A Gary, Ind., pastor speaking out against what he believes is the country's unjust war on drugs not only says drugs should be decriminalized, but also believes that "God is not that petty" to care if Christians, or anyone else, smokes marijuana.
The Rev. John Jackson, who leads Trinity United Church of Christ, told The Tennessean that he thinks there should be options other than incarceration for those convicted of drug use, and that God has other concerns beyond marijuana use.
"I've had several members who have shared with me privately (and) said, 'Reverend, you know, I smoke weed. I know I shouldn't.' Let me stop you right there. The God we serve, I don't believe, is that small or petty to be concerned about you smoking weed or cigarette," Jackson told the publication. "I don't think God cares about that. Just to let them know, our God is too big to be concerned about somebody smoking a joint, smoking a cigarette or even drinking a glass of beer." more >>
New York University, a private college located in New York City, is refuting the claims of blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng, who is accusing the university of caving to "great, unrelenting pressure" from China in ending his fellowship position at the college campus.
The university is arguing that it has not chosen to end Chen's fellowship because it is opening an abroad campus in Shanghai, but rather because Chen's fellowship was only planned for one year and set to expire this summer.
Jerome Cohen, a law professor at NYU who played an integral role in helping Chen escape China last year, said in a recent email statement that the university has played its part in helping the blind human rights activist adjust to life outside of China. more >>
The Assemblies of God USA, the largest Pentecostal body in the world, has expressed its continued support of Wycliffe Bible Translators USA after the organization promised to act in line with recommendations made by a World Evangelical Alliance panel over its usage of "Son of God" and "God the Father" in Muslim contexts.
Assemblies of God World Missions Executive Director Greg Mundis wrote last week in a letter that his group "appreciates" Wycliffe and SIL's commitment "to abide by the recommendations of the WEA subcommittee."
"Now that a resolution has been reached, AG World Missions can continue its longstanding working relationship with Wycliffe Bible Translators in providing God's Word to the many millions who do not have it in their languages. We are confident that AG missionaries who are seconded to Wycliffe can continue to fulfill their obligation and commitment to essential Scriptural integrity in translation," Mundis' letter concluded. more >>
In the early to late-mid nineteenth century, New York City was at the center of the abolitionist movement to abolish slavery and Christianity was at its epicenter. Today, a new abolitionist movement is emerging in the city, this time to abolish the global trade of women and children for sex, and committed Christians are still centrally involved key players.
Over 150 years ago, New Yorkers were motivated by outspoken religious leaders, religious groups, and organizations involved with the Underground Railroad. The fiery sermons of Brooklyn's anti-slavery preacher Henry Ward Beecher received international attention. His sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe, authored the best-selling novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, which became the longest running play at the time, rousing even those on the Bowery to participate in the abolitionist movement.
Today, there are more slaves than at any time in history – an estimated 27 million worldwide are trafficked for sex, the majority of whom are women; 2 million are children. Every hour 34 children are forced into prostitution in America. more >>
New York lawmakers are tussling over Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 10-point "Women's Equality Act" that includes a provision to expand late-term abortions and would allow "any health care provider" to perform abortions, thus "increasing the number of high-risk, late-term abortions in a state that already has the highest rate of abortions in the United States," according to Serrin Foster, president of Feminists for Life.
In an effort to pass his 10-point plan during the final four days of the state's legislative session, Cuomo, a 2016 presidential hopeful, "is changing the language in the bill in an effort to attract Republican votes, specifically adding language that makes clear that partial birth abortions will not be made legal," according to NY 1.
"From the start, we've said that what the governor is proposing is either unnecessary or an extreme measure that expands late-term abortion. Nothing has changed," said Kelly Cummings, spokeswoman for Sen. Skelos (R-Nassau County), in a Thursday response to news reports about changes to the governor's abortion proposal. "We remain confident, however, that an agreement can be reached on the other nine points of the overall proposal, allowing us to achieve passage of a strong women's equality agenda for New York." more >>
With the release of his sixth solo album just days away, rapper Kanye West has finally shared the official tracklist for the much-anticipated Yeezus LP, which includes the controversial "I Am A God" song that apparently features an appearance by the Almighty.
The Yeezus tracklist, circulating on the Web Thursday morning, includes a total of 10 songs with collaborations by various recording artists, such as R&B crooner Frank Ocean on the song "New Slaves," rapper Chief Keef on "Hold My Liquor" and someone identified as "God" accompanying West on "I Am A God."
West debuted "I Am A God," purportedly a reference to Psalm 82, at the Governors Ball Music Festival in New York City over the weekend and surprised some listeners with the song's lyrics, which he performed on his own. more >>