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RELIGION BY NATURE IS NOT PEACEFUL BUT VIOLENT

by Bob Roberts, Jr.

I sat in a room of Ayatollahs, pastors, diplomats, and professors –primarily Iranians, but also some from the States – about 30 of us in total. The Iranian Muslim two seats down from me made an unexpected and startling statement.  He said, “We say religion is about peace.  Islam means peace.  Jesus was to have brought peace – every religion says it’s about peace, but religion by nature is not peaceful but violent.”  Immediately it went from an inter-faith discussion of faith and violence to an intra-faith discussion among the Muslims.  He was being challenged, but he pushed back.  For about 45 minutes they spoke in Farsi and we couldn’t understand what was being said.  The longer I reflected on what he said, I began to think he was right. Read more

YOUNG PASTOR – - – BE ENCOURAGED!

by Bob Roberts Jr.

This morning I was tweeting some encouragement to young pastors and faith leaders and strongly sensed God telling me to stop tweeting, and write a blog for you.  I know many of you and have been with many of you in your 20’s and early 30’s a lot the past few weeks and I am so encouraged by what I see in you.  I know you have a lot of questions as you move forward.  The church is at a major shift and everyone is saying it’s this way or that, this model or that, this theological framework or that – but let me remind you, first and foremost – it is just as you began your walk with Jesus – it is Jesus at the crux of it all.  If Jesus is not at the crux of all you see and do, then you’ll become bitter, angry, throwing stones, trashing others, building your kingdom, and missing all that God has for.  By the way, you can grow a big “ministry” and it not be God’s.  Business and marketing techniques are such that you really do not need the Holy Spirit anymore, let alone preach the cross.  Learn from the business books along with sociology, history, trends, literature, you need to be sharp – but you’re a part of something supernatural and eternal, not mechanical and merely organizational.

Don’t be discouraged by people saying the world is messed up – when has it not been?  What a time of adventure to live!  Many who say this have not lived through the times prior to the global shifts like the American and ultimately many global revolutions, the Civil War, WWI, and WWII.  I believe we are living in a time like that right now.   Read more

STUCK IN HATE & IN LOVE WITH IT

by Bob Roberts Jr.

The racial issues that divide us, and the hate that pervades us based on race and religion will be our downfall – not because it’s new – but because we as evangelicals are denying the very Gospel we say that we believe in.  While global followers of Jesus are going to prison and losing their lives for their love of Jesus and the ability to spread the Good News, we are filled with hate, just like those that persecute Jesus followers around the world.  Isn’t the Gospel (Good news of Jesus) different?  Aren’t we supposed to be different?  For a man without Jesus to act in hate and fear is nothing new nor unexpected, but the power of the Gospel (good news of Jesus) is that we as evangelicals (we believe in the complete authority and inspiration of the Bible and the humanity and divinity of Jesus) are not driven by that – if anything we are freed from that.  If the Gospel truly is our only hope, then we need to let it work and be out front driving hate and fear back, instead of the broader society in front of the church challenging her to catch up.  Read more

THINGS YOU CAN’T GET AWAY WITH IN THE 21ST CENTURY

by Bob Roberts Jr.

1.  Not knowing what’s going on in the world and how it affects you and those you love.  Terrorism, economics, cyberspace all have the ability to disrupt our lives dramatically.  Staying informed in the news and from multiple news sources is critical.  Each news outlet has its own bias for reporting, not having a broad and clear understanding of issues is also dangerous.

2.  Not knowing how to apply God’s Word to everyday life and situations.  I’ve heard Len Sweet in the past talk about not just exegeting the Scriptures, but exegeting the culture.  The Bible is so much more than a history book – how does it apply to the various situations we experience?  How do we teach it where it’s alive and changing lives and confronting lives with the truth? Read more

NABEEL QURESHI AT NORTHWOOD

SUNDAY JANUARY 11

9:30 & 11:00 am

SEEKING ALLAH – FINDING JESUS 

NABEEL QURESHI  AT

NORTHWOOD CHURCH, KELLER, TEXAS

  

As someone who works with people of other faiths all over the world, I meet people who have changed their faith.  I always enjoy knowing someone’s past. Learning what the issues were that caused them to change and how others have responded to them.  There have been Muslim friends and Imams who have introduced me to Muslims who were Christian, etc.  I even met a man who was a pastor who is now an Imam.   I’ve met Christians who became Buddhist, etc. Read more

