"...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

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Smyrl's Meeting Packs the Room: Maybe 100 People; Lays Forth a "Radical" Plan for New Church on the Westside of Jax

I would say that Jim Smyrl's meeting tonight was a huge success. His new church will begin meeting on July 31st at Crystal Springs Elementary on the Westside of Jacksonville.

He filled out the meeting room at the Ramada Inn, and had upwards of 100 people present. The crowd was mostly current or former First Baptist Jacksonville members, including some very, very prominent long-time members whose names you would recognize if I posted them. Present was a cross-section of older and younger members.

But more than that, what was most surprising is the vision he laid forth about this new church that will be radically different from the typical Southern Baptist church. Smyrl took the high road, and never mentioned the past about First Baptist Jax or Mac Brunson or John Blount, but did look to the future in explaining the following about the new church:
  • Smyrl will be a bi-vocational pastor, as he has secured a job with Chase Bank that starts later this month;
  • The church will affirm the priesthood of the believer, as prescribed in the New Testament, the "ecclessia" church model
  • Smyrl says the church will absolutely not focus on buildings and programs and positions - but will focus on spreading the gospel with funds going to ministry, not salaries and buildings;
  • The home groups will be autonomous in nature, where they will decide themselves on mission projects to support
  • Smyrl does believe in supporting the Cooperative Program of the SBC, so the church will be involved in some manner in funding missions through the CP;
  • Smyrl is not interested at all in building a huge church - in fact, if the church were to grow to 300-400 it would plant another church.
  • The location of the church will be at Crystal Springs Elementary on the Westside of Jacksonville, with the first service being at 10:00 am on July 31st.
  • Did not go into detail about the "membership covenant" that he tweeted he was working on - this would be my only concern, that members have to sign a "covenant" agreeing to some sort of conditions of membership, including subjecting themselves to the authority of an elder board and church discipline. I hope Jim Smyrl doesn't go that route.
But kudos to Jim Smyrl. Sounds like he is going counter-culture to the SBC mega church movement and much of what he has seen the past 5 years first hand at First Baptist Jacksonville.

Now get ready for the onslaught of those slamming Smyrl, saying he is divisive and bitter - and blaming any harm that might come to FBC Jax on those darned Calvinists.

And contrary to rumors being spread by yours truly, there were no FBC Jax deacons or trustees spotted taking down license plate numbers in the Ramada parking lot, although surely the Discipline Committee would love to get their hands on that list. :)

93 comments:

Thy Peace said...

WD, the link for Crystal Springs Elementary is fixed here.

Lin said...

bi-vocational? How refreshing! I hope that idea lasts!


I am with you, everthing sounds good except the membership covenant.

Anonymous said...

Great picture of Brother Smyrl. Stay close to the Lord brother and forget all CHURCH GROWTH stuff you learned from Mac.

That STUFF is destroying churches all over the country.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog:

Pack the house, 100 people, are you kidding me? Were you a former White House Press secretary? Nice spin, do we need to go pull your numerous critical blogs of Smyrl? Obviously you are just stirring the pot, and fronting being on Smryl's side just because of the issue with FBC. Wish Smyrl and Mr. Hurst the best, but Watchdog, call yourself out on this one.

Anonymous said...

This is not a church....

This is a Sham.

Smyrl's words are shallow.

This is vindictive, hateful, and spiteful and God will not bless it.

I hope those "100" have fun for now....it will not last.

Anonymous said...

Well there you go...lie things down so they seem smaller and stand thing up so they seem taller.

The bottom line is that Smyrl left in an inordinate manner and probably has hurt the church.

I doubt that his model is going to work out as the plan lacks an element cohesion and does not offer much in the way of member ministry.

Nothing like working all day and trying to hold a job down and then working until midnight or later on a church.

VinnyVideo said...

This new group sounds much closer to the way we were originally intended to worship than megachurches run by millionaire pastors with armies of marketers and lawyers.

Anonymous said...

Forget this issue of Smyrl or Brunson- hopefully good for both. All I can tell you is the people of FBC are more fired up for Jesus than we have been in a long time- it is not about worshipping a man or our knowledge of the Bible, it is about Jesus. Time to get back to the basics, loving others to Jesus Christ, spreading his word, letting the Bible convict the heart of our sin, and praising God for his magnificent grace. Let's roll!!!

Anonymous said...

This looks encouraging.

In the SBC we all know there are issues with legalism, hyper-authoratarianism, and the traditions of men--leading to dead orthodoxy and battered sheep on one end of the spectrum; and then the "Saddleback" type of cheap grace, easy-believism, and even syncretism and pluralism on the other end--resulting in apostasy from the Faith.

