"How do you know if your theology is racist?" Carl Lentz, lead pastor of Hillsong NYC, asked Brooklyn megachurch Pastor A.R. Bernard earlier this month.
Sitting in a comfy sofa chair across from the loosely dressed Lentz in front of a large crowd at the Hillsong NYC conference held at the Barclays Center, Bernard paused briefly then delivered his response.
"Well, let's make the distinction between racist and racism. Racist is a person who has a feeling of superiority above other people by virtue of that person's race," said Bernard, who is the founder and senior pastor of the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, New York. more >>
In a bid to organize the church's records, the Lutheran Church, which is the official religion of state in Norway according to AFP, put up a web page last Monday allowing people to verify their status, allowing them to sign up or deregister.
As of last Friday according to the church, some 15,053 members of the flock opted to leave with the bulk of that number, 10,854, choosing to drop their membership in the church last Monday.
Reacting to the sudden purging of its rolls, Church council leader Kristin Gunleiksrud Raaum said in a translation of a statement posted on the church's website that the church would continue to be transparent about its new online system and that it allows members who no longer want to be a part of the church to leave with less hassle. more >>
Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship church in Riverside, California, is cautioning Christians to be careful not to burn bridges when sharing their faith with others, emphasizing that their objective is not to win arguments, but to win souls.
Laurie said in a Facebook video about sharing one's faith that the objective before Christians is to "build a bridge, not burn one."
"The objective is to win the soul, not just win the argument. So look for ways to engage people," Laurie said in his message. more >>
John Bryson, former Acts 29 network board member and lead pastor of Fellowship Memphis, a popular multicultural church he helped found in Memphis, Tennessee, said he has hired a private investigator after allegations surfaced that he covered for one of his former worship director, Rick Trotter, who was arrested earlier this month for "making upskirt videos of church members."
"It appears the facts and rumors surrounding Rick Trotter's termination from Fellowship have begun to blur," Bryson wrote in a statement to The Christian Post on Tuesday. "The statement we provided on August 11 lays out the facts that I am currently aware of. Of course there may be additional facts that we were not aware of in 2010 when we terminated Trotter, but to ensure we do get a clear understanding of the true facts, we have hired an outside firm to conduct an independent investigation. This will allow us all to separate facts from rumor."
Trotter, 40, who is married with children, is currently facing eight charges of photographing women at the Downtown Church in Memphis without consent, according to The Commercial Appeal. He was also fired from his position as the voice of the Memphis Grizzlies as a result of the arrest. Police reportedly found videos on Trotter's church-issued laptop showing him kneeling behind at least four women during worship service and recording under the women's skirt or dress with his cell phone. more >>
Death is not a topic we enjoy.
Death of churches is not a topic I enjoy.
You see, I love the local church. I love it despite it's flaws, sins, and hypocrisies. Jesus loves me despite my flaws, sins, and hypocrisies. more >>
Pope Francis has warned Roman Catholic faithful that achieving eternal salvation is a serious life goal, given that God will close the door on entering through the narrow path one day.
"The Lord offers us many opportunities to save ourselves and to enter through the door of salvation. This door is an opportunity that must not be wasted," Francis said on Sunday, according to Vatican Radio, encouraging people to seize the opportunity for salvation without too much academic discourse.
"Because at a certain moment 'the landlord got up and locked the door' (v.25), as mentioned in the Gospel. But if God is good and loves us, why does He close the door — He will close the door at a certain point? Because our life is not a video game or a soap opera; our life is serious and the goal to achieve is important: eternal salvation," he added. more >>