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

Thoughts on Sunday Night Pastor's Conference

Sunday night's Southern Baptist Pastor's Conference was held at the Kentucky Exposition and Fair Grounds just about five minutes south of downtown Louisville. I arrived at 6:00 p.m. and walked into the main lobby to the wonderful smell of freshly baked donuts. It seems some entrepreneurs have brought in a donut machine that makes hot, white sugar coated minature donuts - selling them for $4.00 a dozen. The line for donuts was longer than the line for Convention registration, and I can vouch that the donuts are worth the wait.

J.D. Greear started the preaching off at 6:30 p.m. I have heard a great deal about J.D., but have never had the privilege of hearing him preach. He pastors The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, a fast-growing church composed of mostly young adults. J.D. did an excellent job showing the six characteristics of Christians who have substituted religion for the vitality of knowing Jesus Christ. His text was Matthew 23 and he showed how the Pharisees (1). sought personal recognition, (2). substituted religious rituals over and against love for God, (3). substituted religious rituals over and against love for people, (4). considered only themselves holy and other people sinful, (5). raised tertiary issues to the place of primary doctrine, and (6). sought fellowship around conformity to their own ideology and not the life transforming power of God.

J.D.'s message was superb. My only reservation is the manner in which J.D., like many trained in modern Southern Baptist seminaries, used women in ministry as an illustration of a "primary" doctrine. One of these days I believe J.D. will see that this "doctrine" is secondary, if not tertiary - and disagreement among evangelicals in this area should not lead to separation in fellowship or cooperation.

Mac Brunson followed J.D. Greear and preached a message from I Peter. His theme was on how the people in Christ's church should love one another and treat each other with grace, civility and love - so that the world will see how we treat one another and glorify God. Mac is a great communicator and I enjoy listening to him. He is faithful to the text, which is more than can be said of many preachers. However, I couldn't help but have two thoughts reverberate in my head as Mac preached on Christian civility and love - (1). Why is he yelling so loud? Usually, loud preaching is not bothersome, but there seemed to be a disconnect between a preacher talking about Christian civility and love while yelling at the people who he says (those of us in the congregation) aren't showing it, and (2). I wonder what Mac's church member - the one who criticized Mac on his blog and then was issued a trespass warning without ever being personally contacted by Mac - was thinking?

I didn't have to wonder long because as soon as the message was over I received a text message from that church member. He let me know what he thought of the message -and I discovered that he was thinking what I thought he must be thinking.

Chuck Colson closed out the evening. I really enjoy listening to Chuck. He is casual, conversational and most often insightful. He spoke about "The Great Storm" our nation faces - caused not by economic or political catastrophes, but by a moral vaccuum in the hearts and lives of God's people. He spent a great deal promoting his new book "The Faith" - which he will be signing today in the LifeWay store - but his words were, as usual, insightful. If I have any complaint about Chuck's message it would be he is often too focused on "culture" and what he calls "The Christian Worldview" to the point of warning the congregation that in just a couple of years we all might be imprisoned for "speaking out against homosexuality." In the first message by J.D. Greear we had an example of a young SBC pastor who encouraged us to live out the gospel - while in the last message we have an elder SBC statesman who seemed to indicate that it is more important to speak out against a sinful culture. I don't know that either is necessarily "wrong" or "better than the other" - just illustrative of the divide between two generations of Southern Baptists.

If you would like to watch Monday's Pastor's Conference, you can watch the live feed here.

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

78 comments:

Tim Marsh said...

I hope that things go well at the SBC.

I am sure that Greear did a wonderful job from what you said. However, I cannot help but emphasize that the Pharisees were not merely substituting rituals for love and seeking recognition.

The confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees was a battle about what it meant to be faithful to God and how that faithfulness plays out.

It was a battle for hermeneutics - for interpreting scripture (OT, particularly the law) and subsequent application.

I don't think that it is fair to paint the Pharisees as those who did not seek the truth. They were sincere. However they were sincerely wrong.

The problem we have in reading scripture is whether or not our doctrine of inerrancy, as an interpretive strategy, leads us to the same conclusions the Pharisees reached. Follow the commands of God as rules and do not ask questions. Do not find the coherence or moral vision of the text within scripture's symbolic world. In this strategy, God is an arbitrary authority who can do whatever he desires because he is God.

Or do we read scripture like Jesus (and Paul) and see that there is a theological principle and ethical principle that ties scripture together? "God is love" and "we love because he first loved us." from 1 John 4 would be that principle in my own hermeneutical strategies. We could call these "criteria", but I believe that word is no longer usable in Baptist life :)

God bless!

Jim Paslay said...

Wade,

Colson's book "How Now Shall We Live" and discipleship training material is solid in helping Christians have a biblical worldview. I have taught the material to the church I pastor and also to pastors within our association. I like Colson's approach and his emphasis on making disciples.

Thy Peace said...

