Cena, China and Christianity-What’s the Connection?

What is John Cena in trouble for in China? Why does China even matter here in America?Why should this matter to me? Let’s take a look at the new Fast and Furious controversy sweeping the Far East.

Many of you may remember a previous president harping on china over and over and over again. Well here we are, back to China, but not in the way you might think. This one is related to the Fast and the Furious? Yah, I will admit to not being the biggest fan to the super movie franchise. Sorry everyone, just never got into it. But, this movie franchise makes millions and even billions of dollars.

In an interview, actor John Cena, said that Taiwan would be the first country to see the new F9 film.And China, in true form, cracked down.

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According to the Christian post, religious persecution of christians rose dramatically in 2020. ChinaAid reports that there are thousands of church closures and other human rights abuses. As believers, we cannot ignore what is right just to make money or keep a job. Courage is what is required to stand against a bully, whether on the playground at school or the largest country in the world.

You don’t have to be a famous actor in an international movie franchise to struggle with courage. Wherever you are, you will have the opportunity in small and large ways to practice courage. How will you respond?

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Biden Removes Hyde Amendment from 2022 Budget

The 2022 budget was just released and there is a lot of interesting things in it that will create some unfortunate circumstances, but today I want to focus on what is NOT in the budget. As I have mentioned before, this administration is the most progressive in MANY ways, but especially when it comes to protecting unborn lives. In other words, this administration does not. In fact this administration has gone out of it’s way to clear the path for more abortion, easier abortion, and less regulation and less paperwork for anyone seeking an abortion.

The 2022 Budget has just been proposed and it does not include the Hyde Amendment which has been in the budget since 1977. This amendment is a very big limiter for taxpayer funding on abortion or to abortion providers.

The Hyde Amendment goes back to 1976 when legislators, responding in large part to Roe v Wade, did not think it was appropriate to spend US tax dollars to fund abortions through Medicare. This is because, if you do not agree with abortion, but you are forced to pay taxes, then the taxes you paid would be used for abortion. Therefore you, the taxpayer, are forced to pay for abortion, which you do not agree with. Historically, even the democrats as a whole supported the Hyde amendment up until 2016 when Hillary Clinton was running for president. Current President Joe Biden himself supported Hyde until 2019 as a US senator. At one point he even argued it would be morally wrong to coerce the American tax payer into paying for abortions.

This budget is not yet approved. It still needs to go through congress and we will see if they are able to put Hyde back in, but it doesn’t look great. The house is democrat controlled. The senate is a 50/50 split with Kamala Harris as the tie breaker.

As believers we are responsible for protecting those that cannot protect themselves. There is no better example of this than the unborn. We should pray that our representatives fight to keep taxpayer dollars from paying for abortions.

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Memorial Day

My grandfather served in World War II. I am thankful because he and thousands and thousands of others fought for the freedom I have now. The freedom to speak. The freedom to write. The freedom to criticize. The freedom to worship.

Sadly, many people today are not thankful for these freedoms, or perhaps worse, they believe that these freedoms just happen naturally. Some believe if the systems of power or oppression didn’t exist we would live in a utopian state of harmony with one another. Unfortunately thousands and thousands of years of human history would show otherwise. Freedom is elusive. Actually, I believe, most people don’t even want freedom. Sure they may say they do, but when it comes down to actions, most people would rather be safe than free. This last year has shown that to be the case.

Unfortunately, safety and freedom are almost opposites. Sure, you need some level of safety and protection of communities and borders, but on an individual level, you have to choose whether you want freedom or safety.

If you want to be free to travel you have to allow cars and other vehicles to move quickly. This may cause accidents and death and some would say is not safe, but that is freedom. If you want freedom of speech you have to be willing to allow speech you don’t like. If you want to feel safe, and eliminate speech you don’t like, then you don’t have freedom. If you want freedom of religion, you have to be willing to allow religion in public that you don’t agree with. This might make you uncomfortable, but that is the price of freedom.

My grandfather did not die in the war. I’m thankful for that. However, many were not so fortunate. Fathers and young men who never had a chance to be a father, they died. At D-Day in France, it was said that 90% of the first several boats of soldiers died right there on the beach. In the Civil war, hundreds of thousands of soldiers died. You could go war by war and count the cost, but the point is this, freedom is not free. If these soldiers had not fought, if many of them had not died, we would not have freedom and liberty for all in America today.

Today, I hope you take the time to remember and be thankful for those that have gone before and sacrificed for your freedom. If we don’t remember, we can become ungrateful for the freedom we have. Our ingratitude can lead to selfishness and our selfishness can lead us to be fooled by the lie that all this freedom happens by accident. It does not. It can not. We must continue to stand for freedom. We must continue to fight for those that cannot fight for themselves.

God Bless America.

Philosophy Friday – Socrates and Paul

Modern America is much like Ancient Athens. Yeah, I know that sounds impossible and no, we don’t speak Greek or wear funny robes, but the way we speak is still, after thousands of years, much the same. I’d like to tell you a story about Socrates, the Epicureans and Stoics, and the Apostle Paul. We will start first with Socrates and bear with me til the end, I think this will help us understand our current struggles with faith and culture and know what to do about them. Today we are looking at why Acts 17 informs our modern day evangelism.

