Leading up to and since the release of his new album Purpose, Justin Bieber has become quite the unlikely evangelist. The A-List star has been sharing his spiritual journey with the world and exposing the mainstream media to the gospel of Jesus Christ. In a recent L.A. Times review, the headline of Bieber's new tour read, "How Justin Bieber turned Staples Center into a megachurch."
The reviewer described his experience at the Justin Bieber: Purpose World Tour as a pop concert - movie premiere - skateboarding demonstration and a church service. He said the multi-purpose arena in Downtown Los Angeles was transformed as the 21-year-old singer sung through some of his older and newer hits.
To some it was probably no surprise because God has been the center of Bieber's conversations lately, but the journalist did not expect to hear about the singers deep love for Jesus at the sold-out venue. "Between the skateboarding and the singing, though, Bieber sat on a stool next to Judah Smith, the man described as his pastor, and more or less preached," L.A. Times reporter Mikael Wood wrote. more >>
Amid the debate in the U.S. about accepting Syrian refugees, David Crabb, co-founder of The Gospel Fund, writes in an article for the desiringGod website that concerns over America's safety should be raised by the government, but Christians should look at God's heart for those who are suffering and outreach possibilities.
The key question in the debate seems to be this: "In light of terror attacks worldwide, is bringing 10,000 refugees from the Middle East really a safe decision?" writes Crabb, referring to President Obama's direction to his administration in September to accept at least 10,000 more Syrian refugees beginning Oct. 1.
"'Is it safe?' sounds like a question a government would ask. And it should ask; a government should seek to protect its people. But Christians ask, 'What is God up to?'" he adds. more >>
Singapore's City Harvest Church founding pastor Kong Hee was sentenced Friday to eight years in jail, and five other church leaders were also given prison terms between 21 months and six years, over a $35-million fraud case they were involved in to fund the music career of Kong's wife.
Former CHC fund manager Chew Eng Han received a six-year sentence, deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng got five-and-a-half years, ex-finance manager Serina Wee got five years, and former finance committee member John Lam and former finance manager Sharon Tan received three years and 21 months respectively, according to Strait Times.
Kong and the other five were found guilty in October of using a management company, Xtron, as a conduit to financially support his wife, singer and fellow CHC pastor Sun Ho, and her planned U.S. album release. more >>
Each gospel music artist billed on the Festival of Praise Tour could have headlined the show which travels to over 50 cities, but the seven stars refuse to take the stage alone.
Israel Houghton is joining gospel music heavyweights Donnie McClurkin, Kim Burrell, Hezekiah Walker, Jessica Reedy, Isaac Carree and Zacardi Cortez on the tour coordinated by Fred Hammond. While Houghton told The Christian Post that multiple Grammy, Stellar and Dove award winners on the stage tends to breed competition, he believes it is a unique and healthy format.
"It's been a lot of fun, we work hard, we play hard. I think the thing that has really stood out about this tour is the sense of camaraderie and unity, which is not normal amongst musicians and artists," Houghton told CP. "There is always going to be that slight, healthy competition of us all inspiring each other to push harder, sing better and all that kind of stuff. The unhealthy part of the competition does not exist on this tour." more >>
It took a trip to the Promised Land to remind Manny Pacquiao of the importance of faith and obedience to God.
Pacquiao, the 36-year-old Filipino world champion boxer and politician, is touring Israel for the fourth time this week with wife Jinkee Pacquiao. While there, the pair have been sharing pictures on social media and reflecting on their faith.
In an image posted on his social media accounts the Filipino pugilist sat in an area that had once been frequented by Jesus. Although Pacquiao did not name the exact location, he revealed the impact that the experience had on his faith. more >>
One of Canada's largest congregations is urging the nation's new Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to raise international awareness to help secure the release of the Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim from detention in North Korea when he meets with Asian leaders in the Philippines this week.
Lim, who has been detained by North Korean authorities for approximately eight months, is the head of the 3,000-member Toronto megachurch Light Korean Presbyterian Church and was arrested during a humanitarian trip to North Korea in February.
During the trip, the South Korean-born Lim was in the midst of supporting on-going ministries that included orphanages, nurseries and nursing homes when he was detained and charged with committing crimes against the communist regime. more >>