Back in May, we reported that Ohio pastor Frank Amedia was serving as a volunteer “liaison for Christian policy” for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, setting up meetings for the candidate with conservative religious figures. Amedia, as we noted at the time, is part of a controversial movement of self-proclaimed “prophets” and once claimed to have single-handedly stopped a tsunami from hitting Hawaii.
On Wednesday, Amedia will be co-hosting an event in Columbus in which Trump will meet with pastors in an “intimate setting.”
Amedia sent out an invitation to the September 21 event on Saturday, writing, “I am honored to co-host with Rev. Darrell Scott this important convocation of Pastors and Leaders in Columbus, Ohio on Wednesday, September 21 to meet with Donald Trump in an intimate setting. I am extending an invitation to you and your pastors and leaders to be our special guests.”
Amedia, who was once implicated in a bribery scandal in which he attempted to help a car-dealer friend avoid prosecution, is now a self-proclaimed “apostle” who says that he once single-handedly stopped a tsunami from hitting an island in Hawaii.
Amedia, who says he is a former Jew, now identifies as an “apostle” himself. Until recently, his biography on his church’s website read:
Frank Amedia is called as an Apostle, Prophet, Pastor, Evangelist, Teacher, and Minister in sound biblical doctrine with gifts of knowledge, healing, and discernment … For over two decades, his clarity of vision, prophetic insight, and revelations of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God in the scriptures have been an enormous blessing to a worldwide audience. Enabled by this extensive experience, Pastor Frank has a unique perspective on the parallel journey of the Church and Israel as he is called as one to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. Thousands of wondrous records of miraculous testimonies of healings, deliverances, re-creative miracles, and physical gifts follow him wherever he goes, even as he gives all of the Glory to God his Father, Jesus his Messiah, and the Holy Spirit.
Like other self-proclaimed apostles and prophets, Amedia claims to be able to control natural events. On Maldonado’s TBN program in 2012, Amedia claimed to have single-handedly stopped waves from the 2011 tsunami in Japan from hitting a Hawaiian island where his daughter was at the time. He boasted that the waves instead moved on to devastate another island:
I stood at the edge of my bed and I said, ‘In the name of Jesus, I declare that tsunami to stop now.’ And I specifically said, ‘I declare those waters to recede,’ and I said, ‘Father, that is my child, I am your child, I’m coming to you now and asking you to preserve her.’ Apostle, it was seen by 400 people on a cliff. It was on YouTube, it was actually on the news that that tsunami stopped 200 feet off of shore. Even after having sucked the waters in, it churned and it went on and did devastation in the next island.
As part of Amedia’s ministry, he runs a North American affiliate of Isaac TV, a Christian evangelist network based in Pakistan. In an undated program broadcast on the station, which was posted on YouTube late last year, Amedia discussed with viewers how faith in Christ could save them from “generational curses,” “traditions and cultures that keep us away from God,” and “an evil lifestyle.”
He went on to discuss how AIDS is the result of “unnatural sex” and can be avoided by practicing a "wholesome life”:
We know that many of the diseases today are avoidable if only we practiced a wholesome life. AIDS is a disease that comes because of unnatural sex. We understand that many of the diseases that we receive is because of exposure that we have to things that we should not be exposed to, lifestyles that are unhealthy or things in our spirit that cause us to become bitter.
He told viewers of a friend of his who “began to hate some people” and then he “lost his mind and he died a horrible death.”
Later in the program, Amedia doled out some faith healings, healing a viewer with “cancer in your tongue” and another who had chapped lips:
True to the spirit of Trump, Amedia has at least one shady business deal in his past. In 2001, he was granted immunity to testify that he had helped try to bribe a prosecutor to drop a case against a car-dealer friend in Ohio who had allegedly been rolling back car odometers. The Pittsburgh Tribune Review recapped the case in a 2011 article about an unrelated case in which Amedia testified:
"Did you not enter into a conspiracy to fix a court case in Mahoning County (Ohio)?" said Jeffrey Wilhelm, a Reed Smith attorney representing BlackRock. He referred to Amedia as "the bag man" in the incident, and said Amedia's admission "demonstrates his dishonesty."
The pointed question referred to Amedia's testimony in 2001 that he tried to bribe a prosecutor in 1994 not to pursue charges against a Youngstown car dealer for rolling back odometers on vehicles.
Amedia admitted he helped arrange a payment of $250,000 through a prominent local businessman, Anthony Saadey. Amedia gave the money to Russell Saddey Jr., Anthony Saadey's nephew, whom Amedia understood was an investigator for the Mahoning County prosecutor's office.
Amedia was never charged in the incident and moved to Florida in 2000. He admitted the attempted bribery in 2001 under grant of immunity for testimony in the prosecution of Russell Saddey on racketeering and other charges.
"I didn't ask for immunity; only that my family be protected," said Amedia yesterday, holding back tears. He said his family members were subjected to "death threats" by mobsters involved in the incident, and noted he received no money for his role in the bribery attempt.
We reported last week on Amedia’s mission work in Haiti after the country was hit by a devastating earthquake, when he linked the country’s troubles to “the curse of Voodoo” and said that he might give up providing aid to Haitians who did not renounce Voodoo.
