Christians should have some concerns about Friday's U.S. Supreme Court decision redefining marriage to include same-sex couples. Some reactions, however, have been overblown. Here is what Christians should, and should not, be concerned about.
First the bad news.
(For simplicity, "Christian" in this article will refer to conservative Christians, or Christians who maintain a biblical understanding of sex and marriage. As a general rule, Christians who follow the culture on those matters have fewer concerns about how the culture will treat them.) more >>
A young Nigerian businessman who reportedly got possessed by a "homosexual demon" after going swimming with a group of men in Nairobi, Kenya, is seen on video being delivered from the "evil spirit" in a powerful swoop at The Synagogue Church of All Nations led by popular African preacher, T.B. Joshua.
The video, which was posted to YouTube in May, shows the young man, identified as Tedus, being confronted by a preacher called Wise Man Christopher who apparently forced the demon to manifest itself.
"You cannot hide," Christopher said in what was understood to be a conversation with the demon living inside the man. more >>
It isn't necessary to rehash last Friday. You know what happened. Like many, many others across the nation you too are jolting along a roller-coaster ride of emotions. Grief and frustration mixed with burn-out, exhaustion and maybe a little fear after the U.S. Supreme Court's swift redefinition of matrimony.
Difficult times are ahead for Christian ministries, non-profits, private schools, churches, pastors and individuals, it's true. Which is why I awoke to an inbox of questions including: "What exactly is a common person like myself to do?" "What actions can I take to defend this attack and how can I educate those that are unaware of it?"
Questions like these cannot be dismissed as outrageous and unimaginable. Yesterday the New York Times' columnist Mark Oppenheimer entertained the idea that the government should end tax exemptions for faith-based institutions, allegedly for our own good. He penned, "The Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage makes it clearer than ever that the government shouldn't be subsidizing religion and non-profits." Oppenheimer added, "We'd have fewer church soup kitchens — but countries that truly care about poverty don't rely on churches to run soup kitchens. more >>
The FBI is investigating a string of fires that have occurred over the past week at primarily black churches in the South and so far at least three of them have been ruled an arson.
Less than one week after 21-year-old white suspect, Dylann Roof, allegedly opened fire and killed nine worshipers at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, churches in Tennessee, Georgia, South and North Carolina and Florida caught fire and investigators are trying to determine whether the blazes are connected.
"They're being investigated to determine who is responsible and what motives are behind them," FBI spokesperson Paul Bresson told BuzzFeed News. "I'm not sure there is any reason to link them together at this point." more >>
Six men who called senior pastor of Lakewood church, Joel Osteen, "a liar" during a bizarre outburst which scared several members into leaving a service at the Houston, Texas, megachurch prematurely on Sunday morning were removed from the church then slapped with charges of criminal trespassing.
Donald Iloff Jr., a senior executive with Joel Osteen Ministries, revealed in a statement to The Christian Post on Monday that the hecklers were all with The Church of Wells, a controversial group known for protesting Christian churches they disagree with and that they were quickly arrested by members of the church's security team, a number of whom are local law enforcement officers.
"We've learned that the protestors who disrupted one of our Sunday morning services were the leaders of a small controversial church in Nacogdoches, Texas, called The Church of Wells. This group is known for protesting many Christian churches with whom they don't agree. The six protestors were arrested by Houston police and are being charged with criminal trespass. Lakewood Church takes the disruption of our services seriously and plans to pursue criminal charges, as well as all other legal remedies against these individuals and The Church of Wells," said the statement. more >>
The Evangelical Fellowship of India has reported a violent attack against Christians in the country that was committed earlier this month when over 200 Hindu radicals stormed a Protestant church in the town of Attingal, Kerela, beating up the pastor and some of the worshipers, and breaking the altar.
EFI shared the news with Fides News Agency, reporting that the attack took place on June 14. The radicals apparently shouted slogans like "Bharat Mathaki Jai" ("Hail Mother India") during the attack, which was broken up after police arrived.
Christians in Attingal have since staged a protest march in the city, calling for harmony and religious freedom, while counter-demonstrators reportedly chanted anti-Christian slogans and threats. more >>