3 Episode results for "Billy Hollowell"
The Reward of Obedience
"Welcome to the solution radio show with Greg Bacchus. Our world is full of incomplete solutions leaving people searching for more God's only solution for all mankind for all time is Jesus Christ. He's the way the truth and the life. This solution radio show will help you to grow in your relationship with God is your heavenly father. Your purpose is far greater than the day-to-day circumstances of life. Let's join Greg as he shares. God's word with us today. Welcome to the solution in the second half of today's show. Our interview segment is with Billy Hellawell who is director of communication and content for pure, flix entertainment. But first, let's look at God's word regarding the topic of the reward of obedience, and we're going to be looking at Philippians chapter two today last night, I returned from a six day trip to Arizona. I went to the post office a later in the evening to retrieve. My mail, and there was a gentleman their mailing some letters my heart was compelled to tell him that God loved him. I was tired, and I really did not want to get into a conversation. So I didn't I came out of the post office and that man was sitting in his car right in front of me as I walked out the door. Again, my heart was stirred to speak to this man about God's love. So I- tapped on his window. He lowered the window, and I told him that God had put on my heart to let him know that God loved him. I also handed to him a pamphlet titled complete in Christ. He thanked me, and we proceeded to talk about God's goodness and love for a few minutes. He told me he was a pastor of the local church, and that it blessed him that I reminded him of God's love for him. And as is so true. He said that pastors. Need to be encouraged and reminded of God's love for them. He then thanked me for being 'obedient to God's direction. I'll be honest. I'm not always obedient to God's direction. But when I am there is always great reward. Always just the joy of knowing that your life has made a difference in the life of another and I'm thankful that. I took the time to talk to that pastor his church is not too far from me, maybe a mile or two away, and I'm gonna stop by a one of these Sundays in Philippians were going to look at the example of our Lord Jesus Christ who was 'obedient unto death in the context of our reading today. We will see how our heavenly father works within us to willing to do of his good pleasure. If you have a bible handy and would like to follow along we'll begin here in Philippians chapter two verse one if there be therefore any consolation in Christ if any comfort of love. If any fellowship of the spirit if any bowels and mercy's fulfill Ye my joy that you be like minded having the same love being of one accord of one mind, I three let nothing be done through strife or vain glory. But rather in loneliness of mind, let each esteem others better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things. But every man also on the things of others. That's the first four verses there Philippians chapter two. Well, here we are instructed to be like minded on God's word and a love one another our actions should never be from the motive of rivalry or pride or ego. Rather we are to serve one another by walking in humility and showing grace to each other continuing here in verse five it says, let this mind be in you, which was also. So in Christ Jesus we are to thank as Christ. Jesus would think how would Christ Jesus think he would have the thoughts of God's word. There would be no strife or vainglory or pride in his thinking. He was a humble man who served first and foremost, his heavenly father, and then intern he served mankind verses six and seven here in Philippians two who Jesus Christ being in the form of God thought at night robbery to be equal with God. But made himself of no reputation and took upon him. The form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men Jesus Christ as the only begotten son of God with all the rights all the privileges as godson son did not use his position for personal gain. He did not use his position for any selfish purpose. He always did his father. As well. Remember in the gospel of John how Jesus stated that of his own self. He could do nothing. And that's in the gospel of John chapter five. It's verse thirty word states that I'll read it here. It says I can of mine own self do nothing as I hear I judge and my judgement is just because I seek not my own will. But the will of the father which hath sent me Jesus Christ always sought to do what his heavenly father desired for him to do. He always did. He was obedient all the way unto death beckoned Philippians chapter two verse eight referring to Jesus Christ and being found in fashion as a man he humbled himself. No pride. No ego. No fake sense of self importance and became 'obedient unto death, even the death of the cross Jesus Christ. He was obedient to his. Heavenly father, all the way unto dying. He gave up his life trusting God knowing that in three days. God would raise him from the dead. That's beedon's last night. Why did I initially find it so hard to obey God to speak to the pastor at the post office because I was letting my flesh rule my decision. Remember, I was tired. I was exhausted. I just wanted to get home and not have to give of myself to another thankfully before I left the post office. I put on the mind of Christ. And I reached out, and I spoke what God wanted spoken, surely you, and I can be obedient to do and speak as God directs considering that our Lord and savior Jesus Christ was obedient all the way unto death. Let's continue here in Philippians two verse nine wherefore. God also has highly exalted him and given him a name which. Is above every name firsthand that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of things in heaven and things in earth and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God, the father, God, highly exalted, his son, and he gave him a name above every name that has named every knee will bow to the name of Jesus and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ as Lord today with man's era. Gance the name of Jesus Christ as many times used haphazardly and even with evil intent his name is thrown about as a curse word. Well, at the end time and one of these days, it's coming with the resurrections of the Justin the unjust the name of Jesus Christ will be exalted to the glory of God, the father continuing in verse twelve of Philippians two wherefore my beloved as you have always obeyed not as in my presence only. But now much more in my absence work out or demonstrate your own salvation year wholeness with fear and trembling and the words there fear and trembling would be much. Better translated reverence and obedience. Let me read that again where for my beloved as you have always obeyed not as in my presence only. But now much more in my absence, demonstrate year own wholeness with respect or reverence and obedience. It's reverence towards God. And it so Bedie's to his well, his desires, I thirteen for it is God which works in you both to willing to do of his good pleasure. You are God's child. If you believe that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. And if you have confessed with your mouth, the Lord Jesus, you have his spirit and by way of the spirit. He works in you, his well, we need to learn. Recognize God's voice his promptings in our life. Your Abedian to your heavenly fathers workings within you will result in great reward. Not only now, but also at the return of our Lord Jesus Christ and then throughout all eternity. I fourteen here in Philippians to do all things without murmurings and disputing 's murmurings and disputing here are grumbling and debate. Well, what are the things we are to do without arguing those things that God works within you to will. And to do. Why would we not trust the God of love and grace who knows the end before the beginning. He's our heavenly father. He loves us. We bless God. When we are obedient to as well, what a remarkable truth in verse thirteen for it is God which works in you both to will. And to do of his good pleasure. God has four. Four ordained purpose works for you to do to bring the pass his will what he desires. The reward of obedience is not only for today. It is for all eternity. After this short break, we will return with our interview with Billy Hallo, director of communication and content for pure flix entertainment, please visit our website, the solution radio show dot com. John posted a comment on the solution radio show website that said loved your teaching this knowledge of who we are in Christ is so vitally important to us. What an amazing privilege. We have to reconcile people back to our loving father. God bless you. John is one of many listeners that we hear from here at the solution radio show. If you send a donation of any amount, we will send you a copy of volume one. God's magnificent goodness volume. One contains the first fourteen teaching segments of the solution radio show, along with discussion questions at the end of each chapter volume. One may be used as an individual or group study guide help to make a difference by supporting the solution radio show with your donation. Visit the solution radio show dot com and click the donate button today. This is the solution radio show exploring God solution for all mankind for. All-time Jesus Christ. With your host rake Bacchus, our guest today is Billy Hollowell Billy has been working in journalism and media for more than ten years. His writings have appeared in the blaze and on Fox, News dot com. In addition to many, many other outlets Billy currently is the director of communication and content for peer flicks. He also writes a blog that is published on the pure flix website. I'd like to welcome Billy Hollowell to the solution radio show. Welcome billy. Thanks for having me. Oh, you're welcome. Thanks for taking time out of your schedule to join us. I appreciate it. Can you give us a little background and purpose of pure flix? Entertainment. Cher. Yes. Appear flicks. Really? I think a lot of people I probably heard about the company, and if you had I'll tell you a little bit bouts of the background, but you're God's not dead was the film that kind of puts your flicks out there where everyone was sort of hearing. What is the? This film. What is this company? End careful is teammate company that really offers up faith and family, friendly entertainment. And so as I mentioned God's not dead that was the first big big theatrical release, the company and was a religious a great film, and there's been a series of films the case for Christ. You can go down the line a so many movies that have come out that really just a firm in build faith. And so that's the that's the the entertainment portion, and then the other part of the company, and it's been a part of the company that I've been working on this past year since I joined is pure flix dot com, which is a streaming service. It's faith and family friendly entertainment. And there are more than ten thousand titles. Everything from documentaries to feature films on TV shows to original content. It's really just amazing content. And the thing that, you know, I love having you know, I have a three. Year old and a six year old and some always looking for safe content. You know being able to to actually have the ipad or have a tablet and put something on and not worry about what your kids are going to stumble into and so pure flix dot com offers that that service, and it's it's pretty amazing. That's excellent and God's not dead. That was a great movie. And also, what was the other one Lee Strobel one that you mentioned. Yeah. As for crisis that was another one that was very good. Do you believe I mean, there's so many great films? I'm not ashamed at which is a movie about Rachel joy, Scott one of the students killed at Columbine high school. So they're there's so there've been so many films over the years, and it's amazing to see the company branch and move into into the streaming space. Which