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Showing posts with the label Christian

Members of China's heavily persecuted Early Rain Church detained, families forcibly evicted

Early Rain Covenant Church in China | Facebook/Early Rain Covenant Church  (The Christian Post) By Anugrah Kumar - Posted at The Christian Post: Published April 2, 2023 "In a report released in February, the U.S.-based group ChinaAid said the Chinese Communist Party intensified the persecution of churches and Christians leading up to the 20th Party Congress in 2022. Three members of China’s heavily persecuted Early Rain Covenant Church were detained and several families were forcibly evicted by authorities in the communist country, according to the U.K.-based group Christian Solidarity International. Police in Wenjiang District in Chengdu last week placed deputy deacon Jia Xuewei in administrative detention for 14 days. A preacher, Ding Shuqi, and another church member, Shu Qiong, had received the same punishment a week earlier for “activities in the name of a banned social organization,” CSW reported . Administrative detention, often used for minor public-order offenses, allows

Nigeria’s 9/11 Sized Event

By Chris Reimers - Posted at Wings of the Wind : Most people, even those who were born after the incidents on September 11, 2001, have heard of the horrific events at the World Trade Center in New York City. 2,977 victims died that day and thousands more were injured. Most people don’t know that the country of Nigeria has it’s own World Trade Center complex. I didn’t know about it until I was researching the tallest buildings in Nigeria and found the video above and others like it. In July of 2020, a fire broke out on the top floor of one of the Nigerian World Trade Center buildings in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city. Thankfully, no one was injured. Here is a video and short report of that event. Continue here...

Memphis Church Mourns Death of Church Member Abducted, Murdered while Jogging

By Milton Quintanilla - Posted at Christian Headlines: Published September 8, 2022 A church in Memphis, Tennessee, is mourning the loss of a young woman who was recently kidnapped while jogging and later murdered. Eliza Fletcher – a wife, mother of two and kindergarten teacher – was kidnapped by a man at around 4:30 am last Friday (September 2) while jogging near the University of Memphis campus. According to Church Leaders , her husband, Richard, called the police when his wife did not return home from her run. After a long and intensive search, Fletcher's body was found on Monday. The suspect, later identified as 38-year-old Cleotha Abston Henderson, was taken into custody and has been charged with first-degree murder, premeditated murder and first-degree perpetration of kidnapping. According to Commercial Appeal , Henderson was released from prison in 2020 after serving nearly two decades for kidnapping. After her body was found, Fletcher's church, Second Presbyterian Churc

The Pros and Cons of Social Media for the Christian

 By Elizabeth Prata - Posted at The End Time: I’m a lay person, a Christian woman, who happens to write. I’ve made my living from writing in the past and I’m thrilled to be able to use the talent God gave me for His glory now, writing as a Christian about biblical things. I’m older and I distinctly remember life before internet. As a writer wanting to publish, bumping up against the monoliths of the Madison Avenue publishing companies, and the chokehold of the magazines and literary journals, (and the publishing rejection letters) having a free platform in which to share one’s thoughts and words with the world was a revelation. I took to it instantly and with glee, going online in 1996 and becoming an customer in 1997. Finally, an equalizing global conversation could be had. I don’t think young people have a well-developed sense of just what a privilege it is to have global access to speaking one’s mind on any topic. I remember the frustration of rejection letter after rejec

Dozens of Christians Killed in Muslim Attack on Market in Kaduna State, Nigeria

Location of Kaduna State in Nigeria (Wikipedia) Posted at Morning Star News : JOS, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Muslims attacked a market in Kaduna state, in north-central Nigeria, on Thursday (Oct. 18), killing dozens of Christians and burning a church building, sources said. Area residents said a Muslim at the market in Kasuwan Magani, 36 kilometers (22 miles) south of the city of Kaduna, began yelling “Thief!” in the late afternoon in a move calculated to cause pandemonium ahead of an attack on Christians and their homes and businesses. “A Muslim raised a false alarm about a thief in the market, which caused stampede, and then other Muslims started chanting ‘Allahu Akbar [the jihadist slogan, God is Greater],’ attacking Christians, burning houses and shops belonging to Christians in the town,” area resident Kefas Mallam told Morning Star News. Read more here.

A Sober Warning from the Earliest Christians

By Tim Challies When I was a kid, my family once watched a movie that included vivid scenes of persecution against the earliest Christians. I remember lying awake at night, terrified by these images of Christians burning in the streets and being fed to the lions. I couldn’t help but imagine myself in the place of those beleaguered believers. At the time, I assumed they were being persecuted simply for being Christians, but as I’ve studied early church history, I’ve come to realize it’s not quite so simple. And as simplicity gives way to reality, I see there are some important lessons we can learn today through that early church persecution. The earliest Christians lived within the Roman Empire, and, despite what you may have heard, Rome was surprisingly tolerant of other faiths. As they conquered the surrounding nations, they would rarely demand full loyalty to the traditional Roman religion or gods. They would allow people to continue to worship their own gods in pretty much the

North Koreans ‘betrayed’ by human rights omission in Trump-Kim agreement

Posted at Voice for the Persecuted : ( World Watch Monitor ) North Koreans were “betrayed” by the failure of US President Donald Trump to include human rights provisions in his agreement with the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, following their historic meeting in Singapore, according to Human Rights Watch’s Asia Director, Phil Robertson. “The North Korean people have suffered for so long,” he told the BBC World Service , “and it looks like they’ll have to suffer for a little longer.” But after the meeting Trump said the many North Koreans currently being held in forced-labour camps were “one of the great winners today”. Responding to a question from ABC News ’s Jon Karl about whether North Korea’s oppression of its people was worse than any other regime on earth, Trump said: “It’s a rough situation over there; there’s no question about it, and we did discuss it today pretty strongly. “I mean, knowing what the main purpose of what we were doing is – de-nuking – but we did discuss it

Is Social Media Making Christians Miserable?

Posted at Reformation Scotland: Even Facebook themselves now admit that countless studies show social media is bad for us. There’s no doubting its benefit of connecting and sometimes edifying people. The predominant trend of self-advertising, however, fosters discontent with our own lives. It prompts negative self-comparisons. People also find that a virtual community does not replace real community. Online communication may even undermine our face-to-face interactions. Something that brings us together can also create isolation and distance. Edifying one another in the best possible way must not become a casualty of social media excess. Other generations have not faced an identical challenge but Scripture has wisdom for every situation. Facebook’s former vice-president said recently: “It is at a point where we have created tools which are ripping apart the fabric of how society works – that is truly where we are”. One of the most resonant book titles to summarise our condition i

What to do when the Worldlings Sneer!

King Hezekiah prays By Bob McEvoy - Posted at The Salty Scivener: Text . Isaiah 36 Marching on while the worldlings sneer… It’s a popular hymn, and it is certainly true in part. Christians constantly face a tirade of abuse from the world. In this narrative, we see the opening gambit of the Assyrians. It is to demoralise the people in the city, to prepare them for their surrender. 1. The Sneering Spokesman! Let’s just look at some of the mocking sneers from this Assyrian ambassador. Who are you trusting now? V4-5. What confidence have you! Are you still trusting in:- Egypt? V6 Where are they? He uses an illustration of a brittle reed. Egypt is like that reed, totally unreliable, unable to help, causing pain to those who depend upon its supposed strength. So, then are you trusting in… God? V7 Now here is something really interesting. This Rabshekah has an elementary understanding of theology, – just enough to get it wrong! He has been watching Israel, and wa

Time for Reflection: 'Why Churches are Unfriendly and Cliquish'

