Sep 19, 2020

EVENT: Answering the Call

Johns Creek, GA - September 19, 2020 - God Inspires News -- We’re excited to announce a first-of-its-kind event called “Answering the Call” ahead of this November’s critical election! Join us to rally with other believers and families to Answer God’s Call to engage in the public square and commit to the preservation of life and freedom!

This event is for you, your neighbors, your friends, your fellow church members, and, yes, your whole family – bring the kids! You don’t have to be super-political or a regular attendee of Party meetings or gatherings. All you need is a spirit that desires to honor God in how you stand for His glory in how you vote and in how you take a stand in these critical times.

We are hosting this event on October 11th from 5pm-7pm at the Mark Burkhalter Amphitheater and Pavilion in Newtown Park (Johns Creek).

Already, we have confirmed Senator Kelly Loeffler as a speaker, and we’ll hear from other great pro-family officials, candidates, and leaders. Dinner is provided, and the whole event is FREE – though we will encourage donations to help fight for our values this November!

To sign up for this great event, please visit FPAofGA.com/RSVP TODAY and please pass this invitation along to your friends and neighbors. We’d love to see them there!

Aug 22, 2020

FRC Releases New Publication on Biblical Principles for Human Sexuality

Washington, D.C. - July 16, 2020 - (God Inspires News) -- Family Research Council has released a new publication titled "Biblical Principles for Human Sexuality: Survey of Culture, Scripture, and Church History." The publication comes on the heels of the Supreme Court's decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, which has accelerated the sexual revolution and empowered other activist judges to rule in ways that will have far-reaching effects throughout society.

The booklet, part of FRC's Biblical Worldview Series, provides guidance and encouragement for Christians who desire to engage on issues related to human sexuality in a way that is both loving and faithful to Scripture. It describes how theological liberalism and the sexual revolution displaced a Biblical understanding of sexuality in the mainstream American understanding. It exposits the Bible's clear teaching on God's creation of male and female, his ordination of man-woman marriage, the moral imperative to contain sexual intimacy within that union, and the prohibitions against homosexual acts, transgenderism, and other departures from God's design. The publication also shows from church history how the current rejection of a Biblical understanding of human sexuality from within the church is an aberration from the norm, and how many denominations--Orthodox, Catholic, and many forms of Protestant--still hold to the Bible's teaching.

David Closson, Director of Christian Ethics and Biblical Worldview at Family Research Council, authored the publication. In it, he writes:

"In the face of increasing social, political, and legal pressure to succumb to the moral revolution, all Christians, but especially pastors, must remain committed to God's Word and its teaching on marriage and human sexuality. As evidenced in this publication, the Bible has clear answers on these subjects, and faithfulness requires nothing less than upholding, teaching, and defending these truths in a loving manner. This will not be easy, but it is necessary for the witness of the church, the flourishing of individuals, and obedience to God."

Regarding the publication's release, Closson remarked: "Increasingly, the Bible's teaching on marriage and human sexuality is ridiculed as outdated or, worse, seen as subversive to the common good. Unfortunately, because so few Christians have a biblical worldview, many lack the tools to push back on this narrative with a distinctly Christian vision for flourishing families and communities. My hope is that this publication equips believers--especially pastors--to faithfully and winsomely articulate a biblical sexual ethic."

To read the full publication, click HERE

Jun 22, 2020

Cornerstone Church Partners with Trump Administration Program for Local Food Distribution Event


San Antonio, TX - June 22, 2020 - (God Inspires News) -- On Saturday, Cornerstone Church distributed 12,500 food boxes, totaling over 300,000 pounds, as part of the Trump Administration's Farmers to Families program. The event was aimed at helping those in need throughout the greater San Antonio area.

"As families were coming together to celebrate Father's Day, I can think of no greater gift to any parent than ensuring their family has food security. I am grateful to the Trump Administration for seeing this need and partnering with local entities to ensure this need is met. As a church, it is among our highest duties to help those who require assistance. This action, and those like it, are simply fulfillments of our Christian duty," said Cornerstone Senior Pastor and founder of Hagee Ministries, John Hagee.

