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‘McFarland USA’ Is the Prophetic Voice the Immigration Reform Debate Needs

Seated behind an elderly Mexican American couple, my wife and I stood moved and motivated as we watched Kevin Costner’s latest movie, “McFarland U.S.A.” The story of immigrant young men, who worked in the fields picking fruits and vegetables in addition to attending High School and running in cross country competitions, re-ignited our commitment to immigration reform.

With discretion so as to not reveal the ending of this true story, the film confirmed for me a simple truth: that in spite of recent actions and inaction by our elected officials, the issues surrounding our nation’s immigration policies will not go away. Immigration reform is, at the risk of sounding overly optimistic, inevitable. A powerful and transformative assurance of this inevitability exists, what I call the “prophetic imperative.”

This biblically based impetus has solidified in the hearts of the emerging Christ-following generation as the following truths: that silence is not an option, truth must never be sacrificed on the altar of expediency and today’s complacency is tomorrow’s captivity.

In other words, how can we be so certain that immigration reform will take place? Simply stated, as long as God’s word lives, Matthew 25 stands preached, and God’s Spirit moves convicting us to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly before him. Immigration reform will take place because the Bible-believing evangelical community understands that the future of American Christianity lies in how to serve the fastest growing segment of our churches: the immigrant community.

How can I come to such conclusions on the heels of an attempt by Congress to defund the President’s executive action expanding deferment to approximately 5 million additional undocumented, hard working individuals created in God’s image? Simply stated, from a practical standpoint, immigration reform will inevitably take place because — by all accounts, including acquiescence by the most animated opponents of reform — mass deportation will not and can never happen.

Furthermore, America’s political landscape assures us that immigration reform will take place because without it, Republicans will never acquire the necessary 32 to 35 percent of the Latino vote necessary to retake Pennsylvania Avenue. In essence, the party of Lincoln and Reagan must cross the Jordan of immigration reform in order to enter the promise land of America’s Hispanic American electorate.

At the end of the day the immigrant community, so beautifully depicted in “McFarland U.S.A.,” reveal to us all the certainty that these hard-working, God loving, family-embracing individuals stand poised to enrich the collective American experience.

As the film came to an end, my wife nudged me and pointed to an elderly Mexican American man in front of us who was quietly weeping while on the screen the immigrant teens sang the national anthem. For his sake, and for Americans, I still believe that one day the challenges our current immigration policies pose will be reformed, and the following biblical truth will be affirmed: what we sow in tears we will reap with joy.

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2015 International Pastors & Leadership Conference!


As a charismatic leader, visionary, provocative thinker, entrepreneur and best-selling author, Bishop T.D. Jakes brings a bold, honest, heartfelt and personal perspective to real-world issues through powerful conferences and a plethora of candid sermons while training the next wave of leaders to assume their roles in the Kingdom. There is no place better to be initiated into the next move of God and obtain awesome instruction than at the 2015 International Pastors & Leadership Conference, happening April 30—May 2 in Orlando, Florida!

The challenging task God has assigned you requires you to have vision beyond the familiar boundaries of your life. Therefore, this year’s P&L Conference has been aptly themed Build Locally, Think Globally! Innovators, Trailblazers, Pastors and Entrepreneurs, the world is ripe for the taking for Kingdom-Children! Receive encouragement as you are armed with the necessary tools and techniques to take your organization or church to a global level at the 2015 International Pastors & Leadership Conference!

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General Session Speakers Announced for Empowered21 Global Congress in Jerusalem

Contact: Jeremy Burton, Oral Roberts University, 918-495-6649

TULSA, Okla., March 11, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — The Empowered21 Global Congress is shaping up to be one of the largest gatherings of Spirit-empowered leaders in Jerusalem. Most recently, E.A. Adeboye and Jack Hayford were named among the more than 130 confirmed speakers. The general session speakers will include Adeboye, Reinhard Bonnke, Christine Caine, Claudio Freidzon, Jentezen Franklin, Hayford, Wayne Hilsden, Daniel Kolenda, Niko Njotorahardjo, Samuel Rodriguez, Tim Ross, Dr. William M. Wilson and Dr. George Wood. These teachers and leaders from the global Spirit-empowered movement will share practical spiritual insights with attendees. Attendees can register at www.jerusalem2015.com.

