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from Worldview Weekend:

Recent decades have given way to many theologians arguing against the necessity of repentance in conversion and gospel preaching. People might not talk about it but please ask yourself, do they call people to repentance from sin when presenting the gospel in your local church? The evidence is in the silence. Hillsong have been guilty of this for years – they are even guilty according to their own doctrine statement. Brian Houston avoids the subject like the plague and is even willing to change Bible translations to avoid mentioning the word (as he did during his recent visit to Rick Warren’s fellowship).

The wholesale abandonment of repentance preaching really took root at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) in the 70’s. It has created a sub-culture of professing Christians who live lives that look no different to the world. It has been a mission field catastrophe and created mass confusion as to why people claim to be Christians and yet persist in bringing reproach on the body of Christ through their lives of perpetual unrepentant sin. The Bible has a name for this kind of Christian – non-Christians!

Without a doubt, Zane Hodges from DTS was one of the leading voices in spreading this poison. He wrote:

One of the most striking facts about the doctrine of repentance in the Bible is that this doctrine is totally absent from John’s gospel. There is not even so much as one reference to it in John’s twenty-one chapters… Since John’s Gospel does omit the message of repentance, are we to conclude that its gospel is not the biblical gospel after all? The very idea carries its own refutation. The fourth evangelist explicitly claims to be doing evangelism( John 20:30-31 ). It is not the theology of the gospel of John that is deficient; it is the theology found in lordship salvation.

This post has been written in order to respond to Hodges beliefs, which are still very influential on the global mission field. I stand with John MacArthur in my assessment that this is one of the defining theological issues of our time and must be fought with unyielding resolve. This article is designed to show that it is the gospel Zane Hodges advocates that is deficient and not even a Christian gospel at all. Following is a list of ten reasons that Hodges assertion is wrong regarding the absence of repentance in the gospel of John.

1. This is a Very Easy Game to Play
I can easily play the same game with Zane Hodges. The word love makes no appearance in the book of Acts. Therefore we should ignore the importance of love in fulfilling the Great Commission and make sure we don’t make it a necessary part of our preaching. A little closer to the issue at hand, I could also argue that Jesus never mentions grace in John’s gospel and therefore we should also avoid preaching or insisting upon God’s grace. Though my comments are sarcastic, these ludicrous ideas reveal a major deficiency in Hodges’ argument.

2. John is Not the Only Book in the Bible This is simple but it is true. John’s gospel is not the entire Bible. The true theologian has to deal with the subject of repentance as it is dealt with within the entirety of Scripture. The 66 books of the Old and New Testaments comprise one canon – not 66 canons!

3. John Wrote More Than One Book John’s gospel is not the only book he wrote. In fact, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Revelation were all probably written later as well.

The word, repent, features prominently in the book of Revelation. It is used to describe wicked sinners who refuse to repent (Rev 9:20, 9:21, 16:9, 16:11). Their refusal to metanoia<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[2]<!–[endif]–> means much more than a change of mind because the context in these passages reveals their unrepentance by their continuation in their sinful practices. Jesus also commanded five of the seven churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 to repent – Ephesus (Rev 2:5), Pergamum (Rev 2:16), Thyatira (Rev 2:21-22), Sardis (Rev 3:3), and Laodicea (Rev 3:19). John’s context is clear here that the repentance demanded requires outward action – “repent and do the works you did at first” (Rev 2:5).

Although the word repent is not used in John’s three epistles, the concept is both dominant and clearly portrayed. He who perseveres in disobedience and wicked works is described as someone who “does not have God” (2 John 1:9). Those who do good are from God and those who do evil have “not seen God” (3 John 1:11). In his first epistle, John goes so far as to say that God’s children are those who practice righteousness and the Devil’s children are those who continue in their sinful ways (1 John 3:4-10). Repentance was clearly not a concept that was foreign to John, nor was it a subject he treated as anything less than a matter of eternal importance.

4. True Biblical Repentance Has a True Biblical Context As mentioned previously, when Jesus tells the church in Ephesus to repent, He elaborates on His point by telling them to do the works they had been doing previously (Rev 2:5).

5. True Biblical Repentance Results in a Change of Mind that Results in a Change of Action
When John the Baptist preached repentance he commanded his sinful audience to bear fruits in keeping with repentance. He was asked by the crowds:

“What then shall we do?” And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages” (Luke 3:10-14).

6. True Biblical Repentance is Tangible and Humanly Quantifiable
Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him (Luke 17:3-4).

Jesus is clearly implying, in these verses, that repentance is measurable to humans. His command to the offended party is based on the repentance of the guilty party. The offended party has to be able to determine if repentance is forthcoming – it must be something more than a change of mind because it is only the outward change in behavior that is discernable to a human observer.

7. True Biblical Repentance is Inseparable From Saving Faith
Jesus’ death for sins was an act of salvation. To receive God’s gracious gift Scripture explicitly teaches that:

Truly, then, God overlooking the times of ignorance, now He strictly commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day in which He is going to judge the world in righteousness by a Man whom He appointed, having given proof to all by raising Him from the dead (Acts 17:30-31).

The Apostle Paul said that; “Godly grief produces repentance that leads to salvation” (2 Cor 7:10a). This repentance from sin and turning away from it is also a turning to Christ in saving faith in order to receive salvation:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). And that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem (Luke 24:47).

And how I kept back nothing that was profitable, but have shown you and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:20-21).

Some people claim that “faith alone” in Ephesians 2:8 negates the need to repent. But we must remember this hermeneutical rule: Scripture cannot contradict itself – therefore in understanding it rightly, it must harmonize with the rest of Scripture. As we harmonize all of Scripture we can clearly see that sometimes only faith or belief is mentioned, sometimes only repentance is mentioned, and sometimes both are mentioned (refer to the verses above).

By harmonizing all of these (rather than focusing on a single verse) we can see that the salvation call is a call to turn away from sin in repentance and a turning to Christ in faith – trusting Him alone to save us. The turning to Christ (faith) necessitates a turning away from our carnal affections (repentance). Man cannot serve two masters.

