All posts tagged: Christian

Credit: Thomas Hawk/Flickr/Creative Commons

Faith under pressure…

Considered a rising star in women’s soccer in America, Jaelene Hinkle, 24, recently announced she will not be playing for the US women’s national soccer team in two exhibition games scheduled for June. No explanation was given about why she pulled out and in its news release announcing her withdrawal, US Soccer stated Hinkle cited “personal reasons.” Hinkle has played in eight international games with the America’s national soccer team since 2015. However, Hinkle who plays defense is also a Christian and is very vocal about her faith on social media. She even posted her opinion of the Bible on Instagram stating: “It’s not a fictional book. It’s not pick and choose what you want to believe. You either believe it or you don’t.” Because of this, many wonder if she made the decision after US Soccer announced it would honor gay pride month in June by using rainbow numbered jerseys on both its men’s and women’s national uniforms. As soon as news surface she had withdrawn, gay activists tweeted their disappointment saying they were …

Hamburg, Germany Photo: Arne Bornheim/Flickr/Creative Commons

Did the Bible predict thousands of Muslims converting to Christ in Europe?

Several media outlets are reporting that churches across Europe are seeing thousands of Middle Eastern refugees, most of them Muslims, turning to Christ. Recently the Pastor of a Persian Church in Hamburg, Germany baptized 600 Muslims in one service, largely Afghans and Pakistanis. And it was done for all to see as a local TV station — ARD TV — showed up with its cameras in tow to film the momentous event.. In the same city, Pentecostal Pastor Albert Babjan just baptized 80 former Muslims who had converted to Christ. So far this year, Babjan has baptized 196 Muslims and expects the number could reach 500 by December. In an interview with the German newspaper Stern, Babjan said that many of the converts are turning to Christianity because of their disappointment in Islam. They are tired of the Islamic extremists’ fear and intimidation tactics in the countries from which they fled. Stern interviewed one of the recently baptized Christian converts that Babjan had just baptized and described the difference between Christianity and Islam this way: …

Photo: Carlo Err/Flickr/Creative Commons

A gay activist tells his journey to Christ

Though James Parker was raised in a Christian home in a rural community in Northern England, as a young teenage boy he became convinced that he was gay. In his testimony on mercatornet, James said as he struggled with his identity he turned to alcohol, became suicidal and self harming. At the age of 17, he finally came out to his parents and friends at school. He was shocked when they not only accepted but affirmed his gay identity. When he turned 18, James moved to London and threw himself into the gay community, even taking on an activist role for homosexual causes. Despite a promiscuous lifestyle, Parker still had an interest in spiritual things and became involved in a gay lesbian Christian group, which other than promoting safe sex did not have a strong spiritual agenda. While attending university, he eventually settled down with a long-term partner and together they planned to visit a country where gay marriage was allowed and get married. But while at university he still had an inner desire for …

Report: America’s first Muslim Miss USA has converted to Christianity

When Rima Fakih, 30, was crowned Miss USA in 2010, it was generally believed she was the first Muslim woman to ever win the title. Shortly after winning, Fakih acknowledged her Muslim faith stating: “I’d like to say I’m American first, and I am an Arab-American, I am Lebanese-American, and I am Muslim-American.” She was born in Lebanon and raised in a Shia Muslim family, that admittedly had been luke-warm to their Muslim faith and would often observe both Muslim and Christian holidays. The family immigrated to New York in 1993 and continued to observe both Muslim and Christian holidays including even attending church on Easter. But in 2003, her family moved to Dearborn, Michigan and became involved with the large Islamic community in that city. When Fakih started attending the University of Michigan, her father urged her to reconnect with her Muslim roots through the Islamic group at the University. It was here that she began to learn of her Muslim faith including Ramadan — that involves a month of fasting and prayer in …

Women in Iran. Photo: Sebastia Giralt/Flickr/Creative Commons

Middle East Muslim leader puts daughter under house arrest for becoming a Christian

