How Common Are U.S. Church Shootings? ~ May 21, 2018

How Common Are U.S. Church Shootings?
May 21, 2018

handgun U.S. church shooting

Rod Waddington photo | Flickr
By Aaron Earls
The Santa Fe High School shooting in Texas marked the fifth intentional shooting that resulted in a death at a U.S. school this year. After three fatal church shootings last year, however, none has occurred so far in 2018.
The Washington Post lists 220 school shootings—59 of which involved at least one fatality—since the Columbine attack on April 20, 1999.
During the same time period, there have been 18 fatal church shootings. The deadliest was the 2017 shooting at First Baptist Sutherland Springs in Texas, with 26 deaths including an unborn child.
Texas—home to the deadliest church shooting and most recent school shooting—has also had more church shootings since 1999 than any other state except Georgia. Both Texas and Georgia have had three church shootings.
World Changers Church in College Park, Georgia has been the site of two incidents.
The two most recent church shootings also took place on the same day—November 5, 2017.
Here are the locations of all the fatal church shootings since Columbine:

1999 Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas
2001 Greater Oak Missionary Baptist Church in Hopkinsville, Kentucky
2002 Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Lynbrook, New York
2003 Turner Monumental AME Church in Kirkwood, Georgia
2005 Living Church of God in Brookfield, Wisconsin
2005 World Changers Church in College Park, Georgia
2006 Zion Hope Missionary Baptist in Detroit, Michigan
2006 Ministry of Jesus Christ Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
2007 First Presbyterian Church in Moscow, Idaho
2007 First Congregational Church in Neosho, Missouri
2007 New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado
2008 First Baptist Church in Maryville, Illinois
2009 Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas
2012 World Changers Church in College Park, Georgia
2015 Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina
2017 Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee
2017 First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas
2017 St. Alphonsus Church in Fresno, Texas
In addition to these incidents at Christian churches, fatal shootings have happened at other religious sites, including at a Benedictine monastery, a Sikh temple, and an Amish school.
Deadly incidents are on the rise at churches, says Carl Chinn, a church security expert. According to his research, there had never been a mass murder (four or more killed) associated with a faith-based property before 1963. Since then, there have been 14 such incidents.
As of last year, Chinn identified 617 people having been killed in deadly force incidents since 1999 at faith-based properties, including churches.
Despite these numbers, many churches do not make security a priority.
“Most churches spend far more time and money training their choir than they do investing in the safety of their staff and guests,” he says.
Chinn knows pastors often think the odds are in their favor and more than likely they’ll never have to deal with a serious security threat in their church.
“They are absolutely right,” he acknowledges. “Odds are their church will never face a serious threat. But if their congregation does face a serious threat, the odds won’t matter much.”
For those looking to become better prepared, Chinn advises churches to work with other leaders in the area.
“Work with your community first and foremost,” he says. “Know your law enforcement and fellow faith-based safety operators in your area on a first-name basis.”
Working with other safety professionals like those at area schools is also a good idea, according to Chinn. “Don’t be a silo of information,” he says.
For churches looking for simple steps to make themselves more secure, Chinn offers these nine guidelines.
Confirm support from your church’s leadership team.
Do a baseline readiness evaluation.
Start with what you have, where you are.
Keep it simple.
Keep it legal.
Know your insurance agent and policies.
Network with your community.
Train and drill.
Develop policies and procedures.
The key to creating a good safety and security plan is to break the work into manageable pieces. Guidestone’s Property & Casualty Program has several resources to help churches build a safety and security plan.

Related:
Securing the Faithful: How Churches Can Best Prepare for the Worst Tragedies
Strangers in a Small Church: Responding to Visitors in an Age of Violence
How Churches Can Prepare for the Worst
The Church Shooting You Didn’t Hear About This Week

AARON EARLS (@WardrobeDoor) is online editor of Facts & Trends.

 

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Quotable Quotation ~ MIKE HUCKABEE: Schools ‘Become A Place Of Carnage’ Because ‘We Have Systematically Removed God’

MIKE HUCKABEE: Schools ‘Become A Place Of Carnage’ Because ‘We Have Systematically Removed God’

Brett LoGiurato
Dec. 14, 2012, 5:51 PM

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee suggested Friday that the absence of God from the nation’s public schools may have contributed, in part, to the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that killed 26 people, including 20 children.
Appearing on Fox News, Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, was asked by host Neil Cavuto how “God could let this happen.” Here’s his response:
It’s an interesting thing. We ask why there’s violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage? Because we’ve made it a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, what responsibility means, accountability — that we’re not just going to have be accountable to the police if they catch us, but one day we stand before a holy God in judgment. If we don’t believe that, then we don’t fear that. And so I sometimes, when people say, ‘Why did God let it happen?’ You know, God wasn’t armed. He didn’t go to the school. But God will be there in the form of a lot people with hugs and with therapy and a whole lot of ways in which he will be involved in the aftermath. Maybe we ought to let him in on the front end, and we wouldn’t have to call him to show up it’s all said and done at the back end.

School Shootings

I write this on Saturday, May 19, 2018, after the latest school shooting yesterday, at Santa Fe High School in southeast Houston, Texas.  This of course, occurred right on the heels of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.  (February 14, 2018).  How does the Christian react and make sense of this?  The interpretation is really very simple.  People who are lost in their sins and unbelievers, usually blame inanimate objects such as guns.  I have heard a plethora of stories of Johnny or Suzie taking their daddy’s pick up truck to school in the 1950’s with a loaded shot gun inside, and leaving the door unlocked.  Never was there a problem or a news report later on.

In the last sixty years, the landscape has changed.  Prayer and the Bible have been taken out of the public school system, and in many schools, the Koran would be more welcome than the Bible.  A news commentator said when he took his mother and grandmother out to lunch for Mother’s Day last Sunday, he noticed several children seated around him in a family setting, all playing violent video games.  This sets a wonderful foundation for violence to be acted out:  Proverbs 23:7a King James Version (KJV)  “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…”  Christianity has been erased from our schools, and the secular world and multiculturalism have replaced it.  How about another scripture, since God reveals the truth, the problems with mankind (sin) that lead to such tragedies, and the panacea (Jesus Christ):  Hosea 8:7a King James Version (KJV)
“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind…”

When a nation has been blessed like America, and rejects God while satisfying our own lusts, the sins will be greater, and the consequences will be more severe.  Two of the greatest Old Testament leaders led Israel back to back, namely Moses and Joshua.  When Joshua died, one of the most awful books of the Bible was written – Judges, which is a history of Israel’s constant rebellion and punishment.  “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”  (Judges 21:25)

In our nation, the church is so “out to lunch,” that “Gay Marriage” and “LGBTQ” bathrooms are in vogue.  Perverted sex in every way, shape and form, is the “new normal.”  If you have a family based on the Lord’s plan in His Word, you may feel in the minority.  Violence and murder are taught to children through games, and the results with some of the youth, are acting out the games.  The recipe for disaster is an unpopular and ostracized youth who does not fit in.  He has no moral base of right and wrong, he has no restraints, and allows his wicked thoughts to become reality.  This is not hard to understand.  Then the Left immediately blames Harry the gunowner who simply takes advantage of his second amendment rights.

The cure?  Mankind is made in the image of God, hence we are spiritual beings.  We need to have a relationship with Him, or by default we will plummet into sin.  We need a new heart and to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  It is that simple.  Psycobabble  in our schools will not help.  Eliminating guns will not help.  We need to turn back to our spiritual roots.  Jesus Christ is our only hope.

Because of Him, Pastor Steve  <><

Pray For Revival In America!

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The Cure   ~   Unspoken

Lyrics
We’re all related, brothers and strangers
The king and the beggar bleed the same
We’ve all got a sickness, a terminal condition
We medicate it but the pain won’t go away
See the eyes of a million faces
Looking for it in a million places
Only one can save us, Jesus
You are the cure
Everybody’s searching for it
Everybody’s reaching out
Trying to grab a hold of something real
You are the cure
Only you can satisfy us
Fill up the void inside us
Never been a heart you couldn’t heal
You are the cure
You are the doctor, healer and father
To the orphan without a home
We fell into darkness, lost till you found us
You are the remedy we’re looking for
You are the cure
Everybody’s searching for it
Everybody’s reaching out
Trying to grab a hold of something real
You are the cure
Only you can satisfy us
Fill up the void inside us
Never been a heart you couldn’t heal
You are the cure
Cure for the broken, the hope for a hopeless world
(You are the cure) The meaning, the purpose, the peace that will make us whole
Don’t have to search no more
Don’t have to search no more
You are the cure
Everybody’s searching for it
Everybody’s reaching out
Trying to grab a hold of something real
You are the cure
Only you can satisfy us
Fill up the void inside us
Never been a heart you couldn’t heal
You are the cure, cure
Never been a heart you couldn’t heal
You are the cure, cure
Never been a heart you couldn’t heal (you are the cure)
Songwriters: Jonathan Burton Lowry / Chad Michael Mattson / Christopher Stevens
The Cure lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

 

Eschatology 34 ~ Jacob’s Trouble

In his message “Deliverance or Devastation: Son Of God Or Son Of Perdition,” Doug Stauffer expounds on Jeremiah 30, and how the church will not go through the Great Tribulation, i.e. Jacob’s Trouble.  Verse 3 refers to Israel returning to their land in 1948.  Now, note the highlighted words below in Jeremiah 30:7  “…he shall be saved out of it.”  “He shall be saved out of it,” and we are saved from it.  That is what the rapture prior to the Great Tribulation is all about.  We (the church) will be saved from the Great Tribulation / Jacob’s Trouble.

 

Jeremiah 30  King James Version (KJV)

30:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,

2 Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.

3 For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.

4 And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.

5 For thus saith the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.

6 Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?

7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.

8 For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:

9 But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.

10 Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the Lord; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.

11 For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet I will not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.

12 For thus saith the Lord, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous.

13 There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines.

14 All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased.

15 Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee.

16 Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey.

17 For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.

18 Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof.

19 And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.

20 Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them.

21 And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? saith the Lord.

22 And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

23 Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked.

24 The fierce anger of the Lord shall not return, until he hath done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it.

 Taken From Doug Stauffer’s Message

“Deliverance Or Devastation, Son Of God Or Son Of Perdition”

2015 Orlando Prophecy Summit

March 5-7, 2015

Josh Wilson ~ Dream Small

It occurred to me that folks will be rewarded in heaven primarily for doing the things we find in Josh Wilson’s following song and lyrics.  So many times, pastors erroneously perceive a small country church as a stepping stone to the “big time.”  The spiritual truth of the matter is that the REAL “big time” is simply serving in the center of His will, whatever and wherever it may be in our lives.  We “have arrived,” only when we sacrificially serve the King of Kings, and for His glory and not ours.  So many times we miss the joy in the journey because we are too focused on advancement tomorrow.  The spiritual truth of the matter is that the real joy is found only in the journey, and so often, the journey IS the destination.  Serving in a larger vineyard in a more public setting is not necessarily successful to the Lord.  Bigger is not better; and joy, fulfillment, and completion are found only as we obey the Lord and rest in Him.  Again, success and peace come to us only when we plod in the center of His will.  You think about that.  Yours in Christ, Pastor Steve  <><

Dream Small
Josh Wilson

Produced by Ben Glover

Dream Small Lyrics

[Verse 1]
It’s a momma singing songs about the Lord
It’s a daddy spending family time that the world said he cannot afford
These simple moments change the world
It’s a pastor at a tiny little Church
Forty years of loving for the broken and the hurt
These simple moments change the world

[Chorus 1]
Dream small
Don’t bother like you’ve gotta do it all
Just let Jesus use you where you are
One day at a time
Live well
Loving God and others as yourself
Find little ways where only you can help
With His great love
A tiny rock can make a giant fall
Dream small

[Verse 2]
It’s visiting the widow down the street
Or dancing on a Friday with your friend with special needs
These simple moments change the world
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with bigger dreams
Just don’t miss the minutes on your way, your bigger things
‘Cause these simple moments change the world

[Chorus 1]
But dream small
Don’t bother like you’ve gotta do it all
Just let Jesus use you where you are
One day at a time
Live well
Loving God and others as yourself
Find little ways where only you can help
With His great love
A tiny rock can make a giant fall
So dream small

[Bridge]
Keep loving, keep serving
Keep listening, keep learning
Keep praying, keep hoping
Keep seeking, keep searching
Out of these small things and watch them grow bigger
The God who does all things makes oceans… from river

[Chorus 2]
But dream small
Don’t bother like you’ve gotta do it all
Just let Jesus use you where you are
One day at a time
Live well
Loving God and others as yourself
Find little ways where only you can help
With His great love
A tiny rock can make a giant fall….
Yeah, five loaves and two fish’s could feed them all
So dream small
Dream small
Embed
More on Genius

The Sword Of The Lord ~ Dr. Shelton Smith, Editor ~ March 9, 2018

Judges 7:20 King James Version (KJV)
And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.

