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TBC NewsWatch



TEXASOBSERVER.org, 7/13/2011: Rick Perry's Army of God [excerpts]—On September 28, 2009, at 1:40 p.m., God's messengers visited Rick Perry.

On this day, the Lord's messengers arrived in the form of two Texas pastors, Tom Schlueter of Arlington and Bob Long of San Marcos, who called on Perry in the governor's office inside the state Capitol. Schlueter and Long both oversee small congregations, but they are more than just pastors. They consider themselves modern-day apostles and prophets, blessed with the same gifts as Old Testament prophets or New Testament apostles.

The pastors told Perry of God's grand plan for Texas. A chain of powerful prophecies had proclaimed that Texas was "The Prophet State," anointed by God to lead the United States into revival and Godly government. And the governor would have a special role.

The day before the meeting, Schlueter had received a prophetic message from Chuck Pierce, an influential prophet [son-in-law and heir to C. Peter Wagner's Latter-Rain legacy] from Denton, Texas. God had apparently commanded Schlueter—through Pierce—to "pray by lifting the hand of the one I show you that is in the place of civil rule."

Gov. Perry, it seemed.

Schlueter had prayed before his congregation: "Lord Jesus I bring to you today Gov. Perry.... I am just bringing you his hand and I pray Lord that he will grasp ahold of it. For if he does you will use him mightily."

And grasp ahold the governor did. At the end of their meeting, Perry asked the two pastors to pray over him. As the pastors would later recount, the Lord spoke prophetically as Schlueter laid his hands on Perry, their heads bowed before a painting of the Battle of the Alamo. Schlueter "declared over [Perry] that there was a leadership role beyond Texas and that Texas had a role beyond what people understand," Long later told his congregation.

So you have to wonder: Is Rick Perry God's man for president?

Schlueter, Long and other prayer warriors in a little-known but increasingly influential movement at the periphery of American Christianity seem to think so. The movement is called the New Apostolic Reformation. Believers fashion themselves modern-day prophets and apostles. They have taken Pentecostalism, with its emphasis on ecstatic worship and the supernatural, and given it an adrenaline shot.

The movement's top prophets and apostles believe they have a direct line to God. Through them, they say, He communicates specific instructions and warnings. When mankind fails to heed the prophecies, the results can be catastrophic: earthquakes in Japan, terrorist attacks in New York, and economic collapse. On the other hand, they believe their God-given decrees have ended mad cow disease in Germany and produced rain in drought-stricken Texas.

Their beliefs can tend toward the bizarre. Some consider Freemasonry a "demonic stronghold" tantamount to witchcraft. The Democratic Party, one prominent member believes, is controlled by Jezebel and three lesser demons. Some prophets even claim to have seen demons at public meetings. They've taken biblical literalism to an extreme. In Texas, they engage in elaborate ceremonies involving branding irons, plumb lines and stakes inscribed with biblical passages driven into the earth of every Texas county.

If they simply professed unusual beliefs, movement leaders wouldn't be remarkable. But what makes the New Apostolic Reformation movement so potent is its growing fascination with infiltrating politics and government. The new prophets and apostles believe Christians—certain Christians—are destined to not just take "dominion" over government, but stealthily climb to the commanding heights of what they term the "Seven Mountains" of society, including the media and the arts and entertainment world. They believe they're intended to lord over it all. As a first step, they're leading an "army of God" to commandeer civilian government.

In Rick Perry, they may have found their vessel. And the interest appears to be mutual....

[TBC: Ironically, while certain Latter-Rain leaders rightly condemn Freemasonry, they simultaneously incorporate identical occult principles of superstition and numerology in their own ritual "magick."]

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WORLDVIEWWEEKEND.com, 7/24/2011: Brannon Howse: "Why I Believe Christians Should Not Participate in Governor Perry's 'The Response'" [excerpts]—In August of 2010, it was Glenn Beck with whom Christians were uniting for his "Restoring Honor Rally".... Even after Beck released his book, Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life, in which he detailed his completely unbiblical worldview; Christians continued to defend Beck stating that he is a good Christian that is teaching truth.

Now, as we approach August of 2011, many Christians are once again jumping on what appears to be the next spiritual bandwagon; a prayer rally being hosted by Governor Perry of Texas and other leaders. The website of The Response, says the reason for this rally is because:

America is in the midst of a historic crisis. We have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. The youth of America are in grave peril economically, socially, and, most of all, morally. There are threats emerging within our nation and beyond our borders beyond our power to solve....

