Should Young Christians Rush to Get Married?

True or False?

Am not into relationship or marriage writing, but this caught my attention and needed to be shared.

For young adult Christians who have grown up believing that sex outside of marriage is wrong, it can be understandable that they might rush to the altar with the person they feel so strongly in love with. It’s no shock to anyone that young people are flooded with feelings and desires that lead them to wanting to be physical with whoever they are attracted to, and when sex is known as a sin unless it’s with a spouse, the rush to get a ring on that finger makes sense.

With a culture that so readily promotes the “happily ever after” path and seems obsessed with the latest pop culture couplings, marriages, divorces, and drama in between, it’s not surprising that many young people would view marriage as the ultimate destination and goal in relationships. Even in the church, marriage is often lauded as the best thing, the highest achievement, the greatest gift, and it can lead young people to feeling like they have to get to that point quickly for their lives, their relationships, and their presence in that community to really matter and have value.

Ethan Renoe recently wrote an article for Relevant asking “ Should So Many Christians Push to Get Married Young? ” and he zeroes in on one famous Bible passage about singleness and marriage: 1 Corinthians 7 . This passage has been often debated, and it raises some important (although controversial) questions.

In verse 8 of that chapter, Paul writes, “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.”
This is a very different stance than what our culture and our churches tend to promote. “But what if Paul was telling the truth?” Renoe asks. “What if it really is better for us to remain single instead of diving headfirst into marriage?”
Wouldn’t that be something?

It’s a helpful and healthy question to ask ourselves, though. As a single woman in her mid-twenties, it’s one I find myself pondering often. The expectation seems to be that I will get meet the man of my dreams someday and then get married shortly thereafter… but I’m not so sure that’s what’s meant for me. I’m definitely in no hurry to get there if that is what the Lord has in store, that’s for sure. As I see more and more friends getting married (even friends quite a few years younger than me, which feels strange), I return to this question, wondering if marriage is really the ultimate good thing we should be striving for, or if Paul was right in encouraging singleness instead.

For the Christians (young or old) who pursue marriage as a way to justify their physical and sexual desires, it seems clear that the focus is misplaced. “As Christians,” Renoe explains, “our primary calling in life is not to gratify our sexual desires first and foremost. It is to glorify God, enjoy Him forever, and bring others into this sphere of blessedness. For this reason, I’ve come to see many of the young marriages of Christians as more of a detriment to the work of the church than a blessing.”

He goes on to say, “what I mean by that is, if we really believe that Jesus, not sex, is the source of our satisfaction, it should affect the way we live our lives. It means perhaps we would spend years of our lives giving to the world in sacrificial and beneficial ways before settling down with our sweetheart to raise children rather than diving into marriage for the wrong reasons.”

Now, this does assume that sex and a desire for physical intimacy is the driving force behind young couples getting married, which isn’t always the case. But he does make a good point that the Lord has great opportunities in store for us in our twenties and thirties when we free ourselves to follow his leading and serve him with our lives, unencumbered by such a serious relationship commitment. It’s not that the desires for intimacy go away, but instead that those who choose to embrace singleness instead redirecting those desires toward Jesus and the work he has for us instead.

We can pursue intimacy in other ways — in our prayer life with the Lord, in our Bible studies and conversations with close friends, in sharing our stories vulnerably with one another, and with sharing common interests and bonding with others around us.

While there have admittedly been times or seasons of my life where I have felt the absence of a meaningful relationship or longed for a husband, there have been many more times where I have been grateful for the freedom that comes with singleness, especially when it comes to service opportunities and ministry work in my church and community.

“We have become blinded by a culture that teaches that the truest source of satisfaction is sex, so it makes sense that many of us would marry young for a taste of that ecstasy,” Renoe writes.

What if we saw our lives instead as something so much greater? What if we saw our singleness as a chance to truly give ourselves to others? What if we saw our free time as a gift from the Lord allowing us to serve the people around us and expand the Kingdom? What if we reprioritized our desires and what is important to us, putting satisfaction in Christ above all else?

Like Renoe concludes, there is no hurry for us to get married. There are so many opportunities before us in the seasons we are in now, and there is so much goodness to be found in a life wholly committed to serving the Lord and others. Pursue him first and foremost, and discover that he, better than any other, can and will fulfill every desire of your heart, no matter your relationship status. The rings can wait.

