Charleston Shooting Suspect To Stand Trial Next Year

Charleston, S.C., shooting suspect Dylann Roof, last month. His trial date has been set for July 11, 2016.

Circuit Judge J.C. Nicholson set a trial date for Dylann Roof, 21, who faces multiple charges stemming from the June 17th shootings at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

The trial date is July 11th, 2016.

Roof reportedly sat quietly during the proceedings in a courtroom crowded with about 100 people.

Mr. Roof was presented copies of the indictments, and his public defender Ashley Pennington told the judge he would not seek bond at this time “based on the totality of the circumstances,” writes The Salt Lake Tribune.

The judge allegedly called Roof a flight risk, noting he was arrested in Shelby, N.C., about 250 miles away, on the day after the parishioners were shot to death during a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/07/16/423612434/trial-date-set-for-charleston-shooting-suspect-dylann-roof

http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/16/us/charleston-church-shooting-trial-date/

15 Injured in Church Bus Accident In Tennessee

A church bus from South Carolina ran off the road and struck a culvert on Friday in Tennessee, authorities said. At least 15 were injured, writes NBCNews.com.

The most serious injury was a broken arm, and the injured were taken to a hospital, according to Officer Evie West of the Cleveland, Tennessee, police.

The NBC affiliate in Chattanooga, WRCB, reported that some injured were 11 to 17 years old.

The bus is from a Baptist church in Barnwell, South Carolina, and traveled to Cleveland for a week-long mission trip, according to NBCNews.com.

(Updated article)

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/least-15-hurt-bus-crash-cleveland-tennessee-n374366

http://www.wrcbtv.com/story/29305101/cleveland-police-17-injured-in-church-bus-crash-on-freewill-rd

Is Yoga Controversial?


Secular Talk

Miracles usually bring Christians together, but a Las Vegas church was recently divided by one because some members didn’t agree with the source of the miracle.  The Church Abundant Living Las Vegas recently saw a miracle when Mike Persi, who had been unable to walk without assistance for 33 years, was finally able to take his first steps.

How did he do it? He claims Yoga was the answer.

While many members of the Abundant Living Las Vegas congregation, including Pastor Bob Perry, are thrilled and feel that this is a miracle, others are not so sure, and have left the church as a result, writes Buzzfeed.

The story of one man’s healing brings to light a national controversy that exists among Christians as to whether yoga is something that Christian’s should partake in, writes Buzzfeed.

Many believers are at best skeptical of yoga, based on yoga’s roots in Eastern religion. As Mike Persi is beginning to walk again, many feel this miracle is not of God, but rather of a different, potentially evil, source.

Pastor Bob Perry continues to support Mike and his path to recovery. When Mike came to him with questions about yoga, Perry says “I told Mike to pray, to hear from God, and to be led by peace.”

Perry says he’s been very impressed with how Mike has handled this controversy and not let him sway him from his goals.

(Updated article)

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/05/fear-the-dark-art-of-yoga-why-conservative-christians-are-freaking-out-after-yoga-miracle/

http://www.buzzfeed.com/CountingmySpoons/las-vegas-mans-miracle-recovery-questioned-by-his-1j6wl

Homeless Person Donates To Church

An envelope with 18 cents inside was left as an offering at a Charlotte, North Carolina, church last Sunday, according to The Huffington Post.

Church members say they were deeply moved by the “powerful” gift.

“Please don’t be mad, I don’t have much,” someone wrote on the outside of the envelope, left in a collection plate at First United Methodist Church. “I’m homeless. God Bless.”

homeless person donation

According to WCNC, the First United Methodist Church in uptown Charlotte is nestled between a homeless shelter in one direction [and] the big banks in the other.

Georgia Church Votes On Separation From Presbyterian Church

A proposal for First Presbyterian Church in Columbus, Georgia, to separate from the PC (USA) failed Sunday by eight votes.  Some members consider the PC to be more liberal about same-sex marriage doctrine and other issues than they would like.

The 900-member congregation of the church voted 266 to 146 in favor of the measure.

However, the number fell short of the 274 votes needed for dismissal from the denomination, which required a two-thirds vote.

Some members had hoped to join the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians, a new denomination formed out of churches that have separated from the national church.

Doctrinal differences with PC (USA), the largest Presbyterian denomination in America, escalated in June 2014 when the General Assembly approved an amendment in the Book of Order that allows the church to perform same-sex weddings in jurisdictions where such marriages are legally permitted.

Some members also disagreed with the denomination’s decision to divest from companies doing business with Israel and they were disappointed when a motion to identify essential tenets was defeated.

The marriage amendment has since been ratified by a majority of the denomination’s presbyteries, which are regional governing bodies throughout the organization.

A total of 412 members voted Sunday at a special meeting held directly after the congregation’s 11 a.m. service.  Before the members voted, a motion was made for First Presbyterian’s “dismissal to another Reformed body of its choosing.” Then members representing both sides of the debate lined up to express their views.

(Updated article)

More:

Lesbian Calls Out Church On Offensive Sign


TYT Network

Last year, a lesbian posted video of her asking a church in Harlem, New York to stone her.