obviously there are there are a lot of streaming companies today that are quite popular in peer flexes among them. Now. We'll now last week. I went to the movie theater, and I watched the newest movie with pure flix unplanned. It was definitely an emotional in a movie. Film. I was reading online that there were some challenges in the social media arena that the film unplanned faced can you tell us a little bit about that. I can. Yeah. And just before I do that anybody who is interested in unplanned. It's a film about Abby Johnson, and I've actually known abbey for a while. I used to interview her when I was the blaze and had always known her story. And really what her story is that she worked at Planned Parenthood. She was the director at a clinic in Texas, and on as you saw the film had this this life changing moment that ended up catapulting her out of Planned Parenthood and into really become one of the most well known pro-life activists and advocates in the country. And so it's a really incredible story of life change. But obviously, it's a sensitive subject. And there were a number of things that went on the film was given an r rating, which it was the first film that folks said distribute. That that had an r rating. So you had that kind of you have that kind of a roadblock and some people. No, that's a challenge. Right. When when there's an an R rating, and it's because the the subject matter, and you've seen the film. It's it's a it's a difficult subject matter, but such an important film. But the big things that happened after that that we're very strange on opening weekend the Twitter account for the film was suspended and the explanation that Twitter had be of in. And they recently gave this congressional testimony was that they said the person who created the account. I'm had previously been suspended in that their systems automatically picked up that that person was attached to the unplanned account and had suspended, and it's interesting because you know, I'm a journalist by trade, and you know, my background is to sort of say, okay. Well, let's look at the facts, and the facts are that that account was created in two thousand eighteen the Twitter account. And so you would wonder well why then on opening weekend of the films? Release is the account being suspended seven months after the account was opened if it's true that this person was attached to it who had had a suspension, very curious. It was opening weekend. But the account by the way was quickly within three hours. It was put back online. But then there were some other strange things I noticed as I was looking at the account that it went from over two hundred thousand followers down tonight followers. There are a lot of things that weekend. You know, having spoken to the person who created that account. He had never been hit said he had never been suspended in the past was no history of that. So, you know, for whatever reason, and we can't always know now, we're a lot of roadblocks, but it isn't mazing how God works every time. There's a roadblock. It seemed you know, more attention was brought to this amazing story into the film. And so we saw that Twitter account explode, and it had, you know, went up to over three hundred fifty thousand followers. So a lot of people finding out about the film through these unfortunate social media moments. Yes, sometimes it backfires when things are shut down in a negative sense. And it causes more exposure in one respect. Exactly, exactly. So it was strange. But but it's been amazing to hear the stories. You know, I would I would tell you one of the other stories that I think is important is during congressional. Testimony. We found out that there were there are about ninety four clinic workers who as a result of the movie have come forward and have sought help leaving the abortion industry, which is a huge. I mean, accomplishment just as from film. It's having an impact on those people as well. Now, that's tremendous. Now, also, it's it's been twenty years, which is hard to believe it's been that long since the shooting tragedy at Columbine high school in Colorado, pure flix, currently has a new series called after Columbine. Can you give us some background on that series? And and also what type of impact is it having on those that view after Columbine. Absolutely. So Columbine has been a story of for me personally that really impacted me. I was fifteen years old Columbine happened. And I was I lived in New York, I didn't live in Colorado. But but it had such an impact on me. I ended up working with survivors of Columbine as teenagers. We had a speaking tour we would travel around and. We talk about violence in just issues in general that we wanted to help remedy, and, you know, for for whatever reason God is always brought me back to that story. And so we decided to do a series a three part digital TV series called after Columbine that really revisit survivors twenty years later to find out how forward after an event like that. How do you pick up the pieces? How do you process faith in hope and forgiveness? How do you? How do you look at what has happened to you in see God's hand in your life still through that? And so the series really speaks to about four or five survivors, those who were close to Columbine and explores those issues the first episode is about faith. The second is about forgiveness and the struggles in the journey, and then the third is hope how have survivors found hope and what what is their life. Look like twenty years later and people can stream this series did not need to be a pure flix dot com. Subscriber. You could actually stream it for free. At after Columbine dot TV I'm citing courage, people to do that we really want people to be encouraged by this series, and to really see again, what that trajectory is like how do people move forward because we don't often get a chance to see that in the way that the Bedia covers these vets, right? That's excellent. Now, I know three episodes are out so far how many total do you anticipate? So it is actually we it's so funny because we had so much content. We decided to cap the series at three there's a fourth episode available on Facebook. So if you go to Facebook, you can see it's a very short episode, and it's the survivor speaking directly to the camera talking to other survivors or people who've gone through difficult challenges and who are struggling so you can see that fourth episode. If you go to Facebook dot com backslash up here flex you'll find it there. Okay. Today on the solution radio show were. We were talking with Billy hallel who is the director of communication and content for pure flix. And pure flix just has so many great resources available one of them being content supplemental content for home schooling. And actually we home school our children for oh gosh. Two three four years roughly beckon their elementary school days, which was many years ago, and many many people today are turning to homeschooling, can you give us some of the details of the type of content, and and how does that content worked for the home? Schoolers Sharif said we have a ton of of supplemental video content that can really come alongside what you're doing in the classroom for home schooling. We have all sorts of series. Basically you become a member of your flicks dot com, and you can literally just go to pure flix dot com and sign up for that membership in the first month is free. And then after that if you pay monthly it's ten ninety nine a month, and you can also an annual subscription, which is a little. Cheaper when you work it out monthly. But once you have access you get you through the difference, the different pieces of content that we have we have pieces that take you through the universe through history. We have drive through history bay, miss explorers. Creeping things that takes you through animals that creep around the earth. We've got the ultimate civil war stories of so much content that can really ally and supplement in couple onside parents who are teaching and to education is a big category. I'm sure it's dot com where you can find that content and really just explore the library theirs. Again is over ten thousand titles of so much in their on education front as well. What are some of the different categories for movies documentaries short films? And what are you seeing are some of the titles for the more popular offerings? That are available. We have an educational section. We have a faith section. We have kids movies and short. Films we have series, and it's interesting because it changes, you know, the most popular elements in shows and series will change, but we have films like persecuted fireproof, if you're a member of that the book of Daniel finding normal the funeral guests. These are some of the things that have performed a very well and on the series front, and this is really really fun and exciting we have original series. So we have shows like after Columbine. We were just talking about that are originally produced by pure flix. So a lot of the content that comes in their films that people would know they're films that have been out there that were bringing in because we know that their faith had family friendly movies, but we have again both movies and series. I'm hitting the brakes. Simon says we have a great series called God wings at pure flix. It focuses on miracle stories, and we have a show called Malibu, Dan. Which is a sitcom that is a lot of fun. One we have peer flicks comedy, which is stand up comedy. There's so much content in the platform that is again original that was created by appear flexing than seasonally, you know, for Easter. There's there's an Easter section, and so there's so much going on inside that platform. We have a hidden gem section where we kind of pull out the the hidden gems that are in the platform that people might not realize so there's it's very very robust. There's a lot to watch and you know in counting where a continuing to put content in. Okay. Quite a quite a bit of variety available. That's for sure. Yeah. And veggietales, by the way, I have to mention veggietales. We have some of the veggietales everything there for kids as well. Excellent. My granddaughter loves veggietales, I kids love it too. Now on what types of devices can pure flix viewed on we actually if you go to pure flix dot com slash devices. We have a full list, but you know, it works on smart. TV's media players gaming console. Computers, your phone Bogle devices, obviously. And so you can get a full list of their Roku. You know? We have a Roku TV at home at works on their apple TV, Android, TV krone Casamayor Samsung, there's a lot again, it's just pure flix dot com slash devices. And you can see if your device is supported and we've got all the info on there for what to do and how to make that work. Excellent. Excellent. Now, you said the membership the first month is free. And then after that, it's a monthly ongoing. Are you available to cancel anytime? Or can you is it a one year commitment that type of thing? Yes. Yeah. You can cancel at any time. It's ten nine a month. And it's great because you get those thirty days to kind of see. Okay. You know, is this something that I want to I like, this am I going to use this? And so if you pay ear up front, and you pay yearly it's ninety nine dollars ninety nine cents that works out to like eight dollars and thirty three cents a month. Even though you're paying annually. You save a little bit. Doing that. I wouldn't Kurt people to to hop in and try that thirty days and just see you know, what I have found for me in my family, and obviously I worked for peer flicks. But the honest truth is that it's that safety feature just knowing that I can trust. What is there? And I don't have to worry about what my kids are seeing. And that's a huge benefit for me. And once again the web addresses what pure flix dot com. Correct. Yes. Yup. Here flicks dot com. And I would also encourage people if you don't you're not sure you want to subscribe. But you're not sure you wanna do that right now we actually have a free resource, and it's a daily blog. It's called the pure flix insider, and it's insider dot peer flicks dot com. You can also find it at the top of careful dot com. We have daily bible verse list. We have interviews. You mentioned unplanned we've talked about that Ashleigh Bratcher, the lead actress of one of an abortion, doctor who left the industry who's in the film. We have interviews with all of them were constantly running content on there just to inspire people in. Lift them. So at the least you can check that out and also go to our Facebook page Facebook dot com slash pure flix. We have a show that I host called peer talk. It's a weekly show that just started back up. It's a talk show where we have filmmakers and others in the Christian space on to talk about a whole slew of issues. So there's a lot of great content there outside of the platform as well. A put up a web links on our website for each of those different sites, and our guest today has been Billy Hollowell from a pure, flix entertainment. He's the director of communications and content and I'd like to thank you for joining us today. I really appreciate it. Thanks so much for having me. Oh, you're welcome. God bless you building you too. The solution radio show archives are available at the solution radio show dot com along with resources to encourage and help in your walk with God. The solution radio show is supported by listeners. Like you make donation today to join in sustaining God's work at the solution radio show dot com. You've been listening to a solution radio show with Greg Bacchus. And we thank you for joining us today. God bless you. You are God's very best.
