Tom Mannin, the pastor of Oklahoma City Community Church which uses the Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall for its worship services, is breaking his silence on the city's decision to allow a satanic "black mass" and the Christian service to be held inside the same building later this month.
In a blog entry posted Tuesday on the church's website, Mannin said his congregation, as well as Christians in general, have to respond with "love and hope" toward the Dakhma of Angra Mainyu who will hold a black mass in a theatre space at the civic center.
When David Limbaugh let his friend Steve know that he had doubts about Christianity, he was surprised by Steve's response. Instead of a blast of arrogant judgmentalism, Steve responded like a Christian should—with grace and evidence. What has happened since that time is told in Limbaugh's excellent new book, Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel. Limbaugh artfully tells his journey from skepticism about Christ to skepticism about skepticism and ultimately to trust in Christ.
David is a lawyer, but he doesn't write like a lawyer. While he's intellectually precise, he writes as if he's sitting across the table from you, anticipating your questions and objections. This is rare for a book of Christian evidences (often called Christian apologetics). Such books often read like technical manuals, but not Jesus on Trial. Limbaugh not only does a masterful job of highlighting the abundant evidence that supports Christianity, his insights into what the scriptures actually say will have you marveling at the tapestry of scripture and the Savior who wove it.
From the very beginning, Limbaugh bares his soul, holding nothing back about how his previous doubts were shielded by an embarrassing lack of knowledge. He writes, "I knew, after all, that I hadn't really given the Bible itself a hearing, much less a fair one. To my surprise— and this is embarrassing to admit—Steve showed me how verses of Scripture, both Old and New Testaments, were tied to others in content and theme with remarkable frequency. Amazingly, I had never looked at a reference Bible before, and I was blown away. My ignorance was on display, but Steve wasn't remotely judgmental— to help me learn more, he even gave me that Bible. I was genuinely intrigued to discover that the Bible was not simply a mishmash of stories, allegories, alleged historical events, and moral lessons. There was obviously a pattern here, and for the first time in my life the Bible appeared to me to be thematically integrated. The scales on my eyes started peeling away." more >>
Today's mainstream culture assumes that people attracted to the same sex are born that way because the same sex attraction is something that comes naturally to them. They didn't choose it, they didn't will it, they didn't ask for it. It has just always been there. And that's been my personal experience as a same sex attracted person.
This way of thinking isn't derived from facts based on anything biological or scientific, though; it's a theory rooted in logic. The logic goes something like this: "As long as I can remember I've felt this way, and I never made a conscious decision to choose to feel this way, so it must be true that I was born this way."
Honestly, I don't think that's super irrational. It kind of makes sense, doesn't it? Those of us with inclinations and drawings toward certain behaviors, like eating too much, temper tantrums, laziness, anger and depression, think that we were "born" with these inclinations. We know that these things just come naturally to us and we know that we don't choose what comes naturally to us. We choose to eat too much or fly off the handle, most definitely, but the drawings inside of us toward those things aren't drawings that we conjure up into existence. They're just there. Again, what we choose to do with them is up to us. Behavior is a choice. So are gay people born with natural-to-them inclinations to be attracted to the same sex? more >>
Pope Francis has said that war is never the right way to stop the injustices of the world and warned that it always leads to further problems, seemingly distancing himself from supporting U.S. airstrikes against terror group ISIS.
"War is never a satisfactory way to right injustices," the Roman Catholic Church leader said during an inter-faith colloqium hosted in Belgium by the St. Egido community, AFP reported on Sunday.
"War leads people into a spiral of violence which becomes difficult to control. It destroys what it has taken generations to establish and leads the way to even worse conflicts and injustices." more >>
What role does religion play in American attitudes towards Israel? An analysis by Frank Newport, the editor-in-chief of Gallup Inc., reviews 14 annual Gallup polls from 2001 to 2014 in which respondents answer the same question, "In the Middle East situation, are your sympathies more with the Israelis or more with the Palestinians?" The numbers offer insights different from what one might expect.
The study starts with two basic facts: First, looking at the whole sample of about 14,000 American adults, 59 percent answer that they have more sympathy for Israelis and 16 percent say they have more sympathy for Palestinians, a ratio of almost 4-to-1. Second, Newport finds that "Religious Americans are significantly more likely than less religious Americans to be sympathetic to the Israelis," confirming what common sense already tells us.
That said, his numbers contain several noteworthy subtleties: more >>
The founder of a global proclamation ministry who has trained thousands of church leaders in over 100 countries, has highlighted the importance of strengthening pastoral leaders in the Middle East as a means of helping suffering people, noting that ministries affect congregations, who then become a witness to their communities.
Ramesh Richard, the founder and president of RREACH (Ramesh Richard Evangelism and Church Health), told The Christian Post in an email interview Wednesday that in terms of the Christian faith, the Middle East is closest to Jesus Christ racially and geographically, but farthest from Him spiritually.
The theologian-evangelist, who serves as a professor of Global Theological Engagement and Pastoral Ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary, also serves as chair convener of the Global Proclamation Congress for Pastoral Trainers to be held in Bangkok in June 2016. more >>