Daily Archives: December 1, 2018

EChurch@Wartburg 12/1/18 | The Wartburg Watch 2018

Christmas Prayer by St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)

Let Your goodness Lord appear to us, that we
made in your image, conform ourselves to it.
In our own strength
we cannot imitate Your majesty, power, and wonder
nor is it fitting for us to try.
But Your mercy reaches from the heavens
through the clouds to the earth below.
You have come to us as a small child,
but you have brought us the greatest of all gifts,
the gift of eternal love
Caress us with Your tiny hands,
embrace us with Your tiny arms
and pierce our hearts with Your soft, sweet cries.
Amen

A thousand people came together to record this lovely song, “Gloria”

Nativity Prayer by St. Augustine of Hippo, (AD 354-440)

Let the just rejoice,
for their justifier is born.
Let the sick and infirm rejoice,
For their saviour is born.
Let the captives rejoice,
For their Redeemer is born.
Let slaves rejoice,
for their Master is born.
Let free men rejoice,
For their Liberator is born.
Let All Christians rejoice,
For Jesus Christ is born.
Amen

This is a Christmas favorite picked by TWW readers. Unless you are a awesome singer (I’m not), this is one to enjoy by listening.

Scripture: Luke 1:26-38 NIV

I love this account which records the words of Mary, a woman, in Scripture. I must say she managed all of this with great composure and faith. God chose a woman to bring forth the greatest gift for all men and women.

 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Do you know who Jeff VanVonderen is? He is one of the two authors of the book I always recommend on spiritual abuse. The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse: Recognizing and Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and False Spiritual Authority Within the Church. He was a guest preacher at Emmanuel Enid and I didn’t want our readers to miss out on this.

We live in a world that promotes, even idolizes individual performance. Even we Christians often use our performance and other people’s assessments of our performance to measure our personal worth and identity, but what the gospel teaches is completely different. The gospel says, “You can’t do anything, and don’t need to do anything to earn it. It’s a gift.” This doesn’t make sense in our world, but this is the “foolishness of the gospel that makes foolish the wisdom of the world.” It truly is too-good-to-be-true, but it is! link

https://player.vimeo.com/video/301490734?title=0&portrait=0

Jeff VanVonderen: Too Good To Be True from Emmanuel Enid on Vimeo.

You may want to stand up and dance to this version by Pentatonix.

Christmas Benediction link

Let us go from this place proclaiming that we have seen the glory of God
Believing that there is a light that shines in the darkness
Which the darkness shall not overcome
And may the love of the Creator
The joy of the Spirit
And the peace of the Christ-child
Be with you this Christmas, and evermore
Amen.

via EChurch@Wartburg 12/1/18 —

DECEMBER 1 GOD’S DESIRE

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

—Genesis 1:27

I believe there is good sound reasoning back of all this. I believe that He created man out of no external necessity. I believe it was an internal necessity. God, being the God He was and is, and being infinitely perfect and infinitely beautiful and infinitely glorious and infinitely admirable and infinitely loving, out of His own inward necessity had to have some creature that was capable of admiring Him and loving Him and knowing Him. So God made man in His own image; in the image and likeness of God made He him; and He made him as near to being like Himself as it was possible for the creature to be like the Creator. The most godlike thing in the universe is the soul of man.

The reason God made man in His image was that he might appreciate God and admire and adore and worship; so that God might not be a picture, so to speak, hanging in a gallery with nobody looking at Him. He might not be a flower that no one could smell; He might not be a star that no one could see. God made somebody to smell that flower, the lily of the valley. He wanted someone to see that glorious image. He wanted someone to see the star, so He made us and in making us made us to worship Him. WMJ003

Lord, I can’t completely comprehend how or why You created me in Your image, as much like You as a creature could be. But I’ll respond today with admiration for Your creation and with worship for my Creator. Amen. [1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

Saturday Sampler: November 25 — December 1 — The Outspoken TULIP

Maybe Mike Ratliff doesn’t say anything remarkably novel in his blog post, Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? for Possessing the Treasure, but his point really can’t be overstated. Current trends in evangelicalism must never eclipse the authority of the Bible.

Be honest: reading the Bible every day can get tiring. Thankfully, Ryan Higginbottom of  Knowable Word thinks of several ways that Reading the Bible for the Ten Thousandth Time can regain its freshness.

In response to the latest ridiculous Twitter pronouncement by Rachel Held Evans, Nick Batzig posts Jesus and Racial Bias in Reformation 21. I like the way Nick appeals to normative hermeneutics in order to demonstrate proper understanding of a Scriptural text.

A friend whom I highly respect has raised legitimate questions about the methods John Chau used in his evangelistic efforts to minister to an unreached tribe off the coast of India. Although I don’t wish to dismiss her concerns, Jordan Standridge’s 10 Lessons From The Death of John Chau makes extremely important points that all Christians absolutely must consider. You’ll find his article in The Cripplegate.

Check out Parking Space 23 for John Chester’s Reprise: So You Think You Are a Red Letter Christian? Even those of us who claim to believe the entire Bible has uniform authority might find his article to be a little convicting.

I appreciate the thoughtfully written John Allen Chau’s death stuns, angers, and perplexes the world, which Elizabeth Prata posts on The End Time. She evaluates the situation honestly, doing her best to cover all angles of the story. I especially love the hope she expresses as she closes this essay.

Leslie A insists that There’s More to Christianity Than Doing Good Works in an article for Growing 4 Life. Beginning with her brother’s interesting observation on the inoffensive nature of social justice, she discusses the mission we have as Christians — including the ramifications of carrying out that mission.

Think Catholicism has more in common with Protestant denominations than differences? Pope Francis would have you think so! Leonardo De Chirico of The Vatican Files chronicles the pope’s life-long devotion to Mary in 156. She is My Mamá — Pope Francis and Mary to show that the pontiff refuses to separate Christ from Mary.

via Saturday Sampler: November 25 — December 1 — The Outspoken TULIP

December 1 The Measure of Spiritual Maturity

In this I rejoice, yes; and will rejoice.

Philippians 1:18

A believer’s spiritual maturity can be measured by what it takes to steal his joy. Joy is a fruit of a Spirit–controlled life (Gal. 5:22). We are to rejoice always (Phil. 4:4; 1 Thess. 5:16). In all circumstances the Holy Spirit produces joy, so there ought not to be any time when we are not rejoicing in some way.

Change, confusion, trials, attacks, unmet desires, conflict, and strained relationships can throw us off balance and rob us of our joy if we’re not careful. It’s then we should cry out like the psalmist, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation” (Ps. 51:12).

Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33), and the apostle James said, “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials” (James 1:2). God has His own profound purpose in our afflictions, but He never takes away our joy. To maintain our joy we must adopt God’s perspective regarding our trials. When we yield to the working of His Spirit in our lives, our difficulties will not overwhelm us.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 362). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

Russian Foreign Ministry on Syria, Ukraine and Britain

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Years of diplomatic conflict resolution efforts in Syria produced no breakthroughs. Washington and its imperial partners want endless war and regime change, not peace.

The latest Astana round was no more successful than earlier ones, despite Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova (MZ below) putting on a brave face about it.

Two-and-a-half months after Turkey agreed with Russia on establishing a demilitarized zone in Idlib province, Erdogan continues supporting terrorists he swore to oppose.

His forces illegally occupy northern Syrian territory along Turkey’s border, wanting it annexed, ignoring calls by Damascus to cease aggression in the country. He’s a key reason why conflict resolution remains unattainable.

Days earlier, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on US-supported al-Nusra terrorists firing mortar rounds with toxic chlorine at Aleppo civilians, over 100 harmed, including women and children.

MZ explained that Russia “repeatedly warned that the terrorists were preparing to stage chemical weapons provocations in Idlib, including provocations involving the so-called White Helmets.”

“In the past, their efforts were aimed at provoking the US-led coalition into launching all-out strikes against Syrian government forces. And now, as we see it, their goal is different.”

“They want to thwart the implementation of the Russian-Turkish memorandum, to disrupt cooperation in the Astana format, including between Russia and Turkey.”

They’re US proxy foot soldiers, MZ failed to explain, serving its imperial interests. Washington and its allies want Damascus blamed for crimes committed by jihadists against Syrian civilians.

The Obama regime and now Trump want war, not peace. MZ came close to explaining it, saying the US she falsely calls Russia’s “partner” has its “own plans for Syria…show(ing) little concern for efforts to achieve a political peace settlement in that country. This is evident from US actions on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River that evoke growing concern in Russia and elsewhere.”

“The US military is basically safeguarding a quasi-state entity, which they established with the help of separatist-minded Kurdish activists in northeastern Syria.”

“Last week, again, they continued to establish US observation posts along the Syrian-Turkish border in the vicinity of Tel Abyad and Ayn Al-Arab (Kobani).”

“It is hard to imagine how these steps show a commitment to Syrian unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity – things that have repeatedly been declared by the United States in international and bilateral documents, and passed with its involvement. In principle, it is impossible to say that these actions conform to international law.”