The SBC needs men (Calvinists will be the ones who truly "get it" and not the Brunson/Patterson types), like Smyrl, who seek to begin to stir up believers to get back to a basic, New Covenant, following of "the WAY."

Anonymous said...

I attended the meeting tonight not knowing what to expect. There were roughly 60-70 people there from infants to 65+. I found a very "terribly Biblical" church model, one I have read of before, but never considered applicable in present-day Christianity as I grew up at FBC Jax. I have only known a large church congregation with tons of ministry outlets. There is much on my mind. I enjoy the idea of close communion with fellow believers. The stucture of this church makes sense to me from a Biblical perspective. I wish to strive toward making disciples the way Jesus did back in the day. I am prayerfully considering with my wife what our next step will be. I am praying for Loyal Heart Ministries and FBC Jax during this great challenge.

Anonymous said...

"Now get ready for the onslaught of those slamming Smyrl, saying he is divisive and bitter"



Isn't this what you did when he wrote about the Catholics.

Funny how you switch gears and lift Smyrl up as a way to put Brunson down.

Anonymous said...

Seems your characterization of the meeting is a bit askew of reality.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

My question is: how will Smyrl go out on all the speaking gigs that pastors are supposed to do, and how will he be able to take 2 week holy land trips when he is working for Chase?

Anonymous said...

11:32pm,


That's because he wasn't there.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Gee, I thought all I did was slam pastors here - I say good things about Smyrl, and you don't like it. ;)

I have said I'm no fan of Smyrl, but I do commend him for his bravery in standing up to the mega hot shots at FBC Jax and parting ways. And I do think he is implementing a church model that is much closer to NT ideals. And I for sure commend him for getting a job and being bivocational. Gee, I'd love to see one of the Brunsons do that, and serve at FBC Jax in just a lay capacity with no salary. Good for you, Jim Smyrl.

Anonymous said...

Smyrl is a brother who is probably fed up with "Christian Corporatism."

Long Time FBC Jax Member said...

Seems your characterization of the meeting is a bit askew of reality.

July 13, 2011 11:32 PM


I attended the meeting tonight, and it was exactly as WD described. I'm excited to see how God will continue to lead this ministry!!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I was there, I was the Ramada host that was bringing the water in to the room.

Bro./Pastor Rod H. said...

Anon July 13, 2011 11:04 PM
said::
"I doubt that his model is going to work out as the plan lacks an element cohesion and does not offer much in the way of member ministry."

"Nothing like working all day and trying to hold a job down and then working until midnight or later on a church."

July 13, 2011 11:04 PM


If God is for him(Smyrl),it will be successful.
My only hope is that he is genuine,and avoids the many errors and pit falls of Mac.

The Apostle Paul was bi-vocational,so what's your point?

Anonymous said...

Sure Tom disagreed with Smyrl on some things. I have wondered though if Smyrl had been n disagreement how the church treated Tom . I don't remember his name being mentioned as one of those involved in the 'discipline' and trespass warnings.

Anonymous said...

'If God is for him(Smyrl),it will be successful.'

This goes against scripture. A good example would be Job. Even the Apostles who were put to death due to their salvation. Then the reformation is littered with men and women who were not successful but martyred.

Now, one can make a case that even in their death they were successful. I guess it depends on how you define successful. If it is broad enough to include these mentioned and the many more over the years, then if Smyrl's church collapses, it could be defined as successful of course then if FBCJ collapses we could define that as a success also.

How do you mean to use success?

I hope Smyrl the best and hope he reaches many for God's kingdom. I do think it is a good move for him whether the church makes it or not.

Anonymous said...

It would be wonderful for FBC to be focused on winning lost souls. Be careful how you treat them once they've joined. In case you haven't noticed you've run a lot of people off and offended your brothers in your midst.

For example, the comment that Smyrl's new church is vindictive etc. This type behavior is occurring a lot to your members by your members and is not based on something that can be pointed out in scripture that the person accused has sinned by not obeying it. There is a faction there that is 'superior ' to their fellow brother in Christ, void of humility.

Instead of having the humility of Christ and saying 'maybe' I have sinned and need to reexamine my behavior it appears many times that they just dig their heels in and become more hard hearted about their sin to their brother . There is no one you can talk to about it because there are some there who can do no wrong. It least it looks and feels that way.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

One of the interesting dynamics in Smyrl's start up is that I see on the "Support" tab of Smyrl's website an address for the ministry on Crown Point Road.

Whose address is that?

Collins Builders.

Does that ring a bell? Colllins' was the family that donated the Brunson's their land gift.

Last night Smyrl mentioned a man named "Ashley" who was one of his accountability partners, probably Ashley Collins, the CEO of Collins Builders.

