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Billboard Music Award’s 2017 Top Christian Artist of the Year, Lauren Diagle, wants to break away from her label as a Christian artist.

While talking with 104.3 FM, the host Dave Styles asked Daigle if she considered herself a Christian artist, even though her music is becoming more and more mainstream.

“I feel like those labels get put on you by other people,” Daigle said. “I was reading articles, I read them here and there, and one of them said Christian artist and the other ones said just artist. But I think part of me is just an artist because it encompasses everything. That’s kind of how I see myself.”

The young artist did not mention Jesus or God throughout the interview, sticking to general phrases like “faith,” while placing a large emphasis on the importance of love. This further angered some of her Christian fans, especially since it was a secular media company.

“Not one mention of Jesus Christ. This was your opportunity to give God the glory He deserves, but instead you gave Him no mention at all but made it all about you,” one commenter wrote on the YouTube video.

“Soooo many opportunities to declare the gospel and connect Jesus to the masses and she shot every single chance down,” another opined.

Despite the anger she received over not wanting to be boxed into the label of a Christian artist, Diagle understands the power of her music and how it can help many people.

“I remember talking so much about, ‘Let’s just make sure that we make music that we believe in that’s pure, true sound and something that we love, and it’ll transcend wherever it’s supposed to go. But let’s make sure that it’s pure authentic to who we are,’” she said.

Over the past year, Daigle has become increasingly more famous, performing her music on shows usually reserved for secular music, including “Good Morning America,” “Dancing With the Stars,” and “The Tonight Show.”

Her interviews with these secular media giants has landed her in hot water with her Christian fan base before. In a radio interview with Domenick Nati, he asked her if she felt that homosexuality was a sin. The singer didn’t offer a clear-cut response.

“I can’t honestly answer on that,” Daigle said. “In a sense, I have too many people that I love that they are homosexual. I don’t know. I actually had a conversation with someone last night about it. I can’t say one way or the other. I’m not God.”

Due to this, many called her hypocritical and suggesting she wasn’t staying true to her roots. Daigle had been asked the question due to a recent appearance she had made on “Ellen”.

“For me, it was really sad that their outlook would be, ‘Oh, because Ellen’s gay, she’s bad.’ That’s sad. It’s so sad,” Daigle explained. “What people don’t realize is I went to Ellen and she is just a bundle of light. She is so joyful. She was so kind.”

Daigle added: “[I]can’t choose who I’m supposed to be kind to and who I’m not, because that’s the mission, right? Be who Christ was to everyone as well.”

The Christian Post reports that Diagle told them that she would not be leaving the Christian music genre anytime soon. She see’s that her music can transcend to those that typically only listen to secular, mainstream music.

“[My music] is having crossover appeal, but it doesn’t mean that I’m leaving one for the other or that I’m going to be swept up by one thing or the other. For me, it’s like, ‘Oh, everything just got even more clear.’ Everything just got clearer as to why it is that we go and love people who are outside of the walls of our church, outside of the walls that we’re comfortable with.”

You can watch her full interview with 104.3 FM below.

Joella Marano /WikiCommons

Joella Marano /WikiCommons

In a recent interview on “Journeys of Faith,” Paula Faris’s podcast for the ABC network, Melissa Joan Hart opened up about her faith and what led her to Jesus. She is now facing backlash for a story she shared during the interview about telling her 6-year-old son to be wary of those who don’t believe in Jesus.

Hart explained that “it’s not easy” being Christian.

She was raised Catholic and is now Presbyterian. She talked in detail about her son’s transition from a Christian preschool to a traditional school. Hart was nervous about the transition. At his previous school, she knew everyone. Hart told her son at the time:

“We don’t know if these people are good people. We don’t know if they believe in Jesus…and he really took the Jesus part to heart.”

Following this point, Hart said she wasn’t sure if saying that to her son was the right thing to do but she didn’t give much detail about where things ended up. The story also involved her son making friends with a Jewish neighbor. Some critics online are saying that the comment was Anti-Semetic.

Hart believes that Jesus is the path to heaven and shared with her son that we need to know Jesus to get to heaven. Her son and his Jewish friend engaged in many discussions about faith. As a result of this, the other boy’s mother contacted Hart to discuss what the boys were talking about.

“I’m a Christian, I believe that Jesus is my Savior. I believe in God and I believe in Jesus and His son,” she explained in the interview.

Hart also explained if someone asks her what she believes, she tells them that believing in Jesus is what “unlocks the doors to heaven.”

After the interview, she was blasted on social media, with people calling her names and cursing her for her belief that all people need to know Christ which is central to Christianity.

Hart denies she made Anti-Semitic comments. She took to her Instagram to clarify her quotes in the interview.

