Rod Parsley does religious business surrounded by cornfields a few miles Southeast of Columbus, Ohio in an immense hexagon-shaped building with a sharp spire sticking up from its center. World Harvest Church looks like an oversized candy dish with a lift-off lid in the middle of acres of parking lots. The county appraiser lists its assessed valuation of land and buildings at $27 million, but like other Christian Zionists, it pays not a dime of taxes on it.
Project Strait Gate leader Ted McClung was legally prepared with the plat map of the property, else Rod Parsley’s crew of off-duty policemen in blue and white uniforms might have pushed our demonstration into the eight-foot high corn across the road.
Few attendees stopped, this being a high-speed drive-in church claiming 13,000 members. One exception was a sturdy man in a massive SUV who stayed to exchange views with yours truly (he wanted to speak to our leader). He said he is a member of the church and volunteered that he is a civilian contractor with the US State Department, carrying out assignments in Iraq and “many” other Middle Eastern countries. In other words, he claims to be a mercenary in foreign wars. In fact, he looked and acted a little like Eric Prince of Blackwater fame, and he said he wanted to nail down our purpose there.
I explained that that World Harvest Church is a war enabler and we want the congregation to know that it is apostate, as an eight-foot long sign explains. I asked this self- proclaimed mercenary “Christian” if he had been required to kill anyone in the course of his work. He replied cautiously that he did kill, but only on occasions if “absolutely necessary,” and he declined to tell me details of the killings. Instead, he wanted to engage me in a hypothetical situation.
“What would you do, he asked, if you were guarding a load of food on the way to starving villages and someone started shooting at you from the ditches?”
My response is that it depends on who owns the road he is on and if he had a right to be there in the first place. Finally, what would Jesus say about taking pay to shoot the people in their own ditch? Just whom in Iraq would Jesus kill? I ended by asking, as sincerely as I could muster, if he had considered changing careers. He firmly assured me he had not, and the mercenary (if he really is one) sauntered back to his SUV.
The fact that this man is comfortable in Rod Parsley’s church says a lot about this Christian Zionism! Killing Arabs for a living must not a sin inside World Harvest Church. This is the fruit of Christian Zionism.
It is significant that most “Christians” who stop to talk invariably want to turn the conversation to the secular, worldly questions, and don‘t want to discuss what the New Testament says that contain the words Christ followers’ think Jesus spoke. Their favorite subject is, "When it’s OK to kill humans."
Another inconsistency, church members usually assert that abortion is always wrong, while also believing the deaths of already born Iraqi children are "collateral damage." Only three men and two women, including my newfound ally, Henry Herskovitz, from Ann Arbor, intervened for peace at World Harvest Church. Did the five of us change anything at Rod Parsley’s 13,000 member, tax-exempt, money laundering, political Zionist stronghold?
Yes, this time there can be no doubt we had an instant impact or World Harvest Church because Parsley’s actions telegraphed his guilty conscience. Thirty days before we trekked to Columbus, Rod Parsley was advertising that he could buy the freedom of a slave in Sudan for $45.00 per head, and was actively raising money for this cause. He made a big promotion on one of his weekly TV shows in July about accepting the contribution of a schoolchild who raised the money from her classmates to repatriate one Sudanese slave. At that time, Parsley’s website was sprinkled with pleas for money to free slaves. Now these are gone!
The ads and promotion to free slaves disappeared from Parsley's massive website right after our July 29 fax letter to Parsley, which was also emailed in an open letter to many area pastors. In it, we called Rod Parsley’s bluff and told him we know his slave repatriation fundraiser was a fraud. These words were in our letter to him:
“Parsley has, for years, raised donations ‘to free 29,771 slaves in Sudan’ by his own claim, supposedly buying them from slave traders and setting them free. But the evidence and first hand testimony since as early as 2002 have overwhelming refuted that there is any organized slave trade in Sudan, and reveals that supposed ‘slave reparations’ are largely fund raising photo-ops that benefited armed revolution in Sudan.”
By the time we arrived at World Harvest Church on August 10 just two weeks later, solicitations for slave repatriation had evaporated except for one line in a YouTube posted ad quoted above. Project Strait Gate calls this progress!
It is important that we make it clear; We Hold These Truths is not in the business of saving Rod Parsley’s attendees from having their pockets picked. Nevertheless, we do not want them to be deceived on matters of life and death. We want them to remove themselves from a false and apostate theology that is abhorrent to Jesus Christ because it enables killing.
We wonder how many of those who drove by has contributed money to free slaves, and, we hope that they will ask Parsley why he suddenly dropped this "mission."