Monday, August 29, 2011

Nasty Politics Fueled By Wanna Be Christians

The following "conversational" exchange was sent via email through Andrew Strom's ministry. It concerns the nasty behavior exhibited by U.S. Christians in the political arena. The world is watching folks, and I say little wonder many nonbelievers discount us when they see some of the behavior Christians exhibit when it comes to politics--especially by the tea party crowd. (and the NAR is certainly flaming some of it!) And boy howdy how some are so skillful at yanking the strings of conservative evangelicals in America. I call it prostituting the Gospel myself for political gain. The Message is not about politics, it is about Jesus Christ. Shouldn't we be about our Father's business?

"Sorry to see you go, but hey... we will certainly meet again."

Email presented directly below:

-by Andrew Strom.

I had a couple from the USA write to me today with a rather hair-raising question on US politics. But before we get to their email,let me make a couple of points. As many of you know, I am astrongly conservative evangelical Christian. And yet, I have questioned for a long time whether conservative Christians (particularly in the USA) are trying to solve "SPIRITUAL" problems with Politics - which will never work. The sheer amount of money and energy and passion that Christians in the US are devoting to "electing the right guy" seems to even dwarf what they are willing to do SPIRITUALLY. There is something wrong. We are trying to use Politics to solve problems that only God Himself can solve! We need an actual Awakening - not just a "new guy" for President! A lot of this massive devotion and activism is a "distraction" and is also leading to enraged and "hateful" behaviour from Christians. Slander, gossip, anger, malicious talk, circulating hateful rumors, etc, etc. Real ugly behaviour that is not Christ-like at all. In fact, it is the very opposite of the way Jesus told us to be.

But now - let us get to the email. Here is what Carolyn and Wendell wrote to me-"Concerning America and patriotism. I have participated in this also... I have a question that I would greatly appreciate your input

"My husband and I have become increasingly troubled by the emphasis on politics as an answer to our country's problems. At the birth of the Christian Right, which I date from Pat Robertson's call for Christians to register as Republicans and vote accordingly because of the issues of abortion and gay rights. At first this seemed right to my husband and me, but as time went by we became troubled in our spirits and began to seek the Lord about it. We should have done that before, but there was so much peer pressure that we never even questioned that it was the right path.

"The 'voice' was so strident and so angry that we SHOULD have questioned it at the onset. The strident voice grew louder and louder and more and more angry until it became actually hate filled and discernment became hard to find within the movement - to proclaim the Republican Party as the party God had chosen. To even question that God might NOT have blessed a specific party as a holy vessel and the other as evil was met with outrage.

"Christians began to send hate filled email forwards about President Obama that were clearly bald-faced lies, but were received with gladness. The intensity only increased. When we warned others that Romans 13 was still in the Bible we were met with derision, so great was the hatred for this man who was elected as President.

"Now, another Christian voice has risen, and as 'the savior of our country', Rick Perry, the Governor of Texas. We have heard from media reports that he has aligned himself with a group known as the "New Apostolic Reformation" which has been compared to the "Kingdom Now"... the "Reconstruction/Kingdom Dominionists" movements. In trying to ascertain the validity of this movement (actually a "doctrine", I believe), we have found an extremely troubling trend toward acceptance of the belief that God will restore America THROUGH a Christian political movement--ie. man's efforts.

"This sounds like to us exactly what Satan has devised and not in any way resembling our Holy Father's plan for redemption of His people in HIS KINGDOM IN HEAVEN. This human ordained plan for redemption of our country smacks of pride, arrogance and greed without even a hint of godliness. It sounds like a plan to establish a theocracy though it will not be called a theocracy... I ran across an internet article/blog authored by Dr. Orrel Steincamp (and another by Ken Silva) called "The Coalescing of the Christian Right with Apostolic Dominionism". This sounds like just what my husband and I had feared would transpire, but we aren't acquainted with these authors. We would greatly appreciate your prayerful consideration of this movement in order to give us more light and clarity on the subject."

ANDREW REPLIES: I will only be brief, because I'm sure others will have insights to share. But let me start by saying I am totally opposed to the so-called “New Apostolic Reformation” – since I believe it is neither “apostolic” nor any kind of real ‘reformation’ at all. It is essentially just another type of “hierarchy” trying to
impose itself over the church – made up (mostly) of presumptuous men with business cards displaying the word “apostle”. These are the same guys who got up on stage to endorse Todd Bentley at the Lakeland revival just before the whole thing collapsed. God gave them a public spanking then for their "apostolic" proclamations, but it looks like they are coming back for more. Once was not enough. This "2nd spanking" is now underway and is all over the media. God is yet again showing that these are no "apostles" of His. Rick Perry - if he knows what is good for him - will distance himself from these guys at the speed of light. But already they may have cost him the Presidency.

Regarding the "hatefulness" of Politics - yes it is totally unChristian to behave that way - yet so many Christians are getting caught up in it. That is because they are putting Politics ahead of God. HE is the only one that can save America. Not an "election"!! If you think that the Tea Party and Fox News can save America with their Political activism, you are totally out to lunch. JESUS is the only one who can save the country. No-one else. We need a REVIVAL - not just a political party!!

