California’s city of ash: Shocking pictures show devastation caused by the Carr Fire, which is now larger than Salt Lake City

  • On Friday in Shasta County, the evening sun combined with the still smoky air to produce a milky glow
  • The light illuminated the shattered remains of houses and the skeletons of thousands of charred trees 
  • On Saturday, 3,400 firefighters still battling 48,300-acre Carr Fire which is only three percent contained

These eerie images show the devastation left by wildfires raging through northern California, which have left two firefighters dead and destroyed 500 homes, as officials warned another 5,000 properties are still threatened.

On Friday, the evening sun combined with the smoky air to produce a milky glow, which illuminated the shattered remains of houses and the skeletons of thousands of charred trees.

In the communities scorched by the blaze, the air is thick with the smell of smoke and chemicals, as the so-called Carr Fire continues to move through Shasta County like a freight train.

On Saturday morning, some 3,400 firefighters on the ground and in helicopters continued to battle the 125 miles fire as it ripped through the city of Redding, while blazes continued to rage elsewhere in the state.

In the communities scorched by the blaze, such as Lake Keswick Estates in Redding (pictured), the Friday air was thick with the smell of smoke and chemicals, as the so-called Carr Fire continues to move through Shasta County like a freight train

Two vehicles that endured the Carr Fire, one with minor cosmetic damage and one destroyed, rest among leveled homes in the Lake Keswick Estates area of Redding on Friday evening

Two vehicles that endured the Carr Fire, one with minor cosmetic damage and one destroyed, rest among leveled homes in the Lake Keswick Estates area of Redding on Friday evening

California Highway Patrol officer Gavin Graham surveys homes leveled by the Carr Fire in Lake Keswick Estates on Friday. The fire is still only three percent contained after igniting six days ago

California Highway Patrol officer Gavin Graham surveys homes leveled by the Carr Fire in Lake Keswick Estates on Friday. The fire is still only three percent contained after igniting six days ago

 

The fire, which was just three percent contained after igniting six days ago, has been fed by high temperatures and low humidity, which were expected for at least the next week, said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott.

‘This fire is a long way from done,’ he said.

Gusty winds reaching 60mph have fanned the flames creating ‘firenadoes’, which are strong enough to flip cars ‘like toys, according to fire service spokesman Scott McLean.

The fire began on Monday with a mechanical failure of a vehicle. It grew completely out of control on Thursday, tearing through two small communities and reaching the city of Redding.

Tens of thousands of people fled the city in fear of their lives from the blaze.

In the small northern California community of Keswick, only a handful of homes remain.

The flames so thoroughly ate up homes that it’s difficult to tell how many once stood above the pile of ash and smoking rubble that remains.

Somewhere in there was the home of Shyla and Jason Campbell.

Jason Campbell, a firefighter, was six hours away battling a wildfire burning near Yosemite Valley when the Carr Fire moved in on his home and family.

Shyla Campbell, 32, said it was nearly 2 a.m. Thursday when she got an official alert to evacuate.

‘It’s huge flames, it’s coming up the hill, and everyone’s out and we’re watching it, then it goes down, and everyone’s like, ‘Oh it’s going out,’ ‘ she said. ‘And I’m like, ‘No, it’s going down the mountain and it’s going to come back up the next ridge.’ ‘

She was right.

The family spent the night at a hotel. When Jason Campbell returned from the blaze he was fighting on Friday, he found his own home had gone up in flames, along with an RV and a boat.

