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One-on-One with Bryan Loritts on Being a Stranger in White Evangelicalism
« Reply #1032 on: October 08, 2018, 01:00:26 AM »

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One-on-One with Bryan Loritts on Being a Stranger in White Evangelicalism

"If God can raise a dead Jesus, then he can step into the divisive sociological milieu we find ourselves in and bring healing."


Today, I am excited to welcome Bryan Loritts to The Exchange. Bryan is the lead pastor of Abundant Life Christian Fellowship in Silicon Valley and author of Insider Outsider: My Journey as a Stranger in White Evangelicalism and My Hope for Us All.


Ed: Share with me a little of your story of feeling like an “insider outsider” in white evangelical circles.


Bryan: Great question. I grew up in a home where my parents served on staff for what was formally known as Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru), which is a predominately white organization, but attended an all-black church on Sunday mornings. I graduated from a conservative white evangelical Bible college and seminary, but worked at all-black churches in Atlanta, Dallas, and Los Angeles.


What’s kind of disorienting in a great way is that I never felt fully at home in either homogenous setting, thus the title “Insider, Outsider.” I didn’t have the language to articulate it at the time, but my disequilibrium stemmed from the fact that I was a C2 leader (a point I explain in my book, Right Color, Wrong Culture).


Now your question wants me to drill down into how I felt like an insider outsider in the white evangelical space. Naturally, with much of the theology I was taught and exposed to in white evangelicalism, I felt at home—like I was an insider. But there were some aspects where I felt like an outsider, much of which was because I was an ethnic minority in those spaces.


However, I also felt like an outsider because there was this emphasis on individual responsibility to the detriment of systemic culpability. I remember being in Bible college when the Rodney King verdict was read, and being overwhelmed with grief. More crushing was not ...

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https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/83683.jpg?w=460
https://www.amazon.com/Insider-Outsider-Journey-Stranger-Evangelicalism/dp/0310345030
https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2018/october/one-on-one-bryan-loritts-stranger-in-white-evangelicalism-e.html
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http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~4/D0etIq0YOis
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How Pastors Can Leave Well
« Reply #1033 on: October 09, 2018, 01:00:13 AM »
How Pastors Can Leave Well

Five ways to facilitate a healthy ‘goodbye’ when leaving your church.


Leaving places can be difficult. Saying goodbye, even when absolutely necessary, can be really painful—especially for pastors.


After years of one pastor’s investment in a community, quite naturally it’s hard for a congregation to imagine being led by another figure. Likewise, from the pastor’s standpoint, it’s equally as hard to imagine entrusting a church’s care to another person—no matter how qualified that person may be.


In my experience, transitioning from one pastoral role to another doesn’t happen well by accident; it requires thoughtfulness, intentionality, and proper planning. Looking back on my first formal ‘goodbye’ to a church, it’s easy to recognize the many things that I could have done better. There are ways to leave a congregation well and there are ways to leave that often do more harm than good.


Pastors: transitioning away from your church will always be challenging, but it doesn’t have to leave scars on your community. Here are some ways to facilitate a healthy ‘goodbye’:


Let your congregation grieve
Many of the ‘rules’ I share here are being shared because they are things I didn’t do when I left my first church. My first mistake was to underestimate the hurt my congregation would be feeling once they caught wind of my departure.
What I didn’t realize was that as a Father-like figure in the lives of many of my congregants, they felt badly hurt and betrayed by the thought that I was planning to leave them. They had this person (me) in their lives who’d been a steady, heavily invested presence for many years; I completely misunderstood the effect that my goodbye would have on them.
I can vividly ...

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https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/83706.jpg?w=460
https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2018/october/how-pastors-can-leave-well-ed-stetzer-five-points.html
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Partnering Across Denominations
« Reply #1034 on: October 10, 2018, 01:00:11 AM »
Partnering Across Denominations

We can learn from one another and grow together in our love for Christ and the world.


This past summer, we hosted the Amplify North American Evangelism Conference. People from many different denominations were represented, both among the speakers and the participants. Sometimes churches do not play well with other churches from different denominations. But I believe there is value in working with people from other denominations.


We can learn from one another and grow together in our love for Christ and the world.


I’m the head of the North American Lausanne Movement. Lausanne is a global movement co-founded by Rev. Billy Graham and John Stott. I lead the North American region, so I gather people together from many denominations at the Billy Graham Center.


I am not ecumenical in the traditional sense. Such traditional ecumenism tends to find the lowest common denominatintor where people can partner together with all sectors and segments of the church for a common goal. However, I am an evangelical ecumenist, as I’ve described in an earlier article. If we have a common understanding of the gospel, there are some things we can do together, but there are also some things we cannot do together.


For example, Tim Keller is a friend and, to be honest, a role model. We can work well together on many projects. Yet, despite my appreciation for Tim, we can’t plant a church together. We have different views on baptism. We both love Jesus and love the Bible, but we have come to different conclusions about how baptism should be done.


We could plant a church together until the first baptism, and then we wouldn’t know if we needed a cup or a tub. Because that’s important to me theologically, we wouldn’t be able to start a church together.


While we can agree to disagree on issues like baptism, ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/oAkKDzEuCnA/partnering-across-denominations-ed-stetzer.html
https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/83708.jpg?w=460
https://www.amplifyconference.tv/
http://www.lausannena.org/
http://www.billygrahamcenter.org/
https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2017/december/evangelical-ecumenist-what-does-that-even-mean.html
https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2018/october/partnering-across-denominations-ed-stetzer.html
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http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~4/oAkKDzEuCnA
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Time Doesn’t Heal Sexual Assault If Victims Are Silenced
« Reply #1035 on: October 11, 2018, 01:00:14 AM »
Time Doesn’t Heal Sexual Assault If Victims Are Silenced

How churches can help victims decades after assault.


Christine Blasey Ford’s recent testimony added fuel to an already heated discussion on how we should respond to abuse allegations. Regardless of politics, pastor and author Ed Stetzer called for caution in how we speak about abuse so that we don’t harm victims within our own communities. Research confirms that victims stay silent because of a negative community culture toward abuse and often don’t receive emotional support. According to therapist Connie Baker, herself a sexual abuse survivor, our response as a church community can make tragic situations worse or they can help with the healing process.


Rachael Denhollander, the attorney who spearheaded the fight to take down Larry Nassar for sexually abusing hundreds of young female gymnasts, experienced both damaging and healing responses from her church communities. Before she came forward, she recalled the kind of church culture that had previously silenced her.


During a youth group discussion, Denhollander remembers a student asking whether they could consider King David’s misuse of power toward Bathsheba as sexual assault, and their teacher said no, opening the floor for others to give their opinions. (You can read why it is assault from a theological viewpoint here.) A friend of Denhollander’s raised his hand to share: “I think it had to have been her fault, because she could have chosen to die rather than have sex with him.”


“This immediately told me I would be better off dead than a rape victim. And if I didn’t fight to my death, it’s my fault,” Denhollander recalled.


The Impact of Silencing

Research indicates that when abuse victims feel like they can’t or shouldn’t talk about their experiences, ...

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Source: Time Doesn’t Heal Sexual Assault If Victims Are Silenced

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/N1aAUZEYLQU/sexual-abuse-trama-victims-silenced-rachael-denhollander.html
https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/83740.jpg?w=460
https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2018/september/kavanaugh-christian-leaders-to-engage.html
https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/october-web-only/david-was-rapist-abraham-was-sex-trafficker.html
https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/october-web-only/sexual-abuse-trama-victims-silenced-rachael-denhollander.html
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The Technological Discipleship Gap
« Reply #1036 on: October 12, 2018, 01:00:11 AM »
The Technological Discipleship Gap

New digital technologies have potential to either advance the gospel or sow destruction.


In 1988, my wife Donna and I planted our first church in Buffalo.


Many of the issues I confronted in my congregation still exist today. We still struggle with encountering racism and sexism in the pews and in the world. While the drugs might have changed, confronting the prevalence and destruction of addiction is still very much at the center of church life today.


Yet for all the similarities, it is hard to overstate just how much the rapid advance of digital technology and the internet have changed life in and out of the church. Consider two different data points from a Pew tracking poll:


Data Point #1: Cellphone usage has grown from 62% in 2002 to 95% in 2018.


