On Monday, we reported that Truth In Action Ministries spokesman Jerry Newcombe wrote a column defending a Texas student athlete who claimed he was disqualified from a tack race over a religious gesture, which Newcombe used as evidence of anti-Christian persecution in America.
But Newcombe’s account had one tiny little problem: the week before he published his column, the athlete admitted that he made the story up.
It apparently doesn’t matter that a Texas student athlete who had claimed he and his team were disqualified from a race over a religious gesture recanted his allegations and admitted that he made it all up, as it appears that Religious Right groups intend to pursue the story anyway.
Today, Truth In Action Ministries today is promoting the fabricated case as well, with Newcombe citing the fictitious account to warn of the imminent threats to the freedoms of religion and speech.
Virtually every week there is some outrageous story of an alleged violation of the separation of church and state. They’re becoming so frequent that they are often met with a collective yawn.
The crazy thing about all this is how removed this is from the clear intent of the founders themselves---as seen in their documents, in their actions, in their words, etc.
One recent incident that blows me away is that involving a high school junior sprinter in a competition in Texas. His team, the Columbus High School Mighty Cardinals, had a chance to compete at the state level, until he did something egregious.
What did he do? What was his crime? After a successful run, as one of four runners (100 meters each in a relay), he pointed his finger to the sky---in a gesture of thanksgiving to God.
This one gesture now disqualifies his team because it was supposedly an “excessive celebration”---which is not allowed.
His father was dumbfounded, according to Alexander Marlow of Breitbart News (May 3, 2103): "It was a reaction," said the father, "You're brought up your whole life that God gives you good things, you're blessed."
It dawned on me that if that young man had given an obscene gesture to his team’s opponents, and he were likewise punished, the ACLU would have been at that young man’s defense faster than he had run the 100-meters.
Let me ask a question in this case: Where’s the church? Where’s the state?
Why is it that any sort of Christian expression in the public arena is not allowed, but virtually every other expression is allowed?
Truth In Action Ministries, which last year produced a film warning that the “radical homosexual agenda” will destroy America like an iceberg hitting the Titanic, is out with a new short film opposing gay members in the Boy Scouts. Featuring Religious Right leaders like Bob Knight of the American Civil Rights Union, Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, the anti-gay activists warn that gays pose a physical and spiritual danger to children and do away with morality.
Newcombe said that Paulk is like an “ex-ex-smoker” who “for whatever reason, they lit up again, and they no longer try to fight these urges,” adding that the rejection of the ex-gay movement is nothing short of “blasphemy.”
Well, it’s happened again. Another prominent person in ministry has apparently fallen away from the faith, and he renounces what he once was a part of.
This isn’t a story like the supposed apostasy of Joel Osteen. That was a false story foisted on the world through computer hacking. What a strange time we live in, where such hackers could invade the Associated Press’ website and plant a false story about the president getting injured---causing the stock market to temporarily drop, until the truth came out.
The moral of the story is: Don’t believe everything you read or hear in the news, until firmly established by two or three witnesses, to use the biblical standard.
But this story about a prominent man in ministry falling away is verified from multiple sources. His particular sin happened to be homosexuality, to which he has now returned.
As Christians, how are we to understand it when people seem to get converted but fall away, presumably for good? Like they say, the Bible will keep us from sin or vice versa.
Perhaps this man will eventually get back right with the Lord. Perhaps not. When people say, “Once saved, always saved,” I prefer to add two qualifiers: “Once truly saved, always truly saved.” Obviously, temporary setbacks are on a different level than permanent ones.
What’s interesting about this fallen away man who is currently in the news is that he claims he never was changed. Fair enough, because only he and God know his own heart. But what he now says is that you can’t change---that is, no one with such a struggle can change. Excuse me?
As the wife of an ex-gay once told me in an interview, “To say that people can't be transformed is to say that God cannot transform people, and that's blasphemy. Nothing less.”
Granted, some sinful backgrounds may be harder to work through than others. But God can and will transform those willing to submit to His will. He wants us to be free more than we do.
