Facebook Discriminates Against Conservatives and Christians: Facebook has enormous power. ... And now proof of bias and distortion of objectivity has been finally publicly proven on their “trending topics” and newsfeed.... Facebook president, Mark Zuckerberg used Facebook to help President Obama’s presidential campaign and will do so with Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Why is Pope Francis having a closed door meeting with GOOGLE Chief Exec at the Vatican? "Pope Francis, who more than a billion Catholics believe is God's representative on earth, will meet with powerful Silicon valley GOOGLE executive and Philanthropist Eric Schmidt for 15 minutes at the Vatican in Rome."
Hillary foists loyalty vow on voters: "Individuals trying to attend one of Hillary Clinton’s recent campaign events in Cleveland, Ohio, were forced by staffers to sign a pledge promising to vote for the former secretary of state as a condition of entry....
"Zito... mentioned Clinton’s struggle to win this demographic of voter from Sen. Bernie Sanders.... She wrote...: 'What looked like a block-long line turned out to be a crowd that could barely fill one-fourth of a football field.… The text of the pledge read: 'I (insert name) commit to vote for Hillary Clinton..."
Inspired by Starbucks: "...a new generation of churches is spreading a strain of evangelical Christianity with worship services as slickly packaged as any U.S. franchise. Rather than seeking converts to a mainstream denomination, these independent churches are forming global organizations anchored by a single leader. Many far-flung congregants watch their pastor via satellite or DVD each week; the services abroad are designed to replicate Sundays at the home church.... Like Starbucks, Mr. Gramling is thinking big. His goal is 50 churches world-wide... and a $150 million-a-year budget....
"The religious market is saturated in the U.S.,' says Manuel Vasquez, co-author of 'Globalizing the Sacred: Religion Across the Americas.' ...
"The Lima church receives weekly FedEx shipments with components of the Flamingo Road brand: ...recorded sermons... brochures... and MTV-style documentaries on such topics as lust and temptation." See Branding the New Breed
Reinventing Rethinking: "The "Rethink the Details" page used to answer the question "Who is this event designed for?" with the answer: "Pastors, leaders, and anyone who desires to know more about maximizing influence within culture. The purpose of rethink is to equip church and community leaders to really make a difference in their spheres of influence. That's why we'll have speakers from the media, business, politics, technology, and the church -- so we can gain insight on what's happening in today's culture and a new perspective on how to lead effectively." See Rethinking Culture
The wasteland of Willow Creek: "In Hybels' video, he noted that Hawkins had assembled, with his permission, a volunteer team to survey four distinct groups at Willow Creek: 'pre-Christians,' 'beginning Christians,' 'growing Christians' and 'fully devoted followers of Christ.' According to Hybels, each group surveyed was asked: 'How helpful is Willow Creek Church being to you?' On a one-to-ten scale, he said the 'pre-Christians' gave them nines - the score 'new Christians' gave them, he said 'came down a little bit' - but then when they got to 'growing Christians,' the scores started going down significantly - and when it came to 'fully devoted followers of Christ,' the scores got 'scarily low.'" See Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven?
Thou Shalt Not Kill, except in a popular video game at church: "Across the country, hundreds of ministers and pastors desperate to reach young congregants have drawn concern and criticism through their use of an unusual recruiting tool: the immersive and violent video game Halo.... Those buying it must be 17 years old, given it is rated M.... But that has not prevented leaders at churches and youth centers across Protestant denominations, including evangelical churches that have cautioned against violent entertainment, from holding heavily attended Halo nights and stocking their centers with multiple game consoles....
