CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
Less than half of born-again Christians believe Jesus lived sinless life on Earth: study
April 24, 2023 — The Christian Post reports: “Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, fewer born-again Christians now say that Jesus lived a sinless life during his time on Earth, and church attendance has dropped by some 15 million people weekly, a new study from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University shows.
The findings came from The American Worldview Inventory 2023, an annual tracking study of the worldview of U.S. adults involving 2,000 people from across the country and conducted under the supervision of George Barna, director of research at the Cultural Research Center.
While born-again Christians make up about one-third of all U.S. adults and are considered ‘the backbone of local church activity because of their higher level of commitment to the Christian faith,’ the study shows that between 2020 and 2023, the share of those who say they believe Jesus did not commit sins during his lifetime on Earth fell from 58% to 44%…” (Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it. – Amos 8:11-12. There is a famine of the Word of God in America, a famine caused by pastors who as Dr. Van Impe often stated “Preach little sermonettes that create Christianettes. There is no substance to their messages. Hadden Robinson, author of Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages was lecturing his students on preparation for preaching and said “If it’s a mist in the pulpit, it’ll be a fog in the pews.” Paul wrote to Timothy: I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry – II Timothy 4:1-5. Pastors, teach your people!)
Päivi Räsänen Faces Second Trial over Her Biblical Views on Marriage
April 5, 2023 — ChristianHeadlines.com reports: “Finnish Parliament member Päivi Räsänen is facing a second trial over her Christian beliefs on marriage and sexuality, her lawyers say.
Last year a three-judge panel of the Helsinki District Court acquitted Räsänen of hate speech charges. Bishop Juhana Pohjola of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland was also acquitted of hate speech charges.
Both faced charges stemming from their 2004 pamphlet, Male and Female He Created Them: Homosexual Relationships Challenge the Christian Concept of Humanity.
Räsänen, the former leader of Finland’s Christian Democratic Party, faced further criminal charges for a 2019 tweet criticizing Finnish Lutheran Church leaders for supporting LGBT pride month, The Christian Post reports.
The judges ruled that ‘it is not for the district court to interpret biblical concepts.’
‘By continuing its campaign to censor peaceful beliefs, the prosecution is setting a dangerous precedent of intolerance against free speech,’ Räsänen said in a statement.
Lawyers say Räsänen still has to pay thousands of dollars in fines.
ADF International Executive Director Paul Coleman called the ordeal a ‘new low’ for European free speech…” (Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! – Isaiah 5:20. This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away – II Timothy 3:1-5.)
Attacks on Churches on the Rise in 2023, Report Finds
April 13, 2023 — ChristianHeadlines.com reports: “The first three months of 2023 saw a dramatic increase in the number of attacks on churches nationwide compared to the same timeframe last year, according to a new report that found such attacks took place in nearly 30 states.
The report by the Family Research Council found 69 acts of hostility against churches between January and March – approximately three times the number that was recorded during the first three months of 2022. Such acts of hostility include vandalism, arson, bomb threats and gun-related violence. Among the 69 attacks on churches: the mass shooting at The Covenant School, which is a ministry of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nashville.
The report noted that if the rate continues, 2023 ‘will have the highest number of incidents of the six years FRC has tracked.’ A total of 29 states experienced attacks on churches.
‘The problem of acts of hostility against churches in the United States is widespread and growing,’ said Arielle Del Turco, FRC’s director of the center for religious liberty and author of the report. ‘Increasing anger and frustration directed at church buildings points to a larger spiritual battle and a growing climate of hostility toward Christianity.’…” (If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I have said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep your also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me – John 15:18 – 24; 16:1 – 3. See the next report.)
Times of Israel Decries ‘Escalating Attacks on Christians’
April 4, 2023 — Breitbart.com reports: “The Times of Israel has denounced growing anti-Christian violence in the Holy Land, some of which has been blamed on “Jewish extremists.”
Last Friday, Christian Churches in Jerusalem appealed to the government to ensure freedom to worship during Holy Week and Easter in the face of “mounting violence and acts of desecration over the past year,” the newspaper reported.
Catholic Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, presided over Palm Sunday Mass at the packed Church of the Holy Sepulchre, venerated as the burial place of Jesus and scene of his resurrection.
Jerusalem’s Christian leaders “tell of a deteriorating atmosphere of harassment, apathy from authorities, and a growing fear that incidents of spitting and vandalism could turn into something far darker,” the paper has revealed…”