But when the man is using illustrations put forth as historical facts in the middle of his sermon, that are not true, it just becomes too much to bear. Mac's shtick in preaching is that he is a well-read man and even perhaps a "historian". Yet when one does a cursory check of his two primary historical illustrations on Sunday 7/6, at best his illustrations are a far stretch from the truth and at worst are pure fabrications.
A "Jewish Banker" and a "French Officer"
Let's take his first one: a story of a "Jewish banker" named Moses Rothschild, and a "French Officer" in the French Revolution. Mac tells the story as though recounting the details of history, that a "French Officer" had to flee persecution during the French Revolution and he gave his fortune to a "Jewish banker" for safe keeping and didn't get a "receipt". The "Jewish banker" took the money for him, invested it, and then returned it to the "French Officer" after the Revolution and explained why he returned it: "To my profession my name is attached". Mac then said the "French Officer" went around telling people he had found an honest banker, and because this "Jewish banker", named Moses Rothschild had honesty and integrity, he went on to start the largest bank in Europe. [You can listen to this illustration by clicking here; it is a 3 megabyte file, so you might have to wait; or you can go to Mac's website at http://www.inlight.org to listen to it.]
Well, several problems with Mac's "historical" illustration. Firstly, it was not Moses Rothschild, it was Mayer Rothschild (Moses was Mayer's father). Secondly, the "French Officer" was not some person Rothschild didn't know, he was a man representing Prince William of Hanau, who Rothschild had cultivated a relationship with and had already benefited financially from prior to the French revolution. Some historians say that Prince William's fortune was ill-gotten, but we won't go there. But about returning the fortune back to Prince William, which is the moral of Mac's story: even the Jewish Encyclopedia acknowledges that it was "legend" that the money was returned by Rothschild. Well-known economic historian Niall Ferguson calls the entire story that Mac used a "myth" that never happened. I challenge Mac Brunson to give a credible historical reference that says he gave the money back to Prince William. Also, if Rothschild did, to say that this is what catapulted the Rothschild's to be the largest bank in Europe is ludicrous. Its just not in the history books that way - some even say Rothschild embezzled the money from Prince William. I challenge people to do their own historical research on this, and you'll see that Mac took extreme liberty (to be kind) with this historical event to make an illustration.
"Fred the Christian Mechanic"
The second illustration by Mac is his story of the Toronto car mechanic, "Fred", who several years ago was honest enough to not cheat a news reporter doing an undercover story on auto mechanics. According to Mac, the reporter went to "Fred's" shop with a spark plug wire disconnected making the car run very rough, and "Fred" looked at it, put the plug back on, closed the hood, and didn't charge the reporter. When asked why he was so honest, Mac quotes Fred as saying: "I believe God created everything there is...and Jesus Christ his Son came and died on a cross for me to forgive my sins, and rose again to give me eternal life. I'm not a preacher, I'm not a missionary, I'm just a mechanic. But everything I do as a witness and worship unto God." Mac says the newspaper had a headline the next day: "Fred the Mechanic: All to God's Glory". [Click here to listen to the illustration.]
Well, this account that Mac gave us is not about "Fred", but Cecil "Red" Brenton, and it occurred in Toronto in 1972. But according to the Toronto Star, there is no record of the speech that Mac said "Fred" gave the reporter. Instead, the Toronto Star says: "Brenton fixed the minor problem, charged nothing and said simply 'I'm a Christian.'" That's what the newspaper reported: that Red Brenton said "I'm a Christian". In a subsequent Toronto Star article, Red Brenton said, "I'm not used to all this publicity. I am a Christian man, a Catholic, but I didn't mean I'm a fanatic or anything." While it is nice to think a "Fred" who is a mechanic gave a gospel presentation to the reporter when asked why he didn't rip him off, it just didn't happen that way.
Now I leave open the possibility that I'm wrong, and Mac Brunson has access to historical documents and news articles that I don't. But I doubt it. So one has to wonder, where does he get these illustrations? Was it careless sermon prep, and he plucked these illustrations out of an illustration book or off a sermon prep website? Or did he know the historical facts and decided to fudge the facts to suit his purposes. Hillary Clinton tried this on several occasions this past year - and she found out people don't like it when leaders fib about historical events. We don't tolerate it in political candidates, why should we have to tolerate it with a preacher of the gospel? Isn't this a simple matter of integrity? Those of you who are pastors that read this blog, is this what they teach in seminary in sermon prep classes? Is it OK to fib on historical facts if the fib contains the gospel message or some important biblical truth?
Well, we know Jerry Vines, arguably one of the premier experts on expository sermon preparation in the SBC, doesn't advocate using these kinds of illustrations. On pages 132-134 of his book "A Practical Guide to Sermon Preparation", which Mac undoubtedly has in his personal library, Vines says the following regarding illustrations in sermons: "Your illustration will be a good one if it is believable...If you are making up an illustration, say so...The preacher should be mindful of certain cautions in his use of illustrations. First, be sure your illustrations are true. If you are making up an illustration, let it be known at the appropriate time."
This all points to one inescapable truth that we hope Mac will learn: its best to just expositorially preach the Bible, get most of your main illustrations FROM THE BIBLE itself, and never use half-truths and fabrications of historical events in your sermons. Mac has now lost credibility with his listeners in any historical references he makes - we won't know if he's telling us historical facts, or using his reputation as a historian to make us believe some half-baked illustration is historically correct when its not. Excuse me while I go check the facts in his Abraham Lincoln sermon last week.
