Thursday, April 29, 2010
Getting Involved is Not a Bad Thing
The Lake Wales News
Palmer Wood, Managing Editor
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
A dying man in one of New York City’s boroughs lay unattended on a sidewalk for one hour and 40 minutes before a rescue team from a fire department arrived to find the man dead.
A homeless 31-year-old man from Guatemala went to the rescue of a woman being mugged and was successful in running off the attacker. The woman, apparently in her fear and confusion, turned and fatally stabbed the Good Samaritan who staggered off and collapsed on the sidewalk.
A security camera captured the entire event including a number of people who walked by and ignored the dying man. One man stopped and took a cell phone photo and walked off. Another stopped and lifted the dying man and dropped him, apparently when he saw a pool of blood under him.
The fact that a man was dying and no one came to help, or even called for help, reminds me of a similar incident in New York City that happened in 1964. A 28-year-old woman was brutally attacked by a knife-wielding assailant who had been stalking her, and in spite of her pleading for help, failed to convince anyone to intervene or even call the police.
It happened at night in a residential neighborhood and less than 58 people heard screaming and witnessed the attack.
Later, all admitted they “didn’t want to get involved.”
Finally one man from a window in an apartment yelled, “Get away from her.” The assailant then walked away, but when no one came to her rescue, returned and stabbed her again until she collapsed.
Several witnesses said they heard the victim call out to a man she apparently knew and saw looking out a window in a nearby apartment, but he responded by quickly ducking from the window and turning off his light.
Records revealed that eventually there was a phone call; a half-hour after the victim lay motionless and the attacker had driven off. Police then were dispatched only to find the victim dead.
When the 58 witnesses were interviewed by the police, the most common answer for their not going out to help her was simply not wanting to get involved and subsequently having to spend time in court.
The attacker later was identified when his license number was reported: That resulted in his arrest. He later admitted he continued to attack her knowing that no one would come to her aid.
The least effort on our part when we encounter a similar situation as described in any of the above situations is to call 911.
A witness from the incident confessed he still is haunted by nightmares, especially when he looks out the same window from which he observed the tragic incident.
When he decided to try and help the girl, he said, his wife blocked the door and said, “We don’t want to get involved.”
The horror stories don’t end there. A woman was observed on a security camera for an hour in a public after-hours-clinic waiting room where she collapsed and rolled off a bench. Medical personal came and went into the waiting room several times without approaching and helping the woman, who lay face down on the floor. She died there on the floor.
Security personnel were on duty at a teenage function and did not intervene when a male teenager began repeatedly beating a teenage girl on the ground.
Again, video cameras recorded the incident and the security men, who stood and observed but did nothing to stop the attack.
Psychologists claim people in a crowd are more reluctant to become involved but I’m sure there have been numerous tragic deaths where people chose to ignore helping someone when there were no witnesses, simply because they didn’t want to be bothered or to get dirty.
We have to mentally indoctrinate ourselves to act in all emergencies, not stand silent while deciding what to do when someone’s in dire need. A few seconds of hesitation can at times mean the difference between life and death.
Years ago I almost let a stranger choke to death in a restaurant because I hesitated to see if she really needed help. Forget about the embarrassment – even if it turns out to be a false alarm.
You never will be criticized for making an effort to help someone who appears to be in need – You may end up saving a life.
But thank goodness there are people who selflessly care, like the foreign tourist who recently jumped off a dock to save a 2-year-old child, and disappeared before anyone got his name.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Prayer: The Gospel of Prayer
By Leonard Ravenhill
There's nothing more transfiguring than prayer. People often ask, "Why do you insist on prayer so much?" The answer is very simple - because Jesus did. You could change the title of the Gospel according to St. Luke to the Gospel of Prayer. It's the prayer life of Jesus. The other evangelists say that Jesus was in the Jordan and the Spirit descended on Him as a dove - Luke says it was while He was praying that the Spirit descended on Him. The other evangelists say that Jesus chose 12 disciples - Luke says it was after He spent a night in prayer that He chose 12 disciples. The other evangelists say that Jesus died on a cross - Luke says that even when He was dying Jesus was praying for those who persecuted Him. The other evangelists say Jesus went on a mount and He was transfigured - Luke says it was while He was praying that He was transfigured. There's nothing more transfiguring than prayer.
The Scriptures say that the disciples went to bed, but Jesus went to pray - as was His custom. It was His custom to pray. Now Jesus was the Son of God - He was definitely anointed for His ministry. If Jesus needed all that time in prayer, don't you and I need time in prayer? If Jesus needed it in every crisis, don't you and I need it in every crisis?
