Home »

New Items

New Items

GRAMMY-nominated and multiple Dove Award-winning singer-songwriter, Joseph Habedank's most important album to-date, Change Is Coming, won Southern Gospel Album of the Year at the 52nd Annual GMA Dove Awards.
The Isaacs, continue to garner praise for their work in 2021. The group's album, Songs For Times, took home top honors at the 52nd Annual GMA Dove Awards for Bluegrass/Roots/Country Album of the Year.
Christian Aid Ministries asks for prayer as families of 16 Americans and one Canadian state, “God has given our loved ones the unique opportunity to live out our Lord's command to love your enemies.”PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — A US religious organization whose 17 members were kidnapped in Haiti asked supporters on Friday to pray and share stories with the victims’ families of how their faith helped them through difficult times as efforts to recover them entered a sixth day.Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries issued the statement a day after a video was released showing the leader of the 400 Mawozo gang threatening to kill those abducted if his demands are not met. Haitian officials have said the gang is seeking a $1 million ransom per person, although they said it wasn’t clear if that includes the five children in the group, the youngest being 8 months old.“You may wonder why our workers chose to live in a difficult and dangerous context, despite the apparent risks,” the organization said. "Before leaving for Haiti, our workers who are now being held hostage expressed a desire to faithfully serve God in Haiti."The FBI is helping Haitian authorities recover the 16 Americans and one Canadian. A local human rights group said their Haitian driver also was kidnapped.“Pray that their commitment to God could become even stronger during this difficult experience,” Christian Aid Ministries said.The video posted on social media shows 400 Mawozo leader Wilson Joseph dressed in a blue suit, carrying a blue hat and wearing a large cross around his neck.“I swear by thunder that if I don’t get what I’m asking for, I will put a bullet in the heads of these Americans,” he said in the video.He also threatened Prime Minister Ariel Henry and Haiti’s national police chief as he spoke in front of the open coffins that apparently held several members of his gang ...Continue reading...
After more than 35 years of various versions of its “the one-child policy,” which experts estimate cost the country between 200 and 400 million lives, China is attempting an about-face. Back in 2015, the government “officially” ended the one-child policy by allowing couples to have up to two children in some circumstances. Then, In May […]The post China Killed 200-400 Million People With Its Forced Abortion Population Control Policy appeared first on LifeNews.com.
Recently, Missouri Congresswoman Cori Bush (D) shared her abortion experience before a congressional committee. She also conducted interviews with Vanity Fair and Vogue. Bush is known for her unvarnished support of abortion and activist style but like so many other women, her words revealed, doubt, pain, and questions regarding Bush's choice to end the life […]The post Here’s the Truth Feminists Refuse to Admit: Women Regret Abortions appeared first on LifeNews.com.
An ambulance and a fire unit were dispatched to Preterm, a Cleveland, Ohio, abortion facility, on October 15, 2021, for a 20-year-old woman who may have had a hole torn in her uterus during a 19-week second trimester abortion. An evasive caller from Preterm was reluctant to give details about the woman's condition and what […]The post Clinic Injures Woman in Botched Abortion, Makes Her Go Down 2 Flights of Stairs to Get to Ambulance appeared first on LifeNews.com.
The Era of Infanticide began in 2019 when high-level politicians proposed leaving babies who survive abortion on a table to die. Some of those politicians tried to justify themselves by claiming that such situations never take place but the uncomfortable truth is that children survive abortion attempts far more frequently than abortion advocates will admit. […]The post After Abortion at Planned Parenthood Fails, Mother Decides to Keep Her Baby appeared first on LifeNews.com.
Baroness Meacher has not taken her assisted suicide Bill to a vote, following mass opposition from Peers with over 60 peers speaking against the Assisted Dying Bill during its Second Reading today in the House of Lords. The assisted suicide lobby would likely have pushed for a vote at Second Reading if they felt they […]The post Bill to Legalize Assisted Suicide in UK Doesn’t Get Vote After 60 House of Lords Members Oppose It appeared first on LifeNews.com.