But it is even worse - because it is now starting to get so extreme that I believe civil strife can be expected on the streets if it keeps going this way. You know, when God judges a country He often gives them over to division and infighting and internal strife. I believe this is on the cards for America in the next few years. My friends, I urge you not to be part of it. Don't be part of the "mob hysteria" that is starting to get whipped up on both the Left and the Right. This is not what Jesus calls us to at all. The dangers are becoming more and more evident. U.S Christians - you have been warned.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Controversial Minister Found Dead

*A very sad story. Lee Grady makes some excellent points throughout the article below about Zachery Tims—a minister who was found dead in a hotel.

What We Must Learn From the Zachery Tims Tragedy
by Lee Grady

God has something sobering to say to us through the death of this popular preacher.

Zachery Tims’ story had a great beginning. As a young man he met Jesus and was saved from a life of crime and drugs. He and his wife, Riva, moved from Baltimore to Orlando, Fla., in 1996 to launch a church that aimed to restore families and pull teens out of trouble. New Destiny Christian Center grew fast, mostly because of Tims’ passionate preaching. He was soon a regular on Christian television.

But things unraveled in 2009 when Tims was caught carrying on a yearlong affair with a stripper he met in France. He admitted to an “indiscretion” and got a few weeks of counseling, but he didn’t take serious time off for rehabilitation. Riva divorced him for his infidelity. The billboards that once featured photos of the happy couple were changed. By 2011 the roadside ads featured a shot of Tims by himself, with this slogan: “A Family Church Meeting Family Needs.”

This story did not end well. On Aug. 12, Tims was found dead—at age 42—in a New York City hotel room. His four children lost their dad, and his church lost their beloved leader. But while Tims’ family and friends are grieving their loss (and I’m not minimizing that because the pain is real), I’m also grieving over the fact that the wider body of Christ has yet another embarrassing religious scandal to explain. We can’t gloss over this.

There are so many aspects of this story that should cause us to lament. How did a preacher get involved with a stripper? Why didn’t Tims put himself on the bench for at least a year after his sin was exposed? Why did Christian television keep him on the air after his affair became public? Why did his church continue to attract crowds when people knew Tims’ behavior did not match the biblical standards of morality required for church leaders?

*Click here to continue reading.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Stinks Like A Con Game Church

Investigation Finds Alleged Phony Church DarkSide in Full Swing
by ABC News NightLine

Teens at a Dallas youth dance club run by an Internet-ordained minister say it has made a positive impact on their lives and helped them stay off drugs, even though drug dealers do get in.

In an investigation by ABC affiliate WFAA, teens were interviewed outside a club formerly known as DarkSide that the city has sued to shut down.

The after-hours club is now called Fenix Project and it attracts around 500 teens nearly every weekend from Dallas, Wylie and other North Texas cities.

"I would consider a lot of people here my family," a teen named Brittany told WFAA. "I don't live with my parents. All the people I have met here are people who have helped me in the outside world. They all take care of me."

Owner Glenn Hudson says he helps youth and those who are disadvantaged, but Dallas officials suggest his ministry is more like a church of swing than of God.

The city attorney's office has slapped Hudson with a lawsuit for allegedly running two phony churches -- The Playground and the DarkSide. It says one was a club for swingers with condoms and porn stars, and the other a rave dance hall venue where hard-core drugs were sold to teens.

It alleges both operations are "positively pure fraud" and wants them shut down, according to Melissa Miles, assistant city attorney.

"They wrapped themselves in a religious organization," she said.

Hudson, who does not face criminal charges, only the civil lawsuit intended to halt his activities, told city officials that he was ordained with Universal Life Church and said his work is legitimate.

Owners say the club is an outreach ministry, trying to steer young people in the right direction.

This week, WFAA camera crews were not allowed inside the club, but they found teens dressed in everything from pajamas to barely-there bikinis. Some were even changing into revealing outfits in the parking lot and said the club has no dress code.

"We can't normally wear this in public," said one club-goer. "This place gives us the opportunity to wear whatever we want," said another.

The teens said they go to dance and hang out with friends and had lied to their parents about where they were going.

An investigation by Dallas Police undercover agents alleges that drugs are used at the club.

"There might be drugs because people bring them in," club patron Cali Williams told WFAA. "But if they get caught, their stuff gets taken."

"We caught a lot of people doing drugs," said former employee Alex Leal. "We caught a lot of people selling drugs."

WFAA camera crews witnessed one search outside the club where managers found a bag of hallucinogenic mushrooms. Police were called.

Attempts by to find Hudson were unsuccessful, and even city officials said they had a difficult time locating the itinerant minister. His lawyer, Jonathan Bailey, did not return calls from

After getting complaints that Hudson was running unlicensed sex and drug clubs under the "guise of religion," the city hired the Dallas Police Department's Vice Unit to conduct undercover surveillance at both businesses.

At the Dark Side, detectives found a rave dance club. Youth as young as 14 and 15 were present and able to buy an assortment of illegal drugs: ketamine, morphine, marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms and pure ecstasy, known as "mollies," the lawsuit alleges.

Click here to read the rest of this article.