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Author Topic: Christianity Today Magazine - August 2020  (Read 1233 times)

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patrick jane

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Re: Christianity Today Magazine - August 2020
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2020, 01:20:49 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/august/white-fragility-what-next.html



Quote
Robin DiAngelo’s 2018 book White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism is experiencing a resurgence amidst a national reckoning surrounding issues of racism and its consequences. In consideration of its immense popularity and numerous critics, The Exchange has invited several authors of various backgrounds to engage in a two-part discussion of the merits and flaws of White Fragility.

Part one included the initial reviews to the book from five different individuals, with part two providing a platform for others to respond to the book and to these reviewers. You can find my full introduction to this series, as well as a list of all our contributors, here. This week we will be embarking on part two of this series, as we have invited several authors to respond to our initial articles. You can find a summary of part one and an introduction to part two, here.

So far, we have heard from Dr. Sheila Caldwell, Daniel Yang, John C. Richards, Jr. and George Yancey. Our final contributor for part two is Sitara Roden. Roden is a recent addition to The Exchange and serves as our Managing Editor. Roden also serves as Promotions Strategist at the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center.



White Fragility: What Next?










To have a seat at the table, you have to sit down.


Over the past several weeks, I’ve had the privilege to hear from professors, pastors and church leaders of various backgrounds as we’ve reflected on White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. I am not one of those professors, pastors, or church leaders, though I hold each of them in great esteem. What I am is an adopted Asian-American woman, a recent graduate of Wheaton College, and the newly introduced Managing Editor here at The Exchange.

I do not pretend to have the academic or professional credibility that our other contributors have had, nor do I expect to have such expertise. I do not write despite this lack, but because of it—there is a certain hope that comes from youth, naivete, and inexperience that is difficult to replicate. For that reason, my aim is to focus less on textual criticisms that many of our contributors have had for DiAngelo’s work. Instead, I will focus on ultimately trying to answer this question: Where do we, as individuals and as a Church, go from here, now that we know what we know?

It is not lost on me that this series began mere days after the passing of Representative John Lewis, and the posthumous publishing of his final words to us all, Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation. Lewis’ words echoed through hearts and reverberated through social media upon its publication. One of my personal favorite lines from this essay was: “Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble.” Is this not who we, as the Church, are called to be—ordinary people with extraordinary vision? We have been made vessels, “set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work” (2 Tim 2:21, ESV). We are ordinary people who have been given extraordinary vision through the sanctification of our Savior. As for the idea of good trouble, I’d like to think that trouble is worth the furthering of this extraordinary Kingdom vision, the hope for things not yet realized on this side of heaven, that we’ve been given.

What will we use this Kingdom knowledge for? I believe it is becoming ever more apparent that one of the areas of most glaring need for a Kingdom vision in our American society is our persistent institutional racism and racial division. I am in agreement with George Yancey, who wrote in his recent article, “Those who deny the existence of institutional racism are either ignorant of the evidence or do not want to know if institutional racism exists.” There is an abundance of empirical evidence (here, here, and here, as pointed out by Yancey), and willful ignorance cannot be corrected by anyone but the beholder.

Allison Ash reminded us that DiAngelo wrote the book in question for white progressives, who likely do not need to be convinced of the existence of institutional racism. If we remain stuck in the argument about institutional racism’ existence, the Church will miss the opportunity to infuse Kingdom values like forgiveness and reconciliation into the larger cultural conversation. God will be on the side of justice and on the side of the oppressed whether we are there or not (Ps. 146:7-9, ESV). In order to have a seat at the table, and to take part of conversation, you have to sit down.

Like many of our contributors, I am in agreement with DiAngelo that institutional racism exists. While I cannot hope to set out to empirically prove the entire concept of white fragility, I can lay out my own personal experiences and let you decide for yourself. As I previously mentioned, I am an adoptee. At a young age I was adopted from Hyderabad, India by a white family from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Most of my life was spent in predominantly white, evangelical spaces, leading to my college education and now my career beginning at a predominantly white, evangelical institution.

I am no stranger to white evangelicalism nor am I naïve to my own privilege in the opportunities living in these spaces has afforded me. I did not have to come to grips with my own racial identity as an Asian-American until I went to college and no one assumed my white family background. This was earth-shattering, but I didn’t get defensive—I didn’t have a reason to. I wasn’t being told that my racial identity was oppressive to others or that society has been set up to benefit me the most. I understand why that might make someone defensive. Perhaps white fragility is not the most unreasonable response, even if it is one of the most counterproductive.

When I then brought what I had learned from my new racial experiences and realizations back home to my white family, there was real strife and real division within our household. And of course there was—I cannot imagine how difficult, and potentially hurtful, it would be to realize that the child you raised as your own has not had and will not have the same racial advantages you have had. On top of that, it’s your racial group’s fault. That is difficult to reckon with and requires active, often imperfect, grace on both sides from my family and myself. I am in no way trying to advocate for white fragility, or say that it is acceptable to remain defensive, but I am actively trying to reach across the aisle and unify through grace. This is just what has gone on behind closed doors in my own life, but I am not particularly exceptional, and I have hope that my church leadership can be able to do it too.

As I look back at the civil rights leaders who have dedicated their lives to this work, I am renewed to an unchanging vision of the Kingdom and the hope of sanctification. As I examine where we are right now, I see tremendous opportunity, if we choose to join in on the work that God will do with or without us. As I look ahead, I see no long-term path without compassion and understanding, something Christians should be quick to embrace. We serve a God with no shortage of grace; I think it’s time we act like it.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: Christianity Today Magazine - August 2020
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2020, 04:57:40 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/august/christian-criminal-justice-police-reform-and-campaign-race.html








Evangelicals Call for Police and Criminal Justice Reform










New initiative challenges churches and believers: “Scripture makes the pursuit of justice for our neighbors a mandatory part of the Christian life.”


A coalition of Christian groups including the Church of God in Christ and the National Association of Evangelicals is launching a new criminal justice reform push that seeks to rally believers behind policing changes grounded in biblical principles.

Set to be announced Wednesday, the Prayer & Action Justice Initiative has its roots in a campaign started in the aftermath of the coronavirus to help save small churches at risk of closing, with top contributors to that work now channeling their energy toward the criminal justice project. It is expected to include prayer gatherings, nonviolent protests, and policy advocacy—all aimed at advancing the cause of racial equity in the justice system.

“This initiative is confronting the fact that some parts of the church have failed on this, that the church hasn’t been clear,” Justin Giboney, president of the And Campaign, a Christian social justice advocacy group that is leading the initiative, told the Associated Press.

Nationwide protests that flared for weeks after the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and other black Americans galvanized engagement by faith leaders from multiple denominations to press for criminal justice reform.

But the issue has faded from public view somewhat as the coronavirus continues to spread, and Giboney described the new project’s mission as, in part, ensuring “that when it’s not on the front page, that we’re still working on it like it is.”


Other groups participating in the new coalition include the Center for Public Justice, Prison Fellowship, the American Bible Society, the Asian American Christian Collaborative, the National Day of Prayer, and World Relief. Former pro football player and outspoken Christian Benjamin Watson also is part of the coalition. Giboney predicted that its numbers would grow as other Christian organizations and congregations sign on.

At the heart of the nonpartisan effort are a set of broad priorities that include some specific policy changes. For example, the initiative is calling for greater public disclosure of reports on use of force by law enforcement agents, deaths in custody, and other metrics.

Other elements of its agenda include easing sentencing laws and limits on parole releases, as well as the use of faith-based prison programs and other infrastructure to help inmates prepare for life after release.

The project comes two years after President Donald Trump signed a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill into law that moved ahead thanks in part to the support of some leading Christians, including evangelicals and black ministry leaders. However, the changes that measure made were widely seen as only a beginning of work on the issue.

Among the Christian leaders backing the initiative are Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference as well as a past faith adviser to Trump, and Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, a speaker at this week's Democratic National Convention.

Federal criminal justice reform legislation remains stalled in Congress despite broad public support for action, though several state legislatures have made progress on policing overhauls following Floyd’s killing and the resulting unrest.

Giboney said the new initiative will largely emphasize state and local progress even as it keeps a nationwide focus, with organizing efforts already underway in New York, Atlanta, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

Despite the partisan heat of the impending election, Giboney—an attorney and political strategist who served as a Democratic National Convention delegate in 2012 and 2016—vowed to separate its work from ideological divisions.

“Put that to the side right now and really focus on people, on human dignity,” he said.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: Christianity Today Magazine - August 2020
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2020, 05:14:55 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/august/white-evangelicals-covid-concern-trump-biden-vote.html








Ahead of 2020 Election, White Evangelicals Still Concerned About COVID-19









Those who know someone who suffered from the virus are less likely to say they plan to vote for President Trump.


