All posts filed under: News

Is the Holy Spirit working in Kanye West’s life?

Pop superstar Kanye West’s conversion to Christ has certainly caught everyone’s attention. Secular media are broadcasting stories about the church services he is holding and of course the religious media is doing the same. Some, both religious and secular, have questioned the sincerity of Kanye’s faith. But a recent interview with Adam Tyson, a California pastor, on Pure Flix has me increasingly convinced that the Holy Spirit is doing a work in the pop star’s life. Tyson made contact with Kanye, when the pop star attended the pastor’s Placerita Bible church in Santa Clarita, California, one Sunday morning. Of course, I immediately suspected Tyson must be one of those mega-pastors with thousands of people attending every Sunday. It wasn’t. Tyson’s church has 300 members. But through this initial visit, Tyson developed a relationship with Kanye and is now regularly preaching at Kanye’s services held around the US. But in his Pure Flix interview, Tyson recalled what Kanye said to him: “I was just under the weight of my sin, and I was being convicted that …

UPDATE: The Babylonian coincidence?

Maybe it’s all just a coincidence, but one of the favorite Old Testament stories may have a strange link to the Book of Revelation and a case being brought before the US Supreme Court. The Bible story involves Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego being thrown into a fiery furnace because they refused to bow and worship a giant idol. The Jews had been taken in captivity by the Babylonians and an edict was passed requiring people of all nations to bow and worship a massive idol set up in the city. Refusal to worship would result in death by burning (Daniel 3:4-6). Because of their faith in Jehovah, three Jewish boys Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused and were immediately sentenced to death. They stood for their faith and were thrown into a fiery furnace where their lives were miraculously spared. Babylon was one of the great enemies of Israel and was eventually destroyed. But as we look to the New Testament, Babylon makes a second appearance in the Book of Revelation, a written record of the …

The ability to forgive others is birthed in fully understanding our forgiveness

A Dallas jury recently found former police officer Amber Guyger, 31, guilty of killing Botham Jean, a believer, and worship leader at a Church of Christ in Dallas. Though the prosecutor was asking for a sentence of 28 years, Guyger was sentenced to ten years in prison. It was a bizarre story. Guyger lived in the same apartment building as Botham. She was a police officer and had just finished her shift in September 2018 and was returning home. But according to her testimony, distracted by texts, she inadvertently mistook Botham’s apartment for her own. Apparently Botham’s door was unlocked and thinking this was her apartment, Guyger was immediately suspicious that someone had broken in. When Botham stood up, thinking he was an intruder, Guyger pulled her gun, and shot Botham, killing him. There were obviously a lot of questions about this senseless killing and many were upset that Guyger hadn’t received a longer sentence. In fact, there were protesters outside the court room demanding a longer prison term. But after the sentencing came down, …

The Cult of Environmental Activism

Yesterday, I was working in a small city that I will call Pleasantville because it’s a nice place, with clean streets, green parks and many tall trees, and where most people are polite. It’s a center for the economy of a large region and it has a university campus. It’s also full of retired people because of the low house prices. I’m sure you get the picture. I was in a car, waiting at a red light at a busy intersection, with another person. Suddenly, on my left, I saw someone walking through the intersection, and not on the sidewalk. That person was followed many others, two or three hundred, including at least one person in a wheel chair, and several babies. This was in a city where everyone waits for a walk light, and crosses carefully at the designated crosswalk, showing respect and courtesy to the neighbors. It’s that kind of place. It was shocking to see a large crowd walk through a busy intersection, even when the light was red for them, in …

Documentary tells of the explosive growth of the house church movement in Iran

According to a documentary released in August, the explosive growth of Christianity in Iran is a result of a rapidly expanding house church movement with most being led by women. The documentary entitled Sheep Among Wolves was produced by Frontier Alliance International (FAI) and looked at the growth of Christianity in Iran perhaps one of the most repressive regimes in the world. And we know Christianity is growing because of the repeated public statements made by Iranian officials and religious leaders in recent years warning of Christianity’s growth. In their video, FAI explained what was behind the unusual growth. In its trailer, the documentary noted: “The Iranian awakening is a rapidly-reproducing discipleship movement that owns no property or buildings, has no central leadership and is predominantly led by women.” In the video they were forced to disguise the Iranian believers because of fear of arrest. One Iranian Christian said “What if I told you the mosques are empty inside Iran.” He went on to say that the political and the elites are the ones who …

