Yesterday morning, I awoke to discover you spoke to me directly on your nationally syndicated, award-winning talk show. I was stunned and humbled because I believe you are such an incredibly gifted comedian with a God-given gift to entertain and make people feel genuinely valued. You also have a megawatt smile that simply makes people feel happy.
You concluded your remarks to me and the audience by saying, "The only way I'm trying to influence people is to be more kind and compassionate with one another." That's one of my goals as well, and in that same spirit, can I appeal to you to consider some thoughts although we share different worldviews? more >>
Theologian James Emery White questions whether many in America who so easily embraced the global outrage in the defense of freedom of expression as the result of the murderous attacks on the staff of Charlie Hebdo would be as quick to defend the rights of others to express moral standards different than their own.
In his blog post, "Are You Charlie?" White quotes Brian Pellot who reflected: "I do not consider myself racist, homophobic, Islamophobic or misogynistic. 'Being Charlie' doesn't mean being any of these things, despite what you think about the magazine's tact and tone. … As advocates for freedom of expression we must sometimes defend views we find repulsive. This doesn't require us to endorse them. In this case, we must protect what gunmen tried to kill, a satirical magazine some deem offensive. #JeSuisCharlie simply means, 'I defend freedom of expression.'"
White then responds: "Yes. But it's easy to side with such a sentiment when it comes to the exercise of free press in the face of senseless terrorism which seeks to silence it. It's not so easy when it comes to allowing people to live by convictional standards that seemingly draw into question your own." more >>
Pope Francis has said that his continued criticism of the global financial system is not because he supports Communism, but because of Jesus' call for Christians to serve the poor. The Vatican meanwhile is set to publish a report titled "This Economy Kills," highlighting the damage that the world economy brings to impoverished populations.
"Jesus affirms that you cannot serve two masters, God and wealth," Francis said Sunday in an interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa. "Is it pauperism? No, it is the Gospel."
"Jesus tells us that it is the 'protocol' on the basis of which we will be judged, it is what we read in Chapter 25 of Matthew: I had hunger, I had thirst, I was in prison, I was sick, I was naked and you helped me: dressed me, visited me, you took care of me." more >>
A number of Muslim groups have condemned the terror attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris that left 12 people dead, and argued that Islam is a "religion of peace and non-violence" that should not be tied to the barbaric acts committed in its name.
"Nothing can justify the heinous crime that was perpetrated against journalists of Charlie Hebdo in Paris today," said Sufi leader Sheikh Khaled Bentounes regarding the Wednesday attack.
"Islam is a religion of peace and non-violence. Do not let ignorance justify the intolerable. We shall never admit that acts of unspeakable barbarism are being committed in its name. The Islam experienced by the vast majority of Muslims in the world has nothing to do with these acts that are contrary to the fundamental values of this religion." more >>
The need to address revival and the vital role of the Holy Spirit is as relevant today as it has been throughout church history. This article is the first part in a series where principles unfold throughout. It's my hope that readers consider the entire series before drawing conclusions.
The key is to find the biblical balance: "The true saints of God, who have clear heads, and pure, warm hearts, have in all generations had to walk between the two extremes of cold formality on the one side, and wild, ranting fanaticism on the other. Dead formality and the false fire of fanaticism are both Satan's counterfeits, and he does not care into which extreme the soul plunges..." (George D. Watson).
Watson masterfully describes how God's Spirit can be suppressed or misrepresented. To clarify, the Holy Spirit is not some weird, mystical force. He is part of the triune nature of God. The Bible says that the Spirit intercedes, leads, guides, teaches, and so on (cf. Romans 8:26; Acts 8:29; John 16:13). He enables and empowers us to hunger and thirst for righteousness, and to boldly live for Christ. God's Word becomes living and active in the life of the believer who is continually filled with the Holy Spirit. Charles Spurgeon adds, "What can a hammer do without the hand that grasps it, and what can we do without the Spirit of God?" more >>
A pastor with the United Methodist Church has put together a one-woman performance meant to showcase a comedic side to the stories of the Good Book.
Known as the "Bible Cabaret," the production was put together by the "Irreverent Reverend" Jane Voigts, who has a professional comedy background.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Voigts explained that the inspiration for the "Bible Cabaret" came via a friend's suggestion. more >>