Last night Jim Smyrl gave a sermon on the book of third John, much of it dealing with gossipers in the church, and what should be done with them. He used the man "Diotrephes" from 3 John 9-10 as his text:
9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
Smyrl applied this to gossipers in the church and defined gossip as this: causing one believer to doubt the integrity and intent of another believer, causing one believer to doubt the sincerity or passion of another believer. Jim said based on his 20+ years as pastor, the sin of Diotrephes is the great sin hindering Baptist churches today. So Jim's standard of gossip is pretty low - not "lies" about people, just if you're calling into question someone's integrity or passion. Wow...then he and Mac are guilty of that just about every single week from the pulpit.
Jim went on to declare that not just gossipers are dividing the church, but people that listen or read "gossip" are just as guilty as the gossiper. Not if they spread the gossip, but just reading or listening to it is bad. He said in fact if you read "gossip" you are just as much a divider of the church as the person who originates it. Hmmm....so simply listening to someone gossip is dividing the church. Really? On what basis, Jim?
Jim addresses those who might respond by saying that "gossip" is "important information that we need to know"...Jim says something to the effect of "Really? Does it [the 'information'] stir you to be like Jesus? Does it cause you to walk in godliness?" Well, if there are problems in the church and you're reading about them or listening to someone express concerns about the church, no, that doesn't cause me to walk in godliness exactly. But that doesn't mean I'm dividing the church by listening and using my brain to be a discerning consumer of information. Using Jim's standard we must never read the newspaper or watch TV because it does not cause us to walk in godliness.
Again, cultic tendencies. Jim can't stand for people at FBC Jax to be confronted with facts about what is happening at the church. He is using this scripture to intimidate his listeners into not even listening or reading about information that might call into question the integrity of another Christian. He wants people who might listen to another Christian express concern about our church, or those who might happen upon this website, to think they are guilty of dividing the church just by taking that information in. Cultic, Jim.
Jim gave I think a partial view of who Diotrophes was and what was his position and standing in the church. Commentators on this passage on Diotrophes say that he was not some lay person just calling into question the integrity of another as Jim said. In fact Diotrophes was likely a leader, a very prominent man in the church. John says he was a very prideful man. He wanted to be first. He put his concerns and desires first. In fact he wanted power so much that he put certain Christians out of the church that he might have to share power with. He wanted the church to do what HE wanted it to do. In his quest for power, he walked over people. He used his power and position in the church to put down other people, to slander them and tell lies about them. He has split the church, pitting believers against one another. Imagine a church leader who would do all of those things? Unimaginable, right? An out of control leader like this? One who the people in the church are unwilling to stand up to? A bully that must be stopped because no one in the church is willing to stop him?
Well, John was saying in effect...if you guys won't stop this abusive leader, I'll come in and do it, and confront him, and let everyone know of his sin. Apparently those in the church were powerless, and/or unwilling, to hold their leader accountable for his abuses. Huh, imagine that.
Sorry to have to say it, but Mac Brunson fits the mold of a Diotrophes more so than those who are expressing concern over the abuses at our church (that Jim would classify as "gossipers"). Mac is the one who accepted a land gift and never told us and put his family on staff and built a million dollar home and had a pastor's suite constructed in our Children's Building. "...but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them..." It was Mac and his trustees that changed our bylaws changing conditions of membership and transferring power to the pastor and his trustees. Its Team Brunson first, like Diotrephes. "Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth"
Mac is the one who week after week whips his congregation with his anger and his criticism and his condescension and accusations. We have endured the wrath of Mac calling us a "hotbed of legalism", "worshipers of the past", and we've listened to Paige Patterson characterize the FBC Jax treatment of Mac as wanting to "kill him" when he first came. "prating against us with malicious words..." Mac is the one using his power and his position to slander Sheri Klouda from the pulpit and never apologize. Jim Smyrl was the one telling us about blasphemous self promotion at FBC Dallas, it was Jim who called Catholic Priests "cult leaders" (ok, we'll give him a pass since he doesn't consider them Christians so its OK to call into question their integrity), and Jim: IT WAS YOU WHO LAST WEEK POSTED ON YOUR BLOG CALLING INTO QUESTION THE INTEGRITY OF THOM RAINER, THE HEAD OF LIFEWAY. Come on, Jim, at least if you're going to be that narrow about what gossip is, live by your own standard or confess when you've violated it.
Mac and his Trustees are the ones issuing trespass warnings to put people out of the church and treating several of our former staff members very poorly as they were dismissed. "...neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church."
So good people of FBC Jax, you have to be very discerning these days when you listen to sermons by Mac Brunson and Jim Smyrl. Do your own research into what they say. Measure their words from the pulpit against their own words and actions, and as Mac has taught us, look at historical context, the whole picutre. And consider their biases they have toward protecting their own power in the church.
And don't be afraid to listen to, or read criticism of your church and its leaders. Ask the members of Trinity Baptist Church and Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church.
Good one, WD. You turned the tables on Mac and Jim.
There has to be accountability. Either here on earth or in heaven...if we fail to remove those that are bad leaders or at least attempt to show them they are the problem well at least we are not at fault. People are afraid to confront their leaders today for all types of reason. Being branded a troublemaker, getting a raise, fired, or not being part of the in crowd, etc.
