Dark Christianity
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May 2008
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dogemperor [userpic]
More info on Morning Star/Maranatha

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]blueboy2000)

Hey everyone--I was pointed here by [info]sunfell--wonder if any other Christians are here.

OK, here's more information on Morning Star International--the artists formerly known as Maranatha Campus Ministries. For those of you who don't remember Maranatha, Rick Ross has a slew of articles at his site.

Morning Star knows about the bad press Maranatha took in the 80s, so they fall all over themselves to hide their Maranatha past. But they can't hide everything. We've uncovered at least four former Maranatha churches that are now part of Morning Star, but still operate under their old Maranatha charters. And two of them are blatantly misleading people about their pasts--undoubtedly to put off the inevitable criticism about their pasts.

  • King's Park International Church in Durham, NC (the guys that suckered me into joining): claims a 1990 founding date, but was incorporated in 1986 as Maranatha Christian Church of the Triangle; changed its name to Triangle Christian Fellowship in 1990 and KPIC in 1997

  • Morning Star Christian Church of the South Bay in LA: incorporated in 1986 as Maranatha Christian Church of the South Bay; changed name to Victory Church of the South Bay in 1990 and to Morning Star in 1993

  • Harvest Valley Christian Church in the Bay Area: incorporated in 1986 as Maranatha Christian Church of the East Bay; changed name in 1990

  • Morning Star International Church of Boston: claims to be a 2001 plant of KPIC, but was incorporated in 1986 as Maranatha Christian Church of Boston; changed name to New Beginnings Christian Fellowship in 1990, Tree of Life City Church in 1991 and Morning Star Boston in 2001; associate pastor and former senior pastor Brian Diver is spokesman for Massachusetts Citizens for Marriage

The two most prominent arms of Morning Star are their campus ministry arm, Victory Campus Ministries; and their outreach to athletes, Champions for Christ. The four churches I've mentioned previously have outreaches at several schools where Maranatha had chapters in the 80s--at Carolina (where KPIC traces its roots), UCLA (they actually got one of their people elected SBP in 2000--but she had a very ordinary term), Southern Cal, Cal-Berkeley, MIT and Boston University. After Christmas break, there's got to be some way we can put the word out at those schools--especially if Maranatha caused problems at those schools in the 80s. Even though they were only "officially" bounced off one campus (Kansas State in 1983), you can probably bet they jumped before they were pushed off a few more.

Champions for Christ, as many of you know, caught all kinds of hell in 1998 for its growing involvement in the NFL. Specifically, an agent with Champions ties negotiated a stupid contract for Curtis Enis. They have chapters at several schools across the country, as well as a few pro teams. They still have substantial clout in the NFL, where they've essentially taken over the Redskins and Jaguars. Rick Ross has more information on them as well.

Morning Star is one of the driving forces behind a bill to establish a national slave memorial near the Lincoln Memorial. It's being spearheaded by the National Foundation for African-American Heritage, headed by Brett Fuller. Fuller pastors Metro MorningStar Church headquartered in Northern Virginia (with satelites in DC itself, Baltimore and Philadelphia) and is also the Redskins' chaplain. There are a couple of major problems. First, as I mentioned earlier, Morning Star adheres to Kingdom Now theology, a kooky philosophy that is essentially fascism in Christian dress. Second, and more importantly, one of Morning Star's churches is Beth Shalom Ministries, a Russian Messianic Jewish congregation in Brooklyn that makes a deliberate point of targeting Russian Jewish immigrants for conversion. Three of the bill's cosponsors--Jan Schakowsky from Chicago, Tom Lantos from San Mateo County and Bob Filner from San Diego--are Jewish. Three more--John Conyers from Detroit, Barbara Lee from Oakland and Major Owens from Brooklyn--have large Jewish constituencies in their districts. And apparently the Freepers are up in arms about it too.

I never thought I'd find myself opposing a bill to memorialize slaves--it's long overdue. But not if it helps line the pockets of a cult.