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Why I Oppose the Church Growth Movement Pt 2
Jan 16th, 2016
Commentary
Randy White
Categories: Warning

I reject all manipulation and aim toward persuasion.
The second reason I’m leaving the missional-community church-growth movement is because I reject manipulation of all kinds. In fact, more than ever before, it disgusts me. The modern church is so built on manipulation that I’m convinced it could not continue without it.
I recently attended a relatively small Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church as a guest. I was refreshed to see that almost every participant had their Bible—and opened—during the sermon. This told me that the pastor regularly delivers enough verse-by-verse content that looking up one verse on an iPad just wouldn’t suffice. Bibles, for this rare congregation, were a necessity. I was also impressed by the music. It was bad…and that impressed me. It wasn’t polished. There wasn’t a carefully selected Praise Team who passed the “Sunday morning test” of looks and sound, dressed in color-coordinated clothing, closing their eyes and looking to heaven as if they were in an ecstatic moment (I’ve often seen these ecstatic moments turn on and off like a light switch). In fact, the song leader was clearly not a professional, and his tone was often off just a bit. But the people sang with joy. I was impressed with their prayers. They prayed for real and legitimate needs during a Sunday morning service. It would never pass the church-growth test, because it wasn’t seeker-friendly at all with random people from the congregation praying at-will over the needs of the members. As a first-time visitor, I felt out-of-place during that prayer, and I thought that was wonderful. After all, if I was looking for a church, I’d want one that really cared about the hurting people they knew, the flesh-and-blood people who sat in their pews each Sunday.

Most churches (including mine) are not like this. In most churches (not mine), I wonder if they would be able to continue the “worship” if the electricity went out. The service is so dependent on mood-lighting, electric instrumentation, sound amplification, and video enhancement that it would fall flat in a New York minute with no power. In my church, thankfully, if the electricity went out, we would give one another a quick glance and grin, and keep on singing or preaching. If the electricity-dependent “worship” of the modern church lost electricity, we would see quickly how much vast emptiness there is in these churches, and in short-order, the churches would be vastly empty. No show, no crowd. (Incidentally, I’m not a fan of the black-box architecture of the missional-community church. This is a total rejection of centuries of theologically-driven architectural principles of church design that understood a theology of aesthetics.)

Rejecting manipulation, I won’t do a countdown video before the service; it simply enhances the idea of a show that is about to begin. I refuse to only allow the A-team to “perform.” I don’t want soft music playing while I pray (or preach, or give an invitation). I don’t want “smart lights” that set the mood, changeable at the push of a button to fit the tone of the selected song. I don’t want to manipulate my audience into a certain feeling which will evoke a certain action. Doing so is sadly too easy, because our generation (as the Bible predicted) loves the tickling of ears. If you tickle, they will come.

What I do want to provide is persuasion. I want to stand before the congregation with a persuasive argument from Scripture. As a lawyer before the jury, I want to present a water-tight case that will change the thinking of those who have come to hear a Biblical message. I realize that I do this in a day in which feeling trumps thinking, and so my kind of persuasive preaching will often be rejected. Persuasive preaching doesn’t have enough stories, illustrations, and “you can do it” back-slapping grunts.

I refuse to let my congregation be deceived by good feelings
Thirdly, I reject the missional-community church-growth movement because it is deceptive. Participants in these churches feel like they are stalwart conservatives in a Bible-believing, Gospel-proclaiming, Hell-reducing, Kingdom-expanding church. They consistently proclaim, “My preacher really preaches the Bible.” True, their preacher does hold up a Bible and talk about how true and authoritative it is. He even quotes from the Bible fairly consistently (“I know the plans I have for you…I will never leave you nor forsake you…I am come that you might have life more abundantly…(and, of course) bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse”). What these church members do not know is that they have adopted the leftist agenda (socialism) or neo-con agenda (reconstructing a Christian society) which is as empty as it has always been.

I will lose church-growth potential because I won’t allow a good-feeling production to trump reality. Do my church members know their Bible? Can they give a defense of the attacks against it? Can they rightly divide the Word of Truth? Do they have a Biblical worldview that understands creation (young-earth), eschatology (pre-trib), salvation (Jesus as propitiatory sacrifice), grace (free from the Law), and so much more? Have I developed a congregation that could, and would, stick with it through a months-long study of the book of Numbers?  Or Leviticus?  If I have not developed this kind of Biblical hunger, then I’ve just allowed them to be deceived by thinking they’ve had Bible study, experienced worship, and come away a better (and more Christ-like) person. Since I will stand before God someday to be judged for reality (not feelings), I will be satisfied to spend my time and energy developing a Biblically-literate congregation.

I reject the church as a program organization over which I am the CEO
Finally, the CEO model of Pastor has to go. I know that almost every missional-community church-growth model pastor’s conference says this same thing, continually reminding pastors that they are not CEOs. Then, having given the obligatory rejection of CEO style leadership, they tell the Pastor that he should be known as the “Lead Pastor” (lead…short for leadership, a key CEO trait). They instruct him in the best means of vision development and “vision casting.” They Peter Drucker him to spiritual death. They study the Bible, not looking for Biblical truth, but looking for leadership traits of Moses (one of the worst leaders of all time), Gideon (zero leadership capability), Nehemiah (who was not a priest nor a pastor, but a government official), Jesus (who did nothing but follow His Father), or Paul (who said pastors should “preach the Word”).

Going further, these pastor’s conferences (or books) talk about all the programs and paradigms the church could/should implement to develop its missional-community. Of course, as soon as you create any kind of ministry (i.e. program) in the church, it requires some oversight, which requires the Pastor to leave his pastoral function and begin acting like the conference/book instructed him to act:  like a leader.

Don’t call me Lead Pastor. Don’t call me Senior Pastor (been there, done that). Don’t call me Teaching Pastor (is there any other kind?). Just call me Pastor, and let me devote my life to prayer and the ministry of the Word, ministering to the flock under my care. I happen to believe that if a person attends a church where they cannot call the Pastor and talk to him, they don’t really have a Pastor.

Conclusion
I’ve just rejected everything that has become the favorite methods of the missional-community church, which it uses as it bows down to its idol called church-growth. I’m sure some have said “amen” all the way through. If that was you, you’ve probably struggled to find a place to worship and call your church home. Others have come to the end with a righteous rage, wondering how I could so “not get it.” Whichever side you are on, I encourage you to run to the Bible and use it as your only source of revelation about the will of God in church, society, and your own personal life.

South Carolina Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Interpose Against Supreme Court Same - Sex Marriage
Jan 16th, 2016
Daily News
Christian News - Heather Clark
Categories: Contemporary Issues

COLUMBIA, South Carolina — Two Republican lawmakers in South Carolina have introduced a bill that would interpose against June’s same-sex “marriage” ruling and defend the state’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as being the union of one man and one woman.

Rep. Bill Chumley, R-Woodruff, and Rep. Mike Burns, R-Taylors, recently filed Bill 4513 in the General Assembly, otherwise known as the South Carolina Natural Marriage Defense Act.

“[I]n Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015), five justices of the United States Supreme Court issued a lawless opinion with no basis in American law or history, purporting to overturn natural marriage and find a ‘right’ to same-sex ‘marriage’ in the United States Constitution and the fourteenth amendment,” it reads in part.

The bill quotes remarks from the dissenting justices in the case, and notes that “natural marriage has been recognized and regulated by the states since the founding of America,” and that “English common law was the source of the early American common law.”

The bill then quotes from Sir William Blackstone, whose Commentaries on the Common Law were used by attorneys and the courts throughout early America. Blackstone taught that a man’s rights come from God, and that all law must be based on God’s law.

“[The] law of nature, being coeval with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in any obligation to any other,” Blackstone stated. “It is binding over all the globe in all countries, and at all times; no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this.”

The Blackstone Institute outlines that “[i]t was only in the mid-Twentieth Century that American law, being re-written by the U. S. Supreme Court, repudiated Blackstone.”

Consequently, Woodruff and Burns declare in Bill 4513 that not all orders are lawful, and unlawful orders should be resisted.

“It is the policy of the State of South Carolina to defend natural marriage as recognized by the people of this State in the Constitution and laws of the State of South Carolina, consistent with natural law and the United States Constitution,” the bill declares. “Natural marriage between one man and one woman as recognized by the people of this State remains the law in South Carolina, regardless of any court decision to the contrary.”

“A court decision purporting to strike down natural marriage, including Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S.Ct. 2584 (2015), is unauthoritative, void, and of no effect,” it says.

Bill 4513 also requires the state attorney general to defend South Carolina law in the event of a lawsuit surrounding the institution of marriage.

Chumley said that he believes officials in South Carolina must uphold the will of the people and the law of God.

“Their lifestyle or what they do is their call. This is not against gay people. This is saying that South Carolina should not sanction or ordain something we believe is wrong,” he told reporters. “I represent the people, and the people have shown several times that they are opposed to this, and are in favor of traditional marriage.”

Report: Global Christian Persecution Unprecedented in 2015
Jan 16th, 2016
Daily News
Christian News - Heather Clark
Categories: Persecution

Globe Credit Yejun Kim FI-compressed

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A watchdog organization that releases a report each year on the global persecution of Christians states that 2015 marked “unprecedented” levels of persecution on every continent, fulfilling its prediction from it previous report that matters would get worse.

“The levels of exclusion, discrimination and violence against Christians is unprecedented, spreading and intensifying,” David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA, said in a press release on Wednesday. “Christians, longing to stay in their home countries, are being forced to flee for their lives and for their children’s lives.”

The group unveiled its annual World Watch List on Wednesday, which marks the 50 most dangerous places to live as a Christian. It noted that in 2015, over 7,000 Christians were killed for their faith, up from nearly 3,000 the year prior, and approximately 2,400 churches were attacked or damaged, a figure that doubled from 2014.

For the 14th consecutive year, North Korea ranked the most difficult place to live as a Christian.

“Christianity is not only seen as ‘opium for the people’ as is normal for all communist states; it is also seen as deeply Western and despicable,” Open Doors USA outlined in its report. “Christians try to hide their faith as far as possible to avoid arrest and being sent to a labor camp. Thus, being Christian has to be a well-protected secret, even within families, and most parents refrain from introducing their children to the Christian faith in order to make sure that nothing slips their tongue when they are asked.”

The organization estimates that between 50,000 to 70,000 Christians are believed to be imprisoned in labor camps in the communist country.

Second to North Korea is Iraq, where Islamic violence dominated news headlines throughout 2015. Christians and other religious groups fled their homes by the thousands to escape the rule of the Islamic State.

Christians are caught here in the crossfire of two different battles: one for a Kurdish autonomous country and one for a religious cleansing of Iraq by Islamic terrorist groups who wish to make the country purely Islamic,” Opens Doors USA explained. “On the other hand, amidst the current crisis, there are also sparks of hope as opportunities arise for churches to reach out to refugees.”

But it wasn’t only ISIS that posed a threat to Christians in 2015. The Islamic terror groups Boko Haram and al-Shabaab affected thousands living in African nations, such as Somalia, Sudan and Libya, which ranked seventh, eighth and tenth on the list respectively, as well as Nigeria, which ranked twelfth.

“Less well known are the tens of thousands of Christians leaving the 12 sharia states of northern Nigeria, where 27 million Christians remain second-class citizens, and now many thousands are fleeing the anti-Christian violence of Hausa-Fulani herdsmen in the country’s mid-section,” the organization outlined.

“Official estimates seem to be the tip of the iceberg,” it continued. “In Kenya, many Christians are fleeing from the Muslim-majority areas. Tens of thousands continue to brave desert and trafficking gangs to leave Eritrea, many ending up in Europe…”

Other countries ranking in the top ten worst places to live as a Christian include Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan and Iran.

Curry stated that the list should remind Christians to pray for their brothers and sisters worldwide and not forget their suffering.

“For Christians in the West, the Open Doors World Watch List serves as a clarion call to pray, advocate and remember their persecuted fellow Christians,” he said.

Pope Francis Calls for Collaboration With Worlds Religions, Those Who Meet God in Different Ways
Jan 16th, 2016
Daily News
Christian News
Categories: One World Church

Vatican Video Joined-compressed (1)

ROME — In his first-ever video declaring his “prayer intentions,” the Roman Catholic leader Jorge Bergoglio, also known as Pope Francis, called for dialogue and collaboration among those of the various world religions on Tuesday, asserting that they are simply “seeking or meeting God in different ways.”

