Baptist World Cult Evangelism
La Grange Texas (TX)
Presenting God's Word On the Internet Since 1996
Christian Law Association
"I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame." (Job 29:15)
I grew up around sports. My family spent nearly every weekend cheering on our teams at various sporting events. At the age of five, I joined my first swim team. Today, I am a collegiate athlete. Sports have allowed me to meet so many wonderful people, many of whom had differing political, religious, and personal convictions from my own. The politically neutral platform that sports provide has allowed fans and athletes to have open conversations about our different views, while still being unified in our love for the sport. This free and open space is now being jeopardized.It seems that no entity is free from the hyper-politicized climate of today‚Äôs society, including sports. Profit-driven political agendas are being pushed by teams. Players and fans are forced to conform to and adopt the political messages their team is promoting. This is forcing many to compromise their religious beliefs as they engage with their team. The sports arena is no longer a unifying space.In a recent FRC Speaker Series event, Dr. Jennifer Bryson spoke about the politicization of sports, and how it is forcing many to jeopardize their religious beliefs. Dr. Bryson, an avid sports fan, is the founder of¬ Let All Play, which advocates to protect inclusivity and fairness in sports and games by keeping political and religious exclusivity out. In her presentation, she shared examples of the politicization and religious exclusivity that is happening in the world of sports, particularly in soccer. In 2018, the German Bundesliga team, VfL Wolfsburg, issued a press release detailing their decision to have team captains wear a LGBT rainbow armband. The publication details the team‚Äôs stance, proclaiming, ‚ÄúOne Team, One Belief.‚ÄĚ VfL Wolfsburg made it clear that they were using the armbands to make a political statement: ‚Äú[We‚Äôre] sending a clear message that we stand for diversity.‚ÄĚ However, this so-called ‚Äúdiversity‚ÄĚ only stands for leftist ideals, excluding religious or political diversity. Josip Brekalo, when offered the position of captain, was faced with a difficult choice. He could accept the honor of captain and wear the armband, but would be forced to compromise his beliefs by doing so. Brekalo refused to support his team‚Äôs political agenda and declined the position.This is not the only instance within the soccer world where players have been forced to display the LGBT rainbow.Jaelene Hinkle, an American soccer player, was called up to the U.S. Women‚Äôs National Team in June 2017. She declined the offer. In an interview with CBN, Hinkle revealed that accepting the promotion would have forced her to violate her religious beliefs. The U.S. Women‚Äôs National Team‚Äôs uniforms sported LGBT rainbow numbers. Hinkle, a Christian, refused to promote the team‚Äôs political agenda, and gave up her dream to do so, saying, ‚ÄúI‚Äôm essentially giving up the one dream little girls dream about their entire life‚Ä¶ It was very disappointing. And I think that‚Äôs where the peace trumped the disappointment. Because I knew in my spirit I was doing the right thing. I knew that I was being obedient.‚ÄĚ The sport is becoming disturbingly exclusive‚ÄĒforcing out those who disagree with the political agendas rife on the field.¬ Not only were these instances violations of religious liberty, but they were in direct violation of FIFA rules.¬ FIFA‚Äôs Law 04 Section 5 states that equipment, including the uniform, ‚Äúmust not have any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images.‚ÄĚ The LGBT rainbow is one of the best-known political symbols worldwide. LGBT rainbow uniform numbers and armbands are not acceptable under current FIFA rules. Many Muslims and Christians who have spoken out about these instances have not been heard. The celebration of this falsely labeled ‚Äúdiversity‚ÄĚ is drowning out those who are standing up for religious liberty in sports, such as many Muslims and Christians.As Dr. Bryson pointed out, people in all walks of life can take a stand for religious liberty in sports.Sports ministries like FIFA need to enforce the rules they have set.Parents must familiarize themselves with the rules of the team their children play on. They must prepare themselves and their children to take a stand for religious freedom when necessary.Athletes must stand up for religious freedom by advocating for their own religious accommodation rights and advocate against the politicization of sports.Non-profits should educate and have materials for parents, athletes, and teams on how to respond to instances similar to those detailed above.Congress must hold national teams accountable to the rules they have set. They must take action to keep politics out of the sports arena.You can help keep FIFA free of political symbols. Sign the petition today.Read more at LetAllPlay.org.Abigail Ross is an intern at Family Research Council.
