About 2,500 people will gather in Chicago's Auditorium Theater tonight and tomorrow for the Justice Conference and hear some top evangelical speakers champion the plight of the marginalized and poor. They also will hear some voices far outside evangelicalism do the same, including prominent socialist, activist and professor at Union Theological Seminary, Cornel West. Also, leading a panel discussion on racial justice will be Rev. Otis Moss III, the successor to President Obama's former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.
According to Stephan Bauman, president and CEO of World Relief, which is sponsoring the conference, this wide diversity is by design. "What we have done with the conference in the past, and are certainly doing this year," Bauman said, is "bring in a voice that might be more controversial or liberal, like Cornel West," but then "complement his voice with much more mainstream evangelical voices like Louie Giglio or Bob Goff or even Eugene Cho. . . . So, let's bring out the broader voice of justice and let people decide what's true, what's right."
Some evangelical leaders, though, are expressing concern that those attending the conference may not be prepared to critically analyze the ideas they will hear. Both West and Moss are proponents of black liberation theology – a theological perspective that views Christianity as a means of liberating black people from white oppression. more >>
A former heroin addict who now dresses as Jesus Christ and goes by the name "Philly Jesus" has started an online fundraiser to accrue $70,000 for his ministry.
On a GoFundMe page created Thursday, the resident of Philadelphia whose real name is Michael Grant has requested money to help finance his ministries.
"iF you BELiEVE that the LORD is in this Ministry that i have launched. ... iF you Believe that you will be helped by it ...and Believe OTHERS will be helped by it ... i want to ask you to OPEN your Heart and ask The HOLY SPiRiT of Christ Jesus (Yeshua) ... if u should sow financially into this Ministry i have launched," reads the page's description. more >>
Back in the mid-1980s, I was working as a director of religious education at St. Peter's Catholic Church in western Maryland.
That part of Maryland, like parts of 12 other U.S. eastern states – from Alabama to New York, and all of West Virginia – is part of the Appalachian Mountain region.
In those days, as I got to know the beauty of Appalachia, and some of the simple, friendly and caring mountain folks, I discovered the grinding poverty many of them were experiencing. more >>
It was a simple enough request: drop off your drawers. That was the tongue-in-cheek promo a Buckhead, Atlanta, church used to encourage members attending its special "Single Series" to purchase packages of men's briefs to donate to a local shelter. Based on photos shared online, members of the North Point Ministries church, founded by pastor Andy Stanley, went above and beyond with their donations.
"This series, as part of our do.justice initiative, we are partnering with Atlanta Mission to supply them with fresh clean underwear for their clients. On night 2 and night 3 we are asking all of our singles to bring BRAND NEW Men's briefs, size L and up," reads the online instructions for those attending the "Singles Series" at Buckhead Church.
The church explains that the yearly "Singles Series" gatherings, most recently held on May 19 and 26 and on June 2, are a way for unattached adults from all six North Point Ministries campuses to get together for worship and teaching, and of course, to mingle. more >>
Pope Francis has said that leaving migrants to die in the Mediterranean sea, such as the fate of thousands in the past few years, is similar to the "scourge" of abortion and euthanasia. The pontiff spoke out at a meeting of the Italian Science and Life Association, where he warned against several "attacks against life."
"The scourge of abortion is an attack on life. Leaving our brothers on the boats in the Sicilian channel is an attack on life. Death at work is an attack on life because it does not respect the minimal security conditions," Francis said, according to an article on LifeNews on Monday.
"The love of Christ urges us to become servants of the small ones and the elderly, of every man and every woman, through which the primordial right to life is recognized and protected." more >>
The Islamic State terrorist group is being accused by local government officials of kidnapping over 500 children from the Anbar and Diyala provinces in Iraq, and there is fear that some of the children could be forced to carry out suicide bomb attacks.
Farhan Mohammed, a member of Anbar's Provincial Council, told the Turkish news organization Anadolu Agency on Saturday that the Islamic State abducted approximately 400 children in the Anbar towns of Ar Rutba, Al-Qaim, Anah and Rawa in raids that took place over the course of a week.
Mohammed further added that he believes more children in the area will be recruited to join ISIS and that they could be used to carry out jihadi attacks. more >>