Paul Siniraj is founder of Bibles for the Mideast an organization that smuggles Bibles into Middle Eastern Muslim countries. In a recent report on his website, he told of the remarkable Christian conversion of an unnamed young woman, 16, who is the daughter of one of the rulers of an unnamed Mideast country. The young woman, who Siniraj gave the name Najima, was receiving a higher education at a Western school in that Muslim nation. Najima was eating in the cafeteria, when she noticed paper jammed between the tables. Pulling it out, she discovered it was a Gospel tract. She read it and one of the Bible verses on the tract caught her attention: “For God hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:21) Being from a strong Muslim family, Najima faithfully followed all the Muslim traditions, so she tossed the tract into the garbage. But though she got rid of the tract, the Bible verse began …

Muslim Shrine in Iran. You can see an image of the Ali Khomeni, the Supreme Leader of Iran, on the left. Photo: My life, the universe and ..../Flickr/Creative Commons

Christian population surging in Iran

Despite Iran’s heavy-handed crackdown, the Christian population in Iran is flourishing and growing rapidly. The country has a population of about 78 million. The official religion is Muslim, and on paper it allows other religions including Christianity. However, it is illegal for a Muslim and even members of other religions to convert to Christianity. Iran is an Islamic Republic and though there is an elected president, according to Iran’s constitution he is subject to the country’s “Supreme Leader” who is the highest ranking religious leader in the country — currently Ali Khomenei. Iran is made up primarily of Shia Muslim, the smaller of the two main branches of Islam, the larger being Sunni — ISIS comes out of this latter group. It is dangerous for a Muslim to convert to Christianity in Iran and aside from societal/family pressure can lead to imprisonment, torture and even death. As a result, most Iranian Muslims convert secretly, keeping it hidden from their family. One of those Muslims who converted to Christianity in Iran but didn’t keep it quiet …

Controversy in Chicago? Photo: Downtown Chicago -- Greg Wass/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Christian Muslim War – Or Not

A recent article in Aljazeera News comments on opposition to the conversion of an empty church to a mosque, for Muslims living near Chicago. The title describes “controversy” over the plan, and opposition in the community. The comments from readers are predictable, with hateful troll messages. “Religions in general are the work of Satan.”, “your name shouts like you need to take a bath”, and “Hope you get good sleep after spitting so much poison” are some comments I can print here. The article is long, but reading past the title shows one important thing, there is no controversy. It is true that a Muslim group wants to use an abandoned church building as a mosque, but there is no report of effective opposition from anyone. Apparently some anonymous flyers have been left in nearby mailboxes stating concerns about property values and traffic congestion. There is no mention of religious statements in the flyers. I guess this represents someone in the community with a computer and a printer. The authorities have given approval and a …

Audrey Assad’s haunting song of martyrdom

You have to read the story behind this song, Even Unto Death, just released by Christian singer Audrey Assad. It is part of her new album, Inheritance, scheduled for release on February 12. She wrote this song after watching the martyrdom of 21 Egyptian Christian men on the shores of the Mediterranean by the Muslim extremist group ISIS. In the video, ISIS led the 21 men, dressed in orange, to the beach where they were beheaded simply because they believed in Jesus. To live, all these Coptic Christians had to do to was renounce their faith in Christ. Audrey wrote: “You must remember that night, months ago, when I saw the video of those 21 precious Egyptian men kneeling on a Mediterranean beach. I stared at the procession … I knew that I was looking into the sickening, quaking black hole that is death. The captives prayed, their lips moving silently, their eyes closed or raised to the heavens. What were they whispering, in those last, fast-fading moments of their lives? Were they afraid? What …

Orthodox Jews walking down a street in Old Jerusalem. Photo: Rico Grimm/Flickr/Creative Commons 21millimeters.ricogrimm.de

Are Orthodox Rabbis changing long-held opinions on Jesus?

Maybe the time predicted by the Apostle Paul is nearer than we think. Quoting from Isaiah 59:20, Paul stated one day that all Israel would be saved:  “and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.’” (Romans 11:26 NASV) In the Old Testament verse that Paul cited, the Deliverer is none other than Jesus and His removal of the ungodliness from Jacob speaks of the nation accepting Jesus as the Jewish Messiah, a belief they have rejected for two centuries. But in what may be another step towards this acceptance, Israel Today is reporting that just before Christmas 25 prominent Jewish rabbis issued a statement calling for a remarkable change of attitude towards Jesus. Though they have not reached the point of accepting Christ as the Messiah, it is nevertheless significant. The group is made up of prominent rabbis of congregations, seminaries and Jewish institutions in Israel and around the world including the UK, Canada and the US. Since its …

Another Christian on ‘The Voice?’

