Top of the Week: BREAKING: Voice of Evangelism Board Stands With Perry Stone Against Continued Allegations of Misconduct

(Facebook/Perry Stone Ministries)
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BREAKING: Voice of Evangelism Board Stands With Perry Stone Against Continued Allegations of Misconduct

Perry Stone remains the subject of controversy, but the board of his Voice of Evangelism/Perry Stone Ministries has taken a clear stand in favor of the beleaguered evangelist through the release of a statement of support. This statement comes in response to a March 31 article in the Chattanooga Times Free Press, which claims the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is "looking into" Stone and "has interviewed at least five people who claim to be victims or who are connected to Stone's ministry" regarding allegations of sexual harassment and assault.

In August 2020, Stone was placed on a mandatory "sabbatical for rest and restoration," citing serious health concerns "related to spiritual and physical burnout" including dangerously high blood pressure, as reported by Charisma News. At the time, VOE media relations spokesperson John Rodriguez also said "a couple" employees at VOE had met with the board to address concerns of "inappropriate words and actions" on Stone's part.

Late last year, the Times Free Press reported additional allegations of misconduct against Stone, including a claim that the FBI was investigating his ministry. The VOE board issued a statement reported by Charisma News at that time. "There is nothing new to report," the board said. "The story reported by the Chattanooga Times Free Press is lacking in true journalistic substance, and most of all the sources were offered and granted anonymity, allowing the story to be sensationalized. The VOE board stands firm in its decisions and will continue to operate in true biblical godly integrity."

Dominoes Continue to Fall as Hillsong Phoenix Announces Its Separation From Global Denomination

The dominoes in the Hillsong Church saga continue to fall. Days after co-founder Brian Houston resigned as Hillsong senior pastor, Hillsong Phoenix Senior Pastor Terry Crist announced Sunday that he and his congregation were pulling out of the Hillsong denomination. The timeline has yet to be determined.

In speaking to his congregation, Crist says there were several reasons why it became apparent that Hillsong Phoenix, located in Mesa, Arizona, could no longer be a part of Hillsong Church's global family.

Over the past year, Hillsong global has seen a great deal of scandal rock the church, including Houston's resignation amidst sexual allegations as well as sexual allegations brought in 2020 against former New York City Hillsong senior pastor Carl Lentz. Last week, Hillsong Atlanta senior pastor Sam Collier announced his resignation from his post—but with no similar claims against him. Collier, 33, launched Hillsong Atlanta less than a year ago and became the global megachurch's first Black senior pastor.

'Saying Yes to the Spirit'? Vineyard Anaheim, Flagship of Vineyard Movement, Leaves Denomination

Editor's Note: Charisma News reached out to both Vineyard Anaheim and Vineyard USA; this story has been updated with a statement from Vineyard USA National Director Jay Pathak.

Anaheim (California) Vineyard began as a house church under the leadership of John Wimber and became the flagship of a denomination, the Association of Vineyard Churches, that has grown to include more than 2,500 churches on six continents with more than 500 in the U.S. Despite concerns raised by Vineyard USA, on Sunday, March 20, the church and its senior pastors, Alan and Kathryn Scott, announced in a "Family Update" from the church board and at its Sunday services that it is officially disassociating from the denomination.

Pointing out that Wimber's vision included the idea that each local church be self-financing and self-governing, Vineyard Anaheim's statement says its decision came in response to "the invitation and direction of the Spirit" (through scripture, counsel, prophecy, evidence of grace, and circumstance)" and that the church decided to "do what we have always done: take another step of faith and risk."

The board's statement goes on to note that, although the church is leaving the Vineyard movement, "We wish to clarify that this is not a rejection of Vineyard values, theology or praxis, but our best effort to respond to the distinct calling on our church at this time, and a desire to say yes to the Spirit." The board adds that "God has called Vineyard Anaheim to follow beyond denominational lines before and each time we have done so, He has met us in ways that have contributed to the blessing of the wider body of Christ."

Walt Disney's Grand Vision Succumbs to Global Nightmare

Many years ago, the late Walt Disney so succinctly captured the purpose behind his work, the cornerstone that inspired everything he touched, from film to animation to theme parks on both sides of the country. He said, "That's what we storytellers do. We restore order with imagination. We instill hope again and again and again."

And that is exactly what he did: Disney taught generations of Americans profound moral lessons. He gave them fantastical escapes from the hardships of reality and the doldrums of daily life. And all of it, as he famously said, "started with a mouse."

Somewhere along the way, though, that hopeful imagination has been lost. No longer is the fantasy Walt Disney described "restoring order." Nowadays, it seems, it's sowing disorder.

Archeologists Claim They've Discovered Tablet With Possible Link to Joshua's Altar

Experts from the Associates for Biblical Research say they have deciphered an ancient curse from a lead tablet found during excavations on Mt. Ebal, the site believed to be where Joshua built an altar to the Lord.

Archaeologist Scott Stripling and an ABR team found the tablet in December 2019. They discovered it in discarded material taken from excavations conducted by Israeli archaeologist Adam Zertal on Mt. Ebal, located in Judea and Samaria near the Palestinian city of Nablus. Zertal is believed to have found Joshua's altar after spending much of the late 1980s digging on the mountain.

According to ABR, the tablet is inscribed with 40 ancient Hebrew letters and is "centuries older than any known Hebrew inscription from ancient Israel."

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