Author: Dean Smith

Monument displaying Communism's hammer and sickle being installed in a park in China: Credit: Serpentaz/Youtube capture

The Communist revival and rising persecution of Christians

Two recent stories this Christmas season reveal Communism’s utter hatred for Christians and it is concerning because it may be a foretaste of what is coming in North America as some political parties seem to be taking a radical turn to the left. Writing for Faithwire, Vernon Brewer shared a story of what is happening in North Korea under its Communist despot Kim Jong-un.  Brewer regularly helps bring Bibles into North Korea that is not only dangerous for him, but those receiving them. On one of his journeys into the communist country, he shared a story told him by a young man who Brewer referred to as Eun to protect his identity. Eun was in the third grade when his teacher made an unusual request of her class: “When you go home, I want you to look for a book. Normally [the book] is black. Normally it’s hidden, and your mom or dad read it when you are asleep. If you look hard enough, you can find the book. And if you bring it, we …

Listening to God’s voice saved their lives

In an interview with Foxnews, two men on their way to a pastor’s conference stated that Jesus spoke to them saving both from imminent death. Jordan Cole and Kenneth Bryant were traveling the Ohio Turnpike on a trip from Montana to Philadelphia when the truck they were driving broke down. The men were in their Mudman Burgers (Food Truck), that is part of a nonprofit organization selling burgers in support of Potter’s Field that ministers to children around the world. Still in their stopped burger truck, Bryant was using the generator in the back to charge his cell phone while Cole remained in the cab. Suddenly both men were warned to get out of the vehicle. Cole said he heard a voice and Bryant received what he described as a vision. The two men immediately jumped out and seconds later a large semi truck veering out of control smashed into their vehicle, destroying it. Ohio State Police said that if both had still been inside, they would have undoubtedly died. In an interview with Fox …

Nativity scene in France Credit: (required by the license) © Guillaume Piolle / CC BY 3.0/Wikipedia

Did an ‘all-knowing’ God impregnate Mary without her consent?

Minnesota State University (MSU) professor Eric Sprankle recently received his 15 minutes of fame when he  tweeted that God impregnated, Mary, the mother of Jesus, without her consent. Similar to many provocateurs, Sprankle sent the tweet out purposefully during the Christmas season. In his tweet, Sprankle wrote: The virgin birth story is about an all-knowing, all-powerful deity impregnating a human teen. There is no definition of consent that would include that scenario. Happy Holidays. — Eric Sprankle, PsyD (@DrSprankle) December 3, 2018 Apparently, Sprankle considers himself as an expert on sexuality and leads the Sexual Health Research Team at MSU and now he claims to be an expert on theology and the Bible as well. Well, let’s take a closer look at Sprankle’s tweet. He describes God as “all-knowing,”  In theological terms, God is “omniscient” which mean He knows everything, past, present and future. So if God is all-knowing, would He know if Mary would consent to being impregnated? Obviously yes. And that is exactly what happened in the birth story found in Luke. An …

Rene Martinez walking in the streets of Nicauragua in lead up to a bare knuckles fight. Credit Rene Martinez/Fox News

The power of testimony: Former ‘Latin Syndicate’ gang leader now preaching Christ

It has been a remarkable transformation for notorious gang leader Rene Martinez, 44. Martinez, who has been in jail several times, has been behind bars for everything from  attempted murder to drug dealing, theft (including guns), and fights. In an interview with Foxnews, Martinez said: “I did some horrible things in my life that I know that it’s only by the grace of God and His mercy that I’m alive and free. I was gang affiliated from the 80s to 2012. I have seen a lot of people die in front of me and I’ve been through a lot.” It started early in life. Martinez said his mother, who was involved in Santeria, sacrificed an animal over him as a child and growing up he was literally seeing demons. 1n 1989, at the age of 14,  he joined the infamous Latin Syndicate on Halloween night. But when his mother became a Christian shortly after attempting suicide, she began praying for her son and in 2013, while Martinez was performing gangster rap in his garage, Jesus …

Spiritual warfare: How Satan attacks us from the spiritual realm

Podcast Notes: Hi my name is Dean Smith and in this episode we are discussing how the spiritual realm interacts with the physical world. When we read the Bible, it clearly portrays two worlds – our physical realm and as well a spiritual dimension inhabited by God and His angels and as well satanic evil spirits demons. The question I want to answer in this episode is how does the spiritual realm interact with the physical and how do we fight off demonic attacks? It was a hot July Saturday morning and I was mowing the lawn in our backyard, when I was utterly stopped in my tracks by a memory that popped into my mind of a stupid thing I did years earlier. I mean years ago. I had already asked God to forgive me, but here it was blasting me like I had done it today. I felt utterly condemned and spiritually beaten up over this incident. I became depressed as thoughts raged in my mind over what had happened. The level of …

Credit: Marie Coleman/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Liberal Grinch who just about stole Christmas: She wanted ‘J’ for Jesus banned?

