For more than six years now, I have used my daily talk radio show to facilitate dialogue on difficult and divisive issues, asking my listeners to shoot straight with me just as I do with them, even saying at times, "Let's commit to speaking the truth to each other even if it means offending one another. Otherwise, how can we make progress in our understanding?"
We have done this numerous times when it comes to race issues in America, wading into dangerous and controversial waters with the commitment to learn from each other and grow closer together in the Lord, knowing that what unites us in Jesus is far greater than anything that divides us. (Having worked with ethnic churches around the globe for decades, our profound unity in Jesus is readily apparent.)
Over the years, I have had countless African Americans thank me for tackling these issues on radio and in writing, and they have encouraged me to keep the dialogue going, which is something I am determined to do. 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 >>
Actor Wendell Pierce offered insightful observations of not only his "Selma" character, Martin Luther King Jr., but of the state of race relations today during a recent interview.
Directed by Ava DuVernay, "Selma" has already generated Oscar buzz on top of receiving four Golden Globe nominations, four Satellite Awards nominations, and a Spirit Award nod. Just six months ago, while the film was being shot in Montgomery, Al., The Christian Post caught up Pierce on the set of the film. There, the Golden Globe-nominated actor revealed his careful research on the leader of the African-American Civil Rights movement. First, Pierce pointed at that the powerful movement, including the march from Selma to Montgomery, was stemmed in Christianity.
"Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis, Hosea Williams- all of these people were leaders in their own right, it wasn't a coincidence that they were reverends either," the actor told CP at the time. "It was a Christian movement. It was amazing not only because it was [pointing out] the hypocrisy of America but also Christians. It really challenged people's spirit and hearts and what they really believed; how could you be Christian and treat other people that way? I think it was a combination of the two, political strategy and understanding what advocacy could do, and then understanding that there were men and women of faith trying to appeal to the hearts of others to reflect on what they believed in." 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 >>
"In order to impact our society, we need to first model unity in the church," says Dr. Tony Evans, pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, in a recent video filmed at the site where civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr. was gunned down nearly 50 years ago.
The megachurch pastor and bestselling author believes U.S. society is still reeling from the effects of historical racial injuries and prejudices because Christian churches have yet to coalesce as one body under God to tackle those issues.
Speaking at the Lorraine Hotel (the National Civil Rights Museum) at 450 Mulberry in Memphis, Tennessee, Dr. Evans reflects on watching as a child a television broadcast of King's "I Have a Dream" speech, saying he got goosebumps seeing so many Americans joined together for a single cause. more >>
WASHINGTON —The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty announced on Tuesday the launch of a new coalition uniting human rights organizations, religious groups, and pro-liberty advocacy groups to pressure state governments to put an end to capital punishment.
The coalition, which has up to 15 national partnering organizations, is named the "90 Million Strong" campaign, which signifies the 33 percent of Americans, according to Gallup polls, who say they oppose the death penalty.
With only 28 states and the District of Columbia not currently using the death penalty, and seven states carrying out the death penalty in 2014, the coalition aims to fully mobilize the "90 million" Americans to lobby state-by-state to get the other states that still actively use the death penalty to halt what they claim are "unfair" and immoral practices. more >>