The Vatican offered its latest view on the good vs. evil debate over the immensely popular Harry Potter series in a recent edition of its newspaper, headlining an article by an expert in English literature who calls the teen wizard "the wrong kind of hero."
In the article, "The Double Face of Harry Potter," published by the Vatican's official newspaper L'Osservatore Romano this week, Edoardo Rialti writes about the harmful effects of the "half-truth" messages presented by JK Rowling in the Potter saga.
Rialtis attack echoes the sentiment of Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who voiced fears in 2003 that the "subtle seductions" contained in the Potter series could "corrupt the Christian faith" in impressionable young children. more >>
Reflecting back on 2007, a California pro-family group has identified what it considers the worse cases of hostility toward faith, family, and freedom in the state.
At the top of Pacific Justice Institutes National Hall of Shame was a California bill allowing public school children to arbitrarily choose their gender or sexual orientation. In October, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the legislation, known as SB77 or the homosexual indoctrination bill, which adds gender and sexual orientation to a list of traits protected under the states education code on discrimination.
Pro-family groups, however, say the legislation, which will take effect in January, will not only promote transsexuality, bisexuality, and homosexuality to impressionable children but also lead to situations where children can enter any bathroom or locker room they choose because prohibiting them would be discriminatory under the law. more >>
The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission placed the Colorado shootings by Matthew Murray at the top of their list of the seven worst incidents of Christian bashing in 2007.
Last week, Murray, 24, shot and killed a total of four people before turning the gun on himself. His shootings left two people dead at Youth With A Mission missionary training center Arvada, Colo., and two more people dead at New Life Church in Colorado Springs.
Police officials later discovered an anti-Christian online message posted by Murray in between shootings, which them to believe that he had acted out of revenge against Christians. Subsequent reports also revealed that Murray, despite his religious upbringing, had been studying the teachings of Aleister Crowley, the late occult author who is considered a mentor to the founder of the Church of Satan. more >>
Over a hundred years ago, the great Dutch theologian Hermann Bavinck predicted that the 20th century would "witness a gigantic conflict of spirits." His prediction turned out to be an understatement, and this great conflict continues into the 21st century.
The issue of Halloween presses itself annually upon the Christian conscience. Acutely aware of dangers new and old, many Christian parents choose to withdraw their children from the holiday altogether. Others choose to follow a strategic battle plan for engagement with the holiday. Still others have gone further, seeking to convert Halloween into an evangelistic opportunity. Is Halloween really that significant?
Well, Halloween is a big deal in the marketplace. Halloween is surpassed only by Christmas in terms of economic activity. According to David J. Skal, "Precise figures are difficult to determine, but the annual economic impact of Halloween is now somewhere between 4 billion and 6 billion dollars depending on the number and kinds of industries one includes in the calculations." more >>
Tonight will be another night of costumed children knocking on doors for treats and roaming the neighborhoods. For some Christians, it's a dark holiday that they want to keep their kids from joining. For other believers, it's a night turned holy with opportunity for outreach.
Halloween is estimated to represent a $6 billion annual market in consumer goods and services. So although many believers don't want to endorse a holiday that's rooted in pagan rituals and aimed at appeasing the spirit world, as Christian author Dianne E. Butts states in the North American Mission Board's On Mission magazine, "what can we do when neighborhood ghouls come ringing our doorbells expecting a treat?
Turn off the lights and hide in the dark?" more >>
Is Halloween good for more than a sugar-induced high? Can you really share your faith using Halloween?? While this may sound like a contradiction in terms, with a little forethought, the ghosts and ghouls of Halloween can be a natural conversation starter for talking about the spiritual dimension.
Christian views of Halloween vary dramatically from a fun-filled, sugar high for little kids in cute costumes to an evil holiday which focuses on the occult, devils, and all things dark and demonic. So out of respect for those divergent opinions, approach this topic with your friends in the way that best fits you. But don't let the opportunity for a conversation about the spiritual dimension and eternal life slip by!
Halloween was originally known as the Festival of the Dead and was a time of fear and fright. The ghosts, goblins, and the Grim Reaper-esque characters that inhabit the holiday provide an easy transition into the topic of what happens when we die and whether we should be afraid of dying. Take the opportunity to share with your friends some of the truths of the Bible when it comes to the topics of death and dying. Check out some of these verses: more >>