D.K. Foreman – Personal Blog

Religious Cults

African American News: Black Mississippian teen charged with trying to join Islamic State

by on Aug.11, 2015, under African-American Community, Endtimes, Religious Cults, Revival In America, World News

APWire – JACKSON, Miss. — A federal court hearing continues Tuesday for two Mississippi residents arrested on charges that they were trying to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State militant group.

Criminal charges filed Saturday say 19-year-old Jaelyn Delshaun Young and 22-year-old Muhammad Oda Dakhlalla were arrested that morning at Golden Triangle Regional Airport near Columbus, Mississippi, just before boarding a flight with tickets bound for Istanbul.

The charges say the two, in online communications, repeatedly told undercover FBI agents they wanted to join the group fighting to create an Islamic state.

An affidavit by an FBI agent says both confessed after their arrest.

Both are charged with attempting and conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist group. It was unclear Monday which lawyers represent them.

In this Oct. 5, 2012 photo, Jaelyn Young, an honor student at Warren Central High School, poses for a photo in Vicksburg, Miss. Young and another Mississippi resident were arrested on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015, on charges that they were trying to travel abroad to join the Islamic State militant group. (Melanie Thortis/The Vicksburg Evening Post via the AP)

In this Oct. 5, 2012 photo, Jaelyn Young, an honor student at Warren Central High School, poses for a photo in Vicksburg, Miss. Young and another Mississippi resident were arrested on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015, on charges that they were trying to travel abroad to join the Islamic State militant group. (Melanie Thortis/The Vicksburg Evening Post via the AP)

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Protecting the Lambs: Alabama Church Says Pastor Confessed He Has AIDS, Slept With Flock

by on Oct.12, 2014, under African-American Community, Endtimes, Leadership, Protecting the lambs, Religious Cults, Revival In America

An Alabama pastor shocked his flock by reportedly confessing from the pulpit that he has AIDS, had slept with church members, used drugs and misused funds. Rev. Juan Demetrius McFarland of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Montgomery confirmed to NBC affiliate WSFA that he made the admissions in a series of sermons that began in September. Deacon Nathan Williams said the church membership voted 80-1 to remove McFarland as pastor on Oct. 5, but he refused to step down.

“He fraudulently concealed from the congregation…that he had knowingly engaged in adultery in the church building with female members of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church while knowingly having AIDS,” said the resolution to remove McFarland.

He also “fraudulently withheld information that he had been engaging in the use of illegal drugs while preaching and performing pastoral duties” and “withheld information from church membership that he had misused church funds,” the resolution said.

Williams said his reaction to pastor’s disclosures was “disappointment and hurt…I never dreamed of anything like that.” He said that the congregation’s response to McFarland’s initial disclosure that he was HIV-positive was concern for his health, but the sentiment changed when he admitted to misdeeds and then tried to appoint a new set of deacons. “He said he was in control and there was nothing we could do to stop him,” Williams said.

Church leaders tried to change the locks on the door, but were confronted by McFarland and a supporter who declared they were banned from the premises and would face “castle law” if they tried to attend services, said the deacons’ lawyer, Kenneth Shinbaum. “They’re worried if they show up to church, they could get shot,” he said. “Unless the pastor steps down voluntarily, this may very well end up in court.”

McFarland, who has been pastor for 21 years, could not be reached for comment on Thursday. Montgomery Police Sgt. Denise Barnes said he is not under investigation because no one has made a complaint against McFarland. Barnes said that in Alabama, spreading a sexually transmitted disease is a low-level misdemeanor.

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Satan’s Altar Call: City Harvest trial: Sun Ho ‘uncomfortable’ with Asian-reggae style, says Kong

by on Aug.12, 2014, under Leadership, Religious Cults

City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee also said he had always kept a close eye on the financial details pertaining to his wife’s English album as he wanted to make sure her artist management firm would be able to recover its investment.

Sun Ho And Kong Hee of City Harvest Church.

Sun Ho And Kong Hee of City Harvest Church.

