Hillsong UNITED's new album Empires released this week with a message for Christians to "be building, speaking and living for the unseen aspects of God's kingdom," according to frontman Joel Houston.
Empires is Hillsong UNITED's first album release since Zion, their fastest-selling album to date. Houston, who leads Hillsong's famed worship band as well as Hillsong NYC, told The Christian Post that the album addresses two worlds — the "image-obsessed" world we live in and the mysterious kingdom we cannot see.
"We are in this world and also we're of a different world as well, so it's playing on that sense of duality that exists," Houston explained. "It applies to everything. I'm in New York and I look at the buildings, I look at everything in front of me, every single person walking the street, at the thousands of people in city, [and] they are physical bodies and spiritual bodies — two things going on at once." more >>
A Georgia Mom is said to be leaning on her Christian faith after she was arrested and shackled because her fourth grade son had too many unexcused absences from school over the past year. The National Association of Parents is now working to vindicate her but a school official says there is more to the story.
Julie Giles, a substitute teacher of Sylvania, has been thanking the public for their prayers and messages of support on Facebook while also sharing Bible scriptures as her family tries to come to grips with a serious legal matter that could result in her being jailed for up to 12 months.
On May 14, the Christian mom was arrested and placed in ankle shackles after officials at the Screven County school district claimed that her 10-year-old honor roll student son, Samuel, had at least 12 unexcused absences, although she says this is not true. more >>
In this era of sequels, remakes and reboots, another cult classic has joined the fray. A sequel to the 1982 movie "Conan the Barbarian" is in the works, as confirmed by its star, Arnold Schwarzenegger and its writer/producer Chris Morgan. The sequel titled "Legend of Conan" is being developed with Universal Pictures.
Morgan recently shared some details about the upcoming sequel. According to a report in The Wrap, Morgan described the movie as such: "Think 'Unforgiven' … with a sword-wielding barbarian." It will follow the story of Conan, 30 years after the events in the 1982 movie.
"Our tone is a logical extension of the character established in the '82 film … but 30 years later. When we meet him again, Conan has been many things over the course of his life -- a thief, a warrior, a pirate, a king, a legend -- and is now an older man," the producer told a fan website. more >>
"19 Kids and Counting," the family-oriented reality TV series on TLC, is suffering from a major public backlash over recent news that one of the members of the Duggar family admitted that he has molested underage girls when he was a teenager. Fans of the show are probably more worried about its future on the TLC network, as three major advertisers have pulled out from the show.
The network was previously looking at the possibility of continuing the show without Josh Duggar, as "19 Kids and Counting" is one of the network's biggest earners. Then, only one advertiser, General Mills, had withdrawn future ad placements from the show.
This number has grown to four, however. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a hotel chain, a shoestore chain and a pharmacy chain have pulled out future advertising placements from the show because of the public backlash. more >>
Late last week, Gallup released the results of a survey that showed that the percentage of Americans who have liberal views on social issues equaled the percentage of those who identify as socially conservative. Gallup has been conducting surveys on citizens' ideology since 1999, and this is the first time in 16 surveys that social conservatives do not outnumber social liberals. Typically, the media is eager to report the results of surveys that show reductions in public support for conservative positions. It should come as no surprise, then, that this poll has received coverage from Politico, The Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, and a number of other media outlets.
A closer look at the results, however, indicates that there may be less to this poll than meets the eye. Gallup surveys people on their attitudes toward economic and social issues about once a year. Last year, social conservatives outpolled social liberals by a 34-30 margin. This year, it was a 31-31 split. This represents a relatively small change that could have been caused by a slight bias in the sample. One should also remember that Gallup conducted this poll about a week after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, which has important implications for same-sex marriage. The fact that same-sex marriage was receiving a great deal of positive media coverage likely influenced some people's responses.
Gallup conducted a more interesting poll in May 2013 in which it asked Americans to rate the morality of various social issues. Not surprisingly, it found that on key issues relating to sex and marriage, Americans are becoming more socially liberal. A significantly smaller percentage of Americans are opposed to gay and lesbian relations, divorce, and pre-marital sex than in 2001, for example. Yet news from this poll was not all bad for social conservatives. Opposition to abortion and pornography has held relatively constant, and a smaller percentage of Americans now find physician-assisted suicide morally acceptable. more >>
A United States Marine was convicted at a court-martial for refusing to remove a Bible verse on her computer – a verse of Scripture the military determined "could easily be seen as contrary to good order and discipline."
The plight of Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling seems unbelievable – a member of the Armed Forces criminally prosecuted for displaying a slightly altered passage of Scripture from the Old Testament: "No weapon formed against me shall prosper."
Sterling, who represented herself at trial, was convicted February 1, 2014 in a court-martial at Camp Lejune, North Carolina after she refused to obey orders from a staff sergeant to remove the Bible verses from her desk. more >>