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Jul 28, 2011

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volfan007

This is very disappointing to hear...very sad.

David

A.M. Mallett

This is absolutely terrible to watch unfold. I have long held the SBC as one the last holdouts for sound, conservative Christian theology even though I am not Baptist myself. A wise pastor once told me there has to be a repentance and reform before there can ever be a revival. Let's hope we can witness such a thing with this travesty.

boB Cleveland

His deal is actually a Pyramid Marketing, or Multi-Level Marketing scheme. It differs from a true Ponzi scheme in that there's actually a product that somebody is supposed to sell, and in addition enlist (for a fee) other sellers.

There was a famous case of MLM in cosmetics in which a judge pointed out that, if the plan was worked successfully for 6 months, the number of salesmen involved would exceed the population of the earth. So it's not really any better than a good old fashioned chain letter.

A real Ponzi scheme is simply an investment deal where people are promised .. and initially paid .. very high rates of return on small investments. The returns are paid out of the new investments in the plan, and people who hear of, and experience, high returns, invest more and more. Then one day the operators simply disappear.

I know of one plan in an Indiana city, several decades ago, in which the operators' disappearance left a hole of several million dollars. I had a friend who got bit by that one.

peter lumpkins

Granted. Whether "ponzi" or "pyramid" neither is acceptable from my point of view. Thanks.

With that, I am...
Peter

Tim Rogers

Brother Bob,

Would Dr. Merritt's statement that he was looking for an investment strategy where he could be one of the first one in make your "ponzi" scheme correct? If you remember, Dr. Merritt told the audience that Georgia was virgin territory for this business.

Blessings,
Tim

Concerned CP member

I am a member of Dr. Merritt's church and find this absolutely horrifying. I had no idea he was doing this in our sanctuary. Does he not know these schemes have been around for decades? There is a major exodus in the church happening now over Jonanthan Merritt's writings (google him), and now this. It's time to abandon ship I'm afraid.

boB Cleveland

The objective of the FHTM is the sales of various products, per their website. Interestingly, they all seem to be products you can obtain elsewhere, like the Dish Network! Their chosen sales force is the old "Multi Level" deal, which adds the carrot of selling others the right to sell, also. Amway, Avon, Electrolux, Mary Kay, all use MLM, I believe.

In the Ponzi scheme that got my friend in Indiana, they simply promised 10% a week on your money. People would get in for $10 and sure enough, got $11 a week later. So they'd tell their friends about it, and invest more money next week. There was no profit produced anywhere by the sale of anything. People got into it for pure greed.

MLM can be a legitimate venture .. witness the ones I cited .. but it's hard to see their being a sound and legit venture when the sales opportunity is things that seem to be available directly .. which makes one think the merchandise is secondary.

For the record, I think it's HIGHLY inappropriate for Dr. Merritt to be hawking this. What would the failure of FHTM do to his ministry, his witness, and the overall cause of Christ?

Mary

I know Mary Kay is not MLM or Ponzi - the women I know actually have a contract with Mary Kay to sell their product. I know the ladies make money off of every other lady they sign up to sell and up the chain, but that money actually comes from Mary Kay. The profit for the first sales are 50%, then I think 10% for someone you sign and the person up the chain gets a cut and I think it stops at a point - no continous chain.

I wonder if we will see a Cross Pointe Watch blog soon and all those who latch onto any "victim" of the SBC will start blogging and wringing their hands about the state of the SBC and those in power. Somehow I think those concercned members at Cross Point will be dismissed as "haters" since Al Mohler has endorsed the Merritts. Just like "voices" some "victims" are more equal than others. If the Pope of Southern has given his seal of approval you can do whatever you want and the Calvinist will call you haters for dissenting all the live long day. See Driscoll and SGM for proof. Or any post at the Calvinist Voices blog where victims of Calvinism are called outright liars. SGM victims now have 800+ pages of "proof" yet that "proof" is not really good enough for all those who will defend Calvinism at any cost.

boB Cleveland

Mary: "I know the ladies make money off of every other lady they sign up to sell and up the chain, but that money actually comes from Mary Kay"

That pretty well defines MLM.

CP Member

While I agree with your questioning Jonathan's Merritt's theology, in his writings on Homosexuality, the attack on Dr. Merritt's endorsement of FHTM is pure "rumor mongering", and makes you akin to the TMZ's of the world.

WHO CARES?

