Wishing all of you a Happy New Year

HERE’S WISHING YOU A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018

Pastor George and Carol Duke wish to thank you for being our friend on FB and supporting our News Site WORLD CHRISTIAN NEWS 4 U.  In the past month, we have published books and appreciate all of you that have gone online to purchase them either from Amazon or Kindle.

In March I will be planning to visit churches in the South from Florida to Texas and later from Alabama to Tennessee. If you are a Pastor and would like for me to visit your church please contact me by email pastorgeorgeduke@aol.com or telephone me at 321-802-2611

In April I will be in Missouri then I will be flying over to Reno, Nevada to help start a new work in Yerington Nevada. If any Pastors nearby such as the San Francisco area to Nevada would like me to visit your church during this time please contact me. email pastorgeorgeduke@aol.com or telephone me at 321-802-2611

 

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Street preaching ministry calls out the Church

street preaching

(Editors note – While serving as a Missionary in the UK we often used street ministry to spread the gospel.While doing a street service in Bristol we did suffer some heckling.  In my book Guns to the Gospel, I point out in the book how that Fred the X Burglar was brought into the church by James and Joan Dallas from their church’s ministry in Battersea Park. Make sure you order my book online at Amazon or on Kendle. ) 

A street preacher in El Paso, Texas, is encouraging Christians to become bold and take the gospel to the streets.

As part of Christ in the Wild Ministries, Ryan Denton goes to various public events to preach, most recently on a public sidewalk adjacent to El Paso’s Plaza Theatre.

“This particular night they did have the drag queen event going on,” recalls Denton. Although his group doesn’t specifically target such events, he say it isn’t intimidated either. According to Denton, they go to that area every year at this time to preach the gospel to the lost.

“In the past, it seemed like you could actually get some lost people into the church or into a Billy Graham Crusade or something like that,” explains Denton, “and today I think, for the most part, that’s just not happening.”

Because of the lack of motivation to attend a Christian meeting, Christians must individually or collectively take the gospel to the streets, Denton urges.

“You know, I pray to God for it … because it’s biblical,” says the street preacher. “We’re not called to stay inside the church; we’re called to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ outside the church.”

man in handcuffsDenton has discovered obedience may come at a price. At the drag queen event in El Paso, a few participants started complaining about his preaching, hecklers joined in, someone called the police, and Denton was arrested. He is now waiting for the outcome, knowing the Constitution protects free speech – even if people disagree with the message.


Pastor Dukes Books now published on Amazon and Kendle Proceeds  to be used to pioneer new work in Yerington NV.Sister Carol Dukes Book now published on Amazon

Biblical Archaeology’s Top 10 Discoveries of 2017

Each year, on an almost daily basis, archaeological discoveries help us better understand the Bible and affirm its details about people, events, and culture.

Below are the top excavation findings reported in 2017 which have increased our knowledge of the biblical world and the early history of Christianity.

10) Pagan center discovered at Hippos/Sussita

A theater and bath house complex discovered at Hippos/Sussita, overlooking the Sea of Galilee, was part of a pagan cult site. As part of the Decapolis—the pagan Roman cities mentioned in the gospels—Hippos/Sussita was not a focus of Jesus’ ministry, but many of its people were likely a part of his audiences (Matthew 4:25). The existence of this cultic center was first suggested by the discovery of a mask of the Roman god Pan in 2015.

9) Byzantine church mosaics found

Mosaic inscriptions found in the remains of churches excavated at the site of Byzantine villages in the Galilee give new evidence for the spread of Christianity in the region

after the religion’s formal adoption by the Byzantine Empire in A.D. 380. The mosaics date to the fourth and fifth centuries. One includes the mention of a woman who was a donor to the church construction—clear evidence for the prominent role of women in the history of the early church. Then just last week, the discovery of another was announced, drawing more attention to how Christianity spread.

8) Augustus temple altar at Caesarea

Recent excavations at Caesarea Maritima found the base of an altar that stood near the entrance of a temple dedicated to Augustus Caesar that was built by King Herod. The historian Josephus reported that the temple, built high to overlook the harbor, contained a gigantic statue of Augustus and a statue of Roma. Beneath the level of the altar, archaeologists found two large halls and the remains of a large staircase similar in construction to the architecture around the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. A church was later built on the site of the temple during the Byzantine period. (Archaeologists are re-excavating the entrance area to Caesarea as part of a large renovation to make it into a much larger attraction, including the restoration of its 2,000-year-old synagogue.)

