SPEAK UP REVOLUTION: Taking a Stand Against Human Trafficking
(From the October print edition of Angelic)
By Angelic Magazine
Human-trafficking is an issue we can’t ignore or hope that it’ll just go away on its own.
You might read through this article, think to yourself, “Wow, human-trafficking is awful” but what can I do to make a difference?
Proverbs 31:8 says to “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves” and one San Diego based organization in particular, Speak Up Revolution, is taking their stance to fight back against the evil of human-trafficking that is happening in our backyard and across all the world.
SUR is made up of a family of four, siblings Justin, Brittany and Shannon along with Shannon’s husband Jeremiah.
"We’ve all done mission trips overseas and we all wanted to do something for our community. One of the issues that we specifically felt the need to speak up for were those involved in human-trafficking. We’ve always been really close, the three of us and I got married and Jeremiah joined our little group. We’re friends and it’s just natural for us to do things together. We wanted to take a stand for those who couldn’t speak up for themselves so we created Speak Up Revolution," said Shannon Whitten.
Utilizing music, film and social media, SUR has embarked on creating change and they aren’t afraid of declaring Jesus as their guide as they’ve set out fulfill their mission.
"Since we do feel that proverbs 31:8 is what we were called to do, we definitely do declare ourselves as a faith based group," said Jeremiah Whitten. "Christ is our inspiration for everything we do," Justin Taylor says.
When asked how they are bringing change, Brittany Taylor replies, “We’re really about action. We want to couple awareness with action and we don’t want to just leave the cause there but inspire others to take action. We had a six day social media campaign where we had six days of people sharing how we can end human-trafficking and that had a really great response.”
Creating their short film “Oblivion” SUR aimed to bridge the gap between film and social media to spread awareness to human-trafficking and advocating others to get involved in the cause.
"We had seen documentaries but there wasn’t an actual short film that actually talked about sex-trafficking, we wanted to make a difference somehow. People like music, people like film. We took one persons story for how this happens and we got our friends to participate to create a film. We released the film online and had all of our friends share it online. Through the film we wanted to show that yes, this situation is awful but we can make a difference," Justin Taylor says.
When asked if someone really can make a difference towards the cause of human-trafficking, Shannon Whitten responded, “People said that civil rights slavery in America wouldn’t change.” Brittany Taylor added, “Making the difference for even one person is worth fighting for.”
So what’s the long term vision for Speak Up Revolution? “We want to do feature films in theaters across the world. To show real stories about real people,” said Jeremiah Whitten.
"This is our passion and we believe the sky is the limit," Shannon Whitten says.
Get involved with SUR
and watch their film “Oblivion” at www.speakuprevolution.com
Get Out of Bed
By Sheila Campos
(Article featured in the September print edition of Angelic Magazine.)
First step: Today I didn’t want to get out of bed. Most days lately, have been like this. I haven’t been myself. Before, I was excited for the day. The sun would pop up and so would I, with joy to welcome a new day full of people and adventure. Today, I cursed the sun and tossed and turned in my bed trying to escape the rays of sunshine piercing through the blinds.
I didn’t have a plan when I woke up this morning. Nowhere to go. No one to see. Nothing to do. At least that’s what I told myself. So I slept. I slept because life was about me this morning and the lies I chose to believe.
The person I let myself be this morning isn’t the person I desire to be. I desire to experience life. To live life that will turn into great stories. I want to enjoy each moment no matter how small. The life I desire isn’t about me. I wake up motivated to help people, to make a difference in the world and embrace the call on my life.
Sometimes I lose focus of the person I’ve been called to be and I listen to the lies that slowly allow me to spiral into a depression drenched in the stench of “me”.
The self-indignation still isn’t enough to get me out of bed in the morning.
That was this morning. I realized today I have to shed the lies I’ve told myself that life is about me. I have to reject the fear of living a life in pursuit of a higher calling and laying my life down for something greater than myself. I have to take the first step of faith.
I know I am not the only one who can fall into the trap of fear and focus on self. The two go hand in hand. I believe that there is always something to pursue in our lives: a dream, a goal, a relationship, a moment to cherish.
We start off strong with the faith needed to dream big, then we are alone with our thoughts. Our thoughts turn to fear, then lies, and the lies we hear make us uncomfortable. We question why we would put ourselves out there.
Then it becomes about “me” and my comfort. We begin to ask ourselves why we would even try if we all our fears are going to come true and make us look like fools. Why try?
When I begin to think about my fear I lose my purpose. I tell myself it’s okay to sleep a little longer.
For you, maybe its okay to sit on the couch. Maybe you avoid making that phone call, taking that class or writing that note. Fear can hold you back from enjoying the life you have been given and it will shadow the purpose you have been given. This will always be a constant battle. This is life.
You can chose to let the fear over take you and not do anything with the life you have been given or you can take the first step to pursue your dream. The battle begins with the first step.
Tomorrow I’m getting out of bed because this life isn’t about me. When I stand I have purpose. My plan is to pursue that purpose one step at a time, enjoying every moment that I have. The battle begins with that first step, for me this is conquering my fear of failure. No matter what oppositions I face and despite the fear within, I will fight for a life that isn’t about me but about God and people.
Sometimes we have to start back at the basics. Why are you getting out of bed this morning? What is the first step you need to take to pursue your dream?
