Monday 28 November 2011

Pastor arrested after conversion of Muslims in India

Pastor arrested after conversion of Muslims in India

Posted: Wednesday, November 23, 2011, 12:26 (GMT)

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali has called for the immediate release of a pastor in India accused of bribing Muslims to convert to Christianity.

Chander Mani Khanna, who pastors All Saints Church in Srinagar, was called before a Sharia court accused of converting Muslim children by offering bribes.

A video appeared on YouTube apparently showing him baptising Muslim converts. Witnesses claim that police beat the converts to make them give evidence against the pastor.

According to AsiaNews, police arrested Pastor Khanna for promoting enmity between religious groups and outraging religious feeling.

Although Pastor Khanna denies all charges, he remains in police custody and there are fears that a fatwa may be issued against him.

The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), which his church belongs to, has written to the Government of Jammu and Indian Kashmir asking them to intervene on the pastor's behalf.

The GCIC believes the charges were brought against the pastor because he failed to get a local Muslim's son into the Christian school of his choice.

The church body said that tensions have risen in the region following the burning of a Koran in a Florida church this year.

Bishop Nazir-Ali, patron of Release International, knows Pastor Khanna personally. He described him as a "respected" priest who would "never use underhand methods to evangelise".

"I am astonished that such a person can be arrested by an India committed to religious freedom and democracy," said Bishop Nazir-Ali.

"I call not only for his immediate and unconditional release but also for protection for him and his family.

"Let us pray that freedom and justice will prevail in Kashmir for everyone: Muslim, Christian and Hindu."

Christians contemplate their future in secular Europe

Christians contemplate their future in secular Europe

Posted: Saturday, November 26, 2011, 20:00 (GMT)

Christians have been told they must find a framework for promoting their beliefs if they are to confront the challenge of aggressive secularisation and the erosion of Christian values across all spheres of life.

Opening the Beyond Individualism conference on Friday, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali said it was “amazing” that a Christian nurse in Britain today could be suspended for offering to pray for a patient, when it was Christians who had set in place many of the institutions and public services now taken for granted.

He warned that the Christian values inherent in Europe’s heritage have been eroded by a process of “aggressive secularisation” that Christians must understand if they are to challenge it.

While politicians offer “thin” values like respect and tolerance, the bishop said such “political mantras” were “not enough for society to be cohesive”.

Instead, Christianity presents European nations with a means to move beyond the individualism they have come to be characterised by, he argued.

“To have individualism without any sense of mutuality is very damaging for society,” he said.

Bishop Nazir-Ali took issue with attempts to detach concepts like equality and diversity from their Christian roots, arguing that they could only be properly understood from the vantage point of Christianity, with its emphasis on the common origins of all human beings and their intrinsic value as God’s creation.

Diversity, he said, should be understood as “Christian hospitality”, rather than multi-culturalism, which has “led to the segregation and isolation of communities”, he maintained.

Bishop Nazir-Ali went on to say that respect for individual conscience “had not been in the fore” in recent legislation in Britain.

Reflecting concern over recent court cases involving Christians, he said it was “unacceptable” that the law had “ignored” the rights of Christians.

“We must respect the autonomy of public law but we also need to argue for law to respect conscience,” he told the conference.

Social critic and author Dr Os Guinness said that one of the greatest issues facing the whole world today was how to live with our differences.

He said the emergence of a global public square meant that Christians need to speak increasingly with one “constructive” voice.

Rather than contradict civil liberty, Dr Guinness said that strong religious convictions could complement it.

However, Christians must examine some of the “unwise” responses they have made in the past “to make sure we do better”.

He criticised Christians for being too politicised, partisan, and self-interested at times.

US hypocrisy Antics: From burning bibles, and cross removal to Obama's God-less Thanksgiving Speech

First read:

But again which God should he thank, Christian, Hindu, Atheist, Jajja Muwanga, Native American, Allah? since "He is not a Christian" as US Conservatives claim, why then should he thank your God? And again is that not Christianity by FORCE rather than Grace?Kato Mivule

Obama's God-less Thanksgiving Speech Draws Ire

By Anugrah Kumar | Christian Post Contributor

The Christian Post > U.S.|Sat, Nov. 26 2011 09:21 AM EDT

Angry reactions are pouring in from across America and beyond after President Barack Obama chose not to thank God but referred to “luck” during his Thanksgiving address in defiance of the holiday tradition’s purpose as established by President George Washington in 1789.

Obama omitted religious references in his three-minute speech although Thanksgiving is “a holiday traditionally steeped in giving thanks and praise to God,” said Fox News Radio host Todd Starnes.

“The president said his family was ‘reflecting on how truly lucky we are,’” he added. “For many Americans, though, Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on how blessed and thankful they are.”

In his speech, Obama said his family would spend the day “eating great food, watching a little football, and reflecting on how truly lucky we are.”

“Somebody ought to remind Obama that when Americans sit down around a meal today and give thanks, they give thanks to God,” said The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s columnist Sherman Frederick.

Proclaiming the first national day of public thanksgiving, George Washington, America’s first president who also presided over the writing of the Constitution, said, “Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor … a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God …”

Conservative columnist Ben Shapiro was harsher in criticizing the president. “Unreal that Obama doesn’t mention God in Thanksgiving message,” reads his tweet. “Militant atheist. To whom does he think we are giving thanks?”

Britain’s Daily Mail also reported on Obama’s omission. “Any acknowledgement of a spiritual element to the holiday was conspicuousness by its absence, as the president called the festival ‘a celebration of community,’” it said.

Notably, Obama thanked God in his written proclamation before Thanksgiving. “As we gather in our communities and in our homes, around the table or near the hearth, we give thanks to each other and to God for the many kindnesses and comforts that grace our lives,” he wrote. “Let us pause to recount the simple gifts that sustain us, and resolve to pay them forward in the year to come.”

The president also thanked God explicitly in his address in 2010 and 2009. “Today, like millions of other families across America, Michelle, Malia, Sasha and I will sit down to share a Thanksgiving filled with family and friends – and a few helpings of food and football, too,” Obama said in his Thanksgiving address last year. “And just as folks have done in every Thanksgiving since the first, we’ll spend some time taking stock of what we’re thankful for: the God-given bounty of America, and the blessings of one another.”

Some find criticism of Obama misleading. “Wouldn’t it be nice if the GOP cared as much about jobs as they do about stuff like whether Prez said God in a speech?” tweeted Arianna Huffington.

ABC News pointed out that three of the GOP presidential candidates – former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Penn. Sen. Rick Santorum – also omitted God in the Thanksgiving statements they issued.

Removal of Cross From Army Chapel in Afghanistan Stirs Controversy

By Michael Gryboski | Christian Post Reporter

The Christian Post > U.S.|Fri, Nov. 25 2011 05:12 PM EDT

The U.S. Army has removed a cross that was prominently placed on the front of a chapel located at the remote base of Camp Marmal in Northern Afghanistan.

Although soldiers at the Central Asian base considered the cross to be an inspiring symbol, officials said that having a permanent sectarian image on the chapel violated army regulations.

As Army Regulation 165-1, 12-3k reads in part, “The chapel environment will be religiously neutral when the facility is not being used for scheduled worship. Portable religious symbols, icons, or statues may be used within a chapel during times of religious worship.”

Fox News interviewed American soldiers stationed at the base and found that some held issue with the decision to remove the cross.

One soldier referred to the decision and the regulation behind it as “a direct attack against Christianity and Judaism.”

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council also talked with Fox News and said the decision secularized a religious building.

“There’s a sole purpose of a chapel and it’s to worship,” said Perkins.

“The timing of this – what a way to celebrate Thanksgiving.”

Joe Conn, a spokesman for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, told The Christian Post in an interview that the Army made the right decision.

“The American military includes personnel from many different faith traditions and some who follow no spiritual path at all. That diversity should be respected,” said Conn.

“It's perfectly appropriate to display sectarian symbols in military buildings when worship services are underway there, but those symbols should not be left there permanently. That would suggest that the faith represented is getting preferential treatment.”

In response to those who say that the military is targeting Christians, Conn said that if anything Christians in the armed forces receive preferential treatment.

“I know of no evidence that Christianity is being discriminated against in the military,” said Conn.

“As a matter of fact, there have been ongoing problems with military bias in favor of evangelical Christianity.”

The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers also welcomed the removal of the cross, considering it an example of protecting “civil rights and neutrality towards religion.”

“Christians are calling this an attack on their religion. This implies that putting up a 6-foot cross on a prominent military facility is not an attack on all competing religions,” reads a MAAF blog entry.

“A Star of David, Crescent and Star, Buddhist Prayer Wheel, or other religious symbol would be a violation just as a Christian cross is.”

The unidentified soldier who spoke to Fox News said he will comply with Army rules. But he cautioned, ““If they are able to erase Christian symbols from the military, then it can be pushed to be erased in the private sector.”

Military burns Bibles sent to troops in Afghanistan

Karen McCracken

Louisville Christian Examiner
May 20, 2009 - Like this?

A story hit the media today, stating that the U.S. Military made a choice to burn Bibles sent to soldiers on base in Afghanistan. The military has a policy that unsolicited religious materials are not allowed to be sent or distributed by military personnel. Central Command General Order No. 1 specifically forbids “proselytizing of any faith, religion or practice” and is to be strongly enforced in sectors which are predominantly Muslim, for fear such material distribution will be taken as an attempt on behalf of the U.S. to proselytize and convert the local people. If such actions were perceived in this manner, the military says it could jeopardize the safety of their mission and cause possible harm to come to the soldiers on base as well as the local Muslims who might show interest in another religion.

