LTRP Note: The following is a story that Lighthouse Trails has been following since its inception over three years ago about a former lesbian woman turned Christian who went into hiding with her young daughter after a Vermont judge ordered she turn her daughter over to her former lesbian “partner.” Then later, after Lisa Miller disappeared with her daughter, a Mennonite pastor was arrested, accused of helping the mother and daughter go into international hiding. To date, the mother and daughter’s whereabouts are unknown, but the U.S. government is working to put the pastor behind bars. Today, Isabella Miller is 11 years old.
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
BURLINGTON, Vt. – Appeal proceedings have begun in the case of a Mennonite pastor who was sentence to 27 months in prison last year for allegedly helping an ex-lesbian flee the country with her daughter.
As previously reported, Kenneth Miller of Stuarts Draft, Virginia was convicted in August 2012 for helping Lisa Miller (no relation) and her young daughter Isabella travel to Buffalo, New York, where they crossed the border into Canada and then escaped to Nicaragua. Miller, who turned to Christ in 2003, had been threatened by family court judge Richard Cohen that if Miller did not allow her daughter to have visitations with her former lesbian partner, Janet Jenkins, he would transfer full custody to Jenkins. In addition to not wanting her child to be raised in the homosexual lifestyle, Miller believed that her daughter was being traumatized from alleged inappropriate activities taking place between her partner and her daughter.
In November 2009, Cohen followed through with his threats. Click here to continue reading this story.
The Chronicle of our tracking of this story:
Chronicle of Our Coverage on the Lisa/Isabella Miller Situation:
January 2010: Lesbian ‘mother’ case presents constitutional issue
January 2010: Vermont Judge Threatens Mother in Hiding With Arrest
The Passion of the Presence and the Purpose of the Passion (and Francis Chan and John Piper’s Involvement with IHOP)
I went to a John Wimber workshop…. He said he sees the next 20 to 30 years as the time when more signs and wonders will be done than ever in history and when the secular media will be overwhelmed and have to report it every day as great revival spreads. – John Piper
IHOP In An Era of Celebrity-Driven Christianity
Evangelical leaders are currently rushing to associate themselves with major youth events that are becoming increasingly popular in the Christian world. These mass youth rallies were developed over the course of several decades by Mike Bickle’s IHOP (International House of Prayer) movement, which is interconnected to the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). IHOP and the NAR share both personnel and doctrine, with roots that go back into the Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God cult. Previously we have extensively documented the history of the camaraderie of IHOP and NAR.
This rapidly rising youth movement in evangelicaldom is characterized by its emphasis on generating fervent passion. Why are evangelical leaders rushing onto this bandwagon? Why are Francis Chan, John Piper, [both contemplative advocates] . . . and other prominent teachers placing themselves on center stage (literally) of these IHOP-orchestrated mass rallies?
Superficially, one might assume that it is merely for the immediate stardom and pizzazz that comes with such celebrity status in a youth event rocking with fervor, bright lighting, and loud acclamations. . . . But is it conceivable that these leaders also happen to agree with some of the IHOP doctrine? After all, it is impossible to separate the activities at these youth events without encountering the foundational beliefs that give rise to them.
Of course, it can be argued that just because an esteemed evangelical leader shares the stage with adherents and promoters of these IHOP/NAR doctrines doesn’t mean he/she agrees with their teaching. However, it is important to note that an evangelical leader’s very appearance at these events lends legitimacy and credibility to this movement – a movement that has been aggressively attempting to distance itself from its former cult status, remake its image and become respectable.
The doctrine of the IHOP believes that these mass youth stadium rallies are for the “purpose” of invoking the “presence” of God through generated “passion.” These three terms – passion, presence and purpose – are derived from some very strange esoteric doctrines that originated in the Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God cult.
“Presence” is popular. Recently Warren Smith published a book in which he made us aware of an increasingly popular belief that Christians can invoke the “presence” of “God” (or “Jesus”) by their contemplative activities. For endnote material and to read this entire article, click here.
150 appeal on behalf of sexual minorities in MC USA
By Tim Huber Mennonite World Review
One hundred fifty Mennonite Church USA pastors and others credentialed for ministry have signed a letter calling on denominational leaders to “change church policies” to “make space for congregations and pastors who welcome and bless” gay and lesbian Christians and other sexual minorities.
The letter was sent Jan. 24 to MC USA Executive Board members, conference ministers and other leaders.
