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Friday’s religion wrap

The Journey team selects stories that got us talking this week.    

Less than Marvel-lous preaching causes movie chaos

The Christian Post interviews the pastor who caused a stir at an Avengers movie screening by loudly preaching during the end credits and subsequently causing chaos when people thought he might be a gunman. Michael Webber claims he often evangelises at movie theatres but on this occasion people thought he might be a gunman and began rushing for exits which caused some injuries.

Webber was later charged with a misdemeanour and says moving forward he would “certainly wait until I can be clearly seen by the crowd I am addressing” and that “the conditions in which I preach clearly convey that I am not a threat to anyone.”

Heavenly gowns earn Christian frowns

Daily Mail Australia reports on the Met Gala’s Catholic theme and the outrage from some Christians who found it blasphemous and disgusting. The annual fundraising event, which brings together a who’s who of the entertainment world, featured Rihanna in a short skirt, robe and Pope-like hat, Katy Perry donning angel wings and others donning nun-like attire and crucifixes.

Many Twitter users were quick to label the event “cultural appropriation” and some found it distasteful that the faith was being treated as a mere fashion statement. Archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan wasn’t so upset, attending the event and later commenting on Twitter, “In the Catholic imagination, the True, the Good & the Beautiful have a name: Jesus Christ, who revealed Himself as the Way, the Truth & the Life. The truth, goodness & beauty of God is reflected all over, even in fashion. The world is shot through with His glory.”

Turning a new Paige on women?

Christianity Today reports on an apology issued by Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson in light of his controversial remarks made about women concerning divorce and domestic abuse.

Patterson previously commented that he had never counselled any wife to seek a divorce and when asked about cases of abusive husbands he stated, “It depends on the level of abuse to some degree … There have been, however, an occasion or two when the level of the abuse was serious enough, dangerous enough, immoral enough that I have counselled temporary separation and the seeking of help. I would urge you to understand that that should happen only in the most serious of cases … More often, when you face abuse, it is of a less serious variety.”

Patterson issued an apology for his comments: “I wish to apologise to every woman who has been wounded by anything that I have said that was inappropriate or that lacked clarity. We live in a world of hurt and sorrow, and the last thing that I need to do is add to anyone’s heartache. Please forgive the failure to be as thoughtful and careful in my extemporaneous expression as I should have been.”

Conversion fail leads to jail

A discussion about religion in an Indonesian taxi has led to serious jail time for one Christian man, according to The Jakarta Post. Abraham Ben Moses, a Christian cleric, was allegedly trying to convert his taxi driver to Christianity (and while doing so quoted the Koran) but his proselytising landed him in hot water with the law. He was soon charged with intentionally spreading information intended to incite hatred against an individual, group and society based on religion.

Although prosecutors demanded a prison sentence of five years Moses received four and was fined US$3565. His lawyers are filing an appeal with Maxi Ellia, one of his legal team stating, “The sentence is too heavy for the defendant.”

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