North Carolina Woman Sentenced to 7 Days in Jail for Baptizing Daughter

A North Carolina mother is serving a week in jail for having her daughter baptized without the permission and the presence of the child’s father, according to reports.

District Court Judge Sean Smith ruled that Kendra Stocks, 36, of Charlotte acted in “bad-faith disregard” by having her daughter baptized without consulting the father, Paul Schaaf, violating the terms of a custody battle decision, WSOC reported.

Her seven-day sentence began Friday.

In a 2016 decision, the court granted Schaaf, a practicing Catholic, the authority on all legal custody decisions, including the child’s religion. The judge had warned both Schaaf and Stocks that any breach of the terms could lead to a fine or a jail term.

Schaaf learned about the child’s baptism through a Facebook post by Stocks, who is also a practicing Catholic.

Even though both parents wanted their daughter to be raised in the church, court files mention disagreement over religious matters which had delayed the child’s baptism.

“The mother has acted selfishly by depriving the father of the ability to be present at an event that was extraordinarily important to him,” the court documents said.

Stocks was originally sentenced to 10 days in jail, but it was later cut to seven after she appealed.

“I’m scared,” The Charlotte Observer quoted Stocks as saying. “I’m sad about what has happened. I don’t regret having her baptized. That was in her best interest … I don’t see how this is in the best interest of the family. Her father is sending her mother to jail.”

Schaaf’s attorney Jonathan Feit said the mother is not being penalized for baptizing her child, but for disobeying a judge.

“For our system to work, there ought to be consequences for willfully and intentionally violating a court order,” he was quoted as saying. “I teach my children that. I reject the notion that anybody else is responsible for what is happening besides Ms. Stocks herself.”

Schaaf and Stocks were together for six months, but they separated after Stocks allegedly refused to include Schaaf in the child’s last name, according to court documents.

“I’ll get through it and hopefully come out a better person,” Stocks told Channel 9.

Source:ChristianPost

Florida School Shooting: Students Slam ‘Pathetic’ Failure of Politicians, Plan ‘March For Our Lives’

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed by shooter Nikolas Cruz last week, have organized a protest event against the “pitiful, pathetic” failures of politicians to tackle school violence.

The students created the website March For Our Lives, with the protest event scheduled for March 24 in Washington, D.C., and have declared that since politicians have failed them, it is up to them to demand real change in America.

“We’re going to do a march on Washington. Students all over the country are going to be joining up, because the adults have let us down. The people that we put into power who should be working for us, they have us working for them,” said Emma Gonzalez, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, on CBS News’ “Face The Nation.”

“And that’s pitiful. That’s pathetic. And we have to do the dirty work here, and we’re going to do the dirty work. We’re going to shoulder this heavy burden, and we’re going to do it well.”

Cameron Kasky, a junior at the school, said that the students are “creating a badge of shame for any politicians who are accepting money from the National Rifle Association.”

“It is a special interest group that has most certainly not our best interests in mind. And this cannot be the normal. This can be changed,” Kasky argued.

“And it will be changed. And anybody who tells you it can’t is buying into the facade that’s being created by the people who have our blood on their hands.”

The NRA has not yet released a statement on the latest school shooting, though in the past has consistently argued that it is not to blame for the actions of mass shooters.

“The elites always protect themselves and they always protect themselves with guns. And then they lecture the American public how you shouldn’t do that … what the NRA is fighting for is reciprocity, to enforce the existing federal gun laws and to protect Americans’ right to protect themselves,” reads a quote by NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre on the group’s website.

The mission statement on March For Our Lives does not outline the details of the changes students want to see, but says that politicians must come together and propose a bill that directly addresses the epidemic of violence.

“We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school. We cannot allow one more teacher to make a choice to jump in front of a firing assault rifle to save the lives of students. We cannot allow one more family to wait for a call or text that never comes. Our schools are unsafe. Our children and teachers are dying. We must make it our top priority to save these lives,” the statement declares.

“School safety is not a political issue. There cannot be two sides to doing everything in our power to ensure the lives and futures of children who are at risk of dying when they should be learning, playing, and growing.

“The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues. No special interest group, no political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country.”

In the CBS interview, Kasky noted that the nation sees how American politicians treat each other in office and sees the “nasty, dirty things going on with them,” while children are being slaughtered in schools.

