Backfire. You probably haven’t heard the name Ken Isaacs, but I have followed and admired his work for years and I sometimes call him the “Indiana Jones” of Christian relief efforts. As a vice president of Samaritan’s Purse, he is often “first in” to a country that is facing disaster. According to Mindy Belz at WORLD, “Isaacs has overseen disaster responses to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, and the migration crisis of 2015.” The Trump Administration wants Isaacs to be the director general of the International Organization for Migration, an intergovernmental agency of 169 countries based in Geneva. However, a Washington Post report is creating controversy. Two Post reporters went back years in Isaacs’ Twitter feed to find what the Post says are “disparaging remarks about Muslims.” They also say he “denied climate change.” However, the Post story may be backfiring. Lots of folk, including Belz, are coming to Isaacs’ defense. According to Belz, “Trolling someone’s Twitter feed for dirt isn’t investigative journalism, it’s lazy journalism.”
Passion Sequel. Jim Caviezel told USA Today this week that he will return to play Jesus in a sequel to The Passion of the Christ. The Hollywood Reporter previously reported that Mel Gibson was working on the project, with Randall Wallace already working on a screenplay. Wallace wrote and directed Heaven Is For Real and he has collaborated with Gibson on a number of projects, including Braveheart, Hacksaw Ridge, and We Were Soldiers. (To hear my 2014 interview with Randall Wallace, in which he discusses his approach to telling faith-based stories in Hollywood, click here.)
Missing Girls by the Millions. Because of sex-selective abortions, often called “Female Feticide,” India has 63-million fewer women than men. According to the Indian government’s annual economic survey released Monday, the country has about 1,109 males to every 1,000 females. This disparity has massive economic and cultural implications for the country. Researchers estimated that at least 21-million girls are “unwanted” by their families and are often subject to abuse and neglect. Steven Mosher, of the Population Research Institute told WORLD, “What people fail to realize is that it is Christianity that has raised the status of women because Christian believe “we all possess an immortal soul, so we are all fundamentally equal.”
Too Good to Be True? One of the more compelling advertisements on Sunday’s Super Bowl featured Matt Damon telling viewers that if they bought special chalices of Stella Artois beer, a portion of the proceeds would go to feed children. Sounds good, right? However, NPR fact-checked the claims of the ad. It turns out that these chalices cost about $13 and that only about $3.13 would go to the charity, and only of the first 330,000 sold. So that brings the total donation to about $1-million. That’s nice, but NPR estimates that the cost of the ad was about $5-million. There’s a whole lot more wrong with the ad, which you can read about here. A lack of clean water in the developing world is a huge problem, and no doubt this ad made millions aware of that problem. However, my advice would be to donate money to a Christian ministry you know and trust, and not one whose primary mission is to sell beer.