Is THIS the New Evangelical Center?
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Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 09:09:02 AM EST
Samuel Rodriguez has given a speech that he has proudly put up at You Tube. No one is playing “gotcha” with him, no one is putting this forward as representative of him without his knowledge, no one is lifting portions of a video out of context. This is what Samuel Rodriguez is proud to represent. In this six minute video Rodriguez clearly embraces the notion of an apostolic reordering of the church. He clearly embraces a prosperity gospel. And he clearly champions himself and his organization as an accepted blending of evangelicalism and Pentecostalism. Are the leading voices of mainstream evangelicalism really good to go with this? Is this what the evangelical center is now defined as? How can those at the National Association of Evangelicals and Christianity Today and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary—all places that proudly include Samuel Rodriguez within the elite of their institution’s leadership—claim that these views represent some extreme margin of Christianity that only the most avowed opponents of evangelicalism would view as significant, when they themselves are knowingly elevating one of the most well-known proponents of these views? And why aren't more people in the media and the general public asking them this question?

When has this not been the evangelical center? A pastor fleecing his flock is at least the second oldest profession. Gotta admire his technique though. Very smooth. And I love the way they wrap things up within 10 minutes of getting the checks. Get the money, hit the door. That's the way.

by Eiger98 on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 09:52:41 AM EST
In doctrinal terms, as a broad tendency the apostolic movement is relatively new. The prosperity Gospel is older, but still relatively recent--one might trace its roots back a half century or more--but it has only truly become a mass cultural phenomenon since the 1980s.  

The two trends are not historically characteristic of American evangelicalism.

I had to look up Sammy Rodriguez' "Dagon". Quoth the unreliable but handy Wikipedia,

"Dagon was originally an Assyro-Babylonian fertility god who evolved into a major northwest Semitic god, reportedly of grain (as symbol of fertility) and fish and/or fishing (as symbol of multiplying). He was worshipped by the early Amorites and by the inhabitants of the cities of Ebla (modern Tell Mardikh, Syria) and Ugarit (modern Ras Shamra, Syria) (which was an ancient city near the Mediterranean containing a large variety of ancient writings and pre-Judeo-Christian shrines). He was also a major member, or perhaps head, of the pantheon of the Biblical Philistines."

by Bruce Wilson on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 10:54:52 AM EST
in the literature of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament as some call it) and in the other ten parts of this video Rodriguez focuses on that use. But in this part 11 video I am with Bruce--he seems to be speaking of Dagon in a much broader way as some sort of demonic spirit. This is particularly true I think when you consider the ritual that he calls his listeners to engage in of stepping on their wallet and having some sort of major breakthrough in their financial existence because of this practice.

by gregmetzger on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 09:22:05 AM EST

in this post of going into greater detail about the range of beliefs put forward in the video by Rodriguez, but one of the things I was wanting to see was the gut-level reaction to it. In that regard, I appreciate Elger's response. To you this just seems like a regular type of evangelicalism. I have to say that I have been around gatherings of evangelicals for over 40 years, and I distinguish evangelical from Pentecostal, and I have never in my life seen anyone with a major role in evangelicalism such as the one Rodriguez enjoys via his leadership in the 3 institutions I referred to, who has practiced this kind of prosperity gospel, this kind of "apostolic" reordering of the basis of church/congregational authority and who has then claimed that these beliefs are fully consistent with the evangelical movement. Evangelicalism as defined and self-understood by the folks at the three institutions I refer to has a meaning dating back to the 1940s and centered around Billy Graham's rejection of fundamentalism. This evangelicalism has always had an ambiguous relationship to the Pentecostalism that is generally seen as having emerged in the early 1900s out of the Azusa Street Revivials. The idea that a major Pentecostal figure, and particularly one who is a recognized and open leader of the new form of "apostolic" Pentecostalism and who preaches this kind of prosperity gospel, would be given such a prominent place in the evangelicalism I have described is a major story. It is all the more important given the fact that Rodriguez is also part of a Religious Right outreach to aposotolic  groups and minority groups that so many in the mainstream and religious media have viewed for over a year as some minor, fringe phenomena. The fact that this phenomena is so not fringe that a leading voice of it is also a leading voice in major evangelical institutions that are anything but fringe is vital to our understanding of how significant apostles and Religious Right culture warriors are to the mainstream of evangelicalism. This may be old news to you, but it is anything but the accepted wisdom in media coverage.

by gregmetzger on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 09:16:51 AM EST

The Evangelic center must be truly human in relationship with God and one another. Citizens should be aware of Jesus Christ as Lord, who has opened the way to salvation. Today it is not followed completely and centers are thus ruined.    hotel catalina   

by rosemary on Tue Mar 22, 2016 at 08:10:06 AM EST

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