"...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

Thursday, August 4, 2011

James Merritt Responds - Bloggers are Lying, Are Probably Not Christians, "Fools" Harming the Cause of Christ

"During the time he was involved in FHTM he found it to be a reputable organization....Pastor Merritt’s integrity is well established through more than 35 years of pastoral ministry. He has never, and would never be a part of an organization that breaks federal law, nor use his ministry for personal financial gain." James Merritt through his spokesman

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky". Bill Clinton, pointing his finger
-----------------------

James Merritt apparently reads the blogs, and has responded to an email sent by Dave Miller of the SBC Voices blog over the matter of his involvement with the FHTMC multi-level marketing business. I've posted the response at the end of this post.

My purpose in raising this issue on this blog is to warn Christians who might be swayed by the very popular preacher Merritt - or other preachers who are emulating Merritt's behavior - to get involved in a multi-level marketing scheme currently being investigated by several state DOJs. Merritt or someone on his behalf has scrubbed the Internet of the videos that were up for at least 4 months of him pushing this scheme inside the walls of his church. It wasn't until bloggers started posting and criticizing the videos late last week that the videos have suddenly disappeared from the Internet.

Time for another Georgia Baptist resolution against these pesky bloggers who "second guess" pastors and create "disharmony".

Merritt's response below is right out of the mega church pastor playbook of how to respond when caught with your proverbial pants down: you all are lying about me, you didn't ask the questions in a way I prefer, you probably are not Christians for questioning my integrity, and it is YOU who have harmed the cause of Christ, bloggers, for lying about me on the Internet.

Just typical non-answers to the issues raised, and he returns with accusations himself against those who dare shine a light on his actions. If the bloggers are not telling the truth, then why have all the videos been removed? I do have copies of the two Vimeo videos (they were downloadable from Vimeo) - the one of him standing on his church platform telling everyone that FHTMC is "American Enterprise par excellence", and the other a testimonial of him looking straight into the camera explaining that he is involved in FHTMC because he is "looking for a way to increase resources of my own that I can give to extend the Kingdom of God....".

Here are my comments:

- "Pastor Merritt is no longer involved in FHTM. His preaching schedule and church leadership responsibilities take priority." Really? So he WOULD be involved, but doesn't have the time? Then why did he get involved in the first place? And really the question is not why was he involved in it - but why did he host events at his church and why did he personally vouch for the organization from the church platform and on an Internet video that he has since had removed?

- "During the time he was involved in FHTM he found it to be a reputable organization." Strange. I would like to know the timing of the videos he made at his church. The allegations of FHTM being a possible pyramid scheme go back more than a year. So he is saying he was unaware of the allegations against FHTMC when he pushed it in the walls of his church? He said in one of the videos that he's "seen it all" - mentioned Amway and other marketing schemes, and that FHTMC is different from all of those others he has seen over the years. He put himself out there as an expert on the credibility of FHTMCs business model.

- You'll notice in Merritt's response through his "Communications Director" that he has chosen not to respond to blog entries about this because the bloggers have defied Matt 18:15 (sound familiar?), the allegations are untrue, and the bloggers are behaving as unbelievers. He even throws in scripture to call the bloggers fools. Excuse me Mr. Merritt, but what allegations specifically are untrue? That you pushed FHTMC inside the walls of your church? That it is a suspected pyramid scheme? That you sought riches from this scheme so you could give more to Jesus? You take the Caner route here - and accuse those who have dared to raise this issue publicly as being unbelievers. Sir, it is your behavior as a "man of God", a preacher, that is at question.

- "Pastor Merritt’s integrity is well established through more than 35 years of pastoral ministry. He has never, and would never be a part of an organization that breaks federal law, nor use his ministry for personal financial gain." So that is the new standard: whether the organization is breaking federal law. Well, FHTMC is still under investigation by several state DOJs so that remains to be seen. And it is not a rumor that he used his ministry for personal financial gain - he admitted it. He told the FHTMC people on video that he was involved in FHTMC because he was "...looking for a way to increase resources of my own that I can give to extend the Kingdom of God....". James, you said it yourself, you wanted to increase your resources. And you used your fame as a "man of God" and the resources of your church to push FHTMC.

