Update: Readers, please see the comments section and read the excerpt that I have placed there from Dr. Vines commentary on the scripture of Jesus driving the moneychangers from the temple, and the relevance of this scripture to the modern day church. Oh that our staff and lay leaders would call on our pastor to repent.
-----------------When one looks at the fact that our pastor and his son, along with their marketing firm and promotions firm are selling advertising at the Pastor's conference - ads on the Imag, print ads in the brochures, time in the pulpit - TV ads in the dining room - and even charging Christian ministries $750 just to put a table in our buildings during the conference ....we have to ask this question:
Where are the godly leaders in our church who will stand up and say this is wrong - who will drive out the money changers for Jesus?Or are all the men in our church: the deacons, the trustees, the Sunday School directors...are they now "yes men" and afraid to stand up to the pastor and his wife?
OK, maybe the men won't stand up. I do know that our church is FILLED with discerning, godly women. Perhaps it will take women to stand up to Mac and Honey and Trey and the A-Group?
Let's do the roll call:
"OK, those of you men who have served as ministers and lay leaders under Homer Lindsay, Jr. and Jerry Vines...which of you will dare to stand up and tell the pastor you won't stand for our church facilities to be sold for advertising? Which of you will demand that Christian ministries NOT be charged $750 for the privilege of setting a table in our church facilities that were built for the glory of God and the furtherance of the gospel, NOT for money-making conferences? OK, here's the roll call...."
"Rev. John Blount, Jr" - you and your family have a long heritage of service at this church. You know this is wrong. Have you tried to stop it? When you became a "reverend" a few years ago did that mean you now are more loyal to the pastor than to the Lord?
"Rev. Steve Clifton" - come on Steve, put a stop to this. Don't be afraid for your job. Go to the pastor and tell him, and he won't listen, go with another. You have a stellar reputation and will have no problem finding another church if your stand gets you bounced out (I mean if God "calls" you somewhere else). If the pastor doesn't listen, then bring it before the church.
"Rev. Kevin King" - you served under Homer Lindsay in lay leadership, and now are in full time ministry. You KNOW Homer would never stand for our facilities to be sold, for advertisements on the I-mags to be sold, for time on our platform to be sold to advertise products. Make Homer proud and stand against these abuses, sir.
"David Kaye" - you're in a powerful position, sir. You know its wrong to market our facilities, don't you? Even if the money raised is going to offset costs in other areas, is God's plan for us to use facilities built with the money of God's people to now sell access to businesses and ministries? But maybe you won't stand up to Mac because Mac wrote a blurb for your new book just months after he arrived. So perhaps you owe him your loyalty for that and can't say anything. OK, we understand.
"Rev. Jim Smyrl" - you wrote a blog article calling for financial accountability in churches - something tells me that before you came here and subjected yourself to Mac's leadership that you would not have stood for a church to seek out advertisers to put commercials on TVs in our dining room, ads on I-Mags in the main auditorium - and certainly, you who have modeled yourself after Jerry Vines would know that accepting money from advertisers to give a "testimony" on the main platform on church on Sunday is a stench to the Lord's nostrils. Surely you know that this sort of thing drew the ire of our Lord who threw the "money changers" out of the temple. But is your cush job and six-figure salary keeping you from standing up to this?
"Rev. Whitmire" - you are perhaps the most godly man on our staff. We can tell you are a man who walks with Jesus. You knew Homer and Jerry and Adrian. You sat under Adrian Rogers' preaching for years. Never did Adrian Rogers seek to use the facilities built for the worship and glory of God to raise revenues by selling advertising space. Please Jim, be the voice of reason - we need a godly, MATURE man of God to bring reason to this madness. Its "amateur hour" down there at FBC Jax - we're being run by twenty-somethings who don't know any better and by marketing consultants in Nashville. We need you Jim. Perhaps you were brought to us for more than just filling the gap between Rodney and the next guy.
"Miss Nancy and Miss Shelly" - you knew Homer and that this sort of marketing bonanza was never envisioned for our church. You are VERY respected in our church. You can make a difference. Stand up to them. If they fire you, you will be fine.
"Rev. Allen, Jr." - as an executive pastor now, you can make a difference. You grew up at our church and know that saints didn't build the facilities so that we could charge advertising space. You heard Homer preach that some things might not be sin, but they are moving towards sin and should be avoided. You can't argue that selling advertising in our Pastor's Conference isn't leading us in a direction we want to avoid. Speak up, young man. If you get fired, we'll know what for, and the Lord will use you elsewhere. You are a fine young preacher and the Lord will take care of you.
"Dr. George Kemp" - we know you came with Dr. Brunson from Dallas, and won't say anything. We understand. But you're a discerning man, perhaps you can work behind the scenes to tell Mac that this is WRONG.
"Trustees" - we know you were hand-picked by Mac for your position. Many of you are friends with Team Brunson. Some of you have traveled with them and dined with them. But you are not beholden to the Brunsons. Your job as Trustee is to look out for the long term health of our ministry. Surely you men know that this is wrong. Don't rubber stamp it.
"Deacons" - remember, you are to serve the members...you are not agents of the pastor. Your loyalty should be to the Lord and His church, and NOT to the pastor. Surely, there are some of you who find this promotions plan offensive. OK, then speak up. And if you believe there are deacons who are not aware of it, you should let them know.
OK, that's a roll call. Who will it be? Who will step up? Who will be the first? Who loves the Lord more than they love their jobs and financial security and status with the pastor?
