This year marked the fifth in the past six that I have joined a devoted and talented team of nearly two dozen men and women who are present and former members of Friendship Baptist Church (FBC) in Sykesville, Md., on a week-long mission to Puebla, Mexico.
At the outset, let me be clear that my saying this is not “virtue signaling” on my part. That God led me for the first time to go on this mission trip in 2015 was in itself a miracle and concrete evidence of how radically He has transformed a previously selfish, booze-addicted and politics-obsessed egotist with a new heart and desire to love and serve Him, my family, fellow believers, and my neighbors. I get zero credit here, it’s all to His credit and glory.
Fireworks are heard pretty much all day and late into the night on Constitution Day in Puebla, Mexico, to commemorate the 1917 Constitution that was adopted on February 5, 1917. The holiday is celebrated the first Monday in February.
For the Friendship mission crew, Monday is also the first workday and it is inevitably a little disorganized.
But it’s a great day as old friendships are renewed, work plans are agreed upon, and crews organized.
This year, our main construction task is to erect a roof on the third floor of the main sanctuary building. So much of the work is done manually in order to keep costs down, which makes it harder but it also makes for wonderful, long-lasting fellowship.
The welding crew today is connecting the josts and purlins to create the skeleton for the roof, then we will be hefting the actual metal roofing sections up to the third floor to then be attached and sealed. We’ve had very few injuries over the years, but all prayers are appreciated, as a bunch of us will be working up high on scaffolds during the week.
Our main evangelism tasks include daily trips to the market to buy fruits and bakery goods for the morning break, plus a medical clinic for pregnant mothers, soccer clinics led by Pastor Nevil Johnson and, my personal favorite, talking to passersby about the Lord. I say my favorite because I am convinced the typical Mexican is among the friendliest people on Earth.
In one especially striking encounter earlier today, an older man who was clearing a lot of vegetation and assorted junk, by hand, from a nearby lot came over to us and explained “I have to do this kind of work because I didn’t go to school.”
When he was shown the red and green cards that appear to be different sizes, he asked a great question when shown the appearance of one being bigger than the other was an optical illusion.
His question (in Spanish) was this: “How can I see the Lord when I can’t see the difference between the red card and the green card?” I explained that Jesus is no optical illusion because He opens our eyes to see ourselves as we truly are and our need for His saving grace (See John 3:16-20).
A little while later, we saw the man sharing the optical illusion cards with some of his co-workers!
Critics and skeptics over the centuries have come up with a multitude of theories attempting to discount the claim that Jesus Christ rose from the dead three days after His death on the cross.
These theories fall into four primary categories:
Some sort of conspiracy.
He only appeared to have died.
Somebody moved His body without telling the disciples.
There were hallucinations.
In Part 2 of the Reasonable Faith video looking at the facts about the claim Jesus rose from the dead, each of these theories is addressed head-on and shown to be a less satisfactory explanation for the undisputed truth about the death of Jesus:
If you missed it, Part 1 was posted yesterday here on HillFaith. If you have questions about anything you heard in either video, please tell us about it in the comments.
Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallaces Responds to a great question during a recent conversation on the campus of Ohio State University
That question posed in the headline above is a commonplace criticism one often hears in the media, on campus, and in a wide range of public forums in America.
You saw a typical example of this sort of ad hominem on Sunday if you happen to have watched “Meet The Press” when NBC’s Chuck Todd read a letter-to-the-editor of the Lexington (Ky.) Herald claiming people who believe Noah’s Ark actually existed are typically Trump supporters.
But this isn’t a new argument, as J. Warner Wallace explains during a recent presentation at Ohio State University. In the process, he addresses these key questions: “Why do Christian believe in – and expect – an afterlife? Is our belief in Heaven and Hell based purely on the teaching of the Bible? Is there any other good reason to expect a life beyond the grave?”
The Chinese Communist regime in Beijing has launched a massive campaign against the growing movement of Christians and their churches across China.
People are forced to leave services, pastors are arrested and sent to prison, and church buildings are demolished by bulldozers. All for the crime of professing an unapproved religious faith.
