Now that Christianity is strange to the larger American culture, Christians have an opportunity to reclaim the freakishness of the Gospel message, Russell Moore writes in his new book, Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel.
"As American culture changes, the scandal of Christianity is increasingly right up front, exactly where it was in the first century. The shaking of American culture will get us back to the question Jesus asked his disciples at Caesarea Philippi: 'Who do you say that I am?' As the Bible Belt recedes, those left standing up for Jesus will be those who, like Simon Peter of old, know how to answer that question.
Once Christianity is no longer seen as part and parcel of patriotism, the church must offer more than 'What would Jesus do?' moralism and the 'I vote values' populism to which we've grown accustomed. Good," wrote Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, in Chapter two. more >>
A church in Indiana has joined several charity organizations to raise money to purchase a "Homeless Jesus" statue for the state capital.
Roberts Park United Methodist Church has partnered with Wheeler Mission, Outreach Inc., and the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic to get a "Homeless Jesus" statue for Indianapolis. The Rev. Andrew Scanlan-Holmes, senior pastor at Roberts Park UMC, told The Christian Post that this was the "problem of homelessness in Indianapolis."
"Roberts Park UMC, as a large downtown church, has for the last 20 years, been actively serving this sector of the community through its Soup's On feeding program and now regularly serves an average of 250 meals every Sunday lunchtime to the homeless and food impoverished," said the Rev. Scanlan-Holmes. more >>
A Georgia-based radio program centered on promoting the perspectives of mainline Protestant denominations has turned 70 this year.
"Day1," a program headquartered in Atlanta originally named "The Protestant Hour," has been on the air for seven decades and since 2004 has been overseen by the Alliance for Christian Media.
The Rev. Peter M. Wallace, president and executive producer of "Day1" and the Alliance, told The Christian Post that he was "very thankful for the opportunity to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ over the radio for so many years." more >>
The Episcopal Church, a theologically liberal denomination that has strong historic ties to the former Confederacy, voted at their General Convention in favor of a resolution calling for the removal of Confederate battle flags from public display.
"[The] 78th General Convention recognize that icons and symbols are and have always been important to the liturgical life and practice of The Episcopal Church in leading us to Jesus Christ and in inspiring us to share the Good News that is at the heart of our ministry," read Resolution D044 that was introduced by the Rev. Betsy Baumgarten.
"That as our Baptismal Covenant calls Episcopalians to 'respect the dignity of every human being' and as the fourth Mark of Mission calls Episcopalians to 'transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation,' we consider the continued display of the Confederate Battle Flag to be at odds with a faithful witness to the reconciling love of Jesus Christ …" more >>
City Harvest Church pastor Kong Hee has put up for sale a co-owned $10 million luxury penthouse in Sentosa Cove, Singapore, amid an ongoing trial concerning the possible misuse of over $19 million in church funds to finance his wife's music career. Kong has hit back against a report describing the penthouse, calling it "misleading and exaggerated."
Kong explained that his family has sold other properties as well to help pay their attorneys' fees.
"The property that my family and I have been living in is co-owned with another family. We have been living at this property with the co-owner's kind permission after we had to sell our properties in order to pay the legal expenses for the ongoing trial," the pastor said in a Facebook post, responding to a Straits Times article from earlier this week. more >>
The six men arrested on Sunday for heckling pastor Joel Osteen at his Lakewood Church in Houston appeared in court on Friday and now face trespassing charges. The defendants, who are members of a controversial East Texas church, said they heckled the pastor during the Sunday service because they don't believe Lakewood Church is practicing "true religion."
"We went there to disrupt the peace of that religious service because we don't believe that it is true religion," said one of the arrested, Jake Gardener, according to KTRK. "We don't believe that it is pure religion."
The six hecklers, who are from The Church of Wells, have been ordered to stay 200 feet away from Lakewood Church, and are not permitted to have any contact with Joel Osteen or his wife, Victoria. more >>