As the implementation of technology within churches grows exponentially, Croston explains why ecclesiastical communities must tread analytically under its influence. Our nation idolizes a relentlessly “plugged-in” gravitation, which emphasizes the constant pressure to engage with our technological distractions. Through embedding media heavily in church services around the globe, it remains the clerical responsibility to probe the question: is it molding us into a people of God, or is it diverting us from fulfilling our ontological and eschatological intent?
According to the National Institute of Mental Illness, one in six people (17% of the US population) suffers from a mental illness. In other words, 17 of every 100 people in our churches has a mental illness diagnosis. What would it look like for followers of Jesus to reimagine walking alongside those suffering with mental illness? Professional licensed counselor and PhD Candidate, Sara Spong exposes convicting truths behind the Church’s current involvement with psychological disorders and examines the essentiality for religious institutions to initiate ministries that focus on recognizing and addressing the affected group’s disability.
The spiritual roller coaster that is the Christian walk is comprised of incredible highs and desperate lows. While we often think of God as working most clearly in the midst of those spiritual highs, such an understanding leaves us hopeless when experiencing tremendous loss or silence from God. Perhaps we need to rethink our understanding of how God affects spiritual growth in our lives.
Within the past two months, two preeminent figures of the 20th century passed away: Billy Graham and Stephen Hawking. The two may have represented very different camps, but within their respective worlds they occupied remarkably similar positions. As such, perhaps they leave us with a similar legacy which calls us to something greater than perpetuating the Christian/Atheist divide.
The creation narrative in Genesis has long been used to justify patriarchy as God’s intended plan for humanity. However, a closer reading of the text belies such a reading, leaving us with very different conclusions with powerful implications for today. While there are sure to be many more, here are three facts about patriarchy in biblical perspective that point us closer to the reality of God’s mission for the world.
In light of our responsibility to listen to those most affected by the Parkland shooting, how else should we respond to this type of injustice? It is necessary for us as Christians to allow the Holy Spirit to speak in the midst of these tragedies. Being proper vessels for the Spirit, however, depends on us understanding what exactly we are called to as bearers of the Spirit. Our vision for justice must be submitted to God’s vision if we are to demonstrate a proper Christian response.
It has been nearly a month since the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida. While some may not have heard of Parkland until this event took place, for others it hit very close to home. In seeking to find a proper Christian response to this tragedy, then, perhaps it is the voices of those most affected that we should look to for advice.
In 21st century America, we as Christians want to customize what our walk with Jesus looks like. With user-friendly technology at the tip of our fingers we change the filters on our photos, change our layouts to what’s trending, and even attempt to create a relationship with Jesus that fits our aesthetic. How do we follow the call of bowing to the lordship of Christ if we are primed to do, and be, whatever feels right to us?
In October 2017, an explosive movement of empowered voices swept through social media. Many watched in astonishment as seemingly endless stories and memories of sexual harassment, coercion, and assault emerged; others gathered strength and resolve in recognizing that they were not alone in their own experiences of abuse. The shared narrative of sexual violence emboldened survivors to tell their stories through an interconnected network of strength and solidarity, as millions of women and men collectively shouted: #MeToo. As the Church, we have an important role to play in response to this movement.
In the wake of the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida, the all too familiar calls for prayer and political change have rung out. As Pentecostals we believe in the transformative power of prayer. However, in times like these it is often difficult to put into words the full extent of what we are feeling or want to say. This is made especially difficult when there are issues requiring prayer and attention that have been plaguing our society for years. We here at ECCLĒSIAM want to help you find your voice and a foundation upon which we can act. The following prayer is inspired by the Prayer of St. Francis and reflects the situations which we find ourselves in today. We ask that you pray this prayer with us, meditating on its words and finding ways in which we can all put it into action.