"...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, January 14, 2011

FBC Jax Completes $3.5 Million Auditorium Renovation - Debt Free

This past Sunday First Baptist Jacksonville celebrated the completion of their $3.5 million auditorium renovations, which according to John Blount was "fully funded to completion, we've accomplished the goal".

The renovations included the addition of senior adult Sunday School space on the lower floor on the two sides, new pews, new carpet, new wall coverings, larger foyer to accomodate space for a visitor reception area, and a redesigned worship platform - and new choir robes.

In the service John Blount recognized the design architects and contractors and committes that worked on the project. Mac Brunson said some nice words about what a value John Blount is to the church and how he was so instrumental in completion of the project. John gave a mini-sermon to put into historical and spiritual perspective why the renovations took place.

John's remarks included the following:
"This is our home. This is our place, our space, where we come to meet God. Where we come to hear His word. And from where we go to proclaim His word to the ends of the earth. It is a special, sacred place. It would be very easy to say 'well, we just undertook these renovations and spent three and a half million dollars just for the sake of aesthetic beauty.' In one sense that's true we did do this because of beauty but in another sense and a far deeper sense, the reason we have done what we've done here is because this is such a special and important place.

What we do in this place says a lot about what we believe about the gospel. We have a high value of the gospel in this place, we have a high regard for God's word - it is vital, it is important. When people come in here they should not be distracted by buildings and things, they should find a place that seems to match what God says in His word - we have a high value of the gospel.

Jesus Christ is the most beautiful thing in all the world. And this is our attempt to say 'We think Jesus is beautiful'. He should be shared in a beautiful place, and in a beautiful way. "
And then:
So that's why we have done what we've done: because our God is great, because our Savior is beautiful, because the gospel is powerful, it should go out from a place like this.
I agree, the place looks beautiful, and yes, Jesus is beautiful and the gospel powerful. But why can't we just say renovations are nice, we like nice things and want our space to look nice? I think it would be truer to say that BECAUSE our God is great, our Savior beautiful and the gospel powerful, it does NOT need to go out from a newly renovated auditorium.

But you have to hand it to Mac. He laid out a plan early in 2007 less than a year into his ministry at FBC Jax that included three major accomplishments to get FBC Jax ready for ministry in the future: a new school, a satellite campus, and auditorium renovations, all major undertakings any time but especially during a repressed economy. He has accomplished all three, and apparently debt free.

Kudos to Mac and John Blount and the faithful at FBC Jax, and best wishes for success in the future.

89 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know this really hurts a lot of people.

So many of you wanted to see FBC crumble.

So many of you are bitter and resentful and hate Mac.

So many of you have made terrible comments about the leaders of my Church.

So many of you have tried to do harm to the work of Christ by spreading rumors.

So many of you are WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!

OUR CHURCH IS ALIVE AND OUR PASTOR IS SHOWING US AGAIN THAT HE IS THE GREATEST PASTOR IN THE USA!!!!!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - I think you may want to look in the mirror when it comes to being bitter and resentful.

I don't think this "hurts" people, and I don't know of anyone who "hates" Mac.

Your problem is that you perceive criticism as hate, as trying to harm Jesus himself, and you are wrong.

Anonymous said...

ALL CAPS Ben is at it again. Man worship.

Anonymous said...

"OUR CHURCH IS ALIVE AND OUR PASTOR IS SHOWING US AGAIN THAT HE IS THE GREATEST PASTOR IN THE USA!!!!!"

I can not take anyone's comments seriously who remain anonymous. That's the coward's way out.

Signed,

Jimmy

Anonymous said...

$3.5 M?

How many Bibles would that buy? How many people would it feed? How many REAL Missionaries would that support? How much medicine would it buy in a 3rd world economy? How much education would it provide for 20 pastors in India? or China?

Way to GO FBC JAX--glad to know that you have your priorities. You suuuure look good

Anonymous said...

You suuuure look good

And that is the point. It is all about image. Was Christ about "image"?

Joshua said...

All this, and there is a hurting rescue mission right across the street. There is another church not two miles down the road called NJBC (another multi million dollar spender with thousands in attendance) yet the two mile stretch between the two churches are some of the worst streets in Jax. They are FILLED with prostitution, gangs, drugs, and homeless.
The testimony of these two churches are not in the buildings they keep improving and building, it is in the desperate state of the two mile stretch between them.

Anonymous said...

Joshua

You must understand many churches are not following the way of the new testiment. These churches believe god has handed dominion to them. Meaning they should rule. These people are just animals to then. The new world order church will not be happy until the day they are running the world. This process is under way. They must have a good look to seem as if they are good.

Katie said...

The greatest sermon ever given was not in a flashy building with comfortable pews and newly covered walls. In fact there were no walls at all. I believe it is called the "Sermon on the Mount" for a reason.

Anonymous said...

I struggle with multi million dollar projects but as a church they went that direction with a huge campus and along with that comes upkeep. In order to have huge place to worship then there are maintenance and upkeep obligation. The problem is not to create a golden calf that becomes the center of activity and take you away from the ministering to the Saints and reaching the lost. Be careful not to say look at us instead of Christ. I would say Mac is a talented preacher and leader but best pastor would have to go to those smaller church pastors that can keep up with all their people. Not saying bad about Mac. It is just the trade off you make for being the pastor of large congregation. His ministry takes place more behind the pulpit then in the homes and personal one on one with the congregation as a whole.

bgcompany said...

"FBCJ sure looks beautiful now!"