8. True Biblical Repentance is a Work of God
This salvation is ultimately a work of God. Both repentance (Acts 11:18) and faith (Eph 2:8) are works of God. We cannot come to God unless the Spirit draws us (John 6:44). We are not saved by praying a prayer or walking down to the front of a church. It is God who saves. It is God who gives us a love for His law and a desire to live in holiness. It does not mean we stop sinning but it does mean we have a new relationship with sin manifest in a love for God’s law and a desire to obey it:

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules (Ezek 36:25-27).

9. True Biblical Repentance is the True Biblical Fruit of True Biblical Conversion
The regenerative work described in Ezekiel 36:25-27 produces the repentance described in verse 31:

Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations (Ezek 36:31).

Within its context, this repentance is brought about by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. As we have seen earlier in John’s epistles, a lifestyle of repentance is the fruit and sign of a truly regenerate Christian.

10. True Biblical Repentance is in the Gospel of John
There is so much that can be said here, I could take up a great number of pages in discussion of this one point. For the sake of brevity I will point out some of the big ones:

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God (John 3:19-21).

Repentance is clearly included by implication in these verses that follow right on the heels of John 3:16.

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him (John 3:36).

Notice here that the opposite of belief is disobedience. The belief John describes is clearly a repentant belief. Turning to Christ means turning away from sin.

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:15-17).

John MacArthur drives the whole issue home:

To say that John called for a faith that excluded repentance is to grossly misconstrue the apostle’s concept of what it means to be a believer. Although John never uses repent as a verb, the verbs he does employ are even stronger. He teaches that all true believers love the light (3:19), come to the light (3:20-21), obey the Son (3:36), practice the truth (3:21), worship in spirit and truth (4:23-24), honor God (5:22-24), do good deeds (5:29), eat Jesus’ flesh and drink His blood (6:48-66), love God (8:42 , cf. 1 John 2:15), follow Jesus (10:26-28), and keep Jesus’ commandments (14:15). Those ideas hardly concur with no-lordship salvation! All of them presuppose repentance, commitment, and a desire to obey.

Thomas Watson responded to this 20th Century invention 300 years earlier:

“He commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). Repentance is not arbitrary. It is not left to our choice whether or not we will repent, but it is an indispensable command. God has enacted a law in the High Court of heaven that no sinner shall be saved except the repenting sinner, and He will not break His own law. Though all the angels should stand before God and beg the life of an unrepenting person, God would not grant it. “The Lord God, merciful and gracious, keeping mercy for thousands, and that will by no means clear the guilty” (Exod 34:6-7). Though God is more full of mercy than the sun is full of light, yet He will not forgive a sinner while he goes on in his guilt: “He will by no means clear the guilty.

Repentance Properly Defined and Applied
Repentance is clearly important to God. The Old Testament prophets, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, and Jesus Himself all began their ministries with a call to repentance. Jesus made it very clear when He spoke about a natural disaster of His time where eighteen people died. He said that although they did not die because they were more sinful than others, “unless you repent, you too will all perish” (Luke 13:3).

What is repentance? Perhaps it is better to initially state what it is not. repentance is not reformation. Repentance is not remorse. Repentance is not regret. Wayne Grudem defines repentance as “a heartfelt sorrow for sin, a renouncing of it, and a sincere commitment to forsake it and walk in obedience to Christ.” Repentance is genuine sorrow for offending God that changes us to be more like Jesus.

Jesus said “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 just persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7). Our repentance starts a celebration in heaven. It is repentance that sets us truly free. Free from the fear of being found out. Free from condemnation. Free from the facades that we live behind. Free from guilt. Repentance should not be a one-off event but a lifestyle practice. We all need to live this way because we are all sinners. The Bible makes it clear that we are all sinners (Romans 6:23) therefore we’ve all got stuff we need to repent of. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9).

Heavenly Father, Maker of heaven and earth, Your ways are so much higher than our ways. All that You do is perfect and all of Your ways are just and right. I come to You in the name of Jesus Christ knowing that I cannot stand in Your presence in any other way. I have sinned against You and have no excuse. You know all the thoughts and intents of my heart. I confess them to You. I am not sorry because of the consequences but because it damages my relationship with You. I repent of it, turn away from it, and plead Your forgiveness. I put all of my trust in Your promise that You will immediately totally cleanse me of all my unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Thank You Lord for the greatest act of love in history by dying for my sins so that I can have right standing with You and eternal life instead of hell. In Jesus name amen.

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“I believe we are nearing the time of persecution in our nation. When the only public voices for Christianity are apostate religious church leaders and organizations, I believe that the net of persecution will then fall on the American Church very swiftly. The true Church is being scattered—slowly and systematically. Right now I do not know of one medium or even small Church of true believers that is standing against the current apostasy. I also do not know of any highly visible professing Christian that is doing so.”

from TruthKeepers:

A Prophetic Warning to the Church (March 4, 2003 1:56 pm)

In my opinion every true follower of Jesus Christ needs to be completely aware of the time that we are living in. If we are not in the last-days, then it is a trial run that is so close that the dangers are nearly identical. Therefore, we need to take heed of the many warnings in God’s Word concerning the great time of deception.

First, we need to recognize how powerful that the deception will be. It will be so powerful that the only means of surviving it will be the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
(Mat 24:24 NKJV) “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

Satan will pull out all the stops, hold back nothing, pour out everything in his bag of dirty tricks, and the spiritual atmosphere will be too strong for people who have not spiritually prepared themselves to resist it.
(2 Th 2:9-12 NKJV) The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, {10} and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. {11} And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, {12} that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The spiritual atmosphere will be diametrically opposed to the atmosphere of a great revival. During times of great revival even lost people feel the effects of the renewal of passion for God. During great revivals, sin is driven back into the darkness. Evil workers are exposed for the charlatans that they are. False doctrine is denounced. Prayer meetings and church services take precedence over secular activities. Even the laws of the nation are reflective of the revival.

Today, there are deep doldrums in Christianity. Liars and other phonies are honored while at the same time people who speak the truth are dishonored and persecuted. Homosexuals are ordained as Christian ministers and professing Christians are accepting their ministry. There is little passion for God or His Word manifested publicly. Sodomites not only are pouring out of the darkness to stand proudly in public view, but they have infected our government, public education, and almost every other area of society. False doctrines pour from pulpits, out of religious television, lining the bookshelves of religious bookstores, and inundate the entire religious realm. Practically no one will attend a prayer meeting. Even a school event can replace a church meeting. Our nation’s laws are becoming increasingly reflective of the satanic activity in our government.

I personally know pastors who have given up trying to pastor in this atmosphere. I know other pastors who appear to be just barely hanging on. Many professing Christians are simply flowing with the degradation of the great apostasy; marching to the cadence of Satan. Other Christians are feeling the overwhelming effects of it all. They cannot find an honest assembly of true followers of Christ. Every day they fight feelings of discouragement and depression. The joy of the Lord is very difficult to express and they battle daily with feelings of hopelessness, emptiness, and isolation.

This is the time that we have been warned about. We should understand that every godly act and characteristic is going to be more difficult to perform and maintain. Prayer is a battle. Temptation to loosen ones grip on eternal life is constant and pressing. Urges to relax and roll with the flow, follow the herd, do what everyone else is doing, never ceases the attempt to infiltrate our spirits. Evil workers of unrighteousness appear as workers of righteousness. In fact, it is difficult in some cases to tell the difference on the surface. They appear as ministers and people of righteousness. One should remember to listen to the Holy Spirit warning signals in their spirit. Consider their fruit. What have they ever done for Christ? Ignore how they make you feel or their flattering words and comforting ways. Reject the sensationalism of lying signs and wonders. Remember that few people are driven to hell. Most of them are led there by deceptive spirits.
(2 Cor 11:12-15 NKJV) But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. {13} For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. {14} And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. {15} Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

God’s Word declares that the one act that will doom people to deception and delusion is rejecting love for the truth. The very thing that could save those who are deceived is the thing that they reject. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. If He is in us, we will not be deceived. We can walk through barrenness and never thirst or hunger. We will be filled with righteousness. We can master the deceptive time and rise above the clouds of evil lying signs and wonders.

When people reject love for the truth, the Holy Spirit will depart. They will be left to their own devices to defend themselves against the great deception of the last-days. God will not permit them to be shocked into returning to the truth. If they will not receive His love, His Word, His Son, and His Spirit, they do not deserve heaven. Neither do they deserve to be driven into heaven by specter of fearful calamities. Instead, they will be sent a strong delusion so that they will believe the lie and be damned.

In times past, when catastrophic events occurred, people flocked to church services in fear for their souls. Oklahoma City churches reported huge increases in attendance after the Murrah building was bombed. In a few months, the attendance was back to normal. Evidently, those people went back to their old ways of living under the cloud of deception. The very striking fact about the aftermath of 9-11-01 was that many people did not look to Christian leaders for comfort and answers. Instead, they flocked to events where an evil ecumenical mixture of wizards, witches, and other evil workers of darkness joined with professing Christians to pray for the nation. We saw no increase in attendance in our Fellowship.

This may indicate that the great delusion has been delivered to the earth and the package may be opened. If so, people who stand in the shadows, who are trying to live on the fringes of true Christianity, who play on both sides of the fence, who fail to develop passion and intimacy with God, are in deep, serious, trouble. We were warned by God’s Word and His prophets that this time would come. In my opinion, it is here. I encourage everyone not to settle for a casual relationship with God. Don’t settle for a passionless, nonchalant, church meeting where you are not inspired or challenged to stay fresh in your relationship with God. Don’t let your guard down. The hour is late and the time is short. Stand your ground and keep your armor on.

It is going to get very difficult in the last of the last-days, but the most dangerous time is during this initial wave of deception. The reason is because we have gotten used to the blessings of Christianity in a democratic nation. We can get in our vehicles on Sunday morning and there are many church buildings within a short drive from our homes. Someone else preaches to us, teaches us, and does almost every other thing for us. All we have to do is show up. What kind of Christians has this type of “Churchanity” produced? I do not mean to be offensive here, but for the sake of clarity I must be blunt with my answer. In most cases it has produced people that cannot take care of themselves spiritually. Instead, they depend on the three-per-week (or less) church services to keep them spiritual and inspired, and most of them only attend occasionally. They are weak, pampered, religious at the best, and at the worst they are lost, malformed and mutated by years of lack of growth and a viable experience with God. As such, they are no threat to the kingdom of darkness and no benefit to the kingdom of light.

Now, we are going to have to adapt steadfastness of faith to the harshness of the time that we are in. Christians should have been building themselves spiritually during the times of peace. If we had been actually assimilating and applying the Word of God that we have been inundated with, then we would have more than been prepared for this evil time.

We’ve been taught to be weak, to live weak, to need church meetings to a degree that God never intended. Certainly we find strength in fellowship and it is a tremendous blessing to hear the Word of God taught or preached by someone who is anointed. But if we have not developed the practice of feeding ourselves, what are we going to do in the tough times? Paralyzed people and babies have to be fed, but healthy and mature people feed themselves.

Men need to become and remain strong in the Lord and begin taking responsibility for their spiritual duties. The time is coming when men will have to teach their own families. We need to get tough, knowledgeable, and spiritually strong. All of us need to become prayer intercessors. I believe that it is time to consider what is eating up our time and make some serious choices about our activities. If it comes to the point that we cannot find a church building to meet in where God is present and people are sincere, then the only option is to meet in our homes. However, there were times when the Church was even denied that privilege. They had to meet in catacombs and other places that do not even remotely resemble a church building.

I believe we are nearing the time of persecution in our nation. When the only public voices for Christianity are apostate religious church leaders and organizations, I believe that the net of persecution will then fall on the American Church very swiftly. The true Church is being scattered—slowly and systematically. Right now I do not know of one medium or even small Church of true believers that is standing against the current apostasy. I also do not know of any highly visible professing Christian that is doing so.

I could say a lot more, but let me conclude with one more point. The key to understanding that this current apostasy is not going to be resisted by most professing Christians is in the way most of them perceive Christianity. The only way that so many hirelings could be in pastorates is if most of the people want it to be this way. I heard one of the deadest sermons I have ever heard one Sunday morning while visiting a church meeting. A toxic religious mixture oozed from the pulpit and entered the hearts of people who loved to be poisoned so. The sad thing about that church is that it is growing steadily in number. I thought the man might be sick, but I was informed that he was in good health. In other words, he preached that way on purpose. This is the standard for most church meetings today. It does not resemble biblical Christianity. What it is I cannot tell. What it is not is a meeting of true Christians who are aware of the time and striving for intimacy with God. May God help us to understand what is happening!
The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule by their own power; And My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end? (Jer 5:31 NKJV)

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 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.” – Matthew 7:15-16

false teachers

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From NBC News

Paul Crouch, who built what has been called the world’s largest Christian broadcasting network, has died. He was 79.

Trinity Broadcasting Network reported Saturday that Crouch died after a decade-long fight with degenerative heart disease.

A message was left for Crouch’s grandson Brandon, who wrote about Crouch’s death on his Twitter page.

Crouch and his wife Jan founded the network in 1973 and grew it into an international Christian empire that beams prosperity gospel programming to every continent but Antarctica around the clock. The programming promises that if the faithful sacrifice for their belief, God will reward them with material wealth.

Based in Costa Mesa, the network says it has 84 satellite channels and more than 18,000 television and cable affiliates as well as a Christian amusement park in Orlando.

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from Herescope:

Profiting from the Promulgation of End-Time CRI$I$ Scenarios 

Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. (Jeremiah 10:2)

The evangelical world has been feasting on a constant diet of crisis for several decades now. Despite the relative peace and prosperity that Americans currently enjoy, fear is being marketed in every outlet. Fear of the future. It is big money for evangelical professional marketeers, many of whom act like false prophets continually prophesying doom and destruction. In fact, so much so, that many Christians now seem addicted to the adrenalin rush that comes via these dire predictions of disaster. It is a Pavlovian thing – spout the CRISIS, and fear-laden followers will respond by pushing the button to buy pre-packaged SOLUTIONS! This phenomena can best be described as prophecy-mongering, a term that has connotations of profiteering from promoting endtime crises.

Crisis-mongering is not a new thing. Chicken Little in the children’s folk tale went around crying, “The sky is falling!” This message has now become “a common idiom indicating a hysterical or mistaken belief that disaster is imminent.”[1]  Despite the moral of the Chicken Little story, dire predictions are becoming a way of life for many evangelicals. The more exotic, the more titillating, the more dramatic – the more people will get all worked up. It isn’t just fear. Many of these catastrophic endtime scenarios are also extremely evocative, even licentious. It is tough to remain sober-minded when constantly assaulted by horrifying and/or Hollywoodized images[2]  of the future. But being sober is exactly what a believer is supposed to do in these last days – “the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer” (1 Peter 4:7).[3]

Christian Right groups eagerly engage in their cries of “Woe is America!” on a daily basis and, quite frankly, each new dreadful episode of our country in crisis creates an opportunity to raise more support for their particular issue.[4]  Evangelicals love solutions that impose some new housecleaning campaign for America. It is easier to point out the sins of America than deal with the sins within the Church (Matthew 7:3). The solution to America’s crises is inevitably some type of Dominionism – trying to “save” our nation, transform the culture, and gain power and ascendancy over others in the process. But notice it is not by the transformation of the inner man as a result of receiving the Gospel of Salvation. In fact, many evangelical leaders believe that they can invent the future, envision the future, and actually change the future! Some even wanted to develop “alternative future scenarios” because they didn’t like what Bible prophecy really has to say.[5]

Create the Crisis, Propose the Pre-determined Solution  Professionally trained change agents have learned how to create crises and then propose a pre-planned solution. Ironically, some evangelical leaders have warned believers about these very tactics, particularly because it has been a common modus operandi of the political Left for a long time. Creating the crisis is done by things such as fomenting discord, agitating about issues, harping continually on what’s wrong, and even going so far as to create the actual problem. Often this is done via the media, which is a “partner” or “stakeholder” in the issue that is being drummed up. Once people accept that there is a problem/crisis, then the change agents come in with their pre-fabricated solution. This solution is usually onerous and intrusive, and in the political realm it usually means more government oversight and control with less personal freedom.

So, given the fact that many evangelicals already know about this clever and deceptive strategy – create the crisis, propose the solution – why are so many so gullible to crisis-mongering when it comes to believing horrific prophecy scenarios? The answer is two-fold. First, evangelicals all want to trust their “experts” – those leaders who appear in the public eye and state things authoritatively. But many trusted leaders are engaging in this very crisis-solution strategy! They claim to have elite information, intelligence secrets, hidden knowledge, scientific-sounding secrets, or even the ability to be able to decode supernatural things. Some are deemed to have such superior spiritual insights that they are called modern-day prophets![6]  If these leaders were outsiders, or strangers to the evangelical world, wouldn’t skeptical questions be raised about their extravagant claims? People might request tangible proof, biblical documentation, and solid evidence before they believed their purported crisis. But because these prophecy-mongers are “in house,” hyped and marketed by other trusted leaders, they are assumed to hold superior information about whatever crisis they are promulgating. Even known cynics, critics who understand the whole crisis-solution manipulation strategy, don’t seem to raise an eyebrow when someone uses the same strategy wrapped up in endtime crisis guise.

Second, evangelicals are susceptible to prophecy-mongering because disaster is indeed imminent! We don’t know the day nor the hour (Matt. 24:36), but Jesus is going to return and before that happens Scripture states that things will wax worse and worse (2 Tim. 3:13). Believers are told to “discern the signs of the times” (Matt. 16:3). There are plenty of “wars and rumours of wars” (Mark 13:7) and many other things to indicate that the time is getting close. In fact, potential disasters are a dime a dozen. Every day brings hundreds of new catastrophic scenarios that loom on the horizon. The Christian Right gets all worked up about the environmental crisis advocates’ claims of global warming, but they have their own calamitous commotions. Should Christians get all revved up about these things – even before they happen, IF they are going to happen? Jesus’s answer to this was very short and sweet: “see that ye be not troubled.” Why? Because “for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet” (Matt. 24:6).