Study suggests that women who bottle up anger have a higher risk of a stroke

According to researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, feeling resentful or bottling up your anger may result in an increased risk of stroke for women. Strokes occur when plaque build up in arteries results in a reduction of blood flow to the brain as the arteries narrow. An additional contributor is Atherosclerosis that occurs when chunks of plaque break away increasing the potential of a blockage. According to the Daily Mail, that reported on the study, strokes are the third highest cause of death in America and fourth highest in England Women are also more vulnerable to strokes than men and struggle with recovery when strokes do occur. In their study, the researchers analyzed 304 non-smoking women between the ages of 40 and 60. They asked them a series of questions that included if they tended to put other people’s needs first over their own and if they were likely to express their true feelings about a situation. The researchers then did ultra sounds on the women’s arteries and discovered that women who did not …

Sinead O’Connor and Islam; Convert or Revert?

You probably know the name Sinead O’Connor, especially if you listened to popular music about twenty years ago. She is one of the most popular entertainers from Ireland, a country that produced U2, and Enya, and if you remember, the Irish Rovers.  For a small country, Ireland has a huge influence on our popular music. Sinead O’Connor is probably best known for her song “Nothing Compares to You” but she has produced a large volume of music, and she is still active with her musical career. Sinead O’Connor was also famous for her troubled personal life. She searched for meaning in her life, and recently, apparently in 2018, she converted to the religion of Islam. Now she speaks openly and proudly about her new faith, and she wears a conservative hijab, in Ireland. She also denies that her Islamic faith is new to her. According to Sinead O’Connor, she didn’t convert to Islam, she reverted. She discovered that she was always a Muslim, when she read the Koran, the Muslim holy book. In her own …

Has God’s temple been desecrated in China?

As I read a story out of China, I wondered if I was watching end times prophecy come to pass. Now I don’t think it is the actual fulfillment, but I don’t like how close it got. In 2 Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul describes how the Antichrist will set himself up like a god, in the temple of God: 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 NASV There were two temples in Israel’s history. King Solomon built the first temple that was destroyed by Babylon in 586 BC. The second, built by Ezra and later renovated by King Herod, was the one that Jesus visited. It was obliterated by the Romans in 70 AD and was never rebuilt. But there are …

God will find a way

Español: Dios va a encontrar la manera Despite secularists and left-wing activists trying to banish the church into a dark corner of irrelevancy, God will find a way to get the message of Jesus out to the world. Over the past three weeks, two rocks stars, though one is probably more a pop star and another a hip hop artist, put God and faith front and center. But I call them rock stars for a reason. It’s a play on what Jesus said as He entered Jerusalem riding a colt on what would be His final trip. As the Lord entered the city, people were crying out “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord”, and the pharisees in the crowds were trying to quieten everyone and finally yelled out for Jesus to order his disciples to quit shouting out (Luke 19:28-47). Jesus responded that if they didn’t cry out, then the rocks would. The lesson of this story is very simple. If society tries to marginalize the church, then God …

Do two bizarre stories out of Canada define the country’s spiritual climate?

I recently read of two events that took place in Canada that in some ways define the cultural climate of hostility against Christianity and its roots. The first involved an Orthodox Priest who was allegedly fired for praying for Israel and the second involved a leader of a political party who quickly apologized after stating in a media interview that her favorite person was Jesus Christ. Father Vladimir Tobin, 77, served as a priest for St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Church in Halifax, Nova Scotia. According to Breaking Israel News (BIN), he got into trouble with his overlords in the Orthodox church when he publicly prayed for Israel. BIN reports that on August 12, Tobin received a letter from America Archbishop Irénée who serves as the archbishop of Canada telling Tobin it was time for him to retire because his ministry had a “Jewish twist.” Apparently the assistant pastor at the church had contacted the archbishop complaining that during one service Tobin had asked his congregation to pray for Israel. Initially, the archbishop had asked for Tobin’s …