I am not sure I see a direct correlation between the money changers and Dr Brunson. Money changers were in essence requiring that they cheat you in order to have your sins forgive (to make sacrifices). Dr Brunson is requiring ministry's who want to benefit from promoting themselves to churches to pay for that right.
A bit of a stretch don't you think?
And what about Jerry Vines? Doesn't his former secretary STILL work at our church. Can't he use his humble leadership to get Mac to tone down the abuse? Please doctor Vines, when we show up to support you and encourage you when you return to town, please don't use your legacy and the pulpit to come here and spit on us. Use it to guide Mac. Thank you sir.
Just from observations I get the impression that the high school department is really headed down the PD path. "Small groups" instead of Sunday School, The rock band with their smoke machine in the RLA and the lights, etc.
Anon 2:23 Nov.13 2008......Dr.Dog's correlation is perfect,that exactly what Brunson has done.He's turned FBC Jax into a market place to buy,sell and advetise his goods.Brunson legalistic abusive preaching on tithing is no less than a shake down of Jesse Jackson proportions!!
I beseech every one reading and everyone posting here to please, please sincerely pray that someone will be strong enough in their faith and convictions to step forward, not for the sake of any one person but for the Kingdom of God. Knowing that when we face the Almighty, there will be many questions we will not want to answer, least of all how we responded when FBCJ was being placed on an ungodly path and we stood by and did nothing.
I don't think it a stretch at all.
For a church to charge a $750 fee for a Christian ministry (presumably a not-for-profit organization) to get word of their ministry to the pastors at the conference is obscene! If this were a Pastors Conference held by a Christian organization (say like Promise Keepers) at a public venue like the downtown convention center - we could make an argument that a fee should be charged to exhibitors. Its not a church, its at a rented facility and the fees for the rental must be raised to hold the event.
But we're talking about a Christian event AT A CHURCH...a church that was built NOT by Mac or Maurilio or Trey...a conference not started by Mac or Maurilo or Trey or Honey....a conference established NOT for generation of revenue from other Christians to display their ministries...our facilities were constructed and paid for by members to be a place constructed for the furtherence and preaching of the gospel. Who is Mac Brunson to decide to now CHARGE....CHARGE....other Christian orgs $750 for a lousy table's worth of space? Who is Mac Brunson and Trey Brunson and Maurilio to SELL...listen to me...SELL....the privilege of having a company's name mentioned from the pulpit? Who is Mac and Honey to get money raised by SELLING display of PowerPoint slides on our image screens?
Furthermore, we will have visitors coming to our church on Sunday of PC to worship. They will believe they are coming to a CHURCH. They will be shocked to see ads on the image screens before the service...they might see an "infomercial/testimony" interview again like last year...maybe we might even see the video for the Collins played! That would be great! We shouldn't turn the house of God into a place where products are peddled.
Not just high school departments involved in the "small groups" categorization, some adult classes also are already being instructed to march to the same tune.
Don't believe me? OK, let's ask Jerry Vines.
Question: "Hey Jerry, what do you say about Jesus driving the money changers from the temple? Any relevance of this event in scripture to the modern day church, where people are using the church and the name of Jesus to gain financially? What say you Jerry?"
Here is what Jerry says:
"There are two words for 'temple' in the NT. One word means the inner sanctuary of the temple, the temple proper. The other word is the larger term tht included he entire temple area, including the court of the gentiles where non-Jews were allowed to come. This latter word is the word used here...where Jews could share the real God with the world's peoples..."
"When you got to this temple area you saw business going on...Here was a place that was meant to be the house of prayer, where people met God. Instead you heard the noise of a marketplace..."
"When Jesus got there, can you imagine the fire in his eyes? 'He began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers' (Mk 11:15)"
and Jerry continues:
"Ephesians 2:21 teaches that the church of God is a holy temple unto the Lord. The church today is God's new temple. I raise this question today: Are there things in the house of God that ought not to be there? Has the church of the Lord become more interested in material things than in spiritual things? Jesus has become big business in our day. You can make money using the name of Jesus. A lot of folks appear more interested in making money in the name of Jesus than they are in winning souls in the name of Jesus. So be careful what you support."
Thanks Jerry. Appreciate you chiming in here.
[quotes above taken from "Exploring the Gospels: Mark", pp 227-228, by Dr. Jerry Vines, 1990, Loizeaux Bros, Inc.]
WD - once again, Jerry Vines hits the nail on the head:
"Jesus has become big business in our day. You can make money using the name of Jesus. A lot of folks appear more interested in making money in the name of Jesus than they are in winning souls in the name of Jesus. So be careful what you support."
Dr. Vines, I learned well under your preaching and the lifestyle you lived that complimented your preaching. So, yes, I am careful NOT to support FBC Jax anymore. Bless you Dr. Vines.
Vines said: "The church today is God's new temple."
Perhaps Mac needs to be reminded of this. He knows better but just cannot help himself. Perhaps intervention is necessary, for the sake of the church.
"When Good Men Do Nothing"
Challenge yourself to remember the example of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. God, in his infinite mercy, was willing to save the city if only, at first 50 righteous men were found, ten 45, then 30, then 20, then 10. We all know only one was found, thus the city was destroyed. We also know what happened to that one, Lot and his wife and family.
I implore the righteous of FBCJ to stand for at least 50, that will multiply if you are FOUND, waiting and serving.