Gee, I thought it looked very nice before 3.5 million was spent to totally replace everything.

I am sure there were some areas that required replacement or repair,but, 3.5 million? All I could think about Sunday morning was how we could have better spent 3.5 million dollars!

Just my opinion.

Exposer said...

Well I hope all the rich members, rich conference "speakers", so called revivalist, and so called evangelist enjoy their comfy setting while deceiving members of this church to "give" comfy to their pocketbooks.

I say......

"you cult followers
are such the fools"

as I am laughing my head off concerning the ignorant.....

But you enjoy your new surroundings now, ya hear and....

Don't forget to pass that plate!

Exposer 2 said...

If Jesus walked in here or another Baptist Church anywhere dressed as he was during his life here on earth 99.9% of the membership would have him removed.

The membership and leadership of FB Jacksonville would never allow someone dressed like him to enter "their" building.

I wonder if he would be labeled a "troublemaker" and get a "trespass" warning for bashing how they are deceiving his name.

Probably so ...........

Anonymous said...

Exposer

Before anything else he will be asked to donate. And when the answer is no the police will be employed. And since the police are soo nice he has troubled.

Curious said...

Exposer 2 says: The membership and leadership of FB Jacksonville would never allow someone dressed like him to enter "their" building.

Obviously, you have never been there or Tom's current church either. Neither fellowship has ever turned anyone from the door. Whether it is based on their appearance financial status or even their odor.

Joshua says: yet the two mile stretch between the two churches are some of the worst streets in Jax.

My question to you is what are you doing then. Do you have a job and give all of your resources to help them? Probably not. Do you take care of your family first or others first?

Joshua said...

curious,

The answer is yes, for years I gave my resources to the people of those streets ( I then moved out of state, incase you want to obsess about why I said that in the past tense). That is how I know about them. Did I give everything I had? No. Did I take care of my family? Yes. Could I have worked those extra days and hours instead of being on the streets so that i could have made more money and had nicer carpets and chairs? sure could have but didn't, but that is neither here nor there. When the author of the blog wants to write an article about me, then I will be glad to tell you all about who I am and what I do, until then, you will just have to be self satisfied by invalidating my points simply by assuming in your own mind what it is that I do or don't do, and judging according to your own opinion as to whether what you have assumed I do or do not do is good enough to make anything I say valid.
The point is that Somewhere along the line we have come to the conclusion in western "Christianity" that beauty, extravagance, and comfort are needs. A lot Less than 3.5 million could have put a team of full time ministers on the streets and made a real difference, but this isn't likely to happen from either of those church/businesses. Those streets will continue to be what they are while those church/corporations build bigger, buy new toys, sail on more cruises, and go to 4 star hotel destinations in other countries and call it a mission trip because after all, they prayed and had a bible study for 5 minutes every night before bed.
I agree with the article, they should have just told the truth....we wanted nicer stuff and so we bought it. I would have less of a problem with that than trying to slap Jesus on it and try to dress it up as some type of ministry achievement.

P.S. I wish you happiness in your assumptions and invalidations

Anonymous said...

Nice renovated buildings are very important to Jesus. He wants His followers to be surrounded by comfort and beauty. You can read all about the comfort of the early Christians in the NT and their glorious buildings they built as monuments to Jesus Christ. And they wanted to attract the right kind of people to "the Way".

Anonymous said...

Thank God for.....beautiful places to Worship Jesus like FBC!!!

Thank God for....wonderful Shephards like Rev. Brunson that are not afraid to "tell it like it is"!

Thank God for...our Deacons and Leaders at FBC that are not letting the Pharisees and Saducees hold us back!!!

Thank God for...for the Holy Bible that teaches us to build and maintain our Churches for the Glory of God!

Thank God for...the truth that He is on His Throne and He is shutting the Mouths of all those Critics that said Our Church was going under!

What do you think now....

Curious said...

Thanks for your curt response Joshua. I won't try to read between the lines. I think the problem we have here is a "failure to communicate".

Perhaps I am wrong but I thought that the "church" "ekklesia" was for the assembly of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ and that there were basically two missions of the body of believers.
1. Hebrews 10:25-Fellowship and all that goes into that and,
2. Matthew 28:19 -evangelism


Where am wrong? I was not trying to dist your original post however.

Personally, I think that just like the political left and right will never see eye to eye, I do not think that professing Christians have the same problem of reaching a consensus.

I guess that is why there are so many denominations and sects out there.

And frankly, I don't care what you do, did do or will do. It does not matter to me because I am not the Judge nor the jury here.

I agree with you that there are many challenges in the fellowship of believers and that until Jesus comes there will always be, just the same as in politics, abortion, etc.

Jesus said we would always have the poor with us, so based on His statement mans efforts will continue to be futile and some of the poor will continue to live on the streets until He comes and wipes all of our tears away.

Anonymous said...

Thank God for...for the Holy Bible that teaches us to build and maintain our Churches for the Glory of God!

Please share the passage of text to us bloggers. Not that we do or do not believe your post.

Exposer 2 said...

Curious you say....

"Obviously, you have never been there or Tom's current church either. Neither fellowship has ever turned anyone from the door. Whether it is based on their appearance financial status or even their odor."

I say ;

Never turned anyone away? What about Tom and his family?

Oh, I guess that does not count does it!

I just can't see Jesus dressing and acting the way Mac a Roni and all his disciples and all of those within the Baptist Mafia do, flying everywhere, and taking all those trips, vacations, conference tips - oops trips, so called mission trips, book deals, and so on....

