Wilfredo De Jesus, pastor of a Chicago megachurch that oversees more than 130 ministries to the poor and disenfranchised, believes Christians in the U.S. have been playing it safe for far too long. He says many are unwilling to stick their necks out for the marginalized who are suffering in the cracks created by society's broken systems and abusive structures.
De Jesus, pastor New Live Covenant Church, the largest Assemblies of God congregation in the U.S., says it is fear of being ridiculed or ostracized that has paralyzed some leaders and kept them confined to their churches, limiting their engagement with a world in desperate need for people willing to help bridge those gaps.
"A gap is a place of weakness, vulnerability, and danger — a place of real threats," explains De Jesus in his new book, In the Gap. He explains in the book that while gaps can be as broad as illiteracy and human trafficking, they can be as personal as an unfaithful spouse or an abusive family member. more >>
Like many Americans, I have carefully followed the news from Ferguson, MO involving the tragic shooting of an 18-year-old African American, with the notable exception that he carries my name. And so, every day, I'm reading about the shooting of Michael Brown and the death of Michael Brown and the autopsy of Michael Brown, all of which reminds me of the very real loss of life involved.
As I reflect on what is happening in Ferguson and interact with callers to my radio show, there are five obvious lessons to be learned.
1) The racial divide in America remains wide and deep. more >>
Giving further ammunition to those who say that atheists cannot fully value all human life, Richard Dawkins has now stated that it would be "immoral" not to abort a baby with Down syndrome. Are you surprised?
It was just last week that Dawkins exposed the irrationality of his atheism when he claimed that nice, nonviolent practitioners of religion served as enablers for religious terrorism.
He first noted that, "It's very important that we should not demonize ordinary, law-abiding, very decent Muslims, which of course is the vast majority in this country" (speaking of the UK). more >>
When will the rioting in Ferguson, MO stop? There has been much mayhem---including the police using tear gas---and much looting in the St. Louis suburb. The media covers this story heavily. Some estimate there may be as many media members as there are protesters.
All of this follows the shooting death of a black teenager, Michael Brown, allegedly by a white police officer the previous Saturday. Though the facts are sketchy, many are convinced that an injustice has been done.
The reaction has created an additional crisis. Reports indicate that thugs from all over have descended on Ferguson to take advantage of the chaos, to get "justice" "by any means necessary." How? By putting small shop owners out of business by looting? By changing Ferguson into a war zone? Said C. S. Lewis: "The devil is always trying to trick us to extremes." more >>
Your daughter has turned Sweet 16. Like many her age, a rite of passage is going to a concert or music festival with friends to enjoy the songs, atmosphere and just have some good clean fun.
You say: "Sweetie, your outfit is so cool and I know you'll have a good time. Stay close with your friends and don't worry. Lollapalooza...Grant Park... Chicago's music festival has some of the biggest names. The weekend is going to be a blast!"
A hug, a tender kiss on the forehead and off she goes like multitudes of teens today. Her 12-year-old sister cuddles her teddy bear, watching admiringly in the background and thinks to herself, "It won't be long till I can go with Sis. She promised to bring me back some of the band's "merch"- maybe a CD, hoodie or a poster." more >>
As the eyes of the nation and the world continue to focus on the St. Louis County suburb of Ferguson, where unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed by a police officer, Christians continue engaging the many issues raised by the controversial case in attempts to bring clarification, understanding and open dialogue.
The Christian Post previously highlighted tweets from Christians commenting on the ongoing protests in Ferguson. Below is a roundup of diverse reflections regarding Ferguson from some members of the Christian community.
Pastor Leonce Crump, leader of Renovation Church in Atlanta, was featured as a guest on the Georgia radio program, "All Things Considered." He was first asked: What is the role of the faith community in what's happening in Ferguson? more >>