The story goes that a group of tourists visiting a picturesque village saw an old man sitting by a fence. In a rather patronizing way, one of the visitors asked, "Were any great men born in this village?" Without looking up the old man replied, "No, only babies." The greatest men were once babies. The greatest saints were once toddlers in the things of the Spirit.
C. H. Spurgeon was converted at the age of 16 and began preaching in London at the age of 19. When he was 27, they built him a tabernacle seating 6,000 which he packed twice on Sundays - that's 12,000 - and once on Thursday nights. How? He waited on God. He got alone with God. He studied...and he prayed.
God makes all His best people in loneliness. Do you know what the secret of praying is? Praying in secret. "But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door..." (Matt. 6:6). You can't show off when the door's shut and nobody's there. You can't display your gifts. You can impress others, but you can't impress God.
I Samuel 1:1-15 gives an account of the yearly trip Elkanah and his wife, Hannah, made to Shiloh to worship and sacrifice to the Lord. During this time, Hannah had been distressed that she was not able to bear a son for her husband. This passage of Scripture gives quite a descriptive account of her time in prayer concerning the barrenness of her womb. It says that Hannah wept. More than this, she wept until she was sore. She poured out her soul before the Lord. Her heart was grieving; she was bitter of soul, provoked, and of a sorrowful spirit.
Now that's a pretty good list of afflictions - sorrow, hardship, and everything else that came upon this woman. But the key to the whole situation is that she was a praying woman. In verse 20 it says that she reaped her reward. "And it came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, 'Because I have asked him of the Lord.'"
Now I say very often - and people don't like it - that God doesn't answer prayer. He answers desperate prayer! Your prayer life denotes how much you depend on your own ability, and how much you really believe in your heart when you sing, "Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling...." The more self- confidence you have, the less you pray. The less self-confidence you have, the more you have to pray.
What does the Scripture say? It says that God takes the lowly, the things that are not. Paul says in I Corinthians 1:28 that God takes the things that are not to bring to nothing the things that are, so that no flesh should glory in His presence. We need a bunch of "are nots" today.
The Language of the Poor
Prayer is the language of the poor. Over and over again David, the King of Israel, says, "Incline Thine ear, O Lord, and answer me; for I am afflicted and needy" (Psalm 86:1). And do you remember that one of the greatest psalms he wrote says, "This poor man cried and the Lord heard him..." (Psalm 34:6).
The apostle Paul overwhelms me with his spirituality, his pedigree, his colossal intellect. Yet he says that he's very conscious that when he's weak, he is strong. He was always trying to prove to himself and to others that he was a nobody.
True prayer is a two-way communication. I speak to God and God speaks to me. I don't know how the Spirit makes communication - or why God needs me to pray - but that's how God works.
"Get Up And Pray!"
One day I was at a conference with Dr. V. Raymond Edman of Wheaton College, one of the greatest Christian educators in this country. He told us of an experience he had while he was in Ecuador as a missionary. He hadn't been there long before he was sick and dying. He was so near death that they had already dug his grave. He had great beads of sweat on his brow and there was a death rattle in his throat. But suddenly he sat straight up in bed and said to his wife, "Bring me my clothes!" Nobody knew what had happened.
Many years later he was retelling the story in Boston. Afterward, a little old lady with a small, dog-eared, beaten-up book, approached him and asked, "What day did you say you were dying? What time was it in Ecuador? What time would it be in Boston?" When he answered her, her wrinkled face lit up. Pointing to her book, she said. "There it is, you see? At 2 a.m. God said to get up and pray - the devil's trying to kill Raymond Edman in Ecuador." And she'd gotten up and prayed.
Duncan Campbell told the story of hearing a farmer in his field who was praying. He was praying about Greece. Afterward, he asked him why he was praying. The man said, "I don't know. I had a burden in the spirit and God said, 'You pray; there's someone in Greece that is in a bad situation.' I prayed until I got a release." Two or three years later the farmer was in a meeting listening to a missionary. The man described a time when he was working in Greece. He had been in serious trouble. The time? Two or three years ago. The men compared notes and discovered that it was the very same day that God had burdened a farmer, on a little island off the coast of Scotland, to pray for a man in Greece whose name he didn't even know.
It may seem the Lord gives you strange things. I don't care. If the Lord tells you something, carry on with what the Lord tells you.
Who Shall Ascend to the Hill of the Lord?"
There's another experience Duncan Campbell told about when he was working in Scotland.
"I couldn't preach," he said. "I couldn't get through to God. The heavens were solid. It was as though there was a 10 ft. ceiling of steel." So he quit trying to preach. He asked a young man named John Cameron to pray. The boy stood up and said, "What's the use of praying if we're not right with God?" He quoted the 24th Psalm, "Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?"
