News round-up: February 12
The Gospel of Mary, with swearing
If you don’t like hip-hop or rap — or you don’t even know what they are — you have heard of Kanye West. One of the most famous and discussed musicians in the world, West is often best known for his celebrity life rather than any of his albums. But his latest release has been getting plenty of attention, especially since he started calling it “a gospel album with lots of cursing [swearing]”. The Life of Pablo is out this week and, according to West, has somethig to do with telling the story of Mary Magdalene. He’s admitted that “it’s not exactly what’s in the Bible”. West has a controversial relationship with Christianity. He’s provocatively promoted Jesus in past songs (notably, Jesus Walks), yet also calls himself a “God”, brings fake Jesus character out on stage with him, and called one of his albums Yeezus (some sort of joke, based on The Messiah’s name). Expect The Life of Pablo to be one of 2016’s most discussed albums.
Minister is friends with a murderer
One of Sydney’s highest profile Christian leaders, Simon Manchester, has spoke at length this week about why he is calling for a murderer and rapist to be released from prison. Bronson Blessington was sentenced to life, 26 years ago, for the brutal rape and murder of 20-year-old Janine Balding, Blessington was only 14 when he went to prison. During his sentence, Blessington has repented, sought forgiveness from Jesus, and professes to be a Christian. Manchester has known Blessington for 12 years and he told Hope 103.2FM this week that he believes Blessington’s character (and sentence) should be reassessed. Click the link below to be challenged by Manchester’s reasons for supporting a man that he agrees should have gone to prison.
Can Christian women pose for “sexy” shots?
Christianity Today has posted an intriguing article this week about an American trend: “boudoir” photo shoots. Women of all shapes, sizes and relationship status are hiring professional photographers to take revealing (yet tasteful) shots of them in their bedroom. Reflecting on this trend, an American Christian woman reflects about what God would think of such photographs and whether she is “allowed to feel sexy, for the sake of it?” Her unusual investigation isn’t just for Americans, or women, as it raises issues of individual sexuality that relate to all of us.
The unusual case of Norway vs Pentecostal parents
Click the link below to find out about a Romanian couple, living in Norway, whose children were taken from them several months ago by government authorities. The reasons for this stem from the parenting style of the Christian family. Many supporters have rallied around the Romanian parents, in a situation that appears to be a high-profile conflict between the legal system, personal approaches to Christianity, tolerance of diversity and the welfare of children.