"Tim Foster, 12, and Chris Graham, 14, sat in front of three TVs, locked in violent virtual combat as they navigated on-screen characters through lethal gun bursts. Tim explained the game’s allure: 'It’s just fun blowing people up.' Once they come for the games, Gregg Barbour, the youth minister of the church said, they will stay for his Christian message. 'We want to make it hard for teenagers to go to hell.'... In one letter to parents, Mr. Barbour wrote that God calls ministers to be 'fishers of men.' 'Teens are our ‘fish... So we’ve become creative in baiting our hooks.'” SeeToying with Death and Role-Playing Games
Gay clergy & New Age Christians: "Another Christian bookstore that is offering some rather surprising items for sale is Cokesbury.... 'The United Methodist Publishing House, founded in 1789, is a publisher and distributor to The United Methodist Church and the greater Christian community. At Cokesbury, our Mission is to provide quality resources and services that help people know God through Jesus Christ, love God, and choose to serve God and neighbor.' Some of the titles...included the following: 'Gay and Lesbian Weddings: Planning the Perfect Same-Sex Ceremony' - 'A Book of Prayer for Gay and Lesbian Christians' ... 'The Rainbow Kingdom: Christianity & the Homosexual Reconciled.'" SeeBiblical versus Cultural Christianity & Angel Wars
Marketing Religion. Reviving Judaism: Consultant-Speak Goes Religious: "A few weeks ago, Hillary Clinton got started on a new 'listening tour.'... This one is aimed at hearing the thoughts of Democratic strategists.... But the idea behind the tours remained the same: Find out what the people want -- and, if possible, give it to them....
"In politics, such an approach has an irrefutable democratic logic. But is it well suited to religion? Arnold Eisen, the chancellor-elect of the Jewish Theological Seminary, has spent the past few months on a 'listening tour' of his own... to figure out how to reinvigorate Conservative Judaism....
"About 125 synagogues are already 'enabling people to celebrate Shabbat the way they want to.' ... Instead of attending a traditional service... some people would do 'Medi-Torah' or 'Torah and Yoga.' Others might attend a lecture or go to a musical service followed by a 'latte cart.'...
"...there is something strange about all this consultant-speak. Listening tours, marketing gambits and strategic plans may be an inescapable part of modern life.... But in the end, for a particular faith to thrive, God can't just be for dessert." See The Rising World Religion
How Rusty Leonard Watches Over Donors To TV Ministries: "In the soaring sanctuary of the Phoenix First Assembly Church here, television evangelist Joyce Meyer recently assured 6,500 evangelical Christians that the money they were dropping into her collection buckets would feed the poor, educate the ignorant and minister to the willing. 'I'm not buying clothes or a car or a house with your money,' she thundered. 'You don't have to worry about us taking it and living a high lifestyle.'
"But that is what the 63-year-old Ms. Meyer has been doing, insists Howard J. 'Rusty' Leonard, who has dug up property-tax records and church financial reports. They show Ms. Meyer's ministry has bought five houses, a private jet worth $6.5 million and expensive artwork for her, her ministry and her family to use. .... Unlike other nonprofits, which must file tax returns, churches aren't required to report how much they receive, whom they get it from and how they spend it. Mr. Leonard reasons that if the faithful were more careful, the money would be better spent." See Marketing Christianity
Positive changes happening in Hollywood: “Every studio has a Christian division now. And, almost every major studio has agreed to read the winning script for the first John Templeton Foundation Kairos Prize for spiritually uplifting screenplays with religious themes about God and Jesus Christ ....‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’ has done about $300 million in the United States and Canada with very little advertising.... 'So when the key players in Hollywood want to make money, reach people and have a successful movie, they’ve got to put moral values and overt Christian values into their products. And, the more Christianity they put in it, the better it does at the box office.”
However, the better the counterfeit, the more deceptive the product! See Trouble in Narnia: The Occult Side of C.S. Lewisand The Rising World Religion
"End of the Spear" is hoping to lure a wide audience through an expanded marketing campaign: "A movie about five missionaries killed by Indians in Ecuador a half-century ago is set to be released, and film industry analysts say it may provide a textbook for getting Christian-based films into theaters."
The testimony of these faithful missionaries who gave their lives should be told around the world. But just hope the marketing strategies don't diminish the message.
Christian gamers create themes to reflect beliefs: "'Grand Theft Auto' has been impounded in the Gardner household. So have 1,000 other video games filled with debauchery, decadence and carnage. Today this family's interactive entertainment is far more divine. Electronic Bible games loaded with tests and trivia. Digital duels between David and Goliath. Adventures and challenges with pious themes where any violence appears virtuous. ...