I did not hear Pastor Mac speak at this conference. But I would have to agree with Pastor Wade's observation on how loud Pastor Mac can get lot of times. He is a gifted speaker and very dynamic. But my opinion is that he was consumed with Fbc Jax Watchdog blog. Rather than reacting in a rational way, they bungled it.

pastorricky99 said...

i have an really decent room at the Ramada in Shepardsville. I little south of Louisville, I found it on travelocity for $39.40 a night... not too bad!

I think your assessments of each speaker was accurate. I do wish Mac Brunson wasn't yelling and wondered if 'watchdog' was present.

Also, I didn't notice a clear text from Chuck Colson. I enjoyed what he shared, but it wasn't what I thought of as a sermon.

This is my first time attending either the pastor's conference or the convention, primarily because the churches where I have previously served never had the resources, not did I, to attend.

I am looking forward to the next few days, and the possibility of running into you!

chadwick said...

Wade,

Don't you know: Mac's former church member who text you "ain't" anonymous anymore; he is Thomas A. Rich.

chadwick

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

You can just call me Tom Rich, Chad, that would be fine. I'm sure your motives are pure.

Did you even listen to the messages tonight?

Tom Kelley said...

chadwick said...
Wade,

Don't you know: Mac's former church member who text you "ain't" anonymous anymore


Chadwick,
Where in his post did Wade say the person was anonymous? Any what does anyone's anonymity matter to you? I think Wade addressed that issue very well here.

As Lydia asked on the last thread, are you affirming Mac's behavior in dealing with the Watchdog?
-----
Tom

chadwick said...

Tom,

Wade stated:
"I wonder what Mac's church member - the one who criticized Mac on his blog and then was issued a trespass warning without ever being personally contacted by Mac - was thinking?

I didn't have to wonder long because as soon as the message was over I received a text message from that church member. He let me know what he thought of the message -and I discovered that he was thinking what I thought he must be thinking."

Tom,

Evidently, you are new to the SBC blogosphere. EVERYONE knows who Wade is referring to. What Wade stated was, in my opinion, OVERKILL.

chadwick

Tom Kelley said...

Chadwick,
I'ved been around for a while, and I knew what he was talking about. But Wade said nothing about anonymity -- you did. And you didn't answer my other questions.
-----
Tom

becca said...

If Wade would have said "I wonder what Tom Rich was thinking," I would have had no clue who he was referring to. I do remember reading about that, but I certainly didn't memorize names.

Alan Paul said...

The role of women is indeed a secondary issue. How can it not be when you compare the life-changing, mind blowing, paradigm shifting message that Jesus brought to earth with what? Someone with different body parts than mine (being a man) preaching?

As always Chadwick, your behavior leaves much to be desired.

Jon L. Estes said...

What makes something a primary doctrine and something else not?

Mark | hereiblog said...

Why is Colson presenting at the SBC? I've been told that he may be a Southern Baptist. At the same time, I understand his wife is a practicing Roman Catholic. Something about this just doesn't seem right.

Texan said...

Perhaps Mac should have preached a sermon entitled, "Why A Disgruntled Church Member Should Come In And Visit With His Pastor Before Ripping Him To Shreds In An Anonymous Blog." It would have been more appropriate.

Jon L. Estes said...

I appreciated Mac's sermon. Some pastors are yellers, some are not. there could be varied reasons for this and I am OK with giving Mac the pass believing that he is passionate about what he is saying.

I also thought about the WD while he was preaching since I have posted there. How was mac supposed to go to him when no one would say who "he" was? Of course, there have been complaints about Mac's handling this but I am not in his shoes and I did not think my families security was being threatened.

Texan said...

Jon,

As usual, well said.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Texan , since we're talking sermon titles, try this: "How to Call a Church Member a Sociopath in Your Local Newspaper and then have the Audacity to Preach to Pastors How You Should Never Defend Yourself and Let Jesus Handle Disputes"

Are you Randy McDonald?

Thy Peace said...

"...and I did not think my families security was being threatened".

This was truly a fig leaf to cover their shame and nakedness of their handling of Fbc Jax Watchdog's saga. They literally blew the handling of it.

The above has been thoroughly debunked both on this blog and Fbc Jax Watchdog's blog on how their reasoning was so contrived.

If Watchdog truly approached Mac from the beginning, then he would have been kicked out lot sooner, as has happened to other people at Fbc Jax. This approaching business is only good, if the other party [read Mac and entourage] follows some measure of Christian decency and fellowship and not a play book approach of The Prince, by Niccolò Machiavelli.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Very true, Thy Peace. Others who approached Mac early on were asked to leave when they asked questions or expressed concerns over relatively small things.

And Brunson and his staff knew of my identity in October, and chose not to speak to me or my wife, they just issued the trespass papers against me and against my wife as their first step, and then refused to meet with me because I dared to ask that I have someone with me, and dared to ask them to first tell me how they discovered my identity.

