Last week, Greg Damhorst asked us: What is an evangelical? Check out this Colbert interview with Tony Campolo for one pastor’s answer…and a good laugh.
A pertinent blog post on the status of single folks in Protestant/evangelical churches.
Do other faith traditions tend to value marriage over singleness?
The word on the street is we’ll be having some conversation on Faith Line Protestants next month about Christian Privilege. This piece by Ian Harber popped up over at Relevant entitled, “The Myth of the Persecuted American Church.” I thought it would be a good way to get you thinking about some questions: Does Christian privilege exist in America? Does the persecution of Christians exist in America?
It’s not that Christians are not occasionally persecuted in America. There are instances—such as an incident this summer in which Evangelical Christians were labeled as “extremists” in a Pentagon training session—that we ought to take seriously. However, the type of persecution endured in the United States is far less than anything our brothers and sisters suffer from around the world. In fact, calling Christians in America “persecuted” seems like a disservice to our fellow believers overseas who face jail—and far worse—for their relationship with God.
I appreciated this piece over at HuffPo by Brett McCracken. He wrties,
Evangelical difference should not be about retreating from or picking battles with the culture, but rather embracing the path of what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called “the cost of discipleship,” a commitment to living in the footsteps of Christ, even if it means living out of the mainstream of culture.
This is a good reminder for me to consider how I am “set apart” as a Christian while interacting in a relevant way with the world around me. That is why the contributors at Faith Line Protestants are so committed articulating our theology of interfaith cooperation. I do not engage in interfaith cooperation and dialogue so that I can “shed the baggage of my grandmother’s religion,” but rather to (as McCracken writes) “genuinely and passionately follow after Christ, manifesting through their lives something refreshingly different.”
At least that is my hope.
Richard Stearns writes:
I’ve seen Christians earn a fresh hearing for the gospel as they worked alongside Muslims and Buddhists providing a day care for the children of prostitutes. In Africa I’ve seen Christians and Muslims learn to respect each other’s faith as they work to stop the AIDS crisis. I have seen Christians working on behalf of the poor but doing so alongside governments accused of human rights abuses. What I get to see in the arena of international development, the church must also do in the arenas of culture, politics, business, art, science and entertainment.
It’s encouraging to see that Stearns’ vision for a new strategy for the church includes interfaith engagement. Read the piece at http://www.qideas.org/blog/its-time-for-a-new-strategy.aspx.
As I often say, as followers of Jesus, we have no choice but to move toward relationships with those who are marginalized, dehumanized, and in need of love. We don’t compromise our faith by hanging out with people we may or may not agree with. No, in fact, we reflect the very best of our faith.
From Jon Huckins at Sojourner’s God’s Politics blog: http://sojo.net/blogs/2013/07/29/ramadan-shared-table-and-following-jesus
Relates in some ways to my featured piece this week. From Rachel Held Evans:
We want to be known for what we stand for, not what we are against.
Read the article at http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/07/27/why-millennials-are-leaving-the-church/.