Credit: Christian Headline

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Repost: What Was the ‘Crime’ of Jesus That Got Him Crucified? #Easter #History #Crucifixion

Soon another Holy Week will be upon us, beginning with Palm Sunday and culminating with Easter Sunday. It was “the week that changed the world.”
The week began in a humble, triumphant sort of way. That may seem like an oxymoron. Jesus was hailed as a king, but rode in on a donkey—a humble way to begin His public entry into Jerusalem. Of course, He was fulfilling what Zechariah the prophet had foretold about 700 years before.

Dr. Paul L. Maier is a professor of ancient history emeritus from Western Michigan University. He is a terrific scholar on all things related to Jesus and the Gospels.
In his 1997 book, In the Fullness of Time, Maier writes of Jesus’ entry into the Holy City on the eve of the Passover on that very first Palm Sunday: the donkey “was the common beast of burden of the time, in contrast to the superior horse of gilded chariot used in Roman triumphs.”

The city was bustling and filled with people. Dr. D. James Kennedy notes this: “Josephus tells us that there were over three million pilgrims that visited the city on this occasion. 256,000 lambs were slain for the Passover.”

Of course, the climax of Jesus’ entry was His death (on Passover) and resurrection.
Why was Jesus crucified? What crime did He allegedly commit?

Crucifixion was a horrible way to die. It was so bad that no Roman citizen could be crucified. It was an execution reserved for slaves and bandits. How amazing then that the Son of God become man would allow Himself to be so degraded by people whom He Himself had created.

Crucifixion was invented in the Near East and perfected by the Romans. It was not uncommon for a crucified victim to suffer for days. Pontius Pilate was surprised Jesus had died in only a few hours—however, He had been scourged so horribly that He could have bled to death, had He been released after the whipping.

The crucified victim had the crime he committed posted above his head. Crucifixion was like a living billboard—do what this fellow did and you too could end up like this.

In the case of Jesus, we’ve all seen the crucifixes with INRI above His head. This stands for Iesus Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm, Latin for Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, as recorded in John’s Gospel.
His “crime” was claiming to be a king, a treasonous act in ancient Rome.

In a television interview I once conducted with Dr. Paul Maier, he noted that there were three phases of Roman history, beginning with the Monarchy from 753 to 509 B.C. The next stage was the Republic from 509 to 30 B.C. And then there was the Roman Empire from 30 B.C. to 476.

Commenting on that first phase, Maier told me, “The first seven kings of Rome ended in a real tyrant. His name was Tarquin the Proud, and they didn’t want another king throughout their history.” Thus, after 509 B.C., the Romans eschewed the title “king” [rex] thereafter, despite having emperors who were far more powerful than any earthly king.

Thus, Jesus’ claim to be the King of the Jews was His death sentence. Maier adds: “[Rex] was a term of opprobrium. It was somebody who was trying to subvert the masses…. And that is the charge that the prosecution made, which really turned the case as far as Pontius Pilate was concerned.”

It’s a tragic fact that in 2000 years of Christian history, there have been anti-Semitic professing Christians who blamed the Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus.
But the fact is that Jesus laid down His life as fully God and fully man, who alone fulfilled the Ten Commandments, on behalf of sinners—so that those who believe in Him might be saved. As Jesus Himself said, “I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again” (John 10:17-18). If there were any “crime” committed for which Jesus was dying, it was the crime committed by sinful people against our Holy Creator.

Christians believe that Jesus is the King, whose kingdom was foretold by Daniel the prophet about 500 years before He came, who said that in the “days of those kings”—which kings? The Roman kings—the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will smite the Roman Empire.

It begins as a small stone but that stone goes on to become a mountain that fills the whole earth. Christianity began very small, but has grown to where about one-third of humanity claims to be Christian.

And so during this Holy Week, Christians celebrate the coming 2000 years ago of the King, who came the first time in humility, who will one day ride a white horse as the conquering King of kings and Lord of lords.

Around The World: Somalia: Impoverished Secret Church Reaches Out to Persecuted Orphans

Orphans in Somalia whose parents were killed for their faith by Islamic extremist, Al Shabaab rebels are becoming more numerous – and hungrier, an underground church leader said.Somalia: Impoverished Secret Church Reaches Out to Persecuted Orphans

The pastor started a care center for the orphans three years ago in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, as more children of secret Christians were orphaned.

“Last year we lost a Christian family killed by the Al Shabaab, and the number of children rose from 30 to 35,” he said. “The Al Shabaab are now hunting down the children in Mogadishu, and we have moved the care center to a bit safer location.”

The leader has taken the children in because they had nowhere else to go, but he lacks resources to take care of them – the Christian orphans are crying for food, he said.

“The children look devastated and malnourished, so we as a secret church do appeal to our brothers and sisters in the free world to consider extending a hand to these persecuted children,” the pastor said.

The children receive little support from Somalia’s impoverished underground Christian community, and their needs are increasing as some have begun attending school, he said.

“If we can get at least $1,000 dollars a month, that will really lighten our burden,” he said. “Please pray for the future of the Somalia underground church. The orphaned children will form the future of Somalia’s underground church.”

The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law according to mainstream schools of Islamic jurisprudence, and Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda adhere to the teaching.

Somali law and societal tradition create an atmosphere of hostility toward non-Islamic faiths similar to that created in regimes that execute apostates. The country’s Provisional Federal Constitution (PFC) does not explicitly prohibit Muslims from converting to other faiths, but leaving Islam remains socially unacceptable in all areas, according to the U.S. State Department’s latest Report on International Religious Freedom.

The PFC provides for the right of individuals to practice their religion but prohibits propagation of any religion other than Islam, and it makes Islam the state religion. All laws must comply with the general principles of sharia (Islamic law), the report states.

The past few years Al Shabaab has lost ground to government and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) peacekeeping forces.

Rebels from Al Shabaab, which is allied with Al Qaeda, in February 2017 shot to death an underground Christian woman and her son and seriously wounded her husband. The family was asleep at their home at dawn in Afgoi, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) west of Mogadishu, when at least four armed men attacked them shouting the jihadist slogan, “Allah Akbar [God is greater],” and, “We cannot allow the defiling of our religion with a foreign, Western religion,” according to the wounded husband.

The assailants killed his wife, 35-year-old convert Faduma Osman, and the couple’s 11-year-old son, Ahmed Suleiman. The couple’s two daughters, 13 and 7, and their 9-year-old son were able to escape out a backdoor.

Somalia is ranked third on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List of countries where it is most dangerous to be a Christian.

Source: Christian Headlies

What ‘Living Biblically’ Says about Religion and Culture Today #Christian Headline #Top post

Television is producing more shows with religious themes, as the sitcom Living Biblically illustrates . The show depicts a lapsed Catholic who is married to an atheist and decides to live by the literal commands of Scripture with the help of a Jewish rabbi and a Catholic priest. I found it mildly humorous at times, cringeworthy at others.

Other religiously themed shows include a young man preparing for his bar mitzvah, a young genius who struggles with his mother’s Christianity, and a stand-up comic who wrestles with his faith.
What they seem to have in common is this: they treat Christianity as a religion more than a relationship.

“That’s easy-it’s grace”
In What’s So Amazing About Grace? , Philip Yancey describes a conference on comparative religions in which experts were discussing whether any specific belief was unique to Christianity.

The debate went on for some time, until C. S. Lewis wandered into the room. “What’s the rumpus about?” he asked. He was told that his colleagues were discussing Christianity’s unique contribution among the world’s religions. Lewis responded: “Oh, that’s easy. It’s grace.”

When we focus on the grace-centered, intimate communion we can have with God Almighty, those who don’t understand may mock us for listening to our Father’s voice. Recall Joy Behar’s claim on The View that Mike Pence, who claims to hear God’s voice, has a “mental illness.”

As Eric Metaxas notes , “If Mike Pence is crazy for believing he hears God’s voice, then so are George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, FDR, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama-all of whom said they listened for the still, small voice of God.”
The good news is that some in Hollywood really understand the good news.
For instance, Letitia Wright, who plays Princess Shuri in Black Panther , told an interviewerthat a few years ago, “I was pretty much obsessed with acting, and it became my world. It became what I used to be happy.” So she went on a hiatus from acting: “I said, ‘Okay, Jesus, I’ll try you,’ and I haven’t looked back since.”
Now, she says, “I don’t really consider myself religious. I view it more as a relationship. And if anyone thinks that’s weird, then okay.”

