Teen Mania Ministries

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Teen Mania Ministries headquarters in 2005
Christ died for
our articles about

Christianity
Icon christianity.svg
Schismatics
Devil's in the details
You guys are freaks of a whole different breed…You guys are a bunch of wild animals. Man!
—Ron Luce, leader of Teen Mania Ministries [1]

Teen Mania Ministries was[2][3][4] an evangelical Christian youth organization, brainchild of pop culture evangelist Ron Luce (1961–). The organization was based in Garden Valley, Texas and Luce was the founder of the Battle Cry Campaign.

Founder[edit]

Luce

Luce founded and led Teen Mania Ministries, and actively opposed what he called the "purveyors of popular culture". He calls them "the enemy... terrorists, virtue terrorists, that are destroying our kids", and argues that "they're raping virgin teenage America on the sidewalk, [while] everybody's walking by and acting like everything's okay. And it's just not okay."[5] The organization functioned until 2015.[6]

Mission[edit]

On its website, Teen Mania Ministries' mission was "To provoke a young generation to passionately pursue Jesus Christ and to take his life-giving message to the ends of the Earth."

Members and Recruits[edit]

  • Dave Hasz, director of the Honor Academy
  • Jon Hasz, Dave's brother.

Acquire the Fire[edit]

Acquire the Fire (ATF) is a youth conference that is presented in over 35 cities across the United States and Canada each year. These conferences consist of Christian teachings, full-length stage dramas, worship via song, and live concerts. The other ministries of Teen Mania are also promoted at these conferences. Similar mass events are held in stadiums and arenas as part of the Battle Cry Campaign.

Battle Cry Campaign[edit]

The Battle Cry Campaign is an organizing initiative formed by Teen Mania in 2005. Ron Luce spearheads the movement campaign to ensure that Christianity survives in America by "redefining society." (As if it were in danger of extinction!) Ron Luce and Battle Cry have formed a "Wake up Call" for America due to the decline of Bible-believers in America. One of its main goals is to recruit a total of 100,000 churches to implement a multifaceted campaign to promote youth commitment and involvement in church programs. It also calls for a submission to some kinds of authority.

Battle Cry is engaged in confronting the "culture war" of pornography, violent video games, sexual content on television and in the media, gay marriage, and secularization of America. In past years, ATF / Battle Cry producers had adopted a militaristic tone, with frequent use of words such as "war," "battle," "enemy," "soldier," "foes," "onward" and "warfare," accompanied by the display of military imagery and, at one such event, the use of simulated weapons.

Lobbying[edit]

  • Operation Truth: a rally co-sponsored by Battle Cry and the Christian Action Alliance was announced for August 6, 2006, at the California State Capitol to challenge certain proposed bills. The objective was "to publicly let legislators know that Christians will not stand idly by while being bombarded with legislation that attacks the core values of believers." Two of the bills that were challenged were intended to prohibit discrimination in California public schools on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation, and to prohibit school activities and instructional content that reflects adversely on persons on the basis of their sexual orientation.
  • Support of Prop. 8 in California: Teen Mania, led by Ron Luce, led a rally on October 1, 2008 at Rock Church in San Diego in support for Proposition 8.

Supporters[edit]

Battle Cry Coalition: Teen Mania's own coalition includes, or has included, prominent Christian Right leaders Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Ted Haggard, Chuck Colson, and Joyce Meyer, and other personalities such as Jack Hayford, Kay Arthur, Jack Graham, Greg Laurie, Josh McDowell, Tommy Barnett, Bob Reccord, Kirk Franklin and John Maxwell. Coalition members participate in Teen Mania's events and programs and also assist in promotion of the Battle Cry Campaign

GOD TV: Teen Mania's television program, "atf.tv," and exclusive live broadcasts of Acquire the Fire events are featured on GOD TV, an international Christian television broadcaster.

Other support: In presentations of the Campaign to churches and ministry groups, a number of additional individuals and organizations have been named as supporters, including Senator Sam Brownback, Senator Rick Santorum, Sean Hannity, Benny Hinn, Gary Bauer, Hank Hanegraaff, Dennis Rainey, the American Family Association, Trinity Broadcasting Network, the Family Research Council and the Traditional Values Coalition.

Criticism[edit]

Mark Cox, a pastor at Bethel Christian Church in the Mission District of San Francisco, told a San Francisco Chronicle reporter that he attended one "Acquire the Fire" event and would never return, commenting: "Battle Cry has a lot of hype with not much substance to it... It [the Acquire the Fire event] left a bad taste in my mouth. My main concern is the effect it has on teenagers. They mistake adrenaline for the Holy Spirit... They're looking for an emotional high rather than a faith that will endure through hard times, not just on the mountaintop."

The Honor Academy[edit]

The Honor Academy is an internship program for high school graduates and college students. The Honor Academy teaches a theology of very strict submission to your authority. According to their teachings, even if you don't agree with your authority figure's decisions, you must submit to them and obey them because God has placed them in your life. To disobey your authority is to disobey God. The director of the Honor Academy is Dave Hasz. In September 2010, Hasz was exposed serving cat food to its interns.[7]

However, there has been much criticism of the Honor Academy that sheds light on how they treat the children.[8] Several reports testify that Teen Mania has covered up several sexual harassment scandals.[9] Teen Mania leadership has even attempted to cast demons out of those who are exhausted by the exercise regimen[10], question leadership[11], or have homosexual feelings.

ESOAL[edit]

"Emotionally Stretching Opportunity of a Lifetime" KLTV did an investigation into the life of interns in ESOAL.[12][13] Activities in ESOAL are meant to provide spiritual awakening, which includes sleep deprivation, crawling through the mud, rolling down a hill until you vomit - all done in the name of Jesus.

Director Jon Hasz says, "We don't think of ourselves as a boot camp," but the environment around ESOAL speaks differently. ESOAL has a military connection to it: camo fatigues; leadership structure of sergeant, lieutenant, general, commander, etc.; the interns answer with "Sir, yes sir!"; the interns ring a bell to quit, Navy Seals style; they say, "this is based on Navy Seals' hell week." They use the slogan "It Pays to Be a Winner and You Are a Loser." The Honor Academy recently claimed they would stop using it, but this phrase can still be found on t-shirts.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Ron Luce's Holy War by Sunsara Taylor, May 28th, 2006, Revolution
  2. Bill Sherman. Financial woes force Teen Mania to shut down. Tulsa World.
  3. Ron Luce admits Teen Mania is finished. World Magazine.
  4. Teen Mania is Officially Dead, 20 December 2015.
  5. Teen Christians campaign against pop culture by Christiane Amanpour, Julie O'Neill and Taylor Gandossy, August 23rd, 2007, CNN.
  6. Derrick, J.C. (18 December 2015). "Ron Luce admits Teen Mania is finished". World (Asheville, NC: World News Group). "'After talking with our board members and pastoral leadership at Gateway [church in Southlake, Texas], we have decided that the season of Teen Mania as an organization has come to a time of conclusion,' Luce said [...]." 
  7. The David Hasz Cat Food Scandal! Teen Mania Watch, September 24th, 2010 Blogger
  8. Recovering Alumni My Teen Mania Experience
  9. Niki's Story By Recovering Alumni, May 12, 2010, Recovering Alumni
  10. C.R.’s Story: Honor Academy of the Ozarks Part 1 by Recovering Alumni, April 27, 2010, Recovering Alumni
  11. [1] by Recovering Alumni, April 13, 2010, Recovering Alumni
  12. A look inside Teen Mania: ESOAL by Morgan Chesky, September, 21, 2010, ABC KLTV
  13. KLTV: TEEN MANIA's ESOAL