More on alleged "Christians for Israel"
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY tanith_astlik)
Theocrats Deny 'End Times' Theology Is Cause of Their Push for War With Iran
By Sarah Posner, AlterNet. Posted July 23, 2007.
At the Christians United for Israel Summit, Joe Lieberman embraces the Christian nation, Jewish journalists get expelled, and attendees fret about the Iranian president's "12th Imam."
Here's a news flash from the recent Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Summit in Washington: ( It really isn't about Armageddon )
But Hagee's most recent book, Jerusalem Countdown, reissued with new material earlier this year, is all about the end of days and how nuclear war with Iran will ignite it. Hagee frequently talks about how Jesus Christ will rule the world from a throne on the Temple Mount after the battle at Armageddon. Hagee admits he has "written extensively about why I believe that the generation that is alive today will see the mass ingathering of believers commonly called the Rapture." He has claimed that "when you see what's happening in America and the world it doesn't take long to realize that God is proclaiming through the voice of nature that we are approaching the coming of Jesus Christ in the clouds of heaven." In September Hagee preached that "World War III has begun" and released a sermon series that purported to "show the historical and Biblical foundations that explain the war we are in now and point us to Armageddon." In January he wrote about the Book of Revelation and its prediction that "Jesus Christ rules the world with a rod of iron from the city of Jerusalem." And in March, he sermonized about "the edge of time ... the final countdown has begun."( Read more... )
Is Lieberman an undercover Christian, or what? What the heck is wrong with him? He's a Jew! He should be running as fast as he can away from the Borg!
'Christians' 'United' 'for Israel'
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY catvincent)
Pretty much defining everything bad about the Dominion...
"I attended Christians United for Israel's annual Washington-Israel Summit. Founded by San Antonio-based megachurch pastor John Hagee, CUFI has added the grassroots muscle of the Christian right to the already potent Israel lobby. Hagee and his minions have forged close ties with the Bush White House and members of Congress from Sen. Joseph Lieberman to Sen. John McCain. In its call for a unilateral military attack on Iran and the expansion of Israeli territory, CUFI has found unwavering encouragement from traditional pro-Israel groups like AIPAC and elements of the Israeli government.
But CUFI has an ulterior agenda: its support for Israel derives from the belief of Hagee and his flock that Jesus will return to Jerusalem after the battle of Armageddon and cleanse the earth of evil. In the end, all the non-believers - Jews, Muslims, Hindus, mainline Christians, etc. - must convert or suffer the torture of eternal damnation."
Haggard church not affected by scandal?
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY pretentioustfu)
Article behind the cut
( La-la-la, I can't hear you tell me I'm wrong. . . )
I don't know why, but reading this just made me feel really, really sad and empty. I can't put my finger on why, either, but maybe someone here can.
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.
Quotes on the RR
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY jenk)
David Kuo (the deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives from 2001 to 2003, and the author of “Tempting Faith”) has an op-ed in today's New York Times. He quotes John W. Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute:
Modern Christianity, having lost sight of Christ’s teachings, has been co-opted by legalism, materialism and politics. Simply put, it has lost its spirituality. [...] Whereas Christianity was once synonymous with charity, compassion and love for one’s neighbor, today it is more often equated with partisan politics, anti-homosexual rhetoric and affluent mega-churches.
Evangelicals are beginning to see the effect of their political involvement on those with whom they hope to share Jesus’ eternal message: non-evangelicals. Tellingly, Beliefnet’s poll showed that nearly 60 percent of non-evangelicals have a more negative view of Jesus because of Christian political involvement; almost 40 percent believe that George W. Bush’s faith has had a negative impact on his presidency.
One can but hope...Dominionism is as much a corruption of evangelical Christianity as "abstinence-only" sex ed and clinic bombers.
America's Moral Decline and the Rise of False Christianity
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY brigidsblest)
by Karen Horst Cobb
“This is the year God wants to make you a millionaire.” The visiting evangelist stomped back and forth on the stage of the rented school building. His “hallelujahs” and “praise God” crescendos were followed by jumping up and down. Sweat ran down his face as he proclaimed that the church members would not need to be afraid if the economy collapses and their neighbors houses are foreclosed upon because they are blessed and will have all of their needs met. The service ended with the explanation that the first step to becoming a millionaire is to pledge $200 of “seed faith money” to the church .