WD 4:42 Re: Vines words about the temple. As I have said before have you not noticed that preachers preach one thing and do the opposite? Whatever they preach against in many cases they do. Many of these preachers are all about money. Wasn't it Vines that said you had "to pay him big bucks to be our preacher, brother". See what I mean. The bad thing about preachers writing books and putting down a permanent record of thoughts, like Brunson and Vines and others, is sometimes these same words come back to haunt them. Don't look for Vines to say anything against Purpose Driven or about another preacher. It's a club!!!
I agree with your analogy. Just image what would happen if a large church as FBCJ took a stand to no longer be influenced and guided by marketing and promotional gurus who are making millions from the Hollywood and "bottom line" based promotions which are accepted and promoted by pastors and leaders who truly do not consider nor accept God and Jesus as part of the equasion. It would send a strong, long reaching message that a new day is dawning. Alas, it will take a mighty forcible wind to turn this ugly, destructive tide.
You have mentioned a lot of guys with families who know jobs are scarce and churches are feeling the budget crunch. No church is going to bring on the guys you mentioned at their age, or based on their lay background, or based on what they actually do at our church. The men that COULD find jobs, did so. (Carr, Pigg, Barton, Brooks, etc.)
No way these men will put their convictions over the financial needs of their families, nor should they. I trust many of those are continuing to look for a way out. Ironically, by being so loyal to Mac, they are killing any chance of getting a job elsewhere because they will be viewed as Mac is. No wisdom and in it for the money.
This marketing of the gospel for profit is not new. Homer, Jr. warned against it and stood against it, and look how the Lord blessed FBC Jax under his watch. All it takes to turn the tide is to find a guy like Homer and give him the job. We chose not to do that (see Calvin Carr), we wanted the national personality, celebrity and we got what we deserved. We miss Homer and Calvin IMMENSELY don't you think?
There is no question that Mac can't objectively analyze the situation he's in.
He believes that he is being persecuted for his holy life, because he is "baptized into the holiness of God" (SWBTS speech), and that he is trying to do something great for God. Listen to his speech delivered at SWBTS and this is abundantly clear. it is his holiness and his great, grand vision from God for this church that is causing satan to attack him.
He is not capable of understanding, and apparently the people that supposedly love him and call him friend won't confront him with the truth: that he and his family and his actions and his wealth and his rude behavior in the pulpit, and the nepotism and the bylaw changes and the Time to Stand for Israel and lies....things HE has done or allowed or said...are what are causing the unrest at his church.
No, in he and Honey's eyes, Mac is a mini-budha...just a harmless, jolly, red-neck, harmless preacher who has a grand, superior, wonderful, straight-from-God vision for FBC Jax...and because its from God, he is able to tell which believers are being obedient to God and which ones are recalcitrants! How convenient! Which deacons are Godly? The ones who don't ask questions and vote "Aye". The ones who ask questions or vote "Naye", they are not trusting Jesus and are backslidden and should be removed from the deacon body. If you throw your total support to his vision - why you're on God's side! Cast even QUESTIONS, or express any worry whatsoever about his vision...and you aren't trusting Jesus! He said it in the pulpit!
"ALL THAT IS NECESSARY FOR THE TRIUMPH OF EVIL IS THAT GOOD MEN DO NOTHING." (Edmund Burke)
How very appropriate to FBCJ.
From a post by Wayne Greeson:
Jesus rebuked the church at Laodicea for doing nothing. "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" (Rev. 3:15 17).
Too many Christians and too many churches are do nothing. They are standing idly by, they are mere spectators. They sit on the sidelines in stead of actively participating and working for the good. If good wins, they join in the celebration though they did nothing to produce the victory. If evil wins, they will complain long and loud though their own apathy helped produce the undesirable result.
When Jesus found a fig tree with "nothing thereon, but leaves only" he cursed the tree and "presently the fig tree withered away" (Mt. 21:19). What will he do with those, who claim to be good and yet who do nothing? John the Baptist warned, "And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire" (Mt. 3:10; Jn. 15:2).
They Help Evil To Triumph
When good men do nothing, evil triumphs. Evil, sin and sinful men must be opposed. God commands those who are good, not just to avoid evil but actively oppose it.
Christians are to not only to "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but (also) . . . reprove them" (Eph. 5:11). Those who do nothing about sin and evil, help the sin and evil to prevail. One who is silent when there are those around him in sin becomes a partaker with them (Eph. 5:7).
In the days of Elijah, the silence of many had allowed the evil of Ahab and Jezebel to prevail throughout the land of Israel. "And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word" (1 Kgs 18:21). The silence of the people spoke volumes of their indecisiveness and inaction. Their failure to stand up, speak up and speak out and permitted evil men to run rampant.
Jesus told of a traveler who was robbed and beaten left him half dead. The men who did this were wicked and did a very wicked thing. But the Levite and priest allowed this evil to continue unanswered by doing nothing but they each "passed by on the other side" (Lk. 10:31‑32). Fortunately for the traveler there was one man who was willing to stand up for what was right (Lk. 10:33‑36).
Jesus warned "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad" (Mt. 12:30). In the fight against evil there is no middle ground, no gray area, no neutrality Those who are not actively and vigorously working and fighting against evil are helping evil to triumph.
They Are No Longer Good
When good men do nothing, they are no longer good. Many have the mistaken notion that good is merely the absence of doing that which is wrong. Not so! One is good not merely because he does no evil, but because he is actively working for what is good. "Let him eschew evil, and do good" (1 Pet. 3:11). James explained, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (Jas. 4:17).