Things continue to get more and more interesting.

Anonymous said...

So there were only 65-70 people actually there? Sounds to me like someone can't count.

Smyrl's goals sound lofty but they will fall through quickly if his church grows much at all. People are not going to continue to want to meet in an elementary school. They will want their own facility and buildings for worship and especially for their children. So alas, Jim will have to focus on buildings after all.

If they let their home groups remain autonomous and do whatever they want, they will have a fiasco. That is why the Bible gives levels of leadership and authority in a church. There must be accountability of you will have ever nut case in town sponsoring a group.

Smyrl is bi-vocational now because he doesn't have another choice. If and when the church grows, I guarantee you that he will become a full time pastor and get paid quite well for doing it. His people will love him and want to be sure that he is well paid.

Perhaps he could hire Tom to be his spiritual advisor so he won't have to continually be reading his press releases on the blog.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Cynicism and bitterness...didn't I say that the bitter ones would be on the FBC Jax side?

How sad.

Go Jim Smyrl. Apparently if you don't do church the institutional way, then you can't succeed.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

How ridiculous, "press releases" on the blog. Jim Smyrl hasn't talked to me, and I'm sure he never will. Just getting the word out on what is going on so that people at FBC Jax and in Jacksonville and around the SBC can be informed real time about what is going on at FBC Jax, and they don't have to get their info filtered through the media folks at FBC Jax.

I know that hurts that you can't control the flow of information, but too bad.

And thanks TP, for the updated Crystal Springs link.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Funny they are claiming only 65-70 were present and saying someone can't count.

FBC Jax claims to have 20,000+ members.

Who can't count?

:)

Anonymous said...

If he is such a strong and godly leader, why only 100 people?

If FBC is such an unbiblical model, why did he take a salary from there for years?

Is the reason Jim is bi-vocational because he is going to make over $100,000 at his new "job"?

Did he just now realize that FBC is an unbiblical model?

This is bitterness wrapped in a new package and he is justifying his hate for our Pastor by saying that now Smyrl has the "right" model and FBC is a farce.

This is totally ridiculious!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

You are a troll.

Don't engage this person readers, they are trying to rattle cages by their ridiculous comment.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog:

Looks like truth, facts, and logic are unraveling your arguments- you are really being exposed. You ok? Your words:

"You are a troll.Don't engage this person readers, they are trying to rattle cages by their ridiculous comment."

Nice, the very thing you protest against is now so evident in you- you are saying your readers are just a bunch of dumb sheep and need to follow you? Sounds a little "cultish".

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

But I let them have their say, like I let you have your say.

:)

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

The truth is not on the side of that poster.

Smyrl doesn't hate Brunson (only in the mind of those who call people who question or criticize "haters"), and Smryl never called FBC Jax a "farce".

Anonymous said...

As a long-time banker, I'm wondering what type of role Smyrl has taken with Chase? Does anyone konw? Seems odd given that all the major banks, Chase included, are struggling to right size staffing expenses that he would be able to land a job (with no previous experience, I'm assuming) in a new industry, with no trouble. Seems strange.


WD - any insight on who helped him get the job? An FBC Jax insider maybe?

Just curious.

Anonymous said...

Employment Source:
From my perspective, I'd say the insider whom helped get Smyrl a position @ the Bank was no one but "The Lord" himself! :>)

Anonymous said...

Maybe GOD provided the job. Don't let it make you bitter.

Anonymous said...

"If FBC is such an unbiblical model, why did he take a salary from there for years?"

"Is the reason Jim is bi-vocational because he is going to make over $100,000 at his new "job"?"

...so these are questions from a Troll?

Sounds pretty legit to me.

I guess when others ask questions that don't fit your worldview, then those questions are from a troll...right?

Anonymous said...

'Smyrl's goals sound lofty but they will fall through quickly if his church grows much at all. People are not going to continue to want to meet in an elementary school.'

This is not always the case. Do a historical look at Saddleback and see how they met in a school or other buildings they did not own while growing from small to mega. They were reaching thousands on a weekly basis for their worship without their own building.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 10:27 - a troll, or someone who doesn't have basic reasoning skills.

The first statement is based on a false premise. Smyrl has not said FBC Jax model is "so unbiblical". No model is perfect, FBCJ's or Smyrl's or anyone's.

Your second question assumes Smyrl is making $100k a year. And if he were, who cares? He isn't getting money from his church members, he isn't telling the people at Chase that he is "god's man", or that they are obligated to give 10% of their revenue to his 501(c)3.

