Prayer as an Act of Resistance

praise-hands-iStock-grace21-1024x724

by Derek Minno Bloom

As a teenager, I was politicized around issues of poverty, oppression, racism, etc. I felt the church I was involved in focused too much on prayer and not enough on action. Some Christians talked a lot about hope, but not much about making those hopes a reality; they launched many campaigns based on charity, but few based on solidarity.

I attended the Anarchy and Christianity Conference in Champaign-Urbana in 2006, where issues of race and anarcho-primitivism were the main topics. Towards the end of the gathering I asked if people wanted to pray as an act of resistance. We prayed for God’s hand of justice to fall upon the world. I believed that others as well as ourselves could be liberated from the chains of patriarchy, racism, and war because of our prayers.

Continue reading Prayer as an Act of Resistance

Why I as an Activist Love the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

praise hands

by Micael Grenholm

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.

Continue reading Why I as an Activist Love the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Pentecostals, Peacemaking, and Social Justice

Banksy_-_Armoured_Peace_Dove-520x245

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.

Continue reading Pentecostals, Peacemaking, and Social Justice

Christmas vs the Empire

herod_kills_innocentg-300x237

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).

Continue reading Christmas vs the Empire

Responding to Acts of Extreme Violence

stop-gun-violence

By Joshua Carson

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my preaching classes at seminary this semester, it’s that the events of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday sometimes require a change in what a congregation needs to hear on Sunday, supplanting what the preacher may have planned to preach earlier in the week. As a youth pastor, I knew that my recent evening message to our students had to change, given that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) had carried out terror attacks that killed at least 129 people in Paris, France, on Friday, 44 people in Beirut, Lebanon, on Thursday, and 224 people on a flight out of Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh airport on October 31. I knew that our students were thinking, talking, posting, and tweeting about these events, and that they have grown more globally conscious over the last few years in praying for worldwide events.

Continue reading Responding to Acts of Extreme Violence

Spirited Justice

freedom.bird_.KeithBishop-755x1024

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.

Continue reading Spirited Justice

Pentecostals & Charismatics for Peace & Justice