More than 6,000 representatives of churches within the Southern Baptist Convention, known as messengers, are expected to address the major issues facing the nation's largest Protestant denomination, including reaching more people with the Gospel, during its two-day annual meeting in Baltimore beginning Tuesday.
SBC Executive Committee President Frank S. Page plans to issue a challenge to Southern Baptists to "do more" to reach the world with the Gospel, according to SBC Life, the executive committee's journal website. Page is scheduled to talk about the Great Commission Advance on the first day of the conference, C. Ashley Clayton, EC vice president for Cooperative Program and stewardship, told SBC Life.
"In its most condensed and basic form, Great Commission Advance calls for Southern Baptists to simply 'do more,'" Clayton said. Page is calling on members to participate more in missions at the local, state, national, and international levels. more >>
The Christian Post recently published the findings of a Gallup poll designed to gauge Americans' opinion on the Bible. The findings reveal the utter chaos in our culture regarding the nature and authority of Scripture.
Gallup's poll found that only 28 percent of Americans believe that the Bible is the Word of God and should be taken literally. And yet nearly 50 percent believe that the Bible is the "inspired Word of God" while insisting that not all of its content be taken literally, but rather as "metaphors and allegories that allow for interpretation."
"Allowing for interpretation" seems to be key for our postmodern, pluralistic society, as 58 percent - representing the majority of self-identifying Christians in America - accept that the Bible is the "actual Word of God" but insist, "multiple interpretations are possible." more >>
Former United States Senator and Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum will be speaking at the second annual March for Marriage event in Washington, D.C. next week.
The National Organization for Marriage, a group advocating for marriage being only legally recognized as between one man and one woman, is organizing the march.
An online petition about the United Methodist Church has called for the denomination to allow local congregations to determine their stance on homosexuality.
Titled "A Way Forward," as of last Saturday the petition calling for individual churches to decide whether or not to consider homosexuality wrong has garnered over 1,600 signatories. "By moving the decision-making regarding homosexuality to the local church, we hope to end the rancor, animosity and endless debate that divide our denomination every four years at General Conference," stated the petition.
"What we propose would allow conservative, centrist and progressive churches to come to their own conclusions regarding this important issue and to focus on how best to minister in their own communities." more >>
Joel Osteen, bestselling motivational author and evangelical pastor of America's fastest-growing megachurch, was among a small group that included Mormon Sen. Mike Lee, to meet privately with Pope Francis at the Vatican in Rome, this week.
Osteen said he was honored to meet with Pope Francis, who leads the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.
"I like the fact that this pope is trying to make the church larger, not smaller. He's not pushing people out but making the church more inclusive. That resonated with me," Osteen told the Houston Chronicle. more >>
An annual Holy Spirit-centered interdenominational movement called Empowered21 was underway this week in Georgia and being hosted by an Assemblies of God leader who believes that young people are hungry for the supernatural, but have been seeking it in the wrong places.
Alton Garrison serves as the assistant general superintendent of The General Council of the Assemblies of God, a Pentecostal denomination that counts more than 66,000,000 adherents worldwide with about three million of them living in the United States, based on 2012 statistics. He, along with pastors Greg Surratt and Rich Wilkerson, are co-hosts of this year's Empowered21 U.S.A. Congress.
Empowermed21's stated purpose is to "unite the global Spirit-filled movement together intergenerationally for the purpose of seeking a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the 21st century." The movement's vision "is that every person on Earth would have an authentic encounter with Jesus Christ through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit by Pentecost 2033." more >>