Afghanistan is a devout Muslim nation. Although there are various Christian organizations that support professional career missionaries in the field, most missionary efforts in the area are not publicized or promoted, for safety reasons. The Bibles that were sent to a Sgt. James Watt on base in Bargram, Afghanistan were a rare find due to the fact that they were written in Pashto and Dari, the predominant languages in that particular region. The church that sent the Bibles saved and held fundraisers in order to afford the cost of the Bibles and shipping. Instead of sending the Bibles back to the church the military officials chose to burn the Bibles, stating that if they sent the Bibles back to the church they feared the church would turn around and send them to another organization within Afghanistan.

A Defense Department Spokesman stated that the soldier who received the Bibles from his church back in the U.S. was unaware of the policies concerning distribution of religious materials and verified that the Bibles were confiscated and eventually burned. Despite regulations, many Christian Evangelical Soldiers gather together on base and continue to pray for ways they can reach out and share their faith, even in such a war-torn situation as this.

Military policy or not, church-goers across the globe are disturbed by the fact that Afghanistan’s intolerance for other religions and reputation for persecuting Christians is being tolerated by the U.S. In light of the situation, did the military do the right thing? Should they have sent the Bibles back to the U.S. church rather than burning them? Should the church have been notified and given the opportunity to use the Bibles to reach Afghanistan people in other parts of the world? Or did the military make a sound decision?

Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan

Military personnel threw away, and ultimately burned, confiscated Bibles that were printed in the two most common Afghan languages amid concern they would be used to try to convert Afghans, a Defense Department spokesman said Tuesday.

The unsolicited Bibles sent by a church in the United States were confiscated about a year ago at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan because military rules forbid troops of any religion from proselytizing while deployed there, Lt. Col. Mark Wright said.

Such religious outreach can endanger American troops and civilians in the devoutly Muslim nation, Wright said.

"The decision was made that it was a 'force protection' measure to throw them away, because, if they did get out, it could be perceived by Afghans that the U.S. government or the U.S. military was trying to convert Muslims," Wright told CNN on Tuesday.

Troops at posts in war zones are required to burn their trash, Wright said.

The Bibles were written in the languages Pashto and Dari.

This decision came to light recently, after the Al Jazeera English network aired video of a group prayer service and chapel sermon that a reporter said suggested U.S. troops were being encouraged to spread Christianity.

The military denied that earlier this month, saying much in the video was taken out of context.

"This was irresponsible and dangerous journalism sensationalizing year-old footage of a religious service for U.S. soldiers on a U.S. base and inferring that troops are evangelizing to Afghans," Col. Gregory Julian said.

The military says a soldier at Bagram received the Bibles and didn't realize he wasn't allowed to hand them out. In the Al Jazeera video, which shows the Bibles at the prayer service, an unnamed soldier says members of his church raised money for them.

The chaplain later corrected the soldier and confiscated the Bibles, Wright said.

Military officers considered sending the Bibles back to the church, he said, but they worried the church would turn around and send them to another organization in Afghanistan -- giving the impression that they had been distributed by the U.S. government.

That could lead to violence against troops or U.S. civilians, Wright said.

Al Jazeera English, a Qatar-based international news service, said its reporters tried to get a response from military officials for its story but were unable to do so.

The U.S. military air base at Bagram is home to thousands of troops from all branches of the U.S. military. The vast majority of the troops do not leave the base and are in various support roles for U.S. troops across Afghanistan.

Sunday 27 November 2011

A Tale of Two countries: Denmark to allow Gay Couples to Wed in church; in Nigeria it is still a big NO

Gay Marriage OK in Denmark Churches

By Matthew Cortina | Christian Post Contributor

The Christian Post > World|Wed, Nov. 23 2011 09:50 AM EDT

Denmark will allow gay couples to be married in churches starting this February, according to reports

The Lutheran Church of Denmark, to which 80 percent of Danes belong, already offers short blessing ceremonies at the end of masses, but the measure set to begin next year will allow gay couple to conduct weddings in churches also

A recent poll found that more than 60 percent of Danes are in favor of gay marriage.

New church minister of the Church of Denmark, Manu Sareen, said it was a long time coming for the Scandinavian country.

“The first same-sex weddings will hopefully become reality in Spring 2012,” Sareen said. “I look forward to the moment the first homosexual couple steps out of the church.”

Denmark has long been a leader in gay rights. In 1989, it became the first country to allow same-sex civil unions. One of the first two men to enter into a civil union anywhere in the world, Axel Axgil, died at age 96 in October.

Though the clear majority of Danes claim to belong to the Church of Denmark, only 5 percent regularly attend church services. A portion of tax dollars collected from Danish citizens is allocated to churches and religious groups.

About $1.1 million is allocated annually to churches and religious organizations.

Historically, Christian countries, like those in Scandinavia, are facing a congregational crisis – many can’t attract the numbers they used to. Last month, a Swedish pastor started “Techno Mass” at his church to lure in young worshippers.

Gay Marriage to Be Criminalized Under Nigeria Law

By Matthew Cortina | Christian Post Contributor

The Christian Post > World|Tue, Nov. 22 2011 07:55 AM EDT

Nigeria is poised to ban and criminalize gay marriage in a bill that is gaining widespread support in the country’s legislature.

The bill would prohibit gay couples from marrying and punish offenders with up to five years in prison. Witnesses of gay marriage are also subject to up to five years of jail time.

"I am so confident because Nigeria is a society that is very, very godly," Sen. Domingo Obende, who sponsored the bill, told the AP.

Nigeria is a deeply religious country, split almost in half by Christians and Muslims. Though the two groups in Africa’s most populous country have clashed on a number of issues, sources say gay marriage is not one of them.

“There is no religion that welcomes the same-sex marriage, whether Islam or Christianity,” National Tourism Director Olusegun Runsewe told reporters. “We need to be careful and do all it takes to shun this practice, because same-sex marriage is satanic and it can destroy any system, as well as cause bad image for any country.”

Homosexuality is technically illegal in Nigeria. Sodomy is punished in the mainly-Christian south with jail time, and homosexuals in the Muslim north – where Shariah law prevails – may be stoned to death, though this practice has never officially been carried out.

Members of Nigeria’s legislature consider homosexuality a “foreign import,” but think banning the lifestyle would be a boon to the country’s foreign appeal.

“Homosexual and lesbian practices are considered offensive to public morality in Nigeria. (The) bill is crucial to our national development because it seeks to protect the traditional family, which is the fundamental unit of society, especially in our country,” wrote the influential newspaper, This Day, in an editorial on Nov. 10.

“It will be difficult to import practices and lifestyles which are alien to our country and the majority of our people,” the editorial continued.

Many countries in Africa have promoted legislation to curb homosexuality. Ugandan lawmakers proposed a bill several times to punish homosexuality with death – though the bill ultimately failed. Zimbabwe, with a population that is 75 percent Christian, has recently made efforts to criminalize homosexual acts such as holding hands and kissing.

Human rights activists say the bill would further abuse a demographic that is already at risk of physical and verbal abuse. The bill, some say, is an attack on all of humanity.

“This is an insidious bill that appears to be limited to same-gender marriage, but is actually an attack on basic rights,” Human Rights Watch spokesperson Graeme Reid, told the UN publication, IRIN.

“The definition of ‘same-gender marriage’ is so broad as to include anyone even suspected of being in a same-sex relationship. And it threatens human rights defenders by targeting people who support unpopular causes,” Reid said.

Opponents say a ban on marriage should be one of Nigeria’s lowest priorities. Among other issues, Nigeria faces an AIDS epidemic, of which the marriage bill may affect the treatment and perception.
“Same sex marriage may be a current demand in the United States, or in the U.K. where I now live, but it isn't in Nigeria,” the Rev. Ijeoma Ajibade wrote in the Huffington Post. “Nigerian LGBT people have never asked for marriage, what they have asked for is respect and acknowledgment of their fundamental human rights and I believe that they should be listened to.”

“They too are made in the image of God,” Ajibade continued. “They too are human and should be allowed to live without fear of death, harassment or discrimination.”

The bill will be voted on in the coming weeks.

Wednesday 23 November 2011

End of a Prosperity Era: The Day the Crystal Cathedral Died

The Day the Crystal Cathedral Died

By Angie Schuller Wyatt | Christian Post Guest Contributor

The Christian Post > Opinion > Opinions|Mon, Nov. 21 2011 12:23 PM EDT

I liken my grief of the Crystal Cathedral’s death to grieving a loved one with a terminal illness. Now that it’s over, in this moment, I can breathe a sigh of relief.

In 2008, the first headline hit home hard, “Schuller Ousts Son as Senior Pastor.” The initial shock was crippling, spiraling me into denial, anger and despair. Only through counseling and prayer was I able to accept the situation, addressing it head on.

I am the only family member who has spoken publicly about the truth of what really happened.

Having to cope with an onslaught of never-ending headlines made my head spin as the prognosis worsened. There was nothing I could do to stop my misguided family members. Others in the family seemed to be holding on to “a miracle” that would come just in time. I knew better. Something that defined my life, something I hoped would define my children’s lives, was about to die.

Eventually the madness worsened to the point that death itself signaled relief. If you’ve ever held the hand of a dying loved one, you know that death becomes the final blessing. Yet, during that final moment, you pause in respect. It’s a holy moment to reflect on what was and to grieve what shall never be again.

Yesterday, Crystal Cathedral Ministries died. The music stopped playing. In its place, in three years time, will reside the Catholic Church. The namesake of the ministry will be no more. Just like Esau, their birthright was sold.

I’d like to tell you this brings me comfort knowing that orthodox Christians will continue to worship in this building. But I can’t say that. It’s like telling a grieving a widow there are many fishes in the sea.