But what happens in China if you merely drink too much and say something critical of the police in a “private” chat room? Watch this leaked video of the interrogation of a man whose only crime was doing just that. Notice the shackle chair in which he is held, defenseless:
Chinese police interrogators grill a man for making a joke about them on social media. It was a private chat room. pic.twitter.com/S01IP300m3
Quarterback Nick Foles went from being Super Bowl MVP with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018 to breaking his clavicle in his first game with the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier this year.
To put Foles’ situation in a congressional staff context, imagine getting a big promotion from a good job on an important House staff to a bigger Senate slot that pays more and demands everything you’ve got.
Then a couple of weeks after starting, the chief of staff who hired you leaves and the new guy has his own favorite for the position you just took over. You can see where it’s going and it ain’t looking good.
So how do you react? Check out this video of Foles laying out his reactions for reporters to an injury that sidelined him at just about the worst possible time:
“These environments were hostile in so many ways for a person who may or may not have had shoes on, or warm clothing, or a place to sleep. They had to really hide themselves in bushes and marshes. It’s incredible what they were able to do to survive.”
Vietnam? Africa maybe? How about the United States of America, somewhere before the Civil War when Harriet Tubman was running slaves in the Antebellum South on the underground railroad to freedom in the North.
Bet that headline caught you by surprise. After all, why would it appear on HillFaith, which is devoted to sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with the men and women who work on congressional staffs?
Okay, I admit it, I’ve been a little deceptive. The post on iApologia by Daniel Currier I am about to encourage you to read does deal with three reasons people often give for rejecting or leaving the Christian.
But these aren’t evidential reasons, which, if you are intellectually honest, would be the only kind that could justify such a decision. Jesus existed in history, the evidence for His resurrection is abundant, as is the testimony for His having a far bigger and comprehensively positive impact on, literally, billions of people since His brief 33 years on this earth ended.
Something genuinely significant appears to be occurring in connection with Kanye West and his ‘Sunday Service’ evangelism events, with “thousands” reportedly responding to the altar call in Baton Rouge Friday evening.
Kanye West’s latest album — “Jesus Is King” — appears to be generating big cultural waves being felt on the Internet, according to reporting by Faithwire Editor Tre Goins-Phillips.
“The 11-track album is chockfull of Bible references, and according to Bible Gateway, online searches for Scripture passages and faith-based phrases in the songs have spiked since the record was released in late October,” Goins-Phillips said.
There was also a leap in searches for “What do Christians believe?” and “Jesus,” he said.
Read that headline again because it probably doesn’t suggest what you thought it did the first time through. That is, it’s NOT suggesting that if you think there are little green men somewhere “out there,” you must also believe God exists.
Now, check out this logic from Timothy Fox, one of the proprietors of the Free Thinking Ministries blog, in an illuminating post on Dr. Sean McDowell’s blog entitled “Aliens and the Existence of God”:
A major new survey of nearly 16,000 young adults aged 18 to 35 years old living in 25 countries around the world turned up numerous positive trends but it revealed some genuinely worrisome news as well.
The survey — entitled “The Connected Generation” — was conducted collaboratively by World Vision, the Washington-based “global Christian humanitarian organization” for sponsoring a child, and The Barna Group, the California-based demographic research firm, and was released last month.
If your boss called you into his or her office today and told you that, since nothing else matters as much as winning the allegiance of voters, you must sell all of your possessions, say goodbye to your friends and family, and focus your every ounce of strength and waking hour on the campaign until election day, would you do it?
Think about it: If the boss doesn’t win another term, you are out of a job. If you are out of a job, how are you going to pay the rent, buy food and clothes, or take care of your family if you have one?
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’
“That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell.
“You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse.” — C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Big decisions normally require lots of thought before being made in order to make the best one possible, and nowhere is that more true than in deciding what you think and do about Christianity.
Evan Minton of crossexamined.org offers four questions that anyone who is looking at Christianity should ask themselves before making a decision one way or the other about whether they will accept it, reject it or simply ignore it.
The first of Minton’s four questions is this: “Question 1: If I Knew Beyond a Reasonable Doubt That Christianity Were True, Would I Follow Christ?” This is not a decision lightly to be made, as it will affect every part of your life. Go here to see how Minton’s answers that and his other three questions.