In the Biden administration’s latest attack on the Texas Heartbeat Act (SB 8), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) asked the U.S. Supreme Court to place a hold on the law until legal challenges have been heard. In addition to requesting the Supreme Court to vacate the Fifth Circuit’s stay of the district court’s preliminary injunction, the […]The post 49 Other States Need to Protect Babies From Abortion Like Texas Has appeared first on LifeNews.com.
Exit appears to mark end of internal struggle over RZIM culture review.The CEO of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) has stepped down to start a new apologetics organization.Sarah Davis led RZIM through her father Ravi Zacharias’s death, the posthumous investigation of his sexual abuse, and the breakup and dramatic downsizing of the global apologetics ministry. Now, she will go out on her own and launch a new ministry called Encounter.According to incorporation papers filed with the state of Georgia, Encounter’s purpose is “carrying the Gospel invitation to individuals and engaging in their questions so that they may encounter the love of Christ and enter relationship with Him.” It will also engage “thoughtful individuals in Gospel conversations,” and work on “training and discipling messengers of Christ’s love for their spheres of influence.”The mission is not that different from the one stated on RZIM’s incorporation papers filed in the state of Georgia in 1986, when Davis was 10. RZIM was founded for “proclamation of the Gospel throughout the world” and “assistance in the development of evangelical Christian leadership.”Davis, now 46, declined to answer questions about the new ministry. An RZIM spokesperson did not return a request for comment.Davis’s departure may pave the way for RZIM’s relaunch. The ministry announced in March it would regroup and rebrand as soon as a complete culture review was finished.The exit appears to mark an end to the internal struggle over that culture review. RZIM leadership disagreed over whether the ministry bears any corporate responsibility for Zacharias’s sin and whether there was a need for a full examination of RZIM’s culture and practices ...Continue reading...
New law puts additional requirements on any religious leader who was trained abroad.For half a decade, Russian evangelicals have feared the repercussions of anti-extremism laws that monitor and restrict religious life in the country. New amendments to the religion laws, set to go into effect this month, extend government regulations on religious training following a string of recent seminary shutdowns.The country has mandated that all clergy, religious leaders, and missionaries who were trained abroad take a course in “state-confessional relations in the Russian Federation” and then become recertified by a centralized religious organization, Forum 18 reported earlier this year.Like many Russian evangelical leaders, Moscow Theological Seminary president Peter Mitskevich is concerned about the implementation of the new amendments, which are said to be the biggest increase in government control of religion since the 2016 Yarovaya law banned evangelism in the country.“We want to work legally in Russia so we can focus on influencing Russia for the gospel,” said Mitskevich, who also serves as executive director of the Russian Baptist Union. “We are taking steps to make sure we understand the requirements and try to meet all the issues.”Moscow Theological Seminary has already experienced the effects of the country’s legal oversight. The seminary lost its license and had its buildings sealed after an inspection by the Federal Service for Supervision in Education and Science (Rosobrnadzor) in October 2018.The agency reported the seminary had lacked a “developed and approved educational program” and listed what government inspectors considered occupational safety and health issues. It wasn’t until July 2021 that the government issued a new license for the ...Continue reading...
One year since the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, a Russian-led reconciliation summit is the first meeting between spiritual leaders since 2017.After 17 tries, there is still no peace in Nagorno-Karabakh.Almost a year ago, Russia brokered a November 2020 ceasefire to end the 44-day war between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Caucasus mountain enclave. Azerbaijan reclaimed most of its internationally recognized territory occupied since 1994 by ethnic Armenians, who demand independence.Armenia has been a Christian nation since A.D. 301. Azerbaijan is majority Muslim. But spiritual leaders have been no more successful than politicians or generals at securing reconciliation.Yet that has not stopped Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill I from trying.“Our religions have a unique peace-making potential,” he stated at last week’s tripartite summit of top clerical leaders. “No matter how difficult Armenian-Azerbaijani relations are at this stage, we believe that it is faith in God, and love, that can help heal the wounds.”And they are many.The post–Soviet Union conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh—called Artsakh by Armenians—killed 30,000 people and displaced 1 million. As Azerbaijan recaptured the territory—slightly larger than Rhode Island—last year, another 7,000 were killed. Mutual acrimony has characterized relations, with both sides accusing the other of destroying their religious heritage.The first meeting of spiritual leaders was held in 1993. The 16th in 2017.Simply by bringing these leaders together, Kirill achieved a level of success. Standing with Karekin II, the Armenian catholicos on his right, and Allahshukur Pashazade, Azerbaijan’s Grand Mufti of the Caucasus, on his left, he read a joint statement calling for respect for shrines and monuments, resistance to radicalization, and the avoidance of hate ...Continue reading...
