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Christian Union: The Magazine

Cultural Engagement

July 14, 2024

Culture and Current Religious Affiliation

Is Culture Reshaping Religious Affiliation and Freedom in America?

by Christian union, first published in 2021; edited and revised 2024

Religious freedom is an expectation and reality in our country, but with a major shift in the cultural understanding of identity, some experts argue that religious freedom may be evaporating before our eyes. In an article from Gospel Coalition Australia entitled "Has Religious Freedom Had Its Day," writer Akos Balogh examines the cultural changes that are quickly reshaping the freedom of the Church in the west. 

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July 12, 2024

Devotional: Lover of Money or People?

Aligning Our Hearts with the Heart of God 

by Christian union, first published in 2018; edited and revised 2024

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?"- Luke 16:9-11 (NIV)

It is no secret that the priorities of Jesus regularly riled up the religious leaders of His day. Jesus’ proclivity for welcoming the disreputable “sinners and tax collectors” into relationship and community became a particular target of their ire and scorn. The series of four parables in Luke 15:1-16:15 function in tandem to show Jesus’ radical inclusion and acceptance of such unbeloved people as deeply consonant with the shape of God’s coming kingdom in the world.

Luke 15:1-2 plays the set-up role for the four outrageous parables that follow, each building in dramatic intensity, in clarity of a scandalous message, and in subverting and violating what almost universally holds for common sense in a fallen world. The “therefore” in 15:3 indicates that the four stories illustrate why He “receives sinners and eats with them” in His home. Likewise, Luke 16:14-15 provides a climactic summary, gathering up the main point of the parables. It turns out that the Pharisees despise Jesus’ priorities because they are “lovers of money” and thus on the wrong side of the God’s purposes in creation—in spite of how they pose piously before human beings, masking their true motives for their abhorrence of such unclean sinners.

Yet it is only in the final parable that Jesus’ apology for His kingdom-shaped ministry appears in all of its shocking beauty. Strangely commended by the business owner he has just swindled (16:8), the dishonest steward’s motives and actions tend to confuse the reader. In what way does his behavior reflect Jesus’ ministry?  How are we supposed to imitate Him? Clearly, not in being greedy or dishonest over financial matters per se (we are to be “shrewd” like him (16:8), yet while being as innocent as doves, as in Matt. 10:16). Yet to stop there would be to miss the whole point.

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July 1, 2024

A Nationwide Call to Unite in Humility

Christian Union is Hosting a National Fast for America to Return to God

by Erin conner, writer and communications associate

Pew and Barna research showcases the multi-decade decline of Christian belief and practice in America among both strongly committed and marginally committed Christians. Projections indicate that 50 million people will be "lost" without reconciliation to God through Christ by 2050. America has suffered mass secularization in the last few decades resulting in an increase in disorder in America, from the highest levels of depression and anxiety on record since the Great Depression to a significant and measurable decrease in personal and societal health and stability. 

In response to this reality, Christian Union America will be holding a 14-day national fast from August 1 to August 14, 2024, that will emphasize the need for American Christians and the American people to turn to God. This initiative will urge Christians to fast and pray for our nation, for our nation's leaders to return to God, and for all Americans to heed the Lord's loving call to reconciliation, repentance, and obedience. 

Christian Union will provide all participants with a guide to fasting, an email devotional each day of the fast, an online community for participants, and a Bible reading plan. Participants will also be added to Christian Union's app, which is hosting a private group for this purpose. This online group will allow participants to connect with other like-minded Christians from the east to the west coast, share testimonies, and access additional resources such as videos and articles during the fast. 

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June 22, 2024

The Healing Hand of God in the Land of Fiji

A Reflection on the Healing Power of God in the Church Age

by Christian union, originally published in 2019

“…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 

– 2 Chronicles 7: 13, 14

One small hand slipped into mine. A second stealthy hand claimed my other hand. The young girls tugged me along the dirt path through the village, between small homes. Prayers and songs drifted from doorways. Cell phones served as our flashlights, guiding mysteps only; the girls were sure-footed as they pulled and nudged me along. From the sky, heavy with darkness, stars erupted. They dangled so seemingly low amid the lengthwise haze of the Milky Way I wondered if I might disentangle a hand, reach up, and snatch one, just one, drop it my pocket, to remember a sacred night in Vunibao, Fiji.


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June 5, 2024

When was the Last Nationwide Revival in America?

The Businessmen's Revival of 1857-58

by Christian union america

It was the “Great Century,” according to eminent church historian, Kenneth Scott Latourette, because of the unprecedented global growth of Christianity from 1800-1899. The gospel spread forcefully across the earth, and America was probably the greatest recipient and participant in God’s Kingdom advancement during that time. The “Great Century” began with the new country’s Second Great Awakening that lasted until approximately 1840. In the second half of the 1800s, the US was blessed with another nationwide move of God’s Spirit, the Businessmen's Revival of 1857-58.