( Read on... )
The original article can be found at: http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0216-20.htm . There are a number of good links to other articles in text there which I cannot reproduce here, so I recommend reading it there, as well.
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY lillybeloved)
I'm interested in visiting some of the local dominionist/fundamentalist churches, but I'm not really sure what denominations are currently in the mix (besides the SBC and Assemblies of God), just so I can do some personal research on what services are like, what is being said, etc. Results would definetly be posted in my journal.
I know there's at least one other member in this community who used to live in Waco, TX.
If anyone knows of any groups in the Dallas/Fort Worth/Austin area, that would be cool too.
Antioch Community Church, a personal review
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY lillybeloved)
Considering these people are a "missions church", I think this might be of interest of some people here.
So today I went to Antioch Community Church with iremembernot and white_lily0584.
For anyone not from Waco:
Antioch Community Church is a VERY pentecostal/charismatic church that is most probably Domionist and maybe a cult.
The lifegroups (smallgroups put on by the church) definetly have DANGER plastered all over them.
But today was the first time I went to the actual service.
It was packed. And that is not a small church. It was formally a strip mall that was gutted and changed into a large auditorium.
We sung a lot. Some of the songs I couldn't tell if they were about God or some lover I should have hidden in my bed. The people around us had lots of hands in the air, random talking "Amen!" "YES YES YES" or walking over to someone and telling them the Holy Spirit wanted them to do something, and lots of REALLY RANDOM clapping. It was EMOTIONALLY PACKED. The songs were also, as a tell tale sign, repetitious. Things were said three or four times in order to get louder and stronger as they were chanted.
Then they took the offering. and more singing.
Finally, a man I think named Vincent (this would be easier if Antioch put STAFF on their website, but no...) came up to introduce everything. And there was clapping.
And then the baptism. A Baylor gal was getting baptized, and... four people from her lifegroup were baptizing her. They couldn't be over 20. Anyway, they shared things that the lifegroup saw in her "the childlike way she said the word Jesus", "her humility", a few really sweet things. And baptised her in the name of Jesus. yes. Just the name of Jesus.
So the lights all go dark. Very VERY Dramatic.
At first they are reading from Acts 3, and dramatically re-inacting it. Once it gets to the actual speaking part of the lame begger, a few liberties are taken with speach, and he's up and leaping (well, to be fair, the bible has him jumping) and all is well. My eye, I hate to say it, found it interesting that the man was of a darker skin tone than the predominately white church. Reminds me of the Truth Ministry advertisment.
Probably another repetive song. This really makes me lose track of what happens in what place. really frustrating.
Skip forward to when Jimmy finally begins to speak. There is prayer for some missionaries that are about to go back to Lebanon. Yay for missionaries. yay for lucky Lebanon. Yay because in these end times we really need missionaries. (yes, the words "end times" were used) Lets pray these missionaries are better than Heather Mercer and Dayna Curry, other ACC missionaries. A bunch of people bound up to the front to lay hands on them and pray. Everyone NOT bounding up puts their hands out towards them and starts praying aloud at the same time. Reminds me of the buzz you hear at the movie theater before the lights go dark.
And Jimmy starts on about Acts. Well, about God. Well, about his missionary work. Well, about everything and their cousin Igor. The topic for the day is physical healing. And like Salvation and Justification, God promises Physical Healing. (yes. in that order. Salvation, Justification, Healing). People randomly yell "AMEN!" of "YES!", even when Jimmy is not pausing.
He starts with the story of what happened in this weeks lifegroups, which I already got by email.
( The text of my email )
So, we heard the story of Autum, a few details left out, a few added (she went bowling Thursday night). I assume she lives in a D-House run by the church.
Another story, which had the congration laughing and white_lily0584 furious, was shared.
Jimmy was for some reason in northern russia and it was cold so he was in a train station with a lot of other people. Someone pointed out to him that one of the men sitting in a seat was dead. And yep, he slides off the chair and is dead as dead gets. So Jimmy goes to the wall and starts praying. And he wants to know what to say, "Be Healed" or "Rise" or "Get Up!" or whatever. So he goes over to dead-man-on-ground-in-crowded-area and starts to say pray these things. None work. So they keep praying, and finally Jimmy notices that there are a lot of people looking around him. So he leaps up and says in a LOUD BIG STREETCORNER EVANGELICAL VOICE "THIS MAN IS DEAD! DO YOU WANT TO DIE AND LOSE YOUR SOUL? TRUST IN JESUS CHRIST AS YOUR LORD AND SAVIOR AND YOU WILL NOT DIE AND GO TO HELL! WHO WANTS TO BE SAVED??"
