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dogemperor [userpic]
Todd Bentley/Fresh Fire Ministries


So, today when I was watching God Channel (for research purposes, I swear! :P) they were showing some weird "Faith Healing" congregation, lead by a Todd Bentley of Fresh Fire Ministries - which, by looking at their Statement of Faith and various links, is a Dominionist Evangelist ministry, and it seems they are connected to Joel's Army groups, and there is more on their involvement with 'Joel's Army'.

It also seems the minister, Todd Bentley, has published several CD's/audio works on 'healing ministry'. They don't seem to promote Dominionism, rather than prayer for health problems.

They also operate Global Ministries, which specifically target poorer and war torn areas such as Africa, including The Republic of Uganda. They also have something called a 'Jesus Village'. Personally, I find this particularly worrying; God knows those people have been through enough without a bunch of 'Evangelists' coming to proselytise to them.

I'm not sure how Dominionist they are - but since they're a Joel's Army ministry, I'm not going to underestimate them. Their 'Statement of Faith' also speaks volumes to me (it seems most Dominionist/Fundamentalist groups always place the Bible above God and Jesus.)

Does anyone have more info on this group? If they're dangerous/coercive in any way?
Thanks in advance.

Mods, I wasn't sure what exactly to tag this post under, although I placed it under 'stealth evangelism' - but, just add/remove any tags you feel are appropriate. :)

Current Mood: distressed
dogemperor [userpic]
Coral Ridge Ministries disbands political unit


It's a small thing, but still significant. The Miami Herald reports that the "Center for Reclaiming America" has closed its doors.

Bringing an end to ambitious goals that included raising $2 million to launch a Capitol Hill lobbying arm, opening a dozen regional offices and recruiting activists in all 435 congressional districts, the Fort Lauderdale-based Center for Reclaiming America has shut its doors.

The conservative organization, part of the Rev. James D. Kennedy's Coral Ridge Ministries, let its eight employees go last week. Coral Ridge also closed its Capitol Hill-based Center for Christian Statesmanship, founded in 1995 to convert lawmakers to evangelical Christianity.

Brian Fisher, executive vice president at Coral Ridge Ministries, said the closings are part of a larger effort to redefine the ministry's mission.

''We believe that by streamlining the operations we will be able to return to our core focus,'' he said.

Could there be an actual backlash growing against such organizations? It's very possible.

dogemperor [userpic]
Fun with front companies in action

I've posted quite a bit on how dominionist groups--in particular the Assemblies and its own front the FGBMFI--like to set up "Business ministries" and front companies specifically for purposes of "bait and switch" evangelism, not to mention setting up "parallel economy" alternatives for dominionists. The Assemblies in particular also has a habit of partnering with known dominionist-friendly corporations.

One of the more interesting players in this is News Media Corporation, which is a company that owns approximately 71 newspapers in nine states; they've become a bit infamous in newspaper circles for buying up community tabloid newspapers with some skull-and-dagger tactics.

The CEO, John Hopkins, runs not only News Media Corporation, but also the Rochelle News-Leader (in Illinois) and a string-music publisher.

One of the things News Media Corporation is *very* careful not to mention on its website is the fact that it's being used as a front for "bait and switch evangelism" and support of dominionism--for *that*, you have to go to a little magazine called Today's Pentecostal Evangel which is published by none other than the Assemblies of God, aka the world's first dominionist denomination...

News Media Corp's founder happily reveals his dominionist plans to fellow dominionists when they think the rest of us aren't watching )

Mind you, this is by *far* not the only piece of work like that in the pages of that magazine--the right-hand bar actually has something like eight years of archives where the actual face of Assemblies-style dominionism is brought to the world to see via interviews with folks in the dominionist movement. It gives you all too much of an insight on just *how* dominionists plan to take over the country...a terrifying, frightening glimpse.

dogemperor [userpic]


Because no one else has, and someone should...

