When Bishop Harry Jackson, chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Washington, D.C., first called up Bishop T.D. Jakes, one of America's favorite and most influential preachers and asked him to be a part of a summit to heal America's racial divide, one of the first emotions Jakes felt was fear.
The senior pastor of The Potter's House megachurch in Dallas, Texas, and New York Times best-selling author says he was afraid because his faith in people at that particular moment on matters of race had grown fragile. America was tense. Protests over controversial police actions in Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York, were sweeping the country. Jakes just didn't know. What if everything just went wrong?
"My faith in people was so fragile that when Bishop Jackson called me I said, 'Man, I'm scared. If this doesn't go right, I just don't know,'" he confessed during an evening service at his church hours after a diverse coalition of influential pastors and Christian faith leaders had met for the summit called "Healing the Racial Divide" on Thursday night — the birthday of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. more >>
"Why didn't someone do something?"
Those five words still haunt my thoughts today. Sometime ago, I sat speechless as I listened to a man recount his trip to a holocaust museum with his young daughter. As they walked by photos of the death camps and gas chambers, his daughter silently contemplated the horrors that were unfolding before her eyes.
When the tour ended, they drove home without saying a word. The father wondered if she truly understood the significance of the event. Was she too young to view such depravity? Was she too fragile to cope with the truth of the holocaust? Would it make a negative impact on her life? Would it leave her fearful and wounded? Would she begin to doubt God? more >>
A diverse coalition of prominent pastors and Christian faith leaders including Bishop T.D. Jakes, Harry Jackson, Samuel Rodriguez and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Alveda King, are expected to meet at a summit in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday to discuss ways to promote practical steps toward racial reconciliation in America.
At the summit, according to a release from the organizers, the faith leaders are expected to focus on seven "Bridges to Peace" community initiatives namely: reconciliation and prayer forums; education policy reform; community engagement forums; community service and compassion outreaches; personal, marriage and family development; engagement with the criminal justice system; and economic development strategies.
Organizers of the event, which is being hosted by Jackson, chairman of High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church, are also requesting that President Barack Obama specifically address educational reforms, urban economic development policies, and criminal justice reforms that have the potential to alleviate the racial divide during his Jan. 20 State of the Union address. more >>
A Texas district court judge has rejected the Mayor of Houston's motion to forgo a jury trial in the "Houston pastors" lawsuit, which seeks to force the city to allow voters decide whether or not to overturn a transgender rights ordinance, which allows self-identified transgenders to use bathrooms designated for the opposite sex.
The lawsuit looks to require Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the city to act on a petition, started by conservative Houston-area pastors and activists, calling for a voter referendum to allow the people of Houston to decide whether the ordinance, which passed last May, should stay or go.
Although the city's secretary Anna Russell verified that the petition had exceeded the amount of signatures needed to force the referendum, Parker refused to put the initiative on the ballot during last November's election. more >>
Racial distinctions should not be rejected, but embraced. After all, God created the races with their distinctive backgrounds and cultures for a reason — so argues one Texas megachurch pastor who has spoken out for years about bridging race-related divisions.
Dr. Tony Evans, pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Church in Dallas, Texas, told The Christian Post in a recent interview that any talk of racial reconciliation should begin with "God's view of race."
"God created the races. He created different backgrounds and cultures. But He created them all to operate under His authority," Evans said. more >>
Note: This article is part 2 in a series on the Holy Spirit. The need to address revival and the vital role of the Holy Spirit is as relevant today as it has been throughout church history. It's my hope that readers consider the entire series before drawing conclusions. Part 1 can be viewed here: Do You Mock the Work of the Spirit? .
As stated last week, I, like many Christians, tend to be "safely" conservative when considering the power of the Holy Spirit; however, Scripture clearly supports the miraculous work of the Spirit today. I'm open but cautious. We need sound doctrine and the power of the Holy Spirit. But it is possible to be "Bible taught," but not "Spirit led"—straight as a gun barrel theologically, but just as empty. The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (cf. 2 Corinthians 3:6).
Don't get me wrong, theological and expositional teachings are essential to Christian living, but how often are theology students encouraged to fast and pray as well as study? How often are they taught brokenness and repentance in addition to translating the Greek language? We can sometimes be more concerned about a Master's Degree than a degree from the Master. more >>