As the federal government begins to emerge from a partial shutdown, satisfaction with America's political leadership is at a historic low. According to a recent Gallup Poll, 81 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the way the nation is being governed. With anger, frustration and discord boiling over in Washington, many Americans are pessimistic about the future of our nation.
Frankly, I was feeling a little cynical myself.
I flew into a Washington airport a few days after the government shutdown began. With my first meeting about an hour away, I had a long cab ride ahead of me. To pass the time, I struck up a conversation with the driver, Israel. It is a conversation I will never forget. more >>
As the importance of thriving multiethnic churches becomes clearer to the Christian community, pastors and church leaders should be open to change and more discussion in order to create a thriving multicultural environment, say ministry leaders interested in growing healthy churches.
Tony Kim, the communications pastor at Mariners Church in Irvine, Calif., and multicultural coach for a church staffing organization, Slingshot Group, says about 86 percent of American churches have failed to meet the "20 percent" diversity criteria, meaning there is still a "huge" lack of diversity within worship houses throughout the country. Multicultural churches account for only a small percentage of churches overall.
Although progress has been made in attempting to diversify churches, Kim says there is more that can be done which begins by simply facilitating a dialogue. more >>
Asian-American Christian leaders have invited evangelicals to engage in "dialogue and conversation" after two recent public incidents highlighted what the group calls "the repeated and offensive racial stereotyping of Asian-Americans."
"From VBS curriculum, to youth skits, to general Christian trade books, Asians have been caricatured, mocked, or otherwise treated as foreigners outside the typical accepted realm of white evangelicalism. And the situation has not improved over time," wrote the Asian American community leaders in an open letter addressed to the "Evangelical Church."
"We are a part of the body, we are North American Christians every bit as much as any other North American Christian, and we are weary, hurt, and disillusioned by the continuing offensive actions of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ," the letter continued. more >>
WASHINGTON – An African American pastor blamed the Civil Rights Movement for the weakened state of the black family and agreed with Christian social science experts that a re-emphasis on family will empower the black population.
Due to the Civil Rights Movement, African Americans "went in one election cycle from being 95% Republican to 70 to 80 percent Democrat – from that point, blacks began to change their mentality from the provision of God and the church to the provision of government," Bishop Wellington Boone, a church leader and bestselling author, said. He spoke at the conservative Heritage Foundation on Thursday as part of the Coalition of African American Pastors' Leadership Conference.
After describing a social system where pastors encouraged men to provide for their families and churches stepped in to help the poor, Boone blamed the Civil Rights Movement for separating the family from the church and weakening the commitment of black men and women to each other. "The Civil Rights Movement led those same people from the steps of the altars to the steps of the Federal Government," he declared. more >>
Speaking to a room of hundreds of Christian urban and community development leaders, Christian evangelist Luis Palau stressed that works done on the city's behalf must including sharing the Gospel.
"Together with serving you've got to proclaim the good news because if you don't verbalize the gospel they may read the service wrong. You've got to tell them why you're doing it and share the love of Christ," said Palau.
Palau's comments came as part of the fourth annual Movement Day in New York City, a conference aimed at bringing together pastors and community leaders specifically aiming to working for the betterment of their city. more >>
WASHINGTON – At the Coalition of African American Pastors Leadership Conference on Thursday, Senator Rand Paul (R- Ky.) supported Martin Luther King Jr.'s definition of a just law and advocated reform of the prison system, drug laws, and child support.
"An unjust law is a law that is passed by a majority that compels a minority but doesn't make binding on itself," Paul declared, reading from Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail." The Senator argued that being a minority "doesn't have anything to do with the color of your skin," and that Evangelical Christians, homeschoolers, and those who believe in traditional marriage or limited constitutional government can face the same discrimination African Americans did and still do.
On racial issues, Paul admitted that America has "come a long way," but he warned that "it's also a mistake to think that injustice is not still happening." He pointed to the war on drugs as an example of present-day discrimination. more >>