A Dominican-American pastor leading a youthful church in a mostly-Hispanic New York City neighborhood said he is grateful to be a part of "the thing" he believes God has been doing through what he described as a surge of "sound and healthy" church plants in the Big City.
'Black Jesus,' Though Crude at Times, Is Honest and Accessible Portrayal of Christian Savior, According to Critics
"Black Jesus," a live-action comedy series airing on Adult Swim, drew swift condemnation before its premiere in early August. Some Christians blasted Aaron McGruder's satirical portrayal of their lord and savior as a weed-smoking, foul-mouthed black man living in Compton, California. They called "Black Jesus" blasphemous, disrespectful to African Americans, and just all around a bad idea. But others, who have viewed more than the trailer that sparked much of the hullabaloo, say "Black Jesus" is not all that bad — and certainly not worth mounting a boycott against.
TD Jakes, Perry Noble, Nick Vujicic and Jentezen Franklin Accept ALS 'Ice Bucket Challenge,' Call Out Rick Warren, Ed Young and Joel Osteen
T.D. Jakes, Perry Noble, Nick Vujicic and Jentezen Franklin were among the numerous participants of the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge" that's been sweeping online social networks. The stunt was being used to raise funds to support continued research into treating and curing Lou Gehrig's Disease.
9 Mars Hill Church Pastors 'Lovingly' Demand Mark Driscoll Step Down From Leadership, Quit All Ministry Work (Full Letter)
Nine current pastors at Mars Hill Church, the Seattle-based ministry led by Mark Driscoll, have written a letter to their fellow elders expressing their concerns and listing critical points of information regarding the "abusive and coercive" culture long fostered by their besieged senior pastor.
'Worship Wars' Have Died Down But Some Christians Are Focused on 'Coolness' Instead of Genuine Ministry
Fierce battles over whether classic hymns or contemporary tunes should be the linchpins of Christian worship may have subsided, but the arena is still messy, according to worship pastor and recording artist Lincoln Brewster. Some Christians are more excited about turning up for a concert than they are about getting to worship on time, he says from experience. Others have placed facilitating genuine God-connections on the back burner for the sake of being "cool."
American Bible Society Puts Tech Twist on Sidewalk 'Evangelism' With New Interactive Game (CP Video)
The American Bible Society's' stated mission is to engage people "with the life-changing message of God's Word," and the 200-year-old Christian nonprofit appears to be pulling out all the stops to stick to that mission. Its latest form of outreach is a new interactive "immersive experience" — a 3D game, dubbed "Dive In" that is supposed to turn players' minds to the condition of their heart.
Lecrae Speaks Out on #Ferguson: 'At Times it Feels Like My Eternal Family Could Care Less About My Earthly Family'
Lecrae, outspoken Christian and award-winning recording artist, has taken to his social networks to speak out on the frustration he feels in light of responses to the killing of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson. The rapper also has received pushback for suggesting that hip-hop artists lose credibility by rapping about "lawlessness" and then demanding "equality and justice."
Christians Playing it Too Safe? Chicago Megachurch Pastor Says Leaders Paralyzed by Fear, Unwilling to Stick Necks Out for Marginalized
Wilfredo De Jesus, pastor of a Chicago megachurch that oversees more than 130 ministries to the poor and disenfranchised, believes Christians in the U.S. have been playing it safe for far too long. He says many are unwilling to stick their necks out for the marginalized who are suffering in the cracks created by society's broken systems and abusive structures.
As the eyes of the nation and the world continue to focus on the St. Louis County suburb of Ferguson, where unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed by a police officer, Christians continue engaging the many issues raised by the controversial case in attempts to bring clarification, understanding and open dialogue.
An American pastor of a diverse congregation in Israel known to be targeted by anti-Christian vandals, reminded those in attendance at a recent Mideast prayer service that, according to the Bible, the Jewish people were chosen by God in special service to the world, and never designated as "the teacher's pet." He also called for Christians to be careful in jumping to judgement and picking sides in the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
'It's Simple...Our Aim Is to Lift Up the Name of Jesus,' Hillsong Music Ministry Leader Says of Secret to Church's Success
Australian megachurch Hillsong has influenced Christian worship far and wide, with its songs like "Mighty to Save" and "Awesome God" routinely belted out in churches around the world. The Pentecostal church's music ministry has proven so pivotal to modern Christian worship that its United brand is the subject of a new documentary and, along with Hillsong's other mainstays (UNITED and Young & Free), has racked up this year 10 GMA Dove Award nominations.
St. Louis Rapper Thi'sl Calls on Christian Church to Exemplify 'Racial Peace' Amid Ferguson Protests Over Fatal Shooting of Michael Brown
Christian rapper Thi'sl, a St. Louis, Missouri, native, knows firsthand about the racial tensions that have plagued his city for decades. It is that same dark cloud of racial unrest that overshadows the recent police killing of an 18-year-old black man in nearby Ferguson. Calling for justice while trumpeting a peaceful response, Thi'sl also says it is time for the church to step up and face the fact that U.S. Christianity has its own festering racial wounds that have long needed healing.