“We are humbled that these men and women of God are joining the global Spirit-empowered community in Jerusalem as we learn, worship and seek the Lord together,” said Wilson, Empowered21 president and global co-chair. “We are urging all Christians who believe in the importance of being empowered by the Holy Spirit to join us in the Holy Land. This event has the potential to create waves of change around the planet for the Kingdom of God.”

The Jerusalem 2015 Global Congress is a call to all believers from around the world to celebrate Pentecost in the land of Pentecost. The event will attract Spirit-empowered Christians from every continent to Jerusalem during the week of Pentecost to unite in faith for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Adeboye is the General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God. In 1998, he held a Holy Ghost Festival in Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria and more than 7 million people were in attendance as confirmed by the CNN aerial satellite. This event transformed into the Holy Ghost Congress and has grown in the number of attendees each year. Newsweek named him one of the Fifty Most Influential People In The World in 2009.

Bonnke is the founder of Christ for All Nations, which currently has offices in the United States, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, Nigeria, South Africa, Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong. The ministry has recorded 55 million documented decisions for Jesus Christ since 2000. Bonnke has spent the past several years developing the “Full Flame Film Series,” a series of eight inspirational films aimed at inspiring and challenging the church to Holy Spirit evangelism.

Caine travels the globe preaching, teaching and advocating for justice. She has authored five books, including Undaunted and her most recent release, UNSTOPPABLE: Running the Race You Were Born to Win. Caine and her husband, Nick, have also founded The A21 Campaign, an anti-human trafficking organization that fights slavery around the globe.

Freidzon’s ministry is well-known for powerful manifestations of the Holy Spirit through signs and wonders. Through crusades and conferences, Freidzon has ministered to more than 2.5 million people on five continents. He is the author of the book Holy Spirit, I Hunger for You, which has been translated into nine languages; From Glory to Glory, daily reflections; Treasure in Jars of Clay, and Rendido totalmente (Totally Surrendered).

Franklin is the Senior Pastor of Free Chapel, a multi-campus church with a global reach. His messages impact multiple generations through various outreaches and his televised broadcast, “Kingdom Connection.” Franklin is also a New York Times best-selling author and he speaks at conferences worldwide.

Hayford serves as Chancellor of The Kings University (formerly The King’s College and Seminary) in Los Angeles and Dallas, which he founded in 1997. From 2004 to 2009, he also served as President of The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. He is probably best known, however, as “Pastor Jack,” founding pastor of The Church On The Way in Van Nuys, California, where he served as senior pastor for more than three decades. A prolific and best-selling writer, Hayford is the author (or co-author) of more than 50 books and has composed 500 hymns and choruses, including the internationally-known and widely-recorded “Majesty.”

Hilsden has served as lead pastor of King of Kings Community in Jerusalem, Israel since 1983. King of Kings Community has launched several ministries in Israel, including Israel College of the Bible, The Jerusalem Prayer Tower, King’s School of Media and Jerusalem Pavilion Worship and Conference Center. Before moving to Israel, he and his wife, Ann, served as pastors, taught at a bible college and worked in TV and music ministry.

Kolenda is the president and CEO of Christ for All Nations and a modern missionary evangelist who has led more than 10 million people to Christ through massive open-air evangelistic campaigns in some of the most remote locations on earth. He has spent many years of ministry side-by-side his mentor and spiritual father evangelist, Bonnke. Together, they have circled the globe preaching the Gospel and continue to do so as a single-minded team with great effectiveness.

Njotorahardjo is the Senior Pastor of GBI Jl Gatot Subroto and has a passion to see the Holy Spirit overtake the region of Asia. He is the founder and president of Healing Movement Ministries in Asia. Njotorahardjo is Co-Chair for Empowered21 Asia and on the cutting edge of the Spirit-empowered movement.

