Tim LaHaye dead

 

The New York Times reports…

“The Rev. Tim LaHaye, a leader of the Christian fundamentalist movement and co-author of the best-selling “Left Behind” series of apocalyptic novels prophesying mass slaughters and the end of the world, died on Monday in a San Diego area hospital. He was 90.

His death, days after he had a stroke, was announced on the website for his Tim LaHaye Ministries.

In an age of seemingly endless natural and man-made disasters, the action-packed tales by Dr. LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins struck readers as all too realistic, even if they were based on biblical accounts of the Second Coming, the appearance of an Antichrist and multitudes leaving a calamitous dying world for heaven.

Some critics said that the books, with potboiler plots, characters in conflict and plenty of violence, elevated the sermonizing of old-fashioned Christian fiction into the realms of modern page-turning thrillers by John Grisham, Tom Clancy or Stephen King. Others called them tedious, fatuous, preposterous and exploitative.

And there were darker interpretations by critics who detected anti-Catholicism, anti-Semitism and other religious biases in Scriptural adaptations that focused on questions of death, resurrection, salvation and immortality from a strictly Christian fundamentalist point of view.

The series — 16 volumes that appeared between 1995 and 2007, including sequels, prequels, children’s versions and translations into many languages, as well as spinoff movies, DVDs, audio dramatizations, video games and clothing — sold more than 65 million copies and was perhaps the most commercially successful Christian fiction in publishing history.

They made fortunes for Dr. LaHaye, who created the series and drafted outlines for the stories based on the Books of Isaiah, Ezekiel and Revelations, and for Mr. Jenkins, a former sportswriter who did the actual writing. Dr. LaHaye also wrote or helped write about 50 other books of fiction and nonfiction, and Mr. Jenkins nearly 100 books, including biographies of sports figures.

An evangelical minister in Southern California for decades, Dr. LaHaye turned to politics in the late 1970s, promoting Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition of America and the Rev. Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority. In the 1980s, he gathered 100,000 ministers into the American Coalition for Traditional Values and founded the Council for National Policy, a secretive forum that strategized about turning America to the right.

He also joined political campaigns. In 1987, he was honorary national co-chairman of Representative Jack Kemp’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, but quit after published reports quoted anti-Catholic and anti-Jewish passages in his writings. Dr. LaHaye helped muster the religious right for George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential race, and supported former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas in his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.

Dr. LaHaye, on Mr. Huckabee’s talk show on Fox News in April 2011, said President Obama’s policies were bringing America “closer to the apocalypse,” adding: “He doesn’t understand that some of the things he’s introducing that many of us call ‘raw socialism’ — it’s a different name, but it’s essentially government control and government domination over everything.”

“Are we living in the end of times, from your perspective?” asked Mr. Huckabee.

“Very definitely, governor,” Dr. LaHaye said.

Timothy LaHaye was born in Detroit on April 27, 1926, one of three children of Frank and Margaret Palmer LaHaye. His father, a Ford autoworker, died when Timothy was 9, and his mother went to work at Ford. He attended public schools and began preaching while working at a summer camp. He joined the Army Air Force in 1944 and was a machine-gunner on bombers in Europe.

In 1947, while attending Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C., he married a fellow student, Beverly Ratcliffe. They had two daughters, Linda and Lori, and two sons, Larry and Lee. They survive him, as do a brother, Richard; a sister, Margaret White; nine grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

After earning a bachelor’s degree at Bob Jones in 1950, he received a doctorate at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Mich. He served a congregation in Minneapolis until 1956, then moved to San Diego and for 25 years was pastor of the Scott Memorial Baptist Church in El Cajon, Calif. He also founded several religious schools and the Christian Heritage College. He lived in central California, in Hume, near Kings Canyon National Park.

In the 1970s, Dr. LaHaye wrote books on marriage and family life, depression and homosexuality. He was a harsh critic of Roman Catholicism, calling it a “false religion” and “pseudo-Christian,” and likened its rites to pagan rituals. In the 1980s, he wrote books on anger management, education and politics.

He met Mr. Jenkins in 1992 and proposed that they turn biblical prophesies into futuristic thrillers. Mr. Jenkins, an evangelical Christian, had written for Reader’s Digest and Parade magazines and composed adult and children’s fiction. Their collaboration produced its first book, “Left Behind,” in 1995.