I think that if you will check Mac's Abraham Lincoln "sermon" he mentions that one of Lincoln's motivations for issuing the Emancipation Proclamation (EP) was to prevent another Chancellorsville. The problem is that EP was issued in January 1863 and Chancellorsville was not until May 1863.I may have a faulty memory as to what the exact words were he used or it could be that he misspoke.
God please grant mercy to this unbelievable mongrel of ministry. I know Lord your patience is spent and your wrath is pending, but give him one more chance to repent of his bitter, hateful, reprehensible, abhorrent opinions that he as posted as a public display about your church and servants.
God IF he is your child, chasten him with grace. Don't cause him to lose his health or finances or friends before he realizes his sin, even though he is treading on treacherous ground with the things he writes on this blog. And if he is a bastard I pray he will come into the family and make things right soon.
I'm not a critic of your blog and think it provides a service in some ways that is denied to FBCJaxers by the church leadership; however, I part company with you on critiquing sermon illustrations.
There is no grave transgression here. Sure, Mac was lazy, didn't insist that his research assistant nail the facts down, or whatever. I've heard Vines a number of times and would guarrantee you could find loose illustrations in his sermons as well. Virtually all preachers are caught in this net. I've heard the same recycled, bogus stuff from Adrian on down.
My humble view is that your criticism here reduces the impact of the major issues: hidden compensation, family employment, etc.
An occasional commenter
"Bastard" is a new one name for me. Appreciate that.
I knew this post would get people's ire, especially preachers.
Sorry, no pass on this for Mac.
If he was some young lay preacher at a small country church, OK, maybe we'll give him a pass.
But he is the pastor of the one of the largest churches, who is paid millions, literally, to study the word and prepare sermons. And to top it off, he is one who prides himself on being a student of history and ties historical truth to biblical truth on a regular basis in his sermons.
So he is treading on dangerous ground to then recount a bogus historical fact (Rothschild returned the fortune), laced with a quote that never happened with a bogus interpretation (that his integrity in giving the money back launched a great financial empire).
And he is treading on dangerous ground when he gives me a speech VERBATIM from "Fred" about who Jesus Christ is, why he came, when Fred just said, "Dude, I'm a Christian".
If he plays loose with facts in two illustrations in the same sermon, it casts doubts on his other illustrations.
Not saying this is the cardinal sin, or that this rises to the level of his financial abuses at our church, but it is NOTEWORTHY...but its yet one other example of his hubris, his pride, his arrogance to think he can play loose with facts and his gullible sheep will just drink it all in, clapping, giggling, and Amening.
Not this sheep.
And I'm no bastard.
In an article entitled “Who Ministers to Ministers” by Barbara Gilbert the following poem is shared:
“I am appalled at what is required of me. I am supposed to move from sick-bed to administrative
meeting, to planning, to supervising, to counseling, to praying, to trouble-shooting, to budgeting, to audio systems, to meditation, to worship preparation, to newsletter, to staff problems, to mission projects, to conflict management, to community leadership, to study, to funerals, to weddings, to preaching.
I am supposed to be “in charge” but not too in charge, administrative executive, sensitive pastor, skillful counselor, dynamic public speaker, spiritual guide, politically savvy, intellectually sophisticated.
And I am expected to be superior or at least first rate, in all of them.
I am not supposed to be depressed, discouraged, cynical, angry, hurt.
I am supposed to be up-beat, positive, strong, willing, available.
Right now I am not filling any of those expectations very well. I think that’s why I am tired.”
Pulled from a SBC churches web site where the interim pastor shared this.
This interim pastor went on to share...
1. Pray for your pastor and staff. This sounds like a standard cliché, but there are times when you simply know that church members are praying for you.
2. Avoid gossip-Not only is it a sin, but it is the number one destroyer of churches.
3. Share your criticisms and concerns in private and in person and your praise and appreciation in writing.
4. Do not seek Allies- Dan Rieland shares “It’s one thing to be disappointed or even unhappy with your pastor, it’s quite another to gather others to your point of view. Worse than attacking your pastor personally is this idea of mutiny.”
5. Remember and acknowledge special events in their lives such as anniversaries, birthdays, and those of their families.
6. Serve your church faithfully and honor your church covenant.
Anon 8:11 - why did this post send you over the top to call me a "mongrel of ministry" and a "bastard"? A guy on a blog pointing out how the millionaire historical preacher plays loose with historical facts?
I don't know about you, but it offends me to sit in a church service and have a man, especially an arrogant one that thinks he's a historical ace, to pretend to teach me historical facts when they aren't even true. That is offensive to me; very offensive. I'm not an idiot nor are the other people in our church. The preacher should stick with TRUTH. Mac should know better to pull that stuff in a church of very intelligent people who know their bible and believe in TRUTH.
"And let me tell you something": if a preacher is willing to stand in front of his congregation and interpret history incorrectly, to deliver quotes that may have never been uttered and presenting them as historical facts...THEN I BELIEVE THAT SAME PREACHER WILL, WHEN CONVENIENT FOR HIM, ALSO DO THE SAME THING WITH THE WORD OF GOD. As Mac said in his sermon on honor: "There are no little white lies. They are lies".
