Apparently Maurilio Amorim, the owner of the A-Group, was in Jacksonville today, as he blogged (actually he "blogs" and "twitters" - "twitters" is a way to blog in small real-time snippets throughout the day) that he was flying to Jacksonville, and having lunch at the Deerwood Country Club. Don't know if he was meeting Mac Brunson and discussing FBC Jax business, but I can't imagine Maurilio has too many clients that live in Jacksonville at Deerwood Country club.
But the fact that Maurilio is in town just reminds us of one huge difference since Mac came to FBC Jax. Apparently our staff of over 20 God-called, full-time, seminary-trained (most of them) ministers are not enough for us to develop our own church growth strategies. Do we really need to be paying a very wealthy church marketing executive who lives in Nashville to be helping us plot our church course?
Sorry Jim Smyrl to engage in "idle chatter" here...but people of FBC Jax do you want to know where your tithes and offerings are going? As we saw tonight we have to collect nickels and dimes and dollar bills at the conclusion of our service to gather up the money to help the poor African-American church rebuild across town because we don't have money in the budget apparently to help them...but by golly gee whiz we have plenty of money to pay Maurilio to be our marketing consultant.
I don't fault Maurilio one bit, and none of this is meant as a criticism of him in any way. He operates a profitable business that apparently is in high demand, and he is a Christian and by all appearances operates with high morals and ethics. But those of you at FBC Jax who don't like to think of your tithes and offerings going to an out-of-town marketing firm might be interested to know what kind of a lifestyle you help support when we pay the A-Group to be our marketing firm.
As I already mentioned, Maurilio "twitters". This means throughout the day he posts about his life - where he goes, where he flies to, where he vacations, where he eats, what shows he goes to, etc. If you visit his "twitter" site at: http://twitter.com/maurilio you will be able to see that he lives pretty well. Activities that he gets to engage in:
- vacations in Las Vegas
- stays at the Palazzo resort
- enjoys private Kineses work outs at the Canyon Spa and Gym
- dines on French food at the Paris Hotel
- spends $100 dollars for steaks at his hotel
- goes to the Blue Man Group show
- spends $700 for tickets to the Cirque De Soleil show.
All of this and more is on full display at his blog and twitter site, so I'm not attempting to expose anything, and not being critical of Maurilio. Just wanting people at FBC Jax to know that our pastor deems this marketing firm to be an absolute essential part of our church strategy.
Just how much money do we spend on the A-Group? Is that money well spent? Just what have we gotten from them that has helped us win a soul to Christ? What have they done for us that our own staff or even local firms here in Jax couldn't have done for us? Call me old fashioned, call me a recalcitrant and a trouble maker (and Smyrl may call me a boiling, festering cancer), but the thought that we need to hire a jet-setting marketing executive in Nashville to help us with strategies to reach our city for Christ is completely foreign to me. I wonder where like-minded men of FBC Jax are that know better.
I guess what makes it even more disgusting to me is just the brazenness of it all. Mac likely had lunch with Maurilio at Deerwood Country Club today, and we likely picking up the tab for the lunch and the Maurilio's travel expenses - and Maurilio's precious executive consulting time - and then Mac drives across town to ask us to throw some dollars in a bucket to buy electrical supplies for the church across town because we can't put it in the budget. I wonder how much would have been put in the bucket if we had first given money to the African American church and asked people to drop some dollars in the bucket for Maurilio's consulting time.
So again: if you don't think its wise to use God's money to pay executive marketing firms, there is only one way you will make a difference: that is stop giving to the church that is deciding to spend God's money in this manner.
Amen and Amen, Watchdog! Thanks for this informative post.
Question: Can you imagine what Dr. Lindsay, Jr would say to any man that proposed spending thousands of dollars on the A-Group to tell him how to run and grow a New Testament church? He relied on the Bible for his guidance. No fancy, big-time outside marketing firms. But you know ole Homer...Jesus was all that mattered to him and he was just foolish enough to trust Jesus, and to walk with Him, and to love Him, and to build His church. Thousands wanted to know his "secret" of the Miracle of Downtown Jacksonville. Was it the A-group or consulting firms? Of course not. Sorry current church staff and Mac's enablers, but no way Dr. Lindsay allows God's money to go to the A-Group. Other churches, certainly yes. But not FBC of Jax. It was built on something much more radical...God's man loving, teaching, and serving JESUS. What a concept. Is anybody missing Homer G yet?
SMYRL SAYS PASTORS USE SCRIPTURE OUT OF CONTEXT! Thanks for admitting that Jim. Now all of us know that old pesky verse about "fleeing youthful lust" has NOTHING to do with lust as we know it. Jim said many preachers have preached that verse to young people for years. (Intentionally misleading them Jim?) Yet Jim tells us tonight it "actually, really means" jumping in to arguments and discussions. What a relief, now I know if I "lust" after a woman, it doesn't have anything to do with lusting after all. Thanks Jim for the great exegesis of that verse and for explaining its context to us. NOW, how about doing the same with Malachi 3:10. Why not tell us what that verse "actually, really, truly" means and how preachers have long used that verse out of context. You mentioned honor tonight. Do have enough honor to tell us the truth about these scriptures or are you just like the rest of them that twist scripture and use it out of context?
