I know many Gospel for Asia current and former staff read the blog. Here is an opportunity for a little GFA trivia.
Who is this man and what is he doing?
Believers’ Church Priest
(The original image here was removed due to a demand from Gospel for Asia to remove the image. I received the image from a former GFA staffer and posted it with his permission. However, rather than face a GFA lawsuit, I decided to remove it with the link to the photo hosted on another site. GFA apparently does not want the public to know that they wear the robes and engage in Believers Church rituals here in the U.S. Repeatedly, GFA leaders have said that they engage in high church rituals with K.P. Yohannan as the supreme Metropolitan in India because the government requires it. With this photo, it is clear that such practices occur here as well…and of course we all know that the U.S. government doesn’t require it here.)
Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal will headline David Barton’s ProFamily Legislative Conference in early November. Cruz and Jindal are both running for the GOP’s presidential nomination.
In all seriousness, how can this be a good thing when the person sponsoring the conference can’t get his facts straight? Just in the last two days, Barton has made false claims about gender identity in the military and the Obama administration’s record on prosecution of child porn.
Watch this video to see if your state senator or representative endorses the conference.
Again, David Barton can’t get his current events right. Yesterday, it was false statements about pedophiles in the military. Today, it is again the false statement that the Obama administration hasn’t prosecuted child pornography. As I have noted before, Barton is so far off with this claim that it is clear he just makes stuff up rather than actually looking things up.
Right Wing Watch has the story.
What makes this falsehood even more noteworthy is the high profile case of former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle. In Indiana, U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler announced yesterday that charges were filed against Fogle for, among other crimes, possession of child porn.
Before you exclaim, “Not another David Barton post!” I want you to remember that at least two men running for the GOP presidential nomination (Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee) take Mr. Barton seriously and encourage others to do the same.
Recently, David Barton said on a Mission Radio podcast that churches had to hire pedophiles to run their nurseries because you can’t discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Nearly everything he said about that topic was incorrect.
Now, Right Wing Watch discovered that Barton is telling evangelicals (click the link for the audio) that the military can’t discharge soldiers for bestiality and/or pedophilia.
“There’s 82 official gender identities now and they all have equal status and protection here,” Barton said, “so we’re talking pedophiles. If you’re a military member and you have an inclination for young children, you can’t be kicked out of the military for that anymore because that is your gender identity. If you are into having sex with animals, bestiality, that is one of the 82 gender identities, you cannot be kicked out for your lack of judgment and your very perverse taste on that.”
If Barton protests that he is only talking about inclinations, then he is making things up just to generate unfocused outrage. You never could be kicked out of somewhere for thinking something unknown to anyone but yourself.
The Uniform Code of Military Justice addresses these matters.
Media covering Cruz and Huckabee: When you have some down time and you are not talking about weighty matters like Iran and abortion, ask the candidates about their praise for a pundit who didn’t know that ENDA hasn’t passed yet and thinks that, by law, churches have to hire pedophiles. Oh, and ask them if the Constitution quotes the Bible verbatim. Ask if violent crime in the nation is going up or down. And how about asking if HIV/AIDS research is a pointless effort since God won’t allow an HIV vaccine.
I recently obtained a copy of the Believers’ Church book of liturgy (part one, part two). Recall that Gospel for Asia sent nearly $20 million to Believers’ Church in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014. GFA’s president and founder, K.P. Yohannan, is the chair of the Believer’s Church trust and serves as the church’s Metropolitan Bishop.
According to former GFA staff, this book guides the priests during the church service and taking of communion. Although I am no expert on Roman Catholic doctrine, the practices seem quite consistent with Catholic (or perhaps Orthodox) teaching and practice. I am posting it to allow readers to decide and evaluate for themselves.
In particular, I was drawn to the liturgy and practices of communion. In the liturgy, the bread and wine are referred to as becoming the body and blood of Christ. The terminology seems much less evangelical and much more Catholic (or Orthodox), appearing to communicate a belief that the elements become the body and blood of Christ. Here are the portions of interest beginning on page 26.
Even though Gospel for Asia and the Believers’ Church claim to be evangelical, this approach to communion seems quite un-evangelical. In addition to the declaration that the bread is the body and the wine is the blood, the priest crosses himself numerous times and the communion is served to the congregation by the priest in a format very unlike evangelical churches. Without passing judgment on the religious merit of this approach to communion, I suspect this narrative and methodology will be a surprise to most evangelicals.
Compare the Catholic prayer regarding the Body and Blood of Christ to the Believers’ Church liturgy. First, from the Roman Missal Eucharistic Prayer 2:
Now the comparable portion from the Believers’ Church liturgy:
According to Richard Willmer, the elements becoming the Body and Blood of Christ “for us” rather than “to us” is a distinctly Catholic formulation as opposed to the Anglican view. The Believers’ Church wording is very close to the Roman prayer.