The food distribution event is the latest in a series of community initiatives in which Cornerstone has engaged since the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Last month, the church partnered with the San Antonio Food Bank to distribute 2,000 food boxes. And in late March and April Cornerstone engaged in a widespread effort to provide humanitarian services to San Antonio residents including providing care boxes with non-perishable food and other essential items, food delivery, transportation services for those requiring help getting medical care or to grocery stores, and pastoral services to those feeling isolated by the efforts to combat the novel coronavirus.

"As a church and as a community, we've responded to the pandemic by coming together and helping our neighbors. This is what the Lord asks of all his children, and we will always seek to fulfill this mandate," added Cornerstone Lead Pastor Matt Hagee.

Hagee Ministries is an international Christian Evangelical Ministry led by Pastors John and Matt Hagee. John Hagee is the founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church, a non-denominational evangelical church with more than 22,000 active members and is the founder and National Chairman of Christians United for Israel, the nation's largest pro-Israel organization. Matt Hagee serves as the Lead Pastor of Cornerstone Church and is the sixth generation in the Hagee family to carry the mantle of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to America and the nations of the world.

May 25, 2020

Religious Freedom Threatened by "Untouchable" DC Judge


Washington, D.C. - May 25, 2020 - (God Inspires News) -- There is growing concern in our nation about the unconstitutional overreach of the judiciary in religious affairs. In courtrooms around the country, activist judges are rendering judgments that are collectively eroding the right to religious freedom protected by the First Amendment. The commissions formed to oversee the appointments of these judges are often failing to hold them accountable.

One such travesty is currently playing out in our nation's capital. Judge Laura Cordero of the Washington, DC Superior Court issued an unconstitutional summary judgment ruling in the case 2011 CA 003721 B, which effectively gave legitimacy to one religious faction over another in an ongoing schism within the Unification Movement founded by Reverend Sun Myung Moon. Now entering its ninth year, the case explicitly involves questions of religious polity, structure, and theology. Historically, courts have properly abstained from any involvement in the internal affairs of religious entities, as required by the First Amendment. Yet, despite the facts being disputed by both parties, Judge Cordero issued a ruling that decided the issues in question without a jury trial. At a minimum, Judge Cordero should have held a hearing to consider evidence and arguments of the parties involved, and should have followed proper protocol for summary judgment, which requires the party seeking summary judgment to show there is no genuine dispute of any material fact. Judge Cordero also ignored the Appellate Court's caution that the case must be dismissed if "it becomes apparent to the trial court that this dispute does in fact turn on matters of doctrinal interpretation or church governance."

As such, Judge Cordero set a dangerous legal precedent by unilaterally ruling on the doctrine, hierarchy, and leadership of a religious entity. Not only has she trampled on the First Amendment by involving herself in a religious schism, but she also engaged in religious discrimination by favoring one side's unproven claims over the other's evidence-backed claims.

Compounding this injustice, the DC Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure (the "Commission") issued its report to President Trump, awarding Judge Cordero a "well qualified" reappointment on April 27, 2020. This decision was rendered despite numerous factual misrepresentations and 5,000 emails to the Commission objecting to her reappointment due to First Amendment violations and her religious bias in the abovementioned case. Though thousands of people of faith collectively decried her discrimination against their faith, their voices were callously dismissed by the Commission. But the Commission's report reveals a government agency contradicting itself and issuing falsehoods to the President.

One example of the report's many contradictions pertains to the 5,000 emails referenced above. The report says the emails the Commission received "sharply criticized Judge Cordero's legal reasoning", but that legal reasoning "is not within the Commission's purview to consider". Yet, in the very same paragraph the Commission states Judge Cordero's ruling was "quite persuasive" as well as "well-reasoned, clear and concise, and meticulous as to the facts and the law". By what parameters, other than "legal reasoning", can the Commission say her opinion was "quite persuasive" and "well-reasoned"? It is contradictory, dishonest, and disrespectful for the Commission to give this praise to Cordero, while, in the same paragraph, dismissing thousands of emails with the claim that "legal reasoning" is "not within the Commission's purview to consider". And, it is simply irresponsible and inappropriate for the Commission to praise the opinion issued by a Judge against a party in a case that is still ongoing.

