"...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

Monday, August 1, 2011

Another James Merritt Plug for Suspected Pyramid Scheme: He Says "I'm Looking for a Way to Increase Resources of My Own To Extend Kingdom of God"

Jim Bakker hawked hotel rooms at the Heritage USA.

Peter Popoff marketed miracle spring water.

Robert Tilton peddled prayer cloths.

James Merritt is now pitching a possible pyramid scheme - because he loves Jesus and loves you and cares about you.

Below is another video of Pastor Jim explaining why people should follow his lead and invest in what some states are claiming is an illegal pyramid scheme. In it he admits he is in Fortune HTMC because he is "looking for a way to increase resources of my own that I can give to extend the Kingdom of God...." So he is pushing it for Jesus' sake. Thank you Jesus, for FHTMC, so that Pastor Jim can increase his resources, and tithe on his riches and spread your message of love and hope and get-rich-quick schemes.

Forget the Cooperative Program - why not fund missionaries to Africa and the Middle East to give them "hope" through FHTMC?

Anyone with half-a-brain can see how sick and twisted this is for a man to use his God and his "man of God" status to lead people into a bogus scheme with the hope of getting rich. Sadly, another example of a Baptist preacher seeking riches and hurting the gospel immensely in the process.


But I wonder: maybe James Merritt believes it. Maybe his Ph.D. didn't teach him basic economics and business principles. Maybe he doesn't understand what a pyramid scheme is, or how much trouble he could be in if people believe him and invest and lose their money.

Maybe there is no one that can speak to him and tell him this is wrong.

That would be easier to swallow - the alternative is that he is purposely giving people false hope, when he was ordained to give people true hope in Jesus Christ.

But the burning question that I have: will Merritt be back at FBC Jax again next year as the keynote speaker for the Pastor's Conference? If he is, will he purchase an FBC Jax Pastor's Conference "Promotions Package" so he can hawk FHTMC from the platform of FBC Jax like Holy Land trips were peddled this year?

29 comments:

New BBC Open Forum said...

From the Wikipedia article about Robert Tilton:

According to Tilton's autobiographical materials, he had a conversion experience to Christianity in 1969 and began his ministry in 1974, taking his new family (including wife Martha "Marte" Phillips, whom he married in 1968) on the road to, in his words, "preach this gospel of Jesus." Tilton preached to small congregations and revivals throughout Texas and Oklahoma. Tilton and his family settled in Dallas, Texas, and built a small church in Farmers Branch, Texas, called the "Word Of Faith Family Church" in 1976. The church also started a local television program then known as Daystar (not related to the Daystar Television Network, though both were started in the Dallas area).

The church was growing steadily, but Daystar failed to expand beyond the Dallas area until Tilton went to Hawaii—his self-described version of Jesus's forty days in the wilderness—and spent time fishing, drinking, and watching an increasingly popular new form of television programming: the late-night infomercial.

Tilton was particularly influenced by Dave Del Dotto, a real estate promoter who produced hour-long infomercials showing his glamorous life in Hawaii (which he constantly stressed anyone could achieve just by following the principles set up in his many "get rich quick" books) as well as "interviews" with students who were brought out to his Hawaiian villa for said interviews, specifically for their on-camera testimonials about the success in life they were now enjoying thanks to his teachings. Upon his return from Hawaii in 1981, Tilton, with the help of a US$1.3M loan from Dallas banker Herman Beebe, revamped Daystar into an hour-long "religious infomercial" with the title Success-N-Life.


So this is different from what James Merritt is doing how?

Anonymous said...

When will the hidden cult of FBC Jax going to latch on.

Anonymous said...

Surely there is something more interesting to write about (and read about) than these corrupt preachers. Its a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

Surely there is something more interesting to write about (and read about) than these corrupt preachers. Its a waste of time.

August 1, 2011 9:48 AM

Are you kidding? we would not even know about the corruption and unethical behavior of pastors if not for the internet.

