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[Cfamily]EFCA Now Considers Premillennialism a Non-Essential
« Reply #1376 on: August 29, 2019, 07:16:41 AM »

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EFCA Now Considers Premillennialism a Non-Essential

The denomination drops end times doctrine from its statement of faith in a move to “major on the majors” and “minor on the minors.”

The Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) changed its position on end times theology, voting this summer to drop the word “premillennial” from the denomination’s statement of faith.

Many of the 350,000 people who belong to EFCA churches still believe Jesus will return to earth to reign as king for 1,000 years, but the denomination no longer considers that doctrine essential to the gospel.

An internal document explaining the rationale for the change says premillennialism “is clearly a minority position among evangelical believers.” Premillennialism has been a “denominational distinctive” for the EFCA, according to the document, but shouldn’t be overemphasized.

“The thought was, we must either stop saying we are a denomination that majors on the majors … and minors on the minors, or we must stop requiring premillennialism as the one and only eschatological position,” said Greg Strand, EFCA executive director of theology, in an interview with Ed Stetzer.

The revised statement says, “We believe in the personal, bodily and glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Whether or not Jesus will set up a literal kingdom on earth for a millennium is left to individual discretion.

The EFCA has been considering the change for more than a decade. John Woodbridge, a professor of church history at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS), the ECFA-affiliated seminary in Deerfield, Illinois, spoke in favor of the shift back in 2008.

“People really saw high stakes in the move. One person of great stature told me that if you give up premillennialism, you will give up biblical inerrancy,” Woodbridge told CT. “For me, I never made that connection. ...

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[Cfamily]Beyond the Outrage: Helping Christians Be Their Best
« Reply #1377 on: August 30, 2019, 07:09:04 AM »
Beyond the Outrage: Helping Christians Be Their Best

I have a new six-week study guide to help you navigate our increasingly polarized culture.

We live in a culture saturated in anger, polarization, and tribalism. Every day, there is a new event that ignites a firestorm on social media, in our community, and even across the dinner table.

These cycles seem to be getting shorter and more intense with each passing month. For reference, go and look at the headlines in newspapers from a year ago. The stories that evoked mixtures of shock and vitriol are distant memories even as the scars and broken relationships from the insults hurled remain.

It is not that these events weren’t important. For many, these events had a massive impact even as the rest of the world moved on.

Rather, it seems our world only knows one way to respond to issues so as to treat them as significant: outrage. Nuance, empathy, and exchange are interpreted as weakness. The only way we can convey the importance is by shouting over the crowd. Secure within the echo chambers of our carefully crafted social media feeds, our society seems to be unnervingly willing to demonize anyone outside their walls.

Temptations to Rage

Faced with this anger, it is alarming to watch how easily Christians willfully—if not gleefully—join in. When the volume begins to rise, we match the intensity. More than outliers, I’m convinced we’ve become progressively desensitized to the way we casually and broadly dismiss others. Rather than heed James’ warning, we are quick to anger, refuse to listen, and reserve our love for those who pass certain litmus tests.

As I argued in Christians in the Age of Outrage,

Outrage is motivated by a desire to punish or destroy rather than reconcile and refine. It is frequently accompanied by hubris and a confidence in its judgement, categorically rejecting any nuance. ...

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Source: Beyond the Outrage: Helping Christians Be Their Best

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[Cfamily]The Five Heart Hopes: How God Speaks the Love Language of Our Souls
« Reply #1378 on: August 31, 2019, 07:38:27 AM »
The Five Heart Hopes: How God Speaks the Love Language of Our Souls

God speaks into the unique longings deep within each of us.

I was a newly married man when I first heard the phrase ‘The Five Love Languages.’

The concept put so much into perspective for me, both for myself and for my understanding of how to love my wife. I’m grateful that I encountered Dr. Gary Chapman’s simple little test that has helped me to see why I need ‘words of affirmation’ in order to feel loved. I understand that my words of affirmation to my wife, however, fall flat and that she doesn’t feel love from me in the same way I do.

My wife feels my love when I share ‘acts of service’ with her and my son through ‘quality time’ and my daughters through ‘gifts,’ (of course!). The point is that we all need love—we crave it—but we experience it deep in our souls through different ways. Dr. Chapman has helped the world understand this through a simple and powerful construct—the Five Love Languages!

