"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Thursday, August 26, 2010

FBC Jax Was Center Stage for Florida Politics Sunday - and Mac Picks Up the Endorsement

FBC Jax and Mac Brunson were front and center in the Florida Republican gubernatorial primary this past Sunday, and several newspapers around the state reported on it. But ironically on this day it wasn't a politician who got a ringing endorsement, it was the preacher, as I'll explain.

Bill McCollum and his wife were present at FBC Jax for the a.m. worship service sitting next to former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, and a whole team of Republican politicians. McCollum has been in an absolutely nasty, no-holds-barred campaign against his opponent Rick Scott for the Republican governorship nomination.

Why was McCollum sitting next to Huckabee in the service? Earlier in the week Huckabee endorsed McCollum for governor, announcing their intent to visit the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville during their last minute campaign swing before Tuesday's election.

In a clever, roundabout way, McCollum was presented by FBC Jax as the conservative choice for governor. Huckabee sits next to him, and Huckabee comes to the platform to a standing ovation.

The St. Petetersburg Times blog called the church service a "Tallahassee quorum", with politicians Mike Haridopolus, John Thrasher, Steven Wise (FBC Jax member), Adam Hasner, Leonard Bembry, and Holly Benson all present and accounted for. Most, if not all of these, were supporters of McCollum for governor. As is customary Jim Whitmire graciously introduced each one (see the video at end of this post) and had them stand and wave to the crowd after which Whitmire reminded the congregation of their responsibility to pray for their elected leaders.

Maybe this is in part why Scott won Tuesday. McCollum, a career politician and current Attorney General, was the choice of almost all Tallahassee insiders and in this political season the people preferred an outsider not connected with all the career politicians. Not saying this is right, but that seems to be the case. The "Tallahassee quorum" at FBC Jax Sunday perhaps didn't help.

When Mac got up to preach, he first called Mike Huckabee to the stage. While they didn't mention McCollum, the connection was apparent when the church saw the two sitting together when announced by Whitmire. Mac told the story again of how Huckabee had been a blessing back in Dallas during a difficult time. As reported by the St. Pete Times:
"The 2012 White House hopeful received a whooping (for church) standing ovation and pastor Mac Brunson, a person [sic] friend, brought him to the stage to share a few words. (By contrast, McCollum received just polite applause when he was introduced.) In his brief remarks, Huckabee didn't mention McCollum but the connection likely stuck."
While Huckabee didn't mention McCollum, Mike took the mike and instead gave the Brunsons a ringing endorsement of their Christian character. He said when he met them he "fell in love with them", and "they are some of the most authentic, most genuine Christian examples I've ever known in my life." Now THAT, is a strong endorsement from the Huckster. But I just wonder - are the Huckabees and Brunsons that close of friends where Huckabee knows them that well to give such an endorsement? Seems odd to me, unless they are very close friends. Huckabee added that the "platform team" of Brunson and Whitmire is the best in the country. Mac then gave a nice little endorsement of Huckabee's TV show. I thought next they both might plug each other's latest book - or hand out brochures on each other's respective 2011 Holy Land trips ("Walk Where Jesus Walked", while walking with Mac or Huck; sign up here, Master Card and Visa accepted: Mac's Holy Land Trip and Huck's Holy Land Trip).

Ironically, in that evening's service, Mac did give an explanation to his congregation of why he "tolerates" such brazen political displays in the church:
"Now thank the Lord I don't think we have any politicians [here] tonight....I so badly want them to experience and encounter Jesus Christ that I tolerate what we do, if they'll stay here and listen to me preach - with the prayer, that maybe, MAYBE, the word of God will penetrate somewhere."
Interesting comment. Just as he tolerates politicians, probably the politicians at City Hall tolerate the preacher's invocations in their chambers, with the hope that he'll stay and be genuinely concerned about the city's needs instead of vacation excursions and church building renovations. And Mac would probably agree that his Bible sermons don't penetrate very far into the thick skin of politicians. After he preached on unwholesome speech and false attacks Sunday, McCollum continued his bashing of Scott over his company's Medicare fraud case and spending his fortune on political commercials. But Mac's sermon on lying in July didn't penetrate very far into Scott either when he heard it, as he continued the misleading ads including a last-minute ad linking McCollum to a corrupt politician, even putting a phony "mug shot" of McCollum matching the original mug shot of the politician.

But as I said, McCollum lost despite Huckabee's endorsement and their last minute campaign swing through conservative northeast Florida. And if you think this campaign was ugly, wait until Democratic candidate Alex Sink starts going after Rick Scott in the general election - this will be very, very ugly, and I predict a Democratic Florida gubernatorial victory in November.

Here is the video of Whitmire's introductions, followed by the Mike and Mac exchange on the platform.

Mac Loves Mike, Mike Loves Mac from FBCJax Watchdog on Vimeo.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting article.

I don't know Flordia politics that well, but I am sorry for you guys that Rick Scott will be on the ballot this fall.

Scott is not liked anywhere he used to live - Kentucky (where he worked at Humana, I think), or Nashville (where he worked at HCA and got the company in big time trouble).

I was really surprised to find that Rick Scott is supposed to be a rip-roaring conservative these days. That's not at all how he was in Nashville. In fact, the church he attended was a liberal Presbyterian Church with an openly gay pastoral staff member. (I grew up in that church).

I have not followed Scott's career at all and had no idea that he had become a politician in Florida.

I suppose if he is not elected governor, he will embark on a new career path. Maybe he'll become an evanglical preacher and raise money to build at $100 million buidling or something. (I used to think that was bad - until I saw that California just spent $579 million on a high school, and has a $2.2 billion school in the works before it was pulled due to budget issues).

Of course, I don't know McCullom at all. So Scott might be better than McCollum. And either might be better than the Dem running.

I like Huckabee on TV and he did not embarrass himself in the Presidential campaign, but he did siphon away support from more experienced conservatives, thereby handing the nomination to McCain who was the worst Republican nominee in my lifetime.

This is an iteresting article because it shows a lot of interesting connections.

Anonymous said...

I say kick all the bums out of office, local, state and federal. Even a guy like Scott can't do any worst than the current group of yahoos. At least businessmen have had to meet payrolls, balance budgets,and work 60-80 hours a week to make all these things happen for their employees. And then on top of that watch the government take half of what they make and then take a more ridiculous chunk when they die.

Any thinking person knows these guys visit churches to get their mug seen. I like what Homer Jr. used to say. "let em all come, who knows, the Gospel make take a hold of their hearts and get saved. Amen Brother." I can hear him saying it so clearly and so can a lot of other folks.

Frankly, although most folks don't think about it, God puts our leaders in power as the scripture says. It just goes to show how little most people really care. Less than 25% voter turnout. PATHETIC!! We deserve what we get!!

Anonymous said...

I'm for a total change. I say turn them all out this November. Put some men/women in that are not political, but just plain honest and who have some business sense.

Anonymous said...

“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth,” he urged those gathered at the mega-church, citing Ephesians 4:29. “Be nice!”
===========================
Ummm, everyone is to "Be Nice", but Mac Brunson who seems to have forgotten his words that made headlines in the Florida Times Union.

These politicians show up every election year at FBCJ and are treated like little Gods - they campaign aggressively in large churches or wherever they can persuade the people to vote for them.

I'm glad McCullum's gone - I too want total change.

Anonymous said...

Some politicians never go to church or even attend during their election campaigns. Its really something to see those that rarely attend going to various churches and pretending to be something other than putting in an appearance for votes. If I were the pastor they would not even be acknowledged. They would be treated like any other sinner, no more, no less.

FBC Choir Member said...

"wait until Democratic candidate Alex Sink starts going after Rick Scott in the general election - this will be very, very ugly, and I predict a Democratic Florida gubernatorial victory in November."

Yep. I voted for Alex Sink Tuesday and I can't wait to vote for her in November. I think she will make a great governor.

I'm torn between Kendrick Meek and Charlie Crist for Senate. I hope I make up my mind in time.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Choir member: I sure was glad to see Meeks beat that other guy in the primary. He made my skin crawl.

Have you considered the independent governor choice, Bud Chiles?

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic: The Wartburg Watch > Ergun Caner’s Successor – Surprise, Surprise…

Anonymous said...

I believe Palin is the person who really gets the job done. Look at all the candidates she has help win so far. She is a real winner and the left is scared of her so they pretend she is ignorant. I believe she will be back in 2012 as another VP hopefully on a real strong Republican to win the presidency. Here's hoping.

Anonymous said...

