As posted here about a week and half ago, a business meeting at FBC Jacksonville was held on Wednesday, November 28th during a Wednesday night service. During this business meeting, Mr. David Bristowe, the chair of the deacons and the president of the FBC Jacksonville, Inc. board of trustees, brought forth a motion to approve church bylaw and articles of incorporation changes. The meeting can be listened to here.
During the meeting, absolutely no explanation was given to the members present as to what the bylaw changes were - either specifically or generally...absolutely NO explanation during the meeting before the vote. The bylaw changes were however, put into the church library a few weeks prior, and a notice in the Sunday bulletin ran for several weeks stating that the bylaws would be changed and that copies for review of the changes would be placed in the church library. Posters here reported that the library bylaw copies were numbered to keep track of them, they had to be checked out for viewing by signing one's name on a check out sheet, and the librarian explained that the copies were not to leave the library. Members that I talked to did not bother to go to the library, as they assumed that changes would at the very least be summarized in the business meeting before voting - and some members feared retaliation from the church if they had to put their names on the check out sheet.
If anyone has a copy of the new bylaws, or excerpts from the bylaws describing the discipline committee, I would gladly post them here on the blog. You can email me using the email link in my profile.
Apparently the bylaw changes were not at all minor or administrative in nature. You'll notice in the meeting recording hyperlinked above that Mr. Bristowe made absolutely no mention of the bylaw changes, but yet did describe fully the very "administrative" articles of incorporation changes...giving the attenders the impression that the bylaw changes TOO were administrative in nature.
The decision to not widely disseminate the bylaw changes and not openly discussing or explaining them prior to the vote has been criticized on several baptist discussion forums on the Internet...I have read of no one that would defend the decision to make it harder rather than easier for a member to become aware of the bylaw changes prior to the vote.
One of the changes to the bylaws, as reported by one of the posters here, was the formation of a "discipline committee". Others included granting more power to the pastor in selecting members to committees. You can read more about the bylaw changes here at the previous post on this topic.
Regarding the formation of a discipline committee, one poster on the http://www.baptistlife.com/ forums said this about the FBC Jax bylaw changes and the discipline committee (my emphases):
"....The problem is that a church that doesn't/hasn't consistently exercized discipline for church damaging sins across the board, regardless of a member's position (whether lay or clergy), suddenly develops a private discipline practice for specific sins (all, perhaps coincidentally or perhaps not) relating to those actions that have allegedly occured against pastoral leadership. That such a process seems to have been developed privately such that it is kept from widespread distribution by the leadership should set off every baptist alarm signal.
We must definitely not ignore all sins and we must not let the sheer amount and diversity of sin keep us from returning discipline to its proper place in the foundation of church integrity. But where discipline has not been a church's regular practice, it must be taught for a significant period of time before it is ever practiced church wide. Else, it will be exposed for what it truly is: not biblical church discipline but just another club by the leadershp to squelch dissent among the membership."
Again, this whole bylaw fiasco is another example of Mac's failed leadership. He has ramrodded bylaw changes through...instead of moving toward a more open and honest sharing of information with his congregation he moves in the opposite direction: he makes signficant changes to the bylaws that form a discipline committee with absolutely no explanation to the congregation, and at the very same time that he from his pulpit attacks those who speak up about some of his changes as being "comfortable in their sin and in their compromise" (listen carefully to this 1 minuter clip of the angry pastor berating his congregation on 12/2/07). To hear the pastor say these things to his congregation, just 4 days after he ramrodded the formation of a discipline committee into the church bylaws with no explanation: unbelievable.
But let's get copies of the bylaw changes distributed and freely available to all members...if someone would send them to me I'll gladly post them right away.
Somewhat ironic isn't it that Mac's Pastor's Conference theme for February 2008 is "Team Building"?
here is the hyperlink to the thread at www.baptistlife.com where the issue of "church discipline" is being discussed in response to Mac's bylaw changes.
This deacons meeting where Mr. Bristowe said the bylaw changes were discussed and unanimously approved. Was this a regular deacons meeting? A special-called meeting for the purpose of reviewing the bylaw changes? If it was a special-called meeting, about what percentages was present? Was it a ballot vote or was it verbal?
Really doesn't matter what deacons were there or what the vote was.
When the bylaws are changed that will have the potential to directly affect the organization's members as in the formation of a church discipline committee, or that change the conditions of membership (the bylaw changes also added a clause that members agree to have disputes resolved by mediation) then this is 100% not a deacon's vote it is a vote that the members need to make. The deacons are not a body that represent the members so their vote was useless. Then to ask for the members to vote when they haven't been given a copy of the proposed changes and haven't had a rationale of the changes explained is a shame.
Speaking of the Baptist Life forum, how about this response:
"If we are serious about church discipline then sins beyond adultery, homosexuality, murder, and causing strife in the church has to be on the table. I would not trust the average SBC church or pastor for ten seconds with a discipline committee or policy."
Amen! I don't trust Donald to begin with. This just adds to the mistrust.
Watchdog - my guess is the formation of the discipline committee was a proactive attempt to try and intimidate members from voicing any disagreement with the pastor on any issues. You may feel it is aimed at you and bloggers, but I doubt it. They know they cannot do anything about what you are doing without having to first give a very public explanation of all of their actions since Mac arrived. They cannot afford to have all of their activity out in the open. Instead, it is my guess their main concern is that other members will become emboldened and begin to stand up and demand explanations on budget issues, the bylaws and the private fundraiser. By having a discipline committee, they can send out goon squads to the humble sheep and make sure any dissent is nipped in the bud. This is probably a lesson Steve Gaines learned the hard way and passed on his advice to Mac.
Imagine, a BAPTIST church where differing viewpoints are silenced and members with questions are asked to leave. The Kool-Aid can't be far behind.
Anon - make no mistake I don't object to the bylaws and the new discipline committee because I think they are aimed at the Watchdog. I understand that Mac is under tremendous heat from all sides. In fact I doubt he really knows what is said about him here since its likely filtered. I'm hearing that some of the committees are standing up to Mac, perhaps the finance committee. Mac hasn't explained the next steps on the school...maybe the finance committee put the brakes on that project until giving is at a level that will support our ministries AND a school.
If there is a discipline committee, I would like to know who the members are so we can sign a petition and bring Mac before the committee on accepting the $300,000 land gift from one of our donors, and his very devisive preaching where he is lashing out at church members. He seems hell bent on splitting the church between those who dare to ask questions (who are according to Mac mired in sin and complacency) and those who are drinking the Mac and Debbie Brunson Kool Aid. You want to talk about devisive, listen to Mac's sermons. Those folks in Dallas who commented regularly on the first Jax blog were absolutely right. After a while the constant tongue lashings from Mac get a little tiresome and draining...it was good yesterday to hear a good old fashioned challenging message from the bible and not a Mac Daddy tirade.
So committee...BRING IT ON! Let's have a little hearing on some of Mac's indiscretions like the $300,000 land deal, how the decision was made to have an Israel fund raiser at our church, and others. What's good for the goose is good for the gander as they say Mac.
Last time somebody was in our church hiding secretly behind a computer, they were abusing children and doing inappropriate things. The person was caught and their sin found them out. It makes me wonder what else you do while your concealing yourself behind a computer ranting and raving about issues that aren't even relevant to the church and it's purpose.
That's a new one Anon - I've been called Satan several times here, but never a child molester.
Mac Brunson has many defenders, but no one that ever offers a defense of any of the concerns raised here. All they do is attack and accuse the people who dare speak up about them.
As a pastor of a SBC Church in Texas, I am really sad to see the public, scornful words written on many of the blogs and comments here. I worshipped at FBC Jax a few Sundays ago and was moved by the worship and the preaching - it was biblical, passionate, and transformational. Dr. Brunson is a great man, preacher, husband, and father. The careless words written in many of these comments will be judged by our Jesus - I'd urge great caution in what is written and said. God bless FBC Jax and the true mission of the church (bigger and more noble than petty words on this site), God bless Dr. Brunson and his family, and God bless the eternal, Kingdom work that we need to all move towards. Grace and peace in Christ to all you read this.
Texas Pastor - like Rodney King said "Can't we all just get along?" I don't think so. Even IF every thing you believe about the pastor and FBC Jax is true, there are many, many actions taken by this pastor (as discussed here on the blog) that MUST be dealt with openly and lovingly before he can lead this church and be used as God would have liked to have used him. The fact that what you write may be true does not make those other issues go away. I know pastors just wish people wouldn't bother to ask any questions or show any concerns. As good as Mac may be, or seem, he has shown poor judgment in many areas, greed, nepotism, a victim mentality, criticizing his congregation to Dr. Vines and Dr. Patterson, hosting secular fund raisers at the church to benefit prominent deacons, and he has not been upfront and honest about large gifts, staff exodus, the budget, the by-laws, etc.
Why is it that Christians will over look all of this just because they "know the pastor and he is a good man?" Some say the same things about O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, Jesse Jackson, Benny Hinn and on and on. They are caught up in their image and celebrity and are blinded to their questionable activities. They must not want to know or face the fact that we all make mistakes. Mac has made his share and ALL of the above problems continue. He is harsh and angry and unloving, as his recent formation of a discipline committee reveals.
You shared your opinion, I wanted to share mine. Have a good day.
Anon - you said:
"there are many, many actions taken by this pastor (as discussed here on the blog) that MUST be dealt with openly and lovingly before he can lead this church..."
He can lead the church without addressing them...but he must first get rid of those people in the congregation who don't view those issues as being of any importance. Instead of dealing with these important issues in an honest, open way, the other strategy which he has taken is to not address them at all, and also paint those who persist with the questions as being "comfortable in their compromise and in their sin". If these recalcitrants persist, then they will be found out who they are and will likely be asked to leave, or express repentance to the discipline committe if they stay. Probably they are working on "leadership committment cards" where anyone in any lay leadership position will have to sign expressing their support of the church and pastor (just a prediction).
I hope that for every one "TexasPastor" who says, "all, heck, Mac's a great guy, what's the problem?", there are 10 SBC pastors who have seriously looked at the issues here and are sorely disappointed what actions he has taken, and how he has responded to the criticism. Hopefully one of the heavy hitters in the SBC will look at the issues here and give Mac some godly counsel.