by Hohn Chofter 13 years of ministry alongside college-and-career-aged single folks, I've witnessed and counseled and comforted more than my share, perhaps, of dear people who have suffered from the tragedy of sexual and physical abuse. And in a culture that is seemingly degrading by the day, especially sexually, it should not surprise us that we are seeing more and more reports of it, even within the church, sadly. I laid out numerous examples in paragraph 12 of a previous blog post, and since that time we've seen more and more and more examples, including one from earlier this week at Matt Chandler's Village Church.[*] Interestingly, that last article appeared to validate certain concerns that I and others have raised previously about the "Ministry Safe" organization, particularly the dangers associated with possible conflicts of interest and institutional bias.On a brighter note, also earlier this week, the SBC sexual abuse advisory group released its "Caring Well" report. Although I don't agree with everything and continue to be concerned that terms such as "abuse" and "spiritual abuse" are too vague to be helpful, the report has many helpful points, and appears to represent some positive movement. In particular, I appreciated large portions of pages 17-22, which included this sobering view from Rachael Denhollander, "Predators often target faith communities because our mishandling of sexual assault means that churches are one of the safest places for predators to flourish", as well as some reasons why that could be, explained under subheadings such as:Failure to Recognize and Value God's Image in Every PersonFailure in Understanding the Doctrine of SinMisapplication of Confession, Repentance, and Forgiveness of SinConfusion Over Doctrine of the ChurchMisunderstanding that Sexual Abuse is Not Only Sin‚ÄĒBut a CrimeMisunderstanding of Church AutonomyAnd while of course not every church in the SBC or the United States might be guilty of these theological failures, one needs only to consider the average state of biblical literacy and understanding across American evangelicalism as a whole to realize that the list is probably pretty spot-on. Indeed, having read many dozens if not hundreds of articles and stories on the topic, themes such as "I was pressured to keep this within the church" with little thought to the protection of the governing authorities in Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2, and "my pastor told me I had to forgive" with no regard for genuine repentance in 2 Corinthians 7, are so common as to be nigh-constant.Meanwhile, all of this is happening against the backdrop of a parallel conversation in evangelicalism, specifically the issue of complementarianism vs. egalitarianism relating to women in leadership roles within the church. The secular Washington Post has summarized the recent discussion in a way that links the two issues, and speaking as a staunch complementarian, I agree with that linkage in one important way.Complementarian Churches Ought to be the Safest Places for WomenWhenever we look at human authority structures in the Bible, we see a dynamic between the one in authority and the ones under authority. The ones under authority are to submit to the one in authority‚ÄĒbut the one in authority should be trembling under the weight and responsibility that the Word of God places upon those in authority. Some patriarchal Christians might be quick to point out the three verses dealing with the wife's submission to her own husband in Ephesians 5:22-24, but then downplay the next six verses in Ephesians 5:25-30 dealing with the husband's sacrificial (even unto death itself) obligations to his own wife. Parents might be eager for their children to memorize Colossians 3:20, and yet conveniently forget that Colossians 3:21 commands parents not to provoke their children. Bosses might be thrilled that servants are to be subject even to unjust managers with all respect as it says in 1 Peter 2:18, but nevertheless the masters are commanded to treat their servants justly and fairly in Colossians 4:1. Governing authorities might shout "obey" to its citizens per Romans 13:1-2, but woe to those authorities if they fail to approve the good and avenge God's wrath upon the wrongdoers per Romans 13:3-4.And when it comes to the church, the language is arguably the strongest of all. Jesus in Matthew 20:25-28 clearly told the disciples that followers of Christ must not lord it over others the way the rulers of the Gentiles did, but rather that they must be servants, and the one desiring to be first among them must be a slave, following in the example of Jesus Himself, who came not to be served, but to serve. This archetypical example of servant leadership is a radical departure from both the authoritarian leadership styles of the Romans, as well as most concepts of leadership today, whether