2 Samuel 16:9,11 - "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head...let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord hath bidden him."

Matthew 7:15 - “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Matthew 24:11 - “…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

So FBC Jax Cares for the Poor?

"What an important thing we can do for this community, what a message it would send to the city for them to see the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville out there joining hands with other Christian churches saying 'We care about those who have so much less than we do'.
Mac Brunson on the Salvation Army Kettle Drive

Interesting that Mac declares that by us manning a Salvation Army Kettle at the Avenues Mall near our new satellite campus that we are showing the community how much we care about the poor.

Really? Is that what this kettle drive says? A 25,000 member, $15 million annual budget church manning a kettle to generate a net $3000 for the poor in our city?

I find no fault with the church coordinating a kettle drive. Its a great idea. We can do it with no problem at all. Its the least we can do. With our numbers we could man 3 or 4 kettles. We should do it. And we can feel good about it.

But let's be straight: it in no way tells our community that we care for the poor despite what our pastor says in his Santa Hat and Salvation Army Apron. As I said in my previous post the net contribution of our manning the kettle will be around $3000.

Mac a few Sundays ago used a pie chart to guilt us all, the church's "giving units" he called us...into giving more to the church. His pie chart showed what terrible givers we are, that we only give on average 3% or our total income to charity. We sat there stunned. No attempt to remind his church about the New Testament principles of giving. No loving reminder of how much we are indebted to Christ. No, Mac closed out his sermon with a pie chart to show that we are spending so poorly, and declaring "you're not going broke by giving to the church."

So Mac likes to use pie charts? That's great. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Below is our own little chart. Not of the pie variety like Mac's, but of the bar variety.

Conservatively we can estimate the salary and benefits of Team Brunson to be $300,000. A wealthy member offered Mac a $275,000 piece of land upon his arrival in Jacksonville, and Mac accepted it. On Easter Sunday, Mac used the largest crowd of the year in an attempt to raise a special offering of $180,000 to put himself back on national TV on the INSP.

Got that Jacksonville? Mac held a special offering to get $180,000 to put himself on national TV on a Christian channel, even though we can reach nationwide through the Internet.

Salary of pastor and family: $300,000.

Land gift from wealthy member to newly hired pastor: $275,000

Money for TV broadcasts of pastor: $180,000.

Funds to Build Pastor's Lavish Office Suite: $100,000

Amount raised for the poor: $3000

Mac's claim that we care about the poor: PRICELESS


Anonymous said...

Mac has Sarah Palin glasses!!!

Ramesh said...

Watchdog, you may have a made a mistake on Team Brunson Salary.

From my reading of the past posts and comments, for the past 4 months, it's been stated repeatedly, that they are getting close $500,000- a year.

I know compared to the average person, that money sounds a lot. But in reality it does not.


(Don't hate me, for stating the obvious).

I will give you average salaries for some of the professions I am familiar with (because of friends and family):

Engineer with PhD makes about $120,000- to $160,000- a year.

Software Engineer with Masters, makes about $90,000- to $120,000- a year.

Doctor(s) make about $300,000- to $500,000- a year.

Salesperson(s) make about $100,000- to $250,000- a year.

Receptionist makes about $40,000- and up.

So in relation, Team Brunson salary is not large.

But it's large compared with the national average and others.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

In response to the Anon emailer:

I can't be any clearer: do the kettle. Kettle good. Kettle nice. Do Kettle.

I am not either saying that we should give more money to the poor! I know that might be inferred from my post, that we have a moral obligation to give more to the poor, but I'm NOT saying that!

Go ahead and spend the money on huge salaries, buildings, schools for the rich, and on satellites in the wealthy areas of our city...do those things, but if you do...


Anonymous said...

Mac has Sarah Palin glasses!!!

Oh, he does, doesn't he? I didn't notice. I was too busy staring at that gosh awful mustache.

oc said...

"Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

When therefore you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be honored by men.
Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing

that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you."

Matthew 6:1-4.

Anonymous said...

Those are not Sarah Palin glasses.
Her glasses do not have the frame on the top of the lenses, Pastor Brunson's do.

Anonymous said...

OC that is so true. May I make a suggestion. During the holiday season why not make ice tea, hot chocolate and sandwiches available on the sidewalks adjacent to the church dining room and the new childrens building. It could be manned by volunteers and provide some much needed nourishment to those poor and needy that pass by on the way through the city. It would also be a means whereby they could be given a tract and witnessed to about salvation through Jesus Christ. Even furnish them a bus ticket to someplace if they are trying to get home. This would be an idea that could surely help some unfortunate soul and may even turn he/she to the Lord. It reminds me of Peter and John going by the temple and seeing the man who could not walk but was healed by the faith of Peter. The church does not have to hand out silver and gold just some human kindness. With all of these layoffs and downturn in the economy locally and all over I can see hundreds of people being helped even with a glass of water. Just a thought. More importantly no one gets the credit but the LORD.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Brunson is all show and no go.

He wants to make a big deal about the Salvation Army bucket. Wants to draw attention to his church for such a noble cause as raising a few thousand bucks.

What he ought to do is help raise some money for Sheri Klouda and her family, who is in need of money for her husband's surgery. That might help make up for Mac's slander of Sheri Klouda from his pulpit a few months ago.

But there would be no glory in raising funds for Sheri Klouda.

But Mac thinks the kettle will help "get exposure" for the new satellite, and it will help answer Councilman Davis' criticism about "sorry churches" who don't do anything to help their community.

Let's do the kettle.

But let's not do it to draw attention to ourselves.

And if we all weren't asked to fork over a huge gift for our facilities maintenance that was neglected during the pat 2 1/2 years, we'd have more money to give to the poor or to Sheri Klouda.

Anonymous said...

Psalm 64
3Who have sharpened their tongue like a sword They aimed bitter speech as their arrow,
4To shoot from concealment at the blameless; Suddenly they shoot at him, and do not fear.
5They hold fast to themselves an evil purpose; They talk of laying snares secretly; They say, "Who can see them?"
6They devise injustices, saying, "We are ready with a well-conceived plot"; For the inward thought and the heart of a man are deep.
7But God will shoot at them with an arrow; Suddenly they will be wounded.
8So they will make him stumble; Their own tongue is against them; All who see them will shake the head.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

The anon who just posted from the FBC Church: maybe you should read some scripture about responsibilities of pastors and shepherds, and email those to the pastor. I assume your scripture is aimed at the watchdog. But that's OK, it might apply to me, but it also applies to Mac Brunson in how he deals with his sheep.

If you don't like anonymous emails at FBC Jax, why is someone in the FBC Jax church hitting this blog, and then posting scripture anonymously?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Readers - times are tough at Bellevue, they're 10% below their budget according to their pastor.

You might find this clip interesting, and humorous:

Steve Gaines

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Thy Peace - your comments on salary:

I don't care what doctors or lawyers are making, or salespeople.

You miss the point entirely.

Sorry to describe this in worldly business terms, but Mac likes to operate the church using business marketing principles, so I will describe it this way:

A doctor might make $500,000...BUT GET A GRIP: HE'S PROVIDING A SERVICE AND HE IS COMPETING IN THE MARKETPLACE TO EARN THE MONEY. People are willingly paying for his services and he is compensated justly. No one is donating money to give him his salary.

An engineer PHD makes $150k, all right...but he's earning that money in a free market, people are paying for his services!

So get the picture...people come in the doors at FBC Jax to hear from God and learn the Bible. They are taught that if they love God, they will prove it by giving AT LEAST 10% of their income. If they don't, a pie chart will be put up on the screen to show them how terrible they are to give only 3%.

Why must we give 10%, people ask...because its God's money to accomplish God's will on earth - helping the needy, spreading the gospel, etc. OK fine. So we give it.