According to Liberty Counsel, candy canes are now in the sites of liberal wanting to wipe out any hint of Christ this Christmas season. The story of the Grinch who just about stole Christmas was reported by The Blaze. Liberty Counsel is a non-profit law firm that fights for religious liberty in the US and it recently sent a demand letter to the superintendent of Elkhorn Public Schools about the actions taken by Jennifer Sinclair the principal of of Manchester Elementary School in Omaha, Nebraska. Apparently, this is Sinclair’s first year as principal at the school and she wanted it to be a memorable one. It worked. She is getting her 15 minutes of notoriety. She sent a memo to teachers in her school telling them what their children may or may not do at school to celebrate the Christmas season. In her memo, Sinclair wrote that she “come(s) from a place that Christmas and the like are not allowed in school.” RELATED: Read Sinclair’s Memo So what is on Sinclair’s banned list? Well Candy …

Credit: Jason Pearce/Flickr/Creative Commons

What does the Bible say about drinking alcohol?

Several decades ago, I was part of a church that took a strong stand against drinking alcohol, but it wasn’t just alcohol, it also had an opinion on several other things like long hair on men. The list of unwritten rules and regulations was quite extensive. Looking back now I realize the church was caught up in a religious spirit which I define as making up rules for Christian living that are not required by Scripture. The church leaders were essentially adding man-made rules to Christianity. In fact, one of the respected teachers that the church connected with wrote a book trying to prove that when the Bible talked about wine, it was speaking of non-fermented grape juice. Yes, he believed when Jesus turned water into wine at the Cana wedding, the headwaiter was shocked that the bridegroom had reserved the “best grape juice” for last (John 2:1-11). Though the Bible condemns becoming drunk, it does not forbid drinking wine. In fact, the exhortation forbidding drunkenness proves that the wine people were drinking was alcoholic. …

Morris home with its 200,000 Christmas tree lights Credit: Youtube capture/Fox News

Hide your faith?

In our rapidly changing culture, some are now demanding that Christians hide their faith in public. Recently, First Liberty, a non-profit legal organization defending religious freedoms in America, sent a letter to a school district in Texas that allegedly forced students wanting to pray at lunch time to hide behind a curtain. According to First Liberty the problem started when a group of students from Honey Grove Middle School in Honey Grove, Texas met during lunch hour to pray for a former student who had been injured in an accident. When the school principal saw them praying he ordered them to stop. When the students met the next day to try praying again, the principal said that they needed to either go behind the curtains in the cafeteria or into the gym or even outside if they wanted to pray. At the bequest of student Hannah Allen and her mother, First Liberty sent a letter to the school district telling them that under the US Constitution the school had no business infringing on student’s right …

Lahore, Pakistan Credit: Dr Ranjha/Flickr/Creative Commons

Oops, Did the Muslim Prime Minister of Pakistan just question the Koran?

I know it wasn’t his intention, but Imran Kahn, the Muslim Prime Minister of Pakistan, inadvertently took a swipe at the Koran, while bashing the Christian faith. Officially known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the country has a population of 212 million where 94.6% of the people are Muslim and only 1.5% are Christian. Yet despite the small percentage of Christians, in his speech honoring the birthday of Mohammad on November 30, 2018, Kahn decided to take a swipe at Jesus stating that He is not mentioned in human history: “There were prophets of Allah other [than Muhammad] but there is no mention of them in human history. There is negligible mention of them. Moses is mention of Jesus in history… But the entire life of Muhammad, who was Allah’s last prophet, is part of history.” Khan made this statement as part of his push to have any defamation of Muhammad and the Koran declared illegal by the international community. Now here is where it gets tricky. Because the Koran cites Jesus several times. …

