| || Obama: GOP doesn't own faith issue|
Ed. Note: Is Obama Barak the political voice for the New Evangelical?
CNN [Turner Broadcasting/Time Warner] - By Peter Hamby - October 8, 2007
GREENVILLE, South Carolina -- Republicans no longer have a firm grip on religion in political discourse, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama told Sunday worshippers.
The senator from Illinois delivered his campaign message to a multiracial evangelical congregation in traditionally conservative Greenville, South Carolina. "I think it's important, particularly for those of us in the Democratic Party, to not cede values and faith to any one party," Obama told reporters outside the Redemption World Outreach Center where he attended services.
"I think that what you're seeing is a breaking down of the sharp divisions that existed maybe during the '90s," said Obama. "At least in politics, the perception was that the Democrats were fearful of talking about faith, and on the other hand you had the Republicans who had a particular brand of faith that oftentimes seemed intolerant or pushed people away."
Obama said he was pleased that leaders in the evangelical community such as T.D. Jakes and Rick Warren were beginning to discuss social justice issues like AIDS and poverty in ways evangelicals were not doing before.
"I think that's a healthy thing, that we're not putting people in boxes, that everybody is out there trying to figure out how do we live right and how do we create a stronger America," Obama said.
He finished his brief remarks by saying, "We're going to keep on praising together. I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth."
It's rare for Democratic candidates to venture to the traditionally conservative Upstate region of South Carolina, which is characterized politically by church- going Republican primary voters living in and around Greenville and Spartanburg. - - - -
Giuliani cites Bible on personal life
ASSOCIATED PRESS [Cooperative] - By Libby Quaid - September 28, 2007
WASHINGTON --Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani compared the scrutiny of his personal life marked by three marriages to the biblical story of how Jesus dealt with an adulterous woman.
In an interview posted online Friday, Giuliani was questioned about his family and told the Christian Broadcasting Network, "I think there are some people that are very judgmental."
Giuliani has a daughter who indicated support for Democrat Barack Obama and a son who said he didn't speak to his father for some time. Giuliani's messy divorce from their mother, Donna Hanover, was waged publicly while Giuliani was mayor of New York.
"I'm guided very, very often about, 'Don't judge others, lest you be judged,'" Giuliani told CBN interviewer David Brody. "I'm guided a lot by the story of the woman that was going to be stoned, and Jesus put the stones down and said, 'He that hasn't sinned, cast the first stone,' and everybody disappeared.
"It seems like nowadays in America, we have people that think they could've passed that test," he said. "And I don't think anybody could've passed that test but Jesus."
In the New Testament story, related in the Gospel of John, Jesus does not actually hold stones. The Pharisees bring Jesus a woman charged with adultery, reminding him the punishment for adultery is stoning. They are testing Jesus in an effort to charge him with breaking the law.
The Gospel reads: "But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, 'Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.'
"--- And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders."
Giuliani has insisted his family relationships are private. In 1968, he married his cousin, Regina Peruggi. They divorced 14 years later, and Giuliani obtained an annulment from the Catholic Church on the grounds that as second cousins, they should have received a dispensation to marry.
Giuliani married Hanover in 1984 and they divorced in 2002. He has been married to Judith Nathan since 2003.
Likewise, he says his faith is private, although he evokes his Catholic upbringing on the campaign trail.
He told CBN he believes in God and prays to Jesus for guidance and help.
"I have very, very strong views on religion that come about from having wanted to be a priest when I was younger, having studied theology for four years in college," he said. "It's an area I know really, really well academically.
"--- And my personal view of it is I need God's help for everything, and I probably feel that the most when I'm in crisis and under pressure, like Sept. 11, when I was dealing with prostate cancer, or (when) I'm trying to explain death to people, which unfortunately I've had to do so often.
"So it's a very, very important part of my life," he said. "But I think in a democracy and in a government like ours, my religion is my way of looking at God, and other people have other ways of doing it, and some people don't believe in God. I think that's unfortunate. I think their life would be a lot fuller if they did, but they have that right." - - - -
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Bishop Would Deny Communion to Giuliani
ASSOCIATED PRESS [Cooperative] - By Cheryl Wittenauer - October 3, 2007
ST. LOUIS - Roman Catholic Archbishop Raymond Burke, who made headlines last presidential season by saying he'd refuse Holy Communion to John Kerry, has his eye on Rudy Giuliani this year. Giuliani's response: "Archbishops have a right to their opinion."
