As mentioned previously, the glaring omission from this letter is the mention of the pastor's name. The committee is accusing the Watchdog of attacking and harming the church members, when the blog is focused primarily on Mac Brunson, although sometimes the Watchdog is critical of Team Brunson and Jim Smyrl. But in Mac's view of the world, to be critical of the pastor, to call for the pastor to explain his actions, is tantamount to attacking the church and committing grave, public sins. Sorry, but Mac ain't the church.
We have examined charges "A" through "M", and will examine "N" through "P" here as a final installment in this series.
"N. You have strongly urged your fellow Church members to disseminate the contents of your blog site to as many people as possible, including those enrolled in their individual Sunday School classes, and should they fear to do so, to submit those class rolls to you and you would disseminate the content of your blog site yourself;"
The Watchdog is guilty as charged. Yes indeed, the Watchdog very much would like the members of FBC Jax to read the contents of this blog site. It would help to get them thinking more objectively about what is happening at their church. The Watchdog has not sent any emails out to members, although has received emails from readers who DO have email distribution lists and they may or may not have distributed the contents of this blog. I know of one member who claims to have the list of the 210 members who were invited to a special meeting with Mac last month to preview the "Next Generation" plans.
ONE WORD OF CAUTION: If you do send this site to other members, get an anonymous email address because the discipline committee may be at your door if they get wind of anyone being so "destructive and divisive" as to send this blog to other members. Not too worried about the drunkards and adulterers and swindlers...but doggone it they have GOT to stop these bloggers!
"O. You have always blogged this site and the contents thereof anonymously and refused all prior requests to meet with appropriate Church personnel that that any legitimate questions that you may have could be considered and answered."
The man who received this letter claims that the church has never, ever contacted him about the blog...they just showed up at his door and delivered a trespass warning for being accused of running this blog. The church has never contacted the Watchdog, so I guess we'll just say the discipline committee has their facts wrong. Perhaps Team Brunson has told the committee that they have tried to reach out to the Watchdog, but they would never mislead anyone, would they?
"P. You have committed such other acts and made such other statements as would threaten the unity and harmony of First Baptist Church and its operations and ministries."
Definitely a lawyer "catch all" accusation...I wonder what "other acts" they are referring to. Maybe the Watchdog accepted a $300,000 land gift, or got the pastor to put a commercial for his relatives in the sermon...or maybe the Watchdog was caught selling advertisements to the Pastors Conference. Or maybe the Watchdog secretly changed the bylaws when no one was looking, or maybe he went to another church and called the members of FBC Jax legalists. No, the fact is that Mac Brunson is the great divider. He has done a masterful job dividing our congregation between those that are fully behind him and fully support HIS vision of the church, and those who have questions or express worry. If there is any one person who has threatened the unity of the church, it is Donald M. Brunson.
So those are the accusations.
Let's look at some of the closing statements of the letter:
"The above list is not intended to be exhaustive in detailing your inappropriate, divisive, and destructive conduct. Rather, it is description of the subversive conduct in which you have actively engaged during these past many months, and serves to substantiate the public sin you have willfully, and repeatedly committed, and continue to commit."
Wow...I guess however evil the A through P list paints the Watchdog, he is even WORSE! He is "divisive" and "destructive" and the list could go on and on! Please someone stop the Watchdog before he destroys the entire church!
"Therefore, in accordance with the instruction of Christ Jesus recorded in Matthew's Gospel, Chapter 18, verses 15-20, and in compliance with the Bylaws of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, this Committee, on behalf of the church, is compelled to meet with each of you immediately at the Church for the purpose of reconciliation and restoration...The meeting must take place within ten days of the date of this letter".
Well, I don't see how their process is in compliance with Matthew 18:15-20, although perhaps it is in compliance with the bylaws. But if they have not first sent one person, then two people to meet with the accused, but instead demand as a first step (that is after the step of delivering a trespass warning), meeting before SIX MEN within 10 days...compelled by the unnecessary issuance of trespass warnings...the Watchdog can't find that anywhere in Matthew 18:15-20 or anywhere else in scripture. Maybe Mac can tell the drummer in the orchestra again: "Hey drummer, you worried about trespass warnings? I didn't think so...only those deserving of trespass warnings should be worried about trespass warnings."