Baptist another name for "CULT"

Anonymous said...

Curious,

It seems to me that you missed something, whether intentionally or accidentally isn't clear.

You are the one who asked Joshua in so many words if he "put his money where his mouth is." Therefore, it follows that you were interested in whether he was doing something while he "criticized" others for not doing the same. Apparently you realized after you challenged him that you aren't the judge or jury.

Furthermore, the problems of the area between the two churches that Joshua mentioned are not isolated to the poor who Jesus said will always be with us.

I think prostitution, gangs, drugs, and homeless can all be positively affected by evangelism, which you stated to be the second mission of the church.

So, how are those two churches doing in terms of evangelizing or financially supporting evangelists to evangelize the prostitutes, gangs, drug dealers and homeless in the two mile stretch that separates them?

Oh, and regarding the poor: To think that we would eradicate poverty probably does seem futile given what Jesus said. However, to help poor people - with the gospel and money - certainly doesn't go against Jesus' words.

Anonymous said...

I have watched it and I love it!

"Mac is destroying our Church, Mac is all about the money, Mac...Mac...Mac..."

Well eat some "Mac-aroni" for supper tonight!!

Mac is rebuilding our Church!!
Mac took God's money and rebuilt God's temple...Praise God!!

All this stuff about Mac that has been written...to quote Shakespeare...

It is much ado about nothing!

You Go Pastor!!

Anonymous said...

"Mac is rebuilding our Church!!
Mac took God's money and rebuilt God's temple...Praise God!!"

You do not even know what is "God's Temple" in the New Covenant. So, you "visit" God when you enter FBCJax?

It is alarming how ignorant the folks at FBCJax are about the very basics of the Gospel.

Anonymous said...

"Thank God for...for the Holy Bible that teaches us to build and maintain our Churches for the Glory of God!"

Chapter and verse, please, in the NT about the buildings for God.

Anonymous said...

how nice of you to take a jab in the midst of a compliment.

Anonymous said...

I have watched it and I love it!

"Mac is destroying our Church, Mac is all about the money, Mac...Mac...Mac..."

Well eat some "Mac-aroni" for supper tonight!!

Mac is rebuilding our Church!!
Mac took God's money and rebuilt God's temple...Praise God!!

All this stuff about Mac that has been written...to quote Shakespeare...

It is much ado about nothing!

You Go Pastor!!

January 14, 2011 4:59 PM

Our "exclamation point" friend (whos sounds very young and immature) does not understand the very foundation of the Gospel.

I bet Mac wishes s/he would cease and desist here...because s/he is not helping Mac one bit. But only helping us make our points about the shallowness of what passes for believers out there. They do not even know the basics.

Here is just one for you...there are others:

16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. 1 Corin 3

Please study on your own. You are not getting good teaching from Mac.

Dee said...

Is that Anonymous guy for real or is it a parody? I truly am confused. Surely it is supposed to be a farce. If not, then why would he say that Mac is rebuilding God's temple? God's temple is in us now.

The Greenhouse Effect said...

Joshua,

I couldn't agree with you and your observations more.

Where is THE Storehouse?

Fancy buildings help no one. The Church has forgotten it's duty to maintain a storehouse for those in need. Millions are spent on fancy renovations while little or nothing is done for the needy.

Lynn said...

As someone above mentioned, it's the fakeness that is so sickening. Why not just be honest and say we like nice things? Don't say it's about Jesus or the gospel. That's insulting to Jesus and the gospel.

And call vacations, vacations, not mission trips.

Anonymous said...

John you are confused.

Anonymous said...

As a long time member of FBC, it is exciting to see the way the Lord is blessing us real good.

Pastor barely even mentioned on Sundays about giving and look what God did....3.5 million.

People are committed to the Lord and you can see it in the new upgrades in our Building.

A lot of people say we could have used that 3.5 million for the poor. Jesus told us the poor will be with us always. Jesus went to the Temple. It was not shabby then and should not be shappy now.

Thank God for a Church that shows its love for Jesus!

Anonymous said...

Jesus told us the poor will be with us always.
-
Jesus was talking about money. He was talking about those who have little faith. Seems as if you can not understand this. But do not be sad, not every one will understand.
Jesus did not have to tell people that the poor will always be with you, espically in his day when most people was a slave. yot are directing thoughts in the wrong direction. I assume most churches are that way.

Anonymous said...

I don't think this "hurts" people, and I don't know of anyone who "hates" Mac.

Your problem is that you perceive criticism as hate, as trying to harm Jesus himself, and you are wrong.

Honestly, dog...what is up here. For the past 2 years this blog has been seething with hate for Mac. You have sought to tie him to every thing bad and hateful. You have accused him of shearing the sheep, teaching false doctrine, and what ever else you perceive as rotten.

This is certainly a 180 degree turn from you other articles. I am not buying this.

Anonymous said...

The poor will always be with us is getting a bit repetitive.
Do they not teach there that the Bible was written by actual people, who lived in an actual time, and that the passages had actual application? It has...actual context.