So the church collects this money to do God's work. And then a small group of men in the church, most of whom are very wealthy themselves, decided to give Mac Brunson, his wife, and his son HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN SALARY. I conservatively put it at $300,000, inclusive of Mac and Deb's salary, and their health benefits, housing allowance (exclusive of gifts from rich members like J.D. Collins). Its likely higher than this when you consider both Mac's and Honey's take.

So God's people give God's money, and Mac takes at least $300,000 to 1/2 million of it each year.

That's $30,000 PER MONTH my friend.

Defend it all you want. That is not a wise use of God's resources, especially when the guy preaches as little, and as harshly and unlovingly as Mac does.

Ramesh said...

I would like Watchdog readers to check this blog article by Pastor Wade Burleson:

Fundamentalism's Fury Needs One Who Needles

Here is the comment that interests us who watched/attended fbcjax.
"I have seen an excellent Hebrew professor fired from teaching Hebrew at Southwestern Theological Seminary (Sheri Klouda), forced to sell her own blood to meet expenses, all because of a Fundamentalist interpretation that a woman should not teach men."

I heard and re-heard Pastor Mac's sermon, where he mentions [Sheri Klouda] not by name, but about her interaction with the lawyer, and his making [Klouda] read a portion of scripture ...

Here Pastor Mac was not making a flippant comment, throwing it into the sermon. This was a well prepared comment.

There was no contrition, no humility, no sadness as to what Pastor Mac and what SBC leadership have done to Klouda. It was business as usual. To add insult to injury, Pastor Mac was Klouda's pastor then.

This was my turning point. This was what opened my eyes to see all the twisted mess in Baptist Identity.

I did not get all this from Watchdog. The doors for this was opened by Pastor Mac himself. Before this, I was clueless. Had no knowledge of who and what Southern Baptists are/were, about Baptist Identity ...

To Watchdog: ... about Pastor Mac's salary ...

I agree with your arguments. All I was saying, in the worldly terms, compared to what others are getting paid, Pastor Mac's salary is in the ballpark of the worldly way. I have found out recently that Steve Gaines at Bellevue makes similar amount.

The sad thing, it looks like, they are trying to raise money in the church in the worldly way too.

I personally favor your method of entreating members to contribute based on the New Testament giving. More by encouragement and love of our Lord Jesus Christ than by guilt and duty.

I personally do not have a leg to stand on in this argument, because I do not contribute tithes/offerings to fbcjax and am not a member.

Anonymous said...

MENDACITY!!!!! Is there truth anywhere? We are going to have a fraudulent election. We have churches pretending to be CHURCHES!!! We have preachers living in country club locations, pretending to be concerned about the poor. Living a high-end lifestyle. We have a Baptist convention pretending to put JESUS first; pretending to care about the lost, instead of the money they are paid. We have church members pretending to go to church for "spiritual" reasons, when they tear each other down and destroy each others reputations.They pretend to be "faithful" but the real reason for attendance is "social", "fellowship","business" contacts. They pretend, pretend, pretend. Mendacity, mendacity, mendacity!!!

No wonder people are leaving churches. They can be lied to in the world. Why pay for it in a church. I personally do not intend to let a preacher scream at me from his lofty position of excess, and then demand MORE money. Mendacity!

The only thing we have left is the written Word of God, and many of those translations are CORRUPT. MENDACITY!! LETS GO BACK TO THE OLD TIME RELIGION AND THE OLD TIME PREACHERS THAT ACTUALLY PREACHED SALVATION MESSAGES TO THE LOST!!!!

Unknown said...

I got to look that word up. mendacity.

My comments...ya'll stop with the personal attacks on appearances, how would you like it if someone was filming your nose hairs?

