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American Christian Connection
Week of March 20, 2017

In ‘historic’ move, Trump envoy hosts interfaith meeting
Jason Greenblatt, the US administration’s Special Envoy for International Negotiations, on Thursday met with senior Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders in Jerusalem, reportedly calling the meeting “the most important” of his visit. Greenblatt — a close confidant of US President Donald Trump — hosted the Council of Religious Institutions in the Holy Land at the US Consulate-General in Jerusalem just before he met for a second time this week with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. According to one participant, Greenblatt said the 90-minute encounter, attended by both Israeli chief rabbis and the chief justice of the Palestinian Authority’s Sharia court, was the most important meeting of his weeklong tour through the region. “The leaders agreed that the search for peace must be governed by respect for life and human dignity for all people; to work together for peace, reconciliation, and a just solution; and to reject all incitement to violence,” said a statement released by the US Embassy in Tel Aviv.

What happens when persecuted Christians fight back?
Right now, geopolitical analysts and anti-terrorism experts may not see anti-Christian persecution around the world as a real security risk, in part because Christians tend not to fight back. Africa, and Nigeria in particular, illustrates that you can't count on such forbearance enduring forever. In recent months, hundreds of lives have been lost in southern Kaduna State in central Nigeria as a result of violence pitting nomadic ranchers against local farmers. As it happens, the vast majority of those ranchers are Muslim and the farmers Christian, so inevitably the situation has a clear religious dimension. Nigeria is the world’s largest mixed Muslim/Christian country, with a population of around 190 million almost evenly divided between Muslims and Christians. As an imam in Abuja, the national capital, once told me, it’s like the Vatican and Saudi Arabia rolled into one.

Christian influence
As a Christian how much influence do you have? Do your friends and family consider your opinions? Are you able, with the help of the Holy Spirit, able to change people’s views and therefore, alter the rest of their lives? Do Christians as a whole have any influence on society? If we do is it positive or negative? From colonial days through the 19th century America had respect for the Bible and the people who claimed to follow it. When a minister spoke, inside or outside of the pulpit, their words were considered truth and respected. Even the town drunk would sit up and listen when a preacher started quoting from the Good Book. Today, the portrayal of Christians in society is often like we are idiots; disconnected from reality. This is a far cry from the respect giving in a bygone era. Preaching on a street corner, common back in the day is unheard of now and if done would be accompanied by possible jail time or at least a penalty to pay.

This Week's Thought

By Brad Campbell

I’ve shown you a few pictures from my trip to France.  This one is a busy street in Paris.  And, yes, many of the streets really are this narrow.  This particular street did not allow vehicular traffic, but we shared many very small streets with the cars zipping past us.  One could get a sense of the crowds and possibly a little claustrophobic.  The Scriptures plainly teach us that the way to eternal life in Heaven is a narrow way, while wide is the path that leads to eternal destruction.  Narrow is the way.  And we are to share it with others!


By Ryan Kelly

The world is made of people that are generally seen as “normal.”  Normal is certainly a subjective term, but it generally describes people who look and act like the majority of those around them. Normal – like the world. As Christians, we are not to be normal but rather abnormal. Whereas the world lives in and cares about sinful activity, we as Christians should reject sin in every way. The world loves darkness, we love light…the light of Jesus. 

Staying in the Game at any Stage of Life

By John Stonestreet

C. S. Lewis wrote wrote that pain is God’s megaphone—something He uses when He can’t get our attention any other way. I know at least one Christian who has an idea of what that’s like: God got his attention after—and I’m not making this up—he was nearly eaten by a crocodile. Bill Beattie was a businessman whose life was going quite well. He’d been happily married for 35 years, and his three children were leading productive lives. He expected to spend the years ahead peacefully serving as an elder in his church in Danbury, Connecticut. But God was prompting Bill toward other things.

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