"...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, July 8, 2011

Church Split Brewing at FBC Jax?? Smyrl Already Announces His New Church, Brunson Tweets Himself as the Victim

Could a church split be brewing over at FBC Jax?

First Dr. Jim Smyrl, easily THE best bible expositor that FBC Jax has on staff, announces he is leaving in a week.

Now just a week later, Smyrl today announced on his Loyal Heart Ministry (LHM) website the start of his new "church plant" in Jacksonville called, well, "Loyal Heart Bible Church". An informational meeting is scheduled at a local hotel meeting room on July 13th, but Smyrl's website already is giving details of the church's mission statement, ministry plans, even announcing a "partnership" with a church in Tennessee.

Smyrl is wasting no time, and is going full steam ahead. Given that his LHM board of directors has several prominent FBCJ members this is quite interesting. His LHM site has statements of endorsement from Danny Akin and Frank Page. Danny Akin is on the LHM Board of Trustees!! I wonder how long Akin will remain on the board?

Now, enter Mac Brunson.

On Thursday July 7, just hours after Smyrl's LHM website announced his new church plant, here is the tweet that appeared on Mac Brunson's account:


That's nice. Mac Brunson is tweeting a bible verse to his followers on Twitter to help encourage them, right? No words of explanation, just a verse. I wonder what the verse says.

Well, here is Psalm 41:9, with a few verses that follow to give the full context of the verse:
"Even my close friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. But You, O Lord, be gracious to me and raise me up, That I may repay them. By this I know that You are pleased with me, Because my enemy does not shout in triumph over me." (Ps 41:9-10)
Nothing says "man of God" like using a Bible verse to slam someone. Only Mac Brunson could think of posting a bible verse to paint Smyrl as seeking to harm Brunson. I guess in April 2009 Brunson couldn't find a "woe to you, o sociopath" verse when interviewed by Jeff Brumley.

Is Brunson for real? Does this not show the absolute brazen self-centeredness that these mega church millioinaires have? It is all about them - Mac says Smyrl is "raising his heel" against poor Mac.

Let's face it, we don't know why Smyrl left. He might have been fired for being a Calvinist. He might have been fired for any number of reasons. Or gee, maybe the Lord led him to leave on his own and Smyrl genuinely felt that a new church is needed! Hey, maybe God is sovereign as Mac preaches!

Nope, not in Brunson's view. Smyrl is "raising up his heel" against Brunson. Well, Mac of all people should know that these days "megachurch" is a cut-throat business. When Mac and Maurilio came in and cleaned house back in 2006 they let people go that they had no use for, and bought at least one minister's silence with a few month's severance pay. Maybe, just maybe, Smyrl wasn't going to give in and sign their non-disclosure papers and non-compete clause for a few months severance pay.

Despite Mac's call for pity on Twitter, I hope the trustees of FBC Jax aren't feeling sorry for Mac, but are concerned over another fiasco at their church under the leadership of Brunson.

Anyways, I'll close with a bible verse, as Mac did on Twitter.

Jeremiah 23:1-4.

102 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pass the popcorn, this is gonna be one entertaining show!!!

Anonymous said...

You need to write a book about ALL of this nonsense...seriously. I think it would be a best-seller.

Anonymous said...

FBC Jax can't afford a split. What's Mac going to do? He'll have to browbeat the remaining sheep to give even more, to the point that no one will be left....

Bill said...

This is going to be awesome.


BTW, do you really need to take a Med cruise to "enrich and enlighten your New Testament reading"??

Smyrl supporter said...

I must say Dawg that you never disappoint! Keep up the good work of finding anything you can to be bitter water! Great effort! Keep it up.

Maybe you should go and be one of the trustees for this new venture as Dr. Smyrl is exceedingly more qualified than crazy Mac or the current pastor at your new church!

Heck, I might just move back to JAX when I retire to join you in this new great work of God. Can you go to the meeting for those of us that can't and give us a report?

Anonymous said...

Is this the same guy that called the Catholic church a cult?

Sharon said...

Referring to all this as "works of God" is what makes people cynical. It is so obvious that big churches are big business. It's all about power and market share and mafia tactics on those who won't shut-up and go away.

Even more unappealing are pastors who play the victim, like they are the poor, suffering "Man of God." It's either hilarious or sickening, depending on your mood.

I guess what keeps it all going is people wanting to have a spiritual life and community, so they keep coming to these churches. There's got to be a better way.

Any organization is gonna have problems, but it's so much worse when these places claim to represent godliness, holiness, Christian love, etc.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:35,

The Roman Catholic church would be more accurately defined as a *false world religion.* Paganism that is cloaked with Cristian terminology. Just a fact. Sorry if that offends.

Started listening to brother Smyrl a couple days ago via ITunes.....really enjoing it. He is definitely a solid biblical expositor.

I wish I was close to Jacksonville, as I am looking for a church, and would love to get involved in a good work. This new church plant looks promising.

Man, I just want to be around authentic Christians with a true passion for the glory of GOD.... and not a dead, legalistic institution!

Jonathan

Anonymous said...

Once an empire church. . .now crumbling!

Why doesn't the deacons rise up & put a stop to this sorry mess - get rid of Brunson!

Brunson has done nothing but create division since he came to Jacksonville.

Good for Smyrl. . .he definitely will have a following of some very good talent.

Anonymous said...

Someone on this blog tell me where I'm wrong or missing it in what I'm about to say. I apologize in advance for not having perfectly thought out questions/issues...but these are the best I can do now.

1. Last Wed night at FBC Rev Smyrl says he's got one more week at FBC and then he's going to quit and spend more time with Loyal Heart supporting small churches with Bible cirriculum. There was not even a hint of his real purpose...which is to leave FBC and start a new church. Is this wrong or more to the point 'lying'?

2. As a member of FBC should I expect to know why Rev Smyrl left FBC to start a new church? Should FBC leadership provide an accurate, truthful explanation to its members of 'why' Rev Smyrl left to start a new church? After all he was the #2 pastor.

3. Until last Wed I had visited this blog in a long time. I wondered what was going on when Rev Smyrl said he was moving on last week. I knew I could get the scoop here at this blog and I was right. Too bad FBC leadership is going to cause a bigger scandal by not dealing with this situation more openly and honestly. It's too bad the average church member will have to go to blogs to "try to get the real story" about why Rev Smyrl left. Is this the way it should be? Should it be important to me as a FBC member 'why' he left? Is it best for FBC to not answer the 'why' question and leave thousands of members wondering what is going on?

4. Why can't Christians be honest and transparent about things like this? Wouldn't the body of Christ be served better if things like this were handled more openly?

Anonymous said...

FYI...Danny's last name is spelled Akin, not Aiken

Anonymous said...

Christians acting with openness and transparency? This blog started as a reaction to the lack of the same at FBCJax. It would be encouraging to see the church respond to this situation differently. I'm not optimistic.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Great points Anon 8:30.

1. I don't know the details of why Smyrl left, but the word is he got a raw, raw deal at the hands of FBC Jax. I don't think he lied Wed night. He said he was going to concentrate on LHM, which DOES provide free resources to small churches. Perhaps at the time he wasn't sure if he was starting a new church or not.

2. You must not be a long time megachurch member. No, you absolutely should not expect to know why Smyrl left. They never explain the real reasons. I remember when Rick Stone was sent packing, the popular music minister. He was there one Sunday, then gone the next, no explanation at all. To the average church member, it was as if he was never there, poof, gone. Mega church members are not to ask questions, they are to be good soldiers for the Lord, not ask questions, trust God, I mean trust the pastor, and give their money.

3. They don't answer "why". This won't be a scandal. It won't be addressed at all. Faithful members will keep chugging along and if Smyrl takes 50, 100, or even 200 people with him, it is just a blip on the radar screen for a church with 5000 in attendance. I'm sure the trustees are doing an ROI on giving Smyrl about 2 years severance pay for him NOT to do this. If he takes (or captures) 20 tithing "giving units", that were each giving 5,000 per year, that is 1/2 million in revenue over 5 years....gee, maybe they should have offered more. :)

4. No transparency at the church in such matters. This is all by the book. What is not by the book in this situation is how in the first time in 50+ years at FBCJ a #2 preacher is fired/resigned and then starts a competing SBC church in the city. Somebody fell asleep at the wheel and let this happen.

Anonymous said...

Slinging Bible verses like a weapon is soooo immature. No wonder he likes Ergun Caner.

A Christian's true response should be that they are sorry their brother has departed but they should be thrilled about a new church plant going forward. I don't know the situation, but maybe Smyrl should have waited a bit longer. But perhaps he's had people pushing him for awhile to start one.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

9:08 - I'm a bit more cynical. I say the man has to earn a living, and he has invested years in his education to do one thing: preach and pastor. So what is he to do, sit around? If it were good for FBC Jax for him to not do this so soon, they should have compensated him with big $$ - that's how it is done in megachurch world. So someone fell asleep at the wheel at FBCJ. I say Smyrl should go for it!

Poop not Scoop said...

"Well, here is Psalm 41:9, with a few verses that follow to give the full context of the verse:"

Ok Dawg, now you are really spinning things.

Psalm 41:9 is what Brunson posted.

You added verse 10 and are trying to pin that on his tweet.

You are doing the same thing that they did in the Casey Anthony trial by bringing up things that are not part of the factual record and making assumptions.

The same assumption as if Smyrl leaving FBCJ is supposed to be any big deal.

I think him leaving FBCJ will be even less impact than when BB left.

I know that you are attempting to be controversial in your allegations, but I don't think your inaccuracy helps frame the debate. It just clouds it.

Anon says: "I knew I could get the scoop here at this blog and I was right."

You are not getting the "scoop" but the "poop" from the Dawg. He cannot even be honest when putting a pic of Brunson tweet and then adding another verse as if Brunson meant to say that but was just lazy or something and left it out.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to another episode of All My Baptists.

I'm flipping the channel to As The World Keeps On Turning.

(in other words, no one cares.)

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Poop not scoop: cry us a river.

We've been taught that Bible verses must be interpreted in context right? He gave not context on his tweet. Just one verse. Well, what does that verse mean?

Mac is the victim. Smyrl is the perpetrator.

Come on deacons, where is the Deacons Resolution 2011-1?

:)

Slow to speak said...

Ed Young has a great video about "Christian Pirates".

Google it, it is amazing!

It talks about snakes like Smyrl, that have been plotting this for a long time.

This makes me sick!

This stuff is dangerous to the Kingdom of God!

Don't mess with the Bride!

Anonymous said...

Something to notice and consider:



Ricky Wallace is on the Board of Trustees for Smyrl's LHM.


He was also a member of the pulpit committee that brought Mac Brunson to Jacksonville. I think he might have even been the chairman of that committee.


So it really makes you wonder who's following who, who's on which side, and what is really going on.

Anonymous said...

Tom,

Why don't you go to the new church with Smyrl and then you can blog about everything you don't like there. They would probably kick you out there too so I guess you should stay where you are and continue to be obsessed with Brunson.

Anonymous said...

Since we're asking "why & where" questions. Any of you folks asked the question where the popular gospel singer Todd Weeks went? . . .poof and he was gone overnight with no reasons given. FBCJ is full of sinful secrets! At least the W/Dog is giving us the truth.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon...stop being so obsessed with this blog. It is not healthy for you to be so obsessed with me and what I blog about and where I go to church and what I like and don't like. ;)

FormerFellow said...

Slow to Speak...

Ed's video on church pirates is what is pathetic. Ed and his senior staff DEMAND loyalty from absolutely everyone connected to that church, and yet, they give not one red cent of loyalty back. If you question, you are out. If you oppose, you are out. If you ask for clarification, you are out. No loyalty, no sentiment, no humility (if God forbid, they ever did anything wrong...)no long-termers, except for Ed.

Over 70 staff members in the last 2 years, just gone. Poof. In fact, that staff is taught to think of that exited staff as 'dead', do a little funeral in your head, and then move on. Seriously.

If Ed was special enough to 'plant' a church, why is the next guy a pirate? I'm with the Dog on this one, this guy should go for it. If God doesn't want to bless it, He won't.

Real FBC insider said...

"Since we're asking "why & where" questions. Any of you folks asked the question where the popular gospel singer Todd Weeks went? . . .poof and he was gone overnight with no reasons given. FBCJ is full of sinful secrets!"

No secrets except from Weeks, not FBC. If you must know, he ran off with a woman half his age and dumped his wife and kids for her.

If you miss him you can catch him at Chets Creek.

Anonymous said...

That's correct,


Todd Weeks slipped and had an affair. He was president of the choir at FBC Jax, but left as a result of his mistakes.

Glad to hear he's still in church. No matter what happens to us, or how bad we fail, God is always right there to pick us up and get us back on the path.

Real FBC insider said...

"I remember when Rick Stone was sent packing, the popular music minister. He was there one Sunday, then gone the next, no explanation at all. To the average church member, it was as if he was never there, poof, gone."

If you must know the facts. Dr. Lindsey did not like Rick Stones style and music selections, although he loved him like a son. Remember R.O. Stone raised him there.

He gave the "dirty work" to Vines and it was vines who let him go and put Rodney Brooks in his place.

Frankly, it was the best thing that ever happened to Rick and Rodney. They are both flourishing in ministry in Georgia and Birmingham.

Anonymous said...

"Todd Weeks slipped and had an affair."

Unfortunately, it is not his first time of "slipping."

Anonymous said...

Sign of the times is surely here . . .thanks watchdog for the blog - some of the facts makes one sad, but the truth should be known and not hidden.

How can one be obsessed when opening the door to giving us truth - this is why your blog is so widely read.

Anonymous said...

One of the things I struggle with on this comment post is those who have the mentality of lets sit back and grab a drink and watch the fireworks. If you look at the big situation all it does is bring a bad light on those who truly are trying to serve Christ. We should be praying for the situation. Not saying we cannot comment but sometimes I feel that some of the hearts on here are just as bad as the ones they talk about. Don't your self rightousness out shine the self rightous you talk about. This is not towards everyone who post on here.

Pastor Chris

Anonymous said...

Pastor Chris,
You are the kind of pastor we are looking for - from what I have read, comments coming in are from true believers who want to serve their church with heart and soul, but want a "shepherd" that we can follow.

I once was a FBCJ member but found the Pastor was gone more than present and we had no clue when he was preaching - the members called a Shephered to lead us first - we were 2nd on his list.

His close friends where the country club folks & still are - for a fact I went on a trip with his so called mission trip & not once, did he or his wife ask my name the entire time - once in a while he would say "you doing alright" Every meal he sat with his cronies. I have great self esteem and this really didn't bother me but did notice he made no effort to oversee the little people - mind you, at one time we were a high dollar giver to FBCJ, but that stopped when we left.

Pastor Chris, thanks for writing as you see those of us that read this know who is real & not real.

Thanks, former member of FBCJ!

Anonymous said...

So let's try and fit the pieces together.


It's been said that Smyrl has drifted into Calvinism through personal study and as such adopted that particular theological way of thinking. Assuming this is true, one reason for Smyrl's departure from FBCJ could be that he was demoted for adopting this ideaology. It didn't fit in line with Brunson's theology, and Smyrl was demoted. And in response to his demotion, Smyrl left.

The second reason for Smyrl's departure could be that he left in because of the pay decrease that came with the demotion. Plausible this may seem, it is unlikely the case in mho. Smyrl made the bucks with his LHM sidejob.

Anonymous said...

