Somehow Samuel Rodriguez has managed to present himself as a moderate, mainstream leader among Hispanic Evangelicals while meeting with President Obama while, at the same time, serving on the board of The Oak Initiative, the ultra-right wing group founded by Rick Joyner that has been actively promoting anti-Muslim activism and the efforts of anti-Muslims activists like Jerry Boykin and Frank Gaffney.
Earlier this month, Rachel Tabachnick of Talk To Action wrote a long piece exposing Rodriguez’s ties to Joyner, C. Peter Wager and the entire New Apostolic Reformation and that piece caught the attention of freelance writer Greg Metzger who then contacted a “well-known magazine … with a proposal to do an article on Rodriguez’s troubling allegiance.”
In order to write that piece, Metzger scheduled an interview with Rodriquez to ask him about his ties to The Oak Initiative and the NAR movement in general. During the interview, Metzger reports, Rodriquez claimed he was barely involved with the organization but that he would denouce the group and resign:
I found that Rev. Rodriguez was genuinely troubled by Tabachnik’s charges. He challenged some of the details of her story, but on the principal point—his relationship with the Oak Initiative—he agreed that there was cause for concern. He knew instinctively as I read to him the Oak Initiative’s views about Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood that this was an affront to what he wished to stand for. While he pleaded ignorance with regards to the details of the Oak Initiative’s agenda and website (he claimed he had barely been involved), he assured me that by the end of the day he would resign from the Board and make clear his regret. Five hours later I received an email with his letter to the Executive Board of NHCLC responding to Tabachnik’s article and detailing the steps he was taking to denounce extremism, steps that include his resignation from the board of the Oak Initiative. It was, as a mutual friend of mine and Samuel’s put it, the most that could be hoped for.
We look forward to seeing just how Rodriquez tries to handle this … because, frankly, claiming that he was barely involved with the group isn’t going to cut it when there are videos of him posted by the organization itself in which he gushes about how thrilled he is to be involved with this “kingdom culture, multi-ethnic, multi-generational righteousness and justice movement committed to the agenda of the Lamb”: