I agree about Hank, he left the faith, more than that a lot of info came out about him taking over as the Bible Answer Man very unbiblicaly, and how he was unqualified for that spot, and used internal politics to get what he wanted. Larry Wessels on this site has more info.
I don't think Orthodox people ever cared. Unlike Catholics who have a system of government in the vatican, the orthodox church was always casual. Though with many Catholics moving to orthodoxy, and guys like Hank Hanagraff, their apologetics department is getting better.
I still remember how many students in high school were stoned out of their mind. I still have memories of a classmate lying on the floor in a daze in the school basement. The constant fights in my area, the smell, the second hand smoke on little children. Someone said the money will go to the government, but the worker said social services are getting worse, and they never see this money.
I still think the great tribulation is much greater than these illness, I cant imagine this being the start, since the black plague, and the world war 1 influenza were much worse.
The sars outbreak, african aids epedimic and the various chicken flu's in the world were also bad. I'm sure polio can be added aswell. Unless the tribulation lasts a really long time, I have to say no, these could not be the 4 horsemen of the tribulation period.
2 days ago I was really cut to the heart when I saw slavery of a young girl on the street. Sitting on the sidewalk, head down, written in chalk "if everyone gives 2rmb I can save 400rmb to go home in a few hours". Next to her I caught an old man taking the donation money for himself. He saw me, slowly left. I tried talking with the girl, asking her to explain her story, but she didnt even lift her head and just murmored "mmm mmm". I sat there, and all I could say "we love you"
It upset me very much, not that it's the first time, but just the fact that any Karaoke place or some barbershops are a front for such things, in plain sight, and everyone knows what's going on, but none cares.
FYI sermon audio is banned in China now. Anyways just talking with some secular friends, too much power is given to corporations and private companies. Just look at Disney owning so much, Amazon taking over online shopping, Internet and cable companies having monopolies. Apple recently becoming a trillion dollar company. It's either getting ruled by a corrupt government or corrupt private entities. And they all have money to invest in lawyers and spokesmen to push laws toward their favour. So I feel like this is always a lose lose situation, until we have true Christian government, which will only come at the second coming of Christ.
I would recommend listening to the oct 4 Thursday edition of Albert Mohler, where he exposes a lot of these "researchers" saying that many of these studies cannot be replicated, because often another study comes to completely opposite conclusions.
I think the Daily Briefing with Al Mohler, Kevin Swanson on this site do a good job. For a middle east report I listen to Prophesy Today with Jimmy Deyoung, Line of Fire with Dr. Michael brown. Also Wretched Radio with Todd Friel for evangelism encouragement. I used to listen to Janet Mefferd, but her opinions on Dr. James White from aoming.org ruined her for me.
We can't really know until we get it in our hands.
I'm meeting with a 3 self church leader who is my good friend and a real faithful believer soon. I think the young generation don't use printed bibles anyway, but android apps. There aren't that many of them either... most 3 self churches are made up of old people.
For the past few years (let's say 2011) the persecution was light, hence why you have so many underground churches and pastors coming out now, they could have buildings without much problems. The persecution that we saw were the removal of crosses from catholic churches, and putting up the countries national flags, and installing cameras at the entrances. The persecution happening now is destruction of registered churches, and putting up idols of communists inside the church. The grip is getting stronger, the squeeze tighter, the escalation of persecution quicker.
And the underground church did struggle with communism, and racism, hence why it's reaping what it sowed. Very few mainland Chinese Christians cared for anyone but China. And that is a FACT.
This story becomes sadder if you have ever worshiped with local Nigerian Christians before... 3 years I have interacted with African students in my uni, and I don't consider any of them saved, for they believe in a gospel of works, or salvation by baptism, oneness pentacoastals, Seven day Adventists and prosperity preaching.
This is a really good and encouraging article, I think for the first time (at least for me) we have a clear statement of faith, which was always missing from other articles that were highlighting the persecution.
I truly believe these believers were always bold, but some western news sites wanted to paint them in a different light, make it politically motivated rather than spiritually and theologically.
Let's also pray that such dangerous jobs would be wiped out, or at least become safer. Pray for Indonesia, we don't know what these lamp keepers did do deserve this dangerous life that none of us would ever want. What do we do with the grace that God has given to us westerners? Something to think about for this upcoming sunday worship at your church.
With so much fake news, I believe we are forced now to read articles instead of just trusting the headlines, hidden away in this article is this quote that says it's not always biological reasons...
"Other potential causes for the gap suggested by the researchers include peer pressure on boys to behave in a more masculine way and the increased frequency of behavioral problems amongst boys that may delay their learning."