Lawyers for Noah’s Ark theme park are suing its insurance company for rain damage

Eli Rosenberg

General assignment reporter covering national and breaking news

May 24 at 11:50 PM

It is one of the world’s classic stories.

A gigantic ark gets built with the help of a higher power, a symbolic refuge from the depravity of humankind. It is a huge, grandiose structure constructed out of wood that is perhaps larger than anything comparable in the world. Then heavy rains begin to fall, inundating the earth around it.

And that’s when the lawyers are called.

Genesis, this is not. Not in 2019, not in the United States.

Ark Encounter, the multimillion-dollar theme park and monument to fundamentalist Christianity whose centerpiece is a giant replica of Noah’s Ark, is suing its insurance carriers over rain-related damages on the property.

The company, Crosswater Canyon, is seeking to recoup what it says were $1 million worth of damages, as well as attorneys fees and costs, and an unspecified amount of punitive damages.

The irony has not been lost on local media organizations and observers on social media. Even the American Atheists took a shot on Twitter.

This particular chapter begins in 2017, when rains came to northern Kentucky. They did not fall for 40 days and 40 nights this time.

According to the National Weather Service, on-and-off precipitation throughout the year dropped 40-50 inches of rain that year on Williamstown, the 4,000-person town where the theme park is located — just a slight bump above average.

But a slope abutting an access road near the east side of the theme park’s ersatz ark began to fail in May, and eventually was subject to a “significant landslide” that took out a barrier along the road, according to the lawsuit.

The theme park reported the property damage to its insurance companies.

Engineers it hired recommended it replace the barrier with a retaining wall with drilled concrete shafts to prevent further damage, and the theme park also repaved and repaired portions of the road, the grading and added some drainage improvements. The total cost was about $1 million, the lawsuit says.

But the insurance companies denied claims for the improvements, saying that the policy had an exclusion for correcting design deficiencies or faulty workmanship.

The two sides went back and forth, according to the lawsuit and the insurance companies did pay a “very small portion” of Ark Encounter’s claim. But the organization says they have “breached their contractual obligations, acted in bad faith, and violated Kentucky law by failing to provide further coverage.”

The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in district court in Kentucky. The Allied World Assurance Co. is named as a defendant, along with three other carriers, none of which responded to requests for comment.

The $120 million Ark Encounter, where adult tickets cost $48, was completed in 2016, with a zoo, zip lines, and a restaurant in addition to its five-story high replica ark. It was the brainchild of the Ken Ham and his ministry, Answers in Genesis, which also created the Creation Museum. Ham, is a Christian fundamentalist and creationist who argues that the Bible is a historical narrative that is meant to be taken literally.

[A giant ark is just the start. These creationists have a bigger plan for recruiting new believers.]

He believes that dinosaurs lived alongside humans and that the biblical flood created the Grand Canyon. And he maintains that Noah labored seven decades to construct his vessel and was 600 years old when the storm surged.

He did not respond to a request for comment sent to Ark Encounter spokeswoman Melany Ethridge.

“The lawsuit speaks for itself,” read a statement she distributed on behalf of the park. “Ark Encounter guests have been unaffected by the work being done at the access road. Hours of operation were never affected.”

The theme park was met with no small amount of controversy when it opened, focused mainly on its sources of funding, including the $62 million in junk bonds that were floated by the town of Williamstown.

The ACLU and other groups charged that Answers in Genesis should have not been eligible for state and local subsidies because of its discriminatory hiring practices.

As a condition of employment, the museum and ark staff of 900, including 350 seasonal workers, must sign a statement of faith rejecting evolution and declaring that they regularly attend church and view homosexuality as a sin.

The story of Noah’s Ark is found in the Old Testament, in Genesis. It tells of a God who wipes every creature off the face of the earth with a flood for their evil, except for Noah and the animals he brings aboard.

“The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth,” one translation of the Bible notes in the passage explaining the God’s motivation for the flood.

Read more:

‘Here we go again’: Federal judge blocks Mississippi’s six-week abortion ban

The price of insulin is surging. This state is the first to make insurance companies eat the cost.

Police found a burglary suspect hiding — in a tree house with a fire pit and barbecue

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Former Homosexuals, Transgenders to March in Washington in Celebration of Freedom in Christ

WASHINGTON — The second annual Freedom March will be held on Saturday in the nation’s capital, featuring messages from those who formerly lived as homosexuals or transgender, but broke free from the power of sin through Jesus Christ.