7) Merneptah’s destruction of Gezer

Ten years of archaeology at Tel Gezer wrapped up in 2017. Archaeologists Steven Ortiz of Southwestern Baptist Seminary and Sam Wolff of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) reported a clear sequence of occupations and destructions dating from the time of the Egyptian pharaoh Merneptah (13th century B.C.) to the Assyrian conquest (eighth century B.C.). The Merneptah destruction affirms the inscription on the Merneptah stele in the Cairo Museum, which states: “Gezer has been captured; Yano’am is made non-existent. Israel is laid waste and his seed is not.” Another destruction level corresponds to the biblical account of a pharaoh who captured the city and gave it as dowry for his daughter, who became one of King Solomon’s wives (1 Kings 9:16).

6) 12th Dead Sea Scrolls cave confirmed

Seventy years after the first discovery of Dead Sea Scrolls in caves overlooking the famous body of water, archaeologists identified one more cave where scroll materials had been stored. A careful reinvestigation of Qumran Cave No. 53 by a team led by Randall Price of Liberty University and Oren Gutfeld of Hebrew University found broken pottery of the type that had been used to store scrolls. In the remains of one pot, they found a scrap of rolled papyrus but with no writing on it. The archaeologists also found 1950s-era pickaxes in the back of the cave, indicating it had been looted many years ago.

5) Seal impressions and tower redating in City of David

The City of David, the oldest area of Jerusalem, continues to reveal new details of life in biblical times. In September, the IAA exhibited for the first time a collection of clay seal impressions (known as bullae) which came from various excavations. The clay sealings date from roughly the time of King Hezekiah (700 B.C.) to the end of the Judean monarchy (586 B.C.). One of the sealings bears the name of Achiav ben Menachem, which suggests a connection to two kings of the northern kingdom: Ahab and Menachem. Archaeologists believe this is evidence that refugees from the northern kingdom of Israel found their way into senior positions in the southern kingdom of Judea.

Meanwhile, a tower guarding the Gihon spring in the Kidron Valley may not be as old as archaeologists had believed. When originally excavated a number of years ago, it was dated to the Canaanite period, 1700 B.C., because of pottery and other findings. But an analysis of organic matter by the Weizmann Institute of Science suggests construction around 800–900 B.C., during the Judean Kingdom period.

4) Timna copper camp dated to time of David and Solomon

For several decades, some Bible scholars have suggested that a lack of convincing archaeological evidence raises doubts about the significance of the reign of the Old Testament kings David and Solomon. But the evidence to support a powerful 10th century B.C. centralized authority based in Jerusalem has been piling up. This year, archaeologists from Tel Aviv University announced results on tests of donkey dung discovered at Timna, a site of ancient copper mines along the Rift Valley in southern Israel. The animal waste was 3,000 years old, and the donkeys’ diet indicated that their feed came from near Jerusalem—another example of centralized power at the time of David and Solomon.

3) Rethinking the identity of Bethsaida

Hometown to three of the apostles (Peter, Andrew, and Philip), Bethsaida is believed to have been located just east of the outlet of the Jordan River into the northern Sea of Galilee. But its precise location has eluded Bible scholars. Archaeologist Rami Arav of the University of Nebraska–Omaha maintains Bethsaida was located at et-Tell, a site he has been excavating since 1987. But its distance—two kilometers from the current shore of the lake—has always raised questions about that identification. This year, a team led by archaeologist Mordechai Aviam of Kinneret College discovered remains of a Roman-era bathhouse at el-Araj, much closer to the shore. Neither site is convincingly identified as Bethsaida at this point; other archaeologists have weighed in to support each side.

2) A relic from the temple that Jesus knew

Solomon’s portico, the double colonnade that surrounded the temple built by Herod, came into a little sharper focus this year with the discovery of an ornamental capitalfrom one of the tops of the columns. Discovered by the Temple Mount Sifting Project, the capital—an architectural feature which mediates between a column and the load it bears—indicates that the 41-foot column had a circumference of 30 inches at its top. Jesus is recorded visiting Solomon’s portico during the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) in John 10:23, and the early church used it as a meeting place (Acts 3:11, 5:12).