Rodriguez is the Senior Pastor of New Season Christian Worship Center in Sacramento, California. He provides oversight and leadership to over 34,200 churches in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Rodriguez is also the President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, America’s largest Hispanic Christian and Evangelical organization. He is the author of The Lamb’s Agenda and Path of Miracles.

Ross is an Executive Pastor at Gateway Church, a multi-campus, evangelistic, Spirit-empowered church in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Ross speaks both nationally and internationally, strengthening believers with the Good News of Jesus Christ. His dynamic teaching style and uncanny ability to make people understand the gospel message is the reason why he has been such an asset to ministries across cultural and denominational lines.

Wilson is the fourth president of Oral Roberts University, the President and Global Co-Chair of Empowered21 and host of “Voice of Salvation Ministries Presents World Impact with Dr. Billy Wilson.” His TV program has inspired and empowered viewers from a biblical worldview in 170 nations and in five languages. Additionally, Wilson is a renowned speaker and author, writing several books including Father Cry, Foundations of Faith and Fasting Forward.

Wood serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Assemblies of God. As general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, USA, he is a member of the denomination’s Executive Leadership Team and Executive Presbytery. The church has over 12,700 congregations in the United States with over three million members and adherents. The U.S. Assemblies of God is part of a larger World Assemblies of God fellowship with a membership of over 66 million. Wood also serves as chairman of the World Assemblies of God Fellowship, as well as the global co-chair for Empowered21.

You can find the full list of speakers at www.jerusalem2015.com.

The Jerusalem 2015 Global Congress will be a pivotal event that will begin with a grand opening celebration in the Pais Arena on Wednesday, May 20, 2015. The next day will feature general sessions and focused tracks including: “Next Gen Trending, Values and Ministry,” “How to Pray and Intercede Effectively,” “Prophecy and the End Times,” “Scholars Gathering and Paper Presentation,” “Signs, Wonders and Healing,” “The Effective Evangelist,” “Spirit-empowered Discipleship,” “Exploring the land of Pentecost,” “Business Leadership God’s Way,” “The 21st Century Church: Leading, Planting and Prospering,” “Happening Now: The Book of Acts,” “True Religion: Compassion,” “Leading Effective Praise and Worship,” “How Shall We Talk Between Cultures?,” “The Word of the Hour,” “Israel and the Church Today,” “Your Sons and Daughters,” “Communicating the Word: Publishing, Media and the Arts,” “Media: Creating and Producing Effective Television Media.”

On Friday, May 22, an outdoor worship event will be held in Manger Square in Bethlehem. Bonnke and Kolenda will be the feature speakers. This will be a time of praise, prayer and preaching focused on the coming of Jesus in Bethlehem.

There will be a special service on Saturday, May 23, at the Jordan River at the spot where it is believed that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. This part of the river also narrowly divides the nations of Israel and Jordan. Christians will gather on both sides of the river to pray and worship God together in unity.

Also, on this day and other points in the week, Empowered21 and Convoy of Hope are partnering together for “Hope in the Holy Land.” “Hope in the Holy Land” is an outreach created to show love and appreciation for those who reside in the region.

Sunday, May 24, attendees will spend the entire day in continuous worship and prayer at several points around the city of Jerusalem including the King of Kings Community.

The Global Congress will end Sunday night in a grand Pentecost celebration at the Jerusalem Arena. This will be a special impartation service for the next generation and everyone seeking the power of the Holy Spirit to reach the world for Jesus Christ.

Individuals can register for the Global Congress online atwww.jerusalem2015.com or by phone at 855-890-0676. Individuals can get $100 off by using the code EMPOWER1 through the end of March. Groups will get an 11th person free for every 10 people registered. Church groups of 25 or more can get special rates by emailing E21@sareltours.com.