Video playing bottom right…
Mark Peterson, who lost his home in the Carr Fire, gives water to goats that survived the blaze on Friday in the city of Redding, California

Mark Peterson, who lost his home in the Carr Fire, gives water to goats that survived the blaze on Friday in the city of Redding, California

Gusty winds reaching 60mph have fanned the flames creating ‘firenadoes’, which are strong enough to flip cars ‘like toys, according to fire service spokesman Scott McLean. Pictured: Leveled homes in the Lake Keswick area on Friday

Gusty winds reaching 60mph have fanned the flames creating ‘firenadoes’, which are strong enough to flip cars ‘like toys, according to fire service spokesman Scott McLean. Pictured: Leveled homes in the Lake Keswick area on Friday

The flames so thoroughly ate up homes in Keswick that it's difficult to tell how many once stood above the pile of ash and smoking rubble that remains

The flames so thoroughly ate up homes in Keswick that it’s difficult to tell how many once stood above the pile of ash and smoking rubble that remains

The fire began on Monday with a mechanical failure of a vehicle. It grew completely out of control on Thursday, tearing through two small communities and reaching the city of Redding, which is pictured on Friday

The fire began on Monday with a mechanical failure of a vehicle. It grew completely out of control on Thursday, tearing through two small communities and reaching the city of Redding, which is pictured on Friday

The Campbells’ home of five years is among at least 500 structures that officials say were destroyed by the fire, which also swept through the historic Gold Rush town of Shasta and hit homes in Redding, a city of 92,000 about 100 miles south of the Oregon border.

‘It’s tough,’ Shyla Campbell said Friday from the city of Shasta Lake. ‘I just have to figure out where we’re going to stay. We’re just trying to stay away from the fire.’

So are about 37,000 people who remain under evacuation orders Friday. Nearly 5,000 homes in the area were being threatened by the 75-square-mile (194-square-kilometer) blaze, which is just five percent contained.

Thousands of people scrambled to escape before the walls of flames descended from forested hills onto their neighborhoods Thursday.

Residents who gathered their belongings in haste described a chaotic and congested getaway as the embers blew up to a mile ahead of flames and the fire leaped across the wide Sacramento River and torched subdivisions in Redding.

Redding police chief Roger Moore was among those who lost their homes, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Greg and Terri Hill evacuated their Redding home of 18 years Thursday night with little more than their medications, photo albums, clothes and firearms, assuming they’d be back in a few days.

But when they returned Friday, virtually nothing was left of their home but fine particles of ash.

The remains were smoldering so hot, they couldn’t get too close to see if anything survived.

‘It’s pretty emotional,’ Terri Hill said. ‘I know it’s just stuff. A lot of memories. But we’ll make new memories and get new stuff. Everybody’s safe.’

A partially burned boat floats on Whiskeytown Lake during the Carr fire near Whiskeytown, California, on Friday, near where to more than 100 homes were burned

A partially burned boat floats on Whiskeytown Lake during the Carr fire near Whiskeytown, California, on Friday, near where to more than 100 homes were burned

There are more fires elsewhere in the state. This photo shows a blaze over Apple Canyon caused by the Cranston Fire near Idyllwild, San Bernardino, on Friday

There are more fires elsewhere in the state. This photo shows a blaze over Apple Canyon caused by the Cranston Fire near Idyllwild, San Bernardino, on Friday

An eagle ornament at the top of a damaged flag pole is seen against the setting sun during the Carr fire in Redding, California, on Friday

An eagle ornament at the top of a damaged flag pole is seen against the setting sun during the Carr fire in Redding, California, on Friday

The flames moved so fast that firefighters working in oven-like temperatures and bone-dry conditions had to drop efforts to battle the blaze at one point to help people escape. Pictured: The Carr Fire near Redding on Friday

The flames moved so fast that firefighters working in oven-like temperatures and bone-dry conditions had to drop efforts to battle the blaze at one point to help people escape. Pictured: The Carr Fire near Redding on Friday

Firefighters gather on a roadside near the Cranston Fire near Idyllwild in San Bernardino County on Friday. The fire has been made worse by strong winds

Firefighters gather on a roadside near the Cranston Fire near Idyllwild in San Bernardino County on Friday. The fire has been made worse by strong winds

The Hills fled before they were told to, knowing danger was afoot when the power went out and helicopters suddenly began flying low over their home.

Liz Williams loaded up two kids in her car and then found herself locked in bumper-to-bumper traffic with neighbors trying to retreat from Lake Redding Estates.

She eventually jumped the curb onto the sidewalk and ‘booked it.’

