"...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

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Mr. Las Vegas" Comes to the SBC's First Baptist Ft. Lauderdale Christmas Show - See Both Jesus AND Wayne Newton in the Same Pageant!

OK, which duet would you like to hear Jesus and Wayne Newton sing together at the FBC Ft. Lauderdale Christmas Pageant? Maybe Newton's 1973 hit "Pour Me a Little More Wine", or "I'm Lookin' Over a Four Leaf Clover"? Or who can forget the timeless Newton classic "Danke Schoen"?

Yes, you can see BOTH "King Jesus of Nazareth" and "Sir Newton of Las Vegas" perform in the very same show at First Baptist Church of Ft. Lauderdale!

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Update: See footage of Wayne Newton's opening act at First Baptist Fort Lauderdale, wearing his Liberace-style puffy shirt: Wayne Newton Singin' for Jesus
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Friends, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried to.

In the days of the worst economic recession in decades and people losing their homes and increased numbers of children living in poverty in our own state, we have mega pastors threatening those WITH jobs that they must give 10% of their income to the church else be under a curse. It is sad to see churches like FBC Jax use their website to advertise for the last two "cabins" on the pastor's luxury cruise, but no where do we see an advertisement encouraging people to purchase housing for homeless families through the local Sulzbacher Center.

So I suppose it is not surprising that First Baptist Church of Ft. Lauderdale has brought in "Mr. Las Vegas", Wayne Newton, night club entertainer, to be a headliner at the opening night of their 2011 Christmas pageant.

Wayne Newton, who is the icon for Las Vegas - the gambling, the booze, the night life - is featured on their website along with the Lord Jesus Christ for the Christmas Pageant.

And what do you think the church had to pay Wayne Newton to make this appearance? I don't know, but I have a hard time imagining that it was cheap. The tickets for the pageant range from $15 to $50 depending on how close to the stage you are located. Wayne Newton is widely known for his philanthropic activities. In fact he was recently "knighted" at a Catholic church (I didn't know Catholics knighted famous people) for all the good works he has done. So who knows, maybe Wayne flew in to be the headliner of the Christmas pageant pro-bono as a part of his charity work.

Southern Baptists, Perry Noble has nothing on us. He has done some very strange things at his church to draw a crowd, but this one I think dwarfs even Perry Noble's antics.

Kudos to First Baptist Church Jacksonville, Mac Brunson, and Jim Whitmire for NOT resorting to this kind of tactic at FBC Jax during the holiday season. Look at the FBC Jax line-up for Christmas, and there are no "tickets", there are no Vegas "headliners". FBC Jax is not even paying to bring in Christian headliners, but are instead going to have gospel-centered music and drama, all free, and performed by the lay people of FBC Jax.

But please, FBC Jax, stop the shameless advertising for luxury cruises with your pastor on your website and in your church services. FBC Jax is not your pastor's advertising or travel agency.

32 comments:

WishIhadknown said...

I guess this is as good a time as any to repeat one of my first questions that was never answered. At what point does a church become so worldly that it ceases to be Christian?

Anonymous said...

And how much money have you given to the poor at this Christmas season?

What FBC, Jax puts on their website in their own business. Remember, you don't go there anymore.

Isn't it about time to move beyond being offended over everything you can find in a church somewhere and get busy building up the Kingdom and growing the church you now attend?

Anonymous said...

Showbiz! I've never been to a Vegas show, but I'm assuming Wayne Newton is used to being around sexy dancers. How sexy is the Ft. Lauderdale show gonna be?

This reminds me of the confusion I used to feel when I went to church regularly-what is a church supposed to be about? I'm still confused. Maybe if you don't think about all that, you can just go with the flow and enjoy the show! That's what the happy people do. They don't analyse it-they just enjoy it.

It's still pretty funny to have a Las Vegas star as part of the church entertainment. Hollywood and religion are meshing?

I think with a lot of big churches, it's really all about entertainment. Makes "winning souls" sound quite boring. How many people are gonna show up for "soul-winning" vs. entertainment?