You can't approach God unless your hands are clean, which means your relationships with others are clean and your heart is clean. "Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? He who has clean hands and a pure heart..." (Psalm 24.3-4).
After the boy recited Psalm 24 he began to pray. He prayed 10, 15, 20 minutes. Then he suddenly said, "Excuse me, Lord, while I resist the devil." He turned around and began to tell the devil where to go and how to get there. He fought for all he was worth. You talk about having on the armor of God and resisting the devil! When he finished resisting the devil, he finished his prayer. He prayed for 45 minutes! When he finished praying it was just as though God had pulled a little switch in heaven. The Spirit of God came down on that church, that community, on the dance hall at the other end of town, and the tavern on this end of town. Revival was born in that prayer!
At the end of Malachi it says, "And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly (that's the word I like, suddenly) come to his temple" (Malachi 3:1). Remember what it says about the shepherds? They were watching their flocks by night when suddenly there was the sound of the heavenly host. Do you remember a bunch of men that had been waiting in the upper room? Suddenly the Holy Spirit came on them in that room.
There's a date in history that I love very much. It was Wednesday, August 13, 1737. A little group of people in Moravia were waiting in a prayer meeting. At 11:00 suddenly the Holy Spirit came. Do you know what happened? The prayer meeting that began at 11:00 lasted 100 years! That's right. That prayer room was not empty for a century! It's the longest prayer among men and women that I know of. Even children six and seven years old travailed in prayer for countries the names of which they couldn't even spell.
Why We Don't Have Revival
In an old town in Ireland they'll show you with reverence a place where four young men met night after night after night praying for revival. In Wales, there's a place in the hills where three or four young men only 18 or 19 years old met and prayed night after night. They wouldn't let God go; they would not take no for an answer. As far as humanly possible they prayed a revival into birth. If you're thinking of revival at your church without any inconvenience, forget it. Revival costs a lot.
I can give you one simple reason why we don't have revival in America. Because we're content to live without it. We're not seeking God - we're seeking miracles, we're seeking big crusades, we're seeking blessings. In Numbers 11, Moses said to God, "You're asking me to carry a burden I can't handle. Do something or kill me!" Do you love America enough to say, "God, send revival or kill me"? Do you think it's time we changed Patrick Henry's prayer from, "Give me liberty or give me death," to "Give me revival or let me die"?
In the 30th chapter of Genesis, Rachael goes to Jacob and throws herself down in despair. She says, "Give me children or else I die." Are you willing to throw yourself down before God to seek the spiritual birth of spiritual children in our country?
People say, "I'm filled with the Holy Spirit." If the coming of the Spirit didn't revolutionize your prayer life, you'd better check on it. I'm not so sure you got what God wanted you to get.
We've said that prayer changes things. No! Prayer doesn't change things. Prayer changes people and they change things. We all want Gabriel to do the job. God says do it yourself - with My sufficiency and My strength.
We need to get like this woman, Hannah. What did she do? She wept, she was grieved, she said she had a complaint, she fasted - and she prayed.
Jesus, the anointed of God, made prayer His custom. Paul, with his background and intellect, depended on prayer because he said he was weak. David, the king, called himself a poor man and cried to the Lord. Hannah prayed for a son and gave birth to a prophet. The prayers of a handful of young men sparked revival.
There's nothing more transfiguring than prayer.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN
(CNN) -- A federal judge on Thursday struck down the federal statute that established the National Day of Prayer, ruling that it violates the constitutional ban on government-backed religion.
"[I]ts sole purpose is to encourage all citizens to engage in prayer, an inherently religious exercise that serves no secular function," a Wisconsin judge wrote in the ruling, referring to the 1952 law that created the National Day of Prayer.
"In this instance, the government has taken sides on a matter that must be left to individual conscience," wrote the judge, Barbara B. Crabb.
The injunction against the National Day of Prayer will not take effect until the defendants in the case, President Obama and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, have exhausted their appeals, the decision said.
The Obama administration said in a Twitter message on Thursday that Obama intends to recognize this year's National Day of Prayer, which is May 6.
The White House press office referred a question about whether the administration would appeal the ruling to the Justice Department, where a press officer was unavailable for comment.
Conservative religious groups called on the White House to appeal the decision.
"The National Day of Prayer provides an opportunity for all Americans to pray voluntarily according to their own faith and does not promote any particular religion or form of religious observance," said Joel Oster, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund.
Church-state separation groups, meanwhile, applauded the ruling.
"This decision is a tremendous victory for religious liberty," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "Congress has no business telling Americans when or how to pray."
The Interfaith Alliance also welcomed the ruling. "Maintaining clear boundaries between religion and government only serves to strengthen both," said the group's president, the Rev. Welton Gaddy.
