"...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, January 5, 2012

Pastoral Changes Coming to First Baptist Jacksonville? Times Union Reporter Jeff Brumley Wants to Know!

Jeff Brumley, the religion reporter of our local Times Union newspaper, wrote a blog article today asking if there are changes coming at First Baptist Jacksonville. Jeff puts together recent Mac Brunson Tweets, along with the video of Mac Brunson complaining about pastoring at FBC Jax being no fun - and wonders if maybe these are signals that Brunson may be on his way out.

Even though the article is posted under Jeff's "blog" on the Times Union site, they are featuring it as a news story on the front page of their website as seen above, just below the feature story.

Jeff says in his article:

"The preacher has yet to respond to an email asking him that [if changes are coming], but his Twitter feed offers clues that he may at least be thinking about it."

I sure hope that Mac Brunson responds to Jeff Brumley, and that Jeff tells his readers what the response is. Brunson ought to respond to Brumley - Brunson regularly responds to people he doesn't even know who ask him questions via Twitter, so why not respond to our local news reporter on an important question concerning Brunson's public statements?

Jeff Brumley of course is the writer who broke the story in April 2009 of the how this blog and two others were subpoenaed by an FBC Jax member who was also a detective of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. The detective's use of his subpoena power to get my name, hand it to the church, and close his investigation, led to a first amendment lawsuit filed by myself which was ultimately settled in October 2010. The most shocking result of the lawsuit testimonies was the revelation that the detective wasn't just a member of the church, but in fact was a deacon and also had been appointed as a member of the discipline committee just before he opened his "investigation" into the blog.

I don't think what Jeff cites in his post necessarily signals anything about Brunson going anywhere anytime soon. What Jeff noticed in Brunson's Tweets and his sermon last November is just more of what Brunson has said throughout his time at FBC Jax about having to suffer as a mega church pastor, and claiming he is a victim. This goes all the way back to March 2007, when Paige Patterson had his seminary students pray for Mac in chapel because of the "recalcitrants" that didn't give Mac a "honeymoon" when Mac came to FBC Jax in 2006.

But what I wonder is: does Jeff have some other information that would even lead him to believe change is coming? We'll have to wait and see.

If I had to guess the future, when Mac eventually does leave FBC Jax it will be to take a job as a seminary president, perhaps to take over at SWBTS when Paige Patterson retires. That is my best guess.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tom, look at Brunson's messages. He loves history and that is what he preaches. You can hear the Generals saying " Go Mac Go Mac! Tell them about us." I'm sorry, in my opinion, the fire is not in the pulpit. He should have gone into teaching not preaching. He would have been a wonderful teacher. He is not a wonderful preacher. The numbers speak for themselves.

FBCJAX deserves more! The Lord requires more!

Robert L. Peeples said...

Tom, I'm not sure where you and Mr. Brumley get your misguided ideas.

Take a look:
One of Pastor Brunson's tweets:

@macbrunson mac brunson
“@cliffmdavis: @macbrunson Praying for you with my family right now! Love you Pastor.” thanks Cliff that's why we love & r committed to FBC!



Pastor Brunson isn't leaving fbcjax. He is just what God wants for our church in this city; God called him here, and he has no plans to abandon that call. Amen!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Don't argue with da blogger, brother, take it up with da reporter.

He asked the question, just mentioning it on my blog. Brumley wants to know, and I hope he gets an answer.

I think Brunson will be here until Patterson retires, then Brunson will go to SWBTS. Could be 3 months, could be 3 years.

I think Stovall Weems is God's man for this city. Bigger church, building a new campus. He must be what this city needs. :)

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Someone please report Robert to the FBCJ discipline committee. He has fallen off the wagon and has been reading the blog when his pastor has told him many times not to read this stuff. Shame on you, Robert! But I won't tell! ;)

Anonymous said...

From Jeff Brumley's latest article at Jacksonville.com...titled Should Former Jax. Pastor of Sex Crimes Return to Christian Service?

