A major evangelical Christian gathering is set to take place in Charlotte, N.C., the day before the Democratic National Convention. Titled “Charlotte714,” the gathering has the backing of more than 40 churches and will take place at the 20,000-seat Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. David Benham, the chief organizer of Charlotte714, told The Christian Post that the purpose of the gathering is to ask God for forgiveness for national sins. “What we are doing here in Charlotte is we are calling together the Body of Christ to come together as a church in our city . . . to repent,” said Benham. “A lot of things going on in the nation right now and it’s the role of the church to remember who we are and the bedrock of the church is Jesus Christ.” For those taking part, Charlotte714 will be preceded by a 40-ay fast. According to Benham, the fast involves participants giving up something for the time until the day of the event. “When you call together a solemn assembly, this is in times of national crisis, and when you call the assembly, call them together in a fast,” said Benham. “It’s a crucifixion of the flesh. . . . We are encouraging people to fast something, crucify your flesh in some way. There are folks that are fasting texting after 5:00 PM, there are folks that are fasting television, there are folks like myself and some others that are fasting food.” Leaders from the North Carolina churches taking part in Charlotte714 have stressed the priority of calling the church and the nation to repent over specific issues pertaining to the Democratic National Convention. Michael Landrum of Charlotte-area thelinechurch.tv, told The Christian Post that for him Charlotte714 had more to do with calling “the church to prayer.” “When we pray, God begins to move. Whether Democratic or Republican, prayer has the ability to influence decisions on a spiritual level,” said Landrum. “The Democratic party has ignored the voice of fundamental and evangelical Christians and this event will be no exception. We are crying out to God and trusting in His ability for revival in our Land,” said Pastor Joseph Njaman Alghrary of Lakeside Presbyterian in Mooresville. “It has become abundantly clear that both the Democratic and Republican Party have abandoned a platform that Bible believing Christians can in good conscience, wholeheartedly support.” Charlotte714 and the plans surrounding it come at a time when the Democratic National Convention is considering to add support of same-sex marriage to its platform.
- A group of freshmen congressmen have come out saying that a regulation issued under Obamacare by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has taken freedom of religion away from Americans, reports cnsnews.com. The regulation that requires health plans to offer sterilizations, contraceptives, and abortifacients free of charge became effective Aug. 1. It has been unanimously denounced by the Catholic bishops of the United States as “unjust and illegal mandate” that forces Catholic individuals, business owners, and institutions to act against the teachings of their faith. “We’re still home of the brave, but we’re not the land of the free anymore,” said Rep. Billy Long (R.-Mo.). The Republican-controlled House of Representatives could stop this regulation that Republican members and the Catholic Church have called an attack on religious liberty by prohibiting funding for it in the next continuing resolution to fund the government after Sept. 30. However, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), and other House Republicans have indicated that they will fund the implementation of the regulation. Despite his apparent intention to fund it, Boehner himself has described the regulation as “an unambiguous attack on religious freedom in our country.” Rep. Long was recently joined at the U.S. Capitol in denouncing the regulation by Representatives Mike Kelly (R.-Pa.), Austin Scott (R-Ga.), Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), Sandy Adams (R-Fla.), Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.), Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.), Ann Marie Buerkle (R-N.Y.), and Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) in vowing to stand against the regulation. “It’s outrageous that this administration believes it’s within their power to force people to violate their right of religion if it interferes with this administration’s agenda,” said Nunnelee. “It should disturb people of all faiths, or for that matter people of no faith at all, that President Obama has such a low opinion of the First Amendment that he would trample on these rights.”
- Miami Pastor Jack Hakimian was in danger of losing his church lease because he boldly preached that homosexuality is a sin. Now his landlord is backing down in the face of reminders about the First Amendment, reports charismanews.com. Miami-Dade County School Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho had threated to revoke the lease from Impact Miami Church, which rents from a local high school. The superintendent planned to review the lease following one of Hakimian’s sermons that called out the intolerance of those who espouse the gay agenda. The superintendent changed his mind after Liberty Counsel sent a letter on Hakimian’s behalf stating that any adverse action against the pastor for his speech would violate the First Amendment. “In recent days we have seen stepped-up attacks against free speech,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. “It is outrageous that a public school superintendent could think he has the right to threaten revocation of a lease because of what the pastor preaches in the pulpit. No public official is above the law. The First Amendment stands as a bulwark against homo-fascism.”
- A church in Colorado with about 1,000 members is considering dismissal from the mainline liberal Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) denomination. The leadership at First Presbyterian Church of Fort Collins cited “irreconcilable spiritual differences” in their consideration of seeking dismissal from the PC(USA), as the recommendation for dismissal was brought before the congregation. Dan Saperstein, executive presbyter of the Presbytery of Plains and Peaks, which First Presbyterian belongs to at present, provided The Christian Post with a statement. “I am saddened by the decision of the leadership of First Presbyterian Church, Fort Collins to recommend that the congregation seek dismissal from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.),” said Saperstein. “First Presbyterian Church has a long and historic relationship with our denomination. It is a valued member and partner in the presbytery whose dismissal would have a significant impact on our common work and witness for Christ in Northern Colorado.” First Presbyterian is one of many PC(USA) congregations across the country that have voted to leave the mainline Protestant denomination due to the decision at the 219th General Assembly to allow presbyteries to decide to ordain noncelibate homosexuals to church positions.