Today, Religious Right leaders including Rick Scarborough, David Barton, Jim Garlow and Glenn Beck are meeting with Religious Right and Tea Party activists in Dallas at a summit “bringing together leaders of conservative organizations from around the country to brainstorm and strategize on how to get out the vote for the 2014 midterm elections.”
United In Purpose, which received national news coverage for its data-driven efforts in 2011 and 2012, has what you might call a long-term goal: it is closely tied to advocates of “Seven Mountains Dominionism,” who aim to have conservative Christians take control of every aspect of government, business and the culture in order to pave the way for the return of Christ.
After the Response rally, the American Family Association sent an email to everyone who had registered for The Response urging them to join United In Purpose’s new project: a voter mobilization effort called “Champion The Vote.”
“The Response was just the beginning of a nationwide initiative to return America to the principles on which she was founded, with God at the center of our nation,” wrote AFA president Tim Wildmon. The goal of the new project, he announced, was to “mobilize 5 million unregistered conservative Christians to register and vote according to the Biblical worldview in 2012.”
The project’s website says its mission is “to get unregistered Christians registered to vote, educated in the Biblical worldview, and voting accordingly on Election Day.” As part of this “worldview” education, the group distributes a guide called “Developing a Biblical Worldview,” which explains that “there are basically two worldviews: Biblical and atheistic.” The guide includes a helpful “worldview comparison chart” contrasting the two mindsets. For instance, the guide reports, the biblical worldview on marriage is “one man united with one woman” while the atheistic worldview is “lives by no real moral code – do whatever feels good, no accountability, self serving, me focused.”
During the 2012 presidential primary, Scarborough urged GOP voters to reject Mitt Romney because of his Mormonism, saying, “Because of the state of the spiritual life of our country right now, I just think that’s a place I don’t want to go.” (Although in the same interview, he went out of his way to praise Beck, also a Mormon, as “most prominent spokesperson for our values in the radio field.”) Garlow also fought against Romney’s nomination, saying he was not “visceral on the issues that are cardinal to me.”
We can imagine that the leaders gathered in Dallas today are disappointed in how their efforts turned out in 2012 and are looking for a change in strategy for launching candidates with their own “biblical worldview” into office.
In 2010, Janet Porter lost her radio show on Voice of Christian Youth America (VCY America) due to concerns of her increasingembrace of dominion theology and self-proclaimed apostles and prophets. VCY America hosted a program at the time on why it considers the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), which believes that its leaders are modern day prophets, and dominionism to be heretical.
Earlier this week, host Vic Eliason interviewed Reverend Keith Gibson of Kansas City, where many NAR groups such as the International House of Prayer are based, about his new book, “Wandering Stars: Contending for the Faith with the New Apostles and Prophets.”
Eliason alluded to Porter’s dismissal for her attachment to Seven Mountains Dominionism, which Gibson explained believes in “taking dominion over all of the institutions of this world and Jesus cannot return until the church does that.”
Gibson also noted that false prophets in the Old Testament were stoned to death:
NAR leader Rick Joyner of MorningStar Ministries, Gibson notes, believes that his writings are “higher than the level of the authority he gives to than the New Testament epistles” and that Jesus Christ was only “a man for a time.”
Gibson also criticized Mike Bickle of the International House of Prayer and his role in the Toronto Blessing, which included “manifestations of barking and roaring and rolling on the floor and animal activities,” along with “apostle” C. Peter Wagner and “prophet” Cindy Jacobs.
In case you’re not familiar, here is video of the Toronto Blessing, for your enjoyment:
Earlier this week Kyle reported that Lou Engle is discarding his pledge not to vote for any candidate who either supports abortion rights or opposes them but has exceptions for cases of rape or incest, which would include Mitt Romney. Engle explained that he can still support Romney because his friend had a “compelling dream” proving that “Romney was clearly favorable from a divine perspective.” While he did not offer details about the dream, a fellow prophet who co-authored with Engle The Call of the Elijah Revolution writes in Charisma that four years ago he was visited by God in a dream and He spoke to him about Romney and America’s future.
James Goll says God told him in a dream that “liberalism will reign for a season” but will ultimately succumb to “true conservatism.” After waking up and watching a baseball game on TV, Goll recounts that “the external voice of the Lord came to me saying, ‘When the nation has been thrown a curve ball, I will have a man prepared who comes from the state of Michigan and he will have a big mitt capable of catching whatever is thrown his way.’” According to Goll, than man is none other than Mitt Romney!
What I am about to share is to be discerned and prayed over as is the case in all revelatory experiences. It was only in recent months, after I re-listened to a recorded word given to me by a trusted prophet in January 2010, that I realized the magnitude of the word given directly to me by the Holy Spirit. This prophetic person stated that I had been given a visitation in early 2008, which was for the country and was governmental in nature. I had thought it was for then, but the Lord said it was a word for what was about to come.
I searched through my materials and realized, I did have a visitation in early 2008. It was governmental in nature and for the United States of America. (Maybe my getting it wrong and then getting it right will encourage some of the rest of you in your three-stage journey of revelation interpretation application.)
