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Evangelical Views of the 2016 Election: Not the Lesser of Two Evils, Choose Candidate Evan McMullin Instead

By O. Alan Noble Editor-in-Chief of Christ and Pop Culture wants to lay a foundation for a future conservative party I support Evan McMullin’s campaign for President. For the first time in my life, I even donated to a political campaign, and I did so knowing that McMullin would almost certainly not win, or even come close to it. I have been informed by many concerned citizens that I am throwing my vote away, or voting for Trump by not voting for Clinton, or voting for Clinton by not voting for Trump. Others have accused me of being too elitist to vote for Trump, as if voting for McMullin were merely a way to ease my conscience or feel morally superior. The truth is I support McMullin for President because I believe that doing so is the best chance we have for cultivating an influential, vibrant conservative party that promotes human flourishing and defends life into the future. I’ve come to this position begrudgingly, but driven by a few principles. One is that it is possible for a candidate to be so unacceptable that they do not deserve our vote regardless of how bad the other major candidate is. The minimum standard is opposed to the more popular, pragmatic …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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Evangelical Views of the 2016 Election: "Jill Stein is my imperfect candidate."

By Stephen Waldron Evangelical millenial minority chooses the Green Party My political viewpoint is shaped by both my Evangelical faith and my personal experiences. My faith has been shaped mainly by the Pentecostal and Anabaptist traditions. From my Pentecostal heritage, I draw the belief that the Holy Spirit is actively working among lowly and marginalized people. From the Anabaptist tradition, I have learned that peacemakers who follow the teachings and example of Jesus will be ignored at best and martyred at worst. Coming from that perspective, I am going to vote for Jill Stein, not because she is any sort of savior or perfect politician. I only hope to send a small signal that things are not going well at the far corners of the empire. The other major candidates do not have policies that cohere with a biblical approach to justice, as I understand it. Immigration The Jesus I know is one who immigrated to our planet and was rejected by its citizens. The last thing Christians should support is the rejection of human beings who are made in God’s image simply because they are not light-skinned and English-speaking. Evangelicals sometimes talk about “welcoming the stranger,” citing Bible verses like Leviticus 19:33-34. For many Evangelicals, this issue directly …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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Evangelical Views of the 2016 Election: "Jill Stein is my imperfect candidate."

By Stephen Waldron Evangelical millenial minority chooses the Green Party My political viewpoint is shaped by both my Evangelical faith and my personal experiences. My faith has been shaped mainly by the Pentecostal and Anabaptist traditions. From my Pentecostal heritage, I draw the belief that the Holy Spirit is actively working among lowly and marginalized people. From the Anabaptist tradition, I have learned that peacemakers who follow the teachings and example of Jesus will be ignored at best and martyred at worst. Coming from that perspective, I am going to vote for Jill Stein, not because she is any sort of savior or perfect politician. I only hope to send a small signal that things are not going well at the far corners of the empire. The other major candidates do not have policies that cohere with a biblical approach to justice, as I understand it. Immigration The Jesus I know is one who immigrated to our planet and was rejected by its citizens. The last thing Christians should support is the rejection of human beings who are made in God’s image simply because they are not light-skinned and English-speaking. Evangelicals sometimes talk about “welcoming the stranger,” citing Bible verses like Leviticus 19:33-34. For many Evangelicals, this issue directly …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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Evangelical Campus Ministry (InterVarsityUSA) Decides Employees Should Hold Evangelical Beliefs on Marriage-- Internet Explodes

By Ed Stetzer InterVarsityUSA’s policy on marriage provokes Internet outrage. InterVarsity is an evangelical Christian organization, and people who work at InterVarsity are, not surprisingly, expected to hold Evangelical beliefs. Or, as Elisabeth Dias of TIME Magazine put it: In other words, InterVarsity now has the same policy of Evangelical churches. So, why is this news? Well, the Internet is abuzz with outrage and, I imagine the story will spill into other news outlets tomorrow. But why is it news that Evangelicals think their staff should hold Evangelical beliefs? It’s becuase there is a new orthodoxy, and the old one just won’t do for many. The New Orthdoxy The new orthodoxy says that you have to bend your beliefs to fit it. But InterVarsity has a different view—the Evangelical view. And, such views do cost today. And, ultimately, every organization with the beliefs of old orthodoxy will face a moment like this. This might sound similar to the World Vision moment, where President Richard Stearns made it clear that biblical marriage was not a negotiable: “Certain beliefs are so core to our Trinitarian faith that we must take a strong stand on those beliefs.” But, are these new policies and beliefs really new? New Beliefs? To say that this is a new …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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Despite Mike Pence, Most Evangelical Pastors Are Not Ready to Vote Trump

