Archive for the ‘entertainment’ Category

How many fans do you need to lose before you understand you’re alienating more than half of your audience when you use sports to push progressive politics? Outspoken U.S. Women’s Soccer team co-captain, Megan Rapinoe is on top of the world for helping win the 2019 World Cup last week.

Congratulations. But it’s hard not to notice the pink-haired activist makes the NFL’s Colin Kaepernick look like a Boy Scout.

Rapinoe recently said in an interview,

“I’m not going to the f—king White House… [and] I don’t think anyone on the team has any interest.”

rapinoe-kneeling-for-anthem-300x300From kneeling during the National Anthem before games to calling the Trump administration corrupt, some of these social justice athletes just don’t get it. Their insults and disrespect come off as anti-American, and fans are tuning out. 

The moment had so much potential to unify Americans, but ended up a disappointing celebration clouded by politics. Nice job, ladies. Too bad your leaders blew it.

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins put it this way:

“It was supposed to be a euphoric win – another chapter in American sports dominance. But the message from the captain of soccer’s reigning champs was clear: our country may be wearing the same colors, but that doesn’t mean we’re on the same team.”

…In another disappointing part of this story, there’s speculation that one of the best players in the nation, Jaelene Hinkle, was snubbed from the team for being a Christian. According to the Washington Times, Hinkle chose not to wear a rainbow-themed women’s soccer jersey in honor of Gay Pride month.

You can guess what happened to Jaelene Hinkle. The very next game, fans waving rainbow flags booed her. That was the last time she played for the national team. World Cup women’s team coach, Jill Ellis (who is married to a woman) cut Hinkle from the roster and told reporters her decision was ‘solely based on soccer.’

…Winning on the world stage is a big accomplishment, and the women’s World Cup could have been a uniting victory for all Americans. All it did was drive the divisive wedge of identity politics even deeper. 

Read the entire post at DavidFiorazo.com

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There are some bizarre, outrageous, and flat-out unbiblical things going on in lots of churches. One so-called church sells beer, another worships Mother Earth, others use secular music during worship, others ordain gay leaders, and still others offer yoga. People are free to do whatever they want to try and make God fit their ideas and to offer services that cater to the desires of their congregations, but is this what church is supposed to be? 

What happened to the emphasis on teaching God’s word of truth including sin and repentance, justification, God’s wrath, prophecy, future judgment, and sanctification?

Last week I reported on one of the most heart-wrenching stories I’ve tackled in quite some time. The Roman Catholic Church is reeling from the massive scandal involving homosexuality among priests and the rampant cover-up of sexual abuse that has continued for many decades.

But many Evangelical and Protestant churches have leadership problems of their own. This includes the progressive, seeker-sensitive Willow Creek Church in Chicago whose lead pastors and elders resigned in light of the Bill Hybels allegations of sexual harassment.

Countless churches seem to have lost focus and have gotten off track. We have lost our reverence for a holy God, and practically abandoned the once-solid foundation of the teaching of Scripture which is the primary purpose of the church.

Many conferences and church services today barely resemble the early church and what the Bible teaches, let alone point to Jesus Christ. Some people create gods and church services to suit their own interests while others rewrite Scriptures to justify their lifestyles.

Last month in St. Louis, a controversial conference took place calledRevoice,” apparently aiming to normalize homosexuality and affirm those claiming to be “LGBTQ Christians.” Can you say, oxymoron?

Christian talk show host, Janet Mefferd called for the unbiblical movement to be repudiated, saying:

“Revoice is incremental gay activism, designed to eventually lure conservative evangelicals into accepting ‘gay Christianity,’” 

Next, there’s a progressive church in Santa Cruz, California that not only sells beer, but plans to donate proceeds to big abortion business, Planned Parenthood. Maybe the consumption of alcohol helps the pastor’s sermons sound better. This is a guy who preaches that Jesus was a Palestinian “killed by white supremacy.”

And who can forget our expose back in May on the San Francisco church that hosted what they called aBeyoncé Mass?” It was quite an interesting take on worshiping, “Our Mother who is in heaven,” and endorsing Beyonce as a role model for young girls.

Then there’s a church in Atlanta that put a new twist in their Sunday morning worship show by adding scantily-clad aerialists as a regular part of their services. ‘Why in the world?’ you may ask. Self-appointed “Apostle” Bryan Meadows actually said:

“Because they shouldn’t have to go to the circus to use the gifts that God gave them!”

Just one more or we’d be here all day. Serita Jakes, wife of controversial, megachurch minister, T.D. Jakes, gleefully posted photos on social media of women doing yoga at the church during a women’s event on wellness.

Never mind the practice of yoga is a rooted in Hinduism, a 5,000-year old polytheistic religious system. Its purpose is to bypass the mind and yoke or “unite” a person’s spirit with the Hindu god, Brahman.

Heather Clark at Christian News Network reminds us:

 “… Even the traditional Hindu greeting, Namasté, that is said at the end of yoga classes, is spiritual. When translated, it means, ‘The god in me bows down to (or salutes) the god in you.’”

The Spirit of Christ bows down to no one; He alone is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the only true, living God who is worthy of our true worship.

Romans 8:9 states:

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

And Exodus 20:3 states:

You shall have no other gods before Me.