No one likes to finish that verse cause if they did in either place it is found, you get the full picture and the argument falls apart.
The verse finishes with the focus on Christ. He was there at a specific time, for only a little while. In other words, the woman poured expensive perfume on the actual feet of the actual Jesus, not like today where we do symbolic things and think we actually did them for Jesus. In any other circumstance the disciples argument would have stood, that the bottle would have better been sold and the money given to the poor. BUT, since Jesus was there, God Himself, the woman rightly discerned her actions.
The other place we can find a similar line would be in Deuteronomy 15:11. A verse that the actual people who lived in that actual time would have actually been well versed in. In case you dont want to look, it basically says that the poor will always be with us THEREFORE they were commanded to give generously to them.
Now go back to the disciples, the woman, and that room. Jesus was not trying to say, ehh, those poor folks their always gonna be there so just keep those niceties to yourselves and just try to step over them for now, but on thanksgiving send them a turkey or two.
He would have been saying something more along the lines of reminding them of the Deuteronomy verse (yes, Jesus Himself actually used the Word to teach) Something He would not have had to finish for them and would make clearly His illustration by throwing a fork in the middle of the passage. The disciple expects him to finish with "therefore give generously to them" but instead gets "but you don't always have me" WOA major shift of focus, oh my, the Son of God is right here with us and in just a little while He will be gone, the opportunity for this woman was then, and then only, after that...no more.
So what does that mean to us? Well it means that we need to finish verses and look at them in context. Cause to use that verse as it has been used in these discussions is sick.
Do you honestly believe that "the poor will always be among you" is an excuse to say, well they will always be poor so our efforts are "futile" with them, ergo money and effort is better spent on cushions for our butts?
He also says that many more will go to Hell than heaven. So since those going to hell will always outnumber and always be there, why waste time evangelizing right? Wouldn't that be futile? Then shut the doors of FBC cause there is no more point. But my guess is if God Himself stood at the door and said shut this place down, there would be arguments against it because of all the money wrapped up in the place, or worse, they would look at God and say "how dare you, touch not Gods anointed"

Anonymous said...

The poor will always be with us is getting a bit repetitive.
Do they not teach there that the Bible was written by actual people, who lived in an actual time, and that the passages had actual application? It has...actual context.

No one likes to finish that verse cause if they did in either place it is found, you get the full picture and the argument falls apart.
The verse finishes with the focus on Christ. He was there at a specific time, for only a little while. In other words, the woman poured expensive perfume on the actual feet of the actual Jesus, not like today where we do symbolic things and think we actually did them for Jesus. In any other circumstance the disciples argument would have stood, that the bottle would have better been sold and the money given to the poor. BUT, since Jesus was there, God Himself, the woman rightly discerned her actions.
The other place we can find a similar line would be in Deuteronomy 15:11. A verse that the actual people who lived in that actual time would have actually been well versed in. In case you dont want to look, it basically says that the poor will always be with us THEREFORE they were commanded to give generously to them.
Now go back to the disciples, the woman, and that room. Jesus was not trying to say, ehh, those poor folks their always gonna be there so just keep those niceties to yourselves and just try to step over them for now, but on thanksgiving send them a turkey or two.
He would have been saying something more along the lines of reminding them of the Deuteronomy verse (yes, Jesus Himself actually used the Word to teach) Something He would not have had to finish for them and would make clearly His illustration by throwing a fork in the middle of the passage. The disciple expects him to finish with "therefore give generously to them" but instead gets "but you don't always have me" WOA major shift of focus, oh my, the Son of God is right here with us and in just a little while He will be gone, the opportunity for this woman was then, and then only, after that...no more.
So what does that mean to us? Well it means that we need to finish verses and look at them in context. Cause to use that verse as it has been used in these discussions is sick.
Do you honestly believe that "the poor will always be among you" is an excuse to say, well they will always be poor so our efforts are "futile" with them, ergo money and effort is better spent on cushions for our butts?
He also says that many more will go to Hell than heaven. So since those going to hell will always outnumber and always be there, why waste time evangelizing right? Wouldn't that be futile? Then shut the doors of FBC cause there is no more point. But my guess is if God Himself stood at the door and said shut this place down, there would be arguments against it because of all the money wrapped up in the place, or worse, they would look at God and say "how dare you, touch not Gods anointed"

Anonymous said...

sorry didn't mean to post that twice, it gave me an error message and so I tried again and then it posted it twice. My apologies everyone!

Anonymous said...

"As a long time member of FBC, it is exciting to see the way the Lord is blessing us real good."

really? hmm....updated facilities are a sign of Gods blessing? Do the people in India who worship and study for upwards of 8 hours and risk their lives sharing the gospel in various places know that? They are wasting their time and someone needs to go tell them that they are cursed and will see blessing when they update their facilities.
Or perhaps it is they who know what real blessing is.
Perhaps it is their minds who haven't been warped by a perversion of the gospel.
Perhaps they actually know the beatitudes and have actually seen the effects (blessing) of living by them and having real faith in God alone and not debt free facility updates or faith in people giving money. You poor, poor, confused mega church attenders...I think we need some missionaries from impoverished africa to be sent into your midst to actually teach you the word.

Valarie said...

"OUR CHURCH IS ALIVE AND OUR PASTOR IS SHOWING US AGAIN THAT HE IS THE GREATEST PASTOR IN THE USA!!!!!"

B/C Mac is a pastor of a church that built a new building debt free??? That makes him the greatest pastor in the USA??? Very sad standards to be proud of. Praise to the pastor!! Seems like something is missing from this man centered worship? What could it be?

Matt said...

I've never commented on here before, but the $3.5 million seems like such a waste in light of what it could be doing to impact the lost and needy.

I wonder what Brunson thinks about David Platt and The Radical Experiement?

http://www.radicalexperiment.org/

Anonymous said...

"The verse finishes with the focus on Christ. He was there at a specific time, for only a little while. In other words, the woman poured expensive perfume on the actual feet of the actual Jesus, not like today where we do symbolic things and think we actually did them for Jesus."

