The Thoughtful Pastor: Too many choose to reject what God has done

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: Last week, a Bible literalist church pastor was arrested in the death of his 2-year-old grandchild. The parents, members of the church, refused any medical intervention and she died of pneumonia. Antibiotics would have easily cured her.

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Buy a secondhand purse, help a needy family get clothing and shoes.

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Plant sale, job fair and a mobile exhibit come to Denton County.

The Thoughtful Pastor: Forgive doesn't necessarily mean to forget

The Rev. Christy Thomas: We must face our fears to learn the truth

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: The last election cycle and the ongoing first 100 days of the Trump administration have led me to this: The commandment, “Thou shall not bear false witness,” seems fairly straightforward.

AP

S.D. religious adoption protections in limbo

South Dakota’s Republican governor isn’t saying whether he’ll sign a measure aimed at protecting faith-based organizations that refuse to place children with gay couples or other arrangements contrary to their religious beliefs.

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The Rev. Christy Thomas: We all must learn to speak our own truth

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: My parents are complicated and volatile. They have been that way since I was a child and have a very dysfunctional marriage. I love them both, but I don’t feel 100 percent secure with them.

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The Rev. Christy Thomas: Many freedoms would vanish under theocracy

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: What is a theocracy? Does our Constitution allow for a Christian theocracy?The Thoughtful Pastor: Democracy means “rule by the people” as “demos” means “the people.” Theocracy means...

AP

Le Pen refuses headscarf, nixes talks with top cleric

BEIRUT — France’s far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen refused to don a headscarf for a meeting with Lebanon’s top Sunni Muslim cleric on Tuesday and walked away from the scheduled appointment after a brief squabble at the entrance.

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The Rev. Christy Thomas: Small actions can help combat larger evils

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: There is evil in the world, at many levels, from government and business, down to communities and ourselves. On encountering evil, what is our Christian responsibility, either as a church or individual?

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The Rev. Christy Thomas: White nationalism not compatible with Commandments

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: Is white nationalism in any way compatible with Jesus’ Commandments?

Religious groups against travel ban cast Trump as adversary

WASHINGTON (TNS) — People of faith have been on the front lines of refugee resettlement for decades, and they are both furious and disheartened that President Donald Trump has halted the U.S. program. Instead of collecting housewares and making welcome signs, they are now bracing for a fight against a former ally: the U.S. government.

Mormon church launches online college program

SALT LAKE CITY — In a nod to its increasingly global membership, the Mormon church said Monday it will bolster the organizational structure and appoint a leader for a worldwide online higher education program that has expanded to 50 countries since it started eight years ago at a church university in Idaho.

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The Rev Christy Thomas: Good people take risks to aid the oppressed

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: Is there a better, more Christian way to minimize terrorism threats in the long run from immigrants coming to the U.S. from Muslim-majority nations than to ban them outright until extreme vetting is completed?

AP

President pledges to end political limits on churches

WASHINGTON — Declaring that religious freedom is “under threat,” President Donald Trump vowed Thursday to repeal a rarely enforced IRS rule that says pastors who endorse candidates from the pulpit risk losing their tax-exempt status.

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The Rev. Christy Thomas: Answer to eternal question about God elusive

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: One of my lectures was on innocent suffering and how that can occur in a world “governed” by an omniscient, omnipresent and all-good God. I covered about 30 answers, none of which appeared to be satisfactory.

AP

Sudanese Jews recall old times with nostalgia

TEL AVIV, Israel — Lily Ben-David gets emotional when she talks about her childhood in Sudan. She still dreams of her school, the courtyard, the balcony and frolicking on the banks of the Blue Nile, even though it has been more than 50 years since she saw any of it.

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The Rev. Christy Thomas: Unaccountable leaders will bring destruction

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: I am reading about Prometheus and the good stuff he did for humanity. Zeus does not punish Prometheus for his trickery but punishes humankind, the innocent bystanders instead.

AP

Vatican rejects group’s effort to discredit probe

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican struck back this week at the Knights of Malta, rejecting its attempt to discredit a Vatican-appointed commission investigating the ouster of a top official over a condom scandal.

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The Rev. Christy Thomas: Practice grace to help us do what is right

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: Recently, I have encountered quite a few Christians who have told me that, after they were saved, living out their Christianity has been easy. “You just do the right thing,” they tell me.

AP

Group seeks to restore historic church in N.M.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The building withstood. Though soaking in stinky, soggy ash from a fire that gutted the sanctuary, the structure of the Joy Light Church of God in Christ’s building survived.

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The Rev. Christy Thomas: All countries must embrace ethics, morality

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: What is your view on the U.S. supporting Israel? The Thoughtful Pastor: I am often fascinated by what appears to be unqualified support given to the nation of Israel as though its leaders can make no mistakes or support destructive policies.

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Church schedules yearly chili cookoff event

The youth at First United Methodist Church will hold their yearly chili cookoff at noon Jan. 22 in the Monroe Building at the Denton site.

Dallas Morning News file photo

Local folks who made a difference in 2016

Beloved business owners, cultural activists, motivated advocates of local legislation and a woman who made waves in the ongoing discussion about transgender rights topped this year’s list of the most interesting people in Denton in 2016.

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Tips offered to help see God’s given mercies

We have reached the end of 2016. It seems like many found this past 12-month period unusually difficult.

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Let’s all help change world for the better

Every child born changes the entire world. Whether eagerly longed for or dreaded, male or female, impoverished or ultra-wealthy, every child changes the world.Whether loaded with physical and mental challenges or worry-free healthy, a musical prodigy or profoundly tone deaf, hair sunny-silky light or wildly curly/kinky dark, skin glorious ebony-rich or albino-like pale, every child changes the world.

Denton church slates ‘watch night’ service

Voice of Jesus Parish will host a New Year’s Eve “watch night” service starting at 9 a.m. on Dec. 31 at the church, 514 N. Elm St in Denton.

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Give freely to all without bringing up religion

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: In this season of giving, which is really an all-year affair, is it OK to love and help people, even to save their physical lives, without urging them to become Christians?

AP

Catholic church gets back in business in Czech Republic

ZELIV MONASTERY, Czech Republic — Inside the 12th century Zeliv monastery, overlooked by crucifixes on stone walls, is modern machinery that a visitor might not expect to find: a brand new beer production line.

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The Rev. Christy Thomas: Jesus would help heal, not fund, panhandlers

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: I have often wondered how we should handle panhandlers? Mostly I feel like it’s my job to be generous and let God sort it out, but sometimes I feel like a schmuck when I give them cash. What would Jesus do?

AP

Spur comes under fire for cross in public park

LUBBOCK — A West Texas city is coming under scrutiny for a cross that sits in a public park. The Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation wrote Spur officials in July after a resident contacted the foundation to complain, staff attorney Sam Grover said Thursday. The cross on public land violates the Establishment Clause of the constitution’s First Amendment, he said.

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AP

Indonesia protests put minority Chinese in fear

JAKARTA, Indonesia — The capital of Muslim-majority Indonesia is on edge ahead of what is expected to be a second massive protest by conservative Muslims against its Christian governor and no group more so than its Chinese minority.