UPDATE 7/2/08: Around 6/29, the INSP website removed the link to "FBC Jacksonville" from their ministry list, and there is no FBC Jacksonville program on their July 2008 schedule published at their website. So either this was an error on the part of INSP, or for some reason the programming was pulled at the last minute. So as best we can tell as of July 1, there is no FBC Jax programming on the INSP Network. Would be nice to get an update from the pastor on this during announcements in a worship service, seeing as he saw fit to ask us all to give to this ministry on Easter Sunday, but that apparently is asking too much. The Watchdog will continue to monitor and will update as necessary.
---------------------------------Congrats to Mac Brunson - the Sunday after he told us all how we need to stop spending so much and need to tithe, Mac has managed to find the funds necessary to put himself back on nationwide TV. FBC Jax church members will recall how Mac took up a special "Media Evangelism" offering on Easter Sunday to raise $180,000 to get his sermons back on nationwide TV. I blogged about it here and here.
I don't recall Mac giving us any update on whether the goal was reached. This usually means the goal wasn't reached.
But either it was, or they found the money somewhere, because starting this Sunday at 7:00 pm Mac is back on nationwide TV, Sunday nights at 7:00 pm on the INSP network. Click here and you'll see the FBC Jax hyperlink added this week to the INSP ministry list.
Another example of the ego and misplaced priorities of Mac Brunson: we could have used the $180,000 for other ministry and had an outreach via archiving video of our services - but there is nothing glamorous about that - the mega pastors move up a notch in the echelon of mega church pastors if they can get on a nationwide network. All part of the "Mac Brunson" branding strategy - all on the backs of FBC Jax members.
Way to go Mac and our crack team of Trustees! We love how you spend our money! It would have been nice to tell us.
I have been a faithful tither since I was a boy. I have not been blessed because of it, but I do it anyway out of a desire to keep my heart and priorities straight. I have seen financial difficulty, my appliances and cars have broken down and needed to be replaced, I have had illnesses and disabilities, I have had death of loved ones. So I was very hurt to think that my pastor believes that being faithful to the tithe means you will receive health and wealth on your "investment." Other denomimations teach and preach this, which I know is false teaching, which is why I am a baptist. Similarly, I believe God can and does heal people, but I also know that we all get sick, we all die eventually. So, I don't trust any man who claims if I give money, or just "have enough faith", then me or my loved one will be healed. This is twisting of scripture and is false teaching. I sincerely feel our pastor preached this health and wealth false gospel last week.
We need to pray for him. For some reason this talented, gifted and learned preacher of the gospel seems to have been drawn astray. Since he is just a sinful man like you or I, perhaps it is his love for his wife or family that has caused him to abandon his call to preach the word. He seems like a sincere and passionate man, but someone, something, has harnessed his energy for purposes other than preaching the gospel. I will continue to pray for him and for any of his "handlers" or close family members who are manipulating this good hearted man and has him deceived.
Like Adam said..."Lord, that woman..." Often times, a beloved woman can manipulate the man, very strongly and very easily. Pray for our pastor.
Watchdog - this may be off post, but I was curious as to why the pastor made mention of the "dirty beer companies" or something to that effect. Is he saying that drinking a beer is sin? Does anyone know what his personal stand is on drinking alcohol in any quantity is? What about his doctrinal stand on this subject?
He disclosed he gave 15% of his income not to brag, but in order to show "leadership" on that issue. But what about the "dirty beer" comment. Has he ever preached ANY sermon on this very practical and relevant topic. Our previous pastors made it clear where they stood on this subject. And often, they were unpopular because of it, but they wanted to lovingly lead our families with their wisdom gained through years of walking with Jesus and through years of ministry. What does our new staff believe and practice in regards to consumption of alcoholic beverages?
I enjoy an ice cold beer occasionally with my dinner and my family was looking at me funny after that comment. So, I felt like despite my tithing and service in our church, I am sinning by drinking the occasional "dirty beer." This seems to place a yoke of legalism on me. I am confused.