So this article is 100% relevant on this blog, and is worthy of consideration by the people of FBC Jax...whether I be a mongrel or not, or a bastard or not.
I'm not criticizing a guy who gets a few dates wrong, or who gets some trivial point incorrect in a sermon, or misquotes slightly a scripture.
I'm talking of a guy standing there using his authority as a well-read bible preacher and "historian" to tell me material facts and interpretations of facts, including direct quotes from people, that probably never happened - AND THAT HE KNOWS IT - but still gives it to us. That is the height of arrogance - I know what I'm telling you isn't true historically, but I'm going to tell you all for your own good because I need to make this point with my illustration.
I don't think facts really matter unless you want them from someone else.
Fact is... Matthew 18 clearly states what a child of God is to do when a brother offends them. You have demonstrated through your words that Dr. Brunson has offended you yet you refuse to be faithful to the dictates of scripture. This does not bother you, or at least you show it does not bother you. You use other peoples attempts to justify your refusal to be true to the facts.
Do you ever tire of asking for someone (to be true to the word of God) when you refuse yourself?
So Jon - to stay on topic - do you as a preacher play loose with historical facts in your sermons? What do you think of a big name preacher, one whose taxes don't equate to your own gross income very likely who has a staff of 20+ full time ministers, and a personal staff of 3 people to help him with his own pastoral duties....one whose "brand" is that of linking history with bible truths...playing loosely with historical facts in sermon illustrations and not being able to stick to the truth?
You and the anon used the blog yesterday to carry on a debate completely off topic. Can you do me a favor and post here just once on topic in my blog?
The topic, as I see it, is multidimensional. I know you want to only talk about Dr. Brunson but is it not appropriate for each of us to be held accountable to the words we use? Do you want this blog to be only a single dimensional discussion? If so, that seems wrong of you.
Facts are important that is why I ask ask so many questions and reply the way I do.
Facts are not just for Dr. Brunson to hold to, am I right?
I know history as well as anyone and I am telling you that if you go over his other material you will find similar historical errors as well. I have heard them. I am not impressed by his historical tellings.
I would suggest that at your next business meeting (if and when you ever have one) that you make a motion (if you are ever permitted to make one) that Mac's salary be decreased by .8% due to this inexcusable sin of an inaccurate illustration.
Perhaps that will teach him to behave better in the future and have his sermon writers check their facts more carefully.
As a fellow pastor, my heart grieves with Mac over this sinful error on his part. Perhaps we should all begin to pray that he repent of his ways and vow to no longer use personal illustrations in his sermons.
Re Abraham Lincoln: Lincoln was a fatalist. He made fun of preachers and even imitated them to his young friends. He never made any attempt to indicate a profession of Jesus Christ and there are no written records of him even writing about Jesus Christ in any papers or letters he ever wrote. Unless he accepted Christ as his savior on his death bed he may have never been saved. He had a lot of like minded men around him in his cabinet.
Its a real shame that he (according to numerous books and interviews with his contemporaries) shortly after his death that he wasn't a believer. He may have been a much better president had he accepted Jesus Christ. He could have been under conviction, thus his many remarks concerning God. Had his acceptance of Jesus been a factor rather than trusting in his own judgement, the great war may have ended earlier and many lives could have been saved. The nation may have improved faster and perhaps, better under a Godly leader.
WD - I encourage your readers to listen to the illustration clips as without them its difficult to understand what you're saying about these illustrations. When listening its clear he is speaking as though giving a historical account of what happened. It is a far cry from a preacher saying, "there is a story....". If I were present in the audience and found out that his facts were skewed, I too would be offended. He didn't need to do this. There are plenty of illustrations that he could have used, some from the Bible as you point out.
I have noticed that the pastor uses the Bible (one or two verses) to back up his history lessons, not the other way around. Perhaps he should use a very limited amount of the world's history as an example to illustrate passages of the Bible, should he ever preach the Bible. Or better yet, examine his calling altogether!! I remember him saying in the pulpit, he never wanted to be a local pastor (his words). I guess not.
I know that some readers believe Mac to be "Purpose Driven"...this is one aspect that he is far from it, but in a bad way.
Many of the preachers you would consider to be "purpose driven" or what I would call "seeker friendly"...try to arrange their worship services in a way to be "attractive" to non Christians. The music is more modern, the setting is less "churchy" and more "concert"...I'm generalizing here.
But most PD preachers also have sermons that are light on sin, designed to be non-offensive, contains some bible, but are man-focused and topical, meant to tickle ears and maybe bring the listener back again for more.
Mac's behavior in the pulpit is very anti PD - the way he talks down his nose to people, tells us condescendingly to bring our bibles, tells us he doesn't "give a rip" what people think about him, calls us "casper milk toast", then tells us to "sit down for once in your life" as he nears the blessed time of invitation (when he himself just a few weeks ago bolted for the door when the invitation started)...if I were unchurched, I would be able to spot him as an arrogant jerk a mile away in the first sermon, and furthermore I would wonder how these people could sit and smile and applaud such immature behavior from a grown man speaking to them. Furthermore, if I were not a Christian, and knew something of history, and heard him mischaracterize the story of Rothschild, I would probaby assume that if he takes liberties with historical facts and presents things that never happened as true, then that is probably what he does with the Bible too and wouldn't believe a word he says to be about who Jesus is.
