Pastor Saeed ‘Shaken’ as Iranians Execute Fellow Prisoners

U.S. Pastor Saeed Abedini, who has now been in an Iranian jail for his Christian faith for nearly two-and-a-half years, is “shaken” as six of his fellow prisoners were executed around him this week, his wife, Naghmeh, says.

“Saeed was quite shaken as he had to witness 6 fellow prisoners being beaten and taken to be executed (hanged) that day,” Naghmeh was quoted as saying in a report by American Center for Law and Justice on Saturday.

….Pastor Saeed remains in an incredibly dangerous situation, ACLJ says, explaining that summary executions, inmate violence and beatings are commonplace.

Saeed has also sustained prolonged internal injuries due to beatings in the prison.

From Zionica.com –

An Electrifying Church Service

What the church world is coming to:

    2015 Church Service

PASTOR: “Praise the Lord!”

CONGREGATION: “Hallelujah!”

PASTOR: “Will everyone please turn on their tablet, PC, iPad, smart phone, and Kindle Bibles to 1 Corinthians, 13:13.

And please switch on your Bluetooth to download the sermon.”

P-a-u-s-e……

“Now, Let us pray committing this week into God’s hands.

Open your Apps, BBM, Twitter and Facebook, and chat with God”

S-i-l-e-n-c-e

“As we take our Sunday tithes and offerings, please have your credit and debit cards ready.”

“You can log on to the church Wi-Fi using the password ‘Lord909887.’

The ushers will circulate mobile card swipe machines among the worshipers:

a. Those who prefer to make electronic fund transfers are directed to computers and laptops at the rear of the church.

b. Those who prefer to use iPads can open them.

c. Those who prefer telephone banking, take out your cell phones to transfer your contributions to the church account.

The holy atmosphere of the Church becomes truly electrified as ALL the smart phones, iPads, PCs and laptops beep and flicker!

Final Blessing and Closing Announcements.

a. This week’s ministry cell meetings will be held on the various Facebook group pages where the usual group chatting takes place. Please log in and don’t miss out.

b. Thursday’s Bible study will be held live on Skype at 1900hrs GMT. Please don’t miss out.

c. You can follow your Pastor on Twitter this weekend for counselling and prayers.

God bless and have a nice day.

And Jesus wept…..

By Robert McCurry –

West Coast “Churches” Becoming Unrecognizable

Like many San Franciscans, overpriced coffee is a considerable portion of my weekly budget. One day in Soma, the industrial district home to many start-ups, I came across a flier advertising a free gift card to Philz, a nearby coffee shop. All that was required was to show up for service at a local church called Epic. I hadn’t been to church in months, and decided to give it a try.

The Bay Area has never been perceived as religious: a 2012 Gallup poll found that fewer than a quarter of residents identify as “very religious” (defined as going to church weekly), as opposed to 40% of the nation as a whole. High salaries have drawn droves of well-educated millennials to the booming tech sector, which correlates with lower religious sentiment. So far afield from the Bible belt, the region is in fact seen as hospitable to all forms of old testament abominations: fornication, paganism – even sodomy.

If you look around, however, you’ll notice a bumper crop of newer Christian ministries that, upon superficial glance, could pass for any other Bay Area start-up: glossy web design, well-curated social accounts and yes, free coffee promotions. County-level statistics substantiate this: numbers from the Association of Religion Data Archives show that several large Protestant denominations have grown in San Francisco County in recent years.

How does one even start a church in the land of $3,000 studio apartments, transient tech workers and rationalist tendencies? The answer lies in a mix of organized efforts by large religious bodies, coupled with messaging that speaks to the tastes, needs and neuroses of ambitious young Bay Area residents.

The Sunday following my flier discovery, I made my way to Epic. The church’s home is in a modest commercial space sharing a street with a marijuana dispensary, a few small tech firms and a homeless encampment.

I grabbed a free bagel and was quickly welcomed by a young pastor named Tim. We were then ushered into the basement, where a three-piece band played a gentle song about keeping promises. Following announcements – Epic would soon be moving to a new, larger venue closer to downtown – lead pastor Ben Pilgreen began a sermon on the idea of resurrection that mixed self-deprecating humor with notes on the ruthlessness of the corporate ladder, as well as occasional asides about processed food: “Have you ever looked at the ingredients in a McRib? What are pig innards?” “You don’t want to know!” called out a scientist in the second row, to rippling laughter.

Pilgreen’s resurrection talk was shrewdly adapted to the worries that would keep any ambitious professional up at night: what happens after a failed project, a faded dream, or even a lost sense of humility following the kind of dizzying financial success that many San Franciscans have sought ever since the tech boom days….

Missionaries sometimes describe a personal call from God to take on the task of launching and growing a ministry, often far from home. But on a practical level, church plants are brought to life through complex systems of financial and logistical support that scale up to the largest religious bodies in the world, like the Southern Baptist Convention. Epic was founded through the 10-10-10 initiative, a Southern Baptist Convention-supported program to plant 10 new churches in the Bay Area in 2010.