‘I’ve never experienced something so terrifying in my life,’ she said. ‘I didn’t know if the fire was just going to jump out behind a bush and grab me and suck me in.’

The flames moved so fast that firefighters working in oven-like temperatures and bone-dry conditions had to drop efforts to battle the blaze at one point to help people escape.

Two firefighters were killed in the blaze, Redding fire inspector Jeremy Stoke and a bulldozer operator whose name wasn’t immediately released. He was the second bulldozer operator killed in a California blaze in less than two weeks.

Elsewhere in the state, large fires continued to burn outside Yosemite National Park and in the San Jacinto Mountains east of Los Angeles near Palm Springs.

Yosemite National Park officials said Friday that the park won’t reopen to everyone until the afternoon of August 3.

Keela Brilz (right) holds her dog Zoe who was returned safely to her at her burned home in Redding in Friday. Elsewhere, people have not been able to return

Keela Brilz (right) holds her dog Zoe who was returned safely to her at her burned home in Redding in Friday. Elsewhere, people have not been able to return

Greg and Terri Hill stand in front of the charred remains of their home in Redding. Elsewhere in the state, large fires continued to burn outside Yosemite National Park and in the San Jacinto Mountains east of Los Angeles near Palm Springs

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2 killed, hundreds of structures destroyed as explosive Carr Fire blazes into Redding, California

By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist

July 28, 2018, 1:49:20 PM EDT

The deadly Carr Fire burning in Northern California continues to threaten thousands of homes in Redding, California, after nearly doubling in size on Friday night.

The raging inferno has killed two people since igniting on Monday, July 23, after the mechanical failure of a vehicle, according to Cal Fire.

On Thursday, a bulldozer operator was killed while working to clear vegetation in the path of the blaze, according to a statement from Cal Fire. Three firefighters have suffered burns.

Officials announced early Friday that a Redding city firefighter had died battling the blaze.

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Redding Firefighters@reddingff_1934

With heavy hearts we announce the passing of Fire Inspector Jeremy Stoke. Jeremy died while battling the Carr Fire. We ask for your thoughts and prayers for his family and the RFD as we process this tragic loss. More information will be released as it becomes available.

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The wildfire, which has consumed over 80,000 acres with minimal containment, jumped the Sacramento River on Thursday night and headed toward the city of Redding, which is home to nearly 92,000 people.

The erratic nature of the blaze has made the fire difficult to contain.

“[The Carr Fire] was moving all over the place,” Mike Mohler, deputy communications director for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, told the Los Angeles Times.

AccuWeather meteorologist and volunteer firefighter Evan Duffey is concerned that the fire can continue to create its own weather and more hazards and strains for firefighters.

“Given the high temperatures in the region reaching well in the 100s and how dry it has been, the chances of extreme fire danger are high,” Duffey said.

“Rapidly rising air caused by the extreme heat helps the fire to grow explosively as the fire will create its own wind, as well as fire vortices (firenadoes) and tree crowning (when the leaves get engulfed by flames), even on otherwise calm days.”

No relief from the triple-digit heat is expected to come to Redding or the neighboring lower elevations this weekend or next week. In addition to the threat of more evacuations, residents will have to contend with smoke creating poor air quality.

It is best to limit time outdoors and avoid strenuous activities amid the smoky conditions. It is especially important that the elderly, children and those with respiratory issues follow these precautions.

Carr fire July 28

On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown requested a Presidential Emergency Declaration for Direct Federal Assistance. The request includes Department of Defense air assets and supplies and water for the evacuated residents of Shasta County.

Nearly 5,000 structures are threatened. At least 500 structures have been destroyed, while another 75 were damaged.

Around 37,000 people were under evacuation orders on Friday, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Thousands of Redding residents remain without power. Redding Electric Utilityannounced that power was shut off to most of north Redding at the request of fire authorities and to maintain system stability.

“Restoration time of the outage is unknown at this point, but please know that Redding Electric Utility is doing all it can to maintain system integrity while keeping the needs of the residents of Redding in mind,” the utility said.