And a bunch of people respond to said thing and raise hand. So Jimmy's evangelical team save tons of people by using dead man's body as an example. And he says it again- pointing to THIS DEAD BODY ON THE FLOOR AND USING IT AS FEAR TACTIC to have people come to Christ. And so he's the hero, right, because he totally came up with a way to USE the body of this man to further his church planting in northern Russia.
So much for sanctity of human life. So much for a burial. Using him as an unfortunate example of what you don't want happening to you makes so much more sense.
But. of course it doesn't stop there. So then Jimmy shouts out "IF YOU HAVE A PHYSICAL HURT, PUT YOUR HAND OVER IT AND ASK GOD TO HEAL IT AND HE WILL!" And tada! Mass healing in Northern Russian train station that totally never got in the news.
Antioch has gotten in trouble with this before, as their problems in Sri Lanka are mentioned. A few times, actually.
And then there were two more cases. First comes the wheelchair example. Jimmy was in south america for some reason. probably planting another church on a short term trip. So he sees a man in a wheelchair, and prays to God and asks how to heal him. God says "15", so Jimmy asks the guy "did anything happen 15 years ago to make you like this?" and the guy goes "no". So Jimmy keeps praying and hears "unforgiveness" and asks the guy if there is anyone he hasn't forgiven in his life. The man says yes, his sister, for the last 15 years. So Jimmy says "to be healed and walk, you need to forgive your sister. God won't heal you until you forgive your sister." So man forgives his sister, and God heals him! yay!
This irks me because it can possibly mean 1) God is dependent on what people DO in order to heal them, or 2) God is punishing the man for not forgiving his sister. There are other possiblities, but I'm fairly certain the second is the one Jimmy was hoping the people thought of.
The next is the story of someone's cousin Igor in the country side. I have no idea where Jimmy is this time. But Igor has gangrene and will have his leg chopped off. So they go to Igor's and walk into his smelly room, and he is bandaged. and they pray, and decide to remove Igor's bandage and put their hands on the open wound. Apparently, it is green and really smelly. That's how descriptive it gets. So Jimmy puts his hand on open wound and they begin to pray. And YAY! The wound, IN FRONT OF THEIR EYES, begins to heal. But it stops in the middle of healing. And Igor wants the rest to be healed! And so Jimmy his team pray. And they tell Igor that God will heal the rest of the wound once Igor becomes a follower of Christ. So Igor becomes a Christian and wakes up the next morning and all is healed. Yay Igor!
...I don't even want to go into what's wrong with that.
saying that. Here is the pamplet from today's services.
( yay folded paper )
The scariest thing about this entire church is that I'm sure Jimmy could tell them ANYTHING, and 90% would believe it as gospel truth without a second doubt or scripture to back it up.
x-posted to my personal journal
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY another93)
I had my doubts when King sold her husband's Dream speech for a commercial. But this is just sad to see her embrace the mega church.
King's suburban funeral site raises concerns
ATLANTA — The church where Coretta Scott King's funeral will be held is not the historic inner-city church where her husband preached but a suburban mega-church headed by a controversial pastor who subscribes to the "prosperity gospel" — the idea that the godly will be rewarded with earthly riches.
With a seating capacity of 10,000, the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church is well-suited to host today's service. The long list of mourners expected includes President Bush, former President Clinton, Stevie Wonder and Maya Angelou.
But some here are concerned that the message of New Birth's pastor, Bishop Eddie Long, does not mesh well with the precepts of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was a champion for poor and disenfranchised blacks.
Long, a fitness buff with an energetic style, has emerged as one of the nation's most influential black pastors. Since he took over the church in Lithonia in 1987, membership has expanded from 300 to more than 25,000. Long's weekly program on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, "Taking Authority," is seen nationwide.
While his ministry may emphasize the relationship between spiritual and economic success, it does not ignore the downtrodden. After Hurricane Katrina, Long's church mobilized to help about 5,000 Gulf Coast residents, providing meals and housing.
But his style does not always sit well with some members of the civil-rights era's old guard.
