China Pulls Bibles from Online Bookstores in Crackdown on Christianity

5th April 2018

In the wake of the release of a new white paper on “religious freedom,” Beijing has ordered bibles and other Christian books removed from online bookstores across China, sparking a wave of complaints.

In the absence of any official government statement explaining why the bible has been removed from online bookshops, the most common theory has been that a new, state-approved translation is in the works that will square with Chinese socialist ideology.

Last week, China announced that one of its biggest tasks in the coming years is to enhance “Chinese-style Christianity” by reinterpreting and retranslating the Bible. The announcement came in a document, titled “Principles for Promoting the Chinese Christianity in China for the Next Five Years (2018-2022),” which was launched in Nanjing on March 28, two days before bibles started disappearing from websites.

As commenters have pointed out, the bible itself is not officially approved by the Chinese Government for publication and therefore is technically an illegal publication that cannot be sold and can only be circulated in churches. Moreover, the government has announced that all “foreign religions” must be reconciled with Chinese socialism, or “Sinicized.”

China “manages religious affairs in accordance with the law, adheres to the principle of independence and self-management, actively guides religions to adapt to the socialist society, and unites religious believers and non-believers to the greatest extent,” the white paper stated.

The keyword search for “bible” on the Chinese social media platform Weibo saw a massive spike on March 31, followed by a sharp nose dive to zero on April 1, spawning suspicions that the government had censored the word.

At the same time, coinciding with the publication of the white paper, users of Chinese social media starting observing that Bibles were vanishing from e-commerce platforms such as Alibaba’s Taobao, Jingdong, Amazon China and — China’s biggest online bookstore. Searches for the bible at online shops began turning up “no results.”

A number of shop owners have said that the removal of the bible from their sites was forced by Taobao, and Chinese internet users have reported similar cases on Weibo and Twitter. Some have posted screenshots of their chats with bookshop owners who said they were forced to take the Bible off their shelves.

Even when certain websites continued showing listings for “Holy Bible,” buyers were unable to add the item to their shopping cart. Some other Christian-themed books suffered a similar fate, being blocked on Taobao.

President Xi Jinping has made it clear that all religions active in China must be “Sinicized,” or rendered compatible with the beliefs and programs of Communist China and purged of western influence and control.

At the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) Congress last October, the head of the umbrella agency that oversees religion insisted that “socialist core values” must be at the heart of any religious faith active in China…



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Archaeological find in Jerusalem ‘proves Bible passage is historically true’

6th Aug 2017

Archaeologists excavating in Jerusalem have found burned artifacts dating from 2,600 years ago – which prove that a passage in the Bible is true…

Researchers uncovered charred wood, grape seeds, fish scales, bones and pottery while digging in the City of David in Jerusalem.

The find provides evidence that the Babylonians “burned all the houses of Jerusalem”, described in the book of Jeremiah.

Researchers from the Israel Antiquities Authority found the artifacts beneath layers of rock in the City of David – along with jars with seals which enabled the researchers to date the artifacts.

“These seals are characteristic of the end of the First Temple Period,’ said Dr Joe Uziel of the Israel Antiquities Authority, ‘Used for the administrative system that developed towards the end of the Judean dynasty.”

The fire damage can be dated to 2,600 years ago – which ties with events described in the Bible.

The book of Jeremiah says, “Now on the seventh day of the fifth month, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem.

“He burned the house of the Lord, the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem; even every great house he burned with fire.”


5,000-Year-Old Nativity Scene Found in Egypt


26th Dec 2016

Italian researchers have discovered what might be the oldest nativity scene ever found — 5,000-year-old rock art that depicts a star in the east, a newborn between parents and two animals.

The scene, painted in reddish-brown ochre, was found on the ceiling of a small cavity in the Egyptian Sahara desert, during an expedition to sites between the Nile valley and the Gilf Kebir Plateau.

“It’s a very evocative scene which indeed resembles the Christmas nativity. But it predates it by some 3,000 years,” geologist Marco Morelli, director of the Museum of Planetary Sciences in Prato, near Florence, Italy, told Seeker.