I would email and ask him about this but am afraid if I do, I will be labeled as "one of the malcontents" and not be able to keep my teaching position. What should I do?
I don't think Mac has a strong of a conviction about alcohol as our previous pastors; who knows, maybe he enjoys an occasional glass of wine over there at Deerwood's private country club. If had a strong conviction on alcohol certainly he would have addressed it his first 2+ years that he has been at our church.
But what is important we know he has a rock-solid stand on anonymous emails...but nothing really of substance clarifying his stand on "that ole liquor" as Vines used to call it.
We are being taken to the cleaners and the yes men trustees are letting it happen. I blame those guys. Im sad he wants to use our tithes and offerings to put him on TV in other cities and he hasn't put our sermons on the Internet via video archive. He has taken the land for himself to increase his personal wealth. He has given wife and son jobs and put them on payroll. These men will be responsible when this terrible fiasco falls apart.
Mac - did your dad teach you to say "thank you"? You asked the people of FBC Jax to give so you could get on TV, the least you can do is tell us that yes you're back on TV, and a "thank you" might be nice. Or was it Trey who "raised" the money and thus no thank you is in order?
Watchdog - just a thought - we ought to have an "Independence Day from Mac Brunson" this Sunday. The only thing Mac and his trustees/worshipers will understand is dollarinos. We need to all hold our tithe back in protest of Mac and his nonsense leadership at our church. I'm telling you that if they saw giving go down even just 10 or 15 percent, it would catch their attention. What do you think?
Nice thinking Anon...maybe.
To the first blogger on this thread 7:42 p.m.: I was impressed with your spiritual wisdom. I will pray for your health.
As to the Sunday School teacher that drinks "the occasional beer". I cannot believe you see no conflict here. Did you ever hear Lindsay or Vines regarding alcohol? Teacher if you came to the passages on drunkness what would you be able to teach. There are hundreds of verses. I think your argument would be that you don't get drunk. It's always the first one that counts. My father ended his days as an alcoholic, I remember when he would only drink an "occassional" beer. He always said he just liked beer occassionally. Please rethink this practice. What would members of your class that you teach think if they saw you drinking beer? Leaders should be above reproach in this area. This is not legalism sir, this is an absolute. Maybe not in other religions but certainly in the Baptist faith. We do not know many issues that our pastor believes or disbelieves. But please don't wait on him to tell you whether he thinks it is ok to drink an occassional beer. Pray and ask God what He thinks. I see this legalism tag used a lot to defend what people want to do or not to do. It won't matter whether it's legalism or not. It will matter whether it's right or wrong, and whether God approves or disapproves.
You state that you feel that you are sinning. This means that you are under conviction about this issue. You also state that you have a family. That child is watching everything you do. There will come a day when this issue will come up. I believe you will want to be able to take the right stand on it. I also am a teacher with pastors in my family, and I have taught on this problem many times. James 4: vs.17: "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." I hope this brings peace and closure to your decision. My remarks have been made in good faith, I hope you will take them accordingly.
Anon - I agree with you on alcohol...but I believe Mac Brunson believes its legalistic for you to tell someone that they shouldn't drink. He said that there is nothing at all Godly about our "lists", and I assume he means my list of things I don't do, which is alcohol. He didn't bother to differentiate between "legalistic lists" and "Godly convictions", he just said if you have a list its legalism. Maybe Mac drinks a bit of wine with the family, and sees it as legalism to tell others not to drink. Who knows. But we do know where he stands firm on the important issue of anonymous emails.
To the teacher who wants to know if an occasional beer is permissible:
I have stood next to three coffins of a cousin, a nephew, and my best friend. I made up my mind years ago that I would never put myself in the position of taking a chance of drinking because it could lead to someone's death. Maybe mine! I recall Dr Lindsay telling the story in one of his sermons that if you died with alcohol on your breath wouldn't it be a disgrace to wake up in heaven with alcohol on your breath.I believe drinking any alcohol displeases God, as HE has much to say against it. To me it is a sin, and seeing my relatives and friend dead because of drunk drivers, proved it to me. Read what the Bible says about drinking and then always when it is a moral or sin question defer to the Word. Take the moral high ground then you won't have any regrets!!
