Monday, April 27, 2009

Go Dog Go!

"Watchdog" is the formerly anonymous blogger who dared to criticize the pastor of one of the most prominent churches in the Southern Baptist Convention, First Baptist of Jacksonville, Florida.

The church made a complaint about "possible criminal overtones" on the blog, and a police detective launched an investigation.

Lo and behold... the detective just happened to be a member of First Baptist and he was also a bodyguard for the pastor, Mac Brunson.

Lo and behold... even though there was no criminal threat of any kind on the blog (which anyone could see by just looking at it), the detective subpoenaed Google to get Watchdog's identity -- information that church leaders had apparently been wanting for quite a while.

Lo and behold... even though the detective had determined that there was absolutely no criminal threat of any kind on the blog, the detective still turned over to First Baptist the information about Watchdog's identity.

Lo and behold... First Baptist of Jacksonville (good Christians that they are) proceeded to ban Watchdog and his family from the church. They had been members for 20 years.

Stinks to high heaven, doesn't it? But this is the sort of over-authoritarianism that we see in many other Southern Baptist churches. They call it biblical. I call it Borgian.

Watchdog has now sued the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, claiming they violated his constitutional rights and that they "fabricated" the criminal case "solely to uncover his identity for First Baptist Church."

Go Dog Go!

______________________

Read more about Watchdog's lawsuit in today's Florida Times-Union. Read more background in my prior posting, "Big Brother meets Big Church."

Thanks to New BBC for the great Mac Brunson video!

More news in the Associated Baptist Press.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Since you are a lawyer I would think you would try to get both sides of a story before printing your preconceived notions.

Tom Rich is a malcontented, disgruntled member who did his best to disrupt the fellowship of FBC, Jax and got exactly what he deserves.

And yes, many of us do call it Biblical.

Anonymous said...

Why is it anon that you can't address the issues Tom Rich raised?

Is it ok with you that Brunson wrote a Pastor's Guidebook but doesn't do what he instructs other pastors to do? Such as accept large gifts, live in executive homes or drive fancy cars? what about the part about meeting personally with an unhappy church member? It's ok with you that he wrote that to other pastors? You think Brunson is following his own advice?

Or you failed to read that issue on the watchdog blog?

If people would get their head out of the cloud and "consider" that Brunson could be wrong, just consider it instead of rehashing the church's mantra of "disgruntled member who got what he deserved" you might have noticed that the reason the land gift was brought up is because the church is a nonprofit and a nonprofit of a nonreligious nature would require such a gift to be disclosed.

If you call using JSO to learn the identity of a detractor biblical then you have a big problem.

Why wouldn't Brunson meet with Tiffany Croft? She tried to meet with him to work through the issue so it would not get to the point that it is at now. He wouldn't meet.

When the secular world can see the problem more clearly than FBC, then FBC has fallen more than I feared.

gmommy said...

"...malcontented, disgruntled member who did his best to disrupt the fellowship of FBC..."

There's that old tired script again.

Jeri said...

Hey Anonymous, I think we would all love to hear Brunson give a clear account of "his side of the story," especially the bit about getting the personal info of two bloggers who don't even attend his church and never said a violent word.

When, do you suppose, Brunson will be willing to give his straightforward side of the story?

The actual problem is that these apostates NEVER give a straightforward account that is subject to examination.

Christa Brown said...

Anyone can look for themselves at the many news links in my prior posting on this and can see that the reporters tried to include "both sides" in their articles. The problem is that one side stinks and the smell is inescapable. The problem is that FBC-Jax is trying to defend the indefensible, and most ordinary people who read those articles can readily see that.

The fact that many FBC-Jax people seem to have a hard time seeing it is a good example of why Baptists need to create objective independent review boards to assess clergy sex abuse reports. Whether it's about salaries and investigatory tactics, or whether it's about accusations of clergy sex abuse, in churches big and small, most people are simply not capable of objectively assessing unpleasant information about their own minister.

Jeri said...

Anonymous wrote, "Tom Rich is a malcontented, disgruntled member who did his best to disrupt the fellowship of FBC, Jax and got exactly what he deserves."

And when did you see Tom Rich given open court to air his grievances? If you're so keen on hearing both sides, take your own advice and give Tom Rich the benefit of the doubt.

Anonymous said...

Its always good to come on here and see you leap to the defense of Tom Rich. Mac Brunson does not owe any of you an explanation of any type since you are not members of his church. If you are, call him and arrange a personal meeting to discuss your feelings--like Tom Rich should have done in the beginning.

It is sickening to see you people call Mac an "apostate" because you don't agree with what you think you know about this situation.

Just as on the day of the rapture, there are going to be a lot of you Rich supporters surprised when the true facts actually come to light.

Christa, please don't lump Tom Rich's inuendos with sex abuse. Its cheapening to your cause.

Jeri said...

"Mac Brunson does not owe any of you an explanation of any type since you are not members of his church."

Yes he does. Paul was not a member of the church at Corinth and he ordered a member excommunicated. He later ordered him reinstated. Paul was not a member of the church at Rome, yet he ordered them to give Phebe whatever she needed. John was not a member of Diotrephes' church and determined to go give him the boot himself. These guys cannot hide behind the unbiblical defense of personal church empire. The concept is contrary to what the Bible teaches. All Christians are members one of another, and it is all of our business when a man like Brunson disgraces Christ.

Junkster said...

Anonymous April 28, 2009 4:44 PM said...
Its always good to come on here and see you leap to the defense of Tom Rich. Mac Brunson does not owe any of you an explanation of any type since you are not members of his church. If you are, call him and arrange a personal meeting to discuss your feelings--like Tom Rich should have done in the beginning.

...

Christa, please don't lump Tom Rich's inuendos with sex abuse. Its cheapening to your cause.
I disagree with your assertion that what goes on in one church is not the business of other churches, but, even so, I don't recall Christa asking for an explanation from Mac Brunson. However, the Watchdog did, and that didn't go too well for him, did it? No big surprise that he chose to address his concerns via blogging anonymously (same as you and me), seeing that the very abuse of power that concerned him was what came to pass.

As to the connection to Christ's "cause" ... she explained that quite well in her comment at April 28, 2009 12:48 PM. It really isn't that hard to understand...

Anonymous said...

Hey anon 4:44 PM

Hate to burst your bubble. Brunson doesn't meet with people. Go see Tiffany Croft's blog, she personally tried to get Brunson to meet with Rich and Brunson is the one who would NOT meet. It is Brunson and NOT the other way around. Go read it or does the truth make you sick?

Everything is the way it is now because the church would NOT ANSWER QUESTIONS. Now they will answer questions under threat of perjury. This is the way the church CHOSE!

When will you pull your head out of where ever you have stuck it?

Thy Peace said...

NASS (New BBC Open Forum) is maintaining this post, which has links of all the media coverage and blog posts related to Fbc Jax Watchdog outing and aftereffects:

New BBC Open Forum > FBC Jax Watchdog: Who's talking?.

You can also get to this link at Fbc Jax Watchdog's site and then in the Watchdog's Favorites, click on Media Coverage Links.