After recognizing the non-FBC Jax members present in the service who were running for office, and then recognizing candidates who are FBC Jax candidates, Mac Brunson prayed for the will of God in the elections:
"....the cries of this city go out, the injustice of this city comes up before you, the bias of this city comes up before you, the unfairness of things come up before you, Lord, you are a God of righteousness, and your word tells us that 'blessed are the people when the righteous rule'. So Lord, we pray for your will to be done in the elections in this city this coming week."Apparently things are pretty bad in our city with all the "injustice", "bias" and "unfairness", and our city is in need of "the righteous" to be in charge. Strange, because our city government has quite a number of the "righteous" downtown in City Hall - at least four of the City Council members are members of FBC Jacksonville. And one could argue that some of the "unfairness" and "bias" over the past few years has been at the hands of public servants who are members at FBC Jax - can you say "Don Redman"?
The usual practice at FBC Jax in previous weeks leading up to the election has been for Jim Whitmire, the music minister, to recognize politicians or candidates who were present in the service. But for this special Sunday before the election, Mac Brunson did the duties. He started out making a point about how his experience overseas on his Holy Land trip has taught him what a great country we have (most people know that without traveling to the Holy Land and Rome), and he urged everyone present to go out and vote.
Next he acknowledged three non-FBC Jax candidates present, and the recently elected CFO of the state of Florida who was visiting also.
Then Brunson said they need to especially pray for their own members running for office:
Mike Hogan, candidate for mayor (introduced as "faithful member of the church")
Ryan Taylor, candidate for Tax Collector
Clay Yarborough, candidate for City Council
Richard Clark, candidate for City Council
Ray Holt, candidate for City Council
Don Redman was NOT mentioned, but he is running unopposed in his seat, and it is probably good that he lay low at FBC Jax the Sunday before the elections.
While not stated explicitly, the separating of the announcing of the non-FBC Jax candidates from those who are members, and then stating the church should "especially" pray for the members, and the prayer including the "...blessed are the people when the righteous rule", seems to be a subtle message that FBC Jax members should vote for candidates based on them being a church member.
In a conservative city like Jacksonville, I hope members of FBC Jax will look at the candidates' positions and not their church membership when voting. For mayor, there are a number of conservative Republicans besides Mike Hogan, and people should look at the experience and positions of the candidates, and not where they are church members - again, I would say "Don Redman" is your example of this.
And when I hear the preacher quote the Bible before an election involving a mayoral candidate who is in his church: "...blessed are the people when the righteous rule", another Bible verse comes to mind:
"There is none righteous, no not one."
True, especially when it comes to politicians. :)
-------------------------Here is the video - the audio is good, but the video is choppy and and irregular, my apologies.