“I’ve been studying religion for the past 8 years and am learning more everyday. I try to never judge anyone…unless they put ice in their wine… but I was simply telling my son that we know people at his old school, even down to their faith beliefs,” Hart said. “The new kids in school, we didn’t know a thing about so he was going to have to judge for himself.”

Hart added: “In the podcast I talk about how he focused in on the Jesus part and it opened up discussions with friends and neighbors that might be tricky for children to navigate. I never said Christians are superior. Just trying to explain better.”

Gage Skidmore | Flickr.com

Gage Skidmore | Flickr.com

Chris Pratt has become known for his outspoken Christian faith almost as much as his portrayal of Marvel’s loveable rouge, Star-Lord, in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” In his latest show of devotion, Pratt announced that he was going to spend the first part of 2019 doing what has become known as the Daniel Fast.

“Hi, Chris Pratt here,” the Marvel and “Jurassic World” star said on Instagram. “Day three of the Daniel Fast, check it out. It’s 21 days of prayer and fasting. It’s going to coincide also coincidentally with the ‘Lego  Movie 2’ junket, so by the time you see me, I’ll probably be hallucinating. Stay tuned.”

The Daniel Fast is said to be inspired by foods eaten by the prophet Daniel in the Old Testament. Those taking part in the fast are allowed to eat any fruits or vegetables that they wish so long as they are free of chemicals and added sugars. Whole grains, nuts and seeds are also allowed, as are legumes such as black beans, lentils and split peas. Participants can only drink “pure waters” such as spring or distilled water. The only marginally processed items that those doing the Daniel Fast can consume are “quality oils including but not limited to olive, canola, grape seed, peanut and sesame,” spices, seasonings and soy products such as tofu. All meat and animal products, including dairy and eggs, are forbidden as are all forms of sweeteners including natural sweeteners such as honey and molasses. Leavened bread, including Ezekiel Bread, fried foods, white rice, high fat foods, alcohol, tea and coffee should all be removed from participants’ diets as well.

The diet is popular with Christians at the beginning of the year and acts as a spiritual and physical cleanser to help start the new year with a blank slate and a focus on God. The fasting plan’s website states that the diet acts as a “pause button” that keeps “life” at bay “so you can draw nearer to God.”

Assuming Pratt manages to get all his essential nutrients and enough raw calories, he should not be hallucinating at the ‘Lego Movie 2’ junket. If he is, well, the interview should be interesting.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Christians simply cannot catch a break. Television shows and movies have repeatedly and unrepentantly derided Christian beliefs. Now, DC comics are cheerfully piling on with their new comic series “Second Coming.” Any Christian would be wary of seeing Jesus portrayed in comic books, especially where the Savior is not the hero of the story. According to the plot summary released by DC, “Second Coming” will follow “the return of Jesus Christ, as He is sent on a most holy mission by God to learn what it takes to be the true messiah of mankind by becoming roommates with the world’s favorite savior: the all-powerful superhero Sun-Man, the Last Son of Krispex! But when Christ returns to Earth, He’s shocked to discover what has become of His gospel—and now, He aims to set the record straight.”

Christians, understandably, have declared the comic book to be “blasphemous [rather] than biblical.” Mark Russell, the writer of the comic, however, has declared that the comic is a commentary on how Christians misunderstand the Bible and Jesus’ message today.

“The Christian religion doesn’t really base itself on what He taught, particularly in the modern Evangelical megachurches,” Russell said. “They have Him more as a mascot on t-shirts to prove they’re on the winning team. [Second Coming] is about Jesus coming down and being appalled by what He sees has been done in His name by Christianity in the last 2,000 years.”

While a fictional and biblically inspired story about Christ clarifying the Gospel would be interesting, some of the images of the comic that have been released worry Christians. The cover of the comic shows Christ looking very interested in how Sun-Man has a bruised and bloodied man in a painful headlock, and other released images show Christ sprawled on a giant pillow while God drinks wine. Russell’s comments have not set Christian’s at ease either.

“The concept is that God was so upset with Jesus’ performance the first time He came to Earth since He was arrested so soon and crucified shortly after, that He has kept Him locked-up since then,” Russell said. “God then sees this superhero on Earth a few thousand years later and says, ‘That’s what I wanted for You!’”

Christian reactions have been somewhat split. While few to none approve of the comic, some are not overly concerned. “As a Christian this does offend me,” one person commented on a webpage announcing the comic, “[and] I won’t purchase or read this comic series…[but[I do not want to…use mob tactics to shut down this product or authors or insist that a ban be put into place.” Another commenter on the same website agreed that “turning the other cheek” was the best way to go about handling the comic. Others, however, have commented on what they see as a double standard when it comes to treating religious figures with respect. “When are they releasing the Mohammed version,” one person questioned.

“Second Coming” will be released in early March 2019. How it will be received at that point is still unknown, but there is no doubt that regardless of whether it is a massive success or a total flop, the comic will be a subject of intense controversy.