US Evangelicals and Catholics join forces to warn of ‘grave threat’ of gay marriage

 

Senior Roman Catholics and evangelicals in the US have joined forces to warn of a grave “threat” to society caused by same-sex marriage.

In a statement to be published in the March edition of First Things, the US journal of religion, they describe the legalisation of same-sex marriage as “a graver threat” to society than divorce or cohabitation.

“We must say, as clearly as possible, that same-sex unions, even when sanctioned by the state, are not marriages,” the statement, titled “The Two Shall Become One Flesh: Reclaiming Marriage,” says. “Christians who wish to remain faithful to the Scriptures and Christian tradition cannot embrace this falsification of reality, irrespective of its status in law.”

 

Influential Christians such as Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist seminary and Timothy George, Dean of Beeson divinity school, are among the 30 senior Christian leaders who have endorsed the statement, according to Baptist Press.

The statement is the work of a consortium of Catholics and Protestants formed under the banner Evangelicals and Catholics Together, set up by the Institute on Religion and Public Life. The Catholics include George Weigel, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Centre.

Timothy George said the statement, headed: “The Two Shall Become One Flesh”, represents three years’ work by the group.

He told Baptist Press that Catholics and evangelicals “continue to disagree on lots and lots of issues. And the people who drafted this statement are well aware of those differences. We have not smudged them or pushed them under the rug.”

The members of the consortium “felt the complementarity of man and woman in marriage under God” was an issue on which evangelicals and Catholics could present a united witness. “We felt we had to speak out on this issue,” he said.

The statement sets out Bible teaching and concludes: “Marriage is a unique and privileged sign of the union of Christ with his people and of God with his Creation – and it can only serve as that sign when a man and a woman are solemnly joined together in a permanent union.”

It says marriage is in crisis throughout the Western world.

“The revolution in our marriage and family law, already well advanced, marches under the banners of freedom and equality. But these noble ideals are here gravely misapplied. When society systematically denies the difference between male and female in law and custom, our fundamental dignity is diminished, the image of God within us is obscured, unreality becomes legally established, and those who refuse to conform are regarded as irrational bigots,” the statement says.

It says gay marriage “threatens the common good” and “distorts the Gospel”.

“Keeping in mind the obligation to speak the truth in love, we must find ways to distinguish true marriage from its distortion, and we must do so without abandoning the public square,” the statement says. “We owe our fellow citizens a socially engaged witness to the truth about marriage, which, with the family, is the unalterable foundation of a healthy, humane society.”

Nigerian Church leader says ‘My people are being killed like animals and the whole world is just watching’

 

The president of the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC) has made an impassioned plea for the world to intervene against the Boko Haram insurgents who have ravaged the north and east of the country.

In an interview for the Baptist World Alliance, Rev Samson Ayokunle expressed “consternation” at the attitude of the international community in the face of the destruction.

 “The earnestness with which they intervened in the ISIL attack in Syria and Iraq, or the Taliban problem in Afghanistan … is not shown in the case of Nigeria.”

He accused the world community of devaluing Nigerian lives, saying: “Does it not matter to the rest of the world if Boko Haram continues to kill hundreds of people every week? Are these people less human than those being killed in other place where they have gone to directly intervene? My people are being killed like animals and the whole world is just watching.”

Ayokunle was responding to the latest series of attacks by Boko Haram, including the destruction of Baga in Borno State, thought to have cost as many as 2,000 lives. An estimated 1.5 million people have been displaced as a result of the militant group’s attacks, which included the abduction of more than 250 schoolgirls from Chibok village in April last year.

He accused the group of deliberately targeting Christians, saying: “The main targets in all these attacks are the Christians first and any other person that opposes them. Any town they enter, after killing the Christians there, they go ahead to bring down all the churches there, sparing the mosques. Major Christian cities such as Gwoza and Mubi among others have fallen to them. Christians in cities such as Michika and Baga are also on the run.”

Ayokunle said that the Church was facing “severe persecution”. In one town, Mubi, he said that not a single church was still standing, that Baptist schools had also been closed and that 2,000 Baptists, including the pastors, had fled through Cameroon. He said that while they had now returned to Nigeria, “They have become displaced and are now living in displaced people’s camps scampering for food, without decent accommodation and naked.”

He asked for support for the refugees and for prayer, saying: “Continue to join us in prayer so that the gates of hell might not prevail against the Church of Christ in Nigeria.”

 

SOURCE

News: Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Baga Attack

 

Boko Haram militants have claimed responsibility for the attack on Baga that killed at least 150 people Jan. 7. In a video released this week, a man claiming to be Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau says that the terrorist group orchestrated the attack and warns that more violence is coming.
The Nigerian government maintains that the attack on Baga killed 150 people, though witnesses of the attack said that as many as 2,000 people were slaughtered in the massacre.
“We killed the people of Baga. We indeed killed them, as our Lord instructed us in His Book,” Shekau said in the video obtained by the AFP news agency.
“We will not stop. This is not much. You’ll see.”
Shekau then challenged authorities to stop the group’s violence.
The kings of Africa, you are late. I challenge you to attack me even now. I’m ready,” he said.
Christian Today reports that Nigerian officials have claimed Shekau was dead multiple times, but videos featuring the leader appear afterward. It is unclear if Shekau is alive or if a militant is imitating him in the videos.

Churches in Niger and Other Former French Colonies Torched over Charlie Hebdo Cartoons

Cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad are proving costly for Christians in majority-Muslim countries in Africa.
 
At least 45 churches were torched over the weekend in Niger, in two days of protests that left about 10 people dead. The targeted churches were mainly of the evangelical denominations built on the left bank of Niamey, the capital city.
 
Three other churches were ransacked on Friday (Jan. 16) and three people were killed in Zinder, Niger’s second-biggest city. A French cultural center burned down in the city as other marches unfolded in Mali, Senegal, Mauritania and Algeria — all former French colonies.
 
Christians’ homes and businesses have also been attacked as enraged mobs clash with police in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in Paris on Jan. 7, in which gunmen killed 12 people working for the satirical weekly. The subsequent publication of more Muhammad cartoons in Charlie Hebdo’s latest edition prompted renewed violence.
 
Sheikh Saliou Mbacke, coordinator of the Interfaith Action for Peace in Africa, said he strongly condemned the attacks on churches in Niger, but cartoons of such a revered figure were an act of provocation that could not be justified by freedom of expression.
 
“Muslim demonstrations to express their anger are legitimate,” said Mbacke, a Muslim leader from the Muridiya Sufi Community of Senegal. “I join all Muslims in the world to also express my anger for the cartooning of Prophet Muhammad.”
 
In Sudan, hundreds of people staged demonstrations in Khartoum but were blocked by police from reaching the French Embassy and French cultural center in the city.
 
Students in Somalia took to the streets on Saturday (Jan. 17) with placards saying “Je Suis Muslim, et j’aime mon Prophete,” or “I am Muslim and I love my prophet.”

London: Christian Nurse Fired for Praying with Muslim Colleague

A Christian nurse says the NHS made her look like a “religious nutcase” after she prayed with a Muslim co-worker.
 
Victoria Wasteney, 37, was suspended for alleged bullying and harassment after the co-worker, Enya Nawaz, told administration that Wasteney had tried to convert her to Christianity.
 
The Daily Mail reports Wasteney will launch an employment tribunal this week against the NHS trust she works for, arguing that she was suspended based on her religion.
 
The East London NHS Foundation Trust said it could not comment on the case ahead of the tribunal.
 
Wasteney was working at the John Howard Centre in Homerton, East London. Nawaz joined the hospital in 2012. The two had conversations about Islam and Christianity prior to the suspension. Wasteney said Nawaz was the one to initiate those conversations.
 
Nawaz approached Wasteney crying over health problems. Wasteney then asked if she could pray for her. Nawaz said yes and then Wasteney prayed and gave her a book about a Muslim woman who converts to Christianity.
 
Nawaz filed a formal complaint, and Wasteney was suspended for nine months during an investigation. She was given a written warning and moved to work in another area.
 
