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2014 Year In Review – 10 Major Issues Impacting the Church

BEST_OF_2014_2048x1536As we are attempting to keep our 2015 New Year’s Resolutions, do we even remember what our resolutions were last year? If you have short-term memory like me, it’s important to take moments to stop, pause, and reflect on events that have happened in your life, your community, and our world. As 2014 will start to fade away, I’ve compiled some significant stories and articles that would be good to remember, reflect and continue to have conversations about. These issues won’t be going away anytime soon or be resolved in 2015; however, I hope that as the church we can continue to reflect inward and take positive steps forward in love through conversations with our families, communities and churches.

If you also have any interesting articles to share, please send them my way! I’d love to read.

1. Same-Sex Marriage and the Church

This topic is one of the most divisive issues in the church right now. There is a range of evangelical perspectives as more states are legalizing same-sex marriage.

US Now Recognizes Same-Sex Marriage in 33 States, Including DC

World Vision’s Same-Sex Marriage Reversal Shows Divide Within Evangelical Church

Christian Singer Vicky Beeching Appeals to God’s Love to Justify Her Lesbianism

2. Racism and Policing

In a time where one would assume that we have made great strides on the racism issue, 2014 showed us that we still need to be talking about this. Here are some great articles on how we need to respond.

‘I honestly don’t know what to say’; Jon Stewart gets serious on Eric Garner

A Decision in Ferguson: How Should Evangelicals Respond?

NFL player’s Facebook post on Ferguson decision goes viral

3. Worldwide Crisis: Ebola and ISIS

Ebola and ISIS rocked the world in 2014. We all felt the impact of both issues domestically and it was a good reminder that global crises should matter to us.  Time Magazine’s Person of the Year was the Ebola fighters to honor their battle against the disease. The conflict surrounding ISIS was also littered with many misconceptions, apathy, or disillusionment.

Ebola: Person of the Year 

The 9 Biggest Myths About ISIS Debunked

4. Christian Persecutions around the world

There are estimated 200 million Christians that are persecuted worldwide. 2014 highlighted the continual need for prayer and support of our brothers around the globe.

Sudanese Christian woman who once faced death penalty arrives in U.S

Hindu Nationalist Group Seeking to Cleanse Christian Presence From India Is Not Unlike ISIS, Watchdog Group Warns

Pastor Saeed Abedini in ‘Severe Pain’ in Iranian Prison

Scores Killed, Thousands Flee Christian Town in Boko Haram Rampage in Nigeria

5. Air Travel Tragedy

This was a year of tragedy for many from the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 being shot down in eastern Ukraine, and Air Asia Flight QZ8501 which went down into the sea. But 2014 was still considered a safe year of travel comparatively to the volume of travels.

Other views: A difficult year for air travel

Is 2014 the deadliest year for flights? Not even close

6. Mega Church Mars Hill Closes its Doors 

A church of 13,000 closed its doors in 2014 with a mixed range of emotions from tears to cheers.

Reaction to Pastor Mark Driscoll’s Resignation Includes Sadness, Gratitude From Mars Hill Church Community

Goodbye, Mars Hill: Mark Driscoll’s Multisite Empire Will Sell Properties and Dissolve

7. Pope Francis as a beacon of hope for the younger generation

The Pope has been one of the most influential leaders in 2014 and the younger generation is paying attention.

Why is Pope Francis so popular?

Pope Francis Fast Facts

8. Christian Films

2014 has been dubbed as the “Year of Biblical Movies”  with a plethora of movie choices ranging from Son of GodNoah,  Alone Yet Not AloneMom’s Night OutIrreplaceableHeaven is for RealWhen the Game Stands TallCalvaryIn Plain SightThe RemainingLeft BehindRagamuffinThe Good LieThe SongExodus: Gods and KingsUnbroken and Saving Christmas. Even with some controversial portrayals of movies like Noah and Exodus: Sons of God, there seems to be a growing niche for faith based movies

Is 2014 the year of the Christian film?

Lights! Camera! Jesus! How Christians Are Building Their Own Hollywood

9. Immigration Reform and the Church

Immigration reform seems like a political issue that the church shouldn’t address, but there are evangelical positions on why this issue is a faith related matter.

Why Immigration Reform is a Christian Cause

Evangelical opinion split on Obama’s immigration reforms

10. North Korean reality

North Korea was a hot topic during the recent the Sony Hack and there was no lack of opinions about the releasing of the movie The Interview and whether or not the movie should have been made in the first place. In the midst of the controversy, it is easy to forget the human rights issues rampant in North Korea.

North Korean reality isn’t funny for Christians: Column

Sony was wrong to pull ‘The Interview,’ Obama says

‘Christians in North Korea Face Unimaginable Pressure in Every Sphere of Life,’ Says Open Doors USA President

 

 

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