Bottom line: his behavior in the pulpit is a poor testimony.
And Jon, I'll save you the effort: "But Watchdog, don't you think this blog is a poor testimony too?"
July 8, 2008 8:11 AM - are you implying that something bad may happen to the WD for blogging? If so, perhaps Kevin King is the WD, didn't something bad just happen to him on his motorcycle? Is that how you legalists live? Always thinking "God is going to zap you" or that "Jesus is always watching you when you dust the furniture?" That is sick. That is part of the reason I left the Catholic church. Trying to make people feel guilty for anything YOU don't approve of, and then criticizing THEM for "having a legalistic list."
Also, do you imply the opposite? That if I do what the rest of you like, then God will bless me? Sounds like Joel Osteen to me.
You folks are inconsistent in your arguments that say such things. What do you really believe anon July 8, 2008 8:11 AM about God and Jesus and "lists" we should be following?
Haven't some wonderful Christians in your fellowship, even "great supporters" of Mac like Shirley Lindsay experienced tremendous tragedy? Slipping and falling and suffering a tragic, sudden and violent death is something you folks would think might happen to the WD, yet it happens to Ms. Lindsay. Your theology is wrong. Yet you have the gall to come on here and intimate that God's patience is growing thin with the WD? Sick, Sick, Sick religion.
This is starting to remind me of that verse in Proverbs...."DRIP, DRIP, DRIP.
A person who had the fruit of the Spirit would make the same point as Mac in his "I don't give a rip" statement this way: "Some of you may criticize me, and many folks do. Of course, I am a man with feelings just like the rest of you and sure, it hurts when people, especially Christians, criticize me. I try to learn from it and try not to let it bother me too much, and I never allow it to cause me to compromise my convictions. I love you folks, and I do care deeply about you what you say to me and about me. But when it comes to my convictions about God's word, I am not going to compromise."
But instead, he chose to say, "I don't give a rip about you think." Which, obviously is rude and arrogant. Yet he expects people to treat him with respect and politeness?
Hey Mac, how about modeling Christ for us in your treatment of people that are paying your salary. You say you work for the Lord, but its the FBC Jax budget, given by the people you reprimand each week, that God uses to pay you. Stop being so rude and arrogant you rich jerk. :)
Voice of Reason says: I am confused. Even I can't "reason" these conflicting statements to make sense:
Much of the sermon Sunday a.m. was about working "for the Lord" and Mac made it very clear that we can trust God for our job, trust him to find us a new job if needed, it is God that allows us to gain wealth, etc. That is all true. But then, before the end of the sermon, he says we must be loyal to a MAN. He said if the MAN "pays your salary, puts a roof over your head" etc, than be loyal to the MAN. WHAT? So now we are supposed to realize that the roof over our heads is due to our boss putting it there and so we better be loyal to HIM?
Come on Mac. Were you trying to send a message to your own staff that they need to be loyal to YOU. And if they disagree with you, they should go to lunch and tell you about the disagreement, or at least be man enough to KEEP THEIR MOUTH SHUT? Yet earlier, you said if you had a boss that was doing something you didn't like, be MAN ENOUGH TO GO TALK TO HIM. So which was it...man up and keep your mouth shut, man up and go talk to him, or man up and QUIT and trust "the Lord" to get you another job when it is the BOSS that pays your salary and puts the roof over your head.
Stick to Bible preaching, Mac. You did it Sunday night very well.
WD - God is speaking through me. You know how I know? Because GOD told me he is going to call Wills Brunson to ministry at FBC Jax in the future. He also told me that he is calling Mac's son-in-law Barry specifically to a ministry at FBC Jacksonville. Those guys would probably scoff at me right now, but watch and try me in this. You will see that I know the mind of God and his will for these two men. HE is calling them...softly, tenderly, persistently to a career in ministry at FBC Jax. Do you think they will follow that call? Only time will tell. You heard it here first.
My father has always said "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with BS." Nothing from this man surprises me any more.
Brunson could say some thing totally off the wall and then add an "Amen" The blind FBCJ congregation would amen along. FBCJ's Brunson followers are being as my new pastor would say "Willfully ignorant" or in layman's terms "Stupid on purpose" MY pastor did not say this however i just used an analogy from one of his messages.
Mac, just remember, those who become accustom to telling little white lies soon go colorblind.
Peace & Love
Anon 6:00 - your post made me think of how Mac obviously has a hard time seeing his own behavior in what he preaches to us.
He tells us that we shouldn't run the name of our employer down or "smear" him if he's paying our paycheck...methinks of how he has run us down to other pastors - saying we're a "hotbed of legalism" and that nobody has a real relationship with Jesus Christ - he said this to a group of pastors - I blogged about it earlier this year. He obviously told Paige Patterson that he didn't get a honeymoon when he came to First Baptist, in fact Paige Patterson told his SWBTS students that his treatment at the hands of FBC Jax was as though we were trying to "kill" Mac before he ever got started.
So Mac: what's good for the goose is good for the gander: if we're too legalistic that you have to go make pronouncements about us to other pastors...if we just didn't treat you and your family well enough when you arrived...well, stop running us down or leave...don't you trust the same God that saved you from eternal damnation to find you another church that will love and respect you and care for your families needs? Or do you put up with our nonsense - our legalism, our lists, our leaving early, our empty Sunday night pews, the pesky bloggers and anonymous emailers...and of course that we don't bring our Bibles - you put up with all of that because the pay is so good? Trust God Mac! He'll take care of you!
I think a good reason that some preachers don't preach the Bible, may be that they don't know much about it. I know they go to seminary( first problem), they know the Greek, not a plus in my opinion. Most of the major SOUL WINNING preachers didn't know the Greek, nor did they go to semanaries. Mordecai Ham, Billy Sunday, Spurgeon. I would recommend reading these biographies for those who choose the ministry. These men had the hand of God on them in a powerful way!! Many current preacher's are not in this catagory as they don't hold the Bible as a priority. They believe they are the authority and not God's Word.
I find that people talk about what they know the most about.In my opinion, history is much of the time the preferred subject. But, here is another problem, some get the history wrong. I have noticed quite glaring mistakes in some of these history dissertations. Sometimes preachers consider themselves "educated" beyond their congregations. They begin to acquire an "I am a scholar" attitude. When this occurs many times they lose their gift. It could be that the pastor who says "I love to preach", may mean "I love to TEACH". HISTORY, SOCIAL ISSUES, PHILOSOPHY, etc.
Many take of "star" like qualities rather than "servant" qualities.
Maybe these history, and philosophy oriented preachers do not desire to use the Bible, and think history/philosophy more interesting. A verse or two of the Bible, in order to make a point about history/philosophy does NOT a sermon make. Standing in the pulpit and saying "passionately" and with zeal, "I love Jesus", does not make up for the past hour of history/philosophy we just heard. Many times Jesus is not mentioned until the last 2 or 3 minutes of an invitation. A lesson in morals from someone else's life does not substitue for the WORD OF GOD,and the BIBLE being preached.
I Cor.9: vs.16:"For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!"
2 Tim: 4: vs.2: "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."
I think if some preachers were more humble when approaching God's Word, perhaps their gift would be more apparent.
I know who you are & ill introduce myself to you Sunday;)
Sounds great! Looking forward to it!
To the July 8, 2008 7:06 PM comment - you are 100% right. I was feeling the same way but did not know how to say it. Plus, I thought I might be the only one to realize it: Which is to say that just because the man screams and appears angry and sweats up there on the platform, DOES NOT make him PASSIONATE about preaching God's Word or sharing the gospel. Some actors are the same way, it is much easier to "act" angry and yell and scream...that does not make you a good actor. Nor does yelling while talking about history, Abe Lincoln, financial planning, etc make one a passionate preacher of the gospel.
So Mac - you even lied when you said "one thing no one can say about me is that I am not passionate in my calling." Sir, I am saying you are NOT passionate in preaching Jesus. If that was your calling, then you sir, are not passionate in your calling.
You will not find Mac preaching anything HARD ON THE UNCHURCHED ON SUNDAY MORNING. PERIOD!!
He will yell and rant, TALK ABOUT SIN, on other days but not on SUNDAY MORNINGS.
Remember he is still SEEKER SENSITIVE, FELT NEEDS.
You will get one good sermon now and then on Sunday morning; JUST TO KEEP THE BLOGGERS OFF HIS BACK.
But SUNDAY MORNING AFTER SUNDAY MORNING MAC IS STILL PURPOSE DRIVEN.
DON'T FORGET IT. HE IS ON A MISSION. PD ALL THE WAY.
Watchdog your perspective of what PURPOSE DRIVEN is, was SPOT ON.
One more thing that the PURPOSE DRIVEN PREACHER IS ALWAYS TRYING TO DO.
E N T E R T A I N ! ! !
BE CUTESY!! GET THE FOLKS LAUGHING.
PRAY FOR MAC, HE MAY YET GET RIGHT!
I don't care if the preacher "gets right MY PHILOSOPHY IS: If it's a lemon trade it!!!
Tell us about your missionary stint and the reason you were sent home
Are you adressing me Anon?
Proverbs 20:19- "A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much."
If you are so opposed to Dr. Brunson, then perhaps you should find another church that suits you better... I hear that the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church downtown is looking for new members.
"As a (watch)dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly." -Proverbs 26:11
p.s. Seriously, who let the dog out?
Watchdog, him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin. Thank you FOR THE GOOD THAT YOU DO.
A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things Matt 12:35 Keep up the good work.
Mac, for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. Luke 6:45
Your works preceed you!
Mac, just keep it simple. Preach the Word and the saints will love you.
Someone once said, the trajedy in life is when good men do nothing. I probably misquoted the saying but you get the point.
ever been to Puerto Rico or know some one who has?
"5And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
6For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons."
The Word is quick and powerful...did it touch a nerve????
Holier than thou
Power hungry and rich
Those are some of the stigmas our church has had to overcome in the past.
No wonder with close minded people like Anon 8:11 around.
You're proving WD's point. Malicious people using scripture to support their point of view.
WD is bringing points of contrition in our church to light, so our membership can SEE!
Stay blind 8:11. Sheep get slaughtered...baaaaaa.
Hey watchdog, when you have the time to do your "research" how do you KNOW that what you find will be right? I hope you are perfect in YOUR research.
Good point Anon - if things that I post here are not historically accurate, let us know. I'll put them up. I might even apologize.
But I have to say Mac must have a very low opinion of his congregation, to think that we would hear his story of the Rothschilds and buy it. That because "Moses" returned the money to the officer (which never happened), that this is what propelled the Rothschild's to be a banking dynasty...great "story", but for heaven's sake Mac don't insult our intelligence and sell it to us as "history". If Mac will play that loose with history, spreading false information about a subject that he loves and has so much respect for in order to make a point in his sermon...what makes me think he wouldn't do the same with the Bible - take it out of context and interpret it incorrectly to make a point in his sermon?
Its called: arrogance, pride, and hubris.
12:14 - I doubt the watchdog claims perfection in his research, or expects it from anyone else.
I don't expect Brunson to be perfect in his presentation of historical facts - but I expect him to be honest. Tell me when an illustration is a myth or a story, and tell me when something is historical fact. But I find it completely dishonest to present as history something that is well known to be myth.
Sunday's sermon was a display of either careless research - perhaps Brunson didn't do enough research to know that the Mr. Rothschild did not return the prince's fortune (in fact some historians say it was a myth that he was even given a fortune but instead kept important papers for the prince) - or worse Brunson did know but decided to present a myth as though it were historical fact because it fit into his image of being a student of history and it fit his sermon. As though it doesn't matter - as though we'll believe anything - just throw it out there and if it suits my sermon they won't know its not true. Any preacher worth his salt will tell you that illustrations that are myths or legends are fine to use, so long as you are honest with your audience and don't present them as being historical facts which is what Brunson did Sunday.
I wonder if the parables Jesus used were actual events. I don't recall Him ever saying they were not. Many theologians believe they were not.
If Jesus did not present them as non-factual, did He lie?
Anon - wise choice posting anonymously.
If you honestly can't see the difference between Jesus telling a parable, and a modern day preacher who prides himself on being a student of history presenting historical myths as truth, making up quotes that were never uttered...then you sir/maam, HAVE drunk the Kool Aid.
I have noticed, scripture is taken "out of context" frequently, using the Word to make a desired point, whether it applies or not!!!
I don't think "poetic license" applies to the Bible. It says what it says. Any one who does this, especially to back up his story, is to say the least, being unfaithful to the Word. Thus, the listener becomes suspect of other things being told to them as truth.
Rev.22 vs. l8 &19: "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:"
vs. 19 "And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the tree of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."
I CONFESS TO A HALF TRUTH- Matt.12:35
The second half of that scripture reads- and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
The first half applied to the good man Watchdog. Since the second half might confuse the reader, I left it off.
The problem, with me, was I did not like leaving it off. I felt guilty about leaving it off but I left it off anyway.
Writing with half truthes.-
Guilty as charged!
Please forgive me.
FBCJW - this a personal reply to the anon who asked you personal questions. He seems to have confused the two of us. You can post this if you like, but if you don't, I will understand since it does not relate to you or this blog:
To the anon that posted the three posts regarding who the Watchdog is, I am a weekly reader of this blog and an occasional commenter. I think you may be barking up the wrong tree (pun intended) and obviously you must have no clue as to who the Watchdog is. But I will be glad for you to introduce yourself to ME Sunday. Since I am not the Watchdog and never have been, you may be disappointed. I look forward to meeting you. As for your questions you posted, I will be glad to answer them personally Sunday if you really do, in fact, want to know the answers. Or why wait until Sunday, feel free to call me or email me. I will be glad to speak with you personally. You won't even have to tell me who you are or sign your name to an email since I don't have any scriptural basis for objecting to responding to anonymous emails or calls if I can discern from the conversation or email that you are in fact the blog commenter who would like to ask me some questions. I look forward to hearing from you.
My family visited your church last Sunday and I found this web site when I googled the church. Thought I would share our observations.
We only went to the worship service in your main sanctuary and not your bible study classes. I loved the music and the atmosphere in the worship service. Friendly people. The music was impressive, nothing really like I've ever heard before in a church.
My wife and I after the service when we were alone shared our first impressions of the church and they were the same.
The preacher while obviously a very gifted speaker, came across as overbearing. He seemed angry, maybe arrogant. Comments to his congregation made me think there is some sort of conflict between himself and his congregation. After reading this site I see that this is so.
We will be looking elsewhere at other churches in town. I cannot see my wife and I listening to a preacher week by week who has a penchant for speaking down to his congregation. Maybe this was a one time thing and perhaps we should give the church another chance, but for now no, but I will keep your fellowship in my prayers.
I am anon 12:14 who said i hope your research is perfect mr. watchdog, but if you HONESTLY think I'd take the time to sit there and check your facts you have GOT to be kidding me. IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT MUCH TO ME. I'm more lazy than that.
Can you really NOT see that what you're doing is wrong? Are you so blind to believe that THIS is edifying to the church and glorifying God??
I give to the church because the Bible tells me to. How can you possibly have grounds to tell members not to tithe?
Will you PLEASE answer this question for once? Why don't you find another church? Take yourself (and your blog) elsewhere and leave FBC alone. Obviously you're not leaving the church anytime soon...so will you be blogging until you die? What a waste of a life. Do something else and invest your energy in doing something that actually glorifies our Savior.
As for the first time visitor... I pray you'll come back and visit our church sometime soon. This blog is NOT a representation of what our church stands for and believes. In fact, this is the exact opposite.We believe in edifying the church, growing the believers, reaching the lost, and calling the saints unto obedience. Everything this blog is NOT doing. Our pastor is NOT arrogant...in fact, I believe he is the best thing that's ever happened to our church. Please give it another try. You'll be blessed.
How awful that THIS trash is what you get when googling our church. Are you happy now watchdog?
Am I happy Anon? Why would I be happy that a visitor came and says he and wife detected that our pastor is angry? That is one of the saddest things I've ever read. What a shame. Of course its the bloggers fault. Let's not question the pastor who comes across as angry, let's blame the evil blogger.
For someone so concerned with taking things out of context...that's exactly what you did with my question. I was asking if you were happy about this blog being publicly displayed on the web to visitors who could potentially join our church. Seems like it would put a bad taste in the mouth of someone considering visiting our church.
You didn't answer the rest of my questions... the ones I WANTED answers to. Are you going to?
I listened to the sermon by Jim Smyrl tonight. He could have left off the blogging. Somehow blogging must be on their minds. The text he was using II Tim 2 vs 18 he failed to deal with. As usual, any verse will do to make a point, relative or not.
The point was that the resurrection (the second one...the final one) was being misconstrued by Hymeneus and Philetus. Paul did not want the believers to have anything to do with falsehood. He wanted them to know the truth pointed out by the apostle in vs. 18. Jim, somehow in the message got around to chatter and useless words. Therefore, the blogging was referenced again.
Another thing concerning vs 23 unlearned questions?
What questions? He never stated them to my memory.
Blogging just for the sake of saying something you believe in is not worth it(his words).
I humbly disagree. I have learned a lot from blogging. There is much information out there,some good some bad. Just like the books he mentioned in Baptist bookstores...some are not worth the paper they are written on. He is correct about that information. I strongly recommend the Bible and a good dictionary.
I did not get the point he attempted to raise in dividing the word of truth,with the illustration of a certain amount of food on his 4 year old's plate
compared to his.
How could anyone posssibly understand "rightly dividing the word of truth" from this example?It did not remotely apply,as was the case in most of his examples.
Dividing the word of truth deals with truths in the Bible, i.e., the old testament saints got saved differently than the new testament saints. The old testament saints had to sacrifice animals over and over again for their sins, the new testament saint is saved forever by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The old testament saint could lose the holy spirit (David in Ps.51:11)"Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me."
The new testament saint cannot
lose the HOLY SPIRIT.
The old testament dealt with baptism differenly than the new testament saint after a certain time period in the book of Acts where the Holy Spirit came down and into the believers vs the Baptism of John the Baptist. The once saved always saved doctrine. . The truths of the bible are for all believers young and old. Age is not a relative factor.
That's why it is so important to teach the young children the truths in the bible so if they stray they will come back to it one day, even possibly after we are dead and gone.
I agree totally with him on useless chatter, there is a lot of it going around. People are people whether they attend church or not. Jesus told us that the tongue was an instrument of good sayings andbad sayings, and unfortunately as humans in these old sinful bodies the tongue is hard to control regardless of who we are.
I was disappointed that he had to go off on this blogging campaign again. Some of us do not have an opportunity to stand in the pulpit and put our two cents worth in. I thought this blog was to bring about change and express our beliefs in the BOOK. That's the primary reason I blog so
when I hear error or think about something differently maybe I should speak up. Well, I said it and hopefully it has accomplished what it is supposed to accomplish. Time will tell.
He did say that there is no sense in striking back at someone as that doesn't accomplish anything.
This exactly the point, why strike at the bloggers from the pulpit? The bloggers have no other forum but they do have a voice and an
opinion.Words do have meaning. The visiting couple that will not return, heard the words of an angry preacher directed toward the congregation.
We should be careful how we describe a matter and what illustration we use to prove a point. Some people can say things that we may forgive but will always remember long after the event took place. The deed done or the careless words spoken to another may mean little to the originator, but may cause deep and lasting pain to the recipient.
One last thing: people that are unsaved can say bad things to
christians,we know that and can normally deal with it one way or the other. What's really hard to deal with is a brother or sister in Christ who make unkind remarks intentionally.
They mean what they say and it doesn't bother them that they said it. We likewise, can forgive them but will remember those things as well. Thank God when we enter the Heavenlies nothing down here is worth remembering other than being saved, loving our families, and trying to be a good witness for Jesus Christ. That verse 15 is the key for a bible believer. We each have to study to show ourselves a workman that needed not to be ashamed. We can't bank on our parents, friends, or even the church to do this for us. We have to study ourselves and rightly divide the word of truth.
To the blogger at 6:38. Again as I stated words do have meaning and how they are delivered can affect another. I found out years and years ago that gentleness, kindness, and turning the other cheek sometimes is more powerful than hitting back at others either physically or verbally. This blog is here to help whoever will openly and truthfully deal with their own expressions to others. I recommend you call the pastor or see him in person and voice your concerns. He may just see your side or express himself to you whereby you can know his personality. If this works, please let us know!
I congratulate Watchdog for his efforts and the manner in which he has withstood some of the verbal abuse he has dealt with. I find that Romans 8:28 relative "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose".
I won't answer your question because its none of your darn business. I'm not your pastor. This is my blog. I'll blog as long as I want to blog. Like Mac said Sunday, say want you want to say, "I don't give a rip". I'm going to blog, maybe until the cows come home. Maybe I'll stop tomorrow. I didn't give you this answer because its so patently obvious.
Its a shame. Jim Smyrl had such potential as a young upcoming preacher, now he's hooked his wagon to Mac Brunson and has to come out and take scripture out of context now and come after the bloggers. His sermon was a futile attempt to tell the sheep that what happens at the church, the business at the church, is none of their business - that questions shouldn't be asked, that they should be quiet and just do their jobs. Sad and pathetic.
"I congratulate Watchdog for his efforts and the manner in which he has withstood some of the verbal abuse he has dealt with."
Anon at 12:06- I will negate your statement with this: I DO NOT congratulate Watchdog in any way shape or form. Does the word SLANDER mean anything to you? He VERBALLY ABUSES our church and pastor day after day after day...and you have the gall to congratulate him for how he has "withstood some of the verbal abuse he has dealt with"? Check out his latest blog...complete with a picture of Brunson with a slash over his face. You're right...watchdog has had to endure SO much. I don't feel sorry for him...or congratulate him for that matter.
Can you really NOT see that what you're doing is wrong? Are you so blind to believe that THIS is edifying to the church and glorifying God??
I give to the church because the Bible tells me to. How can you possibly have grounds to tell members not to tithe?
Will you PLEASE answer this question for once? Why don't you find another church?
THESE are the questions I wanted answers to. Why would you have to be my pastor to answer them?
OK Anon - I'll tell you the truth to your questions. But you can't handle the truth, it will only make you angrier. You come to my blog wanting me to answer your questions. Here goes:
I don't believe what I'm doing is wrong.
The purpose of this blog is not to "edify the church" or to "glorify God". Sorry, does that make me a bad man? Does that mean I'm not saved in your eyes?
My "grounds" for telling members not to tithe? Easy. The church is wasting money and the pastor and the lay leaders don't want to be open and honest about how it is spent. The pastor is enriching himself and his family on the backs of our church. I know you don't want to hear that, and you believe I'm slandering, but so be it. But I don't want any one to not tithe because I say so...that is ridiculous. I want people to consider what is going on in their church, and if they agree with me then perhaps, maybe, they will consider not tithing. But that is up to them. I'm just voicing my opinion on this blog.
Why don't I find another church? Because I attend FBC Jax. I love my church. If you don't like me there how about if YOU leave?
July 10, 2008 12:25 AM Wrote: "I give to the church because the Bible tells me to." ANON - WHERE does the Bible tell you to give to the church?"
How can you possibly have grounds to tell members not to tithe? HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY TELL THEM TO, ANON? Check out this brief cite on what the Bible teaches and get back to us with YOUR answers please. Here is the link to cut and paste:
THESE are the questions I want answers to. Why can NO ONE answer me on this? Because it is not there. It has been used as a legalistic way to get people to give their wages to the local budget. That is NOT and never has been in the Bible. Read Malachi for yourself...please!
I was reading the above comments & had a question for you, Watchdog.You love FBC? You could have fooled me. The last time I checked you had put a huge, red slash across Dr. Brunson's face. Wow, watchdog! What a way to love! Let me define love for you. According to 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8, "Love is patient and KIND; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends..." Furthermore Hebrews 10:24-25 declares, "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." I am perfect by no means and am only saved by the gracious hand of God and His grace, but I would never have the audacity to publicly display a blog that bashes our church and pastor. Your blog is by NO means a clear representation of love for our church.
Anon at 8:07- I tithe so that God's work can be done in the church. I'd rather not check out your "christianthings.com" for answers... I'll just stick to my Bible. I'm sure I can find all the answers there. It still IS the ultimate truth...am I right?
"The purpose of this blog is not to "edify the church" or to "glorify God". Sorry, does that make me a bad man? Does that mean I'm not saved in your eyes?"
Once again watchdog, you've twisted what I've said around in order to justify what you are doing on this blog. Have I made any accusations regarding your salvation? No.
I can't believe you have the gall to say that you love our church. Ludicrous!! And I'm not leaving our church anytime soon...sorry.
If you hate Brunson and his sermons so much, why don't you stand up behind the pulpit and preach?
You can continue to hide behind this blog "until the cows come home" or for the rest of your life for that matter. You'll still be wrong. I pray that one day (hopefully soon) you'll realize that.
July 10, 2008 10:34 AM - I am not asking you to rely on the link I gave you, but am asking you to rely on your BIBLE. Where does it say to give 10% of your wages to the local church? Where? You know something brother...it does not say that. Don't be afraid to read it for yourself. Do be afraid to trust what men tell you it says. I am not telling you what it says. I am simply encouraging you to study the Bible and see what conclusions the Spirit leads you to. Most preachers use Malachi 3:10. I encourage you to read the four short chapters in Malachi. Let me know what YOU think (not your pastor or dad or whoever told you what it "really meant") after reading it. It is very clear.
P.S. - Don't feel bad, you are not the only one who can't refute the clear teachings of the Bible on this matter. Brunson and Smyrl neither one have been able to exegete the scriptures and present the text in context when it comes to giving without twisting the context and meanings or simply relying on what their dads taught them or what Homer Lindsay preached.
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