Letter organizers stated in a news release it is the “biggest collection of Mennonite pastors and credentialed leaders to affirm equal treatment for those in same-sex relationships.”
The letter asks for an end to the discipline of pastors and congregations that dissent from MC USA’s teaching position that homosexual practice is a sin.
The teaching position is based on the MC USA Confession of Faith, which states that “God intends marriage to be a covenant between one man and one woman for life,” and by denominational statements from the 1980s that define “homosexual, extramarital and premarital sexual activity as sin.” (source)
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
LOS ANGELES – A mass homosexual ‘wedding’ was officiated live during the 56th annual Grammy Awards show on Sunday.
The event featured both homosexual and heterosexual couples–34 in all–who exchanged vows on stage, which was decorated to resemble a wedding chapel and featured a large choir.
During the occasion, the popular rap/hip hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performed their hit song One Love, which celebrates homosexuality and criticizes those who interpret the Scriptures to define same-sex behavior as sin.
“The right-wing conservatives think it’s a decision/And you can be cured with some treatment and religion/Man-made rewiring of a predisposition,” Macklemore rapped on stage. “Playing God, aw nah, here we go/America the brave still fears what we don’t know/And God loves all his children is somehow forgotten/But we paraphrase a book written 3500 years ago.” Click here to read more.
Check out this new “scrapbook” of photos sent over last week from the Bryce Homes for Widows and Children in Kenya. The new latrines (which were paid for by Understand the Times and Lighthouse Trails readers) are continuing to go up. Also in here, you will see some photos of how some of the widows must travel to get water for family use from a borehole. But soon Widows Lewnida and Alice will have a well built right next to their two homes (also thanks to our donors). Thank you Lord for Your faithfulness!
The background music in the slideshow is from Amanda LeBail’s CD A String of Pearls. Amanda is from the UK and sings beautiful irish-styling hymns and other biblically-based songs. You can listen to clips of this CD here.
To learn more about the Bryce Homes missions project (supported by Understand the Times and Lighthouse Trails readers), click here.
By Paul Proctor
Used with permission.
There seem to be two kinds of people in our world today: those who are preparing for the inevitable and those who are, for whatever reason, ignoring it. The warnings are everywhere. They’re like blaring civil defense sirens that never shut off. You would think everyone could hear them – but only a few have responded. The rest just continue on as they always have, unaffected by the unrelenting sound of the sirens.
Have you ever considered what your life would be like without just one modern day element, like electricity? In the 1800s it wouldn’t have been a big deal; but here in 2010, it would be catastrophic.
Remember that strange missile that soared through the sky unannounced and undeterred off the coast of California a few years ago? If a small nuclear device had been aboard one of those and detonated high enough over Middle America, chances are most, if not all, of our country would have gone dark and stayed dark for months or years. And many of the things we take for granted every day that are powered by electricity would have been indefinitely shut down, having had the insides fried by an electromagnetic pulse generated from the explosion.
Forget the abrupt halt that would have come to Wall Street and Main Street, not to mention our out-of-service cell phones, telephones, televisions, radios, computers, traffic lights, streetlights, coffee makers, microwave ovens, hairdryers and all those plug-in appliances we rely on each day to keep and prepare food for our families.
What do you think powers all the pumps and filtering systems that keep “clean” water coming into your house, condominium or apartment? Imagine life without drinking water and running water for showers and flushing toilets. Guess you could build a little outhouse in the back yard or alleyway if you’re not the shy type and your neighbors don’t object. But, don’t build it around any nearby creeks or ditches because that may be where you have to go for water to drink – that is, if you don’t mind the taste of fertilizer, weed killer, and animal feces.
Think there will be plenty of bottled water for you to buy at the grocery store when the power goes out? Even if any are open for business or have anything left on the shelves, you’ll need lots of cash to make your purchases since today’s registers and payment card systems are all electronic and computerized. Remember, those ATM machines are electronic and computerized too, so if you don’t already have plenty of cash on hand, you’ll probably be without the means to purchase food, water or anything else when the grid goes down.
Maybe you have some non-electronic items around the house you could take with you to the store to barter with. Not really sure you’ll have many takers though. After all – it is food and water we’re talking about here and supplies would be limited. And, that’s assuming your highly computerized automobile will even start or run to get you there. I suppose you could ride your bicycle to the store if you have one – if it’s not freezing or icy outside. But, I really don’t think you’d be able to carry much back home with you on that bike anyway.
