Christianity in Today's America

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Posted 12/19/14 at 11:00 AM | Michael Youssef

Turmoil, Terrorism, Racism and an Inconvenient Christmas Message

Perhaps it was Al Gore who popularized the term “inconvenient truth.” Although his truth is disputable at best, it is a fact that real truth is often poorly received by the populous.

While few dispute that turmoil, terrorism, and racism fill our world, many people refuse to believe the real reason behind all this.

America has never been, nor will ever be, a perfect country. But there are not many other countries where people are lining up for hours to get in—not to mention the millions who sneak in illegally. So much for the imperfect country.

I totally understand the longing to come to this country. As someone who was not born in the U.S., but dreamed of America’s freedom, I am deeply grateful that I am “an American.” I am no hyphenated American. I love America’s exceptionalism and would gladly defend it.

But this country that I love is facing dark times. There are many questions to be asked:

Why does the American dream seem to be turning into a nightmare? FULL POST

Posted 11/21/14 at 3:27 PM | Michael Youssef

Why Do Leftist Liberals Love to Mislead?

Photo: Pixabay - Public Domain

Whether it’s church liberals or political liberals, they have at least one thing in common—they often speak one way, but walk in the opposite direction.

A prime example of that character trait comes from “Gruber-gate,” namely the recent scandal about remarks of Jonathan Gruber, a key architect of Obamacare. Mr. Gruber has stated that the bill’s passage was contingent on exploiting the “stupidity” of the American voter.

As with Mr. Gruber, most liberals—whether they’re from mainline denominations or liberal evangelical churches, or from the political sphere—believe that the average American is stupid.

As they view their world through that prism, they naturally use words and proclamations that are designed to mislead and sucker the poor saps.

Let’s first take a look at the world of religion. FULL POST

Posted 10/23/14 at 12:47 PM | Anthony Horvath

Online Apologetics Conference Features Women and Nancy Pearcey

I am pleased to announce that my ministry, Athanatos Christian Ministries, will be hosting its fifth annual online apologetics conference tomorrow and Saturday (Oct 24-25th, 2014).

Nancy Pearcey, author of Saving Leonardo and a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, will be our keynote presenter. The theme this year is 'Women Equipping Women' so all of the presenters are ladies.

Here they are:

Judy Salisbury | Hillary Morgan Ferrer | Sarah Ankenman | Cynthia Velasco Hampton | Julie D Loos | Lori Peters | Letitia Wong | Natasha Crain | MaryJo Sharp | Marcia Montenegro | Melissa Cain Travis | Bonita Jewel | Kathryn Camp | Marilyn Tyner

Men, it should go without saying, are welcome to attend!

Topics range from Intelligent Design and Darwinism to how to approach Jehovah Witnesses to practical advice for mothers wishing to instill a well-grounded faith with their children.

Cost is $21. All sessions are saved and available for registerants, so even if you cannot attend one (or any) you will still get access to the archives.

Hope to see you there!

http://onlineapologeticsconference.com/

Posted 10/2/14 at 5:36 PM | Michael Youssef

The Antichrist and the Muslim Mahdi (Part 2)

In my last article, I explained the Judeo-Christian understanding of the Antichrist, and that he will somehow be intertwined with Israel, and more specifically, Jerusalem.

Because Islam borrowed a great deal from Judaism and Christianity, it is not surprising that they too have a figure with a messianic complex—the Mahdi, or the Guided One.

Muslims see the Mahdi as a savior who will lead a global revolution and establish a worldwide Islamic empire. The Mahdi will rule the earth as the final Caliph of Islam (a caliph is both a political ruler and a spiritual representative of Allah on earth).

Muslims revere Jesus (whom they call Isa) as the Masih or Messiah. In Islamic eschatology, the Mahdi will arrive at the same time that Isa returns. Isa will descend to earth in Syria, east of Damascus, dressed in yellow robes, and will assist the Mahdi, who will rule over the earth for seven years (or, in some Islamic traditions, nine or nineteen years). At the end of the Mahdi’s rule, there will be a Day of Judgment for the entire human race. FULL POST

Posted 9/26/14 at 12:05 PM | Michael Youssef

The Antichrist and the Muslim Mahdi (Part 1)

Many people—religious and non-religious—are asking questions about a word they hear the media use when referring to ISIS and other Islamist jihadists. That word is apocalyptic, which is used when specifically referring to the fatalism of Islamists.

People wonder, why do so many Muslims (both Sunni and Shiite) operate with such an “apocalyptic,” end-of-world mindset?

Our secular society, however, coupled with the media’s carelessness, is bandying about words like apocalyptic without using them properly and without explanation. That creates a great deal of confusion for some, many of which just throw up their hands in resignation and say, “I don’t understand this.”

But for those who want to understand, I am offering this 2-part column, taking excerpts from my newest book, Jesus, Jihad, and Peace. I hope this will put things into perspective, so when the media says that an Islamist entity (such as ISIS, al-Qaeda, Iran, etc.) operate with an apocalyptic vision, you can make sense of it. FULL POST

Posted 9/19/14 at 4:33 PM | Michael Youssef

Will ISIS Bring About the Demise of Western Civilization?

