As readers of this blog know by now, Mac Brunson has successfully modified our church bylaws to form a discipline committee with well-defined responsibilities in the church. The verbal vote was taken on November 28, 2007, and was approved by an overwhelming majority. The bylaw changes included other signficiant changes to our church governance, including changes to expenditure authorizations, how committee appointments are made, and how member disputes are resolved through mediation. Apparently no one in the church is raising a stink about how these changes were ramrodded through...but the Watchdog will not let it go.
All of this was done with not a single word of explanation by the pastor. Not one single word of explanation. Not during the weeks leading up to the vote. Not at the business meeting before the vote. Not in the three weeks since the vote. He never felt the need to tell the congregation what they were voting on. He's never explained why now he feels the need to at this time to create the discipline committee. Not one word about how the committee will operate. Not one word about how the members are selected. And apparently not one single member of the church board of trustees who recommend the changes along with the pastor saw anything wrong with bringing this for a vote before the church with not a word of explanation. Certainly Dave Bristowe, the chairman of the deacons and president of the board of trustees had no problem asking for a vote when he had to know hardly anyone he was standing in front of, asking for a vote, had a clue what they were voting on. Unbelievable. Maybe worse than all of this: apparently very few in the church, except for a scant handful of recalcitrant bloggers, even care that this has happened.
One would think that a caring, humble pastor would explain to their congregation how such a committee would be used by God to lovingly, compassionately restore a wayward member according Matthew 18. A loving pastor would first explain the process of Matthew 18 which starts with a brother first going to the brother, followed by two or three, then as a very last resort bringing the brother before the church. Nothing of the sort from this pastor. In fact, the only mention of Matthew 18 church discipline we've received from Mac Brunson since the November 28th vote was a very careless description of church discipline as being the act of bringing a brother before the church! He doesn't mention that this is a third step in the process.
So here's the sequence of events:
1. 11/28/07: Church bylaws changed adding church discipline committee during business meeting.
2. 12/2/07: (very next sermon after the vote). Mac angrily accuses those who are against change in the church as being "comfortable in their sin and in their compromise".
3. 12/12/07: In a sermon where Mac is preaching against the sin of a "judgemental and critical spirit", Mac gives a very stern, unloving warning, and scripturally careless explanation that church discipline includes bringing a member before the church - CLICK HERE. I use the word "warning" as he had a pregnant pause followed by three quick finger taps on his pulpit with a look of "what do you think about THAT" (those that have sat under Mac Brunson know what I'm talking about). I say "scripturally careless" because he quotes Matthew 18:17 without quoting or explaining Matthew 18:15-16. So the man creates a church discipline committee, and two weeks later instead of EXPLAINING FROM SCRIPTURE what the process is, he instead warns his congregation that "church discipline" means that someone might be brought before the church with their sin - all of this in a sermon addressing those with a critical and judgemental spirit. Wow. Indeed, are we not getting tired of the Mac Brunson Show?
Questions for you out of town pastors who read this blog and are considering coming to the pastor's conference: would you ever dream up such a scheme and pull this stunt at your church? Would you ever ask for a vote on creating a "church discipline committee" in your bylaws without first clearly and lovingly explaining this to the people you are sheparding? Apparently Mac Brunson, who is hosting the 2008 FBC Jax Pastor's Conference with the theme of "Team Building" sees no problem with it. Perhaps in one of his "Premium Sessions" at the conference he'll address this topic: "how to get your bylaws changed to create a church discipline committee and give yourself more power in the church with hardly anyone in the church knowing you've done it!" Definitely it is a new chapter that he can put in his Pastor's Guidebook.
Finally, at the risk of being accused of "living in the past"....or "worshipping previous pastors"...here is an example of how Dr. Adrian Rogers created a church discipline committee. Nothing under the table. No asking for a vote from his church with no explanation of what, why, how. No warnings that people will be brought before the church in his sermons. It was a clearly worded resolution that came before the church for a vote, so that the people - get this - KNEW WHAT THEY WERE VOTING ON.
Bellevue Baptist Resolution Creating "Church Discipline Council" - dated 6/11/97
Where is the leadership of our pastor on this important issue? When will he apologize for the manner in which he ramrodded these bylaw changes through? When will he take the time to lovingly explain the need for the church discipline committee, how it will operate, and how members are selected? When will he properly explain the Matthew 18 church discipline process in a loving way and not in a threatening way as though he is ready to bring some people before the church?
I'm not holding my breath for any of this to happen.
Just expecting more of the same.
Is there still no place besides the church office where one can read exactly what the by-laws now state concerning discipline?
I hear you guys talking about these changes but have yet to see exactly what they are.
An out of town pastor who will not be coming to the conference
The formation of a discipline committee, by itself, is not new or troubling. What is scary is that the pastor continues to operate like a bull in a china shop and obviously needs no openness, no transparency, and no tactfulness to get the lay leaders to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants.
You would think this Pastor would want to be above reproach in every way. He should have copies handed out to whoever wants them. Or a stack of them in the library to take, or post them on the website.
Oh well, you get what you pay for. And we paid for a very high level CEO.
"Team Building" how ironic. This man dismantled the very successful team that was here. I can't imagine why any church would pay to send their pastor to FBC Jax anymore. All the veteran, experienced, successful leaders are gone. FBC Jax should be sending their staffs to other churches for training.
"Just say NO" to "Doc" and "Honey."
You're a deceiving scoundrel. You conveniently omit the fact that the bylaw changes were announced in the church bulletin for three weeks in a row, and it was announced any member if they wished could view the proposed changes in the church library. So every single person who came to the church on Sunday mornings for three weeks in a row was made aware of the changes and had ample opportunity to view them. They also had an opportunity to submit written questions on the changes.
If the members chose not to make their way to the library to view them prior to the vote but instead chose to rely on the judgement of the deacons who DID review the changes and unanimously approve them, then I see nothing wrong with this at all. Our church has a history of allowing lay leaders make decisions that are simply voted on yeah or nay by the church body at the next business meeting.
Try giving all the facts next time you try to smear our church and our pastor.
Excuse me sir, that's "dirty rotten scoundrle" to you...
No, I haven't ignored that. I've acknowledged here on the blog numerous times that the bylaw changes were posted in the library.
You can't seriously be saying that this is the way to get the word out to the church on very significant changes to the bylaws. Afterall, as reported here by one of the church members, only about 80 people signed their name to view the changes.
Putting them in the library to be signed for and checked out what you do if you want to MINIMIZE distribution of the bylaw changes - probably the idea of some lawyer in a lay leadership position.
The point of my post is that the pastor, as the leader of the congregation has a responsibility to explain these things to the church! Besides, bylaws are not always easy to read for all members, and you can't expect all members to go over to the library and line up to read and interpret the changes!
It was a sad, sad, lack of leadership. If in addition to posting them in the library Mac had chosen to explain the changes to his congregation, that would have been OK. But for him to be completely silent on the bylaw changes demonstrates poor leadership on his part.
Not sure if this went through:
It is amazing to me that no matter how frustrated or disappointed or concerned the Watchdog or the bloggers here are, they never use profanity, they never call the pastor names, and certainly never call anyone who supports the pastor, or asks questions of the bloggers any names. Yet, anon 4:21 calls you a "deceiving scoundrel" that is trying to "smear" the pastor. That in itself is why this blog is needed so badly. What an ugly way to dialogue with fellow church members.
How is showing concern about the way the by-law changes were handled "smearing" the pastor. If the shoe fits...
Watchdog - I agree with you. By allowing the by-laws to be signed out, but not copied or taken from the libray, "technically" it meets the requirement of allowing everyone to be informed of the changes before the vote. However, in reality, everyone knows that is just legal manipulation. Why, oh why, did our pastor and deacons do it this way? They may as well charged a fee to see them, or posted them on a wall in Miami. Technically, you could drive to Miami and read them. And it is eerie how the name calling anon says we should just trust that our deacons did in fact read them, and understand them, and that is all we need to know to vote yes. As far as we know, one or two drafted the changes, no deacons read them, and none dared oppose them or risk being asked to leave.
But the logic is good. After all, we did elect Bill Clinton under the laws of the land with a fair vote, right. So we should never question him either according to his supporters. Scary thinking by some members in a local church, indeed. But how do you think Jim Jones and David Koresh and thousands of others were able to persuade and convince people to follow them?
Here's the Brunson Christmas card.
Notice anything odd?
Me thinks thou dost protest too much. Have you ever heard the story of the boy who cried wolf? Are you sure you're raising "serious issues" or just ranting and raving over everything you don't understand? Right, right...you've asked questions that haven't been answered. Well, why don't you march into the Pastor's office and ask them. Oh, that's right...you think this is more effective. How many answers has that gotten you? And with as much fuss as you have declared on this website don't you think by now people in the higher ups have checked and double checked everything Dr. Brunson has done and is doing now? And yet you hear of nothing he has done wrong. Odd.
Yes, it is odd that members of his family that are not even members of our church are wishing us Merry Christmas. A card from Mac and Debbie would be fine. In the Pastor's conference welcome web page, it is just Mac and Debbie, welcoming conference attendees not the entire extended family.
It is also odd that the names Mac and Debbie use are "Doc" and "Honey" isn't it?
And finally, are they trying to be cute by comparing the grandson to Jesus? Christmas is about the birth of a blessing baby alright, but the position of the grandson in a "manger" of feathers, looks an awful lot like we see the baby Jesus depicted. And why have everyone in black and white except the baby?
Odd card indeed. Kind of creepy/eerie to me.
Anon - I'm not following you at all.
"And with as much fuss as you have declared on this website don't you think by now people in the higher ups have checked and double checked everything Dr. Brunson has done and is doing now? And yet you hear of nothing he has done wrong. Odd."
I don't mean to be offensive...but you're not even thinking logically. I'm not asking people to look into Mac Brunson and find something wrong.
I'm pointing out things that ARE wrong - like changing the bylaws and not explaining it to the congregation. - no "higher ups" need to look into that...in fact, the "higher ups" (as in the board of trustees and the deacons) are a party to the offense - someone there needs to hold the pastor accountable (perhaps the president of the board of trustees).
I'm not asking anyone to look into the $300,000 land deal. Its there for everyone to see on the coj.net website. I AM asking for an explanation from the pastor himself.
I don't "march" into the pastor's office because he doesn't owe me personally an explanation. He owe's his congregation an answer. But maybe you could march in, and then post his answer here.
"The boy that cried wolf." Yes I'm familiar with that. Can you explain the relevance?
Let me ask you. Are you familiar with the fairy tale "The Emporer's New Clothes"? I think that is much more applicable. This fairy tale is a methaphor on "groupthink" where members of a group feel pressure to agree with the majority rather than going against the majority and believing what they should know to be true. They willingly participate in "collective ignorance" in the face of obvious facts.
Get the picture?
Thank You! I could not have said what you did any better. Watchdog must be really hung up on this discipline committee. He also said that Mac Brunson does not know how to teach the Word of God. Do you have a Ph.D in Theology Watchdog? Didn't think so. This post did not suprise me. Watchdog has criticized the bylaw changes and discipline committee formation for quite a while. He must not able to find too much that he disagrees with or else there would be many more issues posted here instead of the same thing over and over again. Anon, I agree with you on the point of higher administration checking the pastors decisions. Watchdog you know people in the administration have read and read this blog. I mean come on, your blog has made itself into internet articles and other forums alike. So do you not think that the administration has thought about the actions and decisions the pastor has made? I'm sure they have and I have not heard or seen any evidence of disapproval on Mac's part from the administration. I thought you did a really good job with Pastor Carr's discussion. What happened to the positive, uplifting christian blogger spirit?
You want to talk logic, let's talk. Not every church is perfect, I think you understand this. This is because ordinary, imperfect people make up the church including the pastor. So...from what I read on your blog, you expect the pastor to be absolutely perfect in the way he leads our church. Our pastor is not perfect. He will not always make the right decisions. So you can't expect him too. But for some reason, you think a pastor has to be perfect. If you know so much about church leadership, why don't you become a pastor and start your own church and show us how to correctly lead a church.
rob p., since when does having a PhD have ANYTHING to do with preaching the Word of God? I don't think Paul had a PhD (correct me if I'm wrong). A PhD means he took a bunch of classes on biblical stuff and passed. It doesn't mean he can preach, and it certainly doesn't mean that people without a PhD are not allowed to point out errors. (Don't get me wrong, I'm not at all saying Dr. Brunson can't preach, he can)
I was told, by a very reliable source, that the reason they do not distribute the bylaws before or after the meetings is that the Administration is concerned, that someone, who does not have the best interest in the Church, will make changes to the document and then distribute it out causing undue panic by Church Members who have bogus bylaws.
Just thought the forum would be interested in the thought behind the decision to not pass out the bylaws.
But, why couldn't they be sent out via e-mail in a protected document that could not be altered?
I guess they didn't think of that.
When you state:
One would think that a caring, humble pastor would explain to their congregation how such a committee would be used by God to lovingly, compassionately restore a wayward member according Matthew 18. A loving pastor would first explain the process of Matthew 18 which starts with a brother first going to the brother, followed by two or three, then as a very last resort bringing the brother before the church.
