Monday, April 13, 2009

FBC-Jax: "Big Brother meets Big Church"

As reported in the Florida Times-Union, a Jacksonville police detective used the power of the Sheriff's Office to subpoena records from Google to identify an anonymous blogger who has been critical of Rev. Mac Brunson, the pastor at First Baptist Church of Jacksonville.

The church made a complaint about “possible criminal overtones” on the blog, and the police detective launched an investigation. As it so happens, the police detective is also a member of FBC-Jacksonville and a “body guard” for pastor Brunson.

Conflict of interest? Uhhhh…. yeah…. it sure looks that way to me.

But of course, FBC-Jacksonville is one of the largest and most powerful mega-churches in the whole Southern Baptist Convention. Criticism had to be stopped!

There appears to be no record of exactly what criminal activity or “overtones” were used to justify getting the subpoena. The records of the subpoena request were destroyed, purportedly “according to the policy.”

However, it’s undisputed that the detective found no wrongdoing. The blog made no threat of any kind. (Wouldn’t you think the detective could have just looked at the FBC-Jax Watchdog site and figured that out before getting a subpoena?)

Nevertheless, even though the detective found no wrongdoing, he still provided the name of the anonymous blogger to First Baptist Church of Jacksonville -- i.e., to the detective’s own pastor and church leaders.

The church then issued a trespass warning against the blogger and his wife, banning them from the church. I’m told that the couple has three children.

So… the leaders at FBC-Jacksonville finally got what they wanted. They had been upset about the blogger for quite a while, even issuing a rather ridiculous resolution against him. After all, the blog included “criticisms of Brunson’s $300,000 salary… his construction of a ‘lavish’ office suite, accepting a $307,000 land gift from church members… and putting his wife on the payroll.”

The church claimed the criticism was “a violation of Scripture” and of church bylaws. (Remember those bully bylaws?)

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has issued a statement, defending their detective’s conduct. But, in my mind, this official attempt to defend the indefensible only makes the whole saga all the worse.

And exactly how do they explain the fact that they also subpoenaed records from Google about Tiffany Croft’s blog and the New BBC blog?

Croft, who has never been anonymous, blogs about the scandal involving Jacksonville pastor Darrell Gilyard, who is now charged with lewd conduct and child molestation. Despite numerous allegations of “sexual improprieties” at his prior Texas churches, former Southern Baptist president and celebrity evangelist Jerry Vines encouraged Gilyard in his ministry and “agreed to forgive” him for his out-of-state troubles. So, the Gilyard scandal reflects back on Vines, who was pastor of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville until just a couple years ago. Perhaps the church didn’t like seeing criticism of its prior pastor either.

And what about New BBC? That’s a blogger who writes about still another scandalized Southern Baptist megachurch, Bellevue Baptist in Memphis. It’s the church where senior pastor Steve Gaines kept quiet about another minister’s admitted child molestation. Yet, even after it all came to light, Gaines didn’t face any serious consequence; the church still keeps him as its senior pastor.

What possible justification could there have been to subpoena records on an anonymous blogger in Memphis… other than maybe the fact that these Baptist good-ol-boy high-honchos stick together and try to help one another out?

Big Brother meets Big Church.” That’s how one columnist aptly described this over-the-top use of power at FBC-Jax.

About now, I figure you’re probably wondering what the FBC-Jax mess has to do with clergy sex abuse. After all, the Watchdog blog never made any accusations of that kind.

But consider this: If this is how a Baptist church handles criticism about the pastor’s salary, how do you imagine it would handle a more serious accusation involving sexual abuse?

Well, I can tell you how Baptist churches typically handle those sorts of accusations. Essentially, they try to stone the accuser back into oblivion. Church leaders circle the wagons and no one in denominational leadership will intercede. It gets ugly.

Power without accountability leads to abuse of power. It’s a pattern we have seen in Baptist churches all across the country, and it’s a pattern that allows all manner of clergy bullying and abuse to go unchecked.

It’s why Baptists desperately need a denominational review board to foster clergy accountability and to provide a safe place where people can report abusive ministers. It’s the sort of accountability mechanism that most of this country’s other major faith groups already have.

