Media mogul Oprah Winfrey recently sparked an online discussion about the Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity after recalling a time that she once considered Jesus Christ to be her brother.
In a Facebook video post that immediately went viral on Monday — garnering more than 1 million views and over 2,000 comments in less than 24 hours — the OWN network CEO opened up about her Christian faith to her 10 million followers. Winfrey is seen speaking candidly about how growing up without her father led her to faith when she was between the ages of 3 to 7 years old.
"For the earliest part of my life, I didn't know my father," Winfrey, who was raised by her maternal grandmother up until age 6, said in the 35-second clip. "Not growing up with a father, I heard in church that God was my Father and that God was the Father of us all and that Jesus was God's son." more >>
Filmmakers who feature faith-based content sometimes face the temptation of playing-up the religious element in order to cater to Christian audiences, and in doing so could end up alienating millions of other viewers, according to actor David Oyelowo.
The "Selma" actor co-starred and worked as a co-producer on the new thriller "Captive," which tells the true story of how crazed murderer Brian Nichols held Atlanta mother and meth addict Ashley Smith hostage overnight, and how God touched them both through the ordeal.
Oyelowo portrays Nichols in the film and also took on the role of co-producer to ensure that the film stayed true to Smith's real-life account while not alienating viewers who might not subscribe to Christianity, which plays an integral role in the story. more >>
Although disheartening, society's trend away from God's Word and absolute truth is not surprising. The apostle Paul warned of this many years ago: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine (God's Word), but according to their own desires … they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables" (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
Searching for spiritual fulfillment isn't wrong, but where we search can be.
There is tremendous power and wisdom in the Bible. Many religions and cults recognize its influence, often adding portions of the Bible to their own writings. In studying various religions, I learned that most originated from someone claiming to have received a "vision from God," a "new revelation," or a "deeper truth" that contradicts the Bible. These self-proclaimed prophets use their visions to begin their religion, and the rest is history. The fact that these groups have greatly altered the truth of God's Word is a startling reality. more >>
Pastor Matt Chandler of The Village Church in Texas is explaining the meaning and relevance of the Apostles' Creed to his congregation in an ongoing sermon series because "the lines of the creed aren't mere words" but they carry "the essence of what we confess and believe."
Beginning late August, Chandler has been taking his congregation through a 12-week series of sermons on the Apostles' Creed, elaborating on each section of the statement of faith, which finds its genesis in the apostles' teachings.
"The creed will help us develop better symmetry as Christians, give us a more robust understanding of the God of the Bible," the pastor said in the first sermon in the series. "The creed helps us with clarity. It makes it clear who God is. The creed informs our community, who we belong to and who we are with. Finally, the creed informs our counsel, both to ourselves and to others." more >>
Pastor Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch.tv started a new sermon series called "Stay Positive," and shared in his first message on Sunday eight reasons for believers to be optimistic in life based on what God says in just one chapter in the book of Romans in the New Testament.
"There's an epidemic of negativity around the world," Groeschel said after he introduced the new series, in which the description reads: "Cynicism and negativity may be the easy choice, but they're not the best choice. If you seek what's good, you'll see what's good. Let's embrace the way we're created to think and stay positive."
The pastor said he also needs this message, as he can also easily drift into negativity. The series will look into biblical qualities of optimism, gratitude, encouragement, generosity, enthusiasm and confidence, he added. more >>
God brought good out of Judas Iscariot's betrayal of Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, so was he not responsible for his act? It was a choice Judas made, and then his choice made him, says megachurch Pastor Greg Laurie, warning that the same principle applies in choices we all make in life.
In a blog post, Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, refers to an article in The New Yorker magazine titled "Betrayal," which asked the question, "Should we hate Judas Iscariot?"
"Did Judas deserve this fate?" the magazine asked. "If Jesus informs you that you will betray Him, and tells you to hurry up and do it, are you really responsible for your act? Furthermore, if your act sets in motion the process — Christ's Passion — whereby humankind is saved, shouldn't somebody thank you? No, the Church says. If you betray your friend, you are a sinner, no matter how foreordained or collaterally beneficial your sin. And, if the friend should happen to be the Son of God, so much the worse for you!" more >>