The Gift of Hospitality, an interview with Kate Fisher

PODCAST NOTES: BARB SMITH: Did you know the Bible talks about the gift of hospitality and in this Podcast I am interviewing Kate Fisher about this supernatural gift. I have known Kate for many years and she currently serves as a woman’s pastor at Celebration Church in Regina, Saskatchewan and she is as close to an expert on hospitality that I know because she lives it. Welcome Kate. KATE FISHER: Hi Barb BARB: Kate, I know you’ve studied the subject so what does the Bible have to say about hospitality. KATE: Hospitality is spoken over and over again in the word of God and specifically I searched out what was being said by Christ in the Gospels. Our Greek word actually for hospitality is “filoxenia” and I don’t know if I’m pronouncing that rate bike it means love of strangers and that completely supports Christ. Jesus talks about hospitality as a gateway to salvation. In Luke chapter 7 from The Message Bible: “The wretched of the Earth have God’s salvation through hospitality extended to them.” …

Pontius Pilate presenting Christ to the crowd by Antonio Ciseri (1821-1891)/Wikipedia

2,000-year-old ring discovered belonging to Pontius Pilate?

A copper alloy ring discovered 50 years ago during a dig at Herod’s burial tomb and palace between 1968-69 may have belonged to Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect who ruled Judea between 26 and 36 AD (CE). The ring was part of hundreds of artifacts discovered at the dig. After being in storage for several decades, the Israeli Antiquities Authority had the ring cleaned and analyzed. Using a special camera, they discovered the words “of Pilate ” (Pilatus) engraved on the center of the ring around the image of a large wine vessel called a Krater. Because of its discovery in the Herod excavation, there is speculation the ring belonged to Pontius Pilate, the man who ordered Christ’s crucifixion. The down side is the ring is not of great quality which caused some to question whether it would be a ring Pontius Pilate would have worn. However, the best evidence that it belonged to Pontius Pilate is due to the name. While Pontius is common enough, the name Pilate was “extremely rare.” In fact, there …

The Dead Sea Credit: Daniel Goodwin/Flickr/Creative Commons

Evidence found supporting the Biblical description of Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction?

In an article published in Science News, archaeologists working at Tall el-Hammam located in Jordan, a site that many believe is the remains of the ancient city of Sodom, have found evidence corroborating its massive destruction recorded in the Bible that spoke of brimstone and fire falling from the sky: 24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven, 25 and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. (Genesis 19:24-25 NASV) Archaeologists have found evidence of the area being hit with a massive explosion that turned glaze on potsherds into glass. They also found stone fragments stuck in the glaze that supports the idea that something poured down upon cities from the sky. According to lead archaeologist Philip J. Silvia, the heat was “perhaps as hot as the surface of the sun.” They also discovered that the bricks used in the buildings were totally obliterated leaving only the stone foundations. The Bible records that …

Andrea Logan White Credit: Andrealoganwhite.com

Did a Word of Knowledge turn Hollywood actress Andrea Logan White’s life around?

In an article on PureFlix, Hollywood actress Andrea Logan White, 40, recently shared the unique encounter she had with with God during a very difficult time. White has starred in several movies including Mom’s Day Out, Marriage Retreat and Do You Believe. She and her husband Dave are co-owners of PureFlix, a Christian equivalent of Netflix. Born in Chicago, she had moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career, but was struggling. She was 22 and acting jobs were difficult to find. Andrea was also behind in her rent and had thrown herself into the Hollywood partying scene. She was coming to the end of herself and tells the story of the time she was in her car on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard, when she cried out to God: “God if you’re real I need You to show me who you are, because I don’t know why I’m here and I don’t want to live anymore.” She had just prayed this, when a man in the convertible beside her hit his horn and pointed at his …

Episode #5: What does a dog insult have to do with what really sunk Peter?

  Episode #5 Notes Hi my name is Dean Smith and and in this episode we ask the question, and hopefully answer: What does a dog insult have to do with what really sunk Peter? Many of us are familiar with the story found in in Mathew 14 of the Apostle Peter’s failed attempt to walk on water. This account has been used repeatedly to show us that we need “more” faith for Divine miracles and that’s because as Jesus pulled Peter out of the water, the Lord said “You of little faith, why did you doubt.” “Little faith” leaves the impression that Peter failed simply because he needed “more” faith. But was this actually the case? Did Peter need more faith or was there something more sinister at work here? Faith was one of the important teachings of Christ. It was so important, that Jesus actually developed his own special word — oligopistos, commonly translated ‘little faith’ —  used to describe the disciples’ faith. We see the word used in Matt 6:30 and Luke 12:28. But …

Broken cell phone Credit: Julian/Flickr/Creative Commons

Does Facebook cause depression?