SINGAPORE: Sun Ho felt uncomfortable singing Asian-reggae songs as she felt she was not a “natural fit”, City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee said in court on Tuesday (Aug 12).

Songwriter and producer Wyclef Jean had been roped in to produce Ho’s debut English album in 2006, and wanted it to feature Asian-reggae music. But Kong, who is facing criminal breach of trust charges, said his wife, Ho, felt reggae music was not her style, despite the number of hits that her single China Wine – featuring Wyclef – was getting on YouTube.

Kong and five of his deputies are accused of using church monies to fund Ho’s secular pop music career.

Taking the stand in his defence for the second day, Kong said they were excited about working with Wyclef because of his reputation as a “hitmaker” and his ability to help artistes from outside the US break into the American music industry. One example was Columbian singer Shakira, who had collaborated with Wyclef on a hit Latino-reggae song Hips Don’t Lie.

Wyclef had wanted to re-record Ho’s album in an Asian-reggae style, as he felt the songs she had already recorded were “too white” for her and did not sound authentic.

“We were concerned if this was the way to go … it worked for Shakira, but as Asians, we come from a more conservative background,” said Kong, adding that they were still open to the idea if it would help Ho break into the secular US market.

Ms Ho later parted ways with Wyclef in 2008 due to escalating costs. Kong said US music producers had proposed pumping another US$10 million into marketing costs, which made him concerned. “I think at that point in time we already spent about US$5 million in that project, so this is – to me, was very, very high,” he said, adding that Wyclef and a high-level Sony Music executive later further increased their budget, which also made him feel “uncomfortable.”

(Picture: A screengrab from Sun Ho's China Wine music video on YouTube)

(Picture: A screengrab from Sun Ho’s China Wine music video on YouTube)

Kong said he had pushed for more realistic and conservative budgets for Ms Ho’s album as he wanted Xtron to be able to recover its investment. He said he was mindful the church had invested its building fund monies into Xtron bonds and the bond proceeds used to support the album, so the church must not suffer any loss, and get its money back with interest.

He also said he studied the budgets and projections sent to him by the US music producers in a “deliberate and careful” way so as to negotiate the best deal before presenting it to the Xtron directors for approval.

This included sending to his team – co-accused Tan Ye Peng and Serina Wee, to independently check the numbers. “Constantly, I would try to push for more conservative budgets, have worst case scenarios, and work on contingency planning,” he added.

Kong also said that Xtron directors made their own decisions. And even though they were church members and he had some influence over them as their senior pastor, he said he never took advantage of this influence to make them do his bidding.

Ms Ho’s English album was eventually never released, but it was part of the reason why the church decided to venture into the US for its Crossover Project, the court heard. The project, fronted by Ho, is the church’s way of evangelizing through secular pop music.

Sun Ho & Wyclef

Sun Ho & Wyclef

Kong told the court that it was important that Sun succeeded in the US as it would open doors for the church to preach the Christian message – not just in Asia, but around the globe. “If Sun made it in the US, it would open a big door for our missions,” he added.

The court was earlier told that Ms Ho had success with her work in the US, with at least two of her songs topping dance charts in the US and UK, based on club spins.

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Satan’s Altar Call: Dove-Award Winning Gungor Rattles Christian World With Revelation That They Don’t Believe the Bible Literally

by on Aug.08, 2014, under Endtimes, Leadership, Music, Religious Cults

Michael Gungor plays a guitar solo during the Israel & New Breed 2004 Concert in Kansas City, MO

Michael Gungor plays a guitar solo during the Israel & New Breed 2004 Concert in Kansas City, MO

The Christian music world has been abuzz in recent days about the unorthodox theology of celebrated Dove-award winning musical artists Michael and Lisa Gungor, known for popular worship songs like “Dry Bones” and “Beautiful Things.”

Citing an interview in the Oakland Press, World Magazine noted that Michael Gungor, 33, revealed that he lost his “metaphysic” in 2012. The pastor’s son from Wisconsin, according to World Magazine, also reflects his departure from traditional Christianity on his band’s 2013 album, I Am Mountain.