1) Small Roman theater found next to the Temple Mount’s Western Wall

Although this may not be the Jerusalem Roman theater described by the Jewish historian Josephus, it is the first example of a Roman public building discovered in Jerusalem. Its discovery highlights the centrality of the Temple Mount in Jewish history and Roman control of the Jewish holy city. The theater was discovered at the bottom of eight excavated courses of Western Wall stones, 26 feet below Warrens Arch and the current level of the Western Wall plaza. Smaller than the typical Roman theaters seen today at Caesarea and Betshean, this theater could seat about 200 people. It may have been meant for entertainment, or perhaps for government meetings. Its date has not been precisely determined, but IAA archaeologists believe that its construction was halted before it was finished and put into use—perhaps by the beginning of the Bar Kochba revolt, about 100 years after the time of Christ.

Bonus Item: New dating for the tomb of Jesus

A final note on recent news about last year’s top item: The National Geographic-sponsored renovation of the traditional tomb of Jesus at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem has offered new evidence that confirms the tradition linked to the site. Mortar recovered during last year’s renovation was dated to as early as A.D. 345, using a scientific process called optically stimulated luminescence. That supports the traditional dating of the construction of the first Church of the Holy Sepulchre, to mark the tomb of Christ, during the reign of the Roman emperor Constantine.


Pastor Dukes Books now published on Amazon and Kendle Proceeds  to be used to pioneer new work in Yerington NV.Sister Carol Dukes Book now published on Amazon

Why was Christmas on December 25?

When was Jesus born?

(Editor’s note-The sincere Christian desires to win the lost and as such we use Christmas as a tool in order to allow others to come to know him. Proverbs 11:30  The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.  Col. 2:16 says  Let  no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come ….   No, we do not believe he was born on the 25th but he was born and most important to you and I he offered himself as the supreme sacrifice for our sins. This holiday he offers you eternal life through the new birth )

It is unlikely that Jesus was born on December 25. Shepherds were “out in the field, keeping watch over the flocks by night” when the angels announced the Messiah’s birth to them (Luke 2:8). In the cold month of December, their sheep would have been corralled around a fire. Luke’s reference points to the spring lambing season as the more likely time of Jesus’ birth.

Why, then, do we celebrate Christmas on December 25?

One explanation relates to pagan celebrations. The Romans held their mid-winter Saturnalia festival in late December, a Mardi Gras-like party marked by immorality. In AD 274, the Roman emperor Aurelian established the feast of the birth of Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun) on December 25, coinciding with the winter solstice. In response, Christians located the birth of God’s Son on that day as a way of inviting pagans to his worship.

However, many scholars dispute this explanation. A second theory is related to Jesus’ death at Passover, which some early Christians dated as  March 25. They theorized that Jesus was conceived and crucified on the same day. Therefore, he would have been born nine months after March 25, on December 25.

While no one is certain of the date Jesus was born, it seems entirely appropriate that we celebrate the birth of God’s Son near the time when we most need the sun. Our Lord was born into grave spiritual darkness, a culture dominated by emperor worship, mystery cults, pagan religions, and horrific immorality. Few saw a helpless baby in a feed trough as the Light of the world (John 8:12) and the hope of humanity.

But “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are” (1 Corinthians 1:28).

He still does.

God’s surprising providence

Name the towering giants of the Old Testament. Your list would certainly include Abraham, Joseph, Moses, and David. But who would have guessed early in their careers that they would be used in such eternally significant ways?

Abraham was a wandering shepherd, Joseph an imprisoned exile, Moses a hunted fugitive, and David a young boy. However, God equips those he calls and anoints those he appoints.

It’s the same story in the New Testament: a disgraced fisherman becomes the preacher of Pentecost; a persecutor of Christians becomes their greatest apostle; a pastor imprisoned on the Alcatraz of the ancient world gives us the Revelation.

Continue your survey across Christian history: Augustine was a decadent pagan; Thomas Aquinas was nicknamed the “dumb ox” by his fellow students; Luther was an unknown monk; Dietrich Bonhoeffer was an executed prisoner.