Jerusalem 2015 Global Congress Partners include Charisma Media, My Healthy Church, Trinity Broadcasting Network, Museum of the Bible, Integrity Music, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) and the700 Club, David C Cook, 100 Huntley Street, the Bible App for Kids, Bridges for Peace, Oral Roberts University, Gateway Church, GEB America, Christ for the Nations, The Hayford Institute, Convoy of Hope and Sar-El Tours.

About Empowered21
Empowered21 aims to help shape the future of the global Spirit-empowered movement throughout the world by focusing on crucial issues facing the movement and connecting generations for intergenerational blessing and impartation. Their vision is that every person on Earth would have an authentic encounter with Jesus Christ through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit by Pentecost 2033. Get more information at www.empowered21.com. Registration is open for the Empowered21 Global Congress to be held May 20-25, 2015 in Jerusalem. Empowered21 is a Kingdom initiative served by Oral Roberts University, 

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Even in religion, America offers more choice

AS MANY AS 600,000 American Latinos “defect” from Roman Catholicism to Protestant churches each year, according to Andrew Greeley, a scholar of religion. Most join Pentecostal and evangelical churches. The journey can be stressful, concedes Jesse Miranda, a Latino Pentecostal elder statesman. Not long ago he was approached by a Hispanic congregant who had left the Catholic church a year earlier. She anxiously asked: “But where is Jesus on the cross?” Ah, in our church, Christ is risen, Mr Miranda explained.

The difference goes beyond theology, suggests Mr Miranda, who is based in Los Angeles, home to almost 5m Catholics, some 70% of whom are Hispanic. He describes a Catholic church with a reverence for suffering, linked to the deep “fatalism” of a Latin American continent conquered by the Spanish crown: “The more Latino you are, the more you carry Jesus on the cross.” Yet, he points out, migrants do not move to another country to suffer, they move for a better life.

The point is made more bluntly by Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, an umbrella body for more than 40,000 Pentecostal and evangelical Latino churches in America and Puerto Rico. The Catholic church in Latin America is “an extension of the bureaucratic state”, he charges, and offers only indirect access to God through the Virgin Mary and the priesthood. Worse, Catholics are told that salvation awaits in another life—and in the meantime, blessed are the poor. In contrast, evangelical churches offer a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, leading to a blessed life here and now. “You get to America, the land of milk and honey, and you get to choose,” says Mr Rodriguez, a dapper figure in a well-cut blazer and aviator sunglasses.

Hispanic Catholics cheered the election of Pope Francis, an Argentine. The new pope has welcomed the rise of Charismatic Catholicism, which marries traditional theology with services that may include Hispanic rock music, faith-healing and in some cases speaking in tongues. But Charismatic services are merely a bridge to even more defections, declares Mr Rodriguez. “If you are involved in a Charismatic service today, in ten years’ time—inevitably—you are going to end up in one of my churches.”

The power of prayer

Surveys suggest that at least one in six Hispanic adults in America is an evangelical Protestant, meaning that this subset on its own outnumbers Jewish-Americans. Another one in six Hispanics says he has no religious affiliation. Such numbers are of keen interest to politicians as well as priests. Republicans have long seen Protestant Latinos, notably those who speak English, as likelier allies than Hispanic Catholics, who are regarded as steeped in Latin American traditions of “social justice” and sceptical of free-market capitalism.

During their presidencies, both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush wooed Mr Miranda with invitations to White House meetings and faith-based policy groups. In 2009 Mr Rodriguez was one of a group of pastors invited to pray with President Barack Obama on the morning of his inauguration, though (in keeping with his conviction that Latino evangelicals should not be owned by either party) he also delivered an opening benediction at the Republican National Convention in 2012.

Exit polls suggest that Hispanic Protestants are that rarest of political animals, a presidential swing electorate. They twice voted for Mr Clinton, then for Al Gore in 2000, then switched to the Republicans to support Mr Bush in 2004 before swinging back to Mr Obama in 2008 and 2012—mostly on the strength of his promises to bring undocumented immigrants out of the shadows. Latino evangelicals are sternly anti-abortion but want immigration reform (and are cross with Mr Obama for doing too little), says Mr Rodriguez. They believe in government safety nets, but only on a modest scale.