THANK YOU! You are right...some folks don't finish the passage. There is even a MORE important link here....she was preparing Jesus for His burial. She believed who He was.

10 But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. 11 For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. 12 For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. 13 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” (Matthew)

6 But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. 7 For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. 8 She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. 9 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” (Mark)

It is in Luke, too.

The "proof texting" of that passage from some here leaves us with the impression they see Mac as Jesus Christ. There is some idolatry going on here when it comes to Mac. Some serious idolatry. Perhaps they do not know because they do not study on their own but only wait for Mac to tell them what scripture teaches.

Anonymous said...

The lack of basic biblical understanding from those who claim to be members of FBCJax here, is shocking.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon says:

"Honestly, dog...what is up here. For the past 2 years this blog has been seething with hate for Mac. You have sought to tie him to every thing bad and hateful. You have accused him of shearing the sheep, teaching false doctrine, and what ever else you perceive as rotten.

This is certainly a 180 degree turn from you other articles. I am not buying this."

---

Unbelievable. Look at the bitterness in this person's post. This blog has not seethed with hate, it has not tried to tie everything bad and hateful to Mac. I have been very critical of fund raising efforts, no question. Yes, false doctrine when it comes to preaching on giving and the guilt trips and creating fear as a motivation to giving.

And you say you're not buying it....I'm not selling anything here. I am saying that Mac should be given credit for doing what he said he would do and getting it done. He laid out a plan, and he did carry it out, and the people at FBC Jax funded it. Not saying I agree with the plan, or the methods used in achieving it.

The Greenhouse Effect said...

Anon January 14, 2011 10:08 PM

Thank you for explaining this so well! Thank You Thank You Thank You.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog, your last twenty words of this posting should be your last words about FBC Jax. What a generous and gracious way to close the chapter on your disdain for Mac and your frustration with that local body of Believers! I encourage you to move on to other things inside SBC life that need attention, exposing, and prayer. If a new drama unfolds at FBC Jax unfolds, then write - - but it seems that you speak in circles of old news when you post on FBCJ.

I would imagine that 100% of the people on this blog who throw out the "oh, what could $3.5 million do for hungry, homeless and malaria-ridden" also spend $18,000+ for a new car or $3500 for a vacation or $7500 for new furniture or $500 a year for Chinese carry-out and pizza. None of those are necessary for our lives and could have been used instead to spread the Gospel.

My point is that we always want others to spend their expendable money on missions and justice, but not our own. I have not read anyone say, "God forgive me, I spent $5,000 in the year 2010 on things that I did not need but instead should have given to the homeless ministry in my city!" Instead we always want others to do that giving - - and we write comments when we feel someone has not acted with justice, while we want mercy (we have flipped Micah 6:8)

Those are my observations Watchdog. FBCJ made the decision for a renovation, people gave, it looks nice. Mac began the school, give it 10 more years and it will be seen as a success. And something I have never seen written on here is that fact that Mac drives 30 minutes south almost every Sunday to preach at a small church start (maybe 150-200 people) before he comes back to preach to the 1000's at the main campus. I don't know many other mega-church pastors that drive themselves and then preach to such a small group. Any encouragement to Mac about that on here?

J. Davis

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

J. Davis - disdain and frusatration? No disdain, and no frustration on my part. Just writing a religious blog on things southern baptist, mega churches. And will continue to do so.

My advice for you: you need to get over your frustration and disdain for a blogger and his family. And when I say disdain, I know what I'm talking about, trust me. The disdain for me and my blog is intense with certain leaders at FBC Jax, and they need to get over it and move on. That is the point I think you ought to take from this article. You have achieved what your pastor set out to do. You even got the most vocal critic and his family removed to help the process.

I agree with you about the 3.5 million, in that everyone will have better ways of spending it. But come on...let's be real here. Your church spent $3.5 million on a RENOVATION that include new carpet and new pews and a new worship platform. Sunday school space for the seniors was needed and I think that design made perfect sense. Yes, but there will be many critics on spending millions on new pews and carpet when I don't think that was in the original renovations plans, and given the fund raising tactics used. I think everything that has been done in this area speaks of the generosity and faithfulness of FBC Jax members, than it does anything else.

And finally, this is not the last I'll blog about FBC Jax, because they are in the SBC and they are mega, and thus I have an interest in blogging on these topics.

Get over your disdain, and your frustration over the WD, and celebrate the victories of the past 5 years at your church, love your pastor, and stop focusing on a blog that most people in your church don't know about ordon't care to read!

Blessings, J. Davis, whoever you are!

Anonymous said...

"Watchdog, your last twenty words of this posting should be your last words about FBC Jax."

You know, Dog, these types are very good at telling other people what they should do. Seems you are hitting a nerve!

Anonymous said...

"My point is that we always want others to spend their expendable money on missions and justice, but not our own. "

He is now claiming you are like him!

Isn't it funny how negative truths really bother some people?

Anonymous said...

" I don't know many other mega-church pastors that drive themselves and then preach to such a small group. Any encouragement to Mac about that on here?"

I do. They are called sat campi. And they had better because the main campus is not growing and they know it. That will stop once the downlink is installed. The president of NAMB can explain it to you. He did it for years but more than 30 miles. It is really not that big of a deal for someone who is paid CEO level pay who also has quite a few paid speaking gigs and other income streams outside the mega as most of them do just like Mac.

You are really not that familiar with what is going on back scenes in most mega's, are you?