Grow up.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog-

Long time FBC member here- I have a solution- let's interject Jesus right now into the mix. Let us all repent(yes, including the pastor and FBC members) and publicly forgive and show what Jesus Christ can do in the body of believers- and let him get the victory and glory- what a testimony that would be for him. Right now, Satan just get's the victory. You in? Don't throw the naive card, that would be discounting God and the work he can do in a situation. Come on Watchdog!

Johnny D. said...

I like this idea (so far). I have found a church, and we enjoy it, but I will keep an eye on this endeavor and see how it takes shape. Crystal Springs is very close to where I live. Thanks for the report, Cousin. :-)

Anonymous said...

Jim Smyrl came on board @ FBCJ with the best intentions as we all did when Brunson came to the pulpit.

The leadership should be ashamed that they are keeping Brunson - they have stood by and watched Godly pastors and members walk out the door under his watch and done nothing!

Brunson is an operationals manager - not a member manager! The church is split - Brunson needs to go!

Anonymous said...

"Long time FBC member here- I have a solution- let's interject Jesus right now into the mix. Let us all repent(yes, including the pastor and FBC members) and publicly forgive and show what Jesus Christ can do in the body of believers- and let him get the victory and glory- what a testimony that would be for him. Right now, Satan just get's the victory. You in? Don't throw the naive card, that would be discounting God and the work he can do in a situation. Come on Watchdog!"

How about Brunson starting things off by removing the trespass order against WD and his wife?

Let us know when you have accomplished that "first step."

Anonymous said...

'How about Brunson starting things off by removing the trespass order against WD and his wife? '

Conditional repentance will never lead to or be real repentance.

Does Brunson and his sinful behavior have such a control over people that they won't even repent unless he does first. That argument went out when we left third grade.

Anonymous said...

Ok, Holy Spirit is moving!

Let' pray it up!

Anonymous said...

"How about Brunson starting things off by removing the trespass order against WD and his wife?"


I agree ll:40 long time member - let FBCJ take the 1st step and makes us proud! Brunson's are you listening!

Anonymous said...

'let FBCJ take the 1st step and makes us proud!'

That's a little arrogant, wouldn't you say? Should choices anyone makes be done to make you proud? Leaving God out of the equation is troublesome and will never lead to repentance.

Anonymous said...

Jesus, you are King of Kings- please for your glory, if it is your will, reconcile this situation.

No One Special said...

I also work at Chase, wonder where they found space to put him, unless they got a new building somewhere, I don't think the are any open desk in any of the buildings, unless he is in the southside building.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it woud make me proud for the Brunson team to take the first step & do what they NEVER should have done in the first place. That is not arrogance, it's about doing the right thing!

Member (for the time being)

Anonymous said...

'Yes, it woud make me proud for the Brunson team to take the first step & do what they NEVER should have done in the first place. That is not arrogance, it's about doing the right thing!'

It seems both sides do not recognize their wrong being done.

Anonymous said...

What a surprising part of town to form a new church, especially in this situation. Most of the powers that be at FBC that are unhappy live south and east of downtown, not west. The informational meeting was held in Mandarin. Why not base the new church in that part of town?

Anonymous said...

Couple of questions...

How did those 100 know about the meeting...many of us knew nothing about it?

Does Bi-vocational mean no salary? If there is a salary, how much? Would the members get to vote on how much money to pay Jim? How open will this Church be?

Is this new church going to be congregational led? Who is going to choose the Elders?

Mark my word...this will just be FBC Jax lite...same song and dance, just a different tune.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 3:16 - good points!

I think that Jim hired Maurilio to develop a marketing plan, and Maurilio's team designed cut post cards to send out to prospective members.

Certainly Smyrl will talk about how he is the lowest paid bi-vocational pastor in the SBC, and will complain to Danny Akin that he got no honeymoon at LHBC before the recalcitrants started on him.

Certainly he'll be getting a land gift from the Collins soon.

And his wife and daughters will all have employment at LHBC too.

Yep, just FBC Jax lite.

And you'll get to see Jim stomp and jerk his glasses off.

And I can't wait until Smyrl advertises those holy land trips and cruises on the LHBC website.

FBC Jax lite, right?

Anonymous said...

"Funny how you switch gears and lift Smyrl up as a way to put Brunson down."

That is called "SPIN". That is how all of the commentators do it. They "SPIN" the answer to lead thought in a particular direction.

Keep "SPINNING" it keeps all of us nobodies in the blogosphere something to brighten up our dull little lives on this miserable little planet.

Anonymous said...

WD-

Why so much censoring of comments? Surely of all people you are not scared of open dialogue?

Anonymous said...

"Keep "SPINNING" it keeps all of us nobodies in the blogosphere something to brighten up our dull little lives on this miserable little planet.