I think sarah palin needs a new hairdo by the way.....

and the x files said it best...."trust no one"..thy peace, sorry you have to learn these things

that being said, the kettle is good.

but may i strongly suggest not buying bus tickets or anything that can be resold....food is a great idea to hand out also.

don't tell me i don't know what i'm talking about, i lived in a salvation army shelter for two weeks once, and it wasn't really that many years ago....

they charged us 50.00 a week rent.

it was still a brief roof over my head.......so thats why i liked the kettle idea, but i do have stories from that brief experience.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Readers: I must admit. I'm an avid reader of the Maurilio Twitter page. At least daily I go to read his twitters to see what he is up to. Maurilio is the president of the "A Group", Mac's church marketing firm that he has used in Dallas and brought with him to Jax.

I wrote a post some time ago asking the question: "Does Mac Listen to the Holy Spirit or the A Group", questioning why a church our size, with the talented staff we have, why do we need to fly in a consultant from Nashville to help us run the church? I also blogged about how Maurilio flies into Jax for "sessions" with Mac in Deerwood, and about how our church dollars that go to Maurilio contribute to his charmed life style that he twitters about. I don't bring this up to cast aspersions on Maurilio - he is I'm sure a great guy, solid Christian, and does his job well helping churches. But why does FBC Jax have to take advice from him - why must we send tithes and offerings to him to get advice on what we do at our church?

I saw two disturbing posts today on Maurilio's twitter that I thought I'd share with my readers. Maurilio in the last two days has been on a trip up to Connecticut for meetings with his "friend and client", Frank Santora, pastor of Faith Church in Danbury, CT.

Here are the posts on Maurilio's Twitter about his trip to see Pastor Frank:

"Meeting with my friend and client Frank Santora in Danbury, CT. He is building an amazing church in a very hostile environment."


Fall colors everywhere in New England. Frank and I have knocked out 2 teaching series this morning. Now lunch and shopping for cool shirts

Now this is Maurilio twittering for the entire world to see. So this pastor, a man called of God to pastor a decent sized church...needs to fly in Maurilio to help him "knock out" his teaching series? What is that? Teaching series are something that church marketing consultants are hired to help with?

So I ask the question: Does Mac, our supposedly God-called pastor, fly in Maurilio to help him figure out what to preach? If it takes a collaborative effort to come up with sermon series, why not use the God-called staff members? Why do believers in Jacksonville at FBC Jax need to pay tithes so that Mac can fly down a marketer from Nashville?

I wonder what how the annual travel and consulting fees we pay Maurilio for help running our church compare to the dollars we raise for the poor?

Just askin'.

Anonymous said...

Does Maurilio show any fruit of the Holy Spirit? He seems a nice guy, except got expensive tastes in cool shirts. Is this a new age thing? What are Maurilio credentials?

Anonymous said...

No where in my Bible is a marketing firm mentioned. Nor do I find a slick sales program described. What could a marketing guru possibly have to do with SERMONS preached by pastors. Is it not the pastors that are supposed to be called of God to PREACH THE WORD? If a pastor is TRULY called of God, would not God and the leading of the Holy Spirit be the central and guiding factor for his ministry? Otherwise, the pastor is just an MC that presides over the program. Does anyone believe that a marketing firm, promoting a brand is of God? Wasted money and wasted effort. What a shame that pastors and lay leaders have let God down and in so doing let the people down. I would not want to be in their position when they will be required to answer to God. The Word of God and the souls hanging in the balance are not toothpaste and soap suds to be marketed, promoted or exploited.

Anonymous said...

To get a clear picture of what the A-Group has done for Faith Church, please carefully read Maurilio's blog dated Nov. 29, 2007 entitled "Faith Church and The Work of The A-Group."

FBC Jax had better run for the hills!

Ramesh said...

Here are some excerpts from Maurilio article on Faith Church Nov 29 2007:

The New Yorker Features Faith Church and The Work of The A Group

"I met Frank before he even had turned 30 years old, and have walked with him during
three different capital campaigns, a church name change, 400% growth in the last 7 years, a relocation project, major stylistic and staff changes: the works. Faith Church is one of a few mega churches in New England and is making a difference in their community and beyond."

