Anger as Britain’s first black archbishop John Sentamu is snubbed by Downing Street after he was not awarded automatic life peerage

Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, 71, was expected to receive a life peerage so he would be able to continue sitting in the House of Lords after he retired on June 7

The new Archbishop of York has slammed Downing Street for snubbing his predecessor – Britain’s first black archbishop – of an automatic life peerage. Continue reading “Anger as Britain’s first black archbishop John Sentamu is snubbed by Downing Street after he was not awarded automatic life peerage”

President Trump puts wad of cash into the collection box at mask-free church service in Vegas

President Donald Trump attended a high energy church service Sunday morning at the International Church of Las Vegas, where he pulled out eight bills – which looked to be $20s – to add to the collection plate.

The service was part concert, part prayer session and even part rally, as the church’s pastor Paul Marc Goulet, ticked off a list of Trump’s accomplishments.

‘He gave the church back a voice,’ Goulet said. ‘He’s given a voice to the unborn,’ the pastor added, earning Trump loud cheers and a partial standing ovation from the crowd.

Goulet also thanked Trump for making his third appearance at the non-denominational Christian church, where members worship to music and flag dancers. ‘This is your third time here. That means you’re really a church member,’ Goulet said.

Trump attended the indoor service alongside aides Hope Hicks, Kayleigh McEnany and Dan Scavino.

Only a smattering of worshippers were wearing masks.

Goulet talked about the need in the community because of the area’s high unemployment rate due to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

‘Right now we’re feeding about 25,000 people a month in the city. Because, Mr. President we went to about 28-29 per cent unemployment in our city and our Clark County and because of that we just have cars lining up,’ Goulet said.

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Source: Daily Mail

Ice Cube Says ‘I’m Working With Whoever is in Power’ and Defends Helping Trump on Plan for Black Americans as He’s Invited Back on CNN After His First Interview Was Cancelled

Ice Cube has defended his decision to work with Donald Trump on a plan for black Americans as he finally went on CNN after blasting the network and host Chris Cuomo for canceling his interview the day before.

The rapper insisted he is ‘working with whoever is in power’ and that he is ‘not on nobody’s team’ during an interview with Cuomo Friday night.

Ice Cube has been forced to defend himself after the Trump administration said this week it was working with him on creating policies to better serve African American communities.

He was slammed following the announcement as fans questioned how he could go ‘from NWA to MAGA’ and claimed he was being used by Donald Trump and his administration to try to claw in black votes just before the election.

The hotly-anticipated discussion with Cuomo came one day after Ice Cube claimed CNN had axed his appearance on Cuomo Prime Time Thursday night saying they ‘can’t handle the truth’.

Ice Cube told Cuomo Friday he ‘was not on team blue’ and also ‘not on team red’ but would work with whoever is ‘in power’ on his Contract With Black America.

‘Whoever wins – you will hear from me,’ he said of the election.

CWBA is a program formed by the rapper in August with the intention of ‘striking at the heart of racism and [presenting] a blueprint to achieve racial economic justice.’

Ice Cube insisted his plan is not the same as the Trump administration’s Platinum Plan, which Trump has held up as a program to support African American communities.

He said he didn’t reach out to the Trump administration but that both the Trump and Biden campaign reached out to him about CWBA.

He explained that, while both sides expressed interest in working with him, Biden’s team asked to work with him after the election while Trump’s asked to speak with him then.

‘The Platinum Plan is not my plan,’ he said. ‘I came up with the Contract With Black America.

‘I didn’t run to work with any campaign. Both camps contacted me and both campaigns wanted to work with me on the Contract With Black America.

‘One campaign said we love what you have but let’s really dig into it after the election. The other said we love what you have do you mind talking with us about it.’

He added: ‘I’m willing to work with both teams but I’m working with whoever is willing to work with me.’

He insisted that tackling the issue of racial inequality was not a partisan matter to him and that he was going to ‘go to whoever is in power and speak to them about our problems specifically’.

‘I’m not talking about minorities or people of color or diversity or none of that stuff,’ he continued.

‘I’m going there for black Americans – the ones who are descendants of slaves and that’s what I’m going to talk to anyone who is in power about so if anybody’s got a problem with that it seems like a personal problem to me.’

Cuomo launched into the interview with a run down of differences between Ice Cube’s music career and Donald Trump’s stance on racial equality.

The anchor described how Ice Cube started out ‘rapping in defiance of police presence’ and cut to a clip of his 2018 song ‘Arrest the President’ where the rapper hit out at Trump saying he was ‘Russian intelligence’ and ‘so full of s***’.

