Jump to content

The Protestant Community

Christian and Theologically Protestant? Or, sincerely inquiring about the Protestant faith? Welcome to Christforums the Christian Protestant community. You'll first need to register in order to join our community. Create or respond to threads on your favorite topics and subjects. Registration takes less than a minute, it's simple, fast, and free! Enjoy the fellowship! God bless, Christforums' Staff
Register now

Fenced Community

Christforums is a Protestant Christian forum, open to Bible-believing Christians such as Presbyterians, Lutherans, Reformed, Baptists, Church of Christ members, Pentecostals, Anglicans. Methodists, Charismatics, or any other conservative, Nicene- derived Christian Church. We do not solicit cultists of any kind, including Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Eastern Lightning, Falun Gong, Unification Church, Aum Shinrikyo, Christian Scientists or any other non-Nicene, non-Biblical heresy.
Register now

Christian Fellowship

John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
Sign in to follow this  
News Feeder

Kathie Lee Gifford Reminds Christians Where They Should Look for Love

Recommended Posts

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Topics

    • 33 Vietnamese Christians Are Attacked, Raided after They Refuse to Worship Buddha

      33 Vietnamese Christians were terrorized by government officials after they refused to worship Buddha. View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

    • Doctor Strange Director: Christians ‘Are the Core Problem’ in America

      A Hollywood director who is known for his faith and for his films about spirituality says Christians are the “core problem” in America. View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

    • Egypt Opens Largest Church for Coptic Christians in the Middle East

      Christians in Egypt celebrated Christmas with the dedication of the largest church for Coptic Christians in the Middle East. View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

    • 5 Lessons from Persecuted Christians in China

      I spent a year teaching English in Shanghai in the mid-1990s. Even back then I recall how friends from the “underground church” in the People’s Republic of China had experienced much persecution. At the time I was certain that in a decade or two, with the flattening of the world and greater international exchange, life for Christians in China would vastly improve. Fast forward to December 2018. Social media were abuzz with reports and prayer requests for Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, a central region province in the People’s Republic of China. The church’s pastor, Wang Yi, was arrested, along with his wife, the elders, deacons, and dozens of members. Many members and leaders were unaccounted for after a massive effort by police and other authorities raided and detained Christians over the course of several days. On the eve of his impending arrest by police, Pastor Yi penned this powerful message for his parishioners. For the watching world, including believers who share the same faith with our brothers and sisters in China, we have much to learn from them. Here are five lessons we can learn through their sacrifices. 1. Gospel obedience may sometimes mean civil disobedience. Power does not reside in the changing of a government. While some may long to see Christians occupying political offices in order to make the People’s Republic of China a Christian nation, Chinese Christians are making Declarations of Faithful Disobedience: “Changing social and political institutions is not the mission I have been called to, and it is not the goal for which God has given his people the gospel.” With the ultimate goal of obtaining dual citizenship (one on earth, and one in heaven), we are often caught in the tension between the City of God and the City of Man—both admired for our good deeds and  also persecuted for our uncompromising faith. We should not put our faith in a “Christian” government, with the expectation of easing our suffering. Sometimes citizens of heaven will be required to disobey their earthly governments and rules of law where they are contrary to Scripture. 2. Know that trouble will come. Imagine preparing for Sunday worship as a member of the Early Rain Church the day the church’s pastor, leaders, and their families were arrested and charged with various crimes. The church was raided and the building shut down; doors were locked and boarded. You heard rumors that police would be waiting to arrest anyone who showed up to a worship service. Despite all of that, members showed up. They worshiped outdoors since the church facility was shut down; many were promptly arrested, as rumored. Our brothers and sisters embraced the reality of suffering. As the Lord warned his disciples: “In this world you will have trouble . . .” (John 16:33). Since the earliest days of the Christian church, “trouble” has been part of the story. As recorded in Acts and other historical accounts, the church has often grown in the presence, not the absence, of suffering and persecution. 3. Understand what persecution really means. The threat of religious nonprofits losing tax exemption keeps some North American Christians up at night. But I would not call this persecution. It may be right to be angry about the hostility Christians face in a secularizing North American context, but this anger is categorically different from the persecution our Chinese brothers and sisters, and some other Christians in the majority world, are experiencing.  4. Always be prepared to give an answer. When persecution comes, we should be prepared to give an answer for the hope that we have (1 Pet. 3:15). When members of Early Rain Church were being interrogated and charged for inciting subversion against the state, they were asked what ideological positions they were spreading. I heard that one Christian under interrogation responded by sharing part of the Heidelberg Catechism: “What is your only comfort in life and death? Answer: That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.” Dear Christian, even if we are never under police interrogation, may we always be prepared to bear powerful witness to the truth of the gospel. 5. Maintain a heart of gratitude.  The suffering church in China is not alone; there are persecuted Christians all over the world from whom we should learn. Last summer I visited an immigrant Korean-language church in Houston and heard the prayers of a 90-year-old pastor. He prayed a prayer of thanksgiving in Korean for God’s faithfulness, beginning from the days of the Japanese occupation of Korea in the 1930s and 1940s. He then thanked the Lord for opportunities to worship during the Korean civil war of the 1950s. He thanked God for his faithfulness in the midst of immigration stresses that come from not knowing the English language or American culture, yet still being able to worship the Lord freely. By the end of the prayer, I was bawling. I wondered if I even knew the same God as this brother. Such a heart of gratitude is something we can all learn and benefit from. The church of Jesus Christ continues to suffer in places like China, North Korea, and many other nations around the world. We have much to learn from these brothers and sisters who maintain their faith in the face of persecution. Let us continue to pray for and learn from them. Let us count the costs of following Jesus, and let us follow him anyway. Related: Persecuted Chinese Pastor Issues a ‘Declaration of Faithful Disobedience’ (Joe Carter) View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