Ignoring people: What it really means
By Angelic Magazine
I once heard Jay Leno say he knew who his real friends were, if they would be willing to take time out of their schedule to pick him up at the airport.
That may seem insignificant, picking someone up at the airport, but how many people can you call or text, or Facebook to come pick you up? How many people do you have in your life that would be willing to take time out of their day just for you?
Think about it and pull up a number in your mind.
My guess is that your number is just a few.
In our society its become second nature to be isolated from others and for genuine communication to exist. Text messages go ignored, posts on social media, private messages and emails all get a glance but without our response to follow. Missed calls go unreturned and it’s commonplace not to take time out for people.
We would rather ignore people than to deal with them.
There’s a crazy statistic in communication studies texts that anywhere from 70 to 90% of our communication is non-verbal. Every form of communication communicates something, even ignoring people.
"Being ignored actually activates the same part of the brain that is activated when we experience physical pain," said Purdue Professor of Psychological Sciences, Kipling Williams.
”We know that when people are ignored, it can affect their perceptions, physiological conditions, attitude and behavior – all of which sometimes can lead to aggression.”
So, when we’re ignored and people don’t take time out for us, our minds experience the same trauma as if we were being slugged in the face.
This pattern becomes a cycle. I’ve been ignored, so I’m going to ignore you. They’re too busy for me, so I don’t have time for them. The pain of our experiences in other relationships eventually prompt us to behave that way in our everyday communication with others.
We begin to use this mirrored image of behavior in our interactions with all people sub-consciously. Soon enough we don’t have the time to pick others up at the airport and we’ll get back to their text or email later because we’ve been wounded through the years of people ignoring and not having the time for us. We don’t have the desire to go out of our way for people.
This type of socialization is flawed but it’s our reality.
So, why are we writing about this? A personal relationship with someone has the ability to change their life. To be a light for Jesus means to shine before others and when we act like the rest of the world, we’re neglecting our relationships with people and the opportunity to share God’s love with them.
We often don’t want to give our time and energy to others because we don’t feel we’ll get the same amount of time or energy back from them, but let’s do it anyway. We’re so afraid of being hurt by people because if we reach out to them and let them know we care or are interested in being their friend, what if they don’t reciprocate that? Let’s be their friend anyway.
When we care and love people, it’s not just about us or them, but reflecting the God in us towards them. If God is the center of our lives, we need to take time out for people not for our gain but His. When we communicate with people effectively we’re taking away the pain of being ignored.
This post may not prompt you to respond to your texts or emails, but I hope it will prompt for the desire to invest more in personal relationships with others. They’ll know were His disciples by our love for one another.
1 John 3:18 “let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
Jesus & Fashion: Is modesty important?
By Angelic Magazine
Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
fash·ion: a prevailing custom or style of dress, etiquette, socializing
As a fashion based magazine that strives to represent Jesus, the most difficult aspect of representing Jesus through fashion is distinguishing if the fashion we portray is acceptable. Are low cut tops and short skirts or dresses acceptable? If Jesus accepts everyone does the type of fashion we show even matter?
Is modesty important or is it irrelevant? If modesty is important, how does that tie into Jesus and fashion?
Here is our analysis:
Sex sells. According to thecoveringhouse.org, sex trafficking generates $9.5 billion dollars yearly in just the United States alone, with a $44.3 billion dollar revenue globally. The average victim of sex trafficking is forced to have sexual intercourse with 20-48 people daily.
The Bureau of Labor reported that strip clubs in the United States have an annual revenue of $3.1 billion dollars. That number is a mere fraction in comparison to the $75 billion dollars that strip clubs rake in globally per year.
So why is this important? The statistics and revenue show that people clearly want to have sex, even by the most derogatory of means and people want to see others naked.
Although men and boys are sex trafficked, the majority of sex trafficking victims are women, and the majority of those working in strip clubs are women, hence, it is women being sought after to fulfill sexual and lustful desires.
In Matthew 18:7, Jesus is talking about people who cause others to stumble spiritually:
“Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!”
It is not right that people will abuse their sexual and lustful desires, but if we know that people cannot control themselves, by our fashion if we are not modest in our clothing and cause another to stumble by our clothing being seductive or too revealing, we are equally in the wrong. That might not seem fair, but God doesn’t care about what we think is fair, He cares about if our desire is to seek and please Him.
If our desire is to please Him, He would want us to represent Him in not just our clothing, but also through our minds, hearts, motives and actions.
Fashion isn’t the purpose for why sex-trafficking or strip clubs exist, but fashion doesn’t have to be a part of the culture of lust or sexual exploitation.
God created sex, but it wasn’t intended to be exploited by raunchy lust. If we exploit fashion through lust, seductive and un-modest clothing, we are not representing the standard God would want for fashion.
Romans 12:2 says to not be conformed to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds. As those who seek to please God, our goal shouldn’t be to conform to the patterns of fashion in the world, but be transformed to the standard He would want for us to represent through our clothing.
Our clothing, our fashion is a statement and expression of who we are as well as what we stand for. Angelic Magazine is asking ourselves this question and so we ask you, what do you want your fashion to say about you?
Should women be silent for Christ?
