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christian Christian Persecution Christianity Intelwars Persecution Persecution Of Christians

Global Persecution: The Number Of Christians Killed For Their Faith Increased By 60 Percent In Just One Year

For years I have been warning that Christian persecution was rising all over the globe, but we have never seen anything like the past year.  Christians are being slaughtered all across Africa, they are being taken to concentration camps in North Korea, thousands of churches have been brutally shut down under a new wave of persecution in China, and millions of believers throughout the Middle East must live knowing that each new day may be their last.  Of course most Americans have never heard about any of this because the mainstream media won’t cover it.

Thankfully, there are organizations that do keep track of what is happening to Christians around the globe, and one of them is Open Doors USA.  According to the group, the number of Christians that were killed for their faith was 60 percent higher in 2020 than it was in 2019…

The watchdog organization Open Doors USA says levels of Christian persecution are at a record high around the world. Open Doors reports that levels of Christian persecution are at a record high, revealing that the number of Christians murdered for their faith rose 60 percent in 2020.

A 6 percent rise in a single year would be bad.

A 60 percent increase is a nightmare.

Open Doors USA also just released the 2021 World Watch List in which they named the top 50 nations that are persecuting Christians the most.

Here are the top 10…

North Korea

Afghanistan

Somalia

Libya

Pakistan

Eritrea

Yemen

Iran

Nigeria

India

North Korea is definitely deserving of the number one spot on the list.  Most people tend to think of “concentration camps” as something that happened during World War II, but the truth is that North Korea has been running concentration camps for decades.

Right now, hundreds of thousands of prisoners are enslaved in these camps, and most of those that get sent to one of them are never heard from again

Two North Korean families prayed silently on the prison floor—making certain to keep their eyes open. Another detainee, a veteran of Kim Jong-il’s gulag system, asked them if they were afraid.

“No,” one of the mothers replied. “Jesus looks over us.”

The detainee began to cry, knowing the fate that awaited them. The next day, they were sent to Chongjin Susong political prison camp, and have not been heard from since.

When people describe North Korea as “evil”, they are not exaggerating one bit.

Sadly, Afghanistan also deserves their spot in the top 10.  Many of those that convert to Christianity face death, and the government that was installed following the U.S. invasion is extremely hostile to the Christian faith.

If this was the end result, why in the world did the U.S. sacrifice so much to bring “freedom” to that nation?  Thousands of U.S. soldiers died, countless more were injured, and we spent trillions of dollars fighting that war.

And now they are one of the most oppressive countries on the entire planet.

According to Open Doors, other nations such as India have been using COVID as an excuse to ramp up persecution of believers

And the pandemic has even been used as an excuse to increase that persecution. “The big surprise on the World Watch List 2021 is that extremists and governments are using COVID-19 as a justification to increase persecution against Christians and we see this in several places,” Curry told CBN News.

“In India, where local governments are using pressure on Christians to withhold food and medical care – over 115,000 incidents of this that we can document,” explained Curry. “It’s also extremists like in northern Nigeria. Boko Haram which is attacking Christian villages, knowing that there is nowhere for them to go and they’re taking food and medical supplies. We’ve documented this. This is happening more and more and that’s on top of the other incidents of persecution. So, there’s this level of intensity that’s been added to because of COVID.”

In Africa, mass slaughters of Christians are happening on a regular basis, but the mainstream media in the western world hardly ever mentions them.

For example, Ethiopian troops recently attacked a historic church in Tigray that is rumored to hold the Ark of the Covenant

On Tuesday, 15th of December, Ethiopian federal troops and Amhara militia approached the Mariam of Zion cathedral in the Tigrayan city of Aksum. It is possible that they thought that Tigrayan troops were sheltering in the church – taking advantage of the ancient right of sanctuary. According to a number of sources the church was full, with some saying that up to 1,000 people were in the building or the compound surrounding it.

The advancing soldiers caused consternation: a chapel in the compound is believed by Ethiopians to house the biblical Ark of the Covenant. Only a monk – appointed as its guardian – may see it. There was a huge commotion. Amhara soldiers are reported to have shouted that “the Ark belongs in Addis Ababa!” but this cannot be confirmed. Those inside the cathedral came out to try to defend the sacred object.

Those inside the church were determined to protect the Ark that was sitting inside, and Ethiopian troops opened fire.

In the end, “as many as 750 people” were mowed down…

A confrontation ensued. Everyone in the compound was forced into the square outside the cathedral. As the crowd milled around, there was further shouting and the troops opened fire on the protesting crowd. As many as 750 people are reported to have been killed.

News of the massacre has only gradually reached the outside world. People walked over 200 kilometres to the regional capital, Mekelle, and from there the story gradually filtered out – despite the clamp-down on the media in Tigray.

But have you heard anything about this from the mainstream media in the western world?

Of course not.  They are way too busy talking about what just happened at the U.S. Capitol to focus on anything else.

For the record, I do not believe that the real Ark of the Covenant was there.  Instead, I believe that what the Mariam of Zion cathedral in Aksum was protecting was a replica of the Ark that was brought back by the Queen of Sheba after she visited the land of Israel during the reign of King Solomon.

But even though it is not the real article, it is still an irreplaceable part of history.

Over in China, the persecution of Christians now resembles something out of a dystopian science fiction novel.  As I have written about previously, thousands of churches have been permanently shut down, Bibles are being regularly burned in public, and countless numbers of church leaders have been “disappeared”.

For those churches that are permitted to remain open, technology is used to carefully watch every move

Curry explained, “There’s 100 million Christians right now in China, and they (the regime) are using their technology to surveil the church. They’re watching their every move. They’re seeing when they go into church. They’re using facial recognition. They’re looking at their searches online. They have a massive surveillance system which is monitoring religious practice in China and it is absolutely chilling, and I think it poses the greatest threat to human rights.”

Of course animosity toward Christians is rapidly rising all over the western world as well, and what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.

Every single day, the Christian faith is being demonized on television, in the movies, in our education system and by many prominent voices in our society.

Sadly, it is just a matter of time before the same level of persecution that we are seeing in China and elsewhere happens here too.

If you are a Christian, you better know what you believe and why you believe it, because the years ahead are going to test you greatly.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter and Parler, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

The post Global Persecution: The Number Of Christians Killed For Their Faith Increased By 60 Percent In Just One Year first appeared on End Of The American Dream.

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Anti-christian attack Bible Chris Cuomo Christianity CNN Intelwars Marco Rubio Twitter mob

Chris Cuomo blasts those who put ‘Christian’ first in Twitter bios, says they ‘tend to be the nastiest people I encounter here’

After mocking Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio for his Christian faith, saying on Monday that “Mr. Bible Boy” has a “Bible quote for every moment,” CNN anchor Chris Cuomo doubled down on his disdain for those who profess their Christianity on Twitter.

What are the details?

“People who put ‘Christian’ first in their bio tend to be the nastiest people I encounter here,” Cuomo tweeted early Wednesday morning. “I don’t give a pass for being a member of my religion…no one gets a pass.”

Cuomo’s comment was in response to a Twitter user who told him — presumably in reaction to his attack on Rubio — “I use [sic] to like you, but now I will pray for you. You better get right with God instead of bad mouthing a Christian.”

How did folks react?

Cuomo’s newest attack has elicited plenty of responses on Twitter, and it appears the vast majority of users agree with him — and are adding their own barbs:

  • “Yep. Raised Catholic, and I walked away from that because of the constant cruelty and hypocrisy everywhere I looked. I’m a Christian but I don’t feel the need to scream it from the rooftops,” one person commented. “If you’re a true Christian other people will see that in how you treat them.”
  • “I tend to respect God and Christianity, but the fundamental thinkers, the alt right idiots, and the ultra evangelicals have to go,” another user declared. “I’ve met Catholics who believe all Protestants are damned. What? Of all the good people, the crazy ultra religious types aren’t it.”
  • “I agree,” another commenter said. “The worst things that have been said to me (you’re Satan. You should happy we had slavery, otherwise you’d be crawling around on all 4s in Africa. Go back to where you come from) have all been from ‘Christians.'”
  • “People who are screaming they are Christian are most likely to be less tolerant to others … they don’t want gay people to marry or have kids, they don’t want mothers to have an abortion, they don’t like other religions,” another user said. “But those are the screamers, not the Christians.”

