Christianity in Today's America
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Michael Youssef

Founder and President of Leading The Way, Founding Pastor of The Church of The Apostles (Atlanta), Author, husband, father

Posted 4/17/14 at 9:44 AM | Michael Youssef

The Best News Ever in a World Filled With Bad News

Photo: Geograph/Kay Kenyon - Creative Commons

Much of the world will be celebrating Easter this week. Unfortunately, in the West, secular humanism has relegated the Christian Easter to mere “Easter bunnies” and “Easter eggs.”

That degeneration can be closely linked to Western society’s replacement of “thinking” with “feeling.” We have replaced the thermostat with the thermometer. We have given up on rigorous intellectual debate of facts and irrefutable truth and replaced it with “that’s fine if that’s how you feel about it.”

Perhaps the trend is no clearer than when the media—and consequently, the man on the street—expresses an opinion on the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In the past, people either accepted or rejected Christ’s resurrection as a fact of history. But in today’s post-modern culture—where most of the “thinking” takes place between the nose and the chin—people are apt to say, “Jesus rose from the dead? So what?” FULL POST

Posted 4/4/14 at 11:47 AM | Michael Youssef |

1 comment

Obama/Kerry: Foreign Policy Bullies?

Russian President Putin with President Obama at the G8 Summit

While many pundits lament the fact that the Obama/Kerry foreign policy is timid, confused, and easily intimidated by strongmen like Vladimir Putin, I submit that it is best compared to a mediocre schoolyard bully.

A mediocre bully is the weak kid who attempts to project strength by picking on those weaker than him. He spews all sorts of threats (i.e., sets “red lines”), but he immediately backs down when a bigger bully shows up.

Why? The mediocre bully knows he’s no match for the stronger one, so he avoids going “mano a mano” with him.

A perfect example of that is when the U.S. State Department’s Marie Harf recently reacted to the decision by an independent Egyptian court to sentence 529 criminals and terrorists to death. Ms. Harf described the decision as “unconscionable” and threatened that the sentence would impact future American aid.

Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for the State Department to forget what those terrorists did: FULL POST

Posted 3/7/14 at 1:15 PM | Michael Youssef

Making Sense of an Apparently Senseless Foreign Policy

Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson - Public Domain

A segment of the American public must be yelling expletives whenever the results of our apparently incoherent foreign policy show up on their TV screens. Many can only react to our dealings with Syria, Iran, Libya, Israel, and now Russia with bewilderment and anger.

The news outlets that are balanced keep replaying the words of Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney, four years apart, predicting Russia’s intentions toward Ukraine. Watching those statements leaves us baffled as to why the mainstream media lampooned them when they accurately and perceptively anticipated Russia’s deviant move.

But let me explain what’s going on. It does make sense if you understand the perspective:

Obama/Clinton/Kerry, et al, represent a segment of society with a worldview that churns the stomach of anyone with a Judeo-Christian worldview. Their worldview was known in the 20th century as “secular humanism.” Now it is called “progressive ideology,” but the only thing progressive about it is its name. FULL POST

Posted 2/28/14 at 11:55 AM | Michael Youssef |

5 comments

The Fallacy of Being Economically but Not Morally Conservative

Regular readers of my column know that I usually don’t use the words “conservative” and “liberal.” Why is that?

Because those words in today’s lingo—like the words “love” and “democracy”—can mean almost anything you want. Unlike past times when precision in meanings was important, we have now produced a generation that no longer understands the historic or political meaning of those words.

Within the population of the confused, however, my greatest disappointment is held for those who describe themselves as economically conservative, but socially liberal. But do they even know what that means?

On the economics side, this is what I think they mean:

  • They believe in capitalism and the free market economy.
  • They believe in hard work and accomplishing (financially, at least) the American dream.
  • They believe in smaller government and private enterprise.
  • They believe in fewer taxes and more opportunities for creating jobs.

On the social, or moral, side, I think it normally boils down to two issues:

  • They believe in abortion-on-demand.
  • They believe that homosexual marriage should be equal to heterosexual marriage.

However, there’s a major problem in trying to fit those two sides together. In God’s economy, total acceptance of Judeo-Christian morals has usually accompanied true blessings and economic prosperity. FULL POST

Posted 2/20/14 at 4:21 PM | Michael Youssef

Hillary Clinton's Foreign Policy Blunder of Historic Proportions

Photo: Flickr/Marc Nozell - Creative Commons

It is easy to question Hillary Clinton’s competence during her tenure as Secretary of State. U.S. relations with Russia have deteriorated, Iran and North Korea have not been restrained, and Syria has fallen into chaos.

And as far as blunders go, it’s hard to compete with her revealing congressional testimony about the reason for the Benghazi attack, during which she heartlessly asked, “What difference does it make?”

But her greatest blunder was failing to recognize the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt for what it was: a terror organization.

The Muslim Brotherhood is just like its kissing cousin, Hamas. Their definition of democracy is: one man, one vote, one time. After the first election, you’ll never see another.

Clinton’s unbridled support for the Brotherhood leader and now-disgraced former Egyptian President, Mohamed Morsi, was inexcusable. A freshman in Foreign Policy 101 would have seen through the charade that led to her historic miscalculation. FULL POST

Posted 2/7/14 at 11:47 AM | Michael Youssef |

5 comments

Are True Christians Persecuted in America?

Photo: Flickr/Keoni Cabral - Creative Commons

You better believe it!

Sure, if you only equate persecution with those who are burned alive inside churches like Islamists do to Christians in Nigeria, then we are not.

If you mean persecution only applies to those who are beheaded with a dull-edge sword as Islamists do to Christians in Syria, then again, no.

If you mean it is only about crucifying people alive as Islamists do to Christians in Pakistan and elsewhere, then that doesn’t apply either.

The subtler persecution of Christians in America, which began mildly with the media mocking Jimmy Carter’s “born again” claim, has escalated rapidly in the last five years.

If Christians in a social gathering, or on the Piers Morgan show, say they believe that Jesus is the only Savior and Lord, they will incite the most venomous verbal attack. If Christians speak out against Islamism or the celebration of homosexuality, they will be attacked with labels such as “Islamophobe” or “homophobe”—words manufactured by two groups that would normally hate each other, but join forces for the purposes of eliminating the true Christian point of view. FULL POST

Posted 1/24/14 at 11:51 AM | Michael Youssef |

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Mr. Obama's Brand of "Christianity"

For twenty years, Mr. Obama drank from a particular brand of religion—Liberal Christianity. To be sure, most Bible-believing Christians would not consider that brand to be Christianity at all. But liberal Christians would consider their brand to actually be the enlightened one.

Over time, Liberal Christianity has developed a humanistic understanding of what the Christian faith is about. They claim that Christians who still believe the Bible is God’s perfect self-revelation are stuck back in the 1st century. Society has evolved, they say. And because society has evolved, God must be evolving also. After all, why else would He allow such change to occur?

Thus, people who take the Bible as the absolute truth for all time are branded as rigid and unenlightened.

Not surprisingly, such liberal thinkers have similar views about the U.S. Constitution. They claim that our founders never intended for the Constitution to be absolute for all time; it was only relevant for their time period. Therefore, it ought to be modified or done away with. FULL POST

Posted 1/16/14 at 5:05 PM | Michael Youssef

The Big Story that the Media Deliberately Missed

Photo: Wikipedia - Public Domain

The media always misses the big stories of historic proportion. Only years later do they reluctantly admit it.

Here are some examples of globally-significant stories that the anti-Christian mainstream media deliberately lost in the shuffle. The stories have to do with events in Egypt during the last few years—events that I am very familiar with.

It is impossible to ascertain whether they refuse to report these stories because of their anti-Christian bias, or because the stories run contrary to the narrative propagated by the current White House. Either way, the omissions are no accident.

The Egyptian Revolution of January 2011 was fully covered—every media outlet had reporters on the ground in Tahrir Square. It was a story that executive producers in New York and London could embrace with gusto: Masses of people demonstrating against a secular dictator. FULL POST

Posted 1/2/14 at 11:53 AM | Michael Youssef

Preparing for Our Audience of One

Photo: Flickr/DonkeyHotey - Creative Commons

Listening to most of the pundits and tea-leaf readers, you might think that 2014 will follow a doomsday scenario. I don’t know who is right and who is wrong, but I am looking forward to experiencing the coming year through the eyes of eternity.

For some people, 2014 will be just another uneventful year. For others, it may be joyous and blessed. Still for others, it may bring tragedy and difficult circumstances. That’s how life is and always will be. There is nothing new under the sun.

But when seeing circumstances through God’s eyes—whether they be good or bad, joyful or sorrowful—they are just that: circumstances. What matters to God is how we faithfully persist in serving Him and others.

We press on by focusing on the following facts:

  1. God is, and always will be, on His throne. He is working out His plan, and no catastrophic event can change that.
  2. God’s power and the power of His Word will continue to work in millions of lives around the world.
  3. Like last year and the year before, millions of people will come to Christ, responding to the supernatural love He displayed on the cross.
  4. Many of those millions of new Christians will choose to follow Christ with the full knowledge that they are risking their lives.
  5. Millions of faithful believers will sacrifice their resources, their health, and even their lives to reach those who are in desperate need.
  6. As we begin another year, God will continue to separate His sheep from the goats—meaning He will separate the blessed from the cursed based on faithfulness to Him getting us ready for the final day.

If I am one of the people to face death this year (or more accurately, enter into the true eternal life), I want to make sure that I do what I have been doing, but with more intensity, more passion, and more faith. FULL POST

Posted 12/13/13 at 12:15 PM | Michael Youssef |

1 comment

Mr. Obama's Deafening Silence

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King envisioned the day when the black community would be at equal footing with those who oppressed them. And yet, I wonder if even Dr. King could have dreamed of an African-American president so few years after paying the ultimate price for seeking equality.

But to say that the occupant of the White House is in the same category of Dr. King and his many colleagues who suffered humiliation and persecution would be wildly inaccurate.

I wish that Mr. Obama had heeded the wise words of Dr. King regarding “silence,” but alas, when it comes to the persecution of Christians around the world, he has not.

One longs to hear a word of compassion from our president for Christians who are being killed or mutilated, and for the churches being destroyed—some of them ancient churches with great historic significance.

One would love to hear a word of sympathy for Christians burned alive or crucified in Nigeria, Central African Republic, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and Pakistan; or a simple word of concern for the Christians being persecuted in earnest in more than sixty countries. FULL POST

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