- - Tuesday, March 29, 2016

(1) Why many Christians in China have turned to underground churches (BBC)

The Chinese Communist Party once tried to destroy religion. It failed.

And today, according to some estimates, there are more Christians in China than Communist Party members. Up to 100 million will be celebrating across China this Easter weekend.

But what it failed to destroy, the Party still wants to control. So, an officially atheist government effectively runs its own churches and controls the appointment of its own priests.

Like Pastor Wu Weiqing from Beijing’s Haidian Church.

“We have to remember first of all we are a citizen of this country,” he says. “And we are a citizen of the Kingdom of God. That comes second.”

 (2) North Carolina Attorney General won’t defend transgender law in court

…”Not only is this new law a national embarrassment, it will set North Carolina’s economy back if we don’t’ repeal it,” Cooper said. “We know that businesses here and all over the country have taken a strong stance in opposition to this law.”

Also: Transgender Law Makes North Carolina Pioneer in Bigotry (New York Times)

(3) Doctors respond to Indiana banning abortions because of Down syndrome (Washington Post)

…“Too often, women learn their baby has Down syndrome and the first thing their physician tells them about is abortion,” Francis said. “To my patients, I’d say, ‘Yes, this is not what we were expecting — everyone wants to have a healthy child — but now, you know what? That child still has potential for a significant life.”

That conversation, she said, could lead to increased follow-up care and a healthy mother and child.

also: Meet One Girl with Down Syndrome Cosmo Doesn’t Want To Kill 

(4) David Cameron’s shallow, clichéd Easter message shows why politicians really shouldn’t do God (Telegraph)

***That’s one possible lesson. Or perhaps we could hope politicians come to know the power of a resurrected Christ in such a way that speaking of the Easter event does not, in fact, come off as a cliche’. 

(5) Pastor Bart Barber: ”If Governor Nathan Deal were a real Baptist“ (ERLC)

(6) Pastor Ronnie Floyd: Southern Baptists & the Power of God (Baptist Press)

The Scripture warns us against deceiving ourselves. Modern-day leadership warns against leaders who are not aware of their limitations. Both can happen personally, in a church, and even to a convention like Southern Baptists.

Almost 74 percent of our churches are plateaued or declining in attendance. The number of people we have reached and baptized has been declining for a number of years. In fact, this last year, we reached the same number of people as in 1948. Additionally, we are now witnessing our global missions personnel diminish by over 1,000 people, more than 900 of which are God-called missionaries.

Simultaneously, many churches are filled with schisms and divisions. Our Southern Baptist family comprised of churches, associations, state conventions and national entities has continual challenges both internally and externally as we strive to walk in unity.

What are the answers to these challenges and others not mentioned?…

(7) Just for fun–Douglas Rushkoff’s 6 favorite books about big ideas (The Week)


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