Just as background: a man and his wife, longtime members of FBC Jacksonville, were served with a letter and trespass warnings on the eve of Thanksgiving in November 26, 2008 as the pastor and trustees wrongly believe these two people are owning and controlling the blog. The letter was served by two ministers of the church - one of which was the man's Sunday School teacher for many years. According to the accused, the men gave no explanation, just presented a sealed envelope and told the man to read the letter and contact them the following week - and no prior contact was made about the blog prior to the issuance of the letter. The letter bans this family from the church until they meet with 6 men on a "discipline committee".
First their overall indictment of the entire blog given before the "A" through "P" charges:
"Your content, statements, opinions, advocacy, and editorial commentaries and arguments are in violation of Scripture and the spirit and letter of the Bylaws of the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Inc....Your blog postings have been intended by you to be derogatory, divisive, destructive, and demeaning to the ministry of First Baptist Church"
Wow. Pretty sweeping, all encompassing indictment of everything said here. Perhaps they are claiming that this blog's existence itself is in violation of Scripture. Can't say much about the bylaws, since members are not given copies of the bylaws, and the bylaw changes of December 2007 were never explained so maybe the bylaws state that members shall not blog. The blog postings have been made to be informative and thought-provoking - trying to get members to open their eyes to important issues occuring at their church since a change of leadership in March 2006. If there is anything about this blog that is derogatory or divisive or destructive or demeaning to the ministry of FBC...it is the actions and words of the pastor and lay leaders themselves that have been blogged about. Looks like a standard operating procedure in the SBC: accuse those who call out the wrongs at a church or SBC agency, in a medium not approved by the church or agency, as being "divisive" and "demeaning" and worthy of expulsion.
"A. You have demonstrated and advocated to your readers a defiance of Biblical Authority believed by Baptists generally and First Baptist Church specifically;
B. You have encouraged First Baptist Church members to follow that same defiance to Biblical Authority to the local church."
Quite interesting. Very vague. Just what sort of "Biblical Authority" (notice its capital "B" and capital "A") are they accusing the Watchdog of defying, and recommending others to defy? Could it be the matter of tithing? Or is it that they believe the blog in and of itself defies their definition of "Biblical Authority" because the Watchdog has not done what they want, and has found a way to communicate with Christians at their church that Mac and Honey and Trey and Maurilio and the trustees can't control? Or are there so many sins in this blog: lying, slandering, gossiping, etc that they all fall under "defying Biblical Authority". Interesting, because those are things the Watchdog has pointed out that Mac Brunson himself has done, all from the pulpit of FBC Jacksonville and at Southwestern Seminary and Criswell College and at other preaching gigs. There the Watchdog goes again, defying "Biblical Authority". But seriously, perhaps someone reading this will comment on how this blog defies "Biblical Authority", with a capital "B" and capital "A".
Now the third charge:
C. You have accused First Baptist Church members of dishonesty and lack of good character, without factual substantiation.
Hmmm....which members has the Watchdog accused of "dishonesty and lack of good character". The Watchdog has said that Mac Brunson has lied from his pulpit. The Watchdog has said that Mac has displayed a "lack of good character" in accepting a $300,000 land gift and then telling us "I'm paying for that house" as an explanation while his pastoral guidebook cautions pastors against accepting gifts...and other general things about Mac that display "lack of good character". That is true, the Watchdog HAS done that. But as far as "factual substantiation" (sure sounds like lawyer-speak, and not very "ecclesiastical") this site has provided "factual substantiation" through the words of Mac Brunson himself, and publically available documents. Are there other FBC Jax members that have been accused by the Watchdog as being dishonest without factual substantiation?
D. You have accused First Baptist Church members of ignorance because they did not and do not adhere to your view of things.
Help us out here, readers...what does this mean? That heated debate on a blog is sinful? Mac himself from the pulpit regularly accuses HIS OWN MEMBERS of being ill-informed and ignorant, not knowing when to "amen", too stupid to be able to handle a raise...he even said we were a "hotbed of legalism" - even suggests that we shouldn't read many of the books he himself reads because they get us scared. For Mac and his discipline committee to bring a charge against the Watchdog for demeaning things said about FBC Jax church members is absolutely laughable, when taking into considering the things Mac himself has said about his own sheep from the megachurch pulpit heard around the world on TV and the Internet - and when Mac preaches out of town when he THINKS we aren't listening.