Scripture truly describes such saints as those “of whom the world was not worthy” (Hebrews 11:38).

Nowhere is God’s surprising providence on greater display than at Christmas. If you had been in charge of the Incarnation, how would you have arranged for Jesus to enter humanity?

I would never have sent him as a defenseless baby born in poverty and raised in obscurity. I would have sent him as a conquering hero come to claim his creation as its sovereign. I would have staged his entrance in such a way that all would immediately acknowledge his divinity and pay him the homage he is due.

And that is precisely how Jesus will come back one day.

The double meaning of Advent

“Advent” means “coming” or “arrival.” The season focuses not only on Jesus’ first coming but also on his second.

Dennis Bratcher notes: “In this double focus on past and future, Advent also symbolizes the spiritual journey of individuals and a congregation, as they affirm that Christ has come, that He is present in the world today, and that He will come again in power. That acknowledgment provides a basis for Kingdom ethics, for holy living arising from a profound sense that we live ‘between the times’ and are called to be faithful stewards of what God has entrusted to us as God’s people.”


Pastor Dukes Books now published on Amazon and Kendle Proceeds to be used to pioneer new work in Yerington NV.

Sister Carol Dukes Book now published on Amazon

Preacher fights ban on spreading gospel on Atlanta sidewalks

ATLANTA  — A Georgia preacher who says he was barred from public sidewalks and feared arrest for spreading the gospel on the fringes of a large outdoor concert in Atlanta is challenging the restrictions in court.

In a federal lawsuit, Eric Love says his free speech rights were violated outside the Shaky Beats music festival, which drew thousands in May to downtown Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park.

Love is asking a judge to decide whether the Georgia World Congress Center Authority and its police force can prohibit preaching from the surrounding sidewalks. The authority oversees the park, which was created for the 1996 Olympic Games.

The authority has cited a Georgia law that allows it to ban solicitation and other activities on public sidewalks and streets bordering the park when large events are held. That amounts to an unreasonable ban on free speech, Love’s lawyer Terry Lloyd maintains in the suit.

Representatives of the authority and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, who is named as a defendant, did not immediately return messages Wednesday from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Love cares deeply about people, so he “is compelled to tell people about Jesus Christ and his offer of salvation,” the lawsuit states.

“Love does not yell when he preaches; he only speaks loud enough to be heard by those near him, like someone delivering a speech in public,” Lloyd wrote.

At the May concert, Love was on a sidewalk outside the park near the entrance when he and two friends were confronted by the authority’s police officers, he said.

They were told they needed a permit to express their views on the sidewalk, but were not eligible for such a permit and would have to move, the complaint states.

At one point, one of Love’s two friends was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police vehicle but later was released, Love’s lawyer wrote.

“Love strongly desires to return to the public sidewalks adjacent to Centennial Olympic Park and share his religious views while large events are taking place in the park, but he does not want to risk criminal arrest,” Lloyd wrote.

His lawyer wants the matter resolved so that Love can preach without fear of being arrested outside the SweetWater 420 Fest, another large concert scheduled for the park in April.


Pastor Dukes Books now published on Amazon and Kendle Proceeds to be used to pioneer new work in Yerington NV.

Sister Carol Dukes Book now published on Amazon

China spotted illegally selling oil to North Korea, report says

ChineseOilShips

U.S. spy satellites reportedly captured photos of Chinese ships illegally selling oil to North Korean boats some 30 times since October.

Satellite images released by the U.S. Department of Treasury appeared to show vessels from both countries illegally trading oil in the West Sea, The Chosun Ilbo reported Tuesday, citing South Korean government sources.

North Korea was barred in September by the United Nations Security Council from importing natural gas and had its crude oil imports capped in response to Kim Jong Un’s nuclear missile program.

The U.S. Treasury in November also sanctioned North Korea’s Maritime Administration and its transport ministry, in addition to six North Korean shipping and trading companies and 20 of their vessels, in an effort to block the rogue regime’s transportation networks.

The satellite images appear to identify the ships. One of them — Rye Song Gang 1, seen “connected to a Chinese vessel” — was included in the Nov. 21 sanctions as a vessel of Korea Kumbyol Trading Company possibly transferring oil to evade sanctions.

