Thursday, February 25, 2010

Defrauding The Congregation

Mr. Prophet: “Beloved, declare it now, as the heavens are opening in alignment to the apostolic shifts: “money cometh to me, to you, and to us…”
Congregation: “Money cometh, money cometh…”
Mr. Prophet: “Sign up in obedience now, and you will see your money goeth…uh , “money cometh”.
Congregation: “Money cometh, money cometh…”

*Sadly, as the article below accounts, many members of a church lost money in an investment scheme devised by its leaders.


Church Leaders Admit to Defrauding Parishioners

by Michael Lanza/Queens Chronicla

Two former leaders at the Christian Assembly Church in Forest Hills pleaded guilty to fraud charges on Friday.

Robert Riddle and Timothy Smith were among five implicated in a scheme that bilked nearly $12 million from elderly parishioners last year.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a criminal complaint last April, alleging that leaders of the church had raised millions from their congregation to sustain a hedge fund, promising investors returns as high as 75 percent.

But the church officials soon began skimming the fund for their own use.

Isaac Ovid, a former minister at Christian Assembly, allegedly used $200,000 to purchase a Bentley. Others implicated in the scheme bought watches, jewelry and took trips to France and Switzerland, according to prosecutors.

The fund was allegedly pitched as a safe investment for parishioners — with leaders encouraging the victims to transfer their savings or take out home equity loans. In 2004, when the fund was created, Christian Assembly’s founder, Jonathan Coleman, held a public prayer for the success of their new business, Jadis Capital — generating widespread interest within the church.

One elderly and partially disabled member — who became the first investor — transferred $700,000 to the fund. She lost all but $55,000. Another took out a home equity loan for $500,000, losing all but $7,540.

“The fact that many of the victims of this scheme were senior citizens and members of the same church as the defendants makes this fraud particularly reprehensible,” said James Clarkson, the SEC’s regional director at the time.

According to the SEC’s complaint, the plan was orchestrated by Ovid and Jonathan Coleman, the son of Christian Assembly’s founder. Others charged in the scheme were Riddle, Smith, Aaron Riddle, Stephen Cina and Corey Martin.

Riddle and Smith each face up to five years in prison.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Feed The Children Under Scrutiny

*This story was covered by the CBS evening news last week.

"Feed the Children" Charity Under Fire

(CBS) "Feed the Children" is perhaps best known by its infomercials featuring founder, the Reverend Larry Jones.

"For only $8 a month, you can help feed a child. Would you go to your phone," Jones said in a commercial.

After the Haiti earthquake, the charity sprang into action. The Oklahoma City headquarters buzzed with activity, as donors sent in a million dollars in cash.

"Right now, we need your help like never before to get urgently needed relief to Haiti," the commercial said.

CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports most donors have no idea about the nasty family feud that's tearing apart the billion-dollar a year charity.

On one side: founder Larry Jones. On the other: his daughter Larri Sue, and the charity's Board of Directors. It came to a head more than a year ago when each side accused the other of the worst sort of financial improprieties.

In a lawsuit, Larry Jones accuses the Board of serious financial neglect, claims his daughter misused charity funds including living in a $1.2 million dollar Los Angeles home on the charity's dime, and that she engaged in illegal schemes to cover up unpaid taxes.

Larri Sue denies any wrongdoing. The board claims it's her father who got caught taking bribes and kickbacks, awarded himself and his wife unauthorized pay raises and went so far as to bug the executive offices.

Larry Jones fired his daughter and Board members who opposed him. But when a judge resintated them, they turned around and fired him.

"Larry Jones has not engaged in any financial improprieties whatsoever," said his lawyer Mark Hammons.

"Has Larry Jones done anything wrong," Attkisson asked.

"Yeah," Hammons replied. "He made a mistake. He relied on people, and they let him down."

But the Christian charity's donors might feel let down by the most scandalous allegations, about pornography and sexual and racist emails.

"Feed the Children" says it found incest-related porn in Reverend Larry Jones' office.

Larry Jones counters by producing racist and inappropriate emails that he claims were traded by top executives. "Plot to kidnap Obama" a watermelon under a box trap. "if she looks too young, just assume she's 18."

Watchdog Daniel Borochoff says donors should see lots of red flags. He's been questioning the charity's practices for more than a decade.

"It's ridiculous this charity can continue to raise money and have its hand out to the donating public," Borochoff said.

We asked "Feed the Children" spokesman Tony Sellars about Borochoff's allegations.

"Only 21-23 percent of your cash donations that people give actually go to program services," Attkisson said.

