tagged w/ Missionaries
John Dominic Crossan's 'blasphemous' portrait of Jesus
By John Blake, CNN
February 27, 2011 1:48 a.m. EST
(CNN) -- One of his first fan letters came from someone who declared:
"If Hell were not already created, it should be invented just for you."
Other critics have called him "demonic," "blasphemous" and a "schmuck."
When John Dominic Crossan was a teenager in Ireland, he dreamed of becoming a missionary priest. But the message he's spreading about Jesus today isn't the kind that would endear him to many church leaders.
Crossan says Jesus was an exploited "peasant with an attitude" who didn't perform many miracles, physically rise from the dead or die as punishment for humanity's sins.
Jesus was extraordinary because of how he lived, not died, says Crossan, one of the world's top scholars on the "historical Jesus," a field in which academics use historical evidence to reconstruct Jesus in his first-century setting.
"I cannot imagine a more miraculous life than nonviolent resistance to violence," Crossan says. "I cannot imagine a bigger miracle than a man standing in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square."
In another time, Crossan's views would have been confined to scholarly journals. But he and his best-selling books, including the recent "Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography," have changed how biblical scholars operate.
Crossan believes the public should be exposed to even the most divisive debates that scholars have had about Jesus and the Bible. He co-founded the Jesus Seminar, a controversial group of scholars who hold public forums that cast doubt on the authenticity of many sayings and deeds attributed to Jesus.
John Dominic Crossan says even the writers of the Bible disagreed about Jesus' message.
The 77-year-old Crossan has built on the seminar's mission by writing a series of best-selling books on Jesus and the Apostle Paul. With his silver Prince Valiant haircut and his pronounced Irish accent, he's also appeared on documentaries such as PBS's "From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians" and A&E's "Mysteries of the Bible."
Crossan's overarching message is that you don't have to accept the Jesus of dogma. There's another Jesus hidden in Scripture and history who has been ignored.
"He's changed the way we look and think about Jesus," says Byron McCane, an archaeologist and professor of religion at Wofford College in South Carolina. "He's important in a way that few scholars are."
CONTINUED…John Dominic Crossan's 'blasphemous' portrait of Jesus
By John Blake,... more
Jennifer Lee Pryor
President, Indigo Inc.
President, Tarnished Angel, Inc.
Director, Pryor’s Planet
From: nancyelizabeth green
Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 1:07 PM
Subject: Fwd: WCTV (Tallahassee) CBS affiliate refusal to air news spot
A quick update to the situation in Ga. The station backed down from showing the spot, as the lawyer for the ministry called their legal dept. I called CBS in New York to issue a complaint. I am trying to find an attorney to help protect this woman and her animals from a greed-entrenched Christian entity and a town totally intimidated. These animals will starve if she cannot receive some type of feed assistance. I am hoping if people call CBS, maybe the spot will be aired and the truth will be revealed. Thank you
From: nancyelizabeth green
Sent: Wed, Nov 24, 2010 10:53 am
Subject: RE:WCTV (tallahassee) CBS affiliate refusal to air news spot
Ms. Cooper: The reporter (Ms. Caroline Gonzmart) did the interview. She was both professional and kind. High Point Ministries was informed, but did not send anyone. The spot was to be aired twice yesterday. Ms. Bannister received a call, approx. 4pm, telling her apologetically that the station could not air the spot as scheduled. Apparently, Mr. Kevin Cauley, attorney for the High Point Ministries, called WCTV's legal dept., and the rest is history. There was nothing negative or disparaging in the spot; just informing the community of the removal of animals, without any writ of possession filed or served, by High Point Ministries. I left messages with both the news director and station manager @ WCTV. This is of great concern to the animal community. This truly is a story of David vs. Goliath. The Tallahassee community has a right to know , and WCTV has a duty to reveal the truth, regardless of the influence of parties involved.
nancyelizabeth green atlanta ga.
"I urge you to ask yourself just how honorable it is to preside over the abuse and suffering of animals."
Dream High Farms (5013c) in Wigham, Ga. has been evicted without notice, by the High Point Ministries (Tallahassee, Fla.). This "christian"-based group, run by Donna Floyd, is wealthy; some say it has more $$$ than God! Three jets, a Russian orphanage; you get the idea. They had the sheriff remove 8 horses and one donkey last Friday night. No papers were ever filed or served, and Becky Bannister (founder of Dream High Farms) has adoption papers (2008) for the equines. They also took most of the feed and hay, which leaves Becky with barely enough to feed the remaining animals. This is a very small, rural town (631 people), and this ministry has the power of wealth and religion. I called local TV stations, trying to get a reporter to the property, when the sheriff was allowing the removal of these animals.