Months into the pandemic, facing mixed plans for reopening churches and starting another school year, white evangelicals are still worried about the coronavirus.

They are as concerned about the spread of COVID-19 as the rest of the population and as likely to know someone infected with the disease, according to a recent survey. Previous predictions that some segments of the population would feel isolated from the risks of the virus, or that evangelicals’ concerns may have been dwindling, have not borne out.

This trend may have political implications. The outbreak has become one of the top issues in the upcoming election, so evangelicals’ continued worries over coronavirus are expected to be a factor in how they vote.

Among both white evangelicals and the general population, 7 in 10 people personally know someone who had been hospitalized due to COVID-19, according to a Data for Progress survey conducted in late July. Half say that they knew someone who has died from the virus.



White evangelicals have not been insulated from the consequences of COVID-19. For both questions, the differences between the general sample and the evangelical subsample is not statistically significant.

And though evangelicals’ level of concern over the coronavirus dipped during some weeks over the course of the pandemic, most are still as worried about the virus as they were back in April.



The share of white evangelicals who said they were “very concerned” about experiencing the coronavirus was around 35 percent from mid-April to mid-May before retreating to 25 percent by the end of June. The number has since crept back up over a third by the end of July. Over 7 in 10 white evangelicals said that they were either “very” or “somewhat” concerned.

The distribution of concern among white evangelicals is not that different from the general population. There are weeks when the gaps become larger, but in aggregate, their levels of worry tend to be close to the rest of Americans (7 in 10 also “very” or “somewhat” concerned).

This translates to only small differences in behavior. For instance, by late July, 20 percent of white evangelicals said that they were socializing in public places compared to 15 percent of the general population.

But, there’s another area where the personal impacts of COVID-19 might be felt: the upcoming presidential election.



When asked who they intended to vote for in the 2020 election, more than two-thirds (68.5%) of white evangelicals who did not know someone who had been infected by COVID-19 said that they would cast a ballot for Donald Trump. Among those who knew someone who contracted the coronavirus, it was only 60.4 percent.

This 8 percentage-point drop in support for Trump, correlated with how people have experienced the impact of the coronavirus, carries over into the general population. Of Americans who knew someone with COVID-19, Trump’s share of the vote was 33.9 percent in the survey. His support among those who did know not someone with the virus was 41.1 percent, 7.2 percentage points higher.

Trump’s baseline of support has always been robust among white evangelicals. Many have been pleased with the administration’s response to the coronavirus, including the president’s remarks declaring churches “essential” during the pandemic. A majority—whether they have seen the virus’s impact firsthand or not—still say they will vote to re-elect the president.

The survey is one piece of evidence, however, that some white evangelicals, feeling the brunt of the pandemic, may be rethinking their stance in 2020. Ahead of a contentious election, voters may see the response to the coronavirus become an even more central issue in the final months of the campaign.







Ryan P. Burge is an instructor of political science at Eastern Illinois University. His research appears on the site Religion in Public, and he tweets at @ryanburge.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: Christianity Today Magazine - August 2020
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2020, 05:19:21 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/august/zimbabwe-evangelicals-catholics-mnangagwa-genocide-efz.html








Zimbabwe Evangelicals Defend Catholics from Government’s ‘Genocide’ Accusations









Pentecostal leader explains 90 days of prayer for “the Zimbabwe God wants” as Christians lament problems under Mugabe’s successor, President Mnangagwa.


Zimbabwe, in its 40 years of independent history, has “never enjoyed life.”

And as the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ) stands in solidarity this week with maligned Catholic bishops accused of fomenting genocide, its president, Never Muparutsa, told CT the Southern African government is failing to honor its biblical responsibility.

There are too many poor, amid official repression.

The problems predate the presidency of Emmerson Mnangagwa. In 1965, white apartheid settlers declared the independent nation of Rhodesia; however, it was not until 1980 when Robert Mugabe’s violent revolutionary movement achieved universal suffrage.

But failures in economic integration, anti-white racism, and political corruption plagued the renamed nation of Zimbabwe. After nearly three decades in power, an aged Mugabe was overthrown by the military following sustained popular protests in 2017.

Initially lauded across the continent as a pioneering African nationalist, by the end Archbishop Desmond Tutu called Mugabe “a cartoon figure of an archetypal African dictator.”

Mnangagwa, Mugabe’s vice president, was installed as his replacement by the military, and ushered in a new period of hope after he won election in 2018. He passed the National Peace and Reconciliation Act to address the 1983–85 massacres in which up to 20,000 civilians were killed.

But worsening economic conditions led to sometimes riotous protests in January 2019, which were forcibly suppressed by Mnangagwa’s administration, with hundreds arrested. One month later, the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHCD) launched the nation’s first National Leadership Prayer Breakfast to appeal for dialogue.

Zimbabwe’s population of 14 million is 86 percent Christian, and the ZHCD is the umbrella organization uniting the four primary expressions of the faith.

The EFZ, comprising Baptist and Pentecostal churches, is the nation’s oldest, founded in 1962. The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), representing the missionary-era efforts of Methodists, Lutherans, some Baptists, and others, was founded in 1964 and affiliates with the World Council of Churches. The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishop’s Conference, recognized by the Vatican, was founded in 1969.

In 1993, the ZHCD helped organize the nation’s indigenous churches, many of which are syncretistic in practice, into its fourth member body, the Union for the Development of Apostolic Churches in Zimbabwe.

In October 2019, the four groups collectively called for a “seven-year political sabbath” to reset the nation and address its polarization and economic decline.

But as inflation soared over 800 percent, protests scheduled for July 31 last month were also squashed, with a prominent journalist and opposition leader put in prison. The EFZ warned the moment was a crossroads for the country, endorsing the “Zimbabwean Lives Matter” hashtag.

And last Sunday, the Catholic bishops authorized the nationwide reading of a definitive statement.

“Fear runs down the spines of many of our people today,” it said. “The crackdown on dissent is unprecedented ... Our government automatically labels anyone thinking differently as an enemy of the country: That is an abuse.”

The government responded immediately by calling the bishops “evil-minded,” seeking to lead the nation into the “darkest dungeons of Rwanda-type genocide” in pursuit of a Western agenda of regime change.

The next day, the EFZ responded.

“We stand with the truth that the Catholic bishops so ably articulated,” read its statement, “the truth of a multi-layered crisis of … economic collapse, deepening poverty, food insecurity, corruption, and human rights abuses.

“We stand with the truth that the government is focused on things other than national democratic priorities.”

CT spoke with EFZ president Never Muparutsa, presiding bishop of the Pentecostal Assembly of Zimbabwe, about ecumenical cooperation, the focus on accountability, and his hope in launching 90 days of prayer and fasting:

With such Christian diversity in Zimbabwe, why did you pursue unity?

It came from necessity. There are theological differences between us over speaking in tongues, church authority, and syncretistic practices. But for the purposes of moving our mission forward, since all claim to be Christians, at the ecumenical level we have to come together.

We realized that when we are divided, politicians take advantage. We have not eradicated this completely; politicians still divide us for particular agendas. But we have all agreed that in national matters we must be united, in order to move society in a positive direction.

What are your essential national issues?

The church must be nonpartisan, but at the same time be concerned about the well-being of the general population. We must be the voice of the weak and the voiceless. We must hold our government accountable when it comes to looking after the vulnerable.

Sometimes this makes us look like we are pro-opposition. But we have nothing to do with the opposition, because they are not in power. Our interactions instead are with those in power, because they bear the responsibility.

But we must also come together to hold ourselves accountable, to prevent our members from working against the government—or benefitting from it.

How do you accomplish this?

Within its jurisdiction, each umbrella organization is expected to intervene in areas of dispute, but with limited authority. We go not to discipline, but to persuade. We approach the most senior leaders, relying on our relationships.

Where there is a good relationship, there is a better chance to achieve reconciliation or rebuke.

How does it work within the ecumenical umbrella?

We make decisions based on consensus, after each grouping has gone back to its membership for feedback and support. It can be cumbersome.

But with all that is going on now, we have to make sure we are on the same page. Then we can ask together: Where is the nation going, and how can we help our politicians and hold them accountable?

Each group is encouraged to act where it is strong. Catholics are good in issues of peace and justice. We are understood to be people of prayer. The ZCC is known as being active in civil society. Then we bring it all together, to forge our common path.

Politicians come from society, so I imagine most are members of one church or another. How do you navigate the affiliation of a politician, who might want to leverage support from his church, even if to do something good?

It is not easy. When we meet, we separate the issue from the person. There have been casualties. We have individuals who have been compromised by political prizes here and there. As leaders, even when things are going well, you have to be above board, because tomorrow your stance might compromise you, even if you did not intend it at first.

We feel sorry for them, because we have to approach them at the level of conscience, asking them to do what is right.

