Lance Goodall 7 June 2016

As reported by Christian post over the last few days, Hillsong Senior Pastor Brian C. Houston had responded to reports that his megachurch’s youth pastor went on stage dressed up as the “Naked Cowboy” during last month’s Colour Conference in New York City.

He wasn’t naked but still it “won’t happen again,” he said.

“Bobbie – my wife – who was convener of the conference was clearly unaware that this was going to happen and was taken back by it,” Houston wrote on his blog Friday, referring to the conference held May 6 and 7, where a Hillsong youth pastor imitated Times Square’s street performer “Naked Cowboy,” or Robert John Burck, who wears only cowboy boots, a hat and briefs, with a guitar placed strategically to give the illusion of nudity.

First Comment: This is a complete reproach on the name of Christ. Once again Hillsong is in the news for all the WRONG reasons.

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” – Ephesians 5:3 NIV

ChurchWatch Central, a website that  monitors “various sects and movements” posted a video of the NYC event and criticized Houston and his church, which has locations in Sydney and other cities in Australia and also in London, Cape Town, Kiev, Germany, Paris, Moscow, Stockholm, New York City and Copenhagen.

Brian attests to not having any knowledge of the dramas. It was just a fun moment, and Bobbie wasn’t looking?

These are the facts:

  • There are 3 videos on the internet: [Video 1] [Video 2] [Video 3]
    • While the first two videos provide enough context, the third video provides extra context that reveals not one person on stage had a problem with the Naked Cowboy’s presence. It was a fantastic fun time!
    • The third footage had the Naked Cowboy come out on stage with Hillsong leaders Carl Lentz, Joel Houston, Ben Houston and Terry Crist.
    • Then, in the third footage Bobbie Houston gave the Naked Cowboy special acknowledgement and praise, then requesting he not be filmed on camera. (But Bobbie wasn’t looking)
  • We found a photograph on Instagram of the naked cowboy with Ben Houston on stage.
  • This Instagram had the name of the person who played Hillsong’s Naked Cowboy – that being Hillsong NYC’s Youth Pastor, Diego Simila.
  • The real issue….the Real Naked cowboy seemed to have seen this material and threatened Hillsong with legal action.

So what he claimed what he knew to be true was not true at all. So what “ACTUALLY happened in NYC” again Brian?

The Naked Cowboy’s spokesperson Todd Rubenstein, also issued a statement, saying, “I represent Naked Cowboy and own Naked cowboy Enterprises, LLC. I am the sole administrator of the Naked Cowboy® registered trademarks. I am the only person who can provide license of use of anything associated with Naked Cowboy and Hillsong has never requested any right to use our registered trademarks or Naked Cowboy’s likeness.

Mr. Burck is an Ordained Minister & would NEVER attend church in the house of the Lord in his Trade Dress and is EXTREMELY offended by this activity due to his deep Christian beliefs and respect for the process of gathering in the name of Jesus Christ and in the presence of God to worship and praise the Holy Father.”

Blog Editor’s Comment: Ordained minister? He would never go to church in trade dress, but can be seen on the streets of NYC? I am not sure which is worse, this comment, or Brian’s feeble cover up?

“She (Bobbie) was at the dress rehearsal and there was no sign of a cowboy there,” Houston wrote. “Carl and Laura Lentz (lead pastors at Hillsong NYC) were also not part of the decision. I can only guess at this point, that some one thought it would be funny and sent him out there without thinking about the ramifications.”

Editor’s Comment: So NO sign of the Cowboy? Then we can only conclude that Ps. Carl Lentz, and the budding youth pastor hatched this ‘evil’ plan to the embarrassment of Brian. 

Michael Brown, the host of daily talk radio show “The Line of Fire,” criticized the Naked Cowboy and also said it was not proper for Hillsong to allow their youth pastor to come on stage imitating him. “A deeply devoted gospel minister would not want to show up in a church service in his underwear any more than he would want to perform on a street corner in his underwear,” Brown wrote in an op-ed in The Christian Post.

But the youth pastor was “wearing proper shorts, not underwear, and he had a flag draped over him – bare-chested and perhaps inappropriate, certainly unexpected and unauthorised; but not naked,” Houston wrote, adding, “Some well-meaning person just made a silly decision. It won’t happen again.”

Really….are there any other excuses? The snake is writhing on the floor? Clearly from the photo above, the audience has a good view of the Hillsong Cowboy.

Naked or not naked, that is the question? When is naked, not naked? By New Testament standards, he was naked…

Time Square’s Real Naked Cowboy – aka Robert Burck, performing