The dust is finally settling after vicious harassment and death threats besieged the Christian owners of Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Indiana. An onslaught of national media attention catapulted father and daughter O'Conner to the center of a national firefight over religious freedom. Forced to close their doors and go into hiding, Kevin O'Conner contemplated closing up shop permanently due to violent threats.
Thanks be to God, their circumstances changed when The Blaze launched an online fundraiser raising $842,387 from nearly 30,000 donors across the country. Not all professing Christians are happy about this financial blessing.
Some among the Religious Left took a bold stand for justice from their living room sofas to write mischaracterizing blogs about faithful Christians' like Kevin O'Conner and his young daughter Crystal for being uncompassionate, bigoted and unloving because of their convictions on sexuality and marriage. However, in a surprising turn of events it is the conservative Christian pizzeria owners left doing justice and showing mercy according to the Gospel. more >>
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz chose a conservative, evangelical Christian university as the setting for his announcement that he was running for president. This underscored his apparent strategic decision to focus relentlessly on the conservative, highly religious segment of his party, both in terms of attempting to become their candidate of preference, and also in terms of maximizing their turnout in the 2016 primary elections.
The Republican Party in general has a disproportionate percentage of conservative and highly religious Americans in its ranks, so Cruz's strategy would appear to make numerical sense -- as it would for other conservative politicians, like Mike Huckabee or Scott Walker, who may aim for the same target audience. On the other hand, potential candidates like Jeb Bush or Chris Christie would play more to Republican voters who are in the moderate and perhaps less religious space of their party. All of which raises the question: Exactly how big are these various segments of the Republican Party?
We can provide estimates by looking at the cross between ideology and religiosity among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, based on interviews conducted with 17,845 Republicans as part of Gallup Daily tracking so far this year. more >>
The 147 Christians in Garrisa, Kenya who were killed on April 2, 2015 were not the first or the last Christians who were marked for death by Muslims. The Al Shabaab Somali Muslims continue to attack villages throughout Garrisa, as they and other groups have done for several years.
The Islamic cry, "Death to slaves of the Cross," can be heard and witnessed throughout the Middle East and Africa. Much of this persecution is a result of Obama Administration directives and funded by American tax dollars and debt. In light of this, it was not surprising that Barack Obama intentionally chose not to mention or pray for recently murdered Christians from his homeland during his April 7th "Easter Prayer Breakfast" remarks.
In light of such denial, I reached out to several missionaries asking if they would describe what it's like to be a Christian living in a non-western country. This is the first of several columns attempting to convey their experiences (most of whom have rejected anonymity) and lists specific actions American Christians can, and must, immediately take to support them. more >>
A document linked to LifeWay Christian Resources suggests that the popular bookstore chain has dropped more than 150 authors and resources from its inventory. However, a representative for the nonprofit says LifeWay did not release the list that was made available online this week.
"Although LifeWay Christian Resources does not carry titles by most of the authors included on a list recently posted on the Internet — and has never carried most of them — this list was not released by LifeWay," Marty King, director of communications for the company, told The Christian Post on Thursday.
The document, titled "List of authors removed from Lifeway" was made available for download Wednesday on camerondobbins.org. In a blog post first published Wednesday, April 8, site owner Cameron Dobbins, wrote, "LifeWay sent out a company email to all employees in regards to their decision and an acquaintance of mine who works for LifeWay sent me the list of banned resources/authors." more >>
God is moving so dramatically in Los Angeles that young people are even paying $5 to park to go to church! My husband Jim and I wanted to know what God is up to in our city and especially in the entertainment industry. After working as professionals and ministering here for the past 30+ years, we felt the desire to visit churches across Los Angeles, to either get updated or visit for the first time. I've heard about how young entertainment industry professionals are going back to church, but I've also heard from parents of grown children that their kids have no interest in going to church. So, we took on the challenge to find out the truth. For 17 weeks in a row, we visited 17 different churches in and around Los Angeles and what we found was mind blowing.
The list of churches we visited came from the list of 85 MEDIA FRIENDLY CHURCHES on my Hollywood Prayer Network website. I put together this list years ago in order to point Christians who are not yet connected to a church, to a growing list of Gospel focused churches across the city. For I believe that every Christian working in Hollywood needs to be committed to a church! Check them out at: http://hollywoodprayernetwork.org/resources/media-friendly-churches/
So, week 1 brought us to a church in the Valley. It was packed. The message was powerful, the worship was beautiful and the attendees were all 30 years old and under. We felt very old in this group of loving young people. But they welcomed us in as if we were their own family and we had a great time. This experience happened over and over again for over 4 months! Each time we walked into a new church, it was packed with young people. One church times their three services more than 3 hours apart because first of all the sermon is an hour and 10 minutes long, and the worship and prayer time book-ending the sermon are long and incredible. We truly were sorry when it was time to leave. more >>
Relating to people on their level and to love them regardless of their lifestyle is a mark of true Christianity. So why are many Christians divided? For example, much of the hate mail I received from this sermon clip was from "Christians":
How can both groups claim to be Christians and yet understand the Bible and God's attributes so differently? The answer is obvious: biblical unity is unity with the Spirit—unity of doctrine and unity of truth—not unity for the sake of unity. The division is over truth. This is why we can't "all just get along."
1) Many err on the side of compassion. Jesus perfectly balanced grace and mercy with confrontation and correction. The Bible was written so that people would know the truth—the truth about God, creation, sin, and redemption. We are not called to make truth tolerable but to make it clear. When we lovingly challenge this lifestyle, we are not attacking, but rather, contending for what is right. We are to detest division within the church and work toward reconciliation whenever we can, but we must not confuse "attacking" with "contending." Compassion without truth is like a vehicle without an engine. It might look nice but its not going anywhere. more >>