The budget was passed tonight unanimously. No questions were asked. The pastor was on the platform and did not show any leadership in answering any questions, or explaining any aspects of the budget for 2009. Just a vote. No leadership whatsoever. Didn't explain how we would pay for the maintenance of our buildings that were an "emergency" and we didn't raise all the funds. Didn't explain why all categories were cut except "Communications" and "Business Admin". Nothing. No explanations. Good job, Mac. Thanks, "yes men" deacons.
Then, after the vote was approved for the budget, Dave Bristowe announced the new trustees that were "nominated" for the year 2009. A vote was called for and the new trustees were approved.
Judge A.C. Soud is again the president of the trustees
Tom Stimler is again the "Treasurer, Trustee". The man touring Europe with Mac the week after we collected a special offering to pay for our facility maintenance is again our treasurer. Mac and Stimler didn't plan for the facility maintenance in our 2008 budget, and apparently didn't put it in for 2009!!! But boy they had enough in their own budgets to take a tour of Europe. I'm sure that Stimler will go with Mac on the "Holy Land Trip" next spring. Great. We can be assured that Stimler is not beholden to Mac.
Three other gentlemen were nominated for "Assistant Treasurer, Trustee"
Who nominated these people for their positions?
Mac Brunson, the pastor. No elections. Just selections.
How does the pastor nominate the trustees with no input from the congregation?
Because Mac changed our bylaws in December 2007 with no explanation whatsoever that allows HIM to do the nominating of our trustees. No announcement was made as to who they were prior to tonight, and no announcement was made we would be voting on trustees tonight. I maintain that the December 2007 bylaw changes was a cleverly disguised way of moving our congregation from a congregation ruled church to that of an "elder led" rule. And Mac picks the "elders", known as "trustees".
You might wonder, what is a "Treasurer, Trustee" and "Assistant Treasurer, Trustee". Well, I'm told that part of the bylaw changes made in December 2007 were the dissolution of the finance committee, and the creation of the "Treasurer" and "Assistant Treasurer" positions on the Board of Trustee that will serve as the finance committee. And Mac picks them.
And Mac has the nerve to go to SWBTS and Criswell College two weeks ago and say that the image of mega church pastors ruling over their churches is false. Mac is a liar and a deceiver. He attempted to lie and deceive the students at Criswell College about his wealth, his income, his cars, his house....and the power he has given himself at our church. More on this later.
So we're set for the 2009 budget year. Newly selected trustees hand-picked by the pastor, and a new budget.
Now for you stupid, biblically illiterate, recalcitrant sheep who don't bring your bibles...you have no input at all into the budget. Your pastor won't even answer any questions asked of him about the budget. He won't even take 2 minutes in the business meeting to vote on the budget to explain how things will work next year, why we cut ministries but increased communications and business, what he has done to prepare us for the coming recession. And you aren't told in advance when they're voting on trustees, and you're not explained why the bylaws were changed in a significant way to alter how our church is governed.
You just have to shut up, applaud and amen the pastor on his cue, don't say a word about small groups, don't act worried...just GIVE THE MONEY. GOT THAT? DON'T ASK QUESTIONS, JUST FORK OVER THE MONEY TO MAC AND STIMLER AND THEY'LL TAKE IT FROM THERE. And please choose between cherry and grape Kool Aid as you leave the building.
1. To be fair the deacons asked several questions...good questions...and at least one voted against it. They are not given any more budget information than the 'masses'. Plus the deacons did not get the 'planned budget' one week in advance like the 'sheep' did so calling them all 'yes men' deacons like you did is not accurate. Some of them are 'waking up' so let's encourage them. Remember our church trustees used to be 'trustworthy' and the deacons are beginning 'see'.
2. Just curious, did you vote 'nay' tonight? If not, why not?
3. Did you catch the names of the trustees? Let's list them so some of us can search them out and discuss things over the next few weeks. 1. Tom Stimler 2. Adrian Soud 3. Ryan Jones? 4. Keith Hill? 5. Attorney guy with black hair...about 30 6. David Last name? 7.?? That's all I can come up with...
4. Also, is there a way you can summarize the main 'complaints' against Mac and put them in a prominent place like you did the Video collection? This way when newcomers visit the blog they can easily 'see' the complaints and get up to speed quickly. I've accidently 'discovered' this blog about 2 to 3 weeks ago and had to work pretty hard to 'uncover' all the complaints. It would make your blog more effective if we could get the 'complaints' more prominently placed and organized.
5. Keep up the good work!
Fair enough...I do realize that not all the deacons are "yes men"...I meant to call only the unconcerned, rubber stamping deacons as "yes men".
But if there were a few who asked questions and at least one who voted no...THAT IS PROGRESS!
I abstained. I didn't vote. Obvious reasons. I noticed David Hodges was on the trustees again. I didn't notice the others.
As far as the "Main Complaints", I think I will make another post similar to my July post where I declared July to be Freedom from Mac Brunson month. I'll do that and hyperlink it on the right side for easy retrieval. Thanks for the idea. We have had a HUGE increase in readership in the past couple of weeks, much of it here in Jacksonville.
As a deacon, don't you have access to the bylaws?
I've been trying to get a copy of the bylaws and post it here for everyone.
Would love to have the new and old for comparison.
And why can't the deacons take Mac before the discipline committee for his behavior? There is enough blatant things he has done that are worthy of taking him before the discipline committee that he created in the new bylaws...
Anon who happened to find this blog a few weeks ago:
Were you aware of ANY of these issues on this blog?
Do you think most deacons are aware of this blog and have just decided that Mac is being attacked? Or are they just unaware of what the guy is doing?
1. Yes, one or two maybe, but I was not aware of several of the main complaints that you brought up...hidden neopotism w/Honey, $300k gift, Pastors Conf 'marketing', the hypocrisy you point out in Mac's books (don't take gifts, nepotism, big houses, cars, etc).
