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Author Topic: Christianity Today Magazine - June 2020  (Read 1324 times)

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patrick jane

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Re: Christianity Today Magazine - June 2020
« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2020, 07:56:53 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/june/8-things-world-desperately-needs-from-evangelicals-right-no.html







8 Things the World Desperately Needs from Evangelicals Right Now (Part 1)











It is not difficult to see that our reputation as evangelicals seems to range somewhere between a bland net-neutrality of public helpfulness to a raging dumpster-fire of self-interest that is unceasingly poured out over red-hot cultural coals.


It seems that in recent years, the world’s appreciation for evangelicals has fast eroded—and perhaps not for the right reasons. Too often, it’s not our bold and faith-filled proclamation of the gospel that has been so off-putting—persecution for that, we should wear as a badge of honor. No, it’s too often something less inspiring, less noble, and less selfless. It sometimes (and for too many) seems to boil down to drawing lines and choosing sides in a culture war.

And now, it is not difficult to see that our reputation as evangelicals seems to range somewhere between a bland net-neutrality of public helpfulness to a dumpster-fire of self-interest that is unceasingly poured out over red-hot cultural coals. Many of us see the shockwaves of damage emanating from those of us who have confused our spiritual allegiances from an eternal Kingdom to a lesser more sensual political/cultural kingdom. We see it, and we do not want to share in the same corrupting exchange.

So, what should be our response?

What does the world need to see in those of us who claim the Kingdom of God as our highest loyalty? What does the world need to hear from those of us who actively struggle to resist the fleshly gravitational pull toward selfish cultural tribalism? What signals must be sent with unmuddled clarity to a world that increasingly doubts the spiritual authenticity of our motivations or the righteousness of our actions?

With the confidence and conviction coming from the words of Jesus, allow me to articulate eight cultural postures that we, as evangelicals, must wholeheartedly embrace if we are ever to regain a credible voice. These eight postures were first articulated by our Kingdom’s King as he, through the weakness of preaching, distilled the substance of his counter-cultural reign in eight, beautiful, other-worldly character postures.

1. Cultural Humility.

The world needs to see evangelicals as humble-hearted Christ-followers who have put to death our self-righteous postures, and acknowledge that we, too, have no standing before God other than the gracious grace of Jesus Christ. We are altogether “poor in spirit” and any strutting of personal virtue before men is an affront to the sacrifice made by a holy God. We claim no superiority, no preeminence, no ascendancy. We are, as evangelicals, a ragged, tattered collection of sin-stained, spiritual under-achievers. Any virtue coming from our lives is Christ’s life lived out in me.

And so, being “poor in spirit”, we enter the cultural dialogue quietly. We don’t have the first word. We don’t demand the last word. With great humility we listen with open and learning hearts. In this, Christ prepares us for the next action that he will require of us.

2. Vicarious Empathy.

The world needs empathetic evangelicals that are marked by a genuine grief toward those affected by injustice. As my friend Dhati Lewis often says, “A problem isn’t a real problem until it becomes your problem.” He is saying that problems aren’t really problematic until we personally experience their consequences. For centuries, we as evangelicals have been on the wrong side of history when it comes to racial justice, and once again we find ourselves teetering there again. We cannot seem to “mourn” with those who are afflicted, instead we find all kinds of ways to legitimize the positions of our hardened hearts as we dig into the histories of the victims to find some way to justify their abusers.

But Jesus calls his people to be “mourners” of injustice. To show empathy for those who have long endured personal mistreatment, overt discrimination, and dehumanizing prejudice. When someone holds up a sign that says, “Black Lives Matter,” I cannot imagine Jesus retorting, “All Lives Matter!” If my daughter had a bad day and asked me, “Daddy, do you love me?,” how could I answer her with, “Of course, I love all people.” That is not a response of love. If a good friend called me in an emotional state and said, “My dad passed away suddenly last night.” It would not be a response of love to state a truth like, “Well, all parents die.” Mourning requires empathy. Empathy requires selfless love. And selfless love requires us to be “poor in spirit.”

3. Positional Advocacy.

The world needs to witness selfless evangelicals who channel their power to those who are powerless. The world is accustomed to evangelicals grasping for power—in many ways it has sadly become our defining signature. But it would seem that our lust for power contradicts the very nature that should characterize the people of Jesus’ Kingdom—“meekness.” Since “meekness” speaks of strength under direction, it follows that evangelicals should leverage their power, not for themselves, but directed on behalf of those who “mourn.” Our political cause would be for justice, not for power as a dark end unto itself.

Our call to display a culture of “meekness” also requires a transference of power by evangelicals. It seems that the public perception of us as evangelicals is that we are white – but that is an incorrect opinion. Within evangelicalism there exists incredible ethnic diversity. Many denominations are starting new churches of which the majority are not white, but are African American, ethic, and multi-cultural. But our face is still white. And as long as we keep the power, biblical ‘meekness’ might never be the way the world would describe us.

4. Righteous Distress.

The world needs evangelicals who are personally desperate for justice to reign in every sector of society. Jesus describes the culture of his people as ones who “hunger and thirst for righteousness.” The righteousness that we yearn for is the Gospel working its way through my life and correcting everything that doesn’t look like Jesus. But that internal correction always has outward ethical implications. I cannot “hunger and thirst for righteousness”, and at the same time, be comfortable and at ease with the unrighteous injustice that exists around me. There is no comfort with injustice. It causes distress. We “mourn,” but we also move.

Our righteous distress turns our attitudes into actions. We are no longer quiet when seeing or hearing of injustice. We speak with the authority of Christ. When darkness spits its ugly venom— further marginalizing people or groups—the Christ follower demands an accounting. Who agrees with this? Certainly not anyone who claims to bear the name of Christ.

Can evangelicals regain credibility among a world that is desperate for the Good News we claim to know? Perhaps. To the degree that we demonstrate cultural humility, vicarious empathy, positional advocacy, righteous distress, (and the four other counter-cultural characteristics of Kingdom people we will look at next Monday) we will find footing.

Until then, may God give us the grace to do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than ourselves.