By Bob Smietana – Facts and Trends A plurality remain undecided, with pastors split over which candidate characteristic is most important. Political endorsements by pastors have been few and far between this election season. That may be because the most popular candidate among pastors is “I don’t know.” Despite vice presidential candidate Mike Pence’s mission to assuage evangelical doubts about Donald Trump, a plurality of evangelical senior pastors (44%) remained undecided last month about which candidate to vote for, according to a new survey from LifeWay Research. Meanwhile, almost 4 in 10 plan to vote for Trump (38%), while about 1 in 10 plans to vote for Hillary Clinton (9%). Four percent support Gary Johnson. Two percent do not plan to vote. In addition, most evangelical pastors see no need for Christians to vote only for a candidate who has a reasonable chance of winning. A majority also believe that Christians can vote their conscience and end up supporting different candidates. And only 3 evangelical pastors in 100 have endorsed a candidate from the pulpit. These are among the findings of a new survey of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors conducted August 22 to September 16. (Evangelical and mainline pastors were categorized based on self-identification.) Most pastors are ambivalent about the …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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Ann Voskamp: We Must Trade Charity for Solidarity

By Ann Voskamp An excerpt from The Broken Way If you only knew what fire every person is facing, there isn’t one fire you wouldn’t help fight with the heat of a greater love. The day the homeless man moved into our loft, a heat wave broke over us. Gordon literally had nothing the day he showed up, nothing to his name but the sun-faded T-shirt sticking to his back, emblazoned with the words, “Normal people scare me.” A mingling of alcohol and tobacco seeps from his burning pores. My brother and a buddy, they’d found him wandering down an empty back road after a court date, the tongues of his boots panting open, longing for relief. Now he stands in the shade at our back door, asking for water. “You got anything to drink?” he asks me. My brother wonders if we have some work for Gordon. Wondered if we may have a place for him, and maybe—just to start—a glass of water? Gordon uses the tattered edge of his T-shirt to mop this mask of sweat puddling in the etched lines of his face. A silver cross hangs around his neck on this heavy chain. Before I even think, I touch my wrist to find the …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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Amena Brown Q+A: Poetry in an Age of Lament

By Interview by Andrea Palpant Dilley How the spoken-word poet uses art to speak truth about race, faith, and womanhood. In 2002, Louie Giglio, founder of the Passion Movement, invited an unknown artist named Amena Brown to perform her spoken-word poetry at a vision-casting event called One Day Link. The conference was simulcast to over 20,000 people. At the time, Brown had been turned down by graduate schools and faced disappointment. “I did my poem and knew that God was trying to say to me, ‘This is why you didn’t get into grad school, and my plans for your life are different than your plans for your life,’” says Brown. Since then, Brown has toured with Gungor and performed and spoken at Creativity World Forum, Chick-Fil-A Leadercast, the National Poetry Slam, and the annual IF: Gathering, where she will co-lead a pre-conference session for women of color. She participates in the Atlanta poetry scene at Urban Grind Coffee and Java Monkey and over the last seven years has produced four spoken-word albums. Her fifth album, Amena Brown Live, releases this November. I spoke recently with Brown about poetry, racism, and how performance art impacts her life and faith. So much of …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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What Americans Think of What Evangelicals Think of Religious Liberty

By Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra How both sides of the debates over same-sex marriage, transgender bathroom access, and employer-provided contraception feel about each other. On two of three contentious issues at the intersection of religious liberty and nondiscrimination concerns, Americans remain evenly divided. Though most Americans believe employers should be required to supply birth control in their health insurance plans, they are split down the middle on whether businesses should be required to provide wedding services for same-sex couples, as well as on whether transgender people should be allowed to use the restroom of their choice, says a study released this week by the Pew Research Center. As expected, most evangelicals take a strong stance against making businesses provide wedding services to same-sex couples or allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice. They’re more comfortable with requiring employers to offer birth control to employees. Pew also asked whether Americans sympathized with one side or the other—or both—in each debate. In order to facilitate that, researchers asked the questions in an unusual way. Instead of the normal phone survey, Pew asked respondents to read the questions. The purpose was both to make people feel more comfortable answering sensitive questions and to allow them see all of the …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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We're Not Getting Any Younger