Ep 440 | Facing Demonic Forces & Spiritual Warfare | Guest: Billy Hallowell
"Hey guys welcome to relatable. Today i am talking to billy hollowell. He wrote a book called playing with fire. And it's about supernatural activity. Demonic possession satan satanic powers thinks so we don't necessarily talk about explicitly that much on this podcast or really in christian culture at all but he has uncovered why he thinks it's so important especially in this present moment for christians to understand that this is going on to see how this is going on and then for is with the power of christ to push back against this. I we're actually going to talk about a little political subject. But it'll tell together because he did not vote for trump in twenty twenty and so we're going to talk a little bit about our differences in our agreements there. So it's a really good conversation that i'm looking forward to hearing here. Is billy holwell belly. Thank you so much for joining me. I think a lot of people who are listening or watching already familiar with you and your work but just in case. Can you tell everyone who you are and what you do sure. Yeah so. i am a journalist. I'm a commentator. I actually worked at the blaze. I was the faith editor at the blaze for about a five years and some huge blaze fan and i've been working for really the last fifteen years more than fifteen years now in and so politics and faith in the last five to seven years. My focus has been culture and faith and just diving deep into patterns of what we see happening. Wyatt's happening and sort of helping people navigate that and you wrote a book called plane with fire and about supernatural activity and monica activity. And i want to get into all of that. And i'm super excited. That's going to be the boko. Lavar bulk of our episode. But something that you. And i have talked about on twitter before that we talked about a longtime ago discussing on. This podcast is your support. Then you're not support of donald trump and by support. I just kind of mean. The chew voted for him in two thousand sixteen. You did not vote for him and twenty twenty. And i'm just so interested to hear your reasoning on that because that's not something that i hear a lot of conservative christian. Say that they did. It's sort of the opposite right. You hear a lot of people. Say i didn't vote in two thousand sixteen and then i did in twenty twenty and so here's the thing i live in new york and i had said many times during the campaign and this is sort of sounds like a cop out but if i lived in a state where i felt like it really mattered i would have shown up in voted differently right and so i didn't vote for either trump or biden and i really struggled honestly with the entire thing and i think for me it was you know in two thousand sixteen. I sat down with trump two weeks before the election. he called a bunch of never trumpers to trump tower. And i have to tell you. I wasn't never trumper. I've never been never trumper. I've never been a pro pro. Pro rata trumper. But i sat there and listened to him. And i was really conflicted in two thousand sixteen as well. Not between the two candidates. I wasn't going to vote for hillary. But whether or not i wanted to put my name on this whole trump thing and so at the end of the day i felt like i wanted to give him a shot and i did it and i have to tell you hollister wise. I think it's really hard for a lot of conservatives. Of course we can pull out little bits and pieces of things. We don't agree with that. We don't like it's really hard to walk away and say oh. Trump did a terrible job on policy. I think you take the capital and all that other chaos no matter people think about that and push it to the side for me. His rhetoric has always been very problematic. And i am the first person to say you vote on policy. And so when i walked into the polls and i was voted in in two thousand and twenty. I honestly didn't know what i was gonna do. Walking in and i just prayed about it. And i felt like you know what i live in new york. I don't need to do this. And so i chose. I chose not to do it now. A lot of people have been very angry at me. But i make the point. It doesn't really matter. I live in new york. The state was going to biden. And so it was sort of an easy cop out for me so it wasn't based on any kind of principle or any reason other than you just didn't think that it was going to do anything. Well no of course for me. The principal was having having struggled with the rhetoric and having struggled with the behavior. You know. I've spent a lot of time looking at my own behavior in media. The things i've said when i started in media was fifteen years old. I'm thirty seven now. So i've been doing this for a long time. I've been out there talking and saying things and speaking for a very long time. And i don't know that for me i've i've always handled myself the way that i would want to right and so i looked back at that and i look at the way that trump is and for me. I just felt convicted. That i wasn't going to go out there. I wasn't going to support it. I'm not judging those who did. Listen i understand the reasons for supporting trump. i've been out of the strict politics world now for a couple of years and so i've had the flexibility to not have to dive into those discussions. If i don't want to and for me. I just really felt like i'm not going to do this. I'm not going to put my name on it. I'm not going to subscribe to it right now and having said all of that i know it. Sparks anger in some people have had a lot of conversations about this people who feel that people like me. Haven't help the problem right. We've made the problem worse because we haven't stood up and supported trump for me. It's about the policies. And i've always been very open and vocal on policy and i will continue to be pro-life policy. You know in conservative values. I just felt like in two thousand and twenty. I had i had the ability to not have to show up so for me. It was principal and it would have been a struggle for me to to go out there. And say i love donald trump. I love everything. Donald trump chance because the reality is. I agree with the policies but i don't love many of the things that donald trump as a person stands for and i i would agree with that. Everyone on this podcast knows how i feel about it. And i even have some people who have told me that you know i am the reason or i'm part of the reason why donald trump lost. Because there's i so often caveat him with you know. i love that. He did this. I am going to vote for him. I did vote for him. Two thousand and sixteen and twenty twenty based on the reasons that you just said. And so you and i both have the same kind of reasoning in the same kind of logic and feelings about trump i ultimately ultimately voted for him both times based on those policies that that we agree with but i very often offer the same kind of qualifications in caveat that you do that look. I don't like when trump says this. I don't like trump does this. I don't like this part about his character. I don't like when he did this or that tip a critical or that's not conservative or something like that in unfortunately a do a lot of people on the right end the left when it comes to their respective candidates really do want total puritanical support of their guy of their champion and they think any kind of coloring outside of those lines means that you want the destruction of america or you want the failure of that candidate or you precipitated. The failure of the candidate. And that's just not true. Do you agree. Well i do agree. And i will. I will tell you that looking at what has happened in the last month and a half two months looking at cancel culture looking at all of these things. It again brings that question. Is this the kind of america that you wanna live in. And i think people like me who really had that struggle right you kind of come back to well. What kind of policies do i wanna live under. We're having the debate about the equality. Act we're having all of these discussions now. And so. And i know that will kick me for saying this but my vote didn't really matter in this case i'm a new yorker. I know what it's like here. And i didn't feel compelled to stand up but i will tell you i feel compelled to stand up on those issues and when we have another election in two thousand twenty four and we have to look at this again. These are huge important issues and it makes me very nervous. Looking at the sort of culture that is being incubated in created by the people who are claiming to be so liberal and open when in reality they're not and so we've got big issues in this country but for me also i would say i came off of writing this book which we're going to talk about so i was looking at everything in a hyper spiritual way and as i was doing that i felt convicted to sort of pull myself away from politics a little bit and so it was kind of the perfect storm when the election head of me sort of saying i'm gonna and it's a little selfish right admittedly i'm gonna pull myself out of this right now and i really wanna put my focus on reaching people because at the end of the day we can debate politics and don't get me wrong. Politics are important all day long but if we don't start reaching people and this is from a christian perspective for christ there is going to be no change right and it has to start at the individual level and of course it has to move into the corporate level as well so there was a lot going on in my heart and in my mind during this election season and i would counter anybody out there. Who's getting angry or frustrated with people based on how they voted to actually sit down and talk about it. Because you and i probably agree on ninety nine percent of things and i think most of us do on the conservative side when we sit down and so that to me is the important starting place i i agree and i know plenty of people who didn't vote for either candidate either in two thousand sixteen or twenty twenty or both of obviously as a conservatives have someone who looks at these policies and looks at politics and talks about these things ally. It is harder for me to be as pathetic toward a vote directly for joe biden or or hillary clinton just because of the policies that are promoted there and that doesn't mean though that i think that those people you know i've revoked their salvation card which thankfully i do not have the responsibility nor the ability to do or that. I don't think that they were well. Meaning people you can still you. You can still though say and. I know that you agree with this that you know. I think that that was a wrong choice. They probably think that. I had a wrong choice to but i do think it's important for christians to sit down and to have those conversations and i have talked to a lot of christian to who voted for joe biden. There's not a single reason that i agree with that. I think is a good logical reason. Just to be honest but i still don't. I still not in a place. Nor do i have the desire to say. Well that means that you're not a believer or that means that you don't really love god. Maybe they're maybe we just have difference of opinion. Maybe or maybe they. They really are just wrong. I do think directly voting for pro abortion and policies in the equality act and all of that is actually very tangibly and clearly wrong but thank goodness. We are not judged ultimately by our vote. Unfortunately there are people who identify as christians on the republican and the democratic side. Who really think that we are. And i just praised the lord that that's not the case well and here's the thing right. We talk about cancel culture which i love to call cancer culture because it infection everything and yeah i mean the left is so guilty of this but it is happening a little bit on the ray and happening in these arenas of if you didn't support trump bri and you're just going to cancel those people we need to get rid of them and i think we have to be really careful that while we're calling the left out that we don't do the same thing on the right and so i agree with everything you just said i think for me. I can't possibly grasp what would what would make a christian be passionate about joe biden's policies and who joe biden is. I mean it's just it doesn't it doesn't add up for me. It's one thing to say. Somebody's a nice guy. Or i think he's a good guy and you may think that but at the end of the day you have two things to really base a vote. On in my view a platform policies that are laid out and then you actually have the policies themselves that had been enacted so when it comes to those things particularly on the life issue on identity and what we see happening throughout our culture right now to me as a christian. Now i'm not. I'm going to do the same thing you're doing. I'm not going to say you can't be. I know of christians. Who voted for joe biden. Because they were so disgusted with the rhetoric and the things they saw coming from trump but for me again it goes back to those hallmarks of the platforms in the policies. Yeah and you. You mentioned that when you were kind of decided on your vote in what you're gonna do. You're coming off of writing this book playing with fire. And you're kind of in this hyper or describe like this hyper spiritualized perspective. And i think it's good for us to have always that eternal and supernatural perspective of things that are going on that might not mean that we all land in the same place as christians even having that perspective but it is important for us to think about things eternally in to think about things spiritually. You've touched on this spiritual subject of demonic activities to per natural activity that a lot of people don't think about we don't like to think about. We don't like to talk about pastors. don't talk about. There's not very many books on this subject. And yet i get a lot of questions about this subject about okay like what is how what is satan. What power demons. Actually have. Because there's a rise in in witchcraft. There's a rise in the new age especially among young women and so christians are like okay. Hang on what does the spiritual realm of good versus evil. Actually really look like so. Can you talk. just summarize. I guess a little bit about why you wrote this bulk and thibout yes. We're playing with fire. This was a book that there was another publisher a few years back that this idea came about of doing journalistic exploration from a christian lens but as journalists sort of diving into this topic and at the time i moved away from it we had a book offer and i was like you know what i prayed about it. I just felt like. I'm more into politics right now. Of course i care about faith. I'm a lifelong christian. But i don't want to touch this dark topic and so it felt very dark to me. I moved away from it. And i have to tell you that god has a way of bringing us back to the things he wants us to do. And so i basically had a book offer dropped on my lap to do this a couple of years after the original book offer and i sat on it for two months just praying about it and thinking about it and for me even when i worked at the blaze we would sometimes get these stories right. You'd get these mainstream outlets that we're covering possession stories and so i was always intrigued by it and we would cover them and we do our due diligence to try to understand what people were claiming had happened but i realized there was this profound disconnect between the claims that people were making right and the things we see in the bible and what is being talked about not only in secular circles but christian circles and when i went to write playing with fire we did survey research among church leaders and it was really remarkable to see that the vast majority of church leaders would say. Yeah we believe in demons. Yeah we believe that by the way church leaders are not just passers people who are in bible studies and all sorts of different leadership positions. But they say we believe all this we know it impacts culture but then when you'd ask the question is your church talking about this enough the vast majority would say no and so that disconnect for me. I really felt compelled obviously to work on this project. As i prayed about it but i became intrigued by that because i thought gosh i don't think there's another topic talked about so frequently in scripture particularly the new testament and spoken about so infrequently in churches and that is concerning because at the end of the day hollywood and this is sort of remarkable at the same time. Churches are talking less about this. You've got hollywood. Churning out the conjuring the conjuring to all these demon possession movies right again and again and again and so hollywood is actually improperly. But they're talking about a topic more so than the churches and it's actually a church topic so that was sort of thing that really helped me into this. Yeah so let's talk about demonic activity and the power that satan actually has honest. Let's start with the specific question. So i don't leave it. So open ended. One question that i get a lot is to satan. Have control of your mind contain. Read your thoughts to satan. Have control of your thoughts. Let's start there and kind of move outwards. Can you answer that question. Yeah it's really interesting. I guess the answer to the question is how much have you allowed satan into your life right and so the thing in talking with so many theologians and pastors i mean the general premise. Here is that you go back to a vision. Six right and for me. A fusion six is such a fascinating chapter because it tells us everything we need to know about good and evil and it's encapsulated in just a few verses but it tells us we're in a battle over good and evil that what protects us from that battle taking up. The shield of faith is being christians living a christian lifestyle. It's not just saying. I'm a christian. It's living out having a relationship with christ so when people ask that question. Generally i find that people are afraid. They're fearful of these things and they want to understand. Can satan my mind. You know what. I'm doing. And as christians the answer would be no. You're protected if you're living that lifestyle if you are somebody who has opened yourself up to two evil will then we're talking about a little bit of a different story and so there's a really wide scale of stories that you encounter and when you look in scripture see really really extreme examples possession right. We see children. We see adults. We see jesus healing people and we see some of the effects of what possession looks like in scripture. But we're also given a lot of pieces of advice from the olds in the new testament about what we should be avoiding of voiding. Witchcraft avoiding psychics. Avoiding all of these things that pop culture actually praise it as an you as you mentioned. We're seeing increases in all of these things. And i know a lot of people listening by the way even in the conservative world. They'll hear some of this. They'll think oh this is silly. This isn't real but the reality. Is you have a scenario. When i talk about this and playing with fire aware since the beginning of time this has been a common experience the idea that there is obviously a spiritual round but not just that the idea that there is evil and that evil can affect you and i know. I'm giving a very long winded answer here. But it's actually very complicated when you open yourself up to these things. You really are playing with fire. You're potentially transforming your life in a very negative way. Just like as christians open ourselves up to true we accept. Christ we are on the opposite end opening ourselves up to something really wonderful right. So they're polar opposite dynamics but there are so many credible and also incredible healing stories in the mix of all that all right quick break to tell you about good ranchers good ranchers since you quality american meat to your front door. 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Elilott as it pertains to countries in africa or even haiti when people think about witchcraft. They kind of think about. I think Third world countries or the eastern world. They don't think about things that are happening or trends that we see here in the west. And when we hear about demonic activity or demonic possession it seems to typically comes come from cultures like that. So what does demonic possession looked like today in our own cultural context. Because i can't believe that it's only happening in certain countries and wouldn't be happening here. Yeah well you know. It's really interesting about that. As i was working on the book and talking with pastors in priests and individuals who are dealing with this on a daily basis believe it or not there are deliverance pastures and there are ministers who deal of the catholic church in exercises and then the catholic church has obviously the rite of exorcism which we can talk about but in america. We've had a really interesting heritage here right. we've had this judeo christian underpinning and even though we're moving away from that and we're seeing the effect of that it's fascinating to look back at that history. I think in a lot of ways because christianity has been so even if it's just nominal ingrained in who we are. We often don't see these sorts of things but it doesn't mean they're not happening and to give an example. All of these experts told me that they have seen massive increases and actually the catholic church is openly said this in requests for help meaning that there are people whether or not they're truly dealing with these issues they believe they are and that is increasing. So as you sort of map out that move away from faith in america which i think is really fascinating. You know this and talking about culture. We see all these bizarre things happening in culture but we also see at the same time that people are experiencing more and more spiritual duress as that unfolds. And so we've had a number of stories in america. In fact one is very famous in gary indiana back in two thousand fourteen. There was a major news story and what was so unique about this story was that it made its way into the indianapolis star. This is a mainstream media outlet that had collected so much data and information on this alleged possession story that they were able to publish a really well sourced article and that article went international. But it was really intriguing to see. And i talk about this particular case in gary