Shy, unassuming Korin Bukowski was in battle with Mark Hood on The Voice tonight (November 17, 2015) for the last spot in the show’s Top 11. She and Mark had finished last in the audience voting and were forced in to a sing off where the viewing audience would vote live using Twitter. Mark sang an energetic version of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours.” After he was finished, I thought Korin was in tough to move on. But her haunting version of “Don’t Know Why” clearly impressed the judges. Korin was still in the running. After counting the Twitter votes, Korin was declared the winner. Korin is pre-med student and during blind audition only one judge, Gwen, turned around to choose Korin to be part of a team. During the discussion after her initial tryout, judge Adam Levine said to Korin “You are so cool” and immediately Korin blurted out laughing “I’m not cool.” Of all the contestants, Korin seems to be the most awkward and lacking confidence. After tonight’s sing off, both Mark and Korin …

Justin Bieber in Oslo, Norway, October 29, 2015 Photo: NRK P3/Flickr

Justin Bieber takes ‘Billboard’ reporter to church

I have been following Canadian pop star Justin Bieber’s faith journey over the past few months.  I believe Justin’s faith journey is sincere, but it is filled with foibles, like wearing a a Marilyn Manson t-shirt to Hillsong worship conference in Australia earlier this year. But it is good for the church because we need to lighten up, not on sin, but on the persona that the church and its members are without sin and that somehow we have earned the right to cast the first stone when someone doesn’t immediately meet our expectations. The latest story about the mega rock star involves Justin’s interview with a reporter from Billboard. Justin, 21, actually convinces reporter Chris Martin to join him at church. The two end up at a service at the ballroom of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California where Judah Smith was a guest speaker. Smith pastors The City Church in Seattle, Washington. Justin and the reporter sat in the front row. Though there were only about 400 people in attendance, one …

Despite there brutal treatment of Christians, ISIS terrorists are turning to Christ because of dreams. Photo Video Capture/ABC News

Another Muslim Jihadist becomes a Christian because of a dream

Gospel Herald is reporting another conversion of an ISIS militant because of a dream. The report came via the Christian Aid Mission (CAM) who provides aid to indigenous groups in various countries around the world. The ministry was providing help to a refugee family in Amman, Jordan. When a jihadist fighter of the family heard his relatives were receiving help from Christians, he decided to visit and deal with the “unclean pigs.” When he arrived, the man actually went to a Christian meeting intending to slaughter the CAM missionaries. However, for some unknown reason he was unable to follow through with his plan. According to director of CAM for the Middle East, that night the jihadist had a dream where Jesus appeared to him. The next day he showed up at their ministry stating: “I came to kill you, but last night I saw Jesus, I want to know what you are teaching — who is this one who held me up from killing you.” The missionaries shared the Gospel with the terrorist and he …

Havana-based Eduardo Perez is promoting God through his successful photography business. He has taken to photographing Christian communities throughout Cuba. Photo: YouTube/CBN

The Cuban church thrives in difficult times

History has repeatedly shown when the Christian church undergoes persecution it thrives. We see this at the start of the early church in the Book of Acts where believers were martyred (Acts 7:54-60) and often thrown in prison (Acts 12). But as this was happening Luke says the church grew as people were added daily (Acts 2: 41-47). This happens because during times of persecution, God will pour out His Holy Spirit resulting in miracles, healings, salvations and rapid church growth. In a recent report on CBN.com, Heather Sells talks about the incredible growth in the Cuban church despite resistance and outright persecution by the Communist regime under the Castro brothers who have ruled Cuba for decades. Believers in Cuba go one step further and claim their suffering has directly contributed to the church’s growth on the island nation. According to the report, over 16,000 new evangelical churches have started in Cuba since 1995. There are two styles of churches in Cuba. On one hand there are churches that follow the traditional model of meeting …

Cross and Muslim crescent in Cairo, Egypt. Photo Michael Swam/Flickr

Are hundreds of Muslim migrants converting to Christ?

