Church & Ministry

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Posted 10/17/16 at 4:37 PM | Mark Ellis

Church leader operating in Middle East receives death threats, asks for prayer

Pastor Paul and his team are courageously spreading the Gospel in restricted countries in South Asia and the Middle East. A very pointed, dire death threat he received recently caused him to reach out and request prayer from believers around the world.

This is the text of the death threat he received October 15th:

“Hey Paul, son of Kafir,

"You are not pastor paul. You are bastard paul. You betrayed your mother, Deenul Islam. We know where you are and what you are doing. We will not allow you to go further at any cost.

"You are attracting and misguiding innocent people to the hell by magics and vulgar tricks to the hated and cursed christian religion. You are not worthy to live any more. Time is up to throw your meat for pigs and dogs.

"Your days are counted. Your head and body will be hanging in your gate face to face within no time. Your family and children are not excused. The world will see and laugh at the end of a cursed man and his family.

"No doubt we will kill everybody who followed your hated religion unless they turn back to Islam. You are going to see the sea of blood of your people this week before your execution. Mind it.”


Posted 10/15/16 at 2:03 PM | Diane Castro


When I read the book Unbroken, which documented the treatment of Allied POWs in Japanese prison camps during World War II, I thought it revealed the very depths of human depravity. But it may be that there are some who sink deeper still.

While visiting my daughter Joanna, we went to her church for a viewing of the documentary Nefarious: Merchant of Souls, which exposes the dark world of human trafficking. The odious practice of buying and selling human beings has been going on since ancient times and is burgeoning today, not just in Asia and Africa, but in developed countries, quite possibly in your own community. Inflicting unspeakable torment on prisoners of war is despicable enough, but kidnapping and violating children is incomprehensibly wretched. As described in the synopsis for Nefarious,

Victims are systematically stripped of their identity, battered into gruesome submission, and made to perform humiliating sexual acts on up to 40 strangers every night. Most are held in dingy apartments and brothels, forced to take heavy doses of illegal drugs, and monitored very closely. Victims are often thrown into such ghastly oppression at 13 years old. Some are abducted outright, while others are lured out of poverty, romantically seduced, or sold by their families. FULL POST

Posted 10/14/16 at 10:34 PM | Larry Fell

An introspective: humility and fear of the Lord

Contradictory, oxymoronic, counterintuitive. These are all words that carry connotations of the same principle...something seems out of whack.

The Holy Spirit has been nudging me for awhile now to examine two Biblical concepts, fear of God and humility. And any possible connections therein. I figure I'll pay attention during the nudging phase and not wait until the Spirit hits me upside my head with His motivating 2"x4". For a change.

One of my biggest desires is for God to use me in some way to reach people. Whether to help edify His Church or to reach the unsaved. The adjunct to that is, of course, the disheartening angst that He never will.


It is really, 100% absolutely true that size doesn't matter in God's Kingdom. To God it doesn't matter if one has shared His Word with over 2,000,000,000 as is estimated for Rev. Billy Graham or Fred talking to three people sitting on a park bench. The point is sharing His Word with the world. Ten thousand angels will still rejoice for that single person who comes to Christ. That's what my mind knows. That's what my soul knows. That's what my flesh...can sometimes have a problem with. FULL POST

Posted 10/14/16 at 3:46 PM | Mark Ellis

American church leaders held in Turkey will be deported

Andrew & Norine Brunson

By Mark Ellis

Turkish officials in the coastal city of Izmir have been holding American church leaders Andrew and Norine Brunson since October 7th and denying access to them by U.S. consular officials and lawyers.

The Turkish Interior Ministry has also ordered the couple’s deportation within 15 days, stating they constitute a “national security risk,” according to World Watch Monitor (WWM).

The Brunsons have lived in Turkey during the last 20 years and are currently leading the Izmir Resurrection Church, which has an average attendance of 30 to 40.

After they filed an application to renew their visas, they received no response for six months. But on October 7th, they found a written summons ordering them to report with their passports to a local police station. After they arrived they were taken into custody, according to WWM.

Their attorney was denied access and told they did not want a lawyer. He filed a petition to the governor October 12th, saying the American Christians were being held illegally under Turkish laws. FULL POST

Posted 10/11/16 at 3:54 PM | olabode ososami

America’s Hate Preachers

This is the name of a currently running BBC documentary featuring Hannah Livingston, a talented journalist who spent six months tracking “Americas radical Christian hate groups”. The film artfully presents hatred against abortionists and LGBT community as a rising scourge that must be arrested … even suggesting auspiciously that the animosity towards Clinton’s bid for the presidency can be traced to Christian extremism. The preachers featured in the documentary are already banned from entering the UK, and according to the BBC documentary, should be stopped, in the United States, from making more unbridled comments causing extreme and unfair distress to lesbians, homosexuals, transgenders and others who just want to be left in peace. The preachers, however, disagree that the LGBT are not a threat to society, and accuse the media of presenting vile dangers as only an alternative lifestyle.

It may, on the surface, look like the pulpit is losing the battle, as a new postmodern reality presents the pulpit as a confrontational bastion of hatred and disorder – but even since the time of John Knox, the fiery Scottish preacher also banned from entering England by Queen Elizabeth 1, we have seen the same strategy played over and over again … and if this strategy could have succeeded, Christianity would by now have been snuffed out. FULL POST

Posted 10/10/16 at 5:41 PM | Mark Ellis

God brought dust storm to protect new believers from terrorist attack

dust story in Middle East

By Mark Ellis

At least 50 Christians in the Middle East directly experienced God’s mighty hand of protection from Islamist militants when He caused a giant dust storm to hide them from their attackers.