Here's the coersion part of the letter;
"Until that meeting, each of you is hereby notified that you are prohibited from coming on the Church grounds or premises for any reason except the meeting above described. This means you are not permitted to attend any service, program, activity or ministry until the above-referenced meeting occurs."
Is THAT in accordance with the bylaws? Who in the church has the power to effectively ban members from the premises for accusations made against them? Who "owns" the premises to the extent that they hold the power to ban MEMBERS of the organization from attending services in the church? The Watchdog is not being accused of creating a raucus at the church, or yelling during the services or being disruptive.
Here's a thought: a discipline committee needs to be formed by the deacons of the church to investigate THIS discipline committee to find out why they are not exercising church disicpline in accordance with Matthew 18, and to find out who was it that authorized trespass warnings to be issued against two members of the church? Come on deacons...don't let Mac intimidate you! You are to serve the MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH...did you hear Mac's son-in-law Sunday night? He spelled it out quite clearly. Deacons should be serving the people and helping them...you are NOT elected and ordained as a deacon so you can do the bidding of the pastor but you are to look after the "general welfare of the church". Read the bylaws so you know what your responsibility is. You have a runaway pastor and discipline committee serving trespass warnings, and you ought to be on top of this and find out who is driving this process.
"Any membership rolls, names, numbers, and/or addresses generated by First Baptist Church must not be duplicated and those in your possession must be surrendered to Reverend Blount within 10 days of the date of this letter."
What?? Who are they to demand that anyone "surrender" names of people to John Blount? Within 10 days? These guys are on a real power trip. What are they so afraid of? That someone might email someone and tell them to read this blog? Get a grip, guys. You can't control who people email and what they email them about.
"Failure to cooperate with this request for a meeting, which again, will be conducted for the purpose of reconciliation and restoration, required of us according to Scripture, could result in a process leading to your removal as members of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Inc."
Holy cow...they claim that to issue trespass warnings and demand a man and his wife go to a meeting with 6 men of the church with no copy of the bylaws provided, and no representation allowed, is "according to Scripture". What version of Scripture are these clowns reading? I mean this is so wacko as to be laughable - if it weren't so darned sad and shameful.
So that's the letter. As a reminder, the accused sent this letter in response, with this response from the committee. A meeting has not taken place as far as I know, since the church has not complied with the man's request for a copy of the bylaws and agreement that he may take representation with him to the meeting.
So perhaps the next move will be to vote the man and his family out of the church as threatened in the letter. We shall see!
Who is next? Who will receive the next trespass warning and letter?
FBC Jax: "The Church of the Open Door (for Those Not Served Trespass Papers)"
"Brother Drummer, are you worried about Church Discipline?
No. [Shakes his head]
Watch, who it unnerves!
Watch, who it unnerves!"
"I love it!!! I love it!!!"
Love what? The power? The intimidation?
You like to challenge us in your preaching. You like it when we get jostled out of our comfort zones.
How about you?
Are they running out of Trespass Notices?
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I was not a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
First, they came for the ones who spoke in tongues. I didn't speak up, because I don't do that.
Then, they came for those who hadn't been baptized in an SBC Church (yes I know the real deal). I had been, so I didn't speak up.
Then they came for the Calvinists. I'm not, so I didn't speak up.
Then they came for those who didn't sign the BF&M. I had, so I didn't speak up.
Then they came for those who used birth control. We don't, so I didn't speak up.
Then they came for me. And there wasn't anybody left to speak up.
And now being hauled before Church Discipline Committee for questioning.
I am sure Martin Luther is rolling in his grave. And to think PP compared the suffering of Mac to Martin Luther's depressive episodes.
Can you say Power Trip?.
The above poems are freely borrowed from Mayer, Martin Niemoeller and Bob Cleveland.
Thy Peace, where is the quote of "Watch who it unnerves, I love it, I love it" from?
Why is it that this guy isn't going to the church to tell them he is not the Watchdog if they got the wrong guy?
I would meet with the discipline committee and prove to them that I wasn't the Watchdog if they accused me of it. Anybody would do that in a heart beat. No one wants to be falsely accused. Very weird....
It's interesting that in Matthew 18 (v15-17) it talks about how one person should go talk to the sinning brother, and if they do not hear, then take one or two more to talk to that person.
Then the final step is to tell it to the church.
Since whoever is running this process skipped the first two steps, I wonder what they will do with the final step.