What has it been like through the political upheaval of the past several years? Is ecumenical cooperation increasing, or is it increasingly difficult to manage?

From 2004–2006, when our economy first came under pressure, our cohesion and unity became more pronounced. As churches we produced a document called, “The Zimbabwe We Want.” It was not easy, amid many differences. But it produced a very powerful statement, and was launched by the former president himself. And our new constitution borrowed from it as well.

During this time, the church became very strong, and we are getting stronger, especially when there is a crisis. When things are calm, we tend to go back to our individual groupings. But since that time, there is a more comprehensive cohesion, through which we developed our values and vision.

So why is the situation so difficult now?

The former president left us with a system of misgovernance, human rights issues, and international sanctions. We were all very happy when [Mnangagwa] was elected, hearing that he would turn over a new leaf. There was so much hope. Having been part of the system, we expected he would learn the lessons of the past and bring us back into the family of nations.

But with the COVID-19 pandemic, problems began to multiply. We were already suffering, and our health situation became dire. The majority of our people live hand-to-mouth. But as workplaces closed due to the lockdown, there was civic upheaval because people were hungry.

On June 1, we called for 90 days of prayer. On the 15th day, the president called for a national day of prayer, and we supported him. We don’t necessarily blame the president for all the problems, but there is a lack of leadership to bring everyone to the table.

And this is why you stood with the Catholics?

The Catholic letter was trying to provoke discussion, not give an insult. It pointed out problems like all of us were doing. But it received such a strong backlash.

We felt that given the situation in the country, if we just stand by and watch, we don’t know what will happen. We have journalists and activists in prison. There have been abductions with perpetrators unidentified, making us all vulnerable.

So this prompted us to stand with the Catholics, because an insult to one is an insult to all.

The 90 days of prayer will end on August 29. What are your hopes for Zimbabwe, in how God might move on behalf of the church and country?

We need a better future. We have suffered enough over 40 years, having never really enjoyed life. Zimbabwe has been given many natural resources and riches, and if our leaders are gifted enough, they can exploit these for the benefit of the people.

We are praying that the church will raise up disciples, who in the future will be good politicians. We blame ourselves. We have what we deserve, because we have not done a good job.

We want God to help us achieve the Zimbabwe we want, with freedom of speech, access to the wealth of the nation, and an uprooting of corruption.

This is the Zimbabwe we believe God wants, too.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: Christianity Today Magazine - August 2020
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2020, 05:22:10 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/august/baptists-russia-religious-liberty-putin.html








Russian Evangelicals Fined for ‘Missionary Activity’ During Pandemic




















Offenses include passing out tracts and telling people to invite friends to hear the gospel.


Anatoly Chendemerov was handing out tracts that said “You must be born again!” in the Volga Federal District in southeastern Russia. He was fined 6,000 rubles, the euqivalent of about $80.

Sergey Krasnov was passing out Christian newspapers and New Testaments in Krasnodar, a city in the South. He was fined 5,000 rubles, or about $65.

Seo Jin Wook, a South Korean, met with about 10 people in a private home in Izhevsk, in the Western Ural Mountains, to talk about the good news of Jesus Christ. He told the people they should come back and bring friends. He was fined 30,000 rubles (about $400) and deported.

More than 40 people have been charged with violating a Russian anti-missionary law in the first six months of 2020, according to a new report from Forum 18, a religious liberty news service based in Norway. Govenment lockdowns and pandemic stay-at-home orders did not substantially slow the multiyear crackdown on unauthorized religious activity.

Russia passed a 2015 law that said all religious meeting places needed to be registered and followed it in 2016 with an anti-missionary law. The bill was labeled as anti-terrorism legislation, meant to prevent foreign extremist from exerting influence in the country. At the time, religious liberty experts said it was hard to predict how the law would be applied and what activity would be prohibited.

“It is broad and vaguely defined,” wrote Travis Wussow, of the Southern Baptist’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, in 2016. “Of course, limiting expression and freedom in a vague way is a tried-and-true tool of regimes to stifle speech beyond the language of the law by creating fear of punishment.”

Four years later, the application of the law is clear. Local police, sometimes supported by the Federal Security Service, have fined roughly 100 religious people per year for practicing their faith. Baptists distributing tracts and Muslims teaching people the language skills necessary to read the Qur’an are prime targets, alongside ongoing efforts to completely rid the country of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

So far in 2020, local police have fined a dozen Muslim men for teaching Arabic grammar, according to Forum 18. They have also fined a sectarian Roman Catholic performing a Latin Mass, a Pentecostal holding services in his home, and a dozen Baptists distributing religious literature. Seventy percent of Russians are Orthodox, though only about five percent go to church regularly. Seven percent of people are Muslim and about 2 percent are Protestant—mainly Baptist and Pentecostal.

While the government has been targeting evangelical Christians, the Russian constitution was also amended to include a reference to God, define marriage as a union between one man and one woman, and allow President Vladimir Putin to remain in power beyond his fourth term, which ends in 2024. The Russian legislature is also considering a law limiting religious liberty to Russian citizens and permanent residents, banning non-residents from practicing their faith in the country and preventing Russian religious leaders from receiving theological education abroad.

Putin has raised the status of the Russian Orthodox Church in his fourth term and talked about the need to stand strong against secularism and the “chaotic darkness” of the West, which he says is “denying moral principles and all traditional identities: national, cultural, religious, and even sexual.” That political program includes clamping down on “foreign religions,” such as Baptists.

“There is a sophisticated narrative … that Russian society and culture are under siege,” Eric Patterson, a scholar in the Robertson School of Government at Regent University, wrote for the conservative website The Blaze, “and that Russia is fortunate to have the bold, determined leadership of Vladimir Putin and his United Russia party to stand up against all forms of foreign influence and aggression.”

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has recommended targeted sanctions in response to the violations of religious liberty.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: Christianity Today Magazine - August 2020
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2020, 05:25:16 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/august/republican-national-convention-speakers-trump-evangelicals-.html








Trump’s Faithful: Franklin Graham, Navajo VP, Freed Pastor Andrew Brunson on GOP Convention Lineup












During this year’s event in Charlotte, evangelicals are praying inside, outside, and remotely.


Three and half years after offering a prayer at President Donald Trump’s inauguration, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan opened the Republican National Convention—which had officially nominated the president to run for a second term—by praying for America Monday night.

His prayer mentioned both parties and spanned a litany of issues around this election, saying “pray we must” for COVID-19 patients, frontline workers, police, babies in the womb, immigrants, trafficking, religious liberty, democracy, and the electorate preparing to vote.

The convention speakers and panels, convened to make a case for Trump’s reelection, were also punctuated with mentions of prayer and freedom to worship, a sign that—like at the Democratic National Convention the week before—faith remains a guiding factor for how Republicans approach the 2020 race.

On the broadcast airing Monday night, a Montana businesswoman described desperately praying for the Lord’s guidance before receiving a Paycheck Protect Program loan to support her coffee shop during the pandemic. Attorney and Trump advisor Kimberly Ann Guilfoyle gave a passionate speech in favor of Trump’s vision for a country where “we kneel in prayer and we stand for our flag.” Football great Herschel Walker mentioned praying for his friend, the president: “I pray every night that God gives him more time. Give him four more years.”

During presidential election years, “I watch the key points of both conventions to help me know how to pray for our country and make sure Christians are involved,” said Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, who has visited the White House multiple times under Trump and applauded outreach to evangelicals. “We need to both think and vote biblically. I encourage every believer who cares about the future of our country to do the same.”

Chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) have been on the streets offering prayer around the Charlotte, North Carolina, convention center that’s hosting a downsized version of the GOP event. BGEA president Franklin Graham is scheduled to offer a prayer at the convention on Thursday.

While Graham—who also prayed at Trump’s inauguration— is the biggest evangelical name on the lineup, he’s not the only one. Myron Lizer, a former bivocational pastor in Arizona who now serves as vice president of the Navajo Nation, will speak Tuesday.

“I attribute it to God’s favor that I am in this position for such a time as this,” he told CT. He suggested that perhaps the Lord would use the Navajo to help the country out of turmoil, like the role of the code talkers in World War II.

Lizer, who led a Southern Baptist congregation in Window Rock, Arizona, said he has a unique perspective as a Christian and a Native American. He knows what it’s like to feel the tension on both sides and believes “right-wing and left-wing extremists are taking America down the wrong road.”

While the Navajo leader praises what the Trump administration has done for his people—including providing $714 million in COVID-19 relief funding and establishing a task force to address missing and murdered indigenous women —he knows many of his fellow Navajo oppose Trump. Navajo President Jonathan Nez, for example, is a Democrat. But the two fellow Christians pray together each week.