I think you're too kind to the Agroup. I find it incredibly arrogant for a man to be a "consultant" for conservative Bible-believing churches like FBC Jax and FBC Dallas to be blogging (bragging) about his lavish lifestyle for the world to see. The churches that use his services - are they happy that he is putting out there information about his trips to Vegas, his kids ordering $50 lunches, visits to spas for personal workouts, and spending $700 to see Cirque del Whatever? Sickening if you ask me.
Good post Dog. Here is a radical idea for our finance committee. How bout we budget for ministry and take up offerings in buckets for the A-group and for staff salaries? Let's see how much people give then.
And is Mac no longer preaching but one time per week? It seems we get his preacher boy Jim Smyrl on Wednesday and will have some other preachers coming in during August Sunday nights. What, we don't pay him enough to preach 3 sermons a week?
When will Donny and Jimmy preach on gluttony and discipline when it comes to putting the fork down? Just wonderin...
UNBELIEVEABLE!!! This is Hollywood...what's your game.
If you don't think this church is in the world. If you don't think this church is purpose driven. Think again!!! This is really a shame to let this great church come to this. I have always had a problem with people using Gods church and Gods word to make money!!!! I am not talking about a truly God called preacher making a living to support his family comfortably, but millionaires made rich off of the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the Cross, somehow is a contradiction .
Dr. Lindsay (Sr. and Jr.) had a marketing plan that really worked. It was prayer, total commitment to Jesus Christ, and they used a radical form of communication to get the message of Jesus to the lost and to the church. THEY PREACHED JESUS in season and out of season. How's that for marketing strategy!!!
No wonder people are turning from churches. No wonder the lost are not finding Jesus. The church is just like any other business. It needs a slick marketing group to deliver a slick campaign to help grow the "brand". Why would a church be concerned with a Neilson rating share of the programming? This is a church not a commercial program. We have only one message JESUS!!! Of what purpose was it to mention our rating share of programming?
Are there any deacons or trustees uncomfortable with this marketing strategy?
I cannot find many of the practices now used in todays churches in the Bible.
Matt:7 vs.20 "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
The church fellowship in general doesn't know much of this information. They arn't aware of how this once Christ centered church has gone astray. This is why this blog is here and becomes more necessary everyday. It would appear that there is a fight for the church. All who read here, please pray for the church. Thanks!!
I dont get it. Why would anyone care about the details of his day that he would display them on the Internet? That strikes me as arrogant. Given that he earns a living by churches and ministries that hire him, why on God's green earth would he be flaunting an extravagant lifestyle for the world to see? That he spends hundreds on meals, his son buys a $55 lunch - SO WHAT? And why post it for the world to see, especially Christians at churches who give sacrificially, and then see that their money goes to a rich marketing guru taking vacations in Vegas to visit all the latest shows and restaurants? You said it watcdog...BRAZEN will a capital B.
My, oh my, oh my. I think of Godly humble Christian people at our church who have lived modestly their whole lives, given literally thousands and thousands of their hours to the ministry of the church for no pay, who have given literally tens of thousands of dollars of their hard earned money and have gone without many of the nicer things in life...and now Mac is dishing out our cash to a guy like Maurilio who then flaunts his lifestyle. Sick. Who will hold Mac accountable for this? Do we just wait for God to take care of this? Or is God looking for a few good men at FBC Jax to effect change?
Excuse me Jim, but "fleeing youthful lust" means exactly that. Does it not occur to you that you are changing the word. Where do you get the AUTHORITY to water down and twist scripture. I guess since you see it done, you do it also. Has it not occured to you that there are young people listening to you that you are influencing. So, now they have an "all clear" excuse for lust. You said it's "jumping into arguments and discussions". How could you possibly get that out of "fleeing youthful lust"? This is God's word you are "fooling" with.
You preachers that twist the Bible around to make your own points better beware, "God is not mocked". You simply "abused" this verse to somehow apply it to bloggers!!! PITIFUL!!!
James 1: vs. 15: "Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."
This church needs a Holy Ghost revival, with a real preacher, not someone that twists scripture. Lord please send us a REAL preacher that preaches YOUR word.
Flee youthful lusts:
Todays teenagers need to know what lust is all about. You know, Playboy, Hustler, Hard Rock & Roll lyrics, HBO, Hollywood idols going in and out of sexual sins, porn magazines and the internet. According to one survey 74% of teenagers have had sexual relations before they were 18!!! Its apalling that anyone anywhere would misguide teenagers into believing its about arguments..unbelievable. No. Its about fornication and ungodliness, and thats why the apostle Paul told us to flee. If you flee you can't do it, its that simple. You hang around with that sinful behavior and you will fall right into where Satan wants you. Just recently there were 18 teenage girls getting pregnant in one high school. Did they get into youthful lusts having an argument and come out pregnant? No they had sex.