I was alone sleeping in a downstairs room in my home in Franklin, Tenn. Michal Ann was still with us at the time, though very ill with her long-fought battle with cancer. We had 'round-the-clock home caregivers with her—whether in our bedroom, at the hospital or in the rehabilitation unit. We slept the last two years of her dear life apart, as she was constantly being taken care of.
I was desperate and seeking the Lord that night in a little hideaway room down in our basement. That night the Lord gave me a vivid dream followed by a waking vision and an experience where the external audible voice of the Lord came to me.
In the dream, I saw the nation on a teeter-totter tipping back and forth going to and fro with great instability. We were going up and down and up and down and it seemed there was no relief in sight. The United States was reeling from fatigue of wars, corruption and economic uncertainty.
Then the voice of the Lord came in the dream, Liberalism will reign for a season in the land and then it will become popular for moderacy to rule, which could ultimately lead to true conservatism. It was not the word I honestly wanted to hear from the Holy Spirit at the time but it came very succinctly to me anyway. Sometimes, we have to remove our own preconceived prejudices with our tainted filters to be able perceive a clear word from the Lord.
Suddenly, I was awakened from the dream and the basement room was tangibly filled with the presence of destiny. I then saw in the seer realm a baseball game in action. A young pitcher was throwing a ball to the plate with great force and seeming agility. It was a curve ball that appears to be a strike but instead it was not a ball for the batter to swing at. Another player was squatted behind the plate with a huge catcher's mitt. He caught the off-target ball as it pounded into his glove.
Then the external voice of the Lord came to me saying, When the nation has been thrown a curve ball, I will have a man prepared who comes from the state of Michigan and he will have a big mitt capable of catching whatever is thrown his way.
But the Lord said there would be a man prepared who would come from the state of Michigan who would have a big mitt. Little did I know at that time that Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, was born in the state of Michigan. Little did I know, when I received this in 2008, that he would win his party's primary for the 2012 national elections!
Over the last year or so, we have been noting how the Family Research Council was slowly becoming more and more intertwined with various leaders within the New Apostolic Reformation movement, the collection of modern-day "prophets" and "apostles" who believe they posses the same miracle working abilities as Jesus.
NAR's public political activism has cooled since leaders had their coming-out at Rick Perry's massive prayer rally last summer, but obviously efforts to work its way into the larger Religious Right political movement continue.
Case in point, today we received an email from the Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network, the organization run by John Benefiel, who thinks that Statue of Liberty is a demonic idol, revealing that leaders from the organization. along with "50 other intercessors," had been gathered at FRC's headquarters earlier this week, just the day before the recent shooting:
HAPN was represented at this meeting, according to the email, by Jon Hamill, who runs an organization called Lamplighter Ministries and which has deep ties to wide variety of NAR leaders, including Cindy Jacobs and Mike Bickel:
Ordained by James Goll, they are aligned apostolically with Global Spheres International ... In addition to work with Lamplighter, Jon and Jolene serve as MD coordinators and Mid-Atlantic coordinators of the Reformation Prayer Network, founded by Dr. Cindy Jacobs, and the Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network, founded by Dr. John Benefiel.
Jon and Jolene are also honored to be among the “emerging leaders” of the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders. For more than a decade, the ACPE has been convened by Dr. C. Peter Wagner and Cindy Jacobs to seek the Lord and share corporate insights for times ahead.
Jon and Jolene reside in metro Washington DC. Jon was formerly on staff with Generals International, founded by Cindy Jacobs, and the International House of Prayer, founded by Mike Bickle. Jolene served for many years in the mortgage industry.
Televangelist and self-styled Apostle Cindy Jacobs possesses the supernatural power to initiate miracles. It isn’t too far-fetched, considering that her mentor and founder of the New Apostolic Reformation C. Peter Wagner has claimed that people like himself “can do the same or greater things than Jesus did.” On the August 6th edition of her show God Knows, the self-proclaimed “respected prophet” channeled her supernatural powers live on air to revive a dead child, claiming to have done so in the past as well. Jacobs has previously claimed that Satan “wants to steal God’s family and create tyranny” and that health care reform requires everyone to have a computer chip “put in their finger” in order to receive care.
Jacobs: The bible says the same power is in us that raised Christ Jesus from the dead. I see someone; you literally had a child that just died. And I speak to the spirit of death in that child in the name of Jesus and I command you to lead that child. I speak to the spirit of infirmity that caused the child’s death and I say “Live in Jesus name! Live!’ And I see a child coughing, waking up, oh we saw that in Pakistan, we saw a little boy raised from the dead, just like that. God is on the move. God is on the move!
Back in February, we reported that pastor Anne Gimenez was in the process of recreating the 1980 Washington for Jesus rally, which she led with her late husband, Bishop John Gimenez. The new election-oriented prayer rally, called America for Jesus, is scheduled to be held in Philadelphia’s Independence Mall in September and has already received the endorsements of far-right dominionists including Cindy Jacobs, Lou Engle, Jim Garlow and Harry Jackson.