Evangelical Presbyterian pastor Andrew Brunson made an unlisted appearance at the convention Monday night, part of a panel of overseas detainees returned to the US by the Trump administration. Each briefly thanked the president for his role in working toward their freedom. Brunson spent two years in a Turkish prison on erroneous terrorism and espionage charges. After a prayer campaign and through the efforts of the president, State Department, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, he was freed in 2018.

Later this week, convention viewers are slated to hear the more tragic story of a hostage who reportedly refused to recant her faith and didn’t make it home. The parents of the late Kayla Mueller—the Christian aid worker who was kidnapped, tortured, and enslaved by ISIS leaders in Syria—have previously criticized the Obama administration for not doing more to try to facilitate their daughter’s release and thanked the Trump administration for going after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Secretary of State Pompeo, who belongs to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, is slated to address the convention Tuesday through remarks recorded in Jerusalem. While the location has stirred debate over politicking while on government business, it also evokes the significance of Trump’s Israel policy, including moving the embassy to the capital—a decision heralded by US evangelicals but far more contentious for believers in the region.

Nikki Haley, the former ambassador to the United Nations, described a vision for America under Trump “where every believer can worship without fear” and “where every girl and boy, every woman and man of every race and religion has the best shot at the best life.”

During the first night of the convention, this vision, and versions of it described by fellow speakers, was presented in contrast to the Democratic platform.

As Wheaton University politics chair Bryan McGraw predicted, Republicans’ message will declare “the Democrats are coming for their churches, their schools, their families,” as an attempt “to make evangelicals believe that unless they vote for Trump—and vote for him in large numbers—they will be on the receiving end of a kind of cultural revolution.”

“People of faith are under attack,” Donald Trump Jr. said. “You're not allowed to go to church, but mass chaos in the streets gets a pass. It's almost like this election is shaping up to be church, work, and school versus rioting, looting, and vandalism.”

Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk, who runs a think tank affiliated with Liberty University, mentioned the importance of pastors being able to reopen their churches without government interference. Liberty’s Jerry Falwell Jr., who was an early evangelical supporter of Trump in 2016 and gave a seven-minute speech in his favor during the last convention, had not been invited to speak.

In a Pew Research Center survey released last month, 82 percent of white evangelicals and 55 percent of all Christians said they planned to vote for Trump while 88 percent of black Protestants supported Joe Biden. As CT reported last week, his campaign has emphasized his Catholic faith.

Samuel Rodriguez, pastor and president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, said as a believer, he doesn’t vote for “parties or for politicians but for policies that advance the Lamb’s agenda of protecting the sanctity of life, advocating for biblical justice, and protecting religious freedom.”

Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Texas, had a similar directive.

“Christians who are watching the major party conventions should ask themselves this simple question: Do the policies being discussed by these leaders align with our biblical values and beliefs?,” said Graham, who has spoken out in favor of the president’s pro-life policies. “This question should tell Christians all they need to know.”
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: Christianity Today Magazine - August 2020
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2020, 09:08:10 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/august-web-only/qanon-is-wolf-in-wolfs-clothing.html








QAnon Is a Wolf in Wolf’s Clothing










There's nothing sheepish about this insidious internet demon.


He doesn’t know much about the QAnon conspiracy theory, President Trump told a reporter this month. But “I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate,” he added. “I have heard that it is gaining in popularity, and from what I hear, these are people … that love our country.”

The reporter asked a follow-up: “At the crux of this theory is this belief that you are secretly saving the world from this cult of pedophiles and cannibals. Does that sound like … ” She trailed off, apparently at a loss as to where to go from there. “Like something you are behind?”

“Well, I haven’t heard that,” Trump answered, “but is that supposed to be a bad thing?”

This isn’t the first time Trump has interacted with QAnon. He has shared posts from QAnon Twitter accounts, and he greeted the primary victory of a pro-QAnon House candidate with enthusiasm. However, this explicit endorsement of the theory’s believers, if not quite the theory itself, is new territory for Trump. It will bring QAnon further into the political mainstream and make this cultic movement a greater threat to the American church.

If you’re among the majority of Americans unfamiliar with QAnon, a pause for definition may be in order. QAnon is a conspiracy theory that claims that a secret cabal in government, the media, and other influential institutions is engaged in child sex trafficking, cannibalism of a sort, and the usual conspiracist bugbear of world domination and human sacrifice. One sub-theory in the movement alleges that there’s footage of Hillary Clinton and her aide “ripping off a child’s face and wearing it as a mask before drinking the child’s blood in a Satanic ritual sacrifice.”

The QAnon movement began when an anonymous poster called Q took to the 4chan online forum—ironically, better known for its implication in child pornography and other foul dregs of the Internet—to predict Clinton would be arrested and massive riots would break out nationwide on October 30, 2017.

That day came and went, and nothing Q forecast came to pass. But here’s the genius of QAnon: For those already convinced, it’s unfalsifiable. According to Travis View, who researches conspiracy theories, “Q will say something very vague, like, ‘Watch the water,’ [and] because water covers most of the planet … there’s going to be a news event eventually that involves Trump and water. And so the QAnon community will look at that and will say, ‘Look, Trump drank a glass of water on camera. Q said, “Watch the water.” That means that Q predicted that event’—which, of course, is nonsense.”

When Q prophecies (or “drops,” as they’re called) don’t pan out, as with the initial Clinton arrest story, adherents simply conclude the cabal interfered.

The cabal is QAnon’s version of the Fall—its explanation for what’s wrong with our world. Q is the movement’s John the Baptist. Drops are its Scripture. And Trump is its messiah, ostensibly working at great personal cost to defeat the cabal and usher in a new age of American greatness.

That religious language isn’t only metaphorical. Among QAnon’s most troubling aspects are its use of the language and style of evangelical Christianity, its misuse of the Bible to disguise its deception, and its increasing function as a syncretic cult of semi-Christian heresy.

A pro-Q politician in Oregon described her involvement by sharing that some “people think that I follow Q like I follow Jesus,” a blasphemous characterization she left unchallenged. That’s unsurprising, for QAnon fashions itself as a “Christian” movement. Q drops often quote Scripture—as even the devil does (see Matt. 4:10)—a tactic that adherents have said helped convince them the theory was worth their time.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: Christianity Today Magazine - August 2020
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2020, 04:00:58 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/august/jerry-falwell-jr-resigns-liberty-university-affair-scandal.html








Jerry Falwell Jr. Finally Resigns from Liberty Amid Sex Scandal









Board leaders decide return of Christian college’s president wouldn’t be in its “best interest” after dueling accounts of a sex scandal make news.


Monday was a big day for Liberty University. The school began the first day of classes as President Jerry Falwell Jr.’s name trended on Twitter due to recent news reports about the involvement of a young man in the conservative Christian leader’s marriage.

Falwell had been put on leave two and a half weeks ago after sharing a provocative vacation photo on his Instagram account. He told a Virginia publication this evening that he has been “enjoying” his break, “except for the press.”

The new reports made it clear that it would not be in Liberty’s “best interest” for him to return, the Christian college said Monday night in a statement.

Leaders from the board of trustees met Monday morning, then accepted Falwell’s resignation later in the day—only to have him withdraw the decision, the college stated. Upon seeing news reports of him leaving his position at Liberty, Falwell spoke out Monday evening to call them “completely false.”

According to a Wall Street Journal update posted shortly after midnight, the outgoing president reversed again to say that he would resign because he wants “what’s best for the school,” but that he was still due his full compensation.

Liberty’s board will meet again Tuesday as it waits for an attorney to tender Falwell’s resignation letter.

“I call upon the University community and supporters to be in prayer for the University and for all its leadership, past, present and future, as we walk with the Lord through this stormy time of transition,” said acting president Jerry Prevo, an Alaska pastor who had served as board chair before he stepped in to lead while Falwell was on leave.

Falwell joins a regrettable list of prominent evangelical leaders brought down by sexual scandal.

Falwell said in a statement to the Washington Examiner Sunday night that his wife, Becki, had an affair with a pool boy-turned-business partner, alleging that he and his wife were now being extorted. In a Reuters investigation published Monday morning, the 29-year-old Florida man, Giancarlo Granda, said he had been in a relationship with the Falwells, with Jerry’s knowledge, from 2012 to 2018. Falwell said in his statement, prior to Reuters airing Granda’s claims, that he was not involved and called Granda’s account “90 percent false.”

Questions around Falwell’s ties to Granda and Falwell’s investment in a Miami hostel previously came up in investigations in Politico and the Miami Herald.

Critics also expressed frustration about the racial climate on campus, brought to the forefront by a divisive tweet in May that led several African Americans to cut ties with Liberty and dozens of African American alumni to call for his resignation.

For the past few years, concerned members of the Liberty community say they worried that nothing would be done. They assumed because of Falwell’s influence at Liberty, and the loyalty of a board made up of Jerry Falwell Sr.’s associates and Falwell Jr.’s own appointees, he may never be held into account.

