There's no question that the Internet has brought Christianity many wonderful things. Today we have online education available to virtually everyone, social media that encourages people to support great causes, and online communication tools that allow us to connect from the four corners of the earth. But it's also created something I believe is tearing at the very fabric of our faith. It's created a culture of attack.
Rarely does a day go by that Christian news sites, social media streams, and other web platforms feature some Christian "correcting" another Christian – and calling them out by name. It can range from arguments over worship music, to theological squabbles, to disagreements over ministry styles, to charges of outright heresy, and the barrage of criticism has grown exponentially. While there are qualified theologians, pastors, and other leaders we should respect and listen to, there's also a tsunami of armchair theologians, angry ex-church members, and wannabes who are convinced their criticism du jour needs to be shared.
Aside from feeling comfortable "correcting" a brother or sister publicly when we've never met the person, or know little about the background of what we're criticizing, a significant culprit is the technology itself. With 24/7 news, and a constant barrage of blogs and social media, the Internet is bombarding us with information overload, and what may be worse – the ease of responding. As soon as we read something we don't like, all it takes is a click to send an angry reply, post a heated comment, or write an op-ed piece. more >>
(There is always an attempt to de-emphasize the true, spiritual significance of Christian holidays and place emphasis on Santa, toys, bunnies, baskets, and candy. That is a sincere cause for concern. This article assumes that is understood. I respect those who may disagree and who may have a valid pause for concern.)
Every Christmas season, I receive emails such as: "I'm sorry, but every time I tried to watch the sermon the decorated Christmas trees in the background were disturbing to my spirit. I turned it off. I am discouraged and disappointed because of the trees."
Her statement begs the question, "Can we redeem holidays?" Redeem means to recover the ownership of something. Can we, in good faith, redeem Halloween, Christmas, and Easter with their roots saturated in paganism, superstitions, and the occult? more >>
Perhaps if pastor Julius R. Malone of the New Testament Church of Milwaukee wasn't a praying man he would be dead today.
Just over a year ago in October 2013, according to Fox 6, Malone, who's been preaching at his church for 34 years, began having stomach pain. Concerned that the pain was a symptom of something serious, he sought medical help and doctors began treating him for acid reflux.
When the pain didn't go away, Malone said he decided to ask God about it in prayer and the Lord gave him a much more serious diagnosis. more >>
Will Bowen knew that he might raise an eyebrow or two when he decided to portray himself as God in his new devotional book, To: You Love, God, but the minister decided to move forward with the idea in hopes that he can help recharge some spiritual batteries.
Bowen, the 54-year-old minister based in Kansas City, Missouri first began ghostwriting for God in the form of emails that he would send to people in his church years ago. In 2007, the best-selling author and minister decided to create daily devotional emails that he would anonymously send to people with the closing "Love, God."
While Bowen got responses to the emails from people who began to thank God, they had no idea who the real author was behind the messages that began to spiritually uplift them throughout the week. He admits that the idea was initially an intimidating one. 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 >>
NEW YORK — A New York City pastor who visited Sudanese Christian mother Meriam Ibrahim during her detention in the Muslim-majority country for blasphemy has partnered with a U.S.-based Yazidi activist to travel to Iraq to assess the humanitarian crisis of the religious minority group that has been targeted by the Islamic State. The men said they also hope to win the release of Yazidi women and girls abducted by the jihadist group and used as sex slaves.
The Rev. William Devlin and Texas-based Yazidi human rights advocate Murad Ismael were traveling to Erbil, Iraq, this week to "assess the humanitarian condition of the Yazidis first-hand" and "will also be seeking the release of women and young girls kidnapped by ISIS," they told The Christian Post in a series of emails and phone conversations.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, abducted scores of Yazidi women and girls in August as they attacked their towns in the Sinjar Mountain area in the Nineveh province in northwest Iraq. ISIS cornered many of the tens of thousands of Yazidis on Mount Sinjar, where some died from hunger and dehydration before the international community stepped in to help. The United States was among the countries offering humanitarian aid, in addition to carrying out airstrikes and training local forces in their military engagement with ISIS militants, who have already seized cities in Syria and Iraq. Reportedly, hundreds of Yazidis still remain on Sinjar Mountain, defending themselves against the Islamic State's unrelenting attacks. more >>