Last month, a professor and former dean of theology who changed gender identities argued that the Bible defends those who renounce their birth gender, while a leading biblical expert on homosexuality said it condemns them as an "abomination."
"I was dying last year because I couldn't live that way anymore. .. I tried to be the best Christian woman I could be and today I get to be the best Christian I can be and the best person I can be," Heather Ann Clements, former head of the theology department at Azusa Pacific University (APU) in Los Angeles, Calif., said in a sermon proposing a biblical defense of transgender identity. During that sermon, he came out as a transgender man, Heath Adam Ackley. Embracing his identity as a man, he claimed it empowered him to love God and others more.
"The writers of Scripture viewed any attempts at overriding one's birth-sex as abhorrent, a sacrilege against the structures of maleness or femaleness created by God, and ultimately a rebellion against the Creator who made our bodies," retorted Robert A. J. Gagnon, an associate professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary who is considered the foremost expert on the Bible and homosexuality. Gagnon addressed Ackley's arguments head on. more >>
An associate pastor in California has been arrested and accused of molesting as many as 20 female church members in the past eight years.
Jorge Juan Castro, 54, worked as an associate pastor and counselor at Las Buenas Nuevas Church in Norwalk, Ca. In April, he was placed on leave after 20 women reported sexual abuse to a church official, who in turn reported it to police.
Castro allegedly told the women who questioned his actions that they were part of a faith-healing process, said police. more >>
A high school in Orange County, Calif., has crowned a 16-year-old transgender, whose mother is a born-again Christian, as its 2013 homecoming queen. For Cassidy Lynn Campbell, the title was the school's recognition of the gender "I always felt I was" and a statement to the world.
"I'm doing this for the kids who can't be themselves," Los Angeles Times quoted Campbell of Marina High School in Huntington Beach as saying after the crowning ceremony on Friday. "I think it really shows the progression of the times."
"I'm so proud to win this not just for me but for everyone out there and for every kid – transgender, gay, straight, black, white, Mexican, Asian. It doesn't matter, you can be yourself," Campbell said. more >>
"Preachers of L.A.," the controversial new docu-series airing on the Oxygen network, revolves around the ministries and personal lives of six influential Christian pastors in Southern California. Get a glimpse of the reality show with these 10 behind the scenes photos.
"Preachers of L.A.," airing Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET, follows Pastor Wayne Chaney, senior pastor of Antioch Church of Long Beach; Bishop Ron Gibson, pastor of Life Church Of God In Christ in Riverside; Deitrick Haddon, minister and contemporary gospel artist; Jay Haizlip, senior pastor of The Sanctuary in Orange County; Bishop Noel Jones, senior pastor of the City of Refuge Church in Gardena; and Bishop Clarence McClendon, senior pastor of Full Harvest International Church in Los Angeles.
According to Oxygen Media: more >>
The Crystal Cathedral building in Orange County, Calif., is set for notable renovations to "reflect God" and make it suitable for Roman Catholic service and worship, Bishop Kevin W. Vann announced, and revealed that two firms have been selected to collaborate on the project.
"The Crystal Cathedral is an established international landmark and is much lauded for its architectural inspiration and iconic stature…Johnson Fain and Rios Clementi Hale Studios have the experience and ability to respect the building's original design inspiration while creating a fitting and functional spiritual home for Orange County's 1.3 million Catholics," Vann said at the eighth annual Orange County Catholic Prayer Breakfast on Wednesday.
The Catholic Diocese purchased the 3,000-seat building in 2012 from the protestant Crystal Cathedral Ministries, which founded it, and is set to rename the famous building as "Christ Cathedral" when it reopens for Catholic worship in 2015 or 2016. more >>
Pastor Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, said in their first interview with the media since their son's suicide more than five months ago that they knew all along that the day would come when they would become spokespeople for mental illness.
The Warrens told CNN's Piers Morgan during a taped broadcast of his show that aired Tuesday evening that they kept their son's lifelong struggles with mental disease out of the public eye for the sake of his dignity.
In response to Morgan's question about whether he should have done more as "Rick Warren, America's pastor" about the issue of mental health before their son, Matthew, took his life, Warren replied, "We've always known since Matthew has lived his entire life with mental illness that one day we would be spokespeople for mental illness. Kay and I have known this for years and years. more >>