Study says for an emotionally healthier you reduce your Facebook time

I have a confession to make. I am rarely on Facebook. We have a Facebook page for OpenTheWord, with articles automatically posted to the page. You can like the page here if you want to follow the website in that way. But in a counter-intuitive move, I am probably recommending you don’t. Because if researchers from Yale and UC San Diego are right, you may be emotionally healthier if you cut back the amount of time you spend on Facebook. In their study, the two researchers, UC’s Holly Shakya and Yale’s Nicholas Christakis, followed 5,208 people for two years who were regular Facebook users. There was one slight difference in their methodology. In the past, people studying the impact of social media have done it through self reporting. In other words, the people being studied reported how much they were on social media. However, in this study Shakya and Christakis received permission to monitor their study groups’ Facebook activity through Facebook, so they had an accurate reading of how many times the individuals were actually …

All Israel will be saved?

I recently read an article on Charisma News by Ron Cantor, a Messianic Jew living and ministering in Israel of how Jews are starting to accept Christ as their Messiah. Israel has a population of just over nine million people with nearly 75% Jewish, 17% Muslim and the remainder a mixture of Christian 2%, Druze 1.7% (Arab non-Muslims) and others. According to Cantor, there are about 200 Messianic congregations in Israel with over 20,000 people attending. These are Jews who believe Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and are in addition to non-Jewish Christians living in Israel. But the purpose of Cantor’s article was to report on a shift he believes is taking place in Israel. Cantor points out that Paul writes in Romans 11:25 that there was a “partial hardening” of the Jew’s heart, that led to a powerful move of God among the gentiles. During Paul’s ministry, there came a moment when he purposefully shifted his ministry to the gentiles. That took place at Corinth. When Paul arrived, as was his tradition, he went …

Study suggests divorce increases the risk of dementia

I find it difficult to write on divorce, because there can be legitimate reasons for a marriage breakdown and sometimes a person has no choice because one partner wants out of the marriage. But we are living in a society where marriage is increasingly devalued and looked upon as being as disposable as a paper cup. But the Bible states that God hates divorce and warns of it being a violent act as it involves separating two people who in Biblical terms were one flesh (Mark 10:8). “For the Lord God of Israel saysThat He hates divorce,For it covers one’s garment with violence,”Says the Lord of hosts.“Therefore take heed to your spirit,That you do not deal treacherously.” Malachi 2:16 NKJV And this cutting apart has the potential to harm all involved including children (here, here and here) and the couple divorcing. Aside from the negative emotional and economic consequences of divorce, studies also reveal divorce can physically impact the health of the people involved. And this was the conclusion of yet another study that provided …

Anointed worship song leads man to confess to murder?

An interesting story emerged during the recent trial of Danny Dashay Holmes about the power and anointing on Christian music. Danny was on trial in Indiana, for the December 16, 2016, murder of Cesar Lopez-Flores. According to the Daily News Journal (DNJ), after kidnapping a woman by the name of Brittany Johnson, Danny forced Brittany to drive to Lopez-Flores home where Danny and others murdered Lopez-Flores. Johnson was then released unharmed. During his trial in August 2019, Danny dramatically announced to the court he would plead guilty to the murder. Danny stated that a year earlier he had become a Christian, but what prompted him to confess was Big Daddy Weave’s song called “Redeemed.” Now I must confess I had never heard of Big Daddy Weave, but the Christian band features a former worship leader of a church in Pensacola Florida, Mike Weaver. And though I had never heard of Big Daddy Weave, I am apparently one of the few who hasn’t because the video of the band’s song “Redeemed” has been viewed over 39 …

Study says optimists more likely to live longer

According to the Daily Mail, researchers from Boston University stated that optimists tend to live longer than those with a more pessimistic view of life. The researchers came to this conclusion after monitoring the attitudes and lives of 69,744 women and 1,500 men. The women (aged 58 to 86) were surveyed for ten years and the men (aged 41 to 90) tracked for 30 years. During this period, the researchers asked them a series of questions to determine if their outlook on life was negative or positive. They concluded that on average men with the most optimistic view extended their lives an additional 11% and women 15% when compared to their negative counterparts. They also found that optimists were more likely to hit 85 years of age with 70% more men and 50% more women reaching that age. Their findings were published in the journal entitled “Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences.” According to the researchers, optimistic people were defined as those who believed “the future will be pleasant because one can control …

