The Myth of Missionary Neutrality

The  things that we do either propels God’s mission forward or hinders the embodiment of his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

As a former Missionary that pioneered new works throughout the British Isles I would like to share with you some of the suggestions that will help you in your ministry in a new land among a new people. During my tenure on the foreign field I made a lot of errors that resulted in my losing some even though I was able to win some. I would like to list some helpful suggestions that will benefit you if you desire to be a soul winner in a new land and especially if you are an American Apostolic.

1-Forget about your Nationality and learn to become one with the people you are to minister too.

2-Follow the Apostle Paul’s word’s  found in

1 Corinthians 9:18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. 19-For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 20-And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21-To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22-To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23-And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

3-Learn their language

4-Learn their ways and customs

5-Preach only what is true and proven in salvation and in standards. If you have certain dress standards teach them by setting the example in your daily living

6-Remember they may not enjoy loud microphones and thundering or booming speakers. Jesus never used a loud speaker or a mike; neither did any of the Apostles

7-Show them love and respect in all things

8-Do not force people to the Altar invite them instead. The acceptance of Salvation, miracles, and/or healing must be their decision. Jiggle their heart and not their throat.

9-Reveal to them the power of the new birth and the name of Jesus Christ

10-Allow Jesus Christ to lead and guide you in all things.

Below is an article by JEFF CHRISTOPHERSON AND MATT ROGERS

It’s common to hear people speak as if there are three possible positions for life in relation to God. Some are in drive—moving forward in active obedience to the Great Commission. Others are in reverse, demonstrating rebellion against God’s authority and living to undermine God’s mission in the world. The rest are sitting in neutral, somewhere between drive and reverse.

Those in the first position are the missionary superstars of the church. They preach, lead, or better yet, they go across the world to take the gospel to those who’ve never heard. Those in reverse are clear enemies to the gospel. They flaunt their depravity through heinous acts that are universally decried as wicked.

Then there’s everyone else—the mass of humanity who saunters through life in a seemingly neutral posture.

Some of these neutral people profess faith in Jesus yet perceive of their existence as morally and missionally neutral, devoid of meaning most of the time. Others do not believe, however their posture toward life differs little from their neutral, supposedly believing friends. They simply live making decisions and investing time in ways that have little significance beyond the meagre reach of their influence, or so they think.

I (Jeff) write about these themes in my book, Kingdom Matrix, where I suggest that, contrary to this tripartite way of thinking, there are ultimately two, not three, kingdoms in which we can live.

The first is the kingdom of God wherein our lives are caught up in the grand mission of God and infused with worth, value, and significance by virtue of this reality. The second is the kingdom of darkness that defies God’s authority and works to undermine or abate God’s mission through volitional sin or passive apathy.

Far too often we believe in a third kingdom, “a grey territory that would contain the bulk of my time and energy. Not good. Not evil. Just life…The problem with the Third Kingdom is that it doesn’t actually exist” (pg. 28).

My conclusion, while validated by Scripture’s testimony, falls on deaf ears far too often. What happens if we believe this third kingdom defined by missionary neutrality actually exists?

We Compartmentalize Our Lives

The impetus for the pervasive sacred-secular divide is found in neutral. If we erroneously believe that the majority of life is spent plodding through secular activities divorced from God-consciousness, then it’s easy to rationalize neutrality.

But if, as I’d submit, all of life is sacred and every activity, down to the most mundane, is done as an act of worship unto the Lord, then everything we do either propels God’s mission forward and fosters universal praise of his greatness or hinders the embodiment of his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

We Confuse Mission

Neutrality also confuses the mission of God’s people, suggesting that mission only applies to missionary superstars who devote the totality of their lives to gospel proclamation or to those actions by all the rest of us that fit the normative categorization of evangelism.

As such, only about 1% of the average person’s life would count at “mission,” and that percentage would only apply to the five-star Christians. The other 99% of our investment would not count—time spent showing hospitality, jump starting a neighbor’s car that won’t start, opening our hearts and our wallets to the widow or orphan, or sitting on a kid’s bed comforting them in their tears.