- "We understand Pastor Merritt is among many prominent and respected pastors, authors, educators and theologians who have been the target of these and other rumors, all of which lack credibility, have been put forth in a manner inconsistent with scripture, and without regard for the reputation of the cause of Christ, or scriptural instructions regarding conflict resolution." Unbelievable! What rumors? And he says that they have been put forth in a manner inconsistent with scripture. Typical mega church pastor babble - he doesn't like how the information comes out, and he blames those who shone a light on his actions as being the ones who harm the reputation of Christ. No, sir, it is your actions, your decision to push a multi-level marketing scheme in the walls of your church, and to allow FHTMC to post videos of you on the Internet saying FHTMC was "American Enterprise par excellence" that has brought shame to the cause of Christ - and potential harm to Christians who followed your advice.

But we do thank you, James Merritt, for at least responding. But your response doesn't address the following questions:

- do you still think that FHTMC is full of integrity, and their business model represents "American Enterprise par excellence"?

- do you still tell believers who come to you for help financially that FHTMC is a source of hope?

- if you are not involved in FHTMC, does that mean you don't earn any income from it, and have totally disassociated with the organization - or does it mean that you are no longer an outspoken proponent of it and won't host any more events at your church?

- who took the videos down of you speaking about FHTMC being "American Enterprise par excellence" in your church? Did you or someone on your behalf seek to remove them and if so why? They were up for more than than 4 months on Vimeo and other host sites.

- why did you decide to host FHTMC in your church? Did you go before your church trustees to seek their approval? Did your church charge them a fee for use of the facilities? Do you regret that? Would you recommend that other pastors follow your lead and host multi-level marketing events as a means to help members who are suffering financially?

Just a few lingering questions from us "fools" who are behaving as non-Christians.

The answers to these questions matters, because you, James Merritt, are a pastor that so many other pastors look up to. As reported in the news media pastors all over the country are pushing FHTMC as you did. You need to be very clear, James, because of your influence - should pastors do what you did, or should they not?
---------------------------------

Below is the response from James Merritt's "Communications Director", posted at SBC Voices
"Thanks for your inquiry. Pastor Merritt is no longer involved in FHTM. His preaching schedule and church leadership responsibilities take priority. During the time he was involved in FHTM he found it to be a reputable organization. Pastor Merritt has chosen not to respond to blog entries he recently was made aware of because (1) the authors have already defied Matthew 18:15; (2) the allegations are patently untrue and unfounded and (3) considering the source, it would unwise to respond to someone acting as an unbeliever. As Solomon warned, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly or you will be like him yourself” (Prov 26:4).

Pastor Merritt’s integrity is well established through more than 35 years of pastoral ministry. He has never, and would never be a part of an organization that breaks federal law, nor use his ministry for personal financial gain. We understand Pastor Merritt is among many prominent and respected pastors, authors, educators and theologians who have been the target of these and other rumors, all of which lack credibility, have been put forth in a manner inconsistent with scripture, and without regard for the reputation of the cause of Christ, or scriptural instructions regarding conflict resolution.

Of the many that attend Cross Pointe Church and the tiny audience that has glanced at these rumors, you are one of only two individuals who have approached Pastor Merritt directly. No other respected target we know of has dignified these rumors with a response, but your direct inquiry was Christ-honoring, and so Pastor Merritt has elected to respond to you. This will be his only public statement regarding these false rumors.

Grace to you,

Gene Mason,
Communications Director
Cross Pointe Church"

45 comments:

Thy Peace said...

Sadly Merritt has no sense of shame. As a class, prostitutes have more honor in their profession than some of these mega-church pastors hawking their wares brazenly.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I hope that Merritt comes out and explains what he means by the allegations being untrue, reference to rumors, etc.

I am working on a video now to compare his statements on video about FHTMC, with those being reported in reputable news outlets. I have the Vimeo videos that were taken down, and plan on posting a video that compares his statements about FHTMC ("American Enterprise par excellence") with what is being reported and investigated by news outlets.

Anonymous said...

