How to Help Afghans and Haitians
There have been several tragedies in the world since last week's letter. Between the horrific and shameful violence in Afghanistan and the tragic earthquake in Haiti, Christians in the West have an opportunity to step up and help.
First, of course, we can pray.
King of all creation, we know you are sovereign. This is your world, and we are your people. We pray for Afghanistan. We pray for your sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters there. We pray that you would protect them and that your name would be a light in a place becoming engulfed in darkness. Please, Lord, have mercy upon them and save.
We pray for the Taliban soldiers, Lord. Let your Holy Spirit move among them. Let your people be witnesses to your majesty, glory, and grace. I pray that they would come to know you. For those who do not humble themselves in service to you, we pray that their evil would be restrained. Keep them from harming the innocent. If in your good will you do not bring restraint upon them, I pray that you would bring judgment. Vengeance is yours. You are good. Bring justice to the martyrs who cry out in blood before your throne.
Help our leaders to be wise in dealing with this awful evil.
In your holy name we pray, amen.
Lord of heaven and earth, we know that the earth and the fullness of it are yours. But we also know that creation is laboring under a curse and so it sometimes lashes out in those pains. We understand the scientific and material causes behind such a tragedy as an earthquake, but we also understand that we were not meant to suffer and die in this way. We know that the Haitians were not worse sinners than the rest, and so we labor to bring healing and help to them.
We pray, Lord, that you would bring help and healing to this battered people. Heal their broken land and help the people suffering from injuries. Comfort those who have lost loved ones. Bring the light of the gospel and revival into the hearts of the people.
In the name of Messiah Jesus, Amen
How You Can Help
If you'd like to help, these two articles from Relevant Magazine will give you a few places to start:
Living This Christian Life 🤴👸
Both host Sean McDowell and guest Rachel Welcher have recently written books (see below) on 90s American “Purity Culture” and how we ought to understand sexuality as Christians today.
Purity culture taught (and in some churches, still teaches) a sort of “prosperity gospel for sex.” Wrapped up in purity culture is the idea that if you remain “pure” (that is, no sexual touching) you will be rewarded by God with a great spouse, kids, and great sex.
In the years since the prosperity gospel was in its fullness, American Christians have generally seen the sub-truth of that teaching, but have reacted in wildly different ways. Some big “purity culture” proponents have apologized and left the faith entirely.
Others have returned to the rule of our faith and tried to biblically discern what the scriptures really say about sexuality and how to apply it to our modern culture. Not in a reactionary way where we too often end up in an opposite ditch, but in a creationary way by trying to build from the scriptures a sexual ethic.