Morelli found the cave drawing in 2005, but only now his team has decided to reveal the amazing find.

“The discovery has several implications as it raises new questions on the iconography of one of the more powerful Christian symbols,” Morelli said.

The scene features a man, a woman missing the head because of a painting detachment, and a baby.

“It could have been interpreted as a normal depiction of a family, with the baby between the parents, but other details make this drawing unique,” Morelli said.

He noted the newborn is drawn slightly above, as if raising to the sky. Such position, with the baby not yet between the parents, would have meant a birth or a pregnancy.

“As death was associated to Earth in contemporary rock art from the same area, it is likely that birth was linked to the sky,” Morelli said.

The scene becomes more symbolically complex if the other figures, two animals and a small circular feature, are taken into consideration.

On the upper part is a headless lion, a mythical beast which appears in several rock art drawings from the same area, while below in the scene a baboon or an anthropomorphic monkey can be seen.

In the east, the Neolithic artist drawn what appears to be star.

The researchers called the site the “Cave of the Parents.”

“No doubt it’s an intriguing drawing,” Morelli said. “We didn’t find similar scenes until the early Christian age.”




Why I am No Longer an Atheist


10th June 2016

Every day people from around the world message me with questions about life, theology, God, etc. Inevitably, the number one question I get is, “Chris, why did you become a Christian?” This is usually followed by some derivation of the following statement: “…because my son, daughter, mother, father, friend, coworker, etc. says they’re an atheist and I don’t know how to talk to them about God.” (Don’t get me started on the church’s current failure to train the body how to address this issue… Shameless plug: check out my book Prove It: The Art & Science of Understanding & Articulating Why You Believe What You Believe if you’re looking for strategic communication techniques and a general understanding of the arguments for the existence of God, the deity of Christ, and the reliability of Scripture).

As for my personal testimony, I have, historically, just sent people to one of several interviews in which I have spoken about my transformation. This morning, however, something struck me. There is a clearly recognizable process in my testimony that can be duplicated. So, while the testimony itself is a long process, I can break it down into three simple steps for you here.

  1. The first point that caught my attention was the life of those who truly cared about others, who lived their lives as if God really existed. Their character and actions spoke to His tangible presence in their lives. Everything they did (or didn’t do), was based on their relationship with God and they let me know that God was the reason when I asked.
  2. The second element was study. I always had an idea of what Christianity was, but I had never paid much attention to it, likely because the people who professed it rarely spoke about it. The few that I had seen speak regularly about it were so rare that they just seemed like oddballs. I had never seen Christian belief lived out so totally that I could see Christianity as a complete worldview.  It wasn’t until I was twenty-five that I began studying the things of God. Once I really began to listen, I began to see the deep truths within Scripture. Don’t get me wrong, I still kept on my skeptics hat, but I decided to consider some of its claims.
  3. Third, and most importantly, after a lifetime of receiving pain from, and inflicting pain on, this world and its inhabitants, I became so utterly convinced of my sinful nature that I could no longer deny the need for a Lord and Savior.

An interesting pattern arises when you look closer into this story. The first thing that spoke to me was the lives of those around me – the character witness of Christians. Assisi is famous for saying that we should “preach the gospel always, and if necessary, use words.” The statement itself is problematic (as it is always necessary to use words), but his emphasis on the need for character is spot on. Likewise, it has also been said that people won’t care what you know until they know that you care. We are overwhelmed by information, to the tune of roughly 34 gigabytes of data per day. We have to make decisions about which information paths we choose to listen to and consider. It was not until I knew they cared that I cared what they knew. Then I began to want to know what they knew. Of all the data being thrown at me daily, I decided to listen to their voices. I listened to what they had to say and what their God had to say. I began listening to the Word of God – spoken through His people and occasionally directly through His Bible. Once this happened, it was game over. It wasn’t that I would read about sin and felt like I needed to repent or perish. It was that as I got closer to God and His Word and His people, I began to see the contrasting sin in my own life – His holiness to my worldliness. In truth, the actions that I had been committing were no worse than the actions from my past. The difference was not the degree of my sin. The difference was my proximity to Him.