While Russia exports some oil to North Korea, China is the main source of oil for the rogue nation, according to Reuters. However, the country exported no oil products to the North during the month of November. It was reportedly the second consecutive month China didn’t export diesel or gasoline to North Korea.

NORTH KOREA CALLS UN SANCTIONS ‘AN ACT OF WAR,’ ‘RIGGED UP BY THE US’

“This is a natural outcome of the tightening of the various sanctions against North Korea,” Cai Jian, an expert on North Korea at Fudan University in Shanghai, told the news organization. Cai added the “tightening … reflects China’s stance.”

It’s unknown if China supplies crude oil to the North, but it’s believed by industry insiders that China provides the cutoff nation 3.8 million barrels of crude oil each year through an “aging pipeline,” Reuters reported.

A government source told the South Korean newspaper that, “We need to focus on the fact that the illicit trade started after a UN Security Council resolution in September drastically capped North Korea’s imports of refined petroleum products.”

Robert Kelly, a professor at Pusan National University in South Korea, told The Telegraph that China trading oil to North Korea could be possible.

NORTH KOREA’S OTHER WEAPONS: EXPERT WARNS NUKES AREN’T BIGGEST CONCERN

“There is a lot of under-the-radar on the Chinese side,” Kelly said. “Beijing does not police the border strictly or enforce the sanctions toughly. This could be that.”

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she had no information following Chosun’s report, but said “the Chinese government has been completely and strictly enforcing Security Council resolutions” aimed at discouraging North Korea from developing nuclear and missile technology.

Hua questioned whether any country could make sure “not a single breach will happen,” but noted: “We are taking a sincere and serious attitude and forceful and effective actions.”


Pastor Dukes Books now published on Amazon and Kendle Proceeds  to be used to pioneer new work in Yerington NV.Sister Carol Dukes Book now published on Amazon

New Year Supermoon Ushering in God-Based Feminism Necessary for Messiah

“And on your joyous occasions—your fixed festivals and new moon days—you shall sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and your sacrifices of well-being. They shall be a reminder of you before your God: I, Hashem, am your God.” Numbers 10:10 (The Israel Bible™)

The first night of the New Year will feature a full-fledged supermoon, the second in a series of three that will be the largest supermoon of 2018, a phenomenon which, in Jewish mysticism, embodies a process of God-based feminism based in Genesis which is, according to Jewish mysticism, a necessary component in bringing the Messiah.

supermoon occurs when the moon is at the part of its elliptical orbit that brings it closer to Earth, appearing up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than when it is viewed at its furthest point. On the night of January 1st, the moon will be at its closest point of the entire year.

Sara Yehudit Schneider, an author and director of A Still Small Voice Torah teaching institution, believes the appearance of a larger-than-normal moon is a necessary precursor to the Messianic era. Though a supermoon is a purely astronomical appearance, it embodies a God-based feminism that was hinted at in the Story of Creation and the moon’s phases are a constant reminder of mankind’s Messianic mission.

“There is an aspect of the geula (redemption) process is a repairing of the moon, which basically means the rising of the feminine,” Schneider told Breaking Israel News. “In Jewish symbology, the masculine archetype conflates with the sun and the feminine with the moon.”

As the basis for her claim, Schneider cited the Talmud (Hulin 60b). The Talmud discusses the seeming contradiction in the verse describing the creation of the sun and the moon.

Hashem made the two great lights, the greater light to dominate the day and the lesser light to dominate the night, and the stars. Genesis 1:16

Though initially described in equal terms, the verse then noted the sun and the moon were not equal, with the sun being called the “greater light” and the moon the “lesser light”. The Talmud explains that when God created the sun and the moon they were equal in every manner, including size and intensity. The moon complained, saying, “Two kings cannot share one crown.” God agreed and made the moon shine less intensely, compensating the moon by commanding Israel to set the calendar by its cycles.

“The moon was diminished as part of the creation, surrendering her throne,” Schneider explained. “The rest of history, from Creation to Messiah, is the moon reattaining her fullness of stature. The bliss of the messianic era is when the masculine and feminine meet face-to-face, completely equal, as represented by the Cherubim on the ark of the covenant.”