One constitutional scholar doubted the case would survive an appeal to a federal circuit court.
"Judges have never been absolutists in these establishment clause cases," said Douglas Laycock, a University of Michigan Law School professor specializing in religious liberties issues. "If they were they would to tell the president to stop issuing Thanksgiving proclamations and tell the Treasury Department to take 'In God We Trust' off our money."
The lawsuit against the Obama administration was brought by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group based in Madison, Wisconsin.
The statute that established the National Day of Prayer calls on the president to annually designate one day, other than a Sunday, "on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups and as individuals."
The law was amended in 1988 to designate the first Thursday in May as the annual National Day of Prayer.
The event has been celebrated more ostentatiously by Republican than Democratic White Houses, partly because it has become aligned with religious conservatives. Since 1991, the National Day of Prayer Task Force has been led by Shirley Dobson, wife of conservative evangelical broadcaster and activist James Dobson.
Shirley Dobson criticized the Obama administration last year for forgoing the White House celebrations that marked the National Day of Prayer under President George W. Bush. But Obama did issue an official proclamation designating a National Day of Prayer.
"Throughout our nation's history," Obama's proclamation read, "Americans have come together in moments of great challenge and uncertainty to humble themselves in prayer."
Saturday, April 17, 2010
US Study Sheds Light on Africa's Unique Religious Mix
WASHINGTON (AFP) - In the space of a century, Africa has morphed from a continent dominated by traditional beliefs to one where the majority of people are Christian or Muslim, a US study showed Thursday.
The vast majority of people in sub-Saharan Africa are deeply committed to the world's two largest religions, making the region one of the most religious places in the world, according to the study by the Pew Research Forum on Religion and Public Life.
Traditional African beliefs have been incorporated into Africans' Christian or Muslim belief sets, according to the study, for which Pew researchers surveyed 25,000 people in 19 sub-Saharan African countries between December 2008 and April 2009.
"It doesn't seem to be an either-or for many people. They can describe themselves primarily as Muslim or Christian and continue to practice many of the traditions that are characteristic of African traditional religion," Luis Lugo, executive director of the Pew Forum, told AFP.
In around half the countries involved in the study, everyone interviewed said they were Christian or Muslim. In most of the other countries, the vast majority -- nine out of 10 interviewees -- said the same.
And yet Africans still practice sacrifices, believe in the protective powers of charms and amulets, believe in the 'evil eye', that there are people who can cast curses on others, and consult traditional religious healers.
The number of Muslims living between the Sahara desert and South Africa's Cape of Good Hope has increased more than 20-fold since 1900, from around 11 million to some 234 million this year, but the number of Christians in Africa has grown even faster.
Around seven million Africans said they were Christian in 1900 compared with 470 million today.
Northern Africa, which was not included in the study, is predominantly Muslim, while countries in southern Africa are mainly Christian, with a "great meeting place in the middle" of the continent, stretching from Somalia in the east to Senegal in the west.
"To some outside observers, this is a volatile religious fault line - the site, for example, of Al-Qaeda's first major terrorist strike, the bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and more recently of ethnic and sectarian bloodshed in Nigeria," the study said.
Nigeria, which is Africa's most populous nation, has the largest number of Christians and the largest number of Muslims of any place in sub-Saharan Africa, and six out of 10 Nigerians said religious conflict was "a very big problem in their country," Lugo said.
"Sometimes conflict is directly related to religion, like the imposition of sharia law in the north of Nigeria, but oftentimes there are other factors -- political, economic, tribal -- and religion gets implicated," said Lugo.
He quoted acting president of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan, who said at a conference in Washington this week: "Conflicts in Africa are not sparked by religion, but religion is the wind that can spread the wildfire."
Overall, however, Africa's Christians and Muslims are highly tolerant of each other. But Christians are more likely to identify Muslims with violence than the other way around.
"In Chad, for instance, 70 percent of Christians view Muslims as violent, while only 16 percent of Muslims saw Christians as violent," said Lugo.
The central African country, which has a roughly even mix of Christians and Muslims, shares a border with Sudan's Darfur region, where some 300,000 people have died in seven-year war between militias allied to the Arab government in Khartoum and ethnic minority rebels in Darfur.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Taken From Sola Dei Gloria:
(clicking the link will take you to the page)
This is an important topic folks. I say that simply because of what I have watched transpire over the last 9 years and the coming together of this merger, more quickly in the past 24 months: especially since November of 08. I pray you will not only read it but keep, for further reading, the links included at the end. More importantly my prayer and hope is your eyes will be opened to the truth. There is a strong delusion in this nation folks–one that has already captured the minds and hearts of many Christians.