Why we missed the communion service on the moon

The British newspaper, The Guardian, recently told the story of how astronaut Buzz Aldrin had communion on the moon. On July 20, 1969, Buzz and fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong were the first people to actually stand on the moon, during their visit as part of the Apollo 11 mission. Of course many will remember Armstrong’s memorable words as the first man to step on the moon when he said: ”That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” While most people remember “one small step for man” in an article on Space, Neil said he had actually said “a man” but the “a” wasn’t heard in the broadcast that travelled 238,000 miles (ca. 383,024 km). And though his words are remembered as the most iconic moment on the Apollo 11 lunar landing, there was a less known, and in fact, if The Guardian article is right, a suppressed religious event. Buzz Aldrin was also an elder at Webster Presbyterian Church in Webster, Texas about 30 miles (ca. 48 km) outside Houston. He had …

The futility of worry

A recent study by researchers from Penn State exposed the futility of worry in a very “odd” way, that seems to confirm an equally “odd” statement that Jesus made about worry. Worry is a very destructive force and if we don’t control it, worry can actually cause physical damage to our bodies, in addition to the emotional stress that can lead to such things as depression. According to an article on WebMD, unchecked worry can cause the release of stress hormones such as cortisol. These hormones are released during times of extreme stress. The release of these hormones fill the body with the extra energy required during times of acute danger. However, if there is no physical release (fight or flight), these hormones sit unused and over time can potentially damage our bodies resulting in heart and digestive problems and even affect our memory and immune system. So what did those Penn State researchers uncover? Well they studied 29 people who have a serious anxiety disorder. These were top-level worriers. For one month these people …

Isis, Al-Qaeda and that Bird

A funny thing happened in the Middle East, recently. A team from ISIS, probably in the country of Yemen, made a video for the Internet. One member of the group had a statement to make about his loyalty to the cause. It was a propaganda announcement for the group. When the man tried to speak into the microphone, in front of the camera, he was interrupted. Every time he spoke, a loud bird squawked nearby, and the man had to keep restarting his speech. He started to get confused, in front of the camera, and he consulted his notes, and someone behind the camera tried to coach him, telling him to be cool. I guess that means stay calm and focus on the job. RELATED: When a bird turned an ISIS propaganda video into a blooper: Times of Indian The video is funny, and it was published in many news sources, around the world. I chose a link to the “Times of India.” The video went viral, and the people who made it probably wish …

Sometimes there is more than one right way of doing things

Many, many years ago, I think it was sometime during the Pleistocene age, I was working with a political party, and my boss gave me some advice that has stuck with me for years. He said: “Dean, there is more than one right way of doing things.” As Christians, we tend to fall in the trap of thinking there is only one way of doing something, God’s way, often cleverly disguised as our way. Now there are certainly things that we need to be dogmatic on including the Deity of Christ, the supremacy of Scripture and morality. But there are a few elements of the Christian faith where there is clearly more than one right way of doing them. One of those is whether to honor Sunday as the Lord’s Day. I was reading an interesting article on CBN, about Chick-fil-A and the company’s decision to close on Sunday. The company is owned by the Cathy family, devout Christians, who have publicly supported traditional values. Despite being closed one day a week, it is now …

One Christian’s view of the death penalty

Several years back, I was talking to a friend who asked me why the Bible supports the death penalty in the Old Testament (Numbers 35:16-17), while Jesus states in the New Testament that we need to forgive and even love our enemies (Matthew 5:44-45; Matthew 6:14-15). To him it appeared like a contradiction. How could Jesus exhortation to forgive in any way support the death penalty? It was a valid observation. Two recent media stories may help explain what appears to be a Bible contradiction. According to Religion News Service, the Rabbi of Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue is calling for mercy for a mass shooter who killed 11 members of the congregation in a murderous antisemitic attack on October 27, 2018. The media are reporting that the social media accounts of the alleged killer, Robert Bowers, had several anti Jewish statements in some instances referring to Jews as “filthy evil.” Bowers pleaded not guilty to the mass murder. In a letter sent to the state’s attorney general, Rabbi Johnathan Perlman and his wife Beth …

Just What is the Temple of Satan?

