Tim LaHaye, Christian Persecution, NC’s HB2, Gun Violence, and Actors against Porn

SIGNS AND WONDERS

Tim LaHaye Dies. Pastor, author, and activist Tim LaHaye died yesterdayat the age of 90. I had the privilege of knowing Dr. LaHaye a bit. One day about 15 years ago I was at a conference with him, and I had my then 10-year-old son Cole with me. Cole was reading “Left Behind” in those days, and on the first day of the conference I introduced him to Dr. LaHaye, who greeted Cole warmly and signed his book. There were a lot of big-name Christian celebrities at this conference, but every time we saw Dr. LaHaye the rest of the weekend, he would pause his conversation with whomever he was talking to and greet Cole by name. I will always have a warm spot in my heart for Tim LaHaye because of that weekend and the way he treated a 10-year-old boy.

Christian Persecution Increases. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, “harassment of Christians” in 2014 occurred in 108 countries last year, an increase from the year before. (The project studied the status of religion in 198 countries.) Pew defines “harassment” as “both verbal and physical assaults as well as arrests, detentions and desecration of holy sites. Discrimination on religious grounds was also found in employment, education and housing decisions.” About 8,000 Christians were martyred last year. That is the equivalent of nearly one person dying for his or her faith every hour of every day of the year. Christians are not alone, however. The study also found that Muslims had the second-highest rate of religious persecution after Christians, experiencing harassment in 100 countries.

McCrory Signs HB2 Revision. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory is standing firm to protect women and children. He continues to defend HB2, the law that prevents men from using women’s bathrooms. But last week he did sign an amendment to the law that restores the right of LGBT employees to sue for discrimination. “I wanted this provision in the law,” he told me two weeks ago when I talked with him in Cleveland about it. “It’s a fix we needed to make.” He added, though, that “the fundamental law is a good one.”

Gun Time. According to an analysis by the Media Research Center, the mainstream media devote far more time to those in favor of gun control than those who favor gun rights. On June 22, for example, in the aftermath of the shootings at a gay nightclub by a Muslim terrorist, the “Big Three” TV networks spent 65 minutes and 12 seconds engaged in what the MRC called “opposing gun rights,” and only 8 minutes and 12 seconds giving gun advocates the microphone. Wherever you stand on the gun issue, you’ve got to admit that this is a huge discrepancy. And while we’re on the subject of media bias, I note that many Hollywood liberals are often outspoken in their opposition to gun violence, but Ted Baehr of the conservative MovieGuide.org recently said, “Look at the posters for some of the movies released in 2016, including The Purge: Election Day, Jason Bourne, Keanu, Central Intelligence, Money Monster, Money Monster, Hardcore Henry, and Deadpool. All of them prominently feature guns!”

On The Other Hand. To give at least one actor some credit: Terry Crews, a former NFL player whose work includes “Friday After Next” and the “Expendables” series, has hit Facebook and other sites to tell men to stay away from pornography: “I’m calling on men to be more accountable. This is one of those ‘man up’ kind of things.” Crews has recently gone public about his struggle with porn, saying it nearly ended his marriage. According to a company called Covenant Eyes, which provides Internet filtering, “By 2017, a quarter of a billion people are expected to be accessing mobile adult content from their phones or tablets, an increase of more than 30% from 2013.”

Image courtesy of Amazon.

Warren Cole Smith is an investigative journalist and author as well as the Colson Center vice president for mission advancement.


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