It is not about FREEDOM, it is about DOMINION
“The NEW BREED of Christian is poised to take over the earth, precinct by precinct. God’s Army is rising up. It is time to put on the militant garb. The glint in the eye becomes fixed as the exhilaration of the hour sweeps through the masses. They can make a difference! The world has been waiting with bated breath for this LAST DAY GENERATION. False prophets in their midst are caught in sin, under discipline, yet their tapes sell to believers of their false prophecies. The call for unity is the common cause bringing them from every denomination. They are calling their unity “revival.” After all, when they have set up the Kingdom here on the earth – they will have fulfilled the mandate given to Adam to subdue the earth. A new sound is heard in the land. The music gets louder and the beat gets stronger (even bringing in rock, metal, and funk) but oddly enough the lyrics are always the same! – The choruses proclaiming the triumphant song of the conquerors!”
(“The Kingdomizers Have Arrived!” Discernment Newsletter, May/June 1992)
Note to Herescope readers: What follows may be the most important article ever published by Discernment Ministries in its 21 year history. The first edition of the Discernment Newsletter, published in May 1990 began chronicling the activities of a group of men calling themselves “prophets” and “apostles,” claiming to have extra-biblical revelation and calling to build an elite army to take over the Earth. This obscure cult infiltrated Pentecostal circles with its doctrines, but it wasn’t until these “Kansas City Prophets,” as they were called, connected with C. Peter Wagner from Fuller Theological Seminary, that they gained great momentum and helped to form the basis of what Wagner calls “The New Apostolic Reformation” (NAR). By 1991, in a little booklet titled Joel’s Army by Jewel Grewe, she warned about the extreme Dominionist doctrines of these men. The heresies of this movement continued to gain momentum, especially through the evangelical television media. Nevertheless, most of the leaders were not readily recognized in the mainstream evangelical world.This coming month all is about to change. These NAR leaders are having a great big “coming out party” on May Day in Washington, D.C. These New Order of the Latter Rain cult leaders are going to be standing prominently alongside Christian Right and Republican Right leaders in an great convergence that positions them front and center stage. Their esoteric Dominionist doctrines are rapidly becoming integrated into the entire purpose of this event, albeit cloaked in the rhetoric of “saving America” patriotism. And herein lies the problem. For under the guise of moral causes, these men intend to change more than the declining culture of America. They intend to build the Kingdom of God on Earth, “sphere” by “sphere,” nation by nation.
By Dr. Orrel Steinkamp
In the last Plumbline, I detailed the vast pervasive reach of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and its myriads of affiliates around the globe. From that directory of affiliates we saw a voracious appetite for interlocking organizations. At some point C. Peter Wagner (Convening Apostle of the International Coalition of Apostles) decided rapid church growth Dominion over society could be accomplished inside a democratic process and without establishing a full blown theocracy. Wagner and Company decided to employ the infiltration of churches, denominations (behind the scenes), expansion of cell churches, etc.
In addition Church Growth strategies employ the “reclaiming” of the 7 spheres of culture, now named by “revelation” The 7 Mountains of Culture, to take over business, government, media, arts, education family and religion. In Wagner’s book The Church in the Marketplace, he points to the importance of hither-to-unknown Market Place Apostles. Indications are that he is well along and has millionaire “apostles” in place. He calls for a gigantic wealth transfer from the unrighteous to the righteous to finance Kingdom advance.
But Jesus left no doubt that “my kingdom is not of this world.” Jesus alone can consummate the kingdom when He comes on the clouds in power and great glory. Until that time the kingdom grows in the hearts of men and women (wheat among tares).
Neither does the Kingdom start and end with Uber-American patriotic Christian politics.
Having lived overseas for decades, I know that Christians in other countries often look at American Christian politics in bewilderment. The kingdom of God is not identified with political might and control even as Jesus came not to be a political messiah in this first advent. Only Jesus the King can rule after His return, resurrection of believers, the final judgment and a new heavens and a new earth.
The Great Tea Party Convergence
Forays by NAR Apostles into the political scene in America have been until recently sparse. But Lou Engle, the bobble head (ala Jews and the Wailing Wall) Apostle, who has his own ministry to youth called “The Call,” has been politically active in pro-life and homosexual issues. Some months ago he was able to pray for Gingrich and Huckabee with the laying on of apostolic hands.
But very recently the political stars seem to have come suddenly into alignment.
The American political landscape has suddenly changed. A tumult is appearing in the land with the passage of health care reform. The Christian Right, with its years of courting political influence, is now poised to merge with the new Tea Party Movement. In times of crisis, natural or caused, things seem to happen faster and opportunities, that would take years, seem to happen in months. There is the scent of rebellion in the air. Martial Arts and Christian actor Chuck Norris has called for a Second American Revolution. Appearing on Mormon Glenn Beck’s radio program Norris promised, if things get any worse, he will run for president of the Sovereign state of Texas. Surely this is only bluster, but it reveals the mood of many.
