Author Topic: Christian family - family and home topics  (Read 437682 times)

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[Cfamily]Here’s Where Evangelicals Are Giving the Most and Least
« Reply #728 on: December 02, 2017, 12:01:03 AM »

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Here’s Where Evangelicals Are Giving the Most and Least

For Giving Tuesday, ECFA analyzes the finances of 1,800 ministries.

While the multi-million dollar tally of Giving Tuesday donations will take time to compile, we already know which kinds of charities are most favored by American evangelicals.

Giving continues to rise for many categories of ministry, according to new research released today by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).

An analysis of the finances of more than 1,800 of its accredited members found a 2.2 percent rise in cash contributions from 2015 to 2016 (the latest year available). This group also saw a 3.6 percent rise in non-cash giving, which includes income such as government grants or real estate.

That adds up to $16.2 billion of giving—$12.6 billion in cash and $3.6 billion in non-cash—to evangelical ministries in 2016.

“We are encouraged to see donations to our member organizations continuing to increase each year,” stated Dan Busby, ECFA president and CEO. “Members of ECFA are doing wonderful work to serve people in need in myriad ways, and donations made to these ministries are being used to make the world a better place.”

ECFA itself has also been growing, from 1,600 members in 2011 to almost 2,200 today. (Recently accredited ministries were left out of the year-to-year analysis, which relies on mostly audited financial statements.)

Only 5 of the 26 ministry categories tracked lost funding in 2016. Hardest hit were higher education (down 8.3%) and alcohol/drug rehabilitation (down 5.4%); the other three categories lost less than 3 percent. [The full table of ministries is at the bottom of this article.]

The biggest area of growth was in literature publishing and distribution, a category which has been hit hard in recent years. In 2016, Send the Light Distribution ...

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[Cfamily]Don’t Blame Martin Luther for the Evils of the Modern World
« Reply #729 on: December 03, 2017, 12:01:03 AM »
Don’t Blame Martin Luther for the Evils of the Modern World

Brad Gregory follows the bouncing balls of post-Reformation history—but loses sight of who set them in motion.

Everyone likes a good villain. It makes a better story, and, in the real world, scratches our universal human itch of being able to name and blame the source of the evils that afflict us. And plenty of evils there are, if you look out the window today: paralyzing political dysfunction, economic and ecological injustice, and increasingly, fundamental disagreement over what it even means to be a human being. Sure, there are bright spots, but it’s more fun to look at the dark side.

Over the past couple decades, a robust industry of modernity criticism has inverted the central premise of the secularization narratives that used to dominate the field. Instead of “Luther and the Reformation gave us pluralism and capitalism and secularism, and isn’t that great?” it seems to be “Luther and the Reformation gave us pluralism and capitalism and secularism, and isn’t that a shame?” In part, this owes to an increasing awareness of the downsides of modern freedoms. Another factor, perhaps, is an increasing ascendancy of Catholic scholars in the academy, who are likely to look on the Reformation with a jaundiced eye.

One such scholar, Brad S. Gregory of Notre Dame, established himself at the forefront of this new scholarly movement with his 2012 tome, The Unintended Reformation. Although this book was subjected to a withering storm of criticism from historians and theologians of many persuasions, Gregory has re-entered the ring with Rebel in the Ranks, a popularized version of the same argument delivered just in time for Reformation’s 500th anniversary.

Actions and Reactions

Gregory’s central thesis remains unchanged: that although the Reformers never meant it so, their clarion call of “Scripture ...

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Re: Christian family - family and home topics
« Reply #730 on: December 03, 2017, 09:45:22 AM »
For those who want a fact based research article on the vital importance of evangelical Christianity. That shows that the book mentioned is factualy incorrect.
Try 'The Missionary Roots od Liberal Democracy.'

The staggering effect of evangelical Christianity on the development is really amazing.


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[Cfamily]What Does #MeToo Have to Do with You?
« Reply #731 on: December 04, 2017, 12:01:08 AM »
What Does #MeToo Have to Do with You?

