Author Topic: Christian family - family and home topics  (Read 440272 times)

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[Cfamily]Asia Bibi Case Delayed by Pakistan Supreme Court
« Reply #336 on: October 19, 2016, 07:12:05 AM »

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Asia Bibi Case Delayed by Pakistan Supreme Court

Christian mother of five is the first woman sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan.

After seven years in prison, Asia Bibi will have to wait even longer to know her fate.

Her appearance Thursday before Pakistan’s Supreme Court was put off when one of the three judges in the case recused himself. The Christian mother of five is facing a death sentence for blasphemy.

"I was a part of the bench that was hearing the case of Salmaan Taseer, and this case is related to that," Judge Iqbal Hameed ur Rehman reportedly told the court. Taseer was a politician who was assassinated in 2011 after he spoke out on behalf of Bibi. His killer, who was praised by many who thought he did the right thing, was sentenced to death by the Pakistan court and executed in February.

Lawyer and columnist Asad Jamal said Rehman wasn’t legally required to remove himself, according to World Watch Monitor (WWM). Both cases have caused national uproar; about 150 radical clerics have called on the government to hang Bibi and others accused of blasphemy. Yesterday 100 policeman were on hand to keep order, WWM reported.

Bibi’s new hearing date has not been set, according to the BBC. It will be her last chance at saving her life.

Bibi is the only woman ever sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan, which has never carried out such a sentence (though at least five people accused of blasphemy have died in custody).

Local Christians told Open Doors that they were hopeful about Bibi’s fate, since her case had obvious flaws. Leading human rights lawyer Asad Jamal told the Guardian that he agreed.

“There is absolutely no case against Asia, I really can’t emphasize that enough,” he said. “It should take no more than 30 minutes to throw the case out.”

The British newspaper said that an acquittal ...

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Re: Christian family - family and home topics
« Reply #337 on: October 19, 2016, 10:40:15 AM »
Pay attention, this has been covered already.


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‘13th’ Introduces America to the Dark History of Our Criminal Justice System

The new Netflix documentary makes the case that to save the future, we need to stop defending the past.

“Defend the past. Save the future.”

Those words are lighting up TV screens this week, promoting the new NBC time-travel adventure series Timeless. But really, it’s ridiculous. No matter how many people want to go back and “kill Hitler,” the past cannot be changed. Right? Right?

I don’t know. Last night, director Ava DuVernay took me back to familiar figures from my childhood. She didn’t “defend the past.” She revealed politicians I remember as heroes to be complicit in things I find difficult to accept. And if you take that journey with me, we might yet become a church that helps “save the future” by refusing to defend our past.

DuVernay, who directed Selma—a gripping historical drama that has the gospel blazing through its veins—has just delivered a brilliant lesson in time travel, and its streaming now on Netflix. It’s called 13th.

With startling interviews, ugly statistics, kinetically charged animation, and shocking man-on-the-street footage of American history, 13th reintroduces Americans to their very own criminal justice system. I say “reintroduces” because DuVernay films through lenses that reveal a cancer running unchecked.

Full disclosure: Despite Jesus’s call for his followers to visit prisoners, I have never stepped through those gates. Remember those religious hypocrites who pass by the man beaten, robbed, and left by the side of the road? DuVernay’s perspective convicts me. I see now how blind I became, proudly pledging my allegiance to the ideal of “liberty and justice for all” while revering politicians who manipulated laws to perpetuate injustice.

Informed by the testimonies of historical and ...

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[Cfamily]Q&A with Steve Carter On “This Invitational Life”
« Reply #339 on: October 21, 2016, 07:07:52 AM »
Q&A with Steve Carter On “This Invitational Life”

Teaching Pastor for Willow Creek Community Church

Ed: The book does not have evangelism in the title, but it’s categorized under that. So, why an evangelism book? Everyone’s talking about mission, justice, etc., but not a lot about evangelism. So, why write on that?

Steve: Friends told me that writing your first book on evangelism isn't the smartest business decision, but for some reason I felt like I needed to do it. Over the past ten years, I've seen a decrease in urgency when it comes to sharing one’s faith. I think a lot of it has to do with the way evangelism has been portrayed and done over the years. What I want to do is to try and reclaim the essence of the word.

Paul tells Timothy to "Do the work of an evangelist" (2 Tim. 4:2) and he's telling Timothy to make the good news your life's work! This Invitational Life is an attempt to inspire everyday people to live winsomely and risk themselves to align with God's heartbeat for humanity.

Ed: Talk to me about the title— why “invitational”?

Steve: We come from a great tradition of invitation. I think of a devout disciple in Damascus who heard God whisper his name and his response was "Yes, Lord." God asked Ananias to go downtown and meet with Saul and invite him into the church family. Ananias had to overcome his own fear of what Saul might do and his own fear of rejection, and then trust that this moment was brimming with redemptive potential.

People whom I come across that are unchurched or post-church still love to be invited. When we live invitational lives, we are choosing to invite people into our story, our homes for a meal, our lives, our church, and God's story.

I didn't grow up in a Christian home and my life was transformed by two ...

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[Cfamily]How to Regain Cultural Capital
« Reply #340 on: October 22, 2016, 07:02:00 AM »
How to Regain Cultural Capital

The persecuted church shows the way.

Living under anti-Christian hostility is a paradox of tensions. Global Christians suffer not only as friends of God but also as enemies of the people.

A Christian brother in a difficult region recently shared with me that while Christians in his culture may endure police brutality and unjust arrest, anti-Christian hostility hasn’t necessarily been marked by the violence we see in the Middle East. Anti-Christian hostility is more social than physical. Conversion to Christ is taboo. Christians are ostracized, cast out of their families, and, in his words, seen as “worse than drug addicts.”

