Michael Brown, the 18-year-old unarmed teenager shot and killed by a police officer in Missouri earlier this month, accepted Christ and had an eerie dream weeks before his death that would foreshadow his fate, says his St. Louis-based uncle, pastor Charles Ewing.
Ewing told The Associated Press that Brown recounted the dream to him in which he saw a body laying covered by a sheet. He now believes the protests triggered by angry demonstrators and the public attention that ensued following his nephew's death have fulfilled the meaning of his dream.
"He didn't know whose body it was," Ewing said. "He said, 'One day, the whole world is going to know my name' ... not knowing this is what was going to happen." more >>
Atheist intellectual and author Richard Dawkins has issued an apology following the controversy over his recent remarks claiming that Down syndrome children should be aborted.
Dawkins had responded on Twitter to a woman's comment about what she should do if she were pregnant with a Down syndrome baby.
"Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice," tweeted Dawkins in response. more >>
News about court cases that involve same-sex marriages usually travels fast. But when a judge in Tennessee recently upheld that state's constitutional authority to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman, it went almost unnoticed.
The case involved a same-sex couple married in Iowa that sought a divorce in Tennessee. Because Tennessee does not recognize same-sex relationships as marriages, it was unable to divorce the couple.
Judge Russell E. Simmons, Jr., cited the Supreme Court's decision in the federal Defense of Marriage Act case, U.S. v. Windsor as support that Tennessee has the right to define marriage for itself. "The Windsor case is concerned with the definition of marriage, only as it applies to federal laws, and does not give an opinion concerning whether one State must accept as valid a same-sex marriage allowed in another State," he wrote. more >>
The minority Christian community in Pakistan is said to be outraged following the rape of a 12-year-old Christian girl in Lahore by two Muslim men. Christian advocates have said Muslims often use sexual violence as a means of controlling the Christian population, especially women and girls.
"In Pakistan rape is used as an instrument of arbitrary power over Christian girls, who come from poor and marginalized families. It is a form of violence that wants to reiterate the submission to Muslims. The rest of society is not outraged because the victims mostly belong to religious minorities, who are the most vulnerable. Rarely rapists are punished," Christian lawyer Sardar Mushtaq Gill told Fides News Agency.
"Furthermore, rape victims face terrible difficulties; they do not receive adequate medical treatment for sexual assault. Many girls are traumatized and become depressed and in need of psychological assistance," Gill added. more >>
Wilfredo De Jesus, pastor of a Chicago megachurch that oversees more than 130 ministries to the poor and disenfranchised, believes Christians in the U.S. have been playing it safe for far too long. He says many are unwilling to stick their necks out for the marginalized who are suffering in the cracks created by society's broken systems and abusive structures.
De Jesus, pastor New Live Covenant Church, the largest Assemblies of God congregation in the U.S., says it is fear of being ridiculed or ostracized that has paralyzed some leaders and kept them confined to their churches, limiting their engagement with a world in desperate need for people willing to help bridge those gaps.
"A gap is a place of weakness, vulnerability, and danger — a place of real threats," explains De Jesus in his new book, In the Gap. He explains in the book that while gaps can be as broad as illiteracy and human trafficking, they can be as personal as an unfaithful spouse or an abusive family member. more >>
Sin never stands still—it either grows or withers. So, how do you win the battle within?
Dan Delzell, in a riveting blog entitled, Google Executive's Tragic Death Sends Somber Warning, wrote the following: "How do you go from being a devoted father of five and a successful Silicon Valley executive, into a 51-year-old man convulsing from a fatal dose of heroin on your 50-foot yacht, with a prostitute walking over your dying body to take a final sip of wine before leaving you to die?" He then presented the question, "How do tragedies like this take place?"
The enemy rarely pushes us off the cliff, so to speak. We're often led down one step at a time, one compromise at a time, one wrong choice at a time. For example, the enemy doesn't show a couple the pain and anguish and the years of regret that adultery brings; he deceives them with the temporary enjoyment of sex and a false sense of freedom from responsibility. If the full story was known beforehand, no doubt different choices might have been made. We're often not shown the pain that sin brings, we're enticed by the temporary pleasure. more >>