Category Archives: Word of Faith
Ex-con opens new fundamentalist school in Dover
There’s more bad news for ACE in the current issue of Private Eye. On page 36, there’s an article about Pieter Van Rooyen, the convicted slave master who opened an ACE school in Dover in January this year. Disappointingly, the phrase “slave wages” doesn’t appear in this story (as it does in most other coverage about Van Rooyen), but otherwise it’s pretty great. I won’t reproduce it all here for copyright reasons, but here’s a taster:
What Private Eye didn’t report—and I can exclusively reveal—is that in addition to being a criminal, Van Rooyen is also a conspiracy nut and a plagiarist.
Dealing with sexual harrassment, fundy style… and DEMONS!
When fundamentalists attack!
If you’ve spent any time at all reading about creationism online, you’ll be familiar with the infuriating experience of attempting to have a reasonable conversation on the subject. Creationists are notorious for quote mining, for a seemingly wilful ability to misinterpret the clearest of arguments, for ad hominem attacks, and for repeating the same arguments after they’ve been addressed. This has been so widely observed that it’s led to the internet adage that arguing with a creationist is like playing chess with a pigeon: They’ll knock over the pieces, crap on the board, and then strut about clucking like they won.
What’s really interesting, though, is seeing creationists use these same tactics on each other. I first observed this when I was a kid, and I should have seen through the whole enterprise back then.
New ACE school in Dover has televangelist backing
In 2014, a new ACE school will open in Dover. If they can get planning permission. The school’s first proposal was to put the school on the seafront. This was dropped when locals pointed out the proposed facility had no parking, no play area, no dining facilities, and was on a main road.
Unlike virtually every other ACE school, though, Dover School for All Nations looks like it has some serious investment behind it. The school website says it was established by its “visionary partners“, TBN – the Trinity Broadcasting Network – the world’s foremost broadcaster of the Word of Faith prosperity gospel, founded and run by Paul and Jan Crouch. The school lists Richard Fleming first on its list of directors and trustees (so it’s not clear which he is). Fleming was “director and General Manager of God TV during its inspection” [sic], the other big prosperity gospel broadcaster in the UK and Europe. And if I am reading his biography correctly (it’s not the most clearly-written thing I’ve ever seen), he is landlord to 50 charities in central London. So he isn’t poor.
This makes DSFAN a collision of all the things this blog discusses. According to the school’s PSHE policy, students will be taught “Kingdom Principles” including “sowing & reaping”. This is standard Word of Faith jargon for the prosperity gospel. Kids attending this school, then, will do creationism in the morning and learn about giving their money to televangelists in the afternoon. Read the rest of this entry
You lying sack of…
I can’t remember now what chain of idle Facebook clicking led me to this video, but I’m glad I found it. This is Gerri Di Somma, pastor of Carmel:City Church, as well as Carmel:Christian School, Carmel:Bookshop, and other subdivisions of Carmel:Centre. For some reason, his organisation is obsessed with colons, possibly because he is full of shit.
(Jargon translator: “praying in the Holy Ghost” means praying in tongues)
I want you to know that knowledge never helped me. Counsellors never helped me. The banks never helped me. Medical science never helped me. When I was confronted with a major crisis in my life, it was praying in the Holy Ghost that helped me.
This is fascinating, because my family was on holiday with the Di Sommas in 1999 when Gerri was faced with a cancer scare. Unless by “I prayed in the Holy Ghost”, Mr. Di Somma actually means “I underwent surgery”, then I’m afraid my recollection of events is rather different.
Shortly after the shocking events of 9/11, I remember thinking that I had more respect for Jihadists and Islamists than I had for nominal Christians.
I was still a fundamentalist Christian. And I could see, with the clarity of the converted, that the fundamentalist Muslims were doing it right. They really believed their religion, and they acted on it. They were people of true faith, who took the words of their Holy Book seriously. Of course, their Holy Book was wrong and they were going to hell, but they were not like the watery compromisers of the Church of England, at least.
I was reminded of this when I watched the 2006 documentary Jesus Camp for the second time. Ten minutes and 50 seconds into Jesus Camp, children’s evangelist Becky Fischer says,
Where should we be putting our focus? I’ll tell you where our enemies are putting it: They’re putting it on the kids. They’re going into the schools. You go into Palestine… They’re taking their kids to camps like we take our kids to Bible camps, and they putting hand grenades in their hands… It’s no wonder with that kind of intense training and discipling that those young people are ready to kill themselves for the cause of Islam.
I wanna see young people who are as committed to the cause of Jesus Christ as the young people are to the cause of Islam. I wanna see them as radically laying down their lives for the Gospel as they are over in Pakistan, and in Israel [sic], and Palestine, and all those different places because we have… excuse me, but we have the truth!
So you see, I wasn’t kidding when I wrote “I could have been a suicide bomber.” [I managed to watch it online here; link is still good at the time of writing] Read the rest of this entry
Why televangelists are not (all) con artists
At the end of my recent post “Let me introduce you to a con man (probably)” I discussed the possibility that these televangelists might not be con artists. It’s possible that they really believe their own drivel. Today I’m going to defend that argument, and explain why that’s actually much worse than if they were all frauds.
Now, I realise it seems naive to even entertain the idea that these guys aren’t con men. Just look at the bullshit they spout!
This is from R.W. Shambach’s book, You Can’t Beat God Givin’. It’s a story called “The Twenty-Six Miracles,” which my dad read to me as a boy. Here’s the full text; I’ll just give you the edited highlights. Read the rest of this entry
In which I receive a prophecy from a televangelist
In my last post, I told you about Jesse Duplantis. If you didn’t read it (and you really should), here’s the short version:
Jesse is a prosperity gospel preacher who has had huge success, mainly from telling jokes and claiming that he has been to heaven, where he personally met Abraham, King David, Jonah (he of the whale), Jesus, and God (obviously). Jesse was a hero to me in my early teens.
In 1998 and 1999, the church I then attended, Carmel Christian Centre, hosted Jesse’s services at the Colston Hall, Bristol. I was more than a little excited. I was 13 the first time this happened. The Colston Hall has a capacity of almost two thousand, and it was full for Jesse’s events (I told you this stuff was popular in Britain).
At the second meeting, Jesse Duplantis called me out and prophesied that the devil would try to get me to play rock music for him, but he would fail. (Recording after the jump). Read the rest of this entry
Let me introduce you to a con man (probably)
This is Jesse Duplantis.
Among the people I knew, Jesse was everybody’s favourite preacher. There’s a simple reason for that: he was funny. That is Jesse Duplantis’ entire reputation: He’s the prosperity gospel preacher who makes you laugh. Now, I have no idea whether he was actually funny, or whether he just seemed funny by comparison with all the deathly sermons we normally heard. I can’t go back and judge now, because there’s too much baggage associated with it. I’ll let you judge for yourselves:
Actually, it’s not true to say that being funny is the whole of Jesse Duplantis’ reputation. He’s also The Guy Who Went to Heaven. (Please read on; today’s post is particularly awesome, if I say so myself…)
Vlog: Praying in Tongues
Another piece of video that I’d really prefer not to exist. This has never been shown anywhere before – a Leaving Fundamentalism exclusive. It was shot for Video Nation, but never broadcast. I guess I just like embarrassing myself in public.