Jeff Christopherson is a church planter, pastor, author and Missiologist at the Send Institute - an interdenominational church planting and evangelism think tank.
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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patrick jane

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Re: Christianity Today Magazine - June 2020
« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2020, 07:57:44 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/june/8-things-world-desperately-needs-from-evangelicals-2.html







8 Things the World Desperately Needs from Evangelicals Right Now (Part 2)












God has more work to do in us.


p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Times}p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Times; min-height: 14.0px}p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 7.2px; font: 12.0px Times; min-height: 14.0px}p.p4 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 7.2px; font: 12.0px Times}span.s1 {text-decoration: underline}The country was divided into three culturally distinct sociological groupings. There were those with power. For the most part, these were ungodly, corrupt, and self-serving leaders who craved power for power’s sake and would do anything to be near it, to seize it, and to keep it. There were those with religious power. Often, these leaders would carefully craft messages that played well on both sides as they nurtured their sacred/secular influence – largely for their own benefit. And there were those with no power. This vulnerable class ranged from sincere and devout God-fearing citizens, who earnestly desired to live with principled fidelity, to the piously pragmatic, who were easily manipulated by their own appetites for personal security and economic wellbeing.

This was the world to which Jesus introduced his worldview. His Kingdom ethic found no appeal to those with power – it was an affront to the political class who saw no need to forgive or be forgiven. It also was uninviting to those with religious power as it reordered the nature of true spirituality from the outwardly superficial to matters of internal motivation. To those without power, but who craved the security that worldly power brings, Jesus’ words were nonsensical – offering little in practical expediency. But to those who were hungry for a life of spiritual and physical congruency, Jesus’ words were light and truth and hope all wrapped up in one awe-inspiring heavenly revelation of a sermon.

So, what about today?

I am convinced, that today, in this moment, there is a growing hunger for a gospel message of spiritual, physical and social coherence that is greater than any other season in living memory. As religious memory has been wiped from geography after geography, its vacuum has been filled with a longing for purpose, for meaning, for the eternal. This hunger can be seen marching on the streets for a more evenhanded justice. It can be heard in the longing voices which selflessly intercede on behalf of others. And it can be felt in the angst of bewildered advocates who bolster heartbroken mourners of sons wrongly taken.

And, where are we?

Our social media feeds that are peppered with indignant evangelicals justifying, excusing, blaming and dodging seem to declare that we are completely detached and oblivious to the eternal hunger that surrounds us. Like the religious leaders in Jesus’ day, too many of us seem preoccupied with what we might lose to ever give serious thought to what God might be doing.

How then should we live?

There are eight postures which were articulated by King Jesus as he distilled the substance of his counter-cultural reign into eight beautiful other-worldly character postures. Last week, we examined the first four in Part 1:

1. Cultural Humility. The world needs to see evangelicals as humble-hearted Christ-followers who have put to death our self-righteous postures, and acknowledge that we, too, have no standing before God other than the gracious grace of Jesus Christ.

2. Vicarious Empathy. The world needs empathetic evangelicals that are marked by a genuine grief toward those affected by injustice.

3. Positional Advocacy. The world needs to witness selfless evangelicals who channel their power to those who are powerless.

4. Righteous Distress. The world needs evangelicals who are personally desperate for justice to reign in every sector of society.

To the degree that we, as evangelicals, demonstrate cultural humility, vicarious empathy, positional advocacy, and righteous distress, we will begin to find footing. Our hearts will soften, and we will begin to see the world as it is – as Jesus sees it. But our perspective is still incomplete.

God has more work to do in us.

5. Grace-filled Generosity. The world needs to see merciful evangelicals that demonstrate grace toward those who don’t meet our standards, being fully aware that we do not come close to meeting God’s requirements. Who should be the most merciful, generous and forgiving people in society? Surely anyone who has been forgiven for committing a capital offense. Romans 3:23 and 6:23 says that I am the condemned who was mercifully forgiven. Shouldn’t the “mercy-ed” instinctively be merciful?

So, we as God’s people, are divinely required to dismount our high horses of self-righteousness and vividly recall our own crimes that crucified the sinless Lamb of God. With that memory front of mind, we look at the harvest fields with different eyes. Our instinctive scripts naturally morph from an angry “law and order” to an empathetic “justice and equity.” We become inherently merciful, because we, ourselves, have been shown infinite mercy.

6. Introspective Sincerity. The world needs repentant evangelicals who have an honest grasp of our own shortcomings and fully desire God’s mind to inform our perspectives. To be “pure in heart” requires a continual renewing of the mind. This “new mind” (meta-noia) is a repentant mind. It allows everything that doesn’t conform to the image of Christ to be burned away. The pure heart that remains is the mind of Christ – we have His perspective on all things.

But Jesus’ perspective seems difficult to understand when forced to peer through the hardwood of a cultural log. Today, evangelicals embracing Jesus’ requirement of introspective sincerity will be labeled ‘lefties’ and ‘liberals’ – they will be maltreated and publicly diminished. Their advocacy for sensitivity toward the vulnerable will not be accepted by those who cannot seem to recall ever receiving mercy. Those who look at this moment exclusively through a socio-cultural log can only see a culture war. For these culture-warriors, it is a battle to be won, not an opportunity to learn, understand, repent, and heal. And just as Jesus promised, they will not see God.

7. Unifying Respect. The world needs “peacemaking” evangelicals who have spiritual instincts to unite communities instead of further exacerbating existing divisions. To be peacemakers, we start with personal humility and mutual respect toward others because we have already come to grips with the fact that we, ourselves, are destitute in spirit. This unifying impulse marks us as distinctive from the cultural tribalists who trade in dispute, discord, and division.

What greater example of unifying respect can we envisage than the Author of Creation sacrificing himself on our behalf so that we might have peace with God. In fact, Jesus said that those with the instincts for peacemaking will be recognized as “sons of God.” So, when evangelicals are recognized by the world as instigators of division (again, not for our boldness in declaring the gospel of grace, but for our insistence on maintaining cultural preferences) whose spiritual children are we perceived to be?

8. Prophetic Resolve. The world needs prophetic evangelicals who are willing to pay the high price for standing for Kingdom of God instead of yielding all allegiances to religious, cultural, or political kingdoms in order to retain cultural dominance. Jesus incentivized prophetic resolve by promising that those who are “persecuted for righteousness” are themselves partakers in the kingdom of heaven.

So, Jesus calls his people toward prophetic resolve. And yes, there will always be a price to pay when choosing the Kingdom of God over the sacred fiefdoms of men. Many that I know are paying that price now. Many more will lay down their livelihoods, credentials, and reputations when they raise their prophetic voices and speak for their ultimate patriotism. Earthly persecution always follows Kingdom allegiance, we should not be surprised by that. Perhaps our surprise should come when we find no friction, no quarrel, and no persecution from a religiousy culture that isn’t marked by Jesus’ counter-cultural values.