The event begins at 1 p.m. at the Sylvan Theater and will feature a number of testimonies from men and women who once were lost, but now are found. Founded by Jeffrey McCall of For Such a Time Ministry, who lived for a time as a woman, the Freedom March has the goal of “connecting fellow overcomers, reaching out to the LGBTQ community in each city, and equipping the local church.”

“We seek to bring hope of deliverance to the LGBTQ community and point them to Christ!” the website for the event reads. “We are passionate speakers, pastors, parents, worshippers, activists, and students young and old from all across the U.S.A.”

Included in this year’s lineup is Luis Javier Ruiz, who is a Pulse nightclub shooting survivor. Ruiz lost two friends in the attack and was hospitalized himself due to gunshot wounds. During that time, he discovered that he tested positive for HIV.

“I should have been number 50,” Ruiz wrote to social media nearly a year after the tragedy. He said that as he looked through his photographs from that night, he was reminded of his “struggles of perversion, heavy drinking to drown out everything and having promiscuous sex that led to HIV.”

Ruiz started attending a church shortly thereafter facing death, where he found himself in a nurturing environment that encouraged him to follow Christ. He repented of his homosexuality to find his identity in the Lord and not in sex.

“The enemy had its grip, and now God has taken me from that moment and has given me Christ Jesus,” he joyed in his April 28, 2017 post. “I’ve grown to know his love in a deeper level.”

Ruiz, who now leads an organization called Fearless Identity, spoke at last year’s Freedom March, telling those gathered, “It’s not a gay to straight thing; it’s a lost to saved thing.” Fellow Pulse survivor Angel Colon will also appear at Saturday’s event.

Singer Edward Byrd and leader of the organization Uprooted Heart will likewise be present at the gathering, similarly telling the Christian Post this week that he doesn’t believe in “conversion therapy,” unless that conversion is one from unsaved to saved.

“[T]he majority of us have never experienced conversion therapy. Our experiences were encounters with the Holy Spirit that changed our lives,” he said.

Byrd grew up with an abusive and often absent father that caused him to seek out love in the wrong places. He walked away from homosexuality seven years ago, and learned that just because he has an interest in hairstyling and beauty, does not mean that he is homosexual.

Video footage from last year shows event participants marching down the sidewalk singing “There Is Power in the Name of Jesus” and “Break Every Chain” and chanting phrases such as “Freedom in Christ, it’s so nice!”

One speaker also exhorted those gathered with the words of Scripture, stating, “I believe some of you here today are still battling thoughts and temptations. God wants to deliver you from every yoke of bondage. He wants you to take every thought captive and lay aside every weight and that sin that does so easily entangle you.”

Freedom March events are scheduled in other cities as well, including in St. Paul, Minnesota on June 23 and Orlando, Florida on September 14. Tomorrow’s gathering and march will be live-streamed via Facebook on the event page.

As previously reported, while a common theme among homosexual advocates is that they were “born this way,” the Bible teaches that all men are born with the Adamic sin nature, having various inherent inclinations that are contrary to the law of God and being utterly incapable of changing by themselves.

It is why Jesus outlined in John 3:5-7 that men must be regenerated by the second birth, or they cannot see the kingdom of Heaven.

“Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus saith unto him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ‘Ye must be born again.’

“Bitter experience teaches that the imprisoning net clings too tightly to be stripped from our limbs by our own efforts. Nay rather, the net and the captive are one, and he who tries to cast off the oppression which hinders him from following that which is good is trying to cast off himself,” also wrote the late preacher and Bible commentator Alexander Maclaren.

“But to men writhing in the grip of a sinful past, or paralyzed beyond writhing and indifferent, because [they are] hopeless, or because they have come to like their captivity, comes one whose name is ‘The Breaker,’ whose mission it is to proclaim liberty to the captives, and whose hand laid on the cords that bind a soul, causes them to drop harmless from the limbs and sets the bondsman free.”

Become a Christian News Network Supporter…

Dear Reader, has ChristianNews.net been of benefit and a blessing to you? For many years now, the Lord has seen fit to use this small news outlet as a strong influential resource in keeping Christians informed on current events from a Biblical worldview. With much compromise and many falsehoods in modern-day Christianity, we strive to bring you the news by keeping Christ and His word in focus.

If you have benefited from our news coverage, would you please prayerfully consider becoming a Christian News supporter by clicking here to make a one-time or monthly donation to help keep the truth of God’s word widely and freely published and distributed? May Christ continue to be exalted through this work!

