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Why Every Sin Is a 'Gateway' Sin

Marijuana is widely regarded as a "gateway" drug, which leads some users to experiment with more serious drugs. In a similar way, every time we sin against God's commands, we commit a "gateway" sin. That is to say, our sin often leads us to engage in other types of sinful behavior.

Should North Carolina Magistrates Perform Gay Marriage Despite Their Faith?

Mark Creech

Nevertheless, AOC Director Smith claims that magistrates swear an oath to the United States Constitution, and, therefore, have a duty to perform such marriages since two federal judges have ruled the State's Marriage Amendment that defines marriage as one man and one woman is unconstitutional. Smith adds in his latest correspondence that he believes Berger may be misleading magistrates to believe they can opt out.

The Lord Is Your Healer

Joyce Meyer

Did you know that God cares about every single part of your life? He isn't only concerned with your spiritual health, but He desires for you to be healthy in every area.

Joni Eareckson Tada Defends Brittany Maynard: Christians Should Target 'Death With Dignity' Organizations, Not Individuals

Brittany Maynard.

Joni Eareckson Tada, an international advocate for people with disabilities, had unsuccessfully pleaded with Brittany Maynard to reconsider ending her life under Oregon's Death With Dignity Act. Maynard's decision to end her suffering from terminal, inoperable brain cancer on her own terms prompted critics to lash out at her decision. But Tada, a quadriplegic and breast cancer survivor, says the focus should not be on Maynard or her family, but on the organization that used the 29-year-old as "a poster child" for its right-to-die cause.

Different Is Better: The Ancient Church and Its Pagan Neighbors

Eric Metaxas

For the first seventy or so years of Christianity's existence, the Greco-Roman world paid it relatively little attention. There were persecutions here and there (like the one that claimed the lives of Peter and Paul). But, for the most part, it wasn't until the second century that their pagan neighbors began to focus their attention on just how different Christians were.

50 Things the Holy Spirit Does

frank viola

In some denominations and movements, the Holy Spirit is overemphasized, leading to a Christless Pentecost — putting the Spirit exclusively on the throne and losing Jesus in the temple. In other denominations and movements, the Spirit is but a footnote, an afterthought, even a stranger. What follows are 50 things the Holy Spirit does according to the New Testament. If you find this list helpful, share it on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

The Messiah's Critics Couldn't Produce His Body

dan delzell opinion page

Christianity hinges on the resurrection of Christ. If it didn't happen, there is no forgiveness or eternal salvation for anyone. But if it didn't happen, surely the critics of Christ would have easily been able to produce His dead body. After all, they had plenty of time to do it, and all the clout to get the job done. And yet they came up empty.

3 Ways to Cherish the Differences in Your Spouse

Focus on the Family president Jim Daly recently spoke on same-sex marriage on NPR\'s

They say opposites attract. And at first, the differences are what make each other loveable. That's why the introvert marries an extrovert. The spender decides to get hitched with someone who's really thrifty. But after the wedding comes… life. And what was once cute is now irritating.

A Jesus Response to Suicide

frank viola

Comedian Robin Williams' recent suicide has once again exposed the different ways that "Christian" people respond to the tragic issue of suicide.

Imagine a World Where Everyone Follows Christ

dan delzell opinion page

What if everyone in the world was a follower of Jesus Christ? And not just in name, but in reality. Imagine if everyone knew the love of the Savior and then shared that love with those around them. What would this world look like?

Legalization of Marijuana and the Opera Singer With the Glass Eye

Mark Creech

During the last election, two more states, Alaska and Oregon, approved by referendums the legalization of recreational marijuana. The District of Columbia also approved a voter initiative that is subject to the review of Congress. Colorado and Washington had previously passed similar ballot measures legalizing cannabis in 2012. It may take a while, time enough for the full import of their decision to be felt, nevertheless, it's inevitable these states will discover the legalization of pot didn't turn out as they expected.

How to Have a Happier Family

Focus on the Family president Jim Daly recently spoke on same-sex marriage on NPR\'s

On a recent program, the first in our two-part broadcast, "Game Plan for Having a Happier Family," our guest, author Dr. Kevin Leman, challenged parents with something of a brainteaser: Imagine your 14-year-old son announces he just gave the $200 he earned last summer to his buddy.

Letting Go of the Dead Stuff in Your Life

Joyce Meyer

Have you ever hired a professional to prune a tree in your yard? Well, Dave and I hire someone to do that for us and there are times when he cuts the branches back so far that I've said to him, "There is nothing left. You have totally destroyed our tree!" But he says, "You just watch and see." And sure enough, before long the tree is much better looking than it was before.

10 Reasons Why Friends and Family Struggle to Believe the Gospel

Saddleback ministry

Southeastern Seminary, where I work, challenged all students, staff, and faculty to share the gospel at least once a day during the month of September. Based on my experiences that month, in addition to years of sharing Christ with family members, here are my thoughts about why my family and friends struggle with believing the gospel.

14 Characteristics of Genuinely Friendly Churches

Thom Rainer

Several years ago, when I was involved in active church consultations, I assembled data on what I called GFCs, genuinely friendly churches. I set certain parameters for GFCs; then I attempted to measure those churches guest return rates. A guest return rate is simply the percentage of guests who will return to the church for at least a second visit.

Barbarism 2014: On Religious Cleansing by Islamists

Nina Shea

In a brief, nationally televised announcement on August 7th regarding the Islamic State, which invaded the multicultural, northern Nineveh Province of Iraq this summer, President Obama observed "these terrorists have been especially barbaric towards religious minorities, including Christian and Yazidis."

6 Reasons Your Church Might Not Be as Friendly as You Think It Is

LifeWay Rainer

I have heard that statement thousands of times. I promise. In over 500 church consultations and thousands of church member interviews, I heard it. Most church members really do think their church is very friendly. But, more times than not, they are wrong. Guests who visit the churches usually have a much different perspective. Here are six things to consider if you really think your church is friendly.

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Demonstration in Los Angeles, California
(Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Alcorn)

Christian Leaders Respond to Grand Jury Decision Not to Indict Darren Wilson in Ferguson Case

Prominent Christian leaders quickly issued statements and used social media to voice their concerns shortly after a St. Louis grand jury decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9.

US

A policeman pushes anti-gay marriage protesters from the street in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, March 26, 2013.
(Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Americans Evenly Split on Legalizing Gay Marriage in States, Midterm Exit Polls Show

Although Gallup polling from May indicates that American public opinion strongly favors legally recognizing same-sex marriage, 2014 midterm election exit polls found that voters were evenly divided on the issue of gay marriage.

No Indictment for Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson in Shooting Death of Michael Brown

Ferguson, Missouri

A St. Louis grand jury has decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 9. St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch announced the grand jury's findings during a Monday evening press conference, which was followed by comments by President Barack Obama who joined Brown's parents in asking those who disagree with the outcome to protest peacefully, but riots had already ensured.

Suicide

Kay Warren Remembering Her Son on 'Survivor Day:' There's Hope as Suicide Is Preventable

Sharing on International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day on Saturday, Kay Warren, co-founder of California's Saddleback Church, recalled that her late son, Matthew, was the funniest and most courageous person she has ever met in her life, and said that while the suicide rate is alarmingly high in the country, there is hope because suicide is preventable.

Rob Bell hosts his new self-titled show, airing on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) Dec. 21, 2014.
(Photo: Courtesy of Harpo Studios, Inc.)

'The Rob Bell Show' Premieres on OWN Days Before Christmas; Watch Preview of 'Rock Star' Pastor's New Self-Help Program

Rob Bell, former megachurch pastor and bestselling author, will finally have his new self-help show premiere on the Oprah Winfrey Network next month, just a few days before Christmas.

Afghan policemen secure the area outside Cure Hospital after three foreigners were killed in Kabul April 24, 2014.
(Photo: REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail)

45 Killed in Suicide Attack at Afghanistan Volleyball Game, Just Days After Decision to Extend US Troops' Stay

At least 45 people have been killed in a major suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan, where a bomber detonated his explosive vest in a crowd of spectators during a volleyball game on Sunday. The attack occurred days after President Barack Obama extended the combat role of American soldiers in Afghanistan into 2015.

matt chandler
(Photo: Exponential.org)

Matt and Lauren Chandler to Married Couples: God's Design Is for You to Have Children

In a new Tuesday video series promoting Matt Chandler's upcoming book Mingling of the Soul: God's Design for Love, Marriage, Sex and Redemption, the Texas pastor and his wife Lauren told husbands and wives that God's big plan for them is to have children.

Bible's Most Popular Verse Is 'Be Anxious for Nothing,' Says Amazon

A young man holds his head in this undated file photo

The most popular portion of the Bible is a verse urging readers not to be anxious, according to data released from online book seller Amazon. The online retailer recently released a list of the most popular passages from its most popular books. Amazon's most popular books include The Hunger Games, The Harry Potter Series, Pride and Prejudice, and the Bible. It found that the commonly highlighted portion of the Bible is Philippians 4:6-7.