How Can Christians Guard Against Imbalance between Faith and Politics? – Dr. Kevin Smith

 

This last election cycle, and really every election cycle, kind of demonstrates that there are Christians who are probably not concerned enough about the political process. There are Christians that are kind of appropriately concerned and there are Christians that are overly invested, in the political process. I think one of the greatest guards is to remember that we are those who have a dual citizenship, and our citizenship is in heaven and Christ, and we are in the (Book of) Peter language “pilgrims, and sojourners, and travelers through this barren land, that is not our home. We are to render unto Caesar the things that belong to Caesar, and render to God the things that belong to God.” I think we want to avoid not taking these things seriously on the one hand, but not avoid being over-invested on the other hand.

Honestly, Christians in the United States, we don’t live in communism or socialism on the dictatorship, so we do have opportunity to vote. I believe there’s some stewardship with that voting. I do believe we’re voting and participating kind of in a broken system, so I encourage scripture Christians to realize they’re not going to open the scripture and see a candidate space. And they’re not going to open the scripture and see the platform of the Democratic, nor the Republican party.

You’re going to have to do some thinking and some engagement, and there’s some contextualization to how you engage in a broken, fallen political system. I don’t mean broken, just in a sense of the United States is categorized by congressional gridlock and all that. I mean broken as in a sense of, our politics is composed of broken people; because all of humanity is fallen. I mean it in that broad sense. There’s no perfect political system.

I would encourage Christians to approach it with the appropriate level of consideration. I’m not over-invested. I’m not under-invested. I realize that the mission of the church, and the mission of me as a Christ honoring husband and father, those kind of things don’t change every four years or two years, on election cycle. The great commission is the same. And so, in one sense, the congregation of followers of Christ, they’re doing the same things regardless of what’s going around us with Caesar and other governmental influences.

Finally, I would just say, I just don’t think there’s anything in the political process that is worth losing the fellowship of the Body of Christ. In this last election cycle, 2016, I think hurt the unity of the Body of Christ of many Bible believing Christians in the United States, and I think we’ll have consequences for our missiological effectiveness for a good while going forward. That has happened. We can’t undo that, and so let’s just press toward the mark of the high calling of God. We have to avoid being over-invested.

Advertisements

How Should I Talk with My Kids about Racism and the History of Slavery? – Jim Daly

 

I think it’s critical to talk about those things, but I would say the first step is to take action if you want to be a role model for your children. Why don’t you invite a family of a different color over to your home for lunch or dinner, and sit around the table, and just talk? Don’t talk about the big issues, don’t talk about history and all those things, just have a normal discussion with friends. I think that’s a great first place to start, and then from that, building with your kids about, these people are no different from us, other than the color of their skin. They have the same desires, the same hopes, whether you’re black or white or Latino or Asian, it doesn’t matter. That’s one of the things I’m looking at with my own boys, is putting them into culturally rich, diverse situations, and talking to them about that.

Of course, we’re talking about Charlottesville, Jean and I with our teenagers, what’s happening in that context, why the angst? I think their initial reaction as children is to say, “Why do they want to pull down statues?” They don’t get the whole context of that. I think we can all have differences of opinions on these things, but where is the love of Christ? How do we treat each other with the respect that Jesus would desire from us? I think the church has a lot to atone for, historically, because we were rather silent during the civil rights marches, etc. God’s scriptures were twisted to use slavery in a way that was evil.

The other side of it though, is an understanding I think too, that when you’re talking to your kids, I think I saw a survey where 100% of high school students in the US thought slavery started and was only in the United States. So that is a tragic misunderstanding of global history. And the fact that slavery was really a modality that most conquering nations, tribes, etc used to build their own economies, whatever it might’ve been. Even the native Americans in the United States had slaves within their tribes, so it was a part of human history. Today we still have sex trafficking, another form of human slavery today. So there’s just something in the heart of humanity that leans in that direction, but we are making progress. I think we gotta continue to build on the progress that was made, even though we will have difficulty getting further ahead.

MUSIC + LYRICS: Elele By Bouphy

Elele is a Nigerian pidgin word which means ‘amazing’.

“Thinking about my life and all that HE has done for me, all I can say is ”Jesus na Elele”. This is a praise song that will get you dancing and praising HIM, all day, everyday.

“Get ready for something amazing, as you listen, love, share and download.” – Bouphy

DOWNLOAD 

LYRICS

Elele by Bouphy

Intro

I…iyeh iyeh iyeh
iyeh iyeh iyeh. /2x

Verse 1
From the north to the south o
East and west o
No body bi like you. /2x

Refrain
Nobody do me like you
Nobody sweet me like you
Nobody bi like you

Nobody bless me like you
Nobody heal me like you
Nobody bi like you

Chorus
Jesus na Elele
Elele o
Jesus na Elele o
Elele o. /2x

Verse 2

I search everywhere o
Look all around o
Nobody bi like you. /2x

Refrain
Nobody do me like you
Nobody sweet me like you
Nobody bi like you

Nobody love me like you
Nobody bless me like you
Nobody bi like you

Vamp1
C-Na the way you dey love me o
R-Elele
C-Na the way you dey sweet me o
R- Elele
C- Na the way you dey bless me o
R- Elele
C- You dey blow my mind o
R-Elele
C- You dey blow my mind o
R-Elele
C- You dey shark my brain o
R-Elele
C- Na wetin I do, wey make you love me so o o
R-Elele

Chorus
Jesus na Elele
Elele o
Jesus na Elele o
Elele o. /2x

Vamp 2
Elele /16x

Eh! you do me tinrinrin
I go lift my voice to singing..ing
I go praise and dance like davidi
Na you dey change my story…ri
Eh eh!! Elele o

you do me well o
You do me well o
You do me well o
You do me well o

Chorus
Jesus na Elele
Elele o
Jesus na Elele o
Elele o. /2x

New Music: Chy Ibeabuchi – ‘You Are My God’ | Produced by Solo P


Passionate music minister of the Gospel – Chy Ibeabuchi is one with a special call on her life to inspire people to praise and worship God. She has served as backup vocals and worship leader in several choirs for over 20 years at Church of God Mission, WarriLiving Word Campus Fellowship, ABSUThe Father’s Church, Abuja and This Present House, Lagos, Nigeria. 


She also mentors worship leaders and teams to become sincere in their worship, especially in their personal lives. Her heart’s pursuit currently, is to raise worship leaders and provide mentor-ship to as many who desire to become worship leaders especially for service in local churches, first in Nigeria, Africa and to the world at large.  


Her new single – ‘You Are My God’ speaks about the awesomeness of God, the heartfelt musical offering laced with a perfect musical arrangements/production makes for a worthy offering to the God of all creation.


She is the author of Leading Worship, a handbook containing encouragement and guidelines to assist the worship leader in carrying out his role effectively. She is also the author of www.olivemums.wordpress.com blog, where she writes articles to encourage families that are waiting for conception using stories, testimonies and coping ideas from other couples.  


Chy is married to Osinachi Ibeabuchi, with their beautiful miracle daughter, Ogechi. 


‘You Are My God’ was produced by Solo P.


DOWNLOAD 

UN says 2 peacekeepers wounded in Central African Republic

 

The U.N. says two peacekeepers in Central African Republic have been wounded in clashes with mostly Christian anti-Balaka militias who attacked the southern town of Pombolo.

U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq tells reporters that peacekeepers arrived in Pombolo the previous day to protect civilians in response to widespread violence that has reportedly killed at least 26 people and wounded dozens.

He said Friday that the two wounded were in stable condition and were being taken to Bria for medical treatment. Additional peacekeepers were being deployed to reinforce the U.N. presence in the area.

Central African Republic has been wracked by violence between Muslims and Christians since 2013, when predominantly Muslim Seleka rebels overthrew the Christian president and seized power.

Cleric bans poses by Cyprus churches over racy wedding photo

 

A senior cleric from Cyprus’ Orthodox Christian church has banned couples who marry in civil ceremonies to take wedding photos outside churches and chapels in a part of the island that is popular with holidaymakers.

Metropolitan Vasilios of Constantia and Ammochostos told local TV channel Sigma on Friday that he imposed the ban after “shameful” photos surfaced online of what appeared to be a bride performing oral sex on her husband outside a chapel.

The Metropolitan said he wrote the attorney general to ask if there are grounds to take legal action against the British couple, but hasn’t yet received a reply.

He said the couple’s behavior caused “great upheaval” in the community and was a moral affront. He says visitors should show more respect.

 

SOURCE

TIM GODFREY UNVEILS FEARLESS WRSHP ALBUM TRACKLIST | ALBUM ART + PRE-ORDER LINK 

The most anticipated Gospel album of the year 2017 in Africa “Fearless Wrshp” by the multi talented and virtuoso singer Tim Godfrey has landed.

Yes, having already garnered what could be described as an astonishing year, and produced an eccentric outing with his Xreme crew, Gospel Music sensation, Tim Godfrey managed by ROX Nation is set to add a cherry with the release of the long waited Fearless Wrshp album on the 3rd of November 2017.

Fearless Wrshp is a 16 track album containing hit singles like So Good, Ahaa, Bless The Lord, Walking Miracle and the eccentric “Gbemisoke” featuring IBK.

Fearless Wrshp is loaded and you can be one of the first to receive the blessing encompassed in the album by pre-ordering right now on iTunes.

Below are the album’s official Art and a link to pre-order the album on iTunes.

 

Fearless by Tim Godfrey on iTunes  

Israel finds a welcome audience with Christian journalists – Josef Federman

 

Israel’s nationalist government may be unpopular with Western liberals and much of its domestic press corps, but it has found a close friend among the world’s evangelical Christians and their media outlets.

The government this week is hosting a first-of-its-kind summit for Christian journalists, featuring softball questions, mutual admiration and a welcome respite for embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. His outreach to evangelical leaders reflects striking tactical parallels to his close ally and fellow media basher, President Donald Trump.

About 130 journalists from some 30 countries are participating in the four-day summit, which ends Wednesday. The world’s largest broadcasters, including the Christian Broadcasting Network, Daystar, Trinity Broadcasting Network and God TV, are all represented.

Nitzan Chen, the director of Israel’s Government Press Office, said he believed the summit was long overdue, and that planners chose the 50th anniversary celebrations of Israel’s capture of east Jerusalem as a fitting occasion for the conference.

For many years, Israel has held a summit for Jewish media outlets, cultivating those journalists as unofficial “ambassadors” to help promote Israel’s image abroad, he said. “Using the same logic,” it decided to reach out to Christian media, in what could become a regular event.

The summit’s agenda includes meetings with top Israeli politicians, most from the nationalist side. Palestinian speakers barely appear on the agenda.

Sessions include discussions on archaeology and Jewish-Christian relations, but also “radical Islam” and alleged media bias, legal “warfare” and Palestinian “incitement” against Israel. While Israel’s West Bank settlements are largely vilified in the West, participants are offered a chance to visit one.

The media summit extends what has become a warm relationship between Israel and its evangelical supporters.

Local charities raise millions of dollars from Christian friends around the world, and evangelical Christians make up a sizeable segment of the tourism industry. Last week, thousands of Christians gathered in Jerusalem for an annual celebration and parade coinciding with the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

According to Israel’s Tourism Ministry, evangelical Christians account for roughly one-fifth of all Christian tourists visiting the country. Among American Christian visitors, the number of evangelicals is much higher, at nearly 40 percent.

“The evangelical market is one of our main target audiences,” said Eyal Carlin, director of the ministry’s Americas department. He said the ministry advertises in Christian media, sponsors trips for influential community leaders and works with Christian tour operators to offer visits with “faith-based or biblical themes.”

Gordon Robertson, chief executive of the Christian Broadcasting Network and a summit participant, said evangelical support for Israel was deep and heartfelt.

He described Israel’s modern-day history, from its founding in 1948 to its capture of east Jerusalem in 1967 to scenes last week of children laughing and playing in his Jerusalem hotel, as fulfilling biblical prophecy — the bedrock idea seemingly driving the Evangelicals’ support.

He also talked of his strong personal affinity for Israel and the Jewish faith, noting that he enjoys studying the Hebrew Bible. “I like to joke, the longer I’m a Christian the more Jewish I become,” he said.

CBN, known best for its “700 Club” show and which claims a worldwide audience of 360 million people, delivered its first satellite broadcast from Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives in 1976. Today, its Jerusalem operation is “one of our most productive bureaus in the world,” he said.

While Robertson, the son of famed televangelist Pat Robertson, said he did not consider himself to be a direct partner of the Israeli government, he said, “I think we can be a partner with the Israeli people.”

“Israel is obviously in a very difficult position with the Palestinians, with the Arab world, and there needs to be a voice that’s independent from Israel, saying, ‘wait a minute, Israel is actually doing the right thing.'” He said.

That strong support for Israel was evident at Netanyahu’s meeting with the visiting journalists.

Netanyahu, who routinely spars with local media and has accused them of reporting “fake news” in their coverage of a series of corruption scandals, received a warm welcome.

“Good to see you, my friend,” said one journalist before asking a question. “There’s no fake news here.”

Netanyahu’s embrace of the Christian media echoes the strategy employed by Trump.

White evangelicals were a core constituency that propelled Trump to victory in last year’s election. And even after the tumultuous start to his presidency, they remain staunch supporters. Trump, along with members of his administration and his family, have appeared regularly on CBN.

