Saturday, January 21, 2006

The 50 Most Influential Christians In America

By: Angela Lee Price

T.D. Jakes spoke to an audience of more than 19,000 at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky on May 6, 2005, Kentucky Derby weekend.

The blogosphere is buzzing about the recently released Church Report list of 50 most influential Christians in America. According to their website, The Church Report "is a national magazine that is distributed to over 40,000 senior pastors and Christian leaders from across the United States." Jason Christy is the founding publisher and editor in chief, and well-known researcher Dr. George Barna author, pastor and founder of The Barna Group is one of several staff writers.

Here is the notorious top ten and other notables:

  1. T.D. Jakes
  2. Joel Osteen
  3. Billy Graham
  4. Rick Warren
  5. Bill Hybels
  6. Paul Crouch
  7. Joyce Meyers
  8. President George Bush
  9. James Dobson
  10. Chuck Colson

Others on the list:

Eddie Long (18), Robert Schuller (19), John Maxwell (27), Bennie Hinn (30), Creflo Dollar (36), Paula White (37), Ron Parsley (38), Brian McLaren (42), and Dr. Phil McGraw (50).

The Church Report contributes its list of "Christian" influentials to nominations of 150,000 Christians across America and around the world. It must be pointed out, however, that many of the people on the list have written columns for the magazine, therefore, the magazine has to owe its success, to some degree, to the contributions of these high-profile columnists.

Sadly, the list speaks powerfully to the horrible effect the Word of Faith (Prosperity Gospel), Signs and Wonders, Purpose Driven, Emergent Church, and other movements have had on Christianity. Moreover, this list should serve as a wake-up call to African Americans as people of color, the poor and the elderly are disproportionately victimized by "profits" on the list who would have you believe that all roads lead to Heaven, that Jesus was rich, that you are a god, that you should name and claim your blessing and healing, and that you should engage in possibility thinking.

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