If you think Hobby Lobby is a Christian company, you're mistaken, says Jonathan Merritt. Actually, Hobby Lobby is conspiring with China, through trade, to keep millions in poverty and maintain China's forced abortion regime:
Turn over just about any trinket in a Hobby Lobby store and you'll find a gold oval stamped with "Made in China," a country that is one of the worst offenders of human dignity, unborn infant life, and economic justice anywhere in the world.
As such, those shiny stickers littering every Hobby Lobby from sea to shining sea are more than a statement about a product's geographical origin; they are also a stinging indictment against the way the retailer has sought to label itself. more >>
There're some interesting new membership statistics from the Assemblies of God denomination, which has had 24 years of continuous growth and is expanding at a rate faster than the U.S. population.
Current conventional wisdom insists U.S. Christianity is in full retreat. The facts are different. Once "mainline" Protestantism has collapsed. Some conservative denominations, after decades of robust growth, are now declining or moribund. Non-denominational Christianity is growing. And several conservative denominations are growing, including the Assemblies of God, which is a Pentecostal communion, Wesleyan in theology that emphasizes gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The Assemblies of God also has the rare distinction of great racial diversity. Its Hispanic percentage of over 21 percent is greater than the nations, and its black membership, nearly 10 percent, almost equals the national percentage. Its Asian membership of over 4 percent is also significant. Forty percent of the denomination is non-white. And its number of the much-hyped Millennials, who are supposedly all secularizing, is likewise growing, comprising 21 percent of growth over the last decade. more >>
Brooks Hamby never wanted to be a rabble-rouser. He just wanted to thank Jesus in his high school graduation speech.
But the Brawley Union School District in Brawley, Calif., said the references to Jesus and prayer in Brooks' graduation speech were "inappropriate" and violated "prevailing legal standards."
School officials rejected three versions of the young man's graduation address, and one administrator went so far as to redact every religious reference with a black marker – as if it were some sort of top-secret government document. more >>
For at least three reasons, the contemporary persecution of Christians demands attention: It is occurring on a massive scale, it is underreported, and in many parts of the world it is rapidly growing.
The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life finds that Christians are suffering persecution in more places today than any other religious group; between 2006 and 2012, Pew says, they were targeted for harassment in 151 countries-three-quarters of the world's states. Similar findings are reported by the Vatican, Newsweek, the Economist, and the 60-year-old Christian support group Open Doors. Most people in the West are unaware of these facts, though that may be changing.
A few cases do get press coverage-the desperate plight of Meriam Ibrahim, for instance, who gave birth in a Sudanese prison just the other day. She was raised a Christian, but after officials learned that her long-absent father was a Muslim; she was sentenced to death for apostasy-for leaving Islam. And since in Sudan a Muslim woman may not be married to a Christian, her marriage to her American husband was declared void, and she was convicted of adultery and sentenced to 100 lashes to be administered before her execution. These punishments will be dropped if she renounces her Christian faith, which she steadfastly refuses to do. more >>
Churches in Denmark are now compelled, by law, to host same-sex "weddings." America is next.
Tyranny's appetite is insatiable. The secular-left's hunger for power and control over its detractors can never be satisfied. To outwardly succumb and affirmatively capitulate to their pagan demands will never be enough.
Thought control is the goal. more >>
As a teenager, I'm used to facing peer pressure. Everything from T.V. and magazines to parents and teachers tell me how to live and act. Don't get me wrong, many of those influences are positive and uplifting, but a new pressure has completely blindsided my friends and me. This new pressure, namely liberal feminists, accuse me and other teenage girls who wear purity rings and pledge to save sex for marriage, of valuing our virginity too much. Umm, what?
Tracy Clark-Flory wrote an article, The Virginity Fetish, that compares young women like me who believe in saving sex until marriage, to Natalie Dylan, a young woman who sold her virginity online to the highest bidder. Clark-Flory claims that young women saving their virginity for marriage "auction off [their] virginity to the person with the biggest ring."
The person who compares love and self respect to prostitution obviously doesn't understand what a purity ring, or even virginity in general, represents. As a teenage girl, I can not disagree strongly enough with this portrayal of young women who have committed to preserve their virginity until marriage as greedy, unscrupulous women seeking to purchase financial security at the price of their own bodies. The irony that these are the same women who accuse conservatives of waging a war on women is not lost to me. more >>