2. However, I did notice on my own the general rudeness by Pastor Mac over the past year, the $990k maintenance scolding by Pastor Mac that Sunday morning (it left me feeling upset...I remember that day so clearly) and I remember the day the Ashley Collins commercial ran and I had this 'uneasy' feeling that it should not have been in the middle of the sermon...I knew something was wrong. I also remember when Pastor Mac 'bragged' on Trey during the PC last year and remember feeling 'uneasy' about it...that it wasn't really true. I also remember the 'unending pressure' to contribute to Trey's wedding gifts when I didn't even know the Pastor, much less his son...I didn't like it and it made me feel that 'the new first family' was after money. The list goes on...I just didn't know what to do or even think about all my feelings.
3. Your blog has helped me clarify my thoughts...I knew something was wrong...but I just get so busy with life/kids/work after the sermons and tried to not focus on the negative things I was feeling...but after hearing and 'verifying' many of the complaints I am upset that the 'trustees' are so 'blind' to all of these issues. I want to take action and do something. That's why I want the blog to have a bit more organization, etc.
5. I think most deacons are totally unaware of these issues...I mean totally! I do not think that most of them even know about this blog...I found it totally by accident...I do believe that if all the complaints were nicely summarized, etc and this weblink was made available to the deacons...we'll things probably would accelerate.
6. I have never seen the bylaws...where can a we get a copy? The library?
7. Suppose the deacons could take Mac before the discipline committee but first all the issues must be vetted for accuracy, clearly organized for easy readability, listed in order of importance with implications (eg when you linked the $300k gift with the Pastor coming to Jax for money not called by God), and then distributed to deacons then they would be obligated to pursue it...and I believe many would because there are a lot of real Christian deacons in our church. In other words if the complaints are not brought up 'correctly' then it will give the 'leadership' fodder for not doing anything and will bring 'sympathy' for the Pastor.
9. In the end, if the trustees fail to discipline...well there is always an 'exposay' with the Times-Union!
SORRY--LONG POSTING. Can't lawfully violate bylaws to establish new bylaws. Old bylaws would stand.
". . . Application. This case demonstrates an important principle--the bylaws of an incorporated church cannot be amended in a way that is inconsistent with the church's articles of incorporation. As a result, any attempt to amend a church's bylaws in violation of its articles of incorporation is of no legal effect and is subject to reversal if challenged. It is therefore essential to carefully review every proposed bylaw amendment prior to presentation to the church membership to ensure consistency with the articles of incorporation. New Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, Inc. v. Dinkins, 708 So.2d 972 (Fla. App. 1998) . . ."
In FBCJax Articles of Incorporation now: ". . . It is the intent and purpose that this Church shall be, at all times, a pure democracy, with the direction and control in the membership, and that the Officers, Trustees and committees shall function and be subject to the will, direction and control of the Church, whom they shall serve . . ." (from http://www.sunbiz.org/corinam.html; search for FBCJax--click on 02/18/08 Amendment, page 5)
And this helpful info, from http://www.christianitytoday.com/cbg/churchlawtax/articles/ask_080704.html:
". . . 1. State nonprofit corporation laws under which many churches are incorporated generally make no provision for the suspension of bylaws.
2. Suspension of bylaws is an extraordinary action that is not found in most church bylaws, but it is important to confirm that this is the case.
3. If your church bylaws allow for their own suspension, then be sure to comply with any procedural requirements. For example, the bylaws of some public charities and for-profit corporations provide for their own suspension, but they typically require a super-majority vote, such as two-thirds or three-fourths of the members present.
4. Many churches have adopted the current version of Robert's Rules of Order as their official body of parliamentary procedure governing church business meetings. Section 25 of Robert's Rules of Order states: "Rules contained in the bylaws (or constitution) cannot be suspended no matter how large the vote in favor of doing so or how inconvenient the rule in question may be unless the particular rule specifically provides for its own suspension, or unless the rule properly is in the nature of a [procedural] rule of order." For churches that have not formally adopted any body of parliamentary procedure, Robert's Rules of Order is persuasive authority. Section 2 of Robert's Rules of Order states: "Although it is unwise for an assembly or a society to attempt to function without formally adopted rules of order, a recognized parliamentary manual may be cited under such conditions as persuasive."
5. Some corporations have amended their bylaws to remove a provision authorizing their suspension. One common reason for doing so is that a provision authorizing bylaw suspension is anti-democratic. That is, the bylaws are adopted by the corporate membership following an intensive period of drafting and consideration. Permitting this fundamental legal document, or a provision therein, to be suspended by a specified percentage of members present at an annual or specially called meeting of the members typically will result in a relatively small minority of the total membership dictating a suspension of the bylaws.
6. Churches that choose to provide for the suspension of their bylaws can limit potential problems by requiring a super-majority vote and by limiting the suspension option to specific bylaw articles or sections.
7. In a famous case, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes noted that "hard cases make bad law." The point being that bad precedents often result from difficult circumstances. Churches that feel compelled to suspend their bylaws, even when legally authorized, may end up regretting doing so. At a minimum, they will be establishing a precedent that may be referenced on many future occasions whenever an emergency arises. The very concept of corporate bylaws being subject to suspension is at odds with the fundamental nature of bylaws as a set of rules governing corporate practice and administration. In one sense, the bylaws are the one document that protects a church against anarchy. Any compromise to the stability of a church's bylaws raises the potential for future problems.
8. Bylaws typically provide for their own amendment. In many cases, bylaw amendments take effect immediately. Bylaw amendments should be viewed as an alternative to bylaw suspension.
9. Proper drafting of bylaws often can avoid the clamor for their suspension that may arise out of temporary emergencies. Church leaders should periodically have their bylaws reviewed by legal counsel.
10. Suspending the bylaws, when not authorized, will result in a "cloud" over the integrity and legitimacy of whatever action is taken while the bylaws are suspended . . ."
It appears from the postings at this blogsite that FBCJax functions frequently in violation of its Articles of Incorporation (the quote from that document, above)--if not also its bylaws--or that a perceived threat to do so is sensed among its active membership.
The applicable law seems to say: (1) unless already provided for, the current bylaws cannot be suspended in order for other new bylaws to be established in "railroad" fashion; (2) the previous bylaws stand, as the current bylaws probably were established in violation of them--at least as described by this blogsite; (3) the Articles of Incorporation as presently on file with the Florida Department of State-Division of Corporations, and most recently amended, specifically support numbers 1 and 2 above; and, (4) there is cause for addressing the matter on this basis with those elected to serve the purely-democratic Church fully controlling its affairs.
