A New York pastor's rifle raffle is causing contention and controversy in the upstate New York community in which he lives. Pastor John Koletas of Troy's Grace Baptist Church is giving away a free modified AR-15 to a congregant that attends their service March 23, he announced Thursday.
The New York Pastor's rifle raffle was created to support the right to bear arms as protected by the 2nd Amendment, gun owners and hunters whom Rev. Koletas believes have been unfairly maligned by the media.
"We're honoring gun owners and hunters," Koletas told the New York Daily News. "And we're being a blessing and a help to people who have been attacked, viciously attacked, by socialists and anti-Christian people— the politicians and the media." more >>
"Preachers Daughters," is back for a second season on Lifetime with two new families and more drama that will surely shock many critics with excessive drinking, cursing, smoking, partying and coming to Jesus moments all packed into one hour episodes.
However, the preachers and their daughters featured on the docu-soap insist that the series is not coming back for another season in order to shame the church, but to help people. While the Coleman and Koloff families are back for another season, the Perrys will not return, which the show's executive producer Adam Reed said was a mutual decision.
While Reed told The Christian Post that the Perry family, "collectively felt that a lot of their story had been told" last season, the Elliott and Cassidy families have come onto the show promising viewers a new perspective from preachers' daughters. more >>
While affirming traditional marriage, Pope Francis said the Roman Catholic Church may be open to supporting certain cases of civil unions, particularly when it involves benefits such as healthcare. He made the comments in an extensive new interview with an Italian newspaper on Wednesday.
"Matrimony is between a man and a woman," the pope said in an article by the Corriere della Sera, translated by Catholic News Service, but added that "diverse situations of cohabitation [are] driven by the need to regulate economic aspects among persons, as for instance to assure medical care."
"It is necessary to look at the diverse cases and evaluate them in their variety," the Vatican leader added. more >>
A Louisiana Baptist pastor has been arrested for allegedly raping a mentally disabled woman in her twenties. Pastor David "Scott" Lemley was charged with one count of aggravated rape on Saturday as well as one count of theft of a motor vehicle. His wife is standing by his side and adamantly denies all charges.
According to The Advocate, Lemley is accused of having sex with a 20-year-old woman "with the medical documentation mental capacity of a 7-year-old." The woman's identity is being protected, but her father allegedly told Lemley he could have sex with her because Lemley's wife was ill and bedridden at the time. The father was arrested in November and remains in prison on numerous counts, including aggravated rape.
When authorities questioned the young woman about her relationship with Lemley, she confirmed that they had had sex on "several" occasions even though she did not want to and was unable to remember specific instances. more >>
A new economic report on India revealed a lower poverty rate in the world's second most populous country. At the same time, more than half of the population still cannot meet their basic needs. With that, the Roman Catholic Church in India echoed Pope Francis' call to devote itself to serving the poor and those marginalized by society.
"The Catholic community intends to improve its services to education, making schools and other educational institutions closer to the poor. It also aims to combat the culture of well-being, which leads to 'globalization of indifference,' as Pope Francis defines it," Agenzia Fides reported on Thursday, citing comments by the "Justice and Peace" Commission of the Indian Bishops.
The McKinsey Global Institute report, commissioned by the Indian government and released this month, revealed mixed economic news for the South Asian country. While the official poverty rate has gone down from 45 percent of the population in 1994 to 22 percent in 2012, it was found that 56 percent of the population, or 680 million people, still lack the means to meet essential needs, such as food, energy, housing, drinking water, sanitation, healthcare, education, and social security. more >>
British ministry 3DM invited various Church leaders in the New England area to join them on a quest to re-imagine discipleship and church culture in America earlier this month.
The ministry discussed its origins, and introduced some of the innovative tools it uses to teach during this Discipleship and Missions Workshop that took place from Feb. 4-6 at the Church of Emmanuel in Foxboro, Mass.
The first day and half of the workshop consisted of teaching, the introduction of an innovative shape-based discipling language, and those in attendance participating in unique gatherings coined by 3DM as Missional Communities, Social Space and Huddles that are detailed in the first part of the article. Read it here. more >>