A United States Marine who was convicted at a court-martial of putting a Bible verse declaring "no weapon formed against me shall prosper" on her computer because it was "contrary to good order and discipline," is now looking to have that decision appealed under the protection of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Lance Cpl. Monifa Sterling, who was convicted while stationed at Camp Lejune in North Carolina, was prosecuted for displaying a version of Isaiah 54;17 that reads: "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord."
In 2014, Sterling was court-martialed for refusing to obey orders to remove the scripture from her desk, according to Fox News. After representing herself in court, she was found guilty of disrespecting a superior officer, failing to go to an appointed place of duty, and four charges of disobeying the lawful order of a non-commissioned officer. She was discharged from the Marines for bad conduct and was demoted from lance corporal to private. more >>
There is an ongoing silent migration away from the church of an estimated 3,500 individuals each and every day. A 2014 study indicated that over 1.2 million people will leave the church in the next year. Several factors are contributing to this trend, but the majority of individuals who are leaving the church report that they no longer feel connected. Can this be reversed? Can the church connect with these people before it is to late?
This movement away from the church has been ongoing for several decades. The number of churches that are closing their doors every year is leading to an overall decline in church attendance. In 2015, it is estimated that over 10,000 churches will close their doors. This has lead to a growing host of Christians who no longer have a place to connect with other believers. In fact, The Barna Group reports that the average size of a church congregation in America is just 89 adults. That means for each church door that closes, almost 100 people are left without a spiritual home.
When asked about the importance of church in their lives, 80% of 14-33 year olds reported that church was 'not important' to them. Millennials, as they are often called, have very different preferences of what church should look like compared to their parents. Millennials prefer worship spaces that are quiet and decorated in a classic style. They prefer casual dress and a sense of community over privacy. Clint Jenkin with the Barna Group says, "Millennials don't look for a church facility that caters to the whims of pop culture. They want a community that calls them to deeper meaning." In short, churches do not need to create ultra modern worship spaces to connect with young people, but rather create an environment that engages and inspires. more >>
While reading through the book Finding Truth by Nancy Pearcey, a section caught my eye and convicted me at my core – which made me think that some of my fellow believers may need to hear the message as well. It's a topic which we, as 21st century Christians, sometimes tend to gloss over: idolatry.
If we are honest with ourselves, "idolatry" is a topic which many modern Christians see as antiquated and outdated. When we hear the word "idol" today, many of us automatically picture a golden statue of a bull or calf. We tend to skim over passages that include references to idolatry, because we see it as something that only Old Testament believers struggled with. But that is largely not the case. In Paul's writings to the New Testament churches, he addresses the issue of idolatry:
"Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!" (Romans 1:22-25, ESV) more >>
Controversial televangelist Benny Hinn has claimed in a message that the "greatest wealth transfer in human history" is approaching, which he says is backed by both financial headlines and Bible passages. Hinn asked people to sow money into his ministry as he prepares for a new world tour.
"It is estimated by many leading financial analysts that during the next three decades more than $16 trillion will transfer from one generation to the next," Hinn said on his website.
"As I've been sharing with you in recent months, the Word of God clearly tells us that we are coming into a time when we will see a glorious transfer of wealth for the preaching of the Gospel and for the financing of the end-time harvest," he continued. more >>
When the seasons change and the summer rolls around, it seems like a lot of things change around us. People's attitudes change, people get into shape, and smiles are floating in the air. The hot weather and happiness just seem to go together. The Bible provides heartwarming verses that are perfect for the start of summer.
If we had to draw summer with crayons on a piece of paper, it would be very bright and make you smile when you look at it. That is what the Bible does as well. No matter what season, day, time, or hour, the Bible always provides a positive message. Jesus and this time of the year seem to have a lot of things in common, and we should read His word to create a positive attitude for the start of the summer season.
Take a look and consider these Bible verses: more >>
Somerset Academy, a Nevada public charter school, has come under fire from a local pastor after a teacher prohibited his daughter from including a reference to a Bible verse in a class project that asks students to describe themselves using slides.
The student, Mackenzie Frazier, wanted to include a reference to John 3:16 in her "All About Me" assignment; however, her teacher refused to allow her to include a slide with the Bible verse, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Mackenzie's father, Tim Frasier, is a pastor at the local nondenominational Grace Point Church, and learned of the incident last month. more >>