The reasons my family and I are leaving FBC Jax are really not up for public discussions.
It does not have anything to do with this blog or Dr. Brunson. We have thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Brunson's sermons and especially like his methods of injecting historical context and events into his sermons.
Please stop assuming one side or the other is responsible when it has nothing to do with either.
Then let me change my words then, "Dr. Brunson is a Godly man, a man who fears the Lord, and a man who has raised 3 Godly children who love Jesus Christ." If you want to see the true character of a pastor - look to the fruits and heart of his children. All three of them are missional, Godly disciples of our Lord. Watchdog, I hope that your children aren't picking up your cynical spirit. I also hope that the above words on Dr Brunson sound better than Watchdog's words in my mouth when he wrote "all, heck, Mac's a great guy." Of course fbc jax watchdog may just be in the habit of putting words into people's mouths. And the phrase, Mr. Watchdog, is actually "ah, heck" not "all, heck."
Dr Brunson is a highly respected pastor by other SBC pastors, which of course is why he is consistently selected to lead pastor's conferences and preaching conferences within the SBC.
Watchdog, I am certain you are a brillant guy. Probably a high, critical thinker and very intelligent. You are definitely gifted in blogging and in debates. I applaud God's giftedness in you. But my warning brother is that God can take those away quickly (look at the fig tree) when your gifts aren't bearing fruit for the Kingdom. Keep your heart open to His voice and the Spirit's leadership. God bless you and FBC Jax.
Texaspastor - I'll chime in here...you said:
" If you want to see the true character of a pastor - look to the fruits and heart of his children."
I wholeheartedly disagree. I don't judge a man's character based on his children's "fruits and hearts". Not by a long shot. Are Mac's children fine people and has Mac and wife done a good job raising them? Of course, that's not an issue. I don't know the "hearts" of his children and once the children are grown I certainly don't think their fruits (good or bad) will be fair measure of Mac's own character.
And before you get in the habit of correcting minor typos in the writing of others sir, be sure to make your own posts 100% correct. In your last sentence of your first post its "to all who read this, not "to all you read this." :)
Texaspastor - would you mind honestly answering a question since you feel led to jump in here? Would YOU accept a gift of a $307,000 piece of land from a member within weeks of your being called to a new church? What if you were already living in a $1.5 million dollar oceanfront condo FREE when the gift was made? Would that raise an additional red flag of "enough is enough?"
Check out this quote from a pastor who would not and then let us know your thoughts: "Don Loomer, pastor of First Baptist Church of Elk Grove, Calif., said he can understand the tension of being presented with a pastoral gift. A congregant once offered him a new car.
“I turned it down,” Loomer said. The “kind of car he was offering was [worth] about as much as the [annual] living standard of the congregation. I didn’t want it to be a hindrance to my ministry.”
Fearn said the best way for pastors to increase accountability with their congregations is to increase the financial transparency of the church, since the practice builds trust and credibility.
Most churches could stand to improve that transparency. For instance, Fearn said, board meetings should be more a matter of public record than of secrecy. Inviting guests to board meetings or publishing transcripts of the discussions can help, Fearn said. And quarterly financial statements should be published and broken down into specific terms so everybody knows exactly where the money goes."
This is from a larger article found at Citizens for Ethics at:
http://www.citizensforethics.org/node/29550 I would be interested in your thoughts. Let me tell you something (as Mac would say) FBC Jax, since Mac arrived and questions were being asked, has since amended the monthly business meeting financial reports to be LESS specific instead of more. And let me tell you this, he did admittedly accept the above gifts.
Will you bother to answer? No one else at our church will.
FBC JAX MEMBERS - have you ever wondered WHAT DOES THE HOUSING ALLOWANCE EXCLUSION INCLUDE that we give to our pastor ON TOP of his secret six-figure salary and automobile allowance and other benefits? This from a pastor resource web site about IRS rules found at: http://www.clergytaxpros.com/FS_FAQ.htm##5
"Basically, most expenditures to provide a home for the dual status minister and family can be bought with income tax free housing allowance dollars. THIS INCLUDES rent or principal payments, real estate taxes, mortgage interest, insurance, IMPROVEMENTS AND REPAIRS, FURNISHINGS, APPLIANCES, DECORATOR ITEMS (RUGS, DRAPES, ART, PAINTING, WALLPAPERING), LINENS, TOWELS, UTILITIES (including non-business phone use), exterior costs (lawn mower, garden hose, lawn tools, etc)."
For those of you who were so impressed with Mac serving you dinner at his house dressed in his apron, and how humble a servant he is, did you happen to check out the drapes or towels or furnishings or rugs or etc.?" YOU PAID FOR THEM!
Dear texas pastor,
Being in a church, the local body of Christ, is not about just sitting in the pew in a service and 'being moved by passionate preaching..." While not denigrating at all your experience and your open heart to worship which I believe God will bless, I do think it's important to remember that the body of Christ is a functioning organism with many parts; we need all the parts; all the gifts. As I read about the role of pastor in the New Testament, it does not seem to include the degree of authority that some pastors today think they need or deserve. It is a weighty burden to take on too much authority, especially when that authority speaks for God's direction - for thousands of people.
By the way, be careful of criticizing people's remarks or observations by only pointing out the emotions behind them. (scornful, angry, bitter, cynical, etc.). What you and others fail to note is that even if an observation, perceived fact, or even truth is conveyed with emotive words; the fact still exists and the emotive way in which the fact is described does not devalue its legitimacy.
P.S. I want my children to question things, think, be responsible, be a good steward of all God has given them, consider the many needs of the world every time they make a purchase and to think of how the car they drive - the house and neighborhood in which they live - etc -. reflect on the gospel they hope to share.
fbc jax watchdog - sorry if it sounded like I was correcting your grammar, it wasn't a typo correction I was making, it was a Texasism. We say "ah, heck" not "all, heck" - it was a poor attempt at humor. It really is why I dislike blogs and emails sometimes, it is hard to hear the heart and the inflection.
One, of course, can see the heart of a true, Godly pastor and man in the heart and lives of his children (Prov 20:7, Prov 14:26, Prov 4:10, Prov 6:20-23, Prov 23:24, Eph 6:4, Deut 6:6-7, Gen 18:19, Prov 22:6) Perhaps you haven't met those kids of pastors who have nothing to do with church, God, missions, or the Kingdom because of an inconsistent pastor/dad. I'd encourage you to take the time to meet the Brunson family, you actually might learn to like and respect all 5 of them!
Anonymous - great questions! At my church the answer is no, we are a church of just 2,700 members. But at a big church like fbc Jax with millions of dollars in facilities and tithes, I don't think the gift is out of bounds. Our salvation is based on a gift, and I have always tried to rejoice in the blessings that others receive.
On the financial disclosure question, I think it is always wisest to keep finances as wide open as possible (I do think staff salaries should remain confidential except to Finance Team). So openness is the most noble way when it comes to finances. But let me balance that by saying if you have Spirit-led people on your Finance Team, trust them. And also don't get caught up in the "corporation" aspect at church to the impediment of the "cause" aspect of church. In other words, it's so easy to spend a lot of energy on money issues and completely neglect the evangelism of humanity issues.
OK, brothers, I am done. Just wanted to throw my thoughts (whether they be wise or unwise) in on a rainy day in Texas. God bless you both and may Jesus Christ be praised in our personal lives and our churches. Merry Christmas to you both.
Anon 4:13, perhaps I'm missing something, but how are you claiming that FBC Jax paid for the drapes, rugs, etc in the Brunson household? How do you know what his housing allowance is? I would imagine for tax purposes that a portion of his salary is paid as a "housing allowance", but unless you have inside information I think its a stretch to say that we are paying for his drapes and furnishings.
I think that is very sad that this pastor who showed up here to speak on Mac's behalf doesn't see anything wrong with a pastor accepting a $300,000 gift from one of the church's donors 2 weeks after arriving on the scene. In just about any profession, the members try to hold each other accountable to very high ethical standards...but pastors apparently don't. Does the average pastor out there not see anything ethically wrong about accepting such a gift? People who work in the business world are very careful about accepting gifts from coworkers, clients, individuals, etc, because of the undue influence the gift may have, or the appearance of influence that it may have.
FBC Jax Watchdog,
Man, I can't resist now. I've gotten sucked into the addictive world of blog comments! Argghh! Look into the legal structures of non-profits, 501 3(c)'s, and even churches...there is nothing illegal or unethical about receiving a gift (as long as taxes are paid on it). I was saying that in my church I would not take a $300,000 gift. But I accept $25 Chili's gift cards and $10 Starbucks several times a year! And yes, I write these down and let my accountant know of them.
But if a Godly man offered me a $50,000 piece of land, I think I would praise God, pay the taxes, and thank the brother. Is that a breach of ethical standards? I can't find it in the Word nor tax law.
I don't think you have any evidence of Dr Brunson asking for the property or any undue "influence" given to the donor do you? I can only hope and assume that Dr Brunson takes his orders from the Lord and not a donor anyway.
What is your profession Watchdog? Just curious. You know I am a pastor.
Hi Texaspastor...yes, I do see something wrong with a pastor coming into a brand new situation, and TWO WEEKS after he arrives, he and his wife buy a $275,000 from one of the church donors for $50. The deed says the property was given for "love and affection" - the buzz words that mean "this is a gift and no taxes need to be paid on it." Although I have no evidence either way that Mac Brunson did or did not pay taxes, it sure looks like he may not have, given that the land was "gifted" to him.
I suppose that if a wealthy member of the church loved his pastor, and had developed a relationship with his pastor over a number of years, and out of the generosity of his heart he gave his pastor a gift for TRUE "love and affection", I perhaps, perhaps, can see that as being OK.
But that is not what this looks like...this LOOKS like the gift was used to entice him here, that perhaps the gift was arranged...I don't see how a man can have love and affection to the tune of $300,000 for his pastor, when the pastor has been here for only two weeks!
What say you?
It is difficult, and sometimes dangerous, to guess what is truly in the heart of men. What seems odd and disconcerting might actually be God's goodness and the Holy Spirit moving in the heart of this donor. Odder things than this are found all throughout the pages of the Word.
