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

Censure, Censorship, and Church Citizenship

The Director of Missions at Cherokee Strip Baptist Association, Don Rogers, sent me an email today that I found very interesting. Emmanuel Baptist Church is a cooperating member of CSBA. Don wrote the following :


"I received a phone call from an older sounding man from Florida. He gave me his name but it was hard to understand on my cell phone. His purpose in calling me as the Director of Missions of Cherokee Strip Baptist Association was for me to report you to an "ethics committee" in the association to get you censored . He said you were writing harmful things on your blog concerning the leadership at the FBC in Jacksonville,FLA . I asked him a particular instance in which you had harmed the church's leadership. He would not list anything but he said that he would send me the blog material. I told him I was not interested because I did not spend time reading any blog except for the one that keeps up with LSU sports ! After the conversation, I read your blog and found the various entries related to Jacksonville. I do appreciate the way you asked the right questions in seeking to find the truth."

Don went on to detail for me the follow-up conversation he had with this gentleman from Florida. Don concluded his email to me by writing:

"The reasons that I share this with you is two-fold : (1) I am proud of your leadership in pastoring in such away that your church is really committed to missions in Enid and around the world and in giving to the Cooperative Program ; and (2) I am proud of the way you use your special communication skills to present other sides of issues in seeking the truth."

I do not know who it was that called my Director of Missions, nor am I interested in knowing his identity. However, I think the phone call evidences why it is that some Southern Baptists feel like they must write anonymously. It seems a few churchmen have a knack for trying to intimidate others into silence. In the end, it never works.

I have written only five posts related to FBC Jacksonville out of over seven hundred and eighty-nine posts written on "Grace and Truth to You" - that equates to less than three quarters of one percent. However, due to the fact that this gentleman from Florida deems these posts cause for ecclesiastical censure, and since he himself was unwilling (or unable) to identify anything within the posts that merit such action, I have decided to make all five posts available for easy finding and reading.

Anonymous Writing Is Not Intrinsically Evil

Abuse of Authority: It Must Not Be Ignored.

The High Cost of Stifling Criticism and Dissent

Lessons in Dealing with a Disgruntled Church Member

Your Honor, Please Help Us Understand

I am praying for all the people involved in the situation at FBC Jacksonville and believe all Southern Baptists can learn from the mistakes made.

In His Grace,


Wade

77 comments:

Chris Ryan said...

Just for fun, you should link this post to this post and make it six posts on the subject...

If that is even possible.

Caleb said...

Nope, as Christians we aren't supposed to expose corruption in our churches. How dare you speak the truth to the world.

Thy Peace said...

Pastor Wade, you missed this post:

The Untouchables: Spiritually Elite Leaders and the Unwillingness to Be Held Accountable.
.

I do not understand why they are perturbed by your questioning. From my reading you did not endorse Fbc Jax Watchdog blog contents, but merely asked, is this the way one deals with dissent, especially in a Christian Church. You also said, if Church Leadership stifles criticism and dissent, it legitimizes much of Fbc Jax Watchdog's questioning.

Wayne Smith said...

Wade Confronting Conflict,

Did you not receive my e-mail where I ask you to Please listen to this sermon and let me know who Dr Stanley is talking about someone being fired after attacking him?

Confronting Conflict

http://www.intouch.org/site/c.cnKBIPNuEoG/b.4943195/k.95DD/This_Week_on_TV.htm

Wayne

FBC Jax Member said...

I hope no one from my church was involved... that just might be the last straw before I leave.

Thy Peace said...

Some discussions taking place on the blogosphere on Fbc Jax Watchdog, both current and past:
-----------------------------------
New BBC Open Forum Blog:

Who's really the sociopath here?.

This is the "Biblical Pattern" for Church Discipline?.

Some Thoughts on "Church Authority" and "Church Discipline".

Jacksonville, FL Church Cover-up - Déjà Vu, Bellevue?.

Spending God's Money.
-----------------------------------
Jacksonville Times-Union:

Unmasked blogger blames First Baptist, Sheriff's Office
A subpoena is used to obtain critic's identity from Google
.

FBC blogger feels privacy was violated
Law enforcement says his privacy rights weren't violated, but there are concerns about the investigation
.

Jax News >Readers respond to detective's investigation of critical blogger.

Church's use of power is troubling.
-----------------------------------
First Coast News.

FOX 30.
-----------------------------------
From Stop Baptist Predators:

FBC-Jax: "Big Brother meets Big Church".

Bully Bylaws.

Mac Brunson on Gilyard & Patterson.
-----------------------------------
Women In Ministry > Reaching unity in the faith without authoritarian control.

The Big Daddy Weave > Megachurch Passes Resolution Against Blogger.

Baptist Planet > Fbc Jax posts.
-----------------------------------
Baptist Life Forums:

Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive".

Making criticism criminal.

Church discipline according to FBCJax.

FBC Jax Calls for Sever of Ties to Lifeway Over "The Shack".
-----------------------------------
From around the world:

Science Blog > Pharyngula > Mac Brunson, Baptist tyrant and greedy Pharisee.

ExChristian.net > Church pulls strings in an attempt to muzzle a blogger critical of the leadership.

Legal Schnauzer > Blogger Draws the Ire of a Southern Mega-Church.

Jacksonville First Baptist Has Police Out Anonymous Blogger.

WebProNews > Google Helps Identify Anonymous Blogger.

JONATHAN TURLEY > Baptist Church Accused of Using Florida Detective to Uncover and Identify Critical Blogger.

Business Week > FBC blogger feels privacy was violated: Law enforcement says his privacy rights weren't violated, but there are concerns about the investigation. [The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville].

Deep Thoughts > Where is the love?.

Photography is Not a Crime
It’s a First Amendment Right > Florida cop abuses subpoena authority against bloggers who criticize pastors
.

Forums > Law enforcement exposes blogger for pastor after revealing salary.

