Editor’s note: This letter, by Andrew Wertz, senior vice president of Andrew Wommack Ministries and Charis Bible College, is in response to Logan Davis’ column, published by the Colorado Times Recorder on August 24, 2023, titled “Onward Christian Soldiers – A Woodland Park Investigation.” Davis’ response to the letter is included below.
This letter is in response to the opinion article, “DAVIS: Onward Christian Soldiers – A Woodland Park Investigation,” dated August 24, 2023. As a senior executive at Andrew Wommack Ministries and Charis Bible College, I am in a unique position to respond to the allegations made throughout the article.
Writer Logan M. Davis begins by discussing Mr. Andrew Wommack’s so-called “flouting of local health ordinances,” by “pack(ing) the sanctuary at Charis Bible College,” leading to “multiple fatal outbreaks” of “the virus.” Presumably, Davis was referring to COVID.
Using this unsubstantiated nugget, he proceeds to paint a picture of our organization as out of control and out of touch.
Using terms, such as “right-wing” and saying outright that Andrew’s doctrine is “wed to no real theological tradition,” for no clear purpose, he attempts to imply the ministry is fake.
Andrew, his staff, and the student body of Charis are all dedicated to Jesus Christ. That is the very real theological tradition. The fact that Davis overlooks this bedrock truth suggests a diversion that would be necessary to believe to develop a full denigration of the ministry and Charis.
We understand by the “right-wing” moniker Davis has a political agenda that is being interrupted by a large group of believing Christians.
Davis mocks the ministry and even says clearly that Andrew wants to, “end the world.”
Davis, like other ministry rejecting “journalists”, also attempts to portray us a power-hungry monopoly, describing us as an “empire”, generating “tens of millions of dollars” which we greedily “hold onto as much of that money as possible” by not paying taxes. This portrayal of the ministry is terribly inappropriate, especially seeing as Woodland Park’s attorney acknowledged that taxation didn’t apply to the ministry due to its religious status, just as it doesn’t apply to any other church, synagogue, or mosque.
To make the matter more sinister, David injects the term “Christian nationalism.” The term, largely used by non-believing political leftists, seeks to tie American Christians to fascism and (often) racism. Its use is intentionally vague and mysterious.
Other terms such as dominionism and the Seven Mountain Mandate (religion, family, government, media, business, entertainment, and education), are used to suggest believers want a physical takeover of all of those areas to the exclusion of others.
First, the non-surprise. Christians, like other groups, seek to elect officials who share their beliefs, do business with those who share their values, hope that media and entertainment uphold commonly understood ideas of righteousness, and see it is as self-evident that education of our youth is based on truth and accuracy.
Multiple other groups seek the same things.
Second, there is no suggestion at all — ever — from Andrew Wommack that anyone should be deprived of engaging in all areas within the context of the Constitution and laws of our federal, state and local governments.
Davis’ biography at the end of the article lists him a “progressive researcher and writer based in Denver,” decidedly not Woodland Park. He claims to specialize in “the threat posed by right-wing-extremism.”
Unfortunately, in his writing and thinking there is no room for Christian believers and holding bible-based beliefs is inherently a “threat.”
He is free to be wrong. We defend his rights.
None of us would seek to limit his right to write out his thoughts and aspirations. We will not label him simply based on thinking differently, but we would encourage him to better research his topics. I do wonder what type of believer Davis would not see as a “threat.”
Perhaps he should even visit Charis and the ministry. I guarantee we would happily welcome him.
Andrew Wertz, senior vice president of Andrew Wommack Ministries and Charis Bible College
Response from Logan Davis
In August, I published a column looking at the influence Andrew Wommack Ministries exerts on the politics and government of Woodland Park, Colorado. Like most of my columns, it was over-long, a bit self-indulgent, and deeply, rigorously researched. When the Colorado Times Recorder received a submission from Andrew Wommack Ministries purporting to rebut my column, I had the same reaction any writer would: thank god somebody actually read that piece.
The submission taking issue with my column was written by Andrew Wertz, Senior Vice President of Andrew Wommack Ministries and Charis Bible College, a job which I imagine is demanding and time-consuming given the global reach of those institutions. I appreciate Wertz taking the time to engage with my column, and I stand in full support of CTR’s editorial decision to print that rebuttal. As with many reader letters, though, Wertz’s submission left me wondering if we were talking about the same column, given that the composition of his rebuttal required not only the willful misinterpretation of my words, but of Andrew Wommack’s words.
Taking it quickly from the top: Wertz refers to my assertion that Andrew Wommack Ministries flouted local public health ordinances and was linked to fatal COVID outbreaks as an “unsubstantiated nugget.” Both of those claims are substantiated in the Denver Post article – helpfully headlined “Fatal COVID-19 outbreak linked to Colorado religious group suing state over limits on gatherings” – linked in the very first paragraph of my column.
Wertz further implies that my labeling of Wommack as “right-wing” was baseless, despite Wommack’s deep ties to far-right politicians and frequent use of explicitly right-wing rhetoric. Wertz also disputes my characterization of Wommack’s religious teachings as “wed to no real theological tradition,” saying that Wommack’s “very real theological tradition” is that he “is dedicated to Christ.” On this point, I’m unclear if Wertz is mistaken or willfully obfuscating. Millions of people are dedicated to Christ while disagreeing with each other on virtually every point of Christ’s ministry. Does Andrew Wommack subscribe to the Nicene Creed? The Westminster Confession of Faith? It’s unclear.
Most puzzlingly, Wertz attempts to claim that I’ve painted a dastardly picture to “suggest believers want a physical takeover of all of those areas to the exclusion of others.” To be perfectly clear, I did not suggest that Andrew Wommack wants to take over Woodland Park: Andrew Wommack did, on April 28, 2021 when he said – and I quote – “We ought to take over Woodland Park.”
On one point, Wertz is resoundingly correct: I do have a political agenda. If Wertz imagines I’m trying to hide that, he must think I have done an abysmal job, what with the dozens of campaigns I have worked on (not to mention the fact that I write a biweekly column clearly expressing my own political bent). Where Wertz errs even on this point, though, is on the nature of that political agenda. Wertz claims that I see “no room for Christian believers” and think that “holding bible-based beliefs is inherently a ‘threat.’” I’m not sure where Wertz got this idea, but it’s clearly not in the piece to which he is responding.
Contrary to Wertz’s assertion, I believe firmly and deeply in a diverse, multisectarian society in which folks are free to believe, practice, and worship as they choose; a vision many Christians through time have shared. Christianity doesn’t threaten that vision – but Christian nationalism does. With its efforts to plane down a multisectarian society into a society where one sect reigns supreme, Christian nationalism is an inherently intolerant force, and Andrew Wommack has been perfectly clear about where he stands. We wouldn’t be having this exchange if Wommack had chosen his words differently, if he had said, “We ought to peacefully coexist with Woodland Park.”
But that’s not what he said – and it’s not what he meant.
Logan Davis is a columnist for the Colorado Times Recorder.