Websters dictionary: Youthful means not yet mature, young, possessing youth not yet old, new, in the early stage. Lust means pleasure, delight, a delight to satisfy the senses, a sexual desire, bodily appetite.
There is absolutely nothing about arguing or caring on vain conversation when it comes to fleeing lusts. If that is what the semanaries are teaching today they need to get back to English 101. This is pathetic!!!
So folks,if your teenage daughter comes home pregnant, you can say, "Well, you've been arguing and discussing again, haven't you?"
From Maurio's blog on his visit to Cirque du Sulay:
"So, there I was, sitting with my family after spending over $700 in tickets waiting to be wowed. And these guys blow me away. Every detail, from the lighting, the costumes, the amazing acrobatics, and the superb sound (each seat had speakers in the headrest as well as a mid-range speaker facing the seat) had been thought through. At times during the show, I laughed, other times I had goose bumps, and once I even cried--just because it was so beautiful.
I love these experiences; no, I NEED them. I need them because they inspire me to move beyond my limitations and not to accept the status quo. "
Great. Maybe that's what our church staff is missing. They need to fly out to Cirque Du Solay to become "inspired".
Get real people. The A Group is an easy target for criticism. But stick to the facts. Whatever we pay him its a very small share of our overall budget. The A Group is a very successful company as they help ministries develop strategies to get the word out about the ministry in a world that is absolutely over saturated with media messages. I am glad our pastor has the wisdom to use the very best when it comes to helping us reach out to our community and the world with the message of our church and Jesus Christ. Now you've proven dog and puppy followers, that there is absolutely nothing you won't criticize. Mac tries to get help for our church from one of the best Christian media/marketing men and he gets whacked up side the head by you all here. You should be thanking Mac, not criticizing and running him down. Shame on YOU.
Maurilio Amorim: NOT A BAPTIST, BIG TIME PURPOSE DRIVEN.
Check out this site which lists the books and men that he follows.
John Eldridge, Henri Nouwen, Tom Peters, Garry Collins. Look at their quotes, Wikipedia.
Would you pattern your life after these men?
Rick Warren said that your church would fail in five years if you did not go PURPOSE DRIVEN. Well, Warren started a TRADITIONAL SERVICE IN SEPTEMBER 2007.
Bill Hybels said they blew it and is now converting his church to target more mature christian who want more bible.
In my opinion these are failing programs built from a failing system.
Churches all over the country are fighting with their members as they attempt to CHANGE THEIR CHURCHES INTO A PURPOSE DRIVEN CHURCH.
Mac brought Maurilio AND THIS PURPOSE DRIVEN SYSTEM with him from Dallas AND WE HAVE HAD NOTHING BUT TROUBLE EVER SINCE.
IT IS TIME WE WAKE UP.
Mac, this is a failed system. Get rid of it and GET RIGHT!!!
Notice: Dr Brunson request to talk to ALL the men this Sunday morning in the RLA at 8:00...
For the FBC Jax old-timers: visit the Stop Baptist Predators website linked on the front page of the WD blog to read about Steve Edmunds, former deacon at FBC Jax and admitted child molester, who went before a judge this week to get his probation reduced.
Correction to Anons post:
Doc wants to meet all men at 8:30 not 8:00.
anon 11:28 thats got to be frustrating...WD is always one step ahead of ya.
I just read Maurilio's blog and twitter thing and now I'm sick. That is absolutely unbelievable.
If you have a pastor with as much experience as Mac and a staff with all their degrees and they can't figure out how to Biblically grow a church and how to advertise correctly then you should get a new pastor and staff.
If I were a member, I would freak out over their spending money on this bunch.
Amen RM. You said what I think many FBC Jax people are thinking. Between Mac, Deb, Smyrl, Clifton, Blount, etc. etc. we can't figure out how to grow a church? OK, we need a consultant perhpas to help with our website...but look at our website. They can't even get the columns to line up on it, the right hand column wraps around to the bottom of the screen.
But remember RM, A Group last time I checked is still doing consulting with FBC Dallas - do you know the new pastor there? Does he use A Group for church marketing services or just website design?
The way to correctly "market" (ugh, the term infuriates me) the church is to have a Godly man in the pulpit preaching Jesus, and CORRECTLY dividing ALL of the Word. Each and every verse, each and every service. Not sitting in the audience while someone else "gets it wrong".
Hey! Maybe the A-Group can get Whitmire to go to Vegas so he can meet with Charles Billingsley and learn about how to work a crowd from Wayne Newton. The News & Advance of Lynchburg, VA. quotes Billingsley as saying, " I sit there with notepad, noting how many songs he sings, where he takes a break, how long he talks in between... the man is cheesy, but he can move an audience. " The paper also related that he studies the work of Elton John and Christina Aguilera alongside his Bible in order to pursue younger people for the church to survive. Viva! Las Vegas! Viva!PD!