“Our messianic goal is for the ‘he’ and ‘she’ to become completely equal,” Schneider said. “The feminine polarity, or shechina (divine presence), is that aspect of the universe that is engaged in a dynamic moving towards perfection, represented by the moon. The masculine is represented by the sun, completeness in a state of unwavering perfection. All of creation has an aspect of feminine and is moving towards a sun-like completeness.”

“To do this, the sun and the moon need to be completely equal, but they aren’t which is why the solar and lunar calendar are out of sync,” Schneider said. “Though the lunar cycle appears circular, returning to the same point each month, each ascent to fullness leaves a trace of growth, bringing us closer to completion and Moshiach (Messiah).”

Schneider emphasized that modern feminism is not intentionally moving towards Messiah but it serves a necessary and holy function nonetheless.

“So many things that are necessary for the Messianic process can be done with a pure God-centered intention or a non-God-centered intention,” Schneider said. “That applies to feminism as well. It is true that if we are not keeping up the pace, if there are changes and transitions that need to happen and the God-conscious folks aren’t getting to work and fulfilling their responsibilities, Hashem will get people to push things through even without the correct intention.”

“One of the distinguishing features of the feminine that is necessary for the messianic age is the collapsing of hierarchy when everyone will be unique and equally the most beloved to Hashem” Schneider concluded.

The night following the first full moon of the month will see the Quadrantid meteor shower light up the skies, although the moon’s bright glare will make it more difficult to spot.

The final supermoon of the trio will arrive on January 31. It is also a ‘Blue Moon’, so called because it is the second full moon in a single calendar month. On average, Blue Moons happen every two and a half years. This full moon will also be a blood moon. The moon’s appearance will change during the eclipse, gradually getting darker and taking on a rusty or blood red color, making the astronomical spectacle a super Blue ‘Blood Moon.’


 

‘Aspiring Pastor’ Charged With Murder After Wife, Children Found Dead in Home

In my book Guns to the Gospel, I bring out how Satan uses other Ministers and members to try and destroy the Church. Read about Pastor Robert Glass’s warning to me.

KELOWNA, B.C. — A Canadian man that had aspirations to be a pastor has been charged with second-degree murder after his wife and two young daughters were recently found dead in their home.

Jacob Forman, 34, made his first court appearance on Thursday after authorities found his wife of ten years, Clara, and their daughters Karina and Yesenia, 7 and 8 respectively, murdered in the couple’s Kelowna home on Dec. 17.

The motive is not yet known and Forman showed no emotion during his hearing, according to Global News. The bodies of the victims were not found until two days after the incident.

Forman, who worked as a supervisor for a plumbing and heating company, met his wife in Mexico where he was attending a Christian retreat in studying to be a pastor. The two married four months later, and Clara moved to Canada, where she became a fitness instructor.

According to Global News, Forman volunteered at the church he attended and served as the small group’s coordinator.

The tragedy came as a shock to those in the community as the quiet family seemed to be happy.

“They were just very nice people,” neighbor Gail Baran told reporters. “You would never ever think that [such a thing could happen in] that family. They were very down to earth people. He would go to work every day and appeared to be such a gentleman. It’s a shock for all of us here.”

Forman also posted happy photos and videos to his social media page, such as footage of Karina as a baby enjoying her birthday cake, according to CTV News.

After word of the alleged murders broke, those mourning the loss of Clara and the children set up a vigil outside of the home, complete with candles and stuffed animals. Messages of condolence have also been posted on Clara’s Facebook page.

“[J]ust read the horrific news. Truly sad and appalled at what this man did to his lovely children and wife. Shaken to the core,” one commenter wrote.

“My love to your family, sweet Clara,” a second stated.

“Likely untreated mental health,” another opined.

Forman’s attorney, Glenn Verdurman, didn’t didn’t know the motive either.

“Obviously he’s facing the worst possible thing he could be facing at this point in time. I can’t really speak for him, but he’s obviously holding up in court today, and I’m able to take instructions from him,” he told Crime Online.

Forman has been incarcerated without bail and prohibited from having contact with 13 people.