The Response, as this event is being called, is being promoted as a time of prayer and repentance. However, how can Christians and Christian leaders gather together in a spiritual enterprise and a spiritual service, with individuals that embrace a theology and doctrine that teaches a different Jesus and a different gospel? I, and thousands of pastors and theologians, believe that the Word of God reveals that the teaching of the New Apostolic Reformation, (NAR) the Word of Faith movement and the prosperity gospel is completely unbiblical....

Some would try and accuse me of guilt by association. However, I do not believe those participating in The Response, and other such projects, are guilty by association but guilty by participation. I believe they are guilty of giving credibility to false teachers by choosing to unite with false teachers. Ephesians:5:11 says, "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them." 2 Timothy:3:5 says "and from such people turn away."

Dr. Robby Dean of WestHoustonBibleChurch...wrote:

The delegation of the administration of this event, called, "The Response," (http://theresponseusa.com/), is to a Christian group with ties to what is in my opinion, one of the most radical, fringe, quasi-cultic groups I have ever investigated.... The most distressing fact is that this event is being run by people from the International House of Prayer (IHOP) which has its roots in a movement called the Kansas City Prophets....

One of the key heresies...at the core of the thinking of the IHOP movement, is based on a misuse and abuse of a passage in the Hebrew Scriptures, Joel:2:15-16. This passage is at the core of a heresy which calls upon present day Christians to fulfill a passage that has nothing whatsoever to do with modern events. In their view this passage is twisted to be call for spiritual elites, the so-called "Joel's Army," to take over the United States and then to purge it and bring in a Christian kingdom. Unfortunately, in a display of theological naiveté, Gov. Perry was duped into using this passage as the rationale for his call to a Day of Prayer: "In the spirit of the Book of Joel, Chapter 2, Verses 15-16, I urge a solemn gathering of prayer and fasting. As those verses admonish: 'Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly... Gather the people, consecrate the assembly...'."

This is what happens when theologically uninformed politicians get duped by advisors whose religious agendas are not obvious. Few Christians are even aware of this movement, its heretical theology, and its political agenda. Governor Perry is not the only one who has been taken in by their pious duplicity... Prayer is important, prayer for a nation is important, political leaders who recognize this are vital to our national health. But a right thing done in a wrong way is wrong. The end never justifies the means!

It appears that the religious right in America has openly embraced, for the sake of political pragmatism, the New Apostolic Reformation, the Word of Faith Movement, and the proponents of the prosperity gospel....

When Christians compromise the gospel and unite with false teachers in spiritual and political enterprises, regardless of the political outcome, we will have lost because we gave credibility to false teachers and their false gospel. I believe this is Satan's strategy. Satan has moved his false teachers into our camp as a religious Trojan horse and Christian leaders have embraced the Trojan horse of false teachers....


CHRISTIANPOST.com, 7/17/2011: God No Longer 'Father' for United Church of Christ [excerpts]—The left-leaning United Church of Christ now wants to be even more politically correct, and to do so its deliberative body has replaced the reference to "Heavenly Father" with the gender neutral term, "triune God," in the denomination's constitution.

"In the process of revamping its decades-old constitution, the Protestant denomination's General Synod endorsed an eye-catching change: It deleted the term 'Heavenly Father,' replacing it with 'triune God,'" Courier Journal reported Saturday....

The UCC, considered more liberal than most other Christian denominations, also allow ceremonies to sanctify same-sex unions.... However, some congregations did not support the resolution.

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BBC.co.uk, 7/22/2011: Church in Wales inquiry after rector burns Bible pages [excerpts]—The Church in Wales says it is investigating after a Gwynedd rector burnt some pages from the Bible. The Reverend Geraint ap Iorwerth of St Peter ad Vincula Church, Pennal, also cut up pages from the King James Bible to create an artwork. Unveiling it at a church event, he said it revealed a "cruel and vile God."

Mr ap Iorwerth told BBC Wales he had burnt scraps of [the] cut up passages at the public event because he had been making a statement as part of an art experiment. He said he had had nothing but support from people at the church near Machynlleth, close to the Gwynedd-Powys border.

He revealed his controversial piece of art at an event to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.

He said: "I find it highly offensive that people would think I have given my life to serving that type of God and that I would regard the words of the King James Bible as sacred truth.

"I cut out all the nasty bits of that Bible, the language of which is being celebrated all over the place this year, because I don't think you can separate that language from the God it is representing.... My version of God is Jesus, who was pure compassion and unconditional love.