Anonymous said...

J. Davis,

It is real simple.

Don't read the blog.

Have some personal discipline.

But, you can't help yourself, now can you?

Anonymous said...

"And you say you're not buying it....I'm not selling anything here."

Unlike Mac.

Anonymous said...

I thank God everyday for my 25 years at FBC.

I have seen a lot of things happen in that time but nothing compares to the past few years.

My Pastor has been treated terribly. But the Bible tells us that " all who live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution."

He has been talked about in a slanderous way but Jesus said "beware when men speak well of you"

He has been accused of bad motives but Jesus said "in this world you will have trouble".

He is not perfect but he is perfect for our Church!

We are being blessed real good!!!!

Anonymous said...

J. Davis sounds like he might be suffering from cognitive dissonance. If he would stop reading this blog, he will be fine and can blindly support Mac and all his worldly shenanigans.

Anonymous said...

I thank God everyday for my 25 years at FBC.

I have seen a lot of things happen in that time but nothing compares to the past few years.

My Pastor has been treated terribly. But the Bible tells us that " all who live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution."

He has been talked about in a slanderous way but Jesus said "beware when men speak well of you"

He has been accused of bad motives but Jesus said "in this world you will have trouble".

He is not perfect but he is perfect for our Church!

We are being blessed real good!!!!

January 15, 2011 9:37 AM

Anon, it is obvious this is the only mantra you know. You are not equipped to engage in scriptural discussions from your "25 years". They were wasted, following men and being impressed with buildings and numbers but not Christ.

You have a bad case of "churchianity". And it has nothting to do with Christ. The real eklessia has members of the "Body" with the indwelling Holy Spirit and does not follow men.

Jon L. Estes said...

Nowhere can it be found in scripture that the places we build to worship in must be less than the best we can offer Him. I think scripture would support that we build the very best we can.

For some it is a multi-million complex while for others it is a hut in the bushes of Africa and there will be a various types in between these two structures.

Thank you Tom for being kind to the renovation at FBCJax.

For any who think spending any type of big bucks on a building or on a renovation of a building need to look back at who was at the helm when these multiple blocks of buildings were either built or acquired.

It would probably deflate some of us who think the new office remodeling was not needed yet it could possible not have been the idea of Mac. We should know how it came to be, rather than speculate it was all one persons doing.

Just a thought.

The Greenhouse Effect said...

J. Davis,

Individual People are not Churches and they have not collected tithes to do the work of the Chruch. The work of the Church is to shepard the flock, maintain the Storehouse and help people to grow spiritually. Mega churches today, have forgotten this and they are simply building empires.

WishIhadknown said...

You know people keep throwing the word "storehouse" around like they know what it means but when asked no one ever replies with a definition of "storehouse." So I ask again, what is a "storehouse." And, how does a local congregation commonly called a church meet that definition. I mean if your going to use a word you should at least know its meaning or are you just trying to sound more spiritual than you are?

Anonymous said...

$3.5 million reasons I love my Church!!!

Can't wait till tomorrow and here Pastor preach in that new building...what a day that will be!

We are bringing in the sheaves and I, for one, am thankful that the naysayers and pessimists are gone!

It's revival time!!!

Anonymous said...

And trust me when I say the "naysayers" and "pessimists" (sad that you feel the need to describe us like that) have found an incredibly refreshing freedom to learn and grow spiritually and serve Christ without the constant beating down from a "do as I say not as I do"mega preacher. Let me tell you one thing...it is wonderful!!!

The Greenhouse Effect said...

The Bible says to bring your tithes to the storehouse. Preachers call it storehouse tithing. The only thing the storehouse could be is the Church. The question is, what is the Church supposed to do, since it is the storehouse. A storehouse is where you store food and supplies for the winter, or for times of famine. Therefore, if we are bringing our tithes to the storehouse, this is where we are supposed to be able to go in times of need or famine. The Church has forgotten about its side of the arrangement. They only emphasize bringing the tithes to the storehouse, not their obligation to maintain a storehouse for times of need or famine. I should clarify that the Mega churches have forgotten about this obligation. Smaller Churches are still maintaining a storehouse with the tithes they receive.

Anonymous said...

"Nowhere can it be found in scripture that the places we build to worship in must be less than the best we can offer Him. I think scripture would support that we build the very best we can."

Jon, Chapter and verse in the NEW COVENANT, please.

Anonymous said...

"It would probably deflate some of us who think the new office remodeling was not needed yet it could possible not have been the idea of Mac. We should know how it came to be, rather than speculate it was all one persons doing."

Some were probably thinking of the fancy office Mac had fixed for himself when he came. Of course, we know how important it is for a Pharisee to look good and important.

Anonymous said...

It's revival time!!!

January 15, 2011 1:01 PM

You cannot have a true revival until you know the real Jesus Christ. And you don't. You only worship men with titles. You only want more nickels and noses for your "churchianity" that makes a few wealthy off the many lemming pew sitters.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Booker T Washington in his book "Up From Slavery" who said the biggest thing holding back blacks were the black ministers. They did not want people educated because they could not control them when they became educated. People no longer believed everything they said and were no longer dependent on them and gave them their money so freely out of guilt.

It is like that with pastors today and the scriptures. They are having a harder time because people are starting to study for themselves. Well...some are. Not those who follow Mac or Jon.

Anonymous said...

The Bible says in Psalm 107:24...The upright see and rejoice, but all the wicked shut their mouths.

God is shutting the mouths of all of His Critics!