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Thy Peace:


Pastor Frank purchased the consulting package called "the works".

What package did we get from the A-Group?

The Works: $50,000 fees and all staff members gone and Purpose Driven Implemented (exclusive of Maurilio travel)

The Big Enchilada: $100,000 fees including new website design, bylaw conversion, staff analysis to determine which dead wood need to be fired to make room for family, and anything else needed

The Shaft: Unlimited fees paid at $150 per hour, full blow Purpose Driven conversion, free pastel aprons for ushers, XXXL Santa Hat and Apron, "I'm a Yes Man" buttons for all trustees, and lessons on how to preach like an angry fundamentalist.

I think we chose "The Shaft".

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Another disturbing Maurilio twitter post:

Just finished dinner with a leader of a technology company in NYC who wants to understand the Christian marketplace. We hit it off big.

Yep, the sheep are a "marketplace".

Ramesh said...

I had not truly realized the potential of Maurilio before today. I was mistaken earlier that he was consulting for web design and web services. Today, I find out he is giving (has been) full works consulting and makeover to churches.

I remember reading one earlier comment that "it's a done deal for fbcjax now" ... and the other "run for the hills". I think it's too late. Sorry fbcjax. It was good knowing you. We won't recognize you, very shortly.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Maurilio's lack of sound judgement in posting a twitter about having to help a pastor "knock out" sermon series is really amazing. If, IF, I ever hired Maurilio for some services related to my sermons, I wouldn't want the dummy twittering about it to the world as he's driving from my church to the airport. Sheesh...

Anonymous said...

It sounds to me like there is nothing but WORKS going on at FBC. I see nothing spiritual. Anyone that has ever been blessed to be in a church where JESUS was preeminent can recognize a dead church operating only by "works". When you replace the Godly work of the Spirit with man's "works" then you have a dead church frought with problem after problem. It appears as though Godly direction by the Spirit has been replaced with a slick man made concept called a "marketing firm". Does anyone doubt that we are in the last days and the "falling away" of the church? God help us.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Readers: Article from the Wall Street Journal, about "Mystery Worshippers" like Maurilio who use the business marketing technique of posing as a visitor at a client's church to measure the "experience" and report back to the pastor on areas that need improvement.

Here's the article.

Very Interesting. Maurilio's company the A Group is mentioned, as is Maurilio's Pastor Pete Wilson.

Some interesting excerpts:

"So far, secret-shopper services mainly target Christian churches, where declining "brand loyalty" among worshippers has become a common motif."

Yep, "brand loyalty".

"Ron McCaslin, pastor of Cathedral of the Hills in Edmond, Okla., hired Mr. Harrison because his church was struggling to attract members even though the surrounding neighborhood was bustling with new residents. Mr. Harrison suggested changing the church's name and its billboard -- a 25-year-old wooden sign with Old English-style lettering. He also recommended changing the worship music to make the early morning service traditional, with well-known hymns that appeal to an older crowd, and the later service more contemporary, with a lively band. The church now draws about 500 people to its weekend services, up from about 350."

That is pretty scary stuff...a consultant is telling "God-called" pastors on how to attract people to the church - what kind of music to use, what hymns to use or not to use!

One of my favorites...this is Maurilio's pastor in the following quote, who believes his "competition" is Cracker Barrel!!

"Others say that church shopping has become necessary for churches seeking to compete in an increasingly mobile and consumer-oriented society. 'My competition is Cracker Barrel restaurant down the street,' says Pete Wilson, pastor of CrossPoint Church in Nashville, Tenn., who regularly enlists a secret shopper to evaluate his 2,000-person congregation. 'If they go in there and are treated more like family than when they come to CrossPoint Church, then it's lights out for me.' "

My question: when Mac hires a secret shopper, do they include in their report the angy, abusive preaching that very likely drives people away?