In Matthew 7:16-20, Jesus said, “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so, every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

 

Christian-owned toy store in UK refused to open on Christmas Eve despite estimated loss of $3M in sales

The Christian owner of one of the largest toy store chains in the U.K. decided to keep all of its 149 branches closed on Christmas Eve this year so the staff can spend time with their families.

The Entertainer faces losing nearly £2.3 million (US$3.8 million) in sales by closing on Christmas Eve, but owner Gary Grant says he believes that the gain for the families of his 1,700 workers is worth it.

Grant, a devout Christian, refuses to open on Sundays as he believes that giving his staff the time off on that day helps strengthen family life, which he says is already “under attack enough.”

“I have given the concept of one day in seven as a day of rest a lot of thought and I am not making an exception just because it is Christmas Eve,” he said, according to Daily Mail.

“I value families. I have four children and six grandchildren. I employ a lot of parents, grandparents, uncles and aunties. It is convenient that everybody has the same day off, that parents can be off at the same time as their children,” he added.

Grant said that he does not know any other shops being closed on Christmas Eve — when experts expect shoppers to spend a total of £1 billion (US$1.34 billion) as people make a last-minute dash to buy presents and supplies for Christmas.

His decision not to open on Christmas Eve has been commended by the shop workers’ union Usdaw. “Staff in retail work very long hours in the run-up to Christmas. Our members tell us they need time off to recuperate as well as to spend time with their family and friends. That is especially important when they have children,” a spokesman said.

Grant, who describes himself as a “charismatic Christian,” said that he tries to apply Christian values to every aspect of his business, giving away 10 percent of his profits to charity in line with biblical teaching.

He also refuses to sell items with occult themes, including Halloween witches’ costumes and Harry Potter merchandise. In a 2009 interview with The Guardian, Grant noted that he does not stock toy trolls because it is being marketed as creatures with “magical, mystical powers of good luck.”

Grant entered the toy store business in 1981 after taking over a local shop in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. The company now makes a £9 million profit each year on sales of £150 million and it opened 16 new stores this year.


 

Atheist group warns Arkansas governor against sharing Bible verses on official social media pages

A prominent atheist group has warned Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson against sharing Bible verses on his official social media pages, suggesting that he is violating the U.S. Constitution by doing so.

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has sent a letter to Hutchinson on Tuesday, asking him to stop his practice of posting Bible verses to his Twitter and Facebook accounts each Sunday.

Guns to the Gospel can be

purchased on Amazon or on Kendle

“Government officials cannot endorse religion, including by regularly publishing Bible verses,” FFRF attorney Andrew Seidel wrote.

“When it comes to violations of the Establishment Clause, i.e., the government endorsing religion, appearances matter. Government officials cannot appear to endorse Christianity,” he continued.

The secularist group contended that Hutchinson’s posts are a form of government speech and recommended that the governor create a new personal social media account separate from his official pages to share his religious messages.

“If you cannot refrain from using social media to promote your personal religion, then you should open other, personal social media accounts for your personal thoughts, musings, prayers, and Bible verses and leave all your official business for the accounts mentioned above,” Seidel said.

The FFRF attorney also contended that Jesus’ exhortation not to make an ostentatious show out of prayer just to be seen by others also applies to posting Scriptures publicly.

“None of Jesus’s supposed words mention Twitter—perhaps He wasn’t that prescient—but the condemnation of public piety is reasonably clear,” the FFRF attorney said.

The group maintained that it has no objections to people reading and discussing the Bible, adding that the “road to atheism is littered with bibles that have been read cover to cover.” It is not known whether Hutchinson plans to respond to the FFRF’s letter.

Earlier this month, the FFRF chastised another public official for volunteering for the Salvation Army.

Republican Connecticut Sen. George Logan, a freshman senator, had volunteered to work as a bell-ringer outside a Walmart store in Naugatuck.

The atheist organization called on Logan to keep up the separation of church and state and suggested that the senator should consider supporting only secular charities in the future. The FFRF contended that the Salvation Army is not merely a charity, but also a church denomination with an “evangelistic mission.”

State Rep. David Labriola said that he had been volunteering with the Salvation Army for several years, but he did not get a letter like the one received by Logan.

Logan dismissed the FFRF’s arguments that his volunteer work was a separation of church and state issue and he said that he decided to “ring even more bells” for the Salvation Army to raise money for people in need.