+- +-

+- User

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

+-Stats ezBlock

Members
Total Members: 122
Latest: Boaz
New This Month: 2
New This Week: 0
New Today: 0
Stats
Total Posts: 20248
Total Topics: 949
Most Online Today: 396
Most Online Ever: 771
(July 30, 2019, 01:13:39 am)
Users Online
Members: 1
Guests: 53
Total: 54

Author Topic: The fearless evangelist  (Read 2480 times)

0 Members and 0 Guests are viewing this topic.

patrick jane

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12220
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • Research Jesus Christ - Research Flat Earth
  • Location: Homeless in God's Flat Earth
  • Referrals: 41
    • Theology Forums
Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #39 on: October 19, 2020, 10:09:36 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/october/white-evangelical-voters-for-trump-pew-lifeway-survey.html








White Evangelicals Are Actually for Trump in 2020, Not Just Against His Opponent




Polls show faithful supporters no longer see the Republican incumbent as the “lesser of two evils.”


While white evangelicals’ support for President Donald Trump is close to the strong backing he enjoyed in 2016, voters’ motivations have shifted during his first term at the White House.

This year, a majority are excited to get behind Trump, rather than being primarily motivated by a distaste for his opponent. Among white evangelical Trump supporters, most characterize their vote in 2020 as “for Trump” (57%) and not “against Joe Biden” (20%), according to new Pew Research Center survey breakouts provided to CT.

Last presidential election, the numbers told a different story. White evangelicals voting for the Republican were more likely to say their vote was “against Clinton” (45%) than “for Trump” (30%) in Pew’s 2016 survey—which researchers caution isn’t directly comparable to the recent numbers because it was done by phone, while this year’s was done online.

Tony Suarez, executive vice president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, says four years will change your perspective. He served on Trump’s faith advisory panel leading up to the 2016 election. This time, he’s actively campaigning for reelection.

“Now I’m more than an adviser,” said Suarez, who has spoken at Evangelicals for Trump events around the country. “It’s my call because of what I’ve seen in the last four years. … He respects prayer, receives prayer, and respects the faith community, but he gets a bad rap.”

Trump’s reputation is also an animating factor on the Left, where more Biden voters overall say they are voting “against Trump” than “for Biden.”

The only religious group that considers itself “for Biden” is black Protestants; 90 percent back the former vice president and over half say they are voting for him and not against the current president, Pew found. In comparison, among the 17 percent of white evangelicals who lean toward Biden, three-quarters say they are motivated to vote “against Trump.”

Nathan Hoag, an evangelical pastor in Colorado, says his choice to vote Democrat “has little to do with my approval of Biden and almost everything to do with my disapproval of Trump.” He said the decision was easier this year after seeing four years of the administration’s policies.

Though it’s still a minority position among white evangelicals, faith-based opposition to Trump has grown far more organized in 2020 and is focusing on the concerns shared by voters like Hoag.

Not Our Faith, a bipartisan Christian super PAC whose advisers include former Obama staffer Michael Wear, is the latest effort to launch. The organization will join a burgeoning number—Republican Voters Against Trump, Christians Against Trumpism, Evangelicals for Biden, and Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden—formed to rally believers to vote the current president out of office.

The increasingly vocal opposition cites Christian convictions around issues like racism, health care, poverty, and climate science, as well as concerns with Trump’s tone.

“We believe Christians who use, excuse and embrace toxic rhetoric to achieve specific policy ‘wins’ are short-sighted and wrong,” stated Christians Against Trumpism.

Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden said that beyond abortion, “Joe Biden’s policies are more consistent with the biblically shaped ethic of life than those of Donald Trump.”

Suarez and other evangelicals siding with the president have pushed back against the evangelical minority speaking up for Biden.

The president still feels the love from his evangelical base. On a prayer call on Sunday evening, he said, “Whether it’s evangelical, whether it’s Christian evangelical, call it whatever you want, people of religion, this is the most important election of our lives. We have got to get out and we have to vote.”

Joined by his daughter-in-law Lara Trump, pastor Paula White-Cain, and other evangelical leaders who have joined campaign efforts, the president—less than a week after being discharged from his coronavirus hospitalization—offered up his prayers.

“I want to thank God for working miracles, and I want to ask God for the wisdom and grace to lead our country and to lead it on the top level,” Trump said to more than 100,000 supporters tuning in. “We’re going to make America greater than ever before.”

For white evangelicals who have stood by Trump, this is what they see from the president: a leader who prays and welcomes their prayers and who has kept his promises to improve the economy, uphold pro-life stances, and appoint conservative justices.

Like white evangelicals overall, evangelical pastors have grown more confident in the president. At this point in 2016, they were more likely to say they didn’t know whom they’d vote for than to side with candidate Trump, according to a LifeWay Research survey.

This year’s survey found that more than two-thirds of evangelical pastors plan to vote for Trump (68%). LifeWay found that 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 racial divide among evangelical voters holds for pastors too. Only 6 percent of African American pastors say they support Trump, while a majority (61%) will be voting for Biden.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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

patrick jane

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12220
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • Research Jesus Christ - Research Flat Earth
  • Location: Homeless in God's Flat Earth
  • Referrals: 41
    • Theology Forums
Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #40 on: October 24, 2020, 07:36:02 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/october/white-evangelical-voters-for-trump-pew-lifeway-survey.html








White Evangelicals Are Actually for Trump in 2020, Not Just Against His Opponent




Polls show faithful supporters no longer see the Republican incumbent as the “lesser of two evils.”


While white evangelicals’ support for President Donald Trump is close to the strong backing he enjoyed in 2016, voters’ motivations have shifted during his first term at the White House.

This year, a majority are excited to get behind Trump, rather than being primarily motivated by a distaste for his opponent. Among white evangelical Trump supporters, most characterize their vote in 2020 as “for Trump” (57%) and not “against Joe Biden” (20%), according to new Pew Research Center survey breakouts provided to CT.

Last presidential election, the numbers told a different story. White evangelicals voting for the Republican were more likely to say their vote was “against Clinton” (45%) than “for Trump” (30%) in Pew’s 2016 survey—which researchers caution isn’t directly comparable to the recent numbers because it was done by phone, while this year’s was done online.

Tony Suarez, executive vice president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, says four years will change your perspective. He served on Trump’s faith advisory panel leading up to the 2016 election. This time, he’s actively campaigning for reelection.

“Now I’m more than an adviser,” said Suarez, who has spoken at Evangelicals for Trump events around the country. “It’s my call because of what I’ve seen in the last four years. … He respects prayer, receives prayer, and respects the faith community, but he gets a bad rap.”

Trump’s reputation is also an animating factor on the Left, where more Biden voters overall say they are voting “against Trump” than “for Biden.”

The only religious group that considers itself “for Biden” is black Protestants; 90 percent back the former vice president and over half say they are voting for him and not against the current president, Pew found. In comparison, among the 17 percent of white evangelicals who lean toward Biden, three-quarters say they are motivated to vote “against Trump.”

Nathan Hoag, an evangelical pastor in Colorado, says his choice to vote Democrat “has little to do with my approval of Biden and almost everything to do with my disapproval of Trump.” He said the decision was easier this year after seeing four years of the administration’s policies.

Though it’s still a minority position among white evangelicals, faith-based opposition to Trump has grown far more organized in 2020 and is focusing on the concerns shared by voters like Hoag.

Not Our Faith, a bipartisan Christian super PAC whose advisers include former Obama staffer Michael Wear, is the latest effort to launch. The organization will join a burgeoning number—Republican Voters Against Trump, Christians Against Trumpism, Evangelicals for Biden, and Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden—formed to rally believers to vote the current president out of office.

The increasingly vocal opposition cites Christian convictions around issues like racism, health care, poverty, and climate science, as well as concerns with Trump’s tone.

“We believe Christians who use, excuse and embrace toxic rhetoric to achieve specific policy ‘wins’ are short-sighted and wrong,” stated Christians Against Trumpism.

Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden said that beyond abortion, “Joe Biden’s policies are more consistent with the biblically shaped ethic of life than those of Donald Trump.”

Suarez and other evangelicals siding with the president have pushed back against the evangelical minority speaking up for Biden.

The president still feels the love from his evangelical base. On a prayer call on Sunday evening, he said, “Whether it’s evangelical, whether it’s Christian evangelical, call it whatever you want, people of religion, this is the most important election of our lives. We have got to get out and we have to vote.”

Joined by his daughter-in-law Lara Trump, pastor Paula White-Cain, and other evangelical leaders who have joined campaign efforts, the president—less than a week after being discharged from his coronavirus hospitalization—offered up his prayers.

“I want to thank God for working miracles, and I want to ask God for the wisdom and grace to lead our country and to lead it on the top level,” Trump said to more than 100,000 supporters tuning in. “We’re going to make America greater than ever before.”

For white evangelicals who have stood by Trump, this is what they see from the president: a leader who prays and welcomes their prayers and who has kept his promises to improve the economy, uphold pro-life stances, and appoint conservative justices.

Like white evangelicals overall, evangelical pastors have grown more confident in the president. At this point in 2016, they were more likely to say they didn’t know whom they’d vote for than to side with candidate Trump, according to a LifeWay Research survey.

This year’s survey found that more than two-thirds of evangelical pastors plan to vote for Trump (68%). LifeWay found that 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 racial divide among evangelical voters holds for pastors too. Only 6 percent of African American pastors say they support Trump, while a majority (61%) will be voting for Biden.

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


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

patrick jane

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12220
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • Research Jesus Christ - Research Flat Earth
  • Location: Homeless in God's Flat Earth
  • Referrals: 41
    • Theology Forums
Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #41 on: October 27, 2020, 10:49:00 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/october-web-only/jesus-john-wayne-kristin-kobes-du-mez-masculinity.html








The Alpha-Male Style in American Evangelicalism





A historian asks whether a warped view of masculine authority has corrupted our faith and political witness.


As a recent college graduate in 1983, I sat spellbound with thousands in my southern city civic center, mesmerized by a mousy man projected on a big screen who taught us we must submit to authority in every domain of life. Authority is God-given, Bill Gothard taught, and in his moral universe, any diversion from obedience disturbed the force and ignited interpersonal conflict, along with personal anger and resentment. Gothard’s principles for life’s dilemmas included specific practices based on the Bible. Obedience begets blessings, peace of mind, and confidence in one’s relationship with God.

Specifically, Gothard directed us to seek out those we’d offended and ask forgiveness. Past conflict clogged up one’s conscience. To be released from former transgressions freed us for future treasure, or something like that.