Reports are coming in of hundreds of Muslim migrants converting to Christianity in Germany. Most are Afghanistan or Iranian refugees. They are converting because they believe this decision would improve their chances of gaining asylum because having converted their life would be in danger if they were sent back. It is difficult to know if the conversions are legitimate. But during a baptismal service at the evangelical Trinity Church in Berlin, pastor Gottfried Martens asked an Iranian man, Mohammed Ali Zonoobi, if he was willing to: “break away from Satan and his evil deeds? Will you break away from Islam.” Without hesitation, Zonoobi, a former carpenter, who had fled to Germany along with his wife and two children answered, “yes.” Zonoobi stated in the interview that while in Iran he and his wife had secretly attended Bible classes and it was the arrest of fellow believers that resulted in him fleeing Iran. We have reported before that God is moving among Iranians and many are becoming Christians. The Daily Mail noted: “Several candidates for baptisms …

Is the key to revival in Denmark bringing down the strongman in Christiania?

Though the name almost sounds Christian, Christiania is anything but. The quaint, strange village with over 1,000 residents exists only minutes away from downtown Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark. Started in 1971 at the height of the hippie movement, it is almost a country within a country. It has its own flag and currency and minimalist rules. Basically it started as hippie squatters took over an abandoned Danish army base and despite several skirmishes with the government, it has grown to become a self-governing village. Today the town’s inhabitants, who refer to themselves as Christianites, are made up of hippie pensioners, left-wing extremists and anarchists, environmental activists, many new age and occultist practitioners, alternative rock bands and kids just passing through. The village is inundated with eastern religious influences including a Buddhist temple and meditation center. It also has an occult center and even a New Age pyramid. Cars are not allowed in Christiania and for a time it was even illegal for community members to own one as members frowned on private property. …

An Orthodox Jew Allied with Evangelical Christians

“You believe that because you are an Orthodox Jew allied with Evangelical Christians.” Those words offend many people, especially Jews and Christians. Recently a Jewish man named Steve Maman, originally from Morocco, was interviewed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). The interview was in Montreal, and in French. The CBC is the state funded broadcaster in Canada. Also note, this is an election year in Canada and people are choosing sides. Steve Maman represents a charity that rescues women from terrible slavery under ISIS in the Middle East. He identifies the female victims as Yazidi and Christian. Most of the world believes he is a good man doing a good thing. To me, the CBC is bland and boring, a government-funded news source that never takes sides. It’s an expense for the taxpayers, and financial cuts are always possible. A brief interview in French, about an obscure charity, could not go wrong, but it did. Steve Maman praised the Government of Canada for its support of his charity and said that Canada was their most …

Three Sadhus in Kathmandu, Nepal. The author notes they were not the strictist observers. Photo Markus Koljonen/Wikipedia

The Apostle of the bleeding feet

Sundar Singh (1889-1929?) was born into a Sikh family in Rampur, Ktaania, Ludhiana (Punjab state), Northern India. Common in this part of India, Sikhs differ from Hindus in that they believe there is only one God and they don’t accept Hindu’s caste system. The fifth largest religion in the world, Sikhs are often confused with Muslims because the men traditionally wear turbans. Though Sundar’s mother desired her son to be a Sadhu or Sikh holy man and sent her son to a guru to be trained as a Sadhu, she also wanted her son to learn English and sent him to a Christian school. After his mother died, Sundar, then 14, became very angry and began to take out his frustration on Christians. He not only mocked them but once in a fit of anger burnt a Bible page by page in front of his friends. His anger and frustration boiled over and he contemplated suicide by throwing himself in front of a train. After praying that the “true God” would reveal Himself, Jesus appeared …