They answer to this hostility with what I describe as “productive perseverance working through community.” They are filled with a deep hope in Christ that drives out fear of man, and their lives are often marked by radical personal transformation and a communal discipleship that it is so attractive, others risk stigmatization to know it.

Christians there establish new families by welcoming young converts into their homes for several months. These young believers are protected from social pressure and prepared to face negative public opinion once they return to society. They also learn agricultural or trade-oriented skills as well as biblical business principles. These skills help them make a living if they can’t obtain work due to their faith. In addition, such mentoring enables these men and women to bring a life-affirming influence into the broader stream of everyday life. That witness is more than countercultural; because of its biblical orientation, it is “other-cultural.”

When we read the biblical epistles in the context of anti-Christian hostility, passages like Galatians 6:10 jump to life: ...

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[Cfamily]Why Africa Needed Its Own Study Bible
« Reply #341 on: October 23, 2016, 07:16:49 AM »
Why Africa Needed Its Own Study Bible

And why Americans might want one too.

If you ever get invited to a wedding on a Friday night in Morocco, the invitation will say the ceremony starts “the evening of Saturday.” North Africans consider each day to begin the evening before nightfall—just the way Genesis describes each day of the world’s first week: “And there was evening, and there was morning. . . .”

This small connection between Scripture and one of Africa’s myriad cultures appears at the beginning of the Africa Study Bible (ASB), set to launch in February 2017. The first study Bible written by African scholars for an African context, it’s also attracting Western readers.

Using the New Living Translation, the ASB includes explanations of unfamiliar words, African proverbs, and ways to apply Scripture to life in Africa.

“A lot of the analogies and cultural phrases in American study Bibles don’t relate fully to many of the issues a lot of Africans are going through—like civil war, polygamy, and the worship of idols,” said Natalie Cameron, spokesperson at Oasis International, which helped to develop the ASB. Conversely, some Bible stories resonate especially well, such as those of the Israelite tribes, given that many Africans are deeply connected to their own tribes.

Just as Westerners generally spend more time in the New Testament, African Christians can over-relate to the Old Testament, said Priscilla Adoyo, a lecturer at Africa International University who worked on the ASB.

“Sacrifices, blessings and curses, family and other relational practices, drought and famine are all familiar ground to the African,” she said. “Unfortunately, some have embraced the Old Testament teachings and picked and chosen what is ...

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[Cfamily]Let My People Build
« Reply #342 on: October 24, 2016, 07:14:55 AM »
Let My People Build

After 160 years of suppression, Egypt makes room for new churches.

“Long live the crescent and the cross!” shouted Egypt’s parliament in joy. All 39 Christian members joined the two-thirds majority to vote to end a 160-year practice instituted by the Ottomans requiring Christians to get permission from the country’s leader before building churches. The long-awaited reform was promised by the 2014 constitution after the overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi.

The new law shifts authority into the hands of the governor, who must issue a decision within four months of an application and give detailed reasons for refusals. The law also established a process to retroactively license hundreds of churches erected without a presidential permit.

“It is a good step,” said Andrea Zaki, president of the Protestant Churches of Egypt, who helped negotiate the draft law with government officials. “If we wanted an agreement to include everything and please everyone, it would have taken 100 years.

“This is the best we can get right now.”

But even as they celebrated, Christians debated if they failed to fully seize a unique opportunity to pursue equal citizenship. Some wanted a unified law for both churches and mosques. Others noted the presence of loopholes that may impede church construction. For example, the “need” for a new church is tied to population growth. And local officials or police may be able to encumber the process if Muslims object.

“The law is a legalized perpetuation of the status quo,” said Ishak Ibrahim, religion officer with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR). “It does not address the roots of sectarian tension and shows [that] the state prefers adherents of one religion over ...

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[Cfamily]Does Protestantism Need to Die?
« Reply #343 on: October 25, 2016, 07:01:37 AM »
Does Protestantism Need to Die?

Or to recover its riches? Two Protestant luminaries look at the legacy of the Reformation, 500 years later.

Now and then, Protestants are stirred to ask whether the Reformation might be bad for the church and the world. Five centuries downstream from 1517, old objections come with the burden of knowing where things occasionally went wrong.

As Reformation heirs prepare to celebrate our 500th anniversary, we do so with a remarkable capacity for self-criticism. At its worst, Protestant self-critique can be a tiresome self-flagellation, a dreary round of virtue-signaling and posturing over the sins of others. But at its best, it can be a time for soul-searching, a source of insight, and a promise of revival.

Two new books show the range covered by the best Protestant self-critique. Peter Leithart’s The End of Protestantism: Pursuing Unity in a Fragmented Church (Brazos) and Kevin Vanhoozer’s Biblical Authority after Babel: Retrieving the Solas in the Spirit of Mere Protestant Christianity (Brazos) come to the task from very different angles. Vanhoozer comes to the conversation from a deep dive into the depths of the gospel. Leithart comes back to it from the future.

Future Church

The End of Protestantism is the long-awaited expansion of the provocative shorter remarks Leithart has made in this vein over the past few years. He hasn’t exactly softened his tone. Here, he announces, “Jesus bids Protestantism to come and die.” But there is more: “He calls us to exhibit the unity that the Father has with the Son in the Spirit.” That is, “we are called by our crucified Lord to die to what we are now so that we may become what we will be.” What draws all of Leithart’s arguments forward is essentially a syllogism: Jesus prays for the church’s unity, and Jesus will get what he prays ...

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