“…(T)he church made headlines in late February (2014) when religious leaders posted a polarizing sign that read ‘Obama has released the homo demons on the black man. Look out black woman. A white homo may take your man,'” according to The Huffington Post.

Pastor James David Manning, who helms the ATLAH World Missionary Church, later proclaimed on his church sign: “Jesus would stone homos” and “Stoning is still the law.”

Video from May 21st, 2014.

More:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/20/lesbian-stoning-anti-gay-church_n_5000239.html

After Ferguson And Eric Garner Decision, Some White Christians Get On Board

RUSSELL MOORE

“African-American brothers and sisters, especially brothers, in this country are more likely to be arrested, more likely to be executed, more likely to be killed.”

This might sound like a statement from black clergy or civil rights activists, but those words came from white evangelical leader Russell Moore.

While most conservative media outlets have spoken out on behalf of the white police officers, some white Christians have grown more vocal in urging predominantly white churches to no longer turn a blind eye to injustice and to bridge the country’s racial divides.

“It’s time for us in Christian churches to not just talk about the gospel but live out the gospel by tearing down these dividing walls not only by learning and listening to one another but also by standing up and speaking out for one another,” said Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

Others issued similar pleas.

“I weep & pray for his family,” tweeted Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, the day before he led a prayer for justice at his school in Wake Forest, N.C. “I beg our God to bring good out of this tragedy.”

“’Love your neighbor as yourself’ means you picture yourself being choked and surrounded by five men while you say, ‘I can’t breathe,’” tweeted Scott Slayton, a white Southern Baptist pastor in Chelsea, Ala.

The Rev. Alan Cross, a white pastor in Montgomery, Ala., said the publicized video of Garner’s choke hold has moved some white Christians to speak when they might not have after Officer Darren Wilson was cleared in the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

Author Barnabas Piper chose to post what others were saying about Ferguson and Garner on his blog, saying as “a young white man” he wasn’t in the best position to explain it all.

“Put yourself in the shoes of the authors and immerse yourself in the experiences they describe,” he wrote. “You and I need to do so if we want to contribute anything to stopping injustice and closing the racial gap that exists.”

The Rev. Barbara Williams-Skinner, co-chair of the National African-American Clergy Network, sees a growing interest among white Christians and others to speak up about the “pile on” of events capped with the Garner decision.

“It just so offends the human spirit of people of every race that it compels them to act,” she said. “We don’t have to ask young white students and young white adults anymore to act. They understand … if the system will so violate the rights of people of color today, they will violate everybody’s rights tomorrow.”

She had already witnessed an interest across races in the Ferguson events when her network’s planned letter on justice from black church leaders took on a more interracial feel.

Even before the Garner decision, the progressive Christian group Sojourners had gathered 50 leaders, including black clergy and white evangelicals, for a retreat on Tuesday and Wednesday that included a “historic pilgrimage of racialized St. Louis” and a discussion of theological implications for “our nation’s broken justice system.”

“There were white evangelicals in the room in Ferguson who were weeping when the Garner decision came down,” said the Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of the Washington-based social justice group.

White Christians beyond evangelicalism added their voices to the outcry about the ruling.

“The degradation and demeaning of black life must stop,” said Serene Jones, president of New York’s Union Theological Seminary. “What the hell kind of country do we live in?”

Russell Moore, noting some of the reaction after he called for racial reconciliation in the wake of the Ferguson strife, said some white Christians see no reason to speak up for better race relations.

“I have gotten responses, and seen responses, that are right out of the White Citizens’ Council material from 1964 in my home state of Mississippi, seeing people saying there is no gospel issue involved with racial reconciliation,” he said in a podcast.  He doesn’t agree with them.

Are There Times When American Christianity Is ‘Un-Christian?’

What would the new pope think of this?

City Union Mission in Kansas City, Missouri, refuses to shelter homeless based on sexual orientation…

David Pakman video.

Church of Michael Brown’s Father Burned Down

FloodChristianChurchAccording to NBC News, federal investigators are looking into an arson fire that burned the Missouri church where Michael Brown’s father was baptized over the weekend.

“This is a slow and painstaking process,” said John Ham, a spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which is working with a local task force on the case.

Flood Christian Church was torched Monday night after the announcement that a grand jury had voted not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown Jr.

The church was set afire around the same time about a dozen other buildings were set ablaze in Ferguson by protesters angered by the grand jury’s decision, but it’s on a remote section of West Florissant Avenue where other structures were unscathed.

“The police called me and told me the church was on fire,” the Rev. Carlton Lee said. “I was in complete disbelief. I didn’t think anyone would set a church on fire.

“I feel like one of my children has died. I put my blood, my sweat, my tears into this church, getting this church built from the ground up. To see that it was taken down in a few minutes is really heartbreaking.”

He said he told Michael Brown Sr. about the extensive damage on Tuesday afternoon. “He was just devastated again,” he said.

The pastor said he doubted the same people who were raging on the other end of West Florissant had burned his church.Instead, he said, he suspected white supremacists who wanted to punish him for his support of the Brown family, who had just been baptized there.

Starbucks Exorcism In Austin, TX ?

Odd:  at a Starbucks in Austin, Texas, a man films an exorcism on video.

The video was originally posted on YouTube by a user named Umgar.   It has since been taken down.  The publication mySA put out an article on it.