Is it just me, or has spreading the word of God been doing pretty well over the last 2000 years without a marketing firm? Just a thought.
Not sure watchdog why you felt you needed to bring up the Edmonds family on your blog, and I am not sure how you feel about it. However when your "beloved" pastor Dr. C. Jerry Vines told him not to return to the church - he came to ours where the people have loved on his entire family. I have known him for 6 years and he should be freed from his probation. The family (of which one is a member of FBC - and as far as I am concerned a terrible testimony for your church) really needs to lighten up. Perhaps she should try something new - like winning people to Christ (as Steve has done in recent years) instead of trying to constantly badger a family who has given much to our community. Steve's sin for which he has asked forgiveness from God and received is no worse then her tongue constantly flapping or the mess you contantly put on this blog.
"Let HIM or HER who has no sin cast the first stone!" I know that verse is paraphrased and not exactly how the KJV would say it - but I am one of those heretics who reads the NIV!
I hate to publicly disagree with the preacher from last night but if he had done his homework and studied the Greek words from his text he would find the following:
YOUTHFUL. Greek word (neoterikos) meaning: peculiar to an age of youth, youthful, or younger by birth.
LUSTS. Greek word (epithumia) meaning: desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden.
Never ever heard that it had to do with entering into arguments.
Someone not only needs to check their facts but their contexts and interpretation.
Well, do you see now that we are in the Laodicean church? We are IN the falling away of the church!!!!!
Our church leaders are in the "entertainment" business!! And they want to blame the "resistors" for the problems. It's all our fault that the church is falling apart, because we resist their so called "leadership". Well, I don't want to be led where they want to take me......into an apostate church.You would do well, to study your own Bible, keep your own money and get ready for the Lord to come.
Well if you love him so much then let him be around your kids. Sorry I for one am glad the pervert is gone! The damage he has dealt with is minor to those precious children who will have to carry this for the rest of thier life.
PS I dare say not everyone at your church has the same views you do about steveo.
Sorry, but I have to pipe in here on this one comment that I have read.
Freed from his probabtion? YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!! Justice is justice and if it was your kid that was malested, I bet you wouldn't be saying "free my son's malestor from his probabtion, he's a good man now".
I think the guy deserves life in prison.
You reap what you sow. Jail time is what Edmonds deserves. Not a shortened probabtion. Give me a break.
Smyrl, more AGENDA STUFF. ARGUMENTS AT CHURCH.
CAN'T HAVE DESENTORS ARGUING WITH ANYBODY AT CHURCH.
IS SMYRL MAC'S HEAVY?
Men have been twisting God's Word for centuries to manipulate people and take advantage of them. We just never thought it would happen here. Sadly, it is happening here. Loving and supporting "the pastor" is noble and admirable. But loving and supporting the new CEO and his A-Group while he enriches himself, his family and Maurilio, is NOT what God requires of you. Where are the churchmen? Is there not ONE in leadership at FBC Jax FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS?
So sorry - you are wrong Anon 424 - We had several churchwide meetings and our church is well aware. See we practice GRACE - which is something most of you will never understand. You can sing about it - but don't practice it. Thank God He forgives and forgets. and Yes, my children along with many others are around him at a weekly Bible Study.
Enough said. Go back to attacking your Pastor and Staff - that is the Baptist way - so it seems!
I actually am a Brunson and FBC supporter but child molestation I am not able to overcome. I am glad you are more spiritual than me. For now Steveo is a pervert and if I see him I will motor my children by him. i am glad you have the ability to roll the dice with your chilren for me I'll play it safe.
You can forgive but protect your children! Who am I to judge steveo? But if I catch him near my kids my sinful nature would come out! Just being honest.
steveo just stay away and I'll meet you in heaven where i am sure no harm can come to my most precious gifts.
Edmonds welcomed back? Are you kidding? He threw the wool over many people; used our staff all along messing with BOYS and family members. I for one am glad he's gone from our church; yes we forgive but we don't wallow with him. I can ONLY imagine who said that ... you have family members who go to FBC, Jax as you are at the Presbyterian church berating us.
NASB = New American Smyryl/Brunson Version
For those of you who have expressed your disgust here about Smyrl's revelation to us that 2 Ti 2:22 where Paul tells Timothy to "flee youthful lusts" doesn't really have anything to do with morality or sexual purity - that what it ACTUALLY means, according to the NASB (which stands for New American Smyrl Brunson version) is "avoid being quick to jump into meaningless quarrels and divisions" (paraphrase of Jim's words - can't get the audio, since our church can't archive its sermons on its website - not part of the branding plan for our church).
Imagine, all those year preachers lying that "fleeing youthful lusts" meant, well, "fleeing youthful lusts"...how stupid could we be? Thank goodness for Mac and Jim! Where would we be without them?