Some political conservatives are stoking a political upheaval, and they need recruits. Christian Right people have for years worked the political Right. Now the time seems right (pun intended). The New Apostolic Reformation, which has been called the largest protestant movement you have never heard of, apparently is ready for a “mating dance” with the Christian Right and by extension the Political Right. Surely, the NAR must see this as a match made in heaven which they hope could eventually lead to Dominion.
This “engagement party” will be held on the steps of the Lincoln monument: MAY DAY 2010: A Cry To God For A Nation In Distress, May 1, 2010. Janet Porter, a long time Christian shock radio personality with a turbo powered presentation and longtime political right contacts, is openly promoting Dominion. She has been quoted as saying: “our goal is to take dominion in every area and occupy until Jesus comes.” She has not been bashful, and has consigned Christians, who voted for Obama, to Hell. I am sure glad I didn’t vote for Obama.
Porter apparently is the matchmaker. She is the organizer of the MAY DAY event. For her years in the pro life struggle we can only commend her. But now she has assumed a role much greater than herself and the Kingdom of God, unless of course you see the Kingdom of God as a political kingdom. Janet Porter has taken the initiative to organize the May Day event. She has coaxed James Dobson to come out of semi retirement. A bevy of traditional evangelical leaders will now include three of the most prominent NAR Leadership: Chuck Pierce heir apparent (see the last Plumbline), Dutch Sheets who appears to be third in line to the throne (if no palace intrigue occurs), and Cindy Jacobs, (the most prominent of all the prophets and prophetess (Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders). At the rally on the Lincoln monument the 7 Mountains Scheme of Dominion will be publicly prayed.
How was this all arranged? It appears that Janet Porter herself had the leading role. It took place at Cindy Jacobs “Convergence 2010: A Cry To Awaken A Nation.” All the NAR heavies were there, including Peter Wagner, Lance Wallnau (who only lectures on 7 Mountains Dominionism), Ed Silvoso, and Jim Garlow (recently appointed to Newt Gingrich’s Renewing American Leadership (ReAL) organization). During the conference Porter prayed publicly that God would grant control of the media. She suggested taking over CBS and renaming it the Christian Broadcasting System. It appears that the media is the first of the Seven Mountains to be conquered for the kingdom. Where will this leave CBN, TNN and God TV which now reaches 212 countries? In passing, Cindy Jacobs did not disappoint the conference thrill seekers. She told of the Seraphim coming into her room and catching it on fire.
But, before the MAY DAY 2010 conference, a Freedom Federation Summit is scheduled for April 15, National Tax Day and hosted by Liberty University. This will be a more overtly political event. Many political operatives will be there, including our own Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (Republican candidate wannabe), Governor Perry of Texas, the newly elected Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli (Virginia Attorney General attempting to block health care reform), Newt Gingrich, Gary Bauer, Neocon Frank Gaffney, Ann Graham Lotz, and of course Jonathan Falwell. But significantly in the list of dignitaries invited for the very first time are Lou Engle, Rick Joyner, and Lance Wallnau, an “apostle” promoting the 7 Mountains Dominion teaching. Also listed are Cindy Jacobs, Bishop Harry Jackson (touted as a “modern day Martin Luther King”), and Samuel Rodriguez, all NAR Apostles. Sarah Palin, having been prayed for by an Apostle named Thomas Muthee in Alaska regarding the 7 Mountains scheme, will be there in spirit.
All of this will give the NAR a respected place in Christian Right and national politics. But the agenda of NAR goes beyond social values and politics. This agenda is to infiltrate, to dominate. Samuel Rodriguez is an apostle who is also a passionate speaker/orator. He heads Wagner’s National Christian Hispanic Leadership Council and has also been invited to the Freedom Federation Summit at Liberty University April 15. Speaking earlier at a Rick Joyner’s Oak Initiative gathering at Fort Mill, with great emphasis, Rodriguez rallied the crowd asserting that the Oak Initiative, Joyner’s political action group, is “the New Jerusalem and also Washington DC. We will mobilize for cultural reformation, not just engagement. We will not be held hostage by a donkey or an elephant.” How better to express the Dominion Mandate.
Rachel Tabachnick commented:
“Imagine for a moment that a very large block of the evangelical world decided to reorganize into a hierarchy somewhat like the Roman Catholic Church with leaders (Apostles) in authority over each nation, region and city….
Peter Wagner has streamlined this ideology and named it the NAR. Wagner is the presiding apostle of the ICA which includes 40 nations and prayer warrior community networks in all 50 states and worldwide.”
