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This is a follow up story to an earlier one that sadly occurs all too often.
‘MACON, Ga. — A Georgia man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty in February to sexually assaulting a girl while a missionary in Uganda.
U.S. District Judge Marc. T. Treadwell sentenced Eric Tuininga, 45, of Milledgeville last week. He was ordered to pay $20,000 in restitution and spend a lifetime on supervised release as a registered sex offender after getting out of prison.
Tuininga previously working as a minister at Immanuel’s Reformed Church in Salem.
Prosecutors have said that an American citizen had contacted the U.S. embassy in Kampala, Uganda, in June 2019 to tell officials that Tuininga was having sex with Ugandan girls as young as 14 who were under the care of the U.S.-based Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Mbale, Uganda.
Tuininga was one of the church’s ministers. Authorities said they found Tuininga had already returned to the United States, but federal agents identified the minor and kept investigating. Tuininga admitted to the conduct, with prosecutors saying he told them that the victim would often visit the church property in Mbale.
The recommended sentence for Tuininga was seven to nine years, The Telegraph of Macon reported. But Treadwell sentenced him to a decade in federal prison after hearing testimony from the victim’s caretaker and some of Tuininga’s family members. Tuininga’s defense attorney had objected to some of the evidence at sentencing and requested a sentence of five years.
“I want to recognize the true bravery displayed by the Ugandan girl for speaking out when she was assaulted by a trusted person of power from another country, courageously seeking justice across continents,” U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary said in a statement. “Law enforcement — both abroad and here at home — took on a challenging international case.”
Mark Bube, general secretary of the denomination’s committee of foreign missions, has said Tuininga’s misconduct was reported by other Orthodox Presbyterian missionaries in Uganda and that he was removed from missionary work in 2019. Bube said Tuininga was later removed entirely from ministry and excommunicated from the church based in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania.
Tuininga joined the church from a separate but affiliated denomination in Oregon. A website chronicling Tuininga’s work in Uganda said he began working there in 2012 after working at Immanuel’s Reformed Church in Salem.’https://www.yahoo.com/news/former-salem-minister-gets-10-173910997.html
May these two videos be a blessing to you as they were to me!
To the church at Rome (NOT the Roman Catholic Church) Paul wrote I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service Romans 12:1. Sadly, in this day of mega-churches and easy beliefism that word “holy” is so often neglected either on purpose or ignorance of true Biblical Christianity. It will be interesting to see how much different the following new “church” will be different from the Hillsong group and if it will be a place of carnal worldly entertainment or true Biblical HOLINESS!
‘On his final Sunday as pastor of Hillsong Atlanta, Sam Collier reflected on the crucial role justice, trust and safety play in the health and growth of a church and expressed his confidence in God’s sovereignty as he prepares for the next season of ministry.
“We are living in a new generation. And this generation is focused on justice, on calling out what’s right and what’s wrong, and making sure that we’re living honestly in all of our actions, while in the previous generation, we handled a lot of these ills behind the scenes,” the 33-year-old pastor told The Christian Post.
“Now more than ever, one of the things that the Church can learn is, it’s important to let people know that they can be safe. It’s just so paramount. Justice, safety, trust matters more than anything. People used to assume trust as soon as they came into the church. Now, people are saying, ‘Prove it to me.’”
Collier understands firsthand what it means to be tasked with rebuilding trust in the face of ministry scandals. On Wednesday, Collier, the first-ever African American lead pastor of a Hillsong church, announced he would be stepping down from his position as controversy continues to swirl around the global church and its founder, Brian Houston.
“With all of the documentaries, scandals, articles, accusations and the church’s subsequent management of these attacks it’s become too difficult to lead and grow a young Church in this environment,” he wrote in a public statement.
And after a brief sabbatical, during which Collier and his wife, Toni, plan to reset and rest, the couple and their ministry team will launch a new church, Story Church, on Easter Sunday 2022.