Those of you who do know how to read your Bible and have had Godly preachers tell us what "flee youthful lust" means - you might be interested in hearing what Calvin Carr, now pastor at North Central in Gainesville interprets 2 Ti 2:22. Of course Calvin is not under the thumb of Mac Brunson and doesn't have the need to preach against the "festering cancer" of blogs and questioning, apathetic, divisive Christians. So Calvin is free to preach the verse, as it is.
Click here to here an excerpt from Calvin's Father's Day message just a few weeks ago...and he preaches the text as it is. Its about 4 megabytes, so it might take a moment to download.
Enjoy. And GO CALVIN - KEEP PREACHING THE WORD!
Calvin Carr on Fleeing Youthful Lusts
Way to go Robert! Thats the smartest thing you've said since I've been on the post.
Anyway Watchdog your the man... or woman, I truly think your of the male gender. Brunson is ____________!
anything PD could be put there. Does any one remember the Word for today thingy. Yeah the PD life was a source! My Father e-mailed Brunson to ask if he was going PD and he responded with a no. He said he would never go PD and if you thought he was, you needed to make sure you have a believing faith in Jesus Christ. Brunson is to our church what Obama would be to our nation. All that will be left is change. If I offended anyone with that last part, Great!
Peace & love,
Sorry - for you out of town readers: Calvin Carr was the High School director at FBC Jax - he grew up at FBC Jax, and served for years under Homer Lindsay and Jerry Vines, then left about a year ago to return to a church in Gainesville he served at before he came to FBC Jax. If you go to his church's website:
North Central Baptist - Gainseville, FL
you'll see an I-Tunes link where you can go to hear his sermons. The excerpt above came from his Father's Day 2008 sermon in June.
I've put a hyperlink on the front page of this blog, over to Jim Smyrl's 501(c)3 website, "Loyal Heart Ministries".
I encourage those of you concerned with the A-Group expenditures to read Jim's article there called "Future History".
Be interested in hearing what your impressions are about that article.
WD: Now you have an actual example of what these translated(other than KJV) bibles do to God's word. I have said over and over that these translated versions (NASB, NIV,RSV,etc) corrupt God's INTENDED meanings. But us KJV people get "shouted down" called "legalist" and other ugly names because we do not approve of altering the KJV. When you really check into these other versions, you see that they are corrupt!!!! But of course we get hammered by the "seminarians" who really KNOW the bible. RIGHT!!! When you have been a student of the KJV under the REAL preachers for years, you recognize error immediately!!! If people really knew the huge errors in these other imitations they would toss them fast, if they truly loved the word. It's like having a map sending you in the wrong direction, and that's a mild example. There are thousands of changes, ommissions, like taking out the Cross, the Blood, whole parts of chapters on the ascension (Mark l6:vs 9-l6, check
it out). I would never trust any of these so called bibles to give me God's word. Keep in mind each version MUST make a certain number of changes in it's version in order not to plagerize another version. Look at all of the versions in publication. So how many changes do you think have been made. Also these other versions are COPYRIGHTED. That means the publisher makes money off of that version. Just like an author makes money. The KJV IS NOT COPYRIGHTED. It all comes down to money!!! As do most things today. I render these other version "phony". You want to know why so much error is preached today? Faulty versions taught in less than stellar seminaries!!!! The old preachers that were faithful to God's word and to the preaching of the Gospel, word for word all used KJV.
Isaiah 40: vs.8: "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever."
How will it stand forever, with all of the changes that corrupt it.
Rev:22:l8-l9: 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.l9: 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 book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book".
It is more serious to change God's word than people realize!! But you will never convince the average reader of other translations, nor will you convince the "scholars" who are smarter than the rest of us, of course!!!
I can't believe the assumptions on here. But, may I just say that I would not advise going to Cirque de Soleil's new show "Believe". Just wanted to get that in there.
Ok, I just hit the part about Edmonds. Here we go again, fault the victim not the criminal. Wow, this is like a disease in the baptist church.
Sorry guys...I have no interest whatsoever in a discussion about KJV again, nor do most of the readers.
Maurilio Amorim, WHAT DOES HE BELIEVE?
Barak Obama was a member of his church for over 20 years and had to be affected by the preaching of pastor Wright! Barak's doctrinal beliefs had to be swayed by what he was hearing in church. Otherwise he would have left.
Maurilio Amorim WAS THE EXECUTIVE PASTOR OF THE BELLEVUE COMMUNITY CHURCH IN NASHVILLE, TEN., also the Secretary of the Church Corperation.
Maurlio's pastor was David Foster. David Foster was originaly a Baptist. David Foster started a Nondenominational church then changed it to an Interdenominational church. Overtime,the beliefs of David Foster became associated with the Emerging Church of America movement. David Foster was also PURPOSE DRIVEN.
The question now is, did David Foster's doctrinal beliefs become Maurilio Amorim's beliefs?