Anonymous said...

To give my answer to "At what point does a church become so worldly that it ceases to be Christian?"

Everybody would have a different opinion on that, of course. It goes back to-what is the purpose of a church? What is a church?

I think church-goers pretty easily mesh lots of aspects of culture into their religion and make it all fit together nicely in their minds.

So church can be whatever you want it to be.

I always liked Wayne Newton, but never paid that much attention to him. His coming to FBC Ft. Lauderdale strikes me as funny. WD is right-you can't make this stuff up! Just laugh and move on!

It does make the church look pretty ridiculous though-I mean, how can anything they spout in a sermon be truly taken seriously? After the show, are we supposed to revert back to crying over "the lost?" It's absurd. And funny. If your church is gonna be big on entertainment-even bringing in Las Vegas performers-please don't guilt people over lost souls, etc.-the two ideas do not mesh well. You'll make people go crazy trying to mesh them.

Anonymous said...

One more thing: it's these mixed messages that harm many who grew up in the church. If you're a serious, analytical person, you keep trying for many years to make it all make sense and to figure out what you're supposed to focus on. It's those who don't analyze it, and those who don't NEED it to make sense, that stay in it.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 7:46 - I've given thousands to the education of poor children - mine! :)

Are you Danny C? Coming here and telling me "it ain't none of yo' bidness" what we put on our website!

It ain't none of yo' bidness what I put on the blog.

Lighten up! I did commend FBC Jax for their Christmas line-up this year.

Anonymous said...

What is the problem?

Jesus used the "secular" to point people to the "spiritual".

He used mud in the eye..

He used water at the well..

He used wine at the wedding..

He used demon possessed people..

So what is wrong with using Wayne Newton to bring people to God?

Anonymous said...

These guys(Baptist preachers)are the gift that keeps on giving.Nothing surprises me anymore.

Anonymous said...

"Mr. Las Vegas" chosen over all the great professional gospel singers - this beats it all!

7:46: WD only reports what is going on in the mega churches these days - I see no where that he says he's offended.

New BBC Open Forum said...

One more thing: it's these mixed messages that harm many who grew up in the church. If you're a serious, analytical person, you keep trying for many years to make it all make sense and to figure out what you're supposed to focus on. It's those who don't analyze it, and those who don't NEED it to make sense, that stay in it.

Yes, you nailed it! I grew up in the church, and "church" has changed into something I don't recognize anymore. It no longer makes sense.

Here are just a couple of scenes from recent Singing Christmas Trees at Bellevue.

Wee Wish You a Merry Christmas

Toyland

And the preview for this year's.

Everything has to be "entertaining" now.

Anonymous said...

This is all very historical.

Handel's Messiah was HATED when it first came out.

Here is the "critics" reviews:

The English did not initially like the Messiah. This oratorio, after all, had no story. The soloists had too little to do, and the chorus too much. It was different, and the audience wasn’t ready for it. Jennens who wrote the script didn’t like it either. He commented: "Handel’s Messiah has disappointed me."

They were wrong then and YOU are wrong now.

Hey Dog, remember...they don't build statues to critics.

Oh and by the way....what are YOU doing for God?

Oh...I see...Your God's Roger and Ebert.

Anonymous said...

I wish it didn't, but this just makes me laugh.

Anonymous said...

Our TROLL is weird.

Ed Franklin said...

WD, you lead the blogging world for IDIOT TROLLS....lol.....and even in that rarefied atmosphere, Anon 10:31 is a stand-out.

Who would have ever thought that "Danke Schoen" would someday rise to the heights of "Messiah"? You critics continue to miss the point, WD....lol......what a loon!

Really, WD, compared to Wayne Newton, just what are you "doing for God"?

Anonymous said...

"Jesus used water..etc....", Hopefully your are a troll, if not then I am not really sure what to say.

Anonymous said...

Hey Wathcdog,

Since they are bringing in Wayne for music then maybe Ed Young Jr will get even more creative and bring in Hugh Hefner the next time he preaches on sex.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Dog, You're kidding....Right?

