Author Topic: Christian family - family and home topics  (Read 440063 times)

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[Cfamily]3 Growing Needs in Missionary Education
« Reply #352 on: November 01, 2016, 07:12:45 AM »

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3 Growing Needs in Missionary Education

Missionaries need a biblical, theological, and missiological foundation.

Any conversation around an exponential increase in the global missionary force must include methods for missionary education and training. When we think about those things, our gut reaction is often to rely solely on seminaries and missions agencies to fulfill educational needs.

The problem with that knee-jerk response is that it de-emphasizes the role of local churches in missionary training when congregational life and discipleship should prepare missionaries for cross-cultural sending in many ways. We need to develop more robust methods of discipling our congregations that include training for purposefully crossing cultures with the gospel.

That said, there is certainly great value in the vast educational resources offered by theological institutions that can undergird, support, and strengthen the training efforts of our local churches. I’d like to note three distinct essentials for missionary training that could be served by such partnerships.

1. Biblical Foundation

The first may seem a bit obvious, but a solid biblical grounding is absolutely essential. Any candidate with a desire to enter into cross-cultural sending must first have a healthy, growing understanding of the Scriptures and the ability to engage practically with its foundational principles. He or she needs a biblical fluency that goes beyond simple head knowledge of Scripture and into the experience of obedient application.

This sort of life would produce familiarity with biblical teachings and the doctrines that flow from them. For instance, it would develop an understanding of salvation taught by the book of Romans, the person of the Holy Spirit from the writings of Luke, and the doctrines of righteousness and justice as seen in Amos. A grasp of these ...

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[Cfamily]The Unique FOMO of Motherhood
« Reply #353 on: November 02, 2016, 07:09:26 AM »
The Unique FOMO of Motherhood

Living in the tension between my dreams and my family’s needs.

In a recent essay entitled, “How I Moved On From My What Not To Wear Style,” Stacy London, of TLC's What Not To Wear fame, grapples with the reality—both the freedoms and limitations—of growing older. She rose to fame as she dished out fashion advice to others. Now, at 47 years old, she couldn’t care less about following the fashion rules she once vigorously touted. At the same time, she realizes that age and experience dictate she not wear clothes or live a life that do not fit who she has become. Because she is aging, she contends that the clothing she donned in her 20s and 30s is no longer appropriate at 47. The same holds true for her lifestyle, she says. She writes: “What has happened is I've had to let go of the age when all things were possible (32) and started to look at what is (47).”

There's a sort of grief in her admission.

Although it doesn’t appear that London and I have much in common, I identify with the existential tension and grief she is experiencing. I, too, am starting to grapple with the reality that not everything I dream of is possible given my age and particular family circumstances. As I approach 39, I have dreams that have yet to materialize. And to tell the truth, at this point, I am not sure they ever will.

For close to a decade, I've dreamed of being a theology professor. Last year, I taught two classes at our local seminary. After observing and evaluating my classes, the dean told me I received some of the highest marks she has ever given. That teaching experience brought to mind Frederick Buechner's oft-quoted words about vocation: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep ...

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[Cfamily]'A Man for All Seasons' is a Movie for Our Time
« Reply #354 on: November 03, 2016, 07:02:27 AM »
'A Man for All Seasons' is a Movie for Our Time

The stirring portrait of Sir Thomas More shows the costly importance of faithfulness.

Don’t worry. I won’t spoil the ending. But you need to know (if you don’t already) that something extraordinary is coming soon to a theater near you.

Before the clock strikes 2017, legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese will deliver his passion project, a movie he’s been planning for decades. It’s based on a beloved novel by Shusaku Endo about a Portuguese missionary striving to serve persecuted Christians in Japan. And if Scorsese is true to his literary source, and brings his formidable powers to the occasion, he may well deliver one of cinema’s most excruciatingly intense films about faith.

It’s called Silence. And it corners Christians with a compelling question: Are there any circumstances under which a believer should openly apostatize? Is there any earthly authority who, if he commands a believer to publicly renounce his faith, should be obeyed?

I thought about Silence a lot this week as I revisited one of the most enduringly popular films about faith: A Man for All Seasons. How could I not? Here’s another beloved drama in which the word “silence” plays a prominent role, and in which a faithful Christian is commanded to deny Christ’s authority.

In both stories, silence is a matter of life and death. But in Endo’s narrative, the silence in question is God’s: Why will he not intervene and stop the persecution of Japanese believers? In A Man for All Seasons, silence plays a different—but equally important—role.

I recommend we prepare for Scorsese’s film by revisiting this classic. Directed by Fred Zinnemann from a script by Robert Bolt (adapting his own stage play), and starring the great Paul Scofield as Sir Thomas More, A Man for ...

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[Cfamily]Breaking the 200 Barrier: Renaissance Church in Decatur, Illinois
« Reply #355 on: November 04, 2016, 07:07:21 AM »
Breaking the 200 Barrier: Renaissance Church in Decatur, Illinois

Church seeks to meet the needs of the un-churched and de-churched.

My church, Renaissance, is located in a small Midwestern city with around 100,000 people living in the county. It began as a Sunday night Bible study in the home of our pastor. Once his living room was outgrown, the church began meeting downtown at the local Arts Council building once a month. It wasn’t long before a more permanent home was found and after months of remodel, Renaissance began meeting every Sunday night at 6:00 pm. Steady growth over time soon filled our room’s capacity so that 140 chairs were no longer enough to seat everyone attending, and the decision was made to launch a second Sunday gathering, the first of which was held on Easter in 2014.

