As the new year is already upon us, The Christian Post would like to offer a brief look back at the major issues and events of 2014.
Pastors in Houston were almost forced to hand over all their sermons that touched on the topic of homosexuality, a major U.S. megachurch became nonexistent, Christians around the world saw a rise in attacks especially with the rise of terrorist group ISIS, and fear spread around the world as the Ebola virus spread rapidly in West Africa. Below is the full top ten list.
1. Liberal Intolerance: 'Duck Dynasty,' Mozilla, Benham Brothers and Houston Mayor Subpoena Scandal more >>
In a review of its 2014 efforts, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association reveals that it has shared the Gospel with close to 9.5 million people around the world through its outreaches. More than 1.6 million of those people have made a decision for Christ, reports the BGEA.
Those outreaches include BGEA collaborations with local churches in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia to hold large scale festivals and celebrations. BGEA President and CEO Franklin Graham and his son, Will Graham, also preached the Gospel at functions hosted in parts of the United States, Canada, Japan, Sri Lanka and Papau New Guinea.
Franklin Graham praised God for the BGEA's efforts in a recent letter. He wrote "Our hearts overflow with gratitude to God for all He has done and is doing, and we are eager to keep pressing forward as He continues to open doors." more >>
Angelina Jolie recently spoke about her faith and how Louis Zamperini, the subject of her latest film, "Unbroken," greatly impacted her belief.
"When there is an obstacle, you have to rise to the challenge, not be overwhelmed by it, and we're not alone in the world," Jolie told People when asked about what she had learned from Zamperini. "I don't know if there's a name for that – religion or faith – just that there's something greater than all of us, and it's uniting and beautiful."
Zamperini was a fervent Christian who managed to survive 47 days at sea in nothing but a life raft after a plane crash during World War II, only to be captured by the Japanese navy and sent to a P.O.W. camp. In 1949, he attended an event led by evangelist Billy Graham and gave his life to Christ. His story captured hearts everywhere and was told in the best-selling book Unbroken, which Jolie then directed as a film. more >>
Author and Christian apologist Lee Strobel along with colleagues at Houston Baptist University announced this week that in response to an increasing tide of skepticism in the U.S. they are launching the Center for American Evangelism program and initiative.
"We are facing a crisis in America. Skepticism is rising. Too many young people are leaving the faith. Few Christians are able to effectively share Jesus with others," Strobel said in a statement released exclusively to The Christian Post. "At many churches, reaching spiritually lost people falls to the bottom of their priorities.
"This is a crisis we need to confront — urgently!" more >>
The grandson of the Rev. Billy Graham commented Tuesday that he believes Evangelicals' involvement in the conservative political movement "has done more damage to the brand of Christianity than just about anything else."
Tullian Tchividjian, senior pastor at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, explained to co-hosts of the MSNBC program "Morning Joe" that American evangelicalism has been harmed by its association with conservative politics.
"Over the course of the last 20 or 30 years, evangelicalism, specifically their association with the religious right and conservative politics, has done more damage to the brand of Christianity than just about anything else," Tchividjian asserted. more >>
Gil and Kelly Jo Bates are the proud parents of 19 children and are the stars of a new series on UP TV, "Bringing Up Bates." The parents spoke with The Christian Post about their family values, why they embarked on the path to reality TV, and what they hope audiences take away from their family's story.
In the premiere episode, which airs on New Year's Day, viewers will see the family plan a baby shower for son, Zach, and his wife, Whitney. While it's a celebratory occasion, their daughter, Erin and her husband, Chad, are still in mourning for the loss of her pregnancy. The siblings were expecting their first children around the same time, making it an even more emotional situation for Erin and Chad. Erin seemingly copes by doing all she can to make sure Whitney has a special shower.
"It was something that was very difficult for both of them," Kelly Jo said. "They had the one miscarriage and that was followed by two others. When the film crew asked them if they felt comfortable sharing that, they both prayed about it and they realized that there are a lot of people that have experienced the same thing, the same heartache, the same struggle, and they felt like if they are sharing and opening up their hearts and their struggles … if that could help another person realize [they're] not alone and can get through it with faith in the Lord, then it was worth doing. The thought of helping others gave them purpose in what they were going through." more >>