News Round-up: April 24
Public rallies in Ethiopia for Christians massacred by IS
Horrifying and alarming videos released this week, of Ethiopian Christians being killed in Libya by Islamic State militants, sparked huge rallies in their homeland. According to ABC News, thousands marched through capital city Addis Abbaba to express their grief and anger at the beheadings and executions.
“Our brothers were murdered, the government must do something,” said one protestor, among many who called for their leaders to take action against IS. Ethiopia is Africa’s second largest nation, and many people leave it to seek work elsewhere. The Christians killed in Libya might have been looking for employment, or were crossing that nation en route to attempting a sea journey to Europe. The majority of Ethiopians identify as Christians.
No truth to ACA story: Hillsong
On Tuesday, Channel Nine’s A Current Affair ran a report on Hillsong Church and its finances. Stemming from a documentary on Hillsong music that will be released later this year (Hillsong: Let Hope Rise), the ACA story suggested the global Hillsong Empire was being dodgy with its profits and tax breaks. Click here to view the story. Hillsong quickly released a statement, which firmly stated its fierce objection to the ACA story. The statement begins: “There was no factual basis whatsoever to the story on A Current Affair about Hillsong Church, and the program made no attempt to contact us to get the facts – or even hear our perspective – before airing this piece of fiction.” Click the link below to read Hillsong’s full response.
Did the apostle Paul see Jesus or a meteor?
The conversion of the Christian-hater Saul to Christian leader Paul (recorded in Acts 9:1-9, and mentioned elsewhere in that biblical book) involved “a light from the sky”. The overwhelming testimony of Scripture and Christian history is Saul/Paul was blinded by the bright light of Jesus himself — the radiant appearing of God’s own son. In person. But according to an American astronomer, Paul might only have seen a giant burning space rock. “Everything they are describing in those three accounts in the book of Acts are exactly the sequence you see with a fireball,” Hartmann says. “If that first-century document had been anything other than part of the Bible, that would have been a straightforward story.”
Christianity invented children
True story. You may never have thought about it but the concept of children — as distinct people from older counterparts, called adults — has not been around forever. At a certain point, world societies moved from treating everyone as little or big adults, to distinguishing the period of existence we still refer to as childhood. What you also may not have heard or considered, is Christianity created childhood. How? Why? When? According to a helpful opinion piece published on The Week, it all started when the birth of Christianity also brought to life the novel notion of the equality of all. “Christianity’s invention of children — that is, its invention of the cultural idea of children as treasured human beings — was really an outgrowth of its most stupendous and revolutionary idea: the radical equality, and the infinite value, of every single human being as a beloved child of God.”