But then a viral photo turned up—not from media investigations, but Falwell’s own Instagram account. He is posed next to a woman and both have their zippers down. After backlash, Falwell agreed to take an indefinite leave of absence, which he recently characterized as a sabbatical, though it came at the board’s request.

Some critics of Falwell told CT at the time they were shocked to see the school take action.

The move also had trustees considering whether Falwell should stay in his position, even before hearing the news about the Falwells’ alleged sexual tryst.

The concerns could no longer be dismissed as baseless attacks from the outside, said Suzanna Krivulskaya, a professor at California State University San Marcos who writes about the history of American evangelical sex scandals.

She likened Falwell’s narrative to the pattern of institutional denial, then temporary leave, then permanent oustings Christians have seen modeled around leaders such as Jim Bakker, Ted Haggard, and Billy James Hargis. Krivulskaya observed that cases involving “accusations of homosexuality and allegations of bisexuality—where there’s another man involved” often prompt a quicker response and swifter condemnation.

Falwell Sr., Falwell’s father and Liberty’s founder, knew how sexual misdeeds could hurt ministry relationships and impede the work of evangelism. He famously took over for televangelist Jim Bakker after an “alleged sexual indiscretion” and coverup at the PTL Club in the 1980s.

Among evangelicals, sexual scandals hit on several levels. There’s the hypocrisy of a leader espousing sex between one man and one woman while not obeying the teaching himself. But there’s also the grief of how sexual brokenness damages people, families, and ministries.

“The past 24 hours of news related to Liberty University and Jerry Falwell Jr. and his family is sad. Whatever portion of it is true, it is a reminder of just how deeply entangling sin can become and our deep need for genuine spiritual renewal from Christ each and every day,” said Virginia pastor and Liberty alumnus Colby Garman, who signed a petition the week prior calling for Falwell’s removal.

“As I have said before, it will be best for the school to make a permanent leadership change immediately and allow the Falwell family to work out these matters in private. Prayers for all involved.”

The impact of Falwell’s departure will extend beyond the school. Falwell is a big name in evangelicalism because of his father’s legacy and the success of Liberty, which has grown to an enrollment of more than 120,000 students. Lately, he has also become known as a close friend of President Donald Trump. He serves as a faith adviser to Trump and has hosted the president on campus.

David Dockery, president of the International Alliance for Christian Education, said, “The news will certainly have implications for all who serve in Christian higher education as well as for evangelicalism at-large, at least from the vantage point of perceptions among those looking on from the outside.”

Liberty is somewhat of an exceptional example in the Christian college landscape. It is not a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), though fellow evangelical schools, looped in with Liberty and its leader in media accounts, “are surely embarrassed by Falwell,” Bill Ringenberg, author of The Christian College: A History of Protestant Higher Education in America, told CT.

Even at the helm of what was once the country’s largest Christian college, Falwell never claimed to be the spiritual leader in his family—that’s his brother Jonathan Falwell, who succeeded their father as pastor of his other institutional legacy, Thomas Road Baptist Church. Instead, Falwell had positioned himself as steering Liberty like a business.

Many attribute that strategy as leading to Liberty’s massive growth in online education, sports, and enrollment.

“Jerry has done a great job in building a tremendous school,” Robert Jeffress, fellow Trump supporter and pastor of First Baptist Dallas, told the Washington Post. “The allegations, if true, should be a warning of the destructive power of sin.”

But his leadership has also tainted the school’s Christian witness, critics say.

Quan McLaurin, who resigned as a diversity director at Liberty, fears the board has only acted to hold its leader accountable when the negative press stands to affect its bottom line. He criticized leaders for not acting sooner or in response to the racial matters that have come up on campus. He called Falwell’s resignation “a great step in the right direction, but not enough” and wants to see “true accountability” and ethical behavior from the top.

Dockery, like many fellow Christian leaders, extended prayers for Liberty’s leadership.

“With the amazing resources with which they have been blessed,” he said, “we hope that the Board will prioritize their calling to rigorous academics and an unapologetic Christian commitment that will allow them to maximize their impact and influence in the world of higher education as well as in their service to church and society.”

Johnnie Moore, who previously served as the school’s vice president of communications during his 13-year tenure at the school, said its mission will continue even without a Falwell at the helm.

“Liberty would not exist but for the Falwells. Yet, the brilliance of its original mission and vision was transcended long ago,” said Moore, founder of the evangelical marketing firm The Kairos Company. “Liberty is an institution designed to thrive for the cause of Christ today and for generations. I am sure members of the community—past and present—will pray and will work together to ensure that Liberty's best days are ahead."





Additional reporting by Daniel Silliman.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: Christianity Today Magazine - August 2020
« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2020, 04:07:09 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/august/jerry-falwell-jr-resigns-liberty-university-affair-scandal.html








Jerry Falwell Jr. Finally Resigns from Liberty Amid Sex Scandal









Board leaders decide return of Christian college’s president wouldn’t be in its “best interest” after dueling accounts of a sex scandal make news.


Monday was a big day for Liberty University. The school began the first day of classes as President Jerry Falwell Jr.’s name trended on Twitter due to recent news reports about the involvement of a young man in the conservative Christian leader’s marriage.

Falwell had been put on leave two and a half weeks ago after sharing a provocative vacation photo on his Instagram account. He told a Virginia publication this evening that he has been “enjoying” his break, “except for the press.”

The new reports made it clear that it would not be in Liberty’s “best interest” for him to return, the Christian college said Monday night in a statement.

Leaders from the board of trustees met Monday morning, then accepted Falwell’s resignation later in the day—only to have him withdraw the decision, the college stated. Upon seeing news reports of him leaving his position at Liberty, Falwell spoke out Monday evening to call them “completely false.”

According to a Wall Street Journal update posted shortly after midnight, the outgoing president reversed again to say that he would resign because he wants “what’s best for the school,” but that he was still due his full compensation.

Liberty’s board will meet again Tuesday as it waits for an attorney to tender Falwell’s resignation letter.

“I call upon the University community and supporters to be in prayer for the University and for all its leadership, past, present and future, as we walk with the Lord through this stormy time of transition,” said acting president Jerry Prevo, an Alaska pastor who had served as board chair before he stepped in to lead while Falwell was on leave.

Falwell joins a regrettable list of prominent evangelical leaders brought down by sexual scandal.

Falwell said in a statement to the Washington Examiner Sunday night that his wife, Becki, had an affair with a pool boy-turned-business partner, alleging that he and his wife were now being extorted. In a Reuters investigation published Monday morning, the 29-year-old Florida man, Giancarlo Granda, said he had been in a relationship with the Falwells, with Jerry’s knowledge, from 2012 to 2018. Falwell said in his statement, prior to Reuters airing Granda’s claims, that he was not involved and called Granda’s account “90 percent false.”

Questions around Falwell’s ties to Granda and Falwell’s investment in a Miami hostel previously came up in investigations in Politico and the Miami Herald.

Critics also expressed frustration about the racial climate on campus, brought to the forefront by a divisive tweet in May that led several African Americans to cut ties with Liberty and dozens of African American alumni to call for his resignation.

For the past few years, concerned members of the Liberty community say they worried that nothing would be done. They assumed because of Falwell’s influence at Liberty, and the loyalty of a board made up of Jerry Falwell Sr.’s associates and Falwell Jr.’s own appointees, he may never be held into account.

But then a viral photo turned up—not from media investigations, but Falwell’s own Instagram account. He is posed next to a woman and both have their zippers down. After backlash, Falwell agreed to take an indefinite leave of absence, which he recently characterized as a sabbatical, though it came at the board’s request.

Some critics of Falwell told CT at the time they were shocked to see the school take action.

The move also had trustees considering whether Falwell should stay in his position, even before hearing the news about the Falwells’ alleged sexual tryst.

The concerns could no longer be dismissed as baseless attacks from the outside, said Suzanna Krivulskaya, a professor at California State University San Marcos who writes about the history of American evangelical sex scandals.

She likened Falwell’s narrative to the pattern of institutional denial, then temporary leave, then permanent oustings Christians have seen modeled around leaders such as Jim Bakker, Ted Haggard, and Billy James Hargis. Krivulskaya observed that cases involving “accusations of homosexuality and allegations of bisexuality—where there’s another man involved” often prompt a quicker response and swifter condemnation.

Falwell Sr., Falwell’s father and Liberty’s founder, knew how sexual misdeeds could hurt ministry relationships and impede the work of evangelism. He famously took over for televangelist Jim Bakker after an “alleged sexual indiscretion” and coverup at the PTL Club in the 1980s.

Among evangelicals, sexual scandals hit on several levels. There’s the hypocrisy of a leader espousing sex between one man and one woman while not obeying the teaching himself. But there’s also the grief of how sexual brokenness damages people, families, and ministries.