But the pastor acknowledges that rebuilding in the current climate will come with challenges.
“Transitioning into Story Church, so many people have questioned, ‘Well, we hear what happened over here, but what’s going to make you different? What policies are you putting in place?’” the pastor said. “We’re imperfect; somebody is going to make a mistake. But when somebody makes a mistake, what are we going to do to reassure members and congregants that they can trust us with their lives and their investment?”
Ahead of Story Church’s opening, Collier and his leadership team are partnering with a team of experts, including a chief culture officer and fellow pastors, to “really go deep on how we can guarantee that safety.” And like Hillsong Atlanta, Story Church will be focused on racial reconciliation and modeling unity amid division.
“Racial reconciliation is our number one reason for existing besides salvation,” Collier, who is also an author and founder of A Greater Story Ministries, contended.
“There are so many churches within Atlanta; Atlanta doesn’t need another church. But what we believe is that Atlanta needs a church that is focused on uniting our world. In such a polarizing climate, no matter how you vote, no matter how you look, no matter where you come from, there should be a safe place for believers, for believers to gather under one name, and that’s Jesus.”
“We can work out our differences,” he added. “I believe if we all come to the table and become unified about being unified, we can change the world.”
This time, Collier is looking forward to shepherding a young church without the shadow cast by the scandals that have plagued Hillsong over the last two years.
Speaking before hundreds gathered for an emotional final Sunday service, the pastor reflected on the moment in 2020 that Brian Houston and his wife, Bobbi, told the Colliers they’d be launching Hillsong Atlanta in early 2021.
“We were in,” he said, reflecting on the excitement that came with being affiliated with one of the world’s most well-known churches and the opportunity to realize their vision of a unified church focused on racial reconciliation.
“We would be announced as the first-ever African American couple to lead a Hillsong Church. We were excited to be the Jackie Robinson of the situation.”
But shortly after Hillsong Atlanta was announced, over the next few weeks, Collier estimated “there was probably an article every single week” about a scandal surrounding a Hillsong Church or its leadership.
In December 2020, Carl Lentz, the famed leader of Hillsong Church in New York City, was fired over “leadership issues” and moral failures, including being unfaithful to his wife.
In early 2021, it was revealed that former Hillsong Dallas Lead Pastor Reed Bogard and his wife, Jess, were under investigation for leadership failures when they abruptly resigned in January of that year.
Later that year, Darnell Barrett, who served on the leadership of the church’s Montclair, New Jersey, branch resigned after sending a sexual photo to a church volunteer. Around this time, Hillsong leadership was made aware that documentaries about the church were going to be released.
But amid all the headlines and negative media attention surrounding the church, which has about 80 branches in 21 countries, Collier said he sought to faithfully lead his young congregation.
“I said, ‘Well, God, if I want to ever leave, what’s the sign?’” he recalled. “God said to me, ‘The moment you begin to lose trust, and you cannot continue the growth or the expansion of the vision is the moment that you should leave.”
In August 2021, Brian Houston, who founded the church in 1983, was accused of covering up his father’s crimes against underage boys, and criminal charges were brought against him in Australia. Though he denied the allegations, the charges led Houston to step down as Hillsong’s Global Pastor in January.
At that time, Collier said, Hillsong Atlanta leadership “started to notice that there was a shift that started to happen in our ministry,” adding: “People started to become more and more skeptical of not just the global church, but our church.”
During this time, the pastor said donors, members, and even Hillsong Atlanta staff would tell him, “This is not what we came to church for. We didn’t come to church to continuously go through scandal after scandal after scandal. We’re not sure we can trust this.”
“In that moment, the Holy Spirit reminded me, ‘I told you, the moment you can no longer continue to build the ministry because of the scandal, because of the mistrust, is the moment for you to go,'” he shared.
On Monday, March 21, Collier formally informed Hillsong of his resignation. Two days later, Houston formally resigned as global senior pastor in the wake of recent revelations that two women made serious complaints of misconduct against him in the last 10 years. Collier publicly announced his resignation hours later.
“Between Monday and Wednesday, things did speed up. And why did they speed up? Because, as a global church, we entered into crisis mode,” Collier said. “There’s one goal for me as a pastor, and that’s that you will be able to trust the church you attend and that you will feel safe. And that’s my decision.”
Though the Colliers are leaving Hillsong entirely, the pastor stressed that the global churches “are not our enemies.” He shared a brief video of Phil Dooley — who has taken over for Houston — giving Collier the church’s blessing.
“Hillsong Church is so excited that we’re continuing,” Collier said, adding that he and Dooley “speak almost every day.”
Story Church, he said, will remain in the same location as Hillsong Atlanta, with the same worship team, and likely, the majority of the congregation.
“Same people, same goodness, new name,” the pastor said. “There is a multicultural movement being birthed here. We want you to be a part.”
Collier knows there’s work to do ahead of him — but he expressed repeated confidence in God’s sovereignty over the future of Story Church. He added that coincidentally, the end of Hillsong Atlanta comes a symbolic nine months after its launch.
“Hillsong has been the ground on which the seed is planted,” he said. “[God] does nothing on accident. He used that incubation period to birth somebody new … I believe God for the new.”’https://www.christianpost.com/news/sam-collier-says-trust-plays-crucial-role-in-health-of-church.html
The fruit of Hillsong is evidence that Hillsong was and is not good ground upon which the seed of the Gospel may be planted!
James 2:7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
‘A German Bible museum has caused offense around the world by hosting a play that portrays Jesus, the Son of God, as transgender. In addition, the Biblehaus in Frankfurt has set up an LGBT exhibit falsely claiming the Bible endorses “diversity of gender.”
“The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven,” written by the English transgender author Jo Clifford, was performed on the 15th December.
First performed in Glasgow in 2009, the queen of heaven play involves “Biblical stories” being “reimagined by a transgender Jesus.”
Clifford, who identifies as a trans woman, explained the origin of the play in a 2019 interview.
“I had been brought up as a Christian and taught that when you’re unsure of what to do, you should try to think, ‘What would Jesus do?’ I thought, ‘Well, what would Jesus do if Jesus came back to earth now and was me, a trans woman? What would she do and what would she say?’ That was the origin of the play,” Clifford said.
The contradictory presentation of Jesus has been met with sharp criticism.
“The idea that there is a LGBTQ theme in the Bible is a lie,” Franklin Graham, son of the late global evangelist Billy Graham, said. “When homosexuality is mentioned in the Bible, it is sin—rebellion against God and associated with His judgment.”
“Any suggestion that Jesus Christ is transgender is not only false, it’s just sick,” Graham added. “This is simply man trying to bring God down to his own level.”
“Fortunately, we don’t have to wonder who Jesus Christ is because God tells us Himself in the Bible,” the evangelist added. “When God sent His Son on a rescue mission to earth to save us from our sins, He chose to come to us as a man, Jesus Christ.”
Spokeswoman for Binary, Kirralie Smith, said the play is an attention seeking stunt designed to offend Christians.
“Jesus is a man. Archaeological evidence and literature support the fact he is a historical figure. The scriptures declare he is male,” she said.
“An activist claiming Jesus is transgender is an offensive stunt aimed at triggering believers.
“It exposes the extremism and true nature of the trans agenda. It is simply another deception in a long line of reality-denying claims that undergird this political ideology.”’https://www.binary.org.au/jesus_is_not_transgender
Communist/Marxists have pretty much taken over the media, schools and now the Government with Biden/Harris leading the band. If something doesn’t change at the next election America is done! Personally, that change must begin in the heart. God and the Bible have been tossed on the scrap heap but the Creator sees all things just as He did in Genesis 6 before He sent the flood. The Creator sees the wickedness of man but He is longsuffering that all men should come to repentance. The real answer isn’t at the ballot box but at the altar of the heart.