An Independent Christian Publication, Standing for the Verbal Inspiration of the Bible, the Deity of Christ, His Blood Atonement, Salvation by Faith, New Testament Soul Winning and the Premillennial Return of Christ; Opposing Modernism (Liberalism), Worldliness and Formalism.

Amen Corner

Some of us mean well, but a false discretion overtakes us.  We are like that soldier who was always discovered, in the shock of battle, betaking himself, without orders, to safe places.  The captain at last accused him of having a cowardly heart.  “Oh,” said the soldier, “my heart is as brave as can be; but I have a cowardly pair of legs that run off with the brave heart.”  Many of us are like that.  Our convictions are right when confession is not needed, but in the shock of battle we fail.  -John McNeill

If a school required no study of its pupils and passed the students regardless of performance, it would soon be held in contempt.  A church that holds no standards of doctrine and experiences no discipline soon loses the respect of even the ungodly.  -Vance Havner

I’ve noticed that everybody who is for abortion has already been born.  -Ronald Reagan

I do not believe there is any false religion in the world that men are not proud of.  The only religion in the world which I have ever heard of that men were ashamed of is the religion of Jesus Christ….  How many, many times I have found men ashamed of the religion of Jesus Christ, the only religion that gives men the power over their affections and lusts and sins!  -D.L. Moody

Any saint who does not love and seek sinners is without excuse.  He is untrue to his Saviour, ungrateful for his own salvation and disobedient to the Great Commission.  -John R. Rice

There is no time in life when books do not influence a man.  -Walter Bezant

The most critical need of the church at this moment is men, bold men, free men.  The church must seek, in prayer and much humility, the coming again of men made of the stuff of which prophets and martyrs are made.  -A.W. Tozer

Lordship salvation confuses believers and makes them doubt their salvation.  The Bible is very plain: the only way to be saved is by trusting Jesus Christ.  Jesus divides the whole world into two groups:  “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”  (John 3:18).  -Curtis Hutson

To be popular at home is a great achievement.  The man who is loved by the house cat, the dog, the neighbor’s children, and by his own wife is a great man even if he never had his name in Who’s Who.  -Thomas Dreier

Man’s pride may carry him far if he is a great fool; but let him not suffer his pride to carry him into Hell, for it certainly will never carry him out again.  -Charles Spurgeon

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Noteworthy News Headlines

President Proclaims Religious Freedom Day

Former Nurse Admits To Euthanizing Twenty Patients, May Have Killed As Many As Fifty

California Heads to Supreme Court to Force One Hundred Pregnancy Centers to Promote Tax-Funded Abortions

NFL Rejects Super Bowl Ad Asking People to Stand for Anthem

PETA Wants Tax on Meat Because Animals Are Killed

Scientists Clone Two Monkeys As a First Step to Cloning Human Beings

Hazardous Conditions Are Common in Nursing Homes

Palestinian Kids’ TV Makes Hero of Murderous Jihadist

Prayer by Public Employee Is Ruled Illegal If Others See It?

Illiterates, No-Shows, All Seniors Graduate at D.C. High

Planned Parenthood Infiltrates Over Three Hundred Colleges and Universities With New Pro-Abortion Student Groups

University Ordered to Readmit Campus Christian Group

Court Sides With Fireman Fired for His Faith

 

May 14, 2018: A HISTORIC DAY For Israel

 

May 14, 2018, is a special day in the life of Israel.
And it’s a proud day to be an
American friend of Israel.

May 14, 2018: A HISTORIC DAY

May 14 loomed large in 1948.
It was the date, according to the secular calendar, when the modern state of Israel was born. It was a time of ecstasy. Nearly 19 centuries had passed since the last chance for Jewish sovereignty was destroyed, but the prayers for a return to the ancestral land – and to Jerusalem, the heartbeat of the Jewish people – had never stopped through all the years of wandering, exile, and persecution.
Fast forward 70 years to May 14, 2018.

This day will be remembered, above all, for another celebration…the transfer of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to its rightful place in Jerusalem.
I am in Israel’s capital city to join in the festivities and express appreciation, on behalf of the nonpartisan American Jewish Committee (AJC), to the Trump administration for its bold decision.
It shouldn’t have had to be so bold. Every country ought to have the right to choose its own capital. But that basic political rule applies to each nation on earth, save one.
Think about it. The other 192 United Nations member states pick the site for their capital and it’s no one else’s business.
No doubt, diplomats assigned to Australia would prefer to be situated in Melbourne or Sydney, but the political choice was Canberra and that was that.
Nor did anyone utter a peep when Germany, following reunification, moved its capital from Bonn to Berlin, compelling governments around the world to spend a fortune to find new premises in Berlin.
The same goes for Kazakhstan, which decided to move its capital from Almaty to Astana in 1998, again disrupting the lives of every country that had a diplomatic post in the Central Asian nation.
Or take Nigeria, which chose to leave Lagos and create a new capital city, in distant Abudja, in 1991.
But Israel, and Israel alone, has found itself in the unique position of having its self-declared capital in Jerusalem, while other nations insist it’s in Tel Aviv, where they locate their embassies and residences.
Why? Well, we’re told, it’s because the original UN resolution recommending a two-state solution, adopted in November 1947, designated Jerusalem as a corpus separatum, or a city with no sovereign affiliation to the proposed Arab and Jewish states.
But the Arab world rejected the resolution in its entirety and declared war on Israel. Fortunately, Israel, though heavily outgunned and outmanned, prevailed. The western part of Jerusalem came under Israeli control. The offices of the president and prime minister, the Knesset, the Supreme Court, and the Foreign Affairs Ministry were all established there.
For nearly seven decades, we have witnessed the anomaly of world leaders, whose countries reject Jerusalem as the capital, traveling precisely to that city to meet with Israeli presidents and prime ministers, to see Knesset members, and to hold dialogues in the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
How patently absurd! We have also been treated to the assertion that Jerusalem’s status should not be determined until there is a final peace agreement. But that gives the Palestinians veto power over the process, even as they have rejected one proposal after another, including those that would have essentially divided Jerusalem into two parts.
Why should Israel’s capital be spurned by the international community ad infinitum because the Palestinian leadership refuses to make a deal? In the case of the US, the situation was a bit different. The rhetoric was often right, and there was even congressional legislation (Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995) to back it up, but the results never matched the words.
In 2000, for example, George W. Bush said: “Something will happen when I’m president. As soon as I take office, I will begin the process of moving the US embassy to the city Israel has chosen as its capital.”
For eight years, Bush had the chance to do just that. For eight years, however, he balked.
In 2008, Barack Obama declared that “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.”
In the ensuing eight years, not only did Obama not move to fulfill his commitment, but he actually took a big step back.
When the White House Office of the Press Secretary released the full text of the president’s eulogy at the 2016 funeral of Shimon Peres, the words “Mount Herzl, Jerusalem, Israel” were included to indicate the location.
Shortly afterward, the White House pointedly deleted the word “Israel” from the text, in effect orphaning Jerusalem. It was no longer located in any country, even as Peres, with Obama present, was being buried in Jerusalem as an Israeli statesman.
In September 2016, Donald Trump pledged to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem.
Some observers understandably thought he was simply parroting his predecessors by making a campaign promise he had no intention of fulfilling.
But he meant what he said, which is why we are all gathering in Jerusalem to mark this historic occasion, to be followed two days later, it should be noted, by the Guatemalan decision to do the same.
In today’s hyper-partisan world, many who oppose the president on other issues are unlikely to give him any credit for this move. But we remain fiercely nonpartisan and call them as we see them.
Trump, as he said, simply recognized reality. Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Period.
Does this move preclude a peace deal with the Palestinians? Absolutely not. In fact, perhaps in the long haul it accelerates the chances by signaling to their leadership that they don’t necessarily have the continued luxury of avoiding the peace table and rejecting one peace deal after another.
And does it prevent the possibility of a Palestinian state that includes part of Jerusalem within its borders, allowing the Palestinians to declare their own capital? Again, absolutely not.

