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Video:TBN’s New Sensation

You can’t talk about the history of Christian television without mentioning Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), who in 1973 began paving the way for many of today’s networks. Yet when TBN Vice President Paul Crouch Jr. recently met with Charisma Publisher Steve Strang, any reminiscing of the past was dwarfed by a genuine excitement for the latest vehicle to propel the ministry into the future.

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Innovation in the Church

The pioneers behind Youversion, GloBible and Bible.is explain why digital creativity is imperative for believers today.

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Pastor of innovation at Lifechurch.tv and creator of YouVersion, the world's most popular Bible app

Co-creator of the Glo-Bible, an interactive digital Bible that won an Evangelical Christian Publishers Association's Bible of the Year award in 2010

National Director of Faith Comes By Hearing, producers of Bible.is, an audio Bible that's been translated into more than 500 languages read more

Video: Israel's Best Kept Secrets

Few places compare with Israel. Though the country is relatively small (about the size of New Jersey), it is filled from end to end with biblical history. If there is one place on earth that every Christian needs to visit, it’s Israel. Why? Because being there is the only way to physically experience God’s eternal story that runs through the ancient sites and historical wonders. It is the land where the Bible comes alive. Many Christians who go to Israel are challenged to new levels of discipleship. Some are healed, renewed, empowered and blessed. The experience of one pilgrim sums it up: “It was like visiting with the Lord in His home,” she said. When you go, visit the well-known sites but also set aside time to take in some of the land’s best-kept secrets. Here are 10 we suggest you see. You won’t be disappointed.

 

1. TEL DAN
Seconds into Israel’s Tel Dan Nature Reserve, and all else is forgotten. You’ll want to get lost under shady trees as you’re serenaded by the sounds of the rushing Dan River—the Jordan’s largest source—and its flowing streams and gentle springs. But if you keep going, you’ll come across three sites: the ruins of the Canaanite city once captured by the tribe of Dan, one of the “high places” from the time of King Jeroboam and the ancient Canaanite “Gate of the Three Arches.”

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The Digtal Bible Revolution

Watch the videos below to find out about the new and exciting things happening in Bible technology.

Faith Comes By Hearing

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Glo Bible

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How Has the Digital Age Affected Christianity?

In what ways has new technology (e.g.  smartphones, iPads, websites, Internet video/audio) affected your personal relationship with God? Is your church doing anything innovative on the tech front? What impact has the digital world had on it?

These are some of the questions we'll be dealing with in an upcoming issue, but we want to hear from you. If you have any thoughts on the topic or, better yet, know of great examples we should highlight (e.g., churches/ministries pioneering on the digital front), send us a message. You could be featured in an upcoming issue of Charisma. Answer here or email me at Felicia.Abraham@charismamedia.com. read more

Perry Stone Interprets the Signs of Our Time: Full Interview

When Charisma Publisher Steve Strang sat down with Bible teacher Perry Stone, he expected to talk about dreams and visions. What he got instead was a download of Stone’s interpretation of how today’s events relate to the end times—and what believers can do. Watch the full interview with Perry Stone and Steve Strang below.

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Low Cost Ways to a Christian College

FIVE cost-effective ways to send your child to a Christian university.

Start early. Encourage your child to take Advanced Placement courses in high school to cut down on the amount of classes that you’ll need to pay for at a four-year university.

Search for scholarships. You may be amazed at the variety of faith-based scholarships  that are available. Broaden your search beyond just academics grants.

Think ahead. Parents should consider putting away money for their child’s education when they are still in elementary school. Some states allow you to lock in tuition rates.

Cut the time. In order to save money, your child may want to attend a community college for the first two years.

Try Uncle Sam. Federal loans are one way students pay for school. Remember don’t borrow more than is needed. Go to FAFSA. read more

Scriptures Against Gay Marriage

Find scriptures addressing the argument against gay marriage.

Genesis 19

Leviticus 18:22: You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.


Leviticus 20:13: If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.