By Emily Capo Sauerman Our culture loves youth and fears age. Here’s what faith has to say. As I approached my 30th birthday, my cousin assured me, “You’ll be fine.” My dad said, “You’re not even in the game yet!” My friend said, “It’s actually kind of nice.” I didn’t believe any of them. Hitting my third decade was definitely going to make me feel old. I’m hardly alone in feeling stigmatized. Like many of my peers, I grew up watching the TV show Friends and vividly recall “The One Where They All Turn 30” in which each character, on their birthday, crumbles in disgrace over their lost youth. Friends epitomized the rising cultural belief that life is best lived by the young and beautiful. Shows like New Girl, Gossip Girl, and How I Met Your Mother have since followed suit. They adhere to the Friends standard by depicting groups of independent young people who seem neither to age nor require mentors of any kind. In this cultural milieu, some of us predictably panic at the prospect of exchanging the “good years” for the “inevitable” deterioration and obsoleteness of aging. Some of us attempt to slow down time, like those 57 percent of millennials who use anti-aging products daily, or …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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The World Is Yearning for Beautiful Orthodoxy

By Mark Galli Goodness, truth, and beauty all come from the same Person. Rage is today’s ruling online emotion. So concluded a 2013 study of Chinese mini-blogging network Weibo—a platform that resembles Twitter and boasts twice as many users. Beihang University researchers examined 70 million Weibo “tweets” over a six-month period, sorting them by anger, joy, sadness, and disgust. Rage was the emotion most likely to spread across social media, with one angry post powerful and persuasive enough to negatively influence a follower of a follower of a follower. In other words, that angry tweet of yours has the potential of fomenting rage to the third degree! But it’s not just our smartphones sowing the seeds of all this discontent. Edward Wasserman, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California–Berkeley, was quoted in Scientific American as saying, “Mainstream media have made a fortune teaching people the wrong ways to talk to each other, offering up Jerry Springer, Crossfire, Bill O’Reilly. People understandably conclude rage is the political vernacular, that this is how public ideas are talked about.” Little wonder, then, that our collective anger spews forth at politicians who lie, at systems that discriminate, at businesses that exploit, at abortionists who murder, at pastors …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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Ten Christian Athletes Who Were Tebowing Before Tebow

By Paul Putz and Art Remillard Christian sports stars have a long history of using their public platform to display their private faith. Clergymen hovering along the sidelines; athletes proselytizing like revival preachers; and “Jocks for Jesus” steadily colonizing locker rooms nationwide. This was the brave new sports world that journalist Frank Deford described in a 1976 three-part series for Sports Illustrated on religion and sports. “It is almost as if a new denomination had been created,” Deford posited. “Sportianity.” Deford was writing at a unique historical moment. Newsweek had proclaimed 1976 “The Year of the Evangelical,” as presidential candidate Jimmy Carter identified as a “born again” Christian. Evangelicals, it seemed, were everywhere—even in the games that people played and loved. More than simply documenting this trend, though, Deford channeled his inner-most H. L. Mencken and produced a whimsical and astute lament of the burgeoning Sportian movement. “They endorse Jesus, much as they would a new sneaker or a graphite-shafted driver,” he quipped. In the 40 years since Deford’s profile, Sportians have become increasingly ubiquitous. Indeed, the mere fact of their presence is no longer noteworthy. It takes a more conspicuous act or angle to get attention: think of A. C. Green’s celibacy, Orel Hershiser’s singing of the doxology, or …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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Red Tape: China Wants to Constrict Christian Activities with 26 New Rules

By Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra Both official and ‘underground’ churches now face bigger threat than cross removal campaign. This week is the last chance Chinese Christians have to tell their government what they think of its latest religion law. They have an awful lot to comment on. China released a draft of new religious restrictions in September, including the prohibition of online religious services, running religious events in schools, and organizing people to leave the country to attend religious training or conferences. The State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) then opened up a one-month window for responses to the 26 new rules in its Regulations on Religious Affairs. The final day for public response is Friday, October 7. The draft law opens with the assurance that all Chinese citizens are free to believe whatever they want and to engage in religious activity—as long as it’s within the tighter limits. One Chinese religious policy expert, who asked to remain anonymous, summed up some of what the regulations include: No religious activities that are not approved by SARA. No one may provide a venue for religious services that are not approved by SARA. No one may use their home for religious practices that are not approved by SARA (including home …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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News: Now Kazakhstan Christians Can Prove Their Faith Isn't Foreign

