A former Tennessee state legislator and his two sons have been charged with multiple counts of wire fraud for allegedly conning more than 300 Christians into buying gold and silver through their financial consulting company, and did so by convincing victims they needed to guard themselves against "mystery Babylon," a reference to the End Times.
Larry Bates and his sons, Charles "Chuck" Bates and Robert Bates, were indicted this week in Memphis, Tennessee, for using their financial company, First American Monetary Consultants, to sell gold and silver coins and other rare metals to mostly Christian and elderly customers.
According to the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice, the men, who presented themselves as knowledgeable Christian financial and political advisors, got away with taking people's money and failing to deliver the promised goods for more than 12 years. The Bates' alleged victims span numerous states, including Texas, Alabama, Kansas, Vermont, Oklahoma, Missouri, Florida, and Massachusetts. more >>
A new recruitment document thought to be a product of the Islamic State discusses how the terrorist group plans to bring about "the end of the word" by building up its operations inside Pakistan and Afghanistan and then attacking India to instigate a "final battle" between the Muslim community and Western nations.
The 32-page document, written in Urdu, is titled "A Brief History of the Islamic State Caliphate, The Caliphate According to the Prophet" and was discovered in Pakistan's lawless tribal lands.
Obtained by the American Media Institute through a Pakistani citizen with ties to the Pakistani Taliban, the document purports to show the Islamic State's plans to attack U.S. troops as they withdraw from Afghanistan and plans to target U.S. diplomats and Pakistani officials. more >>
How often have you viewed promotional material from a Christian school or college which stressed, "Learning from a Christian Perspective?" For years Christian educators spoke of this as the, "Integration of Faith and Learning." More recently, since many felt the "faith and learning" phrase was ready for a "nervous breakdown" or perhaps a "traumatic stress disorder," educational commentators have been looking for fresh language.
Now you're likely to hear or read, "faith influenced education," "incarnational learning," or more commonly "worldview learning manifestation." But, in the end, "the more things change the more they stay the same!"
We used to occasionally hear of Christian persecution taking place around the world, and it was disturbing but never on the scale we're seeing today. ISIS is brutally slaughtering not just hundreds, but tens of thousands of Christians, Jews and other dissenters who oppose its repressive version of Islam. Christians living in areas ISIS has taken over have been almost completely wiped out. It is not just run-of-the-mill wars, but global destruction on a ferocious level never seen before. The annihilation is on track to exceed the number of people killed during the battles of Alexander the Great, the Crusades and even the Holocaust.
One journalist who observed ISIS firsthand reported on the full extent of the evil,
"After weeks of negotiations, I managed to enter the city of Raqqa, which is the capital of the terrorist group in Syria, from where it launches daily attacks against President Assad's troops. It was a surreal and a chilling experience, as I saw a regime of absolute control, which imposed its strict sharia laws. This is not some disorganized bloodthirsty terrorist group or makeshift army. They are very organized. Islamic State fighters ruthlessly beheaded Assad's soldiers and spies on the front line. Their decapitated bodies were brought back to Raqqa and displayed in the town centre. The IS men gave me a horrific video of decapitated soldiers' bodies, which were left lying on the pavement in the centre of Raqqa. Some of the dismembered heads were placed on spikes." more >>
Evangelical Christian pastor Joel Osteen shared in an interview this week that "a whole group of probably about 50 Muslims" recently visited his nondenominational megachurch in Houston, Texas, and indicated that his inspirational messages on "how to live a great life" resonate with people "in Muslim countries."
"I have Muslims that attend our church and my books sell a lot in Muslim countries as well," Osteen said during an interview with Jeremy Hobson for the "Here and Now" radio program published online Monday.
Hobson had mentioned that he heard Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel express the opinion that Christianity and Judaism had not done "a good enough job keeping an open conversation with Muslims" in the U.S. He then asked Osteen if he has conversations with Muslims, which prompted the preacher to share that he "certainly" does. more >>
Billy Graham's daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, has claimed that the reason God allows terrorists to attack the United States and tornadoes to destroy cities is because Americans don't pay God any attention until they are truly desperate and are seeking His mercy.
The 67-year-old Lotz, who has previously claimed that the rapture will happen during her lifetime and God's judgement will soon come upon America, recently spoke with Jan Markell on the "Understanding End Times" radio program where she compared Americans' apathy toward the Gospel to the times of Noah, when God unleashed his judgement by flooding the Earth.
"In the days of Noah, they were eating, drinking, getting married. There is nothing wrong with any of that. All of those are normal everyday activities. But in Noah's day they did it all apart from God," Lotz said. "There was no acknowledgment of God. God was irrelevant to them. … I think that is where we are today." more >>