Christian persecution and the cultural fear of public expressions of faith are signs of the end times, Pope Francis declared in a homily on Thursday.
"You must obey the orders which come from worldly powers – You can do many things, beautiful things, but not adore God. Worship is prohibited – this is at the center of the end of time," Pope Francis said in his daily homily in the chapel of the Vatican's Saint Martha guesthouse. Once we "reach the fullness of this pagan attitude…truly the Son of Man will come in a cloud with great power and glory," Francis declared, according to the Albany Tribune.
The pope preached on Jesus' speech in Luke 21 about the end times. In that passage, Jesus foretells the destruction of Jerusalem, and trials and tribulations that precede the end times. more >>
This week, ABC Nightline featured a married couple with their own TV show – not about duck hunting or crazy stunts, but about their "open" love-life, where both husband and wife sleep around, supposedly without jealousy.
"They're spreading the gospel of polyamory, hoping to speed up societal acceptance of this kind of set-up," ABC's Nick Watt explained. "Most marriages in America do end in divorce, so maybe adding other lovers to the mix could improve the odds," so the segment opened to introduce the idea of polyamory.
Michael McClure and Kamala Devi star in Showtime's "Polyamory: Married and Dating," and currently live with McClure's girlfriend Rachel. Devi told Nightline that when Michael first met Rachel, "I saw Michael lit up, I saw him happy." Watt replied, "if my wife saw my face light up when I looked at another woman, she'd be pissed." more >>
The 2014 People's Choice Awards may be the scene of a minor skirmish in the United States' culture wars, as a miniseries based on the Holy Bible will go up against an LGBT-themed television movie.
In the "Favorite TV Movie/Miniseries" category, the hit History Channel miniseries "The Bible" has as one of its competitors the HBO movie "Behind the Candelabra."
Monday a video called "What About Holy Hip-Hop?" was posted online at Ncfic.org, the website for the National Center for Family Integrated Churches. I know little about this group and do not want to insinuate that the families and churches involved with it believe as these panelists do on this subject. That the question was raised at one of their conferences, however, indicates it is on the minds of the attendees. The moderator even states they have received the question in various forms. From the introduction:
One of the questions we received was: "Any thoughts on reformed rap artists? … Their musical styles would be considered offensive to some, but the doctrine within the songs is sound."
I'm not a particular fan of the hip-hop or rap styles, though I did watch with interest when a slew of bearded gospel men got their bells rung by Propaganda's "Precious Puritans" a while back. While not a fan of rap and hip-hop, neither am I an opponent. I do know there is a difference between rap and hip-hop. This puts me a step or three ahead of the six panelists. more >>
A number of Black Friday-associated fights have broken out across the nation during one of the busiest shopping days of the year, with police having to break up brawls and open fire on suspects, and the Twitter hashtag #WalmartFights is tracking a number of the incidents.
A suspected shoplifter was shot in the arm on Thursday night after dragging an officer through a Kohl's parking lot in Romeoville, Ill., The Chicago Tribune reported, which apparently caused a "spectacle" but did not halt the shopping at the department store.
Police were responding to an alert of a theft in progress at the store, when they saw two suspects bringing a shopping cart out of the store. When an officer approached one of the suspects, the man got in his car and closed the door, trapping the officer's arm. The man then proceeded to drive away, dragging the officer with the vehicle, the report said, which led to another officer opening fire and shooting the driver in the arm. A total of three suspects were arrested in the incident. more >>
This year, the first day of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving, a coincidence that last happened in 1888 and will not occur again for 79,043 years, according to Jewish sources. Jews and Christians agree that "Thanksgivukkah" is not a contradiction but a fortuitous connection between holidays that both celebrate thankfulness to God and religious freedom.
"AJC has not conducted a formal study, but my general sense is that I don't think anyone is stressed about Chanukah overlapping with Thanksgiving," Michael Schmidt, New York City director for the American Jewish Committee (AJC), told The Christian Post in an interview on Wednesday. "I think people are sort of playful about it, as shown in the term 'Thanksgivukkah.'"
Schmidt emphasized the thematic connection between the two holidays. "Hanukkah this year, which celebrates the revolt of Judas Maccabeus for religious freedom, very nicely aligns with the holiday of Thanksgiving, where the Pilgrims celebrated religious freedom," he said. more >>