"I can't address that," Sellars said. "I just address to the people that when they support us, what they want us to do is feed families and children, and that's what we're doing."

"Fifty-four percent of cash is spent on TV, radio ads and direct mail," Attkisson said.

"No, again, I cannot verify or comment to that," Sellars replied.

Sellars says the good they do can be seen all over the world - like in Nashville, where they distributed food and personal items to the needy.

Borochoff warns that looks can be deceiving.

"Certainly they're going to be doing some good, enough - not to be too cynical here - but enough good to look good in the fundraising and promotion of charity," Borochoff said.

Which brings us to Haiti. In online e-mail messages and on its Web site, "Feed the Children", the chairty claimed it set up a base and was running a huge camp "providing medical relief for 12,000 people."

CBS News decided to send a camera to the camp in Carrefour, west of Port-au-Prince, to see for ourselves.

We found the camp was set up by local monks and nuns, not "Feed the Children."

What about the claim that "Feed the Children" was running the camp? Apparently, that's not true either.

We did find a small, well-meaning "Feed the Children" staff - apparently unaware of the inflated fundraising claims being made by headquarters.

"Feed the Children's" Dr. Stephan Villatt said, "We have three doctors working here."

You might ask how three doctors are handling the supposed 12,000 patients. They're not. It's more like a hundred a day.

"Feed the Children" also claimed that the United Nations chose them "to distribute food and milk for the entire camp."

But that's false according to the United Nations, and the account from "Feed the Children's" own manager in the field, Rachel Zelon. Zelon told us the UN actually chose another charity called "ADRA."

Back in Oklahoma City, we confronted Sellars -- who was unaware that we'd been to the camp.

"Is it your impression that you are, that "Feed the Children" is in charge of the camp," Attkisson asked.

"That is my impression at this point," Sellars said.

"Because we visited the camp, and 'Feed the Children' is not running it," Attkisson said. "Does that surprise you to know?"

"I would certainly have to look into that," Sellars said.

Click here to continue reading:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

February Ramblings

II Timothy 2:19-20

19) Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
20) But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.

I was just perusing various news sources, and so many anti-Christian news articles are coming up online lately. Hostility is definitely increasing towards us. It does not help when the unbelieving world sees so called family men of the Christian faith cheating with an animal-like mentality on their wives. It doesn't help when the world sees charlatans fleecing the flock, while kicking people's faces with a "Bam" and biker boots. Additionally, it's like the unbeliever says "uh huh" when these trist experts come out publicly and rationalize their sinful actions, and even be so audacious to put said rationalizations on dvds. For sale, of course.

You see, the world cannot understand that Christians can falter. And I think too many in the Church do not realize we represent Christ to the world. The world cannot understand our hypocrisy, only their hypocrisy. They cannot understand we rely on His grace and the Holy Spirit to lead us into truth and teach us. When are we going to understand the world watches us, and are already desperately fleeing from the truth that Jesus Christ is real? The unbeliever already wants NOT to believe--and bad public actions from Christians will not aid persuading the lost!

We rely on His grace. We are not perfect, but He is. Although we sometimes falter, it does not negate the fact that God is a perfect God, and that without Jesus Christ, people are heading into a path of eternal destruction. I say this to the unbeliever out there; we cannot be perfect, but because someone messes up; it does not negate the fact that God is real, and that you need a Savior--Jesus Christ!

One news article ranted and raved about Christians witnessing to a non-believing teacher. It went so far as to imply giving the teacher a Christmas card demonstrated a form of harassment, and how the Christians carried bibles to the classroom and so forth...So what? No one can put a gun to someones head, and force anyone to believe something.

I am a former atheist, but at one point in my life I investigated other religions before I came to the atheistic state. Christians witnessing to me NEVER bothered me one bit. I simply did not believe in a God, Heaven or Hell. I would listen to them, sometimes we calmly debated, but it never angered me when people witnessed to me. Other people of different faiths would try to convert me, Buddhists, Muslims, no problem. I would listen politely, and still rejected what they said. And I never got upset by it.

Only God is perfect. We are to live and model our lives around Christ. And we must be ever cognizant that a world steeped in deception from Satan is blinded to the truth that Jesus Christ is real. Therefore, bad behaving Christians in the public sphere will simply help supply more deceptive fuel for their unbelief. But I will not dispute the fact that even if there were no believers behaving badly in public; many will still be blinded by the enemy.

