A divided church lost the most important election concerning the fate of biblical marriage in our nation’s history. This election revealed a deep division between minority Christian’s sense of moral priorities and the ethical codes of the white church community. When I say “minorities,” I mean blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and others consisting of 28 percent of the electorate; this group voted for a different moral code than their white Christian brothers.
Could it be that the Lord is challenging the Church to deal with her deep racial divisions before He sends the rains of economic blessings back to the nation? In 2 Samuel 21:1-14, this was the very problem that David had. As he sought the Lord’s blessings upon the land, David found he had to deal with an ancient racial wound inflicted on the Gibeonites by King Saul. Even though David did not commit the offense, he had to make amends for Saul’s sin in his generation.
For nearly eight years, I have been talking to Christians about the need for us to embrace a call to champion a balanced societal agenda of righteousness and justice. I have used Psalm 89:14 as a guideline for spiritual engagement with the culture. It reads: “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you (NIV).”
The expression of God’s heart will connect you with your community.
A destitute woman. A sick, desperate mother. A prodigal son. These were the kinds of people on whose behalf Jesus exercised continual compassion in every synagogue and village of Israel. Jesus is calling His followers to live this same compassion, bringing wholeness to every community in the world.
The biblical word compassion encompasses more than emotion. The meaning conveys motivation that cannot rest until the pain is relieved. This is undoubtedly what drove Jesus to restore the Samaritan woman when His body was crying out for rest. This is what motivated Him to fight a treacherous storm to deliver a severely demon-oppressed man.
A leading rabbi reflects on the growing friendship between Jewish and Christian communities
As a rabbi, I share with many others in the Jewish community a deep sense of gratitude, allied to some perplexity, at the phenomenon of evangelical support for Israel. I welcome this chance to share my views as a Jewish leader, on our shared perspectives and goals.
A great Hasidic teacher, the Kotzker Rebbe, once said the only whole heart is a broken one.
In an unredeemed world, there is so much pain and loss, any healthy heart must break. What people of God share is that our hearts must hope as well.
We must be carriers of Jesus’ presence to a dark, broken world
Recently, we partnered with local leaders and organizations by opening the first Dream Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., a free medical clinic for women who are underinsured or uninsured.
The small clinic space was given to us and sits right across from the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) office, where the poorest families in our city go to apply for food stamps. This is the first of many ministries we plan to open. Soon, we want to have a home for single parents who are afraid to come out of the shadows of homelessness for fear of losing their children to the foster system. We also plan to open homes for kids who are too old for the foster system and have no families.
We are not doing this out of guilt or to be trendy or popular. We are certainly not out to prove to the world that we really are nice people despite the caricatures of Christians.
Could you be pursuing the right ministry for the wrong reasons?
I have come to love the people of the Hawaiian islands in the 27 years since we planted New Hope Christian Fellowship in Honolulu. The warmth of the Aloha spirit in the islanders wonderfully complements the islands’ perfect temperatures. A unique blend of nationalities and languages here creates some of the most beautiful people on the globe.
Yet, at the start, much of my love was a choice. I didn’t always live here. I received my education and early experience in ministry in the Pacific Northwest. But it was a love for the island people that compelled us to come here and stay here. And no matter where I travel, that love has never left.
Love for people, even love for an area of the country, is mandatory for a church to succeed. A church God loves to bless is one that loves the people in its community as well as its call to reach them.