All posts filed under: Religious

Las Vegas Church becomes as wise as a serpent

In Matthew 10:16, Jesus told His disciples to be as innocent as doves, but as shrewd as serpents. And with despotic governors providing greater freedoms to businesses such as casinos in Las Vegas and stores in Pennsylvania, churches are becoming as crafty as serpents and holding services in casinos and stores to get around the lockdown.

Does religion put us at risk?

Jesus spoke to a conservative religious woman, a Samaritan, and told her “A time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4: 23). He warned that change was coming on them. As the world struggles with the COVID pandemic, many religious groups resist health restrictions and regulations. Conservative groups that live with rituals and traditions find it hard to adapt; people who have lived their own way for centuries are not interested in changing now. This is not only true for Christian groups, the major center of infections in Israel is one Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. READ: Israel’s ultra-Orthodox communities ‘ignoring’ COVID-19 rules In Canada, Hutterite colonies have high rates of infection. These people practice their conservative religion in communes, and they love their lifestyle. I often meet Hutterites, Russian Old Believers, and Mennonites through my work, and I find them friendly and likeable, but they don’t like to change their ways. READ: Canadian Hutterite colonies struggle with coronavirus outbreaks

Orthodox Rituals in a Changing World: How do believers cope?

What we do might have to change, for health reasons. Belief is important to any Christian, but many struggle to adapt their practices. Eastern Orthodox Christians have many rituals, practices that are sacred to them, but they also have a health emergency. This new world can bring us all back to the starting place; “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) We might laugh as the priest in a country area, but he is trying to keep his faith in challenging times. On a larger scale, many churches are struggling to adapt to a world-changing crisis.

Portland’s radical left now burning Bibles?

Though the rioting have toned down over the last couple of days, last night the radical left was allegedly trying to incite a reaction from the officers inside the federal courthouse, that has been the target of their violence in recent weeks, by trying to tear down the barricades surrounding the building and setting fires, that included burning a pile of Bibles.

Twitter slammed for its hypocrisy

Several have slammed Twitter for flagging a tweet of US President Donald Trump for promoting a video of medical doctors talking about the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine as a Covid treatment, while allowing Iran’s Ayatollah to call for a Jewish genocide. The Daily Mail explains: Twitter has been slammed for its double standards for flagging posts by Donald Trump while Iran‘s Ayatollah can call for ‘genocide’ of the Israeli people. The social media giants says the dictator’s anti-Semitic tweets calling Israel a ‘cancerous growth’ pass as ‘commentary on political issues of the day’, while President Trump’s tweets ‘could inspire harm’.  During a Knesset hearing on antisemitism in social media Wednesday, human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky questioned why the President’s tweets were flagged but not those of Ayatollah Khamenei, who  ‘literally called for the genocide of Israel and the Jewish people’.  READ: Twitter is slammed for flagging Donald Trump’s tweets on hydroxy because they ‘could inspire harm’ while allowing Iran’s Ayatollah to call for ‘genocide in Israel’ because it is ‘commentary’ Apparently, the President’s recommendation of a commonly used malaria drug …

“The church has left the building”: California Revival?

It has even caught the attention of the LA Times that is reporting a revival is breaking out on the beaches of California — Huntington Beach to be exact. It’s partially in response to California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent hypocritical ruling limiting church services to maximum of 100 and disallowing singing or chanting, while putting no limits on demonstrations, and in fact is encouraging them, where he allows people to shout and chant all they want. So in protest, Sean Feucht, who is a worship leader at Bethel Church, in Redding, California, and others decided to hold a church service at Huntington Beach on Friday, July 10, 2020 in defiance of Gov Newsom’s edict. Let’s call it a “worship protest” and include some signs and everything should be fine. Sean has also started an organization called “Hold the Line“to fight government’s intrusion in the life of the church. Writing for the LA Times, Hillary Davis describes what happened at Huntington Beach: There is a revival taking place on the sand at Huntington Beach. On Friday, …

Boomer, Doomers, and Systemic Racism

In history, when armies fought on a battlefield, each side had a flag. A flag is only a piece of cloth with colors, but it is a symbol of something one side loves, and the other side hates. We have flags today, made with words: Systemic Racism, Defund the Police, Black Lives Matter, Hey Boomer. These slogans are used to rally people on one side of a struggle, and to make the other side hostile and angry. There is not much analysis, mostly just angry emotions. In the demonstrations, the flag words are written on signs and shouted. The news is also full of stories about violent demonstrations and ruined careers, when famous and privileged people offend someone with their words. These are dangerous times and it is dangerous to have an opinion different from a flag. I often visit a town called Killam, and I have a standard bad joke, “On Friday I’m going to Killam.” It sounds funny to some people. I was not there on the day, but people in the area …

Why is Instagram censoring Sean Feucht’s worship videos?

According to CBN, Sean Feucht, a worship leader associated with Bethel Music, recently shared several social media posts that Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are now censoring worship and praise videos. Apparently, Feucht was going to places where there has been rioting and then posting videos of praise and worship from these locations. And while these social media corporations allowed posts of actual rioting, somehow praise and worship songs was considered insensitive or harmful and removed. Feucht tweeted: While @Facebook @instagram @Twitter promote the content of violence, rioting & destruction, they are actively CENSORING worship, prayer, peaceful protest & anything going against their fear-mongering narrative. My feed and many others is proof.#ChangeTheNarrative — Sean Feucht (@seanfeucht) June 23, 2020 Feucht reports that Instagram justified the removal of his praise and worship videos because they were classified as “harmful” or containing “false information”: This is what we’ve come to in America! Instagram is now classifying my WORSHIP videos as “harmful or false information” Religious Liberty? Freedom of Speech? Big Tech censorship? pic.twitter.com/I7s6HUfKH4 — Sean Feucht (@seanfeucht) June …

California Church shut down because it doesn’t financially fit in?

The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) has announced it will be appealing the court case of New Harvest Christian Fellowship (NHCF) located in Salinas, California after a Judge ordered it shut down because it didn’t fit in. NHCF has been operating a church on the city’s main street for over 25 years and in 2018, the church bought a larger building because its growing congregation no longer fit in its previously rented facility. The city took the Church to court demanding it be shut down because it did not fit in to the vibe that the city council was trying to build for the city’s main street. It wants a pedestrian-friendly environment along its main street full of shops and entertainment facilities. The city would only allow the church to continue if it held services on the second floor of the building, instead of the main floor. In a court case over this dispute, the Judge ruled in the city’s favour stating that it did not fit the vibe the city was trying to create and …

Redeeming and healing the land?

CBN reports that dozens of people have been saved, some water baptized, and others healed at the very street corner in Minneapolis where George Floyd died at the hands of a city police officer. George Floyd’s death has sparked protests around the world, with many turning violent. Before his death Floyd was trying to turn his life around and was involved in a church ministry in Houston, before he moved to Minneapolis. But videos and photos are circulating on social media of the spiritual awakening taking place on the very street corner where Floyd died. Many of the postings are by a group called Circuit Riders. This is a ministry associated with Youth For a Mission patterned off the circuit riders in American history who travelled on horseback from town to town preaching the Gospel. Based in Huntington Beach, California, those involved with Circuit Riders similarly travel out from their base sharing their faith. And a group recently went to Minneapolis to share Jesus in open-air meetings after Floyd’s death. One of those Circuit Riders …

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 …