"...We believe a desperate need exists in Jacksonville for a church that seeks to imitate only that which the New Testament prescribes for Christ honoring church doctrine and practice." - What are other churches doing that needs such correction? Be specific.

Anonymous said...

"not once, did he or his wife ask my name the entire time - once in a while he would say "you doing alright"

Sounds like Jerry Vines. As a 30 year plus deacon at FBC he did the same thing to me and many others the whole time he was there. When Brunson came he went out of his way to know me and the others by name and not superficially.

Current member of FBCJ.

Anonymous said...

How exciting!

Please let us know where and when this new church will begin. I cannot wait to hear Sunday morning sermons again without history lessons and stories unrelated to the scriptures.

Anonymous said...

Thanks,

I understand how it feels when the pastor does not know who you are or you feel like they don't care to know who you are. As a pastor I am not going to lie that there are some church members I feel more comfortable with than others while hanging out and it is not based on personal income level but comfort zone. Does that mean I ignore the others, no. There are some people I go to visit I know that it will be 30 minutes to an hour or being awkward. I scan their tables and shelves and figure out something they like to talk about when I get there. I could not imagine being a large mega church pastor and trying to visit. It would drive me nuts knowing that some would be left out. How do you visit 5,000 plus and make it personal. Also when a church has status like a FBC JAX and etc... then there is status expectation put on the pastor. Our pastor can not live in that low price range of a house, or drive that beat up car, or wear those cheap suits. Not saying that the pastor is not to blame but there are issues that make it difficult to be a mega church pastor and keep your focus. Then there is the expectation to be involved in this civic event or on this board, or influence here. I will keep my country church and be thankful that I do not have those stresses to make me go off a deep end.

Also as a pastor who does not affirm calvinism then there would of been a parting or ways eventually. If people feel the same way he does and follows him then that is all part of it. I would wish them well and realize that this do not catch God by surprise and we will be fine.
Pastor Chris

Anonymous said...

If Brunson felt the need to make a public showing of his feelings about Smyrl leaving, through the use of Twitter, there is obviously some bitterness in this whole thing. Brunson is disappointed.

Not only that but, as Tom points out, Brunson is making it seem like Smyrl has betrayed him.

Perhaps the demotion was Brunson's response to whatever Smyrl did to hack Brunson off.....

Real FBC insider said...

"Also when a church has status like a FBC JAX and etc... then there is status expectation put on the pastor. Our pastor can not live in that low price range of a house, or drive that beat up car, or wear those cheap suits."

That may be true in Dallas or Houston or places like Atlanta, but not her in Jacksonville, aka "Cowford", Florida.

FBCJ has never had that expectation of excess for any of the pastors. Unless Tom thought there was some type of status of going to FBCJ, our family nor anyone else ever thought that way. That like you is their choice to live, drive or wear what you want.

Lindsey and Vines were both given brand new Buicks on a regular basis to drive from one of our members the almost forty years I have been at FBCJ

Anonymous said...

Dear Real FBC Insider:

You are mistaken about Dr. Lindsey receiving a free Buick every year. He always bought, for himself, a used vehicle, ususally a year old. I don't know about Vines' car-buying habits.

Signed,
Truly a Real FBC Insider

New BBC Open Forum said...

Would one of you anons please pass the popcorn down this way?

To the anon who said WD is adding to what Mac wrote, let's consider what Mac wrote.

Psalm 41:9: Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.

Who could he be talking about there? If not Smyrl, who? Obviously Mac perceives that someone has turned against him, and he's so bothered by it he feels the need to drop proof-texted biblical Twitter bombs. I really don't think it needs any "context."

Anonymous said...

Rick Stone - I was told that he was let go after it was found that he had not made hotel reservations early enough to be a reasonable distance from the SBC Convention in Louisiana in 1990 where the choir was participating. I was told that it was the final straw of a pattern of not planning. Maybe the other thing I was told speaks to something mentioned that Dr. Lindsay didn't like, which was that Rick would spend too much time at the podium thus taking from the pastor's time.

Todd Weeks - He was not choir president, but was vice-president. I can understand not announcing on people who leave their wives and children.

Tom Anderson - Choir president. He also left abruptly, at the same for the same reason! When it rains it pours.

It was heart breaking seeing their wives and children come to the altar from time to time.

Dr. Brunson's request of Dr. Whitmire as Rodney's replacement has been good. Dr. Whitmire is a genuine Godly man. He pays great respect to Dr. Brunson. I pray pastor Brunson stays on his knees and follows His leading.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:44,

Todd Weeks - He was not choir president, but was vice-president. I can understand not announcing on people who leave their wives and children.

Tom Anderson - Choir president. He also left abruptly, at the same for the same reason! When it rains it pours.

-----------------------------------

ever any church discipline administered for the sake of these men's souls?

any repentance?

Anonymous said...

This "back stabbing" has been planned for a while.

It was predestined.

I feel for our Pastor.

He has been hurt and Satan is behind it.

I feel Satan's breath when I come on this blog.

I am leaving now, the smoke is causing me to choke.

I Hate Evil! Just like my Pastor does!

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see how Mac Brunson uses this in his sermon Sunday.

Anonymous said...

anon 4:04

Church discipline is administered for the sake of someone's soul?? Huh?