Oakland Church Sign Flickr/Thomas Hawk

Atheist Steve Tillman becomes a born again Christian, again

By his own admission Steve Tillman was not a top-level — Stephen Hawking — type of atheist. He was more mid level. He started a couple of now defunct websites including Think Free Nation and Think Free Indiana promoting his atheist views. He also helped found Atheist Analysis. Most of his work was relegated to social media such as Facebook and YouTube where on his atheist internet shows he repeatedly bashed Christians and other religions. Though Steve downplays his significance in the atheist community, nevertheless a group he founded, Atheists of Northern Indiana, warranted a mention in an Indy Star article on anti-Christian bigotry in Indiana. The article centered on a release by the American Family Association (AFA) that pointed out a few groups with strong anti-Christian sentiments in Indiana, particularly those that opposed the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, that offered Christians protection from the growing anti-Christian bias in America. However, when AFA’s Walker Wildmon read the article he noticed a strange thing. The Indy Star pointed out that the one of groups cited, …

Christian-owned business Chick-fil-A tops the charts

[by Dean Smith] Chick-fil-A was just awarded the top fast food franchise in America. It topped a list compiled each year by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). This was the first year, they included Chick-fil-A in the survey. It not only topped the list but according to ACSI with a rating of 86, the chain received the highest score ever given to a restaurant in the fast food category. ASCI determined the index after a survey of 5,000 people.

Japan’s Christian Voice

[by Earl Blacklock] Throughout his life, Toyohiko Kagawa was a respected  voice in Japan, representing Christian truth and witness. Born to a concubine, Kagawa was raised by his father’s wife and her mother who, in their indignation, took turns beating the boy until he was old enough to be sent away to school. There he met two missionaries who taught him that all men were created by a God of love, and that any person could accomplish good simply by devoting himself to service. Inspired by their example, he plunged into study for the ministry, only to be struck down by tuberculosis. During his recuperation, he wrote Across the Death Line, a novel that was to play an important role in his life. Impatient with endless discussions about doctrine, Kabawa moved into the slum area of Kobe, where he was to live for 15 years. There, he lived the teachings of Christ, sharing his meagre resources to buy food for his neighbours. Called a fool, he proudly called himself “Christ’s fool”. When one man demanded …

Did a prophetic word about his future fame play a role in Chris Pratt becoming a Christian?

[by Dean Smith] You may be familiar with Chris Pratt. He is a Hollywood actor who most recently starred in Jurassic World. Released in June 2015, Jurassic World is a blockbuster setting a global record of US$511.9 million in ticket sales on its opening weekend. In the movie, Chris plays Owen Grady — a Velociraptor (a mid-sized raptor) trainer and expert. According to Variety magazine, Pratt earned $1.2 billion in 2014 making him the highest paid actor that year. He earned his big payday starring in Guardians of the Galaxy and The Lego Movie. But Pratt is also a Christian and his faith comes out in an interview with QPolitical where Pratt shares his struggles with the premature birth of his son, Jack, born in August 2012.  Pratt said that he and his wife Anna Ferris prayed for weeks for their son born nine weeks premature and weighing only 3 pounds.

What in the world is going on in England?

[by Dean Smith] Rev. Dr. Mike Ovey is principal of London’s Oak Hill Theological College that trains priests for the Anglican church. He is not only a former lawyer, but as well worked for the government during the 1980s helping draft England’s anti-terrorism bill to combat IRA terrorism. In an interview with The Telegraph, Dr. Ovey is sounding alarm bells over Extremism Disruption Orders being added to England’s Counter Extremism Bill. What concerns Dr. Ovey is that these potential changes could effectively criminalize Christian beliefs.

English nursery worker beats back political correctness

[by Dean Smith] England’s BBC reports a government tribunal has ruled a childcare nursery discriminated against a woman because of her Christian beliefs when it fired her in January 2014. At the heart of the issue was a Christian’s freedom to talk about homosexual issues. Sarah Mbuyi, an evangelical Christian, worked for Newpark Childcare nursery in Watford, England. According to BBC News, Mbuyi was fired three days after she answered a co-worker’s question who wondered what God thought of her lesbian relationship.

