Marci McDonald, “friend” of Faytene?!?

By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission

Did you know that reporter and author Marci McDonald was at one time part of “The hand of Hell”?

Or that at one time, she was a “friend” of Canadian evangelist and activist Faytene Grasseschi (nee Kryskow), who was a portrayed as a poster child for religious extremism in McDonald’s 2010 book The Armageddon Factor?

Oh, don’t worry, I’ll bet McDonald is surprised too.

This follows up on a bit of a “nine day wonder” in the spring and summer of 2010 where The Armageddon Factor was discussed extensively in the media and on this blog.

And hopefully it also sheds light on how a certain charismatic Christian mindset reacts to being in the public eye.

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Harper signed trade agreements with China, while Canadian Christians rot in prison

By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission

Can’t say that Stephen Harper doesn’t know the value of a dollar.

Over the past few days he has been In China, finalizing trade agreements with the government of China worth $2.5 billion. As he did, Canadians Kevin Garratt and Julia Dawn Garratt are still in Chinese prisons.

The couple, as the Wall Street Journal reported in August after their arrest,  ”are under investigation for suspected theft of state secrets about China’s military and national defense research,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said at the time. It added that the couple’s actions had “harmed China’s state security activities.”

Today, as I write, was the day that the Church worldwide prays for persecuted Christians around the world. So my church prayed for them, as my pastor knows them. From what he said today, they were trying to be a good witness and doing a little lay ministry when opportunity allowed

They have lived in China since 1984,  most recently operating a coffee shop in the city of Dandong on China’s border with North Korea.

Their son Simeon, from what I understand, is in China now, trying to use Harper’s visit to help the situation.

Not that Harper was much of a help. Cap in hand, in my view, he signed on the dotted line.

Canadian Press has reported that there was little visible movement in helping the duo.

CP reported:

The prime minister raised his concerns about the three-month imprisonment of Kevin and Julia Garratt with Premier Li Keqiang during a closed-door meeting at the ornate Great Hall of the People, a spokesman for Harper said.

Harper didn’t reiterate those concerns publicly when Li, the second most powerful man in China, was asked about the fate of the Garratts during a post-meeting news conference.

“We have discussed a full range of issues in our bilateral relationship in a frank, open and friendly manner,” Harper said in remarks to the media.

Li, meantime, said they “talked about the rule of law and human rights.”

As for the Garratts, the premier added: “As for individual cases, I want to reiterate that as China continues to build a country under the rule of law, I believe that judicial authorities should be able to handle cases in accordance with the law.”

This is odd.

If China doesn’t want foreigners near its borders, why doesn’t it ban foreign nationals from Manchuria?

Or do China’s leaders hope that foreigners will get a message and voluntarily leave, hoping not to be imprisoned on a trumped up excuse, if this is the case.

Perhaps someone in our foreign affairs ministry could have said to the Chinese. “If you thinks they are “spies”, which is fatuous, why not just deport them and not let them back in?”

I would have liked Harper to refuse to sign the agreement until the pair were let go.

But that is probably my disgust with his lack of action talking.




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Rewriting history for the past five years, and counting

By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

Winston Churchill once said, or wrote: “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.”

Or rewrite it, in the case of Faytene Grasseschi, perhaps?

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They could use that old barn out back

By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission

There will be at least one sequel to the new Left Behind with Nicolas Cage, says filmmaker Paul Lalonde.

In a statement released on the Left Behind fan page on Facebook…

…Lalonde announced that he feels compelled to keep the series going:

“… I woke up in the night, and for whatever reason, the answer seemed clear. Of course we are’! I’m not sure what it might look like or how big it might be. But we will continue the story. We have to…”

It will be “a challenge” he says. But the plan has always been several movies based on the novels, with the first concentrating on the Rapture.  (Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland leading efforts to “put on a show” comes to mind,  But there’s not necessary anything wrong with that.)

Dare we hope that there will be anything purposely evangelical in the sequels? I predict potential backers will insist on it.


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An apology on behalf of “social media” Christians to Nicolas Cage

By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

Ted Baehr’s Movieguide has felt burdened to apologize to Nicolas Cage about the occasionally visceral reaction to the new Left Behind film.

The open letter

…argues that Christians on the Internet discussed the film with the bark off.

Anthony D’ Amore writes:

These self-proclaimed Christian critics who have been slamming Nicolas Cage and his movie on social media channels have seemingly lost sight of God’s purpose. It’s as if posting a judgmental rant on a web site is more important than a Hollywood actor experiencing the grace of God.

It doesn’t mean every Christian needs to agree with everything about Cage’s movie or what Cage stands for, but as ambassadors of Christ, it is embarrassing and counterproductive for the Kingdom of heaven when Christians behave badly by inflicting searing criticism against someone like Nicolas Cage for whom Jesus Christ died on the cross.

Christians who get caught up in the theological-driven attacks have forgotten that there is a more loving manner with which to deliver an opinion – without attacking.

I myself quite liked the new Left Behind, which closed after only two weeks in my neck of the woods. I believe that Nicolas Cage was good in the film.

That said, I also pointed out at the time that Left Behind filmmaker Paul Lalonde had missed an opportunity to briefly overtly evangelize in the film, stating in an interview that the producers felt they didn’t have time to do so.

