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How a celebrity vocal coach changed her tune after encountering the truths of Scripture.From the outside, my life looked great. I was living in a trendy area in Santa Monica, California, and enjoying a fantastic job as one of the top vocal coaches in Los Angeles. With almost a decade of experience at the highest levels of the music industry, I had worked with major-label and top-40 artists, as well as hit TV shows like The Voice and Glee. Clients regularly flew in from around the world.Though I had moved to LA to pursue a career creating my own music, somewhere along the way that dream got lost. I wasn’t a Christian at the time, but my music always had a strong spiritual bent—and that simply wasn’t popular in LA. I made music and showed it to people throughout the city, but the response always left me cold. I faced so many disappointments trying to find a place for my music that eventually I stopped singing and writing altogether. The death of this dream was the greatest heartbreak of my life, and the five years that followed were the most creatively barren that I had ever experienced.Praying to see truthThroughout this dry time, I focused on my soaring coaching career, and I managed to find temporary peace and joy through an LA megachurch for “spiritual but not religious” seekers. The church was transdenominational, which appealed to me. Raised Roman Catholic, I later adopted Eastern beliefs about God and practices like meditation.After almost 20 years of spiritual seeking, I truly believed I had attained higher levels of consciousness than most people. I believed there were many roads to God, and my thoughts were awash with “love and light” and other positive-thinking mantras. However, when I really looked at my life, I knew something was missing. Despite all my “spiritual ...Continue reading...
Several Southern Baptist leaders are vocalizing their support for COVID-19 vaccines while also noting that they believe President Joe Biden's vaccine/testing mandate on private employers is a form of government overreach.
Two attempts to attack Israelis were foiled over the weekend. On Saturday a 17 year old assailant was killed by Border Police as he attempted to stab two Yeshiva students ... Read MoreThe post Foiled! appeared first on The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry.
Some white evangelicals, the faith group most likely to refuse to get the shot, join thousands in citing “sincerely held” religious beliefs. About 3,000 Los Angeles Police Department employees are citing religious objections to try to get out of the required COVID-19 vaccination. In Washington state, hundreds of state workers are seeking similar exemptions. And an Arkansas hospital has been swamped with so many such requests from employees that it is apparently calling their bluff.Religious objections, once used sparingly around the country to get exempted from various required vaccines, are becoming a much more widely used loophole against the COVID-19 shot.And it is only likely to grow following President Joe Biden’s sweeping new vaccine mandates covering more than 100 million Americans, including executive branch employees and workers at businesses with more than 100 people on the payroll.The administration acknowledges that some small minority of Americans will use—and some may seek to exploit—religious exemptions. But it said it believes even marginal improvements in vaccination levels will save lives.It’s not clear yet how many federal employees have requested a religious exemption. The Labor Department has said an accommodation can be denied if it causes an undue burden.In the states, mask and vaccine requirements vary, but most offer exemptions for certain medical conditions or religious or philosophical objections. The use of such exemptions, particularly by parents on behalf of their schoolchildren, has been growing over the past decade.The allowance was enshrined in the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, which says employers must make reasonable accommodations for employees who object to work requirements because of “sincerely held” religious beliefs.A religious belief does not have be recognized by an organized religion, ...Continue reading...
Surveys show evangelical identity holding steady over the last presidency, but with more complicated partisan connotations for the church.Despite tense polarization, there was no mass exodus from evangelicalism by white evangelicals who disliked Donald Trump nor by evangelicals of color during the four years of his presidency, Pew Research Center found.According to analysis released Wednesday, more Americans started identifying as born-again or evangelical Protestants between 2016 and 2020 than stopped calling themselves evangelicals. The boost came almost entirely from white Trump supporters.Among those who didn’t consider themselves evangelicals when the former president was elected, nearly 1 in 6 had begun identifying as evangelicals by 2020. Just 1 percent of white Americans who did not favor Trump made the same switch.The findings complicate an already fraught discussion around the future of the evangelicalism and the political baggage the label carries in the United States.“Evangelicalism is not collapsing, despite the enthusiastic predictions of its detractors. However, what it is becoming I think is worthy of more conversation,” said Ed Stetzer, executive director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center. “There are significant implications to the fact that significant numbers of white Trump supporters now identify as evangelical or born again. We don’t know why, and correlation does not always mean causation, but there is more to study here.”In the past two presidential elections, white evangelical Protestants made up a core voting bloc for Trump, as they did for previous Republican candidates, including Mitt Romney, John McCain, and George W. Bush. But “just 30% of non-White voters who identify as born-again or evangelical Protestants (including just 12% of Black evangelical voters) reported casting a ballot ...Continue reading...
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