Archives For Persecuted Church

Points To Ponder

3 Practical Steps to Forgiving Yourself

by Lifeway Men

Over the years, helping men deal with anger, grudges, bitterness, rage, and hatred has always been an amazing experience, watching the Holy Spirit address past issues and lead guys to new freedom. Watching men forgive fathers, mothers, siblings, wives, ex-wives, children, bosses, and so on breaks the bondage of them “holding someone hostage” in their hearts.

But the one person that all of us men struggle the most to forgive, and often can’t, is ourselves. Letting go of the past, getting rid of regrets, and stopping the beating and bleeding from “the condemnation club” often feels impossible to do.

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When God Doesn’t Listen

By Drew Tankersley

Perhaps one of the most frustrating phenomena of parenting younger children is their inability to listen.  As a parent of an 11-year-old and a 7-year-old, I know all to well the irritation of a child who is completely distracted and patently oblivious to the requests of their parental unit.  Technology is the greatest culprit of distraction in our house. 

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3 Ways to Teach Your Kids to Pray for the Persecuted Church

By Ruth Ripkin (International Mission Board)

Stories of the persecuted church around the world have grown in number of late. This one regarding Christian arrests in Iran ran just last week. An article that appeared on CNN earlier this year claimed that 2015 held the distinct honor of producing the highest rate of Christian persecution in history. Of course, the case of Iranian American Pastor Saeed Abedini has topped news cycles for the last three years. 

These stories aren’t going to go away; Jesus informed his followers that persecution would come (John 15:18–25). It’s not a new thing—just ask the early church—but many within the rather insulated West have been unaware of its existence for a while. As we continue to awaken to this reality, we need to think about how to understand persecution. More importantly, we need to learn how to persevere through it and pray for those who face it around the world. 

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Americans Love God and the Bible, Are Fuzzy on the Details

By Bob Smietana (Lifeway Research)

Americans don’t know much about theology. Most say God wrote the Bible. But they’re not sure everything in it is true.

Six in 10 say everyone eventually goes to heaven, but half say only those who believe in Jesus will be saved. And while 7 in 10 say there’s only one true God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—two-thirds say God accepts worship of all faiths.

Those are among the findings of a new survey of American views on Christian theology from Nashville-based LifeWay Research.

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Points To Ponder

There is nothing gray about whether a follower of Christ should see 50 Shades of Grey. This is a black and white issue. Don’t go. Don’t watch it. Don’t read it. Don’t rent it.

I don’t even want to talk about it. Another blogger and I went back and forth for several weeks about how we could write a satirical review panning the movie and skewering those who think they need to see it in order to be relevant. We couldn’t do it. There was no way to make the humor weighty enough to sufficiently condemn such a vile film.

“But God.” These two words are overflowing with gospel. For sinners like you and me who were lost and completely unable to save ourselves from our dead-set rebellion against God, there may not be two more hopeful words that we could utter.

When viewed in light of the persecution that many Christians are facing on a daily basis in various parts of the world, Hebrews 13:3 is a powerful verse. This verse instructs us to remember those who are in prison and mistreated.

I’m not a touchy feely person. I have a friend, CB, who is one of the most godly, “manly” AND affectionate men I know. His “affection” may be partly his personality, but I believe it’s his passionate love for Jesus that makes him so warm hearted and affectionate toward others. When I tell him I’m walking through something tough his eyes well up with tears. If I say something funny he throws his arm around my shoulder and buries his face in my neck, shaking with his laughter. It’s just pure godly affection.