"'You're battling for God,' said Tim Emmerich, president of Oregon-based GraceWorks Interactive. ....As happened with purveyors of Christian music, long accused of lacking daring and originality, Bogost wonders if game designers will be inspired to create innovative products..."See Re-Inventing the Church
PyroMarketing - The Secret of Book Marketing Success: "Book marketing professionals know the secrets of success that drove sales of Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life and Mel Gibson’s 'The Passion of the Christ.' ...both blockbusters were driven by techniques outlined in a new book called PyroMarketing by Greg Stielstra.
"Stielstra was the marketing director for The Purpose Driven Life, the best-selling hardcover book in history.... In a nutshell, PyroMarketing involves finding the 'driest tinder' (customers most apt to buy), touch it with a match (customers experiencing a benefit), and fanning the flame (customers word-of-mouth marketing), and save the coals (keeping a record of customers)." See The Mind-Changing Process and The Global Standards
Narnia suffers from competing interests, but it remains a very good movie: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is served wonderfully by Lewis' singularly devout imagining. Mr. Adamson's film, although in many ways wonderfully conceived and realized, suffers from competing interests, not all of which were conceived by Lewis' orthodox imagination."
What is meant by "devout imagining" or "orthodox imagination" in this context? See Imagination and Narnia - Part 3
Peter Wagner Redefines Genesis 1: “We need to take a new look at one of our most quoted Bible verses: 'The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost' (Lu. 19:10). In the past, most of us thought that Jesus was saying 'to seek and to save those who were lost.' Consequently, we applied it to saving souls. ... The Holy Spirit is now speaking to the churches and saying that God’s people must do what it takes to transform society, segment by segment, until God’s kingdom is seen on earth as it is in heaven.” See the same message from Rick Warren:
Whom do we serve? Rick Warren:"I’m looking at a stadium full of people who are telling God they will do whatever it takes to establish God’s Kingdom ‘on earth as it is in heaven.’" See Watchfulness
Rick Warren: Global Baptists: "...Rick Warren told reporters at the Baptist World Alliance’s centenary congress that the withdrawal of Southern Baptists from BWA was a 'silly' mistake. 'God has called us to enjoy and fellowship with each other and work together. We’re all in this together,' he said, adding Baptists can 'celebrate our diversity and celebrate our unity.' ... 'I am praying for a second reformation of the church' that will focus more on deeds than words.' 'The first Reformation was about beliefs. This one needs to be about behavior. … We’ve had a Reformation; what we need now is a transformation.'
"Fielding a question about claims that The Purpose Driven Life comes across as an adulation of men, Warren responded, 'I don’t know how it could be an adulation of man when the first sentence of the book is, ‘It’s not about you.’ The whole book is, ‘It is all about God.’
That's not true! If it told the whole, balanced truth about God and the nature of man, it would not have won worldwide popularity. See Widening the gate to the Kingdom, God's Way versus Our ways and Softening God's Word
The Twilight of Atheism: "...creating a sense of community has become an increasingly important political issue in many Western cultures.... In his much-cited article 'The Age of Social Transformation,' published in the November 1994 Atlantic Monthly, management guru Peter Drucker pointed out that traditional communities of family, village, and parish have practically disappeared.
"But what of atheism? The former Soviet Union realized the importance of creating a sense of community. Having eliminated religion from the public life of the nation, Soviet planners recognized the importance of creating rituals and events, which fostered social cohesion and a sense of identity. Thus the Saturday just before Easter was celebrated as Communist Saturday. Other holidays included May Day....
"The nearest thing in the West to this Soviet model is found in Canada, which seems to think that a sense of community identity can only be created by eliminating any religious presence in the public arena. In the United States, atheism spawns organizations; it does not create community." SeeChart: Soviet Education in the 1930s compared to U.S. Education in 2001
Take a Giant Step Up (Jim Rutz, WND columnist): "The New Christianity A startling new phase of Christianity is exploding. Within this core of 707 million, roughly 100 million are spreading a radical version of Christianity that is so different, you can't tell it's a church! There are no sermons, programs, hierarchies, buildings, or salaried pastors. Instead, its ordinary members are given high status and responsibilities. With such total participation, this 'open Christianity' will, we feel, become predominant in our generation." See Transformation
See Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats