A Canadian city called Medicine Hat has now eliminated homelessness by giving the homeless homes. Utah is doing this as well – every homeless person gets a home and access to a social worker and a case worker who will help them getting a job, be intergrated in society and get mental health care if they need some. At first, the home is free, and if they get a job they’ll pay 30% of their income for the house.
The Pentecostal and charismatic movements have a bad reputation among Christian anarchists and activists. There are too many examples of healing evangelists who control the masses through manipulation and hysteria, with promises of supernatural encounters only to gain money and status for themselves. Furthermore, many Pentecostals and charismatics support nationalism, war, discrimination and inequalities. They bless the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, they preach a prosperity gospel where strong faith leads to great wealth, they deny climate change and don’t care about the environment.
Yet, I am totally convinced that every Christian activist should embrace the gifts of the Spirit and pursue signs and wonders. Why? Because the mess I just described is of course not genuine a fruit of the Spirit, it is a result of what I call the Corinth Syndrome, when charismatic Christians portray their own crazy ideas and practices as divinely inspired.
The church at Corinth was experiencing charismatic chaos; they loved spiritual manifestations and everyone spoke in tongues simultaneously, but they showed no care for the poor and some were living in sexual immorality. Paul’s solution to the Corinthian problem is not commanding them to be less charismatic; on the contrary, he urges them to seek the gifts even more! However, he emphasizes that this must be done in order and in love.
Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians comprise approximately 25 percent of global Christianity (around 600 million of 2.4 billion). This remarkable development has occurred within just the last century and has been called the “pentecostalization” of Christianity. Pentecostals and Charismatics experience Christianity and the world in distinctive ways, and Wipf and Stock’s Pentecostals, Peacemaking, and Social Justice series invites discovery and development of Pentecostal-Charismatic approaches to peacemaking and social justice.
The following books make up the growing series, with more to come.
by Craig Keener
In many circles, editorials and sermons on the true meaning of Christmas have become a routine, perhaps almost obligatory, protest against the materialism and rush of the season. Christmas, of course, has taken on various expressions in a range of cultures through history, along the way picking up fir trees, wrapped gifts, and developing permutations of figures such as St. Nicholas of Myra (a fourth-century bishop).
“I am fully convinced that activism for peace and justice should be performed in the power of the Holy Spirit. Miracles, healing, prophecy and evangelism should be combined with peacemaking, economic equality, simplicity and care for the environment, just as in the biblical church.” -Micael Grenholm
by Robert Welsh
Christians who risk their lives for the Gospel always challenge me. Encountering heroic expressions of faith provokes me to question my own faith journey. Am I taking up my cross? If I were more courageous, would I take a different path? Should I be doing more “extreme” acts of faith? I had the opportunity to confront some of these questions as I studied Christians who risked their lives for the sake of making peace and bringing justice.
by Tom Sine
My friend Ron Sider made some pretty harsh critiques about materialism in his book The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience. He tried to persuade his readers that a Christian worldview doesn’t begin with the materialistic values that are so popular in modern culture. And rightly so.
In 2009 the Barna Group reported that only nine percent of American adults possess a biblical worldview. I will explain why I believe that many sincere believers have allowed the economic values of modern society to define the foundation of their worldview instead of anything that came from scripture.
The single question I would like you to explore with me is “What seems to be the purpose at the very center of our world that, if we embrace it, will create a better future for all people?” There are two very different responses to this question among American evangelicals. One answer comes from modern culture, the other from ancient faith.