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Former Homosexuals, Transgenders to March in Washington in Celebration of Freedom in Christ

WASHINGTON — The second annual Freedom March will be held on Saturday in the nation’s capital, featuring messages from those who formerly lived as homosexuals or transgender, but broke free from the power of sin through Jesus Christ.

The event begins at 1 p.m. at the Sylvan Theater and will feature a number of testimonies from men and women who once were lost, but now are found. Founded by Jeffrey McCall of For Such a Time Ministry, who lived for a time as a woman, the Freedom March has the goal of “connecting fellow overcomers, reaching out to the LGBTQ community in each city, and equipping the local church.”

“We seek to bring hope of deliverance to the LGBTQ community and point them to Christ!” the website for the event reads. “We are passionate speakers, pastors, parents, worshippers, activists, and students young and old from all across the U.S.A.”

Included in this year’s lineup is Luis Javier Ruiz, who is a Pulse nightclub shooting survivor. Ruiz lost two friends in the attack and was hospitalized himself due to gunshot wounds. During that time, he discovered that he tested positive for HIV.

“I should have been number 50,” Ruiz wrote to social media nearly a year after the tragedy. He said that as he looked through his photographs from that night, he was reminded of his “struggles of perversion, heavy drinking to drown out everything and having promiscuous sex that led to HIV.”

Ruiz started attending a church shortly thereafter facing death, where he found himself in a nurturing environment that encouraged him to follow Christ. He repented of his homosexuality to find his identity in the Lord and not in sex.

“The enemy had its grip, and now God has taken me from that moment and has given me Christ Jesus,” he joyed in his April 28, 2017 post. “I’ve grown to know his love in a deeper level.”

Ruiz, who now leads an organization called Fearless Identity, spoke at last year’s Freedom March, telling those gathered, “It’s not a gay to straight thing; it’s a lost to saved thing.” Fellow Pulse survivor Angel Colon will also appear at Saturday’s event.

Singer Edward Byrd and leader of the organization Uprooted Heart will likewise be present at the gathering, similarly telling the Christian Post this week that he doesn’t believe in “conversion therapy,” unless that conversion is one from unsaved to saved.

“[T]he majority of us have never experienced conversion therapy. Our experiences were encounters with the Holy Spirit that changed our lives,” he said.

Byrd grew up with an abusive and often absent father that caused him to seek out love in the wrong places. He walked away from homosexuality seven years ago, and learned that just because he has an interest in hairstyling and beauty, does not mean that he is homosexual.

Video footage from last year shows event participants marching down the sidewalk singing “There Is Power in the Name of Jesus” and “Break Every Chain” and chanting phrases such as “Freedom in Christ, it’s so nice!”

One speaker also exhorted those gathered with the words of Scripture, stating, “I believe some of you here today are still battling thoughts and temptations. God wants to deliver you from every yoke of bondage. He wants you to take every thought captive and lay aside every weight and that sin that does so easily entangle you.”

Freedom March events are scheduled in other cities as well, including in St. Paul, Minnesota on June 23 and Orlando, Florida on September 14. Tomorrow’s gathering and march will be live-streamed via Facebook on the event page.

As previously reported, while a common theme among homosexual advocates is that they were “born this way,” the Bible teaches that all men are born with the Adamic sin nature, having various inherent inclinations that are contrary to the law of God and being utterly incapable of changing by themselves.

It is why Jesus outlined in John 3:5-7 that men must be regenerated by the second birth, or they cannot see the kingdom of Heaven.

“Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus saith unto him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ‘Ye must be born again.’

“Bitter experience teaches that the imprisoning net clings too tightly to be stripped from our limbs by our own efforts. Nay rather, the net and the captive are one, and he who tries to cast off the oppression which hinders him from following that which is good is trying to cast off himself,” also wrote the late preacher and Bible commentator Alexander Maclaren.

“But to men writhing in the grip of a sinful past, or paralyzed beyond writhing and indifferent, because [they are] hopeless, or because they have come to like their captivity, comes one whose name is ‘The Breaker,’ whose mission it is to proclaim liberty to the captives, and whose hand laid on the cords that bind a soul, causes them to drop harmless from the limbs and sets the bondsman free.”

Become a Christian News Network Supporter…

Dear Reader, has ChristianNews.net been of benefit and a blessing to you? For many years now, the Lord has seen fit to use this small news outlet as a strong influential resource in keeping Christians informed on current events from a Biblical worldview. With much compromise and many falsehoods in modern-day Christianity, we strive to bring you the news by keeping Christ and His word in focus.

