Feb. 3, 2020: Bernie Sanders' plans; TikTok reverses ban on pro-life account; Church of England apologizes for Bible

Monday, Feb. 3, 2020

Here are the latest headlines, brought to you by The Christian Post.

— TikTok reinstates pro-life group Live Action, blames ‘human error’ for ban

Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok has reinstated the account of Live Action, which has the largest social media presence of any nonprofit pro-life organization, hours after banning it for “violating” the app’s community guidelines. It was removed due to a “human error,” the app now says.

TikTok has over 800 million active users and blamed the ban on a “moderator.” The pro-life group’s account was banned late last week after it posted a 15-second educational video featuring baby faces to raise awareness about abortion and saving babies lives.

Live Action created an account on the TikTok platform last summer and gained more than 21,000 followers. Live Action has over 4 million followers on social media, and has also faced censorship from Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.

Church of England apologizes for saying only married straight people should have sex

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Archbishop of York John Sentamu have apologized for a pastoral guidance issued by the Church of England which said that only heterosexual married couples should have sex and that sex in gay or straight civil partnerships “falls short of God’s purpose for human beings.”

After the guidance was released, some Anglican clergy wrote an open letter to the archbishops, warning that the denomination had become “a laughingstock to a nation that believes it is obsessed with sex.”

— Bernie Sanders to reverse federal funding bans on abortion groups if elected president

Democratic candidate for president, Senator Bernie Sanders, a would sign executive orders reversing President Trump's policies banning taxpayer funding of groups that promote or provide abortions, such as Planned Parenthood, if elected president. 

The Washington Post reported Thursday that it reviewed an internal campaign document listing potential executive orders the Democratic Socialist would sign on his first day in office, if elected. One the list was “reversing federal rules blocking U.S. funding to organizations that provide abortion counseling,” the document says.

In 2017, President Trump reinstituted the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits the government from providing foreign aid to organizations that perform or promote abortions abroad.

In February 2019, the Trump administration announced a new rule prohibiting the use of Title X funds for abortion as a mean of family planning.

— PCUSA, Episcopal churches rank themselves low on ‘evangelism’ abilities: survey

When it comes to marks of congregational vitality, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Episcopal Church congregations rank themselves lowest on evangelism, according to the U.S. Congregational Vitality Study centered on PC(USA) and the Episcopal Church congregations.

The survey included 156 congregations, 78 from PC(USA) and 78 from the Episcopal Church. The PC(USA) looked at responses from 9,000 church members centered on what they described as the “Seven Marks of Congregational Vitality,” which include “caring relationships,” “ecclesial health,” “intentional, authentic evangelism,” “lifelong discipleship,” “outward incarnational focus,” “servant leadership,” and “Spirit-inspired worship.”

Taken on a scale of 1 to 100, the survey found that of the congregational vitality marks, “evangelism” was ranked the lowest at 69. These churches scored highest on caring relationships, at 81 percent.

— End times prophecy study: Most pastors don’t link world events to speeding up Christ's return

Though some religious teachers believe global events in the Middle East could fulfill prophecies about the end of the world, pastors are three times more likely to believe evangelism efforts will quicken the return of Jesus Christ, a recent study has found.

A study of 1,000 Protestant pastors conducted between Aug. 20, 2019, and Sept. 24, 2019, by LifeWay Research found that church leaders believe Christians can speed up the return of Christ by sharing the Gospel rather than by backing certain geopolitical changes mentioned in biblical prophecy.

In general, predictions about the end times tend to be more common among charismatic pastors and church leaders who believe God uses signs and miracles in the modern world.

But conservative pastors and Bible teachers have cautioned against excessive speculation regarding the timing of Jesus Christ's return to Earth.

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