Christians Express Hurt, Shock, Words of Hope and Faith Amid Protests Over #MikeBrown Killing in #Ferguson
Since Michael Brown's Saturday, Aug. 9 killing by a police officer, Ferguson, Missouri, has been rocked by protests with the authorities turning out in force with assault rifles, dogs, tear gas and dressed in riot gear. Christians have been expressing shock, hurt and words of hope and encouragement amid days and nights of tumult that have been unfolding in startling images and videos before the nation.
United States and Iraqi forces have been delivering much needed aid to members of the Yazidi community in northern Iraq, and video footage of the scene at Mount Sinjar, where they have been hiding from rampaging ISIS militants, show them desperately storming helicopters to make an escape.
Michael Brown Killed by Cop After Physical Confrontation, Says Police Chief; Witnesses Claim Unarmed Teen Had Hands Up When Shot Several Times
Michael "Mike" Brown's limp and bloodied body was lying in the street of the housing complex where he was visiting his grandmother for several hours on Saturday, after the unarmed 18-year-old Missouri man was taken down by a series of bullets fired from a single police officer's gun.
What Happens When a Secular Rapper Gets Saved? MC Jin on Walking Out His Faith and the 'Spiritually Dark' Rap Industry (CP Video)
MC Jin recently shared his perspective on his journey as a Christian making his way in a faith-based market, after initially finding success nearly a decade ago in the secular industry as a freestyle battle rapper and the first Asian solo rapper to sign with a major record label.
Despite a recent rash of apologies from Mark Driscoll, the Acts 29 church-planting network he founded more than a decade ago has dismissed him and his Mars Hill Church from membership, citing complaints from other network pastors concerning the minister's divisive behavior. The Seattle-based pastor has been also asked to remove himself from ministry.
A recent post appearing on the Joel Osteen Ministries Facebook page suggests that a Bible passage commonly interpreted as God's invitation to the Messianic King was also applicable to believers. Amid an overwhelming number of "amens," however, there were a handful of people who insisted that the popular passage had been taken wildly out of context.
Freed Persecuted Christian Meriam Ibrahim All Smiles, Husband in Tears Amid Warm Welcome by Sudanese Community in New Hampshire (Photos)
Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Orthodox Christian who was nearly executed for her faith, was all smiles and her husband, Daniel Wani in tears, when they and their two young children finally arrived home Thursday night — in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Meriam Ibrahim, Daniel Wani and Children Leave Rome for US After Escaping Sudan; Persecuted Christian Family to Be Welcomed by Philadelphia Mayor
Meriam Ibrahim, her husband, Daniel Wani, and their two children will be greeted quietly Thursday afternoon by Philadelphia's Mayor Michael Nutter upon their arrival at the Philadelphia International Airport, in another leg of a harrowing persecution case that nearly resulted in the Orthodox Christian woman being executed for her faith by Sudanese authorities.
Lolo Jones Talks Finding Contentment in God After Years of Losing Hope in Answered Prayers; Bonds With Fans Over 'Frustrating' Loneliness
U.S. bobsledder and Olympic hurdler Lori "Lolo" Jones has shared openly of her struggles in prior years of trying to accomplish things by her own strength, instead of relying completely on God. "That exhausted me. It broke me," she confessed to fans, moving many of them to reveal their own struggles.
Hope Carpenter Repents, Apologizes to SC Megachurch for First Time Since Husband Ron Carpenter Revealed Marital Woes
Hope Hilley Carpenter, wife of Pastor Ron Carpenter, has addressed for the very first time their marital woes that were made public last year before the congregation she and her husband founded over 20 years ago. Mrs. Carpenter repented and apologized to members of Redemption World Outreach Center, but did not cite the specific sins or behavior she regards as stumbling blocks to her husband, family and church community.
Meriam Ibrahim's 'Heroic Witness to Virtues of Faith, Marriage and Motherhood' Praised in Open 'Thank You' Letter by Christian Woman
Meriam Ibrahim, arrested last August in Sudan and sentenced to death after being accused by family members of apostasy and adultery, was not only pressured to recant her Christian faith and thereby nullify her marriage, but was kept in shackles while giving birth to her second child in prison. At least one Christian woman, also from Africa, was lauding the 27-year-old's resilience, and thanking her for bearing "heroic witness to the virtues of faith, marriage, and motherhood."
Texas Man Finally Cleared of Rape After 12 Years in Prison Says His Faith Has Been Strengthened; 'My Father God Was Behind Everything'
A 57-year-old Texas man cleared this week of raping a teen girl in 1990 told reporters that he was only able to cope with being branded a guilty man because of his "father God," and expressed the conviction that God had been working behind the scenes all along to bring him justice.
Jeremy Lin Marks LA Lakers Debut by Feeding the Homeless; Says He Has Grown as a Christian and Will 'Play for God'
Jeremy Lin, formerly of the Houston Rockets, marked his introduction with the Los Angeles Lakers this week by joining a nonprofit ministry in feeding the homeless of the City of Angels' infamous Skid Row. He also delivered a message to Lakers fans, promising that he would play for God and play aggressively.