Their souls are either saved or they're not. Church discipline won't save them. Far, far from it.

While discipline may be deemed necessary, most churches I know do a horrific job of it. Great at butchering, terrible at restoring.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:53,

You need to invest time into studying what the Bible has to say about church discipline. Obviously, you don't know, and I am not surprised as many "churches" don't teach it, and are not faithful to the LORD to practice it.

Jonathan

Anonymous said...

That Scripture is talking about Jesus Christ. It gives me the creeps that someone would use it this way.

FBC Choir Member said...

Speaking of the choir.... we have fewer members now than we had in the past. Why do you people think that is?

There are many benefits to being a choir member. You get to sing music, meet new people, and you never have to worry about what to wear to church. I always wear a suit and tie, but if you're more casually inclined you can dress down because your clothes will be covered up by a long, flowing, gorgeous black robe.

If you want to learn more about choir all you have to do is show up on Thursday and visit a rehearsal. Then if you want to join, all you have to do is pass an audition and you're in!

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:29...
The only smoke you're choking on is the result of the smoke & mirrors from Brunson's regime @ FBC. Deceit & deception have been the calling card of Brunson and his merry band of thieves from the beginning!

Man you people are SHEEP!!!
Wake up and see we've lost Godly Ministers because if you have a brain and an opinion, contrary to High Priest Brunson, you're OUT!!

Make no mistake about it...Mac is a theological elitist! Can't tell??

Just listen hard the next time he preaches...he'll tell you!
His sermons are right on target and if you don't believe his theology...you're not where you need to be spiritually!

Egomaniac? Some may say that...I think Mac is such a believer(in himself) he truly doesn't realize what he's doing!

Pitty...FBC was once a mighty work for God...now we're just hostages under a regime of clowns...

Current member in pain :(...

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jonathan, I don't need to look it up. I'm positive the Bible does not teach that church discipline is necessary to save someone's soul. Only one thing is.

But you are right about churches not knowing how to practice it. Most use it as an occasion to gossip and and publicly destroy another person. And, it's handled differently based on "who" you are.

Between leadership's bungling and church members' inability to handle the information maturely, the Lord is not honored in any way.

Anonymous said...

Non compete clause for Jim . . .that's a joke since Brunson set up shop right accross the street from our sister church New Beginnings in Ponte Vedra. He had no problem invading their space!

Anonymous said...

It seems ever since Mac Brunson became pastor he has brought nothing but chaos into this church. First Baptist is now the third largest church in jax with our sister church Bethel Baptist being the largest then Celebration being the second largest. People and staff members are constantly leaving. I have never seen a church in such disarray as this church is going through. Things got pretty bad with people leaving during the last few years under Dr. Vines but its gotten worse under Mac Brunson. Its pretty sad when you get better Bible preaching in Sunday School than you do the church service. Thats why I like it when we have a guest preacher who gets up in whats left of our pulpit and says open your bibles to such and such a book and chapter then starts preaching instead of getting up and saying back on this date so and so did this or that. I think First Baptist needs to have an "old Fashion day" where we have to sing out of our hymnals and then the preacher gets up and starts preaching a good ole fashion hell and brimstone sermon instead of our weekly history lesson.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Interesting day of comments, and the volume of the traffic on the blog is off the charts.

But it is not all bad. If you visit the FBC website you'll see the new advertise for the Med Cruise with Mac and Deb Brunson.

You can choose the 7-day cruise, or the 10 day cruise that includes 3 days in Venice - which is a hotspot I'm sure for biblical history. ;)

You can pay $3000 for the "no frills" 7 day cruise, or about $4000 with the Venice stay over.

And the good part: it is not until May 2012, so you have a chance to save the money for a year! Now that the auditorium is renovated, the rich folk can go cruising for Jesus on the Mediterranean.

Ain't Jesus great?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

And I have trouble believing the Smyrl demotion/departure has to do with doctrine or Calvinism.

Is not Rush Whitt of reformed theology? And they are helping to fund his church plant in the Caner hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

Did not Brunson invite Calvinists to speak at the Pastor's Conference in 2010?

So I just don't think this is about Calvinism...but if it is, I guess being a habitual fib-teller in the pulpit for 9 years is much better than holding some reformed doctrines. Caner's speaking to the youth at camp, Smyrl is out the door.

Thy Peace said...

Is it possible that Smyrl might have spoken out against Caner and was shown the door?

Anonymous said...

You make a good point Tom.


I bet Smyrl is out the door because he was against having Caner educate the youth.

Think about it. Brunson says have Ergun educate the youth. Smyrl, who is charismatic and takes strong stances, says no. So Brunson demotes him.

I think we may have solved the great mystery.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

To the "Poop Not Scoop" Whiner from 9:29 a.m.

Sorry, but one of Brunson's church members beat me to the punch of bringing up the verses following 41:9.

Here is the tweet of "babybear04_01":

babybear04_01
@macbrunson I'm praying for you pastor :) psalm 41: 10-13 :)

So SHE quotes verses 10-13 back to her pastor. She understood what her pastor was tweeting with Ps 41:9, that he is the victim, and she is praying that he will have the victory over his adversaries.

Jeremiah 23:1-4.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

It is NOT about Caner, that I am quite sure of. I would have hoped that someone did stand up for the youth and demand Caner not have access to their ears and brains, but it is not so, you'll have to trust me on that.

Anonymous said...

How do you know it's not about Caner?


What do you know that we don't?

FBC Choir Member said...

"And I have trouble believing the Smyrl demotion/departure has to do with doctrine or Calvinism."

As do I. I know several Calvinist staff members and Sunday School teachers. For the record, I'm not a Calvinist.

I got the impression from Smyrl that he likes to pick at people and step on toes. That could be part of why a separation of him and the church occurred.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Because I'm the Watchdog.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

And because I have monogrammed cuffs, golden cufflinks, and a seer-sucker suit. What I say must be true.

;)

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

"because he likes to pick at people and step on toes."

Are you speaking of Smyrl or Brunson?

FBC Choir Member said...

"Are you speaking of Smyrl or Brunson?"

Smyrl. I think Brunson does it too, and sometimes preaching requires you to. However, with Smyrl it seems to be more vexatious. Do you get that impression, WD?

Anonymous said...

Oh Smyrl is definitely the one who likes to pick and step on toes.

You should listen to his sermons.


I think Smyrl stood up to allowing Caner to speak to the youth.
Remember, Smyrl was in charge of the FBCJ youth at one point because of the youth pastor vacancy.
Also, He was the Executive Pastor of Education. So I think the decision on who to put in front of the youth was Smyrl's. And Brunson recommended Caner since Brunson and Caner have a thing going on. And Smyrl said no.

Anonymous said...

Tom,


This will no doubt be a PR nightmare for Brunson and administration.


We all know you're connected. Can you tell us what the reaction to this has been so far in the SBC blogosphere?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Trust me, that is not true. It is not about Caner.

Anonymous said...

Have you had any communication with Smyrl? Do you know of somebody who has?

New BBC Open Forum said...

And because I have monogrammed cuffs, golden cufflinks, and a seer-sucker suit. What I say must be true.

And a bow tie!

Smyrl. I think Brunson does it too, and sometimes preaching requires you to. However, with Smyrl it seems to be more vexatious. Do you get that impression, WD?

He'll be with you shortly. He's looking up "vexatious" right now. So am I.

:-)

Anonymous said...

I think Dr. Smyrl got fired, severance was lacking, and he had to have some income. Can we blame him for taking care of his family?

Anonymous said...

"Slow to speak said...
Ed Young has a great video about "Christian Pirates".

Google it, it is amazing!

It talks about snakes like Smyrl, that have been plotting this for a long time"

So true STS. What arrogance to complain that some staffer and some of the congregation moved on. I think he fears he wont be able to buy jet fuel if too many leave.

He speaks in all pious tones about loyalty (to him of course). WIth no regard to the real focus of all holy conduct and loyalty to the Saviour.

Honestly, this guy is so repulsive. And I see the pew sitters there lapping up that drivel. I see cult people.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Jim left because of pay changes or severance differences or the lack thereof. If there were any pay changes, it would have just come with the territory of being demoted. But there again, the pay isn't the problem. The problem is why was he demoted in the first place? That's the looming question here.

Anonymous said...

I think Steve Clifton is a yes man. That's why he was promoted to Exec Pastor of Educ.

Brunson has his hand wrapped around him easily.

Anonymous said...

Real Insider: I recall they drove Lincolns rather than Buicks. They parked them on the corner of Ashley and Hogan Streets every Sunday and on Wed nights. Never do recall any Buicks.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Like father, like son, Trey Brunson tweeted on July 7th when Smyrl announced his church plant:

trey_brunson: Bitterness is cancer in ministry. If a church is planted with a bitter pastor he'll lead people to bitterness.

trey_brunson: I'm learning what Dr. Sullivan told me 2 years ago, "Bitterness/Jealousy & laziness are the top 2 killers of ministers."

At least Trey had the smarts to delete them. But they are still visible via Google Reader.

Same accusations: bitterness and jealousy. But lazy? Smyrl is lazy? Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

That means Smyrl left because he was upset about something.

Anonymous said...

Trey is right! This hate spewed towards our Pastor is right out of the pit!

Satan is having a field day.

Some men unknowingly are being used by the Devil to bring reproach on FBC.

I hope this Church folds and God will be glorified in it's downfall.

Smryl cannot bring it like Pastor and Jim knows it.

Bible says beware when all men speak well of you.

Pastor Brunson must be doing something right!

Long Time FBC Jax Member said...

It appears that this departure was probably due to an accumulation of factors, ending in the straw that broke the camel's back.

You don't start a church overnight. It looks like this had been planned for a while, and perhaps Rev. Smyrl was waiting for God's timing, which might have come sooner than expected.

My family and I are planning on attending the info. meeting next week, and are excited about it. Jim has chosen Philip Hurst as his co-pastor/elder. Philip is a fine young man currently attending seminary. Phillip and his brother Eric come from a godly family, and grew up in FBC Jax.

We're excited to see how God will use Rev. Smyrl and Philip Hurst for His kingdom here in Jax!

Anonymous said...