- Organizers of National Same-Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A say on their Facebook page that the event was set up before for Gov. Mike Huckabee announced his plans for Chick-Fil-a Appreciation Day last Wednesday, and was not created as a response to his effort, reports charismanews.com. Huckabee said he didn’t have a problem with the protest. “That’s America,” he said on Fox News. “As long as they’re orderly. As long as they don’t disrupt the flow of customers and traffic.” The event’s organizers said on their Faceook page, “Let’s show Chick-fil-A thanks for their support of Love, Equality, and the Real Definition of Marriage! Invite your friends!” By 3:30 p.m. EST on Thursday, some 11,800 people had said they would attend the “kiss-in” on Friday, compared with more than 500,000 who came to support Chick-Fil-A’s pro-family position. Gay rights groups like the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, known as GLADD, promoted the National Same-Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A. Activist Carly McGehee told the group she wanted to start the “kiss-in” because just boycotting the fast-food chain doesn’t go far enough. “Change will not come if we are sitting at home behind closed doors,” she was reported saying by CBS News. “We need to show not just the Chick-fil-A company, but the rest of the country that our numbers are great. By participating in the kiss-in, thousands of people will get out of the house and show their support for LGBT equality.” But Monica Lynn Todd wrote on the group’s Facebook event page, “While I do not agree with the beliefs of the owners of Chik-Fil-A, I do not see this as an appropriate action of protest. . . . Is showing off by kissing in front of a single chain – or worse, sitting in the parking lot with picket signs – worth it? It all seems very immature to me, and in a way, it makes LGBTQ organizations seem childish.”
- The media was generally silent about the success of Chick-Fil-a Appreciation Day, notes godfatherpolitics.com: “A major United States business had a single-day record amount of sales because tens of thousands of people around the United States stood with them when the media and homosexual groups condemned the company president’s comment that he believed in ‘traditional marriage,’ you know, the type of marriage that 99.9 percent of married couples in the world are involved in. One would think that this never-before-display of moral solidarity would have been front page news on every major newspaper in the country. I checked The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to see how it would report on the story. There was a short article below the fold on the front page. This was odd considering that Chick-fil-A is an Atlanta company and lines were long all over the city. National papers were equally silent on the mega-demonstration of support for Chick-fil-A. When they saw the long lines, the full parking lots, and the record-breaking sale figures, they decided it was no longer a story they could manipulate.”
- When citizens in Maryland, Maine, Washington, and Minnesota go to the polls in November, they will be confronted with ballot initiatives that speak to the central question of what marriage is, notes blog.heritage.org. In Minnesota, voters will consider whether to amend their state constitution to preserve the definition of marriage between one man and one woman consistent with state statutory law. Voters in Maryland and Washington will weigh referenda asking whether they wish to ratify same-sex marriage measures adopted by their state legislatures and signed into law earlier this year. In Maine, voters will consider a ballot initiative to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and render gender-neutral any terms in the state’s laws relating to marital and familial relationships. To date, the voters of 32 states have weighed in on these new questions about marriage’s definition, and in each, they have chosen to protect marriage as the union of husband and wife. The most recent to do so was North Carolina, whose citizens voted 61 percent to 39 percent to adopt a constitutional amendment affirming the traditional definition of marriage.
- Support for same-sex marriage is now in the Democratic Party preliminary platform. Once approved by the full platform committee and voted on at the convention, same-sex marriage will have the formal support of the Democratic Party. But as Democrats institutionalize their support for same-sex marriage, their relationship with the Party’s most loyal constituency, black Americans, becomes increasingly uneasy, says townhall.com. A group of 3,700 plus Black pastors, the Coalition of African-American Pastors, under the leadership of Rev. William Owens, has moved to formally oppose the Democratic Party and President Obama on this issue. The group is spearheading a “Mandate for Marriage” campaign to gather 100,000 signatures on a petition declaring support for traditional marriage and calling “on President Obama to repudiate his assertion that gay marriage is a civil right.” These pastors, says townhall.com, are not in the business of politics; they are driven by commitment to Biblical truths. And they see the crises spreading in their communities and in our nation as acceptance of these truths fall by the wayside.
- Commentator Dave Jolly, writing for godfatherpolitics.com, has come out citing the condition of morality in America as it relates to who supports same-sex marriage: “A new Pew Research poll has just been released titled, ‘Changing Attitudes on Gay Marriage.’ From their results, conservative Republican religious older men are less likely to favor same-sex marriage. On the converse, liberal Democrat non-religious younger females greatly favor gay marriage. When I looked at their results broke down by sex, age, religion, race and political affiliation, I saw an overwhelming picture of the moral decay of America as a whole. Combining all of the results, they found that 48% of Americans now favor or approve of same-sex marriage whereas in 2001 only 35%. In 2001, 57% of Americans opposed same-sex marriage whereas today, 44% oppose it. Breaking it down by age groups is one of the areas that clearly showed America’s moral decline. What was interesting is the significant jump in the number of people that approve of same-sex marriage coincides with the removal of the Bible and Christianity from the public schools. The age breakdowns are: Silent Generation (born 1928–46) – 33% favor same-sex marriage. Baby Boomers (born 1946–64) – 41% favor same-sex marriage. Generation X (born 1965–80) – 52% favor same-sex marriage. Millennials (born 1981 or later) – 63% favor same-sex marriage. . . . When you look at the high percentage of Millennials that favor same-sex marriage, you also see that we have almost lost the younger generation to secular, materialistic, and hedonistic lifestyle. When Pew broke down their demographics to religious affiliation, it was obvious that Protestants in general were less likely to favor gay marriage than Catholics and those with no religious affiliation. This also demonstrates that the absence of religion in one’s life greatly increases the probability of being more open to things like sexual perverseness. The results in this category for those favoring gay marriage are as follows: White evangelical Protestants – 19% Black Protestants– 35% White mainline Protestants – 53% Catholics – 52% No religious affiliation – 73%.”