VP Pence Helping Samaritan’s Purse With Hurricane Aid, The Nashville Statement Signed by J.I. Packer and Others, Christian Mom Banned from Twitter for Biblical Views

Monday, September 4th, in the year of our Lord 2017

By Adam McManus

President Trump Helps Distribute Meals in Houston

President Trump spent Saturday touring areas heavily damaged by Hurricane Harvey, saying he’s witnessed “a lot of love” from residents recovering from the devastation, reports Fox News.

In Houston, the president handed out lunches of hot dogs, chips and applesauce to people at the shelter. He was also seen giving hugs and playing with kids.

Trump has also pledged one million dollars of his personal fortune to help alleviate some of the suffering in Texas.

The destruction from Harvey could rival or exceed the damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 which cost taxpayers $110 billion.

Mike and Karen Pence Help with Samaritan’s Purse in Rockport, Texas

Vice President Mike Pence, his wife Karen, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott joined the Rev. Franklin Graham last Thursday to help Samaritan’s Purse staff and volunteers in Rockport, Texas, as they carried out relief work in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.

(Watch the video.)

“President Trump sent us here to say that we are with you, the American people are with you. We are here today, we will be here tomorrow, and we will be here every day until this city and this state and this region rebuild bigger and better than ever before…. You’ve inspired the nation by your resilience and by your courage. We just came here to commend you and to encourage you. As the president often says, ‘We’re one American family. When one hurts, we all hurt.’”

Gulf Coast Oil Refineries Start to Reopen

U.S. Gulf Coast refineries and fuel distribution terminals started to re-open this past Saturday, a week after Tropical Storm Harvey knocked out nearly 25 percent of the nation’s refining capacity and sent gasoline prices spiking, reports Reuters.

Abortion Activists Fundraise to Help Texan Women Kill Their Babies

50 fatalities from Hurricane Harvey is not enough for abortion activists who are actually fundraising so that Texan pregnant women can kill their unborn babies.

The Washington Free Beacon reports that the Lilith Fund, a pro-abortion Texas group, set up an “Emergency Fund for Harvey Survivors” to raise money on their Facebook page for women who are “seeking an abortion but cannot afford it.”

Christian Leaders Sign Nashville Statement Affirming Biblical Sexuality

Sponsored by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Nashville Statement was published last Tuesday.

National Review’s David French, who was among the signers, summed it up by saying: “It’s a basic declaration of Christian orthodoxy on sexuality, sexual orientation, and sexual identity. Its 14 articles can be boiled down to a simple statement: We believe the Bible is the word of God, and the word of God declares that sexual intimacy is reserved for the lifelong union of a man and a woman in marriage.

“It acknowledges the reality of same-sex attraction as well as the reality of transgender self-conceptions, but denies that God sanctions same-sex sexual activity or a transgendered self-conception that is at odds with biological reality. In other words, it’s basic Christianity.”

J. I. Packer and Francis Chan, two other signers, noted that such a statement is needed in order to resist the spirit of the age and for the church to maintain its counter-cultural witness in a world that seems “bent on ruin.”

Genesis 2:24 says, “A man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

Activist Mommy Suspended from Twitter for Criticizing Teen Vogue

Christian blogger Grace Elizabeth Johnston, also known as “The Activist Mommy”, has been suspended from Twitter for criticizing a Teen Vogue editor who approved of publishing an article that encourages youth to engage in sodomy, reports The Christian Post.

In an August 16th tweet, Johnston, who has over 260,000 Facebook friends, sarcastically congratulated Philip Bicardi, the digital editor of Teen Vogue, for getting an award from a homosexual magazine for his promotion of an on-line, how-to instruction guide to sodomy among 11 to 17-year-old children.

10 million people watched Johnston’s video of her burning the June 2017 issue of Teen Vogue in her backyard.

Revive Us 2 Comes to Theaters This October

Kirk Cameron’s film Revive Us 2 is coming to theaters on Tuesday, October 24, according to The Stream.

Live from the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., you can an experience an inspiring night of hope, courage, and unity, as Cameron is joined by Dr. Ben Carson, Joni Eareckson Tada, Francis Chan, Ravi Zacharias, and musical guests Zach Williams and Christian Cuevas.

Over 1,000 People Die in Floods and Mudslides in Sierra Leone

While Americans are rightly concerned about flooding in and around Houston, more than 1,000 people have died in the West African country of Sierra Leone, reports Christian Aid.

The charity is appealing for funds to help the stricken survivors after torrential rains set off floods and mudslides followed by a massive fire in Freetown on August 14th.

Special Report on Barna’s Study of Prayer in America After the Newscast

George Barna has released a fascinating new report on who prays, why we pray, and what we pray about. Stay tuned for a Special Report compiled by Emily Swanson immediately following today’s newscast.

Bakers Stranded by Flooding Make Bread and Pastries for Fellow Flood Victims

The four bakers of El Bolillo Bakery in Houston, Texas had been working a late shift when the water levels on the street became too dangerous from Hurricane Harvey, reports GoodNewsNetwork.org.

So, since the bakery still had electricity, they decided to put their talents to good use and baked hundreds of loaves of bread for their fellow hurricane victims.

By the time they were rescued, the bakers, who worked all day and night, had already used over 4,000 pounds of flour. They personally delivered their fresh bread and Mexican pastries to emergency shelters around the city.

Matthew 25:40 says, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me.”

Special Report: Barna Group Studies How and Why Americans Pray

Time now for the Special Report by Emily Swanson.

Why do 79% of people still pray once every three months and most of them pray alone?

That’s what the Barna Group wanted to find out when they surveyed over 1,000 adults over the age of 18 on their prayer habits, why they pray, what they pray for, which age groups often pray the most, and even to whom they pray.

The World Viewinterviewed Roxanne Stone, Barna’s Editor-in-Chief, on their study.

Ephesians 6:18 says, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”

Stone said that they observed in their surveys over the years, prayer was the most consistent religious practice.

“In every survey that we do we ask a battery of standard questions, to kind of track some of these religious activities among Americans. And one of the ones we ask is, ‘How often do you pray and have you prayed within the last week? We ask that in conjunction with ‘Have you read Scripture in the past week? Have you attended a church service in the past week? Have you volunteered?’ Just all of these kind of different spiritual markers of practice. And we just noticed over the years that prayer is something that almost all Americans do. Out of all the spiritual practices, it is by far the most common and the most consistent.”

She said many of those surveyed don’t participate in going to church or reading Scripture, but they still pray.

“What is it that they’re talking about when they say that they prayed in the last week? That was really the impetus for this study. Because we thought, ‘A lot of these people don’t identify as religious. And even those who do maybe don’t identify and even those who do don’t really practice faith in a lot of ways. They don’t go to church. They’re not reading Scripture a lot so people must have a broad definition of prayer. We wanted to get at a sense of what that really was.”

Stone said they noticed most Americans pray in private, not in groups.

“The majority of Americans say that their most common prayer practice, 82% of them, said ‘silently by myself.’ It dropped off considerably after that. 13% said ‘audibly by myself.’ 2% said ‘audibly with another person or group.’ And 2% said ‘collectively with a church.’ So this is really an activity that a majority of Americans see as part of their personal, sort of, individual spiritual life.”

Stone shared what the content of most of their prayers is, according to the survey respondents.

“They say that they’re praying prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving or they’re praying for their family or their community. About half of Americans say that they pray for personal guidance in crisis. And then after that it drops off a little bit. You’ve got health and wellness, confession and forgiveness. About 4 in 10 Americans say that they just pray when they feel compelled or urged to pray about something. Really all of the numbers are quite high; when you get down to concerns about the nation or government or about global problems or injustices you get down to about ¼ or a ⅕ of Americans.”

After this initial question, Stone said that their next question was ‘to whom’ were the people praying.

“We found some interesting divergences there. Most people say ‘God’, 9 in 10, but when we dug into, ‘What do you mean by God?’ Fewer people said, ‘It’s a higher power but it’s not associated with a specific religion. Some people say they talk to Jesus, they talk to the Holy Spirit, and then a much smaller percentage of them said they pray to the divine power within themselves or to their ancestors or to the universe. That’s like 3% of people.”

Jesus, our Lord, taught His disciples how to pray in Luke 11:1-4, “And it came to pass, that, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.’ And he said unto them, ‘When ye pray, say, ‘Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.’”

The World View asked Stone why she thinks people still pray with the awareness of there being a God.

“I think you can see a lot of trends towards that sense of presence in your daily life and conversations about being really grateful for what you have. For a lot of Americans, we have a lot. It might be sort of leftover artifacts of religious history in their family or a sense that even though they may not be practicing a faith they still do believe that there’s some kind of higher power at work, the things they have in their life that they should be grateful for them.”  

Stone said there’s an inconsistency there, because some of the people are even self-proclaimed atheists.

“Some of these people are even self-professed atheists or agnostics yet there’s something in them, something in Americans in general, that continues to spur this, ‘There’s something to be grateful for, to be grateful to beyond us, and in addition there is also something or someone to go to when we are in crisis.”

Paul himself saw religious people and declared the unknown god to them on Mars Hill in Acts 17: 23-28.

“For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, to the unknown god. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though He needed any thing, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’”

Stone said that Christians could use the opportunity of talking about prayer to share with unbelievers who pray to the God of the Bible and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

“Christians could think about it as that question of, ‘Do you pray? Who is it that you’re praying to? Who do you imagine is hearing your prayers? Why are you praying these things?’ I think that’s a great conversation opener to help people. Maybe they haven’t asked themselves who they are praying to or why they’re compelled to pray.”

Stone said that the fact that many people don’t often pray with a group shows the emphasis the Evangelical church has placed on an individual relationship with God, without balancing it with the corporate relationship of the church body to Jesus Christ.

“I think there are benefits to corporate prayer as well, and I think what we’re seeing here; it’s reflective of a general trend in religion, particularly Evangelical Protestant religion which has been over the past several decades, the emphasis has been on a personal relationship with Jesus, so I think we’re seeing that’s taken hold. And that’s great, but it also reflects a general trend towards individualism in the U.S. And towards alienation from institutions and from community; we’re seeing in general people leaving church, and leaving more formal churches altogether.”  

She said that she would encourage churches and church leaders to promote the body of Christ gathering together for prayer.

“What I would say in encouraging churches and church leaders, is to take a look at the prayer practices that you engage in as a church. Do you as a church only have leaders pray and the rest of the congregation listen so they’re not actually personally praying? Do you give people an opportunity to pray? Do you give people an opportunity to go up front to pray with someone at the end of the service? Are you able as a church to incorporate corporate types of prayer like a call and response prayer?”

Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Stone said that this is a good time to think about what it means for a church to come together as the body of Christ, not just as an individual. She said that prayer often serves as a way of bringing the body of Jesus Christ closer to one another.

“There’s something just really beautiful about how God built us physically even for prayer to literally transform us even at the biological level. We get deep bonds with one another when we pray together, and we feel being part of something that’s a lot bigger than just ourselves.”

May this report be an encouragement to the body of Christ to come back together and pray for healing of our land and that God would shine His face once again upon His people.

2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

To dig deeper into the survey, you can go to the link in our transcript.

This has been a Special Report. I’m Adam McManus.

Mrs. Pence Leads Rockport, Texas in Prayer

The Second Lady Karen Pence led the people of Rockport, Texas in a word of prayer.

“Heavenly Father, we thank you for these amazing people who are an inspiration to us across this nation. We thank you for the First Responders who are at this very moment saving lives. We pray for their safety and a blessing upon them. It’s such an inspiration to see so many who have given so much and who have so selflessly come alongside their neighbors.

“We know that Your Word says where two or more are gathered, there You are. So we know You are here with us Lord. We just pray Your blessing on the state of Texas and Louisiana as they go through some hard days going forward. In Your name we pray, Amen.”

Chick-Fil-A Manager Coordinates Rescue for Elderly Couple

An elderly couple who needed to evacuate their Houston home last Monday due to the floods couldn’t get a response from 911. So they called Chick-Fil-A, ordered two grilled chicken burritos with extra egg and asked for a boat rescue, reports Christian Headlines.

Chick-fil-A manager Jeffrey Urban had stopped by the franchise that morning to check on things and heard the phone ringing. When he picked it up, it was the Spencers.

Urban called around and coordinated a rescue effort for the couple. They sent over two jetskis and a boat for the Spencers’ possessions and were able to successfully get the couple to safety.

Praise God for allowing everything to work out so this couple could get to safety, although it is unclear if they ever got their breakfast burritos!

Joel Osteen Says Lakewood Church Wasn’t Opened Sooner Due to Safety Concerns

Pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, has provided shelter and aid to over 400 victims of Hurricane Harvey this week who were directed to the church after a nearby American Red Cross shelter reached its capacity, reports The Christian Post.