July 14, 2011 6:17 PM


Sorry to disappoint you but a majority of us are "nobodies" and if we came out from behind our anonymous names it probably would surprise you.
We happen to be big fans of both the W/Dog and Rev. Smyrl - each of them have their own ministry that blesses us - yes, there is disagreements but done with love & compassion. Face it, FBCJ has become a "nobody" church in this community!

Anonymous said...

You are so absorbed with your hatred for Dr. Brunson that you cannot possibly believe there are literally thousands of us in the church and viewers on the internet who love our pastor and pray daily for him and our church.

Dr. Smyrl is a great preacher and I wish him great success. I see no reason why you feel that for his church to succeed FBC must fail or vice versa.

Southern Baptist church plants are planted in Florida every year, 100-150 every year and we rejoice that every plant means people are being reached for Christ that were not being reached before. Praise the Lord!

I find nothing in scripture to support the vilifying of Pastor Brunson or of Dr. Smyrl, quite the contrary. 1 Chr.16:22 tell us to "touch not my annointed and do my prophets no harm". Also, if you recall the disciples found a group of people who were not of them who were preaching the gospel of Christ; they were told to rejoice that Jesus was being exalted. Can there be too many churches/people proclaiming Christ?

We are closer to Christ's return than we have ever been before, we can waste no time in getting the message out and gathering in the harvest. I do not believe that Christ is honored by bloggers who defame the cause of Christ by hurling vile accusations at God's chosen leaders.

For the sake of Christ, if you find you are unhappy at any church, whatever the reason, go somewhere that you can be happy but by no means should you seek to vilify the church or it's staff and attempt to turn the hearts of the members to do likewise. It is a hurtful and hateful act and God is not in it.

2 Cor.13:5 NAS says: Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you - unless indeed you fail the test?

Christ would have no part in supporting such as I have observed in this blog. I feel He would probably be as angry as He was when He ran the merchants out of the temple. The church is the body of Christ and, as the body it should not be attacking itself but should be nourishing and protecting itself.

I suggest that rather than being rude, hateful, antagonistic that we should repent of such behavior and pray for one another with love in our hearts for our brothers. It does not honor Christ and God cannot bless the heart that holds hatred or spite for his brother.

I pray that this blog would turn from maligning God's pastors and His churches to praising God for the wonderful work that is being done in His churches. I see wonderful things at FBC, and I am blessed by Dr. Brunson's sermons, may God continue to richly bless our church and its staff. I am sure God will bless Dr. Smyrl in his efforts as he works to grow his new church. I pray for many souls to be won through that ministry and that their blessings will abound.

Please, please find ways to use the time that you are spending on this blog to bring honor to Christ.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic: The Wartburg Watch > Peasants Rising-What Mahaney, Mohler, etc., Could Learn From Martin Luther’s Mistakes

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Another person with the "hate" accusations. You are so very wrong in your accusation that I hate Mac Brunson.

I do believe there are literally thousands who love him and FBC Jax.

But Pastors aren't prophets.

And Pastors are not God's chosen leaders.

"Touch not thine annointed" has nothing to do with pastors. In fact that verse has been misused over and over again to defend misdeeds of pastors.

This blog honors Christ.

This blog honors Christ by holding accountable men who are misusing their authority in churches, who are teaching false doctrines, and who purposely seek to harm the body of Christ for their own benefit. This blog warns Christians of what is going on in the name of Christ that have very little to do with Christ.

Praise God for bloggers who speak the truth to pastors. Praise God we have freedom of speech where neither pastors nor politicians can silence the average Joe.

Thank you Jesus for blogs and bloggers.

You pray that this blog will stop maligning pastors. I pray that this blog and others will be used to get pastors to stop beating their sheep.

You say Christ would be as mad at me as he was at the money changers. That is a good one - actually Jesus would probably be more angry at the modern day money changers in the church.

Anonymous said...

The anointed was an old testament prophet. The new testament has plenty of verses that directly instruct to examine the behavior of other believers. Sounds like you're saying pastors are to be exempted from part of the directions God gave us. Paul said he was a colaborer in the gospel. He didn't say he was untouchable like some say pastors are.

Thy Peace said...

Hear, hear.

WishIhadknown said...

Again, I have to ask the question. Why is it right for a Mega church to open a satellite church in an affluent area that is probably already overly saturated with churches but it is wrong for a former employee of the same Mega church to start a new church?

Concerning reconciliation, isn’t there somewhere in the Bible where two disciples had a dispute and the result were two missionary journeys instead of one? Ok everyone pounce on this one and have fun.

WD does not censor, Blogger does it all by itself.