There are reports this year, of an emerging new religion “The Temple of Satan.” This group may have existed for years, but recently it has been getting attention, and apparently attracting many new members. One prominent community is in the city if Ottawa, the capital of Canada. Ottawa is usually a quiet city with tourists and politicians, and government workers. The new ‘Temple’ religion is new and different. RELATED: The Rise of the Satanic Temple in Canada: Global News One of the practices of the group is to ‘unbaptize’ people from Christianity, to undo their conversion and remove them from that religion. Christians should know that this is very different from traditional atheism and agnosticism. Those ideas have been at the center of western culture for several generations, and are usually called “liberal” and “modernist.” This modern thinking usually refers to ideas like Darwin’s theory of Evolution. Notice that Darwinian Evolution has a universe with no God, no creator. Darwin was trained to be a Christian minister, and he speculated about a universe like a …

Florida-based Chick-fil-A restaurant. Photo: Robert du Bois/Flickr/Creative Commons

Chick-fil-A preparing a table in the midst of its enemies

Despite being closed on Sundays, Chick-fil-A continues its exponential growth as a fast food restaurant in America. Last year the sales for an average restaurant were double those of McDonalds considered one of the iconic brands of America. In terms of total sales, Chick-fil-A is third behind McDonalds and Starbucks due to the fact the leaders have more restaurants. In 2018, Chick-fil-A generated $10 billion an increase of $2 billion since 2005. Compared to one of its major competitors, Chick-fil-A increased its number of restaurants by 8% that year, while KFC actually shrank by 1%. It is one of the fastest growing food chains in America. These are staggering numbers considering the chain typically only opens six days a week giving its workers Sunday off to be with family and attend church. But it has opened on Sundays on occasion to provide food often for free in emergencies such as it did after Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina. Staff were called in on a Sunday to not only make but help distribute free Chick-fil-A sandwiches …

Who is the Jewish Messiah — Jesus or Rabbi Schneerson?

There is an interesting story on Breaking Israel News (BIN) of how a group of Orthodox Jews from an organization called the Yad L’Achim recently prevented a Christian missionary group from baptizing several Jews in the Sea of Galilee. There was no mention of  the name of the Christian organization. The plan was to transport the Jews from Tel Aviv to Tiberias for the baptism. According to BIN the organization decided to baptize the Jews on the sabbath believing it would hinder any opposition as the Old Testament law limits travel on the sabbath for Orthodox Jews. But apparently there was away around it, or they just ignored the prohibition against travel and about 15 students who attended a Yad L’Achim religious school in Tel Aviv made their way to the spot that the Jews were preparing to load a bus to Tiberias. Some orthodox Jews were wearing shirts, “Jew stop! Christianity is not our way.” There was a bit of a confrontation at the bus between the missionaries and the members of Yad L’Achim …

Rapper megastar Kanye West now leading a church service?

Though I am not all that familiar with rap singer and song writer Kanye West, 42, I should be. He has won 21 Grammy Awards (putting him on the top ten list of most wins) and his 140 million record sales also makes him one of the best-selling artists of all time. And for the period of 2005 t0 2015,  Time Magazine ranked him among the world’s 100 most influential people. And top all that off he is married to Kim Kardashian, a star in her own right. But there have been rumblings recently of Kanye’s belief in Christ. In a broadcast on Queen Radio found on Apple Music, singer Nicki Minaj was interviewing “Chance the Rapper” another Christian artist when she mentioned that Kanye told her that he is a born-again Christian and became one shortly after he was hospitalized for bi-polar in 2016. Minaj said: “Sometimes in the music business, we think other artists don’t believe in God or aren’t spiritual as we are. Then when you find people because I was just …

Is David Gelernter God’s response to Joshua Harris?