Incidentally, this isn’t the first time I’ve raised my eyebrows at a story involving Jacksonville law enforcement and First Baptist Church of Jacksonville. When Jerry Vines was pastor, one of the church deacons was arrested on molestation charges. Even though the deacon originally faced 13 felony counts, he got a plea bargain deal of only one year in jail followed by 5 years on probation.

Victims’ families urged a longer sentence, but according to a news report, the deacon’s “associates” urged leniency. I wonder exactly who those “associates” were. The article doesn’t say, but I can’t help but wonder whether some of First Baptist’s leaders may have been among those who convinced the prosecutor and judge to give their deacon-pedophile a light sentence.

The mother of two of the boys said the light sentence victimized them all over again.

The former deacon was back in court less than a year ago, asking the judge to make his light sentence even lighter by waiving the last part of his probation period.

After the hearing, one of the deacon’s victims told a reporter how difficult it was: “It’s hard knowing this man stalked me and my friends for three years and did the things that he did, and then he can walk around the streets and drive around Jacksonville and carry on like nothing ever happened -- it just kills me.”
________________________

Column updated and revised 4/14/09.

See also: Authorities expose blogger who has been hounding FBC-Jacksonville," Associated Baptist Press, 4/15/09

59 comments:

john said...

For those of us who have been in the SBC workings for years all of this "activity" comes as no surprise. For example, when my first wife passed away with cancer and I dared to "date" a divorced woman, a man who worked for our local Baptist University came to our town and had a "secret" meeting with some of my deacons to suggest ways that they could us to get rid of me. When I confronted the man and the President of te university they did not deny it. They said that "maybe I should consider leaving as "divorce" is a problem for them!
I did not leave, they could not fire me, so they attacked my three children who had rcently lost their mother.
Anything is possible for these people when they feel uncomfortable or want someone out of the way. Of courese the rank and file member has trouble believing that their "man of God" would do something so foolish and down right mean. But, I am here to tell you they will! That is why my heart goes out to the victims who turn trustinly to their church believing they will do the Christian thing.

Anonymous said...

You are really stretching a point and the truth to try to link Mac Brunson and FBC, Jacksonville to sexual predators and abuse. Its sad to see you accepting the word of anonymous bloggers as truth. I can guarantee you that there is more to this issue than what you are reporting. Its too bad you're not a member of that church because then you could (and would) go sit down and talk with Dr. Brunson.

Surely there's something more important to write about than a bunch of discontented church members and their gripes about pastors' salaries, homes, and gifts.

Michelle said...

This breaks my heart, what the boys went through, and how the deacon got away with it. I was furious in my own lawsuit when the opposing lawyer started subpoenaing family members of victims in case they were going to testify for me. (I wasn't asking them to testify for me, I specifically said I wasn't going to because I was friends with them and knew the type of pain they carried. I sort of requested a gentlewoman's agreement to leave them alone or treat them with utmost care if they found they had to talk to other victims and their families. I'm sure they used my openness about how I loved someone to try and scare me into a settlement.)

May I say, this is much, much worse. Anything that causes pain is horrible, but to use legal methods like this! It's straight out awful. I'm so sorry. To everyone hurt by this, I'm really sorry. I guess from here we band together, and slowly heal to scar tissue. I'm behind all of you as publicly as I can be, from my own ex-denomination to the place where you are.

Christa Brown said...

To Anon 1:49 - Despite your minimizing view of things, it's obvious that the Florida Times-Union considered this something very important to write about because they made this a front-page story. Maybe church members can't see that it's something important, but other people do. It's also obvious that the Florida Times-Union reporter did indeed speak with Mac Brunson. And what did Brunson say? He called the blogger "a sociopath." Nice.

John: I'm so sorry to hear this piece of your story about how you and your children were attacked.

"Anything is possible for these people...." Sad to say, I know you're right. It's a lesson that Baptist leaders have taught me and taught me well. I know, of course, that there are many good and able ministers within the denomination, but I also know that, too often, Baptists display a pattern of clergy unaccountability, and it's a pattern that allows bullying and abuse to go unchecked.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was a blog about sex abuse and predators--not about a sociopath who got caught blogging and trying to destroy a church and its staff. Church fights have no relevance to sex abuse. Move on to something on topic.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:06

Pastoral abuse on every level should be reported. You just want to hide or excuse Brunson's and other guilty parties part in a cover-up to keep the truth from being exposed. Just as so many do with clerical, sexual abuse.

