PODCAST: Iranian government losing influence despite electing new president (WHR 06.27.21)

This is Whyte House Report podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.

According to Mission Network News, Iran has its next president, but the Iranian people sent their government a very clear message by not turning out to vote. Dr. Hormoz Shariat with Iran Alive Ministries says, “The government has been losing its influence among the people. And they’re very afraid. The minority, 10-15% are in power in Iran. They are afraid that they will lose everything. This was not an election. They chose a person: President Raisi. He is a butcher, called the Butcher of Tehran. He has killed so many people. In the 1980s, he killed tens of thousands of people.” Dr. Shariat says the Supreme Leader picked such a violent president in order to keep the people in line through fear. “We are moving in the direction of the government of Iran becoming more and more like the North Korean government. It is very possible that this was the last election of this type.” In this environment, Iranian Christians risk arrest and torture for even attending a church service. But they also have an incredible opportunity to show the love of Jesus to those around them. Dr. Shariat says, “I see so many stories of Christians in the hardships standing up for the Lord and shining. [They are] converting others, even converting those who are persecuting them.” Ask God to give Iranian Christians courage in a fearful time for the country.

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According to Assist News Service, At least one person died and many are still unaccounted for as 55 apartment units collapsed and were destroyed in Florida. The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT) has deployed crisis-trained chaplains to Surfside, Florida, to provide emotional and spiritual support after a 12-story residential building collapsed early Thursday morning. “As we learn more about this terrible tragedy, our hearts are broken for the residents of this condo who experienced such a devastating event,” said Josh Holland, assistant director of the BG-RRT. “Our crisis-trained chaplains are available to listen and we want all of those who were impacted—including the first responders who are part of the search and rescue efforts—to know that God still loves them and cares about them, even in the midst of such pain and sadness.”

According to Charisma News, The former pastor emeritus of Gospel Temple Church of God in Christ, Thelma Lee Battle Buckner, died June 11 at age 89. The congregation planned a series of events to honor her life and legacy as the “granny” of St. Paul, Minnesota, where she pastored for 15 years. In honor of her love of music, the church performed a musical on June 23, and hosted both a “lie in state” on June 24 and a home-going service on June 25. The daughter of a long line of revivalists, Buckner’s passion for music colored much of her ministry at Gospel Temple. She was a vocalist, pianist and leader, even though the church did not endorse women in leadership at the time, her son Dwight Buckner said. She personally believed that men were to lead churches as well. But she sensed the Lord calling her to pastor Gospel Temple after her brother died, leaving the church without a leader. “I said, ‘OK, Lord, I’ll speak whenever you want me to,'” Buckner said. “I refuse to let a rock talk in my place, so I’m going to serve the Lord, hallelujah.” In addition to her musical ministry, she had a heart for neglected kids in the Twin Cities. She dedicated much of her time to caring for the children on the streets, founding a daycare and a camp to do so. She named her daycare the “Twins Daycare,” as a way to supplement her family income as a working single mother. Her husband, with whom she had a strained relationship from the beginning, left her at age 29, after she had given birth to eight children. Buckner’s daughter Gwen shared a heartfelt message at the start of the church’s celebration of her mother’s life. Another daughter, Aretta-Rie Johnson, recalled how her generous nature prevailed until the end of her life. “She was just a giver, a servant and a leader,” Johnson said. “I lost a mom, but you know, the community, the state, the region has lost a community pioneer.” Buckner is survived by her children, Gwen Onumah-Onikoro, Bessie Jean Manga, Jesse Buckner, Dwight Buckner, Patrick Buckner, Patricia Lacy-Aiken, Arthur Buckner and Aretta-Rie Johnson.

