The last sane US evangelical


The Christian Post reports…

“Best-selling Christian author Philip Yancey stated that he cannot understand how so many evangelical Christians can support Republican nominee Donald Trump.

In an interview with the Europe-based publication Evangelical Focus published last Friday, Yancey said he was “staggered” by the support evangelical voters are giving Trump.

“I am staggered that so many conservative or evangelical Christians would see a man who is a bully, who made his money by casinos, who has had several wives and several affairs … That they would somehow paint him as a hero, as someone that we could stand behind,” explained Yancey.

“I can understand why maybe you choose these policies that you support, but to choose a person who stands against everything that Christianity believes as the hero, the representative, one that we get behind enthusiastically is not something that I understand at all.”

Yancey drew a parallel to the history of church and state unification in Europe, arguing that “the more [the church] embeds with politics” the more it is harmed when it is bound to a state that is deeply flawed.

“There are countries in Europe where the church is set back for decades and decades, because they have been stained by how they sold their soul for power,” continued Yancey.

“As the United States grows more and more secular, I tell the people there: ‘We are becoming more like the fertile soil in which the early church did best’. Like the Roman Empire, this was a pagan and hostile society in which Christians stood out by being different.”

Since declaring his candidacy last year, Trump has seen his support among evangelical Christian voters increase as the other Republican presidential hopefuls suspended their campaigns.

“A number of high profile evangelical Christians have parked themselves in the ‘Never Trump’ camp, pointing out that the candidate’s policies and actions don’t reflect Christian values,” noted the Huffington Post.

“And yet, rank and file white evangelical Christians don’t seem to mind ― or at least, are willing to forgive … According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in June, 78 percent of white evangelical voters said they would vote for Trump.”

In justifying his support for Trump, Texas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress commented earlier this year that while the Donald is “not exactly like us,” nevertheless “at least he likes us.”

“After being with Mr. Trump over the last year on many occasions, I can tell you, if he becomes president, evangelical Christians will have a true friend in the White House,” argued Jeffress.”


Australian Christian Lobby’s ‘secret location’ meeting venue revealed


Life Site News reports…

“Threats against hotel staff and a deluge of unearned one-star guest ratings have forced a coalition of family groups opposed to same-sex “marriage” to move their scheduled meeting from the Mercure Sydney Hotel into the offices of the Catholic archdiocese….”


Banned from Botswana


The BBC reports…

“Botswana is to deport controversial US pastor Steven Anderson after he said on a local radio that homosexuals should be “stoned to death”.

President Ian Khama told the Reuters news agency that he had personally ordered his arrest.

“We don’t want hate speech in this country. Let him do it in his own country,” he said.

Last week, South Africa barred Mr Anderson from visiting because of his critical remarks about homosexuality.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Botswana, as in many African countries.

After his visa for South Africa was rejected, Mr Anderson had posted on his Facebook page: “Thank God we still have a wide open door in Botswana.”

Mr Anderson was taking part in a morning show hosted by GabzFM station together with a local pastor and an LGBT activist.

The show’s presenter Reginald Richardson told the BBC that Mr Anderson expressed disdain for homosexuals during the show saying that they should be killed.

Botswana’s private Mmegi newspaper reported that security agents apprehended the pastor after the radio show.

“I am not being arrested. I am leaving Botswana voluntarily,” Mr Anderson told witnesses at the radio station, Reuters reports.

Onkokame Mosweu, a commentator on gay and lesbian affairs, commended the government’s action but said that the pastor should not have been allowed into the country.

Mr Khama said that the pastor had been put on a visa watch list after he was banned from travelling to South Africa, but the order had not been communicated to all officials manning the country’s borders.

The preacher had arrived in Botswana late last week and had given a sermon at a local church that he helped set up, Mr Richardson said.

Mr Anderson runs the Faithful Word Baptist Church, which says that homosexuality is an abomination punishable by the death penalty.

His church is based in the US state of Arizona and describes itself as an “old-fashioned, independent, fundamental, King James Bible only, soul-winning Baptist church”.



White supremacist arrest


The Newcastle Herald reports…

“A white supremacist from Sydney’s south-west has been charged with setting fire to a Pentecostal church on the NSW mid-north coast.

Ricky White appeared in Taree Local Court on Monday accused of deliberately starting the fire at the Destiny Church at 1:30am on Sunday.

Fire and Rescue NSW were able to save the church structure but it still sustained an estimated $200,000 worth of damage.

Mr White, who lives in Ingleburn, was arrested by police on Sunday afternoon on two outstanding warrants and then also charged over the church fire.

The 25-year-old is a self-described skinhead and has an “88” tattoo on one of his hands – the abbreviation used by Neo-Nazis for the salute Heil Hitler.

He has also posted photographs of himself on Facebook wearing a swastika ring and once played in a band known as blitzkrieg88.

Wotansvolk is a white separatist religion that is popular within some prison populations overseas that has its roots in ancestral European paganism.It is understood that Mr White is also the head of the Wotansvolk fraternity in NSW and the second in charge nationally.

Flyers promoting Wotansvolk were allegedly found inside the church by investigators after the blaze had been extinguished.

Senior pastor Kevin Matters said he does not know why someone would target the church, which was affiliated to the Pentecostal movement and set up in Taree in 2012.

“We had a couple of smashed windows a few months ago but we have no idea why they were deliberately broken in then either.””I have no idea why [we] were targeted, none whatsoever, it’s quite surprising to us, we have really no idea why,” he said on Monday.

“The detective I spoke with yesterday suggested there was a white supremacist element to it but I don’t know of anything myself.”

Mr White did not apply for bail when he appeared in court on Monday morning. Along with the arson charges, he had been wanted by police in the Campbelltown area for breaching his bond for firearm offences.