On the ground, cultural differences are more obvious than any ideological divide. A Pentecostal service at the Assemblies of God Ebenezer Temple, in a gritty corner of south Los Angeles, stands out for its intensity and simplicity. Church members take turns to lead stripped-down, repetitive chants of praise, to the backing of a loud guitar band and occasional blasts on a ram’s horn from a man in the congregation. Catholic services on the far side of the city, at the St Catherine of Siena church in Reseda, are not stuffy, but they do feel a bit more demanding. The readings on a recent Sunday deliver a stern message about fornication, and worshippers recite the familiar, lengthy prayers of the Mass. The church is packed with Hispanics, including scores of scampering children.

What St Catherine’s offers most powerfully is a link to home for the congregation. On this particular Sunday a special evening Mass is devoted to a feast day from Guatemala, drawing a large Central American crowd in holiday mood. As old women in folk costumes dance alongside young toughs with elaborately gelled quiffs, incense swirls and babies cry in pushchairs, California seems a long way away.

But it is the America waiting outside that most worries the Catholic priests charged with keeping up the numbers. Father Ed Benioff is director of an Office of New Evangelisation for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, founded in 2013 to woo wavering worshippers, especially younger ones. He finds young Latinos steeped in impatient American dreams of individual success. Father Ed is pinning his hopes on the example of Pope Francis, offering the millennials—the age group now in their teens to early 30s—a meaningful life by serving others. But he is only cautiously optimistic. “I couldn’t care less about Protestants. That’s not the enemy,” he says. “The enemy is secularism.”

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Plurality Nation: The Possibility of No Racial or Ethnic Majority

Plurality Nation: The Possibility of No Racial or Ethnic Majority

Heather Sells

The U.S. Census Bureau is projecting a very diverse population in the years ahead. In its latest analysis, it forecasts that by 2044 the U.S. will become a plurality nation.

The bureau explains “while the non-Hispanic White alone population will still be the largest, no race or ethnic group is projected to have greater than a 50 percent share of the nation’s total.”

The changes are coming even sooner for children. The bureau says that by 2020, more than half (50.2 percent) of those under 18 will be nonwhite.

Newsroom Talk spoke with Dr. Carlos Campo, who is the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference’s Chair of the Alliance for Hispanic Education, about the projected changes and how they could impact the church, education, and politics.

Here are some of our thoughts on this shift in the cultural fabric of our nation:

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NHCLC/CONEL President Urges Pastors to Discuss Biblical Perspective on Immigration Reform

NHCLC/CONEL President Urges Pastors to Discuss Biblical Perspective on Immigration Reform Dr. Rodriguez Available to Discuss New Study Showing Evangelical Christians are Ready for a Solution SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — What: Evangelicals support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants living in the United States according to a new LifeWay Research study, but they do not associate their opinions with their faith. To help evangelicals better understand the Biblical perspective, Dr. Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference/CONEL (NHCLC/CONEL), is encouraging pastors to preach on the issue of a biblical response to immigration. “God cares more about people than immigration reform. First and foremost, immigrants are created in the image of God, and we have a responsibility to love and care for them,” said Rodriguez. “Immigration reform is necessary to heal our communities and usher in peace and promote righteousness and justice.” In its recent study, LifeWay Researchers asked evangelicals to list which factor has most influenced their beliefs about immigration. Approximately 12 percent chose the Bible, and only 2 percent named their church. Two-thirds of evangelicals say their church has never encouraged them to reach out to immigrants. The study did find that evangelicals are interested in what their faith says on immigration reform. Two-thirds (68 percent) say they would value hearing a sermon about the Bible’s views on immigration. “It is important for Christians to associate their faith with their political beliefs. I encourage pastors to take on subjects like immigration reform, offering biblical truths on hot-button issues,” said Rodriguez. Who: Dr. Samuel Rodriguez is the president of the NHCLC/CONEL, the largest Hispanic Christian organization serving as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches and another 500,000 congregations spread throughout the Spanish-speaking community. Where: In studio, by Skype or by phone. Details: NHCLC/CONEL Seeks to reconcile evangelist Billy Graham’s message of salvation with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s march of prophetic activism, the NHCLC/CONEL emphasizes “7 Directives” of Life, Family, Compassionate Evangelism, Stewardship, Justice, Education and Youth. For additional information, visit http://www.nhclc.org. Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120912/CL72800LOGO To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nhclcconel-president-urges-pastors-to-discuss-biblical-perspective-on-immigration

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El presidente de la NHCLC/CONEL urge a los pastores a discutir la perspectiva bíblica sobre la reforma inmigratoria

SACRAMENTO, California, 16 de marzo de 2015 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Qué: Los evangélicos apoyan un camino a la ciudadanía para los inmigrantes ilegales que viven en los Estados Unidos, según un nuevo estudio de LifeWay Research, pero no asocian sus opiniones con su fe. Para ayudar a los evangélicos a entender mejor la perspectiva bíblica, el Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, presidente de la Conferencia Nacional de Liderazgo Cristiano Hispano/CONEL (NHCLC/CONEL), alienta a los pastores a predicar sobre el tema de una respuesta bíblica a la inmigración. Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120912/CL72800LOGO “A Dios le importa más la gente que la reforma inmigratoria. Primero y principal, los inmigrantes fueron creados a imagen y semejanza de Dios y tenemos la responsabilidad de amarlos y cuidarlos”, señaló Rodriguez. “La reforma inmigratoria es necesaria para sanar a nuestras comunidades, traer paz y promover la rectitud y la justicia”. En su estudio reciente, los investigadores de LifeWay Research le pidieron a los evangélicos que enumeren qué factores han influenciado más sus creencias sobre la inmigración. Aproximadamente el 12 por ciento eligió la Biblia y solo el 2 por ciento señaló a su iglesia. Dos tercios de los evangélicos dicen que la iglesia nunca los ha alentado a acercarse a los inmigrantes. El estudio sí encontró que los evangélicos están interesados en qué dice su fe sobre la reforma inmigratoria. Dos tercios (68 por ciento) dijeron que valorarían escuchar un sermón sobre las perspectivas de la Biblia sobre la inmigración. “Es importante para los cristianos asociar su fe con sus opiniones políticas. Aliento a los pastores a abordar temas como la reforma inmigratoria, ofreciendo verdades bíblicas sobre asuntos polémicos”, afirmó Rodriguez. Quién: El Dr. Samuel Rodriguez es el presidente de la NHCLC/CONEL, la mayor organización cristiana hispana que es una voz representativa para los más de 100 millones de evangélicos hispanos reunidos en más de 40,000 iglesias en los EE. UU. y otras 500,000 congregaciones distribuidas por toda la comunidad hispanohablante. Dónde: En el estudio, por Skype o por teléfono. Detalles: La NHCLC/CONEL busca reconciliar el mensaje de salvación del evangelista Billy Graham con la marcha de activismo profético del Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. La NHCLC/CONEL enfatiza las “7 Directivas” de Vida, Familia, Evangelismo Compasivo, Mayordomía, Justicia, Educación y Juventud. Para obtener más información, visite http://www.nhclc.org. FUENTE National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference/CONEL SOURCE National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference/CONEL

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Faith Leaders Seek to Bridge Education, Minority Gap

Faith leaders are meeting in Atlanta this week to discuss church strategies to promote education among minority youth.

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), and Elder Bernice King, CEO of the King Center and daughter of the late Martin Luther King, led the sessions on behalf of the NHCLC’s Faith and Education Coalition.

The two spoke to CBN’s Heather Sells about how churches can encourage educational opportunity and equity in urban and minority communities.


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EN: www.nhclc.org CON EL CODIGO NHCLC15
LUGAR: Crown Plaza Houston, 8686 Kirby Drive, Houston, Texas 77054
Informes 1-800-227-6963

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