By Angelic Magazine
1 Corinthians 14:34-35 “Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.”
In 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, you get a depiction of a woman who’s opinions don’t matter, she is voiceless, nameless, only known by the authority of her husband, she is submissive to the beliefs of men and she is led to believe that she simply isn’t good enough. She is to remain silent for it is a disgrace if she speaks.
She is a ghost. Women should remain silent, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
Is this how Jesus feels a woman should behave? Our answer is NO.
Here is our analysis:
"Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s (Jesus’) feet, listening to what he taught." Luke 10:39
During Jesus’ ministry on earth, Mary Magdalene accompanied Jesus and His 12 disciples. It is not clearly identified if the Mary in the scripture above was in reference to Mary Magdalene, but what is clearly known is Jesus would openly discuss theology with women, in a time when women were thought to be less than a man.
Jesus would teach Mary Magdalene as He would teach men and she was accepted as an equal in the sight of Christ. The argument for whether or not there is a place for women in minstry or in church should be over after knowing this, but we’ll continue with our analysis.
Luke 8:1-3 “Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women (Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Susanna). These women were helping to support them out of their own means.”
Women not only were apart of Jesus’ ministry, but they funded His ministry out of their own resources. Women played a vital role in the spreading of the gospel which we live by today.
Matthew 12:50 “whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
Whether man or woman, Jesus declares us all equal in His sight if we do the will of God.
While all of Jesus’ disciples fled when He was being crucified, it was only the disciple John and Mary Magdalene who stood in public eye to bear witness to His crucifixion. Standing beside His mother Mary, Mary Magdalene didn’t waiver in her devoutness to Jesus.
So why does the passage in Corinthians state women should not speak in church?
The book of Corinthians was written by the Apostle Paul between the years 53-57 AD in an area which would today be known as modern day Turkey. To dive back into that time period, the Roman Empire was still standing at the height of its power.
Scholars point towards during that time, during worship services, no chatter from women was to be accepted. It wasn’t a gossip hour or a small talk hour, it was a time for worship. If they had a question about what was spoken in the service, women should ask their husbands at home, not interrupt during service. There was an attitude of men feeling superior to women, but this superior attitude is more cultural than biblical.
In Galatians 3:28 the Apostle Paul writes, "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
No matter our race, no matter our gender, we are all one in Jesus.
During the Apostle Paul’s time, there was another advocate who proclaimed the gospel. His name was Apollos and he was said to be charismatic, full of conviction and his ministry for Christ was growing by the masses.
But Apollos’ knowledge of the word, of Jesus, was further developed and implemented by a married couple, Priscilla and Aquila. The significance of listing Priscilla before her husband is that in the Bible a woman was notably listed before her husband. Priscilla was known to be a powerful evangelist for Christ.
Acts 18:24-26 “Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately”.
But in 1 Timothy 2:12, the Apostle Paul states, "I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet."
This verse is highly debated for the context of what the Apostle Paul intended. Some scholars believe it is a literal statement, others contend it was directed at a particular sect of women in the Ephesian church, which the book of Ephesians originated from.
One scholar and Pastor, Gilbert Bilezkian, approached the context of the verse in this manner:
"Women in Ephesus should first become learners and quit acting as teachers or assuming the authority of recognized teachers. Just as Eve rather than Adam was deceived into error, unqualified persons will get themselves and the church in trouble. Yet, as Eve became the means and the first beneficiary of promised salvation, so Ephesian women will legitimately aspire to maturity and competency and to positions of service in the church."
Angelic Magazine is not writing this from a feminist perspective but from the facts of what the Bible says. Women are noted for doing the will of God and serving with Christ as He lived on earth.
If Jesus empowered women to be a part of His ministry while He lived in the flesh, we know Jesus is empowering women today through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Sinner: What does it really mean?
By Angelic Magazine
The Scarlet Letter is a famous American fictional novel that depicted the story of a married young woman who fell in love and became pregnant by another man. In a setting of colonial New England during the 1640’s, The Scarlet Letter explored themes of sin, lust, guilt and shame that infected the religious attitude of the people during that era.
To add scandal in the novel, the adulteress, Hester Prynne would not disclose who the father of her child was. With the blasphemy of adultery knotted around her, the town people had the sinner wear a red scarlet letter “A” on her clothing, to symbolize adultery and for all to know the shameful act she committed.
She was cast as a sinner, an outcast by the public and their religious judgment fall upon her. She was unworthy of acceptance, unforgiven for her act and faced public humiliation for the infamy she brought to life.
Although The Scarlet Letter told a tale that took place in a century long ago, that same perception of sin is similar to the time and age we live in today.
Unworthy, unaccepted, unloved: a sinner.
Perhaps it is our roots, our heritage and our beliefs of long ago that shape our views on sin today. We deem sin as a monster, a savage uglyness, a shackle of debauchery we cannot free ourselves from. We are outcasts because of sin, we outcast others because of sin and we begin to embroider a scarlet letter of sin on our souls.
The Greek and Hebrew biblical translation of the word sin has the literal meaning “to miss a target.” That is what sin is, to miss a target, but it doesn’t translate to missing 'the' target.
Jesus was crucified as a sacrifice for mankind. A sacrifice for our actions that violate God’s will. If Jesus would not have been crucified we would all face a certainty of condemnation in our futures. Our sin would be a monster, a savage uglyness, a shackle of debauchery clenching us to eternal damnation.