He is due in court again next month.”



Pastor makes Trump behave


CNN reports…

“The pastor who hosted Donald Trump at her church in Flint, Michigan, interrupted the Republican presidential nominee during his speech Wednesday to ask him to refrain from attacking his rival Hillary Clinton.

“Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we’ve done in Flint, not give a political speech,” Rev. Faith Green Timmons of the Bethel United Methodist Church told Trump after walking to the podium while Trump was speaking.

“OK. That’s good. Then I’m going back onto Flint, OK? Flint’s pain is a result of so many different failures,” Trump said.

Timmons, in a statement provided at the event, noted her church welcomes “all people.”

“This public event is open to all and today Donald Trump came to observe. Trump’s presence at Bethel United Methodist in no way represents an endorsement of his candidacy,” she had said.

On Thursday, Trump told Fox News “something was up” with Timmons, but he wasn’t bothered because “everyone plays their games.”

Trump was responding to the host’s question about whether he was “bothered” by the fact that she purportedly had written on Facebook (according to the Fox hosts, who noted it was later erased) that she hoped to “educate” Trump on what had been going on in Flint.

“She was so nervous, she was shaking. And I said, ‘wow, this was kind of strange.’ And then she came up. So she had that in mind, no question about it,” Trump said, adding that he suspected that he might face an unfriendly reception at the church.”

Kong Hee and City Harvest Church fraudsters appeal – updated*


Yahoo! News reports…

“Six City Harvest Church (CHC) leaders were at the High Court on Thursday  (15 September) to appeal against their convictions for misappropriating church funds.

CHC founder Kong Hee, his deputy Tan Ye Peng, ex-secretary of the management board John Lam, ex-board member Chew Eng Han, and ex-finance managers Sharon Tan and Serina Wee appeared before a panel of three judges to argue against their conviction and jail terms ranging between 21 months and eight years.

The prosecution for the case is appealing for longer deterrent sentences for the six, who were found guilty on charges including criminal breach of trust and falsification of accounts in October last year. They were convicted for misappropriating $50 million in church funds to aid the pop music career of Kong’s wife, Sun Ho.

Ho and members of the church attended the hearing on Thursday. Clad in a white blouse and black jacket, Ho, known for her “China Wine” hit single, sat quietly in the public gallery and listened intently during the proceedings.

Appearing before Judge of Appeal Chao Hick Tin and Justices Woo Bih Li and Chan Seng Oon, Kong’s lawyer, Edwin Tong, said that his client is innocent and argued that the pastor had not acted dishonestly.

Tong said that the eight years’ jail term for Kong was excessive and added, “He had not gained anything and there was no intention by him or the other accused persons to cause a loss (in the church’s building fund).”

The lawyer pointed out that his client was especially meticulous when it came to the budget for his wife’s album. The cost of the album was decided by the US-based producer of the album, Tong added.

Earlier on, Lam’s lawyer, Kenneth Tan, said that his client was being used to facilitate the fraud without Lam knowing about it.

Tan argued that his client was a volunteer with the church and did not have inside information of the plans to siphon money from the church to aid Ho’s music career. He added that his client thought that the money taken from the church’s building fund was being invested in Xtron, a music production company, and Firna, a glass maker.

“He honestly thought that the bonds were genuine investments with risks. Investments with a lot of risk are still a genuine form of investment,” Tan said.

During the hearing, there was a light-hearted moment after Tan addressed the court for three hours in the morning, which prompted the prosecutors to request for the court to grant a break for the transcriber. In response, Judge Chao quipped: “Maybe we can have a ten-minute break and say some prayers.”


Pastor denies saying stand for the national anthem or be shot – updated*


Alabama News Network reports…

“An Alabama pastor’s comments went viral thanks to a post on Facebook. He claims they weren’t his words, and that he was misquoted.

Allen Joyner is the pastor at Sweet Home Baptist Church in Mckenzie. He’s also been the volunteer announcer for the Mckenzie Tigers Football team for ten years. He held that position until the past week, when he resigned due to the Facebook backlash.

“I’m stepping down as announcer. I don’t know how you resign from a volunteer position, but I’m stepping down,” he says. “But I’m not backing up from my beliefs.”

Right before the National Anthem played at the Mckenzie versus the Houston County Lions game, Joyner made a statement concerning the recent national controversy surrounding standing for the National Anthem. He says his comments were shared on Facebook by a woman from the visiting team, but she misquoted him.

“What i said was, ‘if you don’t want to stand for our national anthem, we’ll take time to tell you about the people who served and gave you that right to sit,’” he says. “And I never said… I used the term take a shot, down here that means ‘give an effort’. The misquote came where she said, ‘if anyone don’t want to stand for the National Anthem, line up by the fence and we’ll let the military take shots at you as they’ve been taking shots for you.’ Well that sounded good, but that’s not what I said.”

Since then Joyner, his family, and the school have been recieving threatening messages from people across the nation. Some are simply criticizing Joyner, others are threatening him and his family with violence. He does say his congregation at Sweet Home is standing with him.

“And I tried to… minister that to learn a lesson… To guard our words. I couldn’t. And then one man of our church come and stood beside me. And before it was over, every man in the church was standing beside me,” he adds with tears in his eyes.

Joyner also feels sorry for the woman who posted the original message, who has since deleted her Facebook account.

“I would just love for her to know that we pray for her. Because she has been thrown under the bus. And I apologize for that.”

Butler County Superintendent Amy Bryan also issued a statement over the incident, saying “The Butler County School System does not tolerate any violence, in jest or a serious threat.”

Joyner admits he shouldn’t have shared his patriotic beliefs at the football field, but is still standing by his original statement. He says he just wishes he would have chosen a better venue and different words.”