And Mac says in his sermon last night that you can't get involved with verbal disputes, and returning "evil for evil"....when the reality was he himself didn't live up to his own words. His first public words in the newspaper after it was on the front page of the paper that FBC went to the police to find my identity - his comment? Oh, that blogger is mentally ill. Can't you feel the love from Mac the pastor?

And he lectures, screams, at other pastors about how they should behave.

I'm sure other pastors saw right through it. But not Jon and Randy. But that is not at all surprising.

Former FBC Insider said...

It is shameful the way Mac Brunson pretends that he has not bungled the handling of someone who disagreed with him within his fellowship. That's all it was and is. He has the audacity to preach on how to handle your flock in love? He never attempted to handle Watchdog in love. He chose to serve trespass warnings to members of his church so they could not go to church? Is that not obsurd? And he wants to 'teach' you how to love your flock by yelling? His character is completely transparent. There is nothing he will be able to do to clear his name. And that will be his own choosing due to his pride.

His actions are the only things louder than his words.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

This Little Light - Book and Reviews.

Christa Brown said...
I'm reposting below a prior comment by Jeri:

"... You know, friends, the more people who post reviews on Amazon, the more prominently Amazon will display the book in searches for things like "Baptist Books" (believe it or not!), religion, clergy issues, etc.

Amazon does its rankings based on daily sales, so a brand new book that sells 10 copies in one day actually shoots to the top of their smaller charts (like religion). And reviews also add points to the ratings, as do comments on reviews.

If you are shy about writing in such a large venue, you can always stay simple: identify your reason for reading the book (I'm a Christian; I've been following clergy abuse stories; or I'm a survivor of clergy abuse, etc) and then a single statement of your reaction. (This book helped me understand the situation. Or, I had no idea the problem was this serious. Or, This book made me feel like I have not suffered alone, etc.

By contributing reviews and comments on reviews, you help to keep the book prominent."

Thanks to any of you who are able to post just a few sentences about my book on the Amazon or Barnes & Noble sites. It really helps!
June 22, 2009 8:10 AM

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Christa Brown said...
Many thanks to those of you who contributed comments to the Associated Baptist Press article about my book. It's up to 93 today, and still counting. I think that's way more than ANY other ABP article has ever garnered.

To this day, the ABP is still running that article as a lead-story-slider at the top of its home page. I believe the many comments are what have helped to keep the story in a highly-visible place on the site, and particularly with the Southern Baptist Convention starting tomorrow, your comments help.
June 22, 2009 8:24 AM
.

Lydia said...

Guys, It is pastors excusing the unbiblical behavior of other pastors. You guys should know your place. You are not to question or 'touch thine anointed'.

Then it gets around because it is on Wade's blog who is on their side or not. Don't think that is not a motivating factor. Maybe a speaking gig somewhere? It can only help the 'pastor' career.

After all, calling one of your former members a sociopath in the news after having them investigated and his personal records subpeona'd is normal business for pastors these days. But why on earth was BBCOpenforum and Stop Darrell Gilyard blogs investigated, too? Hmm.

They are only taking their cue from the leaders of the SBC. After all, they are leaders so they must be right. Right?

BTW: Jon, if he felt threatened, then where are the documents reporting that? Where is the description of the stalker? Are they STILL looking for the stalker?

When mail is stolen the PO investigates. Where is the report?

Lydia said...

"And Mac says in his sermon last night that you can't get involved with verbal disputes, and returning "evil for evil"....when the reality was he himself didn't live up to his own words."

Last night was nothing more than a Clintonesque attempt to exonerate his vile behavior. And, as you see, it works. Other pastors will emulate him when anyone dares question them. Or blog about them.

SBC loves to institutionalize and promote bad behavior.

Texan said...

Thomas A. Rich,

No I am not. Sorry to disappoint you. For now, who I am will have to remain anonymous and you should certainly understand that.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Texan:

I don't believe you, and I'm sure you understand that.

Thomas A. Rich

Scott said...

Couple of questions:

1. Did people actually take Mac seriously?

2. Why do people associated good preaching with yelling but poor teaching with yelling?

3. Why is expository preaching so lauded? Some of the best, most moving and thought provoking sermons were not three points and an invitation.

4. Why isn't Brunson seeking an out of court settlement with JaxDog? This type of lawsuit will be hitting front pages before it's all said and done and pastors are favored targets for media types, particularly SBC pastors with lots of influence. There will be more damage done unless he takes the first step of reconciliation. JaxDog is right in his actions, but there are going to be large implications when this is all said and done.

5. Seriously. Why all the yelling?

Jon L. Estes said...

Tom Rich,

You have to show proof Mac was defending himself and not simply making an observation of a man who lived to criticize him, castigate him and compare him to child molesters.

I know you are going to say you didn't... but you did.

I don't think you are sociopath but you demonstrated some symptoms of the disease. Of course, I probable do at times also... but not consistently for over a year.

Jon L. Estes said...