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April 30, 2024

The Ultimate Disruptor

Bold University Ministry in America Featured on Canadian Show

by erin conner, writer and communications associate

The Perspective with Mike Sherbino is a ministry with a mission 1) to use television, social media, and radio as a primary way to communicate Christian values, insights and the hope of the gospel to Canada and beyond, 2) to talk about issues related to people's understanding of how faith in Jesus Christ can transform the way we live our lives, and 3) to use their platforms to push back against the secular agenda of our day and provide broadcast platforms for other like-minded ministries doing the same. 

The Perspective has enjoyed a substantial audience across Canada, as this show provides solutions for navigating life’s journey by unpacking scripture through the lens of culture, crisis, and current events.

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April 24, 2024

Love Your Enemies

Devotional from CU National Fast 2024: Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace of all Nations

By jason walsh, president of christian union universities

As I stood tall before a judge in a civil case, I waited for the judgment to be announced. I was prepared. I was confident the truth of my statements was sufficient. I knew I stood for what was right, but I was unwilling to look to my left at the individual I perceived as my enemy. Memories as a United States Marine during uniform inspections flashed through my mind. I had spent years standing tall while being inspected from head to toe. I prepared for these inspections to the point I’d be surprised if the inspecting Marine found anything incorrect, yet whispers of doubt had me wondering if I overlooked anything while I waited for the final judgment. But this wasn’t the Marine Corps. This wasn’t about my preparation. This involved a person acting as an enemy toward me. While everyone waited for a judgment to be spoken, I thought, "how could this person get away with false claims?” “How could this person be so deceiving?” “Did their lies convince the judge? “Does the truth matter?” “Would my enemy receive a just penalty?”  

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April 16, 2024

What is Christian Union?

A Ministry that Equips Tranformative Christian Leaders for Life

By Erin conner, writer and communications associate

Christian Union has been in the national spotlight for several weeks now. From magazine and newspaper articles, television interviews, a podcast appearance, a Worldwide Prayer Meeting at Yale with the Summit International School of Ministry that was live-streamed across multiple countries, and social media ads running from the west to the east coast of the U.S., many people in faith-based circles are asking, "What is Christian Union?" 

Christian Union is a leadership development ministry that works at ten of the nation's most influential educational institutions and beyond to develop and connect Christians to transform culture for God's glory. 

Christian Union (CU) is a unique ministry in that it meets a comprehensive set of needs in our nation's young adults:

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April 10, 2024

The Name of Jesus Lifted High at Yale

Christian Union Lux' Second Annual Worship and Prayer Event 

By erin conner, writer and communication associate 

Christian Union Lux is a spiritual force of light at Yale University by God's grace and power. A leader of this force is Reverend Jeffrey Walsh. Walsh is a retired U.S. Army Master Sergeant with over 23 years of experience as a Military Police Soldier, Educator, and National Director of Police. He is also an ordained Christian minister with a lifetime of experience in pastoral ministry. 

Walsh has served in various assignments and attachments worldwide with the U.S. Army National Guard Bureau, the 5th Special Forces Group, and the 169th Regional Training Institute. Jeffrey spent the last ten years in senior leadership positions. He has trained military leaders across North America in his former roles and Walsh's combat experience has earned him numerous service awards, including the Bronze Star Medal with Valor and four presidential unit awards. And for the last two years, Walsh has been training and ministering to students as the ministry director of Christian Union Lux at Yale. His passion for serving others stems from a personal journey of healing and transformation through the Spirit of God.

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March 28, 2024

Nothing is More Loving

Sharing Christ with an "Unreached People Group" at Cornell and Beyond

By Erin conner, writer and communications associate

While students and faculty were protesting in Ithaca's public spaces and headlines were raging with anger and allegations about attacks on freedom in The Cornell's Daily Sun, Christian Union (CU) Vita students were fixing their eyes on the Author and Finisher of their faith. These students recently surrendered their week of spring break to serve the Lord. They are not looking to the right or to the left; instead, they are gazing upon the beauty of the Lord, knowing He is the One who sustains them and keeps them from sinking into the surrounding culture of despair, as they share the Hope that they have in Jesus Christ with anyone who will listen.  

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March 18, 2024

Jesus Disrupts: 2024 Evangelism Campaign

CU Rise Set to "Disrupt" Spiritual Climate of U.S. Colleges

By erin conner, writer and communications associate 

In 2022, Christian Union first launched CU Rise, an evangelism campaign designed to share the gospel with students at nine of the nation’s most influential universities more boldly, strategically, and frequently than ever before. This month, Christian Union is at it again, as CU Rise takes form for the third spring in a row with its campaign entitled "Jesus Disrupts."

For eight weeks, starting March 17, the goal of CU Rise is to proclaim the gospel, disrupting the current spiritual climate at highly secular universities that produce a disproportionate amount of U.S. and global leaders. Matt Bennett, Founder and President of Christian Union, recently told the Christian Post that this theme was chosen “to introduce students to how radical Jesus is.”  

columbia students

The schools across the country that this campaign will focus on include Brown University of Rhode Island, Columbia University of New York, Cornell University of New York, Dartmouth College of New Hampshire, Harvard University of Massachusetts, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University of New Jersey, Yale University of Connecticut, and Stanford University of California.

“Students today at the nation’s most rigorous schools are largely unaware of the most important message in the history of humanity. Jesus Christ has brought more good into the world than any other person, and these students deserve to know, said Bennett. "Jesus is also the only one who can forgive sins and transfer us from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. We need to do everything we can to give these students the opportunity to believe in Him.”  

Read Christian Post's full article entitled "‘Jesus disrupts’: Christian Student Group to Launch 8-week Evangelism Tour" here

Read FaithWire's related article entitled, "Christian Leader's Sobering Comparision Between Communist China and Ivey League Campuses" here

View and share videos, testimonies, or articles from the CU Risecampaign that explain Christianity here

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March 17, 2024

Losing Our Religion

Washington Times Op-Ed on Secularization of Educational Institutions

By Erin conner, writer and communications associate

Sunday, March 17, 2024-- The Washington Times published an opinion article today by Matt Bennett, Founder and President of Christian Union, entitled "America's Founding Universities Lost Their Religion. Are They Worth Saving?" 

The article briefly discusses the histories of several educational institutions in America, such as Harvard, Cornell, Columbia, and Stanford. The article also presents a compelling claim that students at these institutions ought to know the fundamental truth upon which their schools were founded: Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and, through Him alone, humanity finds salvation and life.

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March 14, 2024

Alumnus Wins Congressional Primary

Former Student President Claims Victory in Texas Primary 

By Erin conner, writer and communications associate 

Leaders developed at Dartmouth shape the future of our country by determining what media gets disseminated, what laws get passed, and how major decisions get made. Dartmouth has produced influential figures, including author Dr. Seuss, beloved T.V. personality Fred Rogers, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and former central banker and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (ChristianUnion.org/Cornerstone/Vox). It seems another name of influence may soon be added to this list: Brandon Gill. 

Brandon Gill claimed victory in the GOP primary for the 26th district of Texas to replace U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, who is retiring after 21 years in Congress, according to the Dallas News. Gill received 58.4% of the vote and will now face Democrat Ernest Lineberger III in the November election.

Gill's Congressional webpage states, "I attended Dartmouth College and graduated cum laude with degrees in both Economics and History. I was President of the conservative paper, The Dartmouth Review. I was also President of Christian Union and grew it to be one of the largest student groups on campus, despite being on a campus hostile to the Christian faith. In college, I fought the left nonstop - on their own turf - and I left Dartmouth even more conservative than when I arrived."

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March 1, 2024

The Urgency of Evangelism: Inspiration from D.L. Moody

Christian Union Universities Proclaiming the Good News This Spring

By Tom Campisi, 2022, revised and edited by erin conner, 2024 

“What shall you do then with Jesus which is called Christ?”

That was the question posed by preacher Dwight Lyman Moody at his Illinois Street Church in Chicago on October 8, 1871. In the sermon, he paraphrased the question asked by Pontius Pilate in the Gospel of Matthew (27:22). Moody challenged the congregation to think about it during the week and return to church the following Sunday with an answer—would they crown Christ as Lord or, like Pilate and the misguided mob of that time, deny his supremacy? However, as Moody finished his sermon, a warning bell began to ring. The Great Chicago Fire was raging. There was no next week at his church, which burned to the ground like many of the buildings in the city.

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February 24, 2024

Christian Leadership in Media

Highlight: CU America Member, Carrie Sheffield 

By erin conner, writer and communications associate 

Carrie Sheffield, a Harvard alumna and a member of Christian Union America, is releasing a memoir this March entitled Motorhome Prophesies and launching a subsequent book tour across the U.S. 

Sheffield, a columnist and broadcaster in Washington, D.C., shares insights with millions of Americans on networks like CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, CBS News, CNBC, BBC, and more. From ABC’s Good Morning America to HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, PBS, and C-SPAN, she brings a voice of virtue to the American communications and media industry through boundless interviews for articles, appearances on television shows and podcasts, and at forums across the nation. Consequently, many Americans know the professional side of Carrie Sheffield's life. 

In her memoir, we learn about a different side of her life. The book's overview states, "Carrie Sheffield grew up the fifth of eight children with a violent, mentally ill, street-musician father who believed he was a modern-day Mormon prophet…She and her seven siblings were often forced to live as vagabonds, remaining on the move across the country. They frequently subsisted in sheds, tents, and, most notably, motorhomes. They often lived a dysfunctional drifter existence, camping out in their motorhome in Walmart parking lots. Carrie attended 17 public schools and homeschool, all while performing classical music on the streets… at times while child custody workers loomed…Carrie struggled with her mental health during college and for most of her adult life." 

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February 2, 2024

Please Join Us

Experience the Power of a CU Fire Retreat — without Leaving Your Town!

By Erin Conner, Writer and communications associate

What is the significance of meeting together in a community to seek the Lord? Why are followers of Christ encouraged in the New Testament to "not give up meeting together?" (Hebrews 10: 25). 

Throughout the Scriptures, we find patterns of regularly seeking God in community with others. For example, daily morning and evening gatherings when the sun rises and the sun sets are found in Numbers 28:1-8. Weekly meetings are held Sunday (originally Saturday) in Exodus 20:8-11; Leviticus 23:3; Numbers 28:9, 10; Deuteronomy 5:12-15 and in the first century Church, as recorded in Acts. Monthly or "new moon” gatherings are found in Numbers 28:11-15, and annual special gatherings are held several times per year, especially with seven-day gatherings every six months in the spring and the fall, as shown in Leviticus 23:1-44. 

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January 11, 2024

A Princetonian Call to Action

Alumni Spotlight: Kenneth Jasko, '78, Chair of CU Nova Alumni Board

By Erin Conner 

On Sunday, January 21, at 5 pm EST, the Christian Union Nova Alumni Board is leading their quarterly virtual meeting for alumni and friends of the ministry via Zoom. Campus updates and student testimonies will be shared to take a closer look at how God is working at Princeton through Christian Union Nova's student leadership ministry.  

The CU Nova Board is a team of Princeton Christian alumni who desire to see the Gospel of Christ shine brightly at Princeton University and who seek sweeping spiritual transformation for its students, staff, and faculty. Kenneth Jasko, '78, Mike Vincent, '10, Vince Naman, '82, Edward (Ted) Duffield, '58,  Tiffany Agyarko, '23, and Betsy Salazar, '10, currently serve on the Board and are committed to furthering the development of programs focused on alumni, as well as furthering the following objectives: advancing God's work at Princeton University, transitioning graduates well, and developing Christian leaders to influence our nation for God's glory, helping to bring revival.

Ken Jasko, the Board's Chair, invites all interested Princeton alumni to join this movement.  

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December 27, 2023

Joy and Sorrow

Following the Word, Not the World in the New Year

By Erin Conner

Joy and suffering can coexist. The Apostle Paul's example, along with many other godly leaders in Scripture, illuminates that when one surrenders a worldly mindset for a godly one, he or she can indeed experience the joy of the Lord, even in the midst of sorrow. This life-giving principle is a timely one to recall during the holidays, when a palpable expectation exists for everything to be abundantly joyous and when many people are carrying a heavy sorrow in their hearts. "When Your Heart Goes Dark," a recent article in Desiring God written by Greg Morse, powerfully explores how a Christian can have hope and joy in suffering. The antidote is to fix one's thoughts on God, for it is the thought-life of man that dictates the state of our soul. 

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December 15, 2023

A Christmas Message and Invite

Christian Union America 2023

By chuck hetzler, phd, vice president of biblical theology

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!'” –Luke 2:13-14

Can you imagine the shock and amazement the shepherds must have felt when, out of nowhere, a throng of mighty angels appeared, filling the night’s sky with God’s praise? What a glorious spectacle that must have been when Jesus’ coming was announced! 

Think about His second coming! Heaven will once again break into earth. Without warning, the Lord Jesus will visit humanity once again, but this time in the fullness of His majestic splendor! 

On this Christmas at CU America, we pray that you and yours will be those who have "loved His appearing” and are “hastening the coming of the day of God” in lives of holiness and godliness (2 Timothy 4:8; 2 Peter 3:11-12). 

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December 14, 2023

A Plentiful Harvest

Stanford Student-Leaders Labor in Love

By annalisa lim, '24, vice-president of christian union caritas 

And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. -Matthew 9:35-38  

In the Santa Cruz mountains of California, six Christian Union Caritas leaders gathered in preparation for the freshman campaign. We delved into the book of Matthew, using the ministry of Jesus to guide our own in the upcoming fall quarter. I recall coming across the words, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few,” and Susan, one of our ministry fellows, highlighting the significance of this passage: it is a promise that God could use us six students to gather the harvest on a campus yearning for Christ. It was also a prayer for more laborers; after all, Christ had radically transformed lives through the faithfulness of His twelve apostles. 

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