WishIhadknown said...

Been doin’ a little research and I have to agree with the guy that says the preacher is worthy of double pay if you make the huge leap and assume that scripture applies to the role of the modern preacher. Here in Shelby County Tennessee the median household income for a family of four is $34,203 in Jacksonville it’s $46,312 so I agree with scripture and I think Steve Gaines deserves every bit of $68,406 and I think even WD would agree that Brunson deserves $92,624. Praise God. As always I agree with scripture. If you want to do the math for your location go to city-data.com.

WishIhadknown said...

Going off topic but NewBBC posted a link a few discussions back showing Steve Gaines declaring he does not own a lot and that he does not have property worth very much. Ok, Steve in the world the rest of us live in, in a county where the median home price is approximately $100,000 having a home with an appraised value of $426,000 is owning property worth a lot.

Anonymous said...

I would say that the height of self-delusion is to say with a straight face that "this blog honors Christ."

Don't blame what you write on here on Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Where in the Bible were people "members" of individual churches?

Read how Paul addresses his letters. "To the church at ______." To those who gathered as believers, anywhere in that region or city.

The corporatization of church reaches far beyond the concept of membership, but that aspect has always bothered me.

Thy Peace said...

Since Jesus is The Truth, then if truth is not being proclaimed in churches, then the churches dishonor Christ.

But if truth is spoken out and errors are called out then this blog honors Christ.

Anonymous said...

Wow, did you read this? Gives a very good perspective on how and why Mega church pastors struggle so.

The Most Risky Profession

Anonymous said...

While I support Smyrl's right to start a new church, I DO NOT look forward to another religious bigot setting up shop out here on the Westside. We have quite enough of those already. Would rather see someone who strives to bring people together instead of drive wedges between religious communities by proclaiming that "the Catholic Church is a cult," or that "your grandchildren are going to come under Muslim law, if your remain silent." I am a Baptist, but am sickened by such a ridiculously uninformed leader who is not even aware of his denominations history. The 18th Century Virginia Baptist preacher, John Leland, was largely responsible for encouraging Thomas Jefferson to include Freedom of Religion in First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Among hiw several statements on religious freedom for all people in the new United States of America, Leland said: "The notion of a Christian commonwealth should be exploded forever...Government should protect every man is thinking and speaking freely...Jews, Turks (read Muslim), Pagans and Christians." Our Westside "village" does not need another idiot leading a congregation. We need a good, rational, Christian voice. I would join a church like that. Jim, please don't come here.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Anon 11:56,

Thanks for posting the link to that article. The author makes some very good points (cult of personality, delegating instead of shepherding, etc.), but I was bothered by the implication that megachurch pastors are more or less "victims" of their circumstances. I was always taught if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen. Or in this case, if you can't stand the heat of being a megachurch pastor, get out of the megachurch pastorate. Have you ever noticed that few of these guys are ever "led by the Lord" to leave a big church for a smaller church?

Anonymous said...

Anon saith:
"communities by proclaiming that "the Catholic Church is a cult," or that "your grandchildren are going to come under Muslim law, if your remain silent." I am a Baptist, but am sickened by such a ridiculously uninformed leader"

WD will disagree with me, but Jim is right on the catholic cult of the pope and mary. As a cult, it has adds to the scripture and has a performance based kind of salvation.

On islam, Jim is correct also. A short study of islam and it's tenets of faith decalre jihad across the world to subdue all under sharia law.

You call it bigotry. Nice try.

You need to research these 2 cults and see for yourself how islam is the enemy of Christ and how catholicsm has such strong pagan influence.

Seriously, look further into these two so called faiths and see if you are givinig tacit approval to them in your mission for the gospel.

WishIhadknown said...

“WD will disagree with me, but Jim is right on the catholic cult of the pope and mary. As a cult, it has adds to the scripture and has a performance based kind of salvation.”

Except for Mary, isn’t that what is happening with us Baptists. Aren’t we creating a neo Romanism with the preacher being infallible like the Pope and the twisting of scripture to place believers under a curse? What do you think when some describes the preacher as “standing behind the sacred desk?” Isn’t Purpose Drive a performance based kind of salvation?

As far as Islam is concerned it would not be the first time God has subjected his people to the authority of the children of Ishmael would it?

Anonymous said...

Wishihadknown,

You are absolutely correct.

The mentality of "popery" runs rampant in all of Christendom-- not just Catholicism. The "pastor" in the church I just departed from proved to be above questioning, like any "high church" authority, although he professes otherwise from the so-called "sacred desk."

I am sick of these institutions were everything revolves around the "pastor" and people mistake allegiance to him and awe of him as = to obedience to CHRIST and honor to CHRIST. It is NOT!

I believe with the recent debacle concerning CJ Mahaney and SGM, "celebrity Christianity" will start to fizzle as people begin to understand that we are all equal in CHRIST--only different parts of the "BODY" with distinct functions.

I appreciate the men that GOD has graced and given to HIS church as leaders, but I WILL NOT give unbiblical loyalty and honor to a mere man. All must be held accountable to the Scriptures.

Thy Peace said...

Wade Burleson > Grace and Truth
Word order is important in Scripture. It does not say he was full of "truth and grace," but rather "grace and truth." Grace preceedes truth. Jesus never backed down from the truth, and his speaking of the truth sometimes made people want to kill him, but he was ALWAYS gracious and merciful.

Anonymous said...

How close is Jim to Bill Hybells, and Rick Warren?

Anonymous said...

Anon. July 15, 2:15:your ignorance is showing. I doubt you have spent any substantial amount of time studying or living among either of those religions you call "cults." I have. Do you realize that most of your conservative theology comes directly from the early father of the Catholic church. You believe in "original sin," thank St. Augustine. You believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus, thank the Nicene Creed (4th century). Sure, you will say..."it's in the Bible." Yes, it was, but it was articulated in doctrine through the Catholic church; like it or not, accept it or not. That's just a fact. So, while we may have sharp disagreements with the Catholic Church, and we do, it is not a cult. The mega churches of contemporary America more accurately fit that description.

Anonymous said...

Great points about the Catholic church and you hit the nail on the head concerning the megas.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:26,

You are correct to say that Roman Catholicism is not a "cult." It is, however, A FALSE world religion. It is a religion that has been thoroughly syncretized with the pagan mystery religions of old. Also, it is in the Vatican II version, embracing of pluralism, going, yet, still deeper into apostasy.

How can any Holy Spirit indwelt, follower of "the WAY" be ecumenical towards papal Rome? Especially, considering the blasphemy of the "mass," denial of faith in CHRIST alone for justification (which is another Gospel--Galatians 1:8-9), enshrinement and prayer to Mary as a mediator and even "co-redeemer"...... as well as "mother of God," prayer to the "saints," and assorted other heresies.....no way, and any affirmation of Rome astounds me.

I will acknowledge that there are, no doubt, some genuinely saved people in Roman Catholicism, but it is certainly not because of their false, and if truly embraced, damning system, but in spite of it. These dear people need to be evangelized with the true Gospel of Christ when at all possible.

Augustine, and the various "church councils" have no bearing on the validity of GOD's eternal Truth.

When anyone agrees with the Bible they are correct, and when they disagree, no matter who they are, they are wrong--it is that simple.

Jonathan

Anonymous said...

Jonathan, who gave us the Bible in it's current form? When did it come to us? Do you have any idea how many "councils" of the Catholic church were involved before a Protestant King in England decreed it be translated into English. It would be nice if everything were as neat and simple as you want them to be, but they are not. Before the seventeenth century peole like you and me (non Catholic Christians) did not have a single, reliable text we could call The Bible. However, most of what we now call The Bible was already being read daily in Catholic churches.

Junkster said...

who gave us the Bible in it's current form?

Umm, God, maybe?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:04,

Christianity existed and flourished for centuries independent of the state-church councils, and outside of Rome. Of course they were also persecuted and martyred by their "popes" and the Catholic system. Roman Catholicism got progressively worse as time marched on. The Catholic system by around the time of Luther was not identical to the "Church" of, for example, Athanasius or Augustine.

You have read of the likes of Wycliffe and Tyndale, haven't you? There were several reliable Bible translations, in English, that were absolutely faithful to the manuscript evidence before the KJV 1611.

Jonathan

The Other Tom said...

ANY attempt to read modern Roman Catholicism into the 2nd, 3rd. 4th, ect. centuries is an outright lie and an assassination of history.

Rome has a leader who claims the sole authority to interpret Scripture; it adds its own tradition to the Bible; it outright condemned the true Gospel of Christ at the Council of Trent, and its mythology about Mary and the saints are lies from the uttermost depths of hell.

By any Biblical definition, the Roman Catholic Church is a cult.

Anonymous said...

the Other Tom,

I agree with your condemnation of Rome.

Walter Martin defined Roman Catholicism as a 'false world religion.' I believe that is more accurate than calling it a "cult," by definition.

Also, I pointed out that Rome got progressively more and more corrupt. Rome in the "dark ages" was not the same system as it was at the time of Augustine.

However, after Constantine legalized Christianity, and shortly after it became the 'official' religion of Rome, it almost immediately began to syncretize with paganism of the empire.

"Popery" is only cloaked with a thin veneer of Christianity and is thoroughly apostate and anti-christ.

Jonathan

Anonymous said...

Jonathan, Walter Martin is your source? You have got to be kidding. You might as well reference Ergun Caner. I'm embarassed to continue this conversation; it will be like trying to have an intelligent discussion with a stump. Don't have time for that. Enjoy! I'm gone.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:59,

So you can't dialogue, but before you go, well..............we'll engage in a little fallacious reasoning as our excuse, huh? Ad hominen and genetic fallacy.......maybe if you continued you would have fully constructed that straw-man. Oh well, it's typical.

Walter Martin is correct in his definition of Roman Catholicism being a "false world religion." It does not fit the strict definition of a "cult."

Jonathan

Anonymous said...

Last night(Friday)I was listening to David Jeremiah preach on the radio and he said something that sums up the whole problem with what's happened to First Baptist church. He said we have alot of preachers today who like to beat their church members up instead of building their church members up. That's been our problem lately at church. Alot of us during the week have had to deal with angry customers and have been talked down to by our bosses or customers so at the end of the week we feel pretty wore down. But then to come to church and get the same treatment from a preacher who preaches angry and gets upset if we don't say amen,then tells us if we were Pentecostals we would be dancing in the aisles at what he just said is rather depressing. It's been a rather long time that alot of us have come out from a church service and felt like we've been built up.

WishIhadknown said...

First, I want to be on record that I have never said that Roman Catholicism is a cult. Frankly, I don’t have a dog in that hunt. “I believe in the Holy Spirit and the Holy Catholic church,” I just don’t nor will I ever adhere to Roman Catholicism as it is practiced today. I believe they have strayed far from the Biblical model for the church.
Second, my bigger point that seemed to have been lost is that the church group I belong to, Baptist is more and more following the same path the Romanists followed long ago:

1. More and more baptism is seen as a sacrament. It is not uncommon to hear a Baptist say is has been saved because he has been baptized rather than the other way around.

2.Tithing is a requirement rather that a free will sacrifice.

3.Confession to the “Holy Fathers” called Pastors. Now members are required to show their tax returns to serve in leadership capacities or even sing a solo in a church service.

The Other Tom said...

Walter Martin is just flat-out wrong in his refusal to identify the Roman Catholic Church as a cult.

I looked in vain to find his justification for not identifying it as a cult in his "Kingdom of the Cults." But terms such as "Catholicism," "Roman Catholicism," "Papacy," "Rome," ect., are completely absent from the Index; although there have been several editions of the book. It is as if he doesn't even want to address the subject.

About the ONLY reasonable justification for not marking Rome as a cult is that it maintains a FORMAL orthodox Christology and doctrine of the Trinity. However, what it gives with the right hand, it takes away with the left, because its Marian myths are a direct attack upon Biblical Trinitarian doctrine.

I'll stand by my comments, Walter Martin notwithstanding, that the Roman Catholic Church is a cult. In fact, it is the world's largest, oldest, and most influencial cult.

Anonymous said...

"It's been a rather long time that alot of us have come out from a church service and felt like we've been built up."

Gee that is funny. Everyone that i know, which is thousands, say just the opposite.

Joel O'steen may have just what you are looking for on the tube though.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:00pm is a troll

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said in reply:
"Anon. July 15, 2:15:your ignorance is showing. I doubt you have spent any substantial amount of time studying or living among either of those "

If my ignorance is showing, so is your religous smuggery.

Your impassioned tones do not sway me from the idea that catholicism is cultish, in it's regards to prayers to mary and saints. To call a pope as 'Holy Father? You must be kidding, he ain't holy and he ain't my father. I will not bow or kneel to him, ever.

If I havre bent some of your catholic loyalties, then it was unfortunate. But catholicism is not above criticism, nor are the baptista-megas.

Bro./Pastor Rod H. said...

Simply put,Catholicism is both a cult and a false religion.
It is by "NO" stretch of the imagination geniune Christianity.
It is a cult because it possess many of the characteristics of a cult.
Secondly it is an aberration of geniune Chistianity,masking a false theology behind a veneer of Christian terms and names.

Catholicism is in fact the most dangerous threat to geniune Biblical Christianity and truth to ever come down the pipe.

There was a protestant reformation for a very good reason!!!

Anonymous said...

Hopefully this ministry will flourish and be a blessing to the Kingdom, however First Baptist is not at any loss. The new minister there (Brother Danny) is more than adequate to fill Smyrls shoes.

I cannot take communion with a Roman Catholic because it cannot save me. Nevertheless, a wise soul winner will consider the sensibilities of his audience to win them over to the truth.

Jim Puej