! Most folks would not have touched it with a 10ft pole because they would have to take on not only the mega but the mega with the civil government in their pocket!

Shades of state church.

But I found the comments interesting. Evidently even those legal types are wondering why a "pastor" follower of Jesus needs a security detail. Wouldn't the pew sitters need one, too, from the wack jobs out there. But only Mac is protected. Unless of course, you put those airport thingies in the lobby to pass through first. :o)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

" Unless of course, you put those airport thingies in the lobby to pass through first. :o)"

What a thought, a body scanner that could also see into your wallet or purse.

stt said...

...the boys played a little rough, no doubt. I guess that they won't do that again.

It does not diminish the fact that the WD started this whole mess. He asked for it and he got it.

It is too bad that Brunson will not counter. That would make an interesting story. "Baptist Preacher stands up to Blogger."

This is like watching an elephant trample a meerkat.

Clap ...... Clap .......... Clap

New BBC Open Forum said...

I liked these from the other article:

1. Power attracts the corruptible; absolute power attracts the absolutely corruptible. That's why you give power to those who don't seek it.

2. If you work at church, you can't work for the state, and if you work for the state, you can't work for the church.

The division of church and state is there for a reason, and if you can't see why, you should not have a job in both realms.


There were a couple of other good ones, but Watchdog wouldn't publish this if I reprinted them.

Anonymous said...

waaaaa....mean ol'Mac....he is calling me names....he is so mean....I am going to get lawyered up....

Hey, Dog, why not just change Churches?

Why start a Blog to try and ruin a good decent Pastor?

Good Luck...the lady who spilled hot coffee on her got millions from McDonald's....maybe some of that tithe money you loathe so much can make its way into your back pocket

VinnyVideo said...

I am still very disappointed that Google cooperated with this investigation - a slap in the face to freedom and all those who defend it - in the first place, and the conduct of the folks in the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office - who are all supposed to be so wonderful, of course - truly makes me question the integrity of their leaders. The events that have transpired in the past two years have caused permanent damage to my confidence in organized religion and all government entities, and this is something that no cash settlement or even a public apology can ever repair.

Anonymous said...

Tom, I am truly amazed that you are secure enough in yourself to post the childish and hateful comments from the Mac defenders and worshipers toward yourself.

Too bad Mac does not have the same qualities to either ignore you, engage you or confront you personally when he found out who you were by misusing our civil authorities.

Anonymous said...

Are these comments by stt and anon indicative of what passes for intelligence at FBCJax? In other words, do they represent the typical interactions of FBCJax members? Or are they just representing the youth group?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I don't think at all stt or this anon represent the typical person at FBC Jax, not by a long shot.

These are probably immature members who just like to needle me and maybe think they are doing God's will by making their childish comments.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Anon 10:49,

They're trolls. Mildly entertaining trolls, but nevertheless... trolls. Trolls whose comments say a lot more about them than about Watchdog or anyone else, including Mac.

{yawn}

Anonymous said...

New BBC Forum: You are exactly right trolls. One day when they grow up they will look back at their ridiculos statements immature as they are and regret it. They will realize they never studied the U.S. Constitution or the Bill of Rights. They will not have the opportunity to make things right like a lot of other people I know. I don't have the time or reason to provide them scriptures since their minds are closed.

Arce said...

MAC has zero, nada, no possible legal grounds to sue the Dog, thus no counter suit. MAC has a team of lawyers and they know the law. They also know that the damages the Dog could receive would be increased in they filed a frivolous counter suit.

Those who stay and listen to the Mac attack on them for not giving him enough to satisfy his ever growing greed -- Why they stay is an increasingly interesting question. Is it masochism? or do they want to be close to power? Perhaps they worship the pastor rather than the Good Shepherd.

Lynn said...

Arce said: Why they stay is an increasingly interesting question. Is it masochism? or do they want to be close to power? Perhaps they worship the pastor rather than the Good Shepherd.

Fascinates me too. I think part of the answer is wanting to be close to power. Mega pastors are charismatic people-just like some movie stars and politicians. Their personalities fascinate us. They are movers and shakers, so we love to watch them. They make things happen. They have power.

Also I'm so glad this situation got out into the open. To me, it's like in The Godfather-he paid off the politicians. And in Jacksonville, a powerful church has powerful connections in government. The average church-goer does not have these secret connections. Well, now they are no longer secret, and that's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

s an increasingly interesting question. Is it masochism? or do they want to be close to power? Perhaps they worship the pastor rather than the Good Shepherd.

November 7, 2010 9:03 AM

Members will tell you that they stay because of their Sunday School classes - they don't like Mac, they stay because of their love for the close fellowship they have in the classroom with their don't want to abandon them. Mac has a contract - he can come and go as he pleases, which he does. The sad part is the majority in the congregation does not respect the man.