Growth continued over the next year and in the Fall of 2015 we added a third gathering, this time at 9:00 am, moving our 10:30 am gathering to 10:45 am. At present we have reached a point where an average of 500 people (including 130-150 children) attend our three Sunday gatherings. This presents us with many challenges in a building with a main room that seats only 140 people. We are presently under talks to purchase space that will quadruple our current square footage, making comfortable space for those already attending and room for more to join us.

This growth was sought unintentionally as more focus was placed on relationships and excellence in presentation than on numbers and growth. We have always wanted to care for and do life with the people who come, and Renaissance has always been a community where people feel comfortable inviting their friends. It seemed that the serious thought, intentionality, and preparation put into every song, sermon, announcement, and media presentation helped frame our message that life exists because of Jesus and you ...

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Evangelicals Across the Spectrum Are Clarifying Marriage as a Core Belief

For Evangelicals, same-sex marriage is not an "agree to disagree" issue.

Marriage, as Jesus defines it in Matthew 19—where a man leaves his father and mother and joins with his wife in covenant marriage—is a core evangelical belief.

It might not seem that way these days, when we hear of a few people making news by changing their views on sexuality and marriage, but we are in a season of one evangelical organization after another feeling the need to make clear their position on marriage.

That’s the bigger story than the celebrity of the moment.

Evangelical organizations across the spectrum are making clear where they stand on marriage. For some, particularly conservative Evangelicals, this view was already evident, but perhaps this is most difficult in the progressive wing of Evangelicals.

Organizations like Fuller Seminary, InterVarsity, the Vineyard, and World Vision are all known for their progressive views on gender, race, and social justice.

These organizations were seen as progressive—until recently.

They’ve recently made it clear what they believe on marriage, and some people are disappointed.


I imagine that if you've dedicated your life to making same-sex marriage an issue on which good, Bible-believing Christians can just “agree to disagree,” this must be deeply disappointing. And for many LGBT people who just want to live their lives as they believe God made them, I understand this can be hurtful. I know those emotions are real and deeply felt.

While those feelings are real, it is also the case that this is real: Evangelicals consider biblical marriage a core issue.

Now, Evangelicals are not the only ones to think this, but they are currently in the spotlight on this discussion. For a few years, some wondered if Evangelicals would move ...

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Evangelicals: This Is What It Looks Like When You Sell Your Soul For A Bowl Of Trump

When your ethics change based on wanting something to be one way or another (or one person to win or not), that's the definition of selling your soul.

Character matters for elected officials. At least that's what Evangelicals used to think.

The graph tells the story:

Five years ago, white Evangelical Protestants were the most heavily Republican voting bloc in the country, and also the group most concerned about the private morality of public officials. Only 30 percent of them believed that “an elected official can behave ethically even if they have committed transgressions in their personal life.” A recent article in New York Magazine headlined with “Religious Right Now Judgement-Free, Thanks to Donald Trump.” In it, the author states:


But Donald Trump has changed all that. Today, white evangelical Protestants are the least moralistic cohort of voters.

He goes on to cite a PRRI/Brookings survey, which affirmed that 72% of white evangelical Protestants “now believe elected officials can behave ethically even if they have committed transgressions in their personal lives.”

It doesn’t take much reflection to see the writing on the wall if we are to believe this survey: some people are now OK with wrong as long as they get the guy on the right.

Now, I'm not of the view that this means you've sold your soul if you vote for Trump (or Clinton, for that matter). In fact, in the past month I have hosted quite a few Evangelical leaders who have spoken quite eloquently as to why they are voting for Trump, Clinton, or others. I am friends with a number of people with whom I personally disagree in regards to this election season.

However, the NY Magazine article highlights something very important—the people of God, who are called to hold to the highest standard of morals and ethics, now rank as the highest group percentage-wise of ...

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Re: Christian family - family and home topics
« Reply #358 on: November 06, 2016, 02:06:42 PM »
The writer is in error here.
1. God says to pray for your leaders and we should respect them. If there is a potential leader however he or she has been in the past, it does not determine their future. If it was so we would all be doomed.
2. God is judge, not man. God has given us the choice to vote and this vote is not based on a man or woman's past but on ones beliefs of what would address the countries needs. If it were based on past sins on thought or deed who of us could stand? If we base on past sins do we not nullify the Christian message through Jesus Christ?


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Diaspora Missions: East Meets West (and North meets South): Reflections on Polycentric Missions

Christianity is not declining in the U.S., but is being ‘de-Europeanized.'

Last month, as I stood on the banks of the giant Panama Canal in Panama, Central America, and saw ships cross from the Atlantic to Pacific Ocean side, I was reminded of a famous quote from a poem by Nobel Laurate Rudyard Kipling—‘East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” He was born to English parents in Bombay in Colonial India and having grown up in India, Kipling’s short stories were a regular feature of my staple diet.

As I gazed at the breathtaking engineering feat, I wondered how wrong Kipling was. Right in front of my eyes, I was seeing the coming together of the East and West. Over a century of transportation and global trade has remarkably brought the East and the West closer together. Yet, Kipling is so right. There is so much fear, confusion, and pain between people of different geographies, culture, race/ethnicity, wealth, and ideologies.

Polycentric Missions: From Everywhere to Everywhere

I was in Panama to participate in the global consultation of the World Evangelical Alliance Mission Commission; the theme of the gathering was Polycentric Missions. We spent five days learning and discussing about the changing landscape of missionary work in the world today and delving into biblical reflections from the Book of Jonah. We discussed theological and missiological concepts such as Missio Dei, center/periphery, margins, new missionary-sending nations, and emerging polycentricism in missions.

The Panama Canal was emblematic of the flow in material goods and wealth of the nations. But when money and goods move, information and ideas move, which leads to people movements and culture change. Moreover, what remains subtle is that when people move, they carry faith with them. ...

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