A Texas organization that has investigated financial fraud in the American religious community is in the process of expanding their efforts globally.
The Dallas-based Trinity Foundation recently announced their plans to investigate religious fraud on a global scale following the release of research earlier this year indicating that religious fraud globally may total $100 billion in the next decade.
In a recently released statement, the Trinity Foundation noted that for 2015 alone it's estimated that international religious fraud will exceed donations to global missions. more >>
Although multiple real estate interests were in the running to purchase the prime urban Seattle property owned by the now-defunct 15,000-member megachurch Mars Hill, the Ballard neighborhood church facility will remain a sanctuary, as a nearby congregation won the bidding on Tuesday with a $9-million offer.
After Mars Hill, which owned 15 properties across five states, announced its plans to dissolve into a number of independent churches last fall, after controversy sounded the leadership of its head pastor, Mark Driscoll, the congregation put up for sale nearly $25 million worth of its properties in late October.
The real estate company Colliers International announced Tuesday that nearby Quest Church won the sale of the 40,000 square-foot property with a $9-million bid, even though the facility in the bustling Ballard shopping district was bid on by nine different real estate developers. more >>
The Rev. Chris Schuller, former rector at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in St. Petersburg, Florida, who posted a video on YouTube calling on people to "thank God for marijuana" and stop being judgmental by "throwing stones at people who are already stoned," might soon face punishment from his bishop for the public statements supporting the recreational use of the drug.
While the video was posted back in December it was recently brought to the attention of Bishop Dabney Smith, head of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida.
A district court judge in Texas has ruled in favor of a diocese of the Episcopal Church that broke away in 2008 over theological differences regarding who controls the diocesan name and property.
Judge John Chupp of Tarrant County ruled Monday that the Diocese of Fort Worth under Bishop Jack Leo Iker owns the name and property of the diocese instead of the mainline denomination.
Speaking at Westminster Theological Seminary's second-ever "Real State of the Union" conference last Saturday, three Christian scholars stressed to attendees that it is time for Christians to faithfully stand up in the public square and reclaim America's Judeo-Christian heritage from what has become a prominently secular society.
"I am calling on all believers to have a recommitment to the truth of Christ to speak the truth and love, to be who we are and to engage in justice by being committed to justice and seeing to it by speaking in the public square," Westminster Theological Seminary President Peter Lillback said. "We are not forcing ourselves into a place that we don't belong. This public square was created by this Judeo-Christian heritage that we are speaking about."
Lillback set the tone for the day-long conference, which was held at First Presbyterian Church in Bonita Springs, Florida, with an event-opening speech providing a rundown of how America has transformed from a country that was discovered and founded on Christian values to a society that now largely mocks and ridicules Christians who act in accordance to their religious beliefs. more >>
A South Carolina judge has denied a motion to reconsider a ruling made in a $500 million property dispute case in favor of a diocese that voted to leave the Episcopal Church due to the national denomination's increasing acceptance of homosexuality.
Judge Diane Goodstein decided earlier this week to reject arguments made by The Episcopal Church requesting that she reconsider her order granting the Diocese of South Carolina ownership over the name and $500 million worth of diocesan church properties.