Anonymous Blogger Gets Outed then Booted From His Church!

You all know by now how I feel about anonymous bloggers but that isn’t the point of this post. Apparently a member of a church in Jacksonville Florida started a blog about his then church you can read here. I say then church because as soon as this anonymous blogger’s identity was revealed they tossed him and his wife out of the church. (source) (source)

 

Again I would like to reiterate that my feelings about anonymous bloggers making accusations against others are not the point of this post.

 

I want to hear your thoughts on what has transpired in Jacksonville between the church leadership and the blogger in question.

 

Apparently some people went to the pastor to share their concerns so I don’t believe Matthew 18 was violated. The anonymous blogger even claimed to have sent a few anonymous emails as well….all apparently went unanswered.

 

Did the Pastor have a right to out the blogger, call him names and banish him and his wife from the property without addressing any of the bloggers concerns?

 

What does this say about the leadership of this church when the sheep are too afraid to voice their concerns so they must do so anonymously on a blog?

 

HT to http://hiscrivener.wordpress.com/2009/04/21/church-blogger-watchdog-may-be-put-to-sleep-for-sniffing-around/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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25 thoughts on “Anonymous Blogger Gets Outed then Booted From His Church!

  1. Very interesting! I guess the “touch not the overpaid” interpretation is being applied here. This type of bullying is very common among crimical enterprises. I would be proud to have been kicked out of this church.

  2. I do not think the situation typifies leadership in churches across the country but it certainly typifies how people act in every church.

    Anonymous shots at leaders are nothing other than gossip without a name. I do not read or return anonymous e-mail or letters. Man up and use your real name.

    • Hi,

      I tend to agree with you. I’m not a big fan of anonymous blog authors who take potshots at people and if you poke around this blog you will see this.

      Thanks,

      Phil

  3. The blogger (Tom Rich) got exactly what he wanted and deserved. He never made any efforts to meet with the pastor. You should read his blog posts and you will see the destruction he tried to wreak on that church.

    Also, no pastor worth his salt is going to get involved in answering/reading anonymous emails or letters.

  4. You have misread the blog. I have read it all. It all started with questions that are very reasonable in a Baptist church regarding the decision to hire the pastor’s wife and son at fairly high salaries, among other financial matters. One was a contradiction between the pastor’s writings and his behavior in accepting a large gift from a member, then touting the member’s business during worship!

    These are not attacks, but reasonable raising of issues of inappropriate leadership behavior.

    Anyone who has been around a mega church knows that it is very difficult to get to the pastor in person and impossible to get a reply other than to be asked or ordered to leave.

    • Hi,

      I spent some time last night reading the blog. It seems odd that Mr. Rich, being someone that has served in the church for over 20 years had to resort to being anonymous on a blog. Wasn’t there someone he could have went to? Surely he must have known someone in authority that he could have spoken to about his concerns?

      And why write to his pastor anonymously via email?

      This is an extremely odd situation to say the least.

      Phil

  5. Please note that the pastor did not remove Tom Rich from their fellowship. The church did and that is their right and decision to make. We obviously do not know all the facts and since we aren’t members of that church, its basically none of our business.

  6. Sorry but we must be reading totally different blogs. Tom Rich’s blog continually denegrated the pastor, his family, and the pastoral staff as well as the leadership of the church. He even went so far as to ask church members to quit tithing. That blog basically became a cancer on the spirit of that church.

    He needed to be removed and he was.

  7. The fact he has been removed from the church will not stop the blog, so what’s the point? As to his asking members to quit tithing(unbibical practice),to support the pastors lavish lifestyle, is a cancer on the spirit of greed, not the spirit of Christ. His misstake is in being cowardly by not letting them know who he is. Now that they know who he is and have kicked him out, what about the issues he has raised?

    • Hi,

      Yea, that’s just it. Someone spent quite a bit of time tracking down the bloggers identity yet to the best of my knowledge NO ONE from the church leadership has addressed any of the concerns raised by the blogger.

      Do you think it would have mattered if the blogger stated his name from the beginning?

      Phil

  8. Hi Phil,

    Well, I’m on dial-up here, so I can’t watch the video. However, from what I can make out the whole issue springs from a colossal lack of communication. Each party seems to be stonewalling the other. This is not an acceptible way to deal with personal problems in any situation — let alone within a church environment. I doubt I would have thrown anyone out of the church over an anonymous blog… but that’s just me. Anyhow, I hope the parties are able to reconcile, and iron out their differences to the satisfaction of all, and to the honor of Jesus Christ.

    Peace & Health,

    Brian

    • Hi,

      I agree.

      If I were “pastor” Brunson I would be asking myself how one of the sheep would have to go to those lengths just to get my attention but that’s just me. Based on what I’ve read and heard these last 48 hours I doubt Brunson gives two hoots about the sheep.

