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About those “Peaceful Christians” In the Castro

Jim Burroway

November 19th, 2008

I think it’s safe to say that Joe.My.God was at least as alarmed as I was over news reports of a so-called “Christian” group being escorted out of the Castro by a heavy protective police contingent.

Well Joe.My.God has learned that at least one of those so-called “Christians” is associated with Lou Engle, who is a pastor in the Christian Dominionist group Joel’s Army. She appeared with Engle in Kansas City to call for a “mass exodus from the demonic influence of the Castro.” Engle described the confrontation os “a confrontation of the Spirit” and called on God to “turn back this evil that is rising” in the fight against “the powers of darkness.”

Christian Dominionism is a harder-core, more violent offshoot of Christian Reconstructionism. Christian Reconstructionists are on record as calling for the biblical punishment of stoning for gays and lesbians.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified Joel’s Army as a potentially violent Dominionist group which believes that the United States “should be governed by conservative Christians and a conservative Christian interpretation of biblical law.” Engle was a lead organizer of ”The Call” at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium just before the election.

According to SPLC’s Casy Sanchez:

As even his critics note, Engle is a sweet, humble and gentle man whose persona is difficult to reconcile with his belief in an end-time army of invincible young Christian warriors. Yet while Engle is careful to avoid deploying explicit Joel’s Army rhetoric at high-profile events like The Call, when he’s speaking in smaller hyper-charismatic circles to avowed Joel’s Army followers, he can venture into bloodlust.

This March, at a “Passion for Jesus” conference in Kansas City sponsored by the International House of Prayer, or IHOP, a ministry for teenagers from the heavy metal, punk and goth scenes, Engle called on his audience for vengeance.

“I believe we’re headed to an Elijah/Jezebel showdown on the Earth, not just in America but all over the globe, and the main warriors will be the prophets of Baal versus the prophets of God, and there will be no middle ground,” said Engle. He was referring to the Baal of the Old Testament, a pagan idol whose followers were slaughtered under orders from the prophet Elijah.

“There’s an Elijah generation that’s going to be the forerunners for the coming of Jesus, a generation marked not by their niceness but by the intensity of their passion,” Engle continued. “The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force. Such force demands an equal response, and Jesus is going to make war on everything that hinders love, with his eyes blazing fire.”

Joel’s Army maintains an apocalyptic vision of their role in the world. They see themselves as members of the final generation with the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision as a new Passover:

Everyone born after abortion’s legalization can consider their birth a personal invitation to take part in this great army,” writes John Crowder, another prominent Joel’s Army pastor, who bills his 2006 book, The New Mystics: How to Become Part of the Supernatural Generation, as a literal how-to guide for joining Joel’s Army.Both Bentley and Crowder are enormously popular on Elijah’s List, an online watering hole for a broad spectrum of Joel’s Army enlistees, from lightweight believers who merely share an affection for military rhetoric and pastors who dress in army camouflage (several Joel’s Army pastors are addressed by their congregants as “commandant” or “commander”) to hardliners who believe the church is called to have an active military role in end-times that have already begun. Elijah’s List currently has more than 125,000 subscribers on its electronic mailing list.

Rick Joyner, a pastor whose books, The Harvest and The Call, helped popularize Joel’s Army theology by selling more than a million copies each, goes the furthest on Elijah’s List in pushing the hardliner approach. In 2006, he posted a sermon called “The Warrior Nation — The New Sound of the Church,” in which he claimed that a last-day army is now gathering and called believers “freedom fighters.”

“As the church begins to take on this resolve, they [Joel's Army churches] will start to be thought of more as military bases, and they will begin to take on the characteristics of military bases for training, equipping, and deploying effective spiritual forces,” Joyner wrote. “In time, the church will actually be organized more as a military force with an army, navy, air force, etc.”

Joel’s Army began in the 1940′s, and was based on the preaching of Assembly of God pastor William Branham. The Assemblies of God has banned Joel’s army as a heretical cult and disavows all association with the movement.

All of this places the recent protest in the Castro in an entirely different light.

Comments

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David C.
November 19th, 2008 | LINK

The Christian version of the Taliban? Theocracy taking firm root in the USA? It’s possible.

This is the danger I have been speaking of when I have mentioned in the past that the real danger is in the precedent set by the whole Prop 8 scenario.

We must be very careful now. This could get rough.

L. Junius Brutus
November 19th, 2008 | LINK

The Assemblies of God are pretty kooky to begin with. Imagine what you’re like when even they disavow you.

SharonB
November 19th, 2008 | LINK

According to Talk2Action.org, Sarah Palin had ties to this Joel’s Army group via her Wasilla AOG.

kevin
November 19th, 2008 | LINK

Here’s more information on Lou Engle and “Justice House of Prayer”.

http://hetnorm.com/2008/11/18/lou-engle/

Some things of note:

*Lou Engle is part of a group of self-proclaimed prophets (however false) called the “Kansas City Prophets”, of which two of the movements leaders have been involved in some pretty interesting stuff: one was exposed as using his position and “powers” to get young women to undress for him, while the other was caught in a web of lies about his alcoholism and homosexuality.