P.S. Becky just called me and told me a WCTV (CBS affiliate in Tallahassee), has responded, and is due @ Dream High Farms @ 9am, tomorrow (Tuesday) morning! I hope they have the guts to show the community, what the High Point Ministries is really all about. This situation is particularly despicable, as animals and children are being deprived under the guise of religion.
Thank you for passing this along to your contacts.
Respectfully, nancy elizabeth Green atlanta ga.
Subject: Fwd: -11/12/10 HIGHPOINTE MINISTRIES EVICTING 5013c rehab for special needs children through animals
ATTENTION: The situation with the High Point Ministries (see below) has worsened. This evening, the sheriff of Wigham approached Mrs. Bannister's property and said they were removing her horses. No legal papers (eviction or otherwise), were presented. Several horses were confiscated. I was on the phone with Becky during the "theft" of her animals. The sheriff threatened her with obstruction of justice, as she objected. I tried to call TV stations, to get a reporter on the scene. I could not get anyone's attention. This is a travesty!
High Point Ministries needs to be confronted on their seemingly "unchristianlike" behavior. This is a small Georgia community (631population.) But, like its large city counterparts, $$$ appears to make right. The Sheriff needs to be investigated( Grady county) as to why he would assist in the removal of property without any type of court mandate. Please contact Becky Bannister.
Sent: Fri, Nov 19, 2010 10:30 am
Subject: -11/12/10 HIGHPOINTE MINISTRIES EVICTING 5013c rehab for special needs children thru animals
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dream High Farms, Whigham, Georgia
A Nonprofit Animal Rescue falls victim to greed of Christian Ministry.
Dream High Farms (an IRS approved 501(c)(3)) was founded in 2007 by Becky Bannister and her husband Richard. Richard Bannister is a Vietnam Air Force Veteran, who works for the U.S. Post Office. Becky has a background in adolescent psychology, mental retardation and substance abuse. They are located in Whigham, Georgia, in the southwestern portion of the State.
They currently provide needed shelter for 98 horses, 13 greyhounds, 50 peacocks, and 187 other assorted animals, including 2 llamas. Over the last five years they have provided Equestrian Assisted Therapy for hundreds of at risk youth in southwest Georgia and northern Florida.
In 2008 High Pointe Ministries stepped in to assist the agency, offering to purchase the land so that the Animal Rescue agency could continue in perpetuity. Tragically, benefactor Mike Floyd, passed away in January of 2010, leaving no will and control of the Christian Conglomerate to his wife Donna Floyd and his daughter Melode.
Donna Floyd is host of a Christian TV Show called “Wisdom for Winning” on WKOW, carried on Titan TV. High Pointe Ministries owns many interests in TV and radio, among other business entities.
I month ago High Pointe Ministries suspended all youth programming on the property, citing liability issues. With no warning, Dream High Farms was informed that they will be thrown off the property and High Pointe Ministries would take over the operation (see www.magnoliahorsefarm.com)
High Pointe Ministries (supposedly a Christian Organization) is behaving in a decidedly Un-Christian manner.
For more information contact:
Jennifer Lee Pryor
President, Indigo Inc.
President, Tarnished... more
Praise The Lord for American missionaries bringing Christian salvation to South Korea. And please Lord, save me from your followers... Buddha has left the building.Praise The Lord for American missionaries bringing Christian salvation to South Korea.... more
A Nevada megachurch is supporting and standing by a leading advocate of Uganda's most infamous legislation
Early this year, Canyon Ridge issued a statement expressing support for Ssempa and declining to enter into the AHB debate. Then in June, after Ssempa's most recent statements came to light, the church said that it was "in conversation with" him about his work on behalf of the AHB. But just last week, Canyon Ridge's pastors told me that they "do not believe Martin Ssempa to be the man the media and others have portrayed him to be."A Nevada megachurch is supporting and standing by a leading advocate of Uganda's... more
Current TV correspondent Mariana van Zeller travels to Uganda, where many question whether the growing influence of American religious groups has led to a movement to make homosexuality a crime punishable by death. As an anti-gay movement spreads across the continent, gay Africans and their families face an increasingly uncertain future of isolation, imprisonment or even execution.Current TV correspondent Mariana van Zeller travels to Uganda, where many question... more
Remember the Pennsylvania pastor who runs a militia in East Africa and is trying to kill Joseph Kony? Well, those movie rumors were true.
Gerard Butler will play Sam Childers, the machine gun preacher himself. Michelle Monaghan will play his wife, and Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace, Monster’s Ball) is directing.
