A black pastor who dared to be different by challenging racially stereotypical church models to become a leader in a white church in Louisville, Kentucky, explained at The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention's leadership summit Friday that he did it in pursuit of the unity of the faith.
Kevin Smith, assistant professor of preaching at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and who is also teaching pastor at Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, explained at the summit themed, "The Gospel and Racial Reconciliation," that becoming a pastor in the predominantly white church was something he had to challenge himself to achieve and maintain because of the cultural differences between the white church culture he transitioned into and the black church culture in which he was raised.
"Blackness can be weighted and graded in a way that whiteness just isn't. You got the look, you got the look," he said of being white at the summit held in Nashville, Tennessee. "A matter of fact, it's so superficial at the look level that throughout American history, some people from other ethnicities have been able to pass. So it's not really about content it's just about the look." more >>
In his final remarks during a Thursday panel discussing racial reconciliation in America and the importance of urban ministry, African-American pastor, author and syndicated radio broadcaster Tony Evans boldly stated that many of the issues surrounding race in America stem from the social irresponsibility of those within the African-American community.
Speaking at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission's Leadership Summit in Nashville, Tennessee, Evans asserted that although the responsibility to alleviate the racial divide also lies with the church and other racial classes who must hold government accountable to change an unjust justice system, black Americans cannot use the existence of racial tensions to justify careless or irresponsible actions.
"There is another side here that needs to be brought to bear and that is black accountability. Because while we want to have the sensibility that we are talking about, and we must have it, we cannot use the reality of race to condone irresponsibility," Evans explained. "Much that goes under the name of race has to do with black irresponsibility." more >>
Arizona State Sen. Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake, is under fire for suggesting that there should be a law that would make church attendance mandatory for Americans every Sunday.
During a committee hearing on Tuesday about legislation which would allow individuals who have permits to carry concealed weapons to bring them into public buildings, Allen declared that she felt the committee should be debating a bill about mandatory church attendance instead of guns.
"I believe what's happening to our country is that there is a horrible erosion of the soul of America," said Allen whose comments were first highlighted on Twitter by Democratic Sen. Steve Farley of Tucson, who was at that same meeting. more >>
Warryn Campbell recently opened up about the idea of his church, California Worship Center being inspired by God.
Warryn, the My Block Records CEO, who has produced music for his wife Erica Campbell and her sister, Tina, in their group Mary Mary for years, has inspired a direction for the church. Now, the super producer is getting ready to open the doors to his church and opening up about the inspiration behind his name.
"God gave me that name, out of the blue before I had even realized that I was going to be a minister years ago. Anybody that knows me in business, I come up with business ideas all the time and I call my general manager and I said 'hey, secure this domain name for me,'" Campbell recalled on BET's Lift Every Voice. "One day I said 'secure California Worship Center,' I don't know why. I hadn't even started preaching." more >>
Barna Group has released its 2015 study on the state of atheism in America, and has revealed that one in four unchurched adults in the country now identify as atheists or agnostics. The study also found that rejection of the Bible and lack of trust in the church are two main reasons why people are turning away from faith.
The study was focused on those who have not attended church within the past six months, and found that the majority of such people identify as non-practicing Christians. One in four, or 25 percent, however, were classed as skeptics, which Barna defines as people who "either do not believe God exists (atheists) or are not sure God exists, but are open to the possibility (agnostics)."
Of that number, nearly one-third said that they have never attended a Christian church service in their lives. more >>
New data analysis on the 2014 General Social Survey conducted by NORC and the University of Chicago has found that although Americans are abandoning specific religions at record high numbers, the rate of those who said they believe in God has remained steady.
The Associated Press identified it as one of the major findings of the survey, which asked a number of wide-ranging questions of the American public. The data found that back in 1972, only 5 percent of respondents said that they have no religion, but by 2014, 21 percent said the same, which is a record high.
The number is even higher than statistics reported by Gallup, which found that 16 percent of Americans identified as nones in 2014. more >>