Socrates and Paul

The reason I started Church Public was to connect church and culture. I want YOU to be equipped to follow Jesus and engage in the public square. For too long we have shied away from the confrontation that inevitably comes when we stand up for our faith. Instead of running from the culture, let’s work towards knowing more about culture and how the normal believer can live in the culture, but not be of the culture.

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Witches, Tarot and Spells: What could go wrong?

It seems that the culture is increasingly spiritual, but not in a Biblical way.

Today we are looking at the rise in witchcraft, tarot and spells and what God thinks of all of that. (Spoiler: God doesn’t love it.)

Many surveys and smarter people than me have made the observation that we are now in a generation of people who are, by and large, spiritual but not religious. Yet, the practice of spirituality could be at an all time high. Our culture is religious. We always will be because humans ARE religious. We may try, but we cannot escape this.

And we are in the culturally strange place right now where we are leaving the modern scientific age that has led to all sorts of life saving and prolonging and bettering advancements, we are leaving that age and moving to the age of cult-like adherence to spiritual leaders. Some claim to be doctors and scientists; most are some kind of ‘expert’. And many people in America just blindly follow. Or, if they have questions, they are removed from social media.This is leading to people seemingly going back in time to paganist rituals like witchcraft and devil worship and spell casting.

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It should go without saying, but for the sake of being thorough, God does not approve of witchcraft and the occult. Here are just a couple references for you. 

Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 19:31. Actually much of Leviticus 19-20 deals with this, you can go read that if you want some light reading for today!

Of course, Paul deals with this as well.
The acts of the flesh are obvious, sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissension, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21

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What Makes a Family?

The definition of ‘Family’ continues to drift into strange places. 

So today we look at where the world wants to take the family, and how God actually created us.

What makes a family?

Our role, as followers of Jesus, is to follow. You’ve heard pop stars say ‘I was born this way,’ and I agree. We are born a certain way, but this world wants to hijack that and turn you into something else.

God wants you to reflect his image – male and female – husband and wife.
This is Holiness.
This is Faithfulness.
This is following Jesus, even if the world tells you something different.

Remember, the world is NOT for you, the world is AGAINST you.

But, GOD is FOR you and wants you to prosper. He has a plan for you and a future.
May God bless you and keep you, as you Keep the FAITH!

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Good News! More Protection for Innocent Lives!

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. (Jeremiah 1:5)

We have great news today in the pursuit of protecting those who cannot protect themselves. Every life has value and today we are looking at some good news in the pursuit of protecting life!

Texas bans abortion if a heartbeat can be detected.

Lubbock, Texas bans abortion outright.

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case from Mississippi regarding

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What can we learn from Peter?

Peter is great to study because he is likable and normal and very human. He is not a saint. He tries hard but constantly fails Jesus. Peter grew up as a good Jew who was ready for a fight.He knew that the Roman occupation was not the way God wanted his people to live and he expected a Messiah to come and fight to free his people.

But Peter also kept getting it wrong. He was impulsive, argumentative, and combative. 

And the good news for us: he changed. Once he began following Jesus, he was never the same. And you can change too!

What can we learn from Peter?

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to equip you to follow Jesus and engage in the public square.

We don’t even speak the same language!?!

Once upon a time there was a group of people who all spoke the same language and they really wanted to accomplish a great thing together so they said, ‘hey let’s build a tower up to the heavens so we can be like God.’

Now the culture is once again trying to divide us with language, but this time it is not for our good. Check out the rest on the podcast at iTunesSpotifyYouTube and Google.

At Church Public we create compelling content to equip you to follow Jesus and engage in the public square.

Free To Worship!

Finally the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of California churches. The churches in California are now allowed to Worship INDOORS. Last Friday, the Supreme Court issued an order telling the state of California that it cannot bar indoor church services because of the pandemic.

Judge John Roberts wrote that, ‘the maximum number of adherents (church attendees) who can safely worship in the most cavernous cathedral is zero – [this determination] appears to reflect not expertise or discretion, but instead insufficient appreciate or consideration of the interests at stake.’

Judge Amy Coney Barrett also weighed in on the singing ban across churches, ‘if a chorister can sing in a Hollywood studio but not in her church, California’s regulations cannot be viewed as neutral.’

Freedom to express religion has long been a hallmark of America and it has been strained this season. Church closures and capacity caps in California, New York and other places across America have made the choice to worship less about freedom and more about whether or not you go against the government and that is not a good thing.

For a couple hundred years in America, the freedom to worship in whatever way you want, or don’t want, has be the protected baseline. With the advent of this novel virus, that norm has been challenged leaving many church goers and pastors scrambling to find a place between defying the government and following God.

The very thing the founders were working to instill in this country was the removal from the government forcing a particular religion or way to worship. This latest political and social issue of ‘lockdowns’ has strained the relationship between what individuals are free to practice and what is against the ‘guidelines.’

We can only hope that one day soon we can once again use our own common sense to decide if an action, any action, is worth the risk or the reward. Sadly, going to church, has been put into this category of ‘non-essential’ services. The religious, spiritual, cultural, social and even societal implications of removing church from culture are dire and we are seeing it play out in real time across America.

So, this court victory helps, but there is more road for us to travel.

I hope you keep seeking after Jesus. God Bless.