United Methodist Church News Feed

Commentary: What’s next for Standing Rock?
The Rev. David Wilson says the mood has changed at Standing Rock, but water protectors haven’t given up their fight to protect Mother Earth.
Church response to migration gets boost
Connectional Table allots more funding and sets date for an offering to support United Methodist ministries with today’s migrants.
University gets grant to move College of Health Sciences
: The College of Health Sciences of the United Methodist University is being moved from Ganta United Methodist Hospital.
Boards reaffirm stand for LGBTQ clergy candidates
The United Methodist New York and Pacific Northwest conference boards of ordained ministry again publicly declared they would not consider issues of sexuality when evaluating clergy candidates.
Church leaders connect with Norway’s big day
The Connectional Table opened its meeting in Oslo on the nation’s constitution day and got to experience a bit of Norwegian Methodism.
‘Methodist middle’ committed to living together
A gathering of church leaders convened to talk about the mostly silent “Methodist middle” amid debates and discussion of division.
United Methodist Radio Network takes shape
Representatives from eight countries met in Côte d’Ivoire to plan next steps for growing church radio.
Little church looms large in black history
Chubb Chapel United Methodist’s remarkable story gains attention thanks to Nick Chubb, college football star.
Bringing back peace in Congo
Bishop Mande Muyombo lauds progress in Bantu-pygmy conflict and limiting violence against women. He looks to peace-building efforts in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ruling on a gay bishop could be far-reaching
The Judicial Council ruled that a same-gender marriage license creates a presumption of homosexual practice. That’s a big deal, church legal analysts say.

Christianity Today - RSS Feed

The Greatest Threat to the Church Isn’t Islam—It’s Us

A leading Nigerian theologian believes the real danger to Christianity in Africa is in the church.

A good pickpocket works with a partner who will distract the “mark” while the pickpocket steals his wallet, camera, or passport. Sometimes the distraction will be an unwanted conversation, an aggressive sales pitch, or an “accidental” collision in a crowded area—at which point the pickpocket does his work. Right now, Christians are being swindled.

We hear a lot about the threat of radical fundamentalist Islam. Some believe there is an “Islamization agenda” at work that is trying to undermine traditional institutions and replace them with a new Islamic order. To be sure, many horrible acts have been committed under the banner of radical Islam, and there is a real danger. But the truth is this: Overblown fears about a supposed “Islamization agenda” may actually be distracting Christians from the true threat that is stealing away the authentic witness and authority of Christianity.

The Islamization Agenda

Like in many other countries in Africa, the belief in an Islamization agenda is potent, alive, and well in Nigeria. Since the early 1980s, Nigerian Christians have been deeply concerned about the possibility of a secret plan to conform the country to the dictates of Islam.

The seed of this idea goes back to the jihad led by Usman dan Fodio in 1804. His goal was to “dip the Qur’an into the Atlantic Ocean,” meaning that he intended to impose Islam upon the entire nation of Nigeria. Although he died without realizing his vision, dan Fodio left a legacy that the Muslim umma (community) in Nigeria has continued to pursue. Many Nigerian Christians believe that any time a Muslim is president of Nigeria, the Muslims will use that as a platform to pursue their agenda ...

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Pew: Black Protestants Show Strongest Support for Paid Maternity Leave

A look into Christian views on paid leave and how the church can help new parents.

Alongside arguments for maternity leave centered on health, wellbeing, and economics, a pro-life case for paid leave has slowly developed within the church.

Now, research shows that Christians are actually more likely than the average American to support paid parental leave—as long as they aren’t white.

The vast majority of black and Hispanic believers, at higher levels than any other demographic, say new moms and dads should be offered paid leave from work, according to the Pew Research Center.

Pew data provided to CT revealed that 90 percent of black Protestants—a number that includes evangelicals—and 85 percent of Hispanic Catholics think mothers should get paid leave. White evangelical Protestants and white mainline Protestants, meanwhile, showed lower levels of support than average, with just over three-quarters endorsing paid leave for moms.

“As a result of a history living with injustice, I imagine black Protestants—and likely black people in general—have a greater awareness that many working women cannot afford to take unpaid leave after giving birth or adopting a child,” said Patrice Gopo, a writer on race and parenting.

Gopo previously wrote for CT Women about the need to expand the “mommy wars” conversation:

When we talk about “motherhood,” we usually are talking about that small minority: primarily white women with a spouse and a certain level of financial means. Our limited scope ignores the reality that many women in the United States (and the world) are not in positions to make these choices. And for women of color able to make these choices, they may come to that position much differently than their white counterparts.

Overall, people still ...

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Preaching the Gospel with Words: Why There’s No Other Way

We marginalize evangelism when we say the good news is social action.

I’ve read many mission statements of churches and faith-based ministries during my four decades working with evangelist Luis Palau. Most of these statements declare that one of the reasons why the church or mission exists is to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.

Yet we find ourselves now in a critical time for the Church in America and some parts of the world because some believe we can take the whole gospel to the whole world without the use of words. Romans 10:13-15 reminds us:

Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

One of the marks of a Christ-follower is that we want everyone to know “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). This is the essence of our evangelistic message. It is a message centered on the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Today’s evangelists have a vital role to play in calling the Church back to declaring with our words, and not just our deeds, this good news.

Recently, I’ve been impressed by how many times I have heard a church leader say, “I want people to know what I am for, not what I am against.” Why? Because we have a positive message that leads to changed lives and transformed communities. However, we have a tendency to get out of balance when it comes to lifting up Jesus in both word and deed.

We see it today in the number ...

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