Daily Archives

March 2, 2018

Evangelicals Still Want to Evangelize Jews, But Not for the Same Reasons

Survey finds sharing the gospel with God’s “chosen people” is less tied to the end times. The overwhelming majority of evangelical believers in the US today still see the importance of sharing the gospel with the Jewish community. But they’re less likely to agree on the relationship between Jewish evangelism and the end times, which once was a significant motivator of such outreach. In a survey released today at the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville, LifeWay Research found that 87 percent of Americans with evangelical beliefs agree that “sharing the gospel with Jewish people is important,” with just 3 percent disagreeing and 11 percent unsure [infographic below]. “According to the Great Commission, Jews need the gospel as much as everybody else and therefore should not be excluded from evangelism,” said Tuvya Zaretsky, president of the Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism (LCJE) and a longtime leader with Jews for Jesus. As CT previously examined, the Lausanne Movement and the World Evangelical Alliance in 1989 endorsed the call to evangelize to Jewish people, rather than supporting a “two covenant” theology that views God as having his own covenant with the Jews, who therefore do not need to claim Christ. Many denominations…

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Preparing for Rev. Billy Graham’s Memorial Service, and Reflecting on His Love for Our Hurting World

Truly effective evangelism is a matter of friendship, mentorship, and unconditional love. Nearly a week after Rev. Billy Graham’s death, so many around our world are still mourning. Closed-casket viewings will take place in Graham’s childhood home on the grounds of the Billy Graham Library where the Billy Graham Association is expecting long lines and many visitors. These public viewings will be followed by a funeral service this Friday in Washington, D.C. Before the invitation-only service, though, Rev. Graham’s body will lie in repose in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday and Thursday. It’s important to note that this privilege is regularly given to U.S. presidents, members of Congress, Supreme Court judges, and elite military personnel; rarely, though, are citizens outside these particular realms of public service given such an honor. Looking at the size and scale of these proceedings, it becomes clear that Rev. Billy Graham wasn’t just beloved by some small ground of fundamentalist followers. You don’t have to be a Bible-thumper, church-goer, or even call yourself a Christian to love and respect this man. Former President George H.W. Bush, reflecting on Graham’s legacy, said: His [Graham’s] faith in Christ and his totally honest evangelical spirit inspired people…

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Walking Together to Glory

Another evangelical hero and architect of the movement reflects on Graham's life and legacy. John R. W. Stott first met Billy Graham in the 1940s, while sharing an open-air meeting at Speakers' Corner in London's Hyde Park. Their shared concern for evangelism led to a close association during Graham's 1954 Harringay crusade, which captivated London nightly for nearly three months. Over the next 50 years, the two men's lives would frequently intertwine, through shared leadership in significant ventures like the Lausanne International Congress on World Evangelization and in personal friendship. In 2007, Stott offered these unpublished reminiscences: Integrity. If I had to choose one word with which to characterize Billy Graham, it would be integrity. He was all of a piece. There was no dichotomy between what he said and what he was. He practiced what he preached. Finance. When Graham first came to London, a considerable group of church leaders was wondering whether to invite him to preach there. They were critical, but he had anticipated their questions. He was able to say that he received a fixed salary, less than most salaries paid to the senior pastors of large churches, and he received no "love offerings" (unaccounted extras)….

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‘Queen Esther Inspired Me to Speak Up,’ Says Nassar Victim

A biblical role model prompted Larissa Boyce to stand against her abuser. Her church supports her story. Two decades before the public learned of Larry Nassar’s abuse against several hundred gymnasts, 16-year-old Larissa Boyce made the first attempt to report him. Her coach at Michigan State University (MSU), who was also a friend of Nassar, quashed her claims. The unsympathetic coach interrogated Boyce, leading her to think she misunderstood proper medical treatment for her back injury. “I told somebody. I told an adult,” Boyce said. “I told Michigan State University back in 1997. Instead of being protected, I was humiliated. I was in trouble and brainwashed into believing I was the problem.” Boyce said Nassar’s abuse began after the first two treatment visits, once her parents stopped coming with her, and lasted four years. During the appointment following her effort to report him, she received harsher abuse than before. “I didn’t know what to do. I was in shock,” Boyce said. She sat in her car after the visit, crumpled up her checkout sheet, threw it in the back of the car, and asked herself, “What the heck just happened?” As a teen, Boyce learned to ignore it, cope, and…

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Holy Sepulchre Will Reopen After Jerusalem Suspends Church Tax Grab

Leader of Christian-Jewish reconciliation ministry explains the standoff. Israel suspended a controversial tax plan and property legislation today in response to the unprecedented Christian decision on Sunday to close the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat agreed to form a government committee to “formulate a solution” and negotiate with church officials. In response, the leaders of the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Armenian clergy will reopen the church on Wednesday, reports the Associated Press. Barkat had stated that Jerusalem’s churches owed more than $180 million in taxes on church-owned commercial properties, and the municipality had frozen church accounts. Meanwhile, legislation advancing in the Knesset had threatened to complicate the churches’ ability to sell their properties. Now suspended, these actions were contrary to the historic agreement between churches and the various civil authorities which ruled Jerusalem, said Bishop Sani Azar. His Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land closed its Church of the Redeemer for one day in solidarity, pending consultations with sister churches in Jerusalem. “All the churches are united, so this shows something is very wrong,” said Salim Munayer, head of the Musalaha reconciliation ministry in Jerusalem….

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