Dr. Brunson is still obligated to pay taxes on the worth of the gift, and I can only imagine that he has consulted with an accountant on the ramifications of such a gift.
And again you are defining the love and affection of a donor in your terms and through your filter (critical filter?). I have loved people immediately and have loved pastors and leaders immediately. Maybe not to the tune of $275,000, but there are some Godly, wise men who express their love through gifts.
If it was a "under-handed" gift to the pastor by the church itself without congregational approval that, of course, is wrong. But you can't police the giftings and the expressions of others when it comes to a situation like this.
Your profession? I didn't get an answer last time. Have a good Wednesday evening W-dog.
Watchdog - I don't really care what Texaspastor thinks. We should be asking the congregation, the sheep who give the money, what they think about it. The texaspastor acts like nothing is wrong with this gift and that we should all be happy for the blessing that was given to Mac.
Texaspastor, how could we be happy for him when he didn't even he tell us about the gift, and still, by the way, never has to this day? Only this blog has discussed it.
Wouldn't you tell your congregation about such a blessing from the Lord? Fact is, he knew it stunk, and would effect his ability to lead, but it was so dang good he couldn't pass it up. Accept it now and rationalize it later.
He did tell us he was living free at the oceanfront condo and that he was taking the children's building conference room for his luxury office suites and that his wife and son were going to be on salary, and that he was hosting some Israel trips and that..oh never mind. I think you get my point.
Did anyone hear the sermon tonight. It reminded me a lot of my Catholic background. A man using his position in the church to attack and try to make people feel sinful and guilty if they don't walk in lock step with everything the speaker wants them to. That is one reason I left the Catholic church. I quickly recognized it for what it was as soon as the preacher started doing it. I wonder if this is how the corruption in the Catholic church got started. Maybe it is time for an inquisition in the SBC now too? Those recalcitrants must be stopped. The Catholics rationalized burning at the stake and carried it out against members. Maybe FBC Jax can lead the way on that form of church discipline.
TexasPastor: Surely you are not rationalizing that sitting in on a sermon and knowing the family casually means you know all about Mac, are you? That the church knows nothing even thought they have been dealing with these situations daily?
Surely you are not saying that pastors don't need to worry about appearances, because they would never do anything really bad?
I am apalled at the lack of accountability among SBC leadership. You won't hold each other accountable, you don't like it when the sheep try to maintain accountability....so what is the answer? Widespread abuse....financial, power......it's all abuse. And ultimately, it's abuse against God and, according to James, they will have to answer for it. And answer for it at a higher accountability.
That would bother me. Does it you?
Anon 6:34 Let me quote you: "I don't reallty care what Texaspastor thinks" Maybe that's why blog discussions seem so dark and unbiblical to me.
There is no accountability in "Anonymous" postings, there is no face to face that Jesus requires in Matthew, there are careless words with no consequences on the internet.
If Dr. Brunson has done something illegal, then by all means call the authorities. He is under no obligation to tell you about gifts he receives, maybe the donor asked him to keep it silent. (You know, don't let the right hand know what the left hand is doing). I assume you are not expecting a list of what he received for Christmas from his parishoners are you? I wouldn't necessarily feel the obligation to tell my church of a gift like that, and I would certainly not do it if I felt it would cause jealousy or factions. And I'll go on record again in saying I wouldn't accept a $300,000gift in the first place. But that's just me.
My last admonishment would be never tie tithe dollars to your personal preference of pastor - that does nothing but reveal your true heart. It's God's command to give to the church - your holding back of tithes only chokes your own blessing and identifies you as a robber of God, not Dr. Brunson.
ConcernedSBCer - I am honored to know the Brunsons. And being in worship with you recently only strenghthened my respect for your church and for your pastor. Who said anything about not worrying about appearances? I never wrote that. But it begs the question, Would you rather them live in a shanty and drive a '78 Pinto? There are always people who can trump the "inappropriate appearance "card. If you have ever walked out of a PG-13 movie or have ever eaten at a restaurant on Sunday, or have looked at the beer in 7-11 while trying to find a Pepsi, then you can be quickly shot down with the "appearance" theory. How well do you know Dr. Brunson? How many hours have you spent in prayer and fasting for him? Do you know his needs and his prayer concerns? Since you are SBC-concerned I would hope you are Pastor-concerned as well as you pray fervantly for him. Do you really consider Dr Brunson to have widespread abuse of wealth and power? If you do, then call the authorities or go sit under another pastor. That would be my easy answer if I were you.
Texaspastor - let me say this clearly again. No one here has ever claimed or charged the pastor has done anything illegal or immoral. Period. Now, let's get back on track.
He has taken many actions since he arrived that has compromised his ability to lead this church. This blog has brought them up for discussion. People have blamed the bloggers for blogging about it, but have never refuted that the pastor did not do the things that caused the concerns here. Nepotism, private fund raisers for prominent deacons' business interest, accepting the large gifts, changing the by-laws substantially without explaining or discussing the changes before a vote, forming a discipline committee to use as a club against those that question anything, all give him no moral authority to ask us to give a dime to the "budget" when we see how many millions go to him or is arbitraril spent. Plus, however much he gives in tithes or offerings, it is a drop in the bucket compared to what has already been given to him by the church, so it loses its credibility. For example, you give me a $300,000 piece of land, then I tell you that I will give $30K per year to the church. The 11th year you might be impressed that I actually gave anything to the church.
Nothing illegal. Nothing immoral. Just compromise and loss of integrity to lead others in financial matters. He wants to now raise millions more from the sheep to build a school in Jacksonville. "You is the resource" he says about God having the resources to do it. This is not new. It was a new idea in the 1970's and 1980's, but a downtown school was not right or needed those decades and it is not right now. Or at least he hasn't provided any data about Jacksonville needing this to reach the lost.
His lust for wealth and celebrity, big 6 bedroom, 4 bath, 5500 sq foot mansion on the golf course, Jaguar car, and country club living just don't fit well for a man who claimed to drive a pick-up truck and be good old "Mac."
He ought to know better. And so should you. Don't let your love for Jesus blind you to what this man is doing to our congregation. While the sheep are being blindly led to the slaughter/fleecing.
Sure you claim illegal and immoral acts by Dr Brunson: lying, financial abuse, greed, greasy nepotism - those are all charges by you and this site.
So again, I urge you to call the police or by all means don't sit under a pastor at FBCJax if you consider him a greedy, abusive liar. And most recently you called him lustful.
Your pastor has seen the impact a Christian school can make, let the church body vote on it - then you have the choice of guarding unity or becoming a grumbler (only one of them is a biblical option by the way)
Your last sentence was of some concern to me when you wrote "Don't let your love of Jesus blind you" Brother, that would be the best thing in the world for me and for you. I pray that for my life.
And I saw what his leadership was "doing" a few weeks ago at FBC Jax - dozens were saved. That my friend is the goal, not anonymous writers concerned with the number of bedrooms in the pastor's house.
Texas Pastor - sir, you keep digging a deeper and deeper hole each time you post. There are hundreds of laypeople that read this blog everyday and you are giving SBC pastors a bad name by your repeated attempts to defend the indefensible.
That you can't see that the concerns raised here are very valid concerns of lay people, and that none of the things discussed here about Mac are "illegal" (did you read your post - those things you listed, none of them are illegal - and "greasy" nepotism? Not sure what that is). I don't think anyone has claimed he is "lustful".
I agree with you about the Christian school vote. But sir before a pastor can ask the congregation to vote on a very important matter such as a school, information needs to be shared with the congregation upon which a wise vote can be cast. If you read the previous blog posts you would see that Mac has given us no information about why a school is a wise choice other than: 1. Mac wants a school because he had one in Dallas; 2. Mac wants personal glory by having people come up to him and ask him if he's Mac Brunson the guy who started FBC Jax Academy; 3. Door to door evangelism is dead because nobody is ever at home and can't be reached with the gospel; and 4. Christian schools are good. So as I've said before - fine, bring it to us for a vote - but don't insult our intelligence by asking for a vote when we haven't been given any information or had the opportunity to ask questions of those who do have the information.
Your last paragraph - "Mac's leadership" is not the cause of people getting saved on a Sunday. Its the Holy Spirit, right?
You don't think greed, lust (your word actually!), and hidden agendas are immoral? And you don't think that financial abuse and lying are illegal? Tell Scooter Libby! Those are all charges by you and others on this site (re-read the 36 postings above brother). I also can't find any writings of substantial, concrete evidence of those claims! Yet Dr Brunson is tried and hung in these postings. And yes I am defending your pastor and your church. That's not a deeper hole, that is the dynamics of the Kingdom. Now the day that there is evidence, an indictment, and a guilty charge in financial abuse, broken tax laws, and perjury - then I will continue to love Dr Brunson, but will condemn his actions and apologize to this site for defending the indefensible. Until that day though, I will continue to defend his name here. (I Cor. 13:4-7, NLT)
And your claim that Dr. Brunson wants a school for his "personal glory" - you have definitely never tried to raise money for a school and then overseen the building of it. There is no personal glory, only personal verbal assaults, personal lack of sleep, and personal investment of time and energy and resources. Take a trip to several Baptist Academies around Florida (or come to Texas, you can stay in my 4 bedroom house that you probably feel is too big for a pastor) and see the power of a Christ-centered education.
Few churches, schools, or hospitals would have been built by Baptists in the past 100 years if pastors would have always listened to those who demanded a demographic study, a measured business plan, and polling data first. Sometimes God just says do it!
And yes it was under Mac's leadership that people were saved. The Holy Spirit is the agent of salvation, but the truth must be delivered in relative, biblical terms. (Romans 10:13-15) (Acts 8:26-40).
You keep asking questions, I have 3 for you: 1) What is your profession? 2) What passage have you been reading in your time with God - I have yet to read a single scripture in your arguments or Watchdog's words in this particular blog stream. 3) How many people have you led to Christ this year because of your kindness, your strong testimony and words?
Happy Thursday to you brother.
There you have it...another SBC pastor lashing out at lay folk who have serious concerns about the series of events at their church that go unexplained. Sir, your anger at us for asking questions and insteand of answers making assumptions about us is nothing new. We've gotten it just about every week from Mac. We've been accused of "worshipping previous pastors." We've been accused by Mac of "living in the past". We've been accused of caring more about ties than lost people. We've been compared to the backslidden Jews who compromised with the Pharisees in Sampson's time. We've heard it all. Consistently. No answers from Mac, only accusations against us who DARE demand answers.