May 14, 2018, is a special day in the life of Israel. And it’s a proud day to be an American friend of Israel.
Reported by: The Jerusalem Post

By Prophecy in the News| May 14th, 2018|Tags: Ancestral Land, Bible Prophecy, Christian News, Holy Land, Israel is Born, Jerusalem, Jewish Sovereignty, Prophecy News, State of Israel, Tel Aviv, US Embassy Move to Jerusalem

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At Reception, PM Netanyahu Cites ‘A Momentous Time, Our People Will Be Eternally Grateful’ to President Trump
VIDEO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara welcomed the U.S. delegation on Sunday to the transfer of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, at a special reception held at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem. During the event, the prime minister presented a Letter of Appreciation to U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman in gratitude for his activity on behalf of moving the Embassy to Jerusalem.
Reported by: Hana Levi Julian – The Jewish Press

By Prophecy in the News| May 14th, 2018|Tags: Bible Prophecy, Christian News, Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, moving the Embassy to Jerusalem, PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Prophecy News, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, U.S. delegation

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Prophecy News Watch / Update For May 15, 2018

Embassy

American Christian Leaders Praise Jerusalem Embassy Opening

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Remember this moment, this is history. President Trump, by recognizing history, you have made history.”

ARTICLE
American Christian Leaders Praise Jerusalem Embassy Opening

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American Evangelical Christian leaders praised the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem on Monday and the American leader for keeping his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Christians United for Israel’s founder and chairman Pastor John Hagee, who gave the benediction at the embassy ceremony, told JNS that he is “deeply proud” of his country and its president.

“I was deeply honored to participate in this historic moment. Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel, and I am very proud of my country and my president for recognizing that fact,” said Hagee. “This moment would not have been possible were it not for President Trump’s courage and the unwavering commitment of CUFI’s 4.1 million members.”

The embassy ceremony in Jerusalem was attended by some 800 guests from the United States and Israel.

“Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like any other nation to determine its own capital,” Trump said in a video greeting at the embassy ceremony.”Today we follow through on this recognition and open our embassy in the historic and sacred land of Jerusalem.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Remember this moment, this is history. President Trump, by recognizing history, you have made history.”

Pastor Mario Bramnick, president of the Latino Coalition for Israel, told JNS that he was “amazed” by the embassy move.

“We are in amazement with today’s movement of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. We are so proud of President Trump’s historic actions today.”

David Parsons, vice president of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, told JNS that “The ICEJ joins with the people and government of Israel in rejoicing over the historic events of this day, as the United States brings its Embassy up to Jerusalem.”

“We are praying and working towards the goal of many more nations taking their rightful place in this city in due recognition of its status as the capital of Israel. Jerusalem has to be shared as a ‘house of prayer’ for all peoples, but the proper sovereign and custodian of the city is the Jewish people.

They were the first and only nation in history to truly honor and select Jerusalem as their capital and the focal point of their national identity, and it is most fitting that they be the ones to see this special city through to its glorious destiny.”

Similarly, Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel and president of Christians in Defense of Israel, noted that the embassy opening was a “historic” day for America and Israel.

“Today is a historic moment when on the 70th anniversary of the re-establishment of Israel, the U.S. embassy opens in Jerusalem,” said Staver. “The timing could not be more appropriate to open the embassy at the 70th anniversary of the founding of the modern state of Israel. We celebrate with the Jewish people for this long-awaited event.”

For many evangelical Christians, the issues of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocating the U.S. embassy to that city have been top priority for years. Evangelical Christian groups, who have been strong supporters of Trump, strongly lobbied the American leader to keep his campaign promise of moving the embassy during his first year in office.

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, who heads the Jerusalem-based International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, credited the Christian community for playing a “critical” part in ensuring the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital and the decision to move the U.S. embassy to the Holy City on the Jewish state’s 70th anniversary could not have happened without critical U.S. Christian support,” said Eckstein.

He added that “Israel’s future rests on continuing and strengthening the Christian bond with Israel.”

One such effort includes a new comprehensive building in Jerusalem about a mile from the embassy to accommodate Christian visitors to Israel.

Originally published at JNS.org – reposted with permission.

Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=2262#DukgP2weE8vXBU8I.99

Islam: Do American Schools Want To Educate Or Indoctrinate?

Education Or Indoctrination? Islam In Our Schools

There is a question that we all struggle with, and one that many people may find difficult to answer:

When does teaching the facts about Islam morph into becoming religious brainwashing, indoctrination, propaganda or evangelizing?

I don’t think many parents are opposed to teaching students about the history of Islam, its achievements, its failures, its struggles and even its victories — as long as these studies are taught accurately, without political or religious motive, and are not given favorable treatment over other major religions of the world.

Perhaps most of us can agree that this should be the educational standard for presenting the subject of Islam in the public schools. But does such a definition really work?

Even the most obvious attempt at evangelizing public school children into Islam can easily be explained away by some as giving students nothing more than the facts about Islam.

Muslims believe in the Five Pillars of Islam.  That’s a fact.  Islam preaches Allah is the one true God.  That’s a fact.  The Quran teaches that Muslims must accept Muhammad as God’s messenger and prophet.  That’s also a fact.

These are facts, but they can also cross over from presenting the basic tenets of Islam to aggressively pushing religious indoctrination or evangelizing.

For example, let’s say a public school teacher said this to his or her class: “The Bible says if you don’t repent and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and believe He died on the cross for your sins, then you’re going to spend an eternity in hell.”

Would such instruction be considered teaching a fact about Christianity or, more likely, an attempt to convert children into the Christian faith?

The answer to that question would probably depend on how the teacher said it.  Was it delivered mockingly, seriously, with a wink, dryly, with a fist pounding on the desk, with pointed fingers, perhaps with a smirk or rolling eyes?

Whether presenting facts about religious tenets is considered indoctrination or education is difficult to answer and brings to mind the 1964 U.S. Supreme Court decision that attempted to define what constitutes obscenity.

Justice Potter Stewart, who found it nearly impossible to define when someone’s free-speech rights crossed the line into illegal obscenity basically threw up his hands and said, “I know it when I see it.”

We find ourselves somewhat it the same predicament when attempting to clearly define the line between education and indoctrination when it comes to presenting the facts about the religious tenets and beliefs of Islam.

Earlier this year our organization, the Christian Action Network, exposed what we considered to be an Islamic indoctrination program funded by the Department of Education.  It’s called “Access Islam.”

In this program, children grades 5-12 are taught the shahada (the Muslim profession of faith), asked to draw posters of the Five Pillars of Islam, told to watch a video on how to pray as a Muslim, were also asked to read Islamic scriptures, explain the meaning of those scriptures and told to explain how Muslims use those verses found in the Quran in their everyday lives.

We found these lesson plans to be clear examples of Islamic indoctrination activities that go well beyond what is legally permissible for public schools when discussing religion.

But our opponents in the media and certain educators disagreed and said the program does no more than teach children the facts about Islam.

I might add that the Department of Education has no similar program that teaches even the most basic tenets of the Christian faith.

So which is it?  Is “Access Islam” an example of religious indoctrination?  Or is it simply a program that gives children Islamic facts?

First, let’s understand the definition of indoctrination.

Indoctrination occurs when you present opinions as fact without presenting opposing views.

Saying that Islam teaches “Allah is the one true God” is of course a fact, but the statement itself is widely disputed by billions of Christians worldwide, who believe the claim is false.

When schools present Islamic beliefs, without balancing those beliefs with opposing views from other religions or even to present secular opposition, then a line has been crossed into indoctrination.

And this is why the public schools should never be used to teach students the tenets of a religion – unless it is presented in an elective religious studies class that teaches comparative religions.

But we all know here that Islam is not being taught to school-age children in religious study classes.  No. Islam is being taught in geography, history and social studies classes.

And the tenets of Islam are, in many cases and in many examples, being taught as indisputable facts in these classroom settings.

If you want students in a social studies class to understand the culture of Muslims in the Middle East – and teach them how in certain areas women are forced to wear burqas, hands are chopped off for minor offenses, homosexuals are thrown off tall buildings, that Christians are forbidden to own a Bible or build a church, that’s fine.  Because these are indisputable facts.

But if you want to give the religious tenets that are used to justify these human rights abuses, then present them in an elective religious studies class where opposing views to these beliefs are equally available.

By giving students a one-sided view of Islamic beliefs, I believe this is nothing more than an attempt to convert our children into Islam and not only that, but in some cases an attempt to turn our children into evangelists for Islam.

When children are asked to draw the Five Pillars of Islam to be displayed in the classroom or posted up-and-down the school hallway, this is attempt to use children to spread the message of Islam.

Clearly, having children engaged in such activity goes well beyond any argument that students are simply learning the basic facts about Islamic beliefs.

And I assure you, that if children were tasked with a project of drawing a poster of John 3:16 to be displayed in the classroom — and throughout the school — the ink would not be dry on the poster board before the courts would rule this activity unconstitutional.

There are plenty of examples in the public schools where children have not only been asked to draw posters of the Five Pillars of Islam, but have been asked to draw pictures of the Prophet Muhammad, sing an Islamic song, asked to wear Islamic clothes, draw “There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is His prophet” in calligraphy, construct a 3-D model of a mosque, design an Islamic prayer rug and even be asked to make an Muslim pamphlet to help third grade students understand and accept Islam.

But the problem of Islam in the schools go well beyond giving students the supposed facts about this religion, or getting them to become evangelists for the religion, because students are also being forced to accept as truth the disputed claims of Islam.

For example: In Union County, North Carolina children were told to write the following statements: “Islam, at heart, is a peaceful religion.” I think that can be disputed.  And then there is this one: “Most Muslims have a stronger faith than the average Christian.”

Let me pause right there for a moment.

I don’t need a show of hands on this, but how many of you have seen news stories, or even watched videos, of Christians being lined up by Muslim extremists and then beheaded?

Whose faith is actually stronger in those horrible, wretched examples of Islamic butchery?

In Syria, Muslims burned six Christian men who worked at a bakery after they refused to convert to Islam.  And as horrible as that sounds, an image that is absolutely frightful and terrifying, what happened next was worse.

I’ll read you the words of Alice Assaf as she told them to The New York Post: “After that, they caught some 250 kids and kneaded them like dough in the bakery dough machine. They were put in the dough mixer.  They were kneaded. The oldest one of them was four-years-old.”

Do not tell me that Muslims have a stronger faith than the average Christian.  Last year alone, 7,000 Christians were killed for their faith.  Some studies have reported even greater number of Christian martyrdom.

What we are witnessing in the world today is not weakness among Christians, which is the most persecuted faith in the world.  Instead, we are witnessing Christian strength, courage, fortitude and faithfulness that is facing a religion that produces gutless cowards who will stab you, run you over with a vehicle, set you on fire, thrown acid in your face, mow you down with a gun, blow you up in an airplane or with an airplane, and even feed you into a dough-making machine.

Words are cheap.  And to have our Christian, public school students write, “Most Muslims have a stronger faith than the average Christian,” is to force them to engage in a lie, to degrade their own religion and to insult the thousands of Christian martyrs who are now dying every year in defense of their faith.

In LaPlata, Maryland students are told, “Allah is the same god that is worshipped in Christianity and Judaism.”  This is wrong and not a fact.  And in Revere, Massachusetts, children had to write this answer to the question of what is the First Pillar of Islamic belief.  They wrote: “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah.”

When you require students to write, “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah,” this is forcing the students to agree with that statement.

Let’s flip the coin for a moment.

If teachers were educating students about white supremacy, would they dare have students write the white supremacist creed, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”

Any teacher attempting to do so would be rightfully fired.

But how is this any different than making Christian students write, “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah.”

I say, there is no difference.

Perhaps the strangest, saddest and most outrageous lie being taught to students also occurred in LaPlata where students had to write that Muslim conquerors treat those whom they conquer with “tolerance, kindness and respect.”

Tell that nonsense to the Yazidis in Iraq who, in 2014, had their homes pillaged, their women raped, their men tortured and killed, and those who were left alive, forced into converting into Islam and made into slaves, or sold as slaves, at the hands of ISIS.

What part of any of this is an act of “tolerance, kindness and respect?”

These Islamic lesson plans, which we are bringing to your attention today, are not about teaching children the facts of Islam.  It’s about indoctrination and brainwashing, conversion and proselytizing, lies and propaganda.

Jonathan Gruber, the architect of Obama Care, was confident Congress would pass the Affordable Care Act because he believed in “the stupidity of the American voter. “

But Obama Care didn’t really pass because of the “stupidity of the American voter,” did it?

It passed because of the stupidity of elected officials, highlighted by one of the most stupid political statements ever made by a lawmaker, Nancy Pelosi, who said, “We have to pass it to see what’s in it.”

We are not a stupid people.  We are not ignorant.  And we are not easily deceived.

And when educators come against our children and grandchildren in an effort to minimize and defame our Judeo-Christian beliefs, supplant our God and Savior with that of Allah and a false prophet, and try to force-feed children into accepting myth as a fact, rest assure parents will not only see it and know it, but they will also show these educators who really does have the stronger faith.

Originally published at Clarion Project – reposted with permission.

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This is NOT hard to understand.  Islamic nations interpret America has weak and vacillating, already giving up the Judeo Christian ethic and the foundation we were built upon.  They are working in concert with progressives, agnostics, atheists, and all of secular America who are opposed to Christianity and our original core values.  Adolf Hitler knew that the platform for his proposed world wide dominance would be to indoctrinate and brainwash the youth, the exact theme of the article you just read.  If I were a young Christian parent today, I would eat nothing but beans and rice, dress in hand-me -downs and live in a shack before I would place my God given children into the public school system which has been taken over by the Deep State and Shadow Government, who are focused NOT on traditional American values but upon the New World Order.

Pastor Steve  <><

 

Pray For Revival In America!

 

Apostles Today ~ Part 1 of 4, February 14, 2018 By ELLIOTT NESCH

apostles-today-header

In his article, “Understanding How Apostles Minister in Different Spheres,” the late modern Apostle C. Peter Wagner defines an apostles as a “Christian leader gifted, taught, commissioned, and sent by God with the authority to establish the foundational government of the church within an assigned sphere of ministry by hearing what the Spirit is saying to the churches and by setting things in order accordingly for the growth and maturity of the church.” Based upon the text of Ephesians 4:11, Wagner argues for what he calls the foundational or governmental gift or office of apostle. This is the teaching of the teaching of the apostolic and prophetic movement, sometimes known as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). But what does the Bible say about apostles today?
Biblical Definition of Apostle
The Greek noun apostolos, from which we get the word “apostle,” means “a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders.” Apostolos is derived from the verb apostellō, which means “to send off, to send away; to order (one) to go to a place appointed.” In other words, an apostle is an emissary or one who is sent. In the KJV the word apostolos is translated “apostles” (78x), “messenger(s)” (2 Corinthians 8:23; Philippians 2:25) and “he that is sent” (John 13:16). Jesus Christ was an “Apostle” sent from the Father (Hebrews 3:1-2). In a similar way, the Twelve are Christ’s apostles. Jesus said to His apostles, “Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21).
In the New Testament, an apostle was one who was sent to preach the gospel. Several individuals in the church were called apostles. Other than the Twelve and Paul, those apostles/messengers were James, the Lord’s brother (1 Corinthians 15:7; Galatians 1:19) Barnabas (Acts 14:4-14), Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25), Silvanus and Timothy (1 Thessalonian 2:6; cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:1). 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 may also indicate that there were other apostles in addition to the Twelve and Paul. All of these apostles are what 2 Corinthians 8:23 calls “messengers [apostles] of the churches.” They all bore the title, though they were not among the foundational apostles chosen by our Lord to govern the church. Therefore, we must make a major distinction between those in the New Testament who were apostles of Christ and the apostles of the churches.
In a very broad sense, apostolic work may be likened to missionary work, that is, when Christians are sent by the church as church-planting evangelists. But that’s not what NAR leaders have in mind when they claim to wield the authority of an apostolic office. Instead, today’s apostles are claiming authority and power that belonged uniquely to men specifically chosen by the Lord. One example is the modern Apostle Che Ahn who is founder of Harvest International Ministry (HIM) and the International Chancellor of Wagner Leadership Institute (WLI). Under Che Ahn’s apostolic authority, WLI has “spread into numerous regional schools throughout the U.S. and into 11 nations.” As the Presiding Apostle of HIM, Che Ahn oversees “more than 25,000 ministries and organizations in 65 nations.”

CheAhnHIM
In its more restricted and common New Testament usage, apostle specifically refers to the twelve apostles (with the addition of Matthias after Judas’s defection), and the apostle Paul. In contrast to the apostles of the churches, these men were appointed and sent by the Lord Himself. The name apostle was specified by Christ: “He named them Apostles” (Luke 6:13). According to Matthew 16:18, Ephesians 2:20 and Revelation 21:14, it is these apostles upon whom the church is built.
Paul the apostle was not among the Twelve, yet he is recognized as a unique apostle to the Gentiles. In his own words, he was “called to be an apostle” (Romans 1:1; 1 Corinthians 1:1); “an apostle of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:1; Titus 1:1); “one born out of due time” (1 Corinthians 15:8); “an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead)” (Galatians 1:1); “an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God” (Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:1; 2 Timothy 1:1); “an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Timothy 1:1).