In August, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Long received more than $3 million in salary, benefits and perks — including the use of a $350,000 Bentley — between 1997 and 2000 from a charity he founded. In response, Long told the paper that "Jesus wasn't poor."
Long has angered some pastors with his support of Bush's "faith-based" initiatives and his opposition to gay marriage. The latter position put him at odds with Coretta Scott King, who interpreted her late husband's message as one that was tolerant of gays and lesbians.
"Thus far, Long has not been connected to the social-justice movement in the city of Atlanta," said Robert Franklin, a professor of social ethics at Emory University's Candler School of Theology.
New Birth does boast an important tie to the King family: Bernice King, Coretta and Martin's youngest daughter, is a minister there.
Neither Long nor members of the King family could be reached for comment Monday. But friends said the family decided it would make sense to hold the funeral at New Birth's arena-style worship center, which will be able to handle the large crowd.
Still, Ebenezer Baptist has played a role in the weeklong celebration of King's life. On Monday, hundreds of mourners waited in a driving rain to enter the church's worship hall and file past her casket. Across the street, an estimated 1,700 people filled the church's newer facility for a musical tribute, including Oprah Winfrey and other entertainers such as Gladys Knight.
But that nod to the past did not appease critics such as Franklin. It is the funeral, he said, that is "the high, holy moment in the African-American village." And he argued that the best place for her funeral was in the heart of the inner city — not just for symbolic reasons, but logistical ones as well.
"I'm frankly a bit sad for all of the poor and homeless people in the downtown area who will not be able to make it to the suburbs," he said. "The King legacy was their legacy too."
Megachurches: According To A Frenchman
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY multiclassgeek)
Tonight's editon of "The Daily Show" featured an interview with the French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, who was promoting his book, American Vertigo.
During his interview he cut straight to the heart of the Christian Church's problem in America; In reference to MegaChurches (Willow Creek in particular), he said "There's a lot of good people out there, but there's also a lot of crooks". He then then went on to rail against the teaching of ID as science, and to give huge credit to Bono (who, he suiggested, would be a good guest for the show).
Not exacly an in-depth analysis of the issues, but it certainly made a good point, and thus I considered it woth a mention here.
Go here and click on the "Watch Bernard-Henri Levy" link to hear it in full.
NYT: Megachurches closed on Christmas
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY sunfell)
When Christmas Falls on Sunday, Megachurches Take the Day Off
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Some of the nation's most prominent megachurches have decided not to hold worship services on the Sunday that coincides with Christmas Day, a move that is generating controversy among evangelical Christians at a time when many conservative groups are battling to "put the Christ back in Christmas."
Megachurch leaders say that the decision is in keeping with their innovative and "family friendly" approach and that they are compensating in other ways. Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., always a pacesetter among megachurches, is handing out a DVD it produced for the occasion that features a heartwarming contemporary Christmas tale.( Read more... )
The Age of the Megachurch
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY gleef)
A little offtopic, but I found it interesting. Slate Magazine has an slideshow/article on Megachurches, focusing on their design:
The Age of the Megachurch
I found it fascinating, it includes descriptions, interior photos and exterior photos of five Megachurches. It can really help people understand what standing in a Megachurch is like if they haven't experienced one themselves.
Can't Preach on Christmas, it's a Sunday!
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY gleef)
Apparently, several megachurches are canceling Christmas services this year to "allow staff members and volunteers to spend the holiday with their families." To make up for lost preaching, most of these churches are planning extra services on Christmas Eve.
The churches listed in the article are:
Does anyone know what's up with this? Anything involving multiple megachurches is instantly suspect to me, and combined with the whole "War on Christmans" meme that the Religious Right is pushing lately, it makes me very suspicious, but I don't see what the point behind this is. I also don't know whether or not these churches normally do this (megachurches have much higher lay staff requirements than traditional ones), and this is much ado about nothing.
Also, possibly unrelated, the article mentions Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY is holding a single service (apparently with skeleton staff), and really pushing their Christmas Eve services instead.
(Snagged from chipuni)
PS: Mods, could we have a "War on Christmas" tag?
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY jehovahsfitness)
I feel like I'm missing something when people in this community mention a church is non-denominational. As far as I can tell, most of the non-denominational churches in the area I live in are small with black members. Not the kind of people I usually associate with dominionism.
