Archive for July 23, 2009

In April, we posted on the Wall the plight of Mr. Thomas A. Rich… or as he is known to the Christendom blogosphere, FBC Jax Watchdog.

In that heralded post seen here, I hurled this visceral harangue about free speech, not acting like a pastor and potential bruising a man’s walk with God by confirming his fears about the eye of his defection.

Although Mr. Rich has been sniffing around and not barking much, he is taking a huge bite out of Pastor Brunson’s tail with… wait for it… a law suit.

The blogger, Tom Rich, claims his identity was unfairly revealed by JSO and church officials after he posted “critical articles on his blog called FBC Jax Watchdog about Pastor Mac Brunson of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville in 2007.”

Michael Roberts, Rich’s lawyer, told First Coast News the blogs were not threatening. Roberts said Rich was basically banned from the church after church officials learned his identity and filed a trespass warning with JSO.

All he needs is to be mustachioed

All he needs is to be mustachioed

Okay, we have some ill-wind blowing here. Evidently, our fellow blogger of the cloth got a bit too up-close-and-personal with the rotund reverend and now Mr. Rich isn’t welcome in Brunson’s church or those in the greater Jacksonville area thanks to his vitriol.

Hrm. Nowhere, seriously? I know there is a smaller pentecostal or evangelical church that could use the press.

MEMO to the Dog: Mix in something other than a Southern Baptist church where Mac doesn’t have the pastor on speed dial. The dude is uber-connected. Just sayin’.

Back to the show…

So, why sue to get back in church? Why make a mountain range out of the molehill known as a blowhard pastor doing what his ilk does… whatever the heck he wanted and not a “Yes Man” in sight to tell him erstwhile.

Rich declined on camera interview but said on his blog, “I desire through this lawsuit that an equally powerful message will be sent to influential church trustees and powerful pastors who seek to squelch dissent of their members through unbiblical bullying and intimidation tactics.

Please, visit the Other Bricks in the Wall. Perhaps, the ACME Arena. Or even, WOW News

Every blogger perched high atop the Wall are purveyors on a mission. Some discuss theology. Others rant about life and God. Most unveil the muck and the mire inside the pulpit. All are church-going, Jesus-loving folk.

I have a dollar that says Mr. Rich is as well, but he – like most of us – had some grievances with the goings-on in the pulpit so he exercised his freedom of speech to say what he wanted, when he wanted. And proceeded to do so with the thunderous yawp of, “You’ve been served.”

Much could be said of Mac Brunson.

After he crawled off the floor and got his thumb out of his mouth (you see, his feelers were hurted), he used his free speech to throw out an edict that Mr. Rich was banned from his church… and then got really juvenile by text messaging all his homiletical homies to be on the lookout for this dude who talks … eh, types smack.

Sure, what Mac did was not pastoral. What he did was class-less. What he did was waaay below what he is capable of doing (I know that first-hand). What he did was not in the WWJD mold. But, what he did was served lawfully.

So, whose side am I on? God’s.

As I channel the spirit of all Southern Baptist preachers out there, allow me to give you the three steps to not going this far, as told to us in Matthew 18:15-18 (CEV).

If one of my followers sins against you, go and point out what was wrong. (1.) But do it in private, just between the two of you. (2.) If that person listens, you have won back a follower. But if that one refuses to listen, take along one or two others. (3.) The Scriptures teach that every complaint must be proven true by two or more witnesses. If the follower refuses to listen to them, report the matter to the church. Anyone who refuses to listen to the church must be treated like an unbeliever or a tax collector.

In Mr. Rich’s opinion, there was sin, so point it out he did. Technically, it was private because “FBC JAX” was anonymous, that is until Mac went snooping. Did Mac listen? Of course not, so the now unveiled Mr. Rich made it a little public, or created witnesses.

So far, so good. Right?

Here’s the rub: “If the follower refuses to listen to them, report the matter to the church.” Um, Mac is that church, so who is Mr. Rich going to tell? God… or some other judge? Yeah, he hollered at Judge Mathis, or whatever TV judge is on in Florida.

You see, is it really what church was designed to be if you have to take legal recourse to get your blessed assurance back in the house? Not so much. Wouldn’t you have no other choice than to “forsake the assembly of the saints together” if you go this route? Then why do it?!

Thank you FBC JAX for the post office shot

Thank you FBC JAX for the post office shot

Ego and mean mugging is not worth this, Thomas. Mac will win this match and you will get throttled by other like-minded pastors. That’s just how certain pastor folk are – cliquish, insular and aristocratic. We can’t change it, we can only hope to contain it.

Wall Watchers, let’s pray for Thomas Rich. I don’t know him, but I would imagine deep down in places he doesn’t talk about at parties, he’s hurt.

Thomas, go back to God on this one, keep uncovering the unhallowed preacher folk, find another house of worship and keep on writing… because, quite frankly, we need more of you than we need more of them.

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