In the wake of the jury deadlocked on whether to charge Michael Dunn for first-degree murder charges against the late Jordan Davis, pastors and Christian leaders have criticized Florida's Justifiable Use of Force law, most often referred to as the "Stand Your Ground" law.
Dunn was convicted on three counts of attempted murder, but the Florida jury came to no consensus on Saturday on whether to convict or acquit the defendant in the African American teenager's 2012 murder.
Dunn, who is white, shot into Davis' car 10 times after the teenager ignored his requests to turn his music down and "mouthed off" to him. The defendant also claimed that Davis had a shotgun, but police found no weapons inside the car. more >>
When Jimmy Hester evaluates the effectiveness of True Love Waits, an abstinence-based movement he is co-founder of, the Southern Baptist leader questions where society might be without it.
"What would have happened if this had not happened? What kind of impact might our culture have had on students if there had not been a sexual abstinence movement in '93, '94?" Hester asked, in an interview with The Christian Post.
For Hester, who expresses cynicism about using statistics to measure the outcome of his work ("you can shape them however you like"), anecdotes such as Christian singles telling him they still carry their abstinence pledge cards or testimonies from young adults who tell him that his work impacted their lives, provide more than sufficient evidence that his work was worthwhile. more >>
I respect Kirsten Powers as a sincere sister in Christ. But her view of sin and holiness, as expressed in her latest USA Today column, "Jim Crow laws for gays and lesbian?" is typical of the journey of adults coming to faith. Sometimes we tend to filter Biblical teaching through our experiences, instead of the other way around.
After discussing the case of a baker who did not want to provide a cake for a same-sex "wedding," because he feels he would be encouraging the celebration of sin, Powers concludes, "'What would Jesus do?' I think he'd bake the cake." I think it would help her to see more clearly if she would have used Jesus' real profession for the comparison. Jesus was a teacher, a preacher, a religious leader. Does she believe Jesus would go to the wedding to deliver a blessing (i.e., offer His services)? I suspect not.
But somehow, if you are a photographer, she thinks you should be forced, under penalty of law, to go and bless the union by using your talents to portray them in some amazing, inspiring pictures. more >>
The culture war may be lost and religious liberty might not be that far behind, according to a new survey from LifeWay Research.
Seventy percent of senior pastors at Protestant churches say religious liberty is on the decline in the United States and 59 percent of Christians believe they are losing the culture war. Eleven percent considers that war already lost.
The survey results are staggering– indicating grave concerns about the moral direction of the nation from both the pulpit and the pew. more >>
Political columnist Kirsten Powers has earned the respect of the Evangelical community. The story of her conversion was an unambiguous home run. She's also responsible for helping raise attention about the atrocity of the Kermit Gosnell case.
She's a sharp, intellectually honest thinker who does a good job of keeping conservative evangelicals on their toes. I don't know Kirsten well, but in October, I was honored to moderate a panel with her and other leading thinkers on the subject of religious liberty.
Her most recent column, though, doesn't fit with her commendable work on international religious freedom. Conflating theological categories, her column missed the concern that Evangelicals have over the creeping hostility to religious liberty, particularly in the context of gay rights. more >>
A new video of the twelve Christian nuns kidnapped in Syria recently appeared. In it, the nuns are taped sitting in a room and being questioned by an unseen man, presumably a member of the kidnappers. He asks them how they are, if they've been mistreated, etc.
They respond that they are being treated fine, that they very much look forward to being returned to their convent, that they heartily thank the world for its concern, and that they continually pray that God grant peace to all nations.
Their words say one thing, their expressions and demeanor another. Put differently, as female captives of Islamic jihadis, what else could they say but what they were told to say? Even if one of them dared to say the "wrong thing," it naturally would have been edited out. Who knows how many takes it took to get the video-which includes a bizarre clip of the nuns having a snowball fight with their abductors-just right? more >>