2 Samuel 16:9,11 - "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head...let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord hath bidden him."

Matthew 7:15 - “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Matthew 24:11 - “…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Watchdog Gets His Own Stained Glass

This is one of my favorite posts, an April Fool's Day post from 2014,  and with all the discussion of Patterson and Pressler recently I felt compelled to repost it. Enjoy.
Paige Patterson has announced that one of the 70 stained glass windows to be installed in the new J.W. MacGorman Chapel at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will feature the "old recalcitrant fleabag", FBC Jax Watchdog.

The window will feature a round, forward-facing, medallion-style inscription of the Watchdog with a slightly protruding tongue to represent his tireless efforts in blogging about important matters in the SBC and modern evangelicalism. The inscription on the window will read "He blogged from his mother's basement", with a beautiful oval globe to represent the Watchdog's world-wide outreach and to honor how God can use even a seemingly insignificant blogger to spread the truth to so many who need to hear it - all over the world.

The inscription of "He blogged from his mother's basement" is a reference to Ergun Caner and others who have unfairly criticized bloggers as being "frustrated people blogging from their mother's basements." Some have even accused bloggers of writing blogs in their underwear, which the Watchdog has vehemently denied since as he says "..dogs don't generally wear undergarments."

Already there have been nine of the windows installed in the chapel, including W.A. Criswell baptizing a man in the Jordan River while wearing a well-pressed blazer and tie, O.S. Hawkins and his wife, Rick Warren (shown at right), Charles Stanley, Andy and Joan Horner, and Huber Drumright, Jr.

SWBTS student reaction to the announcement of the new FBC Jax Watchdog window was mixed. One student said that no troublemaker like the Watchdog should be inscribed in stained glass - while another student - who wished to remain anonymous - said "Well, I guess if they're going to give a window to Andy Horner and Huber Drumright and Dottie Riley - none of whom I've ever heard of - why not the FBC Jax Watchdog for all he has done to hold misbehaving churches and pastors accountable in the 21st century?"

When asked why the Watchdog would be given such an honor, Patterson said he respects the Watchdog's blogging efforts and his tenacity to endure trials and hardships and efforts to "shut him down", even though he said with a hearty chuckle, "The old fleabag recalcitrant has busted my chops a few times over the past 7 years." Watchdog first wrote about Paige Patterson in 2007 when Patterson called Watchdog and others at his home church "recalcitrants" in the old SWBTS chapel for attacking the "man of God". Watchdog also wrote in 2008 about the Sheri Klouda firing at SWBTS and some of the public statements made by prominent SBC preachers.

The exact location of the FBC Jax Watchdog window within the chapel is yet to be determined. Patterson said it will likely be in the Ergun Mehmet Giovanni Caner Center for Truth in Debating, or perhaps in the window above the last stall in the men's bathroom on the 2nd floor.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Fraudulent Authority: Pastors Who Seek to Rule Over Others - A Must Read

Two years ago, Wade Burleson published a book entitled "Fraudulent Authority: Pastors Who Seek to Rule Over Others".  As readers of this blog know, Wade Burleson is a pastor in Oklahoma who reached out to me about 10 years ago when things got a little "rocky", and he was a great help to me and my family during that time period.

Wade's "web blog" back in the 2005 time frame was one of the first "blogs" that was used to expose some shady activities in the Southern Baptist Convention. His boldness in daring to publicly write about his disagreements over significant doctrinal decisions impacting missionaries of the SBC International Mission Board got him into hot water with the heavies (bullies) in the SBC, leading to him eventually resigning his position on the board. But Wade believed it was his moral obligation to shine a light on what was being done behind closed doors at the IMB and adversely affecting many missionaries.

Wade was a trailblazer - who would have thought that someone could use the Internet to bypass the media and the church elites to get his message out to the regular church pew sitter, unfiltered?  How else could Grandma Betty in Podunk Baptist Church find out what the IMB was up to, using the money she gave? Wade did, and others, including this blogger, used "webblogs" or "blogs" to get a message out directly to the pew sitter, at virtually no cost and with no filters and absolutely zero control of the religious leaders. Blogs became a tool to expose misdeeds and frauds in the church - like Ergun Caner found out, 10 years after he perpetrated his "I was raised to do that which was done on 11 September" fraud.

Also, readers will recall how Wade called out the terrible treatment of Sheri Klouda, the seminary professor at Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary, who was fired by Paige Patterson because, well, she was guilty of the awful "offense" of being a woman who was teaching men at a seminary. I wrote several articles regarding the Klouda controversy as it spilled over into the topics relevant to this blog at the time.

But Wade's book "Fraudulent Authority" is a must-read for baptists who take seriously their church membership. Much of what is taught in Southern Baptist churches - especially in mega churches - regarding the position of "pastor" is not according to the bible. You owe it to yourself and your church to read this book. People are waking up to abuses in the church - not just sexual, but spiritual and financial. Don't keep your head in the sand. Inform yourself.

One of the interesting chapters of Wade's book is the one entitled "A Warning to Those Who Rule Over Others for Material Gain". This is an important chapter for members of mega churches where the pastor has ruled over the church and in the process has amassed a fortune for themselves and their family on the backs of the church. Here is an excerpt from that chapter:

"It is striking to discover that Jesus says very little about the corrupt Roman and Judean political leaders of his day.....Ironic, is it not, that modern evangelical preachers rail against and condemn President Obama [and] state governmental leaders...but there is an appalling silence when it comes to religious leaders who become rich off the tithes and offerings of God's people?"

Wade then goes on to explain that the parable of "The Rich Man and Lazarus" in Luke 16 is often used by pastors to tell the peeps that hell is real, and that those who don't let go of their riches in this world and give their tithes and offerings to their church might wake up one day and find themselves in hell begging for a drop of water.

But Wade points out that the "rich man" was not just some random rich man in Jesus' parable. He was Caiaphus the high priest, the equivalent to the modern day "man of God" who got filthy rich from his religious service.

Wade concludes the chapter by saying:

"The great problem of Jesus' day were religious leaders who controlled and dominated the people for their personal gain. The parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus is a warning today for any authoritarian religious leader who uses his position of authority for personal gain."

I say a hearty "Amen" to that.