Title: More than enough: Who are Destiny's allies? Credit: Craig Young Comment Wednesday 21st July 2004 - 12:00pm1090368000 Article: 341 Rights
On their website, Destiny Church's "Enough is Enough" rally - which aims to get thousands of people into Parliament's grounds to protest Civil Unions - lists four co-sponsors for the gathering. Who are these individuals and their organisations? I couldn't find references to David Vaka and his "Breakthrough Church," but here are details about the other three participants. Of the remaining three rally participants, Paul de Jong of the Christian Life Centre, Mt Eden, Auckland, leaves the largest online paper trail. However, none of it is all that political, and de Jong appears to be more concerned with Contemporary Christian Music/fundiepop and matters of church management and administration than political issues. De Jong came under fire from anti-Pentecostal Wellington fundamentalist Chris Salt, who runs a website that slags off the strange American TV preacher Benny Hinn, accusing him of unorthodox theological views. He slammed a list of several Pentecostal fundamentalist ministers and churches for backing Hinn's tour of New Zealand back in 1998. Hinn is an odd character. I'm sure that he wears polyester, and a rather odd toupee. At least, I hope that isn't his own hair. For a change, I don't blame Salt for his Penty-bashing, as Hinn's meetings are filled with histrionics and fainting fundamentalists in bad outfits. Anyway, it gets interesting when one reads that de Jong is chummy with one Peter Mortlock (City Impact Churches, Auckland). De Jong also helped to establish the national fundamentalist Vision New Zealand Network in September 2002. Julie Belding (Daystar, Christian Democrat list candidate, ex-NZ Baptist editor) noted that Graeme Lee initiated Vision New Zealand Network and Auckland Baptist Tabernacle's Bruce Patrick was another associated figure. De Jong is also involved with the Mandate Conference, a male-bonding get-together reminiscent of the fundamentalist Promise Keepers exercises. As for Mortlock, he made the following remark in Auckland's North Shore Times (11 March, 2004): "I understand that there are a lot of other religions, like Buddhists or Muslims, who have other beliefs, but they should leave their gods behind when they come into this country." Fine. That should be worth some column inches, but it doesn't indicate a particularly judicious sense of strategic nous. Trevor Yaxley runs a Snells Beach (Mahurangi) based Private Training Institute that has some experience in teaching media presentation skills, as well as running Auckland's Family Television Network cable service, a home for the intellectually disabled, and an early childhood care centre. Oh, and according to the “Vision,” Lifeway College's newsletter, Yaxley had a strange dream about a black horse and ruminations about grace, judgement, and a five year period before God gets us for not obeying fundamentalist dogma. Of all of the above, Yaxley is the only other one who has a website, and was also involved in the establishment of Vision New Zealand in September 2002. None of these characters appear to have any experience in practical politics, although Yaxley and Tamaki obviously have media presentation skills. It will be interesting to see how this lack of practical political experience and their overt Pentecostalism play outside Parliament. Moreover, there is nothing on their websites to indicate any practical involvement with prior antigay politics, apart from their association with Vision New Zealand, which has played a passive role in the anti-CUB/RSRB campaigns to date. Recommended Reading: Destiny Churches/New Zealand's "Enough is Enough" anti-CUB rally, Parliament, 23rd August. Lifeway College, Auckland. Vision New Zealand Craig Young - 21st July 2004    
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