Board continues to support leadership at the ECC school after concerns come up around recent firings and retention for students of color. Faculty at North Park University voted no confidence in the school’s president, saying she created a hostile environment for students and faculty of color.The 55–26 vote last week took aim at President Mary Surridge, who has led the Chicago evangelical school since 2018. In an accompanying document, the university’s faculty senate detailed “a toxic climate for students, faculty, and staff,” especially those of color. Specifically, the document took issue with a failure to hire and retain racially diverse people in leadership positions as well as athletes.“The big picture is that we have a school that attracts a lot of students of color,” said Rachelle Ankney, senate faculty president and a professor of math. “But we are not providing an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere for those students. That’s not setting the school up for success in the long run.”North Park enrolls some 2,800 students and more than half are people of color or mixed race, according to Ankney. But, she said, it has struggled to retain those students beyond the first and second year of their studies. A 2020 retention report from SPARK associates noted particularly high rates of departure among male student athletes of color at North Park, especially football players: In 2019–2020, 45 percent of first-year football players did not return the following year, compared with 25 percent of first-year students overall.Recently, the school has also seen an exodus of staff and faculty of color; the faculty says those departing were pressured to sign nondisclosure agreements.The 130-year-old private university is affiliated with the Evangelical Covenant Church and is a member of the Council for Christian ...Continue reading...
Christian Aid Ministries requests prayer for 17 captive Christians, including five children ages 15 to 8 months.Editor’s note: The 400 Mawozo gang has threatened to kill the missionaries if their ransom demand is not met.PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Negotiations stretched into a fourth day seeking the return of 17 members of a US-based missionary group kidnapped over the weekend by a violent gang that is demanding $1 million ransom per person.The group includes five children whose ages range from 8 months to 15 years, although authorities were not clear whether the ransom amount included them, a top Haitian official said Tuesday. Sixteen of the abductees are Americans and one Canadian.Christian Aid Ministries (CAM) said it would hold a day of fasting and prayer for its missionaries Thursday.“We, along with government authorities, continue to work hard to bring them home safely,” the Ohio-based group said. “This time of difficulty reminds us of the ongoing suffering of millions of Haitians. While our workers chose to serve in Haiti, our Haitian friends endure crisis after crisis, continual violence, and economic hardship.”The abduction is one of at least 119 kidnappings recorded in Haiti for the first half of October, according to the Center of Analysis and Research of Human Rights, a local nonprofit group. It said a Haitian driver was abducted along with the missionaries, bringing the total to 18 people taken by the gang.The Haitian official, who was not authorized to speak to the press, told The Associated Press that someone from the 400 Mawozo gang made the ransom demand Saturday in a call to a leader of CAM shortly after the abduction.“This group of workers has been committed to minister throughout poverty-stricken Haiti,” the Ohio group said, adding that the missionaries—who were ...Continue reading...
Headed to UN meeting in Glasgow, creation care advocates talk about what churches can do and what they are doing.Rachel Mander’s walk to Glasgow began with the Bible.An evangelical from Sheffield, England, she had long been convinced of the connection between loving God and loving her neighbor. But when she was 19 or 20, she also saw the connection between loving her neighbor and caring for creation.Then she couldn’t stop seeing it.“It’s like looking for angels in the Bible,” she said. “You don’t notice how many there are until you actually look and then you see them popping up everywhere. Me and my friends started reexamining Scripture and seeing how being a person of faith means you care for the environment. Suddenly, it was on every page.”Today, 24-year-old Mander is one of the coleaders of a 750-mile relay-pilgrimage from the southwestern tip of the United Kingdom to Glasgow, Scotland, where this year’s UN Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, will begin opening ceremonies on October 31.The Young Christian Climate Network (YCCN) has organized about 2,000 people to make the walk. Convicted that the climate crisis is pressing, urgent, and must be resolved in this generation, they are pleading with church institutions, governments, and local congregations to take concrete steps to reduce carbon emissions.They hope that their journey will raise awareness, rally people to the cause, and put pressure on governments to address the fact that burning fossil fuels has substantially increased the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, with serious negative consequences around the world.In 2015, at COP21 in Paris, 196 countries committed to take action that would limit the increase in the global mean temperature to 2 degrees Celsius and to pursue action that would limit the ...Continue reading...
