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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Amanda Casanova

Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world

A pastor in Tennessee is facing criticism after he asked a mother and child to leave the service because the baby was making noise.

According to Ponder Anew, Dan Smith, the pastor of United Church in Gallatin, Tenn. Stopped his sermon after the 15-month-old made noise.

“Hey ushers, can you please show them where the nursery is?” he said. “I don’t want to struggle with a child the whole time, so please help me out.”

Smith tried to continue his sermon, but could not.

“Okay, let me stop. Just because I just did that, everybody’s freakin’ out because I just said that, listen. We love children. And you … sweetie, look at me … we love kids, but if a child is gonna affect the whole service because the child’s cranky or whatever, we do have TVs that are right there in the back, so that’s cool,” he said.

The pastor insisted that he didn’t want to “affect the other people in the room” because the baby was crying.

“Listen, I love children. But see, everyone’s focus is right there right now. And sweetheart, as long as she’s fine you stand there and do your thing. But I need you to understand, somebody else got up and walked out. That’s OK. I’m not gonna affect 300 people because of a crying child. That’s why we have TVs in the outside, that’s why we have a nursery. If you get offended over that, I’m sorry, I really am sorry, but we’re not gonna do that. And I know I sound like a jerk right now, but we’re not gonna affect 300 people because of that. Let me try to get back in the mode of where I was.”

The woman who posted the video, which has been shared more than 15,000 times, said her daughter and her friend, who was the mother in the video, left the service.

“How can this pastor call himself a man of God and treat a member of your congregation that way and don’t care if anyone is offended,” she said. “I don't know what is worse, the embarrassing of a member or the fact he did not care if he offended anyone. So sad in a society where we need to bring our young people to God and they are chased off because they have a young child.”

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Tatyana Tomsickova 


Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers told Danica Patrick on her podcast, Pretty Intense, that he has questioned the existence of God.

“I don’t know how you can believe in a God who wants to condemn most of the planet to a fiery hell,” he says in the clip about growing up. He was speaking to Danica Patrick about a range of topics. Patrick is Rodgers’ girlfriend.

Rodgers says he was involved in the Christian ministry Young Life and grew up attending a nondenominational church with his parents.

In 2017, Rodgers talked about his friendship with Rob Bell in an ESPN the Magazine story. Bell is a preacher and author who wrote a book that questioned the traditional teachings of hell.

“Listing all the ways in which Rob has positively impacted my life would take up too much space; so I’ll simply say that he has inspired me to live life with a deeper level of appreciation and to love people with a greater awareness of our connectivity,” Rodgers said in an endorsement of Bell’s book, How to Be Here.

On the Bible, Rodgers said: “The Bible opens with a poem. It’s a beautiful piece of work, but it was never meant to be interpreted as I think some churches do.”

Also in the interview, Rodgers said he started to question evangelism and salvation.

He said in the interview he doesn’t identify with any affiliation and does not call himself a Christian.

"I think in people's lives who grew up in some sort of organized religion, there really comes a time when you start to question things more," he says. "It happens for some at an early age; others, you know, maybe a little older. That happened to me six or seven years ago."

Watch his full interview with Patrick here.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Harry How/Staff 


Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

A representative for TobyMac and his family has revealed the official cause of death for the Christian singer’s oldest son, Truett Foster McKeehan.

According to People magazine, a representative confirmed that the 21-year-old budding music star went into cardiac arrest after suffering from an accidental overdose of fentanyl and amphetamines.

As Christian Headlines previously reported, McKeehan passed away in his home in Nashville, Tennessee on October 23, 2019. 

McKeehan, also known as Truett Foster, TRU, truDogg and Shiloh online, was a budding rapper in the secular scene. He has released a number of independent songs as well as collaborated with his father on several TobyMac and DC Talk albums.

Soon after his son’s passing, TobyMac released a heart-breaking statement remembering the joy McKeehan brought into a room. 

He wrote on Facebook, “Truett Foster Mckeehan had joy that took the room when he entered. He was a magnetic son and brother and friend. If you met him, you knew him, you remembered him. His smile, his laugh, the encouragement he offered with words or even without. He had an untamable grand personality and dreams to match. And he hated being put in a box.”

TobyMac continued, “My last moment with Truett in person was at his first show Thursday at the Factory in Franklin, Tennessee … As I stood in the audience and watched my son bring joy to a room, I was as proud as a ‘pop’ (as tru called me) could be. It was the culminating moment of a dream that he had since he was 12. It couldn’t have been sweeter.

“Our music, and what we say lyrically couldn’t be more different, but the outcome was much the same … offering a room full of people a few minutes of joy in a crazy world,” he added.

Also in October, TobyMac announced the launch of a foundation in his son’s name – the Truett Foster Foundation. The foundation aims to help aspiring creatives pursue their dreams.

Then, earlier this month, TobyMac also honored his late son with His new song, 21 Years

The song is, in part, a prayer that illustrates the grief of a mourning father, who finds hope in knowing his son is in the Father’s arms.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Terry Wyatt/Stringer

Video courtesy: TobyMac


Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has written on her blog kaylamariekoslosky.blogspot.com since 2012 and has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.

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