But as with Rick Perry’s The Response and Lou Engle’s The Call prayer rallies, it was only a matter of time before more mainstream Religious Right leaders linked arms with their more openly dominionists brethren.
In promotional materials [pdf], the event’s organizers use language closely centered around Seven Mountains dominionism, which calls for conservative Christians to take dominion over the seven spheres of society: family; arts and entertainment; business; education; religion and the church; media; and government. They also dabble in some Christian Nation revisionist history, using two fake quotes attributed to founding fathers George Washington (“It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible”) and James Madison (“We have staked the future upon our capacity to sustain ourselves according the Ten Commandments of God”).
The Bible provides guiding principles for all spheres of society: government, family, church, science and technology, economics and business, education, media and communications, and arts and entertainment. Every book of the Bible gives us instruction and principles on how to establish God’s kingdom purposes on earth.
If we live by His commands in our own lives, we will impact people around us and their spheres of society. And if Christian leaders in these spheres will uphold God’s principles in their positions of influence, God’s blessings will be multiplied in a healthy and wealthy society….God’s kingdom purposes will come forth on earth as in heaven!
One of the main concerns addressed during Awakening 2012 was how to outreach to young people and the Hispanic community since the Religious Right’s leadership is largely white and aging. After the passing of Chuck Colson on Saturday, Lou Engle asked God to release “hundreds with the mantle of Chuck Colson” as part of a “new generation” of activists who will be like Elijah in fighting “Jezebel’s death culture” through a “cultural revolution” while praying over a group of young people, mostly homeschoolers, who attended the conference. Towards the end, Engle started reciting the Lord ’s Prayer but changed the last word from “heaven” to “America,” praying: “Thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in America.”
Earlier today we reported on the appearance of the International House of Prayer’s Lou Engle on James Dobson’s radio show Family Talk, where Dobson, who appeared at Engle’s The Call: San Diego prayer rally to mobilize support Proposition 8, endorsed Engle’s latest prayer rally in Dallas, Texas. Butthegrowingconnectionsbetween Religious Right leaders and New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and dominionist figures like Engle have enraged influential conservative Christian commentator Brannon Howse of Worldview Weekend. Last year, Howse strongly denounced Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally, and the American Family Association, which co-hosted the event, even forced broadcasters who appeared on the AFA’s radio network to cut ties with Howse.
On his radio show this week, Howse laced into Dobson for consolidating his partnership with Engle, arguing that Dobson’s collaboration with Engle is an example of how “pro-family leaders” are “giving credibility to false teachers.” He also cited evangelist John MacArthur’s criticism of NAR, saying they are “blaspheming the Holy Ghost.”
Howse concludes by warning that Religious Right leaders have no interest in learning more about NAR’s theology, and that their activism “is how you destroy a culture and speed up God’s judgment”:
Howse: You’re going to listen to Lou Engle, Jim Dobson, on what’s biblical? Would you know what was biblical or not biblical coming out of the mouth of Lou Engle? Are you enough of a Verian, Jim Dobson, that you would know whether what he was saying was biblical or not? Because this is the kind of stuff that Lou Engle has said, are you ready?
If we actually have The Call and you don’t sustain prayer ongoing you open a vacuum for demons seven times worse to come in, if black and white can’t move together in prayer and sustain it, forget it let’s not even go there, you get demons seven times worse.
Demons seven times worse? So if we actually have The Call he says and you don’t sustain prayer ongoing you open a vacuum for demons seven times worse? Where is that in the Bible? Where is that in the Bible? So does Dobson agree with his? Does Dobson agree with IHOP? Does Dobson agree with contemplative prayer and the things that are being promoted within the New Apostolic Reformation? Does he agree with blaspheming the Holy Ghost, because that’s what [John] MacArthur says these guys are doing, and I agree with MacArthur, does Dobson even know this? Or is this exactly the kind of example I’ve been trying to paint for the church in America today is you better be very careful who you’re listening to, just because they’re popular doesn’t mean they’re right.
Do you understand when I tell you that some of the biggest pro-family leaders in America I believe have become some of the biggest potential threats to the true Bible-believing church by the fact that they’re giving credibility, I believe, this is my opinion you can agree or disagree, but I believe they are giving credibility to false teachers. John MacArthur, again, says they are blaspheming the Holy Ghost. And you wonder why I get so fired up and why I don’t have any patience and tolerance for this anymore when these people have been warned, when I specifically have warned many of them myself with phone calls to them, when there are search engines and there are organizations that write papers, people who have been a part of IHOP who have left and who have written extensive reports and papers?
But as so many of these guys would tell me ‘oh we’re not a theological group, we have to work with lots of people to reclaim the culture.’ Folks, if embracing false teachers is how you reclaim the culture I don’t want to be a part of it. Secondly, it’s not how you reclaim the culture, I think God’s Word tells us, Romans 1, this is how you destroy a culture and speed up God’s judgment.
The late Virginia pastor John Gimenez founded the Washington for Jesus rally on April 29, 1980 with fellow Religious Right activists including Pat Robertson, Jim Bakker, Bill Bright and Jerry Falwell to mobilize “against abortion, in favor of allowing prayer in schools, opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment and against homosexual conduct.” Bright told Ronald Reagan that his election was a result of the Washington for Jesus prayer rally, telling him: “Mr. President, you were elected April 29, 1980, not in November.”
