Author Topic: Christian family - family and home topics  (Read 437694 times)

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Offline John

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Re: Christian family - family and home topics
« Reply #168 on: May 19, 2016, 02:53:59 PM »

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The guy who drinks his benefit away... it's easy to stand back and judge, isn't it?
As some who has worked in benefits paying these guys and seen how they will prey on each other, pursading a vunerable drunk they're his best friends untill his benefit been drunk and having seen the decline in there mental and physical abilities because of there abuse of alcohol etc. I am well aware of the problems. As I suggested in my post there has to be a better way than just giving them money.
When I worked in benefits there was such a thing as a 'food voucher' endorsed with no sweets, confectionarie, alcohol or solvents' but those who had this could always find a shop keeper prepared to supply what they wanted, or would supply the right goods and give a refund in cash.

How should society deal with the drunks, or better yet how should middle class comfortable christians deal with drunks and druggies etc

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[Cfamily]InterVarsity Names a Historic New President
« Reply #169 on: May 20, 2016, 07:01:59 AM »
InterVarsity Names a Historic New President

Tom Lin, who has dedicated his entire career to campus ministries in the United States and overseas, has been named the new president of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

In August, the Taiwanese American will become the organization’s first non-white president. Over its 75-year history, InterVarsity has made diversity a priority through multiethnic ministry initiatives—including the Urbana conference that Lin directed for the past five years—and internal programs designed to develop minority leaders.

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA

“We’ve got so many men and women, ethnic minorities, who serve in leadership at InterVarsity. We’ve worked at it, and we’ve continued to learn and grow. We never say we’ve arrived, but this is a significant moment for InterVarsity,” the 43-year-old told CT. “It is significant … for any large, North American evangelical organization to have a non-white president.”

Lin is also the first president to begin working with InterVarsity as a student. He’s been involved in campus ministry for 25 years and began an Asian American InterVarsity chapter at Harvard University, his alma mater, in 1994.

In addition to developing a campus ministry movement in Mongolia, Lin served as a campus staff member in Boston, regional director, and vice president for missions. Part of saying “yes” to those opportunities, though, meant saying “no” to his first-generation parents’ career expectations.

“Tom’s story reflects the way the gospel intersects the ‘model minority’ narrative,” said Greg Jao, a fellow InterVarsity vice president, in an email to CT. “He’s an academic all-star who has submitted to Jesus’ claims to his talent and future. He’s wrestled with obtaining parental approval. He’s broken through the bamboo ceiling that often confronts Asian Americans in the corporate world.”

Another InterVarsity leader, Kathy Khang, told CT that as more students, Asian American or not, weigh their own call to ministry against outside opposition, “the fact that he has walked that himself brings a great deal of validity to their experience.” (Khang participated in The Daniel Project, InterVarsity’s program to train Asian American leaders, which CT reported on in 2014.) Both Khang and Jao also commended the international experience and perspective Lin brings.

Lin’s appointment follows another leadership milestone for Asian American evangelicals, the election of Sharon Koh as executive director of the American Baptist International Missions last month.

“These two recent appointments demonstrate that Asian Americans are increasingly poised to step into significant leadership roles, particularly within organizations that have been intentional about cultivating leaders of color,” Helen Lee, an Asian American speaker and author who works as an editor with InterVarsity Press, told CT. “In Tom and InterVarsity's case, we are seeing the fruit of decades of investment and commitment to multiethnic ministry, both externally and internally.”

As president, Lin will continue to guide 41,000 students on 650 campuses through ongoing challenges regarding religious freedoms and secularizing student bodies. InterVarsity committed to reinventing itself in response to university policies that have forced more than 40 of its chapters to change their structure or lose campus recognition.

Source: InterVarsity Names a Historic New President

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The Armageddon Code—An End Times Interview with Billy Hallowell

Ed Stetzer: Why did you write this book?

Billy Hallowell: I have always been fascinated by end-times theology. I was raised in non-denominational churches, so—like many evangelicals—I'm more than familiar with the concept of premillennialism and a pre-tribulation rapture, but this book afforded me an opportunity to dive deep inside of the minds of some of the most well-known eschatological experts, pastors and theologians to ask key questions about what they believe the Bible says about the end times. It turns out the debate is quite complicated, and that's putting it mildly.

My central goal in providing an overview of the seemingly never-ending debate over the Antichrist, Millennium kingdom, tribulation and other end-times components is to help Christians assess each theory to try and decide what they truly believe about the end times. "The Armageddon Code" allows them to fact-check what they believe and what their ideological opponents argue by looking to the scriptures at the center of it all.

ES: Anything that surprised you as you wrote it?

BH: Though I shouldn't have been surprised, I was stunned to see that so many people who have both good intentions and deep respect for the biblical scriptures walk away with such divergent ideas about what the Old and New Testaments prophesy about the end times.

Sure, I knew there was a debate, but working on "The Armageddon Code" gave me a unique lens, allowing me to see just how passionate each expert was about his stance, despite coming away with starkly different conclusions in many cases.

The questions we commissioned through Lifeway Research showed that, among pastors, debate is alive and well. Before this book there really wasn't much public polling information about pastors' and ministers' eschatological views, so that was a central goal of mine in penning this book. To see 36 percent of pastors opting for a pre-tribulation rapture and 25 percent saying that the rapture shouldn't be taken literally was notable. There isn't a consensus.

I was also fascinated to see nearly half (49 percent) of pastors expecting a future Antichrist figure, with no other proportions coming close to that in terms of size. Clearly, preachers are just as divided as everyone on the ever-contentious subject, which shows that there's a level of mystery in the Bible when it comes to the end of days.

ES: I’ve wondered if there has been a decline of the pre-trib view since the Hal Lindsey era. I know this research is a snapshot view, and not a trend, but what is your observation?

BH: This is an intriguing question and my sense is that there has, indeed, been a decrease in the prevalence of the pre-tribulation rapture view. Then again, it's quite difficult to assess exactly what might be happening there, considering that there are sparse numbers and a variety of worldviews (mid-trib, pre-wrath, post-trib, among others). It does seem that there's a broader discussion these days, with considerations that stretch beyond the pre-trib paradigm.

Perhaps some pop culture representations of the end times have impacted views on the rapture. There's also the notion that current events are fueling greater interest in the end times and, thus, a deeper quest for facts about what the Bible really says about eschatology.

ES: The Bible has a lot of prophecy, but a lot of Christians seem embarrassed to talk about it due to some of the bad examples out there. How do you think we should talk about prophecy well?

BH: I think that part of the problem with prophecy is the authoritativeness and definitiveness with which some speak when addressing it. Here's what I mean by that: there's nothing wrong with proposing potential events and happenings based on the biblical scriptures, but it is the rigidness with which some adhere to those proposals that can become problematic. This is especially true when it comes to date-setting, with evangelists who set a specific date for the rapture or return of Christ making a mockery of believers and of biblical truth when their claims predictably do not come to pass.

Talking about prophecy well means reading and contemplating, while understanding that there's a good chance that some eschatological details are mysterious or, at the least, complex and will not be fully discernible until they come to pass. It's fine to have and hold specific views, but it's important to realize that there is a level of fluidity when it comes to the end times. One other consideration, of course, would be making sure that any view one espouses can be fully backed by scripture.

Source: The Armageddon Code—An End Times Interview with Billy Hallowell

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[Cfamily]Daily Bread and Bombs in Ukraine
« Reply #171 on: May 22, 2016, 07:04:37 AM »
Daily Bread and Bombs in Ukraine

UKRAINE: Two years after Crimea’s leadership changed hands, fighting persists between the Ukrainian army and Russian-backed forces in eastern Ukraine. One local pastor, Sergey Kosyak, was arrested and tortured for leading prayer rallies for peace in Donetsk, the largest city occupied by separatists. But he went on to open Bread of Life in neighboring Maryinka with the help of Mission Eurasia. Amid near-daily bombings, the bakery (which recently drew the attention of The New York Times) gives away one-fourth of its 2,000 loaves of daily bread, alongside Bibles. Kosyak is one of 75 Russian-speaking missionaries on the 300-mile frontline trying to turn a political war into a spiritual one.

