The mask is off. All pretense has been dropped, and the anti-Christian left's boundless depth of hatred for individual liberty, our First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) is now on full display.
I wrote last week about the Supreme Court's recent Hobby Lobby opinion, a rather tepid acknowledgement of every American's non-negotiable right to religious free exercise (yes, that includes Christian business owners). I observed, among other things, that "the secularist left's utter meltdown over having but a small measure of control over others wrested away is highly instructive."
The meltdown continues. This week brings two new developments: 1) Democrats in Congress have readied a legislative "Hobby Lobby fix" that stands exactly zero chance of passing and would be struck down as unconstitutional even if it did, and 2) The ACLU, AFL-CIO, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Lambda Legal and a hodgepodge of other left-wing extremist groups have withdrawn support for the ironically tagged "Employment Non-Discrimination Act," the crown jewel of homofascism, because the bill's paper-thin "religious exemption" does not adequately outlaw the practice of Christianity. more >>
The following essay originally appeared on the Reformed African American Network's website.
Over the past few years, there's been an undercurrent of frustration among minority leadership in evangelical circles. This has occurred especially among those in the reformed theological tradition. It has often seemed that every conference, leadership panel, or blog entry seems to feature maybe one Black, Asian or Hispanic voice and even that one voice has an odd stench of "token" to it. Not that the lone minority is was trying to be something that they're not. In fact, they are quite genuine in their approach. But the minority voice seems to be chosen by the organizers to be the "token" to appease the pleas of diversity from the masses. It almost feels like when your mom tried to do the Cabbage Patch dance to prove she was hip: "We love you and thanks for trying but you obviously don't get it."
The frustration hit critical levels a few years ago in the wake of the "Elephant Room 2″ web conference. Finally, a minority voice is asked to speak on issues in the church on a global platform from the place of expertise and not as a matter of ecclesiological voyeurism! Wait…no…you picked…T.D. Jakes? To see if he affirms the Trinity and rejects the prosperity message? For real? more >>
For those harboring images of Jesus as a meek and mild, religious figure with naked baby cherubs encircling His frisbee-haloed head, the following biblical event may be challenging to consider. It happened as parents brought their kids to Jesus so He could "touch and bless them" (Mk.10:13), but His disciples resented the intrusion.
"When Jesus saw this, He became furious and told them, 'Let the little children come to me…" (Matt.10:14 ISV). Other translations say He was "moved with indignation" or "became indignant."
Why the intense display of emotion? more >>
Pastor Creflo Dollar of World Changers International Church has joined the list of megchurches using satellite technology to spread the Gospel and expand their ministries globally, by planting a new congregation on Australia's Gold Coast, his ministry's first-ever international plant.
While the megachurch pastor already has a presence in Australia through his Creflo Dollar Ministries, the church is the premiere World Changers fellowship, or satellite church to launch in the Asia-Pacific country. Just two months after Dollar revealed his plans for the new congregation, World Changers Church International Gold Coast officially launched on Sunday, June 22.
Dollar does not minister at the church in person, but instead his sermons are streamed live from World Changers Church International's New York City campus during Gold Coast worship services. Live broadcasts or high-definition videos have been long employed by U.S. churches with multi-campuses in the United States and abroad as a means of unifying congregations. more >>
Must Evangelical churches change or downplay their position on homosexuality to attract millennials?
Millennials, generally defined as those ages 18 to mid-30s, are the most supportive of redefining marriage to include same-sex couples, many polls show. A recent Public Religion Research Institute poll had their support at 69 percent, the highest of any age group.
Even among self-described Evangelicals, the millennials showed the highest level of support at 43 percent (though the poll only included white Evangelicals), compared to 33 percent for generation X, 22 percent for Baby Boomers and 19 percent for those 68 and older. The poll also found that 70 percent of millennials "believe that religious groups are alienating young adults by being too judgmental about gay and lesbian issues." more >>
Wesleyan and Anabaptist perfectionisms are the emerging dominant forms of Christian social witness in America, according to this fascinating piece in First Things by Dale Coulter of Regent University. He's certainly right about their pervasive influence but unduly optimistic about their plausibility and sustainability, much less desirability.
As a Methodist, I hope thoughtful Calvinists will provide a corrective dose of realism and sturdy doctrine to the social cul-de-sacs and Utopianism towards which both perfectionist traditions seem to spiral when untethered from church teaching about the limits of fallen humanity. It's not fair to fault Methodism exclusively for the excesses of the Social Gospel, whose key early proponent, Walter Rauschenbusch, was a liberal northern Baptist. It was fueled by German romanticism and New England, post-Congregationalist Unitarian transcendentalism. But Wesleyanism, once liberalized and unhinged from supernatural teachings about Christian cosmology, generously watered the roots of the Social Gospel movement and ultimately fully embraced it.
Methodism as a mass movement provided much of the activist machinery for Social Gospel energy if not much of the intellectual formation. This storyline is often repeated. Wesleyans are more comfortably doers than deep thinkers, Much of official Methodism, as it transitioned through its Prohibition crusade, easily abandoned traditional Methodism's affirmation of human nature's total depravity and complete need for transformation through the new birth. The new imperative, displacing evangelism and holiness, became earnest intent and constant activity for societal improvement. No human condition was beyond the reach of social and political reform. more >>