"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Abuse of Authority: It Must Not Be Ignored

For the nearly four years of posting on Grace and Truth to You, it has been my intent to never say anything publicly that has not already been said personally and privately to the people involved. Everything I write has my signature attached, and other than minor grammatical errors that have been caught after posting, there has never been one post materially altered or removed out of the 750 posts that are in the archives. It's easy to stand by what you write when you know that your name is attached to it.

However, it has been my experience that some of my questions, including those that pertain to SBC trustee fidicuary responsiblities, the rationale behind SBC leadership decisions (i.e. the firing of Sheri Klouda, the censorship of Dwight McKissic's SWBTS chapel message, the pushing of doctrinal policies that exceed the BFM, etc . . .), and the demands by some SBC leaders that all conform to their tertiary ideological beliefs, have often gone unanswered privately. This has not kept me from then asking those same questions publicly. Asking questions for all Southern Baptists to read, important queries from my perspective, is not a practice that is liked by some SBC leaders. In my opinion, the hard ball tactics used against me by IMB trustee leaders is evidence that some don't take kindly to questioning "those in authority."

One of the reasons I have not commented on blog sites like FBC Jacksonville Watchdog or New BBC Open Forum is because these SBC brothers and sisters in Christ do not sign their names to what they write. It has been proven by others, in my mind quite definitively, that anonymous writing is at times necessary and beneficial. One can't help, however, to admire Southern Baptists Tiffany Croft, who signs her name to everything she writes, in her attempt to get a Southern Baptist sexual predator, a former SBC leader, behind bars. Tiffany has been critical of the unwillingness of certain SBC leaders to deal with the Darrel Gilyard crimes, but she signs her name to every post.

Having been clear about my preferences that Southern Baptists write what needs to be said and sign one's name to what is written, it is still quite disturbing to me to read the unfolding saga at FBC Jacksonville, Florida. Local Jacksonville law enforcement officers, former Florida circuit court judges, and other members of FBC, all friends of the pastor, seemed to have used secular Florida authorities to unethically and possibly illegally obtain subpoenas to reveal the identity and other private information of the owners of the FBC Jacksonville Watchdog and New BBC Open Forum and Tiffany Croft's blogs.

A local Jacksonville reporter is doing some background for a story that the newspaper will be running about this in the near future. It seems that someone in the Jacksonville Police department suggested to the reporter that the subpoenas were issued because there may be some kind of ongoing federal investigation into these blogs. I was asked yesterday what I thought of such a statement from the local Jacksonville police officer. I responded with two words.

"That's bull."

I've seen this kind of thing happen time and time again. Stupid decisions are made by certain leaders to try to "shut down" the person who is asking questions. Then, those same leaders go behind closed doors and allege the person asking questions is of corrupt character and if people really knew the whole story, then they would never doubt why "leadership" did what they did. In short, when leaders get "caught" using hard ball tactics to shut down dissent, they act as if things are really worse than they are - in order to cover themselves. I can assure you federal officials are more interested in terrorists seeking to destroy the United States than they are church members, annymous or not, who are asking questions that pertain to their pastor.

The sad part about the saga at FBC Jacksonville is that secular authorities have now been sucked into church politics. It seems to me that some people in the Jacksonville police department or court system could, at best, lose their jobs. At worst, there is the making of an enormous lawsuit for public officials abusing their authority to help friends. If you think public officials, particularly court judges and law enforcement officials, are beyond corruption, then you obviously haven't been following the the horrid story of the Pennsylvania judge who used his position for personal gain.

Whatever the case may be, and setting aside any problems within an SBC church that may be real or imagined, it is a sad day in America when the police and courts can be manipulated and used by a powerful church in the manner they seem to have been used in Jacksonville, Florida.

In His Grace,

Wade

82 comments:

Thy Peace said...

Amen.

Wow! I truly did not know, they went after NASS (New BBC Open Forum) too.

What a sad story.

Thy Peace said...

There are two judges who worked in tandem in the PA case:

Philly Inquirer > Convictions overturned in scandal

ALLENTOWN - Pennsylvania's highest court yesterday overturned hundreds of juvenile convictions issued by a corrupt judge who took millions of dollars in kickbacks from youth detention centers.
The state Supreme Court ruled that former Luzerne County President Judge Mark Ciavarella violated the constitutional rights of youth offenders who appeared in his courtroom without lawyers between 2003 and 2008.

In one of the most egregious cases of judicial corruption ever seen, federal prosecutors charged Ciavarella and another Luzerne County judge, Michael Conahan, with taking $2.6 million in payoffs to put juvenile offenders in privately owned lockups.

The judges pleaded guilty to fraud last month and face sentences of more than seven years in prison.

Lydia said...

I would advise watchdog not to worry with the media in Jacksonville. Most mega's have wined and dined the media in their city and we can see that by much of the favorable coverage of the Brunsons.

There are too many church members who may be advertisers that they cannot afford to offend.

Go to the Orlando Sentinel who wrote about Ligoneir suing an anonymous blogger. USA Today picked it up.

Another angle here is that many at FBC Jax have been saying this is no one's business who is not a member. But now we know FBC Jax made it our business since they went after BBC and Tiffany Croft, too.

What crimes do they say those two committed?

Thy Peace said...

I had originally assumed that the identity of Watchdog was found by surreptitious means, as in computer hacking. It appears, fbc jax leadership went the "legal" route.

Look at what happened to Dalai Lama and others, possibly by Chinese hackers, possibly by their government, though it's not proven.

NYT > Vast Spy System Loots Computers in 103 Countries

TORONTO — A vast electronic spying operation has infiltrated computers and has stolen documents from hundreds of government and private offices around the world, including those of the Dalai Lama, Canadian researchers have concluded.

In a report to be issued this weekend, the researchers said that the system was being controlled from computers based almost exclusively in China, but that they could not say conclusively that the Chinese government was involved.

The researchers, who are based at the Munk Center for International Studies at the University of Toronto, had been asked by the office of the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader whom China regularly denounces, to examine its computers for signs of malicious software, or malware.

Their sleuthing opened a window into a broader operation that, in less than two years, has infiltrated at least 1,295 computers in 103 countries, including many belonging to embassies, foreign ministries and other government offices, as well as the Dalai Lama’s Tibetan exile centers in India, Brussels, London and New York.

The researchers, who have a record of detecting computer espionage, said they believed that in addition to the spying on the Dalai Lama, the system, which they called GhostNet, was focused on the governments of South Asian and Southeast Asian countries.

Intelligence analysts say many governments, including those of China, Russia and the United States, and other parties use sophisticated computer programs to covertly gather information.

The newly reported spying operation is by far the largest to come to light in terms of countries affected.

This is also believed to be the first time researchers have been able to expose the workings of a computer system used in an intrusion of this magnitude.

Infection happens two ways. In one method, a user’s clicking on a document attached to an e-mail message lets the system covertly install software deep in the target operating system. Alternatively, a user clicks on a Web link in an e-mail message and is taken directly to a “poisoned” Web site.


Is it possible, that this story of fbc jax, is going beyond the church of fbcjax itself? Does it involve Bellevue and possibly SBC seminaries, if they orchestrated these hard ball tactics, against New BBC Open Forum, Tiffany Croft and possibly others?

Anonymous said...

Maybe the term 'hardball' is not strong enough for the severity of the actions of the B.I.

There are a lot of other terms that would certainly be more appropriate, but not on a public website.

The mildest would be 'satanic'.

Bob Cleveland said...

Anonymous 4:43,

I think that remark imprudent.

The Apostle Paul used the term "works of the flesh", and that seems an apt term for the things Rev. Burleson describes in the book. But labeling it "satanic" is misleading (i.e: someone serving satan) and is assuredly counterproductive to anybody's efforts to bring about positive changes.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Bob, I stand corrected.
Anon.

