This Sunday, Hillsong New York pastor Carl Lentz took to Facebook to explain why the church has embraced Black Lives Matter and addressing racial injustice. Specifically, he explained why they don’t use the phrase “All Lives Matter.” Lentz wrote:
"At THIS church, we are not saying 'all lives matter' right now because this is a logical assumption that most reasonable people agree with. All lives are not at risk right now. We ARE saying BLACK LIVES MATTER. Because, right now, black lives apparently are worth LESS on our streets. It's "our fight" not "their fight."
The church has become one of most the influential young congregations in the country, regularly engaging in conversations about race and social injustice. Last week, Lentz posted a black and white photo of the church’s leadership team on Instagram, explaining:
What's ironic about using a "black and white" filter on a photo, is that you can't really tell who's black, and whose white..ironic.. Last night we had a meeting w/ some faithful leaders in our church, who are mostly black, to begin what will be an ongoing discussion on progressive diversity.
We talked about things that were very frustrating/sad/uncomfortable and vulnerable.. Things like how it feels to be black in America right now. I also asked how it feels to be black, and a faithful part of @hillsongnyc ...all I can say, is that I'm glad to be a part of a church and community that is a work in progress and discontented w/ status culture quo.
I would encourage anybody who cares about people, to somehow find a way to hear voices of those that don't share your journey. It will impact you. And times are as urgent as they have ever been... What's cool to me?? I don't see this photo and think about color. I see this photo and I think about family.. #occupyallstreets also.. Shout out to Corey Robinson who declared "I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT BEING BLACK! EVERYTHING!" Haha i cannot relate, but you totally convinced me.
Former megachurch pastor and grandson of Billy Graham, Tullian Tchividjian, has written an extended post on expastors.com, explaining that he was on the brink of suicide after the revelations of two affairs ended his marriage and his job. Last summer Tchividjian stepped down as pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church after he confessed to an extramarital affair. Initially, he said the affair happened after he learned that his wife was also, having an affair, though, in a statement to The Washington Post, she said, “The statement reflected my husband’s opinions but not my own.”
This March, he was fired by Willow Creek Presbyterian Church after another affair was revealed. It was all a really ugly situation, and even led to the resignations of several leaders involved in one of his other ministries.
Now, in a deeply personal post, Tchividjian explained how he nearly killed himself—and even wrote a suicide note—after the revelations. He explains how ashamed he was of his actions:
But as shocking and painful as all these losses were, my instinctive response shocked me even more: the rage, the blame-shifting, the thirst for revenge, the bitter arrogance, the self-justified resentment, the dark self-righteousness, the control-hungry manipulation, the deluded rationalization, the deep selfishness, the perverted sense of entitlement.
How did I arrive at that dark place where I actually wanted to kill myself? … What I see now that I couldn’t see then is that this explosion had been building for a few years. The shift from locating my identity in the message of the Gospel to locating my identity in my success as a messenger of the Gospel was slow and subtle … My confidence was severely misplaced: Confidence in status, reputation, power and position, the way I spoke, the praise I received, financial security and success.
No matter what your thoughts are about Tchividjian, the piece is a compelling read, and offers a look at someone who truly seems to be dealing with the consequences of some of his actions, their repercussions and what it means for their faith. Discuss
According to a new CNN/Kaiser Family Foundation poll, most white, working class evangelical voters don’t have a very favorable view of America, and most think their values are under attack. Six-in-10 said that America’s best days are behind it, and somewhat a shocking 90% said that “Christian values” are under attack. By comparison, just 41% of Americans with no religious preference believe that Christian values in the U.S. are somehow under attack.
Most of the same group, also are concerned about Muslim immigration, with 75% believing immigration from Muslims countries increases the risk of terrorism.
The poll also showed a racial divide among evangelical voters. From CNN, “While black evangelicals are solidly against the GOP nominee, among white working-class evangelicals, about three in four—76%—say they'd consider voting for Trump.” Discuss