Church Growth in China Too Fast to Keep Up With

The Christian Post reports that the church is China is growing tremendously – a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless for pastors. A massive shortage of trained pastors has led nearly 150,000 lay leaders to step up and pastor local churches. The lack of theological education can – and has already – led to the spread of biblically inaccurate beliefs. The Rev. Gao Feng, president of the government-approved China Christian Council, said one pastor proclaimed Jesus had already returned as a young woman. Gao reports that in his home province there is only one trained pastor for 40,000 Christians. “One of the challenges is that we need to train more pastors,” he said. The China Christian Council is the only government-approved umbrella organization for Protestant churches in China.

Home Depot Fires Employee over God Button

A former cashier for Home Depot who has been wearing a “One nation under God” button on his work apron for more than a year has been fired, he says because of the religious reference. The company claims that expressing such personal beliefs is simply not allowed. The American flag button Keezer wore in the Florida store since March 2008 says “One nation under God, indivisible.” Earlier this month, he began bringing a Bible to read during his lunch break at the store in the rural town of Okeechobee, about 140 miles north of Miami. That’s when he says Home Depot management told him he would have to remove the button. Keezer refused, and he was fired on Oct. 23rd. A Home Depot spokesman said Keezer was fired because he violated the company’s dress code.

  • Expect to see more and more of this kind of anti-God persecution

Poll Shows Changed Views on Obama

As the anniversary of President Obama’s election approaches, the tidal wave of hope that swept Obama into office has ebbed and some perceptions of the president have changed, the USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds. He’s seen more as a down-the-line liberal, less as someone who can bridge partisan divides. Confidence in Obama’s ability to deliver on his campaign promises has eroded, especially on domestic issues. A majority of those surveyed now say his administration won’t be able to control federal spending or improve the health care system. The biggest decline has been on his pledge to ease the nation’s fierce partisanship: A year ago, 54% said he would be able to “heal political divisions”; now only 28% say so. The public’s view of Obama is critical to his clout. It affects his ability to persuade reluctant moderates to sign on to revamping the health care system and to persuade liberals unhappy with some of its compromises to stay on board. It will help determine how much public support he can command for his decision on whether to deploy more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. His standing also will be one important factor on whether Democrats suffer big losses in next year’s congressional elections.

Americans Alarmed at Attacks on Free Speech

A majority of Americans are alarmed over attempts by the White House to stifle dissent or suppress free speech, according to a new poll that asked about a series of issues ranging from President Obama’s attempt to cut Fox News out of an interview opportunity to his advocacy for “hate crimes” legislation that could hinder Christian pastors’ sermons. The new poll from Zogby International/O’Leary Report reveals a clear majority of Americans view recent actions by Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress as “threats to our First Amendment Rights.” “Independents, Hispanics and small business owners are among the key voting blocs that disagree with the president’s moves to curtail free speech,” the summary of the poll results said. Fifty-three percent of Americans agree the Fox News maneuver is an attempt to silence dissent and only 40 percent disagreed, the poll said. “Even a plurality of Democrats (48 percent) think Obama and his staff are trying to silence dissent, while 43 percent of Democrats disagree. An even stronger majority, 59 percent, “oppose any international law that protects religions from criticism, while only 21 percent support such a law,” the results said. A plurality of 47 percent of Americans disagree with the Hate Crimes bill, while only 38 percent agree with it, the poll said.

  • Despite the opinions of the American public, our government will continue to march us inexorably down the road to a one-world socialistic government as prophesied in Revelation 13.

Christian Broadcasters Leery of ‘Hate Crimes’ Law

The “hate crimes” bill approved recently by Congress could be a problem for broadcasters — most importantly, Christian broadcasters — when it is signed into law. Sometime Wednesday President Barack Obama is expected to sign into law the measure that adds to the list of federal hate crimes attacks on people based on their sexual orientation. Congress approved the legislation last week as part of the $680-billion FY 2010 Defense Authorization bill. Appended to the hate crimes amendment was a statement ensuring that a religious leader or any other person cannot be prosecuted on the bases if his or her speech, beliefs, or association. But Craig Parshall, chief counsel for National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), discounts that statement, pointing out that such laws in other countries have been used to silence people of faith. He believes the law approved by Congress is potentially dangerous as it relates to comments made about homosexuality or another religion. “Under the criminal law of incitement, if something is said in a broadcast that another person uses as a motivation to go out and commit an act of what they call ‘bodily injury’ in the statute, then a broadcaster could be held criminally liable,” he explains.

Climate Bill Goes Cold

Senate Democrats have all but abandoned the prospects of getting a climate bill passed this year, although they hoped that they could show some progress on the issue, such as clearing a bill out of a major committee, in advance of international climate negotiations in Denmark in December. Top Obama administration officials are looking to make their case at a U.S. Senate hearing Tuesday for aggressive action to combat climate change, even as Republicans show no sign of softening their dislike of a Democratic bill that would dramatically cut heat-trapping pollution. The White House has made clear its support for the 900-page Democratic bill that would cut greenhouse gases by 80% over the coming 40 years. It was sending three cabinet secretaries and the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to Tuesday’s Senate hearing, hoping to persuade some wavering senators to support the measure.