"...and I did not think my families security was being threatened".

This was truly a fig leaf to cover their shame and nakedness of their handling of Fbc Jax Watchdog's saga. They literally blew the handling of it.


I have read the conspiracy theories which would support your conclusion but they are on par with the 911 attacks were of our own governments doing.

Of course I could be wrong and you know Mac's heart better than anyone else. Don't think so...

Of course, if you read through my comments on tom's blog, there was little support for Mac but great complaint against Tom. These are two different subjects, for most people.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Jon Estes - you show yourself for what you are: a lying pastor and I feel sorry for you and those like you.

Jon L. Estes said...

Let's leave Mac out of this, for the moment...

Was the sermon preached, Biblically sound? Did it make sense and was it relevant?

Let's not denigrate God's message because you don't like the messenger. You might even find a blessing in God's message... regardless of the messenger.

It was a good sermon.

Jon L. Estes said...

Tom, where have I lied?

Steve said...

Mr Watchdog,

is the criteria for being a “liar” simply disagreeing with you? Wow.

Get a grip.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Steve: No, its when someone lies, that I call them a liar.

Estes lies when he says that I compared Mac to a child molester.

That's a lie.

And Estes makes his diagnosis as to my mental state, that I have for a year displayed sociopathic tendencies.

Lie.

I don't mind people disagreeing with me at all.

But if they lie, especially lying pastors like Estes, I'll call 'em on it.

Steve said...

I see. Well, I don't know you or your story, or that much about Brunson, but it seemed like you were calling a lot of people liars. That is especially alarming since you have referred to lying "pastors" so often. Are you a pastor?

I find myself getting quickly perturbed at those who criticize pastors out-of-hand.

I don't know Jon, either, but that just concerned me.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Texan: Until you can post without being anonymous anything you say is simply hypocritical. In fact I cannot believe that you post anonymously and then slam Watchdog. Unbelievable.

Steve: Get to know the story then you can post with some sense of knowledge. To say what you have and not know the story is simply unacceptable to me at least.

Debbie Kaufman said...

I wanted to use the word stupid instead of unacceptable but decided that wouldn't be nice. :)

Lydia said...

"I find myself getting quickly perturbed at those who criticize pastors out-of-hand."

Some folks first met Jon when he went on BBC open forum a few years back and rebuked them for 'touching thine anointed' Dr. Financial Gaines. The pastor who coddled a pedophile minister of prayer.

Jon thinks pastors are God specially anointed and should not be questioned. Wonder if that is because Jon is a pastor?

I can understand why pastors get touchy when someone critisizes them but doesn't that come with the exhalted position? Are they not to 'model' the appropriate response to such things for us?

Or is their job just to rebuke the peasants? :>)

And Jon, facts are pesky little things, aren't they. Which is why you ignored them on this topic.

If your family was being threatened, wouldn't there be some documentation SOMEWHERE of a report about it? A description of the stalker? PO report of mail theft? SOMETHING? A date you reported it? ANYTHING?

Steve said...

Check out the facts before running your mouth off? What kind of fun is that?
How much shorter would be the story of modern man if people only spoke about what they had a clue about. It WOULD be nice, though....

John Fariss said...

Look, I don't know if Jon lied, Steve lied, WD lied, Mac lied, or anyone else lied. Oh, I have my suspecions, I am human, but (1) as they are suspecions not proven facts, and (2) as the only horse I have in this race is the general one that all lies and needless hostility on the part of Christians (so-called) hurts all of us who claim His name, I shall keep my suspecions to myself.

What I will say is to urge all of you to ratchet down the emotion and the anxiety. Calling one another liars probably won't help, or change anyone's mind. Some folks in blogdom take as their standard of evidence "guilt beyond all doubt," which is farther than the criminal courts go (reasonable doubt, not all doubt). Others seem to take as their standard a single witness's conclusions, which is less than the minimum that civil courts require (a preponderance of the evidence). Until and unless we agree on the standards, I suggest we ratchet down the rhetoric to where we are talking with one another, not past each other.

And don't accuse me of trying to be the blog police either. I just want to be able to follow what's going on without having to wade through all the anger and hostility--but I am mindful too that we are called to be our brother's keeper.

John

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi John - no anger here. Just pointing out a lying pastor.

Jon Estes is following Brunson's lead and insinuating that I'm a sociopath. And he's saying that I compared Brunson to a child molester.

Those are lies. And that's the TRUTH.

No anger at all, just pointing out the facts.

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

"O God, Who art the unsearchable abyss of peace, who sendest peace to those who receive it...

Make us children of quietness and heirs of peace.

Strengthen our weakness by Thy power, and bind us closely to Thee in unity. "

From the ages to the ages, Amen.

Truth Purveyor said...

Tom, I think where Jon Estes comes up with you linking Brunson to child molesters is for the longest time when you went to Christa Brown's website Mac Brunson was prominently listed on the main page. That is probably the genesis for his comment.