According to a study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, there may be a link to depression and loneliness to the amount of time a person spends on social media. In fact, Psychologist Melissa Hunt who was part of the study described the connection between depression and social media usage as “striking.” In their study, published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, the researchers studied the impact social media usage had on 143 undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania who were struggling with moderate forms of depression. They focused on three social media platforms: Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. Half the group was limited to using social media just ten minutes a day (tracked by battery usage on their phones) and the other half continued on as normal. When the researchers tested the two groups at the end of three weeks, they discovered that the group with limited usage saw their levels of depression fall from moderate to mild and there was absolutely no change in the other group that continued usage. Though …

John Chau (R) Credit: Daily Mail

Christian missionary’s last words before he was killed by Sentinelese tribesmen

For three years, American John Allen Chau, 26, a graduate of Oral Roberts University, was planning to bring the gospel to a remote tribe on islands in the Indian Sea. In particular he wanted to visit North Sentinel Island, where the isolated Sentinelese tribal group lived. The Indian government had declared the island off-limits because it believed they were the world’s last “pre-Neolithic” tribe. The group was very protective of their privacy. A few years earlier, two fisherman who landed on the island were killed by the tribesmen. Despite the danger, on November 15, 2018, John arranged for fishermen to take him close to the island where he kayaked in. He wrote of his first encounter in a journal that he left on the fisherman’s boat. In the journal, he described his first encounter, his fears and a vision he received and his decision to return to the island. He described the tribesmen as short, 5′ 5″, wearing yellow paint on their face. Some were friendly while others appeared angry and aggressive. He offered them …

Oceans are not 60% warmer than previously thought. Photo of Jamaica coast Credit: Ethan Crowley/Flickr/Creative Commons

Man-made error in man-made global warming study, oceans are not 60% warmer

On October 31, 2018, a report released in the prestigious peer-reviewed science journal Nature, broadcast that man-made global warming was much more serious than generally believed, because between 1991 and 2016, the oceans absorbed 60% more heat than previously thought. They concluded from this that the earth must also be warming faster. The report produced by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography was front page news in major dailies and online news around the world. In an interview with the Washington Post, Princeton professor Laure Resplandy, who led the study, stated: “We thought that we got away with not a lot of warming in both the ocean and the atmosphere for the amount of CO2 that we emitted. But we were wrong. The planet warmed more than we thought. It was hidden from us just because we didn’t sample it right. But it was there. It was in the ocean already.” It was giddy times for those promoting the man-made global warming mantra calling for carbon taxes and cuts in CO2 emissions. But the celebration only …

United Church on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia Canada converted into a museum. Credit: Harvey Barrrison/Flickr/Creative Commons

In the name of ‘diversity,’ an atheist allowed to pastor a church in Canada

It is a bizarre world when an atheist is allowed to pastor a church, but that is exactly what happened recently in Canada. Now to be fair, it took place in the United Church of Canada, a very liberal denomination and holds some flexible opinions on God, Jesus and the Bible. Over the past several years, attendance has been in a free fall in the denominations with church closings happening regularly as congregations are no longer viable. But being a religious organization, one would have thought that there would be a line drawn in the sand somewhere on how liberal its views would get, but apparently not. Rev. Gretta Vosper, 60, pastors West Hill United Church in Toronto. In 2001 she came out publicly as an atheist in a sermon to her congregation. It had an impact as over the next several months people started leaving including 100 who left when Vosper decided to no longer say the Lord’s Prayer during Sunday services. The United Church was aware of Vosper’s announcement, but in the name …

Podcast #4: You are not a mistake

PODCAST NOTES: Hi my name is Dean Smith and this in Podcast #4, “You are not a mistake.” I want to share a story of something that happened to me back in the mid-1990s. It involved an issue that has personally plagued me for years. It is this: You are not a mistake. You are not failure. You may have made a mistake or you may have failed at something, but that does not make you a failure. I was working on a newspaper at the time and we had just sent our most recent issue to the printer. The finished product had just arrived and someone brought a copy to my office and slapped it on my desk. The typo on the front page was the first thing that leaped out at me when it landed in front of me. I can’t remember how many times we had proofed that issue, but a mistake had somehow slipped through. And there it was glaring at me. Though this happened years ago I still remember the …

