"...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

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Watchdog Celebrates His Fifth Birthday, Still Alive and Well!!

Hello Readers! I hope all of you are doing well, I hope you all had a great summer! Here in Florida it has been the absolute wettest summer I can remember in 30 years of living here - but it was a very wonderful summer with the kids home. We met some very wonderful new friends, and had a great time in activities with family and friends.

It has been great to take a break from blogging, having posted only two articles in the last month. I have begun working on another project that I hope to announce very soon, and the time away from blogging has helped me get this project underway.

The Watchdog is now five years old. It was five years ago that the FBC Jax Watchdog site began. I started this blog because I cared about my church, and I cared about THE church. I hate what has happened to modern day evangelicalism: the nutty fundamentalism, the money- and marketing-hungry pastors that have taken over mega churches and damaged the faith of so many Christians. I am proud of what this blog has accomplished in shining a light on misbehaving pastors and churches - a few months ago this blog passed the 2 million page view mark, and traffic is still very strong after 733 blog posts and hundreds of audio and video clips the past five years.

People ask me from time to time if my faith has survived the past five years of blogging and the two legal battles and the ugliness my family has experienced. Some people assume that my views expressed here, my criticism of pastors and churches is an indication that I'm no longer a Christian - some even assume that I'm an atheist or some anti-Christian heathen trying to drive people away from their faith. This couldn't be further from the truth. Over the past five years I have been on a spiritual journey of sorts, having to acknowledge the flaws in some of my own religious views that I once held as a fundamentalist Christian, but still holding on to my faith in God. It has been a journey that has been incredibly liberating.

I have met with and talked with so many people that have been on a similar journey out of fundamentalism, and they can relate to what I'm talking about. I'm going to share here in the next blog posts some of these things I've learned in this journey - concentrating on the teachings in fundamentalism that are dangerous because of how they ultimately damage people's Christian faith.

When a person is confronted with the reality that much of what they've been taught by their "man of God" is not true, or not biblical and even some being self-serving nonsense and fairy tales - a crisis of faith can occur. For instance we know that over 50% of young people who leave home and attend college and get away from the fundamentalism in their home church jettison their faith. The fundamentalist pastors and parents will wail and moan that it is the worldy influence, the evil college professors, or they blame it on the lack of faith of the young person - or blame it on a recalcitrant blog that criticizes pastors.

But really, the ones to blame are those who are teaching nonsense in the church, not those who choose to expose it on a blog or website. So in the next few blog posts I'm going to discuss what some of this nonsense is that is causing so many people to feel that they do have to leave their church, and what causes even young people to question the validity of the religious teachings they have received growing up.

So now that fall is here, and the kids are back in school, the Watchdog will be back at work.

Stay tuned!

39 comments:

Arce said...

Welcome back.

Anonymous said...

I love this blog and have been reading since the beginning, but the thing about 50% of young people abandoning their faith is simply not true.

What happens is that people in their 20s stop going to church (probably because they stay out too late) and then they go back once they have kids.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903480904576510692691734916.html

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Off topic: readers, be sure to follow me on Twitter, as today hourly I will be filling in the blank for Ed Young in his new sermon series: "I'm not ______ enough."

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - I would refer you to this research by the Barna group. They give six reasons why young Christians leave the church:  1. Churches are overprotective; 2. Their experience in Christianity is one of shallowness; 3. Churches seem antagonistic to science (this is a biggie); 4. Judgmental and simplistic attitudes toward sexuality; 5. Doubts about exclusivity of Christianity; 6. Church is unfriendly to those who doubt.

The book "You Lost Me" by Kinnaman summarizes this research.

Moses Model said...

Happy Birthday! I am constantly amazed at how people get frustrated over bloggers and youtubers. Over 5 years, you have had over 2 million views. Odds are, that many of the preachers you criticize have had a much broader reach, especially considering that I account for thousands of those views. :) They have certainly made more money. Really? Bloggers warrant criticism from the pulpit, while Pat Robertson does not? How about TBN?

Thanks for helping me and being a constant inspiration.

Scribo Scriptum said...

