"...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, February 27, 2012

The Many Faces of Christian Bloggers, as Seen By Our Critics....

The many faces of Christian bloggers, at least as seen by our critics....

and of course we know Steven Furtick and Ed Young, Jr. see us as "haters", and others choose to see us as mentally ill and dangerous.

But unlike those who have nothing but words of disdain and condemnation for us, we still love you, our pastors and former pastors and our critics. But we will speak the truth according to our conscience, and will continue to stand for our faith as we are commanded to do in scripture.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Church That Hired Gilyard is Affiliated with the SBC, the Florida Baptist Convention, and the Jax Baptist Assocation - Why Have They Not Acted?

Thanks to Christa Brown's latest post at her blog "Stop Baptist Predators", I have found a completely new wrinkle to the Gilyard story that most people have overlooked, and it absolutely stinks.

It turns out that Darrell Gilyard is BACK in the pulpit of a church affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. It is true, the church that has hired a pedophile preacher and kicked the kids out of the church to do so, Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, is shown to be affiliated with and listed on the websites of the national, state, and local Southern Baptist organizations.

But none of these organizations to date have taken action against this church, or have sought to have them removed from their respective association - or even made so much as a statement of condemnation.

Here is how Gilyard's church shows up on the websites of the national, state, and local SBC organizations:

The Southern Baptist Convention: if you visit the SBC website church search function, the instructions say "Search for a Southern Baptist Church anywhere in the United States." So one may assume that the database will return only churches that meet the standards of calling itself an SBC church. But if some poor soul enters the zip code "32209" looking for an SBC church in the northside of Jacksonville, guess which church is at the top of the list? Yep, Darrel Gilyard's church. The SBC website even allows you to put in YOUR address, and the site will give you directions on how you can go listen to a convicted pedophile preach the gospel, minus your kids of course. Click here to see for yourself.

The Florida Baptist Convention: click here, and you can see the entry for this church at the Florida Baptist Convention website. If an unsuspecting person on the northside of Jacksonville performs a search for a Southern Baptist Church with zip code "32209", they will get two hits: one of which is Gilyard's church.

The Jacksonville Baptist Association: this is a network of baptist churches, which according to their website, exists to "...stimulate church health, develop leaders, and multiply ministry..." in Jacksonville. On the JBA website, Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church is listed as being a part of their "network". You can even click "Recommend" to sent information about the church to a friend, or click on "Map" and a Google map will show you how to get to the pedophile's church. The JBA is listed on the SBC web site as being a local SBC association for this area.

So the national, state, and local baptist associations of the Southern Baptist Convention are STILL, as of this morning, showing the church who hired a pedophile preacher as being part of their network of churches. Unsuspecting citizens of Jacksonville actually may be directed to Gilyard's site by all three of their respective websites.

You say, "so what"...just a little podunk church, and besides, the SBC is known for "church autonomy" and they don't have the power or authority to take action, right? The SBC or local or state SBC organizations can't take action against a church for pastoral hiring practices, right? At least that is what the SBC wants you to believe, as Roger Oldham was quoted as saying in the Guardian recently.

But let me give you three examples of when the national, and a state, and a local SBC organization HAVE taken action against churches:

Southern Baptist Convention: Broadway Baptist Church in Texas was given the right-boot of fellowship by the SBC for their perceived toleration of gay members.

Georgia Baptist (State) Convention: Georgia Baptists kicked out the First Baptist Church of Decatur and the Druid Hills Baptist Church for hiring female pastors.

Surry Baptist, NC (Local) Association: The local association of SBC'ers in North Carolina gave the right boot of fellowship to Flat Rock Baptist Church because they called a female to be their pastor. How long did it take for the Surry Association to get their pitchforks out? Only two weeks!! Within two weeks they had voted to kick out the church for hiring a female minister.

There you have it, folks. The Southern Baptist Convention views a female standing up and preaching the gospel to sinners as more dangerous than having a known, convicted, long-time serial predator, pedophile who woos women with his smile and charm, in the pulpit.

It has now been a month since Gilyard started preaching at Christ Tabernacle here in Jax, and our national, state, and local associations all are still pointing people at their websites to hear the pedophile preacher.

And isn't this just ironic, really? Gilyard gained a foothold in the SBC by duping Jerry Vines and all of us (myself included!) at FBC Jax back in the late 1980s with his phony-baloney story of growing up homeless living under a bridge. He earned the trust of Southern Baptist giants such as Vines, Patterson, and Falwell with his theatrical preaching. After they promoted this monster to national prominence, he was found to be a serial adulterer, using his position as "man of God" to seduce young women at his churches in Texas and Oklahoma. Minus any blogsites to report his offenses back in the early 1990s, Gilyard came to Jacksonville to pastor Shiloh Baptist where he had more unsuspecting victims.

And now Gilyard has come full circle, back to a church associated with the Southern Baptist Convention, the Florida Baptist Convention, and the Jax Baptist Association. Right back where he got his start under the tutelage of Jerry Vines.

So we can have men who are pedophiles in the pulpit in the SBC. We can have serial liars in the pulpit in the SBC. But let a woman stand in the pulpit, and the national, state, and local SBC'ers will come out in full force to condemn the heretics. How ironic that while the SBC is silent about Gilyard, the New Black Panther Party is protesting outside Gilyard's church.

Only question I have: how long will it take, how big does Gilyard have to grow this church, before Jerry Vines and Mac Brunson will go to preach there?