Logic suggests that when the power goes out for an extended period of time, desperation will eventually lead to growing violence and theft as a means to survive. Are you prepared for that? I’m not trying to frighten anyone here. I’m just trying to point out how easily, quickly and dramatically things can change under certain circumstances and how important it is that we all thoughtfully and carefully prepare ahead of time – not wait to see what happens.
And if you think the government will help you under these conditions, remember, they’re going to be without electricity too and many of the electronic and computerized systems, equipment and devices it runs.
But the most important inevitability we should prepare for is our own demise. If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior – the One who gave His life on that cross 2000 years ago to pay for your sins and mine, then I encourage you to get on your knees right now in repentance and faith and confess that you are lost, dead in your sins and in desperate need of His salvation. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and receive the forgiveness of sins and the everlasting life only He can provide.
None of us know how much time we have left in this life or whether we will even survive another night – much less the difficult years ahead. Heed the call right now and surrender your heart and life over to the only begotten Son of God. Don’t wait for another time, another invitation or another opportunity, because it may not come.
Faith doesn’t procrastinate or panic – it prepares.
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Romans 10:13
We have to be prepared to take the security measures necessary for our immediate protection. . . .The answer is to promote views that are open-minded and tolerant towards those who are different, and to fight the formal, informal and internet propagation of closed-minded intolerance.” – Tony Blair
The following article (below) written by Tony Blair illustrates further the world’s efforts to bring about peace (without Christ) and its move toward a one-world religion, which will reject biblical Christians as extremists who are prone to terrorism. Of course, this is absurd as true born-again believers in Christ are not prone to violence. What Tony Blair and other leaders are really calling for is a world where those who say Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation are silenced. If you don’t believe that, consider what Blair’s co-comrade Rick Warren said about Christian fundamentalists (meaning those who adhere to biblical doctrine):
Warren predicts that fundamentalism, of all varieties, will be ‘one of the big enemies of the 21st century.’ ‘Muslim fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism, secular fundamentalism – they’re all motivated by fear. Fear of each other.’ (Rick Warren, from the Philadelphia Inquirer, 2006)
A false “Christ” is coming—the Bible predicts it—and he will hate Israel, the Jews, and Bible-believing Christians. While the world is going to do what it is going to do, how is that many of Christianity’s main leaders are falling into step with this world system that will eventually bring about the Antichrist? And how is it that within most denominations (including Calvary Chapel, Southern Baptist, Assemblies of God, etc.) there are many pastors promoting this apostasy and going unchecked and unchallenged? Remember what Rick Warren said about the new reformation he is hoping to help bring about, that it can come not just through Christians but through Muslims as well. He calls it a reformation from God.
Who’s the man of peace in any village – or it might be a woman of peace – who has the most respect, they’re open and they’re influential? They don’t have to be a Christian. In fact, they could be a Muslim, but they’re open and they’re influential and you work with them to attack the five giants. And that’s going to bring the second Reformation.—Rick Warren, May 2005, Pew Forum on Religion
By Tony Blair
“Religious difference, not ideology, will fuel this century’s epic battles”
The last weeks have seen a ghastly roll call of terror attacks in the obvious places: Syria, Libya, Iraq and Lebanon, as well as Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia and Pakistan. Also suffering are places where we have only in recent years seen such violence: Nigeria, and in many parts of central Africa, in Russia and across central Asia, and in Burma, Thailand and the Philippines. We can either see all of these acts of killing as separate – produced by various political contexts – or we can start to see the clear common theme and start to produce a genuine global strategy to deal with it.
The fact is that, though of course there are individual grievances or reasons for the violence in each country, there is one thing self-evidently in common: the acts of terrorism are perpetrated by people motivated by an abuse of religion. It is a perversion of faith. But there is no doubt that those who commit the violence often do so by reference to their faith and the sectarian nature of the conflict is a sectarianism based on religion. There is no doubt either that this phenomenon is growing, not abating. Click here to continue reading.
We have to be prepared to take the security measures necessary for our immediate protection. Since 9/11, the cost of those measures, and their burden, has been huge. However, security action alone, even military action, will not deal with the root cause. This extremism comes from a source. It is not innate. It is taught. It is taught sometimes in the formal education system; sometimes in the informal religious schools; sometimes in places of worship and it is promoted by a vast network of internet communications. Click here to continue reading.