Bloggers are raining on their parade. God bless the bloggers.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Time for another Georgia Baptist resolution on bloggers!

"[we] call upon bloggers to cease the critical second-guessing of these elected leaders, and be it further resolved that all Georgia Baptists respectfully request and expect that individuals who disrupt the felllowship through blogging repent and immediately cease the activity and no longer cause disharmony...."

Georgia Baptist resolution against bloggers

Anonymous said...

Merritt hardly owes you or any other blogger an explanation of anything he does. Your reference to that slime, Bill Clinton, is a really cheap shot even for you.

Anonymous said...

This was really disappointing to read about. I am a former mega-church member and thought that you were just out on a crusade against your former church. Now it is clear that these guys are not very different from the world. More interested in protecting their money and power than anything else.

Anonymous said...

Anon,

Bill Clinton is a saved sinner just like me. No better no worse.

Sharon said...

He called bloggers "fools?" I thought Jesus said not to do that, because it puts you in danger of hell fire?

He must not be too worried about disobeying a direct statement from Jesus himself.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Sharon - no, if you're a "man of God", you interpret the scripture for the plebe, and you can make it say anything you want. Mega church pastors especially are good at using scripture to take holy potshots at their critics with the Bible.

Anonymous said...

"Bill Clinton is a saved sinner just like me. No better no worse."

This statement reveals one of the reasons "churches" are so carnal (legalistic and worldly). If you think Bill Clinton is "saved," per the evidence of Scripture as to what constitutes a born-again believer, then I urge you re-examine the doctrine of salvation from the whole Bible and not just the "whosoever will" passages.

Spiritual deception is a real phenomenon.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I don't know if this is our friend "Louis", but a "Louis" posted a very good comment over at the SBC Voices. I especially liked his advice to pastors at the end. Here is his comment in its entirety:

-------------
"I am not sure Matthew 18 is mandatory here. But it makes sense, if one is going to do a blog post on the issue, to call the speaker and find out what is going on.

There are bloggers who do this. I have seen Wade Burleson, for example, do this. He has had a question about something and before he has written, he has called the person to get their side or feelings.

This may not be practical. With pastor sermons being posted every week, pastors could spend all week fielding phone calls from people who wanted to know what they meant, why they said this or that.

So, while it would be good to call and chat first, it may not have been practical. I note that not even you got through to Dr. Merritt, and you are friendly toward him. If Dr. Merritt’s phone lines are open now every week, he may be getting lots of calls from strangers. I can see why he might not answer. And, thus, I can see what folks might think it would be a waste of time to call in the first place.

So, I don’t think it’s a big Matthew 18 card that should be played with any force.

Having read the response, I am still wondering what Dr. Merritt’s position is. The response said little about the issue.

Had I been drafting the response, I would have said whatever the facts were related to this organization and my feelings, such as, “When I first heard about XXX, I was excited. I spoke about it and encouraged people to look into this opportunity that might be helpful to them in these tough economic times. I have since learned that there are controversies related to this business. I am not in a positiion to analyze those, but have decided not to speak further about, in favor of or against, this business, but believe people may contact the authorities or others who have more information.”

That’s just a stab. I am sure a better statement can be written.

I also think it is fine for Dr. Merritt to have taken the video down, especially if there is something that has become controversial.

The hardest part of this, however, is that Dr. Merritt, like many people at one time or another, has said something that he regrets. I am sure that he wishes he never spoke about this company. What to do about it now? Just live with it. There’s nothing else to do.

Just ask Howard Dean. He will always be remembered for “the scream.”

But this serves as a reminder. Every sermon you preach nowadays is one click away from being on the cover of the New York Times or Headline News. Every bad joke. Every bad illustration. Every exaggeration. Every bad hair cut. Every bad outfit. Every stumble, mishap. Every bit of bad theology.

Preachers are going to have to learn to live in this new era.

May not be fair, but that’s the way it is.

My suggestions are:

Stick to the text.
Use real illustrations, unless they are obviously literary examples.
Do not exaggerate who you are.
Don’t come close to browbeating.
Don’t do voices or immitations, especially ethnic or gender related ones.
Don’t try to become an expert in matters that you are not an expert in.
Be really careful whom or what you recommend to others.
Quote, quote, quote. If you are going to wade into unfamiliar territory, quote a recognized expert in the field. If he/she turns out to be wrong, so be it.