Friday, February 24, 2012

"Great Commission Baptists" is the Perfect Descriptor of the SBC

"You gotta spend money to make money"
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It is too bad that the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee did not vote to officially change their brand to "Great Commission Baptists".

"Great Commission Baptists": it would have been the perfect name to communicate to the vast unchurched Yankee people groups both what is important to this religious group, and also what it would take to join it.

Obviously most un-churched folk have no idea that the phrase "Great Commission" refers to Christ's command to make disciples and baptize the lost, but they do know what a "commission" is.

And if they join a "Great Commission Baptist" church, they would soon find out what a "great commission" is.

You see once a Yankee hears the good news and accepts Jesus as their "personal Savior" at a Great Commission Baptist church, they will then find out the bad news: to be a good member of the church, to receive the blessings of God and avoid his curses on their finances, they will have to begin forking over a "great commission" of their income; 10% or more.

Yes, 10% of your gross income, that is the new "great commission" - money you are commanded to give to your nearest Great Commission Baptist church.

Maybe a better name would be "One Big Honkin' Commission Baptists"....

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ed Young Starts Fashion Website - But Maurilio Amorim Has Beat Him to the Punch!!

"Not that we're fashion crazy, but...you are what you wear...I have worn today Spanx, that's right, Spanx for men...they keep everything in...that's a downside of Spanks it gives you gas...." Ed Young's first fashion tip at his new website Pastor Fashion.

"Most scarves are unisex, so look around your wife’s closet, you might even find something that you could pair up with an existing coat for free." Church marketing expert Maurilio Amorim's fashion tip in his article "How Men Should Wear a Scarf"
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It is getting harder and harder to parody the religious holy men of the day who occupy the pulpits of mega churches.

Especially when they go on camera and unbutton their shirt to show you what type of girdle they are wearing, and encourage other pastors to get the same girdle.

Even though most mega church pastors have educations limited to seminary degrees void of any application to the real world, they want us to believe they are experts in the fields of finance, psychology, sociology, education, marketing, science and of course religion.

But now, thanks to Ed Young, we can add "fashion" to the list of mega church disciplines in which they are experts.

Ed Young has expanded his brand into the world of fashion. He now has a website up to give pastors tips on how to be fashionable.

His first fashion tip? Spanx. Yes, he says pastors should consider investing in a $75 pair or two of Spanx-for-men to keep their flabby underside safely tucked away when up on stage. Pastors, you can preach your next sermon looking like the men in the Spanx ad at right!

Ed is a true modern-day Renaissance Man, or at least he thinks so. He speaks for God, he can properly interpret the Bible for people, he knows how to tell them to donate their money in order to avoid curses from God, he even knows how to tell people to have great sex!! He is a multimillionaire, flies in private jets, speaks all over the world, and has friends in high places.

But Ed, I'm sad to report that you're too late on the Christian-fashion scene. I and other Christians take our fashion advice from church marketing consultant Maurilio Amorim, who includes periodic fashion tips at his website. He has even beat Ed to the punch on Spanx as he described his "near death experience" in trying to don his new Spanx t-shirt last December. If Maurilio had a hard time getting his Spanx around his neck and over his slim figure, I can only imagine the scene when Ergun Caner or Steve Gaines tries on their new Spanx.

But do visit Maurilio's site, pastors, for fashion advice. I've learned everything from "How Men Should Wear a Scarf" (I'm not kidding), to "White Belt: A Guys' Guide for Wearing it Well". And I had a fashion-filled summer in 2011 after I read about how to select "hybrid broadshorts" at Maurilio's website. Men, you can make this the best Easter ever if you follow Maurilio's advice on "Easter Sunday and the Return of the White Pants". Warning: some of Maurilio's images of men in clothing might be objectionable to the healthy male viewer.

Lastly, Pastors, if you do follow Ed's fashion advice and purchase some Spanx, please do us all a favor and don't admit it.

And please don't show us your Spanx, and try not to blog about your experience when first trying them on.
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H/T: Frank Gantz.com



Monday, February 20, 2012

Shocker: Mac Brunson to Preach at Gilyard's Former Church, Shiloh Baptist in Jacksonville

Mac Brunson announced Sunday night that he will be preaching a revival service at Shiloh Baptist Metropolitan Church this coming Wednesday.

This is quite unfortunate. It is really beyond comprehension that Brunson is going to make the same mistake that Jerry Vines did in 2006.

You see, Shiloh is the church that hired Darrell Gilyard back in 1993 despite his known sexual predation in churches in Texas and Oklahoma. According to the Times Union, Shiloh has settled multiple lawsuits with victims of Gilyard on several occasions yet still allowed him to remain as pastor. One such lawsuit against Gilyard and Shiloh alleged Gilyard convinced a widow in 2004 to have sex with him during a counseling session to hasten her healing after her husband's death. The suit also alleged that the church was negligent in the hiring, supervising, and retaining of Gilyard as the pastor.

I know what some of Brunson's defenders will say: this is a new day, a new pastor at Shiloh, and we should not try to hang the sins of Gilyard on the new pastor and the church.

Let's be real. Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church had a corrupt system - and could possibly still have a corrupt system - that allowed them to hire a known sexual deviant without warning the people of the church or taking adequate measures to protect women in the church from Gilyard. Their broken church structure allowed Gilyard's perversion to thrive and grow to the point that he sexually abused at least one teenage girl in his church.

Shiloh Baptist, as far as I know, has never publicly apologized to our city for allowing Gilyard free reign to abuse women when they should have never hired a man with his history of sexual abuse allegations in the first place. As far as I know Shiloh has never demonstrated to the city of Jacksonville that they have instituted changes to increase pastoral accountability and oversight that would prevent a recurrence.