My mind immediately went to a high-school girlfriend I’d heartlessly dumped as I made my way to college four years prior. Gothard offered a script of contrition, so I looked up her phone number, dialed, and read my repentance. Needless to say, she was nonplussed and wondered why in the world I was calling. I told her about the seminar, about obedience and the blessings that awaited us both if she’d obey and forgive me. Moreover, God structured things such that she actually had to forgive me since she was a woman and I was a man. It was how authority in the universe supposedly worked.

Fast forward 20 years to a congregation I served as a minister in Boston. We hosted a special event featuring the popular Reformed evangelical pastor John Piper, who like Gothard stressed the importance of obedience in a hierarchical chain of command starting with God and descending to men over women and children. The Lord established male headship over women as part of creation’s order, Piper taught, for his glory and our joy. The place was packed, mostly with young, male, goateed enthusiasts, wide-eyed in wonder over how good they had it as men in God’s economy.

In her recent book, Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation, Calvin University historian Kristin Kobes Du Mez situates Gothard and Piper in a long line of white, alpha-male leaders whose devotion to a militant Christian patriarchy and nationalism inevitably led to exuberant support, among large numbers of white evangelicals, for Donald Trump as President—despite his clear deviation from anything evangelical in a spiritual or behavioral sense. As it turned out, Du Mez argues, obedience wasn’t as much about goodness and grace as it was about power and who wielded it.

A ‘Masculinity Problem’
Early in the 20th century, Du Mez writes, “Christians recognized that they had a masculinity problem.” If America was to be truly great and fully Christian, it had to man up. Effeminate features of Victorian piety would no longer do for a nation aspiring to righteous superpower.

The popular idea of America as God’s chosen nation traces back to Puritan leader John Winthrop’s 1630 “city on a hill” sermon, which went mainly unnoticed (except by historians) until Ronald Reagan rolled it out amid the latter days of the Cold War. Invoked by successor presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, the notion of American exceptionalism became core to the national identity. In the eyes of many Christians, America’s chosenness was linked with its morality, specifically in the areas of sexual ethics, family values, character education, freedom of (Christian) worship, and a potent foreign policy. And safeguarding that morality required various forms of government action.

With the evangelical embrace of morals legislation came a commitment to order and hierarchical authority, starting at the top with God and manifested in strong male leadership in government, business, the military, churches, and families. Masculine power was essential to America fulfilling its calling. Without it, America would allegedly go the way of wusses, weakening as a nation into a soft and too-delicate democracy.

Du Mez saddles up with Teddy Roosevelt as a Rough Rider and giddyups all the way to the present, lassoing the likes of Billy Sunday and Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell and James Dobson, Duck Dynasty and Mark Driscoll, along with plenty of other Christian cowboys (and a few cowgirls too). She shows how militant white Christian patriarchy paved the way for a fractured nation and a ruined religion whose doctrine of grace and commandment to love diminish in the face of political expedience. She stresses how, as a political culture as much as anything, white evangelicalism captivated believers enough to redraw the boundaries of faith around political allegiance rather than creedal assent. (One example of this dynamic at work: As I entered my new role as editor in chief of Christianity Today, I was asked more about my position on particular policy issues than about any thoughts on theology.)

As Du Mez explains, “For conservative white evangelicals steeped in this ideology, it can be difficult to extricate their faith, and their identity, from this larger cultural movement.” So true. This is especially the case as political loyalties hijack faith commitments to the point that whom you vote for determines what kind of Christian you are rather than the other way around. Du Mez cites Doug Phillips, a Teddy Roosevelt aficionado and leader of the Christian homeschool movement, as representative of the patriarchal-political ideology:

[Phillips] called on men to assume patriarchal leadership “more noble than the valiant deeds of shining knights of yore,” and, quoting Charles Spurgeon, he instructed wives to set aside their own pleasure, to sink their individuality into their husbands, to make the domestic circle their kingdom and husbands their “little world,” their “Paradise,” their “choicest treasure.” Phillips believed that patriarchy and patriotism were inextricably connected, and both were God-given duties. Patriarchy was key to the success of nations, and to be “anti-patriotic” was to be a spiritual ingrate.

Mix white patriarchy and patriotism together with prejudice, and you have all the ingredients for white supremacy, the fuel behind America’s longstanding racial animus and recent political hostility, which many worry could break American democracy itself. In voting for Donald Trump, Du Mez writes, “Evangelicals hadn’t betrayed their values. Donald Trump was the culmination of their half-century-long pursuit of a militant Christian masculinity.”

A Better Hierarchy
On one level, Du Mez’s thesis is compelling and extensively researched. She shows how white evangelicalism worked as both a basis and cover for white-privileged power plays and culture wars, all in an attempt to preserve a hierarchy that served white male agendas, excused misbehavior, and exonerated abuse. Not that all of us white males imbibed the testosterone. Plenty of us, including what Du Mez calls the “northern establishment evangelicals—the Wheaton and Christianity Today types,” were baffled by the overwrought Call of Duty discipleship. Still, our devotion to specific social policies, our worries over the loss of moral high ground and cultural hegemony, our fears over the dissolution of Christian institutional influence, and our own leadership led us to render unto Caesar the things that belonged to God in a desperate last gasp for legitimacy.

At the same time, Du Mez seems guilty of a bit of confirmation bias. If you’re hunting for white privilege and fragility, it’s not hard to find. Having announced her thesis about militant Christian-nationalist, male-patriarchal supremacy, she mines American history for classic deplorables, most all of whom went on to be exposed for the scandalous sins their pride and prejudice invariably caused. On the other hand are plenty of white evangelical men canceled out for political acts never committed but only assumed and whose patriotism gets distorted as nationalism simply because they’re white, Christian, and male. As a political force they barely register compared to Amazon, Facebook, and Hollywood.

But as the religion scholar Arthur Farnsley notes, white American evangelicals make up about a quarter of the American population. And “when this election is over,” he writes, “they will still be here. And they will still be deeply intertwined in American life. These folks are our fellow-citizens, part of our country’s lifeblood. We need to be building bridges toward evangelicals of goodwill, not burning them.”

As an older white southern male, weaned on evangelical Bible studies and teaching, it’s possible I’m part of the problem and that I have little ground from which to critique Du Mez’s argument. Hierarchy has its upsides, as I’ve enjoyed genuine privilege. And as one popular adage has it, when you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.

The high-school girlfriend I dumped declined to forgive me. I’d hurt her, she said, and grace wouldn’t come cheaply. That my conscience bothered me four years hence was a good thing, she thought. Better to let me stew in those juices for a while and learn a lesson. I confess that I did.

Obedience doesn’t work like a math equation. And the joy it brings comes at a high price. Jesus himself did not consider his own equality with God as something to exploit but humbled himself unto his own obedient death on a cross for our sake (Phil. 2:1–11). This is the attitude to which we should aspire, a hierarchy that locates our own interests at the bottom of the pile. It may not seem very manly, but if Jesus is the ideal, so much for John Wayne.







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


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

patrick jane

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12220
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • Research Jesus Christ - Research Flat Earth
  • Location: Homeless in God's Flat Earth
  • Referrals: 41
    • Theology Forums
Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #42 on: October 27, 2020, 10:49:38 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/november/meet-tik-tok-generation-z-televangelists-seo.html








Meet the TikTok Generation of Televangelists




These young influencers want to #MakeJesusViral.


Gabe Poirot runs from the street toward the camera, yelling, “Wait, wait, don’t scroll!”

If the urgency in his voice causes you to pause and watch his video, you’re in for a 60-second blessing. Wearing a pink crewneck sweatshirt with “#MakeJesusViral” emblazoned on the front, he leans deep into the frame. “Let me pray with you today,” he says earnestly, then bows his head and closes his eyes. “Father God, let me just pray for the person on the other end of this phone.”

Poirot, 19, is a student at Kenneth Copeland Bible College who uses the social media app TikTok to share clips of himself preaching short sermons and praying for his audience. TikTok feeds users a constant stream of one-minute-or-less videos via its “For You” page, making it easy for them to skip the ones that don’t catch their attention within the first few seconds.

While much of TikTok is devoted to less-than-youth-group-friendly content—like dances to Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” and videos of users walking into rooms naked to film their partners’ reactions—Poirot’s content rests in a subgenre known as “Christian TikTok” (or, as rapper Kanye West suggested, “Jesus Tok”). Christian TikTok influencers publish sermonettes, cleaned-up versions of trending dance challenges, best Bible study practices, and even tutorials on how to stretch without participating in the Hindu elements of yoga. And many of the young content creators are on a mission: to spark revival among Generation Z—those born in the late 1990s through the early 2010s.

At the beginning of 2020, TikTok set the record as the most downloaded app in one quarter; to date, it’s been downloaded over 2 billion times worldwide. Part of the app’s popularity among contributors is its algorithm, which suggests new videos based on users’ history and preferences. It can vault the average video onto the screens of TikTok’s 700 million monthly active users, launching the careers of aspiring social media influencers.

The app has been controversial, not only because of concerns that the Chinese government uses it to collect data on Americans, but also because it has haphazardly spread videos such as a girl documenting her abortion and a man filming his suicide. But Poirot (@gabe_poirot2) and other Christian TikTok creators hope to leverage the easy virality for the sake of evangelism.




The app seems to be rewarding their efforts. Poirot’s two accounts, where he posts videos with captions like “ITS TIME FOR CHRISTIANS TO UNITE” spelled out in bright, eye-catching red, cater to a combined following of 556,100 users. His audience is young: One study indicated that in 2019, 41 percent of TikTok users were between the ages of 16 to 24; other reports show TikTok has roughly 18 million daily users in the US under the age of 14.

If TikTok is fostering the next generation of populist preachers, they share a lot in common with their predecessors: wide smiles and amped-up personas, along with a keen awareness of the rules of medium in which their message lives. And like sawdust trail preachers and televangelists of old, Christian TikTok stars must contend with accusations of false teaching and strike a balance between self-promotion and proclamation.

From the beginning, religious broadcasters fought to “compete for the hearts and minds of the nation,” wrote sociologist Jeffrey K. Hadden in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Although broadcasting corporations initially saw evangelical programs as more work than they were worth, prosperity gospel preachers like Oral Roberts and Jim Bakker soon dominated airwaves and created an entire industry of televangelism.

