All posts tagged: feature

‘Your Money or Your Life!’

“Your Money or Your Life!” Believe it or not, someone actually said that to me. He cornered me in an alley and backed me up against a wall. I remember his hand on my shirt and the look on his face. He was a young guy, younger than me and way thinner. But he was taller and tried to look scary. The problem was that I was not scared. In fact, I laughed. I don’t why I laughed. I guess it was because I didn’t take him seriously. After all, it’s a pretty cheesy line to say when you want to rob someone. As soon as I started laughing, he lost his nerve and actually looked embarrassed. Poor guy. I felt sorry for him. I wonder if I actually had money if I would have been so cavalier in my response. I had no money so the question seemed absurd.  For me, there was no choice. But for many it would be a tough choice. What if someone demanded that you give them your wallet …

Is it wrong to leave your religion?

When I was a boy, I would walk home from school with a gang of my friends. I still remember trudging through the snow, and shouting. We argued all the way home, and for us there was only one belief. Who had the best car? We didn’t drive cars, or even ride bicycles, but we were passionate believers. I think we mostly believed in the cars that our fathers drove. One friend was the son of a church minister, and he lived in a manse, a house next to a church. He believed in Fords. We were all deeply convicted, and we knew the others were wrong. We were human beings trying out adult ideas. Since then, I have changed. I still don’t own a Ford, but I am open to the idea. There are powerful forces in this world. Eighty percent of all humans identify with a religion, and probably the other twenty percent believe something strongly. Some belief systems function like religions, in people’s lives. Believing is a common human experience, just like …

750 people slaughtered at church alleged to hold the Ark of the Covenant

According to Europe External Programme with Africa, a Belgium NGO, the Maryam Tsiyon Church in Axum, Ethiopia was recently attacked by a group made up of soldiers with the Ethiopian army and members of the militant Amhara militia who slaughtered 750 members of the congregation. Amhara is a brutal terrorist organization that has been responsible for several massacres in Ethiopia in recent years. Several eyewitnesses reported at least a thousand people were hiding inside the church when the armed group arrived. Hundreds of people were dragged from the cathedral and shot. For decades, the overseers of the Maryam Tsiyon, also referred to as the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion, have claimed that they have the Jewish Ark of the Covenant. Apparently, members of the congregation went to the church believing the militia intended to steal the Ark. But reports suggest the leaders of the church had hidden the ark before the militants arrived. The Ark of the Covenant is housed in the Chapel of Tablet beside the main Cathedral and only one of …

The Discovery of an ancient description, ‘Christ, born of Mary,’ hints to an earlier battle with heresy

Israeli archaeologists working in the Jezreel Valley recently announced that they found an ancient description of Jesus dated to the fifth century. It was found in the remains of a Byzantine Church located near the village of et-Taiyiba. Curiously, the phrase, “Christ, born of Mary,” may hint of a great theological battle that raged in the early church a couple of centuries earlier. The Greek inscription, that was carved on stone and appeared on top of the entrance, reads in full: “Christ, born of Mary. This work of the most God-fearing and pious bishop [Theodo]sius and the miserable Th[omas] was built from the foundation… Whoever enters should pray for them.” According to Dr. Leah Di-Segni who works at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem the phrase “Christ, born of Mary” was used by the people to ward off curses associated with an evil eye. As part of this, people often included this phrase in letters they were sending to friends. One of the persons mentioned in the greeting was Theodosius, the archbishop for the area around …

Enforcing religious freedom in Moscow, Russia, err Idaho

A court has just ruled in favour of Gabriel Rench who was arrested on Sept 23, 2020, when nearly 200 believers gathered to worship and praise God during an outdoor service in the parking lot of the city hall in Moscow, Idaho. The event, called Psalm Sing, was sponsored by Christ Church and according to Gabriel Rench, who serves as a church deacon, they had been holding services for several months with no problem. The church believed its right to worship is guaranteed under the US Constitution. But the Sept. 23 service would prove to be different. Police were in attendance and arrested three people including Gabriel Rench as the group was singing “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow.” Though they were not wearing masks, neither were most of the people attending the service. The police had arrested the three for violating the mayor’s emergency health order. But according to Michael Jacques, a lawyer with the Thomas Moore Society who represented Rench, under this legislation, the city exempted “[a]ny and all expressive and associative …

Ironically, doing good to others, is good for you

Most have heard of Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan who provided aid to a man who had been mugged by robbers and left for dead by the side of a road (Luke 10:25-37). And while he provided both medicinal and financial aid to the fallen man, studies have shown that people who are kind or help others may also be helping themselves. This was the conclusion of a Canadian study that revealed helping others may lead to better health for the person doing the helping. The study involved several students who were asked to tutor elementary students for two months. In the study the students were broken up into two groups, one group actually tutored the students and the second group were put on a waiting list and never tutored any of the elementary students. Then four months after the tutoring assignment has run its course, the researchers ran blood tests to find out if there was any noticeable differences between the two groups. They discovered that students who had actually done tutoring had …

Lessons from Nothing

Nothing. Scientists claim that everything came from nothing. But they have a hard time describing nothing or where it came from or why it was there. Nothing is crucial to their Big Bang Theory which is man’s attempt at explaining what God did without actually saying God did it. As you can imagine, this takes a lot of work and a lot of words. People have talked about nothing ever since. Probably before that as well. But to build a whole science of nothing is absolutely brilliant. You can’t prove nothing so there really never is any end to this body of esteemed literature. It just goes on and on with loads of grants and support dedicated to the cause of nothing. Anything goes just so long as you ignore the truth. It gets even better with the theory of evolution. According to this great tidbit of wisdom, all life came from pond scum. This is hard to believe so you need to be really knowledgeable about nothing. You see, nothing created the universe and …

Are religious people stupid?

You may have heard the arguments, psychologists have done many studies, and they have found that atheists are more intelligent than religious people. Here is a quote from an article linked here: “the research found that atheists performed better overall than the religious participants even when demographic factors like age and education were taken into consideration. Agnostics mostly placed between atheists and believers on all tasks.” READ: Atheists are more intelligent than religious people, finds study How does that make you feel? One question is; does religion make people stupid, or do stupid people choose religion? I’m writing as a Christian; I believe in the God who made this world, and I believe that Jesus made the way for us to find God. Does that make me stupid? Recently, I explained what I believe to a young relative of mine, and his answer was something like “How can an intelligent person believe that?”  I still have a good relationship with my relative, but the experience taught me some important lessons. When believers are accused of …