Robertson said that Christian voters were drawn to Trump in part because of his strong support for Israel. “It’s absolutely an issue. It will absolutely determine a vote,” he said.

Ahmad Majdalani, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said evangelical support for Israel is well-known but difficult to understand. He said that both Palestinian Christians and Muslims are harmed by Israeli policies.

“I think those evangelical people are deluded by the Israeli propaganda,” he said. “I recommend they go to Bethlehem and see the large swatch of Christian land that was confiscated and turned into Jewish settlements.”

Robertson echoed the Israeli claim that the Palestinians have rejected repeated peace offers and refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

He also rejected a common “accusation” in Israel that evangelical Christians are here to convert Jews or prepare for the End of Days.

“We really truly stand with Israel, and we really truly want to be dear friends,” he said.

Not everyone agrees. Jeremy Ben Ami, president of J Street, a liberal pro-Israel group in Washington that is often critical of the Israeli government, said the evangelicals do not necessarily have Israel’s best interests in mind.

“Israel should be wary of embracing extreme Christian Zionist groups that may be more concerned with their own theological agendas than with Israel’s long-term survival as a secure, democratic homeland for the Jewish people,” he said.

Faith’s Influence on Politics: Why it Will Not be Going Away – Rob Schwarzwalder

“Social issues to return to the forefront on GOP trail”

 

That’s the title of an article in a recent edition of the Washington Post. It discusses the North Carolina legislation prohibiting men from using women’s bathrooms, Donald Trump’s dismissiveness of the issue, and Ted Cruz’s support of the Tarheel State’s commonsense efforts to sustain privacy and security in public accommodations.

 

What is striking about the article is its title.  “Return to the forefront?”  First, from the earliest days of the current presidential campaign to the present, social issues – protecting the unborn and their mothers, religious liberty, the radical agenda of LGBT activists, etc. – have been in the top tier of issues the candidates have been discussing.

The debate over the North Carolina measure, as well that over issues like dismemberment abortion and protecting the free exercise of religious conviction, are not sudden intrusions, as if unwelcome and unruly guests had burst into a sedate dinner party.  These concerns are at the heart of the kind of country we want to be.  Will we honor life at all its stages, uphold religious liberty as our most essential freedom, esteem marriage as the union of one man and one woman, for life, and strengthen families to better enable every child to be raised in a home with a mom and a dad?  Or will we exalt radical sexual autonomy, continuously redefine human sexuality, treat the unborn as mere collections of blood and tissue and dehumanize their mothers through abortion-on-demand, and encourage the fracturing of families through laws that foster divorce, cohabitation, promiscuity, and pornography?

 

Second, secular journalists seem perpetually amazed that issues like abortion and religious liberty are actual concerns of real people.  It is natural that like-minded people talk mostly to others with the same perspectives and don’t engage as much with those whose outlook is fundamentally different than their own.

 

Yet over the past several decades, has it not become apparent that a massive, even preponderant number of Republican voters are socially conservative and that, as the country undergoes profound social turmoil, the convictions of these voters will inform what their party’s candidates discuss in their campaigns?

 

As Terry Mattingly has convincingly documented for many years, most reporters “don’t get religion.”  Mike Cromartie, long-time director of the Ethics and Public Policy Center’s Faith Angle Forum, has spoken of once being called by a journalist at a premier publication who “asked for the name of the author and publisher when Cromartie mentioned the book of Ephesians.”

 

Christians should not belittle journalists for their ignorance, but nor should journalists fail to recognize the significance of the traditional religious faith of tens of millions of their fellow citizens and its implications for American public life.  As the Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life documented in a study released last year, more than 70 percent of the American people identify as Christians and many Jews and Muslims carefully observe the tenets of their faiths.

 

Of course, not all of these self-identified believers share the same convictions about the doctrines and practices and political implications of their faiths.  But faith does have implications, real and compelling ones, for one’s beliefs about and conduct regarding the kind of government we should have and the kind of culture we should be.  To dismiss them or pretend they are inconsequential shows a certain contempt for one’s fellow citizens and a measure of intellectual dishonesty when reporting about law, politics, social life, and so forth.

 

Writing of that great 19th century French observer of our then-new republic, Alexis de Tocqueville, historian Alan Kahan argues that “Tocqueville rejected the militant secularism that saw religion as the enemy, and there is no reason to believe he would have changed his mind today. He rejected equally the claim of some religious people that freedom was the enemy of religion. For Tocqueville, the only way for either freedom or religion to prosper in the long run was by recognizing that they were mutually necessary, and mutually beneficial.”

 

When journalists, on television or in print or online or on the radio, miss this central insight – that religion and liberty are entwined not only in the fabric of our country but the hearts and hands of scores of millions of Americans – invariably they will be surprised by social issues that just keep “returning” to the fore of public concern.

 

And that should be no surprise to anyone.

‘Baby’ Versus ‘Fetus’: Why Terminology Matters – Rob Schwarzwalder

 

“Jurors in stolen unborn baby trial won’t hear about cause of death.”

 

This is the headline of the Associated Press story carried on the website of the NBC affiliate television station (KXAN) in Austin, Texas.

 

It’s about a woman named Dynel Lane, who slit open the womb of Michelle Wilkins and removed her unborn baby girl.  The baby died shortly thereafter.  According to the AP, “Lane is charged with attempted first-degree murder, assault and unlawful termination of a pregnancy in the March 2015 attack on Michelle Wilkins in Longmont (Colorado).”

Here’s the moral irony: “District Attorney Stan Garnett said earlier that prosecutors couldn’t charge Lane in the baby’s death because a coroner found no evidence the fetus lived outside the womb. That angered conservatives in the Colorado Legislature, who had previously tried but failed to enact a law making it a crime to kill a fetus. Colorado’s law against unlawful termination of a pregnancy was a compromise that stemmed from earlier debates on the issue.”

 

It’s a “fetus” until removed from the womb, right?  No: She was a baby whether in or out of the womb.  The only thing that changed was where she lived.  For the first eight months of her life, the baby lived inside her mother.  For a few hours, she lived outside of her mother’s womb.

 

Yet even the AP or NBC headline writer couldn’t admit to the ridiculous terminological gymnastics demanded by a society whose unwillingness to acknowledge the personhood of unborn children requires it to retain the embarrassing legal fiction known as the “fetus.”

 

The writer of the headline called the child what she was: A baby.

 

Why do advocates of abortion on-demand insist on using this obscure, dehumanizing term (“fetus”)?  Because if they acknowledge the personhood of the unborn child, suddenly the unavoidable reality of what abortion is – the killing of a tiny child at his or her most vulnerable stage of existence – roars into full view.  And that they must bypass at all costs, stepping around “baby” like it is a rhetorical and, more importantly, a moral landmine for their cause.  Which, of course, it is.

 

For all their professed care for women, the predatory abortion industry has a sordid record.  As FRC recently document with our allies at the American Center for Law and Justice in a Supreme Court legal brief, “No one expects to see an ambulance pulling away from a dermatology or dental office. Yet ambulances are a frequent sight at abortion facilities.”

 

But there has been good news over the past few days concerning babies (unborn, that is) in Wisconsin and Ohio:

 

“(Wisconsin) Gov. Scott Walker signed two bills Thursday (February 18) that cut by several million dollars a year the amount of public money that goes to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin … One bill restricts how much Planned Parenthood can be reimbursed for prescription drugs, stripping it of an estimated $4 million a year, according to Planned Parenthood. A second measure is expected to cut another $3.5 million in government payments to Planned Parenthood because it provides abortions.”

 

Of note is that Walker signed the measures publically at a local pregnancy care center, one that provides life-affirming options for women and their unborn children.

 

Ohio Gov. John Kasich also “signed legislation Sunday (February 21) to strip government money from Planned Parenthood in Ohio.”  However, unlike Walker, “The governor did not sign the bill in public. His office made the announcement in a statement.”

 

At least, though, Kasich did sign the measure.  According to LifeNews.com, “Planned Parenthood runs three abortion centers in the state and every Planned Parenthood clinic refers women for abortions.”

 

This comes after Ohio Attorney General and former U.S. Senator Mike DeWinefound, in December of last year, that “Fetal remains from three Planned Parenthood facilities in Ohio were sent to companies that then disposed of them in landfills in violation of state administrative rules.”  Quoted in Reuters, DeWine said at the time, “Disposing of aborted fetuses from an abortion by sending them to a landfill is callous and completely inhumane. It is important the public be aware that these practices are taking place at these Ohio facilities.”

 

Parents.com features a wonderful site called, “What My Baby Looks Like.”  In it, all 40 weeks of an unborn child’s development are portrayed and described.

 

And the site says, as plain as day, “What My Baby” – not “Fetus” – “Looks Like.”

Imagine that.

 

 

To learn more about Planned Parenthood’s notorious abortion business and its ongoing harvesting of baby body parts, read the important new study, “Investigating Planned Parenthood and Research Using Aborted Babies,” by the Director of FRC’s Center for Human Dignity, Arina Grossu.