"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 >>
The United Methodist Church's highest court will be deciding whether or not the denomination's first openly gay bishop will be allowed to serve.
In July, delegates of the UMC Western Jurisdiction unanimously elected the Rev. Karen Oliveto to be bishop of the UMC Mountain Sky Area, even though Church rules state that "self-avowed practicing homosexuals" cannot be ordained.
Next spring, the United Methodist Judicial Council will consider a petition centered on whether or not Oliveto can serve given that she is a married lesbian. more >>
In C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, a senior demon named Screwtape provides guidance to his inexperienced nephew Wormwood in the art of tempting and undermining the faith of a new convert to Christianity. Decades have now passed since these letters first appeared in print, and I can imagine Wormwood has grown more skilled in his craft and has accepted a regional position over America. Screwtape, responding to his nephew's inquiry about recent efforts to promote religious liberty, might provide the following blueprint for neutralizing this threat:
My Dear Wormwood,
Since you have sought my advice on ways you might contain and eliminate what the Enemy's followers have dubbed "religious liberty," I offer you the following short list of suggestions that seem to lend themselves favorably to your task. Remember that you are now providing regional oversight, so you must focus not on individual believers but rather take actions that will have a broad, counteracting impact on their community as a whole. 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 >>
Nearly a dozen ministers within the Church of England are expected to reveal in a letter that they are gay and have married their same-sex partners despite the Church's biblical opposition to gay marriage.
The Guardian reported on Sunday that the letter from the clergy to the Church will ask for permission to carry out blessings for people entering gay marriages.
"Our marriages are legal, celebrated and widely accepted in society," said Andrew Foreshew-Cain, one of the first priests to defy the CofE's ban on gay marriage. more >>
Iranian-American Pastor Saeed Abedini has warned that some ministries are putting profit, fame, and love of money before God, which leads to failure.
"The Bible tells us that some have served other masters their whole life. It can be parents, your business, your boss, your church, your pastors or a ministry. It can even be your country, like someone who commits themselves to some politicians," Abedini, the exclusive director at Saeed Ministries, wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
"I have seen many people who have masters in any or all these areas of life. Why? The Bible tells us it is for PROFIT," he continued. more >>