So what does it say to Christian women in general in Jacksonville, and Gilyard's victims in particular, that Brunson - who does represent FBC Jax whether he wants to admit it or not - is going to preach at a church with such a terrible track record of protecting women and children from a predator?

I'll tell you what else stinks about Brunson showing up there...it was his church's own employee, deacon, and discipline committee member, Robert Hinson, who used his investigatory power as a JSO detective to pull a subpoena on Tiffany Croft's blog in 2008. Tiffany Croft is a former FBC Jax member who started a blog back in 2008 to help expose Gilyard. Tiffany's blog and her efforts actually aided the state attorney's office in gathering evidence from victims and helped to build the case against Gilyard. What did Tiffany get for her bravery? She had her personal information subpoenaed by Mac's own employee and churchman. Click here to view the subpoena, the one for Tiffany's blog is on the third page of the hyperlinked document.

The detective under oath said that he issued the subpoena on Tiffany's blog by accident when he was investigating my blog. I don't believe that one bit. What seasoned sheriff's detective issues subpoenas to be signed by the state attorney by mistake on a website that CLEARLY was no threat, whose author was not anonymous in any way, and who simply was critical of a high-profile baptist pastor? If it had become known that the JSO was investigating Tiffany's blog, that could have actually hampered the state attorney's investigation by scaring people away from reporting what they knew about Gilyard. After all, the subpoena demanded from Google all of Tiffany's personal information, and it asked for "...all general login and/or posting dates and times and all IP addresses and all related screen names." Yep, the blog helping to put Gilyard in jail, was being investigated by a detective employed by Brunson's church, and who was sitting on the FBC Jax "discipline committee" at the time he pulled the subpoenas. You can't make this stuff up.

Has Brunson done his due diligence on Shiloh before deciding to preach there? Has he confirmed that Shiloh has cleaned house of leaders who were aware of the Gilyard history in Texas but still turned a blind eye? Are there still men in positions of leadership at Shiloh that had knowledge of Gilyard's sexual predation and thus bear some responsibility in the abuse that occurred at the hands of their pastor? I have reason to believe there still is at least one man in a position of leadership at Shiloh that knew of Gilyard's past but did not warn the congregation.

FBC Jax has already had one pastor go to Shiloh to preach and regret it. Jerry Vines preached at Shiloh in 2006 when Gilyard was still pastor, shortly after Vines' retirement. Vines knew all about Gilyard's sexual perversions in Texas, and Vines even knew that Gilyard tried to seduce one of the young women at FBC Jax during a high school revival tour in the late 1980s. Yet Vines agreed to forgive Gilyard for his "out of state troubles" and later expressed regret that he went to Shiloh to preach in 2006.

So why is Mac going to Shiloh? Does he not have better judgement than this? Aren't there better choices of churches in this city that he could visit? Don't the FBC Jax trustees and deacons see a problem with this? Maybe not, after all FBC Jax hired Ergun Caner last summer to lead their summer youth camps.

So just a quick note to Jerry Vines: Mac Brunson loves to drop your name and tell his church how often you send him loving and encouraging text messages.

Therefore, Jerry, you might want to fire off the following text message to Mac, lickity-split:

"Mac, don't preach at Shiloh. Been there, done that. Not a good idea right now. Love ya bro. Jerry."

Trustees of FBC Jax, please nip this in the bud. Your pastor has no business going to Shiloh Baptist Church. Let him earn his weekly preaching honorarium at some other more respectable church in our city.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Church Discipline of the Critic - You Get it if You Stay, You Get if You Leave

" 'I just want to continue to worship there,' said Dr. Nan Hawkes, who may be asked to leave Second Presbyterian Church....Hawkes said she realizes it would be easier to leave Second Presbyterian but doesn't believe she should have to. "It's not Sandy Willson's [the pastor] church. It's not my church," she said. 'It's God's church.' " From article "Unchurched" in the 2/16/11 Commercial Appeal
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On the front page of the Commercial Appeal (Memphis) newspaper Thursday was the story of a long-time church member, Dr. Nan Hawkes, who is being barred from her mega church and subjected to the church's disciplinary process and possibly excommunicated from the church for "slander, bickering, and gossip", and for "offenses of immorality and contempt for the established order of the church".

What was her "crime"? She said disparaging remarks about her pastor and one of his family members. And apparently the church doesn't tolerate people being friends of the pastor's critics either as Dr. Hawkes' friend at the church has also been barred from serving in the choir after she sent a letter stating her support for Dr. Hawkes.

As I included in the quote above from the newspaper article, Dr. Hawkes realizes she could have just left her church, but she decided to stay. She is a believer in Christ and feels compelled to worship at this church despite her differences with the pastor.

And of course Dr. Hawkes could have avoided all of this and just left the church if she had disagreements with the pastor, right?

Not so fast, my friend, as Lee Corso likes to say.

Even the act of leaving a church is now seen by some reformed pastors as being in sin - or worse, not even a believer - requiring corrective church discipline and excommunication. Let me explain.

Mark Devers' is a reformed Southern Baptist and pastor of Capital Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. He has spoken before at the FBC Jax Pastor's Conference, back in 2009 or 2010. Devers started an association of churches called "9Marks" churches (formerly known as "the Center for Church Reform") and there is a website that provides resources to pastors who wish to incorporate the "9 Marks" of a healthy church.