When we tell our stories, we move from the western “I” to the biblical “we.”

There is a concept that some in the field of neuroscience call “increased integration.” Simply put, it’s the idea that when people share their personal stories with another, both people see changes in their brain circuitry. In fact, according to psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Siegel, when someone tells his or her story and is truly heard and understood, real change happens. They feel a greater sense of emotional and relational connection, decreased anxiety, and greater awareness of and compassion for others’ suffering.

Poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou said it this way: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

The traction that the #metoo campaign has gained has been phenomenal. As we see woman after woman come forward with reports of harassment and assault from some in American leadership today, the discussion pulls two ends of the same cord and lands at varying points in the middle. For some, the question remains, “Who should we believe?” For others, the question is, “How can we help?” Both are helpful and both must be thoughtfully considered.

My past includes sexual assault. To this day, I wish this chapter weren’t part of my story. The shame has passed, but the memories linger. Over and over, I’ve sought to take out my proverbial eraser and omit the entire scene, and many following. And for many years, no one knew this chapter even existed. Until I shared it and everything changed.

When I look at the #metoo phenomenon, I’m admittedly perplexed. Pandora’s Box has been opened and stories spill out. Over social media, in news outlets, in 140-character tweets.

And I come back to one question that pesters me at night: ...

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[Cfamily]Canada’s First Christian Law School Pleads Case to Supreme Court
« Reply #732 on: December 05, 2017, 12:01:11 AM »
Canada’s First Christian Law School Pleads Case to Supreme Court

Evangelicals pray for a win for Trinity Western University—and for religious freedom in general.

Today the Canadian Supreme Court began hearing a high-profile religious freedom case that will determine the fate of an evangelical law school in suburban Vancouver.

Trinity Western University’s plans to launch a law program—a first for a Christian institution in Canada—were stalled for four years, as the school faced legal challenges over its campus covenant, which bars sexual activity outside of traditional marriage.

Law societies in three Canadian provinces argued that the school policy discriminated against LGBT students, and refused to accredit future Trinity Western graduates as a result.

Canadian law schools must have provincial law society approval (in addition to sanctions from the government’s advanced education ministry and the Federation of Law Societies of Canada) in order to operate.

In three provinces—British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Ontario—the university defended its position in court, saying the covenant is a reflection of the school’s Christian values and applies broadly to students of all faiths and sexual orientations. It won its case in two of the three, and has appealed up to the Supreme Court in hopes of finally securing approval to operate.

“We are a private institution and we operate in a way that is consistent with our Christian faith,” Earl Phillips, the law school’s executive director, told CBC News. “This is not just a restriction on Trinity Western University, this is not just on evangelical Christians—it’s on the entire Christian church. It’s on all faiths.”

In the joint cases of Trinity Western University v. Law Society of Upper Canada and Trinity Western University v. The Law Society of British Columbia ...

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[Cfamily]Ravi Zacharias Responds to Sexting Allegations, Credentials Critique
« Reply #733 on: December 06, 2017, 12:01:02 AM »
Ravi Zacharias Responds to Sexting Allegations, Credentials Critique

Exclusive: Popular apologist explains extortion lawsuit, while RZIM defends his resume.

Ravi Zacharias built his career defending the Christian faith. Now the famous apologist is defending his own reputation.

Today, Zacharias and his eponymous Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) released their first statements specifically addressing a personal lawsuit involving a married woman who sent nude photos to the popular author and speaker, as well as accusations that Zacharias has misled supporters by inflating his credentials in his RZIM biography.

“I have learned a difficult and painful lesson through this ordeal,” Zacharias said. “I failed to exercise wise caution and to protect myself from even the appearance of impropriety, and for that I am profoundly sorry. I have acknowledged this to my Lord, my wife, my children, our ministry board, and my colleagues.”