Hardliners in charge of Washington’s geopolitical agenda are the mortal enemy of world peace, stability, Russia, China, Iran, and other sovereign independent countries.

Following Obama’s February 2014 coup in Ukraine, Nazi-infested putschists replaced democratic governance. The US colonized the country, gaining another imperial trophy, installing the puppet Poroshenko regime in power.

He’s “playing with fire” over the days earlier Black Sea/Kerch Strait incident, said MZ, imposing martial law, threatening Russia.

The ugly scheme was almost surely orchestrated by Trump regime hardliners, likely together with their Russophobic UK counterparts.

It’s part of ongoing Russia bashing, falsely blaming it for all sorts of things unjustifiably, pretexts for imposing illegal sanctions and using other tough tactics, risking eventual East/West confrontation.

MZ: “Under the pretext of standing up to (nonexistent) ‘Russian aggression,’

(Poroshenko) imposed severe restrictions on the main constitutional freedoms of Ukrainian citizens, including a ban on the freedom of speech, the freedom of assembly, and the freedom of movement.”

“Now the Kiev authorities, if they so wish, can make the population surrender just about anything, from personal property to documents.”

“The Ukrainian military and law-enforcers are granted exceptional powers, up to using force without trial or investigation, which in itself is a serious threat fraught with the civil conflict spreading to the rest of the country’s territory.”

“We warn the Western sponsors of the Kiev regime about the extreme danger of President Petro Poroshenko’s artifice. In a desperate attempt to retain power, he is dragging his country into yet another gamble fraught with disastrous consequences for Ukraine itself and European security as a whole.”

Russophobia in Britain rages out-of-control, Theresa May hardliners as ruthless and reckless as their US counterparts.

Her regime’s new chief of general staff general Mark Carleton-Smith called Russia a greater threat to UK national security than ISIS or al-Qaeda. Britain supports these and likeminded jihadists in cahoots with Washington and their imperial partners.

MZ called Carleton-Smith’s remarks “delusion(al) (and) dangerous,” adding: The (US/UK-orchestrated Skripal false flag incident last March falsely blamed on Russia) “is at the forefront of the anti-Russian information campaign unleashed by Great Britain against our country this year.”

“The key questions remain open. Where are the Skripals? What’s going on with them? Are they alive? Are they in the UK? Have they been taken somewhere? What condition are they in? Are they together or have they been separated? Who is working with them?”

The scheme to falsely blame Russia for what happened unravelled months ago, along with most every other incident wrongfully blamed on the Kremlin.

US and UK hardliners are unacceptably tough on Russia. When will Putin respond in kind, giving them a taste of their own medicine – the only language they understand!

Source: Russian Foreign Ministry on Syria, Ukraine and Britain

Worldview and Apologetics in the News for December 1, 2018

Michael Behe’s Darwin Devolves Topples Foundational Claim of Evolutionary Theory

Why Atheists Are Not as Rational as Some Like to Think

Atheist Memes: Would Science Survive Past Christianity?

Was Jim Carrey Right About the Christian Right?

‘God, I Don’t Want to Die’: Friend Explains the True Reason Behind John Allen Chau’s Fatal Trip to Remote Indian Island

‘My Family Found Me Convulsing’: Pastor Jeff Durbin Recounts Horrifying Seizure Ordeal

Archaeological discovery: Stone weight mentioned in Bible found in Jerusalem

Elon Musk thinks humans will have to merge with machines to overcome their ‘existential threat’

The New York Times Reveals Painful Truths about Transgender Lives

Christian Bible teacher with same-sex attraction releases new book on ‘Holy Sexuality,’ witnessing to LGBT community

Ring of Roman Governor Pontius Pilate Who Crucified Jesus Found in Herodion Site in West Bank

Science vs. Darwinism

Two More Women Accuse Neil deGrasse Tyson of Sexual Misconduct

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

You can find our last edition here.

Source: Worldview and Apologetics in the News

Trump hints at the scandal about to blow

There is big news ahead, and President Trump teased it yesterday from Argentina via Twitter.  Politics has become a game of narratives, something well understood by both President Trump and his enemies in the media-Democrat establishment.  For more than two years, the professionals of the cultural and media establishment have worked assiduously to create an objectively false narrative, with no evidence whatsoever, that Vladimir Putin actually changed the count of votes to hand Trump the presidency, making his victory illegitimate.  Most Democrats actually believe this now and have in earlier polls as well.