Carr Fire AP

A structure burns as the Carr Fire races along Highway 299 near Redding, Calif., on Thursday, July 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
Mile-long traffic jams were reported on area roadways as people were forced to evacuate quickly.

Many firefighters turned their attention from battling the blaze to helping people flee the raging inferno.

As a precautionary measure, Redding’s Mercy Medical Center evacuated all of its neonatal intensive care unit patients on Thursday night. The hospital remains fully operational otherwise.

“Really we’re in a life-saving mode right now in Redding,” Jonathan Cox, battalion chief with Cal Fire, said via the AP. “We’re not fighting a fire. We’re trying to move people out of the path of it because it is now deadly and it is now moving at speeds and in ways we have not seen before in this area.”

Over 3,400 total personnel are working to contain the blaze.

Dozens of boats on Whiskeytown Lake, located about 10 miles west of Redding, were burned.

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Melissa Camille@MelissaCamille

This is devastating. #CarrFire #Shasta

Photo:Noah Berger

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Carr Fire AP 7/27

An historic schoolhouse burns as the Carr Fire tears through Shasta, Calif., Thursday, July 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Daniel Myungkyu Kim@so_dakim

A firefighter attempts to stop the growth of a structural fire on Ridge Dr. in Redding, Calif. #carrfire

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Carr fire ap

Cars scorched by the Carr Fire rest at a residence in Redding, Calif., on Friday, July 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

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Amber Sandhu

@AmberSandhu_RS

This is what it looks like from Shasta high school

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Damon Arthur

@damonarthur_RS

This photo was taken from Twin View Blvd. on the east side of I-5.

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‘Destiny Readings’? ‘Expert Seers’?: Australian Group ‘Christalignment’ Drawing Concerns Over New Age Practices in the Name of God

When you come into the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of these nations.

There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire, or who uses divination, or is a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer,

Or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and it is because of these abominable practices that the Lord your God is driving them out before you.

You shall be blameless [and absolutely true] to the Lord your God.

For these nations whom you shall dispossess listen to soothsayers and diviners. But as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do so. (Deuteronomy 14:9-14)  Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC) Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation

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MELBOURNE — An Australian group that identifies itself as “Christalignment” is drawing concerns over practices that have been deemed New Age and occultic, including its use of “expert seers,” who provide “destiny readings,” dream interpretations and “energy impartation”—all in the name of God and evangelism.

Christalignment is run by Ken and Jen Hodge, who are the parents of Ben Fitzgerald, a listed missionary with Bethel Church of Redding, California. According to the Christalignment website, Jen Hodge is characterized as a “seer [who] specializes in healing from negative energies/cleansing.”

“The Christalignment team, based in Melbourne, Australia, are trained spiritual consultants, gifted in various modalities. We practice a form of supernatural healing that flows from the universal presence of the Christ,” the site reads. “We draw from the same divine energy of the Christ spirit, as ancient followers did and operate only out of the third heaven realm to gain insight and revelation.”

It outlines that its team members are trained in “destiny reading, Presence therapy, trauma recovery, entity cleansing, relationship alignment and physical healing using divine energy,” and also offer dream interpretations and “encounters coming from the third heaven realm.” Other services noted by the group include “prophetic” henna tattoos, deep rest therapy and color therapy, as well as meditation classes, which are held at various times throughout the year.

Christalignment has a booth four days a week at Dandenong Market, and also offers its services at events such as Sexpo, Rainbow Serpent, the Melbourne Queer Expo and Mind, Body, Spirit.

“Our unique destiny cards, which we have developed, are so accurate that even if your life circumstances change dramatically, on your return to do them again years later, you will find the results identical, such is their accuracy,” the group claims. “They are able to give profound insight into relationships, career and spiritual life.”

Some of the cards read “gifts,” “acts of service,” “quality time,” “words of affirmation” and “physical touch,” and include photos of Christ or other drawings. On the back is a saying that addresses struggles or other issues the person has been going through.

Addition to “destiny cards,” the group also uses Psalm cards, animal cards and color cards for its readings. Each card is stated to have a particular prophetic meaning for the person obtaining a reading.

