+- +-

+- User

Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.
 
 
 
Forgot your password?

+-Stats ezBlock

Members
Total Members: 109
Latest: DrWho42
New This Month: 0
New This Week: 0
New Today: 0
Stats
Total Posts: 10805
Total Topics: 709
Most Online Today: 522
Most Online Ever: 771
(July 30, 2019, 01:13:39 am)
Users Online
Members: 1
Guests: 170
Total: 171

Author Topic: Christianity Today Magazine Archives  (Read 3724 times)

0 Members and 0 Guests are viewing this topic.

patrick jane

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • Research Jesus Christ and then Research Flat Earth
  • Location: homeless in God's flat earth
  • Referrals: 39
    • Theology Forums
Christianity Today Magazine Archives
« on: August 21, 2018, 01:26:20 pm »




Singles: A Vital Part of Our Churches, Part 1




Singles make up half of our churches, so we best learn to treat all people—married or single—equally.


Let me just get this out there at the outset: For many, being single in the church can sometimes feel very awkward. I have heard a number of singles tell me stories that have made me cringe—stories of how the leadership and the marrieds in the church spoke or acted in ways that were silly at best and dishonoring at worst. Let’s all face it: Singles make up half of our churches, so we best learn to treat all people—married or single—equally.

In fact, the singles in our churches are quite significant, and are, in fact, integral to our mission.

Changing patterns of marriage and singleness

More and more, Americans are staying single by choice. A Pew Research Center study released in 2017 found that 42% American adults are living without a spouse or a partner. That number is up 3% since ten years ago in 2007, when it was 39%. The biggest change was adults under 35. Today, 61% of adults under 35 are single. That’s five points up compared to where it was a decade ago, at 56%. Singles make up a significant portion of our population.

Singles are not an accessory or an appendage in the life of the church.

Knowing that will shape how you engage them. Many married people tend to think of single people as incomplete married people – married people often assume singles will find somebody else, the two will be made one, and then they’ll be complete. The reality is that’s a very different view than the church has held historically and biblically.

Some examples from church history

If you go back over the centuries of the history of the church, it’s actually consistently single people who were thought of and looked to as some of the most influential Christian leaders. Many of the church fathers and men and women throughout history who’ve made a significant difference have been single.

For example, Florence Nightingale was one of the most influential women of her time. She is considered one of the pioneers of public health and the founder of modern nursing for her remarkable accomplishments as a nurse.

While working as a nurse for injured British soldiers, she became known as the “Lady with the Lamp” and the “Angel of Crimea” for her remarkable compassion. She felt called to her profession of nursing by her faith.

In her early life, Nightingale turned down the proposal of a wealthy, suitable suitor against her parents wishes. She lived her an entire life as a single woman and made astonishing accomplishments that saved many lives and notably changed the world. Nightingale was no accessory or appendage. She was not incomplete. She, a single woman, devoted her entire life to serving others in a Christ-like manner.


Or take Paul the Apostle. He was single, and in 1 Corinthians, he clearly laid out why he believed it was better for people to be single so that they could focus on the things of God. Many different practices stemmed from this passage. It is only recently that people have begun to swing the other way and value married people above singles in ministry.

I had a call not long ago from a pastor friend of mine who is single. He continues to find doors closed for ministries he’d be interested in because they want a married person. A millennium ago, they would have said they wanted a single person. While it’s good to value the roles married people can play in ministry, we should not do so at the expense of valuing singles’ vital contributions.

If it’s only recently that singles have become a less appreciated section of the church, one simple question presents itself: Why do so many married people think of single counterparts as unfinished?

Part of the reason is because of the family-centric model of ministry, a phenomenon of the last few centuries. I’m thankful for churches that minister to families. I’m thankful for churches that care about families. But the family-centric model of ministry leaves out some people that should not be left out.

Tomorrow I’ll discuss where we go from here.

Ed Stetzer holds the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College, serves as Dean of the School of Mission, Ministry, and Leadership at Wheaton College, is executive director of the Billy Graham Center, and publishes church leadership resources through Mission Group.


https://theologyforums.com/index.php?threads/singles-a-vital-part-of-our-churches-part-1.3551/



Patreon : https://www.patreon.com/patrick_jane3169
PayPal Donations : https://paypal.me/ThankYou3169
Flat Earth Forums : https://3169.createaforum.com/index.php?action=forum
Theology Forums :  https://theologyforums.com/index.php
Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpzjN3dF-_PnAc81SQVjqhg?view_as=subscriber
Pinterest : https://www.pinterest.com/patrickjane3169/
Google : https://plus.google.com/u/0/113527239869543729835
Linkedin : https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-jane-833769164/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/patrickjane3169
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007669219364+




« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 07:15:53 pm by patrick jane »
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.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Winner Winner x 1 View List

patrick jane

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • Research Jesus Christ and then Research Flat Earth
  • Location: homeless in God's flat earth
  • Referrals: 39
    • Theology Forums
Re: Theological News
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2018, 01:31:51 pm »
Singles: A Vital Part of Our Churches, Part 2






It’s time to stop looking upon single people with suspicion and instead thank God for them.

Yesterday, I talked about the problem that many churches have when it comes to treating the singles in our churches as whole and equal to the marrieds. Notably, however, singles have been critical to the spread and influence of Christianity. Today, I want to discuss where we go from here.

So what do we do? Below I share three ways we can integrate singles fully into the life of our churches.

First, be careful with your language.

One of the problems we have is our language. For example, when we talk about our churches, we often ask things like, “Are you a family-centered church?”

What does this even mean? Most of us would recognize there are many different kinds of families in life and in the church. There are blended families. There are single-parent families. There are nuclear families, traditional families, multi-generational families. You might know you mean to include all of them when you say “family-centered,” but most people are going to imagine a nuclear family – two parents and their children – when you say it.

You might even mean “families” to include singles, but almost no one is going to hear that.

Similarly, it is incorrect to describe our churches as having “singles and families.” This makes it seem like the single people are on the outside. When I’m talking about issues of race and ethnicity, I usually include several different examples of races and ethnicities. I might say “Thank God for people of African American and Anglo and Latino and Asian backgrounds, and many others.”

In the same vein of thinking, I might say, “We thank God for single people and married people and blended families.” Include some other people in your list. This shows that you value all of them equally.

People notice things as simple as this. People hear when you point out who they are. Keep in mind that singles are probably at least a significant minority of people in your church, if not a majority of it. We always want to make sure those who have historically felt invisible instead feel loved, seen, and heard. Using language that affirms and includes all people can help shape the culture of your church and the perception of what you’re doing.

Second, include singles among your leadership.

If you are not facilitating and fostering single leaders in the life of your church, you’re sidelining a large portion of your church. Furthermore, you’re buying into more of a Western cultural value of the nuclear family than holding to biblical values. Look to the Bible, look at Paul’s words. Look at Jesus. Remember, Jesus was a single man. If Jesus wouldn’t have a place in your church, you’ve got a major problem.

Truth Inspires
Paul’s words are very clear. He points out that we have greater freedom to minister if we are single because we are not distracted. Those who are married, including myself, have other priorities that make our capacity for ministry limited.

So it becomes a good strategy as well to look for places and pathways to involve singles in our leadership. Single people are often looked on with some suspicion as we wonder why they aren’t married yet. The end result is that we’re sometimes suspicious to put them in leadership.

It’s time to stop looking upon single people with suspicion and instead thank God for them. When we don’t put people in places of leadership simply because they are single, we have a leadership problem.

We must be cautious of swinging too far the other way as well, however. I’ve heard some singles say that sometimes when people find out they’re single, they want to put everything on them because they have the time to do those things. We need to strike a balance. Paul’s words are that there’s more freedom to do ministry. Simultaneously, we want to recognize and honor that single people have other lives, friendships, relationships, and more that matter too.

Leadership opportunities are a great way to integrate singles into a more visible and affirming presence in the life of our church, but we must be careful to treat them with love and not burn them out.

Third, listen to your singles.

Things like language and leadership can be helpful, but we need to make sure we are listening to our singles as well. A lot of singles really want a singles ministry, and a lot of singles don’t. We need to listen to the single people in our churches and ask them, “How do you want to be better incorporated into the life of the church?” If you incorporate singles into your leadership team, make sure you listen to what they suggest.

A word of caution

Don’t fall into the trap that some do of befriending only or mainly people who are like you. For example, I’m married, so there’s a natural tendency for me to hang around married couples. Many couples generally only have friends who are couples.

Instead, I would exhort you to ask yourself, "Have I built relationships with single men and women in my church in a way that helps me understand who they are and how I can pastor them well?" I think there’s a sense for singles that we are excluding them in the life of the church in ways that are ultimately unhelpful.

Let’s work on our language, put people in leadership, and listen to how they best like to be understood and then pastored. Our churches will be better and stronger for it.

Ed Stetzer holds the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College, serves as Dean of the School of Mission, Ministry, and Leadership at Wheaton College, is executive director of the Billy Graham Center, and publishes church leadership resources through Mission Group.


https://theologyforums.com/index.php?threads/singles-a-vital-part-of-our-churches-part-2.3561/#post-41300



Theology Forums : https://theologyforums.com/index.php
Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpzjN3dF-_PnAc81SQVjqhg?view_as=subscriber
Pinterst : https://www.pinterest.com/patrickjane3169/
Google : https://plus.google.com/u/0/113527239869543729835
Linkedin : https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-jane-833769164/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/patrickjane3169
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007669219364+
Flat Earth Forum : https://3169.createaforum.com/index.php
My Website : https://patrickjane3169.wixsite.com/website
Bitchute : https://www.bitchute.com/channel/xUZJpNWUz2T4/
Vimeo : https://vimeo.com/user87745391




Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection, the gospel of our salvation, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise. 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 -
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

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • Research Jesus Christ and then Research Flat Earth
  • Location: homeless in God's flat earth
  • Referrals: 39
    • Theology Forums
Re: Theological News
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2018, 05:27:27 pm »
How to Have Comfortable Conversations about God




Former atheist wants believers to have more effective gospel conversations.


“And I pray that the sharing of your faith may promote the knowledge of all the good that is ours in Christ” (Phile. 1:6, RSV). We get to help people who are yet to know Christ to discover all the good that is ours in Christ. In short, we want to help people understand why it is so good to know Him.

Eternal life aside, there are many compelling reasons to be in a relationship with God now, in this life. He never meant that we should go through this life without Him.

Most non-believers wonder why it matters to us that we have this faith in God. What does it do for us? These are very practical and important questions.

Do we have an answer for them?

Each of us has a very personal relationship with God. Yes, God is who He is and never changes. Yet, He relates to us as individuals. Each believer has his or her own experience with God, what we’ve come to know to be true of God.

This is what we can tell non-believers!

One believer might say to a person yet to know Jesus that, “I know that God hears me when I talk to Him, because I see Him answer my prayers all the time.”

Another might say, “When I’m in really confusing situations, and I don’t know what to do, and I don’t know how to approach it, then I go to the Bible. God speaks to me and He gives me exactly the answer I need.”

Another might say, “I know God is real because He freed me from this addiction and gave me a whole new perspective on life.”

When I’ve been at really pivotal decision points in my life, I’ve seen God give amazing clarity and guidance in what I should do. If the other person asks questions, then I have specific examples and evidences to share! This is an authentic, personal message that God has built into our lives.

I suggest we all take some time with God and think through our lives, moments when we saw God act in our lives in a significant ways, oments when we saw God as very real and what we learned to be true about God. See if you can list three things you are certain are true about God, because you’ve seen Him reveal those to you.

You are now equipped with a genuine life message that can be useful in conversations.

Let me give you an example. I was on a flight, again wanting to work or relax and reviewing that with God. Two minutes later, the woman next to me pulled out a huge hard-bound book of horoscopes. The woman put the book in my lap and asked, “Which one are you?”

I said, “Well, I’m cancer.” She flipped to that page and soon we were reading through the descriptions. I’m said, “Ok, yes, this fits. This too. Not this so much. Oh gee, not this one at all…” We worked our way through the entire page.