But not every commenter agreed with Cuomo:

  • “Serious question, what traits do you exhibit that could possibly make someone believe (even you) that you’re a Christian?” another user asked Cuomo. “Abortion supporter, foul-mouthed, egotistical, liar, etc.?”
  • “If you were a Christian guy you wouldn’t act the way you do. So why are people surprised with anything you do,” another commenter said. “You get a pass for being a hateful bitch. You are a big problem and someone needs to put you in check. Maybe it will be the big guy up stairs. Hopefully. God Speed.”

Not the first time

Cuomo has invoked his views on Christianity to advance his points in the past. A little over a year ago, Cuomo said those who call themselves Christians can’t support the “ugliness” the President Donald Trump “spits out.”

But believe it or not, after the 2015 San Bernardino mass killing — which was tied to Islamic terror — Cuomo appeared to defend Christians: “Are all Muslims bad when Muslims do something bad? No. But at the same time, when you analogize it to — you know, a guy who might be a Christian and does something, you don’t see Christians killing in the name of Christianity the way you do with Muslims right now. And it feeds a lot of the phobia, and it’s something that requires discussion and time and context. And that’s in short supply when people are angry.”

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Abortion Bible Christianity Georgia runoff election Intelwars Pastor Pro-choce Raphael warnock Tony dungy

Tony Dungy questions faith of ‘pro-choice pastor’ and Georgia Senate candidate Raphael Warnock: ‘Is he a Christian?’

Former NFL coach Tony Dungy is an outspoken Christian who’s not afraid to stand up to those who speak falsely about the faith.

The Rev. Raphael Warnock — a Georgia Democrat who’s running against incumbent GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler in a runoff election Jan. 5 — earlier this week tweeted that he’s a “pro-choice pastor.”

Rev. Warnock, meet Coach Dungy:

“Rev. Warner may be a pastor,” Dungy tweeted about the leader of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. “My question would be, ‘Is he a Christian?’ That is, does he follow the teachings of Jesus, and does he believe that the Bible is the absolute word of God?”

The Super Bowl-winning coach added, “I would think it would be difficult for someone who believes that God sees us when we are in the womb (Psalm 139:13-16) to think that it is OK to choose not to bring that life to fruition.”

When a Twitter user brought up back-alley abortions to Dungy and that “all women should choose what happens to their body,” Dungy replied by asking the critic to read the verses in Psalm 139 he referenced the previous day.

“Then tell me if you think God puts babies in the womb or man does?” Dungy continued. “If you believe they randomly get there, then I have no argument. But if you believe God puts them there, then how does anyone have a right to ‘choose’ which ones survive?”

In another tweet, Dungy also focused the debate on an unborn baby being a life:

“What if I was advocating for the right to kill someone who was already born?” Dungy argued. “Would that be morally OK? Of course not. The only question in this debate is what we think of the unborn baby? Is it a life, or is it not?”

And then a left-wing commenter declared to Dungy that the definition of a Christian is “someone who dedicates their life to the service of the poor, the sick, and the marginalized. Someone who lives without judgement [sic] or lies. This applies to about 0% of conservative ‘Christians.'”

But Dungy had something to say about that, too.

“A Christian is someone who believes Jesus is the son of God and that He died on the cross for our sins,” Dungy wrote. “They follow God’s teachings and use the word of God to make all their decisions. I don’t know how many people in the world that applies to but there are many.”

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Christianity friends Intelwars Thanksgiving Thanksgiving 2020

On this Thanksgiving, I count seven lifelong friends as among my biggest blessings

You know how things go. High school ends. Many friendships drift into oblivion. If you’re fortunate enough to go to college, once graduation hits, again the lion’s share of folks you spent a lot of time with go on to new lives — often far away — and the months turn into years, and then friendships dry up.

I certainly experienced that in my life — but I’m one blessed fellow since I still count a handful of special people as close friends. But they’re more like family. Allow me to introduce them to you.

First there’s Steve. I met him at the bus stop on my first day of eighth grade. We lived down the street from each other in a Philadelphia suburb and soon bonded over our love of sports. Considering where we lived, his love for the Dallas Cowboys is a flaw of his I’ve been forced to live with — yet it’s led to hilarious jesting between us over the years. Much more important, though, is that Steve introduced me to Jesus. As our friendship grew during high school, I cannot remember a Sunday evening when he didn’t call me on the phone and invite me to his church’s youth group. I was never interested. But something struck me during one of our long talks one night when we were seniors. I criticized the Christian faith as a smothering existence that frowned upon fun, and I wasn’t interested in that kind of life. But Steve stood up for the faith in the most authentic way I’d heard to that point: “You know, Dave, that’s something I hear a lot, but I love the Christian life. It’s a great life.” We continued our talk, but I couldn’t shake Steve’s statement — and soon I sensed God bugging me each night as I drifted off to sleep. Then one day I decided I was ready. Steve, as usual, called me Sunday evening for his weekly rejection — but instead I said, “Yes, I want to go to youth group,” which I’m sure floored my faithful friend. I invited Christ into my life that night, and my life was forever altered. Steve and I have maintained our friendship through the years and still get together to share hoagies, family news, and prayer concerns. No subject is off limits. Deep is always good. Steve’s faithfulness to God helped spur me on to my own faith — and that our friendship has endured is a precious gift to me. I’m forever thankful for him.

Then there’s Jeff. I met him in college, where he played a crucial role as a mentor and guide, helping me make sense of my new faith and supporting me through some rough emotional patches. He’s also a stellar piano player and a huge fan of the band Yes, both of which helped deepen our bond as we talked music while I banged away on my new acoustic guitar freshman year. He encouraged me, shared many new insights with me, and challenged me. One seemingly mundane — but in reality deeply important — moment still stands out to this day. My girlfriend and I had just broken up toward the end of my senior year, and I was quite despondent — all the while in the midst of interviewing for a residence hall director position that would begin in the fall. I didn’t want to go to the interview. But Jeff actually got me through tying my tie and encouraged me to step into the day in faith despite my sadness. And I did — but almost didn’t! It’s wild to think of how different my life might have turned out if he wasn’t there for me in that moment. Most of all, though, is that Jeff taught me in real life, and in real time, what sticking together as friends means. He taught me it’s OK to argue, to battle things out, and that Christians forgive each other and press on after the dust settles. His presence in all those respects continues to this very day, through thick and thin, and I’m deeply thankful for him.

Along with Jeff I also became friends with Rich, John, and Ralph in college. The interactions between us individually were frequent and meaningful through my first three years at school — particularly with respect to my growth as a Christian. But with the five of us as a group, it all got taken up a notch my senior year when we shared a house together off campus. You get to know each other a lot better under the same roof! We had a lot of fun, a lot of laughs — but there were arguments, too, and some tears in sad moments. That’s what living among one another brings, and it showed me what true Christian community can be. But here’s where things get even more interesting. Once our time living under the same roof was over and we went on to different pursuits, our friendships remained. We wrote, we called, we visited as the years went by; those of us who could swing it met up annually between Christmas and the New Year. And then we created a Facebook group for ourselves to let us communicate — often daily — about the goings on and challenges and blessings in our lives. It’s not the same as living in the same house like we did in college, but it’s a blessing nonetheless knowing I can count on lifelong friends like Jeff, Rich, John, and Ralph to pray for me and care for me. They’ve all been there for me in good times and bad, and I’m thankful for all of them.

There’s also Brent and Lou. Brent I met during graduate school when we were residence hall directors — we bonded first over our love for the comic strip “Bloom County,” and then our friendship deepened over discussions about our shared faith in Christ, culture, comedy, politics, music, and our lives in general. To this day all we need to do is utter a phrase, and we’ll both practically fall over in laughter. Lou I met my first day as a freelance writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer at the paper’s Cherry Hill bureau. I noticed a bumper sticker at his desk for a local band I’d heard of for years on radio commercials. “Are you a fan of the Chasers?” I asked him. Lou replied, “I’m IN the Chasers!” Our shared love of music — turns our we were both guitar players in rock bands — along with our shared professional pursuits made us instant friends. Later our discussions turned to matters of faith, and a few years later Lou joined me on the path walking with Christ. And even though the miles separate us, Lou and Brent have stayed friends with me as our lives took their inevitable twists and turns. I am thankful for them both.