Burke, the archbishop of St. Louis, was asked if he would deny Communion to Giuliani or any other presidential candidate who supports abortion rights.
"If any politician approached me and he'd been admonished not to present himself, I'd not give it," Burke told The Associated Press Wednesday. "To me, you have to be certain a person realizes he is persisting in a serious public sin." - - - -
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Bush: All religions pray to 'same God' 'That's what I believe. I believe Islam is a great religion that preaches peace'
1 John 2:19
They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.
WORLDNETDAILY - October 7, 2007
President George Bush has repeated his belief all religions, "whether they be Muslim, Christian, or any other religion, prays to the same God" - an assertion that caused outrage among evangelical leaders when he said it in November 2003.
Bush made the statement Friday in an interview with Al Arabiya reporter Elie Nakouzi.
Al Arabiya is Al Jazeerah's top competitor in the Mideast.
As the president and Nakouzi walked from the Oval Office to the Map Room in the White House residence, Nazouki asked, "But I want to tell you - and I hope this doesn't bother you at all - that in the Islamic world they think that President Bush is an enemy of Islam - that he wants to destroy their religion, what they believe in. Is that in any way true, Mr. President?"
"No, it's not," said Bush. "I've heard that, and it just shows [sic] to show a couple of things: One, that the radicals have done a good job of propagandizing. In other words, they've spread the word that this really isn't peaceful people versus radical people or terrorists, this is really about the America not liking Islam.
"Well, first of all, I believe in an Almighty God, and I believe that all the world, whether they be Muslim, Christian, or any other religion, prays to the same God. That's what I believe. I believe that Islam is a great religion that preaches peace. And I believe people who murder the innocent to achieve political objectives [Ed. Note: I believe Bush is talking about himself here] aren't religious people, whether they be a Christian who does that - we had a person blow up our - blow up a federal building in Oklahoma City who professed to be a Christian, but that's not a Christian act to kill innocent people.
"And I just simply don't subscribe to the idea that murdering innocent men, women and children - particularly Muslim men, women and children in the Middle East - is an act of somebody who is a religious person.
Friday's statement echoes one made by Bush in November 2003 during a joint press conference with then-Prime Minister Tony Blair. A reporter noted Bush had frequently expressed the view that freedom is a gift from "the Almighty," but questioned whether Bush believes "Muslims worship the same Almighty" as the president and other Christians do.
"I do say that freedom is the Almighty's gift to every person. I also condition it by saying freedom is not America's gift to the world," Bush replied. "It's much greater than that, of course. And I believe we worship the same god," reported the London Telegraph. - - -
In Friday's interview with Al Arabiya, Bush emphasized his outreach to Muslims.
"We are having an Iftaar dinner tonight - I say, 'we' - it's my wife and I," Bush told Nakouzi. "This is the seventh one in the seven years I've been the president. It gives me a chance to say 'Ramadan Mubarak.' The reason I do this is I want people to understand about my country. In other words, I hope this message gets out of America. I want people to understand that one of the great freedoms in America is the right for people to worship any way they see fit. If you're a Muslim, an agnostic, a Christian, a Jew, a Hindu, you're equally American.
"And the value - the most valuable thing I think about America is that - particularly if you're a religious person - you can be free to worship, and it's your choice to make. It's not the state's choice, and you shouldn't be intimidated after you've made your choice. And that's a right that I jealously guard.
"Secondly, I want American citizens to see me hosting an Iftaar dinner."
"That's a strong message for the Americans," said Nakouzi.
Last year, WND reported criticism of Bush from Wafa Sultan, a native of Syria, who said the president was empowering terrorist leaders whose ultimate aim is for Islamic law to govern the world by proclaiming Islam a "religion of peace."
"I believe he undermines our credibility by saying that," said Sultan. "We came from Islam, and we know what kind of religion Islam is."
Ramadan 2007: US enriched by Muslims Bush said
September 13, 2007
Washington - US President George W Bush wished the world's Muslims well as they began observing Ramadan on Thursday, saying the United States was richer for its own citizens of Islamic faith.
"I send greetings to Muslims observing Ramadan in America and around the world," Bush said in a statement released on Wednesday.
"America is a land of many faiths, and our society is enriched by our Muslim citizens," he said. "May the holy days of Ramadan remind us all to seek a culture of compassion and serve others in charity."
