A Fayetteville, North Carolina, pastor will be hosting a gun buy-back program Saturday in an effort to curb street violence in his community. Some residents are skeptical about the initiative, a first for the city, fearing that law-abiding citizens will be giving up their weapons while criminals remain armed.
The Rev. Mark Rowden of Second Missionary Baptist Church said he'll be giving VISA gift cards in varying amounts to anyone who's willing to turn in their guns, no questions asked.
Gun violence is a serious issue in the area, according to Fayetteville resident Jonathan Croom, who told ABC News 11 that he supports the program out of concern for his family's safety, especially his 3-year-old son. "Just [to] be able to walk down the street and not worry about looking over your shoulder, or anything like that." more >>
Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore and megachurch pastor Rick Warren, both speaking at a Vatican conference Tuesday, warned that Christians should not succumb to the current sexual revolution or waver on the Biblical truth about sexuality and marriage.
"Western culture now celebrates casual sexuality, cohabitation, no-fault divorce, family redefinition, and abortion rights as parts of a sexual revolution that can tear down old patriarchal systems," said Moore in a prepared statement given during the "Complementarity of Man and Woman" colloquium convened by Pope Francis.
"The Sexual Revolution is not liberation at all, but simply the imposition of a different sort of patriarchy," he continued. "The Sexual Revolution empowers men to pursue a Darwinian fantasy of the predatory alpha-male, rooted in the values of power, prestige, and personal pleasure … We see the wreckage of sexuality as self-expression all around us, and we will see more yet. And the stakes are not merely social or cultural but profoundly spiritual." more >>
Comedian Bill Maher has taken aim at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, calling the religion a "sex cult."
In comments delivered on a recent episode of the HBO television series "Real Time with Bill Maher," the atheistic comedian took a few shots at the LDS church.
The head of the Roman Catholic Church declared during a conference on Monday that marriage is by definition a union of man and woman, defying past claims by some that the Church was considering a change in its views on same-sex unions and sexuality.
Pope Francis remarks came during an address before a Church group known as a Colloquium in which he spoke about the need for strong families and to recognize "man and woman" as the "root of marriage and family."
"It is fitting that you have gathered here in this international colloquium to explore the complementarity of man and woman," stated the pontiff. "This complementarity is at the root of marriage and family, which is the first school where we learn to appreciate our own and others' gifts, and where we begin to acquire the arts of living together." more >>
Pope Francis plans to make his first visit to the United States next September, and his itinerary will include traveling to Philadelphia for the upcoming World Meeting of Families congress. The discussion topics for the meeting are set to focus on contentious issues such as premarital sex, homosexuality, infertility and celibacy, according to the congress' meeting notes.
"I would like to confirm that, God willing, in September 2015 I will go to Philadelphia for the eighth World Meeting of Families," the pope said during his opening speech at the interreligious conference on traditional marriage at the Vatican.
Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput told Catholic News Service that he was surprised at the early announcement. "You know usually they don't make these announcements. Four months out is the typical and here we are 10 months away, and the Holy Father said he is coming to Philadelphia," Chaput said. more >>
Hillsong Church and its band Hillsong United received special recognition on ABC News' "Nightline" Thursday evening.
The Pentecostal megachurch was founded in Australia in 1983 and today has over 30,000 members, according to Hillsong officials. In addition to their powerful ministry, Hillsong produced the award-winning worship band Hillsong United, which has toured the world performing at various Hillsong church location and concert venues. On Thursday, "Nightline" highlighted the achievements of the church and its music while featuring its New York leading pastor Carl Lentz. The segment aired at 12:35 a.m. ET.
Just weeks before "Nightline" featured Hillsong, the church's band Hillsong United was nominated for an American Music Award in the Contemporary Inspirational Artist category. It marked the band's first AMA nomination. The 2014 AMA's will be broadcast from Los Angeles' Nokia Theater on Nov. 23 on ABC. more >>