OH MY GOODNESS
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY thornewilder)
One of the things I like to do is search out different philospohies in Churches throughout the Pacific Northwest....I found this one today and I am shocked. Did I say, shocked.
"If you consider Glad Tidings Church your home church and are not a member but would like to become one, we have a class for you. On Saturday, December 10th at 10:00 AM, Pastor Rick will be having a 1-hour meeting in Room 201 for you. Even if you are just curious about becoming a member, I would encourage you to attend and come with questions.
In the meantime, put this date on your calendar. If you have any questions, please give me a call at the office – (360) 892-7100 extension 212. Applications for membership are in the lobby, you can request one from our reception desk or you can download one by Clicking Here."
You have to fill out an APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP!!! And go to an orientation!
Yesterday Sunfell and I briefly on what factors existing in churched promote anti-social and destructive positions vis a vis the community.
How about also writing a list of "things Churches can't do if you want to be a church..." LIKE A MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION.
Is it just me, or is this absolutely outrageous?
David Wolfe/other church
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY thornewilder)
Hope this ends up in the right place. Sorry if it doesn't, I'll keep trying. I am not really a technorati, so I cannot tell if this starts a thread or just ends up in journal somewhere. Oh well.
David Wolfe is the person in question. He started a medical billing group in Oregon, and now owns an ISP called SpiritOne. He is listed on the Renew America website - or at leat the name David Wolfe - as one of the 25 most influention conservative Christians who has not been recognized by the Bush administration. Any info on this guy?
Also, is this church an secret dominionist church? I tried to read their stuff but I just do not have the lingo you folks do. I say yes, but I am an amateur with a touch of paranoia. Thanks
Three articles on Religious Right
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY sunfell)
twistedchick led me to these three Boston Globe articles about Religious Right leaders:
James Dobson Founder of "Focus on the Family".
Richard Land a Baptist lobbyist in DC.
Rick Warren of Saddleback Church, a megachurch in LA.
Identifying a Church
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY gleef)
My recent foray into Harriet Miers's church reminded me of a complex question I've had for a while.
How can an outsider tell what a church believes/teaches?
I mean, sometimes it's easy, Urbana Assembly of God Church is an Assembly of God church, and you can assume that it adheres pretty closely to the beliefs and teachings of other AoG churches.
Often, however, the churches are more coy about it, and just say they are "Christian" or "Non-Denominational". What ways are there to tell if a church is teaching Christian Reconstructionism? Or is Pentecostal/Charismatic (or some variation)? Or is supporting Dominionist causes and organizations? Or is preaching dangerous attitudes like "name it and claim it" prayer and regular "chastening" of children?
What should we be looking for when we run across a church? I mean, even if they want to hide their true nature from outsiders, they still want to attract like-minded people, so I assume they would keep their beliefs somewhat visible, even if it's encoded in some way, don't they? Or is that not a safe assumption?
Harriet Miers and Exodus
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY gleef)
According to our President, his most recent Supreme Court appointment, Harriet Miers is associated with Exodus Ministries, an organizing body for an number of Dominionist "Ex-Gay" groups.
Harriet has also earned a reputation for her deep compassion and abiding sense of duty. In Texas, she made it her mission to support better legal representation for the poor and under-served. As president of the Dallas Bar, she called on her fellow lawyers to volunteer and staff free neighborhood clinics. She led by example. She put in long hours of pro bono work. Harriet Miers has given generously of her time and talent by serving as a leader with more than a dozen community groups and charities, including the Young Women's Christian Association, Child Care Dallas, Goodwill Industries, Exodus Ministries, Meals on Wheels and the Legal Aid Society. [emphasis added]
--From the official transcript of the nomination speech on the Whitehouse's website
Can anyone find more detail on this connection?
(Thanks to pooperman for noticing this.)
Update: Apparently the group she's associated with is actually Exodus Ministries, a religious group working with ex-convicts (thank you helenangel). The group still troubles me, and I am still interested in details.
Update 2: According to Slate, Miers has been an active member of Valley View Christian Church, a non-denominational 1,500 seat megachurch in Dallas, for 25 years. How can we tell if VVCC is an Assembly of God church, or other dominionist bent?
Also, according to the same article, James Dobson and Focus on the Family have already endorsed Miers. I find Focus on the Family to be very reliable at endorsing positions and people I disagree with.