IRVINE, Calif., – Author and pastor Mark Driscoll gave a glimpse into the subject of his next book by discussing what it means for a Christian to have an identity "in Christ" while speaking during the closing session of a two-day leadership conference.
"Most people, even those who are Christian, don't have a very good sense of who they are in Christ," said Driscoll to a crowd of more than 2,000 church leaders Thursday at the Resurgence Conference (R12) at Mariners Church in Irvine, Calif.
After talking about how people often describe their identity by way of things such as their achievements, duties, and material possessions, he said, "Your identity is in this constant state of chaos and change and influenced sometimes positively and sometimes negatively. What this leads to is a very inconsistent emotional and spiritual life. These are the things that may explain you, but they do not define you." more >>
IRVINE, Calif. – Speaking on the subject of preaching about Jesus at a leadership conference in Southern California, evangelist and pastor Greg Laurie said he is concerned that churches that are moving away from making sermons the focal point of a worship service are not presenting the full Gospel.
"The trend at a lot of churches today is to move away from preaching. We all got our drama, and our video roll-in, and … we have our message, but it's sort of like a sermon-ette which I fear is creating a 'Christian-ette,'" said Laurie during the opening session of the two-day Resurgence Conference (R12) on Tuesday. "I'm saying that we need to return to biblical preaching."
Laurie was invited to be one of eight speakers at the conference held at Mariners Church in Irvine by Resurgence leadership ministry founder Pastor Mark Driscoll. The event is organized and hosted by Driscoll's Seattle-based Mars Hill Church. more >>
In promoting a two-day conference featuring an all-star lineup of some of the most influential Christian leaders in the U.S., Resurgence ministry founder Mark Driscoll explains why he chose renowned author and pastor Rick Warren as one of the eight speakers scheduled.
"Why Rick Warren? Why did I invite him to our first ever Resurgence conference? Well, how about because he loves Jesus, he's awesome, he's nice, [and] he actually does things that have something to teach us if you are humble enough to learn," Driscoll says at the start of a video posted on the Resurgence Conference (R12) website.
"You Google Rick Warren, your computer will explode. It is amazing how much attention he receives – 675,000 Twitter followers. He has people who love him and hate him, and I'm one of the guys who quite frankly really appreciates him," he said of the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. and author of many books, including The Purpose Driven Life. more >>
Salvatore Joseph Cordileone was officially installed as the new Roman Catholic archbishop of San Francisco on Thursday at St. Mary's Cathedral during Mass – but not without protests from gay rights activists who see his appointment as an attack against same-sex marriage.
The 56-year old California native is known for his outspoken defense of traditional marriage, and he has been hailed by conservative Catholics as a staunch defender of the church. Supporters believe Cordileone will stand in contrast to more liberal parish leaders in San Francisco who favor including same-sex couples in the definition of marriage.
"God has always had a way of putting me in my place," Cordileone said about his new position. "With the last episode in my life, God has outdone Himself." About 2,000 people, including 40 bishops, attended Thursday's ceremony – but some were also there to protest against the archbishop and his support for Proposition 8, the bill in California that officially defined marriage as the union between one man and one woman. more >>
Another lawsuit was filed this week against California's ban on reparative therapy for minors – this time by a student who said he successfully underwent such therapy, an ordained minister and a psychiatrist.
The three plaintiffs argue that the ban violates constitutional privacy rights, free speech, and religious expression, among other things, according to the suit filed Monday.
"Of all the freedom-killing bills we have seen in our legislature the last several years, this is among the worst," said Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, which is representing the plaintiffs. "This outrageous bill makes no exceptions for young victims of sexual abuse who are plagued with unwanted same-sex attraction, nor does it respect the consciences of mental health professionals who work in a church." more >>
IRVINE, Calif. – Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship church took the opportunity during his Sunday sermon series on the book of Revelation to talk about the current events in the Middle East as it relates to Bible prophecy. He also pointed to the controversy during the Democratic National Convention over the party's vote on including Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in its platform as highly ironic.
"It seems like every time you turn around there's another outbreak of violence or at least a threat of one," Laurie said during last Sunday's sermon shared at his two Southern California churches in Riverside and Orange County. "Iranian president Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for the destruction of both the nation Israel and the United States and recently stood before the members of the U.N. speaking of an Islamic messiah and a new world order that is coming. Haven't I heard this before?"
Laurie then described events in the Middle East that were perhaps misinterpreted by some people at first. more >>