But because of Jesus we are literally redeemed of sin.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
It can seem like a mere story at times when we hear that God loves us. Is His love for us actually real? Yes it is. God gave His son, Jesus, for you and me.
When we accept Jesus and repent of our sins we are forgiven of our acts that violate God’s will for our lives. This is the beauty of God’s grace. Picture it in your mind, our Father forgiving us unconditionally, loving us with open arms and accepting us with a pure spirit when we make a mistake. That sight is beautiful.
This sight is the reality of our relationship with God.
In the book of John, a crowd of religious people brought a woman before Jesus who was caught in the act of adultery. According to Moses’ law it was rightful for a woman of adultery to be stoned with rocks.
The people asked Jesus His opinion for what should be done. Jesus responded, “let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone.” One by one the people scattered.
Jesus asked the woman, “Where are your accusers? Did any of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said.
Jesus responded, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” John 8:1-11
The attachment to the word sinner has an engraving of being unworthy, unaccepted and unloved. We need to change that engraving to what it should mean: worthy, accepted, loved and redeemed.
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
The Scarlet Letter used the symbol of the red letter “A” to symbolize adultery, a public viewing of not being forgiven for sin.
When we see the cross and wear the crucifix around our neck, we should think of it as a public viewing of our redemption, love, acceptance and forgiveness by our Father, God.
Has gay marriage won over God?
By Angelic Magazine
“We had a long debate in our offices about this week’s cover images of two same-sex couples,” Time managing editor Rick Stengel wrote in an editor’s note. “Some thought they were sensationalist and too in-your-face. Others felt the images were beautiful and symbolized the love that is at the heart of the idea of marriage. I agree with the latter, and I hope you do too.”
In a poll conducted by CNN in March, 53% of Americans support the legalization of Gay Marriage. The data found “three in ten Americans who attend religious services every week support same-sex marriage while six in ten Americans who don’t attend church weekly (support gay-marriage),” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
That same month of March, Time Magazine declared that gay marriage has already won.
In the New Testament of the Bible, in the four Gospels that documents Jesus in the flesh, He never spoke about homosexuality. Homosexuality and gay marriage is one of the most heated, debated and contested topics up for discussion in our society today, and where the discussion usually starts and ends with is religion. But ironically enough, Jesus never spoke about the subject.
The known documentation of Jesus commenting on marriage is in Matthew 19:4-8:
"at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
So this leads us to ask the question, has gay marriage won in the eyes of God?
Here is our analysis:
In the Old Testament, the book of Leviticus, God states “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” Leviticus 18:22
What is another documentation of an abomination in the Bible? In the old testament, the Egyptians considered it an abomination to eat or drink with strangers. (Genesis 43:32)
The Jews also took on that practice and considered it an abomination to eat and drink with foreigners. Many of us today have friends of all ethnic backgrounds. When we eat with them or maybe even a stranger, are we being an abomination to God?
In Leviticus 19:28 it states "do not put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.”
Pastors are sleeved today. Go to any type of young church in America and you’ll see girls inked with scripture, worship leaders and members of their band are marked with Jesus inspired tattoos. It’s a trend, a cliche, a normalcy in church culture today to have tattoos. Yet God clearly states, do not put tattoo marks on yourselves.
So is the Bible outdated? Is what God said in the beginning still relevant today?
Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
If Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, that would mean God is constant from the beginning to the end.
"While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples." Matthew 9:10
Was it an abomination for Jesus to be eating with sinners and strangers? No. God never told the Egyptians not to eat with strangers. That was a practice they developed on their own and made it a part of their culture.
God didn’t tell the Jews not to eat with foreigners. In the Torah, the Jewish Bible, it is forbidden to eat certain foods that non-Jews would eat, but there is no literature that states do not eat with non-Jews.
So, people, not God, but people developed their own practices. That’s similar to today. It is commonplace in our culture today to get a tattoo. Today, more than half of America according to CNN share the view of being in favor of legalizing gay marriage.
But according to the text, that viewpoint isn’t God’s view.
There’s the argument that homosexuality is genetic, not a lifestyle choice. So can we point to genetics as a reason to argue for the approval of gay marriage in the sight of God?
Researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse conducted a study and found that 51 chromosome genetic regions play a role in alcohol and substance abuse addictions.
There are countless scriptures in the Bible that state to be sober and not to be drunk.
"The observations from this study provide a graphic display of the close relationships between genetic vulnerability to alcoholism and genetic vulnerability to other addictions," says Dr Uhl (lead doctor at NIDA).
Why is this important? Science shows that alcoholism is linked to genetics but because someone’s genetics may point towards alcoholism, that isn’t an excuse to go against what God’s word says about being drunk.
There isn’t conclusive evidence stating that homosexuality is genetic, but whether it is genetic or a lifestyle choice, like alcoholism, genetics aren’t a reason to defy God.
God’s love is constant and our actions don’t make Him waver in His love for us. So, if you have a tattoo or are gay or drink too much, does it mean you’re unworthy or unloved by God? No, it means despite our acts, Jesus died so that we may have a relationship with God, and it is by God’s grace, His love and forgiveness of our sins that we may be in a relationship with Him.