The Gungors, however, have never really concealed their evolving theological position. In a blog post titled “What Do We Believe” in February, the couple asserted that they simply no longer literally believed in stories from the Bible on such topics as creation and the flood.

“Over the last year, I have had so many questions asked of me about what I believe. Just tonight I had a conversation with someone extremely close to me that said that he wouldn’t consider me a Christian anymore,” explained Gungor in the post.

“Why? Not because of my life … Not because my life looks like Jesus or doesn’t look like Jesus. But because of my lack of ability to nail down all the words and concepts of what I exactly BELIEVE. Because I’ve lost so many of the unconscious assumptions that I used to have and have no ability to un-see what I have seen,” he explained.

“I have no more ability to believe, for example, that the first people on earth were a couple named Adam and Eve that lived 6,000 years ago. I have no ability to believe that there was a flood that covered all the highest mountains of the world only 4,000 years ago and that all of the animal species that exist today are here because they were carried on an ark and then somehow walked or flew all around the world from a mountain in the middle east after the water dried up,” he continued.

“I have no more ability to believe these things than I do to believe in Santa Clause or to not believe in gravity. But I have a choice on what to do with these unbeliefs. I could either throw out those stories as lies, or I could try to find some value in them as stories,” he added.

Gungor went on to explain that he has been trying to address his evolution as a Christian but traditional Christians have not been very welcoming.

“If you try to find some value in them as stories, there will be some people that say that you aren’t a Christian anymore because you don’t believe the Bible is true or ‘authoritative.’ Even if you try to argue that you think there is a truth to the stories, just not in an historical sense; that doesn’t matter. To some people, you denying the ‘truth’ of a 6,000 year old earth with naked people in a garden eating an apple being responsible for the death of dinosaurs is the same thing as you nailing Jesus to the cross. You become part of ‘them.’ The deniers of God’s Word,” he said.
He concluded that this is what he believed:

“I’ve decided to think about my ‘beliefs’ in terms of how I live rather than what my unconscious assumptions are. Because there are lots of people that have all sorts of beautiful ‘beliefs’ that live really awful lives. If I’m on the side of a road bleeding, I don’t care if the priest or the Levite have beautiful ‘beliefs’ about the poor and the hurting … Give me the Samaritan. The heretic. The outsider who may have the ‘wrong’ ‘beliefs’ in words and concepts but actually lives out the right beliefs by stopping and helping me. That’s the kind of belief I’m interested in at this point,” he noted.

“What do I believe? Look at my life. That’s what I believe. And that’s the kind of belief I’m interested in for my friends as well. I don’t care so much about what their words and unconscious assumptions are (even though that can make for some enjoyable pub conversation). I care about what kind of lives they live. Do they believe IN the underdog, or do they BELIEVE in the underdog? Do they believe in loving their neighbor or do they believe by loving their neighbor?” he continued.

“So you believe in God? So what. You believe Jesus was the Son of God that will someday come again to reconcile all things? Big deal. So do most serial killers,” he said before ending the post with James, chapter 2:

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?
Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

In 2006, after serving as worship leaders at a large church for six years, Michael and Lisa quit that job and began meeting with friends in their home to form a church called Bloom “to learn how to live as the church in a new and more meaningful way.”

“Bloom Church is a group of people in Denver Colorado who love Jesus. We’re not so big on some of the things that are often done in Jesus’ name, but Jesus… we think that he is the hope of the world. Our quest is to take Jesus – his life, his teaching, his death, his resurrection – more seriously than we take any other thing. That’s pretty much how we understand what the word ‘Christian’ means,” explains the church’s website.

“At Bloom we have tied ourselves to the story of God found in Jesus, which makes us decidedly Christian, but we gladly welcome anybody among us regardless of gender, creed, race, sexual orientation, or any other division that we humans like to divide ourselves into. Our hope is that everyone who wanders into our community will taste the Kingdom and come to love and embrace Jesus and his story too,” it continued.

Michael & Lisa Gungor

Michael & Lisa Gungor

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