indiana. Quite a bit in the book to see that one of these things actually making its way into the mainstream so the short answer to that is you have a lot of practices going on in other places. You have a lot of things. That are happening there spiritually and you talk to missionaries. They will tell you. They've experienced those things. I think we're also having that happened more here. And i'd be really intrigued. Map out as we move further away from faith a development. I wish wasn't happening. How much more of these sorts of requests for help we see unfold. And i wonder if it may. If something like demonic possession or demonic influence must it might just look differently than we imagined. It looks in other cultures and countries. Obviously something can be demonic. Evily influenced if it's not of god period that doesn't necessarily mean someone Convulsing or someone having to have you know. Holy water as we see in the movies being thrown on them and their bodies thrashing right right. It might not look like that. But i think that we do need to normalize to use a term. That is a word that's used so often. Now normalize seen the supernatural in the natural. And i do wonder from your perspective. Is there though a danger in that. Like is there a balance in describing spiritual significance to every single thing that happens or is that the right way to view things is okay. There's no neutral ground. Everything is either claimed by christ or counterclaimed by satan. At least in the in the here and now on earth we know that christ ultimately rains and defeats satan and send forever. So what is the right way to like. Look at things because sometimes seems like we can over spiritualize or super naturalized things as well but we also don't want to miss it when it is actually spiritual and eternal on supernatural. That's such a such a good question and there's two things okay. The first thing i was. I was in a debate recently with an atheist michael shurmur. He's a prominent atheist and we were talking about whether or not demons existed. It was a great conversation but as we were having this discussion. It's so interesting how we breakdown natural versus supernatural and we all do this right. We were like okay. That's a natural thing right. Existence is a natural thing and everything else over here is supernatural. But i've actually started thinking more about that and it's so fascinating to me that we live in a world and we live in a universe where if the earth was off of its access just a little bit weed burner freeze. You've got trees got flowers. You have all these amazing systems right. The human body is incredible. And so we're actually living super naturally but yet we assume it's just natural and i think atheists tend to do this a lot. They're like yeah. Well that's that's for this weird category over here and it's like well actually. It's all weird like the fact that have consciousness that were sitting here talking in the way that we are that we have all of this existence before us that points to a creator. It's all supernatural. And so i just wanted to mention that because i think it actually refrains the way that we think about some of this but to more specifically answer your question. The thing that i encountered a lot in researching this topic is just like you were stating there are two dynamics. There's the demon under every rock right. Those are the people who they think everything is demonic. Every bad decision every disease every illness. If it's cancer there are some people who believe cancer is caused by demons and then you have the other dynamic which is what we were talking about before and that sort. The demons aren't responsible for anything they don't exist. They're not around anymore or just don't care i'm not going to think about it. And there's a middle ground that you have to strike with this to understand again you go back to that fusion six chapter that we are living in a battle whether we like it or not whether people want to admit it or not. We have this battle of good and evil. And we're in the middle of this every human being is and so to your point before when you were sort of asking about the different ways this manifest itself we tend to talk about possession because it's the strangest and it's the most stark and we see those stories obviously in scripture. But we also see that demonic influence is totally different and more pervasive thing for most people. Possession is very uncommon and even the catholic church and products in to deal with. This will tell you that the majority of cases that come to them when they investigate them they find something else going on there right whether it's a mental condition whether it's some other explanation that doesn't mean it doesn't exist it exists. It's just not as often as we think but what is very common is the affliction of having evil come into our life our life in some way or seize on some struggle that we're having it was interesting to talk with mental health providers about addiction and so many of the people who i spoke with they would say well. Listen you know. I very very infrequently would encounter somebody who had addiction who didn't have a spiritual issue going on alongside and so that obviously is a major issue of debate and i spent a lot of time talking to mental health providers. Because i wanted to understand that dynamic because this is an area when you talk about what's demonic. What's not were. A lot of confusion happens the mental illness versus possession or at least investigation debate. So so there's a lot going on there but we wanna we wanna have discernment and we want to make sure that we know what we're dealing with when it comes to spiritual matters. Yes i think that that explains it really well and there is a balanced because obviously if we ascribe every sickness or cancer or addiction to some kind of specific demonic possession then that could lead to a faulty mentality about people who get sick and somehow blaming it on them. What did you do to open yourself up to this kind of demonic force. And i don't think that kind of thing is supported by scripture at all and unfortunately we do see that kind of wedding of kind of weird a- cultic new age practices with some forms of of christianity. Unfortunately and i think we do have to be discerning at the same time we understand that every bit of sadness and sorrow in sickness and corruption in sin in this world is due to evil and is due to the fall so like you were saying. It's not specific demonic possession. That causes these things but it is evil. I mean as a fijian's two says satan is the prince of the power of the air so he does have jurisdiction no more than got allows but he does have jurisdiction and evil in satanic forces. In general sense is the reason for you. Know every nationality and every injustice and every kind of of trespass. I think the hope that we have both in the present and but ultimately in the future is that god is going to take care of all of that. He is going to right those wrongs and he is going to defeat satan insane once and for all thankfully in the new heaven and the new earth. We won't be having this conversation about sin in satan a demonic power and so rather than being scared christians can be aware and and we can also be super helpful. Absolutely i mean. That's that's the whole thing. And so when. I when i was putting this book together my end goal was not to freak people out or scare them. You know. Playing with fire is filled with stories of people who have dealt with possession. They've dealt with spiritual issues. They've overcome them. There are pastors. There are people who on the mental health side. As i mentioned who talk about what they've experienced but i wanted to point people back to hope. Because what you just said is so true and one of the things for me in writing a book where you pull things out of the bible that only deal with evil. I was actually getting this opportunity. Which i know sounds strange. So look at okay. Who is satan. What is what is jesus. Tell us about satan. What are the scriptures. Tell us about evil. And let's look at all the stories and put that altogether what it actually did for me. And i'm not gonna lie to you. I was afraid to write the book. I know i mentioned. I said no the first time. And then i sat on the contract for two months after i was reading and then after i felt this incredible piece because it actually points you back toward good understanding evil points as back to our need for grace and for me. I felt like there was such a big piece missing in the understanding of what all of this actually means and it feels weird. And i'm a journalist so by nature. I like to question things. I want to be proven. I want somebody to give me details. And facts and to prove to me that their experience is real and so having that chance to sort of vet these stories and go into them and then to present them to say listen. You don't have to believe these things. I'd encourage atheist to pick up the book and read it because it helps you understand from a christian perspective. What we believe as christians. It's really refining and really helpful to get that full picture. That i think sometimes our churches and we're part of this too as christians. We sort of fell one another in not talking about it because it feels weird or we don't want to be looked at strangely. I mean hollywood's got no problem talking about it and of course they think it's fake. They think it's not true many of them but they're presenting and yet we have these incredible opportunities to really help people because if you are dealing with evil in some form and by the way most of us do at some point in our life we're dealing with this you know this pressure that evil can inflict even on christians lives and we don't know how to properly deal with that. That's how you really run into problems. Not only individually but corporately and as a culture taking break. Tell you guys about. This is a really great company. A really awesome service that you need to look into. So you might not know that the reason why you don't have to pay for g mail or some of those big e mail providers is because you're actually paying with your privacy. You're paying with your data. The reason you don't have to pay is because the way they make money is by selling your data's selling your private information to third parties and so you can continue to enjoy this complementary service but i think that's too high of a price to pay you'd probably rather pay affordable fee and protect your privacy and that is why start male exists. They keep email private period. Every email that you use with start mail could be encrypted. Even if the recipient does not use encryption when you delete an email and start meal it is gone forever. They used their own servers. They don't use amazon servers. Which means they're not going to be put out of business like unfortunately parlor was temporarily. They're switching to start. Mail is totally seamless. I you can easily transfer all of your current email data that there's no starting from scratch. It's also backed by the most stringent privacy laws in the world. Do you get unlimited anonymous. Aliases this protects your main email address from spam and phishing attacks. they can generate a sharable alias. Email so people can't sell your information and all of can be deleted at any time you're cybersecurity has never been more at risk so make sure you protect yourself. You make sure that you protect all of the information that you keep in your emails. Which i know is a lot by going to start. Mail dot com. That's start mail dot com slash alley for fifty percents off your first year that start meal dot com slash alley. Start mail dot com slash alley. I think there's also an opportunity. You said that hollywood presents this stuff is not real. I've also seen a lot of. I'm especially in like the young woman. Influencers south help round that there are a lot of women who are open to the existence of the supernatural leading them into On double coal kind of like a cultic type practices where they think