One of the more troubling aspects of prophecy-mongering is that those who are creating the crises are proposing solutions for the future. First of all, without engaging in a lot of semantic twisting and decoding of penumbras,[7]  these inventive crises can’t be found anywhere in Scripture. But, worse, their solutions can’t be found in Scripture either. Their solutions often have to do with conducting spiritual warfare. Even real warfare.[8]  Some have twisted and distorted biblical eschatology into an endtime crisis that requires that the church defeat its enemies, subdue the earth, and restore paradise conditions.[9]  They teach that Jesus can’t come back until all of these other dreadful and scary extrabiblical things happen first – based on their own stories they made up, or extrapolated from occult sources. Question: since when is Satan a reliable expert about the endtimes? John 8:44 says that the devil is a liar and “there is no truth in him.” Yet these prophecy mongers rely heavily upon Satan’s literature, and his dark imagery and falsehoods heavily pervade their crisis scenarios.[10]

What are the signs that believers should be watching for? They are listed specifically in the Bible. In fact, before one jumps on signs, there are explicit warnings to not get carried away. Jesus warned that there would be false men claiming to be “Christ” and “false prophets” who would have the ability to “shew great signs and wonders” to such a great extent, that “if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24). In other words, signs can be treacherous and deceptive. So much so that Jesus warned that desiring signs showed a sign of lack of faith (John 4:48) and the Apostle Paul warned believers to beware because Satan can cause signs in order to deceive: “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thess. 2:9, 6-12).

At the very end there will be never-before-seen signs in the physical heavens, and a pronounced rise in terrifying things that happen on earth (earthquakes, famines, pestilences), both which Jesus treats in a matter-of-fact manner in Luke 21. They’re going to happen. Scary? Yes! Should we react in fear? No! Our reaction should be joy! “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).

What should be the response of believers to all of this crisis-mongering? Christians don’t need to be scouring ancient pagan myths, borrowing from the occult or studying the Kabbalah. They don’t need to be overcome by fearful conspiracy theories, stories of government cover-ups, or exotic tales of science fiction-like monsters invading the planet. Jesus specifically states that He has told His children all they need to know about the endtimes in one very profound and brief statement: “Behold, I have told you before” (Matthew 24:25).

That’s it! “I have told you before!” Jesus has told us everything we need to know about the last days ahead of time in His Word. Period. End of crisis! We need no longer be “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph. 4:14). If everyone stood on this verse the prophecy-mongers would go out of business!

Perhaps if Christians weren’t so gullible about prophecy-mongering, those racketeering and profiteering from crisis prophecy schemes would suffer an economic shortfall and have to close up shop. But endtime crisis prophecy is very alluring. It puts vivid images in the head, and tells wild tales with elaborate and complicated storylines.[11]  Like a good fiction series, always developing new twists in the plot to make readers want to read the next chapter, endtime crisis hooks the avid reader/listener. What’s next? What can happen worse?[12]  Notice how many times it requires paying money to find out what’s next. Prophecy mongering isn’t for free. The whole point of keeping captive audiences is so that they’ll buy the next new installment in the thrilling chilling story![13]

The Real Crisis and the Real Solution

  • QUESTION: what is the WORST CRISIS facing humanity?
  • ANSWER: The lost, the unsaved who will go to Hell if they don’t hear the SOLUTION of the Gospel message of Salvation and accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

Christian – If this CRISIS with its truthful SOLUTION is not your primary FOCUS in life, then you need to search plain Scripture and re-discover the simplicity of the Gospel.

A good believer is one who seeks to obey Jesus Christ and His Word. A sincere Christian must stop and ask if all this prophecy-mongering is edifying – or terrifying. Is the storyline about Jesus Christ? Is HE the main character? Or is it full of dark tales about demonic things? Is the Bible becoming all mixed up in your mind and blurred with wild tales of creepy creatures and nightmarish monsters? What is all of this imagination and future-forecasting doing to your thought life? Are you focused on praying for the lost and leading the unsaved to the Lord? Or are you hungering for the latest tidbit of pending calamity? Is all of this endtime hype leading you away from your first love (Rev. 2:4) and simple devotion to Jesus Christ Who died on the cross for your salvation? Are you living your life in holiness and purity? Or are you wandering after sensations and stimulations?

The Apostle Paul concludes his lengthy discussion about the endtimes in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 by exhorting believers to stand fast, to have hope, to be comforted, and to be established in the Word and holy living. This does not sound like people overcome by catastrophic crises and waves of fear. It sounds like the sober-minded believer who is looking forward to that “blessed hope” of Jesus’s soon return (Titus 2:13).

Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, Which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work. (2 Thess 2:15-17)

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from Got Questions:

Materialism is defined as “the preoccupation with material things ratherthan intellectual or spiritual things.” If a Christian is preoccupied with material things, it is definitely wrong. That is not to say we cannot have material things, but the obsession with acquiring and caring for “stuff” is a dangerous thing for the Christian, for two reasons.

First, any preoccupation, obsession or fascination with anything other than God is sinful and is displeasing to God. We are to “love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5), which is, according to Jesus, the first and greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37-38). Therefore, God is the only thing we can (and should) occupy ourselves with habitually. He alone is worthy of our complete attention, love and service. To offer these things to anything, or anyone, else is idolatry.

Second, when we concern ourselves with the material world, we are easily drawn in by the “deceitfulness of wealth” (Mark 4:19), thinking that we will be happy or fulfilled or content if only we had more of whatever it is we are chasing. This is a lie from the father of lies, Satan. He wants us to be chasing after something he knows will never satisfy us so we will be kept from pursuing that which is the only thing that can satisfy—God Himself. Luke 16:13 tells us we “cannot serve both God and money.” We must seek to be content with what we have, and materialism is the exact opposite of that contentment. It causes us to strive for more and more and more, all the while telling us that this will be the answer to all our needs and dreams. The Bible tells us that a person’s “life is not in the abundance of the things which he possesses” (Luke 12:15) and that we are to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).

If materialism was ever to satisfy anyone, it would have been Solomon, the richest king the world has ever known. He had absolutely everything and had more of it than anyone, and yet he found it was all worthless and futile. It did not produce happiness or the satisfaction our souls long for. He declared, “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income” (Ecclesiastes 5:10). In the end, Solomon came to the conclusion that we are to “fear God, and keep His commandments. For this is the whole duty of  man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

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This is the “ROTTEN FRUIT” of TBN, Daystar  . . . .

I saw it a few years ago when I was in South Africa

from A Letter from Kabwata:

We all know that the dark ages are upon us again here in Africa. It is almost like a dark blanket that is slowly surrounding the land. People who know absolutely nothing of the core values of evangelical Christianity—the new birth, repentance and saving faith, justification and holiness, etc.—have hijacked evangelical Christianity in Africa. Even the term “born again” is being peddled without an iota of the meaning that Jesus had in mind when he used the phrase in his talk with Nicodemus. These are dark days indeed.

Once upon a time in Zambia, in the 1970s and early 1980s, you could go to very much any English-speaking evangelical church on Sunday and expect to attend a Bible study and hear faithful preaching of God’s word. You may have been a little uncomfortable with some aspects of their worship. You may have also disagreed with some doctrinal assumptions during the preaching. However, you could not miss the fact that here was a sincere effort at arriving at the meaning of the text of Scripture and applying it to the hearers—both in the Bible studies and the sermons. You also heard an appeal for repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. They may not have dotted your “i”s and crossed your “t”s as you do, but you still went home edified.

That is now very rare. In most so-called evangelical churches in Zambia today, there are no Bible studies and you cannot last to the end of their worship service if what you went for was spiritual edification. How many of our people are being drawn to churches primarily because they have been falsely promised to be cured of AIDS, get promotion at work, get more money, etc.? How many of our people are giving stashes of cash to so-called servants of God who are in fact nothing more than religious fraudsters? How many of our people now think that worship is dancing to very loud music that competes favourably with the rhumba maestros of the Congo? How many of our preachers think that preaching is shouting nice sounding platitudes through a microphone at the top of their voice with an American or Nigerian accent? This is what church has become.

I liken this delusion to the days prior to the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. People flooded the churches but it was all for the wrong reasons. They were deceived and spellbound by a priest craft that claimed abilities they did not have but which the people craved after. Superstition reigned supreme in the church. The people were poor but they were promised various blessings if they could only give their remaining money to the church. Out of these funds majestic church edifices were built and the church’s top leadership lived like kings and princes. Is this not what is happening in the name of evangelical Christianity today? Or am I the only one who is seeing these things?

The result of all this is that we have “Protestant” churches on literally every street but the evangelical faith is totally absent. In fact these churches have become dens of iniquity. Church pastors are impregnating young girls in their churches, getting them to abort, agreeing with their parents not to spill the beans for some undisclosed huge amounts of hush-money, and their spouses and church leaders know about all this. As the pulpit has gone, so has gone the pew. Hardly anyone is thirsting and hungering after righteousness. Immoral living is rife. Church discipline is rare. Those who know about this rottenness are looking at the church from outside and pinching their nostrils in disgust. We have the numbers alright but the salt has lost its saltiness—and we know it.

Come on; let us be honest. We all know that the so-called prosperity gospel, which is in vogue in evangelicalism today, is heresy. We all know that the only guys becoming stinking rich are the preachers to whom the blind followers are giving their money. The followers themselves are still in abject poverty. It is nothing but religious fraud. We also all know that 99% of the claims to physical healing by our faith healers are false. We all have relatives who would be alive today if they had not been told they were cured and so should not take medication for their sickness. These men are murderers. This is not Conrad Mbewe being malicious and making up stories. These are all well-known facts.

The tragedy is not that all this is happening. The disaster is the silence about all this from those who are supposed to provide spiritual guidance to the masses. In Zambia, and in Africa at large, evangelical leaders who have worked their way up the ecclesiastical ladder are holding hands with religious fraudsters and thus they cannot speak about this engulfing evil. They would rather throw stones at political leaders out there than address the Trojan horse within evangelicalism. They would rather tell the world to stop being worldly than tell those who are raping the church from within to stop it. And yet in the light of this spiritual tsunami, the silence is criminal.

The problem with this current silence is that the younger generation who are coming into evangelical circles now think that what they are seeing is a viable and alternative form of evangelical Christianity when it is not. They have no clue that only recently believers got together in church for serious Bible study, that worship had dignity and awe, and that sermons were Bible-based, Christ-centred, and aimed at spiritual conversion. Due to our silence, our upcoming preachers are seeing filling your church membership roll with goats rather than sheep and driving expensive cars at the expense of poor parishioners as the sign of pastoral success. They have no clue that it was only recently when pastors stood out in society for their true godly servanthood. Today’s evangelical leaders are misleading a whole generation of innocent souls by their silence.

In the days of the prophet Malachi, religion in Israel had reached its lowest ebb. The Temple was still full of activity—with all kinds of sacrifices being offered at the altar. Yet, the true worship of God was dying. Those who came to the place of worship were defrauding God and the priests were allowing this. Men were unfaithful to their wives and divorcing at will, and the priests kept quiet about it. God finally put the blame where it ought to have been—at the feet of the priests. He said, “The lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But you have turned aside from the way” (Malachi 2:7-8). God finally wanted them to just shut the Temple doors and send everyone away! Their silence misrepresented him. They did not care that his greatness was obscured.

Once upon a time, a generation of God’s people saw spiritual decay and said, “Enough is enough!” and out of this protest was born the Protestant Reformation. In yet another generation, when liberalism had invaded the Protestant church and was killing its very life, a generation of God’s people again said, “Enough is enough!” and out of that protest was born the Evangelical movement of the 18th century. In the light of the darkness that is once again upon us, with churches becoming no more than witchdoctors’ dens, is it not time for today’s evangelicals to say, “Enough is enough”? How can we be silent in the light of this engulfing darkness? Surely, our evangelical silence must be criminal.

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An excellent article from The Armoury:

Any young man going into the ministry must understand that he must be prepared to address a flock that is, in this present day, influenced by a pantheon of teachers – many of whom they have never met. By itself, this isn’t a bad thing – especially if those teachers are: a). called of God; b). preaching the Gospel; c). exalting Christ and not themselves; d). upholding the authority of Scripture rather than invented doctrines of their own; e). heralding the priority of the local church; and f). ministering the word with a spirit that is devoid of a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes.

In a perfect world, such an external influence would be…perfect.