The eldest of Israel, Reuben, knew his brothers' murderous plot against their younger brother Joseph was wrong. He started an attempt to deliver Joseph, but as he hesitated and vacillated, the other brothers sold Joseph into slavery. When Reuben heard what they had done, he realized his failure to act had helped to bring about this evil result.
Instead of correcting his error, Reuben sought to cover his guilt by agreeing with his brothers to lie to their father about Joseph's disappearance (Gen. 37:18‑35). Reuben had "good intentions" and he was not even present when Joseph was sold into slavery, but he knew his inaction and absence made him just as guilty as the rest of his wicked brothers. This guilt continued to haunt him through the years (Gen. 42:21‑22).
The prophet Obadiah severely condemned the Edomites for do nothing when evil was befalling their brethren, the Jews. When Jerusalem was invaded by her enemies, the Edomites "stood on the other side" doing nothing but watching the slaughter as spectators. God said by their failure to act and to help "even thou west as one of them" (Obad. 11).
Today, there are preachers and Christians who fail and refuse to meet the real foe, refute error and fight the enemy. Instead, they have turned to viciously savaging their own brethren. They are filled with bitterness and hatred and they maliciously attack, slander and misrepresent other Christians and gospel preachers.
Paul warned about such men and behavior among those professing to be Christians, "But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another" (Gal. 5:15). Those who engage in such behavior are spiritual cannibals.
While the conduct of these so‑called Christians is shameful, what about those supposedly "good" men who do nothing? Those stand on the other side and do nothing but watch as their brothers are being slandered, slaughtered and devoured, they cease being innocent bystanders and idle spectators. Their failure to act not only allows evil to triumph, but makes them just as guilty as the spiritual cannibals they refuse to reprove and rebuke. In God's words, "even thou west as one of them" (Obad. 11).
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Gal. 6:7). Those who fail or refuse to do good in the face of evil are sowing some dangerous seeds. They are do nothing good as Jesus commanded them to do; they are helping evil to triumph and they have ceased being good themselves and they have become partakers of the evil they did nothing to stop.
Do not allow evil to triumph. Do not do nothing. Stand up and be counted, speak up against evil and speak out against evil men and their sinful deeds.
Because He Lives I Can Face Tomorrow, Because He Lives, All Fear Is Gone. What a might song from God, written by the Gaithers.
I just listened to these assurance words about God Almigty to take my mind away from the sorrorful events at FBCJ. It was wonderful, but temperal because of the urgency at the turn-of events that led our church away from Jesus First to Selling Jesus.
Trustees/Deacons/Staff: It is now in your hands and will forever be recorded.
Whew; tough crowd in here. Here's hoping the best for the situation, but also . . .
Didn't your associate ministers come there to equip the saints for their works of service, not to take over the church? They're probably waiting for some of you people to stand up and get this thing fixed so that they can get back to the business of equipping. Why should any of them have to do your jobs for you; you keep saying here it's your church. And, why should any of them have to leave for other church positions just because you have no courage or the pastor doesn't cooperate?
Again, best wishes.
WD, what you are asking of the leaders of fbcjax church to do is very hard and difficult. The ones who left already, if not for the "silent clauses" could speak up, but it's also hard for them to do, since they work in churches and it's not good to throw stones (for them at least) on other people's houses (glass houses).
It would be better if the economic sanctions are applied here. I know fbcjax is trying to go after the more affluent "unchurched" people in jax. So here, persistence will pay off (the unchurched will see what is happening at fbcjax).
It looks like, even with the given economic downturn, the receipts being less at fbcjax, the leadership will make do by borrowing money to fund their projects. I do not know if it's good or bad. But for individuals, it's always better to follow what Pastor Mac preached ... that is discipline. To make do with the income and not seek or ask for more, for possible misuse or to facilitate habits of more spending and less savings (If only fbcjax leadership practises what it preaches us). Even for individuals, when they do not have any health insurance and their health deteriorates, then there is no option but to go in debt. For healthy people, when they do this, they might be sick too, at least in their minds, that is. May God preserve the faithful and guide the lost to Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the True Balm in these troubled times.
The quotation "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" is often attributed to Burke but does not occur in his works or recorded speeches and does not appear to be his. It first appeared in the 14th edition of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (1968), which incorrectly sourced it to a private letter that Burke wrote. The letter did not in fact contain the quote.
Wiki: Edmund Burke
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
This is probably the most quoted statement attributed to Burke, and an extraordinary number of variants of it exist, but all without any definite original source. These very extensively used "quotations" may be based on a paraphrase of some of Burke's ideas, but he is not known to have ever declared them in such a manner in any of his writings. It may have been adapted from these lines of Burke's in his Thoughts on the Cause of Present Discontents (1770): "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
Burke's alleged quote bears a striking resemblance to the narrated theme of Sergei Bondarchuk's Soviet film version of Tolstoy's book "War and Peace", in which the narrator declares "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing", although since the original is in Russian various translations to English are possible.
Wiki Quote: Edmund Burke
You can forget anyone doing the right thing as most are "fence sitters". They look to the right and then the left to see how the wind is blowing, however, they still sit there observing, but not making a move. You can count on that to continue whether it be a member, staff, deacon, or trustee. They do not want to be singled out as a divisive person or one who can't get along. Many of them are just hoping "things" will improve. The slogan is if you don't follow the crowd you are out of God's will!! They do not desire to lose their position. Its too important to them. Some say they have to think of their children. Some do not want to leave the church, they are held back by their wives so that they can continue being in the social circle of friends that they MUST have. They only get together on Sundays, and occasionally on Wednesdays. Many quit seeing each other after one of them leaves. Some friendship that is. Some do not want to leave as they are marketing their wares through this large assembly. Networking as it were. So you must realize that these mega church pastors know this and that is the reason that they go on, and on, and on. The marketing gurus have already taken survey after survey and they know exactly how to manage a congregation inside or outside the confines of a building. Thus, the reason they are getting the high dollars to persuade these pastors of "cutting edge" technology and that churches, nor pastors can succeed without the marketing plan.