If we remove neutral from the vocabulary of the church, we reframe all of life as mission and animate all of life with God’s missionary purposes.

We Miss Joy

The economy of the kingdom of God redefines value. Those who participate in short-term missions often get a little taste of this truth. They invest money, travel to an unfamiliar context, and give a week to serve in ways they’d gripe about back home.

The result: Joy. Great joy. Joy found in pouring themselves into work that matters. Joy in storing up treasure in heaven. Joy in a sense of participation in God’s mission to save sinners and fix the world.

Joy and mission go hand in hand. When we claim to live in neutral we miss the joy God intended for his people.

If all of life is mission and mission is found in all of life, then we can experience joy in the trivial, hope in the mess, and peace in a life well-lived.

Language shapes culture, as evidenced by the fictitious sense of “neutral” among those who profess faith in Jesus. If we take neutral out of our vocabulary, it forces a reappraisal of every aspect of life in light of the key question: Is this enhancing or undermining the mission of God? There’s no place for neutral in that answer.

Swedish Professor Under Investigation for Saying Men and Women Are Biologically Different

I WANT TO BE X GENDER OR I WILL SUE

A Swedish university professor is being investigated for making the comment that there are biological differences between men and women. Lund University neurophysiology professor Germund Hesslow was accused by a student of making “transphobic” and “anti-feminist” statements in a lecture, and though the school has asked him to recant, Hesslow is refusing.

RT reports that during a lecture in his course on ‘Heritage and Environment’, Hesslow cited research that supports the idea that there are differences between men and women which are “biologically founded” concluding that for that reason genders cannot be regarded as merely “social constructs.”

After the lecture was over a female student complained to the department suggesting that Hesslow’s comments went against Swedish values which require all schools in Sweden to adhere to an ethical policy, which upholds egalitarian values, individual freedom and equality of the sexes.

Hesslow spoke with RT saying, some students, “for ideological reasons,” don’t like to hear certain scientific facts about biological differences between men and women.

Reportedly, the comments were not necessarily tied to the course material but were prompted by a question asked by a student during the lecture.

“If you answer such a question you are under severe time pressure, you have to be extremely brief — and I used wording which I think was completely innocuous, and that apparently the student didn’t,” Hesslow said.

According to Academic Rights Watch, Hesslow met with the chairman of the program board for medical education Christer Larsson,  and was told that the student claimed he spoke on his “personal anti-feminist agenda.”

The university asked Hesslow to refrain from and remove himself from two specific comments he made: that gay women have a “male sexual orientation” and that whether transsexuality is a sexual orientation is “a matter of definition”.

Hesslow has refused to recant his statements saying “At some point, one must ask for a sense of proportion among those involved. If it were to become acceptable for students to record lectures in order to find compromising formulations and then involve faculty staff with meetings and long letters, we should let go of the medical education altogether.”

Reportedly, Hesslow also denied the accusation that he was plugging a “political agenda,” noting that his only agenda was to let scientific fact, not a new conventional outlook, steer university teachings.

He said, “Ideology, politics and prejudice form the conventional outlook, not science.”

Hindu Extremists Accelerate Clampdown on Christians in Uttar Pradesh, India

Pastors in hiding after police, media deployed against them.

Church at worship in Jaunpur District, Uttar Pradesh on Sept. 16 in spite of persecution by Hindu extremists. (Morning Star News)

NEW DELHI (Morning Star News) – Under the influence of Hindu extremists, police and media campaigns against Christians in Uttar Pradesh state, India have mushroomed since one such attack sent a pastor into hiding last month, sources said.

After false media reports of large-scale, fraudulent conversions of Hindus by pastor Durga Prasad Yadav in Jaunpur District went viral in July, followed by false police charges, there have been multiple area reports of disrupted worship meetings, pastors and evangelists arrested and Christian leaders fleeing their homes to avoid arrest, sources said.

Pastor Yadav is a resident of Bhulandih village. On Sunday (Sept. 16), Jaunpur Police blocked all roads to Bhulandih village, keeping worshippers from Bhulandih Church, sources said.

“They have stopped believers and asked them to go back home,” a source said. “Hindu extremist groups are shouting anti-Christian slogans around the churches in many places in Jaunpur. They are threatening believers with severe consequences and asking every believer as to how much money he has been given to convert.”

Christians have been targeted in at least five cases, four of them Jaunpur and one in Pratapgarh District, 58 miles away. Four of the cases erupted on Thursday (Sept. 13).

At least 12 pastors have gone into hiding since then, a source unnamed for security reasons told Morning Star News. Pastor Yadav also remains in hiding, but attendance at his church’s worship services has nearly doubled since Hindu extremists began targeting him and others using state and media machinery, sources said.

Those detained by police told Morning Star News that police are bombarding them with questions, asking them where they got money to carry out conversion activities and ordering them to list all pastors and other church leaders in the area, the sources said.

“Picking up pastors and Christian leaders after midnight, keeping them in police custody for 24 hours, is a technique to mentally harass them and to instill fear in them,” a source told Morning Star News.

A police officer at the Chandwak police station has been suspended and an investigation begun against him because he failed to act against area Christians sooner, according to local newspaper reports.

Sept. 11 Attack

On Tuesday evening (Sept. 11), police detained seven co-workers of Pastor Rajender Chauhan. Police released three of them late that night, while four were arrested and held until they secured bail on Friday (Sept. 14): Ratnesh Kumar, Jiyalal, Rajendra Vishwakarma and Manoj Chauhan.

In its coverage of the arrests, Hindi-language newspaper Dainik Jagran alleged a massive conspiracy of fraudulent conversion in the area, citing police sources who allegedly informed the newspaper that many “influential people” from Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata had called to secure the release of the arrested Christians.

“Procuring bail had become a challenge – there was huge pressure on the Sub-Divisional Magistrate [SDM] by a Hindu mob of about 250 people, shouting slogans of ‘Stop conversions’ inside the Civil Court,” an eyewitness who presented bail papers for the four pastors told Morning Star News. “The media present in the SDM office told the SDM not to sign on the bail orders of the four pastors claiming the allegations to be true against them. And after the SDM signed, they started to shout slogans louder and protested the decision of bail.”

Pastor Rajender Chauhan, who is among those in hiding, has faced constant harassment and opposition for many years. Police detained him in 2003 and in 2007 filed a First Information Report (FIR) against him that left him in jail for four days before he was released on bail. The court case against him is still pending.

“Pastor Chauhan has the second largest congregation in the Jaunpur District, with 5,000 members attending worship service every Sunday, and thus he is being targeted,” said the source on condition of anonymity.

Sept. 13 Attacks

Local police on Thursday (Sept. 13) raided the home of Pastor Gulab Chand in Jaunpur District at 1 a.m. He was arrested on trumped-up charges of fraudulent conversion activities, sources said.

His church, Bharpoor Jeevan (Abundant Life), has close to 600 members.

The next to be targeted was pastor Ravindra Maurya of Karmahi village in Dharmapur block, Jaunpur District. He was observing a fasting prayer event that night when a mob of Hindu extremists attacked his congregation. The congregation, mostly women, faced the assailants and boldly spoke of their faith in Jesus Christ.

The attackers warned the congregation of severe consequences if they continued worshipping and left. Pastor Maurya is serving with Jeevan Marg (Life Way) Charitable Trust.

On the same day in Englisia village in Madiyahu, Jaunpur District, the younger brother of the village chief severely beat Christian leader Ram Milan Gaud, sources said. The attacker warned Gaud against leading worship services in his house church and ordered him to halt them permanently or face consequences, the sources said.

Also on Thursday (Sept. 13) in nearby Pratapgarh District, Pastor Ram Milan along with two pastors visiting him from Mumbai were arrested after police raided his home alleging his involvement in fraudulent conversion activities, sources said.

Pastor Milan, from Aaspur village under the Devsara police station in Pratapgarh, was released along with the others around midnight. The sources said the two Mumbai pastors were ordered to leave the state immediately.

“They travelled all night to reach the airport and took the early morning flight to Mumbai,” a source said.

The incidents followed the media reports of alleged conversions by Pastor Yadav, whose home village of Bhulandih falls under Chandwak police station. Subsequently police picked up Pastor Yadav’s brother, Jai Prakash, for questioning on July 23. A group of Hindu extremists approached the court in early August demanding an investigation, and a case was registered against the pastors and 271 people.

In spite of police initially clearing the Christians of any wrongdoing, the court on Sept. 5 directed officers to investigate anew and file charges. Police later registered a case against Pastor Yadav, 45; Kirit Rai, 50; Jitandra Ram, 40; 250 unidentified Christians, 10 unidentified newly assigned pastors and eight unidentified Christian girls.

The Indian Penal Code sections under which they were charged on Sept. 5 were causing hurt by means of poison, etc. (Section 328), cheating (420), imputations and assertions prejudicial to national integration (153-B), defiling a place of worship (295), outraging religious feelings (295-A), criminal conspiracy (120-B) and inducing persons to believe that they will be rendered an object of Divine displeasure (508), under FIR No. 0194.

Charges of forcible conversion are invoked every month in India with the clear intention of intimidating Christians into silence, according to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which undertakes legal advocacy for religious freedom.

“In many places, the intimidation is working,” ADF notes in its campaign celebrating the 70th anniversary of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “It is a sad irony that all this persecution is happening in a country with a rich tradition and legal framework supportive of freedom of conscience and the right to practice, profess, and promote the religion of one’s choice.”

Article 18 of the U.N. declaration asserts that believers have the freedom to practice their faith “in teaching, practice, worship and observance,” ADF notes in its campaign to obtain signatures supporting the Geneva Statement on Human Rights at www.ImHumanRight.org.

Why Now?

The clampdown on Christian leaders and churches in the area coincided with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s visit to the district on Thursday (Sept.13).

Adityanath, who has openly indulged in hate-speech against minorities, has made his disdain of Christians plain, calling Mother Teresa “a Christian conspiracy to Christianize India.” The state government does not acknowledge the presence of Christians in the area, sources said.

“There is not even a single church building in the Jaunpur and nearby areas, and not a single Christian family, according to government records,” the source said.

There are at least 10 mega-churches in Jaunpur District, with about 25,000 people attending worship services, sources said.

The district has a total of 3,313 villages and five towns, and a population of 5 million, according to government records.

The state’s influence on Indian politics is paramount, as it sends the largest number of Members of Parliament in the country.

“Politically, Purvanchal [the region of eastern Uttar Pradesh and western Bihar state] is a very important field for politics,” a source said. “Influential political cream comes from Purvanchal.”

The source told Morning Star News that authorities have given permission to the administration to “adopt whatever technique they want to, [in order] to stop conversion activity in the area.’

The hostile tone of the National Democratic Alliance government, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, against non-Hindus, has emboldened Hindu extremists in several parts of the country to attack Christians since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in May 2014, religious rights advocates say.

India ranked 11th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List of countries where Christians experience the most persecution.

Nicaragua: Christians attacked, detained and killed as ‘enemies of the regime’

Nicaragua’s president ordered a UN commission to leave the country on 1 September after it criticised the government for alleged human rights abuses committed during its clampdown on anti-government protestors.

In its report, the UN Commission on Human Rights “called on the government to stop the persecution of protestors and disarm masked gangs who it alleges are responsible for killings and arbitrary detentions” and “described the torture and use of excessive force used during interviews with victims and local human rights groups” during months of anti-government protests, reported the BBC.

The government denied the allegations, saying the report was biased, but following the expulsion of the UN team anti-government protestors took to the streets again on Sunday (2 September). In the clashes with pro-government forces at least three more people were injured.

The UN Security Council discussed the situation in Nicaragua yesterday (5 September).

