Family Christian, the nation's largest Christian bookstore that specializes in selling Bibles, books, music and church supplies, has filed for bankruptcy.
The retailer is based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has over 266 stores across 36 states. The store has now filed for a bankruptcy protection plan to sell all of its assets.
"We strive to serve God in all that we do and trust His guidance in all our decisions, especially this very important one," said FCS president and CEO Chuck Bengochea in an announcement. "We have carefully and prayerfully considered every option. This action allows us to stay in business and continue to serve our customers, our associates, our vendors and charities around the world." more >>
It is ironic that the movie Fifty Shades of Grey is set to hit theaters this Valentine's Day—redefining a day that is specifically deemed as a celebration of love. Instead of lighthearted romance, Fifty Shades of Grey focuses on deviant sexual practices like bondage and control; it is a blatant attempt to normalize violent sexual behaviors. The film, based on a book by the same name, is a dangerous first step towards mainstreaming this sort of violence against women.
Based on early reviews of the movie, it is said that lead male character Christian Grey "wants total control over Anastasia [the lead female character] … the right to dictate her eating patterns and her contraception choices, plus the right to inflict pain on her as a means of arousing himself." As if that wasn't scary enough, the movie is packed with the use of BDSM (Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadism and Masochism), which is a practice that involves an individual who is gratified by either receiving or inflicting pain within consensual sex. Even "sexual therapists" who support BDSM are criticizing the book's portrayal of BDSM and say that the practice should neither involve exploitation nor emotional and physical abuse.
Supporters of Fifty Shades would argue that since Anastasia consents to the violence, we should not compare it to such serious issues like domestic violence and sex trafficking. But consent doesn't make abuse correct. Take, for example, those who consent to habitual practices or addictions. Just because a person agrees to a practice, it doesn't necessary deem it a healthy behavior. In fact, according to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, more >>
For most of her life, former stripper and prostitute Annie Lobert sought a man to swoop into her life and rescue her from the hardships of growing up in a broken home, just like in the fairy tales. Now the founder of Hookers for Jesus, a ministry for sex workers, Lobert says too many women are placing their hopes for love and security in the wrong place.
Jesus Christ, she said, is the ultimate knight in shining armor, able to rescue them from a life of sin and transforming lives and relationships.
"What us women need to understand [is] if a man can't do what you ideally think he should do, [it is because] God is the only one who can do that for you. Jesus Christ is the only one who can ultimately be your ultimate romantic interest and I'm not talking about sexually. I'm talking about that intimate love bond that we have that heals all wounds, that heals all insecurities, that heals all the things that we think our husbands should do and be," she told The Christian Post. more >>
Texas pastor Matt Chandler, of The Village Church, says the way singles date these days is "goofy" and that he plans to teach his three children to go the "traditional dating" route.
The Mingling of Souls author told The Christian Post, "The way I define it in the book and the way I'm hopefully going to impart to my children, the way we want to do it as the Chandler family is that I think that dating is that period of time of where you're working through and seeing … is this person for me, is the reputation there, is the character there, can I see myself spending my life with them."
The Chandler family way is a return to "traditional dating," where the father of three – two girls and one boy – described as, "You go out in a group, you're getting to know one another, it's not this kind of intense, so do you want to have kids over coffee – that's not dating." more >>
A Virginia church is using the buzz over the wildly popular Fifty Shades of Grey book and movie to create a message that combats some of the themes found in the film.
Richmond Community Church in Glen Allen will address topics of adultery, divorce, co-habitation, pornography and gay marriage with a new sermon series titled "5 Shades of Grey" which will start the Sunday after Valentine's Day.
"Fifty Shades of Grey" premieres on Friday, Feb. 13, and two Christian authors have offered an alternative with their own book Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy and the Longings of a Woman's Heart.
The book, Pulling Back the Shades, was written by Dr. Juli Slattery and Dannah Gresh, and is meant to encourage Christian women to look for a deeper, "spiritual" sexual fulfillment by turning to the Bible. The book sold out in its first release on Amazon, and the authors have said that any woman who wants to receive a free copy of their guide can mail them their copy of Fifty Shades.
"The 'Fifty Shades' phenomenon has done for women what internet port did for men: fuel its use and normalize it," Slattery told Daily Mail. "It's time to add the Bible's view on sex and intimacy and the spiritual road into meeting a woman's deepest human needs and wants." more >>