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Author Topic: The fearless evangelist  (Read 2276 times)

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patrick jane

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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2020, 11:25:08 am »

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








The Apostle Paul: Partnership in Evangelism and Mission Part One











Four Pauline Principles for Mobilizing Believers to Evangelism


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

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

Paul’s Multilateral Partnership Plan

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

1. Leadership Versatility

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

2. Team Dependency

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

3. Spirit-filled Directionality

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

4. Strategic Ministry Nexus

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

We Need One Another

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


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patrick jane

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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2020, 11:28:06 am »

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








The Apostle Paul: Partnership in Evangelism and Mission Part Two










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


Movements in Partnerships:


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

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

MINISTRY INHIBITORS

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

2. Complacency

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

3. Distraction

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

4. Frustration

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

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

5. Dependency

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

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


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patrick jane

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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2020, 09:16:28 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/september-web-only/jerry-falwell-liberty-university-scandal-doesnt-stay.html








What Happens at Liberty Doesn’t Stay at Liberty












The Falwell investigation has far-reaching consequences for local churches in Virginia and beyond.


The Associated Press recently reported that Liberty University is launching an independent investigation into the conduct of former president Jerry Falwell Jr. and his wife, Becki. For some evangelicals, the scandal elicits nothing more than a shrug for the isolated actions of a few bad apples. For others, these significant misdeeds will be swept away quickly in the tides of history. Historian Grant Wacker makes this argument in a recent Washington Post piece titled “Jerry Falwell Jr.’s downfall won’t change anything for evangelicals.”

If you take a bird’s eye view of time, then he’s likely right. But for those of us who inhabit space inside Liberty University’s large sphere of influence, the truth is quite the opposite. This scandal and its ensuing investigation have far-reaching consequences, not only for parachurch practice but also for local church polity. Put another way, the cautionary tale of the Falwells carries implications for how believers here and elsewhere think about the intricate bonds between the local body of Christ and adjacent parachurch institutions.

My first glimpse into Liberty’s regional influence happened roughly 20 years ago, when I came to visit the man who would later become my husband. He’d lived his whole life in rural southwest Virginia, where the primary force in his spiritual formation was a small Baptist church that still sits atop a knoll just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Driving through the countryside those years ago, I was entranced by the passing forests and hills dotted with small farms and rock churches. I also remember the moment when I rounded a corner and came face-to-face with a billboard for a local university. One of the few on the route, it advertised a world-class Christian education just two hours away in Lynchburg, Virginia.

A decade later, my husband and I moved back to work in local church ministry an hour west of Lynchburg. During the ensuing years, Liberty expanded in both size and prominence. It is by now a powerhouse of online learning that has made Christian education accessible not only for young people but for countless working adults. This is especially significant in a region with the lowest college graduation rate in the state.

It’s hard to understate the role that Liberty University plays around here, both because of its institutional sway and because of the shape of local church culture. Churches in this region—including the one that my husband grew up in—tend to eschew denominational hierarchy. They prefer to govern themselves. Because they lack outside infrastructure, these churches form partnerships where and when they can, often led by the relational networks of pastoral staff.

For example, when church members want to pursue Christian education, it’s not uncommon for pastors to recommend their own alma maters. And if that school is fairly local, all the better. (You may know Liberty University as one of the world’s largest Christian universities, but we know it as the closest.)

These bonds are also reinforced through ministry partnerships, as Liberty offers resources, training, and opportunities that surrounding churches cannot offer themselves. When the church my husband pastored wanted to update its constitution to reflect a belief in traditional marriage, the staff used wording provided by the legal minds at Liberty.

These stories are common. When a church in the region can’t afford full-time staff for music or youth ministry, they look to students from Liberty to step in and fill the gap. Add to that church outings to Flames football games, men and women’s weekend retreats hosted on campus, and free pastors’ conferences offered by the school, and the picture is clear: Liberty University is inexorably tied to the ministry of local churches in the region.

The bond between this independent university and the local church means that when trouble hits the school, it also hits the broader Christian community. The impact is deep and wide. In this context, Liberty’s practices as a parachurch organization carry significant weight, and the response of the university’s board of trustees sets precedent far beyond the boardroom and into the pews. The old adage is true: Attitudes are caught, not taught.

In a recent New York Times op-ed, Liberty graduate Kaitlyn Schiess describes a similar experience as a student. “At Liberty,” she writes, “our minds may have been receiving correct content, but our hearts were being trained to love wrongly: to love political power, physical security, and economic prosperity as higher goods than they are.”

Schiess is describing the power of culture formation—how small signals and modeling from trusted sources nudge us in certain directions, both as individuals and as communities. (This phenomenon also sheds light on the significance of Jerry Falwell Jr.’s endorsement of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump during the Republican primary in 2016, when Trump’s support seemed to be flagging among evangelicals.)

For local churches, this formation cuts both ways. As I look around, I am dismayed by how the Falwells’ morally corrupt influence has distorted the health and well-being of the community I love. By contrast, cultural formation at its best, guided by Scripture, gives me hope. For that reason, I am cautiously optimistic about the board’s recent decision to open an independent investigation. The board has decided not only to study the case but also to set up a system of spiritual accountability for those in leadership.

“The school is considering a separate move to reorient it toward its ‘spiritual mission’ by establishing a post in the university leadership dedicated to spiritual guidance for other leaders,” write Sarah Rankin and Elana Schor for the Associated Press, “ensuring they ‘live out the Christian walk expected of each and every one of us at Liberty.’”

Arguably, these steps are the very least the board is responsible to do, and thinkers like Wacker might rightly doubt that these actions will have much effect on evangelicalism as a whole. But from where I sit, I see this as a teachable moment—not just for Liberty but for the multitude of churches and ministries under its influence.

Insofar as the investigation is truly independent, the board of Liberty University has the opportunity to do three key things: Normalize standards of accountability and transparency; show local church boards that they too must faithfully protect the Lord’s work from abusive leaders; and remind leaders themselves that the kingdom of God is not their private enterprise.

We see this calling laid out clearly in Scripture. In Luke 12, Jesus tells a parable about an estate manager who begins to abuse those under him while the master is away. But then suddenly, like a “thief in the night,” the master returns and catches the manager unaware. Punishment is swift, decisive, and severe.

When the disciples ask who the parable is meant for, Jesus directs their attention to the relationship between privilege and responsibility, intimating that those who have the benefit of his teaching are the ones most responsible to follow it. The parable is for the disciples themselves. He then justifies the master’s harsh punishment of the unfaithful manager, saying that to “everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48).

In this moment, the Liberty University board is shaping cultural norms in local churches and the ministries in their orbit. It is not a question of whether their decisions will influence these ministries but of how. Will they follow through and set standards of transparency and accountability? Will future leaders be chosen on the basis of spiritual maturity, or their ability to dominate others? Will they fulfill their own stewardship to represent the master until he returns?

For the sake of the local church and the cause of Christ, may they be found faithful to the task.







Hannah Anderson is the author of Made for More and Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nourishes Your Soul. You can find more of her writing at sometimesalight.com and hear her on the weekly podcast Persuasion.

Speaking Out is Christianity Today’s guest opinion column and (unlike an editorial) does not necessarily represent the opinion of the publication.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2020, 10:03:28 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/september/teen-parent-faith-evangelicals-pew-research-gen-z.html








Train Up a Teen: Young Evangelicals Mostly Keep Their Parents’ Faith













Pew Research finds that even the most devout young believers don’t agree with Mom and Dad on everything. Christian parents weigh in on the challenges of teenage discipleship.


A majority of American teens still follow their parents’ lead when it comes to religion. The trend holds whether families are religious or not—but it’s especially good news for evangelical Protestants, who care the most about their children sharing their beliefs.

Evangelical teens, like their parents, stand out as the most confident and active in their faith when compared to their peers, according to a new Pew Research Center report on the religious practices of 13-to-17-year-olds.

The religious makeup of today’s teens mostly resembles the population overall. About a third are “nones” (identifying as nothing in particular, atheist, or agnostic), the largest category. After that, about a quarter identify as Catholic and 21 percent as evangelical.

Even as teens, over half of evangelicals surveyed say they attend church at least weekly (64%), pray at least daily (51%), and belong to a youth group (64%), compared to a minority of teen respondents from other traditions. (It’s not just parental pressure. In the survey, two-thirds of evangelical teens say they attend church because they want to go, not to appease Mom and Dad.)

Family plays a big part in young evangelicals’ devotional lives. The vast majority say they enjoy religious activities with their families (88%), with 55 percent reading the Bible together, 80 percent saying grace at family meals, and 88 percent talking about religion, Pew found.

These practices correspond with a greater assurance in their religious beliefs. While nearly all teens who belong to a Christian tradition said they believe in God, 71 percent of evangelicals said they are “absolutely certain” in their belief, compared to just under of half of mainline (49%) and Catholic teens (45%). Evangelicals were also the only group among teens to agree that there is only one true religion.

But not all families fall on the same spiritual page once kids hit the teen years. Twelve percent of teens with evangelical parents don’t affiliate with a religion. Overall, about half of today’s youth say at least some of their beliefs differ from their parents, even if they still identify with the same tradition. The most common way teens see their convictions contrasting with Mom and Dad’s has to do with level of certainty: 14 percent say that they have more questions or are more unsure.

According to Pew, two-thirds of teens who don’t have “all the same” beliefs as their parents say their family knows about the differences, while a third say they don’t. Teens forming their own religious views and approaches as they grow up can be confusing for others under the same roof. Pew found that parents who misjudged their kids’ convictions were more likely to overestimate how important their faith was to them.

It can also be a sensitive topic for parents to broach. About seven-in-ten evangelical parents consider it “very important” to raise their children in their faith. They make it more of a priority than any other major tradition—half as many mainline Protestants say the same. But as much as they model their faith, surround them with Christian community, and pray for their kids’ salvation, evangelical parents also know their sons and daughters—God-willing, Spirit-empowered—will eventually have to come to understand the gospel for themselves.

CT asked parents of teenagers how important it is for their teenagers’ beliefs to align with theirs and how they approach the children’s faith at this stage. Here are their responses.

Dorena Williamson, speaker, author, and co-founder of Strong Tower Bible Church in Nashville:
I approach my kids’ faith with an understanding that it is not easy growing up with parents who work vocationally in church. I too was a PK (pastor’s kid) and know authenticity is key. I look for ways to encourage their faith in the atmosphere set at home. I always pray over them, seek out music they enjoy, and form conversations about current issues important to them. Hopefully, this communicates that I care about their interests. I don't expect my kids’ faith journey to mirror my own. These times hold new challenges and possibilities, and they have their own path to walk. At this stage in their spiritual lives, I pray they love God wholeheartedly and seek to love their neighbor. I know that is pleasing to God and a legacy that will endure.

Beth Felker Jones, professor of theology at Wheaton College:
My biggest prayer for my older kids is that they would love Jesus and throw their lives in with him. I don’t believe this is something I can control, because it can only come as a gift, but I pray for it and try to make way for it by talking with them about faith and making sure they have a strong group of adult Christians in their lives. I expect my teens to come to church and youth group, to pray with our family, to read Scripture. I hope they can talk freely with me and their father about questions of faith.

I don’t think parents can turn kids into our clones, and when it comes to nonessential matters, I try to hold very lightly any hope that they would perfectly agree with me. If they become adults who live with and for Jesus, my prayers would be answered, and I would do my very best not to obsess about whether they go to a different kind of church than I do or have different beliefs about what baptism means. And this is something I try to communicate directly to my teens: I don’t hope to make them like me. I do hope they’ll love Jesus and become like him.

John Starke, lead pastor at Apostles Church Uptown in New York:
Often when we talk about wanting our kids to align their beliefs with ours, that means a kind of cultural form of beliefs, rather than a biblical faith, and it tends to be a cloistered faith, rather one of understanding. At the same time, we believe in a heaven and hell, that God calls for repentance, and that our culture seduces us towards disbelief and rebellion. My hope is that they are given mercy and experience grace through faith.

We want them to understand our faith, recognize its cultural counterfeits, but also sense the freedom to ask difficult questions and fumble through “trying the faith on” as they grow up. I would want my kids to feel that they share our faith in common, since that would probably feel most secure and safe for them as individuals as they mature and grow into their own identities apart from us and as they grow and form their own faith in Christ.

Jen Michel, author of Surprised by Paradox, Keeping Place, and Teach Us to Want:
We’ve wanted to give our children the richest Christian formation possible in our home, and of course we’ve done that imperfectly. But as our children now leave home, one-by-one, we realize that the faith they take with them must be theirs, not ours.

I was just writing a very belated graduation letter to my 17-year-old son (soon to be 18). He would not call himself a Christian, and that’s very hard. I want him to know the reality of Jesus, but I also fully believe that he needs more than an inherited faith. By contrast, our daughter, now a sophomore in college, is walking with Jesus and serving in ministry on her college campus. That’s been a great joy, and we thank God.

Melissa Cain Travis, assistant Professor of apologetics at Houston Baptist University:
I consider it a particularly positive sign when my teenage sons raise theological disagreement with me; it means they're thinking deeply and critically about Christian doctrine! This is far better than disinterest, and it sparks rich (and sometimes very long) conversations in which I am able to demonstrate intellectual respect for them while offering gentle guidance.

I work to foster a mere Christianity ethos in our discussions but make it clear that secondary theological issues deserve careful consideration. It truly pleases me when my sons arrive at different yet well-thought-out conclusions on the non-essentials. In those instances, I simply make sure that they understand the merits of my perspective.

Kara Powell, executive director of the Fuller Youth Institute:
My kids’ relationship with Jesus is very important to me. As the mom of a 19-, 17-, and 14-year-old, most days I pray more for their faith than anything else. To be honest, a big part of me wants my kids to believe like me and worship like me (and vote like me, eat like me; the list could go on and on). But when I peel back the layers, what I ultimately long for is that my kids will know Jesus loves them and will love him in return. I want them to know that Jesus offers the best answers to their questions of identity, belonging, and purpose.

As our kids are owning their faith, the way they experience God’s love, and express their love in return, already looks different than mine. Based on research for our book Growing With, I try to ask each of my kids two questions: “What do you no longer believe that you think I do?” And, “What do you now believe that you think I don’t?” I want us to be able to discuss anything about Jesus and faith, especially when we disagree. With our two high-school-aged daughters … they’re more progressive on a handful of cultural issues and even more passionate about justice. When those differences emerge in our conversations, I’ve intentionally suggested, “When you’re older, you might want to look for a church that reflects what you believe.” Ultimately, I want my kids to love the church, not my church.

Amy Whitfield, host of SBC This Week and an associate vice president with the SBC Executive Committee:
Our shared faith in Christ, along with involvement in our local church, is incredibly important in the life of our family. As our teenagers have grown older, discipleship is definitely part of our parenting, but the role that faith plays in our relationship does change. When they were younger, we took a very proactive leadership role, standing out in front and systematically pointing them to the truths of the gospel. Now, as they grow spiritually, we are beginning to walk alongside them as older brothers and sisters in Christ, encouraging their personal study of the Bible and helping them understand and apply it to their lives.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #30 on: September 12, 2020, 10:08:29 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/september/latest-evangelicals-becoming-catholics-mark-galli.html








Evangelicals Becoming Catholics: Former CT Editor Mark Galli












Why do evangelicals convert to Catholicism and how should we respond?


This Sunday, September 13, a man named Mark will become confirmed as a Catholic. Why is this significant?

Mark Galli, who will be confirmed under the name of St. Francis, is a former Presbyterian pastor and editor-in-chief for Christianity Today. And, as RNS noted, for a few days last December he was perhaps the best-known evangelical in the nation for his editorial calling for the impeachment and removal of Donald Trump from the presidency.

Galli, however, says the timing of his conversion to Catholicism two months before the next election is for personal reasons. After 20 years in the Anglican Church, he believes moving to Catholicism is not a rejection of evangelicalism but taking his "Anglicanism deeper and thicker."

His journey took him from Presbyterianism to becoming an Episcopalian, then Anglican, with a brief time attending the Orthodox Church. This runs counter to trends in the U.S., as currently for every one convert to Catholicism, six leave the tradition. But notable Protestants, from Elizabeth Ann Seton and John Henry Newman, to G.K. Chesterton, Francis Beckwith, and Tony Blair. The RNS article observed:

Some converts are drawn to the beauty of Catholic ritual. Others to the church’s rich intellectual tradition or the centrality of the Eucharist, the bread and wine used for Communion, which Catholics believe becomes the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
For Galli that was part of it, but his fatigue with evangelicalism contributed as well. "I want to submit myself to something bigger than myself," He said, adding:

One thing I like about both Orthodoxy and Catholicism is that you have to do these things, whether you like it or not, whether you’re in the mood or not, sometimes whether you believe or not. You just have to plow ahead. I want that.

Why do Evangelicals Become Catholics?

A Catholic Perspective
Beauty: In the National Catholic Register an article on the book Evangelical Exodus: Evangelical Seminarians and Their Pathsto Rome noted beauty as one reason. No less than ten Southern Evangelical Seminary students contributed to this book, as did Francis Beckwith of Baylor.

Editor (and convert) Douglas Beaumont observed:

​In Protestantism, there's a tendency to dismiss any reason other ​​than the intellectual. But as human beings, we're both physical and spiritual ​creatures. In the Catholic Church, he found, intellect and reason are respected; ​but the Catholic Church is also more beautiful and more historical. There is an ​attractive package which draws the spirit, combining art and music and beauty, a ​long history, and tradition, with solid intellectual arguments.

Spirituality: Scott Hahn, another former evangelical now Catholic, in his chapter "Come to the Father: The Fact at the Foundation of Catholic Spirituality," in Four Views on Christian Spirituality, notes the great diversity of expressions of spirituality from the

. . . silence of the Trappists and the Pentecostal praise of the Charismatic Renewal; the rarified intellectual life of the Dominicans and the profound feeling of the Franciscans; the wealth of the knights of Malta and the elected poverty of the Missionaries of Charity; the strict enclosure of the Carthusians and the world-loving secularity of the Opus Dei; the bright colors of Central American devotional art and the austere blocks of the German cathedrals; the warrior spirit of the Templars and the serene pax of the Benedictines; Ignatian detachment and Marian warmth.

He argues this shows the richness of Catholic spirituality which "presents a forest indiscernible because of the variety and number – and even the age – of its trees.”

From First Things​
First Things often offers an intellectually respectable, nonpartisan examination of religious and other matters. In an article entitled “Why Do Evangelicals Convert to Catholicism?” Adam Omelianchuk offers reasons evangelicals convert to Catholicism:

Authenticity and beauty in worship. Though many Catholics left for more vibrant evangelical services, many miss the sense of awe and reverence seen in the liturgy of the church, as it “represented something sacred and beautiful.”

Intellectualism. “Catholicism has a rich intellectual pedigree that remains competitive in today’s marketplace of ideas that evangelicals hardly match. Catholics have traditionally been leaders in such high professions like law, medicine, and education, and Catholic universities often compete with and far surpass those funded by the secular public. For a Christian intellectual, Catholicism can be an antidote to evangelicalism’s rampant anti-intellectualism.”

Church Polity. The various approaches of elder-led vs. elder-ruled, the role of women, and other areas of dispute among evangelicals makes the hierarchical approach of Catholicism appealing for some when compared to "competing with one another by the means of building a ministry around a cult of personality, which so often drives evangelical ecclesiology.”

An Evangelical Assessment: Scott McKnight

McKnight examined this issue in an article for JETS (Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society) entitled (ironically, for this moment) "From Wheaton to Rome: Why Evangelicals Become Roman Catholic."

He quotes Chesterton who says he took the path of Rome "to get rid of my sins." McKnight argues Scott Hahn noted above and musician (from the Jesus People Movement days) John Michael Talbot––who moved from a Pentecostal-Fundamentalist faith to becoming a Franciscan––offered two notable examples to understand the transition.

McKnight offered four specific areas to help understand the move to Catholicism.

These transitions are institutional in nature. It is not a conversion to Christ but a perceived conversion to the fullness of the Christian faith.
The context of the converts. McKnight notes how difficult it is to convert from evangelicalism to Catholicism and that it is not done lightly or without opposition from family and friends.
A "crisis" through various factors. An example is the desire for transcendence, manifested in four key areas: certainty, history, unity, and authority. There is a weighty continuity in the history of Rome with the early Fathers, the Medieval theologians, and more. The splintering of evangelicalism causes some to admire both the centralized authority and the confession of the church as "one" in Catholicism.
Quest, encounter, and commitment. “The quest of an ERC [Evangelical to Roman Catholic) moves most often along the path of encountering transcendence, though intellectual satisfaction is the primary feature of that quest."
McKnight concludes with two contrasting points. First, there will continue to be evangelicals concerting to Catholicism "until the evangelical churches can get a firmer grip on authority, unity, history, liturgy, and a reasonable form of certainty on interpretation."

Second, "until the Roman Catholic Church learns to focus on gospel preaching of personal salvation, on the importance of personal piety for all Christians—and abandons its historical two-level ethic—and personal study, and on the Bible itself, there will be many who will leave Catholicism to join in the ranks of evangelicalism."

So what are my thoughts?

Well, a few parts of my own journey. First, I was raised nominally Roman Catholic in a New York City, Irish Catholic household. We were not active, though it did leave an impact on my life. Interestingly, my mother came to faith through the Catholic Charismatic Cursillo movement.

While doing my M.Div., I attended a Catholic seminary (and later transferred the credits to a Southern Baptist seminary). While I was there, I took preaching (which, was not particularly helpful as you might imagine) and Reformation History. It turns out they have an entirely different view of that Reformation thing!

Mark is a friend—the Red Apple behind Christianity Today is our lunch spot. We agreed on much, though we differed at times—always amicably. (I did ask him about the photographer at his new Catholic church and he pointed out that was from RNS.) I also asked how long this was in process—was it while you were writing your closing thoughts to evangelicals? (He told me he explains more in his forthcoming book.)

However, I don’t blame converts. I do try to understand them. And, like Mark felt it necessary to put Christianity Today on record about sexuality after a former editor changed his view, I thought it might be helpful to publish in the same magazine about his conversion.

You see, I’ve known converts to Catholicism, and have talked through the process with them. I get part of the reasons. Actually, my own family converted to Eastern Orthodoxy (with my stepfather becoming a priest). (I explain that here, in a long article about Hank Hanegraaff’s conversion to Orthodoxy.)

Yet, I am (and remain) a conservative, evangelical protestant. Furthermore, in that subcategory, I am a Baptist. And, for good or for ill, my theological convictions of thirty years ago remain pretty consistent. I lean reformed, believe in all the spiritual gifts, and think the gospel works by grace alone, by faith alone.

Yet, there are some things that a moment like this might cause some self-reflection.

Here’s where it brings me. The strengths of evangelicalism also reveal our weaknesses.

First, we are strong on the act of conversion, but not so much on ongoing sanctification subsequent to the new birth. We need a much more robust view of church, community, and the fullness of Christian life.

Second, most, not all, evangelicals shy away from overly ritualistic or liturgical worship, yet in so doing we turn our services into performances and our time of singing into the latest play list of what’s new. We have lost a sense of history and heritage and have replaced the depth and breadth of historic Christianity with the surface effects of pop culture.

Third, we emphasize practical Christianity (to the place of sheer pragmatism sometimes) and too often ignore contemplation. Yet most of us hunger for that which is beyond us, something that cannot be captured in a four-point self-help sermon or answered with a sound bite. “I came to church to meet with an awesome God,” one unchurched person said at a megachurch she visited, “But all I got was a Tony Robbins event.”

Fourth, we preach and teach the imminence of God, who can be our friend and, in application, our life coach, who is interested in the now of life. But we ignore the vast transcendence of God and his work in creation and in history. We champion busyness and workaholism and ignore Sabbath rest and seasons of prayer, because it would hinder our activism.

Fifth, our activism has led us, fairly or not, to be categorized as Donald Trump foot soldiers, which unquestionably has contributed to the rise of Ex-vangelicals. Perhaps some of these will move to Catholicism, Orthodox, or Anglican traditions.

At the end of the day, I’m not just a Protestant, I’m a somewhat non-ecumenical one. I’ve been told that I’ve spoken at more evangelical denominational meetings than anyone living. (I don’t keep track, so I don’t know, but I do value evangelical collaboration for mission and evangelism—because of our common view of the gospel.)

But, I’m not a signer or Evangelicals and Catholics Together and I don’t generally engage in broader ecumenical conversations. Simply put, my focus is generally on evangelism and mission/s, and evangelicals and Roman Catholics generally do not align in such endeavors. (If you’d be interested in a dialogue between Catholics, Orthodox, mainline, and evangelical missiologists, please see the book we all contributed to, The Mission of the Church: Five Views in Conversation.)

The Protestant view of the gospel—and the five solas of the reformation—are (in my view) the best representation and understanding of the gospel. I think it was a restoration of biblical (and in some ways Augustinian) understanding of the gospel. Roman Catholics generally have a different view. They believe, for example, that salvation is by grace, but not grace alone, at least not in the same way Protestants do.

That gives us a different understand about the gospel—and, as such, I’m disappointed to see Mark leave that understanding of the gospel for another.

He’s my friend (and he has read and given feedback on this article). I imagine we will talk over this at the Red Apple Pancake House.

But I remain a Protestant because of what I see in the Bible, the conversion Jesus worked in my heart by His grace, and the imperfect community of evangelicals that together we once served.










Ed Stetzer is executive director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center, serves as a dean at Wheaton College, and publishes church leadership resources through Mission Group. The Exchange Team contributed to this article.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2020, 06:12:21 pm »
Good thread Billy Boy
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #32 on: September 16, 2020, 09:31:45 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/september/evangelicals-for-social-action-name-change-christian.html








Evangelicals for Social Action Leaves Behind ‘Evangelical’ Label










The 47-year-old organization sticks with the broader movement’s mission but not its name.


Evangelicals for Social Action, the justice-focused group founded by Ron Sider, has called itself “a different kind of evangelical.” As of today, it’s the kind that doesn’t call itself evangelical.

After nearly 50 years, the organization has changed its name to Christians for Social Action, becoming the latest and most prominent example of a move away from the “evangelical” label in the US.

Executive director Nikki Toyama-Szeto cited the shift in identity among the younger, more racially diverse generation of leaders as well as examples of how the historic name had begun to distract from its work.

“Honestly, the name change is an act in hospitality. In some ways, it reflects a change in our audience of what they’re calling themselves. Our audience is still evangelical, it’s post-evangelical, and it’s evangelical-adjacent,” said Toyama-Szeto, who has led the ministry since 2017. “When you have a name like ‘Evangelicals for Social Action,’ you’re limiting yourself to those who self-describe.”

Because of growing political baggage around the name, that pool has become narrower. Plenty of people believe in the core convictions of the faith—and are motivated by them to pursue justice—without calling themselves evangelical anymore.

The election of President Donald Trump, who embraced his white evangelical backing, represents an inflection point for evangelical identity in the US. Fifteen percent of those who considered themselves “evangelical” or “born again” in 2016 had stopped using either label by the following year, according to one voter survey, even though the overall number of evangelicals had held steady.

Princeton University’s longstanding evangelical student ministry dropped the name in 2017, saying it’s “increasingly either confusing, or unknown, or misunderstood to students,” and a growing number of Christian colleges, churches, and charities have been forced to think strategically about when and how to employ their evangelical identity.

“With the current roiling semantics over the world ‘evangelical,’ [Evangelicals for Social Action’s former name] can lead to confusion over what this organization is or isn’t affirming,” said Mark Labberton.

The Fuller Theological Seminary president edited the 2018 book Still Evangelical?and wrote about how the term evolved into a “theo-political brand.” In a statement, he said the group’s name change made sense and offered more clarity.

“Evangelical” carried a political connotation beyond the work of the organization, which focuses on issues like racial justice, poverty, immigration, political engagement, LGBT dialogue, and the environment.

“Having the name has been distracting in our partnership conversations and in our bridge-building within the Christian realm,” said Toyama-Szeto.

What was once a provocative label drawing attention to the fact that evangelicals indeed stood up for justice causes has in recent years become a complicating factor. She recalled how a black church leader got pushback for supporting a group with evangelical in its name.

And living in the Washington, DC, area, Toyama-Szeto said acquaintances would conflate Evangelicals for Social Action with other causes deemed “evangelical,” asking her about its involvement in Israel, even though Evangelicals for Social Action had no work there.

For Toyama-Szeto, the decision to change the name to Christians for Social Action—made after months of prayer, discernment, and discussion—does not represent a rejection of evangelicalism or its evangelical partners. The organization remains committed to a high view of Scripture and bearing witness to the gospel, she said.

Instead, the new name offers a chance for the group to focus and work more effectively on their cause and calling around faith-fueled justice work.

She brought up a question that came up in their discussion, one that others might consider as they wrestle with their own evangelical names or identity statements: What was the invitation from God to their organization?

“I think for some it will be to stand and bear witness to a rich history of church tradition and to stir the imagination” to show what evangelical really means, said Toyama-Szeto. “For us, we felt like if we did that, it would be the one conversation we had with everyone. We were wrestling with, ‘Is that the justice conversation God has for us?’ It felt like overwhelmingly, that was not our invitation.”

Evangelicals for Social Action grew out of the 1973 Chicago Declaration of Evangelical Social Concern, which “challenged evangelicals to emphasize social sins and institutionalized evils as vigorously as they do personal sins.”

For the past 30 years, Evangelicals for Social Action has been headquartered at Eastern University, which is affiliated with the mainline American Baptist Churches USA and the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities.

Even Sider, the organization’s founder and president emeritus, stood by the evangelical label in the weeks after Trump’s election.

In a piece for CT, he argued that the history of the term overcame any modern qualms and was worth clinging to.

“Popular media learned … that evangelical has often meant unjust and unbiblical,” said the author of Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger. “Over time, we can help the larger society come to a better understanding of what an evangelical is.”

But he also wrote then that Christians must focus first on “faithfulness to Jesus and the Scriptures, not some label,” and has come around in the past four years to believe it’s time for a change. “It was the right name—for a time. But the social environment is so different,” Sider says now.

The question, “Can you be evangelical without calling yourself evangelical?” isn’t uncommon these days. Fellow Christians, organizations, and churches have also had to grapple with the changing social environment where “evangelical,” in some circles, has lost its reputation as a robust, wide-reaching missional movement.

About a quarter of Americans are evangelical Protestants, according to Pew Research. People of color and young people in particular have increasingly grown uncomfortable identifying with a movement some assume is exclusively white, Republican, and fundamentalist. Questions continued to stir around how to define evangelicals and, if evangelicals were not going to use that term, how else they might signal their belief.

From sociologists and historians to ministry leaders, plenty of Christians are discussing those questions in public and working hard to bring evangelicals together—perhaps none as much as the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), which represents more than 40 denominations and is now led by an Asian American president and African American board chair.

“Some who hold evangelical beliefs may distance themselves from the name due to cultural misunderstanding and confusion. Others may find the term provides an opportunity to explain what ‘evangelical’ means and to share the good news with others,” said Walter Kim, NAE president. “How people identify themselves or their organizations is not theimportant thing. What is important is believing in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, taking the Bible seriously and serving him in word and deed.”

Toyama-Szeto said she continues to support the work of the NAE and others working diligently to reclaim the evangelical label.

Through Christians for Social Action, she will let her work define what kind of Christian she is. “In this day and age,” she said, “justice is one of the ways you testify to the character of God.”
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #33 on: September 19, 2020, 12:34:48 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/september/evangelicals-for-trump-faith-voters-campaign-rally-georgia.html








This Election, Evangelical Supporters Have More Faith in Trump












The campaign emphasizes another side of the president at “prayer, praise, and patriotism” rallies.


Joann Roberts had never been to a political rally before.

She prays for President Donald Trump every day and watches messages from his faith advisers online, including televangelists Paula White-Cain and Jentezen Franklin. When Roberts heard they would be speaking at a campaign event in Georgia, the Southern Baptist mom of three took off from her job as a hospital administrator and made the hour-long drive to a field in the far-flung Atlanta suburbs.

Wearing a neon pink shirt printed with the slogan “God, Family, Guns, and Trump,” she fit right in.

The 500-plus crowd at this week’s Evangelicals for Trump rally included local politicians, GOP organizers, and even an unannounced visit by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, but most were people like Roberts. They were veterans, retired couples, bikers, college students, and homeschool moms, all Christians who felt like this year they needed to do something more to show their support.

Several volunteers distributing hand sanitizer and masks (not required, but around a quarter wore them) said this was their first time working with a political campaign. They traded stories about going door to door for Trump and turning their guest rooms into makeshift call centers. They compared churches and voting districts. They offered compliments over their MAGA gear. “I got it at Ace Hardware,” one woman beamed when asked about her Trump 2020 mask. “They can’t keep them in stock!”

More than anything, these Georgia Christians gushed over what they had seen during Trump’s presidency: a leader who came through on his pledge to appoint conservative justices, defend religious freedom, and oppose abortion. “He really just kept his promises,” said Fred Engel, wearing a red plaid shirt and a volunteer lanyard around his neck. “I don’t remember a single politician in my 68 years who did that.”

While detractors critique the president as divisive, arrogant, and cruel, voters like Engel instead view Trump as a family man, with the devoted support of Ivanka, Don Jr., and Eric, who came out to stump for his father at the Cumming, Georgia, rally. The crowd offered up a collective “amen” when Eric suggested that “in the Bible, it’s always an imperfect person” used by God.

“I believe my father was put here for a reason,” the younger Trump son said. “It was because of a higher deity and entity, and that’s why the evangelical community has rallied around him.”

Despite the white evangelical turnout for Trump before, it wasn’t quite like this last time.

“I believe most evangelicals—most pastors for certain—four years ago probably voted against Hillary Clinton. Four years later, many if not most are voting for Donald Trump,” said Chuck Allen, a local pastor who prayed to open the event. “That’s a significant difference.”

Polls back him up on the first part. A majority of white evangelicals who planned to vote for Trump in 2016 were driven more by their opposition to Clinton than by the appeal of Trump as a candidate, Pew Research showed.

But now, while Trump’s evangelical opponents are more vocal against the president’s polarizing rhetoric and America First policies, supporters instead say they have reason for more enthusiasm. They cite Trump’s conservative stances in office and the spiritual backing of several evangelical leaders who have had an open door to pray with him at the White House throughout his first term.

As sociologist Gerardo Martí wrote, Trump has made inroads with evangelicals “because he engages in actions in support of religiously defined group interests rather than as a result of statements of belief or piety of behavior.” Even with some slips over the first half of the year, more than half of white evangelicals (59%) still “very strongly” approved of the president as of this summer, compared to 29 percent of Americans overall.

The Trump campaign has set out to maximize that support. It amped up its evangelical outreach, beginning with a kickoff event in Miami at the start of the year featuring No. 45 himself and continuing with hundreds of local MAGA meetups and dozens of “prayer, praise, and patriotism” events ahead of the November election.

Leading the charge is the president’s pastor and top prayer partner White-Cain, who recounts how she has served as a spiritual adviser for the businessman-turned-politician for nearly 20 years and took on an official White House role in 2019. She brings along husband Jonathan Cain from the band Journey, leading to requisite references to “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Faithfully.” At the event, he performed to an audio track of a worship song he wrote called “Freedom in Your Grace.”

The campaign has also enlisted fellow evangelical advisers and pastors like Franklin, whose son now works for the campaign; National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference executive vice president Tony Suarez, who has joined four Evangelicals for Trump events so far this year; and Allen, who was enlisted to join an upcoming event in Phoenix after helping with the one in his area.

Evangelicals for Trump events are set up differently than the larger rallies for a broader Trump crowd, starting off with an invocation and familiar praise music. In a divisive and defensive election year, the gathering in Georgia this week, held outside a local barn event space, hummed with the calm relief of shared faith and shared politics. No rowdy factions. No snarky signs. No hollering or boos.

Attendees, seated in folding chairs spaced a couple feet apart, slowly swayed as they sang along to “This Is Amazing Grace” and “Way Maker,” performed by a stripped-down worship band from Allen’s church, a nearby nondenominational congregation with 4,500 attendees.

While the faith leaders focused mostly on the administration’s victories, Eric Trump criticized the “radical” protesters taking the streets in cities across the US and the decision for some states to allow businesses to reopen before churches.

There were four standing ovations for law enforcement, who were present at the event as security. The only reference to violence faced by black Americans—the inciting incidents leading to the recent protests—came from Franklin, who expressed frustration at false divisions: “It’s like if you’re for President Trump … that means you’re automatically not upset if you see a black man being beaten or choked to death in the streets. I stand for both. I stand for justice and righteousness.”

Perhaps the weather helped things feel particularly peaceful too. It was the coolest day all summer in the area—overcast, breezy, and 70 degrees. The invocation prayer referenced a “God-ordained” forecast.

Even when it began to drizzle, attendees stayed seated, applauding and waving when they noticed Eric Trump sneak out the side of the barn to jet off to his next campaign appearance and mm-hmming in agreement during closing prayers for Americans to vote for “life, faith, and freedom.”

The Evangelicals for Trump events emphasize a softer side of the notoriously combative president, with stories about the president’s faith and family alongside lists of political wins. White-Cain said “it was his idea” to call for prayer against the “evil” of coronavirus. Eric admitted that the Trumps went into the 2016 campaign “not knowing a damn thing about politics,” but they worked together as a family and “God got us here.”

Though he is a vocal Trump supporter, as a pastor, Allen recognizes the tension between the draw of the president’s conservative political priorities and the turnoff of his reputation as a bully.

“President Trump doesn’t make it easy for evangelicals,” said Allen, who built a rapport with Trump’s team during visits to the Mexican border two years ago and to the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian last summer. “I wish you could see a more compassionate Trump that I believe sincerely exists, but there’s just so much bluster around him.”

Allen estimates that his nondenominational, blue-collar congregation, Sugar Hill Church, is about “60 percent Trump and 40 percent anyone-but-Trump,” but the Trump faction has become more eager to take a stand.

Sugar Hill, he said, has benefited from a Trump economy, its members boasting more jobs and more sales, even in recent months. (The statewide unemployment rate has fallen back down to 5.6 percent, better than the national average.) As a result, the church has been able to expand its ministry reach, launching new worship sites and supporting hundreds of families with rent assistance and meal distribution during the pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic, of course, has become a top issue for voters, and it’s also shaping the way campaigns and elections are being held in 2020. While the Trump campaign has continued to put on in-person events to rally Republican Party faithful, the Believers for Biden outreach has focused on virtual events and discussions.

“I don’t think in-person events will affect mobilization per se, but these events seem to serve a purpose in reinforcing certain aspects of political identity,” said Daniel Bennett, chair of the political science department at John Brown University. “Specifically, those attending events like the Evangelicals for Trump event are telling the world they’re not afraid of COVID and won’t let a pandemic dampen their enthusiasm for the election. Biden faith events, being virtual, align with the Democratic narrative that the pandemic should be treated seriously.”

Evangelicals attending the Georgia event may have had their minds made up about Trump, but the rally urged them to become more involved in getting others to vote for him. “I felt like this was the last ‘charge’ I needed before the election,” said Roberts.

Kemp, the Republican governor who narrowly beat out Democrat Stacey Abrams in 2018, emphasized how individuals could make a big difference for Trump. He suggested attendees think of “10 people you know, from your church, your neighborhood” whom they might register to vote in Georgia. (“In person!” someone yelled from the audience.)

Two tables offered voter registration information, and another had voter guides from the Faith & Freedom Coalition. Like other voter mobilization efforts targeting Christians, the Faith & Freedom Coalition has had fewer opportunities to reach voters in-person now that many churches and community events remain on hold during the pandemic.

The coalition, which typically urges pastors to host a “Registration Sunday” with a voter registration booth in their church lobby, now also offers a video announcement with instructions for registering from home.

“Based on my research, activities in church like voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives are akin to small group activities run by a few for the benefit of many,” said Paul Djupe, a Denison University political scientist who has researched political activity by churches. “I suspect that such activities have collapsed during the pandemic, defaulting to online worship and little else.”

Djupe found that distributing voter guides—like the ones from the Faith & Freedom Coalition—was the most common get-out-the-vote effort by evangelical churches, whereas black Protestant congregations were more than twice as likely to hold voter registration events.

With 49 days to go before the election, Trump backers at Tuesday’s event disagreed over whether the president stands to win in a landslide or another close race, but many repeated the refrain that this was the most important election of their lifetimes. Eric Trump and Allen referenced the potential for additional Supreme Court appointments in the next term. Others expressed broader concerns about freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the economy being threatened under a Democratic administration.

“I did not get into this to be a politician. I’m a preacher … But I knew if I remained on the sideline and silent, and if all the preachers remained on the sideline and were silent, something was going to happen in the direction of this nation that could not ever be changed back again,” said Franklin, who leads Free Chapel in Gainesville, Georgia.

Speaking to rows dotted with telltale red baseball caps, with “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” playing in the background like an altar call, the pastor offered a closing charge.

“In every election, we have a responsibility to vote our faith. I don’t go in the booth and leave Jesus on the other side,” he said. “If we vote, we win. If we don’t vote, we lose.”
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2020, 08:28:51 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/september/kendi-barrett-adoption.html








Dr. Ibram Kendi, Amy Coney Barrett and Evangelical Adoption






Transracial adoption doesn't make you non-racist. But it doesn't make you racist either.


Over this past weekend, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist, drew attention for his bold tweets in response to a since-deleted tweet of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s sister holding two Black children. Amy Coney Barrett herself has adopted two children from Haiti. He stated, in multiple tweets:

Some White colonizers “adopted” Black children. They “civilized” these “savage” children in the “superior” ways of White people, while using them as props in their lifelong pictures of denial, while cutting the biological parents of these children out of the picture of humanity.
And whether this is Barrett or not is not the point. It if a belief too many White people have: if they have or adopt a child of color, then they can’t be racist.
After receiving pushback from other users on the platform, he further clarified his position:

I’m challenging the idea that White parents of kids of color are inherently “not racist” and the bots completely change what I’m saying to “White parents of kids of color are inherently racist.” These live and fake bots are good at their propaganda. Let’s not argue with them.
I am nowhere near the first person to critique his comments, but I would like to re-examine them in the light of the wider relationship between evangelical Christians and adoption, as well as my own personal experience as a transracial adoptee.

Does adoption make you “non-racist”? The short answer is no.

Dr. Kendi’s remarks are not about evangelicals in particular, but it is not difficult to come to the conclusion that his critique may have something to do with a religious movement that has unfortunately become synonymous with “white in America.” Kendi was responding to Amy Coney Barrett’s family, a woman who seems to have become the Ruth Bader Ginsburg for conservatives since her nomination to the Supreme Court was announced.

Kendi isn’t the first public figure to make such condemning statement about the evangelical adoption movement. In 2013, The Exchange published an article in response to a NPR interview with Kathryn Joyce, author of The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption, which I encourage you to read. Evangelicals have been coming under fire for the adoption movement for quite a while.

Joyce claimed that the current evangelical adoption movement was an attempt to make evangelicals look better in the media. By and large, I have not found this to be true, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the story of family vloggers James and Myka Stauffer, who are Christians, who found themselves in the middle of a controversy this summer after “re-homing” an autistic child they adopted from China.

To give a brief synopsis, the Stauffers chose to adopt this child from China and then decided to re-home him once they realized they could not provide for his needs, despite being warned repeatedly of the high level of need this child required throughout the adoption process. Due to their occupation as family vloggers, they directly profited off of this young child’s presence in their videos. As crude as it sounds, they did gain positive PR from adopting a child with disabilities, but once the adoption became too difficult, the child was no longer a part of their family.

Unfortunately, there is a grain of truth to Joyce’s claims, as well as Kendi’s. But it is just that: a grain. Many white people believe that if they have adopted a child of color, then they are automatically not racist. It is similar to the "Some of my best friends are Black" defense. And just like that defense, it does not hold up. This is a conversation I’ve had with my own white family. Just because I am not white and a part of their family does not mean their implicit biases are any less real. How you view the nonwhite person in your family, that you might have raised, is bound to be a different valuation than the person of color you see on the street.

I acknowledge the truth in Kendi’s claim, and actually agree with the idea that white parents of kids of color cannot claim to be inherently “not racist” because of their adopted child.

However, I find nearly everything else about his tweets indefensible, particularly after reflecting on my own story of transracial adoption.

Please don’t dehumanize my experience to make a socio-political statement.

First, I’d like to acknowledge that I am not Black, nor am I the spokesperson for all adoptees. Each adoptee’s experience is incredibly varied and I’ve never experienced what it means to be Black in America. I have, however, experienced what it means to be brown in America.

In 2001, I was adopted at a young age from a Christian orphanage in Hyderabad, India. The family that adopted me—my family—lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As you might be able to guess, they are white. My adoptive mother traveled across the world, by herself, to make me a part of her family. I think that’s an act of love, that someone wanted me bad enough to seek me out. My adoptive father grew up in the foster care system in Minneapolis, Minnesota. My parents were not strangers to what it means to be an orphan. They already had one child, my older brother. I didn’t just happen to be a part of my family— I was chosen.

Growing up, I remember attending SILC (School of Indian Language and Culture) on Saturday mornings so that I could be around other people who looked like me, and be immersed in my own culture—there were no white children there. On one of my first days in the United States, my family brought me to the mall to get my ears pierced, as is customary for Indian babies. Hyderabad is known as the “City of Pearls,” so my adoptive mom brought home pearls that I still have today. Perhaps Kendi would see these acts as using me as a prop, but I see them as marks of unconditional love—an unconditional love that seeks to acknowledge my cultural identity in any way that it can.

Kendi also states that these “colonizers” are “cutting the biological parents of these children out of the picture of humanity.” I don’t know how else to respond to this but by saying this reality: They were already gone. If my biological parents had the capacity or desire to be in my life, I wouldn’t have been in an orphanage. That’s not my adoptive parents’ fault. It certainly isn’t my fault. That might not even be my birth parents’ fault, but rather the result of a system that failed all of us.

My story is not representative of the stories of all adoptees—but neither are Kendi’s accusatory statements. Kendi portrays transracial adoption as inherently evil, as just another part of the very real, and very sinful, system of racism that perpetrates all of our lives. Adoption, like many things, is not that simple, and the notion that it can be undermines my experience, my family, and my very existence. Am I any less brown because my family is white? I don’t think so.

Without transracial adoption, I can’t guarantee that I would be alive, much less alive, educated, and writing this very article.










Sitara Roden is a recent addition to The Exchange and serves as Managing Editor. Roden also serves as Promotions Strategist at the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #35 on: October 05, 2020, 11:36:52 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/october/american-muslim-poll-trump-evangelicals-prolife-ispu.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+christianitytoday%2Fctmag+%28CT+Magazine%29








Interview: To Elect Trump, Evangelicals Could Find Common Cause with Muslims






Surprising points of political commonality found between religious groups in fifth annual American Muslim Poll.


In a tightly contested presidential race, might Muslims swing the US election?

Referencing the release of President Donald Trump’s tax returns in Tuesday’s debate, former vice president’s Joe Biden’s “inshallah” [Arabic for “if God wills”] may have been a nod to the strong support he receives from this community.

But according to data from the fifth annual American Muslim Poll, Muslims make up only 1 percent of the American population, only 74 percent are eligible to vote, and only 57 percent are registered.

Why then do they occupy such an outsized space in the mind of many American evangelicals? And what should evangelicals better understand about the American Muslim community and their political preferences?

CT spoke with Dalia Mogahed, director of research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), which commissioned the poll. Surveying 2,167 respondents—including more than 800 Muslims, 350 Jews, 200 Catholics, and 200 white evangelicals—ISPU aimed to showcase Muslim perspectives within the context of America’s landscape of faith.

Among the findings is that American Muslims disproportionately practice their politics at the local level. Over 1 in 5 has attended a town hall meeting (22%), compared to white evangelicals and the general public (12% vs. 15%).

And while only 27 percent of the general public reports satisfaction over the direction of the country, both Muslims (37%) and white evangelicals (42%) are more positive.

Are they satisfied with the same things?

CT and Mogahed discussed the social conservatism of many American Muslims, their willingness to build coalitions on pro-life and religious liberty issues, and the surprising numbers concerning their approval rating of President Trump.

The level of support for President Trump has doubled among Muslims, from 13 percent in 2018 and 16 percent in 2019 to 30 percent in 2020. How to you interpret this finding?

We are still trying to understand it ourselves. One thing is that this growth in support came primarily from white Muslims. They are about 20 percent of the community, but approved of Trump’s performance at 50 percent, on par with white Americans overall [48%]. Non-white Muslims were much lower [20–27%], on par with non-whites in the general public [16–24%]. So there is a salience of race in the Muslim community, just as there is in America overall.

The second thing that may have contributed to the uptick is the timing of the poll, which was right at the start of the lockdown, mid-March to mid-April. There may have been a sense of “rallying around the flag” as the president led the country at that time.

Your poll also examined the attitude of the Muslim community toward building coalitions with religious liberty and pro-life groups. Might some of this increase in support for the president be connected to his stand on these issues?

That also may have contributed. [Among] the variables linked to support for Trump is support for religious liberty, as is choosing the economy as the most important issue facing the government. Interestingly, just like the general public, identifying as white was also a predictor of support for the president; so again, race is a salient factor.

What was most surprising to me is that religiosity—all else being equal—was not a factor. But partisanship was.

So it doesn’t matter how pious Muslims are [71% said their faith was important to their daily life in last year’s survey], or how often they pray [43%]. These have no bearing on their political choices.

Exactly. As is the case of the general public.

Looking closely at the coalition building figures, roughly half of Muslims seem to be pro-life [49%], and roughly half support issues surrounding religious liberty [47%]. But the question is specifically about coalitions. How do you unpack these figures?

The question asked if you are in favor of building political coalitions with activists working on the cause in question. The community is split right in half, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the other half is not pro-life or doesn’t care about religious liberty.

They may object for other reasons—if the activists have objectionable views about Muslims, or other issues—despite agreeing with them on abortion or religious liberty.

Are American Muslims pro-life? Do they favor restrictions on abortion? Or is abortion an unclear matter in Islamic teaching?

The question is difficult to answer. I’ve never seen data on what Muslims would say. Abortion is not as cut and dry as it may be for many evangelicals.

There is a difference over when the soul is breathed into the fetus’s life. Some say it is present at conception, while other legal scholars say it comes at 120 days of gestation. Some of the latter might say an abortion is allowed for specific reasons up until this 120-day mark.

But despite many Muslims being against an abortion for themselves, a minority would say they are wary of the government regulating it, because it opens the door to regulating other personal matters.

The community is very diverse in its views.

I think this would be a wonderful topic for a dialogue between Muslims and evangelicals. I was surprised the figures for coalition building were not higher for evangelicals in our poll [53% favorable for religious liberty coalitions, and 57% favorable for pro-life ones], as we give everyone the same questions.

The polls suggest Muslims suffer disproportionate religious discrimination [60%, compared to 33% of the general public]. So one might think they would be in favor of building coalitions in defense of religious liberty. Why is it that half of the community [47%] does not?

I would say half of Muslims see the solution to religious discrimination in terms of religious liberty—the first amendment. The other half would see the solution in civil rights laws.

This side is sometimes in conflict with religious liberty activism, which sees coalition building as a threat to their civil rights. If they don’t stick up for other groups who are discriminated against, their own rights won’t be respected.

The other side says no, we should be aligned with religious conservatives who want to give people the right to respect their faith and determine how to run their schools, churches, and mosques.

You really do have both sides in our community, in constant debate.

Is this tension reflected also in the finding that 55 percent of Muslims are not in support of building coalitions with LGBT groups?

Muslim-Americans are on par with Catholics [61%] and the general public [62%] in opposition to these coalitions. Those who approve them [39% of Muslims] may see common cause between Muslim issues and LGBT issues in terms of human rights.

How do Muslims interpret homosexuality within Islam?

This topic is much more cut and dry than abortion, and is not a debate within the body of Islamic jurisprudence in any way. The only sanctioned sexual activity is between a man and a woman in the context of marriage, anything else is considered a sin.

But I do want to clarify that in Islam, simply being a gay, lesbian, or bisexual is not a sin until it is acted upon. Islam draws the line between thoughts and actions, and gives rewards for self-restraint.

The debate is not about homosexual relations, but whether Muslim civil rights and religious liberty is protected by supporting other groups’ freedom to live their life as they choose.

This reminds me of last year’s survey, which polled Muslims on the degree to which they wanted their religious law to influence US legislation.

Some people within the Muslim, Christian [Catholics 28%, Protestants 39%], and certainly within the evangelical community do favor their religious principles to inform law. But Muslims are less likely than evangelicals to favor a role for their faith in law [33% vs. 54%], and are on par with the general public.

The poll shows that American Muslims favor the Democratic candidate [51%] over the Republican candidate [16%]. But if Muslims are socially conservative on so many issues, why do they “lean left?”

Muslims are more socially conservative than the average American—in terms of how they see sexual morality, for instance.

However, there are many things central to the Muslim belief system that resonate with the Democratic party. One is care for the poor. Health care as something people should have access to, even if they can’t afford it. Protection of the environment. These social welfare issues align with Islam as well.

Another issue, frankly, is the alienation of Muslims from the Republican party, especially after 9/11 and the so-called “war on terror,” and their perceived Islamophobia. Perhaps more Muslims would identify as Republican if there wasn’t such a hostile rhetoric against them from important leaders within the party.

At a social level, last year’s poll showed a 33-percent favorable rating toward evangelicals, compared to a 14-percent unfavorable rating. Can you explain this positive opinion toward evangelicals?

Unfortunately, the opposite is not true. Evangelicals are much more likely to have negative opinions of Muslims [44% unfavorable vs. 20% favorable], so the view is not reciprocated.

Why are Muslims neutral to positive? Muslims tend to respect and admire religious devotion, and they tend to see evangelicals as people who take their faith seriously, and live according to its teaching.

As our country tends more and more toward religious non-affiliation and agnosticism or atheism, this is the ideology that Muslims feel threatened by, not Christianity.

While evangelicals are responsible for their own community attitudes, what are Muslims doing, or can do, to overcome these negative perceptions?

Muslims are doing a great deal. I know of several Muslim-evangelical interfaith activities. But the key thing that needs to happen is for evangelical leaders to see Muslims in a more accurate light. I’ve watched evangelical television, and I am horrified by the way they speak about our community—things that are simply not true.

I think a better understanding of our faith would go a long way, as it tends to completely transform the view of Muslims. I’ve seen this firsthand many times.

What have you heard evangelical leaders say in denigration?

I have heard people say that Muslims worship a false god, that their faith is based in demonic teachings. I’ve heard this directly and in person.

This is simply not true. Muslims worship the God of Abraham, the same God Christians and Jews claim to worship. We have a different concept of God—we do not believe in the Trinity—but to accuse Muslims of demonic worship is so baseless and almost laughable.

Satan is portrayed in the Quran as our enemy, as someone who rebelled against God. I encourage everyone to just read the Quran for themselves.

Within the evangelical community, the issue of “same God” is a theological concern, not just a case of popular rhetoric. But if religious differences cannot be set aside so easily, where do you see examples of Muslims and evangelicals working on issues of the common good?

I believe there is an anti-torture campaign these groups are involved in, believing in the dignity of human beings as endowed by their Creator. Poverty is another issue. These are two areas where we can work together, with the younger generation especially concerned about environmental protection.

We started with politics, so we can end with it also. Since many evangelicals are inclined to vote for President Trump, and it is expected to be a tight election, how can they convince Muslims to vote for their candidate of preference?

They would have to reassure Muslims that President Trump wouldn’t seek to harm their community, violate their rights, and sanction discrimination against them. That he would make an effort to lift the “Muslim ban.” I would emphasize the economy and religious liberty, things pro-Trump Muslims already agree with. These would be my talking points.

The poll shows that Muslim support for Republicans has held steady from 2016 to 2020 [at 16%]. But this year, only 51 percent said they prefer a Democrat, which is a significant decline from 67 percent in 2016. And 28 percent of Muslims said they were undecided.

Is there a sense that Muslims are not as solidly in the Democratic camp as they were before?

I think there has been some erosion, especially because of concerns for religious liberty. Whether this will lead them to vote for President Trump, or just stay home, remains to be seen.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #36 on: October 07, 2020, 08:17:51 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/october-web-only/evangelicalism-politics-witness-repentance-renewal.html









Evangelical Witness Is Compromised. We Need Repentance and Renewal.



The National Evangelical Association calls Christians to affirm their moral leadership.


Polarization is like powerful magnets placed throughout our ideological spectrum. They pull us apart and clump us into tribes. We have a hard time breaking away from the magnetic security of being with like-minded people, who reinforce our like-mindedness. Efforts to move toward others must labor against that pull.

For this reason, the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) and World Relief have published a short sign-on statement of repentance, renewal, and resolve. It is based on the 2004 NAE document For the Health of the Nation, an evangelical call to civic responsibility and a guide for public leadership.

The statement focuses on eight broad issues of moral importance that are rooted in biblical convictions: protecting religious freedom, safeguarding the sanctity of life, strengthening families, seeking justice for the poor and vulnerable, preserving human rights, pursuing racial justice, restraining violence, and caring for God’s creation.

These issues do not exhaust the concerns of faith or government, but they illustrate a breadth of commitments in which evangelicals can engage in common action.

We are in a season in which the evangelical faith is being narrowly defined and misunderstood by many, with long-term ramifications for our gospel witness. We seek to present a thoughtful, humble, biblically grounded statement of our identity that we pray will function as a light shining on a hill to a watching world, to the glory of our Father in heaven (Matt. 5:14–16).

These biblical values unite us across denominational, geographic, ethnic, and partisan divides. Too many, especially young people and people of color, have been alienated by the evangelical Christianity they have seen presented in public in recent years, and they may rightly wonder if there is a home for them in evangelicalism. We have an opportunity to reaffirm with conviction and clarity that our tradition is rooted in fidelity to Christ and his kingdom values.

In rallying around these principles, we will also show those outside the church that evangelicalism is not defined by politics. Rather, we are motivated by love for God and our neighbor.

We invite Christians to join us in affirming this statement. Now is the time to promote faithful, evangelical, civic engagement and a biblically balanced agenda as we seek to commit to the biblical call to act justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God.








Walter Kim is president of the National Association of Evangelicals.

Speaking Out is Christianity Today’s guest opinion column and (unlike an editorial) does not necessarily represent the opinion of the publication.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #37 on: October 13, 2020, 04:50:11 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/october/half-of-protestant-pastors-back-trump.html








Half of Protestant Pastors Back Trump






Recent Lifeway Research offers insight into how pastors are voting in 2020.


Almost all Protestant pastors plan to participate in the 2020 election, but around a quarter still haven’t decided who will get their presidential vote.

In the latest election survey, Nashville-based LifeWay Research found 98% of Protestant pastors in the U.S. say they plan to vote in the presidential election.

When they cast their ballot, 53% of pastors likely to vote say they plan to do so for Donald Trump. Around 1 in 5 (21%) say they are voting for Joe Biden. A similar percentage (22%) say they are still undecided. About 4% say they are voting for a different candidate.

“Pastors vote like any other American,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. “The large number of pastors who are still undecided may reflect difficulty in finding a candidate who aligns with their overall beliefs. Also, some pastors are intensely private about their political preferences and may prefer to respond ‘undecided’ than to even confidentially share their voting intentions.”

Presidential votes

Compared to 2016, the president has much higher levels of support among pastors this year.

In a 2016 LifeWay Research survey, 40% of pastors were undecided midway through September. Around a third supported Trump (32%). Hillary Clinton, the Democratic party nominee, garnered 19%, while Libertarian Gary Johnson had 4%.

For the 2020 election, support for the Democratic and third-party candidates remains similar, but around half of the number of undecided pastors in 2016 now say they will vote for Trump.

“There were a lot of unknowns in 2016, including Trump being an outsider candidate and little sense of how others would respond to supporting his candidacy,” said McConnell. “Pastors know their options for 2020, and a majority are willing to vote for him.”

Among self-identified evangelical pastors, Trump’s support is similar to that of evangelicals across the country. Almost 7 in 10 evangelical pastors (68%) say they plan to vote for the president, compared to 20% of mainline pastors. In a recent LifeWay Research survey, 6 in 10 Americans who hold evangelical beliefs (61%) pick Trump over Biden (29%).

Among African American pastors, 61% choose Biden, while 6% say they plan to vote for Trump. Younger pastors, age 18 to 44, are the least likely age demographic to back the president for reelection (41%).

Denominationally, Pentecostal (70%) and Baptist pastors (67%) are more likely to vote for Trump than pastors in the Restorationist movement (49%), Lutherans (43%), Presbyterian/Reformed (24%) or Methodists (22%).

The same percentage of Protestant pastors in the U.S. and American evangelicals by belief identify as Republican (51%). Around 1 in 6 pastors (16%) say they are a Democrat, while 23% see themselves as an independent.

Both major party presidential candidates retain the support of pastors who identify with their party. More than 4 in 5 Democratic pastors (85%) plan to vote for Biden. Similarly, 81% of Republican pastors support Trump.

Motivating issues

Unlike Americans with evangelical beliefs, Protestant pastors say abortion and religious liberty are two of the most important issues driving their presidential choice this November.

When asked which characteristics of the candidates are important in deciding how to vote, clear majorities of pastors say the candidate’s position on abortion (70%), their ability to protect religious freedom (65%) and their likely Supreme Court nominees (62%) are key factors.

Close to half point to an ability to improve the economy (54%), ability to maintain national security (54%), personal character (53%), their position on immigration (51%), ability to address racial injustice (51%) and their position on the size and role of government (47%).

Around a third (35%) say the candidate’s ability to slow the spread of COVID-19 is important.

Pastors also selected the single issue most important to determining their vote. Only the candidate’s position on abortion (25%), their personal character (22%), ability to protect religious freedom (16%) or likely Supreme Court nominees (10%) are seen as the primary issue by at least 1 in 10 Protestant pastors.

In a recent LifeWay survey of all Americans, voters with evangelical beliefs are most likely to point to an ability to improve the economy (22%) and an ability to slow the spread of COVID (16%) as the primary issue in deciding their presidential vote. Fewer say abortion (11%) or religious freedom (11%) are their primary issue.

“A microcosm of the national debate about COVID-19 has been directed at pastors this year as they have made decisions about necessary precautions for their own church,” said McConnell. “Despite the drastic changes the pandemic has caused to ministry and church practices, most pastors give much higher priority to other national concerns than a candidate’s ability to slow the spread of this virus.”

Evangelical and mainline pastors have different values they believe are important in this election.

Protestant pastors who identify as evangelical are more likely than mainline pastors to see as important in determining their vote: abortion (82% to 38%), protection of religious freedom (72% to 41%), likely Supreme Court nominees (70% to 53%), maintaining national security (58% to 47%) and the size and role of government (52% to 36%).

Mainline pastors, on the other hand, are more likely than their evangelical counterparts to say addressing racial injustice (73% to 44%), the candidate’s personal character (73% to 46%) and slowing the spread of COVID-19 (55% to 28%) are a key part of their presidential choice.

In terms of the most important issue in determining their vote, evangelical pastors are more likely than mainline pastors to say abortion (33% to 5%), while mainline pastors are more likely to point to personal character as the most vital issue in this election (44% to 14%).

For more information, view the complete report or visit LifeWayResearch.com.

Methodology: The mixed mode survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors was conducted Sept. 2 to Oct. 1, 2020 using both phone and online interviews. For phone interviews, the calling list was a stratified random sample, drawn from a list of all Protestant churches. Quotas were used for church size. For online interviews, invitations were emailed to the LifeWay Research Pastor Panel followed by three reminders. This probability sample of Protestant churches was created by phone recruiting by LifeWay Research using random samples selected from all Protestant churches. Pastors who agree to be contacted by email for future surveys make up this LifeWay Research Pastor Panel.

Each survey was completed by the senior or sole pastor or a minister at the church. Responses were weighted by region and church size to more accurately reflect the population. The completed sample is 1,007 surveys (502 by phone, 505 online). The sample provides 95% confidence that the sampling error does not exceed plus or minus 3.4%. This margin of error accounts for the effect of weighting. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.








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


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


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