If you have benefited from our news coverage, would you please prayerfully consider becoming a Christian News supporter by clicking here to make a one-time or monthly donation to help keep the truth of God’s word widely and freely published and distributed? May Christ continue to be exalted through this work!

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Your Personal Prayer for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Before we pray, here are some instructions. Read through them and then pray through the prayer below.

  • Lay your hand on your heart or your forehead.
  • Ask the Father for the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus.
  • Expect to speak in other tongues.
  • You receive by faith, but just like anything else, you need to put your faith into action. After praying for the baptism, open your mouth and allow the utterance that is stirring around on the inside to come forth. In other words, give voice to what is stirring inside you. The Holy Spirit will not force Himself upon you. You need to cooperate with Him. It’s easy, but very powerful.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I am a believer in Jesus Christ, and I ask you in His name for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues. I believe and receive from You.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

Now open up your mouth, start moving your tongue and give voice to what is starting to stir in your heart. It won’t be anything you recognize. But do not be afraid; just cooperate with the Holy Spirit. In time, you will start to learn the importance and the power in this type of prayer.

This prayer is taken from DARE to Believe, Chapter 7, "Power From on High," page 147. {eoa}

Becky Dvorak is a prophetic healing evangelist and the author of DARE to Believe, Greater Than Magic, The Healing Creed and her new book, The Prophetic and Healing Power of Your Words. Visit her at authorbeckydvorak.com. You are welcome to click and have a free preview of Chapter 1, or you can click to purchase your copy now.

This article originally appeared at authorbeckydvorak.com.

For more on the power of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues, listen to the podcasts included here.

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Five men who were Catholic priests face new criminal charges in Michigan

Five men who have worked as Catholic priests in Michigan now face charges for sex crimes, state attorney general Dana Nessel announced on Friday.

Nessel has conducted one of the most aggressive probes of the Catholic Church, as attorneys general in numerous states across the country investigate sexual abuse by priests. She said that the charges announced Friday resulted from tips called in to the state’s hotline for abuse victims as well as documents which state investigators seized from the state’s seven Catholic dioceses.

[The Pennsylvania report on clergy abuse spawned investigations nationwide. Now what happens?]

Four of the men, ranging in age from 55 to 80, were charged with criminal sexual conduct and were arrested on Thursday in their current locations — Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan. The man who faces the most serious charges, two counts of rape, has not yet been arrested, according to the attorney general’s office. That priest, Jacob Vellian, currently lives in Kerala, India, according to the attorney general’s office, which said it will seek his extradition.

Vellian was previously a priest in Benton Harbor, Mich. Victoria Cessna, a spokeswoman for the Diocese of Kalamazoo, said he was a visiting priest from India for one year.

One former parishioner from Benton Harbor has sought for many years to draw public attention to his conduct, claiming in posts online and at an in-person protest of the Diocese of Kalamazoo that Vellian molested her when she was a minor in the 1970s and that the abuse has affected her ever since.

Cessna said she could not say whether Vellian, 84, is still a priest, but she believes he remains in ministry. He is listed as one of the priests at St. Mary’s Knanaya Catholic Forane Church in San Jose, Calif., although the website of the church says he retired in 2010.

The San Jose church is part of an Eastern Catholic denomination, not the Roman Catholic Church.

[Washington’s new archbishop installed, after a year marked by abuse investigations of the church]

Two of the priests, who both served in the Diocese of Lansing, were removed from ministry due to allegations of abuse long before their arrests on Thursday. The Lansing diocese said in a statement that a complaint of sexual abuse of a minor involving Rev. Vincent DeLorenzo was reported in 2002, and the church reported it to law enforcement at that time. Since the diocese reported DeLorenzo’s alleged misconduct and asked victims to come forward, seven more complaints of misconduct during his 37 years in the priesthood emerged, the diocese said. The most recent victims reported their abuse in 2018 and 2019.

The diocese said that DeLorenzo, now 80, was removed from ministry in January 2002 but has not been laicized — officially removed from the priesthood — though the diocese has requested that the Vatican take that action. He faces six charges of criminal sexual conduct.

The other priest from Lansing, Timothy Crowley, has been defrocked. The diocese said he was removed from ministry in 1993 when a victim reported his actions. But he was then assigned a role in the Archdiocese of Anchorage, even though the Lansing diocese says it told Anchorage church leaders about the allegation against him. In 2002, after the U.S. bishops instituted new zero-tolerance policies for abusive priests following the Boston Globe’s reporting on the abuse crisis, the Anchorage archdiocese removed him from ministry.

