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[Cfamily]Weekend Edition—May 27, 2016
« Reply #184 on: June 02, 2016, 07:18:54 AM »

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Weekend Edition—May 27, 2016

4 Ways The Gospel Is Shaping My ParentingMichael Kelley

A very helpful take on parenting as a Christian.

The Ken Starr-Baylor story shows how religious schools struggle to deal with sex assaultMichelle Boorstein

Christian schools, unfortunately, are not immune from this scourge.

(See this parallel story from KWTX-10.)

Majority of American Christians Do Not Find Bible Reading and Church Attendance EssentialChris Martin

Chris examines Pew Research data about Bible reading and church attendance habits.

What Does It Mean To Be Poor?—Spiegel Online

Other developed countries (Germany in this instance) also deal with poverty.

Millennials' Most Common Roommates: Their ParentsAdrienne Green

This should inform churches in their efforts to reach the millennial generation.

Want to read a weekly digest of The Exchange blog? Click here to subscribe to Christianity Today's Newsletter for The Exchange to get weekly wrap-ups direct to your inbox.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the The Exchange Podcast in iTunes. Catch this week’s episode featuring Darrell Bock.

This Week on The Exchange

The Divorce Delusion: Marriage Matters for the Gospel's Sake

Living in a (Nominal) Religious Context

Amplifying Evangelism—One Critical Component in Becoming an Engaging Church

The Christian Struggle with Mental Illness

Saturday is for Seminars—The Gideons and the Amplify Conference

Amplifying Evangelism—A Call to Share the Faith

Church Signs

Now we know it will be exactly two weeks long.

When you run out of money before the all important “bad message” section.

I think someone’s creativity needs a lift.

Thanks to Jonathan Whitlock, yours truly, and Shane Barry for this week’s signs. As always, you can tweet your church sign pics to @EdStetzer.

Source: Weekend Edition—May 27, 2016

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[Cfamily]Ministry Isn't Only for Extroverts
« Reply #185 on: June 03, 2016, 07:23:40 AM »
Ministry Isn't Only for Extroverts

"Move it, mister!”

It was 8:01 P.M., and I was being particularly curt with my friend DeCarlo.

“Got your coat? Got your hat? Come on, let’s go. Go, go, go,” I badgered.

I was DeCarlo’s ride home from Reality Ministries, a community center for people with and without disabilities, and I was itchy to get out the door. Over the previous 90 minutes, we’d eaten pizza, shared, sung, watched silly skits, and heard a short Bible message.

Wait, did I mention it was noisy?

When I say noisy, I mean there were 100 people in the room, and, at any given moment, 87 of them were speaking. Loudly. So although the love and joy and smiles at Reality were a true slice of heaven, for someone like me—an introvert, overwhelmed by more than one stimulus, who’s most vivified by thinking creative thoughts in a chamber of silence—it had become a hard space in which to be.

It was difficult to gather my thoughts.

I became distressed.

I felt undone.

I was short-tempered.

It was hard to be my best self.

Most Tuesday nights I teetered between wanting to shove a fork in my own eye and plunging it into someone else’s.

That evening, when I was unglued and crabby with my good friend DeCarlo, became a turning point in understanding how God had made me and how God calls me to serve. It let me know that the opportunity to “minister” in a crowd of 100 people—who were guaranteed to speak to me, and high-five me, and shout at me, and hug me, usually simultaneously—might not have my name on it.

Introverts and the Church

Whether it’s the youth minister who connects with kids at football games, the pastor who greets several hundred people on a Sunday morning, or the soul who’s befriending folks who live outdoors, many of the church’s most easily identifiable ministries seem best suited to extroverts. This isn’t to say that only extroverts are doing them. Lots of introverts do them too. We shake hands and attend potlucks and chat with strangers after church and dip into wedding receptions. We just have to go home and recover in isolation afterwards.

It’s stressful. Some ministry events are so stressful for introverts that we dodge them—or leave early or make excuses for not taking part.

Have you ever felt this way about most of the ministry opportunities at your church?

  • Great idea—except that it means I have to meet new people. Lots of them.

  • I’d love to. If it didn’t mean talking in front of others.

Source: Ministry Isn't Only for Extroverts

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Re: Christian family - family and home topics
« Reply #186 on: June 03, 2016, 11:09:51 AM »
Oh I can definitely relate to that. I find myself getting overwhelmed after attending events and sometimes even just small gatherings tire me out. I love to just get home and unwind.

I often long to have an odd day alone, but that doesn't happen often.

I'm going to have to stop calling myself anti-social though, because quite clearly I am not. I can be social, in limited doses and when I get used to people - or in save environments, etc.


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Re: Christian family - family and home topics
« Reply #187 on: June 03, 2016, 01:40:28 PM »
Someone I know calls me anti-social .