But as I keep reminding our readers, President Trump was the most successful reality television producer in the history of the medium, and he understands a story arc well, as events that can be programmed unfold.  That must be kept in mind in understanding this enigmatic tweet that came from the president half a world away, in Argentina for meetings with the leaders of the 20 biggest economies in the world.

Watch @seanhannity on @FoxNews NOW. Enjoy!

Here is the short (barely over a minute) segment on Hannity last night to which the president referred:

John Solomon has a smile on his face as he reveals that two prosecutors working for John Huber, the Salt Lake City U.S. attorney tasked by then-A.G. Sessions with investigating corruption beyond what the Mueller team is handling, “reached out” to a whistleblower from the Clinton Foundation.


Fox News Channel screen grab via YouTube.

The Clinton Foundation scandal is, as President Trump would say, yuuuuge.  I am told by a knowledgeable source that the official that John Solomon cites “knows where the bodies are buried.”

Of course, the news that another whistleblower who came forward with information and documents on the Uranium One scandal, Dennis Nathan Cain, was raided by a team of FBI agents who spent six hours rummaging through his home raises some alarming possibilities.  Sundance of Conservative Tree House comments:

If the reporting of the raid by the Daily Caller is accurate; and given the nature of the timing for that raid; and accepting the at risk elements within the whistleblower case extended beyond Hillary Clinton to Robert Mueller; and noting how the SSCI was the recipient of the information/evidence as transmitted by Michael Horowitz; there is a solid appearance of the DOJ maneuvering to cover-up the underlying DOJ/FBI corruption by seizing -and controlling- all of the evidence.

[Additionally, in the background are the fingerprints of the self-serving quid-pro-quo between DOJ and SSCI] Just sayin’…

If that apparent cover-up perspective is accurate, then so too is THIS.

A cover-up just seems so implausible, because the activity is just so brutally obvious.

How is this level of blatant disregard possible?  Seriously, I really don’t know.  Perhaps these DOJ and FBI officials are genuinely inside a bubble and don’t know the level of information that exists outside DC…. or, maybe they just feel so above the law they simply don’t care.  I don’t understand it either; but it’s happening – regardless.

The expression “high drama” is inadequate to express the nature of the infighting underway, mostly hidden from the public, but occasionally visible through public events and releases.  The revelations set to come next week may open a new chapter in the story arc of Trump versus the bipartisan establishment.

Correction: The Huber team assistant U.S. attorneys reached out to the whistleblower, not vice versa, as erroneously reported at first.

Source: Trump hints at the scandal about to blow

Weekend Snapshot — Top Stories This Week for 12/01/2018

An ‘Independent Judiciary’ Reality Check

Chief Justice John Roberts’s assertion that we have an “independent judiciary” lacks credibility.

The MSM’s ‘Collusion’ Reality TV Show

Does Michael Cohen’s lying prove Trump colluded with Russia? Not even close.

Leftmedia Peddles Fake News on Migrant Mob

An image is worth a thousand words — especially to evoke a desired emotional response.

Declining U.S. Life Expectancy Reflects Cultural Depravity

“We are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable.”

Social Media-itis

Decreasing social media usage can reduce feelings of depression and loneliness.

The Second Class Second Amendment?

It’s past time for the Supreme Court to stop side-stepping any and all questions about gun rights.

What to Make of the Latest Dire Climate Report

The Fourth National Climate Assessment blames humans for destruction ahead.

So What Is the ‘First Step’?

The Senate can make a real difference with some significant reforms to criminal justice.

Democrats Outraged at Betrayal by Black Men, White Women

The party is still practically trying to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act.

New Study Proves Myth of Gender ‘Wage’ Gap

Yet the MSM ignores the fact that personal choice is the leading cause of the gap.

Ukraine: Red Storm Rising … Again

Putin’s renewed aggression is a familiar pattern of his bolstering support at home.

‘1984’ — on Steroids

Privacy is dead. It’s death is best described as a homicide committed by tech titans.

The Many Factors Driving GM’s Cuts

The bailed-out company is encumbered by union costs and products people don’t want.

White Leftists Dumb Down Language for Minorities

Researchers find a “competence downshift” based upon biased assumptions about minorities.