Gimenez’s wife Anne is now planning a similar prayer rally in Philadelphia called ‘America for Jesus’ to combat “widespread moral depravity and economic meltdown,” and has the help of figures such as Jim Garlow, Cindy Jacobs, Lou Engle, Samuel Rodriguez, Doug Stringer and Harry Jackson.
The prominent role of New Apostolic Reformation leaders in the event reveals just how much the Religious Right has changed and grown even more extreme, as leaders now not only claim that they have a divine mandate to change politics but also that they are actual apostles and prophets with the same divine appointment as the apostles and prophets of the Bible and receive direct prophesies from God.
But much like Washington for Jesus, this prayer rally will be non-political in name only, as the host of far-right and partisan figures organizing the event demonstrates.
"America's soul is sick, but I believe America still has a chance; I believe in resurrection, and I believe prayer changes things--and that is what we intend to do," said Bishop Anne Gimenez, pastor of Rock Church International in Virginia Beach, Va., and chairman of America for Jesus 2012. "It's not about who will be in the White House nor our current financial crisis, it's about America needing the presence of God."
To-date, the five national and numerous regional rallies attended by several hundred thousand people have made significant impact affecting millions across the country and the national movement continues to call for a return to biblical values rather than endorsing any particular party or candidate.
"Much like the movement for independence in the 18th century, America for Jesus 2012 is a patriotic movement, not a political one," said John Blanchard, national coordinator for America for Jesus 2012. "Although the presidential election will be less than six weeks away, there will be no partisan divisions when we convene in Philadelphia. We don't need to follow the elephant or the donkey, but rather the Lamb of God."
"Forty days before the election, we will be bringing the salt of the nation to the headwaters of America to pray for an awakening and for the spiritual needs of the country," said Billy Wilson, co-chair for America for Jesus 2012 and Executive Director of the International Center for Spiritual Renewal.
We have written several posts in the past about how Newt Gingrich's leading Religious Right supporter, Jim Garlow, manages to straddle the increasingly thin line between the more traditional Religious Right movement and the growing New Apostolic Reformation spiritual warfare movement.
On Friday, February 3, 2012, 7pm – 8:30pm, there will be a Pray for America prayer meeting at International Church of Las Vegas (ICLV) hosted by Pastor Paul Goulet. Many local leaders and media are expected to be attending. Also, Newt Gingrich has confirmed his attendance at the prayer meeting.
Lead Pastor, Summerlin Campus Pastors Paul and Denise Goulet are the senior leaders of International Church of Las Vegas. With decades of shared experience in ministry, this dynamic couple has a desire to change Las Vegas and the world. With a strong apostolic anointing, Pastor Paul has made it his mission in life to impart the power of the Holy Spirit into leaders worldwide. He travels extensively and has established an international network of churches, Bible schools and pastors, with the ultimate goal of building 2000 churches by the year 2020. As Senior Pastor of ICLV, the host of a weekly television program, and the author of many books, Pastor Paul's messages of vision and destiny are heard by tens of thousands around the world.
Yesterday we posted an email that C. Peter Wagner had sent out to supporters claiming that he had recently received various commendations from elected leaders in Delaware, including an official tribute from the state legislature.
This understandably raised questions about the veracity of Wagner's claims, but Rachel Tabachnick of Talk To Action contacted several of the legislators Wagner mentioned in his email and reports that he did in fact receive such a tribute:
This morning I contacted the offices of Rep. Daniel B. Short and Chief Clerk of the House Richard Puffer and confirmed that C. Peter Wagner was indeed the recipient of a tribute from the Delaware House of Representatives on January 19.
UPDATE: The Delaware House Democratic Caucus has sent us an official statement in response to this report, explaining that such tributes are done solely at the discretion of individual members and therefore do not represent an endorsement by the Delaware House of Representatives:
HOUSE STATEMENT ON C. PETER WAGNER TRIBUTE
The Delaware House of Representatives has become aware of a misunderstanding surrounding a tribute recently sponsored by a member of the Minority Caucus and presented to Dr. C. Peter Wagner, a leader in the New Apostolic Reformation.
The following is a joint statement from House Speaker Robert F. Gilligan, House Majority Leader Peter C. Schwartzkopf and House Majority Whip Valerie Longhurst:
House and Senate tributes were established more than 15 years ago as a more cost-efficient and less time-consuming way to honor individuals and groups for various accomplishments. Prior to this process, each chamber had to vote on each individual resolution.
The tribute process was devised to handle items that do not require the vote of the full House or Senate. These topics include but are not limited to:
deaths, attaining the rank of Eagle Scout, 50th wedding anniversaries, 100th birthdays, congratulating local sports teams and recognizing the accomplishments and milestones of individual members of the community, nonprofit groups and civic associations.
More than 1,000 tributes are requested each year by the 41 members of the House.
Under the House tribute process, each individual Representative is responsible for making a request on behalf of his or her constituency.