If so, IS MAC BRUNSON TAKING ON SOME OF MAURILIO'S DOCTRINAL BELIEFS.
IF SO, IS MAC BRUNSON BECOMING EMERGENT IN THE WAY HE DOES CHURCH?
IS THAT A PROBLEM FOR FBC JAX?
2 Tim. Verses 22-26
I. Paul here exhorts Timothy to beware of youthful lusts, v. 22. Though he was a holy good man, very much mortified to the world, yet Paul thought it necessary to caution him against youthful lusts: "Flee them, take all possible care and pains to keep thyself pure from them." The lusts of the flesh are youthful lusts, which young people must carefully watch against, and the best must not be secure. He prescribes an excellent remedy against youthful lusts: Follow righteousness, faith, charity peace, etc. Observe, 1. Youthful lusts are very dangerous, for which reason even hopeful young people should be warned of them, for they war against the soul, 1 Pt. 2:11. 2. The exciting of our graces will be the extinguishing of our corruptions; the more we follow that which is good the faster and the further we shall flee from that which is evil. Righteousness, and faith, and love, will be excellent antidotes against youthful lusts. Holy love will cure impure lust.-Follow peace with those that call on the Lord. The keeping up of the communion of saints will take us off from all fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness. See the character of Christians: they are such as call on the Lord Jesus Christ, out of a pure heart. Observe, Christ is to be prayed to. It is the character of all Christians that they call upon him; but our prayers to God and Christ are not acceptable nor successful except they come out of a pure heart.
II. He cautions him against contention, and, to prevent this (v. 23), cautions him against foolish and unlearned questions, that tend to no benefit, strifes of words. Those who advanced them, and doted upon them, thought themselves wise and learned; but Paul calls them foolish and unlearned. The mischief of these is that they gender strifes, that they breed debates and quarrels among Christians and ministers. It is very remarkable how often, and with what seriousness, the apostle cautions Timothy against disputes in religion, which surely was not without some such design as this, to show that religion consists more in believing and practicing what God requires than in subtle disputes.-The servant of the Lord must not strive, v. 24. Nothing worse becomes the servant of the Lord Jesus, who himself did not strive nor cry (Mt. 12:19), but was a pattern of meekness, and mildness, and gentleness to all, than strife and contention. The servant of the Lord must be gentle to all men, and thereby show that he is himself subject to the commanding power of that holy religion which he is employed in preaching and propagating.-Apt to teach. Those are unapt to teach who are apt to strive, and are fierce and froward. Ministers must be patient, bearing with evil, and in meekness instructing (v. 25) not only those who subject themselves, but those who oppose themselves. Observe, 1. Those who oppose themselves to the truth are to be instructed; for instruction is the scripture-method of dealing with the erroneous, which is more likely to convince them of their errors than fire and faggot: he does not bid us kill their bodies, under pretence of saving their souls. 2. Such as oppose themselves are to be instructed in meekness, for our Lord is meek and lowly (Mt. 11:29), and this agrees well with the character of the servant of the Lord (v. 24): He must not strive, but be gentle to all men, apt to teach, patient. This is the way to convey truth in its light and power, and to overcome evil with good, Rom. 12:21. 3. That which ministers must have in their eyes, in instructing those who oppose themselves, must be their recovery: If God, peradventure, will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. Observe, (1.) Repentance is God's gift. (2.) It is a gift with a peradventure in the case of those who oppose themselves; and therefore, though we are not to despair of the grace of God, yet we must take heed of presuming upon it. To the acknowledging of the truth. (3.) The same God who gives us the discovery of the truth does by his grace bring us to the acknowledging of it, otherwise our hearts would continue in rebellion against it, for we are to confess with our mouths as well as to believe with our hearts, Rom. 10:9, 10. And thus sinners recover themselves out of the snare of the devil; see here, [1.] The misery of sinners: they are in the snare of the devil, and are led captive by him at his will, v. 26. They are slaves to the worst of task-masters; he is the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience, Eph. 2:2. They are taken in a snare, and in the worst snare, because it is the devil's; they are as fishes that are taken in n evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare. Further, They are under Ham's curse (a servant of servants shall he be, Gen. 9:25), they are slaves to him who is but a slave and vassal. [2.] The happiness of those who repent: they recover themselves out of this snare, as a bird out of the snare of the fowler; the snare is broken and they have escaped; and the greater the danger the greater the deliverance. When sinners repent, those who before were led captive by the devil at his will come to be led into the glorious liberty of the children of God, and have their wills melted into the will of the Lord Jesus. The good Lord recover us all out of the snare.
July 10, 2008 4:24 PM
"Steve's sin for which he has asked forgiveness from God and received is no worse then her tongue constantly flapping or the mess you contantly put on this blog."
As a person who was molested at age eight by a bible quoting step-grandfather, I can tell you unequivocally that Steve Edmond's sins are of the worst kinds. How dare you compare the destruction of young lives with a mere blog?