      Phil

  9. No I don’t think it would have made any difference. The creation of the blog probably resulted from the lack of attention he received from leadership to his concerns he raised over this hiring. Some people, rightly or wrongly, choose to be anonymous for business reasons. They may go to church where their boss does or several of their customers and fear the consequences of their actions. People in sales are encouraged to join a church for the contacts and many do, which is a whole different problem the church/money system has created.

  10. For all who think that the concerns raised by Tom Rich have not been addressed simply aren’t in the know of things happening in that church. The Budget/Finance/Personnel committees are all well aware of what is happening. The reality is that most who are griping and accusing simply don’t like the form of church government that they employ at FBC, Jax. Whether or not I agree with it is not an issue since I am not a member of that church. I sure wouldn’t want the whole world trying to tell us how to govern and administrate our church.

    Tom Rich was removed by the church to protect the spirit of the church and that is a Biblical mandate for all churches.

    • Hi Jeff,

      Just because the budget/finance/personnel committees are aware of this doesn’t mean they have addressed the concerns raised. Do you have a link or something that shows how these committees answered the concerns?

      The Spirit of the Church? Can you elaborate on this please?

      Phil

  11. Warn a divisive person once, warn him again anf after that have nothing to do with him.

    There is a growing form of divisiveness in the church. Used to be that it was a primarily doctrinal. It was a form of disagreement that could more easily be resolved. Now it is over practice and authority.

    Practice: Someone gets their undies in a wad because they do not like the music, the length of a sermon, the style of preaching, how a pastor asks for money, the seats, how a particular bit of money is spent, a salary of a staff person, a program and they complain. Problem is that if it were doctrine an adjustment could be made if necessary and if not that would be known too. With practice, it can be very subjective. But here is the rub, many people take on practice as though it were doctrine and fight and compliagn as though a pastor had violated all ten commandments in the middle of his sermon.

    Authority: For what it is worth, pastors have authority that comes from God and should be followed. That is biblical. Reading the blog, this gentleman strikes me as a person who struggles with authority.

  12. I agree, there will always be fights about practice and authority is important but must be used in accordance with Matt.20:25-26, however
    I would think that when a pastor accepts a salary at 10 times the average of the congregation and finds paid positions for his family, that that could be considered divisive.

  13. I’m definitely not a proponent of anonymous blogging but I do understand why some take this avenue and I most certainly appreciate it when they are clear about why.

    Let’s face it. There are areas in the world where death is dealt out by civil law for speaking our minds. There are times when physical threats have been made and thus the blogger works behind a cloak. There are times when it’s done to protect family members from retribution, etc.

    Years ago, my family ran into an issue with a coach. Some of the team members walked off the team and spoke out against the things happening there. One newspaper wrote about it and called these kids “quitters”. What the newspaper never reported is that the coach did come under discipline for his activities and these activities had gone on for years without being addressed.

    I relate that because I think in this instance it would have been far better for the blogger to transfer his membership to another Church, then blog under his own name about what he witnessed and the issues he had there. I do believe it would have carried more weight and progress would begin to occur.

    By taking the anonymous position, then the blogger became the focus and not the issues. He actually gave them grounds to change the focus which is exactly what they did. By keeping the focus on the blogger, the other issues became secondary when they should have been primary.

    There are times when we need to be “self sacrificing”. I think I’ve heard Phil refer to this as taking a bullet for the Kingdom. I do like that analogy. There are times when we are far more effective when we step into the line of fire with a here I am, “examine me” position then trying to remain within an bad environment. In this instance, his actions were used to cloud his witness.

    If there are others within the Jax Church who have issues, I do pray that they remove themselves before they speak. It will demonstrate a conviction and keep the focus on the issues imho. It does appear the Church has some real issues that need to be addressed. Unfortunately, the issues have been clouded by their disiplinary action against the anonymous blogger and it will take a little time for them to come to the forefront again, but come to the forefront, they will. They always do.

  14. It would have been better if Tom Rich had had the integrity to go in and meet personally with Mac Brunson and whatever committee chairman he wanted to talk with. But then that’s the Scriptural way and it sure hasn’t been followed in Jacksonville.

  15. Boyd, agreed scripture must be used. I don’t know his salary, but whatever his salary is, blogging about it anonymously is not the answer. I had someone leave my first church over my salary. He said it was exorbitant and he complained, fussed and then left in a huff. Blogs did not exist back then or I might be the guy in a blog. I started an inner city urban church and made 32k a year.

    To hear him talk I was paid 300k. I got nailed for having a cell phone the church paid for too. Of course the office was at my house and I paid the churches line myself. My cell was $50 a month. It cost me $200 one month because we had a parishioner go through a crisis and use up my minutes.

    My point is this: In every church I have pastored or led there have always been a couple people who think they can say what they want and that the pastor works for them. I have heard in every church I have been in this comment. “My tithes pay your salary…” as though I was employed by that person or as though giving gave them a right to speak to me rudely.

    These people are in every church I have ever been in, but I have only been in 1 church where the pastor was over the line. We spoke to him, the elders and then left. We spoke only with witnesses and in humility and in privacy.

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