All posts filed under: Religious

HS football team gathers for prayer after school board orders ban on teacher-led prayer

After a Tennessee school board told teachers and coaches last week that they could no longer lead their school teams in prayer, several players, cheerleaders, fans and parents associated with Putnam County football team took matters into their own hands and gathered on the field after a recent game to pray.

Mile-wide Christians

A recent poll conducted by the Cultural Research Center of Arizona Christian University headed by George Barna uncovered some questionable beliefs about those who self-identify as Christians in America. In the poll, about 69% of Americans (176 million) self-identified as Christian. And though that number seem impressive, it falls inline with that old saying of being a mile wide, but only one inch deep. The poll revealed that self-identification does not necessarily refer to a Biblical definition of Christianity. They are Christian only in the sense that they grew up in what could loosely be described as a Christian home. They don’t regularly attend religious services, but if they did, it would be a Christian one. So in that sense they follow the Christian tradition, more than they follow Christian beliefs. And this showed up, as the poll exposed the actual beliefs of these self-identifying Christians: For example, 72% of self-identified Christians believe that everyone is basically good. And this almost perfectly corresponds with their response to the another question, where only 34% said that …

Seven soldiers spontaneously baptized at Fort Irwin. Is this part of a bigger ‘Kingdom of God’ strategy?

According to a recent Facebook post, seven soldiers stationed at Fort Irwin, a US military base located in California, were recently baptized by Chaplains in a make shift baptismal tanks after they spontaneously requested water baptism. Faithit reports that the news was shared on Facebook by 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team and 2nd Infantry Division that posted: “With no chapel or equipment to facilitate, our chaplains came together and created a makeshift tub at the National Training Center/Fort Irwin and got the job done. A fine example of Lancers being experts at their chosen field craft!” Since it was first reported on Aug 30, 2021, the post has received over 77,000 shares, 3,000 comments and 21,000 likes. Fort Irwin is a major training base for the US military and is located in the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County. Because of its massive size, 1,000 square miles, it provides training in multiple facets including manoeuvres, air combat, air support tactics and urban warfare. Each month, between 4,000 to 5,000 soldiers rotate through the base’s National …

Kanye West’s album DONDA has Biblical themes as it sets records on Spotify and Apple

Pop star, rapper Kanye West, 44, has seen a bit of controversy in recent months, but it certainly hasn’t harmed the sales of his most recent 27-song album release, DONDA, named after his mother who died in 2007. The album, released on Sunday, Aug 29, 2021, broke the Spotify record set earlier this year by Olivia Rodrigo’s album, Sour, for being the most streamed album in the first 24 hours following its release. It is also breaking records on Apple, where it became the number one song in over 150 countries during the same period, as it was streamed over 60 million times. In 2019, Kanye released a worship album, Jesus is King, that was also hugely popular and became the first album to simultaneously Top the Billboard 200, Top Gospel Albums, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, Top Christian Albums and Top Rap Albums. Premier Christian News reports though not an overtly-worship album, DONDA has several Biblical-themed songs including Jesus Lord, Lord I Need You, Praise God, Keep My Spirit Alive, I know God Breathed On and …

Atheists have faith, 85% believe in aliens

I recently read an interesting article published by Religion News Service that reported on a Pew survey conducted this year on the belief in alien life. While atheists enjoy mocking Christians because of our belief in God, the poll found that atheists, despite their claims of being evidence-based, also have faith, as most believe in the existence of aliens. According to Pew’s survey conducted in 2021, 85% of atheists/agnostics said they believed in little green men. But they weren’t alone, as the same survey revealed that 80% of nones, those with no religious affiliation, also claimed they believe in aliens. Though certainly not as high, overall 57% of Christians similarly claimed they believed in the possibility of life on other planets, but when broken down by religious affiliation, Evangelicals at 40% were among the lowest to hold such an opinion. And if a survey conducted in 2014 by Astronomer David Weintraub is any indication, atheists’ belief in aliens is growing. The Vanderbilt University professor conducted a similar survey for his book, Religions and Extraterrestrial life, …

Australia: Church fined $5,000 for not displaying QR code on door

The Australian government of New South Wales (NSW) requires most businesses to display a bar code on the outside of the premises, provided by the government. This even includes churches, and all staff and congregation members must scan the barcode before entering the church, so the government can keep track of who has entered the building.

