MCCRORY, Ark. (BNC) — One of the strengths of the internet is the multitude of information sources available at one’s fingertips. That same strength, however, can be a weakness when you are overloaded by irrelevant material as you search for information that matters to you. Continue reading…
Category Archives: Media
Using ways and means to reach and teach.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (BNC) by Jim Waldron — On the 9th of March I boarded a plane in Memphis to return to Knoxville, after reporting to two congregations in West Tennessee about our work. As I was about to sit down, I heard a man directly behind talking on his cell phone. In his conversation he used a crude phrase used by worldly people to denigrate others.
So I decided I needed to do something to help him. Thus, when our plane landed at the Knoxville airport, I quickly got up, introduced myself, and, in the midst of a brief conversation, I asked him if he was a religious man.
He replied that he was, so I offered him a tract: “The Gift of the Holy Spirit,” and he took it. It has my name and address on it.
It would be a rare thing for us to ever meet again in this life, but we will meet at the judgment bar of Christ as it is written,
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor 5:10).
I tell this brief story to illustrate the urgent need to carry tracts in your purse, pocket, or pickup to give away randomly to anyone that you can.
Remember what Peter said about being ashamed or embarrassed about serving Christ (1 Peter 4:16).
To help you in such an effort, we have a large number of tracts we would like for you to help us distribute. Write to Box 1010, Crossville, TN 38557, for a list of all our free literature; or go online.
Jim does extensive work in Asia. This story was excerpted from his mission report, sent today by email. For more sources of tracts, see the list in the entry in WiseBible.
(BNC) — In a single sitting, I read Lance Mosher’s book, Conformed, Reborn, Transformed, the story of his conversion. He starts with early influences and moves soon to the days before his baptism into Christ as the crucial point in the story. With clear writing, a fast pace, and good dialogue, Lance takes the reader behind his eyeballs to accompany his struggles as he came to accept the truth of the gospel. Continue reading…
(BNC) — The video was his brother Jeff’s idea, Dale Jenkins said to BNC, as an introduction to their BETTER preaching conferences held via The Jenkins Institute.
“We had three conferences this year, Alabama, Tennessee and Texas with 350 preachers attending from over 20 states. We plan on having four in 2015 and will expand to South Carolina and Kentucky,” Dale wrote to BNC.
RICHMOND, Ky. (BNc) — Jack Hall asked the Richmond congregation June 8, “Are We a Joyful People?” He pointed hearers away from circumstances, positions, and human relationships, to being in Christ, with passages from Philippians and 1 John, among others. He cited Jesus’ betrayal and suffering as a reminder of how saints may still have joy. Continue reading…
Earlier BNc reported on William Davis’s lesson in which he explained how he left Pentecostalism. The audio is now available.
The audio file has been embedded at this link on our Forthright Press site. With the new theme on BNc, it’s also available here:
(To download, go to the Forthright Press link, above.)
WINONA, Miss. (BNc) — The Christendom News service available on Twitter has now gained its own website, hosted by WordPress.
Christendom News publishes feeds from a variety of services belonging to religions or denominations that style themselves Christian. As such it serves as a curator of news.
(BNc) — After the botched Hollywood version of the Noah story, preachers and teachers are setting the record straight. Seeing the moment as an opportunity to teach the gospel, Christians are taking on the challenge of presenting the truth about Noah.
BNc asked several people how and why they were dealing the the topic in their sermons and classes. Continue reading…
(BNc) by J. Randal Matheny — Evangelical televangelist Ray Comfort’s organization Living Waters released a 30-minute video as a response, apparently, to the Russell-Crowe version of Noah.
I say “apparently.” It talked so much about the signs of the last times, I quit before I got to the nine-minute mark.
The video has its own website, as well as being released on YouTube.
I don’t know Comfort’s specific tenets, but it gave the impression he’s a premillenialist of some sort. The video takes opportunity of the moment to push Comfort’s idea of “Bible prophecy.”
