Czech church reformer Jan Hus was burned at the stake 600 years ago this summer. Thursday evening I attended a commemoration at the Czech Embassy in Washington, DC, which included a thoughtful lecture followed by a delicious buffet meal. The room was packed. Apparently there's a Jan Hus subculture with few opportunities for self-expression!
The young Czech cultural attaché energetically introduced the evening by explaining that even though the Czech Republic is one of the most secular countries on the world, Hus is honored as a martyr for conscience. A Protestant theologian from Charles University in Prague, where Hus also taught, gave the lecture.
Hus was an heir to the English church proto-reformer John Wycliffe, whose themes of personal holiness and direct reading of Scripture in native language he reiterated. Wycliffe died a natural death, but a quarter century later he was condemned at the Council of Constance, where a still very much alive Hus was tried for heresy, defrocked and sentenced to death. Hus had earlier sardonically noted that his goose was ready to be cooked, and it literally was. Wycliffe's body was also disinterred and burned. Thorough! more >>
In hopes of encouraging fellow Christians to stay in Pakistan in light of religious tensions, a Christian businessman in the country's largest city is building a giant 14-story cross outside the entrance to the largest Christian cemetery in Karachi.
Parvez Henry Gill, a devout christian who lives in Karachi, recently told The Washington Post that God came to him in a dream one night four years ago and challenged him with the divine task of finding a way to relieve Pakistani Christians from the constant fear of persecution and abuse frequently perpetrated by Pakistan's radical Muslim community.
"I want you to do something different," Gill remembers God telling him. more >>
WASHINGTON — As hundreds of thousands of Christians and religious minorities are living homeless in Iraq due to the rise of the Islamic State, a pastor from New York City says it is a "total embarrassment" that most American Christians are not willing to travel to the Kurdish region of Iraq to care for the persecuted.
The Rev. William Devlin, who pastors the Infinity Bible Church in South Bronx, has traveled to over 11 different countries where the persecution of Christians is rampant and in December he went to Kurdish Iraq for 11 days to provide humanitarian assistance to those displaced from their homes by ISIS.
Devlin, who's also a registered nurse with a specialty in war trauma, told The Christian Post on Wednesday that he plans to go back to Iraq in July and hopes to recruit and even pay for other pastors to go with him. more >>
Hillsong NYC Pastor Carl Lentz wants Christians to "occupy all streets" with the light of the Gospel like Jesus did. "There should be no campus, there should be no prison, there should be no back alley, no ghetto, no village that has not heard the goodness of our God," he says.
Speaking at the debut of Passion Conference 2015 "a gathering of 18-25 year olds and their leaders," hosted by Passion City Church in January, Lentz urged the young believers of the Gospel to take the Word of God to the streets like Jesus did in a recording of the event released this week via Air1.
"Jesus has done the work, He saved our lives, and we have a pretty clear call, which is to shine," said Lentz in the video. "I've called this message here this afternoon: occupy all streets." more >>
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama spoke Tuesday about the importance of faith and family during a panel discussion for the Catholic-Evangelical Summit on Overcoming Poverty at Georgetown University.
"Faith-based groups across the country and around the world understand the centrality and the importance of [poverty] in a intimate way — in part because these faith-based organizations are interacting with folks who are struggling and know how good these people are, and know their stories, and it's not just theological, but it's very concrete. They're embedded in communities and they're making a difference in all kinds of ways," Obama said.
The panel was moderated by The Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne and also included Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, and Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam. more >>
In the delivery of a warning from God she says almost made the hair stand up on the back of her neck when she got it, Billy Graham's Daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, said God's judgement is coming to America and "it's going to be ugly."
"This past spring, Joel Rosenberg and I taught through the book of Joel as we led a prophecy seminar at The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. It was my privilege to give the first two messages that covered Joel 1:1 through Joel 2:17. The impact on me was profound," wrote Lotz in a post on her website on April 30.
"Both times, when I stepped off of the platform, I knew God had spoken. The messages almost made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. Why? Because God was clearly warning that His judgment is coming on America and on our world, and it's going to be ugly. I knew it then, and I know it now," she noted. more >>