Christians Challenged To Remember the Poor

by | Dec 18, 2008 | Charisma Archive

Joel Edwards said that although poverty may never be eradicated, Christians have a
responsibility “to bring not only optimism but hope into fairly difficult
situations.”
 
Christians Challenged To Remember the Poor
[12.18.08] A leading British Pentecostal is calling Christians to deepen their
commitment to the poor by challenging world governments to cut poverty in half
by 2015.

Joel Edwards, who recently was named international director of Micah
Challenge, said that although poverty may never be eradicated, Christians have a
responsibility “to bring not only optimism but hope into fairly difficult
situations.”

“There is no doubt about it. There is the capacity and ability to do
something positive and definitive about the issue of human poverty,” Edwards
said. “If the Christian community globally could begin to reach into its soul
and respond to the challenge of the poor then we can actually do something which
makes a difference.”

Before his appointment to Micah Challenge, a global movement of Christians
lobbying their governments to cut extreme poverty in half in the next seven
years, Edwards spent nearly a decade as chief of the Evangelical Alliance (EA).
He was the first black general director of the organization, which unites
evangelical Christians across the United Kingdom.

Since he stepped down from that post in September, Edwards has been urging
Christians to return to Scripture and boldly proclaim Christ to affect change in
an increasingly pluralistic culture. It is a message he puts into practice.

In 2008, he joined former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's Faith
Foundation, which promotes respect and understanding about the world's major
religions. Previously, he was appointed to the U.K.'s recently launched Equality
and Human Rights Commission.

The assignment made him the focus of criticism from gay activists and
secularists who said Edwards' belief in traditional Christian values—along with
his biblical stance on homosexuality—would undermine the commission's goal to
promote “a society built on fairness and respect.”

He admits that he was surprised at the appointment to the “one-stop shop for
human rights,” as he calls it. But he said it is important for the commission to
include evangelicals' viewpoints in its discussions.

“If this is truly a democracy, then the perspectives of Christian people need
to be heard, and our values cannot be dismissed out of hand,” Edwards said. “If
we are to be dismissed simply because we have a values system that [goes against
the tide of the culture], that is not democracy.”

Edwards, who details his views in a recent book, An Agenda for Change,
said his own personal journey has been one of crossing cultural borders, dealing
with diversity and coping with “daily culture shock” since he arrived in the
U.K. from Kingston, Jamaica, at the tender age of 8.

He was an officer with the Inner London Probation Service for 14 years before
serving as a pastor in the New Testament Church of God for 10 years. In 1988 he
became general secretary of the African and Caribbean Evangelical Alliance and
four years later was named U.K. director of the EA. He became general director
of the organization in 1997.

Through the course of his 20 years with the EA, Edwards has been involved in
the Metropolitan Police Independent Advisory Group and an advisory group to Her
Majesty's Prison Service. In addition, Edwards is an honorary Canon of St.
Paul's Cathedral—one of the greatest landmarks in the British capital—and has an
honorary doctorate from the University of St. Andrews, a historic institution in
Scotland.

“Joel is an evangelical statesman who's made a significant contribution to
the witness of the church in this land,” said Mike Talbot, chairman of the EA's
board. “He is respected across the Christian community—and beyond.”

Katei Kirby of the African and Caribbean Evangelical Alliance said Edwards
“has played a significant part in uniting and engaging the diversity of
evangelicals in the U.K.”

Edwards said he has seen “a more thought-through and intelligent evangelism
emerging across the U.K.” in the last 20 years. He noted that the “charismatic
wing of the church has underpinned evangelical growth worldwide.”

Charismatic Christianity has extended beyond evangelicalism, too, Edwards
noted, and influenced every tradition including Catholicism. “It has lowered the
drawbridge,” he said. “Walls have come down.”