Angelic Magazine is progressive but we live by the word of the Bible. The point of this article isn’t to condemn homosexuality or to sway anyone to live a heterosexual lifestyle. It’s our purpose to point out that through God’s word scripture tells us specific instructions and although the world may distance itself from the word of God, God’s word is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Marriage is more than attraction, emotions, lust, passion or love. God created marriage so that a man and woman can become one flesh and through that one flesh they may glorify Him through their marriage.
It’s not politically correct or popular to say today, but God didn’t create marriage for a man to marry a man or a woman to marry a woman. If God approved of gay marriage it would be revealed by His word.
Adultery in the church: The fallen pastor
By Angelic Magazine
In 1998, the Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership conducted a study on pastoral trends and it found that 30% of pastors had an extra-marital affair. In 2013, the numbers have increased and it’s estimated that roughly 40% of pastors have had or are currently having an affair.
Think about this number for a moment.
Four out of every ten pastors have had or are having a relationship outside of their marriage. That’s nearly half of all pastors. Whoa.
The spike in numbers is due to the prevalence of social media. The explosion of communication: Facebook, Twitter, Text Messaging and Email allow for pastors to explore and engage their infidelities but it’s through our technology the evidence of many affairs are brought to light. In 1998, there wasn’t a smartphone.
In most instances people who have affairs don’t admit their actions, they’re caught.
John 3:20-21 “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”
So why is Angelic writing about this?
Because it needs to stop.
Scripture tells us, "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak." Pastors are put into a unique situation. They’re thought of to be Godly, moral and righteous because after all, they’re preaching the word of God.
People trust pastors, they entrust them to baptize their kids, their families and even themselves. Pastors reside over funerals, pray at the bedside of those in the hospital and go on mission trips to share God’s love. People come to pastors seeking prayer, seeking guidance and ultimately, seeking God.
When a pastor falls into the sin of adultery, they’ve allowed lust to captivate their heart and in turn they’ve become the captive of lust. Their spirit was willing but their flesh was weak.
The church doesn’t bring to light things that will make themselves look bad because outside of the church crowd, there’s already a negative perception of the church. But this fear of stepping into the light works against the church.
When a pastor falls, the church usually brings in a new pastor, sweeps the memory of the old pastor under the rug and go about their business like nothing ever happened. It’s something that goes unspoken and is generally hushed about in the aftermath of events.
But by keeping that sin in the dark, the church will never fully be able to step into the light to be healed. This is a fact, nearly 40% of pastors have sexual and emotional affairs. This is a problem and the longer the church continues to sweep it under the rug as if it’s not a problem, the pastor adultery statistic will only increase.
We are the church. We are the congregation. We have a voice and we need to use it.
There’s a sacredness of marriage that needs to be kept in store and as followers of Christ we are to be the standard for that sacredness. There’s a sacredness of the church that needs to be defended and we need to stand up for it.
A pastor can’t cheat if their isn’t someone to cheat with. When a married man or woman assumes the position of inviting an emotional or physical intimacy with someone who isn’t their spouse, it’s wrong. No matter how it’s spun, it’s wrong.
When a pastor “falls” into an affair, they weren’t living God’s will for their lives but their own will. God will never fall into sin with us and if pastors can’t handle the stature of the position, they need to find a new profession.
We need to hold ourselves, pastors and the church accountable for our actions and no longer assume that righteousness will prevail.
If the devil can infiltrate our churches, he will and one of the ways he will is to have our pastors fall. Pastors aren’t victims when they cheat, they’re pawns in the good fight of faith. We need to pray for our pastors, for their marriages to prevail, for lust to leave them and for the spirit of God to intercede in all matters.
When we own up to our downfalls we’ll be respected for it and when we bring to light the dark things that affect our churches, they’ll no longer be a stronghold of the devil but a testimony for the grace of God.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 “pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.”
I believe in God, but am I ashamed of Jesus?
By Angelic Magazine
Romans 1:16 ” I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes”
In February of 2013, the Grammy for album of the year went to Mumford and Sons for their album “Babel”. That’s kind of a big deal. Of all the albums and music that’s floating in our atmosphere, Mumford and Sons holds the current title for having the best album; in the world.
A month after winning the grammy, in March, Rolling Stone interviewed the lead singer of Mumford and Sons, Marcus Mumford, and the conversation about religion appeared.
When asked if he was a Christian, Mumford responded, “I don’t really like that word. It comes with so much baggage. So, no, I wouldn’t call myself a Christian.”
The interview noted that Mumford emphasized his spiritual journey is a work in progress and that he’s never doubted the existence of God but he is quoted as saying, “I’ve kind of separated myself from the culture of Christianity.”
What brings an added intrigue to his statements is that Mumford’s parents are actually the founders of Vineyard Church in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Not just one country but two countries. Vineyard’s tagline is “preach the gospel, plant churches, change the world.”
Last fall, in an interview with bigissue.com, Mumford was asked about the religious references in Mumford and Sons’ lyrics such as from the song “Whispers in the Dark” that says 'I had set out to serve the lord' or in the song “Broken Crown” 'I'll never be your chosen one. The pull on my flesh was just too strong.'
Mumford states, “We don’t feel evangelical about anything.”
"I don’t even call myself a Christian. Spirituality is the word we engage with more. We’re fans of faith, not religion."