FBC Choir Member said... "wait until Democratic candidate Alex Sink starts going after Rick Scott in the general election - this will be very, very ugly, and I predict a Democratic Florida gubernatorial victory in November."



Just like a liberal!
What are now a seer?
Don't count your chickens before they hatch!

Anonymous said...

The dems are literally asking Obama NOT to help them in the campaigns. And he is not even in his 2nd term!

Anonymous said...

I was undecided on who to vote for between Scott and McCollum until I saw who was endorsing McCollum. If Brunson and Huckabee are for him, I clearly was not. I voted for Scott (I live in Duval county) and was glad, elated, to see that despite the endorsement from the largest congregation in NE Florida, Scott kicked McCollum's tail handily in Duval county! It shows me that the Millionaire Mac and Millionaire Mike, don't have the political influence they would like people to think they have.

If Huckabee is that poor of a judge of character, I as a conservative Christian, will be sure to not only vote against him if he ever runs for office again, but I also will campaign for his opponent in the primaries. And no longer will I watch his brown nosing tv show either. The man lost all credibility with me. He is either a liar, or easily duped, when it comes to the Brunsons.

They probably gave him some of "God's money" in his last campaign so he really loves them. Maybe we'll see a Huckabee commercial during the service now? I wonder if Huck gave Mac and Debbie any expensive gifts while he was here?

At least Huck didn't tell us how tired Mac was from planting shade trees and start spitting at anonymous emails, or talking about how deserving Mac is of his high salary.

Pathetic. But these guys know their gullible demographic.

Too bad for them the voters of Duval county (who by the way are the jury pool for the upcoming trials involving the church!) are not so easily fooled by these clowns!

Dr Who said...

That man is sooooo full of himself. Did you see him pat himself on the back when Huck a Berry finished. No, but he sure wanted to.

I wish I could help you show people how deceptive this man and others just like him are. Those at FBC JAX sure have their heads buried in the sand and you can't correct this kind of ignorance.

W/D your hands are full. I feel for you. God bless you brother in your fight.

What a mess. WHAT A MESS!!!

Anonymous said...

I hate seeing politics and religion in each other's pockets. Beware the Political-Religous Complex

Anonymous said...

I hate seeing politics and religion in each other's pockets. Beware the Political-Religous Complex

Anonymous said...

The good news is that not very many people are this gullible to applaud Big Mac and Big Mike. Sure it seems like a lot when you gather a few thousand people in one place, but think about this, assuming a population of 1 million people in the Jax area, and about 7500 attend FBC Jax. I will take that to mean 992,500 people are "just saying NO to Mac and FBC Jax." They get it. They have voted with their feet and their wallets. They go and give elsewhere or nowhere. Let Mac build his family empire on the backs of those 7500 who are getting what they are paying for.

Now about those at the JSO and SAO who got involved to help identify and shut down a religious blogger who criticized Mac and the church...how did that turn out for YOU boys?

Anonymous said...

I hate seeing politics and religion in each other's pockets. Beware the Political-Religous Complex

August 27, 2010 10:25 AM
___________________________________

Then you will really hate knowing that JSO Detective Robert A. Hinson, who opened a (retaliatory?) investigation to find the blogger's identity, is also 1.) a long-time member of the church AND (2) a deacon at the church AND (3) an employee on the church/pastor security detail, and (4) a member of the church discipline committee!

That, my friends, is about as entangled as it can get!

Anonymous said...

What I found comical in Hucks speach is that he says the very same thing about all the guest that come on his show - they are just the "most wonderful and gracious people he has ever met"

Be glad when Dawg moves on - Big Mac's picture makes me gag every time I see his hypocritical face.

And yes, the Detective is another puppet (well paid) and highly esteemed in the church. He doesn't represent fairly the citizens rights of the Jacksonville community - he's all Baptist!

Anonymous said...

We must not forget however that Rick Scott visited FBC Jax in late July of this year. In fact, I would say he got a larger applause than McCollum. So just be careful on pinning a church with who they support. Of course Huckabee was with McCollum at a large church event...he endorses him. I just find it difficult to pin the church on promoting one campaigner over another just because his endorsers are with him.

I follow your blog Watchdog, and I agree with some things and disagree with others, but this post got rather close to "slanted journalism" in my opinion. And I dont want your message ignored due to incomplete "press".