My bad Anon...I didn't see the FYEO. It was an honest mistake BROTHER. Cool your heels dude. I get 100's of posts and I didn't see the tiny fyeo.
I have no interest in posting things bloggers don't want posted. I get plenty of FYEO posts and I don't post them.
I deleted the FYEO.
HONEST MISTAKE....and I don't "keep posting things people don't want posted".
If I get an FYEO I don't post it.
You can not obtain a copy of the bylaws. Go to the library, ask to see them and you will have to sign a log book and you will be given a serial numbered copy. You will be instructed not to remove it from the library, copy, or mark in it. You can then take it anywhere in the library and read it. Once you are finished, give it back to the librarian and sign the copy back in.
I will never believe that these guys did anything that wasn't legally binding. When they voted to change the bylaws, they also voted to change the articles of incorporation. A.C. Soud, Adrian Soud are very smart lawyers, and I'm 100% certain there was nothing legally amiss about the change.
My point is that they did it in the absolute most hidden, unopen way they possibly could. Putting the copies in the library to only be checked out by signing one's name. Then in the vote they did not explain AT ALL the purpose of the changes...yet they DID explain the articles of incorproation changes which WERE minor! So I'm thinking: "gee if they explained the articles of incorporation and they seemed to be administrative changes, then certainly the bylaw changes that they DID NOT explain were even less significant"
That was wrong. The bylaw changes were VERY significant. And the pastor didn't have the courage to stand in front of us to tell us or summarize for us what they are.
Isn't it interesting: Mac stands up there and preaches how Christians should be courageous...and he talks down his nose from his lofty perch to us plebe that are so scared, and he is so BRAVE in these econonic times...but where was the bravery in changing the bylaws as he did? What was he afraid of? Where was the trust in God to at the very least summarize for his congregation the bylaws he was asking us to vote on?
The guy is so full of contradictions and inconsistencies and arrogance that I don't believe he even believes what he preaches. He's a showman.
Under Robert's Rules of Order you should be able to debate motions that are made or make your own motions. Have you considered doing that?
You must not have ever been to our church. Anybody that stands and tries to yell something during a business meeting would be escorted out.
There is never an opportunity for any discussion or questions in a business meeting in our church.
I was there tonight. I've been a member for years. I should have been more clear. Yes, if you did that the concealed handgun people would escort you out. I was just making the point that you technically have a right to do that.
Anon 10:25pm (and the same Anon in other comments):
God bless you and preserve you in His Faith. You are a true blessing.
Your comments and WD comments on this post, clearly vindicate some of my earlier comments.
WD you have traction in your arguments now. God bless you Sir.
PS: About the Robert's Rules of Order, please check what happened at BBC (Bellevue). They got shafted when they followed the "procedure".
Also, WD please consider doing "labels" to your posts. This would help all newcomers quickly get to the posts. See Pastor Wade's blog as an example.
Anon: message received, thanks for the grace. We're on the same team.
Thy Peace - yes, I will do the labeling. I see the value in it now...
Last night's sermon:
Good message overall.
I just can't get past that every single, solitary sermon, without fail, this narcissist has to include references to how Mac is "attacked", "hated", "slandered". And last night Mac said when he is hated, and attacked and slandered, it doesn't affect his "love". He still loves even though he is attacked.
Yep, we feel that love every Sunday morning. It just comes shining through. His love just "oozes" from the pulpit.
He just can't stay away from at some point bring the sermon around to being about him.
One poster said that perhaps there will be an expose' on the abuses of Mac Brunson at our church.
It is not going to happen, unless there is some outward visible, documented fact, some newsworthy event, that causes a story to be written, and that a logical person could tie the abuses I have blogged about BACK to the event.
For example, consider the pastor down in Ocala. The man fired 6 long-time associate ministers who dared to raise allegations to the deacons about the pastor - not gross moral or sexual failings, but some other things about his leadership. The personnel committee fired them on a "technicality" so the pastor is saying he didn't fire them, but the pastor could have extended grace on the matter for which the committee fired them. And these firings and the uproar of the congregation, where about 100 of the congregants began to approach the podium during the sermon demanding answers - it all became a newsworthy event.
But imagine if in addition to the firings, there were some underlying, beneath the radar concerns like:
- the pastor accepted a $300k land gift from one of the big church donors just 2 weeks after arriving in Jax
- the pastors wife is on staff with no stated ministry responsibilities
- the pastor had changed the bylaws in a less than open manner giving himself more power
- the pastor began selling advertising space at a church function
and so on....all of these other underlying concerns would have been full blown. This pastor in Ocala DID have a history of congregational abuse and when the Ocala newstory hit the wire, his other shenanigans that were unknown to most of the congregation are now fully known.
So in about 48 hours, he went from having 98% of the people fooled thinking he was God's gift to their church and 2% realizing he was destroying their church, to a percentage now of like at least 60% who realize now he's a louse. So unless the pastor repents, humbles himself, is the force for restoration with these beloved ministeres...it will be a church split.
What is happening now at our church is a church split in super slow motion. Almost inperceptibe, but its happening.
But watchout, what is going in superslow motion can accelerate very, very quickly with a precipitating event.
Get the picture?
What is ahead for Mac AND OUR CHURCH is a major embarassment.
Especially these trustees who are allowing it to happen!! How embarrassing it will be. Can you imagine?
Either someone in the press decides to look into the concerns expressed here based on their own merit (which is not going to happen),
there will be some event or trend that will cause the media to THEN look at these other underlying issues as a possible cause to the event or trend they are reporting on.
If our attendance goes down, if our budget drops off, if a trustee or deacon decides to come out publicly and tell the story of what is going on....or perhaps if Mac decides to sell advertising space and commercials at our pastor's conference. Perhaps THAT would get someone's attention...wait, he's already crossed that bridge.
Or if there is some sort of scandal at our church...then these other things are lurking and will blow up in our faces.
I believe the actions and words of Donald M. Brunson are worthy for being brought before the discipline committee.
While Mac and Smyrl would love to get their paws on me and bannish me from the church in his discipline committee, it is MAC who needs to be brought before the committee by the trustees and a full airing of these matters made before men in our church who are NOT dining at Deerwood on a regular basis with Mac and who are NOT touring Europe and going on Holy Land trips. There are so many godly men, elderly godly men in our church who are not part of the Brunson inner circle who have discernment. Mac needs to be reigned in, and he needs to be told what he must stop doing, what must be reversed, and what needs to be fixed, and what the consequences will be for failure to make corrections. In which case ne would probably leave when he realized his gig was up and he couldn't have his way.
Readers, please check out Debbie Kaufman's blog post:
Ministry of Reconciliation: YouTube - “What Do You Think About the State of Today’s Church?” White Horse Inn
Interesting at the church website that members are charged $50 if they want to attend the Pastor's Conference premium sessions, and $30 to attend the woman's conference.
It is indeed a new day.
The pastor and his marketing and promotions people have decided to require church members to register and pay if the want to hear a preacher preach a sermon at our own church.
So Mac shows up in 2006, after decades of faithful people gave sacrificially to build our wonderful facilities, and King Mac comes and now decides to sell advertising space and to charge $750 to Christian ministries who want to set up a table to display their ministry.
And...if the church members who built the faciltities with their tithes and offerings can't come up with $50 they can't gain entrance to hear Tommy Nelson or Steve Farrar.
I never cease to be amazed at the marketing genius of Maurilio and Mac (which really is just Marketing 101 - but it is "novel" for churches to employ these techniques): they could never think of charging us entrance to the conference...but they have instituted "Premium Sessions", charging attendees an extra fee for these "premimum sessions"...and they can get away with charging MEMBERS OF OUR CHURCH entrance to hear a pastor speak.
Oh trustees....why, oh why do you let this happen? We're only getting about 500 or 600 pastors attending...we have space for THOUSANDS OF ATTENDEES....our church is paying these speakers to come...and our faciltieis are being used...why must we bother charging $50 to our members for the "premium sessions"?
Unless a more recent amendment is on file officially, it appears Soud, et al are not as thorough as it may appear. As courts hesitate to intervene in matters of religious organizations, any oversight may not amount to anything substantive.
It seems there is basis/standing--at least, for not being escorted out of a regular/called business meeting simply for asking a question from the floor as a member of the congregation (unless a suspension of Robert's Rules--assumed to be a provision in FBCJax's bylaws--prevents doing so). To avoid the bad appearance of escorts, the moderator may be free either to recognize or not recognize a member seeking to inquire.
If FBCJax's previous bylaws were written as is typical of Baptist churches, there was a provision that the bylaws could be amended--but only with proper notice (e.g., announced during two consecutive weeks prior to the date of the meeting in which a motion to amend would be made) and with a majority or super-majority vote. If the notice wasn't given as stated, then the previous bylaws stand as the current bylaws would be established in violation of them (usually not a provision in church bylaws to suspend bylaws in order to establish new bylaws).
Someone can visit the church's library with a tape recorder in hand, check out a copy of the present bylaws, read the document into the tape recorder for later transcription, and return the bylaws document to the librarian?
It seems it has become somewhat difficult to be a member of FBCJax, and it is being made by elected leaders to appear that members simply must toe the line cooperatively and without question--yet also are expected to support the ministries of the congregation by tithing regularly. Elected leaders may have what they believe are good reasons for acting as they have in regard to these matters (e.g., "FBCJax is a $15 MILLION ANNUALLY 501(c)(3) religious nonprofit corporation which must be managed well"); still, the secrecy and lack of information are nowhere (field of law, any business field, or church ministry elsewhere) termed "effective and ethical leadership"--instead, it seems the insecurity felt on the part of elected leaders, for whatever reason, is very high and dysfunctional. These are matters to be considered carefully by all potential new members of the church in the future. Are they well-informed of these things prior to joining the congregation?
Best wishes for a speedy and smooth resolution.
You guys need to wake up and smell the roses... Here are some hard facts for you:
1. The deacons in your church are powerless. The power lies in the trustees and nothing is going to change that. They have no authority to bring the pastor before a discipline committee and since they don't have the courage to do anything anyway, why would they ever consider doing that.
2. If people don't have the courage to stand up and question the budget during a business meeting don't count on them having the courage to do anything else other than post anonymous blogs and blog postings.
3. Mac isn't going to change his stripes. In fact, I predict he will get much worse in the days to come. Its his nature.
4. Obviously Mac has a huge power base or he wouldn't be proceeding as boldly as he is today. Since the trustees are on board with him there sure isn't going to be a change anytime soon.
5. Until people are willing to stand and be counted openly and visibly with their names and identification, none of this is actually valid. I can assure you that Mac and the trustees will pay no attention to anonymous anything.
6. It probably is going to require some kind of legal action in your church but you are going to lose quickly because the trustees and those in power and smart and knowledgeable men in the ways of warfare. Their plans are well and legally thought out before they implement them.
7. I know this sounds trite, but you are actually going to have to pray and trust the Lord to take care of this situation.
Just a few of my observations from years of pastoring and also from observing your church for many years.
Good luck to you all--you're going to need it!
Dr.Dog....Unfortunately I believe it is over...FBC Jax has been highjacked by a group of PRIRATES and will be held for ransom to the highest bidder(pastors conf.)...This is the same senerio that I witnessed at my former church(which I will not name)which was taken over by the same method...And the koolaid drinkers got angry with me for confronting him about his abuses...WORST and WORST... DR.Dog...WORST and WORST...There's nothing you can do now...But believe this God will get His Glory at the expense of this charlatan!!!You my brother sounded the warning to wake the people up but God will not share His Glory with anyone!!!Mark my words my brother(I'm no prophet)it may be years down the road but Pope Brunson will be dealt with and bought down not by your efforts BUT GOD'S!!!
Anon and RM and IIW - all good advice and input. I say all we can do is get the word out. Knowledge is power, and as more people know, we'll see what happens.
People have to begin spreading the word - "gossip" is what Mac would call it - "truth sharing to those who need to know the truth" is what I call it. Mac knows the danger in too many people becoming aware of his tactics inside the church, and his words outside the church - that's why he wants to know who I am so he can try to throw me out of the church and shut this blog down. I will continue as long as I can to shine light on his deeds and his words. I need help in getting the word out to everyone at the church so they can be informed. If anyone has a distribution list of the church - even if its at the department level - email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send the hyperlink of this website to them.