That's a starter. We'll look at the rest over this weekend and hit the ground running next week as we discuss the FBC Jax bylaw changes of December 2007.
Happy New Year Everyone!
Long before any letter was sent to the ACUSSED, SUPPOSED WATCHDOG. Mac Brunson SHOULD HAVE GONE TO THE MAN. A Sunday should not have passed before Mac was at the mans doorstep.
Matthew 5:23-24 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught [something] against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Matthew 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him ALONE: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
AND MAC, if the man SINNED AGIANST YOU, how many times should you forgive him? JESUS SAID until seventy times seven.
Regardless of the BYLAWS MAC, THE SCRIPTURES FIND YOU GUILTY OF NOT FOLLOWING GOD'S METHOD OF RECONCILIATION.
Mac Brunson, ask Maurilio if it is not so.
Mac, are you guilty of CHANGING GOD'S BYLAWS?
Why would one advocate that Mac go to anyone if offended but not advocate that WD go to the one who has offended him?
Do the verses you quote only apply to one side of this divide?
Mac goes to the alter and: rememberest that thy brother [Watchdog] hath aught against thee,
Mac: leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother [Watchdog], and then come and offer thy gift.
More over Mac: if thy brother[Watchdog] shall trespass against thee, go; and tell him his fault between thee and him ALONE: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Get the order right jle!
You tell me who Jesus was talking to on that occasion? Jesus never said you apostles get behind me I am only going to talk to these folks that have come to see me.
No, Jesus was talking to ALL of them and that included APOSTLES AND PASTORS. Pastors are not excluded.
Mac if you truly know who Watchdog is GO TALK TO HIM. Set things right. Then move on.
I have been around GOOD PASTORS FOR YEARS WHO DO NOT CONSIDER THEMSELVES ABOVE GOING TO A BROTHER AND TALKING THINGS OVER.
Mac's problem is that he thinks that he will never talk to anyone who disagrees with him and his MISSION.
jle brother, we have here at FBCJAX A PASTOR WHO IS A CONTROL FREEK. He has set up the bylaws so that he can't be touched. He leads by intimidation. He accuses people of things that are not true. He refuses to do right.
Pray for us jle.
I believe that "defiance of Biblical Authority" in this context does not mean denying the authority of the Bible, or refusing to follow its teachings, but rather it means standing against the authority specified in the Bible. That is, in essence, they are accusing the Watchdog of refusing to follow the will of the Pastor. Further, they are saying the Watchdog advocates that others do the same. The phrase "believed by Baptists generally and First Baptist Church specifically" means that most Baptist churches, including FBCJ, believe that the Bible teaches that the pastor is the ruler (authority) over the rest of the congregation and is, as such, to be obeyed.
That's what I took it to be saying, anyway. Based on Mac's words and actions, and those of many other pastors in SBC churches today, I believe my interpretation to be correct. Based on my understanding of Scripture, however, I believe that the commonly held concept of pastoral authority is not at all what the Bible teaches. There is no inherent authority in a so-called "office" of pastor/elder/overseer; rather, people willingly follow the guidance, advice, and instruction of those who have demonstrated themselves to be more spiritually mature. The concept of "Biblical Authority", meaning "Pastoral Authority", is a modern day myth -- one that is perpetuated by the pastors who most benefit from that belief, and one willingly and blindly accepted by those who would rather not think for themselves but would instead rather follow a set of rules and do's and dont's handed down by another human than develop the spiritual maturity, discernment, and intimate relationship with God necessary to follow the personal leadership of the Holy Spirit.
Hmmm... could jle = Jon L. Estes? Not accusing, just wondering.
in jle's defense. WD can only control himself not others and each one of us can only control ourself and we are only responsible to God for ourself. So when we don't do what we expect others to do. Good luck telling God, "Well they didn't do what they should have done" not sure that excuse is going to fly. Since based on these post Mac is doing what he should and WD is not doing what he should (both not confronting a brother but instead using other means of man's great wisdom to bring about resolution) I guess all of us on the outside looking in can be thankful we are just that!
I for one, NEVER intend to FOLLOW a "loose cannon" preacher!!! That's what people in cults do. Especially when same preacher sets up a set of rules (by-laws) that he delibertly keeps hidden from the general congregation. How does he intend people to obey something they have never seen or had explained to them? Same rules (by-laws) are just to be used as a CONTROL mechanisim by said "loose cannon" preacher. If people don't see that then their isn't much hope for this church, in my opinion. I don't know about you all, but I am under NO Ones control but that of Jesus Christ Himself, and the last time I looked that would not be this preacher. So much for pastoral authority. Like all authority, if misplaced it can certainly be misused.
