Monday, October 09, 2006

Preacher says GOP delaying 2nd coming

Monday, October 09, 2006
Becky Gaylord
Plain Dealer Reporter

Voters should oust congressional Republican leaders because U.S. foreign policy is delaying the second coming of Jesus Christ, according to a evangelical preacher trying to influence closely contested political races.

K.A. Paul railed against the war in Iraq on Sunday before a crowd of 1,000 at the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights, his first stop on what he hopes is a 30-city campaign.

The Houston-based preacher said he believes that the Bush administration has delayed the second coming because U.S. foreign policy has blocked Christian missionaries from working in Iraq, Iran and Syria.

"Somebody needs to say enough is enough," he said to worshippers who stood, waved and called out in support.

At just over 5 feet tall, the charismatic man in a beige three-piece suit trimmed with sparkles is the latest - and perhaps the most flamboyant - voice in the debate this fall over religion and politics in Ohio.

Ohio Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell has rallied many of the state's religious conservatives. His Democratic opponent, Ted Strickland, is an ordained minister. And a group of clergy members formed We Believe Ohio to counter what they consider threats to the separation of church and state.

Paul, who claimed to support conservative political leaders in the past, is launching "a crusade to save America from the wrath of God and Republicans abusing their power," according to his press materials.

His focus on Sunday was on national races, and he didn't single out any Ohio candidates.

"God is mad at this country," Paul told the congregation. He described the war in Iraq as "unnecessary genocide."

But his own tactics have also drawn criticism. Paul runs a group called Global Peace Initiative, based in Houston, and a ministry outgrowth called Gospel to the Unreached Millions.

Critics accuse the group of sinking cash into refurbishing and operating a Boeing 747 he calls Global Peace One.

"Paul flies around the globe using Jesus to pull in worldwide donations - unfortunately spending more money on jet fuel than orphans," according to a June article in the weekly Houston Press.

The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, a peer review group whose focus is to monitor charitable, religious and other nonprofit groups, severed its ties with the Gospel to the Unreached Millions last year when the group failed to provide information about its board of directors and the use of its resources.

It's also unclear how far this tour will go. Paul on Sunday didn't have a firm list of the cities he'll visit before Nov. 7.

The FAKE church needs to shut up

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