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Christian World News - December 21, 2018

Christian World News - December 21, 2018 Read Transcript


(dramatic music)

- This week on Christian World News,

an unlikely truce in themiddle of the bloodiest war.

See what brought abouta Christmas ceasefire

and led enemies to embrace one another.

Plus, dashing the snow, wego north of the Arctic Circle

to meet a band on nomadic reindeer herders

and the preacher whobrings them the gospel

and proving Jesus is the real deal.

Four defenders of the faithmake the case for Christ.

Welcome to Christian World News, everyone,

I'm Wendy Griffith.

100 years ago in November,

the war to end all wars ended in Europe.

Some 10 million soldiersdied in World War I,

many in desperate andbloody trench warfare.

But on Christmas Day, 1914, aremarkable event took place.

The guns ceased,Christmas carols were sung

and soldiers on both sidescame out into what's called

No Man's Land to celebratethe miracle of Christmas.

John Jessup has the story.

(dramatic music)- To the glory of God--

- Each year, Andrew Hamilton

lays a wreath at the World War I monument

in his small, English village,

a tribute to thegrandfather he barely knew.

What do you remember of him?

- I just remember an oldman who shouted a lot

because he was deaf andhe'd lost his hearing

really, during the First World War.

So he was really quite frightening

and then when I read hisdiaries, I was amazed, I suppose,

at the life he'd been involved in.

This one is the original one

which he would havekept in his top pocket.

- [John] As Hamilton writes in his book,

Meet At Dawn, Unarmed, his grandfather,

Captain Robert Hamilton, keptdiaries from 1913 to 1950.

Most years were fairly mundane,

with one remarkable exception: 1914.

- Wednesday the 5th of August,wire to mobilize at 5:30 a.m.

- [John] Hamilton waspart of the initial wave

of British troops in what came to be known

as the First World War.

The general consensus at the time

was the fighting wouldbe over by Christmas.

(booming)

Just one day earlier, Germantroops had invaded Belgium.

And then, England joined the fight.

Ironically, the leadersof the opposing sides

were first cousins.

Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm IIand King George V of England.

Caught in the middle, thetiny country of Belgium.

- This very provincial,rural area of Belgium

was almost at the centerof the world attention.

- [John] German troopscut a path of destruction

through Belgium into France.

Allied forces stoppedthem outside of Paris,

pushing them back, but only so far.

A stalemate ensued with bothsides digging in, literally.

(booming)(guns firing)

Trench warfare on theWestern front had begun.

- [Andrew] September the 18th.

Several men killed and wounded

in the trenches by shell fire.

This was, without exception,

the most miserable night ever spent.

I stood all night in water up to my ankles

and the rain pouring down.

- This is one of the original trenches

from more than 100 years ago.

Two parallel zig-zagging lines

built by the German and Allied forces

stretching more than 450 miles.

In some places, the opposing armies

were only 50 yards apart.

- Both parties have dug in and

the cold is coming in.

And so, all of the sudden, the first enemy

is not your opponent, at theother of the No Man's Land,

but it's the cold.

- [John] By the end ofNovember, there were over

one and a half millioncasualties on the Western Front.

As the stalemate continued,

it became clear the war wouldnot be over by Christmas.

The outside world pushed foran official Christmas truce,

including Pope Benedict IV,

who asked that the guns may fall silent

at least upon the night the angels sang.

British General HoraceSmith Dorian, however,

issued a directiveforbidding fraternization,

saying it destroys theoffensive spirit in all ranks.

But the Germans didn't letwar stop their celebration.

They displayed Christmastrees in their trenches

and, on December 23rd,held a church service

in a bombed out sugar refinery.

School teacher Kurt Zemisch served

in the 134th Saxon Regiment.

Like Hamilton, he kepta diary during the war.

- [Kurt] We sang the song

This is the Day That the Lord Has Made.

The celebration moved many to tears.

I ordered my men that onChristmas Eve and Christmas Day,

no shots were to be fired

from our side if it could be avoided.

- [John] Then, somethingextraordinary happened.

- [Kurt] No sooner had wesettled into the trenches,

we, and the Brits, tried todraw attention to each other.

♪ Silent night ♪

♪ Holy night ♪- The spirit of Christmas

began to permeate us alland we tried to plot ways

and means of making thenext day, Christmas,

different in some way to others.

