Charisma (magazine)

Charisma (also known as Charisma + Christian Life) is a monthly Christian magazine based in Lake Mary, Florida, a suburb of Orlando. It is aimed at Pentecostals and charismatics. Its perspective is influenced by the charismatic revivalism and other contemporary streams of charismatic Christianity such as the Toronto Blessing, International House of Prayer, and the Apostolic-Prophetic movement.

Charisma
Charisma magazine cover.jpg
Founder/CEOSteve Strang
FrequencyMonthly
PublisherDr. Steve Greene/Charisma Media
Total circulation
(2009)
275,000[1]
Year founded1975
CountryUnited States
Based inLake Mary, Florida
LanguageEnglish
Websitewww.charismamag.com
ISSN0895-156X

The magazine has drawn criticism for articles seeming to approve of violence against Arabs and Muslims, and Pete Buttigieg for being gay.[2][3]

HistoryEdit

The magazine was founded in 1975 as the members' magazine of Calvary Assembly of God in Winter Park, Florida, with Stephen Strang as publisher. In 1981, Strang bought the magazine for $25,000 and broadened its mission to serve the charismatic movement at large. The first year proved to be difficult, with a $100,000 loss, but the magazine later emerged as the "main magazine of the Christian charismatic movement".[4] Strang continues to run the magazine today through his company, Charisma Media (formerly Strang Communications).

In 1986, Charisma merged with Robert Walker's Christian Life magazine, which had been established in 1948, and Christian Life moved from Du Page County to Charisma's base in Altamonte Springs, Florida.[5][6] The merger, after which Walker served as a mentor to Strang, was described "a step towards bridging the gap between evangelical and charismatic Christians."[7] Charisma became Charisma + Christian Life, and served as the flagship for Strang's organization.[7] The magazine continued to grow over the subsequent years, and by 1997 it had a circulation of 250,000.[8] With the growth of the magazine and Strang Communications, Strang's influence grew as well, to the point where he was listed by Time in 2005 as one of "The 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America".[9]

The content of the magazine is a mixture of news, interviews, "Christian living" features, Bible teaching, and essays by columnists. Regular columnists include Joyce Meyer and Don Colbert.[10]

Notable ReportingEdit

In November 2019, Charisma’s affiliated website, Charisma News, published a report by Taylor Berglund that detailed sexual harassment allegations by multiple women against Christian comedian John Crist (comedian).[11] Berglund’s report was picked up and confirmed by The Washington Post,[12] People[13] and Christianity Today.[14] In publishing, Charisma News made the unusual decision to withhold the identities of its sources and included a lengthy explanation of its rationale for reporting: "To be candid, our editorial team does not relish being in this position. We sifted through and gathered information for months before deciding to move forward with the story. Though the allegations against Crist are not criminal, we believe they are newsworthy for three reasons. We believe pastors and leaders who book Crist at their ministry events need to know the person they're signing. We believe leaders who make Christianity part of their public persona—whether or not they are formally in ministry—should be held to a higher standard. And above all, we believe the body of Christ must police itself and has an obligation to protect the innocent and vulnerable among us."[15]

Berglund later told Slate magazine: "There’s an unfortunately large group of believers who tend to instinctively side with the perpetrator and shame or harass the victims online. We decided we wanted to avoid that, and would stake our own outlet’s credibility and reputation on the fact that we believed the women. If anyone was mad about reporting on the allegations, they could be mad at Charisma, not at the individual women who bravely spoke out."[16]

Following the report, Netflix postponed the release of Crist’s comedy special[17] and Christian publisher WaterBrook indefinitely delayed the release of his book.[18]

ControversyEdit

Charisma News has drawn criticism for politically charged articles. One article called for violence against Arabs and Muslims on biblical grounds, and was taken down after criticism.[2][19][20] Another article claimed that Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is “deserving of death” for being gay.[3][21]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Charisma media kit, 2009
  2. ^ a b Lee, Adam. "Why right-wing Christians are actively promoting genocide". Salon. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b Palmer, Ewan. "TOP EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN WEBSITE SAYS PETE BUTTGIEG'S HOMOSEXUALITY MAKES HIM 'DESERVING OF DEATH'". Newsweek. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  4. ^ James D. Davis (August 17, 2000). "25 Years Reporting 'What God is Doing'". Sun Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale, Florida. p. 1.E.
  5. ^ Buursma, Bruce (August 15, 1986). "Magazine gets new home, revitalized approach to youth". Chicago Tribune. p. 5.
  6. ^ Kates, Joan Giangrasse (March 14, 2008). "Robert Walker: 1912 - 2008 - Trailblazing Christian journalist - Magazine founder guided by spirituality". Chicago Tribune. p. 11.
  7. ^ a b Lawson-Young, Liz (17 March 2008). "Robert Walker: Beyond Paper and Ink". Christianity Today. Retrieved January 7, 2010.
  8. ^ Warren, Mindy (April 12, 1997). "Spreading the gospel - Couple believe time is right for African-American Christian magazine". Arlington Morning News. p. 8A.
  9. ^ "Stephen Strang". Time. 2005. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
  10. ^ "Columnist Bio". Charisma. Archived from the original on February 23, 2009. Retrieved January 7, 2010.
  11. ^ Berglund, Taylor. "John Crist Cancels 2019 Tour Dates After Reports of Sexting, Harassment, Manipulation". Charisma News. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  12. ^ Pulliam Bailey, Sarah. "John Crist, a popular Christian comedian, cancels tour after sexual harassment allegations". The Washington Post. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  13. ^ Stone, Natalie. "Christian Comedian John Crist Apologizes and Admits to 'Addiction Struggles' as He's Accused of Sexual Misconduct". People. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  14. ^ Silliman, Daniel. "Comedian John Crist Cancels Tour Over Sexual Harassment Allegations". Christianity Today. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  15. ^ Berglund, Taylor. "John Crist Cancels 2019 Tour Dates After Reports of Sexting, Harassment, Manipulation". Charisma News. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  16. ^ Graham, Ruth (8 November 2019). "A Christian Comedian's Alleged Sexual Misconduct Prompts a Reckoning in the Evangelical Press". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  17. ^ Porter, Rick. "Netflix Pulls Christian Comic's Stand-Up Special After Sexual Misconduct Allegations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  18. ^ McFarlan Miller, Emily (7 November 2019). "John Crist's Netflix special, book on hold amid sexual harassment allegations". Religion News Service. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  19. ^ Mosbergen, Dominique (8 September 2014). "Christian News Site Publishes Op-Ed Calling For Violence Against Muslims". HuffPost. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  20. ^ Belt, David D. (28 July 2016). "Anti-Islam Discourse in the United States in the Decade after 9/11: The Role of Social Conservatives and Cultural Politics". Journal of Ecumenical Studies. 51 (2): 210–223. doi:10.1353/ecu.2016.0016. ISSN 2162-3937. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  21. ^ Buncombe, Andrew (15 February 2020). "Pete Buttigieg 'deserving of death' for being gay, says top evangelical Christian website". The Independent. Retrieved 6 May 2020.

External linksEdit