South African Olympian athlete Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison on Tuesday for unintentionally killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in an incident on Valentine's Day 2013. The Paralympic sprinter, who in September was cleared of murder charges, was also handed a three-year suspended sentence for a firearms charge.
"It would be a sad day for this country if an impression were created that there is one law for the poor and disadvantaged, and one law for the rich and famous," Judge Thokozile Masipa said as she read out her decision. She added that it was difficult to arrive to a decision that was "fair and just to society and to the accused."
This column first appeared on Live Action News.
Earlier this month, Jennifer Lawrence's exclusive cover story with Vanity Fair hit the stands. The popular Hunger Games' star speaks openly about the Internet scandal involving the stolen nude photos of her. She calls it a "sex crime," and says that anyone who purposely looked at the photos of her is guilty.
Lawrence is right that, just because someone is a public figure, it doesn't give the general public – or anyone in particular – a right to view stolen photos of them. more >>
There has been a lot of attention paid lately to the alarming numbers of a decreasing membership in mainline Protestant denominations in the United States in recent years.
Denominations like The Episcopal Church and Presbyterian Church (USA) have annually reported losses in membership and attendance figures for their churches.
However, the denominations are not losing members at as high of rates as in 2013, according to their spokespeople. more >>
There's a good piece by Andrew Walker in First Things on a popular international church network called Hillsong's apparent equivocation on marriage. At a recent New York press conference, the ministry's leader, Brian Houston, declined to answer whether the ministry affirms the biblical position. Instead, he stresses the church's need to stay "relevant."
Earlier this year the pastor of Hillsong's New York's congregation, the ultra hip Carl Lentz, shared similar views with CNN. His wife added: "It's not our place to tell anyone how they should live. That's their journey." Hmmm. If it's not the church's place to tell anyone how to live, then what is the church's purpose? Entertainment? Affirmation?
Socialization? And if it's not the church's role to counsel how to live, then who or what should? Perhaps it's the central message of our age that each autonomous individual chooses his/her own path without reference to others. more >>
NEW YORK — Rich Wilkerson, Jr., the Miami pastor who earned instant celebrity status earlier this year when it was revealed that he had officiated Kanye West and Kim Kardashian's wedding, recently commented on some of the challenges he faces as a Millennial in Christian ministry and his concerns for today's youth.
Wilkerson, Jr. serves as an associate pastor at his father's Trinity Church in Miami and leads, along with his wife, DawnCheré, the young adult ministry called The Rendezvous (or The Vous). The Wilkersons reportedly serve upwards of 1,500 students and young adults through The Vous. According to Wilkerson, "young adult" might include anyone from age 18-35.
In addition to preparing to launch The Vous as a church of its own, Oxygen revealed in September an upcoming reality show revolving around the life and ministry of the Miami, Florida, pastors titled "The Wilkersons." more >>
In light of his new film "Saving Christmas," Kirk Cameron is also speaking out on Halloween celebrations, urging Christians to participate in the holiday this year.
"Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas" hits select theaters on Nov. 14, reminding Christians of the Biblical relevance of Christmas time. With explanations for the Christmas tree, Santa Claus and presents, the film helps put "the Christ back in Christmas." Furthermore, "Saving Christmas" attempts to debunk theories that Christmas is still rooted in pagan traditions. In a recent interview, Cameron addressed the same theories as they are applied to Halloween, clarifying why Christians "should have the biggest Halloween party on your block."
"The real origins have a lot to do with All Saints Day and All Hallows Eve," the actor told The Christian Post. "If you go back to old church calendars, especially Catholic calendars, they recognize the holiday All Saints Day, with All Hallows Eve the day before, when they would remember the dead. That's all tied in to Halloween." more >>