All of these injustices deserve to have a spotlight brightly beamed in their direction, no matter the specific abuse.

Esther

Christa Brown said...

"All of these injustices deserve to have a spotlight brightly beamed in their direction, no matter the specific abuse." Well said, Esther!

Anonymous said...

Well, now that you have become Paul Revere you can about shining the spotlight on everything in sight.

If you do, your credibility on sex abuse is going to go right out the window. Butt out of fights that you don't belong in. You're not a member of FBC, Jax and therefore it is none of your business.

Anonymous said...

Anybody care that they subpeonad Tiffany Croft's blog? Anybody even understand why? That alone explains what this is doing on Christa Browns blog....(to people like me anyways)

Anonymous said...

You can see the harm done by a mega church pastor declaring in a major newspaper that one of his critics is a "sociopath".

All of his followers will then believe it because the pastor said it, and will further perpetuate the lie.

Unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

and all the followers won't care if its true either. To them its true because the "pastor" said it. (from someone who's been there in another place and another time)

john said...

Please note the spirit and tone of compassion in Mr. JFBC. This is a normal reaction and demand regardless of what the truth is because they just cannot stand the light!
Those of you who are victims, if you have not been talked to like this you will. Either they will tell you to shut-up or leave the church or both.
SAD, SAD, demonstration of the love of Christ!

Anonymous said...

John, I have seen actions just like that taken against others. Divorce is the great unforgivable sin. But sexual molestation is not. Nevermind why someone got divorced. To them, there is no good reason to even if the wife is beaten to a pulp or abandoned.

It is all about appearances. That is all they care about.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

"Butt out of fights that you don't belong in. You're not a member of FBC, Jax and therefore it is none of your business."

FBC folks crack me up. Mac made it everyone's business when he got his 'bodyguard' and sheriff's office investigator to get subpeona's on WD, Tiffany croft and BBC.

But the FBC folks just keep pretending that Mac did not take this outside the church. Mac is the one who made it a national issue!

Christa, I have a question. Since Mac says that he was being stalked and had his mail stolen, shouldn't there be a police report somewhere when he filed a complaint?

Can I call my sheriff's department and get them to do the same for me without some sort of documentation? A police report or anything?

And what about the accusations against Tiffany and BBC? Where are the complaints against them for whatever they did?

Something is fishy.

But all will be ok according to the FBC Jax folks if people would just stop asking questions!

Lydia

Nancy said...

RuthI recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Ruth

http://pianonotes.info

Anonymous said...

The biggest joke of this whole thing is that all of you seem to know exactly what Mac did and when he did it. You might want to stop for a minute and actually consider the fact that the Board of Directors of the church may have instigated and sanctioned the actions.

That church is made up of very wealthy, reputable, and Godly people and I hardly think they would enter into this action lightly.

I definitely wish there would be a trial and then the facts would then be facts instead of a bunch of people speculating on what they think they know.

Why don't you get back to predators and sex abuse and quit pontificating about the situation in Jacksonville.

You do notice that noone on any blog has any first hand information from Mac Brunson or anyone in leadership at the church. That should tell you something...

Christa Brown said...

"Since Mac says that he was being stalked and had his mail stolen, shouldn't there be a police report somewhere when he filed a complaint?" That's what I would expect. But hey... what do I know? I'm a mere mortal. It might be different for the likes of Mac Brunson.

"Can I call my sheriff's department and get them to do the same for me without some sort of documentation?" Well... I don't know about you, Lydia, but I don't think I know anyone in MY sheriff's office who would do that for me without some documentation. But again, I'm a mere mortal.

"And what about the accusations against Tiffany and BBC? Where are the complaints against them for whatever they did?" Good question. According to the Florida Times-Union article, the records of the actual subpoena request were destroyed "according to the policy" at the time. Wonder if there's a written copy of that policy anywhere? But of course, what I don't understand is why the police couldn't simply look at the blogs and readily see that there wasn't anything criminal about them. But as I said... I'm just a mere mortal. My understanding is limited and my opinions are NOT inspired by God.

Christa Brown said...

Nancy/Ruth: Welcome!