But the concerns remain, despite how you would love to get your hands on us, you and Mac can't make the concerns go away.
-$300,000 land gift 2 wks on board
-Private Fund Raisers at church
-Bylaw changes w/ NO explanation
-Formation of Discipline Committee at exact time he faces intense pressure
I will give you credit, you tried to address the land gift. How about the others?
Oh man, you aren't seeing my heart at all. There is no anger in me towards you, any blogger on this site or any people in your church. When I attended recently at FBC Jax I was so proud of the words people said (old, young, and in-between) of their love for Dr Brunson, the future of the church, and the unity of the Body there. It was so encouraging Brother Watchdog.
If your church's Constitution forbids nepotism then bring it up, I assume it does not - therefore that is not an issue. In fact, there has been nepotism in the past at FBCJax, and without incident.
Staff departures are always a dynamic of new leadership. I guarantee the same happened with Vines and Criswell and Rogers when they came as new pastors - check the records. Again, don't discount the Holy Spirit moving people AND don't discount that staff departures (and member departures at that) can help save unity and oneness.
I have no info at all on the private fund-raisers so I would be speaking in the dark on that.
Your by-law changes and the Discipline Committee were voted on and passed by the church...correct? Then let the Body move on after the votes are taken. I know that Florida has a history of counting hanging chads, but come on! (humor, don't crucify me on that comment). All three churches where I have served had Discipline Committees already set in place. That is nothing new at all. It's not for mean bloggers, its for identifiable sin in the church (I Cor 5) to be corrected.
And I will say again, if you think you are sitting under a sleasy pastor and along side an ignorant church - then allow your spiritual gifts to be deposited into another Body in the Jax area.
"Get my hands on you" - sure, I'd love to meet you and grab some Starbucks and hear your heart some more. But if you are insinuating that I want to choke you or harm you - brother, there's not a cell in my body that wants to do that.
Now I do have to ask about the Pharisees in Sampson's time that you wrote about. The Pharisees and Sampson are 600-800 years apart. I am assuming you misheard that or got confused on that perhaps? Maybe Dr Brunson made a mistake, or maybe you did?!?
Still haven't caught what you do Watchdog?
texaspastor: why do you keep talking to this guy. if people stop talking on here, he will stop blogging. that would be good for him and for everyone else. Amen? (oh, i guess i should take my own advice.)
Philistines, not Pharisees...
I really am glad that you had a great worship experience while at FBC Jax.
Bottom line: I and many others in the church (I'm quite certain my sample size is much larger than yours) believe there are issues that need to be addressed before Mac Brunson can lead the church where it needs to go. I hope he chooses to be very open, honest, transparent, humble, about these issues, and that he doesn't go the other route: less openness, more attacking to his opponents in his sermons, use of church discipline to stifle those who dare speak up and demand answers, more of the "Mac is the victim" mentality. Unfortunately from the past few months it looks like he has chosen the latter route.
You're right man, I am done after this week. We have our big Christmas Pageant this Sunday, so I have way too much free time on my hands this week. I'm shaking the sand off my sandals after Sunday on this. At the Holocaust Museum last year I read, "Thou shalt not be a victim, thou shalt not be a perpertrator, and above all thou shalt not be a bystander" It's hard for me to be a bystander and not get involved in uncontested words against your pastor.
But I will take your wise advice. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Watchdog - I think TexasPastor's quote from the Holocaust Museum would be the absolute perfect motto for this blog. I couldn't have said it better myself!
Presently, there are way too many "victims" and "bystanders", AKA gullible sheep,in the process of being run over by a dictatorial pastor at FBC Jax.
Thank God for our FBC Watchdog !!
texaspastor dec 13, 12:16 a.m. post - You wrote: "Anonymous,
Sure you claim illegal and immoral acts by Dr Brunson: lying, financial abuse, greed, greasy nepotism - those are all charges by you and this site.
So again, I urge you to call the police or by all means don't sit under a pastor at FBCJax if you consider him a greedy, abusive liar. And most recently you called him lustful."
I called the police. They agreed with me that those things are not illegal. As a matter of fact, they are the norm in the way the world does business. So, I guess I can stand by my statement that I have not claimed he has done anything illegal. If you consider the actions he has taken as "immoral", so be it. I am not saying that. I am saying those actions cause me to be concerned about his leadership, particularly when it involves something as major as starting a school downtown.
When did I say he was lustful? I have not seen any evidence of the man being lustful. I agree with you he appears to be a devoted father and husband and his character in that regard remains beyond reproach.
im anonymous 10:41. i have too much time too, thats how i found this blog. Merry Christmas to texas pastor and to all the people who are supporting First baptist church Jacksonville and their staff. To the rest of you scrooges, i hope you find you some coal in your stocking. (not really but COME ONNNNNNNN.....STOP THE COMPLAINING OR FIND ANOTHER CHURCH, it would be in your own best interest to just go ONE week without complaining. If you did, you MIGHT find you really like church and get something spiritual out of it. GIVE IT A REST FOR ONE WEEK!!!!!! PEACE ON EARTH!!!!!!! Amen as they say in the baptist church.
I really do want to thank Texas Pastor for participating here. This is very instructive for all the lay persons reading this blog to see what has happened to our pastors in the SBC. If this pastor's responses and judgements are typical for a SBC pastor, we are in sad shape.
His responses to our concerns.
1. We are concerned over nepotism - which I'm not sure he and others posting here understand what it is: It is NOT having family members employed at the same establishment. It is very precisely having persons working under the supervision of family members, and the family member then has control over salary adjustments, performance appraisals, etc. This is a situation in which abuses of power can take place, or just as harmful perceived abuses of power that hurt the morale of non-family members in the organization.
Our Texas pastor's advice? He says:
"If your church's Constitution forbids nepotism then bring it up, I assume it does not - therefore that is not an issue. In fact, there has been nepotism in the past at FBCJax, and without incident."
What a terrible way to analyze something that is harmful to the church! Well, if your Constitution is silent on nepotism, then its OK! And since it may have occured in the past, then that excuses it today! Texas Pastor your standards of morality in this case are far, far below even unsaved people in the business world. What a shame. By the way, for all we know our bylaws addressed nepotism but he may have changed them!
2. Very significant changes were made to the church bylaws, including modifications of member's rights and responsibilities, changes in pastoral authority, and formation of a discipline committee. These changes were not distributed to the church prior to the vote, and the pastor was completely, 100% silent on all of these changes. The pastor was even present at the business meeting and chose not to explain the changes.
Our Texas Pastor response:
Your by-law changes and the Discipline Committee were voted on and passed by the church...correct? Then let the Body move on after the votes are taken. I know that Florida has a history of counting hanging chads, but come on!
Yes, the votes were cast...but its not a stretch to say that 99% of the people who voted on the changes had absolutely no clue of what they were voting on, and the way the meeting was conducted led people to believe they were very minor, administrative changes. Its easy for Texas Pastor to say "just move on" because its not his church. And Texas Pastor, if you pulled that stunt and changed the bylaws significantly like Mac did, would the men in your church stand for it?
3. Mac tells us that its God's will that we start a school and tells us we will vote on it, but is not explaining why things have changed that would tell us that a downtown school is necessary NOW and was not before. He does tell us how great it was to have grads recognize him in restaurants and airports, and that we MUST start a school in order to reach our city for Christ, and that door to door evangelism is dead.
Our Texas Pastor:
"Take a trip to several Baptist Academies around Florida (or come to Texas, you can stay in my 4 bedroom house that you probably feel is too big for a pastor) and see the power of a Christ-centered education."
"Few churches, schools, or hospitals would have been built by Baptists in the past 100 years if pastors would have always listened to those who demanded a demographic study, a measured business plan, and polling data first. Sometimes God just says do it!"
The issue at hand is not whether Christian schools are needed or good. Most members of FBC Jax recognize the value of Christian schools and many have their kids in Christian schools. The question is WHY is a school downtown a good idea for our church?
And we're not demanding "demographic studies, business plans..." etc, but we are asking that he share with us information on which to base a vote that says the school is needed in Jacksonville, in downtown. But would it be too much to ask him to make a business case for it? Or is that too un-spriritual? Or are we just to trust Mac that this is exactly what God wants us to do?
4. We're concerned that the pastor has formed a discipline committee in his bylaw changes, at precisely the same time that he is facing stiff opposition and criticism, and he does it with no explanation to his congregation.
Texas Pastor says:
"All three churches where I have served had Discipline Committees already set in place. That is nothing new at all. It's not for mean bloggers, its for identifiable sin in the church (I Cor 5) to be corrected."
Great...but we never have had one...even when we've had a few gross, public sins come to light within the body. So would not a reasonable person say that before a pastor starts a discipline committee that he explain it to his congregation, why its needed, assure them that its goal is to lovingly correct wayward Christians and will NOT be used to stifle dissent? Not according to our Texas Pastor. He sees nothing wrong apparently with how Mac ramrodded this through and still doesn't tell his church about it.
And lastly, if we don't like what is happening to our church, Texas Pastor says:
"And I will say again, if you think you are sitting under a sleasy pastor and along side an ignorant church - then allow your spiritual gifts to be deposited into another Body in the Jax area."
So to Texas Pastor, its all black and white: if we are criticizing actions of the pastor, then we are claiming he is "sleazy", and that the church must be "ignorant" and therefore...and so we should just leave our church.
God help us if Texas Pastor represents the typical SBC pastor.
Wow, now that was impressive. I still haven't seen your reliance on the Word in your thoughts, but your natural debate skills are really engaging. Well done. How do you create things in italics inside the comments? I gather you are young, am I off-base? Correct me if I am wrong. You tend to make sweeping generalizations about others and the constant sarcasm is usually a sign of youthfulness or anger...I assume it's youthfulness. Again, correct me if I am wrong.
Here is a legal defintion of nepotism: Nepotism is favoring relatives in the workplace, it occurs when employers favor relatives in making employment decisions, with little to no regard for anything but kinship.
It is hiring relatives solely because they are family members, with no consideration of the qualifications or merit of other employees. Nepotism in the
workplace is not unusual, especially at non-profits in the private sector. There are no universal "nepotism laws" at the Federal level that prohibit it in all states. Several city councils have passed nepotism laws, but only in regard to public-sector employment.
I served at a church where there was a nepotism clause, are you saying Mr Watchdog that you have never seen your Constitution? Are you unware of the clause? Have you read the new constitution yet? And I certainly don't think there is anything immoral about nepotism as you stated.
And you feel strongly that 99% of those who voted didn't know what was going on? You have great insight into the hearts of your fellow members - that is an incredibly high statistic.
My bet is that you have had a Discipline Committee for years there, but it was found within the Deacon Body. Go check that, I would be shocked if Vines never engaged in church discipline.
Watchdog, you admitted yourself to criticizing. That is a big confession. I'd encourage you to be real careful with that. (James 4:11, Luke 6:37, Phil 2:14, John 6:43)
Your mind and energy could be really helpful in the cause of Christ there in Jax Mr. Watchdog. I hope that you will consider using your obvious giftedness in such ways.
I anticipate your response. And I was wondering, what is your profession? I only have 3 more days with you.
You called him lustful yesterday at 11:31. Again, I would encourage you to move on and find another church. It seems impossible to me (at least) for you to stay at FBCJax and not be a grumbler and part of a faction. Both of those are really dangerous places to be spiritually my brother. (Jude 1:16, Phil 2:14, 2 Cor 12:20) Do you completely disagree Mr Anonymous?
There you have it folks...a prominent SBC pastor who wants to come here and ask questions of the people asking questions of their church and pastor. Someone who speaks as though he knows the details of what is happening at our church and is in a position to lecture those who are raising legitimate questions.
You don't need to preach to me on nepotism, I'm well aware of what it is, and no one ever claimed nepotism "laws" existed...you seem to be hung up on what is "legal" or "illegal"...but its safe to say most corporations and many churches have nepotism "policies" that describe under what circumstances family members can be employed within the same organization.
I'm not sure I would say nepotism is "immoral", but ask any person in human resources and they will tell you that nepotism that involves family members given preferential treatment in pay, in decision making, in job responsbilities - any of that can be very harmful to the morale of people laboring in an organization. So in that sense, yes, nepotism CAN be immoral.
Never read my church's constitution and bylaws.
I'm not claiming to know anyone's mind on the vote...but very few people read the bylaw changes, and could not have possibly known what they were. And to vote on them without the pastor, or someone standing before the congregation and at least summarizing what they are voting on...well I would call that deception. Perhaps you'd quote some scripture here on deception for us.
Never claimed we didn't practice "church discipline"...of course we did because as I said our church has had a few very public (as in newsworthy) issues of sin in members and of course the leadership dealt with that. I'm talking specifically to a DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE being formed - that is worthy of the pastor lovingly explaining the need, purpose, and function.
Just as an FYI - when I last saw the library checkout sheet for the bylaws on the Sunday before the vote on the bylaws following Wednesday, only about 80 or so people had checked out the books. I don't know if they had more than one checkout sheet, but I don't think that they did.
Watchdog... I have been an onlooker/ engaged blog reader for one day now, and I have been intrigued by your dialogue with the other bloggers... However, I have a couple of insights from reading each of the blogs today that I hope will be helpful... I will preface this by saying that I am not a member of FBC Jacksonville and have never attended a service, so I do not claim to have any previous bias either way. This is what I see:
1. You began by “raising your concerns” about Dr. Brunson’s ability to lead your church because of moral shortcomings since he became pastor at FBC Jacksonville (correct?) In your last posting you wrote “There you have it folks...a prominent SBC pastor who wants to come here and ask questions of the people asking questions of their church and pastor.” Here is the problem… You are not asking questions of your pastor… In no way is this Blog a personal letter to Dr. Brunson, and in no way is this Blog a phone call or a personal visit to Dr. Brunson about your issues… The only thing that can be accomplished by this blog, and by what you are saying in it, is division in your own church (which seems like the last thing that you would want to do)
1 Cor. 1:10, 1 Cor. 12:24, 25, 26, Proverbs 28:25 etc… I would encourage you to take your questions/concerns to your Pastor himself instead of “venting” on a Blog with an anonymous name…
2. You have made a turn as of late with your blogging… It seems now that you have a new personal goal and that is to argue with whatever Mr. TexasPastor says… In reading (without bias and with no preconceived notions of Dr. Brunson), Texas Pastor has had some really great insights, all with biblical backing… Leave this blog alone and raise concerns using a Biblical approach.
3. Please do not mock the use of Scripture!
“And to vote on them without the pastor, or someone standing before the congregation and at least summarizing what they are voting on...well I would call that deception. Perhaps you'd quote some scripture here on deception for us.”
You have lost the support of every person reading this blog who believes in the Power of the Word of God! Galatians 6:7 says “Do not be deceived, God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” Do not trick yourself into thinking that this blog isn’t real life because nobody knows who you are… The Lord reads every word you write and more importantly, reads into your heart… That is a scary though, Don’t you think?
Watchdog, you said in a recent quote: "there are issues that need to be addressed before Mac Brunson can lead the church where it needs to go." Watchdog, the pastor is already leading the church where it needs to go. He has been doing so since myself and the rest of the congregation voted him in. Also, as one of the sheep who give the money to the church, I see nothing wrong with the pastor accepting a $307,000 gift. Tell me sir, what do you see wrong with it? And for the Texas pastor, he is not giving SBC pastors a bad name if you ask me.
Prominent? Me? Wow, thanks for the honorable mention Watchdog. But I am fairly obscure and not much of a SBC insider at all.
Now, I was pretty certain the purpose of your site was to dialogue, point/counter-point, discuss and ask questions. And now you are blasting me for asking questions? That seems counter to a blog and comment site, right?
I'd challenge you to find scriptures on deception Watchdog. That would be a great starting place for you, i've yet to see any biblically referenced reasoning in your stands so far.
And here's an original question for you. What's your occupation Watchdog? And how old are you?
As always, I look forward to your feedback.
Bob P. - I disagree. Accepting that $307,000 gift compromises his ability to lead us in monetary matters. If it was "of God" and it came from a loving member, let's announce it to the church so everyone can rejoice the gift.
jb - I have nothing against Texas Paster - he is posting and taking a counter view, so I'm arguing my opinions as is he.
I disagree that his stances all have biblical backing.
texas paster - yes, this is a blog and a dialogue site. Since you're new to blogging, take a look at the definition of "blog troll".
I was just curious why you were degrading me for asking questions? A blog troll can be you (controlling a site) or me (obsessed with a site). I am done after Sunday on this Watchdog. I felt obligated to counter some of your sweeping claims.
What do you do for your occupation Mr Watchdog? And how old are you? I'm not looking for your name.
Apparently, there are some new readers here. Unfortunately, their advice to talk with the pastor, is not new. We tried this. Many of us. We were called divisive, asked to leave the church and NEVER received ANY answers. Believe me, there would be no blog if this pastor was not so arrogant and refused to lovingly respond to some concerned members.
Now, the problem has never been any illegal acts or moral failures by the pastor. (Moral failure being adultery or child molestation or theft, for example.)
The problem has been that this man came in to a brand new congregation and immediately took several actions that made people concerned about his motives and judgment.
This blog has discussed them all, but for you new readers, it all started when he was hired but did not even show up to work for several weeks. During that time, he accepted a "gift" from a wealthy member that was valued at over $307,000. The gift was given for "love and affection", which is ridiculous given he had not even been here serving yet. (I know you can argue "love at first sight", but just don't aske me to buy that.) Than he missed several services to "work on his book deal." Than he traveled to preach other places, making thousands, and making us pay thousands to replace him. Then he moved his offices from the rest of our staff and took the conference room from our dear children so he could build private luxury office suites for himself and his family. Then he put his wife and son on the payroll with no actual job description. (Check our website, most churches into nepotism have the son and/or wife listed as a staff member if they are full-time salaried employees.) Then he immediately begin promoting a Holy Land trip in the bulletin every week, for which we assume he gets paid cash for each person who travels with his group. Then the church printed up postcards and gave them out to thousands in Sunday School to promote his son's (who we had not even met yet)wedding reception. By the way, the church was not invited to the wedding, only to the reception. This was all during the first two or three months he arrived. During this time, he was living rent free (another generous gift given out of love to a man the donor had never met?) at a condo on the Atlantic Ocean worth over $1.5 million dollars. It was over an hour from the church and from his new congregation. Than he built a 5500 square foot, 6 bedroom, 4 bath home on the golf course in a gated community. Than, when some people humbly asked some questions, he had Jerry Vines come in during the pastor's conference and reprimand Vines' former congregation that loved him for 23 years. It was Vines' first Sunday back in a year and he used it to talk about salaries and anonymous emails. It was the worst sermon Jerry Vines had ever preached, or ever will, if you can even call it a sermon. Then he criticized the congregation again to Paige Patterson, who asked students at SWBTS to pray for poor old Mac, who got no honeymoon. Than, when apparently, more people emailed with questions, and bloggers raised some concerns, Mac began to lash out angrily in his sermons at his congregation. Then the budget reports became less detailed and more general, than he told come churches we were behing budget due to missions spending, and told others it was behind due to less giving, and then he made major changes to the bylaws without handing out copies to the members or explaining the changes, or asking for discussion and questions before the vote, then it turns out a discipline committee was being formed and he was giving himself more power and less accountability, than he let our church host an Israeli fundraiser to benefit prominent deacons who have invested privately (and Mac too, no doubt) in bio-medical businesses operating between Jerusalem and Jacksonville, and now he says we need a school with no objective reasons and no cost projections given, because to ask for either of those would not be trusting God, and then he says God has the resources and "you is the resource."
But other than that, I agree he is a good husband and father from what he says about himself. And I agree he is an excellent public speaker and seems to know his history. Of course having heard Jerry Vines for 23 years, I am not impressed with his exposition and application of scripture, but I realize there is only one Jerry Vines.
Welcome to the blog. I think some of these issues need to be addressed before this man has the platform of leadership he needs to lead. Just because he is the hired preacher, doesn't mean he can lead. Ask Mac Lucado if you have any questions about what makes a good leader. He will not say "whoever is the latest person in the senior pastor position."
By the way, in case you were wondering and it matters to anyone, anywhere, for any reason, I am 58 years old and retired Navy. I receive disability for a congestive heart condition.
Since when did God assign you to the "Monetary Matters Committee"? When did God give you orders to judge Mac Brunson's personal actions and how they effect his leadership role in the church? Brother, the book of Matthew tells us clearly not to judge or to be critical of others actions. That's god's role, not ours. And don't say you have a right to be concerned because your a sheep giving money to the church. If what has been said is true and Mac Brunson did accept a gift of monetary value, you should not be concerned. It wasn't your money that was given to the pastor was it? So why are you so concerned with this matter? The pastor's sermon this past Wed. was very relevant to what is being discussed here.
Anonymous 7:58p Dec. 13,
-The problem has been that this man came in to a brand new congregation and immediately took several actions that made people concerned about his motives and judgment.-
The only people that seem to be concerned about his motives and judgement are you along with the other spineless anonymous bloggers. This blog is the only instance in which I have heard people complain about our pastor. You guys are the only people I know of, not to say there aren't any others, that are trying to make a legitimate case of a lack of leadership on Mac Brunson's part. Your case is going no where because anonymous blogging is not credible nor does it show leadership on your part. How can you complain about leadership when you can't even post a comment with a name? This blog does nothing to find the answers in which bloggers on this blog are looking for. There are a small number of you folks on here complaining and griping about Mac Brunson compared to the large number of people in and out of the church that see nothing wrong his motives and judgements.
Bob P - how'd you find out? I am indeed the chairman of the "Money Matters Committee"...its a new committee that I snuck into the new bylaw changes that were voted on Wednesday week that not even Mac knew about! You must have been one of the 80 out of our 20,000 members that signed their name at the library to view the top secret bylaw changes before the 11/28 vote.
Seriously...Bob P...when regular donors of a non-profit organization for some reason decide to make a huge gift not TO the non-profit organization itself but instead TO THE HEAD of the non-profit organization (and that HEAD of the organization is already handsomely compensated by the non-profit organization)...that is very questionable and it draws scrutiny from the world on several levels. I really am absolutely shocked that so many people, even a SBC preacher blogging here, can't see that no matter what the details are in how that gift came about, no matter how it looks to those on the inside that this gift was "of God"....from the outside it looks like a donor funneling money to the head of an organization - smacking of the tactics that are currently being investigated by Senator Grassley. These mega churches investigated by Grassley are notorious for having their big donors give gifts not to the 501(c)3, but to the pastors as gifts for love and affection...and it just plain STINKS and is a poor witness. I know so many people who see these kinds of actions - however well intentioned they may be - and it turns them off to any kind of gospel message because to them "church" or "Christianity" is a big time business these days that is being abused by the leaders to enrich themselves and their families.
So if you can't see that this is how that $300,000 gift looks to the world - if Mac didn't have the judgement to know that this gift would draw all kinds of scrutiny...then I'm sorry but you both have very poor judgement in that area.
The fact that its not my money does not lessen my concern and should not lessen yours! Mac is the pastor of the church, and if he accepts a gift that might possibly cast a negative light on our church, that should be EVERYBODY'S concern.
Anon 7:58....all I can say is "My Goodness." No wonder you are all concerned.
And may I say, from the outside looking in, that there are some folks coming on here blasting the blog for asking questions in a less than Christian manner. I can feel the animosity from here.....
And Texas Pastor: When wondering (or being questioned) about appearances, I will always quote 1 Thessalonians 5:22 "Abstain from all appearance of evil."
That's good enough for me.
Bob P - if we are only a small group of complainers, and if blogging anonymously has no credibility, for whatever reason are you coming here to raise such a stink about us blogging? Why not just write us off as a bunch of nuts, and let us blog and complain to each other?
If we're spinless for not posting our names, you're at least "mostly spineless" because there are thousands and thousands of "Bob P's" in Jacksonville so you too choose to be anonymous.
I don't have to write you guys off as nuts. First, that's just not the christian way. I'm doing my best to argue in a proper christian like manner. There's a right and wrong way to disagree. Secondly, your not a bunch of nuts. Possibly just shells with no nut inside.
What else am I suppose to do Watchdog? I type in the code in order to post a comment and I put my name on it as well. Those are the only things you ask for in order to post to your blog. You want my social? Would that qualify as identifiable in your books?
Bob P - no, I most certainly don't want to know who you are so please don't post your name. I was merely pointing out the hypocrisy in criticizing one for being anonymous, when you yourself choose to be anonymous.
If I'm a "shell without nuts", I can live with that...I've been called much worse here than that.
Still Bob, what keeps bringing you back if we are just a very small insignificant minority that has no credibility? Why not just leave us alone?
To say that I am anonymous when I put a name with my comment is like saying I'm here but not really here. So a question comes to my mind: How do you truly no I am Bob P.? If I shook your hand would you truly be shaking Bob P.'s hand? My hand? So what I am saying is I don't see your point with the whole anonymous lecture. I keep coming back because I share the same interest in politics that you share. I like being in the middle of arguments. Plus, I believe that you should stand up for what you believe...that's whay I'm doin.
Bob P - we have a problem with the things anon 7:58 listed, not to mention the mass staff exodus that resulted on top of everything else. We tried to get answers and none were forthcoming. There has been more secrecy, not less, in recent months. The formation of a discipline committee tells you the direction this pastor will be leading. Not a path toward accountability and transparency, but one toward squashing any dissent. That may have been his poorest choice he has made so far. We will see once it begins targeting members who disagree with or question the pope, er pastor.
I see nothing wrong with a discipline committee. It's in the Bible, so what could be wrong with a discipline committee? Another thing, I find it hard to believe that these people went to find answers and were turned away in the manner they describe. The "massive staff exodus" that everyone keeps talking about does not suprise me either. When a new pastor comes in, things change. Isn't that why we voted on a new pastor anyways?....Because God was moving in a new direction? On another note, I don't think the Watchdog will be targeted from the discipline committee. From what I gather, it does not seem that Watchdog attends our church. But my assumptions could be wrong.
What is your goal here? Do you feel you are furthering the kingdom with this blog? Are lives being changed because of your effort? Are you keeping the main thing the main thing?
The main thing....
Let's see.....keeping our witness as pure as possible so unbelievers will see a difference in us. 86% of those who come to know Christ do so through a relationship with a believer or believers. If we look the same as the world, act like the world, manage our business like the world.....how will we look any different? Why would anyone want to be a part of something that is the same old thing?
Church leadership is a combination of leadership and servanthood. Every action by the leader should point to God.
The main thing.....guiding the way for others to see God.
Bob P - you say it must be okay since "it is in the bible?" Are you serious? You and I both know a lot of things are in the Bible that are not "okay". (Multiple wives, adultery by religious leaders, murder, incest, slavery, etc.)
And where is the "discipline committee" found? I missed that part.
You obviously are not going to "get it" when it comes to all the actions listed by Mac as showing poor judgment. Sure, every point can be argued, I realize that. But not every one is going to buy those weak arguments. Just the gullible sheep, or those that don't really care what is happening at our church. ("Jesus was a Jew, so I should be one too!" according to your kind of reasoning.)
Bob, like they tell us bloggers, if you don't like it, leave. So if you don't like the blog, leave it please. And keep giving your money to the church, it needs millions and millions to support itself. And if some people walk an aisle and fill out a card in the process, well praise the Lord. You want to talk Bible, I just don't see any of what we do downtown in my Bible. (high paid professional clergy, huge parking garages, "making a decision" saves us, etc., etc.)
ybic - you ask some good questions. The answer is our goals are the same as yours were in posting your questions. Think about it. :)
Watchdog - over 70 comments in this topic! It looks like more and more people are reading the blog each day. As the building of the school gets closer, this will be a great source of information.
My guess is that for every new reader who chimes in with the same old "this blog is a disgrace" line, or "you should leave the church line" or "what will the lost reading this think" line; there are probably 100's more who are reading it and thinking "yeah, I have to admit, I was wondering about that too" or "I didn't know all of that, could that be true" or "I just sensed something wasn't right at our church, this makes sense." So you are doing a good work for the Lord and for HIS church.
TAKE COMFORT IN THIS: It is never easy to stand in the gap and do the right thing. Expect to be persecuted. Like the preacher says, if you are not doing anything for God, don't expect any opposition. Your opposition is growing, so know that God is using you. Keep on keeping on and continue to fight the good fight.
I have learned a lot here and see that this blog is informative. As a young pastor I have grown a lot here especially from "texaspastor"
My question for watchdog is "what is your goal?" Meaining, what is the end result watchdog is shooting for?
ybic - good question about what is my "goal". Since Mac Brunson has been hired to be our pastor, I want to learn to love him and I want to follow his leadership and I want to sacrifice financially at the expense of my own family's wants and needs to help him and our church be all that God wants it to be. As much as Mac and others would like to think that myself and the other bloggers here are people that are always critical and judgemental, that they have deep spriritual problems and are seeking power and control (as he preached in the Wed sermon), it just ain't so. I can tell you that I was fully behind Mac Brunson when he arrived, and looked forward to following his leadership as I had Dr. Lindsay and Vines for many years. Unfortunately, his actions as listed in this thread above by anon, give me pause, and concern. Based on these actions I and others now require more openness and transparency before we can follow and more explanation of his and our church's stewardship, before we give sacrificially. Is that so wrong? Is that divisive? Leadership requires trust and transparency and integrity in all matters. Tell us the truth about our budget, about the salaries, about the free condo, about the free gift of land, the bylaw changes, Israeli fundraiser, the discipline committee, etc. That is all. It would take him about 30 minutes to just open up and lay it all out there.
I would hope Mac would take a page from John Maxwell's "21 Laws of Irrefutable Leadership", the Law of Solid Ground. John Maxwell once faced a similar situation that Mac faces now:
"...because I was so busy, I let my choleric nature get the better of me and made a big mistake. I very quickly made three major decisions and implemented them without providing the right kind of leadership...my mistake was the way I made those three decisions...It wasn't long afterward that I began to sense unrest among the people. I also heard some rumblings. At first, my attitude was that everyone should get over it and move on. But then I realized that the problem wasn't them. It was me. I had handled things badly. And on top of that, my attitude wasn't very positive...That's when I realized that I had broken the Law of Solid Ground. For the first time in my life, my people didn't completely trust me. As soon as I realized I was wrong, I publicly apologized to my people and asked for their forgiveness. Your people know when you make mistakes. The real question is whether you're going to 'fess up. If you do, you can often quickly regain their trust.
If Mac does this, (not necessarily apologize as Maxwell did, but be open and honest in dealing with the issues of concern in the congregation) those that didn't like what he had to say could leave, and those that understand, would be freed up to follow him. Me included. Until he does that, I am afraid "my goal" as a blogger here, is to continue to discuss these matters anonymously with others that share my concerns in an effort to inform other members of what is taking place. I mean, substantially changing the by-laws, and accepting a $307,000 gift from one of our church donors were never even mentioned or explained by this pastor. Unfortunately there is an information void in our church regarding just about everything and it looks like efforts will be taken to silence anyone who asks any questions about anything.
You never know what Team Brunson will do next. This blog is very helpful and needed as long as the pastor continues to operate as he has since he arrived. My "goal" is not try and change him. That won't happen. Right now its clear that there is too much pride, arrogance and celebrity worship for that. My "goal" is to try and deal with the hand we have been dealt in hiring Team Brunson. A blog is a necessary evil so to speak.
Walt- Very well said. If this blog were just a bunch of nuts, the pastor wouldn't take the time to preach to us "recalcitrant bloggers" every week.
Mac Brunson is definitely on the defensive due to the heavy-hitting questions that have been raised here. He's probably being grilled in his e-mails from the hundreds of new readers to this blog. If he didn't feel the pressure, he would just ignore all of us.
To All - I say we should all take up an offering to pay the Watchdog to shut this blog down. If throwing a few hundred thousand bucks at the Watchdog will buy his support, hey why not. It will be a good investment in the long run. How bout it? Let's get one of those guys to give the church a designated offering "out of love and affection" to "donate" to the Watchdog. I can guarantee he will do whatever he is told if someone gives him a $300,000 gift. I mean who wouldn't be bought and paid for at that price?
"Stop the Watchdog" Fund OR a prominent deacon can donate the funds. It is better to give than to receive right? So GIVE.
Anonymous Spineless coward,
Maybe your problem is with your Bible. Your exactly right..what we do downtown isn't in your Bible because your Bible obviously does not coincide with God's Word. You might want to switch versions and use The Holy Bible instead of the My Way Is Right Bible. Matthew 18:15-19 is a passage in where we get our modern day "discipline committee". This just proves that your Bible may be the problem here Anon.
Robert - two questions for you:
1. Have you read the bylaws to see what this discipline committee is supposed to do, how it will function, how its members are selected?
2. Have you personally talked to Mac Brunson about why he formed it?
Unless you have done both, please don't come here and pop off about the discipline committee because you don't know what you're talking about. No one here says a discipline committee is WRONG, or UNBIBLICAL. But the problem sir is that when the pastor institutes a discipline committee, doesn't explain it to his congregation, and has it passed on a Wed night business meeting with hardly any of the members knowing what they are voting on, well...that is just plain wrong and it calls into questions his motives of such a committee. Compounding the problem is that Mac has just now come up with this idea at the moment he is facing mounting opposition from recalcitrant bloggers and others attempting to hold him accountable, so it looks like the committee might possibly be used to squash opposition.
Bob P - here is Matthew 18:15-19 quoted from my Bible. I still just don't see the formation of any discipline committee, do you?
15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.
Maybe there is a verse 20 in your bible that says:
20 And if he still disagrees with the pastor or has any concerns that remain unanswered, then change your church by-laws and hand pick some men to form a committee in order to discipline that man however the pastor sees fit."
Sorry, young man. I don't see it. But you obviously can be easily persuaded to believe it is there.
As far as I can tell, the first recorded "discipline committee" in the New Testament consisted of the Jews and Pharisees who sought to kill Jesus because he directly opposed what was going on in the church at that time.
Think about it... The problems way back then are similar to the problems we're seeing today:
1 Material greed- Remember the tax collectors, and the money changers in the temple?
2 Lust for power- The Pharisees had all the power, and apparently put people out of the synagogue who disagreed with their rules.
Ultimately, because Jesus kept calling the Pharisees what they were...vipers, children of the devil, thieves, etc., AND because Jesus wouldn't recant and "tow the party line", the first recorded "discipline committee" conspired to commit murder against Him.
Now, I'm not at all insinuating that anyone is conspiring to murder, far from it!...But if we're going to examine what is going on today in light of the Bible, I think these points bear consideration.
Sheri - very true, I think your comparison is worth considering!
The most ardent critics of the blog say that discussion openly of issues and concerns within the church and in this form of open communication is creating factions and dissention in the church, and is thus sinful and those engaging in it need to stop it and repent.
A few posters here have said Mac's sermon on Wednesday night on "judgemental and critical people" was directed at the bloggers. Now that I've listened to it again they might be right because Mac made a statement that those who have a judgemental and critical spirit are that way so they can become prominent and important in a church the size of Jax. Surely he didn't direct that to someone who is critical to their children or spouse..who would he be directing that to? Hmmm....
If anyone has the idea that Mac's sudden interest in "church discipline" (he mentioned church discipline at least 4 times in his sermons of late, and that the "church" does a poor job in "church discipline")is nothing more than our loving pastor desiring to stick to scriptures to lovingly bring people back into fellowship, you needed to be at the Wednesday night service. He again addressed church discipline and paraphrased a part of Matthew 18:
"...in fact Jesus gives us a clear word about church discipline in Mathew 18. He says if you can't settle the issue he says you bring him before the church and you settle it before the church..."
He followed that paraphrase by a long pause and three quick taps on his pulpit as if to serve as a warning or a "what do think about that?" or "I just might do that" kind of statement - those of you that have sat under Mac for the past year and a half know what I'm talking about.
Mac has done this kind of church discipline before. He had a music minister at Dallas who was found to be in some sort of marital infidelity or sexual sin and he practiced church discipline by bringing the man before the church. Perhaps Mac views those who oppose his ideas and dare talk about his actions and his questionable motives as being in need of that kind of discipline. It sure is a different day at FBC Jax.
I think Mac is bluffing. He's trying to use intimidation to silence his critics. He can't bring anyone up in front of the church, because if he did, he would have to disclose WHY that person is being disciplined.
Plus, you can bet your bottom dollar that if I myself were subjected to Mac's brand of "church discipline" - (AKA intimidation), I would RUN, not walk, to all the local newspapers.
This is SO classic of abusers !! They'll use whatever they have to (anger, intimidation, fear, etc.) to get you to agree with them or shut up..."it's my way or the highway"...
Hey, I think I just stumbled on a new slogan for FBC Jax..."That Jacksonville would agree with Mac or leave"
Watchdog, Sheri, Biblical Illiterate Coward, and Anonymous
I know you are probably sad to hear that I am only going to post for 24 more hours. Then I, like you, probably have a lot more important things to do in this life. I am glad that the four of you have gone to the Matthew 18 passage, it's a fundamental passage to obey when you feel wronged, lied to, or sinned against. I'd encourage you four to be the very first to faciliate the Discipline Committee with your greviences against your Pastor. Of course, you can't appear as anonymous or hide behind a blogger ID. You actually have to appear in the light, and give real testimony (not guesses or emotions) of the sin against you personally. Now if you can't do that or won't do that - you should shut down this site Watchdog, because all you would be doing is facilitating sin within your own church body. I'm certain that you would want to follow Christ's mandate on church problems, right?
Sheri, you are biblically off-base with your Discipline Committee/Pharisee comparison. The Pharisees were corrupted by the law and preserved the law, a Discipline Committee of elders/deacons is for perserving unity and peace within the Body based on grace. (Jesus's Matthew 18 passage is a grace passage). Sheri, your Pharisee history is way off as well. So Watchdog, don't call the comparison "worth considering" without biblical context. I will chalk that up to your youthful age.
I also seriously doubt that Spirit-led men in your deacon fellowship who serve on the Discipline Committee have training with the KGB or Cosa Nostra. The four of you make it sound like they have a hired an assassination squad to take out anonymous bloggers. "Squash" is the term that Anonymous used. Wow, that sounds relatively close to paranoia to me!
I hope that FBC Jax has a great day in worship tomorrow. A group of people gather with me every Sunday morning at 8:30 to pray for me, the services, and for salvation. I challenge the four of you to pray at 8:30 in the morning for power and anointing on Dr. Brunson. It's really hard to write cynincally against your pastor and pray for him at the same time.
Texas Pastor - you're not saying anything that hasn't already been said by those who defend the indefensible, or who refuse to address the topics here.
We do have very important things to do in our life sir. We have real careers, real family issues, and we serve and minister in the name of Jesus Christ at our church that we love and have loved for decades. So please don't come here and diminish our decision to blog. I highly suspect you have your own blog, and you aren't as new to blogging as you claim, and that you'll continue blogging at your site even after the "24 hours". If I'm wrong, then I challenge you to email me privately your name and church as I believe I know who you are and that you do have your own blog.
You tell us "4" to go to the discipline committee...well, we might consider going to it as soon as our pastor utters one word about it, or explains its purpose, or explains its function, or explains its operation, or explains how concerns are delivered to the committee, etc. I'm not holding my breath that this information will be delivered, because the opportune time to deliver that information would be PRIOR to asking the congregation to vote on it. And do you seriously think that this committee is being established so that members can have a fair hearing of their concerns over the actions of their pastor? Call me paranoid, but for some reason I just don't think that is the motive for the committee.
I don't consider myself to be facilitating sin sir. This is a blog where people who wish to remain anonymous can voice their concerns about their church without fear of retribution from the leadership of the church, or other over-zealous church members who disagree with us. In a church the size of FBC Jax, there are a number of people who might wish us serious bodily harm in defending their pastor and their church at all costs.