The series revolves around “end times,” when those who have “accepted Christ” are “raptured” and leave behind a world in “Tribulation” — one that is engulfed in seven years of catastrophes and ruled by an Antichrist, the head of the United Nations, who sets up a global government with one religion and one currency.

The novels’ hero, his daughter, their pastor and a young journalist go on a quest to save the lost and to prepare for the Second Coming of Christ, who will reign for 1,000 years, ending with a battle, Armageddon, and Heaven on Earth.

The authors portrayed Jesus as a fearsome warrior who eviscerates millions of unbelievers in grisly detail, casting Hindus, Muslims, Jews, agnostics and anyone not a born-again Christian into the fires. “It was as if the Lord had superheated their blood, causing it to burst through their veins and skin,” they wrote. “Even as they struggled, their own flesh dissolved, their eyes melted and their tongues disintegrated.”

As the series unfolded, usually with a book every year, interest in “end times” surged around the turn of the millennium, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, tsunamis and earthquakes. Tyndale House, the evangelical Christian publisher, spent millions on marketing; sales swollen by secular audiences rivaled the “Harry Potter” books. Most spent months on best-seller lists, several simultaneously.

Many theologians and scholars called the novels a simplistic and dangerous interpretation of Scripture. But Dr. LaHaye said that his only mission was to spread the Gospel by showing the gruesome perdition ahead for unbelievers and the merciful salvation awaiting faithful Christians.”

From http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/26/books/tim-lahaye-a-christian-fundamentalist-leader-dies-at-90.html?_r=0

 

Pastor chained son

Premium Times reports…

“On this rainy Saturday afternoon, a muddy, narrow river of water flowed into a small, deserted, compound deep inside the bush in Ajibawo, a sleepy community in Ogun State.

The Key of Joy Parish of the Celestial Church of Christ is situated here.

The church had been thrown into the limelight after its founder, Taiwo Francis, was found to have chained his son, Korede, 9, on his neck to a heavy log of wood in a room within the premises.

The pastor and his family also live here.

On Friday, officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), acting on a tip-off, invaded the compound to rescue Korede.

“According to the information from officer in charge of Ado-Odo NSCDC Division who led the rescue operation, the boy had been chained for two weeks at the very Celestial Church of Christ (Key of Joy Parish) the boy was tired and pale, he was not able to talk when he was initially rescued,” the NSCDC said in a statement on Saturday.

“On getting to the church there was serious resistance by members led by the pastor’s wife Kehinde, but Civil defence Corps men insisted, and they were able to force their way into the church premises. The boy was actually under lock and key. They quickly took him to the office for necessary entries and documentation and proceeded to the General Hospital, Ota.

“The boy was bath and one Dr. Akintunde asked NSCDC officials who took him there to give him lucosade boost, they then called on welder to cut the chains so as to enable them administer treatment.

“Before NSCDC left the hospital, he has been responding to treatment as he has started talking. However, the Hospital Medical Director one Dr. Osinbajo who came later assures the Corps that the boy will get necessary medical attention needed.”

Neighbours of the church described Mr. Francis as a “wicked” father.

“The boy is a stubborn boy, always fighting,” an elderly man, who refused to be named because he’s not “one of them,” said.

“He has chained the boy since May, because he stole soup. That he always steals soup in the house and even outside the house. We knew it was a wicked thing to do to the little boy,” he added.

On Saturday afternoon, half a dozen plastic chairs were scattered inside the small church, where wooden pillars and beams support the roof. A wooden table holds a Yoruba Bible (opened to ‘Ifihan’ – the book of Revelation) flanked by an empty glass cup and a candle holder. On the bare wall, near the altar, lay a photo of Jesus Christ announcing in Romans 5:8 that ‘But God demonstrated His own love towards us, in that while we are yet sinners, Christ died for us.’

At the back of the church is a tiny room, where Mr. Francis allegedly chained his son.

Outside the church, a hand-written name of the parish and a phone number usher visitors into the compound. A True-Caller search of the number showed it belonged to ‘Tiler Sango Ota,’ an apparent indication that the owner is a tiler at Sango Ota.

“We came here for investigation, from our main church, but the man (Mr. Francis) is nowhere to be found,” said a man in a flowing, white gown who was part of a two-man team dispatched to the church.

They had earlier communicated with Mr. Francis over the phone and, according to them, he had initially agreed to come and meet them in his house but later backed out because he believed security agents were lying in wait for him.

The CCC members declined to be interviewed because they had not been authorised by the Celestial Church of Christ to speak to journalists.

“All we can say is that the man is not a registered – or recognized – pastor in the CCC.”

A few hundred of metres away, in another Celestial Church parish, Albert Hunkanyin sat in his office, making and receiving phone calls about the incident.

He says Mr. Francis is his younger brother.

“That is the behaviour of the fellow. This person doesn’t use to listen to anything at all. He does what he wants,” Mr. Hunkanyin, Shepherd-In-Charge, CCC, Ire-Akari Parish, Ajibawo, said through an interpreter.

“He did something like this in 2013. This particular boy was missing and he came to this church to come and meet me.

“I had once arrested him with soldiers in 2013 because of the way he maltreats the boy. Other members came and pleaded and he said such won’t happen again.

“Soldiers were asking him why he maltreated the boy the way he did. He beats the boy mercilessly. Ever since then, he has been keeping malice with me.”

After initially evading law enforcement officials, Mr. Francis was arrested by the police on Sunday. Police spokesperson, Muyiwa Adejobi, said he was arrested with the help of his church members.”

From http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/207421-inside-ogun-church-9-year-old-boy-chained-tortured.html

Waleed Aly unplugged

 

The Monthly reports…

“This conversation between two great Australian political commentators, La Trobe University’s Emeritus Professor Robert Manne and The Project’s Waleed Aly, is part of La Trobe’s Bold Thinking public lecture series.

Aly discusses the rise of ISIS and Islamist extremism in general, including his thoughts on how the movement ought to be combated in parts of the Middle East where it has taken a stronghold.”

From https://www.themonthly.com.au/video/2016/april/12/1460417679/islam-what-are-we-afraid-waleed-aly-and-robert-manne-conversation

 

Pastor killed pregnant girlfriend

 

Standard Media reports…

“A pastor was Thursday found guilty of the murder of his girlfriend who was four months pregnant.

Pastor Paul Ng’ang’a Wanjiru of Wells of Faith Church in Kawangware was convicted for the murder of Caroline Chinjira in 2012 in Dagoretti, Nairobi.

The family of Ms Chinjira has been seeking justice for the last four years.

High Court judge Jessie Lessit said police investigations, key witness accounts and a written declaration left behind by Chinjira proved that Mr Ng’anga killed the former employee of Panafric Hotel.

Ng’ang’a will be sentenced on Monday. “The court has established that all evidence is pointing to the fact that the televangelist killed Chinjira after his clothes were found to have blood all over, as well as the roof and the steering wheel of his car at the scene of accident,” Justice Lessit said.

He added: “The autopsy report by the Government pathologist corroborated the witnesses’ accounts together with a dying declaration by the deceased that indeed Pastor Ng’ang’a played a key role in ending the life of Chinjira along the southern by-pass in Lang’ata on a Friday night.”

The judge said Chinjira was hit by blunt objects and was also strangled by an electric cable.  The “man of God” had an intention of either inflicting injuries or causing death to the deceased, according to Justice Lessit.

Ng’ang’a and his son, James Mutua, then drove to Muthangari Police Station where they claimed that they had been carjacked, a statement that the court dismissed as lies.

According to family members, Chinjira’s pregnancy was a source of conflict.  She also had a son with the pastor.

She died at the Kenyatta National Hospital while undergoing treatment.

According to Chinjira’s own account, the drama started on the night of March 9, 2012, along the Southern by-pass in Langata area as Ng’ang’a and his son drove her home.

According to police statement, the pastor and his son had planned to commit the offence.

The pastor’s son started to strangle the woman, who was on the co-driver’s seat, using a wire as his father drove at a slow pace. The site of the incident is usually quiet at night and is taken to be a den of crime as many people have been attacked in the area in the past.

As the struggle continued, Chinjira overpowered the pastor’s son and got out of the moving car. 

She told the police before she died that she ran on foot up to Ngong Road near Lenana School where she found a private security company car.

She was rushed to hospital where she died while undergoing treatment.”

From http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2000209440/pastor-found-guilty-of-killing-pregnant-girlfriend/?pageNo=2

Christian Schools boss says gay advocates are ‘Christophobic’

 

“In our society, it’s now become fashionable to condemn any Christian as a bigot. Where did that come from?

