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[Cfamily]New HHS Rule Protects Pro-Life Health Care Workers
« Reply #1256 on: May 07, 2019, 01:00:09 AM »

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New HHS Rule Protects Pro-Life Health Care Workers

UPDATE: Under Trump, federal policy keeps shifting away from abortion rights in favor of religious conscience protections.


Update (May 2): A year after establishing a new division to safeguard health care workers’ freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, the Trump Administration has formalized protections for those who decline to participate in certain medical treatments like abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide due to their faith or moral convictions.


The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed the new rule last January (see below) and issued a final version in a 440-page document on Thursday. The policy is meant to provide stronger protections and more guidance around enforcing conscience protections passed by Congress, according to HHS.


“This rule ensures that healthcare entities and professionals won’t be bullied out of the health care field because they decline to participate in actions that violate their conscience, including the taking of human life,” said Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office of Civil Rights and former legal council with the religious liberty group Becket Fund. “Protecting conscience and religious freedom not only fosters greater diversity in healthcare, it’s the law.”


This updated policy represents a major religious freedom victory, particularly for pro-life evangelicals who fear being forced to violate their conscience on the issue of abortion.


In a Barna Group survey released last month, the issue of “religious hospitals being required to perform abortions and other services they deem to violate their religious convictions” was US faith leaders’ top religious freedom concern (71% deeming it a “major or extreme” threat). A majority also worried about “religious organizations being required to provide healthcare ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/6cvA-fpL3vQ/hhs-division-conscience-protections-prolife-abortion-trump.html
https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/80583.png?w=460
https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2019/05/02/hhs-announces-final-conscience-rule-protecting-health-care-entities-and-individuals.html
https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/final-conscience-rule.pdf
https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2018/january/hhs-division-conscience-protections-prolife-abortion-trump.html
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CFamily

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[Cfamily]The Life of “Be”: Remembering Warren Wiersbe
« Reply #1257 on: May 08, 2019, 01:00:08 AM »
The Life of “Be”: Remembering Warren Wiersbe

Today many are mourning the loss of another brilliant man of God, a faithful pastor and Bible teacher.


Billy Graham. David Hesselgrave. Lamin Sanneh. Nabeel Qureshi. Bob Buford. R. C. Sproul. Elisabeth Elliot. We’ve lost some incredible leaders in the past few years, great minds who contributed much to evangelicalism and who committed their lives in humble service to God.


Today I, along with many, are mourning the loss of another impactful leader: Warren Wiersbe. Much of his texts and sermons have helped form how I think and how I teach the Bible.


Indeed, he was one of evangelicalism’s giants, but to the people of The Moody Church, he was their beloved pastor.


You can read the tribute from his grandson here. Also, Erwin Lutzer is pastor emeritus of The Moody Church and he has already written a moving tribute. However, as someone who was influenced by his writing, and now serve an interim role at his former church, let me add a bit to their helpful reflections.


Weirsbe at Moody


In September 2016, I preached my first sermon as interim teaching pastor at Moody Church in Chicago. Extraordinary preachers like Moody, Torrey, Ironside, and Lutzer have stood in this pulpit. Yet the one I engaged with the most in my life, primarily through his writings, was Warren Wiersbe.


Even today as I enter the sanctuary, people regularly mention him, his preaching, and his influence in their lives. The warmth of their love for Wiersbe is evident to this day.


Wiersbe is perhaps best known for his “Be” series, a series of 50 books from Be Real to Be Joyful, but it was his faithful preaching of God’s word that helped The Moody Church be a church God called them to be.