Prior to building one of America’s first mega-churches, author, pastor, and motivational speaker, Robert Scheuller literally went door to door in the 1970s in Orange County, California, and asked people what they wanted in a church. Not what lost, hurting sinners need, but what they ‘want.’ This of course, has led to the “mega-church” and emergent church movement.

Men focused on church growth took a cue from Schueller and the rest is history. This has been a recipe for disaster in the American church, and it has led to well-deserved comparisons with the lukewarm church of Laodicea in Revelation chapter 3, and a better understanding of why Paul wrote a second letter to Timothy. In the last days, men would be:

“treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power…” (2 Timothy 4:4-5)

Rather than be active participants in learning and sharing God’s Word, too many church members have been conditioned to sit back and listen to a program or presentation, and perhaps to a bunch of funny stories or analogies instead of being challenged by sound doctrine and the harder teachings of the Bible. Then there’s the music. Lots of talented praise teams are themselves being praised for performing entertaining, although often heartfelt music rather than leading the people to the Throne in the worship of a holy God.

A.W. Tozer once said:

“The church that can’t worship must be entertained. And men who can’t lead a church to worship must provide the entertainment. That is why we have the great evangelical heresy here today–the heresy of religious entertainment.”

We need to get back to the basics.

True disciples of Jesus Christ in the early church focused on four primary things: teaching the word of God with a focus on Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection, prayer, communion, and fellowship with other Christians (Acts 2:42). They made disciples and they went out and shared the good news. They didn’t care about the approval of people – they sought to obey God. Their faith in Christ cost most of them their lives.

Today, too many churches use entertaining concepts and gimmicks to attract people, but then a new problem arises: in order to keep them in the comfy seats (and giving their tithes), you need to avoid controversial issues and often dilute the gospel so they won’t be offended.

What happens when you give people what they want instead of what they need which is Christ and His truth? Rather than being fed and equipped, countless hungry souls are walking out of many American churches feeling empty and unprepared to do God’s work. This must change.

Hollywood loves money, and the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil. But faith-based films typically do extremely well at the box office and they don’t seem to care. It doesn’t add up. What does Hollywood love more than money? Mockery, perversity, and rebellion perhaps?

If you haven’t seen the new movie, I Can Only Imagine based on the #1 song by Christian band MercyMe, make sure you bring enough Kleenex. It’s a true story of forgiveness and redemption, and one memorable line from the movie’s main character is:

“My dad was a monster, and I saw God transform him.”

It took Bart Millard ten minutes to write the song “I Can Only Imagine,” but as Amy Grant said at the time, “It didn’t take you ten minutes, Bart; it took a lifetime.”

Many people can relate to life’s ups and downs; in some cases, abuse; hurts, healing, fears and failures, broken hearts, and finding true joy and peace in God.

It shouldn’t surprise us when Christian-themed movies do well at the box office.

The most obvious example was the 2004 blockbuster by Mel Gibson, The Passion of the Christ. Starring Jim Caviezel, it holds the record for Christian films after bringing in nearly $84 million its first weekend! It grossed over $611 million worldwide and cost $30 million to produce.

The Christian blockbuster is the third highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time, and the #3 film of 2004.

In comparison, the #2 film from the same year was Spider-Man 2 which only took in a few million more than The Passion of the Christ (in the U.S.) but, get this: Spider Man 2 cost a whopping $200 million!

I don’t have time to get into the massive marketing budgets Hollywood feature films often blow through, but it’s pretty clear many Christian films are money-makers. Why do you think this is?

A lot of people are tired of the trashy, godless, profane products Hollywood typically puts out. Numbers indicate there’s an enormous audience across the country desperate for clean, positive, redemptive, God-centered entertainment.

Let’s look at three movies released on the exact same day just weeks ago: I Can Only Imagine has already raked in over $70 million despite costing only $7 million to make. (Did you get that?)

The movie is the fourth-biggest opening for a faith-based film, and it only debuted in limited cities, playing on only 1,600 screens. I Can Only Imagine came in third among movies with ten times the budget; movies playing in twice the number of theaters.

Critics raved about the openly gay-themed coming-of-age movie, Love, Simon, which has only made $37 million and cost $17 million to produce.

Thirdly, also released March 16 was Warner Brothers’ Tomb Raider which has grossed about $55 million at the box office, but cost $94 million to make!

Finally, the high-budget Hollywood favorite, A Wrinkle In Time, based on the book, practically bombed in theaters. It had star power and marketing, but producers replaced Christian themes that were in the book and put New Age, politically-correct ideology in the movie.

I agree with author and blogger Matt Walsh, who suggests Hollywood is choosing to leave lots of money on the table because unfortunately, they seem to hate Christians more than they love profits.

“A lot of people …have no interest in the raunchy stuff. And practically no one wants to watch a gay romance, no matter how much Hollywood insists…  Faith is the driving force in the lives of millions… and people like stories they find relatable.”

Also in theaters now is God’s Not DeadA Light in Darkness, and Paul, Apostle of Christ starring Jim Caviezel.

Spiritual warfare is escalating, sin is celebrated, and darkness seems to be increasing. People need hope! These are just signs of the times, but maybe a few of Hollywood’s’ out-of-touch decision makers will get the message from the success of Christian films at the box office. For now however, we can only hope for more inspiring, family-friendly content rather than all the soul pollution.

*originally published at Freedom Project Media