Author Archives: Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield
I was checking headlines, and emails getting ready for this morning’s service when I saw a picture of the cruise ship which departs from Galveston about 50 miles from here. My first thought was “what an ugly ship !” Its outward appearance didn’t appeal to me at all. It was kind of disappointing because I love boats, and ships and such.
My second thought was ” I bet its absolutely beautiful on the inside.” The ship’s designers were likely thinking more about capacity, than beauty. It was then that I was reminded that too often we do the same with people. If we cannot look past outward appearance, we will miss many, many people who are absolutely beautiful on the inside. The loss would be ours, not theirs. Think about it, would you rather marry someone drop dead gorgeous that treated you like garbage, or someone plainer who treated you like a king or queen ? Outer beauty fades, inner beauty can sustain you for a lifetime ! How many people who could help us have a happier, more prosperous life are we missing out of through this mistake ?Even worse, how many times EVERY day are we doing this ?
We must not forget, we are all made in God’s image. Maybe the person you are looking at had a rough night, or a rough life. Either way they could have more to teach us than we realize ! Maybe their designer (God) had other things on his mind than how “cute” he could make them.
In our world we place a lot of emphasis on making a good first impression, and we intend to expect the same from others. As Christians we stand to loose out on a lot if we fall into that trap !
Message of the Synod Assembly on the pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelisation
Twitter Blocks New Faith Driven Consumer Campaign Supporting Subpoenaed Houston Pastors Minutes After Launch
After famously blocking Faith Driven Consumer’s #IStandWithPhil campaign earlier this year, Twitter is back at it again – blocking the group’s new petition drive #HoustonWeHaveAProblem at HoustonProblem.com minutes after launch this afternoon
RALEIGH, N.C., Oct. 15, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Faith Driven Consumer™, the group that emerged on the national stage last year with its #IStandWithPhil campaign that played a leading role in Phil Robertson’s return to Duck Dynasty, continues to serve as an advocate for more than 41 million consumers who spend $2 trillion annually.
Today, the group launched a major petition campaign,#HoustonWeHaveAProblem, using the website HoustonProblem.com – demanding that the City of Houston immediately “cease and desist all bullying and other offensive actions” against a group of pastors who are victims of an aggressive harassment effort at the hands of the city government. The city is demanding that a group of pastors turn over any sermons – including personal correspondence such as emails – “dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor” as reported by Fox News.
Minutes after its launch, Twitter blocked the campaign—meaning that supporters cannot Tweet the petition.
“There is a deeply troubling pattern of censorship with social media companies when people of faith speak out. From Kirk Cameron, to Mike Huckabee, to our own #iStandWithPhil campaign earlier this year, faith voices have curiously been blocked during critical times as they seek to be heard. We are asking Twitter to immediately unblock thousands of people who have already flocked to our petition and want to spread the word from coast to coast,” said Chris Stone, Founder of Faith Driven Consumer.
Faith Driven Consumer’s new #HoustonWeHaveAProblem petition campaign reminds everyone that “pastors have been at the very center of American society since even before our founding as a nation, and they remain an integral part of the lives of untold of millions of Americans today,” that “our First Amendment protects freedom of speech and religion” and that “we…live in a society that values equality, including the notion that everyone has the right to publicly express deeply held beliefs without fear of persecution or reprisal.” Signers at HoustonProblem.com desire that “the City of Houston, in their quest to provide protection for LGBT citizens, to equally and explicitly acknowledge and ensure the equal rights of people of faith to live and express openly their deeply held religious beliefs.”
Read the full petition at HoustonProblem.com.
About Faith Driven Consumer
Faith Driven Consumer™ leads a movement of more than 41 million Americans, 17% of the adult population, who spend $2 trillion dollars annually. The group educates, equips and motivates Faith Driven Consumers to action in the marketplace of goods, services and ideas—offering resources for making more faith-conscious decisions, including reviews of companies and entertainment products. Recognized for its #IStandWithPhil, #OpenZilla, #FlipThisDecision, #IStandwithHobbyLobby and #NoahMovie campaigns, the organization continues to serve as an advocate for people whose faith informs their daily decisions in the marketplace. For more information go to: www.faithdrivenconsumer.com.
NORFOLK, Va., Oct. 15, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Bishop E.W. Jackson, Harvard educated Attorney, Minister and last year’s Virginia Republican Nominee for Lt. Governor has launched a national movement to protect Christians from “growing hostility, discrimination and anti-Christian bigotry.” He has produced a video addressing the issue: youtu.be/oIl2O9SzzoA.
As a first step, today Jackson officially launched the UNITY PETITION FOR RELIGIOUS AND CIVIL RIGHTS. This effort is inspired by increasing concern that pastors, churches and Christians who believe marriage is a union between one man and one woman, face violations of their First Amendment rights.
He points to incidents involving Christian business owners who ended up in court and in the national news because they refused to participate or provide service for same sex ceremonies. Elane Photography of New Mexico was ordered to pay $7000 in legal fees to two lesbians who sued to force them to photograph their gay ceremony. Says the Bishop, “The First Amendment rights of Christian citizens are being trampled to validate same sex relationships. The subpoena of Pastors’ sermons by the gay Mayor of Houston this week is just another example of the gross violations of Christians’ Constitutional Rights.”
The fight to protect marriage is unifying Christians in “an unprecedented way,” says the Bishop. “The Unity Petition is gaining support in Catholic and protestant communities and bringing together traditional black Pastors, Hispanics and evangelicals.”
Every signer is asked to take the “Pledge to Vote.” Christians are being urged to vote for candidates who uphold traditional marriage, the sanctity of life, the First Amendment right of religious conscience and “the Judeo-Christian values which are the foundation of our nation.”
The effort is being sponsored by STAND, and supported by a Coalition of organizations called “Christians Vote.” The petitions will be presented to the new Congress as a message that Christian voters have had enough and expect their rights to be protected.
This article from the Episcopal News Service is worth reading by anyone interested in how churches can work with their community on economic development issues. It shows how the church and businesses in the community can work together and both come out stronger.
It also shows the down-side of the “Not invented here” attitude. As this article shows we can all learn from each other. Not only did the Province IX bishops learn much from what they saw in the Philippines, but we in the U.S. and the rest of the world could learn a lot from them as well.
Like the Episcopal Church in the Philippines, we should look for new and unique ways to reach out to, and build the communities we serve.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 8, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — On October 9, 2014, Rob Schenck (pronounced “Shank”), an ordained evangelical minister who did his doctoral work in theology of church and state and is founder of Faith and Action in the Nation’s Capital, will celebrate 20 years of continuous ministry to America’s top elected and appointed officials in Washington, DC.
In the summer of 1994, Schenck relocated to Washington from his native Buffalo, New York, to organize the National Community Church on Capitol Hill. So he could turn his full-time attention to ministering to members of Congress, White House officials, and federal judges, Schenck soon recruited Rev. Mark Batterson to take over the new church planting.
Schenck arrived in Washington with the blessing of a hand-full of churches and some 300 financial supporters. Twenty years later the organization he built with his twin brother and fellow minister, Paul (now a married Roman Catholic priest) has grown to a network of more than 200 churches and 30,000 supporters spread across the country. The ministry operates out of two buildings located immediately behind the Supreme Court, a block from the U.S. Capitol, and ten minutes from the White House.
Over his two decades of missionary service, the Schenck and his brother established the National Memorial for the Pre-born and their Mothers and Fathers, Washington’s largest annual indoor pro-life gathering, opened the National Ministry Center where Bible studies, prayer meetings, and other Christian functions are held, formed the National Pro-Life Center to inspire and educate lawmakers and jurists on the sanctity of life, and erected the only Ten Commandments monument fully visible in the nation’s capital city.
Schenck’s most memorable experiences include leading a suicidal congressman to forgiveness in Christ, extending an evangelistic invitation to a room full of federal judges, and doing emergency chaplain work in the aftermath of a fatal shooting at the Capitol building and following the 9/11/2001 terrorist attack at the Pentagon. Apart from his regular duties, one of the honors he has found most meaningful is officiating numerous funerals at Arlington National Cemetery.
Schenck is currently working on a memoir of his 20-year odyssey for publication some time next year. Beginning October 9, Faith and Action will feature a 20-year retrospective on its website, www.faithandaction.org, and on its Facebook page, Faith & Action. Over the next several months Schenck will also post “Memorable Moments of Ministry in Washington” at his website, www.revrobschenck.com.
2014 Pornography Survey of Christian Men: Shocking New National Survey Reveals High Levels of Pornography Use and Rampant Extramarital Affairs Among Christian Men
LYNCHBURG, Va., Oct. 7, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — A new national survey of Christian men reveals shocking statistics pertaining to high rates of pornography use and addiction, plus rampant sexual infidelity amongst married Christian men. The 2014 survey was commissioned by Proven Men Ministries (www.ProvenMen.org), which is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping men break free from pornography, and conducted by Barna Group among a nationally representative sample of 388 self-identified Christian adult men.
The statistics for Christian men between 18-30 years old are particularly striking:
- 77% look at pornography at least monthly;
- 36% view pornography at least daily;
- 32% admit being addicted to pornography (and another 12% think they may be).
The statistics for middle-aged Christian men (ages 31-49) are no less disturbing:
- 77% looked at pornography while at work in the past 3 months;
- 64% view pornography at least monthly; and
- 18% admit being addicted to pornography (and another 8% think they may be).
Even married Christian men are falling prey to pornography and extra-marital sexual affairs at alarming rates:
- 55% look at pornography at least monthly; and
- 35% had an extra-marital sexual affair while married.
“These statistics knock the wind right out of you. They also confirm what we already know; that there definitely is a problem with pornography and affairs among Christian men and that they are starving for the church to step forward with solutions,” according to Joel Hesch, who sponsored the survey and is the founder of a non-profit biblically-based organization named Proven Men Ministries. Hesch adds, “The purpose of the survey was not to point fingers, but to get a better grasp on the scope of the problem in light of ready access to pornography in this Internet era.”
