All posts filed under: Religious

Masking the Pain

In days gone by people were divided by things like economic class, color, or culture. There were times that hatred rose up and violence and riots tore apart any semblance of peace. Even now in Minneapolis, this is happening. There is an undercurrent to it all and it is causing so much division in society as a whole right now. The division is symbolized by the masks many people wear today. Before I continue let me say that I am not picking on either the mask wearers or the mask non-wearers. I am writing about the division caused by perspective. Perspective is based on what and who you believe. It is not reality but it defines your interpretation of reality so deeply that perspective actually becomes your reality. When this happens, you change your behavior and your thoughts to match your perspective. There is no room for dissent and any evidence that challenges your perspective is dismissed as either fluke or fake. The people who wear masks have the perspective that the authorities are telling …

When We Don’t Believe in God Anymore

You might have heard about a Christian rock singer named Jon Steingard, who has told us all that he doesn’t believe in God anymore. Mr Steingard was the frontman of Christian rock group Hawk Nelson. Now he has decided to leave the group and start another career. He will probably work as a secular entertainer. Jon Steingard is the son of a pastor, and it is probably fair to say he was raised to believe. He moved from a Christian home, where church was the center of his life, to Christian entertainment, where he had to be turned on for Jesus every time he walked onto a stage. Now he says that he is not an atheist. He doesn’t have a problem with God existing, he just doesn’t believe. The crisis is in him. This is a big story with the secular media because many people in that industry don’t want us to believe. They like to tell us about someone they describe as a devout Christian, who doesn’t believe anymore. So, what should we …

3,500 California Churches will reopen on May 31st with or without permission

Churches in California are being impacted by government mandated lockdowns and 3,500 churches in that state announced they are reopening with or without government permission. Many are concerned that the lockdowns implemented by the state and municipal governments may go on for months, if not indefinitely. In an interview with Good Morning America, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that the lock down in his city may never end. This announcement followed an order by LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, that she was extending the city’s stay-at-home order another three months. Garcetti quickly contradicted Ferrer’s statement by adding the extension to the end of August will only include the use of face masks and social distancing. Garcetti did not address bans put on public gatherings that includes schools and churches. But then Garcetti added that “LA will never completely open until we have a cure.” Some believe the Democratic mayor plans to keep the city in some version of a lock down until a vaccine is found, that …

So who plays the thugs in this modern Broadway remake of the Good Samaritan?

The parable of the good Samaritan involves a man who went out of his way to help a person who had been attacked by thugs, robbed and basically left unconscious on the side of the road. Several people walked around the man, before the good Samaritan arrived, bandaged the man’s wounds and then transported him to a nearby inn and paid for the man’s stay until he was healed (Luke 10:25-37). Based on this story, Samaritan’s Purse, an organization currently headed by Franklin Graham, provides financial and medical assistance to areas hit by disaster. They will bring in doctors and nurses and provide medical aid at no charge to anyone who needs it. So when officials at New York’s City’s Mount Sinai Health System called Samaritan’s Purse for help in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, the organization immediately responded. At no charge to New York City or the state, Samaritan’s Purse set up a 68 person field hospital in Central Park and immediately began treating people. In an interview with Faithwire, Franklin Graham said: …

Attacks by a spirit of compromise: A sign of the times?

I believe the church is under attack from what I would describe as a spirit of compromise. This is exemplified by an incident in Communist China where authorities arrested the pastor of a house church in Hunan province because he refused to join the Communist Party’s sanctioned protestant church denomination — the Three Self Patriotic Association. According to Radio Free Asia, when Pastor Zhao Huaiguo was originally arrested in March, he was accused of re-posting messages about the Coronavirus. However, during his interrogation, the police repeatedly asked him to join the Three Self Patriotic Association, which indicated this was the real reason for the arrest. The Communist-run church denomination forces churches to make small compromises such as installing phrases by Mao on their walls. Sure they can still preach the Bible, but that is alongside the communist messaging. Because he refused, the Communist party has since charged him with “inciting subversion of state power.” It appears that Huaiguo could have escaped imprisonment and torture if he made that small compromise. It must have been tempting, …

Why did a Danish Bible translation remove references to Israel?

