Archive for the tag “Eric Metaxas”

Not so civilized: Preying on prisoners

Eric Metaxas writes on BreakPoint:

When it comes to illegal immigration, there’s one thing all Americans should agree on.

Three years ago, a woman I’ll call “Mary” was stopped by a policeman for what initially appeared to be a run-of-the-mill moving violation. What followed was anything but routine, though.

“Mary” descended into a kind of hell that is all-too-familiar for the most vulnerable among us.

Mary’s descent started when the policeman discovered that she was in the country illegally. This, along with a ten-year-old warrant for bouncing a $230 check, caused her to be remanded into the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

Now, stick with me here. We Christians can disagree about our immigration laws and how they should be applied, but we should be outraged at what happened next to Mary.

ICE sent Mary, a Canadian citizen and the mother of four underage American citizens, to a facility in Willacy, Florida. There she was raped by a male guard. When Mary complained to a female guard, the guard replied “nobody’s going to believe you” and said that complaining would only make matters worse.

“Mary’s” story was not an isolated incident: in the episode of PBS’ Frontline that told her story, a former guard at Willacy called sexual abuse of inmates and cover-ups of the assaults there “pervasive.”

And that’s not just at Willacy. The Department of Justice estimates that “over 216,000 people are sexually abused in its prisons, jails, and juvenile detention facilities every year.”

Read the rest here.

Sexual brokenness and the road back

Eric Metaxas writes on BreakPoint:

The Christian faith understands human beings for what we truly are: Made in the very image of God, possessors of a weighty and eternal dignity, but nonetheless fallen. And, left to our own devices, we are prone to, well, mess things up.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the area of human sexuality. Just take a look around. I’ll spare you all the statistics, but you know the carnage the sexual revolution and sexual “liberation” have left in their wake: soaring divorce rates, the breakup of families, abortion, teen pregnancy, AIDS and a host of sexually transmitted diseases, and on and on.

And of course our culture has become astoundingly vulgar when it comes to sexuality.

… But maybe the worse part about all of this is that sex is actually one of the truly precious and great gifts that God has given to us. It is part and parcel of His road map to human flourishing and human happiness. Yet we humans decided to blaze our own trail.

And, because we’ve strayed from the map, we’ve messed things up.

This is a hugely important topic these days, which is why my BreakPoint colleague John Stonestreet has spent four weeks on the “Two Minute Warning” discussing sexual brokenness.

Read the entire post here.

The John Stonestreet video series:

When Sex Got A Divorce

How Sexual Brokenness Victimizes People

How NOT to Respond to Sexual Brokenness

Responding to Sexual Brokenness in Our Culture and Ourselves

The four installments are available as a collection on a flash drive.

Strangers in our midst: Welcoming refugees

Eric Metaxas writes on BreakPoint:

Since the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth to escape religious persecution, America has been a haven for refugees. This year alone, the U.S. has welcomed more than 70,000 of them.

As a result of decades of political violence, hundreds of thousands of the Karen people, the largest ethnic minority in Myanmar (formerly Burma), have been forced to flee the country. In 2007, the U.S. began allowing approximately 15,000 of them to resettle in America every year.

To accommodate these numbers, the U.S. government has depended on non-profit groups — mainly religious organizations and churches — to help the Karen and other refugee populations assimilate into American culture. This has been an enormous opportunity for the church to extend Christ’s welcome to the outcast.

One church in Greensboro, N.C., has done just that. In response to the influx of 3,000 refugees in their community, Friendly Avenue Baptist Church decided to sponsor one Karen family by helping them with basic needs, such as transportation, apartment set-up and language assistance.

Soon the church had three refugee families coming every Sunday and decided it was time to plant a church for those who spoke Karen. Over the course of the next two years, the church plant grew to 200, as word spread that Friendly Avenue really was friendly, a place where outsiders felt welcome.

Bryan Presson, 20-year missionary in Thailand and pastor of the Karen church, noticed that language barriers often forced his congregants to take low-paying jobs in factories located hours from their homes. And cultural illiteracy made them vulnerable to phone or mail scams. And they frequently faced prejudice and scorn from neighbors who weren’t excited about sharing jobs and resources in a downturned economy.

To read more about how this church multiplied justice for refugees, click here.

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