Scandal Brewing at Oral Roberts ASSOCIATED PRESS [Cooperative] - By Justin Juozapavicius - October 6, 2007
US churches lure young with Halo 3 services
Christ-like bin Laden image stirs debate in Australia REUTERS - By Katrine Narkiewicz - August 30, 2007
SYDNEY - Artworks depicting Osama bin Laden in a Christ-like pose and a statue of the Virgin Mary covered in a burqa have caused a stir in Australia after they were showcased in a prestigious religious art competition.
"Bearded Orientals: Making the Empire Cross" by Priscilla Bracks is a "double vision" print that depicts both Jesus and bin Laden.
Luke Sullivan's "The Fourth Secret of Fatima" is a statue of Mary, her head and torso obscured by a blue burqa like the one Afghan women had to wear under the militant Taliban.
The artworks were among more than 500 entries in the Blake Prize for Religious Art, and have been included in an exhibition at the National Art School in Sydney.
"The choice of such artwork is gratuitously offensive to the religious beliefs of many Australians," Australian Prime Minister John Howard told Thursday's Daily Telegraph newspaper.
Opposition Labor leader Kevin Rudd also criticized the artwork. "I accept you know people can have artistic freedom, but I find this painting off, off in the extreme. I understand how people would be offended by it," he said.
Australia's 20 million population is overwhelmingly Christian and the print was condemned by the Australian Christian Lobby.
"It's really unfortunate people take liberties with the Christian faith they wouldn't take with other religions," Lobby spokeswoman Glynis Quinlan told reporters.
Cartoons satirizing the Prophet Mohammad in European newspapers in 2006 sparked violent protests by Muslims around the world, who saw them as an affront to Islam. - - - -
'Catholic Church isn't hiding apocalypse secret' LONDON DAILY TELEGRAPH [Barclay] - By Malcolm Moore, Rome Correspondent - September 12, 2007
The only surviving witness to a decades-long conspiracy theory has firmly denied the Catholic Church is hiding details about a predicted apocalypse.
Archbishop Loris Capovilla, 91, said there was no truth in the rumour that the Vatican was suppressing a vision of the end of the world.
The vision said to have been revealed 90 years ago by the Virgin Mary to three shepherd children on a hillside at Fatima in Portugal.
The three "Secrets of Fatima" were written down by one of the children, Lucia Dos Santos, who later became a nun.
Two of the secrets were revealed by the nun in 1941.
The first was a vision of hell, while the second apparently predicted the two world wars and the return of Russia from communism to Christianity.
The third secret, which was sent to Pope John XXIII in a sealed envelope in 1959, was only revealed by Pope John Paul II in 2000.
The Vatican said it referred to an assassination attempt on the pope in 1981 by a Turkish gunman, Mehmet Ali Agca.
However, many Catholics suspected that parts of the secret were not disclosed in order to avoid panic about the apocalypse.
The rumours swelled when the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, gave an interview in 1984 suggesting that the secret concerned "the dangers threatening the faith and life of Christianity, and therefore the world. And also the importance of our ultimate days".
He added that the "things contained in this third secret correspond to what is announced in the Scripture".
Antonio Socci, a journalist and author of The Fourth Secret of Fatima, said when he attempted to investigate the issue, he was denied access by the Vatican.
Nevertheless, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the second- in-command at the Vatican, insisted earlier this year that conspiracy theories about an apocalyptic prediction were "pure fantasy".
Today Mgr Capovilla, who witnessed Pope John XXIII opening the envelope of the third secret, said: "There are not two truths from Fatima and nor is there any fourth secret.
"The text which I read in 1959 is the same that was distributed by the Vatican. I have had enough of these conspiracy theories.
"It just isn't true. I read it, I presented it to the Pope and we resealed the envelope."
Priest's alleged response to criticism of his homily leaves parishioner so angry he's suing the church and diocese
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES [Sun-Times Media Group/Hollinger/Ravelston] - BY Stefano Esposito - October 3, 2007
Angel Llavona considered his priest open to honest criticism.
And so after one Sunday mass last year, Llavona telephoned the Crystal Lake priest and left a message that went something like this: Your sermon stunk.
The Rev. Luis Alfredo Rios, a priest at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, then did something equally brazen, Llavona claims. He played the private phone message during Sunday mass and asked his flock, "What should we do? Should we send him to hell or to another parish?"