One of the "marks" of a biblical church - Mark Number 7 - is biblical "church discipline". Bobby Jamieson, is the assistant editor of the 9 Marks website and seminary student at SBTS, and he posted an article recently stating that the act of a cranky church member simply leaving a church is an act of open sin requiring churches to exercise discipline and excommunication.

Jamieson writes in his article "Pastors, Don't Let Your People Resign into Thin Air":
"....a cranky troublemaker who’s been giving the church headaches for years has finally had enough and decides to throw in the towel and resign. In a huff, this person says he’s just giving up on church—at least for now.

It would be tempting to simply stand aside and allow this troubler to cease troubling your church. The last thing you want is to invite more trouble by detaining him at the back door.

But should the church simply allow this individual to resign into thin air?"
The arrogance in this is astounding. A pastor and his 501(c)3 organization consider the question of whether they can "allow" someone to resign? It gets better:
"I think the biblical answer is a resounding “No.” Here’s why: When your church made that person a member, you were declaring to the world that this person belongs to the kingdom of Jesus (Mt. 16:18-19). By regarding this person as a member, your church affirmed that he is indeed a “brother” in Christ (1 Cor. 5:11-13)."
So your church "membership" isn't just that you decided to link with a fellowship of believers because the Holy Spirit led you as a Christian. No, it is much deeper than that apparently. Apparently the church has the responsibility to "affirm" that you are a "brother", and thus they can't just let you "resign". I guess when you join a Calvinist congregation like Mark Devers' church, you are checking in to the "Hotel Calvinista": you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

But it gets even better, much better:
"So what’s the problem? Hebrews 10:24-25 commands us not to forsake assembling together. Therefore, any professing Christian who quits going to church is living in habitual, unrepentant sin. And the way a church addresses unrepentant sin is not by merrily sending that person on his way, but by removing their affirmation of “member” and “brother” (Matt. 18:15-17; 1 Cor. 5:1-13). When the player quits showing up on game day, the team has to take back his jersey."
These churches are hell bent on making the gospel "bad news"! Don't tithe, and you're cursed. Quit going to church because you've been hurt or spiritually abused, you are in "habitual, unrepentant sin". Darn, I just can't measure up to the pastors' standards after I accepted Christ. I'm not tithing, and I'm not an active member of a church - who will deliver me from my torment? Is it any wonder why people are fleeing these churches?

And so if you quit attending and are in "unrepentant sin", your church must "remove their affirmation" of you as a "brother". Do you understand what this is saying? That as a Christian we are "affirmed" by the church, and if we leave on terms not suitable to the pastor ad his holy men they take back that "affirmation" as a "brother". That is code for saying you are not a Christian any longer and the holy men of your church play a role in making that determination.

So Jamieson and 9Marks gives their solution to these pesky reprobates, the "troublers" who simply walk out the door:
"A quick way to get a handle on this is to consider church discipline. If someone tries to resign mid-process in order to “escape discipline,” should the church just let them go? Of course not. That would defeat the whole point of church discipline. Instead, the church must retain the right to refuse someone’s resignation and send them out another way—through excommunication."
A "quick way"? To "get a handle on this"? Do what? A church retains the right to refuse someone's resignation? How is that even possible?

Keep in mind that the man writing those words is a seminary student at Al Mohler's Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. They are speaking of "excommunication" of church members. I never thought I would hear that word in the Southern Baptist Convention, but that is the direction of the reformed pastors apparently.

For more analysis of Jamieson's article, read the Wartburg Watch's excellent commentary here. They raise the point that Jamieson's advice to pastors in rejecting a member's resignation for the purpose of continuing church discipline has already been deemed by the Oklahoma Supreme Court as potentially tortious in the case of Guinn v. Church of Christ of Collinsville. So for Jamieson to offer this advice to pastors with no mention of the legal ramifications that might arise in particular applications shows how out of touch with reality these power-hungry preacher-men can be.

Christians, we have to wise up. While our pastors do their best to get us to fear the government, preaching that Uncle Sam is going to take away their rights to proclaim the gospel - we need to realize that a bigger threat to Christianity is from WITHIN the church and it is not the bloggers. It is narcissistic, power-hungry pastors and their underlings who view themselves and their churches as the bestowers of God's grace and your good standing with God. They want to tell us we must give a minimum portion of our money to their church to receive God's blessings, and they are beginning to tell us that we must stay with the church to be "affirmed" as a believer. This unbiblical nonsense is nothing less than spiritual abuse and is a much larger threat to the body of Christ than a particular president or his political party.

And here is a little anecdote for Jamieson and his boys to consider:

I look back at the discipline process exercised against me and my family after they found my identity as the author of the FBC Jax Watchdog blog in 2008. When they trespassed me and my wife for "church misconduct" in December 2008, we were forced to find a new church home. We immediately began visiting a new church and when FBC Jax heard that we sought to join that fellowship, the FBC Jax church discipline process cranked back up in February 2009. The pastor preached about "Kingdom Killjoys", and what churchmen are to do with complainers and criticizers is "shut 'em down". A week later the church administrator went to the deacons to tell them what a bad person I was for owning the blog, and he told the deacons I had been investigated by the state attorney (when actually it was their own discipline committee member who did the investigation!) for possible crimes.