“At the end of the day, this isn’t a red and blue thing, this isn’t Democrats and Republicans, this is about everybody and how we are begging for our lives. And we are getting support, but we need to make real change here,” he said.

Other students in the interview, such as David Hogg, insisted that as leader of the country, President Donald Trump must also take an important part of the blame.

“President Trump, you control the House of Representatives. You control the Senate. And you control the executive. You haven’t taken a single bill for mental health care or gun control and passed it. And that’s pathetic,” he said.

“We’ve seen a government shutdown. We’ve seen tax reform. But nothing to save our children’s lives. Are you kidding me? You think now is the time to focus on the past and not the future to prevent the deaths of thousands of other children. You sicken me.”

Trump has not yet outlined what he will do, if anything, concerning gun legislation in America following the shooting, but the White House has said that he will meet with Florida students this week.

Trump will host students and teachers on Wednesday, while he will meet with state and local officials to discuss school safety on Thursday.

“I will be meeting with the nation’s governors and attorney generals, where making our schools and our children safer will be our top priority. It is not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference. We must actually make that difference,” the president vowed in his response to last week’s shooting.

Source: ChristianPost

Nikolas Cruz Chose Evil; US Pulled God From Schools, Filled Void With Drugs, Sex: Benham Brothers

Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old shooter who gunned down 17 people last week at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, did so because he chose evil, according to conservative Christian brothers and activists Jason and David Benham.

The Benhams said in an op-ed for WND.com on Sunday that America has also found itself in a downward spiral because its schools have systemically been removing God, and replacing the void with violence, drugs, and sex.

The brothers said that much like the rest of the country, their hearts were broken by the news of the latest school shooting. Still, they said that Christians have a duty to try and make sense of what is going on, especially when the school system has no answer.

“Metal detectors can’t fix evil hearts. Safe spaces don’t heal troubled minds. Political correctness doesn’t create better kids,” they wrote.

“So many people are just blaming the guns. But an AR-15 didn’t kill these souls — Nikolas Cruz did. The weapon he used wasn’t charged with 17 counts of pre-meditated murder. The man using it was,” they continued.

“We know this deep in all of our hearts. Our consciences testify that human beings are moral agents, capable of both good and evil. And the spirit inside each of us longs for moral wrongs to be made right, regardless of how many public educators deny this transcendent moral truth.”

The Benhams insisted that “an evil man, possessed by an evil spirit, chose to take innocent life,” but pointed out that Cruz was “educated by an American educational system that has completely rejected God, His statues and His ways.”

The brothers, who have talked about the role of Satan in the wake of racial strife and other violence in America, said that the country has found itself in a downward trend.

“The major problems in schools decades ago dealt more with tardiness, smoking and disrespect than in today’s schools, where drug abuse, illicit sex and school shootings are commonplace,” they said.

The Benhams also listed several Supreme Court decisions throughout the decades which they said, “aggressively removed God from our schools.” The decisions, they said, one by one removed prayer, the Ten Commandments, and moral objectivity from the education system, leaving people, such as Cruz, to do what’s right by their own eyes.

They reflected that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the teenage killers behind the Columbine High School shooting in 1992, made a video before the massacre at the time, declaring that whoever goes against their beliefs, dies.

“The moral revolution came full circle. Remove God, and violence filled the void,” the Benhams wrote.

They argued that banning guns will not fix the problem, and only Jesus can “penetrate the most hardened hearts.”

“We’ll still have trouble in this world because it is fallen until Christ returns, but we can find refuge and hope beyond the pain and suffering we feel now,” they concluded.

Other notable conservatives, including evangelist Anne Graham Lotz, who is Billy Graham’s daughter, have also spoken about their horror at the shootings.

“So many shattered lives have left me numb, with a nauseous knot in the pit of my stomach. I want to gather every one of those mothers, every one of those fathers, every one of those siblings, every one of those classmates, every one of those teachers and coaches and administrators, every one of them, and place them in the arms of Jesus,” Lotz wrote on her website.

In a prayer to God, she pleaded: “Give us all an abhorrence of evil. Expose the plots and schemes of the wicked before they are carried out. Protect our children and our grandchildren. Guard us. Heal us. Make us whole again. We look to You.”

Numerous other pastors, such as keynote speaker and author Skye Jethani, have argued that thoughts and prayers by themselves are not enough to address the cycle of violence in America.