Edwards included a section on charismatic spirituality in An Agenda for
Change
, writing that miracles are still a key component of the credibility
of Christ. “What made Christ credible in the upper room explosion had as much to
do with miracles as it had to do with Peter's clear explanation about them,” he
wrote.—Clive Price in London

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Jonathan Cahn: How the Great Seduction Overwhelmed America

Jonathan Cahn: How the Great Seduction Overwhelmed America

Read Time: 7 Minutes, 16 Seconds Is it possible that ancient entities known as "the gods" have returned to our world? If so, who are these gods? And could they be the hidden agents transforming modern culture? Is it possible that in the mythologies of the ancient...

3 Reasons for Hope This Advent Season

3 Reasons for Hope This Advent Season

Read Time: 3 Minutes 6 Seconds I didn’t grow up celebrating Advent. When I was little, we put up a tree, got presents and had a Christmas Eve service. It seemed to me that most grown-ups were stressed over Christmas and thankful when it was all over. It wasn’t until...

How To Be Hilariously Happy in Your Giving

How To Be Hilariously Happy in Your Giving

Read Time: 4 Minutes 17 Seconds The day after Thanksgiving is culturally called Black Friday, in the U.S. It marks the beginning of retail sales that could ensure a successful and profitable Christmas-gift-buying season. Black Friday In decades past, book-keepers...

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am About to Redeem the Times’

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am About to Redeem the Times’

Read Time: 3 Minutes 39 Seconds In corporate prayer the other day, I was in place of deep prayer and intercession when I heard in my spirit, "Redeem the times." As I continued to pray, I just kept hearing "Redeem the times" echo in my spirit. Then the Lord said, "I am...

Kingdom Economics: How Godly Traditions Convey Kingdom Truths

Kingdom Economics: How Godly Traditions Convey Kingdom Truths

Read Time: 3 Minutes 53 Seconds WalletHub estimates 97% of Americans celebrate Thanksgiving and were expected to spend $835 million on Thanksgiving turkeys for last week’s holiday. More than 50 million people were expected to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on...

The Hidden Antisemitism of Misappropriation of Scripture

The Hidden Antisemitism of Misappropriation of Scripture

Read Time: 4 Minutes 49 Seconds I know that what I am writing in my blog today will cause some people discomfort. Others will become angry and still others will choose to stop reading my blogs and articles. Yet, knowing that there is a danger of the above happening,...

Charisma Highlights: Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Charisma Highlights: Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Following are snippets of the top stories posted on charismamag.com over the past week. We encourage you to visit the links to read the stories in full. Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven? Is it possible that behind the pearly gates of heaven there are...

RECENT ARTICLES

Jonathan Cahn Reveals Latest Mystery That Lies Behind Wokeism in America

Is it possible that ancient entities known as the "gods" have returned to our world? Could they be the hidden agents transforming modern culture? Could the growing movement to curtail free speech in...
10 Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your family This Thanksgiving

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your family This Thanksgiving

This month we are entering a season which, in the United States, has been devoted to gratitude and thanksgiving for 400 years! While the Thanksgiving holiday has had a long and varied history within the United States, the practice of devoting sacrificial offerings,...

Don’t Let Ungratefulness Turn You Into a Spoiled American

Don’t Let Ungratefulness Turn You Into a Spoiled American

My frequent trips to developing nations always help me adjust my attitude. Just when I start to feel spoiled and entitled, I meet people from places like Congo, India and Honduras—and I realize just how blessed I am. This happened to me again last week during a trip...

The Power of Being Thankful

The Power of Being Thankful

One of the best ways to show God we love Him is to be thankful. When we express our deep gratitude to Him, it actually invites His presence onto our lives. Being thankful also neutralizes the enemy and brings victory into our situations no matter what the outcome....

Get Off Your Pew!

Get Off Your Pew!

As God’s clock inches closer to the final hour before His return, many people find themselves filled with angst, anxiety and despair. People are not sleeping well, many have fallen into depression and are feeling hopeless. These are the very days that we have been...

Pin It on Pinterest