California fire in August 2018 Credit: Forest Service. USDA/Public Domain

Church becomes a refuge in California’s devastating fire

The Baptist Press reports a remarkable story in midst of the catastrophic fires sweeping California. The fire, that started November 6, 2018, has resulted in the deaths of 42 people and the destruction of 7,000 buildings as of November 13. This makes it the deadliest fires in California’s history. The story involves the preservation of a church in the town of Magalia, a small town of 12,000 people, in Northern California, that became a refuge for 30 people. On November 9, with the fire sweeping down on the town, Doug Crowder, who pastors Magalia Pines Baptist Church, was with 30 residents of the community, including 4 members of the Church planning to evacuate the town. Though most of the town residents had already left, Crowder stayed behind to help those who were unable to flee on their own, including the homeless, elderly and disabled. As they were loading into their vehicles, the forest surrounding the town dramatically burst into flames. A small restaurant across the street also exploded and suddenly they were surrounded by fire. …

Credit: Marc D. Thomas/Flickr/Creative Commons

Beware of wolves wearing ‘I Love Jesus’ hats?

This story out of Chesterfield, Virginia, may serve as a warning for Churches across North America. Times are changing and Christians need to take note. Late in the evening on election day, November 6, 2018, a man wearing a black hat with the words “I (heart image) Jesus” imprinted on it broke into Ironbridge Baptist Church. The church had earlier served as a polling station, but the building was now closed. Apparently one of the doors had not locked properly or perhaps was left ajar. A man, between 20 and 30 years old, entered the church found Bibles and began ripping pages out of them. He then shattered a nearby window and spray painted a wall. The church estimates damage was minimal at around $500. The intruder was caught on surveillance cameras and according to the Ironbridge’s executive pastor, Dennis Green, there is indication the “I Love Jesus” man knew his way around the building. Though this happened at night when no one is around, why was he so familiar with the church? Now we …

The boy who cried ‘polar bear’

“The boy who cried wolf” is one of Aesop’s fables about a shepherd boy who repeatedly tricked the people in the village about a false claim that wolves were attacking his flock. When wolves did attack, the people didn’t believe him and the flock was destroyed. Today the phrase “to cry wolf” speaks of “raising false alarms.” And we seem to have the same thing happening today. People promoting man-made global warming are using all sorts of elaborate claims to get our attention. One of them suggests the polar bear population is dying off because bears are unable to hunt on the ice. However, a report recently produced by the Nunavut government, a territory in Northern Canada, is stating the exact opposite. The people in the arctic are claiming the bear population is booming and actually becoming a hazard to people. The draft report stated: “Public safety concerns, combined with the effects of polar bears on other species, suggested that in many Nunavut communities, the polar bear may have exceeded the co-existent threshold.” As a …

Lodi, California Credit: Wayne Hsieh/Flickr/Creative Commons

California doctors can’t explain what happened to Paul Wood’s brain tumor that suddenly disappeared

Lodi is a small rural town of 6,000 people located 40 miles south of Sacramento. Oddly up to now, the town’s biggest claim to fame is a song written about it by an old mega rock band, Credence Clearwater Revival. But that may soon change. It is now home to an unexplainable miracle. But it is only unexplainable, if you remove faith from the equation. Paul Wood lives in Lodi with his family where he attends Gravity Church. Several months ago, he started experiencing intense head aches and found it difficult to walk without holding on to the walls. His doctor suspected bleeding on the brain and referred Paul to a San Francisco neurosurgeon. However, testing there revealed a tumor on his brain that was probably malignant and preparations were made for surgery. At this point, Paul turned to faith, prayer and his church for support. In an interview with KOVR TV, Gravity Church pastor Jason McEachron said: “He just kept saying, ‘no matter what happens to me, I’m going to be okay. I trust …

Stretcher bearers at the Battle of Passchendaele, August, 1917, World War I Credit: Wikipedia

Major English cinema bans short film of Bible comforting World War I soldiers because it’s “too religious”

On the 100th anniversary marking the end of World War I, a short video produced by the UK Bible society that talked about the importance of Bibles to British soldiers fighting in that war was banned by a Empire Cinema as being too religious. The UK Bible Society produced the clip as part of this year’s Remembrance Day services where nearly 19 million people died. The film showed that during World War I, the British military included a Bible in the kit of every UK soldier. For many soldiers fighting in that horrific war, these Bibles were an important source of hope. During the three-minute video several people recited a passage in the Book of Revelation that spoke of a new earth, where all tears will be wiped away: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride …

Festival of the Assumption of Mary being held at a Roman Catholic church in Sicily. Credit: effems/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Why did Mary become so prominent in the Roman Catholic Church?