God gave His Church 3.5 million and He did it to shut up the mouths of those who come against God's Anointed.

Anonymous said...

"God gave His Church 3.5 million and He did it to shut up the mouths of those who come against God's Anointed."

Oh, I see now. Thanks for enlightening all of us "critics". How could we have missed that receiving millions of dollars is God's way of showing who is anointed and who He approves of and as a notification for critics to shut up.
Wow. I guess that is great news for all the work God must be doing with His anointed in the 13 BILLION dollar porn industry.

Anonymous said...

"The Bible says in Psalm 107:24...The upright see and rejoice, but all the wicked shut their mouths.

God is shutting the mouths of all of His Critics!

God gave His Church 3.5 million and He did it to shut up the mouths of those who come against God's Anointed.

January 15, 2011 5:45 PM
===============================
This my friends is good example of the kind of people running FBCJ and why I'm so glad to have left this arrogant group of people - Anon 6:44 pm, I couldn't had said it better!

WishIhadknown said...

So, in actuality there no longer is a storehouse.

Anonymous said...

God gave His Church 3.5 million and He did it to shut up the mouths of those who come against God's Anointed.

Gods anointed rulers of the slaves and animals.

Jon L. Estes said...

Anon

"$3.5 million reasons I love my Church!!!

Can't wait till tomorrow and here Pastor preach in that new building...what a day that will be!

We are bringing in the sheaves and I, for one, am thankful that the naysayers and pessimists are gone!

It's revival time!!!"

Thank you for supporting the man God called to lead FBCJax. I know personally he appreciates those who pray for him. I want to encourage you to not get discouraged because of the few who would disagree with you.

Enjoy your meal in the word tomorrow and remain thankful for the renovations the Lord led the church to accomplish.

WishIhadknown said...

I cannot argue the relative merits of spending $3.5 million for the auditorium renovation, it does look good though. However, in the economy of God does $3.5 million really matter? After all, no matter how nice the auditorium looks today, the day will come when it will all have to be done again.

So what matters in the economy of God? Is it not souls? Is it not only the souls of the lost but also the souls of our brothers and sisters? Am I the only one who sees the hypocrisy of declaring “whosoever will may come” on one hand while placing trespass orders against a brother and his family on the other? And don’t even get me started on the abuse of power by law enforcement.

I know that it has become popular to regard members as expendable in order to establish the unquestioned authority of the preacher but I do not believe that this is of God. Does scripture not direct the pastor to gather the sheep and protect the sheep and not to disperse the sheep?

Does scripture not teach us to be reconciled to the “brother who has something against me?” I may be completely innocent but God still makes it my duty to be reconciled to my brother or don’t even bother leaving my offering at the altar.

Celebrate the completion of the renovation but do not forget what is truly important.

Anonymous said...

Some clueless anonymous said:

(God gave His Church 3.5 million and He did it to shut up the mouths of those who come against God's Anointed.)\
Is this the same 'anointed, or anointing' that Benny Hinn has?

How about Creflo Dollar, or that heretic Jesse Duplantis? Does the Mac-Daddy have that same anointing?

You need a wake-up slap, stop with the man worship, and this personality cult. Once you mature past puberty, adult things may be more understandable to you.
Maybe.

Garlando

Anonymous said...

Some Anony Mouse said:
"thankful that the naysayers and pessimists are gone!"

Now hold on here. Wasn't Mac Brunson in that Nay Saying crowd as well? His 'SHUT EM DOWWWWWNN" mantra sounds pretty nay say.

But his anointed, or at least you say he is. His actions drown out his words and credibilty as a pastor/leader.

Maybe Jon can help you understand that, he is a fountain of knowledge lately.

Anonymous said...

Honestly Dog...what is up...

I am the author of the post you refer to. It is your Blog and I respect that. Did you leave my post off intentionally?

Anyway, thanks for your response. There for a minute I thought we had lost you. Your response is the same old that I have grown to expect from you. Don't let me get under your skin. I am pretty harmless.

Keith said...

Have you seen the billboard on I295 advertising FBC ? First and Church are very prominate. Baptist is in itsy bitsy letters. This bunch has sucumbed to every trick as outlined by Rick Warren. Is the SBC moving towards " New Evangelicalism" or becoming the " Emerging Church"? Looks like FBC will be known as FC. Baptist is too strong to attract the young. Sad!

Anonymous said...

Is there are more boring person on the face of the earth than John Blount?

Sweet Tea Drinker said...

Keith, Very interesting observation. It would, in fact, follow the Purpose Driven recipe for a "successful" church ( AKA more nickels and noses) if they eliminated the Baptist designation.

Question- Wouldn't FBC risk losing even more members if they did away with Baptist? Especially the older members who have more money to contribute. And what about the whole SBC organization? FBC is one of the biggest organizations in that convention. It seems like it would be silly to claim to be a member of the SBC after having removed Baptist from your name.

These are interesting times as these 501(c)3 organizations,
......er "churches" attempt to remain viable.

Anonymous said...

God gave His Church 3.5 million and He did it to shut up the mouths of those who come against God's Anointed.

Gods anointed rulers of the slaves and animals.