An Indian-Canadian convert to Christianity, Zacharias has become one of the best-known living apologists and has authored dozens of books on faith. With almost $24 million in US revenue last year, RZIM sponsors dozens of itinerant preachers and apologists (such as the late Nabeel Qureshi); puts on conferences for Christian leaders; and holds forums on college campuses.

Last month, Zacharias settled a lawsuit with a Canadian couple he claimed had attempted to extort him over messages he had exchanged with the wife.

The federal lawsuit—which was filed by Zacharias, not the couple—alleged that his “friendly correspondence” with the wife evolved over the course of 2016 to her sending him “unwanted, offensive, sexually explicit language and photographs.” In April 2017, the couple sent a letter through their attorney demanding millions of dollars in exchange for keeping the messages a secret.

“In ...

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[Cfamily]Which Came First, Christmas or Consumerism?
« Reply #734 on: December 07, 2017, 12:01:00 AM »
Which Came First, Christmas or Consumerism?

Judith Flanders teases out the surprising mix of religious and secular elements in many beloved holiday customs.

In her latest book, Christmas: A Biography, Judith Flanders traces the history of Christmas and its customs through the ages and around the world. Flanders, a New York Times bestselling author and historian of the Victorian era, has turned her scholarly attention to the world’s most beloved holiday. The result is expansive, bold, and surprising.

Flanders begins her biography of Christmas with the early church observances of Christ’s nativity, where the name and calendar date of the holiday have their beginnings. But she insists that the role of religion is often overemphasized in accounts of the holiday’s origin. Independently of the Christian holiday, midwinter celebrations had long been held in Greek, Roman, British, and Germanic lands. From the start, there was never one Christmas. Instead, Christmas has always meant many things.

The modern observance of Christmas—marked by familial, commercial, nostalgic, sentimental, and religious elements—began to take shape in the late 18th century. Consider the Philadelphia Quaker Elizabeth Drinker, who kept a diary throughout the second half of the 1700s. Her earliest entries show that she, like her fellow Quakers, did not initially recognize or partake in the holiday. Over the next 20 years, we find spotty references to the activities of neighbors on “Christmass, so call’d.” But by the end of the century, we see her shamelessly celebrating with family dinners and visits from friends. Christmas, so it seems, sort of crept up on her.

Quakers like Elizabeth Drinker typically did not keep Christmas for a number of reasons, one of which was the unruly and lowbrow behavior associated with it. Children routinely “barred out” the ...

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[Cfamily]To More Than a Few Good Men: Don’t Give Up on Working with Women
« Reply #735 on: December 08, 2017, 12:01:00 AM »
To More Than a Few Good Men: Don’t Give Up on Working with Women

Four research-based solutions beyond Mike Pence’s ‘Billy Graham Rule.’

Nearly four decades have passed since women began entering the workforce in droves, and men and women are still grappling with how to work alongside one another. Since The New York Times published an exposé of film executive Harvey Weinstein, sexual harassment allegations have roiled the country, taking down high-powered men from newsrooms, Hollywood, Wall Street, and Washington, DC. Hundreds of women have stepped forward to share their stories of sexual misconduct in the workplace.

As a survivor of sexual assault, I celebrate the courage of women who have finally spoken truth to power. However, as a researcher and leadership consultant, I watch these developments with some anxiety and worry about the implications for women in the workplace.

For over a decade, I’ve studied the barriers for Christian women in leadership. Like their secular peers, many Christian women encounter leadership limitations as a result of failure to be included in “the old boys club.” That exclusion dramatically reduces their ability to participate in critical decision-making processes.

In the context of these common workplace dynamics, a key question emerges: Will good men in leadership, out of fear of false sexual harassment allegations, withdraw even further from women in the workplace?

In 1948, Billy Graham and a few of his associates drafted the Modesto Manifesto in response to evangelists whose ministries had been derailed by sexual immorality. They pledged to “avoid any situation that would have even the appearance of compromise or suspicion.” This commitment—although only part of the overall manifesto—became well-known as the “Billy Graham Rule,” in which men vow to not be alone with ...

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