So, what does the world need from evangelicals right now? It is an either/or prospect. They need to either see us as representing Jesus’ Kingdom, or not see us representing at all.

Jeff Christopherson is a church planter, pastor, author and Missiologist at the Send Institute - an interdenominational church planting and evangelism think tank.
[1] See Matthew 5:3-12

[2] In Matthew 18, Peter wanted to know the limits of his forgiveness responsibility. In Jesus’ answer recorded in vs. 22-35, he turns the equation upside-down. In Jesus’ Kingdom, mercy is not optional behavior, but is in fact the patriotic fruit that validates our citizenship.

[3] Romans 12:1-2

[4] Matthew 7:1-5

[5] 2 Timothy 3:12
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 - June 2020
« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2020, 08:37:03 am »


https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/april/jen-wilkin-bible-reading-basics-simple-tools.html







Let Bible Reading Get Back to Basics












The best tools and strategies are deceptively simple.


I learned to cook with the most basic tools under the tutelage of my stepmother, the inheritor of kitchen magic from generations before her. Bacon was fried in a cast-iron skillet, turned with a fork. Pie crust was formed with a wire pastry cutter in a mixing bowl. Biscuits were cut using an empty can. Simple tools, employed faithfully, yielding all manner of goodness.

But as my interest in cooking grew, I moved on to more complicated tools that promised less work or mess. My kitchen brimmed with single-use utensils and fancy appliances, but the crispy bacon, flaky pie crusts, and warm biscuits of my early years did not improve. In many cases, they degraded, or the task of locating and employing the right implement dulled my interest.

It is possible to overcomplicate simple practices that yield good things. Just as with cooking, so with reading our Bibles. The availability of online commentaries, lexicons, interlinear Bibles, and searchable databases can make us forget basic, tried-and-true tools that serve us well. Consider recovering these five simple “utensils” that may have gotten lost in the drawer amid so many ways to access and parse the Scriptures:

Reading Repetitively


We underestimate the effectiveness of repetitive reading in training us to follow the meaning of a text. It helps us identify ideas, names, locations, images, rhythms, or phrases, and we begin to see structures and patterns emerge. We never reach the end of its usefulness, for on each reading, new treasures are yielded from the text. One of the best—and most neglected—approaches to Bible study would be to read a book of the Bible from start to finish, without attempting to analyze or apply it. And then read it again. And again.

Consulting a Map
When J. R. R. Tolkien published his now-famous Lord of the Rings trilogy, he placed in the opening pages an ingeniously simple tool that enabled his readers to enter into the story: a map of Middle-earth. It is likely that a fair number of modern-day Christians know more about the geography of Middle-earth than the geography of the Middle East. The appendices of our Bibles also contain maps to draw us into the setting and provide context. Knowing that the Ethiopian eunuch of Acts 8 made a pilgrimage of 1,500 miles enhances our understanding of his deep desire to know Yahweh. Mapping Paul’s missionary journeys or Abram’s travels adds to our understanding and reinforces our retention of these stories.

Keeping a Bible Timeline
When did the Divided Kingdom begin? When did Isaiah prophesy? When was the intertestamental period? When was the temple destroyed? Keeping handy a Bible timeline can help us place what we are reading in the proper historical context. It can also help us develop a sense of what themes are commonly addressed in particular eras or why a particular theme does not appear in a particular portion of the Bible. Consider making a bookmark to keep in your Bible that helps you learn and apply the timeline of biblical history to your reading.

Comparing Translations
If a phrase or sentence is hard to understand, compare it with several other translations. Online access to multiple translations makes comparison easy and accessible. Add a layer to your repetitive reading by changing translations for your later passes through a book.

Checking a Dictionary
A Hebrew or Greek lexicon is not always a helpful tool in the hands of those unfamiliar with the original language, but a simple English dictionary can be of good service. When Paul encounters the proconsul in Acts 13, a glance at the thesaurus tells us that a proconsul is a Roman governor. When we read in
1 John 2:2 that Christ is our propitiation (in the ESV), a dictionary clarifies that this is an atoning sacrifice. Even looking up common words like steadfast or righteous can help expand or challenge our understanding.

When it comes to Bible reading, avoid overcomplicating the recipe. Rediscover basic literacy skills and read with renewed attention. Simple tools, employed faithfully, yield all manner of goodness.




Jen Wilkin is a wife, mom, and Bible teacher. She is the author of In His Image and None Like Him.
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 - June 2020
« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2020, 09:09:46 am »


https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/june/evangelicals-covid-19-less-worry-social-distancing-masks.html







White Evangelicals’ Coronavirus Concerns Are Fading Faster












In the months since the coronavirus pandemic hit the US, the country has become less worried about the disease and less likely to adhere to the public heath advice to slow its spread. But have those shifts been consistent across all Americans?

Data from two months of weekly surveys finds that while compliance with behaviors is waning, the decline is especially acute among white evangelical Protestants.

White evangelicals more closely resembled the overall population earlier in the pandemic, according to findings released today from Data for Progress, a left-leaning think tank. But the gap between the two is widening.

In April, when New York City was reporting 4,000 new cases each day, three quarters of the public indicated that they were worried about contracting the coronavirus. Nearly the same share of white evangelicals (72.2%) were worried.

By June, concern among the general public had dropped by 9.4 percentage points, while the decline among white evangelicals was nearly double: 16.7 percent.

The fading concern over the coronavirus has carried over into whether Americans are complying with suggested public health protocols. People are becoming less likely to take precautions, but as they venture into public more often, they are more likely to wear masks than back in March.









Coronavirus responses have been highly politicized from the start. While white evangelicals tend to be strongly Republican—and both groups are less worried about COVID-19 than the rest of the population—there are differences in evangelical and Republican behavior.

White evangelicals are around 7 percentage points more likely than Republicans to say that they have been avoiding personal contact and crowds over the last three months. When it comes to social distancing, white evangelicals are in line with the trend for the population overall.

However, like Republicans, white evangelicals are less likely than the average American to say they have worn a mask in public (78.4% of white evangelicals vs. 82.1% of all adults).















COVID-19 is more deadly among older Americans, which is especially worrisome because half of all weekly churchgoers are over 55. In many cases, white evangelicals are on par with the general population when it comes to complying with public health recommendations.