Anonymous said...

At one point Maurillio twittered something to this effect...maybe I'll get extra "Jesus points" (about having attended two church services in one day I believe) It actually made my heart ache at the lack of understanding of the holiness of God. Is it just me or is there something extremely unmanly and flat out silly about a grown man twittering every few minutes? Seems like a serious case of arrested development. I truly think this guy is a well meaning idiot. What's most concerning is the lack of discernment on the part of our pastor with regard to this.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I'm not so critical of Maurilio. My criticism is towards our church for using Maurilio as a "marketing consultant". I've followed Maurilio's blog and his twitters and from what I read he is likely a solid Christian, appears to be a great dad and husband. And no question he and his company are very talented. And his services are in demand.

My criticism is more directed toward our pastor and our lay leaders for allowing our pastor to rely on a church marketing consultant.

They can't have it both ways: they call Mac "God's man"....they have told me "touch not God's annointed"...they have told me that I am in danger of dying as I write on this blog for "attacking God's man" as though there is something about Mac that makes him a spiritually superior person as a pastor, that he is God's representative.

But if he's God's holy man, he's the seminary trained expert of the word...why does he need to take advice from a church marketing consultant to decide
who should be hired and fired...how the church should be organized...what the sermon series should be...how we should change to attract more people...and on and on. So don't tell me he's "God's Man" that is deserving of half million in income and jobs for family and huge house and land gifts....but then he has to go out and hire a marketing consultant.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

As far as his twittering...he is trying to be "cutting edge" so he is using this form of communication to show his clients that it can be used to make connections with people. No problem there. It is a bit metro-sexual I think for a grown man to expose his every day's activities and thoughts on a twitter. But I do understand what he's doing.

My biggest criticism of Maurilio: its the incredible lack of discernment in sharing information about his lifestyle that some of his clients might find a bit offensive. Like the vacations to Vegas, expensive meals, 6-head showers in his house, expensive clothes...I don't care what he does with his money, but to put those aspects of his life out there where humble, sacrificing Christians who DO give sacrificially to their church as unto the Lord and they know that we send money to Maurilio and he's twittering about what some consider to be a lavish lifestyle...that just shows a lack of discernment on Maurilio's part.

Ramesh said...

You are all doing a great disservice to yourselves, when you label Maurillio for his twittering as an idiot or dimwit ... He is a genius. Come on, all you recalcitrants, get over your self. Please follow the logic of fbcjax administration and other great churches who are flocking to his services.

Can't you see the light? Look how many new members he [Maurillio] can bring to your church. He can polish your sermons. He can suggest what to do with your music ministry. He might have input on your staffing. Your new projects. The list is endless here.

I have to disagree with Watchdog's numbers in the earlier comments. WD mentioned Maurillio getting $150-/Hour. In my opinion that is too low, for his services. My guess is it's twice as much. My reasoning: a network admin charges $90-$120 per Hour, Web Site Designer goes for $75-$100, Database Programmer and Designer goes for $160 per Hour. A Church Makeover Consultant easily goes for $300- per Hour

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Question: would the people at Faith Church, who give money each week out of their love for God...would they be happy to know that their pastor is taking their money, and flying in a guy from Nashville who charges $100+ hour to help the pastor "knock out" his sermon series? The pastor needs to consult with Maurilio on his sermons? I would imagine that most church members would NOT like the fact that their pastor is using Maurilio.

Maurilio's market for his "church marketing" services is for the large churches where the pastor can purchase his services with very few of the congregation knowing that is how their money is spent.

Anonymous said...

Wow is all I can say.. I have spent the last few minutes reading all of this and it blows my mind. All I can say is that a church should be built on the principles of the Bible and hard work, NOT some marketing campaign or strategy.

FBC was built on solid Biblical preaching, great music ( which we no longer have) and people out soul winning.. PERIOD.. no logos, websites, etc... Going door to door showing people that you love them and that they can find answers they need in JESUS.. WHY can't we simply do that.. ??

I am all about mission trips, but what about Jacksonville.. What about the hurting people in Jacksonville, the lost people in Jacksonville? Why don't we tend to our own backyard and not people we don't even know halfway around the world...

This church was built on simple principles and executed by great men of God, Lindsay Jr and Sr..

I hope FBCJAX can hang on thru this storm and not lose all that we have been to the city of Jacksonville for the past 150 yrs.

Anonymous said...

I also dont understand how our pastor could beg, plead for money from our church and then leave on a 2 week spending spree thru Europe..?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Europe? How do you know he's "on a two week spending spree through Europe"?

Anonymous said...

Its public knowledge. it was quoted that "Debbie loves shopping in Milan."

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I don't see how its general knowledge, in that he told us "Debbie is going to take me somewhere" speaking of his vacation. Can you share how you know this?

Did they really leave to Europe? Any other details that you have? Where did you hear that "Debbie loves to shop in Milan"?

Anonymous said...

A comment was posted by Debbie herself on a public social website indicating she loves shopping in Milan. Take a look.

Don't get me wrong I am all about people taking vacations but not when your church is struggling to meet the budget and more importantly don't share on a public social website.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - can you provide me a link to the "social website"?

Ramesh said...

WD, you wrote:
Mac a few Sundays ago used a pie chart to guilt us all, the church's "giving units" he called us...into giving more to the church. His pie chart showed what terrible givers we are, that we only give on average 3% or our total income to charity. We sat there stunned.

Did this concept of "giving units" come from Maurilio's A-Group? Did the pie-chart come from them too?

Anonymous said...

Watchdog I cannot believe you find it odd that mega church pastors get their messages from consultants. They are so busy in fund raising, trustee meetings, staff reviews, doing extensive investigative work on dialectics, meeting with school officials and personnel, taking bids on carpet, wallpaper, roof repairs, reviewing satellite issues, going over surveys on small cells, reading the latest fresh ideas of other churches, reviewing financial records and current interest rates, meeting with other mega church pastors, holding marketing strategy sessions, looking at the blogosphere, answersing letters, reading and disposing of e-mails, , etc,etc, that they do not have the time to work or develop a sermon. It is also easier to have the marketing guru come up with a three or four week topic and provide the sermons so that they can be memorized and delivered as their own. This is the new wave of "cutting edge theology" geared to the 21st Century. It also enables the mega church preachers to go over these messages and compare them with each other so that greater numbers of people can be reached to build up their brand.

Anonymous said...

Nutty senior pastors who are doing these things (listed above) might get their sermons from somewhere on the Internet. Wise senior pastors who have the blessing of serving the Lord with other ministers on staff--and who let those staff members do their jobs without getting in their ways--have at least 20 hours each week to get ready to preach on Sundays and Wednesdays, and 20 more hours for the pastoral care and leadership for which their responsible (after that, let the poor men go home to their families and leave them alone! The other ministers, too!).

I'm sure you find it unfortunate, too: this blogsite apparently is becoming a case study for several things, including how not to serve a congregation as its senior pastor AND how not to resolve conflict with your senior pastor. If there's any lesson to be learned in all of this, it's that: just because the name "Baptist" or even "First Baptist" appears on the building, that doesn't mean that it's either good or godly inside.

Zech. 4:6, brother and sisters! Zech. 4:6 before it all comes apart and shames the Lord and you.

Ramesh said...

It's not just about the Pastor: What he should have done or should not have done. Nor is it all about conflict resolution.

The big picture, here is Marketing aspect of the Church. I am not just talking about fbcjax. Lot of other Churches are doing the same thing. They are into Selling the product. What is the product? Church ambience.

There is nothing wrong in that, as far as man is concerned. But as far as God is concerned ... I will leave it up the Word of God to judge them.

I would like to make another point, If I may. There was one sermon, Pastor Mac preached on Easter, during the Media Evangelism Fund Drive. I have listened to that sermon more than 6 times.

Just to recollect your memories ... he mentions Ichabod ... he also mentions about Lindsay's getting upset that fbcjax could not provide 120 men to pray during services. I can see you can remember that sermon.

In that sermon, Pastor Mac mentions, about what happens when the Spirit of God leaved the temple in Jerusalem.

Now imagine, with all this man-made works, can this happen in fbcjax? Can the Spirit of God leave fbcjax? If it does, how does it feel in fbcjax?

I know the above questions are hard. But they need to be asked.

God bless you all. I sincerely pray, the above does not happen at fbcjax.

Anonymous said...

1. The Holy Spirit is a "He" not an "it".

2. About 3000 U.S. churches go out of business every year. The last one--not the first one--out of each one of them is: The Lord. God is wholly committed to doing His part for biblical church growth and will stay till the end to do it--and He's wholly committed NOT to doing Christians' parts in biblical church growth. No slip-shod team of people ever achieved exceptional results--that's why the Lord in His Holy Word tells believers to keep their interpersonal problems fixed and to move forward together everyday achieving the Great Commission.

3. Get to it, folks. The Lord never gave ANY CHURCH ANYWHERE a perfect senior pastor--including anybody with the surname of "Lindsay" (and the ones you know by that name would have agreed, I'm sure). Pastors and churches grow up together when they give each other a real chance.

Ramesh said...

Anon: Thanks for the correction.

The sermon I mentioned in the earlier comment, actually happened about two to three weeks prior to easter. Wanted to clarify that.

Anonymous said...

Church as we know it, is over folks!!! I mean the church that preached the uncompromising Word of God to lost people. The church that stood against the world and sin, is GONE. We have seen it turn into a social venue with the effectiveness of a "scout club meeting". Why has this happened? We are in the last days. Rev.3 vs.l4: "And unto the angel of the church of Laodiceans write; These things hath the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; vs.l5: I know they works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would that thou wert cold or hot. vs.l6: So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue the out of my mouth."

Rev. 3:vs.20: "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." This is a picture of Jesus outside of his own church knocking to get in. And as Jesus said to the church of Ephesus, Rev.2 vs.4: " Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Vs. 5: Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."

These verses are a clear warning that God will not be mocked. When preachers go to marketing firms for direction in their ministries is not God mocked. Where is the humble reliance on prayer and supplication to the Father for guidance in matters of HIS church. Why is a ministry that is supposed to be called of God called a "brand" to be marketed like any commodity? The Word, and "calling" of God is not to be so cheapened.

So where are we in the church today? Paul says in I Cor.3 vs.l0;"According to the grace of God which is given unto me , as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon, But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon." vs.ll:"For other foundation can no man lay, that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." vs.l8:"Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise." vs. l9:"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness."
The church has become a commodity to be marketed and sold. It is a business opportunity that is to be exploited for money. And those who do so are brazen in their efforts. We are not to question, and are admonished if we do. The traditions that we knew in former times are now being challenged in the face of "change" and "cutting edge" ministries. What are we to do? Paul says: 2 Thess: vs.l4:"Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." Vs.l5: "Therefore, brethern, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle." We must indeed hold fast as we are currently, I believe, in the "falling away" of the church spoken of in this same chapter 2.vs.3. Rev.chp.22 vs. 20: "He which testifieth these things saith,"surely I come quickly," Amen. Even so, come , Lord Jesus."

Unknown said...

you don't understand, the "sheep" have been viewed as a "marketplace" for a long long time. Do you have ANY idea how things have been marketed to the christian community over these last about 30 years....do you have ANY idea how you have been controlled, manipulated....so WHY are you surprised when it happens in the local church....and its all about money in the local church too. Why are you so surprised? I started talking in 1991 about a certain "marketing technique" being used on Christians and believe you me, nobody wants to hear it, you will find. Its all about money, ALL OF IT.