A week later the deacons ratified and brought the infamous "deacon's resolution" to the congregation for a vote on a Wednesday night in February 2009. My wife and I watched at home as they streamed this resolution live on the Internet. I'll never forget my wife bursting into tears as she watched on the Internet the honorable A.C. Soud slowly reading that resolution like some sort of criminal indictment, and watching as our former friends stood and ratified it. They even proudly displayed their "Deacons Resolution 2009-1" on their church website using a corner hyperlink banner. Their resolution condemned my actions in particular, and condemned "unjust criticism" in general, and stated I left the church only after I was told they were taking my disciplinary case to the deacons. That was a flat-out lie uttered by the good judge A.C. Soud in his attempt to paint me as a coward. Soud and his band of holy men at FBC Jax conveniently left off the resolution that they had trespassed both me and my wife three months earlier, and THAT is why we left our church of 20 years.

But there is a strange irony in the actions of FBC Jax seeking to exercise their church discipline on a church member and his family who already left the church. It is amazing how God works. It was the church's pursuit of me through their disciplinary process in February 2009 - after we had already left FBC Jax - that led me to discover the subpoenas pulled by a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office detective who was himself an FBC Jax deacon and discipline committee member.

In their arrogant attempts to punish and humiliate me, they ended up disclosing the secret of what the JSO detective/discipline committee member had done to find my identity.

Soon after that the church was embarrassed on the front page of the newspaper for "teaming up" with the sheriff's office in outing a blogger and subpoenaing two other critical church blogs when it was discovered that the investigating officer was a church member and employee of the church. And to top it all off, when the pastor was interviewed by our paper's religion writer for the story, he made false, slanderous statements about my mental health that were published in the paper and he then ratified them in front of the congregation the following Sunday. He claimed that what he did he did out of duty to the "resurrected Jesus Christ" in protecting the flock.

So go ahead, pastors. Pursue critical church members before they leave, pursue them after they leave.

But whatever you do, don't use police detectives in your congregation to pull subpoenas to investigate your critics, and please pastors - don't issue slanderous statements about the mental health of the people you are "lovingly" trying to discipline.

Monday, February 13, 2012

"Tithing on Trial" - Excellent Series at "Church Tithing & Stewardship Report" Blog

"This [the tithing doctrine] is the big daddy. This is their sacred cow. This is the beating heart of their evil empire. The crown jewel. The Death Star. The one ring to bill them all. The pot of gold. Their matrix (into which they want to plug you). Their Wizard of Oz. Their magic spell. Their special power. Their secret recipe with the eleven herbs and spices. Their Golden Goose. The very air upon which they breathe!

Question this doctrine and watch these money hungry pastors bare their fangs. This is a teaching that they will bear no compromise on. Tithing, or at least their own version of tithing, is their one true love." Mark Vrankovich of Cultwatch
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Readers - I am going to be writing a few articles again on tithing to bring to your attention the continued false teaching, and outright spiritually abusive comments made by pastors in the pulpit to their congregation regarding personal finances. It ranges all the way from the emergent churches, into what were once the most theologically reliable SBC mega churches.

I want to start off by first directing your attention to a blog entitled "Church Tithing & Stewardship Report" and a new series there entitled "Tithing on Trial". So far the author has posted three articles in this series with more to come - the latest one addressing the misuse of Matthew 23:23 that many preachers use today, claiming this text proves Jesus affirmed tithing as applicable to Christians.

The author of this blog goes by the name "Jared", and his profile says he lives here in Jacksonville! I don't know his identity and have never communicated with him (at least I don't think I have!), but he has an excellent website on the subject of tithing. Jared is a born again Christian, a layman, and best of all, he is not ordained - making him particularly qualified to speak on this topic - and I'm only half joking when I say that.

It is absolutely amazing to see preachers like Mac Brunson and Steve Gaines continue to use the once great pulpits of FBC Jax and Bellevue Baptist to put forth false and harmful doctrines regarding people's finances. They claim to be teaching what their predecessors' taught, but that is not true. We might expect it from the Perry Nobles and Robert Morris' of the church world, but when those same doctrines creep into the influential SBC churches, it is a sad day indeed. But as Mark Vrankovich says in the quote at the top, this tithing doctrine is the pastors' "pot of gold". Apparently they don't trust their God enough to preach the truth of the Bible with regard to finances.

So look for some upcoming articles along with accompanying videos on tithing - including a shocking sermon delivered by Charles Stanley - and in the mean time go to Jared's site and reach his first three articles:


And also, you might find this article on Frances Chan's view on tithing very interesting as well.

Thanks, Jared, and keep up the good work.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Unbelievable! Gilyard's Church is Now Asking Court to Allow Minors in the Church When Gilyard Preaches!

This is totally unbelievable. I can't believe this is happening in our city of Jacksonville, Florida.

As Jeff Brumley reported this afternoon, the church that hired Darrell Gilyard, the man convicted of sex crimes against young girls, is seeking to have our court system allow minors in the church sanctuary when Gilyard preaches.

Thank God the judge has denied the request for now - but his final decision is based on a psychological evaluation that he has not yet received. So it is possible that Gilyard will once again get access to the minds and hearts of potential victims within the walls of the church just like he did over and over again at multiple churches in Florida and Texas.

Does the court realize how these sexual predator/preachers gain the trust of their victims and their parents? Gilyard's victims over the years were women and girls that he spiritually abused FIRST through his church contact with them from the pulpit, using his pastoral authority to ultimately abuse them sexually.

Spiritual abusers take the authority given to them as gospel ministers that is to be used to help people grow closer to God, and they pervert that authority into power used to lord over people, to coerce, manipulate, and swindle them in order to punish, or to convince them to do what the spiritual abuser wants them to do under the auspices of it being "God's will".