Photo: flickr/Chris Drumm - Creative Commons

Today, many people are wondering if ISIS will ultimately destroy Western civilization. But before I address that question, we need to take a little journey to discover what Western culture has done to itself.

Beginning with the age of reason in the 17th century, Western culture built itself on the foundation of reason and objective truth.

In the 1960s, however, Western culture underwent a radical transformation. A new way of looking at reality—focusing on the inner, subjective experience instead of objective truth—profoundly affected the baby boomer generation.

In 1967, Dr. Timothy Leary toured the U.S., speaking on college campuses with a psychedelic light and sound presentation called “The Death of the Mind.” He urged students to experiment with LSD, start their own psychedelic religions, turn off their rational minds, and reach out to the universe with chemical-altered feelings to “run on, tune in, and drop out.” FULL POST

Posted 9/5/14 at 1:35 PM | Michael Youssef

The Occupational Hazard for Prophetic Voices

Photo: Flickr/Eugene Zemlyanskiy - Creative Commons

Whenever prophetic voices rise to explain world events from a non-secular perspective, those voices are minimized as “fringe” and “lunatic.”

But that is simply an occupational hazard of offering a prophetic voice. They will be beaten to a pulp by competing godless voices until they give in or give up.

For example, consider today’s voices in the wilderness that connect this country’s moral collapse to the twin scourges of terrorism and financial indebtedness. Anyone that connects our current struggles to our own spiritual and moral vacuum will be labeled a “nut.” I mean, who wants to hear about such things, right?

But even a cursory look at biblical prophets during times of crisis will quickly reveal how the godless voices of their day attacked them. FULL POST

Posted 8/28/14 at 12:07 PM | Anthony Horvath

An Open Letter to Everyone But Richard Dawkins

Photo: Flickr/David Shankbone - Creative Commons
Richard Dawkins

Most observers of Richard Dawkins are not surprised to hear that he has said something outrageous. More and more, even his fellow atheists are surprised when he says something sensible. The latest row is over his comments suggesting that people have a moral obligation to abort a child diagnosed with a defect (in particular, Down Syndrome). Again, even his fellow atheists were put off by this, since the party line on abortion it is morally neutral, and a woman can get one or not get one, as she pleases.

The reactions, from both foes and fellow travelers, imply that the crux of this issue is that Dawkins is being rude. From this perspective, there are certain things you don’t say in polite society, even if you think them, and Dawkins has found one of them (again). The problem, you see, is one of decorum and Dawkins’ irascible personality and a violated social contract.

Dawkins, however, insists that what he is saying “simply follows logically from the ordinary pro-choice stance that most [of] us, I presume, espouse.” He sympathizes with his critics, but notes that their point is “an emotional one not a logical one.” And oh, by the way, what he is saying is not in the slightest “advocating a eugenics policy.”

Never mind that he is rude. Is he wrong? He has invoked logic, implying that there are propositions, premises, and inferences not far back from his comments. Moreover, he expects that his own fans share these foundational views and is more than a little surprised that they have not taken them to their logical conclusions. And what views might these be? FULL POST

Posted 8/1/14 at 5:09 PM | Michael Youssef

Anti-Biblical Minorities Take the "Change the World" Baton

The Bible is full of individuals who accomplished mighty things through their commitment to a cause and through God’s power working in them. Moses, Joshua, Gideon, David, to say nothing of a handful of Galilean fishermen, turned their world “upside down.” Often their world was controlled by a great foe, like mighty Egypt or the Roman Empire.

Sadly, the most that many Western Christians can accomplish today is to join a big stadium filled with screaming young people listening to upbeat music. When the music stops, they go back to their pampered lifestyle and whine about what they’re not getting from life.

Of course, there are some exceptional young Christians who seek God and His will with all of their hearts. They genuinely want to make a difference in the world. But for the most part, Western Christians lack a total commitment and a definable strategy to turn the world upside down like our Christian forbears did.

In the meantime, however, anti-biblical forces have taken the “change the world” baton from Christians. But not only have they taken it, they are using it to beat Christians on the head, sending them scurrying in fear and intimidation. FULL POST

Posted 7/10/14 at 11:20 AM | Michael Youssef

What Does This Announced Caliphate Mean?

Photo: Flickr/Norman B. Leventhal Map Center - Creative Commons

The ISIS, which has conquered vast portions of Syria and Iraq, has now declared itself to be the new Islamic caliphate. There has been no caliphate (an Islamic state led by a “successor” to Muhammad) since 1916, after the end of more than 400 years of Turk-enforced rule over a resentful but helpless Arab world.

Since then, most Sunni Muslims have informally recognized the legitimate successor of the prophet Muhammad to be the king of Saudi Arabia, whom they call the “Guardian of the Two Holy Places.”

But in recent years, many rival factions have risen across the Islamic world, each claiming to be the one to bring about the legitimate succession. FULL POST

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