Former Maranatha Pastor Stars as Thomas Jefferson in Fox and Friends Segment
ulyankee printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 11:36:36 PM EST
I wasn't planning on playing Seven Degrees of Maranatha Campus Ministries this evening, but was instead perusing my usual array of news and opinion websites when I found this gem on Talking Points Memo: `Fox & Friends' Hosts Pretend Man Is Actually Thomas Jefferson.

According to TPM, Stephen McDowell, who comes across in the interview less like a Jefferson impersonator than a 21st century Christian Right talking head in a wig and early 19th century garb, is "president of Biblical Worldview University."  Biblical Worldview University is an arm of the Providence Foundation, which was originally started as a Maranatha subministry with then-MCM pastor McDowell in charge

For those who don't know, MCM was a "campus ministry" deeply connected with the rise of the dominionist right in the 1970s and 80s.  They disbanded in 1989, widely denounced even in evangelical Christian circles as an abusive cult.  Several descendant and offshoot organizations still exist today, including Every Nation and Providence Foundation, among others. (I am a walkaway from an Every Nation church.)

Their theology was (and is) a fusion of Latter Rain/Third Wave and Christian Reconstructionist forms of post-millennial dominionism. While former MCM leader Bob Weiner was (and still is) more Third Wave charismatic, other MCM offshoots including Providence Foundation skew more CR.

The Providence Foundation is a major contributor of American "history" textbooks to the homeschool movement--particularly America's Providential History.

And now they play presidents on national TV. Nice.

My school is one of the ones that actually banned them (temporary) for the abuses they were committing, but as soon as the ban was lifted they came back.  Now there are multiple offshoots and "relatives" of MCM on campus.

You cut one head off, and another grows in its place.  Even the heads of the organization are like bad pennies - they keep popping up in strange and troubling places after being cut off.

by ArchaeoBob on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 12:24:20 PM EST

...that he came out of Maranatha. But I'd add, on the Maranatha/CR angle, that The Forerunner website has featured an extensive amount of CR material over the years.

by Bruce Wilson on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 05:05:52 PM EST
...headed the Providence Foundation for many years going back to the late 80s.  It was started as an MCM ministry I think only a year or two before they officially disbanded.  Bob Weiner talked about it in the final chapter of his 1988 tome, Take Dominion!

The guy who runs the Forerunner site took over editorship after Lee Grady left for Charisma.  I've always wondered if that move was a bit of a corporate parachute for Grady, whose stance continued to baffle me because on the one hand he would openly rebuke MCM's (and EN's) leadership abuses but on the other was close to EN's once-best-bud C. Peter Wagner, being an NAR "apostle" himself and all.  The Weiners retained the Forerunner for a while after the breakup and it's not connected at all (officially) with Every Nation or even anymore with the Weiners.  But it really does show the CR (and Bircher) bent that MCM was taking in its final years.

Based on what I've seen in my research into the movement particularly in the years after the break up, many of the more openly Pentecostal/charismatic pastors tended to side with Weiner, while the CR people aligned more with what became Every Nation.  For example, Providence Foundation has done a lot of "training" in Every Nation (it remained separate from EN though).  Also, CR George Grant taught classes in their Nashville school of ministry.  Though it's really more a matter of spectrum and emphasis than an either/or thing... most of them are a blend of the two.  They aren't cessationists like most "true" CR leaders are.  But certainly bought into the CR narrative.

Archeobob, very familiar with the former MCM ministry in Tallahassee (that is the one you are talking about right? If I recall incorrectly forgive me), which came under the Morning Star International aka Every Nation fold not long after Broocks, Bonasso and Murrell started MCM version 2.0... it was indeed one of the original ones that maintained their corporate status with the Florida SOS and just changed names.  Another notable one is the one at K-State which also got booted off their campus and made national news back in the day.  The one at Florida State was more important though IMHO because that's where MCM's former sports ministry, Champions for Christ, was based for many years.  Though technically CFC doesn't exist anymore (it changed names but is a shell of its former self) anectdotally due to several active and retired NFL players losing a LOT of money through "investments" made through that ministry, which for a while comprised one of EN's major sources of cash.

by ulyankee on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:47:45 AM EST

It was the USF branch in Tampa, although I'm not sure where they were headquartered out of.  Back when I attended there in the late 70s and 80, they had connections with many of the more "weird" "Christian" groups on campus, especially the Pentecostal ones (they kept the connections to the others quiet).  It was an offshoot connected with the pentecostal COG that hooked me with missionary dating (after they had me hooked she was reassigned to another group and sent to get more suckers), and then a few months after that they convinced me I had to drop out of school and "get a real job" - and then handed me over to the Assemblies.

During that period there was a virtual war for converts going on between them and the Crossroads Church of Christ group... both using Missionary Dating and other tactics.  It almost came to blows several times - even between the groups of young women and men (their bait) on campus.

by ArchaeoBob on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:49:04 AM EST

"he would openly rebuke MCM's (and EN's) leadership abuses but on the other was close to EN's once-best-bud C. Peter Wagner, being an NAR "apostle" himself and all"

Grady plays an interesting role in the ecology of the movement, that of the "loyal opposition". As far as I can tell, he serves as a watchdog to criticize/try to rein in some of the more outrageous and problematic emerging practices/ideas in the movement. re-in-the-house-of-the-lord

I wonder whether in some cases Grady is simply pointing out possible sources of embarrassment for the movement, and is simply hinting, slyly, at the need for discretion. But he did clearly pick a fight with Rick Joyner over the Todd Bentley debacle.

by Bruce Wilson on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 06:37:38 PM EST

WWW Talk To Action

Progressives Are Taking Up Religious Freedom Day
In the heat of our political moment, we sometimes don't see how our future connects deeply to our past. But the Christian Right does......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Freedom vs. Fear: Restricting Religious Liberty Isn't The Answer To Terrorism
Last week, a community meeting was held in Spotsylvania County, Va., to discuss plans by a group of Muslims who want to relocate and......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Christian Right Electoral Hegemony, Rising in the States
This is a revised, updated and retitled post I did on the long term trend of significant political progress of the Christian Right and......
By Frederick Clarkson (5 comments)
Who's Been Naughty, Who's Been Nice?: The AFA Explains It All For You
If you're like me, you've been sitting around anxiously awaiting the release of the American Family Association's "Naughty or Nice" list of retailers for......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
U.S. Department Of Judeo-Christian Values?: Kasich Proposes New Religious Propaganda Arm
According to some polls, the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination is Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who believes that ancient Egyptians built......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
Scripture Stories: Religious Right Claims About The `Aitken Bible' Don't Hold Up
Tomorrow several conservative members of the U.S. House of Representatives plan to hold a public reading of the Aitken Bible on the East Front......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
The Tallest Statue in the Nation of an Individual
Many a day I drove on I 45 past the statue of Sam Houston.  The monument to the statesman is the largest in the......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)
Honoring Everyone Who Served: A Veterans Day Reflection
In 1952, a private group sought permission from government officials to erect a large cross atop Mt. Soledad near San Diego. They did it......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
One Million Maniacs?: AFA Attacks Magazine For Highlighting Family Headed By Same-Sex Couple
I have a daughter named Claire who is 21 years old and working her first job in journalism since graduating from college. I'm awfully......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
What Catholic Neo-Confederates Don't Want You To Know About Secession
During the summer of 2013 I wrote several posts about Catholic Neo-Confederates. My purpose was to explain the activities of libertarians such as Tom......
By Frank Cocozzelli (10 comments)
Sex And Common Sense: Texas Public School Reconsiders `Chastity' Speaker
A self-appointed expert on sex and relationships won't speak at an El Paso, Texas, high school - for now.Jason Evert runs an outfit called......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Two Trials that Impacted American Religion
Silent movie, Birth of a Nation, became the first blockbuster screen phenomena.  Civil Rights groups deplored the production and sought to ban it.  It......
By wilkyjr (3 comments)
The Francis Trajectory.
The recent dust-up over the meeting between Pope Francis and culture warrior Kim Davis has caused the Pontiff's stock to fall somewhat among liberals.......
By Frank Cocozzelli (11 comments)
Taking Care Of Business: Religious Right Group Plans `Religious Liberty' Ratings For Companies
My inbox this morning contained a press release from the American Family Association (AFA). The Tupelo, Miss.-based Religious Right group has exciting news: It......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Quest for Utopia
Surfing through old videos on youtube I found some interesting tapes of H. L. Hunt.  Certainly one of the original founders of the modern......
By wilkyjr (6 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 (2 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 (1 comment)
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 (0 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 (2 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (10 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (2 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (2 comments)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (3 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (4 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (5 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.