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What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
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September 12, 2021 Youth Fellowship Live Stream We Need Missionaries Isaiah 6:8 Speaker: Missionary Guest September 12, 2021 Youth Fellowship Live Stream Berean Bible Baptist Church of Parañaque: ...
August 1, 2021 - The Danger of Backsliding Jeremiah 2:1-19 Being out of fellowship with God is a miserable condition, Proverbs 14:14. God's people today are always in danger of straying. I. THE ...
Pastor Roy Prince - Disengaged From Fellowship - Hebrews 10:22-25 - Wednesday Evening Northgate Baptist Church - McAlester, OK Live Stream - Pastor Roy Prince.
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Twenty years after terrorist attack, the spiritual needs of survivors continue.The news media and the nation would later call the site of the largest terrorist attacks in United States history by the name “ground zero.” The firefighters and other first responders who rushed to the scene when two 110-floor buildings collapsed into 14.6 acres of mangled steel and concrete would call it “the Pit.”But when Andrew Columbia, a pastor and retired New York City police officer, arrived that Tuesday morning in September, those names hadn’t yet emerged from the acrid smoke. Twenty years later, Columbia remembers the gray dust and, out of that dust, the faces of the police officers, medics, and firefighters who had seen devastation beyond comprehension.“They were weeping. No one was really talking. They were in shock. I just walked up and offered prayer. Didn’t even ask,” Columbia said. “No one refused it.”In the years since then, as anniversaries have come and gone and the wreckage has been transformed into a memorial, Columbia has heard the periodic reminders to “Never Forget.” But the first-responder community and the New York City pastors who minister to them have never needed that slogan. Forgetting has proved impossible.The trauma of 9/11 has been a daily reality and a spiritual need for many in the past two decades.This doesn’t mean they always talked about their experience in terms of post-trauma. “Up until that time, post-traumatic stress just wasn’t language that we had,” said John Picarello, pastor of House on the Rock Christian Fellowship, a nondenominational church on Staten Island.Like many pastors of small congregations in the outer boroughs, Picarello was bivocational in 2001. Or really, trivocational. ...Continue reading...
This blog is part of an International Religious Freedom 101 series providing an overview of religious freedom challenges in countries around the world. Read our previous installments on Turkey, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, and Nigeria. In May 2021, a mob of radical Hindus attacked Pastor Ramesh Bumbariya’s family after they refused to renounce their Christian faith. One of the armed assailants shot Bhima Bumbariya, the father of Pastor Bumbariya, killing him. Pastor Bumbariya and two other members of his family were hospitalized.Even in the face of his father’s death, Pastor Bumbariya thanked God for His faithfulness. He was comforted by his conviction that God had a plan for his life to continue ministering to his community.As Hindu nationalism continues to surge in India, the violence committed against this Christian family is just one example among hundreds. The violence stems from social hostility to religious minorities and state policies that reinforce such sentiments—making it more difficult for religious minorities to thrive in the Hindu-dominated state.Mob Violence against Christians and OthersChristians in India number in the tens of millions but still only comprise just over two percent of the country’s population. Many Indian Christians come from historically lower castes in society, which can make them even more vulnerable to discrimination or social pressure. As the Evangelical Fellowship of India reported, the first half of 2021 saw at least 145 acts of violence perpetrated against Christians. These included several religiously motivated murders. These acts are all part of a larger effort to “purify” India of non-Hindu influences.Some members of the Hindu majority feel threatened by the presence of Christians, especially when Hindus convert to Christianity. Some Hindus have led social movements to “reconvert” Indians back to Hinduism, even if the potential reconverts or their families were never adherents to Hinduism in the first place. These ceremonies are oftentimes forced or coerced.Christians are not the only minority facing discrimination and threats because of their religion. More than 30 Muslims were killed in mob violence in New Delhi in 2020, following the passage of a law that created easier pathways to citizenship for specifically non-Muslim immigrants. The police were later found to be complicit in allowing these acts of violence to take place.Several states in India have passed the “Freedom of Religion