Obviously, this was not during a service, and CP allowed the event to be held in their facilities. While the structure of FHTM might be in question, they have been around for a while and would have been shut down if illegal.

While I personally, have no dog in this fight, and would not join an MLM company, your obsession with "anything Merritt" is clearly showing. I would rather you stick to "theological" debates and inaccuracies, and leave the personal attacks to others.

Mary

Bob, I'm confused or thinking of something else. I was thinking with the MLM scams the money was coming from those lower in the chain not the original company? The original company just sells the product once and then those in the chain make money off those lower down the chain and so are encouraged to move themselves up the chain and don't actually make much until higher in the chain?

peter

Dear CP Member,

Rather than being perceived as a personal attack, I hope most see this post as a public lament. Even so, to class this post as 'rumor-mongering' is thoroughly ridiculous. Either Dr. Merritt embraces, endorses and recruits for FHTM, or he doesn't. He explicitly affirms he does. So, are we to believe him that he does or you that I'm purely "rumor mongering"? Personally, I think most readers will probably accept Merritt's own word for it.

Finally, even if CP "allowed the event to be held in their facilities"--about which there is good reason to doubt many actually knew about it--it doesn't negate Merritt's obviously skewed testimony in recruiting a person for profitable gain when he or she expresses personal need after a worship service. Such action kisses the threshold of wrongfully pursuing "filthy lucre" were one to ask me (1Tim3:3).

With that, I am...
Peter

Another CP member

Dear CP Member:

It's NOT a rumor, there's VIDEO of him DOING IT! See above.

As for "it would be shut down if illegal" you could say the same thing about organized crime, drug cartels, and many other illegal activities.

Even if the business is legitimate, the pastor of our church should NOT be running a business for his own personal gain out of our sanctuary. Someone needs to turn over the money-changers tables! I can't in good conscience support this through our tithes and offerings and will likely be leaving CP with my family soon. He can be "Mr. Haney" if he wants to, but not with our support. Sad.

Bart Barber

CP Member,

I've never seen any proposed ministerial code of ethics that this would not violate. Consider, for example, the code of ethics at the John Mark Ministries website (here). Note the relevant passages:

"[Pastors] shall not seek financial gain for themselves or their families from a pastoral relationship beyond recognised fees, stipends and entitlements."

"[Pastors,] if paid a full-time stipend shall not accept any other remunerative work without the expressed consent of the church."

"No one in the church shall use their church membership to actively recruit clients for private practice or commercial interests."

This is doubly unethical and is indefensible. It is unethical in the first place because this is an unethical business, under investigation by the FTC, already fined by the State of Montana, and defending itself in multiple lawsuits from victims of this scam.

But even if this were a reputable business—even if he were being paid a finder's fee for recruiting people to work at Chick-Fil-A—it is a violation of pastoral ethics to sell the pastoral office and its credibility in order to further somebody else's secular business interests. That's the second aspect of the ethical problem here. An (1) unethical practice by a pastor is handing over victims to be fleeced by an (2) unethical business.

CP Member

Peter, Peter!

"Finally, even if CP "allowed the event to be held in their facilities"--about which there is good reason to doubt many actually knew about it--it doesn't negate Merritt's obviously skewed testimony in recruiting a person for profitable gain when he or she expresses personal need after a worship service. Such action kisses the threshold of wrongfully pursuing "filthy lucre" were one to ask me (1Tim3:3)."

As I said, your obsession with the Merritts is showing. While I agreed with you completely over Jonathan's writings regarding Homosexuality, I will just have to disagree with you this time, and realize that you do indeed have an obsession. This has greatly changed my opinion as to your motives.

While I did not know this event happened, my investigation has uncovered, that it DID NOT HAPPEN AT A WORSHIP SERVICE, that CP was paid by FHTM, to hold the presentation, and the people present were individuals who expressed an interest in FHTM and thus were invited.

I am a VERY active member at CP, and have never once heard Dr. Merritt speak about FHTM to me or any member in the smaller groups I am a member of. SO, to suggest, that if a member came to Dr. Merritt for counsel that he would point them to FHTM is pure conjecture and very shoddy journalism.

As I pointed out, I personally do not endorse or care to join any MLM. But, I am a member of CP that has not missed a worship service in 2 years, and I know for a fact that FHTM has never been mentioned, or endorsed by anyone on staff during a CP worship service or event. That is very different from a "private event" that was held on the CP campus. Churches rent their facilities for private events all the time, and I have no problem with our church doing that, or Dr. Merritt being involved, as long as he is not speaking to OUR church and endorsing FHTM.