Discretion for what constitutes an acceptable request is left to each individual Representative rather than subjecting each tribute to a review that could be interpreted as partisan or vindictive. The Speaker of the House is elected by the entire House and his signature appears on each tribute.
That signature is a formality and is electronically applied.
To be clear, in no way does a tribute represent nor should it be interpreted as an endorsement by the Delaware House of Representatives. The House does not vote on tributes. They are requested and sponsored by a specific Representative or Representatives.
Unfortunately, Dr. Wagner seemingly has mischaracterized the intent of this tribute to be an endorsement by the Delaware House of Representatives. We want to be absolutely clear that the House of Representatives does not endorse Dr. Wagner or his organization.
Additionally, the Delaware House of Representatives does not endorse any religion or present one above another. It is not uncommon for individual Representatives to request tributes to honor members of the religious community much in the same way that nonprofit and civic groups are recognized. Multiple faiths have been recognized through these tributes throughout the years.
Any questions regarding this specific tribute should be directed to the Representative who requested the tribute, Rep. Danny Short, and the House Minority Caucus at (302) 744-4184.
C. Peter Wagner, founder of the New Apostolic Reformation, sent out an email yesterday announcing that he had recently been in Delaware for the commissioning of several new apostles. Wagner wrote that, when he arrived, he was surprised to learn that "a good bit of field work had been done to assure the approval of the State of Delaware."
In fact, Wagner reports that he was given a commondation and the key to the city of Seaford by its mayor and even received a tribute from the city council, the state Senate, and the state House that was personally read by the local state representative:
As part of the ceremony, I was officially welcomed as an apostle and authorized to help commission apostles to the state. The mayor of Seaford (a committed believer) read the Commendation from his office and presented me with the key to the city. This was followed by a Tribute complete with the seal of the Sussex County Council, a Tribute with the seal of the Senate of the State of Delaware, and a Tribute from the House of Representatives of the State of Delaware read personally by the representative of the district.
I could not help but feel that this event, held in our first state, could well have been historic. For the record, I feel I should transcribe the document from the House, elegantly inscribed on 8 1/2" x 14" parchment-type paper and encased in a folder:
State of Delaware House of Representatives. Tribute. Be it known to all that the House of Representatives recognizes Dr. C. Peter Wagner As an Apostle For the Occasion of Commissioning Apostles in the State of Delaware. On this special day of the Commissioning Service, we honor Dr. C. Peter Wagner for his many years of faithful service to the Lord of Heaven and Earth, and the advancement of His Kingdom. 'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens: I know your works. See I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it." Rev. 3:7.' The House of Representatives extends its sincere congratulations and directs this tribute to be presented on this 19th day of January 2012. (Signed) Robert F. Gilligan, Speaker of the House; Richard L. Puffer, Chief Clerk of the House, Representative Daniel B. Short, Sponsor.
Newt Gingrich’s campaign announced today that Dutch Sheets, a self-appointed apostle and a major figure in the New Apostolic Reformation, will join his Faith Leaders Coalition as a National Co-Chair. As first reported and confirmed by Rachel Tabachnick of Talk to Action, Sheets endorsed Gingrich and warned that America “cannot survive another 4 years of the current leadership”:
Dutch Sheets has endorsed Newt Gingrich for president, and will be joining the Gingrich Faith Leaders Coalition.
“Newt Gingrich is only one that I can confidently say has the heart, experience, backbone, Constitutional brilliance, and intellectual strength to defeat Obama and lead America back to greatness” said Sheets.
“The America we know and love—indeed, the America God and our founding fathers dreamed of and birthed—cannot survive another 4 years of the current leadership in Washington.”
Sheets will join the coalition led by Christian market researcher, George Barna. It also includes, Pastor Tim LaHaye, Beverly LaHaye, Dr. Jim Garlow, the California pastor behind the Proposition 8 Battle, Congressman J.C. Watts, Don Wildmon of the American Family Association, Dr.Michael Youssef, Pastor Richard Lee, and Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.
Sheets is an avowed dominionist and at a recent event, The Gathering Eagles, he said that while he doesn’t think “that we’re going to take over everything and rule the earth completely for the Lord…we’re supposed to try.” While holding up a gavel in one hand and the word ‘family’ in the other, he said that Christians have become weak by emphasizing the ‘family’ and are now “lazy sheep,” calling on Christians to become “kingdom warriors” for dominion:
If God brought corrective but serious judgment to Israel, we are horribly deceived if we think it will not happen to us. If something doesn't happen to lessen this judgment—and it can be lessened—we are headed for very difficult times. The economy is going to be devastated. The stock market will go well below where it went a few months back—a crash is coming, and soon. More terrorism and violence will occur in our land, perhaps even war. In my spirit I've seen buildings crumbling and cities burning. Devastating natural disasters will take place. In general, hard times will be prevalent. Why is this so? Because we have turned from God and His ways. Consider the true condition of America. This assessment is bleak but accurate.
1) Our government is in decay. The current leaders of Congress promote homosexuality, abortion and socialism, while arrogantly ignoring God and the wishes of the people. They are proud, power-hungry, self-serving, career politicians, not the statesmen/women we so desperately need. Our President fits the same description. Along with the above, while honoring—in the White House—the Muslim day of prayer, homosexual activists and a coalition of atheists, he refused to honor the time-honored traditions surrounding the National Day of Prayer. And along with Congress and the President, we have many Judges with no regard for God's Word, the Constitution or our true history. The predictable verdict is in: America is in a moral and spiritual crisis of such magnitude that it is almost unbelievable.
2) What does this look like practically? From my grandparents' day until now, we have gone from 65% of Americans having a biblical worldview to now 4% of today's young people sharing these beliefs. This is staggering! Apart from an absolute miracle, which I believe is still possible, we have lost a generation of Americans to satan and secular humanism. Generally speaking, we are a narcissistic, self-loving nation that has accepted a culture of death, perversion, drugs and violence. We have murdered 51 million babies in the womb, and to satisfy the cry for a toleration of immorality and perversion, we are ready to throw away 6,000 years of honoring God's definition of marriage and family.
We have been reporting on last week’s Gathering of Eagles in Washington, D.C. where the Family Research Council teamed up with “Apostle” Cindy Jacobs to launch a prayer campaign designed to influence the 2012 elections.
The event was vivid evidence of the Religious Right’s willingness to embrace the radical dominionists of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). The Family Research Council is probably the most prominent political group on the Religious Right; its Values Voter Summit attracts Republican presidential candidates, congressional leaders, and other officials. FRC is teaming up with proponents of politics as spiritual warfare against demons who control Washington, D.C. and other cities. FRC and NAR leaders have common political goals (defeating President Obama, opposing LGBT equality, etc.) and a shared disdain for the separation of church and state.
The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins didn’t show, but the group’s chaplain and national prayer director Pierre Bynum represented FRC, asking for “miracles” during the election year prayer project and “joy” in November. Bynum recounted God’s instructions to Moses, through his father-in-law, regarding the kind of men he should select as leaders (men who are capable, who fear God, who love truth, and who hate dishonest gain). Then Bynum spoke wistfully about a time when he says there was a clear religious test for public office -- something explicitly forbidden in the Constitution.
…used to be you couldn’t hold public office in America unless you believed in Jesus Christ, and also believed not only in Jesus Christ but in a future destiny of rewards and punishment for people – you had to believe in a heaven and a hell to be elected for public office in the United States.
But Bynum, and Cindy Jacobs herself, were just the warm-up crew for “teaching apostle” Dutch Sheets, a leader in the New Apostolic Reformation. Sheets’s keynote was part lecture and part battle cry, structured around what he portrayed as two aspects of the church – the oikos – which represents the church as family – and the ekklesia, which he says is the church as legislative body, as God’s government on earth. His thesis is that the American church is too caught up in pastoral care and taking care of individuals and congregations – the oikos – and not nearly concerned enough with their responsibility to legislate, govern, and manage the earth in partnership with god.
Sheets blames that on Satan, who stole from people the concept of being an ekklesia , a “nation-discipling, ambassadorial, earth-stewarding extension of his kingdom.” Satan, it turns out, also had some help from King James, sponsor of the beloved 1611 English translation of the Bible. Sheets says King James was uncomfortable with people thinking of themselves as a government (“kind of like our government that is trying to sell us separation of church and state”) and so he instructed his translators to use the word “church” when translating ekklesia.
Sheets is out to change the emphasis on the "family" side of church. He says he’s looking for soldiers and warriors who understand the commission in Matthew 28 to disciple the nations as a grant of authority to be partners with God. “Disciple, rule, manage the earth. Make it look like heaven.” This is not a new concept, he says, but “a renewing of the Genesis mandate to manage our home -- and make this part of the kingdom look and think like the kingdom of heaven.” In fact, Sheets said, the earth itself is “groaning” for the sons of God to exercise their proper dominion and authority, saying that if they don’t, it doesn’t rain when it’s supposed to rain and crops don’t produce.
He was not implying “that we’re going to take over everything and rule the earth completely for the Lord,” he said. “But we’re supposed to try. It is our commission….There’s no insinuation here that we’re going to take over everything, but our assignment until he comes, is to bring his kingdom rule into the earth so that our region looks like heaven again.” According to Sheets, the church as ekklesia was meant to “divide and conquer” and, pointing to Harry Jackson in the front row, said, “it gets a little divisive when you try to rise up and save marriage, doesn’t it?”
Sheets repeatedly mocked “little sheepies” – people focused on the caring and pastoral work of the church (while insisting he wasn’t demeaning that work) – and called for warriors, saying “I’m trying to raise up an army!” In his final prayer, he denounced as lazy, self-centered, narcissistic sheep those Christians who don’t register to vote because they don’t want to serve on jury duty, and asked God to “raise up kingdom warriors that are ready to do whatever it takes to bring forth your kingdom rule in the earth.”
Jackson, who led the unsuccessful effort to defeat marriage equality in Washington D.C. and is now leading the fight against marriage equality to Maryland, called on people to pray against “The Enemy”—Satan—whom he said is behind gay rights.