Act,” an ironically titled piece of legislation that makes it difficult or illegal for individuals to convert to their spouse’s faith at the time of marriage. Although proponents of the ban assert that a ban on this form of conversion protects women entering arranged or coerced unions, the result of the ban seems to disproportionately affect religious minorities. Anti-Conversion Laws Used to Control FaithAs previously documented by FRC, several Indian states have legislation restricting religious conversion. Odisha (formerly Orissa), Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand prohibit religious conversion by use of “force,” “allurement,” or “fraudulent means” and “require district authorities be informed of any intended conversion one month in advance.” Punishment varies by state, but the maximum is imprisonment for a term of three years and/or a fine of 50,000 rupees ($700). Some states require “individuals wishing to convert to another religion and clergy intending to officiate in a conversion ceremony to submit formal notification to the government.”Such anti-conversion laws prohibit people from converting to another religion, and governments utilize them to maintain a majority of the population within their preferred religion. They are often framed as if they are protecting people from being tricked or “induced” into changing their faith. Yet, they often discourage people from sharing their faith at all.Activities that seek to convert people in these states must be reported to local authorities weeks in advance. As advocacy organizations like International Christian Concern have reported, the anti-conversion laws in place throughout India are one-sided, targeting religious minorities while leaving members of the Hindu majority unaffected.Social Hostility and the Dangers of Hindu NationalismA growing political agenda pushed by Hindu nationalist political parties, including the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), sometimes inspires violence against Christians and Muslims. For example, this summer, members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) rallied in Chitrakoot (a town held as a holy site in Hinduism) and developed a new party slogan: “Chadar aur Father Mukt Bharat,” which translates to: “An India Liberated of Muslims and Christians.”Whether the violence is directed toward Muslims, Christians, or any other religious minority, the outcome is the same: the social position of the targeted group is weakened. Religious minorities feel less comfortable meeting to worship, setting up new social services like schools and clinics, and even walking in the streets of their home cities and villages. An apathetic government allows persecution to continue, especially in far-flung rural areas far from the areas that experience greater influence from Western values of tolerance and religious pluralism. India’s status as a democracy and a strategic ally of the United States should not prevent us from speaking out in defense of vulnerable Indian believers experiencing persecution. Exposing the truth and praying for the protection of all downtrodden people are the first steps toward fostering a better future for believers in India.
According to tradition, the seven virtues of the Christian life are kindness, humility, diligence, charity, patience, temperance, and chastity. These character qualities embody the new self that Christians are called to put on in Christ (Eph. 4:17-24). In this seven-part series, we will familiarize ourselves with each of the seven virtues, with the goal of developing new habits befitting our new selves in Christ.This is part six of seven. The previous installments dealt with kindness, humility, diligence, charity, and patience.Virtue can be defined as moral excellence. Someone is seen as virtuous if they exhibit morally good traits and qualities. Unfortunately, in a fallen world, virtue does not come naturally. But as we’ve seen in this series on virtue, through common and special grace, Christians can foster and grow in virtue. The next virtue we will consider is temperance (also known as self-control). Temperance is the practice of self-restraint and moderation; it teaches us to master our appetites—food and otherwise—and order them in a manner pleasing to God.Food is necessary for life. But in His kindness, God also made eating pleasurable. People often gather around food for times of fellowship and to celebrate special occasions. Food also plays a significant role in the Christian life, as believers we are commanded to take communion together in remembrance of Christ’s work on the cross (Luke 22:19-20, 1 Cor. 11:23-26).But although gathering for meals is often a source of great joy, the good gift of food comes with its own set of temptations, particularly the temptation to overindulge. Proverbs 26:16 warns, “If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.” Temperance, which teaches us proper moderation, helps us resist the temptations of a disordered appetite.Temperance is simultaneously a physical and spiritual discipline. When we practice temperance, we glorify God with our bodies. As Paul reminded the Corinthian church:Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Cor. 6:19-20)So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31)Spiritual formation should affect all areas of life, including our physical habits. Learning to be temperate in our eating and delight in it as a good gift from God is a hard practice but a necessary one, and it begins by considering what kind of food and how much of it is good for the body.Fasting is a habit used for cultivating the virtue of temperance. Many church denominations and traditions incorporate fasting into their liturgical calendars, Lent being the best-known example. Fasting does not necessarily have to be from food. We can fast from any number of things, including social media, entertainment, or shopping. However, these activities are not essential to life; we could live without them and be perfectly fine. But fasting from food is unique in that it increases the physical ache that reminds us that “man does not live by bread alone” (Deut. 8:3, Mat. 4:4). This exercise increases our knowledge of dependency on God for life and satisfaction. It is He alone who sustains us (Ps. 54:4).The temptation to overindulge is often manifested in the vice of gluttony, which misleads us into seeking food or other material things for comfort. Philippians 3:19 demonstrates this folly, “Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.” Rebecca DeYoung echoes this scriptural warning in her book Glittering Vices when she explains, “The glutton eats for himself, and his mission is to gratify his own appetites. His mission is ‘pleasure first,’ and he orders the rest of his life around that goal. His god is his belly, and he serves it faithfully.”It needs to be noted that food deprivation isn’t necessarily virtuous. In fact, a disordered relationship with food can lead us to overeat or undereat. Currently, over a third of the American population is considered to be clinically obese. Meanwhile, many intentionally starve themselves. There are a variety of causes for these conditions, a spiritually disordered relationship with food among them. When we overeat or undereat specifically out of a desire for comfort or control, we neglect to acknowledge God’s goodness, sufficiency, and authority.Gluttony tempts us to rely on physical food and objects for happiness and satisfaction. It pleads “just one more” but is never satisfied. On the other hand, temperance says “enough” and encourages us to rely more on spiritual food and the gifts of God for satisfaction and fulfillment. Gluttony will tempt us to believe food is not a good gift from God. It will disorder our relationship with food to the point of deprivation and a desire for control. Temperance reminds us that God is in control and teaches us to delight in God’s blessings.
Ben Courson, the 33-year-old pastor of Applegate Christian Fellowship near Medford, is accused by three female former church members for initiating sexual relationships with them. He will take a six-month leave of absence from his pastoral duties.
Q&A with SBC minister Dana Moore on the power of prayer in a state death chamber.John Henry Ramirez is scheduled to die on September 8. The state of Texas will execute him by lethal injection for the 2004 murder of 45-year-old convenience store clerk Pablo Castro. Ramirez was convicted of stabbing Castro 29 times in the process of stealing $1.25 to buy drugs. Now, 17 years later, he will be put to death for his crime.When that happens, Ramirez would like to have his pastor lay hands on him. He filed suit in federal court last week claiming he has a religious right to have Dana Moore, senior pastor of Second Baptist Church in Corpus Christi, Texas, touch him while he dies. According to Ramirez’s lawyer, Seth Kretzer, the prison’s current policy allows doctors and guards to touch an inmate during execution, but does not allow spiritual touch. Kretzer argues that this “burdens Mr. Ramirez’s free exercise of his Christian faith at his exact time of death, when most Christians believe they will either ascend to heaven or descend to hell—in other words, when religious instruction and practice is most needed.”CT reached out to the Southern Baptist pastor to ask about the importance of the laying on of hands, ministering on death row, and what he thinks people should know about Ramirez.Why is touching someone or laying hands on them important to you as a Baptist pastor?When I pray with people, I put a hand on them. When I go to the hospital, I hold the person’s hand. It’s what we do. It’s how we do things.Just last week we had a fellowship, and I looked over, and one of the church ladies was praying for another one. And the one standing, she put her hands on the lady who was seated, on her shoulders, and she was praying over her.I don’t think it’s ...Continue reading...
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