I encourage you to be more like Him. It will take prayer and courage but it will occur.
I have a similar testimony concerning the tithe.
We are dealing with an "Elitist".
Pastor Brunson is ok with "doing as I say and not as I do".
The Elitist feels they have reached such a higher plane that allows them to indulge in the very things they speak against.
The rank and file are admonished to tow the line.
I am afraid this logic has trickled down to the Deacons and the Trustees. Sidebar; "What in the world is a Trustee"? The last time I looked the NT Church has only two offices.
It will be interesting if we ever reach "critical mass " and come to the realization this might not be God's Man.
Under Pastors Lindsay and Vines we enjoyed a loose affliation with the SBC. Under Pastor Brunson we jump every time the SBC yells frog.
The SBC has been taken over by the Rick Warren bunch. Richard Land has sold out to the PD movement lock ,stock and barrel.
I have an email from Pastor Brunson Stating "We are not going PD". We already are. We are using every play from the PD playbook.
This is a plan to fill the church with tares.
If not for this blog we would have no means to voice oposition. The clandestine bylaw vote sealed out any voice from the general congregation. He can hand pick the trustees and the deacons. We have the fox watching the hen house. Hopefully some of the real deacons will man-up and take a stand. Blind alllegance is the mark of a cult. See 7th day adventist as they dealt with the Whites.
We need to get back to our Fathers business.
Bigbird you guy's are definetly PD.One of the most telling signs is a drift from teaching Christ centered truths to history,psychology,philosophy,human desrires and needs,etc. I'm a big fan of Dr.John MacAuthur Jr. and Dave Hunt;In these two men I see a love of the scriptures and a total devotion to the revealed truth of God's Word.Now I ask myself a question concerning Brunson; What would possess a Pastor to stop preaching Christ centered messages? Add to this the other evidence(hypocrisy,greed,abusive demeanor,lording his posistion,et.al). THERE'S SOMETHING ROTTEN IN FBC!!!!!!
I can't believe that we have let a bunch of Texas carpetbaggers take over our church!
You fools at FBC Jax! You blame Mac for this, but the people you have to blame are those stupid rich trustees! In fact, after Mac gets done filling his pockets and building his brand and building his family's resume, he will move on, and guess what...you'll STILL be stuck with the trustees who have allowed Mac to do all this to you because you won't have one thing to say about who the trustees are since they changed the bylaws!! You won't even be able to call for a business meeting, because the trustees have to approve it! You all don't know it, but even if you tried to do what happened at Two Rivers and tried to sue the church to get records of how Mac has taken us to the cleaners you won't be able to do that because they changed the bylaws to say that you've agreed to have any disputes with the trustees to be arbitrated by the Southern Baptist Convention!
And you all approved this on that Wednesday night back in December when the bylaws were changed right under your nose.
The joke is on us!
Now we watch as Mac spends the money as he wishes and the trustees allow - and he just spent a bucket load of cash so that he can be on television, and didn't even have the decency of telling us or thanking us. But he doesn't have to because he's the "man of God".
This is like a bad nightmare. Please, someone in the SBC help us. God please help us.
To the two anons that responded to the "first anon" - Thank you! Your stand on alcohol makes sense to me, not as being legalistic, but I sense your experience and wisdom regarding making abstinence the best choice for me and my family. I came to the church in the months before Dr.Vines left, so I never really heard his stand on it. I will be praying about this issue. Hopefully, my pastor will address it also. Thanks again.
I wonder if our church is "being the church" and helping out in New Orleans (they are STILL in need are they not?) or if we are simply building our brand. Thank Jesus that FEMA is there to help since it seems we spend 90% or more of "God's money" on ourselves or our pastor or his TV ministry.