So yes, you are rumor mongering. I am guessing, that you have never done anything questionable in your life. Do you ever go over the speed limit in an automobile? Have you ever done it while other Christians were in the vehicle with you? What sort of witness is that?

Matt. 7:1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."

I often have to refer to John 8 before I make accusations of others, and suggest you do the same.

Bart Barber

Regarding the Mary Kay discussion, from what I've seen, the federal government differentiates a pyramid scheme (which is illegal) from multi-level marketing (which is legal) by, among other things, examining whether income is primarily derived from the sale of products or from the recruiting of other participants in the business.

For legitimate multi-level businesses, "residuals" (i.e., the profit made from the sales of items) can approach 50%. MLM businesses sell high markup items, generally that can only be obtained through that network (otherwise they would easily be undersold in the market).

FHTM, on the other hand, has historically had residuals well under 1%. Trying to stave off some of the legal peril that they face, they have reportedly raised many residuals to 1% recently. Nevertheless, for the people who were making ungodly sums of money through FHTM, they themselves state that their residual checks were $20 per month or less.

Clearly, with FHTM, the only way that people make enough monthly income to buy more than one day's worth of groceries is by focusing on recruiting people rather than selling products. This is the very definition of a pyramid scheme employed by the government in prosecuting these kinds of cases.

Mary Kay, by all accounts, is a business in which people who succeed do so by moving product as much as (more than?) by recruiting other people to sell for Mary Kay. And yet, (see my comment above), even if Mary Kay is a legitimate business and is completely different from FHTM, it would still be unethical for a pastor to use his position to accept money to redirect people who come to him for spiritual counsel into a secular business.

Bart Barber

I should probably back off of my last paragraph in my last comment. "By all accounts" is a sweeping claim, and I haven't researched Mary Kay. A better statement of my rationale is to say that (1) Mary Kay has been around for a very long time, (2) Mary Kay is a high-profile business…almost a household name, one might say, and (3) after a whole lot of years, Mary Kay is still legal everywhere.

This is all "common knowledge" stuff, and I do not purport at all to know much about Mary Kay.

peter

CP Member,

Unless you possess a "special" definition of "rumor", "monger," and "rumor-mongering," I'm afraid you may disagree all you wish, but the fact remains that what I have posted here is based upon Dr. Merritt's explicitly stated words. Now, don't bring that part up again. We'll let the readers decide if your point is well-taken that "rumor-mongering" is taking place.

In addition, I'll allow readers to judge whether or not I'm "obsessed" with "anything Merritt." To my recall, I've posted dissents on two and two issues only concerning the Merritts: unchecked pro-gay agenda (with which you agree) and now FHTM (with which you obviously disagree). How two issues equal an obsession of "anything Merritt" I'll defer for others to defend. Even so, since you agree with 50% of the issues I've raised, does that make you half as "obsessed" with the Merritts as I am? ;^)

Now as for me doing anything questionable I'm afraid such is not the issue here. Nice try. What is at issue is neither my possible traffic citations nor even the use of CP facilities as I made clear. Rather it's Merritt's self-indictment about exploiting needy people for a buck. Yes it was in his own pulpit--albeit it not during worship--but in the place of worship nonetheless. Even so, had he said the same thing at a convention across the country, the weight of it is no less stupendous: now instead of just saying "let me pray for you" he tells them that "for 30 minutes of their time" he can tell them something that will change their life. This, CP Member, stands as a genuine disgrace for gospel ministers everywhere.

Now, if you disagree, fine. But please do not come back suggesting this is either rumor or I'm somehow non-sensically breaching our Lord's words in Matt. Instead I suggest you try to make your defense to CP church. I think Dr. Merritt will need some assistance before this is over. And for that, I am truly sad.

With that, I am...
Peter

P.S. That you've changed your perception of me I fully accept. I learned long ago I could not please everybody. Hence, I do not try to. I write what I write because I believe what I write not to keep up appearances.

Chris

Dr. Barber's words are spot on with yours. Truly a sad day.

Another CP member

Here's what Montana's Commissioner of Securities and Insurance, Monica Lindeen, had to say about Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing in March 2010:

http://www.csi.mt.gov/news/20100315HiTech.html

Ms. Lindeen writes "Today, I decided to shut down Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing, Inc. and its representatives because I believe it is an illegal operation and it needs to end before more people lose money.”