The one area where white evangelicals fall far behind? Mask wearing. A white evangelical under the age of 35 is 13 percentage points less likely to wear a mask in public than the same age group in the general population (58.7% vs. 71.8%). This may due to a lower level of concern about coronavirus from younger white evangelicals, as they are 9 percentage points less likely to say that they are “somewhat” or “very” worried about casting the virus than young people in general.

The gap extends among older demographics as well. Just 72.9 percent of white evangelicals who are at least 65 years old say that they are wearing a mask compared to 80.4 percent of the rest of the sample.

The public’s patience with coronavirus precautions is fading, and that may put us at greater risk. We have seen a resurgence in cases in some states where restrictions have eased.

While many evangelicals diverted worship services online or kept church buildings closed during April and May, in recent weeks, more churches have reopened. These have also been the center of new outbreaks in West Virginia and Oregon. A church in Eastern Kentucky decided to return to parking lot services after an outbreak in its midst.

Some states have regulated mask wearing in churches, while in most places, churches have to make the call themselves. The Baptist Press recently reported on the dilemma. “I'm preaching about fellowship and freedom, to do what you do out of love for your brothers,” one pastor said. “What's fascinating about this is that if you ask people who want to wear a mask and the people who don’t want to wear a mask, both of them will tell you the other one is the weaker brother.”







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 -


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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Re: Christianity Today Magazine - June 2020
« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2020, 09:02:55 pm »


https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/june/evangelicals-covid-19-less-worry-social-distancing-masks.html







White Evangelicals’ Coronavirus Concerns Are Fading Faster












In the months since the coronavirus pandemic hit the US, the country has become less worried about the disease and less likely to adhere to the public heath advice to slow its spread. But have those shifts been consistent across all Americans?

Data from two months of weekly surveys finds that while compliance with behaviors is waning, the decline is especially acute among white evangelical Protestants.

White evangelicals more closely resembled the overall population earlier in the pandemic, according to findings released today from Data for Progress, a left-leaning think tank. But the gap between the two is widening.

In April, when New York City was reporting 4,000 new cases each day, three quarters of the public indicated that they were worried about contracting the coronavirus. Nearly the same share of white evangelicals (72.2%) were worried.

By June, concern among the general public had dropped by 9.4 percentage points, while the decline among white evangelicals was nearly double: 16.7 percent.

The fading concern over the coronavirus has carried over into whether Americans are complying with suggested public health protocols. People are becoming less likely to take precautions, but as they venture into public more often, they are more likely to wear masks than back in March.









Coronavirus responses have been highly politicized from the start. While white evangelicals tend to be strongly Republican—and both groups are less worried about COVID-19 than the rest of the population—there are differences in evangelical and Republican behavior.

White evangelicals are around 7 percentage points more likely than Republicans to say that they have been avoiding personal contact and crowds over the last three months. When it comes to social distancing, white evangelicals are in line with the trend for the population overall.

However, like Republicans, white evangelicals are less likely than the average American to say they have worn a mask in public (78.4% of white evangelicals vs. 82.1% of all adults).















COVID-19 is more deadly among older Americans, which is especially worrisome because half of all weekly churchgoers are over 55. In many cases, white evangelicals are on par with the general population when it comes to complying with public health recommendations.

The one area where white evangelicals fall far behind? Mask wearing. A white evangelical under the age of 35 is 13 percentage points less likely to wear a mask in public than the same age group in the general population (58.7% vs. 71.8%). This may due to a lower level of concern about coronavirus from younger white evangelicals, as they are 9 percentage points less likely to say that they are “somewhat” or “very” worried about casting the virus than young people in general.

The gap extends among older demographics as well. Just 72.9 percent of white evangelicals who are at least 65 years old say that they are wearing a mask compared to 80.4 percent of the rest of the sample.

The public’s patience with coronavirus precautions is fading, and that may put us at greater risk. We have seen a resurgence in cases in some states where restrictions have eased.

While many evangelicals diverted worship services online or kept church buildings closed during April and May, in recent weeks, more churches have reopened. These have also been the center of new outbreaks in West Virginia and Oregon. A church in Eastern Kentucky decided to return to parking lot services after an outbreak in its midst.

Some states have regulated mask wearing in churches, while in most places, churches have to make the call themselves. The Baptist Press recently reported on the dilemma. “I'm preaching about fellowship and freedom, to do what you do out of love for your brothers,” one pastor said. “What's fascinating about this is that if you ask people who want to wear a mask and the people who don’t want to wear a mask, both of them will tell you the other one is the weaker brother.”







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.


weaker brother....what does that mean?

Your taking a chance with your life but if your time is up,,,,what are you going to do----DIE regardless of the mask.
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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Re: Christianity Today Magazine - June 2020
« Reply #31 on: June 29, 2020, 08:58:40 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/june-web-only/rebecca-manley-pippert-stay-salt-evangelism.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+christianitytoday%2Fctmag+%28CT+Magazine%29







I’m a Professional Evangelist. This Book Made Me Fall in Love with the Gospel All Over Again.







After reading Rebecca Manley Pippert’s follow-up to “Out of the Saltshaker,” I’ve never been more excited to talk about Jesus.


As a preacher and evangelist, I like to say that the application for any sermon—no matter the Bible passage—should be: “Tell your friends about Jesus.” It’s a joke, of course. Because that’s a lazy application—one guaranteed to get guilty looks from the congregation.

But why are we so bad at telling our friends about Jesus? In part, because in today’s post-Christian Western world, we’re told to keep our beliefs to ourselves. Our faith is supposed to be private, not public. In this environment, talking about Jesus is seen as judgmental, intolerant, and oppressive.

Last year, an article in Christianity Today carried a revealing headline: “Half of Millennial Christians Say It’s Wrong to Evangelize.” Evidently, evangelism is hated by significant numbers of both Christians and non-Christians! Who would have thought that a mutual dislike for evangelism would unite us all?

And yet, a desire to share the gospel with friends runs—or at least should run—through the DNA of every Christian. So how can we start talking about Jesus again?

This is the question at the heart of Rebecca Manley Pippert’s latest book , Stay Salt. Pippert, of course, is best known for her classic book on evangelism, Out of the Saltshaker and Into the World: Evangelism as a Way of Life. First published in 1979, Out of the Saltshaker was written to equip believers for evangelism in a culture that was drifting in post-Christian directions. Four decades later, those forces have only accelerated, but Pippert hasn’t lost any confidence that the gospel message can break through walls of hostility and indifference, even in the context of everyday conversations. As the subtitle of Stay Salt puts it, “The World Has Changed: Our Message Must Not.”

A Multi-Pronged Approach
There are three sections in Stay Salt. In the first, Pippert looks at what she calls the means of evangelism—in other words, you and me, the “evangelists.” None of us feels adequate when confronted with the juggernaut of hostile Western secularism. But Pippert reassures us that this is precisely how God works our circumstances. God uses us not despite but because of our smallness, weaknesses, and inadequacies. We are supposed to depend upon God for the courage and strength to evangelize.

In the second section, Pippert takes us through the message of evangelism—the gospel. Here we might roll our eyes. Don’t we already know this stuff? But Pippert got me excited about the gospel with the fresh language she uses. She skillfully presents the gospel as both a rebuttal to the accepted doctrines of secularism and a positive message our friends will want to hear.

In the final section, Pippert outlines the method of evangelism. This might seem like another occasion for eye-rolling. Surely not another formulaic technique! But Pippert instead motivates us to love our friends and to “proclaim” the message through questions and conversations rather than a pre-rehearsed monologue.

Stay Salt got me genuinely excited to tell my friends about the gospel and its many glories. There are three main reasons for this. First, the book preached the gospel at me so that I rediscovered my first love. It’s worth reading Stay Salt just to enjoy the wonder and beauty of the gospel message. This is exactly what will get us talking about Jesus again.

Second, I appreciated hearing stories from Pippert’s life of evangelism. These stories are both instructional and inspirational. But more importantly, Pippert has stories of conversations with strangers on a plane and family members alike. As a public evangelist myself, I know it’s far easier to have conversations with strangers I’ll never see again than with family members I’ll encounter every Thanksgiving!

Third, the book takes a helpful, multi-pronged approach. There are instructions on one-to-one conversations, group Bible readings, and proclamation evangelism. This shows we all have a part to play. Just like a football team needs both a running and a passing game to move down the field with any success, evangelism works best when it draws on a variety of methods.

If I could push this book to go further, I would offer just a few observations. First, I think Pippert is somewhat mistaken in how she categorizes contemporary culture. The book’s guiding assumption is that the West, having lurched toward a post-Christian extreme, is functionally pre-Christian. I too used to believe this. But the Australian writer Mark Sayers had a brilliant response on his podcast, This Cultural Moment. In pre-Christendom, he says, people converted into Christianity. But in post-Christendom, Christians are the “bad guys.” People are de-converting from Christianity. And they don’t think they need Christians to save them from famines or plagues. In fact, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, New York City expelled the Christian humanitarian group Samaritan’s Purse because of its views on marriage and sexuality.

Second, and relatedly, the book underestimates just how “post-Christian” we really are. When Billy Graham preached the gospel message in the 20th century, he liked to invite non-believers to come up front for the altar call. He reassured them with his famous saying, “The buses will wait.” What does that mean? It means that these non-believers were, in some sense, churched non-believers. After all, they had come to hear Graham preach on a church bus, as part of a community of believers . He was only asking them to believe what their friends believed .

But most of today’s non-believers have minimal connections, if any, to the church. They are not just agnostic about the God of the Bible but about any god. Many have no Christian friends at all. In certain ways, this is an unprecedented situation.

To evangelize effectively in such a context, we need to acknowledge how the presence of Christian community can make all the difference. Until we can connect non-believers with a community of believers, our efforts at one-to-one evangelism will only go so far. It was Nathan Campbell, the Australian pastor and blogger, who told me that evangelism is a team game . He pointed out that in 1 Thessalonians 1:5, Paul says, “Our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power. …You know how we lived among you for your sake” [emphasis added].

Getting Excited
Even if Pippert sometimes fails to grasp the full extent of post-Christian drift in the Western world, she deserves credit for welcoming it as an opportunity for the church. Rather than seeing the secular climate as a threat to the gospel, she embraces it as a spur toward new and better ways of evangelizing. Why? Because people will be even hungrier for purpose, hope, identity, and someone who loves them. This is what I love most about Pippert’s approach. Instead of treating secularists as culture-war opponents, she welcomes them as neighbors to love afresh with the news of Jesus.

Stay Salt made me fall in love with the gospel all over again. I am a professional evangelist. I tell people about Jesus for a living. But this book renewed my commitment to pray for my family members, friends, and neighbors who don’t know Jesus yet. And it made me look for more opportunities to tell them about Jesus. It got me more excited about evangelism than I’ve ever been before.

Please read this book, and pray that God would use you—not despite but because of your smallness, weaknesses, and inadequacies—to tell your friends about Jesus.








Sam Chan is a public evangelist for City Bible Forum in Australia. He is the author of Evangelism in a Skeptical World: How to Make the Unbelievable News About Jesus More Believable (Zondervan Academic) as well as a forthcoming book, How To Talk About Jesus (Without Being That Guy): Personal Evangelism in a Skeptical World (Zondervan), which releases in October.
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 - June 2020
« Reply #32 on: June 30, 2020, 04:35:33 pm »


https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/june-web-only/black-lives-matter-in-bible.html







Black Lives Matter in the Bible












From Genesis to Revelation, racism runs counter to everything Scripture teaches.


Racial discourse is again part of the national and global conversation due to the recent killings of black people. White Christians especially find themselves trying to wrestle with how to understand, respond to, and engage what many black Christians see as clear examples of racial injustice.

Some Christians are asking whether they should affirm the dignity of black lives with the words “black lives matter” since this phrase is associated with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) organization and the BLM organization affirms things that are clearly contrary to Scripture.

As a black Christian man who believes the Bible gives us everything we need for eternal life and godliness, I think Christians must begin our opposition to racism with a biblical and theological analysis of the problem and with a biblical and theological presentation of the solution to the problem. Christians must also be rigorous exegetes of both the Bible and of our own social locations, as we use common-grace resources and common sense under the authority of Scripture to eradicate the evil of racism in the power of the Spirit.

We must carefully and critically evaluate every idea in any organization in light of Scripture and under the authority of Scripture. We must reject teachings in any organization that are contrary to Scripture. My own theological tradition has an article in our confession of faith stating this very fact (Article XV, Baptist Faith and Message).

However, the recent criticisms against Christians who affirm the scriptural truth of black dignity using the words “black lives matter” seem odd to me as a black Christian man in America. After all, the Bible affirms black lives are created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26–27), and our country has a history of dehumanizing black people. The words “black lives matter” affirm a scriptural truth about black people.