“Most of the planet’s inhabitants declare themselves believers,” he states in the production released on the Feast of Epiphany. “This should lead to dialogue among religions. We should not stop praying for it and collaborating with those who think differently.”

The video then features clips of those from different world religions declaring belief in their various deities.

“I have confidence in Buddha,” a female lama announces.

“I believe in God,” a rabbi affirms.

“I believe in Jesus Christ,” a priest states.

“I believe in Allah,” an Islamic leader declares.

Francis contends that all the religions of the world simply represent mankind’s diversity in seeking God. He says that despite the differing beliefs, everyone is a child of the same God.

“Many think differently, feel differently, seeking God or meeting God in different ways,” he states. “In this crowd, in this range of religions, there is only one certainty that we have for all: we are all children of God.”

The video then provides footage of the pontiff meeting with and embracing those of various religions, including Buddhists, Islamists and Orthodox Jews. It again cuts to representatives of the world’s religions, who now declare the same statement: “I believe in love.”

“I hope you will spread my prayer request this month: that sincere dialogue among men and women of different faiths may produce fruits of peace and justice,” Francis states. “I have confidence in your prayers.”

But not everyone is supportive of the Vatican’s call for unity and common ground. Mike Gendron of Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries of Plano, Texas told Christian News Network that the pontiff’s assertions that all mankind is “seeking or meeting God in different ways,” and that all are children of the same God, are flawed.

“Tragically, those who do not know the Bible or who refuse to submit to it as the supreme authority for truth, will be deceived by the pope’s latest pronouncement,” he stated. “The pope’s assertion that all mankind meets with/seeks after the same God, just in different ways, is false according to the word of God. No one seeks for (the true) God (Rom. 3:11), but there are many who seek after false gods of their own imagination or false gods of their religious traditions. The only way to meet with the true God is His way, through the one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5).”

“The word of God reveals that the human race is made up of people who are either children of God or children of the devil (1 John 3:10),” Gendron explained. “The Lord Jesus soundly rebuked the religious leaders of His day for refusing to believe the truth of His Word (John 8:40-43). Jesus told them that their father was the devil, who is the father of lies (John 8:44).”

“This remains true today,” he continued. “The god of this world has created a variety of religions to blind all of his children from the light of the Gospel and the glory of Christ (2 Cor. 4:4).”

Gedron said that in one sense—although not deliberately—Francis is correct as all are children of the darkness by nature, but man only becomes a child of God when he is reborn in Christ.

“Everyone is a child of the ‘god of this world’ until they exchange their religion for a relationship with the one true God through Jesus Christ,” he outlined. “Those who receive Jesus by believing in His name become children of God (John 1:12-13).”

Gendron, a former Roman Catholic, also opined that the pontiff’s ecumenicism is fulfilling prophesy about the formulation of a one world religion.

“As the pope continues to accelerate his ecumenical agenda to rebuild the religious tower of Babel, he will be fulfilling Bible prophecy. All the religions of the world already share a ‘works-righteousness’ salvation and they all are already united by a common spiritual bond,” he said.

“As we see the prophetic one-world religion forming, we know the children of the true God will have no part of it because they have been sanctified by the truth and sealed with the Holy Spirit (2 Thes. 2:13),” Gendron stated.

Let the Headlines Speak
Jan 16th, 2016
Daily News
From the Internet
Categories: Today's Headlines

Man uses microchip implanted in hand to pass through airport security
A man who implanted a microchip containing his airline booking details into his hand was able to use it to pass effortlessly through security to his flight.  

'13 Hours' Review: Riveting Indictment of Obama, Hillary, and The DC Media
Director Michael Bay’s riveting, heartbreaking, and infuriating “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” opens with five simple words: “This Is a True Story.” What it should have read was, “This Is a True Story The Media Has Covered Up For Years.”  

Obama’s Radical 'LGBT' Legacy – An Immoral ‘Transformation’ of America
Note to AFTAH readers: the following is a list of President Barack Obama’s homosexual-bisexual-transgender agenda “achievements,” produced by Human Rights Campaign, the world’s most powerful and well-funded LGBT lobby organization.  

Tony Blair: Britain must join EU army, fend off ‘backward-looking’ Euroskeptics
Britain should be part of the proposed EU army and stay in the union despite the efforts of “backwards-looking” Euroskeptics to withdraw, controversial former PM Tony Blair claims.  

Davis: Obama Noted Muslims, Said Nothing of Christians ‘Tried, Tested, And Being Mashed Down’ ‘With His Agenda’
Following President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis explained why she opposed homosexual “marriage,” and noted that although Obama defended Muslims in his address, he said nothing of Christians who “are being so tried and tested and being mashed down, literally, with his agenda.”  

Sunrise ‘angel,’ cross in sky photographed same day!
What on Earth is happening in the sky? A series of spectacular images of the sun were caught on camera this week from New York to Hawaii, with some saying they see angels, doves and crosses.  

Burkina Faso attacks: Four Al-Qaeda terrorists - 'including two women' - killed after special forces free 126 hostages in hotel siege
Burkina Faso and French forces killed four Islamist extremists on Saturday and freed more than 126 people to end the seige of a luxury hotel by al-Qaida-linked militants, Burkina Faso officials said. In addition to the four jihadists, at least 23 people were killed in the attack at the Splendid Hotel and a nearby cafe in Ouagadougou, the capital, the president said.  

Growing number of police chiefs, sheriffs join call to arms
It's Florida Sheriff Grady Judd's duty to protect the citizens of Polk County -- but he figures it's their job, too. One of a growing number of rural and big-city law enforcement officials who openly encourages responsible gun ownership, Judd believes guns allow citizens to defend themselves when police cannot.  

Iran nuclear deal: Minister says sanctions 'to be lifted'
International sanctions against Iran are to be lifted today, the country's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has said. Mr Zarif is in Vienna for talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry over Iran's nuclear deal. The international nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, is expected to confirm that Iran has scaled back its atomic activities in line with the agreement.  

Venezuela economy: Nicolas Maduro declares emergency
The Venezuelan government has announced a 60-day economic emergency to deal with the country's worsening crisis. President Nicolas Maduro will govern by decree for two months. The edict includes tax increases and puts emergency measures in place to pay for welfare services and food imports.  

Tsai Ing-wen elected Taiwan's first female president
Ms Tsai, 59, represents Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which leads the camp that wants independence from China. Although she has not made her stance clear, opponents say Taiwan's relations with China will deteriorate as she does not recognise the "one China" policy. China sees the island as a breakaway province - which it has threatened to take back by force if necessary.  

In historic first, a January tropical storm makes landfall in Azores
For the first time in recorded history, a tropical storm has made landfall in the Azores Islands, located in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean, during the month of January. Alex had been a hurricane from Thursday afternoon through Friday morning, but the storm weakened while transitioning into a non-tropical storm system.  

Xi visit to bolster Saudi-China ties
Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia on Tuesday when he will meet with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to discuss trade and other ties.  

N. Korea Says It Could Halt Nuke Tests If US Scraps Drills
North Korea said it could stop nuclear tests in exchange for the U.S. scrapping joint military drills with South Korea, while also calling for a peace treaty with the U.S. in an echo of demands that were rejected by Washington in the past.  

Pakistani boy cuts off own hand after blasphemy mistake: police
A 15-year-old Pakistani boy cut off his own hand believing he had committed blasphemy, only to be celebrated by his parents and neighbours for the act.  

Pro-regime forces brace for assault to seize Aleppo
Pro-regime fighters are preparing to launch a major assault to recapture Syria's second city Aleppo, a security source in the northern province told AFP.  

Security forces launch assault on besieged Burkina Faso hotel
Security forces launched an assault in the early hours of Saturday to rescue hostages held by Al-Qaeda linked gunman in a Burkina Faso hotel where at least 20 people have been killed. Communication Minister Remis Dandjinou told AFP 63 hostages, including 33 wounded, were evacuated from inside Ouagadougou's four-star Splendid hotel.  

ISIS just messed with the wrong Islamic country
ISIS's November terrorist attack in Paris might have made a bigger splash around the world, but its Istanbul attack Tuesday might actually prove its undoing. That's because it might finally persuade Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who commands the second largest NATO army after America, to stop playing footsie with this noxious outfit and start dealing with it.  