Several years ago, my wife and I adopted our daughter from a Roman Catholic orphanage in Peru. Part of the process included being in the country for several weeks as we worked through the adoption. We ended up staying at the orphanage where our daughter was living. It was a well-run orphanage and clearly the men and women working there were dedicated to helping these children. My wife and I became friends with a young Peruvian couple working at the orphanage who could speak English. Though committed Catholics, they were also actively involved in the Roman Catholic charismatic movement that held services every Saturday night at the local cathedral, where they emphasized the filling of the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts. I remember one evening, my wife and I went to their home for supper and we began talking about doctrine which invariably led to a discussion of Mary. The husband who helped lead the Charismatic group defended the Catholic church’s theological position on Mary . But things took a bit of change when I …

US Capitol Building, Washington, DC Credit: Jason OX4/Flickr/Creative Commons

A time to pray, a time to vote: A message from an “almost” American

It is election day in the USA and I would urge all the American Christians who visit this website to get out and vote. Even though I am a Canadian and can’t vote in the US, I consider these elections important. Now to be fair, I am almost an American. When my maternal grandfather died over three decades ago at the age of 100, my parents made an unusual discovery as they were completing the necessary paper work. They found out that grandpa Walter was not a Canadian citizen. He immigrated to Canada from the US in the early 1900s and never bothered to complete the paperwork of citizenship. He was effectively still an American. And because he was an American, who had been born in the US, my Canadian mother could automatically become an American citizen, which she did becoming a dual citizen. Though she was an American, because she was not born in the US, her children did not have the same privilege. If we wanted to become Americans we would have to …

Podcast #3: How much authority in God do you have?

  PODCAST NOTES: Hi my name is Dean Smith and this is Podcast #3: How much authority do you have. During the 1500s, Martin Luther was a Roman Catholic Priest who started the Protestant church. In this broadcast I want to discuss Martin Luther’s very strange prayer that led to the miraculous healing of fellow protestant co-worker Friedrich Myconius in 1540. So what was so strange about Martin Luther’s prayer and what can we learn from it? It was 501 years ago this year, October 31, 1517, that Martin Luther pounded his 95 theses on the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg, Germany calling for reform in the corrupt Roman Catholic church. Luther was protesting the sale of indulgences by a fellow Monk Johann Tetzel who was in town raising money for renovations of St. Peter’s basilica in Rome. Indulgences allowed you to buy your way into heaven, no matter what kind of lifestyle you lived. You could even purchase an indulgence for somebody who had already died. People were wasting a lot of …

Pakistan Credit: Gordon Dickson/Flickr/Creative Commons

Pakistan Supreme Court releases Asia Bibi charged with blasphemy

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has just released Asia Bibi. A Christian, she has been in jail since 2009 charged with blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammad. The packed court room in Islamabad was surrounded by 300 police when the verdict came down on October 31, 2018. In Pakistan, the blasphemy law comes with a death penalty. Bibi was actually sentenced to death in 2010, but has been appealing the verdict. This was the last stage. If she had lost this case, the government would have executed her. Officially called the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the country has a population of 213 million of which 96.4% are Muslim and only 1.5% are Christian. As soon as court released her, Bibi and her family were taken to an unknown location for fear of retaliation by extremists in the country. During the court case, two high-ranking government officials, including Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, were assassinated because they supported Bibe and even called for changes to the country’s blasphemy laws. After the Supreme Court announcement, protests erupted across Pakistan …

The notorious Evin Prison north of Tehran, Iran Credit: Yaadaavar/Flickr/Creative Commons

God displays His power in Iranian prison as Bible verses show up in an unusual way

Recently Open Doors USA interviewed Mojtaba Hosseini, 30, a former pastor of an Iranian house church, who was arrested by the Iranian secret police as a “threat against national security.” He had been previously arrested for leading a House Church and after his release immediately started leading a second group. This resulted in a second arrest and a three-year term in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison located outside Tehran reserved for political prisoners, murderers and drug dealers. After his release in 2015, Mojtaba left Iran and recently shared how God miraculously provided while he was in prison. He suffered in horrid conditions and admitted he was very scared. Initially he believed God was punishing him and spent hours repenting of his sins. That continued until God spoke to Mojtaba and told him to stop being so selfish and to look at the people around him. For the first time he saw the desperate people inside this prison and realized that God wanted him to share his faith with them. “It’s funny how God works sometimes. It …

