Peter Youngren – “the cesspool of mudslinging on Christian blog sites”

This was posted on a blog at World Impact Ministries by the owner of GraceTV.

Internet Liars: Peter Youngren comments

Written by Peter Youngren on August 30th 2011

The Internet has become a haven for anonymous liars, who operate without accountability. The lies about myself, our church and ministries are too many to itemize. To list them would dignify that which is inherently evil. Grant it, a few statements are by people, who probably have good intentions, but they are just as ignorant and untrue nevertheless. Others make serious lies, which rise to the level of defamation. The worst lies are half- truths; facts are twisted and motivations are imagined.

I do not know who the people are that attack our ministry. Some deceptively pretend to be current or past staff members. Other engage in conversations with themselves, making an entry under one name, only to comment on their own entry under a different name, making it seem there is a big interest in their ideas. Blatant lies by anonymous writers can go unchallenged for years.

I am writing this because people ask me why I don’t respond. To me, it is just so unscriptural to respond to anonymous accusers. When the sons of Korah accused Moses, or when Shimei taunted and mocked David we know the names of those accusers. Moses and David were willing to meet their accusers; that’s my attitude, and the attitude of any man of God.

The only exception to the above anonymity is a pastor of a small church in Europe. I know who he is, and he writes under many different headlines and names. This man has dedicated himself to spread lies. I have tried to speak with him, but to no avail. It is so sad to see a man once on fire for Jesus become obsessed, trying to vindicate himself, by attacking others.

I have many faults and failures, just like everyone else, including the great heroes of the Bible and of Church history. God’s grace has enabled me to be transparent about those flaws before my church and before spiritual friends, like our partners. But you won’t see me share my heart in cesspool of mudslinging on Christian blog sites. Jesus said something about where you share your pearls.

This lying spirit is not new; it has always been at work against the Gospel, through evil rumors, distortions and false accusations. Jesus was accused of being a deceiver (John 7:12), and possessed by Beelzebub, the devil. Paul didn’t fare any better. He was called a “plague”, a “creator of dissension”, and “a ringleader” (Acts 24:5).

Earlier this year veteran broadcaster, David Mainse, spoke on television about bloggers that lie, “You get on the blogs and the blogs are always lies. Half truths are lies. One of the reasons that gossip, backbiting, is in the same list in the Scripture as murder and adultery … because if you don’t have all the facts—this is why you have editorial controls where there are checks and balances. That’s why an editorial board is in a newspaper. Checks and balances. But on the blogs—I treat a blog just like I treat the rags that are at the checkout counter at the grocery store. I don’t read them. I refuse to read them. They are half-truths. They have not been well researched. The have no editorial control. There are no checks or balances on these, so they are not reliable.” Amen to that.

In one way I am encouraged when I see liars so active in and around our ministry. I know the one, who is really interested that our ministry would suffer setback and loss, the devil.
Meanwhile Grace Television is reaching people, and in the next 9 weeks we have 3 mega Gospel Campaigns that will reach hundreds of thousands with the Gospel.
- Peter Youngren

Criticism can hurt. It can be difficult to read negative comments, observations or facts about your organization, choices, leadership or behavior.
The question I’m asking myself is why would Peter Youngren (World Impact Ministries/Grace TV) chose now to express his feelings and thoughts about what is online? What has been happening with his organization, and in his life to warrant his blog post? Why and why now?
The next question I have is what lies are online about Youngren, his church and his ministries?

The choice to respond to critics in a personal one.  Management of an organization’s online presence is varied, the decision to respond, and the ‘how’ of a response is based on a leaders personality and his or her management teams style, as well as other factors such has how criticism is affecting the day to day of the operation, staff moral and the bottom line.

This Youngren post is aching for a fisking. I’ll start with what Mr. Youngren has said that I can agree with.

More below the fold.

1) Yes, people lie online, often anonymously.  People lie off line.

2) Do anonymous online liars operate without accountability? Not always, but yes, they can and do. Different countries have different laws regulating public speech and accountability depends on who or what the lies are directed at.

3) “Grant it, a few statements are by people, who probably have good intentions, but they are just as ignorant and untrue nevertheless.” While uniformed or partially informed expressed opinion  can spring from different motives, sometimes partially formed opinions and ideas can be ignorant or untrue.

4) “Blatant lies by anonymous writers can go unchallenged for years.” Yes, they can, the decision to leave things be or challenge is in the hands of the person or organization lies are directed toward.

6) Sock puppeting (writing under different names, responding to your own comments) is a problem online. People do represent themselves as something/someone they are not; conning occurs online and off.

7) “Jesus said something about where you share your pearls.” Yes, He did. Matthew 7:6

8 Yes, on January 3, 2011 David Mainse went on 100 Huntley Street and said what Peter Youngren says he said.  I not only transcribed David Mainse remarks, I reached out to the few others who have bothered to blog about Crossroads, for counsel.  I also wrote Crossroads. You can see for yourself: David Mainse of Crossroads slams blogs – the blogs are always lies. One salient point has been omitted by Mr. Youngren. David Mainse clearly stated  he does not read blogs. That’s his choice. He then rendered his opinion.

9) “I know the one, who is really interested that our ministry would suffer setback and loss, the devil.” The bible does address the role of Satan.

Peter Youngren is not addressing critics or criticism. He is addressing accusers. To him they seem to be one and the same.  He presents a  blanket belief, all or nothing thinking with a tiny caveat to ignorance. On his blog off all places. Ironic. He makes no distinction between criticism, critics, opinion or query; all falls into the camp of other/enemy expression.  He perceives himself as a victim of copious online hate and misunderstanding and wants the reader to agree. The implication is clear: even well-intentioned ignorant people online are evil, compared to Youngren, Moses, David, Jesus and Paul.
This was a laugh out loud read: ” the cesspool of mudslinging on Christian blog sites.” Convenient. Call everyone liars, don’t identify or address these lies and you too can be a victim. It is not evil to respond to accusers or liars. Lies are evil.  Satan gets blamed for a lot of things we are reluctant to take responsibility for.

World Impact Ministries, Grace TV and Peter Youngren do not get much attention online, either positive or negative.  Hittin’ teh Google  for 2011 I found a news article from Bali on a crusade, an article on the Finnish police investigation out of Sweden, three blog posts bouncing off that issue, some chatter at Topix in an ongoing thread, a discussion in a pentecostal forum in Finland on the relationship between Youngren and employee Taina Kuusiluoma and Youngren’s latest divorce. There is nothing in broadcast trade magazines because nothing much is new with Grace TV.  There are two  people online I’ve found over the past couple of years who do not like Peter Youngren.  They make no bones about what they think and feel. They don’t like his theology, they don’t like his behavior, and if he took a long walk off a short pier into cold shark infested waters, it would make their day.

The reality is World Impact Ministries and Grace TV are under discussed, barely noticed online, because the niche audience is small. Even Peter Youngren with the disarray of his personal life, his leadership decisions,  and his projects and plans, isn’t nearly as accused and attacks in reality as he projects. He seems to be feeling some strong feelings, and fires in whatever direction he can at a very large group of people, some of whom are probably viewers and perhaps even donors.

Television is a brutal business. It is a glaringly public space, and in taking ownership of a station, Youngren has opened himself to a different level of scrutiny online that he shows himself with this blog post to be under equipped to manage.

I thought I would be angry or irritated as I read the first few sentences of Internet liars.
David Mainse on camera silliness in January got my dander up, but Youngren’s post is just sad.

There are numerous articles online for charities, non-profits, ministries and businesses about helpful and productive ways to respond to online criticism. . Phil Cooke, who wrote the book on televangelists for televangelists (The Last TV Evangelist Why the next generation couldn’t care less about religious media and why it matters)  begs his broadcasting professional readers to deal with ambiguity and criticism and the loss of absolute control in a changing world.  He gives solid advice on how to navigate online criticism.

Youngren and Mainse have done Canadian Christian television no favours with their outbursts this year. Both rants are in a nutshell, unprofessional.  In villifying people online, which a majority of their viewers are, both broadcasters harmed themselves. I cringe at their contempt for people who help keep them and their shows on air.

Painting others who go online to discuss your leadership, personal behavior and public/private persona;  as anonymous accusers, liars, defamers, attackers is bizarre to me. Lumping in anyone online with sock-puppeters and trolls, and likening their opinions, feelings and discussion as par with Satan himself, is just bizarre.

I have no idea how many sock puppets Youngren’s web administrator deals with. As someone who writes frequently about Grace TV, I can tell you how many I’ve dealt with.
None.  People who have corresponded with me are not pretending to be former staff members.  If I was a current staff member, I’d look at that statement as a threat, an attempt at intimidation.
Shooting the messenger can be an effective way to silence critics or even none critics. Ad hominem can work well in closed environments such as the workplace, a family, or a church. Scapegoating  is a power tactic, to put blame on a group for the sins of a few.
We don’t know who the few liars may be (if they exist) because Mr. Youngren has made a choice common in a scapegoating scenario to remain vague and non-specific. In medical terminology it’s call displacement and projection. The feelings underneath scapegoating are frustration, aggression and hostility.  Scapegoating frees the person engaging in it from accountability for their own feelings, decisions and behavior.