The People's Forum > Unmasked blogger blames First Baptist, Sheriff's Office - A subpoena is used to obtain critic's identity from Google.

at-Largely > Alert, press under attack: blogger critical of church pastor targeted by cop who is member of the church....

Bene Diction Blogs On > Whereas…the FBC Jax Watchdog blog.

Bene Diction Blogs On > SBC Jax Watchblog update.

Bene Diction Blogs On > Whereas, First Baptist Church Jacksonville and law enforcement.

Christian School Confidential > to the blogger's of Jacksonville.

my TPM blog > And yet again -- another blogger outing.

ABP News > Authorities expose blogger who has been hounding FBC Jacksonville.

Daily Kos > FL megachurch security detail/sheriff's dept unmasks blogger's ID.

Megachurch Uses Police to Out Critical Blogger's Identity.

First Baptist Church of Jacksonville Florida: Snakes and Vipers.

On my soapbox RE: FBC Downtown.
-----------------------------------
Debbie Kaufman's blog:

Enough Is Enough.
-----------------------------------

Thy Peace said...

Of course, Fbc Jax Watchdog's blog.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Wade,

It sounds like Hiram Smith's m.o.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Wow Thy Peace, what a compilation of articles and blogs about FBC Jax.

One of the more notable ones recently is at Michele Malkin's blog, "Hot Air".

Can you make this same post over at the FBC Jax Watchdog website for my readers? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thy Peace - I propose a name change.

I hereby deem thee: TheLink

Anonymous said...

Do you have the smarts to practice censorship of others in the church?
Here is a simple test:

This is a series of four related questions:
1. How do you get a giraffe into a refrigerator?
2. How do you get an elephant into the refrigerator?
3. The Lion King is holding a meeting of all the animals in creation. One kind of animal is not present. Who?
4. A river is home to many man-eating crocodiles. You have to cross the river. How?

Now. Based on your answers, you will know if you smart enough to sensor others in your church.

ANSWER KEY:
1. Open the refrigerator door and put the giraffe in the refrigerator.
2. Take the giraffe out of the refrigerator, and put the elephant in it.
3. The elephant is not at the meeting: he's in the refrigerator.
4. You can go ahead and swim across the river safely: all the crocodiles are at the Lion King's meeting, not in the river.

REAL ANSWER KEY:
So you messed up.
Most people do. They 'think too much'
The group most able to answer these questions were four-year olds.
Is any of us smart enough to judge the next one? Ask the Lion King.

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks Thy Peace,

I did overlook one. I appreciate the link.

Wade

Thy Peace said...

Hot Air > Subpoena outs blogger in church row.

Wade Burleson said...

Thy Peace

Your wrote: From my reading you did not endorse Fbc Jax Watchdog blog contents, but merely asked, is this the way one deals with dissent, especially in a Christian Church. You also said, if Church Leadership stifles criticism and dissent, it legitimizes much of Fbc Jax Watchdog's questioning.I am glad that there is at least one person out there that understands what I am writing. Thanks.

Wade Burleson said...

Wayne,

I listened to the braodcast and could not find any connection myself. That's not to say it is not there, it's just that I could not find it.

wade

Lydia said...

"His purpose in calling me as the Director of Missions of Cherokee Strip Baptist Association was for me to report you to an "ethics committee" in the association to get you censored ."

Well, let's face it. These tactics worked quite well for a long long time. He is only doing what he knows has worked so well in the past.

Had Wade been a nobody pew sitter, he would have been treated far worse.

Anonymous said...

Quote from Joel Gregory's book, Too Great A Temptation on the famous airport meeting with the CR bigwigs on saving Paige Patterson's job a Criswell College:


"After opening the meeting I let the visiting dignitaries have their say. And have it they did. These pastors were not in the habit of interference from laymen in their churches. They ruled like kings. They proceeded to lecture the trustees [of Criswell College] at length concerning the person and value of Paige Patterson. Jerry Vines and Charles Stanley were clearly hot. Stanley recounted his own battles at First Baptist, Atlanta. On his accession to the pastorate, an oligarchy of laypersons opposed him. He then spelled out to Bo Sexton [trustee chairman] and the trustees the horrible things that had happened to the families of those who opposed him: disease, death, divorce, etc. The implication was clear: if you touch Paige Patterson, God will get you. I was sitting next to Bo and thought he would explode."

So, if you go against Charles Stanley, Paige Patterson or any of the other 'anointed', you will get cancer or maybe even die. That is how he deals with 'conflict'.

Maybe we should ask his 'ex-wife' how he deals with conflict.

Anonymous because these guys are revengeful

Joe Blackmon said...

Anonymous because these guys are revengeful
I'm sorry, you have a typo there. What you mean to type was "Anonymous because I have no backbone".

boyd_herring said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jle said...

For me, I am of the opinion that no one person can be intimidating to another unless the other person is so insecure that they allow themselves to be intimidated.

I have met people who could come across as intimidating, some intentionally and others not but since I was blessed to meet a king, in his home while he sat on his throne God assured me that this was just a man who He loves and died for. There was nothing to be intimidated about.

I think the king took notice when all the nationals I was traveling with fell prostrate on the floor and I stood there like a US Marine, thrust my hand out to shake his. He laughed and then gladly shook my hand.

Of course, he probably thought I was only a dumb American visiting his village and did not know any better. He would have been right.

A great memory but a greater lesson for me in dealing with humanity for His sake.

Lee Herring said...

Dear Rev. Burleson,

Giddy-up!

Sincerely Yours,
Lee

Anonymous said...

Anonymous because these guys are revengeful
I'm sorry, you have a typo there. What you mean to type was "Anonymous because I have no backbone".

Wed Apr 22, 11:26:00 AM 2009

Very true. I have seen them in action...up close. I am a coward.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Wade,
I love the picture of the button on this post!

great stuff!

dm

New BBC Open Forum said...

I left the Joel Gregory quote on Watchdog's blog which is where Anon 10:56 got it.

Disclaimer: The comment about Dr. Stanley's ex-wife is NOT mine. Although I more or less concur with the anon's comment which directly precedes that one, I will not speculate about CFS's relationship with his ex-wife.

