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From the Orange County Register: The Rev. Robert H. Schuller filed an appeal to a judge’s ruling in a case that pits the well-known religious leader against the Crystal Cathedral Ministries he founded. Schuller and his corporation, Robert Harold Inc., filed an appeal Tuesday to Judge Robert Kwan’s ruling last month in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Schuller had originally filed claims for breach of contract, copyright infringement and intellectual-property rights. Kwan ruled, among other things, that Schuller was an employee and that under an employment contract, he was limited to one year’s compensation. Kwan awarded Schuller $615,625, a fraction of the amount sought by Schuller and family members. In a Nov. 26 ruling, the judge also rejected claims filed by Schuller’s wife, Arvella, as well as most of the claims submitted by daughter Carol Schuller Milner and her husband, Tim. Instead, Kwan awarded the Milners $77,615. Milner said she and her husband are not appealing the judge’s ruling. // So… I guess we’ll be hearing more about this in 2013 as well.  Argh. SOURCE

Interesting story: An American church is promising gay men they will be cured of their homosexuality if they stroke horses. The Cowboy Church of Virginia, led by chief pastor Raymond Bell, believes homosexuality and other ‘addictions’ can be cured by Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. Horse therapy, in the right hands, can be used to help overcome fears, develop communication skills, and is generally beneficial to mental health. But Bell says the horses in his church, a cowboy ranch in the south, are part of teaching men to stop being gay and encourage them to be more masculine. ‘EAP can help any person who is living the homosexual lifestyle or involved in it in anyway,’ he told Gay Star News. ‘The first common misconception is that homosexuality is genetic, or hereditary, or as some say “born this way”. ‘Homosexuality is actually a type of addiction. It is not “curable” as a disease because it is a “choice driven” by the person.’ Bell said he uses EAP to identify how a person got ‘involved’ in homosexuality to begin with. For example, because of rape, abandonment, lacking a male role model, abuse, and having low self-esteem. He said: ‘Homosexuality is a secondary effect from a single, or multiple, primary events in a person’s life.’ When asked if the therapy ever worked, or if it was even valid, the pastor said ‘it is not now, nor has it ever been, in question’. SOURCE Thoughts? Todd

James Dobson this week on his radio show: Our country really does seem in complete disarray. I’m not talking politically, I’m not talking about the result of the November sixth election;  I am saying that something has gone wrong in America and that we have turned our back on God. I mean millions of people have decided that God doesn’t exist, or he’s irrelevant to me and we have killed fifty-four million babies and the institution of marriage is right on the verge of a complete redefinition.  Believe me, that is going to have consequences too. And a lot of these things are happening around us, and somebody is going to get mad at me for saying what I am about to say right now, but I am going to give you my honest opinion: I think we have turned our back on the Scripture and on God Almighty and I think he has allowed judgment to fall upon us.  I think that’s what’s going on. SOURCE This is the fourth or fifth time that I’ve heard the abortion debate come up after the CT school shooting. Stop it. Sincerely, Todd

A new lawsuit by a woman and her husband claims a pastor of a large church “purposefully introduced her into his life of depraved pornography, adultery, scheming, lies and the abandonment of her marriage and family with the intent that it would lead to the destruction of her marriage and family, which he knew would be going against everything she ever believed in or truly desired.” The couple is seeking $6.6 million for breach of fiduciary duty, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and other claims. SOURCE   Folks… this HAS TO STOP. How?  I don’t know. 1.  If this pastor did this, we HAVE to find ways to stop it.  There is NO WAY that the allegations levied in this article can be true without huge warning signs and red flags SOMEWHERE along the way.  Is there? 2.  If this is a total fabrication from the couple, how do we defend ourselves from this type of thing? Video surveillance of counseling sessions? How do you prove things in a he said, she said situation? If you’re innocent, you could be an hour away from a news story like this breaking about YOU. If you’re guilty of this kind of conduct, you have no right being a pastor. Either way, you’re vulnerable. How do you protect yourself from: 1.  Falling into a sin like this; or 2.  a False accusation that could ruin your reputation, family, and ministry? Have you thought about this?  What are your thoughts? Todd

Tim Lucas, Lead Pastor of Liquid Church, will lead live polling via text messaging at all locations where Liquid Church holds worship services in New Jersey. With the Presidential elections approaching, many individuals including the nearly 2,500 evangelical Christian attendees of the church, must decide how they are to engage in politics of the public square. The 4-week series of Sunday services this September will be focused on moving beyond the polarizing political rhetoric found in today’s news media. “Growing up, I was told never to discuss three issues in polite company – politics, sex, and religion. But this Sunday, we’re going to hit at least two… with the potential for all three!” laughed Lucas. During worship services, Lucas will invite the entire congregation to use their cell phones to text in their vote on various questions presented including: – Can a Christian vote for a Mormon? – How would Jesus handle hot-button issues such as gay marriage & immigration? – Is the next generation of Christians moving beyond the Culture Wars? – Do you have faith in God or Government? Live results will be displayed on screens as all the results are tallied in real-time. “Typically, the pulpit is used to tell church members exactly how to vote. This time, we’re going to flip the equation and use it to give voice to our people,” Lucas explained. The sermon messages will attempt to bridge the often polarizing worlds of politics and religion. “The Bible tells us to pray for all our leaders– and that includes our Republican Governor and our Democrat President,” noted Lucas. “I’m hoping the Scriptures can lead us to bridge the partisan divide and find faith for the future of our country.” SOURCE Great idea or not?  Would you do this in YOUR church if you could? Todd