God created humans in his image. From Genesis (3:15) to Matthew’s gospel (28:16–20) to Revelation (5:9), the Bible speaks clearly about God’s vision to restore everything Adam and Eve lost in the Garden of Eden and his vision to redeem ethnically diverse individuals from different tongues, tribes, peoples, and nations.

Through Christ’s death and resurrection, God makes sinners right with himself (Rom. 5:6–10), reconciles sinners to each other (Eph. 2:11–22), and restores and reconciles the entire universe (Col. 1:19–20). Paul calls this cosmic redemption the disarming of earthly and demonic powers (Col. 2:14–15) and the unification of all things and all people in Christ.

Racism is opposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ and against God’s vision to redeem and unify creation through Christ. God recreates through Christ a diversity of different tongues, tribes, peoples, and nations into one new (but diverse) people. God commands us to live in pursuit of reconciled community with one another and with our neighbors in anticipation of the age to come (Is. 65:17–25; Rom. 8:19–22). God’s kingdom is an already-and-not-yet kingdom, whose king is a brown-skinned Jewish Messiah. The kingdom is filled with diverse people and diverse stories of beautiful image-bearers who’ve tasted the salvation of the one God, the one Lord, and the one Spirit by faith in Christ (Eph. 4:4–6).

As Christians, we must intentionally oppose racism because God through Christ both empowers us and commands us to walk in love with the power of the Spirit. One way Christians walk in the Spirit is when we love our neighbors as ourselves (Gal. 5:13–14). We should not use our freedom in Christ to pursue our sinful passions in accordance with the flesh. Those who live to gratify their flesh will not inherit eternal life (vv. 16–21). One’s complicity in racism may prove one is enslaved to the flesh and to its seductive powers of evil. We must oppose racism whenever and wherever it appears because we are new creatures in Christ (2 Cor 5:17-21).

As a black Christian pastor of Asian, black, brown, and white people, I thank God that Genesis 1:26–27 clearly states God created all humans in his image and bestows upon us God-given dignity, and that he promises to redeem us, to reconcile us, and to restore the entire creation through Christ. When black lives are dehumanized and treated as though they don’t matter simply because they’re black, Christians everywhere should be able to stand up and assert without hesitation and with their Bibles open that black lives certainly matter, have dignity, worth, and value, just as non-black lives certainly matter, have worth, dignity, and value.

God created black people in his image. God redeems black lives in Christ. Black lives matter to God because the Bible teaches they matter.










Jarvis J. Williams is an associate professor of New Testament interpretation at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. This article is based on his chapter in For God So Loved the World: A Blueprint for Kingdom Diversity (B&H, 2020), as well as a lecture he gave at the 2019 Just Gospel Conference in Atlanta.
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 - June 2020
« Reply #33 on: June 30, 2020, 04:39:09 pm »


https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/june-web-only/white-black-and-blue-christians-disagree-over-policing.html







White, Black, and Blue: Christians Disagree Over Policing









Black Christians overwhelmingly say police treatment is biased against them. Why don’t white evangelicals believe them?


Do police officers generally treat black and white Americans alike?

White evangelicals are more likely to say “yes” than any other major religious demographic in the United States. Black Protestants are most likely to disagree.

This rift has appeared repeatedly in surveys on American policing over the past five years, as have disparities in how these two groups understand high-profile police killings of black men and in how police make them feel. The numbers are striking:

A 2015 poll from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found white evangelical Protestants were the only major religious group in which a majority (62%) said police generally treat white and black people equally. Only 20 percent of minority Protestants agreed.
Survey data from Pew Research Center and the Baylor Religion Survey in 2017 showed that gap between white evangelicals and black Protestants was intact two years later.
The same 2015 PRRI poll found 6 in 10 white evangelicals called high-profile police killings of black men isolated incidents; 7 in 10 minority Protestants said they see a broader pattern.
In a 2018 poll by PRRI, the isolated incident vs. broader pattern contrast was starker: Now 7 in 10 white evangelicals said the deaths were isolated incidents, while 84 percent of black Protestants said there’s a pattern.
And the 2018 Cooperative Congressional Election Survey showed white evangelicals and black Protestants were, of 16 religious demographics, furthest apart on whether the police make them feel safe or unsafe.

The latest of these polls (the most recent I’ve found) is two years old, and it’s possible opinions have shifted some, especially over the past few weeks, as the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has drawn fresh attention to official violence and racial inequality.

But that fourth bullet point troubles me. Walter Scott, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and Botham Jean were all killed by police between 2015 and 2018. White evangelicals witnessed these stories and yet came away more convinced there is no broader pattern of how police treat black Americans with which we need concern ourselves. In those same years, our black Protestant brothers and sisters became more insistent that exactly the opposite was true.

If black Christians overwhelmingly say they are treated unequally by the police—and they do—why do so many white evangelicals disbelieve them? There are four explanations I’d like to explore, one historical, one informational, one cultural, and one spiritual.

The historical explanation, as a recent episode of CT’s Quick to Listenpodcast detailed, concerns evangelical attitudes about policing from over a century ago (and how they’ve developed since). Around the turn of the 20th century, white American Christians across the theological spectrum believed “crime was a secular evil, that crime was something that America was going to descend into if it turned away from God,” explained historian Aaron L. Griffith, author of the forthcoming God’s Law and Order: The Politics of Punishment in Evangelical America. This produced extremely positive views of police, Griffith said, with even progressive or pacifist Christians speaking of officers as “missionaries” and “just as essential to a neighborhood's wellbeing as social workers or ministers.” Unwittingly, white evangelicals may filter what black Christians tell us through lingering, unexamined pieces of that historical lens.

The informational explanation, predictably, is about information. Before 2014, comprehensive data on police brutality and racial disparities in our justice system was inaccessible if not outright unavailable. Now we have a wealth of data and a wealth of disagreement about what it means. Those arguing racial disparities in policing are a statistical illusion tend to focus on fatal police shootings, and with that narrow dataset (perhaps narrowed again to consider only unarmed victims), they can make a plausible case. Examine other aspects of policing and criminal justice, however, and a clear racial pattern emerges in who is stopped, searched, and subjected to use of force; who is arrested, charged, and convicted for comparable crimes; who is sentenced to prison time and for how long; and who is offered pre-trial release, pardon, or commutation. Many white evangelicals may never have read these studies; many black Christians didn’t need to read them to know policing works differently for them.