Quote Of The Week

“If I tried to run past a Chinese border patrol agent and got myself pepper sprayed in the process (or worse), would anyone in the world feel sorry for me? Or would they all blame me for being so dumb and reckless as to attempt to bum-rush the Chinese border?” —Matt Walsh

Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 12/01/2018

‘Good Morning America’ Promotes 11-Year-Old Drag Child ‘Desmond Is Amazing’   Nov 24, 2018 05:31 pm

NEW YORK — ABC’s television show “Good Morning America” recently featured an 11-year-old “drag kid,” applauding the child as “inspiring” and with an “amazing story.” Some viewers are disappointed with the show’s endorsement and have expressed concern about the ramifications of allowing little boys to dress like girls for fun. Desmond Napoles, who goes by the…

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Hillsong UK Removes London Carols Promo Video Depicting Wise Men Visiting Baby Jesus in Tavern   Nov 25, 2018 05:39 pm

Event webpage screenshot A Hillsong branch in the United Kingdom has removed from YouTube a promotional video for its annual Christmas musical that depicted the wise men arriving at a Bethlehem inn to see the baby Jesus, and upon entering, finding an environment with much drinking and dancing just feet from the Christ child. The “three kings” video promoted…

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Annual Report Citing America’s ‘Most Sinful Cities’ Released: Vegas, Los Angeles, New York Top List   Nov 27, 2018 01:53 pm

WalletHub has released its annual “Most Sinful Cities in America” report, which ranks American cities by their bad behavior, including lust, greed, laziness, vanity, excesses and vices, jealousy, anger and hatred. Las Vegas, Nevada topped the list again this year, but WalletHub noted that sin infects the entire country. “Las Vegas isn’t the only ‘Sin City’ in…

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Massachusetts Democrats Pass Resolution Claiming Using Religious Views for Public Policy ‘Threatening Entire Planet’   Nov 26, 2018 08:55 am

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Democratic Party has approved a resolution acknowledging nonreligious Americans, also known as “nones,” and stating that those who have used their “religious views to justify public policy” are “threatening not only the United States, but the entire planet.” According to the American Humanist Association (AHA), the resolution was passed…

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Feminists Release Commentaries on Bible Passages to ‘Emancipate’ Women From ‘Lingering Patriarchal Readings’   Nov 28, 2018 10:35 pm

GENEVA — A group of 20 female theologians from around the world have released a book of commentaries about Scriptures that pertain to women in an effort to tackle what they call “the lingering patriarchal readings that have justified numerous restrictions and bans on women.” “Une Bible des Femmes,” or “The Women’s Bible”, was published in October, but just…

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‘Slide, Baby, Slide’: ‘Fellowship’ Celebrates Anniversary With Club-Like Dance Parties, Spins ‘Tootsee Roll,’ ‘Uptown Funk’   Nov 29, 2018 06:00 pm

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Christian-identifying church in Tennessee that is a part of the Acts 29 Network recently celebrated their 15th anniversary with offerings that included revelrous, club-like dance parties as the audience bounced, jumped and swayed to secular hits like 69 Boyz’ “Tootsee Roll” and Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” spun by its young adults pastor—videos…

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Louisiana Pastor’s Wife Dies After Being Run Over in Carjacking; Assailant Still on the Loose   Nov 30, 2018 08:56 pm

NEW ORLEANS, La. — A pastor’s wife in Louisiana was killed this week after a carjacker stole her vehicle and then ran over her as he drove away. “I miss my wife,” David Plessy, who leads Crossover Christian Fellowship in New Orleans, told local television station WWL-TV. “She is the most beautiful, honest, caring, strong, funniest, loveliest person that I’ve…

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Hindu Extremist Mob Tries to Burn Pastor Alive in Odisha State, India   Nov 26, 2018 01:36 pm

HYDERABAD, India (Morning Star News) – Pastor John Lakra was taking his 18-month-old baby to the hospital for emergency treatment in Odisha state, India when hundreds of Hindu extremists surrounded his car. The pastor, his wife and their three children were on the way to the hospital in Sundargarh at about 7 p.m. on Oct. 23 when the mob began hurling stones at…

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Rape Victim Targeted by Abortion Activists for Speaking Out for Life   Nov 26, 2018 11:08 am

(The Christian Institute) — A woman who shared her powerful testimony about being raped and choosing life for her unborn child has been targeted online by abortion activists. Jennifer Christie was raped while on a business trip. She became pregnant in 2014 and gave birth to a son. Despite her traumatic experience, she appeared on a pro-life video, speaking…

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Chinese Unregistered Church Interrupted by Authorities: Video   Nov 24, 2018 11:33 pm

XUZHOU, Jiangsu — A video posted to social media shows Chinese authorities interrupting a church gathering and members trying to reason with police. The incident occurred on Nov. 18 in Xuzhou at an assembly simply known as Xuzhou Church. The short video clip shows a woman singing at a podium while police stand just feet from her. Church members speak to the…

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