It would be nice to see a "vote" by the church to remove this couple from the rolls with some level of explanation so that people could be aware of the so-called reasons for this discipline.
Unfortunately, I am sure "the Church" in this case will be a vote by the discipline committee alone to remove this couple from the role since they don't want the whole congregation to know why they are doing this.
This is a sad state of affairs for FBC, very sad indeed
The bylaws require the whole church vote to terminate membership.
1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
5 For every man shall bear his own burden.
6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Notice the RESTORE factor! I brought this up to a fellow deacon in our church. He did not know what to say.
You see, I was asked also "if I was so disgrunted, why did I not leave?" and I asked this deacon to restore me instead of someone asking me to leave. He could not completely answer that. Restoration should be the goal of those in authority.
These guys are more interested in booting us out than restoring us from our faults. My case anyway.
Mac is getting ready for a royal fleecing of the church.
Those that are unhappy, he would just as soon have them out of the church before the big 20 million dollar sell is put out there. He is going to be asking members to not only tithe, but also to commit over the tithe to the $20 million dollar "Next Generation". Those who don't, or who express concern over such a program when the church attendance and giving is going down will be told they are "not trusting Jesus" and they are "operating based on feelings and not faith". No use in having disgruntled sheep around who don't want to be sheered - get rid of them so they don't rile up the other sheep.
Notice Sunday he belittled his congregation again for their overspending. I love how he lumps us all into one category: we're all a bunch of overspending, money-hungry, large-TV-screen-loving dunderheads who can't manage our finances like he and Deb. He doesn't even consider that there are people who DO manage their finances, who DO give to their church, but who are HURTING right now. He can't understand that, since he has so much cash flow right now - he has so much "margin" as he called it this past summer. And how dare he criticize his congregation for spending...when he is living in a 5000+ square foot, million dollar home, taking vacations to Europe, and driving expensive cars and giving jobs to family members. Royal hypocrite.
And to talk to us like we're all a bunch of restless 3rd graders "why can't you all sit there for 5 more minutes during the invitation" and "I should have said that 2 1/2 years ago" as though we are all getting up to leave at the invitation. I'll use a curse word that has been used before here to describe Mac: He's a pompous ASS. Yes, an ASS. To lecture us about leaving during the invitation, when he himself, THE DADGUM PREACHER....left early twice to catch a plane before the invitation was over....shows what a jerk he can really be. And the Kool Aid drinkers actually applauded the man after his little reprimand of his congregation.
NEWSFLASH TO MAC: We know darn well how important the invitation time is...we've known it for decades and we DO NOT need you to tell us as though we are idiots. And what WE should have told YOU 2 1/2 years ago when you came here is that we know our bibles and we know how to spot a guy who teaches the bible out of love for people, and one who teaches it to manipulate people for his own purposes - and you've been identified AS THE LATTER. Didn't know that we know how to spot guys like you? WELL YOU KNOW IT NOW. Got that? Good. Amen.
Let the fleecing begin.
Dr.Dog..Mac-The-mess loves and talks about nothing but fleecing and spending members money while living a luxurious personal life off much of the members money..Mac's greed is the defining SIGN given by Scripture that he is a FRAUD and a HIRELING!!...There are not enough adjectives to describe this INTERLOPER!!!!..WORSE AND WORSE!!!
Why is he worried about people leaving during the invitation? I guess they have heard enough. Plus NO ONE is getting saved there anyway!
January 6, 2009 1:02 PM - you wrote: "Why is it that this guy isn't going to the church to tell them he is not the Watchdog if they got the wrong guy? I would meet with the discipline committee and prove to them that I wasn't the Watchdog if they accused me of it. Anybody would do that in a heart beat. No one wants to be falsely accused. Very weird...."
Actually, it is not so wierd and makes perfect sense. Think about it. The man was handed trespass warnings with a letter that contained some serious accusations. He was never even given the courtesy of a phone call or visit from anyone at the church. I am sure he sought legal advice and was told not to respond to the letter until he was given an opportunity to see what his rights and obligations were under the by-laws and what powers the discipline committee had under those by-laws. He was also never given any indication of how the committee was so sure he was the blog owner. Talk about WIERD. Why wouldn't the church have confronted this man with his sin before taking such action. Instead, they acted on secret or illegally obtained evidence and then demanded he AND his wife, submit themselves to their authority WITHOUT any recording of the meeting and without any legal represenatation.
So, had he responded to them, that would have been wierd. And would have legitimized their wrongful procedure. As a matter of fact, they KNEW they were in the wrong and that the man and his wife could not and would not comply with their unreasonable request, which is why they issued the trespass warnings at the same time of the letter outlining their accusations!
If it were me, I would have refused to accept the letter, or torn it up and threw it in the face of the cowards that delivered it. Then I would call the discipline committee members personally and tell them to back up their charges man to man or leave my wife and kids alone!
Meet with them? Tell them they got the wrong guy? NO WAY! They mishandled it and now it will only get uglier from here on out.
Another thing that is wierd...Mac Brunson was never mentioned in the letter, althought the entire blog is about him! And Mac Brunson never picked up the phone to even call this man before sending out his hand picked henchmen to deliver trespass warnings.
No, it is not wierd to ignore these punks and bullies. It is wierd that YOU come on here anonymously and say what the man should do. Are you a punk and bully too? Just wonderin...
January 6, 2009 3:33 PM - very well said. If the committee truly sought restoration, or really wanted to meet with the man, they simply needed to walk up to him at church and set up a meeting with him. Leave his wife and kids out of it. (Unless they had evidence of the wife and kids "sinning.")
Seriously, they could have walked up to him in Sunday School class, or in the hallways and let him know they would like to meet with him informally. If he refused, they could have sent a man to see him. Then two men. Then send him a letter. Why hand deliver such a deatailed letter with trespass warnings to him and his wife?
Based on thier actions, even if they had the right guy, they no longer will have any access to him down at the church. And if they got the wrong guy, I am sure some legal action will be forthcoming. Either way, Millionaire Mac has bungled this matter.
These are the questions members should be asking. What is the church afraid of? What are they trying to keep hidden? Why wasn't this handled lovingly and professionally by our pastor and church staff and lay leaders?
In other words, what the H - - L is going on with Mac Brunson and this discipline committee?
I am the accussed. I would meet with these men, but would appreciate a copy of the rules of the committee first and to allow me at least to bring someone with me as I don't know any of these men personally and thus don't think it fair to meet with them 6 on 1. I was told to come to the church to read the bylaws if I wanted but am advised to get a copy myself before meeting the men. Honestly I am not too willing to trust their motives and who would blame me except some of the people here. My wife has already asked the church to remove her from the church membership, but I have not and I assume I am still a member and haven't been told that I've been dismissed as a member. We have been visiting another church and the people have been very lovely and warm and welcoming. At this point I can't imagine any events leading to our return to our church. I don't much care any more given the events of the last month or so.
WD - are you for real? Team Brunson and the A-group are really going to try and milk another $20 million out of this congregation? During a recession that most of us are feeling the effects of? Despite our current buildings in disrepair? While attendance is down?
Only one explanation exists, and someone please correct me if I am wrong. This effort is all about SHEEP STEALING. Increasing market share of the Christian population of this conservative area of Florida. They are simply trying to bleed members from other churches that want to be entertained. Satellites will do this. The A-group knows how to increase the market share better than it knows how to reach the LOST!
So FBC JAX is launching an aggressive campaign on existing churches to steal their members.
Any preachers in Jax have enough backbone to call Mac out on this?
anon 3:56 - are you upset that the Watchdog is letting you take the heat for his/her blogging? Have you asked the WD to contact the church to clear your name?
BULLIES AND PUNKS! If I were the WD, I would never meet with these bullies and punks. And if I were not the WD, I definitely would not meet with them, either. And WD or not, under no circumstances would I ever let these BULLIES AND PUNKS meet with my wife. Unless they want to bring their wives to the meeting? How bout that men? Want to involve all of YOUR wives in this? Big bad discipline committee and two punk staffers. What do your wives say about all of this?
WD - please publish the names of the two men that hand delivered the letter and the names of the discipline committee. I think I will send THEIR wives a letter or two.
I think the WD has made it clear he was not the man accused.
Readers - frankly, I don't care about all this discipline committee mess. I am concerned about Team Brunson putting us into debt and then asking us for $20 million dollars. Is this the New Testament way to grow God's Kingdom? It seems more like marketing 101 and branding and market share enlargement then Christ centered serving, ministering and reaching the lost.
