In Fresno, California Jim Franklin who leads an Assembly of God called Cornerstone has become one of the leaders who plans to defy Governor Gavin Newsom and open on May 31. Claiming he is persecuted this is a pastor making a business decision who doe snot understand science or infectious disease. This is a pastor the in the culture wars who is willing to send members of his congregation to the hospital and beyond just so he can draw a paycheck. Its evangelicalism at its most corrupt in a pandemic. This blog is putting out a call for stories about Jim Franklin’s Cornerstone so this church can be analyzed and dissected.
“A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.
Romans 13: 1-4 ESV
In writing about the issues with evangelicalism there is one that I noticed in regards to COVID-19. It highlights why Evangelical Christianity is toxic and systemically flawed. Cornerstone Church is an Assembly of God church that is in downtown Fresno. They are one of the churches that has contacted a lawyer and is resisting California Governor Gavin Newsom in the COVID-19 pandemic. Engaged in the culture wars they plan to re-open in defiance of California law on May 31, 2020. This is a church that thinks worship is essential and must be in person. I wonder what Detriech Bonhoeffer or a Christian in a concentration camp in North Korea would say to Franklin’s claim. Jim Franklin also was on the Janet Mefferd show on May 13, 2020 which you can see here. This blog has written about Janet Mefferd’s anti-Semitism which you can read about in, “The George Soros Conspiracy Theory Which Some Evangelical Christians Are Pushing is Blatant Anti-Semitism.” You can read more about Cornerstone’s opening on May 31, here, here and here.
Brief Overview of Jim and Cyndi Franklin’s Cornerstone Church in Downtown Fresno
The Wilson Theater is a movie house that is in downtown Fresno. Built in 1926 it showed movies until 1971 and then for a few years from the mid 80’s to the mid 90’s hosted rock concerts. Cornerstone Church which is an Assembly of God Church purchased the historic theater in 1997. I was still living in Fresno and remember the news when it happened. It has been operating there since the late 1990’s. You can read the history of Cornerstone from the perspective of the Assembly of God.
Cornerstone is led by Jim Franklin. Jim who comes from Oklahoma has been in the Fresno area for over 25 years. This blog spent a good chunk of time doing research on Jim Franklin but can’t find where he went to college. His wife went to Southwestern Assembly of God University in Texas and graduated. If this blog were to take an educated guess it would state that Jim and Cyndi probably met at Southwestern Assembly of God University. Cornerstone is known for some of its gang work in the Fresno area which you can read here. They have also been vocal on police officer shootings which you can read about here. This church was very active in Proposition 8 in California that dealt with banning gay marriage. You can read about that here. It appears that when there is vandalism Jim Franklin allegedly attributes it to gays. You can read about this here.
Like other Assembly of God churches this is Pentecostal and the prosperity gospel is in practice. In addition just like other Assembly of God churches nepotism is an issue as members of the Franklin family are employed here. Nathan Franklin who is the son of Jim Franklin works at Cornerstone. For those who have forgotten Jim Bakker was affiliated with the Assembly of God movement for years. This blog did an update on him the other day in, “Is Jim Bakker Facing Bankruptcy and Financial Ruin in the COVID-19 Pandemic? An Update on the Discredited Televangelist.” Currently Jim Franklin is one of the leaders in California to re-open churches claiming they are being persecuted in the COVID-19 pandemic. Jim Franklin’s behavior in that area is what led The Wondering Eagle to write about Cornerstone and COVID-19. Watch the video up above and there are a number of points that this blog would like to push back against Jim Franklin and Cornerstone Church.
Why Jim Franklin’s God is Spiritually Impotent and a Snowflake
This blog believes that the God Jim Franklin worships is a snowflake. God is a narcissistic and jealous bastard who is so selfish that he demands worship even if it means placing people in harms way. The God that Jim Franklin worships is impotent and weak. As a church that engages in the prosperity gospel this is a church that is shallow and can’t handle many of the challenges of life. What makes the prosperity gospel cruel is that when pain and suffering comes it shows how irrelevant and false it is as a movement. If I were an evangelical I wouldn’t be Assembly of God because the denomination struggles with prosperity gospel. Jim Bakker called it home for years and that was because Bakker was a sick man who was a fraud. That tells me quite a bit about the health of the Assembly of God denomination. Now under stress due to a pandemic Jim Franklin is revealing his faith or lack of faith. If Jim Franklin believes churches in California are being persecuted this blog would say with authority that Jim Franklin is a snowflake who could never survive faith in the days of Rome. If he thinks Gavin Newsom is persecuting him how would he react if Nero were calling the shots? Why is it in churches like Cornerstone the pastors are flakes and you can find women that have bigger balls in the nearby community than on an Assembly of God pastor? Jim Franklin does not know what persecution is. White evangelicals have a warped view of persecution. It comes from a position of entitlement. There is a reason why Christians in Asia, Africa and more would laugh at someone like Jim Franklin. If Jim Franklin wants to know what persecution is he should read about what is happening to Early Rain Covenant Church in China which you can read about in, “As White Evangelicals Believe They are Being Persecuted in the United States, a Story About Evangelical Christians and a House Church in Chengdu, China Reveals What Persecution Really Is.”