in the United States generally or even in much of the evangelical church, sadly.One needs only to consider the example of certain high-profile Christian leaders‚ÄĒand in many cases, their sad falls‚ÄĒto see this borne out time and time again. Whether it's the heavy-handed leadership of Mark Driscoll, who charmingly referred to wives as homes for penises, or Doug Phillips, who was disgraced and then sued for the sadly all-too-banal story of grooming and seducing his family's nanny, or Paige Patterson, who in a sermon approved of a 16-year-old girl being referred to as "built" and in another incident told his head of security that he wanted to meet with a rape victim alone so that he could "break her down" (presumably an aggressive cross-examination of her testimony), or James MacDonald, who set up photos of some of his fellow elders' wives to use as target practice, with the ones most troublesome to him apparently designated for higher point values. Based on many reports, in all of these men's organizations, they appeared to demonstrate all of the authority and none of the servanthood‚ÄĒand it showed in their attitudes toward women.The Scriptures on the nature of leadership in the church don't end there, of course. Elders are to rule well over the local church, as it says in 1 Timothy 5:17, and their very name is essentially interchangeable with the word overseer. And from Hebrews 13:17, we see that congregants are indeed to obey and submit to their elders. But the nature of the rule and oversight that congregants are to follow is the very servant leadership described by Jesus in Matthew 20:25-28 and Mark 10:42-45, and the weight of that is further established by the very same Hebrews 13:17 that talks about submission to the elders‚ÄĒbecause those elders are going to give an account before God Himself for how they kept watch over the souls God placed under the elders' care.Reinforcing this point, 1 Peter 5:1-4 commands elders to shepherd the flock of God, willingly and not under compulsion or for shameful gain, and explicitly not domineering but as an example, once again bringing to mind Jesus and the servant leader. Indeed, as we search through Scripture for what elders are to do, it sounds like a whole lot of service and precisely the opposite of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Elders are to preach and teach and even rebuke those who contradict sound doctrine, a necessary task, but one that is often arduous and hardly enjoyable, except perhaps for the pugnacious and quarrelsome (who ought to be disqualified from eldership in any event). Elders are to pray, and tend to the sick, and care for the church of God, and shepherd the flock for whom they are accountable before the Lord.Speaking from my own experience as a lay elder, it is a blessed and joyful task, and a deeply fulfilling one, but it is also an enormous amount of work, and I'm truly grateful for treasure laid up in Heaven, because it certainly isn't a source of material profit. On some levels, I believe complementarian leadership in the church would be quite a bit less controversial if the focus were more on the endurance and perseverance needed for the often inconspicuous and sometimes thankless tasks of shepherding and caring for the flock and the least of these, and not at all on the (mostly) American phenomenon of the glamorous and successful "celebrity" Christian preacher.Opening Your Mouth for the MuteAnd as we do shepherd and care for the flock and the least of these, complementarians should remember that yes, 1 Corinthians 14:34 says what it says, and yes, 1 Timothy 2:12 means what it means, and although these might be controversial topics today, the Scriptural words and concepts are not hard to understand‚ÄĒeven if they are hard for some to bear. But as we consider the weighty Scriptural call for men to lead the church, we must also remember what that means with respect to the women. I have previously questioned the helpfulness of frequent attempts to apply Proverbs 31:8-9 to the larger "social justice" debate in the US, especially in light of the fact that in our age of social media, just about anyone can have a voice, and in our society of casual wealth that would be unimaginable in the Ancient Near East, just about no one is truly destitute. One obvious example of where Proverbs 31:8-9 would indeed apply are the untold millions of murdered unborn, who truly lack a voice (although they have a heartbeat) and are truly destitute (not only of material wealth, but also of basic human rights).But another example would be right here, where women as a matter of biblical structure are necessarily absent from the plurality of elders, and indeed, they are explicitly called to be silent. In these cases, should we not be vigilant to apply Proverbs 31:8-9, and speak up for their rights and defend their interests? This could