DB: should we be talking to Trey to get answers on why we are on TV when Mac has never told us whether sufficient money was raised, or did Mac just decide to put himself on TV without the money? Was it just a ploy the Easter Sunday special offering? The decision was made whether we raised the money or not, and this was Mac's way to spur us to dig deeper in our pockets? Is this a wise way to spend our money, when the people of God are squeezed already with higher gas prices and higher food prices, that our millionaire preacher spends over a hundred grand so people in Dayton, Ohio can watch him preach? Will Mac explain this to us, or must we schedule a personal meeting with him? Or did Trey "raise" the money for this?
Enough is enough.
The SBC is not going to help you any more than they're going to help victims of clergy child (or adult) sexual abuse. It's very convenient to say each Baptist church is autonomous when it's an issue the SBC doesn't want to deal with. But cross their manmade lines or ordain a woman or homosexual (the latter of which I vehemently oppose) or violate the BFM2000 and see how quickly they get involved. Baptist church autonomy seems to be an ever moving target.
That was my point exactly Anon.
In Mac's idiotic "I hope the feds don't help us" remark, if he so much wants the church to be the one to deliver disaster relief, then why does he spend our money to put himself on TV?
The Feds must come in to provide disaster relief because pastors like Mac spend the money on TV ministries.
Oh well. The people of FBC Jax have gotten what they deserve.
Two thoughts about Mac owing only one debt, which he said was his house.
1) Are the baby blue/Carolina blue Jaguar and the slick black luxurious Lexus he and Debbie drive paid off? If so, that is at least $100,000.00 worth of automobiles paid for cash. What Baptist preacher can afford $100,000.00 worth of vehicles? And we know they don't appreciate in value like past homes. Were these also gifts? Or does the man have $100K sitting around to buy new luxury cars with every few years? If so, where is getting all that money? Hmmmm...
2) Doesn't Wills attend Liberty University? If so, the tuition there with room and board is around $20,000.00 per year. Is Mac not paying for this either? If Wills is not paying full tuition, AND our church is giving any money to Liberty, doesn't that seem a little shady to you?
Pretty easy to have "margin" when your only payment is a $300K, 15 year note on a million dollar home, no car payments, no college tuition payments, no health care insurance premiums, free gasoline, and on and on.
And he ONLY gives 15% of his income! Wow, isn't he generous. If someone paid all of those things for me, I think I could give a little more than 15% back to the source of where the money all came from.
To Team Brunson: "Be sure in this, your sin will find you out. You will reap what you sow. God is not mocked."
I can't believe my eyes.
I can't believe my eyes.
I can't believe my eyes.
Someone said it before, maybe it was the watchdog.
The king has no clothes. He is stark raving naked, and not even the trustees who are highly respected men in our city can see it.
Listen carefully First Baptist Jacksonville. You're being taken for fools by Mac Brunson on this TV thing. Let me explain:
If you look at the TV line-ups at INSP and other national Christian broadcast networks, most of the time (not always but mostly - especially with SBC churches) the "ministries" that are on the network are NOT local churches, but are preachers' 501(c)3 ministry organizations. This is because the local church usually is not interested in broadcasting services on these networks since their preaching and worship service ministry can be made available 24/7 worldwide on the Internet at just a fraction of the cost of TV production. In other words, most churches who have responsible men who oversee the finances - unlike FBC Jax who now is run by the pastor and trustees who serve the pastor and not the church - realize that it is a poor use of the local church members' tithes to invest it in very expensive out of town TV programming.
Thus the pastors if they want to put themselves on TV raise funds from the broadcasts themselves. Its how capitalism works: if there is a demand for a preacher's sermons, they make their way to a network, and the viewers who are blessed will send money to offset the costs of the broadcast. This was done by Adrian Rogers at Bellevue through "Love Worth Finding"...church funds from Bellevue Baptist weren't used to put Adrian Rogers on nationwide TV - no, there was a demand for the excellent preaching of Rogers and viewers gave to Love Worth Finding to fund the broadcast costs.
Your last post of "robbing God" - this TV ministry deal is another example of Mac robbing God. He is robbing God by not putting the interests and ministry of FBC Jax first, but his own selfish ambition. This is the worst kind of "robbing God" - a selfish religious leader taking money from the "storehouse".