I actually know some ex-ex-smokers. They gave up smoking---for a while. In some cases they became fanatical against smoking. But eventually, for whatever reason, they lit up again, and they no longer try to fight these urges. Does that mean that no one can quit for good? Of course not. Yet that’s sort of implied in some of the media stories about our fallen away friend. …
Every Christian is described by Paul as a “living sacrifice.” The problem is that sometimes we living sacrifices can crawl off the altar. We should pray for such people to crawl back. When they do, they’ll see that God waits for them with open arms, like the father of the Prodigal Son.
Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action Ministries warns that if the Boy Scouts of America “succumb to the tentacles of political correctness” and end the national ban on gay membership then they will join society’s “mad dash toward Gomorrah.” He argues that the debate over the discriminatory policy shows “we lost our common sense as a society” and fears there will “come a time when many parents (single or married) will avoid the Scouts because they can’t be sure if their child will be safe.”
In 1996, the late Robert Bork wrote a book entitled, "Slouching Toward Gomorrah." But today, we’re not slouching toward Sodom and Gomorrah, we seem to be in an all-out sprint.
As a former Boy Scout (not very advanced, for our troop fell apart after a short while), I’ve marveled how all these years, the Boy Scouts have stood firm. But now there’s intense pressure on them to cave into the gay movement, just as about every other group has in society, even many of our churches (despite what the Bible has to say about homosexuality---including redemption. Thankfully, there are thousands of ex-homosexuals alive today, changed by the Gospel).
As to the Boy Scouts, without officially allowing gay scoutmasters, isn’t it true that there have been many cases of molestation of boys by scoutmasters? Many lawsuits have been filed.
Wouldn’t opening up the Boy Scouts to explicitly gay scoutmasters increase the chances of that happening---not that all gays would do that? Have we lost our common sense as a society? Must all private, voluntary organizations today succumb to the tentacles of political correctness?
A lot of single parents struggle to provide positive influences to their children. The Scouts provides an exemplary, affordable outlet and means by which many of these young boys can find positive male role models. Will there come a time when many parents (single or married) will avoid the Scouts because they can’t be sure if their child will be safe? We should speak out before it’s too late. (The Boy Scouts number is 972-580-2400.)
In his book, "Slouching Toward Gomorrah," Robert Bork writes, “If we slide into a modern, high-tech version of the Dark Ages, we will have done it to ourselves without the assistance of the Germanic tribes that destroyed Roman civilization.” (p. 4).
Bork adds, “We are living through a cultural collapse, and major corporations are presiding over that collapse and grabbing everything they can on the way down.” Corporations? “Presiding over the collapse?”
He also notes: “The upshot is that American popular culture is in a free fall, with the bottom not yet in sight. This is what the liberal view of human nature has brought us to….There is an eager and growing market for depravity, and profitable industries devoted to supplying it.” (p.139).
Will nothing slow down society’s mad dash toward Gomorrah?
Fred Jackson, the American Family Association’s news director, while discussing the Colorado movie theater shooting today said that liberal Christian churches and liberal media helped contribute to violent incidents by supposedly deemphasizing the fear of God and the Bible. During AFA Today, Jackson had on as his guest Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action Ministries to discuss his column on the AFA’s OneNewsNowblaming the shooting on a waning fear of God and Hell, and blamed the American Civil Liberties Union for destroying the public school system by supposedly forbidding students from reading the Bible. “You wonder why all these terrible things are happening to us when there is no fear of God,” Newcombe said.
Jackson maintained that unlike in the communities of forty years ago, liberals in the media and churches, along with movies and the internet, have “have come together to give us these kinds of incidents.”
Jackson: In the community there were community standards that reflected biblical principles, whether people knew it or not, the standard in the community was based on Scripture. In that short period of time, roughly forty years, we have seen such a transformation in values in our communities, whether it’s rural or whether it’s big city. I have to think that all of this, whether it’s the Hollywood movies, whether it’s what we see on the internets [sic], whether it’s liberal bias in the media, whether it’s our politicians changing public policy, I think all of those somehow have fit together—and I have to say also churches who are leaving the authority of Scripture and losing their fear of God—all of those things have seem to have come together to give us these kinds of incidents.