Personally, I am sure that this was an unintentional oversight by Christa and not meant to deliberately make the comparison.

Sincerely,


TP

Joe Blackmon said...

One of these days I believe J.D. will see that this "doctrine" is secondary, if not tertiary - and disagreement among evangelicals in this area should not lead to separation in fellowship or cooperation.

According to you. I am very thankful that JD Greer stood up for the bible in that regard and that he has the doctrinal convictions to do so.

Thy Peace said...

Action News Jax > "First Baptist Blogger" suing church.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The attorney for the so-called "First Baptist Blogger" sent a letter to the church notifying his intent to sue.

Jon L. Estes said...

Estes lies when he says that I compared Mac to a child molester.

That's a lie.


Well, you have and others on your blog compared Mac to Bob Gray. I know you have said it was being the pastor of a large church and controlling it but the fact remains Bob Gray is a child molester. Therefore, I stand correct.

And Estes makes his diagnosis as to my mental state, that I have for a year displayed sociopathic tendencies.

Lie.


What I did say was... I don't think you are sociopath but you demonstrated some symptoms of the disease. Of course, I probable do at times also... but not consistently for over a year.

here is a link which gives some symptoms of sociopathic behavior.

http://www.lovefraud.com/01_whatsaSociopath/key_symptoms_sociopath.html


I don't mind people disagreeing with me at all.

But if they lie, especially lying pastors like Estes, I'll call 'em on it.


It seems you don't like people disagreeing with you. Regardless, if you think I lied, oh well. I don't think so.

I've been called worse and I've survived.

We do disagree but in the power of Christ I consider you a brother in Christ.

Jon L. Estes said...

Truth,

On February of this year Tom wrote a blog post using Bob Gray.

here are his words...

Since our pastor and the president of the Trustees moderating the business meeting didn't explain this clause, or explain why this was necessary, they must not have wanted us to know. So we will be good students of history...and the Watchdog notes two prominent events that may have served as the impetus for such a change to our bylaws:

1. Trinity Baptist Church and the Bob Gray scandal; and

2. Two-Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville, TN

Thy Peace said...

New BBC Open Forum posted a correction saying the above news story is not accurate:

New BBC Open Forum said...

Richard,

The news report wasn't completely accurate. The lawsuit is against Brunson and Soud as individuals, not "the church."
6:38 PM, June 22, 2009

Jon L. Estes said...

Some folks first met Jon when he went on BBC open forum a few years back and rebuked them for 'touching thine anointed' Dr. Financial Gaines. The pastor who coddled a pedophile minister of prayer.

Yes I made the statement about touch not his anointed but then that statement was not original to me. if there is a problem you need to take it up with the One who stated it first.

Of course, I made this statement long before information about the long time pedophile on staff was broken.

Preachin' Jesus, Luvin' People said...

Thanks Wade for the update.

As I couldn't make it to the convention I really appreciate them.

Keep'em coming

wtreat

Paula said...

1 John 2:20
But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.

1 John 2:27
As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.

1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.


In Christ, everyone is anointed. None of the spiritual gifts is held above the others (unless you go by the chronology in 1 Cor. 12:28 and Eph. 4:11, which puts prophets above "pastors and teachers", and nobody disputes that there were female prophets, re. Acts 21:9 for example).

Ergo "touch not mine anointed" has to be ripped from context to mean "thou shalt never accuse a "pastor", especially in light of 1 Tim. 5:20.

alton orlando said...

Love hearing from the convention. Folks, who made us
wade's critics? If you can't say something nice, then why sy anything at all? Get a life.

AO

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

John Estes -

...and your point is....????

Greg Alford said...

Wade,

Robin Foster, who is one of the principal advocates of the Baptist Identity movement, had a very different take-away from JD's sermon. Robin writes:

“Last night I attended the pastors conference. It seems the theme at this year’s pastors conference is the Great Commission Resurgence. The first one up was JD Greear. I heard JD back at Jacksonville at the pastors conference at FBC. After JD preached this sermon a friend of mine who attended Jacksonville made the comment that JD preached the same sermon as he did in Jacksonville (1 Cor. 9), only that he used a difference text (Matt 23) to do so this time. I would have to concur with my friend, same message, different text.

The one thing that was repeated and that I still have questions about is what are the secondary and tertiary doctrines that we should not divide over? He did mention tongues, but was not specific on other issues.”


Did you pick up on the “one thing” that really caught Robin’s attention? “ …What are the secondary and tertiary doctrines that we should not divide over?”

In other words, Robin appears to be most interested in what secondary and tertiary doctrines should be considered issues serious enough to “divide over?” These are Robins words not mine! If I am understanding Robin correctly he appears to be concerned that some of his secondary and tertiary doctrines may not make the list of those that are considered by the SBC as first tier doctrines that we should divide over.

