Saturday, February 17, 2007

Christianity Today hack journalism

Probably the single worst mistake a hack journalist can make is to report on real, verifiable events. Rob Moll of Christianity Today wrote a breathtakingly poorly researched article, "Day of Reckoning." In it he makes several very serious accusations against several Calvary Chapel pastors and ministries.

In and of itself, I wouldn't think much of the article - there are 1300+ CC's worldwide, several thousand pastors and ministry leaders, and hundreds of thousands of Calvary Chapel churchgoers. You would expect there to be problems when you have that many humans involved in anything.

However, Rob (who based on previous CT articles has an apparent axe to grind against CC) made the spectacularly bad mistake of commenting on a situation I happen to be very familiar with.

Rob attacks Roger Ulman, pastor of Calvary Chapel Kalamazoo Valley. I am very familiar with CCKV, Roger Ulman, and the "scandal" that Rob reports on. Let's just say that Rob's article presents a view of reality that's so stupendously skewed from actual reality as to be a complete inversion of actual events.

Several articles over at simplemindedpreacher have been dealing with this issue, and I've commented on the whole thing there:

I will say this: Because of the galactically poor fact-checking of Rob's CT article RE: Roger and CCKV, I can say I have precisely ZERO confidence that any of the other facts cited or quotes quoted are any more accurate.

For the record: I have watched Roger Ulman try to reach out to and minister to Holt over the last few years, and watched him get stabbed in the gut and back multiple times over it. Roger has been the example of sacrificial servant leadership through the whole Living Stone fiasco, and to watch the truth of the situation be completely inverted and Holt presented as the innocent victim and Roger as the evil perpetrator makes me furious and sick to my stomach.

I would expect this kind of hack journalism from the secular media.

That Christianity Today is engaged in it is vastly more than simply reprehensible.


Bryon Mondok said...

Roger Ulman is a good man. He may just be one of the most missional Calvary Chapel pastors I know. I've met him personally and have served with him for a short time on the advisory board of a missions organization. I know that he leads teams into the thick of real ministry. He was one of the first CC's to lead a team to NYC after 9/11. He has taken teams into Sudan and Northern Uganda long before it was en vogue to do so.

Here's the interesting thing about that article: one accusation of CC leadership is that sexual sin is not taken seriously enough. But when Roger deals with marital issues/integrity/sexual sin in his own congregation, in private, he gets slammed publicly for it. It ain't right! You can't have it both ways Mr. Moll.

mike macon said...

Absolutely, though Moll & crew want to try to.