The story of divine protection began with a baptism held in secret.

“By the ever loving grace of God, 24 believers of Jesus Christ from Islam received baptism in the Middle East,” says Pastor Paul, founder of “Bibles for Mideast”.

The new believers had approached Pastor Paul and asked to be baptized. Overjoyed that they are now part of the Bride of Christ, they wanted to be purified by the water and the Spirit to meet the Bridegroom – Jesus Christ, whom they believe is coming soon in the clouds to take His Bride.

“Our Lord’s return is imminent, they all believe,” Pastor Paul notes.

“When the gentiles received the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Peter asked the disciples, ‘Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Spirit as well as we?’ (Acts 10:47). FULL POST

Posted 10/1/16 at 10:55 AM | Marvin Thompson

Does Truth Telling Matter to Evangelicals?

Jennifer Rubin, a conservative columnist who strongly opposes Trump, lamented in a Washington Post column on September 26, 2016 that to the most vociferous right-wing voices “Facts are fungible; it’s all what you want to believe.” Her greater lament seems to be, though, that so many who ought to care about truth do not. “It is however disturbing that many certainly know he is lying — or out of touch with reality — and still support him,” she went on to say after offering a plausible explanation for why the less educated are duped by his dishonesty and many falsehoods.

Several media outlets annexed the comments of both major candidates for president during the week of September 19th. The result is staggering. Trump had eighty-seven instances when he told outright lies with the highest ratings, compared to Clinton’s eight. That is eleven to one.

A further breakdown of the lies is no less revealing. Trump lies with every three minutes of speaking, when all lies (including lies of varying degrees) are tallied. Clinton does the same every twelve minutes. This is empirical evidence that removes all doubt about who is the real liar of the two. With all due respect to Paula White and James Dobson, if Trump is a Christian, then Clinton is also a Christian; she at least speaks more clearly and with more understanding of her own faith and of Christian doctrines. FULL POST

Posted 9/27/16 at 4:22 PM | Mark Ellis

Monk run over by US tank, then attacked by ISIS, now ministers to refugees

Raeed ministers in refugee camp in Erbil

By Mark Ellis

First he was run over by a US tank, then ISIS forced him to flee his monastery in northern Iraq.

Raeed, a monk from Qaraqosh, eventually established a temporary monastery in a refugee camp in Erbil, where he has become an inspiration to many, according to a report by World Watch Monitor (WWM).

In 2001, Raeed answered a call from God to become a monk and joined four others in a small monastery.

But life changed dramatically after the US-led coalition moved into Iraq. He was in a taxi with another monk on his way to Baghdad, when they unexpectedly collided with a US tank.

There was a horrible crash and the awful sound of crunching metal as the tank seemed to come out of nowhere and drive over part of the taxi, according to WWM.

Tragically, the accident killed the other monk in the car and left Raeed in a coma.

When he emerged from the coma and realized he was the only survivor from the accident, it challenged his faith as never before. He didn’t understand why God would allow such a thing to happen after he dedicated his life to ministry. FULL POST

Posted 9/24/16 at 9:23 PM | selwyn perry

Have we lost our roots?

Western civilisation has its roots in the Judaeo-Christian thought and way of life from which faith, reason and science came, but only in leaps and bounds after it was dislodged from the tyranny of kings and governments. This took place over a period of time between 16-1700 AD. The new theory of the solar system, held by Kepler and Galileo was slow in taking hold but when it did the world was seen objectively for the first time. The sun did not circle the earth but the earth orbited the sun. Night and day was due to the rotation of the earth facing the sun during the day and the moon during the night. That discovery broke open the hold kings and parliaments had on learning and authority.
Along with physics, philosophy and politics underwent scrutiny and change. This was because the bible was no longer a closed book to those outside the Vatican, the cardinals and the priests. It was written only in Latin but that changed when copies of the bible were printed in English based on the original translations. Anyone who could read, read the bible for themselves and their conclusions differed with those of the established church. Nonconformity was born and flourished in opposition to the crown and the church. Hence, the bible that had long been the property of the crown and the church became the property of the people. But whilst nonconformity was a movement against the authority of the church to rule over conscience and the Scriptures, it was disunited in doctrines and forms of worship and since the 17th century has remained so. FULL POST

Posted 9/23/16 at 6:31 PM | Mark Ellis

Remembering the Country Church of Hollywood, where fictional radio drama blended with real life

Country Church of Hollywood from the air

By Mark Ellis

It was compared to a ‘Garden of Gethsemane,’ improbably set in the midst of Hollywood near the Capitol Records building. Built in 1934 on the venerable A.G. Bartlett estate known for its gardens, it had 150 mature trees surrounding its gleaming white facade. The clapboard sides resembled a Southern mountain church, with a steeple that soared high above the front entrance.

The man who built the church, Dr. William Hogg, had a nervous breakdown after World War I, but soon followed a calling from God as a Tennessee circuit preacher with a pioneering vision for Christian radio ministry. Indeed, the leafy site he chose on Argyle Avenue became the first radio church built on the West Coast, and the second or third in the nation.

It’s knotty pine interior and 100-year old oak pews were graced by speakers such as Billy Graham, Roy and Dale Evans, and Bill Bright. Dr. Hogg created a radio show, “The Country Church of Hollywood,” that was heard coast to coast on CBS radio from 1934 until 1966. FULL POST

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