Question: Has anyone written anything about the secular acquisitions [of Christian companies] and the impact this has on Christian publishing? Why would Christians allow this to happen in the first place?
Response: These once solid Christian publishers are in the hands of individuals who have lost the vision of the founders. Paul tells us that “the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith... (1 Tm 6:10). Enticed by the offered purchase price, the company is sold. Rupert Murdoch and other secular publishers have recognized the potential for profit in “Christian” materials.
The dangers associated with such takeovers are clear. “There is something going on there that is saying we need to turn a greater profit at a risk of compromising our beliefs as Christians,” said John Thompson, vice president of marketing for Broadman & Holman Publishing, an arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. HarperCollins, he noted, also publishes books offensive to evangelicals, such as The New Joy of Gay Sex (Kirkpatrick, “Evangelical Sales Are Converting Publishers,” New York Times, Arts, 6/8/02). Rupert Murdoch recently acquired Thomas Nelson (TN) publishers, who in 2006 had printed the book Hot Moms under the TN imprint, Naked Inc. (See TBC Extra, www.thebereancall.org/node/2779 for a brief history on TN Publishers).
TN and other publishers had already begun offering less-than-biblical materials. A Christian literary agent wrote positively of how TN had published “…Christianity lite versions of material presented on Moody’s Radio Network by the Minirth/Meier team” (http://stobbeliterary.com/the-myth-about-crossover-books.html). We have addressed the psychoheresy of the now defunct partnership of Minirth/Meier in past issues of the newsletter (see May 1995 TBC).
Christian writer Jim Fletcher noted in a 2009 article, “In the 1990s...there was a shift in philosophy. Publishers, stores, and distributors began to realize the vast potential for making money....To appeal to the broadest possible audience, works began to creep in that were decidedly not aligned with the Bible” (http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?m=20090801).
Although some good materials are still being published, there is a growing list of unbiblical materials, such as Blomberg and Robinson’s How Wide the Divide, published by InterVarsity Press. The authors (a Mormon and an evangelical), seek to find “commonalities” between the two faiths.
Paul warned, “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him” (2 Corinthians:11:4).
For biblical believers, it should be well known that Mormons clearly taught and teach “another Jesus.” Perhaps the most horrendous claim still held by Mormons is that Jesus was the “spirit brother” of Lucifer. The late President Spencer W. Kimball stated: “Long before you were born a program was developed by your creators.... The principal personalities in this great drama were a Father Elohim, perfect in wisdom, judgment, and person, and two sons, Lucifer and Jehovah [Jesus]” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 32-33). One of the LDS General Authorities, Milton R. Hunter taught, “The appointment of Jesus to be Savior of the world was contested by one of the other sons of God. He was called Lucifer…this spirit-brother of Jesus desperately tried to become the Savior of mankind” (The Gospel Through the Ages, p.15, 1945, see also Mormon Doctrine, pp.192, 546-47, 589-90 and Gospel Principles, p.15-16).
As far back as 1985, InterVarsity Press published the booklet One Catholic to Another by Peter Kreeft. The booklet is written in the form of a fictional conversation between Catholics:
Dusty: Why do you go [to Mass], Sonny?
Sonny: Jesus is there.
Dusty: How is he there?
Sonny: He’s really present in the Eucharist and he’s really present in his people. They’re both called the body of Christ, you know.” (p. 8)
In conclusion, though the effect of secular ownership hasn’t fully been felt, there already has been a growing compromise among some Christian publishers. In 1 Corinthians:9:22, Paul wrote, “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” His becoming “all things to all men” never compromised the essentials of the gospel. Rather, in becoming “like” either Jews or Gentiles, he did this “for the gospel’s sake” (v. 23).