Christmas is a time often associated with trees, Santa Claus, mangers, family gatherings, television specials, and the opening of presents. But according to a very successful technological Christian ministry, the season for giving may also be the season for Bible reading.
Bobby Gruenewald, the pastor who was the mastermind behind the YouVersion Bible App, told The Christian Post that during December the rate of Bible App usage increases.
"Our data gives us insight into people's interaction with the Bible around the world: installs of the app, chapters read, bookmarks and highlights created, verses shared, and more," said Gruenewald. more >>
(There is always an attempt to de-emphasize the true, spiritual significance of Christian holidays and place emphasis on Santa, toys, bunnies, baskets, and candy. That is a sincere cause for concern. This article assumes that is understood. I respect those who may disagree and who may have a valid pause for concern.)
Every Christmas season, I receive emails such as: "I'm sorry, but every time I tried to watch the sermon the decorated Christmas trees in the background were disturbing to my spirit. I turned it off. I am discouraged and disappointed because of the trees."
Her statement begs the question, "Can we redeem holidays?" Redeem means to recover the ownership of something. Can we, in good faith, redeem Halloween, Christmas, and Easter with their roots saturated in paganism, superstitions, and the occult? more >>
In a letter to Pope Francis, the patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church Tawadros II proposed making one date for Easter celebrations for all Christian Churches.
According to Fides News Agency, Tawadros II's letter was delivered to the Apostolic Nuncio to the Arab Republic of Egypt, His Exc. Mgr. Paul Gobel. The letter also marks the anniversary of the first meeting in the Vatican between the two popes.
Francis' representative has in turn invited a representative of the Coptic Church to the next Assembly of the Synod of Catholic Bishops, which is to be held in October. more >>
Florida authorities recently demanded a man remove his live "Jesus crucifixion" display that included bleeding wounds from a busy intersection in Lehigh Acres, Fla., because it was a "public safety issue" and distracting drivers.
The display, put on by local organizers, involved an actor, Lathan Gareiss, wearing gory makeup and fake blood that made him appear to have large open wounds on his back and blood streaming down his body. Gareiss stood on the corner of the busy intersection of Lee Boulevard and Homestead Street in Lehigh Acres, Fla. on Good Friday, in preparation for Easter.
Gareiss walked up and down the boulevard while carrying a large wooden cross behind him, and at times got on the cross to show the re-enactment of Jesus' crucifixion. more >>
A Florida pastor got a tattoo of his church's emblem after promising his congregants he would do so if they broke the church's attendance record on Easter Sunday.
The Rev. Leon Bloder of First Presbyterian Church in Eustis, Fla., agreed to have his church's emblem tattooed on his leg after some 850 people showed up for Easter Sunday services, which was nearly double the church's usual weekend attendance of 450.
The pastor's new tattoo, which he received Thursday, includes a large black cross on his left calf. He told the local WKMG-TV that he chose to uphold his promise of getting the tattoo to show his commitment to God and the gospel. more >>
Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, recently said in a panel discussion broadcast on Easter Sunday that he believes, as an Evangelical Christian, "you can be gay and go to heaven, no question." But importantly, Graham clarified that the reason for this is that all humans are sinners and all must repent before they can be accepted into heaven.
Graham was discussing various subjects, including same-sex marriage, Russia, and the Easter season, with other panel members and ABC's "This Week" host Martha Raddatz for the program's Easter week special focusing on religion. Graham was joined by Dr. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, and "This Week's" own Cokie Roberts.
When the topic of same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption came up on the panel, Graham said: "When we talk about families and we talk about gay people … maybe gays that are watching want to know, 'Can God forgive me? Or can I go to heaven as a gay person?' Absolutely." more >>