Closing Thoughts

So there you have it. One way to reach the unreachable. 1) Let your actions shout from the rooftops. Let people see that God is good and He really is the way, the truth, and the life. 2) Help people find truth when they are ready. Guide them when they are willing to be guided. 3) Watch God be God. As they get closer to Him, they won’t be able to avoid their need for Christ!


What’s a guy to do?


9th April 2016

Alright guys… I’m sure there were a lot of sighs of relief last week when you found out that I was writing about a wife’s role in marriage.


Well, I hope you didn’t think, for a second, that you were off the hook.

Because were at it again this week.  This time we are going to take a look at just what it means to be a Godly husband.

Wait… what?  I thought Paul said that my wife had to submit to me.  No. Matter. What.!!!


Well, yes… you are right.

Paul did write that wives are to submit to their husbands.


Oh… wait…  Did you think that meant you are in control and can do whatever you want because Paul said you could?


Not even close brother.  Not even close!


Let’s take a look at what Paul says about marriage…


 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

(Ephesians 5:25-32 / New International Version)


Wait… you didn’t know that there was more to this passage beyond the wife having to submit to the husband?  That’s not overly surprising.

Most men only care about that first part.


I’M IN CHARGE!!!!!!!!




I’ve heard many “Christian” men tell me how their wives just don’t “get it”.  They cant, for the life of them, get why their wives wont submit to them.

Could it be that you aren’t worth submitting to?


Yea… that’s right.  I said it.  And Ill say it again.


If you want your wife to submit to you, you need to be someone worth submitting to.


And here is another little secret life, apparently, hasn’t informed you of: If you have to force your control over her… you have no clue what being a husband is about.  Period.

So, then, what does it mean to be a husband worth submitting to?  What are some of the ways to lead your wife?

I’m glad you asked!

The first characteristic of a Godly husband (aka being worthy of her submission) is that you need to actually be a leader.  Seems simple enough, right?

lead your wife

Let’s get one thing straight from the very get go.  It is biblically correct that the husband is to be the leader of the marriage and family:


“For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.”

(Ephesians 5:23 / English Standard Version)


“But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God”

(1 Corinthians 11:3 / English Standard Version)


So, yes, you would be correct in your thinking that it is your God-given right to be the leader of your home.  But let’s go back and look at those two verse for a second.  Notice a common theme in both of them?  While the man is the leader of the house, Christ is his leader.

So, here is the first key point (and I will get into this more later as well:

If you want to be be the leader, you better be following the Savior.

If you don’t know Jesus, don’t even bother trying to lead your home.  Seriously.  Put all of this on pause and talk to Jesus and ask Him to become your personal Lord and Savior.  None of this works without the understanding that we are ALL servents to the Savior.

Now… with all this leadership talk being thrown around, it is vitally important to make this point abundantly clear… God has never, does not and never will view women as second-class:

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

(Galatians 3:28)


Nor does this mean that we, as husbands, are dominant over our wives.

If you EVER hit your wife, for ANY reason, you definitely don’t deserve to be a leader in your home.  To be honest you aren’t even a man if you have ever laid a hand on your wife.

Famed theologian was quoted as saying this about the relationship between husband and wife:

“Women were created from the rib of man to be beside him, not from his head to top him, nor from his feet to be trampled by him, but from under his arm to be protected by him, near to his heart to be loved by him.”


When we, as husbands, refuse to treat our wives as the precious gift from God that they are and as our helpmate (notice: not slave), we cause them to look for significance and value as a person elsewhere.

Our wives want and need us to lead them.  They were never created to be leaders.

This has become a huge failure on our part.  Men have become so wishy washy and effeminate that we no longer wish to lead.

Man up guys.  Take the lead. Be a leader.


OK… so we have hammered that pretty hard.

Are there any other roles that husbands should fill?


You better believe it.


The next thing we, as men need to be sure to do, in order to be a man worth submitting to is that we are called to love our wives unconditionally.

understand your wife

Right about now, there is at least one guy reading this thinking to himself “Yep.  Got this one taken care of… I’ve never cheated on her.  That should just about cover that!”…




Completely wrong.