I'm not - just too tired to be nice   :wink:


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[Cfamily]What It’s Like to Be Gay at Wheaton College
« Reply #188 on: June 04, 2016, 07:06:07 AM »
What It’s Like to Be Gay at Wheaton College

With adrenaline rushing, I walked through the main student hangout at Wheaton College holding a piece of paper, trying to find someone I could talk to.

It was a Thursday afternoon in April of 2013. As I passed through the Beamer Center a second time, I found a fellow member of Wheaton’s improv club. I told him I was trying to decide whether to post the piece of paper on Wheaton’s communal forum board, which many students used to communicate with the whole campus. After I hesitated, together he and I walked over to the board. He moved around other papers to make a space for mine. I gave the sheet to him, and he put it on the wall.

I tried to walk normally back to my dorm, but my insides were churning. This was the second semester of my final year of undergraduate work, and I was finishing in just three years. After a decade of experiencing exclusive attraction to men, I wrote, “the closet has started to seem too stuffy for me.” My post went on:

Lately, I’ve asked myself how I could do more to improve the atmosphere at Wheaton for other gay students like myself. I’m a male exclusively attracted to other males, and have struggled with anxiety and depression from my time in high school. From stories that I heard while growing up in a fundamentalist culture, I thought that all gay Christians had no option but to ignore their orientation as much as possible and pray that God would make them straight. However, after eight years of trying this, I’m still gay. This has not impeded me from continuing to love God, and he continues to palpably reveal himself to me. …

I could have said this on Wheaton Confessions, but anonymous posts only help us to see that some general students share our experiences. I prefer to see the specific individuals who do. That way, we can all help one another directly.

For anyone else who prefers to know the individuals, here I am in more light, after opening the closet door and walking into the lounge area. Now I said it, and no one will have to keep playing the guessing game.

Courtesy of Tyler Streckert

I saw a light at the end of the tunnel, and it meant telling the Wheaton College community that I am gay. Many people far away from the campus think that Wheaton would be the worst place to be gay. While my experience does not speak for everyone’s, it is an important story. The way Wheaton responded to me can be a model for other evangelical institutions. For it wasn’t just about being accepted for who I am, but also about thriving as a Christian.

No Longer Inside My Head

Since beginning to notice attraction to other boys in fifth grade, I felt that I could change by my own willpower. Every time I experienced feelings for a boy, I would pray and repent. During high school, I worked hard and slept little, but my exhaustive self-scrutiny led to consistent thoughts of suicide while finishing homework late at night. Telling anyone about my attractions was out of the question. I had resolved to deal with everything on my own. Whenever feelings for a man arose, I thought, This won’t happen again, or, God will make me stop having these. As my feelings for men persisted, my fear and introspection only increased.

Growing up among conservative Christians, I learned that faithful Christians were qualitatively different from gay people. I distinctly remember one moment early in college when my grandmother and I were talking on the phone. She asked, “So what have you been thinking about lately?” I skipped over the main thing—my sexuality—and talked instead of my independent research on Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Later I wondered: Why didn’t I tell her? Why am I doing this to myself?

Source: What It’s Like to Be Gay at Wheaton College

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[Cfamily]Is Bernie Sanders Religious?
« Reply #189 on: June 05, 2016, 07:09:46 AM »
Is Bernie Sanders Religious?

The following exchange took place between Anderson Cooper of CNN and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in the March debate in Flint, Michigan:

Cooper: “Senator Sanders, are you intentionally keeping your Jewish faith in the background during your campaign?”

Sanders: “I am very proud to be Jewish, and being Jewish is so much of what I am. Look, my father’s family was wiped out by Hitler in the Holocaust. I know about what crazy and radical and extremist politics mean. I learned that lesson as a tiny, tiny child when my mother would take me shopping and we would see people working in stores who had numbers on their arms because they were in Hitler’s concentration camps. I am very proud of being Jewish, and that is an essential part of who I am as a human being.”

Once again we are in presidential election season. The candidates are, each in their own way, projecting what they want the electorate to know about their faith. We Americans are used to this quadrennial exercise. This election cycle, however, is exceptional.

Senator Bernie Sanders has advanced further in the presidential campaign than any other Jewish citizen before him. (In 2000, Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut was the vice presidential candidate on Al Gore’s ticket.) Some have commented on how little has been made—and how little Sanders has made—of his Jewishness. Yet many others are trying to understand the relationship of Judaism and Jewishness to Sanders and the positions he advocates. Judaism, and membership in the Jewish people, fit no category of faith and religion familiar to most Christians. Ironically, Sanders’ own untraditional relationship to his faith and faith community actually presents an opportunity for America to learn some unique, aspects about Judaism and the Jewish people.