Something Positive is a generally offensive comic (rather like the Simpsons only a bit moreso, having no network to negotiate with). The writer pokes at a lot of different attitudes, religions, philosophies, etc - and tends to do so rather brutally.

Anyway - for the past week or so, he's been taking on those lovely "hell houses" that fundies of the far right like to put up around this time of year. And I thought I'd share the first link in the chain.

Just hit 'next comic' for the full house.

(and for the interested, the LJ feed - and its attendant comments - are over here.)

dogemperor [userpic]

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]pope_guilty)

Some of you may have heard of "Path to 9/11", the slanderous miniseries produced by Disney which depicts Bill Clinton ignoring a chance to catch Usama bin Ladin and depicts the Bush Administration as concerned about al Qaeda prior to 9/11.

Did you know that it's got ties to dominionists?

dogemperor [userpic]


Transmitting this from [info]weirdjews, where I heard about it.

Messianics send CD to thousands of Hasidim.

The post, here, indicates a very specific group was targeted - and apparently, if the article is anything to go by, they didn't do enough homework.

dogemperor [userpic]
Why does someone become a terrorist?


Note: This was originally posted in my journal in July 2005. I was reading through old posts, and decided that this one was appropriate to share with this community. Bear with me a moment, the relevance will soon become clear.

   Why does someone become a terrorist? I have seen discussions of economic disparity, cultural clashes and a host of other, less credible reasons. Read more... )

   How are we to fight terrorism from other places, when we use the same method to brainwash our own children? Goddess help, what happens when our terrorists take on their terrorists?

dogemperor [userpic]
Looking for some info..

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]heartlikeawheel)

I'm wondering if anyone can help me...

I'm hoping there is a complete list online somewhere that lists all the major Dominionist-friendly businesses and corporations.

I wish to make sure that I do not patronize these businesses in any way, shape or form, and I want my friends to be aware of them as well. They like to hit businesses in the wallet who do not fall into goose-step behind their "cause", I in turn wish to withhold my consumer dollars from any business that either has Dominionist roots, Dominionist backing, or that has caved in to their demands and threats.

Thanks for any assistance.

dogemperor [userpic]
A bit scary

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]squidflakes)

In his Newsweek column, Rabbi Marc Gellman praises the actions of the Evangelicals for their assistance after Katrina with phrases like:

"I hope that even people who are suspicious of their motives for America can admire the power of their good works when America needed good works the most."


"Even if they wanted to evangelize the storm-tossed remnants after giving them food, shelter and clothing—who cares?"

This is exactly the sort of attitude that lets the Talibangicals get away with their various schemes. Not to vilify charity here, but turning a blind eye to their true purpose is like letting a rabid dog loose in a pre-school just because it scared off some thieves in the night.

Charity is a fantastic cover, as Jim Jones found out in the late 70s, and because it has been abused to such an extent, I think that charitable organizations should be held to the same standards for reporting and conduct as any other business. As we've read, the Salvation Army has a lock on the modern day American Slave Market, but that remains one of those wink-and-a-nod secrets. If any for-profit business tried to emulate, they would be set upon faster than hungry shark on a fat baby seal, but since the Salvation Army is a charitable organization (and a "Christian" one at that), they fall completely under the radar.

The original article can be found here. Item #3

dogemperor [userpic]
The Salvation Army


I originally posted this as a link in a comment, but the more I think about it, the more I think it deserves its own post.

As I've mentioned before, the Salvation Army is among the Dominionist Churches. Yes, many people's reactions are "What, that charity that helps the poor? I didn't even know they were a church group." They are not only a church group (set along strict Calvinist/Methodist lines), but a coercive church group. They also are a multi billion dollar international business masquerading as a charitable organization. I would also say that they represent the business model that many Dominionists would like to see as the standard for how business should be done.

Wealth & Power: Assets or Addictions? — Chapter 6: Religious Corporation

Some excerpts... )

Keep this in mind as you pass by the person in the red apron ringing a bell in front of your supermarket or mall this holiday season. This is what you are paying for if you toss a coin into the bucket, or give your old coat to their donation boxes.