When we work, God works
How can you and I build a more transforming, empowering relationship with the Lord of the universe?

Our self-reliant culture would expect me to encourage more church attendance, Bible reading, time in prayer, and other spiritual activities as the answer to the question. The brilliant theologian Henri Nouwen agreed that such disciplines are vital: “Discipline is the other side of discipleship.

Discipleship without discipline is like waiting to run in the marathon without ever practicing. Discipline without discipleship is like always practicing for the marathon but never participating.”
Then comes the grace-centered surprise: “It is important, however, to realize that discipline in the spiritual life is not the same as discipline in sports. Discipline in sports is the concentrated effort to master the body so that it can obey the mind better. Discipline in the spiritual life is the concentrated effort to create the space and time where God can become our master and where we can respond freely to God’s guidance.

“Thus, discipline is the creation of boundaries that keep time and space open for God. Solitude requires discipline, worship requires discipline, caring for others requires discipline. They all ask us to set apart a time and a place where God’s gracious presence can be acknowledged and responded to.”
Said simply: When we work, God works. When we make time for God, we position ourselves to receive what his grace intends to provide. We cannot earn what he can only give. But we must be close enough to receive what he wants to bestow.

“O Lord, do it again!”
Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” ( John 10:27 ). His Father promised us, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known” (Jeremiah 33:3 ). Our Savior added: “Whoever is of God hears the words of God” ( John 8:47 ).

But know this: after God speaks to us, he intends to speak through us.
Yesterday I reflected on Mark Batterson’s terrific new book, Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God. I’ll close today with my favorite story from the book:
“In 1940 Dr. J. Edwin Orr took a group of Wheaton College students to study abroad in England. One of their stops included the Epworth Rectory. The rectory now serves as a Methodist museum, but it was the home of John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement.

“In one of the bedrooms, there are two impressions where it is believed that John Wesley regularly knelt in prayer. As the students were getting back on the bus, Dr. Orr noticed that one student was missing. Going back upstairs, Dr. Orr found a young Billy Graham kneeling in those kneeholes and praying, ‘O Lord, do it again!’”

Around The World: Bible Burning in Southern India Shows Depth of Hostility toward Christians #extremists #topheadlines #India #Christian Headline

This is a long piece of information and news but it’s worth it. Lord have mercy on us.

Hindu extremists in southern India issued harsh threats to Christians distributing Bibles before snatching their car keys, taking Bibles out of their vehicle and setting the Scripture on fire, sources said.

Christians associated with Gideons International, all senior citizens, told Morning Star News that their advanced age did not temper the vitriol they received in Singotam village, Nagar Kurnool District, in Telangana state on Jan. 21.

“From now on, if any of you distribute Bibles, we will attack you brutally [till your genitalia are damaged],” one of the Hindus warned the Christians, according to a video the extremists took of the attack. “How dare you promote Christianity?”

The video shows the group harassing Christians after one of the group snuck into the car, took the keys and tossed the Bibles out, which the group then began kicking.

“You are useless people, and all your activities are useless,” the video shows one saying. “You will give a Bible to whoever you want? How dare you …You shameless idiots. Get the hell out of here.”
One of the assailants then poured fuel as his colleagues instructed him to pour it on the copies; he then lit a matchstick and set the Bibles on fire.

The hostilities come after “one of the most traumatic” years of persecution of Christians, according to a report released last week by the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI).

The Christians had obtained permission to distribute the Bibles at government-aided school in Singotam village from the headmaster. They had set out from Nagarkurnool at 11 a.m. and reached Singotam 90 minutes later, waiting another half hour for four other Christian associates, the group’s Richard Nixon told Morning Star News.

“Eight of us were travelling in two different cars,” he said. “Before distributing the Bibles, we prayed together, and we had first asked the school administration that we will place the Bibles there, that the students may take them, but we were told to distribute them by ourselves. It was such a joy! The children came to us few at a time with their friends and received the Bibles happily.”