And then I turned to her and said,

“You know, here's the thing. Some of this fits and some doesn't. But when it comes to my life, I want something I can fully count on, all the time. God knows me completely, because He created me. He knows everything that's true about me. And even better, He offers to guide me in life. He offers to guide anyone who will begin a relationship with Him. AND he's fully reliable. He gives insights and wisdom for some major areas of our lives. I’m wondering if anyone has ever shared with you how you could know God like that?”

God has built a message into our lives. Take some time and write down three things you’ve come to know about God.

Your testimony of how you came to Christ might also be valuable, but learn to say it in 15 or 20 seconds.

Someone asked me what prompted me to build a website about God. I answered,

“I was an atheist, but became friends with someone who sincerely believed in God. For a year and a half, I asked her questions. The evidence for God eventually outweighed the evidence against God. I asked Him into my life and he changed my life.”

Write it out. Shoot for four sentences tops. Learn to say it briefly.

Then, see what conversations God starts. God will bring people to you.

Marilyn Adamson is founder and director of www.EveryStudent.com which is seeing more than 900 people a day begin a relationship with Christ. A former atheist, now a staff member with Cru, Marilyn's passions are to reach nonbelievers and help believers be more effective in conversations. She has a free ebook, "The Ripple Effect" found here: www.EveryStudent.info.






Theology Forums : https://theologyforums.com/index.php
Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpzjN3dF-_PnAc81SQVjqhg?view_as=subscriber
Pinterst : https://www.pinterest.com/patrickjane3169/
Google : https://plus.google.com/u/0/113527239869543729835
Linkedin : https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-jane-833769164/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/patrickjane3169
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007669219364+
Flat Earth Forum : https://3169.createaforum.com/index.php
My Website : https://patrickjane3169.wixsite.com/website
Bitchute : https://www.bitchute.com/channel/xUZJpNWUz2T4/
Vimeo : https://vimeo.com/user87745391




Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection, the gospel of our salvation, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise. 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 -
« Last Edit: August 21, 2018, 05:30:32 pm by patrick jane »
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

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • Research Jesus Christ and then Research Flat Earth
  • Location: homeless in God's flat earth
  • Referrals: 39
    • Theology Forums
Re: Theological News
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2018, 05:35:38 pm »
The Christian & Culture: Three Ways to Engage with Your Neighbor




The Great Commandment and the Golden Rule make us better listeners.

One of the things I enjoy doing is following politics and public discourse. I think it’s important for all of us to stay in the loop on what is happening in the world and in American life. More than that, however, I think it’s important to engage in these things. But it’s an understatement to say that much of what happens in public discourse is less than pretty. Unfortunately, this often includes Christians.

The last several U.S. Presidential elections have revealed the division in our culture. The amount of true discussion and debate over the issues of greatest importance has taken a back seat to well-crafted one-liners delivered at just the right time for maximum rhetorical impact. A lot of time is spent talking past each other instead of listening to each other.

But this goes beyond politics. I have seen an increasing entrenchment in our views and a vilification of people with other views. When this is the case, we are not going to work together. How do we dialogue for the common good and with the goal of solutions? I don’t hear a lot of people talking about that.

Sure, Evangelicals have many problems with where culture is going, and rightly so. But we aren’t getting far with the culture in our discourse with them. Why? I think the answer is engagement. In my book, Subversive Kingdom, I argue that we shouldn’t be about control. Rather, we should be seeking to live as agents of the kingdom who are showing and sharing the love of Christ to a world that’s hurting. But how do we get to that place of engagement?

Let me list three simple and biblical ways to wisely engage with our neighbors and our culture, regardless of how difficult an issue may be.

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself
First, love your neighbor as yourself. As many of us have heard this preached or taught it ourselves, to love our neighbor is to see him or her as God does and to care for him or her as God would have us.

While we can, and should, describe love as more than feelings (which I’ll do below), I want to focus here on that feeling of love—to truly feel love for our neighbor. Love means we see people as creatures made in God’s image.

If you want to cultivate a heart that loves your neighbor, know your own heart better. Once we begin to seek to understand our own hearts, we will realize that we (not those with whom we are dialoguing) are the chief of sinners. Realizing this will break us, humble us, and open our eyes to see people as we’ve never seen them. That, in turn, will enable us to love them as we’ve never loved them. This leads to my next point.


Practice the Golden Rule
Second, love leads us to practice the Golden Rule: “Whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them” (Matt. 7:12). It’s unfortunate that one of the most practical and powerful teachings in scripture and from the lips of the Savior is often too quickly said and too rarely practiced. When love for neighbor is genuine and deeply felt, it changes not only what we feel for others, but also how we treat others.

The Bible includes many passages that illustrate what treating others as we want to be treated looks like. We are to consider others as more important and to look out for their interests (Phil. 2:3-4). We are to bear others’ burdens (Gal. 6:2). What if we looked at those with whom we disagree through the eyes called to bear burdens? What if we were more concerned for them than ourselves?

If we are honest, we want to be understood and be listened to. Unfortunately, too often we don’t remember that others may feel the same. They, too, are just looking for affirmation and a listening ear.

Without love, we are just clanging cymbals (1 Cor. 13:1) in the public sphere or in our coffee shop conversations. Love is the fuel for disagreeing without being disagreeable. Love elevates our dialogue and seeks the greatest good.

My goal when I critique someone else’s position is that he or she would say that I have articulated his or her position correctly even though we disagree on the position itself. Without love, people and arguments are demoted to caricatures.

Be Quick to Hear, Slow to Speak, and Slow to Anger
Finally, we need to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger (James 1:19). Following these words, James explains that our anger doesn’t accomplish God’s righteousness. This may be one of the best ways to explain what the Golden Rule looks like in an actual conversation.

As we engage with those who have different perspectives and opinions, we should focus on listening. Too often, we ‘engage’ by preparing our responses while others are still laying out their case. We can do better by listening well.

It not only makes us respond better, but it shows that we respect the person with whom we are dialoguing. We speak best when we know what someone says, what we are saying, and how we should say it. Good listening leads to good understanding, and good understanding leads to good and accurate responses.

Then, when the person responds, we refuse to get easily angered and offended. We keep focused on the discourse and not the attacks.

True Christian Discourse
Christian leaders must teach the values of civil public discourse. Before we expect it from others, we must model the path. This starts with obeying the Great Commandment to love your neighbor and following the Golden Rule. It makes us better listeners, wise as to when and how to use our words, and not easily offended or angered.

More than a good zinger or a clever quip to try to win an argument, we should desire real discourse for the good of the causes we believe in and for the good of the world that we care to convince.


https://theologyforums.com/index.php?threads/the-christian-culture-three-ways-to-engage-with-your-neighbor.65/





Theology Forums : https://theologyforums.com/index.php
Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpzjN3dF-_PnAc81SQVjqhg?view_as=subscriber
Pinterst : https://www.pinterest.com/patrickjane3169/
Google : https://plus.google.com/u/0/113527239869543729835
Linkedin : https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-jane-833769164/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/patrickjane3169
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007669219364+
Flat Earth Forum : https://3169.createaforum.com/index.php
My Website : https://patrickjane3169.wixsite.com/website
Bitchute : https://www.bitchute.com/channel/xUZJpNWUz2T4/
Vimeo : https://vimeo.com/user87745391




Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection, the gospel of our salvation, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise. 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 -
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

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • Research Jesus Christ and then Research Flat Earth
  • Location: homeless in God's flat earth
  • Referrals: 39
    • Theology Forums
Re: Theological News
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2018, 05:42:04 pm »
Only 1 in 7 Senior Pastors Is Under 40



Report finds passing pulpits to millennials a ‘glaring challenge.’


American pastors aren’t as young as they used to be.

As clergy live longer and stay in ministry longer, the average age of Protestant senior pastors has risen to 54—a decade older than 25 years before, when the average age was 44.

Now, just 1 in 7 pastors leading congregations is under 40, according to Barna Group’s 2017 State of Pastors project.

In the new report, Barna president David Kinnaman called the aging pastorate “one of the most glaring challenges facing the church today.”

The pulpit has been graying for decades. In the ’60s, a majority of pastors were under 45. In 2017, most are over 60. The age shift stems from evolving career expectations and difficulty passing leadership on to millennial-aged pastors, Barna reported.

The research, conducted in partnership with Pepperdine University, represents surveys and interviews with 14,000 Protestant pastors.

Older Pastors Staying Put


Today’s pastors are less likely to go from congregation to congregation during their careers. Back in 1992, Barna found the average church tenure was four years, compared to more than 10 years in 2017. (Research by Leadership Network in 2014 indicated that megachurch pastors stay even longer than that; the pastors at America’s 100 biggest Protestant congregations had served for 21 years on average.)

Older clergy may actually have a harder time finding new jobs as they age, forcing them to stay longer. As CT Pastors has reported, when a senior pastor spot opens up, some churches seek out younger candidates who are expected to serve long-term or draw in younger congregants.

Finances also keeps pastors preaching into their 60s, 70s, and beyond. Though a majority of pastors said they were confident about their retirement security (71%), some cannot afford to lose the paycheck, Barna found.

Church leaders have been anticipating the Baby Boomer generation’s transition for years. Thom Rainer, LifeWay president and CEO, predicted pastors of this generation would be reluctant to step away at traditional retirement age, and that when they do retire, it will be hard to replace pastors who served in such a lasting and impactful way.

“A number of Boomer pastors and staff are struggling to decide what their next phases of ministry and life should be. Many had a mid-life crisis of sorts; now they are having later-life crises,” wrote Rainer.

Also, more Americans—particularly in evangelical and black Protestant congregations—enter the pastorate as a second career. They switch from a range of former career fields, with law, botany, physical therapy, public affairs, and music education ranking as most popular (and somewhat unusual) pathways to the pulpit, according to the State of Pastors results.

https://info.echurchgiving.com/lp-2018-ebook-sustain-giving-during-summer-slump.html?utm_medium=display-paid&utm_source=christianity-today&utm_content=content-ebook&utm_campaign=10-tips-to-sustain-giving-during-the-summer-slump&utm_term=faith--all--all
There are drawbacks and benefits to graying leadership. The percentage of pastors with kids under 18 has dropped by almost half in 25 years, down to 35 percent. With older pastors, most now have grown children. Without kids at home, they may have more flexibility to balance family and church life. Though most (60%) are satisfied with their relationship with their offspring, an earlier Barna study found that 42 percent said they wish they had spent more time with their kids while they were at home.

Most pastors feel more called to ministry the longer they serve. Two-thirds of pastors reported being “more confident” about their role as a pastor than when they first began.

Older pastors also enjoy their ministry work more. Leaders age 50 and older, as well as those who have been in ministry for more than 30 years, report being “highly satisfied” with their vocation as a pastor and with their current church more often than younger and less-experienced leaders.

Overall, two-thirds of pastors rank preaching and teaching as their favorite aspect of their job. The least favorite aspect? Only 2 percent picked organizing church meetings and events as their No. 1 task.

In the middle of those two, 1 in 10 called “developing other leaders” their most enjoyable task—a crucial role as pastors prepare to pass leadership on to a new generation of preachers.

“The bare facts of the matter are that even the wisest of older pastors is not here indefinitely, and his wisdom will be lost to the community of faith unless it is invested with the next generation,” the report stated. “Even more urgent, however, is the prospect of a massive leadership shortage in the coming decades.”

The Struggle to Find the Next Generation
Barna notes how many millennials (defined in the study as those born between 1984 and 2002) express a desire to choose a job that is meaningful and makes an impact. Despite these ambitions, fewer look to ministry as career, making it a struggle for church leaders to appoint and equip younger successors.

More than two-thirds of today’s pastors (69%) say it has become harder to identify suitable pastor candidates among millennials. Pastors of small congregations, with a smaller pool of potential leaders, were more likely to agree.

In some ways, this generation has confounded the church. While the age group overall is more skeptical and secular, practicing Christian millennials remain devout and even outpace older generations in several areas.

Nearly all pastors (9 out of 10) say they would recommend the career to younger Christians interested in going into ministry. The ones who wouldn’t were more likely to be less satisfied with their own vocation, leaders of declining congregations, or pastors of color, the survey said.

“Many boomer pastors and staff have strong desires to mentor the next generation,” wrote Rainer. “They see their greatest hope for influence now in people rather than society and structures.”