Thy Peace said...

Fbc Jax Watchdog > "The Subpoenas" - Unmasking the Baptist Bloggers Under Force of Law

Readers: at the link below you will see three subpoenas issued to Google last October by Detective Robert A. Hinson of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO), himself a long-time member of FBC Jacksonville, that were part of his investigation into the complaint filed by the First Baptist Church Jacksonville Church Administrator John Blount on September 29, 2008 about an "internet incident" that had "possible criminal overtones".

Subpoenas of the Baptist Bloggers

You will see that there are THREE subpoenas....one for this blog, and one for Tiffany Croft's blog (http://tiffanycroft.blogspot.com/), and one for the Bellevue Baptist Blog (http://newbbcopenforum.blogspot.com/).

The deacons were told in their 2/23/09 meeting that there may be an on-going federal investigation, having to do with mail fraud or other such crimes.


The above email fraud could possibly be because it appears, fbcjax leadership does not know how to send emails for a large group of people and hide their email lists. Example, see the comment here and above it.

Thy Peace said...

FBC Jax Watchdog said...
I think I stated it previously, but I wish to thank those Deacons and others at FBC Jax who let me know what lies were said about me in the 2/23/09 Deacon's meeting, that they were told not to repeat to anyone. Thank you very much to those people who shall forever remain anonymous.

If I hadn't been informed of the outright lies about me in that meeting involving stalking, taking pictures, and stealing mail, I would never have known to set about finding the investigation reports, the official trespass warnings filed by Blount with the JSO on 12/7 against my wife for her supposed "church misconduct", and I certainly wouldn't have ever thought to find subpoenas issued against myself and my fellow bloggers.

I asked my church to tell me the basis of the allegations against me numerous times. If they had found my identity through legal means, I wanted them to tell me. They would not. If there was some other side to this story that has yet to be told that would justify these actions, the church could have told me when I asked them for the basis of the allegations. Perhaps they would have told me if I had met the Discipline Committee, but I doubt it. I believe they never intended me to find out about these measures, but wished to find out who I was, punish and intimidate my wife and I into achieving the objective stated by Mac: shutting down the blog. And then smearing my name for good measure behind closed doors with 100 or so leaders of the church.

The plan to shut the blog down didn't work - so for my better or worse - God only knows what is coming my way next in all of this...and for better of worse of FBC Jax - we are where we are.

I will also add that Mac's repeated attempts to make himself the victim and his church and the "gossips" as the villains in all of this - read his blog and listen to his 3/22 a.m. sermon - are absolutely shameless. There are plenty of victims here, but I don't count Mac, the Senior Pastor of the church - as one of them.

MARCH 28, 2009 5:04 PM

Thy Peace said...

Fbc Jax Watchdog >"The Subpoenas" - Unmasking the Baptist Bloggers Under Force of Law

Yes, for some reason as a part of the investigation into the "internet incident" reported by John Blount, Detective Hinson needed to find the IP addresses and names, and addresses, and social security numbers, log in dates and times, user IDs, registration/login information, etc. for not only the blog about FBC Jax, but also two other blogs that have been critical of pastors and churches in the Southern Baptist Convention.

The obvious questions that would be asked by someone looking at this: Why did Detective Hinson need this information? What was the alleged crime he was investigating? What "internet incident" reported by John Blount required personal, federally protected private information of bloggers in order for him to determine if there was a crime or not? What did he find in the information from http://www.fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com/ subpoena that resulted in him issuing subpoenas to two other blogs critical of high-profile baptist preachers like Steve Gaines, Darrel Gilyard, and Paige Patterson? Tiffany Croft is quite disturbed, and understandably so, that her privacy may have been violated. She has ALWAYS blogged with her name and has nothing to hide. She believes this subpoena for her records, in a case that apparently has NOTHING to do with her blog, will only serve to scare people away from her site which was set up as a place where victims of Gilyard could communicate with others anonymously.

Alan Paul said...

When a church invites the scrutiny of secular courts by their actions, then the consequences of said secular investigations are deserved by said church in my opinion. Maybe something good will come out of it, like spiritual abusers being thrown out of the pulpit and out of the church - or at the very least, maybe they will be humiliated into behaving themselves. I doubt it, but maybe I will be proven wrong.

Just got your book in the mail today... can't wait to get into it.

Anonymous said...

What is going on in Jacksonville is damaging the integrity of Christianity in the eyes of those who do not know Him. Integrity is calling out unrighteousness and yet demonstrating mercy with that accountability. That is what the bloggers are doing and it si protected by the ist admendment. They could contact Jay Sekulow and the ACLJ for assistance on this issue.

Thy Peace said...

Christa Brown said...
Thy Peace: The only thing that surprises me is that anyone is surprised at this sort of stuff anymore... but of course, perhaps I've simply seen and heard too many big-bad-Baptist-business-as-usual stories over the past few years... way too many. And from what I hear, it's not the first time secular authorities in Jacksonville have been sucked into church politics.
March 28, 2009 3:47 PM

Anonymous said...

Scanning through the blog links and reading BBC issues with Brunson...it is quite frightening.

Anonymous said...

What is more frightening is the way that Brunson has influenced his followers to behave.

He certainly is a 'leader'.
But the church must know by now that great leadership in the wrong direction is worse than no leadership.

Yes, very disturbing narrative.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine contacted Bellsouth and asked them about this. They said that if they are presented with a civil subpeona they contact the person. If it is criminal, they don't.

Could this be why they went the criminal accusation route? To keep Watchdog from finding out?

And why bbcopenforum and tiffany croft accused of crimes? What ARE their crimes?

The investigation report said the crimes happened at a religious building. Does Debbie Brunson jog at church? Is their personal mail at church. And if it is true that she was stalked, where is her statement to the police when she reported this? It is not part of the investigation report. As a matter of fact, the Brunson's are not listed at all on the report.

That should concern the detective who wrote the report and is also a church member.

Anonymous said...

Does Watchdog have a possible law suit here?

New BBC Open Forum said...

From the initial JSO report:

"Incident occured inside this location ...124 West Ashley Street..What floor, what room, who was involved, who saw it, date, time, etc. This is very very weak!!!I for one believe these forms would have to be a little more precise than this."

Well, if we didn't know before, we now know that this is... excuse me, Wade... a load of crap! I've never set foot inside the state of Florida, much less FBC Jacksonville.

In almost 2 1/2 years of blogging, exactly TWO of the 164 posts on the NBBCOF to date have had anything to do with FBC Jacksonville -- one from January 2007 and a recent post recapping the FBC Jax "resolution."

I'm more inclined to think they targeted me because I've posted many of the Watchdog's documents and audio clips on the same server my documents are on. Anyone with half a brain could see the server website and the NBBCOF are likely somehow related. Perhaps they thought the Watchdog and I are the same person. (We're not BTW.) Unfortunately, whoever came up with this boneheaded plan didn't have half a brain.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Obviously Mac & Co. haven't read the Memphis newpapers in the past year. Did the story about the anonymous Memphis Police Department blogger that police chief Larry Godwin endeavored to shut down make the national news? He tried the same tack, and it backfired on him.

Commercial Appeal - July 22, 2008

Commercial Appeal - September 4, 2008

You can read the whole sordid story on the MPD Enforcer 2.0 blog. (Some content may be unsuitable for more sensitive readers.)

It starts here and continues in these blog posts.

Enforcer selects attorney

Willie speaks

Wanted!