The Christian world was recently shaken when former mega church pastor and popular Christian author Joshua Harris publicly stated “I am not a Christian” and at the same time announced that he and his wife of 19 years were separating. Harris, 44, pastored Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland for 11 years and wrote several books including “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” that sold over a million copies. In his Instagram post, Harris stated: “The information that was left out of our announcement is that I have undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus. The popular phrase for this is ‘deconstruction,’ the biblical phrase is ‘falling away.’ By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian.” In simple terms it seems that Harris has now denied his faith. It is discouraging for believers to read of a man with some prominence in Christian circles walking away from Christianity. The Apostle Paul warned of a falling away that will take place in the end times (2 …

The IRA vs Ulster Loyalists and Zealots vs Tax collectors: God brings hardened enemies together

An article on CBN, tells how the Holy Spirit is bringing together Catholics and protestants who were once deadly enemies in Northern Ireland. Belfast is the capital city of Northern Ireland and two decades ago it was the center of a violent conflict between Catholics and protestants as the Catholic Irish Republican Army (IRA) was seeking Northern Ireland’s independence from British rule. The Union Protestants loyal to the British government were literally in an armed conflict with the IRA trying to stop this from happening. War raged between the two factions for decades with British soldiers also thrown into the mix who were there to keep the peace. In 1998, a peace was reached between the warring factions and though the peace has held, there are still deep-seated resentments between the two groups. And today in Belfast there is a distinctive Catholic sector in the city marked by murals of the conflict twenty years ago. Though the two groups have put down their guns, God is trying to bring a heart-felt peace and a big …

A prophetic call to leadership?

Español: Un llamado profético de liderazgo? Earlier this year, the citizens of El Salvador elected Nayib Bukele as the country’s president in national elections held in February. Nothing unusual about that, but there are several things unusual about Bukele. First he is only 37 years of age and is the youngest person ever elected president in that country. He is also the youngest president in Central America. He managed to get elected as an independent. It’s a rare achievement to be elected president with no party affiliation as the last time that happened in El Salvador was in 1972. But what makes him truly unique is that he received three prophetic words and one warning encouraging the Christian businessman to run for president. Bukele was a successful businessman and city mayor and had no interest in running for president of the country. According to Charisma News, in a presentation to a group pastors, businessmen and local leaders at the end of July, Bukele unexpectedly shared his story on how he ended up as president. It …

Former porn star now leading XXXchurch

Christian Post is reporting that Craig Gross who founded XXXchurch 17 years ago is leaving this ministry and turning it over a former porn star Brittni De La Mora and her husband Rich. XXXchurch is a ministry dedicated to helping people break free from their addiction to porn. According a statement by Gross, seven years ago he helped Brittni leave the porn industry where she performed under the name of Jenna Presley. Four years later, Brittni met and married Rich who was pastoring a church at the time. As he was contemplating leaving XXXchurch, Gross felt God impress on him that Brittni and Rich were to replace him. Gross added that this choice does not surprise him because Brittni is picture of God’s redemptive work. In a post on Facebook, Brittni added that Craig and his wife Jeannette played a critical role in helping her break free from the porn industry: “This is crazy! When I was in the adult film industry XXXchurch used to tell me that Jesus loves me. They gave me a …

‘Unplanned’ smashes box office expectations in Canada

Despite attacks from the radical left, politicians and the pro-choice crowd, the movie Unplanned did extremely well in Canadian movie theaters over the weekend. The movie is scheduled for a seven-day release running from July 12 through the 18th. Listing of theaters showing Unplanned at the end of the article. The movie tells the story of Abby Johnson’s conversion from the pro-choice movement to pro-life.  Abby worked as a director of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in the US and dramatically changed her mind after witnessing the abortion of a 13-week-old baby. And Unplanned continues this tradition as according to its producers they have received  letters from many abortion workers have turned their backs on the abortion industry after viewing the film. According to reports, the movie earned an estimated $7,041 per screen based on reports from 49 Canadian theaters. This gave it the second highest per screen average in all of North America for that weekend. If the movie had shown in 1,500 theaters instead of 53, it could have grossed an unprecedented $5 …