My blogging anonymously has nothing to do with concern about "revenge of the kings." I fear no retribution from the likes of them and have never written anything on the blog I wouldn't say to someone's face. Unlike people such as Robert from Geneva, "look at me!" Joe, "which screen name shall I use today?" Jon, and "with that I am" Peter, just to name a few, I'm not seeking personal attention and my blogging is not about ME. Also, there are a couple of unpredictable, prone-to-violence nuts around here I have no desire to encounter. More importantly, I have no desire for any of my family to meet one of them. So, Joe, I really couldn't care less what you or anyone else thinks about that.

jle said...

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. -- 1 John 4:4

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, -- 2 Cor. 10:4

Do not fear, for those that are with us are more than those who are with them -- 2 Kings 6:16

The Southern Baptist Convention was organized in 1845 in the First Baptist Church of Augusta, Georgia. As a tribute to the faith of its founding fathers, the church placed this inscription in the building: “Men who see the invisible, hear the inaudible, believe the incredible, and think the unthinkable!” -- illustration given by Stephen Olford.

I personally do not understand why a child of God would be more afraid of men than of God.

Men through the ages have given their life for the name of Jesus, with the 10 year anniversary of Columbine, I am reminded of the young girl who refused to renounce Christ and died for it.

What is it you fear?

Truth is a person (Henry Blackaby)... therefore if your cause is a fight for truth, it is a fight for Jesus. For His name, for His sake.

But whoever denies Me (Truth) before men, him I (Truth) will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. -- Matthew 10:33

Anonymous said...

"I personally do not understand why a child of God would be more afraid of men than of God."


John Estes, Even some of the Apostles snuck out of cities at night so they would not be killed. One time they are told to take a sword and another time told not to.

I see no reason to put my family in any unnecessary bad position because some psuedo Christian leader makes calls to have me fired or censured because they do not like my opinions or they do not like truth being presented that happens to make some bigwigs look bad. I have seen them at work with their evil toward others.

Let folks check the message and it's content and seek truth in all things instead of focusing on the messenger they don't like.

We would be fools to not fear the evil men do and take caution. Ever read Matthew 7? There will be many who appear to do 'great things' for God and He will say: I never knew you.

He is NOT talking about unbelievers here, John. He is talking about professing believers who are known as doing great things for God. Evangelists, preachers, pastors, etc. We would do well not to 'follow' such men.

since you are so bold, what are you doing here? Why not go over to the ME and fear no Islamic terrorist preaching the gospel? After all, you refused to bow to an earthly king.

Jon L. Estes said...

Anonymous said...jle: "I personally do not understand why a child of God would be more afraid of men than of God."

John Estes, Even some of the Apostles snuck out of cities at night so they would not be killed. One time they are told to take a sword and another time told not to.Never did they do this against God's wishes, at least I can't find a place in scripture that would say such.


I see no reason to put my family in any unnecessary bad position because some psuedo Christian leader makes calls to have me fired or censured because they do not like my opinions or they do not like truth being presented that happens to make some bigwigs look bad. I have seen them at work with their evil toward others.I sure am glad we have missionaries who take their families to the hardest places on the earth (and that is FBCJAX) to reach lost people. I'm glad for the Jim Elliot type of Christians who did not even think of their name and career being in jeopardy but knew and followed the call of God upon their lives.

I'm sorry the evil you see frightens you as much as it does.

Let folks check the message and it's content and seek truth in all things instead of focusing on the messenger they don't like.If the life of the messenger does not point to the message they proclaim, the message is moot. This is one reason it is so hard for baptists to reach people, the messenger's life is not in balance with his message.

We would be fools to not fear the evil men do and take caution. Ever read Matthew 7? There will be many who appear to do 'great things' for God and He will say: I never knew you.I don't see hiding behind anonymity as being cautious.

He is NOT talking about unbelievers here, John. He is talking about professing believers who are known as doing great things for God. Evangelists, preachers, pastors, etc. We would do well not to 'follow' such men.Do you really believe those who God says I never knew you and to depart from me are believers? Now that's interesting at best.

since you are so bold, what are you doing here? Why not go over to the ME and fear no Islamic terrorist preaching the gospel? After all, you refused to bow to an earthly king.I've been wanting to go back for years but God has not allowed. I have been to Muslim countries. I lived in Nigeria, started a Christian school in Oko, Kwara State and witnessed to many Muslims. I never feared the Muslims, even when there was an attack on Christians in the capitol of Abuja. Many lost their lives for professing to know Jesus. Ther were times I walked from our (SBC) hospital grounds in Ogbomosho to the Mosque and shared Jesus.

NOTE: I did not go as a SBC missionary due to the ages of our children at the time. I did not have the luxuries of protection many of our great missionaries needed.

If God calls us to speak out, we must not be silent or hidden. If He calls us to be quiet, then please do so.

I may sign my post with three different handles (Jon, jle, Jon L. Estes) but I think anyone who communicates to what I write knows who they are speaking with. The full name is given by default when I sign in under google. The others I use as abbreviated when I see no need to post my picture again and again on a thread.

Anonymous said...

"I don't see hiding behind anonymity as being cautious."

Who wrote Hebrews?

jle said...

The author of Hebrews is not hiding behind anonymity, God chose not to infirm us of the human author but does let us know He is the divine author. Thus, we know full and well who the author is... or at least I do.

The Bible is God's Word.

Your words don't yet meet that criteria.

Anonymous said...

Your words don't yet meet that criteria.

Wed Apr 22, 01:55:00 PM 2009

Aren't you the same guy that rebuked the bloggers over at BBC new open forum for daring to "Touch God's anointed", Dr. Financial Gaines?

That was your message to them: He is God's anointed and not to be questioned.

You made some big deal about it for quite a while. I will be happy to dig up the quotes for you.

So when talking about 'criteria' seems you were quite willing to take scripture from the old covenant and a 'king' and transport them to fit Dr. Financial Gaines.

jle said...