The report contains many other falsehoods. According to the report, "Judge Cordero originally dismissed the case on lack of subject matter jurisdiction due to religious abstention." This is false. The case was dismissed by Judge Anita Josey-Herring in 2013, not by Judge Cordero. The report claims that Judge Cordero's decision "was affirmed on appeal". This is another outright falsehood. A cursory glance at the docket of the case reveals that Judge Cordero's decision was never appealed. As such, there was no way for it to be "affirmed". Since no punitive action ever took place, there could have been no appeal. All this information about judicial activity that is blatantly false or misattributed is being utilized to exaggerate the performance of a judge and to give her the highest possible rating.

The report on Judge Laura Cordero's reappointment by the Commission reveals the worst elements of cronyism. Not only is the report riddled with contradictions and outright falsehoods, but it demonstrates a willingness to go to any length to rubberstamp the reappointments of sitting judges, regardless of their performance. The examples here are a few of the misrepresented facts that aided in giving Judge Cordero the highest possible rating; but one can only wonder what other facts were twisted to make her case.

A quick check on this Commission's record concerning reappointments shows that 31 judges have come up for review in the last 13 years, and that every single judge was given the "well qualified" designation. According to the Commission's own policy, the "well qualified" designation is reserved only for those judges "whose work product, legal scholarship, dedication, efficiency, and demeanor are exceptional". If a judge ignores due process and violates the First Amendment and is yet considered "exceptional", what does that say about the integrity of our judicial system?

Judges should uphold the Constitution and follow proper judicial procedure. Oversight commissions should make every effort to conduct due diligence on judges' cases before reappointing them to the bench. We must hold judges and the judicial appointment process accountable so that this nation can continue to be an exemplar of religious freedom and the rule of law.

Howard C. Self is the President of Right To Believe, a not-for-profit organization fighting to protect the right to believe in one's religion without undue governmental interference.

Trump Identifies Houses of Worship as "Essential"

Washington, D.C. - May 25, 2020 - (God Inspires News) -- Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement praising President Trump's announcement that he is identifying houses of worship as "essential places that provide essential services":

"We are grateful for a president who supports the rights of Christians and doesn't suppress them.

"Throughout his presidency, President Trump has worked closely with pastors and is now making it a priority for them to resume worship services that follow appropriate safety guidelines.

"We saw that warm friendship on display yesterday when the president and members of his cabinet participated in our virtual event of 1,600 pastors. The president spoke of the 'transition to greatness' --- and he understands that churches are absolutely essential to making that transition," concluded Perkins.

Click here to read Tony Perkins' Washington Times' op-ed "Religious liberty during COVID-19: Get a haircut, but stay away from church."


Apr 14, 2020

COVID-19 SPURS RECORD BIBLE PURCHASES; EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TIMOTHY HEAD COMMENTS ON THIS

Duluth, GA - April 13, 2020 - (God Inspires News) -- Since the COVID-19 outbreak, there have been a record number of Bible purchases as people are looking for hope during this time, according to top Christian publishers. Companies such as LifeWay Christian Resources and Alabaster have seen large percentage increases in their Bible purchases since last year. In addition, there has been a dramatic increase in searches on Google about the word “prayer” in the last month when COVID-19 went global, suggesting that people are turning to prayer. Faith & Freedom Coalition, a faith-based organization, rejoices over this news and releases the following statement from Executive Director Timothy Head.

“In the midst of this horrible pandemic, there is hope that is found in the Word of God,” said Faith & Freedom Coalition Executive Director Timothy Head. “People are longing for comfort and clarity during these uncertain and difficult times. The Bible is the living Word of God and is the way the Lord speaks to us and gives us that comfort and clarity. It’s no surprise that in hardship we turn to our Creator and cry out to Him. But my prayer is that people will continue to seek God even after this pandemic passes because He truly is the source of life and the only one who can fulfill us. We are grateful for an administration that values the Christian faith and believes in prayer and in the Word of God.”

To learn more about the Faith & Freedom Coalition and President Trump’s responses to COVID-19, click HERE.