Recent reports are claiming that a new translation of a Danish Bible, Bible 2020, has basically been censored removing almost every reference to the nation of Israel in the New Testament. This was the first new version of a Danish Bible published in 20 years. According to Jan Frost, who has gone through the new version in depth, Bible 2020 has replaced terms such as the “land of Israel” with phrases such as “the Jews” or the “land of Jews.” According to Frost, 59 of the 60 reference to Israel in the New Testament were changed. And even the Old Testament didn’t completely escape this renovation. In one instances, they replaced the word “Israel” with “us.” Instead of Psalm 121:4 reading: “indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” It now reads, “he who watches over us.” But somehow the names of other ancient foreign nations, such as Egypt, managed to survive in the new translation. So why did the authors of the new translation decide to remove the name Israel? In …

Persecuted for doing good? Somethings never change.

It’s not the first time something like this has happened, but Samaritan’s Purse ended up in trouble because of its willingness to help heal the sick. Samaritan’s Purse, founded in 1970, is now run by Franklin Graham, the son of Evangelist Billy Graham. With offices in over 100 countries, one of its goals is to provide material assistance and medical aid in times of disaster. During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Samaritan’s Purse set up a 68-bed field hospital in New York City, one of the regions the hardest hit by the Coronavirus in the US. As a Christian humanitarian organization, it is staffed by believers and volunteer Evangelical doctors and nurses. Though the organization supports traditional marriage, and requires its staff to do the same, Samaritan’s Purse helps all who come through its door. It doesn’t matter what their faith is or sexual preference, if they are sick, the doctors and nurses will tend to their needs. And equally important, Samaritan’s Purse provides this help at no charge. But as Samaritan’s Purse set up its …

Are some politicizing the Coronavirus to attack Christians?

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, On Fire Church in Louisville, Kentucky stopped public gatherings but continued holding services in their parking lot, where people sat in their cars listening to the service over a low frequency FM. This eliminated any human contact and complied with CDC regulations. However, a couple of days before Easter, Louisville mayor Greg Fischer ordered all churches to stop public gatherings including parking lot services and threatened to record the license plates of any who attended. When, On Fire decided to hold its Easter service in the parking lot as usual, First Liberty, a legal nonprofit dedicated to preserving religious freedom, went to the courts arguing Fischer’s order was unconstitutional and won a temporary restraining order against the city. According to the Daily Caller, in his decision U.S. District Court Judge Justin Walker also compared the Mayor’s order to a dystopian society: “That sentence is one that this Court never expected to see outside the pages of a dystopian novel, or perhaps the pages of The Onion”. “But two days ago, …

Publishers reporting surging interest in the Bible due to COVID-19 crisis

Tyndale House Publishers, a major publisher of Bible and Christian books based in the US, has noticed a “considerable increase” in interest in the Bible since the start of the COVID-19 panic. In an interview with the Christian Post, Tyndale executive Jim Jewell said that there has been a 60% increase in the sales of Immerse Bibles and a 44% increase in Life Application Study Bibles. He also added that the number of people visiting the company’s Facebook page for the New Living Translation in March was triple the numbers of March last year. The page features Scripture verse memes. There has also been a substantial increase of visits in 2020, as the page recorded a 72% increase of visits between March and April. Jewell attributes this significant growth to the COVID-19 crisis that has “upended almost everyone’s lives in some way.” He added that people are turning to the Bible for “clarity.” Tyndale is not the only Bible publisher to see growth. According to an article on Fox News, Alabaster Co. has noticed a …

Massive reduction in COVID-19 death predictions for Britain?

A study by London, England’s Imperial College, released in mid-March, stated that without significant measures COVID-19 plague could potentially kill 2.2 million people in the US and 500,000 people in Britain. These apocalyptic predictions were result of computer modeling predictions led by Neil Ferguson, who some consider the pre-eminent epidemiologist in the world. Based on these projections, countries around the world implemented Draconian measures that resulted in millions of people losing their jobs. But then the week following, there was a significant downgrade to Ferguson’s predictions. According to the website New Scientist, at a presentation this week before a parliamentary committee in London, England, Ferguson provided a small update to those numbers. Ten days after predicting 500,000 deaths, Ferguson stated that only 20,000 people would die in Britain and according to New Scientist, the number of deaths “could be much lower.” During his presentation Ferguson apparently added that because of underlying conditions and older age, over half of those would probably have died this year anyway. This new estimate compares to the approximate 29,000 people …

Shawn Bolz prophesied the ‘panic’ associated with the Coronavirus was ‘exaggerated,’ two studies suggest he might be right

When Shawn Bolz came out with his prophecy at the end of February about the Coronavirus pandemic, one thing that caught my attention was his suggestion that the fear associated with this pandemic was exaggerated. Bolz wrote: “The exaggerated fear based tactics of both the enemy and several media outlets for political reasons is coming to an end. The enemy has been trying to distract and steal from several equally important purposes and issues by dominating airwaves with conspiracy and fear.” Shawn Bolz Prophecy, Charisma News At the time he gave this word, the concerns about COVID-19 was just gaining steam and his suggestion was clearly opposite of the prevailing opinion. Now it is obvious that this virus is concerning particularly for those with pre-existing conditions and those who are older and have weakened immune systems because of their age. However, nearly a month after Bolz gave that prophecy two reports are suggesting that maybe he was right. The first involves a study conducted by Harvard University and the Hong Kong’s School of Public Health …

Virus Armageddon: Where Is God Now?

I have a job with the Provincial Government. Usually I have a work schedule for a month in advance for small towns in rural areas. This is the weekend and my schedule for next week is … Wednesday. I’m sure someone will fix the problem, but right now they are busy with bigger things. That is my experience with the Viral Armageddon, so far. I have also just been notified that I can’t visit my old father in his nursing home, if I travel outside the country. Probably you have your own interesting stories. A few days ago, the world seemed normal, with stories about a virus infection that needed to be controlled, mostly in China. Now our normal world has stopped. We hope it will restart soon, but we don’t know what will happen next. Pictures of the next stages are beginning to emerge: I couldn’t make that up. It seems like science fiction, except we are living through it. I have worked in commercial transportation, and I know that we see trucks and …

Prophetic word predicts the soon demise of the Coronavirus and end to the panic

I am reluctant to believe anything coming out of China because its Communist government controls and manipulates the news to the point it will even arrest people who produce news contrary to the government’s approved message. But having said that, CNN is reporting that Chinese President Xi Jinping has visited the Chinese city of Wuhan on Tuesday, that was ground zero for the start of the Coronavirus. As CNN pointed out, there is no way Jinping would be visiting the city, if the virus was still on the rampage. His visit suggests there has been a major turning point in the spread of the virus in Wuhan. If that is true, is this an indicator of the potential demise to the Coronavirus? Jingping’s appearance in Wuhan coincides with an earlier prophetic word given by Shawn Bolz on his ministry’s Facebook page on February 28, 2020. Shawn Bolz is a rising prophetic voice in Charismatic circles and has a popular podcast focusing on the prophetic on Charisma News. Bolz prophesied that he saw the end coming …

The great ‘falling away’ versus the great end-times revival

During a recent presentation to the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council, Kristine Stache, the interim president of Wartburg Theological Seminary, warned that at its current rate of decline the Episcopal church will cease to have Sunday services in 30 years. The Episcopal Church is the American equivalent of the Anglican Church and is a member of the Anglican Communion. It came into being shortly after the American Revolution when the Anglican churches in America formed a separate denomination. In 2011, it was the fourth largest denomination in the US but has been in an attendance free fall since 2008. Stache noted that between 2008 and 2018, the denomination saw a 24.9% decline in Sunday attendance. And what is equally disturbing is that the rate of decline seems to be increasing. In 2018, the Episcopal church saw a greater drop in membership than it did in 2017. In 2017, the church reported a membership decline of 32,500 over the previous year and that decline rose to 36,000 in 2018. In an interview with Episcopal News, Stache said …

Is there a spiritual battle raging over Iran?

Two recent reports out of Iran suggest there is a spiritual battle raging in the heavenlies over that country. The first involves an exclusive report by CBN on how 20 Iranians were recently water baptized after believing on Jesus for their salvation. All 20 were former Muslims and many had come to Christ through Mohabat TV, a Christian TV and radio station that broadcasts into Islamic countries. It is illegal in Iran for a Muslim to convert to Christianity, so all 20 were baptized secretly. The group, that also included family and friends, actually flew out of Tehran, the capital city of Iran, to an undisclosed city where they were baptized in an indoor pool. Several of them were people of influence. CBN interviewed a man identified as only Pastor Amir, a fake name to protect his identity, who reported: “Most of the people at this gathering are artists, musicians, some are TV producers, they are educated people, they are specialists from different fields of Iranian society.” Pastor Amir, CBN News Many believe the underground …

Is Toxic Masculinity In The Bible?

“Toxic Masculinity” is a feminist idea that has made many people angry. Some people hate the idea and others are angry at toxic males, now that they can describe their “toxic” behavior. It’s a love / hate thing. One side believes we need to change the way men act, and a good place to start is with the way we raise boys, and the things we teach them. The other side thinks this idea demonizes men, and abuses them just for being who they are. One definition is: “Adherence to traditional male gender roles that consequently stigmatize and limit the emotions boys and men may comfortably express while statusing other emotions such as anger.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxic_masculinity That’s an accepted definition, and I think it’s not clear, and “statusing” is not a word. Maybe that’s why this argument is mostly emotional; it’s not well defined in a way we can understand. That might be why the idea divides people. People were divided, and angry, when the Gillette Corporation made commercials about Toxic Masculinity. Gillette sells shaving products …

Muslims And Jesus: What Do They Think?

What do Muslims think about Jesus? I think ideas are changing. You might know that Jesus is described in the Koran as a great prophet of God, and that Muslims expect Him to return and judge the world. There are orthodox and approved ideas about Jesus among Muslims: RELATED: Muslims love Jesus, too: 6 things you didn’t know about Jesus in Islam: VOX That’s an interesting topic; what are Muslims taught to believe about Jesus? But my question is; What does each Muslim personally think about Jesus? What do Muslims think about Christianity? I have heard a saying by some Muslim extremists “We are going to Rome.” When I first heard that, I thought something like, ‘I’m sure the weather is nice at this time of year.’ I missed the point; some radicals believe that their religion will overtake Christianity, and they will triumph. Going to Rome means conquering the other religion. For some Muslims, the Roman Catholic Church is Christianity, and if they conquer Rome, they will control all the Christians. Probably, educated people …

Why would belief in God make us happier?

In early December, there was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal written by a psychotherapist named Erica Komisar. In the article, Komisar basically told parents, even if they don’t believe, when their children ask them any questions about God, they should lie and tell them God is real. In fact, in her own practice she has given that very advice. Komisar then went on to explain why she does this. She says it is because faith in God helps children in real substantive ways, both emotionally and mentally. She cited a study conducted by Harvard and published in the American Journal of Epidemiology that showed children who have faith in God and attend church at least once a week scored better results in several key areas including: Better mental health; Higher community involvements; Less likely to use drugs; and Less likely to have early sex. She added that the study of 5,000 youth revealed that children who attended religious service also had a deeper sense of purpose for their life and were more …

The new violent enemy of the Evangelical church: Radical feminists

In the past we could hold different opinions. If you didn’t agree with someone, you would agree to disagree. But that is rapidly changing. Increasingly, we see a world where radical groups are resorting to violence in an effort to intimidate those who don’t hold similar opinions into silence. Shortly after Christmas, an Evangelical church in Tübingen, Germany was attacked resulting in damage estimated at 40,000 Euros ($45,000US). The vandals set fire to the congregation’s mini-bus parked on the street in front of the church and as well spray painted the church building. Attacks on churches are definitely on the increase, but what was unusual about this one was the source of the attack. According to the National Catholic Register, a radical group of feminists, who called themselves the “Feminist Autonomous Cell” (FAC) claimed in a post on line that they were behind the vandalism. In their diatribe, the group said it attacked the church because of its “anti-feminist” views and its pro-life stand. Then a few days later, the same group claimed it was …

Did the ‘Revealer of secrets’, expose Jeopardy’s botched attempt to cut a question?