That has been my primary issue with the whole Baptist Identity movement all along… From their writings it appears that they wish to narrowly define a “Southern Baptist Identity” that by its very definition excludes many who have deep roots in the Southern Baptist Convention.

For me these competing visions for the future of the SBC could not be clearer. We will either listen to the voice of those seeking to restrict cooperation in the SBC to only those who look like we look, talk like we talk, and worship like we worship (clones of ourselves) or we will respect the autonomy of the local church on all 2nd and 3rd tier doctrines and keep the door of cooperation open to all Baptist who agree with us on the essentials of our faith.

Grace Always

Steve said...

Debbie,

Stupid? That was hurtful.

I can tell I'm at the convention, too much time on my hands for reading posts! I'll defer and leave the rest to you intellectuals that have time to research.

Wade, you are correct about the little doughnuts. (notice that I waited until I had researched the doughnuts before I commented.) And the Italian Ice is divine, also. Thanks for the heads up!

Tongue-in-cheekingly,

Steve

Lydia said...

"Yes I made the statement about touch not his anointed but then that statement was not original to me. if there is a problem you need to take it up with the One who stated it first."

So, you see yourself as an anointed king of your people?

"f course, I made this statement long before information about the long time pedophile on staff was broken."

Not so sure if that is the full truth but it is quite easy to check. Unless you erased your comments like you did on one blog before.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Some folks first met Jon when he went on BBC open forum a few years back and rebuked them for 'touching thine anointed' Dr. Financial Gaines. The pastor who coddled a pedophile minister of prayer".

Yes I made the statement about touch not his anointed but then that statement was not original to me. if there is a problem you need to take it up with the One who stated it first.

Of course, I made this statement long before information about the long time pedophile on staff was broken
.

Oh, Jon. There you go again displaying that selective memory of yours! You didn't show up on the NBBCOF the first time until June 21, 2007 and immediately spouted your "touch not mine anointed" stuff.

The PW story broke in December 2006 and was common knowledge long before you showed up. So don't give us that "excuse" about it being before the PW story broke because it wasn't.

This was your first comment:

Jon L. Estes said...

I'm reminded of David going into the camp and taking Saul's sword. When he left the camp his men asked why he did not kill Saul. David could not because it would be wrong to do anything to God's anointed, even when they have gone mad.

I recommend a reading of "A Tale of Three Kings" by Gene Edwards. Every church member, in any church, could benefit from the insight Edwards demonstrates. It is a lesson on brokenness.

5:08 PM, June 21, 2007

Your last comment (that I can find) was July 17, 2007, and you had worn out your welcome long before then.

Tom Kelley said...

Jon L. Estes said...
Well, you have and others on your blog compared Mac to Bob Gray. I know you have said it was being the pastor of a large church and controlling it but the fact remains Bob Gray is a child molester. Therefore, I stand correct.


You are not correct, as demonstrated by Watchdog's quote which you posted at Mon Jun 22, 08:47:00 PM 2009:

Since our pastor and the president of the Trustees moderating the business meeting didn't explain this clause, or explain why this was necessary, they must not have wanted us to know. So we will be good students of history...and the Watchdog notes two prominent events that may have served as the impetus for such a change to our bylaws:

1. Trinity Baptist Church and the Bob Gray scandal; and

2. Two-Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville, TN



This in no way compares Mac to a child molester, and you damage your credibility by claiming it does. Looks to me like you're grasping for straws rather than just admit you were mistaken. But it isn't the first time.

-----
Tom

Jon L. Estes said...

Tom,

I agree, my reference was poor/ I should have taken more time to dig back through his blog. I did not but will after I return home. Sorry for the confusion.

BBC,

Wow, that was a long time ago. I admit my error in timing but if you look through what I posted concerning the PW mess I supported SG stepping down.

I learned much about the touch not His anointed by Dr. Rogers, especially when PP was being bullied.

Jon L. Estes said...

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hotbed of legalism. On what grounds are we a hotbed of legalism? We are a hotbed of crime and murder (that Mac said he was going to work on but decided after 2 meetings wasn't worth his time), we are a hotbed of growth and urban sprawl, we are a hotbed for new jobs and imports, we are a hotbed where new churches and new satellite churches springing up. We are a hotbed of Christian schools all over the place, a hotbed of conservative politics, we are many "hotbeds". Oh, and back to the religious "hotbeds" - we are a "hotbed" of child preying baptist preachers - with Bob Gray preying on little boys and girls during the 80s and 90s, and Darell Gilyard trying to secude young women at his church. We are a "hotbed" of mega churches actually, none of which are legalistic as far as I know (but Mac maybe in his two years has been able to assess all these churches), but all of which where the pastors make well over $100k and live in houses worth more than $400,000.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Keep digging Pastor Jon Estes.

That one doesn't work either.

Instead of spending your precious time digging through my blog, just type this:

"Tom, sorry I said that you compared Brunson to a child molestor. You never did, please forgive me."

Can you lower yourself to do that, Jon?

