So pray for those who find themselves so criticised.
Christian author Jeff Lucas says the release of Netflix's 'The US President Donald Trump has declared himself 'the chosen one' The popular evangelical author Philip Yancey, 69, has claimed Over 20, people have signed a petition calling for a new TV Better known for gangsta rap lyrics about drugs and sex, Snoop Deron Spoo shares four tips for Bible reading that have grown Tania Harris has learnt to have her own God conversations rather Last month, Steve Chalke asked whether we need a new way of reading By: Jeff Lucas 14th August About the Author.
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First name. Members of the Fellowship have reached out to some rather nasty characters, including Colonel Gaddafi and a whole lot of African dictators who have much blood on their hands. One minute the documentary shows a senator meeting with some of these highly questionable types and declaring the love of Christ, and then we cut to gory images of the Lockerbie bombing and even Hitler, together with some African firing squads.
One is suddenly guilty by association, a charge frequently thrown at Jesus with his penchant for dining with the wrong people. A man whose wife had an affair with one of the politicians who was involved with the Fellowship is hauled out repeatedly to indict the group. And then a neighbor who lives close to the Cedars gives evidence that she attended some prayers meetings with the group, which were cancelled after a while, certain evidence, she says, that they were trying to shake her off.
Or maybe they just changed their schedule.
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Members of the Fellowship often talk about wanting to work invisibly. I see this as a refreshing lack of self promotion and empire building, but their relational and organic approach implies stealth and conspiracy, according to the filmmakers.
True friendship creates a secure environment where we can be honest and vulnerable, but in this film privacy is tagged as secrecy. As expected, the series ends with the suggestion that this group got Trump into the White House - but there is no explanation as to how they might have done this.
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Then they throw in photos of some people praying for the President, which is what we are commanded to do, regardless of how much we might wrinkle our noses at his historical approach to women, his current rhetorical style or his political agenda. This series undergirds the unfortunate truth that Christians can be attacked and blamed even when they are simply trying to show love. What is rather marvelous is the way that the Fellowship have responded to the attack, which is with constraint and kindness. They said: "Though the Netflix docudrama series mischaracterizes the work of the Fellowship and attempts to portray people of faith in a bad light, we are encouraged by how often viewers are introduced to, and challenged by, the person and principles of Jesus, which are at the core of our mission and message.
Perhaps they will also better understand the integrity and transformational impact of this informal network to encourage everyone in a spirit of friendship and reconciliation to love God with all their heart, soul and mind, and to love their neighbor as themselves. Ultimately, the series creates a yawn rather than a murmur of alarm, but it does undergird the unfortunate truth that Christians can be attacked and blamed even when they are simply trying to show love.
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She went on to ask whether we had an epilogue — a part of the proceedings when members were given a talk on some aspect of the Christian faith. When I confessed that we did not, I felt myself consigned to the ranks of well intentioned but misguided. It is this question that we must now explore in some detail. Youth workers loathe this phrase — it devalues what they are doing.
They have been less than clear about what they mean when they talk about the educational value of youth work. Practitioners frequently discuss their aims in such all-embracing, grandiose terms that it is possible to justify almost any activity within their scope. This is the kind of self-delusion which does not inspire confidence. Having said this, it has to be recognized that even if the work of the youth centre could be demonstrated to have educational value in terms of social development, this still would not satisfy my friend.
She would, indeed, have seen this as cause for further unease. Not only was the primary task of the church not being tackled but scarce resources were being drawn into a secondary one. For Christians committed to informal education this is the crux of the problem. They find themselves under threat from two directions. It is this double-edged pressure which has led to the withering away of much Christian informal education.
Secular youth workers find it difficult enough to justify their approach in terms of measurable effect. This very sophistication further threatens the informal, particularly at a time when resources — finance and personnel — are becoming increasingly scarce. There was a great blossoming of informal education in the form of Christian youth clubs in the s. This is fast withering away. Most Christian youth centres are born [page 91] and die in an atmosphere of hostility and suspicion.
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They survive in spite of, rather than because of, the local Christian community. Secular colleagues need to take warning. In the present climate they too could find themselves under threat from more thought-out educational approaches. Unless we are all prepared to produce a well-argued justification for informal education we will not survive. Above all, this justification needs to point to measurable results.
All-embracing vagueness will simply no longer do. If this is difficult for the secular educator, it is infinitely more complex for Christians. For not only must Christian workers have clear educational aims to meet the requirements of a secular society where resources are dwindling but they must also be able to demonstrate that informal education is an appropriate vehicle for communicating the Christian message. If the first task is difficult the second appears to be beyond the reach of our present thinking.
Oddly enough the starting point for this revolution lies in the work of Jesus himself as portrayed in the gospels.
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It could be argued that he was an early practitioner of informal education. There is a danger in this sort of approach. The life of Jesus is so potent and pregnant with meaning that groups as diverse as Marxists and right-wing fundamentalists have been happy to claim him for themselves.
Having said this the fact remains that Jesus used the principles now enshrined in informal education to great effect. He drew these people into a shared experience that challenged their values. His teaching was largely informal — like his fascinating use of parable.