A California pastor says he is concerned about the state of the church and believes that Christianity in America has shifted away from the Gospel and instead of being the light of the world, Christians are beginning to look just like the world.
Shane Idleman, founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, Calif., wrote a blog post directed towards church leaders who he says have exchanged the truth for tolerance. He urges them and the rest of the Christian community to reflect on whether they are affecting the world or being infected by it.
"The present condition of the church and America leaves one to wonder if this lack of fearing the Lord is contributing to her spiritually dead condition. A healthy respect of God is what our culture, and the church desperately need," Idleman told The Christian Post. more >>
In the past decade, many Evangelical churches across the country have increasingly had to wrestle with how to engage members of their congregation who identify as LGBT. But this dilemma has not remained only at the lay level.
In 2012, the leadership staff at the southern California megachurch, Calvary Community Church (CCC), had to grapple with their church's convictions on homosexuality, when Kevin McCloskey, one of the members of the executive team revealed that he was gay and that he would be also be divorcing his wife of 17 years.
Executive Pastor Curtis Johnson declined to speak specifically with The Christian Post about the McCloskey case but agreed to share a more general perspective about how church leadership approached the situation, which resulted in McCloskey's termination. Referring to his former colleague multiple times during the interview as a "friend" and "good guy," Johnson said that CCC leadership sought to make its decision through the lens of its mission. more >>
A Southern California mother has agreed to remove the roadside cross memorializing her dead son after receiving pressure from an atheist organization.
Ann Marie Devaney placed a white Christian cross near an on-ramp to Highway 15 inLake Elsinore, Calif., after her 19-year-old son Anthony was struck and killed by a car while crossing the street there in May 2012. After two years, Devaney has agreed to remove the cross after the American Humanist Association pressured the city of Lake Elsinore, reportedly on behalf of an atheist resident who argues the cross' presence on government-owned highway is unconstitutional.
As NBC Los Angeles reports, Devaney showed up to the site of the cross Thursday to pay her last respects to her son before removing the small memorial. The mother of the teen who struck Devaney's son with his car also showed up to grieve and express that she too did not think the cross should be removed. more >>
Biola University hopes to inspire students to reflect and meditate on the life of Jesus Christ through The Lent Project, a daily devotional designed to create an artistic and religious experience during the Easter season.
Set to last for 54 days, The Lent Project intends to guide believers on a reflective journey leading up to Christ's resurrection using works of art and music from the span of church history, including classic paintings, old Lenten hymns, as well as contemporary music, art and photography from the 21st century.
"The mood of Lent can be beautifully captured through the arts, which are often cathartic expressions of longing, suffering, loneliness, love, death and rebirth," said Barry H. Corey, President of Biola, in a statement. more >>
The Rev. Seth Pickens, senior pastor of Zion Hill Baptist Church in Los Angeles, has come under the scrutiny of members of his congregation after writing an op-ed titled "10 Reasons I Love LGBTQ Folk" for a community newspaper, but he insists that the situation was not as dire as some have perceived it to be.
Teka-Lark Fleming, the irreligious publisher of the Morningside Park Chronicle, the newspaper that published Pickens' controversial op-ed, said she was inspired when she first met the Christian minister and found him to be "a good guy" partly because he was "doing a lot of good work in the community, the way you're supposed to if you're a pastor."
Fleming, who had invited Pickens to submit the op-ed, claims in her outraged response to the subsequent church fracas that Pickens would be subjected to a "tribunal" and grilled about what he believes the Bible teaches about homosexuality and whether he had ever "communicated to anyone that homosexual behavior or homosexual marriage aligns with the Word of God." more >>
After being told by his doctor two years ago that he would not be able to run again, Pastor Matthew Barnett of the Los Angeles Dream Center will run a full marathon Sunday to raise support and awareness for women exploited through human trafficking.
"It's very emotional for me because two years ago, I had a pulmonary embolism that almost took my life. I've lived in fear of this changing my lifestyle forever. The marathon is a way for me to face these fears once and for all in the ultimate test," Barnett told The Christian Post. "I'm a pastor and I probably need more faith but this has tested my breathing and my confidence. I believe running for a greater cause will push me over the top."
Over 100 Dream Center staff along with several human trafficking survivors will also participate in the 5K charity relay and marathon and are urging the Christian Community to help sponsor them. Their goal is to raise $50,000 and as of Thursday morning, over $43,000 had been donated by supporting individuals and churches throughout the country, as shown on Barnett's fundraising page. more >>