The merging of Christian Right Politics and Apostolic/Prophetic Dominionism is a giant leap forward for the Dominion Mandate they espouse. “Apostle”
Jim Laffoon has written:
“Have you ever wondered why we have spent two thousand years reaching the the same nations OVER and OVER and OVER again? It’s because we’ve only set the goal of reaching them, and not understanding what it is to rule them… Before it is all done, God will give us hundreds of Apostles and Prophets… for they will equip the greatest army of professionals… the world has ever seen…. We believe that the Kingdom of God can come upon the earth as it is in heaven… We believe we will produce a generation that will not only reach but rule. We are called to change history. We are called to produce a generation that will rule. I believe one day we will leave our children Nations and Regions and Continents.”
“A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” (Jeremiah 5:30-31)
Friday, April 9, 2010
51) Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:
52) For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.
53) The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
Ohio Christian convert fights to stay in US
By MATT LEINGANG (AP)
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A teenage girl who converted to Christianity and ran away from home is being blocked by her Muslim parents from fighting the possibility of deportation, her attorney told a judge Monday in an ongoing custody dispute.
Rifqa Bary, 17, who fled home last year and stayed with a Florida minister whom she met on Facebook, is an illegal immigrant and does not want to be returned to her native Sri Lanka because she fears being harmed or killed by Muslim extremists.
Her attorney, Angela Lloyd, asked a judge to sign an order stating that reunification with her parents is not possible by her 18th birthday in August.
The order would allow Bary, who is in foster care, to apply for special immigration status without her parents' consent.
Omar Tarazi, an attorney for the parents, objected, telling the judge that he had been unaware of this latest maneuver by Bary's attorney to apply to an immigration court. He said the parents previously filed an immigration application for the whole family.
Franklin County Juvenile Court Judge Elizabeth Gill declined to issue the order without first holding a hearing next month. She also declined to remove a gag order that prevents attorneys from discussing the case publicly.
Bary and her parents, Mohamed and Aysha Bary, have agreed to follow a counseling plan drawn up by a county child welfare agency to try to resolve the family's conflict. It requires both sides to work with individual counselors and to try to attend join counseling.
But a face-to-face meeting remains unlikely any time soon.
Jim Zorn, a children's services attorney, told the judge that Bary continues to believe that a reconciliation with her parents is impossible. Bary's counselor has indicated that contact with her parents would be premature, he said.
Bary has also complained that her parents have not responded to an emotional letter sent to them through a counselor that explains why their relationship broke down, Lloyd said.
The letter was more like a list of 20 questions that felt like a backdoor interrogation prepared by attorneys, Tarazi said. It included questions such as, "Why don't I have happy memories of my childhood?" he said.
The parents want to respond but also want assurances that Bary's attorneys are not interfering with the process, Tarazi said.
Judge Gill ordered both attorneys to stay away from the counselors.
Bary's case has drawn national attention, especially among bloggers, with anti-Islam groups warning she could face death and some Muslim groups saying she's being exploited by outsiders.
The girl ran away last July, saying she couldn't stay with her parents because she feared for her life for converting to Christianity. Authorities found no evidence that she faced harm in Ohio.
Police in Columbus continue to investigate whether anyone broke the law by helping Bary run away.
Bary's father alleges a Columbus minister drove her to a Greyhound station where she received a bus ticket and took a bus to Orlando, Fla. There, she stayed with a minister and his wife for about two weeks before the state of Florida took custody of her and returned her to Ohio.
Monday, April 5, 2010
by MARISSA CALLIGERO
Helen Pomery and David Lowe remember a former life of servitude.
"I had to submit and be obedient to my husband," Ms Pomery, a 60-year-old Brisbane mother, claims.
"I had to submit and be obedient to the church elders and I had to cut off my daughter."
This, she was assured, was key to her eternal salvation.
"We lived at Samford on acreage. We were ordinary. We just happened to go to an extraordinary church..."
The church - the Brisbane Christian Fellowship (BCF) - nestled in the Samford Valley in Brisbane's north, has a loyal following.
Church elders preach sacrifice, submission and obedience, she claimed.
To the church faithful, they are God's messengers.
But beyond the public face of the church, strategically hidden from the congregation, is human devastation.
Families have been torn apart, and psychological counselling required by former members.
Not that Ms Pomery could see the potential for damage when she arrived with her husband and three children in Maryborough from South Australia.
"We were Christians, we were looking for a new church.
"Then the Brisbane Christian Fellowship sent a pastor to our house.
"They present well; they had a lot of credibility. They are very kind and responsive people. You get embraced by the fellowship and you think `this is lovely.'"
