Thursday, November 17, 2022

#2590: David Bradshaw

Apart from recent upheavels related to abortion, the traditional Religious Right has arguably been pushed a bit toward the backseat, at least when it comes to media attention, among wingnut actors compared to Qanon-related cryptofascists, hippie nazies, white nationalists and conspiracy theorists (there’s substantial overlap, though). But they’re certainly still a major source of rot and continues to pose an immediate threat to civilization and liberty, especially in light of the reemergence of Christian nationalism in politics.


David Bradshaw, for instance, leads a Virginia-based ministry called Prayer Furnace and is an associate of Lou Engle and Engle’s dominionist movement The Call. Bradshaw is a promoter of “stadium Christianity”, large-scale (stadium) movements to mobilize a massive End Times “harvest” of souls. With Engle, Bradshaw was for instance the organizer the movement Awaken the Dawn, including a 2020 a political (Taliban wingnut) prayer rally in DC whose official goals were to draw some million people to town to bring America “back to God” and wage spiritual warfare against Supreme Court justices who have upheld women’s right to abortion. Some of the project’s affiliated prophets predicted miracles. The event was supposed to involve fifty prayer tents on the National Mall and various stages, all set up for a “Holy Spirit Woodstock”; one may ask what sense of Woodstock they were hoping for.


After concerns were raised about the event in relation to the COVID pandemic, Bradshaw remained firm about the tents; the tent events, according to Bradshaw, werea silver bullet for the move of God in America.” Indeed, the coronavirus itself was part of a “satanic agenda” and ademonic assignment specifically employed to take out Bradshaw’s events and similar dominionist prayer rallies. (Engle, meanwhile, called for a global three-day fast to stop the “demonic force” behind the coronavirus from interfering with his plans for 2020; 2020 was apparently of particular importance – it “has been marked by the Holy Spirit as a year of Stadium Christianity and explosive advance of the Kingdom” – partially because of Bob Jones’s prediction that the year that the Kansas City Chiefs winning the Super Bowl, as they did in 2020, would be a sign of a coming revival.)


Bradshaw is also author of Awaken the Dawn: An Adventure in Hosting Jesus' Presence and Discovering Your Part in the Story, where he lays out the tenets and ambitions of his movement. “What if the presence of God became so real in people’s hearts that it revived the church and ushered in the next Jesus Movement?” it asks. We genuinely wonder who would feel a need to read on to find the answer to that question.


Diagnosis: Though he talks about renewal, we cannot quite pinpoint the novel features of Bradshaw’s approach to things. It’s the same lunatic nonsense as always. But it is popular enough to pose a genuine threat, so we feel the need to cover his tripe, yet again.