Growing up I didn’t have brothers — but God gifted me instead with seven men I consider family. And on this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for all of them and and for blessings they’ve brought to my life.

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Bible Christianity control Intelwars Psalm 46 Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful I am not in control

I think most would agree that this calendar year has been a fitting example of particularly turbulent times in American society. We have been confronted with the coronavirus pandemic, racial unrest in the streets, and a contested election that, for at least half of America, appears not to have gone the way they had hoped. And that is not even to mention the various a personal changes and tragedies that you may have encountered that are unrelated to the “big three” listed above. In short, things seemed manifestly out of control.

On a personal note, as the chaos progressed I began to notice the effects: a growing frustration in my own heart. The emotions were a surprise to me since I do not at all consider myself a “control freak.” Yet here I was, plainly upset in response to things not having gone the way that I believed was best.

As Christians well know, a sure-fire sign of idol possession is if a negative response is triggered when that idol is taken away. With that in mind, despite all of my supposed “righteous frustration” over the evil winning and the good losing, I was forced to acknowledge the obvious: I was a symptomatic carrier of a sickness — the loss of my idol of control.

Thankfully, a well-timed message from Psalm 46 taught by a pastor at my church reminded me that though I am not in control, God assuredly is, and he even uses chaos to make this especially clear. My lack of control is meant to serve as a foil to the One who exercises ultimate control over the course of history, from the smallest events to the most momentous occasions.

God is in control

Here’s what the psalmist declares:

1 God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

8 Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

The passage clearly illustrates that God’s sovereignty is not diminished by surrounding chaos, but is magnified. And this truth, according to the psalmist, is meant to be an encouragement to believers, not a reason to be frustrated or fearful.

What does this mean for us?

The apparently disturbing reality stated above — that we are not in control — is actually what we are meant to embrace.

In times of chaos, we are given a heightened awareness of what has always been ultimately true; that we are not in control, but God is. In times of chaos, the reality of our true situation hits home. It’s no longer out there in the abstract; it’s right here. This is where the rubber meets the road as far as our beliefs go.

Yet, if I’m honest, my knee-jerk reaction to the reality of the situation is often exactly the opposite of what it should be. I don’t just narrowly miss the mark, I turn the whole thing on its head.

Here are a couple examples: in times of chaos, my knee-jerk reaction is frustration, but God says “be still.” In times of chaos, my knee-jerk reaction is to think God is smaller, but God says he is “exalted.”

I’m still learning the lesson and working hard to trust in Psalm 46. Part of that is resisting the temptation to believe that I know what is best for the long-term. For the short-term, sure, I may know what is best to produce a certain outcome and I will fight for that outcome wholeheartedly. But as far as God’s cosmic plan for the universe, yeah, I’ll leave that to him.

So this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful that I’m not in control, because I know who is and I can rest in that.

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Christianity Intelwars

Eschatology and the 21st Century Survivalist >> Mon. Nov. 30 — NI

A key part of Survivalism, Prepping, and Family Preparedness is being cognizant of all types of dangers that are potentially coming to harm you. The most important ones to me are spiritual. Spiritual dangers often morph into physical. Therefore, I wish to warn you and give you a heads up on what we may soon be facing with The Great Reset. As I mentioned last week, I have been doing a deep on-going study on comparative religions, focusing on their eschatological beliefs of the End Time events and what roles they will play in the New World Order’s/The Great Reset’s …

The post <<DRAFT>> Eschatology and the 21st Century Survivalist >> Mon. Nov. 30 — NI appeared first on SurvivalBlog.com.

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Christianity Christians Congress evangelicals Intelwars Jews Madison cawthorn Muslims

Freshman congressman Madison Cawthorn labeled anti-Semite for trying to convert Jews to Christianity

Newly elected congressman Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) is being called an anti-Semite after speaking about his Christian faith in a recent interview and describing his efforts to evangelize Jews and Muslims.

Cawthorn, 25, was
profiled by the Jewish Insider in an article published Monday that discussed his background and noted that after he was paralyzed from the waist down in a near-fatal car accident six years ago, he began preaching in North Carolina churches. Cawthorn, a devout Christian, shared how speaking at churches “really gave me a great platform to really share my testimony.”

“I would say I have a very, very, very strong faith and [am] very grounded in the actual word,” he said, adding that he’s read through the Torah and the Quran along with “just about every single religious work there is.”

He explained that he’s studied the Quran so that if he “ever was presented with the opportunity to speak to a practicing Muslim who was kind of thinking like, ‘Hey, you know, I’ve kind of got a feeling in my heart, I’m interested in Christianity.'”

He described his previous attempts to evangelize Muslims before being interviewed about evangelizing Jews.

“The thing I found when I was actually reading through the Quran is that Christianity — that is a very easy switch to make to lead a Muslim to Christ,” Cawthorn said.

“They believe Jesus is a real person,” he said of Muslims. “They believe he was a prophet, though. And so when you’re trying to lead an atheist to Christ, or, say, kind of a traditional Jewish person, you kind of have to make people really — you have to sell Jesus a lot, because, one, they don’t really believe that, you know — some very devout Jews just think he’s kind of a good guy. That’s great. But, you know, the Muslims, they already believe that he was somewhat divine, and so all you have to do is just be like, he wasn’t just a good man, he was a god, and now if you can submit to that then you believe in Christ.”

Cawthorn told Jewish Insider that sharing the Gospel led “several Muslims to Christ,” but that he’s been less successful reaching Jews.

“I have, unsuccessfully. I have switched a lot of, uh, you know, I guess, culturally Jewish people. But being a practicing Jew, like, people who are religious about it, they are very difficult. I’ve had a hard time connecting with them in that way,” Cawthorn said.

He described evangelism as a calling for all Christians.

“If all you are is friends with other Christians, then how are you ever going to lead somebody to Christ?” Cawthorn asked rhetorically. “If you’re not wanting to lead somebody to Christ, then you’re probably not really a Christian.”

After Cawthorn’s comments were published, he was immediately accused of bigotry and anti-Semitism for sharing his Christian faith.

Christians believe God commands believers to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus commands his disciples in Matthew 28:19, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” In the first chapter of Acts, Jesus told his followers they would evangelize first to Jews, then to gentiles, saying, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

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Christianity Intelwars Philadelphia riots Philly riots Religion Riots Vietnam baptist church

Vietnamese Baptist church burned down in Philly riots, but pastor grateful for small miracle: God ‘granted our prayer’

The riots in Philadelphia have caused major damage to businesses; at least 200 stores have been looted since the civil unrest erupted this week. For whatever reason, rioters targeted the Vietnam Baptist Church in Philadelphia, and set fire to the building on Tuesday night.

Vietnam Baptist Church Pastor Philip Pham told the Baptist Press, “I have no idea why they attacked our church. They burned it from the roof. They threw flammable chemicals on the roof and [flames] burned through the roof.”

Despite the church being a “total loss,” the pastor is grateful for a small miracle amidst the destruction.

Pham received a phone call on Tuesday night from a friend informing him that the church was on fire and there were seven fire trucks there to attempt to put out the blaze. Pham deemed that one thing in the church was irreplaceable: three hard drives containing important information.

Before the purchase of the building, the Vietnam Baptist Church served as a community center, which provided assistance with immigration paperwork, taxes, and marriage counseling. More than 15 years of notable documents were on those hard drives.

“I prayed right away: ‘God, please protect the hard drives,'” Pham recalled. “Other stuff can be recovered. But those files will never be recovered.”

Pham rushed to the church, which was already charred and destroyed.

Despite the destruction to much of the Vietnamese Baptist church from the fire, the hard drives were unscathed – a small miracle bestowed during a time of dismaying anguish.

“I saw the routers and modems and things surrounding the hard drives all burned, melted,” Pham recalled. “But that piece of hard drive, no harm. No harm at all. Just two feet above that, all melted. … That is amazing how God knows our needs and answers our prayers. He is an almighty God. He granted our prayer.”