You know this is not speaking directly to pastors but to all Christians. Can we be assured you have done to Dr. Brunson what you ask of Dr. Brunson?
If not, don't you find it hypocritical to demand of others to follow scripture when you have not and probably will not?
Of course you can and will continue to cry foul behind the mask of anonymity. For good reason you say. Is it because you fear man more than God? Is it because you fear the discipline committee? Is it because you know you really do nothing more than blow smoke and incite a few followers to remain angry.
Speak out and if by God';s leadership, why hide?
If you sent me a document protected, locked and secure. I could make the desired changes to alter such a document. Even if going to the trouble of retyping everything to make it say what I want.
I have a really novel, and awesome idea. WHY DON'T YOU LEAVE? If you don't like the guy, why don't you get up on Sunday and go to a different location with the word "church" on the door? You are obviously not happy there, so why don't you just leave?!
Personally, I can't stand First Baptist anymore but it has nothing to do with Dr. Brunson. It's the holier than thou attitude it's membership has and their refusal to do anything "new." Sing a more contemporary song (slow, boring, and orchestralized crap as it was) and people have a fit and members of the choir just stand there not singing!
Hey, newsflash, I still see you people on TV every so often, PEOPLE ARE LEAVING YOUR CHURCH LEFT AND RIGHT AND IT HAS BEEN GOING ON SINCE LONG BEFORE MAC BRUNSON ARRIVED! MAYBE YOU AND PEOPLE LIKE YOU ARE THE PROBLEM AND NOT HIM!
And oh, this is your personal blog but you refuse to reveal who you are, why? Are you afraid Dr. Brunson will send the mafia after you or are you just a coward who won't admit your real identity?
Since you do not attend the church, you would not receive the Wednesday prayer sheets. Unless you download them from our website. When we receive the financial statements every so often in the Wed. night prayer sheets, they include the names of new members who have joined our church for that month. It also states how many people are moving their letter to another church as well. The list of new members is larger in comparison to the letter requests and has been so for quite some while. So please don't claim that people are leaving. It's not accurate.
Paul - your advice that if we don't like something then we should leave is not new advice. I believe it was the second comment posted on the original FBC blog. (The first was: you are going to die of a heart attack or something for attacking God's man.)
I don't think we are called to leave anytime we disagree with something at our church. You may not understand this, sir, but our prior pastors actually taught the opposite. We were told to stick it out, stay faithful, and not go church hopping because of disagreements.
Plus, and this is very important, the pastor has not committed any illegal or immoral acts. If he had, thousands of us would have left immediately. This is what happened at Bellevue Baptist in Memphis. Their new pastor made many of the same arrogant "missteps" as Mac Brunson. However, their pastor allowed an admitted pedophile to remain on staff with his secret kept safe, and actually allowed the man...get this...to continue counseling sexual abuse victims after Gaines knew that the man had confessed to sexually molesting his own son many years before! The membership left in droves. You see, Mac has not done anything like that, so we are not leaving in mass numbers. We just want to follow him and love him, but we see several things that concern us that he absolutely refuses to address, and instead of being more open and loving and honest with his congregation, he seems to be more secret, more arrogant, and more rude and unloving. And since he continues to operate this way (the mostly secret bylaw changes and discipline committee being the latest examples) we keep blogging. The building of the school will be the next big issue, unless the pastor steps up his attempts to silence dissenters.
I hope this helps explain the issues here to you and to others who have only recently found this blog. We will not "just leave" and we do not expect the pastor to be perfect. I mean, no one is questioning Jim Whitmire's salary, or where he lives or anything else about him. Why? Because Jim has come here as a humble man who came in lovingly and walks close with the Lord. We're not hearing Paige Patterson ask for prayer for Jim because of recalcitrants in Jacksonville and whining that Jim didn't get a "honeymoon", we're not seeing a mass exodus of music staff, he hasn't hired his wife and son on staff, he's not complaining about emails, etc. IF anyone had any questions or concerns, Jim's leadership style and demeanor quickly defuse that. He is humbly serving and earning all of our love, respect and followship. Even if we don't agree with every song sung.
First, to Rob, I don't have to look at a Wednesday night prayer sheet (which I am very familiar with as a former member there) to look with my own two eyes at televised services on Sunday and see less and less people filling the rows. I am also not naive to this having been the case now for several years going back to well before I left. You can't tell me my eyes deceive me when it is something very obvious.
Now onto the main blogger, after I posted original comments I went and looked at a few previous blogs. One of them talked about Dr. Brunson having recently preached a sermon about FBC Jax "worshipping the past." Funny how you say the church as a whole is not doing so, because I have told my wife repeatedly that is one of the main reasons I cannot go back and have been saying it for the better part of 2 years now. So maybe it's time you and the church really take inventory of the things you say. No one wants the message of truth watered down. I don't, and nor would I attend anywhere that does. But the Sunday School classes do not deal with anything relevant, it's basically another expository sermon. No one is real and talks about REAL issues, real hurts, and real problems, and they don't because of the high and mighty attitude that has been presented to them (and me) time and time again. We were not there the first Sunday Dr. Brunson came, we came the next week and in Sunday School it wasn't about people who were saved the previous week, how many lives were changed, or anything else important. It was about "did you see those full parking garages? We told you this is the Lord's will!" There's more to it then that.
As far as your former pastors, again I am very familiar with both of them seeing as how I am a former member. Just because they say something doesn't make it right. You have a blog that is critical of seemingly every decision the pastor makes. If I had that much time on my hands to do such and felt I needed to, I would leave. It is not your responsibility to be a watchdog of the great and mighty First Baptist. You should be willing to serve in your local church which I assume you are, but if you are not being spiritually fed then you shouldn't be there. You help no one by doing that. I tried. And if you are here being critical of everything the man does, I cannot see how you can possibly be spiritually fed there.
Well said, Watchdog. And you have been way too kind toward your assessment of Mac Brunson. The man is an arrogant, pompous ass. He is like watching "amateur hour" in his trying to apply scripture to things it does not apply to. He will also try to say scripture does not really mean what it says, but the greek or context means something completely different. Yeah right. So without Mac, we can't be sure if the obvious words mean what they say or not. And we can't be sure if stuff seemingly unrelated actually does apply to something he wants it to. He often says, "this seems to be saying this, but let me tell you what I think Jesus was really saying here..."
Just watching him preach reminds me of those bobble head dolls. He is constantly swaggering around up there like some big bully. You really don't need to blog. As long as this guy gets up with a microphone, you can be sure he will say or do enough that thousands will see for themselves this man is bush league!