LET JUSTICE ROLL DOWN . . . . IS THE GREAT COMMISSION

by Bob Roberts Jr

Ever wonder why the white church in America can have lots of baptisms, fund missionaries around the world, and yet hold on to negative and hurtful views of others?  I had my own “East Texas” view of life I had to deal with as I grew up, engaged the world, and began to work with others.  I realized that whatever I felt towards one group, invariably gave me permission to feel negative about another group, as long as I could justify it.  There’s always a reason to think why you’re better than someone else, no matter what color or class you come from.   Justifying prejudice always leads to an “us” and “them” mentality that Jesus firmly stood against.  The root of all love we have towards others is based at the foot of the cross where Jesus died for all, and we are all family.  Until you can value all people equally, you will not love like Jesus.  Life will fill you with opportunities to come close to people that you don’t like as much, or have a conflict with and in those moments we have a chance to address the darkness in our hearts.  That darkness is the absence of God in our inability to love others as he loves. Read more

PROFILE OF A DOMAIN ENGAGER!

by Bob Roberts Jr

I’ve known Paul Larsen for a few years now.  He illustrates how to use your background and expertise to serve humanity in the name of Jesus as much as anyone I know.  I love what he does and his story – here is an interview  I did with him:

1.  What is your job?  I am founder and Director of 128 Foundation and VP of Strategic and Faith-based Partnerships of Cheetah Development.

2.  What is you vocation?  I understand vocation to mean calling, and my calling is to help the western church to recapture a more holistic theology of human flourishing that includes economic and social flourishing along with spiritual flourishing.  And then provide actions steps for those called to carry this out in the developing world. Read more

WHY AMERICA DESPERATELY NEEDS THE GLOBAL CHURCH

by Bob Roberts Jr

I just returned from Jakarta, Indonesia where I was with one of those global pastors whom God has used to reach tens of thousands.  There were 19 of us that gathered from all over the world.  Only two of us were from the US. The other pastor from the US was African American.  I had one of my spiritual sons with me and I asked him, “How does it feel to be one of only two white guys here?”  He responded he loved it.

The African American pastor that was there told me he had never been a part of something so diverse and yet unified as this gathering.  Everyone present had an equal voice.  This pastor’s church is huge, and so is his impact.  He’s connected to everyone from Presidents to athletes and business leaders – you name it.  Yet, this was very different for him – something he had never tasted before and he wanted a lot more.

We are not the pastors of the largest churches in the world, but some of the others present are.  What we all have in common is we have started a church which starts churches like crazy.  One man wouldn’t have over 1000 in his “movement”. It’s conceivably the hardest place in the world to reach people.  Everyone agrees he has earned a spot at the table.  Read more

THE UNIQUE ROLE OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN CHURCH & BELIEVER GLOBALLY

by Bob Roberts Jr. 

I believe the sleeping giant of the American Church globally is its African American believers.  The narrative most often related to biblically with the African American is that of Moses and deliverance being applied to the African American experience from slavery to the Civil War to Civil Rights to our first African American President Barak Obama. 

The world is ready for African Americans to be on the global public stage in a bigger way.  There are many who have paved the way – but in reality, in this modern period, no one more than Colin Powell.  He could have been President had he wanted it, by both parties and by all races, he is a leader xtraordinaire.  When President Obama was running for the Presidency and then won, his crowds globally were unprecedented for an American President – the world was ready.  Read more

RAISING “LITTLE COMMUNIST”

by Bob Roberts Jr

It’s true.  August of 2001 Ti Luu from Hanoi, Vietnam, came to live in our home with my son when he was a senior in High School and my daughter was a freshman.  It’s true, this year Nikki and I have Minh Hoang living with us.   It’s true they are Vietnamese and from a communist country, yet they don’t have any political affiliation at this point – that I’m aware of!  But, it was one of the greatest things, hands down, that I’ve done in my family.  I know it sounds crazy, having someone with a government opposite of yours, a faith that is not yours, as a part of your everyday life, especially as a pastor and with his kids in the home, as with Ti.  But, if you ask my children, the best thing we ever did to prepare them for the world and open their hearts to loving others through Jesus, hands down, they’ll tell you it was Ti living with them.  Read more