Newcombe: I think that’s so true. It’s as if we said to God, publicly or in the public arena, ‘get out, You’re not welcome here anymore’ and it’s as if God removed His protection from our land.
Update: Later in the program, Jackson and co-host Teddy James of AFA Journal said the shooting is a sign of God’s judgment for the failings of the public education system and liberal, mainline Protestant churches that affirm gays and lesbians.
Jackson: I think the sources of this is [sic] multifaceted but you can put it all I think under the heading of rebellion to God, a rejection of the God of the Bible. I think along with an education system that has produced our lawyers, our politicians, more teachers, more professors, all of that sort of thing, is our churches, mainline churches. We’ve been dealing Teddy and I know the AFA Journal has been dealing with denominations that no longer believe in the God of the Bible, they no longer believe that Jesus is the only way of salvation, they teach that God is OK with homosexuality, this is just increasing more and more. It is mankind shaking its fist at the authority of God.
James: And God will not be silent when he’s mocked, and we need to remember that.
Jackson: We are seeing his judgment. You know, some people talk about ‘God’s judgment must be just around the corner,’ we are seeing it.
Last night, a gunman shot and killed at least 12 people and injured dozens more at a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colorado.
And already Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action Ministries is out with a piece blaming it on the fact that Americans have no fear of God or of going to Hell:
I can't help but feel that to some extent, we're reaping what we've been sowing as a society. We said to God, "Get out of the public arena." Lawsuit after lawsuit, often by misguided "civil libertarians," have chased away any fear of God in the land -- at least in the hearts of millions.
Recently, I wrote on the subject of Hell and how our society has generally lost its cognizance of it.
We've lost this cognizance to the point that a recent bestseller was a book by an "evangelical pastor," who for all practical purposes denied Hell (or the import of it). (It exists, but don't worry -- supposedly nobody's going there.) When the book was first published 16 months ago, it made the cover of TIME magazine. This month it was republished as a paperback.
This makes me think. "Wow, what the heck happened to Hell?" What -- was there some new revelation that changed what the Lord warned about? To me, what He said 2,000 years ago is still worth heeding: What does it profit you if you gain the whole world and lose your soul?
Tens of millions of young people in this culture seem to have no fear of God. It's becoming too commonplace that some frustrated person will go on a killing spree of random people. If they kill themselves, they think it's all over. But that's like going from the frying pan into the fire. Where's the fear of God in our society? I don't think people would do those sorts of things if they truly understood the reality of Hell.
Truth in Action Ministries has releasedyetanothershortfilm chronicling America’s supposed moral decline and spiritual collapse. In Losing Liberty, hosts Jerry Newcombe and Jennifer Kennedy Cassidy, daughter of late televangelist D. James Kennedy, insisted that America is a “Christian nation” but that secularists are “working day and night to unmoor of us from our Christian foundations.” According to the film, America is turning into a dystopian society much like The Hunger Games, the trilogy about a dictatorial regime which forces children to fight to the death each year. “One can’t help but wonder, will our future will be similar if our nation continues in the direction we are headed,” Carmen Pate asks.
After activist Dee Wampler insisted that America was much better off in the 1950s and 1960s, South African evangelist Peter Hammond said there is a “secular humanist assault on our Christian heritage” that is leading to tyranny. “It’s the Christian foundation of our foundation that brought us freedom,” said John Rabe, who hosts the organization’s radio show Truth that Transforms alongside Pate, “to turn away from that would take what’s already disastrous and make it infinitely worse.”
As Hammond discussed “everything that is evil in this world,” the film displayed images of the September 11 attacks, bombings, drug abuse, Adolf Hitler…and a married lesbian couple and the kiss between characters Kurt and Blaine on Glee!