By the way, I am a long time reader, first time commenter. Please don't delete my post.
You are definitely not a first time commenter. This is the second time in which you have called Pastor Brunson a "pompous ass". We got that part, I really don't think you need to stoop that low and call him that not only once but twice. You say that Pastor Brunson does not know how to teach the doctrine in scripture. Can you better explain the Word of God? If so, I will be on here waiting for you to correct Pastor Brunson when he incorrectly interprets the Greek meaning of scripture.
If I may, maybe it's your own criticism that has deceived you and blinded you from the spriritual nurture that you could receive out of our church. Maybe that is why you are no longer a member at FBC. Our church is growing. Specifically the preschool department in particular. There are plans in development that are going to expand the preschool department in order to better meet the needs of young families in our church. This was brought up in a meeting on Wednesday night in our church. You may or may not have heard about this seeing how you are no longer a memeber. So our church is growing.
Rob - where have I ever called Mac a pompous ass before? Check your facts. Arrogant, yes. Pompous, maybe. But please, give me credit for being the first to call him a pompous ass. (That is a word used in the King James version, so it must be okay.)
I am not claiming to be a better speaker or preacher than Mac. That would be insane. He is a very gifted and talented speaker. No way I could out preach him and he knows it. That is not what I am trying to say. But, just listen to him twist scripture and toss out scripture out of context, to get some weak support for whatever topic he wants to talk about each Sunday. I don't have to be a theologian or expert in Greek or Hebrew to know when someone is trying to apply clear teaching where it doesn't apply and vice versa, not applying it where it clearly does apply. Listen closely. You will see much of this regarding the need for a school, giving more funds to the church, church discipline committees, and people who have concerns being sinners and divisive just because they don't agree with everything Mac is trying to pull off without proper explanation or leadership.
How is your blog going?
I've heard the last two sermons on the dangers of a "judgemental spirit".
1. I reject Mac's assertion that "judgementalism" is the biggest problem we face in churches and families these days. In fact, quite the opposite, the problem in our churches is a lack of DISCERNMENT of Christians between right and wrong and lack of ACCOUNTABILITY of the leaders. He says that one of the problems of our children in our church might be that they are growing up in judgemental homes...maybe that was the case in HIS home (let's let Wills take the mike), but I don't think the trend in homes today is to be too judgemental, its parents that are too permissive and parents who don't have enough DISCERNMENT in holding their kids to a very high standard. An example of how our biggest problems are not too much judgementalism: look at this disgusting article documenting how SBC leaders are seeking leniency for a convicted child molester. Oh, we don't want to be too judgemental of child molesters now do we?
2. The most judgementalism in our churches today is directed towards those who dare try to hold leaders accountable, or to find answers to important questions. See "Trinity Baptist Church" and "Bob Gray" and see "Mac Brunson's sudden interest in church discipline" and see "Wade Burleson and IMB censure".
3. If Mac views the blogging of his actions as "judgementalism", he is sadly mistaken and its another, ahem, lack of leadership on his part. He ought to know that as a public figure, as the leader of the one of THE largest churches in the SBC, that everyone of his actions would come under scrutiny, and he should welcome that scrutiny. Too bad he didn't think of that before he signed that deed buying the $300,000 land for $50 - he ought to know that would eventually come under scrutiny.
I'm told that at the service tonight biographies of the new church trustees were handed out in advance of the church voting for the trustees.
Too bad they couldn't print out copies or summaries of proposed bylaw changes in advance of that vote.
Here is the fact that your in denial about. It is under Watchdog's post entitled: "You Blew It Mac-No Deal on FBA(for now)
The man is a pompous ass.
I'll be glad to see the day when he leaves.
Today he has proclaimed that those who oppose him are backslidden, complacent, living in their sin.
Not with Mac on his changes, you are the enemy.
Not a loving pastor. A pompous ass who needs to get his way or he uses the pulpit to bash his opponents.
December 2, 2007 12:30 PM-"
Now if you can't even remember what you said, do you honestly think anybody here is going to think your opinion is credible or even worth considering? I know I don't.
Rob - please stop being the watchdog on the watchdog site. "Pompous ass" is a common term, so you don't know if its the same person or not so give it a rest. Don't start moving toward being a blog troll. If you have some serious, mature analysis and opinion to put here relative to the topic of this blog, then post it. Please don't make accusations against the other posters here.
Your telling me that calling a pastor a pompous ass is a mature, relevant analysis? You can't be serious....can you? There have been commenters who make accusations saying the pastor does not know how to teach doctrine. If this is a relevant accusation, then there must be a relevant solution. Make them teach us the proper way of preaching. You say I am making accusations? Show me where. This is a public blog.......ban me if you see a problem with my responses that aren't mature and relevant.
First let me say that the Brunson Christmas card is one weird thing. I'm not sure what they are trying to communicate but it one strange production. Maybe when we all get to Heaven we'll get an explanation.
I've been reading the blog posts today and folks, it sure seems like we are degenerating into the same type of blog as the anti-BBC blog. I sure hope that isn't the case. There's no need to call the pastor and/or anyone else the negative and derogatory names that are being tossed around.
Watchdog, if I were you, I would be preparing myself for a visit from the Discipline Committee. You are probably going to be "churched" in the very near future. No facts to support this thought--just a little word of wisdom for those who would hear and heed it.
Rob P - good research. I stand corrected. Another anon beat me to it. I didn't see that post. Allow me to be the second to discern that the man is a pompous ass.
I for one, agree with his doctrine. When has doctrine been discussed? I assume he believes in the virgin birth, the priesthood of the believer and the eternal security of the saved. I have no problem with his doctrine as far as I know. Although I would be interested in his doctrine concerning the Jews needing to be saved through Christ or not. And whether or not Catholics who are trusting in their works and the Catholic church or Mary to get them into heaven are saved or not.
Brady - sure, I wouldn't be surprised if a blogger is the first person subjected to "church discipline". I'm quite certain that Mac's interest in church discipline at this time (he's mentioned it about 4 sermons in a row) is not just a coincidence. He likely wants to silence dissenters (not just me, but all those emailers) who have made it tough going for Mac of late.
But I don't think they want to bring me before the church, or to bring before the church a motion to withdrawl the church membership of any dissenters, or to bar from church property any dissenters. This would only draw attention to the real issues raised here.