Godwin addresses media

Blowing smoke

Calling all cars

Breaking news

Legal counsel

Larry is defeated

But this isn't the only precedent. A blogger named Frank Vance was unsuccessfully sued by Ligonier Ministries. You can read a recap of that case here.

If Mac doesn't want a big lawsuit on his hands and to bankrupt the church defending himself, I'd suggest he come clean now and back off. He's dug himself into a deep hole with this one right along with John Blount and Robbie Hinson. (Are you reading this, Steve Gaines and David Coombs?)

happy gram said...

"...it is neither safe nor honourable to act against conscience." Martin Luther

Anonymous said...

Who knows where this will go.

I have had one case where I had to help people get phone records, and it had to do with the possible theft of their dog. We did not go the route FBC Jax did, but the basic point is you have to present some information that causes the subpoena to be issued.

In another case, I was defending a private investigation agency for obtaining some phone records without the cell phone owner's authorization. They hired an independent contractor, who used his own chosen method - call the provider and act as if you are the owner of the phone number. That is not involved here either.

I doubt that the feds would have any interest in this based on what I know. The mail fraud statutes, however, are really drafted broadly. I have never had a mail fraud case, but one time when doing some research I read the statutes and was surprised how broad and sweeping they are. Still, I would be surprised if the feds had any interest in this church squabble.

Some of the information that may have been presented to authorities to cause the subpoenas to be issued is subjective (e.g. "I think someone is stalking me). Can't prove or disprove that.

I, too, don't understand the paucity of the information in the reports. I don't know how much investigative material is available to the public and whether any of it can be held back under some sort of a police investigation exception.

One thing I am confident of, however, is that the courts and police authorities do not take kindly to the abuse of process. If there was true abuse, it will be found out. If it's questionable, and could be looked at in 2 or 3 different ways, it will fall flat. But if there is abuse that can be proved, this will continue on.

I don't believe that churches nowadays have the kind of political capital to spike stories in most places. Most newspapers, even in large southern towns, have investigative reporters who could give rip about a local church. Heck, the religion writer in our town is the guy who is most hostile to churches.

Finally, I don't know one single member at this church. I don't know the officer or the Judge mentioned. One would think that people with that experience would be very careful about how they proceed.

The BBC forum guy, I think, gave a good explanation for the computer connection to him. I did not know who Tiffany Croft was when I read the story, and now that I do, I cannot understand why information would be sought about her.

It's still all a mystery to me now.

I have no predictions on this one, and as I have said before, it's usually not a very smart thing to predict the outcome of court cases. I do it for a living, and it's the toughest thing about my business.

Louis

Anonymous said...

BBC forum:

You are right. Churches that file lawsuits in these situations end up the losers. They are better off getting back to business - ministry.

They have the bully pulpit in most peoples' lives. They would do better to use it, and minister to people and ignore the negative things that are said about them.

Taking someone on the in the courts gives the individual large discovery powers (interrogatoires, depositions etc.) that they could not use without a lawsuit.

Louis

Christiane said...

LENTEN REFLECTION

A Poem by Isaac Watts

"So did the Hebrew prophet raise
The brazen serpent high,
The wounded felt immediate ease,
The camp forbore to die.

"Look upward in the dying hour,
And live," the prophet cries;
But Christ performs a nobler cure,
When Faith lifts up her eyes.

High on the cross the Savior hung,
High in the heav'ns he reigns:
Here sinners by th' old serpent stung
Look, and forget their pains.

When God's own Son is lifted up,
A dying world revives;
The Jew beholds the glorious hope,
Th' expiring Gentile lives."



". . . so shall the Son of Man
be lifted up " (St. John 3)

Robert said...

All,
It is my understanding that Ligonier never actually sued Frank Vance.
Unlike those who sued Paige Patterson et al!

Robert from Geneva

Anonymous said...

"It is my understanding that Ligonier never actually sued Frank Vance.
Unlike those who sued Paige Patterson et al!"

Ligoneir lawyers filed a motion (is it called an injunction?) to make him stop blogging but they did not know who he was. The court clerk was giving out the information and the phone was ringing off the hook!

Ligonier was using the 'Clinton' defense with donors who were outraged at this action, saying they had not 'filed a lawsuit'. But that was parsing.

The lawyers were quoted in USA Today that they would follow through with the suit if they could ever find him. You can google that article and the one in the Orlando Sentinel.

Ligoneir eventually fired Tim Dick, (Sproul's son in law) who was the president at the time. But during all this, many folks found out about their high on the hog lifestyle and nepotism.

New BBC Open Forum said...

You can read a summary of the story here. The Orlando Sentinel articles seem to be gone. I saw references to them in other articles, and the links don't work.

Anonymous said...

Here are the particulars from a media law site:

http://www.citmedialaw.org/threats/ligonier-ministries-v-vance#description

Anonymous said...

http://www.citmedialaw.org/sites/citmedialaw.org/files/2006-08-24-Lingonier%20Ministries's%20Complaint.pdf

The complaint they filed with the legal system. Is that taking someone to court?

Robert said...

BBC Open Forum,
I see even Frank Vance says that he was never sued.

I notice you did not respond about the Paige Patterson portion or Two rivers for that matter!

Robert from Geneva

Anonymous said...

"BBC Open Forum,
I see even Frank Vance says that he was never sued.

I notice you did not respond about the Paige Patterson portion or Two rivers for that matter!"

Neither one of those situations included a great theologian who WROTE a study bible that says christians should not go to the civil courts to settle matters. Sproul TEACHES THIS.

What do you call that PDF of a legal complaint Ligoneir filed in Orlando that I linked to? You are parsing like Clinton did because you want to find some out for your heroi. Ligonier TRIED TO SUE but could not find Frank Vance. What is the difference?

Anonymous said...

Wade,

It is sad to see you canonizing the malcontents in Memphis and Jacksonville. They already think they are saints of the highest order and you are sure pouring fuel on the fire.

Perhaps it would be better to actually hear some facts from the churches in question before you rush to judgment. I can assure you after reading both of these blogs for quite some time that I can use your same statement, "That's bull."

But then, you could wait forever for a statement from the churches since you aren't a member of their churches and it is none of your business. There is a hollow ring about your championing this bunch of troublemakers.

Bob Cleveland said...

For what it's worth, as respects lawsuits, in case someone hasn't mentioned it, the Alabama State Board of Missions is suing a group of homeowners in Montgomery, over a zoning issue. Check this: http://www.abpnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3956&Itemid=53

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

I understand firsthand that it is not comfortable nor pleasant to have things said about you that are untrue.

What I am saying is that you simply should go about your business, answer all questions and trust that your life and ministry answer all naysayers.

The hard ball approach, as Louis so eloquently articulates, never wins.

Thy Peace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thy Peace said...

" There is a hollow ring about your championing this bunch of troublemakers."

Who are not the troublemakers?

People who do not rock the boat, who go along quietly with whatever the authorities do to them. Who do not question.

Fbc Jax Watchdog: A definite troublemaker

New BBC Open Forum: A troublemaker

Tiffany Croft: A troublemaker

Christa Brown: A troublemaker

Pastor Wade: A big troublemaker

Thy Peace: A small time troublemaker

Moses: A big troublemaker

John the Baptist: A big troublemaker

Jesus Christ: Biggest of the troublemakers

Paul: Another big troublemaker

Wade Burleson said...

Thy Peace,

In the list you provide above, I would be honored to consider you a "big" troublemaker alongside me.

You've taught me a great deal, and I wish you were a member of the church I pastor.

:)

Blessings,

Wade

Thy Peace said...

Thank you Pastor Wade. It's a real blessing to hear you preach and learn from you.

I truly was not interested in church politics. I got "involved" in all this, by listening to Pastor Mac's sermons. And then my curiosity got the better of me. For now, it is water under the bridge for me.

debbiekaufman said...