Following the burning down of the church and the looting in the city, Pham reminded everyone that rage is not the answer. Pham encouraged youth pastors to stress the words of James 1:20: “The anger of man does not bring about the righteousness of God.”

“You cannot use your anger and be justified,” Pham articulated. “I would like to bring this message to all the young people.”

Pham had comforting words to his church members who were frightened and nervous about the turmoil in Philly.

“So many things we don’t know, but God knows, so just trust God,” Pham told his congregation. “Just do right. Don’t copy [those who practice violence], but do what the Bible says and what He wants us to do. Love them and pray for them that they may know Christ, that the Holy Spirit may convict them and they may seek God.”

The Vietnam Baptist Church had been mostly meeting online because of the city’s stringent coronavirus restrictions. Pham was attempting to find a nearby school where he could host the church’s livestream broadcast this Sunday.

“Remember us in your prayer in time of need like this. The church members here need encouragement,” the pastor said. “The majority of us have very strong faith in Christ, but a minority, a few new believers, they need their faith to grow. Pray for their faith to take deep root in the love of God so they can be steadfast in Him. Not focus on the problem, but focus on Jesus. Please remember us in your prayers.”

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christian Christian actors Christianity Entertainment Faith Hollywood Intelwars

‘A miracle’: Doctors said actor would live the rest of his life as a vegetable — if he survived at all. Now, he’s starring in a new movie.

Doctors weren’t sure if Luke Benjamin Bernard would make it after a serious car accident in 2013 left him near death. Bernard suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, blood clots on his brain, and an emergency craniotomy and was ailing in the ICU amid a cloud of uncertainty.

Fast-forward to 2020, and Bernard has defied all expectations, telling “The Pure Flix Podcast” about his unlikely story of survival, his harrowing journey to recovery, and his starring role in “The Favorite,” a movie now streaming on Pure Flix.

“Medically, you have almost no chance of survival,” he said of his initial condition. “It would be a miracle if you lived in vegetative state — a miracle.”

Listen to Bernard discuss his miraculous recovery:

Bernard had what medical experts call a GCS (Glasgow Coma Scale) of 3 with dilated and fixed pupils, which generally yields a grim prognosis.

“The doctor … told [my family], ‘I can’t tell you what’s going to happen with him. You just need to get here right away,'” Bernard recalled, noting that it was clear he might not survive.

Despite facing the unthinkable, Bernard’s family refused to give up, turning with fervency to faith and prayer.

“Basically, they did the best thing they could for me … and the only thing they could have done was — they prayed,” he said. “They read scriptures, they sang praise … at my bedside again and again and again.”

The grieving parents firmly believed God would heal their son, and they decided to combat the negative possibilities by intensely appealing to hope.

“[My dad’s] mindset was, ‘This is a fight — I’m in a fight right now for my son’s life and Satan’s trying to take my son and I’m not going to let it happen,'” he said, noting that their prayers weren’t just for survival, but also for “complete healing.”

And the Bernard family got their wish. Against all odds, he fully recovered, and they now attribute it all to God.

“It’s just remarkable with God’s grace and mercy, with his healing power over me,” he said.

And that was only part of the story, as Bernard, who was an actor prior to his accident, later ended up writing and performing in “The Favorite,” a touching new film about two rival brothers who face tragedy — a traumatic event that mirrors what happened to Bernard in real life.

The idea and plot line for “The Favorite” came to Bernard as he was recovering from his accident.

(Read also: 8 classic family TV shows you can stream right now)

“One night I fell into this deep sleep and I had this very vivid dream … a dream that you feel like you’re really there,” he recalled.

Bernard said he saw two brothers in that dream who had a car accident, with one of the men facing the same injuries, recovery, and healing that Bernard faced. The dream was so stirring that Bernard started writing what he saw, turning it into a script, and the rest is cinematic history.

Listen to this phenomenal story in its entirely on “The Pure Flix Podcast,” and be sure to watch Bernard in “The Favorite.” Check out the trailer for the movie below.


THE FAVORITE TRAILER

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This article was originally published on Pure Flix Insider. Visit Pure Flix for access to thousands of faith and family-friendly movies and TV shows. You can get a free trial here.

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Baptist Church Christianity Church eminent domain Fire station Intelwars Texas watch

Church fights Texas city’s eminent domain push to take land for new fire station. Fun fact: There’s already a fire station across the street.

While Canaan Baptist Church is located in south Dallas, the small congregation has had a ministry in nearby Duncanville for the last 15 years, KTVT-TV reported.

Image source: KTVT-TV video screenshot

“We do food drives, clothing drives, church activities,” Angie Baker, wife of Canaan Baptist’s pastor, told the station. “We feel like this community is underserved.”

Image source: KTVT-TV video screenshot

Thing is, there’s no church building for Canaan Baptist in Duncanville — but it does have land there, KTVT said.

“This is an empty lot that God gave us,” Baker told the station.

Image source: KTVT-TV video screenshot

In fact, Canaan Baptist has been raising money to get a new facility built on the property, the station said.

The problem

The goal sounds simple enough — but the city of Duncanville is complicating it.

See, Duncanville has designs on the property and is trying to seize it using eminent domain to build a new fire station, KTVT reported.

As you might expect, Canaan Baptist doesn’t like the idea one bit.

“We have put so much into it, and we just don’t want to lose it to the city,” Baker noted to the station.

So attorneys for the church filed a motion this week to halt the land seizure, arguing for protections under the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act, KTVT reported.

“In this particular case, it would require the city to prove that this property is the only property that they can use for their purposes, and it’s going to be very difficult for them to prove that,” Keisha Russell, counsel at First Liberty Institute, told the station.

Image source: KTVT-TV video screenshot

And about that fire station…

What’s more, there’s already a fire station across the street from the church’s plot of land the city wants to take, KTVT reported.

“We just want the city to find another piece of property and build somewhere else, because we love the property that we’ve invested in,” Baker told the station.

The city of Duncanville told KTVT that the city attorney has received the church’s motion to dismiss and will file a response with the court at the appropriate time.

(H/T: Hot Air)

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Babylon bee Black Lives Matter Campus Reform Censorship Christianity Intelwars Palm beach atlantic university Satire website Seth dillon

Babylon Bee CEO says Christian university disinvited him from speaking in chapel over his stance against BLM, for traditional Christian sexuality

Palm Beach Atlantic University has reportedly disinvited Seth Dillon, university alumnus and CEO of the Babylon Bee — a Christian satire website — from speaking at the Christian school’s chapel because of its “sacredness.”

The announcement came on the heels of social media outrage against Dillon and his views on Black Lives Matter and traditional Christian sexuality.

The school now reportedly would prefer Dillon to speak instead at the university’s library.

What are the details?

Dillon, who spoke to Campus Reform for an interview published on Saturday, revealed that the school recanted its invitation for him to speak at the school’s chapel.

He told the outlet that the school insisted upon switching the venue of Dillon’s speech after students flooded the school with emails — as well as social media remarks — over his stance against Black Lives Matter and on traditional Christian sexuality.

Dillon, who, according to the outlet, has branded Black Lives Matter a terrorist organization, tweeted about the news, writing, “Cancel culture has come for me. I’m just too dangerous and divisive to be permitted to speak on the campus of my alma mater. Since when do you have to support terrorist organizations that use violence and intimidation to advance their agenda to be welcome on a Christian campus?”

On Twitter, one Palm Beach Atlantic University student said that Dillon’s thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement should be “enough to not welcome @SethDillon to our campus. Not to mention that every LGBTQ student has been disrespected and degraded by his content.”

The outlet reported, “After the social media uproar began, PBA Director of Alumni Relations Steve Eshelman emailed Dillon, asking to eliminate the previously scheduled five minutes of freestyle speaking at the beginning of the event.”

It only got worse from there.

“A few hours later, Dillon posted on Twitter that he was officially disinvited from speaking at the chapel,” the outlet reported. “He told Campus Reform that he was scheduled to speak on the morning of September 30, yet was notified on the afternoon of September 29 that he would no longer be speaking in the chapel. Instead, the university asked him to speak in the school’s library.”

A ‘sacred space’

The outlet reported that in an email forwarded to Dillon by PBA faculty member Laura Bishop — the school’s executive vice president for advancement — said that the campus chapel was, indeed, a “sacred space.”