Anonymous said...

Good advice from Louis. Thanks for passing it along. I'd like add just a bit of my own to bloggers.

Sexy, cutesy, sarcasum, inside jokes almost always deminish respect, credabiliy and impact of the message of both bloggers and preachers. Your essay would have been better without them, especially the Clinton and the "pants down."

However: To add to Merrit insight, I believe that charm, manipulation and bullying have always been among his strongest tactics. In the highest circles of SBC he is known as a "deal closer" and was used in that capacity to visit entities that were being demolished when the first SBC restructuing took place.
It was his job to convince trustees that Baptists would be better off without the good work that was being done by them and their orginazations. Although it wasn't true, he sold it.

WishIhadknown said...

Wouldn’t it be nice, if for once, one of these guys would just say, “Oops, I made a mistake, I’m sorry.” They’re all married after all; you would not think it would be that hard. I mean can you imagine if they said the things to their wives that they say about others? Can you imagine what would happen if one of them said, “Dear you’re lying and probably not Christian and you’re a fool harming the cause of Christ.”

Anonymous said...

I got curious about FHTM Canada - given the religious nature of the marketing and the issues in the US.

In May 2011 FHTM posted a news release saying they had received an A rating from the BBB Canada.

http://www.fhtm.net/documents/BBBAwardsFHTMCanadawithA.pdf

FHTM has a C- rating with BBB US.

If FHTM Canada has an A rating with BBB Canada, I certainly can't find it.

The BBB lists 11 locations across NA and none are accredited.

I narrowed the search to the province and postal code.

Nothing.

I found it in Google cache, listed under a city near the Canadian headquarters in Brampton.

The cache page has an A rating because there are no complaints and no information on the Cdn operation.

So why is this FHTM Canada A rating no longer online?
The (Canada) BBB file opened: 05/04/201 and the press release went out on May 31st.

Seems James Merrit didn't do due diligence.

Off to do some Canadian digging.:^) Nice work Watchdog!

Bene D

Anonymous said...

Merritt has gotten involved in the state convention politics in GA. 2 weeks ago he endorsed a candidate there along with a lot of other big name mega preachers. Seems like a cat fight breaking out to the north. Big name cuff-link wearing Caddy-driving, Caner-loving preachers versus the little man.

Anonymous said...

To anon at 9:49 am. Re your comment about president Clinton and your judgment of his eternal salvation, you must not believe that king David or the thief on the cross went to heaven because of the horrible things they did, arguably worse than president clintons by any measure. It seems you've got a real anger problem. "he who is without sin throw the first stone". Jesus told us that the thirf did I have no doubt that david did too Unless you are claiming sinlessness, which means your are a liar according to scripture, you should not throw stones at your fellow brothers and sisters.

Anonymous said...

@anon7:54,

"It seems you've got a real anger problem. "he who is without sin throw the first stone"

It seems you have a problem with being sinfully judgemental (Matthew 7:1-5). Get the beam out of your own eye.

See Matthew 7:21-27. Have biblical discernment, and realize that "salvation is of the LORD."

Anonymous said...

Merritt's spokesman said " (Dr. Merritt)...would never be a part of an organization that breaks federal law."

Note that most of these financial schemes are prosecuted under state, not federal jurisdiction. But, kudos to him for the exceedingly clever wording.

Dr. Merritt has a degree in accounting from Stetson University. It is very difficult to believe he does not understand pyramid schemes.

Moses Model said...

"Jesus didn’t do Matthew 18 with the moneychangers. He came at them like a spidermonkey." ~ Bill

Awesome take by Bill in the comments.

Anonymous said...

Merritt's preaching is my favorite on television at this time. His comments about bloggers: he can keep those to himself. If a person doesn't want to appear dumb, he shouldn't do dumb things--preacher or no preacher. Simple as that, James.

Sharon said...