Saudi ally Comoros breaks off relations with Iran
Indian Ocean archipelago and Saudi Arabia ally the Comoros said it had cut diplomatic relations with Iran over what it termed Tehran's "aggression" towards Riyadh.  

Islamic State Training Kidnapped Children to Kill Their Parents
Jan 16th, 2016
Daily News
Robert Spencer
Categories: Warning

“You will not find a people who believe in Allah and the Last Day having affection for those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, even if they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred.” (Qur’an 58:22)

“O you who have believed, do not take your fathers or your brothers as allies if they have preferred disbelief over belief. And whoever does so among you – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.” (Qur’an 9:23)

“There has already been for you an excellent pattern in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people, ‘Indeed, we are disassociated from you and from whatever you worship other than Allah. We have denied you, and there has appeared between us and you animosity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone…’” (Qur’an 60:4)

Islamic State child soldiers

“Boys snatched from their families by ISIS reveal how they were ordered to kill their parents after being trained as child soldiers… and would have their legs broken if they refused,” by Tom Wyke, MailOnline, January 12, 2016 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

Former ISIS child soldiers have revealed how the jihadi group snatch young boys from their families and subject them to savage punishments if they refuse to become child soldiers.

One 11-year-old boy, known only as Nouri, had one of his legs broken after he refused to become a ‘cub of the caliphate.’

The children who managed to escape describe how they were indoctrinated into the jihadi group’s radical brand of Islam and taught that they should execute their ‘unbeliever’ parents.

A Kurdish commander described the challenge his men face when fighting against ISIS. He said that ISIS frequently send children out on the frontline, wearing concealed explosive vests.

Aziz Abdullah Hadur said that when fighting on the Gweyr frontline, his men had witnessed numerous child soldiers fighting for ISIS on the frontline….

Hundreds Injured As Filipino Crowd Throngs Healing Idol Being Marched Through Streets
Jan 16th, 2016
Daily News
Christian News - Heather Clark
Categories: Contemporary Issues

Idol

MANILA, Philippines — Two people are dead and hundreds were injured on Saturday as massive throngs sought to press up against a centuries-old statue of Christ that was marched through the streets of Manila as part of an annual Roman Catholic celebration called the Feast of the Black Nazarene.

Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno estimates that 1.4 million people participated in the procession, which takes place every Jan. 9th in the city. Roman Catholics carry white cloths and seek to touch the wood carving of Jesus carrying the cross out of their belief that it possesses healing powers or can bring good fortune.

This year was no exception, as some followers along the 20-hour procession handed cloths to those who were adjacent to the carriage, hoping that they could swipe the idol for them.

“When I was a young woman, I walked on my knees and begged the Black Nazarene to give me a good husband,” 72-year-old Nilda Saavedra, told reporters. “I also prayed that all my three children could finish college. All my prayers were heard.”

The carving, known as the Black Nazarene for the figure’s dark complexion, is believed to have been brought from Mexico to Manila in the 1600’s. It was carried aboard a ship, and although the vessel caught fire, it was not destroyed.

For the past 200 years, millions have flooded the streets as the wooden carving is carried through Manila for its annual feast day. Those who observe the occasion, which includes men, women and children alike, usually walk the streets barefoot as a gesture of reverence toward the statue. The event can sometimes become dangerous as the throngs push one another out of the way.

“Today, they cause chaos. Sometimes, while the carriage is still being moved out of the church, some devotees are already fighting,” Teresita De Guzman, 71, who has participated in the annual procession for 50 years, told the Philippine Star. “Others even stab and hit each other just to get closer to the Señor.”

Reports state that one man, Alex Fulyedo, 27, died after suffering a seizure during the event, and a candle vendor, Mauro Arabit, 58, had a heart attack and was declared dead on arrival at a local hospital.

The Philippine Red Cross says that it treated over 1,200 people for injuries, which included cuts, abrasions and bruises, as well as those who sought to have their blood pressure checked. A few also complained of shortness of breath or struggled with ailments that required hospitalization.

