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A SEISMIC SHIFT
“Since 2015 we in the Christian church have experienced a seismic shift in what it means to be a Christian,” shares Rosaria. For example, boys think they are girls, girls think they are boys, and many churches are facing abuse scandals. However, the gospel hasn’t changed, and God hasn’t changed. As Christians it is important that we discern how these changes impact our lives. Rosaria shares, “Christians need to know that we must speak boldly to our world. We need to live boldly for Christ. We need to do this now. Heaven has no regrets, and neither do Christians.” Some ways Christians can stand up for their faith in a hostile world:
· Know what is going on with your local school board, whether you have kids in public school or not. Get involved.
· Spend more time with your church family so you can learn how to prepare to share the gospel with a hostile world instead of trying to make the gospel less offensive.
· Be prepared to suffer for the truth of the gospel.
FIVE LIES CONFRONTED
Rosaria shares, “We are of no good to God or our loved ones if we believe the lies the culture feeds us about what it means to be a man or a woman.” The only way to help loved ones who are lost in same sex relationships and transgender confusion is to stay connected but not join them in their indoctrination. The five lies below go against God’s plan and purpose when He created men and women.
· Lie #1: Homosexuality is normal. “Some professing Christians believe that homosexual orientation is fixed, immutable (unchangeable) and part of God’s creational and eternal plan. Some people believe that homosexuality is embedded in a person’s identity,” shares Rosaria. For example, gay Christians believe you can’t repent of who you are, how you feel, or even what you desire.
· Lie #2: Being a spiritual person is kinder than being a biblical Christian. This religion elevates being a “good” person over giving your life to Christ. This lie does not believe in rules or distinctions.
· Lie #3: Feminism is good for the world and the church. In the church, feminism is alive and well. Rosaria, says, “Some professing Christian feminists believe that Adam’s headship is a consequence of the fall, and thus a sin. They claim that there is no biblical warrant for a married woman’s submission to her husband and elders or for elders and pastors to be qualified men.”
· Lie #4: Transgenderism is normal. People who believe in “gender fluidity” hold the belief that there are more than two biological sexes and even more genders.
· Lie #5: Modesty is an outdated burden that serves male dominance and holds women back. People who believe this lie reject modesty because they find it oppressive for women. “In the contemporary church climate, modesty has been replaced by exhibitionism,” reveals Rosaria.
If you have believed these lies it is important to confront them with repentance and biblical truth. Rosaria admits, “I believed all of these lies as an unbeliever, but I continued to believe some of them for years into my Christian life.” For example, for years she used and defended “preferred pronouns” because she felt it would help in trying to bring the gospel to these people. She now believes using “preferred” pronouns is sinful. “Not only is it lying to people who are already lied to by the world, but it also falsifies the gospel imperative of the creation ordinance, with its eternal binary of being created in the image of God as male or female and the command to live out that image-bearing within God-assigned sexual roles,” shares Rosaria.
Rosaria did not grow up in a Christian home. In her late twenties, allured by feminist philosophy and LGBTQ+ advocacy, she adopted a lesbian identity. “Feminism was my worldview and religion. I did not just find women sexually attractive; I found the whole worldview of queer theory and feminism inspiring, meaningful, and life giving. I believed in a world where distinctions and hierarchies of any kind must be eliminated so that the sacred and divine nature of people could be finally realized.”
After she earned her PhD from Ohio State University, she worked in the English department and women's studies program at Syracuse University from 1992 to 2002. Her primary academic field was critical theory, specializing in queer theory. Her historical focus was 19th-century literature, informed by Freud, Marx, and Darwin. She advised the LGBTQ+ student group, wrote Syracuse University’s policy for same-sex couples, and actively lobbied for LGBTQ+ aims alongside her lesbian partner.
In 1997, while Rosaria was researching the Religious Right “and their politics of hatred against people like me,” she wrote an article against the Promise Keepers. A response to that article triggered a meeting with Ken Smith, a Reformed Presbyterian pastor who became a resource on the Religious Right, a confidant, and a friend. He and his wife, Floy, invited her to dinner. For two years, she went to their house every week for dinner, before she ever stepped foot in church.
In 1999, she finally began attending church and heard Psalm 113: “Praise Jehovah, praise the Lord! Ye his servants praise accord; Blessed be Jehovah’s name evermore His praise proclaim." The scripture became a turning point for her. She realized how short she had fallen from God’s will and began to see the logic in God’s love and God’s order. Soon after, she converted to Christianity and broke up with her lesbian partner.
Her affections began to change as she began growing in her relationship with the Lord. She wanted to become a godly woman, wife, and mother. She met Kent Butterfield, a pastor, and they married on May 19, 2001. They moved from a church plant in Virginia to a small Reformed Presbyterian church in North Carolina. As a pastor’s wife she made a difficult decision to give up her professional life. “Unable to bear children of our own, the Lord allowed us to adopt four, including two out of foster care at the age of seventeen that we adopted five years apart,” shares Rosaria. She stays busy homeschooling her younger children and teaching at a Christian homeschool co-op.
