PODCAST: Ahead of Election, Pastor Tony Evans Laments That Christians ‘Have Allowed Government to Divide the Church’ (BCNN1 11.02.20)

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According to the Christian Post, Two days before the general election, Pastor Tony Evans lamented that Christians “have allowed government to divide the Church.” “What we are seeing today especially among Christians is us building walls against one another because of government. We’ve allowed government to divide the church and that is an agenda from Hell,” Evans said Sunday during his message on “God and Conscience” at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas. “We’ve made government God or made it bigger than God because it can do something God wouldn’t do.” Evans denounced the vitriol he often sees on social media as Christians argue over political issues. Referring to Romans 15:7, Evans said, “Therefore accept one another just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.” “When your political vote causes you to reject, demean, ridicule, curse, cuss others who differ from you but are not abandoning Scripture to do so, they just have a different set of priorities … Everybody may not feel the same about Democrats and Republicans or this candidate versus that candidate. But … don’t let that issue get in the way of your fellowship in the program of God,” the pastor told the congregants. “It is embarrassing, I mean, downright embarrassing, to read social media and see the vitriol, the hatred, the evil, the downright hellishness of Christians going at each other. We have become more pagan than the non-Christian world and in how we talk to one another just because people are disagreeing politically. When you can have good on both sides and bad on both sides, … do not disregard one another because to do that is an embarrassment to God.”

According to The Detroit News, Gospel music singer Rance Allen of Monroe, who is known as the ‘Father of Contemporary Gospel Music,” has died The Church of God in Christ announced in a statement on Saturday. He was 71. “Bishop Allen’s unique vocal ministry was an indispensable sound within the Church Of God In Christ and Christendom,” the Pentecostal–Holiness Christian denomination organization said in a statement. “His gift transcended the boundaries of musical genre as he remained a sought after personality called to perform on global venues.” Mr. Allen, a pianist and guitarist, formed The Rance Allen Group with his brothers Tom, a drummer, and Steve, a guitarist, in 1969, according to a biography on his website. The group was nominated for Grammy Awards in 1981, 1991 and 2004 and inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2018 the group won Stellar Awards’ named Traditional Duo/Chorus Group of the Year for their recording “Live from San Francisco.”

According to the Christian Post, One reason why the COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice are taking a toll on people’s mental illness is that “we were not created to be alone,” said megachurch pastor Bishop T.D. Jakes in a virtual conversation with Chirlane McCray, writer and activist and the wife of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Friendship is so important to have the ability to develop relational skills with people to whom we don’t have responsibilities,” Jakes told McCray in a recent online conversation. This is because, he explained, “when you have relationships only with people who have expectations from you, sometimes their expectation of you is part of the weight that’s on you.” He continued, “But when you’re in a friendship relationship where there is no expectation on you, you don’t have to worry about, you know … the mortgage is behind … We’re just friends, so I can just call you up and just have a meltdown and it really doesn’t matter, it’s going to be OK.” “And then, by the same token, give them that same freedom to be able to access you and we can be our brother’s keeper.” The answer to the question if I am my brother’s keeper “has to be ‘yes.’” “We have to assume the responsibility of looking across the office. And the person who seems out of sorts today, … stop by and say, ‘You seem kind of stressed out today. Are you OK?’ Or ‘I brought you a cupcake this morning.’ You know, just something simple and fun. And creating an environment where people can have relationships. … We were not created to be alone. We were not created to be alone whether you take that from a theological perspective or whether you take it from a biological perspective. We are not a species that does well in isolation. When you look at the criminal justice system, isolation is a form of punishment used in prison. That’s right, so you know this isolation is detrimental; physiologically, the brain shrinks. When left alone, longtime memories fade, the ability to remember our cognitive skills diminishes. All of that affects us, he underlined. “God Himself said, ‘It’s not good for men to be alone.’” Jakes said statistics also show that “even if you have a dog, a puppy, a kitten, a cat, people live longer.”

