The election of a black leader for the Southern Baptist Convention is a huge step forward. But we still have a long way to go. read more
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Dualism remains a problem for many Christ followers. They compartmentalize their lives and miss the presence and light of God in every moment, breath, and context of life. Here are some scriptural truths on the matter:
- Matthew 5:14: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”
- Proverbs 4:18: “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day” (NIV).
- John 8:12: “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”
Ministry by definition is the spiritual work or service of any Christian or a group of Christians. One of the greatest revelations we can ever embrace is that whatever we do in life, is ministry, because the light of God in us and through us never goes dim. Every job, every assignment, our family, our leisure and whatever pathway that the Holy Spirit may lead us, is ministry. read more
DC Comics has outed The Green Lantern. Despite his womanizing maneuvers in last summer’s Green Lantern movie, the alien ring-toting superhero has no interest in the opposite sex. It seems when he’s not wearing his neon green garb and accomplishing superhuman feats, the chiseled Green Lantern enjoys kissing his new boyfriend. And an upcoming issue of the comic will show just that to innocent children everywhere.
Perhaps DC Comics is trying to compete with its rival Marvel Comics, which announced just days earlier that it would host the first gay wedding in the June 20 issue of Astonishing X-Men #51. Of course, Marvel Comics has long proved more progressive on the gay superhero front. Northstar, an X-Men character, became the first openly gay superhuman in American comic book history way back in 1992.
And holy cow! There’s also speculation that Batman is about to come out of his caved closet, which would confirm decades-old rumors that Batman and Robin are much more than friends in tights. In the name of gender equality, the comic book industry isn’t likely to leave the ladies out. Will we soon see superheroines like Wonder Woman, Catwoman and the Invisible Woman holding hands, kissing and planning lesbian weddings within the pages of children’s comic books? read more
We've already started work and I created this "trailer" sharing the vision. read more
The Bible tells men to treat their wives as equals. But in a machismo culture, this is easier said than done.
Whenever I travel to Latin America I usually carry a pair of handcuffs in my suitcase. I use them as a visual aid when I’m preaching about the machismo attitude that is so prevalent in that region. I remind everyone in the audience that esposa, the word for wife in Spanish, is the same word used for handcuffs.
Esposas. Why would the word for wife be the same word for a form of bondage? Because women in many Latin countries suffer unthinkable abuse in the home. Puerto Rico, where I spoke last week, has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in Latin America, and many women die there every year at the hands of their partners. read more
Much of what we are living today we were speaking yesterday. Of course, not everything in one's future is determined by his words. However, in real ways, our words are seeds that bloom in future hopes and fears; they are the trailblazers of our future, the pioneers of our tomorrows.
Still, most of us are too casual, or ignorant, about the weightiness of our words. Recall: it was Jesus Himself who warned, "For every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment." He continued, "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matt. 12:36-37).
We will each stand before God and give an account for our words. We actually will be justified or condemned by the things we uttered in life. In truth, idle words create idols, false realities and hollow goals, to which we bow down and serve. read more
Last week (May 23 and 24), 175 Christian leaders from around the country gathered for a 24-hour marriage summit in the Washington, D.C., metro area. The small group represented nearly 100,000 individual churches and several denominations. The purpose of the summit was to strategize how we would respond to President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage.
The group, which included pastors, community activists and denominational leaders, decided to send out a group letter to the president and to develop a pro-biblical marriage resource that could be used around the country.
The summit culminated with a press conference in which black, Hispanic, white and Asian leaders stood shoulder-to-shoulder. We wanted to let the nation know that Christian leaders will not be silent on the issue of same-sex marriage. We also wanted to ask the president and the legislators of both parties to convey to us their specific strategies. read more
Behind the scenes of the Trayvon Martin case—and the inspiring account of reconciliation no one’s telling
Trayvon Martin was killed 2.3 miles from my office in a newer part of Sanford, Fla. The exact street where he was shot is less than a mile from a similar gated townhouse community where my younger son lives.
So to me, this is extremely personal. As we put together this special issue, I’ve been in a whirlwind of meetings and diplomacy unlike anything I’ve ever experienced during my journalism career, stretching back to high school. And as with most stories, there is a behind-the-scenes account that’s just as interesting. This is my attempt to tell that personal side of the story, even as Charisma deals with the spiritual, cultural and political effects of this situation.
I’ve known for years Sanford was a racially divided community, and I’ve worked in my own way to bring healing and reconciliation—including getting to know black pastors, attending their churches and serving on the board of a small ministry to the homeless in the center of this predominantly black area. I’ve helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for many of these ministries. I’ve even been involved in Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations and lobbied to get a street named after the slain civil rights leader. read more
Prophets would do well to keep their mouths tightly shut when they don’t have an unction from the Holy Spirit. Yet too many prophets feel the people pressure—the natural expectation that comes with the office—to prophesy profusely in public meetings. And too many prophets feel they must offer up a “prophetic word” about the latest natural disaster, governmental shift or economic crisis.
Yes, God surely does nothing unless He reveals it to His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7). But that doesn’t mean prophets and prophetic people should move beyond the unction and in to presumption, does it? We can prophesy according to the proportion of our faith all day long, but that doesn’t necessarily make it accurate, does it? Prophetic ministry is not an exercise that is ego-boosting—or at least it shouldn’t be.
Week in and week out I write this column. Sometimes I share experiences from my life. Sometimes I share prophetic insights. Sometimes I offer warnings. This week I am fighting a horrible cold and I didn’t really have anything to say. I was not moved by the Holy Ghost to offer a profound exhortation or even some simple edification when I sat down at my computer to start typing. I didn't have anything to say. read more
I’d rather invest in a few emerging leaders than preach to crowds of thousands. Here’s why.
Once when I was traveling in India a pastor made a tempting proposal. “If you come to our city, we will stage a big evangelistic campaign and invite thousands,” he said. “You can preach to all of them.” This man assumed I would be intrigued. After all, I could take photos of the big crowds and use them to brag later about how many people made decisions for Christ.
I didn’t accept the offer. Instead I gave the man a second option. “Let me spend three days with a small group of pastors,” I said. “Let me encourage them, and then they can go out and preach at the big meetings. They will do a much better job than I could.” read more
I was involved in another prophetic experience that I think has some great lessons. It happened when I was flying our ministry plane to Nashville, Tenn., with some of our musicians to do some recording.
After taxing to the General Aviation ramp, a line girl directed us to a parking spot. After we deplaned, the wife of one of our musicians said to the line girl as she walked past her, “You get along with animals better than you do people—you should have been a vet.” The line girl looked stunned, and I couldn’t help wondering if this had insulted her.
Our team left with their ride, which had been waiting to take them to the recording studio. Before I left, I gave my fuel order at the service desk when the line girl came in and blurted out, “Was that girl with you a psychic?” I said, “No, but why do you ask?” She told me that when she was parking our plane she was thinking about how she gets along better with animals than she does people and that she should have become a vet. That’s when the musician’s wife spoke to her. read more
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