Anon 3:56 1/06/09...I am sorry you had to experience this from a so-called Church and a FRAUD for a leader...But may I suggest that you follow the lead of your wife and get as far away from Sodom as you can and DON'T LOOK BACK...Find a Church where the WORD OF GOD is FAITHFULLY PREACHED and LIVED where you can Worship in spirit and truth...
I AM THE ACCUSSED 3:56
Thank God there are still men like you around. I may be wrong, but you must have been displaying your dissatisfaction with what is going wrong at FBC JAX; and the HALL MONITORS OVER HEARD YOUR CONVERSATIONS. Having heard that you were not a Cool Aid drinker they must have decided to make an example out of you. It is not unlike them to LIE about anything anymore. They were not on a reconciliation mission, THEY JUST WANTED TO GET RID OF YOUR FAMILY. They did not want anyone to here how SORRY THEY ARE. When I say SORRY, I MEEN LOWDOWN CONTEMPTIBLE. Unlike you, Mac is a coward. He would not even sign the letter.
Brother life is too short to even think about returning to FBC JAX. The leadership is obviously corrupt.
Besides Jesus must have better plans for you elsewhere. He led you to FBC JAX AND HE CAN LEAD YOU TO SOME OTHER CHURCH WHERE HE WANTS YOU.
Be strong and of good courage brother. Many of us have prayed for you and your family. As I recall the HOLY SPIRIT STILL RESIDES IN YOU.
Who were the Deacon Chairman and Vice Chairman last year? It is my understanding that they would be the ones who delivered the letter to the ACCUSSED WATCHDOG.
Where to start?
THE ABOVE LIST IS NOT INTENDED TO BE EXHAUSTIVE IN DETAILING YOUR:
This paragraph should have been addressed to Mac Brunson.
Since Mac came here FBCJ has been in constant turmoil. PREACHERS, THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BRING PURPOSE DRIVEN, SEAKER SENSITIVE INTO YOUR CHURCH.
Mac, you have been " SUBVERSIVE, WILLFULLY, REPEATEDLY, COMMITTED, AND CONTINUED TO COMMIT" DISRUPTION AT FBCJ. You never once told your people about the undercover changes that you would bring to FBCJ. You even lied to your people that you were not bringing such things into the church. When are you going to FESS UP?
Jim Smryl's blogs on the Catholic Church are up again.
Do you think you are the reason?
You have really gone over board comparing any church to the Nazi persecutions.
What's next - Mao, Stalin?
It is Written,
Are you saying all the members of FBC are sodomites? You told him to flee Sodom therefore we must be so.
Anon 6:56pm 1/06/09...No I am not calling all members of FBCJ Sodomites..As I have mentioned previously I have many friends who are still members..But to Mac and the his cronies who have turned this once great Church under the honorable Dr.Lindsay into an atomsphere like unto Sodom..
Also Anon 6:56pm...If I were calling all FBC Jax members Sodomites then that would also included Dr.Dog in whom I have the greatest respect..It takes far more courage to stand up against tyrants like Mac who are abusing thier power in today's Churches than most people will ever understand!!
Perhaps FBCJ should exercise the ancient medical procedure of "leech therapy" to disengage themselves from Team Brunson.
Old and timeless but effective.
The deacons could perform the ceremony, that is the ones with enough backbone to defy Brunson.
So much of this preacher and the leadership's "directives" and tactics are simply HYPOCRITICAL.
They trip over their own words. They should be more careful in statements they make, as same statements seem to come home to "haunt" them. Such as the statements Brunson made in his book regarding the behavior of pastors. He does none of these things himself. Thus, he is "convicted" by his own words. Same with Smyrl. It all sounds good at the time, but when those words come back, it is difficult to escape them. But this group that "follows" them don't seem to care! I have decided there are people who don't care what the Bible says. They don't require absolute truth. They don't require the pastor and leadership to live by the same standards they preach. And the same standards these men INSIST the rest of us live by. They are "exempt" from such narrow limits. Because, after all they are THEMSELVES. And who is worthy to challenge them?
We were a church that ALWAYS put Jesus first. We never had this sort of problem in the past. Ask yourself what is different between now and then. That's the root of the problem.
I wish they would send me a letter like that. What are they going to do if you do show up? Have the ushers rough you up in the parking lot until the police arrive?
I wonder what type of liability those deacons have presonallly placed themselves under by signing that letter. Sioux City Siuox
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