Writing over 160 books, Wiersbe’s name fills church libraries and campus bookstores. His devotional preaching still remain central to thousands of churches’ ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/lpW4igTp_b8/life-of-be-remembering-life-of-warren-wiersbe.html
https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/90528.jpg?w=460
http://djacobsen.com/blog/2019/5/2/be-remembered-reflections-on-my-grandfather
https://www.moodymedia.org/blog/2019/05/warren-wiersbe-tribute/
https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2019/may/life-of-be-remembering-life-of-warren-wiersbe.html
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CFamily

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[Cfamily]Reflecting on Rachel: Why She Mattered
« Reply #1258 on: May 09, 2019, 01:00:08 AM »
Reflecting on Rachel: Why She Mattered

Watching the reaction to RHE's death has reminded me that we need to be a safe place for people who wander, and for people who wonder. 


Yesterday, Beth Moore tweeted:



 

Thinking what it was about @rachelheldevans that could cause many on other sides of issues to take their hats off to her in her death. People are run rife with grief for her babies, yes. But also I think part of it is that, in an era of gross hypocrisy, she was alarmingly honest.



I noticed the same thing—people everywhere, from multiple streams of thought and faith, were expressing personal grief and often showing her honor.


Like many others, I am praying for Dan and her small children. But, I’m also reflecting a bit on her influence and our interactions.


Rachel Held Evans mattered in many ways to many people, of course, but I think she also mattered to evangelicals and evangelicalism, and it’s worth some time to reflect on those realities.


Influence


Rachel trended on Twitter for a long time the last few days. It started with #PrayforRHE and then shifted to #BecauseofRHE. The comments were often moving, often from people hurt by the church—particularly evangelical churches.


For many, Rachel Held Evans was a trailblazer. To them, she served as a model of what it means to question seriously what one believes when they need to and to take the time to discover the answers, no matter how long that may take.


She was a hero to many— a woman of valor.


She held the baton high for important issues the church and culture are wrestling with today—issues of gender, race, even socio-economic status—and encouraged many to wrestle with doubts, fears, and inequalities. And she pushed those of us who thought differently, encouraging us to wrestle with our assertions.


We’d do well to ask why she mattered to so many—and I will address that in a bit. But, let me first ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/2UCmqP732uk/reflecting-on-rhe.html
https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/90545.png?w=460
https://twitter.com/rachelheldevans
https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2019/may/reflecting-on-rhe.html
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CFamily

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[Cfamily]Russian Evangelicals Penalized Most Under Anti-Evangelism Law
« Reply #1259 on: May 10, 2019, 01:00:12 AM »
Russian Evangelicals Penalized Most Under Anti-Evangelism Law

The tight restrictions on minority faiths have increasingly gotten Protestants in trouble and continue to raise concerns over religious freedom.


Following Russia’s ban on Jehovah’s Witnesses, evangelical Protestants have become the most-punished group under the country’s controversial “anti-missionary” laws.


More than half of all cases of alleged violations last year were against evangelicals. Of the 159 individuals and organizations prosecuted for demonstrating their faith in public, 50 were Pentecostals and 39 were Baptists, according to analysis by Forum 18, a news service covering religious freedom issues in Russia and surrounding countries.


So far this year, Russian authorities interrupted a Baptist worship service in April and charged its 71-year-old pastor with illegal missionary activity. In January, two Baptists were punished for discussing their faith at a bus stop.


The 2016 Yarovaya laws ban Russians from inviting outsiders to join their faith, even online or in their own homes, unless they have a government permit through a registered religious organization, and even then they can only evangelize in designated churches and religious sites.


Evangelicals in the former Soviet country say that even as many Christians outside the state-affiliated Russian Orthodox Church heed the restrictions, violators are more likely to face punishment when charged by authorities. The fines start at 5,000 rubles for individuals (~$75) and at least 50,000 rubles ($750) for organizations.


“Believers are afraid to carry the Word of God to the masses, because they fear fines,” Pentecostal Union lawyer Vladimir Ozolin told Forum 18. “As ever, law enforcement agencies assume that any church activity is missionary activity, which is certainly not true.”