A great leader is one that can appreciate open opinions about his/her policies and practices. A bad leader is one that believes he/she is always right and not to be questioned. This type of person will always destroy what good may have been possible without them.
The bible is clear on Diotrephes..he was the leader...he was the one who decided who could attend church and who could not.He also pit one member against another... John said not to follow that which is evil but that which is good and named Devetrius as one who was good in the 12th verse in order to contrast the two individuals. Note John had written another letter explaining his position. John was the Watchdog in this situation. He did not like what was transpiring in the church and intended on doing something about it. What he intended was probably in that missing letter.
We all make mistakes, it takes a big man to admit he was wrong. When he doesn't he remains a "little" man. And continues to ruin everything he touches.
Does Anyone know why the FBC Website, for prayer sheet, has not been updated since January 21,2009?
I am just apalled at how Mac and Jim preach on the very same things that they themselves do. It used to be just Mac, but now Jim is doing the very same.
He defines "gossip" as any talk or written word that calls into question the integrity of another Christian. But that is precisely what Smyrl does. That is precisely what Deb Brunson did in staff meetings calling into question the integrity of Wade Burleson. Its precisely what Mac did with Sheri Klouda last year saying she admitted her lawsuit against Patterson was "wrong".
Just last week at the South Campus Mac again went after John Maxwell (not using his name, but referring to a very famous former preacher who left the ministry to become a motivational speaker - gee, I wonder who that is)...and Mac declares that this man was going against God's call to preach. Mac said "God called that boy to preach" and not be a motivational speaker. Mac preceded this by saying "I probably shouldn't say this, but...." So that is Mac calling into question this man's motives and integrity - that he went against God's call to preach. Maybe the man realized God did NOT call him to preach any longer, and thus he is in God's will by NOT preaching!! But no, Mac knows all, he can determine what God's call is on John Maxwell. And he knows Sheri Klouda's thoughts on her own lawsuit...he used facts given to him by Patterson's lawyers and repeated them to his congregation, and they turned out to be FALSE.
Mac stood before the students at SWBTS and Criswell College last year and he called into question the integrity of Mrs. Truett and Mrs. Criswell. Isn't that gossip, Jim?
So who is the gossiper, Jim? Who is being divisive, Jim? Who is calling into question the integrity of other Christians, Jim? Am I a gossiper right now, by calling into question your integrity by calling into someone else's integrity even though you preach that we shouldn't listen to people who call into question someone's integrity?
Love this "Theology Driven" ministry.
Christa Brown of Stop Baptist Predators has a new post:
Leaders at First Baptist Church of Jacksonville pushed through some bylaws that institute a process for any member who has a “grievance” against the church, its pastor or staff. As reported on a watchdog blog, the process involves (1) Matthew 18 reconciliation, followed by (2) arbitration with the Florida Baptist Convention.
But that’s not all. After setting up this process, the FBC-Jax leaders put on their steel-toe boots and delivered this kicker of a clause:
"By joining this Church, all members agree that biblical conciliation efforts shall provide the sole remedy for any dispute arising against the Church. All members waive the right to file any legal action against the Church in a civil court or agency."
WD said..."Just last week at the South Campus ...."
How is the new satellite location? Isn't it at a school cafeteria?
There appears to be NO Spiritual Discernment evident at FBCJ. None with the people, none with the leadership. The people did not bring about the problems at FBCJ, but they have allowed them to continue. The problems did not exist largely, until present leadership took over. This was a Christ centered church (during the Lindsay era), until it was taken over by "special interest". As to preachers, preaching about exactly what they do, I have watched them do that for years. Why do you think they are such "authorities"?
Sometimes God lets people have what they want. This may be the case at FBCJ. If the Spiritual Discernment is not there, and the people are too weak to stand for anything, then don't be suprised at what you get.
Again, same question. How many have truly been saved from the satellite ministry. How many have joined the church?
Anytime a church takes the position of throwing members out because they disagree with whomever you no longer have a church....you have a CULT!!
My bible says that those who want the preeminence while they may be first down here on earth they could be last in Heaven. Those that are last down on earth will be first in Heaven. Take your pick.
I found your website by accident - I am very sorry that I did. You, FBC Watchdog are not upholding the standards of Jesus, You are tearing apart His Bride with YOUR deceitfulness and hardness of heart.
It is people like you who are destroying the mission of Jesus in America. I know that you believe that you are in the right, sir, but I suggest that you
REPENT! REPENT OF YOUR BLINDNESS - YOUR HARDNESS OF HEART. REPENT FOR TEARING APART THAT WHICH GOD WILL USE FOR HIS GLORY.
It seems to me that you, sir, have believed the lie. You believe that you are upholding God's will but seem to have roots in that you don't agree with the direction of the church. I bet if we could see deep enough we would find that much of your problem has to do with cultural preference over biblical mandate.
Your means of doing that is by tearing down a man called by God. I recall David passing up the opportunity to kill Saul because, even though Saul was no longer the chosen King of Israel, David knew that Saul was God's anointed. David respected the king after the king no longer deserved respect (he threw a spear at David). How is your situation more special than David's?
