Pastor Shane Idleman of Westside Christian Fellowship Church, advises Christians to celebrate the power of the cross this Easter instead of focusing on the pagan aspects of the holiday.
Idleman says just like Christmas, Easter can be redeemed to be celebrated for its true meaning. In his recent blog post, he states that redemption is a familiar concept among Christians that can be applied to celebrations since "it's about why, who, and how we celebrate."
"Like Christmas, the historical roots and the secularization do not undermine the message in a sincere heart. Easter celebrates the reality of an empty tomb and the power of the cross to cleanse and redeem…to release us from sin and death. It offers hope and peace to a dying world...Holidays, in many cases, are redeemed when the focus is on Christ," writes Idleman. more >>
Pastor Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of the 11,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, says the resurrection of Jesus Christ is good news for people of all faiths who seek His forgiveness and make the decision to believe in Him.
"It doesn't matter whether you're Catholic, Baptist, Jewish, Muslim or atheist – anybody who trusts in Christ and asks for forgiveness can be assured of a guaranteed reservation (in heaven)," Jeffress asserted during an interview with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly that aired Tuesday night.
As he answered O'Reilly's questions about the afterlife, forgiveness and God's judgment, Jeffress emphasized that the best evidence believers have for there being an afterlife is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. more >>
An atheist group is combatting a Christian Easter display at Wisconsin's Capitol building in Madison by setting up a sign that reads "Nobody died for our 'sins,' Jesus Christ is a myth."
The Freedom From Religion Foundation says it rushed to get a permit for their display after seeing that the Concerned Women for America group was able to set up their own display at Wisconsin's Capitol building. The CWA group's display reportedly included a Christian cross and pro-life literature. The conservative women's group says on its website that it's dedicated to bringing "biblical principles into all levels of public policy."
A Seattle fast food restaurant is receiving criticism for sending an advertisement to customers via email that shows an image of Jesus smoking marijuana and eating a cheeseburger.
The restaurant, Lunch Laboratory, recently released a controversial advertisement to subscribers of its email marketing list that shows an image of Jesus holding a marijuana cigarette and a cheeseburger. The image is advertising a "buy one, get one free" deal on April 20. While this Sunday marks the Christian holiday of Easter, April 20 is also known by many to be the informal holiday celebrating marijuana.
Above the image of Jesus, in green lettering, reads the date: "4.20.14." A voice bubble coming out of Jesus' mouth reads: "When I get back, all I want is the Burger of the Gods," a reference to one of the restaurant's menu options. more >>
One year after his son's suicide, Rick Warren, author of the Purpose Driven Life and pastor at Saddleback Church in Southern California, said that his sermons during worship services beginning this Thursday evening, will be about how the message of Easter provides the answer to life's most devastating trials.
"Do you ever find yourself discouraged, or depressed or defeated, or even devastated by the circumstances in your life? If so, let me take a minute to encourage you about the pathway to hope and change and transformation that I've found in the Easter story of the resurrection of Jesus," said Warren during a video he released earlier this week (see video below).
"Five days after Easter last year, my 27-year-old son ended his own life. He battled mental illness since a child and despite the best doctors and meds and therapy, and prayers and love, he lost his battle for hope and our family was devastated." more >>
This is always one of the hardest weeks to understand for Christians. We are taken to the scene of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, his pathway strewn with palm fronds. His arrival was greeted by happy worshipers singing "Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord."
We sing our own hymns of praise on Palm Sunday knowing all the while that this acclaim will not last. We have read in Scripture the events of the coming days. Spy Wednesday it was once called. The middle of the week is a time of betrayal. Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve whom Jesus Himself had chosen, will turn against his Lord. Judas will greet Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane with the kiss of death. We proceed through this Holy Week with foreknowledge of the bitter innocent sufferings to come. Jesus the unblemished lamb will be turned over to the High Priest and then to the Roman Governor. He will be tried and convicted of false charges.
He will be scourged and then made to carry His cross to Golgotha, the Place of the Skull. He will be numbered among the transgressors, though He was Himself without sin. When He is crucified and takes upon Himself the sins of the world, he feels abandoned. "Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani!" He cries out. "My God, My God, Why have You forsaken me?" Never before in His life has Jesus felt so separated, so cast apart from His own immortal being. But it must be. It is God's own plan to save the world, to save us from our sin. more >>