24/7 prayer and night club worship meets the world’s party capital

If you’ve read Pete Greig’s Red Moon Rising you would remember his descriptions of taking 24/7 Prayer Rooms to the clubbing districts of Europe to bring prayer, love and outreach to the thousands of young clubbers.

smh.tv has just released a documentary, God Bless Ibiza, which follows a group of young British Christians as they head to the Spanish clubbing hotspot of Ibiza. One website describes Ibiza as the ‘undisputed party capital of the world.’

The promo for the documentary reads: ‘Young, hip and radical, the team are a far cry from the sandaled missionaries of yester-year. They’re more at home in a club than a church, dance tracks are their hymns and they invoke the Holy Spirit in clubs with quasi-spiritual names like Godskitchen, Eden and Ascension. Whilst they have no problem hanging out with clubbers high on E, the team themselves have all sworn off drugs, alcohol and sex and say they get their kicks instead from supernatural experiences of God.’

If you are used to Christians copping it in the media, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this documentary, not only for the in-depth and positive treatment the 24/7 outreach team is given, but by the groups faith and action. Prayer-walking, creative prayer spaces, worship in night clubs and genuine Christianity without a hint of religiosity.

Check out this nearly 40-minute online documentary and share it around.

Tebowing may yet be a word in Australia too

Tim TebowUS media commentary has been prolific for some time regarding  Denver Bronco quarterback Tim Tebow and now is nudging its way into Australian newspaper columns.

Fairfax papers’ such as The Age in Melbourne today reported how ‘America fawns over God’s anointed NFL star’ but even well-known Australian religious cynicism put barely a dent in the 24-year-old Christian grid-iron player’s almost miraculous aura.

The article describes how Tebow’s remarkable run of last quarter comeback wins even over more fancied rivals has captured the imagination of football and faith fans alike. Says The Age:

“Even Americans who have never tuned in for a Sunday afternoon game have come to admire Tebow’s humble demeanour and his religious devotion, which they say makes him an ideal role model for youngsters.

Some have been disarmed by his matinee idol looks and ripped physique. Others see him as a potent anti-abortion symbol, after hearing the now familiar story of how his mother had refused, against her doctors’ advice, to terminate her pregnancy while carrying “Timmy.” She now is one of America’s most vocal pro-life advocates.

But real superstardom for Tebow has come because of his exploits on the gridiron.”

And then there is Tebow’s typical after-touchdown celebration which sees him drop to one knee, eyes closed and head bowed in prayerful thanks. The pose has been dubbed ‘tebowing’ and while hearing American stars give thanks to God is commonplace (even those whose lifestyles belies any hint of an interest in God) Tebow’s is undoubtedly sincere and is catching on fast. Continue reading

Speaking in tongues comes to ABC news

Speaking in tongues has finally come to ABC News as journalist Amy Simmons investigates why Pentecostalism is “attracting the Sunday masses” and examines the rise of Pentecostalism in a separate story.

The article covers some familiar territory – it seems each new generation of journalist keeps “discovering” the non-traditional traits that have made the Pentecostals the fastest growing Christian movement across the globe in the past century. 

There’s plenty in the article to allow people to make up their own minds about Pentecostal churches and some areas of belief such as healing and speaking in tongues.

Of course, most Pentecostals would rightly point to Jesus as being at the centre of their beliefs and that without a clear understanding of and vital relationship with the Son of God, then the other elements of faith are worthless.

Academic Associate Professor Rick Strelan of the University of Queensland is called on to deliver the “objective expert” view and is reasonable in most of his comments, which is noteworthy in that Pentecostals are not overly accustomed to having their faith and practice discussed in a reasonable way. Continue reading

How to handle Halloween and engage with our culture

Just as Christmas is one of the rare occasions (other than the deliverance of Chilean miners) when there is public reference to Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit and angels, so too Halloween is increasingly a time for the mention of demons, spirits and the devil.

Whether it is small boys wandering supermarkets with the devil’s pitchfork, as I ponderously witnessed last week, or  a television weather presenter claiming to be surrounded with demons and spirits, Halloween is to the Christian an unnerving public foray into the dark side of the supernatural.

Most know little of Halloween’s history – how the church long ago sought to supplant a Celtic pagan festival that honoured the dead with a festival to remember the saints – All Hallow’s Day (preceded by All Hallow’s Eve – Hallowe’en). The battle for the spiritual heart of the occasion is still up for grabs. Continue reading

Confronting comfort

Comfort: – verb 1. to soothe, console, or reassure; bring cheer to. 2. to make physically comfortable. 3. to aid; support or encourage.

To truly bring comfort to the discomforted, we are almost certain to be rendered uncomfortable. No wonder the Holy Spirit is called the Comforter. Rather than comfort ourselves, we comfort others making room for the Spirit to comfort us with an everlasting comfort. PH