Author Topic: Christian family - family and home topics  (Read 633586 times)

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« Reply #1616 on: April 17, 2020, 01:00:11 AM »

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Cleared of Landmines for Easter, Jesus’ Baptism Site Now Closed by COVID-19

Chain reaction explosions clear path to the churches on Israel’s side of John the Baptist’s Jordan River ministry.

For over 50 years, Jesus’ baptismal site was a casualty of war.

Now, it is a casualty of the new coronavirus.

Last week in time for Easter, the UK-based demining specialist HALO Trust group exploded in chain reaction the final 500 landmines at Israel’s Qasr al-Yahud monastery complex.

“We got the churches together, all eight different denominations, and then we got the Israelis and the Palestinians,” HALO Trust CEO James Cowan told the BBC.

“So all three major faiths, and we looked at how we could do this.”

Located six miles east of Jericho on the Jordan River, “Bethany beyond the Jordan” in 1968 was placed by Israel under military jurisdiction following the Six Day War. Fearing terrorist infiltration across the shallow riverbed, the army laid over 6,000 landmines and booby-trapped the churches.

Israel declared peace with Jordan in 1995, but the area remained closed.

In 2011, it was partially reopened, allowing access along one narrow path between the Jordan River and the Greek Orthodox St. John the Baptist Monastery.

And in 2016, HALO Trust, which works in 27 nations around the world, announced it would begin demining efforts. Funding issues caused a two-year delay.

Significant progress began in March 2018, after securing the necessary $4.6 million ($2 million of which was provided by the Israeli government).

By year’s end, CT reported that 800,000 pilgrims visited the not-yet-fully-demined complex. In 2019, CT reported how Christian rapper Lecrae was one of them and provided information on the ecological concerns surrounding the Jordan River.

Qasr al-Yahud—“the Castle of the Jews” in Arabic—is located at the traditional location of the Jews crossing into ...

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Source: Cleared of Landmines for Easter, Jesus’ Baptism Site Now Closed by COVID-19

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[Cfamily]Federal Government Backs Churches in Drive-In Worship Fight
« Reply #1618 on: April 19, 2020, 01:00:15 AM »
Federal Government Backs Churches in Drive-In Worship Fight

Attorney general speaks out against coronavirus restrictions that apply to worship but not other similar activities—like fast-food parking lots.

This week, the Justice Department took the rare step of weighing in on the side of a Mississippi Christian church where local officials had tried to stop Holy Week services being broadcast to congregants sitting in their cars in the parking lot.

As the coronavirus pandemic spread, leaders at Temple Baptist Church in Greenville began holding drive-in services for their congregation on a short-wave radio frequency from inside an empty church save for the preacher.

Arthur Scott, the 82-year-old pastor, said Tuesday that it was a good compromise for his group, a “wonderful way to preach the gospel and still it’s like they are there, but you can’t go out and see them, but you know they’re there.”

The federal involvement adds to the rising tension over reconciling religious freedom with public health restrictions designed to fight the pandemic, disputes that are playing out along the same partisan lines that mark the nation’s overall divide.

Greenville city leaders argue the services violate stay-at-home orders and could have put people’s lives in jeopardy. Church officials believe they have been singled out for their religion, especially after eight police officers were sent last week to ticket the faithful, $500 apiece, for attending services, including the pastor’s wife.

“We haven’t missed one Sunday in 45 years,” Scott said. “We love our people. This is a way we can preach to them. We’re afraid of the coronavirus as much as anybody else. And if we thought we were putting our people in danger at all, we wouldn’t do this.”

Even after the mayor said Monday they would not have to pay the fines, the church is pursuing a lawsuit saying their First ...

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[Cfamily]Di Italia, Saya Telah Menemukan Kembali Kekuatan Tiga Jenis Doa
« Reply #1619 on: April 20, 2020, 01:00:20 AM »
Di Italia, Saya Telah Menemukan Kembali Kekuatan Tiga Jenis Doa

Mazmur ratapan terasa hiperbolik sebelum COVID-19. Tetapi di tengah 22,000 kematian, gereja saya yang terkunci di Roma beresonansi dengan David lebih dari sebelumnya.

Pandemi COVID-19 telah mengubah cara orang-orang Kristen Italia berdoa dan menghayati iman mereka, di tengah sebuah bangsa yang terhuyung-huyung dari lebih dari 22,000 kematian di antara 169,000 kasus yang dikonfirmasi, nomor tua setelah Amerika Serikat [pada 16 April].

Selama lockdown, kita tidak dapat lagi berkumpul pada hari Minggu atau dalam kelompok rumah. Pertemuan sosial, perjalanan, dan pernikahan ditangguhkan, seperti juga kebanyakan bisnis. Jika seseorang tertangkap di luar rumah mereka tanpa alasan yang sah, akan ada denda yang berat.

Tetapi musim pengasingan ini telah membantu kita menemukan tiga segi doa yang sering kali kita abaikan pada masa-masa kelimpahan.

1) Doa Ratapan

Mazmur ratapan sering terasa hiperbolik sebulan yang lalu. Misalnya, keluhan Asaf bahwa Allah telah membuat umat-Nya “minum airmata berlimpah-limpah” bisa tampak terlalu mendramatisasi; Teriakan Daud kepada Tuhan, “Berapa lama engkau akan menyembunyikan wajahmu dari saya?” adalah perasaan yang jauh.

Tetapi ketika umat manusia berjuang untuk menahan pandemi yang menimbulkan ketakutan dan kecemasan, ratapan terasa baru bagi kita semua. Pada bulan Maret dan April 2020, Mazmur 44 terdengar sangat sempurna:


Terjagalah, Tuhan! Mengapa Engkau tidur? Bangunlah! Janganlah membuang kami terus menerus. Mengapa Engkau menyembunyikan wajah-Mu dan melupakan penindasan dan impitan terhadap kami?

Sebab jiwa kami tertanam dalam debu; tubuh kami terhampar di tanah. Bersiaplah menolong kami; bebaskanlah kami karena kasih-setia-Mu.

Beberapa orang Kristen Barat mengalami kemiskinan, ketidakadilan, atau penganiayaan. Konsekuensinya, ibadah kita biasanya mencerminkan suasana hati orang-orang yang memiliki banyak akal di masa kemakmuran dan kedamaian: ...

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[Cfamily]Want a Healthy Society? Support Moms
« Reply #1620 on: April 21, 2020, 01:00:16 AM »
Want a Healthy Society? Support Moms

How politicians and leaders on both the Left and Right fail to adequately aid mothers.

Every election cycle, women’s issues are a flashpoint in the public square. This year is no exception: Candidates on both sides are debating abortion, equal pay, family leave, and maternal mortality.

These political clashes often hinge on deeply held views about who women are, how they’re wired, and what they need. One of the most salient aspects of female identity is our maternal nature—the inclination (broadly speaking) to foster enduring ties with our offspring. Gender essentialism is fraught with land mines and dangerous generalities, and not all women experience the maternal pull. Nonetheless, most of us would agree that women’s biology is in fact distinctive, and the innate potential to bear children and bond with them not only carries great weight for the family but also shapes our commonwealth.

The political Left and Right mishandle these maternal instincts in different ways. For hard-line progressives, female “nature” is a social construct to embrace or escape—it doesn’t serve a normative purpose. We see this view play out legislatively. Liberal Democrats rightly pride themselves on defending family-friendly policies. But they concurrently promote pro-abortion policies that treat a woman’s bond with her child as entirely voluntary and even arbitrary—severed here, supported there. “To Planned Parenthood, an undesired life is no life at all,” writes Russell Moore in National Review.

Those on the Right have a nearly inverse enigma. Both center-right and far-right Republicans tend to value a woman’s distinct maternal nature and the children who come with it. But that helping hand comes up short in other arenas, as mothers are too often left to ...

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[Cfamily]Knock Knock. It's Weird Evangelical Twitter.
« Reply #1621 on: April 22, 2020, 01:00:11 AM »
Knock Knock. It's Weird Evangelical Twitter.

Online, millennial Christians embrace the absurd.

In real life, Matthew Pierce is a normal adult. He has a wife, three daughters, and a boring job. He lives in Alabama, where he grew up, and he’s slowly becoming like his father.

Online, it’s different. Online, Matthew Pierce plays a character named Matthew Pierce, and that character is a youth group kid hanging out with his homeschool crew, stuck forever in the evangelical subculture of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Steven Curtis Chapman looms large in his imagination, as do Carman, Beth Moore, VeggieTales, LifeWay Christian bookstores, his youth pastor’s ubiquitous advice to “save it for the wedding night,” and the recurring thought that Adam in the Bible had humanity’s first penis.

If you meet him on Twitter, he will ask you one urgent question: “do u like switchfoot? y/n.”

If you don’t know who Switchfoot is or don’t understand what could be so urgent about an indie Christian band that crossed over to mainstream success in 2000, that’s okay. That’s part of the joke with “weird evangelical Twitter,” which embraces absurd earnestness and overcommitment. And Matthew Pierce—the real one and the character—is the undisputed king of weird evangelical Twitter.

“I find it kind of silly,” said Pierce, who has more than 10,000 followers on Twitter. “I’m just making jokes. I have an anonymous job, I come home and play with my kids and make dumb jokes on Twitter.”

The dumb jokes, however, have developed into a style and sensibility among some evangelicals online. Their humor has gone far past the satire and parody of earlier evangelical ...

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Source: Knock Knock. It's Weird Evangelical Twitter.

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[Cfamily]Now Is the Time to Think About Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #1622 on: April 23, 2020, 01:00:10 AM »
Now Is the Time to Think About Nuclear Weapons

Pope Francis condemns deterrence and the New START Treaty is set to expire. Where should Protestants stand?

Christians need to reexamine the issue of nuclear weapons. Most of us probably haven’t thought about it recently. With everything else going on, it’s not top of mind. But now is the time to reconsider seriously the moral challenge of nuclear weapons in the modern world.

Pope Benedict raised the issue in 2006. Pope Francis raised it again in 2017 with a condemnation of the threat of nuclear deterrence. Many Christians—including previous popes—have said that in the moral calculations of war, threatening to use these weapons in order to stop other people from using them was justified. Now the Roman Catholic Church disagrees, and Pope Francis says a threat “is to be firmly condemned.”

There is also renewed debate over a comprehensive ban on all nuclear weapons. Eighty-one countries have signed on to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, sometimes called the Ban Treaty. A debate about it was set to take place in New York City this month, but it has been delayed one year due to concerns about COVID-19.

At the same time, the New START Treaty between the US and Russia is set to expire. This treaty—the descendant of the agreement first proposed by President Ronald Reagan and signed by President George H. W. Bush—has continued important historic efforts to put real restraints on nuclear weapons. If it sunsets in February 2021, there will be no constraints at all on nuclear weapons for the first time in half a century. President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin can extend the treaty for five years, but so far it’s not clear that they will, although the ball appears to be in Trump’s court.

These three things should compel Christians to take up the moral challenge ...

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Source: Now Is the Time to Think About Nuclear Weapons

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Those MAGA-Hat Protestors: Compassion, Contempt, and the Way of Christ

Often, our compassion meters are put on display when it comes to how we respond to those who seem least like us. The way of Jesus is better.

Compassion is an odd thing. When we think we don’t have enough of it, it can emerge from seemingly nowhere. When we are certain we are filled with it, we find we respond in ways we ought not. And often, our compassion meters are put on display when it comes to how we respond to those who seem least like us.

We are seeing a lot of scorn and anger targeted at protestors wanting to open the economy— often MAGA-hat wearing pro-Trump supporters. “They must just be ignorant hicks,” some say. “They are going to get sick—and get us sick.” “What a bunch of idiots.”

It’s important, however, that before we judge, we consider. That before we condemn, we pray. All of those who act in ways we disagree with are made in God’s image. We may believe our thoughts and opinions are the correct ones, but we must never forget that there are two sides of each story and many lenses through which to see the world.

There are a lot of frightened people out there, many of whom were already having financial strains. Now, too many of these people are unemployed or underemployed because of the impact of COVID-19.

So, if you are sitting at home, working from home because your job allows it, have a little compassion for people who are watching their future dissolve, are fearful for their children’s future, and who just want to work.

Compassion or contempt

Hard truth, friends: we have got to listen a bit more to one another right now.

A lot of people are afraid and frustrated. And, there are some groups who are being disproportionately affected. Among them, economically, are working-class white people.

Jenn Thomas, a single mother with two children, is worried about the economic impact of government ...

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Source: Those MAGA-Hat Protestors: Compassion, Contempt, and the Way of Christ

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