ACCEPTANCE VS. APPROVAL
When Rosaria was a lesbian, Ken and Floy accepted her, but that did not mean they gave their approval for her lifestyle. “Acceptance means dealing protectively and gently with the person who is lost,” shares Rosaria. Ken and Floy showed acceptance to Rosaria by listening, caring for, praying, and sharing God’s word with her. Some ways you can show acceptance to your prodigal without approving of their choices include:
• Point your adult children to the gospel so they can avoid God’s punishment. Do not think that just because your prodigal is an adult, you are no longer parenting.
• If your prodigal believes he or she is nonbinary or a different sex from that which God made them to be, you can ask them to define the new vocabulary words, but do not feel compelled to use them.
• Know biblical doctrine as a filter to the words your prodigal has embraced.
• Have a systemic theology game plan. Rosaria uses Westminster Shorter Catechism.
• Find a Bible believing church.
• Pray for the conversion of your loved one.
• Repent of feeling responsible for your child’s sin.
• Do not tell your prodigal lies or buy into their false theology.
Discover more about Rosaria Butterfield, including her book, Five Lies of Our Anti-Christian Age, at her website: RosariaButterfield.com.
Bryce Drew holds court on a campus of distinction, saying, “We’re the world’s largest Christian University. That doesn’t happen without God’s hand and blessing.” Previously leading two different schools to the NCAA tournament, Bryce made it three as Grand Canyon University’s Head Basketball Coach, declaring, “we wanna be an extension of the school, implement faith into our players, play hard and hopefully win a lot of games.” The 2-time conference champions have – for he is the same Bryce Drew that once hit that iconic game-winning shot, catapulting Valparaiso to a 1998 tournament upset, while his dad and brother watched as coaches. After 6 seasons as an NBA player and 11 as a college coach, Bryce merges the core of each together.
Question: “Are you by nature a builder?”
Bryce Drew: “I was really competitive as an athlete and so my nature is just do it harder, do it more. Early in my coaching days I kind of just had that approach about everyone on the team. And now as I’ve gotten to coach a lot of different personalities, I think some people really respond to that and then others probably need a lot more encouragement. And now you have to answer ‘why?’ You know, ‘why, am I doing this coach?' And that’s just become part of our coaching so they know what’s expected, sooner than later.”
Question: “Bryce, your heart to coach day in and day out, what is the one thing that you keep going back to?”
Bryce Drew: “Growing up a coach's kid and loving the game, I was always in the gym. Definitely the blueprint that my dad laid out years ago, the big job of a coach is the influence we’re gonna have on basketball players. Some people can go out and speak why we live the way we do and others – it’s an example from a faith perspective, it’s from a character perspective that they’ll look back, you know, 20, 30 years and be like, ‘man, that really changed my life.’”
Question: “Most common pressing need, those incoming freshman have …?”
Bryce Drew: “Most of the young men on our team, they want to able to trust us as coaches and trust us as men. And that doesn’t happen overnight, it's something that you know we have to earn on a year-to-year basis. You can build trust for a lifetime and you can lose it in one moment. So, for us as coaches, is to build that trust, but then even harder, you know, to keep that trust.”
Question: “What is required more from you now as a head coach that you didn’t have to bring 10 years ago?”
Bryce Drew: “You have to have great administration, willing to adapt. And then you know – assistant coaches I think are more valuable now than ever just with building relationships with players. You know with the portal being able to leave right away to different school, it definitely changes a long-term perspective in a program more to a short-term perspective. You’re going to get a lot more players that just come for one year, coming for two years. So, a lot of that process with culture, team building, character building needs to be accelerated, you know, a little bit faster than the past.”
Question: “How do you prevent the message from a Christian University that can become obligated, stale – and instead, fanning that to a group of individuals that are in need of some foundations in their life?”
Bryce Drew: “I’m a work in progress. How we present the gospel is a work in progress. I’ve tried to get better at that. In the Bible, how clever Jesus was, you know, getting His message across and sometimes it was through the parables or time and place is so important.”
Question: “What’s most important about learning how to lose in order to win, is there a relationship there?”
Bryce Drew: “Yeah! As an athlete, as a coach, I’ve always learned way more through losing – unfortunately. Those losses have motivated me! It’s painful and you hate it. But sometimes in my lowest sports moments, unbelievable moments have come from that, you know, after you do experience the setbacks and the growing pains and then the improvement, it makes it that much more meaningful when you do reach your goals.”
Question: “The performance of the demand and the pressure to win?”
Bryce Drew: “You know there’s a lot of things unfortunately that you just can’t control, it's always that balance of, ‘okay God, this is yours!’ You wanna win and you wanna be successful and you want your guys to enjoy their experience there. It’s just what the sports world is and it's something that you have to grow and learn to handle.”
Question: “Does the competitor part of us, conflict or compliment, the Christ within us?”