If it warns one person to stop supporting them, it is worth it. without the money from their ignorant followers, they could not go on.

If you would rather be ignorant about the corruption in the SBC (this is the fruit of the CR?) then don't read here.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe his Ph.D. didn't teach him basic economics and business principles."

Jim Smyrl better be careful then with his PHD at that big bank job. I know it did not teach him these principles. Kind of like sand in the desert I think he said.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Anon 9:53

Just wait, Jim Smyrl will be blessed in his vision for his ministry - I knew him when he first came to FBCJ & watched him slowly become arrogant and turn into someone different. It does my heart good, to see he has returned to the man we all loved.

Any Mouse said...

With all the hoopla I have read time and again about Dog and others here "sowing discord" or "sowing discontentment" among the brethren, I wonder what those people would say about this stuff. All mlm's do is sow discontentment among people. You dont have enough, you arent reaching for enough, your house isn't good enough, your car isn't good enough, your family isn't good enough, your job isn't good enough, you need more, and when you get more there is another level to reach to, and to get to that level, you just have to go out into the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in discontentment, envy, and fear.

Anonymous said...

Its time to stop giving brunson a blank check.

Anonymous said...

How come for all the year that the Lindsays ran the show at FBCJax there was no discussion that they should have been bi-vocational. Homer Jr made a very good salary, as did Jerry Vines, but their salaries were never published and the only way you could find it out was to ask a member of the finance committee. Plus, they got the usual perk of "housing allowance". Why the push for bi-vocational ministers?

Moses Model said...

According to Vimeo:

Sorry, "Pastor James Merritt Tells his FHTM Story" was deleted at 12:24:17 Mon Aug 1, 2011. Vimeo has removed or disabled access to the following material as a result of a third-party notification by Dr. James Merritt claiming that this material is infringing: Pastor James Merritt Tells his FHTM Story. We have no more information about it on our mainframe or elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a writer, but I would like to share my experinces over the past 22 years mainly dealing with The Fellwells & alot of people with TRBC, LU and others in the SBC.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

I'm not a writer, but I would like to share my experinces over the past 22 years mainly dealing with The Fellwells & alot of people with TRBC, LU and others in the SBC.
"

I am a former member of TRBC and was turned off by the pretentious and snobby people that attended. The "praise singers" were to good to talk to ya, the Falwells were only available if you "were with the in crowd" and it seemed to me that some members attended to network business opportunities. While they may love Jesus, the snobby pretentious attitude of most makes me wonder how many knew truly Jesus. Were your experiences the same?

Anonymous said...

MLM is a cult!

The Falwell's got rich off of donations from Amway.

James Merritt could care less what we think or say...he is getting paid and getting paid very well.

I know from personal experience that many of our well known "Pastors" are hirelings, they get their revenue from a few select people and they will not make a move without the consent of those donors.

Charles and Andy Stanley, Billy and Franklin Graham, James Merritt, and others don't read Blogs...they read spread sheets!

This "Blog" will do nothing to stop Merritt...he is making too much money and will sue you if you keep defaming his name....the guy is a shark and does not play games.

Anonymous said...

This "Blog" will do nothing to stop Merritt...he is making too much money and will sue you if you keep defaming his name....the guy is a shark and does not play games.

If it is true, there is no defamation of character and nothing for his law suit to stand on

Katie said...

Anon 2:10

Just a little overview of the law regarding defamation and slander. I am not a lawyer, but let's just say I have immediate access to a very successful one. First and foremost, the law, as it pertains to people who can be classified as 'in the public' are quite different than for the rest of us. Criticism for such people is par for the course and is to be expected. Unlikely that it is actionable unless it is blatantly untrue with an intent to harm the person's reputation. Merely exposing a person's actions is not slanderous.

There is also a huge difference between slander, libel and defamation. Learn what they mean.

The next thing for everyone to pay attention to, is that anything you put out on the internet, is there forever. It might be difficult to find, but it's still out there. Ergun Caner is learning this lesson all too well.

