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 >>
Hundreds of former Marine and military veterans have been spared from the growing suicide and divorce rates among combat veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because a professional MMA fighter's faith-based retreat taught them that their disorder is no match for God's "blueprint" for their life.
Former MMA fighter Chad Robichaux, who did eight tours of duty as a Marine in Afghanistan and has a career 19-2 record in professional matches, was on the verge of losing his wife and family due to his inability to cope with the struggles of PTSD upon his return home from combat.
Although he was back from war, the only thing he wanted to do was go back to Afghanistan and fight. That was until he started making money fighting in various professional and televised mixed martial arts circuits. Although Robichaux used MMA as physical outlet to "heal" the symptoms of PTSD, the sport was not "curing" the root cause of his issue. 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 >>
One Ohio pastor certainly is obeying Jesus when He warns against burying talents in the Gospel of Matthew.
Pastor Lawrence Bishop II, 48, of Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio, is an experienced bull rider and is known as the "Cowboy Pastor" for turning his church into a rodeo by frequently wrestling and riding bulls during service, a practice he uses to attract new believers.
"You know, the Bible said to compel them to come in, and so that's what we're doing," Bishop told ABC's "Nightline." "It didn't say how to compel them. It just said compel them to come in, so ... this is a tool." more >>
JERUSALEM — In a clarion call to a global gathering of Spirit-filled believers in Jerusalem Friday, Jentezen Franklin, senior pastor of the multi-campus Free Chapel Church, urged the anointed throng to start preaching "the truth about being filled with the Holy Spirit" and speaking in tongues to their families or risk losing a generation.
Franklin explained that speaking in tongues is the language of the Holy Spirit that was first shared with the church in the Upper Room in the book of Acts in the Bible, now known as the day of Pentecost.
That gift of the Holy Spirit, he said, has made its way down through generations of Spirit-filled believers, like those in his own family. He warned, however, that if those who have had the experience don't continue to share the gift beginning with their families, it will eventually die a slow death. more >>
The Church can experience long-lasting racial reconciliation when Christians finally choose to do three particular things that they apparently have been failing to do, according to three Christian leaders who recently took on the issue of how racial unity and the Gospel are intertwined.
In a conference call organized this week by The New York City Leadership Center in anticipation of its October Movement Day gathering, Brenda Salter McNeil, Pete Scazzero and Sherry Jones shared their concerns, suggestions and hopes for the Church in a time when headlines are populated with news of police-involved shootings, of mostly black males.
McNeil is an associate professor of Reconciliation Studies in the School of Theology at Seattle Pacific University and serves as associate pastor at Quest Church. Scazzero is founder of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York. His best-selling books, Emotionally Healthy Church and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, have been used by Christians in the area of spiritual formation. The third participant on race and Gospel call was Jones, who is the president and founder of Sonship Freedom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. more >>