Well I guess we need to throw out the OT because what it says can not be used in a NT world.

I'll keep my stand... Do not touch God's anointed.

If God has called a man to a place and people move against him, they will answer to God in ways that they would prefer not to have but God will not be mocked and His word (all of it, from Genesis to maps) is still relevant. Whether you agree with it or not.

Some years ago I visited a church in Enid OK. During SS the teacher stated the 10 commandments were no longer valid since they were not in NT. That was a sad moment for the kingdom just as the denial of this scripture by anyone.

But maybe you have been given the prophetical message for our times of who is God's anointed and who is not. If so, who can we specifically pray for.

Jon L. Estes said...

Mr. or Mrs. or Miss Anonymous,

I will remove myself form this conversation with you as I see it has no merit for the kingdom. I apologize for enjoying the banter as much as I did. You have your reasons for remaining anonymous. I disagree with them, completely.

Nuf said.

Joe Blackmon said...

If God has called a man to a place and people move against him, they will answer to God in ways that they would prefer not to have but God will not be mocked

Dude, are you daft? You really think that if a pastor is wrong on something that he is not accountable to the congregation? Wow.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Yes, Joe. As the anonymous one stated, Jon has made quite a big deal out of that. I thought you were of like mind though. Did I miss some sarcasm in your comment?

Anonymous said...

"If God has called a man to a place and people move against him, they will answer to God in ways that they would prefer not to have but God will not be mocked "

Charles Stanley said that those who opposed him got cancer, lost their jobs or died.

Good thing for you, John, that you are one of the 'specially anointed' ones. Your humility shines through. Just like Stanley's.

Lydia said...

"Well I guess we need to throw out the OT because what it says can not be used in a NT world."

Actually, John, the OT is quite relevant in that our churches are acting very much like Israel did. Many of our leaders are like the corrupt priests. There are many lessons to be learned in how we are mirroring the behavior of Israel. Not to mention the OT is all about the coming Messiah and pointing to Him.

"I'll keep my stand... Do not touch God's anointed."

What do you do with this:

1 John

26I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 27But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.

So, it seems all true believers have 'anointing' in the NC. Not just a special class of 'professional Christians'.


"Some years ago I visited a church in Enid OK. During SS the teacher stated the 10 commandments were no longer valid since they were not in NT. That was a sad moment for the kingdom just as the denial of this scripture by anyone."

So, which laws in Lev are still relevant that are not mentioned again in the NT? There are many and I would be interested to know which ones we are under that are not specifically mentioned in the NT.

Larry said...

Wow, you have been "back bitten" all the way from Florida! Jesus said "At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other." I hate to say it, but the hating and the bearing false witness going on in our denomination has to bring it under the judgment of God.

Thy Peace said...

Lydia:

Pastor Wade left a message for you on Fbc Jax Watchdog blog here.

Anonymous said...

Larry wrote,
'I hate to say it, but the hating and the bearing false witness going on in our denomination has to bring it under the judgment of God.'

we know the minute the missionaries were harmed was the moment that got God's attention.
Of course its been all downhill from there. The only thing increasing is the sized of certain leaders 'beneifits and salaries'.

SBC under condemnation by God?
No, the SBC is rotting from within.
It's all those goats that are causing the smell: the ones who handed their denomination over to the wolves. The sheep need to get some courage or they will soon have lost their pastureland forever.

Thy Peace said...

"Some years ago I visited a church in Enid OK. During SS the teacher stated the 10 commandments were no longer valid since they were not in NT. That was a sad moment for the kingdom just as the denial of this scripture by anyone".

I would encourage readers to listen to this sermon of Pastor Wade, #5. Christ Our Advocate (I John 2:1-2), of the series I John: The Christian and Complete Joy. If you watch the video, it's titled "Christ Our Advocate", February 8, 2009 - Part 5 of series (1 Jn. 2:1-2).

It does not say the quite way JLE said above, but you will understand the nature of sin and why codifying it to specific sins is not necessary.

jle said...

Joe,

Being accountable and having members move on you (as I made reference) are two different things.

Trying to hold someone accountable while remaining anonymous does not fly in my opinion.

Benji Ramsaur said...

jle,

I guess you better not go around touching anyone in Christ--1 John 2:20,27.

God Bless,

Benji

Wade Burleson said...

jle,

Are you anonymous? I would be interested to know the church and the Sunday School class to which you refer in the above comment.

If it is a class at EBC, I look forward to you identifying yourself, thus, fulfilling your own teaching on anonymity.

Smile

In His Grace,

Wade

Thy Peace said...

JLE ----> Jon L. Estes

Anonymous said...

Since you don't know who it was and said you don't care, then why are we having to read a blog post about it.

Its time to drop this whole disgusting issue and move on to something that has some redemptive value.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Anon 4:34,

He did. Golf.

Joe Blackmon said...

I thought you were of like mind though.You thought wrong.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Glad to know that, Joe. My apologies.

jle said...

Wade,

I do not remember which church it was specifically, this was in the 80's. I know we were up there visiting the minister of music (a name I'll send you via email if you would like) who was on old family friend.

I was a young student traveling with my new wife and my mother. I do remember we traveled in my 79 Pinto. What a car.

Joe Blackmon said...

New BBC

De nada.

Thy Peace said...

De nada ------> Your welcome.

Courtesy Google Translate.

Anonymous said...

I propose another name change for Thy Peace. "Get a Life!"

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

Google Blog Search is a good tool.

Google Blog Search -- jacksonville blogger outed.

Google Blog Search -- fbc jax blogger.

Google Blog Search -- first baptist church jacksonville blogger.

Anonymous said...

"I hope no one from my church was involved... that just might be the last straw before I leave"

SHHEESH This is what it finally takes after all the corruption down there for you to leave? Do us all a favor...go ahead and stay!

Thy Peace said...

let's stop pastor darrell gilyard together > JSO Explains Subpoena.

