Rick Joyner joins hands with Maranatha's Bob Weiner
Christian Dem in NC printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 06:15:15 PM EST
cross-posted at dKos

Many of you know that I'm particularly unnerved by leading dominionist "prophet" Rick Joyner's recent rise to prominence because he's based just a few miles south of me.  His operation is headquartered at the old PTL complex in Fort Mill, South Carolina.  But there's another reason--he's recently joined hands with the former leader of a group that gave birth to an outfit that burned me badly back in my college days.

One of the board members of Joyner's activist group, the Oak Initiative, is Bob Weiner.  If that name is familiar to some of you guys, it's because Weiner was the founder and leader of one of the more notorious "campus cults" of the 1980s, Maranatha Campus Ministries. They caught all kinds of hell for abusive and controlling tactics with its members--most notably, a ban on dating.  It was also one of the more prominent promoters of the same dominionist crapola that Joyner preaches now.  Weiner claims to have "repented" of his past teachings, but that seems hard to believe given that he's linking up with Joyner.

Maranatha first got into the national spotlight when the Wall Street Journal profiled it in 1985.  Rick Ross has the article hosted here.  It revealed some pretty shocking practices.  For instance, it was drummed out of a Canadian university after a student there was so torn about his past life that he maimed himself.  At another school, members were told that lying to others was acceptable if it was for their own good.  And at another, a student questioned a teaching that tampons were unsafe, and was told she had a rebellious spirit.

Maranatha broke up in 1989 due to growing heat from the press.  However, a good number of churches once affiliated with it still exist today--including one in Durham that suckered me into joining its campus outreach at Carolina during my freshman year.  That church, King's Park International Church, is one of the more prominent churches in Every Nation, a group of charismatic-oriented ministries built around several former Maranatha churches and ministries.  The links to Maranatha are so strong that at the very least it's a linear descendant of Maranatha, and it can be argued that it's a revived and repackaged Maranatha.  

I saw many of the same things that former Maranatha members reported--controlling practices, heavy demands on my time, the lot.  All I didn't see was a ban on dating.  I finally got out in January 1997 ... and the scars still run deep today.  It was only by accident that I found out about their Maranatha ties--and when I warned my former "brothers and sisters" about it, their response was, in so many words, "So what?"  Many of them are still active in Every Nation today.  In fact, they have a church here in Charlotte--and sometimes I wonder if that was intended to be my church, given how many of my friends were groomed to be leaders there.

That church doesn't mention its Maranatha past much, but per corporate records from the North Carolina Secretary of State's office, it was founded in 1985 as a Maranatha church--and still operates under its original bylaws (as amended) today.  Back in 2005, I was one of several people who alerted the Triangle press about this outfit.

So now Joyner has invited the leader of a recognized cult to his board.  Tells you a lot about his character--and that of the dominionist movement.

Weiner is one of the apostles of the New Apostolic Reformation and the International Coalition of Apostles (ICA).  Other major Maranatha leaders who have been ICA apostles include J. Lee Grady, who was previously editor of Maranatha's Forerunner.  

The Oak Initiative has been working for the last year with an affiliate, Transformation Michigan, to prepare for Lou Engle's TheCall Detroit.  This is a 24-hour event in Ford Stadium that has been promoted as spiritual warfare against Islam and freemasonry.

Read more about the Oak Initiative in numerous Talk2action articles including the following:

Samuel Rodriguez and the Oak Initiative:  Marketing Religious Supremacism as Social Justice

Oak Initiative Confirm Resignation of Co-Founder and Vice President Samuel Rodriguez

by Rachel Tabachnick on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 08:09:55 AM EST

...have been linked with Weiner for some time now.  Wagner is on record as looking up to both Wiener AND Rice Broocks as "pioneers" of the third wave/NAR.  

Supposedly one of the main issues the leadership of what is now Every Nation had with Weiner was that Maranatha under his leadership was "too" charismatic and "mystical" in public.  In other words, it APPEARED too weird and controlling.  It was ok to be weird and controlling but not where "non-believers" could see.  Based on my research, I believe Maranatha broke up not because its leaders were repenting of excesses (despite what they said publicly) but because it was a power struggle between Weiner and his underlings over all the bad press they were getting and Weiner got the boot.  

I have also been told anecdotally that the reason why Joyner's and EN's organizations once shared the same Morning Star name back in the day (early 90s) is because they were going to join together but obviously that never happened and EN eventually changed their name to what it is now.

My theory is that in the modern day NAR, there are two broad "types" of ministries, roughly corresponding with the movement's theology (or more accurately, theosophy in the historic sense) regarding the "bride" and "bridegroom."  Some are "bridal" ministries emphasizing worship, mysticism, submission, 24-7 prayer a la Zinzendorf's Moravians, etc.  I identify Joyner's ministries with that portion of the movement and despite Weiner's old dominionist rhetoric he fits better with that side of the movement as well (he has certainly worked more with them in the 20+ years since Maranatha broke up).  Others are more concerned with preparing believers to be assume God-like "headship" or leadership over the world--"head and not the tail"--so more into formal training/inculcation into leadership, "taking over" the 7 Mountains including college campuses, politicians/governments, other social/cultural structures, etc.  EN today is more the latter, even more so than Maranatha was.  Obviously there is overlap between the two--Wagner's apostolic structures cover both--and I don't believe that they are mutually exclusive (obviously there is a lot of "bridegroom" dominionist rhetoric in The Call or IHOP) but it's more a function of emphasis IMHO.

To close, after over 20 years since Maranatha "broke up" it isn't such a big deal to be associated with Weiner because sadly many if not most of Maranatha's cultic beliefs and practices have become quite normative, at least within the evangelical and charismatic branches of American Christianity.  Those of us who still identify as Christians after walking away from our former group(s) and looked and looked and looked and LOOKED for "normal," non-cultic churches untouched by the NAR craziness certainly understand this first hand.

by ulyankee on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 10:01:46 AM EST

Good grief ... he's even more unbalanced than even I suspected.

by Christian Dem in NC on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 05:48:13 PM EST

And the commentary is helpful as well. This is important because the many mainstream evangelicals who seem utterly incapable of seeing the problem or significance of NAR were important in exposing Maranatha back in the day. They need to understand these connections.

by gregmetzger on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 09:07:22 PM EST
Does it necessary to include those people? I think the organization should focus on its goal let recognize the freedom of faith. indoor wall fountains tabletop fountains tabletop fountains

by lancemayer on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 06:27:29 PM EST
Aren't water fountains a little off the topic?

by Heathen07 on Fri Nov 25, 2011 at 04:25:42 AM EST

Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to more times this year! Thanks for informative post.    best CBD oil

by LayneMarvin on Thu Feb 20, 2020 at 09:31:32 AM EST

WWW Talk To Action

Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (230 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (72 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (40 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (44 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (46 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (60 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (58 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (45 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (43 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (35 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (46 comments)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (84 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (12 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (33 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (76 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- http://www.talk2action.org/story/2016/7/21/04356/9417 I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (88 comments)
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (47 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (44 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (82 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (72 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (77 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (74 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (42 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (50 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (54 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (41 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (63 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (44 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (51 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (44 comments)

More Diaries...

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.