I believe that there is an associated concept to the Five Love Languages that can be equally powerful when it comes to helping people experience God’s love. God, in fact, is fluent in our love language and is striving to make himself known to us in a way that is radically oriented around our deepest soul longing.

I believe that every single one of us has a love language and that God speaks it to us in a way that we can understand. In many ways, we cry out to God through our love language with what I call our ‘Heart Hope.’

A Heart Hope is a specific type of longing that is associated with our love language. It is the question behind the question, the drive that fuels our lives and, as you probably guessed, there are five of them!

I believe these Five Heart Hopes drive us and our ...

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Source: The Five Heart Hopes: How God Speaks the Love Language of Our Souls

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[Cfamily]What Majority-World Missions Really Looks Like
« Reply #1379 on: September 01, 2019, 07:32:01 AM »
What Majority-World Missions Really Looks Like

Christians from the Global South are invigorating international missions. Here's how.

Beauty Ndoro and her husband had been living among and serving the residents of slums outside Harare, the capital city of their native Zimbabwe, when they unexpectedly received a letter from Los Angeles–based missions organization Servant Partners. The letter said Servant Partners felt led to recruit Africans to serve in Mexico. They had gone online to search for like-minded ministers in Africa—and came across Ndoro and her husband.

The couple had considered serving in another southern African country. Ndoro’s husband felt a burden for Tibet. But Mexico? That had never crossed their minds. They ignored the letter. Servant Partners persisted, sending two more letters over the next six months.

Lisa Engdahl, co-general director of Servant Partners, says they typically search far and wide for missionaries willing to serve in the world’s poorest communities. “We are always trying to recruit a breadth of people because of the demands of our work,” she told me. “Our teams have looked to diversify as much as possible.” The recruitment of Ndoro and her husband was a recognition that “there are many strong, godly leaders in the African church whom God is calling into cross-cultural ministry.”

“I wasn’t sure if God wanted me to move so far from family, to go to a different culture,” Ndoro told me. “I didn’t know any Spanish, and my daughter was only two years old.” But then she started receiving confirmation from others. “I hear ‘Mexico’ and God’s calling upon your life,” they told her.

Eventually, it became clear that Mexico was where God intended them to go. “I had my own fears, but I was so excited,” ...

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Source: What Majority-World Missions Really Looks Like

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[Cfamily]Four Investments that Lead to Missional Power
« Reply #1380 on: September 02, 2019, 07:22:26 AM »
Four Investments that Lead to Missional Power

Jesus gives us a masterclass on missionary living through his own example in John 4.

People make investments constantly. Not only financial investments; all of life is an investment. We invest time, energy, passion and mental space in the things and people we love. Whatever we prioritize is highlighted with fluorescent colors in the investments that we choose to make. Football masterfully illustrates this reality. Around North America, people invest massive time, energy and resources in their favorite team. Our practices follow our passions.

The same reality should be demonstrated in disciple-making as well. If Jesus is the true God who is worthy of the worship of all people, and if the way people will know this truth is through the testimony of kingdom-disciples, then an evangelistic passion should naturally characterize God’s people. The priorities of our lives should be marked by evangelistic investments. But how are these investments made? Many of us are missionally stuck and our disciple-making passion has leaked out long ago. We want to be faithful, but we now have little internal orientation. Here is some good news: Jesus gives us a masterclass on missionary living through his own example.

John 4 speaks of four necessary strategic investments.

1. Invest Intentionally

First, Jesus has a clear plan. He culturally veered light-years out of the way to enter Samaria—a path that was unheard of for respectable Jews of his day. From there, he was intentional to head to a hub of activity. The local well was a third place [1]where Jesus could do more than simply satisfy his personal thirst but could spiritually engage with those who came by. The notorious “Samaritan woman” couldn’t miss him. Though she was trying to avoid any uncomfortable social interaction, she was now destined ...

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[Cfamily]One-on-One with Todd Chipman on ‘Until Every Child Is Home’
« Reply #1381 on: September 03, 2019, 07:10:53 AM »
One-on-One with Todd Chipman on ‘Until Every Child Is Home’

“Orphan care ministries provide church leaders an opportunity to exemplify the gospel for their congregations and to the world.”

Ed: Why are you a passionate advocate for adoption and foster care ministry?