Now Llavona, who was sitting in church when his message was played, is suing Rios and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockford. Llavona claims in the lawsuit filed this week in McHenry County that he was defamed and suffered "immediate emotional distress, embarrassment and humiliation."
Llavona says the humiliation forced him to change parishes. He is seeking a minimum of $50,000 in damages. - - - -
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Italian archbishop closes convent after nuns come to blows
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE - September 30, 2007
ROME - A convent in southern Italy is being shut down after a quarrel among its last three remaining nuns ended in blows, press reports said Sunday.
Sisters Annamaria and Gianbattista, reportedly upset about their mother superior's authoritarian ways, scratched her in the face and threw her to the ground at Santa Clara convent near Bari in an incident in July that was kept quiet until now.
Archbishop Giovanni Battista Pichierri tried to reconcile the nuns but finally decided in late August that they had "clearly lost their religious vocation" and asked the Vatican for permission to close the convent.
Sisters Annamaria and Gianbattista moved to another convent, but Sister Liliana barricaded herself inside, refusing to leave, the reports said, adding that she suspected Battista Pichierri of planning to cede the convent to another community. - - - -
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|Papal stargazers reach for heaven |
BBC NEWS [PSB operated by BBC Trust] - By David Willey - October 1, 2007
For the second time in seven years the Vatican is hosting a scientific conference for astronomers.
More than 200 scientists from 26 countries including the United States, Britain, Italy, Germany, Russia, and Japan have gathered in Rome for a five-day meeting on disc galaxies.
At the Papal University in Rome, normally frequented by Catholic theologians studying the Bible, the scientists, including Jesuit priests who work at the Vatican's own astronomical observatory, will be grappling with abstruse formulae and mathematical simulations about the physical origins of the universe, involving concepts such as cold dark matter and black holes.
Father Jose Funes, the head of the Vatican Observatory, said exciting new discoveries have been made with the help of space telescopes since the Holy See's last meeting on galaxies in 2000.
"Disc galaxies are a hot topic," he said. - - - -
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Vatican paper set to clear Knights Templar
Analysis: Anglicans Already Breaking Up Analysis: Episcopal Church, Anglican Fellowship Already Damaged by Fight Over Homosexuality
ASSOCIATED PRESS [Cooperative] - By Rachel Zoll - September 23, 2007
As Episcopal leaders consider barring more gays from becoming bishops to prevent an Anglican schism, the world Anglican family is already dying by a thousand cuts.
Theological conflict over the 2003 consecration of the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, is draining the Anglican Communion of its global influence.
Episcopal and Anglican conservatives who have been trying to maneuver collectively have instead been scattering in different directions, adding to a sense of chaos.
And while the number of Episcopal parishes that have broken with the national church is relatively small, observers say there's another threat that's harder to measure: that some parishioners upset by how leaders have handled the crisis are falling away from the church.
"It's turning people off," said David Hein, a religion professor at Hood College in Maryland who specializes in Episcopal and Anglican history. "They never endorsed gay marriage. They never said ordaining gay bishops was all right. They just did this as an ad hoc thing."
The 77-million-member Anglican Communion is a fellowship of churches that trace their roots to the Church of England. It is the third-largest Christian body in the world, behind the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, and is represented in the U.S. by the Episcopal Church.
After four years of emergency summits and failed talks over Robinson's consecration, Episcopal bishops are meeting here under enormous pressure to roll back their support for gays.
Anglican leaders, called primates, have set a Sept. 30 deadline for the Americans to pledge unequivocally not to consecrate another gay bishop or approve an official prayer service for same-gender couples. Episcopal bishops have dedicated their meeting here to crafting a response.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the Anglican spiritual leader, has tried to play down the significance of the date, saying "there is no ultimatum involved." However, he took the unusual step of attending the meeting on its first two days, warning Episcopal leaders behind closed doors that they must make concessions to keep the communion together. - - - -
Vicars urged to drop 'risky' dog collars
LONDON DAILY TELEGRAPH [Barclay] - By Jonathan Wynne-Jones - October 8, 2007
Vicars have been told to stop wearing dog-collars because they increase the likelihood of them being attacked.
Even the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, should abandon the traditional dress, according to the Church of England's security adviser.
A new report warns clergy that the collars make them an "easy target" and says they should adopt more casual clothing in a bid to give them greater safety.
It was commissioned after the murder in March of Paul Bennett, vicar of St Fagan's Church in Trecynon, near Aberdare, who became the fifth cleric to be killed in a decade.
Other safety measures proposed include disguising the whereabouts of the vicarage by taking down signs and ensuring that the front doors of their homes do not have a letter box that people can look through.
However, it is the recommendation that they should cease wearing dog-collars in public that is most controversial. They have been worn since the early 19th century and many priests are not seen without them.
The report, called The Clergy Lifesytle Theory, says: "One of the factors in the assaults away from the vicarage is the fact that clergy are easily identifiable as they tend to wear a 'clergy collar' which clearly informs people that they are a clerk in Holy Orders."
Research has shown that half of attacks against clergy take place on the street or in the church when the priest is on their own. - - -
Nick Tolson, the coordinator of National Churchwatch - the organisation that produced the report, claimed that there would be no attacks on clergy if they heeded the advice.
"They haven't been streetwise in the past," he said. "They need to realise that wearing the dog collar makes them a target, especially in the case of single females. It isn't wise for them to wear it out shopping or in the car and they should never wear it when alone. The Archbishop and other bishops should give a lead in this." - - - -
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Heresy by Proxy APOSTASY ALERT - By Sherry Neese - October 1, 2007
- If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself [1 Timothy 6:1-5].
Pastors, teachers and ministry leaders with heretofore unblemished reputations enjoy positions of trust in ministries and churches and may have laid down a track record for the truth of the Lord for many years. They may have never preached or taught anything questionable or even remotely heretical from their venues of ministry yet they have startedtaking up with known wolves. They may lack any evil intent and could be unaware that they have been deceived and are in fact a detriment to the blood-bought Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. These double-minded individuals have a "form of godliness" but are in fact betraying the Lord they profess to love. They want the grass on both sides of the fence. They preach words of truth on the one hand, but abuse the trust that has been placed in them and mock God by their actions. Their error is obscured behind the skirts of truth and it is next to impossible to find a speck of error in their actual teaching. The old adage "Actions speak louder than words" describes this scenario perfectly. To coin a new phrase, "You are what you promote."
These teachers practice heresy by proxy. A proxy is someone who stands in for another. They consort with heretics and thereby encourage their followers to partake of their apostasy. They mix truth and error, a deadly concoction. They give the impression that the truth they speak is compatible with the falsehood they endorse. This is not 'guilt by association," this is guilt by endorsement. Flirting with deluding spirits and doctrines of demons is dangerous business and they do so at great peril. - - - -
Junk Christianity WORLDNETDAILY - By Joseph Farah - September 24, 2007
You've heard of "junk science."
Let me introduce you to "junk Christianity."
I received a press release today from a high-rolling public relations outfit that specializes in "Christian ministries" - including "America's Pastor" Rick Warren and his mega-church.
I almost fell off my office chair when I read it.
I'm still stunned, dazed, bemused and deeply troubled by what I see as disrespect and irreverence for the Word of God, misrepresentation of God's promises and a disturbing kind of know-nothing modern-day idolatry.
It seems a group called Light the Highway has declared Interstate 35, sometimes known in less spiritual circles as "the NAFTA Superhighway," to be the "Highway of Holiness" proclaimed in Isaiah 35:8. Beginning Oct. 28 and running through Dec. 1, Light the Highway will hold its "35 days of I-35," culminating, we're promised, in "5 Nights of Miracles" in the Dallas area.
In case you're running to your Bible to look it up, Isaiah 35 is about a specific time and place - and it's not Texas or Minnesota or even the USA. It's about the coming of the Lord in triumph and renewal and the passage specifically refers to Israel. There is a highway mentioned in Isaiah 35:8, but it is certainly not I-35:
- "And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein."
Isaiah 35 mentions Carmel, which is a prominent mountain and forest area in Israel. It mentions Sharon, a coastal plain nearby. It mentions Lebanon, just to the north. It does not mention Laredo or Duluth.
By the way, this highway of the future may already exist - but, again, it is not I-35. It is more likely Via Maris, sometimes called the International Highway, which passes through Mount Carmel along an ancient travel route that connected Egypt with Syria. Via Maris literally means "Way of the Sea."
But enough of the history and geography lessons - what is plainly written in the Bible, in this case, is being distorted and twisted to suggest, somehow, that this clear, unambiguous text was actually a prophecy about Interstate 35.