They distributed nearly 170 Bibles, Nixon said. Five cartons remained with 80 copies of the New Testament in each, and they proceeded towards the town distributing the Bibles to shops and passers-by.

“There was a Lakshmi Narsimha Swamy temple in that area called Kollapur, and a man came out from the temple and asked us if we can give him some copies of New Testament, and we gave some 20 copies to him,” Nixon said. “Each of us was carrying handful of Bibles and were walking on the road adjacent to the temple.”

Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess for wealth, and Narsimha is the Hindu lion god. They are regarded as husband and wife in Hindu mythology.

A group of at least 10 Hindu extremists approached and ordered them to stop distributing the Bibles, Nixon said.
“We didn’t want to argue with them and just kept calm,” he said. “But they started badgering us with questions: ‘Who sent you here? Why are you distributing Bibles?’ They soon slipped into filthy language. We told them that we will move on from here, and requested let there be no fight.”

Counter-Charge against Christians

The Christians had distributed Bibles in the area for 30 years without any opposition, said another member of the group, K.J. Anandham, a retired police sub-inspector.

“The Hindus harassed us and even threatened to beat my wife,” he said. “We are all retired employees and senior citizens; they did not have courtesy for age. Their language was uncivilized and brutal.”

The extremists told them to leave, and they resumed their journey, stopping the car after about 800 meters to wait for their colleagues in the other car.

“We found the same man who picked a fight with us in the town following us with 10 more,” Nixon said. “They started abusing us in extreme vulgar language. One of them sneaked into the car and picked up the copies of Bibles and threw them out. They started kicking the Bibles.”

While their driver was about to start the car, another extremist jumped in and pulled the keys from him, he said
“They started tearing the Bibles savagely. They got the cartons we had not even opened yet from the boot of the car, threw them down and started kicking and stamping the copies. We tried to stop them, saying, ‘We will not distribute them here, but please don’t tear the Bibles. It’s the Holy Word of God,’ but they paid no heed. They also started videotaping.”
The extremists then set the Bibles ablaze. Area resident A. Navanitham saw the video and informed Kollapur police. Circle Inspector of Police Saida Babu told Morning Star News that officers registered a case, First Information Report No. 12/2018, based on Navanitham’s complaint and the video, and took the assailants into custody.

A counter-charge, however, has been filed against the Christians, Sub-Inspector of Police G.V. Satyanarayana told Morning Star News.

“This case will not be produced before the court as yet,” he said. “We are waiting for the orders of the District Collector.”
District Collector E. Sridhar was unavailable for comment.

A legal expert who requested anonymity said police have taken the tactic of registering an FIR against “unknown” assailants.

“There is no name – that simply means they have not charged anyone, and no assailants were produced before the court,” the legal expert said. “Had the police been serious, they would have made arrests, and the accused according to legal procedure should have been produced before the court of law since Section 295-A is a non-bailable offense.”
Section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) outlaws “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings,” punishable by a fine, prison terms or both. There is no chance of intervention by the District Collector, since it is police who levy charges depending on the evidence, the source noted.

Asked what the charges had been filed against the Christians, Police Inspector G.V. Satyanarayana said, “We are yet to decide that, but a case has already been registered under section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code.”

Gideons associate Anandham said that three days after the incident, he and his wife were summoned to the police station.

“Because of the complaint given by Navanitham, the police joined hands with Hindu extremists and are after us,” he said.

He and his wife, both diabetics, were held at the police station all the day, he said.
“We were exhausted, without food and water,” he said. “On the day of attack, we discussed the matter and decided to pray and forgive the assailants, and to not file any case against them. But Navnitham has shown interest, and his motives are still not known.”

Asked to comment, Navnitham told Morning Star News only, “The police have already arrested the assailants, the matter is over.”

Sharing Christ’s Love

Navneet Chhabra, executive director of Gideons International in India, told Morning Star News that there have been several instances of people telling workers to stop distributing Bibles, though the workers are not assigned to religious conversion.

“The book has got Proverbs, which are written by Solomon, and it speaks about wisdom,” he said. “It has got several things, and we do not know in which state the people are when they receive a copy. We only believe that when they read it they will receive some peace in their heart.”

Gideons workers politely stop distributing when people decline, he said.
“There have been testimonies where people who have themselves burned the Bibles have invited Christ into their lives,” he added. “There are instances where people have picked up torn papers of Bible from garbage, and their lives were transformed.”

The organization has received letters from hospitals and jails from people who received the Bibles and whose lives the Lord has touched, Chhabra said.

“Whoever has done this act of burning the Bibles, we will pray for them that the Lord wipe away the hatred from their hearts,” he said. “We belong to the same country and share as much patriotism as they do, then why this animosity? We don’t retaliate, we don’t hold any animosity, and we forgive them. We love them.”

Nixon added: “We will continue sharing the love of Lord Jesus Christ.”

Attacks on Rise

The incident comes amid a dramatic rise in attacks on Christians, according to a report released last week by the EFI. Last year EFI recorded 351 cases of hate and targeted violence against Christians, compared with 230 in 2016.

“There has been an increase in the number of incidents since 2014 onwards,” the Rev. Vijayesh Lal, general secretary of the EFI, told Morning Star News. “While 2014 saw 147 incidents against Christians, in 2015 we documented 177 such incidents and over 230 incidents in 2016. This year we have seen a significant increase in the incidents.”

The hostile tone of the National Democratic Alliance government, led by the Hindu nationalist BJP, against non-Hindus, has emboldened Hindu extremists in several parts of the country to attack Christians since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in May 2014, religious rights advocates say.
The report, compiled by the EFI’s Religious Liberty Commission, notes, “The year 2017 has been one of the most traumatic for the Christian community in India since the mass targeted violence of the Kandhamal pogrom in 2007 and 2008.” States reporting most of the incidents were Tamil Nadu with 52, Uttar Pradesh with 50, Chhattisgarh with 43, Maharashtra with 38, Madhya Pradesh with 36, Bihar with 23 and Jharkhand with 17. With the exception of Tamil Nadu, the Bhartiya Janata Party – a Hindu nationalist party to which Prime Minister Modi belongs – rules, though it is part of a coalition in Bihar.

Most of the cases documented consisted of physical violence and arrests at 110, followed by 70 instances of threat and harassment, 64 cases of disruption of church and worship services and 49 arrests on false charges. The report documents four incidents cases in which Christians lost their lives because of their faith.

There were two instances where gender violence was used as a tool of persecution.

“The incidents of disruption of church services and even private prayer meetings held in homes have increased since the last three years at least,” Lal said. “What is more surprising is that in states like Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, the law machinery and various provisions are being used to disrupt worship services, and threats are being issued by state and non-state actors to pastors and evangelists, leading to a stopping of worship services or Christian activity in many areas.”

The report notes that while incidents against Christians were evenly spread across the months of the year, “the prayerful period of Lent and Christmas, which involves larger participation of people,” also saw a higher targeting of Christians. The report documented 54 incidents in April and 40 in December.
The report highlighted this trend in an incident in Satna, Madhya Pradesh, in December, when a mob of Hindu extremists beat members of a group singing Christmas carols and set their vehicle on fire. “One of those arrested was a professor at a Catholic theological college,” the report notes. “The priest-professor and others had to spend several days in jail before they were let out on bail.”

Christian children were also targeted in at least three separate incidents, all in Madhya Pradesh, when they were taken into custody and detained along with the adults escorting them to Christian Bible camps, according to the report.

“In what seems to be a misuse of the provisions of the Freedom of Religion Act in Madhya Pradesh, at least three incidents (during the months of May, June and October) were reported from Madhya Pradesh where Christian children travelling for church related functions and their leaders were taken into custody on alleged charges of kidnapping and conversion,” the report states. “In one instance, the group was attacked by Hindu Dharm Jagran Manch activists, and it was more than a week before the Madhya Pradesh High Court handed over the children to their parents.

“A habeas corpus petition had been filed before the Indore bench by the parents who contended that the children were going to Mumbai to attend a Bible-reading session with their consent but were illegally detained and kept at a secret location.”

The report acknowledged that it is aware of persecution and pressure directed at other religious minorities, as well as caste discrimination against Dalits and violence against women in general.

The EFI is “deeply concerned at the many men, Muslims and Dalits, who have been lynched in the guise of punishing them for trafficking in cattle,” the report states, adding that it recognizes that “issues of cow, caste and attempts to force Hindu religious codes on schools also impact the Christian community.”

Official figures from the government as put forth in the Parliament of India indicate that “communal violence” has increased by 28 percent in three years.
“We will take the findings of this report to the Union government and urge them to intervene to restore the confidence of the Christian community,” Lal said. “The various state governments and the Union government, must move beyond mere lip service and uphold fundamental rights, especially the right to freedom of religion or belief, through concrete action and enforcement of law, without partiality.”

India ranked 11 on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List of countries where Christians experience the most persecution, up from 15 the previous year, and ahead of Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Egypt.

Around The World: This Generation Can Be the One to End Legal Abortion- Mike Pence

In as much am not a Trump fan, and also not supporting some of his policies, for this to be a concern in their administration stand as a positive policy in their administration. I pray the bill is passed and the abolition is active.

According to the source, Vice President of U.S Mike Pence told a luncheon group this week that legal abortion would end in the U.S. “in our time.”

“I know in my heart of hearts this will be the generation that restores life in America,” Pence said at a Nashville luncheon hosted by the Susan B. Anthony List & Life Institute, an anti-abortion organization.

“If all of us do all we can, we can once again, in our time, restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law,” he added.

He said in President Donald Trump’s first year in office, Pence has already seen “great” moves to eliminating legal abortion.

“I see more progress in the last year in the cause of life than I have seen in public policy in all of my years,” Pence said.
Trump has signed legislation that reverses a law from Obama’s term that blocks states from defunding Planned Parenthood.

He reinstated a ban on international federal funds for global health organizations that cover or provide education on abortions.

“Let me admonish you as we go forward in this cause in 2018 to understand while we have made great progress, we have much work left to do,” Pence said.

The Trump administration has not been able to pass a law banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The proposal passed in the House, but the Senate failed to approve it in January.

In his speech, Pence called Trump the “most pro-life president in American history.”

… Younger Americans, are choosing and embracing the sanctity of LIFE more and more every day, and we have to be their voice,” Pence tweeted after his speech.

Around The World: Presidents Pay Tribute to Rev. Billy Graham #world #President #Billy Graham #top headlines #influence #death

President Donald Trump and former presidents are praising Billy Graham’s life work after the evangelist died Wednesday.

Graham was 99.

“The GREAT Billy Graham is dead,” President Trump tweeted. “There was nobody like him! He will be missed by Christians and all religions. A very special man.”

Graham was a counselor for many U.S. presidents. He also spread the Gospel message on his worldwide crusades.

“Billy Graham’s ministry for the gospel of Jesus Christ and his matchless voice changed the lives of millions,” Vice President Mike Pence tweeted. “We mourn his passing but I know with absolute certainty that today he heard those words, ‘well done good and faithful servant.’ Thank you Billy Graham. God bless you.”

Former President George H.W. Bush called Graham “America’s pastor” and said he was glad to have known the evangelist.

“His faith in Christ and his totally honest evangelical spirit inspired people across the country and around the world,” Bush said. “I think Billy touched the hearts of not only Christians, but people of all faiths, because he was such a good man. I was privileged to have him as a personal friend.”

Graham was counselor to presidents from Gen. Dwight Eisenhower’s term to George W. Bush.

“Rosalynn and I are deeply saddened to learn of the death of The Reverend Billy Graham,” said former President Jimmy Carter. “Tirelessly spreading a message of fellowship and hope, he shaped the spiritual lives of tens of millions of people worldwide. Broad-minded, forgiving, and humble in his treatment of others, he exemplified the life of Jesus Christ by constantly reaching out for opportunities to serve.”

What a celebration of life to this great man of God. Adieu Papa!!!

News: Can the Olympics Bring Global Peace?

According to the Olympic Charter, one of the formal goals of the Olympic movement is to serve “the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society.” In other words, the organizers of the Olympics seek to use the games as a way to encourage global peace. Yet, as Keith Rathbone points out at The Conversation , the Olympic committee has but a “very limited ability to promote peace between warring nations.”