Jackson said that Washington D.C. and Maryland are facing problems because of the Queen of Heaven, which NAR founder C. Peter Wagner and Jacobs believe to be the demonic force with power over Roman Catholicism, Islam and other faiths. Wagner even wrote a whole book on the subject, Confronting the Queen of Heaven, and along with Jacobs was involved with a spiritual warfare expedition called Operation Ice Castle on Mount Everest, where the Queen of Heaven allegedly resides. They gloated that the expedition led to the deaths of Mother Theresa and Princess Diana, in addition to the “earthquake [that] destroyed the Basilica of Assisi.”
He urged people at the church to pray against “the power of the Queen of Heaven, the ruling principality over this region that has created perversion, collusion and division.” Jackson called the legalization of same-sex marriage “an assault” and said “The Enemy wants it to be a legacy, or a seed that is planted in this generation that corrupts, perverts and pollutes” society. He then led the congregation in praying in tongues, and said “we agree together that the Queen of Heaven has no authority over Maryland” and that they will bring down the Queen of Heaven who led to the “perversion of doctrine, perversion of morals and perversion of ethics in D.C.”
Jacobs later asked people to fund Jackson’s campaign against same-sex marriage, and as people left money on the altar Jacobs asked God to “multiply” the finances of his campaign.
As Kyle and Brian have reported, the Family Research Council is teaming up with "apostle" Cindy Jacobs' Generals International in a major push to influence the 2012 elections. In Washington, DC, last night, the FRC, Jacobs and other “apostles” affiliated with the New Apostolic Reformation launched “Fast Forward,” a year-long “prayer and action” campaign designed to influence the GOP caucuses and primaries as well as the November presidential election. The launch event, “A Gathering of Eagles,” was held at a Baptist church in northwest Washington. It featured plenty of prophecy and lots of rhetoric about the 2012 elections as war – a spiritual battleground against demons, marriage equality, and the Obama administration.
We are sorting through video and will be posting highlights and analysis over the next couple of days, but the entire three-plus hours should be required viewing for any reporter or pundit who has downplayed the goals or influence of Christian dominionists in American politics.Jacobs said the Lord had told her that 2012 is the “do or die” year for bringing America back to a “biblical worldview.”She “decreed” that separation of church and state would be pulled down.Jacobs was joined by the Family Research Council’s Pierre Bynum, who spoke wistfully about a time in America when you couldn’t hold public office without believing in Jesus Christ, heaven, and hell.
It featured Jacobs and others demanding that angels deliver Bishop Harry Jackson the half-million dollars he said he needs to defeat marriage equality in Maryland.But the evening was dominated by Dutch Sheets, another NAR apostle, whose presentation focused on the need for Christians to get away from a sheep-like focus on pastoral care, and start becoming an army of warriors prepared to take their rightful dominion and rule the earthly part of God’s kingdom.
As we noted in our earlier post, Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber joined Janet Mefferd to rail against the Obama administration for attempting to defend the rights of gays and lesbians abroad. But Barber’s appearance on Mefferd’s radio program was notable for another reason. Mefferd has used her show to speak about the dangers of dominionism, while Barber claims that dominionism does not exist and anyone who worries about it is “no different than 9/11-truthers, global-warmers or Holocaust-deniers.”
As we’ve noted, many of the dominionists’ biggest critics are other conservative Christians, including Mefferd, who invited Robert Bowman of the Institute for Religious Research to discuss the movement on her program and the ties between dominionists and Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally. On the program, Mefferd and Bowman outlined dominionists’ beliefs, the New Apostolic Reformation and the “Seven Mountains” ideology, warned against Christians participating in events like The Response that are affiliated with dominionist leaders and groups, and claimed that traditional Religious Right groups working with dominionists represented an unfortunate and “strange turn of events” for the conservative movement.
One group that has worked with dominionists includes Barber’s Liberty Counsel, who sponsored the “2010 Sovereignty and Dominion conference - Biblical Blueprints for Victory!” with American Vision, and hosted figures associated with the dominionist movement including Lou Engle, Cindy Jacobs and Rick Joyner at their Awakening conference.
But since Mefferd is actively criticizing the dominionist movement, surely Barber will include her with the likes of Rachel Maddow, Michelle Goldberg and RWW’s own Kyle Mantyla, whom Barber called out in an article attacking people who, just like Mefferd, are speaking out against dominionism:
Now, you may laugh. You may think these anti-Christian “Dominioners” like Maddow, Goldberg and Mantyla – these fearless progressives risking all to sound the alarm on the rising threat of Christian Dominionism – are just a bunch of liberal, tinfoil hat-wearing kooks.
You might believe they’re merely a left-wing gaggle of tattooed, body-pierced pot-brownie pies in pajamas, no different than 9/11-truthers, global-warmers or Holocaust-deniers.
Oh, you may suppose these liberal Dominioners – daring beyond measure – are simply a batty band of anti-Christian bigots and Daily-Kos-, MSNBC-types looking to smear Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and other GOP presidential hopefuls as a bunch of clandestine theocrats bent on Christian world domination.
Maybe Barber will next time use his platform on The Janet Mefferd Show not to attack gays and lesbians but instead to chastise Mefferd for investigating and warning against dominionism.