I have no interest in subjecting myself to their "discipline" as I don't view what I'm doing as sinful, although its very apparent that Mac views bloggers and those with "judgemental and critical spirits" as the single most urgent threat facing his church and his leadership so he needs to do something. Of course he does have an option of coming out and addressing the concerns raised publicly, openly, honestly, lovingly, and making an appeal to stop the blogging once he addresses the concerns. If he's made some errors in judgement if he admits it and/or corrects it, I'm certain he would release quite a few people in the membership who DO really want to love and follow their pastor...but they can't at this time until he addresses these issues.
I don't know if it was you or another anonymous poster but I just don't see why it is necessary to refer to a pastor in that manner. I'm sure there are some books written by Mac Brunson about the Jews and their culture and the history of the religion and so forth. The man seems to be filled with a knowledge of unbound history.
I agree with Paul regarding the non-relevance of Sunday School at FBC Jax. Being a working married mother, it was difficult to relate to those who truly believed there is no other place for a wife and mother but in the home. In my married couples Sunday School class, everyone acted as if thier marriages were perfect. No one argued, no one fought, and all disagreements were handled in a calm, Christian manner. While I'm sure that some people are able to handle minor disagreements in this way, this approach is completely irrelevant to what young couples face every day. Raising young children is not easy, but the attitude of FBC was "well, just be here every time the doors are open and your problems are solved". That's not true. On one given day a young couple with children deals with so many difficulties that the mere act of walking into a church door can not solve. I didn't need to go and sit and listen to yet another expository sermon in my Sunday School class. What young couples need is a Bible study relevant to today's issues led by someone who has a clue about what we deal with. FBC Jax falls tremendously short of just that. Because of this pompous arrogant attitude, a couple could really be hurting and their marriage really need help, but not say anything. For when you walk into an FBC Jax Sunday School class, it's like walking onto a used car lot--everyone is smiling ear to ear and there can't be any worries in this world. Until someone wakes up and smells the roses and that place becomes more relevant.... you really aren't truly going to reach young couples in Jacksonville or anywhere else for that matter.
Watchdog - if you, or any other bloggers are approached by the discipline committee simply for reading a blog or posting to it, then please post the information here. I know some good people who are standing by to assist you in making sure the discipline process is fair to any person who is being accused. Of course, we all are sinners, and as such, all of us could merit some discipline under that thinking. However, if anyone is arbitrarily singled out, and if it has anything to do with disagreeing with the powers to be, than they will be making a huge mistake and opening a pandora's box they will never to be able to close. Using the committee to intimidate and silence dissent will not be tolerated in our generation. Those of you who want to see mac leave, or at least the newspapers and TV news and Associated Baptist Press and others shine the light of public scrutiny on all that Team Brunson has done here, this discipline committee may be what you have been waiting on. It may be the vehicle we have waited for to get this discussion outside of a few concerned bloggers.
If Mac thinks times have changed and people are not home anymore, wait until he sees how these same people will react to being "disciplined" by a committee from the church. People don't like discipline of any kind. Particularly not from some yes men in the church doing the pastor's bidding. And if it is not for some significant sin like adultery, or drunkenness, or child abuse/molestation (all of which have occurred by prominent members in our church who were never disciplined), than you can bet the outrage will be huge. Those who buy Mac's books, attend his conferences and come to Jax for the Pastor's Conference, will want to learn from his mistakes.
I say bring it on. Let's get this started.
FBCJW - it looks like the rhetoric from the pulpit is getting hotter. And predictably, the tone of the blog has responded with more intense criticism.
It seems this pastor just can't make the right decision when it comes to dealing with ALL the members of his flock. I would feel sorry for him except I know he is paid well to handle this and that he subjected himself to all of this by his decision not to reply to anonymous emails. A simple, private dialogue via email would have likely defused any concerns. Not doing so was a huge mistake then, and he continues to do exactly the opposite of what would defuse the situation now. Poor guy. He could have been a great pastor here. With all of his gifts, it looks like his arrogance and pride will be his downfall. Let's watch and see.
One other observation. Have you noticed there has been no further discussion on the school and no vote on it moving forward? Perhaps he put everything on hold until he can silence any remaining dissenters? Just a thought? Let the Inquisition begin!
Watchdog: I agree, he took scripture on judgementalism and magnified that one issue as being the ONE HUGE issue that needs to be dealt with today. Listen to his sermon last night and Wed week. This judgementalism a terrible monster - wrecking homes, destroying careers, ruining children's lives, causing divorces, and on and on. Judgementalism as Jesus describes it is sin, but Mac failed to put it in its proper perspective along side the need for Christians to judge between that which is right and wrong - which is NOT "judgementalism", and failure to do that IS one of our biggest problems in society today...people in society and in churches failing to judge or shall we say discern between right and wrong.
Why does Mac do this? Easy answer there...because he is an egocentric. In his mind judgementalism is HIS biggest problem right now causing him problems he thinks, and if its HIS biggest problem then well, its THE biggest problem...and its serves HIS interests right now in making it a huge problem in the minds of his congregation. If he can paint it as THE problem today, then of course...we need to fix that problem...with a discipline committee of course!
The Christmas card...its just plain "odd"...black and white family members, technicolor baby...the family members are all grown and out of the house, one of them doesn't even live here in Jax, but they're all under the banner "Brunson Family"...did Barry change his name to Barry Brunson? Is the baby Broc Brunson?.....the baby in a Jesus-like pose in the middle? Weird.
I don't understand it. I'm trying to imagine my father-in-law calling me up on the phone:
Father in Law: "Hey son, we've scheduled a photo shoot for our card."
Me: "..uh, great...WHAT card?"
FIL: "..my family Christmas card.."
Me: "YOUR family Christmas card...great! I'm sure you and Mom will have a great one, can't wait to see it"
FIL: "No, you're in it, along with Sally and baby Billy."
Me: "uh....GREAT! Sally, Billy and I are in YOUR family Christmas card?"
FIL: "yes, along with Steve and Sammy we're making a Smith family Christmas card, so I want everyone in MY family, part of the Smith family to be in my card."
Me: "Dad, don't take this wrong, but my name is Jones, and while I'm happy to be in your extended family, and while I love you and Mom dearly as my inlaws, Susie and I are really not part of the 'Smith' family, we have our own family and are making our own card"
FIL: "I understand, but you're part of MY family...and we'll be taking this picture with all of us and posting it on the Internet...we'll all wear Santa hats, and baby Billy will be in the middle of us all in a manger of feathers...in fact we'll have them make us black and white and only baby Billy will be in color!"
Me: "Dad, you and Mom are 'empty nesters' now...shouldn't your card be just you and her? We'll have our own Christmas card, and you have your own Christmas card. Besides, the people that you send your card to won't even know who I am...we live 1000 miles from you...and people that like you while I'm sure they are happy that you're a granddad, I'm sure they might think it a bit odd when YOUR Christmas card has my mug on it along with our baby."
FIL: "Nah, everyone seeing this card already loves you and the baby and all my family members because they love me so much. They will be happy to see you and Sally and the rest of the family because everyone that I send my card to will love to see the whole Brunson Family."
Me: [What would you say?]
I was wondering why we will be voting on trustees? Are they elected or appointed. According to the Division of Corporations website, on May 30, 2007 a new slate of officers/directors/trustees were put in place already. Why would be giving out info on trustees now in order to have a vote? I am confused. Is this another formality or charade by the leadership to cover its past unauthorized way of conducting business? And why hand out information before the vote on this? They didn't do that with the bylaw changes. Maybe these men will also be the new discipline committee? Here is a list of the names that were appointed as trustees back at the end of May:
Interesting question. Does anyone who was present last night have a copy of the trustees who are being voted on? Apparently a piece of paper was handed out that had the names and bios or something like that for the men who are the new trustees. If you know who they are, or if you can scan the piece of paper and email it to the Watchdog we can put it up here for everyone to see. The Watchdog email is available by clicking on the "Profile" link on the right side of the screen.
Watchdog - I liked your sense of humor in the hypothetical conversation with your father-in-law about the "family" Christmas card. To answer your question of what would my response be, I have 3 options.
1. Yes, sir. (Like all the other men around Mac, saying "yes" is the only correct response.)
2. Thanks "Doc" for including me in the family photos. This will make it so much easier for me when you add me to the payroll in the future.
3. Who are you kidding "doc"?. Mom set this whole thing up and you just showed up and smiled. ...again.
I wasn't there. I quit attending a long time ago. I am sure you can pick up a copy at the library. Isn't that how your church operates?
Is FBC JAX becoming a CULT in Jacksonville now that Mac Brunson has arrived? I was shocked at how many of these 8 items fit perfectly with how FBC Jax treats anonymous emailers or bloggers or others who dissent in any way for any reasong. Read these with an open mind. They were cut and pasted from Wade Burleson's blog:
"Robert Lifton describes eight signs of a cult in his book "Thought Reform & the Psychology of Totalism:"
Milieu control: control of the group environment and communication. (Dissent or disagreement within the group is not allowed).
Manipulation: Leaders are perceived as being chosen by God, history or some supernatural force. (There can be no questioning of God ordained authority in the leadership of the organization).
Purity demands: An us vs. them mentality is developed, in which cult members are the only pure and good. (Questioning the morality injunctions of leadership is questioning the integrity of the organization).
Confession: group confession and self-criticism is used in order to produce personal change. (The individual is never right, only the group).
Sacred Science: The cult's doctrines and ideology are considered sacred and must not be doubted or questioned. (To question is a sign of a lack of spirituality and discipline).
Loading the language: Conventional words and phrases are given special, in-group meanings. (Concepts such as 'holiness' and 'righteousness' are defined by group definitions).
Doctrine over person: Members are conditioned to feel guilt if they ever question group doctrine. One must conform to the "truth," as taught by the group. (A lack of conformity to group doctrine prompts questions of legitimacy and ultimately expulsion).
Dispensing of Existence: The group contains the elite; outsiders are evil, unsaved, and may not even have the right to exist.
Scary stuff. First Baptist Cult of Jacksonville, Inc. fits under the current administration. From now on, the letters FBC will mean First Baptist Cult!
This is a perfect example of FBC membership problem. "Numbers" are growing, children are being born to people who are already there, and because of that you assume the church is growing. You have danced around the reality that there are fewer and fewer people attending the services. I know this BECAUSE I SAW MORE AND MORE WHEN I ATTENDED, EVEN MORE WHEN I CAME BACK, AND SEE EVEN MORE EMPTY SEATS ON THE TV! Plus, why are you majoring on this point? I said a lot in both replies I sent and this is the only thing you seem concerned about. It's comes off as the usual arrogant, high and mighty "everything we do is right and nothing will ever go wrong for us" mentality that drove my family out of the place.
You can say what you want about membership documents, preschool areas full of people with no choice whether they go there or not, or whatever you want. The facts are anyone who watched a church service from 1998, one in 2002 (after recombining the morning service), 2004, and now today would see the exact same thing.
Do you really think it was Dr. Vines eyesight that caused the Sunday night service to be dropped to only the main floor and no longer use any portion of the balcony? Of course not. Fewer people were there and having it all on the main floor would make it look larger in some ways, and it was a lot easier to mask how few people were there to the TV audience since Barry would never shoot a balcony shot purposely in that type of scenario.
Now, you can't hide the reality that there are fewer people sitting there. I don't know why you either ignore this or refuse to see it. It's not me being deceived, but I will get to that after I get past the next part.
Look, I don't personally care what it's doing. I am not going back and I don't feel the need to justify why I left by bashing FBC for the heck of it. I simply came here originally to point out how ridiculous I think it is that someone is blogging about how terrible the pastor is but yet this individual stays. Since he likes to discuss the "former pastors" and what they taught. Let me give a crack at it too.
Dr. Lindsay and Dr. Vines would have NEVER wanted someone who felt the need to blog and complain about what they were doing needed to stay at FBC. They were referring to the same thing any other pastor did when they would talk about this subject. You will not agree with everything a church or a pastor does. Some things you have to let go and weight the good and bad of it and as long as you feel everything is doctrinally sound and you can stand with that church, then stay. However, if you are going to constantly question the leadership, create problems, blog, and seemingly have something negative to say about the pastor, then leave and find somewhere you can be happy in, a pastor you can support, and a church that better represents your views.
Now about deception, it is not me who is deceived. I left Jacksonville a few years back, and when I left, I went to another church that preached the same timeless message of salvation but did things in a more modern way. A couple of years later, I was forced due to circumstances I couldn't help to come back here. Out of habit, I started back to FBC. I felt like I had gone about 50 years in the past when I did. It was the same thing, same way, same music, same order of service, same messages Dr. Vines was notorious for repeating, it was just the same old, same old. It didn't take long for me to grow sick of it and leave. And thats the main problem and why I agree with Dr. Brunson. FBC Jax DOES worship the past. Any REAL change and you feel like you are headed into being Laodicea. You aren't! Quit being stuck in the past and join many of us who moved into 2007 and are going to places where are needs are being met, we are being spititually fed, and are able to serve in a place we are happy to call our home church.
I think I said everything I want to say, but usually I get through and realize I forgot something and end up kicking myself for it.
Paul - you could not be more wrong in your assessment of the people making up the congregation of FBC Jax. You seem to have an axe to grind against FBC Jax because its somewhat of a more traditional church than you and your family prefer. But let me correct you and fill you in because you have not been here Sunday after Sunday like I have since the Brunson era began.
Ever since Vines left, FBC Jax members (including this one) have been ready to be led into the future by a dynamic, loving, humble, pastor who can set forth a vision, communicate the vision, and explain it to us and love us and lead us in that direction.
Instead, we got a guy who came here not as a humble loving pastor that wanted to roll up his sleeves and get to work and lead us into the future, but we got a rich CEO preacher who accepted a $300,000 land gift from one of our donors exactly two weeks after he arrived in town, immediately started construction on a million dollar mansion, hired his wife and son and put them on staff with no job description or ministry title that the members know about, and took up residency an hour away in a multi-million dollar condo on the Atlantic Ocean for free for his first year. His first year he would vacate the pulpit unannounced so he could at his own admission finish his "book deals". We spent tens of thousands of dollars to promote his "sermon on the mound" at the baseball stadium which was an embarrassing farce and the people we invited were underwhelmed by this man. Most of our long-term staff started leaving getting us very concerned. When some of the discerning members saw all of this and some sent anonymous emails, he started complaining about emails, accused us of worshipping the past when he really hadn't tried to initiate any new changes. He complained to others in the convention about how he never got a honeymoon, had Jerry Vines come down and reprimand us....all of this....WITHOUT HIM REALLY DOING ANYTHING DIFFERENT THAN WAS DONE THE PREVIOUS 10 YEARS! He really did set up a straw man. We complained about his decisions up front not because he was changing things we didn't like, but because the things he was doing were not right. But he used that criticism to say we are criticizing him and his leadership and we're stuck in the past. Then finally after the heat was turned up he quicky came up with his "Vision Sunday" earlier this year which featured million dollar projects like modernizing our worship center, creating new space for senior adults, starting a school, parterning with the YMCA to have a fitness center, and a few other things. That was his "vision". Did you read that Paul? I think its still available on the FBC website...anything real innovative there to lead us boldly into new areas of ministry? Then he hosts Time to Stand with Israel with no explanation to the church, and now the bylaws are changed with no explanation.
Paul, you are right in that we are stuck and not moving and we are losing members...but we're not stuck in the PAST my friend. No one is longing for Vines and Lindsay to come back. We are stuck in the PRESENT, spinning our wheels, or treading water, waiting for a loving humble pastor to lead us into the future. Right now we have an angry CEO who seems to enjoy more promoting his family, enriching his personal wealth, and then striking out at his congregation to silence dissenters, then he is lovingly leading his sheep into greener pastures.
Paul - I understand most of what you are saying. I would like to try and explain one part of your post that is very important to readers of this blog to understand. Although I am not Mr. Dog, I do comment here occasionally and your thought applies to me also.
You wrote: "I simply came here originally to point out how ridiculous I think it is that someone is blogging about how terrible the pastor is but yet this individual stays."
We have never said the pastor is "horrible." This is where the communication breaks down. Many members and staff and his family quickly jump to that same conclusion whenever any quesion is asked or concern is raised. This leads to high stress and tension for everyone. I wish people could understand that asking questions, raising concerns, and discussing issues is not the same as calling the pastor "horrible."
Just a observing comment about people leaving/ and the church growing: When people leave and go to another church that is not a Baptist church they typically don't follow the "moving their letter" routine and are still left on our roll while they are still able to join another church (non- denominational, presbyterian, etc.) I know of several people who have joined other churches but their names are still on the roll. So it is sometimes hard to tell if the church is really growing or losing people.
Paul - another thought...don't blame Vines - you mentioned that you came back after Homer passed and he was still preaching his same sermons, nothing new going on at the church. Well, Vines knew that after Homer passed he was filling the gap from the old guard to the new. He didn't start any new bold initiatives perhaps as he knew he wouldn't be around to finish them, and that it should be a new, younger man to come in and lead the charge. Vines' sermons were never old - yes, he did repeats but he did make them relevant to people's lives and he was faithful to scripture and didn't go off on tangents to try to manipulate people. He just expositorially preached the Word.
Vines tried to get Mac to come co pastor with him several years before he retired. That probably would have been a wise move on Mac's part, allowing Vines to help Mac get the people behind him, and I don't think in Vines' presence the $300,000 land deal would go down, and you wouldn't see the nepotism right away. Also, if Mac believed the future was a school, Vines could have helped him sell that to the congregation...I mean Vines had so much credibility with the congregation - he got us to invest millions in HD cameras that we aren't even making use of now for crying out loud! Mac could have used the Vines good will capital to his advantage to get the church moving in a new modern direction.
Did you read his last comments to me? I have no problems with discussion, asking questions, and voicing concerns. If you don't agree with something or just a few things, fine, do so. But just like with the name of the blogger, this individual will not even come out and admit who they are. To me, that's cowardly. And if I were a pastor receiving anonymous emails, I might lash out too.
I emailed him twice, and when I did I attached my name to it. When I post here, I attach my name to it. I am not going to hide behind a faceless name on a blog and complain about the church month after month, several times each month.
Maybe horrible is the wrong word to use. But if you think he is doing shady things, and you believe the church is not being led properly, and you question his leadership to the point you feel you need to blog about it, THEN LEAVE AND FIND SOMEWHERE YOU BETTER IDENTIFY WITH. The church and it's direction is not the memberships responsibility, it is the pastor's along with the leadership he installs. They will be accountable to God for it, not you. I do however feel cowardly acts like this you will be accountable for. All things like this does is tear churches in two and causes strife and dissension. Leaving peacefully does not.
As far as an ax to grind, nothing could be further from the truth. I just don't care anymore. If I had an ax to grind I would be here saying serves the place right, I hate all of you, I hope the place winds up bankrupt, etc. I didn't. I just feel like a forum like this with nothing but complaints is overboard and is not what any pastor who has ever preached in the FBC Jax Pulpit has ever preached or championed.
There are plenty of things that even though I am no longer a member, I shake my head in disbelief about and they are decisions the pastor has made. One of those is not however, all the staff leaving. Things like this happen when a new pastor (like a new company CEO) takes over. You may not like it, but it is the way it is.
Here's two examples of things I didn't understand:
1.)DIscipleship Groups on Sunday night involving the exact same group of people you have in Sunday School. Why not do away with the Sunday School concept and go to the group format on Sunday morning if this is a way you want to move things? Personally, I never went on Sunday night so I would have never given half a thought to this group concept because of that.