Premillenialism is a cockamamie theory that Jesus will return to rule on earth for a thousand years, seated on David’s throne in Jerusalem.
A major portion of the video segment that I saw recorded one of Comfort’s staff sticking a microphone in people’s faces.
Some of the answers people gave were intriguing, but what Comfort’s organization calls a movie doesn’t live up to the name.
Comfort is a New Zealander based in California since the 1980s.
You’re welcome to watch both Hollywood’s version and Comfort’s take-away, but don’t say I didn’t warn you that the evangelical response doesn’t really satisfy.
I often warn brothers and sisters in Christ here in Brazil that watching televangelists will not encourage them in their faith. They will only confuse them.
False doctrine is so tightly woven into their presentations that it’s nigh unto impossible to separate the good from the bad.
Hollywood will mangle the Noah story, but Ray Comfort’s video won’t help people understand it any better.
SEARCY, Ark. (BNc) — Dick Ady is founder of World English Institute and author of the course lessons. Yesterday, Jan Towell published an overview that Dick gave of that work at a WEI reception at Harding University lectureship in Sept., 2011. We share Dick’s words that our readers might gain a greater appreciation of what the Lord has accomplished through WEI. Continue reading…
EDMOND, Okla. (BNc) — Learn more about the work of the television program “In Search of the Lord’s Way.” In the video below, Search speaker Phil Sanders gives a brief description of the work at SearchTV over the last year.
He also invites Christians to take a closer look and learn how to help SearchTV continue to spread the Gospel around the world in 2014 and beyond. Continue reading…
MCCRORY, Ark. (BNc) — There can be no doubt that the internet is dominated by the social media world. It seems that everyone is Facebooking, Tweeting, and Pinning items of interest. And while the abundance of social media options offers some advantages, it can also cause some things–such as peaceful, loving church relations–to get lost in the mix.
That is why TheWayfellow.com was created. The website is a social news network for members of the church of Christ, according to Matt Clifton, who also publishes Bulletin Digest and Sermon Tree.
“We really envision a website where members of the church can gather to discuss, fellowship, and share news and announcements, joy and sadness, and generally experience a greater sense of connectedness,” Clifton said. “We are also working on a scholarship program that goes along with the site, so members will be able to tap into some educational help as well.”
Users of the new site can “friend” other users, “like” articles, post photos, and join groups based on their specific interests.
For instance, each state has a group to keep up with area news, and there are already groups for preachers, men, ladies, teens, and many others. Or users can create their own groups according to their interests. Additionally, they can post articles and announcements that appear on the front page of the site.
With Facebook-like features, one might wonder why such a website is needed. Clifton believes it is a worthwhile venture because the social media landscape is becoming more and more hostile toward Christians.
“In one sense, we certainly need to be making our presence as Christians felt in the world. But there is also the need for Christians to build one another up and strengthen one another, and that is sometimes hard to do on some social media sites,” he said. “Frequently we are overrun by posts that have an anti-Christian message, or posts that are simply immoral and unsavory. TheWayfellow.com will be a safe haven for brothers and sisters in Christ to relax and enjoy like-minded fellowship one with another.”
Plus, users will not be inundated with advertisements on their timeline. “We will be seeking sponsorships and advertisements in the future to help support the site and fund scholarships, but advertisements will not be forced into posts, and any ads will be from brotherhood-related businesses, schools, and events,” Clifton said.
Clifton also said TheWayfellow.com is not trying to replace other social media offerings, but rather supplement a specific need. In fact, users can sign up using their Facebook or Twitter accounts.
“We do insist on security, so please forgive us for the questions we ask upon signup,” he said. “The purpose for the questions is to ensure that each member is a Christian, and we think it will pay off in a peaceful and useful site in the long run.”
Because the website is tied to the creation of a scholarship program, and because it is difficult to verify identity of international users, currently the site is only available to citizens of the United States.
“Facebook is very useful for international connections, so we encourage international Christians to continue using that platform. We hope in the future we may be able to overcome some of the challenges of international membership, but for now we have to stay within the United States,” Clifton said.
Eligible candidates can sign up for free at TheWayfellow.com.
ROUND ROCK, Tex. (BNc) — In her daily email to World English Institute teachers, coordinator Jan Towell shares updates and motivates them to find that one student who will finish the course and respond to the gospel.
On Wednesday, she included a piece from Katheryn Haddad, who has taught more than 3,600 students, and recalled a conversation with a Ghanian in her own home.
“Willie Gley from Ghana had stayed with us overnight and, over breakfast, we were discussing the drop-out rate in all ministries,” she recalled. “He said, ‘Ah, but the one — and I was a one.’ He told how 30 years before, he had seen a paper in a mud puddle, picked it up, took it home, washed it off, and — he laughed as he said it — ‘I even ironed it.’ He wrote to the contact and in time went on to teach in a Bible school and take the gospel into Togo and other surrounding countries.”
Katheryn’s reminder applies to all Christians who share the gospel. We reproduce it below, with permission.
Do you think Paul quit teaching because he preached to a crowd of 1000 and no one became a Christian? No, he went to another crowd of 1000 and preached to them. And if no one responded there, he moved on to yet another crowd. He spent 35 years doing this, never dropping out.
Students do the introductory lesson for a lot of different reasons.
Some do it because it’s like a puzzle or a challenge and they just want to know how they would do. Others do it because they want to learn, but realize they don’t have the time required. Others realize they cannot afford the money to go to the internet cafe enough times to graduate. Others use their work computer because they don’t own one themselves, and are told they can’t use it for personal things. Others want to learn, but the electricity in their country is so unreliable, they finally get discouraged and drop out. Others find out the lessons are based on the Bible and are not interested in religion or the Bible, and drop out. Others just aren’t self-disciplined.
But there is the one! The one who has the time and resources and money to stick with the lessons. The one who truly wants to know what is in the Bible because they think they’d like to please the God of the Bible. This is the one you are seeking.
Jesus went out to “seek and save” the lost. We are fishers of men. There are thousands of fish in the sea, but we are looking for the one who is drawn to the bait — the Bible taught in English.
Keep fishing! Keep teaching! Don’t worry about the dropouts; God will take care of them. Keep seeking the one! The one out of a thousand who wants Jesus and doesn’t know it yet! Keep teaching! And keep teaching! And keep teaching! Never give up! Never, never, never give up! Keep teaching! For the one.
BURLINGTON, Wash. (BNc) — Email groups like the GospelPreachers Yahoo list face challenges of declining participation even as this long-lived group celebrates 14 years of operation.
The first post was made Oct. 21, 1999.
“That is ancient in the world of cyberspace. We started with a website called onelist.com. That changed to egroups.com and eventually yahoogroups.com, which of course, is part of the much larger Yahoo conglomeration of websites,” list owner John Gaines wrote yesterday to the group.
John preaches with the Skagit Valley congregation in Burlington, Wash.
Membership steady, but fewer posts
“This is the 24,870th post to the GospelPreachers group. That averages out to 148 posts per month, or approximately five per day. Our busiest month ever was May, 2003, when we had 507 posts,” John said. “Back in those days, we actually worried about people posting too much and flooding list members’ mailboxes. Posting has slowed dramatically in the last few years. Since June, 2012, we have had only one month where we exceeded 100 posts. Our slowest month ever came this past August when we had only 20 posts.”
The group membership has hovered consistently around 310-320 for the last ten years, John said, so people really are posting less.
‘Typical across the board’
A recent GospelPreachers discussion attributed the slowdown to the growth of social media sites like Facebook and Google+. John agrees the tendency is felt in other groups.
“What happened to us is pretty much typical across the board for most email groups,” John explained.
Ken Thomas, list owner of the church-of-Christ list, also hosted on Yahoo, concurs.
“Posts have been dropping on almost all discussion lists including one that I have moderated for years. At one time there were 600-1100 messages a month. Now we are down to very few monthly posts. Other social media as Facebook and blogs have seemingly taken many of us in many directions,” he wrote.