The popular TV quiz, show, Jeopardy, was first created in 1964 by Mel Griffin and has gone through several renditions and the current format being broadcast today, currently hosted by Alex Trebek, was created by Sony in 1984. Its unique format provides answers and then requires competing contestants to phrase the question. However, its episode that ran on Friday, January 10, 2020, caused quite a controversy. Under a category called “Where is the church?,” the contestants were then posed with the answer: “Built in the 300s A.D., the Church of the Nativity.” The Church of Nativity claims to be on the very site that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Show host Alex Trebek specifically noted the contestants had to give the current country. In response to this answer, one of the Jeopardy contestants quickly answered “What is Palestine?” When Trebek revealed that answer was incorrect, another contestant quickly answered “What is Israel?” and was awarded the right answer. But the answer and resulting question was hugely controversial. Though it is not a country, Palestine does …

Palestinian leader claims Jesus is first Islamic martyr

According to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), the day before Christmas, one of Palestine’s senior leaders, Tawfiq Tirawi, who is also a member of the Fatah Central Committee, made an interesting comment on Facebook. He referred to Jesus as the first Islamic martyr: “This is blessed Christmas, The birthday of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, the first Palestinian and the first Shahid (Islamic Martyr).” Tawfiq Tirawi Facebook page, Dec 24, 2019 The word “shahid” refers to a person who has died for his Islamic beliefs and as a reward will receive 72 virgins in heaven. Of course the Quran was not written until six centuries after Christ died when an angel gave it to Muhammad between 609 AD and 632 AD. Nevertheless, Islam retroactively claims Jesus as their own Islamic prophet and teacher. Islam also claims the Old Testament Jewish prophets, such as Moses and Isaiah, were Islamic. As demonstrated by Tirawi’s tweet, some Muslims have even taken to celebrating Christmas. In fact, Palestinian Mahmoud Abbas declared Christmas as a Palestinian holiday, and it is even …

What is Happening in India?

We should all know about the riots and demonstrations that are happening in India. At this time, more than twenty people have been killed, property has been damaged, and the reputation of the nation is at risk. The problem is a kind of civil war between religious groups, Hindus and Muslims. I am writing about this as a Christian, and I don’t want to take sides. I hope the people involved can find a solution for their disagreements. India and Pakistan have a history of violence between Hindus and Muslims, and millions have died. RELATED: Death toll in India citizenship law protests climbs to 23: CBC Father Raymond de Souza: Is India abandoning secularism to exclude Muslims?: National Post In the most recent violence, the Government of the nation has been accused of discrimination against Muslims. The party that governs India is composed of Hindu nationalists, and the troubles can be seen as a religious argument. The Government has passed a bill to give citizenship to refugees who escape from three neighboring countries. Those neighboring …

Was anti-Semitism behind the Jersey City attack?

It was described as a battle scene involving hundreds of shots being fired in a two-hour gun-battle between police and two suspects barricaded inside a Kosher market in Jersey City. Six people were killed including, the alleged suspects, a police officer and three people inside the Kosher store that serves a large Jewish population in Jersey City. The confrontation started at a nearby cemetery, when a police officer went to the scene as part of an investigation of a murder a few days earlier. The two suspects shot the officer, killing him, and then fled the scene in a U-haul van and drove to the KC Kosher Supermarket and open fired on the Jewish store. According to reports, two police officers near the market engaged the two individuals who then ran inside the store, set up barricades and started firing back. After a two-hour stand-off, the police stormed the market with an armored vehicle and killed the two suspects. Inside they also found the bodies of three Jewish people, who had apparently been killed by …

Joseph and Mary traveling to Egypt by Gentile da Fabriano (1370-1427) Credit: jean louis mazieres/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Jewishness of Christianity