This is how sexual deviants like Gilyard operate in churches. Gilyard needs access to the hearts and minds of young women, wives, and little girls to gain their trust and establish his "spiritual authority" over them as the "man of God". Then, it is only a matter of time until Gilyard will misuse this authority, gain the trust of the most gullible, and then ultimately use his power to get women to do the sexual favors that he desires.

We see the same pattern all over modern Christianity. We see it in the Roman Catholic Church. We saw it over at Trinity Baptist Church where Bob Gray gained the trust of parents and little boys and girls so he could do his deeds.

The problem we usually have to deal with is finding the predators, and then getting the predators' church authority to take action. At Trinity, it was covered up and the abuse went on and on.

But in this case we KNOW Gilyard is a predator. We KNOW of his repeated sexual misconduct here in Jax and in Texas and Oklahoma.

And now Gilyard and his church wants the court to sanction a new beginning of abuse of boys and girls and women in our city.

Shame on Christ Tabernacle Baptist Church and Darrell Gilyard.

Judge Kevin Blazs, please do the right thing and refuse their motion to grant Gilyard access to the hearts and minds of minors. And judge, please don't just rely on the testimony of a psychological evaluation - rely on Gilyard's track record of decades of spiritual and sexual abuse in churches to guide you in your decision.

And thank you, Jeff Brumley and the Times Union, for staying on top of this story.

Evangelicals' Resistance to Mormon President Irrational, But Not Surprising - Just a Repeat of 1960 Criswell JFK Fear-Mongering

"....the fact that Mitt Romney is a Mormon doesn’t bother me. I think when we are voting for president we need to get the person who is absolutely the most qualified. ...You want somebody who understands Washington, who understands government, who understands how to bring people together so that we can move this country forward. Mitt Romney is a very capable fellow..." Franklin Graham 12/19/11

"Do we want a candidate who is a good, moral person? Or do we want a candidate who is a born again follower of Jesus Christ?" Robert Jeffress 10/7/11
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I have no problem voting for a Mormon for president. None whatsoever. I'll take a Mormon Mitt Romney any day, over a Southern Baptist Bill Clinton, Al Gore, or Jimmy Carter.

I am shocked when evangelical Christians tell me they would never, ever, vote for a Mormon for president, no matter his qualifications, and that it would be un-Christian for me to vote for Mitt Romney.

But the good news is that the vast majority of evangelicals don't find Romney's faith to be a barrier in voting for him, as reported in the Christian Post last week. Romney will probably be the Republican nominee, and I predict there are enough fear-mongering Christians who will not vote for Romney that will ensure Barrack Obama's re-election this November.

No doubt there will be evangelical preachers who will raise the issue of Romney's Mormonism during this election just as FBC Dallas' Robert Jeffress did last fall during the primaries. When it happens, Baptists would do well to look at the past foolishness of Jeffress' predecessor at FBC Dallals, W.A. Criswell, who tried to lead the charge against JFK's 1960 candidacy using similar fear-mongering over JFK's Catholic faith.

As chronicled by Joe Early, Jr. in this article, Criswell preached a sermon on July 3, 1960 entitled "Religious Freedom, the Church, State, and Senator Kennedy". In this sermon, Criswell made three ridiculous assertions about Kennedy:

1. The Influence of the Roman Catholic Church on the U.S. Government: Criswell actually tried to get his peeps to believe that a JFK presidency would result in the RCC being favored by the federal government, while other faiths would merely be tolerated.

2. RCC Held Power Over Its Members in Political and Spiritual Matters: Criswell actually said that the RCC "has full power of true jurisdiction over all the faithful and hence has the duty and the right to guide, direct, and correct them on the plane of action and ideas..." This is particularly funny today, as in 2012 who tries to exert more influence on the thinking and behavior of their members - the RCC or the Southern Baptists?

3. Kennedy Would Allow the Pope to Intervene in State Affairs: Criswell made the argument that a JFK victory would open the door for another Catholic later to grant the RCC an ambassador, and possibly RCC schools to receive state support.

Kennedy did his best to overcome the Criswell fear-mongering in his speech to the Houston Ministerial Association on September 12, 1960 with Criswell in attendance. Said Kennedy:

"I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute - where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote...and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him."

This did nothing to convince the hard-headed Criswell, who when asked about the speech said that Kennedy "was either lying or a bad Catholic", and the declared that all 40 million American Catholics should be barred from running for president. Criswell also stated that his church members at FBC Dallas supported him in this belief.

So Baptists, let's cast our vote for president based on the man's track record in governance, his integrity, and his policies - but certainly not on his faith.

And when you hear one of the pious evangelical preacher men later this year warning you about the threat of a Mormon presidency - think "W.A. Criswell"....and just laugh and shake your head.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sorry Eddie, Paula White Beat You to the Punch - She Was Wrapped in the Scroll First by the Same Jewish Man!



Sorry, Eddie Long, you weren't the first preacher to be wrapped in a sacred Jewish scroll. Paula White beat you to the punch.

Readers, thought you might like to see this old video footage from DayStar Network of Paula White being wrapped in the scroll by the same Jewish man that wrapped Eddie Long in the scroll a few weeks ago.

Notice this occurred on the "DayStar" network - the same network that Robert Jeffress, Jack Graham, Charles Stanley, and Ed Young Sr. currently broadcast their TV shows on. And on DayStar these SBC'ers are joined by such theological giants as Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, Bennie Hinn, and Joyce Meyer.

It is just priceless to watch Paula act emotional, and wipe away a tear exclaiming "Shew!! Woo!" as she just can't believe the magnitude of what is happening to her.

