Friday, August 4, 2006

Smearing Ole Anthony

This post turned out quite different from what I had planned ... but here goes.

For well over a decade and a half, the Trinity Foundation of Dallas' Ole Anthony has been the "go to guy" for the mainstream media whenever they're investigating a televangelist or cult. From his exposé of Robert Tilton to revealing some potentially nasty personal information about Paul Crouch and his current focus on Benny Hinn, Anthony has become somewhat of a folk hero.

According to a recent article by the Dallas Observer, however, Anthony runs the Dallas Project as well as his ministry like a cult ... or does he? The article was quickly dismissed as something only a tabloid could come up with. Such as the allegation that the guy who's taken a vow of poverty actually has a huge bank account with Merrill Lynch.

I've followed Ole Anthony's work for a number of years and I subscribe to his bi-weekly e-newsletter. He's certainly not perfect, but he has the courage of his convictions and asks the questions that few dare to. For this, he is dismissed as being against the Lord's "Anointed." One only has to look at all the so called "signs and wonders" performed by the hucksters, which are really nothing more than self-fulfillment fantasies. If the TV preachers -- and for that matter, many of the leaders in the mainstream churches -- practiced what they preached, or were at least as generous with their gifts to others as they are to themselves, there would be no need for muckrakers like Anthony.

So I say keep up the good work and fight. We need lie detectors, both in the sacred and secular worlds.

HT to Kathy for the original article and the update.

To vote for this article at Progressive Bloggers, click here.


(no name)
20/08/2006 11:00:02 PM

My wife wrote the book exposing Ole Anthony, I Can't Hear God Anymore: Life in a Dallas Cult. I understand many people are sympathetic with him for what he has done to expose corrupt televangelists. We are only suggesting that he hold himself to the same standard of accountability to which he is holding others. There are many, many problems with Ole and his ministry that my wife points out and which have been corroborated by investigative reporter Glenna Whitley in her excellent piece in the Dallas Observer. It is our prayer that Ole and others at Trinity Foundation take an honest look at themselves and correct the things in their ministry which need correcting. Until they do this, they do not have the moral standing to pass judgment on other ministries.

21/08/2006 3:36:27 PM

Thanks for your comments. As I said at the top of my original post, I was going to be rather critical of Mr Anthony's methods; but that was untilI checked some other blogs -- including evangelical ones -- that said the Dallas Observer was not much better than a tabloid. So I'm prepared to keep an open mind. I totally agree with the line "Judge not lest ye be judged," and Anthony should certainly be held to the same standards of those he criticizes. I'm just of the type of person that needs more corroboration.

(no name)
22/08/2006 12:01:55 AM

The Dallas Observer is an alternative weekly in Dallas, part of the New Media chain that includes about 16 papers like it, the Village Voice being the flagship. The major daily here in Dallas, The Dallas Morning News, no longer does any investigative reporting worth lining the bottom of a birdcage with since their rival, The Dallas Times Herald, went out of business in the early 90's. The Observer is willing to take some risks and go out on a limb, and I suppose that sets them up to make mistakes occasionally, but if we did not have the Observer here we would be unable to read very much good local reporting. Anyway, most stories come down to the integrity of the reporter who is actually doing the investigation, and Glenna Whitley is a very highly respected journalist around here. She has written for D Magazine, Texas Monthly, and has co-authored a book that was well received. And, speaking as one who has inside knowledge of this story, I can tell you that she got it right. In fact, this is the first really accurate story to come out about Ole Anthony and Trinity Foundation.

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