WASHINGTON — Leaders from most of the world's major religious groups who gathered at the Vatican last month for a conference on marriage left optimistic that they can win their fight against the forces of the sexual revolution emanating from the West, Dr. Russell Moore said.
"One of the most important things that came out of the colloquium is a sense of optimism from the people there," explained Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, in a Monday interview at his Washington, D.C., office. "Being in dialogue with people from all around the world, in almost every [religious] tradition, people who have almost nothing else in common, I think we all walked away with a sense that concern about marriage is much bigger and broader than what we would have previously assumed."
The purpose of the Humanum conference, also called The Complementarity of Man and Woman: An International Colloquium and held at the Vatican Nov. 17-19, was to bring representatives from the major religious groups around the world to discuss how proper understanding the complementarity of the male/female relationship can invigorate efforts to promote the social goods provided my marriage. more >>
NEW YORK — The Micah Summit, an event that reflects on the progress of the Millennium Declaration made by the U.N. in 2000, which vowed to solve issues in the world such as poverty and hunger, hosted its Celebration and Sorrow event at the Church Center in New York City last week.
The event was held to celebrate the achievements of some of the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, in the last 14 years and to reflect on the work that still needs to be done throughout the world.
"Over the last generation, 25 years we have actually reduced extreme poverty by 50 percent, that's to celebrate. The churches, Christian NGOs, Christian movements, individuals are hugely impacting things. We want to celebrate that," said Joel Edwards, chairman of Micah Challenge, the organization that sponsored the event, to The Christian Post last Tuesday. . "But we still want to say it's not good enough — that a billion people still live in extreme poverty, 300,000 women die in child birth every year, kids are still not being schooled, women are still being raped as weapons of war, and that's not good. We want to express lamentation over that." more >>
Evangelical pastors and leaders agreed during a panel discussion livestreamed on Tuesday from the historic Lorraine Motel and National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis about the need for the church in America to be more centered on the Gospel and not be swayed by the media when it comes to racially charged issues currently confronting the nation. Meanwhile the leader of a multi-ethnic church plant movement watching the conference said that it's long past time for only dialogue about race within the local church, and it's time to see results.
"The increased frequency of racially painful, polarizing, dialogue in our society is today forcing the American Church, and more specifically Evangelicals from a much broader base of denominations and networks than ever before, to address their own systemic segregation," said Pastor Mark DeYmaz, who is executive director of the multiethnic church movement Mosaix Global Network and who watched the livestream of the event, to The Christian Post. "And this we must do in order to present a credible witness of God's love for all people in an increasingly diverse and cynical society.
"That said, as I'm sure organizers of this event will agree, many believe it is long past time to speak about race within the local church." more >>
A recently released independent investigation, which interviewed over 116 former students from the Protestant Bob Jones University in South Carolina, has found that the school often discouraged self-identified victims of sexual abuse from filing police reports and instead encouraged victims to repent their "sins."
The 300-page report found that over 60 percent of those surveyed who identified as sexual abuse victims said they were either blamed or met with some sort of disparagement when they sought counseling from BJU personnel in light of their sexual abuse experiences. Additionally, the report found that 47 percent of students surveyed who also identified as sexual abuse victims claim they were either directed by school officials not to file a police report or strongly discouraged to file a report and were instead told to "deal with their own sin."
The report was conducted by a Christian research company called GRACE, whose mission is to educate the Christian community on recognizing and responding appropriately to child and sex abuse. GRACE was commissioned by Bob Jones University to conduct the investigation after the school gained media attention earlier this year for its mishandling of many of its students' sexual assault claims. more >>
NEW YORK — A New York City pastor who visited Sudanese Christian mother Meriam Ibrahim during her detention in the Muslim-majority country for blasphemy has partnered with a U.S.-based Yazidi activist to travel to Iraq to assess the humanitarian crisis of the religious minority group that has been targeted by the Islamic State. The men said they also hope to win the release of Yazidi women and girls abducted by the jihadist group and used as sex slaves.
The Rev. William Devlin and Texas-based Yazidi human rights advocate Murad Ismael were traveling to Erbil, Iraq, this week to "assess the humanitarian condition of the Yazidis first-hand" and "will also be seeking the release of women and young girls kidnapped by ISIS," they told The Christian Post in a series of emails and phone conversations.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, abducted scores of Yazidi women and girls in August as they attacked their towns in the Sinjar Mountain area in the Nineveh province in northwest Iraq. ISIS cornered many of the tens of thousands of Yazidis on Mount Sinjar, where some died from hunger and dehydration before the international community stepped in to help. The United States was among the countries offering humanitarian aid, in addition to carrying out airstrikes and training local forces in their military engagement with ISIS militants, who have already seized cities in Syria and Iraq. Reportedly, hundreds of Yazidis still remain on Sinjar Mountain, defending themselves against the Islamic State's unrelenting attacks. more >>
As a child I could rarely put a book down. I frequently wondered who wrote the words that came alive in my imagination? Who could construct entire languages like Elvish, Dwarvish, and Black Speech? And who thought a wooden doll's nose could grow, or an elephant could fly, or a princess could escape from goblins using invisible string?
For some reason, I speculated that another story existed, behind each story I read. Similarly, G.K. Chesterton thought, "I had always felt life first as a story: and if there is a story there is a story-teller."
The Bible answers this curiosity for children (mini adults) and parents (grown up children). more >>