Judaism Is a Family

Judaism is not just a religion. Judaism and Jewishness are an indivisible amalgam of God, Torah (the scriptures), Mitzvot (commandments), land, language, and familial peoplehood. In the main, one is not born a Christian; one becomes a Christian by affirming the Christian faith. While one can convert to Judaism, for the most part, one is born a Jew. Irrespective of what a Jew believes or practices, a Jew is a Jew. Every Jewish person is a child of Abraham and Sarah and a member of that first family of believers.

Judaism is a family that became a faith and remained a family. One of the consequences of this is the unconditional love of one Jew for another Jew, no matter their depth of religious faith. It is still a family despite growing differences in various Jewish beliefs and practices.

Senator Sanders is a Jew of a particular genre, the product of a specific time and place.

Senator Sanders is a Jew of a particular genre, the product of a specific time and place—New York in the post-World War II years. This has shaped him and many like him, and therefore, has shaped today’s American Jewish community. This requires a short review of history.

By the end of the 19th century, approximately one million Jews lived in the lands of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which in 1795 was gobbled up by the Austro-Hungarian, Prussian, and Russian empires. That population grew to about five million during the 19th century. This growth took place largely in czarist Russia in the midst of a collapsing and oppressive economic and political order. The Jewish people suffered severely in these societies and under these conditions—both economic hardships and continued anti-Semitism from a largely Christian population.

Source: Is Bernie Sanders Religious?

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[Cfamily]Shane Claiborne’s Passionate Plea Against the Death Penalty
« Reply #190 on: June 06, 2016, 07:00:39 AM »
Shane Claiborne’s Passionate Plea Against the Death Penalty

Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the best-selling 19th-century novel, rehabilitated America’s moral imagination. Author Harriet Beecher Stowe did so by humanizing a political issue. She not only gave slaveholding the villainous face of Simon Legree; she also made a Christian martyr of his slave. “If taking every drop of blood in this poor old body would save your precious soul,” Uncle Tom said, “I’d give ’em freely, as the Lord gave his for me.” The abolitionist polemic was so successful that, upon meeting Stowe amid the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln reportedly said, “So this is the little lady who made this big war.”

In Executing Grace: How the Death Penalty Killed Jesus and Why It’s Killing Us (HarperOne), Shane Claiborne takes a similar approach to argue for the end of capital punishment in the United States. Throughout the book, the activist and founder of the Simple Way tries to put a human face on the victims and perpetrators of the death penalty, even the executioners themselves.

“Ultimately, we are not talking about an issue,” he explains. “We are talking about people.” While the book relies heavily upon these “faces of grace,” Claiborne also takes up an array of biblical, historical, and sociological arguments.

Arsenal of Evidence

Early on, Claiborne engages familiar biblical texts to dispute the well-worn notion that the death penalty is God’s idea. Among his contentions: In the Bible, murderers like Cain, Moses, and David are not executed but spared. The Old Testament’s eye-for-eye standard of justice was not license for death, but a limit on retribution (Lev. 24:14–23). Further, Claiborne argues, Jesus applied a more rigorous limit on this “letter of the law” in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:38–39, 44). To Claiborne, the “sword” borne by rulers in Romans 13:4 is not the saber of a Roman executioner, but a small dagger worn on the belt. Most important, Christ’s death on behalf of fallen humanity lets mercy have the final word (James 2:13).

Claiborne also notes that the early church was united against state killing—not least because for 300 years, Christians were the ones under its blade. According to a third-century text called the Apostolic Tradition, Christians were forbidden from being executioners. Claiborne lets church fathers like Tertullian, Cyprian, and Origen raise their voices to defend the consensus conviction that “It is better to die than to kill.”

“Ultimately, we are not talking about an issue,” he explains. “We are talking about people.”

The book cites overwhelming sociological evidence. Claiborne writes, “One of the most powerful arguments against the death penalty is the simple fact of how disproportionately it is applied to race.” A black man is more likely to be executed than a white man, a poor man than a rich man. And a black, poor man in Texas—where more than half of America’s 2015 executions took place—is more likely than anyone to be sentenced to die. Practices like judicial override (where a judge can impose a death sentence even after a jury recommends a life sentence) and sentencing criteria like “future dangerousness” add to the problem of arbitrariness.

Source: Shane Claiborne’s Passionate Plea Against the Death Penalty

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Re: Christian family - family and home topics
« Reply #191 on: June 06, 2016, 09:25:11 AM »
Another failure to apply the biblical principals they expound.
The bible limits vengance and often shows mercy to murders but also applies financial penalties to murder.
Where is this financial penalty applied to moden murders.

Yes there is injustice in the legal system, sometimes because money can buy the skills needed to defend oneself and the bisa's in the legal system work against those who arn't white.
But then shouldn't more effort be put into combating racism.

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