Credit: 19melissa68/Flickr/Creative Commons

Report: 40% of children born outside of marriage in the US

According to a report recently released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), 4o% of child births in America are outside of marriage. Though this involves a significant number of single parents, according to this study the largest percentage involved couples who have chosen to live together versus getting married. However, data released by Pew Research in 2017, stated that the majority of unwed births (53%) involved single parents and the remaining 47% involved those living in a common law relationship. Though it reported that single parents were the majority, it also revealed the increasing trend of people choosing to live common law and having children because in 1968, 90% of unwed births were in single-parent families and only 10% involved couples living together. This falls in line with the growing number of people choosing to live together, which according to the US Census has increased from 14 million in 2007 to 18 million in 2016, with nearly half involving people under the age of 35. The number of people living common law has increased …

The White House Credit: Adam Fagen/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is the White House haunted?

In an interview on The Today Show in mid October, Jenna Bush Hager, 36, the daughter of former US President George W Bush, claims that the American White House may be haunted. Jenna spoke of the time when she and her twin sister were awakened in the middle of the night by a phone call and suddenly started hearing “1920s piano music, as clear as day, coming out of the fireplace.” Frightened she jumped into bed with her sister who also heard the music. The next week they heard opera music. Jenna’s sister Barbara confirmed the story was true in a 2017 interview with People and E! News stating that the incident was “the wildest thing that ever happened to us living in the White House.” Barbara added that the two thought of running to their parent’s room but talked themselves out of it. If it is not their imagination, could this be signs of demonic activity in the White House? One of the stranger stories in the Old Testament involved a spiritual battle to …

Podcast #2: Does the Bible speak of ‘social justice’?

  PODCAST NOTES: Hi my name is Dean Smith and this is Podcast #2, does the Bible speak of ‘social justice’? A few years back during a testimony time at the church my wife and I were attending a woman went to the front and said that the church needed to start fighting for social justice. There was a spattering of applause, because it sounded so spiritual. But the question I am asking in this podcast is it Biblical? “Social justice” is a favourite term of those on the political left, and recently I have seen the phrase starting to creep into Evangelical Churches. So what is social justice? The Oxford Dictionary defines the concept this way: Justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society. “individuality gives way to the struggle for social justice” There are two parts to this definition: First “Social justice” involves a redistribution of wealth. Now there is nothing wrong with people having equal opportunities. But for many of those promoting social justice, they are not …

Podcast #1: Does eye for an eye mean you love your neighbor as yourself?

  PODCAST NOTES: Hi my name is Dean Smith and this is Podcast #1, Does eye for an eye mean you love your neighbor as yourself? My wife and I were unable to have children and we ended up adopting our son from Guatemala and our daughter from Peru. When we adopted our daughter, we had to fly down to Peru to complete the adoption process. We ended up in the very southern end of Peru in the middle of the vast Sechura Desert, considered one of the driest places on the planet. Part of the adoption process involved going before a judge who would approve the adoption. We had a lawyer and the case was being handled in the judge’s office. As we walked down the corridor of the court building to her office, we noticed a one way Jesus sticker on the judge’s door. She was a Christian. The legal proceedings were handled by the judge who asked a series of questions in Spanish to our lawyer, who was the only person in …

Lauren Daigle singing at Winter Jam in Columbus, Ohio in 2016 Credit: Caleb Cook/Flickr/Creative

Lauren Daigle, a story of God’s calling and anointing?

I was reading an interesting article on the sudden rise of Christian singer Lauren Daigle, 27. If you have watched American Idol over the past few years, you may already have heard of her as she was a participant. Today she has a successful career as a Gospel singer. But in September 2018, Lauren caught many by surprise when her song “Look Up Child” suddenly took off coming in third on the Billboard 200, a secular chart. This put her behind Paul McCartney and Eminem, but ahead of superstars Niki Minaji, Drake and Ariana Grande. Of course her song dominated the Christian Billboard charts, but coming in near the top on a secular chart suggested her Christian-themed music was spilling over into the secular market. In an interview with the Associated Press (AP), Lauren said that one of the goals of her music team has been to “extend the tent pegs.” This is a reference to a verse out of Isaiah, where the prophet gave a word to the barren women to start singing with …