Finding younger leaders to follow aging pastors may start early. More than half of pastors sense their calling as young adults, between ages 14 and 21. A vast majority attended church as a kid (85%) and participated in youth ministry (80%).

“Those of us who come alongside young adults during these years can help create a safe place for them to experiment, discuss, and change their minds about the future,” said Terry Linhart, professor of Christian ministries at Bethel College. “The best thing we can do is to help them connect more deeply to God, facilitating opportunities for his Spirit to work in their lives.”

The questions and scenarios young Christians are working through as they discern their calling may not be the same as older pastors wrestled with decades before. Pastors over 50 admit it’s a challenge to engage the younger generation, according to Barna, and those who have been in ministry for more than 30 years say they struggle to keep up with cultural changes.

Pastors 50 and older, on the other hand, admit engaging younger generations is a challenge for them. In a similar vein, “keeping up with cultural changes” is uniquely challenging for leaders who have been in ministry for 30 years or longer.

The State of Pastors report listed nine overarching factors contributing to this generational disconnect:

Demographic: Not only are millennials the largest adult generation in terms of sheer numbers, they are also the most ethnically, culturally, and spiritually diverse (unlike many of our churches).
Social: Young people are generally going through the shaping experiences of adulthood at later ages than did previous generations—yet most of our churches are designed with families in mind.
https://www.lifeway.com/en/bible-studies-for-life/espanol?carid=jvazq-ct-august
Economic: The economic pressures on middle-class and working families are being passed on to local churches, and the financial and ministry implications are immense.
Vocational: The landscape of work is shifting toward a gig-oriented, multi-careering, freelance terrain, and there is profound need for a robust theology of vocational discipleship.
Institutional: People get the information they want, when they want, for the price they want to pay. “Disintermediated institutions”—including churches—are no longer the sole mediators of knowledge, and pastors no longer the chief authority.
Legal: Particularly when it comes to holding historically orthodox beliefs about human sexuality, Christian institutions are at increasing risk of running afoul of the law.
Digital: The “screen age” requires adaptive approaches to community and discipleship. “Digital Babylon” is an always-on, hyperlinked, immersive culture where Christians must learn to live and thrive as exiles.
Moral: Society’s moral center is shifting away from external sources of authority (the Bible, Christian tradition) to the self: You look inside yourself to find what’s best for you.
Spiritual: “Nones,” or the religiously unaffliated, are the fastest growing religious group in the nation. Nominal, cultural Christianity is no longer the “default position” of Americans—and this reality is challenging the Church to reevaluate faith formation.
As pastors disciple and train up leaders from the millennial generation, Kinnaman points to signs of hope in God’s work through his people. “The Holy Spirit has sustained the church for a couple thousand years now and shows no sign of calling it a day,” he concluded. “Let’s trust the Spirit’s sustaining power not to quit, and prepare for the future.”

Earlier this month, Ed Stetzer blogged about pastoral tradition, and CT has previously featured four ways pastors approach succession, the challenges of church involvement at midlife, and Billy Graham’s advice on aging.

CT’s previous reporting on Barna research includes its State of Discipleship report, State of the Bible report, and Teen State of the Bible report.


https://theologyforums.com/index.php?threads/only-1-in-7-senior-pastors-is-under-40.70/


Theology Forums : https://theologyforums.com/index.php
Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpzjN3dF-_PnAc81SQVjqhg?view_as=subscriber
Pinterst : https://www.pinterest.com/patrickjane3169/
Google : https://plus.google.com/u/0/113527239869543729835
Linkedin : https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-jane-833769164/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/patrickjane3169
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007669219364+
Flat Earth Forum : https://3169.createaforum.com/index.php
My Website : https://patrickjane3169.wixsite.com/website
Bitchute : https://www.bitchute.com/channel/xUZJpNWUz2T4/
Vimeo : https://vimeo.com/user87745391




Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection, the gospel of our salvation, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise. 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 -
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

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • Research Jesus Christ and then Research Flat Earth
  • Location: homeless in God's flat earth
  • Referrals: 39
    • Theology Forums
Re: Theological News
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2018, 06:48:50 pm »
The Maker of the Maker of Middle-earth



https://theologyforums.com/index.php?threads/the-maker-of-the-maker-of-middle-earth.3836/#post-50431

There’s something missing from Oxford’s splendid new Tolkien exhibit.


Who was J. R. R. Tolkien? Nearly everyone knows him as the author of two of the most beloved books of the 20th century: The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Many also know him as a member of the Inklings and a close friend of fellow writer and scholar C. S. Lewis. Fewer know Tolkien’s work as a literary critic, a world-class academic in medieval literature, a linguist, an inventor of languages, and a visual artist or realize that he was also a devoted husband and father.

Much of this is captured this year in a nearly comprehensive exhibit at Oxford University’s Bodleian Libraries on Tolkien’s life and legacy. “Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth” has been billed as the exhibit of a generation, and it is indeed that. But there’s a glaring omission: any mention of the author’s devout, lifelong Christian faith. Without that piece, we cannot have a true picture of Tolkien.

The Missing Piece


The exhibit is certainly the most well-rounded portrayal of Tolkien to date. We see his imaginative capacity expressed in nearly overwhelming abundance, and we see a tender glimpse of his childhood and of his family life with his wife, Edith, and their four children.

The aim of the exhibit, as expressed in the catalog book, is “bringing to the public’s attention the fullest picture possible not just of the life and work of a remarkable literary imagination, but of a son, husband, father, friend, scholar and artist.”

To that end, it comes close but misses the mark. The exhibit downplays Tolkien’s religious commitment so completely that it is well-nigh invisible. Yet Christianity was a constant presence throughout his life, and not just in a nominal or cultural sense: Tolkien really believed, and his faith permeated his work.

He was baptized as an infant in the Anglican cathedral in Bloemfontein. He followed his mother when she entered the Catholic Church. He was an altar boy at the Birmingham Oratory. After he was orphaned, his guardian was a Catholic priest, Fr. Francis Morgan, for whom he retained a deep respect and affection ever afterward. He was a regular Mass-goer throughout his life. He translated the Book of Jonah for the Jerusalem Bible. He wrote in his letters of the personal importance of prayer and the Eucharist. He, along with Hugo Dyson, played a crucial role in bringing C. S. Lewis to faith. Yet apart from a brief mention of Morgan’s guardianship, none of this is shown in the exhibit.

The book that accompanies the exhibit does make some passing references to Tolkien’s faith, but they are few and slight. It would be easy to conclude that Tolkien had no particular faith, or if he did, that it was a private thing, not especially relevant to his life and work.

Get Your Free Church Chair Samples from Bertolini Inc.
There are many ways that Tolkien’s Christian faith could have been represented, even in the relatively limited space available. One item already on display was a 1914 letter to Edith. The display label transcribes, from Tolkien’s small and difficult-to-read handwriting, a paragraph about officer-training maneuvers on Port Meadow.

Immediately following this portion of the original letter is Tolkien’s comment that the next day “I got up at 7.40 and just reached church on time, and went to Communion.” Just one more sentence on an already existing display label would have given a glimpse of Tolkien’s faith in practice. As it is, nearly all visitors will miss this reference entirely; I very nearly did.

Other extracts from letters could have been shown, such as the 1956 letter in which Tolkien relates Frodo’s failure to give up the Ring to the petition in the Lord’s Prayer “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Or perhaps the 1944 letter in which Tolkien discusses modern healing miracles and describes the Resurrection as the “happy ending” of human history.

Several examples of his Elvish calligraphy were displayed; one could have been selected from the prayers that Tolkien translated into Elvish, such as the Lord’s Prayer. Both the 1956 letter and this translation show the way that Tolkien’s faith, and indeed specifically his prayer life, had an influence on his writing—exactly the kind of influence we would hope to see emphasized in an exhibit on an author.

We might also have seen a photograph of one of the churches at which Tolkien worshiped in Oxford, such as St. Gregory’s on Woodstock Road, which is mentioned several times in the Letters. The exhibit display included Tolkien’s pipes and hat; surely it could also have included religious items such as a rosary, a worship missal, or a prayer card.

These references, if they had been included, need not have been emphasized, but for one who knows of Tolkien’s faith, the absence of any such small detail is striking.

Playing It Safe
Why might the Tolkien Estate and the Bodleian have chosen to downplay Tolkien’s faith? And why does it matter?

There are several understandable reasons. The English are very private people in general. For Tolkien’s surviving family—at least some of whom are also faithful, practicing Catholics—something like Tolkien’s rosary might have felt too personal for a public exhibition.

There is also a small subset of readers and critics who emphasize Tolkien’s faith in the wrong way. Tolkien himself described The Lord of the Rings as a “fundamentally religious and Catholic work” (in a letter that could have been, but was not, quoted in the exhibit), but it is not a religious allegory, as Tolkien himself makes very clear. When I lecture on Tolkien to Christian audiences, I am often asked: “How can we use The Lord of the Rings for apologetics?” My answer is that we should not try to use it at all. As a literary critic, I recognize that skillful analysis of literature can yield great insight—including for apologetics—but if Tolkien’s work is used merely as a tool to convey an explicit Christian “message,” it is inevitably oversimplified and its effect deadened. It is possible that the Tolkien Estate and the Bodleian, in aiming for a nuanced portrayal of Tolkien, wished to resist this particular type of pigeonholing and were too cautious as a result.

Then there are audience expectations. Tolkien is a hugely popular author, by virtue of his writings and also because of Peter Jackson’s extremely successful films, and many of his readers are unaware or only vaguely aware that he was a Christian at all. C. S. Lewis expert Michael Ward points out that Tolkien did not make his faith obvious in his stories, in contrast to Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, where the Christian parallels are not unavoidable but are certainly more evident.

Tolkien’s first biographer, Humphrey Carpenter, who is thus far the only person given full access to Tolkien’s papers, downplayed Tolkien’s faith in his biography—and no surprise since Carpenter was a self-avowed atheist, resentful of his own Anglican upbringing. According to Laura Schmidt, archivist at the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College, Tolkien’s faith is very often left out of works of scholarship on him, as well.

The Bodleian may simply have believed, and perhaps correctly, that Tolkien’s faith would not be of interest to most attendees—or may even have been unsettling or offensive.

Nonetheless, the omission matters. Put simply, we cannot fully understand Tolkien’s great achievement, nor his life as a whole, without recognizing that his Christian faith was at the heart of it.


A Hole at the Heart
Tolkien himself was explicit about the theological foundation of his creative work, writing in his great essay “On Fairy-stories” that “we make in our measure and in our derivative mode, because we are made: and not only made, but made in the image and likeness of a Maker.”

Tolkien’s granddaughter Joanna mentions that one of his fundamental values was “his profound belief in God.” Clyde Kilby, in an interview, remembered him as a “devout Catholic,” and his friend and fellow Inkling R. E. Havard wrote of “the depth of feeling” of his religious convictions, noting that these were “apparent … but never paraded.”

If the exhibit had portrayed Tolkien’s faith this way, it would have shown a culture hungry for meaning what a fully integrated life looks like. Following Christ isn’t easy, and Tolkien wasn’t a Christian because it was a mere lifestyle choice. It was at the heart of who he was.

Tolkien knew suffering intimately: losing his father as a young child and his mother as a boy, growing up in poverty. As a young man, his world was shattered by the First World War; he served on the front lines, and most of his close friends were killed. Yet he did not become embittered but rather embodied a joy that was all the more real for knowing its opposite. His writings bring delight to countless readers, and they do so in no small part because they spring from a thoroughly healthy and genuinely virtuous soul. In our weary, postmodern age, we are skeptical of heroes. We are chary of praising a man’s character and expect to be disappointed. Tolkien is a rebuke to our cynicism.

He is no “saint” if by “saint” we mean someone who is perfect, but Tolkien’s life was one of quiet, yet heroic, virtue. A truly humble man with exceptional intellectual and artistic talents, he recognized that his own creativity was a gift from the Creator God, the ultimate Author and Artist. The Bodleian should have shown this in some way. Only if we recognize Tolkien’s deep Christian faith can we hope to understand the life and work of the “Maker of Middle-earth.”