Despite historic clashes, Roman Catholic and Protestant leaders have come together during the pandemic around Brexit, the legacy of the Troubles, and other issues that span both sides of the border. Leaders from Ireland’s main Christian traditions will host a “Service of Reflection and Hope” in Armagh, Northern Ireland on October 21, 2021, marking 100 years since “the partition of Ireland and the formation of Northern Ireland.”But the churches’ service has become controversial, underscoring tensions that linger on both sides of the border. In September, the president of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, said he would decline his invitation because the event’s title was not politically “neutral.”As an Irish-born academic working at the intersection of religion and international affairs, I believe the commotion over Higgins’ invitation has overshadowed an important story. Despite a history of sectarian strife, cooperation between the leaders of the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches in Ireland has deepened in recent years, with the churches increasingly speaking with one voice on important social and political issues.The Church Leaders Group brings together the top leaders of the Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist churches in Ireland—whose jurisdictions extend across the whole island—as well as the president of the Irish Council of Churches. The five men have been coordinating more closely than ever on issues of peace-building, responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and recent political developments such as Brexit.More than ‘huddling’Churches have traditionally wielded significant influence in Irish politics and society. All have experienced sizable declines over the past couple of decades, however, as more people say they do not identify with any particular religion. The abuse scandals in the Catholic Church have contributed to ...Continue reading...
With another cofounder leaving, Together for the Gospel prepares for its final event. The popular reformed evangelical pastors conference Together for the Gospel (T4G) will hold its final gathering in April 2022, following the departure of one of its founders, Albert Mohler.Cofounders Mark Dever and Ligon Duncan announced Thursday that after 16 years of putting on the biannual event in Louisville, “This is it.”Dever, Duncan, Mohler, and C. J. Mahaney developed the idea for T4G out of their friendship in ministry. They held the first T4G conference in 2006, drawing 3,000 attendees.“We were all surprised how many people came,” said Dever, who leads Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC.Still, the founders deliberately limited the scope of T4G and saw the conference as a finite project.“Our goal was to encourage pastors. We did not want to become a ministry. We did not want to become an organization,” said Duncan, CEO and chancellor of Reformed Theological Seminary. “We wanted to make it clear what’s happening in local churches is the important thing; T4G is not the important thing.”The end date for T4G comes as Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, moves on.In a video discussion on the T4G site, Dever said Mohler recently told them, “Brothers, I love you guys very much, but I’ve just got to do other things now.” Dever and Duncan cited Mohler’s involvement with a new opinion section at World magazine and his role in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), which is facing deepening divides and institutional shakeups.Mohler said in a statement to CT, “Each of us faces questions of urgency and priority in life and ministry. ...Continue reading...
Founder of Light Records arranged for Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, and Elvis Presley; scored “The Blob”; developed folk musicals; discovered Andraé Crouch; and believed any style could glorify God. Ralph Carmichael, a composer and record producer who shaped the sound of contemporary Christian music, died on October 18 at age 94.A violin prodigy with perfect pitch and a love for jazz chords, Carmichael built his reputation in Los Angeles TV and film studios before turning to Christian music and throwing open the doors for a new generation to use any and every style to sing about Jesus.When he recorded his best-known song, “He’s Everything to Me,” featured on the Billy Graham World Wide Pictures production The Restless Ones, he brought two guitars, an electric bass, and drums into the studio and kicked off a firestorm of controversy. He featured the new sound in several popular youth musicals and later established Light Records as a label for rising contemporary Christian artists.“What I have been doing most of my adult life,” he told the Christian Herald in 1986, “is waging stubborn battle for the freedom and liberty to experiment with different kinds of music for the glory of God.”When tributes poured in near the end of his life, many called Carmichael the “father of contemporary Christian music,” a title he sometimes shared with Christian rocker Larry Norman, despite their obvious differences in style.Carmichael, for his part, didn’t buy into honorific titles or strictly defined music genres.“I want neither credit nor blame for creating today’s musical forms,” he once told CT. “I ask only for guidance to know how to use them in good taste to reach ‘now’ people with a message that never changes.”His “now” music would borrow from any style: pop, jazz, country, rock—all packaged with slick arrangements ...Continue reading...