Face to face with the leadership of the church about our concerns? I'll tell you again: many of us HAVE. We have done it and received no answers, or "I don't know" answers, or "talk to someone else" answers. Even the staff members who should know answers to questions don't know or are told to say they don't know. Some of us have been told to leave if we don't like the way things are done, and when asked for simple explanations of WHY things are done or decisions made, no explanation - just like it or leave it.
I do pray for Mac Brunson - that God will give him love for our entire congregation, even those that don't agree with his leadership thus far, that he will lovingly move in the direction of more openness and truthfulness and transparency to address their concerns...that he will preach the word without using his sermons as a way to send messages to those who don't agree with him. I pray he will just preach the word and let the Holy Spirit do the convicting.
Mr W Dog,
I still stay with my position that anonymous complaints and blogged concerns are rather usless in a church situation; and rather non-compliant with Scripture on top of that.
Now if you really think you are subject to "serious bodily harm" as you say by church members or staff - my gosh brother get out of a church where you could have "retribution" for sharing your concerns publicly. That's a pretty bold statement you make.
No, I haven't blogged but once before this week - nor do I have a blog. Your suspicions are incorrect brother. I don't mind at all sharing my name and email address with you if I knew you could keep it between the two of us.
You and others keep writing that it seems that Dr Brunson's sermons are directed at you and that you feel that his sermons are a "message to those who don't agree." As grumblers and anonymous disagreers, maybe it is the Holy Spirit after all since you sense it as personal.
How about this? No more blogging until you approach the Discipline Committee with your concerns. If you get no reconciliation, then go to the church (even via internet) - but only to FBC Jax members. At least you have followed Christ's directives. The Church is the Body of Christ and the opportunities you provide people to sling mud on her with unchallenged accusations and shady theology just seems spiritually dangerous to me Watchdog.
I'm glad to hear that you pray for Dr. Brunson. I assume that you love him also; and that you love him in deed not just in word.
Look forward to your thoughts on this Mr Dog.
The blog is not useless. It is not "non-compliant with scripture".
Bodily harm. Yes. Ask bloggers at Bellevue. One of them was assaulted.
The sermons - you haven't been here and you haven't heard them. Many at FBC Jax (and people at FBC Dallas) know exactly what I'm talking about. You don't because you haven't been here.
Not looking for advice from you sir on when to start and stop blogging, but thanks anyways.
And you don't get it with the committee. I have no interest whatsoever in going to the committee because: 1. We can't because no one knows anything about it, and I don't anticipate that we will anytime soon (until they approach recalcitrant bloggers to bring them before the committee); 2. I won't even recognize that committee as legitimate considering the manner in which it was snuck into the bylaws. I know you don't want to discuss this because its so embarrassing that a pastor would do this to his congregation - but they snuck the committee and other signficant bylaw changes past the congregation with no discussion or explanation. You said the blog is "useless"...well here's an example where its not useless... one purpose the blog has served is to show other churches around the SBC what this pastor is doing - and I hope that lay people, and deacons, and board members, and staff members read this and say "We won't stand for OUR pastor pulling THAT stunt in OUR church." and I hope by us writing about what Mac does spurs them to determine to hold their pastor more accountable than our church is able. 3. I'm not fool enough to think Mac formed it as a means for people to approach the committee to get resolution on concerns they have with the pastor. So no, I won't stop blogging "until I can go to the committee" because that day will never come, and the committee is illegitimate.
Give me your scriptural basis for this site then Brother Dog. Where is this compliant with God's Word? Give me the passages and the theological root to your continuation of this website, please!
So there was an assault on an anonymous blogger? Really? Because they blogged?
I do enjoy hearing Dr. Brunson's messages. And very often feel conviction myself - so please don't feel alone in your conviction. His sermons from Judges are awesome. His biblical explanation on sin shakes me Mr Watchdog.
You say that you "have no interest whatsoever in going to the committee" and you say you "won't recognize that committee as legitimate."
That's really telling to me Watchdog. It says to me that you aren't looking for biblical reconcilation but for personal recognition. Am I way off base on this? Again, I see this as your youthfulness and zeal.
And no apology on calling me a liar on my blogging history? Come on, a little contrition?
I've read here on your site about how the church "snuck" the by-law changes by without anyone knowing. But then I also read that people voted for it in an overwhelming majority and that 80 people checked out the By-laws. How did they know about? Why did people vote yes?
Brother, my time is wrapping up. But I think from your last writing I am just now realizing that this site isn't about unity or peace - - the site is about stirring dissension and giving people a safe place to blog (I call it sin, but whatever...)
And I can't get you to take me up on talking personally watchdog?
As always, I anticipate your response brother.
TP: I really have said all I'm going to say on these matters discussing them with you. My responses would only be reiterating what I've already said. Therefore I'll give you the last word.
I can't help but find it interesting that our Texas Pastor has tried several times to learn the identity of Watchdog, and now wants to meet with Watchdog in person.
Texas Pastor - If the blog is useless and sinful, why would you care who the Watchdog is? Sounds to me like you're working for Mac.
Thanks for the last word on this. It is simply this: Please post your biblical foundation for doing what you do on this site. I appreciate you taking the time to engage with me on this. You have taken on a heavy task, I frankly feel that you are going to regret setting up a site that anonymously slings mud on a brother in Christ and Christ's church.
Sheri - I live in Texas, so meeting with Watchdog is rather impossible. And if you will read the above stream, you will see that he asked for my identity and email - not the other way around. Work for Dr. Brunson? No ma'am I don't, but would be honored to serve under him.
God bless you both and my prayer is that your heart is open to the voice of the Spirit on all these matters. I personally feel that He is grieved. I hope that church tomorrow is supernatural at FBC Jax.
texas pastor - I always also hope the service is "supernatural", unfortunately, it has been only once sinc Mac arrived. The rest of the times I see an insecure, arrogant man whining about emails he receives and how tough his job is if we were to follow him around for a day. I can't believe this guy landed this gig.
And TP, you are not the first to suggest the watchdog is looking for personal recognition? Please, explain where this accusation comes from, I don't get it. How could a man/woman who won't reveal who they are gain any personal recognition? If he/she had their face and name on this blog, than maybe you could be on to something. But if the desire is to stay unknown, how could any personal recognition ever come about? This is another good reason why Mr. Dog should stay anonymous. To make sure he has no other motives than to shine the light on the activities and poor leadership of the pastor.
Good morning Walt,
It's amazing how two people can hear some of the same sermons and not hear the same thing. I've never heard whining or arrogance in his words. I've heard power and insight though. But for integrity sake, you've heard a lot more sermons from him than I. I'd encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to be your guide into truth today - see if that removes the focus on the personality of a man speaking.
I used the term personal recognition on purpose, not public recognition. I truly believe Walt that Watchdog enjoys the debate and the accusations more than reconciliation and oneness. There's twisted power in anonimity, but there's Godly power in "come, let us reason together!"
Read John 17 today and see where this blog fits into that chapter.
I hope it's a great Sabbath day for you and your family Walt.
Texas pastor - today was a great day. Jim Whitmire sets the table by focusing on Jesus. He is obviously a man that has walked closely with the Lord and loves Him. Then Dr. Brunson had a great message, delivered with love and concern for his congregation, about sin and how it traps and ruins a man or woman. Excellent application of the scripture regarding Samson to our lives. It was a great day. I hope Dr. Brunson will keep it up. He is capable, if only he will address some concerns so he can be freed up to move on. Or at least, just focus on preaching God's word like he did today. No way to complain about anything today, and I am not looking for a reason.
The Travil Contrell concert tonight was very good too.
Turn your ipod off for a minute and listen to yourself. You guys are fighting against the man that God has sent to be your pastor. Dangerous undertaking. Let me help you a little. Call Dr. Brunson's office, schedule an appointment and go talk to him. You will sleep better if you do this and perhaps some of these issues will be resolved in your heart. Then you can focus on school again. Let me know how it works out.
Walt and friends
Stop encouraging this kid. He is going to grow up to be a cynical person who misses out on God’s blessing because the enemy has such a strong hold on him. I say to you the same thing I said to watchdog. Call Dr. Brunson’s office, schedule an appointment and go talk with him. These issues are big ones and need to be resolved but I imagine they are lies from the enemy that you are buying. Let me know how this works out.
texaspastor - I don't see how this blog fits into that chapter at all? Nor could I see how it relates to Genesis or Malachi or any number of chapters either. What is your point?
The sabbath? Do you mean Sunday services, or Saturday by that comment? And I don't have any family to have a great Sabbath with. I am widowed for 8 years now and never had any children due to some miscarriages. Thanks anyway.
to texas pastor, I'm astounded that you are asking for a biblical reference for discussions on a blog. I cannot find biblical references for computers, phones, and many many things. There have always been people who in some way sit around and discuss things; think outloud; argue; and most people grow from the experience. it is enriching to listen to others opinions and thoughts;and can lead to change sometimes. On a blog, people are 'sitting around' not in a barbershop of long ago; not in a coffee shop, but using the technology of 2007.
There are many references for seeking to know God and understand him; there are also references about the body of Christ functioning in its entirety.
If we're looking for Bible references, I don't see the one encouraging the pastor/shepherd to live in an opulent lifestyle in the face of so many people who have so little; and also in the face of the world who scrutinizes the lifestyle of Christian leaders.
In the last 25-30 years or so, we've witnessed television transform some pastors into "televangelists". By using TV to ask for money, some of these men have become extremely wealthy. Mansions and private planes have become the norm for these guys.
Unfortunately, the concept of pastor (and family) wealth building has extended to the local church, especially our mega churches. Pastors are now into book deals, speaking engagements, large conferences, and making as much money as possible.
This is a very disturbing trend. Many of us here on this blog are concerned that pastors have begun treating the church as a business, and they are the CEO's. And it's not just FBC Jax !! There are many other mega churches with this problem, some of which are currently under Senate scrutiny, for taking advantage of their 501(c)(3) status to build their pastor's and family's personal wealth.
I can only hope that Senator Grassley blows the cover off these greedy guys, and exposes them for what they are...greedy CEO's posing as church pastors. And I hope it doesn't stop there. I think this is just the tip of the iceberg.
To all those who think this blog is shameful and harmful, it has become a necessary evil for exposing corruption in the church.
As long as these shady money deals are kept quiet, the longer they will persist, and the worse it will get. This isn't the church of 40 years ago.
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