Holly Ordway is professor of English and a faculty member in the Master of Arts in Apologetics program at Houston Baptist University. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is the author of Apologetics and the Christian Imagination: An Integrated Approach to Defending the Faith. Her current book project is Tolkien’s Modern Sources: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages (Kent State University Press).






Theology Forums : https://theologyforums.com/index.php
Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpzjN3dF-_PnAc81SQVjqhg?view_as=subscriber
Pinterst : https://www.pinterest.com/patrickjane3169/
Google : https://plus.google.com/u/0/113527239869543729835
Linkedin : https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-jane-833769164/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/patrickjane3169
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007669219364+
Flat Earth Forum : https://3169.createaforum.com/index.php
My Website : https://patrickjane3169.wixsite.com/website
Bitchute : https://www.bitchute.com/channel/xUZJpNWUz2T4/
Vimeo : https://vimeo.com/user87745391




Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection, the gospel of our salvation, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise. 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 -
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.
Like Like x 1 View List

patrick jane

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • Research Jesus Christ and then Research Flat Earth
  • Location: homeless in God's flat earth
  • Referrals: 39
    • Theology Forums
Re: Theology News from Christian Times
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2018, 01:00:59 pm »
Brett Kavanaugh Is a Good Supreme Court Pick and the Reason Many Voted for Trump


https://theologyforums.com/index.php?threads/supreme-court-matters-brett-kavanaugh-is-a-good-pick-for-america-and-the-reason-many.3357/

A more conservative court is good for America in many ways.



I am glad that President Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Of course, once you say such a thing, half the country flies into a rage.

Last night, I tweeted, I am glad @RealDonaldTrump will be nominating the next Supreme Court Justice, rather than @HillaryClinton. I'll be writing more on this tomorrow, but the implications for life and religious liberty are the reason that many evangelicals supported President Trump.”

But, both of the things I said are true.

The first is that I’m glad that a Supreme Court justice has been nominated who will, I hope, move the court away from its recent social activism. And, it’s true that many evangelicals voted as they did because of the Supreme Court.

Why people do what they do

I’ve written many times about my concern about President Trump and how evangelicals have responded to him. You can find some of my pieces here, here and here. In the end, however, I know that many will be outraged by my tweet—not because of my nuanced words, but because of their own concerns about Trump.

But, President Trump is not appointing himself to the bench. He is nominating a respected jurist. If that respect is unearned, we will see during the confirmation hearing. But, for many, any conservative would be unacceptable.

However, if the election had gone the other way and Hillary Clinton was president, you would now have a generational majority that would not be sympathetic to concerns for religious liberty, issues related to life or abortion, or on many other topics of concern.

Why many evangelicals voted as they did because of the Supreme Court.

The Court matters.

I’ve written many times about my concern about President Trump and how evangelicals have responded to him. You can find some of my pieces here, here and here. In the end, however, I know that many will be outraged by my tweet—not because of my nuanced words, but because of their own concerns about Trump.

But, President Trump is not appointing himself to the bench. He is nominating a respected jurist. If that respect is unearned, we will see during the confirmation hearing. But, for many, any conservative would be unacceptable.

However, if the election had gone the other way and Hillary Clinton was president, you would now have a generational majority that would not be sympathetic to concerns for religious liberty, issues related to life or abortion, or on many other topics of concern.

Why many evangelicals voted as they did.

As I previously wrote in an article for evangelicals, “It’s the Supreme Court, stupid!,” playing off of a comment from James Carville, who famously explained, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

According to some polls, the Supreme Court was the primary reason many evangelicals voted for Trump. His promises made about the Supreme Court proved to be of critical concern given the changing political and societal atmosphere.

For many, Neil Gorsuch’s appointment to the Supreme Court validated their vote for Trump because of their commitment to the sanctity of life and religious liberty.

With the dysfunction of Congress and the turnover rate in the White House, the Supreme Court is the defining reality amid American society right now because of the high level of influence and power those on it hold. Although the Court’s power is actually not described at this level of influence in the Constitution, through the process of judicial review, the Court has begun to oversee and overrule many things.


Indeed, the Court thus far has overruled 30 states on the issue of same-sex marriage and has proven its vast authority in countless other ways. Of course, these issues are not the only issues, but they are issues where swing votes have mattered.

So, yes, the Supreme Court will continue to rule on issues of justice, protect minority groups, ensure the rights of all people, including Christians, Muslims, LGBT individuals, and many more.

The Court probably won’t overrule itself on abortion or on same-sex marriage, but it can make better rulings than the last on issues that are important in our society today.

Was it worth it?

We live in a time in which the two Supreme Court justices appointed under Trump’s administration may be central to his legacy. As a person of faith who cares about life (in and out of the womb), and as one who is concerned about continual government overreach as our society moves in a move secular direction, I am thankful for a more conservative court.

I was not a Trump supporter for reasons that have become obvious. However, I also believe a more conservative Supreme Court will be better for America.

Many will say, “It was not worth it!” (See Thabiti Anyabwile’s article.)

I understand the point—and I am actually not saying it was worth it. I am saying that we are where we are now. And, I am glad Trump rather than Clinton is appointing our next justice.

This nomination matters for America, and I believe that a mainstream conservative will move the court in a direction that is good for the nation.

There are many religious liberty issues at stake, which is of concern to me and should be to you. And, it’s not just evangelicals. Actually, a majority of Americans think religious liberty is on the decline according to a 2013 study, and the vast majority of pastors felt the same way.

So, let’s not pretend that only evangelicals are concerned about religious liberty concerns—the majority of Americans are. (And, I should add, I believe that religious liberty is for all, not just Christians.)

For evangelicals, this is an important nomination if you want Christian colleges to teach and function according to their faith. Allowing higher education institutions to hold to biblical beliefs in the way they engage students is one all evangelicals ought to care about.

Furthermore, regarding abortion, the United States laws are, at best, extreme. Some estimate that roughly 3,000 babies are aborted every day in the U.S. Even the Washington Post fact checkers admit that we are in a group of seven countries (including North Korea and China) that have some of the most extreme abortion laws.

That’s due to the Supreme Court and I believe America will be a better place when and if our abortion laws look less like those of North Korea.

Although I doubt the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade, we have the potential to making good strides towards laws that protect the sanctity of life.

Supporting the nominee

Supporting President Trump’s Supreme Court nomination does not mean you have to support everything the president does.

But, there is an important thing to note here: This nominee is not Steve Bannon or Steven Miller, though some are reacting like he is. And that tells us something. Some are just as opposed to conservative values as they are to Trumpian values.

Simply put, this nominee is the kind any conservative president would choose. Thus, those yelling about Handmaid’s Tale reveal themselves—no matter which Republican was elected, he or she would have nominated a justice like this. Thus, it is not Trump, but conservatives that outrage many. So, this level of accusation and vitriol would be before us even without Trump.

Simply put, many don’t want a more conservative Supreme Court and I get that.

I do.

What can Christians do?

Well, it’s not just about the Supreme Court.

On issues of life, it is critical that Christians take this as an opportunity to promote abortion alternatives, like the increased awareness of and participation in adoption to promote a culture of life. Let’s continue to care for all those God has made—unborn children, born children, mothers, and entire communities. When we do this consistently and our love is observed, as laws are enacted, we will be given more opportunities to provide prenatal care, to adopt, to provide care for infants and mothers, and to care in countless other ways.

Furthermore, I’m pro-life, not just pro-unborn. We can and must care for life, from the womb to the tomb, regardless of what Supreme Court is in place.

That does not change.

And, we can speak graciously with those that may not agree with us, who are on different sides of important issues, many of whom will be disappointed with this nomination.

Finally, we can speak appropriately about those with whom we disagree. For example, it is unfair that all Christians who voted for Trump are often treated as if they agree with everything he says or does. Trump voters are not Trump. Many voted for him for one reason—because of the name that was nominated today.


You might disagree with these voters, but don’t caricature them.

My support.

So, I support this nominee and I am thankful for his nomination from President Trump. And, I also acknowledge the many Christians who voted for Trump did so they could have such a Supreme Court Justice as was nominated today.

I get that for many, there is simply an irrational response to anything positive being said about President Trump. So be it. But, regardless, I am thankful a conservative court will move away from judicial and social activism.

Even if you did not support President Trump, you can support a Supreme Court that will have a positive impact on the sanctity of life in all its stages and the religious liberty that should matter to us all.

I will continue to advocate for compassionate care for refugees, for better healthcare, for comprehensive immigration reform, and for much more. But, I will also support a mainstream conservative nominee that will be good for the court and for the country.

Ed Stetzer holds the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College, serves as Dean of the School of Mission, Ministry, and Leadership at Wheaton College, is executive director of the Billy Graham Center, and publishes church leadership resources through Mission Group.






Theology Forums : https://theologyforums.com/index.php
Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpzjN3dF-_PnAc81SQVjqhg?view_as=subscriber
Pinterst : https://www.pinterest.com/patrickjane3169/
Google : https://plus.google.com/u/0/113527239869543729835
Linkedin : https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-jane-833769164/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/patrickjane3169
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007669219364+
Flat Earth Forum : https://3169.createaforum.com/index.php
My Website : https://patrickjane3169.wixsite.com/website
Bitchute : https://www.bitchute.com/channel/xUZJpNWUz2T4/
Vimeo : https://vimeo.com/user87745391




Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection, the gospel of our salvation, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise. 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 -
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

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • Research Jesus Christ and then Research Flat Earth
  • Location: homeless in God's flat earth
  • Referrals: 39
    • Theology Forums
Re: Theology News from Christian Times
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2018, 01:05:45 pm »
Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Is Brett Kavanaugh, Another Religious Liberty Defender




https://theologyforums.com/index.php?threads/trump%E2%80%99s-supreme-court-pick-is-brett-kavanaugh-another-religious-liberty-defender.3358/#post-33541

GOP establishment darling and Court of Appeals judge nominated to fill outgoing Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s critical seat.

President Donald Trump has nominated appeal court judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace outgoing Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who after three decades of service, will retire at the end of this month.

“Judge Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law,” said Trump on Tuesday night.

The president praised Kavanaugh as a “judge’s judge,” “a true thought leader among his peers,” “a brilliant jurist,” and “universally regarded as one of the sharpest legal minds of our times.”

“Mr. President, I am grateful to you. I am humbled by your confidence in me,” said Kavanaugh, after the President’s introduction.

“A judge must be independent, must interpret the law, not make the law,” said Kavanaugh. “...A judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history, tradition, and precedent.”

Kavanaugh, 53, has a long history of genuine legal experience and support from establishment Republicans. Should he be confirmed, his presence will tilt the court further to the right, as he is considerably more conservative than the more centrist, swing-vote conservative Kennedy.

Having issued nearly 300 opinions during his tenure on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, Kavanaugh boasted considerably more bench experience than any of the other prospective nominees—Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett, and Thomas Hardiman.

Christian conservatives had little but praise for Trump’s nomination.

The Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission president Russell Moore said that he was confident that Kavanaugh would be a “strong defender of the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and Bill of Rights, especially our First Freedom of religious liberty.”

“I pray that Judge Kavanaugh will serve for decades to come with a firm and unwavering commitment to our Constitution’s principles,” said Moore. “I join with Baptists and other evangelicals in calling upon the Senate to confirm Judge Kavanaugh without delay.”

Focus on the Family president Jim Daly called Kavanaugh a “top-drawer candidate.”

“Notably for these times marked by political and cultural divisions, Judge Kavanaugh has the reputation of being fair-minded and able to work with his fellow judges who might have a different point of view,” Daly said in a statement. “His temperament is well-suited for the demands of our nation’s highest court.”

ChurchSalary
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference president and Christianity Today board member Sam Rodriguez praised Kavanaugh’s intellect, temperament, and “dedication to the Constitution.”

“I pray for our country in this process, that instead of yet another vitriolic and divisive political battle, the confirmation process would instead be a reaffirmation of the strength of our democracy and its institutions,” said Rodriguez in a statement.

The American Center for Law and Justice’s Jay Sekulow, who is also a member of Trump’s legal team, called Kavanaugh’s nomination a “superb choice that is certain to serve this nation well.”

“Judge Kavanaugh is a brilliant jurist who embraces the philosophy of our Founders - an unwavering commitment to the rule of law and the Constitution,” said Sekulow in a statement.

As a young lawyer, Kavanaugh clerked for Kennedy, the man he may now replace. In 2003, he was appointed to the DC circuit by George W. Bush, though he wasn’t officially confirmed until 2006 after a long stall by Democrats who expressed skepticism of his record and level of experience.

A staunch defender of religious liberty, Kavanaugh rejected challenges to prayers at the president’s inauguration and the phrase “so help me God” in the presidential oath.

“We cannot resolve this case by discounting the sense of anguish and outrage plaintiffs and some other Americans feel at listening to a government-sponsored religious prayer,” he stated in the 2010 case. “We likewise cannot dismiss the desire of others in America to publicly ask for God’s blessing on certain government activities and to publicly seek God’s guidance for certain government officials.”

In the 2015 case, Priests for Life v. HHS, Kavanaugh opposed a decision against a challenge to the Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate, dissenting from the DC circuit’s decision not to review the case.

According to Kavanaugh’s dissent, the HHS regulations “substantially burden the religious organizations’ exercise of religion because the regulations require the organizations to take an action contrary to their sincere religious beliefs (submitting the form) or else pay significant monetary penalties.”

Kavanaugh also dissented on a recent, contentious case in which a pregnant teenager in immigration custody sought an abortion, arguing that as she was a minor, the US government had a responsibility to attempt to transfer her out of government detention and into the care of a sponsor before she made her final decision on whether to seek an abortion. His opinion was overruled by his fellow judges, but some pro-life advocates critiqued Kavanaugh for not going far enough in condemning the girl’s right to an abortion in the first place.

Early in his career, Kavanaugh worked on the recount that led to George W. Bush’s election to the presidency. Before that, he made a case for President Clinton’s impeachment following his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, a fact that may pose a stumbling block for some Republicans in light of Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation into foreign interference in the nation’s presidential election and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The next appointee will further cement the judiciary’s conservative shift, as early last year, President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. He was confirmed last April.

Additional reporting by Morgan Lee.


Twitter Reply on Twitter
Facebook Join the conversation on Facebook
Your daily news briefing from the editors of CT.Stay informed with updates from CT Direct, Today in Christian History, and CT Weekly newsletters.


Email Address
submit
September
SUPPORT OUR WORK
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
TAGS:
AbortionDonald TrumpPoliticsSupreme Court
POSTED BY:Griffin Paul JacksonAuthorBioTwitter@GriffinPJacksonFacebookFacebook
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.






Theology Forums : https://theologyforums.com/index.php
Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpzjN3dF-_PnAc81SQVjqhg?view_as=subscriber
Pinterst : https://www.pinterest.com/patrickjane3169/
Google : https://plus.google.com/u/0/113527239869543729835
Linkedin : https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-jane-833769164/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/patrickjane3169
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007669219364+
Flat Earth Forum : https://3169.createaforum.com/index.php
My Website : https://patrickjane3169.wixsite.com/website
Bitchute : https://www.bitchute.com/channel/xUZJpNWUz2T4/
Vimeo : https://vimeo.com/user87745391




Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection, the gospel of our salvation, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise. 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 -

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.

Jon Wood

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Global Moderator
  • Jr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 107
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Theology News from Christian Times
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2018, 04:34:44 pm »
I read the articles on singles in the church (i’m working my way down the list). I don’t understand why “families” and “singles” are being put in separate boxes like either one is a priority to a church congregation or family. If there are problems everyone should be looked at as an individual and also a part of the group. When you’re talking to someone as an individual talk to them like you are. Take interest in them as people and as your own family. That’ll cut a good bit of the breakdown there, in my opinion anyway. Every person matters
Winner Winner x 1 View List

patrick jane

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • Research Jesus Christ and then Research Flat Earth
  • Location: homeless in God's flat earth
  • Referrals: 39
    • Theology Forums
Re: Theology News from Christian Times
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2018, 02:59:27 pm »
Why Christian Theology Needs (Former) Atheists




https://theologyforums.com/index.php?threads/why-christian-theology-needs-former-atheists.1795/#post-52858


A lot of prominent 20th century Christian thinkers used to be skeptics.


Walter Hooper, C. S. Lewis’s personal secretary, once commented to the great Christian writer about a clever inscription engraved on an atheist’s tombstone: “Here lies an atheist. All dressed up with no place to go.” Not bemused, Lewis quipped: “That atheist probably wishes now that were true.”

Impertinent as Lewis’s one-liner might first appear, it was not a malicious verbal barb. Lewis was deadly serious. After all, he viewed atheism as having deadly serious consequences. Rather he sought to woo and warn atheists they faced a desperate future apart from Christ.

Lewis’s specific apologetic endeavor to thwart atheism possesses an intriguing backstory: Lewis had been a convinced atheist himself. He knew very well of what he spoke. He had “been there, done that” credibility. In Surprised by Joy, Lewis recounts his conversion to theism, a sinuous path from childhood belief to atheism to theism and finally to Christian faith.

My personal “surprise” in reading the book was caused by the discovery that Lewis’s account contained experiences with which I could loosely identify. The simple reason—one for which I am not proud—is that as a young person I, too, had rejected the Christian faith. It was reassuring to learn that Lewis had experienced an unconventional journey of faith similar to the one I had experienced. Not everyone becomes a Christian by going forward at an evangelistic altar call in a church or camp. God sometimes chases people down in very surprising ways.

Countering an Assumption

Retelling the conversion stories of former atheists who became Christians, like Lewis and myself, is especially needed today. These stories decisively countermand the widespread secular myth that atheism is the inevitable final intellectual stop for any serious, educated person determined to be scholarly, scientific, rational, and objective in assessing the world as it is.

Especially in certain academic settings, the influence of methodological naturalism is assumed. Notre Dame historian Brad S. Gregory observes: “Regardless of the academic discipline, knowledge in the Western world today is considered secular by definition. Its assumptions, methods, content, and truth claims are and can only be secular, framed not only by the logical demand of rational coherence, but also the methodological postulate of naturalism and its epistemological correlate, evidentiary empiricism.”

In American culture, atheism as a belief has grown substantially in recent years. In 2016, the Pew Research Center reported that between the years 2007–2014, the number of self-identified atheists in the United States jumped from 4% to 7%, the number of self-identified agnostics from 2.4% to 4.0%. The number of Americans claiming to be Christian fell from 78.4% in 2007 to 70.6% in 2014.

https://trinitysem.edu/trinity-college-and-seminary/
But despite this trend and the narrative that is purported to explain it, secularism is not the inevitable outcome of the life of the mind. Before his conversion, Lewis noticed that some of the most intelligent people he knew were Christians. After my own conversion, I began to recognize that a number of the Christians I most admired included many former atheists: Lewis, John Warwick Montgomery (apologist and church historian), Kenneth S. Kantzer (theologian and editor of Christianity Today), Carl F. H. Henry (theologian and editor of Christianity Today), William Craig (apologist), Graham Cole (theologian and educator), Alister McGrath (scientist and theologian), Scott Chapman (pastor), Lee Strobel (journalist and apologist), Craig Ott (missiologist), and the list goes on.

These individuals and many others had moved from disbelief to faith as a result of—not in spite of—their intellectual pursuits. The reflections of former atheists like these can provide valuable apologetic insights regarding perplexing questions they felt forced to navigate in coming to faith, and many become apologists or scholars who dedicated their lives to answering these questions.

The Departure of the Prodigal
But the questions are real and can be a stumbling block for many. In my own case, it was these questions that initially led me away from faith into cynicism and atheism. Raised in a caring Christian home, I attended attractive church youth ministries and summer camps and received a solid liberal arts education at a Christian college. During my sophomore year of college, I encountered Ludwig Feuerbach’s assertion that prayer is simply self-catharsis. The proposition struck me as a brilliant insight.

At a Sunday evening church service, a godly pastor said, “Let us pray,” and people reverently bowed their heads. I did not. Nor did I close my eyes. For the first time, I realized I did not believe. At the same time, I did not feel there was anyone with whom I could dare confide about my private unbelief. I now had to navigate life as a non-believer in a Christian community.

On graduation day, my father asked if I were planning to go to a seminary for which I had been pre-enrolled. “No,” I replied. Somewhat startled, he asked why not. I said calmly, “I do not believe.” Almost like a quip, but it wasn’t, he said: “That’s a good reason not to go to seminary.” At the time, I experienced no feelings of remorse for any potential pain I might have caused my father. And pain there could have been. After all, my father was the 14th generation of pastors in our family and had counted on me to be the 15th.

I headed off to a Big Ten university to work on a master’s degree in history. I tried to recover my Christian bearings by acting like a Christian. Internally at least, my subterfuge didn’t work. Possibly sensing my hypocrisy, a few Campus Crusade for Christ friends urged me to visit Campus Crusade headquarters in Arrowhead Springs, California, before I began a trek to study in France as a Fulbright scholar. For some reason, I acceded to their suggestion. Such was a bad mistake. To my dismay, I found the intensely evangelistic atmosphere at Campus Crusade more than a little off-putting. When I was told I had to engage in beach evangelism along the Pacific Ocean, I had had it.

I made an appointment to see Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru), who graciously invited me into his office. He had taken a class in church history from my father in seminary. I sat down on a spacious couch. Bright kindly asked me what was on my mind. I attempted to muster my best asinine voice: “Dr. Bright, do you actually believe Christianity is true?” Not unsurprisingly for the founder of Campus Crusade, Bright responded, “Yes.” Discerning my rebellious spirit, Dr. Bright engaged in no Christian handholding. He proceeded to hit me over the head with a verbal two-by-four: “Woodbridge, your life will either count for God or you will become an intellectual bum.”

I promptly stood up from the couch and replied, “Thank you, Dr. Bright.” I wheeled around and walked out of his office. We would become friends in later years, and he graciously never brought up my insolence that day in his California office, though when I asked him on one occasion, he told me he remembered it. On that fateful afternoon, though, I didn’t care a fig what he thought. At last, I had really been outed, and I was on my way to France to study with several world-class historians. Christianity was now very much in my religious rearview mirror and fading fast.

https://www.lifeway.com/en/shop/the-gospel-project/free-session-sign-up?cid=clandes-tgp-cti-blue-aug18
No Escape
While intellectual scruples may lead some away from Christianity, they do not necessarily have the last word. The conversion testimonies of former atheists provide both apologetic support and genuine solace and comfort to Christian parents whose children have turned away from the faith. No matter where these children might find themselves spiritually, they are not beyond the reach of being chased down by God the Holy Spirit.

In Surprised by Joy, Lewis described a pre-conversion encounter with an atheistic friend:

Early in 1926 the hardest boiled of all the atheists I ever knew sat in my room on the other side of the fire and remarked that the evidence for the historicity of the Gospels was really surprisingly good. “Rum thing,” he went on, “All that stuff of Frazer’s about the Dying god. Rum thing. It almost looks as if it had really happened once.” To understand the shattering impact of it, you would need to know the man (who has certainly never since shown any interest in Christianity). If he, the cynic of cynics, the toughest of the toughs, were not—as I would still have put it—“safe,” where could I turn? Was there then no escape?

Just before Lewis had this “alarming” encounter with an atheist, he had finished reading G. K. Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man. Chesterton claimed that the “one great startling statement that man has made since he spoke his first articulate word” is the assertion that the Creator of the cosmos walked this earth. Other religions cannot make this claim. For this reason, wrote Chesterton, Christianity “makes nothing but dust and nonsense of comparative religion.” It was a turning point for Lewis that would eventually lead him to theism: “In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed, perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in England.”

My own story is similar. At the University of Toulouse in France, I thoroughly enjoyed my studies and drifted to the political left. But then it happened—something totally unexpected. Lewis’s warning to young atheists about the danger of reading Christian books came true. A bibliophile but with little money, I wandered one day into a bookshop in Toulouse. Out in front of the bookshop was a scrambled collection of cheap books for sale.

For whatever reason, my eyes lit upon the volume, Jesus Christ in His Times [English translation], written by Henri Daniel-Rops, a French Roman Catholic historian. For whatever reason, I picked up the book and purchased it, not realizing such was a dangerous mistake. And for whatever reason, upon returning to my student room, I began to read the book—another bad mistake given my atheistic orientation.

As I began to read Daniel-Rops’s volume, I encountered his recitation of a passage from Tacitus, a Roman pagan historian, referencing the life of Jesus and the spread of early Christianity (Annales 15:44):

A persistent rumor associated Nero with the starting of this fire. To combat this he decided to provide culprits and inflicted the most atrocious tortures upon that sect, popularly detested for their practices, who are known as Christians. This name comes to them from one Christ, who was condemned to be crucified by the Procurator Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius. This pernicious sect, formerly proscribed, has established itself not only throughout Judea where it originated, but in the Very City itself.

Like a thunderbolt, the idea struck me that Jesus might very well have existed and walked this earth. After all, I reasoned, Tacitus was no Christian propagandist and had nothing to gain in reporting a myth. If you have been a believer all your life, you will probably find it difficult to imagine that anyone could be so out of touch with the Christian faith that coming to understand Jesus existed would constitute a surprise. But major surprise it was. Not only the fact itself, but what the fact possibly meant.

As I read the statement by Tacitus, it dawned on me that if Jesus had existed, it had potentially huge implications. I had never read Chesterton as Lewis had, but in a much more simplistic fashion, I came to his same conclusion. Could it be that Jesus not only existed but that his message was true after all?

Late one evening, I was walking through the streets of Toulouse only to be trapped in a torrential downpour without an umbrella. The Romanesque Basilica of St. Sernin afforded the only open door I could see where shelter might exist. I entered the large dank and empty church to get out of the pelting rain. Puddles of water were scattered on the floor. Naked light bulbs strung across the church provided the only light.

After a few minutes, I felt compelled to go up to the front of the church. I paused by a pew and asked God—if he existed at all—to accept my very meager faith because I did not believe much of anything. Something of an interior nature happened when I prayed that prayer. I felt as if I was now at least a theist—perhaps even a Christian.

Get Your Free Church Chair Samples from Bertolini Inc.
Valuable Witness
Testimonies of former atheists provide evidence of the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to transform lives, reminding us that the gospel really is the very power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). Additionally, former atheists themselves often possess a fair amount of patience and empathy in interacting with persons struggling with matters of faith. Often, hostile atheists are close to the kingdom.

A prominent American intellectual who is an avowed atheist once said to me that despite his acclaimed academic career, he had not found satisfaction or happiness. His words were poignant and also unforgettable: “John, don’t you know there is nothing at the top of the ladder?” Like everyone else, atheists—whatever their intellectual posture—need to be born again (John 3:1–12). They need to know that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6) and that the gospel of Jesus Christ is in fact life-giving. It offers marvelous resurrection hope. Through the convicting power of the Holy Spirit and Scripture (Heb. 4:12), even the most hardened atheists can be converted to Jesus Christ.


John Woodbridge is research professor of church history and the history of Christian thought at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.






Theology Forums : https://theologyforums.com/index.php
Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpzjN3dF-_PnAc81SQVjqhg?view_as=subscriber
Pinterest : https://www.pinterest.com/patrickjane3169/
Google : https://plus.google.com/u/0/113527239869543729835
Linkedin  :  https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-jane-833769164/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/patrickjane3169
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007669219364+
Flat Earth Forums : https://3169.createaforum.com/index.php
Bitchute : https://www.bitchute.com/channel/xUZJpNWUz2T4/



Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection, the gospel of our salvation, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise. 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 -
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

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • Research Jesus Christ and then Research Flat Earth
  • Location: homeless in God's flat earth
  • Referrals: 39
    • Theology Forums
Re: Theology News from Christianity Today Magazine
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2018, 11:07:36 am »



Your Digital Life, Hidden with Christ


https://theologyforums.com/index.php?threads/your-digital-life-hidden-with-christ.4003/

Serving the God ‘who sees in secret’ in world where there's pressure to post everything.


Snap, post, chat, tweet, like, send—the gestures of social media, where a stubby thumb or an index finger is mightier than the sword and pen combined. Such is the world in which we live. However, one inherent weakness of social media is its inability to understand the beauty of hiddenness. In fact, there is nothing that I can think of that is more antithetical to the hidden than the proliferation of social media.

The whole premise of social media is to reach as many people as possible, the more, the better. The frightening part about this logic is that it might be changing how we think about life. Can we enjoy a concert without capturing at least a part of it with our smartphones?


Can we have a beautiful engagement without a hidden cameraman in the bushes to record the proposal? In short, without some sort of digital proof can something exist? It seems to me that it is increasingly impossible to conceive of something without footage. As the internet adage goes, “pics or it didn’t happen.” We seem to only value what can be witnessed by others or shared socially.

Love of Honor


In the midst of a world obsessed with what can be observed by others, Colossians 3:3 says something very foreign: “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” These words were penned in a context not dissimilar to our own. The ancient world might not have had smartphones, but the ancients cared about their public persona. Ovid, the Roman poet, reminds us that people roamed ancient streets and venues both to see and be seen.

The Colossians were just like any modern urban dweller. In some sense, they were more concerned with public recognition than we are when we consider that the love of honor (philotimia) was deeply entrenched in their society. What they did and why they did it was to gain further recognition from others. This is why anthropologists and historians of the Greco-Roman world say that honor was the pivotal value in this culture.

All we need to do is to look at the remains of inscriptions, statues, coins, and busts—all of these are ancient versions of social media—to see how important honor was. Xenophon frankly admits that the Athenians excel others not so much in singing or in stature, but in the love of honor. Likewise, Augustine in The City of God insightfully states that the Romans were able to overcome many vices by the love of honor and praise. From these references, we can see the ancients were very much like us.

The New Testament, as a Greco-Roman book, shares that same worldview. Matthew 23 offers Jesus’ shorthand analysis of the main problem of the Pharisees. Jesus points out that they do everything for the sake of honor. They make their phylacteries wide and their tassels long to gain honor (Matt. 23:5). Likewise, they zealously proselytize (Matt. 23:15) and tithe (Matt. 23:23) to gain the admiration of men.

The problem is that this love of honor is hollow. It is selfish, self-centered, and, if left unchecked, leads to death. By the end of the chapter, Jesus essentially calls the Pharisees the walking dead: “You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of bones of the dead and everything unclean” (Matt. 23:27).

As one can see, this analogy between the Greco-Roman love of honor (philotimia) and our culture has some traction. Technologies change, hearts do not. Who of us does not want to be honored and recognized by our peers? Who of us has not taken shortcuts to seem like something rather than actually be that thing? I think we will all agree “seeming to be virtuous” is far easier than actually “being virtuous.”

If this is so, Colossae, Ephesus, and Philippi have more in common with New York, Seoul, and Los Angeles than we can imagine. The heart of the love of honor and recognition beats in all of these places with equal vigor. We tweet and post where they chiseled, but the intent is the same. So, when Colossians 3:3 says that your life is hidden in Christ, it was a bombshell to these ancient urban Christians, completely distasteful and undesirable—just like it should be to us.

Of course, as the Colossians continued to grow in Christ, they began to appreciate the beauty of the logic of hiddenness in Christ. I am sure it was neither simple nor direct. In time, this truth became radiant because by the power of the Holy Spirit they began to realize the emptiness of life even when they had great honor. Earthly honor always fades, people pass away, and all audiences are fickle. So they began to realize that what they really needed was not more exposure or increased honor but something entirely different.

Here is where Paul’s gospel proclamation comes into focus. We died in his death, we rose again in his resurrection, and we will appear in glory when he returns in glory (Col. 3:1–3); in short, our lives are hidden in Christ. More importantly, God did all these things as an act of grace. To use the language of Colossians, God reconciled aliens and enemies to himself through the death of Christ (Col. 1:21–22).

Hiddenness
Meditating on the power and beauty of hiddenness brings a number of pieces of wisdom to the fore. First, being known is not all that it’s cracked up to be. In success, we are tempted to become egotistical, which is never good, because all streaks of success come to an end, and in failure we are tempted to become falsely humble (self-loathing), all the while gripped with that same self-centered heart. The outcome is insecurity. To be released from such a state is life-giving.

Moreover, why do we put ourselves out there to be viewed in the first place? I am sure that there are many reasons, but isn’t it fundamentally to be affirmed and validated? But what if we can only have both by hiddenness? One of the glorious truths of Christianity is that we are thoroughly known and even more thoroughly loved by being in Christ. When our lives are hidden in Christ, Christ covers our nakedness.

John Bunyan said it best when he remarked that Christ wove a perfect garment of righteousness for 33 years only to give it away to those who trust him alone. True security, peace, and wholeness come from being in Christ’s love. In short, affirmation and validation do not spring from what we do or who witnesses it; it is rooted in the work and person of Christ.

Second, Matthew 6 offers further incentive to live a life of hiddenness by employing the words “in the secret” (en tō kruptō). Rather than being flamboyant with spiritual disciplines, Matthew urges his readers to do them in secret. So, when his readers give, they should not announce it with trumpet sounds but do it in secret, and when they pray, they should not pray on street corners but in closets because God who sees will reward them (Matt. 6:1–8).

The wording of the Greek is particularly powerful because both injunctions not only bid people to practice righteousness in secret, but it literally says that God is in the secret (en tō kruptō). Here is a literal translation of Matthew 6:6, “But when you pray, go to your closets and closing your door pray to your father, the one in the secret (en tō kruptō), and your father seeing in the secret (en tō kruptō) will reward you.” The point is profound. To be with God, we need to be “in the secret” because that is where he is.


Finally, if we take a step back and look at Scripture from a panoramic perspective, then we see that the people who did the most amazing works cultivated a hidden life. Joseph was hidden in the bowels of a prison before God elevated him to be the savior of Egypt in a time of famine (Gen. 45:4–11). Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness with God prior to taking his first step towards Pharaoh, starting ministry as an old man (Ex. 7:7). David was able to slay Goliath because he was alone with God on the hills tending sheep as a boy. In hiddenness, he learned to protect his sheep from lions and bears, which gave him the courage to face a giant (1 Sam. 17:34–37). Nehemiah was in exile and yet God used him to rebuild and repopulate Jerusalem because Nehemiah remembered his God in hiddenness in the Persian Kingdom (Neh. 1). Ezra brought about a covenant renewal in Jerusalem, but before that he committed his heart to studying, teaching, and practicing the law in hiddenness in Babylon (Ezra 7:6). Paul became the great missionary to the Gentiles only after spending three years in Arabia with God (Gal. 1:16–21). It is particularly noteworthy that the Scriptures do not tell us what these men actually did during these intervals; they were hidden, but we can be sure God used these times to prepare them.

If this pattern holds true, then in times of hiddenness God refines hearts, generates convictions, and gives strength. The essence of a person is really who they are in secret. When these people become public, then the years of hidden strength will emerge. The church would do well to relearn this lesson on many levels. God incubates to release in his perfect time. The more we learn to be and do in hiddenness, paradoxically the more fulfilled and powerful we will be when hiddenness turns to openness. I pray that we will move into a season of profound strength which has been forged in hiddenness.

John Lee is the head of the Upper School at The Geneva School of Manhattan, a Christian classical school. His most recent book is Paradoxes of Leadership (Elevate, 2017).






Theology Forums : https://theologyforums.com/index.php
Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpzjN3dF-_PnAc81SQVjqhg?view_as=subscriber
Pinterest : https://www.pinterest.com/patrickjane3169/
Google : https://plus.google.com/u/0/113527239869543729835
Linkedin :  https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-jane-833769164/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/patrickjane3169
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007669219364+
Flat Earth Forums : https://3169.createaforum.com/index.php
Bitchute : https://www.bitchute.com/channel/xUZJpNWUz2T4/



Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection, the gospel of our salvation, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise. 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 -
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

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • Research Jesus Christ and then Research Flat Earth
  • Location: homeless in God's flat earth
  • Referrals: 39
    • Theology Forums
Re: Theology News from Christianity Today Magazine
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2018, 10:36:32 am »



What I Learned from Same-Sex Abuse Inside the Church


https://theologyforums.com/index.php?threads/what-i-learned-from-same-sex-abuse-inside-the-church.4109/#post-61124

My church mishandled my case. Yours doesn’t have to.