However, we don’t live in a perfect world. Pastors aren’t perfect; churches aren’t perfect; published books by men and their publishers aren’t perfect. Thus, we find a constant battle within the church to pursue God’s perfect word amidst all such imperfections. For the pastor of a local church, this battle is, firstly, internal and then it is external. It is internal in the sense that, as a preacher, the pastor must endeavor to seek out the preaching of God’s Word without the pollution of his own opinions and preferences. By itself, this is a strong and continual battle. It is external in the sense that there is a constant influence of teachers whose teaching is not at all helpful, whether wholly or partially. Sometimes those problematic influences are absolutely heretical; in most cases they are problematic on a lesser scale – but it is all part of the battle nonetheless. What intensifies this battle is what I would call the industry of Christian media. By this label I am referring to the exploding industry of Christian video, audio, books, conferences, and web-media – a great deal of which is presented with all of the fanfare of modern marketing techniques and salesmanship. It is this perpetual marketing of Christian media that has created a cultural psyche of  keeping up with the Joneses – but with a Christian twist. However, the rule of life and conduct for the Christian is not to keep up with the Joneses per se. Our benchmark is not horizontally defined, but is defined by Christ and His Word – no matter what the Joneses are doing. In the secular realm you can see whole neighborhoods following such a pattern of conformity. One neighbor buys a 60” flat panel TV – the other neighbors see it, want it, come to conclude that they need itand buy one themselves, whether they can afford it or not. Unfortunately, such choices can be dictated by jealousy or materialism (or both) rather than wisdom.

When Christians make spiritual choices, in this manner of keeping up with the masses, it can be quite dangerous. Doing what one’s friends or neighbors are doing is never a justification for doing anything. In this present culture of retail Christianity, I fear that many are determining orthodoxy by what is deemed as vogue among the masses; but this can never be the means by which we evaluate anything. In the worst of all cases, people can come to feel that without that next popular book, conference, or webinar – their sanctification will somehow be incomplete. Though the retail earnings may be good, a spirit of dependency such as this is dangerous since it diminishes the primacy of Scripture and that of the local church. In writing this, I am not at all suggesting that all books, conferences, videos, webinars etc. are inherently bad. There are many profitable resources out there that can be utilized for the glory of God. However, it must also be pointed out that there are many well-marketed resources that are deeply problematic. What is needed is for the believer to be dedicated to Christ with the nobility of those Bereans who “received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily” in order to see if what the Apostle Paul taught was in fact true. It is this attitude which says – “I must measure everything by the standard of God’s Word, not by the standard of my neighbors, social popularity, or any mere man” – that Luke calls: “noble minded.” Had these Bereans simply kept up with the popular thinking of their day, they would have gone the way of the Pharisees.

May it never be.

Finally – as a final application of this encouragement and warning, let me suggest the following (and I offer this, not under the presumption that you are not doing so, but as an encouragement to “excel still more” in these principles): the next time you hear an online sermon, read a book, attend a conference, or watch a webinar – 1). Be sure that you measure the contents of what you have been exposed to by the standards of God’s word, not by the habits and preferences of your friend or neighbors; 2). If you are unsure about what you have studied, go and consult the undershepherds of your local church – men whose lives,ministries, homes, and conduct you can see and experience personally; and 3). Throughout everything, pray without ceasing for the Lord’s guidance and leading, as you sort through it all, knowing that it is the Lord whom we serve – not men. There are many in this world who seek to instruct you – just be on guard for your souls as you listen and learn – knowing that it is Christ whom you serve.

As Christian said to those retailers in Vanity Fair: “We buy the truth.” Prov. 23:23.

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The reason you do not hear about Christians being murdered for their faith around the world, in American Pulpits, is because most American “Christian” churches have become nothing more than shallow self help, positive self esteem clinics (Can you say Joel Osteen) where anything that contains negative words is santized so as to not make people feel bad, and thus cuase them to have a less than cheery day!
 
Suffering for your faith never enters the lexicon of the  “be Happy” self help false Prophet$ speech!
 

If you are even slightly awake about the world news today, it is no surprise that Christians are being killed, raped and brutalized throughout the Islamic world. However, there is a place where you can go and escape the dreadful and relentless details of Christian annihilation by Islam. You can just go to church. For example, this week in Nigeria Christians were killed. Nothing out of the ordinary, indeed in the world of Christian persecution, this is routine.

And so the response to the murder of Christians is found in nearly every church is …wait for it…, complete silence—not a mention or reference to it or the brutality against Christians that happens almost every day in the Islamic world. This is not a passive silence, because if you try to change it, you will fail. The silence is an active, working conspiracy that goes throughout nearly all of Christendom.

Take a simple example: prayer for the persecuted. From a Christian perspective, this falls under the heading of obvious. Try taking the idea of prayer for the routinely murdered Christians in Nigeria or Egypt to ministers, boards and any part of the structure of the church and see how far you will get. You will get rejection with a myriad of lame and evasive excuses, since they fear to recognize the suffering of Christians around the world. If you acknowledge the suffering, you might ask the question: why are these Christians suffering? Ah, there is the rub. The suffering is caused by Muslim jihadists who are following the Islamic doctrine of jihad against the Christian as found in Koran, Sira and Hadith. Islam is the cause of suffering of Christians, as well as Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and atheists.

STOP!!! We cannot say those things! Facts are the new hate speech, so we cannot speak about the jihad against Christians. Therefore, we get no prayers for the persecuted, because it would lead to talk about why the murder of Christians keeps happening. And that truth would lead to being called an Islamophobe, so we are not going there. Result: silence.

It is ironic that the Wall Street Journal, a FINANCIAL newspaper, has run an article about the silence in the pulpit concerning the suffering of Christians. We live in a time of moral inversion when Christian leaders are chastised for their moral bankruptcy by money men. It is supposed to be the other way around.

Actually, there are few religious leaders left in America. Instead we have chief-executive-officers who manage a 501 c 3 institution that has meetings on Sunday. In too many cases, Christianity has devolved into an hour’s meeting that is supposed to make you feel good for a week.

This 501 c 3 corporate mentality is another one of the roots of the denial of the Christian suffering. If you are willing to see the doctrinal roots of the ongoing murder of Christians by Muslims, then you might have to speak about it from the pulpit and that could be seen as political speech. In spite of the fact that there has never been a 501 c 3 revoked because of political speech by a minister, the imagined loss silences ministers. Hmmm, if a minister is worried about the IRS revoking his 501 c 3 then who is the minster serving? Caesar or Christ?

Now you may not be a Christian, and so it might seem that there is nothing here for you. But in reality we all have pulpits. Are we using the suffering of Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, women, gays, and intellectuals caused by Islam as a topic of conversation with those around us? Who is is comfortable with bringing up anything negative about Islam? To tell those facts about Islam is a social crime and you will be accused of being a hater/Islamophobe. So most of us remain silent about the evils of political Islam, and we are just like the ministers—silent in our own pulpits. Christians and non-Christians share the fear of being insulted as bigots and Islamophobes.

It turns out that all of those who oppose any social evil will be hated. Think about it. It takes a massive amount of power to put into place any societal doctrine, such as multi-culturalism and political correctness. The government, universities, many churches, synagogues and the media have become enforcers of multi-culturalism and political correctness. They are very powerful and believe that their dogma rules all peoples.

They are also full throated apologists for Islam. Now it turns out that their actual knowledge about the doctrine and history of political Islam is close to zero and Muslim-brotherhood-approved, but that is no problem. The Establishment just says that those who find fault with Islam are bigots and they hate us.

The silence of the pulpits is the greatest aider and abettor of Islam in the US. No one serves and advances Islam better than the silent ministers. They have abandoned their duty of courage in the face of persecution, but the rest of the flock still looks for moral leadership from them. Islam triumphs when Christian leaders do not condemn the murderous evil of political Islam.

Even worse than the silent ministers are those who go to “interfaith dialogs” and smile while the Muslims assert religious and political dominance over them. The nice, oh so nice, Christians and Jews show up to tie, while the Muslims are there to win, and they do.

Christians need to follow the example of Jesus and willingly suffer the condemnation by the Establishment and fight against the political Islam that murders Christians. Said another way, Christians should demonstrate courage and sacrifice to support their cruelly murdered brothers and sisters.

We cannot defeat political Islam until we get Christian boots on the ground. Do the math. The pulpits must become a source of courage and knowledge and stand up for Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and all others who suffer under Islam’s persecution today and for the last 1400 years.

It isn’t just about religion; it is about the survival of our civilization.

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from The Orange County Register:

A granddaughter of Paul and Jan Crouch, founders of the flock-fleecing Trinity Broadcasting Network, says the company is covering up her rape at the hands of an employee when she was 13 years old.

Carra Crouch, now 19, filed a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court on June 18 alleging that in April 2006 she was raped in an Atlanta hotel room by Stephen L. Smith, a 30-year-old TBN employee at the time.

The lawsuit alleges battery, sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence, and is one of several court cases in which Trinity is mired.

Carra Crouch’s attorney is Michael Koper, the husband of Brittany Koper, who blew the whistle on alleged financial misdeeds and sexual harassment within the company. Brittany Koper is Carra Crouch’s older sister. Michael Koper used to work for Trinity and has been accused by the company of financial misdeeds when he was employed there.

According to Carra Crouch’s lawsuit, Jan Crouch had invited her to be a guest on a fundraising “telethon” for the network, and the company paid for her airplane ticket and stay at the hotel.

During the telethon one night, Smith visited Carra Crouch in her hotel room to discuss the telethon and other company matters, then ordered a bottle of wine, according to the lawsuit, which also says Trinity makes it a practice to supply alcohol to employees during business meetings.

According to the lawsuit, Smith coerced her into drinking the wine, which made her intoxicated. She says in the lawsuit that she asked Smith to leave the room, and that he offered her a glass of water to help her feel better. When she drank it, she immediately passed out, according to the lawsuit.

She believes the water contained a date rape drug which caused her to pass out. When she awoke the next morning, she says Smith was laying next to her, and there was blood on her bed sheets. She also claims to have had “severe pain and soreness in her body in places which indicated she had been molested and raped.”

Carra Crouch then locked herself in the bathroom and screamed at Smith to leave her room, which he eventually did, the lawsuit says. Later that day, she flew home to California, according to the lawsuit.

Distraught over the incident, Carra Crouch was advised by her mother to inform Jan Crouch and Trinity attorney John Casoria, who also is an ordained minister and a nephew of Paul and Jan.

A meeting took place at the Crouch family mansion in Newport Beach, where, according to the lawsuit, Jan “became furious and began screaming at Ms. Crouch,” and began telling her “it is your fault.”

Carra Crouch alleges that after the screaming fit thrown by Jan, she approached Casoria, who allegedly became agitated with the 13-year-old, said he didn’t believe her, and suggested that she was already sexually active “so it did not really matter,” and she “may have propositioned him.”

Still, Carra Crouch says Paul, Jan and Casoria actually did believe her accusations, and fired Smith the next working day. She also believes her grandparents and Casoria hid their belief in her accusations so they could “cover up” the incident and make sure it was never reported to the police or to the media.

According to the lawsuit, Casoria fired Smith over the telephone, saying it was a decision by Paul Crouch, that it would be without cause even though Trinity had enough evidence to terminate him with cause, and there was probably enough evidence to bring criminal charges against Smith.

Carra Crouch also alleges that Trinity offered to not disclose the evidence to the police if Smith would not file for unemployment, worker’s compensation or an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claim.

The lawsuit also says the Crouches and Casoria, as ordained ministers, were mandated reporters under the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act.

According to Carra Crouch, none of them made any report of the alleged rape, and she was not allowed to speak with the police or seek counseling from sex abuse therapists.

Michael Koper granted the Weekly, which has requested comment from Carra Crouch, permission to use his client’s name in this story.

“We’re really not saying anything,” Koper said. “The complaint speaks for itself.”

Carra Crouch did tell the Orange County Register, which first reported on the lawsuit, that she feels angry, and “Nobody once asked me, ‘Carra are you O.K.?'”

Colby May, the attorney for Trinity, said in an email that to his knowledge, Trinity has not been served with the complaint.

“However, based on the document others in the media have sent me, Trinity vehemently denies the allegations and believes them to be without merit and baseless,” May said. “Also, the allegations made in the Complaint materially differs from the version Ms. Carra Crouch has reported to third-parties, and is completely at odds with what she told her mother and Trinity at the time. The multiple versions undermine Ms. Crouch’s credibility, and support the position that Trinity has certainly done nothing wrong. Unfortunately, such meritless lawsuits have become commonplace in our society, and accordingly, Trinity will fully and vigorously defend itself.”

May went on to say that Carra Crouch appears to be a pawn in the larger vendetta of her older sister, Brittany Koper, and Michael Koper, whom he says were fired from Trinity and its related ministry, International Christian Broadcasters “when it was discovered they had embezzled and misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a house and investment condo, among other things, and they have been vainly trying to divert attention from their wrongs ever since.”

“This is truly tragic, and is now made more so by the Kopers’ calculated use of Ms. Crouch,” May said.

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