Protestors have called for President Daniel Ortega, a former Marxist guerrilla now in his third term in office, to step down and announce an early election.

Half of the population belongs to the Catholic Church, while around a third of Nicaraguans are Evangelicals.

Forms of repression

Since April more than 300 people have been killed and 2,000 injured in clashes between police and pro-government militias. “More than 1,200 people were arrested or have disappeared with some charged with serious crimes, including terrorism,” reported Al Jazeera.

On 23 August, the bodies of three men were found in Mozonte, 170km north of Managua. Police said the men were all members of a gang and the violence was crime-related, reported national news site 100 Noticias.

However, ABC News identified one of the men as pastor Justo Emilio Rodiguez Moncada, 35, of the evangelical Camino de Santidad church in Managua. The men were found with hands and feet tied and bullets in their heads, making it look like an execution. Relatives said the authorities were only trying to cover up the atrocities of the regime.

Rights groups have highlighted the “excessive use of force by the security forces of the State” and armed third persons and the government’s “systematic ‘shoot-to-kill policy”.

“Other forms of repression include arbitrary detentions, assassinations and even the monitoringof religious activities by infiltrators,” according to Rossana Ramirez, an analyst with Open Doors International’s World Watch Research unit.

Economic pressure is applied too, Ramirez said. On 14 August the daily newspaper La Prensa reported that President Ortega had ordered a 42% cut in funding for Catholic and Protestant institutions. This reduction in the state budget will affect 173 religious institutions, with the Archdiocese of Managua – one of the main opponents of the regime – the most affected.

The Old Cathedral of Managua. (Photo Pedro Pablo via Flickr; CC 2.0)
The Old Cathedral of Managua. (Photo: Pedro Pablo via Flickr; CC 2.0)

A week later the legal advisor of the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua, Carlos Cárdenas, was forcefully taken from his home on the outskirts of Managua by a group of hooded men, while they threatened to kill his 10-year-old daughter, reported Periodista Digital.

The Episcopal Conference has been acting as a mediator in the national dialogue to end the conflict between Ortega’s government and the opposition. However, talks were suspended in June because of a lack of progress.

Cárdenas was arrested with five other men on charges of committing “acts of terrorism” through its protests.

 

‘Deeply religious’ Chelsea Clinton: ‘Un-Christian’ to end legal abortion

To Kill your Baby or not to -That is the question?

Hillary and Chelsea DNC (1)

Self-proclaiming herself to be a “deeply religious person,” Chelsea Clinton contended in a Thursday interview that it would be “un-Christian” to end legal abortion in America.

During an interview, Signal Boost Co-host Jess McIntosh – an intersectional feminist – asked the former first daughter about how she was able to stay positive in her fight to keep abortion legal in the United States – as it has been since the U.S. Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) landmark Roe v. Wade decision of 1973.

“How do you keep going in the hopes that your daughter doesn’t have to have this fight?” McIntosh asked Clinton in the SiriusXM interview, according to The Daily Wire.

Modern-day champion of morality?

The daughter of former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton replied that her moral decision to choose right over wrong is what drives her determination to champion abortion.

“Every day, I make the moral choice to be optimistic that my efforts and my energies – particularly when I’m fortunate enough to be in partnership with fellow travelers – hopefully will make a difference,” Chelsea Clinton answered, according to The Daily Wire. “And when I think about all of the statistics – that are painful – of what women are confronting today in our country, and what even more women confronted pre-Roe [v. Wade], and how many women died and how many more women were maimed because of unsafe abortion practices, we just can’t go back to that.”

She went on to indicate that she was a devout Christian and that her religious-minded conscience drives her to make the moral commitment to make sure abortion is not ruled legal in the U.S.

“That’s unconscionable to me,” the young Clinton continued, according to Townhall. “And also, I’m sure that this will unleash another wave of hate in my direction – but as a deeply religious person, it’s also un-Christian to me.”

Clinton’s remarks were initially spurred at the progressive event by a line of questioning regarding the impetus behind her motivation to aggressively promote abortion while the other side of the debate passionately defends the sanctity of human life … and her response indicated that she believes pro-life advocates are on the immoral side of the argument.

“I look at my children and I have to quote [World Bank President] Jim [Yong] Kim: ‘Optimism is a moral choice,'” Clinton shared, as reported by The Washington Examiner.

Chelsea: Economic benefits of abortion

The pro-abortion Democrat continued to portray the pro-life movement in a negative light when she claimed that she received considerable backlash and hatred last month regarding her controversial comment that keeping abortion legal contributes to economic improvement.

“American women entering the labor force from 1973 to 2009 added $3.5 trillion to our economy – right?” Clinton asserted in her controversial comment at the time, according to Townhall. “The net, new entrance of women – that is not disconnected from the fact that Roe became the law of the land in January of 1973.”

She still remained unapologetic about this view on Thursday – reaffirming her argument for abortion as the superior economic choice for women.

“[O]ur ability to participate fully in our society – including economically – hinges on our ability to be able to make choices for our bodies and our families,” the abortion activist insisted.

Co-host Zerlina Maxwell banded with McIntosh and Clinton in their condemnation of the pro-life movement.

“With the feminists all in agreement, they bonded over their disdain for pro-lifers – whom they described as ugly trolls,” The Daily Wire’s Amanda Prestigiacomo reported.

In fact, Maxwell depicted Clinton as a victim of pro-life advocates’ sinister persecution.

“You handle the hate pretty well,” Maxwell commended Clinton, according The Daily Wire. “Anti-choice folks are really some of the ugliest – and gun lovers, too.”

Clinton basked in the sympathy while complaining about pro-life advocates’ opposition to her ultra-left abortion platform – as she tried to reason that being “Christian” means putting one’s career above the life of preborn children.

“[I’ve been] compared to slave owners and Nazis [for] having the temerity [to support abortion on demand],” Clinton informed her supportive interviewers.

Roe on fire?

The abortion debate has been rekindled ever since President Donald Trump’s SCOTUS appointee Brett Kavanaugh arrived on the scene, with Democratic leaders alarming other abortion activists that he could upturn the nation’s highest court’s infamous 45-year-old ruling, which has resulted in the terminated lives of some 60 million preborn children in America.

“Abortion rights have been thrust back into the spotlight amid Brett Kavanaugh’s U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee,” the Examiner’s Naomi Lim recounted. “Clinton headlined a ‘Rise Up for Roe’ event in New York City last month in opposition to Kavanaugh’s nomination.”

Democrats are fearful that the left-leaning balance of SCOTUS – that pushed forward the legalization of same-sex “marriage” and numerous other pro-LGBT legal privileges – will be in great jeopardy if Kavanaugh joins the bench and leans it toward the right.

“Kavanaugh’s appointment to the highest court in the country would cement the conservative majority on the bench,” Lim added. “His confirmation is likely to herald an era in which the 1973 landmark opinion will be narrowly applied to cases before the court.”

 

Christian Blogger Under Police Watch After Receiving Death Threats for Pro-Life Tweet

Christian Blogger Under Police Watch After Receiving Death Threats for Pro-Life Tweet

Denise McAllister, Fox News guest and contributor to news site PJ Media, says she and her family have received death threats after she tweeted a pro-life statement.

McAllister says she has been receiving rape and murder threats after she tweeted that “the root of abortion hysteria is women’s unhinged desire for irresponsible sex. Sex is their god. Abortion is their sacrament. It’s abhorrent as women have flung themselves from the heights of being the world’s civilized force to the muck and mire of dehumanizing depravity.”

She says people began to send her threats to her private inbox.

“They are threats outside of Twitter, stating they know where I live,” McAllister told JP Media. “Threats of rape and strangling.”

“My children are very frightened,” she added.

This week, she told her followers she would be taking a break from social media.

“Due to threats against my life, my family is asking that I stay off social media until the situation is resolved,” she said. “I don’t want to, but I need to respect their wishes at this time. I hope to return soon. Keep up the good fight, my friends.”