Today, when virtually every prominent pastor and Bible teacher has an online following, grassroots Christian video influencers more commonly take the form of lifestyle vloggers. Atlanta wedding videographers Nate and Sutton Eisenman’s YouTube channel, for example, features Christian dating advice and footage of their world travels, attracting more subscribers than Beth Moore’s Living Proof Ministries or Tim Keller’s sermon channel. Christian TikTok stars see the populist potential of their platform as an untapped means for revival—part of a longstanding evangelical tendency “to diagnose where is culture moving, what is going to be the most influential, and then just jump into that,” according to Candy Gunther Brown, who studies evangelicalism at Indiana University.

When Poirot first started making TikToks in April, he didn’t take it seriously; he mostly just posted Christian comedy content. Then one of his videos accrued 50,000 views overnight.

“The thought came to my heart and it really struck me,” he said. “I’m not out here to be famous for myself. I want to make Jesus viral.”

The hashtag #MakeJesusViral was born, and Poirot began creating more evangelistic videos. He created a 40-part series on why “Everyone Deserves Hell” and often begins his clips with questions like “What if you stopped scrolling for 60 seconds and it changed your life?”

Poirot told CT that the Billy Graham crusades motivated his thirst for revival. He watched Graham videos when he was younger and was inspired by how Graham’s crusades helped “give Christians a place to bring their friends.” As the coronavirus pandemic limits in-person outreach, he thinks tools like TikTok could have a unique role in evangelizing the unchurched.

But Graham isn’t Poirot’s only inspiration. He also cited the traditional marketing funnel as his strategy for online outreach. Similar to how sellers encourage people to buy a product by generating awareness and buy-in, Poirot uses his TikTok videos to drive people to his lengthier YouTube livestreams. On Wednesday and Sunday nights, hundreds of eager kids around the world tune in to sing praise songs, listen to him preach, and recite a prayer of repentance along with him at the end.

“If you prayed that prayer for the first time,” Poirot said during one of his streams, “comment ‘First.’ If you prayed that prayer for the second, third, or fourth or fifth, just say, ‘Recommit.’ ” He then counts these comments to gauge how many people have been saved through his meetings and posts the number of conversions online.

Poirot’s social media presence across platforms isn’t unique. TikTok enables users to link their Instagram and YouTube accounts to their TikTok profiles, and many creators encourage their audiences to follow them in multiple places—giving them a more stable online persona and more ways to publish longer-form content that can be monetized.

This past summer, Poirot ran a TikTok collective called Carry Christ, comprising himself and more than 10 volunteers who helped create and promote videos. The Carry Christ account gained over 100,000 followers in four months; the hashtag #MakeJesusViral has garnered over 253.5 million views.

But virality doesn’t equal virtue. Within the fanfare lies a bitter cacophony: Poirot is one of many Christian TikTok personalities facing accusations of being a “false teacher.” For instance, in a now-deleted video called “God Doesn’t Send Anyone to Hell Part Twenty-Five,” Poirot claims that “God sends people to heaven, not hell.” Dissenters commented “FALSE TEACHER WARNING” and “this is false bro.”

When CT asked about the video, Poirot said he had made a mistake and his title was unclear. His intent was to reach people who wanted to know why God sends people to hell. Jesus has “given an opportunity for every person to come to heaven,” Poirot said, but some people “deny the free gift
of salvation.”

Accusations of false teaching—which sometimes mirror broader theological disagreements within the church—are not uncommon. Hailey Serrano (@haileyjulia_) made a video calling out a TikTok creator who claimed that people needed to be water baptized to go to heaven. One user said he saw a profile of a man who claims to be the Messiah.

But even with the criticism against him, Poirot doesn’t begrudge his critics their opinions.

“A lot of people will screen record one of their videos and then say their two thoughts on it,” he said, referring to the different editing functions on TikTok that allow users to record their “reactions” to other people’s videos. “Which is cool—actually just brings more traffic to the page.”

T

here are a lot of false teachers on TikTok,” said Peter Park (@bibleflexguy), 40, an elder at Lighthouse Bible Church in San Jose, California, who makes apologetics videos in his spare time. As a marketing professional and a parent, he started his TikTok account last year in an effort to understand the platform.

“The fastest way to grow on TikTok is to buy into the emotional, and the [Christian accounts] that are the most popular on TikTok are the ones that pray over you,” Park said. “Those tend to be, I think, ultimately the most dangerous ones, but those are the ones that usually shoot up to over 500,000 [or] over a million followers fairly quickly.”

Park thinks the popularity of these videos motivates people to make more of them. Such appeals to emotionalism find their roots in the early days of American Christianity, particularly during the two Great Awakenings that served as waves of “spiritual revival.” Charles Finney, a leader during the Second Great Awakening and the “father of American revivalism,” engineered a methodology of revivalist technique that emphasized creating the right spiritual environment for conversion. In “What a Revival of Religion Is,” he wrote:

Men are so sluggish, there are so many things to lead their minds off from religion and to oppose the influence of the Gospel, that it is necessary to raise an excitement among them, till the tide rises so high as to sweep away the opposing obstacles. They must be so aroused that they will break over these counteracting influences, before they will obey God.

The techniques that Finney pioneered—music, advertising, and the altar call—won him many converts. They also provoked criticism that extends to today. In her book Total Truth, Nancy Pearcey challenges Christians to think more biblically about the marketing tactics they use, both in terms of fundraising and evangelism. She advocates for treating people as “made in the image of God, not a mass of emotions to be manipulated.”

“Though Christians would never accept naturalism as a philosophy,” she writes, “many have absorbed a naturalistic approach to marketing, adopting techniques that treat a target audience essentially as passive ‘consumers’ to be manipulated into buying a ‘product.’ ”

Poirot, however, doesn’t see his ministry in this light—despite his now-deleted Carry Christ GoFundMe page, and a merchandise website that sells hashtag hoodies for $40. Other Christian creators sell merch, like Jana Jaye (@janatiktoks), who recently announced that she was selling T-shirts and accepting Venmo donations to raise money for her college tuition, room, and board.

“When I say marketing, the purpose of me preaching the gospel and having a funnel is not to claim the impact of reach,” Poirot said. It’s to offer seekers more ways to go deeper in faith. “The purpose is so that they can learn more in every moment, so that they can gain more learning and understanding.”

A

s with blogs and other forms of online discipleship, a major challenge for TikTok is that no one is really guiding that learning and understanding. Christian TikTok is not a church.

As COVID-19 has forced many places of worship to shift to holding online services, Park is concerned about the blurred lines between online church services and the “TikTok church” livestreams and Bible studies that some creators host over Zoom.

“Ultimately, those aren’t real churches,” Park said. “There’s going to be more and more Christians that call themselves ‘Christian’ that won’t ever be a member of a physical local church. But they’ll be part of these types of social networks. And they’ll be receiving some truth in these videos and they’ll go pick and choose what they want to watch on YouTube.”

Park isn’t the only one who’s concerned. Elijah Lamb (@elijah.lamb), 17, began making TikToks as a joke in 2019. He later began making apologetics videos and sharing his testimony with his 669,000 followers. (He’s currently creating a 66-part series on the books in the Bible.) Lamb said that although the app has given him the opportunity to build a lot of friendships, the community lacks a church’s governing authority.

“No one’s the president of Christian TikTok,” he said, “so it’s hard to maintain order.” Anyone can download TikTok and begin preaching on it, a freedom that hearkens to America’s trademark religious populism.

“Religious populism, reflecting the passions of ordinary people and the charisma of democratic movement-builders, remains among the oldest and deepest impulses in American life,” writes Nathan O. Hatch in The Democratization of American Christianity. With the birth of America, emphases on the dismantling of tradition and the sovereignty of the people resulted in a crisis of authority that ripped apart the fabric of society, including the hierarchical structure of the church. Laymen began preaching, often offending traditionally trained ministers; the most extreme populist preachers claimed that “divine insight was reserved for the poor and humble rather than the proud and learned.” A fundamental flip in authority granted power to anyone with a Bible and a voice.

Populist preaching lives on in the digital age. Even though TikTok has been praised for the way that it can make anyone be a star, Lamb noted that the free-for-all nature of the app made it “easy for [Christian TikTok] to split apart.” Creators have the license to say and do whatever they want—a liberty that provides a diversity of viewpoints and cultivates an atmosphere of creativity but also engenders a sort of recklessness in word and deed.

But while Park believes that TikTok presents a lot of dangers, he isn’t worried about all young evangelists. “I think a lot of the younger ones, like Gen Z, they’re doing it just for fun. They’re doing it to make friends,” he said. “We need to correct but also encourage.”

Despite concerns about the app’s Wild West atmosphere, there are plenty who fear that TikTok videos are, in fact, being controlled. Religion Unpluggedreported in May that some Christian influencers have claimed that TikTok “shadow bans” Christian voices, a practice in which a social media platform covertly removes or refuses to circulate certain videos.

“There was one point where we all felt like we couldn’t even put Jesus in our captions because TikTok would pick up on it and not put the video out there,” said 22-year-old Aatiqah Wright (@uhteakuh). Wright said that while normally she would get 15,000 views in two minutes, the shadow ban made it so that she’d get a thousand views in an hour.

Shadow banning claims aren’t unique to Christians. Last year, the Guardianreported that TikTok banned depictions of alcohol consumption, figures of Jesus, and LGBT content in Turkey. Slate also reported last December that the app admitted to limiting videos created by users who looked like they would be “susceptible to bullying,” including disabled and overweight people.

Perhaps the biggest crisis Christian TikTok faces, however, is the uncertainty of the app’s future. TikTok, which is currently owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, made headlines over concerns that it was sharing user data with the Chinese government. These concerns culminated in August, when President Trump issued an executive order banning TikTok from the US if it was not sold to an American company. In September, Walmart and tech company Oracle announced they would become part owners of TikTok in a deal that would satisfy White House demands—but the arrangement leaves ByteDance as a majority owner of the company and is unlikely to satisfy all critics.

F

or Christian creators like Wright—who boasts 1.2 million followers on TikTok and only 10,600 on YouTube—building a ministry means turning online connections into in-person interactions.

Wright started making TikToks in 2018 and recently collaborated with a group of Christian TikTok creators known as Praise House—a collective formed in the style of the mainstream “TikTok house,” where several TikTok stars move into a mansion together. The close proximity allows them to more easily create content and boost each other’s followings, especially during a global pandemic.

Praise House members currently live around the US but eventually want to live together (boys and girls in separate houses, Wright said). They dream of traveling as a group and hosting evangelistic events, an idea that recently came to fruition when Praise House held a “meet and greet” in Marietta, Georgia. (Wright said Praise House members plan their events in states with looser COVID-19 restrictions.)

“Not only are these kids seeing us on TikTok,” Wright explained, “but they can also see us in person and we can evangelize to them and move from place to place.”

