If we lived in the days of our ancestors …

If we lived in the days of our ancestors … April 10, 2018

• Oprah Winfrey’s 60 Minutes segment with Bryan Stevenson is powerful, gut-wrenching stuff: “Inside the memorial to victims of lynching.”

• “How the FBI Deployed a Televangelist to Discredit Martin Luther King.” Lerone A. Martin takes a fascinating look at an ugly chapter in the history of the FBI and of the COGIC.

I’ve read about this elsewhere: “I send you prophets, sages, and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your churches and pursue from town to town, so that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth.”

Lerone Martin writes:

History does not repeat itself, but often, it does rhyme. Today, the White House has an evangelical advisory board and a coterie of televangelists to march alongside the executive branch. Are the African American members of President Trump’s evangelical advisory council the modern day Michauxs? They do indeed follow in Michaux’s footsteps. African American televangelists like Mark Burns and Darrell Scott (along with white televangelist Paula White and others) traverse the hallowed halls of the White House as political insiders and “advisors” to the president. They have proven to be faithful backers of the executive branch.

• Frank Amedia is one of those televangelists serving as an informal “faith-advisor” to Trump. Frank Amedia is also a completely shameless huckster of the sort that would make Benny Hinn step back and say, “Whoa, man, dial it down a notch.”

Kyle Mantyla of Right Wing Watch shares a recent “Christian television” appearance in which Amedia boasts about having personally stopped a tsunami from destroying Hawaii and of raising three different people from the dead. Those stories are just build-up, though, to Amedia’s apparent favorite story, which involves the resurrection of an ant.

Again, two years ago I would have agreed with “mainstream” white evangelical leaders — those Robert Jeffress sneers at as “the Christianity Today crowd” — when they characterized charlatans like Amedia as outliers beyond the fringe who are in no way representative of white evangelicalism as a whole. Amedia shouldn’t be regarded as a real evangelical “leader” they would say, and I would agree.

But these days it sure seems like these fake leaders have a lot more real followers than any of the supposedly real leaders do.

• Look, if the religious right wants to continue dragging out the same “radical environmentalism is a false religion” line of panic they were spouting in the 1990s, then the least they could do is also bring back their equally hackneyed ’90s attack line of denouncing all environmentalism as “New Age, Shirley MacLaine nonsense.”

That way we’d all have to spend time explaining who Shirley MacLaine is and maybe, at least, we’d be able to convince some younger white evangelicals to watch The Apartment.

• I’ve occasionally linked to a story from “ChristianPost.com” or “ChristianToday.com” — usually accompanied by some warning that those click-baity sites are riddled with browser-freezing ads, autoplay audio and video, pop-ups and pop-unders, and the like. BuzzFeed’s Craig Silverman reports on the “Christian Media Corporation” behind those sites, and its links to the code behind the ad fraud scandal plaguing Newsweek Media Group.

This is a very strange story:

Reporting by BuzzFeed News also found that five CMC websites have been engaging in the same type of ad fraud that was also present on several NMG websites.

These findings raise questions about CMC and NMG’s connections to each other, and their relationships with Olivet University and a larger network of companies and organizations linked to Korean pastor David Jang.

CMC and NMG both previously funneled millions of dollars to Olivet as part of what the university has described as research and development agreements. Both companies continue to work with the university, and their executives have served as advisers and trustees for Olivet. In 2013 and 2014, NMG, under its previous corporate name, was itself listed as a trustee of Olivet. The company gave Olivet more than $2.8 million during that period.

David Jang is an odd fellow. CMC insists he has “no role” with their business, yet also lavishly praises him as “an evangelical theologian who loves the Lord Jesus Christ and the Bible.” No one seems to question whether Jang “loves the Lord Jesus Christ,” but there is some question as to whether Jang has claimed to be him.

Jang’s “Olivet University” is also causing the same kind of headaches for the other “Olivet” schools that CMC’s “ChristianToday” is causing for Christianity Today.


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