News round-up: October 30
Want to walk on water?
Only two people in history have walked on the surface of water as if it was solid ground — Jesus and Peter, the disciple empowered by Jesus to step out of the boat (Mark 6:45-62). Jesus’ incredible display of divine power, control and authority has etched itself in to the world’s consciousness. Plenty of us have daydreamed about being Peter and stepping out confidently on the water with Jesus. A famous artist has announced that next year he will be offering a similar experience. But while his name is similar to Jesus Christ, the “walk on water” artist isn’t trying to create a tribute to The Messiah.
Abbott criticised for “love your neighbour” dismissal
The internet lit up this week in response to former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott’s speech in the UK about how Europe should approach refugee policies. Christian leaders and political commentators (along with droves of social-media users) responded with strong words about Mr Abbott’s apparent suggestion that “love your neighbour as you love yourself” is more an “instinct” rather than a command of Jesus.
More Bibles give out than ever before
Last year, a record number of Bibles was distributed globally by Bible Societies. About 34 million Bibles were given out — the highest amount ever reached by the international network — and that impressive tally formed part of a total of 428 million Scriptures (from tracts to complete Bibles). Click through to learn about the countries where distribution dramatically increased, and the reasons why.
Couples headed for divorce are not noticed
American research into how church leaders respond to marriage issues in their Congregations has revealed some alarming results. LifeWay Research’s study suggests Christian couples don’t tend to talk to their pastor or minister about marital problems. This lack of reaching out and seeking help within their own church family means that these couples can appear, to church leaders, just like a healthy and well-functioning marriage. What do such findings indicate about how Australian church leaders should go about fostering a culture of sharing and caring?