By Timothy C. Morgan Archaeologists discover that Christianity existed along Silk Road long before the Russians arrived. A team of archaeologists uncovered seven Christian gravestones late this summer in the ancient Silk Road city of Ilyn Balik near the Kazakhstan-China border. The historic find is rare archaeological evidence that eastern Christianity was established along East-West trading routes hundreds of years ago, not brought in by the Russian Orthodox Church as many had believed. “This discovery supports the understanding of ancient Kazakhstan as a multicultural center between the East and West with Muslims, Buddhists, and Christians living among the local herdsmen and nomadic tribes,” stated Thomas Davis, a member of the field team and archaeology professor at the Tandy Institute for Archeology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) in Fort Worth, Texas. “ reinforces so much of what we already knew about the church of the East in central and eastern Asia,” said Philip Jenkins, author of The Lost History of Christianity. “It is strange to think that at the time those places flourished, they might have been on the same scale as the famous Christian cities of Europe,” the Baylor University history professor told CT. “There is nothing new in the world except the history we have forgotten.” Kazakh …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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News: Evangelicals' Favorite Heresies Revisited by Researchers

By Caleb Lindgren Second study examines what Americans believe about 47 theological statements. How well does the average American understand basic Christian doctrine? For that matter, how about the average evangelical? Perhaps not all that differently. And perhaps it matters how the questions are asked. Reprising their ground-breaking study from two years ago, LifeWay Research and Ligonier Ministries released an update today on the state of American theology in 2016. Researchers surveyed 3,000 adults to measure their agreement with a set of 47 statements about Christian theology—everything from the divinity of Christ to the nature of salvation to the importance of regular church attendance. About two-thirds of Americans said that God accepts the worship of Christians, Jews, and Muslims (64%); around the same number agreed strongly or somewhat that there is one true God (69%), that he is perfect (65%), and that he still answers prayers (66%). Of the 3,000 respondents, LifeWay identified 586 as evangelicals by belief: those who strongly agreed that the Bible is the highest authority for Christian belief; that personal evangelism is very important; that Jesus’ death on the cross was the only way to cancel the penalty of sin; and that trusting in Jesus is the only way to eternal salvation. In …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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Interview: Randy Alcorn: God Wants You to Find Your Happy Place

By Interview by Jen Pollock Michel Why happiness and holiness don’t have to be in conflict. God is happy and desires the happiness of his people. To many, that statement sounds almost heretical—what about holiness? Randy Alcorn, bestselling author and founder of Eternal Perspective Ministries, wants to set the record straight. His latest book, Happiness, is an encyclopedic exploration of the biblical reasons for holding happiness in high esteem. Jen Pollock Michel, author of Teach Us to Want: Longing, Ambition, and the Life of Faith, spoke with Alcorn about experiencing happiness the way God intends. How did you decide to write a book on happiness? Did your book Heaven inspire an interest in the topic? After writing Heaven, I heard many stories about the losses of loved ones. People were asking, “How can I be happy”—they probably wouldn’t use that word because it sounds so unspiritual—“when my seven-year-old has just died of leukemia?” I began to think more and more of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, when he describes himself as “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Cor. 6:10). He doesn’t say “rejoicing, yet always sorrowful.” It’s rejoicing that’s the constant, even as this leaves plenty of room for sorrow and struggle. Something would be terribly wrong if we weren’t grieving for …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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How Science Became a Weapon in the Mommy Wars

By Rebecca Randalll Peer-reviewed research intensifies parenting debates… and can leave us even more confused. In the shifting battle lines of the mommy wars, scientific studies have become an increasingly common weapon. Research gets employed by both sides and on nearly every issue. Whether breast-feeders versus formula-feeders, anti-vaxxers verses vaccine advocates, or a range of other issues, parents rely on a wave of child development scholarship to defend their positions—and often add fuel to the fire. We have the Internet to thank, mostly. Young moms have all done it. We Googled our parenting questions or relied on information posted by our friends on Facebook. According to a Pew Research report, 66 percent of mothers and 48 percent of fathers say they have found useful parenting information on social media. About a third said they asked a parenting question of their social network sometime in the last month. Reflecting on her first six years of parenting, Jennifer Richler writes on The New York Times blog Motherlode: “Google was my parenting manual and my What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” With all that searching, scientific studies and claims ranging from shoddy to sound inevitably appear in the results. A simple query generates everything from data gathered at …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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Finally: Killers of Malatya Martyrs Sentenced to Life in Turkish Prison