of course take many different forms, but in a (largely) peaceful and wealthy society where neither murder nor death are lurking around every corner, should we not be especially watchful and protective, then, in the area of physical and sexual abuse, which sadly runs rampant throughout our society?In a previous article, I mentioned how in 2016, actually reported cases of rapes and sexual assaults numbered nearly 300,000, while domestic violence incidents were over 1,000,000. Underlying those horrifying statistics is the sad reality that only a fraction of each type of crime is reported, and that when one considers the terrible human cost of this suffering as it ripples outward, sometimes compounded down through the third and fourth generation, the direct and indirect impacts of these grievous and sinful crimes are far, far worse than the sterile numbers indicate. So often, Christian men say they would defend Christian women from any physical threat, even with their own lives. I honestly trust this is usually a genuine sentiment, and not mere lip service. And so here is an area that presents a perfect opportunity to live this out.Are you, complementarian man, approachable if someone that you care about has a secret to disclose that she deems to be sensitive, shameful, or even sinful? And what will your response be if she recounts an event of physical or sexual abuse? Remember, complementarian pastor, in our dealings with women, 1 Timothy 5:2 would have us treat older women as mothers and younger women as sisters. So if your own biological mother or sister came to you with such a recounting, what would your first reaction be? I know mine would likely be to strive to mortify my immediate outrage and thirst for vengeance, before offering as much comfort and tangible assistance as I could, including reporting the matter to the governing authorities (which might even be a legal requirement, depending on your jurisdiction) and helping her to seek justice, regardless of who the alleged perpetrator was.Speaking as a lawyer, this does not mean we throw out the idea of due process, of course, nor does it necessarily even mean #BelieveAllWomen in the ideological or political sense of that hashtag. What I'm talking about is more along the lines of bearing your fellow Christian's burden, mourning with those who mourn, and remembering that pastors and elders are neither the governing authorities with respect to crimes, nor the investigating detective, nor the cross-examining lawyer on the case. Proverbs 18:13, 17 would indeed tell us that the accused has his own story to tell, and he should absolutely have the opportunity to tell it. It may be, however, that you, complementarian leader, will not be the one to hear or adjudicate that story.As men, we are sometimes inclined to put ourselves in the shoes of the accused and sympathize with him, even as specific false accusations from the past spring to our mind in a type of confirmation bias. But the reality is that the most credible studies have shown a range of only 2-10% of rape accusations being demonstrated later to be false. If you think without any supporting evidence that those statistics are fake news, well, go ahead and triple that range, sheerly for the sake of argument, and the reality would still be that the great majority of rape accusations are at least somewhat plausible.It grieves me, then, when I hear of cases where the churchman immediately springs to protect the accused rather than the accuser, or pushes cheap grace upon the tangibly wronged, or even worse, tries to cover the crime up via pressure for silence‚ÄĒespecially when the accused is a man of influence within the church. But simply because a man is successful or respected in the community, that does not mean he is incapable of horrific sins or crimes. Deep down, I think many of us really do know that, because whenever fathers have daughters, we're typically going to warn them against the ulterior or even dark motives of guys in general, since back when we were single, quite a few of us were those guys.Distinguishing Ourselves from the WorldI hope all of this has been relatively straightforward, because at the risk of sounding na√Įve, I really don't think it should be especially controversial to us as Bible-believing Christians. I also believe that a proper complementarianism that cherishes and treasures and looks out for the rights and interests of women can be an amazing way to distinguish ourselves from the secular world. Part of this will be in the area of attitude. It would be perverse, after all, for a man's heart attitude toward the biblical structure of complementarianism to be, "Yeah, we get to keep those wimminfolk down!" And may I humbly submit that in light of our fallen, sinful nature and the inevitable stumbling blocks relating to pride for those in leadership, perhaps we could even