Unless about 100-250 or more take a stand together at one time vocally it won't happen. One, two, or three will not make a difference at all. Those few already did and are now gone. The main thing is the money. Once it dries up then things will change. Then the church can go back to what it used to be, but not until then. As it stands, its marketing and sales 2 and Jesus 0. So who plans on being part of the "say no more crowd". So far you have 3 groups" 1. the yes men and their social butterfly wives, 2. the group that is unhappy wants Brunson to go, but have no stand in the church. This group would be tossed out in a NY minute. 3. The group that knows nothing about this atrocity and blindly stumbles along. I could add a 4th group, that would be the ones with NO SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT but want to be in the "in crowd" with the Brunsons. Pitiful, I know but there it is. The current condition of a once Bible believing, solid foundation, witnessing, Godly church where JESUS was preeminent!!!
Anon 7:32pm is correct, the staff at the church will NOT do anything to jeapordize their current employment. While ones convictions should take a priority over ones job, our staff will not buck the system. Wasn't it Brunson that said in a sermon that if you have an issue with your boss that you should either go to him or quit. How ironic that his own staff has issues and yet none of them do will do anything. Of course over half of the staff are not educated to truly serve in a church.. ie Rev Blount, Rev Elkins, or Rev King.Their education prepares them to work in a secular job NOT the church.
David Bristowe, aren't you the chairman of the deacons, where is your backbone to stand up to the atrocities that are going on. Preachers and staff will come and go, but the deacons are life long members..
Deacons.. please "SAVE OUR CHURCH"
Readers - check out this blog written by a man who knows Mark Cummins, the pastor of FBC Ocala that is currently undergoing a very public split over a dominant pastor and the direction he is taking the church and staff members who were let go.
The FBC Ocala appears to be headed toward a split after a year with their new pastor. Apparently this pastor did the very same in a church in Hollywood, Florida, and its a repeat performance in Ocala. The big difference? The people in Ocala are standing up and defending their church in a public fashion. You likely will see more statewide or nationwide news reports on this church split. Its getting ugly.
But read the conclusions that this blogger makes after having observed this pastor at both churches.
Can you see any of what he is writing having application for our church?
I'll be writing about the FBC Ocala situation this weekend.
Here are the last two paragraphs of this blog, which perhaps are the most salient:
"The most important thing I have learned is that we must not elevate people to senior leadership positions until we know them intimately so that both their private and public characteristics are known.
Both Hollywood and Ocala brought someone unknown into their midst. Both churches felt they had controls in place to mitigate that fact. Those controls may impact the final outcome in Ocala. They were successfully disassembled in Hollywood, but those controls do not prevent pain. In fact, they may make it more painful by making it public."
Wow. How true. You never know what you're getting until its too late.
"The outcome is up in the air, but the result is clear. There will be much pain at FBC Ocala. Pain goes where Mark goes.
I will be praying for the pastors who were fired last week. I will pray for their sons and daughters and spouses who feel a deep sense of betrayal right now. I can tell you from personal experience that standing up against someone who is more popular, more visible, and more charismatic than you is tough. Being chewed up and spit out by the church you served for years and years is even harder.
In closing, I will say that this is the 5th post I've attempted to write about Mark Cummins and it is by far the nicest one. It is the first one I have been willing to publish. I waited 3.5 years to blog on this topic and there is no pleasure in it. My only hope is that Google searching on "Pastor Mark Cummins" might bring someone to my blog who is evaluating this man for a ministry position. They need to know that the fruit of this man's ministry is pain."
Six Pastors Fired by KevMcCord
You ask for Godly leaders to do something. I am not sure that there are any left at FBCJ. The Godly have either been told to leave, forced out by yes men, or were slandered and ridiculed and could no longer serve or justify a reason to put up with the treatment they were receiving from the members of leadership, staff and others who are part of the LIE called a church.
As to the women taking a stand. You must be kidding. What could they possibly substitute for a "social club". The current Sunday School is a joke. It's a gossip hotbed. There is nothing being taught of benefit to anyone. The current small group fiasco has taken the place of at least a past attempt by some teachers to teach the bible. But, if you are going to kill a church, may as well kill the S.S. too. You had some women with backbone and spiritual discernment but they are no longer at FBCJ, you ran them off. But as we can see you all are doing "just fine" now, aren't you? God will not be mocked. Looks like some of you were just a little to smart, now you have lost your church, and I say, "You asked for it, you got it".
The "yes men" and their wives are a clique. They run after Mac and Honey. I wonder how they ever served under Lindsay. If they can call both men their pastor, then they weren't very spiritual all along, were they? Just playing the role. You ask for men with backbone... I would venture to say, not only do they have no backbone they have no BRAINS, and certainly NO SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT!!!