For some Protestant Christians, the rules have turned into a no-win situation: ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/vLeOjl9r314/russian-evangelicals-anti-missionary-fined-yarovaya-law.html
https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/90557.jpg?w=460
https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2017/april/russia-bans-jehovahs-witnesses.html
http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2474
https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2016/june/no-evangelizing-outside-of-church-russia-proposes.html
https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/may/russian-evangelicals-anti-missionary-fined-yarovaya-law.html
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[Cfamily]Asia Bibi Finally Leaves Pakistan for Canada
« Reply #1260 on: May 11, 2019, 01:00:12 AM »
Asia Bibi Finally Leaves Pakistan for Canada

Months after escaping a death sentence, the Pakistani Christian will live with her family in safety again.


Asia Bibi has finally escaped the country where her life was at risk for nearly a decade. The Pakistani Christian will join her family in Canada, according to reports from media and her lawyer.


In Pakistan’s most-watched persecution case, Bibi spent more than eight years in prison on blasphemy charges and faced the death penalty. After she was exonerated last year, she could not live freely in her home country since she was at risk of attacks by rogue clerics calling for vigilante justice; more than 50 people charged with blasphemy have been murdered there.


Bibi, now in her 50s, is a mother of five, and two of her daughters had already moved to Canada for asylum. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he wishes Bibi “all the best” after being “safely reunited with her family,” CNN reported.


Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), which has advocated for Bibi, stated that while they celebrate for her and her family, they acknowledge the ongoing threats.


“Today is also a day tinged with great sadness as we remember those others who are still incarcerated or unjustly accused under the Blasphemy Laws today, as well as those who sacrificed so much for Asia Bibi,” said Neville Kyrke-Smith, ACN’s UK national director. “Our prayers and our work will continue in commitment to help all those who are unjustly accused by radical fundamentalists and who cannot practice their Christian faith freely.”


Bibi’s case, which made it all the way to the country’s Supreme Court, stems from an alleged incident in 2009, when she got in a dispute with two Muslim coworkers who refused to take water from her since she was Christian. Afterward, she had been accused of blasphemy against the ...

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/UXkGYox2gG8/asia-bibi-finally-leaves-pakistan-canada-blasphemy-asylum.html
https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/90576.jpg?w=460
https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/january/asia-bibi-free-leave-pakistan-supreme-court-review-petition.html
https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/08/asia/asia-bibi-canada-intl/index.html
https://mailchi.mp/acnuk/breaking-news-asia-bibi?e=230f4d4564
https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/may/asia-bibi-finally-leaves-pakistan-canada-blasphemy-asylum.html
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[Cfamily]RE: Rachel Held Evans
« Reply #1261 on: May 12, 2019, 01:00:10 AM »
RE: Rachel Held Evans

Our publishing process was less than perfect.


Rachel Held Evans continues to be a force to reckon with even after her untimely death—such is clear after the reactions to John Stonestreet’s tribute that appeared on CT on Monday. We acknowledge that our process in publishing was flawed.


When we learned of her illness, we began seeking an essay that could balance two concerns—to properly honor her without pretending she didn’t have significant disagreements with important CT distinctives. While seeking potential writers, women especially, Stonestreet’s essay showed up in my inbox. It intrigued me.


Among other things, I thought he was spot-on in saying things like:



 

If Twitter were an Olympic sport, Rachel Held Evans would’ve been a gold medalist.


 

Rachel [was] one of the most formidable progressive thinkers and writers of this generation.


 

Rachel sent me a signed copy of her first book. … On the title page, she wrote, “For John, one of my best teachers.”



Added to this was some of his personal history with her, which helped me appreciate her upbringing, her family, and her journey. In addition, I’ve heard stories of how she helped so many grapple with their faith, as well as her continual focus on Jesus. Evans was admired by many for good reasons. When I finished Stonestreet’s piece, I came away thinking he deeply respected and admired Evans despite their serious differences.