Hesch continues: “It’s abundantly clear that pornography is one of the biggest unaddressed problems in the church.” In fact, these alarming statistics are not limited to those who nominally consider themselves Christian.
Those who identify themselves as born-again Christians have similar struggles with pornography and affairs:
- 95% admit that they have viewed pornography;
- 54% look at pornography at least once a month;
- 44% viewed pornography at work in the last 90 days;
- 31% had a sexual affair while married;
- 25% erase Internet browsing history to conceal pornography use; and
- 18% admit being addicted to pornography (and another 9% think they may be).
What’s the solution?
Proven Men has put together a powerful resource for churches to help Christian men regain their dignity and sexual integrity. After breaking free from his own 20-year sexual addiction, Joel Hesch formed Proven Men Ministries and has devoted the past 15 years to helping men around the world find freedom from pornography or sexual addiction through a biblically-based system he created, known as the Proven Path for Sexual Integrity, including a 12-week course of study, a leadership guide and a book on sexual integrity—all available on Amazon. Our website also has free resources.
Hesch adds, “We are now taking the Proven Path directly to churches with the goal of helping 1 million Christian men experience freedom and victory from pornography and sexual addiction.”
Hesch puts out this call for action to pastors and all Christian men:
“If these statistics break your heart like they break mine, then it’s time to join with me and other Proven Men around the nation in taking a stand to reverse the tide and reclaim sexual integrity for yourself and for each man in your church or community. Together we can change the world one man, one family, and one church at a time.”
To find out more about how you can be a part of the solution, visit our website at www.ProvenMen.org.
The full survey results are located at www.ProvenMen.org/2014PornStudy/Christian-Porn-Stats. *The media and church community may cite to these statistics or findings by using the following citation: 2014 ProvenMen.org Christian Porn Survey (conducted by Barna Group).
Sept. 29, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — On Tuesday, September 30, One Free World International (OFWI) founder, Rev. Majed El Shafie, will appear before Canada’s Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the House of Commons to speak about the persecution of religious minorities in Iraq. El Shafie traveled to Iraq in August, leading a delegation which included three Canadian Members of Parliament. At the request of United States Congressman Christopher Smith, El Shafie submitted a report about his trip to Iraq to the United States Congress on September 10th.
El Shafie’s testimony will coincide with VisionTV’s Human Rights Week, which will highlight his work with persecuted Christians and other religious minorities. Starting on September 29th, VisionTV and Executive Producer Moses Znaimer will present a week of documentary specials exposing mass atrocities, religious persecution and intolerance around the world. El Shafie and OFWI will be featured in the following VisionTV presentations:
GENOCIDE IN IRAQ: A ZNEWS SPECIAL
*Monday, September 29 at 9:00pm ET
*Wednesday, October 1 at 1:00am ET
This Znews special exposes the dire situation in Iraq and the grave injustices being perpetrated against Yazidi people.
*Monday, September 29 at 10:30pm ET
Award-winning filmmaker and accomplished foreign correspondent Martin Himel, along with human rights activist Rev. Majed El Shafie, travel to risky and previously inaccessible locations in Egypt, Iraq and Pakistan to explore some of the atrocities that Christians are facing.
*Monday, September 29 at 11:30pm ET
*Wednesday, October 1 at 11:00pm ET
This powerful film follows Rev. Majed El Shafie as he travels to Afghanistan and Pakistan seeking out those persecuted for their religious beliefs, and challenging their governments to change.
THE ZOOMER: ARE RELIGIONS RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN FANATICS?
*Monday, September 29 at 9:30pm ET
*Wednesday, October 1 at 12:30am ET
Conrad Black and Denis Donlon host a heated roundtable discussion on religious fanaticism with special guests Rev. Majed El Shafie, journalist/author/activist Tarek Fatah, Context TV-host Lorna Dueck, Air India victim activist Dr. Bal Gupta, Rabbi Yossi Sapirman, Rev. Damien MacPherson from the Archdiocese of Toronto, and former Islamist radical turned CSIS operative and now a professor at Seneca College, Mubin Shaikh.
“We are thankful for VisionTV and their willingness to support human rights around the world,” says El Shafie. “Remember that the persecuted Christians are dying every day, but they are still smiling. They are in a very deep dark night, but they have the candle of the Lord. The enemy can have a very strong weapon and a very strong army, but we have the Lord Almighty.”
El Shafie has a unique voice, having once been arrested, tortured, and sentenced to die in Egypt for defending human rights and fighting for freedom of religion and the rights of minorities. He regularly testifies before the U.S. Congress and the Canadian Parliament and Senate, and he’s a frequent guest on news outlets worldwide, including FOX News Radio, Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee, Phil Valentine, Laura Ingraham, CBN News, CBC, Sun News Network, CTV News, American Family Radio and more. He now resides in Canada and fights for those persecuted around the world through his human rights organization, One Free World International. Pressuring governments, and challenging both world and spiritual leaders, he has not been afraid to put everything on the line to help those in need.
For more information on Majed El Shafie and One Free World International, visit www.onefreeworldinternational.org