Church & Ministry
Posted 2/22/17 at 6:23 PM | Mark Ellis
By Mark Ellis
Since the early 90s, millions have left the church and they may not be returning, according to a disturbing report by Dr. Anthony Horvath, the director of Athanatos Christian Ministries.
“Numerous studies show that around 1990, the number of ‘religious nones’ increased from roughly 8% of the adult population to 25%, today,” Horvath notes. “Tens of millions of people left Christianity in just two decades. Clearly, something isn’t right.”
‘Nones’ are people who tell pollsters that they have no religious affiliation.
Horvath recently released a report titled, “Faith and Family Under Fire: Why Apologetics is Failing in the 21st Century.”
In the early phase of this trend, those who left the church said they had not lost interest in spirituality.
But in the last decade the ‘nones’ seem to have completely jettisoned spirituality. “There is a new dynamic and it does not bode well,” Horvath notes. “In the last 10 years they have turned against Christianity and are increasingly hardened toward religion in general.” FULL POST
In her book, “Six Pairs of Sandals: Yesterday’s Footsteps and Today’s Women’s Ministry,” author and speaker Dr. Deborah Waterbury highlights six women in the bible who personified the qualities of leadership. She also addresses specific areas of need for women to minister to other women within every local church, something she feels has been greatly lacking.
“In the last 10 years of working with women, particularly women in local churches, it has been sad to see how many churches are abdicating the ministry of women within their confines,” says Dr. Waterbury, who founded Love Everlasting Ministries in 2007. “Often it’s a matter of methodology, but just as often it is a matter of scarcity. Too many women either feel they are spiritually inadequate or that they simply lack the gifts necessary to minister to one another in their own home churches. I designed the book so that the reader can read a biblical example of each of the six broad categories of women ministering to women (teaching, prayer, mentoring, service, ministry leader, and small group leader), surmise which of those women she is most like, and then give her a list of practical ways she can step out and begin ministering to the women in her church in that way.” FULL POST
Posted 2/14/17 at 12:08 AM | Yvonne Perkins
Dictionary.com defines gate as a movable barrier, usually on hinges, closing an opening in a fence, wall, or other enclosure.
2.an opening permitting passage through an enclosure.
3.a tower, architectural setting, etc., for defending or adorning such an opening or for providing a monumental entrance to a street, park, etc.:
the gates of the walled city; the palace gate.4.any means of access or entrance
THE Bible Dictionary
(https://bible.gen.nz/amos/archaeology/gate.htm)describes the meaning of “gates”
the "law court" (either formally in criminal cases or less formally as the place where family business or disputes were settled),
the public forum where community business was discussed and gossip exchanged or
the administrative center - the "Town Hall".
The gates were constructed like a fortress and meant to defend the city and keep the enemy out. http://www.crystalinks.com/jerusalemgates.html.Jesus Christ was crucified outside of the gate, Hebrews 13:12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. The prophets proclaim the word of God at the gates.Jeremiah 17:19-27. Nehemiah talks about gates of Jerusalem. http://jesusplusnothing.com/studies/online/nehem3.htm. Jesus declared “ I am the gate for the sheep” John 10:7-10, enter through the narrow gate Matt 7:13-14, gates of hell shall not prevail Matt 16:18. Lift up your heads, o ye gates Psalms 24:7-10. FULL POST
Posted 2/11/17 at 1:16 PM | Marvin Thompson
Many evangelicals are worried that the word evangelical has forever lost its meaning, and is now quite ineffective as a tool for presenting the good news of the Gospel. It’s not quite there, but is on life support. This is not trivial because fundamental to the word is that salvation is through Christ alone. Evangelicals, therefore, are those who bring this good news to a world in need. But more than being messengers of the good news, evangelicals were meant to adorn certain uncompromising biblical ethos and mores that distinguish them as true ambassadors of Christ.
The Church is now beginning to recognize that it has an internal problem, with a section of the community of faith being assailed by teachings that are contrary to scriptures. These teaching are spreading at a rate that threatens to render the evangelical brand completely irredeemable. But what the church is failing to do, is to confront these heretic teachings and those who propagate them, in a meaningful way. There has to be a public renunciation and denunciation of these teachings so that the world is not confused as to where the Church stands. Church history advises that this must be done early and decisively. Otherwise, pernicious teachings and doctrines will take root, divide and weaken the Church, and destroy a generation of evangelicals. FULL POST
Posted 2/10/17 at 2:18 PM | Dale Fletcher
According to research by the Barna Group, 58% of Christians do not believe that the Holy Spirit is a living force.
Are you one of them?
Scripture is really clear on this. Jesus told his followers....
"But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you." John 16:7
When Jesus mentions the Helper, He is referring to the Holy Spirit.
Here is a great list of scriptures that mention the Holy Spirit and His role in the life of the believer.
