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News round up: Banning the Lord’s prayer, Jenner prayer and Bieber’s bathtub baptism

Curious Christian news Photo: Javi Sanchez de la Vina/Flickr/Creative Commons

Curious Christian news Photo: Javi Sanchez de la Vina/Flickr/Creative Commons

Just a brief write-up about a few stories that caught my attention this past week:

Lord’s prayer banned in England

The Lord’s prayer is a regular part of services in the Church of England. This year, the church produced an ad with each line being prayed by a different person.

It starts with the leader of the Anglican Church, The Right Honourable Justin Welby. Welby who is the archbishop of Canterbury is part of the evangelical wing of the Anglican church. Other participants included a police officer, weight lifter, farmer and others.

However, when the church approached Digital Cinema Media (DCM) to buy time for the ad to be run in movie theaters, the company refused stating it might cause offense. DCM sells 80% of the advertisements sold on England’s 2,929 movie screens.

The controversy over the refusal generated great publicity for the ad now shown on YouTube and as well a strange ally.

In an interview in The Guardian, atheist Richard Dawkins said:

“I still strongly object to suppressing ads on the grounds that they might ‘offend’ people. If anybody is ‘offended’ by something so trivial as a prayer, they deserve to be offended.”

You can watch the Lord’s prayer video below:

Caitlyn Jenner receives prayer

It was a shocker this past year when Bruce Jenner, an Olympic Gold medalist, announced in April he was transitioning to a woman. Bruce completed transition on September 25, 2015 and he now goes by the name of Caitlyn.

According to an article in the Christian Post, Jenner attended a Christmas pageant on December 17th at Houston’s Second Baptist Church as part of Jenner’s reality show “I am Cait.”

During the service, the church’s senior pastor Ed Young, Sr. prayed for Jenner.

Young’s son, Ed Young, Jr, tweeted: “Dad has always taught me to love everyone. Here he is praying with Caitlyn Jenner at tonight’s service.”  Young Jr. would later tweet the two had a great conversation.

It was an odd combination as Caitlyn now works as a transgender activist and Ed Young, Sr. played an active role in repealing Houston’s equality legislation that would have allowed transgender men to use women’s washroom facilities.

Justin Bieber baptism

Carl Lenz is pastor of a Hillsong Church in New York City. He was recently interviewed by CQ magazine  and told how he baptized Canadian pop star Justin Bieber in the bathtub of Phoenix Sun pro basketball player Tyson Chandler. At the time, Chandler played for the New York Knicks.

Last year, Justin had moved into Lenz’s house for  a month and a half to straighten his life out. Lenz recalls reading stories of outlandish things Bieber was supposedly doing, while staying at the pastor’s house.

The original plan was to baptize Justin at the pool of a hotel where the church rents facilities. But word got out and when they showed up a crowd, including media, were already there.

So Lenz phoned Chandler to see if they could use the pool at his apartment building. But it was 2 am and the pool was closed, so Chandler suggested Bieber could be baptized in the seven-foot-tall basketball player’s custom-built bathtub.

And that is where it took place.


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