Top Ten Stream Posts of 2019

(Photos by Wikimedia Commons/Mobilus In Mobili (CC BY-SA 4.0), extracted; YouTube screenshot/Hillsong Worship; Flickr/Doc Searls (CC BY 2.0); Facebook Screenshot/Jim Domen; YouTube/MassResistance, screenshot; Facebook/Izzy Folau;; Flickr/The White House/Andrea Hanks; Facebook/Save James;

By The Stream Published on December 30, 2019

You can’t say 2019 was dull. It’s certainly been non-stop action at The Stream. As always, we are grateful for the efforts of our writers and contributors to help us make sense of an often nonsensical world. And we are most grateful to you readers for helping us continue to grow and improve.  

But before we leap into 2020, let’s run through the Stream’s 10 hottest stories of 2019!

My friend Dan told me recently he was thinking of leaving his church because they’d spent nine consecutive sermons on the Enneagram. Since then the same topic has popped up in at least four different places. I’ve done some research, and I’m alarmed at what I’m discovering.

The Enneagram is a personality test, much in the same vein as the Myers/Briggs Type Inventory, or the DiSC test. It claims to do more than they do, though. I’d heard of it long ago, and I did enough work on it then to have serious doubts about it on technical grounds. Research on its validity — essentially, whether it reliably measures what it claims to measure — was unimpressive, to say the least.

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After a recent court battle between his parents, little James Younger finally has a say in whether he wants to live as a girl or a boy. He chooses to live as a boy, against his mother’s wishes.James’ mom, pediatrician Dr. Anne Georgulas, enrolled James in kindergarten as a girl named “Luna.” She dressed him in girls’ clothing and put barrettes in his hair. She claims James wants to be a girl. However, when he was at his dad’s house, James threw away the dresses in the middle of the night. He wants to be called James and wears boy clothes while at his dad’s house.

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As we approach the 2020 election, and with impeachment news daily in the headlines, there are Christian leaders who prophesy that Donald Trump will indeed win. It is an untold story of prophecies and spiritual signs that is off the radar screen of the secular media, which would never cover it except to ridicule. Yet many Christians believe God still actively guides us not only through the Bible, but through the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts.

Many Christians believe in the existence of modern-day prophets — people with a spiritual gift enabling them to tell others what God is saying. Therefore, it’s no surprise that when various prophets have said God has raised up Donald Trump, many believe it’s true. Could God be speaking to us today, and does He still have plans and purposes for America?

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If you ask my detractors, they would tell you that the reason I do not celebrate gay pride is that I’m a bigot. A hater. A homophobe. A transphobe. And I understand their perspective.

After all, no matter how Christian I claim to be, if I tell a gay couple I do not believe they are truly married in God’s sight, that feels like hatred to them. If I tell a woman who identifies as a man that I still believe she is a woman, that feels like hatred to her.

Why shouldn’t all of us celebrate gay (or, LGBT) pride? For me, there are three major reasons, and none of them have anything to do with hatred or fear.

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Israel Folau says he feels “vindicated” after reaching a settlement with Rugby Australia on Wednesday. Rugby Australia and Rugby NSW also apologized to Israel for sacking him and any “hurt or harm” the firing caused.

“We started this journey on behalf of all people of faith, to protect their rights of freedom of speech and religion,” Folau said in a video posted on his website. “We now look forward to the federal government enacting the legislation necessary to further protect and strengthen these rights for all Australians.”

“We are extremely pleased with the settlement reached today,” Folau continued. “With today’s acknowledgment and apology by Rugby Australia, we have been vindicated and can now move on with our lives to focus on our faith and our family.”

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We told you this was coming. We warned you it would happen. We were not crying wolf. We were telling you the truth. And now it is here, as a headline announces: “Canadian tribunal fines Bill Whatcott $55,000 for expressing Christian views on ‘transgenderism.’” In other words, Whatcott called a biological male (who identifies as a female) a “biological male.” That was his crime.

What a miscarriage of justice. What an assault of freedom of speech and expression.

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When new recording artist Edward Byrd toured the U.S. Capitol last week he didn’t expect to sing in the Rotunda. Now a video of him singing the hymn Nothing but the Blood of Jesus has gone viral.

Byrd, along with members of the group Changed — men and women who chose to leave homosexuality — went to the Capitol to tell lawmakers that a bill to outlaw therapy for homosexuals would only hurt those who want to change.

After a tour of the Capitol, Byrd, who released his first single in February, began to sing. Oh, how even the statues seem to weep.

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He’s not giving up Darwinism without some remorse. “It means one less beautiful idea in our world,” says David Gelernter.

This isn’t someone you’d expect to reject Darwin. He lives and works at the heart of the intellectual establishment. He’s a renowned computer scientist at Yale University — the New York Times called him a “rock star” — and served on the National Council on the Arts. He explained in a recent essay in the Claremont Review of Books why he no longer believes Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

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Update: The Christian Post reported on Aug. 13 that Sampson responded to Brown’s column, clarifying he hasn’t lost his faith, but it’s “on incredibly shaky ground.”

I just read the news that Marty Sampson, a popular Hillsong song writer, is leaving the faith. In his words, “I’m genuinely losing my faith … and it doesn’t bother me.” While some critics claim he was never a true believer, accusing Hillsong of being “a prosperity gospel cult,” I know nothing about Marty at all. So, I’ll take him at his word that he did believe in the past but does so no longer.

What I find most surprising is not him turning from his faith. What is surprising is Marty seems to feel that “no one” is talking about challenges to the Christian faith.

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The Democratic National Committee has taken its stand, and it’s against orthodox Christianity. It passed a resolution in August calling for the Party to be more inclusive toward non-believers. On its own that’s not remarkable. But the document also strongly denounces Christian belief and action.

The party’s hostility toward Christian beliefs and values was clear enough before. Putting it on paper this way, however, raises the message to another level.

The Democrats want to see Christians on the defense. And they’re good at putting us there. They have special skill with scare words.

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