This article isn’t written to blemish or speak negatively on Mumford and Sons. Everyone has their own views and journey’s with God that is their own personal walk with Him. This article is written to highlight and ask a greater question for society, do we believe in God but are ashamed of Jesus?
Here is our analysis:
If we believe God exists, then we must believe in Jesus. They’re attached, one without the other doesn’t exist. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are separate but together equal one.
We follow Christ because He is God, the Messiah, the second coming.
We are Christians because we follow Christ.
* You have the group of people who say they’re “spiritual” but will deny following Jesus or being a Christian. If your spirituality comes from God, then your spirituality flows from Jesus.
* If you’re a 'fan' or believer in faith but don’t want to identify with Christ, then what are you identifying with or being a fan of? What are you putting your faith in?
* You’ll hear someone call themselves a Christian but for societal reasons, will try to dis-affiliate themselves with Jesus publicly so they won’t be ridiculed, judged and lose popularity status outside of the Christian world.
Luke 12:8-10 “whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.”
We might classify ourselves as spiritual or being a Christian, but if we’re ashamed to boldy identify Jesus as our source for faith, for spirituality, we are denying God and as a result we will be denied.
All sins can be forgiven, except for the sin of “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit” Jesus says.
According to Merriam - Webster dictionary the word “blasphemy” means “the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God.”
The Holy Spirit can be defined as God being spiritually active in the world.
So, the sin of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God being spiritually active in the world is a sin that will not be forgiven. When we deny the power of the Holy Spirit, we are denying the truth of Jesus and the fulfillment of God.
If we put our faith in Jesus, declare it. Be bold about it. Don’t be ashamed of it. Live His truth. If you’re spiritual and believe there is a God, if you’re ashamed to identify with Jesus, you’re denying the existence of your spirituality.
If you’re Christian and are afraid of losing popularity because it’s not convenient or cool to declare your faith in Jesus, declare it anyway, represent. When we acknowledge Jesus as our savior before others, He will acknowledge us in Heaven.
In John 14:6 Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Scripture tells us, “it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:10
When we come to Jesus in our hearts, declare our faith in Him with our mouths, we are embracing the fullness of God which is living in the Holy Spirit.
Don’t be ashamed of Jesus.
Romans 8:11 “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”
Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future
By Angelic Magazine
Can I be forgiven for what I’ve done?
If you have exposure to any type of media, any type at all, you’ve most likely become familiar with the Jody Arias case. In case you’ve been saved from the exposure of it all, if you’re reading this, you’re about to become exposed to it!
In a one sentence summary of what’s occurred, she was convicted of brutally murdering her ex-boyfriend by slitting his throat, shooting him in the head and stabbing him twenty seven times.
This case has created an array of emotions and opinions from people around the world for what type of justice will need to occur in order for it to be served. Statements such as, “She deserves to die!” have loudly been exclaimed. After the jury announced she had been convicted of murder in the first degree and would face either life in prison or the death penalty, people outside of the courtroom were cheering, some were crying out of relief, some could be heard saying, “Thank you Jesus. Justice has been served.”
But has it? Is this Jesus’ type of justice?
The New Testament of the Bible has twenty seven books, and of these books, the Apostle Paul wrote thirteen of them. Nearly half of the New Testament was written by one man, a man who once persecuted Christians.
During his day, Christians were martyred, killed, tortured, stoned, beheaded and crucified for believing in Christ. The Apostle Paul was a part of this.
Ten of Jesus’ twelve disciples were murdered because of their faith in Him. Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus hung himself after his betrayal of Christ and only one, the apostle John, died of natural causes while in exile. The disciple Peter was crucified hanging upside down following the execution of his wife.
So why is any of this important? A man who was a part of persecuting Christians, who hated Jesus, who did not believe Jesus was the Messiah, who sinned by committing murder, who tried to destroy the Christian faith, ultimately found Jesus. He became a missionary for the gospel, was beaten with rods, flogged with whips, imprisoned and exposed to death for the sake of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul repented of his sins, asked for forgiveness and lived life for Jesus. Half of the New Testament of the Bible would not exist had it not been for the Apostle Paul, a sinner.
1 Timothy 1:15 “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” - Apostle Paul
The famous scripture in 1 Corinthians that everyone knows, “Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast…..” The Apostle Paul wrote it.
When Jesus was on the cross, with His hands and feet violently pierced with nails, there were two criminals beside him being crucified on two separate crosses. One criminal mocked Jesus, hurled insults at Him, while the other acknowledged Jesus had done nothing wrong and asked for forgiveness of his own sins. He said to Jesus, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered him, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise." Luke 23:43
We are all sinners. We all sin and if we say we don’t, we are liars. In our society, we have a scale of what is a justifiable sin and what isn’t. We can turn a blind eye when a married man sleeps with another woman but we can’t forgive someone who kills someone. The commandments state, “Thou shall not kill.” Thou shall not commit adultery.”
Yet, Kobe Bryant was accused of rape, admitted to having sex with another woman while being married and today he’s forgiven by society. No one mentions it. Heidi Klum, the famous supermodel had an affair with her body-guard while married and today, she’s living life with no societal repercussions.