By Joe McKeever - Posted at “When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God” ( Leviticus 19:33-34 ). I stood before the congregation holding two letters in my hands. “Both came to my office this week. I thought you’d like to hear what they say.” “The first letter is from a member who moved several hundred miles away last year. She is missing this church. She wrote, ‘The churches here are not friendly like our church back home. No one speaks to visitors. I miss our loving, friendly congregation.” I said, “Do we have a friendly church?” Heads nodded all over the building. “Well, then, listen to this.” “Dear pastor. We visited your church last Sunday and not a single person spoke to us. You have a most unfriendly congregation. We will not be back.” The people sat th

Church, Wake Up

By EvangelZ - Posted at The Domain for Truth: “The Christian world is in a deep sleep; nothing but a loud shout can awaken them out of it.” ~ George Whitefield It does appear that many churches of USA is in a deep sleep.  While many are steeped in entertainment, many souls are dying and will be going to hell today, tomorrow, and the next subsequent days.  This is not a guilt trip to condemn one from enjoying the common things of life. We are thankful to the Lord that He would allow us to enjoy aspects of His creative acts. But here is the question, when was the last time I exposed evil and shared the Gospel?  Have I become apathetic? Earth is the closest to heaven for the unbeliever and earth is the closest to hell for the believer.  Since we have the immortal blessings provided for us, we must press hard before the return of Christ so that unbelievers may have the opportunity to come to into the celestial kingdom of salvation. Why must the church awaken from its sleep? Read mor

Students, colleagues mourn murdered Christian professor

Professor William Klug - Photo: UCLA By Sarah Wedel - Posted at : When a student killed a UCLA professor yesterday morning and then turned the gun on himself, he murdered a professing Christian beloved by students, Little League players, colleagues, and his wife and two young children. William (Bill) Klug, 39, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, died inside an engineering building near the campus’ south side. Officials said Mainak Sarkar, 38, drove all the way from Minnesota to Los Angeles to shoot Klug. At the former student’s home, police found a “kill list,” which included Klug, another UCLA professor, and a woman in Minnesota investigators later found dead. Police believe Sarkar had mental health issues and thought Klug had released intellectual property that harmed him. Colleagues described Klug as not only brilliant but also kind and gentle. Read more... HT: Sermon Audio

Spiritual Abuse: It’s Not Just Celebrity Pastors

By Kyle Borg - Posted at Gentle Reformation : When I was in seminary there were two sins—all too common among pastors—that frightened me so much I nearly gave up my pursuit of the ministry. One of those was the sin of spiritual abuse. After all: “Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ He said to him, ‘Feed by lambs.’” Twice more he brought Peter’s love to the test, and each time bid him to have a careful regard for his sheep. Our love to Jesus is, to a certain extent, shown by the way in which we treat the sheep. If he is a liar who says he loves God but hates his brother, I suspect it cannot be good for that one who says he loves the Great Shepherd but hates the Shepherd’s sheep. Yesterday Christianity Today reported that celebrity pastor Darrin Patrick, had been fired from the mega-church he pastored in St. Louis. They reported: “[The church] cited a range of ongoing sinful behavi

A Reformed “Spotlight”: Fighting Spiritual Abuse in the Reformed Church

By David Murray - Posted at HeadHeartHand : I am so angry — and, I fear, not all of it is holy anger. Earlier this week, I sat with a young man who, six years later, is still recovering from spiritual abuse at the hands of a “respected” Reformed pastor. He’s one of a number of this pastor’s victims, all of them gifted and godly men, but all of whom have had their confidence shredded and their faith devastated by this man’s abuse of his spiritual position and authority. Within 24 hours I was sitting with another young man, whose details I cannot reveal, but let’s just say he had also suffered from another Reformed church’s failure to follow basic biblical, and even just humane, process. I wasn’t looking for these men. They just “happened” to be in my life this week. Read more... See also: Let the spotlight fall on us   (1517 - Todd Pruitt)

