John on April 19, 2009 at 8:09 pm
A church in Florida was being dogged by an anonymous blogger for some questionable practices (paying the pastor 300K then hiring his wife and son as well).
The leader of the church’s security team, who also happened to be a local cop, started an investigation which he himself conducted. He issued a subpoena to the ISP demanding the name of the blogger. The ISP turned it over and the blogger, who was still a member, was kicked out of the church and described by the pastor as a “sociopath”, apparently in an article for the local paper. The “investigation” closed, having found no prosecutable wrong doing, but of course it had achieved its real purpose.
Now people are beginning to notice the abuse of power inherent in the situation and the possibility of a lawsuit against the cop for abuse of office and the pastor for slander sounds imminent.
What really gets me is how similar the comment thread on this guy’s blog sounds to some of our own. How’s this for example:
Funny how those outside of FBC Jax see clearly how the church is abusing the system to out a blogger and the mishandling of this matter by the church, yet those in the church continue to try and blame the blogger and make the focus about him. Isn’t this what cults do?
Here’s another with a familiar ring:
Do you agree with most Brunson [the pastor] supporters that simply by virtue of asking a question of this pastor that you are a “hater” or that you are “divisive” or that you “hate the pastor?” or my favorite…you are “attacking” him?…
Are you concerned that once Mr. Rich’s identity was obtained, not ONE person from the church contacted him in accordance with Matthew 18?…
Why do you think the ONLY ad ever played for a member’s business during a sermon was played for Collins Builders? Have you seen one before, or since? Is it just coincidence that J.D. Collins was the one you say was “guided by the Holy Spirit” to give the land gift? [to the senior pastor]
And one more:
Tom Rich [the blogger] has not been guilty of libel! And you will notice that Brunson [the pastor] has not claimed he’s been libeled. He goes right to his pronoucements, with his Mighty Mouse imitation, to say that he is the protector of the church. Well, in my opinion he has done much more to harm the church than to protect it!…
Unfortunately for Brunson etc., I think that there are a whole lot of people who have had their eyes opened to a not-so-loving preacher who chooses to call someone names rather than personally contact them…
Members were told that if they wished to see the changes to the by-laws they could go to the library, ask for a copy of the by-laws and sign their name in order to see them. Then a person could sit down in the library and read them. You don’t think that requirement is the tiniest bit odd???
And of course, even after all of this comes out, you still have this guy:
The pastor may be doing some things he should not be doing, I do not know because I am not there. But I do know that your public and anonymous blogging is doing more harm to the Kingdom than any gifts the pastor has accepted, or offices he has built.
It’s eerie how similar the arguments are. And, not surprisingly, I find myself taking the same side of the argument.
Well, I guess it’s just good to remember that none of us — no matter what the situation — are all that special.
[HT: Hot Air]
Category: Religion & Faith |