use a bit less, "Now let's go forth boldly as MEN and go do a bunch of manlike leader-man things," and a bit more time in earnest on-our-knees prayer for the weight of this responsibility and what it might truly mean for those under our spiritual care.By the way, I am indeed aware that we live in a gender-confused society, and yes, I still stand by what I just said, because first, it should not require a macho caricature of biblical masculinity to show a contrast with the world, and second, no matter what the world might look like, biblically we are all still called to humility and servanthood and sacrifice all through Scripture (Philippians 2:3-4 being one of the most obvious and clear, and one of my absolute favorites). In the face of a Roman Empire full of sexual immorality and confusion, Christian men led, and the Gospel spread, by standing for the truth via a willingness to suffer and even die under persecution, and not by becoming political culture warriors. And on that note, I'd much rather see one tangible and sacrificial act of biblical manhood, than a hundred tweets full of empty words or even worse, chest-pounding bravado about it.In the secular world, we see an increasingly pornified culture where women are objectified and commodified and degraded and pressured to indulge in every form of perversion, existing right alongside fourth-wave feminism and the #MeToo movement and all of their supposed attempts to empower women and eliminate gender differences. The contradictions and confusion inherent in these worldviews that lack an ultimate purpose like pursuing Jesus Christ and an objective anchor like the Word of God are patently obvious, especially when we see so much subjectivity that half of the feminists seem to glorify porn while the other half seem to reject it.Meanwhile, as I've said in prior comments, everywhere we look, women seem to lose out whenever they're stacked against any other identity or interest group, such as ethnicity, national origin and immigration, Islam, or more recently transgenderism. Even in an area that would seem like a slam-dunk such as female genital mutilation, a barbaric and cruel practice with zero medical and health benefits, this society simply is not standing up for women like it could and should.It must not be this way in Christianity. What an opportunity we have to demonstrate a church culture that cherishes, values, and protects women, because the Bible commands us to cherish, value, and protect women. That is my prayer for the church universal, and that is how I would strive to serve any church where I might have the immense and weighty privilege to help as a servant leader, including my own beloved local church. And that is my prayer for your church as well, dear reader. [*] In 2015, Chandler and his elders at the Village Church also received criticism for their treatment of another woman, Karen Hinkley, a former missionary whose then-husband had admitted to possession of child pornography as part of a long-standing indulgence in pedophilic desires. The Village Church's church discipline of Hinkley and subsequent apology to her have been widely reported, including here (with paywall) and here (without paywall, although from a secular publisher that has been hostile previously to biblical Christianity, so read with discernment).
Especialistas discutem o tema no F√≥rum Mundial do Trabalho do Movimento Lausanne.Read in English | Leer en espa√ĪolEsta semana, o Movimento de Lausanne reuniu 700 l√≠deres crist√£os de 109 pa√≠ses em Manila para o seu F√≥rum Mundial do Trabalho. Entre os muitos t√≥picos em discuss√£o √© onde o evangelismo deve estar entre as prioridades dos crist√£os em seus locais de trabalho.O minist√©rio do trabalho √© principalmente sobre evangelismo? Respostas organizadas de ‚Äúsim‚ÄĚ para ‚Äún√£o‚ÄĚ:Gea Gort, missiologista e autora do BAM Global Movement (Pa√≠ses Baixos):Sim! Porque cada crist√£o tem uma miss√£o, j√° que herdamos o "DNA" de nosso Senhor, Jesus Cristo. A miss√£o de reconciliar o mundo ‚Äď em Cristo e atrav√©s dEle ‚Äď de volta √ inten√ß√£o original de Deus. Essa √© a boa nova, isso √© evangeliza√ß√£o. Reconciliar e restaurar os indiv√≠duos assim como bairros, sistemas, e formas de pensar. Atingiremos esse objetivo pelo trabalho e atrav√©s dele, mas somente se buscarmos intencionalmente e sinceramente a revela√ß√£o de Deus com rela√ß√£o a todos os aspectos de nosso trabalho. Muitas vezes eu testemunhei isso em minha √°rea de pesquisa: neg√≥cios como miss√£o. Nossa mensagem, que atrav√©s de palavras ou n√£o, se torna poderosa e convincente, quando √© corroborada por nossas atitudes, cultura de empreendedorismo e a√ß√Ķes no trabalho. Assim nossas vidas todas contam a hist√≥ria. Precisamos nos lembrar que n√£o estamos s√≥s em nossos esfor√ßos evangel√≠sticos. Deus deseja mover e se fazer conhecido durante ...Continue reading...