(singing in foreign language)

- [Kurt] An Englishmancalled over to our trenches,

"I wish you a merry Christmasand a happy New Year,"

to which I replied tohim and his comrades,

"Thank you very much, Iwish the same to you."

- [Robert] After months ofvindictive sniping and shelling,

this little episode cameas an invigorating tonic,

and a welcome relief to thedaily monotony of antagonism.

On Christmas morning, I woke very early.

It was a perfect day, abeautiful, cloudless day.

- December the 25th.

A day unique in the world's history.

I met their officer and we arranged

a local armistice for 48 hours.

As far as I can gather,this effort of ours

extended itself throughout the whole line,

as far as we could hear.

- [Kurt] So started theChristmas celebration,

the celebration of love,

when enemies becamefriends for a short time.

- [Robert] Here they were,the actual, practical

soldiers of the German army.

There was not an atom ofhate on either side that day.

- [John] Although fighting continued

on most of the Western front,

the unauthorized truceextended along virtually

all the 27 mile lengthof the British line.

Both sides helped bury their dead.

They exchanged gifts, likefood, tobacco, and buttons

and, in some sectors,they even played soccer

in No Man's Land.

- It makes them happy becausethey feel human again.

Whereas the industrial warfare

often reduces them to cannon fodder.

- [Kurt] This was all sobeautiful yet strange.

I will never forget thisChristmas celebration.

- [Robert] The last Isaw of this little affair

was a vision of one of my machine gunners,

who was a bit of an amateurhairdresser in civil life,

cutting the unnaturally longhair of a docile German.

- [Andrew] A very merry Christmas

and a most extraordinary one,

but I doubled the sentries after midnight.

- There would be three more Christmases

on the Western front beforethe war came to an end,

but nothing quite like thiswould ever happen again.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle later described it

as one human episodeamid all the atrocities

which have stained the memory of the war.

John Jessup, CBN News,reporting in Flanders, Belgium.

- [Wendy] A Christmas miracle, indeed.

Up next, he braves sub-zero temperatures

and darkness that lasts for days,

all to bring the gospelto nomads in Siberia.

- God Almighty is a God of blessing.

He always wants to bless his people,

but how to you get that blessing

and what principleswill unlock that secret?

- [Announcer] In Miraculous Blessings,

Pat Robertson shows you how to open

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- In order to have a blessing,you've gotta be blessable.

- [Announcer] Discover whatthe Bible has to say about

God's covenant of blessing,the laws of blessing,

and what are the hindrancesto the blessings of God?

- The words of Jesus, they are as valid

as the law of gravity andif we follow those laws,

we will be blessed.

- [Announcer] You willsee amazing, true stories

of everyday peoplewhose lives were rescued

and transformed by God'smiraculous blessings.

- But even the doctors acknowledged

that this had to be a miracle..

- [Announcer] Call 1-800-700-7000

or visit CBN.com to become a CBN partner

and get Miraculous Blessings today.

- Hello, I'm Terry Newsome.

Did you know there aremore than 148 million

orphans in the world today?

148 million.

But it was three littlegirls that taught me

about the plight of orphans.

My husband and I spent nearly a month

immersed in the daily activitiesof the Ukrainian Orphanage

as we waited to adopt three sisters.

I saw, first hand, the utter loneliness,

the pain of rejection,

and the overwhelming desire to be loved.

That experience changed me forever.

And out of it, grew aministry from my heart

called Orphan's Promise.

Today, we're helping orphansand vulnerable children

in more than 50 countries worldwide.

Thousands of childrenare now in safe homes,

they're being educated, andthey're learning life skills.

I'm asking you to join with me

and become family to these children.

Will you call the numberon your screen right now?

Because every child deservesa chance to be happy.

- Welcome back to Christian World News.

Winter above the Arctic Circlemeans months of darkness

and temperatures of minus60 degrees Fahrenheit.

But in one area of Siberia,a man is braving the cold

to share the gospel with remote tribes.

Our George Thomas brings us his story.

(gentle music)

- [George] Locals call this place Yamal.

- [Translator] Yamal meansthe end of the world.

- [George] And, in many ways, it is.

- [Translator] There are no roads here.

People use frozen lakesand rivers to get around

on reindeer or snowmobile.

(beeping)

- Latitude 70 degrees north.