Much like American Religious Right activists who reminisce about the 1950s, when much of the country had legal segregation, Hammond asserted that the 1994 election in South Africa, the first free election following the fall of Apartheid, demonstrated the “disastrous” impact of “evangelical apathy.”
Evangelicals “refused to vote because they didn’t like what was happening in our country at that time,” Hammond said, “all that happened is less Christian candidates got elected and more anti-Christian candidates got elected, and the country got more anti-Christian and soon they legalized abortion and pornography, homosexuality and before we knew it we had desecration of Sundays to a massive increase of crime.” He then went on to blame the Obama administration for having “encouraged” anti-Christian persecution and violence abroad.
The outcryfrom the Religious Right over President Obama’s endorsement of legalizing same-sex marriage continues, with the American Civil Rights Union’s Robert Knight attackig Obama for trying “to invoke Christ when doing the devil’s work” and creating “the sinews of tyranny”:
After having done everything in his power to undermine marriage, President Obama has come out of the closet, so to speak, with his announcement that he’s now for brideless or groomless “marriage.” But he didn’t come out alone. He brought Jesus with him, citing Christ as his inspiration for directly attacking God’s moral order. It’s one thing to be a hypocrite, which Mr. Obama has been for years. Since he began pretending to oppose the redefinition of marriage but refusing to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act while homosexualizing the military. It’s quite another thing, however, to invoke Christ when doing the devil’s work.
Forget the voters. Mr. Obama’s going to have to answer to God for this one. Wednesday’s announcement even might sober up the people who voted for Mr. Obama simply to show that America has overcome racial division. Someone should survey pastors who support Mr. Obama and ask: Which is more important - electing a man on the basis of race or upholding the integrity of the faith and what the Scriptures say about marriage? Citing Genesis 2:24, Jesus said in Matthew 19:5: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
This actually is about much more than marriage. It’s about truth. Mr. Obama is asking us to put into law a requirement for us to recognize as a marriage something that is not a marriage. When you do that, you create the sinews of tyranny, which stretch out to strangle freedom of speech, freedom of association and, eventually, freedom of religion. The virtue of tolerance is strangled, too, morphing into the vice of mandatory celebration.
With this wicked move, Mr. Obama is insisting that we bow down and worship the false idol of sexual anarchy. That’s what his wealthy supporters in Hollywood demand. On Thursday, they ponied up a reported $15 million to his campaign at George Clooney’s pool party. When you accord more respect to liberal film stars and gay billionaires than you do to the Creator of the universe, you’re not leaving much doubt about what you really worship.
Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action Ministries said that Obama’s announcement is “another nail in the coffin of the American Family”:
With this statement, America’s self-proclaimed Christian leader has professed a clearly non-biblical belief that further weakens the moral fiber of our nation. “This could be another nail in the coffin of the American Family, if we don’t stand up now” says Jerry Newcombe, spokesman for Truth in Action Ministries. “Same sex marriage is wrong on many fronts—especially by codifying immorality into law. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the president’s position is to put the government’s sanction on something God has clearly revealed to be sin. Thankfully thousands of homosexuals have been freed from their sin through the power of Christ and continue to be freed every day.”
Christians in America must speak the truth on this issue— before it’s too late. Please help us make a difference. We, as God’s people, must speak out against anything that contradicts His Word — including the radical homosexual agenda. We must oppose it now — or apologize, in the years to come, to the children and grandchildren whom we have left to be its victims.
"The most important thing is that there is no way in the world that I would vote for, regardless who it is, regardless how white they are, regardless how black they are, there is just no way I am ever going to vote for someone who believes in same-sex marriage and abortion," Hutcherson said in an interview with The Christian Post on Thursday.
"God hates the killing of innocent life, and God hates divorce, and God hates the whole effeminate aspect of man going after man or woman going after woman. You can't get around that – it's in the Bible. And what we need to understand as Christians, is that this is America. We stand on our biblical views regardless," he noted.
"We have given up so much territory; we are confused about how to take things back. Just like the word 'gay.' I am not homosexual, but I am gay – I am happy. And we've lost that word – we've given it up. We need to take back the rainbow, and we need to take back the word of God," the pastor concluded.