Linda Bergquist was the lead Bay Area catalyst for the initiative, helping to guide new pastors through the spiritual and logistical process of starting a church in one of the most expensive and dense metro areas in the country. When I ask her about traits that make a successful planter in the Bay Area, she offers an anecdote about Pilgreen’s group:

“When Ben and his original team came out here for the first time, it was during Obama’s inauguration. The first thing we did was to go down to Civic Center. People were throwing shoes at what I think was a picture of George Bush. Rick Warren came on screen, and people would boo him. It was just so insanely San Francisco. I wanted to watch how Ben and his team related to it, and I hadn’t even told them about Soma … But I asked afterwards, ‘How was it?’ And they really liked being there. They loved it.”

It was this level of comfort with San Francisco’s rebellious spirit, Bergquist told me, that assured her this was the right group to plant in the sometimes bawdySoma district.

Regardless, it should come as little surprise that the challenges of planting a church in San Francisco are less ideological than logistical. “It’s difficult finding a place to rent,” Bergquist says. “And depending on where it is, you’ve got to rethink space – what’s walkable, what’s bikeable, what’s hikeable, knowing transportation lines, knowing whether people have cars – that’s just something you have to get used to.”

Material support is another matter: as 501(c)(3) exempt charities, churches are not bound by financial transparency, but generally benefit from what Bergquist describes as greatly improved support systems from both official denominations and non-denominational missionary groups….

Some planters are even more candid about the necessity of behaving just like any other start-up in the nation’s technology hub. Troy Wilson, the Presbyterian-ordained pastor of The Table, a brand-new ministry now operating out of Hayes Valley, described to me a multi-year solvency plan – that is, achieving 100% revenue derived internally as opposed to outside, private boosters. Churches are the original crowdfunders, as it turns out: “We are starting a corporation – a non-profit corporation, but we have to see it that way.” Presently, Wilson says, most of The Table’s outreach comes in the form of organizing community events like art shows, performances and parties, in the hopes of gradually building a stable congregation through creative enrichment.

This is perhaps the core challenge for start-up churches like Wilson’s: the pace of change, and the transience of the younger demographic. Dani Scoville, program director at a Christian center that ministers to younger adults in the Bay Area, describes a population of “believers moving from community to community based on life stage. You might be in a certain church when you’re single and looking for a partner, and in another when you’re married and looking for a church with a good children’s ministry.”

As for successful ministries in the Bay Area, she muses: “What are the needs and aches of the place we’re living in, and how do we respond to that?” In Scoville’s work, this can include anything from Netflix fasts to making a budget and limiting coffee to manage anxiety.

When raising the issue of how to reach younger Bay Areans, one ministry in particular came up several times: Reality SF, which makes its Sunday home in a middle school auditorium in the Castro district. Reality’s website features a group of shiny young millennials lounging gaily in picturesque Dolores Park (marijuana truffles and beer not pictured). Its teachings, which are published online, address subjects like “re-imagining singleness”, “tech in spirituality” and “wisdom for charity” in a blend of CS Lewis quotes, TED Talk references, and occasional guests from groups like Praxis, a “kingdom-centered” business accelerator.

To borrow the words of one Yelp reviewer, walking into Reality itself feels “like a Decemberists concert”: at least 25% of the congregation is dressed in plaid, and the couple next to me thumbs through Facebook throughout an extended version of John Mark Mcmillan’s How He Loves, which everyone but me seems to know the lyrics to: Heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss …

Noting its majority single congregation, Reality’s extracurricular panels offer guidance on Christian dating while mostly avoiding hard-boiled doctrine on issues like homosexuality and premarital sex. Correspondingly, the church also boasts “eat-ups”, classifieds and dozens of community groups, providing an instant friend circle (and maybe more!) for the population of young transplants who find everything they need in San Francisco, except a stable community. Reality’s lead pastor, Dave Lomas, politely declined to be interviewed, but it’s clear that Reality understands its congregation: it accepts tithing in the form ofstock, and reported a budget of $2.3m in 2014.

However you might define the spiritual needs of the modern, hipster-leaning young professional, those may be even more pronounced outside the density of San Francisco’s social environment.

Forty miles south in Palo Alto, I went to C3SV (C3 Silicon Valley), which declares prominently on its website: “Not religious? Neither are we!”

The distinction, says pastor Adam Smallcombe, is in what the government expects of a church and what people are really seeking. Smallcombe, who is originally from Australia, emphasized the “community void” in Silicon Valley: “People are desperate for community. Everyone’s moving in, and tech companies are trying to provide that community as much as possible, so that we all never leave work. But there’s a community and relationships that people are looking for outside – for doing life, and going beyond just attending a service.”…

Smallcombe acknowledges openly that the community he serves – affluent and immersed in opportunity– wants for little. His aim, rather, is to “leverage the optimism” in Silicon Valley to help people find fulfillment in life outside of the corporate ladder. “You rule over Silicon Valley!” one of the pastors urged energetically during the sermon. “It is not in Google’s hands, or Facebook’s hands, or Yahoo!’s hands – the kingdom is in your hands!” After a performance by what I can only describe as a modestly dressed version of the Cheetah Girls, he reminds his congregation to “believe in the tithe”.