Skeptical as I am of Childers’s methods, this project has potential to bring awareness of Joseph Kony and the LRA to a whole new audience. It’s hard to complain about that. Below is an interview with the man, the inspiration, Reverend Childers.
P.s. Doesn’t a movie entitled “Machine Gun Preacher” sound like it should star Samuel L. Jackson?Remember the Pennsylvania pastor who runs a militia in East Africa and is trying to... more
From out of the ordered suburbs of Idaho to the grim chaos of Haiti came 40-year-old Laura Silsby — fleeing creditors who had foreclosed on her home and ex-employees stiffed of their wages.
To the Caribbean she went with nine other self-appointed missionaries and an audacious plan: they would “gather 100 orphans from the streets,” of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, according to an outline on the Web site of Silsby’s group, New Life Children’s Refuge.
The children would be whisked across the border into the Dominican Republic. Food, shelter, legal permits: the basics would be worked out by divine blueprint. For now, they needed funds — tax deductible!
What’s more, there would soon be “opportunities for adoption,” the group mentioned, “for loving Christian parents who would otherwise not be able to afford to adopt.”
Silsby and her live-in nanny, Charisa Coulter, are still in a Haitian jail, where they have denied charges of child kidnapping. A judge there has agreed to release the two this week, but the case shows once again how easy it is to manipulate people in the name of an all-loving God.
“Kidnapping for Jesus” is what many, including outraged Idahoans, have called it in reader response to newspaper stories about the missionaries. Silsby says it’s all a misunderstanding, and her intentions were good.
At the least, the curious case of Laura Silsby raises questions about cultural imperialism: what makes a scofflaw from nearly all-white Idaho with no experience in adoption or rescue services think she has a right to bring religion and relief to a country with its own cultural, racial and spiritual heritage?
Imagine if a voodoo minister from Haiti had shown up in Boise after an earthquake, looking for children in poor neighborhoods and offering “opportunities for adoption” back to Haiti. He could say, as those who followed Silsby explained on a Web site, that “the unsaved world needs to hear” from the saved.
Who says they are “unsaved?” And who says the world needs to hear from them? Haiti is a predominantly Roman Catholic country, and a nation full of passionate believers at that.
As it turns out, there was no orphanage for the Silsby children, just plans, many, many plans. And some of the young Haitians were not even orphans. As to what qualified Laura Silsby to jump into international relief work with a side of adoption services, well, she had once run something called Personal Shopper. And she was a charismatic Christian, with a golden tongue.
So, despite the fact that she’d been subject to numerous civil lawsuits for unpaid wage claims, and had a history of flouting the law, she could convince fellow Baptists to follow her to Haiti after the devastating earthquake last month. Under the banner of heaven, they would try to help “each child find healing, hope, joy and new life in Christ.”
Eight of the 10 missionaries have since been released and have returned home, after some said they had been duped by Silsby.
Of course, no one moved by genuine concern should ever be discouraged from acting. And in Haiti, we’ve seen some of the best impulses of the human heart at work in life-saving triage.
Still, the damage by zealous amateurs has been done to legitimate adoption services, and to relief agencies with long and noble histories of helping the desperate, the poor, the unloved. Blame it on the missionary impulse, a lingering personality disorder of Western culture.
Most Native American tribes have three basic stories: a creation myth, a trail of tears out of the homeland and indignities suffered at the hands of Christian missionaries.
Some of the worst damage was done, the tribes will tell you, long after the Indian wars were over, when missionaries moved in. They broke up families, shipping children off to boarding schools where they were shorn of their language, their hair and their culture. They banned tribal customs like the potlatch — where Indians compete to give away gifts — and spirit rituals that had been passed on for centuries.
Edward Curtis, the photographer of American Indians, was so happy to find native people in the far north of Alaska whose lives had not been overturned by outside do-gooders that he wrote, “should any misguided missionary start for this island I trust the sea will do its duty.”
The British Empire, struggling with its “White Man’s Burden,” in the memorable phrase of Rudyard Kipling, at times tried to keep missionaries out of its colonies. Violent rebellions in India, among other places, were spawned by fear of having an outside religion forced on people.
As the African saying put it: “First they had the Bible and we had the land; now we have the Bible and they have the land.” Of course, there are more Anglicans by far in Africa now than in England, so in a sense the missionaries got both the land and the Bible.
But again, suppose an animist from Africa tried to wash Christian vernacular from the mouth of an Anglican in London? It would be an outrage.