Two recent articles speak to a divide, that exists in some parts of Christianity. The first involves the Mayor of the Norwegian town of Strand, Irene Heng Lauvsnes, who asked the Klippen Pentecostal Church to take down the star of David that was on display as part of its Christmas celebration in a local municipal park. The church has held ceremonies in the park for years and traditionally used the Star of David to symbolize the star that informed the magi of the birth of Christ. But this year, the mayor asked the church take it down because the Star of David symbolized the state of Israel and the Jews, and apparently some were offended. Writing for the Dagen Daily, editor Vebjorn Selbekk noted: “Municipal Christmas bureaucrats obviously do not want a Jewish or Israeli mark on their Christmas. Then we almost have to remind them of some key facts about why we celebrate Christmas at all. [Christmas] is marked by the fact that a Jewish boy was born to a Jewish mother in a …

That Peloton Commercial: Live Better, Lose Arguments

When was the last time you had a good argument? Were you convincing? Did you win? If the answer is yes, you lost. Possibly you won the argument, but you lost, if you won. You might have heard about the video commercial for “Peloton” exercise bikes. I only lasts for about thirty seconds, and it is very well produced. It’s easy to see the professionalism in the production; the script writing, the camera work, and the acting are all excellent. This piece of skilled professional work should have boosted sales for this popular product, this Christmas. But there is a problem. People hate this commercial. The value of the entire corporation fell by ten percent after it was published. That is a huge problem for a business that wants to sell us things. Take a look and decide what you think: Many experts have many things to say, and they know more than me, but I see one spiritual lesson in the Peloton commercial. Notice that the message is basically religious; the woman has a …

Survey reveals religious freedom is important to Americans

A survey conducted by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in September and October 2019, revealed that the vast majority of Americans support religious freedom. In the survey, people were asked to rank their support for protecting religious freedoms on a scale from zero (indicating no support) to 100 (indicating full support) on multiple issues. According to the survey of 1,000 Americans, the overall average score of 67 indicated very strong support for religious freedom in the US. In particular, the millennials (aged 24 to 36 approximately) showed the highest support for religious freedom, and they also reported the highest rates of religious discrimination of any age group. One of the areas surveyed was whether people should have the freedom to disagree with same sex marriage. On this controversial cultural topic, 74% of people believed religious groups and individuals should not face discrimination or fines if they do not support same sex-marriage. Of the several issues addressed in the survey this opinion had one of the highest levels of support. This flies in the face …

American Bible Society has shipped 8,800 Bibles as part of its pledge to supply a free Bible to Kanye West fans

If there is a story from 2019, that proves the commonly spoken adage that God moves in mysterious ways, it has to be Kanye West’s conversion to Christ. Kanye West is arguably one of the world’s most popular singers and song writers. He has received 21 Grammy’s and is not only one of the most awarded singers of all times with 140 million album sales worldwide he is also among the best-selling singers as well. Shortly after his decision to believe in Christ earlier this year, Kanye started hosing church services across the country attracting large crowds. An altar call at a recent service in Baton Rouge, Louisiana resulted in upwards of 2,000 people publicly saying they wanted to receive Christ. As a result of this growing interest, the American Bible Society pledged to give a free Bible to the first 1,000 Kanye West fan requesting one by October 30, 2019. However, because of the unexpected interest, the American Bible Society is extending its offer of a free Bible to November 22, 2019, and at …

A cute study reveals an odd thing about atheists

There has been an interesting trend in recent years during times of tragedy when people typically express their thoughts and prayers. Atheists are now overtly outraged at these kind gestures, even though studies show that, many people (even those not overtly religious) actually appreciate such expressions, because we are social beings and are strengthened by the larger community’s support. A cute study conducted by researchers from Harvard University and the University of Wyoming wanted to take a closer look at this phenomenon. The study results, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, exposed a very unusual trait among atheists. The researchers studied people from North Carolina who lived through Hurricane Florence that hit in September 2018. It dropped upwards of 35 inches (0.89 meters) of rain causing massive damage largely due to flooding. They gave each of the 482 participants, who ranged from atheists to Christians, $5, who were told they could use the money to gain supportive prayers or thoughts from others after the crisis. Those …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …