Where do we start?
The murder on live TV of two human beings whose lives mattered? Casual luncheon discussion about the cutting up and sale of the body parts of babies whose lives mattered not because of their achievements but because of their intrinsic worth? The slaughter of people in a Charleston church prayer meeting whose lives mattered?
Then there's another scale to weigh the present agony: Iran getting a nuclear bomb; the unspeakable atrocities of people believing they are acting under divine authority; a secularist rage to push free religious expression to the very edge of culture, and then eliminate it altogether; mayhem in the streets; hate-driven strife; the collapse of marriage, and with it the family, the fundamental institution for civilizing a society; and apostasy in many churches. more >>
Leading evangelist Franklin Graham took to Facebook last Friday to voice his disapproval with the University of Tennessee's new practice of encouraging students and faculty to use gender-neutral pronouns like "ze" and "zir" instead of gender specific pronouns like "she" and "her."
In a memo posted to the website for the University of Tennessee's Office for Diversity and Inclusion last week by the director of the school's Pride Center, Donna Braquet, it was advised that members of the university community should begin using gender neutral pronouns such as "ze," "hir," "hirs," "zir," zirs," "xem," and "xyr" to replace standard gender binary pronouns like "he," "she," "his," "her" and "hers."
The purpose behind using gender neutral pronouns, Braquet wrote, is to create a campus environment that is "welcoming and inclusive for all" as fall semester classes have started this month. more >>
A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that a statue of Jesus Christ located on a mountaintop memorial to World War II veterans is constitutional.
In a Monday decision, the judges upheld a district court ruling that allowed for "Big Mountain Jesus" to remain at Flathead National Forest near Kalispell, Montana.
The judges concluded that while the 60-year-old statue did have a religious appearance, the display has some purposes that are secular in nature. more >>
BJ Thompson, a former member of ReachLife ministries, an organization which serves as the outreach arm of Reach Records, recently expressed his concerns about the state of Christian hip-hop.
Speaking with the Christian rap media outlet Rapzilla in an interview posted last week, Thompson, who once served in ministry with Lecrae and other Reach artists, warned that some artists "can be a representative in Christian culture and not know Christ."
"Overall I'm excited. There's a growing number of artists who are very expressive, creative. We see a lot of professionalism in Christian hip-hop. ... But the thing that alarms me is something that's unique about Christian music or culture is that you can be a representative in Christian culture and not know Christ. And so, one thing that concerns me about new artists is that we made the platform, the spotlight of Christianity more attractive than Christ," said Thompson to Rapzilla. more >>
PHILADELPHIA — The lobbying entity of the nation's largest Protestant denomination has made it clear that it is against predatory practices that take advantage of the poor, having joined a broad coalition earlier this year organized to "raise awareness about families in financial crisis and how high-cost lending negatively impacts them." But what is the high-profile Christian ethics advocacy organization doing to protect vulnerable believers from preying prosperity preachers?
The question was posed to Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention that represents more than 15 million Southern Baptists in the public square. The outspoken ERLC president has been vocal about everything from abortion and gay marriage to racial reconciliation and Christian political engagement.
Moore, who has said that "payday lending is a form of economic predation and grinds the faces of the poor into the ground," told The Christian Post in an aside at the 2015 Religion Newswriters Association Conference in Philadelphia this past week that his SBC organization has long taken a stance against prosperity preaching. more >>
PHILADELPHIA — Sony Pictures Entertainment has closely linked its upcoming faith-based film "Risen," about the hunt for Jesus Christ's crucified body, to the controversial 2004 blockbuster "The Passion of the Christ," claiming that the thriller picks up where Mel Gibson's top-grossing Christian film leaves off. But like its predecessor was accused by some critics of being anti-Semitic, "Risen" is also facing questions about perceived troublesome portrayals of some of its Jewish characters.
Rich Peluso, senior vice president of Sony's AFFIRM Films faith label, was challenged about depictions of Jewish leaders in "Risen" when, after screening three clips of the film, he opened the floor to questions from a room of religion reporters, some of whom were Jewish, last Thursday at the 2015 Religion Newswriters Association Conference at the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia.
Peluso pitched the New Testament-inspired film as a fresh, never-before-seen big screen retelling of what happened to Jesus Christ's crucified body after it disappeared from its burial tomb. The first century story is seen primarily from the perspective of Roman military officer Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), who is "on the detective assignment of all time: to disprove news of Jesus' resurrection." more >>