Tim Rogers

Brother/Sister CP Member,

No one is spreading rumors and neither is anyone "suggesting" that Dr. Merritt would direct someone that came to him to FMIC. Dr. Merritt said those words. They are not allegedly words those are his words. Thus, there is no conjecture on anyone's part.

Now, as to your faithful attendance and your inside knowledge of all things Cross Pointe, I will not challenge you on that point. I will point out that this conference took place in your church and you were unaware of it even taking place. Thus, Cross Pointe is a large organization and this conference was probably by invitation only. Which brings me to another question. Does it not cause questions to be raised in your brain that if a private event is being held at your church and your pastor is one of the key speakers at this event, but the church is not invited?

One more item for your information. Dr. Barber has pointed out Mary Kay. I will tell you that I have two friends that are involved in Mary Kay. One has just received a Chevorlet Equinox for her performance. I am very aware that her income is more from the product than it is from the recruiting. Another is my Youth Minister's secretary. I am very aware that she does not go around recruiting members of the church to be part of her organization. She has been to my home to do a party for my daughter twice and not one time has she spoken to my wife about a way to raise extra cash. No one in the church has ever complained about her trying to recruit anyone in the church.

Also, if you want to look at another MLM group you can see https://www.myacn.com/digital/>this one. It was featured on Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice and their Corporate headquarters is in Concord NC. They push recruiting, but their commissions are paid from the products. Thus you must sell in order to advance. This is how reputable MLM systems work.

Blessings,
Tim

Bart Barber

Lest it sound like some arbitrary governmental definition, allow me to indicate WHY there is an ethical difference between legal multi-level marketing and an illegal pyramid scheme (not that I'm advocating either one of them).

If the majority of the money is made by selling the products, then that means that person #24,503 who was recruited as an agent just last week might have the zeal, the skills, and the good fortune to be a far better salesperson than person #24 who got into the business the third month that it was operating. If so, that person who sells more product will make more money and will likely rise in levels of responsibility and reward.

If, on the other hand, the only real money is made by recruiting people into the business, then #24 is always going to make many times more money than #24,503 is ever going to be able to make. In fact, #24,503 is into the game so late that the market is probably saturated and most of the people who are gullible enough to get into this business have already gotten in. He or she might be the greatest salesperson to grace the state of Georgia with the imprint of his or her foot, but there is no reward forthcoming for that. Because #24 got in early and #24,503 got in late, #24 will become wealthy off of #24,503's membership fee and website fee and whatever else.

Pyramid schemes collapse. The legal trouble will probably make FHTM collapse earlier than it naturally would have, but there is no other possible ending for a pyramid scheme than for it to collapse. When it collapses, Merritt will be wealthier and the guy in Kentucky will be wealthier and so will anybody else who was near the top of the pyramid. All of the poor people near the bottom of the pyramid will be poorer.

And then all of that money earned at the top for the purpose of giving it to God will be really needed to feed those folks at the bottom.

Ex-CP Member

I held back from commenting yesterday, but after reading the feedback today, I will share my experiences...

I used to be a CP member and was approached by a member of my sunday school class about this FHTM opportunity...

let me state that this was one of several reasons that we left CP...but, most of the reasons why our family left are not controversial at all, nor doctrinal/theological, just simply programming/schueduling reasons...

In 2010, I received a call from a person in my sunday school class who said he wanted to share an opportunity with me...I found it odd, as he and I were merely acquaintances...

I have listened to several MLM presentations, and this initial contact sounded very similar - the words "I have an opportunity to show you" is something I have heard before...

I asked if he could explain the opportunity to me over the phone, and he told me that the presentation was very visual and i really needed to see it in person...he told me he could come to my house or, the following tuesday, i could come to a meeting at the church and the meeting would actually be held in the same room where our sunday school class meets...i was quite surprised to hear that...

then he told me that dr. merritt was also a member of the organization...i immediately gave the opportunity more credibility because of the respect and love i have for dr. merritt...which even though i have left CP, i still have...

so the following tuesday, i went...

that night in my sunday school class, i sat through a very typical MLM first meeting...there were about 120 people in the room, most were a couple or group, meaning a current company member who had brought a prospect or prospects to investigate the opportunity...other than my contact from my sunday school class, to my recollection, i only recognized one other person from CP...