II Corinthians 4:4

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Churches In Texas Struck By Arson

*Just a note. Hate crimes can be religious in nature and not just racial, as one of the comments in the article below eludes to regarding motivation. These churches do seem to have a common denominator in that they are characterized as Christian. Yet some thieves tend to set specific targets, but you have to wonder about this M.O.

10 Texas Church Fires Under Investigation
By William M. Welch, USA TODAY

Pastor Carl Samples says his flock's faith hasn't wavered, even after their sanctuary was destroyed in the latest in a string of East Texas church fires that authorities say were deliberately set.

"I think it's drawn us closer together. It's just kind of increased our faith," said Samples, whose Dover Baptist Church was a total loss but for the steeple that survived the blaze Monday night.

Investigators with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives joined state and local fire officials this week in sifting through the charred remains for clues at Dover and at another church 3 miles away, Clear Spring Missionary Baptist Church, which was reported on fire a short time later. Both churches serve a rural area outside Tyler, Texas.

Tom Crowley, spokesman for the agency at its Dallas office, said investigators concluded Wednesday that both fires were acts of arson.

Clay Alexander, head of the agency's Tyler office, said the agency believes eight other church fires reported since January were caused by one or more arsonists.

"We're not getting a lot of sleep. We're tired. We're frustrated that this is continuing to happen. But we remain strong in our belief that we're going to find who did this," Alexander said

There were no injuries reported in either fire but damage was extensive, Smith County Assistant Fire Marshal Oren Hale said.

"They were big ones. They're not to the ground, but they'll be total losses," he said.

A reward for information about who set the fires was raised to $25,000 from $10,000 on Tuesday, Crowley said. Anyone with information was asked to call a toll-free number, 888-ATF-FIRE.

"We've got a lot of leads and keep getting more leads" on the earlier fires, Crowley said.

The Dallas Morning News reported Wednesday that Crowley said that though no motive is known, the fires could be set to cover up another crime.

Non-religious items have been stolen from some of the churches, he told the newspaper.

"It doesn't have to be a hate crime," Crowley said, noting that a variety of denominations and non-denominational churches were targets. Most, but not all, have predominantly white congregations.

Samples said Dover Baptist Church has 35 to 40 members who regularly attended services in the church, which was originally a wood-frame structure with a brick veneer added in the 1970s.

He said a congregation member who lives near the church saw flames and alerted him and authorities.

"It's pretty devastating to witness an event like this," Samples said. "It gives you an empty feeling, a sense of being violated."

Other area churches have volunteered to host Sunday and Wednesday night services for the congregation, he said.

"We've had an outpouring of Christian brotherhood," Samples said.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Two Street Preachers Murdered

*Taken from the Relgion News Blog:

Street Preachers Killed In United States

WASHINGTON, USA (BosNewsLife)– A religious liberty group warned Saturday, February 6, that “Anti-Christian hostility is getting increasingly deadly” in the United States after two street preachers were shot and killed by a teenager who apparently opposed their message.

“The increasing demonization of Christians in our culture makes some feel its open season on Christians,” said Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission.

Tite Sufra, 24, and Stephen Ocean, 23, were shot and killed in Boynton Beach in the U.S. State of Florida where they evangelized last Saturday, January 30, after meeting Jeriah Woody, 18, local police said.

“They witnessed to Woody for fifteen minutes when he got a phone call and told the preachers he ‘had to go’, added the Commission, which closely monitored the case.


“As they walked away, Woody suddenly started walking back toward them. Sufra walked up to greet him and was killed with a shot gun blast at point blank range. When Ocean ran, he was shot in the back. After he fell, Woody shot him in the head execution style.”

Woody was detained Wednesday, February 3, and is charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Bail was reportedly denied to him.

Cass complained about a lack of interest in national media. “As of today, there are no national news organizations reporting this vicious murder of two innocent Christian men. Why?” Cass said, “I’ll ask this: If two Muslims, or two feminists or two homosexuals were murdered, wouldn’t the media be all over it? These were two fine young black Christian men shot by another black man for their Christian faith, yet the media does not seem to care.”


He described the case as “an ominous sign” of times “that Christians are being shot on the streets and in our churches.”

Last year Jim Pullion was killed while holding pro-life signs in front of his granddaughter’s Owasso Michigan high school. Reverend Fred Winters was murdered while preaching in his pulpit in Maryville, Illinois.

“Increasingly we see Christian ministers threatened and churches terrorized and vandalized for their stand on marriage. Now when Christians gather for worship they must have armed security.”

He said, “Anti-Christian defamation and bigotry has helped to create this violent climate and it must stop.”

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Video: Kundalini Spirit In Christianity

Why are we buying (and often literally throwing money) into this stuff? Wake up people. We are dealing with the doctrine of devils, and many are steeped in deception. To the drum beat please-- they perform...these so called prophets for sale! Orchestrated for media, and to divination it is! I got to add these people are clearly under the influence of evil spirits! This video grieves my spirit to the max and I hope you are grieved when you see this. If you are not grieved, then you are deceived. Seek Him to lead you from deception. I am on dialup so I do not get to see a lot of the videos out there, but just seen this in entirety this morning. This is a video of an "event" from Morning Star Ministries.

Entitled: Kundalini Spirit In Christianity

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Update: Guilty Verdict For Oregon Parents

Ore. parents found guilty of neglecting ill son

OREGON CITY, Ore. – An Oregon couple who practice faith healing testified they did everything they could for their 16-year-old son before he died, but a jury decided it was not enough, especially just months after the death of their granddaughter.

Jeff and Marci Beagley were convicted of criminally negligent homicide on Tuesday after prosecutors argued they failed in their duty to get medical help for their son, Neil, in June 2008.

The teenager died of complications from a congenital urinary tract blockage that doctors testified could have been treated up until the day he died.

The Beagleys' 15-month-old granddaughter, Ava Worthington, died in March 2008 of pneumonia and a blood infection that also could have been treated.

Instead, Neil and Ava were anointed with oil while the family prayed and laid on hands.

The toddler's parents, Raylene and Carl Brent Worthington, were acquitted of manslaughter last year after a trial that tested a change in Oregon law in 1999 resulting from a public outcry over a series of child deaths among members of the Followers of Christ Church.

Brent Worthington, however, was convicted of criminal mistreatment and served two months in jail.

The Beagleys and their daughter, Raylene, and son-in-law, Brent, are all members of the small church with roots in Kansas but now is based in Oregon City. Followers of Christ avoid doctors in favor of faith healing.

Family and church members packed the small courtroom where Clackamas County Presiding Judge Steven Maurer read the guilty verdicts delivered after less than two full days of deliberations.

Some gasped and others held back tears while Marci Beagley cried quietly.

Now she and her husband face a possible 16 to 18 months in prison under state sentencing guidelines, although defense attorneys plan to ask for probation. The Beagleys remain free pending their sentencing on Feb. 18.

Brent Worthington said just after the verdicts that the family had no plans to comment on the trial.

But one of the defense attorneys, Wayne Mackeson, insisted the trial was about the care they provided as parents, not about their beliefs.

"It's never been a referendum on the church. This case involves parents who didn't understand how sick their child was," he said.

Mackeson and fellow defense attorney Steve Lindsey argued during the two-week trial that Neil Beagley had symptoms more like a cold or the flu, and his parents responded by making sure he rested, was fed and drank plenty of fluids.

But doctors testified the urinary tract blockage let those fluids and toxic waste build up inside the teenager's body, virtually destroying his kidneys and eventually causing his heart to stop.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Weed Worshippers

*Never think you have read or seen it all. Pot has become a sacrament in man-made Cannibus plant religion. Why is it people think they can define God? He is as He is. This story sounds a bit humorous, but the truth of it is a whole lot sadder.


Colorado Man: Pot Charge Violates Religious Rights

AVON, Colo. – A Colorado man says marijuana is the main sacrament of his religion and a drug charge against him violates his First Amendment rights.

Trevor Douglas of Avon says he belongs to the Hawaii-based THC Ministry but was cited with marijuana possession after a Colorado state trooper pulled him over for having an expired license plate. The 25-year-old allegedly had less than an ounce of marijuana and a pipe.

Douglas told the Vail Daily newspaper that his religion is similar to Christianity and that the use of pot is sacred to him, just like wine and bread are sacred to Christians.

"The court is basically trying me for my religious beliefs," he told the newspaper.

According to its Web site, THC Ministry has offices in Los Angeles; Bozeman, Mont.; and Boulder, Colo.

"We use Cannabis religiously and you can, too," the site says. "Cultivation and enjoyment of Cannabis sacrament is a fundamental human right provided by God and protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution."

THC Ministry says it provides "defense to prosecution" to its members who are "sincere practitioners." According to its Web site, a successful religious defense depends on five things, including sincerity; that marijuana be used in private, like in a church or home; and that the drug, or "sacrament," not be sold.

Douglas is due in court March 9.

He maintains he is not a drug abuser.

"If it's part of your religion, you should get security from this prosecution of possession," he said.