Here's hoping more become "troublemakers" and don't "mind their own business", maybe the bullying tactics will stop and we can be formed to the image of Christ, with no casualties in the process.

Anonymous: Whenever there are hurting people with no power, it is always our business. We are a family, or should be. Autonomy holds no weight in my opinion when it comes to kicking people around just because they think they can. That is my business.

Anonymous said...

Bullies can ONLY operate in an environment where they feel they have control over passive, fearful people.

Bullies cannot operate in an environment in which they cannot cotrol the reactions of others to what they do. Bullies are cowards at heart.

If you see bullying and you are passive about it, then you are part of the problem.

Don't ever underestimate how far bullies will go or how much damage they will do.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

You are correct.

The only way for bullies to be stopped is for people to have no fear of what a bully can do to them.

Lydia said...

"Anonymous: Whenever there are hurting people with no power, it is always our business. We are a family, or should be. Autonomy holds no weight in my opinion when it comes to kicking people around just because they think they can. That is my business."

Amen

New BBC Open Forum said...

"I notice you did not respond about the Paige Patterson portion or Two rivers for that matter!"

I might be more inclined to respond if I had a clue what you're talking about.

Robert said...

Thy Peace and New BBC Open Forum,
I am not a Lawyer but filing a complaint and actually suing someone are two different processes as I understand the law.
In the case of Paige Patterson and Dr Jerry Sutton the parties actually brought the case to court

Bob in the Alabama case the association is the one being sued.

The Alabama Baptist newspaper reported recently that the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions voted Feb. 23 to seek a declarative judgment against a homeowners' association. The homeowners are in a subdivision that neighbors property the state convention purchased more than 20 years ago as a building site for future relocation of the state's Baptist Building.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"I am not a Lawyer but filing a complaint and actually suing someone are two different processes as I understand the law."

Duh.

Tom Kelley said...

Anonymous Mar 29, 08:47:00 AM said...
Wade,

It is sad to see you canonizing the malcontents in Memphis and Jacksonville.


From what I've read, Wade hasn't agreed with the positions or methods of these people. He has simply disagreed with the tactics used in response by the leadership of these churches.

Anonymous said...

"I am not a Lawyer but filing a complaint and actually suing someone are two different processes as I understand the law."


Sun Mar 29, 03:00:00 PM 2009

Now that is a Pharisetical statement, Robert.

Biblically, how is it different?

Bob Cleveland said...

Robert,

Read the article again, please. The Alabama Convention is not being sued. They are suing the Homeowners Association in an attempt to force them to grant permission for the proposed project on the land.

"State convention leaders voted overwhelmingly, with only a smattering of opposition, to take the homeowners to court."


I am not saying I am for or against that. I am merely pointing out that it what's happening, and the interesting counterpoint that makes for those who decried a certain lawsuit against SWBTS.

Nate said...

Wade,

"You've taught me a great deal, and I wish you were a member of the church I pastor."

I've heard you say similar things to a number of people on your blog (which implies there are some you do not wish were apart of your congregation). All your comments like the above quoted were to people who usually agree with your posts. I thought you were wanting there to be more cooperation among those who disagree. So if you really followed your ideas here you would be telling all of us who disagree with you that you wish we were a part of your congregation. What's the deal?

Robert said...

Bob,
I was saying the exact same thing...the association or homeowners association.
The distinction I was making was the difference between individual Christians and a group of people not necc identified as Christian.

Robert From Geneva

Byroniac said...

Nate,

Wade's words don't necessarily imply that. Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence, as the case may be. So, according to you, adequate cooperation can only exist on an intra-congregational level? I am interested in reading Wade Burleson's response to this, but it sounds like a non-issue to me.

Wade Burleson said...

Nate,

Nice comment. I wish you, too, were a member of the church I pastor.


:)

Wade Burleson said...

Tom Kelley,

You, sir, have read correctly. Anonymous needs your comprehension abilities.

Thy Peace said...

Founders blog > Interview with Cindy, widow of Pastor Fred Winters

How can anyone do this? Only through the power of the gospel. Only as we have been forgiven are we empowered truly to forgive from the heart. Only through the power of a risen Savior can we have the hope of a future resurrection that releases us from the tyranny of present tragedies. May this testimony and display of God's grace in the gospel call each of us who name the Name of Christ to live more faithfully as citizens of heaven as we continue our pilgrimage on earth.

Christiane said...

THE GIFT:

Before commanding us to forgive those who hurt us, Jesus made a promise:

‘I will give you my spirit
to do what you cannot do by yourself.’

‘I will teach you compassion,
how to love and forgive those who hurt you"




"With Jesus the impossible becomes possible."
J. Vanier

debbiekaufman said...

Concerning Tiffany Croft, she was a potential victim once and she is a victim of abuse again. This should not be something we are quiet about. In fact this makes me very angry. Angry enough that I want my voice to be heard in saying the whole treatment of her has been and is wrong.

Not only has she signed her name, she has shown her face in speaking out against that which should be spoken out against and loudly.

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christiane said...

LENTEN REFLECTION:

A Lenten Canticle of the
Eastern Orthodox Tradition

A Song of Christ the Servant

(1 Peter 2: 21b-25)
Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example,
that you should follow in his steps.

He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips.
When he was reviled, he did not revile in return

When he suffered, he did not threaten;
but he trusted to him who judges justly.
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,
that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.

By his wounds you have been healed.
For you were straying like sheep,
but have now returned
to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever.


From the ages to the ages. Amen

Thy Peace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

This entire post and comments are chilling if not amusing. The bullies here are the people who are not part of the FBC Jacksonville family who think they somehow have the right to the facts in the case because one former member has been blogging about his side. Who are the bullies now!!! First Baptist has plenty of other members who have a voice and maybe they don't agree with the blogger who started this mess and don't care what he has to say. And they surely don't need another blogger--who has NO relation to the church--other than being another church in another state--to weigh in on the matter. Who are the bullies now???

Forget Sainting people, methinks it's time for the real Pope Burleson to take a bow. Talk about strong-arming, heavy-handed and trying to incorrectly wield influence. Are you trying to sell your new book or what?

Steve said...

Sorry, dude. We are Amewricans and cannot ignore facts of right and wrong. We especially light up on abuse of authority since that's basically what got the Redcoats run outta here in the first place.

All leadership must be transparent in its actions, and religious leadership becomes an affront to The Lord when it becomes secretive, abusive to those in its care, and acts the same as the worst of the heathen world.

Anonymous said...

"the blogger who started this
mess" Anon.


Sorry. There's too much known. You are playing the game 'shoot the messenger', an old trick;
when no other 'recourse' to truth is found. Got a lot to hide, don't you?

Brunson's Toadies: try something more creative than 'shooting the messenger'. Next time you hire a 'Max Brunson', make sure he's not so 'obviously' beating the sheep. The whole thing smells all over the SBC.

Checked your accounts lately at FBCJax ?

Good Luck.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Lenton Reflection:

KoC: Fish smells fishy. Nasty Slaw.

St. Joan of Ark, STL: Spectacular!


:)

Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.

Thy Peace said...

Debbie's blog > Enough Is Enough

I and my husband will be leaving tomorrow morning early for Kansas to prepare for the funeral service of my mother n ‘law who passed away yesterday afternoon.

Before we leave however, I have been reading the latest on the FBC Jax and Tiffany Croft. In doing so I wanted to add to what Wade has already posted on his blog. This cannot go on any longer. Enough is enough. When people cannot question or speak out against abuses without being bullied and strong armed into silence, it’s time we let them know that it’s not going to work.

It reminds me of the time period when female rape or abuse victims were put on trial instead of the rapists. The victims characters were lied about and assassinated. They were treated as if they wanted to be raped or beaten. They asked for it. We are born again Christians for crying out loud. This is not supposed to be going on in churches, but it is. I personally want it to stop.

For some, it did work in the past, but no more. I hope that we realize that as long as we pretend it’s not going on, turn our heads, try to reason in our minds that the people speaking out are unbalanced, gripers, or anything else we can do to reduce their characters instead of listening to their stories and helping them, I don’t think God is going to allow us to go on like this much longer. At least I sincerely hope not.

Some things never change, not even tactics, and until we say enough is enough, no positive postings of what is happening in the SBC are going to matter. We have to make it our business in ensuring not one person is ever a victim of bullying or abuse again. If not, we are no better than those doing the bullying or the abusing.

I will be back at the end of the week and begin posting again, but I could not let this one get past me before I left. Hatred, unjustified anger from a person who is just angry to begin with, taking it out on those who won’t or can’t fight back due to lack of position or resources, has got to end, or we can no longer legitimately call ourselves as an organization followers of Christ. There is no way Christ would condone this. He certainly wouldn’t look the other way when people are treated in this way.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 10:36

There are two sides to every story.

FBC Jax/Mac Brunson has had many opportunities to get their side out. Some they did take advantage of, others they either didn't when requested, or when they did, it was abusive or factually incorrect.

I've said my side on the blog, no doubt. I've blogged about the entire discipline process that started November 28, 2008.

Mac has gotten his side out plenty of times in his sermons. He got his side out regarding church discipline in sermons. Even told his congregation its purpose was in part to "put the fear of God in you".

Mac got his side out to Deacons and pastors...said the blogger was a homosexual, and they would find out who it was and shut him down.

Mac got his side out with SBC Today Feb 2008...said the blog was "beauty shop gossip" and he doesn't read it when he was interviewed and the interview was placed on their blog for everyone to hear.

Mac got his side out in the Florida Times Union article in December 2008, stating his "salary" was not anywhere near $300,000, and he mischaracterized what this blog was about in that article.

Mac got his side out on his land deal from the pulpit. His side was: "I'm payin' for that house" and "Last time I checked the federal government said I could live wherever I wanted to." Didn't explain why he accepted the land deal even though his pastor's guidebook cautions other pastors about accepting gifts.

The discipline committee got their side out via numerous emails. I asked them to give me one part of their side: that is how they identified me...but they refused. The wouldn't do it. I asked them numerous times a simple question: "please tell on what basis you identified me as the Watchdog". They could have told me, but never did. I wonder why?

Mac got his side of the story out on Sunday Feb 15th when he told his "churchmen" and "churchwomen" that if they encounter complainers in the church who take little things and make them big things so they can complain, his leaders are to "shut 'em down". He got his word out all right.

John Blount got his side out to the Deacons on February 23rd. He printed out selected articles from the blog, and presented those to the Deacons. He then said they were quite sure that I was taking pictures of Deb Brunson and was likely following or stalking or stealing their mail. He got his word out, and by golly he got a unanimous vote on the Deacon's Resolution.

Also, they got their side out on February 25th, when A.C. Soud read the Deacon's Resolution 2009-1, broadcast out over the internet 316 networks. That was their side...which as I pointed out on my blog contained a bald-faced lie concerning the circumstances I left FBC Jax to join another church. But with retired judge A.C. Soud reading the edict, who would think he would utter something that wasn't true after he says "Where as..."

So FBC Jax has gotten their side out plenty.

Thy Peace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thy Peace said...

I am reposting Tiffany Croft's comments to Watchdog's blog (the last comment was in Pastor Wade's blog):
-----------------------------------
Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...
One other point I forgot to mention earlier. Most of you may not know that not only did FBC and Mac Brunson subpeona the records of watchdog's site, but specifically listed mine as well. Our two blog's really do not have any relevance to each other. I have not been involved in the watchdog's blog about FBC, my issue is in alerting people to the repeated crimes of a sexual offender named Pastor Darrell Gilyard within his churches.

Leads me to wonder what possible crime I committed to get an order to breach my privacy and subpeona my blog record. Am I next on their radar? The funny part is that I am listed very publicly, never have I hidden my identity. My face has been on the news and I blog using my own name. I even list my married and maiden name. Dr. Brunson knows my parents (members of his church) they love and support their Pastor wholeheartedly. Dr. Brunson knows of my history with Gilyard and the reasons I felt the need to be public. There is no reason to search out information that is right in front of us all....hmmmm.

What is next? And here we are worried about the government taking away our rights to free speech and squashing our right to make our own choices...what is going on here? I guess we have a much larger problem on our hands than we first realized.

Dr. Brunson, I would be happy to meet with you to answer any questions you may have, all you need to do is ask. I am really transparent, and I actually welcome criticism or challenge as it keeps me in check and gives me accountability. Maybe if you had simply answered his questions and addressed his (and many others') concerns, it would not be such an out of control problem.

No need to create rumors against me as you all have with "Watchdog", I am no threat to you.

Dr. Brunson, this is so sad that we are here. I truly hope that you decide to reconcile all of this in the appropriate way. And then apologize to your congregation for misleading them and destroying this man's family. It would be the Godly thing to do, so much could be learned from so many by simple transparency. You have all of these Pastor's looking to you for guidance (thank's to our former Pastor's setting up the annual Pastor conference. We have already heard testimony from an attendee. that was ..appalled by the continual talk of "this blogger" and the undercurrent of anger he felt during this years conference. Imagine what next year's talk will be - let's hope it will be the way you turned this sinking (or stinking) ship around and did the right thing.

I do respect your authority as a Pastor and do not wish to seem disrespectful here. I truly wish to see this turned around properly.

MARCH 18, 2009 4:52 PM
-----------------------------------
Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...
A "disclaimer" of sorts:
It is only out of respect for my parents and others I love there that I feel the need to disclaim this:
These comments and opinions are solely mine and do not reflect those of my parents. They adore Dr. Brunson and respect him. They are not in agreement with this blog or any involvement from me, so please do not approach or harass them because of this.

As for my role: There isn't one. I am upset that no one seemed to care about this man and his family. I have shared my feelings.
I am now "embarrassing" my family and many people I love there at FBC by posting. For that embarrassment, I am truly sorry. I hope that it is not irreparable. I hope that you can see my heart and know that I love people and I don't want to see anyone hurt. Many of you know me well enough.

However, I also know that we are called to love. We are called to mediate and restore, we are called to live as Jesus would. Jesus called people out (in love) and he then turned around and ministered to them. He healed their hurts and forgave their insults; he turned the other cheek and loved on the wounded. He was available. He was both a shepherd and the Lion of Judah - he loved unconditionally, but he also shined light on the sin. He did this all in love, with great mercy.

Have any of you seen the Dateline episodes titled "What would you do?". They secretly video acted out events of random passerby reactions to various shameful acts. Later they let the person know it was an act and they were being taped to see their reaction. It’s very interesting to see things like a baby being left alone in a hot car and many people walking by, obviously disturbed, yet taking no action. Or kids beating up a homeless man and passerby turn their heads (or even stare) but offer no intervention. Or, other more simple things such as a person that has ketchup on their face, or a button undone and no one let's them know. There are many who react and help. Some go to great lengths to step up and help, some call for help, some make comments as they pass by - but they DO SOMETHING. Our society has become a "don't get involved" society, mostly for fear of getting hurt or killed, or for embarrassment, or just for fear of being harshly judged. Is this right? Should we help? That is open to opinion and debate. One thing for sure, God created us all differently. We all serve different purposes in life, especially in kingdom work. Wouldn't churches be ineffective if we all had the same outlook and personality, the same ministry? There are different needs, therefore different solutions.