Chinese Communist Party offers a reward to snitch on Christians

According to a report by the China Christian Daily, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Heilongjiang Province, located in North Eastern China, is offering a reward of US$150 for anyone reporting illegal religious activity. As part of this, the government has set up a snitch line where people can report such activity through email or by phone. The Christian Post reports that under the program entitled, “The Reward System For Reporting Illegal Religious Activities Offences,” the government is asking citizens to report anyone who is preaching, distributing religious tracts and other religious literature (both printed and digital), holding house meetings outside the government-approved Three Self Patriot Movement (TSPM). The TSPM is a religious organization set up by the communist regime that allows it to monitor sermons, control messaging and even appoint communist-approved pastors to the churches. All Christian churches are required to join. The CCP justifies the reward stating it is trying to stop the spread of COVID, which ironically was the same excuse it used to crush the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Though …

Ex-Bloods gang member singing Gospel to critically ill patients

The Bloods are a notorious street gang that originated in California in the 1960s. Now spread across America, it is considered one of the most violent, criminal gangs in America. The New York Post recently shared a story about how a former member of the ruthless gang, Enrique Rodriguez, is now singing Gospel music to patients at Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Was Christopher Hitchens right? Is religion evil?

You might know who Christopher Hitchens is, or was. He died in 2011. He was a very intelligent man, and I’m sure that debating him was an impossible task. He had a good memory for history, and he could defend his ideas aggressively. I would never want to be on a stage debating hum. Probably his best-known book is “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.” He was a militant atheist, and he was very entertaining as he spoke against religion and God. After the 9-11 attacks, he often argued against the religion of Islam. He also believed that the Christian evangelist Billy Graham was an evil liar, and he said so openly. READ: Christopher Hitchens In 2011, at the age of 62, while he was on a speaking tour, he was rushed to a hospital. The doctors discovered that he had cancer, and he died a year and a half later. His words are still with us, in books and recordings. So, was he correct? Is all religion evil? 1) He is wrong: …

‘A scared world, needs a fearless church’: Worship leader Sean Feucht confronts Antifa in Portland

Worship leader Sean Feucht reports that the day after members of Antifa, a left-wing extremist group, terrorized several Christians who had gathered for a time of prayer and worship at Portland’s harbour front on Saturday, Aug 7, 2021, over 5,000 Christians showed up the very next day to show that they would not allow themselves to be intimidated. When a group of Christians gathered the day earlier, several Antifa members showed up dressed in black and some with shields and weapons. They maced members of the Christian group and terrorized others, destroyed their sound equipment, forcing some families with young children to flee the event. Members of Antifa could be heard mocking, “where is your God now.” In what could only be described as a God coincidence, Sean, who has been holding worship services across America over the last several months, had four months earlier scheduled a service for Portland, the day after Antifa had disrupted the Saturday service. Declaring he would not be intimidated, Feucht went ahead with the service at the very location …

Antifa terrorizes families with children at Christian prayer event, while taunting them with ‘where is your god now’

Post Millennial is reporting that several people associated with the left-wing extremist organization, Antifa, attacked a group of Christians who had gathered to worship and pray at Portland’s waterfront on Saturday, Aug 7, 2021. Videos show Antifa militants, some carrying weapons and shields, dressed in black, pepper spraying and throwing objects at the Evangelical Christians who had gathered near the Battleship Oregon Memorial. As families with children were forced to flee, Antifa tore down the groups’ sound system and threw it in the Willamette River, breaking up the gathering. As soon as the event was announced, that featured Canadian Pastor Artur Pawlowski, who was arrested for holding services during the COVID pandemic, Antifa members began responding on Twitter, threatening the event. During the attack, one member of Antifa could be heard taunting the Christians, asking “Where is your god now?” READ: BREAKING: Antifa assault families and children at Christian prayer event in Portland park AND Portland sees Antifa descend on Christian worship event, clash with Proud Boys in streets The Portland police were called, but …

Poll: Secular Americans, less likely to be vaccinated for COVID, than Christians

While some in the mainstream media are focussing on Evangelical Christians as one of the largest groups resisting the COVID vaccine, a study of the results of a May poll by Eastern Illinois University Assistant Political professor, Ryan Burge, has come to a different conclusion. His analysis of the data from a survey conducted by Data for Progress, revealed that it was the “young and secular” who were actually leading the unvaccinated charge. Burge wrote: “I don’t find a lot of evidence that evangelicals are the ones lagging behind. In fact, I find that those without any religious affiliation were the least likely to have received at least one dose of any COVID-19 vaccine.” Burge added that the results of the poll showed that in early May 2021, 62% of Evangelical Americans had received at least one vaccine shot. This compared to 72% of “non-evangelical Protestants” and 47% of the nones, those with no religious affiliation. After accounting for multiple factors, such as race, education, age, income, and gender that affects a person’s willingness and …

The Ongoing Intersection of the Gospel with Culture

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Three years ago, I conducted a poll on Facebook asking, “Should pastors and Christian leaders just preach the gospel, or should they also comment on relevant social and political issues?” Three years later to the day, I posted the same poll on Twitter. How did the results compare? Obviously, there is nothing scientific about these polls. They simply indicate how my Facebook and Twitter communities feel about the question. As for these two social media communities, although they have much in common, in many ways they disparate in their viewpoints and beliefs. How did the results compare? In 2018 on Facebook, out of roughly 1,900, 84 percent said “Gospel & culture” with only 16 percent saying “Gospel only.” In 2021 on Twitter, out of 889 responses, 79.2 percent said “Gospel and culture too” with only 20.8 percent saying, “Gospel only.” The overall differences were fairly minor, especially given the fact that many Christians are still suffering burnout from the 2020 elections while many others have felt the need to draw back from both politics …

Islamophobia: What is the lesson for us?

What do you think when you hear the word “Islamophobia?” This is a new word, and it refers to prejudice and dislike of Muslims. Recently, in Canada, the government held a summit on the topic of Islamophobia. I should give a disclaimer here. The conference was about the religion of Islam, and I am a Christian. I remember a song when I was younger, with these words: “Jesus is the answer, for the world today. Above him there’s no other, Jesus is the way.” That is a good description of what I believe. I will give a link to that song, below. The old saying is ‘If you don’t play the game, you can’t make the rules.’ That applies to me. Imagine if I gave advice about what Jewish people should have done to resist their persecutors. That would be offensive. I am an outsider looking on from a distance. So, what can we say about Islamophobia? The conference came and went quickly, and most people missed the information. There was also a conference just …

Iranian believers sentenced under country’s amended anti-conversion law

Morning Star News, an organization sharing stories about persecuted Christians around the world, is reporting the first sentencing of Iranian Christians under Iran’s newly amended law targeting the conversion of Muslims to the Christian faith. Under Article 500, the Iranian government can now sentence individuals up to five years, if they are found guilty of sharing “any deviant education or propaganda that contradicts or interferes with the sacred Sharia [Islamic law].” Those found guilty under the new law, that came into effect on March 5, 2021, can also be prevented from voting for 15 years and fined upwards of 40 million tomans (US$1,600). Prior to this amendment, Iranians were charged with actions against the Iranian state (Articles 498 and 499) and typically received jail terms of six months. The recent amendment provides Iranian prosecutors an additional tool that they can use to stop the spread of Christianity in the Islamic regime, as it allows them to tack on additional charges against Christian converts. Morning Star noted that three men, Amin Khaki, Milad Goudarzi and Alireza …

What happened to religion? Does anyone believe?

I was raised in a very religious family. As a teenager, in a tough high school, I tried being a member of the tribe. We had a co-ed physed class, and I remember sitting out for the dance lessons. The teacher made me sit in the bleachers and watch, and my friends thought I was strange, but I thought I was holding up the flag for my faith. In our home, we were never allowed to go to dances. I tried to keep my strict religion because I thought it was important. My friends were OK with my strange habits, and they had their own family traditions. People believed in religion in those days, more than they do today, and we tried to live out the beliefs of our families. As we got older, it seemed like we cared less and less and everyone was busy with important things. After a while I stopped caring. Now I understand how someone could become an atheist. I also understand how someone could follow Jesus. I started my …

Canada’s earliest Christian prophets were Indigenous

In the midst of the stories of churches being burnt down and vandalized across Canada in response to the recent discoveries of unmarked graves at three Indian Residential Schools, another story is emerging out of Canada’s religious past. It provides an interesting history on the spread of Christianity amongst indigenous tribes in British Columbia, one that I had never heard of before. It makes me wonder if God is taking this bad and working it together for good as promised in Romans 8:28, because it is bringing to light how Canada’s earliest Christian prophets were in fact found among indigenous peoples. They were prophesying before the Azusa Street Revival, that broke out in 1906 in Los Angeles, which is credited as the break out of the Holy Spirit and the spiritual gifts in North America. They had also developed the office of the prophet that would not be fully functional in the church until the revival in North Battleford, Saskachewan, Canada in 1948. In a fascinating story in the National Post by Terry Gavin stated …

Do we need the Issachar anointing today?

The men of Issachar, a small tribe of Israel, had a unique role in Israeli society. In 1 Chronicles, we are told that two hundred leaders of Issachar understood the times and seasons the nation was facing and knew what to do. “from Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do—200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command;” (1 Chronicles 12:32 NIV) There is some debate on what this was actually referring to. But most believe the verse was stating that these leaders had an astute awareness of the political climate, and understood what decisions Israel needed to make. They came to this conclusion, because this description of the men of Issachar was included in a listing of those in Israel who were standing with David as the future king of Israel during the dark days when King Saul was still on the throne and was pursing David in an effort to assassinate him. Aside from the men of Issachar, the list included men from several tribes who had thrown …

Meet one of the churches vandalized on Canada Day

Meet the new Canada. On Canada Day (July 1, 2021), social justice warriors vandalized 10 churches in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The attacks on churches across Canada started shortly after stories surfaced of unmarked graves at Indian Residential Schools across Canada, including 215 unmarked graves in Kamloops and 715 graves at a school on the Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan. But though these schools were largely run by the Roman Catholic Church, Calgary’s social justice warriors decided to target an African Evangelical Church, that was made up solely of refugees who had fled their countries because they were being persecuted for their faith and their churches were being set on fire. Now they see the same thing happening in Canada. The BBC explains: Alberta’s Premier Jason Kenney, said on Thursday one of the vandalised locations was an African Evangelical Church in the city of Calgary. He said its congregation was made up entirely of former refugees who fled countries where churches are often vandalised and burned down. “These folks came to Canada with the hope that …

Canadian pastor released from jail

Tim Stephens pastors Fairview Baptist Church in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He was just released this past weekend after spending two weeks in jail after Calgary police used a helicopter to track down where pastor Stephens was holding an outdoor church service. On June 5, 2021, the Alberta Health Services (AHS) seized the church’s property and posted messages on its doors banning indoor services when Stephens refused to comply with Alberta’s health orders limiting church services. As Stephens noted in his tweet, the same week AHS issued the ban, photos surfaced of several senior Alberta officials breaking the COVID restrictions. As a result of that action, Stephens decided to hold services outdoors, which resulted in him being arrested in front of his children on June 14, 2021 on behalf of the AHS. After hearing of the arrest US Senator, Josh Hawley of Missouri, approached the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom asking it to put Canada on its watch list. “I am troubled that our Canadian neighbors are effectively being forced to gather in secret, undisclosed locations …

God told her ‘just focus on me’ & McLaughlin sets world record in hurdles

Sydney McLaughlin, 21, is a sprinter and hurdler for America’s Olympic team and during the trials leading up to the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, McLaughlin broke the world record for the 400-meter hurdle trials with a time of 51.90 seconds. She is the first woman to ever run this event in under 52 seconds. She broke the world record held by fellow teammate, Delilah Muhammad, who ran the event in 52.16 seconds in 2019. In an interview after the record-breaking run, McLaughlin stated that it was her faith in God that contributed to her success, stating that as she was training, God told her to “just focus on Me.” In a post on Instagram after her run, McLaughlin wrote: “My faith was being tested all week. From bad practices, to 3 false start delays, to a meet delay. I just kept hearing God say, ‘Just focus on me.’ It was the best race plan I could have ever assembled. I no longer run for self recognition, but to reflect His perfect will that is …