Dog, I am sure you know this but those vacation trips touted as mission/educational trips do not just pay for the hosts expenses, some also pay kick backs to the pastor per traveler. Not saying this is 1st Jax but many pastors are doing it these days. We almost had one here years ago that was nixed thank goodness. I also knew a mega pastor who made approx. $60K in kick backs for trips he led his church into. Makes me sick to see pulpits used this way to promote things like this.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Long time member - be careful when you go to the meeting, I hear the discipline committee will be there to see who attends, and license plate numbers will be written down. They have contacts at the JSO and can run tag numbers. :)

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 6:44 - yes, I have written about these trips multiple times on this blog. I have said I don't care where people go on vacation, don't care if pastors go on vacation...but when church resources are used to adverstise and market these trips to entice members to spend thousands on luxury trips like this one it just sickens me. This one is over the top. The Norwegian Jade has a full casino, night clubs, etc. A real party boat on the Med. This trip has absolutely nothing to do with missions or ministry or anything spiritual. Just ride the boat with the Brunsons and FBCJ bigshots.

Perry Noble is even getting in on the act now, as he is leading trips to the Holy Land. Imagine going to the Holy Land to have Perry Noble preach to you from the mountain side on how you "officially suck as a human being." Wonderful.

Long Time FBC Jax Member said...

Watchdog -

Thanks for the heads up! Point well taken ;)

New BBC Open Forum said...

Dog, I am sure you know this but those vacation trips touted as mission/educational trips do not just pay for the hosts expenses, some also pay kick backs to the pastor per traveler. Not saying this is 1st Jax but many pastors are doing it these days. We almost had one here years ago that was nixed thank goodness. I also knew a mega pastor who made approx. $60K in kick backs for trips he led his church into. Makes me sick to see pulpits used this way to promote things like this.

Oh, absolutely this goes on all the time. This old article (written by the original NBBCOF) sums it up nicely.

When Steve Gaines was still at West Jackson a man confronted him about all the money he was allegedly making off Holy Land trips, and Steve reportedly very defensively replied, "I'll have you know I pay taxes on that money!"

Whenever they have one of these trips (they just returned from a 15-day "Journeys of Paul" trip where they toured Greece), practically the entire extended Gaines family goes along. (Oldest daughter had just given birth this time so didn't go.) I've no doubt their tickets are paid for off the backs of full-paying travelers. Ticket prices are increased on average 25% to cover all the free tickets for the pastor's family members and friends, and he pockets anything that's left.

Gaines is but one of many pastors who do this. Charles Stanley is perpetually advertising tours -- Caribbean, Alaska, Holy Land... it's big business.

Captcha: sticu... as in "stick it to you."

Anonymous said...

"I think First Baptist needs to have an "old Fashion day" where we have to sing out of our hymnals and then the preacher gets up and starts preaching a good ole fashion hell and brimstone sermon instead of our weekly history lesson."

And you wonder why churches are struggling the way they are today. It is because of this good ole day mindset. Times have changed.

WishIhadknown said...

“Times have changed.”

Reminds me of a story but then again almost everything does. Now to understand the story you have to know and or remember a time when cars had bench seats and not center consoles so that a passenger could sit right up next to the driver. Anyway back to the story.

Husband and wife are driving down the road when the wife turns to her husband and says, “Honey, remember when we were dating we used to be so close. When we would be driving like this I would cuddle up with you real close and you’d have your arm around me. I always felt so loved and appreciated. Why don’t we do that anymore?
Husband turns to the wife and tells her Yes I remember it was nice but ah dear who moved?

Yes times have changed but not necessarily for the better.

If you believe people, all people young and old, do not want hymns and Bible preaching anymore then you simply are not listening, you have closed your heart, mind, eyes and ears to the truth.

Anonymous said...

All this chatter about the cars makes me laugh. A whole lot of us recall sweet little Ms Lindsay driving her "used red Ford Bronco" . . .she was a gem & a role model of what a true Pastor's wife is - no stelleto heels & slim tight wardrobes, with a sparkly place of honor in the pews for her seating - she walked the floors & mingled with the members, what she brought to the table was true "love for people" - sorry folks, but todays First Baptist is hemoraging & there is no one there to stop it. So be it - a new era!

Anonymous said...

"Yes times have changed but not necessarily for the better."

That is in the eye of the beholder. I believe many changes taking place in the church today are for the better and good fruit will be seen. Again, eye of the beholder.
And before someone jumps on me, no I am not referring to FBC Jax. I am talking churches in general. Changes are being made in many churches that are to the benefit of the church regardless of what is happening at FBCJ. Yes, times are changing. That doesn't men for the worse.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:31,
Some details of those positive changes would encourage us all. Please feel free to list a few otherwise your post doesn't really mean too much.

Anonymous said...

"Anon 1:31,
Some details of those positive changes would encourage us all. Please feel free to list a few otherwise your post doesn't really mean too much."

My post doesn't mean much to you. Don't really care. My listing of positive changes will in all likelihood simply be seen as negative on this blog so I really don't care to take the time and list them. Like you said, my post doesn't really mean too much. :/

WishIhadknown said...

Yea, I couldn't think of any either.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Speaking of Holy Land tours... announcing an annual tradition:

Holy Land Tour with
Bro. Steve and Donna Gaines
• If you are interested in touring the Holy
Land with Bro. Steve and Donna
January 25-February 3, 2012, attend
an interest meeting on Sunday, August 7,
at 7:30 p.m. in the Chapel.
• Visit www.bellevue.org or call 347-5800 for
more information.