According to Don Iloff, a Lakewood spokesperson and Osteen’s brother-in-law, the American Red Cross dropped off about 150 cots to the church for people to sleep on. Most of the rest of the people seeking shelter in the church created makeshift sleeping places out of blankets.

Lakewood Church is also planning to partner with the evangelical humanitarian aid organization Samaritan’s Purse.

While critics across the country have been quick to criticize Lakewood Church and Osteen for their so-called “sluggish” reaction to the hurricane and for waiting until Monday to decide to take in evacuees, Osteen spoke with a number of national media outlets last Wednesday to decry the “false narrative” that has been cast on him and the church.

“I don’t know if it’s unfounded, but I think if people were here they’d realize there were safety issues, this building had flooded before, and so we were just being precautious but the main thing is the city didn’t ask us to become a shelter [until Monday],” Osteen said on NBC’s “Today Show.”

Iloff told The Christian Post that at the height of the storm, the flood waters were within one foot of breaching the church’s 10-foot floodgates. He added that it took about all day Sunday for the flood waters to recede.

Iloff also noted that Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 “put about eight feet of water into the first floor. When that water comes pouring in, it’s a torrent, it’s a flash flood. We could be writing a whole different story. The critics would be saying, ‘Why did you all open that place up? Why did you send those people to their deaths?’”

Judge Slams Daleiden with $195,000 Fine

U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick, hit pro-life undercover investigator David Daleiden and two of his lawyers with a $195,000 fine this week after they released undercover footage of a National Abortion Federation conference, reports Townhall.com.

The video footage showed top Planned Parenthood staffers and other abortion industry leaders attending meetings of the National Abortion Federation in 2014 and 2015 and discussing gruesome details about aborted babies. In one clip, several attendees made jokes about eyeballs from aborted babies “rolling down into their laps.”

Orrick doesn’t come to the case with clean hands. He was secretary of the board of the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, an organization which “embedded a Planned Parenthood clinic inside its premises, and lists among its ‘key partnerships’ Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific.”

ADF Files Opening Brief for Colorado Baker’s Supreme Court Case

Alliance Defending Freedom lawyers for Jack Phillips, the Colorado bakery owner who refused to make a cake for a homosexual wedding, have filed an opening brief in preparation for their U.S. Supreme Court case, reports Christian Today.

Senior counsel Kristen Waggoner argued, “Nobody should be forced to choose between their profession and their faith.”

Elementary School Teacher Tries to Ban Religious Conversations

An elementary school teacher in McCordsville, Indiana became quite upset when five students began discussing God, Jesus, and the devil at school, reports GreenfieldReporter.com.

Last Wednesday, the unidentified teacher at the McCordsville Elementary School sent out a note to parents entitled “School language”, requesting that parents have a talk with their children about not discussing religion in the classroom.

Needless to say, parents were shocked by the request and argued that their children have the right to talk about their religious beliefs with their peers in the classroom.

Reason #65 for home education.

Furniture Store Owner in Houston Opens His Stores to Shelter Flood Victims

Jim Mcingvale has been a Houston fixture, advertising his two Gallery furniture stores in Houston for over a third of a century. This week he advertised his own cell phone number and opened both locations to 400 victims of the Texas floods from Tropical Storm Harvey, reports GoodNewsNetwork.org.

NPR News reported that “he built his stores on elevated concrete to make them floodproof.”

On his company Facebook page, Mcingvale said in a video, “We’re opening up both buildings as shelters during this horrible time. We’ve got lots of beds, we’ve got lots of food, we got water, and you can even bring your animals. Yes, it’s very trying right now, but we are Texans and we will help each other as we have done for 200 years.”

Known affectionately in the city as “Mattress Mack,” Mcingvale opened and closed the inspiring video announcement with his daughter’s favorite quote: “If not for our struggles, we would not have known our strength.”

Wells Fargo Stops Donation Processing to Ruth Institute

Vanco Payment Solutions and Wells Fargo cut off donation processing services from Ruth Institute, a Louisiana-based Christian ministry, citing the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hate Map,” which accuses the ministry of promoting “hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse” merely because it affirms that God designed marriage between a man and a woman.

Neither Vanco Payment Solutions nor Wells Fargo had the decency to tell the Ruth Institute about their decision which impacted the non-profit’s ability to remain financially solvent.

And that’s the World View in Five Minutes.