We are created to serve different purposes within the body of Christ. He planned it that way. I feel a deep need to stand up for people being run over by powerful people that are trying to silence them. Does this mean that the actions of the "accused" are all good, right and just? Am I always right in speaking out? Absolutely not. We are all fallible humans.

You don’t have to condone the behavior of someone to step up to help them. The homeless person may repel you and yet you wouldn’t stand by and watch kids throw things at him. You wouldn’t stand by and do nothing while a family member did something you knew was wrong, though you love him/her you would speak up. And then possibly defend them if there were a reason to, out of love, not condoning, but apologizing and helping.

We should handle things the right way as Christians, on BOTH sides of the fence. I stood by and said NOTHING for a while in this matter, I knew of the things going on long before many of you and knew the validity of some things being said by Watchdog. I said nothing because it was not my place, it is not my church, it was not my battle, no need for idle chatter. I have a family at FBC along with multitudes of friends and leaders that I love and respect. I did not want to do anything that would harm or embarrass them.

This man and his family are being lied about (directly or indirectly) and it affects them greatly. Stop and think of the impact this will have on their children. How will they view church leadership after all of this is over? Will they be able to respect and trust again? Will the wounds and pain of lost friendships and an entire church family turning their backs on them be forever life changing? Do you care? The pain of knowing that their father was standing up for something he believed in (right or wrong) and they are watching him be slandered and lied about. Knowing their mother was sitting outside the church while the daughter was singing in church because of a trespass warning served by the church against her parents. They tried to keep their kids in the church hoping things would be fixed and repaired. This did not happen. They did not run, they left because they couldn’t stay.
They have documented proof of their willingness to meet with the discipline committee (with 3 simple, reasonable requests) and were denied. They know this fact, many of you forget this or simply didn’t know.
I am certain that all of this could have been settled had that meeting occurred. Why am I certain? Because I know the 6 men that make up the discipline committee, I respect, love and admire them. That with the fact that watchdog did not set out to harm anyone, he wanted some tough questions answered and had concerns about the future of his church and the people in it. Arguably, many opinions as to whether or not this was the best way to handle it. He would have had a reasonable conversation with the committee and they would have all found a solution, he would have chosen the route that best covered his family. They would have all been able to work something out. Instead, that is when things heated up. I am sure looking back, everyone involved would have done things differently.

Why can we not stop right here and turn this thing around? That is what (as Christians) we should do. I suggest a meeting next week between the injured parties, Watchdog and his wife and Dr. Brunson. Just them, along with one accountability person for each side. Settle this whole thing once and for all. Admit there are mistakes on both sides and shake hands and move on? Is that possible? Would it be the right thing? We will see.
I feel that has become a brand within the churches. Cause trouble (by speaking up or asking questions) and you are humiliated and discredited right out of the church. Few Pastors seem to step up and do the really tough, respectful and Godly requirements.
A good, old fashioned, face to face. "I love you in Christ brother, but I really have a problem with what you are doing. Can we find a solution?" Do you think that would have turned this all around? I do. I know it would have, because I have talked to the watchdog. Please do not post any comments saying that a meeting was offered by the church or never requested by WD, because the WD has documentation of all that has transpired all the way back.

Please pray for WD's family (you are called to) and pray for Dr. Brunson as he decides how to handle it all. Please step back and show love, compassion and mercy. This may get really ugly if it continues on its' current path. I truly hope that does not happen.

MARCH 19, 2009 3:32 PM
-----------------------------------
Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...
Excellent post, Pastor Wade.

I wish you were leading the SBC and teaching the up and coming Pastors. Great example of humility and Christlike love!

I feel I would receive the same type of response from my Pastor if ever warranted. True, transparent leaders are able to lead this way.

Thank you for your example, I hope that this is passed around to many. I so wish Pastor Brunson would have handled things this way. I applaud Dr. Vines for the way he has appeared to graciously handle several things that have happened recently as well.

We need to start a new blog entitled - "REAL LEADERS, REAL LIFE, LIVING LIFE TRANSPARENTLY" and include personal stories of transparent, Godly leaders. Hmmmm, sounds like a pretty good idea...
Wed Mar 18, 11:36:00 AM 2009

-----------------------------------

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

There are only a few ways we will ever get to the bottom of this, and that is through the legal process.

I believe that JSO gave my name and address to FBC Jax after they obtained information from Comcast. I desired to stay anonymous, but Detective Hinson and JSO got subpoenas and found out who I was. Then two weeks later the leaders of FBC Jax tell me "You have been positively identified to us..."

Therefore, did JSO obtain informatoin about Tiffany? About the newbbcopenforum blogger? If so, was THEIR private information given to others as well?

New BBC Open Forum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Re Watchdog's comments that Mac Brunson has told his side. First, I don't believe it's his side to tell. this is a church matter. FBC Jacksonville is bigger than one person, one deacon and evidently one blogger. The interpretation of Mac Brunson's "side of the story" by the blogger IS the problem. It's his view of what has happened that appears on the blog and on this blog. That is what it is. His view. And for all those who would ask for accountability--are we to have an entirely new form of "Watchdog" government now that decides in and out of the church what is proper and what is not--and why trust you? Are there not checks and balances in place and if you don't like the checks and balances in place, vote. CHANGE is what AMERICA is in the process of doing. Begin your own reformation!!! Inside and outside the church, but maybe you should guarantee your church is perfect first. Remember, look to the log in your own eye ....
On "shoot the messenger," I can add a few thoughts on FALLACIOIUS ARGUMENTATION. Go look some of those up. They are all over this blog. Red Herrings, Bandwagon Arguments, Argument by Generalization, Argument by Selective Observation (great example is the excerpt of the very fine sermon on limiting who influences you, Watchdog could show the entire sermon in context or at least the ending); and Argument from Spurious Similarity (Pennsylvania judges gone wild--entirely unrelated case).

Watchdog, it occurred to me that there really could never have been a resolution to your situation. It appears you were unhappy with things that others were not concerned with. You accused the pastor of this and that--and people were not listening, didn't think what you had to say was important and so YOU escalated your complaints to a different tactic--the blog. In doing so, various persons put things on the blog that could have been seen as threatening or inflammatory and perhaps you finally removed them, but in the process, you still didn't come to an understanding with the leadership of the church because you won't be happy until Mac leaves because you don't like his leadership. Obviously others (at least enough others) apparently don't agree with you. What happened next is evidently being investigated because you filed a complaint. So what is it that you seek now??? And when will the issue with you be resolved?? Many mega church pastors live in large houses, drive nice cars and have big offices. Maybe you don't like that--but it appears you are the one who escalated all of this.

Seems like it's Mac's (and the JSO officers) names that has been dragged through the mud while yours is still protected and you are now fighting for the principle of the matter that wouldn't have been if you wouldn't have been unhappy with the pastors compensation, house, car, lifestyle or whatever.

Seems complex, but yet simple in many ways.

I'll pray for you.

Anonymous said...

"Drag Mac's name through the mud"

?

Mac did a pretty good job on his OWN NAME.

No way did anyone else cause him to do the things he's done.
Put the responsibility on Mac where it belongs.
He just can't seem to stop tryin to 'shut em down' but his methods are now being heavily scrutinized.

His name was his own to 'muddy'.

FBC Jax Member said...

Wade, which newspaper in Jacksonville contacted you?

Anonymous said...

Read this entire thread up to this point. Found almost ALL the ANONYMOUS postings very helpful/insightful--and possibly necessary. 'Way to go, Anons!

