Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article mischaracterized cessationists' belief in the working of the Holy Spirit in today's Christians. CP editors apologize for the overly broad description of the cessationist position.
North Carolina megachurch pastor J.D. Greear, author of the new book Jesus Continued, is concerned that some Christians are too confining in their view of the outward expressions of the Holy Spirit in action today. The Summit Church Raleigh-Durham pastor believes God's spirit can still be experienced in ways similar to the Apostles' encounters in the book of Acts.
Greear told The Christian Post that while he understands that the Apostles were "different" from the believers of today in that God gave them the authority to write the New Testament Scriptures and to build up the early Church, "You cannot convince me that the only book that God gave us with stories of people walking with the Holy Spirit and pursuing the Great Commission – the book of Acts – is filled with stories that have nothing in common with our experience; I just can't see that." more >>
Southern Baptist International Mission Board President and megachurch Pastor David Platt said the reason why many Christians balk at the idea of allowing God to send them anywhere in the world for His purpose is because churches have watered down what it means to accept Jesus Christ as their savior.
The megachurch pastor preached in a Dec. 1 podcast entitled, "Our Obligation to the Unreached", that Christians should give God a "blank check" when it comes to missions, expressing a willingness to let go of everything and spread the Gospel even in the most violent and deadly places in the world. However he said most people sitting in the church pews on Sunday mornings believe this call is foolish and terrifying.
Referring to Paul's Romans 12 command to Christ followers to become "living sacrifices," Platt admonished "You know why blank check language – surrender to do whatever, go whatever – seems so foreign to so many of us today? Isn't because we've so diluted the gospel invitation?" more >>
Alabama megachurch pastor David Platt urged Christians to give God a "blank check" when it comes to missions, allowing Him to send them anywhere in the world for the sake of the Gospel, even if that means relocating their family to Syria, Somalia or Iraq.
Platt, who is also the Southern Baptist International Mission Board president, said in his recent podcast, "Our Obligation to the Unreached," that Christians' salvation demands that they offer "a blank check before God with no strings from you, from me, from our churches to say we know we must work, we must strive, live, and die to get the Gospel to people who never heard it."
By his estimation, there are 2 billion people in over 6,500 people groups who do not have access to the Gospel. Putting ourselves in their shoes, Platt described, "that would mean that we have the knowledge of God, we've rejected God, we stand condemned before God and if we don't hear the good news of what God has done in Christ then we will die in that state and go to an everlasting hell without ever hearing the gospel." more >>
As racial tension nationwide intensifies, triggered by the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, and compounded by the case of Eric Garner in New York City, the issue of whether racial justice should be promoted as a "Gospel demand" among Christians has become a divisive topic for some Evangelicals seeking solutions to racial conflict.
Southern Baptist pastor Randy White of First Baptist Church in Katy, Texas, says the pursuit of racial justice is not a "Gospel demand," disagreeing with fellow Southern Baptist leader Matthew Hall who penned a blog post last week stating that seeking racial justice is indeed a Gospel demand.
"Ferguson, Missouri, has erupted in barbaric violence that should cause all law-abiding citizens to demand the restoration of the rule-of-law, but the Evangelical world is preaching kum-ba-ya sermons about race-relations. I've gotta say, I just don't get it," said White in an op-ed posted to his website last Wednesday. more >>
The largest religious body in the state of Mississippi and the American Family Association are not supporting a controversial ballot initiative that promotes government support for Confederate heritage and Christianity.
The Mississippi Baptist Convention, which has an estimated 663,000 members belonging to approximately 2,100 Southern Baptist congregations statewide, has not endorsed the Magnolia State Heritage Campaign's recently launched ballot initiative.
William Perkins, spokesman for the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board and editor of The Baptist Record, told The Christian Post that his organization "has not been consulted and has no opinion on Initiative 46." more >>
The on-line retailer Amazon recently revealed the most popular verse in the Bible for Americans. No, it's not the ubiquitous John 3:16 displayed on posters at sporting events everywhere.
Instead, Americans are increasingly turning to Philippians 4:6-7 which the apostle Paul begins with these words: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."
Be anxious for nothing? That's a lot easier said than done these days. Just read the headlines, and you'll quickly discover plenty of reasons to worry: "4 Jihad Attacks in 4 Days," "Ukraine Could Explode in 48 Hours," and "Ebola Crisis 'On Same Scale as AIDS Epidemic.'" more >>