Not many Christians know what they're talking about when they discuss racial reconciliation and their reliance on the modern social construct of "race," as opposed to the Bible's approach to the term, which leads to an "incomplete Gospel" and underestimation of the pervasiveness of racism, according to a New Testament scholar.
"I think when we in the Christian community, when you listen to a lot of folks talk about ... when they actually talk about racial reconciliation, I'm not convinced that many know what they're talking about," said Jarvis J. Williams, associate professor of New Testament interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. "There's a sense of confusion about what race is, in terms of the modern social construction of race and how race functioned in the biblical word."
He suggested that the "typical evangelical Protestant Christian" thinks the Gospel is limited to how one becomes a Christian. "And I'd be the first to say, 'Certainly, that's the foundation of what we find in the New Testament.' How does one become right with God, trusting Christ by faith, believe that God offered Jesus to die on the cross for our sins and He raised Him up from the dead. But the Gospel is not only that. It is that, but it's more," Williams insisted. more >>
A vicar in the Church of England has proposed a motion that would allow for a liturgical celebration of an individual's identity following gender transition, much like a baptism, and would include a renaming ceremony.
The Rev. Chris Newlands, the vicar of Lancaster Priory, recently proposed the motion for the church's General Synod to consider.
"That this Synod, recognising the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church, call on the House of Bishops to consider whether some nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person's gender transition," reads the motion. more >>
A Connecticut pastor was shot twice outside his church Sunday morning while he was putting out flags in honor of Memorial Day.
Rev. Augustus Sealy, 54, was shot outside the First Church of the Nazarene and was rushed to St. Francis Hospital following the attack. Police responded to the shooting after receiving multiple 911 calls and discovered that Sealy had been shot twice: once in the right leg and once in the left shoulder.
Sealy was planting small flags in the church's lawn when the shooting occurred. more >>
Debbie Lee, mother of the first Navy SEAL to give his life in Iraq, spoke at Ed Young Jr.'s Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, on Sunday, urging greater education on the meaning of Memorial Day and for congregants to reach out to Gold Star families.
Lee's son, Marc Alan Lee, was the first Navy SEAL killed in action in Operation Iraqi Freedom in August of 2006. Lee was killed in Ramadi while exposing himself to enemy fire as a medical team evacuated a wounded Navy SEAL. Lee was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with Valor and the Purple Heart.
"I've been on a campaign for probably eight or nine years to try and educate people about Memorial Day," Lee declared. "Memorial Day is not Veterans Day. It is not Armed Forces Day. This is not the time we corporatlly or nationally recognize our veterans that served. more >>
JERUSALEM - In a high-energy parting shot to a gathering of several thousand Spirit-filled believers at the closing session of the Empowered21 Global Congress in Jerusalem, Israel on Sunday, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Samuel Rodriguez warned that "there is no such thing as comfortable Christianity" and urged the group to use the power God gave them to declare Him to the world.
"When you are filled with God's Spirit everything changes. When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you are able to do what you were not able to do before. The Spirit came down and Peter did what? He raised his voice…Listen carefully, religion makes us complacent while revival makes us courageous. Today's complacency is tomorrow's captivity," he warned.
Preaching from Acts 2:14 highlighting the reaction of the Apostle Peter after the initial descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, Rodriguez urged the believers to "be filled, stand up, and raise your voice." more >>
Eight conservative Arizona pastors have banded together to teach a sermon series to their local community titled "Progressive Christianity: Fact or Fiction," but one local United Methodist Church pastor, who holds more progressive views on the Bible, says they're trying to alienate people who don't interpret the Scriptures literally.
The series will be taught at eight different Fountain Hills churches and is being advertised on large billboards in front of each of them.
"It's a sermon series dealing with some of the essential tenets of Christianity — that being the deity of Jesus, the validity of Scripture, the literal, physical resurrection of Christ and the atoning sacrifice of Christ," said Christ's Church of Fountain Hills pastor Don Lawrence, one of the eight pastors preaching the series, to The Christian Post. more >>