Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of imprisoned American pastor Saeed, is beginning a three-week fast at the start of the New Year, and shared how the price of becoming a Christian as a child was being rejected and persecuted by her own family.
"Tomorrow I will be starting a three week fast. The focus of the fast is to spend more time in the presence of the Lord and to draw closer to the heart of God. I will be sharing scripture and what the Lord lays on my heart for each day," Abedini posted on Facebook on Monday, and gave suggestions about how other people can join her in the fast as well.
She also reflected on her decision to become a Christian early in life, stating that it had come at a great cost. more >>
The Reverend Franklin Graham is beginning a tour Tuesday slated to stop in all 50 states to prayerfully encourage Christians to vote for candidates who support "biblical principles."
Known as the "Decision America Tour," its first scheduled stop will be Tuesday at noon at the state Capitol building in Des Moines, Iowa. Since last year, Graham has been promoting the Decision America Tour as a way to bring American believers together to vote and live out their faith.
"Many Christians in America today want to follow Jesus at a distance. They want to give themselves a little room — they want to watch which way the wind will blow before they are publicly seen too close to the Lord," said Graham in a Facebook post from Sunday. more >>
I know this is going to be kind of hard to believe (sarcasm), but most new Christians don't pop out of the spiritual chute morally sophisticated or biblically articulate. They are almost always a bit rough around the edges in the way they speak, act, and communicate their faith. Lord knows I was!
If you had sat down to have a conversation with me three months post-conversion, I would have said something like, "I love Jesus and stuff, but I'm never going to be like those stick-up-butt church folks" as I sipped on my fifth glass of merlot and chain-smoked my Marlboros.
My faith was genuine; I promise you that. The new life that had been poured into my heart through Christ was vibrant and effecting real changes in my life. I had stopped going to bars and gay clubs. I'd stopped guzzling down hard liquor to the point that I blacked out nearly every night. I'd stopped sleeping with and dating men. I'd started going to a church, praying, reading the Bible, spending time with Christians, and thinking non-stop about God. But I did not yet fit nicely into the image of what many churched people envisioned me to be and act like. I was still a bit jaded in my attitude, liked my wine a little too much, loved my cigarettes, and even dropped an f-bomb here or there just to satisfy that rebellious urge still wiggling around in my heart. more >>
Editor's Note: A previous headline wrote that Higgins was criticized for "promoting abortion." Higgins was criticized for her critique of pro-life activism but she was not promoting abortion. We apologize for the mistake.
Also, Intervarsity released a statement on Thursday explaining its inclusion of Black Lives Matter speakers and with a response from interim President Jim Lundgren, saying, "Scripture is clear about the sanctity of life. That is why I'm both pro-life and committed to the dignity of my Black brothers and sisters." You can read the full statement here.
Urbana 15 and Black Lives Matter activist Michelle Higgins are under fire from Students For Life of America for seemingly rejecting the pro-life group's exhibition request and for proclaiming disparaging remarks from the stage about the pro-life movement, respectively, earlier this week at the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship-sponsored student mission conference. more >>
Social activist Michelle Higgins used the Urbana student missions platform to tackle key issues of the Black Lives Matter movement, calling out the Evangelical Church in the process.
In her 30-minute address, Higgins, the director of Christian activist coalition Faith for Justice, dispelled misconceptions about Black Lives Matter and got to the core of the objectives of the movement.
"We do not want all people of color to go 'scott-free' from wrongdoing," she said. "I don't want to see people of color never arrested for anything. 'Oh, Black Lives Matter' means black folks can kill everybody and steal stuff and we're going to all go home and say, 'Well, let 'em — because of slavery.' That's not what we want. That's not what I want. What do we want? Justice. And what is justice? Justice means my baby boy, my baby girl will not be tried, condemed, sentenced and executed on the street. That is justice." more >>
A Texas megachurch is coming to America's fourth largest city through a merger with a smaller, historic congregation.
River Pointe Church, whose main campus is in Richmond, is in the process of expanding into Houston through a merger with the century-old West End Baptist Church.
River Pointe's move into the area, courtesy of the merger, is contrary to the general trend of expanding congregations, according to Allen Jones of the Houston Chronicle. more >>