National Religious Broadcasters President & CEO Dr. Frank Wright asked members of Congress investigating the IRS over its alleged inappropriate scrutiny of conservative and faith-based groups to focus on First Amendment protection for such organizations.
"As Congress investigates these incidents at the IRS, and others that may surface in the days ahead, I ask that you emphasize the First Amendment rights of non-profit religious organizations and churches, which gives them constitutional authority to operate free from government entanglement," wrote Wright in a letter sent to House Speaker John Boehner and other Congressional leaders, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.
"Pernicious targeting of faith-based organizations by any state actor must not be tolerated," Wright added. "These IRS cases before the nation today appear to be just such entangling, oppressive, and constitutionally unsound situations that must be protected against." more >>
Seattle-based megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll took his latest criticism from some within the Christian community about the way he handled the topic of the earth's environment while joking at a recent Christian leadership conference as an opportunity to write about his environmentally conscious family and how humor can be found in parts of the Bible.
One point of contention about his talk at the Catalyst Conference in Dallas was his statement (joke) in which he said, "I know who made the environment. He's coming back, and he's going to burn it all up. So yes, I drive an SUV."
Another point of controversy brought up by bloggers and some religion reporters, was his comment: "If you drive a mini-van, you're a mini-man." more >>
Plans for Southern California pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie to bring his large-scale Harvest Crusade events back to Orange County, Calif., for three nights of biblically-based preaching and performances by popular Christian recording artists were announced Wednesday. The outreach is scheduled to take place in Angel Stadium in Anaheim on Aug. 23-25.
Laurie recently spoke during the National Day of Prayer event in Washington, D.C., in which he focused his prayer on asking for God's forgiveness and seeking a revival for America, noting that although "we have forgotten God, He has not forgotten us."
In addition to the Southern California Harvest, Laurie and Harvest Ministries will host the Philadelphia Harvest at the Wells Fargo Center on Sept. 28, 29. The event will be simulcast to thousands of locations nationwide for a coast-to-coast evangelistic outreach called Harvest America. more >>
Two movements among Christian congregations in the U.S. today, churches with multiple locations (multisite) and leadership development (discipleship), continue to gain momentum as new innovations are being introduced. In addition, perhaps in an even newer development, a growing number of churches are intentionally developing a culture of generosity, an effort to help carry the gospel message outside the church, says the director of new media and technology for the Leadership Network.
"The multisite (one church, multiple locations) movement continues to gain momentum," Todd Rhoades, of Leadership Network, told The Christian Post via email. "We're seeing no slow down at all in the number of churches being involved in multisite ministry. In fact, we're seeing new waves of innovation in the movement itself: including international campuses, online campuses, the move from big cities to rural environments, and more churches partnering to redeem facilities and struggling churches through church mergers."
Rhoades, along with Leadership Nework, hosted a webcast conference on Tuesday called, Church Innovate North America. Guest speakers, which included pastors from around the country, spoke about multisite churches, leadership training, and generosity. more >>
Television show producer and media consultant Phil Cooke recently shared that he once partnered with evangelist Joel Osteen as producers of Christian TV programming, including helping with Osteen's own broadcasts that now reach 10 million U.S. households each week.
Cooke and Osteen became close friends as well as colleagues when they worked on Pastor John Osteen's (Joel's father) prime-time TV specials. Osteen was recently interviewed by Cooke about the practical lessons he learned behind the camera that have contributed to his enormous influence in front of the camera. The interview can be read at MinistryToday.
The Christian Post interviewed Cooke, who is the CEO of Cooke Pictures in Hollywood, via email about Osteen and today's TV production for evangelists. more >>
A cold-case homicide detective, once a devout atheist, is one of several Christian apologists scheduled to speak and participate in panel discussions at Stand To Reason's 20th Anniversary Conference at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif., this coming weekend.
J. Warner Wallace told The Christian Post that he plans to talk about how he has used his investigative experience to prove that parts of the New Testament that have been questioned by atheists with Bible knowledge can be authenticated as truth.
Wallace said that he once had the same objections that atheists such as Bart D. Ehrman have, "this idea that there are so many changes in the New Testament, so many variations that are covered in various documents." more >>