The first time I was groomed, I opened the door to find Liz* standing there with a jar of cream for muscle pain. I had fallen from a horse and hurt my legs, so she was stopping by to check on me.

At the time, I was 20 years old and had recently gone through a spiritual and sexual identity crisis. The Bible church in the town where I went to college had offered me respite—a place to follow Jesus and rebuild my soul. Thanks to a referral from the counseling ministry at the church, I had found a seemingly wonderful mentor. Liz had been counseling women like me for years and was one of the church’s star disciplers. She had recently begun calling me more frequently, and when she heard my eventful news on that October day, she expressed concern and insisted on coming over. I didn’t know that her visit would include a thigh massage nor did I know I was being groomed.

A few weeks after this incident, Liz took her grooming to the next level and initiated a sexual relationship with me. Though I was same-sex attracted, the thought had never crossed my mind. I had been referred to Liz for help with maturing in my faith, which included living chastely. Although I did not feel the same, I was deeply attached to her and felt overwhelmed at the prospect of losing our relationship, so I indicated my willingness to accept sexual contact. In addition to being my discipler and counselor, Liz was nearly twice my age.

Liz and I continued a physical relationship for over four months, which quickly became mutual in desire once that door was opened. After our final encounter, we asked each other’s forgiveness and thereafter managed not to sexually engage again. When I asked her if we should get some help, Liz told me emphatically that no one else needed to know. I followed her every lead, so we continued in an emotionally enmeshed relationship for the next several years and slept in the same bed whenever possible. It was not until four years later—when I moved to another city for graduate school and was referred to a Christian counselor—that I finally told anyone what had happened.

With my counselor’s guidance and clear direction from the Lord, I told Liz that I had to let church leadership know what had happened. In the subsequent meeting at the church, Liz spoke first, stating simply that “some boundaries were crossed, including sexual ones.” The women’s ministry leader thanked her, admonished us to stay faithful, and proceeded to open her planner to schedule Liz to teach at an upcoming retreat. When I tried to interrupt and speak, I was cut off. I returned the next week but was barred from speaking to the pastor directly and hostilely dismissed. I was in shock, but I had done what I could. My conscience was clear, so I moved on. That was over 23 years ago.

Over a year ago, I was prompted to pray for Liz. It was unexpected and surprising. Now married with children, I rarely, if ever, thought of her. So why was the Lord bringing her up now? As I sought wisdom for how to pray, I heard in my spirit: “All are applauding her; none are helping her.” Following this strange prompting, I sought wisdom from my faithful counselor of so long ago.

After much prayer and reflection, I felt God leading me to reach out to Liz and the church to give them yet another chance to repent and right their wrong. The senior pastor was still there, the church had grown into a sprawling megachurch, and Liz had moved from lay ministry to official church staff almost 20 years before. Surely now that she was a formal leader, they would see that the need for repentance was all the greater. She was representing an institution and remained in a position where she could potentially take advantage of other women.

To communicate my concerns, I wrote a letter detailing what had happened with Liz—namely, that while in a church-authorized position of power, she manipulated and took advantage of me sexually. I stated that lay ministers are not exempt from the high ethical standards and safeguards required in ministry relationships. I also told of my two past attempts to report the abuse and described how the church had failed to respond rightly. Then I sent the letter to Liz, the head of the elders, the senior pastor, and two licensed counselors that served the church.

As I made every effort to follow biblical channels of authority (through this letter and other means), here’s what was required to get a response: 12 months of my time, 75 pages of written correspondence, and a verbally abusive meeting. Without the licensed counselors’ involvement, I doubt the church would have responded at all. Even to this day, their response has been inadequate. The leadership never investigated whether there were others like me, and the head pastor sought to restore Liz to ministry, despite her admissions of lying in the past and present. Both of the staff counselors resigned over the issue.

Sadly, I’m not alone in my experience. The recent Catholic abuse scandals have brought the tragedy of ministerial exploitation back into public conversation with full force. By far, the vast majority of those cases involved same-sex abuse of both minors and adults. However, Protestants, too, should prepare themselves to see same-sex abuse stories like mine emerge more and more in their own congregations.

As I think about how churches can better respond to members who are victims of same-sex or opposite sex abuse by a ministry leader, I offer 10 actions that can help congregations to avoid the mistakes my church made.

1. Recognize the bigger body of Christ beyond one congregation.
I was raised Baptist. On two occasions, my church hired pastors that had inappropriate ministerial relations and/or committed marital infidelity in their previous churches. Our church was never informed, and the pastors repeated their behaviors in our community. This helped neither the pastors nor the congregations to which they were being passed.

In the situation with Liz, the church leadership—even after being informed of her actions—engaged in a cover-up, brought her on staff, and encouraged her ministry in other churches. In both cases, leaders failed to see the body of Christ in its full, interdependent form.

2. Keep your eyes open, and establish resources in advance.
My church was not equipped to deal with my situation. Because it was same sex in nature, our unhealthy relationship was able to go undetected for years. If, by contrast, a 38-year-old man had been spending time with a 20-year-old woman under the guise of ministry, more red flags would have gone up.

With that in mind, be attentive to possible abuse in your congregation—both opposite-sex and same-sex situations. Additionally, don’t wait for the crisis to come. Establish connections with trusted resources like MinistrySafe—a program for the protection of children—and also search for resources aimed at adult victims. Identify counselors from outside the congregation whom you can call upon to help both the victims and the perpetrators of ministerial abuse.

3. Recognize power imbalances that preclude valid consent.
No one in leadership at my church ever acknowledged that Liz and I were not equals until they were recently forced to. At our second meeting, the women’s leader said angrily, “Were you over 18? Were you forced? If not, then you were equals.” But being a legal adult is not the only criterion for being “equals” and able to consent.

ChurchSalary
Liz, too, has never once acknowledged that her relationship with me was not merely a private moral failing but an abuse of her power, and this past year, she sought to lessen her responsibility by emphasizing that she was not paid church staff at the time of our relationship. As noted before, church-authorized lay ministry relationships are not exempt from power dynamics and ethical boundaries. In the language of the criminal code, Liz obtained my “consent” by exploiting my emotional dependency on her as my spiritual mentor. As stated in the Christian Counseling Code of Ethics, “such apparent consent is considered illusory and illegitimate.”

4. Recognize “negligent retention” and risk for future harm.
Some pastors found guilty of ministerial abuse are fired from their church but easily go on to work at other churches, where they are in a position to repeat their behavior. In my situation, the church shunned me and allowed Liz to continue counseling and teaching women for the next two decades. These actions put others at risk for potential similar harm since Liz had received no significant counseling and was not held accountable.

Though my abuse involved a same-sex relationship, these principles apply regardless of the sex of those involved. Opposite sex or same-sex ministerial exploitation is an abuse of power and a grave violation of trust. In scenarios like mine, female offenders are often treated more leniently than male offenders in similar situations. But churches should not minimize the effects of exploitation simply because the offender is female, whether the victim is female or male. Although the dynamics may differ, the harm is no less profound.

5. Resolve to do right by the victim.
The National Center for Victims of Crimes provides an overview of victims’ rights. The first right listed is the “right to be treated with dignity, respect, and sensitivity.” Other rights include the “right to apply for compensation” for expenses related to effects of the crime (like counseling), as well as a “right to restitution from the offender,” where offenders are required to pay to repair some of the damages their crimes have caused.

In my case, the church offered to pay for counseling for Liz but made no such offer to help with my counseling costs. I had sworn never to take a dime (if it was offered to me) so my motives could never be misconstrued. However, in dealing with victims, a church should at least offer the victim the same courtesy as the offender. Sexual abuse by a Bible church lay counselor had a profound and lasting impact on my life. It came with many costs, financial expenses among the least of them.

6. Resolve to do right by the person guilty of ministerial abuse.
“All are applauding her; none are helping her.” These were the Lord’s words to me. His kind intention toward Liz: help. So how do we aid the brothers and sisters who have fallen? In abuse situations, we often fail the victims, but we also often fail the perpetrators by covering and enabling their sin. And unlike our secular culture, which can champion the victims but throw the perpetrators away, we have a God-given call to seek the good of those who do wrong.

In the best cases, local church leaders cooperate with other churches that are willing to welcome and walk with fallen ministers when they leave the congregation they’ve harmed. The process requires absolute openness and intense collaboration, but it bears fruit in the end. It’s also critical to help perpetrators by valuing their personal character over their impact in ministry. When the women’s leader pulled out her planner to discuss the retreat, she was sending me a clear message: Liz’s speaking and teaching were more important than my own wellbeing and Liz’s personal wholeness and integrity.

7. Recognize that remorse is not the same as repentance.
Biblical repentance is far more than saying “I’m sorry.” Twelve-step programs are often more rigorous than ministries in their practice of repentance and restoration. At their best, churches can help fallen ministers make a fearless moral inventory of the sins they have committed and the harm they have done and then help them make amends. Real repentance costs a great deal, including at times our ministry.

8. Report abuse and face the legal consequences.
Don’t cover up for your fallen brothers or sisters, but don’t abandon them either. If legal consequences apply, be willing to walk with them through the process. If they don’t take responsibility, keep praying for them and understand that God may be using legal consequences to bring them to real repentance. You cannot seek to shield them.

This past summer, church leaders quietly submitted a report (required by law) to the district attorney regarding Liz’s abuse. However, they never officially informed Liz of their actions. (Due to the timeframe of events and the legal code, they knew the report wouldn’t yield any actionable legal results.) This allowed Liz to continue in her denial. Once again, they did not truly act in love toward her.


9. Restore the person to integrity, not necessarily to ministry.
The goal for fallen ministers should be to restore their integrity. If being restored to ministry is the aim, there will always be a hidden motivation for the minister to “clean up” the image on the outside and not be fully transparent about the struggles and weaknesses they are still dealing with internally. The offender should go to a counselor outside the church, objective and free from personal or ministry connections and previous relationships. (It is an ethical violation for a professional counselor to begin a counseling relationship with someone they know from a prior context.)

10. Wait for God’s work and restoration.
With respect to counseling, some churches try to enact timelines that require a leader to be in counseling for one year (or another increment) before resuming ministry. But this only enables a “fake it until you make it” mentality. If a church leader has abused someone, remove ministry completely from consideration until the deep work of God—through counseling and true repentance—has taken place over years. If God raises a ministry out of the ashes, his work will be evident. And if he does, this period of failure, restoration, and brokenness will be part of the minister’s open testimony. Will that person’s life and ministry play out differently because of this? Yes. And so will the life of the victim(s).

In the global Christian church, the time for “judgment to begin with the house of the Lord” has come. All of us have to decide now whom we will fear and seek to please—God or man. God only wants the highest good for all of his beloved children, and because of this, he will and must purify his bride. We have hidden our ministers’ sexual failures in the shadows too long. Instead, we must expose these deeds of darkness and let the light make them visible. As Paul writes in Ephesians, “This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you’” (Eph. 5:14).





Ann Smith, PhD, is a teacher, writer, and happily married mother of two. In writing this piece, she consulted with Kyle Miller, PhD, LPC-S, LMFT-S, a biblical counselor with 33 years of experience. Kyle is the director of Global Care & Response and can be reached on Facebook or at globalcareresponse [at] gmail.com.

CT has vetted and verified this story by viewing correspondence between the author and the senior pastor and church elders, as well as copies of correspondence between Ann and Liz from the 1990s.

*Editor’s note: Names were changed to protect those involved.




Theology Forums : https://theologyforums.com/index.php
Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpzjN3dF-_PnAc81SQVjqhg?view_as=subscriber
Pinterest : https://www.pinterest.com/patrickjane3169/
Google : https://plus.google.com/u/0/113527239869543729835
Linkedin :  https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-jane-833769164/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/patrickjane3169
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007669219364+
Flat Earth Forums : https://3169.createaforum.com/index.php
Bitchute : https://www.bitchute.com/channel/xUZJpNWUz2T4/



Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection, the gospel of our salvation, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise. 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 -



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

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • Research Jesus Christ and then Research Flat Earth
  • Location: homeless in God's flat earth
  • Referrals: 39
    • Theology Forums
Re: Theology News from Christianity Today Magazine
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2018, 04:02:04 am »


https://theologyforums.com/index.php?threads/evangelism-is-a-work-of-social-justice.4143/

Evangelism Is a Work of Social Justice


How critics can help us keep such social ministries vibrant.