One of the commandments is to observe the Sabbath, no work on the seventh day as this is a day for God. Yet, we all work on Sunday’s, do things that don’t relate to God and we’ve made it just a normal day of the week. We use it as a day to rest before Monday, not a day to honor God.
"Thou shall not covet your neighbors house." We all desire material things, we want a nicer car, a nicer house, a better wardrobe. We covet things which our neighbor may have. It’s a sin.
Romans 13:13 “Let us walk honestly, as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.”
Drunkenness, sexual immorality, jealousy, things that are commonplace in our culture today are sins. We accept the party culture of going out, going to happy hour, going to Vegas, getting drinks, drinking too much and doing it all over the next week or whenever the itch comes back to do it again.
We accept the one night stands, glorify losing virginity’s in pop-culture, don’t think twice about the couple’s who live together, sleep together, have kids together, but they’re not married. It’s commonplace.
Jealousy is almost a normal human emotion. We might not like the feeling of jealousy, but we accept it. It’s understandable to us because we’ve all experienced it, yet, it’s a sin.
Matthew 5:28 “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
This was said by Jesus in reference to men, but it can also be referred to a women looking lustfully at a man.
Point being to all of these examples, in our eyes there’s a scale of what is justifiable before God, what we think we can get away with and what we can’t. If it’s alright with society, it must be alright with God, right? In God’s eyes, a sin is a sin. There’s no scale between what is an acceptable sin and what isn’t.
Jesus will never fall into sin with us, but He will forgive us of our sins if we repent and seek Him. He tells us that all sins can be forgiven.
Matthew 12:31 “every kind of sin can be forgiven”
Whether you’re the worst sinner in the world or the purest person alive, we all fall short of the glory of God as scripture tell us. Only Jesus was sinless. But we are forgiven and redeemed because of God’s grace.
Luke 5:32 “I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.”
This article isn’t arguing if Jody Arias is guilty or what her punishment should be, but it is stating that through God’s grace we can all be forgiven for what we’ve done in life, whether or not the world forgives us. We can turn from our past to live a life that will honor Jesus.
God’s grace isn’t an excuse to continue to sin, but a reason to love Him and live our lives completely for Him everyday.
Justice, real justice, is turning away from sin, seeking Jesus and having our lives embody to the world the message and love of God’s grace. We need Jesus everyday.
Isaiah 53:5 “he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
By Angelic Magazine
John 16:33 “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world.”
Fourteen years ago, on April 20th, 1999, the Columbine High School massacre would forever take the lives of thirteen innocent people. Two gunmen, clothed in trench coats concealing their semi-automatic handguns and shotguns, who were also students at Columbine High School would open fire, piercing the lives of thirteen. The gunmen would eventually turn their guns on themselves.
Seventeen year old, Cassie Bernal, a senior at Columbine High School, in the moments before her life was taken, was hiding underneath a table in the library on campus as the gunmen entered. Fear and death had suffocated the room. From accounts of survivors who were also hiding in the library, they could hear Cassie praying to God.
In the aftermath of the Columbine shootings, witnesses had said before one of the gunman opened fire on Cassie, he asked her, “Do you believe in God?” With a gun pointed to her head and her life in the balance, she said yes. The gunman pulled the trigger.
Media reports and investigations to the claim Cassie was asked if she believed in God have been refuted, while others have stood in defense of if she was asked the question. No one will ever fully know what took place in those moments, just Cassie, the gunman and God.
But what is known and is not in question, was the fact that Cassie could be heard praying. She boldly represented her faith. Her last breaths, last words, last thoughts were aimed at Jesus. Her life was taken that day, but her story, her faith, her spirit will forever live.
The purpose of this article is to illustrate there isn’t a soul who’s been untouched from a fallen world. In the brokenness, darkness of life, we have Jesus to be our light. He is our peace. He is our hope.
In Cassie’s last moments, Jesus was with her. She wasn’t alone and had no fear. There’s no fear in love because perfect love cast’s out fear and it is Jesus’ perfect love that we wear in our hearts. Take heart, because in our darkest hour, He is our light.
Bad things happen to good people that sometimes can’t be explained, people who love and live for Jesus. We each have our wounds, scars, moments and sometimes seasons of agony but Jesus has told us, "In this life you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world."
Mayweather vs. Guerrero: Representing Jesus
By Angelic Magazine, May 3rd
This weekend, on May 4th, Cinco de Mayo weekend, professional boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Robert Guerrero will face off for the WBC Welterweight Championship at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV.
You may be asking yourself, how does boxing relate to Jesus, music, fashion or Angelic Magazine?
Robert Guerrero, 30, from Gilroy, California stands for Christ. In a recent interview with ESPN, Guerrero stated, “I fight to inspire. Inspire people all over the world.”
"I fight for the Lord, Jesus Christ. To shed that light over people, to plant that seed. To let them know, God is great."
To the casual sports and boxing fan, you may have never heard of Robert Guerrero. The backstory for who he is, is found within his wife Casey Guerrero. Casey Guerrero was diagnosed with leuchemia and her cancer soon after spread to her brain. With his wife severely ailed, rather than going forward with his boxing career, Robert relinquished his world title and walked away from boxing to be with Casey and care for their two small children as she battled the fight of her life.
