So Christianity Today (CT) has an article online by Ted Olsen and Ken Smith called “The Second Coming Christ Controversy,” in which it detailed weird stories surrounding Korean evangelical pastor David Jang. Long story short, Jang either was or wasn’t at one time associated with the Reverend Moon’s Unification Church and either was or wasn’t “hailed by some of his followers as ‘Second Coming Christ,'” a title that means exactly what you’d think, assuming you think kooky things.
Jang has founded a wide variety of Christian organizations, including Olivet University and the Christian Post, an online news source I read regularly.
Well, the Christian Post didn’t like the CT article, or the suspicions it may have generated about the real “mission” of the Post. It posted a response here.
But it doesn’t end there. Saturday the Post ran an article with the journalistically nuanced title “Christianity Today Writer Ken Smith Is Founder of a Company Fined for Deceptive Business Practices; With Child Porn Ties.” You can read that one here.
Is Jang some quasi-cultist with followers who believes he’s a messianic figure who’s come to fix what Jesus didn’t? Or, as the Post writes, is the truth that:
The Christian Council of Korea (CCK) has twice cleared Jang of having ties to the Unification Church, and two more times cleared Jang of suspicion of doubts associated with Jang and Second Coming Christ. The allegations were made by Sam Kyung Chae, a former vice chair of CCK’s heresy committee who has been discredited by Korean evangelicals.
“We are shocked and appalled that Christianity Today has used this heretic’s claims to attack evangelical leaders and institutions around the world,” the CCK said in a statement to The Christian Post. “It doesn’t make sense that Chae, who is known to fabricate cults and has been declared a heretic, is being used as a source by CT to label other organizations or individuals as a cult.”
I have no idea. I only learned of Jang because of this exercise in Christian discernment.
Was Ken Smith the founder of a sicko company that garnered 80% of its business from pornography? Apparently. The question is what he knew and when he knew it.
Expect this all to get seedier until either CT or the Post cries uncle. Because that’s what Christians do. They go at it hymnals and tongs until someone goes to jail awash in tears. Think Jimmy Swaggart. And Jim Bakker. (For a short list of evangelical and fundamentalist liars, cheats, hypocrites, and frauds, go here. Pack a lunch.)
Now, before someone gets on my case about airing dirty Christian laundry in public (and this blog barely constitutes public), and accuses me of getting getting a cheap thrill from seeing a bunch of self-righteous con artists humiliated and bankrupted, well, what was the question? Oh yeah: I know you are, but what am I?
UPDATE: In the combox, “Mr. Correction” (which I really really hope isn’t his baptismal name or anything) states that Pastor Jang did not, in fact, found The Christian Post. So please stop spreading that rumor! I mean, if you can’t trust “Mr. Correction,” who the heck can you trust? “Mr. Retraction”?