Los expertos aconsejan sobre el Foro Mundial del Trabajo del Movimiento Lausana.Read in English | Ler em portugu√™sEsta semana, el Movimiento de Lausana ha reunido a 700 l√≠deres cristianos de 109 pa√≠ses en Manila para su Foro Mundial del Trabajo. Entre los muchos temas en discusi√≥n se encuentra el lugar donde el evangelismo debe ubicarse entre las prioridades de los cristianos en el √°mbito laboral.¬ŅEs el ministerio en el √°mbito laboral principalmente sobre el evangelismo? Respuestas ordenadas de ‚Äús√≠‚ÄĚ a ‚Äúno‚ÄĚ:Gea Gort, misi√≥loga y autora de BAM Global Movement (Pa√≠ses Bajos):¬°S√≠! Porque cada cristiano tiene una misi√≥n, ya que heredamos el ‚ÄúADN‚ÄĚ de nuestro Se√Īor Jesucristo. La misi√≥n de reconciliar al mundo, en y por medio de Cristo, para volver a la intenci√≥n original de Dios. Esa es la Buena Noticia; eso es evangelizaci√≥n. Reconciliar y restaurar personas, as√≠ como vecindarios, sistemas y formas de pensar. Esto se lograr√° en el trabajo y a trav√©s de nuestro trabajo, es decir, si buscamos intencionalmente y con seriedad la revelaci√≥n de Dios con respecto a todos los aspectos de nuestro trabajo. Una y otra vez, he sido testigo de esto en mi √°rea de investigaci√≥n, los negocios como misi√≥n. Nuestro mensaje, con y sin palabras, se vuelve poderoso y convincente cuando est√° respaldado por nuestras actitudes, nuestra cultura empresarial y nuestras acciones en el trabajo. Entonces toda nuestra vida cuente una historia. Y debemos recordarnos a nosotros mismos que no estamos solos en nuestro esfuerzo evangel√≠stico: Dios desea moverse y darse a conocer durante la semana en el mercado y en nuestros edificios ...Continue reading...
Experts weigh in at the Lausanne Movement's Global Workplace Forum.Leer en espa√Īol | Ler em portugu√™sThis week, the Lausanne Movement has gathered more than 700 Christian leaders from 109 nations in Manila for its Global Workplace Forum. Among the many topics under discussion is where evangelism should rank among the priorities of Christians at their workplaces.Is workplace ministry primarily about evangelism? Answers arranged from ‚Äúyes‚ÄĚ to ‚Äúno‚ÄĚ:Gea Gort, missiologist and author of BAM Global Movement (The Netherlands):Yes, it is! Because each Christian, having inherited the ‚ÄúDNA‚ÄĚ of our Lord Jesus Christ, has a mission of reconciling the world‚ÄĒin and through Christ‚ÄĒback to God‚Äôs original intent. That is the Good News; that is evangelism. Reconciling and restoring individuals, as well as neighborhoods, systems, and ways of thinking. This will be accomplished at work and through our work‚ÄĒif we intentionally and earnestly seek God‚Äôs revelation regarding all aspects of our work. Time and again, I‚Äôve witnessed this in my area of research: Business as Mission. Our message‚ÄĒspoken and unspoken‚ÄĒbecomes powerful and convincing when backed up by our attitudes, business culture, and deeds at work. Then our whole lives tell a story. And let‚Äôs remind ourselves that we are not alone in our evangelistic endeavor: God desires to move and make himself known during the week in the marketplace and in our office buildings, as all things belong to him.Joseph Vijayam, CEO of Olive Technology and Lausanne‚Äôs Catalyst for Technology (United States/India):Workplace ministry is about sharing the gospel in word and deed‚ÄĒwhich is evangelism‚ÄĒbut it is also about living a life that bears witness to ...Continue reading...
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