the presentation was given by a heavy hitter in the company, who was making a very large monthly income...the opportunity was explained very clearly, and details were shared about how money can be made, but most of the time was spent explaining how the BIG money was made...yes, you could resell reputable products and services, like DISH Network, but it was obvious that the BIG money was made when you established a huge downline of recruits under you, which this presenter had done...

each time the presenter made a point about BIG money, the people in the audience would clap and yell in agreement and excitement...it was all about making BIG money - at one point, the presenter even mentioned something about making money while you sleep...

before i left, i was given a dvd...the dvd started with a welcome message from dr. merritt...after his welcome, the dvd continued with another version of the business presentation - this presentation was shot in the CP sanctuary for an event called a Super Saturday, which was an event like the one i experienced, just with more attendees...i never attended one of these meetings, so i do not know what else was on the agenda for these events...

i left the room that tuesday night appalled, and honestly feeling that something dirty/slimy was going on at my church - to me, it seemed as if the money changers were doing business in my sunday school classroom...

i told my contact from my sunday school class that i was not interested...

i tell this story, not to attack, condemn, or condone...

i truly believe dr. merritt would FIRST share christ and the saving grace of the gospel with anyone in need, before any other "opportunity" - i believe he personally shared this other opportunity with people he knew already had a relationship with christ - as a possible avenue, along with seeking the lord's will and prayer, to help people facing a financial collapse...

others have commented here on this blog that its wrong for a pastor to conduct this type of business for personal gain...while i dont not know this for a fact, i dont believe that dr. merritt used it for his personal gain...i believe that dr. merritt was using the money he made for kingdom purposes...

it is my understanding that dr. merritt is no longer involved with FHTM...

as with any situation like this, repentance then forgiveness are called for...

Tim Rogers

Brother/Sister Ex-CP Member,

Your last statement brings to me something that no one has even approached. The video was done in March of this year. The company has been under investigation for over a year. Can you tell me where you got your information from that 1.) Dr. Merritt used the income for "kingdom purposes" and 2.) Dr. Merritt is no longer involved with FHTM?"

Blessings,
Tim

Current CP Member

Tim,

Ex-CP member is correct. I know for a fact that Dr. Merritt is no longer a part of this venture and hasn't been for some time. Of course, I'm sure you all would have known such a thing because you've done your homework before trying to discredit a pastor of a Christian church. I'm sure you aren't just out here running your mouth off without doing your homework, are you?

Current CP Member

Oh, and the video cited here was filmed nearly a year ago, not in March.

peter lumpkins

Current CP Member

Look. No one here is trying to "discredit" a pastor of a Christian church. Both Tim & I are pastors for crying out loud, and have been so for several years.

The truth is, James Merritt discredited himself by suggesting he tells needy people who seek his counsel after a worship service that if they will give him 30 minutes of their time, he will share something with them that will change their life. And that "something" is, a financial scheme to squeeze money out of unsuspecting, vulnerable people. He does this in lieu of "let me just pray for you."

Now, you may not have a problem with this, but doggone it, we do. It smacks of pastoral betrayal to one's people and certainly breaches 1 Tim.3:3.

Furthermore, when one's testimony about how life-changing FHTM is, is plastered all over the internet, one cannot plead "well I use to be in that but now I'm not." Poppycock.

I love the SBC. James Merritt is a leader in the SBC. Hence, if men are going to play the role of leaders, men are going to act like leaders. That's the bottom line.

With that, I am...
Peter

Tim Rogers

Brother/Sister Current CP Member,

When the video was made,for me, is not relevant. There is already one testimony on this board that states you have SS members who actively recruit other SS members to be part of this organization. Also, the video that I linked on my site was a video placed on Vimeo by a Leverage LLC. All of his/her videos are about FTMH and they all are promoting the company. That video was placed up in April, 2011. Now, if Dr. Merritt is out of the organization he should have publicly come out and told the church and everyone else he was no longer associated with the MLM group.

However, let us say without a question concerning his involvement that he is no longer part of this group. Let's go as far to say that he decided he could no longer see himself promoting this organization. I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he is not part of this organization. However, I cannot get over what he said in the video. You say that Dr. Merritt would never speak to someone that comes to him after service about anything but Jesus. You have a serious flaw in your perspective. Dr. Merritt's words say different. So, who do I believe? You, who is for personal reasons trying to defend Dr. Merritt and his ministry, or Dr. Merritt who spoke these words at a conference. Now if you want to argue the video is out of context, be my guest as I will listen to that argument. I have no proof that it isn't cut and pasted. However, no one has argued that point and thus it must be accepted the words are in context.