The Lansing diocese says it reported Crowley to authorities in 2002 but he was not charged at the time. He now faces eight counts of criminal sexual conduct.

[Ex-cardinal McCarrick defrocked by the church, in a historic decision]

The other two priests arrested Thursday — Patrick Casey, 55, and Neil Kalina, 63 — also were no longer in ministry, according to the Archdiocese of Detroit, where both worked. Casey was removed from ministry after a victim reported abuse in 2015, the archdiocese said.

His attorney, Stephen Rabaut, declined to comment. None of the other four men have attorneys listed in Michigan court case online records.

Kalina voluntarily left ministry in 1993, according to the archdiocese, which said it learned of the abuse allegation against him in 2017.

Kalina pled guilty in another criminal case in 1986, according to a news article at the time. He allegedly distributed alcohol and cocaine to at least 15 teenagers, before their parents went to the police. The priest “wanted to get closer to the kids,” a police official said to UPI at the time. “I guess this was his way of getting closer to the kids.”

In 2017, a man named Neil Kalina who listed his location as the same small California town, Littlerock, where Kalina was arrested on Thursday, created a GoFundMe fundraiser which raised more than $2,500 for a program he said assisted runaway, homeless and at-risk youth. The man referred to himself as “Father Neil.”

Michigan is one of many states to open investigations into the Catholic Church after Pennsylvania’s attorney general released a massive grand jury report in August. The Pennsylvania probe, which documented alleged abuse by more than 300 priests over a span of 70 years, led to new charges against two men; most others were deceased or beyond the statute of limitations.

[Pennsylvania ex-priest sentenced to up to 14 years in prison]

The state investigators inspired by Pennsylvania have varied in their approaches and their limitations under state laws. Michigan has been perhaps the most aggressive, seizing documents from the seven dioceses in the state rather than asking for churches to cooperate and hand over files. Nessel’s office said that 44 attorneys, special agents and state police troopers have all worked on the inquiry, including reading hundreds of thousands of pages of documents that were seized and running down tips from the abuse hotline.

Nessel hinted on Friday that there may be more charges to come. “This is just the tip of the iceberg,” she said. “This is about taking on large-scale institutions that turn a blind eye to victims and making certain we hold all of them accountable.”

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Judge freezes accounts of Florida church caught up in alleged Ponzi scheme

(RNS) — The lawyer representing the pastors and the West Palm Beach church argued that the church can’t be forced to turn over money given as donations because it’s a nonprofit religious institution.

The post Judge freezes accounts of Florida church caught up in alleged Ponzi scheme appeared first on Religion News Service.

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What Happened When ‘Holy Spirit’ Won a Grammy

Husband-wife worship duo Bryan and Katie Torwalt delight in ushering in the Holy Spirit when they lead a congregation.

Even the secular world recognizes there’s something different about the couple, who met at Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry and lead and write worship for Jesus Culture.

In 2015, the couple won a Grammy for their hit, "Holy Spirit."

In their interview with Shawn Bolz, the Torwalts described what they were doing when they found out they won.

Bryan sets the scene: "We were in Trader Joe’s parking lot."

Unlike major categories like Best Album or Best New Artist, Christian music categories are announced during the day ahead of the major awards ceremony.

Bryan was streaming the presentations when, "All of a sudden, [the presenter said], ‘The Grammy goes to ‘Holy Spirit.’"

"There was just something in that moment, that simple declaration of [‘Holy Spirit’ winning the Grammy] where we were just completely overwhelmed and so thankful. And the fact that the words, ‘Holy Spirit/ You are welcome here,’ you know, ‘Let us become more aware of Your presence,’ is played on all kinds of Christian radio and being sung around the world in different churches and then gets recognized by the Grammys, this was just unbelievable," Bryan says.

And though the Torwalts may be known for worship, they have new music that won’t fall into that category.

"But stuff that’s been coming out of us hasn’t been worship music lately," Bryan says. "It’s been different. And there’s still I like to think that there’s still no acting on it, of course. But uh, there’s a lot of stories that are like just unfolding in and coming out lyrically and stuff. So I think we would love to see what that looks like. I don’t know, most likely, it’s going to look completely different than we could plan for just like the rest of our life."

Listen to the podcast for more details.

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Missouri Gov. Signs Nation’s Eighth Heartbeat Bill Into Law

Missouri’s Republican governor signed a bill banning most abortions in the Midwestern state after the eighth week of pregnancy, part of a wave of restrictions aimed at driving a challenge of abortion to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Listen to the podcasts in the article to hear why the fight against abortion is so important.