Clarification on the bylaw changes: the intent of the church to change the bylaws WAS announced. It was in our church bulletin, and I believe it was even announced during a business meeting. The bylaws WERE made available to be reviewed in the church library, signed out but not to be copied, only read and returned to the librarian. People were told they could review them and submit questions in writing to the church. So I am still very certain they covered their bases in doing it in a defensible manner.
But the deception within the method, doing it in as secret a manner as possible, and worst of all...the pastor himself not summarizing the changes prior to the vote...not explaining why they are necessary...and taking the vote in a manner to make people think they were minor (no reading of the bylaw changes, but reading of the administrative changes of the Articles of Incorporation)...it was done in an underhanded manner.
I'm sure they have their reasons for doing things this way - and some of them MAY be valid reasons with good intentions - but the pastor needs to show leadership in "selling" them and explaining them, especially since the changes directly impact the conditions of MEMBERSHIP!!!! How do you ask members to vote on bylaw changes that affect the conditions of membership of the church (agreeing to settle disputes by arbitration, formation of a discipline committee), when you know that 99.9% of the people voting have zero clue as to what they're voting on?
Local Jacksonville connection story here:
Crissy Moran, of Jacksonville, who was a porn star, gave her life to Jesus Christ. You can checkout the article about the Christian movie she did on the story of Hosea and Gomer.
If Jesus can move this young lady, surely He can move the fbcjax leadership.
Grace and Truth to You: OVERSOLD: Pastor David Cowan, Hosea and Gomer, and the Story of Crissy Moran
RM........"6.It probably is going to require some kind of legal action in your church but you are going to lose quickly because the trustees and those in power and smart and knowledgeable men in the ways of warfare. Their plans are well and legally thought out before they implement them."...........RM your blog 6 statement about Brunson and his legal posse reminded me of Rom 1:22.."PROFESSING THEMSELVES TO BE WISE,THEY BECAME FOOLS(MORONS).......Pope Brunson is in a long list of FOOLS who WILL have to learn the HARD WAY!!!!
It is written:
Last night Mac preached on I Cor 13:8.
"Love never fails" is what it says.
But he was telling me last night that this is NOT what it means. It doesn't mean "fails". My bible says "fails". But he said I need to get that out of my mind.
He said that it means "changes".
My bible says "love never fails", but he says it should say "love never changes".
Now, OK, perhaps its true to say the statement: "love never changes".
But that's not what THIS scripture says. THIS scripture says "love never fails".
But he goes on to preach about how "love never changes".
So what is a layman like me, who knows nothing of Greek, to believe when the guy says the word "fails" is wrong, but that it should be "changes".
Is he right? Does it mean "changes" and not "fails"? If so, why does my bile say "fails"?
"Fails" and "changes" are two different things.
Are there other words that we need Mac's expertise to tell us what they mean? Should I cross out the word "fails" and put "changes"?
Readers: Kev McCord has an excellent, thought-provoking article on how a pastor can "embezzle" loyalty.
I highly recommend it. Helps perhaps to give more clarity to what abuse we are seeing from our pastor as he continues to misuse the loyalty we have given him as pastor.
Readers, I know I have harped incessantly about the bylaw changes of December 2007.
But its interesting that the pastor at Ocala that fired the 6 associate pastors after a year at the helm - which is about to cause a church split - this same pastor made bylaw changes at his previous church to give himself more power through a "board of directors".
I'm telling you, we should all be very concerned about Mac Brunson taking control of our church to do what he wants through his trustees, since he gets to appoint them and we rubber stamp them. Along the same lines of the "embezzlement of loyalty", he knows that we will approve ANYONE he nominates, so he gave himself that power.
Again, I'll refer you to read Kev McCord's blog article about bylaws and the Ocala mess. Kev has first hand experience with the abusive Ocala pastor that is splitting the First Baptist Church of Ocala. He is writing these articles as he is observing the Ocala mess, but these articles could have been written about our own situation!
Pastor Power - New Bylaws
Dr.Dog.........I have with me my KJV/AMPLIFIED Bible and the Amplified reads..."Love never fails[never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end".....Dr.Dog the context of the the passage and the surrounding verses appears too have a dual meaning in essence...Love will never become obsolete,Love will never end,Love will never cease to exist,or even that Love will never change.....As for the other gifts prophecy,tongues and knowledge,etc will all come to and end but Love will never cease,never fail,never come to an end,never not exist...When God concludes all things we will no longer need faith(for we will see Christ face to face),we will no longer need hope(because we will be with Christ forever)...But Love will never cease to exist because God is LOVE[1John 4:8]..And the Love of God WILL ALWAYS BE IN US THRU THE INDWELLING HOLY SPIRIT[John 14:16]...Dr.Dog I would not have used changed because it lessen the power of the statement but it could be used...Hope that helps!!!!With Bunson you had better be a Berean[Acts 17:11]Christian,because that guy I see is slick with the Scriptures...
"Someone can visit the church's library with a tape recorder in hand, check out a copy of the present bylaws, read the document into the tape recorder for later transcription, and return the bylaws document to the librarian?"
You have to sign a log book. They would know who did it.
Dr.Dog.....I don't know greek but I do have a greek word study book that I bought a FBC Jax bookstore that I use to prepare my sermons and it is a tremendous help....I called my wife and had her read to me how the word Faileth is defined.....EKPIPTO::To drop away;(SPEC.)To be driven out of ones course;(Fig.)To loose,become inefficient;Be cast;FAILED;Fall(away,off),Take none effect.....The Word change was never used that does not mean it is not in other greek word studies...I'll research it.
What is so sad about this whole situation is that (I do not know you - I think) you are attending a once great church where you used to love and most likely anticipated each service to see the great and mighty evidences of the Lord's work.
You loved just about everything about FBC...you were proud to be affiliated with a body of believers who under the direction and leadership of two (2) proven and tested men of God moved people to a stronger, deeper, relationship with the one and only Savior of this world - Jesus Christ. It was preached, it was lived, It was all about Jesus - but now, it is mostly none of the above.