Current Mood: wary
dogemperor [userpic]
Prophecy 101

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]thornewilder)

I was just perusing Wikipedia. (I am unable to leave the FGBMFI group because of its wealth and power, and clearly stealth theocratic ambitions) and went to the latter rain movement founder William Branham. He ends up being considered an important influence in the FGBMFI group. But I noticed the Branham prophecies and thought they were interesting:

1. "Franklin D. Roosevelt will run four terms and take America into a second world war.
2. "The dictator that's now arising in Italy will come into power, Ethiopia will fall. He'll come to a shameful end.
3. "The women has been permitted to vote. And in voting, someday they'll elect the wrong man.
4. "Our war will be with Germany, and they will build a great big concrete place and fortify themselves in there, and the Americans will take a horrible beating.
5. "Science will progress in such a way until they will make a car that will not have to be guided by a steering wheel, and the cars will continue to be shaped like an egg until the consummation
6. "I saw a great woman stand up, beautiful looking, dressed in real highly royals like purple, and I got little parenthesis down here, 'She was a great ruler in the United States, perhaps the Catholic church'
7. "I saw this United States burning like a smolder; rocks had been blowed up. And it was burning like a--a heap of fire in logs or something that just set it afire; and looked as far as I could see and she'd been blown up.[2]


What I find fascinating is #6 in relation to the Supreme Court. I have been trying to figure why - given the open and bigoted anti-catholic statements made by the RR-

Romanism is a pagan counterfeit of the Christian religion, ancient paganism and idolatry, claiming to be the church which Christ founded…The Roman Church is not another Chirsitian denomination. It is a satanic counterfeit…”
Bob Jones Jr., referring to the Catholic Church, FAITH for the Family, 1991, Bob Jones University

-the RR is rabidly pro-Alito.

Does anyone have more info on this? Or is this flaky. ;-0

Also did Branham have any known associations with racist groups?

dogemperor [userpic]
Dominionist missionaries travelling as teachers

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]polypolyglot)

Years ago, when I was at least a nominal Christian*, my former minister told me of a mission that was traveling to Dehra Dun, India. One was an accredited professor at a (Christian) college, Gordon-Conwell Seminary, so the Indian government couldn't very well deny him a visa, but the others were travelling allegedly as teachers (perhaps the difference is that one had a Ph.D., the others didn't?). The minister politely refused any offers of financial help (boy, was I naive!) on the ground that he was uncertain as to my affiliation. Perhaps he was more afraid that I would "out" the missionaries to the Indian government if I knew them by name.

*And before I knew of the term "Dominionism" and realized all of its agenda

What legal means are there to combat Dominionist missionaries who travel to other countries under false pretenses?

Current Mood: angry
dogemperor [userpic]
'Righist' Christians attempting to destroy mainline churches


This Talk to Action article talks about the overt and protracted attempts to 'undermine and destroy' mainline churches in the US.

Rev. John Thomas, president of the United Church of Christ acknowledged on Friday what mainline church leaders have been reluctant to address for two decades. The rightist Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) and allied groups are seeking to undermine if not destroy the mainline Christian churches in the United States.

The conservative movement and parts of the corporate sector have loathed the rise of the social gospel in the mainline churches for a century. They have loathed the social justice traditions that were catalysts for the civil rights movement, women's rights, and principled opposition to the excesses of American foreign policy from Vietnam to Central America. [emphasis mine- ed] It was the latter that led to the formation of the IRD as a hub of antichurch organizing. Since then, IRD-affiliated "renewal" groups have been at the center of nearly every controversy in mainline Christianity -- most recently, but certainly not exclusively, issues of gay and lesbian equality in church and public life.