According to Mission Network News, Over the next 5 years, e3 Partners hopes to train and disciple one million missionaries in North America. EVP of Operations Scott Cheatham says different wings of the ministry will come together to accomplish this. “We want to leverage our media ministry. You know, I Am Second birthed from the idea of people telling their stories of how God has transformed their lives. And it has done a really good job of that the last 13 years. So how do we move people from viewing other folks telling their stories to actually telling folks themselves about how God has transformed their lives? And how do we leverage all of the church relationships that we have over the last 30 something years of organizing short-term mission trips?” When these million people have been trained, they will serve in their own local mission fields: from towns to schools to families. You can get involved with this work and become one of the million new missionaries.

According to Assist News Service, Chinese Police handed Elder Zhang Chunlei’s wife a formal notice in early May. As Yang Aiqing read the document, she noticed authorities arrested Elder Zhang because he committed “fraud” by collecting an offering at Guiyang Renai Reformed Church. According to ChinaAid, despite immense persecution, brave lawyers working on behalf of Guiyang Renai Reformed Church have successfully filed lawsuits against China’s Religious Affairs and Public Security Bureau. ChinaAid says that after officials originally detained Elder Zhang, they also summoned his wife to the police station. Her lawyer said she was only released after 24 hours of non-stop interrogation while she was in handcuffs and leg irons! Lawyer Sui Muqing said Ms. Yang wasn’t even questioned about the fabricated “fraud” charge while her legs were chained. Rather “the purported summons and interrogation appeared to aim to frighten Ms. Yang by threatening and persecuting her.” Yet as fellow members in the Lord’s global church, your prayers and steadfast support for our persecuted brothers and sisters is such an encouragement. Even as he sits in detention, Elder Zhang remembers there are so many faithful believers across the world who believe in the same God and Bible he does. Elder Zhang said:“The church accepts offerings according to the teaching of the Bible, followed by churches all over the world. I do not think my behavior constitutes a crime. At the same time, I have no resentment in my heart. I love the police, State security officials, and the prosecutors who handled my case. I also love China, my country, and I pray for those who live here.”

According to Charisma News, The German army has installed its first Jewish rabbi in 100 years, multiple outlets report. Hungarian-born Rabbi Zsolt Balla, 42, one of Germany’s leading rabbis, said of his appointment, “It is our goal to make it normal again for Jewish citizens to serve in the German army.” Pastors and priests are already providing spiritual services to German soldiers, but the estimated 300 German Jewish soldiers have had no such support. “That this is possible and becoming a reality after the inconceivable crimes committed by Germany makes me humble and grateful,” Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said at the treaty signing. “I think that antisemitism, and any form of hatred against minorities, is a thing that we can never eliminate from our society for good,” Balla said. He also views his position as a historical responsibility. “I think it is not a false hope to say that one day it will be as natural for the Bundeswehr [unified German military] to have Jewish soldiers as it is for the armed forces of the United States, the Netherlands, France and England,” Balla said.

According to Assist News Service, The American public flaunts its free will in many ways, not the least of which is by embracing a number of seductive—but decidedly unbiblical—beliefs as part of their worldview. Among the more than five dozen beliefs and behaviors measured in recent surveys, the most egregious departures from biblical teaching relate to faith selection, personal behavior, decision-making, the human condition and life outcomes. Surprisingly, the data revealed that even the 6% of adults who have a biblical worldview harbor many of these counter-biblical ideas as part of their personal philosophy of life. According to Dr. George Barna, who directed and analyzed the data, these most seductive unbiblical perspectives share a common thread. Barna says that even among Americans maintaining a biblical worldview, ‘doctrinal disconnects’ are running rampant. “So many of these perspectives are about control,” Barna, a longtime researcher and author, explained. “Whether we are taking charge of our destiny, our spirituality, boundaries dictated by truth, moral behaviors, or wealth management strategies, Americans are largely driven by a need to have control of every aspect of their lives. “Biblical Christianity threatens that self-interest by requiring us to deliver control of our lives to God,” he continued.

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In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16 says, “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 on the cross for your sins, 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 you.

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