Christian Aid Ministries asks for prayer as families of 16 Americans and one Canadian state, “God has given our loved ones the unique opportunity to live out our Lord's command to love your enemies.”PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — A US religious organization whose 17 members were kidnapped in Haiti asked supporters on Friday to pray and share stories with the victims’ families of how their faith helped them through difficult times as efforts to recover them entered a sixth day.Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries issued the statement a day after a video was released showing the leader of the 400 Mawozo gang threatening to kill those abducted if his demands are not met. Haitian officials have said the gang is seeking a $1 million ransom per person, although they said it wasn’t clear if that includes the five children in the group, the youngest being 8 months old.“You may wonder why our workers chose to live in a difficult and dangerous context, despite the apparent risks,” the organization said. "Before leaving for Haiti, our workers who are now being held hostage expressed a desire to faithfully serve God in Haiti."The FBI is helping Haitian authorities recover the 16 Americans and one Canadian. A local human rights group said their Haitian driver also was kidnapped.“Pray that their commitment to God could become even stronger during this difficult experience,” Christian Aid Ministries said.The video posted on social media shows 400 Mawozo leader Wilson Joseph dressed in a blue suit, carrying a blue hat and wearing a large cross around his neck.“I swear by thunder that if I don’t get what I’m asking for, I will put a bullet in the heads of these Americans,” he said in the video.He also threatened Prime Minister Ariel Henry and Haiti’s national police chief as he spoke in front of the open coffins that apparently held several members of his gang ...Continue reading...
Home For Christmas, the latest holiday offering from two-time GRAMMY Award winner and 22-time Dove Award honoree Jason Crabb, is available everywhere now via Red Street Records. The three-song EP was produced and arranged by the late Tim Akers (Reba McEntire, CeCe Winans), along with GRAMMY-winning Rascal Flatts founding member and Red Street CEO Jay DeMarcus.
Jim & Melissa Brady, husband and wife duo, released their brand-new collection of songs entitled Ever Faithful, following their 2019 deluxe edition release, Hope Keeps Writing the Song.
Ronny Hinson shares his NEW RECORDING of the Gospel Music Classic, The Lighthouse. Shot on location at a beautiful west coast lighthouse, this Official Music Video captures the beauty and history of this incredible song.
This past week, two Washington, D.C. police officers—Assistant Police Chief Chanel Dickerson and 24-year veteran Karen Arikpo—revealed that early on in their careers they had been told to have an abortion or they would lose their jobs. Fearing for their careers, both women aborted their unborn babies.They expressed the pain caused by the police department’s past actions. Officer Arikpo lamented, “It’s so unfair…. And now I’ve never been able to have a kid. All these years, I’ve tried, and I’ve never been able to have a baby…. I did this for a job….” Assistant Police Chief Chanel Dickerson shared, “My choice to have a baby was personal, and it should’ve been mine alone and not for an employer ultimatum.” Like Arikpo, Dickerson has never had other children.This shocking news—a city-sponsored police department issuing an ultimatum to two black women—abort your unborn child or see your career come to an end—has received little to no media attention. Perhaps because coerced abortion is a far from an abnormal occurrence for women in America. Just weeks ago, 500 female athletes filed a brief in the much-anticipated U.S. Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, arguing that an unborn child’s right to life is a serious threat to the hard-fought progress made in women’s sports. They argued that female athletes could not be as successful as they are without abortion making it possible.The writers of the amicus brief referenced Sanya Richards-Ross, an Olympic track athlete who, after revealing she’d had an abortion prior to competing, stated, “Most of the women I knew in my sport have had at least one abortion.” They forgot to mention that Richards-Ross also said, “In that moment, it seemed like I had no choice at all,” and went on to say, “I made a decision [to get an abortion] that broke me.” Aside from their mischaracterization of Sanya Richards-Ross as a pro-abortion advocate, the 500 women who submitted the brief fail to see that the belief that women must kill their children in order to succeed is something to fight, not something to celebrate. All across America, countless women fear that choosing life for their child will condemn them to a lifetime of not being able to “succeed.”Planned Parenthood’s Dobbs brief quoted an abortionist who said, “I remember one person who came back to our health center a couple of years after her abortion to tell me how her abortion had allowed her to graduate from college and fulfill her dreams for herself.”A female track athlete at Clemson aborted her child after a Clemson administrator told her, “Just think about your options. You know Coach isn’t going to give you back your scholarship just like that. If she finds out and if you decide to keep it [the baby], that’s gone.”A 2016 amicus brief from 113 female attorneys in the case Whole Women’s Health v. Cole begins, “To the world, I am an attorney who had an abortion, and to myself, I am an attorney because I had an abortion.” This statement is followed by a series of narratives detailing how these women credit their careers to their abortions.These days, we see one celebrity after the next proclaiming, “My body, my choice,” while simultaneously stating—like the 113 female attorneys—that their career would have never been possible without abortion. Few, like Nicki Minaj, are honest enough to admit, “It’s haunted me all my life.” Certainly, the past ultimatums issued by the D.C. police department are in a league of their own, but our nation must come to terms with the reality that virtually every woman contemplating having an abortion feels as if she, too, has been given an ultimatum—one that pro-abortion messaging reinforces every single day.It is pro-abortionists who constantly tell women, “You can’t. You can’t graduate from college and have a baby. You can’t be an athlete and have a baby. You can’t be an attorney and have a baby. You can’t be a celebrity and have a baby.”As we approach the Supreme Court arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the pro-life movement must continue to be the movement of “Yes, you can! And we will be here to help you.” We must change our culture to one where instead of being told, “Abort your child or lose your job,” future police recruits are told, “Congratulations! Your baby is going to be so proud that her mommy is a police officer! Let’s talk about how we can work together to make that happen.”
In the lead-up to next month’s gubernatorial election in Virginia, more than 300 churches are planning to show a pre-recorded campaign video featuring Vice President Kamala Harris in their morning worship service. In the video—which will be shown in predominantly African American churches—Harris encourages congregants to vote for Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe, Virginia’s former governor, who is in a tight and closely-watched race with Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin.In the video, Harris says, “In 2020, more Virginians voted than ever before. And because you did, you helped send President Joe Biden and me to the White House. This year, I know that you will send Terry McAuliffe back to Richmond.” The vice president concludes her message by outlining why she believes congregants should vote for McAuliffe and asking them to vote after church.Although CNN reported on the campaign advertisement this past weekend, coverage of churches’ plans to show the video was relatively sparse. But besides some social media discussion that questioned the propriety of playing campaign videos during a church service, the story appears to have faded from the news. However, the incident raises some important questions regarding churches and campaigns that Christians and especially pastors should consider. First, Harris’ campaign video likely runs afoul of the Johnson Amendment to the IRS code. According to IRS regulations, churches are not allowed to engage in direct political campaign activity. Under the section “Charities, Churches and Politics” on their website, the IRS explains: Currently, the law prohibits political campaign activity by charities and churches by defining a 501(c)(3) organization as one “which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.”To be clear, FRC is on record opposing the Johnson Amendment’s application to a pastor’s sermons because no government entity has the right to censor speech, whether in or out of the pulpit. That is almost certainly a violation of the First Amendment, but the IRS has not brought an enforcement action against a church sufficient to produce a successful constitutional challenge in court. However, it is ironic that after months of issuing dire warnings about “Christian Nationalism” and the dangers of conflating religion and politics, the left is now actively engaging in the very campaign tactics they decry when practiced by those on the right. In fact, it is the height of hypocrisy to fuss about the “separation of church and state” and say conservative pastors should not engage the political process when they promote a campaign-style video designed to drum up support for Democrat Terry McAuliffe in churches.But the controversy over the Harris video raises important questions: to what extent and in what ways is it appropriate for churches to engage in politics? How should pastors guide their congregations through elections? Before answering these questions, it is helpful to recall some truths about the church. Theologian Gregg Allison defines the church as the “people of God who have been saved through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ and have been incorporated into his body through baptism with the Holy Spirit.” While the universal church consists of every Christian since Pentecost, local churches, led by elders