By Tyson Thorne

March 20, 2019

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"Media" used to mean "print media" like books and newspapers, but the world has grown. Today media can also mean radio, television and movies delivered to personal computers, tablets and cell phones. As the world's best selling book of all time the Bible continues to make headlines, both good and bad, across all forms of media: The shooting in Christchurch reminds Christians that everyone is a neighbor, Youtube's advertising department slams the door on Biblical values, a high school wrestler receives scholarships for sticking to Christian conduct, and China's anti-Christian rhetoric heats up calling it a "threat to society."

Sincere prayers are given for the people of Christchurch, New Zealand. 50 people died last week when a gunman and crew fired upon not one, but two mosques in the normally quiet town. One of the attackers wore a body cam that live-streamed the carnage on Facebook. It is always true that people want answers after such horror and wonder about the motivations of such a sick individual. As a result hundreds of thousands of people have read the lead attacker's 74 page manifesto. If you are someone who did not read it, good for you. No one needs to hear what this guy has to say, even if he were serious about what he wrote (which he isn't). It is my opinion that the manifesto wasn't written to teach others his worldview, rather he filled each page with largely contradictory statements designed to increase division through identity politics.

We at pray for the survivors and the victim's families, that they would find and know God's love through this tragedy and that they may be well cared for during their time of grief. The shooter claimed to be avenging the deaths of the many who have been gunned down by Muslims around the globe. Christians recognize the truth of the New Testament that teaches our enemies are not flesh and blood. Jesus-followers do not see all Muslims as terrorists, but as people who need the knowledge and love of God. Even though we at live thousands of miles away and do not share their faith, the victims are our neighbors and we love them and ask God to provide them peace in this troubling time.

In other news, Google-owned has essentially outlawed parts of the Bible on their platform. Any content expressing a Biblical view violates Google's terms of use, no matter how lovingly such truth is expressed. Michael Brown was faced with this first hand when his video, an ad for his ministry to those struggling with homosexuality, was pulled from Youtube's advertising. The video is still on Youtube, but it cannot be a paid advertisement on the platform. You can watch his video here and decide for yourself if there is anything offensive or unbiblical about it. How long will the video be permitted on the site as a whole? Time will tell.

In Colorado, high school wrestler Brendan Johnson forfeited his chance to win a state championship because he refused to violate his personal ethics which are based on Biblical values. Ranked fourth in his district, Johnson had a good chance of winning but to get to the winners circle required he compete against female wrestlers identifying as men to compete. Johnson's father explains:

"For us the issue wasn't Can girls wrestle? Of course, they can. But it's about girls wrestling boys – this is the highest contact sport that I know of. There's moves like a high crotch grab and chest to chest, and it just seems inappropriate in many ways for a guy to be wrestling a girl."

As a result of Johnson standing firm on his values he has already been offered college scholarships from two private Christian universities. Too bad for Michael Brown there aren't private Christian video sharing sites...

China has decided that Christianity is a threat to their society, saying that it's teachings are subversive and it's ideas too Western. A phrase has developed recently, "one more Christian is one less Chinese." This attitude divorces Chinese Christians from their national identity, opening the door for even more abuse by local police forces and national politicians. They already have a government office overseeing Christian churches in the country (National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China). The head of that office, Xu Xiaohong, refers to Christianity as an "infiltration". All this occurring after crosses have been removed from churches, the sale of Bibles is restricted to churches alone (they block websites that sell the Bible over the wed or provide online access to the Holy book). They are also currently working on re-writing the New Testament to force it into compliance with their state ideals and the approved religions of Buddhism and Confucianism. Christians in China, brace yourselves for an increase in persecutions.

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