Anon 10:49 said: "You might want to stop for a minute and actually consider the fact that the Board of Directors of the church may have instigated and sanctioned the actions." My response: What a grim thought. What I find strange is that you seem to think that would make it all better. I think it would make it worse.

Clausewitz said...

Oi, sou o Clausewitz e gostaria de convidar você para visitar meu blog e conhecer alguma coisa do Brasil. Abração

Thy Peace said...

The above translated from Portuguese:

Hi, I'm Clausewitz and would like to invite you to visit my blog and learn something from Brazil. Open § Ã £ oCourtesy Google Translate.

Jeri said...

Anonymous wrote, "You are really stretching a point and the truth to try to link Mac Brunson and FBC, Jacksonville to sexual predators and abuse."

That church has been sheltering Dave Hyles for years without warning the congregation about him or ever confronting Dave over his unbelievable history of domestic abuse, pornography, and adultery. It's a horrible church run by horrible men, but everybody gets to play the Christian game without any of the actual cost of being a Christian, so there are plenty of takers.

Jeri said...

Anonymous also wrote: "If you do, your credibility on sex abuse is going to go right out the window. Butt out of fights that you don't belong in. You're not a member of FBC, Jax and therefore it is none of your business."

Ah, where would the SBC be without their anti-biblical and godless myth that what goes on in one church is nobody else's business? It just lets your sleazy elders get away with so much! But Paul wrote that we are all members one of another. You kill a child in Illinois and claim to be a Christian, that is my business, even when you come to roost in a church in Florida.

And if Brunson is so keen on local church autonomy, why did he have that JSO stooge look up two people who are not even members of FBC Jax and had never so much as suggested anything criminal or violent in their blogs?

oc said...

"You do notice that noone on any blog has any first hand information from Mac Brunson or anyone in leadership at the church. That should tell you something..."

April 14, 2009 10:49 PM

Oh yeah. It does tell me something. I think it says plenty. Think about it. Why would Mac or his cronies tell on themselves? No,I don't think I'd be looking for "first hand information from Mac Brunson or anyone in leadership at the church". It may not make them look very good.

Anonymous said...

Jeri: Are you telling me that Dave Hyles is a member of FBC? Kind of makes that speech Sunday by Brunson morning a joke doesn't it? Even if he's not a member....(dave hyles) if he ever WAS a member...oh my gosh, what a joke.

gmommy said...

Jeri,
I always appreciate your grasp and articulation of the truth. Thank you!

Jeri said...

Anonymous, Dave Hyles has been attending there for several years. Nobody was warned. He has never been made to face church discipline.

Look, let's face it: the SBC demands only that eldership be male (which I still agree is what the Bible teaches), that you be anti-abortion, and that you vote Republican. And of course that you be dunked in water. Because we all know there is spiritual power in a tub of water. (It's one of the divine mysteries.) Oh yes, and that you be a tee-totaller, even though the Lord was not.

Otherwise, anything goes in the SBC. They would be the LAST entity to actually insist upon Christian integrity in their members, and certainly not in their pastors. After all, being a political conservative is the same thing as godliness, right? It is...isn't it?

New BBC Open Forum said...

The Wartburg Watch.

Great new blog. Check it out.

My guess is April 14th, 10:29 p.m. and April 15th, 1:59 p.m. are spammers. The April 14th, 9:06 a.m. Anon sounds like Mac Brunson!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Christa. I thought I was going crazy. Too many are acting like this whole investigation, the subpeona's and the process are just normal everyday business in Jax.

Scary thought.

Jeri, Let me affirm that I am politically conservative, orthodox and egal. And I am appalled at what I am seeing in the SBC. What is even scarier is that 'church discipline' is becoming hugly popular with these little popes. But they are disciplining the wrong people! (example: Hyles)

And who disciplines the discipliners? No one. Because authority is the name of the game these days.

Anonymous said...

Its always fun to begin my Saturday morning by coming on here and listening to a bunch of hens speculating about everything about which they know nothing.

And you wonder why Paul told women to be silent in church?

Michelle said...

"And you wonder why Paul told women to be silent in church?"

Erm. And you wonder why I don't like church? I really WANT to go to a church that treats me like a second-rate person because I haven't a wiggly appendage to hurt small children with and because I wasn't a "pure virgin" on my wedding day due to being raped at the age of 7.

Sorry Anon. I'm pretty happy with my atheist, feminist husband, "pagan" beliefs, and you know, an actual flower of self-like from the pain that is sadistic child sodomy 15 feet from the inanimate, staring pulpit.

This makes me sick to the stomach. I can't understand people like you, with no compassion. You're on a site for survivors of CHILD RAPE, some of them brave men who were sodomized as children and spoke up.

What sort of God do you worship and follow that permits you show such cruelty?

Christa Brown said...

"What sort of God do you worship and follow that permits you show such cruelty?"

The truly terrible thing is that, in Baptist-land, the attitude reflected by Anon 7:29 isn't even anything unusual. I think the god of people such as this is a self-made god of their own small minds -- a god whom they themselves have created to serve their own pathetic sick system -- a system in which they are held accountable to no one and in which they can rationalize callous cruelty on the grounds of "the Bible tells me so." And with that as the constant refrain, the people in the pews typically say "Amen."

Yeah... it's sick.

Anonymous said...

Just thought I would check back in before supper. Glad to see that there is an uproar. Especially about someone's appendange. Tells me a lot about what you think about.

Read your posts on here--and you call me sick.

Anonymous said...

Guess you'll have to argue with Paul when you get to Heaven (if you make it there) since he's the one that said it--not me.

Michelle said...

Christa,

It's twisted. I've dealt with it in my own church, yeah. It just breaks my heart. You would think I'd be used to it by now.

Do we just laugh at them, or what? It's ridiculous. They make fools of themselves and then congratulate themselves for it. Such puerile self-aggrandizement is certainly humorous in its own twisted way. I'd think it was parody, but I know better.

Anonymous,

I don't understand. I really don't.

Christa Brown said...

Well... I'm not aware of any place where Paul says anything about all churches being so radically independent and autonomous that Baptist leaders are biblically blessed in turning a blind eye to clergy child molestation and in allowing reported molesting ministers to roam from one congregation to another without even looking into it. But that's what Baptist leaders do... and then they try to tell us that this no-accountability system is biblically sanctioned in the name of "congregational autonomy."

Yeah... it's sick.

Christa Brown said...

For those who want to read more about the anti-biblical basis of Baptists' radicalized notion of local church autonomy -- a notion that negates clergy accountability -- I recommend Jeri Massi's book Schizophrenic Christianity: How Christian Fundamentalism Attracts and Protects Sociopaths, Abusive Pastors, and Child Molesters.

Anonymous said...

I had not read this blog in awhile..this is for all you deacon so-called fundamentalists (in reading John's entry) you have no authority whatsoever..only elders can judge an another elder. Deacons like these are rather fundamentally wrong...they need to understand the original context meant a "specialized servant" and one appointed by an elder.

Anonymous said...

Why I can't read this site too often, I just simply lose it. Crista, if the bible warns males their prayers won't be heard in regard to the weaker vessels of their wives I don't see much different in applying this in broader context with pastor. The leadership will become mere macromangers of their assmeblies devoid of the Holy Spirit's power. I saw a book written by Mac on leadership for pastors and I was just floored in knowing his recent lynching techniques.

Anonymous said...

When did Jerry Vines start to go along with the popish doctrine of absolvement of sins....

Jeri said...

Annonympus wrote: ".only elders can judge an another elder. Deacons like these are rather fundamentally wrong...they need to understand the original context meant a "specialized servant" and one appointed by an elder."

Time to read the whole New Testament then. The Council at Jerusalem was made up of elders, and they heard grievances in open court from anybody who came. The disobedient and self-serving autonomy of the SBC is NOT the biblical model. In fact, matters in churches were raised to the Council at Jerusalem if the elders in the local churches would not deal with the matter. The problem of Diotrephes was escalated; hence John's decision to go see to the matter himself, after Diotrophes refused to let in elders who would have restored proper government to his self-run autocracy.

Christian transactions of church rule are to be carried out openly and transparently. The SBC's closed door meetings and back room deals are just one more product of their wicked, unrepentant hearts that are determined to coerce Christianity into a religion that suits them.

Jeri said...

Anonymous wrote, "And you wonder why Paul told women to be silent in church?"