Religious Right activists continuously claim that a wide majority of Americans share their ultraconservative views but are too politically apathetic or confused to act on their beliefs, frequently blaming the IRS for supposedly “silencing” pastors by maintaining a rule that would take away a church’s tax-exempt status if it endorses candidates. This week, Truth in Action Ministries unveiled a film on Truth that Transforms featuring host Jerry Newcombe, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, Liberty Institute’s Kelly Shackelford and author Bill Federer, along with a petition “to repeal the ban on church free speech.”
“How does Satan always work?” Shackelford asked. “False information, intimidation and fear, and that’s what’s happening here.” Later, Federer said that “horrible things can and unfortunately will happen” as a result of the IRS rule, while the film showed images of Adolf Hitler delivering a speech and the corpses of Holocaust victims.
Last week, Truth in Action Ministries released a film marking the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic by arguing that the “radical homosexual agenda” is the “iceberg” that will destroy America, and today the group unveiled a new video, Is Our Government Promoting Immorality? Hosts Jennifer Kennedy Cassidy and Jerry Newcombe called for gays and lesbians to be delivered from “this deadly lifestyle” and introduced a segment featuring the Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg, Southern Baptist Convention’s Richard Land and right-wing author Michael Brown where the Religious Right activists defended the criminalization of homosexuality and attacked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech against anti-LGBT violence and persecution.
Sprigg, who has advocated for the criminalization of homosexuality in the past, condemned attempts by the State Department’s push for “decriminalizing homosexual acts” and Brown attacked the “outrageous” dissemination of “our gay activist standard.” “Whenever you go against God’s law, when you challenge God’s law and you have the effrontery and the hubris of trying to redefine one of God’s institutions like marriage you are putting yourself in the place of judgment,” Land concluded, “there is no question in my mind, God is already judging America and will judge her more harshly as we continue to move down this path towards sexual paganization.”
Pate: As we talk about the radical homosexual agenda and their attempts to take their agenda into the public school, we see evidence day in and day out in the news, in activities that are coming up in public schools, activities that are put together by an organization called Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. They seem to be set on taking their agenda and teaching our children that their lifestyle is actually an inherent identity. How do you see this infiltrating our children’s school systems?
Newcombe: It’s something where they are basically taking a legitimate concern, which is that of bullying, and they are using that serious problem that does happen as an opportunity by which they will then promote and essentially indoctrinate children and expose children to the acceptability of the homosexual lifestyle. Now bullying is wrong but so also is indoctrination into a deadly lifestyle and frankly homosexuality is a deadly lifestyle and that fact is withheld from the children.
Later in the program, Newcombe suggested that it may not be a coincidence and is “ironic” that the anti-bullying Day of Silence takes place on April 20th, Adolf Hitler’s birthday. While the Day of Silence last year took place on April 15th, as the date has changed over the years, Newcombe sees something more sinister:
Newcombe: It’s sad to see groups like GLSEN be accepted by the teacher's establishment and then allow the platform to go into the public schools and try and indoctrinate children. For example, they have something called the Day of Silence. Now they chose April 20 of all days to be the Day of Silence, I looked that up, I was like, ‘isn’t that Adolf Hitler’s birthday,’ I looked it up and sure enough it is Adolf Hitler’s birthday. I don’t think there’s a link there but how ironic. But they are using this day as a means by which to promote their lifestyle as if it is a positive thing.
The anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking and release of ‘Titanic 3D’ has apparently inspired Truth in Action Ministries, formerly Coral Ridge Ministries, to produce a new short film presenting the “radical homosexual agenda” as an iceberg that could potentially destroy the United States.
The Truth that Transforms film features well-known anti-gay activists such as Jennifer Kennedy Cassidy and Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action Ministries, Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, right-wing historian Bill Federer, radio talk show host and author Michael Brown, and pastors Harry Jackson, Robert Jeffress and Erwin Lutzer.