Apr 1, 2020

Initiator of School Prayer Guidelines, A Professor, Calls for National Day of Repentance

Source: William Jeynes

Huntington Beach, CA - April 1, 2020 - (God Inspires News) -- Professor and Harvard graduate William Jeynes is organizing a National Day of Repentance for Easter, Sunday, April 12th. He is contacting governors to announce the proclamation for their states, and religious leaders to make the proclamation for their houses of worship and denominations. He is hopeful that President Trump will make the declaration for the country. Jeynes asserts, "Government leaders are trying to limit the number of coronavirus cases, and especially the number of deaths. Nevertheless, many experts are predicting that the number of deaths could exceed the number of Americans killed in the entire Vietnam War and perhaps even the Vietnam- and Korean- Wars combined. That is a tragedy no one wants. God is real and our nation's sins are many. As a nation, we need to call out to God and ask Him to intervene to help us and spare lives. The National Day of Prayer that President Trump proclaimed for this past March 15th was a major step in the right direction. However, we need to do more than that. In the Bible, for example, in Nehemiah Chapter 1, Nehemiah asked God to forgive the sins of the Israeli people. We need to do much the same for America."

Dr. Jeynes, along with another colleague, were the ones who first wrote to Secretary DeVos, in early March 2017, asking that the Trump Administration update federal guidelines for prayer- and religious liberties- in the schools. In that request, Dr. Jeynes and his colleague wrote up the first draft of those guidelines. Trump signed the final draft on January 16th of this year. Jeynes adds, "Humans are spiritual beings and prayer as a nation reawakens us to the need for God in our lives. We need His love. We need to cry out to God to inspire us to act out of love.

As a society, we have lost too much of our compassion toward the hurting and especially the unborn. When we lose our compassion, we also lose our humility and our ability to relate to others and their struggles. Yes, God may be angry at our self-centeredness, but whatever is going on spiritually we need to realize that we need Him. God created humans with the need to rely on Him. Even if we have run away from God, He will come running to us."

Dr. Jeynes is a professor at California State University in Long Beach and a Senior Fellow at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton.

CDF Capital to Offer Over $5.25 Million in Relief to Over 150 Churches

Source: U.S. Representative Brett S. Guthrie (R-KY, 2nd)

Irvine, CA - April 1, 2020 - (God Inspires News) -- On Tuesday, March 31, CDF Capital will offer in excess of $5.25 million in relief to more than 150 churches across the United States. With over $550 million in loans, every network church with a loan in good standing is eligible to receive payment deferrals in the form of six months interest-only or six months of payments reduced by 33%.

The Church Assistance Program (CAP-19) from CDF Capital, will enable any church with a current CDF Capital mortgage or construction loan to obtain penalty-free financial support in one of two ways: 6 months/interest only or six months of payments reduced by 33%. This unprecedented program during an unprecedented time is a first in CDF's 67 year history.

The COVID-19 outbreak has left many Americans wondering how long they will have jobs, and be able to pay their bills. As a result, charitable giving is usually one of the things that people cut back on during a crisis. 58% of churches across the country reported a decrease in giving on March 15, 2020. About one-third of churches refrained from disclosing giving details, but the majority of churches experienced what they described as an "abnormal change" in their weekly offering.

Church giving decreased by an average of 13%. Churches that average below 500 in weekly attendance experienced a decrease of about 15%, while churches averaging over 2,000 reported a decrease of about 5%. Growing churches in the 1,000–1,999 range were hit the hardest, with an almost 22% decrease in weekly offerings. While this disruption will end, it has created a few turbulent months to navigate through.

Jonathan Hanson Lead Pastor of Rolling Hills Christian Church shares, "Amidst this challenging time while people are making cuts to their budget and laying off employees, CDF Capital has provided churches like us with hope. We will not only be able to continue our efforts as a church, but we will also be able to serve our surrounding community during this challenging season."

The only requirement for CDF Capital's borrowing churches to participate in CAP-19 is that they must complete and submit a CAP-19 Financial Contingency Plan that describes the impact of COVID-19 on their congregation, as well as how they plan to respond. Churches participating in the assistance program will begin to see relief starting with their May payments.