and deacons, “possess and pursue purity and unity, exercise church disciple, develop strong connections with other churches, and celebrate the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.” In other words, a local church is a congregation of believers who have covenanted together and are committed to the regular means of grace, including the regular preaching and teaching of Scripture, observance of the ordinances, and fellowship.In terms of purpose, the church exists to fulfill several important spiritual purposes. Theologian Wayne Grudem breaks down these purposes in terms of ministry to God, ministry to believers, and ministry to the world. First, when it comes to God, the church’s purpose is to worship him. Second, the church has an obligation to nurture the faith of its members and build them up in maturity (Col. 1:28). This primarily occurs through the regular preaching and teaching of the Bible. Third, churches are called to evangelize the lost and engage in mercy ministry (such as helping the poor and needy).Although most people (including many Christians) are not accustomed to thinking deeply about the church, it is crucial for Christians to think biblically about the church. To this end, Scripture employs several helpful metaphors and images to describe the church. The church is a “family” (1 Tim. 5:1-2, Eph. 3:14), branches on a vine (John 15:5), an olive tree (Rom. 11:17-24), and a building (1 Cor. 3:9). Paul refers to the church as the “bride of Christ” (Eph. 5:32, 2 Cor. 11:2). The “body of Christ” is another familiar metaphor that Paul uses to express the close relationship between believers in the church and their relationship with Christ (Eph. 1:22-23, Col. 2:19). Paul, while addressing the Ephesian elders, cautioned, “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). For Paul, the church is the most significant reality on earth because Jesus purchased it with His own blood. Accordingly, those tasked with its leadership must recognize the weighty responsibility entrusted to them.In short, because the church is the blood-bought bride of God tasked with the responsibility of bearing witness to the saving news of the gospel, I believe churches should carefully scrutinize how much time is spent on topics outside the worship of God and the equipping of the saints through the word of God. Of course, this does not mean that churches or church leaders should withdraw from politics. Far from it. While “politics” carries with it a certain image, the word, properly understood, actually gets at how groups of humans organize their affairs. In this sense, politics is intimately connected to community—how we relate to other people—and is inextricable from the concept of loving one’s neighbor, which Christians are called to do. Further, politics implicates issues of moral importance to all Christians.As I’ve explained in “Biblical Principles for Political Engagement,” voting is a matter of stewardship, and Christians should seek to vote in a way that honors God and advances the wellbeing of their neighbor. For pastors, there is additional responsibility. I believe churches ought to actively ensure that their members are educated on the issues. Pastors should preach expositionally through books of the Bible, ensuring they preach the whole counsel of God’s Word. Preaching through Scripture will have the effect of informing the conscience of congregations and help church members think faithfully about a host of public policy issues. Moreover, I think it is appropriate for churches to encourage good voting stewardship by conducting voter registration drives and distributing voter guides among their members. Of course, wisdom and discernment are needed when it comes to how pastors think about politics and disciple their people. Conservative pastors should be aware of the potential for hypocrisy when liberals criticize them for engaging in politics while playing campaign-style videos in their own churches. Yet regardless of their individual judgments, pastors should be free to speak. The First Amendment protects speech, and the Johnson Amendment and IRS guidance have historically had a chilling and stifling effect on pastors’ speech. At the end of the day, even though churches should have greater freedom and flexibility constitutionally, they should carefully and prayerfully consider how to steward their freedom well. Christians should engage politically, but that engagement must be done biblically, which is why churches (and particularly pastors) need to be wise and discerning, especially during election season.
An administrator in Texas's Carroll Independent School District told teachers that a new state law requires them to offer “opposing” views of the Holocaust in their teaching. Texas's House Bill ... Read MoreThe post Texas School Under Fire for Suggesting Teaching Holocaust Denial appeared first on The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry.

FamilyNet Top Sites Top Independent Baptist Sites KJV-1611 Authorized Version Topsites Preaching Tools. Net Top 100 Websites Top Local New Testament Baptist Church Sites Cyberspace Ministry - Top Christian Sites

Powered by Ekklesia-Online

Locations of visitors to this page free counters