Teen Mania has long been accused of creating an elitist attitude in its Honor Academy interns. This complaint predates this website by a wide margin and is made by many pastors and parents across the country who have to deal with the interns once they leave Garden Valley. Interns are taught to feel superior to other Christians – especially anyone who “lives in compromise” by listening to secular music, watching movies, holding the incorrect theology or worship practice, etc. This is especially difficult when interns are trying to re-integrate back into their home churches in the outside world.
This attitude comes straight from the top – in his sermons, Ron Luce repeatedly denounces non-Teen Mania style Christians as “namby-pamby, “frozen chosen,” “cold,” “weak,” and “dead.” While Teen Mania Christians are “the cream of the crop,” “on fire” and “elite warriors.”
Recently, Heath Stoner, director of the Honor Academy posted a lengthy article to his blog rebutting the notion that interns are taught to be elitist (essentially by redefining elitism to mean encouraging). I believe a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll let these images from the Teen Mania campus and marketing materials speak for themselves.
This first one is the dormitory doors.
(Image taken 2 years ago).
This is the badge that every intern had to wear to get their meals. I believe this is from 2008.
This screenshot is from a CURRENT Teen Mania’s website. It says “Join an elite group of leaders who are changing the world for Christ. Register today and save.”
Their CURRENT Global Expeditions website says the same thing.
Teen Mania teaches elitism to interns in a million different ways all year long. This simply cannot be refuted. Every single intern I’ve met, with VERY few exceptions, left Teen Mania as either an elitist jerk or despondent because they were treated like crap by elitist jerks. Or both (like me).
Where is Jesus in this?