I do not believe that you know all the details that go along with the story that was published at Ocala.com. The six pastors that were fired at FBC Ocala did show up for the meeting with the personnel committee. They requested to speak the to deacons of the church, but Mark told them that since they were employeed by the church and UNDER him, that they had to speak to the personnel committee. Mark allowed three other deacons to sit in on the meeting. The meeting began at 4:30 in the afternoon and went on until 8:30. One of the six pastors had 14 pages of complaints, e-mails and times to back up all of his own personal accusations. I have heard Mark preach and he is a great speaker, but only that. A speaker. Why in the world would two pastors that have been there 50+ years unite with other pastors that total 30+ years, and decide to speak against someone if he was such a great addition to the church family? This isn't about being close with the pastors, living in the neighborhoods, or spending weekends with their grandchildren that are your best friends because you have grown up together, this is about family. God's family. The church isn't the building, it is the people that fill the building. And right now, Mark Cummins is tearing apart the people that are in that building.
Posted by: FBCOcalaLongTimeMember"
Above Comment Source
Wow! After reading some of the comments in the Ocala.com article on Mark Cummins ... sounds similar to here.
Did this stuff take place 10, 20 or 30 years ago in churches? Just wondering.
All this would have been diffused, if the Senior Pastors were only humble and listened to their congregation, instead of forcing their agenda on unsuspecting people. This is not just change. This is stupid change.
This church(?) has many of the aspects of a "cult type church". The leader thinks he "hears" from God personally, he thinks he is "clothed in the righteousness of God", therefore, whatever he does is "ordained by God". This is dangerous stuff. He is angry, abusive to the members of the church in his sermons. He demands total obedience to him or dismissal. He says in that regard, "don't put deacons who worry on the deacon board". In other words, don't put anyone on the board that question or oppose me. This cult type preacher refuses Godly counsel from others that ALSO pray for guidance. He is a control "master". His "lieutenants or enforcers" are the trustees and yes men who have bought into this rot. They are so desperete to be in the circle of the rich and famous. This justifies their existance, Do they not know they will answer for things done "in the body, and out of the body" at the Judgement Seat of Christ.
These men are to silence or intimidate others into acquiescence or get them out of the church. This cult type preacher rules with fear as a way to keep his staff in line. Same preacher does not preach love of God when mentioning tithing (unbiblical) but, demands your money in order to be a member in good standing of the church. Guess that leaves the poor and unemployed out. They must go elsewhere to receive Christian love, prayer and concern, as unless you are paying to belong to FBCJ you arn't welcome. Guess that puts the "mission minded pastor and wife out of touch. As the poor and disadvantaged ARE a mission field. But then one does not earn points with the SBC if one just ministers to people without publicity and the "look who I am" camera pointed in that direction.
The absolute conviction of the cult type preacher is that he is "holier" than others and is therefore, misunderstood by all of the stupid people that are to follow and obey him. These type preachers have a God type personality that makes them think that ohters "revere" them above other mortals.
My question is who feeds them this "tripe"? Who brainwashed them to this end. Dare I speculate that the craving for power and money is behind it? Not exactly God led are these cult type preachers. Beware of false prophets, preachers, teachers, advisers or anyone that puts themselves above the Cause of Christ. Pay attention how much is Jesus revered as compared to the cult preacher? Those that encourage the cult type preacher all want something out of it. MONEY, POWER, FAME, MONEY, MONEY, MONEY. Beware of the sheep in wolves clothing!!!!!!
2 Cor.5:10: "For we must all appear before the Judgement Seat of Christ: that every one may receive the things done in his body, according, to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad".
In my opinion, we are just now seeing the crop of the seeds that were sown down in the hearts of the "preacher boys" that were in seminary and looked up to Falwell, Criswell, Vines, Rogers, Lindsay and others. Their desire was not for Jesus, but rather it was for the status, fame, respect and riches they saw in these men. Those men were the real deal, loving and walking with Jesus and building ministries by their longevity and faithfulness and sacrifice. This new generation desires to be like these men, instead of desiring to be like Jesus.
Does this fit Gaines and Brunson?
Looky here...this blog is most certainly NOT about the PD movement. As the anon above posted the abuses of Mac Brunson are abuses regardless of whether he is or is not purpose driven. I do admit that many pastors who desire to take their churches rapidly to a more "seeker friendly" model do exhibit these same behaviors of Mac - as in the preacher at FBC Ocala.
I just don't think it is helpful to cast the problems at FBC Jax as "purpose driven". Number 1, it allows Mac to view himself as being attacked unfairly (as he does NOT view himself as PD) over a movement that he declares he is NOT a part of...and Number 2it allows him to view himself as being attacked because people don't like change.
My beefs with Mac Brunson have very little to do with his "change" in the direction of the church - as in NASB v. KJV, or satellite versus main campus, or red carpet, or his hair, or the ties in the pulpit. Mac and his supporters are absolutely convinced that those who are offended by his abuses are just people who don't like change and thus have a personal vendetta. That might be true for some, but not for me and others who are concerned over his abuses. This doesn't have to do primarily with change, it has to do with the things that I've blogged about here and I'll spare you the list.
Let me add that the more I watch and listen to and read the writings of Smyrl and Brunson, the more I believe this "Theology Driven Ministry" is the WORST of both extremes...it is extremely legalistic...yet at the same time trying to package it as being modern and hip. A more "modern legalism" if you will. As the poster said above, Brunson preaches legalistic tithing messages, threatens his congegration from the pulpit, scares people into service because they are sinning against the Holy Spirit...tell us we don't trust Jesus is we dare express any worry...and he truly believes he is holier and baptized into God's holiness (I agree anon, that is SCARY)....face it: the man doesn't preach New Testament service and giving out of love for God and Jesus. He doesn't at all exemplify a preacher or Christian who is thankful to Jesus. Its a dark gospel. Mac is a historian, and he is stuck in an Old Testament view of Christianity. Smyrl has joined him in this dark view of Christianity, and its a darn shame as Smyrl had SO MUCH promise coming behind Vines.
