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'Cowboy Pastor' Rides Bulls Inside Ohio Church Sanctuary to Attract People to Hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Sat, 05/23/2015 - 2:34pm
One Ohio pastor certainly is obeying Jesus when He warns against burying talents in the Gospel of Matthew. Pastor Lawrence Bishop II, 48, of Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio, is an experienced bull rider and is known as the "Cowboy Pastor" for turning his church into a rodeo by frequently wrestling and riding bulls during service, a practice he uses to attract new believers.
Categories: Christian Post

Christian Charity 'Homes of Hope' Seeks to Build 25 Homes for the Poor in 48 Hours Over Memorial Day Weekend

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Sat, 05/23/2015 - 10:54am
A California-based Christian youth charity is seeking to build 25 homes for the poor in Mexico over the span of only two days. Known as "Homes of Hope," the San Diego chapter of Youth With a Mission's project, will focus on building 25 homes in Mexico during Memorial Day weekend.
Categories: Christian Post

Forgiving Hurts We Don't Deserve

Christian Post - Living - Sat, 05/23/2015 - 10:19am
It is truly amazing how some people attempt to justify an angry, unforgiving heart. They may think, God knows what that person did to me, so He understands why I feel this way. Well, He certainly understands, but that doesn't mean He approves.
Categories: Christian Post

We've Got to 'Preach the Truth About Being Filled With the Holy Spirit' and Speaking in Tongues, Says Jentezen Franklin

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Sat, 05/23/2015 - 9:51am
In a clarion call to a global gathering of Spirit-filled believers in Jerusalem Friday, Jentezen Franklin, senior pastor of the multi-campus Free Chapel Church, urged the anointed throng to start preaching "the truth about being filled with the Holy Spirit" and speaking in tongues to their families or risk losing a generation.
Categories: Christian Post

Not all of Eritrea marks an anniversary of freedom

Mission Network News - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Wikipedia, Sawa military camp)

Eritrea (MNN) -- On Sunday, Eritrea marks 24 years of independence. For Eritrean Christians, freedom isn't theirs to celebrate as much if they're a part of the underground church. While religious persecution in Eritrea is not limited to Christians, the underground Christian church has suffered most. According to the latest report from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), the religious freedom situation is particularly serious for Evangelical and Pentecostal Christians and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Greg Musselman is a spokesman for the Voice of the Martyrs Canada. "Today, you've got anywhere between 3000-4000 Christians there that are imprisoned in shipping containers or military camps because of their faith." He says Eritrea also tolerates torture or other ill-treatment of religious prisoners, random arrests, and detentions without charges, and has a ban on public religious activities. Why? "The government of Eritrea sees evangelical Christianity as 'western.' They link it with the CIA, so as a result, they're clamping down on the evangelicals within the country." As a result, the USCIRF again recommends in 2015 that Eritrea be designated as a “country of particular concern,” or CPC, under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA). Churches in Eritrea have been monitored closely since May 2002, when the government closed all Protestant and Pentecostal churches which did not apply for registration with the department of Religious affairs. For those who do apply, very few are granted the registration papers they need. With conditions so dismal, some Eritrean Christians have fled to Ethiopia. During his visit last week, Musselman got a chance to hear a refugee's story. The summation wasn't what he expected to hear. "One fellow that we met has been in refugee camp (in Ethiopia) for 11 years. He's actually chosen to stay there. He has ministry there within the refugee camp." Because of their boldness, Musselman says, "They are actually seeing many people come to know Jesus that have come from religious backgrounds--Muslim [and] Orthodox--and into a personal relationship with Jesus."

(Image courtesy Wikipedia)

For those Eritrean Christians who have managed to escape and share their stories, Musselman says their lives inspire. "For those that are in the country, pray that the Lord will give them strength and that they will not be fearful." Ask God to further the Gospel in this very young African nation. "Be praying for strength for our brothers and sisters in Eritrea, in the midst of difficult situations. There are those that are in shipping containers and military camps. Their families are divided, physically, because of the persecution. [Pray] that they would be strong in their time in prison." Here's what Independence Day boils down to for Eritrea's followers of Christ: 2 Timothy 2:8-10: Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s Word is not chained. Therefore, I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
Categories: Mission Network News

140-foot cross in Pakistan: practical or novelty?

Mission Network News - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Forgotten Missionaries International)

Pakistan (MNN) -- A 140-foot bulletproof cross is towering over skyscrapers in the most unlikely of places: Pakistan. According to Forgotten Missionaries International (FMI), more than 95% of the Pakistani population is Muslim and less than 1% is Christian, leaving the community unbalanced and vulnerable. For years, believers have faced intense and gruesome persecution from ISIS, the government, and Muslim extremists. On the Open Doors World Watch List, Pakistan stands at #8. Hope or Division? Pervez Henry Gill, the donor and man who had the dream of building the monument in the first place, told the Washington Post he wanted it to be a beacon of hope for Christians, letting them know they have a brighter future. He’s having it built in the country’s capital, Karachi, which is known for its ruthlessness and lawless violence. “It will be a symbol of God, and everybody who sees it will be worry-free,” he said. But, will this cross actually help the persecution subside, or will it make attacks skyrocket? Bruce Allen of FMI says, “Tensions are at an all-time high in terms of the division between Muslims and other religious minorities in the country…. It could end up backfiring, not becoming a symbol of hope but almost a target and a challenge.” Allen adds that the FMI Pakistan Director has been hearing more conversations between Muslims in the streets about eradicating minority religions in Pakistan. “I hope it doesn’t encourage division. I know it’s not Mr. Gill’s intention to encourage division.” In some cases, Gill prevented divisions by hiring both Muslims and Christians to build it. Gill said there was trouble at first when about 20 Muslims quit in protest. But surprisingly, others stayed. Right now, Muslims and Christians are working alongside each other to build what will be the largest cross in Asia. Practical or Novelty? Though the cross does reach out to persecuted Christians, some are wondering about its practicality. Could there have been a better way to reach out to help hurting believers? “While this is a nice, novel thing that is going to bring high visibility to that cross itself, I’m not sure what it’s going to do for the people of Pakistan in general.” Allen says, pointing out that Gill has an expendable income. “I think there would’ve been more effective ways of instilling hope. He could be doing some things in a much more tangible way to relay Christ’s compassion to the people who have been persecuted, to fortify churches and pastors in their roles and their communities.” Allen believes if persecution escalates in the country, Christians will need more than a symbol. “FMI, for example, operates a network of safe houses where people from persecuted situations…can get medical attention, counseling, theological training.” Their budget is limited, though. Trying to provide utilities, groceries, and medical supplies for all 3 safe houses is nearly impossible. You can help with the expenses by clicking here. Your support will help meet basic needs and provide Bibles in Pakistani languages. Pray for Christians in Pakistan to find acceptance and encouragement in the cross. Pray also for their safety.
Categories: Mission Network News