Thy Peace said...

For the record, this is what Fbc Jax Watchdog said about Pastor Mac:
-----------------------------------
Anonymous said...
WD, I just have one question. In your opionon is there anything good or positive that Mac has done for FBJC?

DECEMBER 26, 2008 3:40 AM
-----------------------------------
FBC Jax Watchdog said...
Anon - absolutely there is. the watchdog has given at least one list somewhere on this blog, I believe it was this past summer...here's a quick list of positives about Mac Brunson, good things he's done:

1. Hired Jim Whitmire

2. Increasing our focus on world missions

3. Overall some changes in the worship music have been very positive

4. Made good hires on other new young ministers on staff

5. Is by all appearances a wonderful father and husband, and he and his wife have raised three great kids.

6. Is also a wonderful son who loves and cares for his parents and siblings

7. He's not a "pretty boy", effeminate preacher. He's not concerned with his outward appearance like so many preachers who gel their hair, wear fake fingernail polish and seem to be pre-occupied with their looks. I like this about Mac very much.

8. Despite what some bloggers have expressed here, I believe Mac is a genuine bible-believing preacher, that he believes the entire bible. I believe he has allowed those around him to get him off focus.

9. Mac is not afraid to tackle very tough social issues. He was outspoken on the marriage amendment, on abortion, and other issues. He gave I think one of the best sermons I've heard on the topic of homosexuality this past summer and watchdog said so at the time. It was Mac at his best.

10. As he said on Christmas Eve, his decision to have an annual Christmas Eve service is excellent. Good move.

11. Mac has not even a hint of any sexual scandal anywhere in his past and has very high morals in this regard in his personal life.

12. He has challenged our church to consider a school - that is a good thing. WD has taken issue with the methods he used to accomplish it, and the reasons given for the school have been bogus. WD doesn't believe it the best use of our funds to reach our community as Mac says, and WD doesn't think it a NECESSITY in order to reach our community as Mac has proclaimed in selling it to his congregation. Not that we shouldn't do it, but it should be a decision made by the church if its to be done. And how does our church decide to do new projects that require capital? RAISE THE MONEY, not TAKE THE MONEY.

13. Mac has NOT taken us full blown toward the "7-11" worship music like many mega SBC churches have gone. Jim Whitmire has introduced our church to a wide array of Christian music, while keeping many of our traditional hymns.

There are others that I could think of.

For all of his good, there are just two PRIMARY things that keep him from being the leader he could be: 1. His pride; and 2. His trust of people around him that are making VERY bad decisions on his behalf and that have convinced him of how change must be implemented.

DECEMBER 26, 2008 8:35 AM

Former FBC Insider said...

There is an article in the Jax, Fl newspaper today about Florida Southern Baptists.

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2009-06-22/story/hipper_cooler_church_pulls_in_more_baptists

It states that the convention’s Annual Church Profile reported decreases in membership and baptisms the past two years, — a 21-year low, and that Florida’s Southern Baptist congregations are bucking a downward spiral nationally. "The Jacksonville-based Florida Baptist Convention’s sometimes unconventional methods — from starting multi-ethnic churches in South Florida to hosting monster truck rallies in Northeast Florida — could be part of the solution to the baptism and membership losses the national denomination is facing."

It strikes me funny that "Convention agencies are already busy drafting plans to better target ethnic and other groups", when these same ethnic groups are targets of jokes from the pulpit of FBCJ. Who would want to join your church when the pastor is making fun of your ethnicity or your culture?

I guess Brunson will be sticking to the status quo and his membership and baptisms will continue to plummet.

Thy Peace said...

This from New BBC Open Forum:

HOW ABUSIVE MINISTRIES DEFEND THEMSELVES.

Jon L. Estes said...

Tom,

I will be more than happy to apologize, state I was wrong, if you will state that you have never compared Mac Brunson to Bob Gray in in manner for anything. Even compared them as pastors of large churches with too much authority.

For those who may not know... Bob Gray is a child molester.

Lydia said...

"I will be more than happy to apologize, state I was wrong, if you will state that you have never compared Mac Brunson to Bob Gray in in manner for anything. Even compared them as pastors of large churches with too much authority."

Jon, Your arrogance is astounding. You have already been caught with selective memory (lying) about your comment on BBCopenforum. Note in that first comment when everyone knew about Gaines coddling the pedophile because it was public...you comment about 'not touching thine anointed'.

That was your FIRST reaction to a pastor protecting a pedophile minister of prayer.


Your spin may work with your sheeple, but it does not work with us.

Jon L. Estes said...

New BBC,

Note in that first comment when everyone knew about Gaines coddling the pedophile because it was public...you comment about 'not touching thine anointed'.
_

The first three comments were...

johnthebaptist said...
I know these are taken out of context but looking at these at face value...do these apply to the leadership too?
As you might remember, not all scripture does.


Just wondering.