"Moses was a murderer, David was a murderer, Paul was a murderer and Peter denied Christ, Gilyard said. It's clear God uses broken vessels."
It was only a matter of time, but wow, out of prison less than a week and already putting feelers out, unbelievable! Spoken like the smooth talking charlatan that he is, but hey, he completes his three year probation, Mac moves on...Gilyard at FBC?

Anonymous said...

Leaving? I wish!! If he should take Pattersons position at least he won't have to beat the people up to get the 10%. And maybe he can give "poor ole" Job a rest.

Anonymous said...

mPastor Brunson isn't leaving fbcjax. He is just what God wants for our church in this city; God called him here, and he has no plans to abandon that call. Amen!
=================================
Disagree with Mr. Peoples...God didn't call Brunson to FBCJ, Vines & the Search Committee did. Amen!

Anonymous said...

Kind of hard to judge anyone, with coming through the worst economy in 70 or so years. Who do you compare him to? I do not know of any church with stellar numbers. You would think that if FBC were unique with regard to downward numbers that the loss would show up as gain in other area churches or that more churches would start-up. I see a lot of boarded up churches in the area. I do not know of anyone boasting a tremendous growth. I would say that if anything, and this is very unfortunate, that the proselytizing is increasing in this city. I personally have been approached and invited to several Baptist churches in the area in full light of my membership. I think that you and Jeff can dream on. Mac is here until he is called elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

FBCJ ought to hire that reformed preacher Darrel Gilyard. Nothing like a born again pervert who has spent time in prison to bring in da bucks.

Anonymous said...

I hope and pray he does not leave.

I joined FBC because of Pastor Brunson and the incredible messages that he delivers.

I don't like the screaming and pointing his finger at me but other than that I hear God thru him.

If he leaves, I am gone.

FBC deserves Mac Brunson.

He has done more than we can even imagine.

Anonymous said...

Tom, you ought to come meet with us at Loyal Heart Ministries and our different groups around town. It is in line with what you have been railing against the establishment churches.

Anonymous said...

I joined FBC because of Pastor Brunson and the incredible messages that he delivers.

You would be more correct to say dog training. Sit dog sit.

Anonymous said...

"FBC deserves Mac Brunson."

The TROLL finally got something right - though probably not on purpose.

Anonymous said...

I do not know where Mr Brumley is getting his ideas of Dr. Brunson leaving, I follow Dr. Brunson via twitter and do not get that idea.
On the other hand Mr Brumley didn't necessarliy say that Brunson would leave, but rather hinted that changes might be in the works--could that mean that Dr. Brunson is looking at bringing in a co-pastor?
Kyle

Anonymous said...

"could that mean that Dr. Brunson is looking at bringing in a co-pastor?"

Good idea - that way he could have more time to spend leading cruises up the Danube. He might be able to take off Sunday nights in addition to Wednesday nights. And he could develop an effective strategy to silence those recalcitrant bloggers once and for all!

Anonymous said...

"If he leaves, I am gone."

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like Brumley needs to butt out of spiritual affairs and church issues that he knows nothing about. Since a natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit, I highly doubt that a newspaper writer would understand church matters.

Seneca Griggs said...

If Mac leaves, maybe they'll replace him with Wade Burleson. As far as I can tell reading the blogs, Wade's as close to perfect as you can get.

Seneca Griggs said...

I will give Tom-Dawg credit for this. I think he has helped some of the back-pew critics to leave FBC.
That's good for both FBC and the critics.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if a change in leadership is coming to FBCJAX.

Mac Brunson may be content with the members he has and the way and content of his preaching. Rick Warren is a friend Mac Brunson and you can see Warren's enfluence at FBCJAX.

Many fine preachers have bought into the Rick Warren Church Growth Program. No doubt Warren offers some good ideas for church growth.

However,,,,,,there are many problems with Warren's methods.