“We anticipated that an honest conversation like this could become passionate, and that emotions may run high,” Bishop said in the communication. “We did not want to compromise the sacredness of a chapel gathering, and, after heated exchanges on social media, it was decided that the Lassiter Rotunda of the Warren Library would be a more suitable venue for Mr. Dillon.”

Dillon told Campus Reform that his remarks during the appearance were meant to be “lighthearted,” and said that a list of questions “focused on his experience as an alumnus and a Christian media entrepreneur.”

He told the outlet in a statement, “The assumption that I would bring a Twitter discussion into chapel and stray from the subject matter I agreed to discuss was pretty uncharitable. It seemed to me that it was an excuse … what they wanted to do was cancel me without canceling me and appease everyone involved.

“Bishop would not explicitly tell me what I’d said or done that made my presence in the chapel suddenly inappropriate,” he added. “I told her that if I’m not welcome in their chapel, then I don’t feel welcome on their campus.”

School should ‘stand against cancel culture’

He said that Bishop and PBA President Debra Schwinn met with him and issued an apology for the move. Dillon added that the school does, indeed, have an interest in seeking opportunities to “eventually have him back in the chapel.”

Dillon said he is not sure that he would make a future appearance at the school, adding that he would like the institution to “take a strong, public stand against cancel culture.”

Dillon, who recently donated $300,000 in seed funding to launch a brand-new master’s program at the university, added that in order for him to continue such donations, the university would have to “boldly and openly engage in the battle against cancel culture and take a clear stand against it.”

“[The school would have to] back up people like me to the mob instead of doing exactly what the mob wanted them to do,” he added. “[T]hen I wouldn’t have any qualms about donating to them in the future.”

He added, “Cancel culture is a destructive disease, and Palm Beach Atlantic University is not immune to it. We need more backbone and less coddling in our Christian institutions. And we need it yesterday.”

The outlet concluded, “Campus Reform made contact with Palm Beach Atlantic University and is still awaiting comment; this article will be updated accordingly.”

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Christianity free market economics Inequality Intelwars Pope Francis Trickle down wealth inequality

Pope Francis slams trickle-down economics, advocates for redistribution of wealth: ‘For the good of all’

Pope Francis denounced trickle-down economics, private property, and advocated for the redistribution of wealth in a new letter to Roman Catholic leaders.

What are the details?

Writing in an 86-page papal encyclical — which, according to Reuters, are “the most authoritative form of papal writing” — Francis said the coronavirus pandemic proved the failure of free-market economics, such as the “trickle-down” theory.

Francis wrote, “There were those who would have had us believe that freedom of the market was sufficient to keep everything secure.”

From Reuters:

Francis denounced “this dogma of neo-liberal faith” that resorts to “the magic theories of ‘spillover’ or ‘trickle’ … as the only solution to societal problems”. A good economic policy, he said, “makes it possible for jobs to be created and not cut”.

The 2007-2008 financial crisis was a missed opportunity for change, instead producing “increased freedom for the truly powerful, who always find a way to escape unscathed”. Society must confront “the destructive effects of the empire of money”.

The pope also advocated the redistribution of wealth and denounced the absolute right of private property.

“The right to private property can only be considered a secondary natural right, derived from the principle of the universal destination of created goods,” Francis said.

The wealthy should “administer [their wealth] for the good of all,” Francis wrote. The pope also said he believes “that if one person lacks what is necessary to live with dignity, it is because another person is detaining it.”

However, Francis claimed he was “certainly not proposing an authoritarian and abstract universalism.”

Anything else?

This is not the first time Francis has knocked free-market economics.

Shortly after ascending to the papacy in 2013, Francis knocked trickle-down economics for allegedly sowing inequality.

“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world,” Francis said at the time, the Washington Post reported.

“This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacra­lized workings of the prevailing economic system,” Francis added.

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Biden staffer Catholic religion Catholics on the supreme court Christianity Intelwars Joe Biden Nikitha rai Persecution Shadi hamid

Biden campaign staffer suggests ‘intolerant’ religious views like those of Amy Coney Barrett should disqualify certain SCOTUS nominees

A staff member on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign suggested that those with strong faiths — such as that of Orthodox Catholics, Jews, and Muslims — should perhaps not be permitted to serve on the Supreme Court, according to a report from National Review.

Now she appears to have gone missing from the internet as both her Twitter handle and LinkedIn account have been deactivated.

What are the details?

The staffer — Biden campaign Deputy Data Director for Pennsylvania Nikitha Rai — made the suggestion on Monday, intimating that a Supreme Court nominee’s faith should somehow disqualify them from serving as a U.S. Supreme Court justice.

According to the outlet, the remarks came during a Twitter exchange between Rai and Brookings Institute Senior Fellow Shadi Hamid during which Rai suggested Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s Catholic beliefs were problematic.

The outlet reported:

Hamid had responded to a tweet that said Barrett was a trustee at a Catholic school that opposed same-sex marriage as homosexual acts are “at odds with Scripture.” Hamid replied, “Wait, why is this news? Isn’t this the standard position for any orthodox Catholic?”

“Unfortunately yes,” Rai reportedly responded.

Hamid then went on to note that both Orthodox Muslims and Jews also typically hold the same values.

“True,” Rai purportedly agreed. “I’d heavily prefer views like that not be elevated to SCOTUS, but unfortunately our current culture is still relatively intolerant. It will be awhile before those types of beliefs are so taboo that they’re disqualifiers.”

National Review reported that a search for Rai’s Twitter account rendered a page that states “This account doesn’t exist.”

TheBlaze reached out to Rai for comment on the exchange via her then-active LinkedIn page. She did not respond. Moments later, she appeared to have deactivated her LinkedIn page as well.

At the time of this reporting, Google still lists her LinkedIn profile as an active link.

Comedian Jeremy McLellan shared a screenshot of the purported exchange between Hamid and Rai, captioned, “Here’s a @JoeBiden staffer saying that orthodox Christianity, Islam, and Judaism should be made ‘taboo’ and driven from the public sphere. Beneath all the talk of ‘interfaith’ and ‘pluralism,’ this is what they really believe.”

What else?

In 2017, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) also took Barrett — a vocal Christian and former clerk for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia — to task over her faith during her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, calling her “controversial.”

“Why is it that so many of us on this side have this very uncomfortable feeling that dogma and law are two different things, and I think whatever a religion is, it has its own dogma,” Feinstein said at the time. “The law is totally different. … The conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you. And that’s of concern.”

The Senate confirmed Barrett to the 7th Circuit Court by a vote of 55-43 on Oct. 31, 2017.

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All lives matter Black Lives Matter Christianity Coach College Football Illinois state university Intelwars Jesus Christ Kurt beathard

College football coach replaces BLM sign taped to office door with ‘All Lives Matter to Our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ’ sign. He’s no longer with team.

In August, Kurt Beathard — then-offensive coordinator for the Illinois State University football team — found a Black Lives Matter sign taped to his office door, Outkick‘s Jason King reported.

Given that the BLM organization has an affinity for Marxism and a dim view of the nuclear family, Beathard immediately removed the sign, the outlet said.

“‘I thought, ‘No, I can’t have this on my door,'” he told King. “So I took it off and put it behind the chair in my office. I was praying about it and I thought, ‘All lives matter here, and there’s no other organization other than Jesus Christ to sponsor that.'”

So later that day Beathard placed a new sign on his office door with a new message: All Lives Matter to Our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ,” the outlet said.

‘As a favor, could you please take that off your door?’

Given the volatility surrounding the BLM movement and the speed at which news travels, one might assume backlash against Beathard came fast — but it didn’t.

He told Outkick that his new sign remained on his office door for nearly two weeks before pushback came from one of his superiors.

“They didn’t demand it,” Beathard recalled to the outlet. “They just said, ‘As a favor, could you please take that off your door?’ I didn’t take it off right away. I sat there and prayed about it, and I said, ‘God knows where my heart is. That’s all that matters. If it will help to take it off, I’ll take it off.'”

But it was too late.

Beathard told Outkick that a few days before he was asked to remove his sign, a photo of it had been taken and circulated among players — and some of them were offended. And on Sept. 2, the school told Beathard he was no longer on the coaching staff, the outlet said, adding that ISU reassigned him.

‘I never quit. I did not quit that job.’

A number of news outlets reported that Beathard resigned from his position, including student paper the Vidette. But he told Outkick that was not the case: “I never quit. I did not quit that job.”

School officials last week told the Pantagraph they wouldn’t discuss what led to Beathard’s departure. And while three sources close to the football program told the Pantagraph that a Black Lives Matter poster had been taken down in the team’s locker room, Beathard said he wasn’t involved in removing posters in the locker room.

“That locker room crap is wrong,” he told the Pantagraph. “I took the sign down somebody put on my door. That’s it. I didn’t take anything off that wasn’t put on my door. I wrote the message.”

Rough times

Besides his departure from the football team, it already has been an exceedingly difficult year for Beathard.

Outkick said Beathard’s wife, Karen, died of cancer over the summer and that his 22-year-old nephew, Clayton, was stabbed to death Dec. 22 outside a Nashville bar.

“I truly believe that all lives matter,” he told Outkick. “It’s right there in the Bible. God doesn’t discriminate. He doesn’t say, ‘Oh, I kinda like some of these people. But I really, really, really like these other people.’ I keep hearing about the abortion rates and the gun killings. I think about the stuff that I got angry about when my nephew was tragically murdered. His life mattered. My wife’s life mattered, too. She lived with cancer for five years. She mattered to me. It’s about every life.”

He also told the outlet that he doesn’t regret what he wrote on the sign.

“I don’t like the way this has to be,” Beathard noted to Outkick. “I don’t like that you can’t have a different opinion than someone else. But I wouldn’t change [what I did]. I’m not going to deny Jesus. If you deny Jesus, he’ll deny you. It’s written in the Bible, multiple times. I’m not going to back down on that one. … I think I have a message to share with players. I really do. I think I can be good for them. I can stand for Jesus in front of a group of players and not be ashamed.”

Here’s Beathard in action a few years ago:


Spring Camp Report 2014 – OC Kurt Beathard Mic’d Up

youtu.be

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Christianity Current Events & Politics Emerging Threats Intelwars Survival Mindset

Our Daily Passive Battle, by H.G.

I’m firmly in the “meek” category along with most of the attributes you would assume go with it: introverted, passive-aggressive, quiet, content, peace-loving, hard to anger, patient, etc.  I can put up with a lot, get along with anybody.  I have strong opinions but I know that nobody wants to hear them. My daily intake of news consists of scanning the mostly-local headlines of one of the city television stations, reading a couple stories of interest to get a deeper picture, and relying mostly on headlines for the gist of the national happenings.  I’m not completely head-in-the-sand but I know …

The post Our Daily Passive Battle, by H.G. appeared first on SurvivalBlog.com.

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Christianity Demons Exorcism Faith Intelwars Religion

Doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with woman who was in and out of mental hospitals. Then a stranger performed an exorcism: ‘I could see the demons’

An Arkansas woman with no history of mental illness said she suddenly found herself in deep emotional turmoil in 2006, with doctors unable to diagnose her rapidly deteriorating condition.

Within months, overtaken by suicidal thoughts, Amy plunged from a second-story window, was paralyzed and nearly died.

Now, she’s speaking out, explaining that she believes she experienced a dramatic demonic possession — and healing. Her experience is told in detail in the new book, “Playing with Fire: A Modern Investigation into Demons, Exorcism, and Ghosts.”

“I’ve never had any kind of mental problems, never been on medication for anything like that,” Amy said in a recent interview, noting that, within days of her affliction, she went from a successful nurse to a person who couldn’t think clearly.

Listen to Amy share her story on “The Edifi Podcast With Billy Hallowell” at the 42-minute mark:

Amy’s personal drama unfolded one day while she was working at a hospital and dealing with a burn patient who had survived an explosion.

“While I was in the ER giving [a] report, something wasn’t right with me,” she recalled. “I went upstairs to do my chart and it’s like my mind went out the window.”

Amy wondered what was unfolding; the mental duress continued to afflict her when she later went for a run and was unable to jog in a straight line.

“I told my husband, ‘I think I’m having a nervous breakdown. My mind is not right,'” she said.

As “Playing With Fire” explains, doctors put Amy on antidepressants, but she said the drugs did nothing to curb her problems — and the situation further devolved.

“They ended up putting me in a psychiatric hospital,” she said, “And the psychiatrist said, ‘We don’t know what we’re dealing with. We’ve never seen anything like this.'”

As time went on, Amy was in and out of hospitals, with suicidal thoughts suddenly overtaking her mind and heart.

“Nobody knew what was going on. And this happened in April and through the summer,” she said. “I was so messed up. I wanted to kill myself and I just could not think how to do it.”

One day Amy found herself sitting in a second-floor window sill at her home, as thoughts of death once again flooded her mind.

“I was sitting in the window and I thought to myself, ‘If I fall out of this window, I bet I’ll die, because it’s so far down and it’s a brick patio,'” she said. “So, I fell out of the window.”

Amy said she doesn’t remember much of what unfolded next, as she landed on her head on the hard patio two stories below.

“Any person in their right mind — if you’re falling you’re going to brace yourself … that’s a normal reflex,” she said. “My legs and arms were not broken. I did not brace myself.”

The impact of the fall was sweeping, with Amy breaking the majority of her ribs, puncturing her lungs and breaking her back in three places; 14 years later, she is still paralyzed.

“They didn’t think I was going to survive,” she said.

But while Amy lay in her hospital bed recovering, a stranger named Cindy felt compelled to visit. While there, Cindy performed what some Christians call a “deliverance” (similar to an exorcism).

“She felt really led to come see me,” Amy said. “[She] said when they got there I looked at her and I had a male voice come out of my mouth saying, ‘What are you doing here?'”

Amy believes Cindy cast a demon out, and that her life was transformed as a result.

For her part, Cindy has also openly spoken about the experience.

“I could see the demons,” she told KATV-TV last year, noting that she uttered a simple command in that hospital room: “Lord, in the name of Jesus, I command that these demons release her and come out of her and that she comes to her right mind, in Jesus’ name.”

In the end, Amy believes she was healed.

“My family saw a difference and they were thinking, ‘Something’s better,'” she said, noting, though, that there are still mysteries surrounding her story.

Mainly: Amy, who was a churchgoer before the incident, isn’t sure why she was afflicted. Regardless, she is now much closer to God, and is encouraging others to cling to their faith.

“It’s brought me so much closer to God and to know that his love for me. It wasn’t him that did that — of course, it was the enemy,” she said. “God’s love is amazing. Seek the Lord with all of your heart.”

For more stories like Amy’s be sure to read “Playing with Fire: A Modern Investigation into Demons, Exorcism, and Ghosts,” a book that dives deep — through a journalistic and Christian lens — into the cultural discussion about spiritual warfare, demons, exorcism in the Bible and other related topics.

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Attack on church catholic church Christianity Intelwars Jesus Christ Jesus statue Texas watch

‘It does feel like an attack on our faith’: Another Jesus statue beheaded, destroyed — but suspect is arrested

The Catholic Diocese of El Paso said the 90-year-old Sacred Heart of Jesus statue inside St. Patrick Cathedral was destroyed around 10 a.m. Tuesday when the church was open for prayer, the
El Paso Times reported.

The statue was on display behind the main altar of the church, the paper said.

Father Michael Lewis
told KTSM-TV that “it does feel like an attack on our faith. It feels like an attack on our community and what ties us together, brings us together.”


Image source: YouTube screenshot

But Lewis added to the station that the person responsible “damaged the statue, but he can’t damage our faith.”

Plans are in place to have the statue repaired, KTSM added.

Suspect arrested

El Paso police on Wednesday identified the man accused of destroying the statue, the Times reported.

Isaiah Cantrell, 30, was arrested Tuesday and charged with criminal mischief and possession of marijuana, the paper said, adding that he was booked into jail on bonds totaling $20,500, and that jail records show he still was being held Wednesday afternoon.


Isaiah CantrellImage source: El Paso Police Department

Jail records also show Cantrell has a criminal record dating back to at least 2010 for charges including possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving while intoxicated, the paper said.

In fact, he was arrested Sept. 4 by University of Texas at El Paso police and charged with assault on a peace officer, criminal trespassing, and resisting arrest, search, or transportation, the Times said, adding he was released that same day on surety bonds totaling $5,000.

Two days later, Cantrell was arrested by El Paso police and charged with failure to identify, possession of marijuana, and resisting arrest, search, or transportation, the paper noted, adding that he was released Sept. 8 on bonds totaling $1,792.

Anything else?

Bishop Mark J. Seitz told the Times the statue is one of his “favorite representations of Jesus,” and that while he’s sad it was destroyed, he’s praying for the culprit.

“[H]e certainly must be a person who is greatly disturbed to have attacked this peaceful place in our city and this image of the King of Peace,” Seitz added to the paper. “I hope this might be the impetus for him to receive the help he needs.”

In July, a statue of Jesus was found decapitated at a Catholic Church in South Florida, and a statue of the Virgin Mary was burned outside a Boston church.


Faith leaders, community come together after historic statue was destroyed at St. Patrick Cathedral

youtu.be

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Christianity Intelwars J.d. greear Racism SLAVERY Southern Baptist Convention

Southern Baptist leaders dropping ‘Southern,’ calling name a reminder of slavery past

Leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest American Protestant denomination, are increasingly dropping “southern” from their denominational phraseology — and the word could be dropped for good.

What are the details?

According to the Washington Post, the denomination’s leaders are concerned their name pays homage to the group’s historic support for slavery. In fact, J.D. Greear, current president of the SBC, told the Post that denomination elders have weighed dropping “southern” from their name altogether.

Instead, the group is considering a name change to “Great Commission Baptists.”

“Our Lord Jesus was not a white southerner but a brown-skinned Middle Eastern refugee,” Greear told the Post. “Every week we gather to worship a savior who died for the whole world, not one part of it. What we call ourselves should make that clear.”

The name change would serve two purposes, according to the Post. Primarily, it would help the denomination reckon with its sordid racial history. But it would also give the group better footing for a global presence.

More from the Post:

The convention formed in 1845, splitting from Northern Baptists over Southern support for missionaries who owned enslaved people, and is considered the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, with 14.5 million members. It will continue to legally operate as the SBC, officials said, citing the hefty cost and complexity of a legal name change. But since August, the denomination’s website has declared “We Are Great Commission Baptists,” an alternative moniker that refers to the verses in the New Testament when Jesus commands his disciples to baptize believers in all nations.

The SBC did not formally apologize for supporting slavery and racism until 1995, more than 100 years after slavery was abolished and decades after the Civil Rights era.

What was the reaction?

Nathan Finn, a Southern Baptist historian who is provost of North Greenville University, told the Post that the name change is not about southern embarrassment — but rather loving one’s neighbor well.

“I’m not embarrassed to be a Southerner,” Finn said. “It’s about what that word conjures up for people, especially people of color. They’re saying: ‘That name is a hang-up. When my people hear that name, they think slavery.’ God forbid we keep a name that evokes that.”

However, author Jemar Tisby, whose book about the history of racism in American evangelical circles hit the New York Time’s best-seller list this summer, cautioned against shying away from the “southern” moniker completely.

Tisby’s concern, as he told the Post, is that a name change could make learning about the SBC’s past more difficult.

“I don’t know the denomination as a whole has done a good job of teaching its sordid history,” Tisby said. “Changing the name now might make that even harder.”

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Baptism California California church Christianity Church Faith Intelwars Religion

Nearly 1,000 people flock to California beach to get baptized Saturday

A California church is making headlines after nearly 1,000 people showed up to be baptized on Saturday at Corona Del Mar State Beach in Newport Beach, California.

(Read also: What Is Christian Baptism — and Why Does It Matter?)

Gina Gleason, church director at Calvary Chapel Church in Chino Hills, told CBN News that the event, which was a record showing of baptisms for the church, was absolutely “remarkable.”

“California may be experiencing a spiritual revival,” Gleason said. “It’s remarkable and a significant number.”

Normally, the church — which is led by Pastor Jack Hibbs — sees 300 people show up for baptisms, but Saturday was unique in that nearly 1,000 people sought to express their public profession of faith, CBN noted.


Image source: Instagram/CalvaryChapelChinoHills video screenshot

Images and video from the baptisms are absolutely incredible, with Calvary Chapel in Chino Hills taking to social media afterward to ask for people’s stories.


Image source: Instagram/CalvaryChapelChinoHills video screenshot


Image source: Instagram/CalvaryChapelChinoHills video screenshot


Image source: Instagram/CalvaryChapelChinoHills video screenshot

“I was baptized together with my wife, and the heartfelt blessing that Pastor Jack gave us is one that I will carry with my throughout my life,” one man wrote on Instagram. “Such a wonderful day. Praise our Lord and Savior Jesus.”


Image source: Instagram/CalvaryChapelChinoHills video screenshot

Another woman added, “A day full of memories I will always cherish. My two older boys getting baptized!”

(Read also: 3 Lessons From Jesus’ Baptism)

Countless additional comments express people’s joy over the mass baptism.

This article was originally published on Pure Flix Insider. Visit Pure Flix for access to thousands of faith and family-friendly movies and TV shows. You can get a free trial here.

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Former ‘View’ co-host says she’d rather share Jesus with people than return to the hit ABC show

Actress Candace Cameron Bure, who spent nearly a year as a co-host on “The View,” told Fox News that she would much rather spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ than return to the long-running daytime TV show.

What are the details?

Bure, 44, told the outlet that she has no interest in returning to the show, which she appeared on between 2015 and 2016.

“I just don’t publicly want to talk about politics,” she reasoned. “Not because I don’t believe that my viewpoints and opinions are important, but I would much rather share Jesus with people. That’s really my passion.”

Bure, an outspoken Christian, added that she’d sooner focus on sharing her faith rather than engaging in discourse that has been increasingly proven to lead to further and further divide in America.

“I don’t want to get into the political debate because it is just about division and separation,” Bure explained. “And I want to learn. I want to be [part of] a conversation about how to build a bridge.”

What else?

In April, Bure said producers of the hit show approached her several times about co-hosting duties before she agreed in 2015.

“The funny thing is, sometimes what you end up doing is what you least expected,” she told Good Housekeeping in an interview. “I never pursued that show, but they pursued me, and it was very unexpected. I tried to say no, I did say no several times.”

She admitted that she always loved a challenge, so it eventually made sense for her to take producers up on their offer to feature her on the show.

“I love to grow and be challenged,” Bure said. “And that’s exactly what it was. So I was up for the challenge and I’m glad that I did it.”

On her decision to take part in the show, the conservative Christian concluded, “I am really happy for the experience. It helped me grow a lot.”

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What if We Win?, by CPT F.T.

When all is said and done, there is much more said than done. This will be the first of many quotes that I did not come up with and will not reference or footnote because I’m not trying to get a passing grade on an essay but am trying to communicate a few ideas that I think may be germane to our culture. With all the survival and instructional blogs (this one being the capstone by which all others are measured) and web sites pontificating and gesturing broadly about what to do when (fill in the blank with assorted and …

The post What if We Win?, by CPT F.T. appeared first on SurvivalBlog.com.

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Christianity Duck commander Duck Dynasty Faith Intelwars Phil Robertson

Phil Robertson says he has been baptizing fans of his podcast who are showing up in his town to hear the gospel: ‘They just keep coming’

Phil Robertson hasn’t slowed down since the family’s hit show “Duck Dynasty” went off the air in 2017. He hosts a popular BlazeTV podcast called “Unashamed” and a BlazeTV show titled, “In the Woods with Phil” and pens books like “Jesus Politics: How to Win Back the Soul of America.”

But despite continued success and all that comes along with it, Robertson, 74, hasn’t moved away from his first priority: helping others discover faith.

“All we’re doing is we’re reaching out to our neighbor, and we’re telling them to love their God, repent and turn to God, walk like Jesus did,” Robertson told the “Edifi With Billy Hallowell” podcast. “Love God and love your neighbor … I do not see the downside to that.”