I find myself scratching my head as to why so many evangelical Christians committed to social justice are reacting so strongly to the recent statement on social justice.

In part it may be due to matters of style and tone; the statement, for example, is a list of bold affirmations and denials. This is not in tune with our times. While we are wont to make definitive and sweeping pronouncements on social or political matters, we’re hesitant to talk like this with when it comes to things transcendent (more on this below).

As in any statement, there is much I would want to change or tweak, but statements like this do raise fundamental concerns that deserve careful thought.

The Temptations of Social Justice


For example, I think this statement grasps some of the principal temptations of those who are called into the social justice arena. Every ministry of emphasis has its peculiar temptations (e.g., journalists are subject to cynicism among other sins), and we are wise to be aware of them—if for no other reason than to ensure that our social justice ministries remain vibrant.

One social justice temptation, for example, is to let the world determine our social justice agenda and rationale. This is how the statement, now signed by almost 7,000 people, puts it:

WE AFFIRM that God’s law, as summarized in the ten commandments, more succinctly summarized in the two great commandments, and manifested in Jesus Christ, is the only standard of unchanging righteousness. Violation of that law is what constitutes sin.

WE DENY that any obligation that does not arise from God’s commandments can be legitimately imposed on Christians as a prescription for righteous living. We further deny the legitimacy of any charge of sin or call to repentance that does not arise from a violation of God’s commandments.

Of course, evangelicals have different interpretations about how far to extend those Ten Commandments, but I would think we’d all agree that the Jim Crow era violated both the commandments against bearing false witness as well as murder.

But sometimes enthusiasts for social justice push too far. The statement puts it like this:

WE DENY that true justice can be culturally defined or that standards of justice that are merely socially constructed can be imposed with the same authority as those that are derived from Scripture. We further deny that Christians can live justly in the world under any principles other than the biblical standard of righteousness. Relativism, socially-constructed standards of truth or morality, and notions of virtue and vice that are constantly in flux cannot result in authentic justice.

https://acton.org/tgs?utm_campaign=The%20Good%20Society%20Launch&utm_source=Christianity%20Today%20350%20x%20200

On a more mundane level, this temptation looks like this: You don’t have to go to many social justice gatherings to conclude that if you are not actively involved in this justice issue or that, you are contributing to the injustice: “He who is not fighting racism is implicitly supporting racist policies” and so forth. It’s dramatic rhetoric, to be sure, but in fact, there is no way any of us can be deeply involved in every social justice effort; we are finite beings, and it is not a sin to be finite. We have to pick our causes, and follow the calling of God on our lives.

The devil’s final temptation of Christ was to offer him political power.

The temptations abound, like they do in every ministry: There are some Christians (white, black, Asian, and Hispanic) who are more anxious about their racial or ethnic identity than they are their identity in Christ. There are some Christians who have let feminism or Marxism or deconstructionism or race theory shape their ideas more than the Bible. There are some Christians whose anger at injustice has little righteousness in it, instead driven by hate of a political leader or group. There are some Christians (left and right) who are so anxious about gaining political power to enact their social agenda that they compromise some important Christian values.

Any devout Christian who is deeply committed to social justice knows these temptations firsthand, and the honest among them acknowledge that they have not always resisted these temptations, especially the last. They never forget that the devil’s final temptation of Christ was to offer him political power.

Learning from History

Another critic, pastor John MacArthur, has expressed similar concerns, especially about evangelical engagement in justice issues. I often disagree with MacArthur, but I think his pastoral instincts should be taken into account when he said (in a blog from August):

Evangelicalism’s newfound obsession with the notion of “social justice” is a significant shift—and I’m convinced it’s a shift that is moving many people (including some key evangelical leaders) off message, and onto a trajectory that many other movements and denominations have taken before, always with spiritually disastrous results.

He’s not the first to note this trajectory. We witnessed this in the last century in mainline Protestant Christianity, whose social justice concern in the 1950s and 1960s was admirable in so many ways. But slowly the mainline become nothing more than the Democratic Party at prayer. Typical were the millennium goals established by the Episcopal Church in 2007. The goals were:

Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger Achieve universal primary education Promote gender equality and empower women Reduce child mortality Improve maternal health Combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases Ensure environmental sustainability, and Create global partnership for development with a focus on debt, aid, and trade.


Nothing wrong with the goals as such, but they were the exact same Millennium Development Goals established by the United Nations in 2000. It speaks volumes that a Christian church could not imagine how to talk or prioritize its social justice agenda without simply copying those of a secular institution. One would have thought Matthew 28—taking the gospel to the four corners of the world—might have played some part in its goals for the millennium.

In this regard, evangelicals have a long history of following the culture. When hunger became an international issue in the late 20th century, that’s when evangelicals began talking about it. We didn’t focus much on race until after Ferguson and the rise of Black Lives Matter. We didn’t spend much energy on sexual abuse in church until the #metoo movement. To be clear, these are all worthy causes. But it does give one pause to realize that our gospel doesn’t seem to help us fashion a social justice agenda that is unique to our faith.

We evangelical Christians would be naïve to deny that we are not subject to the same forces that have so compromised the Christian integrity of the mainline. This does not mean that evangelical social justice will inevitably abandon the gospel. Hardly. There are many examples of social justice advocates who remain deeply committed to Christ and the gospel—I think of many leaders in the black church in particular. But social activists more than most are wise to note how the transcendent dimension of social justice can get marginalized.

The Immanent Frame
Anyone involved in social justice ministries is subject to the loss of the transcendent. As Charles Taylor so effectively argued in A Secular Age, we live today in a time that is defined by what he calls “the immanent frame.” At the risk of oversimplifying, this means living as if this world is all there is. This world is reality; the world beyond it is a matter of personal opinion or speculation. In other ages, the world beyond this—the supernatural, the spiritual, the transcendent—was simply assumed and was clearly believed to be the most real.

http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/umns-subscription-form#utm_source=Christianity%20Today&utm_medium=300%20x%20250%20Daily%20Digest&utm_campaign=oTb-2018%20UMNS

This is one reason many Christians are more confident making definitive pronouncements about social concerns (the “immanent") and hesitate to speak boldly about theological concerns (the transcendent). We live in an era dominated by the immanent framing of things, and it takes concerted effort to remember that, as important and vital as our world is, it is but a shadow of the reality beyond us and the reality we will enjoy in the kingdom of heaven.

Evangelism is the greatest work of social justice.
Social justice activism by its very nature lives day to day within the immanent frame. It is concerned about the horizontal: how states and institutions treat people and how people treat one another. The Christian might be initially motivated by uniquely Christian ideals to engage in social justice efforts, as well she should, but as history shows, it doesn’t take much before the immanent frame starts to frame everything.

So what exactly is the transcendent dimension of social justice for the evangelical Christian? This is something we’ve been arguing about as a movement for some decades. But I would put it this way: The ultimate goal of social justice is the same as the ultimate goal of all our activity for Jesus—whether that be encouraging Bible reading and prayer, loving our next door neighbor, practicing business as mission, or a hundred other things—that all might come to know and love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. If our social justice doesn’t have this end in view, I believe we will soon become nothing but the Democratic or Republican parties at prayer.

It is right and good, for example, that we seek to alleviate extreme poverty. As an act of neighbor love, we want to do what we can—from simple charity to social reform—to help the poor. If we help the poor rise out of poverty and into the middle class, we have done a wonderful thing. But if that’s all we do, we will be guilty of committing the greatest injustice of all.

For reasons we cannot fathom, God has shown us the mystery of faith: that Christ had died for the forgiveness of sins, that we might become reconciled to God and enjoy him forever with others in a kingdom of love and joy. There is no greater blessing than to know and love God, who is the Desire of all desires, who is the Ultimate Fulfillment of all we long for. We have heard that message and have believed.

Now we constitute, if you will, a privileged spiritual class. It’s not something we take credit for. In being born again, we have been born into a special, elect people—a spiritual aristocracy, who enjoy unimaginable spiritual riches.

Like the materially wealthy, we are called to help those who are spiritually impoverished so they might believe and then enjoy these spiritual riches. And the way we do that is not complicated:

“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ ” (Rom. 10:14–15).

To put it starkly: If we fail to share the greatest riches we enjoy, if we keep this great news to ourselves, we are no better than the materially privileged who refuse to share their goods and work to alleviate poverty. We are, in short, practicing a type of injustice.

To not put too fine a point on it: Evangelism is our greatest work of social justice.

Be Quick to Listen
As noted above, we’ve been debating the exact relationship between the gospel and politics, between evangelism and social efforts, for many decades now. The fact that we continue to debate suggests that there are no easy solutions for how to integrate them. Every solution is fraught with temptation, to be sure.

But precisely because this issue is complex, we are wise to listen to brothers and sisters who come at things differently, even when their criticisms are pointed—especially if they ground their arguments in Scripture and the evangelical tradition of interpreting Scripture. If we want evangelical social justice ministries to remain effective and vibrant for decades to come, we are wise to be alert to issues that can inadvertently undermine our love for others in the public square.


Mark Galli is editor in chief of Christianity Today.




Theology Forums : https://theologyforums.com/index.php
Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpzjN3dF-_PnAc81SQVjqhg?view_as=subscriber
Pinterest : https://www.pinterest.com/patrickjane3169/
Google : https://plus.google.com/u/0/113527239869543729835
Linkedin :  https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-jane-833769164/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/patrickjane3169
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007669219364+
Flat Earth Forums : https://3169.createaforum.com/index.php
Bitchute : https://www.bitchute.com/channel/xUZJpNWUz2T4/



Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection, the gospel of our salvation, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise. 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 -



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.

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
12 Replies
1769 Views
Last post June 22, 2019, 07:26:42 pm
by Bladerunner
18 Replies
1734 Views
Last post June 28, 2019, 09:21:34 am
by patrick jane
9 Replies
1712 Views
Last post July 29, 2019, 02:57:32 pm
by Ted T.
20 Replies
1875 Views
Last post March 31, 2020, 11:57:57 am
by patrick jane
3 Replies
115 Views
Last post Today at 11:18:12 am
by patrick jane

+-Recent Topics

Your Favorite Music, Images and Memes by patrick jane
Today at 12:29:27 pm

Christianity Today Magazine - April 2020 by patrick jane
Today at 11:18:12 am

Coronavirus hoax to declare martial law (FEMA) by Firestarter
Today at 10:50:38 am

GENESIS 3 by doug
Today at 10:19:27 am

Rwanda genocide, Kagame, the RPF and looting the Congo by Firestarter
Today at 10:06:23 am

Trump 2020 - Winning !!! by patrick jane
April 05, 2020, 11:03:14 pm

Politics Today by patrick jane
April 05, 2020, 11:02:59 pm

Re: Trump 2020 - Winning !!! by patrick jane
April 05, 2020, 11:02:31 pm

Re: Politics Today by patrick jane
April 05, 2020, 11:02:16 pm

Q'anon by patrick jane
April 05, 2020, 09:19:36 pm

Black Spring With Autumn Political Commentary by patrick jane
April 05, 2020, 08:53:44 pm

An Experimental Approach to a Long Accepted Belief: Comments by Billy Evmur
April 05, 2020, 05:15:30 pm

Is the church ready for the great tribulation? by Billy Evmur
April 05, 2020, 05:09:38 pm

The Jews to be kept SAFE during the Great Tribulation by Billy Evmur
April 05, 2020, 05:04:49 pm

The Millennial Jews by Billy Evmur
April 05, 2020, 05:00:42 pm

In the distance a dog barks by Billy Evmur
April 05, 2020, 04:57:33 pm

The Population Reduction Movement by bernardpyron
April 05, 2020, 01:32:02 pm

Trump, Bayrock, Doyen, soccer and the Kazakh gangster by Firestarter
April 05, 2020, 10:16:00 am