4:57 PM, June 21, 2007

Karen said...
Sheep beaters treasure hunt? Oh Nass I am falling out (it's a Southern thing!) over that one. That is priceless!

4:59 PM, June 21, 2007

MOM4 said...
I wonder who is responsible for this? Whose idea was it to use these verses? What message are they trying to send with the likes of this? How much did this fiasco cost?

5:00 PM, June 21, 2007


I see no mention of the pedophile in the first three comments. The next two are deleted and then my comment. I think you are mistaken. No you are not lying, simply mistaken.

I remain true that I did not know about the sin.

Why do so many people like to call others liars?

Former FBC Insider said...

Jon,
Your arrogance is not surprising knowing that you support the views of Mad Mac and Crew. It is quite obvious that you delight in yourself. How sad that must be to your congregation. How sickened they must be that you want more attention on yourself than the Lord that you are called to serve. I'm not real sure that you even understand what you are called to do or who you are called to serve. Your disdaining, arrogant words on this blog tell me that I am sooooo glad to be out of the cult of FBCJ and that I was NEVER a part of your cult as well. Maybe your audience will tire of your expulsions as well. Maybe some day soon. Maybe as soon as they read this blog.

Jon L. Estes said...

Insider,

I am simply responding to a comment made or asked of me. How is that arrogant?

Why should people be able to accuse someone of something that is just not correct? This really isn't about me.

I imagine if we ever met I would like you as a person and it is even possible you would like me.

My church likes me and some even love me. I am not a dictator or one who craves attention. Just a pastor who reads blogs (for one thing) and responds when needed.

Former FBC Insider said...

"I am simply responding to a comment made or asked of me. How is that arrogant?"

Responding isn't the issue. Your arrogant attitude is the issue. I'm reading a lot of pride. That's a sad thing in a pastor.

"Why should people be able to accuse someone of something that is just not correct? This really isn't about me."

Exactly. Watchdog never compared Brunson to a child molestor. Your statement was incorrect. That makes it about you.

Jon L. Estes said...

Insider,

I do not have time but I will check,though not all of wacthdogs stuff is still available.

I do recall Mac being compared, because he pastors a large church, is heavy handed, authoritative... to Bob Gray and even Darrel Gyllard (sp?).

I asked Tom to tell us if he ever compared Mac, for any reason, to Bob Gray. If he responds, no... I will apologize for giving false information.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FBC Jax Watchdog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FBC Jax Watchdog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jon L. Estes said...

To All -
My deepest and complete apology to Tom Rich for saying he compared Mac to a child molester. It was wrong of me to do so without positive proof and I hope any who thought I may have been correct will forgive me.

Tom Rich has never, to my knowledge, compared Mac Brunson to a child molester, or to Bob Gray for any reason, as I stated trying to make a case for my faulty memory.

Jon L. Estes said...

Follow-up to my apology - which I stand by.

The two comments which were made which I interpreted as comparisons are below.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2007

"Worshipping Pastors"
...
As the Trinity Baptist Church Jacksonville scandal (pastored by Tom Messer) unfolded over the past few years, one question has and still to this day haunts me: How could a church that stands on the Word of God, that is so conservative, that is so missions-minded, that was so much like FBC Jax....let a pastor abuse them and take them down such a dark road? How did the men of that church not see the obvious signs that there were problems? How did the women of the church not detect that he was abusing his power? What were they thinking when the signs became more obvious that something was wrong with the leadership of their pastor? Its easy: they worshipped Bob Gray and it blinded them to obvious signs that something was wrong. To make matters even worse they still have the pastor in the pulpit WHO HAD AT LEAST SOME KNOWLEDGE of what this monster was doing, yet he was too gutless to call him out and prevent even more abuse - in fact sent him to Germany where he very well might have abused more children. We've got to realize that in this day pastor worship is not looking to the past and longing for the days of a beloved pastor (although that can be a problem)...but pastor worship is much more sinister than that: it is giving blind trust to a pastor to do as he pleases in the congregation with few checks and balances.

So Mac there is no worship or total trust in previous pastors among your congregation. The concern that some of us have are that perhaps there are too many in FBC Jax willing to worship Mac Brunson.
POSTED BY FBC JAX WATCHDOG AT 3:15 AM


Tom was dealing with the subject of worshiping pastors. A subject he and many others believe is problematic in many churches.

You miss the point anon.

No comparison between the offenses of Brunson and Gilyard.

The point is that what allows Gilyard to operate as he has done in abusing women, what allowed Bob Gray to operate and molest children for years, is the PASTOR WORSHIP that is heaped on these mere men. They are elevated to rock star status, as untouchable, and they surround themselves with people who don't hold them accountable.

DECEMBER 28, 2007 10:48 AM


Tom even states that there is no comparison between the offenses.

Again, I apologize for the offense to Tom. I should have read and remembered better.

Thy Peace said...

Newww BBC Open Forum > What's with all the yelling and anger?.