Tuesday, 31 January 2017 07:39

The Top 10 Topics of 2016

Written by  Bob Crittendon
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It is time for my annual activity, listing the “Top 10 Topics” from the previous year impacting the Christian community.  Here are the “Top 10 Topics of 2016,” as announced on The Meeting House on Faith Radio the first week of the year.







10 - Noah’s Ark replica opens in Kentucky

The ministry Answers in Genesis opened Ark Encounter, a life-size replica of Noah’s Ark in Northern Kentucky, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors since its opening in July.


9 - AL Chief Justice Roy Moore suspended

As the result of an order he issued concerning the potential effect of the Obergefell ruling on same-sex marriage on Alabama, Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended for the remainder of his term by a judicial body; his appeal was set to be heard by a panel of replacement judges for members of the Alabama Supreme Court, who recused themselves.


8 - Alabama lawmakers turn back gambling – again

Alabama lawmakers met to consider authorizing a vote on a state lottery; an effort that was turned back in the Senate after the House approved an amendment stating that such a lottery would be on paper tickets, which would eliminate the possibility of casino-style gambling.


7U.S. Supreme Court directs parties in lawsuit in HHS contraception mandate for non-profits to compromise

In a case of non-profit organizations, including the charity Little Sisters of the Poor, challenging the government mandate that employers provide free contraception and abortion-inducing drugs, the high court instructed the parties to try to reach a compromise.


6 - Debate over Syrian refugees; humanitarian crisis in Syria

Christians attempting to balance security with compassion wrestled with how to minister to refugees from Syria who wished to come to America, while the humanitarian crisis in that nation intensified.


5 Islamic State and religious persecution; activities labeled genocide

The effects of Islamic State’s persecution of people, including Christians, continued to be felt, and the U.S. State Department labeled activities of the terror group as “genocide.”


4 - United Methodist Church sidesteps issues of sexuality, announces formation of committee to study related issues

The denomination met in Portland, OR in its General Conference, where issues concerning the Church’s position on homosexuality were expected to be addressed.  Instead, the body voted for a committee to be formed.


3 - Attempts to further the LGBT agenda

Georgia’s governor vetoed a bill to protect pastors from having to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.  North Carolina passed a law that said those identifying as transgender individuals were to use the restroom facilities corresponding to their biological gender.  Plus, the Federal government issued a letter to school districts directing them to allow students to use facilities corresponding to their “gender identity.”  A Virginia case ended up before the U.S. Supreme Court, which placed any further action in that school district on hold temporarily.


2 - Christians unite for prayer

A number of national prayer gatherings were scheduled throughout the year, including a virtual prayer meeting during January, encompassing a variety of church leaders, including denominational heads.  The United Cry assembly in Washington, DC, The Gathering, which was simulcast from Dallas, and the 50-state series of Decision America meetings, administered by Franklin Graham, were indicative of how Christians sensed a need to pray for our nation.


1 - “The Art of the (Evangelical) Deal”

Donald Trump was elected President of the United States in a contentious November General Election.  Even though it was apparent that Trump was not considered part of the evangelical community, a number of Christian leaders voiced support for him; others did not, due to concerns about the candidate’s morality.  Trump also made a concerted effort to reach out to that group.  Even though many evangelicals voting in the Republican primary indicated support for someone else during the primary process, they came on board for Trump in November.


In the end, Trump won 80% support of white evangelicals, due to their opposition to the policies embraced by his opponent, and to his promise to appoint Supreme Court justices who would uphold the Constitution.  Many felt these potential justices would embrace views that are more consistent with a Christian worldview perspective on matters of life and family.


Will Trump fulfill some of these hopes of many in the Christian community?  That will be something to watch in the months and years to come.  There are certainly areas of concern: For instance, he has said that Planned Parenthood does some good things (outside of abortion, about which he has spoken negatively).  He has also not been particularly outspoken on matters surrounding the LGBT agenda.  But, there are Cabinet-level appointments who show some promise in those arenas.  In the meantime, people of faith can be in prayer for President Trump and other political leaders while being involved in the process of developing policy.




Last modified on Tuesday, 31 January 2017 07:46
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