Smallcombe aims to shepherd the church fully out of “start-up” mode by 2020, he explains, at which point he hopes to have helped establish hundreds of new C3 ministries across the globe.

Ambitious as this may sound, for some start-up churches, nothing seems out of reach. Provided they meet people where they are – on phones, at Dolores Park, or at work – they can successfully serve the unique, sometimes evasive needs of their communities. Or at the very least, a good cup of coffee.

By Annie Gaus – The Guardian – Via The Trumpet –

DHS, FEMA & THE EPA HAVE TAKEN OVER YOUR CHURCH

It is highly likely that your pastor is bought and paid for by DHS or the EPA or some other alphabet soup federal agency. The message of the Bible has been subverted to promote the message of the government.

According to the Washington Post, churches in Prince George County, a Maryland county, are being offered tax breaks for incorporating environmentalism into their sermons. Subsequently, 30 pastors have started preaching ‘green’ ministries to avoid extra taxes. The number of participating pastors is certain to grow as the symbolic globe of the New World Order is replacing the traditional cross….

Last May, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, an avowed Lesbian and two homosexual city council members rammed through a non-discrimination ordinance that gave special rights and protections to homosexuals and lesbians. The proposed “bathroom bill” ordinance passed despite vocal opposition by the Houston community, which was led by local churches and pastors. The mayor anticipated that the pastors in her fair city might push back. Subsequently, she demanded copies of their sermon notes and private communications in order to monitor the opposition from the church….

Previously, I have detailed an outright assault on the compromising of the word of God with regard to the government’s manipulation of the tax-exempt status of IRS controlled churches. Specifically, I am speaking about the concept of 501-c-3 tax-exempt churches.

Is your church a friend or foe with regard to your salvation? Is your church is a 501-C-3 tax exempt church? Is your church an agent of the government? If your church leadership does not condemn anything controversial, no matter how antithetical to the word of God, you are not worshiping in a Christian church. If your church is a 501-C-3 tax exempt church, your church is not a church of God….

The modern interpretation of Romans 13 is pure blasphemy. This scripture has been morphed into a doctrine espousing the “Divine Right of Kings” in which God has somehow chosen a king to ruthlessly rule over a people and it is incumbent upon the people to accept their “God-given fate”, The flock are commanded to “…submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.” This false interpretation is nothing but a divine coronation of a ruthless, self-serving government and Christians are expected to capitulate and honor the same kind of thievery, lawlessness and murder which inspired Jesus to expel the moneychangers from the Temple.

Many of your 501-C-3 pastors have gone so far as to put on the uniform of the enemy and it is called the Clergy Response Team. The Clergy Response Team falls under the umbrella series of programs known as DHS’ controlled National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NOVAD) which is a non-profit, member organization which shares knowledge and resources throughout a disaster. The organization helps to prepare, respond, recover and to mitigate the damage caused by some unknown disaster presumably which lies in the future of humanity.

Amazingly, NOVAD claims to be a faith-based coalition which is structured as a non-governmental organization and operates on a national scale and is supported by tax dollars funneled to the DHS.

Instantly, Bible believing Christians should smell a rat. Since when, in the modern era, has the federal government ever sponsored organized religion? The answer is not since well before the advent of the atheist activist, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, who was successful in banning prayer in the public schools in 1963. Then why would the government suddenly fund and support a “faith-based organization” on a national scale? The simple answer is that Homeland Security is seeking to control our churches and ministers, before the impending train wreck comes to fruition inside of America. DHS desperately is seeking to control all Christians through the perversion of Romans 13 and this is one of two cornerstones in this movement designed to control Christian leaders. And this government foothold into the control of our churches begins with accepting the 501-C-3 tax exempt status which gives the government license to control the message and to ultimately pervert the word of God. There can only be one outcome for this kind of training, making the people docile when martial law is rolled out.

If your church is a 501(c)(3) organization, then your church has a significant financial motivation to not truthfully interpret the true message of the Bible. The tax exempt status of being a 501(c)(3) organization is the other cornerstone of this shift away from allegiance to God and towards worshiping our new Savior, the federal government. When was the last time your pastor spoke out against abortion or homosexuality? Unless I missed the fact that God personally rewrote sections of the Bible, your pastor’s failure to stand up to the liberalism of the New World Order should have tipped you off that something was terribly wrong with your church.

By Dave Hodges – The Common Sense Show –

Hindus Force Christians To Convert…

By Theodore Shoebat – Shoebat.com –

The Hindu suppression of Christians is intensifying every day. John Dayal, a member of the Indian government’s National Integration Council recently said:


There has been a sharp rise in hate campaigns against Christians by political organizations. …This threat of purging Christians from villages extends from Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh to now Uttar Pradesh, and to the borders of the national capital of New Delhi

In July, 25 Hindus attacked a church in Sahakarinagar village, beating the pastor and others.

Indian village councils have abolished and outlawed Christian prayer, meetings, and evangelism illegal in 50 towns.

Aneesh Andrews, a Methodist district superintendent, said:


In some places, the passing of the resolution has been followed by attacks on pastors and pulling down of village churches

 
Continue Reading