But as her husband became more involved with the church's elders, demands became more strict.
The BCF demands followers attain sinless perfection.
As part of this, female followers are expected to sacrifice their free will to men, Ms Pomery says.
"The elders held a men's sexuality seminar out here and they said that my body was not my body it was his body, so my husband had every right to demand that whenever he chose.
"I know of wives whose husbands said that they couldn't use the car to go out other than to the shops. So the husband wrote down the (odometer) reading in the morning and checked the (odometer) at night.
"I know of other wives whose husbands gave them a list each morning and said, `You will complete the tasks on this list today.'
"The women have to keep submitting and obeying. They are not allowed to have a voice."
Yet women are not the only victims of emotional abuse here.
Mr Lowe, an electrician by trade, joined the church 13 years after his wife.
"After 13 years of not having my family home on weekends and during the week...I went in," he says.
"I slogged my guts out, gave all my money to the church...and what for - for nothing."
"They preach you are a slave and you should be happy to be a slave."
Rosanne Henry, a specialist in cult recovery in the United States, says the directives are the classic fruits of mind control or thought reform.
Cults, she says, exploit normal needs by extraordinary means.
The first is `love bombing'.
"We all want to belong and feel loved and valued," she says.
Ms Pomery shared her journey at the Cult Information and Family Support Group Queensland Conference held in Brisbane last week.
Her church life became unbearable when her eldest daughter married a leader's son.
The family was in the inner-fold.
"When you're closer to a cult leader he has to have (you) under his complete control. He will make sure that the elders have their allegiance to him, above their allegiance to their wife and children," she says.
"Those men (elders) will sacrifice their marriages; they will sacrifice their children; and they will do anything they are told to do.
"It's an acid test."
Helen was first targeted because she dared to write a journal.
"The elders said to my husband that my journalling was part of my rebellion in that I was having private thoughts and I was not submitted to my husband.
"I was disciplined. I had to write confessions. I was banned from taking communion. In the end, I was banned from going to the church. I was kept home to write assignments. This is in a marriage of 30 years."
Women in the congregation receive their orders from the elders in writing.
"My daughter - she was 26 at the time - was given a letter to leave the house," Ms Pomery says.
"She was given a week to leave the house, because she dated a boy outside the group. Dating, courtship and marriage are all tightly controlled.
"The conditions put on me were that I was not allowed to phone her. I wasn't even allowed send her re-addressed letters that came to the house. I was to cut her off as if she were dead.
"I submitted to that for six months, but I heard via other family that she was feeling ill and she was sick, so I reached out to her.
"A year later, in 2001, I was given a letter to leave the house.
"I left. I was only allowed back if I could fulfil three conditions: I had to submit and be obedient to my husband, I had to submit and be obedient to the elders and I had to cut off my daughter.
"I couldn't fulfil those conditions. I would have gone back and tried to submit, but I said I wouldn't cut off my daughter. As a result of that I was never allowed back to my family home.
"To them, I was unsubmitted, wicked, and despicably evil."
Helen was excommunicated.
"I was suicidal. They had taken everything I love, everything I hold dear."
"There have been several suicides in the group because people are just tormented, isolated, hounded, bullied. You name it, they do it."
Helen found her salvation in a close friend - not a church member - who recommended she seek psychiatric treatment.
"I have been out for nine years, but I would still say that I am in recovery."
Mr Lowe says the elders wore him down to breaking point.
"If you're subservient and doing what they want they build you up, but as soon as you start to express doubts you become a target and they put the boot in," he says.
"I just couldn't jump through their hoops anymore.
"Eventually I thought, blow it, I will lose my salvation, that's my problem. And I did leave.
"But I didn't want my family to lose their salvation, so I didn't try to get them out.
"Once I came out and people began to shun me, wouldn't talk to me, had nothing to do with me, wouldn't even come to my home."
Mr Lowe compares himself to a cancer patient, now in remission. He longs to see his children again.
"If I had known then, what I know now, I would have tried to get my children out. There is a chance I will see them again."
Rosanne Henry says education is key to the recovery process.
"The experience was extreme psychologically and emotionally and spiritually for most people [who leave religious cults] - ... and so they need to understand how that happened.
"Psycho-education about thought reform and mind control is critical because that was what was used on them in the group. They need understand what happened and why it happened.
"That was their world and they need to understand it so they can get rid of it."
She says, normalcy may never be attainable.
"But there's ways to get a good life back."
The Brisbane and Melbourne Christian Fellowships did not respond to requests from brisbanetimes.com.au to comment on the allegations made by Ms Pomery and Mr Lowe.
The woman who answered the phone at the church in Brisbane told us she was not authorised to comment.
"It's up to the men to decide. We can only pass on messages to them."