ISIS terrorist who killed Christians turns to Christ after Jesus appeared to him in a dream

[by Dean Smith] A YWAM (Youth with a Mission) worker is reporting a Middle East ISIS fighter. who apparently killed Christians. has converted to Christ. According to the Christian Post, YWAM representative Gina Fadely provided the report on the Voice of the Martyrs Radio Network. YWAM, with over 1,200 bases around the world, is one of the largest missionary organizations in the world. Initially set up in 1960 to mobilize youth for missions, it now accepts people of all ages for ministry work. According to Fadely, a YWAM worker based in the Middle East was introduced to an ISIS militant through a friend. The terrorist said he killed Christians and even admitted that he “enjoyed doing it.”

Half of children raised as atheists return to faith

[by Dean Smith] In my previous post, I talked briefly about America’s changing religious landscape. In 2007, 78.4% of Americans identified themselves as Christian. By 2014 that number had shrunk to 70.6%. The vast majority of the decline occurred in the liberal mainline denominations whose membership numbers are in a free fall and as well the Catholic church. Meanwhile those who classified themselves as having no religious association including agnostics, atheists and any who answered “none” when asked their religious affiliation increased over that same period from 16.1% to 22.8%. However, while pouring through the data, the Daily Beast uncovered an interesting tidbit. They found that nearly 50% of the people who had been raised in a “none” religious homes now associated with a religion.

Manny Pacquiao’s faith in the ‘fight of the century’

[by Dean Smith] The fight between Manny Pacquiao, 36, and Floyd Mayweather, 38, on Saturday, May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas has been billed the fight of the century. Whether it will end that way or not, the ticket prices are certainly there. Though tickets were initially priced between $1,500 to $7,500, in the secondary market they rapidly escalated in value. Some tickets on the main floor of the MGM Grand were listed at $50,000 each. The median ticket price on SeatGeek was over $10,500 compared to just $3,290 for last year’s NFL Super Bowl tickets. This makes it the most expensive sporting event ever. Boxing fans have been calling for a fight between Pacquiao (57-5-2) and Mayweather (47-0) to settle who is the undisputed best fighter in the world. Pacquiao now holds the position as the best pound-for-pound fighter and Mayweather is listed as second and was the former number one pound-for-pound fighter. But many are unaware of Pacquiao’s faith in Christ. Manny is from the Philippines. Oddly he was born in the same …

Ireland and the Whitewell Project

[by Sandy McIntosh] For 30 years or more, from at least 1968 to 1998, Northern Ireland experienced “the Troubles.” I remember when the evening news always had two stories, violence in the Middle East, and violence in Ireland. For Christians like me, it was astounding that people who identified as Christian were so devoted to killing each other, in Ireland. All Christians were disgraced by the violence in Ireland. The city of Glasgow, in Scotland, is known as the toughest and meanest industrial city in Britain, not a good place for a coward, or an argument. During “the Troubles” my friend Sandy traveled from Glasgow, with a friend, to see what was happening in Northern Ireland. Two tough guys from Glasgow got off the boat in Belfast, looked around briefly, and went right back to Glasgow. They didn’t feel safe.

Is the Book of Revelation coming to pass: Islamic State beheads 21 Christians?

[by Dean Smith] A video released on the Twitter account of a website used by the Islamic State (IS) purports to show the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians. The same website has shown verified beheadings of westerners. According to the video producers, the execution took place in Tripoli Province, Libya by a group claiming association with IS. On the video, armed IS members march a group dressed in orange down to a beach near Tripoli, Libya’s capital city. Before their execution, one IS member says:

Former Muslim imam says the Qur’an is the reason he converted to Christianity

[by Dean Smith] Mario Joseph is a Catholic teacher/evangelist living and ministering in India. He differs from a priest in that he is married with children. He also differs in another respect — he was a Muslim imam before his conversion. He grew up in an area of India that was predominantly Muslim and Hindu with few Christians. His family were strong Muslims and Mario was sent to Qur’an school at the age of 8. By the time he was 18, Mario was serving as an imam in his local mosque. In this video, Mario provides the fascinating details of his conversion from Islam to Christianity. It starts, oddly enough, because of question asked in a mosque where he was teaching.

Christian Rapper Jackie Hill-Perry comes out of the closet — she is an ex gay!