In one respect, this human metaphor falls short. The Crystal Cathedral isn’t a person, it is an institution. As such, its problems were not terminal. They could have been solved. My father attempted to fix these problems during his short tenure as senior pastor. He saw the Crystal Cathedral was headed toward bankruptcy. He attempted to restructure the board, cut his sibling’s salaries and establish fiscal responsibility. For these actions, he was fired by the board, which consisted of . . . you guessed it, his siblings.

His siblings fired him because they wanted to control it and had been brewing for some time. Apparently, they thought they could do a better job. They were clearly wrong. Oddly enough, they believed they were more “anointed” than my father. That’s not an assumption; they actually told him that his sermons weren’t anointed. I know from other conversations, and from watching media interviews with Sheila Coleman, they thought God would bless them for taking over the reins.

Clearly, time tells all. God didn’t honor them or their actions.

Through their religious self-absorption, they convinced themselves they were “spiritually superior.” And in the process, they made a public mockery of Christianity and the Crystal Cathedral. A 50-year old institution that helped countless millions lay to waste.

This self-absorbed conviction, a toxic lie, prevented them from reaching out to my father for help. Had they stepped aside and put the Crystal Cathedral’s heir apparent back in the pulpit, I am positive my father would have rebuilt rapport with the congregation, audience and supporters. The Crystal Cathedral could have been saved.

Tragically, this didn’t happen.

I’m certain we’ve all learned from this disaster. It’s reinforced my desire to lead my life and ministry with integrity, humility and truth. May we all learn from my father’s example, and be willing to pursue the right course – even if it costs us what we love most.

Although I had no control over the situation, I can only express what my other family members will never say, “I’m sorry.” This week, as Christians, we are once again reminded that a building is not the Church. We, God’s people, are the church.

Angie Schuller Wyatt is the granddaughter of Robert H. Schuller, who founded the Crystal Cathedral, and the daughter of Robert A. Schuller. She is married to CEO of ComStar Media Chris Wyatt. She is also a prolific speaker, published author, pastoral counselor and professional singer.

Monday 21 November 2011

Assemblies of God General Superintendent and other major denominational leaders join with New Ager Leonard Sweet

Dr. George Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, is joining with major New Age Leader Leonard Sweet speaking at ‘the Synergize Pastors Conference’, January 2012 in Orlando, Florida.

Other denominational leaders involved who are joining with Leonard Sweet in the conference are the overseer of the Foursquare Church International, Dr. Bryan Wright; the president of the Southern Baptist Convention; Dr. Elmer Towns, the co-founder of Liberty University; the overseer of the Nazarene church, Dr. Burris; among many others.

All of these denominations have been traditionally Fundamentalist Bible believing which means they have believed in: the Virgin Birth; the Divinity of Christ; the Atonement by the Blood; the Bodily Resurrection of the Dead; the Inerancy of the Scriptures; and in The Ten Commandments.

Organizers claim that this conference held for the last ten years has taught 40,000 pastors and affected 400,000 churches.

Why have these major Christian denominational leaders invited a major New Age leader Leonard Sweet to speak at this conference and give him the platform to re-indoctrinate Christian leaders from around the world with his New Age teaching?

Dr. Ed Young, the pastor of Second Baptist Church of Houston, endorsed Leonard Sweet’s book ‘Jesus Manifesto’. Why is Dr. Young endorsing Leonard Sweet?

Leonard Sweet states, "There is no finer venue anywhere in North America where a Church leader or a local pastor can attend and return with a greater understanding of the global Church than the Synergize 3! Pastors Conference ("


More Christ like than most Christians: US professor teaching Mathematics in Gulu

US professor teaching Mathematics in Gulu

Publish Date: Nov 19, 2011

By Patience Aber and Alex Otto
IN 2009, when American Professor, Siong Ng offered to teach in Uganda, many thought it would be at a university. But the man with a doctorate from a US university, preferred to teach Mathematics at Gulu Public Primary School.

“I heard from the Ministry of Education and Sports that there was need for support in primary schools, so I offered to teach a P.7 class,’’ he says.

The professor is an experienced university lecturer and a chemical engineer with a background in teaching English, Science, Mathematics and Chinese Mandarin.

The headteacher of Gulu Public Primary School, Charles Odoki, says the first P.7 candidates who were taught by Prof Song sat in 2010 and for the first time in the history of the school, none of them got an F9.

‘‘Last year, students improved by 30%. We had no grade 3 and 4 since nobody failed maths,’’ Odoki says.

Siong said he unlocked the minds of the pupils by encouraging them that Mathematics is easy to pass.

Siong is an American of Chinese origin. He moved to the US in 1974, from China, and is currently pursuing a post-doctoral studies at the University of Arkansas in the US.

He lives in Gulu and rides a bicycle daily for 8km when going to lecture at Gulu PTC.

Early this year, he fractured his arm in a bicycle accident, but he has since recovered.

Siong also sponsors the needy students and has also secured a commercial baking oven to pioneer a baking class at the primary school.

USA Double standards :Seattle Police Pepper-Spray Pastor


City of Sacramento criminalizes
peaceful Occupy protest


University of California - Davis Protestors Pepper Sprayed by Cops!

Ugandan opposition leaders sprayed pink to stop rally

What example should President Museveni and other African autocrats follow? How can you then blame Museveni for pink spraying Walk To Work Protestors??? Western Double Standards?? Kato Mivule

Seattle Police Pepper-Spray Pastor

November 16, 2011

U.S. authorities and major news media are quick to condemn leaders of foreign nations when they unleash police to rough up and intimidate protesting citizens, but a different standard applies inside the United States, as Rev. Rich Lang discovered when he walked with an Occupy protest in Seattle.

By the Rev. Rich Lang

You could feel the tension and raw energy crinkling throughout the air as the marchers once again began their journey into downtown Seattle.

The Occupy Movement is the prophetic voice of God calling out to the nation to “repent” and turn from its ways of corruption. Those who camp are a rag-tag, motley crew made up of mostly young adults, mostly unemployed, almost all of whom are alienated and cast out of America’s promise of liberty and justice for all.

They are … the first fruits being devoured by the Beast of Empire.

The police were once conceived to be a citizen force created to serve and protect the public. Today however, the police have been militarized and view the populace as enemy combatants, as threats to their well being. The police, like our Armed Forces, are well-trained, disciplined and exceptionally talented. They follow a chain of command and are increasingly apprenticed into a culture of institutional conformity.

Because America has always affirmed the right of dissent, the role of the police is to keep the peace. They are trained to enter the protesting arena as unfeeling protectors of property and people.

What has changed in our time is that the police are entering the arena of protest as agents of provocation. They push and shove at will, they ride their bicycles up the backs of protesters, they engage in verbal abuse. Their commanders allow this breach of discipline. Their comrades silently condone the bullying.

The police become the agitators encouraging violence. It is as if they are spoiling for a fight – a fight, mind you, against the citizenry, against the youth, the unemployed, and those who are trying to return America back to its promise, and dare I say it, return America to its covenant with God, “we hold these truths to be self evident …”

On Tuesday night, a small group of the rag-tag campers of Seattle’s Occupy Movement left their camp to protest the destruction inflicted upon the Wall Street Occupy site.

Throughout the march, I — as a Pastor in full clergy alb, stole and cross – acted as a peacekeeper placing myself between the police line and the Occupy Movement. On four occasions I stepped between verbal battles between the police and the protesters. The point being that it was evident to all who I was and what my role was in this non-violent march of the few escorted by the many.

The incident was minor in nature. A girl, dressed in Anarchist black waving the Anarchist black flag, was plastered side by side with an officer on the bike. They were jawboning each other. At one point her flag was thrust in his direction – a provocation yes – threatening? – no.

The officer grabbed the flag and in the pulling, pulled down the girl. Her friends reacted jumping in to pull her away from the officer. It was at this point that the first wave of pepper spray went off.

Point: One might think the officer acted within reason, that the officer was suddenly threatened. But with what? By whom? The friends of the offender were grabbing for the girl, they were not grabbing at the police. Basically the officer and his comrades were trigger-happy as if they couldn’t wait for just this moment. And so the spray went forth.

I leapt to the front and tried to place myself between the parties – with spray in the air the protesters were also fleeing. Separation between the police line and the protesters was clearly visible … there was certainly no threat of the “mob” suddenly rampaging into the well-armed police.

The separation had occurred (as can be clearly seen on the video captured by King 5 News). But the spray continued. I walked between the lines, I was alone, I was in full clergy dress, everyone knew who I was and what I was – with the protesters fleeing and the police line holding – with my back to the police and my hands waving the protesters to get back.

I was alone in full alb, stole and cross when six officers turned their spray on me thoroughly soaking my alb and then one officer hit me full throttle in the face.

I praise the courage and compassion, the discipline and the decency of the Occupy Movement. Out of the rag-tag mob came help, grabbing my hands, leading me (I was blind by then) to the wall and administering care and concern for my well-being.

The protesters were assembled around all the wounded, and maintained the discipline of nonviolence (granted the nonviolence was in behavior but not language). And they were not afraid.

The spraying had been a baptism sealing them into the security of knowing that their prophecy of repentance was indeed the Spirit-Word through them – it is as if they did not prophecy their very bones would melt within them. Against the wall in increasing pain and burning I realized I was in the midst of church.

The police, on the other hand, were afraid. Their quick use of chemical warfare reveals how cowardly they are. The unwillingness of their commanders to maintain discipline reveals how incompetent they are becoming.

The only tool in their bag is brutality and like a drunken-raging father beating wife and kids, the police have increasingly disgraced themselves. Step by step, they are being shaped into the front face of fascism, the emerging police state that protects the property interests of the Marie Antoinette’s who have seized control of our government, commerce, media, military and increasingly the Church itself.

