It’s Friday, October 11th, A.D. 2019. This is The Worldview in 5 Minutes and heard at www.TheWorldview.com. I’m Adam McManus.
By Adam McManus (adam@TheWorldview.com)
China releases imprisoned Taiwanese-U.S. pastor after 6 months
Praise God! Michael Yu, a Taiwanese-American pastor, is on his way back to the U.S., after being detained by the Chinese government for six months, reports International Christian Concern.
China Aid reports that the Los Angeles-based pastor was released by the Shanghai Public Security Bureau on October 9th. He was among those who were taken into custody on April 9, when Shanghai’s public security department rounded up the Christians.
Isaiah 42:7 heralds the moment of liberty for those in chains. “Bring out prisoners from the dungeon and those who dwell in darkness from the prison.”
Trump threatens to “wipe out” Turkey’s economy
At a press conference on Wednesday, President Donald Trump explained that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from northern Syria was complete, reports RealClearPolitics.com.
TRUMP: “We are out of there. We’ve been out of there for a while. No soldiers whatsoever.”
President Trump insists that the withdrawal of troops is the fulfillment of a campaign promise.
TRUMP: “I campaigned in ending the endless wars. We are all over the world fighting wars. Half the places, nobody even knows what they’re doing over there. I feel that we are doing the right thing and I think the country feels that too. … It has to be done. Otherwise you’re never going to do it.”
In addition, the president noted that they took responsibility for some of the most dangerous ISIS prisoners which our allies, the Kurds, had been guarding.
TRUMP: “We are taking some of the most dangerous ISIS fighters out. We’ve taken them out and we’re putting them in different locations where it’s secure.”
Then, Fox News Channel’s John Roberts asked this question.
ROBERTS: “In a statement this morning, you cautioned Erdogan. Since then, it appears there have been casualties on the Kurdish side. Are you concerned about escalation? Are you concerned that Erdogan will try to wipe out the Kurds?”
TRUMP: “I will wipe out his economy if that happens. I’ve already done it once with pastor Brunson. I’m sure that he–I hope that he will act rationally.”
British court: Mom gets money for “wrongful birth” of Downs child
A British court on Tuesday sided with a mother who had filed a “wrongful birth” lawsuit after she gave birth to a baby with Down syndrome whom she says that she would have aborted, reports ChristianHeadlines.com.
Edyta Mordel, age 33, claims that when she booked a prenatal screening for Down syndrome, the sonographer failed to carry it out. Once her baby was born, she sued the National Health Service.
The BBC reports the payout is expected to be in the six figures.
While Mordel claims she is devoted to her now 4-year-old boy, she ironically would have aborted him given the chance four years earlier. She told The Daily Mail, “I would not have wanted a disabled child. I would not have wanted my child to suffer the way disabled people suffer.”
Pray for the mind and the soul of her son that he develop strong self-confidence despite the foolishness of his mother.
Pastors struggle with depression
In the wake of the tragic suicide of 30-year-old Pastor Jarrid Wilson of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California on September 9th, Pastor Gary Wilkerson, the President of World Challenge in Colorado Springs, is urging Christians to encourage their own pastors.
According to a study from Influence Magazine, nearly 50% of pastors have struggled with mental health at one point in the ministry. Many have coped by leaving the ministry or kept going in the face of depression.
In Psalm 42:11, David asks, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”
Wilkerson told The Worldview how Christians can encourage their pastors.
WILKERSON: “Number one is to realize that they are human. They are people. They are struggling. They have family issues. They have financial issues. A lot of pastors of smaller churches are underpaid, and so they’re struggling in lots of different areas with very high expectations.
“Expectations for their children to be perfect, to perform well. That leads to what they call the pastor’s kids syndrome where their kids are put on a pedestal. If they make one mistake, if a teenage boy dates the wrong girl, or is caught at the wrong party, it supposedly brings reproach on the pastor’s family. And so the expectation is perfection, and nobody’s perfect except Jesus.”
Immediately following today’s newscast, stay tuned for a Worldview Special Report for greater insight into the challenges that pastors face and how Christians can encourage them.
Ethiopian-American teen prays for President Trump at White House
And finally, last Friday at the White House, Mahalet, a 15-year-old Ethiopian-American girl who was adopted and lives in Indiana, got the chance to speak at President Trump’s podium at the Young Black Leadership Summit, reports FaithWire.com.
MAHALET: “I just want to say thank you, Mr. President. I know we have a political warfare right now, but I strongly believe that it is a spiritual one as well. I know that Americans are going to wake up and we’re going to get back to looking to God. The constitution was built on Godly principles, and we’re going to fight for that.”
Then, in a surprise development, Mahalet offered to pray.