In less than 16 years, cellphone usage has gone from common to essential. We have reached a point where the idea of a person not having a cellphone is foreign.


The introduction of instant communication with anyone at any time and across multiple kinds of mediums changes the way we engage others. Suddenly we are never alone; we carry our friends and family in the palm of our hand.


Data Point #2: Smartphone usage has grown from 35% at their introduction in 2001 to 77% in 2018.


Parallel to cellphones, smartphones have gone from non-existent to seemingly essential. More than just our family and friends, suddenly the entire world is open to us. We are always plugged in, always connected, always presented with endless voices shouting for our attention.


Given these two points, is it surprising that the congregations pastors engage every Sunday are radically different than those I stood in front of in 1988? In my new book, Christians in the Age of Outrage, I argue that this rapid change is one of the main causes for outrage today. We have all these new technologies and online platforms ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/6XbPobVGn7A/technological-discipleship-gap-ed-stetzer-research-social.html
https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/83772.jpg?w=460
http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/
https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2018/october/technological-discipleship-gap-ed-stetzer-research-social.html
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=6XbPobVGn7A:qptcDEsAAJ4:yIl2AUoC8zA
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We Interviewed 20 Christians Who Traveled to North Korea. Now They Can’t.
« Reply #1037 on: October 13, 2018, 01:00:12 AM »
We Interviewed 20 Christians Who Traveled to North Korea. Now They Can’t.

About 70 faith-based groups must surmount legal hurdles to engage the restrictive nation.


It’s been a year since the Trump administration banned Americans—including most humanitarian workers—from North Korea, following the death of Otto Warmbier, an American university student whose imprisonment left him in a vegetative state. Last month, the administration renewed the ban for a second year. Since its implementation, the State Department has granted a special travel passport only in “extremely limited circumstances.”


While containing Pyongyang’s military ambitions, taking a normative stand against human rights violations, and protecting Americans abroad are commendable policy objectives, the travel ban limits humanitarian and economic projects that connect North Koreans with the outside world. Particularly impacted are nearly 70 faith-based organizations (FBOs), most of them Christian, which during the past two decades have legally channeled hundreds of (mostly volunteer) workers and thousands of tourists to North Korea, officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). They originate from the United States (e.g., Christian Friends of Korea), Canada (Reah International), Finland (Fida International), Germany (Christliches Missionswerk Joshua), and South Korea (Eugene Bell Foundation Korea, Green Tree International), among other countries. As a Korean American political science professor, I (Yi) interviewed more than 20 workers and tourists, mostly US citizens, linked with faith-based organizations.


The FBO workers and volunteers, whom I interviewed, acknowledge the complications of international tourism to the DPRK and urge would-be tourists to exercise prudence and follow applicable laws. At the same time, they also highlight many positive developments in North ...

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Source: We Interviewed 20 Christians Who Traveled to North Korea. Now They Can’t.

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/VrrU0OVsJP4/interviewed-christians-travel-ban-to-north-korea.html
https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/83741.jpg?w=460
https://northkoreaexposed.com/
https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/october-web-only/interviewed-christians-travel-ban-to-north-korea.html
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=VrrU0OVsJP4:Ti34gUCpFU4:yIl2AUoC8zA
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http://www.1faith.co.uk/family-home-forum/?action=post

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How Churches Can Spot and Stop Human Trafficking After Hurricane Michael
« Reply #1038 on: October 14, 2018, 01:00:12 AM »
How Churches Can Spot and Stop Human Trafficking After Hurricane Michael

Christians are uniquely poised to help in the wake of disaster.


Now that Hurricane Michael has struck, a mass influx of people will start pouring into Florida to step into the vacuum of needs created by the storm. But the dark reality is that not all are there to help. Some will likely be human traffickers ready to swoop in and exploit the vulnerable.


The significant damage, mass displacement of survivors, and influx of outsiders following disasters often fuels the demand for sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Traffickers often hide under the cover of rescue work and even law enforcement, obscuring their true intentions until it’s too late for victims to protect themselves.