Barna survey show moms’ impact a child’s faith more than dads’ do

A study conducted by the Barna Group in conjunction with the Lutheran Hour Ministries concluded that mothers played a more significant role in the development of their children’s faith than the fathers. In 2018, Barna surveyed 2,347 people described as committed Christians to find out who influenced them spiritually. The survey reported: 68% said they were most influenced by their mothers, 46% attributed their fathers, 37% grandparents, 16% non relative, 14% a friend, and 59% said their faith was passed down to them from their parents. This study shows the profound impact mothers can have on their children and according to the Apostle Paul it was Timothy’s mother (Eunice) and grandmother (Lois) who most impacted Timothy, who went on to be a key leader in the early church. 5 For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well. (2 Timothy 1:5 NASV) In fact, the lack of reference to Timothy’s dad suggests he …

‘Free speech’ victory: The Unplanned movie will now be shown in Canada

In what many believe is a battle for free speech in Canada, the movie Unplanned will finally be shown in selected theaters across Canada between July 12th and 18th. The controversial movie starring Ashley Bratcher portrays the story of Abby Johnson’s conversion from a former director of a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in the US to a strong pro-life advocate in 2009. Abby walked out of Planned Parenthood after being traumatized as she watched the abortion of a 13-week-old baby. The movie was shown in selected theaters across the US earlier in the year earning revenues of $18 million compared to production costs of $14 million. For two weeks it ranked as one of the top ten most watched movies in American theaters. Though Rotten Tomato Reviewers hated the movie, often a good indicator it is probably worth seeing, the viewer rating was overwhelming positive. When there were talks of Unplanned being shown in Canada there was a huge uproar on social media with some theaters actually receiving threats if they decided to show the …

The fight for religious freedoms in England and California

We live in interesting times. In 2016, the University of Sheffield in England kicked Felix Ngole out of its program because of a 2015 Facebook discussion. Ngole, a Christian, was attending post-graduate courses at the university with the intent of becoming a social worker. The Facebook thread involved a discussion of same-sex marriage and Ngole shared some Bible verses revealing his support of traditional marriage. A few months later an anonymous person made a complaint to the University of Sheffield who responded by kicking Ngole out of its program stating that he could not share his personal Christian opinions while attending the university. In fact, the university told Ngole he wouldn’t even be allowed to share his views off campus and that included in churches. But Ngole decided to fight this decision. Represented by Paul Diamond, an attorney who specializes in defending religious liberties, Ngole took the university to court. Though Ngole lost his initial court case, this past June, a three judge Court of Appeals ruled in Ngole’s favor stating: “The mere expression of …

Antisemitism warnings in Germany: spokesman warns against wearing a kippah in public

In an interview with the German newspaper, Funke, Germany’s antisemitism commissioner Felix Klein warned that Jewish men should not wear their kippah or skull cap in public due to the rapid increase in antisemitic attacks in recent years. There are approximately 200,000 Jews living in Germany. According to Breaking Israel News, in 2018 Berlin reported nearly a 20% increase of antisemitic offenses over the previous year with nearly 300 incidents reported in Germany’s capital. With 1,649 attacks in 2018, overall the country registered a 10% increase in hate offenses over 2017. But what is particularly disturbing is that the number of violent antisemitic attacks has nearly doubled over 2017 increasing from 37 to 62 in 2018. Though the police and mainline media report that these attacks are due to right-wing fanaticism, this is not what the Jews are reporting. They suggest that Muslim extremists and left wing fanatics are equal partners in Germany’s hate crimes. A recent survey of Jews in the EU showed that 41% indicated the most serious antisemitic offenses came from people …

Are Muslims Changing?

I have a new phone. My old Motorola still worked well, but it couldn’t accept all the upgrades to the apps loaded onto it; bloatware. My new phone has the capacity, and I am surprised by the huge volume of information that I can get from that small computer in my pocket. I can watch movies, and the news, play video games, or learn a new language, and so much more. When I go to church, I don’t need to carry a Bible; I just click on a Bible app on my phone. There are many of these apps, in most languages, and most are free. You knew that already, but imagine living in a small town in the conservative Middle East. You belong to the religion of your father, by law, and you can never quit or change to something different. For many the highest education you can achieve is in a Koranic school, where you memorize the holy book. In your lifetime, you might never meet a person who has a different religion …