Longitude 70 degrees east.

The Yamal Peninsula sits in the deep,

frozen, Siberian tundraabove the Arctic Circle.

So I've got my four layers on here.

Put on my last

layer of clothing.

The temperature here fluctuates

between minus 30 and minus60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Never worn so many clotheslike this in my life.

But we're almost ready.

It's a little after 6 a.m.

(engine rumbling)

Peter Khudi, our Siberianguide, does last-minute checks.

That, right there,folks, is reindeer skin.

This is our sleigh.

I mean, in essence, this ishow we're going to be traveling

into the tundra, on the back of this.

The sleigh is attached to a snowmobile.

- [Translator] I have tomake sure we have enough rope

and other emergency suppliesin case we get stuck.

- Is this dangerous?

(speaking foreign language)- Yes, it is.

- Our destination this morning?

A four-hour journeydeep into the wilderness

to meet a nomadic family.

Two hours into our journey,we stop for a brief moment.

It's about 9:25 in the morning.

9:25 in the morning andthe sun has yet to rise

and we're hoping to catchthat before it rises.

Let's go.

The sun here shines only fora few hours during the winter.

When it does appear, normally around noon,

the sun rise, well, it'ssomething to behold.

(speaking foreign language)- This is a special place.

- [George] Peter belongs tothe largest nomadic tribe

called the Nenets.

He is more than just a guide.

You see, he's a Christian.

And for the last fewyears, he's been sharing

the Gospel of Jesus Christ with his tribe

and others who live here in the tundra.

- [Translator] When I became a Christian,

God gave me a new heart.

He also gave me a new heart for my people.

I go out on my snowmobile,meeting these nomadic families

and telling them about the love of Christ.

- The Nenets are nomadic reindeer herders.

The word Nenet means child of a deer.

This is, in essence, the lifeblood

for the Nenet people hereon the Siberian tundra

because their meat, as well as their skin,

fetch a lot of money in the villages.

- [Translator] Our food,clothes, shoes, homes,

our transportation,everything comes from them.

Without reindeer, we cannot survive.

- [George] And learning how tosurvive in the tundra begins

at an early age.

- [Translator] All my childrenwere taught from a young age

how to live in the harsh conditions.

It is our way of life.

But if you are not careful,you can die out here.

- [George] The women take care of cooking,

sewing clothes, andputting up the teepees.

The men are hunters andcare for the reindeer.

And when it comes toskinning the reindeer,

the entire family is involved.

The hide is used to makethe teepees and clothes.

Blood and raw reindeermeat are often consumed

to get vitamins.

- [Translator] We useevery part of the animal.

- [George] Peter is amonga handful of evangelists

reaching the Nenets people.

He's been visiting Ustinia'sfamily for a few weeks now.

- [Translator] He comeshere to tell us about God.

We have good conversations.

- [George] He's supportedby a local Siberian church

and Russian Ministries, an organization

focusing on spreading the gospelin the former Soviet Union.

He says it all begins withfriendship evangelism.

- [Translator] I brought presents

for all the children today.

Each box is filled withtoys, school supplies,

and a children's Bible.

We have to build relationships first.

(barking)- Modern technology,

such as the snowmobile,cell phone, and generator

have certainly made life alittle easier on the tundra.

- [Translator] Before, Ihad to rely on reindeer

to get around, now the snowmobile

allows me travel fartherdistances to meet families.

(light music)

- [George] There areno verifiable numbers,

but Peter estimates some 500 Nenets people

have accepted the Lord in recent years.

- [Translator] Thereare still thousands more

who have yet to hear about Jesus.

- [George] So for now,he continues to traverse

the harsh landscape of the Siberian tundra

in search of more peopleto share the good news

of faith in Jesus.

George Thomas, CBN News in the

Yamal Peninsula, Northern Siberia.

- [Wendy] Hope George hasthawed out since then.

Well, coming up, 2,000 years ago,

God came to Earth in the form of a baby.

Meet four skeptics who came to faith

by asking the hard questions.

(dramatic music)

(light music)

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- [Announcer] Life, it'smeant to be lived fully.

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At CBN.com, we're takingwhat Jesus said seriously.

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- We had four jobs that didn't go right,

but we didn't waver in our faith.

- That's when God put on my heart

that we needed to do the well.

- [Man] Within a couple of days,

we got an insurance refund check

that we had no idea was coming.

- And here we are, thisyear, it's just booming.

(laughs)

- You go out and help other people

and you get rewarded for it.

- [Announcer] Get PatRobertson's latest teaching,

Miraculous Blessings.

- Christians around theworld are celebrating

the birth of Jesus Christ.

Still, 2,000 years later,many ask, is Jesus real?

And, is he God?

Paul Strand talked to fourtop defenders of the faith

who reached the same conclusionin very different ways.

- [Paul] Although believersand evidence exist,

there remains thequestion, is there a God?

Detective J. Warner Wallacehas pursued the questions,

applying the same proceduresused to solve cold cases.

Starting this investigation as an atheist,

he had to accept somethingbeyond the natural

because he believed theuniverse had a beginning

before space and time.

- It began from nothing.

Didn't exist prior to the Big Bang.

That means you were looking fora cause that is non-spatial,

non-temporal, and non-material,

'cause those things are notavailable until the Big Bang.

So you're already looking

for something that's extra-natural.

- [Paul] Astronomer Hugh Ross,

who heads up Reasons to Believe,

sees God in the universe's birth.

- It has a beginning, whichimplies there must be a beginner

that was responsible for

bringing the universe into existence.

- [Paul] And there's such precise design.

- We have fine tuning in the universe,

which is so finely tunedthat the smallest variation

in the universal constance,

you wouldn't even have a universe

in which we have life at all.

Now, what are the odds ofthat happening on its own?

- [Paul] And just howfinely tuned is it for life?

- If you were to add the weightof one dime to the universe

or subtract the weight of one dime

from the observable universe,

that would be enough to upset the balance

to make life not possible.

How can we escape the conclusion

there must be a mindwith supernatural power

that designed it justright so we could be here?

- [Paul] But what about Jesus Christ,

his resurrection, and deity?

- If there's a being out there

that can create all space,time, and matter from nothing,

I'm guessing he couldprobably rise from the dead.

I'm guessing he couldprobably walk on water.

I'm guessing those areprobably small potato miracles

compared to Genesis 1.

- Some people say they'll neverbelieve Jesus Christ is God

because all the prooffor it is in the Bible

and they just don't believe the Bible.

As an atheist, Josh McDowell set out

to disprove Christianity in the Bible,

but found so much evidence,it changed his life.

The result was his book,Evidence That Demands a Verdict.

And he found much proof forChrist outside the Bible.

- In this book, Evidence, I give 20-some

totally extra-biblical sources

that you could recapture fromalmost everything about Christ

that he was raising the dead,he fulfilled the prophecy,

et cetera, et cetera, et cetera,from non-biblical sources.

- [Paul] Alex McFarland putson conferences nationwide,

like this one in North Carolina,

to arm Christians with prooftheir God and faith are real.

He points out what one of America's

top 20th century historians, Will Durant,

a nonbeliever, had to say.

- Durant, when he was not a Christian,

said that the four biographies,

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,

their historicity was,quote, indisputable.

- [Paul] Some claim the New Testament

was written hundreds ofyears after Jesus' time,

so all the supernaturaldetails about Christ

could have been addedin long after his death.

But as witnesses, the earliest disciples

memorized, sang, and wrote down

statements of Christ's miraculous life,

starting right after his resurrection.

- Deity, death, resurrection.

Son of God paid for oursins, rose from the dead.

These doctrinal formula, if you will,

these statements ofbelief, come to us within,

not years, not months, butweeks after the crucifixion.

- [Paul] And these disciples said not only

were they eyewitnessesto Christ's miracles,

but so were their opponentsthere in Jerusalem.

- They would constantlyappeal to the knowledge

of hostile witness of thetruth that they're saying,

they say, you know what I'm talking about.

You were there, you saw him dothis, you heard him do this.

- But you may feel none of thishas anything to do with you

and you shouldn't have to think about it.

But what if there is an eternity?

And what you believe about Jesus Christ

will determine where you spend it.

Wallace says, if you'rea total nonbeliever,

for you own sake, consider the idea

there's a miracle-workingsavior, with this one caveat.

- You can't begin by saying

I don't believe in the supernatural.

That's the thing you'retrying to investigate.