“Psalm readings are similar to tarot in that cards are counted out according to your birth date date & year. Only three cards are used and these will represent your past, present and future,” the site read—that is, until Christalignment altered the wording within the past month after the matter was reported by Christian blog sites, raising deep concern over what appeared to be a similarity to tarot cards.

Christian News Network used the Wayback Machine to compare the two versions of the web page. Click here to see the original wording and click here to see the current wording.

The group claims that it purposefully attends New Age festivals and other events where the lost are present to be an “undercover prophetic evangelism deliverance ministry” with the goal of seeing the unregenerate “saved, healed, and set free.” It denies that it is involved in New Age in any form, but asserts that it is rather seeking to work against the movement by bringing people to Jesus instead of psychics.

“The team is trained not only to be able to release deep encounters with the Spirit of Truth to clients, but to also release words of knowledge and healing. For clients to see Jesus standing before them in an encounter is not uncommon, and many of them get born again,” the Hodges claimed in a recent letter to Bethel’s Kris Vallotton following controversy over the matter.

“The prophetic word given over us four years ago was that we would see hundreds of witches come into the kingdom, thousands of people turn from darkness, and that tarot cards would be disabled,” they wrote. “Praise God this is happening!! As a deliverance ministry, we are able to stop clients ever going to a psychic again and this is our aim.”

Vallotton had previously repudiated the use of “destiny cards,” but soon retracted his words by posting the Hodges’ letter to Facebook, remarking that the couple was being “destroyed by the fake news media.”

While Bethel itself has also officially released a statement advising that it is not “formally affiliated” with Christalignment, and that the only connection is that some members are related to the Hodges, it went on to defend the group as engaging in biblical evangelism and doing its part to reach the lost in difficult places.

“Reaching people where they are with the truth and love of God is our job as believers. Many people will not come to our churches, yet they are in great need of a personal encounter with Jesus. The Hodges feel called to share the Gospel with a people group that most of us would feel unsure of how to approach. We value their efforts to minister to unbelievers in the ways they can more easily receive it and in the places they are going, like New Age festivals,” it wrote.

“This ministry is a way of getting people to stop and engage with fellow humans so that they might encounter the love of the Father and the truth of His Son, Jesus Christ. If one of our sons or daughters was away from the Lord and looking for truth at a festival, we would be praying for them to meet believers like the Hodges who know the love and truth of God,” Bethel continued.

It urged those with concern to go directly to Christalignment themselves to work out any disagreement.

However, not only have Christalignment’s practices raised concern among Christians who believe that the practices are indeed modeled after the New Age—no matter how much the group denies it—but so did Bethel’s statement in defense of the organization.

“[W]hen Pulpit & Pen broke the story, Jen Hodge pulled two of her videos that were clearly letting others see they were practicing what is recognized as legitimate tarot card readings. When people gave links to Kris Vallotton from the Christalignment website where it was explained how destiny cards are similar and used like tarot cards, Jen Hodge altered her website,” notes Church Watch Central.

“Bethel leaders suggest Christians are narrow-minded if they oppose creative means of evangelism. This, of course, assumes that using destiny cards is no problem,” also writes Holly Pivec of Spirit of Error. “… What practices would Bethel be willing to repudiate? For example, if a group put together a Christian version of a Ouija board—but called it a destiny board and said they were using it through the power of the Holy Spirit so that people could have an encounter with God—how would this be any different? Where would Bethel draw the line and why there?”

“How does Bethel teach its people discernment? What guidelines do they provide? What biblical support for them? Is their flock expected to trust all discernment to Bethel leaders? If not, how are they being equipped to exercise mature discernment?” she asked. “Why not simply deny affiliation with Christalignment and leave it at that? This looks like a defense of the practices of Christalignment.”

Jeremiah 14:14 reads, “Then the Lord said unto me, ‘The prophets prophesy lies in My name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them. They prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.’”

