Evangelical Dark Web is far from the only so-called discernment ministries out there. By definition, any ministry that engages in dividing right from wrong teaching could be classified as a discernment ministry. Stereotypically, discernment ministries call out false teaching and false teachers. Evangelical Dark Web is stereotypical in this regard.
When Evangelical Dark Web began, there were three false teachings in particular we wanted to address in the church: the Prosperity Gospel, the Social Justice Gospel, and the Popularity Gospel which we also call Algorithm Christianity. Since then we have adjusted our goals and methodology to reconcile with what our strengths are.
When we began writing verdicts about (potential) false teachers, we wanted to break new ground. We did not want to write about low hanging fruits. At reader request, it has become apparent that the idea of a low hanging fruit in discernment context needs more explanation.
There are low hanging fruits out there such as but not limited to: Joel and Victoria Osteen, Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, and Andy Stanley.
But what is it that makes them low hanging fruit. For starters, their ideology. These people are obvious false teachers because they are popular Word-of Faith proponents. Thus, their popularity is one of the factors in this label. These people have TV shows, large ministries, and tons of wealth.
Popularity is one factor in a low hanging fruit. However, by some accounts, Tim Keller, John Piper, and John MacArthur are all incredibly popular. Yet none of these men are “low hanging fruits” because they operate in among more theologically serious audiences. Now I use these three examples not because all three are false teachers, MacArthur certainly is a faithful teacher, but because they are three immensely influential men in Christian thought in America and beyond.
They do not operate in clown world like an Episcopalian abortion chaplain. Here lies the second component of a low hanging fruit: clown world. Benny Hinn operates in clown world, not the church. Raphael Warnock operates in clown world. Craig Groeschel does not. He runs the largest church in America and controls the most popular Bible app.
The third component to low hanging fruit is the level of research that has been previously done. Steven Furtick is low hanging fruit. He operates both in the church and clown world, is an obvious false teacher, and on top of that much research has been done pointing this out.
So, in summary, the components of a low hanging fruit are popularity, clown world, and availability of information.
When founding Evangelical Dark Web, I wanted to break new ground on rising threats to the church. Michael Todd would be the best example of this. While he would be a low hanging fruit in late 2022. In early 2020, Mike Todd was relatively obscure and unnoticed by discernment ministries. Yet Evangelical Dark Web broke this new ground which would be seen by many people.
While we have democratized the requesting process a lot, because we trust readers to submit requests of people they don’t see reliable research on. This has led to new research here that you will not see anywhere else.