"By signing this bill today, we are sending a strong signal to the nation that, in Missouri, we stand for life, protect women’s health, and advocate for the unborn," Parson said in a statement after signing the law. "All life has value and is worth protecting."

The state is one of eight where Republican-controlled legislatures this year have passed new restrictions on abortion. It is part of a coordinated campaign aimed at prompting the conservative-majority top court to cut back or overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy.

The most restrictive of those bills was signed into law in Alabama last week.

It bans abortion at all times and in almost all cases, including when the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest, but allows exceptions when the mother’s life is in danger. The Missouri bill also offers no exception for cases of rape or incest.

The American Civil Liberties Union has said it will sue to block Alabama’s law from taking effect.

Last week, the ACLU joined Planned Parenthood, the women’s reproductive healthcare provider, in suing Ohio over its recent six-week abortion ban. Mississippi will defend a new law banning abortion once a fetal heartbeat has been detected in a federal appeals court on Tuesday after the Center for Reproductive Rights sued to block it taking effect.

Abortion is one of the most bitterly contested social issues in the United States. Opponents often cite religious belief in saying that fetuses deserve rights similar to those of infants. Abortion rights advocates say the bans deprive women of equal rights and endanger those who end up seeking riskier, illegal methods to end a pregnancy.

Kentucky, Georgia, Utah, Mississippi and Arkansas have also passed new restrictions on abortion this year.

Conservative lawmakers have been emboldened in their efforts to roll back Roe v. Wade by two judicial appointments by President Donald Trump that have given conservatives a 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court.

The court on Monday took no action on appeals seeking to revive two abortion restrictions enacted in Indiana in 2016.

© 2019 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

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How One Woman Started the Heartbeat Bill Movement Sweeping America

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Friday signed the eighth heartbeat bill into law.

"By signing this bill today, we are sending a strong signal to the nation that, in Missouri, we stand for life, protect women’s health, and advocate for the unborn," Parson said in a statement after signing the law. "All life has value and is worth protecting."

Since 1973, over 60 million babies have been aborted in America. While Christians have opposed abortion, their efforts have been primarily focused on simply regulating, not eliminating it—and those efforts have been largely unsuccessful.

Recently, however, the pro-life movement has adopted a different approach. Earlier this month, Alabama made headlines for its near-total ban on abortions, and Missouri is in the process of passing similar legislation. Four more states—Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio—have passed "heartbeat bills," legislation that bans abortions on babies whose heartbeats can be detected in the womb.

Those heartbeat bills originated with Janet Porter. On today’s episode of "In-Depth with Stephen Strang," I had the privilege of speaking to Porter, who is not just a longtime friend but one of the most well-known and respected pro-life advocates in the country.

She used to believe in an incremental approach, but after the death of fellow pro-life colleague Mark Lally, she told me she realized it was time to stop messing around and finally end abortion.

"We had been incrementally trying to regulate around the edges of abortion," Porter says. "Honestly, I was a part of that effort because we thought that’s all we could do. I lobbied hard for things like parental consent, a woman’s right to know, 24-hour waiting periods, fetal homicide, even lobbied for the nation’s first ban on partial birth abortion. But at the end of the day, [after] all the work we’ve done in the last 46 years, … we’ve regulated abortion, but there are still more than a million children who are aborted every year. I’ll tell you something: That is not success, any way you measure it. When you’ve got a million casualties every year after four decades of fighting—that’s not success. So if we want to have different results, we have to try a different approach. And that’s where the heartbeat bill comes in."

Porter says she first had the idea for this type of bill in the 1980s, but other pro-life leaders nixed the idea because they thought the timing was wrong. But in late 2010, Porter assembled a team of 20 attorneys to draft the first heartbeat bill.

"Here’s the premise: If a heartbeat’s detected, the baby’s protected," she says. "You know, it’s the same for any human being in any hospital around the world. … If you found a body lying on the ground, what would you do? You wouldn’t just plan a funeral. You would check for a pulse. Why? Because the heartbeat is the universally recognized indicator of life. Why should we ignore it when it comes to the very young? Why should we discriminate against children in the womb? What the heartbeat bill does is it doesn’t get us all the way to the finish line of conception, when each of our lives began, but it is a scientific step that gets us almost all the way there and protects every child whose heartbeat can be heard. To deny a heartbeat is to deny science—and that’s what we’re finding with those who oppose it. They are really running from technology."