Love the comment that the Jewish man makes: "He says [God] 'You're so sacred to the body of Christ, I'm wrapping you in the Word of God'."

Yes, Paula is so sacred to the body of Christ.

Further proof that these people are nothing more than actors and performers: like Eddie Long Paula was able to keep a straight face through it all and not burst out laughing.

Southern Baptists, when can we start doing something like this to our mega church pastors?
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H/T: Friend on Facebook, and Pimp Preacher

Monday, February 6, 2012

Second Lawsuit Discovery Process Began Today

Back in 2009 I pledged to keep my readers informed of the lawsuits that came from the 2008 Jacksonville Sheriff's Office investigation of my blog.

Today I am giving a long overdue update.

As my long-time readers know, back in the fall of 2008 a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office detective opened an investigation to find the identify of the FBC Jax Watchdog blogger. The detective - who happened to also be an FBCJ member, employee, deacon, and discipline committee member, issued subpoenas to Google, Inc. and Comcast to obtain my name. He never conducted a legitimate investigation, testifying he interviewed no one, and handed my name to the FBC Jax church administrator John Blount, and then promptly closed the investigation at Blount's request.

Once the FBC Jax holy men had my name, they commenced the disciplinary process established in their bylaw changes of December 2007, issuing trespass warnings to me and my wife and demanding a meeting before their disciplinary tribunal. No meeting took place, and a deacon's resolution was passed in February 2009 condemning "unjust criticism" on the Internet. Judge A.C. Soud read the resolution, and the congregation stood and confirmed it.

They thought that was the end of the matter. Blogger gone, resolution passed, and not a soul would find out what the detective/discipline committee member had done to find my identity.

But in April 2009, religion Times Union reporter Jeff Brumley was reading my blog and saw the trespass warnings I had posted, and he ultimately discovered my name from JSO records. He interviewed me and church and city officials and wrote a news article about the investigation which appeared on the Times Union front page on April 9, 2009.

The actions of the detective resulted in a federal first amendment lawsuit that was settled at mediation in the fall of 2010, with a cash settlement and the sheriff's office agreeing to train their detectives on first amendment implications of investigative subpoenas. As a part of the settlement we were given a face-to-face meeting with our sheriff to voice our concerns over the actions of the FBC Jax detective, and we were assured steps would be taken to ensure that this would not happen again. Probably the biggest victory for us came months before, in April 2010, when federal judge Marcia Morales Howard affirmed the first amendment protection of anonymous speech in denying the defense's motion to dismiss.

But there was a second lawsuit we filed in 2009, which had to do with the statements made by Mac Brunson, our former pastor, that were printed in the April 2009 front page news story about the detective's investigation into our blog.

Now in February 2012, the discovery process in this 2nd lawsuit is underway. The first depositions were taken this morning - Mac Brunson and John Blount - with more to come in the next month. My deposition will be taken the first part of March. There is an important hearing regarding a motion for summary judgment and another regarding punitive damages, sometime at the end of March, with the trial scheduled in the spring or early summer.

We learned from the first lawsuit that the discovery process can be very painful and draining. We expect this second lawsuit process to be no different. And from the testimony given this morning by Mac Brunson and John Blount, we know we're in for a hard, ugly fight as the pastor and the church defend his awful statements about me made in the paper, but we are committed to seeing this through to the end.

And when it is all over, I fully intend to write about the depositions and discovery and the upcoming trial to give my readers a behind-the-scenes look at church legal tactics in defending the indefensible. I will do my best to keep my readers informed of progress during the discovery period and the coming trial.

In the meantime, as I wrote back in 2010:

I am committed to continuing writing my views on this blog, regarding matters at FBC Jax and evangelical Christianity, unabated and not intimidated, and with the aid of my lawyer I will continue the fight in this lawsuit.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

"Preaching Pedophile": Darrell Gilyard is Back in Pulpit - His Church Agrees to Ban Minors from Worship So Adults Can Hear the Sex Offender Preach!

“It was refreshing and invigorating." Darrell Gilyard describing how it felt to preach again after being released from jail as a registered sex offender.
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Unbelievably, Darrell Gilyard is back preaching at a Baptist church in Jacksonville. Read Jeff Brumley's article here at the Times Union website.

Mark it down, Gilyard, the slick preacher who for years and years was able to fool churches into hiring him as a "man of God", allowing him to seduce the women of his churches into having sex with him, is going to have another shot at another church and more women.

As hard as it is to believe, another church has fallen for the Gilyard charisma. This time it is Christ Tabernacle Baptist Church on the north side of Jacksonville. Of course to keep Gilyard from violating the conditions of his parole the church has barred minors from attending the church services, and Gilyard can't do any marriage counseling; at least not that Gilyard's parole officer will know.

Not a bad choice of churches for a man who likes to seduce young women. Christ Tabernacle Baptist Church is nestled in between two public schools with plenty of young girls: the Stanton College Preparatory School about 1/4 mile to the west, and the Andrew Robinson Elementary School 1/4 mile to the east.


Parents who have kids at these schools, hide your children. Husbands, hide your wives, Darrell Gilyard is in your neighborhood. He carries a bible, speaks of Jesus and love, but at virtually every every church he has been at he has seduced women into having sex with the "man of God".

How can a convicted, registered sex offender be hired to preach at a location in close proximity to an elementary and high school? Is not the state of Florida going to protect boys and girls from this predator?

If you are shocked that Gilyard's parole officer has approved this work arrangement for Gilyard, contact the Florida Department of Corrections parole office here. Parents who have kids at Stanton Prep and at Andrew Robinson Elementary, contact Duval County Public Schools here.

What is going on in Christianity? Eddie Long, just a year after he settles a case with the men who accused him of grooming them for homosexual sex, was ordained recently as a "king" in his church and is paraded around the congregation lifted up on a throne.

Will anybody involved in promoting Gilyard in the past come out and speak against this atrocity of Gilyard preaching again, and taking a job at a church so close to two public schools?

Jerry Vines, Paige Patterson, will you finally speak up and speak out publicly against this charleton going back to preaching?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Perry Noble's First Fruits Tithing Lesson: "Parable of the Greedy Christian and His Disappearing Skittles"

A picture is worth a thousand words.

On January 8th, Perry Noble of NewSpring Church gave yet another tithing sermon to tell people they need to start 2012 off on the right foot by committing to give 10% of their money to his church so they will enable God to pour out financial blessings this year.

After teaching them about how the "storehouse" in Malachi 3:10 really is today's church, and when God says "food in my house" he really means "cash money given to the church", Perry gave them an illustration of his tithing doctrine using Skittles.

There was some truth mixed in with his parable. Perry taught them that the OT tithe is "10%" (which is false, it is 23 1/3%), but he was right that 10% is equal to 1/10, and that 10% of $1000 is $100. Perry forgot to teach them that 10% is also equal to 0.1 in decimal form, or that to convert from percent to decimal you move the decimal two places and drop the "%" sign. But at least a partial math lesson involving percentages was taught.

Just as illustrations and parables and analogies are helpful to people seeing and understanding truth, perhaps people seeing silly and illogical illustrations like this might wake them up that they are being bamboozled. OK, maybe not. Ed Young used Kit Kat bars last year in his tithing illustration. Mac Brunson used an illustration back in 2010 using 10 church members on stage holding dollar bills to teach them what 10% was, and to visually show that "little one little tenth" that God requires.

In the parable of the "Greedy Christian and His Disappearing Skittles", Perry shows how the key to getting God to give you overflowing Skittles (money) is to be sure and give the first 10% of your Skittles (money) to your nearest 501c(3) church.

As you watch the parable, remember: "skittles" = "cash money".

Enjoy.



Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Prepare Ye the Way of the Cult: Eddie Long is Literally Annointed, Lifted High, and Worshipped as King

When the supposedly Jewish man visiting Eddie Long's church this weekend presented a supposedly 300-year old Jewish scroll to the congregation, and proclaimed: "Now I'm gonna pull the foreskin off of this..." I knew things were only going to go downhill from there.

After the "foreskin" was removed from the scroll and it (the scroll) was stretched out for all to see, this Jewish speaker and the New Missionary Baptist Church proceeded to do something that even the cast of Saturday Night Live would not dare to parody: they dubbed Eddie Long as a king and a prophet, and literally lifted him high and paraded him on his throne before the congregation as the anointed one.

Readers, I'm not kidding. You can watch the video below, and things get really interesting about 5 minutes into it.

Here are some excerpts from the video, of the Jewish man speaking the annointing over Eddie Long.

As they literally wrapped Eddie in the uncircumcised scroll, the Jew says:

"He is wrapped in the word of God. He's sealed by the blood of Messiah. He is sealed to come out with a new anointing. The kingship within him, the power within him, is going to come out. It doesn't matter where you go, no matter how you try to attack him, you can't attack him, he's sealed, wherever he walks, wherever he turns, the power of God is in him. As we open this up, every ambassador, every king, this is done to every king. Open it up, he is hidden in the word of God."

Then, they peeled back the scroll, Eddie is seated on a chair, and the Jewish man continues:

"He is now seated in a position of power and authority. He is given within him a belt. On one side is justice, and the other is blessing. He now is given the constitution of God as a king. I give this to you. bishop as a sign of covenant, as a sign of release, as my sign of love for you."

Then, four men come forward representing the four corners of the earth grab the four legs of the chair and lift him high in the hear and parade him around the platform to the screams and applause of the congregation.

The Jewish man continues the nonsense:

"He now is raised up from a commoner to a kingship...now walk him around. Come on! Come on, praise God! He is no longer a commoner, he's not on the earth, he's raise from earth to a heavenly realm. He's raised in a prophetic position. He's released by God. He's breaking pagan traditions...he's releasing Atlanta, Georgia. It's not him, it's the king in him."

They then all break into song, chanting: "Prepare ye the way of the Lord." I think they meant "Prepare ye the way, of the Cult."

I'm not kidding, this really happened.

What was this all about? Easy. It was about Eddie Long getting a fresh new start as the big cheese at his church. Here are the concluding remarks of the Jewish man:

"Praise God! I can't hear ya! We've got a new wind, a new anointing, a new start, a new kingdom....this is the word for Atlanta, sing it again....'prepare ye the way, prepare ye the way of the Lord'...come on church...it's a new start, it's a new birth, it's a new birth, it's a new birth! Your name has never meant more than this moment. God gave the name of this church 'New Birth' for such a time as this."

I know what you're saying: this is extreme, this is ridiculous, this would never happen at MY mega church. Well, to that I would say that this video shows just what depths a church can sink to, just how great people's thinking processes can erode, when they subject themselves to the teachings of a "man of God", a rock star preacher who twists the bible and convinces them that it says things it does not say.

Thank you, Eddie Long and unnamed Jewish anoint-er, for showing us just how low our religion can go when we follow men who use the bible for their own gain and personal gratification - and who have a fascination with Old Testament rituals and laws.

Prepare ye the way, prepare ye the way of the Cult.