Some News stories in brief…….

crossBullying Affects Young People’s Belief’s

A recent Beatbullying report noted that there is a high number of young people who say they believe in a God – 80 percent. Sadly however, the report’s findings claim that bullying makes them “ashamed of their religion or makes them question their faith.” But I also wonder what happens as they grow older. Other UK polling suggests that a far lower percentage of adults say they believe in God. When does this belief fade?

I would suggest that if more churches started proclaiming the truth about Christianity (that we should expect persecution because we follow Jesus) then this may not actually be the case. Unfortunately we raise our children with fluffy cloud, cute angels, and God is love stories rather than telling them what the Bible says, ie expect persecution, expect to be reviled and hated, expect a rollercoaster ride, warn of the seriousness of sin, speak of the wrath of God that is coming on all unrighteousness and wickedness, yet know that through all the toubles we have because of Jesus we have hope and are reconciled to God. Instead most church youth groups are nothing more than teenage babysitting clubs that fail to proclaim the whole counsel of God to their young people or effectively disciple them. If you are a youth worker, then stop using youth resources and start using the Bible- properly- and start teaching your kids how to read and study the Bible. The cute angels and lovey dovey God stories are fine until a kid is like, 10, but after that you gotta wise up and preach the whole counsel of God to them, effectively disciple them and if need be discipline them as laid out  in the Bible- and support, love and pray for/with them as well. It’s about more than just organising a wee night here and there for them to ‘hang out’. If you believe in the Sovereignty of God in bringing people to faith, then spend more time preaching the word faithfully to your young people and engaging them with the Scriptures, instead of trying to just help them “be good kids”. They need Jesus not good ‘church’ morals.

Death in the streets as Christians Flee

Horrific stories of ruthless killings on the streets of Jos in northern Nigeria are emerging. At least one church pastor was shot dead, along with three members of his household and an Augustinian monastery attacked, the abbot narrowly escaping death after a molotov cocktail was thrown into his room. The violence was directed solely against Christians, with some Muslims shot by armed forces only when they broke curfew. Estimates vary, but it seems about 400 people might have been killed. While not lessening the horror of that atrocity, this is about twice the number killed in Mumbai. Please pray for the situation in Nigeria as our Brothers and Sisters in Christ are persecuted for following Jesus.

The Princess Diana Bible- God and Homosexuality

The Times, London, reports that there is a planned release for a new pro-gay Bible. This is a Bible like no other: the Princess Diana Bible, ready to hit the shelves next year. Yes, you guessed: it’s a “gay” version of the Good Book in which God decrees that homosexuality is good, and heterosexuality bad. It’s the invention of Max Mitchell, an American film maker whose latest movie charts the progress of a genetic mutation, which, once it has infiltrated the bloodstream, converts the married heterosexual man and woman into homosexuals – and vice versa. As part of the gender reversal, the King James Bible is burned and replaced with the PD Bible (named after the Princess “In tribute to her many good works” Mitchell explains).  “There are many different versions of the Bible; I don’t see why we can’t have one” Mitchell tells WorldNetDaily.

On the Princess Diana Bible site, he elaborates further: “Jesus was gay. In Biblical times homosexual relationships were so commonplace that no one gave it a second thought. It was heterosexuality that was considered sinful.” He’s planning to direct a mini-series of his new oeuvre, split into two – part one, the Gay Old Testament, and part two, the New.

YAWN, YAWN, YAWN. It seems this world is getting weirder by the minute! Bob Dylan once said “The times they are a changing”…indeed Bob, indeed times are ‘a changin’. Changing for the worst I fear.

Prayer Booth Unveiled in New York

SPL60684_001The Daily Mail reports on a newly placed “Prayer Booth” in Tramway Plaza, New York. The booth, which includes a flip-down kneeler, is an art installation designed to spark dialogue about faith in the modern world. Designer Dylan Mortimer installed the booth to explore the question of how private faith functions in the public realm.

He said: ‘My goal is to spark dialogue about a topic often avoided, and often treated cynically by the contemporary art world. ‘There’s a kind of parallel between the extinction of telephone booths with cell-phones and the extinction of prayer in a lot of societies.’

I’m in two minds about this one really. Is this guy taking the mickey or is he being serious? Irregardless of his motives, I have mixed emotions about its use. I guess it could be helpful in starting off evangelistic conversations with passers-by, but those using it who claim to be Christian should examine their motives before doing so.  They would do well to consider the words of Jesus in Matthew 6,

 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. “(5-8)

We really don’t need to use a pagan prayer booth to show people our faith do we? Rather we should be salt and light every day, should we not?

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