Whoever you are, you are an example of the kind of person that has has turned me off of going to church. I have Jesus in my heart right where He needs to be.
WD - a couple of thoughts from a FBC Dallas member:
1) Regarding Maurilio -- clearly he has been successful with his consulting company, which indicates there is a market out there for his services. I have not met him, but have no doubt he is a bright, capable, hard-working guy. I heard plenty of negative things about him from FBCD staff members, but no one complained that he wasn't competent to do what he does.
The larger problem to me, for both FBCD and FBCJ, is that it is "God's money" which is being used to purchase his services. This means that much scrutiny is needed to determine if the services he is providing are actually necessary and beneficial, or if they are more like luxuries. Take web design for instance -- I have no complaints about the quality of the FBCD or FBCJ websites. In fact, I think they are both well done. But the question should be asked BEFORE hiring an expensive firm to do work like this: can we get an equally good site from some of the media people we have on staff, or at least from a local firm so that we do not incur travel expenses?
Web design is just an example -- you can extrapolate this logic to any area of service that the A-Group provides. Ultimately, to me, the blame lies with the people (or person) who approves the expenditures on services of the A-Group. If due diligence was done and they were found to be the best value, so be it -- as I said, I really have no problem with their work product. It's pretty sharp stuff! But if the decision to hire them was made unilaterally by Mac, which it apparently was in Dallas and presumably was in Jacksonville, then it really should be revisited.
(As far as FBCD's current utilization of the A-Group goes, I know they are still doing the website. I do not think they are nearly as involved, if at all, as they were in the week-to-week video production and other media concerns.)
2) Regarding your church's overall general situation with Mac right now. For all the similarities between Mac's behavior in Dallas his last few years here, and his behavior in Jacksonville since arriving, there seems to be one significant difference in my mind. In Dallas, Mac made a very public and concerted effort to "court" the young (late-20s through early-40s) men of the church. He organized lunches, events, private meetings, etc. in order to get to know them. He put them on different "executive" teams, usurping some authority which had previously been held by the deacon body. And he was very public about all this and announcing these men as the future of the church, the leaders of the next generation in our city, etc.
Don't get me wrong -- none of these things are bad things. I don't even care if things are restructured and the deacons lose some power. But the result of this "courting", and in my opinion the intended goal, was that there was this group of "young leaders" who were essentially Mac's yes men. When something needed to be done, he would turn to a couple of these guys and it would happen. Emails would go out asking for volunteers, and if a question was asked or a concern was raised, all of a sudden the asker was off the email list.
Basically, in my opinion, Mac's strategy for effecting change in the church was to bolster himself with the up-and-coming leaders, or at least those he identified as such. And in doing so, he intentionally ostracized the "old guard". He correctly assumed that, for the most part, any resistance he would receive would come from the older church members. (Certainly there were exceptions, but generally this was the case.) His mistake was that he underestimated the power (and money) that the "old guard" still held. Ultimately, while he broke down a lot of walls and definitely made some significant changes, he burned so many bridges that he was unable to continue.
From what I have read on here, he appears to have learned some lessons from his time in Dallas. It sounds like he has become friendlier with the long-standing deacons and other leaders at FBCJ than he ever was with those in Dallas -- and I assume those are the people with the general respect of the congregation and likely a good percentage of the money as well. Just from reading what has been posted on this site, and contrasting it with what I saw happen when he was in Dallas, it appears he has made an effort to "court" a different group this time, and interestingly, has (probably unintentionally) ostracized those who are not on the "inside".
The contrast is glaring to me. In Dallas, things like blogs and emails and even myspace sites were encouraged by Mac -- he constantly talked about how we had to reach a younger generation, that they were the future of the church, etc. (Not that I disagree with any of those things.) But it sounds like he is now against forms of communication, like blogging or anonymous communication, which are pretty commonly-accepted by that very generation.
I just thought I would share my perspective as one of Mac's congregants from a previous era. Ultimately, I think he is committed to the cause of Christ. I just think he has gotten so caught up in the SBC, TV, mega-church game that he is neglecting to focus on some very important issues going on at home. He seems to be emphasizing quantity over quality, which, in my opinion, is the wrong way to pastor a church.
Wow. Talk about left behind and out of touch with today's culture. If only the 1950s would come back.
especially Christians at churches who give sacrificially
I thought we gave obediently, dutifully?
Dallas Anon - thanks for taking the time to share your insights.
I am quite certain that Mac brought the A-Group in on his own, or perhaps got the OK from the search committee as part of his package...there certainly was no consideration of local firms. He handed the reigns of our website to design to the A-Group long before Mac even showed up to be the pastor...after we voted him in it took nearly 2 months for the Team Brunson bus to arrive, all the while we paid them their huge salaries. But it wasn't but maybe 1 or 2 weeks after the vote that the A-Group took over the website design.