And perhaps that’s where my sadness at such a sorry blog post from Youngren comes in. I and I think others who are concerned about religious broadcasting in Canada,  broadcast personalities behavior on and off camera, business practices and convenient theology, openly and clearly  reject dehumanization and bullying. It doesn’t have to be this way. Religious broadcasters can learn that other mediums are not the camp of the enemy.
Identifying and naming the type of criticism correctly, staying calm, positive and direct is part of  successful cross media communication.  I respect  Mr. Youngren for approaching his colleague. I also respect walking away when the situation is too toxic.

Here is how it works Mr. Youngren. I have people online and off  who I am accountable to regarding BDBO. They know me personally, or they have dealt with me for years online. They are free to approach me anytime to correct. If a mistake or wrong attitude is brought to my attention, it is acknowledged and publicly corrected with an apology if necessary. If you believe I have wronged you in the “cesspool of mudslinging on Christian blog sites,” you have the right, and I believe the responsibility of response –  the contact button is on the header.

Update: This might as well go up somewhere now.  For quite some time there were rumours that employee Taina Kuusiluoma was dating Peter Youngren.

After the divorce of Peter and Roxanne Youngren, was announced in May 2011, people began to comment on the engagement of Youngren and Kuusiluoma. Recently commenters have said there was going to be a wedding (his 3rd) with various dates mentioned. I haven’t posted because the information wasn’t sourced. Commenter Ronald Tate grabbed a screenshot of the couple in the Grace TV prayer centre from the September 13/11 Encounter program.  Ms. Kuusiluoma  is wearing an engagement ring.

About Bene Diction

Have courage for the great sorrows, And patience for the small ones. And when you have laboriously accomplished your tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
This entry was posted in General, Grace TV, Peter Youngren, World Impact Ministries. Bookmark the permalink.

136 Responses to Peter Youngren – “the cesspool of mudslinging on Christian blog sites”

  1. False witness - deceived says:

    PY claimed in his announcement of his marriage to T. Kuusiluoma on his website, that he believed God had brought him to this decision and guided them together.

    There are only two possibilities:

    1) PY is seriously deceived, living in constant denial and decpetion.

    2) He is just blatently lying – giving a false witness about Gods guidence.

    How would you like to have this man as your pastor, who divorced his second
    wife Roxanne, who was (still is), in poor health, suffering and ill.
    Exchanged her for a younger model more suitable for the public image.
    Only a really merciless, selfcentered jerk could do that.

  2. Mad scientist says:

    Peter Youngren is concerned now that he might lose his livelihood. So every chance he gets ardently telling people to not listen to controversial views/opinions/ideas etc. Using even verses from the Bible like Proverbs 14:15. Smart people have realized that TV preachers are a joke, with Internet they are openly analyzed, been seen for what they really are. No body gives a flying rip about them anymore. They are getting nervous.

  3. Hiwot Afework says:

    My question is, when Youngren asserts that people are lying about him, is he implying that he is Innocent or somethng?
    These people are jokers! After hanging out with Youngren and his ilk for few years, people to start pick up their @zz#!ness.!!!!

    One of his former associates, AKA, Genene Medja, and his insecure wife are prime examples of this fact how they have become mereicless & ruthless over they years as result being indoctrinated by crap of “Dr, Youngren”.

    Mr Medja and his wife were never that great anyway. But the few years of being under the influence of the Youngren spill made them even more cruel, inhumane, mean spirited!!!! Now Medja and his wife opened up a Church to perpetuate the same crap!!!! That is the legacy of Youngren!!!

    I have never met anyone who is kind, generous, good- hearted person who is former or current employee of Youngren . ( Although currently I have no contact with that ministry) They are all ill will malicious fuckers!!!.

    Oh yea, we are so jealous of their crappy, hate filled, loveless and selfish life right? that is why we are talking about them on the Internet. Oh brother, It is getting better!

  4. STEVE says:

    I think this doesn’t make sense at all.
    If it’s not positve,it’s not the answer!
    The motive is not of GOD!
    Just leave the Man of GOD to GOD.
    We all deserve GOD’s forgiveness.

  5. Hagere says:

    Positivity is overrated. Expecting us to be positive, and suppress our feelings, after our guts have been ripped out by these mobs is denying our humanity. It is my observation that our humanness has a way of getting out of control when we attempt to suppress it, and when we try to be something we’re not. Suppressing our feelings & acting positive is toxic for our souls ( psychologically speaking). So, it is ok to be bitter, angry, cynical and etc… Those are natural human emotions and they are there for a reason.
    I am all about allowing myself to feel negative emotions; what if, sometimes love means shouting, kicking butt, feeling all the emotions of just being human and yes sometimes hating the things people do to us. Peter Youngren and his associates are very good at in shaming people ( usually in a very subtle way ) who are honest and real. They favour people who walk around with thick masks on.