Here is just one of the many sites that will give us a reason for PROBLEMS in churches today.

www.crossroad.to/articles2/2003/1-purpose.htm

You might want to get a cup of coffee before you start reading.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the SBC will create a six figure job and global travel for him like they did for Hemphill and Welch.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like Brumley needs to butt out of spiritual affairs and church issues that he knows nothing about. Since a natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit, I highly doubt that a newspaper writer would understand church matters.

January 6, 2012 4:29 PM

Spoken like a true Dominionist.

Maybe Brumley understands that it is a business that calls itself a church. :o)

Anonymous said...

Brunson has been good for First Baptist Church. Thats why we are now the 3rd largest church in Jacksonville. Who needs church visitation when we can see Mac Brunson on TV 4 times a week now.

Anonymous said...

God brought Mac here and only God can move him.

The Devil is behind all of this mess and Satan is using Watchdog, Brumley, and other bloggers to try to tear down Gods work.

God propped Mac up and only God can bring Him down.

You want post this because the Devil wants to try to blind Gods people to the truth.

Open your eyes people, our Pastor ain't going nowhere and Mac's critics are lying and deceiving you.

Anonymous said...

Thought you would all enjoy reading this about Gilyard's new church.

http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/7046/53/

Anonymous said...

I do not know where you get that Dr. Brunson tells "us" 'not to read your blog'. We have never heard him say this. I cannot believe you think so much of yourself that you this he 'talks about you'. In fact, I have never heard anyone from FBC talk about this blog at all. I have been there most of my life. Other than when all of 'this' started and then when I can stomach reading it, I have never heard another soul mention you or this blog. If you think folks are spending any time talking about you, you are clearly wrong. Why don't you follow the example, and move on !
I have an idea... if all bother to do New Years Resolutions, #1 ('of the Top Ten'), should be to not read this blog anymore. I know I'm not wasting anymore time at all doing so. Trust me, the good people, yes ALL of them, at FBC do not waste their time on it!

Anonymous said...

Mac is the vessel God has used in the past several years to grow FBC.

Tithes are up.
Attendance is up.
Morale is up.

We have gotten some bad seed out of the body and God has replaced them with people that are on board with the Vision.

It does not shock me that the Devil is going after the head...but the rest of this body is fighting to keep our Pastor.

One man's junk is another man's treasure...We love you Pastor.

When you read this, know that your supporters are not going to be silent in 2012.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Trust me, the good people, yes ALL of them, at FBC do not waste their time on it!

Well, Robert Peeples does. I know for a fact that at least one staff member at FBC Jax does, too.

Anonymous said...

Have you read the latest from Ed Young Jr....

This from the "Christian Post"...

Ed and Lisa Young, founders of Texas-based Fellowship Church, will spend 24 hours in bed on the church roof next week and stream themselves live on the Internet to encourage married couples to see firsthand the power of a healthy sex life as prescribed in their new book, Sexperiment.

Two days after their book, Sexperiment: 7 Days to Lasting Intimacy with Your Spouse, is released Tuesday, the Youngs will take part in a 24-hour “bed-in,” which will be streamed on the book’s website as they engage the audience on issues related to intimacy in marriage.

The book encourages married couples to have sex for seven straight days – a challenge that made headlines in 2008 when Pastor Young first introduced it to his church – with the promise that the “amazing results” will last far beyond the week.

“Tragically, culture has kicked the bed out of church and God out of the bed,” says Ed Young, who has been “happily married” to Lisa for almost 30 years. “It’s time to bring God back in the bed and put the bed back in the church. That’s what this bed-in is all about.”

WOW...24 HOURS IN THE BED, COMING TO YOU LIVE VIA THE INTERNET...

YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP!!!

1 Thessalonians 5:21 said...

Anonymous (January 8, 2012 7:49 AM) said: “We have gotten some bad seed out of the body and God has replaced them with people that are on board with the Vision.”

The desire to purify your church of troublemakers—always a fine excuse for church splits, the hasty disfellowshipping of individuals from your church, and other such heavy handed tactics against anyone who does not share the Pastor and his strict followers’ viewpoint publically.