“The past 24 hours of news related to Liberty University and Jerry Falwell Jr. and his family is sad. Whatever portion of it is true, it is a reminder of just how deeply entangling sin can become and our deep need for genuine spiritual renewal from Christ each and every day,” said Virginia pastor and Liberty alumnus Colby Garman, who signed a petition the week prior calling for Falwell’s removal.

“As I have said before, it will be best for the school to make a permanent leadership change immediately and allow the Falwell family to work out these matters in private. Prayers for all involved.”

The impact of Falwell’s departure will extend beyond the school. Falwell is a big name in evangelicalism because of his father’s legacy and the success of Liberty, which has grown to an enrollment of more than 120,000 students. Lately, he has also become known as a close friend of President Donald Trump. He serves as a faith adviser to Trump and has hosted the president on campus.

David Dockery, president of the International Alliance for Christian Education, said, “The news will certainly have implications for all who serve in Christian higher education as well as for evangelicalism at-large, at least from the vantage point of perceptions among those looking on from the outside.”

Liberty is somewhat of an exceptional example in the Christian college landscape. It is not a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), though fellow evangelical schools, looped in with Liberty and its leader in media accounts, “are surely embarrassed by Falwell,” Bill Ringenberg, author of The Christian College: A History of Protestant Higher Education in America, told CT.

Even at the helm of what was once the country’s largest Christian college, Falwell never claimed to be the spiritual leader in his family—that’s his brother Jonathan Falwell, who succeeded their father as pastor of his other institutional legacy, Thomas Road Baptist Church. Instead, Falwell had positioned himself as steering Liberty like a business.

Many attribute that strategy as leading to Liberty’s massive growth in online education, sports, and enrollment.

“Jerry has done a great job in building a tremendous school,” Robert Jeffress, fellow Trump supporter and pastor of First Baptist Dallas, told the Washington Post. “The allegations, if true, should be a warning of the destructive power of sin.”

But his leadership has also tainted the school’s Christian witness, critics say.

Quan McLaurin, who resigned as a diversity director at Liberty, fears the board has only acted to hold its leader accountable when the negative press stands to affect its bottom line. He criticized leaders for not acting sooner or in response to the racial matters that have come up on campus. He called Falwell’s resignation “a great step in the right direction, but not enough” and wants to see “true accountability” and ethical behavior from the top.

Dockery, like many fellow Christian leaders, extended prayers for Liberty’s leadership.

“With the amazing resources with which they have been blessed,” he said, “we hope that the Board will prioritize their calling to rigorous academics and an unapologetic Christian commitment that will allow them to maximize their impact and influence in the world of higher education as well as in their service to church and society.”

Johnnie Moore, who previously served as the school’s vice president of communications during his 13-year tenure at the school, said its mission will continue even without a Falwell at the helm.

“Liberty would not exist but for the Falwells. Yet, the brilliance of its original mission and vision was transcended long ago,” said Moore, founder of the evangelical marketing firm The Kairos Company. “Liberty is an institution designed to thrive for the cause of Christ today and for generations. I am sure members of the community—past and present—will pray and will work together to ensure that Liberty's best days are ahead."





Additional reporting by Daniel Silliman.


https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/august-web-only/jerry-becki-falwell-resigns-board-governance.html











Was Liberty’s Board Set up to Support Falwell or Liberty?








The challenge of holding Christian ministry leaders accountable.


Jerry Falwell Jr. resigned as president of Liberty University on Monday. The news came after Reuters reported that a friend and business partner of the couple had sex with Becki Falwell while Jerry Falwell Jr. watched. Falwell Jr. himself submitted his resignation only to reverse course twice.

Falwell Jr. was already on an indefinite leave of absence after he posted a picture on Instagram of him posing with his arm around a woman at a party with their zippers down and midsections exposed.

With one notable exception, Liberty’s board has stayed largely silent in the wake of Falwell’s increasingly controversial public statements and financial dealings.

For ministry boards that have run into moral or ethic issues with their CEOs, one common mistake is allowing the CEO to recommend too many board members, says Bob Andringa, the managing partner of the Andringa Group who specializes in governance and the relationship between boards and chief executives.

“Who's a CEO going to recommend? They’re going to recommend friends,” said Andringa, who has written several books on board governance, including The Nonprofit Board Answer Book and Good Governance for Nonprofits. “And so when it comes down to crunch time, those friends have more loyalty to the CEO than they do to the mission of the whole organization.”

Andringa joined global media manager Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss the blind spots of Christian boards, what encourages and discourages them in holding leaders accountable, and why more retired people should serve on boards.[/size]
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: Christianity Today Magazine - August 2020
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2020, 11:29:30 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/august/jerry-falwell-jr-resigns-liberty-university-affair-scandal.html








Jerry Falwell Jr. Finally Resigns from Liberty Amid Sex Scandal









Board leaders decide return of Christian college’s president wouldn’t be in its “best interest” after dueling accounts of a sex scandal make news.


Monday was a big day for Liberty University. The school began the first day of classes as President Jerry Falwell Jr.’s name trended on Twitter due to recent news reports about the involvement of a young man in the conservative Christian leader’s marriage.

Falwell had been put on leave two and a half weeks ago after sharing a provocative vacation photo on his Instagram account. He told a Virginia publication this evening that he has been “enjoying” his break, “except for the press.”

The new reports made it clear that it would not be in Liberty’s “best interest” for him to return, the Christian college said Monday night in a statement.

Leaders from the board of trustees met Monday morning, then accepted Falwell’s resignation later in the day—only to have him withdraw the decision, the college stated. Upon seeing news reports of him leaving his position at Liberty, Falwell spoke out Monday evening to call them “completely false.”

According to a Wall Street Journal update posted shortly after midnight, the outgoing president reversed again to say that he would resign because he wants “what’s best for the school,” but that he was still due his full compensation.

Liberty’s board will meet again Tuesday as it waits for an attorney to tender Falwell’s resignation letter.

“I call upon the University community and supporters to be in prayer for the University and for all its leadership, past, present and future, as we walk with the Lord through this stormy time of transition,” said acting president Jerry Prevo, an Alaska pastor who had served as board chair before he stepped in to lead while Falwell was on leave.

Falwell joins a regrettable list of prominent evangelical leaders brought down by sexual scandal.

Falwell said in a statement to the Washington Examiner Sunday night that his wife, Becki, had an affair with a pool boy-turned-business partner, alleging that he and his wife were now being extorted. In a Reuters investigation published Monday morning, the 29-year-old Florida man, Giancarlo Granda, said he had been in a relationship with the Falwells, with Jerry’s knowledge, from 2012 to 2018. Falwell said in his statement, prior to Reuters airing Granda’s claims, that he was not involved and called Granda’s account “90 percent false.”

Questions around Falwell’s ties to Granda and Falwell’s investment in a Miami hostel previously came up in investigations in Politico and the Miami Herald.

Critics also expressed frustration about the racial climate on campus, brought to the forefront by a divisive tweet in May that led several African Americans to cut ties with Liberty and dozens of African American alumni to call for his resignation.

For the past few years, concerned members of the Liberty community say they worried that nothing would be done. They assumed because of Falwell’s influence at Liberty, and the loyalty of a board made up of Jerry Falwell Sr.’s associates and Falwell Jr.’s own appointees, he may never be held into account.

But then a viral photo turned up—not from media investigations, but Falwell’s own Instagram account. He is posed next to a woman and both have their zippers down. After backlash, Falwell agreed to take an indefinite leave of absence, which he recently characterized as a sabbatical, though it came at the board’s request.

Some critics of Falwell told CT at the time they were shocked to see the school take action.

The move also had trustees considering whether Falwell should stay in his position, even before hearing the news about the Falwells’ alleged sexual tryst.

The concerns could no longer be dismissed as baseless attacks from the outside, said Suzanna Krivulskaya, a professor at California State University San Marcos who writes about the history of American evangelical sex scandals.

She likened Falwell’s narrative to the pattern of institutional denial, then temporary leave, then permanent oustings Christians have seen modeled around leaders such as Jim Bakker, Ted Haggard, and Billy James Hargis. Krivulskaya observed that cases involving “accusations of homosexuality and allegations of bisexuality—where there’s another man involved” often prompt a quicker response and swifter condemnation.

Falwell Sr., Falwell’s father and Liberty’s founder, knew how sexual misdeeds could hurt ministry relationships and impede the work of evangelism. He famously took over for televangelist Jim Bakker after an “alleged sexual indiscretion” and coverup at the PTL Club in the 1980s.

Among evangelicals, sexual scandals hit on several levels. There’s the hypocrisy of a leader espousing sex between one man and one woman while not obeying the teaching himself. But there’s also the grief of how sexual brokenness damages people, families, and ministries.