It is my personal experience, in the small town fundamentalist church I attended after first leaving the"big city," that almost 90 % of members children (including deacon's children) stopped attending church in their senior year of highschool. It is also my experience that the sanctification of God's children in my particular area (North Texas) has resulted in Christians reading their Bibles in full content and context, resulting in a higher number of lives being lived to glorify God, not tradition. I now have the pleasure of interacting with youth, from grade school to college, who are steadfast in their faith, apart from their parents. Thank you for sharing the sanctifying work God is doing in your life, which is fruitful labor for you. May God continue to richly bless you.

Thy Peace said...

Congratulations WD for 5 years of excellent blogging. I pray for at least another 5 good years to WD's blogging.

My thinking of why people drop out of Christianity is mainly that The Gospel is not being preached. There is LOT MORE freedom In Christ, than without Christ. I would point you to this excellent sermon by Wade Burleson:

Emmanuel Enid > Hebrews: From Shadow to Substance > Once and for All (Hebrews 7:26-28)

Dee said...

I was fixin' to send you an email to see if you were still alive. Welcome back!

Anonymous said...

Good job watchdog. You should change your name to FBC JAX Mule. Or FBC Jax Donkey. And not just because you are stubborn in your blogging. :)

Anonymous said...

74 bidatWatchdog . . .this family is so glad you are back - we knew you needed a "time out" and had no doubt we would be hearing from you again - this blog is an encouragement to so many. Again, pleasure to open FBC Jax Watchdog this afternoon!

Victorious said...

I'm so grateful for your ministry watchdog! Looking forward to future insights!

Sergius Martin-George said...

Congrats on five years, 'Dog.

You do realize, of course, that reason #7 for young people leaving the church is that they're feeling constantly over-polled by the Barna Group.

Johnny D. said...

Happy Birthday, Dog! Your bite IS bigger than your bark! :-)

It has been fun, Tom. And as you know, this blog and the people that are here that prayed for me, had more than a little to do with me coming back to faith. And I am sooooo glad I am back. Thanks, and you know I'm reading!

Anonymous said...

WD you are like a watchman on the wall. Keep up the good work you are doing. Those that are true believers realize the effectiveness of sincere Christianity coming from your blog.. Have a great Labor day weekend.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to add in the fact of the so called conversions of young children

Mark said...

I really enjoy this blog. When I think of religious courage, I think of this blog. Being from Texas, I honestly don't know anything of your problems with FBC Jax except what you have written here. The Anonymous bloggers who jeer and chastise you just underscore their own narrow-mindedness. I am glad you are here in the blogosphere.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Thanks, everyone, for the kind words of encouragement!

Anonymous said...

Watchdog, I wish you would do more satire. I love the "tithing bible" thing you did. That was great stuff. That said, I believe that it is christians that are leaving these religious themed businesses that claim to be churches. I believe that God is calling His people out of this apostate religious system all over this country. I believe that the religious institution in America is Babylon the great, and is overseen by the mother of harlots of Reveation 17. And I think that our Lord Jesus is opening the eyes of His elect that they are seeing it too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for what you do, Dog. I agree and am finding out that most of what I have been taught is wrong...or at least slanted for a certain agenda. Christian patriotism, tithing, pre-trib rapture, say this prayer....these are a few "false doctrines" I am unlearning. The silence of the church in "these last days" is deafening. Those leaving the 501(c)3 churches are not the nominal Christians but those fed up with social clubs that have nothing to do with our Savior. May the Lord have mercy on us. God bless.

Anonymous said...

I would not want to be in your place when you give an account of your actions to a holy God.

56 years a Baptist, mostly SBC said...

Watchdog is carrying out a scriptural mandate to out the false prophets and abusive pastors.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your blog! I have been a follower for a long time. Also comment some, but do so anonymously since I don't want to be retaliated against. Still have lots of friends that love to drink koolaid. Really appreciate you exposing the truth about so many issues.

To the people with all of the negative comments: You know what this blog is about. It is your choice to come to this site. If you don't like it, don't visit it. But you just can't help yourself, can you.

Think about what you are doing and what you post, all in the name of Jesus, of course. :)

Anonymous said...

Who's Robbing God???