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Source: Daily Mail

Kirstie Alley sets Twitter alight by saying ‘I’m voting for Trump because he’s not a politician’

Kirstie Alley came under attack on Twitter Saturday night after declaring: ‘I’m voting for Donald Trump because he’s NOT a politician.’

The Cheers actress, 69, shared her views on the presidential race, tweeting: ‘I voted for him 4 years ago for this reason and shall vote for him again for this reason.

‘He gets things done quickly and he will turn the economy around quickly. There you have it folks there you have it’.

But Alley, who is a high profile follower of the Church of Scientology, quickly faced backlash for her tweet. It had been shared more 60,000 times and liked 204,000 times as of Sunday morning. Alley’s name was soon trending on the site.

Her views sparked a fierce reaction online from some, including director Judd Apatow, who tweeted: ‘Shelly Long was way funnier than you.’

Long starred alongside Alley in Cheers.

Actress Patricia Arquette tweeted: ‘Well my vote for Biden canceled yours out. I have done my civic duty of the day.’

West Wing star Bradley Whitford added: ‘Exactly, @kirstiealley, @realDonaldTrump gets things done! Like the wall he built that Mexico paid for, the healthcare plan that he passed, the infrastructure plan, the way he neutralized the NK nuclear threat, and the way he released his taxes and kept us all safe! Great point!’

Thirtysomething actor Ken Olin said: ‘So, @kirstiealley joined others on the island of disgruntled former celebrities where Donald Trump is the king. Let them fly their freak flag. Who cares? Certainly not the public. It is what it is. If we vote, we win. Stay focused.’

Comedian Natasha Rothwell, a writer for Saturday Night Live, said: ‘Kirstie Alley’s tweet screamed “I can’t read! I don’t watch the news! Black Lives Don’t Matter! My body, your choice! and Pussies wear masks! And sexuality is a preference!”

‘But all I can think about is how 87% of the people on here will have to google who she is.’

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Source: Daily Mail

“2 Hearts” Actor Adan Canto Says Film Emphasizes ‘the Value of Life’ and ‘Importance of Family’

“2 Hearts” movie poster

The movie “2 Hearts” tells the true story of two couples whose journeys lead them to a life-saving miracle of love and purpose. Continue reading ““2 Hearts” Actor Adan Canto Says Film Emphasizes ‘the Value of Life’ and ‘Importance of Family’”

Pastor David Murray on 12 Struggles Singles Face

Dr. David Murray is Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Seminary. He is also Pastor of Grand Rapids Free Reformed Church. David is the author of Christians get depressed too, How Sermons Work, and Jesus on Every Page. You can read his blog at or follow him on Twitter @davidpmurray.

When we hear the word “single” we usually think of one kind of single—someone maybe 25-50 who has not married. But there are other kinds of singles: widows, single parents, divorcees, those who suffer with same-sex attraction and even those who are in loveless marriages—perhaps the most painful singleness of all. But for all singles, there are 12 struggles that must be faced at different stages and to different degrees:

1. Submission not rebellion: Accept and approve God’s will as good, right and wise. That is not easy when every part of you is crying out for intimacy, as Fabienne Harford explained in Sex and the Single Woman:

In some ways—in dark and frightened places—I feel forgotten and betrayed and confused because I know he [God] knows me. I know he knows my body and my heart, and I know he designed and wired this desire inside of me.

2. Trust not anxiety: Rest in God’s provision now and for the future. Again, that’s extremely difficult, as actress Anne Hathaway explained in a recent interview:

Loneliness is my least favorite thing about life. The thing that I’m most worried about is just being alone without anybody to care for or someone who will care for me.

3. Friendship not loneliness: First, cultivate friendship with Christ. Draw near to him through verses such as Jeremiah 3:1431:3Haggai 2:23; Isa 62:1243:449:1654:5.

Fabienne Harford put it like this when speaking of her painful hunger for physical intimacy:

This pain has blessed me by forcing me to be all in with God: banking on him for my joy. Our God is a God of pleasure. He is not calling us to hunger because he wants us to be miserable. He is calling us to hunger because he wants us to experience the greatest pleasure available to man: himself.

Second, build strong friendships within your church family. Every single will tell you that the biggest help to living with singleness is friendship. Regarding those who fight against same-sex attraction, Corey Widmer issued this challenge to the church:

I’m now convinced any church that holds a traditional view of sexuality must also foster a radical practice of Christian community in which living out a biblical sexual ethic becomes possible and even attractive.

