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Crestview area Easter events

April 14

Central Baptist Church (951 S Ferdon Blvd.) will hold a Maundy Thursday Service at 6 p.m.

First United Methodist Church (599 8th Ave.) will hold a Maundy Thursday Communion Service at 6:30 p.m. in the main sanctuary.

April 15

First United Methodist Church will hold a Tenebrae/Good Friday service at 6:30 p.m. in the main sanctuary.

Destiny Worship Center – Crestview Campus (419 Stillwell Blvd.) will hold Good Friday services at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

April 16

Destiny Worship Center – Crestview Campus will hold an ‘Eggstravaganza’ event at 3 p.m. and an Easter service at 5 p.m. (Both at Crestview High School)

First Baptist Church (171 Hickory Ave.) will hold an Easter egg hunt from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Kids and families are invited to attend. The location for the egg hunt is the Windsor’s farm at 5709 Seminole Drive. For more info contact, beth@fbcew.org.

April 17

Central Baptist Church will hold Easter Sunday services at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. After the second service, there will be an Easter egg hunt for the kids.

Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church (603 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave.) will hold an Easter Sunday service at 11 a.m.

New Life International Worship Center (1950 P.J. Adams Parkway) will hold its Easter Sunday service at 10 a.m.

Crosspoint – South Crestview (2250 P.J. Adams Parkway) will hold Easter Sunday services at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 11 a.m.

Crosspoint – North Crestview (6268 Old Bethel Road) will hold Easter Sunday services at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.

First United Methodist Church will hold an Easter Celebration consisting of multiple services. Easter Sunday services will take place at 8:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m., and 11 a.m. The 9:45 and 11 a.m. services will be streamed live on Facebook.

Destiny Worship Center – Crestview Campus will hold its Easter Sunday services at 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. at Crestview High School.

First Church of God In Christ (986 Bay St.) will hold their Easter Sunday services at 11 a.m.

First Baptist Church will their Easter Sunday service at 10:30 a.m.

The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany (424 Garden St.) will hold its Easter Sunday service at 10 a.m.

New Life Missionary Baptist Church (285 Duggan Ave.) will hold their Easter Sunday services at 11 a.m.

Lifepoint Church (400 S Ferdon Blvd.) will hold their Easter Sunday services with 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Crossway Community Church (298 Wilson St. N) will hold its Easter Sunday service from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

First Baptist Church of Baker (1347 14th St. in Baker) will have an Easter sunrise service at Baker Stadium at 6 a.m.

Baker Church of Christ (5761 Highway 4 in Baker) will hold its Easter Sunday services at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church (5595 Highway 4 in Baker) will hold its Easter Sunday worship services at 8:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Milligan Assembly of God (5408 Highway 4 in Baker) will hold its Easter Sunday service at 10 a.m.

How Easter killed my faith in atheism

I thought she was going to turn into a self-righteous holy roller. But over the following months, I was intrigued by the positive changes in her character and values. Finally, I decided to take my journalism and legal training (I was legal editor of the Chicago Tribune) and systematically investigate whether there was any credibility to Christianity.

Maybe, I figured, I could extricate her from this cult.

I quickly determined that the alleged resurrection of Jesus was the key. Anyone can claim to be divine, but if Jesus backed up his claim by returning from the dead, then that was awfully good evidence he was telling the truth.

New York Times best-selling author Lee Strobel was a journalist on a mission to disprove Christianity. He says he couldn’t.

For nearly two years, I explored the minutia of the historical data on whether Easter was myth or reality. I didn’t merely accept the New Testament at face value; I was determined only to consider facts that were well-supported historically. As my investigation unfolded, my atheism began to buckle.

Was Jesus really executed? The evidence is so strong that even atheist historian Gerd Lüdemann said his death by crucifixion was “indisputable.”

Is the resurrection a legend? Not a chance. Experts tell us it took more than two generations of time in the ancient world for legend to develop and wipe out a solid core of historical truth. Yet we have a report of the resurrection – that Jesus appeared to named eyewitnesses, including a skeptic and opponent whose lives were changed 180 degrees – which scholars have dated to within months of Jesus’ death.

Lee Strobel’s latest book is “The Case for Heaven.”

Was Jesus’ tomb empty? Scholar William Lane Craig points out that its location was known to Christians and non-Christians alike. So if it hadn’t been empty, it would have been highly unlikely for a movement founded on the resurrection to have exploded into existence in the same city where Jesus had been publicly executed just a few weeks before.

Besides, even Jesus’ opponents implicitly admitted the tomb was vacant by saying that his body had been stolen. But nobody had a motive for taking the body, especially the disciples. They wouldn’t have been willing to die brutal martyrs deaths if they knew this was all a lie.

Did anyone see Jesus alive again? We have at least nine ancient sources, both inside and outside the New Testament, that confirm and corroborate the apostles’ conviction that they encountered the resurrected Christ. Repeatedly, these sources stood strong when I tried to discredit them.

Could these encounters have been hallucinations? No way, experts told me. Hallucinations occur in individual brains, like dreams, yet Jesus appeared to groups of people on three different occasions – including 500 at once!

Was this some other sort of vision, perhaps prompted by the apostles’ grief over their leader’s execution? This wouldn’t explain the dramatic conversion of Saul, an opponent of Christians, or James, the once-skeptical half-brother of Jesus.

Neither was primed for a vision, yet each saw the risen Jesus and later died proclaiming he had appeared to him. Besides, if these were visions, the body would still have been in the tomb.

Was the resurrection simply the recasting of ancient mythology, akin to the fanciful tales of Osiris or Mithras? If you want to see a historian laugh out loud, bring up that kind of pop-culture nonsense.

One by one, my objections evaporated. I read books by skeptics, but their counter-arguments crumbled under the weight of the historical data. No wonder atheists so often come up short in scholarly debates over the resurrection.

In the end, after I had thoroughly investigated the matter, I reached an unexpected conclusion: it would actually take more faith to maintain my atheism than to become a follower of Jesus.

And that’s why I’m now celebrating my 38th Easter as a Christian. Not because of wishful thinking, the fear of death, or the need for a psychological crutch, but because of the facts.

New York Times best-selling author Lee Strobel leads the Lee Strobel Center for Evangelism and Applied Apologetics at Colorado Christian University (www.CCU.edu/strobelcenter).

Gaetz joins other elected officials questioning military vaccine policies

The Honorable Lloyd J. Austin III

Secretary of Defense

1400 Defense Pentagon

Washington, DC 20301-1400

Dear Secretary Austin:

We are deeply concerned about the administration’s vaccine mandate and its implementation throughout our armed services. In recent weeks we have received reports from across the country describing the unjust denials of servicemembers’ applications for medical and religious exemptions. In fact, we have received complaints from servicemembers representing several military installations that include corroborating documents indicating what seems to be an illegal policy of blanket denials for religious exemption requests from the COVID-19 vaccine. Our offices have received reports that the standards for religious exemptions are so rigorous that even members of the chaplaincy were denied an exemption. Are military chaplains not an authority on the doctrines of their own religions?

When seeking exemptions for medical or religious reasons, these servicemembers demonstrate legitimate concern for the impact the COVID-19 vaccine may have on their bodies. Because these exemptions seem to be unjustly denied as a matter of course, please clarify the following questions and provide documentation justifying your answers:

1. What process is the Department of Defense using to evaluate and determine the merits of religious and medical exemption applications?

2. Since the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, did the Department update or change the standard of procedure to evaluate and grant vaccine exemptions? If so, how and based on what justification? Please submit the guidance provided to the various branches of service instructing how to implement these changes, if any. 

3. Does the guidance you provided to the various branches of service comport with existing laws protecting religious freedom? Explain in detail. 

4. How many medical and/or religious exemption applications did the Department receive regarding the COVID-19 mandate? 

5. How many are denied? How many are granted? Please provide this information broken down by service branch.

6. What is the denial rate for medical and/or religious exemptions across the Department? Please provide this information broken down by service branch.

7. Does the same determinative standard of evaluating exemptions apply across the Department? If not, how much freedom are Commands given to evaluate and decide these exemptions? 

The consequences for ignoring medical or religious exemptions may be dire to our servicemembers physical and mental health and to military readiness. I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Matt Gaetz

Member of Congress 

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