Let's just say that your pastor is making an average salary of $50,000 per year. Some make 2, 3, or 4 times that amount. If your pastor preaches 3 sermons per week, that is 156 sermons per year. If you divide 156 sermons, into the $50,000 salary, you will find that he is being paid an average of $320 per sermon. If his sermon averages 20 minutes like most pastors, he is making $16 per MINUTE!!! He is making more money in one minute than most of the hard working people that support him make in an entire hour on their job!!!
And even at this ridiculous rate of pay some of these "men of god" will not even invest the time to study and prepare their own sermons, but will steal/read/plagiarize someone else's commentary, or go to a website like sermoncentral.com and get a sermon.

What is worse than that is if someone discovers that the pastor IS plagiarizing, and deceiving his congregation about it, the person that calls the pastor to repentance is then villified as if he did something wrong.

What can we do about it? Simple:

A)Stop tithing - it is not once commanded under the new covenant to tithe. Especially to a pastor that is not feeding you, but is feeding off of you through tithes.

B)Come out of the harlot religious system. Forsake not assembling yourself with other believers, but you don't have to be institutionalized like an inmate to do it.

C)Don't be silent about abusive church leaders. Start a blog, link to someone else's blog on your Facebook, visit chatrooms and point people to websites like this one, or Apostacy Watch, Wicked Shepherds, Coming In The Clouds, etc. Wicked Shepherd has a spiritual abuse survey on thier website. Email it to every Christian you know. Together we can make a difference.

Anonymous said...

You can tell what kind of snake that you are dealing with by examining its venom.

The "Snake" that writes this blog is full of poison and pain.

I hate the way you hate.

Anonymous said...

"I hate the way you hate."

LOL

Anonymous said...

So it is your 5th birthday?

Isn't it time to grow up?

Anonymous said...

Blogs like this are one of the evidences of the Second Coming of Christ.

Jesus said in the last days there will be those that mock and despise the Church.

This blog is Christian terrorism.

A watchdog is there to attack.

This blog has tried to ruin FBC but we are so over this trash.


Actually, the past several weeks, we have had more people than ever before and now we are almost filling up the sanctuary.

God is moving in spite of efforts to shut us down.

"Occupy FBC" is done...Jesus is occupying FBC!

Anonymouse said...

If you don't start addin content a little more frequently I'm gonna cancel my subscription and demand a refund ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hmmm .... Decidedly different writing style.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi Anon - sorry, same old watchdog here. :)

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:48- God is moving at First Baptist. Baptisms are at an all time high,people are flocking down the isles getting saved,more people are coming out on church wide visitation,Sunday and Wednesday Night services are seeing record attendances,Mac is probably the most humble pastor First Baptist has had,love hearing stories Mac tells about going out on visitation with his visitation partner,planning on signing up to go with Mac on his soul winning missions trip to the Danube. Of course all the above is false.

Anonymous said...

"This blog has tried to ruin FBC but we are so over this trash."

Then why are you still here reading and leaving comments every day?

If what WD was saying wasn't true, you wouldn't be so obsessed with this blog.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic: Wade Burleson > The Ideal Church: Reflections from One Who Pastors

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic: Flame Warriors: Useful link for classification and identification of flame warriors on blogs and such.

Anonymous said...

Question to the individual who posted . . .This blog has tried to ruin FBC but we are so over this trash.'

If you are so over it why keep visiting - I personally love the believers on FBC Jax Watchdogs - they are lke family to me!

Anonymous said...

Also, 50% of statistics are made up right on the spot.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic: Sorry about the off topic comments. Looks like Wade's and Wartburg Watch blogs are down. Why, I do not know.

Thy Peace said...

From The Wartburg Watch:

Notice to TWW Subscribers: There is a system-wide problem for our host GoDaddy. Many blogs throughout the United States are currently having serious problems including The Wartburg Watch. We will post as soon as we are able. Please bear with us.

Anonymous said...

$320 per sermon? Really?

If we were trying to be fair and accurate, you would have to consider prep time. Take out the cheaters who download sermons from the internet even.

And preaching on Sunday is not all that most good pastors do. There's a lot more to it than that.