"Heaven Is for Real," the movie based on the near-death experience of a young boy who believes he visited heaven and met Jesus, is generating divided opinions among Christians on whether it presents a biblical message on heaven as it hits theaters Easter weekend.
The movie is based on the best-selling 2010 book Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back, where pastor Todd Burpo reports on the near-death experience of his then 4-year-old son, Colton, who shares of meeting Jesus in heaven as well as a number of his deceased relatives after undergoing emergency surgery in 2003.
The film adaptation of the book, directed by Randall Wallace, opened on Wednesday, and has received the backing of some Christian groups, including Faith Driven Consumer, which reviews faith or Bible-based films. more >>
For many years now, publishers have been releasing books that claim that the Bible does not oppose committed homosexual relationships. That is nothing new. But it is a sad and shameful day when a major Christian publisher releases such a book and claims that it is a solid evangelical publication. This is abhorrent, disgraceful, and terribly misleading. And it needs to be addressed and exposed.
But first, the background to the story.
In 2012, a young man named Matthew Vines, who professes to be a "gay Christian," released a video of his talk about the Bible and homosexuality, and it quickly went viral. His demeanor was engaging and his appeal to the Scriptures very serious, but for those who know the Word well, there was nothing in the least bit persuasive in his presentation. In fact, it underscored just how impossible it is to use the Bible to justify any form of homosexual acts or to sanctify intimate homosexual relationships. more >>
Fox News host and best-selling author Bill O'Reilly believes that children should learn Judeo-Christian principles in public schools.
O'Reilly explained his views during an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC's "TODAY" show Thursday, saying, "Kids need to know what Judeo-Christian tradition is, because that's what all of our laws are based on. That's what the country's philosophy is based on. ... And because that's what forged the Constitution."
"Kids, if they live in a secular home and go to public school, don't know anything about Jesus. … Our Constitution was forged on Judeo-Christian philosophy and tradition," he reiterated. more >>
"Duck Dynasty" star Lisa Robertson revealed that childhood molestation led her to have a 14-month-long affair during her marriage to husband Alan. The two were eventually able to work through their pain and hurt and are now happily married.
"As a little girl, I had an extended family member who had major drug and alcohol problems," Lisa writes in The Women of Duck Commander. "Unfortunately, that person lived with my grandparents, so I had to see him often. Because I spent so much time at my grandparents' house, I was easy prey for him. My earliest memory of being molested was at the age of seven when he started to do things to me, things that made me feel bad and dirty."
Unfortunately, Lisa felt unable to tell anyone about her pain and suffering. The abuse lasted for seven years and caused her an unimaginable amount of grief and trauma. more >>
Heaven Is For Real opens in theaters on April 16 and tells the story of the Burpo family, whose son Colton experienced a vision where he traveled to heaven and met Jesus when he was just 4 years old.
The film, based on a book of the same name, is Colton's father and small town church Pastor Todd Burpo's account of what his son saw during this vision, which took place during emergency surgery on the boy's appendix around 10 years ago. The family partnered with T.D. Jakes and director Randall Wallace to bring the story to the big screen. The film is generating a lot of media attention, however, the Nebraskan family still claims to function like any other American household despite the fame that might come with Heaven Is For Real.
"[After all the promotion for the film] we go home. We're normal at home. Sometimes you just have to disconnect. It's a lot easier for me to disconnect [from Facebook] than mom," Todd Burpo told The Christian Post. "When we go home I go back to pastoring, I'm a fireman. I do what I've always done. It's a good change of pace for me." more >>
In her new book, Love Idol, former journalist Jennifer Dukes Lee shares how she transitioned from seeking approval from other people to realizing that God's love is all the validation she needs.
As a reporter for the Des Moines Register, Lee interviewed subjects ranging from local dignitaries to the vice president of the United States, but she never reached perfection which was the goal she coveted most.
It took her years to realize she had an addiction to approval; she eventually found that it was possible to stop being a people pleaser and discovered full freedom and joy in Christ. more >>