"It seems you've got a real anger problem. "he who is without sin throw the first stone"

"These verses are not present in some Greek manuscripts"-per my Bible's notes.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:35. I am not judging your salvation status as you have judged President Clinton's. You very well could be a Christian. That's my point. God bless.

Sharon said...

Thinking of a preacher pushing an MLM scheme, for some reason, gave me this flash: you know how, on tv or radio, you have to be subjected to commercials because that's where the money comes from. The advertisers are paying lots of money for access to your audience.

Well, if people won't tithe, preachers could sell time to advertisers on Sunday morning, "And now a word from our sponsor...Goldline..."

I'm not trying to be offensive, it just seemed funny to me. I think, like with the Federal government, churches could cut spending instead-get rid of the staff maybe.

This whole MLM stuff is just tacky. Imagine if the preacher was a woman and mentioned to the congregation how becoming a Mary Kaye consultant could bring in money during these hard times.

Anonymous said...

Sharon Do you rip that verse out of your Bible then? Are you saying that we should have no hesitation in throwing stones, literally or figuratively, at other Christians?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

To get an idea of how the average Joe or Jill reacts when they see a video of a preacher involved in a multi-level marketing scheme inside the walls of his church, visit this website, read the brief post, and then look at the 13 or so comments.

And James Merritt dares say that bloggers are "without regard for the reputation of the cause of Christ"? Unbelievable.

Sharon said...

"Sharon Do you rip that verse out of your Bible then? Are you saying that we should have no hesitation in throwing stones, literally or figuratively, at other Christians?"

No, I didn't rip that verse out of my Bible. My point was that this story gets referenced all the time, so it's quite ironic that it maybe didn't even take place.

My argument was not with the point of the story, although that can get pretty complicated. If throwing stones means quickly condemning, or judging others harshly, or thinking that we ourselves are without error or meanness sometimes, then I agree we shouldn't throw stones.

But people reject and disapprove of others all the time-sometimes with very good reason. Should we literally stone people like God said to do in the OT? No. By the way, it's never made sense to me that stoning in the OT is somehow okay, but the countries where people still get stoned today are condemned for it. Why?

On a personal note, what really disturbs me is the double standards people have. If a protestant minister sexually abuses a child, many other religious leaders within that group have more desire to keep it quiet than to stone him. Whereas if it's a religious leader in a different group-say Catholic or FLDS, they may feel he truly does deserve harsh punishment. It all depends on if the bad person is in your group or not.

This story can be interpreted and used in many different ways-with good or bad results. I just really wonder if it actually did take place in real life. Actually nakedpastor did a drawing of it which seemed to emphasize how it was the Jewish leaders standing around harshly judging a woman. Which I guess it was.

People use this story in all kinds of situations; to say we shouldn't judge others or to let others get away with stuff they shouldn't get away with so easily.

Sharon said...

Just a practical observation: When the audience hears the pastor say (or reads what he says)-when he says that bloggers are lying about him-in the mind of the audience, does that sound likely? A blogger could be mistaken or confused or not fully informed, etc., but is it likely that the bloggers are lying? No, it's not. This is just common sense.

This is a leader who is doing something wrong, gets called out on it, immediately presents himself as a victim who is being lied about, then throws a negative label onto his criticizers (probably not Christian), then throws a Bible verse at them (as if God had this particular situation in mind when he wrote this verse 3000 years ago.)

Isn't this the same technique used by Caner? Just make vague accusations about your accusers' motives and totally ignore what you are actually accused of!

It's like if I do something wrong, and you point it out. Then I say, "How DARE you accuse me of that! Why, you're such a rotten person!" So then, I have taken the spotlight and turned it back onto you! That's all they are doing.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Sharon - you're catching on.

Mega church pastors don't publicly apologize. And they follow the same playbook:

- claim the criticism is proving they are doing great things for God

- claim that you are being lied about.

- call the critics complainers or recalcitrants, "haters" or worse

- don't apologize, ever.

- play the sympathy card whenever possible, preferrably when in the pulpit.

- try to remove the offending material that shows your wrong, from the Internet.

Go down the list: Brunson, Gaines, Caner, Young, now Merritt - they absolutely can't say "I'm sorry, I blew it, please for give me".