The cultural explanation is much too weighty to fairly consider here, but consider that a Pew survey in 2009 found white evangelicals were an outlier on another violent topic: torture. As CT reported at the time, white evangelicals were the group most likely to say torture could be justified, and, even more damningly, enthusiasm for it was higher among those who attended church more often. Why these polling distinctions? Do they point to something gone wrong in white evangelical culture? Is there a cruelty among us? An indifference? Another poll found this support for torture plummeted if the question were tied to what could be done to captured American soldiers. That this Golden Rule framing made a difference is hopeful—but why did we need it to remember that those suffering our government’s violence are as human as us?

My last explanation is spiritual: Perhaps this disparity is the result of pride. I don’t mean the simple, blatant pride of self-aggrandizement, but rather the subtler, self-deceiving pride of hubris, the false confidence of believing we understand what we do not. Are we unjustifiably certain we know how black Americans experience our country’s criminal justice system? Do we let our hubris tell us we don’t need to re-examine our history, information sources, or culture? Do we let it convince us we don’t need to listen to accounts that unsettle our assumptions? Though “fools despise wisdom and instruction,” Proverbs 1:7 says, those who fear the Lord seek to learn “righteousness, justice, and equity” (Prov. 1:3–4, NRSV).

Our black family in Christ here in America overwhelmingly say they are treated unequally by the police. Can we, “with all humility and gentleness” (Eph. 4:2, NRSV), accept that instruction? Can we learn to believe them?












Bonnie Kristian is a columnist at Christianity Today, a contributing editor at The Week, a fellow at Defense Priorities, and the author of A Flexible Faith: Rethinking What It Means to Follow Jesus Today (Hachette).
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 - June 2020
« Reply #34 on: June 30, 2020, 04:47:53 pm »


https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/june/supreme-court-abortion-louisiana-june-medical-services.html







Supreme Court Rejects Louisiana Abortion Regulations










John Roberts joins liberal justices, citing precedent.


The Supreme Court has ruled that a Louisiana law regulating abortion places an unacceptable obstacle in the path of women who want an abortion.

Pro-life advocates had hoped that the two new conservative justices would swing the court in a different direction than its 2016 ruling on a similar case. Instead, the 5–4 decision solidifies the court’s definition of “undue burden” on women seeking the procedure and further limits states’ abilities to regulate abortion.

“This decision is disappointing and wrong-headed,” said Russell Moore, president of the the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. “The Louisiana law was directed toward the simple goal of protecting women from danger by placing the most minimal restrictions possible on an abortion industry that insists on laissez-faire for itself and its profits.”

The Louisiana law required abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital. Legislators said the requirement would improve the level of care that clinics provide for women. Abortion regulations in Louisiana and other conservative states have resulted in clinic closures and corresponded with falling abortion rates nationwide.

The court struck down similar requirements in Texas in 2016, ruling that the regulation would have no positive effect on the level of treatment women received but would likely cause some clinics to close. The regulation was unconstitutional because it placed an “undue burden” on women’s access to abortion.

On Monday, four liberal justices—Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Sonya Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan—decided in June Medical Services vs. Russo that the Louisiana law was unconstitutional for the same reasons.

“Enforcing the admitting-privileges requirement would drastically reduce the number and geographic distribution of abortion providers, making it impossible for many women to obtain a safe, legal abortion in the State and imposing substantial obstacles on those who could,” wrote Stephen Breyer, for the majority.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the decision in a concurring opinion. Even though he said the Texas decision was wrong, he thinks the precedent is binding. Roberts appealed to the legal doctrine of stare decisis, a Latin phrase meaning “to stand by things decided.”

“Stare decisis requires us, absent special circumstances, to treat like cases alike,” Roberts wrote. “The Louisiana law imposes a burden on access to abortion just as severe as that imposed by the Texas law, for the same reasons. Therefore Louisiana’s law cannot stand under our precedents.”

The legal argument did not please pro-life advocates.

“Chief Justice Roberts’ vote is a big disappointment,” said James Bopp Jr., general counsel for National Right to Life. “This decision demonstrates how difficult it is to drain the DC swamp and how important it is that President Trump gets re-elected so that he may be able to appoint more pro-life Justices.”

Louisiana—like many conservative states—has passed numerous laws regulating abortion in the last few years. Most abortions are banned after 22 weeks. Every woman seeking abortion is required to get an ultrasound and receive in-person counseling. And girls under 18 are required to get parental consent.

The state has seen a 2 percent drop in abortions since 2016, continuing a nation-wide trend. In the state’s four clinics, there is currently about currently about 1 abortion per 100 reproductive-age women every year.

The Louisiana clinics do not have a good record of caring for women’s health. A lower court—which sided with the abortion providers—described the clinics’ disregard for basic levels of medical care as “horrifying.”

In one case, a doctor did not sterilize the instruments used to perform an abortion. The same doctor used single-use instruments multiple times, court records show. In another case, a women started to hemorrhage during her abortion. The doctor didn’t try to stop the bleeding, according to disciplinary records, but instead told her to “get up and get out.”

June Medical Services, the clinic at the center of the Supreme Court case, was cited for failing to monitor breathing and heartbeats while women were under anesthesia. Its doctors also didn’t check medical histories and performed abortions without documenting anything about prior complications with anesthesia, or issues with menstruation, pregnancy, and childbirth, according to the lower court’s findings.

Pro-choice advocates argued that requiring doctors who perform abortions to maintain admitting privileges at local hospitals will not improve the level of care. Sometimes hospitals evaluate a doctor’s qualifications and record, but admitting privileges can also be denied for bureaucratic reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of care a patient receives. Functionally, they argue, the requirement will only prevent some abortion doctors from working in Louisiana.

Justice Samuel Alito, in his dissent to Monday’s ruling, argued that “there is ample evidence in the record showing that admitting privileges help to protect the health of women by ensuring that physicians who perform abortions meet a higher standard of competence than is shown by the mere possession of a license to practice.”

Alito also argued the ruling shifts the standard for regulations in favor of abortion providers, allowing them to say what counts as an undue burden.

There has been much debate about what regulations are “substantial obstacles” since the court established that standard in 1992 with Planned Parenthood vs. Casey. Many abortion rights advocates see all regulations as an undue burden. They argue the state laws are just back-door attempts to ban abortion.

During oral arguments, the attorney representing June Medical Services said that even if there was no evidence that the Louisiana law made it harder for a woman to get an abortion, the regulation should not be allowed unless it was shown it made a positive impact on women’s health.