Anonymous said...

"Hey Dog, remember...they don't build statues to critics."

I don't know about that. I've seen statues of trolls before.

Anonymous said...

"Since they are bringing in Wayne for music then maybe Ed Young Jr will get even more creative and bring in Hugh Hefner the next time he preaches on sex."

Perhaps he could bring in Donald Trump the next time he talks about the tithe. Trump could drop a few f-bombs on them since threatening them with a curse doesn't seem to be working.

Anonymous said...

"Oh...I see...Your God's Roger and Ebert."

Troll:
We don't expect your rants to be logical, but could you at least make them coherent?

Timing is the key to good comedy. Your idiotic comments aren't as entertaining when we have to try to piece together your fragmented thoughts.

Last time I checked "Roger" and "Ebert" were the same person.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Last time I checked "Roger" and "Ebert" were the same person.

LOL!

Anonymous said...

See Both Jesus AND Wayne Newton in the Same Pageant!"

SO?????

Billy Graham had movie stars and rock stars at his crusades without a peep from your hypocritical self.

What is the difference?

It is you HATE the local Church because of Mac.

Sorry Bro...Jesus died for the local Church...He died for Mac..He died for Wayne Newton.

If you don't like it, you might want to take it up with HIM?

Anonymous said...

Slightly off topic - Paul Washer's not happy about what's happening to the Church (5 min video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWMrKcFKqzk

There's 2 points he makes here - 1st, that people are drawn to churches that preach what they want to hear, so the congregation in Joel Osteen (whom he uses as an example) are there because Joel says what they want to hear

2nd point is that most churches are ignoring the gospel to the point where if it were any other profession they'd be criminally liable for their neglect

Anonymous said...

Maybe Jesus and Wayne Newton will do a duet to Danke Schoen.

Hey Watchdog, White's Chapel in Texas is running a $100,000-a-week light show on the front of its church.

http://www.whiteschapelumc.com/event_details.php?id=586


Ai YI YI!!!! Who needs broadway or movie theaters when we have megachurches to entertain us???!!

In 3D yet.

Anonymous said...

The icon of "Sin City" performing at a church Christmas pageant. Priceless. Complete with showgirls. (See lower right corner of the ad).

Anonymous said...

I think they do need a chorus line of skimpily-clad dancers, and Newton MUST sing his famous song "Danke Shoen!" sp? Otherwise, what's the point? He would look out of his element. I like him, and just as with any rock group or singer, people want to hear the hits.

Hey, it wouldn't be as good, but Newton could change some of the words to that song to spiritualize it.

I don't know how the money works on these big productions, but if church money is going toward it, you could just laugh next time they are solemnly asking for money to get the message out to a lost and dying world.

Are they giving an altar call at the end? What does the church say is the purpose of the production? And what is the real purpose?

We occasionally attend a midnight service at a local Methodist Church on Christmas Eve. I enjoy it for the feeling of warmth and hope and the pretty lights and the "sacred" feel of it. Wait, I just picture Wayne Newton walking in in the middle of it! Hilarious!

New BBC Open Forum said...

The showgirls comment reminded me of this spoof someone did of a number from Bellevue's 2009 SCT. (Audio doesn't begin for several seconds into video.) You have to admit, set to different music, there's a lot of similarity. The actual music, by the way, was Go Tell It on the Mountain.

Here's another clip from the same song, this one unedited. Cheesy dance numbers and teeny boppers swooning around some guy singing Go Tell It on the Mountain. Seriously, you couldn't make this stuff up! But then again, why would anyone want to? Is this what constitutes "entertainment" to anybody besides WD's resident troll now?

Oh, and note how the little cyber guy admonishes the "old folks" that they need to get with the program here.

"See the twirling? What a pretty show! But you're so last year, and face it, you are old! Get with the program! Dive into cyberspace! We box and dance and party, and we will rock this place!"

Why, yes. "Let's box and dance and party and rock this place!" After all, it's church!

1 Thessalonians 5:21 said...

Anonymous (November 30, 2011 7:46 AM) said: “Isn't it about time to move beyond being offended over everything you can find in a church somewhere and get busy building up the Kingdom and growing the church you now attend?”

Anonymous (November 30, 2011 10:31 AM) said:

“Oh and by the way....what are YOU doing for God?

Oh...I see...Your God's Roger and Ebert.”

Ed Franklin (November 30, 2011 12:19 PM) said: “Really, WD, compared to Wayne Newton, just what are you ‘doing for God’?”

Anonymous (November 30, 2011 9:26 PM) said: “It is you HATE the local Church because of Mac.”


Even if one grants that your statements are valid points, what is the difference between those who feel compelled to unwaveringly defend their church or churches in general and those who feel compelled to critique and criticize certain churches without end?

I think that these said two groups help breed one another. This is because the tactics of one group cannot be matched without resorting to the tactics of the other group.

So, before the individuals who I quoted criticize FBC Jax Watchdog in this way, I suggest that they make sure that they have not helped create FBC Jax Watchdog.

1 Thessalonians 5:21 said...

Hey, WD, did my last post on this comment thread get stuck in your comment queue?

Anonymous said...

FBC-JWD,

This stuff of megas doing these high end, entertainment based Christmas shows that includes a presentation of the Gospel (supposed to anyway or should....)and charging admission for them is just beyond words to describe. Since when did we get a new revelation that it costs or that we should charge to hear the gospel?? Now, you folks that take issue with that and want to throw the "Sunday offering" thing out there - forget it..... no one is required to give to attend as a visitor or otherwise though memebers should be willing to support a congregation if you going to be a part of it but it's not quite the same as charging admission for a show.

I find this idea of charging admission to hear the Gospel very, very unbecoming and does a great damage to christianity and to the church and to the Gospel itself.
A former church that I was a member at and assistant organist (btw, there's some sad stories behind those postions and that of organists - ooo wee some doozies) at as well decided to go back to the show format for Christmas and charge VIP admission - everone else free but if you want special treatment you have to pay! Eventually they will probably charge everyone - a practice they were dogged for in the past and they stopped it for awhile but looks like it's making a comeback.

These things should not be and it is a disgrace and a travesty!

RC from Knox,TN

Anonymous said...

Btw, an additional aside on this thing of charging admission or providing VIP treatment for those willing to pay for it for these, so called, Christmas shows. What about passing the plate at the end of a show? Not exactly admission since you don't have to give but how many feel guilty or put upon depending on whether they give or not. If the church is providing the show (program?) as a ministry to their community, town or city and it's held in their building then they should fund it! If folks, members or otherwise, want to support it financially then do it anonymously out of the spotlight if they are so inclined otherwise it's free and open to all who want to come and even more so if a Gospel presentation is being made - don't charge people to hear what is offed them free from God to begin with.

One more to cover the critics.... what about the gospel music concerts (Gaithers, quartets, trios etc) or ccm concerts even sacred ones to some degree but not as much as the others mentioned.... Most are held in public venues - auditorium, coliseum, theatres, outdoors etc - not quite the same thing since those groups have to rent the places and other overhead not to mention that this is the way many, not all, but many make their living and yes there may or may not be a gospel presentation but I don't see this as being like a church setting since financial gain is a very big part of that and if these folks had to do it for free a good number wouldn't be up there to begin with!

Folks, bottom line is churches should not charge people to hear the gospel period otherwise it's just another show and you just as well move it to a municipal facility and really charge the admission......... com'on people get a life!

rc knox,tn

Anonymous said...

Hilarious video, New BBC Open Forum

Yes, I've often felt like I was watching a high school dance drill team or Miss Betty's School of Dance recital during my church's annual Christmas production. It's usually complete with people flying from the ceiling in garish costumes aka Cirque De Soleil.

Don't get me wrong, these teenagers can afford good dance training. But it's way out of context in a church. It's also choreographed -- and looks like it is choreographed -- by the local drill team queen who runs a Christian dance studio.

They all think it's very sophisticated art. Not.