Archives For ccda

Noah Filipiak interviews his faith hero Dr. John Perkins, focusing in on Dr. Perkins’ emphasis on the need for multi-ethnic churches in America as one of the top solutions to our race problems. Continue Reading…

I’ve ripped on health & wealth theology (also called the prosperity gospel) for a long time.

What I’d like to do here is slow down and examine the intent behind health & wealth theology, what parts are true biblically, and what parts come from reading the Bible incorrectly.

When the New Testament gives verse after verse promising Christians we will suffer, and most of the early Christians did suffer and die for their faith, beating up on the caricature of health and wealth theology has always felt too easy.  That caricature being something along these lines:

If you start this video from the beginning you’ll hear the theology that goes along with these sort of antics, which is essentially that you have to give money to the church (and already very wealthy pastors in a lot of these cases) in order to get blessing, a.k.a. money from God in return.  So this brand of health-and-wealth theology serves as a get-rich-quick scheme to pastors and offers God as a slot machine to churchgoers.

So this brand of health-and-wealth theology serves as a get-rich-quick scheme to pastors and offers God as a slot machine to churchgoers.

I’m beginning this article with the worst (and most notorious) form of prosperity gospel so you can see why it’s been so easy to beat up on it using basic and obvious Scriptures.  But this type of caricature is not the whole picture behind health and wealth theology.  Let’s first look at where adherents of H&W theology draw from in Scripture, followed by looking at a more complete way of understanding these texts.

The video above covers the “wealth” side of health and wealth, with the other side being “health.”  This one is more self-explanatory, that God wants you to be healthy, and has a lot more New Testament scripture to back in up.  These Scriptures focus around the miraculous healings Jesus and his disciples did and how healing is listed in the New Testament church’s spiritual gifts inventory in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11.  Another vein of New Testament scripture you will find prosperity preachers using are New Testament verses on prayer where it makes it seem you can demand something of God by having enough faith, and he must give it to you.  So you demand money or health, and he must give it to you. Continue Reading…

Noah Filipiak interviews Shane Claiborne about how to engage churches in helping the poor, activism and justice issues.  They talk about celebrityism within popular Christianity, about what can be done to stop the death penalty (Shane’s latest book is Executing Grace: How the Death Penalty Killed Jesus and Why It’s Killing Us), and about how to be an ordinary radical as both a single person and as a married person (and what to do if one spouse is moved toward this and the other isn’t). 

You can listen to Noah’s interview with Shane Claiborne below via the Podbean Player or you can subscribe to all “Behind the Curtain” Ministry Podcast episodes on iTunes

Continue Reading…

Noel Castellanos is the CEO of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) and the author of Where the Cross Meets the Street: What Happens to the Neighborhood When God Is at the Center.  Noah Filipiak interviews Noel about the downside of American Evangelicals being obsessed with going to heaven, but neglecting much of Jesus’s example and teaching.  Noel talks “behind the curtain” about the challenge of doing urban ministry, but also the call behind it and the purpose it brings. 

The CCDA National Conference is coming to Detroit, MI on October 4-7th, 2017 so be sure to save the date to join us. Continue Reading…

All Christians know the Bible is full of commands to love and help the poor.  The Old Testament is chock full of them, and the New Testament only adds to the pile.

Proverbs 14:31 “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.”

Proverbs 19:17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

Psalm 82:3-4 Defend the weak and the fatherless;
        uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
        deliver them from the hand of the wicked. 

Isaiah 56:6-8  “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Micah 6:8  He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
        And what does the LORD require of you?
    To act justly and to love mercy
        and to walk humbly with your God.

Matthew 25:34-46 (hover over reference to read)

Galatians 2:10 “Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.”

James 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

James 2:15-16 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?

1 John 3:17-18 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

And the list could truly go on and on and on…

So if we know we are to love and help the poor, why do so few of us do it?  And even fewer do it well?

Read Bob Lupton’s Compassion, Justice and the Christian Life if you want the full version of this, but in a nutshell giving handouts to the poor only makes things worse.

There is a time for handouts in temporary and/or crisis situations.  But indefinite handouts lead to dependency and dependency is a guarantee someone will never get out of poverty. Continue Reading…