that their supernatural power in crystals. Their supernatural power in. You know chuckers whatever it is this strange new age stuff that they actually do see some kind of empowerment from yes. That's dangerous but it's also an opportunity for christians to say you know i. I know where the real power lies like. You want supernatural power. You're right it exists and is absolutely out there yes. We are in a battle between good and evil which a lot of new people think but like let me read iraq gio towards the truth. Let me redirect you towards reality. let me show you the true rock. Not your crystals that don't have any supernatural power but here crystal thing is crazy by the way this is blowing up everywhere and it's remarkable to watch this void and you know this as we move away from god as this void more and more because everybody i mean. God made us to connect with him. And we don't do that when we choose not to do that. We have. there's a void and we're going to fill it with something and we're watching culture scramble right now to fill the void with all sorts of things that i think actually feed off of this sort of evil and this evil actually vice versa feeds off of and so the crystals have been fascinating to watch. And i've seen some christians who i know who have just descended completely into this world and so you're right. It's a real opportunity to connect with people in to talk about it. And i've had people coming to me emailing me sharing stories. I can't tell you how many people are afraid to share their story. They're afraid to talk about the things they've gone through in this arena whether they've gone into crystals or other things or whether they went through what they believe was a possession or some sort of spiritual affliction and i would encourage people to be there and to have these conversations because a lot of people have these stories when you look at the polling data among americans not just christians you have almost half of the population experiencing this sort of thing or believing that it exists and so it's not as weird as we think it is. We know if we believe the bible. Okay if we believe scripture we absolutely cannot ignore all of these stories throughout scripture. And i use the word stories lightly because we believe these things happened of jesus confronting these things and by the way not wanna tangent but if if people are going to say well this ended with. Jesus you know there were. There was no more evil demonic force walking around after jesus came while we see an act sixteen. We see paul dealing with this with this slave woman. Who's following him around. Who by the way has a spirit that allows her to be a fortune teller. Essentially a psychic and say and i had i had never noticed that story but i found it fascinating because i've encountered many christians who believe that these issues ended with jesus. Well they didn't and there are a lot of stories today even in our country that show that that is not the case. Yes and i think christians just have to be discerning in even if something does it seem explicitly satanic or explicitly demonic like playing with fire. As as you've said Leads probably two more explicit forms or more obvious forms of demonic activity. There's a reason why in the old testament like god warranties people against a sears against six and we see like you said that that is actually a demonic spirit. In the new testament there are a lot of. Christians are professing christians who are interested in their zodiac signs. They're interested in tarrant cards. They ascribe supernatural power to things. That don't have supernatural power. There are some christians. I know this is controversial. But who ascribe way too much power and authority to things like the india graham and i just think they are obsessed with that thing. It's like okay. You know i well. It's just these not to interrupted. But these are we start to put our faith in these things start to put our reliance in these things even the ouija board which everybody laughs. Whenever it's brought up. I did i did a chapter on it and i was even laughing about. I mean i never touched ouija board. I always knew as a christian growing up. Stay away from them. You don't wanna mess with it but when you go into the history of the wage board and you start to look at where it came from and all of these details about the fact that there was a medium involved in actually creating it you walk away and you say gosh. These are tools that people are using to put their faith in something else and many times. We're desperate we want to connect with the dead loved one you know. And that's it preys on those sorts of desperation and instead of putting our faith in christ we start to put our faith in any of the things you just mentioned or the ouija board or whatever it is it's gonna give us that immediate satisfaction when again it needs to be in something higher and above ourselves yes amen and thankfully that longing that we all have for something bigger for something spiritual. That's something that god placed in all of us. That's not something that you have argued so well like that. We need to just turn off and just deny exists but that spiritual curiosity that we have is thankfully satisfied in the spiritual reality that is stick -tated by god himself and his founding. Christ can you tell people again and how they can follow you where they can find your book anything else. You want to direct them to earn anything else. You want to say as well absolutely yes so if you go to playing with fire book dot com you can grab it. It's at walmart and amazon. And all the places that you know books are sold. And i would just encourage people and by the way you could follow me at billy hollowell to my website and all the socials but i would just say for anybody. Who's curious about the topic. Who wants to know more about it. Obviously grab the book but but really look at our culture. Look at what is happening around us. It is not a coincidence. That we're watching chaos ensues as we're moving more away from faith and don't be afraid to really dive in understand what is going on because i think it's so easy for us to get consumed by the politics to get consumed not that we shouldn't care. Don't misread me here but to get consumed with all of these details outside of truth outside of the gospel and it's really easy a material world and we all fall prey to this to assume that everything we're seeing is all this happening before us but there is a lot more going on behind. The scenes is a spiritual battle. Scripture tells us this and if we don't acknowledge that that's how we find ourselves again individual and cultural trouble and right now we are cultural trouble and i know. A lot of people are struggling. A lot of people are afraid people are looking at what's going on and they're wondering what the future holds and i've really come in the last year or two to really fall into my faith and to realize that at the end of the day no matter what is going on around us crisis what matters most and that that's the message we need to get to other people and so i would just encourage people that understanding evil point back to truth and i appreciate you having me on today. Yeah and just to tell a bill on this loop back to how we started this conversation. It's important for christians as well to remember who the true enemy as. It's not fellow. Christians with with whom we have political disagreements all those those political disagreements like you've said in like i believe are very important and should be talked about and can be disgust a right and a wrong to those things so i'm certainly not saying that they don't matter but at the end of the day satan of course would love to distract us from who the true enemy is and for us to believe that everyone who disagrees with us is on his side so we kind of forget in off the skate. Who the real enemy is and not is satan and sin and thankfully we have a victory and unity by the way Increased and. I think that is the hope. Also that your message brings to thank you. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Thank you for writing this book. Even though you did so with some trepidation. I know that it's going to help. A lot of people will make sure to link it in the description to this podcast. So thank you again. Thanks so much for having me.
7.23.21 Culture Friday, Fear Street, and Word Play
"World and everything in it is made possible by listeners. like i'm yvonne fair shechem. I live in a suburb of philadelphia with my husband of thirty six years. Paul he runs our family yogurt business. Well i help with care of our many grandchildren. Hope you enjoyed today's program. Good morning as events in cuba. Continue to fold a compensation about the one group. Communist government seems to fear the most. We will talk about that today on culture friday plus a new trilogy of horror. Films targeting teens spoiler alert. They are plenty scary for christian parents. Feel the devil. Few you and george grant returns with this month's wordplay it's friday july twenty third this is the world and everything in it from listener supported world radio. I'm myrna brown dog. Knickebocker now moves that kid covington summer olympic games in tokyo officially began today but for many fans who were hoping to attend this year's games the opening ceremony will be bittersweet occasion. I moved to japan. I was so excited for this day. so i'm still excited. I'm trying to be very hopeful. Even though we can't go to any of the events some events have already begun with athletes playing an empty venues including entire stadiums with no fans a spate of athletes and staff in tokyo have tested positive for covert nineteen in recent days. Ooh tokyo olympics officer. He saw menachem said. The ratio of positive tests has been extremely. Low officials have conducted about ninety six thousand tests. Nfl fewer than one hundred positive results but while olympic village has not been hard hit. Tokyo hit another six-month-high new cases on thursday. The two thousand new cases are the highest total since january. Still japan is faring quite well as compared to other parts of southeast asia were death rates from cova nineteen are soaring world. Kristen flavin has more. India was the first major nation ravaged by the delta variant. But in the last two weeks three southeast asian nations have now all surpassed india's peak per capita death. Indonesia has converted nearly all of its oxygen production to medical use to try and keep up with demand from cove nineteen patients struggling to breeze hospital. Staff in malaysia have had to resort to treating patients on the floor and indian mars largest city. Graveyard workers have been laboring day and night. Keep up with the grim demand for new cremations and burials the spread of the delta variant coupled with low vaccination rates is devastating the region in indonesia. At least fourteen hundred people are now dying from cova nineteen each day. That's up seven. Fold since the middle of june reporting for world. I'm kristen flavin. In the united states the death rate has not increased significantly but hospitalizations have doubled since late june as new kovic nineteen infections continue to spiral upward on wednesday new daily cases. Topped fifty six thousand for the first time. Since april that reportedly has health officials within the biden administration debating whether to change the federal guidance on mask-wearing in public at the moment that guidance still states that vaccinated americans generally do not need to wear a mask and white house press secretary. Jen psaki told reporters thursday. The head of the cdc our public health arm just spoke to this earlier this morning and made clear that there had not been a decision to change our mass guidance. The american academy of pediatrics. This week recommended that all students over the age of two where a mask when they return to school in the fall china is once again blocking a full investigation into the origins of cova nineteen. World's sarah sh- weinsberg has that story. The chinese government thursday