McAllister also added that she is working with police and her home is under police surveillance.

“I am facing legit death & rape threats because I have dared to call out women who are hysterical about abortion and to challenge them to be responsible and not to elevate sex to the point that they’re willing to kill human life to avoid their responsibilities,” McAllister said.  “How sick is that?”

McAllister isn’t the first blogger to receive threats for her comments.

Earlier this year, Elizabeth Johnston, the Activist Mommy, received threats over her conservative videos, such as one threat that said: “I will find Activist Mommy and burn whoever runs it alive.”

She said Facebook claimed that the threats didn’t violate their community standards.

Church Members Take Gospel to Streets After Chinese Officials Close Church

Church Members Take Gospel to Streets After Chinese Officials Close Church

After the Chinese government shut down a church in Chengdu, members of the house church took the gospel message to the streets.

In a video shared earlier this week, Christopher Gregory, of the China Missions organization, showed members of the church gathering in a public park to sing, pray and share the gospel. Gregory was later arrested and then released.

Gregory told Christian News Network that the church hosted both morning and evening services earlier this week.

“The local authorities shut down a house church in Chengdu last week, so they thought that was the end of it— it wasn’t,” Gregory said on his social media account, adding that police “looked on in bewilderment not knowing what to do.”

“For the first time, people throughout China are saying, “NO!” to what the Communist party wants— control,” he said. “Control over what they can do, what they can believe, where they can go, what they can say.”

“It’s yet another sign something is beginning to take shape here in China, the call for democracy! The call for freedom!”

The video has more than 43,000 views.

According to the organization China Aid, churches must register with the Three-Self Patriotic Movement. The Movement is the only authorized Protestant Church in China. Any churches who do not register are considered illegal, and authorities can arrest or jail church members.

Officials can also raid those illegal church buildings. In some cases, church crosses have been removed.

“The government is trying to silence anything relating to Christianity due to the rise of those who claim Christianity as their faith,” Gregory said.

“China is facing inward resistance and they see this growth of believers as a sign of losing their grip on its society.”

“Pray for China,” he said. “Pray for change here. Pray that the gospel reaches into men’s hearts so that the real change can come, then we’ll see a revival in China.”

School Board Decides to Fight Lawsuit After Initially Ordering Students to Paint Over Christian Logo on Football Field

SHREVEPORT, La. — A school board in Louisiana has unanimously voted to fight a lawsuit filed by Americans United for Separation of Church and State after it initially instructed the field crew to spray paint over a paid advertisement on the Benton High School football field that includes a Scripture citation and a cross.

Americans United had filed suit against the Bossier Parish School District earlier this year, asserting that “school officials throughout the Bossier Parish School System coerce students into religious practices and subject them to unwelcome religious messages and indoctrination.”

It said that prayers are delivered during school-sponsored events, that those events are sometimes held in churches, and that teachers and others encourage Christianity in the classroom.

However, as the logo features the name “Christ Gym,” as well as a cross and a citation of 1 Timothy 4:8, Americans United took the matter to court. An attorney for the school board advised that the ad should be blotted out for the time being.

“The school board’s legal counsel advised the administration that the logo should be removed pending consultation with the court, as alleged violations had just been discussed with the court,” explained attorney Jon Guice in a statement, according to KTBS-TV.

“The Bossier Parish School Board was unaware of the logo and has not met to discuss the issue,” he outlined. “We understand that a lawsuit has been filed in state court challenging the removal of the logo and that a temporary restraining order has been signed against the Benton Football Booster Club.”

However, the field crew refused help to paint over the advertisement.

“Today on field crew, I was asked to paint over the Christ Fit advertisement on the football field. You have to stand up for Christ no matter what, and we told the coaches we wouldn’t do it,” student Jonathan McPherson posted to Facebook. “We ended up leaving the field and not helping them cover up the Scripture that was put on the field. No matter what people say, you have to stand up for Christ even if it can get you in trouble with the school or anyone else.”

