Commenting on the devastating violence that took place on Monday in Baltimore, outspoken Christian professional football player Benjamin Watson explained that the pain, anger and tension that the city and its residents are experiencing can only be healed through the power of Christ.
The 34-year-old 11-season NFL tight end, who plays for the New Orleans Saints, is a frequent commentator on current events and has never been afraid to let his Christian convictions be heard. On Tuesday, Watson took to Facebook to voice his thoughts on the rioting, looting, injuring of cops, destroying of police cars, and homes and businesses that took place in Baltimore after the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who suffered a spinal injury while in Baltimore police custody.
Watson noted that Baltimore is not the first city to go through a violent uprising over police negligence, and likely won't be the last. He further asserted that the problems Baltimore faces right now are shared by the nation as a whole. more >>
ORLANDO, Fla. — Megachurch pastor Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potter's House in Dallas, Texas, charged Wednesday that it's corporations and not elected officials that represent "the greatest hope" in effecting change and development in underserved communities across America. He said, however, that they need to "add a moral component to money" to make it happen.
"We need corporations to add a moral component to money," said Jakes, to a group of pastors and Christian leaders at the Reconciled Church Summit on Wednesday. The movement was launched in response to national protests against the killings by police of black men in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York, by Bishop Harry Jackson, senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland, televangelist James Robison, and Jakes in January.
"Starbucks is trying to do it. … If we can tie morality to money, to a purpose, to resources, we can really begin to change things. I don't really believe that the greatest hope is in the elected officials. I believe it is in the corporations and the business opportunities coming together," he continued. more >>
As angry rioters took to the streets of Baltimore this week and destroyed cars, injured 98 police officers, and burned homes and businesses, local pastors have spoken out against the violence and one even called the riots an attempt by Satan to take control of the city.
When the worst of the Baltimore riots went down on Monday, Michael Crawford, the pastor of Baltimore's Freedom Church who also serves as a church growth strategist for the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network, was set to board an airplane headed for Florida but said he knew that God was calling him to remain in Baltimore and pray for the well-being of his city.
The pastor of a youthful and racially-diverse congregation located just a few blocks from the CVS pharmacy set on fire by rioters amid otherwise peaceful protests in Baltimore says it's time for white Christians to acknowledge the existence of systemic racism in America and to listen to those who are angry and hurting in order to help find meaningful solutions.
"There are deep systemic issues. There is no surface issue that's really the cause. There's some deep stuff that's been going on that's been going on for a lot of years," Joel Kurz, lead pastor of The Garden Church in Central/West Baltimore, told The Christian Post on Wednesday.
Some of those "deep systemic issues" are believed to have been at play when Baltimore police officers chased and arrested Freddie Gray and placed him inside a van on April 12. Gray, who was arrested for having a switchblade-like knife in his possession, was admitted to a hospital less than two hours later, and was dead by the end of the week. The 25-year-old died at the University of Maryland's Shock Trauma Center where he had received surgery for his severely injured spinal cord and crushed voice box — injuries sustained while he was in police custody, according to The Baltimore Sun. Protesters had already taken to the streets the day before Gray's death, and when news of his passing came with no information on what might have befallen Gray during his arrest, their numbers swelled. more >>
As I read the story of Michael Brown who was shot and killed August 9th, 2014 by Darren Wilson, a police officer, in Ferguson, Mo., and the other recent shootings, my heart immediately went out to the family. The pain of losing a child, I'm told, is one of the most difficult to endure.
The Baltimore decision once again fueled the flames of racism and hatred, but what if we looked through a different lens...
What if more people knew that many of America's founders did not support slavery? The truth is that many of the Founding Fathers were responsible for planting the first seeds of equality and for the eventual end of slavery. John Quincy Adams was often referred to as the "hell-hound of abolition movement" for his efforts against slavery. As historian David Barton rightly noted, "This was a fact made clear by Richard Allen. Allen had been a slave in Pennsylvania but was freed after he converted his master to Christianity. Allen, a close friend of Benjamin Rush and several other Founding Fathers, went on to become the founder of the A.M.E. Church in America. In an early address 'To the People of Color,' he explained: 'Many of the white people have been instruments in the hands of God for our good, even such as have held us in captivity, [and] are now pleading our cause with earnestness and zeal'." more >>
ORLANDO, Fla. — As pockets of East and West Baltimore erupted in flames and riots Monday night over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray who died on April 19 after suffering serious injury while in police custody, a diverse coalition of Christian leaders from across the country gathered at First Baptist Orlando church Tuesday to discuss ways in which the church can intervene and prevent these eruptions before they even start.
On Tuesday night, ahead of The Reconciled Church: Healing the Racial Divide Summit set for Wednesday at the Orange County Convention Center, Bishop Harry Jackson, chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Washington, D.C. was busy on stage at the student center building of First Baptist Orlando, convincing the group he had gathered to join him on his mission to get a reconciled church and stand in the gap for change.
They had dinner and watched a WBAL TV 11 report showing clergy marching against the violence in Baltimore and praying in the street, creating a barrier between police and angry agitators. more >>