*Engle “counselled” his friend, Ted Haggard, after the latter was busted for smoking meth and having sex with male hustlers.

*Engle and the like busy themselves with infiltrating and converting young people, much like the evangelical Jesus Freaks of the 1960s (the main Freak who began this movement, incidentally being Lonnie Frisbee, was a closet homo who later died of AIDS – and thrown under the bus by his co-religionists…great documentary on it.)
see: “Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher”

*Todd Bentley, a Canadian charasmatic preacher who leads Joel’s Army, claims to have healed an elderly woman by kicking her in the face with his boot!

*Not all young evangelical hipsters belong to this movement. Tammy Faye Bakkers son, James Jr., is one example of a progressive, straight-ally, evangelical who reaches out to youth.

Tom
November 19th, 2008 | LINK

Oh my goodness..This stuff is terrifying. I had heard of this group before but from a more favorable source. I was unaware of how dangerous they were. I am so thankful for the first amendment in this country and that liberals will be appointed to the supreme court during Obama’s term. As a Christian, albeit a liberal one, I am most scared of people of my own faith. Things like this make me fear for my life when my boyfriend and I show any public displays of affection. May the God of love help us all…

Tom
November 19th, 2008 | LINK

Oh yeah, and what exactly is the Castro anyway?

kevin
November 19th, 2008 | LINK

The Castro:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Castro,_San_Francisco,_California

Lynn David
November 19th, 2008 | LINK

I wondered just what JHOP was, so I did a little digging for myself on their OWN WEBSITES. I found that JHOP was founded by Lou Engle, who has written:

“The Lord also spoke to us several years ago and challenged us with this question: ‘Are you willing to take your intercession into the heart of the plague?’”

“To this end we have established our JHOPs as close to the “center” as possible. JHOP San Francisco is located on Haight Street where the youth rebellion flourished in the late 1960’s and just a few blocks from the Castro District, which is considered the homosexual capital of America.”

That Bob Jones gave JHOP a prophetic word that 3 pro-life judges would be put on the court. Bob Jones who said that ‘in the second part of his term (GW Bush) he would do more to end abortion, restrain the homosexual agenda, and put pray(er) back in schools.’ And “eight more years of righteousness” after George Bush, whatever that should mean.

JHOP which seeks “the transformation of our governments to reflect the Kingdom of God that is built on rightteousness and justice.”

“God has led us (JHOP-SF) to contend for the deliverance and redemption of the homosexual community, believing that those who have been forgiven much will surely love much. (Luke 7:47) Out of this community will arise extravagant lovers of God who will worship him with creative expression and devotion. We have a mandate to stand against the homosexual agenda that raises itself up against the knowledge of God and seeks to destroy the identity of our generation.”

The JHOP-San Francisco house that has a link to “The Call” on their website.

And back to Lou Engle who was founded “The Call” as well as JHOP. Who has said, “California sits within a fog of Jezebel confusion. Recently the Supreme Court of California disregarded the votes of the people and legalized homosexual marriage.” And, “….the implications of this ruling are so far-reaching that it demands an immediate and urgent response from the church.” And, “As California goes, in many ways, so goes the nation. A major prayer leader from Egypt spoke to me and said that he had been weeping over California because he knew that if this law is not reversed by the vote of Californians on November 4, a spirit will spread across the world that will be stronger than Islam. It is a spirit of lawlessness, and that spirit will affect every nation.”

Seems these are the among the most rabid of “Yes on 8″ people. People who consider their presence in the homosexual community to be in the “heart of the plague.” I would be throwing them out of my community also.

kevin
November 19th, 2008 | LINK

When you learn what JHOP and TheCall are about, it’s easy (and scary) to see that they’re as rabid as Fred Phelps, but with one catch: They hold thousands in their sway.

These people don’t “love” us. They believe we are a “plague”, an “abomination” and that our safe spaces have to be “cleansed” of demonic possession. Literally, they demonize us and view us as agents of Satan.

Now let me ask you, if you believe you’re literally fighting a holy war in which a very real “Satan” has taken root in places like the Castro, the Haight, and the Supreme Court, what would be on your list of things to do? If you view yourself (as Engle asked thousands of susceptible young people in the middle of hunger-induced dellusions) as a “martyr”, what’s is “God” telling you to do?

These people are under the influence of a very powerful anti-gay cult and the only thing from stopping them from “cleansing” the gay and lesbian community is lack of an explicit order to carry out attacks.

Remember Paul Hill? Remember Michael Griffin? Army of God?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion-related_violence

Brace yourselves brothers and sisters. We can no longer be complacent when these people now feel like they’re backed into a corner. We’ve got to keep on top of their activities and educate ourselves about who’s attacking our community.