“I’m not anti-Muslim and I’m always very mindful to be sensitive to other people’s beliefs,” she said. “We discussed our beliefs but I certainly didn’t tell her that my way was the only way. I don’t even believe it’s possible to force someone to convert.
 
“But the way it was all handled left me looking like a religious nutcase and I would like an acknowledgement that there is a negative attitude towards Christianity in some areas of the public sector.”
 
 

Kirk Franklin Celebrates His 19th Year Wedding Anniversary

The gospel inspirational singer, Kirk Franklin on Monday, 20th of January, marked his 19th year wedding anniversary.

He took to twitter to publicly inform his followers with a tweet “It takes a lot for a man to fall in love…it takes even more for him to stay there. Happy Anniversary Baby! #1996” which was attached with a throw back picture of him with his beloved wife, Tammy Franklin.

Don’t forget his 44th birthday, which is coming up on the 26th of January.

Music: Imaramma ~ Shola King | @Shola_King @iSmartSpeed

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Prolific and gifted artiste, Shola King is a guitarist, song writer, musicologist, music instructor, performer and a trainer who Loves God and has a deep passion for music and a lot of respect for humanity.

 

With a first degree and Masters in Music Education from the University of Lagos, Shola King is a music teacher in Salvation International School, Ikeja, where he presently exercises his ministerial gift by grooming talents and gifted children.

 

He trains and continues to raise young talents in playing of diverse music instruments and has led many of them to minister at various inter denominational churches both in his home parish of the RCCG, Faith City and the RCCG Children Anointing Service at the Redemption Camp in 2013 and 2014.

 

His debut album, TESTIMONY was launched in the United States in 2011, while his sophomore album which consists of hit tracks, EKELE (featuring Patricia Uwaje-King), T’ota e mole (featuring Mike Abdul) was released in October 2013 and has been widely accepted across the nation.

 

Shola King’s latest album, Appreciation, is a blend of hip pop and African highlife danceable beats and it consists of 6 tracks which are Imaramma, Na u, Appreciation, I love to praise and Titi aiye which are presently available in some locations like Akure, Ilorin, Osun Osogbo, Abeokuta, Ibadan and Lagos state.

 

Due to his unique entertainment and anointed style of music, Shola King has been invited on several occasions to minister worldwide with his band at various events like church thanksgiving, wedding ceremonies, birthday thanksgivings, dedications and other social events.

 

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Video: Chris Morgan featuring Zavi: Spirit of Peace

Check out the new music video from one of Nigerian gospel’s most popular
worship leader,Chris Morgan

“This Peace Song is my Signature for Peace; together we take a stand and sign for peace to protect our Nation, the next generation, and our Children from the negative influences of Terrorism and war. Let love conquer hate and together we stand.” – Chris Morgan

Music: Natty Proff – Promiscuous | @nattynoscrappy @prayzmediaz

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Its undoubtable that God is very interested in all- even seemingly ‘nonspiritual’ aspects of our lives, like “love, Relationships, and sex”, so we don’t go experimenting with our youth and altering His plans. He expects us to see, approach,& correct with love (as He would do) promiscuous folks around us, and when we forget, let His promise cue us. Rather than pointing accusing fingers, or taking advantage of such people, if they disrespect themselves show them who they’re supposed to be. So Natty P.R.O.F.F. has ‘Rap’ped up this piece to enlighten as many guys n’ grrrlz aswould listen… This is certified dope trust me; skillful, & loaded y’all gotta’ hit d download button.

 

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New Music: Eberemole ~ Kemi Adewole | @kemjewel @iSmartSpeed

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Dynamic and passionate music minister, Kemisola Adewole who has participated in different capacities in the gospel music industry has dropped a new single titled Eberemole.

Eberemole is a story of the undying love of God towards us and how fortunate we are to benefit from that love. It is an African highlife track that will lift our hearts in thanksgiving and appreciation to God.

Kemisola’s unique vocal prowess also shines through as she has served as a lead vocal in the Karis Music ministries for years.

Eberemole will definitely get you dancing in gratitude to God for being a wonderful father.

 

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