But as I re-read the piece later, I realized there were problems I should have caught. We now see that what was intended to be a tribute came across as overly negative and not framed well. Stonestreet’s piece was well-intentioned, but one of the jobs of an editor is to help authors see how their piece will read to a larger audience. I failed ...

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Source: RE: Rachel Held Evans

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/Sj8kp9-4jkc/re-rachel-held-evans.html
https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/90583.jpg?w=460
https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2019/may-web-only/re-rachel-held-evans.html
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[Cfamily]From Venezuela to Peru
« Reply #1262 on: May 13, 2019, 01:00:09 AM »
From Venezuela to Peru

How One Majority World Church is Receiving Migrants from Venezuela


Passersby on the walking street in Peru were speaking in what could be described as a sing-song dialect; the speakers were taller, leaner, and of darker complexion than most of the people who normally passed by.


This was 2016, and as a frequent visitor to Peru, I began to take note of a growing number of Venezuelans in the streets of one of Peru’s larger cities. The year 2017 brought a marked increase, and by May of 2018 the signs of Venezuelan diaspora were everywhere—Venezuelan flags flying above restaurants, street vendors with their flag drawn on to the cooler chests which held frozen treats, and barber shops with the tri-color of blue, red, and yellow.


Peru and Venezuela are nearly identical in terms of demographics and response to the gospel. Both have populations of about 30 million, both are about 3.1% evangelical and that evangelical population is growing at a rate of 3.2% in Venezuela and 4.2% in Peru (Operation World).


A great difference between the two is the rate at which people are leaving Venezuela. During the Chavez years, there was migration out of the country as people left for a variety of reasons. In 2005, for example, 437,000 people left Venezuela for various parts of the world, but mostly North America.


As the economy of Venezuela has deteriorated, Peru has become a destination of convenience.In 2015, just over 2,000 people entered Peru from Venezuela; significant for a small neighbor, but nothing like the 354,000 who arrived in 2018 (Migration Trends, 2018).


I traveled to Peru in March of this year and asked a ministry colleague if he could locate refugees and pastors who would be willing to tell their stories.


Our interviewees were in a secondary city of Peru and a far cry from the capitol of ...

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Source: From Venezuela to Peru

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[Cfamily]Enter His Kitchen With Thanksgiving and His Pantry with Praise
« Reply #1263 on: May 14, 2019, 01:00:12 AM »
Enter His Kitchen With Thanksgiving and His Pantry with Praise

This Mother’s Day and every day, feeding my kids is an opportunity for prayer.


In recent months, a number of my friends have become converts to the way of the Instant Pot. As I’ve listened to them share the many ways in which Instant Pot cooking makes their lives easier, I’ve found myself wondering: What is it about life today that makes those with an Instant Pot so very grateful for this gadget? Conversely, what makes those of us without one imagine that it could solve every meal-making crisis that we face?


This Mother’s Day, like every day, a lot of women in my demographic face an ongoing quandary: Our ability to tend to the home is often compromised by the pace of life that many of us are living, the norms that we’re trying to uphold, and the multiple callings to which we’re trying to be faithful. Despite our sincere desire to treasure the ordinary and embrace the quotidian, it often feels like the caregiving parts of our calling get relegated to the cracks and margins in our lives. And yet Scripture’s invitations—to “give thanks in all circumstances” and “pray continually” (1 Thess. 5:17–18)—apply as much to those cracks and margins as to any area of our lives. How, then, do we pray and “practice the presence of God” in the midst of these daily pressures?


I’ve found this struggle especially poignant in the context of daily lunch-making. I would buy an Instant Pot in a minute if it could make my kids’ school lunches for me. As I wash grapes and roll up slices of turkey, I can feel welling up inside me the need to do something more productive, the sense that my time would be better spent cranking out emails, and the desire to get this done as fast as humanly possible.


The pressure to squeeze lunch-making ...

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Source: Enter His Kitchen With Thanksgiving and His Pantry with Praise

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