Truth Wins Out - S.F. Gays Practiced Peaceful Defense against Violent Theocrats
November 19th, 2008 | LINK

[...] Hat tip: Box Turtle Bulletin [...]

SharonB
November 20th, 2008 | LINK

OneNewsNow and the ADF are claiming these good christians were “Sexually” and “Physically” assaulted.

I consider the sources as Liars 4 Jesus, but, are there any updates on this story?

SharonB
November 20th, 2008 | LINK

Seriously, any truth to this?
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/nov/08111816.html

La Barbara has to get his blabs in there, natch.

Michael
November 20th, 2008 | LINK

It’s these kinds of lies that will put followers of Jesus in concentration camps in the next couple decades.

Timothy Kincaid
November 20th, 2008 | LINK

Sharon,

Read the commentary posted above as well as that linked to get the story.

Christian
November 22nd, 2008 | LINK

While I know this will be largely disregarded, I would like to say a few things. While I cannot officially speak for any of the groups mentioned above I have had the opportunity to visit their physical locations and observe them for extended periods over the last several years. While at their large scale gatherings, i.e. The Call, or at their normal weekly meetings, I have never heard or seen any messages of hate towards those that follow the homosexual lifestyle. There needs to be a distinction, these groups do hold the homosexuality is a sin in the sight of God, BUT this does not equal any hatred or anger towards those that practice it. Just as they view this lifestyle as a sin they moreover hold it as their responsibility to extend Christ’s love to those who practice it. This is a difficult message to explain, mostly due to the inexcusable hatred the homosexual community has been subjected to by mainstream Christianity. While I cannot speak for any Christian group I can say, in my personal experience with Lou Engal’s organization, I have never seen any hostile actions, rhetoric, or propaganda against those who practice the homosexual lifestyle. They want to organize people to pray and to show compassion, is that such a violent act?
I would also briefly like to mention that I have NEVER heard any pro-military message from Lou Engal, John Crowder, or Rick Joyner. The term “Joel’s Army” describes a theological belief that comes from the Bible in the book of Joel, describing a generation that will stand—through prayer—for the salvation of the nations.
These are not hateful or violent groups. I cannot imagine the hatred you must have encountered from self proclaiming Christians to make you view these groups as you now do; for that you have my deepest and most sincere apology. Thank you for your time.
Christian

John
November 22nd, 2008 | LINK

Christian,

I have news for you. I am not alone in cringing when I hear references to “homosexual lifestyle.” The fact that you repeatedly used that in your apologia for Engal and his cohorts goes a very long way toward completely discrediting you in my book. If you are going to try and paint particular Christian extremist groups as loving, you should probably drop the hateful buzzwords. It really gets in the way of your message.

Buffy
November 22nd, 2008 | LINK

Christian,

While some of us consider the Christian lifestyle to be unacceptable in many ways but that doesn’t mean we hold any hatred toward those who practice it. All we want is to extend an invitation to them to leave us alone and to stop trying to force their ways on us.

Timothy Kincaid
November 24th, 2008 | LINK

Christian,

The problem with spreading “Christ’s love” is that it never seems to in any way resemble anything Christ would do and it always seems to include a definition of “love” that is beyond baffling. It seems that “loving” the sinner justifies treating him heinously.

Most folks have no use for that kind of love.

Louie
November 24th, 2008 | LINK

Keep your Savior’s “love” off of my “civil” rights.

Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
Matthew 22:21

Maire
May 25th, 2009 | LINK

The idea that gays just want to be left alone to do what they want is wearing thin. Over the past decade, gay activists have appropriated the paradigm of “hate” to literally co-opt those who do not agree with them into passive submission. If you agree, you’re with enlightenment, progressiveness, and LOVE. If you disagree, you’re full of HATE; or, for the more kindly inclinced, you’re mentally challenged. Because being accused of hate in today’s society is the worst possible secular sin, it is plain to see why this strategy has been so effective. There is no “agree to disagree” anymore, so please let’s dispense with this charade.

Wyocowboy
July 29th, 2009 | LINK

These people are SICK!!!! and they are scary. Just like OSHO says about religion it is EVIL.

James Knight
November 5th, 2010 | LINK

I just want to say that I went to JHOP and prayed with them in 2007. They literally live in the Haight St area and have given their lives to what they believe in, loving humanity and desiring to express the love of God.

This “Christian Dominionist” description is much more ominous than the reality of people in this sect. If you disagree with them, thats your right, and without encountering any supernatural evidence to suggest their ethereal beliefs are accurate I can understand.

The gay movement speaks about wanting civil rights, but remember it was Martin Luther King Jr and his foundational belief of Gods love that brought change in America, not Malcolm X and his violent hatred movement.

Thanks,

Jim

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