My question to my clergy colleagues is this: “Where are you? How much longer can you preach without practice? How dare you remain protected in your sanctuary while your people (the rag-tag mob of the least, last and lost whom Jesus loved) are slaughtered doing that which God has commissioned you to do (prophecy!).

“Where are you? Who have you become in this age of baptism by pepper spray? Do you not know how much power you have to stop our national descent into chaos? Don’t you realize that the world is your parish and right before your eyes the Spirit of God is doing a new thing?

“Can’t you hear that God’s judgment is upon the land? God is against the thieves that bankrupted our nation. God is against the armies of the Beast who pillage other lands in our name, and turn and destroy our people on our own soil.

“Are you blind? – Perhaps you need a baptism of pepper spray in your eyes to restore your vision.”

And to the police I say this: “There are always the brutal ones in our midst. As colleagues you have the moral responsibility to police your own. If your commanders order you to brutalize your people you have a Higher Command that says, ‘disarm yourself, turn away from your sin, renounce the orders of unrighteousness.’

“And in doing so, cross the line, come over and join us because we are the winning side of history. And we welcome your repentance and heal you of your shame.”

And to the church, beloved church, I say: “You cannot sing the hymns of faith if you are too afraid to live that faith. In Amos it says to silence your sacred assemblies and let JUSTICE burst forth. Our nation, with the nations of the world, are under an assault of tyranny and treason of the 1 percent against Creation itself.

“You may not worship God until and unless you care for the image of God living in those tents and prophesying on your behalf. Once the Powers sweep the Tents away, if you dare to lift your voice even a peep, you too will be swept away.”

But the destiny of the church, the Body of Christ, is not one of quiet passivity and fear, our destiny is to bear witness having no fear of the Cross because even now we have crossed over into resurrection.

America, America, my country ‘tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty
Of thee I sing
America, oh America
America the Beautiful has fallen.

The people versus the police

Tuesday, 15 November 2011 13:46 By Naomi Wolf

Would it not be easier…for the government to dissolve the people and elect another?
America’s politicians, it seems, have had their fill of democracy. Across the country, police, acting under orders from local officials, are breaking up protest encampments set up by supporters of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement – sometimes with shocking and utterly gratuitous violence.

In the worst incident so far, hundreds of police, dressed in riot gear, surrounded Occupy Oakland’s encampment and fired rubber bullets (which can be fatal), flash grenades, and tear-gas canisters – with some officers taking aim directly at demonstrators. The Occupy Oakland Twitter feed read like a report from Cairo’s Tahrir Square: “they are surrounding us”; “hundreds and hundreds of police”; “there are armored vehicles and Hummers.” There were 170 arrests.

My own recent arrest, while obeying the terms of a permit and standing peacefully on a street in lower Manhattan, brought the reality of this crackdown close to home. America is waking up to what was built while it slept: private companies have hired away its police (JPMorgan Chase gave $4.6 million to the New York City Police Foundation); the federal Department of Homeland Security has given small municipal police forces military-grade weapons systems; citizens’ rights to freedom of speech and assembly have been stealthily undermined by opaque permit requirements.

Suddenly, America looks like the rest of the furious, protesting, not-completely-free world. Indeed, most commentators have not fully grasped that a world war is occurring. But it is unlike any previous war in human history: for the first time, people around the world are not identifying and organising themselves along national or religious lines, but rather in terms of a global consciousness and demands for a peaceful life, a sustainable future, economic justice, and basic democracy. Their enemy is a global “corporatocracy” that has purchased governments and legislatures, created its own armed enforcers, engaged in systemic economic fraud, and plundered treasuries and ecosystems.

Around the world, peaceful protesters are being demonised for being disruptive. But democracy is disruptive. Martin Luther King, Jr., argued that peaceful disruption of “business as usual” is healthy, because it exposes buried injustice, which can then be addressed. Protesters ideally should dedicate themselves to disciplined, nonviolent disruption in this spirit – especially disruption of traffic. This serves to keep provocateurs at bay, while highlighting the unjust militarization of the police response.

Moreover, protest movements do not succeed in hours or days; they typically involve sitting down or “occupying” areas for the long hauls. That is one reason why protesters should raise their own money and hire their own lawyers. The corporatocracy is terrified that citizens will reclaim the rule of law. In every country, protesters should field an army of attorneys.

Protesters should also make their own media, rather than relying on mainstream outlets to cover them. They should blog, tweet, write editorials and press releases, as well as log and document cases of police abuse (and the abusers).

There are, unfortunately, many documented cases of violent provocateurs infiltrating demonstrations in places like Toronto, Pittsburgh, London, and Athens – people whom one Greek described to me as “known unknowns.” Provocateurs, too, need to be photographed and logged, which is why it is important not to cover one’s face while protesting.

Protesters in democracies should create email lists locally, combine the lists nationally, and start registering voters. They should tell their representatives how many voters they have registered in each district – and they should organise to oust politicians who are brutal or repressive. And they should support those – as in Albany, New York, for instance, where police and the local prosecutor refused to crack down on protesters – who respect the rights to free speech and assembly.

Many protesters insist in remaining leaderless, which is a mistake. A leader does not have to sit atop a hierarchy: a leader can be a simple representative. Protesters should elect representatives for a finite “term,” just like in any democracy, and train them to talk to the press and to negotiate with politicians.

Protests should model the kind of civil society that their participants want to create. In lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, for example, there is a library and a kitchen; food is donated; kids are invited to sleep over; and teach-ins are organized. Musicians should bring instruments, and the atmosphere should be joyful and positive. Protesters should clean up after themselves. The idea is to build a new city within the corrupt city, and to show that it reflects the majority of society, not a marginal, destructive fringe.

After all, what is most profound about these protest movements is not their demands, but rather the nascent infrastructure of a common humanity. For decades, citizens have been told to keep their heads down – whether in a consumerist fantasy world or in poverty and drudgery – and leave leadership to the elites. Protest is transformative precisely because people emerge, encounter one another face-to-face, and, in re-learning the habits of freedom, build new institutions, relationships, and organisations.

None of that cannot happen in an atmosphere of political and police violence against peaceful democratic protesters. As Bertolt Brecht famously asked, following the East German Communists’ brutal crackdown on protesting workers in June 1953, “Would it not be easier…for the government to dissolve the people and elect another?” Across America, and in too many other countries, supposedly democratic leaders seem to be taking Brecht’s ironic question all too seriously.

Naomi Wolf is a political activist and social critic whose most recent book is Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries.

Inside the American Dream

Tuesday, 15 November 2011 13:03 By Andrew M. Mwenda

The folly and delusions of a nation that has forgotten the concerns of its ordinary citizens
And so it was that on Nov. 4, I flew to New York City from London via Amsterdam. Upon landing at JFK International Airport, I entered the longest queue in the history of international travel and immigration clearance; there, a hoard of not less 4,000 human beings snaked inside the terminal building waiting for clearance.

The process of entering this “free” country is possibly the most excruciating. First, you have to go through the most rigorous security checks at the port of boarding; in my case London.

Each passenger is individually taken out of the queue, questioned by a US government agent, documents thoroughly checked and finally cleared to go through security.

Going through security is itself another slow and agonising experience. Passengers have to remove everything piece by piece: wallets, handkerchiefs, watches, belts, shoes, laptops and iPads. They have to surrender any drinks or perfumes or lotion, enter a gigantic security X-machine, raise one’s hands in surrender as this piece of equipment takes a digital picture of your body, all your body.

And even then, with this ultra-modern technology, the process is not yet done. Once out of the machine, a security officer begins the process afresh, checking you slowly and meticulously by touching and feeling your body from shoulders to toes, emphasising areas around your pelvic region, literary feeling your dick – well because a Nigerian boy tried to use an underwear to blow up a plane. Funny that the security officials largely put in place measures to deal with past experiences rather than predict future ones. Why would the next terrorist use the methods that were used before and are therefore on the security radar screen? Anyway, after about 10 minutes, one is finally free to board the plane to visit America.

For most non-Americans, the agony of entering America today actually begins when applying for a visa. It takes a minimum three months to get an appointment online; as I write this article the nearest appointment for Kampala is in March 2012. Then one also has to fulfill cumbersome visa requirements: an invitation letter with a bank statement of your host to prove they can feed and house you; submit your own bank statements to show that you earn sufficient income at home etc. The visa application forms are clear that one is presumed a potential illegal immigrant into the US until they prove themselves otherwise. Although consular officials exempt me from all this (due to my regular travel to the US) most Ugandans go through it.

Then for your passport photo, you need a special size taken without your glasses if you wear them; otherwise the embassy will turn you away. And you have to submit your fingerprint and a picture of your eyes. The first time my fingerprint and picture were taken this way was when I was going to jail; the second was when I was applying for a visa to America and when I was entering the country. Now even at Entebbe airport, this process has begun. The world isn’t free anymore.

As I have been travelling to the US more than five times every year for the last five years, I have grown wary of what is happening to this country’s free spirit. Increasingly, I encounter a paranoid nation ruled by opportunistic politicians so desperate to cling onto or take a grab at power that they govern by pandering to public sentiments. Rather than lead on the basis of a set of values, they are instead led by public opinion, itself that changes every hour. And all the time, those who control the platforms of expression have perfected the art of selling fear to the population.

Americans are told from morning to evening that everyone hates them (and that everyone loves them at the same time). The politicians sing fear, the journalist repeat the chorus. All debate on terrorism is about fear and hence how to design even more draconian controls on how people travel. There is almost no debate to challenge the current obsession with tighter and ever tighter security arrangements.

In this free country with supposedly independent media, it is often difficult to distinguish the word of the government from the word of the journalist – one is a spokesperson of the other. It is also difficult to find people in academia and civil society who challenge these self aggrandising rules of the security system. Yet this is not a fear of death per se but rather a fear of a particular type of death – terrorism – that politicians and journalists have made a taboo even at the price of taking away peoples liberties.

For instance, over 115 Americans die daily in car accidents, that is over 43,000 per year. Over 2.9 million get injured in car accidents per year. Over 30,000 die per year of gunshot wounds. To date plane crashes – even with terrorists looming everywhere – hardly kill anyone in this country. So if it is the desire to protect life, surely, there should be a large campaign against drunk and other forms of reckless driving in America and there should be a large campaign against the Second Amendment on the right to keep and bear arms.

America’s response to protecting its citizens from another terrorist attack is disproportionate to the threat the country faces. The country is becoming one vast prison of fear; its freedom of speech greatly compromised by political correctness, its space for policy alternatives undermined by the hegemonic influence of a distorted free market ethic and the myth of “the American dream” and its politics polarised along this very narrow spectrum of policy ideas.

America today is almost a one party state and that one party is divided into two factions; one calling itself Republican, the other Democratic. The irony is that the two sides are increasingly finding it very difficult to compromise on almost nonexistent policy differences. In the battle for the American voter, each side sells fear perhaps because a paranoid population is easier to control than a free one.

Back to the queue to enter America at the JFK terminal: There, I watch hoards of humanity walking slowly and impatiently to the immigration desks; immigration officials painstakingly take their fingerprints, photograph the inside of their eyes, check their documents and finally stamp their passports. The unlucky ones are pulled out and taken to private rooms for questioning especially Muslim or anyone who writes articles critical of America. I suppose they keep such writers’ names in their databases so that when you are entering the country, you are taken care of.

I can feel the suppressed rage of all these non-American visitors to America – the sense that these procedures are far too out of proportion with the threat of terrorism. However, no one dares speak out for fear that the FBI may pick you out of the queue for questioning or that your visa might be cancelled. So when I attempt to share my irritation with a white couple next to me, they simply answer that all these excruciating processes are meant for our safety. An Australian businessman next to me interjects rejecting this defensive answer by announcing that this is his last time to America. “I just cannot stand this abuse of my rights anymore,” he says.

It is difficult not to imagine you are entering a Stalinist state, something akin to North Korea when you are entering the United States these days. The exception is that the flat screens on the walls have CNN reporting the trial of Michael Jackson’s former doctor. There, I watch Americans busy arguing and dissecting every bit of the trial – free, passionate and proud. This vibrancy of freewheeling debate brings back the America I dreamed of as a child, adored as teenager, embraced as an adult and are now growing to realize is only one aspect of that nation’s life.

But it is the America I want, not the one I am suffering. It also reflects the complexity of America’s political life – a combination of a growing Stalinism alongside Jeffersonian democracy; the existing sense of freedom but largely in entertainment, itself perhaps to divert Americans from loss of free debate about security.

The tragedy of America is the failure of its mass media, journalists, intellectuals and civil society to challenge the growing Stalinism of the security-industrial complex; the systematic dismantling of many individual liberties, the uncalled for intrusion into people’s privacy through wiretapping and other forms of electronic surveillance in the name of security.

Finally I leave the airport and begin driving to New York City. On radio, another heated debate about new regulations to govern city cabs; it is heated and polarizing but again reflects the America that I admire - an America of a free and proud people – vibrant and competitive. How has the concern over security blighted this once proud and courageous society to behave paranoid like cowards?

America is suffering from a crisis of leadership. It reflects Athens after the death of Pericles in 429BC. The democratic process produced a string of politicians who pandered to public sentiment. Unable to develop a vision for the city state, the leaders resorted to exchanging intellectual blows at the Ecclesia, or general assembly, in entertaining fashion to win popular approval rather than to provide solutions. Every intellectual argument would be cheered like the steady blows of boxers and wrestlers at the Olympic and Pethian games.

Thus, as philosophy gave way to oratory, Athens degenerated into mob justice. It was rule by the eloquent rather than the intelligent; sentiment overtook reason as the basis of decision making. Thus Athens went from one tragedy to another until, after 27 years of the Peloponnesian war it surrendered to Sparta. The defeat of Athens ended the democratic experiment and plunged the country into a tyranny of the council of 30 under Critius. And when the democrats wrestled power militarily back into their hands, their first objective was to kill Socrates – the one sane voice who stood consistently in opposition to the decisions of the mob.

As I drive to Manhattan, I encounter another ignored America: the Occupy Wall Street movement. For many years, the upper classes of this country have promoted the one-sided story of a prosperous nation and an invisible economy built on free market capitalism. It seems this message, more than the reality in people’s lives, has sustained the legitimacy of this arrangement for the last three decades.

In reality, however, even during the boom years of the Clinton administration, the real income of the average American has been declining, not growing. The vast majority of Americans have therefore enjoyed prosperity by association, not in their pockets. Instead, most of the growth in real incomes has gone to the top 20 percent of the population. The rest are kept hoping against hope that they too will benefit through the myths of the American dream. And because their incomes are not growing, the financiers of Wall Street decided to make them beneficiaries of this dream largely through credit – hence the rapid growth of consumer debt, now over 150 percent of an individual American’s annual income.

US democracy has been significantly undermined by these developments. For example, the top two percent control 20 percent of national income; the top 20 percent take 80 percent of total income. So 80 percent of Americans share only 20 percent of its income. The rich who take most of the benefits of growth have adeptly used the political process to block the benefits of a free market system from reaching those on the bottom of the ladder. Even my hero Frederic Von Hayek would not agree that a free market society should look like America.

The rich in America own the mass media and therefore control public opinion. They finance think tanks and therefore control the production of alternative policies. They fund universities and therefore control the production of knowledge. They pay for the campaigns of politicians to congress and the White House and therefore control power. And they hire lobbyists to promote the policies they want. The voice of the ordinary American is missing in almost every aspect of public life in this country as the rich goad themselves in opulence.

While in New York, I decided to use subway (underground train system) and that brings you face to face with the indifference of the rich to the concerns of the ordinary people of this wealthy nation. The tracks are littered with garbage and flowing with muddy water or sewage or both. The walls are peeling, the roofs leaking, the steel rusting, the wood rotting, the staircases breaking and the trains old and tired. Those who rule New York above drive in fancy cars and know little or nothing about the plight of the majority of their fellow citizens who use this subway – stuffy and smelly.

But why are most ordinary Americans content with the existing political system? Occupy Wall Street is not a big movement – I visited them and they are as few as it gets. Antonio Gramci had the answer in his famous concept of hegemony. The American political system has been extremely successful in “manufacturing the consent” (the phrase is from Noam Chomsky) of its citizens to the existing political and economic framework – largely using the power of propaganda (through the mass media), the production of knowledge (through the control of think tanks and universities) and the power of Christianity (by promising rewards in heaven).

Ugandan opposition leaders sprayed pink to stop rally

10 May 2011 Last updated at 14:29 ET

Ugandan police have sprayed opposition leaders with a pink liquid to stop them holding a banned rally in the capital.

After the drenching, Democratic Party leader Norbert Mao was then arrested.

This week, opposition parities have stepped up their campaign over high prices, which has led to recent clashes between the police and protesters.

Meanwhile, President Yoweri Museveni has said to curb riots he wants a new law to deny bail for six months to those arrested while protesting.

Mr Museveni, who has been in office for 25 years, is due to be sworn in again as president on Thursday.

Uganda's main opposition leader Kizza Besigye lost to Mr Museveni in February in polls he says were rigged.

Dr Besigye is in Kenya where he was receiving treatment after being assaulted in April by police during a "walk-to-work" protest over the rising cost of living,

The opposition have been taking part in a campaign for protesting about the high cost of fuel and food

The BBC's Joshua Mmali in Uganda's capital, Kampala, says the police and military blockaded the entrance to the city's Constitutional Square where the opposition parties wanted to hold their rally.

The police then intercepted the opposition leaders' procession, which was heading towards the square, with dogs.

When this failed to stop them, they were drenched in the pink liquid sprayed from nearby trucks.

Before Mr Mao was hauled into a police van he told the BBC there was "no justification" for the police action.

"I don't know what liquid it is. I don't know whether it is lethal or not, but there was no justification for pouring those liquids on us," he said.

"We were simply accessing this place and the police needed to exercise restraint."

The police first intercepted the opposition leaders' procession with dogs

The police say political gatherings have been banned at the square since 2007.
Last month, riots broke out in Kampala in protest at the rough treatment meted out to Dr Besigye by the security services during his arrest on 29 April.

Plain-clothed policemen beat up his supporters, smashed the window of his car and doused the inside with pepper spray and tear gas before manhandling him into a vehicle and driving off.

The authorities say Dr Besigye provoked them - and he was charged with inciting violence.

Before the polls, Dr Besigye had called for Egypt-style uprisings in the event of fraud.

Saturday 19 November 2011

1000 CHURCHES and 4000 HOMELESS??

1000 CHURCHES and 4000 HOMELESS??
The poor and needy are a priority with God. The Bible makes this very clear, from the Old Testament to the New. The widow and the orphan are at the forefront of His concern. A timely comment on this topic is below-

-by ‘Beres’.
I live in Nashville where more Bibles are printed than anywhere else in
the world. We have more Christian publishing houses in Nashville than
anywhere else on the face of the earth – more churches per square mile –
and, outside the Vatican, a greater percentage of bodies in buildings on
Sunday morning than anywhere else on earth. So we in Nashville have a
better chance to get it right, wouldn’t you say??

We have 1000 churches and 4000 homeless people living and dying under
bridges and in culverts.

I know because I have prayed with them and lain with them as they died,
and every week I feed and pastor them. We can’t even get it right enough
for every church to reach out to 4 homeless people. And yes, that includes
children as young as they get.

Nashville is the headquarters for a swag of church denominations,
and para church organizations like the Gideons, and from this
buckle on the Bible belt of the richest nation on earth, missions
go out all round the globe. Those missions are funded with .01
percent of all monies collected in North American churches.

That’s right! For every $1000 collected by North American churches,
ONE Dollar is sent to evangelize those who have never heard the
name “Jesus” – but from the latest stats, are probably well aware
of the name “Coca Cola”.

And frankly, whereas I once despaired of these manifest failures
of the church, now I say, Bring it on! Let the world see forever the
rich failures of putting religion before Jesus, ritual before relationship, rules before lives and liturgy before love.

When the world at large finally see that the emperor has no clothes,
so also will the light of the real gospel of grace and peace shine
the brighter. For where sin abounded, grace did much more abound!

Let it get darker, our Jesus will shine brighter.

-Please comment on this topic below-
Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew on November 11th, 2011 at 3:36 pm.

Prosperity Indeed!!!Catholic Church To Buy Famed Crystal Cathedral

Catholic Church To Buy Famed Crystal Cathedral

by Barbara Bradley Hagerty

November 18,

The Roman Catholic Church is about to buy a beacon of Protestant televangelism.

The Crystal Cathedral, a temple of glass in Garden Grove, Calif., will be sold to the Catholic Church for $57 million — a decision that left some congregants furious and their future up in the air.

When the Crystal Cathedral declared bankruptcy last year, it soon became clear that the legendary building would have to be sold. There were several offers, but in the end, the church's board favored the Catholic diocese in Orange County.

Sheila Schuller Coleman, the cathedral's pastor, said in a videotaped message that it was the best way to save the church.

"The Catholic plan affords us the possibility of continuing all of our wonderful, beautiful ministries," she says. "And we all know that a church is not a building."

Of course, if any church is associated with its building, it's Crystal Cathedral, which was built by the architect Philip Johnson and became famous for its televised Hour of Power services, led by Coleman's charismatic father, Robert Schuller.

The cathedral shunned a bid by nearby Chapman University, which actually offered $2 million more than the diocese.

For his part, the Catholic bishop of Orange, Tod Brown, is thrilled. The diocese needed a cathedral. It didn't occur to him to try for the Crystal Cathedral, until some of his advisers pulled him aside and said, as he recalls, "Look, this is an incredible location and the iconic cathedral, and it will really serve our needs so well. And it would be much less expensive to acquire this property than it will be for us to build out a new cathedral."

About one-fourth of the cost, in fact.

The rise and fall of the Crystal Cathedral has many twists — from Schuller's message of positive thinking to his booming television ministry to the power struggle among his children when he retired. "But in the end, it's about living beyond your means," says Richard Flory, who teaches at the University of Southern California.

Flory says the church had enormous costs in maintaining the building and the services, which included professional musicians and a yearly Christmas pageant that cost $2 million. At the same time, Flory says, the Crystal Cathedral did not adapt to the times.

"They stuck with a particular model of what church was supposed to be and sound and feel like, and I think generationally people started to look for other things," he says.

In short, it lost market share — and the loyalty of congregants like Bob Canfield.

Canfield is angry that the board shunned Chapman University's offer. But he's furious about the Schuller family.

"It's a slap in the face," he says. "They've been taking exorbitant salaries, knowing for the last eight, 10 years that they were going down the tubes slowly but surely."
The family alienated many. For example, when they asked for food donations for Schuller's ailing wife, they announced that the donations would be delivered in a limousine.

It's not clear what happens to Crystal Cathedral's congregation. Coleman, the pastor, said they can stay in the building for up to three years, and she held out hope for a miracle.

"There is still time for God to step in and rescue Crystal Cathedral Ministries," she says.
But in all likelihood, they'll have to find a new place to rent, and hope that their congregants follow, even without the spectacular cathedral.

On Christians, Poverty, Occupy Wall Street, and Liberation Theology

On Christians, Poverty, Occupy Wall Street, and Liberation Theology

Kato Mivule | November 1, 2011

Recently, a number of protests dubbed “Occupy Wall Street”, have taken place in the USA , centered around issues of increasing poverty, lack of jobs, increasing disparity between the poor and rich, the unfair tax burden that seems to let the rich walk away without paying their dues in taxes, and excessive greed and capitalism among big financial institutions in the USA.

The protests that begun in New York City have not only spread around the USA but also in many other capitals around the world. While there is no central theme in the message conveyed by the protestors, the core content seems to be against excessive greed and injustice towards the poor.

However, of lately some evangelical leaders have come out openly and condemned the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, calling it among other things “socialists”, “evil”, “mobs”, “anarchists”, “neo-1960's hippies”, and “rebels”. Some of the evangelical leaders have gone to length in warning their members not to participate in the protests, noting that the occupy wall street protestors are simply “jealous” of the rich and with a socialist agenda to take over the USA.

Some christian leaders claim that any christian who joins in protesting or voicing against the injustices done to the poor, is engaging in “Liberation Theology”, a clever term re-coined by some evangelicals leaders as a slur against anyone who raises their voice to speak out for the poor and the injustices done against them.

The roots of Liberation Theology begun by a Roman Catholic in the 1950s, actually by Priests protesting the injustices done against the poor by the Catholic Church itself. The Roman Catholic Church then outlawed some of teachings of Liberation Theology inside the Catholic Church. However, in the 1960's, the civil rights movement in the USA included voicing against injustices done to the poor among the message of racial equality; black christian churches and other christian denominations took on this message.

On seeing this, some wealthy white evangelical leaders were quick to condemn the outcry as a “socialist Marxist movement”, and a “Black Liberation Theology” movement. Some of the rich white evangelical leaders taught that black christian leaders who voiced against black social injustices, like racism and poverty were teaching “Black Liberation Theology”, a “doctrine of devils”. This was done in part as a way to silence any Christian who voiced for the poor, from offending the wealthy capitalists who by large bankrolled most of the wealthy white evangelical churches and projects.

So, the basis of demeaning, degrading, and slurring anyone opposed to mistreatment of the poor by some of the rich white evangelical leaders had to do with securing their source of income and money but not because the Bible and especially the New Testament had anything to do with objecting to the poor crying out for justice.

This is not to say that the New Testament is a blueprint for a socialist economic framework. Yet while the New Testament does not speak in terms of “outlawing capitalism”, it does speak out against the mistreatment of the poor, and calls on the rich and wealthy to treat those not their equals with justice, fairness, and generosity. This is clearly spelled out in the Teachings of Jesus Christ and Book of James for example. To discard such teaching under the slur of “Black Liberation Theology” is a shame and a reproach by those who do so.

Luke 6:20 KJV
And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

Luke 14:12-14 KJV
Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. (13) But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: (14) And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

James 5:1-6 KJV
1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. 4 Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5 You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.

It is very clear that James, was speaking out against injustices, mistreatment of the poor, and greed by wealthy “Job Creators” of his day; for they had engaged in withholding the wages of the laborers and God in Heaven had listened to their cry. This story is not so different from the financial injustices being committed by some so-called “Job Creators” today.

Luke 4:18 KJV The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised

While Jesus Christ does not tell His followers to go and legislate His teachings as secular law, it ought to be the duty of Christians, at least to take action as a Church in helping the poor and weak of our society and yes, speak out against the mistreatment of the poor and weak, peacefully and with none violence. The point is not to place trust in governments or man, as some evangelical leaders love to dismiss anyone voicing for the poor. However, if there is a possibility for governments to wake up and reconsider their conscience towards the poor, then it is a good thing, yet even if governments do not help the poor, the Church and Christians ought to.

Besides, this is an opportunity for Christians to reach out and do good, and help the poor do the fishing for themselves, after all, that is what they are asking, not some new Limousine, or million dollar house. It is certain that while Jesus Christ might not legislate anti-poverty measures today, He would certainly stand with the poor, the orphans, widows and those most maligned by today's materialistic society.

One reason why some Christians have taken part in the Occupy Wall Street protests, is to voice against the injustices done to the poor and to highlight the excessive greed that seems to be a source of the economic downturn in the USA. While many political motivations and self-interests might be behind Occupy Wall Street, using that as an excuse to slur all those who voice for the poor and those who speak out against injustices done to the poor is basically shortsighted and a way to ignore the bigger problem.

While some evangelical leaders see very “big problems” with Christians raising their voice against injustices done to the poor, again, I do not see anything wrong with Christians raising their voices to call for justice and fair treatment of the poor in our present societies, as long as Christians voice peacefully, lawfully, and with none violence.

It is clear that some evangelical leaders have positioned themselves with those who practice excessive greed at the expense of the poor, while condemning the poor folks who raise their voices against such injustices as being guilty of “Black Liberation Theology” and “jealousy”. In doing so, the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been tainted by such evangelical leaders who are seen as one in bed with the pushers of injustices towards the poor. Those who are engaged in “class warfare” are not the poor but those who deny them their due wages and institute structures that ensure that those who are poor not only stay poor but become poorer.

As Christians and followers of Christ, even while we might not be engaged with the Occupy Wall Street protestors, at least we can join in voicing against the mistreatment of poor people just like Jesus Christ would certainly do. We must remember that part of preaching the Gospel involves helping the poor, calling this “Black Liberation Theology” is a slur not just to the poor but a slap in the face to Jesus Christ, a thing that some evangelicals leaders are busy doing by disparaging and despising the poor.

Galatians 2:9-10 KJV And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. (10) Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Pastor Evans Mayambala a Prominent Kampala Prosperity Pastor in wife snatching scandal

15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:15-20)

Pastor Evans Mayambala’s wife snatching saga

Recently, Elvis Singa 39, smashed Pastor Evans Mayambala’s car windscreen. Elvis suspects Pastor Mayambala(Pastor Robert Kayanja’s sheep) of having a love affair with his wife. Pastor Mayambala’s estranged wife died in 2007. Elvis says that in April 2011, he came home and found that his wife was not at home, however at about 4:00 o’clock in the morning, Elvis’s wife came back home in Pastor Mayambala’s car. Elvis put his wife to task to explain who the man(Pastor Evans Mayambala) who brought her home was. The wife said she was coming from a night prayer meeting at Seguku prayer mountain which made her run late. Because she was late, her pastor , Mayambala Evans gave her a lift

Pastor Evans Mayambala’s popular books are bogus to Christ’s kingdom

Pastor Evans Mayambala(pastor Robert Kayanja’s sheep) is a celebrity because he has become an expert as regards helping people to get rich. He has written two popular books; one is titled, The secretes of rich people and the other is titled, where do rich people get money. I tell you, Pastor Evans is a hero in Uganda. However, his gospel is at total variance with the Gospel of our lord Jesus Christ. Precisely it is bogus to the kingdom of Christ. Instead of telling sinners to come to the savoir Jesus, pastors like Mayambala are telling them to love money, materialism and to work hard to become billionaires. Can you imagine. I tell you, the Lord Jesus Christ is going to expose these crooks one by one.

Pastor Mayambala Evans facebook page

Pastor Mayambala Evans’ Wealth creation Website


•Secrets of rich people “Ebyama bya baggagga”
•Where do rich people get money “Wa a baggagga gye bajja sente”

Paasita Mayambala asimattuse okuttibwa lwa mukamusajja

Nov 15, 2011

OMUSUMBA Evans Mayambala asimattuse omusuubuzi w’omu Kampala amulumiriza okumusigulira omukazi.

Elvis Singa 39, agamba nti asanze Mayambala enfunda nnya ng’akukuta ne mukazi we Sauda Namata okutuusa lwe yeekyaye n’akwata oguyinja n’agukuba emmotoka mwe baabadde batambulira.

Mayambala addukidde ku poliisi ya Kampalamukadde okuggula omusango ku musajja eyabadde ayagala okusaanyaawo obulamu bwe era Singa naye yabadde agenze ku poliisi okuggula ku Paasita omusango gw’okumutabulira amaka; ate abaserikale ne bakwata mukwate ne bamuggalira.

Singa attottola nti:

Omulundi ogwasooka mu March w’omwaka guno nnasanga Mayambala ng’ali mu ddiiro ne mukazi wange mu maka gange e Nsambya mu Kirombe Zooni nga balaba ttivvi. Nnamubuuza nti “Ono tumuyita tutya?” n’anziramu nti “Musumba wange azze kunsabira.”

Ayongerako nti: Mu April 2011, nnatuuka awaka nga mukyala wange taliiwo kyokka ku ssaawa nga 4:00 ez’ekiro, mukazi wange yakomawo ng’ali mu mmotoka ne Mayambala era ne mubuuza nti “Oyo akuleeta ng’ani awaka?” n’annyanukula nti, “Obudde butuzibyeko nga tuli mu kusaba kw’oku Prayer Mountain e Seguku, Omusumba wange n’asalawo ampe ku lifuti.”

Singa agamba nti yatandika okwekengera era n’asalawo n’agulira mukazi we emmotoka okwetangira Mayambala nti kyokka obujoozi bwagenda mu maaso.

Omusajja ono alumiriza nti ne mu kuziika Omusumba Micheal Mugerwa e Katende ku lw’e Masaka, Namata ne Mayambala baatambulira mu mmotoka emu ey’ekika kya Big Horn era n’agezaako okubawondera ng’ali mu yiye, nti kyokka bwe baamulaba ne bagezaako okumutomera.

Ku mulundi guno, be yassaako okumulondoolera mukazi we baamutegeezezza ku Ssande nti mukazi we ne Mayambala ekyemisana baakiriira ku 2K Restaurant ewa Bakuli mu Kampala era n’ajja n’abateega.

Baabadde baakatuuka nga bapaakinga mmotoka y’omukyala ey’ekika kya RAV4, Singa n’ava mu wooteeri n’ayambalira Mayambala era mu kwerwanako n’amukoonya mmotoka n’agwa.

Olwasituse wansi n’akwata oguyinja n’akuba mmotoka n’agyasa endabirwamu era wano Mayambala kwe kusimbula mmotoka n’agyolekeza poliisi ya Kampalamukadde n’aggula omusango gw’okwonoona mmotoka ku fayiro eri ku CRB:5113/11.

Singa naye yazze okuggulawo omusango ku Mayambala okumusigulira omukazi n’okumutomeza mmotoka mu bugenderevu kyokka n’atakkirizibwa era n’ayingizibwa mu kaduukulu gye yasuze okutuusa akawungeezi k’eggulo lwe yakkiriziddwa okweyimirirwa.

Mayambala yategeezezza poliisi nti enkolagana ye ne Namata ekoma ku “Njiri” kubanga bombi basumba. Namata ye musumba w’Ekkanisa ya Faith Christian Centre e Makindye ate Mayambala musumba wa kkanisa ya Let There Be Healing Church e Kiwaatule mu Kampala.

Singa yagambye nti yagattibwa ne Namata mu 2009. Yasanga Namata alina abaana babiri be yasooka okuzaala nti kyokka okuva olwo omukyala ono tamuzaalirangayo mwana yenna.

Aduumira poliisi y’e Kampalamukadde, Siraje Bakaleke yategeezezza nti baakuwulira n’okwemulugunya kwa Singa era bamukkirize n’okuggulawo omusango ku Mayambala.

Ebikwata ku Mayambala

•Yazaalibwa 1972, wa myaka 39.
•Bazadde be ye Daniel Ssennoga ne Mary Nakandi ab’e Kawempe.
•Yasomera Old Kampala S.S ng’atambuza bigere okuva e Kawempe.
•Yasooka kusabira Lubaga Miracle Centre ewa Robert Kayanja gye yava n’akola ekkanisa ye eya Let There Be Healing e Kiwaatule.
•Alina ekkolero lya ssabbuuni n’ebizigo erya Destiny Roki Investments
•July 20, 2007 yasimattuka abakungubazi abaali bamulumiriza okusibira omulambo gwa mukazi we Margaret Nantongo mu nju olw’ebyobugagga.
•Awandiise obutabo obuyigiriza abantu okukola ssente era busomwa ku leediyo eziwerako.

Paasita Mayambala yeegaanyi okusigula omukazi

Nov 16, 2011

PAASITA Evans Mayambala agambye nti omukazi gwe bamulumiriza okusigula amulabidde wiiki ssatu zokka era tamwagala nga bba bw’akimussaako.

Mayambala ow’ekkanisa ya Let There Be Healing e Kiwaatule mu Kampala yannyonnyodde nti: Wadde omusajja ono (Elvis Singa) agamba nti yaakansisinkana enfunda nnya nga nkukuta ne mukaziwe, nze simulabangako era ogwasoose okumulaba nnamwekangidde wa Bbakuli (mu Kampala) ng’akuba emmotoka mwe nabadde.

Yayongeddeko nti: Bwe namubuuzizza lwaki agezaako okuntuusaako obulabe n’ang’amba nti alina obutakkaanya ne mukaziwe gw’alumiriza obwenzi.

Sirina nkolagana yonna ya mukwano ne Sauda Namata era emirundi esatu gye naakamusisinkana tubadde twogera ku nsonga za mwoyo.

Namata naye musumba akulira ekkanisa ya Faith Christian Centre e Makindye ate bba Singa musuubuzi wa mu Kampala ali mu bizinensi ya bya ntambula era alina loole ezisaabaza eby’amaguzi ezisukka mu ttaano.

Mayambala yattottodde nti: Omulundi ogwasooka yampita okugenda ku kkanisa ye e Makindye mbuulire (enjiri) era kino kyaliwo wiiki nga ttaano eziyise.

Omulundi ogwokubiri nti baasisinkana Katende mu Mpigi mu kuziika omusumba Micheal Mugerwa eyafiira mu kabenje e Kakira ku lw’e Jjinja omwezi oguwedde.

Nti Namata bwe yalaba Mayambala n’amusanyukira nti era yali n’abakazi abalala ne basaba Mayambala ‘abawe ku lifuti’ era n’abakomyawo n’abaleka mu Kampala.

Yagambye nti omulundi ogwokusatu (Singa we yabasangidde) yabadde agenda mu kivvulu ky’okutongoza olutambi “Nninda” olw’omuyimbi Solome Mirembe e Kawaala gye yabadde ayitiddwa ng’omugenyi omukulu n’asanga Namata ne muwalawe Patricia ne bamusaba abatwaleko era bwe yatuuse ewa Bakuli n’ayimirira okubaggyamu era wano Singa we yafubutukiddeyo n’atandika okukuba mmotoka nga bwe yeecwacwana.

Yatutte emmotoka n’agiteeka ku poliisi ya Old Kampala n’ategeeza abaserikale ebibaddewo era Singa kwe kukwatibwa n’aggalirwa.

Singa nga tannayimbulwa ku poliisi yakoze siteetimenti ng’alumiriza Mayambala okumusigulira mukaziwe Namata gwe yagattibwa naye mu 2009 era n’ategeeza nti abasisinkanye enfunda nnya omuli lwe yabasanga mu makaage (aga Singa) mu Kirombe Zooni Nsambya mu March 2011, olulala Mayambala n’akomyawo Namata mu mmotoka ekiro, lwe baaziika Mugerwa ne ku luno olw’ewa Bakuli era eggulo Singa yazzeeyo ku poliisi ya Old Kampala n’aggula omusango ku Mayambala ogw’okugezaako okumutuusaako obulabe olw’omukazi.

Pastor Evans Mayambala’s other scandals

Violence Erupts at Vigil

A silent vigil in memory of Pastor Evans Mayambala's wife, turned violent last night when the pastor confronted his in-laws demanding for the deceased's property.

Pastor Evans Mayambala, of iLet there be healing churchi in Kiwatule shocked mourners who had come for the vigil, when he stormed out of the house demanding for the keys of three cars which were owned by his deceased wife, Margaret Nantongo.

Pastor Mayambala also demanded for the land title of one of the houses which were owned by the deceased.

Shocked by the surprise demands, his in-laws led by the deceased's mother, Mirabu Nakalema, refused to hand over the keys and the land tittle, prompting a barrage of insults from the pastor.

Pastor Mayambala ordered all the deceased's relatives out of the house where the body laid during the vigil and warned them against showing up for burial.

The pastor then locked himself up in the house with the body, and asked the mourners to give him time to calm down as he settled his scores with his in-laws.

Police was quickly called in to control a possible outbreak of violence at the vigil.
Yesterday, the pastor and his in-laws clashed for more than 12 hours quarreling over the dead body.

The row erupted after the pastor demanded to burry his estranged wife.

Read more:

Chaos At Vigil of Pastor's Wife

Steven Kibuuka & Jude Luggya

The New Vision , 21 July 2007
Kampala — A NIGHT vigil for Margaret Nantongo, wife to Pastor Evans Mayambala, who died on Monday, turned violent on Thursday following a serious family dispute.

The deceased's relatives, with the help of sympathisers suddenly gathered at around 10:00pm and almost lynched Pastor Mayambala accusing him of attempting to inherit his wife's wealth.

Kampala Pastor in Furious Row over Dead Body

Read more:

The death of a pastor's wife in Kiwatule triggered off a furious row between the pastor and his in-laws.

The row erupted after Pastor Evans Mayambala, of iLet there be healing churchi in Kiwatule clashed with his in-laws, demanding for a right to burry his wife, Margaret Nantongo, with whom he separated from six months ago.

According to Roy Nalubega, a sister to the deceased, Nantongo had intimated to her family that she wished to be buried at her ancestral home in Mityana, following a series of marital problems with Pastor Mayambala.

Nalubega said that her sister had fallen out with the pastor with whom she had been married to, for ten years and had four children. Their relationship turned sour after the pastor doused her with petrol and allegedly threatened to set her ablaze.

The pastor is also alleged to have thrown his wife out of their marital home, forcing her to rent a room in Katwe, where she has been staying for the last six months.

Harbored with bitterness in their hearts, Nantongo's relatives stormed Mayambala's home in Kiwatule demanding for the body. They maintained that the pastor had no right to either claim for the body or defy her wife's wish to be buried at her ancestral home.
But Mayambala insisted that he would burry his wife at his ancestral home in Kawempe, despite the fact that they had fallen out.

The two parties were for more than six hours locked up in a verbal exchange, as the body lay in a coffin in the sitting room, and the couple's four children sat screaming confused about the scenario. They were quickly grabbed and locked up in a bedroom.

It took the intervention of the Former presidential aspirant, Dr Abeedi Bwanika, the Nakawa division Resident District Commissioner, Edward Sekabanja, and police to reconcile the two parties.

Dr Abeedi Bwanika, a friend to the couple advised that the body be transported to Mulago hospital mortuary, as the families sort out their misunderstandings.

But pastor Mayambala quickly shot up and refused to heed to Bwanika's advice. In response, Relatives of the deceased quickly grabbed hoes and started to dig a grave in the couple's compound, arguing that it would provide the only neutral ground.

Meanwhile, three other graves had reportedly been dug up in Mityana, in Kawempe at pastor Mayambala's home and in Mukono, the couples up country home.

Caught in a seemingly difficult situation, Dr Bwanika quickly convened a meeting during which the two parties finally agreed that the deceased will be buried at the pastor's ancestral home in Kawempe, because the couple had not divorced officially.
Nantongo, a prominent city businesswoman, succumbed to cardiac arrest yesterday.

Read more:

Pastor Mayambala, Uganda’s next billionaire?

He shot to the limelight in July last year, when, following the death of his estranged wife, Margaret Nantongo, reports emerged that he was entangled in a property battle with his in-laws.

Police had to intervene and the burial was delayed for two days. Recently, Pastor Evans Mayambala of Let There Be Healing Church in Kiwatule seems to have embarked on motivational speaking.

During the Victoria Gospel Music Awards at Serena Hotel, Mayambala, said he was going to be Uganda’s next billionaire, to wild applause.

He recently published a book, Strategic Business Planning: Aspects You Ought To Embrace If You will Excel (Nissi Publishers Ltd). We guess he took a dose of his medicine.
Published on: Friday, 25th July, 2008

Get Rich By Investing
Paul Tentena
The New vision, 16 August 2008

Kampala — PROSPERITY does not require supernatural powers. The opportunity is right under your nose.
In his book Strategic Business Planning: Aspects You Ought To Embrace If You Will To Excel, Evans Mayambala, the executive director of the School of Business Planning and Management, helps one create a successful business that could improve one's wealth.

Saturday 5 November 2011

Family Radio Founder Harold Camping Repents, Apologizes for False Teachings

Family Radio Founder Harold Camping Repents, Apologizes for False Teachings

Bible Teacher Confesses He Was Wrong to Predict Christ's Return; Says God Has Not Stopped Saving People

The Christian Post > International > N.America|Sun, Oct. 30 2011 12:20 PM EDT

By Nicola Menzie | Christian Post Reporter

With his speech sounding somewhat slurred and labored, Family Radio Stations Inc. founder and chairman Harold Camping sought to address in a recent message why Christ failed to return on Oct. 21 as the Bible teacher had predicted. Camping confessed, after decades of falsely misleading his followers, that he was wrong and regrets his misdeeds.

In addition to attempting to correct his erroneous teachings on the Rapture and God's day of final judgment on the world, Camping, 90, also confessed, "incidentally," that he was wrong to claim that God had stopped saving people after May 21 – the date which God's so-called "spiritual" judgment had begun.

This is undoubtedly a radical shift for Camping, who has staunchly claimed since 1992 that he had discovered a special numerical system in the Bible that allowed him to calculate the exact dates of certain events, such as the Great Flood, the Crucifixion and the day of Jesus Christ's return to Earth.

Camping first falsely predicted that the world would end on Sept. 6, 1994, then again on May 21, 2011, and finally on Oct. 21.

When Camping's final doomsday predication failed to come to pass, Family Radio soon removed its teachings regarding the failed May 21 rapture, which also included the claim that God had stopped saving people after that date and that the world was headed for a final judgment on Oct. 21.

On Oct. 24, 2011, The Christian Post also reported in an exclusive interview with a member of Camping's Bible ministry that the Alameda, Calif., Bible teacher was no longer able to lead Family Radio or his ministry.

A transcript of the audio message, published to Family Radio's website on Oct. 28, 2011, is below:

We're living in a day when one problem follows another. And when it comes to trying to recognize the truth of prophecy, we're finding that it is very very difficult.

Why didn't Christ return on Oct. 21? It seems embarrassing for Family Radio. But God was in charge of everything. We came to that conclusion after quite careful study of the Bible. He allowed everything to happen the way it did without correction. He could have stopped everything if He had wanted to.

I am very encouraged by letters that I have received and [am] receiving at this time concerning this matter. Amongst other things I have been checking my notes more carefully than ever. And I do find that there is other language in the Bible that we still have to look at very carefully and will impinge upon this question very definitely. And we should be very patient about this matter. At least in a minimal way we are learning to walk more and more humble before God.

We're ready to cry out and weep before God: 'Oh Lord, you have the truth, we don't have it. You have the truth.' And this is another place where we have to cry out for... There's one thing that we must remember – God is in charge of this whole business, and we are not. What God wants to tell us is His business. When He wants to tell us is His business. In the meanwhile, God is allowing us to continue to cry to Him for mercy – oh my, how we need His mercy – and continue to wait on Him. God has not left us. God is still God. But we have to be very careful that we don't dictate to God what He should do.

In our search in the Bible, we must continue to look to the Bible, look to the Bible. Because there is where truth comes from. And God in His own timetable and in His own purposes will reveal truth to us when it's His time to do it. In any case, we do not have to have a feeling of calamity or a feeling that God has abandoned us. We are simply learning. And sometimes it's painful to learn. We are learning how God brings His messages to mankind, and my my, we have claimed to be a child of God, and therefore as we search the Bible, we're bound to feel the darts of the Lord. Sometimes He gives us the truth and sometimes He gives us something that causes us to wait further upon Him.

Whatever we do, we must not feel for a moment that we have been abandoned by God – that He is no longer helping us or interested in us. Oh my, what an encouragement it is to go to the Lord again and again – "Oh Lord, I don't know anything. You teach me." And that's the attitude that has to be apart of each one of us. And God will not abandon us, He will provide, but we have to be just very careful that we don't dictate to him when that has to happen.

Incidentally, I have been told that I said back in May that people who did not believe that May 21 should not be the rapture date, probably had not been saved. I should not have said that, and I apologize for that. One thing we know for certain, is that God is merciful, merciful beyond anything that we would ever expect. And so, we can pray constantly, and should be praying constantly: "Oh Lord, we look to Thee for Thine mercy, and we're so thankful that we know that Thou art so merciful."

How wonderful to know that God is still on the throne, that He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and that He hears every one of our prayers. And let's not hesitate, let's be, if anything, let's pray more than ever for God's mercy, and keep praying and God will provide. But God is in charge, and we must always keep that in mind.