2.)Rodney Brooks leaves. So rather than bring in a younger guy who can be there for many years and if they ever move to two services and one of those being contemporary he will fit in. They bring in a guy who is way older than Rev. Brooks and had "retired" from Bellevue. Don't get me wrong. I like Jim Whitmire, I watched LWF a lot. I just didn't get it.
But about what I said about letting things go that aren't important. There has been a lot of complaining about the Christmas card they sent. I have seen it, I assume this is his grandchild, but so what? This goes in the "I don't particularly like it, but it is not that big of a deal, so I am not going to worry about it" file I am talking about when it comes to major and minor issues.
Watchdog - You make a very interesting point. If Mac repeatedly rejected offers to co-pastor under Dr. Vines, then why did we keep pursuing him?
We had so many talented younger men already serving in pastoral positions in the church...why did we have to keep pursuing a reluctant candidate?
Maybe the repeated attempts at recruiting Mac bolstered his ego to the point that he felt he was "owed" all the perks he and his family have taken advantage of.
To your last post,
I was not blaming Vines. When Brunson did not come as co-pastor though he should have sent out a pastor search committee then and tried to find someone so there would be a smooth transition between his departure and the new person taking over as pastor (example: First Baptist Orlando). It is a large church and you needed something seamless. It seemed, at least from the outside that there was some tension in that time. So for that, I do blame Dr. Vines for not having the foresight to do that.
About HD, I totally agree with you. I think it is reprehensible that the church spent I think $13 Million on this equipment (and I may be wrong on the figure but that is what is sticking in my head any way) and within a year of getting it, it is not only not being used, but the TV shows look like something that is there to fill 2 hours a week because it always has. They are two weeks behind on broadcasting now which I don't understand at all either.
I had someone tell me "well, yeah but remember HD was a Vines project, not a Brunson one." My thought was why does that matter? This church thought it was important enough to have put in and now it has essentially been wasted.
I don’t know if you have caught on to this but there seems to be several people who have suggested that you go talk with the pastor. It might be worth it to give this a try.
They went after Dr. Brunson because Dr. Vines told them to go after him. I do not believe the search committee ever seriously looked at anyone else to fill the position.
I am with you on one point you make. People who complain anonymously.........it' ridiculous.
Let's think about this for a minute. If someone has a complaint and a problem, they obviously want an answer or a solution. How can they receive an answer or the solution when they are anonymous? Who is the pastor going to give an answer to when he doesn't have a name? That is why the pastor pays no attention to anonymous emails. Because if you don't think it's important enough for your name, then the solution or answer must not be that important either.
Totally agree with you. Last night in Mac Brunson's sermon, he said he has had drunk people talk to him. If a drunk man can talk to him, why can't a level-headed person speak with him. My boss has had lunch with the pastor. Our pastor is open. The people who claim on here you can't speak with the pastor or you can't do it without receiving rude responses are ridiculous. My suggestion to everybody would be to submit an email with YOUR NAME ON IT. It's not like he's going to know you put an anonyous comment on some blog anyways. So go ahead and email the pastor and maybe you can find some answers to your irrelevant questions.
I hope you have a blessed Christmas and a happy new year with your family.
Rob and Paul - holy cow, where do I even start. I hate to have to explain myself over and over and over again about the anonymity thing.
If I gave you my name, it won't make a difference. It doesn't change the facts. If failure to give you my name makes me a coward in your eyes, so be it. I'm no coward trust me, but if you want to think that I'm OK with it, after all anonymous bloggers have been called much worse here. However, if you want to blog about anonymous bloggers being cowards, please start your own blog about coward anonymous bloggers.
If I gave Mac Brunson my name, it doesn't matter, he doesn't know me anyways. If anonymity causes him to ignore emails from his members, then he's not very wise - in my humble opinion.
Our entire society recoginizes the value of input given anonymously, and anonymous input is taken very seriously and anonymity is guarded.
We encourage people to report crimes - anonymously if they so choose.
We encourage employees to report suspicious behavior about those in their company, anonymously if they so choose to protect them from retaliation from those who have power over them. Companies do not ignore anonymous reports about wrong doing - they consider them very carefully.
College students know that when they evaluate instructors, they are given anonymity in their feedback.
Companies have places where customers can complain about service - if they want to anonymously. And companies who just throw anonymous feedback in the trash do so to their peril. Not to say that anonymous feedback is weighted as heavily, but my point is that it is not disregarded as "ridiculous" and "useless" and "worthy of no consideration" and that it should go in the trash because its "coming from a coward who won't dare to give his name".
Does that help? Can you get the picture? Can you possibly see that a church member might want to raise an issue, ask a question, and the anonymity does NOT diminish the legitimacy of the issue? Does not Mac understand that he is the pastor of a huge, large church with thousands and thousands of people most of whom he'll never know personally...and is it unwise for him to refuse feedback from his congregation in the manner THEY feel most comfortable?
Obvious guy - many have tried to talk with him, but he won't talk about these subjects. Only what he wants to talk about. Remember, he is God's man with carte blanche authority. Any talking will be on his terms. And if you don't like that, well leave the church you were at long before he came and will be at long after he is gone.
The blog is not to get answers anymore. It is too late for that. Much of the questions have no defensible answer anyway. The mere asking of them is an embarrassment to the man. His supporters even suggest that simply by our even discussing the facts of what he has done since he arrived, the pastor is being "smeared." Now the blog is to get information out to the people that are being manipulated. Too much power, wealth and celebrity status, make some people have poor judgment and no accountability. That is what is so obvious to those that have any questions or concerns. If you don't believe me, try walking into his office with any of the questions we have posted on this blog. (His son's job description, qualifications for his son's position, reaction to the nepotism by the staff, the details of the $307,000 gift of land...was it a factor in his decision to accept the call here?, what "new" things has he actually done since arriving? Does he get paid for hosting Holy Land trips based on how many members go with him, did he not give us his full attention when he arrived so he could finish his book deal, did the church promote his son's wedding reception by printing postcards and giving them out in Sunday School classes before we even met his son, and on and on it goes. See what happens to you brother and what kind of answers you get. Or are you a coward, too?
Rob - you don't get it. But I'll try to explain it one more time for you:
Receivers of anonymous information who completely disregard it, and pay it no attention because they don't know the exact identity of the person sending it, do so at their own peril. In any setting. Anonymity is encouraged and protected between the sender and receiver in many instances in our society.
I hope you can understand what I'm saying. Because you've released your identity on this blog previoiusly I won't continue to post your messages that show your extreme lack of intelligence and rational thought on some of these matters.
I do respect that you are defending your pastor as you are trying your best, but if you're the best defender that he has, he's in trouble.
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