Jethani wrote on Facebook after the school shooting that America has an “addiction to guns,” and unless Congress decides to make a meaningful change regarding gun laws, “it will only end with blood.”

Source: ChristianPost

Meghan McCain Apologizes to Mike Pence for Joy Behar’s Hearing Jesus ‘Mental Illness’ Joke

Meghan McCain, co-host of ABC’s “The View” apologized to Vice President Pence and his family for comments made on Tuesday’s show where fellow co-host Joy Behar likened the Christian faith to mental illness.

During the “hot topics” segment of the daytime talk show Thursday, McCain expressed her distress with Behar’s comments two days earlier. The ladies were discussing Omarosa Manigault Newman’s accusations on the reality TV series “Celebrity Big Brother” where she is now a contestant. Newman warned her housemates that they should be afraid of Pence because he’s “extreme” and believes Jesus Christ tells him to say things.

Behar said Tuesday the fact Pence reportedly hears Jesus talking back to him and hears voices is an indication he has a “mental illness.”

“I’ve had a very hard time the last two days with this,” an exasperated McCain, who is the daughter of Arizona Senator John McCain, said Thursday, “My in-laws are evangelical, my entire family are devoutly Christian.”

She referenced Tuesday’s segment where Behar made the mental illness quip and complained that liberals talk about being tolerant of everyone but carve out exceptions for such tolerance when it comes to pro-lifers, gun-owners, Trump supporters, and the dwellers of conservative states in the middle section of the country.

She referenced Tuesday’s segment where Behar made the mental illness quip and complained that liberals talk about being tolerant of everyone but carve out exceptions for such tolerance when it comes to pro-lifers, gun-owners, Trump supporters, and the dwellers of conservative states in the middle section of the country.

Moderator Whoopi Goldberg then interrupted McCain, disputing that charge as untrue, and hinting that the producers were telling her in her earpiece that time was short, asking McCain to conclude her remarks quickly.

“I would like to move forward,” McCain said, appearing annoyed. “I think we would all like to collectively move forward.

“I am a great admirer of Mike Pence and his family. I would like to apologize to him and his family in particular. This is a show where we respect one another, and we respect everyone else in the country.”

The vice president was asked about Behar’s comments in an interview with Axios Wednesday and replied that while he had not watched the segment and wanted to laugh about it, he could not let it go.

“An overwhelming majority of Americans cherish their faith, and we have all different types of faith in this country,” Pence said Wednesday. “But I have to tell you: To have ABC maintain a broadcast forum that compared Christianity to mental illness is just wrong.”

“It is simply wrong for ABC to have a television program that expresses that kind of religious intolerance.”

Behar maintained Thursday that she does not believe Pence is mentally ill because that would make her, her family members, and fellow “View” panelists also mentally ill, as they are all some kind of Christian.

“I don’t mean to offend people but apparently I keep doing it,” Behar joked.

“It was a joke. Comedians are in danger these days,” she claimed before referencing the First Amendment.

Behar added that she has supported the Catholic Church and Christians with her pocketbook.

Moderator Whoopi Goldberg pushed back against Pence’s charge that ABC was a religiously intolerant news organization, saying they had wonderful relationships with all kinds of religious leaders and featured Pastor Joel Osteen in its programming.

Source: CBN

Iraqi Christians Facing Extinction After 1,400 Years Forgive ISIS of Genocide ‘In the Name of Christ’

‘There Is No Future for Christians in the Middle East If Islam Doesn’t Change’

Iraqi Christians are reaching out with forgiveness to the Islamic radicals who have murdered, tortured, and raped their communities, even as they face an existential struggle for survival.

Iraqi Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, who has been outspoken about the plight of Christians in his country, said believers “have endured persecution in patience and faith for 1,400 years,” but now face an “existential struggle” that could possibly be their last in Iraq.

Speaking at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. last week at an event hosted by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, the bishop noted that the Islamic State terror group displaced more than 125,000 Christians in the Nineveh region.

Warda said the attacks left Christians “without shelter, without refuge, without work, without properties, without monasteries, without the ability to participate in any of the things that give our lives dignity,” as reported by Catholic News Agency.

“So few of us are left, some estimate 200,000 Christians or less,” he said of the total number of Christians in the country, down from 1.5 million in 2003.