This is Not a Spiritual Decision This is a Business Decision as Cornerstone is a Business Out to Make Money
When the COVID-19 pandemic was taking off this blog wrote a post that looked at what was coming down the pike in evangelicalism in regards to this medical crisis. You can read more about that in, “How the COVID-19 Pandemic is Going to Reveal the Dark Flaws and Systemic Issues of Evangelical Christianity.” Jim Franklin is not making this decision to re-open because he wants to serve the least of these. He does not want to serve the poor, the frightened or more. This is a corrupt man who is making this decision because he needs to draw a paycheck and make money. Jim, is more than willing to create a situation that can send members of his congregation to local hospitals and some to the cemetery so that he can draw a paycheck. Evangelical Christianity is a systematically broken faith system. Pandemics reveal much about societies and what they value or not. In this case Jim Franklin values money over the health or well being of his congregation. If Jim Franklin cared about the health of his congregation he would study and listen to what the CDC said about a COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in a church in Arkansas that left a good portion of the church ill and killed three people. You can read about it right here. Churches like Cornerstone are a threat to the Fresno-Clovis community. This decision to re-open in defiance of California government is not about worship, its about Jim collecting a paycheck. In the end Jim Franklin does not exist for the glory of God, Cornerstone is a family business and its exists to make money. Its nothing more than that and that is how it needs to be looked at. Jim doesn’t understand science nor does he understand infectious disease. Since evangelicalism is hostile to science its leading to bad decision making. Funny how Romans 13 applies toward certain government personalities in the federal Department of Justice but not to the California governor. Franklin’s comments about the church here in Virginia revealed a lot about himself as well. That church has systemic issues as well. If you want to read more about the issue with the church in Virginia in, “Lighthouse Fellowship Church in Virginia: Christians Who Want to Attend Church in a Pandemic Have Shallow Faith. They Don’t Spiritually Care for Their Neighbor and Worship a God Who is a Snowflake.”
Why You Should Sign a Do Not Resuscitate Form Before Attending Cornerstone Church Fresno
This blog is thinking of converting this post to Spanish so that this article can reach the Spanish population in downtown Fresno and the surrounding communities. Jim Franklin doesn’t understand how contagious this situation can be. There are churches in Georgia that are closing again after COVID-19 outbreaks are occurring. But this blog is putting out a request for all members and attenders of Cornerstone Church who plan to attend in person and violate social distancing. Yes, I know what they say about following social distancing but let’s be honest in an enclosed building like this it will be a challenge. Its going to be risky in any enclosed building.
Therefore this blog is asking for members of Cornerstone to sign their paperwork stating that in the case of going to church, and getting ill and ending up in any of the Fresno-Clovis area hospitals; that they will sign a do not resuscitate form. Jim Franklin’s decision is selfish and basically gives the middle finger at members of the medical community at Community Regional Medical Center, Clovis Community or St. Agnes. Its a selfish decision that is putting people on the front lines at risk. So if you are going to be one of those people from Cornerstone who attend in violation of California law, make sure you sign a do not resuscitate form so that when you end up in the ICU and your health deteriorates they can know what to do in those situations. For those who will be grieving and in shock I want you to remember. Your loved one was a faith member or attender of Cornerstone. And in the end they helped pay their pastor through attending and giving even to the point of giving up your life. Your loved one was a victim of Jim Franklin’s greed.
This Blog is Looking for Stories About Cornerstone Church in Fresno to Tell
This blog is issuing a call to the Fresno and Clovis area for former members and attenders of Cornerstone Church. This blog is interested in telling any stories of spiritual abuse or problems at Cornerstone. These are some of the stories this blog is interested in writing about.
- Financial malfeasance. Pastors living high on the hog while people are giving selfishly. Is Jim Franklin’s salary available and are the books of the church open? Has money been embezzled or stolen?
- Have pastors or ministry leaders abused people under their leadership and had affairs or more? This blog would not consider it an affair but instead spiritual abuse and in some states it would be illegal.
- At Cornerstone has child sex abuse or molestation taken place? Many evangelical churches deal with sex abuse. This blog sees it regularly as it writes about evangelicalism.
- Has there been any inappropriate church discipline? Have people faced discipline for the wrong reasons or out of corruption?
- Are there any inappropriate relationships between Cornerstone and the city of Fresno. Yes I see the ties between the church and the police. Has the city shown favoritism and overlooked Cornerstone in regards to the law being violated.
If there is any of this or more contact me and let’s look at the situation. This blog writes about these issues in evangelicalism around the United States. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org