Saturday, January 09, 2010

The 3 - January 9, 2010

This week's edition of "The 3" involves danger to churches in a Southeast Asian nation, Christians speaking out on national TV, and thousands of young adults rekindling their passion for God.

3 - Church bombings intensify in Malaysia

Churches in Malaysia are facing increasing danger in the wake of a court ruling allowing non-Muslim publications to use the word, "Allah". The 3-year ban on the use of the word was struck down by the Kuala Lumpur court, and the government has apparently offered tepid condemnation of the violence. The electorate is 60% Muslim, so the leaders are in a difficult position.

But not nearly as difficult as Christian churches. A Lutheran church is the most recent. Here is a report, published in the Sydney Morning Herald. BBC News had this excellent background story of the violence.

Only about 10 percent of Malaysians are Christians, primarily Catholics.

2 - Brit reaches out, Colt stands firm

People use the media every day to state their opinions and express their worldviews. That's freedom of the press, freedom of expression, right. That's a basic First Amendment right in America. However, as we've seen in the controversy over the so-called Fairness Doctrine, there are those that do not want a broad spectrum of views to be allowed. And, when a Christian shares his strong belief on a Fox News show, it gives those who disagree, in their minds, a reason to go ballistic.

And, that's what has happened in the case of Fox commentator and former anchor Brit Hume. You see, Christ has made a real difference in his life since his salvation experience shortly after the suicide of his son. As he was asked to comment on the Tiger Woods situation, Brit Hume made a statement:
"My message to Tiger would be, 'Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.'" Here is the CitizenLink story.

Here is the piece from Fox News Sunday:

Here is a respected journalist using the platform that God has given him to express his personal faith, offering sound Biblical advice based on the work the Lord has done in his life. And amidst cries of proselytizing and charges that he was denigrating Buddhism (which, in fact, does not offer the type of redemption that Christianity offers), Brit Hume affirmed his comments on The O'Reilly Factor:

Brit has received words of affirmation from Christians and Christian leaders, and indeed he should be commended for using this platform to bring honor to God.

Now, when an athlete mentions God or his faith, the contrarian chant does not seem to be as great, and I thought Colt McCoy's declaration in a postgame interview on ABC the other night was not your average faith-speak in a postgame moment. Here's the story from The Bleacher Report.

Here is a young man whose Christian faith is fairly well-known. He was injured during arguably the biggest game of his entire life, the national championship. The depth of this young man's comments, in the heat of the moment, offer some great life principles for us. Check out the video:

Indeed, Colt McCoy, while finishing in the Top 5 for the Heisman Trophy 3 consecutive years and narrowly missing last year's national championship game, missed out on leading his team to a possible victory in the game Thursday night, but he certainly has his head and heart in the right place. When told he could not play the second half, he became the Longhorns' biggest cheerleader, providing encouragement and enthusiasm. God always has His purposes, and I believe he will continue to use Colt McCoy, as well as Brit Hume, in the days to come. I am grateful that they were willing to share their faith on national television.

1 - Thousands gather to ignite "Passion"

The Georgia Dome and Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta were centers of contagious Christianity earlier this week during the Passion 2010 Conference. Founded by Louie Giglio, the Passion movement has not only given us some great worship music, but is intended to encourage college students and young adults to pursue a deeper walk with Christ.

This year, speakers included Giglio, as well as John Piper, Andy Stanley, and Beth Moore, as well as worship leaders Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Hillsong United and more.

On the final day, it was notable that a special offering was taken to fund initiatives in the "Do Something Now" campaign, representing taking responsible social action in the name of Christ in response to what He did in their hearts. An amazing amount was raised, which was matched by one particular couple. Here is The Christian Post account.

As the passion ignited in the hearts of these students motivates them to share what God has done in their lives, the impact of this gathering can be strong. Over 20 thousand young people were in attendance for the 4-day event.

Honorable Mention:

Open Doors' "World Watch List" released, no change at the top

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