With chemotherapy not working, the only cure to save her would be a bone marrow transplant. After an extended time of waiting, in April of 2010, a donor from Germany was discovered that matched 9 out of the 10 factors doctors look for. It was a 50/50 chance that Casey’s bone marrow transplant would prove to grant her a new lease on life. Their prayers were answered and Casey’s surgery was a success. Slowly her strength began to return and today Casey’s cancer is in remission.
Refocusing on his boxing career, Guerrero returned back to the ring and reeled off a string of victories, dominating multiple contenders to receive the opportunity of a lifetime. A fight with pound for pound king and reigning champion, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
According to forbes.com, Mayweather has compiled a gross income of 213 million dollars throughout his boxing career. This past spring Mayweather signed the highest individual athlete deal which will pay him 250 million dollars over the next two and a half years for Showtime Sports to broadcast his fights.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the highest paid boxer in the world and has been the highest paid athlete over the course of the past few years. When an opposing fighter faces Floyd Mayweather Jr. it will be the highest paid boxing match of their career.
A product of humble beginnings, for this fight Guerrero will earn a guaranteed 3 million dollars.
“With everything we’ve been through, I really do believe that God not only has placed me in this position to be thankful and enjoy my life, but also to step into that ring and be a shining light for Him.”
“With all He’s done for me and my family, for me to ignore the privilege of spreading the gospel would be selfish and irresponsible. Win or lose this fight, all the glory belongs to Him.”
Many athletes, celebrities and entertainers credit God for their successes, but they don’t necessarily reflect in their life what it means to live for God. This story on Robert Guerrero isn’t written because he’s a professional athlete who happens to believe, it’s written because he shares a same desire that Angelic does, to spread Jesus to people.
“I let the Holy Spirit guide me every day,” Guerrero says. “I know I need to repent every day and be thankful for what God has given me. I’m a big believer in Christ. I pray to God, I put God first.”
With a record of 31-1-1, Guerrero hopes to put the first blemish on Mayweather’s spotless 43-0 career. More than receiving money, he views potentially winning this fight as his opportunity to share Christ with the world.
"I’m excited. I’m excited and I can’t wait. Excited to show everybody, God is great."
(In this video, Robert Guerrero is talking about his upcoming fight with Mayweather, prayer and planting seeds for Christ)
Something To Think About
By Angelic Magazine, April 26th
Does our media play a role in prompting sexual assaults?
On December 16th, 2012 a young Indian woman was savagely attacked and raped in New Delhi. Five men held her down, raped her at the back of a bus and the police report stated the men were out for a “joyride.”
She was dumped on the side of the road naked and bleeding. The woman was so violently raped by the five men that she died in the hospital two weeks later on December 29th. She was only twenty three years old.
In the aftermath of her assault, India Real Time, a leading newspaper in India conducted a study. They asked Indian men what they felt prompted a man to sexually assault a woman? The three highest percentage of answers included: 34% blamed gaps on policing and law enforcement, 33% said lack of respect for women and 26% blamed western influences such as revealing clothing.
Western influences, our culture, was one of the highest reasons to be blamed for rape, so this leads us to ask the question, does our culture really play a role in prompting sexual assaults?
According to rainn.org (Rape Abuse Incest National Network) every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. Think about that. In the time you’ve spent reading this so far, somebody, somewhere, someone innocent was assaulted for the rest of their life.
Sexual assaults didn’t just start happening once America came into prominence though. In the book of Genesis, God sent two angels in the form of men into the city of Sodom and Gomorrah. The angels were to observe the wickedness of what was occurring in the city. God revealed, unless 10 righteous people were to be found within the city, He was going to destroy Sodom because of the evil ways of the people.
A hostile mob surrounded the house of where the angels were and demanded “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” Genesis 19:5
In the Holy Bible, the desire for sex, the documentation of an attempted sexual assault was noted. The angels fled the city and the city of Sodom was destroyed by God as there weren’t 10 righteous people alive within the city gates.
So what does this mean? Since the beginning of time people have craved sex and some will use sexual assault as their means to get it. But think about the pictures people post on Facebook, the advertisements we see on TV and the pictures on the covers of magazines. Usually, an attractive woman, teasing the audience with her skin, her figure, her lips, her gaze is the center of attention. It’s sexually suggestive.
Why? Sex sells. Sexual imagery gets your attention. Sexual imagery evokes thoughts about sex.
So if we know people want sex and sexual imagery promotes thoughts about sex and we know that every two minutes in America someone is sexually assaulted, why do we continue to exploit sex in our media?
The human body is beautiful. Sex is natural. But God created sex between a man and a woman for marriage as a way to express their love for one another. Not for pornography, not for advertisements, not for sexual assaults, not for human trafficking.
Perhaps western influence, our culture, does play a role in sexual assaults. The role it plays is in the barrage of sexual imagery it promotes in everything we see. In an ideal world, we’d promote the goodness of fashion, the purity of sex in marriage and the word of God. Imagine how things would be different if we did?
Women aren’t to be blamed for being assaulted because of what they wear or don’t wear or because of some advertisement a person sees. The person doing the assault is to be blamed for their actions, their wickedness. In Sodom and Gomorrah, God destroyed the city because there were no righteous people.
Through Jesus we’ve become redeemed and have the ability to pursue righteousness. As people of righteousness, what are we going to do to stop the exploitation of sex in media in our culture?