Watchdog, I hope that you will repent of bringing a pharisaical spirit into the family of FBC Jax. Your church deserves better than that.
I hope you will repent of bringing a judgmental and pharisaical spirit to this blog.
You did not just happen upon this blog by accident; you deliberately want us to believe you truly want the best for FBCJ, you would not know the situation from an "accidental" vantage.
Also, do not post with CAPS. Shows your anger at the Watchdog trying to expose injustices and wrong-doings you supposedly would not have knowledge of without in-depth and ongoing insight.
Anonymous 8:20. Can you explain what you mean by "cultural preference rather than a bibilical mandate" more specifically? I would like to read in the scriptures exactly what you are trying to say. Thank you.
Anonymous 8:20. Have you read any of the facts of this case. They speak for themselves. Are the abuses which Watchdog list important enough for you or should they just be swept under the rug of "he's Gods man". Have some spiritual discernment on what Watchdog has brought to everyones attention rather than just saying he is in need of repentance!!
anon 8:20 - Let's see: Team Brunson is raping and pillaging the church that was handed over to them, building family and personal wealth, private brand building of Team Brunson, and sheep stealing via million dollar marketing and promotion via TV ads and the A-group....and the WD is blogging about it. So which of the above things really bothers YOU the most? Nothing Mac Brunson has done. You are ONLY concerned with the blogging part?
This makes no sense to me. But it makes the blog even more necessary that there are people like you, thousands like you, who follow blindly and give blindly.
Without you, these millionaire rock star celebrity preachers and their families would have to do real ministry and actually sacrifice to serve the humble Lord Jesus. You finance their arrogance and programs. And yet you are upset with one solitary blogger. Amazing stupidity. Which is what Brunson and Smyrl captilize on. They say they know you can't read critically, yet they are scared you will read this blog and your eyes will be opened, they are afraid giving will drop, and so they preach against gossip and form discipline committees.
Their focus is not on reaching the lost. It is on keeping generous Christians blinded to their fleecing. It is on themselves and what they are doing. As long as there are people like you, people who will ignore their antics and yet focus on a blogger, people who will keep giving them their dollars, then these men will continue to operate with no accountability or transparency.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus.
The Watchdog is "God's Man." God called him to blog. Proof: he has suffered persecution, he has been attacked, and he has not gained financially one cent for his ministry. Now, if he were receiving large gifts, drawing a huge salary, taking your money with no accountability, putting his family on staff, yelling at you each week, asking you for millions of dollars and lying and slandering about Wade Burleson, Sheri Klouda and others, than we might clearly see that he is NOT really God's man. But as it is, my spiritual discernment tells me that the WD IS God's man and people that do the things above are NOT! Thank you.
Anonymous 8:20..Please spell out the deceit. WD has listed what he believes are inconsistencies by a pastor shepherding the flock. Would you list the deceits one by one so we can see your points?
Anon 8:20. Do you attend FBC? Have you ever been there?
"leader[s] from hell" resisters
Watchdog Rick Warren thinks you are an evil person.
Here is a past report about resisters of the Purpose Driven movement. Readers like Anon 8:20 classify people who expose PD leader for what they are and do as evil people. Not a part of the bride of Christ.
Mac Brunson is like Anon 8:20 in that they twist scripture. I do remember David, in all of his great qualities, was still a murderer. Mac and Rick think they can do anything they want; after all look what David did and didn't God still love him?
I guess we are just evil people to say anything against liers. They want us to die or leave.
Anon. 8:20..... Well, we know what happened to Saul. Now as to the abuses at FBCJ, and the "celebrity, money making preachers" abounding today. Guess what their "agenda" is? Right ....celebrity and money. There is an expression that ignorance is bliss. I would counter that ignorance is STUPID. The Lord said.."I would not have you ignorant brethren". In the last days, man (and woman) will believe a lie. If celebrity, money making preachers and their "enablers", can just keep enough people in "ignorance" then they can keep themselves in "clover". What institution do you think has the most to lose if people know too much about them? What institution has the devil feared in the past. Right, God called REAL preachers that preached the Gospel and the shed Blood of Jesus Christ!!! So, what institution do you think the devil would TRY to destroy. What would he try to counterfeit? What is our (Christians) job? Tell people the truth!!!!! Watchdog IS showing us the EVIDENCE of abuses. We determine the validity of such evidence. So far the evidence is 100% accurate. If he made accusations without the evidence then there would be a problem. But he has presented EVIDENCE, sometimes in the preachers own voice.....So remember this...When people have their head in the sand, their posterior is in the air. And that is a much larger target.
Qoute::"I found your website by accident - I am very sorry that I did. You, FBC Watchdog are not upholding the standards of Jesus, You are tearing apart His Bride with YOUR deceitfulness and hardness of heart"...WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!..ANON 8:20pm..Please feel free to mix in something COHERENT when and if you respond again.
Anon 8:20..Get your facts straight. It was not the throwing of the spear. It was the fact that Saul disobeyed God in not putting all the witches to death and going to one that led to his downfall and ultimate death.
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