Posted 2/9/17 at 5:58 PM | Mark Ellis
Girl born with bent feet healed by Jesus
By Mark Ellis
Born with bent feet, at two-years-old, Mai could not even stand. Doctors in Ho Chi Minh City had been unable to help the baby.
Despairing over her condition, the parents decided to receive prayer from a Christian pastor, along with five other Hmong pastors who were attending a training, according to a report by Christian Aid Mission (CAM).
“The next day, while the husband, his wife and their daughter were at a children’s hospital waiting for their appointment, for the first time in Mai’s life she was able to walk about one meter with the help of her parents,” the pastor reported.
The parents were so elated at this first glimpse of hope that they cancelled the doctor’s appointment and carried little Mai back to the pastor and asked for more prayer. FULL POST
Posted 1/31/17 at 10:18 AM | Marvin Thompson
In 1 Samuel 8, Israel wanted a king like the other nations around them. They were not satisfied with God’s plan for how they should be governed. But what they were really saying is that God was not enough for them; they wanted a strong man – just like the other nations have. So God gave them Saul. In giving them what they whined for, God warned them that this king would treat them badly. They wanted him anyway.
Evangelicals celebrated the election of Trump as God’s answer to their prayers. They wanted a strong man, not a namby-pamby like his predecessor, but a strong man, admired much in the same light as the strong dictators the world has known. They were not satisfied with how they were being governed; they wanted a no nonsense man, a strong man that speaks his mind without fear of God or man. So God gave them Trump? They saw the signs and were warned about what this strong man would do, but they wanted him anyway.
Now evangelicals own this. Sometimes you have to get what you want to learn that is not what you need.
Not all answers to prayers are blessings (even though in this case it is more likely not an answer to prayer, but an example of the consequent will of God). Just because God may allow something doesn’t mean that he approves. Jesus said that divorce was allowed because of the hardness of the people’s hearts. The stubbornness of evangelicals demonstrated by discarding all moral restraints in reversing their demand that a leader must have a moral character) and embracing Trump, is an example of heart hardening. FULL POST
Posted 1/30/17 at 6:14 PM | Mark Ellis
By Mark Ellis
A pastor in eastern Uganda and eight other Christians are unaccounted for after a Muslim mob attacked a church service, locked the congregation inside, beat several members and raped 15 women, according to Morning Star News (MSN).
An angry horde of 90 Muslims burst into the evening prayer meeting of Katira Church of Uganda at about 8:30 p.m. on January 15th and beat congregants with clubs and sticks. Previously Muslims had thrown stones at the roof of the church building to disrupt church services of the 500-member congregation.
About 80 members were in attendance at the evening service. One believer who escaped before the doors were locked heard one of the attackers shout, “Away with the pastor who is converting our Muslims to Christianity,” according to MSN.
At the time of the attack, Pastor Moses Mutasa was outside questioning some visitors. He attempted to flee, but it is unclear if he was captured or killed. FULL POST
Posted 1/29/17 at 10:55 PM | Yvonne Perkins
Jesus came into this world, took on flesh and walk on this earth for over 30 years. He didn’t come to condemn man but came seeking to save the lost. Jesus was rejected and misunderstood. Jesus knows what it is to be lied upon, talked about, mistreated and betrayed. He knew his fate upon entering this world but he came anyway. He came to die that you may live.
Jesus came to save the morally good person, the kind person, the one who is generous to others and compassionate. He came to save the lesbian, homosexual, perverted, pimp, prostitute, murderer and child molester. He came to save the liar, drunkard, thief, adulterer and adulteress, and gambler. He came to save the gang leader, gang members, and terrorist. He came to save the uneducated, well educated, mentally ill, poor and rich. He came to save the unbeliever, the fool who says there is no God and the atheist. He came to save the witch, sorcerer, and warlock. He came to save the young and the old.
Jesus came to save all mankind. God does not put sin in different categories, stating which is greater or less. SIN: Anything that violates or goes against the word of God. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envying, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal. 5:16-21, KJV). FULL POST
Posted 1/28/17 at 2:32 PM | Sophia Mixon
Divorce was once a dirty word for Christians, and even today, many evangelical Christians lambast anybody who pursues divorce as an option. Even so, the national average divorce rate hovers around 50 percent, with fluctuations up and down every year—and some studies suggest that the divorce rate for evangelicals is even higher than the national average.
Does this mean that marriage is a less holy union than it used to be? Does it make you un-Christian to want a divorce from your spouse?
The Whys and the Hows
The acceptability of divorce is debatable, strictly speaking. There are many passages in the Bible which prohibit any kind of divorce, with marriage being described as a permanent lasting union between a man and a woman. However, we all know from experience that some marriages are too painful for any person to struggle through merely for the sake of honoring that union—for example, should the victim of spousal abuse truly be expected to maintain her marriage in God’s eyes? FULL POST