City of Houston demands pastors turn over sermons

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City of Houston demands pastors turn over sermons

The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor. And those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court.

“The city’s subpoena of sermons and other pastoral communications is both needless and unprecedented,” Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Christina Holcomb said in a statement. “The city council and its attorneys are engaging in an inquisition designed to stifle any critique of its actions.”

ADF, a nationally-known law firm specializing in religious liberty cases, is representing five Houston pastors. They filed a motion in Harris County court to stop the subpoenas arguing they are “overbroad, unduly burdensome, harassing, and vexatious.”

 

“Political and social commentary is not a crime,” Holcomb said. “It is protected by the First Amendment.”

The subpoenas are just the latest twist in an ongoing saga over the Houston’s new non-discrimination ordinance. The law, among other things, would allow men to use the ladies room and vice versa.  The city council approved the law in June.

The Houston Chronicle reported opponents of the ordinance launched a petition drive that generated more than 50,000 signatures – far more than the 17,269 needed to put a referendum on the ballot.

However, the city threw out the petition in August over alleged irregularities.

After opponents of the bathroom bill filed a lawsuit the city’s attorneys responded by issuing the subpoenas against the pastors.

The pastors were not part of the lawsuit. However, they were part of a coalition of some 400 Houston-area churches that opposed the ordinance. The churches represent a number of faith groups – from Southern Baptist to non-denominational.

“City council members are supposed to be public servants, not ‘Big Brother’ overlords who will tolerate no dissent or challenge,” said ADF attorney Erik Stanley.  “This is designed to intimidate pastors.”

Mayor Parker will not explain why she wants to inspect the sermons. I contacted City Hall for a comment and received a terse reply from the mayor’s director of communications.

“We don’t comment on litigation,” said Janice Evans.

However, ADF attorney Stanley suspects the mayor wants to publicly shame the ministers. He said he anticipates they will hold up their sermons for public scrutiny. In other words – the city is rummaging for evidence to “out” the pastors as anti-gay bigots.

Among those slapped with a subpoena is Steve Riggle, the senior pastor of Grace Community Church. He was ordered to produce all speeches and sermons related to Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality and gender identity.

The mega-church pastor was also ordered to hand over “all communications with members of your congregation” regarding the non-discrimination law.

“This is an attempt to chill pastors from speaking to the cultural issues of the day,” Riggle told me. “The mayor would like to silence our voice. She’s a bully.”

Rev. Dave Welch, executive director of the Texas Pastor Council, also received a subpoena. He said he will not be intimidated by the mayor.

“We’re not afraid of this bully,” he said. “We’re not intimidated at all.”

He accused the city of violating the law with the subpoenas and vowed to stand firm in the faith.

“We are not going to yield our First Amendment rights,” Welch told me. ‘This is absolutely a complete abuse of authority.”

Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, said pastors around the nation should rally around the Houston ministers.

“The state is breaching the wall of separation between church and state,” Perkins told me. ‘Pastors need to step forward and challenge this across the country. I’d like to see literally thousands of pastors after they read this story begin to challenge government authorities – to dare them to come into their churches and demand their sermons.”

Perkins called the actions by Houston’s mayor “obscene” and said they “should not be tolerated.”

“This is a shot across the bow of the church,” he said.

This is the moment I wrote about in my book, “God Less America.” I predicted that the government would one day try to silence American pastors. I warned that under the guise of “tolerance and diversity” elected officials would attempt to deconstruct religious liberty. 

Sadly, that day arrived sooner than even I expected.

Tony Perkins is absolutely right. Now is the time for pastors and people of faith to take a stand.  We must rise up and reject this despicable strong-arm attack on religious liberty. We cannot allow ministers to be intimidated by government thugs.

The pastors I spoke to tell me they will not comply with the subpoena – putting them at risk for a “fine or confinement, or both.”

Heaven forbid that should happen. But if it does, Christians across America should be willing to descend en masse upon Houston and join these brave men of God behind bars.

Pastor Welch compared the culture war skirmish to the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto, fought in present-day Harris County, Texas. It was a decisive battle of the Texas Revolution.

“This is the San Jacinto moment for traditional family,” Welch told me. “This is the place where we stop the LGBT assault on the freedom to practice our faith.”

We can no longer remain silent. We must stand together – because one day – the government might come for your pastor.

Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Comment

Why I Have Moved Out of the San Francisco Bay Area

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Why I Moved Out of the San Francisco Bay Area.

