Charlie Charlie game should challenge us to take the supernatural more seriously

May 31, 2015 by

  By Martin Saunders, Christian Today.   This week the Internet’s love of viral crazes stumbled into supernatural territory when the ‘Charlie Charlie’ Challenge became massively popular among young people. The game involves crossing two pens or pencils on top of a piece of paper, creating four quadrants with either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ written in them. Players then ask questions of a Mexican ‘spirit’ named Charlie, and wait for him to answer the questions by moving the pens. Exorcists are warning that teenagers are messing around with forces way beyond their understanding, with one telling the Catholic News Agency that players are ‘calling on spirits’ which ‘will stay around for a while’ after the game is played. They suggest it’s just a simplified version of the notorious Ouija, which has seen young people dabble in the occult for generations. For many, this is all harmless – if morbid – fun. Their line would be that evil spirits aren’t real and the resulting phenomena can be explained away scientifically. But if that’s true, why is the trend quite so fascinating? For years now, researchers have argued that while young people are largely no longer religious, they are spiritual, and they don’t struggle to believe in a world beyond the visible. So when the #CharlieCharlieChallenge trend enticed thousands of teenage social media users this week, its spread can be partly attributed to the belief that it might actually be real. As Christians, we believe this is serious. Actually asking an evil spirit, or a demon as he’s variously referred to, to engage with us directly is playing with supernatural fire. The Bible talks about demonic forces often: Jesus casts them out of people; Paul warns not to ‘participate’ with them (1 Corinthians 10:20); and James says they believe in God – and shudder (James 2:19). In the Old Testament, God and his prophets are frequently warning Israel not to get involved with those who practice the occult, from Deuteronomy 18’s list of ‘abominable practices’ to the grisly description of demonic sacrifice in Psalm 106. That’s not why young people are interested however. They’re intrigued because they’ve seen one of those pencils move on a YouTube video, or heard a story about a demon who might be real, and can prove his existence. When they ‘play’ however, they’re entering the world described in all those verses. For some, like those Catholic exorcists, who report that “the number of disturbances of extraordinary demonic activity is on the rise,” this is tantamount to a pastoral emergency.   Read here  ...

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From the Festival of Dangerous Ideas

Nov 8, 2013 by

  Earlier today we posted a You Tube clip of gay activist Dan Savage expounding his views on abortion.  We feel that the entire programme  – from the Festival of Dangerous Ideas – is well worth watching.  It comes from the Sydney Opera House with a large studio audience and panelists discussing the collapse of Western Civilisation, Internet Hook-ups, Feminism and Marriage among other topics.  Watch the fearless Peter Hitchens take on a liberal audience and sneering fellow-panelists with his staunchly Christian views.  We cannot but feel that he has been deliberately set up.  Note too that the constant interruptions by Dan Savage were allowed by the host, whereas Peter Hitchens' sole interruption was not.   Peter, we salute you! Watch...

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‘Social justice’ apart from evangelization drives youth away from Christianity, says new study

Jul 8, 2013 by

By Peter Baklinski, LifeSite News When a Christian apologetics ministry asked college atheists nationwide why they had abandoned religion, it was “startled” by the responses. “Most of our participants had not chosen their worldview from ideologically neutral positions at all, but in reaction to Christianity. Not Islam. Not Buddhism. Christianity,” wrote Larry Alex Taunton, founder and executive director of the Fixed Point Foundation, in a piece that appeared in The Atlantic last month. Atheists revealed that while many of them grew up attending church where they heard “plenty of messages encouraging ‘social justice,’ community involvement, and ‘being good’…they seldom saw the relationship between that message, Jesus Christ, and the Bible.”   "The connection between Jesus and a person's life was not clear,” said one atheist named Stephanie. “This is an incisive critique,” said Taunton. Stephanie “seems to have intuitively understood that the church does not exist simply to address social ills, but to proclaim the teachings of its Founder, Jesus Christ, and their relevance to the world. Since Stephanie did not see that connection, she saw little incentive to stay.” Many atheists also revealed that they had once attended church with the hope of having light shed on life’s big questions, only to find services that were “largely shallow, harmless, and ultimately irrelevant.” "Church became all about ceremony, handholding, and kumbaya," said one atheist named Phil. "I missed my old youth pastor. He actually knew the Bible." "Christianity is something that if you really believed it, it would change your life and you would want to change [the lives] of others. I haven't seen too much of that,” said another atheist named Michael, a political science major at Dartmouth. Read...

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Of First Importance: The Cross and Resurrection at the Center

Mar 29, 2013 by

By Albert Mohler The Christian faith is not a mere collection of doctrines — a bag of truths. Christianity is a comprehensive truth claim that encompasses every aspect of revealed doctrine, but is centered in the gospel of Jesus Christ. And, as the apostolic preaching makes clear, the gospel is the priority. The Apostle Paul affirms this priority when he writes to the Christians in Corinth. In the opening verses of1 Corinthians 15, Paul sets out his case: Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. Paul points directly to the events of the cross and resurrection of Christ. He is not concerned with just any gospel, but with the only gospel that saves. This is “the gospel I preached to you,” Paul reminds the Corinthians. The same Paul who so forcefully warned the Galatians against accepting any false gospel reminds the church at Corinth that the very “gospel I preached to you” is the gospel “by which you are being saved.” Their stewardship of the gospel is underlined in Paul’s words, “if you hold fast to the word I preached to you.”   Read here...

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Dan Cathy And The Silence Of Many Churches

Aug 9, 2012 by

From Bob Russell Ministries Chick-fil-A reported record sales last Wednesday as thousands showed support for owner Dan Cathy and his stance on Biblical marriage. However, while individual believers stood in long lines to publicly endorse God’s plan for the family and vent their frustration at the media’s criticism of Dan Cathy’s Biblical stance, a number of churches seemed to opt out of the conflict. While the mayors of three large cities and a few University administrators were publicly threatening to ban Chick-fil-A, and while the discussion was the hot news topic of the week, there were many ministers who said little or nothing at all. Church members from across the country are puzzled as to why. When a Christian brother is beaten up by the world and left wounded on the side of the road why would church leaders just pass by on the other side and not get involved? […]  Not long ago a young Christian blogger in North Carolina wrote an article entitled “How to Win a Culture War and Lose a Generation.” She was upset that the controversial initiative to ban gay marriage in North Carolina had alienated so many. It was painfully polarizing. She pleaded for “less waging war and more washing feet.” The cultural war made her feel “awkward” in her circle of friends. Really? You’re “tired”? Afraid to feel “awkward”? Tell that to John the Baptist who lost his life speaking out against the sexual sins of the king. Or what about Stephen or James or Peter or Dietrich Bonhoeffer or Jim Elliot or Nate Saint or scores of other martyrs who have lost their lives standing for Christ and His Word. Did Jesus condemn John the Baptist for speaking out against a politician? No. Jesus said “Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist“ (Matthew 11:11) We are commanded to be faithful unto death. Jesus said, “If anyone is ashamed of me, AND MY WORDS,… the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in His father’s glory.” (Mark 8:38)   Read here...

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