Mr. Merritt can delete all the videos he wants, but you can bet someone has it copied.

Claiming infringement on spoken material is also not a home run. Almost all video can be used by another if it is for legitimate purposes to include parody, or brief legitamate comment. Parody is completely different than using someone else's words and then purposely misrepresenting what they say. I'm very sad to report that we have quite a few in the SBC (and call themselves Pastors) who have done this. That is actionable. But... very hard to prove someone's intent.

Merritt won't sue anyone if he's smart. He has already turned his peddling of schemes into a circus sideshow. Trying to sue someone will only make it a million times worse for him and bring more discredit upon real Christians.

We NEVER seem to learn the lesson. "Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus". It's one thing to honor a Pastor's authority, it's another thing completely to disregard the Word of God for the word of a man.

Wake up Christians.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Sorry, "Pastor James Merritt Tells his FHTM Story" was deleted at 12:24:17 Mon Aug 1, 2011. Vimeo has removed or disabled access to the following material as a result of a third-party notification by Dr. James Merritt claiming that this material is infringing: Pastor James Merritt Tells his FHTM Story.

Uh... didn't Merritt post that video himself? How could the material be "infringing" if he was the one who recorded and posted it?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Totally bizarre...the video was up for months. I link to it on my blog and it is down in hours.

Good thing they forgot to turn off the download feature on Vimeo. Videos like this tend to go somewhat viral when they get scared and take them down. Stay tuned....

Anonymous said...

Well the sellers of this company have the video and are using it to capture their prey

James Merritt Video Here

or

James Merritt Video Here


and promoters are all over this video web site promoting how to make it work

FHLM

Can someone tell me how Buying Satellite TV will feed my family when I lost my job?

Anonymous said...

'Totally bizarre...the video was up for months. I link to it on my blog and it is down in hours.'

This story was also on lumpkins blog for a few days with link to video.

Good thing Ergun did not do an mlm!

But the typical SBC pastor blogs are not touching this on. Interesting, huh? Kind of act like it never happened. they would probably say it is gossip. :o)

Anonymous said...

I am in Fortune and I thank God for the blessings I have received thru my Business.

It is run by Christians, it is a Christian company created to glorify God.

You can run us down but we will overcome.

They told us that doubters and negative people would come against us just like the Early Church.

They told us that Satan would use Blogs like this to sow discord.

We will overcome!!!!

This Business came from the throne of God and Satan hates it!

Get behind me Satan!

T Goodwill said...

@Anonymous...

"This Business came from the throne of God and Satan hates it!

Get behind me Satan!"

Don't worry man.. looks like Satan has your back... ;)

Moses Model said...

I am astounded by how much inside information some Christians have on Satan. They seem to know an awful lot about Satan's plans.

Personal experience has taught me to always doubt someone who blames my actions on Satan.

Also Fortune may transition to more of a sales model than a pyramid model.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Can someone tell me how Buying Satellite TV will feed my family when I lost my job?

What I don't understand is why anyone who wants to buy satellite TV wouldn't just go straight to the satellite company and sign up. They're always offering rebates and specials. Why would you want to pay more just to help line the pockets of people like James Merritt?

And don't get me started on the overpriced vitamins and supplements which you can buy elsewhere for a tenth or less what they charge.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Oooh, could it be... ?

Anonymous said...

New BBC,

I couldn't tell if that photo was a man or a woman! Who is it? (I'm not too good at trivia and pop culture)

;)

Thy Peace said...

Wiki > Church Lady (SNL)

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic: NYT > Well > Breaking Bread Everywhere, Plentifully or Pitifully

Anonymous said...

Dr. Merritt has a degree in Accounting from Stetson University. It is very difficult to believe that he does not understand what a pyramid scheme is. He will be held to a higher standard.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Merritt's promotion of this in his position of influence was a conflict of interest and just wrong. We are not the only church members who left the Church because of this. His judgement was truly flawed.