Among believers who disagree: if we're right, we must seek to win our brother (or sister---our "sibling in Christ"), not to win our case, according to the Lord Jesus. And if we're wrong, we must be "win-able," not obstinate or insecure. No believer has "a right" to do anything else other than this. The whole FBCJax thing: either an extremely errant view of pastoral authority OR a pitiful case of emotional insecurity.


David

P.S. Have read this blogsite almost every day since it started; to very few folk has Wade made the statement, "I wish you were a member of the church I pastor". For the record.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

For Windows PC users, please run the Conficker Removal Tool or at least read about this worm, that is set to activate on April 1st.

Windows Secrets > Run a Conficker removal tool before April 1

Anonymous said...

Anon who supports mac brunson - you talk about red herrings. You stated that the WD blog was all about the pastor's salary, house, car and lifestyle. You are wrong. It is about him being open and honest and transparent. It is about the A-group and Maurilio Amorim and marketing the church instead of evangelism and growing the church, it is about changed by-laws, and angry bullying from the pulpit, it is about banning a lady from the church for no reason, it is about JSO involvment and SA subpoenas and what lengths the church has gone to, and will go to, to "shut em down" and "put the fear of God in you."


Nice try though, about making it just about his love of money. It is about so much more. Which is why the blog is so needed...still. Some people STILL don't see the real issues.

Lin said...

For Windows PC users, please run the Conficker Removal Tool or at least read about this worm, that is set to activate on April 1st.

Windows Secrets > Run a Conficker removal tool before April 1

Mon Mar 30, 09:47:00 AM 2009

Thanks so much! I just ran an update.

Thy Peace said...

David Brown said...
Dear Dog: I am a first time poster on your blog. As you can see from my name, I am not anonymous. I am outraged that another one of these “spiritual” giants would stoop so low. See I am from the Memphis area and have had my encounters with another “spiritual” giant here by the name of Steve Gaines. I was all over him for his inactions, downright BS excuses for keeping an admitted pedophile minister on staff after getting a direct admission from this minister he was a pedophile. I posted quite a bit on the NBBCOF about Gaines.

It was brought to my attention recently that the leadership of FBC-Jacksonville through outright lies subpoenaed the records from Google of the owner of your blog, NBBCOF and others. The owner of NBBCOF is a friend of mine. I have spoken to them today and urged them to consider legal action. I would urge you too. Not only have civil laws been broken, but also possible Federal criminal laws. If I was a certain detective with the JSO and John Blount I would be worried. I bet if suits are filed, their depositions will be interesting. Will Blount lie or finally tell the truth. Wonder if they will fall on their swords for the real people behind this. As for insurance coverage don’t be surprised if their insurance carrier files a dec action against them because of their wrong doing if suits are filed. And if the carrier is successful then there is NO coverage for them. Now that is going to get someone’s attention. No I am not an attorney but I have worked in the legal profession for more years than I care to admit. I am however a licensed Private Investigator here in Tennessee. I am not afraid of these cowards. They never thought you had the contacts and friends you have. I do predict it will get a lot hotter in Jacksonville for a select few and maybe even for some in Memphis. I cannot help but wonder who was behind the idea to get the identity of the NBBCOF owner.

And I cannot believe these people that continue to “swallow and follow” and then post some of the most vile comments to you and your family and tell us in Memphis to stay out of it. For those folks you need to pull your head out of the sand down there. Our faith is under attack and not from us bloggers. We are deeply troubled when we see churches we have been part of for so long taken over by pastors that only seem to care about their selves and filling their coffers. These pastors are untouchable. You cannot get an audience with them; forget about asking them pointed questions. They have put in layers of management between them and the faithful. They have armed body guards. Why? Protect them from whom; us? Give me a break. I have recevied more than my share of death threats in calling out pastors that don’t deal with pedophile ministers properly and swiftly. I don’t need a body guard; I am saved. How many more “beating of the sheep” sermons are you going to endure before you say you too have had enough?

Dog I have been in prayer for you and your family. God Bless, Protect and Sustain you.

David Brown
(my contact information in on my profile, no subpoenas needed)

MARCH 30, 2009 11:49 AM
-----------------------------------
FBC Jax Watchdog said...
Hello Dave - nice to hear from you, I do recall reading your posts a few years ago during the PW issues at Bellevue.

Thanks for your support and prayers.

I do want to express caution, however. I do not know that there were any lies told by FBC Jax to get subpoenas issued, or even that JSO did anything illegal or unethical in getting the subpoenas. It looks mighty suspicious, for sure. I have expressed on my blog that the sequence of events leading up to my letter of accusation and trespass warnings against my wife and I, coupled with FBC Jax's unwillingness to tell me how they obtained my name and address, coupled with the lack of specificity in the detective's report used to get the subpoenas...coupled with the fact that these other two bloggers had their accounts subpoened...coupled with lies told about me to deacons alleging that I was taking pictures or stealing mail of the Brunsons yet they were told to keep silent about it...all of that has me GREATLY concerned, and it looks like criminal charges were trumped up against me and the content of the blog, that would allow the information to be obtained. I am troubled by the facts that I now know.

This week I will be filing a complaint with the Internal Affairs office at the JSO to explain my concerns regarding the subpoenas and the criminal investigation, and the insinuation that there are other open investigations, perhaps federal investigations. I want to know the truth. If the detective acted appropriately, then fine. I would like to know what the criminal allegations were that led to these subpoenas being issued, I'd like to know that the SA did their due dilligence before approving the request for subpoenas, and I'd like to know if the detective gave my name to the church and if that is appropriate for him to do that, given the church alleged a crime involving me and my blog. I can't imagine that an agrieved party that makes a criminal complaint is given personal information about the party they are accusing if there was no criminal activity found.

My wife and I are seeking legal counsel and will move as quickly as we can to obtain the absolute best lawyer we possibly can - as painful as this process is and will be, the facts that have come out about subpoenas, bogus allegations of me stalking and mail stealing that have been tossed around by church administration...we wish to have the facts aired about what has happened, and who was driving this process to find my identity so that they could intimidate me to shut my blog down. Ultimately I want an apology issued by Mac Brunson himself over how he and his executive staffers have mistreated my wife...and I'd like an apology for the lie told about Sheri Klouda to boot.

I often wonder why the church puts their 2009-1 Deacons Resolution on the main page of their website, if they truly believe this to be an internal church matter. I find it almost humorous that they display their resolution against me and warnings to others in the church, yet claim no one outside the church should talk about these matters.

Thanks again David...I will keep people posted on my blog.

MARCH 30, 2009 12:27 PM

-----------------------------------

Anonymous said...

These pastors are untouchable. You cannot get an audience with them; forget about asking them pointed questions. They have put in layers of management between them and the faithful. They have armed body guards. Why? Protect them from whom; us?

OMG. 'armed body guards'?
This sounds more like 'mafia' operators than ministers of the Word.

Imagine if Jesus has told the Apostles to get 'armed body guards' and live in villas in 'gated communities'.

People need to wake up and stop worshipping the 'golden calf'.

Anonymous said...

To the irreverent who said "Oh my God" regarding armed guards and gated communities, I would say consider Jacksonville.

Very few of the communities, even modest apartment complexes, unless one lives on the north or west side are without gates requiring codes. If you get out any, you might realize that Jacksonville is one of the most newly developed cities as far as new homes--and therefore has more than its share of these "gated communities." It's not unusual for families living on modest incomes or even in subsidized housing to live in a "gated apartment community." So quit the unfair class warfare. It's quite unbecoming, especially considering the diversity in the income of worshippers at FBC in Jacksonville.

As for guards. Just think: Fred Winters. Whether they are apparent or not, many pastors have guards to insure their safety--especially if they have been the target of threats. The larger the church, yes, the larger the threat. Quit whining and ask around.