Read the whole article. If you do not believe that the extreme right is out to destroy all churches that are either progressive or 'not Christian enough', this might help to convince you that it is true.

dogemperor [userpic]
A good article on dominionist mindsets...turns into an expose of a dominionist group

...at least among the "latter rain"/"third wave"/"spiritual warfare"/"deliverance ministry" crowd (which, of relevant note, is not only the predominant flavour of dominionism that is pushed by the AoG and other pentecostal groups, but by Pat Robertson and Tim LaHaye et al):


This is a look at a website set up by a dominionist into "deliverance ministry" and gives you a real idea of the mindset (completely unfiltered) of dominionists within their own media, etc. (Complete with the whole "if you look at anything unapproved by our church you WILL be infested with demons and lose your salvation" bollocks--which is very similar to the principle of "body thetans" in Scientology, one of the most damaging aspects of that coercive group (see http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Fishman/fishman.html and http://home.snafu.de/tilman/bu/bph-4.19.96.html for the Scientologist version of "deliverance ministry", only they call it "clearing the planet") and in coercive groups in general.)

More info about the folks who run yourgoingtohell.com )

dogemperor [userpic]
Evangelical Chaplains Test Bounds of Faith in Military


Here's an NPR segment about the slow and not so stealthy enroachment of specific religions in the military.

Walk into just about any Christian bookstore and you are likely to find a copy of The Soldier's Bible. The leather cover comes in a choice of green for the Army, black for the Navy, burgundy for the Marines, blue for the Air Force and -- just released -- blue for the Coast Guard.

These are handsome Bibles with gilt edges, just the right size for a service member to stuff into his or her pack. Printed on the front is the emblem for the appropriate branch of the armed services. And that's a problem.

One could be excused for thinking that this Bible was put out by the military. But it's not. Holman Bible Publishers of Nashville developed, printed and distributes The Soldier's Bible at its own expense.

Still, critics think the emblem on the front brings up legal questions -- and may even violate the Constitution's ban on government-established religion.

What's especially troubling to some is that this particular Bible is clearly evangelical. Holman Bible Publishers is owned by the Southern Baptist Convention. On the first few pages, there's a "Plan for Salvation" that says you must be baptized as an adult believer to have eternal life.

Printed in the back are inspirational words from military leaders such as Lt. Gen. William Boykin. He raised a few eyebrows back in 2003, when he said of his battle against a Muslim warlord in Somalia, "I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol."

Evangelicals are playing an increasing role in the military. Department of Defense statistics show that 40 percent of active duty personnel are evangelical Christians. Sixty percent of taxpayer-funded military chaplains are evangelical.

"It does raise the question of whether we are, effectively, as a country -- with tax dollars -- promoting a particular evangelical religious viewpoint," said Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Add to that a privately funded evangelical Bible that looks official, and critics say the military has a problem that needs to be addressed.

I'd say they have a problem. A graph on the site demonstrates that the ratio of evangelical chaplains to other mainline and non-Christian religions is quite high: 60 percent of the chaplain corps is Evangelical- mostly Assembly of God. This is no accident. There has been a deliberate and ongoing push to populate the Chaplain corps of the military with AoG and Pentecostal chaplains, who are also the frontline of many Dominionist beliefs.

dogemperor [userpic]
A revealing look onthe public/private face of dominionist churches

As reported by several blogs, including http://nonprophet.typepad.com/nonprophet/2005/05/ted_haggard_don.html, there apparently was a *very* interesting memo sent from the head pastor of New Life Church (a dominionist church in Colorado Springs, Colorado directly associated with the USAF religious coercion scandal and also at the heart of much of the dominionist initiatives out of that town).