"This is not a time for the church to retreat, it is a time for the church to advance. And we intend to help them do that. As the world adjusts to the spread of COVID-19 and Americans adjust to the realities of social distancing, the need for the church and for spiritual strength is magnified. Our commitment is to provide transformational capital to churches because our mission is to help churches grow." - Dusty Rubeck, President, CDF Capital

During this time of crisis nationwide and around the globe, CDF Capital is encouraging individuals who are in a position to help churches, to do so directly through their local churches. CDF Capital is also asking everyone to join them in praying for the church and government leaders as they navigate COVID-19.

For more information about the CAP-19 program and ways which you can be involved, please visit: www.cdfcapital.org/cap-19/

CDF Capital was founded in 1953 with a single mission to help churches grow. At that time, the most significant barrier for church expansion was access to the financial capital needed to purchase land and construct buildings, so we stepped in and provided loans and investment options to help fund these projects. Since our founding, CDF Capital has assisted with the expansion and growth of more than 1,000 churches and ministries across the United States. Thanks to the thousands of individuals who have invested millions into our mission, CDF Capital is a national ministry with more than $600 million in total assets.

Mar 10, 2020

UPS Manager Continues Punishing Drivers for Prayer Meetings


Myrtle Beach, SC -March 10, 2020 - (God Inspires News) -- In spite of scrutiny, the United Parcel Service (UPS) Myrtle Beach, SC Center manager is now retaliating against employees who sought to voluntarily pray together before work, in the form of strict application of work “rules” and harassment, in response to attention over the prayer meetings.

After Liberty Counsel sent a demand letter on February 12 to UPS stating that drivers’ prayer meetings must be allowed again, and any participating drivers who have been fired must be reinstated, the parcel service stated that Center Manager Steve Keller would hold a “Prework Communication Meeting” (PCM) to confirm the employees’ right to pray. One driver represented by Liberty Counsel has been rehired.

According to one driver, a PCM finally occurred yesterday in which Keller read "a scripted letter stating UPS does not discriminate against people's religious freedom off the clock and we are all to follow safety protocols when meeting on the yard.” Meanwhile, Keller continues to harass the employees for complaining about his mistreatment of them for exercising their right to pray before work.

In July 2019, approximately 40 UPS drivers started voluntarily praying together each morning in the parking lot prior to their shifts. The group has since grown to between 50 and 60 drivers. Employees initially reported to Liberty Counsel that Keller told a driver on January 16, 2020 that the drivers “cannot pray anymore on company property because someone else may feel discriminated against.” Then, on January 20, Keller told a second driver that the drivers “could no longer pray on company property because it violates others’ religious rights.” The following week, the drivers met, but did not pray. Some bowed their heads in a simple moment of silence. Since then, several drivers with many years’ experience who regularly participated in the prayer meetings were fired for what appears to be pretextual reasons.

In response to media calls, UPS sent out a statement which said: “We have investigated the claims made by Liberty Counsel in their letter to UPS. We believe there is a misunderstanding and we have reached out to them to clarify the situation regarding employees at our site. UPS employees are permitted to assemble before they start work as long as they follow truck yard safety and conduct rules. No employees have been disciplined in connection with assembly to pray prior to their shift. We look forward to clarifying this situation with Liberty Counsel and our employees at the site.”

Other UPS employees have contacted Liberty Counsel to share their experiences. For example, Randy Lankford is a pastor and former UPS employee who drove a truck for 28 years. Lankford confirmed the South Carolina drivers’ account regarding Keller. Lankford related that the drivers at the Monroe, NC center started a devotional / prayer time every morning in 2013 before work “to help their morale and calm the chaos that we deal with in many of the drivers’ lives. We always did it on our time, never on company time. This is when the harassment and bullying by Steve Keller started,” said Lankford.

“Steve Keller would tell us (or me, because I was running the devotional every morning) that we could not have prayer time and a devotion or our own meeting before work. So I went to the center manager and he told Keller that we could meet. Then Keller decided to start bullying and harassing drivers and especially where we could meet to have devotion. He moved it four times,” said Lankford.