Finally, glad you used the illustration of the Apostles. Remember one of them cut a soldier's ear? They WERE a modern day entourage that would have given their very lives for Jesus. So what would he have thought? Probably that people want to keep their pastor safe and if that means offering some security, so be it. Arkansas recently tried to get a concealed weapon law passed so good folks could carry weapons to protect themselves, where? In church! Google it.

As far as an audience with the pastor, why don't you tell people the truth, FBC blogger. Weren't you given an opportunity to meet with the pastor but you didn't like the conditions? That's a little different story than the one you lead people to believe.

Anonymous said...

I admit i dislike seeing posts from other blogs, but I was looking at the FBC Watchdog blog trying to figure out what he really wants, and I found this. I think it's interesting and also can see how a church might think it is threatening. With this post is a photo of Rev. Brunson with a red circle and line over the top of his face.

Read to the end and see the blogger basically disagrees with the pastor, cites a number of disagreements in style, strategy, function and delivery-,and calls for people to withdraw their fiscal support of the church.

Here is what appears on the blog:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Concerned FBC Jax Members: July is "Independence from Mac Brunson" Month
We, the concerned members of First Baptist Jacksonville, decree the month of July 2008 as the "Independence from the Abuses of Mac Brunson Month" and hereby decree the following:

Whereas Donald M. Brunson has come to our church and our city and purposely enriched himself by accepting a large gift from one of our donors rather than doing the honorable thing and directing that gift to the church;

Whereas Donald M. Brunson has on multiple occasions spoken ill of our church to outsiders - as in claiming he is in a "hotbed of legalism" to a group of North Carolina pastors - and not defending us publicly when Paige Patterson decreed in his presence that Mac was attacked by "recalcitrants" on his arrival to Jax and received no "honeymoon" and equated our treatment of Mac on his arrival to wanting to "kill" him;

Whereas Donald M. Brunson and/or our lay leadership allowed $100,000 of church money to be used to convert valuable space in the Children's Building to a personal office suite for himself, his wife, and his dogs;

Whereas Donald M. Brunson has allowed the significant modification of the bylaws of our church without allowing widespread dissemination of the proposed changes, and presiding over the business meeting (click here to listen) where the vote was taken and never offering one word of explanation to his sheep for the changes;

Whereas Donald M. Brunson has seen fit to place wife and son on staff at our church with no stated ministry responsibilities;

Whereas Donald M. Brunson held an unannounced business meeting, possibly in violation of our church by-laws, to approve a $500,000 loan of church monies to start a school, giving justification for the school as an absolute necessity to reach our city for Jesus Christ because door-to-door evangelism is dead as "no one is ever at home anymore";

Whereas Donald M. Brunson allowed "prominent deacons" to persuade him to allow our church facilities, which have been built to the glory of God for the furtherence of the gosepl of Jesus Christ, to be used to host a non-evangelistic event called "A Time to Stand With Israel" event to raise funds for a Jewish hospital, a hospital where state funded abortions occur;

Whereas Donald M. Brunson has shown himself to live a vastly different lifestyle in regards to finances and gifts and wealth than what he portrays in his book used to train Baptist pastors;

Whereas Donald M. Brunson has carelessly declared that he "prays" the federal government does not come to Jacksonville to help us if we are devastated by a hurricane (click here to listen yourself);

Whereas Donald M. Brunson on multiple occasions has attempted to place Christians under the legalistic yoke of tithing by declaring they are robbing God unless they give 10% of their income, and claimed that people are suffering or will suffer unless they succumb to his legalistic yoke of Old Testament tithing (click here to listen);

Whereas Donald M. Brunson has declared that those who might disagree with him that the Christians are obligated to tithe and that the Old Testament "storehouse" refers to the New Testament church, are "doing the work of Satan";

Whereas Donald M. Brunson has used his pulpit as a "bully pulpit" to attack those who might disagree with him or who don't respond as he likes to his requests (click here and here);

Whereas Donald M. Brunson has embarrassed our church by agreeing to serve on the mayor's Crime Prevention Steering Committee and only attended 2 of 7 meetings, and never giving an explanation to his congregation or publicly to the city;

Whereas Donald M. Brunson purposely deceived his congregation about the $300,000 land gift on June 22, 2008 by saying he is "paying for his house" when he in fact did not pay for all of it but one of our generous church members gave him the land (click here to listen);

Whereas Donald M. Brunson says we should all "thank Jesus" we haven't gotten a raise because we are all so stupid as to use that extra money to go further in debt;

Whereas Donald M. Brunson has used our Ressurrection Day service as an opportunity to collect money to put his sermons on national TV, yet never explaining why the better option is to archive video feeds of all of our services;

Whereas Donald M. Brunson has repeatedly shown an indifference to his responsibilities as pastor, leaving before greeting visitors on Easter Sunday, leaving before the completion of the invitation on Father's Day, failing to preach on Sunday nights because of book manuscripts;

Whereas Donald M. Brunson is using our church website to advertise for a "Holy Land Trip" that is not a church ministry;

Now therefore until the pastor and/or the church lay leadership begin to address these concerns, including public explanation of the bylaw changes enacted in December 2007, and until the pastor begins to display the humble servant-leadership as portrayed in the New Testament, our tithes and offerings will be given to other worthwhile Christian purposes that will meet people's needs and further the gospel. We do not feel compelled by scripture to continue to financially support the ministry of FBC Jacksonville as continued giving to the church is to condone the past practices and encourage even more abuses in the future.

Be it decreed this, the 25th day of June, in the year 2008.

Concerned Members of FBC Jacksonville

Anonymous said...

anon - the Jax Sheriff's office had a detective (one that is a long time member of FBC Jax by the way) "investigate" the blog about 4 months after the post you copied and pasted here, and the detective found NO CRIMINAL OVERTONES or activity. So spare us your belief that anything "threatening" could be seen from such a post.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 2:08

No, I was never, ever offered a meeting with the pastor. Not that I would have accepted it, maybe or maybe not. But most assuredly no one ever contacted me about meeting the pastor.

Perhaps you are referring to their 3-page letter citing my 16 sins of division and 2 trespass warnings for my wife and I.

I've told the entire story on the blog. I can't be any more transparent than I have been...but for your sake, I'll state it again:

The discipline committee delivered me a 3 page letter and trespass warnings for my wife and I as step 1 of their discipline. They demanded I meet with 6 members of the discipline committee before I would be allowed entrance to the church.

They started a church discipline process that was unbiblical - letter and trespass warnings as step 1.

I agreed that I would meet with them, provided they meet 3 reasonable requests:

1. Tell me the basis of their allegations - that is, how was I "positively identitied to them".

2. Provide a copy of the bylaws so I understand the process I would be subjecting myself to;

3. Allow me to bring representation.

They did not budge on any of those three very prudent, reasonable requests, although eventually they did say they would temporarily lift the trespass warning so I could come and inspect the bylaws - but that was after official trespass papers had been filed with the JSO against me and my wife for "church misconduct".

They told me no represenatation because it was an "ecclisiastical" matter - when they knew full well they had already alleged criminal activity, and that there might be a federal investigation. They wanted me to think it was purely eccliastical when it was not.

So we never met.

They never contacted me to ask me to meet with Brunson.

They never came to meet with me face to face.

I invited the two deliverers of the 3-page letter and trespass warnings into my home to speak with me, but they refused.

I have put all this out on the blog, with copies of emails and such.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the most distressing stories of spiritual abuse I have ever seen. These leaders follow a well documented pattern of abuse. pureprovender.blogspot.com provides links to many spiritual abuse sites, and this situation reflects so many abusive tendencies that I would be very concerned if I still worshiped at this place. Don't let them intimidate you!