Pro-life groups, on the other hand, have argued a state law should be allowed unless it prevents all or nearly all abortions from occurring. In a friend-of-the-court brief, Bopp argued that regulations are not substantial obstacles until they rise to the level of “absolute obstacles” and when a law incidentally increases the cost or decrease the availability of abortion that is not “undue as a matter of law.” He suggested the court clarify its standard, to say that a regulation is permissible unless it deprives women of abortion access “in a real sense” or is clearly “designed to strike at the right itself.”

Justice Clarence Thomas, in his dissent, said the debates about what regulations are acceptable do not go to the heart of the matter.

“Today’s decision is wrong for a far simpler reason,” he wrote. “The Constitution does not constrain the States’ ability to regulate or even prohibit abortion. This Court created the right to abortion based on an amorphous, unwritten right to privacy, which it grounded in the ‘legal fiction’ of substantive due process … the putative right to abortion is a creation that should be undone.”

The case has been seen by many as a proxy battle over abortion, despite the fact that the legal status of abortion wasn’t at issue and abortions would continue to happen, regardless of the court’s ruling.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association filed a brief with the court arguing the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of the right to legal due process should protect the unborn. “It is now well known that a unique human being, a person, begins life at conception,” the association’s lawyer wrote to the court. “That has been indisputably established scientifically since the early 1800s.”

On the other side, the representative for 28 pro-choice religious groups including the Methodist Federation for Social Action, Presbyterians Affirming Reproductive Choice, and the United Church of Christ, took the opportunity to argue for the importance of abortion access.

“Being forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term not only exposes a woman to greater health risks, but is also an affront to her right to decide whether to terminate a pregnancy, in accordance with her faith and values,” the lawyer wrote. “Religious commitments to the marginalized in our society, including poor women, women of color, rural women, young women, women in abusive relationships, and women unable to travel to obtain abortion care, add to these concerns.”

The court’s ruling does not address the personhood of the unborn, though. Nor did it challenge the question of a women’s right to access abortion.

At least one justice wonders whether any Supreme Court decision could get at the real issue dividing the nation and address the deep ideological conflict over abortion.

“I have read the briefs. I understand there are good arguments on both sides,” Breyer said during oral arguments in March. “Indeed, in the country people have very strong feelings and a lot of people morally think it’s wrong and a lot of people morally think the opposite is wrong. … I think personally the court is struggling with the problem of what kind of rule of law do you have in a country that contains both sorts of people.”

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 - June 2020
« Reply #35 on: June 30, 2020, 04:57:40 pm »
Despite the ongoing debates over gender roles, surveys show significant agreement in favor of female Sunday school teachers, worship leaders, speakers, and preachers.


In evangelical discourse, there are several issues that you can count on to stir up a heated debate. One is the role of women in the life of the church.

Take last year’s spat over Beth Moore speaking at a church on Mother’s Day, which came up again months later with John MacArthur’s viral “go home” line. Or the more recent discussion around author Aimee Byrd and Reformed complementarians’ pushback on social media.

Yet for all the debates around gender and leadership roles, for years researchers have found less of a divide on the topic among the people in the pews. The results of a recent survey once again indicate that most evangelical Protestants are in favor of seeing women take on more prominent positions in the church.

In a survey I fielded along with political scientists Paul Djupe and Hannah Smothers back in March, 8 in 10 self-identified evangelicals said they agree with women teaching Sunday school, leading worship at church services, and preaching during women’s conferences or retreats.

Slightly fewer endorsed women preaching during church services, but 7 in 10 were in favor, according to the research, conducted by a team of political scientists in March 2020.

This new research follows an analysis of 2011 survey data I published last year, which showed that significant majorities of major Christian traditions—including Southern Baptists—would support women as pastors.











Some commentators pushed back saying both that the 2011 data was dated and that the questions weren’t explicit enough about the types of roles for women in the church. The March 2020 survey was designed to allow respondents to indicate what kinds of leadership roles they are comfortable with women taking on.

A strong majority of evangelicals, men and women alike, supported women’s involvement in each of the roles queried, though women were slightly more in favor of each.

The most universally supported role was having women teach Sunday school, with 86.9 percent in favor. The debate over whether women can lead over mixed-gender Sunday school classes has gone on for years in certain evangelical traditions, including Baptist and Presbyterian denominations. It comes up on sites like 9Marks, Reformation21, and Desiring God, often hinging on whether the Sunday school setting is analogous to a church service or not.

Women preaching on Sunday morning got the least support, with 72.8 percent. Even some churches that do not permit women to serve as lead pastors and elders at times allow women to share on Sundays as guest speakers or preachers—making a distinction to between the “special teaching” they believe to be restricted to qualified male leaders and the “general teaching,” which can be presented by any church member, male or female.


















What is also surprising is how little this support for women in leadership is impacted by church attendance. A natural assumption is that more frequent attendance at an evangelical church that only permits male pastors is a sign of support for the doctrine of that faith tradition, but that’s not the case. In fact, in each of the four scenarios that were offered in the survey there was no statistical difference in support for women leaders between evangelicals who never attend services and those who indicate that they go to church multiple times a week. Three quarters of the most devout evangelicals believe that women should have a place behind the pulpit.

This finding continues to persist even when theology is taken into account. When the sample is restricted to just those who believe that the Bible is literally true, three-quarters of those who attend services multiple times a week agree with women preaching during weekend services.


















However, there is an interesting pattern when age is considered. There is not a clear relationship between older evangelicals and resistance to women preaching. For instance, while 20 percent of evangelicals who are 65 or older disagree with women preaching, that drops to just 10 percent among those between the ages of 55 and 64. Another notable result is that the youngest evangelicals (those between 18 and 35) are just as likely to oppose women preaching as those in the oldest age group.

There has been evidence that support for women in leadership roles has led to some evangelical churches hiring female pastors. Barna Research found that the share of pastors that are women was 9 percent in 2017, up significantly from 3 percent in 1992. But, clearly the vast majority of evangelicals would be comfortable with this number increasing more rapidly.

The findings here are not out of step with results from the Faith Matters Survey from 2011 that found that 65 percent of Southern Baptists are supportive of women being allowed to serve as clergy. And a Barna survey of pastors found significant support among non-mainline traditions. Two-thirds of non-mainline pastors were in favor of women being deacons and nearly 40 percent supported women preaching.

Taken together, these results indicate that evangelical support for women preaching and leading is robust across gender, church attendance, theological position, and age.







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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patrick jane

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Re: Christianity Today Magazine - June 2020
« Reply #36 on: September 25, 2020, 10:52:32 am »
 ;)
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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