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Author: Trumpet Media

Um Pedido de Perdão do 1% de Cristãos aos Outros 99%

Você não existe para ajudar líderes profissionais de ministérios a cumprirem a grande comissão. Nós existimos para ajudar você a cumpri-la.

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Mas eles escutarão?”

Eu sentei à mesa voltado ao meu amigo Bill Pollard, que estava com uma expressão facial esperançosa e levemente duvidosa. Eu acabara de compartilhar com ele sobre a visão do Movimento de Lausanne de reunirmos mais de 700 cristãos, líderes em seu local de trabalho, de mais de 100 países.

Bill amou a visão: mobilizar os cristãos no local de trabalho para serem instrumentos de Deus para levarem o impacto do reino para cada esfera da sociedade. No entanto, ele estava na dúvida se alguns líderes de igrejas teriam perguntas sobre a efetividade deste tipo de ministério feito por ‘líderes leigos’.

Seu questionamento reflete uma visão de longa data do ministério cristão como uma responsabilidade restrita aos “profissionais” como pastores e missionários. Pessoas como Bill desafiaram essa noção, mostrando que a manta do ministério deve ser levada nos ombros de cada cristão.

Bill era CEO da empresa ServiceMaster, que, durante sua liderança, foi reconhecida pela revista Fortune como a empresa número 1 de serviços em sua lista Fortune 500 e foi reconhecida pela Financial Times como uma das empresas mais respeitadas no mundo. Para Bill, o trabalho na ServiceMaster era sobre servir ao Mestre. Como ele frequentemente dizia: “Nenhuma empresa tem valor eterno. Somente a igreja o tem. Somente as pessoas o têm.” Bill compartilhou comigo histórias de pessoas que moravam tão longe quanto Tóquio, Japão, cujas vidas foram impactadas pelo amor ao …

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Pro-Lifers Aren’t Hypocrites

The concerted effort to end abortion is much more diverse and holistic than it gets credit for.

In any debate about abortion, someone will eventually say that pro-lifers only care about babies until birth or only care about children in the womb, not outside of it. The pro-choice advocacy group NARAL even uses this ubiquitous cliché in an ongoing public campaign that encourages supporters to share memes spotlighting “pro-life hypocrisy.”

However, to make the claim of “pro-life hypocrisy,” one must intentionally ignore vast swaths of the pro-life movement. There are millions of people globally who advocate for the unborn and also support women, children, and those in poverty. They include the religious and non-religious, gay and straight people, people of all races and ethnicities, and, yes, both men and women (in basically equal numbers). The accusation of “pro-life hypocrisy” centers one group of conservative, pro-life voices and dismisses a multiplicity of others.

This cliché distorts our picture of the pro-life movement and is often used to dismiss the larger moral argument that a person in utero is a human being who deserves legal protection. Its invocation allows pro-choice advocates to hold their opponents to abstracted standards of radicalism in order to sidestep substantive debate.

As I survey the pro-life landscape, I see many American pro-life organizations and institutions that seek to bless women and children outside the womb. To name but a few, Feminists for Life is dedicated to “systematically eliminating the root causes that drive women to abortion—primarily lack of practical resources and support—through holistic, woman-centered solutions.” The New Wave Feminists, who made headlines last year after being removed as formal sponsors …

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Oops! 10 Funny Distractions Pastors Faced While Preaching on Sunday

No one ever said the life of a pastor was boring.

A month ago, I was preaching at College Church in Wheaton, IL. They gave me 30 minutes to speak and I always try to finish on time, as a means of serving my hosts well.

I usually preach longer than 30 minutes, so I took my iPhone, set the countdown timer for 30 minutes, so I could be in the prayer by the time it hit 30.

And that’s what I did. At 29:50, I started praying to close.

The only problem is that the iPhone countdown timer has a very loud alarm when it hits zero. So, when I was just 10 seconds into my prayer, it went off. College Church is too dignified for me to stop, so—while still praying—I reached over and turned off my phone. I kept praying until I was finished and hoped no one looked up and thought it was someone else’s phone.

Thankfully though, I’m not the only one to have something distract me like that from the pulpit. I took to Twitter to ask some pastors and bible teachers what sorts of distractions they’ve experienced while preaching or teaching and received an overwhelming number of responses. I’ve narrowed the list down to the top 20 stories and list the first 10 here in no particular order.

Believe me, after you read these, you’ll know it was impossible to pick just a few standouts.

1 – A 5-year-old sitting in the congregation was playing with an iPad during the sermon. Somehow, my voice triggered SIRI and she responded aloud saying, “I do not understand what you are saying.”

2 – One time, I tried to preach while sick with a stomach bug. The sound guy fell asleep and I walked off the stage, passed out, and puked into a live mic. When I woke up, the personnel chair and the deacon chair were scrubbing the floor around me.

3 – My young …

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Are Guns Inherently Evil?

Shane Claiborne and Michael Martin envision a future without firearms. Should believers rally to their cause?

Someone, somewhere in America will be the victim of gun violence today. Mass shootings have become part of our routine national experience. What should be done with guns? That, essentially, is the question animating a new book from Shane Claiborne and Michael Martin, Beating Guns: Hope for People Who Are Weary of Violence.

Claiborne and Martin argue that that guns should be destroyed and refashioned. Their argument runs like this: Guns are violent, violence is antithetical to peace, and because Christians must be committed to peace, they should oppose guns. No Christian who cares about peace is energized for violence.

Many readers will be familiar with Claiborne’s previous books on Christian nonviolence. He has been admirably consistent: Christians who take the teachings of Jesus seriously must forsake violence and pursue what makes for peace. In Claiborne’s case, this has meant a recurring emphasis on aiding the poor, sheltering the homeless, and advocacy against capital punishment. Martin, for his part, is the founder and director of RAWtools, Inc., a nonprofit that turns guns into gardening tools. Together, they want to beat guns, figuratively and literally.

Surprising Statistics

Beating Guns offers a useful historical overview of gun markets in the US and an instructive statistical analysis of American gun violence. The book is at its strongest when accounting for the scale of firearm ownership and use in the United States. Many of Claiborne and Martin’s findings are indeed quite alarming. Most people are aware, for example, that Americans own more guns and experience more gun violence than any other nation in the world. But did you know that Americans own half of all firearms globally, even though the …

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Oh, the Places We’ll Stay

In a world that promises liberation from the limits of place, we are called to be rooted disciples.

My favorite house we owned started out a salmon-pink bank-owned foreclosure on the corner of 800 East and 900 South in Salt Lake City, Utah. When we sold that house to move to the California suburbs six years later, my husband had refinished floors, built me bookcases along the stairs, knocked down a wall to make a bedroom, and we’d painted nearly every wall in the house (the salmon pink was changed to a lovely gray). We knew the floorboards that creaked, the steepness of the stairs, and the quirks particular to a 100-year-old home in the city. The home was more than an address; it was part of who we were and had become.

But it wasn’t just the home. It was the address that meant something. Every address in the Salt Lake valley proceeds from the LDS temple. Our home at the corner of 800 East 900 South was nearly eight blocks east and nine blocks south of the temple. Our homes splayed out along the valley in a grid, where you always knew where you were in relation to the temple—and it was easy to find where you needed to go.

While Salt Lake City grew in racial, cultural, and religious pluralism, our addresses told a different story. We all—Mormon, Christian, atheist, none, secular humanist—had to coexist in a system and geography formed around the LDS faith. Places shape us. The geography of a place affects how we live and what we’re oriented around. While we may not have an address that overtly acknowledges a place’s cultural or religious center, our places nevertheless revolve around ideas, values, and institutions.

Places form us. It would be easy to wax poetic about place (from the goodness of farm-to-table local cuisine to neighborhood little libraries), yet ignore how many of us …

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What This Charleston Massacre Documentary Wants to Tell Us About Forgiveness

A close look at the deadly church shooting, “Emanuel” reveals ruthless sin, scandalous mercy, and divides that persist.

“Only five of us were left after the massacre,” said Polly Sheppard.

In 2015, Sheppard was in the prayer circle at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church when a 21-year-old white supremacist started shooting. The nation’s deadliest racially motivated mass shooting at a place of worship took the lives of nine Christians she had worshiped alongside with for years: senior pastor Clementa Pinckney and congregants Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and her best friend Myra Thompson.

Four years to the day of the massacre, Emanuel, a documentary recounting their story, will open in over 1,000 theaters nationwide on Monday. Members of all nine victims’ families participated in interviews, along with survivors such as Sheppard, local reporters, the Charleston mayor, and the Charleston police chief. The film examines societal effects of racism—for this particular historic church and in the American South at large—before transitioning to the massacre and the victims’ loved ones’ subsequent acts of forgiveness.

“This film is not just about racism—it’s about grace,” said director Brian Ivie, who worked on Emanuel for three years. “It’s a story of a group of people who decided they were going to bear the full weight of the wrong and still wish good upon the wrongdoer. That is the highest form of love possible, a love that Jesus Christ perfected.”

Emanuel opens at a time when stories of people of color drifting away from evangelical churches due to increasing politicization of the gospel have made national news.

“It’s a hard movie to watch, …

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Will Southern Baptists’ Political Truce Last Through 2020?

After a polarizing presidential election in 2016, evangelicals rethink their discourse and engagement.

Unlike its tense annual meetings over the last few years, when partisan allegiances shook up the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), leaders at this week’s gathering offered broad encouragement to transcend political divides, while the messengers rallied together to condemn sexual abuse.

The abuse issue has offered Southern Baptists a common enemy, in contrast to some of the infighting that has surrounded President Donald Trump’s election and presidency. Last year, the messengers debated over the decision to invite Vice President Mike Pence to speak, and the year before, controversy mounted over Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission president (ERLC) Russell Moore’s position against Trump during the 2016 campaign.

The 2019 SBC annual meeting was themed “Gospel Above All,” a line borrowed from president J. D. Greear about keeping secondary issues—including politics—from dividing them. “Political affiliations have a way of obscuring the gospel,” he told the 8,000-person crowd at an arena in downtown Birmingham, Alabama, during his presidential address. “You’re going to have to make a choice this election whether the gospel above all is a priority at your church or politics is.”