New BBC Open Forum said...

macbrunson: Perspective from Job's life - lightening always hits the tallest tree. Stand tall pastor and count it a blessing when the fire is aimed at u

Where was this man "educated"? In reading through his tweets, he can't half spell. I don't mean the "u = you" garbage. (You're an adult Mac. Write like one.) He used "your" for "you're" the other day, and "lightning" has no "e" in it. Poor, persecuted Mac. Just like Job.

macbrunson: Job's response is stellar. Exemplary. It glorified God and pleased God. It humiliated Satan. God help my responses to always honor you.

{insert eyeroll here}

captcha = "subit"

Mac says, "Subit to me!"

Anonymous said...

Last Wed night at FBC Rev Smyrl says he's got one more week at FBC and then he's going to quit and spend more time with Loyal Heart supporting small churches with Bible cirriculum. There was not even a hint of his real purpose...which is to leave FBC and start a new church. Is this wrong or more to the point 'lying'?"

If Smryl mentioned a new church plant he would be accused of recruiting members.

And Mac is not going tell you because you might want to go there.

This is a double shot because Akin is on the board of Smryl's new venture.

Does anyone know Akin's background? He was a protege of Patterson and is now more in the Mohler camp.

This goes much deeper than Mac. There is a hidden fight in the SBC between the Reformed wing and everyone else for power and followers. For church plants, etc. Is Smyrl getting money from Namb?

Some are quasi reformed and they are like the independents in elections. They have not committed to Reformed but are leaning that way.

If truth be known, the Reformed wing is winning. Mac, Steve Gaines, Patterson and some others are the dying wing although there are still some who rise above it and play the middle keeping the peace. Anyone wonder why our last several presidents have towed a middle way?

Anonymous said...

The host payment programs for Pastors that sponsor these trips has gone on since the early 70's at least.

It used to be that a trip was given for every 5 paying travelers and then a certain amount per traveler for every paying person over 10 to cover Pastor and wife.

This like so many other things was a preacher perk to allow them to pay for travel in the day when the Pastor could not come close to affording a Holy Land trip. Which was the only destination for a long time.

I went on one back in 75 and one in 92 and don't know how it is now but back in the 70's and the still in 92 the host worked very hard through out the trip. Back then had to manage all the travelers arrangements for hotels, passports, bus, baggage during travel and speak 2 or 3 times a day. Juggling 50 to 75 retirees was pretty tough but I really doubt Mac and other current Pastors even come close to this. Just a good thing gone bad as so many other things have....

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for you, Watchdog. What you are doing is so against what someone does when Christ is their Lord and the Holy Spirit is in control of their life. I pray that you will repent and see how you are doing nothing but hurting the cause of Christ.

WishIhadknown said...

Actually Anon the ones hurting the cause are people who see wrong and say and do nothing. Try witnessing to some lost people, they look at what is happening in our churches and laugh because what we are doing as church today does not look like church to them.

Anonymous said...

Wah! Wah! Do you ever give up on pinning everything on Mac?

Smyrl left in a manner that is not consistent with respecting members that loved and believed in him. I doubt much good will come from his efforts with so much controversy.

He could have left on better circumstances and the members would probably have been more than supportive.

This is a sad chapter for Jim Smyrl and has absolutely no reflection on Mac Brunson.

In my opinion, we should just pray for Reverend Smyrl and his ministry.

Anonymous said...

From my opinion, Smryl was a threat to Mac Brunson and was smart enough to get out! He has lots of friends in the SBC who likewise see through Mac Bruson!

Long Time FBC Jax Member said...

"This is a sad chapter for Jim Smyrl and has absolutely no reflection on Mac Brunson."

I believe quite the opposite is true. Mac is playing the martyr, and Jim is taking the high road. We're looking forward to hearing about Loyal Heart Bible Church tomorrow night.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog, have been reading your blog for months with great interest. Going through much of the same thing at former church in East Texas that you describe, in fact eerily similar. Brunson's recent twitter posts sure seem self-absorbed, as he is in survival mode. Recommend to all to read the book "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse". Seems like the mega pastors are using the same playbook and it is described to a T in this book. Also, in Matthew Chapter 23.

Provender said...

"This hate spewed towards our Pastor is right out of the pit!

"Satan is having a field day.

"Some men unknowingly are being used by the Devil to bring reproach on FBC.

"I feel Satan's breath when I come on this blog.

"I am leaving now, the smoke is causing me to choke.

"I Hate Evil! Just like my Pastor does!

"I feel sorry for you, Watchdog. What you are doing is so against what someone does when Christ is their Lord and the Holy Spirit is in control of their life. I pray that you will repent and see how you are doing nothing but hurting the cause of Christ.

These snippets are so typical of members in spiritually abusive churches defending abusive pastors that they are almost predictable. I monitor blogs of spiritual abuse victims and see the same 2x4s smacking the abused, and anyone who dares challenge abusive leadership, as these.

I also recommend --especially to those using these brickbats -- to learn about mind control methods used in spiritually abusive churches and heartily agree with the recent comment recommending "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse." It is a classic!

Captcha code "squal"
Sounds like it's already blowing in at FBC Jax.

Joshua said...

Using a passage about Christ to refer to yourself...how lovely?