Posts Tagged ‘Mac Brunson’

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.

state-of-the-first-amendmentWall Watchers, if any one post on the Wall gets up your dander, this should be it.

There are several of us who are passionate about exposing the surreptitious flaws, duplicitous spirituality and malicious intent of so many in the pulpit who should be doing so… none of that.

Most of us folk seen asAnother Bricks in the Wallare libidinous, and it shows through our words, our thoughts and our dexterity.

Well, thanks to some Orwellian actions in Jacksonville, Fla., and this story from the Times-Union, we can subtract one from the list.

A blogger critical of First Baptist Church Pastor Mac Brunson wants to know why his Web site was investigated by a police detective who is also a member of the minister’s security detail.

I’m sorry?! What?! Listen here, I’m over anonymity in the blogosphere. I – like apparently the alleged mastermind behind FBC JAX – have no choice, but the reason I have no choice [COUGH… legal action… COUGH… non-disclosure agreement… GAG!] is the very inspiration behind my words.

I have witnessed hypocrisy in action. I have felt the vitriol from parishioners because of the actions of some ne’er-do-wells in the church. I have seen longtime church members stabbed flat in the back by the very church elders who espouse love for them. I have experienced the highs of listening to a man of God, and the lows of knowing him become a “Mand of Gawd.”

Evidently, so has FBC JAX, or thanks to Rev. Mac Brunson and his wielding stick of power, Mr. Thomas A. Rich.

So, as the story, Pastor Mac got his feelers hurt and called one of his security guards – also one of Jacksonville’s finest – for a hook-up. And now, because Rich attempted to unveil some misgivings inside the church, he gets a big, stinking peace out for his trouble:

Rich also wants to know why Hinson [said cop] revealed his name to the church despite finding no wrongdoing [on the blog, FBC JAX]. Hinson obtained a subpoena from the State Attorney’s Office requiring Google Inc. to reveal the author of the blog. Rich’s unmasking led to an eventual trespass warning banning the longtime member and his wife from First Baptist, despite the fact that Brunson and a top church administrator conceded the blog never threatened violence.

Violence?! No really. Some tool was going to Pastor Mac’s house, stealing his mail and taking voyeuristic pictures of his wife. And Thomas here got pinged for that because he wrote on a blog. Stay classy, Mac.

However, the pastor somehow forgets to discuss the rationale behind FBC JAX, which is:

Rich said he launched his blog in August 2007 — more than a year after Brunson became the pastor — because he was alarmed by what he described as Brunson’s “abusive preaching,”   especially during fund-raising campaigns. The blog has included criticisms of Brunson’s $300,000 salary, his plan to open a church school, his construction of a “lavish” office suite, accepting a $307,000 land gift from church members for his home and putting his wife on the payroll.

When megachurch pastors care enough to "send the very best"

When megachurch pastors care enough to "send the very best"

Quite naturally, Pastor Mac didn’t have a comment to much of this, except to say that “he is one of the lowest-paid mega-church pastors in the Southern Baptist Convention.” Here, here. Get him a cookie.

I wonder if it ever dawned on a PASTOR that here sits one man who attends a church, has strong relationships, maybe have children who have friends and oh yeah, somehow stay in touch with God.

But because he has the unmitigated gall to not come to you personally, you ban his family from your hallowed church for life. Now, that’s the ubiquitous answer to “WWJD!”

Is that what a shepherd is supposed to do? What about that parable about the lost sheep? Apparently, Thomas is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, so that makes this heinous action okee doke.

Maybe Thomas was right about Pastor Mac, whom – full disclosure – I actually have really been blessed by a few of his messages.

Maybe Thomas would like to climb on the Wall and give his own point of view to us (Hint… Hint).

Maybe Thomas was off-base. Regardless, after this blog post, maybe there needs to be a movement for that First Amendment thingy.

Seeing how it’s so easy and user-friendly to walk right up to a megachurch PASTOR’s office and speak your mind freely. Sure, go ahead, line up everyone. The sheep’s costume are on the left.