Some Southern Baptists viewed Greear’s approach, whether they liked it or not, as a sign of a political shift for the conservative denomination. (The SBC has hosted at its annual meeting the president and/or vice president from the past three Republican administrations, but not the Democratic ones. A motion came up last year to bar elected officials from speaking other than local leaders in the host city.)

It’s a “new day in the SBC when a president makes a statement …

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Praying for Patients Is Common, But Comes With Legal Risk

Most healthcare workers want to offer spiritual care if the sick are open to it—but doing so cost a Pentecostal nurse in the UK her job.

A British nurse named Sarah Kuteh was fired from the hospital where she had worked for nearly a decade because she spoke with patients about her faith, passed out Bibles, and sang hymns on the job. Last month, a UK court rejected Kuteh’s most recent appeal.

“The Respondent employer did not have a blanket ban on religious speech at the workplace,” according to the court of appeals ruling. “What was considered to be inappropriate was for the Claimant [Kuteh] to initiate discussions about religion and for her to disobey a lawful instruction given to her by management.”

Kuteh is the latest in a string of cases of Christian medical workers in the UK who faced punishment for sharing their faith at work. Her lawyers at the Christian Legal Centre are considering further action as questions continue to come up around the appropriate place for religious expression in healthcare—particularly when a sizable number of patients indicate they welcome spiritual care from their providers.

The uproar around Kuteh initially broke in June 2016, when a cancer patient complained about what he characterized as her “very bizarre” behavior. The patient said Kuteh “told him that the only way he could get to the Lord was through Jesus,” and that she would give him a Bible if he didn’t have one.

Court documents also allege that Kuteh, a Pentecostal Christian, encouraged the patient to sing along as she sang Psalm 23 and that she held his hand tightly as she prayed an “intense” prayer that went “on and on.” On a hospital form, the patient had checked “open-minded” when asked about his religious beliefs. But in describing Kuteh’s actions to the court, …

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An Apology to the Christian 99%, from the 1%

You don’t exist to help professional ministry leaders fulfill the Great Commission. We exist to help you do it.

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But will they listen?”

I sat across the table from a friend, Bill Pollard, who had a hopeful but slightly doubtful look on his face. I had just shared with him the Lausanne Movement’s vision to convene more than 700 Christian workplace leaders from more than 100 nations.

Bill loved the vision: to mobilize Christians in the workplace as God’s instruments to bring kingdom impact in every sphere of society. However, he wondered whether some church leaders would have questions about the effectiveness of this type of ministry through so-called “lay” leaders.

His questioning reflects a long history of Christian ministry being viewed as the restricted responsibility of “professionals” such as pastors and missionaries. People like Bill have challenged that notion, showing instead that the mantle of ministry belongs on the shoulders of every Christian.

Bill served as CEO of ServiceMaster, which, during his leadership, was recognized by Fortune magazine as the No. 1 service company among the Fortune 500 and was noted by the Financial Times as one of the most respected companies in the world. For Bill, work at ServiceMaster was about service to the Master. As he would often say, “No company has eternal value. Only the Church does. Only people do.” Bill shared with me stories of people as far as Tokyo, Japan, whose lives were impacted by the gospel love he and others in his company shared.

We need more people like Bill, and for that to happen, there needs to be a change in the way we view ministry and work—a return to the way it was meant to be. From my vantage point as a full-time ministry leader within a global evangelical movement, …

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Una Disculpa al 99% de los Cristianos de Parte del 1%

Ustedes no existen para ayudar a los líderes de ministerios profesionales a cumplir la Gran Comisión. Nosotros existimos para ayudarlos a ustedes a hacerlo.

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Pero escucharán?”

Estaba sentado mesa por medio con un amigo, Bill Pollard, cuyo rostro tenía una expresión de esperanza y cierta duda. Acababa de compartirle la visión del Movimiento de Lausana de convocar a más de 700 líderes cristianos de más de 100 países que pertenecen al ámbito laboral.

A Bill le encantó la visión: movilizar a cristianos del ámbito laboral como instrumentos de Dios para llevar el impacto del reino a todas las esferas de la sociedad. Sin embargo, se preguntó si algunos líderes de iglesia tendrían dudas acerca de la efectividad de este tipo de ministerio a través de los denominados líderes “laicos”.

Sus dudas son el reflejo de una larga historia de considerar al ministerio cristiano como la responsabilidad exclusiva de “profesionales”, como pastores y misioneros. Las personas como Bill han resistido esa noción, mostrando en cambio que el manto del ministerio pertenece a los hombros de cada cristiano.

Bill fue CEO de ServiceMaster que, durante su dirección, fue reconocida por la revista Fortune como la compañía de servicios número uno entre las empresas Fortune 500 y por el Financial Times como una de las compañías más respetadas del mundo. Para Bill, el trabajo en ServiceMaster se trataba del servicio al Maestro. Como decía a menudo: “Ninguna compañía tiene valor eterno. Solo la iglesia lo tiene. Solo las personas lo tienen”. Bill me contó historias de personas de lugares tan lejanos como Tokio, Japón, cuyas vidas fueron …

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