  6. MPS says:

    After a battle, warriors return home from the field of war, and the triumphant army sing songs of jubilation and joy. (Think David in the Bible, who returned from battle dancing with all his might.) As new covenant believers we do not fight flesh and blood. We fight for the love of God to be revealed to the world! This past week Pastor Peter and the TICC missions team fought for love and saw VICTORY in Ambon, Indonesia! Untold thousands received Jesus’ love and grace!

    Now this Sunday, February 26, Pastor Peter makes a triumphant return from Indonesia. He will share a message of hope and favor for Toronto…. for YOU…. at both the 10:30AM & 2:30PM service.

    Join the celebration of Jesus’ life this Sunday at the Toronto International Celebration Church at 190 Railside Rd. Join the victory party! Expect something good will happen to you!

    Blessings!

    Nathan Thurber

  7. Marina says:

    Yes everyone! Join the celebration of Jesus’ life this Sunday …Nathan Thurber’s salary depends on it!

  8. brano says:

    More Christian bashing….More Sarcasm….HO HUM…. Richard Dawkins, Famous Atheist, Not Entirely Sure God Doesn’t Exist

  9. Tim Thibault says:

    Brano, what the hell has your comment got to do with the post? Why all the personal attacks? If you’ve got a problem with someone commenting here, then say exactly what’s on your mind so it can be exposed. Enough of your, as you call it, “drivel”.

  10. Marina says:

    I think mr. brano would side with the liar, hypocrite, thief, child pornographer, con artist, drug lord, unrepentant murderer, over the atheist, as long as that lying, hypocritical, thieving, child porno-graphing, wife abusing, conning, drug lording, unrepentant murderer was a “CHRISTIAN”!

  11. Bene D says:

    Marina: Play nice. Please see the site policy.

  12. Marina says:

    Not sure what line I have crossed Bene D. I would have made the same comment about Thurber even when I was an ardent, god-fearing Christian. The truth isn’t always nice. According to the bible, the gospel is not to be used a business or a career which is what Youngren and his ilk have made it. Point is, brano seems to discredit everything and anything coming from someone who does not give his beliefs the respect he thinks they deserve. I was not calling him any of those names, just that he would rather side with a Christ-professing thug than an upright unbeliever.

  13. DNA says:

    @Mad Scientist “Peter Youngren is concerned now that he might lose his livelihood. So every chance he gets ardently telling people to not listen to controversial views/opinions/ideas etc. ”

    Thank you. Factual, timely information will ultimately herald the demise of con artists like Youngren, however millions of Christian leaders worldwide have a vested interest in perpetuating ignorance. Most pastors fear their congregation becoming more knowledgeable. Hence the infamous creed “Touch not thine anointed …”

    We witness this viral fear quite often in the blog when certain frequent bloggers resort to insults, or ad homeinum attacks rather than a detailed and intelligent response. It is quite frustrating to those who spend many hours researching and fact checking before submitting a post which is brushed aside with verbal abuses.

    You are absolutely correct when you state they are getting nervous.

  14. brano says:

    …Please don’t play dumb so easy @ Marina{Not sure what line I have crossed Bene D.}…and Please,the feeble excuses are not needed,Maybe just breath and listen…

  15. Tim Thibault says:

    Brano, I have no doubt Marina has made an accurate observation based on your continued postings. You are also doing a good job of proving her observation. Carry on…

  16. Bene D says:

    Marina:

    I know you weren’t calling Brano those things.
    Galatians came to mind – and I think your point was just because someone claims to be a Christian doesn’t mean they are a Christian. You don’t get an argument from me that WIM and Grace are businesses.

    You didn’t specifically name anyone, I’ve been dealing with nonsense elsewhere and I’m tired.

    Okay fine, ignore the play nice.

  17. Marina says:

    Hey no problem. I can fully relate – and Bene D – do get some rest. ;)

  18. brano says:

    Thanks Bene D….Galations sums things up rather well!

  19. AtheistAtBirth says:

    I personally love strawberry galation.

  20. brano says:

    “The highest and most beautiful things in life are not to be heard about, nor read about, nor seen but, if one will, are to be lived.”
    mmz102
    Soren Kierkegaard quote

  21. AtheistAtBirth says:

    @Brano

    Please let us know the instant Richard Dawkins converts – Okay?

  22. brano says:

    @AtheistAtBirth….will do along with Carl Sagan,Christopher Hitckins…..etc

  23. AtheistAtBirth says:

    @Brano. How do you intend for Christopher Eric Hitchens to be converted exactly?

  24. brano says:

    Who knows,maybe he had a death bed experience,…Besides,God takes care of these things amigo

  25. AtheistAtBirth says:

    LMAO … troll.

  26. brano says:

    Is Eternity funny,my priend?

  27. AtheistAtBirth says:

    Only if I had to spend it with you …

  28. AtheistAtBirth says:

    @Brano

    Bene does not appreciate these pointless exchanges. Please just go away and study Mormon baptism of the dead or something useful. I have already humiliated you and want no more to do with this subject.

  29. brano says:

    @AtheistAtBirth its all good my priend,
    Be of good cheer!

  30. Hagere says:

    You know what, TV Preachers, politicians, corporations and and religious leaders pay consultants big money to teach them how to push our buttons… Don’t truse these big shots

  31. Hagere says:

    You know what, TV Preachers, politicians, corporations and and religious leaders pay consultants big money to teach them how to push our buttons… Don’t trust these big shots

  32. Tim Balazs says:

    Some of my best times were at Ticc before I moved to Markham with my wife and kids!
    We changed churches to attend a church closer to our home!
    For a while I tried to attend the two churches but it became difficult!
    For about five years we were very active at Ticc!
    I made many good friends while at Ticc and had grown spiritually through the fellowship and teaching there!
    I was mentored and discipled by Peter Karl Youngren the son of Peter Youngren! Even though he is about six years younger than myself!
    I have to say I find it sad when Christians attack other Christians! This is all too common these days!
    Brothers and sisters we will all come before God one day and give an account to him about how we conducted ourselves on earth! That is even more true for church leaders!
    We will all be treated in the same measure by God in the measure we treated others in this life! If don’t forgive then how can we expect God to forgive us? If we are hostile to other Christians and attack them then shouldn’t we be treated the same?
    Peter Youngren has had his own share of difficulties as many of you are aware but to keep being mean spirited isn’t going to help anyone reading these posts! And it probably will have no positive impact on anyone!
    The Bible says to love others as you love yourself! So even people that have fallen or made big mistakes need our love! They dont need a beating from us! We need to show the Love by which the world will know we are Christians!!! If you are a Christian you know what I am talking about!
    If you are not a Christian ….well I hope this site has not turned you off! Just look to Jesus if you are bothered by things on a site like this! People are people but Jesus is Gods son! Look to Jesus to see who He is and what he did for you and me! We all need his forgiveness and Love in our lives! Jesus gave himself for us! The ultimate sacrifice!
    The Church needs to stop and think about the damage it is causing by beating up a brother even if he has had many many problems! God will hold everyone accountable!
    Church please remember the Youngrens in your prayers for their restoration and God’s protection! I really hope to see all the Youngrens in glory one day!
    I honestly wish Gods blessing on them and may The Lord always keep them!
    I still to this day consider Peter Karl Youngren(PKY) to have had a huge impact on my walk with the Lord at a time I personally needed it the most!
    I will always remember my time at TICC with great fondness!!!
    God bless
    Tim Balazs

  33. Bene Diction says:

    Hi Tim:

    Peter Youngren (the son) is not his father, and is not the one with problems.

    If you are close with him, you may want to ask questions about his dad’s takeover of TICC, his third marriage, the issues in Finland etc.

  34. MPS says:

    Peter Youngren is often described by those who supposedly know him as being truly passionate about taking the Gospel to the world, especially the so-called unreached nations but I think a lot of that passion has to do with the fact that Peter Youngren learned a long time ago that its a great way to raise funds not just for the ministry but as well for his personal bank account. The tithes PY received from TICC certainly DID NOT pay for all the bills at the church before he moved Grace TV to The Toronto Pavillion; therefore, now more than ever he needs to raise money regularly not to just take the Gospel to the world but so that the personally, cozy, profitable niche he created for himself in the name of Jesus will stay profitable. In simplistic terms preaching The Gospel is his JOB (learned that from his mother) the passion however is not for seeing people saved but for personally becoming rich from it which in his view is not wrong and it is this cold disconnect and not-so-passionate view that is the source from which all of his failings and shortcomings stem from.

  35. Dan Lirette says:

    Knowing Shawn Annis personally and knowing the details of his departure, I can state with absolute certainty that he remains friends with Mr. Youngren; there’s no conspiracy etc. While I’m no Youngren fan and wouldn’t support his ministry for any reason, I do not at the same time associate Shawn Annis’ name with any of the PY garbage.

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