While, yes, we are told that we are only to share our body with only our wife, I’m pretty sure that Jesus guy upped the ante a whole bunch…


“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

(Matthew 5:27-28 / New International Version)


Yea… so about that magazine you picked up on your last business trip…  Or that internet site you cleared from your browser history… Or that cute secretary you flirt with every time you go to work…

Yea… According to Jesus and His rules, you have already committed adultery in your heart.

That’s not really in line with loving your wife unconditionally, is it?


(I’m going to leave the rest of that alone as that topic will be the next article in the series…)


So, then, what are some ways that we can show our wives that we love them unconditionally?

Here are a few ways we can start…

1. Show her that your love for her is not based on her performance – it is based on her worth as God’s gift to you.

  • Look back to the words Paul penned about loving our wives… “As Christ loves the Church”. Luckily for us, His love for us is not dependent on our performance.  If it was we would be in a world of hurt.
  • If we are to love our wives the same way, we need to love them unconditionally. Never threaten to withhold you love if she doesn’t (enter “requirement” here) or is she (enter “offense” here).

2. Always make sure that her emotional tank is full!

  • Never leave her in a situation where she needs to find reassurance or affirmation of her worth from anyone but you.
  • Last week, I mentioned that men need their wives to be their number 1 fan… Guess what guys… Women need us to be their first and biggest giver of affirmation.  Make sure she knows she is loved.  Even if you just said it this morning.  Say it again.  Hold her hand in public.  Let her snuggle up with you. Let her know you are humbled that God allowed you to have her.
  • Show her that you value, respect and love her everyday.

3. Don’t just say that you love her. Show her through your actions.

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

(1 John 3:18 / New International Version)

  • While the words help reaffirm to her that you love her, she needs to see it in action as well.
  • One of the best ways you can do this is by sacrificing for her. Instead of going to play golf with the boys, take the initiative and, instead, take the kids for the afternoon and give her the house to herself.  Or, instead of hiring a babysitter and going to see a movie, put the kids to bed and just sit and talk with her.  Listen to her hopes and dreams!  Encourage her to reach for whatever star she want to reach for.


The last and, to me, most important role husbands serve is that of servant to our wives.

serve your wife

Now, I know a lot of the guys reading this are confused (admit it guys… were, oftentimes, definitely not the smarter of the two sexes!)… You are probably wondering why you should have to serve your wife if she is supposed to be submissive to you, right?

Well, lets dig into God’s Word and see if we can clear this up…


“…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

(Matthew 20:28 / New International Version)


“rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.”

(Philippians 2:7 / New International Version)


As we see here, Jesus came to serve… not to be served.  And if we are called to be like Jesus what makes us think that the same isn’t true for us?

Being a leader no longer means being served.  Jesus came and flipped it all around.  It means that we are to serve others.


This especially means our wives!


To be able to serve our wives, we have to know them.  This means being intentional in getting to know them!  Take the time to learn everything you can about her.

Here is a good litmus test…

If you can tell a person more about your favorite sports team or athelete than you can about your wife… your husband game is weak.

Talk to her!  Learn about what her hopes and dreams are.

But once you do that, take it to the next step (and here is my next challenge)!

What are you doing to help her cultivate them?

What are you willing to give up for her?


The other way that we serve our wives is by providing for her.  This may seem obvious but in today’s society, things are backwards!

How many times have you read or heard about how its now time for the husband to stay home and take care of the kids so that the wife can go work?

If we are to serve her, we need to provide for her.

Guys… Assume responsibility for meeting your wife’s (and family’s) needs

“Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

(1 Timothy 5:8 / New International Version)


But providing for your wife doesn’t just revolve around monetary things.  In addition to that we must be providing for them spiritually.

And, honestly, this is more important than any monetary support we could ever provide.

As the leader of the house, we are tasked with modeling a Godly character, praying with AND for her and spending time with her in God’s Word.


Guys… it really all comes down to this:

 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”

(Ephesians 5:25 / New International Version)


We are called to love our wives like Christ loves the Church.


Think about what that means.


What did Christ do for us?  He died for us!

There should be absolutely nothing you are not willing to do for your wife, up to and including dying for her. Nothing.