WD - there are many churches who would love to have someone like you as a part of their fellowship. There are churches who have those qualities that you have been so accustomed to over the past number of years you have been at FBC. I can see and understand your hurt, anger, determination in restoring the fellowship of FBC to what it is capable of once again becoming, BUT it is not what it used to be - that is gone.
I know of several people who attend that have been members for many years. They have taught SS, sang in the choir, been faithful in Visitation and they even say FBC is not what it used to be. They stay because they have many friends, loved ones, memories and they want desparately for things to be different. They are more apt to not attend on Sunday or Wednesday night when before they never even considered that an option. They are more aware of who may be filling the pulpit for that week to see if it someone they are interested in hearing, because some of speakers (Smyrl) do not minister to them in the least.
I have heard you tell others who said similar words before to basically "buzz" off, but there are so many opportunities for you to minister and worship somewhere else. There is life outside of FBC.
A brother who probably doesn't knwo you, but who is in agreement with your cause.
You don't have to post this blog - it will not offend me.
That's OK IIW. You gave me enough info.
I was less interested in the meaning of the Greek than I was interested in pointing out another instance of Mac believing him to be of superior knowledge in telling us what the scripture REALLY means. There have been numerous instances where he reads the scripture and has to tell us that what we're reading in English is not what it really means, that you MUST read the Greek in order to get the real meaning. Vines would use the Greek, to help us understand perhaps something "deeper"...but not to proclaim that what we read is not correct.
I don't need Mac's Greek in order to properly understand what scripture is saying to me.
YOU HAVE GOTSSSS TO BE KIDDING ME!!!!...Are you telling me that in a Church which is supposedly THE REPRESENTIVE OF TRUTH EMBODIED(CHRIST),that members have got to sign a book in order to see what THEIR church is doing with THEIR money.....UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!.....What next the MARK of Brunson in order to attend Church????
Anon 12:47 - I understand what you are saying. And there may be a time that I will leave. Its just not now.
I don't view myself as some crusader...just a guy blogging about some terrible things at my church that are hidden from most members. But I don't view the events at our church to be just "oh well, things ain't what they used to be." I understand change. And I understand personal preferences. Things can change that aren't according to my personal preference. And I expected Brunson to "shake things up". I know that change can be good for any organization. But I believe the events at our church are much more than that, else I WOULD just leave.
Its not about the preacher's clothes, the color of the carpet, or the hymns or just purpose driven. If it were these things, I would surely leave and wish my fellow church members well.
It is about an ABUSIVE PREACHER operating behind the backs of faithful members that is harming our church...because we gave an unknown man the same power and authority in our church that we gave to ministers who had proven their integrity over decades - and this unknown man has abused our loyalt and trust.
Its a preacher who came here to enrich himself, and then is not truthful about it. He lives in a manner inconsistent with how he tells other pastors to live. He even disavows his wealth and cars and house in front of seminary students as though he lives and earns a salary like a typical preacher. He has come to show favoritism to his family, to further his son's career, to spend our tithes on marketing and promotions with firms who know nothing of our church and its heritage and greatness, to ramrod his own ministry preference....to change substantially the church governance to give him power..he lies in the pulpit and does not apologize. He gossips and slanders as he travels around the country...he has put spending priorities that further his brand and image above the basic necessities of caring for the maintenance of our building. AND TO TOP ALL OF THIS OFF...he preaches angrily to us, acts as though we are all a bunch of uneducated nimrods that didn't know anything about the Bible or service or giving until he and Honey showed on the scene.
So its not just preferences. Its something sinister. Its about ABUSES.
So for now I will NOT leave. Maybe its my FLESH (as Mac says) that I just won't quietly leave as Mac and Smyrl would love for me to leave. I stay. And if they want to smoke me out, and embarrass me, go for it. I'll blog about it every step of the way.
Dr.Dog...The more I think about that 1Cor.13:8 passage in it's context with the surrounding verses...CHANGE just does not FIT.....So I looked in my MacAuthur study Bibles both NKJV and NASB,and they state FAILETH and FAILS...Nor does my Amplified and you alredy know what the KJV states!!!!!!
I doubt the bylaws are in the library.
Copies of the proposed changes were placed there leading up to the vote, but I doubt that copies are there now.
Dr.Dog.......Stay and fight....When it is times to leave believe me God will let you know....How do I know this????...BEEN THERE DONE THAT!!!!!AND WHAT HAPPENED IS SEVERAL YEARS AFTER I LEFT GOD DEALTH WITH THAT PASTOR AND THAT CHURCH AND IT WAS NOT PRETTY!!!!!Not because of me...But because GOD WILL NOT BE MOCKED!!!
It Is Written: I am glad to see that you have quoted the KJV here. I kinda felt you must use it. As you seem to understand doctrine so throughly. As to Brunosn it is no wonder he accepts any version so easily, he doesn't regard ANY of GODs Word as Holy. He always says "Get your copy of God's Word. News flash: They arn't all God's Word! He changes it to meet his purposes. He uses it for his own agenda. He twists the scriptures to say what he wants to say. Wonder what he could twist "God shall not be mocked", to say?
"I doubt the bylaws are in the library.
Copies of the proposed changes were placed there leading up to the vote, but I doubt that copies are there now."
I KNOW they are in there.
Yes, correct. The bylaws are in the library, available for ANYONE (memeber or not) to access and read.
The proper word is faileth. The Holy Spirit put faileth in the Bible not another word. Change should not be substituted here. Please note the Criswell Study Bible...Authorized King James
Version copyright 1979, Editor W.A. Criswell; Managing Editor, Paige Patterson.
Lastly, Ps 12:6 "The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in the furnace of earth, purified seven times".
I wonder if Mac thought about the KJV published between 1975-1979 by Criswell and Patterson and others (20) mostly Th.D, Ph.D, and three of which were candidates for their doctor degree. Mac obviously does not agree with them on this wording. Additionally, the edition I have is the edition which carries the preface by Dr Lindsay Jr called the "The New Testament Church". I purchased it in the FBCJ bookstore when it first became available. It may be the only KJV which has an endorsement by Dr Lindsay. He only used the KJV. He used the word faileth when preaching on this chapter many times. Miracles never cease.