The procession began at 6 a.m. on Saturday and concluded at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning, and was guarded by an estimated 5,000 police officers and members of the military.

As previously reported, the vast majority of Filipinos—approximately 80 percent—are Roman Catholic. Only an estimated 2.8 percent of the population professes to be evangelical Christian.

Davis: Obama Noted Muslims, Said Nothing of Christians Tried, Tested, and Being Mashed Down with His
Jan 16th, 2016
Daily News
cnsnews - Michael W. Chapman
Categories: Contemporary Issues

Following President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis explained why she opposed homosexual “marriage,” and noted that although Obama defended Muslims in his address, he said nothing of Christians who “are being so tried and tested and being mashed down, literally, with his agenda.”

Davis, an elected clerk in Rowan County, Ky., was briefly jailed last year following the Supreme Court ruling that legalized homosexual “marriage” for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because it went against her Christian beliefs.

In an interview on EWTN’s News Nightly on Jan. 12, host Jason Calvi asked Davis, “Was there anything that you particularly didn’t like about what the president said tonight?”

Davis said, “He had made the statement that everybody was free to marry who they love, and, of course, that’s the stand that I stood against.  And it was not, for me, it never was a gay or a lesbian issue.”

“It’s about standing up for the word of the God and as God had defined marriage from the very beginning as between one man and one woman, and that’s what I stood for,” she said.

Calvi then asked, “One of the points he mentioned was about Islam. Were you surprised that he brought that up?”

“Oh no,” said Davis. “One of the things that he focused on was that we should not discriminate against Muslims or persecute them.”

“But he never once said anything about the people of the Christian faith who are being so tried and tested and being mashed down, literally, with his agenda,” said Davis.

Kim Davis assumed the clerk of Rowan County, Ky., position in January 2015. After the June 26, 2015 ruling by the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, legalizing gay marriage, Davis refused to issues licenses for homosexual couple and heterosexual couples.

Davis, a devout Christian, said she could not issue such licenses because it was contrary to her religious beliefs.  A lawsuit was filed and Davis was jailed for contempt of court for five days.

Today, some of her deputies at the Rowan County office issue the homosexual “marriage” licenses but Davis does not authorize them or sign the documents.

Apostate Episcopal Priests Welcomed Youth Minister Practicing Transexualism Now Charged With Rape
Jan 16th, 2016
Daily News
Christian News
Categories: Contemporary Issues

BLUEFIELD, W.V. — A West Virginia man who identifies as a woman and was welcomed by several Episcopal priests to serve as a youth minister in their assemblies has now been charged with the years-long sexual abuse of a young girl.

James “Jimmy” Lilly, 24, was taken into custody on Tuesday and is facing dozens of sexually-related charges, including one count of incest, one count of second-degree sexual assault and 31 counts of first-degree sexual abuse.

According to reports, Lilly, who was working on obtaining a teaching degree at Bluefield State College, served as a youth leader for an unspecified number of Episcopal congregation in the Bluefield area, including at Christ Episcopal Church.

“He was a youth minister, but also involved with children in other ways,” Detective K.L. Adams told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.

“Mr. Lilly, by his own admission, is transgender,” he also stated. “He is in the process of becoming a woman.”

Police began investigating Lilly in December after being alerted that he had been sexually abusing a girl since 2009, when she was nine or ten years old. The abuse is stated to have taken place at a home and not a church building.

He was released this week after someone posted his $125,000 bond, but investigators are now looking into claims that he had abused additional children while working as a youth leader in other cities and states, such as Mechanicsville, Virginia and Atlanta, Georgia.

“Of course in this investigation, we put out there in the news for any other victims to come forward and contact the Bluefield Police Department,” Adams told reporters. “There has been some allegations arise out of state at other churches that he has worked—possible victims there that have come forward.”

Local television station WVVA contacted officials with Christ Episcopal Church of Bluefield, but was told that Lilly never raised any red flags by engaging in behavior that they found to be strange or concerning.

“After interviewing the victim in this case, hearing all the stuff that has happened and also everything that has led up to and speaking with individuals that have been involved in Mr. Lilly’s life, we find it pertinent that he is guilty of these charges,” Adams told the outlet.

Lilly faces up to 300 years behind bars if convicted.


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