A new video message from Billy Graham is in production and is set to be released in honor of his 96th birthday on Nov. 7. The program, called "Heaven," is being released to churches as an evangelistic tool, in conjunction with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's My Hope 2014 with Billy Graham campaign.
"Evangelism is clearly the hardest activity of the Church, but it's also the one most closely tied to the health of the local church," said Steve Rhoads, vice president for My Hope. "We want to come alongside pastors and help them as they motivate their congregations to reach out in love. The local church holds a unique position of influence in our communities."
A recent Barna Group study found that while 73 percent of "born-again" Christians believe they have a personal responsibility to share their faith, only half (52 percent) have actually done so in the past year. Among "evangelicals" – the group which overwhelmingly believes they have a responsibility to share their faith – less than one-third (31 percent) have in the past 12 months. more >>
A group of Christians protesting the Seattle gay pride parade as an "abomination" clashed in the streets of that city with a drag queen called "Mama Tits," who dismissed their actions as satanic.
"Not today, Satan. Not today," said the drag queen after telling the Christian group that they were being hypocritical in their application of the Bible. A YouTube video of the encounter posted a week ago has been viewed nearly 1.5 million times.
"Actually, if they followed all the teachings of this book (the Bible) that they use to hate, they themselves are sinners. They are wearing cotton-poly blend — that is an abomination," argued the drag queen pointing to Levitical law in the Old Testament. more >>
NEW YORK — Christian hip-hop has made some notable inroads in the last few years, especially in the mainstream market. Popular rapper Lecrae has won Grammy, Stellar, and Dove awards, and he, along with other Christian artists, appear regularly on networks like BET and MTV. Does this mean the movement that emerged in the early '80s as Gospel rap has finally arrived?
The question might be especially relevant after it was reported that recording artists Flame, Lecrae, and others filed a lawsuit against pop singer Katy Perry and Capitol Records for allegedly stealing and "irreparably tarnishing" a 2008 song of theirs titled "Joyful Noise." The rappers claim Perry's "Dark Horse" single released in 2013, infringes on the copyright of their "Christian gospel song," and therefore are demanding an "injunction, damages and the defendants' profits gained from the unauthorized use of "Joyful Noise.'"
Lecrae is arguably the most popular Christian rapper in recent years who has managed to garner cross-over appeal among a mainstream audience. He and his Reach Records label have been credited with opening the doors and providing exposure and a platform for many other artists in the Christian music industry. Andy Mineo, a New York City rapper who is also on Reach Records, has been following in Lecrae's footsteps, with outlets like BET and MTV making much of his latest album and EP releases, Heroes for Sale and Never Land, respectively. more >>
A few years ago pastor Farris Wilks of Cisco, Texas, and his brother, Dan, became billionaires from the sale of their hydraulic fracturing business called Frac Tech. Now they are "using the riches that the Lord has blessed" them with, according to CBN, to bring back the Bible in schools and other conservative causes.
Farris Wilks is pastor of his family church in Rising Star, called Assembly of Yahweh 7th Day Church which believes:
"That the Bible, as originally given, was true and correct in every scientific and historical detail. Every translation of the Bible is not necessarily one hundred percent correct, however." more >>
Evangelism can be intimidating. This is especially true for students who think that they're all alone in the effort. They walk up to their school feeling overwhelmed, like they're the last man standing. They're hesitant to post gospel truth on social media because it's not as appealing as everyone's selfies or "woman-crush-Wednesday."
They slouch in their desks because they're not sure how to raise an objection. Difficulty increases as feelings of intimidation and inadequacy come from people who are apparently uninterested. This often leads to isolation in evangelism.
Why is it like this? Pastor and evangelist, Greg Laurie, accurately describes this difficulty in evangelism: "There is one thing that both Christians and non-Christians have in common: they are both uptight about evangelism. Non-Christians are uptight about being evangelized, and Christians are uptight about evangelizing." So, how can we go from isolation to infiltration? How can we move from feeling uptight to starting an uprising? One primary way is to realize that you're not alone. more >>
Two Christian-based organizations committed to using the latest technology as a way to encourage believers to share their faith online announced plans for Social Media Day this Monday (June 30).
Reach Beyond (www.reachbeyond.org) and Global Mapping International (www.gmi.org) are partnering to celebrate the day, launched by Mashable in 2010. According to Internet World Stats, more than 2.4 billion people around the world use the Internet – one-third of the global population. In the last several years alone, the growth of social media has made it possible for people from all walks of life to communicate in unique, personal and effective ways, organizers said.
"The Internet — and specifically social media — connects millions of people each day," said Wayne Pederson, president and CEO of Reach Beyond. "Even in the most isolated areas of the globe, there are people online. During Social Media week, we want to encourage followers of Jesus to use all means necessary to give evangelism a powerful jolt. Our partnership with GMI helps more people engage with this important content and be inspired to reach out and share their faith." more >>