Roman Catholics and Protestants in the Chinese province of Zhejiang have launched a campaign aimed at making crosses and carrying them everywhere in response to the Communist government's continued crackdown on churches.
Asia News reported on Tuesday that the campaign, seeking to protest against the government in a legal and peaceful manner, has been met with great success.
Chinese Christians have been posting pictures on social media of crosses erected at their homes, while priests have called on churches across the nation to "join the rally" and show the government that Christians are united in protecting the holy symbol of the cross. more >>
The Philippines Department of Justice has issued a subpoena against rapper Chris Brown for allegedly defrauding a Christian church out of $1 million after he canceled a performance at a New Years Eve event and failed to return the money.
Brown's name appears on the subpoena along with Canadian promoter John Michael Pio Roda after a $1 million estafa complaint was filed due to the singer skipping a scheduled musical performance for the Church of Christ in the Philippines, which is called Iglesia ni Cristo, on Dec. 31, 2014, at the Philippine Arena.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has said it will be re-evaluating its long-standing participation in the Boy Scouts of America, following the latter's decision to end its blanket ban on openly gay adult leaders.
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is deeply troubled by today's vote by the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board. In spite of a request to delay the vote, it was scheduled at a time in July when members of the Church's governing councils are out of their offices and do not meet. When the leadership of the Church resumes its regular schedule of meetings in August, the century-long association with scouting will need to be examined," the Mormon church said on Monday.
"The Church has always welcomed all boys to its scouting units regardless of sexual orientation. However, the admission of openly gay leaders is inconsistent with the doctrines of the Church and what have traditionally been the values of the Boy Scouts of America." more >>
In perhaps the most humbling reaction to his controversial exit from Mars Hill Church less than a year ago, co-founder of the now defunct Seattle-based megachurch, Mark Driscoll, revealed in a tearful video interview with Hillsong Church's Brian Houston that it was God who told him and his wife, Grace, to resign from the church because a trap had been set.
In the nearly hour-long interview where he addressed issues such as his domineering leadership style, his views on the role of women in the church and longtime online comments Driscoll and his wife revealed that the initial plan wasn't to resign from the church.
Driscoll explained that after an evaluation was conducted at the church he was asked to work on the issues of pride, anger and his domineering leadership style with an expectation to return to the pulpit in January 2015. more >>
Transgender clergy now serve openly in several mainline and progressive Christian denominations. Churches that espouse traditional Christian theology have not allowed transgender persons to be clergy as they do not accept transgender identity as a Biblical expression of personhood. Several of the transgender clergy below caused disorder in their churches and denominations when they insisted on recognition. Several of them have left diminished or destroyed churches in their paths. Below are brief biographies of the openly transgender clergy serving in the United States today.
The Episcopal Church (approved transgender ordination at its 2012 General Convention)
The Reverend Carolyn Woodall is a deacon in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, California. Formerly the Deputy Public Defender in Sonora, Woodall now has a small criminal defense practice in addition to serving as deacon for St. James Episcopal Church. Woodall serves as the Chair of the Stakeholders' Council of Integrity USA, "the leading grassroots voice for the full inclusion of LGBT persons in the Episcopal Church." more >>
"It is appropriate to ask whether there is much genuine, deep, heartfelt worship in our churches. In many evangelical churches people do not truly worship God...If genuine worship is lacking in our churches, we should ask how we can bring ourselves to experience much more of the depth and richness of worship, which is the natural response of the believing heart..." (Wayne Grudem).
Dr. Grudem is spot on—most who attend church are not worshiping God, they simply go through the motions. But what is genuine worship? Worship is a combination of attitude and acts focused on reverence to God. The Hebrew meaning denotes a "bowing down, or prostrating oneself"; it is a posture reflecting homage and reverence toward the one true and living God. If there is a problem with worshiping God, the problem isn't with God, the problem is with us. Worship serves as the thermometer of the heart by measuring our spiritual condition...are we hot, cold, or lukewarm? Granted, worship isn't necessarily measured by actions such as jumping up and down; it's measured by the condition (temperature) of our heart—is it rejoicing for joy and breaking and submitting to God?
Sadly, many confuse false worship with genuine worship. According to numerous theological resources, false worship is when an entity, person, or object is worshiped instead of God—our passion for "something" outweighs our passion for Him; it draws us away. more >>