Bryce Drew: “I need to give my all to what I’m doing. And if it’s to win a game, I give my all to try to win that game. I don’t think you can be two different people. All of a sudden you’re following Christ outside the lines and you’re not following Christ inside the lines. Christ was very ambitious in getting His gospel out but He never overstepped what God wants Him to do today! I want to win knowing I’m staying true to the Lord and true to how I’ve professed to live my life.”
Question: “Do you have a tendency to apply the competitor in you in your devotion in following Him?”
Bryce Drew: “As we all know life is hard, there’s so many challenges and things thrown at you. Just like a game at times, all the shots are going in and then all of a sudden they don’t go in and the other team makes it and you got to rear-up those competitive juices again and I’d say very similar to the Christian faith. It’s easier to be a non-follower of Christ. It’s much harder to be a follower of Christ. And at that point we leave it in God’s hands and we just go out and perform what He’s blessed us to do.”
Millie Alanis, along with her husband, Jesse loves helping others. She has been a 700 Club partner since 2004.
“I really like praying and the giving parts to the different ministries of CBN. I wanted to be a part of CBN because they have so many various ministries within," said Millie.
In 2006, Millie felt led to give a little extra on top of her $20 dollars a month commitment to help Operation Blessing.
“I kept increasing. Really, I was testing God. Because His word says test me now and prove me. And I kept giving because I kept seeing the results of my giving. I was seeing the impact it was making on people. They go out there to help people that have disasters. The stuff about the surgeries with the children, the cleft lip and palate. All of that is really awesome," said Millie.
Millie says she began to notice changes in her own life. “When I started giving to CBN, first of all, I saw a joy in my heart. I started feeling like God was increasing my health, in every area. Everything was starting to just get better in my life. Especially, joy was being increased in my life.”
In 2010, Millie also began giving towards Superbook, where she uses the stories to lead children’s Bible studies.
“I love children and I believe the early years of their formation are very, very important. I really believe Super Book is something, the cartoons, that’s something that they can relate to. They really like it," said Millie.
The couple is grateful for the joy they receive through giving to others. Their faith has also been encouraged. For years, Millie was unable to work due to immobilizing vertigo.
“It was just kind of like seeing the room spinning and I would feel off balance. I felt like I wanted to vomit. It really made me feel sick all over and I couldn’t do anything. I had gone to doctors and they told me there was no cure for vertigo," said Millie.
On April 13, 2021, she was watching the 700 Club and saw a special appeal for a gift to support Israel.
“When I saw that it really moved my heart with compassion. I went in the room and I got out my credit card and I made the call to CBN. And I said, 'I would like to pledge $100.' And she said to me, 'Well, hold on, let me get the information.' And when she put me on hold, the Holy Spirit told me, 'I don’t only want you to give $100 this one time, I want you to give it monthly.' And the moment I said, 'Yes Lord,' the Spirit of God hit me so hard, it almost threw me backwards. And I felt the anointing of God though me. It was like in waves and waves. I just started weeping, crying. Before I knew it I got up and I started saying, 'Thank you Lord, thank you Lord,.' As I walked out of the room, my husband, he looked at me and he goes, 'God healed you, right?' All I did was nod. I couldn't even speak," said Millie.
Today Millie continues to faithfully give to CBN and is now a 1000 Club member.
“When you give to the Lord, he takes care of everything. And I love to give. Especially to CBN. And you miss out when you don’t give to God. Because there’s just so many benefits in giving to Him. And He wants to give you a lot more than you could ever ask, think, or imagine," said Millie.
The annual tradition continues on the campus of CBN as The Founders Inn rings in the Christmas season with their annual Grand Illumination.
CBN’s impact around the world
Daily prayers for people across the country
CBN’s prayer team prayed with over 1.2 million callers in 2022 alone, while also praying with people through email, social media channels, live chat on the website, and written correspondence.
Highlighting testimonies of God’s faithfulness
Vida Dura or “Hard Life” stories are sourced throughout Latin America and produced in Spanish to reach a region with testimonies of people who hit rock bottom and turn to God for change. CBN has a prayer center in Latin America to support people through prayer and faith resources.
Serving in the wake of natural disasters
CBN's Operation Blessing was on the ground quickly in the wake of the devastating earthquakes in Turkey, providing much-needed food, relief supplies, and medical aid. After large-scale natural disasters, Operation Blessing strives to be the first to arrive, and the last to leave, tending to the needs long after the news cameras leave.
Ukraine and Poland
For 30 years, CBN has been serving the people of Ukraine
Through CBN’s Orphan’s Promise and Operation Blessing, we were able to quickly provide valuable resources soon after the conflict began, and we continue to support Ukrainian refugees.
Projected 135 million* watched a CBN program in 2022
CBN partners are reaching children around the world with the Gospel of Jesus through Superbook, a Bible-based animation series. In 2022 alone, children in 139 countries watched at least one episode of Superbook.
Bible Reading for the Day
Read or listen to today's Old and New Testament Bible readings. Each day is portioned to give the entire Bible to you in a year. Start anytime. Scroll forward or backward if you miss any days or want to get ahead.