With so many states adopting pro-life measures, it seems a tipping point has taken place in our country. Porter says it was actually New York’s horrifying abortion law earlier this year that ultimately made the difference.

"I believe this year was the tipping point," Porter says. "It began on Jan. 22 when New York overplayed their hands. They applauded the effort of killing babies until birth. … As New York is saying ‘We’re going to kill them until the process of delivery of birth,’ that’s when we saw Mississippi pass a heartbeat bill. And then Kentucky passed a heartbeat law. Then finally we did it this month in May. Then Georgia. Then Missouri. Louisiana, I believe, is next. South Carolina’s making progress. We’re seeing it all over the country. Alabama passed a bill better than the heartbeat bill. They have a bill to protect from the moment of conception. They’ve always been very pro-life and able to exceed the hopes and expectations of the rest of the country. But it’s wonderful."

Porter says she fully expects these bills to be challenged and sent to the Supreme Court. In fact, that’s what she’s hoping for.

"When we crafted the heartbeat bill, we knew it was destined for the Supreme Court," Porter says. "We knew there would be a challenge, because that’s how this goes. Pro-abortion [lobbyists] don’t want to keep hearts beating. They’re going to challenge it in the courts. Well, guess what? This bill was crafted to be the arrow in the heart of Roe v. Wade. It is destined, I believe, to bring the fatal blow to abortion on demand. And I believe it’s going to happen very, very soon."

If you’d like to get involved, you can download a model of the heartbeat bill here and take it to your state representative. After all, your elected officials work for you, so tell them what matters to you.

If Janet’s message inspired you, share this article with a friend and listen to my "In Depth With Stephen Strang" podcast right here or at the top of this article.

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UK Methodist Task Group Recommends Allowing Same-Sex ‘Weddings’ in Chapels

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

(Evangelical Focus) The Methodist Church’s Marriage and Relationships Task Group has released a report recommending to allow the celebration of same-sex weddings in its chapels.

“As part of its calling and mission the Methodist Church must engage with the reality of how people are living. That raises questions about the nature of marriage, cohabitation, living in relationships and living with different sexualities,” Ken Howcroft, Chair of the Task Group, said. …

Methodist Evangelicals Together (MET), the largest independent organization in British Methodism today, has responded to the report by calling for the current definition of marriage to be maintained.

“Methodist Evangelicals Together continues to be committed to the Wesleyan convictions that the gospel is for all, that the Bible is our supreme rule of faith and practice, and that all Christians are called to holiness,” the group said in a statement.

Continue reading this story >>

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6 Books You Absolutely Must Read if You Love Faith and Freedom

Ah, Memorial Day Weekend—a time to honor our fallen heroes and remember what they sacrificed so we could live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

As we reflect, we must remember that these freedoms came at a price. Today’s volatile American culture is pushing for restrictive religious freedom. At Charisma, we are committed to showing you the truth about current events and how believers can stand as watchmen on the wall for God and country.

Check out these resources to equip you in your faith and freedom.

Brigitte1. RISE by Brigitte Gabriel—CLICK HERE TO BUY

"YOU NEVER REALLY OWN FREEDOM, YOU ONLY PRESERVE IT FOR THE NEXT GENERATION."

Issuing a bold wake-up call to America, New York Times’ best-selling author Brigitte Gabriel reveals the people, organizations and forces at work to dismantle our Judeo-Christian values and freedoms, destabilize and threaten our national security and radically redefine our very way of life. Gabriel regularly faces death threats from terrorists, condemnation from critics and attacks from the "PC police," yet she refuses to back down.

Rise will empower you by:

  • Providing a plan for preserving your values and freedoms before it’s too late.
  • Educating you on how to identify behaviors and ideas that could threaten the local community and ultimately national security.
  • Motivating you to unite with other patriots who wish to preserve our endangered Judeo-Christian values and freedoms.
  • Helping you understand what you can do to fight the forces that aim to undermine our nation.

This book is critical to your family and your personal freedom. Will you sit back and watch the greatest country our world has ever known slowly fade away? Or will you rise?

Trump Aftershock edited2. Trump Aftershock by Stephen E. Strang—CLICK HERE TO BUY

If Donald Trump’s election was an earthquake, his accomplishments since then are the aftershocks the world never saw coming.
The Trump agenda, promoted daily to millions of voters, is helping to "make America great again." At the same time, the opposition’s agenda is to obstruct and ultimately impeach Donald Trump.

