Late yesterday the story hit the media like a thunder clap that Janet Mefferd was silenced by the Evangelical Industrial Complex.
The story written by Jonathan Merritt of the Religion News Service says it all. Wrote Merritt:
Religion writers at various outlets including Religion Dispatches, Patheos, and Urban Christian News, are reporting that Ingrid Schlueter, a part-time assistant producer for syndicated radio show host Janet Mefferd has resigned. According to these reports, Schlueter claims that the resignation is a result of the Mark Driscoll “situation”:
I was a part-time, topic producer for Janet Mefferd until yesterday when I resigned over this situation. All I can share is that there is an evangelical celebrity machine that is more powerful than anyone realizes. You may not go up against the machine. That is all. Mark Driscoll clearly plagiarized and those who could have underscored the seriousness of it and demanded accountability did not. That is the reality of the evangelical industrial complex.
…I’ve read much speculation online, which is understandable given the confusing situation, most of it dead wrong. Being limited in what I can share, let me just say that truth tellers face multiple pressure sources these days. I hosted a radio show for 23 years and know from experience how Big Publishing protects its celebrities. Anything but fawning adulation for those who come on your show (a gift of free air time for the author/publisher by the way) is not taken well. Like Dr. Carl Trueman so aptly asked yesterday in his column at Reformation 21, does honest journalism have any role to play in evangelicalism now? (It was rhetorical.) My own take on that question is, no, it does not. The moment hard questions are asked, the negative focus goes on the questioner, not the celebrity, when there is something that needs scrutiny. Those who have the temerity to call out a celebrity have tremendous courage. The easiest thing in the world is to do fluffy interviews with fluffy guests on fluffy books. So hats off to those like Janet who have the courage to ask at all. And my own opinion on Mr. Driscoll is that despite the bravado, despite the near silence of his Reformed peers and enablers, his brand is damaged, and damaged by his own hand.
Like I said on Thurday's installment of Fighting for the Faith, "this was no boating accident!" We are dealing with a Great White Shark that viciously attacks anyone who would dare ask the tough questions of celebrity pastors whose walks do not line up with their talk and whose actions and teachings do not line up with sound Biblical doctrine.
The Evangelical Industrial Complex (EIC) has learned that there is millions upon millions of dollars to be made by mimicking the world's celebrity driven/product driven culture. It was the EIC that gave us the Emergent Church, Rob Bell, The Purpose-Driven Movement, The Prayer of Jabez, CircleMaker Prayers, Steven Furtick and his Narcigesis, Perry Noble and his verbal beating of Christ's sheep who are starving for Biblical substance in venues that call themselves Christian Churches, and now they're giving us books where the celebrity author cuts corners and conveniently "borrows" from other authors without giving them proper credit and attribution.
I know first-hand about the thuggish mafia tactics of the EIC. I was threatened with arrest when I showed up to attend and report on the Elephant Room — Round 2, despite the fact that I paid for a $100 ticket to attend.
The EIC is not interested in promoting or teaching sound Biblical doctrine or building up the body of Christ. They're interested in making obscene profits by promoting their stable of manufactured and contrived "Christian" celebrities. They don't care if their super stars teach the truths of scripture accurately. What they care about is that the evangelical subculture purchases the merchandise churned out by their untouchable mega stars. Sadly, so much of what passes today as Christian Media & Journalism has turned into nothing more than a rubber stamp approval and promotion of the merchandise of these young, hip crowd pleasers.
Mark Driscoll, whom we now know is the CO-author of the book, A Call to Resurgence asks the question, "will Christianity have a future or a funeral?" If Christianity is going to have a future, then it needs to repent and demand that the EIC be dismantled and its mega celebrities be held accountable for their sins and their false doctrine. If this doesn't happen then Christianity will have a funeral, at least in the western world, as true Christians are persecuted and silenced for pointing out that the EIC's celebrities are not building up the body of Christ but poisoning it from within.