The Credentials of an Apostle
At least three credentials may be observed for New Testament apostles:
(1) The apostles were personally chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the gospel, we read: “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach” (Mark 3:14); “And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles” (Luke 6:13). The Lord also said to the apostles, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit” (John 15:16). In his preface to the book of Acts, Luke wrote, “after He [Jesus] through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen” (Acts 1:2).
The necessity of appointment by Christ is also emphasized when Judas Iscariot was replaced. First, two men were selected who met the necessary prerequisites for an apostle of Christ. Because the apostle had to be personally chosen by the Lord, they prayed and cast lots:
And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles” (Acts 1:24-26).
Speaking to the household of Cornelius, the apostle Peter said, “Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead” (Acts 10:40-41).
Paul also recognized the Lord as the source of his apostolic office: “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name” (Romans 1:5). The Lord said of Paul, “he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15). Ananias declared to Paul, “The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard” (Acts 22:14-15). Describing his apostolic work, Paul spoke of “the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). Paul spent much of 2 Corinthians defending his apostleship by comparison of his own ministry to the false apostles. He opened the letter by saying, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God” (2 Corinthians 1:1). He echoed that specific calling in 1 Corinthians 1:1, Galatians 1:1, Ephesians 1:1, Colossians 1:1, 1 Timothy 1:1 and Titus 1:1.
Within NAR organizations like the International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (ICAL), there is an application process and annual membership fee. The annual membership fees for ICAL are provided on their website (accessed 2/12/18):
United States based member: $450.00
Married apostles combined : $650.00
First Nation (American Indian): $350.00
International independent members (those not belonging to their individual country’s Coalition): $350.00 (USD)
International married apostles combined: $450.00.
Fees may be paid in two installments by check, credit card or at the Online Store.
If you are interested in ICAL membership, please fill out the Information Form below. You will be asked to provide the names of two ICAL Members you know who might nominate you. If you do not know any present members, please continue the application process and an ICAL representative will contact you regarding your request.

In other words, the modern apostles are self-appointed. A person can’t simply appoint himself a police officer, a doctor, or a senator just because he likes the title. And they definitely can’t assume any legitimate authority and power by such self-appointment to those roles. Unlike the apostles of Jesus Christ who were personally chosen by Him, the modern so-called apostles are self-appointed.
(2) The apostles were personal eye-witnesses of the risen Lord Jesus Christ.
These qualifications for the apostles are given in Acts 1 when an apostle was being selected to replace Judas Iscariot, the traitor who hanged himself. Simon Peter addressed the disciples and said that Psalm 69:25 predicted Judas’ defection and Psalm 109:8 predicted that his place among the apostles should be filled. The apostle Peter declared,
Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection (Acts 1:21-22).
According to Peter, the candidate to fill the apostolic office needed to have personally sat under the teaching of Jesus and known the Lord after His resurrection. Two candidates fulfilled those qualifications: “And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias” (Acts 1:23).
The apostle Peter reiterated this important credential in his preaching:
God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead” (Acts 10:38-41).
The apostle Peter also wrote, “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Peter 1:16). Likewise, the apostle John declared, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; . . . That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you” (1 John 1:1-3).
The apostles learned the gospel from the Lord Jesus Christ, not other men, and Paul was no exception. Paul said, “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12). Although the apostle Paul did not bear witness to the Lord’s earthly ministry like the other apostles, he was no less a witness of the risen Christ. The apostle Paul laid claim to his apostolic office when he asked the rhetorical question: “Am I am not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?” (1 Corinthians 9:1). Moreover, Paul wrote,
And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time” (1 Corinthians 15:5-8).
In other words, Paul was claiming the same type of appearance of Christ to himself that the original apostles received.
What about modern apostles? In 2009, the “apostolic father” Brian Simmons claims that Jesus Christ came into his room, breathed on him, and commissioned him. According to Simmons, Jesus said to him, “I’m commissioning you to translate the Bible into the translation project that I’m giving you to do.” He believes that an impartation of revelation was given to him in order to translate the Bible (The Passion Translation). Simmons claims to receive divine “downloads” and a new translation of Ephesians 5:22. He makes a distinction between himself and writers of Scripture, yet he claims he was translated into the library of heaven where he saw more books than you can imagine. One book stood out called John 22. Simmons claims, “I believe the John 22 generation will be a people that do the greater works of Jesus. They will not add to the scripture, and that’s a sealed book. But it is a book that is unfolding and the works of Jesus will be replicated by an entire generation of people that believe fully in the power of God.” He claims to not be adding to the Scripture, yet he acts as an inspired apostle with the authority to receive a new translation and a new chapter of the Bible. See his interview on Sid’s Roth It’s Supernatural. The claims of Simmons are absolutely ridiculous, to say the least. And such an appearance doesn’t compare to the first-century apostles who were personal eye-witnesses to the Lord.

The resurrection of Christ was a primary theme of apostolic preaching (cf. Acts 2:24; Acts 3:15; Acts 5:30; Acts 10:40; Acts 13:30-37). Thus, Christ’s apostles had to be personal witnesses of the risen Lord. On this point, today’s apostles fall short. It is not enough to know about Jesus and His resurrection. Neither does a dream or a vision about Jesus qualify anybody to be an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.
(3) Christ gave His apostles the power to perform miracles.
We read in the gospel: “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease” (Matthew 10:1; cf. Mark 3:14-15; Luke 9:1-2). In the book of Acts, Luke emphasized the signs and wonders which were done by the apostles in the book of Acts: “And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles” (Acts 2:43); “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:33); “And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people” (Acts 5:12).
The miraculous signs and wonders recorded in the New Testament had a specific purpose to confirm the gospel message of Christ and His apostles.
But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him (John 10:38).
And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. (Mark 16:20).
Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know (Acts 2:22).
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak (Hebrews 2:3-5).
Miracles also validated Paul’s apostleship. He wrote,
For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ (Romans 15:18-19).
When defending his apostolic office to the Corinthians, Paul wrote, “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds” (2 Corinthians 12:12).
Unlike the alleged signs and wonders performed by today’s so-called apostles, the pattern of miracles performed in the New Testament by Jesus and His apostles were unique in several ways:
The Lord and His apostles healed according to their own will rather than having an irregular ability to heal (cf. Luke 5:13; Acts 3:6).
Their miracles were not dependent upon the faith of the recipients (cf. Acts 3:6-8; Acts 16:18).
The Lord and His apostles did not perform miracles for money or fame (cf. Acts 8:20).
Their miracles were always totally successful with no malingering symptoms (cf. Matthew 14:36; Luke 4:38-39).
Their miracles were undeniable, spectacular and verifiable (cf. Acts 4:16; 16:19).
Their miracles were immediate (cf. Mark 1:42; 5:29; 7:31; 10:52; Luke 4:38-39; Acts 3:8).
Their miracles were spontaneous, rather than in controlled environments (cf. Matthew 8:14-15; Matthew 9:20-22; Acts 3:1-7)
Often everyone was healed, rather than just a few from the crowd (cf. Luke 4:40; 9:11).
Organic diseases were healed, rather than headaches, lower back pain, heart palpitation, allergies, asthma, mental disorders, etc. (cf. Matthew 4:24; Luke 1:34; 4:40; 6:17; 9:1; Acts 19:12; 28:9)
The Lord and His apostles raised the dead (cf. Mark 5:35; Luke 7:11ff).
Consider some examples of the Lakeland Revival. This Nightline Report below shows how Bentley claimed to heal one boy from crippling Spina Bifida who was stumbling to the ground after the revival. ABC News found no verification for Bentley’s healings for his Lakeland Revival. Bentley claims to have brought back 35 people from the dead, but there is no proof of those resurrections. Yet Bentley was blessed by the leading apostles in Charismatic movement like C. Peter Wagner who presided over Bentley’s apostolic alignment ceremony with the apostles Che Ahn, Rick Joyner, John Arnott, and Bill Johnson (also Chuck Pierce Fed-Exed his special revival oil for anointing Bentley). You can watch his commissioning in full online: part one, part two, part three, and part four. Not long after his apostolic alignment, Bentley was exposed as an adulterer, a liar, and an occasional drunkard.

C-Peter-Wagner

Conclusion

The apostles today fail to meet the biblical requirements for the apostolic office. Only someone with each and every one of the credentials above could they claim to be an apostle of Jesus Christ. Obviously there are no foundational apostles of Jesus Christ in the church today. But C. Peter Wagner readily admits that he excludes the biblical qualifications in defining an apostle. In his own words,
There are three biblical characteristics of apostles which some include in their definition of apostle, but which I have chosen not to include: (1) signs and wonders (2 Cor. 12:12), (2) seeing Jesus personally (1 Cor. 9:1), and (3) planting churches (1 Cor. 3:10). My reason for this is that I do not understand these three qualities to be non-negotiables. They characterize many, perhaps most, apostles. But if a given individual lacks the anointing for one or more of them, this, in my opinion, would not exclude that individual from being a legitimate apostle.
Wagner also speaks of what he designates Vertical Apostles (such as ecclesiastical apostles, functional apostles, apostolic team members and congregational apostles), Horizontal Apostles (such as convening apostles, ambassadorial apostles, mobilizing apostles. and territorial apostles) and Marketplace Apostles. Clearly these are not only extra-biblical, but unbiblical definitions for what the Scriptures say about apostles.
See Also:
Apostles Today Part 2
Apostles Today Part 3
Apostles Today Part 4
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Politics Can Push People Out the Church Door

Ouch!  As a pastor I stand guilty as charged.  I often lack sensitivity to those of different political persuasions, and ramrod my own beliefs in a sanctimonious fashion.  I appreciate this article and need to learn from it.  By the way, if you disagree with material within this blogsite, it will most likely be under the category of “Current Events,” which often has political overtones.

Blessings, Pastor Steve  <><

 

leave church politics research

By Bob Smietana   ~   May 9, 2018
Paul Djupe, a political scientist at Denison University, has a word of caution for church leaders.
Be careful when you get involved in politics—or you may drive some people away.
Political victories often come with costs, says Djupe—especially when conservative Christians are involved.
A new study in Political Research Quarterly, co-authored by Djupe, looks at the rate of so-called “nones”—Americans who claim no religious identity—in states where conservative Christians supported bans on same-sex marriage or laws that affected gay rights.
In those states, the rate of nones went up.
“Our findings suggest that Christian Right influence in state politics seems to negatively affect religion, such that religious attachments fade in the face of visible Christian Right policy victories,” Djupe and his coauthors wrote.
Djupe told Facts & Trends that politics can have unintended consequences for churches. Political debates don’t drive away core churchgoers, he says. But they can cause some people to swear off religion altogether.
“When churches take political stands,” he says, “people are going to start to evaluate them based on those political criteria and not religious criteria.”
A similar study Djupe was involved in showed that people on the edges of church life are more likely to leave over politics.
“We found that it was marginal attenders in churches who were exposed to disagreement that were likely to leave,” he says. “If you were a frequent attender who is engaged in church activities outside of worship, these disagreements didn’t make much difference.”
For the study published in Political Research Quarterly, researchers examined how the percentage of nones increased from 2000 to 2010. They found even in so-called red states, which tend to be more religious, the number of nones increased.
“One of the more remarkable things is that the rate of nones is really catching up across the country,” he says. “There are still some pretty sizable gaps if you compare Oregon or Vermont to Alabama, but on average, it’s close.”
Churches can’t swear off any involvement with politics, says Djupe. But he is concerned that churches can become too identified with either political party.
Instead of evaluating a church on religious or spiritual terms, people may begin to judge a church solely on its politics.
And pastors should know that political involvement has a cost.
“It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s going to have implications for the extent of their ministry outreach,” he says. “There are people that are just going to reject that and walk away. So they may segment the possible reach of their ministry (to only certain groups).”
A New York Times story earlier this year found a “quiet exodus” of African-American worshipers from evangelical churches after the 2016 president election. The Wall Street Journal reported last week on mainline Protestant churches that had seen church members leave—and some newcomers show up—due to political activism.
Writing in Christianity Today, Djupe and co-author Ryan Burge from Eastern Illinois University say their previous research showed Clinton voters were most likely to leave evangelical churches after the 2016 election. But churches at their best should be able to overcome partisan divides.
“The study results also indicate that American churches could benefit from being a place that welcomes, tolerates, or charitably engages voters of either party,” they wrote.
“As research has shown again and again, churches tend to be diverse places where people have the chance to work with others around a shared mission and shared faith.”
Related:
Church as Unifier: In Today’s Fragmented Culture, Could the Church Be an Oasis of Unity?
Room to Listen: We Reach Others by Truly Hearing Them
Pulpit No Place for Political Endorsements, Say Most Americans
Evangelicals Divided Over 2016 Election
BOB SMIETANA (@BobSmietana) is senior writer at Facts & Trends.

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