Your 4:41 post... I think it to be right on.
Therefore it further begs a question, (in my mind anyway) maybe two, well, probably more.
When was the point in time when some Baptists decided to submit to any spiritual authority less than the Holy Spirit, and so disregard His indwelling within our very souls? And why would that happen in the first place?
How is it that some have believed that a pastor or deacon or elder or whoever, has more authority than the Holy One has within us?
That belief is nothing less than blasphemy.
Well, if we are going continue to play that dangerous game, then let's not do things half way. Forget about being Baptists, and forget all Protestantism.
Why not give away the priesthood that God gave the believer? Let someone other than the One who saved you and indwells you tell you know what the Scriptures, His words to us "really" say, especially about "authority". Does that make any sense at all?
The "authority issue" isn't one.
There is One authority. The fact that it seems an issue is in itself but a big delusion.
But many yet believe the delusion.
So I will say that this big delusion may be complex at times, yet it has a simple solution...it seems a matter of lazy discipleship...which leads to forgetting who the Lord actually is. And I think it is exactly that and nothing more complicated than that. Know what? Shame on us. Our laziness is how spiritual abusers get their opportunity.
In our spiritual lethargy, we give these people false status when all authority belongs to God only.
I don't buy it Brother. Mac doing what he should do and Watchdog not doing what he should do.
We hold Mac to a higher standard. He should know how to go to his brother when there is a problem. Since when are pastors exempt from going to a fellow church member? Is this some new Calvinistic doctrine? Mac is without excuse.
Pastors should know by now that these modern methods that pastors are employing are causing more problems than they ever had. They know they are guilty of implementing worldly growth techniques. You can see it on their face.
There would not be a need for a Watchdog if The Brunsons of the world would not seek MARKET METHODS TO PLEASE MAN. Pastors get so wrapped up in this seeker friendlyism that they become the examples of the lost instead of the model of the righteous.
Sorry 8:23, Mac stands guilty as charged.
Junkster and Anon.11:44... Agree completely. You hear more about pastoral authority, out of these "running scared control freaks", than you hear about the preisthood of the believer. My Bible teaches preisthood of the believer. This authority business is a man made tool to gain control of the people. Scare people who don't know their Bible into submission and you can do anything you want. How eaisly man gives over to man, while resisting the things of God. When some one stands in the pulpit using bully tactics, demanding your money, demeaning you, practicly yelling at the congregation in anger to comply, then that's when my inner Spirit tells me that man is "out of line" and I am not about to follow him. I am just amazed that so many do!!
When they eliminated the church training hour classes it was just a matter of time until the average pew warmer became spiritually dull. So dull now that they can't discern and evalutate Biblically what is going on at the church.
Was the death of CLU a calculated move? Who knows? It sure seems to be a key in bringing the congregation to where it is now. Those believers who wanted more from their church than mediocrity moved to churches where their families would still receive Bible training. We get very little of that now. Only a few minutes in the Sunday morning classes and none any other time unless you PAY to take the certified courses.
Soooooo... in the long run trimming the church attendance down to those who will do what Dr. Brunson wants no matter if it seems to be unBiblical ie: selling commercials during PC, telling pastors in a book to do one thing while he does just the opposite appears to be almost accomplished. Very few who expect a high standard.
Hey Discipline Committee!! Listen up! How about going through church this Sunday a.m. and writing up all the ladies who don't know how to cover up their cleavage??? They are producing daughters who don't know how to cover up their cleavage! They are creating stumbling blocks for their brothers and setting a poor example for the young ladies in the fellowship on how to dress modestly. I think my Bible does still say that women are to dress modestly.
7:11. How Right Your Are!! Like you, my Bible states "study to show yourself approved of God a worker that should not be ashamed. As a Christian, each of us are to study the scriptures, not rely on some speaker who probably knows less than some of us as to what the Bible really says. In particular, how to treat one another. Just because some man knows Greek does not make his grasp of the Bible any greater than other saved individuals, whether he be pastor, deacon, or elder.We have the Holy Spirit within us to aid us in understanding His Word. That is why it says "study to show THYSELF approved". That's why God gave us the Bible so that we can search the scriptures for they are truth. Pilate asked a good question "what is truth". The Bible is truth, as it is the very Word of God...all of it, every Word comes from God. That's why we must read it, study it, and practice it correctly. Most good pastors will tell you to read the bible for yourself, as they are not infalliable in their sermons (understanding or interpertation). The priesthood of the believer is relevant in our day and age due to so many deceivers. We are commanded in the bible to reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. They either want your money, time, or your praise. The large egos within the church are staggering!!!! This is one of the reason there is a falling away (last church age). Men will be lovers of themselves. Note: lovers of themselves not you..a church member, a neighbor, or co-worker. Talk about a dead church!!
When some man or a small group of men, for their own benefit, set themselves up as THE authority...LOOK OUT....you will hear and see error. These errors sometimes involve, how to deal with others that don't think like he/they do. This is dangerous because he/they then are the "experts" and the authority on how things should be. Once he/they commence this activity, unbrideled and uncontrolled, there is no limit to what abuse may occur. No wonder church memberships are falling. People had rather stay home rather than attend and listen to this tripe. Much less "pay" for it. It's so nauseating that God doesn't even like hearing it.
In I Tim 4:1-3, the last days are characterized by the world system taking over and demonic activities creating apostacy on a worldwide basis. Humanism and total disregard for Bibilical truth will give rise to occult and evil philosophies. Just look at how the media spits out its venom against Christians and Jews. It's growth into the school systems has been phenominal since 1954. On every front the evil of socialism has been slowly inching into our homes, government, and now our form of capitalism. Is it any wonder than Satan will have total control during these end days? It's got to get worse before the Rapture....Christians are being attacked on every front, yet the church is silent. It is also ordered to be silent by the government...the great lie out of Hell "seperation of church and state". The ten commandments are no longer to be tolerated. Justice for the victim is hardly noticed. Criminals get a pass and then repeatedly go in and out of jail. Their rights are protected at all cost even when they are caught on video tapes!!!
It's time the church quit playing softball and went back to playing hardball. Jesus declared that the gates of hell shall not prevail against His church. So why are so many pastors still into baby food??. Watch out for the ones who want authority over you, all the while telling you that they are your pastoral authority It's for your own good don't you know. Money is the root to all evil. And unfortunately this is the yardstick many pastors live by. There are some Godly preachers in this world still preaching Gods word and NOT FOR GAIN. Other than to reach souls for Jesus Christ. But these Godly men are dwindling fast. We may not know who they are, but Jesus knows them!! I pray for these good Godly men and I pray against the money, power and ego types in many pulpits today. They are truly apostates.
Jesus Christ can come at any moment as all the signs are in place...the cradle of His birth, death and resurrection, Jerusalem, is the key to the final war and it could begin at any second. That's why the Lord said "watch and pray". Even so come quickly Lord Jesus.
11:44, that is only part of the problem but most only to look at the wrong Mac is doing or being accused of doing.
It is obvious from this blog that WD has been offended by Mac. The scripture clearly teaches what should be done in such cases and I don't find anywhere public airing of your grievances a biblical solution.
My comment was to make it known that to demand Mac step up and visit WD is fine and correct (but WD says Mac does not know who he is - so how do you expect Mac to do this) and yet to refuse to support that WD should go to his pastor when wronged is hypocritical.
If the time line demonstrated on this blog, since its conception is right, then WD was offended long before Mac was. When is this mature spirituality from WD going to be demonstrated? Only when Mac repents, leaves...?
Asking anyone to be spiritual when refusing to be spiritual yourself is wrong.
Any reason which negates WD's responsibility to go to Mac, goes against scripture.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PASTORAL AUTHORITY IN THE BIBLE. A PASTOR IS TO BE A SERVANT. HE IS NOT THE LORD. HE IS TO LOVE THE BRETHREN, ALL OF THEM, WARTS AND ALL. IF HE DOESN'T, HE SHOULD LEAVE THE CHURCH AS HE IS UNFIT TO SERVE. IF HE WANTS TO BE AN EARTHLY LORD, LET HIM OPEN HIS OWN BUSINESS AND DEPART, NOT ONLY FOR HIS PEACE OF MIND, BUT THE CHURCH AS WELL. DICTATORS ARE IN CHARGE OF GOVERNMENTS, BUT NOT THE CHURCH!!
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