Lankford then contacted the division manager who confirmed that drivers were allowed to have their meeting before work. However, Keller, who was an on-car supervisor at the time, only increased the harassment. Lankford said he never regrets starting a devotion and prayer time for the drivers before work because, “It changed men’s attitudes, men’s lives and the trash talk in locker room. We helped men deal with family issues. We even saw some men on the belt where they load the trucks, come to faith in Christ. They started their own devotion and prayer time as well.”

However, the continuous harassment from Keller that Lankford faced seriously affected his health.

Lankford said, “A normal on-car supervisor rides with a driver around three times a year. Steve Keller rode with me 13 times in one month. I raised this issue with the union many times and spoke with our center manager about the harassment and intimidation. It fell on deaf ears. Nothing was done. The more you complained about Steve Keller, the more vindictive he became. This went on for probably one year.

One day in 2014, Steve got on the truck and he was out for blood. He was there for one reason, and that was to fire me. To make it short, let me put it this way. I would normally deliver 60 stops before 3:00 p.m. We were arguing from 9:00 in the morning to 3:00 in the afternoon about every detail about how I was working. It was plain harassment, and it caused me to be so stressed that I thought I was having a heart attack. At 3:00 p.m., Steve Keller took me to the hospital, because I thought that I was having a heart attack. At that time, I had only delivered 18 stops. My last day at UPS, after delivering for 28 years, ended in the hospital in Matthews, NC, because of Steve Keller’s harassment.”

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Employees at UPS and elsewhere are allowed by law to voluntarily read the Bible, pray together, or discuss spiritual matters before their shifts begin for the day, during their lunch breaks or during any other off-the-clock time when they may otherwise read or discuss secular topics. Managers are forbidden from harassing their employees for exercising their religious freedom rights. UPS should take action upon these reports of what appear to be a pattern and practice of retaliation by a vindictive manager,” said Staver.

Liberty Counsel is a nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics. Liberty Counsel provides broadcast quality TV interviews via Hi-Def Skype and LTN at no cost.

Feb 19, 2020

Are Teachers Ministers?

Washington, D.C. - February 19, 2020 - (God Inspires News) -- Independent Women’s Law Center has filed an amicus brief in support of Our Lady of Guadalupe School, arguing that the First Amendment’s religion clauses bar employment discrimination claims by employees against their religious employers where the employee carries out important religious functions.

In 2012 the United States Supreme Court issued an unanimous decision outlining the “ministerial exception” to employment discrimination claims against religious employers. This case involves the scope of that exception and, specifically, whether teachers at a Catholic school are properly defined as ministers of the faith.

The brief argues that teachers at religious schools perform a vital role in advancing the school’s religious mission. This is true whether the teachers are ordained ministers of the faith or lay people and irrespective of whether they teach courses in religion or math. Because the objective of a religious school is to inculcate religious values, all teachers at these schools are “ministers” within the meaning of the “ministerial exception.”

Erin M. Hawley, Senior Legal Fellow at Independent Women’s Law Center, issued the following statement: “The ‘ministerial exception’ protects a religious group’s right to shape its own faith and mission through hiring practices and bars federal and state courts from interfering with the hiring and retention policies and practices of religious employers. Teachers at religious schools play a critical role in transmitting the faith to the next generation and are, therefore, properly categorized as ‘ministers’ within the exception outline by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Because a narrow interpretation of the ministerial exception will interfere with the ability of parents to raise their children with a distinctly religious education, Independent Women’s Law Center urges the Supreme Court to reverse the 9th Circuit’s decision denying the Catholic elementary school the right to choose its own ministers without government interference.

Read the full brief HERE.

The National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs (COLPA) also filed an amicus brief. The brief was compiled by preeminent constitutional attorney and COLPA’s National Vice President Nat Lewin. It urges the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court decision that severely limits the ability of religious institutions and organizations to make appropriate employment decisions.

“The Chamber is honored to have our voice heard in the nation’s highest court, advocating at the front lines on behalf of our religious freedoms and the integrity of the workplace,” says Duvi Honig, Founder and CEO of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce.

“We look forward to continue advocating on behalf of our community’s needs in the halls of power around the world.”