This isn't church. Again, the SBC addiction to power makes them skew everything. Paul wanted public worship to proceed in orderly fashion, and so the women, who found vast new freedoms in Christianity to be heard and to speak, had to be reigned in when it came to public worship. These were people who previously had lived their lives in the kitchen, except when they went to draw water. Some of them did not even eat with their husbands. That's how badly women were treated.

Now they were free, and like newly freed people of little education, they had to learn public civility and good manners.

But Paul's statement is not a blanket issues of subservience for women. After all, he COMMANDED the church at Rome to give Phebe whatever she asked for. She was being sent on missions to churches to oversee and give account of distributions to the poor.

So the misogyny of the back room boys of the SBC should be shown for exactly what it is: misogyny

Anonymous said...

Good point Jeri. The council heard grievances as whole. No authority is ever given to an elder independent of the Scripture's authority. There is a process of two to three witnesses and then the assembly as a whole. That is why I don't understand Vine's actions of absolvement of Gilyard's sins without this process.

Jeri said...

Vine absolved Dave Hyles as well. These guys are mini popes.

Anonymous said...

I had a psychologist friend read through some of these posts and he was astounded. He said, "I have never seen so many women with authority, anger, and guilt issues in my life." I knew you would all go nuts over his assessment so I had another lady psychologist review it and she came up with the exact same conclusions.

Ladies--you need to get some psychological help and you need to get it quickly. Your scars, guilt, and anger is eating you alive. Quit blaming every preacher that lives and do something about your illnesses.

Anonymous said...

Yes, psychologists, the ultimate authority on all of life. Righto, we'll all run out there to get "help" as quickly as we can trot. Isn't that what people always say when they can't answer your questions? You need help? Now, what was this post about again?

Christa Brown said...

Well... assuming Anon 8:54 is the same Anon as the earlier 7:29 one, I guess we females on the blog should be honored that he's now calling us "Ladies" instead of "a bunch of hens." But like he said earlier, I guess he's just having "fun" with us.

If Anon actually cared about the need of clergy abuse survivors for psychological help, he would go to work to convince Southern Baptist leaders to do what most Catholic dioceses in this country now do -- offer and pay for independent professional counseling for clergy abuse survivors who come forward. But of course, Baptists are way behind most other major faith groups in terms of showing any actual care for those wounded by clergy sex abuse.

Personally, I can't help but wonder whether Anon may have violated some law somewhere. After all, some states have laws against impersonating psychologists.

Lydia said...

And you wonder why Paul told women to be silent in church?

April 18, 2009 7:29 AM

Sheesh! The Biblical illiteracy out there is astonishing. Would you mind finding that 'law' Paul refers to for me? I assume you are referring to 1 Corin 14. When you find that 'law', let me know. (It would be a NEW law because women taught and were prophets in the OT)

(Hint: It is in the Mishna)

Also the word for silence means total silence as in NO singing, small chat at all. YOu think that is what Paul was talking about?

Guess what! That is exactly what was taught in the Talmud. (That is why it is quoted as the 'law also says' as in ORAL LAW)

Read verse 36 and then do a deep study of the Greek. Not what your 'pastor' says that benefits him but a real study. You will find that verse 36 NEGATES verses 34-35. In the Greek, it goes like this: What??? Are you kidding? Did YOU write the Word of God? Are YOU the only one it reached?

It is truly scary what people believe but then it does elevate them over others, doesn't it.

Anonymous said...

I had a psychologist friend read through some of these posts and he was astounded. He said, "I have never seen so many women with authority, anger, and guilt issues in my life." I knew you would all go nuts over his assessment so I had another lady psychologist review it and she came up with the exact same conclusions.

Ladies--you need to get some psychological help and you need to get it quickly. Your scars, guilt, and anger is eating you alive. Quit blaming every preacher that lives and do something about your illnesses.

April 19, 2009 8:54 PM

So, you like it when little children are sodomized and raped? You think we should look the other way and not 'touch the anointed authority'?

I can plainly see that you would in order to protect the 'pastor'. People like you are the reason our churches are not safe for kids.

Ask your psychologist 'friend' what to make of a pastor that protects an abuser or a pedophile. But then, I doubt any believes you have a psychologist friend. Unless of course, she is also in a cult.