By Morning Star News But Turkish Christians are still ‘infuriated.’ Here’s why. After a nine-year legal saga, a Turkish criminal court today sentenced five men to life in prison for the torture and murder of three Christians in southeast Turkey in 2007. The Malatya First Heavy Penal Court found Salih Gurler, Cuma Ozdemir, Abuzer Yildirim, Hamit Ceker, and Emre Gunaydin guilty on three counts each of premeditated murder, and sentenced them all to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Despite the conviction and sentencing, however, all five walked out of court free men while their case awaits higher legal review, infuriating Turkish Christians. Gokhan Talas, close friend of the three slain Christians and witness at the murder scene, said he was “okay” with the decision, but was angry that the convicted men walked away free while the sentence is reviewed by higher courts. “They need to be in jail right now,” Talas said. “This process is unjust. There’s no justice for Christians in this country. This is the proof of that. They are just hiding behind the laws. These people are killers.” In a press release issued by the Association of Protestant Churches in Turkey, chairman and pastor Ihsan Ozbek echoed Talas’s …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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Evangelical Views of the 2016 Election: Why I Resigned My Evangelical Leadership Roles to Support Hillary Clinton

By Deborah Fikes Former National Association of Evangelicals board member endorses Mrs. Clinton. My support of Hillary Clinton in this election is a direct result of my life’s unexpected journey that put me in unique situations in WDC government circles for the past 15 years. This provided me with what I believe to be “providential” opportunities and experiences to observe Hillary professionally in her career as a senator and as the Secretary of State. Also on a more personal level, because Hillary and I shared close mutual friends, I have had opportunities and insights that contradict accusations of her “lacking character and strong values.” I also had opportunities to witness just how deep and personal her faith really is. Knowing what I know and believing that “to whom much is given, much is required,” as much as I wanted to continue to stay away from “politics,” I knew that I needed to contribute in the unique way I was capable of doing. So for the first time in my life, I publicly endorsed a political candidate. The path that led to my initial introduction and volunteer work with the White House, State Department, and Congressional offices in WDC surprisingly was the election of President G.W. Bush. As …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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Evangelical Views of the 2016 Election: Not the Lesser of Two Evils, Choose Candidate Evan McMullin Instead

By Dr. O. Alan Noble Editor-in-Chief of Christ and Pop Culture wants to lay a foundation for a future conservative party I support Evan McMullin’s campaign for President. For the first time in my life, I even donated to a political campaign, and I did so knowing that McMullin would almost certainly not win, or even come close to it. I have been informed by many concerned citizens that I am throwing my vote away, or voting for Trump by not voting for Clinton, or voting for Clinton by not voting for Trump. Others have accused me of being too elitist to vote for Trump, as if voting for McMullin were merely a way to ease my conscience or feel morally superior. The truth is I support McMullin for president because I believe that doing so is the best chance we have for cultivating an influential, vibrant conservative party that promotes human flourishing and defends life into the future. I’ve come to this position begrudgingly, but driven by a few principles. One is that it is possible for a candidate to be so unacceptable that they do not deserve our vote regardless of how bad the other major candidate is. The minimum standard is opposed to the …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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Evangelical Views of the 2016 Election: Evangelicals, We Need to Start Looking Beyond the Candidates

By Ronnie Floyd Pastor and Immediate Past President of the Southern Baptist Convention prioritizes issues over candidates For the past nine presidential elections – intentionally or unintentionally – I have stuck with one clear principle when I go to the voting booth: I do not vote for candidates but for policies. From our 39th to our 44th commander in chief, I have not voted for men or, even, for parties – I have voted for issues. And in my life, I have never seen so many crucial issues, with such vast consequences, hanging in the balance as they are in the 2016 Presidential Election. The issues, to anyone – especially a Christian – who has been following the course of our nation, should be fairly clear by now: the appointment of Supreme Court justices, the defense of religious liberty, the fight to protect the life of the unborn, our friendship with and support of Israel, the need for resolving racial tension, our national security, and the preservation of limited government and a free market. These are the issues that matter to me this election, and I believe we should filter every voting decision we make through them. Yet the problem with this presidential election is that we …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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