“While it is true that our numbers are small, the Apostles were much smaller.”

Still, the church leader said that Christians are open to forgiveness despite the horrors of the genocide they have suffered.

“We forgive those who murdered us, who tortured us, who raped us, who sought to destroy everything about us. We forgive them in the name of Christ,” Warda declared.

He added that Muslim leaders need to do more than simply clarify that IS does not represent their faith, but praised some nations, such as the United Arab Emirates, for offering genuine support to the victims of violence.

“Since the ISIS attack, they’ve been with us helping all — Catholics, Yazidis, Muslims,” the bishop explained.

“There is a fundamental crisis within Islam itself and if this crisis is not acknowledged, addressed and fixed then there can be no future for Christians in the Middle East,” he added.

“We’ve been hearing some courageous voices from Islamic leaders concerning the need of change and the need to address this issue openly. It should be encouraged.”

The decimated communities have seen hope in the opening of the new Catholic University of Erbil, which welcomes both Christian and Muslim students, offering degrees in economics, international law, English literature, and accounting, among others.

Nineveh Plains Christians were also able to celebrate the reconsecration of the first church since IS’ invasion in December, with the reopening of St. George’s Church in Telleskuf.

Others, such as Ashur Sargon Eskrya, president of the Assyrian Aid Society branch in Iraq, have said that despite the victories against IS and the liberation of Iraqi territories, Christians are facing their “biggest and greatest challenge” in returning to their homelands.

“Iraqi Christians (Assyrian,Chaldean) are indigenous peoples of the country, according to historical sources, and their future in Iraq depends of on international support and protection. Without protections, they will not be able to live in Iraq anymore,” Eskrya said in August 2017.

“It is critical time for the Christians of Iraq — ‘to be or not to be.’ The Christians of Iraq are facing their biggest and greatest challenge” in post-IS Iraq, he added.

Source: CBN

Christian Radio Show Host Under Fire for Suggesting Prayer a Solution to School Shootings

Many are offering thoughts and prayers for the people affected by the deadly school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Churches across south Florida have been holding prayer vigils and opening their doors to people in search of peace after 17 people died in the attack.

President Trump offered prayers of comfort and support for the families of those killed.

“In these moments of heartache and darkness, we hold on to God’s Word in scripture: ‘I have heard your prayer and seen your tears.  I will heal you,” he said.  “We trust in that promise and we hold fast to our fellow Americans in their time of sorrow.”

Christian radio show host Bryan Fischer tweeted that prayer could help stop such tragedies.

“Hey, here’s an idea: why don’t we pray in schools BEFORE these shootings happen instead of waiting until we have dead students? Why does somebody have to die before even start talking about prayer?” he tweeted.

But many on the left have mocked and criticized Fischer’s comments.

“Because if prayer did any good, the most religious countries in the world would also be the most advanced. But in fact, the opposite is true,” wrote Frances Ana.

“Prayer in schools as a solution to gun violence. Prime example of the reason for the religious right’s waning relevance,” read another post.

In an interview on CBN News’ Prayerlink show, Fischer explained why America’s schools needs prayer.

“I’ve been perturbed about this issue for a long time,” he said. “The Supreme Court banned prayer in schools in 1963, so since 1963 the Supreme Court said it’s not permissible for you to pray in school, to pray for God’s protection, to pray for God’s guidance, to pray for his covering over your school from violence and things like this and we’ve seen some alarming differences in the statistics.”

Fischer went on to point out the alarming rise in the number of school shootings that have happened in the country since prayer was banned.

He said, “Prior to 1963, there were a total of 62 deaths from school shootings in the United States. After 1963 there have been a total of 419 deaths from school shootings, from an average of about 10 a year to an average of 78 a year. And I can’t help but believe that’s it’s connected to the fact that the Supreme Court has prohibited us from any kind of formal way asking for God’s protection over our students and over our schools.”

Meanwhile, some say the issue has to do with mental health and that someone who is mentally unstable should not be allowed to get a gun.

“So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior,” Trump said in a tweet Wednesday.  “Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem.  Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!”

Others say the problem is the need for stricter gun laws.

Actress Elizabeth Banks, known for her roles in “Pitch Perfect” and The Hunger Games”, tweeted, “Sending my love to #parkland. #guncontrol #policychange, with the words ‘thoughts & prayers” crossed out.

Florida’s Republican Governor Rick Scott was asked about the gun debate during a press conference after the shooting.

“There is a time to continue to have these conversations about how through law enforcement, how through mental illness funding that we make sure people are safe,” said Scott.

Meanwhile, Evangelist Franklin Graham has urged believers to pray as well, posting on Facebook, “Pray for the students, staff, and families affected by the shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school today. And lift up law enforcement and first responders in your prayers.”

Pray for the students, staff, and families affected by the shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school today. Also lift up law enforcement and first responders in your prayers.

Posted by Franklin Graham on Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Singer and songwriter Mandisa is also calling for people to pray for those affected by the shooting.

It is not lost on me that on a day that is to celebrate love, we see hate on display through a horrific, tragic school…

Posted by Mandisa on Wednesday, February 14, 2018

“Open our eyes to see that we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly place,” she said. “The only way to fight that is with the mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, that You give us, God. So we fight now with the weapon of prayer, knowing that prayer is not “all we can do”, but THE MOST we can do.”

Source: CBN

This Christian YouTuber’s Message on Purity is Going Viral for All the Right Reasons

A Christian YouTuber’s positive message about maintaining sexual purity until marriage has reached more than a million views online.

Milena Ciciotti, a blogger who regularly shares makeup tips and relationship advice, recently took to her YouTube channel to talk about her decision to remain abstinent before marrying her husband, Jordan.

The video, called “Untold Truth About Saving Yourself for Marriage,” has since reached a million views and thousands of people are commenting on her experience.

“I’m not here to sit and judge people and tell them what to do. This is more for people who want to do that but want to more about it,” she began the video. “It’s for the young girls out there who want to wait but are kind of iffy about it and don’t have anyone to relate to or talk to about it.”

The 21-year-old blogger dated her husband for six years before getting married. She said choosing someone who was also committed to saving sex for marriage was incredibly important.

“Find someone who has the same intentions as you because more often than not, if you think this way and he thinks this way, it’s a lot easier to go His way…This journey will be a lot easier,” she explained.

Ciciotti said she and her husband were intentional about avoiding temptation.

“We would never put ourselves in a situation that would tempt us even more…We would never go swimming together. I would never wear a bathing suit around him,” she said.

“We also wouldn’t really talk about it. I feel like the more you talk about it, the more you get curious about it.”

Not everyone agreed with Ciciotti’s decision to be abstinent. she says she was teased relentlessly in high school.

“I was just a target and Jordan was just a target. They would say that he was gay, and like, ‘Why are you with her? Like, how could you not be having sex with her?’ I got made fun of a lot. People were always picking on me,” she said.

To her viewers who might be experiencing the same pressure she said: “People just say all kinds of things and you really just have to look past it.”

Ciciotti’s message was also for those who haven’t waited for marriage to have sex.

“It is never too late to become a born-again virgin, it doesn’t matter if you had sex once or 100 times and then you suddenly realize okay, this is not what I want for myself and I know this isn’t what God wants for me and I want to make a change,” she said. “There is nothing wrong with that.”

“You are no more of less of a Christian for previously having sex. You should not be ashamed of that and people should not shame you for that. You’re not impure, you’re not nasty. No. If you decide to have a change of mind your sins are forgiven and you can move past that,” she added.

Ciciotti says she’s gotten “an overwhelming amount to DMs and messages” since she released her video.

She posted another video addressing the feedback.

“I don’t blame you guys because this is something that is so taboo and no one talks about it, no Christians talk about it, no one shares their stories and their struggles and experience and that’s so wrong. It definitely needs to be said,”  she explained.

A 2015 study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, discovered that millennials are more accepting of premarital sex than any generation before.

In the 1970s, 29% of American adults believed premarital sex was “not wrong at all.” That number increased to 42% in the 1980s, 49% in the 2000s, and 58% between 2010 and 2012.

Ciciotti believes changing attitudes doesn’t change the truth.

“Just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s right,” she continued. “As Christians, we are always going against the world, always, no matter what we’re doing … you’ll always feel like you’re alone, like no one else is doing it … but there are a lot of people.”

Source: CBN

Anti-Christian Tribal Vitriol: How Joy Behar & ‘The View’ Exposed Our Christian Achilles Heel

COMMENTARY

I’m so fed up… I just can’t hold my tongue anymore… I’m gonna let loose and I don’t care about the consequences — that’s the way many Christians feel about the way the secular media and progressive elites attack our faith. But it’s also the way I’m feeling lately about the way many of us lash out in retaliation.

If you missed the story this week, Joy Behar of ABC’s “The View” basically said Vice President Mike Pence is mentally ill for talking to Jesus and listening for God’s voice.

Pence’s reply was godly, honest, and firm. You can watch it here. There was nothing wrong with the way he responded. Others weren’t quite so measured.

Here are a few tidbits from the Right attacking “The View”: “Low life Wackos,” “They are the dumbest people on TV,” “Morons,” “Behar is an utter nut case.”

On the other big story of the week, here are few tidbits from the Left attacking Trump after the Florida shooting: “BLOOD IS ON YOUR HANDS,” “They couldn’t care less who these white homegrown terrorists kill,” “Thoughts & prayers isn’t working!!!”

Those few relatively tame comments are just the tip of the iceberg in a broader battle in our culture — it’s about more than one progressive talk show host criticizing a faith she doesn’t understand, or another heated debate in the aftermath of a tragic shooting.

It’s about the liberals and atheists who blast Christians for offering prayers for the victims of school shootings, attacking the sincere faith of fellow Americans.

It’s about the Christians who use hate-filled language to retaliate against their perceived enemies, possibly inhibiting the faith journey of others.

It’s about the breakdown of our conversational inhibitions, thanks in part to the liberating effect of Social Media. If you read the comments people are making on Facebook and Twitter, it’s clear that our verbal filters have become completely unhinged. It’s been going on for years now, and I’m sick of it.

There’s a new buzzword going around that pretty much sums up the state of our society these days — “tribal.”

It seems like the only word sufficient to describe the meltdown of our “civil” discourse.

Sadly, the verbal violence is mirrored by the real world violence that has infiltrated our schools, our churches, our concerts, and even our congressional baseball fields.

Vitriol and hatred are being spewed by both sides on a regular basis — with so much at stake, people seem to feel they need to get their point across through extreme rhetoric.

On the Left, there’s sincere concern about those in need, and stopping gun violence through new laws. On the Right, there’s legitimate concern about our religious freedoms and preserving what remains of the Godly underpinnings that led to much of the success of this great American experiment.

As each side screams louder and louder to try to convince the other side how right they are, in one sense no one is listening anymore, but in another sense, we’re all listening, and the message is pure destruction.

Bottom line: This is about you and me. It’s about our role in this world as people who claim to be Christians.

Some of what’s been taking place is the exact opposite of what Jesus and the Bible teach us. Jesus taught us to love our enemies, to pray for those who persecute us, to forgive over and over and over and over again.

Jesus taught us that souls matter more than anything else. And the truth is souls matter more than the institutions of our society.

True, none of us want to lose our freedoms. It’s certainly a fight worth praying for and battling for in the public arena in a civilized manner.

But if the end result of our battling causes us to view our opponents as our enemies and to forget the eternal worth of their souls, then we have done the exact opposite of what God intended us to do on this earth.

How can we love our “enemies” when we’re screaming at them in a fit of rage and calling them names?

The Bible further teaches that we are not supposed to battle PEOPLE at all, we’re actually in a spiritual battle against unseen forces:

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 6

So if Joy Behar decides to label Christians as mentally ill, should we as Christians then attack her and attack others who are ignorant about the love of God and the spiritual truths of the world?

Attacks on Christianity are guaranteed. Jesus promised they would happen. He didn’t say we shouldn’t defend the faith, but he didn’t want us to do it with the same tactics as the anti-Christian crowd.

We’re supposed to be salt and light, but we’re not supposed to pour salt into the wounds of people who don’t know Jesus, and we’re not supposed to blind them with the “light” of our brilliant retaliations. We don’t want to blind anyone from seeing the light of the kingdom.

When we stoop to the same level of tribal vitriol, we’re actually becoming anti-Christian ourselves by undermining the very message our founder taught — always show love, give mercy, live by grace.

Jesus said to win souls — he did not say to win debates at any cost.

The words we use as Christians are sometimes our Achilles heel. We sometimes get caught up in the moment — we forget that words can hurt, or words can heal. Words matter. God created the world with His words, and we destroy it with ours.

As our world continues to spiral away from God, let’s seek to bring it back to Him by behaving like Jesus, by offering love and grace to those who have come to expect the opposite from us.

The Bible really says it best in Ephesians 4:29-32 —

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Source: CBN

Ben Carson on School Shootings: ‘We Know How to Protect Everybody Else – Why Can’t We Protect Kids?’

 WASHINGTON – Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson says America must do a better job of protecting her children.

Secretary Carson says the nation needs “immediate solutions” to keep another tragic school shooting from happening.

“Right now, we need to protect the kids – how do we protect them? We know how to protect everybody else; why can’t we protect them?” Carson said Friday in an exclusive interview with CBN News.

“Guess how hard it would be for that guy to get inside of a football stadium or even into this building and yet our most precious commodity, our children, you can get in there,” he told CBN News from HUD’s Washington headquarters.

He says addressing the psychological makeup of American society and retraining people will take a long time.

“Yes, we need to be talking to about the violence in our society. Yes, we need to be talking about the video games. Yes, we need to be talking about mental illness and how we restrict those people from having dangerous weapons or how do we report them? All that is important, but right now we need to protect the kids,” Carson said.

Source: CBN

US Olympic Skating Couple Credits Their Christian Faith for Return From Serious Illness

United States Olympic pair figure skater Alexa Scimeca Knierim and her husband and partner, Chris Knierim, have opened up about how their Christian faith gave them the strength to battle through a life-threatening illness to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

“It’s the reason I was able to get back on the ice,” 26-year-old Alexa Knierim, who was diagnosed with a serious gastrointestinal condition in 2016 that required three surgeries, told reporters about her faith after the couple’s free skate in Pyeongchang Sunday.

Last Thursday, the Knierims became the first married couple to compete in the Winter Olympics since Americans Jenni Meno and Todd Sand competed in the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.

However, such an accomplishment was not foreseeable just two years ago.

The Knierims, who served as second Olympic alternates in the 2004 Winter Olympics and have been skating together since 2012, were introduced to each other by their coach and engaged to be married in 2014.

Just months before their June 2016 wedding, her health took a turn for the worst.

According to People magazine, Alexa Knierim got really sick right before the last competition of the 2015-2016 season in April 2016. She began to vomit uncontrollably for hours at a time and she wasn’t sure of the cause.

The illness lasted months and forced the couple to withdraw from skating competitions for the first half of the 2016-2017 season.

Alexa Knierim was eventually diagnosed with a life-threatening gastrointestinal condition that required her to undergo three surgeries. The illness took such a toll on her body that her weight reportedly dropped to as low as 80 pounds.

After the surgeries, her body was so fragile that when she returned to the ice, she was not able to stand on her own and had to have her husband hold her up.

However, it didn’t take her too long to regain her strength and get her skating legs back underneath her.

After finishing fourth in their free skate on Sunday, the Knierims discussed how excited they were to be able to skate in the Olympics and stressed the important role their faith played in their comeback journey.

Alexa Knierim explained that she was so down in one point of her illness that the only thing she could do was surrender her situation to God.

“I stopped worrying and stopped trying to control life, because I couldn’t. In the moment, you know, I was so sick and didn’t really know where things were going to go for me, whether it was skating or life in general,” Alexa Knierim said. “So I finally just threw my hands up and said like, ‘You lead the way,’ and it’s my testimony and I stay true to it.”

“And even here at the Games, it’s no longer about me,” she added. “I have fans out there who know that I am a true believer in the Lord and I’m trying my best to shine His light and let people know that it’s okay to promote Him and do things for Him, because in the Christian life that’s kind of what we’re supposed to.”

Chris Knierim added that he shares the same beliefs as his wife.

“I think it’s played out in her a little stronger than me because of the situation she was put in,” he explained.

Alexa Knierim assured that she believes that her purpose at the Olympics is to “glorify God.”

“I’m here living my dream, and if that’s the way that I have to go about it, I’ll keep doing it,” she said.

Before each competition, the Knierims participate in a group prayer and also participate in prayer with athletes in Colorado, People reports.

Alexa Knierim believes that the only reason she was able to make it to the global stage is because of her faith.

“So it’s taken a big kind of role in my life and Chris’ and I truly believe that’s why we were able to get here,” she said.

Last week, The Christian Post highlighted five other devout Christian athletes competing for the U.S. in the Winter Olympics.

Source: ChristianPost