rejected the world health organization's plan for the second phase of a study into the origins of the pandemic. The plan would further probe the possibility that the virus may have leaked from a laboratory and wuhan a senior. Chinese health minister called that unacceptable a team of investigators from the who conducted the first phase of the probe earlier this year. Despite only having access to very limited information the team declared it was extremely unlikely that the virus escaped from lab but last week w. h. o. Director general Conceded that there had been a premature push to rule out the lab leak theory the biden administration reacted condemning. China's continued stonewalling in a statement. The white house said we are deeply disappointed. Their position is irresponsible and frankly dangerous reporting for world. I'm sarah weinsberg. The biden administration has announced new sanctions against a cuban official and a government special brigade that in response to human rights abuses during a government. Crackdown on protests in cuba earlier. This month state. Department spokesman ned price we will stand with The cuban people who are exercising their universal rights of peaceful protests. Peaceful assembly Freedom of speech the treasury department said the sanctions will target the cuban interior ministry special brigade and military and political leader named osvaldo lopez miata. Us officials say he has played an integral role in the repression of ongoing protests in cuba. Cuban forces of attacked protesters and arrested or disappeared more than one hundred demonstrators covington and straight ahead the rise in depths of despair plus politics and poetry is the world and everything in a. It's friday july twenty third twenty twenty one glad to have you along today addition of the world and everything in it good morning. I'm marina brown. Nick hiker its culture friday. We are watching as best. We can events in cuba. And when i say as best we can what i mean to say is not very well because cuba is in the grip of totalitarian communist government so information flow is a big problem. What we do know is this that everyday cubans. These are the people who have to live under that crushing system. They have become restless and a few weekends ago. Took to the streets chanting down with dictatorship. And we want liberty this week on this program. We heard from a cuban pastor who happened to be in miami just as the unprecedented protests broke out back home and so he was able to speak freely from the united states. Talking with oh ao. He kerry reporting for world. Pastor alexis peres spoke about. How the cuban church is responding to what's happening around them and you have another nothing. Nothing you're so. It is difficult to be used in cuba. We don't have to open persecution that you will see new places but they always trying to limited church of the most of the christian they are. They are okay. What is happening is coming. Blend of the government. I would say that most of the because we have been suffering though most of the reason also cuba. We don't think that we should be involved in these guys of biden events. I'm trying to think of a government so within that we need to wait and god pray be based makers on the unseal do do its culture. Friday john stonestreet is here. He's president of the colson center and host of the breakpoint podcast. Good morning john. Good morning. We'll john pastor peres told us that among those arrested as a result of the protests and cuba were pastors. He was saying that most christians have not gotten involved in the protests but some pastors have and what the government seems to fear here is pastors getting involved then parishioners getting involved trying to stamp that out before it's too late but i wonder whether it is. What do you think well. It is hard to know. Exactly what's going on. it's notable though. Isn't it that someone Like this a government like this is afraid of christians. Afraid of the church and that's because of the church has been among the greatest forces of liberty in human history. it often goes in unexpected directions. I think it's also notable to silence the silence that we've heard from progressive liberals in america who you know. Spend time telling us how. Great cuba's literacy rate izard in the case of bernie sanders or cuba's healthcare system or anything else Earlier this week. Roger carried the letter of from a cuban catholic named maria victoria oliveiria. I think is her name Writing to the pope and basically said you know the pope's silence on this has been notable. And i'm going to quote her here It hurts a lot that while they the people who took to the streets asking for freedom. You have words to congratulate argentina's triumph in the copa america. You talk about plastic waste in the seas but have not made it. Even a public prayer for the detainees the disappeared in all who are frightened in their homes throughout our country. There is a remarkable silence here From a lot of people. That are the first to tell us that. Silence is violence in any other context whether or not the issues that they're talking about are anywhere near the moral and cultural and historical gravity of this event. I think one of the most interesting things here in. And of course i can say it's interesting from the safety of our perch here in the united states and it's brutal on the ground you know. Will this be the end of communism in cuba may be so But boy whenever these things fall apart. There's an awful lot of victims in the blast radius. You might say of. The damage affects a lot of people. The the other thing. One last thing. Nick and myrna and that is whenever you see something like this and other parts of the country you can almost since. There's got to be christians involved. There's got to be christians who care about the truth about reality that communism denies not just their suppression of you. Know theism or their denial of the celebration of christmas. But just so way. God made people that there is a yearning for freedom in the human heart that was put there by god. And that's what we're seeing in cuba. I think john. I'd like to go back to report. That came out about a week ago. By the centers for disease control. It was sadly interesting piece of data. And it's this now. We know that kovin was the big story in two thousand twenty. But here's another deaths from overdoses. They spiked up thirty percent year on year. The number in two thousand nine hundred seventy one thousand. The number in the year twenty twenty was ninety. Three thousand thirty percent rise. Do you think that this is a continuation of a deaths from despair. Trend that we've talked about here before. Have you seen some analysis on that Yeah have and. I think it absolutely is because this is something that i worried about from the very beginning these. These are the pre existing conditions culturally speaking for cova they are clearly co morbidity the numbers you just read are just the overdose numbers when you talk about. The suicide numbers particularly of students in schools. this is something where You know the push of teachers unions everywhere to keep students home. It actually may being at home that much. More dangerous In terms of suicidal we saw it up close and personal here in colorado having had to deal with a dramatic spike in suicides among high school students. Even in el paso county where i live and the work that was done to address that in partnership between the public schools and the churches it was a remarkable thing and of course code hits and all that gets put to a stop. You know you look at this. The cdc in themselves. I really remember a few months ago. Saying twenty five percent of school aged children had suicidal idea during covert. I can't even believe that that could possibly be true that number so outrageous and yet here we are Look the Physical conditions don't define who we are the physical conditions affect who we are in in the context of our cultural moment and there were plenty of pre existing conditions that have to do with isolation that have to do with the lack of accountability with other people that have to do with the lack of meaning and purpose which is often found in being able to accomplish something to be live out are the creation mandate and biblical terms covert left room for none of that and so staying. Home is not a solution when screen time isolates us from real relationships. Real friends from being known takes us deeper into addictions than to just increase the time on screens mike. Keep us physically safe and as far more emotionally spiritually Relation lee risk. I i expect all of these numbers that are just now coming out from ovid To be really bad. I hope i'm wrong but i i don't think i will be Unfortunately john i've spent a lot of time telling the back stories behind the music of a number of christian singers and songwriters. And i guess that's why these next two stories caught my attention so the first one matthew west who's voice we've heard here on world wrote a song. Called modest is hottest a fun little song on modesty which he pulled down after a twitter protest and he said sorry guests. I'm just an overprotective dad or such switching gears to another award winning singer songwriter. Amy grant. And i heard this one from you john. But for the listener. I'll summarize grant appeared on a pro. Lgbt podcast and when asked about gay artist and country music she said. and i'll quote. I think it's important to set a welcome table for people of all sexual orientations because none of us are a surprise to god. Nothing about who we are or what we've done so here are two hugely popular christian artists and you know. Maybe they're really doing what they believe in. But i want to ask the question then. Morrison is asking in one of his new songs. Almost saying it. Where have all the rebels gone. That tells you awful. Lot about cultural pressure doesn't it and who knew. Van morrison is releasing new songs. God bless and that's a that's kind of success of mick jagger proportions. How's that still going on. Look at the matthew west thing. I don't even wanna talk about. I think it was a fun. Little song in the controversy was a folk controversy and this is ridiculous And i'll just say that and leave it there. The grant story was an interesting one because she's legendary right in in the industry And she didn't say anything. Technically wrong did she. You know it's important at a welcome table for people of all sexual orientation is not a surprise to god. Nothing about who we are. What we've done. I agree with that what i said. In our short commentary on this which is concerning is that it is very easy to say the culturally acceptable truth and then not say the culturally unacceptable part of the truth and to think what we've said the truth the pro. Lgbt podcast host took her words as an endorsement of his lifestyle. Those of us who communicate have a responsibility into the ins and outs of communication. And that means. I have a responsibility to think clearly about what i say. I have a responsibility to articulate. Clearly what i say. And i have a responsibility to understand the listener. The audience you in other words when you telegraph culturally acceptable truth and are silent. forever on culturally unacceptable truth. It's very clear what you're doing. This is called tickling ears and the new testament at the Omission is intentional. And it communicates something to the listener. That we need to know is being communicated now. Look i get it. I mean none of us want the conversation to end. None of us want you know. Lost people to walk away from the table. And i you know i. I'm not saying there was any sort of nefarious nece or that you know she. Herself has become pro. Lgbt i don't know i have no inside knowledge of that at all. I just i just know that There's an easy way to do this And the easy way to do. This often communicates the exact opposite of what is true In this case you you know you're going to be asked these questions And you can decide whether the goal a answering is to be liked to be invited