Rathbone begins his article by explaining the role of peace in the “refoundation of the Olympic Games.” The people behind the modern-day Olympics organization, he shows, were highly driven by a desire to promote peace. In fact, a majority of the signers of the original Olympic Charter were a part of one peace movement or another, and several of them would go on to earn Nobel Peace Prizes. Rathbone also cites the founder of the International Olympics Committee, who, at one time, clearly stated his intention of promoting world peace through the athletic competitions.

Indeed, a number of the Olympic Games throughout the years have served to promote “international reconciliation,” as Rathbone says. They have helped bring unity back to war-torn and conflict-ridden parts of the globe. Rathbone offers specific examples of this in his article, citing the “global upheaval of the 1990s” in particular. He also points to the positive effects of the Olympic Truce, an element of the games inspired by the ancient Greek practice in the original Ancient Greek Games.

Despite the positive effects that the Olympics have had in the matter of world peace, Rathbone points out that the Olympic Games still have major limitations in this area. As Rathbone sharply reminds us, “the Olympics did not end either of the two world wars.” In fact, wars actually prevented the games from happening several times in the last century, and some governments, such as the Nazis, have actually used the games as occasions for exacerbating international conflicts.

Even this year’s Olympics in Pyeongchang has already brought along its own share of conflict. So, before we begin to rely on the Olympic Games as a solution to international conflicts, let’s remember that the Olympic Committee faces the same limitations that all other human institutions face. Among these is the inability to promote true and lasting peace.

Photo credit: Google

Trending Video: Young Woman Shares Gospel During Victim Impact Hearing for USA Gymnastics Doctor: Repost

The victim impact statements ended in the trial of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar today (January 24). For his acts of criminal sexual conduct, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced him to between 40 and 175 years in prison, telling him, “It is my honor and privilege to sentence you.”

Judge Aquilina opened the courtroom to any of Nassar’s victims who wanted to address him and over 150 victims took the opportunity to do so during the almost weeklong hearing. Nassar objected to the statements and accused Judge Aquilina of overseeing a “media circus,” but the Judge replied, “Spending four or five days listening to them is significantly minor, considering the hours of pleasure you had at their expense and ruining their lives.”

Rachael Denhollander, the first victim to speak out about Nassar’s abuse, spoke last at the hearing.

Denhollander, an attorney and mother of three, spoke on behalf of all of the victims as she asked Judge Aquilina to consider one important question as she handed down her sentence, “How much is a little girl worth? How much is a young woman worth?”

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She chronicled the delight Nassar took in grooming his victims and how he showed no remorse for his actions. She said Nassar found, “sexual satisfaction in our suffering.” Then she addressed the Judge again, saying, “the sentence you hand down you can communicate to all these little girls and to every predator to every little girl or young woman who is watching how much a little girl is worth.”

Denhollander addressed Nassar directly, reminding him of the times he brought a Bible to the initial hearings. “If you have read the Bible you carry, you know the definition of sacrificial love portrayed is of God himself loving so sacrificially that he gave up everything to pay a penalty for the sin he did not commit. By his grace, I, too, choose to love this way.”

She continued, encouraging Nassar to recognize his need for repentance. “Larry, if you have read the Bible you carry, you know forgiveness does not come from doing good things, as if good deeds can erase what you have done. It comes from repentance which requires facing and acknowledging the truth about what you have done in all of its utter depravity and horror without mitigation, without excuse, without acting as if good deeds can erase what you have seen this courtroom today.”

Then Denhollander made a clear Gospel appeal to her accuser, encouraging him to recognize the depth of his sin and pointing him to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. “The Bible you speak carries a final judgment where all of God’s wrath and eternal terror is poured out on men like you. Should you ever reach the point of truly facing what you have done, the guilt will be crushing. And that is what makes the gospel of Christ so sweet. Because it extends grace and hope and mercy where none should be found. And it will be there for you.
I pray you experience the soul crushing weight of guilt so you may someday experience true repentance and true forgiveness from God, which you need far more than forgiveness from me — though I extend that to you as well.”

Denhollander closed with a direct appeal to the Judge, asking her to impose the maximum sentence under the law, “because everything is what these survivors are worth.”

Source: Christian Headlines

Publication date: January 24, 2018