Shame on Mac Brunson.
To June 25, 8:05 a.m.: I think you are a good person, and you will be a good teacher and better parent. This decision will bless your life. Keep your guard up! The devil always comes right behind to try to take away any victory for Jesus. Stay in the Word. God bless you!!! I will pray for you also. Thanks W/D for allowing this "conversation" as I know we are off topic. You are doing good work on this blog.
Thank you WD for being one step ahead of Team Brunson.
Most of the staff didn't even know about the TV deal.
There are two entities at FBC Jax:
Team Brunson (which includes the A-group and a select few trustees - and I'll let you guess who the "captain" is of the Team!), then there is the rest of the staff. You know what I mean.
But thank goodness you're out there to let the people see what is happening to their once great church.
Keep doing what your doing.
To anyone who might know: Do these bylaws and the furtive manner in which they were passed meet state and federal guidelines for a church? The "sham" vote taken with little publication and almost intimidation if one tried to read them, or ask questions, is in it's self very suspect. If it is legal, should some be embarassed to have been a part of this? There is no way this was of God. I wouldn't want participation, and continued participation in this to be on my conscience. Is there any question now as to who benefits? Would it not appear, that those involved possibly could have sacrificed their good name in order to help create this problem. And now, as it appears, was just to help who?
I am ticked. He uses our Ressurrection Sunday service to raise funds for his TV ministry. Never gives us an update on how much was raised. Silence.
Then he doesn't bother to tell us that he is going on TV. He just does it and we have to learn about it on this blog.
Who is in charge over there?
Those are all good questions. No easy answer there because some of the men in charge at our church are HIGHLY respected men in our community, and I mean HIGHLY respected, one is a circuit judge, another is running to be a judge.
This is the most valid criticism that is levied against me and this blog: if all the things blogged about are so sinister, then how could honorable men in charge at our church allow it to happen. The conclusion many have come to is that the credibility of these men, many who served FOR YEARS AND YEARS under Homer Lindsay, Jr, is what makes them feel that nothing is wrong.
As to who benefits from all of this:
In the short run its Mac Brunson and family, so long as people continue giving their tithes endorsing everything they're doing, they benefit. They are drawing huge salaries, and Mac has wife and son on staff drawing paychecks as well. And they live in a million dollar mansion, and have a great life, and work in a lavish suite bringing their dogs to work. Not a bad gig. For now.
In the long run this will hurt Mac. He and Honey likely viewed himself to be one of the up and comers in the SBC - he's great friends of the current president Johnny Hunt; who knows Mac might have been the logical choice for Johnny's successor. But the readership of this blog is nationwide, world-wide, and the SBC is well aware of what is going on at FBC Jax. Yes, I hear from many pastors telling me this blog is of Satan and I should shut it down. But still the light exposed on Mac's actions and words and contradictions and hypocrisy will hurt his chances to continue his SBC ascension. After he's done fleecing here he will likely become a president of a seminary during Johnny Hunt's tenure as SBC president, or maybe just a regular ole professor or dean somewhere.
Who else does this benefit? Why the trustees of course! The bylaw changes have shifted power to them. According to reports of what the bylaw changes included - members can't call for a business meeting now unless its approved by the trustees.
RE: Litigation issues:
Are you saying that members can no longer sue one another? If so, that would entail no more Lemon Law in case you purchased a car, an appliance, or any other tangible item or service from someone who sold it to you from the church. Would that be the owner or sales person? How about freedom of speech was that also removed in the bylaws? How about sexual harrasment is that out?
Did the SBC change their constitution or whatever bylaws they have to graph FBCJ in or is than option for any SBC church? I thought that the local church was free from the convention?
Can the membership override the trustees and pastor by vote under the bylaws?
Can you see the implications of all of this that could be a major problem in dealing with problems that could arise? What if someone lifted your purse and all your valuables, you couldn't go after them? How about some bully that knocked your son's teeth out, you couldn't address that?
Appears to me that a lot of thinking about possible problems was not thought of sufficiently. And I am probably just scratching the surface of legal identifiable problems.
Also, can a church bylaw undue the State and Federal laws which offer due process to all its citizenry? If so lets establish a bylaw to do away with the income tax and see how far the Federal government would clamp down on that? Sounds like we have put our feet in the tar bucket to me. I just don't get the church trying to get itself involved in litigation, mediation, or whatever. Leave it to the people.
One more question, what else is in them there bylaws? Keep digging WD.
Yep, you're right there Anon, all good questions.
I don't have the bylaws, and I doubt only one or two persons has them.
I sure would like for someone to go to the pastor and request a copy, and follow it up in writing, and then blog here about what response they get. My prediction is that anyone asking for a copy of the bylaws will be questioned as to why they want them, for what purpose, they will be stonewalled, and will never get them. Might even prompt a visit from the heavies. But that's just a prediction.
I very much want someone to get those bylaws, and to scan them and email them to the watchdog so we can let the church and the SBC see what changes were made to our bylaws. Nothing sinister there - many churches hyperlink to their bylaws from the church website.
Let's see what happens. So far nothing.
Not sure how it works out your way but in Texas there are some legal means of acquiring the by-laws and constitution of a 501c3 organization.
Write the church by certified mail and ask for them. If that doesn't happen, then file a formal complaint with the IRS and with your state Attorney General.
I think you will be pleased with the results. Its illegal to keep the by-laws from those who request them. (And even more if they are a church member.)
It has been two + years since we fell prey to this debacle, and some are just now beginning to wake up. Now, we are in such bad shape (after the bylaw fiasco) that it appears nothing can be done to save this great church and it's reputation, reason for being, (to preach Jesus, and get people saved), nor can we control what happens with the money and other resourceses (bldgs. property etc.) The church just gets to continue paying and paying. It appears that the church has been hit with an illness, and by the time we wake up the illness will have done it's damage and run it's course. It just remains to be seen if it will be permanently crippled or scared. In my opinion, the pulpit selection comm. did the church a huge disservice or they were completely inept and naive. I (my opinion) believe we were set up to receive this preacher by other powers. Maybe it was this preachers turn to get a mega church and make some money. I view this church as a huge
ocean vessel disabled in the water waiting to be rescued. Where is the help from within? God uses MEN to accomplish things. People got us in this mess are there any MEN to do the right thing and get us out?
I am sure there are many copies of the bylaws out there. But, maybe people have taken oaths or signed pledges not to release them. More legalism. I don't know this I was trying to figure out why someone hasn't released them. Maybe someone will have an attack of conscience and release themselves from the bounds of fear or legalism to help the church find out what's in THEIR OWN BYLAWS.
When one joins the church currently they are agreeing to be ruled by these bylaws, in order to me a member. So, they agree to be controlled by a set of bylaws they haven't read, arn't given a copy of, and don't know about. Is that legal? Amos chp.3 vs.3: "Can two walk together, except they be agreed"? How is this happening now? Most of the church hasn't seen the bylaws, didn't know what was in them when a vote was taken amongst a minority of the church. When something is done this clandestinely, it throws up red flags. I remember when, in order to be a member one must be saved, what happened to that. Agreeing to bylaws was not a requirement. It is today whether you know about them or NOT!!
The word VOTE is not in the Bible. Be careful what you vote on.
FOLLOW THE MONEY! Isn’t it about the money! How much money can any preacher make if the sermons are available on the church's web site. How much can they make if they are under a “so called” pastors tax exempt corporation that list the church address and phone number. Not saying that the honorable max brunson would even think about doing such a thing. (please don't publish if you feel i am being to blunt) Also, make any changes as long as you don't change the intended meaning.
RM is correct. all of the questions and conjecture about the by-laws can be address by simply requesting a copy by certified mail. I would recommend Cc the attorney general's office in the original request (save a step)It is legal and will get you what you want, no big deal - no secrets, just ask for it the appropriate way.
anons - how do we know this is the "proper" way to request the by-laws? Where is that procedure written?
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