Christ Gym owner Billy Weatherall has also expressed objection, noting that he has a signed contract for advertising. He posted a video on social media, advising that he believed it would honor Christ to take a stand.

“God will honor those who honor Him. And guys, let me tell you, I believe it’s not honoring God for me to stand down and tell you that it’s okay, because it’s not. I’m never gonna say it’s okay,” he said. “Christ is everything to me and I will stand on that forever.”

The video has gone viral, generating 26K views as of press time.

Weatherall also posted a reminder to social media that “[t]he enemy IS NOT the booster club, faculty or administration. THE ENEMY IS SATAN!” He pointed to Ephesians 6:11-13, which reads, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.”

While the ad was painted over for a time, the board voted unanimously on Tuesday to fight the lawsuit and to restore the advertisement to the field.

“The vote was unanimous; the logo is going back on the field,” Weatherall wrote. “A huge thank you to this community for standing behind what is right. God always wins!”

As previously reported, some judges believe that the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution is being misconstrued as courts have been stuck in a rut of bad case law rather than viewing the text in light of the Christian roots of early American history, and the need for the federal government not to establish a national church in the midst of doctrinal disagreements between Puritans, Baptists, Congregationalists, Quakers and others.

“Alexis de Tocqueville understood and described this religiosity well. In his Democracy in America, written in the 1830s after he had spent several years traveling around the country, he said: ‘It was religion that gave birth to the Anglo-American Societies. This must always be borne in mind. Hence, religion in the United States is inextricably intertwined with all the national habits and all the feeling to which the fatherland gives rise,’” U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal wrote in an extensive opinion earlier this month.

Politicians overwhelmingly back marriage referendum in Romania

Romania’s Senate has backed a referendum on marriage, after pro-family groups organised a petition signed by millions.

Currently, the country’s constitution speaks of unions between “spouses”, but campaigners want it to specify “a man and a woman”.

On Tuesday, the Senate backed the vote by 107 votes to 13. The ruling party says a referendum could be held as early as next month.

Three million

In 2016, the Coalition for Family group gathered three million signatures calling for a public vote on marriage.

Reuters reports that under Romanian law, the constitution can be changed by a petition of at least 500,000 citizens.

Parliament must endorse the requests, before a national referendum. The lower house backed the idea of a vote in 2017.

A law considering same-sex civil partnerships is slated for future Parliamentary consideration.

In the UK, the Coalition for Marriage gathered over 600,000 signatures to preserve the definition of marriage – but the Government nevertheless introduced same-sex marriage.

Pastor Duke’s 9/11 Poem

Photo Credit: CBN News

Twas not day nor was it light

When she arose from the night

Would not be much more than an hour

That she would be at work in the tower

She got on her knees to pray as she knelt on the floor

Not just a sentence but a whole lot more

She prayed for her kids, her nation and kin

Not knowing that day of those horrible men

Who despised the life of others and their own

Thinking in their minds to their god they’d be known

So after her coffee and a roll

She left the house for the stroll

Up the lane and down the street

Smiling to all that she did meet

Twas not long fore she entered the door

Took the Elevator to the 73rd floor

Greeting co-workers as she took her seat

Picked up some fallen papers at her feet

Looking out the window suddenly she cried alas

As the plane came crashing through the glass

Now Satan their god was ever so pleased and laughed and shouted in glee

For that morning his followers had bowed to him on their knee

Twas Tuesday Sept 11th of that horrible day

When children in school were not allowed to pray

The pledge of allegiance was all they could speak

Before sitting at their desks with a squeak

But school was not out on that solemn day

When rules were broken as they sobbed and did pray

In school that day they prayed for those that did die

They cried to the God that was way up in the sky

Jesus our God looked down from above

Heard the cry of the people that he did love

He reached down his hands to the WTC

And took his children of that you can see

Many a person will never be found

Among the rubble that fell to the ground

Some there were not known and of little fame

But our Jesus knew them all by their Name

His promise is still true

For one day out of the blue

Jesus will come and above we will go

And we will be able to tell the world I told you so