Having said that, I don't mind people discussing here the PD movement, but its not the thrust of the beefs with Mac Brunson. But as I said, many of the abuses of Mac Brunson are exhibited by preachers who are splitting churches who are going PD. They don't have the patience or trust in God to start their own church; they instead come into and do a hostile take over of unsuspecting sheep in another church.
Can you say "deja vu"?
Story of a church member from the prior church at which Mark Cummins served before going to FBC Ocala:
Mark told FBC West Hollywood leadership that he had no intention of getting rid of the current staff.
The Children's pastor was the first to leave. He was given 30 days to leave. That might be OK except he told the rest of the staff and the congregation that the children's pastor left of his own free will. We believed him. The same thing happened with the next pastor to leave. He wound up going to Liberty College and work on his doctorate. I know for a fact he was forced to leave but according to Mark it was voluntary.
Some he fired and told they could not come back on campus. Some were "laid off" because of finances.
A long story short, every pastor that was there when Mark arrived was forced to leave except for one. That Pastor later left of his own free will when he recognized who he was working for and could arrange another position.
The senior adult ministry was disbanded, the Youth went from hundreds to about 30 kids, Children's ministry went down. Our chuch dwindled to about 300 people.
My heart was broken at FBC Hollywood as I and most of my friends started attending different churches. Most of us were sent letters after 3 or 4 weeks absence saying we were taken off the church rolls. Now I see the pain that Mark is causing at FBC Ocala. I can only plead that those of you that know Mark for what he is will not leave FBC Ocala, but will do whatever is necessary to take your church back, and do your best to make sure he never pastors again.
Unfortunately, the very men that we might hope to stand up to some of the changes Mac is doing, are the very men that wanted him to come to FBC.
The pastoral search committee basically begged him to come to our church in the end. They should not have done this, they should not have been so desperate. And just like most people, when a company or group really want you, it puts you in strong position to ask for whatever you want. And I am sure those deals were struck between Mac, the search committee and the finance committee (FC), pen was put to paper to solidify it, and the deal is done.
He has his authority to do pretty much anything he wants. He makes his large salary and whatever other types of bonuses or perks because the FC allowed him to do it.
So, the FC is not really going to change his ways. The staff does not want to be put on a short list to be let go. The rank and file deacons pretty much go along with anything Mac will request, partly due to the traditional role of deacons at FBC since prior senior pastors were more transparent. And most members don't really care to take a position one way or the other.
The one benefit to the pastor from a mega-church is that there are so many people, there are so many friends, that people will continue to come year after year because it is difficult to leave. They like seeing their friends and connections they have with such a large group of people. So, unless the pastor really does something bad, most people will stay.
So then, the question turns to money to support the budget. If you noticed from the Wednesday night budget printout for 2009, for the first time in several years the budget amount did not increase. The budget is produced be the FC and the pastor. The deacons are not given any more detail on the budget that what is given to the members, and the deacons basically rubber-stamp it each year. And next Wednesday the members will be asked to rubber-stamp it as well.
So, even though there are still a lot of people, people must be giving less since the 2009 budget is the same as 2008, for now. But once the economy picks up again, that will change and more money will be given and the budget will probably go up.
In any case, most people are not going to leave since they find FBC comfortable, one anchor in possible a turbulent life (work/play/etc). So even if they know what the pastor is doing (which most do not understand these issues at this level), still most will just turn a blind eye to it. Most will stay, most will continue to give what they normally give, and nothing really will change.
There are other churches out there, good ones, perhaps it is time to search them out.
Perhaps some of what you say is on the mark, but somewhere down the road, a trustee, deacon, minister or other administrative person will be engaged in a conversation and will be asked, "where did you go to church, and what were your responsibilities?" They will respond and the other person will automatically draw a negative conclusion about their worthiness to serve somewhere other than FBCJ. Their actions now will be judged later, not only by our Heavenly Father, but possibly the community and far-reaching audience beyond what they anticipated would also hold them accountable for lack of conviction and faith to do what is right!
The expression, "your past will find you out" will ring true to for many of you neglecting to put God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit first.
How did the Missionary Golf Outing go this week? Was everyone impressed to get a glimpse of the Brunson mansion? Assuming the red, pick-up was on display for those less fortunate that Mac and Honey!
Was Trey on the 9th turn handing out A-Group and Conexus advertising cards?
You can't tell these people(Macs supporters) anything, they know it all. The pulpit selection committee was so impressed with themselves and the "important task" of choosing the new pastor, one practically had to bow when you passed them. They didn't have enough sense to see they were just being "used" to make it look like they were choosing the pastor. Vines and Patterson, wanted Mac here, pure and simple. There was never a doubt, but that Brunson would "inherit" FBCJ. Just like there is no doubt he will stay until he gets all that he wants out of FBCJ before "being called" by another group "selection committee". If this selection committee was stupid enough to allow themselves to be used, don't think the deacons are any smarter.
Don't expect anything good to happen at FBCJ, it will go on as it is because evil triumphs, it will take the return of the Lord to set things straight.
I recall Dr Lindsay discussing in one of his sermons the blind leading the blind. Boy was he right!!!
I refuse to believe it.
I believe that enough discerning people are still there that they can be peaceful dissenters.
We can dissent by stopping the money flow.