(Read also: ‘Joy’: Actor Chris Pratt Invokes Bible Verses to Reveal Baby’s Birth)

And the impact of Robertson’s work is quite stunning, as he said his “Unashamed” podcast has encouraged groups of people to visit his small town of West Monroe, Louisiana, to be baptized.

“They’re coming from that podcast … about nine or maybe 10 in the last three days — they’ve come all the way down here,” he said. “And I’ve baptized that whole little crew. Well, it’s that way every day or two. They just keep coming.”

Listen to Robertson discuss this powerful reality as well as his take on President Donald Trump’s faith:

Robertson has also taken his Christian message straight to Trump, revealing the details of a conversation he had with the president during a private meeting before the commander in chief’s 2016 election.

“I reached in my pocket and I pulled out a diagram of the gospel, an arrow coming down out of heaven — God becoming flesh — the cross, the tomb, and an arrow coming out of the tomb and the last arrow coming back down to earth,” Robertson said. “I said, ‘Whatever happens, Trump, don’t miss this.'”

Trump, who seemed genuinely interested, asked, “What is this?” And that’s when Robertson dove into the Bible’s message about Jesus and salvation, telling Trump, “He died for Donald Trump’s sins.”

(Read also: ‘Chills’: Justin Bieber & His Wife Get Baptized Side by Side)

Robertson noted that Trump asked if he could keep the gospel diagram, to which Robertson obviously said “yes.” And that wasn’t the last time the two spoke, as Robertson said he later gave Trump some Bible verses and spoke more about the power of scripture.

“I’m convinced he’s put his faith in Jesus and I’m convinced he’s a brother,” Robertson said, adding that the president is a work in progress.

Robertson said life is really all about loving God and loving others, and he lamented the current state of affairs and the “mayhem” that has broken out.

“We’re at a tipping point, and the forces of evil are going up against the forces of good,” he said.

Listen to the full interview with Robertson on “Edifi With Billy Hallowell” and get more of Robertson’s perspective in his new book, “Jesus Politics.”

This article was originally published on Pure Flix Insider. Visit Pure Flix for access to thousands of faith and family-friendly movies and TV shows. You can get a free trial here.

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Bishop who tweeted ‘Dear Grim Reaper, you took the #wrongtrump’ hours later preaches ‘what the world needs now is the love of God’

Bishop Talbert Swan of the Church of God in Christ got quite a bit of attention Sunday morning on the heels of the death of President Donald Trump’s younger brother Robert by tweeting, “Dear Grim Reaper, you took the #wrongtrump”:

And wouldn’t you know, just a few hours after his tweet, Swan preached a sermon for the Spring of Hope Church of God in Christ in Springfield, Massachusetts? But if you’re thinking he offered an apology for his lack of compassion toward Trump and his family, you’re thinking wrong.

What are the details?

The service got off to a prayerful start, as a woman at the pulpit asked God for a variety of blessings — and even uttered “touch those that are grieving this morning, touch those that lost loved ones this morning, in the name of Jesus.”

After reading from the first 11 verses of the Gospel of Mark’s 11th chapter, which focuses on Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Swan addressed his listeners: “I want to welcome those in the sanctuary, those that are streaming, friends and enemies, members and trolls — everybody.”

Swan didn’t address his tweet directly but did note the following: “I know some of y’all are getting salty with me already … the trolls are already mad with me … they’ve been calling the church all morning, leaving messages all morning, they’ve been all over our livestream. They mad, they big mad, but you know what? I found out that … when you get the devil mad like that, you must be doing something right.”

He added “for those of y’all who are salty with me, I really don’t care” and then laughed before adding, “Jimmy crack corn…” — a reference to the well-known song first performed in the 1840s by blackface minstrel groups.

Amid his teaching Swan declared that God will draw all people to him, including whites, blacks, and other ethnicities, as well as “the gay … the straight … the transgender … the asexual … the bisexual … the conservative … the liberal.”

“In this dark world, in this pandemic season, in this moment of civil unrest, what the world needs now is the love of God,” Swan added, “and the love of God only comes through the people of God, and you are the children of God, and the Lord wants to untie you from your habits and untie you from your way of thinking and untie you from the mundane things of this world and to set you free.”

He also told his listeners that “we’re too caught up in our own selfish agendas to be a part of God’s agenda.”

Here’s the livestream of the service. Swan’s sermon begins at the 57-minute mark:


Morning Worship Celebration

youtu.be

What else did Swan say?

On Monday morning, Swan spoke on Facebook Live about the reaction to his “Grim Reaper” tweet and pointed to the “hypocrisy” of these “good Christian white folks” who left hundreds of “racist” voicemails at his church Sunday and adding that they’re the “same” people who wished death on former President Barack Obama.

Of course, not every person who took issue with Swan’s tweet is white.

You might recall Damani Felder — a black Trump supporter and founder of The Right Brothers — who blasted Black Lives Matter protesters who got violent at a restaurant last month right in front of him. Well, Felder told Swan, “You’re a sorry excuse for a Bishop. Seek help.”

Conservative black activist McKayla J told Swan he’s “going to hell” and that the Bible “warned us of fake pastors” — to which Swan replied, “Do you want me to tell your mother or any of your other family members you said hi when I get there?”

Conservative black activist Bryson Gray told Swan, “Stop referring to yourself as a pastor or bishop. You are a demon.” Swan’s response? “Keep working for those butter biscuits uncle ruckus” — a reference to a black cartoon character who “worships the white race and abhors all others but predominantly blacks,” according to the Urban Dictionary.

Oh, and:

  • A black commenter sent Swan a passage from Jude 1 that talks about “Judgment on False Teachers.”
  • Another black commenter asked, “This person is a bishop?? Who ordained him please? The devil??”
  • A black man noted, “1 John 4:20 – If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar, for he who does not have love for his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.”
  • Yet another black man told Swan, “You need to repent and seek God.”

Anything else?

In 2018, Swan warned “white women” who kneel during the national anthem to protest “rape culture” that they’re “highjacking [sic] a movement” they “took no risks for.”

Earlier that year, Swan tweeted that “if heaven is going to be full of American evangelicals, I’ll take my chances on hell.”

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Pastor defiantly holds church services after judge orders shut down: ‘We’re going to keep worshiping God’

A southern California pastor defiantly held indoor church services on Sunday after a judge tried to stop the congregation from gathering together.

What is the background?

Last week, Ventura County Judge Matthew Guasco granted a two-week restraining order against Godspeak Calvary Chapel, preventing the church from continuing to gather together indoors.

Guasco’s order came after Ventura County sued the church for violating Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s coronavirus-related restrictions on religious gatherings.

In his ruling, Guasco said protecting public health outweighs the church’s First Amendment rights.

“The Constitution is not a suicide pact,” Guasco said. “The exercise of individual liberties has to be consistent with public health, otherwise the one would cancel out the other.”

“On a scale of 1 to 10 of the most immediate irreparable harm possible, this is a 10,” he later wrote in his opinion. “It doesn’t get much more immediate or irreparable than the threat that a lot of people are going to spread a contagious and deadly disease.”

What happened Sunday?

Despite the ruling, Pastor Rob McCoy held indoor services, KABC-TV reported.

One day prior, McCoy vowed to hold the services — three services, in fact — despite risking further government enforcement of gathering restrictions.

“I wish you didn’t have to come to this, I really do. But we will be violating the judge’s order, we will be open this Sunday,” McCoy told his congregation in a video. “Now, I don’t know what that means as far as who’s gonna stop us, but we’re planning on having services at 9, 11, and 1.”

“We’re going to keep worshiping God,” he continued. “If they seek to arrest me and the thousand of you, it’s almost like the first thousand get a prize: You get a citation. It’s a misdemeanor. You want to be one of the thousand? Come.”

McCoy went on to say that fear over COVID-19 does not remove the church’s right to assemble.

“We’re gonna do what we are gonna do,” McCoy said. “So, come to church. And if you’re one of the first thousand, you win a prize: you will get a citation, it will be a misdemeanor, it’ll go on your record — be mindful of that. And if we continue doing that, there’s likely jail.”


Godspeak Urgent Update – 8.7.2020

www.youtube.com

According to KABC, protesters showed up outside the church on Sunday — but that did not stop the church from operating.

McCoy has said that no member of his congregation has contracted COVID-19 to date.

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