Staver warned that the “homosexual agenda is the moral iceberg that we need to steer clear of” and maintained that it is “the biggest threat I believe in our lifetime to religious freedom and the fundamental values we share here in America.” While Jackson said the “homosexual agenda” is “one of those icebergs that if we don’t navigate around them correctly, will take us under,” Brown claimed “we’ve already hit the iceberg and the ship is already going down” and Land insisted that “we’re taking on water, the only question is whether or not we’re going to be able to survive and the ship won’t sink.” Staver predicted that opposition to gay rights is bound to be “criminalized and targeted for assault” and Federer even asserted that “there are just a couple steps before the military could be used in a persecution of those that are viewed as enemies of the new state belief system.”
We are surprised to find that it actually took some Religious Right activist almost a whole day before publicly blaming Monday's tragic shooting at Chardon High School in Ohio on the lack of school prayer, as what Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action did in an op-ed for Crosswalk yesterday:
There were never school shootings when prayer was in school. Nothing even remotely like it. But now, for the most part, God has been thrown out of our public schools, and they have had to install the metal detector instead. Even that is not fail-proof ... I find it ironic that yesterday’s shooting would occur in the shadow of the 50th anniversary of the infamous school prayer decision. In June 1962, in Engel v. Vitale, the Supreme Court ruled that schools could not officially participate in prayer.
Specifically, the High Court banned this seemingly innocuous prayer: "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessing upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country."
As long as our schools don’t have a prayer, I suppose some of them need to have a sign installed out in front: Enter at your own risk.
Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action Ministries, formerly Coral Ridge Ministries, appeared on Truth That Transforms last week and told hosts Carmen Pate and John Rabe that “about 75 percent of those who struggle with homosexual or lesbian feelings were molested as children.” Such claims are nothing new from the Religious Right, but the statistic they use seems to keep going up: last month Jeff Myers and Ryan Dobson asserted that “60 percent” of gay males were “abused as children.”
The American Psychiatric Association has consistently dismissed such assertions as baseless, maintaining that “no specific psychosocial or family dynamic cause for homosexuality has been identified, including histories of childhood sexual abuse. Sexual abuse does not appear to be more prevalent in children who grow up to identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, than in children who identify as heterosexual.”
But who are we to try to compare the evidence from the country’s leading psychiatric organization to something “one of the ex-gays” told Newcombe?
Newcombe: Maybe this sounds like a stereotype but so often the young men did not bond with their fathers or the father was absent all the time. In the case with women becoming lesbians, they had a very bad relationship sometimes with their mothers. Again that’s not always the case but that’s often the situation. I’ve found that at least anecdotally that about 75 percent, and I did not make this statistic up one of the ex-gays told me this statistic, that about 75 percent of those who struggle with homosexual or lesbian feelings were molested as children. They were introduced to this whole subject of sexuality by somebody, sometimes a relative, and it was not their choice and so forth. As long as they can remember they’ve had these kinds of feelings but it’s not nature, it’s nurture.
The Learning Channel's new show All-American Muslim is propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia law. The show profiles only Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding many Islamic believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish.
Clearly this program is attempting to manipulate Americans into ignoring the threat of jihad and to influence them to believe that being concerned about the jihad threat would somehow victimize these nice people in this show.
Forida [sic] Family Association sent out an email alert on November 15, 2011 to inform supporters about The Learning Channel’s new show called All-American Muslim and encouraged supporters to send emails to advertisers.
Truth in Action Ministries, formerly Coral Ridge Ministries, also attacked the reality show and said it is part of the “stealth jihad”:
Jerry Newcombe, Truth in Action Ministries' senior producer and analyst, says the major problem with the program is that it's not going to show the reality of "pure Islam."
"It's a free country. Muslims are free to practice their religion here (thanks to Christianity, ultimately). What is sad, though, is that the truth about the goals of radical Islam are hidden from many Americans through programs like the one on TLC. Islam wants to take over the world. If they have to use force, they'll do that. But otherwise, they'll do it by what Robert Spencer calls 'stealth jihad,'" Newcombe said.