The self-same people who are demanding that the Christian Church reach out compassionately and stop judging people who have different characteristics, whether they be sexuality, gender or whatever else, those same people who stand up for the right of others to have equality are the very ones who are condemning Christians, believers, as bigots and homophobes.

They stand condemned by their own language, They are being just as bigoted and Christophobic, to coin a phrase, as the Christians are being accused of being.”

  • Stephen O’Doherty – CEO Christian Schools Australia

Safe-cracking pastor

 

WMBD reports…

“A Fulton County pastor is in custody after police found him in another church.

Early Monday morning, Canton Police saw a suspicious vehicle parked behind the First Church of the Nazarene. They noticed the engine was still warm, doors were unlocked, and the keys were in the ignition.

They found a door to the church forced open, and found Pastor David Utt using tools in an attempt to break in to the church’s safe. Utt is the pastor at New Hope Community Church in Canton.

Utt was charged with burglary to a place of worship, criminal damage to property to a place of worship, and possession of burglary tools.”

From http://www.centralillinoisproud.com/news/local-news/cops-catch-pastor-during-church-break-in

Ferguson Police host Benny Hinn

 

Lance (Group Sects) writes…

Officers of the Ferguson Police Department in the US state of Missouri have hosted a visit by Benny Hinn.

The televangelist has posted a video online of the meeting with the officers.

“These are some wonderful Police officers here in Ferguson, Missouri who I just prayed with and I’m talking to them about the goodness of the Lord,” Mr. Hinn said in the video.

Ferguson Police came under scrutiny in 2014 when officer Darren Wilson shot dead teenage robbery suspect Michael Brown, sparking violent protests in the St. Louis suburb.

Mr. Hinn said he was in Ferguson for a church service and was invited to meet with the Police officers before the service that night.

“Thank God many of you are Christian men, so Jesus is the answer guys and we’re going to see miracles,” Mr. Hinn told the officers.

 

Flashback

Perry Noble sacked – updated*

 

The Independent Mail reports…

“Former NewSpring Church senior pastor Perry Noble broke his silence Wednesday, in a live video message on Facebook.

Noble, the church’s founder, started the message by acknowledging his unusual social media silence. A prolific social media user, it was his first Facebook post in more than two weeks.

He wasted no time in the three-minute twenty-one second message, quickly telling people he bore no ill will after being dismissed from the church he founded.

“I. Still. Love. My. Church,” Noble said, pausing after each word for emphasis. “I wanted to say ‘Thank you’ for the unbelievable support that you guys have shown me on Twitter.”

The 45-year-old pastor was removed from his spot as the church’s senior pastor effective July 1, but the congregation first learned about the decision last Sunday in a church announcement that cited his alcohol dependency.

Noble said the church’s leaders made the right decision.

“God has gotten my attention. I’m focused on getting better. I’m not bitter,” he said. “My dependency on alcohol, I ran to it instead of Jesus and I was wrong and I am going to do whatever it takes to make it right.”

Noble said he will be entering a treatment facility, but did not elaborate further.

His online message was seen more than 350,000 times as of Wednesday evening and drew more than 5,000 comments, overwhelmingly in support of him.

NewSpring is the largest church in South Carolina, and one of the nation’s largest, with 17 campuses in the state and a weekly attendance of more than 30,000.

NewSpring’s roots go back to a 1998 Bible study group in Noble’s apartment and its first official service was in January 2000. The church had an income of $64 million in 2015, according to an annual report on the church’s website.

In his video on Wednesday, Noble encouraged anyone who had considered abandoning NewSpring because of his ouster to stay with the church.

“I fully endorse their decision to bring Clayton King on as pastor,” Noble said.

King, a member of NewSpring, will serve as interim senior pastor while the church searches for a permanent senior pastor, the congregations were told Sunday.

Noble said he will be encouraging his daughter to continue to attend and he plans to continue to give to the church.

“I still believe NewSpring is going to reach 100,000 (members) and beyond,” he said. “I’ll keep you posted on my journey and God bless. The best is yet to come.”

From http://www.independentmail.com/news/perry-noble-breaks-silence-in-message-to-newspring-worshippers-37894e8d-d38b-0d42-e053-0100007fb562-386671161.html

 

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