Tell me, how do you determine if someone is a “troublemaker” and when your church needs to be purified of the person in question? When they refuse to continue unconditionally submitting to your Pastor simply because the Pastor is the Pastor and that is that?


Anonymous (January 8, 2012 7:49 AM) said: “It does not shock me that the Devil is going after the head...but the rest of this body is fighting to keep our Pastor.”

Where did you get the idea that the Pastor is the all important “head” of your church? From your Pastor?

Nowhere does Biblical Scripture designate any overseer elder as “the head” of the local Assembly of Messiah. To the contrary, only Mashiyach Yehoshua himself is designated as “the head” of the Assembly of Messiah by Biblical Scripture (see Ephesians 5:23).


Anonymous (January 8, 2012 7:49 AM) said: “One man's junk is another man's treasure...We love you Pastor.”

This sounds all well and good. That is, until the Pastor in question starts causing questionable divisions between friends and family in the name of following him as “God’s appointed” spiritual guide.

Tell me, have you ever experienced this? I have with a good friend. And, quite frankly, it feels like you have been cheated out of something by a professional swindler.


Anonymous (January 8, 2012 7:49 AM) said: “When you read this, know that your supporters are not going to be silent in 2012.”

Excellent. I have questions which I want them to answer.

Ga Blogger said...

Seriously, this is the way ministers have been taught by many that have succeeded on "how to get a raise" in a church.

Act as if your "unhappy" or "discouraged" concerning the church or how " bad you feel" and the desperate membership, deacons, and leaders will do anything to make them happy.

It is called by Pastors " negotiating a compensation increase without asking for it or saying a word".

Mark it down he is after something else, and it is called $$$$$

Anonymous said...

"If Mac leaves, maybe they'll replace him with Wade Burleson. As far as I can tell reading the blogs, Wade's as close to perfect as you can get."

That's hilarious considering the man-worship that you constantly heap upon Big Mac. You have an excuse for each and every bad decision he makes.

He can do no wrong in your eyes James.

Anonymous said...

"I will give Tom-Dawg credit for this. I think he has helped some of the back-pew critics to leave FBC.
That's good for both FBC and the critics."

Hopefully, your goal of only having man-worshipers and kool-aid drinkers will be accomplished soon.

Perhaps then Mac won't feel so persecuted by his undeserving congregation (you).

Anonymous said...

For the life of me I can't understand why anyone here really cares whether Mac Brunson leaves Jacksonville or not. After reading thru Watchdog's blog, it appears most posters no longer have anything to do with FBC. So it seems to me the question of pastoral changes is pretty much irrelevant. There is an endless supply of villains out there to fuel your blog.

Anonymous said...

"After reading thru Watchdog's blog, it appears most posters no longer have anything to do with FBC. So it seems to me the question of pastoral changes is pretty much irrelevant."

Kind of like saying that you shouldn't care that there are people left in a burning building because you got out safely.

Josh from FL said...

As a SWBTS alum take it from me: The only way Dr. Patterson leaves SWBTS is when he passes.
The mansion, the SUV, the cooks, the housekeepers, the dog walkers, and the personal assistants are all on the seminary dollar. He gets what he wants when he wants it with little to no opposition. He surrounds himself with people who tell him how great, wise, and godly he is (because doing so holds the promise of getting your own perks).
Why would anyone walk away from that?!

Anonymous said...

What will Robert Jeffress do to one-up this major publicity stunt? I'm sure he's got his media guru on it...

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:0, Your analogy is naive and illogical. Even though you feel righteous in your decision, does not automatically make everyone else idiots for following their own conscience.

Anonymous said...

"Anon 4:0, Your analogy is naive and illogical."

In what way? An assertion and name-calling are not a proper substitute for reason.

"Even though you feel righteous in your decision, does not automatically make everyone else idiots for following their own conscience."

Here you are judging my motivations (sometimes I don't even know what they are - you would have no idea) and then making a straw-man argument.