And one wonders what Dr Lindsay would have to say, well its in print which is good enough for me.
Since you are all talking about what Mac considers to be the WORD OF GOD, HE DOSE NOT KNOW.
BYLAWS: In the statement of faith and covenant of Members section, the duties of each and every member is to govern his or her actions, conversations and hearts by the precepts OF THE HOLY BIBLE. In the last bylaws it read, conversations ahd hearts by the precepts OF GOD'S WORD. GOD'S WORD WAS CHANGED TO READ THE HOLY BIBLE.
Which HOLY BIBLE MAC? KJV, NASV, THE MESSAGE. Which one??? Which is God's Word Mac? Don't you know? You don't!! Mac you need to stop preaching if you can't tell your people what bible is God's Word for the English speaking people.
Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I may not sin against thee. What word?
In the beginning was the WORD, AND THE WORD WAS WITH GOD, AND THE WORD WAS GOD. Which WORD?
Come on Mac, which Word?
He doesn't know and he won't tell his people that he doesn't know.
Sorry, Dr. Donald M. Brunson declared last night the word "fail" or "faileth" to be the wrong word. His reading of the Greek is that the word is "change". Love never changes.
And the people Amened, clapped, and so it is.
"Love never changes".
I scratched out "fail" and put "changes" and put Mac's name by it.
Funny, when Vines and Lindsay were here I used to make notations in my margins all the time as the holy spirit spoke to me about the verses.
Now the only notations I have to make are crossing words out and replacing them with the correct ones that Mac tells me from his expert opinion on what it means in Greek.
"Love never changes" I Mac 13:8
Annon of 9:38 AM: Why worry about the church members that won't be allowed into the Pastors Conference without paying. Jesus won't be there either!!!!
I too found it strange about him changing the word.
As I recall he said we have to "get it out of our head" the idea that it means fail, that it means change.
Which GREEK ARE YOU GUYS REFERING TO? The GERMAN-GREEK? There are several GREEK TO ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS.
We need to be careful which Greek we use. Westcott and Hort used flawed, in my opinion, Greek.
I may be wording this wrong, but you know what I mean.
Watchdog: Don't change any wording in your Bible because Mac incorrectly changes it. He is not the authority, God is, and Gods Word is the authority. Mac is an abuser of the Word and the church.
12:47 Anon Here
IIW - I get completely WD's and your points about staying - nuff said. It is not the time - but what is so hard to get my head around is how a "new" pastor can make so many completely new changes and very few people - "solid" christians can simply say "ok". Now I understand that he was presented by the powers of the SBC and Dr. Vines as "The Heir Apparant." He was given the stamp of approval by ones who the congregation had great faith in, but when the changes come that fly in the face of what they have been taught by one who they "loved" and know for a fact that it would in no way, shape or form be tolerated, how can they be oh well?
There are many subtle changes that one might be caught off guard and maybe let slip through the cracks because one might argue symantecs, but the one glaring "oh my goodness" what is going on in my church" change is the selling of the PC. This one is not escapable by even the most tolerant and non aware person sitting in the pew. By-laws can have a tendency to be legalise and most people defer to the those with that type of knowledge any way - they don't care about the by-laws. But the PC is on the website in full glory with all of the details.
I know I am regurgitating the issues, but truly where is all of the leadership at FBC - is this what was left of the Lindsay, Vines legacy - a bunch of pew sitters who treat the church as a social gathering? A place to meet and greet?
Where are the meat and potatoes people who know the difference between an emotional wreck with his hand in the cookie jar and an expository pastor?
I am being 100% sarcastic. I really don't care about the Greek.
Mac says we must study the Greek to understand the bible fully. Yes, he honesty believes unless one studies the Greek verb tenses that we cannot fully comprehend what the Holy Spirit wants us to know. That is rubbish. How convenient though. He knows Greek, I don't, so I guess I need him to tell me what the bible says.
That is what the Catholic church said for centuries...you plebe are too stupid to study the word...come over here and I'll tell you what God is saying from the Bible, and excuse me while I put my hand in your wallet (and in some cases your shorts too).
And this is why the small groups....we have to "discuss" questions....the plebe can't teach the bible, only Mac and Jim.
Bottom line: I don't trust Mac's interpretations of Greek. He is shown himself to be untruthful and opportunistic so often in his communication, that I don't put it past him to take liberties with his "greek" to make scripture say something it doesn't for his own selfish interests.
I will read my bible, and I'll let the Holy Spirit help me understand what it says. I don't know Mac the historian and Mac the greek master tell me what it means.
Right on Guarddog!!! The Holy Spirit can reveal to each of us what the Word of God means.
Only FALSE TEACHERS need to TWIST GOD'S WORD.
RICK WARREN AND MAC COME TO MIND.
Watchdog: your comments of 12:53: I have heard some mega church preachers change scripture when they want it to say certain things. Especially if referring to the Greek. I heard it, and disagreed with it many times. As a matter of fact some of these preachers (who shall remain nameless) have been bringing in some of the changes that Mac is now elaborating on..... Purpose Driven in TU. I heard one of them say at one point he had done a psychological profile on Paul and Paul never would have said that. Referring to Paul's remarks in Philippians 1 vs.12. If Paul didn't say it, God would not have included it in the Bible. Psychological profile or not. How can you profile accurately, a man that has been dead 1,950 years without talking to him? God help these mega preachers.
"That is what the Catholic church said for centuries...you plebe are too stupid to study the word...come over here and I'll tell you what God is saying from the Bible, and excuse me while I put my hand in your wallet (and in some cases your shorts too)."
What happened to your love for Catholics? Remember, you stood up for them when Rev. Smyrl referred to them as a cult. But now, it seems as though you have much dissent for them.
Just sayin :)
"Someone can visit the church's library with a tape recorder in hand, check out a copy of the present bylaws, read the document into the tape recorder for later transcription, and return the bylaws document to the librarian?"
Modern day Digital Cameras are very small and have a very high resolution. They will work wonders here. They are also inexpensive.
Go for it. Unless, they are banning digital cameras, when you check out these bylaws to read them within the library.
"Knowledge is power, and as more people know, we'll see what happens."
I truly would like fbcjax to be healed. I would personally prefer for Pastor Mac to turn from his ways. And it is such a small thing to get right with God and the members. This is my preference.
But if the above does not happen, at least if WD can somehow persist and keep this site going, then Google, Yahoo and Microsoft search crawlers will spread the word. It may not unseat Pastor Mac but it will make life embarrassing to the leadership.
Why is that?
It seems (my favorite word), the leadership is in business of appearances and not of substance. If they are solely concerned with outward appearances (which glitzy marketing and 10 sec. flash animation is based on), then they will feel the effects.
If they are used to this form of resistance, then the only and certain way is for The Holy Spirit to intervene and somehow convict peoples hearts. I can not imagine this rationally. But such are my hopes and prayers.
Again, this blog is about not the Greek translations, or about Purpose Driven, or about Catholicism. It is about two cult leaders, Jim (Jones) Smyrl and Mac (Charlatan) Brunson and their many abuses.
Unfortunately Greek translations used to confuse and pervert the word, and Purpose Driven tatics ARE part of what Brunson and Smyrl DO. Get it? They use these things to abuse the church !!!!! So get over it every time someone mentions PD and the Greek. If they use it we can talk about !!!!
If anyone (member or not) can view the bylaws in the library, why don't you get a non-member who you trust to go to the library and make a copy of the bylaws? The person would just need to take a good digital camera and make a photograph of every page. Is there a secluded area of the library where someone could do this? Alternatively, someone could go in with a laptop and a scanner in a backpack and then scan each page in. I'd be happy to do it myself but I don't live in the area.
why not just go in, sign it out and walk out with it. What are they going to do? call the security? lol
"why not just go in, sign it out and walk out with it. What are they going to do? call the security? lol"
Yes, they will.
Ahem...come on bloggers. Be creative!!!
Does the name "Sandy Burger" mean anything to you?
I check out the bylaws, stick them in my pants when they aren't looking, and I begin to leave. They say: STOP...where are the bylaws? And I say, I don't know, I thought I returned them to you.
What will they do? Will they force me to undress to find them? I think not.
So yes, a copy of the bylaws can be taken out. No problem. Just have to be creative.
And we are trying to get access to information @ Langley? 1600 Pennsylvania? or yeah 124 W. Ashley...
I would say contact Jim Phelps, but I hear he didn't make it through MI(I).
Sorry, just some levity.
WD, I get your point about 1 Cor. 13:8--but . . .
If you're using KJV, the verse doesn't read "love," it reads "charity." The "fails" part and some Greek stuff: more than one reading of the word appears in the old manuscripts still existing of the Bible passage; the word, however, translates into English as either "falls/fails" (present active indicative third person singular) or a more emphatic form of "falls/fails"--the important thing here being TRANSLATES. INTERPRETED, which is what your pastor seemed to be trying to get at (with no basis, though, that I can find in suggesting "changes"), the idea in the Greek would be something like, "Love of the sort I'm [Paul] writing about survives everything . . ." (so, in that sense, doesn't change?). The INTERPRETATION is important, along with TRANSLATION, or KJV users must use the word "charity" and not "love" when referring to the passage--obviously, understood not be necessary.
Again, "I got it" on this not being your main point in mentioning the Bible passage.
"What will they do? Will they force me to undress to find them? I think not."
WD, you have not met strict librarians, have you?
In last weeks "A Prairie Home Companion" of Garrison Keillor, they had a skit on the Librarian. It was funny. They can be tough.
A Prairie Home Companion November 15, 2008
Checkout [00:23:15] Ruth Harrison, Reference Librarian script.
Yes, it's a liberal show on public radio.
You recalcitrants have no creativity or respect for preachers or the Bible and the church.
If you want to bring something out of the library or anywhere, you must use two people. Have one person check out the bylaws, while the other go and reads a magazine. The person who checks out the bylaws, then goes to the bathroom. But before hand, he/she gave the bylaws to the person reading the magazine without the librarians knowing. Then, the person who was reading the magazine now has the bylaws and can conceal them in a book he/she checks out and can walk right out of the whole church undetected. Clever huh!
Wrong!!! completely stupid and childish. You people are supposed to be grown adult followers of Christ. Now, you have turned into childish, backslidden recalcitrants trying to pull off a mission that sounds like something Satans demons would construct.
Anon - good job! Even Mac couldn't have said it any better!
But what do you expect backslidden recalcitrants to do?
Annon: ll:ll: KJV people DO use charity. People who have "love" instead of charity in their Bibles are mixing Bibles.
You say "old manuscripts", how old? If you mean the "original autographs", there arn't any. They have been destroyed since the 1st century. They have long since been ashes. Written on papyrus and animal skins that have dried up into ashes and vanished. No one has seen an original since the first century. Copies are exactly that copies. Not originals!
Romans 3:1&2: "What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? 2: Much every way; chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God".
Since the oracles of God were committed to the Jews, I would think they would be the only ones that could change anything, but they didn't. The scribes made exact copies from the originals. If there was one dot out of place or an accidental drop of ink, they had to start over completely throwing away what they had copied to that point. That shows how important Gods perfect Word is. Not to be carelessly changed and bandied about. Beware of the modern day interperters that take such horrendous liberties with Gods Word. Maybe that is why God does not bless their ministries. If I were Mac I would think seriously about "changing" Gods Word.
You guys don't get it.
Dr. Donald McCall Brunson, the expert historian and master of Greek, has spoken.
1 Cor 13:8 means "Love never changes".
it means "Love never changes"
and as he said, we have to get out of our minds this concept of "fail" or "success". It means "Love never changes"
Thus saith the pastor.
NOT everyone posting blog comments here is an ENEMY of yours or of Watchdog--or a dunce, either. My comments about "fall/fail" above yours are accurate, and your Bible/manuscript lesson and word of caution directed to me are unnecessary. I'm well-informed as it relates to the information available concerning extand manuscripts and etc. The text referenced says what it says and means what it means, as I pointed out.
Best wishes to you for your continued spiritual growth, as well, brother (or sister).
Relax Anon...I'm just joshing, and I'm being sarcastic toward the arrogance of Mac Brunson in my post above. I do appreciate your information. My sarcasm wasn't directed toward you or meant to minimize your points. Sorry it came across that way.
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