MAHALET: “I love God and I want to pray real quick. Dear God, I just want to say thank you so much for giving us this opportunity to be in the White House. Thank you for giving us a great leader like Donald Trump. God protect our president as he’s going through so much right now, so much scrutiny. God, I believe that you gave him to us and I believe that he’s gonna accomplish so much more. In Jesus’ name.”
And that’s The Worldview in 5 Minutes on this Friday, October 11th in the year of our Lord 2019. Subscribe by iTunes or email to our unique Christian newscast at www.TheWorldview.com. Or get the Generations app through Google Play or The App Store. I’m Adam McManus (adam@TheWorldview.com). Seize the day for Jesus Christ.
Special Report: Pastors should uphold Biblical standards, not unrealistic ones
Time now for a Worldview Special Report by Emily Swanson. I’m Adam McManus.
In an article from Soul Shepherding, Bill Gaultiere documents that:
- 75% of pastors said they were ‘extremely stressed’ or ‘highly stressed.’
- 90% said that they ‘work 55-75 hours per week.’
- 90% also said they are ‘fatigued and worn out every week.
WILKERSON: “If the expectation is perfection, no pastor is ever going to live up to the high standards that some people might have for them. Then they’re going to let people down; the people will feel like they were failed because their expectations were unrealistic. And they will either bring, sometimes, condemnation, or reproach to a pastor and his family, or sometimes they’ll just get up, leave and go to another church with that expectation.
“I’ve had this happen to me so many times. People come up to me so excited, ‘Oh we’ve finally found a pastor who is holy, and who preaches the Word.’ They’re all excited, and I’m going, ‘Uh-oh.’ Because in six months they’re going to be like, ‘Wait, you said this about your doctrine about so-and-so, and now they’re all up in arms.”
Wilkerson said that people need to give grace to their pastors as imperfect men who need the grace of God as much as those in the pews.
WILKERSON: “My hope would be that people would give pastors some room. Don’t expect them to be perfect. Do expect them to keep a high biblical standard. I think, on the other end of the spectrum, we don’t want the other thing of saying, ‘Well pastors are just people.’ And they are, but the Bible does have some qualifications for them, that might be different from somebody who’s singing the songs at the church or being an usher, to live above reproach and to take care of their own household well.
“The pendulum can swing two different ways, one being too extreme, expecting perfection, and the other extreme of saying, ‘Our pastor’s just one of us, and they’re just our friends.’ There’s no expectation at all of them living above reproach. That’s where you get compromise of pastors who are financially not above reproach in their dealings with their incomes and things like that.”
Wilkerson shared his own experience about one of his adult children, who had moved out of his home, and was wandering from the faith. Most of the congregation reacted with sympathy and Christ-like love, but the critical reactions only hurt his family.
WILKERSON: “I have four children, and one of my children, when he was an older teen, got involved, and he started smoking pot, as we prayed and prayed and fasted. He actually ended up getting worse, long story short, he became a heroin addict, became homeless.
“From the pulpit, I asked the church to please pray for our family; he was probably about 20, 21 at this time, and living out on the streets. A large part of my congregation was so gracious and rallied around us and prayed, called us and said, ‘How’s he doing? We were praying for him tonight.’ But I’d say maybe about 10% or more became extremely critical, kind of rallied together and said, ‘Hey let’s try to remove him from the pulpit. He doesn’t need to be our pastor because he’s not ruling his own children well.
“I believe in that Scripture, but I think they’re talking about when they’re in your house, when you’re in charge of them, not when they’re out on their own.
“That was a deep hurt for my wife and I because we were hurting so bad about our son being in this horrible place, and then to have people accusing you and asking you to step down from ministry because you’re not qualified just added [to the pain]. These were people that you walk through all their pain with, all their struggles, and now to see them do that, it’s just adding salt to the wound.”
Wilkerson shared that there are a few significant ways that can really tear a pastor down or build him and his family up in the Lord.
WILKERSON: “I would just say to avoid the negative. Like the doctors say, ‘First, do no harm.’ Even if you disagree with your pastor or don’t feel like he’s doing what you’d expect or hope other than blatant sin, then you need to go to your elders, things that the Bible has listed as disqualifications for ministry, then you have a proper way of doing that, and a biblical way of doing that.
“Barring that if you don’t like the way he preaches, some people use humor, and some people don’t like that. Other people are so sober and somber, and people say, ‘Why don’t you lighten up?’ They’re just talking about style.”
Hebrews 3:13 is a good reminder of how we can encourage our pastors. It says, “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”
Wilkerson explained the best ways they can pray for their pastors.
WILKERSON: “As you read the Scripture, it unfolds a very clear picture of what a pastor/shepherd is meant to be, and so praying for the pastor along the lines of what God has for them. And secondly, praying against the plans of the enemy because I do believe if the enemy can bring down a pastor, the flock then becomes affected.”
Pray 1 John 4:4 which says, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
This has been a Worldview Special Report. I’m Adam McManus.