January 15, 2011 8:10 PM

You and Jon make a good team. He loves lemmings like you who follow men and think of them as rulers of slaves.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone thought about this mathematically? In big metropolitan areas, you are going to have big mega churches. I am all for being responsible and helping the poor and needy, missions, etc ahead of fancy buildings. I was just wondering if anyone has done the math on smaller churches vs. bigger churches. For example, I attend a church that has about 400 members with a budget of around 500K a year. It has a modest older building and is active in missions. It is very careful with its money from what I can see. When you divide out the money, you come to about $1250 a member a year. How many people attend FBC Jax and what is their yearly budget? What does it come out to per person? It is possible they aren't really spending anymore per person than smaller churches, it just looks big because of the scale of things?

Linda said...

What's so wrong with renovation? Are you watchdog types jealous? FBC is more than a remodel. It funds mega outreach and missions projects, hosts an accredited school and reaches many worldwide via the Web. Check your jealousy at the door. This church does great work in the local and global community. Church attendance is growing. More people are coming to Christ. You should be pleased to see God moving via FBC ministries instead of throwing mean spirited barbs.

Anonymous said...

What's so wrong with renovation? Are you watchdog types jealous? FBC is more than a remodel. It funds mega outreach and missions projects, hosts an accredited school and reaches many worldwide via the Web. Check your jealousy at the door. This church does great work in the local and global community. Church attendance is growing. More people are coming to Christ. You should be pleased to see God moving via FBC ministries instead of throwing mean spirited barbs.

January 16, 2011 11:06 PM

Anyone who knows scripture would never be jealous of fbcjax. they quake in their boots for them.

Anonymous said...

Let's see how many unbiblical principals can be gleaned from Anonymous Ben's one short post.

"$3.5 million reasons I love my Church!!!"

Arrogance, Greed (lavish spending on facilities you will be using and not meeting the needs of others), also contributes to the notion that mega-churches are all about money and power.

Yes, sit in your state of the art air-conditioned luxury building while the world dies just outside.

I'm sure that Christ would approve.

"Can't wait till tomorrow and here Pastor preach in that new building...what a day that will be!"

It's all about ME! Ignore the unbiblical principles used to raise the money and the moral failings of the pastor. Let's focus on ourselves and make it opulent. Like the expensive social club downtown.

"We are bringing in the sheaves and I, for one, am thankful that the naysayers and pessimists are gone!"

This philosophy is in direct contrast to Christ's teaching who invited "whomsoever will" to come.

And his teaching to leave your offering (sheaves) on the altar and be reconciled first to your brother or your offering is of no value obviously made no impression on you.

Is this the teaching you are receiving from FBC JAX?

And your definition of "naysayer" is someone who confronts sin which we are taught to do in scripture.

Your proclamation is in direct conflict with Christ's teachings.

"It's revival time!!!"

Anonymous Ben. I see you have finally stopped with the ALL CAPS. Unfortunately, three exclamation points after each of your immature statements amounts to the same thing. Is it possible that you could write your comments not in the style of an Urban Legend?

I guess one immature uneducated man-worshiping pew sitter in a mega-church doesn't surprise me.

What does surprise me is that a local so-called pastor like Jon "too much time on his hands" Estes would encourage it. Sad and self-serving.

Anonymous said...

One final point of irony.

If you are so glad that the naysayers and pessimists are gone, why do you continue to read this blog that is a site FOR naysayers and pessimists in your opinion?

Then again, that statement makes just as much sense as anything else you have written.

Longtime Friend of Bobby said...

Is there are more boring person on the face of the earth than John Blount?

Yes there is. I hate to say it but it is my friend Bobby Barton.

My children really flourished under his ministry and yet they would always complain. We would just keep encouraging them that being bored is not the point.

Anonymous said...

@ Lynn

I'm in high school at FBC.

With a mature name like Lynn, I don't suppose you are 15-18 years of age (I mean, face it, no disrespect to you personally, but Lynn isn't really a teenage name in this day; like naming a newborn girl today Edith).

But that's just an assumption.

Which I'm pretty sure is what you are making about "mission trip-vacations".

Yes, the HS Department lets us do fun things on these trips but it doesn't take away from the heart of what we've done/did in those places for the glory of God.

Anonymous said...

I see your point. Even if Ergun publicly repented, it could all just be part of the act. But that would be between him and God. Even so, it would still be a bigger gesture than what we've heard so far.

January 17, 2011 9:56 PM

If Caner ever experienced true repentance he would not stay in any limelight at all no matter how small the venue and he would stay off stages for a long time. It is like putting an embezzler back in charge of the offering right after being caught.

If truly repentent, the embezzler would be convicted of his sin (true repentence) and would know to stay away from tempting venues such as handling other people's money.

He would strive to serve the Lord quietly with no fame or profit attached.

Few understand that true repentence brings real brokenness and godly sorrow. We rarely see it so we don't recognize it.

Most think it means "sorry" or admitting one did wrong. No. It is a complete change of heart and mind.

Anonymous said...

So is this FBCJax's architectural invitation to the gospel?


How did we let such stupid people run our churches?


Oh yeah, they were the first to claim God's Will and we were too apathetic to call them on it.

Anonymous said...

As a member of the local Jacksonville community it sickens me that FBC would throw away money like they do. Jacksonville has one of the highest foreclosure rates for the state and high unemployment. Where was FBC Jesus like compassion for the people of Jacksonville?

Oh wait they don't give a rats butt about the city or the people as they glide to their services with their elevated pedestrian walkways to make sure they don't come across any poor people.

Crystal said...

A friend of mine that went to FBC was was walking around downtown Jax and he came across a man begging for change. He gave the man some money and invited him to church the following Sunday.

The beggar replied "I can't go in there, I don't have any good clothes and everyone would look at me funny".

That story illustrates everything wrong with FBC.