News24

Pastor's missionary simulation goes wrong

2012-11-16 13:00

Harrisburg — A central Pennsylvania church and its youth pastor have pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from a mock kidnapping of a youth group that was meant to be a lesson in religious persecution.

Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church in Lower Swatara Township and Andrew David Jordan, aged 28, of Elizabethtown, waived an appearance on Thursday at a formal arraignment in Dauphin County Court on charges of false imprisonment and simple assault, WHTM-TV reported.

Prosecutors say the half-hour ordeal in March included interrogation and staged torture using power tools.

They said masked congregation members bound the teens, placed pillowcases over their heads and drove them in a van to the parsonage on the church grounds, where the men pretended to torture Jordan.

Prosecutors said some children knew of the staged event in advance, but others who weren't members of the church didn't know it was a simulation.

One of the visiting children, a 14-year-old girl, told authorities she received a cut to her lip and bruises to her legs and feared she would be raped during the exercise, according to court documents. Her mother filed a complaint with police, prompting the investigation.

Glad Tidings pastor John Lanza said in March that the church was "so saddened" that anyone had been traumatised during the event but added that other youth from the church sent e-mails of support.

Lanza said at the time that the goal of the exercise was to prepare the youth for what they might encounter as missionaries in foreign countries. He didn't disclose the names of those involved but said the mock kidnappers included an off-duty police officer and a retired Army captain.

Comments
  • customdesign - 2012-11-16 13:18

    fail

  • crracker.crackerr - 2012-11-16 13:28

    God really does work in mysterious ways. And gets his own in shyte.

  • delish7564 - 2012-11-16 13:37

    Not sure how any sane person, let alone a pastor, could justify doing this!

      JManAtheoi - 2012-11-16 14:13

      Let alone a pastor? They're the worst....as you can see.

  • Ntutu Dlova - 2012-11-16 13:46

    WTF..? We all know now where to get soldiers for hire or spies

  • eddy.deepfield - 2012-11-16 14:06

    Christians do many daft things it part of the baggage that comes with conversion to Christ. Separate oneself from the pleasures of the world and the world system, not yearn for the onions, leaks and garlic you had in Egypt. Walk in the will of God as revealed in the King James Bible. This is wrong, that is wrong, he is wrong, they are wrong, don’t do this, don’t do that and so it goes on and on. They are of the devil. Suffer sickness, pain and upheaval as God’s will for my life, as he is purifying me with fire to make me an object of his desire. After all, who are you, but a clay pot in the hands of a potter who can do whatever he wants with you. What happened to free choice? More like a puppet on a string. His ways are not our ways. No one can understand God for he is “spiritual” and we are “carnal” according to Paul. He also tells us that we see through a glass darkly but one day we will see clearly. Everything is a mystery and it needs to be revealed to us like it was to him. If any one does not follow his gospel (Paul) and build on his foundation he is cursed to damnation. Gal1:8,his usually happens within the confines of one’s own denomination, sect or faction. These then believe that their views, doctrines and opinions on Christianity, are the right one and that all other denominations and religions/doctrines/teachings are wrong.

  • eddy.deepfield - 2012-11-16 14:09

    contd - You become convinced that: Reason and science which contradicts the Bible is a lie and is of the devil. You have to swallow obvious lies from con men like creationist Kent Hovind and others who believe the earth is only six thousand years old. He states that fossils which have been proven to be hundreds of millions of years old were planted by God or the Devil and that the Bible is to be taken literally as the inerrant word of God. So as a “man of God”, you: Deny earth’s history, world history, fossil evidence, evolutionary evidence and you raise your children as Christians and teach them the Bible analogies, myths, types shadows and fables that you believe really happened. You are in a state of delusion brought about by the brain washing effect of the doctrines you have been digesting in your Church. You reject all rational arguments against your faith-based conclusions with arrogance and misplaced confidence as if you know it all. You reject honest, unbiased specialised scientists / professors / theologians who have studied and experimented and lectured their whole lives and you believe that they have got it wrong. You are in denial (wilfully ignorant) of scientific discoveries that contradict the Bible and display your ignorance with pride as if it were a badge, or medal of honour for all to see.

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