“The past 24 hours of news related to Liberty University and Jerry Falwell Jr. and his family is sad. Whatever portion of it is true, it is a reminder of just how deeply entangling sin can become and our deep need for genuine spiritual renewal from Christ each and every day,” said Virginia pastor and Liberty alumnus Colby Garman, who signed a petition the week prior calling for Falwell’s removal.

“As I have said before, it will be best for the school to make a permanent leadership change immediately and allow the Falwell family to work out these matters in private. Prayers for all involved.”

The impact of Falwell’s departure will extend beyond the school. Falwell is a big name in evangelicalism because of his father’s legacy and the success of Liberty, which has grown to an enrollment of more than 120,000 students. Lately, he has also become known as a close friend of President Donald Trump. He serves as a faith adviser to Trump and has hosted the president on campus.

David Dockery, president of the International Alliance for Christian Education, said, “The news will certainly have implications for all who serve in Christian higher education as well as for evangelicalism at-large, at least from the vantage point of perceptions among those looking on from the outside.”

Liberty is somewhat of an exceptional example in the Christian college landscape. It is not a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), though fellow evangelical schools, looped in with Liberty and its leader in media accounts, “are surely embarrassed by Falwell,” Bill Ringenberg, author of The Christian College: A History of Protestant Higher Education in America, told CT.

Even at the helm of what was once the country’s largest Christian college, Falwell never claimed to be the spiritual leader in his family—that’s his brother Jonathan Falwell, who succeeded their father as pastor of his other institutional legacy, Thomas Road Baptist Church. Instead, Falwell had positioned himself as steering Liberty like a business.

Many attribute that strategy as leading to Liberty’s massive growth in online education, sports, and enrollment.

“Jerry has done a great job in building a tremendous school,” Robert Jeffress, fellow Trump supporter and pastor of First Baptist Dallas, told the Washington Post. “The allegations, if true, should be a warning of the destructive power of sin.”

But his leadership has also tainted the school’s Christian witness, critics say.

Quan McLaurin, who resigned as a diversity director at Liberty, fears the board has only acted to hold its leader accountable when the negative press stands to affect its bottom line. He criticized leaders for not acting sooner or in response to the racial matters that have come up on campus. He called Falwell’s resignation “a great step in the right direction, but not enough” and wants to see “true accountability” and ethical behavior from the top.

Dockery, like many fellow Christian leaders, extended prayers for Liberty’s leadership.

“With the amazing resources with which they have been blessed,” he said, “we hope that the Board will prioritize their calling to rigorous academics and an unapologetic Christian commitment that will allow them to maximize their impact and influence in the world of higher education as well as in their service to church and society.”

Johnnie Moore, who previously served as the school’s vice president of communications during his 13-year tenure at the school, said its mission will continue even without a Falwell at the helm.

“Liberty would not exist but for the Falwells. Yet, the brilliance of its original mission and vision was transcended long ago,” said Moore, founder of the evangelical marketing firm The Kairos Company. “Liberty is an institution designed to thrive for the cause of Christ today and for generations. I am sure members of the community—past and present—will pray and will work together to ensure that Liberty's best days are ahead."





Additional reporting by Daniel Silliman.


https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/august-web-only/jerry-becki-falwell-resigns-board-governance.html











Was Liberty’s Board Set up to Support Falwell or Liberty?








The challenge of holding Christian ministry leaders accountable.


Jerry Falwell Jr. resigned as president of Liberty University on Monday. The news came after Reuters reported that a friend and business partner of the couple had sex with Becki Falwell while Jerry Falwell Jr. watched. Falwell Jr. himself submitted his resignation only to reverse course twice.

Falwell Jr. was already on an indefinite leave of absence after he posted a picture on Instagram of him posing with his arm around a woman at a party with their zippers down and midsections exposed.

With one notable exception, Liberty’s board has stayed largely silent in the wake of Falwell’s increasingly controversial public statements and financial dealings.

For ministry boards that have run into moral or ethic issues with their CEOs, one common mistake is allowing the CEO to recommend too many board members, says Bob Andringa, the managing partner of the Andringa Group who specializes in governance and the relationship between boards and chief executives.

“Who's a CEO going to recommend? They’re going to recommend friends,” said Andringa, who has written several books on board governance, including The Nonprofit Board Answer Book and Good Governance for Nonprofits. “And so when it comes down to crunch time, those friends have more loyalty to the CEO than they do to the mission of the whole organization.”

Andringa joined global media manager Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss the blind spots of Christian boards, what encourages and discourages them in holding leaders accountable, and why more retired people should serve on boards.[/size]

sad but it is the sirens song that causes so many big problems.

Blades
1 Cor 15:3-4.."For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"

Acts 17:11.."These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
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patrick jane

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Re: Christianity Today Magazine - August 2020
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2020, 11:24:46 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/august/apostle-paul-partnership-in-evangelism-and-mission-part-one.html








The Apostle Paul: Partnership in Evangelism and Mission Part One











Four Pauline Principles for Mobilizing Believers to Evangelism


I’ve lived in the Global South my entire life and have served in ministry in the nations of Botswana and South Africa. I love what God is doing around the world, and especially in the Majority World. For too long, Africa has been seen as the ‘dark continent’, where the light of the gospel shines dimly. God is a global God (let’s rejoice) and we need to pause and celebrate the reality that the gospel is spreading globally and multitudes in Africa (and many other places in the Global South) are committing their lives to Christ daily. Yet, despite the growth we have seen, there’s also an evident need for gospel depth in the lives of Christians. Continued growth and depth will require greater glocal (yes, that’s a word) partnership.

The Apostle Paul is a good example of someone who partnered with others for the sake of the Gospel, and through relational connections, accomplished the mission Christ gave him to fulfil. This article will present four Pauline principles related to successful ministry partnership based on Romans 15 and 16. Paul states, in Romans 15:20: “My aim is to preach the gospel where Christ has not been named, so that I will not build on someone else’s foundation, 21 but, as it is written, those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.” Paul, in this passage, defines his ministry lane and exposes important truths that must be applied for the effective (yet simple) spreading of the gospel and for the multiplication of gospel relationships that lead to deeper cultural and societal permeation. Join me, in part one, as we explore these multilateral ministry partnerships as described in Romans 15 and 16 respectively. Congruent with the biblical discipleship imperative, in part two, we will explore a missional partnership matrix and on how to move believers toward becoming multipliers in ministry, and not just consumers of religious goods and services.

Paul’s Multilateral Partnership Plan

The Apostle Paul truly believed that the way Jesus modeled his ministry was the best way to function in spreading the gospel in a globalised Roman Empire. Paul’s passion for the gospel, love for the Gentiles and ability to set in place systems led to the multiplication of opportunities for believers to partner for the sake of the Gospel. His letters bear testimony to Paul’s commitment to movemental Christianity in the long haul; trusting God to use believers to accomplish this end. Using Romans 15 and 16 as a catalyst I have listed four important principles below that are derived from Paul’s ministry. These form an important foundation for a ministry of multiplication.

1. Leadership Versatility

Throughout the New Testament, we read about Paul connecting with numerous people in establishing the gospel throughout the Roman Empire. Paul multiplied his ministry vision to the army of committed believers and harnessed their skills, gifts and abilities for the Kingdom good. Romans 15 (written on Paul's third missionary journey c.a. AD 57) links beautifully with Ephesians 4 (written c.a. AD 60 from Rome while imprisoned) where Paul describes in verse 11 the diversity of roles God has given for the equipping of the church. These roles describe the versatility and diversity required of leaders and the need for multiple inputs without relying on one leader for all these qualities. In Romans 15: 14-21, Paul describes his leadership and ministry lane in relation to the Missio Dei, while in Ephesians 4: 11-17, Paul legitimises the gift of Christ’s diverse body for the united task of reaching the world.

2. Team Dependency

The monopoly of ministry by the clergy will not rightly serve the mission of God; the mission of God embraces all of God’s people, utilises their full gifting in Christ and moves them to places in the world where their gifting and the greatest need exist. The danger of church redundancy will only grow in a church culture that fosters the mentality that ministry is for paid professionals and a select few. Paul continually testifies to a better way. Throughout the New Testament, Paul mentioned some 150 names of men and women who formed part of his greater team. In Romans 16 alone Paul mentions many individuals and families who were a blessing to Him and a help in spreading the Gospel. Paul’s multiplication mindset ensured that he lived out what he asked of Timothy in 2 Tim 2:2. Mission leads to a multiplication of ministry for believers, not a monopoly of opportunity for a few.