I have been assured and also believe that Detective Hinson only looked at my blog from the perspective of ownership and to verify that I was not the watchdog or an alias, that we were not conspiring together in some way - thus he looked at the information on my profile and my IP address and then verified that information with Google/Comcast. Once that was confirmed, I was set aside and no further information was requested or gained. He also promptly closed the investigation into the watchdog after realizing there was nothing criminal or any direct threat to the church. This is what I have been assured of and I have asked some tough questions and also made some accusations regarding my fears and concerns. I have asked extensive questions over the course of this last week and all questions have been answered and some more than once, as I re-questioned some things to clarify. I have not felt they withheld anything and I am shocked that they were as open as they have been, they certainly could have told me they "couldn't comment" and I would have just had to deal with it.

Thy Peace said...

VOYAGE RADIO 2.0 > Episode 16 - Wade Burleson Interview, Part 2.

Anonymous said...

A reminder: many of the people who have "blue names" at this blogsite essentially are anonymous, as they provide little/no personal information about themselves beyond the blue name--though are responded to frequently by others with no concern for their anonymity, including the owner of this site.

Read the content. Consider the content. Use or ignore the content. Move on. Simple.

For what it's worth.


David

Elisabeth said...

Brunson seems to be clueless. By "outing" Watchdog the way he did, the whole church, city, and the SBC in general knows about the blog, Mac's excesses, and the questionableness of the way he got Watchdog's identity.

Now, everything Mac does is trying to unring a bell. He can't unring that bell, and he is just digging himself deeper.

Also, thank you Wade for your standing for the truth.

Thy Peace said...

Some more activity on the blogs on fbc jax:

Conservatism is Dead > Accept that the Republican Party is seriously screwed.

Civil Commotion > Holy Man of the Day: Pastor Mac Brunson.

The Writing On The Wall > church blogger watchdog may be put to sleep for sniffing around.

Street Prophets > Jacksonville Detective Subpoenas Google To ID Blogger Critical Of Mega-Church Pastor.

Little Miss Attila > Hm. Looks Like Bob Hymers Isn’t the Only Power-Crazy Pastor Out There.

Google Helps Identify Anonymous Blogger.

Insight > Anonymous Blogger Messes with Church… Church messes back….

Pogo Was Right > FL: FBC blogger feels privacy was violated.

Thy Peace said...

Some more activity on the blogs on fbc jax:

hazy but clearing > First Baptist Church of Jacksonville.

Mark Byron > Mainline Disease and the Southern Baptists.

irReligion > UNMASKED BLOGGER BLAMES FIRST BAPTIST, SHERIFF’S OFFICE.

Ex-Angry Citizen > Unmasked blogger blames First Baptist, Sheriff’s Office.

SocraticGadfly > Fla sheriff violates church-state AND mixes civil-criminal law – and Google complies.

GodDiscussion > Church Kicks Out Member for Blog.

The Armchair Intelligentsia Blog > Unmasked blogger blames First Baptist, Sheriff's Office.

BARTHOLOMEW’S NOTES ON RELIGION > Pastor Brunson vs a Blogger.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Thy Link" it is!

Thy Peace said...

let's stop pastor darrell gilyard together > JSO Explains Subpoena.

This statement was released to me today by Sheriff Rutherford:

Thursday, April 22, 2009

I would like to clarify some information that has been reported about a recent Intelligence investigation conducted by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, regarding perceived threats against a local religious congregation.

* Our agency is responsible for investigating any perceived threats and possible criminal activity that is reported to us by a citizen. Our detectives routinely share what they learn in the course of the investigation with the victim or complainant.

* Suspects would not be made aware of this information, if it is gathered in an effort to determine if a threshold of criminality exists and none is found. In this case, the case was closed 11/13/08 with no further action by JSO warranted when no criminal conduct or significant threat to the church was determined to exist.

* In this case, the information about suspicious behavior directed at Pastor Mac Brunson and his home and family was provided to a detective whose normal duty assignment with the JSO is to investigate possible threats against Jacksonville’s religious institutions. He is a member of our Intelligence Unit. He would have investigated this situation had the complaint come from those affiliated with a Mosque, a Synagogue, or any religious organization. This is Detective Hinson’s job as the intelligence point person for the religious community, and other designated critical infrastructure sites in Jacksonville.

* All our religious institutions are a major part of Jacksonville’s critical infrastructure and we remain vigilant in investigating all perceived threats and security issues associated with those institutions. In light of recent violent incidents that have occurred in churches around the country, I think our vigilance is necessary and most appropriate to ensure public safety.
Had another officer received a similar threat or tip or raised a similar concern, Detective Hinson would have ultimately been the officer assigned to investigate. I have no issue with his investigation and there is no conflict of interest because he is affiliated with that particular congregation.

* The fact that the medium used to communicate the messages being investigated was the internet is irrelevant. Investigations are conducted into the sources of anonymous letters, phone calls, and in this day and age websites and emails, any time it is deemed appropriate for public safety. We then look at the contents and sources of internet information regularly, as part of our investigations.

* Ms. Croft’s blog was initially reviewed as a preliminary investigative lead due to the fact that the Croft’s blog site was listed on the fbcwatchdog web site and was unknown to the investigator. Once the blog ownership information was verified by the internet provider and matched the information listed on Ms. Croft’s blog site, Detective Hinson determined that there was no investigative value in Ms. Croft’s blog site.


I hope this information helps clarify for citizens that this was not about “outing” a blogger, but instead was about proactively addressing public safety.

John H. Rutherford, Sheriff
Jacksonville, FL
.

Here is the list of Fbc Jax Watchdog's Favorites (Blog Roll):

Anti-Criticism Doctrine - Transcript.

Anti-Criticism Doctrine - Video.

Pastor's Conf Promotions Guide.

List of Mac's Abuses.

Discipline Letter #1.

Discipline Letter #2.

FBC Jax Trespass Warnings.

Smyrl "Catholic Cult" Articles.

Best of Mac Video Archive.

Calvin Carr's Church.

Wade Burleson's Blog.

Jim Smyrl's Blog for the Highly Intelligent.

Cold, Hard Truth About Tithing.

SBC Today Blog.

* Bellevue Baptist Blog.

SBC Impact Blog.

* Tiffany Croft Blog.

Stop Baptist Predators.

Christa Brown's Blog.

FBC Jax Website.

Maurilio's Blog.

Maurilio's Twitter - Our Church Marketing $$ Hard At Work!.

Mac's 501(c)3 - Another A Group Project.

Jim's 501(c)3 - Not an A Group Project (Yet).

Trey's 501(c)3.

So out of ALL these sites, only (*) Tiffany Croft And NewBBC (Bellevue) blogs were subpoenaed.

Wow!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if they also obtained the ip addresses of everyone who had visited fbcjaxwatchdog??

It sure would help the FBC leadership figure out who needed to identify to get rid of next.

Watchdog is not the only family who has been run off by FBC.

Is it just me or is FBC JAX following this to the T?

fw


http://www.topix.com/forum/city/wilkesboro-nc/T3435LK785LB5EROG

THE PURPOSE DRIVEN PLAYBOOK FOR CHURCH TAKE OVERS.

In the past ten years a lot of churches
in America and in other countries have changed from a traditional New
Testament church model to a contemporary Purpose Driven model, most
with sorrowful pitiful results. Thousands of churches have split,
closed, or had significant reductions in attendance. Most churches,
after having a brief upsurge in growth, either reverted back to their
original size or suffered church trauma by introducing the PDC model
in their congregation. It is important that EVERY church member know
if their church is targeted for a PURPOSE DRIVEN CHURCH (PDC)
takeover. Initially a small clique of church staff including the
pastor plans the change without telling the rest of the church
membership. Church Transitions (a PDC training arm) trains the clique
initiating the change in eight steps. The church is not to be
informed of the transitions until the fourth step. After the sixth
step if there are some members in the church who voice concerns the
following is suggested:#1- Identify those who are resisting the
changes.#2- Assess the effectiveness of their opposition.#3-
Befriend those who are undecided about changes.#4- Marginalize more
persistent resisters or questioners.#5- Vilify those who stay and
fight.#6- Establish new rules that will silence all resistance. Then
the members either accept the changes or leave the church. Rick
Warren, author and director of the PDC movement, says,'When you
reveal the vision to the church the old pillars are going to leave.
But let them leave ... they only hold things up.' So what are the
signs that your church is targeted for a PDC change?#1- Change in
music to a contemporary rock style.#2- Removal of hymn books...often
words on a screen.#3- Eliminating the choir or introducing a choral
'entertainment type' singing group. Repetitive praise lyrics are
used.#4- Replacing the organ/piano with rock music type instruments.#5- Dressing down to casual informal attire.#8- A repetitive 40 day
PDC study program stressing psychological relationships with each
other, the community and the world.#10- Sunday morning, evening,
and/or Wednesday prayer meetings are changed to other times, named
differently or eliminated.#14- New versions of the Bible are used.#16- The decor may be changed to eliminate any resemblance to the
'former church.'#17- The name 'church' is often removed and may be
called a 'campus.' Denominational names are often removed.#18- An
emphasis on more fun and party times for the youth.#19- Elimination
of altar calls or salvation invitations.#20- The elimination of such
words as 'unsaved,''lost,''hell, and 'sodomy.'#21-
Reclassification of the saved and lost to the 'churched' and
'unchurched'#22- The marginalizing or ostracizing of all who are not
avid promoters of the new PDC program.

Thy Peace said...

Theology Today > Anonymous Blogger Gets Outed then Booted From His Church!.

Jon L. Estes said...

I have never read through any of the PD stuff but have read where this type approach is not designed for established traditional churches.
_ _ _ _ _

#1- Change in
music to a contemporary rock style.
This has been happening since the beginning of the church. Music has always been brought onto the scene and introduced to the church. We do not sing the songs of the early church. (Acts 1 time period).

Am I a pastor who pushes for rock style music? No, but I do not condemn music that speaks of the nature and character of God which is set to a tune I don't understand. If a more contemporary music, which is true to the nature and character of Christ, can help reach the masses then I can support it. There is a whole generation of young people who Christ died for who will not go to grandmas church. Do we simply ignore them because they want o do church differently? God forbid.

_ _ _ _ _
#2- Removal of hymn books... often words on a screen.This is a problem because of what reason? What is ungodly about putting the words to music on a screen?

Is the hymn book now sacred?

_ _ _ _ _
#3- Eliminating the choir or introducing a choral
'entertainment type' singing group. Repetitive praise lyrics are
used.
Is having a choir a requirement to being a spiritually healthy church?

Which is worse... singing a praise chorus over an dover again or singing, I Surrender All but never surrendering?

#4- Replacing the organ/piano with rock music type instruments.If such a method works to reach people for Christ, is it a terrible thing. I had a woman leave our church once because we remodeled and put chairs in instead of pews. I was told it was ungodly to not have pews in a church. I've worshiped the One True God in Africa, the same One we worship in our local baptist church, where we sat on benches with no backs, or folding chairs, or even on a dirt floor. Drums were being played,stringed instruments were being used to worship.

The time has come we quit worshiping the pianos, organs, pews, hymn books... and return our focus on Jesus. I bet if we could do this we would not even notice the things out of whack from our generation.

_ _ _ _ _
#5- Dressing down to casual informal attire.Have you ever seen a picture of Jesus in a suit and tie? It seems to me that to often we dress up, not out of respect but to be noticed by others. Don't believe me, check out the next SBC meeting, in Louisville. For some it is a fashion show, like many churches.

Scripture is right, men look at the outside and God looks upon the heart. Oh help us to have eyes like Jesus.

_ _ _ _ _
#8- A repetitive 40 day
PDC study program stressing psychological relationships with each other, the community and the world.
Don't know about this, never done it, never seen it.

_ _ _ _ _
#10- Sunday morning, evening,
and/or Wednesday prayer meetings are changed to other times, named
differently or eliminated.
The prayer meeting changed long before PD stuff hit the market. Matter of fact, we often times pray more to keep people out of heaven than pray to get people into heaven. Most churches have not prayed for lost people in decades. I know pastors who got in trouble for no mentioning ever prayer need in the Sunday AM service.

_ _ _ _ _
#14- New versions of the Bible are used.So which version is the right version? When did the King James become sacred?

_ _ _ _ _
#16- The decor may be changed to eliminate any resemblance to the
'former church.'
This may be a very good thing. The Brady Bunch colors are no longer in.

_ _ _ _ _
#17- The name 'church' is often removed and may be
called a 'campus.' Denominational names are often removed.
When did names and denominations save anyone? Relevancy to the gospel in reaching the lost is paramount.

_ _ _ _ _
#18- An emphasis on more fun and party times for the youth.This is much older than the PD stuff. If parents grounded their children in the things of God at home, they would want less games in the church. It is not the churches responsibility to train up a child in the way they should go. We should give them the gospel, sure and true but an honest look is that our teens are a product of the home first, not the church. To often, the teens we get have no clue to the things of God.

_ _ _ _ _
#19- Elimination
of altar calls or salvation invitations.
Have yet to see this happen. I did see rick Warren once on a video where the invitation was given and the response was to text in their decisions to certain numbers. I thought it was weird but the people seemed to be responsive, through the camera lenses. Do you think people could be saved and respond in such a way or is there... you have to walk an isle, be baptized in a baptist church (sorry Wade, just using an illustration) to really be saved.

_ _ _ _ _
#20- The elimination of such
words as 'unsaved,''lost,''hell, and 'sodomy.'
Not where I have been. I don't doubt it but I wonder where you could find out the percentage of such a thing. All the pastors I know personally use these words.

_ _ _ _ _
#21- Reclassification of the saved and lost to the 'churched' and 'unchurched'Which group is which? I think many people in the church today worship the wrong God. They worship the God of style, pews, stained glass, pianos, organs, dress up presentation but never notice the holy God in their presence.

#22- The marginalizing or ostracizing of all who are not
avid promoters of the new PDC program.
Again, I don't know about PD but I am sure you can give us evidence, more than just the church you attend and the things you don't like there.

John Fariss said...

John,

Sometimes--maybe even a lot of the time--I disagree with your comments (sorry 'bout that), but THIS time--well said! I applaude your sensitivity to that which is true as opposed to that which is merely traditional.

Somehow though I don't seem to use the word "sodomy" very often, if ever. I don't recall it being used much, if ever, in churches I attended, which range from a First Baptist in a county seat town, to a hyper-traditional rural church, to a fundamentalist new-work church. Is using the word "sodomy" part of the Articles of Faith--excuse me, the BF&M--or the Gospel, either one?

John Fariss

Jon L. Estes said...

John,

I know I have used it when the subject comes up in the text. I have also defined it (without being graphic) for the people, many young people are clueless to the word.

I will be preaching on the ways to deal with suffering this weekend and will be bringing up the morning after pill (in the news again where minors can get this without prescription), as an example of what can lead to suffering.OR at least I am planning on using it as an example while speaking of the casual promiscuity our culture accepts.

When scripture speaks to it, speak it. That is probably more to the point I could have made.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Churches that are using these tactics do not all use them all. The methods are the same though. Go back and read the 8 steps to "transitioning." The 22 steps are merely a smorgasbord. A PDC model isn't always the goal, but the means to the end often are.

Anonymous said...

The young love their music.
And they DO know about God.
What drives them away is the distance between what the church preaches and what the church practices. When that distance becomes so great that the connection is lost to them, they walk. Kids are good at one thing: they know what is real and they know what is phoney.

Jesus Christ. Put Him and His Words and His Actions back up on the stage. Kick the 'authoritative' fat-cat preacher with the big house and salary out the back door.
And stop telling people they are not 'good enough' to come and be with you at church. No one is 'good enough'. That's why Jesus came. He has the Way, and no other.

Kids know a lot. Same ole, same ole hypocrisy can't be covered over with a little rock music and sold to them as 'the Church'.

Give them Jesus. They'll come home.

New BBC Open Forum said...

So out of ALL these sites, only (*) Tiffany Croft And NewBBC (Bellevue) blogs were subpoenaed.

Wow!
Thank you, Thy Peace. You have an excellent grasp of the obvious!

The claim that Tiffany's blog site was "unknown" to the investigator is laughable... at best. She's signed her name to her blog from the beginning, and as she said, some of her family, including her father, are still members of FBC Jax. If Hinson didn't recognize her name, all he had to do was ask, "Hey, Mac (or John Blount), who's this Tiffany woman?" I mean, "Thigpen" isn't exactly a common name. Mac knows who she is even if Hinson didn't. Would it not make sense to simply pick up the phone and ask before requesting a subpoena?

Anyone could tell from the writing alone that Tiffany and the Watchdog are two people. The sheriff conveniently failed to explain why they felt the need to subpoena information about the NBBCOF. The fact remains that there were never any criminal overtones to any of our blogs. They were blowing smoke simply to obtain the identity of the Watchdog and me. I'm convinced they investigated Tiffany simply to intimidate her into taking down her blog. If that was their intent, it doesn't appear to have worked.

Thy Peace said...

Salon.com > Simon Johnson says: "Break up the banks".

** You have become famous for decrying the consolidation of power by a new financial oligarchy over the politics and economy of the United States. Since our last conversation I was intrigued to learn that this isn't necessarily an obsession of yours. In the soon-to-be-published paper "From Ancien Regime to Capitalism: The Spread of the French Revolution as a Natural Experiment," which you co-authored with Daren Acemoglu, you argue that after the French Revolution, Napoleon's armies contributed to future economic growth by breaking up local church and aristocratic oligarchies.

Oh yes! So you know that I work on longer-term issues as well as shorter-term issues. You see, there are some recurring themes here. It's about power, and you have to see it all in that light.