Source: Daily Bread and Bombs in Ukraine

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News: Pilgrims' Process: Why Christians Closest to the Holy Land Visit the Least

Walking down the Via Dolorosa, Nabil placed his hand on the wall where Jesus reportedly stumbled on his way to being crucified.

I am a lucky man, thought the 58-year-old. I can feel the Holy Spirit in my body.

This wasn’t how the Coptic Orthodox pilgrim had expected to feel in Jerusalem’s Old City. “Most Egyptian Christians want to visit as part of their faith,” he said, noting that he saw many elderly women dressed in black, weeping at each station of the cross. “Not me. I’m retired, I have nothing else to do, and I like to travel.”

Touring the Holy Land has been a transformational experience for Christians worldwide. In 2014, more than half of the 3.3 million tourists who visited Israel were Christians, according to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Of these, one out of four was Protestant.

But among these tourism figures, the Arab Christian community is nearly a no-show. In 2014, Jordan sent only 17,400 tourists (which were not differentiated by religion). Egypt, only 5,200—all Copts. Lebanon forbids travel to Israel entirely.

So Close Yet So Far

There are many reasons Arab Christians don’t tour Israel. The ancient sites are right in their backyard, so familiarity breeds complacency. And economic and political conditions hamper travel.

“I grew up minutes from Mary’s Well in Nazareth, and walked to school daily past the Church of the Annunciation,” said Shadia Qubti, a Palestinian evangelical. “It’s where I met friends for coffee.”

Qubti grasped the significance of these places only when she met foreigners who treated her hometown like Hollywood. As she matured in her faith, she found herself visiting the holy sites to pray.

Now Qubti is a project manager for Musalaha, a Jerusalem-based ministry that seeks to reconcile Palestinian Christians and Messianic Jews.

She understands—without endorsing—the goals of the BDS (“boycott, divestment, and sanctions”) movement. BDS seeks to pressure Israel to end what advocates see as the occupation of Palestinian land. The debate over Arabs “normalizing” relations with Israel (i.e., maintaining the political, economic, and cultural relations typical of nations at peace) complicates the lives of Middle Eastern Christians—pilgrims and vendors alike.

“The tourism industry is controlled by Israel, so boycotting pilgrimage sends a clear message,” Qubti said. “But in Bethlehem especially, tourism provides the income for many Palestinians, and any boycott hurts their economy.”

In 1978, following the Camp David Accords, then–Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda III banned pilgrimage to Israel in order to protest the Jewish state’s refusal to return a monastery claimed by both Coptic and Ethiopian Orthodox leaders. But he also wanted to express solidarity with Muslims in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Shenouda, who died in 2012, decreed that Christian pilgrims who violated the ban would be barred from Communion for one year.

The current pope, Tawadros II, is not enforcing the penalty, said the owner of an Egyptian travel company that organizes pilgrim tours to Israel.

However, the ban is still officially in place. And Tawadros sparked a media firestorm last winter when he presided over a bishop’s funeral in the Holy City.

Tawadros met no political officials, performed no pilgrimage activities, and arranged all paperwork with Palestinian authorities. Yet he was still criticized harshly for “normalizing” Israel simply by traveling there.

Source: News: Pilgrims' Process: Why Christians Closest to the Holy Land Visit the Least

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Offline John

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Re: Christian family - family and home topics
« Reply #173 on: May 23, 2016, 12:20:23 PM »
Yeah the Israel's are the enemy. They are Jews after all. It doesn't matter that Jewish settlers were attacked by the Arabs, that the agression has come always from the Arabs. Can you name any democracies in the middle east? There is only a couple and if one adds free press it is narrowed down to one country.
Look at justice in the middle east. Which country would you want investigating a crime that involves you? There is only one where politics, religion and bribery doesn't play a part.
Guess what the answer is in every case Israel. Now why should anyone want to display bias against that country. Oh I fotgot they're Jews.


