Stirring the Pot

Derek Webb is giving away his latest CD

Singer-songwriter Derek Webb attracted attention when he released Mockingbird, a collection featuring strong messages on issues such as poverty, AIDS and war. His goal was to apply the words of Christ to how believers live today and how they treat others. "I wouldn't consider [the record] anti-war but pro-peace," he says. "That is really the work of the Christian—to be pro-peace, to be pre-emptive about peace." It's a message he thinks is so important that in September he released the disc free at his Web site, "I don't want to give people any reason to not engage with this record," Webb says. "It's so important that we have these conversations."
DeWayne Hamby

Prayer Point

While most of the world was watching the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, Christians in Sri Lanka were caught in the middle of a civil war that at press time had left dozens dead and thousands displaced. This month, we encourage you to pray that:

  • Civil unrest in the south Asian nation would end
  • Buddhists' attempts to restrict evangelism would be thwarted
  • The Sri Lankan church would grow, unite and be a catalyst for national reconciliation.

    Puji TuHan!

    That's how "Praise the Lord!" is said in Indonesia, where local Christians are celebrating the arrival of the first issue of Charisma in their own language. Thanks to a dedicated group of Indonesian church and business leaders, the world's largest Muslim nation now has its own version of Charisma—published in Indonesia and loaded with exclusive news and commentary from around the country. The first 100-page issue, released in August, offered a unique look at how early Pentecostals brought spiritual renewal to Indonesia in the 1920s after the Azusa Street revival.

    Reaching Out

    A Graphic Gospel

    Robert Luedke has been a fan of comics for most of his life. He even spent 15 years publishing and selling them. But after the former agnostic accepted Christ in 1999 he decided to use the literary form to present the gospel, especially to youth. Today he's using his Eye Witness trilogy of graphic novels to help young generations avoid the years of searching he endured.

    Subtitled "a fictional account of absolute truth," the first installment focuses on the Passion story, and book two, Acts of the Spirit, chronicles the formation of the early church. The final book will focus on the life of the apostle Paul. Widely read internationally, the long-form comic books are only mildly popular among Christians. But Luedke believes faith-based graphic novels will become more common. He has good reason to hope. In September, Urban Ministries Inc., the largest African-American Christian publisher, debuted the Guardian Line, which is comprised of four series of Christian-themed comics targeting urban youth. The line was developed by Michael Davis, co-creator of the Emmy-winning cartoon Static Shock.
    Adrienne S. Gaines

    Faith & Culture

    The Color of Love

    Forthcoming film is designed to initiate dialogue about race

    Filmmaker Jean-Claude La Marre knows the jury is still out on the physical appearance of Christ. But he opted to portray Jesus as a black man in his upcoming movie, Color of the Cross, in order to spark a discussion on race that he thinks is long overdue.

    "From a spiritual standpoint, [Christ's] color really doesn't matter," La Marre says. But seeing Jesus as black could be healing for African-Americans, he says, offering "a sense of empowerment, that they share a common lineage with Christ."

    Set to release Oct. 27, the film explores the last 48 hours of Jesus' life and stars La Marre as Christ and Debbi Morgan (Coach Carter, Woman Thou Art Loosed) as Mary. Although many religion historians believe Christ resembled people from the Middle East, various cultures have depicted Jesus to reflect their own ethnicities. Images of a black Christ became more common among African-Americans after the civil rights era.

    "[Christ's color] would not make a difference in a free society, but it would make a difference in a society where blacks were given to feel poorly about themselves," says the Rev. Cecil "Chip" Murray, who retired as pastor of Los Angeles' First African Methodist Episcopal Church in 2004 and served as a producer and consultant on the film.

    Murray and La Marre expect their depiction of Christ to upset some Christians—both black and white. But they say those who object to a black Christ and not to a white one underscore the need for the film. Says Murray, "This should not, in an enlightened society, create anything but debate and examination."
    Adrienne S. Gaines

    Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.

    Get to know the Holy Spirit and how to interact with Him on a daily basis. Learn to enter God's presence and hear His voice clearly for yourself! Go deeper in your faith with Life in the Spirit and change your life and destiny. Are you ready to start your journey?

    Your Turn

    Comment Guidelines
    View/Add Comments
    • There are some ways the Holy Spirit will never lead you.

      4 Ways the Holy Spirit Does Not Lead You—and 1 Big Danger

      Wrong teaching, ignorance, laziness and a failure of the five-fold to equip the saints for the work ...

    • Chuck Pierce

      Prophetic Word: 'The Winds of Heaven Are Now Entering the Earth'

      Chuck Pierce says we need to brace ourselves.

    • What if You Could Save $500 This Week?

      What if You Could Save $500 This Week?

      Start saving for emergencies today with the $500 Savings Challenge by brightpeak financial. It's chock-full of inspiration, great savings tips and the motivation to make a dent in your savings—for real! Go to to sign up!

    • Lee's ministry photo

      10 Ways to Pray for a Troubled America

      God is always willing to rescue His people if they pray.

    • Hillary Clinton

      What if Hillary Clinton Wins the White House?

      Polls have Mrs. Clinton leading by 11 points. The church must be prepared.

    • Low-Rate Church Loans Available!

      Low-Rate Church Loans Available!

      Whether it's purchasing a property, remodeling or refinancing, Christian Community Credit Union has a loan package that's customized for your budget and situation.

    • Holy Spirit prophetic

      7 Ways to Cultivate Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit

      Too many of God's people are led by fear, doubt, man-pleasing, presumption, assumption, idols ...

    • God doesn't usually shout, so you should listen carefully.

      What Happens When You Actually Listen to God

      It will surprise—and most likely shock—you.

    • Is there any unconfessed sin in your life?

      Scripture Says Pain, Health and Sin Share This Unexpected Connection

      If you're experiencing chronic pain, this may offer you the answer you need.

    • Guarding the gates of your heart will keep the demonic and evil out of your life.

      Keep the Demonic Out of Your Life With This Oft-Overlooked Spiritual Warfare Strategy

      The enemy knows his limitations. Limit him.

    • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

      Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

      Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

    • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

      Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

      Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

    • Set Your Spirit on Fire

      Set Your Spirit on Fire

      Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

    • Put on the Full Armor of God

      Put on the Full Armor of God

      Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

    Use Desktop Layout
    Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit