NEW YORK — The Micah Summit, an event that reflects on the progress of the Millennium Declaration made by the U.N. in 2000, which vowed to solve issues in the world such as poverty and hunger, hosted its Celebration and Sorrow event at the Church Center in New York City last week.
The event was held to celebrate the achievements of some of the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, in the last 14 years and to reflect on the work that still needs to be done throughout the world.
"Over the last generation, 25 years we have actually reduced extreme poverty by 50 percent, that's to celebrate. The churches, Christian NGOs, Christian movements, individuals are hugely impacting things. We want to celebrate that," said Joel Edwards, chairman of Micah Challenge, the organization that sponsored the event, to The Christian Post last Tuesday. . "But we still want to say it's not good enough — that a billion people still live in extreme poverty, 300,000 women die in child birth every year, kids are still not being schooled, women are still being raped as weapons of war, and that's not good. We want to express lamentation over that." more >>
Evangelical pastors and leaders agreed during a panel discussion livestreamed on Tuesday from the historic Lorraine Motel and National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis about the need for the church in America to be more centered on the Gospel and not be swayed by the media when it comes to racially charged issues currently confronting the nation. Meanwhile the leader of a multi-ethnic church plant movement watching the conference said that it's long past time for only dialogue about race within the local church, and it's time to see results.
"The increased frequency of racially painful, polarizing, dialogue in our society is today forcing the American Church, and more specifically Evangelicals from a much broader base of denominations and networks than ever before, to address their own systemic segregation," said Pastor Mark DeYmaz, who is executive director of the multiethnic church movement Mosaix Global Network and who watched the livestream of the event, to The Christian Post. "And this we must do in order to present a credible witness of God's love for all people in an increasingly diverse and cynical society.
"That said, as I'm sure organizers of this event will agree, many believe it is long past time to speak about race within the local church." more >>
Career criminal-turned-minister John Turnipseed said the image of African American men as violent troublemakers has to change so when incidents like Ferguson occur, the public will fight for them.
The Minneapolis minister told The Christian Post that, "One of the things that has to happen is that the perception of young black men has to change."
Turnipseed, a former pimp, drug dealer, and gang leader who has been imprisoned three times, acknowledges, "As a black male I have as much to do with that as anyone else." more >>
Christian pastors and leaders are expected to voice their concerns at what may turn out to be a historic gathering next week for "It's Time To Speak," a live stream event focusing on race, the church and "where to go from here," in light of recent events in Ferguson, Missouri; Cleveland, and New York.
The eleven leaders, including event organizer Pastor Bryan Loritts, theologian John Piper, and pastors Matt Chandler, Darrin Patrick, and Derwin Gray, are scheduled to meet at the historic Lorraine Motel and National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis for A Time to Speak, on Tuesday (Dec. 16).
"Twenty years from 'It's Time To Speak' will be viewed as a reformational moment," Gray, pastor of Transformation Church in Indian Land, South Carolina, told The Christian Post on Friday. "This event will be a call for the local church to be what she was meant to be – a multi-ethnic and multi-class of communities of reconciliation, love, and unity." more >>
An atheist whose recent invocation at a Florida city's meeting prompted a walkout of some of the commissioners is fighting to give an invocation at another city meeting elsewhere in the state.
Preston Smith of Miami, who saw four members of the Lake Worth County Board of Commissioners walk out on his previous invocation, was denied a request to give a secular invocation at a Palm Beach County Commissioners meeting.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Smith explained that "my next invocation was aimed at the Palm Beach County Commissioners Meeting. However, they have denied my request, opting instead to strictly allow the Commissioner's themselves to give (overtly Christian-themed) invocations. I consider this a monopoly of a certain religious viewpoint, the very opposite of the Supreme Court's intention." more >>
The two largest Pentecostal denominations in the U.S. have called with one voice for Christians worldwide to affirm on Sunday, Dec. 14 that indeed "Black Lives Matter," and, as admonished in Scripture, to "mourn with those who mourn" — in this case, with black Americans who feel the justice system has failed in two recent cases involving the death of black males at the hands of white police officers.
"The lives of all people are precious to God, of course, but at the present moment, many of our black brothers and sisters in COGIC and the AG feel that their lives are not highly valued by many in white America," says Assemblies of God General Superintendent Dr. George O. Wood in a statement made public Thursday. "As examples, they point to the recent controversial decisions of grand juries in St. Louis County, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York, not to return bills of indictment against white police officers in the deaths of two black males, Michael Brown and Eric Garner."
"Whatever your opinion of those controversial decisions, can we stand with our brothers and sisters and affirm the value of black lives generally and of their lives specifically?" Wood adds. "Scripture teaches that God does not take pleasure in the death of people, not even the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11). If so, then whatever the circumstances, we can be certain that God did not take pleasure in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Therefore, neither should we." more >>