    • 8 Silent Films Christians Should See

      When movies gained the power of speech, thanks to the success of The Jazz Singer in 1927, a universal language was lost in the process. In the midst of today’s busy, talky culture, a great silent film can feel like a transmission from another plane of existence, transporting us to what Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn referred to as “a realm beyond words.” Unfortunately, the overwhelming amount of new content swirling around us can make hunting for these rare experiences a challenge. Here are a handful of time-tested gems (listed in chronological order) that communicate deep spiritual truths in a vital way, and some suggestions for where to find them. 1. Hypocrites (1915) An early landmark of cinematic social commentary, Hypocrites takes aim at the false pieties of an affluent, urban church congregation. It was an instant blockbuster and catapulted its director, Lois Weber, to fame and fortune. Weber’s bold visual choices—one character appears literally as the Naked Truth—galvanized audiences at the time, garnering widespread acclaim on one hand while inciting calls for censorship on the other. More than a century later, it survives as a compelling celluloid sermon. Available as a standalone DVD from Kino Lorber; there is also a fine HD transfer from KL’s recent box set Pioneers: Early Women Filmmakers. 2. 7th Heaven (1927) Frank Borzage, a Catholic and practicing Freemason, won the first Oscar for best director for this primal melodrama about a Parisian sewer worker (Charles Farrell) who marries a pitiful waif (Janet Gaynor, pictured above) in order to save her from prison. They retire to the paradisiacal attic of a tall building (the “seventh heaven” of the title), and their love for each other begins to grow. The intense, Dantean romantic gestures, the haloes of light that form around the couple, and the barefaced supernaturalism of the ending all point toward a divine presence permeating the natural order. Available on a magnificent DVD set called Murnau, Borzage, and Fox. 3. Sunrise (1927) Released by Fox Film Corporation the week after 7th Heaven, F. W. Murnau’s elemental drama—recipient of the first best picture Oscar—fully earns its grandiose subtitle: “A Song of Two Humans.” A farmer is seduced by a woman from the city, who persuades him to drown his wife. He almost goes through with it, but breaks down in shame at the last moment. He and his bride—now thoroughly shaken—run away to the city, and there among the raucous sounds and sights of the metropolis, their marriage is restored. Supported by a technical and artistic mastery unsurpassed in silent cinema, Sunrise is a hymn to the power of holy matrimony, which despite its precious fragility finds the strength to endure. “What God therefore has joined together, let no man separate” (Matt. 19:6). Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. 4. Sparrows (1926) Mary Pickford was the most popular movie star in the world when she produced and starred in Sparrows, an uncharacteristically downbeat vehicle for America’s sweetheart. This grimly Dickensian fable, set in a fairy tale swampland where penniless parents send their offspring to labor for food and shelter, contrasts the innocence of children with their sinful, corrupt masters. One memorable sequence, in which the Good Shepherd appears to usher the soul of a departed ragamuffin into heaven, is the kind of irony-free religious imagery you simply don’t see in mainstream cinema anymore. Available to stream on Fandor. 5. Visages d’enfants – Faces of Children (1925) Children also play a central role in Jacques Feyder’s neglected masterwork about a secluded community of Christians living in the Swiss countryside. A young boy’s mother dies; his father remarries. As the child struggles to accept his new circumstances, the stepmother endeavors to reach him, culminating in a powerful image of maternal love. The austere beauty of the isolated village and Feyder’s dedication to psychological realism conspire to melt the heart of the sensitive viewer. Available on a DVD set called Rediscover Jacques Feyder. 6. Body and Soul (1925) Paul Robeson made his screen debut as a convict who escapes custody and reinvents himself as the Rev. Isaiah T. Jenkins, a charismatic man of the cloth whose wickedness is concealed beneath a veneer of righteousness. A stinging indictment of Christian hypocrisy within the black community, Body and Soul was written and directed by Oscar Micheaux, the first great African American filmmaker. While firmly rooted in the social milieu of the 1920s Deep South, Micheaux’s quirky yet commanding film is a universal warning against mendacious religious leaders, and those who blindly follow them. Available at Internet Archive, as well as the Criterion Collection’s Paul Robeson: Portraits of the Artist DVD set and Kino Lorber’s excellent Pioneers of African American Cinema. 7. Häxan – aka Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922) For Christian viewers, Benjamin Christensen’s morbidly fascinating docudrama—the most expensive Danish film of the silent era—is a reminder of the powers and principalities against which they must arm themselves (Eph. 6:11–12). Inspired in part by the Malleus Maleficarum, an infamous medieval tractate on witchcraft, the film blends fictional re-enactment with historical discourse. Though it attempts to justify the Devil as the product of religious hysteria, the disturbing primacy of the imagery bypasses reason altogether, touching a spiritual nerve. Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. 8. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) Carl Theodor Dreyer spent more than a year researching his transcendent masterpiece about the French war hero who was tried and burned at the stake at the age of 19. Forsaking both politics and theology, Dreyer dramatizes the triumph of the personal experience of God over fear and death. As Joan, Maria Falconetti gives a peerless performance, her face rendered beatific in a series of brilliantly wrought close-ups. (For this black-and-white film, Dreyer had the walls of the sets painted pink so that the faces would stand out in relief against the background.) A sobering reflection on the limits of dogma, as well as a painful reminder of the link between intense suffering and spiritual salvation, the film is as difficult as it is sublime—a testament to the power of cinema to exalt the mind and illumine the spirit. Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. Also in this series:  3 Classic Poems Every Christian Should Read (Leland Ryken) 8 Works of Fiction Every Christian Should Read (Karen Swallow Prior) View the full article

      in Christian Current Events


Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.