back to be accepted to not offend anyone or to honor christ and the you don't always have to choose between those options but increasingly in our culture. You need to be prepared to choose between these options. John stonestreet is president of the colson center. And home of the breakpoint podcast. John was great to talk with you. I hope you have a great weekend and we'll talk to you next time. Thank you both day. They're playing our song. Well it's so channel. Pretend no not. Additional support comes from alliance defending freedom dedicated to protecting god. Given rights including helping ministry leaders navigate religious freedom issues. Free legal guide available at ministry brooke dot com. Know what my house certain. Words trigger immediate action minka score four seconds from asleep to on the hunt but when some others see a squirrel they get out of the way instead of running like crazy toward it. A teenage driver in massachusetts swerved so as not to hit a squirrel in the road but what he hit instead was a house and not just any house. It was a cottage that was constructed in the year sixteen fifty by an ancestor of president abraham lincoln. No one was injured but the historic home. Sad to say was. Police arrived at the samuel lincoln. Cottage to find an audi. Suv park mostly inside after plowing into a wall. Outside samuel lincoln was president. Lincoln's great grandpa a team of specialists now working to try to repair the damage and as for the squirrel. Now so long as my faithful doberman is nowhere about it appears the squirrels going to be okay. It's the world and everything in it. Today is friday. July twenty third twenty twenty one. Thank you for turning to world radio to help start your day. Good morning. i'm a brown. And i'm nick. Eicher coming next on the world and everything in it a scary new film series targeting teams earlier this month net flicks released a trilogy of horror films adapted from our l stein's fear street books. Some teams may be familiar with the series which stein himself rates. Pg but the r rated films include occult elements and woke values. not in the original and reviewer. Emily whitman says that makes them dead. On arrival for christian fam- a history of or has earned it the nickname killer capital. Usa fear street trilogies rated r for strong bloody violence drug content language and some sexual content. So yeah the three films. Don't look a lot like rl stein's original fear street books instead. They look a lot. More like financial blockbusters scream and friday the thirteenth. It's the billion dollar industry at this point. The fear industry in hollywood and that has been a number. That has been growing and billy hollowell. He's a spokesman pure flex and he's written about hollywood's financial incentives to create horror films and his book playing with fire but money isn't the only factor here with christian faith. Declining across america. Hollowell also says spiritual confusion is driving. Interest in occult themes movies like the fear street trilogy tap into real spiritual hunger. Just not an wholesome way we innately know. There's something more most of us. The vast majority of human beings and so we sometimes go the wrong way and trying to figure out what that is not going towards christ which were called to go that spiritual vacuum also leads to a deconstruction of traditional christian morals. And i don't just mean the usual sex violence and bad language. Fear street may be the first major woke horror movie an interview hosted by coming soon dot net director lee. Janney explained the ideology driving the script. It was kind of the reason that i felt like we could make street now. So we could. We could tackle things like you know systemic oppression and police violence and police planting evidence and In kind of like you said homophobia all of all of the things but it was baked into this idea of this is the central kind of conflict of shady ciders and sunnyvale. To get what she sang. You need to know little about the fear street. World it's basically divided into two separate towns. Sunnyvale and shady side. Sunnyvale is the fluent white town and shady. Ville is the poor diverse town. Next door with a gruesome murder problem. Here's a clip. From fear street. Part to nineteen seventy eight in which two characters discussed the town town. You feel it. Don't you shady side there something years just holding down forcing us scared. Admitted the overall plot centers around lesbian couple dina and sam who come from shady side in the first film. Sam disturbs a witches grave and soon the witch and her henchmen begin to hunt sam eventually the which seems to possess her in the second film deena and her brother. Try to cure sam girlfriend. Visit a woman who survived an earlier killing spree by the same witch. Who saw her. Can you survive. What was different cleese. Maybe something happened to you. Something that can help us. Stop nine the third film. The teens go back to sixteen sixty six to discover the origins of the witch and her curse spoiler alert here turns out the which wasn't a witch at all the good family upstanding white puritans are the real source of all evil and carnage the second half of the film jumps back to nineteen ninety-four. There dina finally figures out how to save sam and shady side. We need to kill nick. Good nick good happens to be the white sheriff so in this fantasy world. Lesbian love is good. Puritans are evil and the only way to stop that evil to kill the white sheriff who confirmed his forefathers deal with the devil although actually it turns out. The devil isn't all that scary in this clip from the third movie. Dna explains what she really fears. I don't feel the devil. I fear the neighbor. Who would accused me. I feel the mother that would let her daughter. Union leaders like laughs. The slaughter expect us to just follow him by going back to the puritans janea connects modern day politics with the san of our forefathers things like the salem witch trials in slavery the also present extreme caricatures of christians as judgmental and cruel for instance. Here's how one mom sounds when she finds her daughter in a lesbian relationship. See that's pretty extreme before we hit back. I think it's actually worth asking. Are christians doing all. We can to live down. This caricature too often. I see social media posts by folks who claim to be christians. The sound a lot like that mom. Of course the woke solution for evil isn't just misguided it mirrors the same kind of cruelty and blindness. Fear street filmmakers rightly perceive. Love at the center of man's fight against evil but they put disordered sexual love and the place of god's divine love and as with any idol. It's a deadly mistake. Here's billy hollow again. Hollywood has often spent a lot of time ignoring denigrating just ignoring the only solution that we have to evil in this world and that is the tragic part and the i think sort of the call to christians to of how do we engage with this in a way that actually reaches people because not only are people not being reached. They're being given an opposing. Ideology that actually slashes. You know the only thing that would be the solution for them. If you're a parent who can keep your teens from watching these films by all means do it but let's face it. Millions of teens including christian teens are going to see them that means parents grandparents and pastors need to be willing to talk about their troubling themes if we do that humbly prayerfully seeking to lessen as well as instruct we have nothing to fear just like the apostle john says perfect love cast out all fear. I'm emily whitman Today is friday july twenty third. Good morning this is the world and everything in it from listener supported world radio. I'm nick and myrna brown time now forward play this month george grant dives into one of the most significant works of the english language just as it is axiomatically assumed that politics and religion did not nate for particularly pleasant dinner table conversation it is likewise assumed that they do not make for particularly pleasant poetry. Either but john. Milton sunders both assumptions in his masterful. Work paradise lost. It is a work that is explicitly political and inescapably religious. Indeed it is a prime example of that most unbending ideological and theological dogmatism that characterize the zealously partisan seventeenth century and yet it is magnificent poetry its beauty and grace are undeniable. Its majestic cadence. It's lofty vision and it. Soaring images have earned. Milton a place in english letters. Second only to shakespeare. According to samuel johnson. Milton's work is a treasure of unbounded breadth and depth and height. Walter scott agreed saying it set the standard against which all future epochs might be judged herald bloom has asserted if shakespeare is the center of the western literary canon. Milton is it's anchor and thomas. Macaulay said milton's poetry acts like an incantation is. Words are words of enchantment. It is astonishing that such a work should come from the pin of an author as controversial as milton who lived in an equally controversial age. A bloody civil war sundered was once merry england that calamitous time was at then followed by the rage side of king charles. Ten years puritan. Parliamentary rule and then finally the restoration of the stuart monarchy these events. We're not merely the background to milton's life. They were his life. He was an active passionate and crucial player in. Those revolutionary events and his poetry is indelibly marked by his activism and his devotion. Milton's intention in paradise laws was to explain the world of conflict in contemporary england. Through the lens of the great war in heaven between satan's infernal minions and god's providential kingdom in an astonishingly beautiful epic poem to rival homer and virgil in order to accomplish that. He not only controversy really recast the biblical narrative of the fall but he also controversy elite recast the english language as well contributing more new words or meal. Loge 'isms than any other writer in history. The imposed new meanings on old words like space goose and fragrance. He transformed verbs into nouns and nouns into verbs like stunning enjoyable and irrresponsible. He created a host of new compound. Words like arch fiend self delusion and lovelorn and he invented a veritable catalogue of entirely. New words like pandemonium terrific sensuous dismissive complacency laterna debauchery padlock and didactic. Milton died in sixteen. Seventy four just. After the second edition of paradise lost had appeared to mild critical acclaim during his life. It sold well enough to earn milton. A total of about ten pounds but over the next two decades the book went through six editions including one published in sixteen. Seventy eight with large engraved illustrations since then it has never lost its status as classic and it has never stopped being a source of controversy. Milton would not have had it any other way. I'm george grant well. I received a nice note suggesting that we shake up the alphabetized friday. Thank you routine. And i think that's a great idea to so a special. Thank you shout out to our team in order of appearance this week mary. Reichert can't covington. Katie golden kristen. Flavin anna joe hansen brown josh schumacher kim henderson o'neill's ao. He kerry johnny. B cheney sarraj weinsberg. Caleb bailey steve west cal thomas emily whitten and george grant johnny franklin. And carl. pete's are our audio engineers who stay up late to get the program to you early. Lee jones managing editor. Paul butler is executive producer and marvan. Olesky is editor in chief. And you thank you for supporting independent christian journalism. A bible says preach the word be ready in season and out of season reprove rebuke and exhort with complete patience and teaching mindful today of the struggle for freedom for cuba. Let's be sure to give. Thanks for the freedom. We have to worship with our brothers and sisters. In christ lord willing. We'll meet you back here on monday.