Francis Chan bared some of his struggles with doubt and being a model disciple of Jesus Christ Tuesday during the opening session of the 2013 Exponential Conference attended by thousands in Orlando, Fla.
Chan spoke before 5,300 in-person attendees at First Baptist Church of Orlando, the chosen conference venue, and another 20,000 viewing the event live via the Internet. Chan was the second minister to take the stage to address the need for Christian discipleship, or "discipleshift," the theme chosen for this year's Exponential gathering.
However, instead of delving into his prepared remarks on discipleship, a subject he has been on a mission to revive in churches and faith communities since leaving his California church, the evangelical Christian minister confessed that he felt convicted by the message of the previous speaker, Pastor Jim Putman, on the issue of ministers letting the opinion of others sway their messages and define their work. more >>
France is set to become the 14th country in the world to officially legalize same-sex marriage, after the Socialist-majority Assembly voted 331-225 in favor of a bill to allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt children.
As France was getting ready for the vote on Tuesday, a heavy police force with water cannons was set up around France's National Assembly in preparation for protests against the bill.
The gay marriage bill had moved through parliament successfully, and the final vote on Tuesday decided conclusively that gay marriage and gay adoption will become a reality in what has traditionally been a prominent Roman Catholic country. more >>
"An individual is not just the product of the forces around him. He has a mind, an inner world. Then having thought, a person can bring forth actions into the external world and thus influence it. People are apt to look at the outer theater of action, forgetting the actor who 'lives in the mind' and who therefore is the true actor in the external world. The inner thought world determines the outward action." Francis A. Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live?
The city of Boston – indeed all of America – is reeling from the acts of violence visited on the participants and spectators of the Boston Marathon. How could two young men – brothers, exiles from a country torn by strife – visit such senseless acts of violence on those who welcomed them to their shores, opened their schools and sporting events to them, and gave them freedoms unmatched in their own homeland? How could they cold-bloodedly orchestrate the killing of innocent men, women and children who had done them no wrong? Hadn't they been integrated into American life? Hadn't they sipped from the cup of freedom? Hadn't they enjoyed the good that is unique among the people of the world?
As we uncover more information about the brothers, it appears that living in the land of the free and the home of the brave didn't impact these young men in the slightest. If evidence emerging from social media sources is any indication, it appears that they were more influenced by the lethal worldview promoted by radical Islam. Unfortunately, though the writing is literally on the wall (the Facebook wall, in this case), too many Americans are unwilling or unable to acknowledge the truth. more >>
The captured suspect behind the Boston Marathon bombing, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has been answering questions by authorities regarding the attack, telling officials that he and his older brother, who was killed in a shootout, do not have ties to any terrorist organizations. New information has suggested, however, that they held strong anti-American and anti-Christian views.
ABC News revealed that Dzhokhar and his older brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was shot down by police in Boston early Friday morning, had radicalized themselves over the Internet, but did not receive any direction or financing from overseas groups. Authorities believe that the brothers, who were born in Chechnya but had lived in the U.S. for close to a decade, were likely inspired by former al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in 2011.
"The older brother appeared to be the more radicalized of the two and was the one that drove the need to conduct the attack as well as the preparation for the attack that is building the bombs," said Seth Jones, a counter-terror expert at the RAND Corporation. more >>
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, an inter-denominational student ministry that builds communities across campuses in the U.S., revealed that one of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing was involved with their organization.
Chinese national Lingzi Lu, 23, was one of the three people who lost their lives in last week's twin blasts that rocked the Boston Marathon, which also injured more than 170 others.
"(Lu) was involved with the international student ministry we have at Boston University. She attended a retreat that we sponsored last fall. She was friends with people in the InterVarsity International Student ministry with the graduate and faculty side of our work," said InterVarsity National Field Director Greg Jao, according to Mission Network News. more >>
In a week where a terrorist attack in Boston reminds us once again of the value of each human life, another story, from Philadelphia, regarding human life, has gone woefully under reported.
The trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell began on March 18th. He is currently on trial for the murder of seven babies that managed to slip past the execution's blade and live – for a short time, at least. His specialty was late-term abortions. He is also being charged with the death of one mother.
The grand jury report was released in January of 2011. The details are almost beyond belief. According to the report, Dr. Gosnell relegated his performance of late term abortions of particularly mature babies to Sundays. On that day, the clinic was closed and he only needed one assistant – his wife. more >>