I've taken the liberty of including the entire text below:

Text of the letter to New Life Church's congregation )

The most interesting bit on the letter, at least to me, is how they actively are encouraging people to hide the fact the church is into deliverance ministry/"Kingdom Now" theology (the bits about not telling the media about "seeing demons" et al) and hiding the fact it's into the whole pentecostal movement/"latter rain"/"third wave" type stuff *period* (the bits about warning about "dancing in the spirit" et al)

This is a rare example from the "inside" on how dominionist groups actively promote a public/private face; this is, however, at the same time not isolated (it is known that Family First, Australia's dominionist political party (and de facto political wing of the Australian AoG), has published similar advisories to its workers (shown when one slipped up if asked if lesbians should be burned at the stake); it is also known that many dominionist denominations have different guidelines for members "in the in crowd" as part of "stealth evangelism" or simply hiding its true theology from the general public).

More backgrounder on this particular dominionist group is at http://www.harpers.org/SoldiersOfChrist.html (and other sites); http://nonprophet.typepad.com/nonprophet/2005/05/the_power_of_ar.html has some interesting info re an interview with the one of the persons in charge at the dominionist group (including the fact that the church may be promoting the use of "correction rods"--rods used to beat children in accordance with the beliefs of some dominionists and as mentioned in Dobson's books and the Babywise series of books by Ezra)
http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/2005/05/gay_sex_demons.html has some interesting info re the particular flavour of "deliverance ministry" practiced at New Life Church (which is not dissimilar to what I have seen/experienced in the dominionist group I walked away from)

dogemperor [userpic]
News Roundup


The Washington Post has some very interesting articles today:

Taking Vacations Religiously talks about missionaries at resorts and beaches, and touches upon the problem of the deceptive tactic of 'bait and switch' events:

Some religious groups try to appeal to tourists by offering programs that at first seem entirely secular.

On a recent Saturday night, about 100 teenagers and young adults showed up for a film on the beach advertised on signs throughout town that said only: "Free! SURF MOVIE 8:00 PM." Most attendees were surprised when they realized that the main film featured evangelical surfers talking about their relationship with Jesus. Tables on the boardwalk offered free suntan lotion, "JESUS LOVES ME!" stickers and a "Surfers Bible New Testament."

Tom Clarke, a founder of Florida-based Everlasting Rock Ministries, which organized the event, said he didn't want to scare people off with an overtly religious message in the ads.

"I don't want anyone to think that we're the Jesus freaks," said Clarke, 39, of Cocoa Beach, Fla., as he sat on the boardwalk. "We're not trying to shove religion down anyone's throat. We're just trying to encourage a positive lifestyle."

Matt Tiberi, 15, from Middletown, Del., said he considers himself a Christian but almost never goes to church. But after watching the movie during a day trip to Ocean City, Matt said he felt moved to become more religious.

"It tells you how God helps you out whatever you're doing," he said.

Some groups criticize such advertising as deceptive. "They are using stealth strategies to try and suck people in," said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based group of atheists and agnostics. "They know if they advertise religion, then people won't go. You really do have to question the ethics here of what they are doing."

We knew this would happen, and it is: Evangelicals are flocking into Iraq and the Middle East.

BAGHDAD -- With arms outstretched, the congregation at National Evangelical Baptist Church belted out a praise hymn backed up by drums, electric guitar and keyboard. In the corner, slide images of Jesus filled a large screen. A simple white cross of wood adorned the stage, and worshipers sprinkled the pastor's Bible-based sermon with approving shouts of "Ameen!"

National is Iraq's first Baptist congregation and one of at least seven new Christian evangelical churches established in Baghdad in the past two years. Its Sunday afternoon service, in a building behind a house on a quiet street, draws a couple of hundred worshipers who like the lively music and focus on the Bible.

"I'm thirsty for this kind of church," Suhaila Tawfik, a veterinarian who was raised Catholic, said at a recent service. "I want to go deep in understanding the Bible."

Tawfik is not alone. The U.S.-led toppling of Saddam Hussein, who limited the establishment of new denominations, has altered the religious landscape of predominantly Muslim Iraq. A newly energized Christian evangelical activism here, supported by Western and other foreign evangelicals, is now challenging the dominance of Iraq's long-established Christian denominations and drawing complaints from Muslim and Christian religious leaders about a threat to the status quo.