** Does Wall Street require its own Napoleon?

Well, there was a lot of damage done the way he did it. And I don't think we currently are living under the "ancien regime." The structure of Western Germany, for example, when the French came in, was post-medieval, and they completely transformed it. I still think that we have basically a good system here today. It's just that a relatively few people got out of control. And they need to be reined in. I think that's doable.

In the Joint Economic Hearing on Tuesday, I thought the most the interesting stuff came from Thomas Hoenig, who had this amazing quote. I mean I was just shocked to hear him say it, to hear a Federal Reserve regional bank president say that any time you have banks that are too big to fail, you are going to have oligarchs. I thought it was brilliant. That's where I am! And I'm trying to persuade people I'm not a sensationalist, or an extremist.

** In your own testimony, your basic message was pretty simple: It's time to break up the banks.

Yeah. I've been saying that for awhile, but the new piece is to use antitrust law to do it. Some good lawyers have thought about this now for us, and they are saying, certainly, changing the legislation to make this easier is the way to go. The lawyers themselves are divided on whether you can do this under the existing legal framework. But the historians are adamant that what we are saying is very much in the spirit of the original antitrust movement. What Teddy Roosevelt and his cohorts were worried about was excessive power -- political power for these oligarchs.

Anonymous said...

Phil Gramm pushed bank deregulation with the full knowledge and backing of the GOP.

Now we are paying for it.

The rich got a lot richer.

And mainstreet?

Mainstreet figured it out. Gramm's party is no longer in power.

Steve said...

Those who are upset with developments in worship styles might make themselves a touch more believeable if they actually wrote their own words, not just cut & paste something from somebody else's website.

I mean, I know you're busy, but please show us you are capable of original thought.

Steve said...

Thy Peace:

How pleasant to realize that Democratic legislators' demands that half the mortgages written by the big banks after the Community Reinvestment Act took place actually go to those who didn't (apparently) have the means to make payments were merely figments of our imagination and that everything was Bush's fault - even tho' he was Gov. of Texas at the time.

Thy Peace said...

This is a comment John left on Tiffany's blog:
-----------------------------------
John said...
I just started following this issue a couple of weeks ago. I was in the youth group at FBC around the same time Tiffany was and still have several friends who attend that church. The following posting that I left on the Times-Union website sums up what I feel about the situation. Oh, and for the record, my name is John F.

"Some things to consider....

1) Abuse of power is wrong regardless of what creed, be it scriptural or legal, that is used to justify it. It's sickening when anyone justifies immoral actions based on what they consider to be holy "words of God". This is just as true for something that seems as insignificant as using the local law enforcement to discover the identity of someone who is speaking against you as it is for justifying mass murder through jihad.

2) I'm afraid that the JSO mentality of "get the bad guy before he might do something wrong" is a by-product of a fundamental shift in American thinking over the past 8 years. It's only logical to expect that the same ideals that would allow the Freedom Act to exist would trickle down to local law enforcement and even in personal relationships with one another. Since when is it OK to hold people accountable for what they MIGHT do? This is a scary trend.

3) As for the detective who revealed the information to the church after no wrongdoing or illegality was discovered, his actions reveal one of the fundamental flaws with the megachurch system. I attended FBC when I lived in Jacksonville and have been part of many different churches (big and small) in the years since. One thing that I have found is that regardless of the church size, members long to make personal connections both with each other and with the leaders of the church. Why is this? Quite simply, no one wants to feel insignificant or unknown. In a small church, this might not be as big an issue as it is much easier to create a sense of close-knit community. In a large church, you have to do something extraordinary to be noticed, especially by a pastor who for obvious reasons is unable to get to know every parishioner on a personal level. People want to feel a "pat on the back" by those they look up to for leadership and guidance and I imagine this is what caused the detective to have a lapse in judgment: the desire to please the man he works for and protects.

4) Several posters have attacked Rich for his anonymous dissent. While an argument can be made that things might have progressed differently had there been more deliberate and open communication between both parties, it is easy to understand why he chose to remain anonymous. It's not always easy or prudent to go up against a powerful entity (church, government, etc.) as a lone voice crying in the wilderness when you feel there is an injustice being carried out. It's especially true in this particular case where you have dogmatic, unbending church leaders and their passionately loyal church members who are either too afraid or ignorant to question the status quo. FBC has always had a massive web of influence in every aspect of Jacksonville and it's very likely that right or wrong, Rich feared the backlash that would come from openly speaking out. After all, isn't it true that the Gestapo tactics used by FBC and the JSO have justified those fears?

5) The saddest part of this entire saga is the blatant lack of humility, forgiveness, and unmistakable desire for restoration that could have prevented this travesty. For the leadership and members of FBC, why is dissent something that you should fear? After all, if your policies and beliefs are beyond reproach and infallible, how could dissent be a threat to you? Why can't you be humble enough to even entertain any of the criticisms in terms of possible validity? Are you so arrogant to think that you have it all figured out and therefore are beyond reproach? What might have been if instead of using intimidating tactics such as discipline councils and trespass warnings, you had listened thoughtfully to the dissent? I encourage you to not fear dissent but to allow it to sharpen you and your beliefs. Not from a dogmatic insistence on maintaining your convictions but to truthfully test the validity of the dissent. After all, if what you believe really is truth, questioning those beliefs won't cause you to conclude otherwise.

For Mr. Rich, I applaud your courage to stand up against perceived injustice. Our human history is marked with stories of those who did the same: our Revolutionary ancestors, Oskar Schindler (who incidentally was also very secretive in his opposition to Nazi Germany....do you think any of the hundreds of Jews he saved think he is less of a hero because of that?), and even Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, our history is also marked by those who remained silent and allowed travesties to go unchecked. My advice to you would be to walk away from this saga with dignity, humility, and grace. What better way to show dissent than by modeling the kind of behavior that you have longed for in those who have stood against you?"
April 24, 2009 9:27 AM
-----------------------------------

othoniel said...

have you thought about stopping your writing about them instead of praying for them
"Just A Thought"