The missionaries say they have found the Word, the Truth, and feel compelled to spread it. Indeed, Paul Thompson, one of the Idaho pastors who followed Silsby to Haiti, expressed these feelings in his pastoral newsletter just before the earthquake.
“War is declared!” he quoted a 19th century British missionary approvingly. “In God’s Holy Name let us arise and build!”
But the Silsby case calls for a different type of refrain: Missionary, heal thyself.
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/24/the-missionary-impulse/?ref=opinionFrom out of the ordered suburbs of Idaho to the grim chaos of Haiti came 40-year-old... more
Eight American missionaries accused of trying to take 33 children out of Haiti landed in Miami early today after being freed by authorities in the earthquake-stricken country.
They were allowed to return to the US after parents testified they had given up their children voluntarily because they believed the Americans would give them a better life. Two other members of the party remain in Haiti for further questioning.
The group had faced child kidnapping charges and was rebuked by a senior Haitian justice official after detention for most was ended by a judge. "They know they broke the law", said Claudy GassentEight American missionaries accused of trying to take 33 children out of Haiti landed... more
10 americans are being charged with Abducting 33 haitian children. The americans are members of a baptist organization in idaho, claiming the children would benefit from a christian environment.
Are these people taking advantage of a crisis to impose their religion on these orphans? Is this morally just? Ethically just? Are they acting out of the best interest of the children or themselves?10 americans are being charged with Abducting 33 haitian children. The americans are... more
Haiti has charged 10 US missionaries with child abduction and criminal conspiracy for allegedly trying to smuggle 33 children out of the country.Dominican officials say the Missionaries were warned on taking kids out of Haiti.
Haitian officials said their cases would now be sent to an investigating judge who would decide how to proceed.
If convicted they face lengthy jail terms, says the BBC's Paul Adams, in Haiti's quake-hit capital city.
When stopped on the border last Friday, they said they were taking the children to a Dominican Republic orphanage.
But it has emerged some of the youngsters had parents who were alive.
'Kidnappers'Haiti has charged 10 US missionaries with child abduction and criminal conspiracy for... more
AM is a non-profit service organization dedicated to helping established ministers in third world countries. We are Currently working in Haiti, where we help support 7 churches, 3 schools, and 2 children's homes.
As you make your way through our site you will find many opportunities to serve as well as information about current projects and upcoming mission trips. Through these ministries, our volunteers provide medical care, educational opportunities and other services. But most importantly, they show the love of Christ.
We encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have and above all pray and consider becoming a part of this ministry.
visit the site where you can donate.AM is a non-profit service organization dedicated to helping established ministers in... more
3 years ago
"SEOUL, South Korea – North Korean border guards apparently detained an American missionary as soon as he walked into the communist nation in an effort to call attention to Pyongyang's human rights abuses, an activist said Monday.
Robert Park, 28, slipped across the frozen Tumen River into the North from China on Christmas Day carrying a letter calling on North Korean leader Kim Jong Il to shut down the country's political prison camps. There has been no word from him since.
Jo Sung-rae of the Seoul-based activist group Pax Koreana cited a person who witnessed Park crossing into the North as saying that voices were heard on the North Korean side as soon as Park crossed over.
Jo quoted the person, one of two people who guided Park to the crossing, as saying visibility was poor. "But he said he heard people talking loudly when Robert arrived there," Jo added. "I think they were border guards and Robert was taken into custody immediately."
Members of Park's church in Tucson, Ariz., held services Saturday and Sunday night to pray for a safe return, said the Rev. John Benson, the pastor at Life in Christ Community Church. About 70 people attended Saturday's vigil, he said.
Park's father, Pyong Park, quoted his son as saying before the journey he was "not afraid to die, as long as the whole world, all every nation pay attention to the North Korea situation, my death is nothing." The senior Park spoke to San Diego's KFMB television.
Jo said two guides, who he described as North Korean defectors, filmed Park's crossing. But one of them is demanding payment for the footage and is refusing to hand it over.
Jo, who has been the source for most information about Park, initially requested anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the situation, but is now speaking by name.
North Korea's state-run media has been silent on Park's case. The U.S. State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Beijing said they were aware of the incident but had no details."
Read more at the link below:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091228/ap_on_re_as/as_nkorea_us_missionary"SEOUL, South Korea – North Korean border guards apparently detained an... more
The rains come too late for the crops. Cows, selling for about $5, have no meat on their bones. The drought's damage will be fatal for many.
From the Maasai Mara wildlife reserve in Kenya to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania -- about 11,700 square miles -- everyone is hungry.
