Updates from Morocco and Bangladesh

MoroccanChristiansMy latest articles for World magazine online focused on the situations for Christians in Morocco and Bangladesh.

In Morocco believers are growing bolder in their faith, sharing testimonies through youtube and podcasts. Meanwhile, in Bangladesh Christianity continues to grow in spite of worsening persecution.

Moroccan Christians risk persecution with YouTube testimonies

In a new series of YouTube podcasts, Moroccan Christians are stepping out of the shadows, showing their faces, and telling their stories. Speaking to their countrymen, they proclaim themselves “Moroccan and Christian.”

The public testimonies counter the common view that to be Moroccan is to be Muslim and that all Christians living in Morocco are foreigners, not natives. The small religious minority faces community and government persecution.

In one video, a woman named Iman says her husband’s relatives assumed she was foreign-born because they knew she was a Christian, according to Moroccan World News (MWN).

Keep reading at World’s site

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Sad Songs and Lost Souls

PosnerIbiza

I was driving to work recently while listening to my favorite pop music station (yes, pop is one of the many kinds of music I listen to). One of the songs currently in rotation is a radio edit of Mike Posner’s, I Took A Pill in Ibiza, (SeeB remix version). It’s upbeat in an EDM sort of way, but the words are haunting. The acoustic version is just haunting.

The song talks about taking drugs to impress fellow musicians, buying cars and clothes to project his status as “a real big baller,” fame, the inability to open up to people and the hollowness of it all. Continue reading

Can you make the gospel attractive? Should you try?

This was originally published Jan. 26, 2015.

There is a rampant problem among the Christian church at large today that some might call the “attractional” model of church. More people are probably more familiar with the term “seeker-sensitive.” This is also a philosophical tenet of the Church Growth Movement which you can learn more about in my post from a couple days ago.

Too many churches and church leaders think if they make church more appealing to non-Christians they’ll attend and eventually be converted.

This is s driving philosophy of nationally known pastors like Rick Warren, Bill Hybels and Andy Stanley and their respective mega-churches. Stanley’s writings and interviews have made it clear he thinks the church should be for the “unchurched.” He’s even claimed pastors are no longer supposed to be shepherds of their congregations.  And Warren speaks freely about the fact that he set out to build a church for “Saddleback Sam,” actually polling people to find out what they wanted in a church.

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A Christmas Sermon from Matthew 1 and 2

Matthew 1:21-23 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call his name Jesus, for it is he who will save his people from their sins.  Now all this took place that what was spoken by the lord through the prophet might be fulfilled: saying, ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel.’  Which, translated, means ‘God with us.’” Continue reading

The Offense of the Cross

A quote by Martin Lloyd-Jones preaching out of Romans about Paul’s statement that he is not ashamed of the gospel. Lloyd-Jones points out that the true gospel offends by necessity, false gospels do not.

“The offense of the cross is this: that I am so damned and so lost and so hopeless that if He hadn’t died for me I’ll never know God and I’ll never be forgiven. And that hurts, that annoys. That tells me I’m hopeless, that I’m vile, that I’m useless, and I don’t like it as a natural man. So you see this importance of all this? The gospel itself is something that produces a reaction of offense in people. They hate it. They ridicule it. They pour their sarcasm and scorn upon it. And the apostle [Paul] knew that. He’d known what it was to be ridiculed in other places.”

The Shaming of Non-Radical Christians?

Dr. Anthony Bradley, an associate professor at King’s College and an Acton Institute research fellow, wrote a thought-provoking piece on May 1 called: The New Legalism: Missional, Radical, Narcissistic, and Shamed. It seems to have struck a nerve and I have some thoughts on the subject as well. I hope I don’t ramble too much. Continue reading

The ‘Good’ of Good Friday

It’s Good Friday. What a strange name for the date we recall Jesus’s agonizing, sacrificial death on the cross. But when combined with the resurrection of Jesus on Easter, this is not only good news, it is the best news!

As Al Mohler writes, “And what is of first importance? ‘That Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,’ and ‘that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.’ The cross and the empty tomb stand at the center of the Christian faith. Without these, there is no good news — no salvation.” Continue reading