You will need to do better than that my friend.

Proverbs 14:12

Anonymous said...

There is absolutely no name calling here, sir. Read carefully, I said the "analogy" was illogical. Anyone would be an idiot not to run from a burning building. An absolute, eg.(a burning building) cannot reasonably be equated with a non-absolute (Your personal dislike for the current pastor). All I'm saying in the kindest way I can,is if the folks at FBC Like Mac Brunson and feel they are being well served, then what concern is it of yours? It is no longer YOUR church--no one needs you to think for them. They are all free to choose their own church, their own pastor, and they have the power to remove him if that is THEIR choice.

Anonymous said...

"There is absolutely no name calling here, sir."

There absolutely is sir.

"Read carefully, I said the "analogy" was illogical. Anyone would be an idiot not to run from a burning building."

Read carefully. I said:
"Kind of like saying that you shouldn't care that there are people left in a burning building because you got out safely."

There is no inference of anyone not having enough sense to run from a burning building (perhaps they are trapped). That is your incorrect and out of context interpretation.

Anonymous said...

"An absolute, eg.(a burning building) cannot reasonably be equated with a non-absolute (Your personal dislike for the current pastor)."

And it isn't, of course. The absolute (burning building) is being reasonably equated to another absolute (hypocritical pastor) who expects the congregation to live a certain way but exempts himself.

"All I'm saying in the kindest way I can,is if the folks at FBC Like Mac Brunson and feel they are being well served, then what concern is it of yours?"

Perhaps Paul was wrong for being concerned (to the point of shedding tears) over false teachers and hypocrites in the church, but I believe that I will follow his example.

My concern is the same concern that every Christian should have for false teaching and hypocrisy in any belief system.

I could turn my back and ignore the problem, but I am not that uncaring and cold-hearted for souls.

Anonymous said...

"It is no longer YOUR church--no one needs you to think for them."

Another (add it to the list) false assumption. I have never attended FBCJAX, but I do care for individuals that are being misled.

"no one needs you to think for them."

This is just another way (and condescending one) of saying that I have nothing of value to teach someone.

Completely wrong and arrogant at the same time. Nice try.

Anonymous said...

"They are all free to choose their own church, their own pastor, and they have the power to remove him if that is THEIR choice."

The first two statements are true although the individual may not have enough discernment or humility to make a good decision. That's where this blog can be of assistance.

Your last statement is just factually wrong. Half the church has voted with their feet already. The pastor has surrounded himself with yes men who will defend him until he completely wrecks the church or he finds a soft landing spot somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

"if the folks at FBC Like Mac Brunson and feel they are being well served, then what concern is it of yours?"

If the folks who have left FBC don't like Mac Brunson and feel they were not being well served, then what concern is is of yours?

Anonymous said...

Your reply gives a lot of insight into why you continue to struggle over things beyond your control. This level of defensiveness undermines your credibility and damages your health. Relax. God is still in control whether you understand it or not.

Anonymous said...

"Your reply gives a lot of insight into why you continue to struggle over things beyond your control. This level of defensiveness undermines your credibility and damages your health. Relax. God is still in control whether you understand it or not."

That's about what I expected. You can't win on substance so you employ:

1) judging motivations of a complete stranger - "you feel righteous in your decision" "you struggle with things beyond your control" "defensive" - as I have stated before - sometimes I don't know my own motivations - you obviously don't have the slightest clue about them.

2) Name-calling and ad hominem attacks - "naive and illogical" "defensive" "undermines your credibility" "would have to be an idiot" - this tactic is always employed by those who don't have the facts on their side.

3) Condescending arrogance - "God is in control whether you understand it or not" "naive and illogical" "beyond your control" - that type of sheep-beating and attempted intimidation may work within the walls of the local church - but it is completely impotent and ineffective outside those walls my friend. It just doesn't work in a society that values free speech.

Now if you think you can engage in a civilized discussion of the issues and stay on topic, even when you seem to be losing the battle, I'm always willing to set the record straight.

Anonymous said...

"This level of defensiveness undermines your credibility and damages your health."

You will be relieved to know that I had my complete physical this morning, and the doctor told me that I am in perfect health.

So, either the doctor is wrong or you are. I'm betting on the doctor.

Anonymous said...

"Relax. God is still in control whether you understand it or not."

So, again I ask, was Paul wrong for weeping over false teachers and hypocrites in the church?

If God is in control, shouldn't he just relax and let God take care of it?

Fortunately, we have precedence in scripture to show how wrong your thinking is.

Anonymous said...

You're killing me, but okay, lets set the record straight. Seems you are your own "straw-man". Your imaginary role as someone who "got out safely" when the evil Mac Brunson arrived, and now is on a rescue mission as a modern day "Paul" is, well, just that--imaginary. Seeing yourself as winning some "battle" seems to be very important to you. So, stop making up stuff on the internet and find some battle you are actually qualified to fight.

Anonymous said...

More of same.
Yawn.

But thanks for confirming my point.

You don't seem to be able to focus on the issues and avoid personal attacks.

An anger management session or two might do you some good.

While you are there see if a hermeneutics, apologetics or basic logic class is available.

Anonymous said...

"Seems you are your own "straw-man".

ROFL!

This really got my week off to a good start. Nothing like a big belly laugh on a Monday morning.

Part of the reason that you are "the king of straw-man arguments" (aside from a basic lack of logic) is because you can't seem to read a simple statement, understand it, and come up with a congent response.

If you can't get facts straight that have been repeated to you on more than one occasion, how would anyone expect you to come to a correct conclusion?

A false premise leads to a false conclusion every time.

Anonymous said...

"Your imaginary role as someone who "got out safely" when the evil Mac Brunson arrived, and now is on a rescue mission as a modern day "Paul" is, well, just that--imaginary."

I've already explained (twice) that I have never attended FBCJAX. This is what I mean by saying that you can't read something and understand a plain statement. That is why you will never come to the right conclusion. It's like a man using a map of Indiana to try to find his way to NYC. You'll never get there.

Paul's teachings are in direct contradiction to your ill-concieved "let God handle it" advice.

I can see why you wouldn't want to deal with scripture and instead make personal attacks.

I'll stick with Paul's teachings and ignore yours every time.

Anonymous said...

"Seeing yourself as winning some "battle" seems to be very important to you."

Someone should bump you. You sound like a broken record. Judging motivations again?

Jude 1:3

Anonymous said...

"So, stop making up stuff on the internet and find some battle you are actually qualified to fight."

Again, just factually wrong. Its ironic that you would attack my character with a falsehood.

You, my friend, have shown yourself to be unqualified to "contend for the faith" because your ideas conflict with scripture.

Scripture is the final court of arbitration not the culture that worships unity at the cost of truth. Choose a side, friend.

Anonymous said...

Well here's a short version of Mac bemoaning the last 5 years

Here

and the long version


Here

Anonymous said...

Time for Mac to leave. He has become far more polarizing that what he professes to preach. I hear accusation and condemnation in his voice, but love... not so much.

Anonymous said...

Mac Brunson is a hypocrite. He takes a large salary, he had a buddy find out the identify of someone on the internet so he could seek revenge rather than letting the Lord deal with it. From all I have read and folks I know that go there he has taken questionable other financial deals.

Also I don't believe in mega churches in general as that type of power and money almost always corrupt.

I know a couple of kids he brought on to teach Sunday school. They also show some of the very same arrogant, cocky, wealth building obsession and overly politically correct behavior.

Behavior that comes when your sole purpose is growing your numbers, pushing your brand, consolidating your power within the community and gaining a large income stream. Just like any other business.

The sooner this guy is gone the better that church will have to find a less money centered and more God centered pastor.

By their fruit you will know them and the fruit spoken of in the Bible doesn't come in dollar signs.

I