NEW YORK — Young Christians continue to grapple with how to reconcile traditional and restrictive church teachings on sexual ethics with the intimate relationships they experience and witness in their social circles, according to a religious studies professor and recent surveys.
The traditional Christian view that sex is only to be experienced in heterosexual marriage has been shared by less and less Americans over the years. A 2013 Gallup poll indicates that Millennials (those 18 to mid-30s) are least likely to hold the same view. Americans who claim to be Christians can also be counted among those with liberal views on premarital sex. One could ask if this means that Christian doctrines on sex and sexuality need to be loosened or revised to meet the needs and concerns of the present culture.
Dr. Teresa Delgado, associate professor in the Religious Studies department at Iona College since 2005, appeared on "CP Newsroom" to comment on the changing attitudes of some Christians on matters related to human sexuality. The Theology and Ethics professor noted some of the particular concerns her undergraduate students have shared with her over the years, in terms of conflicted feelings when it comes to their faith and sexuality. more >>
Reaction to the dissolving of Mars Hill Church called for by its elders two weeks after the resignation of its founding pastor, Mark Driscoll, has been varied, including high praise for the controversial pastor's impact on the lives of people who attended his church, a letter of repentance to two former pastors signed by 18 former elders, and fond memories of an edgy congregation meeting in the Seattle area and taking on the world around them.
"Eleven years ago, I walked into a dimly lit former warehouse with crazy art hung up everywhere, tattooed and pierced guys and girls handing out pamphlets, hard rock reverberating through the dark-painted walls, and a short, kinda thick guy up on stage yelling at everyone," wrote Seth MacGillivray, a former long-time member and deacon at Mars Hill, in a post on his Facebook page Friday evening.
"The place was called Mars Hill Church. I was a new Christian, and had a view of most Jesus-followers as a cross between Ned Flanders and high school girls who listened to DC Talk. Here was something new: an ultra-orthodox view of the bible combined with a liberal view of the world," he continued. more >>
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York plans to merge more than 112 parishes into 55 new parishes this year, leading to the closure of as many as 33 churches.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, made the announcement of the mergers on All Saints Sunday.
"This time of transition in the history of the archdiocese will undoubtedly be difficult for people who live in parishes that will merge," stated Dolan. "There will be many who are hurt and upset as they experience what will be a change in their spiritual lives, and I will be one of them." more >>
An Oklahoma pastor has defended his decision to host the very first "Beer and Hymns" night at his local church, following a successful turnout last weekend.
Pastor Evan Taylor, of East Side Christian Church in Tulsa, said his controversial decision to serve ice cold beers at church attracted a large crowd and succeeded in getting people talking. The event, which featured Portland-based religious author Christian Piatt, was part of an outreach weekend program providing the community with a forum to discuss the future of the local church. Approximately 100 people attended, and although there were a few protesters, the event was a huge success.
"It went really good, we had between 80 to 100 people turn out. Half were members of our church and half were just visitors, or people wanting to see what it was about, or people from other churches," Pastor Taylor told The Christian Post exclusively. more >>
Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas, successfully raised the $7.8 million the congregation was required to pay Presbyterian Church (USA) by Monday's deadline to keep its property.
In October 2013, a supermajority of the congregation voted to end their affiliation with PCUSA and join the smaller, more conservative Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians.
"The funds for the settlement were raised entirely by the generous giving of the congregation of Highland Park Presbyterian Church. HPPC did not take on any debt to pay the settlement," Zack House, a spokesman for the church, told The Christian Post. more >>
Authors of the recently released Next: Pastoral Succession That Works say the book was written after discovering that Christian leaders and churches are often looking for resources to help them with the process of finding a successor for the lead pastor, and that most pastors do not have a plan in place.
"The culture has recently shifted. Pastors are both willing to think about their own succession and also are looking for resources to help them, their families, and their boards to wisely handle their preparation," Warren Bird, research director for the Leadership Network, told The Christian Post.
"We tried to balance the book with a brief biblical foundation that affirms ways good leaders plan ahead, with numerous real-life specific stories, and with solid research." more >>