The evangelicals' numbers are not large -- perhaps a few thousand -- in the context of Iraq's estimated 800,000 Christians. But they are emerging at a time when the country's traditional churches have lost their privileged Hussein-era status and have experienced massive depletions of their flocks because of decades-long emigration. Now, traditional church leaders see the new evangelical churches filling up, not so much with Muslim converts but with Christians like Tawfik seeking a new kind of worship experience.

"The way the preachers arrived here . . . with soldiers . . . was not a good thing," said Baghdad's Roman Catholic archbishop, Jean Sleiman. "I think they had the intention that they could convert Muslims, though Christians didn't do it here for 2,000 years."

And here's columnist Art Buchwald putting a cheeky spin on the evangelicals in the USAF Academy.

dogemperor [userpic]
How to Share Your Faith using Napoleon Dynamite

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]deridetenebras)

Remember also that Napoleon Dynamite can be used as great discussion starter to lead to a conversation about the gospel. For example, there's a scene where Napoleon discovers a video in a thrift store that eventually ends up being his 'salvation' (so to speak). This is an awesome illustration of how in one way or another we are all looking for that ONE thing that can make our lives meaningful. Unfortunately, most people look for meaning through accomplishments, money, fame, or experiences. This never ends up working, but God has given us a chance to find our life changing 'video' through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Another element of the movie that ties into evangelism is the whole theme of being picked on and outcast. Oftentimes this is how people really feel inside, despite their attempts to look like they have it all together. People can only discover true acceptance and love by finding forgiveness through trusting Christ.

Full article here

(not sure if this belongs here. feel free to delete.)

dogemperor [userpic]
Memorial Day News Digest


Soldiers of Christ: inside America's biggest megachurch: full Harpers article.

Feeling the Hate with the religious broadcasters: Full Harpers article.

Luring Teenagers to Religion: tactics used by various religons to get young people to join.

Microsoft severs ties with Ralph Reed, who was a member of the Christian Coalition. Guess the blowback from the WA gay rights bill got their attention.

Hope that everyone has a pleasant holiday.

dogemperor [userpic]
More examination of Dominionist tactics



By Peter Fredson

One approach of aggressive Christians, who love to spread their beliefs, is through misdirection, deceit, instigation, stealth, and downright imposition. Whenever there is a sudden spurt of demands to install Christian artifacts, icons and symbols in public places, you can bet that instigation is at work. How does it work?

A preacher at a Sunday School gently asks his students “Wouldn’t it be nice if you could tell your public school friends about how you love Jesus?” “Isn’t it a shame that nobody has posted our lovely 10 Commandments in your school?” “I wish we could put up these posters someplace where people can see them.” “I’ll bet that if you asked if you could form a prayer club in your school that everybody could get saved quicker.” “When you graduate maybe you can pray for us.” “Just before the football game starts, you might ask God for help in winning the game.” “Be sure to wear this cross at all times.” “People should be told that Christ died for them.”

A modern technique is to create your own lawyers who cleverly evolve strategy to make things appear different from what they are. Aggressively promote your strategy through politicians in exchange for monetary support, votes and volunteer workers. God Advertising pays big dividends for politicians. Modern church data bases, web sites, and links can muster up millions of responses overnight. Displaying one bit of a nipple produced 300,000 complaints, most worded identically, to politicians complaining of the great breakdown in morality.

At meetings of top level evangelists with their lawyers they have evolved a plan to get Christianity “acknowledged,” despite the fact that courts ruled against them. They took a semantic approach that looked or sounded different, but had precisely the same application. For instance, if mentioning God during law trials is deemed inappropriate, try The Creator, Intelligence, Tradition, Customary Usage, Spiritual. If saying Christian prayers is deemed inappropriate then try Silent Contemplation, Reflection, Meditation, Moment of Silence, or Voluntary Individual Prayer, Non-curricular Clubs, Private Student Speech, or Spiritual Development. Read more... )

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