"The problem is that there is no grass," Bob Calvert says. "There is not enough water, not enough rain. For the past month, as I was waiting on relief supplies to come, I have been cutting grass around Nairobi to take to pastors for their animals to eat."
Calvert, an International Mission Board missionary, lives outside Kenya's capital, Nairobi. He partnered with Baptist Global Response, an international relief and development organization, to deliver nearly $500,000 worth of flour and cooking fat to women between May and July.
The money, provided by Southern Baptists through their World Hunger Fund, was enough to feed 180,000 people for one month -- at a cost of $2.70 each.
"Pastors started coming to me in November of last year to tell me that they needed food," Calvert recounts. "I told them to start collecting names of those who needed the food immediately -- women, orphans, old men, those with no other income."
Pastors in 238 churches collected the names of 29,280 women whose families need food. The reason for identifying the need through women is that some men have as many as four wives. This way each woman can feed her children.
Baptist Global Response worked with Calvert to develop a strategy for providing staple foods to people suffering in Kenya's Rift Valley area.
"Cyclical hunger in Africa is a fact of life," says Mark Hatfield who with his wife Susan directs Baptist Global Response work in Sub-Saharan Africa. "Environmental changes, in association with land use methods that have degraded the environment, along with a series of very poor rainy seasons, brought about this need for assistance."
Each woman received 12 five-pound bags of flour and one tub of cooking fat. While the distribution will stave off hunger for a month, it will be six months before families will have an opportunity to plant new crops.
Pastor Jon, located near the Maasai Mara, tells Calvert there has been no rain in his area. "We are eating dust," Jon says.The rains come too late for the crops. Cows, selling for about $5, have no meat on... more
Call me crazy, but doesn't this break some kind of Mormon moral code? Sex sells. But is sex allowed to sell to make money for the church? Considering that Mormon men who go on proselytizing missions are not allowed to read newspapers, listen to music, surf the Internet, watch tv or movies, nevermind drink alcohol, tea or coffee, smoke cigs, or get in any kind of missionary position for an entire two years, it seems that some of them spend all their free time at the gym. Then they come back, take off their holy underwear and pose for calendars to raise money for charity. The creator of the calendar defended his work as the tamest piece of work that you'll find in a gay man's porn collection. What would Joseph Smith have to say about this?Call me crazy, but doesn't this break some kind of Mormon moral code? Sex sells.... more
Tabnak, a semi-official Iranian news service, has reported that several women were arrested for doing missionary work for the Baha'i religion. Some of the arrested were from Tehran while others were not Iranian.Tabnak, a semi-official Iranian news service, has reported that several women were... more
David and Fiona Fulton, a Scottish couple, have been arrested in Gambia and charged with sedition.David and Fiona Fulton, a Scottish couple, have been arrested in Gambia and charged... more
For those uneducated about the issues "Noho Hewa" addresses, Hawaiian activists can appear to be unduly angry, their causes ridiculously unrealistic. But in taking a stand on the side of the Hawaiian cause, the film does an excellent job of providing context to their perspectives. And it even goes one step further: It conveys knowledge that resonates in the heart as well as the mind.
"Honolulu Star-Bulletin"For those uneducated about the issues "Noho Hewa" addresses, Hawaiian... more
4 years ago
More than a century ago, missionaries from the United Church of Christ aided American businessmen in the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, but last month local UCC officials not only asked to be forgiven for their forebears' complicity but also gifted members of 'Ohana Ni'ihau o Waimea Ekalesia the deed to the land on which their church and a fellowship hall stand in Waimea town. Church members also received the deed for a nearby parcel off Kaumuali'i Highway on Kaua'i's west side.More than a century ago, missionaries from the United Church of Christ aided American... more
4 years ago
On the resort island of Ambergris Caye, just off the coast of Belize, is a community sometimes referred to as the forgotten place. Officially known as San Mateo, this is a community of 1,500 or more living in shacks made from found materials. They live in swampland, sewage, garbage and many without running water or electricity.
In 2004 two American missionaries were vacationing on the island when they noticed an appalling number of school age children wandering the beaches alone. Because the public school was far past capacity and the private schools were beyond most people's means, these children were left to fend for themselves.
Francis and Vernon Wilson decided to work with the Belize government to build a school that would benefit the community of San Mateo. In 2006 its doors opened and enrollment has soared. The school has provided education, food and healthcare to the community.
This emerging success story is being threatened by the very resort development that employs many of those living in San Mateo. Encroaching beyond the mangroves are condos and the threat of displacement. The most immediate threat is to the school which rests as a buffer between development and the community.On the resort island of Ambergris Caye, just off the coast of Belize, is a community... more