Trump Aftershock by Stephen E. Strang explores how Trump’s agenda aims to:

  • Free the economy and stock market to boom as never before.
  • Restore the federal courts with judges who rule by the Constitution, not legislate from the bench.
  • Address the surge of illegal immigration.
  • Rebuild the U.S. military to ensure peace through strength.
  • Combat the media’s fake news war on the president.
  • Deal with Kim Jong-Un, Vladimir Putin and others through an unconventional approach to foreign policy.
  • Expose the deep state and the agenda of former President Obama.
  • Strengthen ties with Israel and find a lasting peace in the Middle East.
  • Protect religious liberty and traditional values.
  • Uplift America’s standing in the world while putting America’s interests first and more!

Faultline3. Fault Line by Billy Hallowell—CLICK HERE TO BUY

Understand how to respond to the battle being waged against our foundation through the mainstream media, the entertainment industry and the educational system.

More Americans than ever are counting themselves among the "nones"—the cohort of Americans who are not necessarily atheistic, but who do not claim allegiance to a particular religious system. The key question is: why? Consider that the nation’s three main educational systems—the mainstream media, entertainment and the university system—lean to the political left and typically paint an inaccurate picture of what Christianity truly is.

With this in mind, Billy Hallowell skillfully explores how society’s main educational avenues fail to deliver fair-minded content and how their biases are reinforcing negative values and fueling the rise of the "nones." Hallowell also offers practical steps for all Christians to take and provides advice on how to respond to these growing problems.

Distortion4. Distortion by Chelsen Vicari—CLICK HERE TO BUY

Can the evangelical church be saved?
Peek behind the curtain of some "hip" or "progressive" evangelical churches, past the savvy trends and contemporary music, and what you find may surprise you. Liberal evangelicals—despite how apolitical they claim to be—are gaining ground, promoting a repackaged version of Christianity that distorts the authority of Scripture and is causing a mass exodus of young people from the teachings of Jesus Christ.

In Distortion, Chelsen Vicari confronts this move away from authentic Christianity and the principles that have made America great. Arming you with Scripture, historic Christian teaching and social science that specifically addresses the challenges confronting our country, she covers topics such as:

  • Understanding the link between faith and policy.
  • Unmasking the social justice disguise.
  • Confronting the truth about homosexuality.
  • Unveiling the Jesus feminists.
  • Living out the truth with boldness and grace.

It is time to take a stand once again in the culture wars, this time for the sake of our youth and our future. To keep praying, keep acting, keep discerning truth, keep upholding Scripture as authority and keep fighting on the battleground where Christianity and public policy collide. This is a great challenge. But it is one that every generation of evangelicals must be willing to take on for Jesus Christ.

It is worth the battle. America needs us. The church needs you.

Deplorables Guide5. The Deplorables’ Guide to Making America Great Again by Todd Starnes—CLICK HERE TO BUY

Winning was just the beginning. Change may start at the White House, but it finishes at your house.

In The Deplorables’ Guide to Making America Great Again, Fox News Radio host Todd Starnes reports from the front lines of the culture war in America and provides insights on what you can do to bring about real and lasting change in our nation.

We’ve told Washington enough is enough, and we want to change the course of the country. President Obama called us bitter. Hillary Clinton called us irredeemable. The mainstream media called us backwater bigots. We were mocked by Hollywood and dismissed by academics. We were marginalized by the media—bullied and belittled by sex and gender revolutionaries. With the election of Donald Trump, the American people have spoken.

Soldier Faith6. Faith of the American Soldier by Stephen Mansfield—CLICK HERE TO BUY

What goes through the mind of an American warrior spiritually and religiously when facing the enemy? Treading on a subject where few books have gone, The Faith of the American Soldier examines the religious and spiritual issues in America’s wars and then considers what is lost to our military through a secular approach to battle.

Stephen Mansfield, author of The Faith of George W. Bush, a New York Times’ best-seller, records the faith reflections and testimonies of men and women who have fought on the front lines from Lexington to Iraq.

Do men and women in battle revert to the faith of their youth, or do they gravitate to the spirituality around them? Do they lose all faith in the face of horror, or do they piece together an informal spirituality that simply gets them through the fight? Mansfield explores these questions through the lens of his deep respect for the military.

Want more? CLICK HERE for Spirit-filled resources from Charisma Media.

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How remembering the dead has evolved from graveside eulogy to farewell address

(RNS) — ‘A great eulogy cannot beat back death, but it can give new meaning to life and this moment,’ says Cyrus M. Copeland, who has written three books on the subject.

The post How remembering the dead has evolved from graveside eulogy to farewell address appeared first on Religion News Service.

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