I disagree with your view that the FBCJ is a quality website. It has been over 2 years now and still its no more functional than churches 1/20 our size and resources - and to make matters worse we have no archiving on our site of any of our services or sermons - audio or video. Its a shame that our church lay leadership has allowed Mac to instead put only HIS sermons of HIS choosing on HIS 501(c)3 website, with nothing on our own church website. That is wrong. Our church, with its "brand" (I'm learning well from Maurilio) should build its website as one where Christians can come to watch our music and preaching ministry using video archive streams. But that's not a criticism of the A-Group, but of Mac and whoever is making the decision of no video archives at our website.
Dallas anon here -- I agree there is some content lacking, specifically in terms of audio/vido on the FBCJ site. I merely meant that the A-Group is clearly talented in the realm of web design and is capable of putting out a nice product. But I agree with you that in 2008, the very first place a church should "broadcast" their services and archive them is on their own website. Talk about bang-for-the-buck!
Although I would, as I believe you would, say that child abuse is a horrible crime which carries consequences for all involved and beyond.
Yet, I hear what you are saying and am with you. Let me word it in a different way (or two).
1 - Child abuse, as evil as it is, is not the unpardonable sin as some seem to think, at least by their words.
2 - Some would have you think this is a sin which can not be cured... Once a child abuser, always a child abuser. My God is much bigger than that, it seems that some god's are not.
I don't know if his probation should be lifted or not, that is not for me to say, nor is it for the emotionally attached family or friends. It is to easy to want to play God, something I want to stay away from.
I know He forgave me and though I have never abused a child, I was just as evil and undone without Christ.
I don't think its your place to judge anyone.Pastor Brunson is blessed by God with the things he and his family have.He in my opinion is an annointed man and its sounds like a little jealousy on your end.If you don't care for Pastor Brunson than do me a favor and LEAVE!!
I am a member of First Baptist Dallas, different from the other poster previously, and I find this blog to be very interesting. I must admit that I am astounded by the dissent in yall's church and it disturbs me to see God's people with so much consternation and in so much disagreement between each other and towards their pastor. I understand that you are concerned with what Dr. Brunson appears to be doing in the church, or lack thereof, and I don't completely disagree. And I understand that Dr. Brunson is much more of a preacher than a pastor in his reoccurring absences during the week when most pastors are involved in church ongoings, might I remind you I too had him for a pastor also. The fact that he is living so lavishly as he did when he was in Dallas concerns me. I believe that the church should take care of the pastor, my great-grandfather used to buy his pastor a new car each year because he felt it was important for the pastor to have a good car to carry out his ministry, such as going to visit church members etc., but the idea of the pastor having a $1 million house seems a little absurd. We are called to be stewards of our money and of the money that God has given to the church through the people. This does not include having such an expensive house as the Brunsons have. In regards to the A-group situation what is so wrong with having someone outside of the church help with, for lack of a better term, marketing? Yes there is a line to be drawn but the sad truth of our society is that the secular world is reached through marketing techniques. We have to sell, not the teachings Christianity, but the fact that the Church is not what the secular world wants it to be. Like I said I hate to put it in such business terms because the church is not a business but a house of God, but there is no other way to say it. Now I've said all this to say this, as Christians we are called to confront our brothers and sisters in Christ to the person in question, not with a spirit of anger and frustration but with the Spirit of Christ and in love. Whether or not you agree with what the pastor and his regime is doing we are called to love them as our brothers and sisters in Christ. Blogging about how awful the pastor is and declaring a month against him and having a picture of him that has been altered to have his face crossed out is downright immature. I understand that you have legitimate concerns about what is happening in your church but may I make a suggestion. Those of you who have concerns, instead of hiding behind a bloggers name, get together and confront the situation at the church together in Christs love. The Church is called to not judge but to confront each other in love to make them aware of what they are doing and how it is affecting themselves and others. If they refuse to listen, acknowledge, or change their paths then we are to step away and pray for them. In the case of a pastor I believe that it is the leaders of the church that should be made aware and do the confronting for they are there to represent the congregation to the pastor and the pastor to the congregation in matters of church politics. If things fail to change after a serious confrontation then maybe the best option for you personally is to leave and find a church that will uphold your values and what you feel that Christ wants from His church.
Amen to the last post. Christians are not to hide behind aliases. Shame on you for the sin of back biting and undermining the pulpit. I am sure Satan is watching you do his work with glee. BTW, my name is Dave Jones, and I too am a member of FBD. I don't agree with everything any man says or does, but I do know that Mac Brunson is a man of God with a character to match.
"undermining the pulpit"..."doing Satan's work"
Yep, who undermines the pulpit and does Satan's work...the man who blogs about the abuses of the pastor, or the pastor committing the abuses?
I'll have to think about that one.
Not much to think about. Satan's minions work in the dark. Hidden by aliases. God's people are not afraid to speak to people's faces.
Satan causes dissension, God's people cause reconciliation.
See fruit of the spirit.
May God bless you and help you to sit down with Mac to discuss your differences.
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