3. Spirit-filled Directionality

There is no doubt in my mind that the Apostle Paul depended on God's divine leading for his ministry endeavours as he attributes every success to the grace of God and God's rich providence. Paul proclaims in Romans 15:22-23a: "That is why I have been prevented many times from coming to you. 23 But now I no longer have any work to do in these regions….” Paul had goals and desires, like many of us do, plans to travel to a specific place, or visit with our friends in ministry across the world. There’s nothing inherently wrong with these desires and plans if they are rooted in our leadership lane and if we complete the task God has set for us to do. Paul writes about this principles earlier in Romans 12:2 where he states: “Do not be conformed to this age but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” This often-quoted text precedes a section on Spiritual gifts and serves as a helpful reminder that in our ministry a renewal of the mind will lead to a discerning heart. The many options, paths and desires that exist in our hearts must always be subject to God’s desire for glory and fame. May I finish well and honour God and not set aside all he has in store, even the difficult aspects.

4. Strategic Ministry Nexus

Paul’s ministry, his goals and objectives are not our own as they were directed by God the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit, to bring about a knowledge of Jesus and a repentant heart. Yet one thing stands out to me in Paul’s ministry is that he lived up to his calling and kept it simple by staying the course and doing what God had instructed of him in simply proclaiming the gospel where Christ was not known. If we are honest, much of our ministry is limited to the boundary of our comfort zone. I am heartbroken by the many opportunities to have passed me because I have been too focused on other things, too tired from ministry within the church and too busy with tasks and duties that have landed on my lap. The truth is that we always find time for what’s important to us, and Paul teaches us as leaders that what needs to be central to our lives is the reality that there are places where Christ is not known. Like Paul, we need to consider the strategic importance of ministry in areas and among people where Christ is not known and centre our efforts and resources around reaching out and pioneering work for Christ and His Kingdom.

We Need One Another

How did Paul accomplish all he did in ministry and manage to finish strong? Paul saw himself as one of God’s servants, not as God’s gift to mankind. Paul served alongside others and championed the cause of many believers as they grew toward maturity in Christ. As we have seen demonstrated above, the Apostle Paul was led by the Holy Spirit and sought to keep the main thing central to his life and ministry. We can learn much from Paul about ministry and mission, but one thing is for sure; Paul did not do it alone, he was intentional in cultivating ministry relationships for gospel multiplication for the glory of God and the good of the Church. This is exactly what we are about at the Palau Association. Through our Global Network of Evangelists, we seek to accelerate evangelism worldwide. We would love to connect with you, so feel free to send us an email at either gne@palau.org.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


Copyright Disclaimer: All audio and music belongs to the owner/creator. This is a non-profit. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

patrick jane

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Re: Christianity Today Magazine - August 2020
« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2020, 11:27:52 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/august/apostle-paul-partnership-in-evangelism-and-mission-part-two.html








The Apostle Paul: Partnership in Evangelism and Mission Part Two










Overcoming the inhibitors of ministry through the Apostle Paul's teachings.


Movements in Partnerships:


I have not yet met a church or ministry organization that does not have an innate desire to move people along some form of the continuum toward maturity in Christ. The hard truth is, though, that most churches and ministry organisations do not have an existing plan on how to move people forward in their faith and in their ministry involvement to become multipliers in ministry and not only maintenance-driven. Many have written about one possible cause – a discipleship deficit – which continues to rob evangelicals in particular of missional people serving the purposes of God in a timely fashion. My diagram below, entitled the “Partnership Matrix,” illustrates the movement of people toward ministry involvement and multiplication. In this article, I will explore the various stages in the process toward multiplication and unpack several ministry inhibitors that remain as obstacles for believers in moving to the next stage of their growth in their conceptualisation, articulation, involvement in the missio Dei.

Most people that have grown up in evangelical churches around the world would appreciate the centrality of the Word and the quintessence of the atonement of Christ to the Christian faith and a need for repentance and conversion. These are important themes in the evangelical discourse. Many, however, have had a tainted understanding of mission and evangelism, believing that these tasks were either for the professional, gifted, or were to be in the realm of the pastorate. In other words, most evanglicals held no responsibility for these central aspects of the Christian faith. This has led to the current inertia evangelicals have experienced in church life in recent decades and a lack of engagement with their communities. Missions is for the missionary and evangelism is for the evangelist, distilling the role of Christians to pew warming and check writing! Paul speaks of the Church as the body of Christ and as being ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20; 1 Cor. 12:27). Below I present five ministry inhibitors that become obstacles in seeing God’s mission fulfilled.

MINISTRY INHIBITORS

Ignorance
There is an evident deficit of discipleship in so many of our churches today. Along with this comes a weak, somewhat superficial, uninformed Christian faith that is prone to either Marcionism or misdirected activism. The current cultural inclination can be found in bestsellers like The Shack with its claims that "The Bible doesn't teach you to follow rules," God doesn't need to punish sin, and its portrayal of God's justice as a blood-thirsty God who runs around killing people all the time. Additionally, our culture is averse to the concept of suffering and remains uncomfortable with the concept of God’s wrath. It seems that in our world, people desire a Christianity where the attribute of God’s love eclipses all other attributes, especially God’s justice and power. We embrace a narrative that fosters spiritual ignorance and perpetuates baby Christians whom the writer to the Hebrews describes as dependent upon spiritual milk (Heb. 5:13). Perhaps the greatest ministry inhibitor to the mission is a lack of biblical discipleship.

2. Complacency

For Christians to move from informed to interested in ministry and mission, pastors and church leaders need to overcome complacency– acceptance of the status quo. "A feeling of being satisfied with how things are, and not wanting to try to make them better." That is what Webster Dictionary tells us that complacency is, and when we associate that with our walk with Christ, it seems a little frightening, and is right where Satan wants us to be. If we convince ourselves that we have reached a point of satisfaction in which we are comfortable with our faith and do not feel the need to move any further toward pleasing God and getting out of our comfort zone, we have lost the battle, and have been deceived by the Enemy. When we believe that our spiritual life plays second fiddle to our life, we have been defeated. Complacency is the most dangerous place we can be as a believer. This is where we become lazy; this is where we become lukewarm; this is where we are deceived.

3. Distraction

There are many well-meaning Christians who are not complacent, they often see the brokenness and immense need in our world, yet are not moved in their hearts to become concerned with gospel ministry or to prioritize their time and life accordingly. Many are still distracted by the many things in the world and by the curse of busyness. "For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I don't know which is better." This is what Paul wrote to Philippi in Philippians 1:21-22. Seeing the commitment and the drive to work and glorify the Lord is nothing new, and we also see it in Galatians 5:24 when he tells us "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to the cross and crucified them there." When we’re distracted, we’re not as easy to deploy for God’s purpose.

4. Frustration

This is probably where the most goes wrong concerning mission and ministry. All other barriers previously presented have been overcome, yet frustration often leads people to disengage and allow life's busyness to distract them for a season. The most common frustration people experience:

Lack of vision or purpose in leadership
Disorganisation
Mismanagement
Critical spirits
Controlling leaders
How can we foster a culture of serving and sending in our churches that utilizes the gift of the body of Christ? What can we change to enable people to serve rather than restrict people from ministry?

5. Dependency

Partnership in the gospel is a marvelous thing and a necessary endeavour, yet it can also be hurtful and harmful instead of helpful. Our role as Christian leaders is not to create or foster dependency, but rather to multiply ourselves and empower others for ministry. We apply the principle found in 2 Timothy 2:2: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” Pastoral co-dependency hurts everyone and the mission of God suffers in the end. The role of those serving as leaders and pastors in the church is to equip the body of Christ for works of service, not hog all the work to themselves. Each of us needs to be committed to this end if we are to see any significant change in our world.

On our own, we can only go so far! The Apostle Paul demonstrates an important principle of partnership in ministry and mission that gets the job done! The Global Network of Evangelists, alongside The Message Trust is launching Advance Groups worldwide. Will you join the movement? Do you have a desire to see many come to faith in Jesus Christ? Do you seek to encourage those around you to show and share their faith? If you are a leader in church, a pastor or an evangelist, Advance Groups are for you! Advance exists to promote and develop the calling of evangelists, and is committed to the proclamation of the gospel and the support of those who proclaim. Join the movement and download your free material here: https://www.advancegroups.org. We’re currently working at completing close on 20 translations and are already gaining traction in over a dozen countries so far. Connect with us at gne@palau.org or nga@palau.org.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


Copyright Disclaimer: All audio and music belongs to the owner/creator. This is a non-profit. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

patrick jane

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Re: Christianity Today Magazine - August 2020
« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2020, 10:53:10 am »
Good
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


Copyright Disclaimer: All audio and music belongs to the owner/creator. This is a non-profit. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

 

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A Pentecostal Sermon by patrick jane
Today at 07:33:39 am

The Drill Sergeant by patrick jane
Today at 07:33:26 am

The Miracle Rally by patrick jane
Today at 07:32:49 am