"The King James Bible should be praised for its language but not for the God it represents—the two need to be separated." He said he burnt the pages, which were the remaining scraps of those he cut up to make the display, as a "symbol of all the suffering in the world."

"The point being that some people are more concerned about destroying a few bits of pages than about those who have died after suffering."

He said he had not yet heard anything of an investigation against him and will be pursuing his own "evangelical" investigation after the summer into "how such a cruel God has so prominent a place in national life." He said he also planned to create a "wall of shame" at the church naming all of God's "cruel actions."

[TBC: This is just one more example of today's trend in refashioning God and His Word according to a way that seems right to a man, which the Bible tells us leads to destruction (Proverbs:14:12). Not only is it contrary to the Scriptures-it is completely irrational. How could the King James Version be at fault when the words used are the same in the Hebrew and Greek texts? Furthermore, the rector probably hasn't read the Book of Revelation, which features other perfect qualities of Jesus that he would find at odds with his view of "pure compassion."]

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FOXNEWs.com, 7/21/2011: Willow Creek Splits with Exodus International [excerpts]—Willow Creek Community Church's formal relationship with Exodus International has ended.

While the decision to part ways dates back to 2009, news that the South Barrington megachurch had cut ties with Exodus, the world's largest ministry [to ex-gays, encouraging believers to "come out" of] homosexuality, did not surface until late June.

Scott Vaudrey of the elder response team said in writing that Willow Creek's decision was not intended as a social or political statement, but rather an indication of "a season of reviewing and clarifying some of our affiliations with outside organizations."

Alan Chambers, president of Exodus, disagrees. "The choice to end our partnership is definitely something that shines a light on a disappointing trend within parts of the Christian community," he said....

Chambers said he sympathizes with Christian organizations that deal with social, political, and financial backlash, but added, "Biblical truth is unpopular, and when you're supporting unpopular truth, you are unpopular too; which means, some days, getting upwards of 10,000 phone calls and emails, and it can be overwhelming."

Willow Creek had been heavily targeted by the group Soulforce, Chambers said, and he believes that the group's 2008-2009 campaign (which included a meeting with pastor Bill Hybels) led to the disassociation.

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FOXNEWs.com, 7/21/2011: Campus Ministry Drops 'Christ' From Name [excerpts]—One of the nation's most prominent Christian ministries has decided to take Christ out of its name—a move that has generated cries of political correctness from within the evangelical community.

Campus Crusade for Christ International announced this week that it will change the name of its U.S. Operations to "Cru" in early 2012.

"We felt like our name was getting in the way of accomplishing our mission," said Steve Sellers, the vice president for Campus Crusade, noting that the ministry will still be committed to "proclaiming Christ around the world."

Sellers said researchers found that 9 percent of Christians and 20 percent of non-Christians were alienated by the name Campus Crusade for Christ.

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THEAUSTRALIAN.com, 7/28/2011: Blair sees the real power in faith [excerpts]—Former British prime minister Tony Blair has a different and challenging view of the 21st century: he argues that religion will replace the clash of political ideologies as the dominant issue of the coming age.Blair's further message is that the growing aggressive secularism in the West is the wrong response. It misreads and misconceives the nature of the 21st century and the best path to social harmony in a more globalised world....

Blair, a youthful 58 and three-time elected British Labour PM, now divides his time between his responsibilities as Middle East peace envoy (he has made 67 separate visits to the Middle East since leaving office) and the Tony Blair Faith Foundation focusing on the interaction between faith and globalisation.

"In some ways I'm more interested in religion than I am in politics," [said] Blair....

"Some years ago people thought that religion was on the decline and that inevitably as societies developed they became more secular," Blair says. "Actually, this is not what's happening. What's happening, in fact, is that around the world religion is on the rise and that's not just in the anticipated places.

"For example, the fastest growing part of the world for Christianity is China. You've got major evangelical movements starting in Latin America and obviously you've got the expansion of Islam; there will be a doubling of the Arab population over the next 30 years.

"So religious faith is important and it's growing. Yet at the same time globalisation is throwing everyone together."

This leads Blair to his intellectual conclusion and current career preoccupation. "The issue is this: if faith is becoming a badge of identity and it says: 'I am what I am in opposition to you,' then that's when religion is dangerous.

"If, on the other hand, faith becomes a humanising and civilising set of values it can play an important role in making globalisation work."