4. Opportunities not difficulties: Instead of focusing on the difficulties, use the single state to serve God and His people. It’s an opportunity to do things and go places that married people cannot do or go (1 Cor. 7:25).

Also, there are many lonely people you can serve and bless with understanding and sympathy. Fabienne Harford wrote of how the pain of lacking physical intimacy has become a gift that helps her serve others:

That pain has taught me how to hold my infertile friend and cry with her when Mother’s Day rolls around again. That pain has given weight to my words when I explain to a mom with three kids that Friday nights alone on your couch really aren’t as amazing as they sound.

5. Contentment not envy: Don’t be looking enviously or angrily at happily married couples. Although it looks picture-perfect as perfectly groomed children pour out of the minivans every Sunday morning, the reality is often very different. There are challenges and trials in every life situation.

6. Forgiveness not bitterness: Don’t get angry with God for His providence or with others for their insensitivity or thoughtless neglect of you.

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Source: Church Leaders

WATCH: Veggietales Creator Phil Vischer Shares How Race Shapes the Way Christians Vote

In his latest video tackling the complexities of race in the United States, VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer explores the question, “Why do white Christians vote Republican and Black Christians vote Democrat?” There are many factors that play into the answer to this question, but Vischer suggested the reasons have a lot to do with the very different histories and life experiences of white and Black Christians in the U.S.

“Everyone knows conservative Christians vote Republican,” said Vischer. “It’s like one of the rules of nature.” But at the same time, “Most African Americans self-identify as Christian and most African-Americans vote Democrat.”

As an illustration of that point, Vischer cited data from Pew Research Center that found that 96 percent of Black Protestants voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, while 81 percent of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump. How is it possible for two groups of people who claim to be following the same faith to come to such different conclusions about which candidate or party they will support? To answer this question, Vischer gave a brief history lesson, starting in 1870.

Phil Vischer on the History of Our Political Parties

When Black men gained the right to vote in 1870, the terms “Democrat” and “Republican” had connotations very different from what we think of today. President Abraham Lincoln was a Republican, and when they got the right to vote, most Black people were Republicans as well. “In fact, the first 23 Black congressmen were all Republicans,” said Vischer. This was in part because of Lincoln, but also because most slave owners and many members of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) were Democrats.

The commitment Black people had to the Republican party was shaken, however, by the Great Compromise of 1877. Lincoln’s assassination in 1865 had jeopardized the voting rights of Black Americans in the South, so Republican presidents sent federal troops there to protect those rights. But when the election of 1876 fell into a deadlock that threatened to send the country into another civil war, Rutherford B. Hayes (a Republican) became president in exchange for the withdrawal of the troops in the South that had been protecting African American rights. “Yep, Northern Republicans sort of threw southern Black people under the bus,” said Vischer.

Between 1868 and 1898, the South had elected 22 Black representatives. But when the federal troops were withdrawn, the “elimination of Black votes was so complete,” said Vischer, it would be 30 years before another Black man would be elected to Congress.

States then passed Jim Crow laws and Black people became more vulnerable to the KKK. This led to the Great Migration, where six million African Americans left the South to escape segregation and lynchings. Another advantage of leaving the South was that in the North, Black people could vote. Some still voted Republican because of Lincoln, but Republican leaders were not advocating for them, and in 1926, the NAACP encouraged Black voters not to be loyal to either party.

During the Great Depression, unemployment was twice as bad for Black people in the North as it was for white people there, and the Black community favored Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. Roosevelt was a Democrat, and he “received overwhelming support from Black voters.” Another noteworthy event during this time was Arthur Mitchell’s election to Congress in 1934. He was “something Washington had never seen before: A Black Democrat.”

For the next 20 years, said Vischer, the Republican and Democratic parties each supported different civil rights measures and Black voters voted for both Democratic and Republican candidates. “Though today this seems hard to believe,” he said, “there used to be conservative and progressive wings of both parties.” The conservative Southern Democrats and conservative Republicans were united in their desire to limit the size of the government. Both factions also opposed new civil rights measures. So fighting for states rights and limited government became associated with opposing civil rights.

As Northern Democrats proposed more civil rights legislation than Republicans did, Black voters gradually voted Democrat more than they voted Republican. And as the Southern Democrats continued to oppose civil rights laws, this tension, said Vischer, led to a “breaking point, and that break would radically alter American politics.”

The political career of Strom Thurmond, who was governor of South Carolina and then a senator for five decades, “almost perfectly illustrates the shift in political parties over the last 80 years,” said Vischer. Thurmond was a Southern Democrat and a staunch advocate of keeping the South segregated. When Harry Truman integrated the Army and proposed “aggressive civil rights legislation,” Thurmond and other Southern Democrats formed the States Rights Democratic Party, or the “Dixiecrats,” “a conservative party dedicated to preserving segregation.”

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Source: Church Leaders

James Emery White on Why We Desperately Need to Learn to Discern

James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunct professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president.

Here’s why we desperately need to learn to discern.

A well-known doctor told thousands of viewers tuning into an Instagram live video that she knew the best way to “prevent and fight COVID-19.”

At the time (April 20, 2020), the virus had already killed 50,000 Americans. Scientists then, as now, were working around the clock to find a safe and effective treatment.

The doctor, Dominique Fradin-Read, is widely known in the “wellness” community. She owns the Los Angeles based medical practice VitaLifeMD and helped develop the “Madame Ovary” supplement for Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop brand.

Fradin-Read claimed to have an “FDA-approved” medicine that worked like “magic.” She made similar claims on her practice’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

According to an investigative report on National Public Radio (NPR):

“Such claims were, at best, misleading. At worst, the recommendations could put patients’ health at risk. The drug, thymosin alpha-1, has never been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for any condition, nor has it been proven safe or effective for treating COVID-19. The company that supplied Fradin-Read the drug has also faced scrutiny from the federal government for alleged violations of lab safety standards.”

NPR further revealed that Fradin-Read’s practice “is one of more than 30 medical practices and compounding pharmacies across more than a dozen states that have made unproven claims about this drug on their websites and on social media.” Further, most of the medical practices that promoted the drug are not specialized in infectious diseases but rather “focus on plastic surgery or promote ‘wellness,’ ‘anti-aging’ and ‘regenerative’ medicine.”

After NPR’s inquiries, VitaLifeMD’s social media posts regarding the drug were removed from Facebook and Twitter.

What makes this story worth telling is that it reflects countless other sources and streams of information being put forward on the internet that are misleading or simply false. Even worse, many streams, websites, blogs, podcasts, “studies” and more have some basis in truth and may be disseminated by someone who is credentialed. In this case, a doctor was behind the misinformation. And not only that, but she offered “studies” to support her claims—they just weren’t reputable ones.

For example, when questioned by NPR:

“Fradin-Read also said ‘thymosin alpha-1 has tons of studies’ in scientific literature supporting its use for infectious diseases. For example, she sent NPR a link to a small, nonrandomized study from China, where the drug is approved. That study found some benefit in reducing deaths in severe cases of COVID-19 and was published in the scientific journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

“The editor-in-chief of that journal, Dr. Robert Schooley, told NPR, ‘These early studies do not imply an endorsement of the agent in question, and should not be cited as that by those selling the drug without FDA approval.’ Other researchers shared Schooley’s concerns. Cynthia Tuthill is a former chief scientific officer at SciClone, the pharmaceutical company that sells the brand-name version of the drug abroad. When Tuthill learned American doctors were marketing the drug as a purportedly ‘FDA-approved’ COVID-19 treatment, she said she was ‘horrified.’

“The Federal Trade Commission and the FDA have also taken issue with such claims. The agencies warned three companies that promoting thymosin alpha-1 as a coronavirus treatment is ‘unlawful’ because such claims are ‘not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence’ and demanded they remove those claims within 48 hours.”

I am finding an alarming increase in the number of people, exacerbated by the pandemic, who are being severely misled on any number of issues. Not simply in terms of medicine or science, but also politics, education, child-rearing and child-development, theology, conspiracy theories… there is just no end to the topics. They are often getting information that is either unreliable or biased, yet it is presented in such a way that it is “FDA approved,” backed by studies and promoted by experts.

It doesn’t help that much of this information is coming through their Facebook newsfeed or a Google search, both of which are algorithm-driven, catering to third-party interests. Yes, all things “The Social Dilemma.” (If you haven’t watched that documentary on Netflix, don’t wait another day. It’s one of the most eye-opening exposés on the power of social media I’ve ever seen.)

So, what are some best practices for discernment? Here are five:

1. Before you research anything, ask yourself what a biblical worldview might have to offer that you know would be a guiding light to your search. Determine on the front end if there is any sense of true north that you need to keep in mind as you visit sites, read studies or look for insight. Everything should be read through the lens of God’s transcendent truth.