By Mario Murillo

Something impossible has happened to me.  My closest friends never thought it could happen.  I have moved out of the San Francisco Bay Area. There was no version of my future that included leaving the San Francisco area.  Moving me out of here is like uprooting and transplanting an ancient redwood. Here’s why:

-San Francisco is infinitely more to me than a hometown.  San Francisco is my strange holy land.  My first and my deepest encounters with Christ and the supernatural were here.

-With the exception of just two years, I have never lived anywhere else but here.

-The most amazing prophetic promise I ever received is about San Francisco:  In 1978 I Told God that I quit.  God said, “Pray one more time.” An hour passed and suddenly God promised me “I will pour out of my Spirit on the San Francisco Bay Area and the world will look and wonder.” This promise made me angry!  I screamed to God, “I cannot carry this without an infallible confirmation right now!  As the word “now” came out of my mouth the phone beside me starting ringing.

Bob Dylan

It was the last voice in the world that I could have ever imagined to hear!  “Mario, this is Bob Dylan.”  He was calling because he was about to perform his first Christian concert at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco.  He asked me to come and pray backstage at the concert while he performed.  Just as we were about to hang up he asked me “Mario, did God tell you He was going to pour out His Spirit on the Bay Area?”  Losing my breath and about to faint I said, “Yes.”  To which he responded, “Well Mario, He is going to pour out His Spirit on San Francisco.”

-Through incomprehensible adversity, we obeyed God and stayed based in the Bay Area.  In obedience to that promise God used us to make Christian history culminating with 14,000 people in the Cow Palace Arena. 

Only one thing could ever make me move: The Holy Spirit told me and my wife to sell our home and relocate out of the Bay Area.  However He did not tell us where to move!

Our home sold in 28 days.  We had to scramble to move without knowing why or where.  It was not until just two weeks before we had to be out of our home that God made it absolutely clear where we belonged.

We made an offer on a house, raced back to the Bay Area and scrambled to find temporary housing for the 30 days it took for escrow to close.

Meanwhile the mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit was flooding Los Banos California.  We concluded that we should find an extended stay facility in Morgan Hill which was a central location to Los Banos and everything else we had to do in the Bay Area.

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We moved into our new home.  So where is our new home?  We now live in Reno, Nevada. I can hear you repeating it out loud…Reno?!  Even as the furniture went into our house we were still asking that question!   Here are the answers:

  1. God told us we must move where we could fulfill our calling because America is running out of time. I believe that at the outside we have 5 years to turn this nation back from going off a cliff. Our assignment is to bring Living Proof to millions before it is too late.

Our headquarters must reflect both our boldness and our urgency…but why Reno?  We still did not know but some very savvy people did know…people who control billions of dollars and do the very best research…people who looked at California, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

Now here is something that truly boggles my mind: We moved into Reno at 3PM on Thursday, September 11, 2014.  Five hours later, after months of secret negotiations the Associated Press broke this story:  “Calling it one of the most important pieces of legislation in Nevada history, Gov. Brian Sandoval signed into law Thursday night an unprecedented package of incentives to seal a deal to bring Tesla Motors’ $5 billion battery factory to Reno, Nevada.

The “gigafactory” is expected to bring more than 20,000 jobs and $100 billion to Nevada’s economy over the next 20 years. It will be the biggest lithium battery factory in the world.”  

Tesla battery gigafactory Nevada

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!  Apple Computers made this announcement:  “The Company will invest $1 billion over 10 years to build a center at a new technology park near Reno, Nevada. The data center project is part of a development plan in which the company will also build a purchasing center in downtown Reno. An Apple spokesman told local officials that the company expected the new facility at the Reno Technology Park to come online later this year.”

On October 4th I stood in front thousands of Students at U.C. Berkeley for a triple defining moment for me.  It was the Jewish Day of Atonement; it was the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley; it was the 50th anniversary of my conversion to Christ.

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It was also something else; it was a time of emotional closure between me and the Bay Area.  Of course I will still contend for revival here and work with anyone who wants to win souls here.  But I was released from a Bay Area covenant.

Alone in prayer I grieved and mourned for a season that had passed.  Then God told me something tragic.  But before I tell you what He said let me remind you of something.  Over the years, we have been threatened and told to leave by the Black Panthers, the Weather Underground (who threatened to bomb us), Satanists, drug dealers, a host of cults and anti-God politicians.  We just laughed at their threats!