However, I am wary of either men due to obvious corruption shown on both sides, and pray that God will continue to bless our State regardless of the hearts of our leaders. Stay vigilant and true Mr. Rich.

Many Prayers,
Austin (6th Grade Sunday School) ;)

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi Austin - glad you are reading the blog, hope all is well.

As a conservative Christian myself, I was not enthused about either candidate, and I think the lackluster applause McCollum got shows that there was not an excitement at FBC Jax about him for sure. I think that many people in the audience, if they were like me, were not sure WHO they would vote for as they sat there Sunday morning.

But we do know who excites FBC Jax, and that is the Huckster. Knowledge that Huckabee supported McCollum might have been a deciding factor for some. So having him sit there with McCollum in church, recognizing both Huckster and McCollum, AND then calling Huckster to the platform got the word out to many in the audience who probably didn't know: Mike Huckabee is supporting McCollum. That was an attempt to get some conservative votes, and Mac willingly played into that strategy by calling Huckabee to the front to make sure they knew he was there, that he loves Mac and FBC Jax, and it bolstered the message: Huckabee supports McCollum, and thus you should too.

And Mac got a ringing endorsement from Huckabee at the same time. Brilliant!

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic: That Mom [Karen Campbell] > august 26 podcast: patriarchy/patriocentricity two, part ten ~ Jon Zens and What’s with Paul and Women, part one

Anonymous said...

Huckabee implemented PDL at his church in Ark. He also has been close friends with Bill Gothard. I view Huckabee as typical politician pastor...blowing with the wind on trends and wealthy friends.

I think folks would find that Huckabee rarely disagrees with someone he is talking to at the time.

I would rather have a conservative liberaterian.

Anonymous said...

FBC Choir Member said... "wait until Democratic candidate Alex Sink starts going after Rick Scott in the general election - this will be very, very ugly, and I predict a Democratic Florida gubernatorial victory in November."

Paul a.k.a. FBC Choir member would vote for other flaming liberals besides Obama.

It is sad to waste youth on the young! Perhaps someday you will have an epiphany, get educated about the issues and vote based on issues that are not contrary to scripture.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Pastor William Thornton makes the following comment on his blog, concerning this post:

"FBCJax Watchdog reports on the quasi-political rally/worship service last Sunday at FBC Jax. Mike Huckabee and some state and local politicians were all present to be noticed. Looks pretty tame to me, as political stuff in church goes, but with this kind of stuff we SBCers ought to be pretty close to the place where we stop complaining about political activity in Black churches."

I agree William.

Anonymous said...

I am of an extremely Conservative political mindset. I would never vote for Huckabee. Everytime I look at him, I see a SBC preacher looking back. It's truly interesting that an ex., SBC preacher should go into politics (governor), then go into show business. How apropoe!! And how also to get rich, and richer.

Where are the Godly men that preach the Gospel? Are there anymore of them left? Actors....they are all actors and the pulpit is their stage. Sad..very sad!!!

FMBJr said...

Jesus said His house was to be a house of prayer not a circus!

FMBjr said...

FBCJax in it's day under the Lindsey's meant that God reigned supreme. The gospel of Christ was at the center. Good preaching and good ole family values.

Anonymous said...

FMBjr. You are so right!!!Those days are gone and gone forever. There is no turning back now. All you are going to get is more change and you won't like it. By the way, how is that change working out for the rest of you???

Anonymous said...

I am having great difficulty accepting Mac Brunson as the preacher at FBCJ.

His calling appears to be history lessons and just plain telling stories. Where is the BIBLE history? I am tired of stories.

All week I hear our Lord cursed and made fun of...I come to church to hear Him UPLIFTED and GLORIFIED but all we are getting is HISTORY lessons! What happened to preaching the Word at FBCJ?

I am tired of my ears being tickled with stories that interest the Pastor. They do not interest me. I want to hear about Jesus Christ because I am a sinner and need His Word every time I enter the church.

History lessons are not building the church at FBC Jax...it appears to have a negative effect to many. Just look around. Plenty of seats available and more opening up weekly.

Anonymous said...

What is going on in Surfside and what does it reflect about what is going on in Florida?

Influence of special interests. Developers. Big money. Zoning changes. Corruption issues.

http://whocontrolssurfsideflorida.blogspot.com/

Can't be missed, takes about a half hour to read through the whole situation and the comments, but wow it is worthwhile.