2. Before you start googling, own your personal biases regarding the search. Ask yourself what you are hoping to find to be true, to hear, to have validated. In other words, own your personal lack of objectivity. The internet is the biggest enabler in the history of the world. Why? You can quickly and easily find support for whatever you want to find support for.

Related to this is to check your level of pride. Holding to minority reports, fringe views or out-of-the-mainstream choices can be a way of feeling superior over others. It’s almost as if doing things differently sets you apart as more knowledgeable, more informed and better than the rest. Don’t be seduced by this subtle form of hubris.

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Source: Church Leaders

Samaritan’s Purse to Set up Coronavirus Field Hospital in the Bahamas

(RNS) — First the tents went up in Cremona, Italy. Then New York City.

And now in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas.

It’s been a busy year for Samaritan’s Purse, the humanitarian relief organization led by Franklin Graham. On Thursday (Oct. 15), the group announced it was deploying a field hospital to Nassau after an increase in COVID-19 cases had overwhelmed the local health care system.

Plans call for a 28-bed field hospital and a team of doctors and nurses trained in infectious diseases to partner with Nassau’s Princess Margaret Hospital and the Bahamian Ministry of Health.

Samaritan’s Purse said the request for the field hospital came from the Bahamian prime minister in response to medical facilities that are filled to capacity.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends travelers avoid all nonessential international travel to the Bahamas. The nation, made up of hundreds of small islands, has had 5,100 cases of COVID-19, with about 480 new cases in the last week. It has reported 109 deaths as of Thursday.

Samaritan’s Purse has been in the Bahamas before. After Hurricane Dorian hit last year, the organization opened a 40-bed field hospital on Grand Bahama. It also opened a country office in the Bahamas to meet ongoing needs for clean water and the rebuilding of homes damaged by the hurricane.

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Source: Church Leaders

Illinois Church Tells Members to Talk About Politics and Religion With Love

Stateline Church in Rockford, Illinois, is challenging its members to have political conversations over dinner with people who have different views than they do. The church gave away $50 gift cards in order to support local restaurants and encourage believers to have discussions where they show Jesus’ love instead of tearing others down.

“If you are a Christ-follower,” said lead pastor Gregg Giamalva, “why would you want to tear down a bridge when a bridge is the pathway that the Holy Spirit will move in between us? Even if somebody disagrees with you, even if somebody has a difference of opinion with you, why would you ever ruin a relationship that has the opportunity to introduce Christ into it? It’s never made sense to me.”

Stateline Church: Let’s Talk (Kindly) About Religion and Politics

On Oct. 11, Giamalva kicked off a two-week series called “Thou Shalt Not Be a Jerk,” a title he took from a book by former pastor Eugene Cho. Giamalva introduced his sermon by pointing out something we have all experienced: Conversations about politics can easily become heated and extremely unpleasant. The pastor recounted a story from his own life when a political discussion between him and a friend and former boss escalated to the point where they were shouting at each other.

“This is kind of how politics are in America, right?” said Giamalva. “You start talking politics, and depending which side of the aisle you find yourself on, you can find your anger level, your temperature level, it can escalate really, really quick.”

The pastor said he is concerned about the polarization he sees in the U.S. surrounding politics. Because we cannot remain polite while disagreeing with one another, we are unable to have discussions about important topics such as racial inequality or how to handle the virus. The intensity of our emotions makes us unable to listen to or learn from those with whom we disagree. “We literally destroy bridges with people, with family members, because of this polarization,” said Giamalva. “We literally reduce people, when it comes to politics, to evil.”

It’s not really surprising, said the pastor, that people who do not believe in God would respond this way. If God does not exist, this world and its leaders are all we have. “But what if you’re a Christian?” he asked. “What if you call yourself a Christ-follower? How should you behave?” Jesus answers this question in John 13:34-35, when he says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

“So as you think about yourself and how you’ve engaged politics,” said Giamalva, “how do you think you’re doing on this? Would people use, the way you talk about politics, would they say the defining characteristic of you is love?”

Following Cho’s model in his book, Giamalva went on to expound on various “commandments” for engaging in politics in a Christ-like way. These include “Thou shalt engage in politics with proper perspective” and “Thou shalt not go to bed with one political party.”

“What makes us think that we can take the God of the universe and reduce him to a political party?” asked the pastor.

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Source: Church Leaders