Serve at the church with our time as we minister to others, but don't give one red cent to the church. Give our offerings to other worthwhile ministries or causes.
If enough people would do this, the message would be loud and clear to Mac and Honey. If the money doesn't come in, and he can't implement "God's vision" then he will go somewhere else where he can feel the love.
THIS BLOG HAS EXPOSED THE BRUNSON M.O.
It will be much harder to snooker the next congregation.
WD: I agree with the plan. Give them NO money...none. Only problem is he has soooo much power over the weakling deacons he will "convince" them to borrow the money or sell off the assets. You know how things just get "voted" on down there. And the ayes have it! All opposed no, it passed on with the legacy. Yeah right.
WD: I agree that sharing your tithes for other ministries is worthwhile and serves as an example for others to follow if they are dissatisfied with the shenanigans Brunson, Honey, Trey and trustees are exhibiting in the name of God. For the past 2 months, my family has given our tithes to people who need it most, in our opinion. We feel so much better knowing our gifts are appreciated and offered as a ministry to Christ.
THIS BLOG HAS EXPOSED THE BRUNSON M.O.
It will be much harder to snooker the next congregation."
He will take David Allen's job. He can be dean and still do some preaching.
YouKnowWho - thanks for emailing me the budget for next year.
The 2009 budget is exactly the same as 2008. But the variances from 2008 to 2009 is VERY interesting.
Here are the variances from 2008 t 2009 for the major "minsitry" areas (negative means a budget cut):
Missions & Evangelism: -9%
Comunity Life: -6%
Business Admin: +3%
Total Budget: $15.7 million
No total variance from 2008
If that doesn't tell us what the Brunsons are about:
Cut all ministry areas, but let's raise Maurilio's budget piece...all sub categories under Communications go up!
Raise Communications and Business Adminstration.
Its all about sales and marketing!
WD: Be enlightened. 2.5 million veterans failed to vote on Nov 4. 4.5 million less Republicans voted. That number that failed to vote could have changed the results. Some people don't care who their President is anymore than who their Pastor might be.
The winds have changed in America. Unfortunately, they have changed for the worse. Tell one, tell all, save your money because you are going to need it. And for goodness sake, do not expect the government to help you, unless you are a failure. Failure is now the VIRTUE. Both in government and in the church. God help us. Come Lord Jesus is my prayer.
WD: The variance for communication from 2008 to 2009 is 28%.
Remember the 316 networks that is hosting the web broadcasts are more expensive than Number 9 networks. Also I think more viewers are watching 316 networks now, because it's more dependable.
I do not know, if they are including Insp. channel broadcasts under Communications. Then why did they do a special offering for it and local marketing of fbcjax during Easter?
The only way to gauge the monies going to Maurilio and other consulting agencies is by comparing 2005 vs 2009.
My gut feeling tells me, for PC 2009, ALL the special fees they are collecting by selling adverts. and booths/tables is going to pay for marketing and consultant(s) fees.
I sincerely wish, they would give a more detailed breakdown. Then ALL fbcjax members can have a fruitful discussion of what the expenses are.
It would seem that like most organizations the budget is directed to what is most important for that group. We can certainly see that business and communication mean more than the gospel to this Church of Laodicea.
Sales and Marketing and Advertising
You have to market to raise revenues. That is the Maurilio model.
CEOs know that in tough times you can't cut back your promotions. In a tighter market you have to compete more fiercely for your customers.
The increase in Communications is $420,000. This is broken down into:
increase in "communications outreach" of $150,000
increase in "Media" of $240,000
increase in "Technical Services" of $130,000
no change in "Print Shop"
decrease in "Ministry Support' of $100,000.
Yep, probably INSP is in there.
Nearly all ministry areas are cut, but we see significant increases in:
10% increase in our Cooperative Program giving.
WD: It looks like from the figures, for 2008 Communications, they spend $1.5M, and they raised it for 2009 to $1.92M.
I am sure Insp. is also in there.
I am also certain, they will spread the fees paid to Marketers and Consultants across ALL divisions and groups, so as not raise any red flags. Of course, this would also reflect Maurilio's specialization of consulting that is ALL OVER the place.
I am also guessing, the reason they dropped Insp. last year from the budget, was to pay all the extra costs for marketers and consultants, for the all the hard work they do.
After a while, they almost become like drugs (bad drugs). You get addicted to them.
Don't be fooled by Mac's generous increase in the Cooperative Program giving. He knows that "sells" good all over the convention. Paige Patterson even introduced him at SWBTS chapel recently as the pastor that led FBC Dallas to give $1 million to Lottie Moon offering.
This is just Mac position himself to run for SBC President soon. We love to elect those guys that give big to the Cooperative Program. Everything is about increasing Mac's brand.
No, Mac won't be running for anything. He said his wife wouldn't let him do it (listen to the SBC Today interview excerpts in my recent post).
watchdog, i was wondering if you knew what happened to the hilliard facility? why isnt it being used? the middle schoolers had field day at landon middle school instead of at hilliard where it normally is located. word of mouth says that the kids hardly has as much stuff to do on field day as they usually did in the past years.shouldnt we be focusing on the youth? as well as using the land god gave us? let me know whats up!
for people so strong with their words and bold in their beliefs, there are a lot of anonymous comments.
i cannot imagine Dr. Vines or Elijah or any other man of God preaching against something so wrong, but being afraid to sign their name.
So if y'all have such strong convictions why aren't YOU doing more? YOU sit and blog and complain but really only do nothing but point out what's wrong. A true leader not only exposes wrongs but does something about them.
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