Some of his supporters have posted here agreeing with Mac that we were or are legalistic; then citing examples of supposed "legalism" that are not even legalism. So Mac labels us legalistic (which is such a damning phrase that no SBC church wants to labeled), and those that agree with Mac's assessment don't even know what it is. Just eight years after Homer's death and two years since Vines leaves and we don't even...well, I digress.
So Mac has passed judgement on us as "legalistic". And in front of 100's of SBC pastor's to boot.
Sure, over the years many in Jacksonville have claimed FBC Jacksonville members were "legalists", but it was usually the liberals that called us that because we took strong stands against sin in our city. Our church used to know the difference between "legalism" and "high standards" and "strong stands against sin".
While we're talking about labels - another label applied to FBC Jacksonville over the years is "hypocrite". People in our city have long called our church members hypocrites...claiming that we say one thing with our mouths, then behave in ways contrary to what we say.
So Mac has called us legalistic. Now for Mac's diagnosis.
Mac, you're not a "legalist". But Mac, you are a "hypocrite". And now you've given the city reasons to believe our church is hypocritical.
Why are you a hypocrite?
You say you are concerned over crime in Jacksonville.
But your actions say otherwise. Unlike you not telling us why we are legalistic, I'll tell you why I call you a hypocrite:
1. You agreed to sit on the mayor's Crime Prevention Steering Committee. But as the Florida Times Union reported you made only 2 of 7 committee meetings. This is not surprising; you vacate your pulpit at only a slightly better rate than that; and you don't tell us most of the time when you won't be there, you just, well aren't there (which we don't mind so much anymore). Hopefully you showed the Steering Committee members like Wayne Weaver, Nat Glover, John Delaney, and Steven Wallace more respect than you do your congregation by letting them know in advance you won't be there. Or is that being "legalistic" to expect you to tell people you won't be there?
2. You promised Rev. Daniel Jones on Sunday, September 30, 2007, that FBC Jacksonville would help him get his church sanctuary (Christ Ministry of Changing Lives) back and operational. His church is in one of the most crime-ridden areas of our city, and the federal ATF agent investigating the arson says that his sanctuary was burned down because of the positive impact his church was having in his neighborhood. You even had him come to the church on that Sunday night, and you even called him to the platform so you could promise to him in front of all of us that our church (under Trey's able leadership) would help him. Then we read in the Florida Times Union 6 months later that Rev. Jones is still not in his sanctuary, and is still well short of his goal according to the Times Union article. We can only assume that FBC Jax did not follow through with its commitment, else one would assume FBC Jax would be listed on the list of rebuilding sponsors at Rev. Jones' website.
3. On the same day that you collected a special offering to pay for local TV advertising and to pay to put your sermons back on national TV, the Florida Times Union had an article describing how Rev. Jones' church still isn't in his sanctuary. You used your power and influence to raise money to put yourself on TV in local commercials and on national Christian TV, while Rev. Jones was putting a tent up to hold services next to his burned out building.
You're a hypocrite and I've explained why. You say you're concerned about crime in Jacksonville. But you can't attend the Steering Committee Meetings, and Pastor Jones is still not able to fully function in his crime-ridden area of Jacksonville after we promised to help him. If any of these facts are wrong, please let us know here, or better yet tell your congregation.
Now, can you explain why WE'RE legalists?
Note: this site gets 500 views per day...if you are reading this and would like to contribute to Pastor Jones' church's rebuilding efforts, you can do so through "PayPal" at his website: Christ Ministry of Changing Lives. If you instead would like to contribute to Mac's Media Evangelism to pay for the Starbuck's commercials and to put Mac's sermons on nationwide Christian TV, go to the FBC Jax website.