[by Dean Smith] In an interview with Wade-O Radio, Christian rapper Jackie Hill-Perry, 25, told the world she was formerly a lesbian and that God had changed her life. According to an article in the Washington Times, as the news spread through social media, she faced mixed reaction – about 60% responded positively to her announcement and 40% were critical.  Jackie has about 65,000 social media followers. She spoke of a number of tweets from one girl who called Jackie “delusional, in denial and brainwashed.” It all started when Jackie responded to a song by rapper Macklemore who speaking of same-sex relationships said “I can’t change even if I tried, even if I wanted to.”

A little bit of heresy mixed with truth — poll reveals what American Evangelicals believe

[by Dean Smith] LifeWay Research, a Nashville-based research and polling group, recently asked Americans their opinions on Christian theology. The online survey was commissioned by Ligonier Ministries based in Orlando, Florida. Their polling considered the opinions of both non-churched and church attenders and sorted the latter group according to various expressions of the Christian faith — Catholic, protestant and Evangelicals. While the survey showed that many Americans agreed on the theological basics, things got a bit confusing when you drilled down on the specifics of their faith. This is when the odd heresy began to show up — even among Bible-believing, Evangelical Christians.

Did Shia LaBeouf become a Christian?

[by Dean Smith] I have always enjoyed Shia LaBeouf as an actor — from his childhood acting career in the TV comedy series “Even Stevens” to his role in “Transformers.” He is a great actor, but his life of late has been troubling. Over the past year or so he has been accused of plagiarism for a short film he produced and even arrested for criminal trespass and disorderly conduct during a New York Broadway show — Cabaret. So, I was a bit surprised to hear he had become a Christian during the filming of his most recent film “Fury,” a World War II epic. In the movie — which also stars Brad Pitt who plays “Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier,” the tank commander — Shia plays  “Boyd ‘Bible’ Swan” a member of the tank crew who is a Christian.

Pakistani woman sentenced to hanging for blasphemy

[by Dean Smith] While in the U.S., Houston City Council has subpoenaed the speeches, notes, emails and even texts of five pastors concerning any discussions they had on homosexuality, gender identity and the city’s openly gay mayor Annise Parker with threats of imprisonment or fines if they don’t comply, on the other side of the world a woman is fighting for her life for much the same reason — the freedom to be a Christian and believe in the Bible. It is only the severity of the punishment that is different. Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi, 46, languishes in jail, after a Pakistani court sentenced her to hanging for blaspheming Muhammad. She recently lost an appeal to have this death sentence over turned. The reality is, the extremist state is punishing Asia because she would not recant her Christian faith and become a Muslim.

Photo from Marshall Space craft sun over the India ocean. Photo: NASA/Flickr

The majority of atheists have faith after all — they believe in aliens

Just because atheists don’t believe in God, it doesn’t mean they don’t have faith. In his recent book, Religions and Extraterrestrial life, Astronomer David Weintraub from Tennessee’s Vanderbilt University said 55% of atheists believe in aliens. According to the Daily Mail, in his book, Weintraub released the results of a poll on what different religious groups believe when it comes to little green men from mars. Of course, atheists have solid scientific proof for their belief in aliens. I mean we have the government cover-up of Area 51 in Nevada, USA, where an alien space craft supposedly crashed. Depending on what conspiracy theory you subscribe too, some of the aliens were still alive after the crash and kept hidden by the government for years in a secret facility located miles below the surface of the earth. And of course, these atheists can point to all those weather balloons, err UFOs, flying through the sky. Some were even captured on video and of course if it’s on YouTube, it must be true. Then there is the solid …

Could the next American President be a Christian from Calgary, Alberta, Canada?

I was reading a post on NBC.com about Senator Ted Cruz from Texas. According to reports, there is a 90% chance he will seek the Republican nomination for President. Of course, this doesn’t mean he will win the Republican nomination and if he does that he will win the American presidency in elections scheduled for 2016. But he is definitely a Christian and the NBC article focused on some statements Cruz recently made at a Value Voters Summit in Washington D.C. Throughout his career, Cruz has been forthright about his Christian faith. In a rare move, Cruz spoke about his troubled life because of the alcoholic lifestyle of both his parents. In his speech, Ted said that faith in Christ rescued his family. When he was three years old, his father abandoned the family. Cruz said: