NEW YORK — Bishop T.D. Jakes, founder of The Potter's House, one of the largest megachurches in the United States, recently called on the Church to become a source of unity and healing in the faith community, particularly in the wake of ongoing racial unrest.
Earlier this year, Jakes, along with Bishop Harry Jackson and James Robison, launched the Reconciled Church, an initiative designed to help heal the racial divide in America. The Destiny author recently told The Christian Post that he believes the Church is critical in the restoration of America while also acknowledging the lack of multiracial congregations across the nation.
"First, I think we have our own house to clean before we clean anybody else's house," Jakes told The Christian Post during an interview in New York City last week. "When we started Reconciled Church with Bishop Harry Jackson and James Robison, we came together, we started bringing thought leaders from every stream of Christian faith that we could, and we had to admit that the 11 o'clock hour is still far too segregated." more >>
Not many Christians know what they're talking about when they discuss racial reconciliation and their reliance on the modern social construct of "race," as opposed to the Bible's approach to the term, which leads to an "incomplete Gospel" and underestimation of the pervasiveness of racism, according to a New Testament scholar.
"I think when we in the Christian community, when you listen to a lot of folks talk about ... when they actually talk about racial reconciliation, I'm not convinced that many know what they're talking about," said Jarvis J. Williams, associate professor of New Testament interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. "There's a sense of confusion about what race is, in terms of the modern social construction of race and how race functioned in the biblical word."
He suggested that the "typical evangelical Protestant Christian" thinks the Gospel is limited to how one becomes a Christian. "And I'd be the first to say, 'Certainly, that's the foundation of what we find in the New Testament.' How does one become right with God, trusting Christ by faith, believe that God offered Jesus to die on the cross for our sins and He raised Him up from the dead. But the Gospel is not only that. It is that, but it's more," Williams insisted. more >>
Russell Moore, president of the ethics and public policy arm of the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., shares his frustrations with how some Christians fail to pursue racial reconciliation and the particular challenge he faces as a white man in ministry in a video recently shared online.
"The easiest thing in the New Testament would have been to say, 'Let's plant Jewish Christian churches and Gentile Christian churches and let's just go in that direction and keep them from getting together and killing each other.' But that's not what the apostles did, because that's a sign to the powers and principalities," Moore says in a videotaped discussion posted online Friday by ministry website The Gospel Coalition.
Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the more than 16 million-strong Southern Baptist Convention, went on to insist that racially and ethnically homogeneous black, white, Hispanic or other congregations should question why they do not have a diversity of ethnicities represented among their numbers. more >>
Conservatives say "you can be somebody." Liberals say "you should hate somebody." The latter mentality is exactly what we've seen played out in Ferguson and Baltimore. Black riots, dead cops at the hands of black youths, thugs memorialized as heroes and our First Lady who's grown up privileged, gives a speech at Tuskegee University in front of more privileged blacks as if she just dried off after being hosed down by Democrat Bull Connor. Give me a break! Students who are inheriting a post-civil rights America have been conditioned to believe they're getting a pre-civil rights America thanks to our first black president and First Lady.
In 2008 millions of whites cast their ballot for then Senator Obama, hoping to eliminate racism in America. At the least, they purposed to convince the world they weren't racist and assauge their "white privilege," as taught to them by their liberal professors. In 2016 some of those same voters may stay home, disillusioned that race relations have worsened despite their efforts. Many Americans have grown weary of being penalized over skin color, and I'm not talking about blacks.
Consider the "Bradley effect"– coined after Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley lost his 1982 mayoral race despite being ahead in the polls leading up to the election. For fear of retribution from the politically correct media, white voters told pollsters they were either voting for the black candidate or undecided. As always, the ballot box was honest. They didn't re-elect Tom Bradley! They lied! In hindsight, a presidential candidate that overplays the race card in 2016 outside of predominantly black districts could surge in the polls just to lose the election by disenfranchising white constituents. more >>
JERUSALEM — An outdoor Christian worship event set to be hosted by the Empowered21 Global Congress in Manger Square, Bethlehem on Friday was abruptly cancelled by the Palestinian Authority governor of Bethlehem, Abdel Fattah Hamayel, due to "significant political and religious pressure."
The event, which was supposed to be a time of praise, prayer and preaching focused on the coming of Jesus in Bethlehem, which now forms a part of the West Bank, was initially greenlit by the office of Bethlehem Mayor Vera George Mousa Baboun, according to co-chair of the Empowered21 global Spirit-empowered movement, William Wilson, who is also president of Oral Roberts University.
"We received an official letter from the mayor of Bethlehem's office confirming our event in Manger Square for tomorrow night guaranteeing both space and security. We planned our schedule for this week to honor Shabbat in Israel while at the same time seeking to share God's love with the Palestinian people into tomorrow night's event," explained Wilson in his run-up before breaking the news to thousands of attendees at the Empowered21 Congress at the Jerusalem Pais Arena on Thursday night. more >>
"The God of peace is never glorified by human violence," wrote the famous Trappist monk Thomas Merton.
Whether it's on an individual, city, national, or international level, violence always dishonors God, and makes bad situations worse. The recent Baltimore City riots were no exception: people were injured, neighborhood stores were burned, and violence was further engrained into a city and world already steeped in violence.
But, and this is a big but: What are the reasons that led to violence? What motivated some African-Americans in Baltimore to riot? To ask and to try to answer these questions – in dialogue with the rioters – is certainly not meant to justify the violence; rather it is a necessary step on the road to ending it. more >>