Senate "annointer" curses WV mine families
Most of the readers of Talk2Action are now familiar with the "Reverend" Rob Schenck. Schenck is the head pastor of the National Communities Church, a large Assemblies of God church in Washington, DC of some notoriety (among other things, John Ashcroft was reportedly a regular attendee).
For those who aren't familiar with Schenck, I'll refresh your memories. He was one of three people who walked into the Senate chambers and "annointed" all of the seats with oil and "prayed over them" in an attempt at literally hexing the entire Senate in the name of Christ to vote for Alito's confirmation.
(The use of cooking oil to "annoint" objects is a peculiarity in pentecostal circles that are descended from the Assemblies of God and within the AoG; the practice originally started with "name it and claim it" faith healers, and is now heavily used in "spiritual warfare" circles within those churches--partly as an extension of the "dominion theology" that both are extensions of (within the Assemblies of God and its related groups such as International Foursquare, Calvary Chapel, Vineyard, etc.). Seeing as one of the explicit teachings in "word-faith" theology is that all illness--including infectious diseases such as the cold or flu--is the result of demonic possession (infectious disease is seen as "solidified living corruption"--demonic ectoplasm--and hereditary diseases are seen as the result of "generational curses") this is actually a somewhat logical extension in the strange world of dominion theology.
(Annointing with oil is also generally not done to explicitly bless an object or person, but rather as a sort of territorial marking. Examples of this in dominionist circles include this page (which shows the original bit of scripture-twisting used by word-faith preachers to do the whole "annointing with oil" thing; the site's links page is explicitly not only dominionist but premillenial-dispensationalist), this site (demonbuster.com is a dominionist "deliverance ministry" site) that uses excerpts from an exorcism manual distributed by Moody Bible Institute; a dominionist "word-faith" healing manual that notes the use of Wesson oil (this church may be affiliated with International Foursquare, a descendent denomination of the Assemblies of God (and the world's first "radio church") or the Evangelical Covenant Church, and is apparently premillenial dispensationalist); and finally another example from a dominionist church noting how the Wesson oil is seen mostly as a "tie" or "representing the Holy Spirit", not explicitly to bless someone. (The last is from a church affiliated with Calvary Chapel, which also operates one of the largest "religiocasting" networks in the US--largely via a multitude of front companies and largely as translator networks.))
I am glad to say that, at least from what I have been seeing and hearing, the "annointing" may not have worked as well as hoped--there are now quite serious questions being asked regarding Alito's involvement in a potentially racist group, among other things.
As for Schenck and his church, based on some background research on the Elim Bible Institute (the religious institution--less a seminary and more of a "Bible college"--that both Schenck and, notably, Randall Terry (yes, as in Operation Rescue and Operation Save American Randall Terry, as in "promoting militia groups" Randall Terry, one and the same) graduated from) there are some interesting connections. (It actually took a fair amount of research to conclusively prove that he and his church are part of the Assemblies--as I've noted in past, in particular with a group called the "Seven Project", even the Assemblies of God's own official "missionary" and "outreach" projects do their best to hide their links to the parent church.)
Based on some background research on the Elim Bible Institute (which per its academic programs page may be linked with the Assemblies of God seminary), both it and its parent church (Elim Full Gospel) may be either AoG or part of an AoG splinter group and has been specifically linked with the "Brownsville" nee Third Wave movement in that denomination. (The "Brownsville" or "Third Wave" movement is especially dominionist; in fact, part of the basic theology of the movement is that the "saved" are part of "Joel's Army"--an "endtime overcomer" army whose purpose is to "secure God's blessing" by taking over the government and other secular institutions. There is also an extremely heavy emphasis on "spiritual warfare" in this group--which no doubt influenced both Schenck and Terry.)
"Elim Full Gospel" is also a term almost exclusively used by AoG churches and seminaries, as sort of a "brand name"; the association of John Ashcroft with the National Community Church (John Ashcroft is part of a multigenerational AoG family, and reportedly had a similar "annointing" ceremony done by none other than Clarence Thomas and his father (an AoG preacher who founded "Chi Alpha", an Assemblies-run Campus Crusade for Christ clone that is one of a very large number of front groups connected to the AoG) upon his nomination to the US Attorney-General) is also rather suspicious. In addition, research on the National Community Church itself shows that it is an AoG church (the website does not reveal this, and as noted, quite a few Assemblies churches don't even note they are affiliated with the denomination without quite a bit of digging on the website--often only having indications in the links section or cross-promotion of Assemblies of God preachers).
I've wirtten quite a bit on the history of dominion theology within the AoG, so I won't repeat myself here. I also won't duplicate what I've said here in past on the AoG and efforts at sheep-stealing and promotion of dominionism in mainstream churches (of which there are quite a number of them).
Anyways, back to Schenck. Schenck is apparently not only a member of, but a founder of, a group called the "National Clergy Council" which is a network of dominionist-friendly pastors. The executive council of the group is particularly telling, as it includes quite a rogue's gallery: the heads of Life Education and Resources Network (a dominionist "pro-life" group), Faith and Action, and The Truth Matters (a dominionist group run by an Assemblies-affiliated preacher who is also apparently on the board of the AoG Seminary); a Maryland church worker who is simultaneously executive secretary of a statewide dominionist "homeschool" association as well as head of the African-American Life Alliance (one of the groups claiming birth control and abortion are a backdoor genocide program against African-Americans) and a regional director for the Constitution Party for Prince George's County; a blatantly Christian Reconstructionist lawyer who writes for numerous dominionist groups including Faith and Action as well as American Vision (actually listed as a hate group by SPLC) and Covenant News; a pastor of a Cincinatti-area AoG church (again, the church's website does not admit this, but they do promote Royal Rangers (an AoG "Christian Alternative" to Boy Scouts) and this AoG ministry listing lists the church) who is not only linked with Operation Save America but--disturbingly--is not only directly linked with the Brownsville aka "Third Wave" movement but is also (even more disturbingly) head of the Children's Services Board of Butler County and is also a major source of "faith based coercion" in Butler County's juvenile correctional facilities; a dominionist minister in Ohio directly involved in a state court Ten Commandments case (they lost, BTW) who showed a bit of Christian Zionist tendencies by shipping the monument he had placed on a public school grounds to Israel and is head of a local "pro-Ten-Commandments" organisation that is in turnlinked to a group supporting Roy Moore; a pastor of a New York AoG church (in a rarity, it actually admits its Assemblies of God connections) who was who has done surreptitious "annointings" of Madison Square Garden with Schenck to "protect" the Republican National Convention attendees, is connected with the Christian Defense Coalition as well as a dominionist group called National Pastor's Prayer Network and who is promoted in word-faith and "spiritual warfare" circles in the pentecostal community; the husband and wife team leaders of an Assemblies of God megachurch in Louisiana (again, the church never reveals its AoG links--we have to go to a listing from the Louisiana AoG to find this, and the solitary mention of the AoG in the website at all is with related missions) which has links to Faith and Action, actively promotes dominionist groups on its "Links" page, and practices coercive "cell church" techniques almost universally condemned by exit counselors; an explicitly dominionist pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Pennsylvania who has pushed for "ten commandments" displays (sneaking them in as tools for "character education" in similar manner to "Character First!"), has fought to keep a local gas-n-groceries chain from selling beer (!), is apparently a Christian Zionist and has condemned Israeli concessions on land, and has links to numerous dominionist groups including a local chapter of the AFA; and finally the head of the Christian Defense Coalition (whose page is apparently quite dead) who was also a partner in crime in both the Madison Square Garden and Senate Chambers "annointings".
Other folks involved in the NCC's executive council include: the head of the American Anglican Church (a split from the Episcopalian Church by conservative members friendly towards dominionist causes and specifically over ordination of LGBT individuals); an Ohio pastor of an "independent" neopentecostal church involved in one of the largest "affinity fraud" pyramid schemes targeting dominionist churches ever prosecuted in the US; the head pastor of a Christian Nationalist church in Ohio; the head pastor of an Assemblies of God church in Utah (which, as per usual, doesn't advertise it's an AoG church--that info was found via a copy of his resume at the AoG's jobs website), the head of a neopentecostal church in New York who is linked with the National Pro-Life Center (another dominionist "pro-life" group); the head pastor of a Baltimore-area "Charismatic Episcopal" church (another breakaway branch from Episcopalianism, tends to be friendly towards neopentecostal causes); the pastor of a large Baptist church of uncertain denomination who is associated with Faith and Action' the pastor of a church in Ohio which is connected to dominionist-run "pregnancy counseling centers" in that state; a pastor of a small "interdenominational" dominionist church (with no website) that is revealed to be an Assemblies-associated church via an AoG ministries page and is also heavily involved in dominionist movements fighting same-sex marriage; a pastor (who styles himself "Bishop") who runs a stealth-evangelism "charity" whose ministerial recommendations are to a one from AoG preachers including Schenck and who is in fact a graduate of a bible college which later moved to Virginia and ultimately shut down and which was affiliated with Foursquare; a pastor of a Assemblies of God church in New Jersey (which, again, doesn't state it's an AoG church; much of the evidence is from promotion of groups like "Youth Alive" (which is an AoG youth ministry) and its operation of a satellite school of Elim Bible Institute--the same Elim Bible Institute Schenck is a grad of) who was intimately connected with a case where a mother starved four of her children (only being found out when the eldest--who weighed only 45 pounds at age 19--was found scrounging for food in garbage, even to the point of bailing out the parents and defending them in the press, accusing the eldest child of lying about abuse before a Congressional committee, and (when not supporting parents who nearly starve their kids to death) has supported "messianic Moslem" campaigns to convert Moslems to "halal Christianity"; a New Jersey area pastor of a "nondenominational" church (which in fact is a church affiliated with the "Evangelical Church Alliance", an ordination mill geared towards neopentecostal churches) who runs a small televangelism empire and also has a large number of stealth evangelism "outreaches" as well as links to New Tribes Missions (a "missionary" group which has engaged in extremely coercive tactics including literal conversions of Native American and Papuan peoples at gunpoint and literally rounding up people like cattle to corral them in missions--actions which have led to literal "Indian Wars", the deaths of entire villages due to foreign diseases, and calls in multiple nations for their removal including Venezuela, Paraguay and the Phillipines); and lastly, a pastor of a dominionist church ("Word Alive Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship") which apparently is the only church in its denomination ("Full Gospel Baptist Churches International")--neither of which have webpages--who has a history of supporting dominionist causes including with Faith and Action but is otherwise a complete cypher.
(If you've noticed a pattern, you'd be right. Firstly, there are a ton of folks affiliated with the Assemblies of God--now you all know what I mean when I say that the denomination is dominionist at its core!--and there are also quite a number of folks affiliated with the scarier pro-life groups (and the ones more closely connected to the hardcore "Christian Nationalist" and Christian Reconstructionist wings of the dominionist movement). Yes, we have quite a rogue's gallery here.)
In fact, it can legitimately be argued that the "National Clergy Council" is in fact a front group of Faith and Action.
Anyways, it seems that the Drive-By Annointer Schenck may have well pulled a Pat Robertson.
Pretty much everyone is aware of the mining tragedy that occured in the Sago mine near Tallmansville, West Virginia some days back. Of thirteen miners--only one survived; sadly, for a good part of an hour people at a prayer vigil for the miners were lead to believe the miners were alive only to have their hopes dashed when the news of what actually happened reached topside.
Many of the people--quite understandably--were distraught, especially after thinking a miracle had happened; even the pastor of Sago Baptist Church was quotedby the press:
''But then . . . it never should have been allowed to happen.'' Rev. Miller hesitated. "Then they had this terrible letdown. Some of them -- not a majority -- some of them even questioned whether there was a God.''
John Casto, church trustee of Sago Baptist, also remembers that dark day:
As Monday gave way to Tuesday morning and still no word, hope began to flag. By then, hundreds of friends and family had crowded into the church. Then came word, like an answer to all those prayers, that all but one of the miners were coming home. The word was "12 alive.''
Apparently, to Reverend "Drive-By Annointer" Schenck and his fellow compatriots at the National Clergy Council, this was an unpardonable sin--as Schenck released an official statement through Agape Press, the official newspaper of the American Family Association:
Conservative Christian leader Rob Schenck of the National Clergy Council said yesterday that, although millions of prayers were being offered across the nation, he was struck by the irony of the situation, which he feels demonstrates a sad truth about America. "We often turn to God only when we feel like nothing else can be done," Schenck notes. "And, in the Bible, God rebuked nations who only turned to Him in their most extreme moments of need." But sadly, the Christian activist observes, "That has been our tradition in the United States. Whenever we find ourselves in a situation where we get to the end of our own resources, we turn to God." Schenck says it is ironic that a culture that tries to banish God from its existence seeks His intervention under circumstances like the tragedy that unfolded in West Virginia this week.
Yes, you read that right. The (Not-So-Right) Reverend Schenck flat out condemned the people of Tallmansville, West Virginia for having a legitimate crisis of faith for what was probably the worst moment in their lives.
Shades of scores of dominionists claiming Hurricane Katrina was God's wrath on New Orleans.
But seriously, this is the actual face of dominionism--if you don't toe the line, if you have a crisis of faith--you're seen as someone to be rebuked and spit on, not comforted.
Already, Rev. Schenck is trying to backpedal rather desperately--partly because the statement is starting to make national press.
But look upon that. That's the real face of dominionism. That's the actual face they show to people among their own. "You see, those people--their relatives died because they weren't good dominionist like us. They deserved it."
It's basically a suit-and-tie version of the same hateful pap that Fred "godhatesfags.com" Phelps promotes (and yes, sadly, Phelps--always among the first to blame any disaster on Divine Retribution aside from his childrearing practices--has already announced plans to picket the funeral of the miners).
Don't be fooled by the public face. Slipups like Pat Robertson's as of late, and this one--that's the real face that dominionists desperately don't want the world to see.
All the more reason to shine nice, cleansing light on the mess, don't you think?
Senate "annointer" curses WV mine families | 1 comment (1 topical, 0 hidden)
Senate "annointer" curses WV mine families | 1 comment (1 topical, 0 hidden)