A new Pew survey shows that Americans who were raised in church but left their faith sometimes cite a belief in science and a corresponding disbelief in miracles, but some scholars are saying that those things are not mutually exclusive.
Pew Research asked 5,000 of the original 35,071 people from their 2014 Religious Landscape Study a set of follow-up questions earlier this year. Conducted via telephone interview from mid-March to early May, respondents who self-identified as "nones" — those with no religious affiliation — were asked to explain why they left their faith.
In results published on Tuesday, nearly 80 percent of those who identified as "nones" were raised in a religion of some kind before shedding it in their adult years. Many types of replies emerged from the questions, but a common response that appeared was one of no longer believing in their faith because of lack of evidence paired with a newfound belief in "science." more >>
Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship church in Riverside, California, is urging Christians to bring people who do not yet know Jesus Christ to SoCal Harvest 2016, which opens on Friday at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
"The Objective of a Harvest is to bring people who do not yet know Jesus Christ," Laurie said in a Facebook post on Thursday.
"Go into your sphere of influence and invite and bring people with you," he added, noting that there are three operative words for such evangelistic Crusades — "PRAY ... INVITE ... BRING." more >>
A Baptist missionary-founded children's home in Oklahoma has refused to accept a donation of more than $28,000 from a group of atheists, who wanted the contribution to be noted "in honor of" their organization. Politely declining the offer, the Christian center said they believe in "Honoring God our Father."
Refusing to receive the donation from the Muskogee Atheist Community, the Murrow Indian Children's Home said accepting money for an advertisement "which would indicate 'In Honor of the Muskogee Atheist Community'" would be contrary to the "biblical principles upon which we at Murrow stand."
The center, which was founded over 100 years ago by a Baptist Missionary," explained, "Those biblical principles include believing and trusting in the Trinity; God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit." more >>
Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship church in Riverside, California, is cautioning Christians to be careful not to burn bridges when sharing their faith with others, emphasizing that their objective is not to win arguments, but to win souls.
Laurie said in a Facebook video about sharing one's faith that the objective before Christians is to "build a bridge, not burn one."
"The objective is to win the soul, not just win the argument. So look for ways to engage people," Laurie said in his message. more >>
There are many self-identified Christians in the world who are praying as if they were non-Christians, says theologian John Piper, adding that when nonbelievers pray, something is missing.
On Monday, Piper posted a message on his website desiringGod titled, "Do You Pray like a Nonbeliever?" in which he notes, according to the 2010 book Operation World — a practical guide instructing believers how to pray for every nation in the world — in the eastern European nation of Latvia, most Christians are nominal. Even as a sizable 60 percent of the population "belong to a Christian confession," very few actively practice their faith.
Some people go to great lengths to pray but do not love God, Piper contends, and this is the case today just as it was in Jesus' time. Because everyone wants protection, provision, good health, peace, and justice, Christians and non-Christians alike pray to God for them. more >>
An American secular organization has demanded that an Air Force major be "aggressively punished" for placing an open Bible on his desk at the Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., arguing that it violates the separation of church and state.
Colorado Springs Independent reported Wednesday that the Bible was removed from the desk, and Peterson officials are investigating whether allowing the officer to place it there was a reasonable accommodation of his religious beliefs.
"The basic premise of the Air Force instruction [on religious freedom], grounded in Department of Defense policy, grounded in law is, people have an inherent right to free exercise of religion within boundaries," said Col. Damon Feltman, 310th Space Wing commander. more >>