1 Kings  22:46: The remnant of the sodomites who remained in the days of his father Asa, he expelled from the land.

Romans 1:26-27: For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their woman did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And like wise the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another: men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

Hebrews 13:4: Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. read more

Help Male Prostitutes Find a Way Out

According to John Green, founder of Emmaus Ministries, 75 percent of male prostitutes claim to be heterosexual yet have mostly male clientele. Many of these men use drugs and alcohol to numb the pain of their situation????—which often results in a vicious cycle of addiction fed by more prostitution. Watch the video below to discover how Green and other ministers help these sexually broken men break free.

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You’re Already in the Gay Debate, Why Not Learn the Argument?

Christians who still believe homosexuality is incompatible with biblical faith feel painted into a corner. If we defend Christian morality, and even if we speak with compassion to those who may struggle with same-sex attraction, we are accused of hate speech or branded as judgmental. So we tiptoe through the minefield of political correctness—and keep our mouths shut.

Sorry, but timidity on this issue is not acceptable. The sins we avoid addressing from the pulpit are the sins that will thrive unchallenged in our culture. We must develop some backbone and speak the truth in love. Here are four truths that should factor into any discussion on this topic:

1. Everyone is born with issues. King David wrote: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5, NASB). David acknowledged that he had an inborn sin nature. This is true for all of us!

Many “gay Christian” advocates insist that some people are born homosexuals and therefore they have no hope of altering their orientation. But this is a lame argument since we all are born with a propensity toward certain sins. This is the human condition: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Just because you are born with an inclination toward adultery, alcoholism, shoplifting or pride doesn’t mean you have to stay that way.

2. Christ offers forgiveness and sexual healing. The more strident voices in the gay community hate when Christians speak about homosexuals being healed or reformed. They insist that if you are gay, you must stay that way. They choose to ignore the fact that thousands of people have left homosexuality after coming to faith in Christ.

My friend Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International, came out of the gay lifestyle many years ago and now has a great marriage with his wife, Leslie, plus two beautiful children. The ministry he leads has helped countless people—including many Christian “strugglers”—find emotional freedom. Some of them experienced same-sex feelings from childhood; others developed these feelings because they were sexually molested or because of dysfunction in their families.

Whatever the cause of sexual brokenness, the gospel has always provided the solution. It was true for people in the Corinthian church, to whom Paul wrote: “Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals … will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:9-11, emphasis added).

3. Discipleship requires self-denial. In his announcement to his church last week, Jim Swilley said he decided to come out as gay because he was tired of pretending. I’ve talked with others who told me they felt they were being “dishonest” by ignoring their gay feelings. They said they felt free when they accepted “who they really are” and got involved in gay relationships.

For a Christian, that’s a cop out. The essence of our walk with Christ involves denial. Jesus said: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matt. 16:24). Jesus was not asking us to pretend we don’t have problems—He calls us to bring all of those problems into His light through repentance. But the Holy Spirit gives us the power to deny sinful desires. That quality of self-control is a fruit of the Spirit (see Gal. 5:22-23).

4. Homosexuality is not a protected category of sin. Many “gay Christian” advocates insist that if you are gay, then it’s fine to go out and have all the sex you want. They ignore biblical commandments against homosexuality (usually by saying that Old Testament law doesn’t apply today); meanwhile they advocate gay marriage even though most gay men are rarely monogamous. The message is clear: If you have same-sex desires, just go ahead and indulge because that’s how you were created.

This is what the Bible calls licentiousness—which means “lacking legal or moral restraints, especially sexual restraints; disregarding rules.” Actually, the Bible lumps homosexuality in with every other form of sexual sin—and says God will punish those who engage in it. After Paul warns about every form of immorality, he says: “So, he who rejects [these rules] is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you” (1 Thess. 4:8).

Regardless of how loudly the world trumpets its hedonistic agenda—and no matter how many backslidden preachers dance to the tune—God has the final say on this matter.

J. Lee Grady is contributing editor of Charisma. You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady His most recent book is The Holy Spirit Is Not for Sale (Chosen). For more information about Exodus International, go to exodusinternational.org. read more

Set Free From Homosexuality

We often hear people say that they’re “born gay” or that they can’t help the way they feel. Watch a video from a woman who not only left the homosexual lifestyle, but also says gays and lesbians don’t have to remain that way.

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