In a promotion for Animated Stories from the New Testament, Christian singer Gary McFadden tells viewers: “Whether you’re a Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist—or whatever—you should call right now.”
According to critics, there was too much whatever—more specifically, Mor-monism—at the heart of the 12-volume video series produced by Family Entertainment Network (FEN). So FEN recently revised some of its videos after a review by Ed Decker, leader of Saints Alive, a Christian ministry to ex-Mormons. For instance, the video He Is Risen referred to Christ “paying the price for me in Gethsemane,” rather than through his crucifixion. FEN spokesman Mike Schatz said a change in the Gethsemane reference was one of Decker’s recommendations. According to a press release by FEN, Decker has now given his approval to the series. Decker was unavailable for further comment.
While the content of the videos may have gained approval, some evangelicals remain concerned about FEN’s past business practices and about continued Mormon ties. The company was founded by Mormon businessmen Jared Brown and Seldon Young, who retain majority control. The two men also own Living Scriptures, which distributes a Mormon version of the New Testament series and Animated Stories from the Book of Mormon.FEN plans to sell public stock once it acquires all copyrights to the videos.
“There’s no way they can really distance themselves from the Mormon issue, because the videos were produced by Mormons,” said Bill McKeever of Mormonism Research Ministry. He is worried that Mormon missionaries will use the video series to gain more credibility when visiting evangelical homes.
Clay Clarkson, who sold the videos for two months, believes FEN has practiced “passive deception” ...1
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