Human Rights Attorney Zhang Kai Freed from ‘Black Jail’ in China

Posted at Morning Star News : Conditions of release unclear. ( Morning Star News ) – China Aid has confirmed with relatives of Zhang Kai that the human rights attorney was released on Wednesday (March 23) after his arrest in August 2015 for defending churches. Zhang wrote on social media that he returned to his home in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region of China, on Wednesday, the advocacy organization reported. The human rights attorney, who had defended some 100 churches damaged by a campaign to demolish crosses in Zhejiang Province, was arrested on Aug. 25 just before he was to meet with U.S. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, David Saperstein. Terms of his release were uncertain. He had been sentenced to six months of residential surveillance at a “black jail,” where prisoners are held incommunicado at a secret location. On Feb. 25 he appeared on state television stating a “ confession ” that he had disrupted social order and endangering state security that

Georgia Lawmakers Pass Religious Liberty Bill Protecting Pastors, Faith-Based Organizations

By Heather Clark - Posted at Christian News Network : ATLANTA — Lawmakers in Georgia have passed a bill providing legal protection to pastors and other religious organizations who object to same-sex “marriage,” sending the measure to the Republican governor, who has asserted that such proposals are discriminatory unChristian. As previously reported , legislators recently combined H.B. 757 , also known as the Pastor Protection Act, with S.B. 284 , the First Amendment Defense Act of Georgia. The Pastor Protection Act unanimously passed the Georgia House, finding support among Democrats and Republicans alike. “No minister of the gospel or cleric or religious practitioner ordained or authorized to solemnize marriages, perform rites, or administer sacraments according to the usages of the denomination … in violation of his or her right to free exercise of religion under the Constitution of this state or the United States,” it reads in part. Read more...

The Laodicean Church

By Mike Ratliff - Posted at Possessing the Treasure : 14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: 15 ‘ I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. (Revelation 3:14-16 NASB) All Christians should study the Old Testament book of Jeremiah. Why? Jeremiah was a prophet of God. What he was called to do was be the prophet to warn of God’s coming judgment to apostate Judah. They were still very religious. They still offered their sacrifices and held their festivals, but they also mixed in worship of other “gods” that called for the sacrifice of their own children. Jeremiah was threatened. He was beaten by the priests and told to shut up. He was put into stocks. When the Babylonians did come and fulfill the judgment he had prophesied, he was still despised by th

What Is a Christian?

By Geoffrey Kirkland - Posted at Vassal of the King : A Christian has been redeemed by the blood of Christ and lives for the renown of Christ. He has submitted to, lives surrendered to, and is sanctified to his God. A Christian comes after Christ and denies himself, takes up his cross daily and follows Christ ( Luke 9:23 ). In this brief write-up, I will elaborate on the question: what is a Christian? A Christian is a... 1. Holy man. A Christian is positionally holy for he has been united to Christ by faith and because of His new heart, and his new position before God, and His new nature granted by divine favor, he longs to live out in his conduct what he has become in his position. He repents of his sin and trusts in Christ. He is positionally righteous and justified because He is in Christ and he longs to live a holy, set apart, distinct, Christ-filled, Christ-enthralled, Christ-centered, and Christ-pursuing life. He hates sin & loves his God! 2. Prayerful man. A true Christi

What was wrong with Trump’s appearance at Liberty

By Denny Burk Perhaps the best way to explain what went wrong with Donald Trump’s appearance at Liberty University earlier today is to clarify what wasn’t wrong with it (watch above). There’s nothing wrong per se with a Christian university hosting a presidential candidate for a speech on their campus. In a university setting—even in a Christian one—a speech need not equal an endorsement. If other candidates are given equal access and if it is clear how such a visit might contribute to robust Christian thinking and conviction, there is no necessary offense in this. In fact, it could be a win. There’s nothing wrong per se with a Christian university hosting a non-Christian for a speech or a lecture on campus. We should encourage a robust exchange of ideas—even with voices we might otherwise disagree with. And there is no necessary violation of principle to have, for example, an atheist participate in a symposium on the plausibility of belief. In fact, in that setting it would