“In the News” brings together some of the most interesting content I’ve found online, as it pertains to the church and the people God has called us to reach. Keep in mind, I don’t endorse or agree with everything you’ll see included in the these articles but I find them interesting and worth the read or watch. Take some time to check out the articles and let me know what you think.
Our Executive Pastor recently announced that he and his wife would be moving to Cambodia in January. This came as a shock to many people but to most of us that know his heart we were not surprised what so ever. One of the hints was when Pastor Pete asked us to watch “Every day in Cambodia”
The Freedom Project documentary, “Every Day in Cambodia”, first broadcast last year, airs again this weekend. The film, presented by actress Mira Sorvino, documents the appalling plight of children sold into sex slavery, sometimes by their own mothers, and the people fighting to stop the practice.
Obama signed Executive Order Protecting LGBT People From Employment Discrimination; No Religious Exemption
The order bars federal contractors from discriminating against their employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and protects federal employees from discrimination based on their gender identity.
Colleen Simon was fired from her job a Catholic food pantry at St. Francis Xavier Parish by a Roman Catholic diocese in Kansas City, MO over marrying her partner in Iowa. She has filed a lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City–St. Joseph and its bishop, the Rev. Robert Finn.
Creation Museum CEO Ken Ham has criticized NASA’s efforts to search for extraterrestrial life, arguing that God has not created life anywhere outside the Earth, and that the search for such life is driven by “man’s rebellion.” “I’m shocked at the countless hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent over the years in the desperate and fruitless search for extraterrestrial life,” Ham wrote in a blog post for Answers in Genesis on Sunday.
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Wheaton College doesn’t have to abide by the Obamacare contraceptive coverage requirement as long as the Christian school tells the Obama administration that it has a religious objection to providing birth control to its employees and students.
Islamist insurgents have issued an ultimatum to northern Iraq’s dwindling Christian population to either convert to Islam, pay a religious levy or face death, according to a statement distributed in the militant-controlled city of Mosul.
Roman Catholic Church leaders have criticized the Church of England’s historic vote to allow women to serve as bishops earlier this week, arguing that such a move is an “obstacle” to Christian unity.
“It frustrates me how church people discern truth using their politics instead of their Bibles, and it frustrates me that they don’t know the are doing it.”
– Reverend Dr. Derrick Lynch, Blue Valley Baptist Church
As an American and also as an evangelical Christian, I can hardly bear to watch this nightmare unfolding. It’s bad for Christianity, heck it’s bad for America. Here is my take on the sorry spectacle of Christian politics — and how to fix it.
- “… but they did it to President Bush”. Again, I don’t know about you but my kids would get into trouble for making an asinine excuse like this.
- “[Political Party] is just the lesser of two evils”. Just remember that you are still advocating for evil.
- “[Political Party] is closer to my values”. Yes, and they are trying to setup there own [Political] kingdoms that compete with God’s.
- Rush Limbaugh hates Jesus.
- Sean Hannity hates Jesus.
- Rachel Maddow hates Jesus.
- Mark Levin hates Jesus.
- Kieth Olbermann hates Jesus.
- Piers Morgan hates Jesus.
- Anderson Cooper hates Jesus
- Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, NPR and whomever else I missed all hates Jesus.
- Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and [fill in your political party if it was not mentioned] parties are ALL antithetical to the Kingdom of God.
I know you agreed with some of the list and others you disagreed but I want to ask you this, What kingdom are they fighting for? When you listen to them talk/ advocate for their position who are they talking about? A Political party, an ideology, or Christ? Better yet if someone were to listen to you talk/ advocate who would they say you are talking about? Unfortunately, we have sold out to these fiefdoms while the Kingdom of God (you know the one that Christ died in establishing) loses ground. Do not allow your voice to be co-opted by your allegiance to an earthly kingdom or party. We have prostituted ourselves out so much that the outside world does not know the difference between Christ many political parties and that is a shame.
Recently, I was given a recent CNN article “Why Millennials Are Leaving The Church” by Rachel Held Evans. When reading the post it becomes evident that (in my opinion) she is not talking about the “holy catholic church,” but a narrow subculture of conservative American evangelicals but the conversation is afoot none the less. Unfortunately, her post does not [seem to] address why young adults in America are leaving the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, broad evangelical, nor mainline churches. I must admit that her post has struck a chord with a larger swath of readers (see the thousands of comments below her post). She is addressing a perennial topic of conversation among church leaders and church goers: what will happen to the next generation.
Like Rachel, I’m in my early 30’s, right on the border of the millennials, and many of the questions and doubts I hear from the millennial generation resonate with me too, but the analysis offered from Trevin Wax below differs somewhat from Rachel’s.
I guess the questions is simple, If you are below 30 why are you leaving (staying) in the church? I look forward to your comments below.
Rachel thinks millennials are leaving the church due to the perception that evangelicals are
“… too political, too exclusive, old-fashioned, unconcerned with social justice and hostile to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”
She’s right to decry a vision of Christianity that reduces repentance to a list of do’s and don’ts. I too have noticed that many millennials desire to be involved in mercy ministry and support justice causes. And I couldn’t agree more when she says “we want churches that emphasize an allegiance to the kingdom of God over an allegiance to a single political party or a single nation.”
The Church’s Response.
How has the church responded? Rachel sees church leaders trying to update their music or preaching style, and thereby running up against the “highly sensitive BS meters” we millennials have. We’re not fooled by consumerism or performances when churches cater to what they think we want.
“What millennials really want from the church is not a change in style but a change in substance.”
I agree with that sentence for the most part, although I would tweak the last line to say “What millennials really want from the church is substance.” Not a change in substance, necessarily, just substance will do.
Too often, our churches have offered a sanitized, spiritualized version of self-help therapy, and Jesus has been missing. And that’s the problem. Like every generation, she says, “deep down we long for Jesus.”
Here’s where Rachel and I part ways – on what communities following Jesus look like in our culture.