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.”


Former pastor kills former pastor – updated*

The Chicago Tribune reports…

“Allen Smith was a retired Baptist minister who spent a lot of his time at a South Shore senior home discussing — and sometimes arguing — the fine points of Scripture with Ted Merchant, a fellow resident starting his own ministry.

Early Monday morning, the two were on the back patio of the Senior Suites of Rainbow Beach for their regular late-night talk about Bible passages when the 67-year-old Merchant pulled a gun and shot the 80-year-old Smith twice in the head, according to police and other residents.  He died on the scene.

Merchant fled in a motorized scooter, then got into a black Lincoln Town Car in the parking lot of the assisted living center at 2804 E. 77th St., according to police.  That’s where officers found him five hours later and arrested him around 6 a.m.

Merchant was charged with first-degree murder and ordered held on $500,000 bond. Police did not say what prompted the shooting, but said it was caught by a surveillance camera.  Three people identified Merchant as the shooter, prosecutors said.

Residents said Smith was retired from the First Baptist Church in East Chicago and had moved into the assisted living center at 2804 E. 77th Place about a year ago.  

Merchant is retired from the real estate business and has a son and daughter and seven grandchildren, his attorney said in court. He had been at the center for about six years and would often hold services in the community room because there was no chapel.  He ran a ministry called Straight Gate, residents said.

The two were often seen on the back patio discussing religion, according to Dorothy Hull, 76, a retired auditor for the Bank of America in Chicago.

“They’d be out there all the time,” she said. “They’d talk about Bible passages and ideas about God. They always had little arguments going on about things like that.”

But Hull said she had no idea why Merchant would shoot Smith. “It was very surprising,” she said. “I just can’t get over it because he had a church in the community room every Sunday morning. He was retired too, but he had this church going on. I just couldn’t believe he did that.”

Smith grew up in Indiana, graduated from Yale Divinity School and helped start a church in Connecticut before joining the First Baptist Church as senior pastor. He never married and didn’t have any children.

“He was a very nice person, very outgoing, very friendly,’’ Hull said. “He would do things for you, like go to the store or whatever.” He had a car and would also pick meals up from a restaurant and bring them back to Rainbow.

Hull called Smith her friend and bingo partner.  “He’d win pretty good,” she said.

The management would not allow them to play for money but would give residents cleaning products if they won. Hull laughed. “At least we didn’t have to buy it ourselves.’’

Ann Harding, 76, said Merchant tried to get fellow residents to join his ministry.

“I don’t know his religion, I just know he usually has a few people downstairs for prayers and whatever. He does it for the building,’’ Harding said. “He goes around to different apartments to try and get people for a congregation.

“He was a nice man, you know, when he came to the door,” she said.

William Hilliard, 75, a retired social worker who lives on the same floor as the suspect, said Merchant called himself a reverend and pastor and was trying to “get his ministry off the ground.”

Hilliard described him as “soft spoken” and “not aggressive,” though he would stand up for his beliefs.

“We did have face-to-face talks pertaining to religion, and he had his beliefs, and I challenged him on some things and he challenged me on those,” Hilliard said. “I criticized it, and I let him know. That’s the relationship we had. He was trying to get his ministry off the ground. I went to some of his meetings.

“He and I bumped heads as far as Scripture is concerned,” Hilliard said.

Hilliard was not aware that Merchant had a gun. He didn’t know there was a shooting until he saw news trucks and police come to his building.

“I’m not shocked that much. I’m not a person that is shocked easily,” he said. “I am surprised. This is Chicago and this is the South Side of Chicago, but it is the Southeast Side of Chicago. There’s a lot of good stuff that is going on the Southeast Side.”