McCain Moves to Block FCC’s Net Neutrality

U.S. Sen. John McCain has introduced legislation that would block the Federal Communications Commission from creating new net neutrality rules, on the same day that the FCC took the first step toward doing so. McCain on Thursday introduced the Internet Freedom Act, which would keep the FCC from enacting rules prohibiting broadband providers from selectively blocking or slowing Internet content and applications. Net neutrality rules would create “onerous federal regulation,” McCain said. The FCC voted Thursday to begin a rulemaking process to formalize net neutrality rules. The rules, as proposed, would allow Web users to run the legal applications and access the legal Web sites of their choice.

  • Who decides what’s “legal?” Our socialistic anti-Christ government.

Privately Run Infrastructure Deals Dry Up

The rush by state and local governments to sell roads, bridges and airports to private operators in return for eye-popping upfront sums has all but collapsed in the recession. That could leave taxpayers on the hook for more of the $200 billion a year needed to maintain the nation’s transportation system, according to federal estimates. An era of privately operated infrastructure seemed near when Chicago leased its 7-mile Skyway for $1.8 billion in 2003 and Indiana leased a 157-mile toll road for $3.8 billion in 2006States had proposed selling all kinds of things, from highways to lotteries, to raise $10 billion or more. In return, the private companies would operate the assets during long-term leases and bank the revenue. The purchase of government assets has all but stopped as credit has dried up. Now, with tax collections falling, state and local governments are scrambling to finance their own projects.

Asian Leaders Seek to Reduce Western Trade Ties

Asia-Pacific leaders called on Sunday for regional-wide free trade and other measures to reduce dependence on the United States and big Western markets as Asia leads the way out of the global economic downturn. At the meetings, held under tight security, Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama found tentative support from his Asian counterparts for a proposed regional community inspired by the European Union that would account for nearly a quarter of global economic output. Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, host of the meetings, said Asia clearly needed a new growth model leaning less on big Western trading partners and more on Asia-wide trade pacts. The global financial crisis, he said, bore this out.

  • Regional unions in Asia and North America are the next step in moving toward a one-world government

Economic News

States have reported using stimulus money to create or save more than 388,000 jobs so far this year, buttressing the Obama administration’s claim that the $787 billion plan has had a significant impact on the economy. That total, based on a USA TODAY review of reports from 33 states and Puerto Rico, includes teachers, construction workers, and others whose jobs were funded by stimulus money awarded to states.

Sales of new homes dropped unexpectedly last month as the effects of a soon-to-expire $8,000 tax credit for first-time owners started to wane. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that sales fell 3.6%. It was the first decline since March. Sales in September were down 7.8% from a year ago. The median sales price of $204,800 was off 9.1% from $225,200 a year earlier, but up 2.5% from August’s level of $199,900. Home loan demand slid for the third straight week, with purchase applications the weakest since mid-May and refinancing requests at a two-month low.

Gasoline prices have risen 16 cents a gallon in the past month and will go a bit higher before leveling off, oil and gas analysts say. The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $2.67 Tuesday vs. $2.69 a year ago. The rise left San Franciscans paying an average $3.05 a gallon last week.

GMAC Financial Services is in talks with the Treasury Department for a third injection of taxpayer aid as the auto lender faces a November deadline to raise the $11.5 billion capital cushion mandated by results of the government’s “stress test.” Of the 19 banks that underwent government stress tests, 10 were determined to be undercapitalized. GMAC is the only one that couldn’t raise the necessary capital from investors.

Ecuador Seeks Billions to Go Green

Ecuador‘s president is in London this week to promote a unique proposal: pay his country $3 billion not to drill for oil in a pristine Amazon reserve. Germany and Spain have expressed interest in President Rafael Correa‘s idea, which environmentalists say could set a precedent in the fight against global warming by lowering the high cost to poor countries of going green. “This is the first time the government of a major oil-producing country has voluntarily offered to forego lucrative oil extraction in order to help combat climate change,” said Dr. Matt Finer, staff scientist for Save America’s Forests.

Israel

Amnesty International is accusing Israel of pumping disproportionate amounts of drinking water from an aquifer it controls in the West Bank, depriving local Palestinians of their fair share. The London-based human rights group also said in a report released Tuesday, that Israel has blocked infrastructure projects that would improve existing water supplies to Palestinians — both in the West Bank and those living in the Gaza Strip. Israeli officials deny the accusations. Water is a major point of contention between Israelis and Palestinians and is considered an issue that must be resolved before the two sides could make peace.

Afghanistan

Taliban militants wearing suicide vests stormed a guest house used by U.N. staff in the heart of the Afghan capital early Wednesday, killing 12 people — including six U.N. staff — in the biggest in a series of attacks intended to undermine next month’s presidential runoff election. One rocket struck the “outer limit” of the presidential palace but caused no casualties, presidential spokesman Humayun Hamidzada said. Another slammed into the grounds of the Serena Hotel, which is favored by many foreigners.

Eight American troops were killed Tuesday in two attacks in Afghanistan, making this the deadliest month for U.S. forces since the war started in October 2001. This month, 55 Americans have died in Afghanistan. The next-highest month for U.S. deaths was August, when 51 U.S. service members were killed.

Pakistan

A car bomb tore through a crowded market in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing at least 91 people hours after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in the country to show American support for its campaign against Islamist militants. More than 200 people were wounded in the blast in the main northwestern city of Peshawar, the latest in a surge of bloody attacks this month by suspected militants apparently aimed at denting public backing for an army offensive against al-Qaeda and Taliban close to the Afghan border. Secretary Clinton opened her three-day visit to Pakistan on Wednesday, praising the government for pressing a high-risk military offensive against extremist forces in a volatile region near the Afghan border.

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