Then a group of ministers in their own way basically asked me to leave the Bay Area.  I never gave it a second thought because who were they compared to these past threats?  That is when I heard the strangest thing that Jesus ever said to me… “Honor their request and leave.”   That is what it took to pull out the deepest roots and allow me to relocate to Reno.  I have not a drop of anger, unforgiveness or malice.  You will never hear me name names or defend myself. I am far too excited about the future!  I am free now to build a great vision for a nation that must be saved!

RenoSkyline

 

 

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PORTAGE INDIANA IS ON THE VERGE

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PORTAGE INDIANA IS ON THE VERGE

230 souls saved yesterday in Indiana. We had just started to cope with the glorious events in Los Banos when a new revival fire breaks out in Northern Indiana.  Now there is no doubt that God is moving nationwide through Mario Murillo Ministries. 

We will return for meetings in Los Banos on September 7th but the people aren’t waiting they are meeting in different churches, getting ready for a prayer walk with upwards of 500 people and making preparations to bring masses of lost souls to the September rallies.

The schedule that Mario had yesterday was beyond demanding.  He flew to Indiana on Saturday night and had to speak on Sunday at 8:30AM, 10 AM, and 11:30AM followed by a miracle rally at 6PM.

The three morning services were at Road to Life Church in Chesterton with pastors David and Vanessa Gargano.  This church has hit over 1,000 in attendance in just two years.  This is not just church growth it is a move of God.

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The Garganos are cooperating in the regional outreach of MMM that began in nearby Portage at City Point Church.  In each service Mario preached an uncompromised Gospel.  The hunger for Christ in the people was unmistakable.  By the end of the third service 200 people had come forward to receive Christ.

At 6 PM Mario ministered yet again.  The crowd in City Point Church expected miracles and they would not be disappointed.  Wonderful words of knowledge came by the Holy Spirit healing people all over the church.

It was glorious to see one woman almost delirious with joy trying to explain how it felt to be free of pain, weakness and dizziness after 12 years.  25 people surrendered to Christ in this 6 PM rally.

Again, the entire crowd reached out and received healing power.  The current of healing grew so strong that it overcame us all.  The same fire that rages in Los Banos CA is also in Portage. I knew now that whatever strays into the path of this raging locomotive of revival in Northern Indiana will be mowed down!

The vision of Mario Murillo Ministries to bring Living Proof to America is going nationwide.  Revival fires blaze on the West Coast, the Midwest and in a few weeks Mario heads for New York City!

The fire continues tonight and tomorrow night at 7PM.  If you are in the Portage Indiana area join us at City Point Church  6474 Central Ave, Portage, IN 46368 Phone:(219) 764-8229

 

Texas Pro-Abortion Protesters Chant ‘Hail Satan!’

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Texas Pro-Abortion Protesters Chant ‘Hail Satan!’

by DEBRA HEINE 2 Jul 2013

The Texas House and Senate reconvened Tuesday for a brief special session called by Gov. Rick Perry House to discuss timekeeping measures. A recess was called until July 9, after the Independence Day holiday.

Twitchy reported:

Nothing much happened, but there was plenty of interest, as abortion advocates in orange shirts lined up to protest proposed limits on abortion after 20 weeks and stricter safety standards for abortion clinics.

***

It would be difficult to argue that the pro-abortion crowd wasn’t an “unruly mob” — last week protesters shut down proceedings by screaming from the gallery and used social media to debate the legal consequences of rushing the floor. One protester was reportedly arrested after punching a state trooper who was clearing the gallery.

Texas blogger, Adam Cahn was there, and has a report and video from the scene where pro-life women shared their abortion related testimonies, and the pro abort mob responded with repeated chants of “hail Satan.”  He notes that they had been chanting those words all day, but it took awhile to catch it on video.

Honestly, I don’t think there’s a  clearer indication than this report, of who is on the side of the angels in the abortion debate, and who isn’t.

Update:

Wow, Hail Satan is trending on Twitter.

Good job, pro aborts!

Funny:

Leftists seem torn between “it was ironic!” and “it was right-wing plants!” Re:#HailSatan

— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) July 3, 2013

See Also:

Twitchy: ‘Hail Satan’: Abortion supporters troll pro-lifers outside Texas capitol

The same orange-clad abortion rights supporters who sent children to #StandWithWendy in Texas today holding signs like “Stay out of my mommy’s vagina” didn’t limit themselves to strictly scientific arguments for unrestricted access to abortion. Groups of protesters also countered pro-life groups’ prayers with chants of “Hail Satan.”

Crowd of anti abortion activists giving speeches while a group of people chant hail Satan in the background.