The glue that holds this subculture together seems to be a universal desire to see revival sweep across the United States—which they’ve tried to translate into more concrete ministries, or at least larger platforms.

Lamb has a management team that handles speaking engagements for him, and he wants to preach and travel in the future. He said he’s seen thousands of people get saved through his livestreams and TikToks. “I think social media, and TikTok especially, is the new medium of revival in the 21st century,” he said.

Poirot recently transitioned the Carry Christ account into Gabe Poirot Ministries, after other members of the collective left due to conflicting time commitments. He still plans on making TikToks and hosting livestreams, continually striving to #MakeJesusViral.

“They’re sticking booties in the air, so to speak,” he said, referring to Hype House, a popular mainstream TikTok collective in Los Angeles. “But our motto is stick Jesus in the air, bringing influence back to him.”

Rachel Seo is a staff writer at Christ and Pop Culture and a senior at the University of California San Diego, where she is studying literature and writing. Follow her on Twitter @rrachelalisonn.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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

Bladerunner

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2180
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • My Friend
  • Location: Tennessee, USA
  • Referrals: 0
Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #43 on: October 27, 2020, 07:49:19 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/november/meet-tik-tok-generation-z-televangelists-seo.html








Meet the TikTok Generation of Televangelists




These young influencers want to #MakeJesusViral.


Gabe Poirot runs from the street toward the camera, yelling, “Wait, wait, don’t scroll!”

If the urgency in his voice causes you to pause and watch his video, you’re in for a 60-second blessing. Wearing a pink crewneck sweatshirt with “#MakeJesusViral” emblazoned on the front, he leans deep into the frame. “Let me pray with you today,” he says earnestly, then bows his head and closes his eyes. “Father God, let me just pray for the person on the other end of this phone.”

Poirot, 19, is a student at Kenneth Copeland Bible College who uses the social media app TikTok to share clips of himself preaching short sermons and praying for his audience. TikTok feeds users a constant stream of one-minute-or-less videos via its “For You” page, making it easy for them to skip the ones that don’t catch their attention within the first few seconds.

While much of TikTok is devoted to less-than-youth-group-friendly content—like dances to Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” and videos of users walking into rooms naked to film their partners’ reactions—Poirot’s content rests in a subgenre known as “Christian TikTok” (or, as rapper Kanye West suggested, “Jesus Tok”). Christian TikTok influencers publish sermonettes, cleaned-up versions of trending dance challenges, best Bible study practices, and even tutorials on how to stretch without participating in the Hindu elements of yoga. And many of the young content creators are on a mission: to spark revival among Generation Z—those born in the late 1990s through the early 2010s.

At the beginning of 2020, TikTok set the record as the most downloaded app in one quarter; to date, it’s been downloaded over 2 billion times worldwide. Part of the app’s popularity among contributors is its algorithm, which suggests new videos based on users’ history and preferences. It can vault the average video onto the screens of TikTok’s 700 million monthly active users, launching the careers of aspiring social media influencers.

The app has been controversial, not only because of concerns that the Chinese government uses it to collect data on Americans, but also because it has haphazardly spread videos such as a girl documenting her abortion and a man filming his suicide. But Poirot (@gabe_poirot2) and other Christian TikTok creators hope to leverage the easy virality for the sake of evangelism.




The app seems to be rewarding their efforts. Poirot’s two accounts, where he posts videos with captions like “ITS TIME FOR CHRISTIANS TO UNITE” spelled out in bright, eye-catching red, cater to a combined following of 556,100 users. His audience is young: One study indicated that in 2019, 41 percent of TikTok users were between the ages of 16 to 24; other reports show TikTok has roughly 18 million daily users in the US under the age of 14.

If TikTok is fostering the next generation of populist preachers, they share a lot in common with their predecessors: wide smiles and amped-up personas, along with a keen awareness of the rules of medium in which their message lives. And like sawdust trail preachers and televangelists of old, Christian TikTok stars must contend with accusations of false teaching and strike a balance between self-promotion and proclamation.

From the beginning, religious broadcasters fought to “compete for the hearts and minds of the nation,” wrote sociologist Jeffrey K. Hadden in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Although broadcasting corporations initially saw evangelical programs as more work than they were worth, prosperity gospel preachers like Oral Roberts and Jim Bakker soon dominated airwaves and created an entire industry of televangelism.

Today, when virtually every prominent pastor and Bible teacher has an online following, grassroots Christian video influencers more commonly take the form of lifestyle vloggers. Atlanta wedding videographers Nate and Sutton Eisenman’s YouTube channel, for example, features Christian dating advice and footage of their world travels, attracting more subscribers than Beth Moore’s Living Proof Ministries or Tim Keller’s sermon channel. Christian TikTok stars see the populist potential of their platform as an untapped means for revival—part of a longstanding evangelical tendency “to diagnose where is culture moving, what is going to be the most influential, and then just jump into that,” according to Candy Gunther Brown, who studies evangelicalism at Indiana University.

When Poirot first started making TikToks in April, he didn’t take it seriously; he mostly just posted Christian comedy content. Then one of his videos accrued 50,000 views overnight.

“The thought came to my heart and it really struck me,” he said. “I’m not out here to be famous for myself. I want to make Jesus viral.”

The hashtag #MakeJesusViral was born, and Poirot began creating more evangelistic videos. He created a 40-part series on why “Everyone Deserves Hell” and often begins his clips with questions like “What if you stopped scrolling for 60 seconds and it changed your life?”

Poirot told CT that the Billy Graham crusades motivated his thirst for revival. He watched Graham videos when he was younger and was inspired by how Graham’s crusades helped “give Christians a place to bring their friends.” As the coronavirus pandemic limits in-person outreach, he thinks tools like TikTok could have a unique role in evangelizing the unchurched.

But Graham isn’t Poirot’s only inspiration. He also cited the traditional marketing funnel as his strategy for online outreach. Similar to how sellers encourage people to buy a product by generating awareness and buy-in, Poirot uses his TikTok videos to drive people to his lengthier YouTube livestreams. On Wednesday and Sunday nights, hundreds of eager kids around the world tune in to sing praise songs, listen to him preach, and recite a prayer of repentance along with him at the end.

“If you prayed that prayer for the first time,” Poirot said during one of his streams, “comment ‘First.’ If you prayed that prayer for the second, third, or fourth or fifth, just say, ‘Recommit.’ ” He then counts these comments to gauge how many people have been saved through his meetings and posts the number of conversions online.

Poirot’s social media presence across platforms isn’t unique. TikTok enables users to link their Instagram and YouTube accounts to their TikTok profiles, and many creators encourage their audiences to follow them in multiple places—giving them a more stable online persona and more ways to publish longer-form content that can be monetized.

This past summer, Poirot ran a TikTok collective called Carry Christ, comprising himself and more than 10 volunteers who helped create and promote videos. The Carry Christ account gained over 100,000 followers in four months; the hashtag #MakeJesusViral has garnered over 253.5 million views.

But virality doesn’t equal virtue. Within the fanfare lies a bitter cacophony: Poirot is one of many Christian TikTok personalities facing accusations of being a “false teacher.” For instance, in a now-deleted video called “God Doesn’t Send Anyone to Hell Part Twenty-Five,” Poirot claims that “God sends people to heaven, not hell.” Dissenters commented “FALSE TEACHER WARNING” and “this is false bro.”

When CT asked about the video, Poirot said he had made a mistake and his title was unclear. His intent was to reach people who wanted to know why God sends people to hell. Jesus has “given an opportunity for every person to come to heaven,” Poirot said, but some people “deny the free gift
of salvation.”

Accusations of false teaching—which sometimes mirror broader theological disagreements within the church—are not uncommon. Hailey Serrano (@haileyjulia_) made a video calling out a TikTok creator who claimed that people needed to be water baptized to go to heaven. One user said he saw a profile of a man who claims to be the Messiah.

But even with the criticism against him, Poirot doesn’t begrudge his critics their opinions.

“A lot of people will screen record one of their videos and then say their two thoughts on it,” he said, referring to the different editing functions on TikTok that allow users to record their “reactions” to other people’s videos. “Which is cool—actually just brings more traffic to the page.”

T

here are a lot of false teachers on TikTok,” said Peter Park (@bibleflexguy), 40, an elder at Lighthouse Bible Church in San Jose, California, who makes apologetics videos in his spare time. As a marketing professional and a parent, he started his TikTok account last year in an effort to understand the platform.

“The fastest way to grow on TikTok is to buy into the emotional, and the [Christian accounts] that are the most popular on TikTok are the ones that pray over you,” Park said. “Those tend to be, I think, ultimately the most dangerous ones, but those are the ones that usually shoot up to over 500,000 [or] over a million followers fairly quickly.”

Park thinks the popularity of these videos motivates people to make more of them. Such appeals to emotionalism find their roots in the early days of American Christianity, particularly during the two Great Awakenings that served as waves of “spiritual revival.” Charles Finney, a leader during the Second Great Awakening and the “father of American revivalism,” engineered a methodology of revivalist technique that emphasized creating the right spiritual environment for conversion. In “What a Revival of Religion Is,” he wrote:

Men are so sluggish, there are so many things to lead their minds off from religion and to oppose the influence of the Gospel, that it is necessary to raise an excitement among them, till the tide rises so high as to sweep away the opposing obstacles. They must be so aroused that they will break over these counteracting influences, before they will obey God.

The techniques that Finney pioneered—music, advertising, and the altar call—won him many converts. They also provoked criticism that extends to today. In her book Total Truth, Nancy Pearcey challenges Christians to think more biblically about the marketing tactics they use, both in terms of fundraising and evangelism. She advocates for treating people as “made in the image of God, not a mass of emotions to be manipulated.”

“Though Christians would never accept naturalism as a philosophy,” she writes, “many have absorbed a naturalistic approach to marketing, adopting techniques that treat a target audience essentially as passive ‘consumers’ to be manipulated into buying a ‘product.’ ”

Poirot, however, doesn’t see his ministry in this light—despite his now-deleted Carry Christ GoFundMe page, and a merchandise website that sells hashtag hoodies for $40. Other Christian creators sell merch, like Jana Jaye (@janatiktoks), who recently announced that she was selling T-shirts and accepting Venmo donations to raise money for her college tuition, room, and board.

“When I say marketing, the purpose of me preaching the gospel and having a funnel is not to claim the impact of reach,” Poirot said. It’s to offer seekers more ways to go deeper in faith. “The purpose is so that they can learn more in every moment, so that they can gain more learning and understanding.”

A

s with blogs and other forms of online discipleship, a major challenge for TikTok is that no one is really guiding that learning and understanding. Christian TikTok is not a church.

As COVID-19 has forced many places of worship to shift to holding online services, Park is concerned about the blurred lines between online church services and the “TikTok church” livestreams and Bible studies that some creators host over Zoom.

“Ultimately, those aren’t real churches,” Park said. “There’s going to be more and more Christians that call themselves ‘Christian’ that won’t ever be a member of a physical local church. But they’ll be part of these types of social networks. And they’ll be receiving some truth in these videos and they’ll go pick and choose what they want to watch on YouTube.”

Park isn’t the only one who’s concerned. Elijah Lamb (@elijah.lamb), 17, began making TikToks as a joke in 2019. He later began making apologetics videos and sharing his testimony with his 669,000 followers. (He’s currently creating a 66-part series on the books in the Bible.) Lamb said that although the app has given him the opportunity to build a lot of friendships, the community lacks a church’s governing authority.

“No one’s the president of Christian TikTok,” he said, “so it’s hard to maintain order.” Anyone can download TikTok and begin preaching on it, a freedom that hearkens to America’s trademark religious populism.

“Religious populism, reflecting the passions of ordinary people and the charisma of democratic movement-builders, remains among the oldest and deepest impulses in American life,” writes Nathan O. Hatch in The Democratization of American Christianity. With the birth of America, emphases on the dismantling of tradition and the sovereignty of the people resulted in a crisis of authority that ripped apart the fabric of society, including the hierarchical structure of the church. Laymen began preaching, often offending traditionally trained ministers; the most extreme populist preachers claimed that “divine insight was reserved for the poor and humble rather than the proud and learned.” A fundamental flip in authority granted power to anyone with a Bible and a voice.

Populist preaching lives on in the digital age. Even though TikTok has been praised for the way that it can make anyone be a star, Lamb noted that the free-for-all nature of the app made it “easy for [Christian TikTok] to split apart.” Creators have the license to say and do whatever they want—a liberty that provides a diversity of viewpoints and cultivates an atmosphere of creativity but also engenders a sort of recklessness in word and deed.

But while Park believes that TikTok presents a lot of dangers, he isn’t worried about all young evangelists. “I think a lot of the younger ones, like Gen Z, they’re doing it just for fun. They’re doing it to make friends,” he said. “We need to correct but also encourage.”

Despite concerns about the app’s Wild West atmosphere, there are plenty who fear that TikTok videos are, in fact, being controlled. Religion Unpluggedreported in May that some Christian influencers have claimed that TikTok “shadow bans” Christian voices, a practice in which a social media platform covertly removes or refuses to circulate certain videos.

“There was one point where we all felt like we couldn’t even put Jesus in our captions because TikTok would pick up on it and not put the video out there,” said 22-year-old Aatiqah Wright (@uhteakuh). Wright said that while normally she would get 15,000 views in two minutes, the shadow ban made it so that she’d get a thousand views in an hour.

Shadow banning claims aren’t unique to Christians. Last year, the Guardianreported that TikTok banned depictions of alcohol consumption, figures of Jesus, and LGBT content in Turkey. Slate also reported last December that the app admitted to limiting videos created by users who looked like they would be “susceptible to bullying,” including disabled and overweight people.

Perhaps the biggest crisis Christian TikTok faces, however, is the uncertainty of the app’s future. TikTok, which is currently owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, made headlines over concerns that it was sharing user data with the Chinese government. These concerns culminated in August, when President Trump issued an executive order banning TikTok from the US if it was not sold to an American company. In September, Walmart and tech company Oracle announced they would become part owners of TikTok in a deal that would satisfy White House demands—but the arrangement leaves ByteDance as a majority owner of the company and is unlikely to satisfy all critics.

F

or Christian creators like Wright—who boasts 1.2 million followers on TikTok and only 10,600 on YouTube—building a ministry means turning online connections into in-person interactions.

Wright started making TikToks in 2018 and recently collaborated with a group of Christian TikTok creators known as Praise House—a collective formed in the style of the mainstream “TikTok house,” where several TikTok stars move into a mansion together. The close proximity allows them to more easily create content and boost each other’s followings, especially during a global pandemic.

Praise House members currently live around the US but eventually want to live together (boys and girls in separate houses, Wright said). They dream of traveling as a group and hosting evangelistic events, an idea that recently came to fruition when Praise House held a “meet and greet” in Marietta, Georgia. (Wright said Praise House members plan their events in states with looser COVID-19 restrictions.)

“Not only are these kids seeing us on TikTok,” Wright explained, “but they can also see us in person and we can evangelize to them and move from place to place.”

The glue that holds this subculture together seems to be a universal desire to see revival sweep across the United States—which they’ve tried to translate into more concrete ministries, or at least larger platforms.

Lamb has a management team that handles speaking engagements for him, and he wants to preach and travel in the future. He said he’s seen thousands of people get saved through his livestreams and TikToks. “I think social media, and TikTok especially, is the new medium of revival in the 21st century,” he said.

Poirot recently transitioned the Carry Christ account into Gabe Poirot Ministries, after other members of the collective left due to conflicting time commitments. He still plans on making TikToks and hosting livestreams, continually striving to #MakeJesusViral.

“They’re sticking booties in the air, so to speak,” he said, referring to Hype House, a popular mainstream TikTok collective in Los Angeles. “But our motto is stick Jesus in the air, bringing influence back to him.”

Rachel Seo is a staff writer at Christ and Pop Culture and a senior at the University of California San Diego, where she is studying literature and writing. Follow her on Twitter @rrachelalisonn.


WOW, China will like that.


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

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

patrick jane

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12220
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • Research Jesus Christ - Research Flat Earth
  • Location: Homeless in God's Flat Earth
  • Referrals: 41
    • Theology Forums
Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #44 on: November 11, 2020, 01:17:18 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/november-web-only/evangelical-leader-pastor-scandal-prevent-accountability.html








How to Prevent the Next Evangelical Leadership Scandal




Working in PR, I’ve stepped in to help ministries after a crisis hits. What they need is more accountability before it happens.


It’s a far-too-common story: A pastor or prominent leader of a faith-based organization resigns because of sexual misconduct or abusive or controlling leadership.

In 2020, we’ve seen a fair amount of cases like these among evangelicals. When moral failure befalls our communities’ leadership, it can be a gut punch to our faith. Sexual misconduct and abusive leadership can hurt marriages, impair our institutions, forever damage the lives of those impacted, and harm our witness to a watching world.

Working as a public relations professional in the Christian world, I’ve had an up-close and personal view of how quickly crises can develop and how easily they can engulf an organization in controversy and confusion. I have been called on to help numerous ministries in crisis, many of which were struggling to come to terms with revelations of sexual impropriety or abusive leadership. My role is to try to minimize the public damage. But in many situations, it becomes clear that organizational problems existed far before the sin was ever made public.

Exposing the truth is necessary and helpful. We have a duty to name and call out sin in our communities, churches, and ministries. Open and honest media coverage can be a part of that process. But we can and must do more than expose sin within leadership when it happens. We must fight to prevent it from taking root in the first place.

We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God; none of us is perfect. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure….” Each of us is prone to sinful temptations in different ways. To deny this about ourselves is in itself a prideful flaw. This is exactly why evangelical ministries must do more to create systems and structures to prevent and protect our leadership from moral failure.

More often than not, organizations are catapulted into crises almost solely because they had little to no accountability procedures in place to prevent abuses of power. When it comes to protecting against sexual misconduct or preventing abusive and controlling leadership, prayer and regular meditation on God’s Word are key. However, there are also some simple, practical measures Christian organizations should take to build accountability and keep leaders in check.

1. All leaders should be faithfully attending a local church.
This may sound obvious, but you would be surprised how many Christian leaders don’t commit to a local community of Christians. Leaders and staff must support each other in finding and committing to a local community of believers (Heb. 10:24–25). Some Christian leaders use travel or ministry burnout as an excuse to stop going to church and submitting to a pastor of a local church. This is dangerous. No one can uphold God’s Word without regular, faithful church attendance and loving biblical community. If you serve on a board of a Christian ministry, you should ask the organization’s leadership about this.

2. All leaders within the organization should be in relationships in which they are accountable.
Every leader needs both professional accountability and personal accountability. This could happen through the local church but can be met in other contexts too. Leaders must regularly meet with Christians with whom they can face hard questions about their actions, thoughts, and temptations.

We are all prone to pride and power. Ironically, the very personality traits that help leaders rise in popularity and influence are sometimes the very things that lead to arrogance and controlling behaviors. These sins fester when leaders are allowed to act and make decisions in isolation. Though accountability is not fail-safe, it’s much more difficult for leaders in transparent accountability relationships to fall into sexual, prideful, or controlling sin.

3. Prohibit the board from being stacked with family members and friends.
Sometimes a board has to make tough decisions that may mean the dismissal of an organization’s president or pastor. This becomes even harder for leaders who are ministry founders. Too often, hard choices are delayed or even avoided altogether because the board members are too close to the leader. This dereliction of duty inevitably impacts the organization, no matter the circumstances. But with regard to sexual impropriety or abusive leadership, it can also exacerbate the victims’ pain or even lead to further victimization and persecution.

A board should also be mindful of the language in the employment agreement with the organization’s leader. A recent incident of reckless moral failure stemmed from the board giving carte blanche to the organization’s president to lead however he saw fit. The board must set clear expectations for a leader—regardless of that leader’s perceived virtue or track record.

4. Question whether a Christian organization should be named after an individual.
For the sake of longevity, a Christian organization should think twice before naming an organization after its founder. When that leader dies, the ministry bearing his or her name almost inevitably struggles for survival. However, an even bigger issue is the potential for the leader of such an organization to become prideful and start seeing the organization as an extension of himself or herself. As the Book of Proverbs tells us repeatedly, pride comes before the fall. If a leader falls, the eponymous organization could fall with them.

5. Be thoughtful about the organization’s travel policy.
A Christian organization should not just be mindful of the per diem and how receipts should be submitted. Careful consideration should also be given to how much time staff should be separated from their families, whether spouses are encouraged to join staff on longer business trips, and how much downtime is factored into company-sponsored trips. It’s common sense to ensure that families are together more often than not. Everyone within an organization has a vested interest in their leader having a vibrant, healthy marriage and family life.

None of us is without fault, and all of us are susceptible to sin. The question is how are we being held accountable. With the right structures and expectations in place, a faith-based organization is more likely to not only avoid a PR crisis but also to protect its community and foster a faithful ministry that better reflects the heart of God.

And don’t think of leadership crisis prevention as a PR exercise or lesson in political correctness. This is a vitally important part of living out our Christian witness. Matthew 5:16 reminds us to “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” The world is watching our good deeds as well as our bad ones. Our response to failures and our dedication to preventing them will speak volumes to the culture about the hope that we have in Jesus, and our dedication to his righteousness.








Heather Cirmo is a public relations professional based in Washington, DC, with 25 years of experience.

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 -


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

patrick jane

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12220
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • Research Jesus Christ - Research Flat Earth
  • Location: Homeless in God's Flat Earth
  • Referrals: 41
    • Theology Forums
Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #45 on: November 13, 2020, 05:38:35 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/november-web-only/bible-is-our-blazing-fire-women-engagement-scripture.html








The Bible Is Our Blazing Fire





A look inside our special issue exploring women's passionate engagement with Scripture.


Imprisoned by the Nazis in Ravensbrück, Corrie ten Boom and the other women in her barracks regularly gathered to covertly read from a smuggled Bible. “The blacker the night around us grew, the brighter and truer and more beautiful burned the word of God,” ten Boom wrote in The Hiding Place. They’d crowd around the Bible “like waifs clustered around a blazing fire … holding out our hearts to its warmth and light.”

Though ten Boom had believed and loved the Bible throughout her life, in the brutal conditions of a concentration camp—enduring daily threats and violence, surrounded by evil and death—God’s Word spoke to her with a new potency. “Sometimes I would slip the Bible from its little sack with hands that shook, so mysterious had it become to me,” she said. It was as if “it was new; it had just been written. I marveled sometimes that the ink was dry.”

We, too, can open the familiar Book and encounter unexpected mystery. Well-worn passages we can recite by heart suddenly speak in new ways directly to our hearts. Stories we already know somehow know us. We read, and the living and active Word does its sharp work, convicting us about our innermost thoughts and attitudes (Heb. 4:12). We study, and amid the words we pore over, we encounter the Word of Life himself (1 John 1:1).

Evangelical women have a high commitment to Scripture; in fact, several studies demonstrate that American Christian women read the Bible more frequently than Christian men. The articles below were all featured in our CT special issue, “Why Women Love the Bible.” In these articles, we highlight Scripture’s power in the lives of those facing persecution, persevering amid racism, and enduring life’s storms. We highlight women in church history who studied Scripture as well as women today who turn to it for prayer and evangelism.

For many of us, 2020 has been a difficult year. While the Bible always speaks to us, in good times as well as bad, hardships can deepen our sense of how profoundly we need and desire the “blazing fire” of God’s Word. May it ever burn bright in our 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 -


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

patrick jane

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12220
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • Research Jesus Christ - Research Flat Earth
  • Location: Homeless in God's Flat Earth
  • Referrals: 41
    • Theology Forums
Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #46 on: November 13, 2020, 05:42:12 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/november/aaron-griffith-gods-law-order-evangelical-prison.html








Share the Gospel with Prisoners. Then Apply It to the System.





Evangelicals are superb at the first task. To what extent do they embrace the second as well?


In 1979, Charles Colson, the nation’s best-known evangelical prison ministry director, visited the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Colson, who had been in prison himself only five years earlier for his role in the Watergate scandal, was known for his sympathy to prisoners’ concerns.

When he found out that the men in Walla Walla’s solitary confinement facility had to live with human waste and rotting food that the warden refused to clean up, he promised to lobby the state legislature for change. The effort succeeded, and Colson expanded his campaign for prison reform nationwide. But because Colson was no liberal, his ministries depended on a close alliance with law-and-order evangelicals and even law-and-order politicians who helped create the prison system that Colson found so troubling.

This paradox is central to the historical narrative that Aaron Griffith presents in God’s Law and Order: The Politics of Punishment in Evangelical America. With an undergraduate degree from Wheaton College and a history of personal involvement in prison ministry, Griffith sympathizes with many of the evangelicals profiled in the book—especially Colson, whom he describes as genuinely compassionate and sincerely interested in prisoners’ well-being.

But with a doctoral degree from Duke University Divinity School, Griffith is also well-versed in liberal Protestant critiques of evangelical politics, and he shares the concerns of critics who question whether evangelical support for law and order can be squared with a gospel-centered theology. Have evangelicals adopted their seemingly contradictory views of the prison system in spite of their theology, or because of it?

Centers of Law and Grace
Prisons have long held an irresistible theological attraction to evangelicals, Griffith argues, because conservative Christians have seen them as centers of both law and grace—that is, places where sinners are punished but also places where many find redemption. As early as the 1920s, American evangelicals saw a moral dimension to the nation’s crime wave. While liberal Protestants thought that social reform could reduce crime, evangelicals saw crime as a consequence of rejecting God—which made gospel preaching the best antidote. Billy Graham made this argument frequently in the 1950s, and his ministry produced films to celebrate the stories of notorious criminals who renounced their wicked ways after finding Jesus at one of Graham’s crusades.

With their strong faith in the power of conversion, evangelicals devoted more time to prison ministry than any other Christian group in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. And as Griffith argues, this faith in conversion was, in some sense, at odds with law-and-order politics. In the 1950s and early 1960s, evangelicals seemed more interested in converting criminals than locking them up. The gospel, they thought, could produce far better results in criminals’ lives than long prison sentences.

This was the belief, for instance, of David Wilkerson, the charismatic minister who became famous for his evangelistic work with New York youth gangs, as described in his best-selling memoir The Cross and the Switchblade. It was also Graham’s message. But in the 1960s, this changed. Amid widespread conservative fears of rising crime rates and racial unrest, many white evangelicals, including Graham, embraced law-and-order politics. Even Wilkerson became convinced that troubled youth faced greater problems than gospel preaching alone could solve. He came to believe that the problem of the cities was heroin and that tougher drug laws were the answer.

In the early 1970s, a few black evangelicals—Tom Skinner, most prominently—challenged white evangelical support of conservative law-and-orderpolitics and tried directing their attention to racial injustice within the prison system. But most white evangelicals were not receptive to Skinner’s message. When he became more outspoken on racial issues, Moody Bible Institute dropped his radio program, and the director of the National Association of Evangelicals criticized him.

For a few years in the late 20th century, it seemed that Colson might turn evangelicals away from law-and-order politics and restore the conversion-centered approach that characterized earlier evangelical thinking about prisons. Before his born-again conversion in 1974, Colson had worked as a White House aide to the Republican president most associated with the politics of law and order: Richard Nixon. But after Colson was indicted for breaking the law himself, he found Jesus and changed his views.

Driven by a new spirit of compassion and a desire to see as many criminals as possible come to know Jesus, he launched a national prison ministry and began speaking out against the death penalty. Execution, he told the Southern Baptist Convention in 1979, ended all chances of conversion. If Baptists believed in saving the lost, they should never support prematurely ending the life of someone who might not know Jesus.

This was the classic conversionist approach that viewed a personal relationship with Jesus as the antidote to every social problem while rejecting state solutions—punitive or rehabilitative—as beside the point, if not actively harmful. At first, Colson’s ministry focused almost entirely on evangelism in prisons rather than campaigns for prison reform. But after repeatedly hearing complaints about inhumane prison conditions and seeing a few examples firsthand, he began lobbying for reform, partly to remove barriers to the gospel but mostly out of genuine compassion for people he didn’t want to see suffer unnecessarily. He advocated alternatives to prison sentences for people convicted of nonviolent crimes, and he called for restorative-justice approaches that would prioritize making amends to victims over simply locking people up.

Griffith finds much to appreciate in Colson’s approach, but he also notes Colson’s unwillingness to challenge his law-and-order allies, whether politicians or fellow evangelicals. In the early 1990s, he reversed his stance on the death penalty and endorsed it. Although Colson went further than most evangelicals in perceiving problems in the prison system, he, like nearly all of his white evangelical peers, subscribed to a colorblind racial ideology and individualist ethos that made it very difficult to denounce the structural inequities of the criminal justice system.

For more than half a century, white evangelicals (and even a few black evangelical allies) assumed that prison was fair—that pretty much everyone there deserved to be there. Crime resulted from personal sin, and sinners were punished in jail, which prepared them to encounter the life-transforming power of the gospel. But what if the criminal justice system was not fair? What if, as many nonevangelical liberals of the early 21st century argued, it was a tool of racial oppression that functioned to control a disproportionately poor and nonwhite population? What if the greatest sin behind the prison system is not the wrongdoing of the convicts behind bars but the injustice of the legal system itself? Could evangelical theology offer an effective tool to fight such structural sin?

Theological Retooling
Griffith seems conflicted about this. On the one hand, evangelicals’ belief in the power of conversion has led them to spend more time with those in prison than any other group of Americans. When it comes to showing personal compassion to individual prisoners, evangelicals motivated by Jesus’ exhortations in Matthew 25 have outshone adherents of any other religion or philosophy.

And yet, to the extent that challenging structural deficiencies in the criminal justice system is now a pressing matter, evangelicals who have long held to an individualist view of sin and a strictly personal view of salvation will need to do some theological retooling. Liberal Protestants, not evangelicals, are the Christians who have most often seen sin in structural terms and viewed their theology as a resource for fighting systemic injustice.

In Griffith’s opinion, convincing most white evangelicals to see the prison system in these terms will require a theological shift and a movement-wide repentance radical enough to constitute what he calls a religious “conversion” in its own right. This would involve admitting that individualistic views of sin and salvation need to be supplemented with liberal Protestant theologies of structural sin that white evangelicals have eschewed for the past century.

As long as one remains committed to an evangelical theology of personal sin and salvation, Griffith’s proposal will be difficult to accept in its entirety. But perhaps addressing the issues that concern Griffith will not require such a wholesale theological revision, because evangelicals who adhere to the ethics of the New Testament can likely find more resources in their own theological tradition to address injustice in the prison system than Griffith seems to acknowledge.

If the apostle Paul, for instance, could do evangelistic work within a prison system that he and other early Christians knew was unfair, perhaps contemporary American evangelicals can as well. And perhaps they can also renounce their view that the law is colorblind and begin to acknowledge the vast racial disparities in the nation’s prison system, even while continuing their evangelistic prison ministries.

When it comes to proclaiming the power of the gospel to transform every sinner, including those behind bars, an evangelical Christian cannot compromise without, in some sense, ceasing to be an evangelical. But if Griffith’s book prompts evangelical believers to apply the gospel not only to individuals in prison but also to the structure of the prison system itself, that would undoubtedly be a good thing. And maybe in the process, as Griffith suggests, the gospel will induce repentance not only among those behind bars but also among some evangelicals who voted for the policies that put so many there in the first place.








Daniel K. Williams teaches history at the University of West Georgia. He is the author of Defenders of the Unborn: The Pro-Life Movement before Roe v. Wade and God’s Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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

patrick jane

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12220
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • Research Jesus Christ - Research Flat Earth
  • Location: Homeless in God's Flat Earth
  • Referrals: 41
    • Theology Forums
Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #47 on: November 21, 2020, 07:05:32 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/november/islam-christianity-evangelical-theology-society-ets.html








Muslims Join Evangelical Theology Conference





Annual gathering of Christian scholars seeks better engagement with Islam.


It is not often that a Muslim appears at an evangelical theological gathering.

Al Mohler invited three.

The trimmed-down 72nd annual conference of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS), held virtually this week, usually welcomes up to 2,000 top scholars to present on the most salient issues facing evangelical scholarship.

This year’s theme: Islam and Christianity.

“We are called to truth, and to understanding the world around us more accurately and thoughtfully,” said Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS), who also served as ETS program chair.

“That certainly includes our understanding of Islam, which has from the beginning represented an enormous challenge to Christian evangelism, apologetics, theology, and cultural engagement.”

Roughly 15 percent of the 130-plus events addressed these challenges, including the three official plenary sessions—in typical academic parlance:

“The Authority and Function of the Quran in Islam,” by Ayman Ibrahim of SBTS
“Through the Prism: The Trinity and the Islamic Metanarrative,” by Timothy Tennet of Asbury Theological Seminary
“American Christians and Islam: From the Colonial Era to the Post-9/11 World,” by Thomas Kidd of Baylor University
But it was the challenge of “cultural engagement” that led ETS to reach out to the Muslim panelists. Each was invited to share their view of evangelicals, and address the issues that concern them. It could “scarcely be more relevant and urgent,” said Mohler.

Three Christians joined them on the panel, focused on “Understanding Our Neighbor.”

“We don’t resist the idea we must love Muslims,” said John Hartley, a research fellow at Yale, “but we hesitate and keep silent, because the politics is so messy.

“This leaves the field open for those who spread hate.”

Asma Uddin, a religious liberty lawyer (previously interviewed by CT) and a fellow with the Inclusive America Project at the Aspen Institute, described the well-funded Islamophobia network that tars Muslims and the political left in a joint conspiracy to take over the world.

The effort seems to be working.

Uddin cited Pew Research Center statistics that found white evangelicals to be twice as likely as Americans overall (76% vs. 38%) to support President Donald Trump’s 2017 “Muslim ban.”

And according to the 2019 American Muslim Poll, only 20 percent of white evangelicals had a positive opinion of Muslims, with 44 percent feeling unfavorable.

Only 14 percent of Muslims had an unfavorable view of white evangelicals, with one-third feeling favorable—but the damage has been done.

“Political tribalism drives how these communities see each other,” Uddin said, “and Muslims view evangelicals as intrinsically linked to the Trumpian other.”

It was not always this way.

Hamza Yusuf, cofounder and president of Zaytuna College in California, the first accredited Muslim liberal arts college in the United States, said strong Muslim support for George W. Bush helped him to the presidency in the razor-thin 2000 election.

But after 9/11, Republicans “anathematized” them.

“Muslims had a huge shift to the left in response to the love showed them by Democrats,” he said.

“It changed the dynamics of our community.”

But being a religion of jurisprudence, Muslim obligation remains.

When Jesus was asked, “Who is my neighbor?”, he told a story.

Islam, Yusuf said, defines the neighbor as up to 40 houses away.

Mohamed Majid, imam and executive director at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center, in Virginia, is going much further.

Partnering with Baptist pastor Bob Roberts, he has traveled to Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and other Muslim world hotspots to promote better treatment of minority Christian communities.

But when invited to Roberts’s Texas, Majid said that local pastors politely asked not to be pictured with corresponding imams.

After three days of ta’arruf—the Arabic word for “getting to know each other”—they volunteered to exchange visits in each other’s houses of worship.

“We have so much in common with evangelical Christians,” Majid said.

“But to be true to our faith we have to get out of our comfort zone—which makes us better believers.”

Hartley agreed with the common evangelical dodge that says not all believers are called to engage Muslims in their community. But pressing the issue, he asked how many evangelical churches have appointed a deacon to do so?

Uddin, who appeared in a second ETS panel with Matthew Kaemingk of Neighborly Faith, offered political encouragement. The 2020 American Muslim Poll found 49 percent of that community willing to build coalitions with conservatives to support religious liberty.

Both she and Yusuf cited the importance of the ministerial exception, which bars the application of anti-discrimination laws to religious institutions. Muslims face many of the same culture war challenges affecting Christians, and community leaders need the freedom to impart their moral values, without fear of being sued.

If this issue can help bridge the divide, maybe it can help heal the nation?

“Evangelicals and Muslims are only a microcosm of political tribalism in America,” Uddin said. “If we can work together, it will provide a clue about how to overcome it nationally.”

Roughly 100 people viewed the online panel.

But not all were pleased.

“This is nothing more than Muslim propaganda,” wrote Derek Newton in the ETS online chatroom, citing violent statements of Muhammad in the Quran.

“Why would I take the word of a lesser teacher, over the one they claim to follow?”

Martin Accad, chief academic officer at Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, in Lebanon, wished the panelists might have taken a more confessional approach toward Islamic history. Their tone was a bit apologetic, he said—though understandable in a sea of evangelicals.

But they represented “the best of Islam.”

Accad was invited to a separate panel to discuss his book Sacred Misinterpretation, describing how both Muslims and Christians view each other’s scriptures through the lens of their own. It calls for a “kerygmatic” approach, in which the good news can be proclaimed without having to make Islam look bad.

Doing so is counterproductive—and not only in evangelism.

“Showing the uglier side of Islam does not help our social theology,” Accad said. “It makes it harder for us to love our Muslim neighbor.”

Calling for evangelical leaders to normalize Islam in America, he said the only way to do so is to promote the positive image of Muslims.

Though incomplete, the image is not false.

Academics will always wrestle with the full picture. In his writing Accad deals with the difficulty of understanding who Muhammad was historically, as well as the complex textual history of the Quran. As an Arab Christian, his hope is that the scientific inquiry Muslim scholars encounter in America will filter back to the Middle East.

But while scholars engage with complexity, experience drives the perception of most Christians in the pews. Media discourse and politics must not prevent the exchange of hospitality.

“I’m willing to risk painting the positive aspects of Islam, even if it lacks nuance,” Accad said, “for the sake of avoiding the alternative—more conflict at the personal, community, and international levels.”

Uddin’s approach is similar.

“My advocacy also for Christian rights lowers their feelings of threat,” she said. “This reduces the likelihood of hostile reactions, opening a space for connection.”

Even so, Uddin confessed feeling “pretty demoralized” before the conference. She grows tired of facing the same evangelical questions, often asked with hostility. But her left-leaning friends show little appreciation for the moral goodness of most evangelicals. And sometimes when speaking in front of Muslim audiences, she has been given a bodyguard.

“I want to plant a seed, so people will question their assumptions,” Uddin said.

“Perhaps the academics at this conference will now do so with the next generation.”

Mohler, in his welcoming remarks, called evangelical scholars to ever greater faithfulness to Christ and his gospel.

Hartley, like Yusuf, invoked the Good Samaritan.

“When you see people suffering wounds and injustices, you go to be their neighbor,” he said.

“So many of us feel a threat to our religious liberty. Can we recognize that Muslim suffering parallels our own?”
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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

Bladerunner

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2180
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • My Friend
  • Location: Tennessee, USA
  • Referrals: 0
Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #48 on: November 21, 2020, 05:04:05 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/november/islam-christianity-evangelical-theology-society-ets.html








Muslims Join Evangelical Theology Conference





Annual gathering of Christian scholars seeks better engagement with Islam.


It is not often that a Muslim appears at an evangelical theological gathering.

Al Mohler invited three.

The trimmed-down 72nd annual conference of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS), held virtually this week, usually welcomes up to 2,000 top scholars to present on the most salient issues facing evangelical scholarship.

This year’s theme: Islam and Christianity.

“We are called to truth, and to understanding the world around us more accurately and thoughtfully,” said Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS), who also served as ETS program chair.

“That certainly includes our understanding of Islam, which has from the beginning represented an enormous challenge to Christian evangelism, apologetics, theology, and cultural engagement.”

Roughly 15 percent of the 130-plus events addressed these challenges, including the three official plenary sessions—in typical academic parlance:

“The Authority and Function of the Quran in Islam,” by Ayman Ibrahim of SBTS
“Through the Prism: The Trinity and the Islamic Metanarrative,” by Timothy Tennet of Asbury Theological Seminary
“American Christians and Islam: From the Colonial Era to the Post-9/11 World,” by Thomas Kidd of Baylor University
But it was the challenge of “cultural engagement” that led ETS to reach out to the Muslim panelists. Each was invited to share their view of evangelicals, and address the issues that concern them. It could “scarcely be more relevant and urgent,” said Mohler.

Three Christians joined them on the panel, focused on “Understanding Our Neighbor.”

“We don’t resist the idea we must love Muslims,” said John Hartley, a research fellow at Yale, “but we hesitate and keep silent, because the politics is so messy.

“This leaves the field open for those who spread hate.”

Asma Uddin, a religious liberty lawyer (previously interviewed by CT) and a fellow with the Inclusive America Project at the Aspen Institute, described the well-funded Islamophobia network that tars Muslims and the political left in a joint conspiracy to take over the world.

The effort seems to be working.

Uddin cited Pew Research Center statistics that found white evangelicals to be twice as likely as Americans overall (76% vs. 38%) to support President Donald Trump’s 2017 “Muslim ban.”

And according to the 2019 American Muslim Poll, only 20 percent of white evangelicals had a positive opinion of Muslims, with 44 percent feeling unfavorable.

Only 14 percent of Muslims had an unfavorable view of white evangelicals, with one-third feeling favorable—but the damage has been done.

“Political tribalism drives how these communities see each other,” Uddin said, “and Muslims view evangelicals as intrinsically linked to the Trumpian other.”

It was not always this way.

Hamza Yusuf, cofounder and president of Zaytuna College in California, the first accredited Muslim liberal arts college in the United States, said strong Muslim support for George W. Bush helped him to the presidency in the razor-thin 2000 election.

But after 9/11, Republicans “anathematized” them.

“Muslims had a huge shift to the left in response to the love showed them by Democrats,” he said.

“It changed the dynamics of our community.”

But being a religion of jurisprudence, Muslim obligation remains.

When Jesus was asked, “Who is my neighbor?”, he told a story.

Islam, Yusuf said, defines the neighbor as up to 40 houses away.

Mohamed Majid, imam and executive director at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center, in Virginia, is going much further.

Partnering with Baptist pastor Bob Roberts, he has traveled to Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and other Muslim world hotspots to promote better treatment of minority Christian communities.

But when invited to Roberts’s Texas, Majid said that local pastors politely asked not to be pictured with corresponding imams.

After three days of ta’arruf—the Arabic word for “getting to know each other”—they volunteered to exchange visits in each other’s houses of worship.

“We have so much in common with evangelical Christians,” Majid said.

“But to be true to our faith we have to get out of our comfort zone—which makes us better believers.”

Hartley agreed with the common evangelical dodge that says not all believers are called to engage Muslims in their community. But pressing the issue, he asked how many evangelical churches have appointed a deacon to do so?

Uddin, who appeared in a second ETS panel with Matthew Kaemingk of Neighborly Faith, offered political encouragement. The 2020 American Muslim Poll found 49 percent of that community willing to build coalitions with conservatives to support religious liberty.

Both she and Yusuf cited the importance of the ministerial exception, which bars the application of anti-discrimination laws to religious institutions. Muslims face many of the same culture war challenges affecting Christians, and community leaders need the freedom to impart their moral values, without fear of being sued.

If this issue can help bridge the divide, maybe it can help heal the nation?

“Evangelicals and Muslims are only a microcosm of political tribalism in America,” Uddin said. “If we can work together, it will provide a clue about how to overcome it nationally.”

Roughly 100 people viewed the online panel.

But not all were pleased.

“This is nothing more than Muslim propaganda,” wrote Derek Newton in the ETS online chatroom, citing violent statements of Muhammad in the Quran.

“Why would I take the word of a lesser teacher, over the one they claim to follow?”

Martin Accad, chief academic officer at Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, in Lebanon, wished the panelists might have taken a more confessional approach toward Islamic history. Their tone was a bit apologetic, he said—though understandable in a sea of evangelicals.

But they represented “the best of Islam.”

Accad was invited to a separate panel to discuss his book Sacred Misinterpretation, describing how both Muslims and Christians view each other’s scriptures through the lens of their own. It calls for a “kerygmatic” approach, in which the good news can be proclaimed without having to make Islam look bad.

Doing so is counterproductive—and not only in evangelism.

“Showing the uglier side of Islam does not help our social theology,” Accad said. “It makes it harder for us to love our Muslim neighbor.”

Calling for evangelical leaders to normalize Islam in America, he said the only way to do so is to promote the positive image of Muslims.

Though incomplete, the image is not false.

Academics will always wrestle with the full picture. In his writing Accad deals with the difficulty of understanding who Muhammad was historically, as well as the complex textual history of the Quran. As an Arab Christian, his hope is that the scientific inquiry Muslim scholars encounter in America will filter back to the Middle East.

But while scholars engage with complexity, experience drives the perception of most Christians in the pews. Media discourse and politics must not prevent the exchange of hospitality.

“I’m willing to risk painting the positive aspects of Islam, even if it lacks nuance,” Accad said, “for the sake of avoiding the alternative—more conflict at the personal, community, and international levels.”

Uddin’s approach is similar.

“My advocacy also for Christian rights lowers their feelings of threat,” she said. “This reduces the likelihood of hostile reactions, opening a space for connection.”

Even so, Uddin confessed feeling “pretty demoralized” before the conference. She grows tired of facing the same evangelical questions, often asked with hostility. But her left-leaning friends show little appreciation for the moral goodness of most evangelicals. And sometimes when speaking in front of Muslim audiences, she has been given a bodyguard.

“I want to plant a seed, so people will question their assumptions,” Uddin said.

“Perhaps the academics at this conference will now do so with the next generation.”

Mohler, in his welcoming remarks, called evangelical scholars to ever greater faithfulness to Christ and his gospel.

Hartley, like Yusuf, invoked the Good Samaritan.

“When you see people suffering wounds and injustices, you go to be their neighbor,” he said.

“So many of us feel a threat to our religious liberty. Can we recognize that Muslim suffering parallels our own?”


a prophecy of the Bible is those who practice Islam will come over to the false prophet (the RCC) and worship the antichrist.

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

Acts 17:11.."These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
Informative Informative x 1 View List

patrick jane

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12220
  • Karma: +1010/-0
  • Research Jesus Christ - Research Flat Earth
  • Location: Homeless in God's Flat Earth
  • Referrals: 41
    • Theology Forums
Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #49 on: November 26, 2020, 05:26:47 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/november/despite-covid-19-evangelicals-mobilize-for-mission-in-europ.html








Despite COVID-19, Evangelicals Mobilize for Mission in Europe




In challenging circumstances, European evangelicals share a message of hope.


As the coronavirus pandemic continues its relentless march across the world, Europe battles a frightening second wave. New lockdowns, overwhelmed hospitals, and social unrest are increasingly the norm across the continent.

But as a dark winter looms, European evangelicals can look back with gratitude and look ahead with expectation, thanks to a renewed rediscovery of fervent prayer, fresh creativity, and resilient hope in this trying year.

Fervent prayer

When churches were prevented from meeting in the spring, small communities scrambled to minister to people online while larger congregations grieved the loss of members who had weak links to the faith and attended church sporadically before the pandemic. “Not since the Second World War has something so profoundly affected the lives of all Europeans simultaneously,” explained Jim Memory, leader of the process team for Lausanne Europe 20/21.

The pandemic’s effects were also felt by continent-wide gatherings of evangelical leaders, such as Lausanne Europe 20/21 and the annual European Leadership Forum. “Not being able to come together was like not being with your family at Christmas,” explained Greg Pritchard, director of the European Leadership Forum.

But as the discouraging news mounted, intercession initiatives sprung up across the continent. Local churches launched virtual prayer rooms, Evangelical Alliances hosted National Days of Prayer, and student movements such as IFES hosted prayer meetings for people across the continent. “The pandemic brought the European church to our knees,” reports Sarah Breuel, director of Revive Europe. “We have never seen so many calls to prayer and fasting like this before.”

Fresh creativity

Out of such an environment, the European church was forced to make an opportunity out of a crisis. The Lausanne Movement, like many others, postponed its conference until 2021, but launched impact groups and conversations that multiplied interactions among leaders. “Despite initial disappointment when postponing the Gathering, we have a real sense of God opening new doors through this extended process,” declared Lars Dahle, chair of Lausanne Europe 20/21. “The Conversation started as a supplement to the Gathering. It has now become increasingly significant in its own right, with fresh missional material every month.”

Other conferences switched from physical to virtual gatherings, reaching a surprising number of people both in and beyond Europe. The 2020 European Leadership Forum was attended by 5,360 participants from 123 countries, a seven-fold increase in attendance from the previous year. Exponential, a movement of pastors and church planters, hosted 130 roundtables on the topic of multiplication in European cities in October.

A similar phenomenon took place among European students. Before the pandemic, the youth ministry Jesus House planned to host hundreds of events in German-speaking countries. “The lockdown came, and that dream became a nightmare. We had to cancel all our events, and we were so frustrated,” confessed Julia Garschagen, one of the ministry’s leaders. “But then we realized all those young people would now be at home in front of their computers watching Youtube.” Over half a million people watched live streams broadcasted by the ministry during the pandemic. “That far exceeded everything we would have ever dreamed of,” added Julia.

Lindsay Brown, founder of the FEUER network of university evangelists, affirmed that “The pandemic has shaken the foundations of many secularists. So many are seeking answers to existential questions.”

In addition to ministering online, evangelicals witnessed the power of unity across national and denominational barriers. In the UK, a group of churches recorded a blessing over the nation that inspired believers in numerous countries to do the same. Balkan student movements in Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia came together for shared Zoom lectures, which helped a Serbian professor of mathematics embrace faith for the first time.

Resilient hope

European evangelicals have experienced their share of hardships this year. But many of them feel strengthened by God’s faithfulness during the coronavirus pandemic. Lars Dahle points to growing emphases on church planting and apologetics and the increasingly significant role of Majority World Christians in today’s Europe as encouraging signs for Christians in the continent.

“The lesson of history is that the church tends to thrive and be renewed when it is faced with crises. For that is when the church looks to the one who is above the storm,” commented Jim Memory. “And that, of course, is a lesson many of our sisters and brothers in the Global South know all too well.”

This may be one of the most significant lessons Christians in Europe will cherish in future years, when they will look back to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a continent with a long history and rich traditions, the next step forward may be born out of the most basic of Christian convictions: childlike faith and dependence on God.








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


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

 

+-Recent Topics

Chaplain's Chat by Chaplain Mark Schmidt
Today at 12:24:46 am

Who are the 144,000? by patrick jane
November 28, 2020, 09:06:33 pm

LION OF JUDAH VIDEOS by patrick jane
November 28, 2020, 09:05:24 pm

Chaplain's Office by patrick jane
November 28, 2020, 03:39:00 pm

ROBERT SEPEHR - ANTHROPOLOGY - Myths and Mythology by patrick jane
November 28, 2020, 05:48:49 am

Moors, Shriners, Phoenicians and Freemasonry - ROBERT SEPEHR by patrick jane
November 28, 2020, 05:48:36 am

Goths, Barbarians, and the Notre-Dame Cathedral - ROBERT SEPEHR by patrick jane
November 28, 2020, 05:45:27 am

Your Favorite Music, Images and Memes by patrick jane
November 28, 2020, 04:19:31 am

Who messed up the forum? by patrick jane
November 28, 2020, 04:09:30 am

Dreams - Post 'Em If You Got "Em by patrick jane
November 28, 2020, 04:09:16 am

Human contact.... by patrick jane
November 28, 2020, 04:08:59 am

Religion- something for everyone by patrick jane
November 28, 2020, 04:08:42 am

Who has pets? by patrick jane
November 28, 2020, 04:08:30 am

Tiny Houses, Affordable Living and More by patrick jane
November 28, 2020, 04:08:15 am

Can Someone Living a Gay Lifestyle Be a Christian? by patrick jane
November 28, 2020, 04:08:03 am

TOMMY TRAVELS YOUTUBE CHANNEL by patrick jane
November 28, 2020, 04:07:49 am

Mark & La Shonda Songwriting by patrick jane
November 28, 2020, 04:07:39 am

Great Quotes ... by patrick jane
November 28, 2020, 04:07:27 am