If you start off bydenying the supernatural,

you'll never get to whether

or not there's anything supernatural,

you've already decided there isn't.

- [Paul] McFarland mentionswhat's known as Pascale's Wager.

- If we live as if there is God

and it turns out therewasn't, we've lost nothing,

plus we've lived a goodlife and been happy.

But if you, the atheist,live as if there's not a God

and it turns out there is,you've lost everything.

So, the wise man would wagerthat there might be a God.

- [Paul] Paul Strand, CBN News,

reporting from Greensboro, North Carolina.

- Thanks, Paul.

For more great stories, just go to our

Christian World News webpage.

Find it at cbnnews.com.

We'll be right back.

(dramatic music)

- [Announcer] When yougive, smiles grow bigger.

When you care, homes are happier.

When you comfort, the hurt goes away.

When we all come togetherto love, miracles happen.

- Hello, I'm Terry Newsome.

Did you know there aremore than 148 million

orphans in the world today?

148 million.

But it was three littlegirls that taught me

about the plight of orphans.

My husband and I spent nearly a month

immersed in the daily activitiesof the Ukrainian Orphanage

as we waited to adopt three sisters.

I saw, first hand, the utter loneliness,

the pain of rejection,

and the overwhelming desire to be loved.

That experience changed me forever.

And out of it, grew aministry from my heart

called Orphan's Promise.

Today, we're helping orphansand vulnerable children

in more than 50 countries worldwide.

Thousands of childrenare now in safe homes,

they're being educated, andthey're learning life skills.

I'm asking you to join with me

and become family to these children.

Will you call the numberon your screen right now?

Because every child deservesa chance to be happy.

- Hello!

Is this thing on?

Hey, kids, do you love games?

And do you love discovering things?

Well, do ya?(cheering)

- [Announcer] Then you're gonna love this.

It's the new, freeSuperbook Kid's Bible App.

You can play games, watch videos,

find answers to your questions,and a whole lot more.

The new Superbook Kid's Bible App.

Free downloads available oniTunes and Google Play now.

- [Announcer] Bring home amiracle this holiday season,

with Superbook's newestepisode, Jesus Feeds the Hungry.

- [Boy] I've never seena miracle this great!

- [Announcer] Superbook,Jesus Feeds the Hungry,

yours when you join the Superbook Club

and, if you act by December 31st,

you'll receive three copiesof The First Christmas

as our way of saying thanks.

Plus, call now to receive three copies

of the all-new Superbookfun-filled activity book.

Jesus Feeds the Hungry, available now.

- Watching or reading CharlesDickens' A Christmas Carol

is a holiday tradition in many households.

CBN's video The Story Behindthe Christmas Traditions

explores how Dickens displayed

his Christian faith in that story.

Take a look.

("We Wish You A Merry Christmas")

- Dickens appears in England at a time

of the Industrial Revolution,

when poverty was enormously visible

and there was no socialsafety net worth speaking of.

If you remember, in A Christmas Carol,

two volunteers appear in Scrooge's office

and ask for money for aChristmas dinner for the poor.

- [Man] A few of us areendeavoring to raise a fund

to buy the poor some meatand drink and means of wants.

- Why?

- Because it is at Christmas time

that want is most keenly felt.

- I helped to support theestablishments I have mentioned.

Those who are badly off must go there.

- Many can't go there.

- And some would rather die.

(sighing)

- If they would ratherdie, they'd better do it

and decrease the surface population.

Besides, it's not my business.

- Well, this is what Dickensis preaching against.

What he wants is grace andcharity, two Christian virtues.

He wants forgiveness.

The nephew and his wifemust forgive Scrooge.

The Cratchit family mustfind it in their hearts

at Christmas to saysomething nice about Scrooge.

Scrooge's heart must be changed.

Christianity had alwaysbeen for charity, for grace,

for forgiveness.

But it was not presentin English public life.

And here is Dickens sayingChristmas of all times,

when the baby appears,

is the time we should be tender-hearted.

He reconnects popularChristmas with Christianity.

It's all about redemption.

This book, again, goes viral.

("We Wish You A Merry Christmas")

- And to order your copy of the DVD,

just call the number or visitthe website on your screen,

1-800-700-7000.

Well, thanks so much for

joining us this week, until next week,

from all of us here atChristian World News,

Merry Christmas, goodbye,and God bless you.

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