How ironic, from the great holy men of the faith that is founded on repentence and forgiveness and restoration.

No wonder our "religion" is a stench to the nostrils of our modern society. When Anthony Weiner does a better job of apologizing and seeking help than the holy men of the baptist faith, we have a problem.

Anonymous said...

If you think some of the pastors that you don't like are a stench in the nostrils just imagine what pastors think when they look at some of the laymen and women in their churches. Perhaps you shouldn't always be so quick to condemn and criticize when most of the time, you don't even know all the facts.

Thy Peace said...

William August 5, 2011 at 12:03 pm:
Peter Lumpkins, Tim Rogers, and Tom Rich (FBCJax Watchdog) call attention to Merritt’s involvement in this scheme. Rich will always pick up on prominent SBC pastors and money issues and has a much wider readership than the other two. I don’t agree with all of Rich’s conclusions on pastors and money but I’m glad he isn’t afraid to blog on this.

Bart Barber is no piker and has serious comments on this.

But, we can always shoot the messenger, and someone usually does.

Merritt is one of the most prominent GBC pastors and a past SBC president. This is newsworthy. The Christian Index should report this but I’d speculate that they will not. Baptist Press should report this but I predict they will not either. These church affinity schemes and schemers are a cancer.

Baptists who don’t follow blogs will probably have to wait until ABP carries the story, and I hope that they do.

Anonymous said...

A) It certainly is in Merritt's best interest that he drop out of the Marketing program with it's inherent problems. Bloggers who despise him and pointed out the problem have actually done him a great favor.

B) As for the calling upon Mega pastors to publically repent, ask forgiveness, you only have to read the comments on Wartburg or SGMrefuge to realize apologies win them NO BROWNIE points whatsoever.

C) The haters/critics of pastors will continue to hate them and criticize them no matter what apologies they might make. It's actually a waste of time for them to apologize.

D) Blogger critics will continue to despise them.

Seneca Griggs

Anonymous said...

"Anon 8:35. I am not judging your salvation status as you have judged President Clinton's. You very well could be a Christian. That's my point. God bless."

How cool! We must have a lot of public 'secret' Christians! Too bad we cannot tell they are...

Anonymous said...

These charlatan pastors, like Merritt, don't owe apologies. They are unqualified. They owe resignations.

I am having a hard time believing that a man in his position for so long did not see the lack of wisdom in doing this at all. And using his power and influence with his followers for any business venture.

I am having an even harder time understanding how any believer would not have a problem with not only his doing this in the first place but his response! How much of a neon sign do people need that this is not of Christ. None of it is.

His Matt 18 reference is a joke. If does not know scripture better than this, he needs to get out.

That SBC voices finally even mentioned it in their "wishy washy.. local churches can do what they want and it is none of my business".... way of responding ...says a lot about the state of the kind of people who ar leaders in our churches today.

Funny how they make what Joel Osteen or the RCC, do their business.

How much you wanna bet they do not touch the Mohler backing Mahaney thing? (the SGM scandal)

All of them circle the wagons (except a very few) for their favorites or ones they fear.

Anonymous said...

What's even funnier is reading the comments and criticisms by all you "church experts" and "pastor experts." I would imagine that the vast majority of you do not ever darken the door of a church much less give to the church. You're so quick to say that someone needs to "repent" when of course you mean that they should call you on the phone and apologize to you personally.

What a sad pathetic joke.

Anonymous said...

What's even funnier is reading the comments and criticisms by all you "church experts" and "pastor experts." I would imagine that the vast majority of you do not ever darken the door of a church much less give to the church. You're so quick to say that someone needs to "repent" when of course you mean that they should call you on the phone and apologize to you personally.

What a sad pathetic joke.

August 5, 2011 4:44 PM

Here we have a poor person who gets their identity through an organization and a pastor. That is why they are so defensive.

If they got their identity only through Christ, they would not be so defensive and would have some discernment about such things as we read here.

As it is, they are only upset because their idols are being questioned or in the case of Merritt, outed. Merritt's own words and behavior were his problem. but I doubt our defensive commenter can see that. No, it is more of a sin to talk about that which Merritt himself, sought to make very public for his own personal gain.

But then, few in the institutions use much logic or reasonable sense. They are not to think. Their pastors think for them.


Sadly, the institutions are full of such people that follow man and get their identity through the insitutional organization with a tax exempt status. And we know how important that legal status of the church was to Paul as he went about planting.

Anonymous said...

How can bloggers harm the cause of Christ? By pointing out what MERRITT himself made public: Hawking a business venture to his flock?

No, Merritt is harming the cause by using his position for a business venture.

If we need more proof these guys are making merchandise of the Gospel, twist scripture for their own defense and are charlatans, we are fools.

Get out of the institutions of greed. RUN.

Junkster said...

I love it when people quote Proverbs 26:4, "Do not answer a fool according to his folly or you will be like him yourself", but neglect verse 5, which says "Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes."

Shows that a lot of folks don't understand the nature of proverbs...

Anonymous said...

As a member of Dr. Merritt's Church, I am repulsed by your accusations.

He is a true man of God who would never do anything to harm our Church or defame the name of Jesus.

So...he wants to be in a business...how is that your business?

Are you God?

He did this to help out the Kingdom of God and to help Jesus spread the Word of God.

We are His Mouthpiece and Dr. Merritt speaks the True Word of God.

I am honored to be one of his Sheep.

WishIhadknown said...

One of the true tests of a man’s character is not that he makes a mistake. The true test of his character is whether or not he is willing to admit his mistake and then accept the correction that comes from making the mistake and also trying to correct the consequences of his actions. A childish man will deny and try to hide his mistake. A man of maturity admits his error.

Anonymous said...

I am honored to be one of his Sheep.

August 5, 2011 9:31 PM

How silly of us. We thought you would be be honored to be a sheep of the true Shepherd, Jesus Christ.

Not a mere human's.

Thanks for making it clear to us that you follow man. Most won't admit it.

Anonymous said...

wishihadknown,

Mistakes are spilling milk or dropping a vase.

This was willful, premeditated even while claiming to know truth. He has twisted Matt 18 to make it say something it does not and has used his power and position AND his church for a business venture.

That is not a mistake. But saying it was a mistake makes it sound much less sinister than it is.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Isn't it special how the troll gets around? He claims to be a member of FBC Jax and now Merritt's church. Next thing you know he'll claim to be a member of Steve Gaines' church. Silly troll!

WD, your troll filtering software is still not working!

Anonymous said...

I am a real member of Dr. Merritt's church, and this has taken a toll on my family. None of us can worship there anymore after seeing and hearing Dr. Merritt speak about FHTM with his own mouth in the video. It's sickening and disgusting. The FHTM business was not advertised to the congregation at all. We only found out after searching the internet after hearing about his son's writings/cheerleading on homosexuality (another source of heartburn). But I have informed my friends...the word is spreading. It is very dissapointing to see Dr. Merritt resort to childish name-calling and denial. He could do himself well by coming clean and admitting his mistakes instead of calling people fools and liars.

Andrew said...

Whatever we may think of FHTM one thing remains and that is Pastor James Merritt testified of meeting the founder Paul Orberson and believed he was a man of integrity and strong christian convictions. To be part of FHTM and qualify your business you have to have at least 5 customers ( products or services ) in place before you recieve any money. Much like most sales orginisations where you are given bonuses for bringing more customers in. Now the courts have just recently dropped all charges in regards to FHTM. Things are not always what they seem and I personally feel that this company is being targeted because of its spiritual stance too. Network Marketing in its purest form is legal and one of the most fairest business models out there. Its about time we gave this company a break. You may not like mlm but that doesnt give you the right to paint every direct sales company with the same brush.

Kimberly said...

my family came out of mormonism, where tithing is paid. its wonderful to pay out of personal conviction not being bullied into it. I will be honest I am shocked at the reality of believers lack of understanding of paying. I personally think its a lack of proper discipleship, or understanding of giving. I believe like a lot of other things in our walk, paying tithing or not paying is a matter of maturity, or faith NOT of salvation. Just my opinion.
Kimberly