Is there a future for such email groups or has social media spelled their death knell?
“I still believe we can serve a useful purpose. Communicating by email has some advantages. At the top of the list for me is the capability to find posts from last week, last month, last year, or 14 years ago easily. By going to the Yahoo Groups website, you can — in a matter of seconds — read any one of those 24,870 posts that our membership has emailed to the group. If there is a convenient way to do that on Facebook, I haven’t found it,” John said.
Another advantage to such email groups, John mentioned, is serving as a resource for information and research.
“I don’t know how many times over the years that I’ve had a question that I couldn’t find an answer to in my library or with an internet search. I posed the question here and got good answers. We’ve shared ideas and — especially in the early days — found the group a good place to share sermon outlines,” John said.
So he concluded his post with an appeal to group members to “think creatively” on how to re-energize the list.
Other Christian email discussion groups
by James D. Suiter
SULPHUR SPRINGS, Tex. (BNc) — Have you ever wished that we had a morning wake-up radio program in churches of Christ and encouraging programming on radio to listen to from the brotherhood throughout the day? I know I have.
KnowTheTruthRadio.org has a morning program, with Robert Stapleton at 6 and with Luis and Mike Long at 7-9 and other speakers through the day and evening.
There is a chat box in which listeners on the net can engage the speakers, and even have a request for folks to call in on some programming with comments or questions and prayer requests.
It was such a breath of fresh air when GBN came along. Now we have a radio station to listen to 24/7 with great a capella singing in between the lessons!
Check it out and tell others about KnowTheTruthRadio.org. This is one of five brotherhood stations all streaming on the net on radio40.org.
Luis is a graduate of the Bear Valley Institute of Denver and these stations are working in cooperation with the Brown Trail School of Preaching in Texas.
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (BNc) — The House to House, Heart to Heart ministry, which mails an evangelistic magazine quarterly to homes, announced Aug. 21 that the September issue would reach over three million households.
Congregations work with the ministry to send the magazine to local addresses.
The Jacksonville elders oversee the work of HTH.
According to Michael Whitworth, Christians are becoming more passionate about political/social issues than they are about the gospel. In light of recent events in America’s expanding cultural war, his latest book, The Derision of Heaven, is an urgent message for the church, which he believes is headed into exile.
“No one likes persecution or oppression, but the present crisis may be God’s attempt to get Christians to rediscover proper priorities. Christians will never regain influence through political clout, social media rants, or scary forwarded emails. Instead, I extol the virtues of love, civility, and self-control. The biblical Daniel’s gentle and respectful spirit models how God uses ‘the foolish and weak’ to shame the wise and strong of this world,” says Whitworth, whose previous book, The Epic of God, achieved best-selling status.
“For a long time, Christianity enjoyed unprecedented power in this country, but the American church is now under attack and headed into a form of exile. Castigated and flung to the margins of cultural relevancy to gather cobwebs, what are God’s people to do? How should we respond to this loss of influence? Look to the Bible, of course—particularly the Old Testament book of Daniel,” Michael said.
In 2012, Whitworth launched his publishing company, Start2Finish Books. His goal is to author a commentary guide to all the books of the Bible, each one written in an engaging, easy-to-read style. The Derision of Heaven is a guide to the book of Daniel. Whitworth believes that there is not a more relevant Old Testament book for the church right now than Daniel.
Best-selling author F. LaGard Smith praises the book in the Foreword, calling it “a challenge to the church to see Daniel as a must-read for Christians who are now facing the imminent prospect of spiritual exile in our own homelands.”
Studying the book of Daniel and reading The Derision of Heaven will explain why conviction and civility, rather than compromise or contempt, is the path back to relevance for Christ’s church in America, Michael maintains.
The Derision of Heaven: A Guide to Daniel, published by Start2Finish books, is due for release in paperback and eBook formats Sept. 3. For more information, visit http://start2finishbooks.com.
Michael preaches with the Carter Lake Road congregation in Bowie, Texas.