Lynn said...

If they enjoy their classes, then keep going to them. If you give money, mark exactly what you want it to go for, or stop giving. Maybe this is what people are doing already.

Anonymous said...

"Members will tell you that they stay because of their Sunday School classes - they don't like Mac, they stay because of their love for the close fellowship they have in the classroom with their don't want to abandon them. "

Why not just go home after SS? Consider that your assembly?

I know more and more people who are doing just that. They get much more serious study and worship in SS than they do in the institutional worship service run by paid professional Christians. Everyone can participate and learn from the each other. We all have the Holy Spirit if we are true believers who is the Best Teacher.

Anonymous said...

Shades of state church.

you are catching on!!!

Lynn said...

Quote-Why not just go home after SS? Consider that your assembly?

That is a great suggestion!! I used to do that very thing, beause I loved my tiny little class, but did not enjoy the service. It was frowned upon and finally commented on-plus I was asking a lot of questions-the teacher said if you're only gonna go to one or the other, you should go to the service.
That hurt my feelings cause I loved my class and looked forward to it each week. Plus the teacher who told me to attend the service fell alseep sometimes in the service-so why should it have deep meaning for me, when it didn't for him? I know his intentions were good and I liked him, but I was still hurt.

Anyway, I'd say go to SS, skip the service and the giving-do what's meaningful to you.

Anonymous said...

There are generations of close friendships among members of FBC Jax. I can recall so many instances where my church family was there for me when I needed encouragement, advice, fellowship, help, etc. I am so grateful to have been at FBC while raising my children. I have lifelong friends there. I'm so grateful to have had the privilege of being under the preaching of Dr. Lindsey. He was a godly man and his wife Shirley.....well, she was the most amazing, humble and loving woman! I really miss my friends there and am praying that one day FBC Jax will again be my "home away from home". My heart is truly broken at all that has taken place. I just could not stay there. But I hope readers will understand the reason some have decided to stay. It has nothing to do with the power of a man. It is like leaving your family that you absolutely love and have loved for many years. I believe some people are staying and praying for the church to be what God wants it to be. They are there encouraging and loving others to Jesus. There are still a lot of wonderful, godly people at FBC Jax. I hope to be able to rejoin them one day. When I can walk in and know my precious friend and her family can walk in with me without being arrested, it will be a blessed day indeed!

Anonymous said...

Attendance is up, giving is up, and the Holy Spirit sure is blessing that Pastor of ours! When Mac gets fired and starts screaming and preaching, I can feel the Lord moving in that place! Lets stop all this whining. I just joined FBC and I have never been in a Church where I have been challenged to give like this Church. I gave today till it hurt!It seems every service Mac is encouraging us to give and maybe the reason YOU are having such a hard time is that you stopped tithing. You stop tithing and Brother everything goes wrong! Write a check and get right with God!!!!

New BBC Open Forum said...

Anon 9:31,

Heh heh. Good one!

Anonymous said...

Nov 7 9:31. "You have never been challenged to give". What a recommendation that is. How about sharing your other gifts as well. You would be challenged to give to the Salvation Army and some other places, however that tithing issue is strictly WORKS. YOU sound like the man who beat on his chest and told God he was not like the other sinners. Get over yourself.

Ben said...

"Tom, I am truly amazed that you are secure enough in yourself to post the childish and hateful comments from the Mac defenders and worshipers toward yourself."

What constitutes a Mac defender and worshiper?

It seems that this label gets put on anyone who disagrees with Tom. I think this is unfair and mostly incorrect.

I don't know Mac, have never met him and only heard him from the clips on Toms blog. I have not spoken to much of that material because I do not know the whole context. Have no interest in knowing it but am willing to respond to the things stated here, in context to the things stated here.

I do believe there is more than one way to look at this situation. For example, for any Christian to get bent out of shale for being called a name is simply silly.

I don't think Tom is a sociopath (that is what he was called, I think). I do believe he is a hurting former member of FBCJax who has an agenda which is veiled behind the screen of exposing abusive pastors. Neither are healthy.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Wow, Johnny Hunt re-tweets a message with a link directly to a Watchdog post.

Thanks, Johnny! Welcome aboard!

RT @toddstarnes: Ed Young Junior calls on church members to turn over their bank account information. http://bit.ly/bLpyAf

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Johnny Hunt's retweet of a Watchdog post:

http://screencast.com/t/xP8Wx67PNY

Anonymous said...

Wow, Johnny Hunt re-tweets a message with a link directly to a Watchdog post.

Thanks, Johnny! Welcome aboard!

RT @toddstarnes: Ed Young Junior calls on church members to turn over their bank account information. http://bit.ly/bLpyAf

November 8, 2010 7:32 AM

I also saw your Ed Young post on the Crosstalk blog. (Ingrid Schlueter)

Dr Who said...

My question to all those Baptist Church who sit under legalistic leadership and whose disciples are taught to act this way.
This is a great monologue and church question.

Listen to the whole thing and it will make you ask the same thing as I did, What are these men now in POWER thinking?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9VsF8sCGec

Anonymous said...

Not sure it this went throught the first time:

It does not diminish the fact that the WD started this whole mess. He asked for it and he got it.

It is too bad that Brunson will not counter. That would make an interesting story. "Baptist Preacher stands up to Blogger."
___________________________________

stt - your obvious bias is showing. WD started "this mess?" He just had a few questions.


And "Brunson won't counter?" Really. He had Paige Patterson ask students at SWBTS to pray for poor old Mac who got no honeymoon in Jax. He had Jerry Vines use the occasion of his first sermon back in Jax at the PC to spit at anonymous writers. He went on the preaching circuit and criticized his own congregation. He had the by-laws changed to give him more power and to form a discipline committee that could only discipline members with his approval, he put a JSO Detective, who also was on his security detail, on that committee. He had a retired judge/trustee/deacon issue a deacon's resolution "aggressively confronting" "unjust criticism", he spread innuendo that the religious blogger was a stalker and mail stealer, he angrily preached from the pulpit about "shut em down" and "your not as anonymous as you think you are" and then he sat down with a Times-Union reporter and tried to discredit the religious blogger as a "mentally unstable sociopath." Then, when sued, he never tried to reconcile or apologize. Instead he lawyered up and had the city and state lawyer up. And they deposed everybody they could before finally settling for $50,000.

So yeah, too bad Brunson is not willing to strike back. Sheesh.

And if he hasn't in the slander lawsuit it is because TRUTH is a defense to any slander charges. And the only way to prove any lies is to address them, out in the open, under oath. And we all know if any of the truth comes out, his career is likely over. So yep, he chooses to not to dare try and counter. That first lawsuit was just the tip of the iceberg as to what is coming in this second one. That one was clear and obvious to everyone, not much to really litigate. But his slandering a critic to try and discredit him and hurt him and his family...That is indefensible.

Anonymous said...

stt said...
"It does not diminish the fact that the WD started this whole mess. He asked for it and he got it."

STT, you clueless drone. WD asked some valid questions about what was going on with the leadership. Mac got real uneasy about it and instituted his inquisition.

Shut 'em down, became his mantra for a while. C'mon, he makes a fat salary and still has his wife and child on the payroll. Nepotism is bad for any organization, be it government or a church. He defied his own recommendations to preachers about taking big gifts.

STT, please get the big picture, the facts, and not have to post your emotional knee jerk responses.
Emporer worship started the war in the pacific, now it's in JAX and other churches.

Garlando

Anonymous said...

"I don't think Tom is a sociopath (that is what he was called, I think). I do believe he is a hurting former member of FBCJax who has an agenda which is veiled behind the screen of exposing abusive pastors. Neither are healthy."

Is this quote from the same Ben that was quoting scripture about judging?

Anonymous said...

I believe WD has an agenda as well- to help some of us connect the dots and get our heads out of the sand!!!

Anonymous said...

Again, its not just these megas. My pastor just opened, and closed, our service Sunday with a plea for $100,000 by the end of the year. Said God told him to share what God put in his heart. And guess what, we are about $100,000 behind budget this year after our prior "make up" offerings and "fund raising" tactics and sermons. Ain't God good. He asks the preacher to share with us his Word about giving $100,000 when that is what we are behind in our giving.

And oh by the way, staff bonuses are budgeted for December, so guess where that money will be going...IF we all sacrifice our Christmases to give to the budget.

Hey, here's an idea. Why not reduce the staff salaries by $100,000 and then any offering collected can actually go to ministry. I mean, eliminating one salary, or two at the most, would get us right on budget wouldn't it? Did God approve that extra $100,000 in salaries? If not, why would he want us to pay it? Why not raise salaries by $200,000 and tell us God wants us to give $200,000? I mean the $1,400,000 we already are giving isn't enough? Why not?

Doesn't God ever tell the preacher to reduce salaries?

Anonymous said...

"I don't think Tom is a sociopath"

___________________________________

Really? Are you calling God's man, Mac Brunson, a liar? I mean, God's man said it, in the newspaper, so it must be true. I belive Mac over any of you. Mac said it, I trust Mac. It must be true. Tom's reputation is what it is now. Unless you think Mac Brunson to be a liar. And why would Mac Brunson say such a thing if it was not true? And if it is not true, and you don't believe Mac to be a liar, then tell us, did he say it "recklessly without regard to its truth or falsity" or did he say it "maliciously" knowing it was false?