According to Daily Mail, A huge manhunt is underway on the streets of Vienna this evening after police confirmed shootings at six different locations near a synagogue with two people dead and fifteen others injured. Police are hunting several attackers, according to local reports, with one thought to have ‘blown themselves up’ during the rampage, another arrested and one shot dead by police. Interior Minister Karl Nehammer told Austrian broadcaster ORF: ‘At the moment I can confirm we believe this is an apparent terror attack.’ The rampage comes on the last evening before Austria goes into lockdown, with bars and restaurants in the country closed from midnight tonight. Shocking footage showing a man carrying an assault rifle sprinting through the streets of Vienna and firing off shots was shared on social media, though it is unclear if he is the gunman behind the attack.

According to the Christian Post, The Church of God in Christ, a predominantly African American body of 6.5 million members, is holding its first-ever national ballot drive. Another 10 or so smaller Holiness denominations, including the African Methodist Episcopal Church with 2.5 million adherents, are joining COGIC in urging people to go to the polls. Holiness churches tend to believe in a second work of the Holy Spirit in the Christian life that brings noticeable change morally, such as stopping smoking, curtailing pornography and ending cursing. Going back to those ways could signal the person is no longer saved. Pentecostal Holiness denominations such as COGIC think this second blessing also can lead to spiritual gifts such as healing or tongues. Stringent Holiness groups historically have refrained from entering or emphasizing politics, which they see as worldly in nature. Most civically active black pastors are Baptist, including the Revs. Martin Luther King Jr., Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and the late Democratic Congressman John Lewis. COGIC Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake has initiated “Press to the Polls,” part of a campaign to register 250,000 COGIC faithful and get them to vote in November. COVID-19 caused the denomination to cancel its annual Holy Convocation, which nightly features a different section of the body’s work. The format has moved to social media this week, as those groups discuss the top issues in the campaign and the importance of casting ballots. The Evangelism Department hosted Monday night’s streaming, for example. “We could have had one clarion call by presiding bishop, but we thought utilizing those leaders and their influence over their constituents would be more effective,” Bishop Talbert Swan, senior adviser to Blake, told The Christian Post.

According to The Detroit News, A Detroit woman has sued a North Carolina pastor and his church in a multi-million dollar lawsuit after he urinated on her while on an airplane earlier this month, according to court documents. Alicia Beverly, 25, hired attorney Geoffrey Fieger to sue the Raleigh pastor and the church he works with for over $2 million after he peed on her while she was asleep on a Delta flight from Las Vegas to Detroit on October 13. Fieger claims that the pastor had a blood alcohol content above .17 when he was taken into custody by Detroit police when the plane landed. In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. “It is difficult to believe that a church would hire a Pastor who boarded a plane drunk and has a proclivity to urinate on passengers. Considering the times we are living in, nothing surprises me anymore,” Fieger said in a statement announcing the lawsuit Thursday. According to the lawsuit that was filed with the Wayne County Circuit Court, the pastor is being sued for committing acts of negligence, gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, sexual assault and battery and infliction of emotional distress against Beverly. The lawsuit also states that the church is being sued for negligent hiring, training, supervision and/ or intervention and vicarious liability. The lawsuit claims that the church “owed duties to the general public to properly hire, train and retain employees that could perform their job duties in a non-negligent manner and refrain from injuring the public.” According to the lawsuit, Beverly has suffered from severe emotional and mental distress, anxiety, fright, shock, humiliation, grief, embarrassment, mortification and inability to experience social pleasures and enjoyment.

According to the NY Post, New video obtained by the Post shows the moment an 8-year-old girl out trick-or-treating with her family is shot in the leg in Harlem. The footage shows the little girl walking with her dad and sister on Lenox Avenue between West 117th Street and West 118th Street on Saturday evening. All of a sudden, people on the sidewalk scatter and the dad pushes one of the girls out of the way while the other girl falls to the ground. The dad, who asked to remain anonymous, said Sunday that the threesome — both young girls in costumes — was walking to meet his wife at a CVS on the corner when he saw the gunman pull out his weapon. “I hear shots,” he said. “I pushed my youngest out of the way and then grab her but she’s yelling, ‘My leg!’” The dad, who was struck in the arm, ran into the street and grabbed a cab to a hospital. A third victim was also struck in the arm but is expected to survive.

You can read these stories and more at BlackChristianNews.com .

In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!