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News: Daily Devotion: How Christians Rank 16 Mundane Essentials of Faith

The Pew Research Center recently examined how Americans apply their faith to daily life. It found that 1 in 3 Americans pray daily and worship weekly. Of these “highly religious” Americans, half are evangelicals.

Pew also dove deeper into more mundane areas of daily life, such as family time, exercise, and recycling. It found that religious Americans are happier than other Americans, but not necessarily better to themselves or society.

Among Christians who pray daily and attend church weekly, here’s how evangelicals compare to mainline Protestants and Catholics. Also listed are American Christians overall (regardless of religiosity) as well as nominal evangelicals (those who do not pray daily or attend church weekly).

What ​'s Essential to Being a Christian?

Respondents answered, varying widely on church attendance and Bible reading, but held similar views on prioritizing family, being grateful, and exercising.

​Basic Behaviors

Overall, Pew found that beliefs are strongly linked with actions. For example, among evangelicals who believe that creation care is essential to being a Christian, 45 percent said a company's environmental responsibility is a key factor in deciding whether to purchase products. Among evangelicals who don't believe creation care is essential, only 14 percent say likewise.

Source: News: Daily Devotion: How Christians Rank 16 Mundane Essentials of Faith

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[Cfamily]Go Ahead, Evangelicals: Use the P-Word
« Reply #175 on: May 25, 2016, 07:02:54 AM »
Go Ahead, Evangelicals: Use the P-Word

This past November, at the gorgeous St. Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne, I was ordained as a priest in the Anglican Church of Australia. When the archbishop laid his hands on me and prayed for me, I was overwhelmed with feelings of joy and divine pleasure.

This journey into the priesthood has been significant for me in two ways.

First, it was the culmination of a long denominational journey from Baptist to Presbyterian to Anglican. I have fond memories of all the churches and traditions I have been involved with. I tell folks that the Baptists taught me to love Jesus, the Presbyterians taught me to love theology, and the Anglicans taught me to love the church. That said, Anglicanism feels like home with its liturgical worship, evangelistic proclamation, and charismatic affections.

Second, ordination helps me fulfill what I regard as my calling to be a mediator between the church and the academy. As a priest-scholar, I have one foot set in the lecture hall, and the other foot set in the sanctuary. I speak from both the podium and the pulpit. Plus, I get to engage people as diverse as unbelieving professors in secular universities and ordinary churchgoers in the pews.

Throughout my journey, Paul’s discussion in Romans 15 of his own ministry has been crucial. There, in verses 15 and 16, the apostle writes:

Yet I have written you quite boldly on some points to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

For me, this passage shows that my calling to preach the gospel is the calling to a priestly ministry. A priest is a pastor and a teacher, someone set aside to proclaim the Good News and to care for the souls of those who believe in Christ. But priestly ministry isn’t just the domain of ordained pastors. Christians of all types participate in “the priesthood of all believers,” by proclaiming the gospel and caring for those who name Jesus as Lord.

How Can You Call Yourself a Priest?

But why would I call myself a priest? To some, the very mention conjures up troubling medieval notions of penance and purgatory. Wasn’t the purpose of the Protestant Reformation to get away from all that? Why go back to it now?

My days in Baptist and Presbyterian churches made me uncomfortable with the idea of any person taking on the identity of priest. After all, Jesus is our only high priest (Heb. 4:14–15). And as the Reformers taught, we should acknowledge the priesthood of all believers, not the priesthood of a select few. Further, a priest is regarded as a mediator, and the Bible says that “there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5). So doesn’t that rule out needing a priest or becoming one?

Note that Paul has no reservations about describing his own ministry as priestly work. He is not worried about being mistaken for a Levitical priest or wrongly associated with the Flamens, the priests of Roman deities. Paul thinks of priesthood as a positive label: a scriptural image for his own apostolic work, something for the good of the church. In evangelical circles, I often hear priesthood associated with cold ritual and caricatured as salvation by ceremony. How ironic, then, that Paul thinks of priesthood as a rich and vibrant description of his ministry and message.

Source: Go Ahead, Evangelicals: Use the P-Word

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