This, I added, was a glaring omission, given that Paul Lalonde and his brother Peter, spent much of the 80s and 90s doing the bible prophecy themed program This Week in Bible Prophecy on the Canadian TV network Vision TV. Peter Lalonde, in segments you may view today, would tell people how you could come to Christ in less than five minutes.

When you have Nicolas Cage in your film, and presumably an opportunity to reach millions, how could you not do so when you have *done so before* ?

I was firm but not, to my mind, rude. And I directed my point to Paul Lalonde and not his hired gun.

You could mourn the tone of people’s critiques, I would agree, but not that they were made, if their points were valid. Backing away from evangelizing at Mach speed, I respectfully suggest, would apply here.

I suspect that Ted Baehr feels the need to refrain from burning bridges with “Hollywood” and this article is the result. That may be correct, but my concern is a worry about needless self-censorship.

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The Ottawa/Parliament Hill shootings

By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission.

Following yesterday’s shootings in Ottawa, I thought creating a thread might be helpful. Discuss in the comments.

And pray offline. Thank you.

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“No airline attendant would wear a blouse two sizes too small.”–On the new Left Behind film

By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission

Quite the crash and burn, for the new Left Behind film starring Nicolas Cage, as it were.

According to the movie grosses site, Indiewire, as I write, Left Behind has dropped to number 10 on their list of movie grosses, earning just under $ 3 million in revenue in its second week of release.

I myself went to see it twice, the first time in order to make sure that it didn’t disappear from theaters before I had a chance to see it. This was on the Saturday of the first week that it was out and there were nine people in the theater.

Guess that any hopes by the producer Paul Lalonde that Cage would give the film a boost at the box officer haven’t been borne out yet.

Left Behind is getting a bit of a beating on the Internet as well from both “sides”.

More liberal Christians are looking askance at what they see as the film’s view of the “end times” . There’ll be no Rapture or “end times’. The “end times took place either allegorically or back in the times of the Apostles.

More conservative onlookers such as Todd Friel, decried Left Behind as not being a Christian film, “at all”.

His highlighted radio clip for October 6 saw “nothing Christian about it [the film].” He decried the lack of a Christian witness. Cage’s suit looked like it was bought at Goodwill, and such. “I’d expect a film about the Rapture to be about the one doing the Rapturing,” he added.

Not that Mr. Friel should have been surprised. Paul Lalonde did warn him, and other conservative Christians, if they read between the lines, in this WND interview.

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God TV founder resigns because of adultery – for now

God TV:

GOD TV Co-founder Rory Alec steps aside

GOD TV Co-founder Rory Alec has today announced he is leaving the Network, standing aside as Chairman and CEO with immediate effect. This follows what he terms ‘a moral failure’ concerning his marriage.

GOD TV Co-founder and Director of Television, Wendy Alec will continue to lead the Network along with its senior management team and the support of the GOD TV Board.

GOD TV has confirmed the organisation will continue its international operations as well as the work it is doing in Plymouth, UK. This includes the completion of its Revival Prayer Centre on Union Street and new staff building at Burrington Industrial Estate.

Mrs Alec told GOD TV staff in Plymouth that she will address the issue further on 8 October while in GOD TV’s Jerusalem studio to host a series of live Revival Alert broadcasts.

“I will take responsibility on the first night of Revival Alert to share with transparency and authenticity regarding the situation to all our viewers and partners,” she said.

In a separate statement, Mr Alec told GOD TV staff: “After 20 years of service, I have had a moral failure this year. For this reason, I am stepping down. Please forgive me for the disappointment I’ve caused, but I know your eyes are on Jesus who is the author and finisher of your faith and not on me, an imperfect man.

“It is with a heavy heart that I confirm my season with GOD TV is over for now.”

In her role as Co-founder, Creative Director and Director of Television, Wendy Alec has overseen all content on GOD TV for the past 19 years. Her remit includes oversight of the Network and Programming Planning teams; Scheduling teams; Production teams; her Commissioning team and approval of Ministry Airtime Sales and Programme Acquisitions. She has been in charge of GOD TV’s Creative Direction, both on air and in print, from the time of the Network’s inception, including the internationally acclaimed and distinctive GOD TV logo. She is fully supported by GOD TV’s executive management team and financial departments.

Rory AlecApparently a UK production company knew about this affair prior to Justin Hughes  (LucasLabrador) breaking this on YouTube last week. Wendy Alec, who is rumored to have had a past affair with a producer, was in hospital when her husband visited his mistress in Austria and the adultery could no longer be hidden.

His mistress is a musician, God TV has been quiet about how long Alec’s adultery had been going on. Rory Alec apparently resigned (for now) September 29th. The announcement was made today. He has already been removed (for now) from the God TV website. God TV watchers say a lot more will be coming out in the days ahead.

God TV was started in  the UK in 1995 and entered the North American market in 2006.
prior post - God TV, not quite in the poor house

Justin Hughes mentions a production company has been looking into God TV. Over at The Governmental Goals of God TV (a God TV watch blog) the comment below was left. It’s fair to conclude  this current ‘moral failure’  would have remained hidden if bloggers and vidbloggers and others weren’t asking questions.


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