"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
We have heard it preached from the pulpit for years. "If you are a good parent and train up your kids in the Christian faith they will not leave the faith."
I've preached it from the pulpit and chances are that you have too. The problem is this doesn't work. more >>
If you want to hear crickets in a room full of educated, missionally minded, culture-shaping evangelicals, ask this question: "What are you doing to serve the needs of poor white people?"
A recent seminary graduate, who is white, asked me what he needed to do to prepare to plant a church in a small lower-class town that is 76 percent black and 21 percent white. He was rightly cautious after reading in Aliens in the Promised Land about Rev. Lance Lewis' call for a moratorium on white evangelicals planting churches in black areas because of evangelicalism's cultural obtuseness and patriarchal disposition toward ethnic minorities. Since most black communities in the South are already saturated with churches, I asked this young man why he was not interested in planting a church among the lower-class whites in his county. His response: "It had not occurred to me to plant a church among lower-class whites."
While urban, justice-loving evangelicals easily shame white, suburban, conservative evangelicals for their racially homogenized lives, both communities seem to share a disdain for lower-class white people. "Rednecks," "crackers," "hoosiers," and "white trash" are all derogatory terms used to describe a population of lower-class whites who have suffered centuries of injustice and social marginalization in America, especially from educated Christians. more >>
The last time he saw his dad, Jacob Abedini was four years old. Today, he turns seven.
An American citizen and father of two children, Saeed Abedini has been held prisoner in Iran since 2012. He was visiting Iran to assist in the launch of a government-approved orphanage.
Inexplicably, and without due process, Abedini received an eight-year prison sentence that (if carried out) is considered a "virtual death sentence" by his legal advocates at the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). more >>
It seems that every day is met with a new atrocity stemming from the Islamic State. We've lost track of the executions, the crimes against women and children are incalculable and unconscionable, and it seems that every drop of innocent blood feeds a thirst for more.
Their particular taste for Christian blood is most alarming to many of us who've watched from afar at their unrelenting advance on ancient Christian communities that have –until now- thrived in Iraq and Syria for nearly two thousand years.
ISIS has displaced tens-of-thousands and burned their churches, targeted their pastors, sold their children as slaves, and murdered countless among them. One particular account I've documented in my book Defying ISIS describes how the terror group arrived in one Christian town along the Nineveh Plain waving daggers and swords as they screamed, "shall we start beheading women and children or start with the old and the disabled? … we will behead all of you unless you convert." more >>
Lead singer for contemporary Christian band Casting Crowns, Mark Hall, has been released from the hospital after a successful surgery to remove an "aggressive" form of cancer from one of his kidneys. His wife, Melanie, has called the early detection of the malignant tumor a "miracle."
"Praise the Lord! We are heading home! Wahoo! Mark turned a corner yesterday and had a good night last night. We think we've figured out how to manage his pain at home. He had his first meal today since chips and salsa last Monday night. Time to head to the house," wrote Melanie in a post shared on the band's Facebook page on Monday. The couple was accompanied by members of their student ministry staff.
Hall revealed earlier this month that he was undergoing the surgery to remove a cancerous mass from one of his kidneys. Melanie confirmed in a post on Sunday that the mass in Hall's kidney was not just cancer but an "aggressive" type of cancer that was found following a pathology report. more >>
The national LGBT advocacy group Human Rights Campaign is voicing its support for a Mormon Church-backed non-discrimination bill that was signed into Utah law last week, which is being touted by some as legislation that could be used as a "toolkit" for finding the middle ground between gay rights and freedom of religion in the workplace.
Last Wednesday, Utah lawmakers passed Senate Bill 296, which was inspired by a negotiated settlement between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Utah gay rights advocates. The law prohibits discrimination against LGBT persons in housing markets and in the workplace, while providing exemptions for religiously affiliated housing.
The law also protects people from being fired for any religious or political expression, or speech outside the workplace, and gives parity to religious or political expression inside the workplace. more >>