Lydia said...

"The leadership will become mere macromangers of their assmeblies devoid of the Holy Spirit's power."

That is already the case. They are temples of entertainment that have become businesses with profitable career paths for certain folks and their families.

The Body of Christ does not operate this way. Those who read scripture and are taught by the Holy Spirit know this.

God has left these churches to their own devices and many delude themselves that 'numbers' means blessings when it is simply a sick cult and worshiping of churchianity.

Jeri said...

Anonymous wrote, "I had a psychologist friend read through some of these posts and he was astounded. He said, "I have never seen so many women with authority, anger, and guilt issues in my life."

Wow, so you know two psychologists and were able to reaach both of them and get their conclusions in a weekend?

You know what I like best about your story? It's so believable. Honest, it really is. I'm sure anybody under the age of 11 would believe you.

Hey, when you hang out with your psychologist buddies, do they smoke pipes and look wise? I saw that once in a movie. So is it realistic?

In any case, once you wake up from your happy little daydream that all sorts of people with more education than you take your side, try to address the matter from the Bible. We're not arguing psychology here, but the text of Scripture. And the SBC has departed from it.

Dr Mayo Hamburgwcheese said...

Hello, I am Psychologist Dr Mayo Hamburgwcheese. I would just like to say that I concur with Dr Anonymous. You ladies have huge problems. Now go get me my slippers and stop worrying about conscience. The Psychology Dept at SBC Headquarters have determined that conscience is no longer necessary as long as you have a male pastor earning 300K a year. Remember, if you are influential, you do not need conscience, especially if you are a woman. It just makes you act looney. That's a psychological term, you know.

Anonymous said...

Let's see, you all hate and detest the following:

Men (of any shape and size)
Pastors
Southern Baptist Churches
Submissive women
Paige Patterson
Mac Brunson
Steve Gaines
Any male in authority
Any position of authority you do not have.

There's not much left for you to hate but a bunch of whining women who love to blog and blame everyone but themselves for the positions in life.

What a sad mess.

Jeri said...

We hate sin, as we are commanded, and we hate anything that exalts itself against the name of Jesus Christ, and that does, regrettably, include the infrastructure and power brokers of the SBC.

You guys are the ones having sex with kids, committing adultery, and using city funded goons to investigate church members. It's certainly not a glowing testimony.

Jeri said...

Lydia wrote: "That is already the case. They are temples of entertainment that have become businesses with profitable career paths for certain folks and their families."

Very sad and very true.

Thy Peace said...

This is a great interview. Please listen to it.

Mainstream Baptist > Podcast: Wade Burleson Interview.
.
Podcast (7MB Mp3) of Dr. Bruce Prescott's 4-19-09 "Religious Talk" radio interview with Rev. Wade Burleson, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Oklahoma and author of "Hardball Religion: Feeling the Fury of Fundamentalism."

We talk about Burleson's transition from being a trusted foot soldier in the post-1979 Southern Baptist Convention to being a dissident blogger against SBC fundamentalism. His blogging proved so controversial that he became the only Southern Baptist trustee to ever be "recommended for removal or officially censured." Despite that, Burleson and other dissident SBC bloggers were instrumental in electing Frank Page as President of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2006 and 2007.

New BBC Open Forum said...

I'm just catching up on my reading tonight. Congratulations. Y'all have been arguing with a troll!

Jeri said...

Only if SBC'ers defending their turf with no regard for truth or honesty are trolls....

New BBC Open Forum said...

Trolls have one purpose, and it's not to defend anything.

Anonymous said...

It is difficult for me to believe that there is actually someone out there targeting Baptist Churches and predators there. Target the real problem, predators of youngsters, whether they be Baptist, Catholic, or Feet Washing Icons of the Word (my own creation for this comment.) As a heartbroken member of a church recovering from staff indecency, I want punishment, forgiveness, restoration, and whatever it takes to be Christian if you please. Self-righteous indignation does not flatter any of us including the hurt and angry author of this internet site. Bless you. Fight wrong. But, please keep sight of the fact that Christians fight the only wars where we seem to bury our wounded. We need to be aware. We need to stop abuse. We need to hate the sin and bring it to light, yet love the sinner and pray for his/her restoration following appropriate punishment.