Your argument should not be with me. Your argument should be with Dr. Merritt as he is the one who said that he promotes this organization to people that come to him after the service.

Blessings,
Tim

Tim Rogers

Brother/Sister Current CP Member,

One more thing. I believe you need to answer the same questions that I asked Ex-CP Member.

Can you tell me where you got your information from that 1.) Dr. Merritt used the income for "kingdom purposes" and 2.) Dr. Merritt is no longer involved with FHTM?"

Oh, BTW, it is not sloppy journalism to use a old statement when that statement has never been repented of before. What is wrong is to use a quote and then not supply the transcript of the interview from where the quote came. Nothing like that has happened here. The quote and the context is out there. Now you need to attack the video not the messenger that produced the video.

Blessings,
Tim

Ex-CP Member

Tim, I am simply taking dr. Merritt at his word from the video and from his own words at another time, that he did not need the money and wanted to use what he made from fortune to help develop ministries at CP...

As far as dr. Merritt's current involvement in fortune, i have been told he is no longer involved by a current CPer...

peter lumpkins

By the way, Current CP Member, the videos posted on the internet are far too fresh to cite as evidence indicative that James Merritt has now left FHTM. All one has to do is google “James Merritt FHTM” and dozens of wedsites pop up with James Merritt recommending FHTM. And all the videos I scanned were posted from Mar 2011 to as late as July 2011 this year. Here’s an example. Hence, if Merritt is out of the business, FHTM affiliates know nothing about it. Also, if nothing is wrong with FHTM, why is Merritt getting out of the business? I thought he found a way he could help literally thousands of people. Note also that the video is welcoming people to the campus. My understanding is, Merritt is welcoming them to a regional FHTM meeting held at Cross Pointe in October, 2011.

So, we have done “our homework” I’m afraid.

With that, I am…

Peter

Bart Barber

It would really be good news if Merritt is no longer doing this. Also, allow me to point out that Merritt's use of the money that he made is really immaterial to the question as to whether this was ethical. Did the people recruited into this business at CP all make money? Will the additional money spent on…whatever…be worth the damage to the reputation of this church, this man, and churches in general by the church's association with what could easily be ruled a criminal enterprise in the near future?

This is also why pastors should be very careful about endorsing political candidates. When they go down, they take you and the church down with you. Billy Graham learned that with Richard Nixon.

CP member

There is a God who is still in charge even when it appears our leaders are in charge. It is God who puts people in high places and it is God who removes them by various means. It is God who softens or hardens people hearts and it is God who opens or closes their eyes and ears.

I strongly believe the situation Dr. Merritt is in is the result of a spiritual illness which manifests itself through various symptoms such as the ones you all have mentioned above. In his eyes, these choices may seem well-intended methods to attract, to help and to retain church membership. Nevertheless, they have caused enough of a stir that CP members are leaving their home church. The question is not WHAT Dr. Merritt is saying or doing but WHY. And if he still serves the living God and is still His anointed, why is God allowing this ?????

We (all who read and/or comment on this) should pray. There are innocent people in that auditorium every Sunday, hurting, truly seeking God – they are the ones caught in the crossfire, they are the casualties, they are the ones who will lose their trust in church and church leadership.

If I were in Dr. Merritt’s shoes I would lock my doors, unplug the phone, cancel all my appointments and not make one more move until I was certain I am right with God. Afterall HE is the One in charge, He allows people to be placed in positions of leadership and He allows leaders to be removed. He cares very deeply for his flock and will not allow anyone to hurt them.

LMalone

This was totally unethical and a misuse of his power and position. I am shocked he has so little discernment. The point is, whether he got out of this or not, he still showed no discernment or wisdom in what he did and how he promoted it.

CASEY

Two major indicators of a lack of 'discernment' in JM's life and leadership are: a) dealing with his son's pro-homosexual positions
b) using the pulpit for a profitable self-serving purpose. Both are an abomination before the LORD. JM has disqualified himself as a church(SBC) leader.
Until JM apologizes and admits a mistake on both issues, equal to or greater than his (former?) promotion of these two issues...then, I will conclude that he still supports both.
While we may understand the emotional 'tug' of both issues, until JM has the Lord's principles as his 'trump card', then he will be a 'preacher of do as I say not as I do'...one of no conviction and little effect.

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