Sunday, January 21, 2024

#2726: Loren Cunningham

Loren Duane Cunningham is a fundie’s fundie and the founder of the international Christian missionary organization – often described as a “cult”Youth with a Mission (YWAM) and the fundamentalist University of the Nations (not a university in any meaningful sense of the word). Apparently, Cunningham founded the YWAM on the basis of a vision he had in the Bahamas in 1956.


The YWAM remains a proponent of Seven Mountains Ideology and is affiliated with Campus Crusade for Christ. The guiding ideology is, accordingly, dominionist – part of their agenda is “fighting a spiritual battle to redeem the area of government” – although they admittedly tend to spread their agenda through charitable work and aid rather than explicit aggression. Indeed, Cunningham is one of the founders of the radical “Seven Mountains Dominionist” ideology, and he claims (of course) to have received the agenda and his marching orders directly from God.


Cunningham’s University of the Nations is a Bible school that is not accredited by any recognized accreditation body – they do have Forrest Mims on their affiliated faculty roster, which doesn’t exactly help. We can’t say that we’ve bothered to delve deeply into their courses and syllabi, but at least YWAM promotes the existence of demonic possession and the efficacy of faith healing. They are, of course, also virulently anti-gay.


Loren Cunningham’s son David Cunningham, by the way, is a documentary film maker known for deceptive wingnut propaganda pieces.


Diagnosis: Theocratic dingbat with an enormous and often devastating legacy. Probably semi-retired by now, but the damage caused by him and his organization won’t go away anytime soon.


Note: Cunningham recently just went ahead and died, but since we'd already written up his entry before we got the news, we decided to publish it anyway.

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