How Early Christians Handled Their ‘COVID-19’

Those in the early church faced two life-threatening epidemics within its first 200 years. Today, most of us sit confined in our homes, unsure of how widespread the COVID-19 virus is in our community, our country, or the world. I frequently open the app counting the global statistics and try to understand what life is like in places where the virus is creating unimaginable havoc. Some have sarcastically dismissed the virus as being a political foil. Now such silliness is sobered by reality.... Read More

Joy Comes In The Morning

Joy invades the most sorrowful spaces. It reminds us that beauty and goodness and life can grow even in the most unpromising soil. Today’s musical pairing is Saint-Saëns’ The Swan performed by Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott. Note that all the songs for this series have been gathered into a Spotify playlist here. “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”James 1:16–17 (ESV) “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that... Read More

Lessons from Moses: Pastor, You Are Not Alone!

Our leaders are seeking endless ways to stave off the fear and anxiety that those under our care are feeling. “Mental health issues in general and burnout in particular are real issues for pastors and leaders as we minister today in our complex world.” When I wrote those words this past January, I couldn’t have imagined that our complex world would become one that looked almost unrecognizable only three months later. Three months later, we see burnout on a different scale.... Read More

Mexico’s Persecuted Protestants Lack Simple Coronavirus Defense

As COVID-19 shuts down Mexican cities, dozens of Protestant converts still denied access to clean water in Catholic-controlled villages in four states. While many people around the world are reaching for soap, water, and antibacterial hand gel to prevent the transmission of the new coronavirus, Angelina does not have that luxury. Her family and a neighboring family had their access to water and sewage services cut off by local authorities in January 2019. Fifteen months later, and they still... Read More

Arab Christians Have Lost Easter Before. Here’s What They Learned.

Whether COVID-19 or ISIS, believers from Iraq, Syria, and Egypt know “neither plague nor persecution can snuff out the church of Christ.” Christians around the world are about to lose their usual Easter celebration—the highlight of most congregations’ annual life together. Yes, there will be a livestream. Their pastor will likely call them. They may even chat on Zoom with friends and family. But it will be different. The community of believers has been sundered by the new... Read More

To Truly Live, I Needed to Die

If the old me stays alive, I never escape hell. Instead, I live it. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). We’re dead either way. The grace is that we get to choose which death we die. Lent, the season of solemnity and contemplation, has become this year a global grappling with sickness, loss, and death not... Read More

When I Was a Health Risk to Society

My radioactive body brought me shame. But I learned how to bring my fears to the Cross. When I was radioactive, I carried a card in my wallet to explain why I set off alarms at the airport with my body. The card read, “Rachel Jones has undergone nuclear medical treatment.” I keep the card in my wallet, even though I no longer need to show it at airports. I love the card and I hate it. I love it because it says I had nuclear treatment, which simply sounds awesome. I hate it... Read More

Much Ado About Nothing

When the biological appears diabolical Author Katherine Stewart let Christians have it last Friday, at the least the “ultraconservative” ones, the science-deniers, and the uncritical thinkers. Laying the blame for the pandemic in part at our feet, she cites as an example the pastor who hosted the president last month at his church in Miami. “Do you believe God would bring his people to his house to be contagious with the virus?” he asked his full house. “Of... Read More

Christian Concert Booker at Fault in $3 Million Fraud

Court finds Lighthouse Events used ministry funds to repay expensive short-term loans instead. A Christian concert promoter has been ordered to pay almost $5 million for misleading investors and misusing funds that were supposed to go toward events that “spread the message of Christ.” A United States federal court issued a summary judgment against Lighthouse Events and its founder Jeffrey E. Wall this week, finding Wall and his organization had “fraudulently rais more than... Read More

Most Churches Have Stopped Gathering, Few Plan to Meet on Easter

While nearly all pastors say their church held in-person worship services at the beginning of March, the situation had changed radically by the end of the month. NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The coronavirus outbreak has had ripple effects across the country, including in U.S. churches, according to a new study of pastors. Nashville-based LifeWay Research asked Protestant pastors how the pandemic has impacted their congregations and what their plans are for the near future. While nearly all pastors... Read More