Despite the countless challenges to anti-trafficking efforts, Christians are uniquely poised to help in the wake of disaster because our churches’ community ties and relationships with the vulnerable.


Further, as Christians, we are called (Ps. 41:1) to help those in need, and where there is a major disaster—the threat of trafficking looms—clearly the need is great. Here’s how to spot vulnerable survivors more at risk for trafficking and steps to take to help stop it from occurring.


Spotting survivors at risk for trafficking


If you want to help prevent traffickers from exploiting the vulnerable and help people who are already trapped in this web, start by learning how to spot the signs of trafficking. People displaced by the event often lack depth of community and roots in their new location, which makes them more vulnerable to trafficking.


When people are struggling to meet basic needs, like food, water, and housing, they can be more easily coerced or deceived by people offering to help meet those needs. Traffickers often try and lure displaced survivors with job offers or free housing ...

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Source: How Churches Can Spot and Stop Human Trafficking After Hurricane Michael

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/tclTv2KDy1s/churches-spot-and-stop-human-trafficking-after-hurricanes.html
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https://www.biblestudytools.com/psalms/41-1.html
https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2018/october/churches-spot-and-stop-human-trafficking-after-hurricanes.html
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=tclTv2KDy1s:-d5f3b_pUcg:yIl2AUoC8zA
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Training Inmates for Ministry Inside Maximum Security Prisons
« Reply #1039 on: Yesterday at 01:00:12 AM »
Training Inmates for Ministry Inside Maximum Security Prisons

Not unlike closed mission fields, this population needs acculturated ministers.


Maximum security prisons, although located inside the United States, are a world apart, and are akin to a closed mission field.


The barriers enacted to ensure security are much like the prohibitive borders of a foreign country, preventing outside access to a world radically different from the one beyond the walls. Furthermore, the culture of prison is an alien one, replete with foodways, folkways, language, and behavioral expectations that define an alternative way of life requiring years of acclimation before one can begin to understand the unique challenges faced by the incarcerated.


Although the church is called to minister to the prisoner (i.e. Matt. 25:31-25 and Heb.13:3), accessing them is no easy feat. There are forms to be completed, security screenings to pass, guards at the gate and throughout the cellblocks, and a host of security features that limit in-depth relationships.


Once inside, the amount of time and access is limited, and understanding prison culture in a sufficient manner to translate the gospel into the inmate’s context can take years. In short, fulfilling the call is difficult for those entering from the outside.


Taking a cue from contemporary missiology, Christian universities and seminaries have begun envisioning a new way of reaching those inside such closed worlds.


Missiologist Ray Bakke has long contended that the ideal way to reach an indigenous population is not to import foreign missionaries, but rather to train and equip local leaders for the task. This way, the steep learning curve of acculturation is bypassed. Those who already understand the unique vagaries of life inside an alien culture already have many of the skills required to reach their fellow citizens, lacking only the training ...

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Source: Training Inmates for Ministry Inside Maximum Security Prisons

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/URG4MqXvdE4/training-inmates-ministry-inside-maximum-security-prisons.html
https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/83775.jpg?w=460
https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2018/october/training-inmates-ministry-inside-maximum-security-prisons.html
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=URG4MqXvdE4:pDdCTfLYCBY:yIl2AUoC8zA
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=yIl2AUoC8zA
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=URG4MqXvdE4:pDdCTfLYCBY:F7zBnMyn0Lo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?i=URG4MqXvdE4:pDdCTfLYCBY:F7zBnMyn0Lo
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=URG4MqXvdE4:pDdCTfLYCBY:V_sGLiPBpWU
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?i=URG4MqXvdE4:pDdCTfLYCBY:V_sGLiPBpWU
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=URG4MqXvdE4:pDdCTfLYCBY:qj6IDK7rITs
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=qj6IDK7rITs
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=URG4MqXvdE4:pDdCTfLYCBY:gIN9vFwOqvQ
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?i=URG4MqXvdE4:pDdCTfLYCBY:gIN9vFwOqvQ
http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=URG4MqXvdE4:pDdCTfLYCBY:bcOpcFrp8Mo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?d=bcOpcFrp8Mo
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~4/URG4MqXvdE4
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