Maybe STT can help us with this logic.

Anonymous said...

Really? Are you calling God's man, Mac Brunson, a liar? I mean, God's man said it, in the newspaper, so it must be true. I belive Mac over any of you. Mac said it, I trust Mac. It must be true. Tom's reputation is what it is now. Unless you think Mac Brunson to be a liar. And why would Mac Brunson say such a thing if it was not true? And if it is not true, and you don't believe Mac to be a liar, then tell us, did he say it "recklessly without regard to its truth or falsity" or did he say it "maliciously" knowing it was false?"

And why would Mac tell people his mail was stolen and not file a complaint with the Post Office to investigate? Why didn't Hinson counsel him to do that?


Guess Mac does not lie. Stealing mail is a big offense.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Interesting post from the 2nd article hyperlinked in this post, from "Watchdog's Watchdog". This sort of thing is why the lawsuit was necessary, to get all this out in the open. The allegations of putting the pastor's life in danger by putting his address, "floor plans to his house"...

Fbc's Watchdog" Watchdog!!, Nov 7th, 2010 @ 10:04pm
I think it’s funny how most of the people posting on here have never been to a service at First Baptist. The preaching is outstanding and is straight from the Bible, not manipulated by the world’s view.

Yes the church did have a skating rink on the 4th floor, which allowed family's to have fun in a safe environment in a city filled with crime.
-"They seat you according to how much you tithe... the more you pay, the closer to the front-row"-
This is the funniest rumor in which (all non-believers) use to attack the church. You have business owners and housekeeping workers who sit next to each other and even sing in the choir with each other…every week… at every service.
But any way, the blogger needed to be excommunicated from the church. He was causing too much uproar. I mean if he really didn't like the church he should have just left. No one was forcing him to stay. Don't get me wrong everyone needs a critic so that we can improve ourselves but the blogger took it to a whole new level by publicizing he's personal address, floor plans of his home, maps of his neighborhood, and posting his salary (something in which ALL MEMBERS AGREED APPONED INCLUDING THE BLOGGER). That is crossing the line!!! Many churches and pastors, including the pastor of First Baptist, receive threats and threats on their lives. Posting their address now poses a threat on that person’s life. The Bible clearly says in Matthew 18 to approach the offender and let him know of his/her sin, and if they refuse to acknowledge their sin (the blogger refused to stop attacking the church) then the second procedure is to bring the situation to the elders of the church (the blogger continued to post and attack) which lead to the church having to excommunicate "cut off the offender." Read the Bible. First Baptist is just following the Word of God. The Bible tells us that there will be wolves in sheep’s clothing, and the blogger had been a Sunday school teacher for many years at First Baptist. As for the officer, he was just doing his job,(protecting All religious practices and synagogues’ in Jacksonville)
I believe the city officials just wanted to get re-elected and gave the blogger the settlement to make the civilians happy. Little do they know that everyone in Jacksonville who pays taxes are contributing to his settlement paycheck (including me)…



Pretty sad. "floor plans of his home" and "maps of his neighborhood". Unbelievable.

New BBC Open Forum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
New BBC Open Forum said...

"They seat you according to how much you tithe... the more you pay, the closer to the front-row"

I thought this comment was ridiculous the first time I read it and didn't think anyone was gullible enough to believe it (guess I was wrong), but haven't we heard about Deb Brunson's sparkly reserved seat banner on one of the front pews?

The rest is just stupid. Brunson's address is a matter of public record. The Google truck somehow drove through that neighborhood, so the street view photo of the house is... all together now... PUBLIC RECORD. So is the bank of mailboxes up the street. (I wonder if the Brunsons' is the one that's glowing.) The value of the house and property are PUBLIC RECORD. The $307K "for love and affection" land gift is PUBLIC RECORD. A lot of things are public record, and publishing or linking to PUBLIC records is not a crime nor does it indicate criminal intent.

Don't get me wrong everyone needs a critic so that we can improve ourselves but the blogger took it to a whole new level by publicizing he's personal address, floor plans of his home, maps of his neighborhood, and posting his salary (something in which ALL MEMBERS AGREED APPONED INCLUDING THE BLOGGER).

Was this written by a 12-year-old? Hey, Watchdog, do you have another blog we don't know about where you've posted all this shhhhh... PRIVATE infomation? Would you please post Mac's salary here? I must have missed that. There's been speculation, but no one, to my knowledge knows or has published that information. I know Mac himself was quoted in the newspaper as saying it's "nowhere near $300K," but we all know "nowhere near" could mean $100K or $1 million. Just depends on what direction you're looking at $300K from.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Direct link to the land deed.