Give me a break!
"God has given this scripture to us, not as a word of encouragement, but as a commission," explains Cindy Jacobs, the founder of Light the Highway. "God spoke to us about a highway we have that goes all the way from the bottom of America in Texas, to the top of America, in Minnesota."
Somehow I missed that description in Isaiah 35. Must be the translation.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not opposed to "radical evangelism," one of the activities Jacobs promises will be part of her "Highway of Holiness" campaign. I'm not opposed to 24-hour prayer. I'm not opposed to praying for sites of "impurity" - like abortion clinics and porn shops.
What I do oppose is claiming the Bible says anything about Interstate 35. What I do oppose is claiming the clear, concise, unadulterated promises about the future of Israel and the Jews are actually meant for any other land or any other people. What I do oppose is cheapening prayer and evangelism by tying them to blatant misinterpretations of the Word of God.
"Light the Highway is a movement, and we are creating something real, something tangible, something permanent," says the organization's website.
But it's not real - not if you claim Isaiah 35 is talking about a highway that runs from Texas through Minnesota. It's not tangible - because it's built on an unbiblical foundation. It's not permanent - because God will not be mocked.
Oh, by the way, another benefit of this program, says the organizer is that its online community website will "revolutionize intercession on a global scale."
With all due disrespect, God doesn't need a website nor a fanciful story about a biblical promise realized in the U.S. to make the prayer of His people more effective.
And that's lesson No. 1 in "junk Christianity."
News Briefs School Keeps Christmas, Halloween; Adds Ramadan
WBBM-TV CBS2 CHICAGO [CBS Corporation] - October 4, 2007
OAK LAWN, Ill. Following a school board meeting where parent complained about what the saw as an assault on traditional American celebrations, an Oak Lawn school district has decided to keep observing Halloween and Christmas, but only on the condition that Muslim holiday Ramadan is celebrated as well.
The school district had asked principals to tone down all holiday celebrations after a Muslim mother requested that her children be separated from others during lunch for the Ramadan fast. - - - -
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Disgraced Pastor Ted Haggard Asks Supporters for Cash
ASSOCIATED PRESS - August 25, 2007
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Rev. Ted Haggard, who left the megachurch he founded after admitting to "sexual immorality," has asked supporters for financial assistance while he and his wife pursue their studies.
The former New Life Church pastor plans to seek a master's degree in counseling at the University of Phoenix while his wife studies psychology, he said in an e-mail sent this week to KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs.
The couple and two of their sons planned to move Oct. 1 to the Phoenix Dream Center, a faith-based halfway house in Phoenix, where Haggard and his wife would provide counseling, the e-mail said.
"It looks as though it will take two years for us to have adequate earning power again, so we are looking for people who will help us monthly for two years," the e- mail said. "During that time we will continue as full- time students, and then, when I graduate, we won't need outside support any longer."
Haggard left the 10,000-member New Life Church late last year and resigned as head of the National Association of Evangelicals after a former male escort accused Haggard of paying him for sex.
Mike Ware, an overseer for New Life Church, told The Gazette of Colorado Springs on Friday that it was premature of Haggard to release the statement without first consulting the overseers.
A New Life spokesman did not immediately return a phone message left late Friday by The Associated Press.
Haggard received a salary of $115,000 for the 10 months he worked in 2006 and an $85,000 anniversary bonus before the scandal broke, The Gazette reported. Haggard's severance package included a year's salary of $138,000, and he collects royalties on his book titles, the newspaper reported.
El Paso County records show Haggard's home, which has been up for sale, has a market value of $715,051.
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Overseers criticize Haggard's cash plea
COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE - By Brian Newsome - August 30, 2007
Disgraced minister Ted Haggard's e-mailed plea for money and his announced intention to return to religious work was "unacceptable" and "inappropriate," according to a statement Wednesday by pastors overseeing his restoration.
The fourpastor team of overseers said in the statement that Haggard must seek secular employment to support himself and his family.
Reached by phone, Haggard said Wednesday he is barred from commenting on the overseers' statement. - - - -
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Uganda: Pastor in Trouble Over 'Sowed' Car
NEW VISION [State Owned] (Uganda) - By Chris Kiwawulo - August 28, 2007
KAMPALA - THE Police have arrested Pastor Ronnie Badda and his wife Betty for allegedly conning a follower of her car and property worth millions of shillings. Badda and his wife were arrested from their church, Jesus Liberty Praising Centre International, in Biina-Luzira, a city suburb, on Sunday.
A witness said there was drama when the Police arrested the couple at around mid-day, leaving the believers confused.
The couple had eluded the Police, which first stormed the church last Thursday.
The Police interrogated the couple for five hours over claims that they used deceit to take Milly Akello's car, two mobile phones, a fridge, a watch and other household items.
Badda and his wife were later released on Police bond. They reported at the station on Monday for further questioning.
The Kira Road Police Station crime chief, Grace Akullo, said Akello filed the case three weeks ago.
Akello, a resident of Luzira, claims that the couple lured her to 'sow' her car and property as a way to help salvage a relationship with her boyfriend in 2005.
"They told me that our relationship would recoup and end into a marriage, which never happened. "All of a sudden, they changed and started telling me that God had revealed to them that he was not the right man for me. They told me that they would get me another man and I refused," narrated Akello.
Akello, who joined the church in 2003, left it in October 2006 and tipped The Sunday Vision which ran an undercover story recently.
However, according to Betty, Akello 'sowed' her car because she wanted to seduce her husband (Badda).
She told the Police that they sold the dark-gray Toyota Starlet at sh2.8m and used the money to pay rent for the church premises. - - - -
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|"Why I Left The Prophetic Movement" |
Police say televangelist assaulted by her husband - Weeks Charged With Assaulting Bynum
Brazilian church leaders get U.S. jail time for cash smuggling
Evangelist Hinn lands under a cloud Benny Hinn readies for crusade and defends lavish healing ministry
TORONTO STAR [Torstar/Star Media] - By Stuart Laidlaw - August 17, 2007
Pastor Benny Hinn, in Toronto this weekend for two days of miracle cures and old-time gospel, makes no apologies for all the money his far-flung ministries take in each year.
"The gospels are free, but the means of delivering the gospels is really expensive," Hinn, who got his start in Toronto 30 years ago, told the Star.
Tonight and tomorrow, Hinn brings his Texas-based Miracle Crusade to the Air Canada Centre, attracting up to 20,000 to each of his three shows.
The shows are free but, as at all his crusades, donations will be sought and many buckets will be passed as the audience sings rousing hymns along with a mass choir amid a light show worthy of a rock concert. While Hinn acknowledges people come mainly to see and take part in the healing miracles, that is left to the feverish end - they will first hear him preach, pray and sing in his trademark white suit.
But Hinn arrives under a cloud after the CBC's The Fifth Estate this week challenged his claims of miracle cures and described a lavish lifestyle of fancy cars, a 7,000-square-foot ocean-side mansion and luxury travel to five-star hotels on a private jet.
In the show, reporter Bob McKeown estimates Benny Hinn Ministries takes in as much as $250 million a year in donations and proceeds from sales of such items as autographed bibles.
Hinn, who keeps his finances private, doubts the show will hurt turnout at the ACC. - - -
After the prayers, songs and preaching from the charismatic minister, Hinn tells the crowd he is getting a message from God that people in the audience are being cured, and he asks them to come to the stage. The Fifth Estate used hidden cameras to show staff screening audience members coming forward, ensuring none with obvious physical ailment get near Hinn.
"It's always somebody that has some kind of illness that can't be readily seen" that makes it to the stage, Justin Peters, a Baptist minister in Mississippi who studied Hinn, tells the CBC.
Hinn says the cures take place in the audience, not on stage, so no one still in a wheelchair is allowed on stage. God, he says, has obviously not cured these people.
"I won't let them up, because they haven't been healed," he says.
The CBC tracked down some of the people claimed to have been cured, only to find that they were either still sick, never had the condition they were supposedly cured of, or had died.
Speaking to the Star, Hinn says he is forced to rely on the word of those coming to his crusades to tell him they are cured.
"It's not my job to claim that they are healed. I have never done that," he says. "I'm not a doctor."
Hinn defends his use of luxury hotels and a private Gulfstream jet detailed by the CBC, saying they offer greater efficiency and security.
"People in my position will have threats," he told the Star. "If you ask for a secure (hotel) floor, you're going to pay more money."
Hinn also criticized the CBC for using hidden cameras and old footage he says depicts his wife just before she had a nervous breakdown.