Todd: I see orphans through the lens of Scripture. At its core, the New Testament is God’s revelation of himself in Christ to forgive the sins of people from all ethnicities, establishing them as a special body, the church, to display to the world what he has done for them.

In my definition, I did not use the word “adoption.” Adoption is referenced in key doctrinal passages like Romans 8 and Ephesians 1, but my point here is that the idea of adoption is a ministry that squares with the macro themes of the New Testament.

The fact that I am adopted and an adoptive parent also compels me. My birth mom was in her late teens when she met my biological dad at a party. She gave me up for adoption and my parents adopted me when I was one month old.

Some adopted kids really struggle when they find out the facts of their birth history. Not me. So, when my wife, Julie, and I were dating I shared about being adopted and said that someday I would like to pass along what I had received.

In 2014, our oldest biological child went to college and we had an empty bedroom. That same month we found out about Focus on the Family’s Wait No More ministry that connects churches with kids in the foster-care system whose parental rights have been severed.

We completed the foster and adoption training required by the state and welcomed our two new daughters into our family in 2016.

Ed: What was it like for you to adopt children within in the context of your church?

Todd: The adoption of our children has helped our church ministry so much! When God began to burden Julie and me to become foster parents, we told church leaders about God’s leading in our ...

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Source: One-on-One with Todd Chipman on ‘Until Every Child Is Home’

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Re: Christian family - family and home topics
« Reply #1382 on: September 03, 2019, 11:01:27 AM »
Four Investments that Lead to Missional Power

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Invest with Power

Jesus? encounter demonstrated his reliance on the power of his Father. Jesus, himself, was the power of God bundled in human flesh, yet he voluntarily abandoned his heavenly status as he remained in constant connection to his divine Source. He knew that his Father?s power would flow muscularly through this interaction. He knew that the years of sinful bondage that imprisoned this Samaritan woman could not be broken without the power of God. This was not a superficial battle. It never is.

Do we understand our need for the same power? All those who are in Christ have the Spirit of God dwelling inside them and are given the promise of his authority (Matt 28:18-20). If this same power lives in us?the power that raised Jesus from the dead?then we should move into evangelistic encounters with bold confidence believing that God wants the lost saved, the broken healed, and the wounded restored. His kingdom come.

We know we will invest in what matters to us. The question this leaves would-be disciples is, ?What matters to us??

What a load of cobblers.
 We are not Jesus.
We do not have the same relationship with God.

All we can do is believe that we are serving him in the area we are and be faithfull.

We do not have the authority to cause God to act unlike Jesus we do not know whether God will use our efforts.


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Big Daddy Weave Frontman ‘Blown Away’ That His Song Led to Murder Confession

The Christian chart-topper “Redeemed” brought spiritual freedom for a man now serving a life sentence.

A Tennessee man was recently dealt two sentences: freedom in Christ and life in prison.

In a murder trial last Friday, defendant Danny Holmes opened with a 20-minute testimony where he confessed to killing a man three years ago and then he recounted his spiritual transformation in prison since then, the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal reported.

Instrumental to his confession was the song “Redeemed” by Christian rock band Big Daddy Weave. He brought the lyrics in a notebook to court.

Mike Weaver, the band’s eponymous lead singer, told CT he was “blown away” when he learned how God used his band’s music in Holmes’ life.

“Over the last handful of years, so many stories have come from God using that song,” said Weaver, who lives north of Nashville in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, just 33 miles from the site of Holmes’ crime in Murfreesboro. “It is a message that is so dear to [God’s] heart.”

The song emphasizes redemption and Christ’s work to free us from our past sins and past selves. The line that sealed the deal for Holmes came from the first verse: “Then you look at this prisoner and say to me, Son, stop fighting a fight that's already been won.’”

Holmes accepted his life sentence and vowed to serve the Lord and spread the gospel while behind bars. “I’m 30 years old, and I’ve been fighting for nothing all my life. I’ve been fighting for gangs,” Holmes said in court. “I ain’t never fought for anything that made sense. But I knew the Lord was telling me to fight for him this time. I just knew he was stirring on my spirit."

Weaver said he and “Redeemed” co-writer Benji Cowart ...

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Source: Big Daddy Weave Frontman ‘Blown Away’ That His Song Led to Murder Confession

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