Leviticus 20:23 also states, “And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.” (Click to Source)

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Calif. Megachurch Accused of Practicing Occult in Use of ‘Destiny Cards’

christ-alignment

Bethel Church, a controversial megachurch in Redding, California, is now under fire in Christian circles for allegedly promoting New Age occultism in the use of “Destiny Cards,” which critics have likened to tarot cards.

Leaders of the 9,000-member congregation have been accused of working with a Melbourne, Australia-based group known as Christ Alignment, a group that claims to have worked with many churches in that country to do readings.

Christ Alignment staff describe themselves as “trained spiritual consultants,” and say on their website that they “draw from the same divine energy of the Christ spirit.”

“We practice a form of supernatural healing that flows from the universal presence of the Christ. We draw from the same divine energy of the Christ spirit, as ancient followers did and operate only out of the third heaven realm to gain insight and revelation,” they say.

Marsha West of the Christian Research Network argues that the Destiny Cards are just another name for tarot cards which Christ Alignment uses to “practice the prophetic.”

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“Tarot cards are used to tell one’s future. Fortune telling is an occult practice. Occultists believe they are endued with magical or supernatural powers. These folks are into witchcraft, satanism, and other forms of psychic discernment (tarot cards, astrology, séances, Runes, palm reading, teacup reading, etc.). So it is clear that the Christ in Christ alignment is the New Age Christ, not the Christ of Holy Scripture, as God’s people are not to participate in occult practices such as Destiny Card reading. (Deut. 18:10),” CRN wrote.

Bethel staff initially denied any association with Christ Alignment and condemned the use of Destiny Cards, according to Church Watch Central.

“Someone told me there is an article stating that some Christians are now using ‘Christian Tarot Cards’ (apparently called ‘Destiny Cards’), and that some people associated with Bethel were doing so,” wrote Kris Vollotton, senior associate leader at Bethel Church and co-founder at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, in a deleted response on Facebook.

“This is insane! First of all, whoever is doing this needs to repent and stop the craziness in the ‘name of reaching people for Christ.’ Secondly, Bethel has graduated 10,000 students, has 9,000 people in their congregation and a couple million followers. For some reason when some ‘Christian’ does something crazy, the media often want to blame the church they go to or the podcast they listen to etc., guilt by association. Believers are called to love the broken so we are privileged to have them named among us. But broken people often act broken. Assigning their broken condition to the people loving on them is like blaming doctors for their patients’ sickness!” he continued.

The post was reportedly deleted after Ken and Jenny Hodge of Christ Alignment publicly wrote about the group’s connection to the megachurch and their school while challenging allegations that they are a cult.

“We are not a cult, we hate tarot with a passion, we have not joined ‘the world,’ we fully support everything Bethel believes in and we do not have to repent as our ministry has nothing to repent off. Jesus celebrates it. … We have had many Bethel students over the years come out on teams with us — some of your finest. They can attest to you that we have done nothing wrong, rather something right.

“We have developed a method of reaching new agers that is unique and enables us to pluck them out of darkness. We actually teach this method to churches in Australia and indeed shared it to some of your students when we were visiting Bethel,” the Hodges wrote. “It is ridiculous that Christians have judged us based on photos where cards appear, yet not one person has asked, ‘what exactly are those cards?'”

On Tuesday, Theresa Dedmon, pastoral staff member at Bethel who oversees the Creative Arts Department for the church and the School of Supernatural Ministry, denied in a blog post that the Destiny Cards are tarot cards, and explained what they are and defended their use in ministry.

“First, ‘Destiny Cards’ are not tarot cards. They do, however, have a similar look that attracts people who are searching for a ‘reading.’ What they get from Christ Alignment staff is a prophetic word about their destiny, which is to have a personal relationship with Father God through Jesus Christ, and encountered through the Holy Spirit,” she said. “Destiny Cards are simply images that help to communicate the message of the Good News to those who are searching for a hope and a future.”

She further went on to cite why they were biblically acceptable.

The Christian Post reached out to Bethel for further comment on Friday but was told Dedmon would not be able to respond until January 2018. (Click to Source)