Megaministry Monday : Police Shootings, Noah’s Ark, and How Jim Bakker Wants to Forgive You

Evangelical women celebrities came out strong in support of the recent victims of police shootings with a series of tweets and periscopes. Beth Moore. Serita Jakes. Taffi Dollar.

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    Because I’ve so rarely talked to this, I don’t want you to feel like I’m not aware or that it’s not an issue.” Priscilla Schirer on race in the wake of new police shootings.

    Priscilla Schirer discussed at length the sorrows of raising black sons when racial profiling is rampant. It was a bold move for these women who have everything to lose with white evangelical audiences who don’t always want to hear it. The book Divided by Faith still fairly characterizes the massive difference in perspectives: white evangelicals usually see racism as an individual problem, while black evangelicals see racism as a system of inequality. In the comments section, you can clearly see conversations break down into “One Bad Cop” vs. “Systemic Sin.”

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    We hope they show up two-by-two, seven-by-seven, hundred-by-hundred.” Ken Ham, creator of the ark. The new one, at least.

    Finally when people say something is of “biblical proportions,” they might be right. A 510-foot-long Noah’s Ark is being unveiled in northern Kentucky to the tune of $100 million. Ken Ham, head of the ministry that built the ark (ok, I still can’t get used to saying that), estimates that 2 million visitors will come in the first year to see the attraction that’s “as good or better than Hollywood.” The ministry espouses a young earth creationism, arguing that the earth was made roughly 6,000 years ago, which explains why the museum features model baby dinosaurs in wooden pens waiting to be saved in the ark. Ark Encounter theme park opens this week. Now enjoy this drone footage.

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    I prayed for them every single day. The judge. All the people who put me in prison.” Jim Bakker

    Jim Bakker
    Looking increasingly like a very sweet Colonel Sanders, former televangelism superstar Jim Bakker talked about the hard work it took to forgive those who had imprisoned him in the 1989 scandal that shuttered the Praise the Lord empire. A great message about the importance of forgiveness. Just a little uncomfortable as it implies that his conviction was unjust.

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    Former televangelist Carlton Pearson is getting another lease on life. He will be donating his personal archives to the Andover-Harvard Theological Library. The collection will be a goldmine for all those who want to understand the rise of televangelism, particularly African American contributions, through the rise of this celebrity singer-preacher. He is a remarkable man who cuts a rather tragic figure for his fall from grace, not through any misconduct of his own, but by his turn toward theological universalism. For a fascinating look at his rise and fall, hear his story on NPR’s This American Life.

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    Vonda Kay, Miss America 1965Now, I’ll save one item every week for a throwback. This week pays tribute to a megaministry woman who brought ventriloquism to the mainstream. True story! Miss America 1965 was Vonda Kay Van Dyke whose Christian teen beauty and advice manuals like Ask Vonda Kay sold a million copies. AND she was the first beauty to use a puppet for her talent portion. Watch her charm audiences on a 1965 episode of What’s My Line.

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