The PC(USA) Presbytery of Lehigh filed a lawsuit earlier this week asking a judge to prohibit the 2,600-member First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, from leaving the denomination.
"The countersuits by the Lehigh Presbytery were joined by 22 members of the 140-year-old Center Street Church, the largest Presbyterian congregation in the Lehigh Valley," reported The Morning Call.
"It came as church leaders have scheduled a congregational meeting Sunday to vote on whether to immediately separate from the denomination, according to the filings." more >>
A 19-year-old teen died after being severely beaten for more than 14 hours in two days at the hands of his father and other Word of Life Christian Church members.
The teen, along with his younger brother, was reportedly punished after it was revealed that they had plans to leave the church. The father has pleaded guilty for taking part in the physical assault and will testify against others that were accused.
Nathan Ames, former Word of Life Christian Church member, told People Magazine, "Normal churches are not like this. This is not what a real church is. It's sad that people see this and think that's what church is. I think it's a cult simply because mind control was used, and because the Irwins made claims that they were the only way to heaven. People believed that." more >>
In a gathering with 900 evangelical pastors and leaders Tuesday, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump promised that he would protect the political speech and religious freedom of pastors and clergy by repealing a longstanding ban on church and nonprofit politicking.
As many evangelical leaders have remained skeptical about backing Trump even after he clinched enough delegates to claim the GOP nomination, the organizations United in Purpose and My Faith Votes, headed by Ben Carson, organized a much-anticipated "conversation" between the billionaire real estate mogul and over 900 pastors, activists and leaders in New York City to allow them to get to know each other better.
Trump was successful in winning over a number of the pastors in attendance by promising that he would not only elect pro-life Supreme Court justices but also vowing to protect the First Amendment rights of churches and pastors. more >>
Jerry Falwell Jr. shot back at critics of a photo of himself with Donald Trump that had a Playboy magazine cover in the background, saying they are the "same hypocrites who accused Jesus ...."
Falwell, president of Liberty University, posted the photo to his Twitter account Tuesday. The photo shows Falwell's wife, Becki, and Trump in front of a wall of magazine covers featuring Trump, including a Playboy magazine cover.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) has elected a co-moderator for its 222nd General Assembly who believes members of the denomination are just as evil as Orlando shooter Omar Mateen who pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State terror group.
In a blog written within hours of the Orlando nightclub shooting in which Mateen killed 49 people, the Rev. Denise Anderson — a pastor from National Capital Presbytery who is serving alongside the Rev. Jan Edmiston, a presbytery executive from Chicago as a co-moderator for the PCUSA's annual assembly — argues that "many in our own ranks aren't too idealistically different from this gunman."
"Much of this [homelessness, human trafficking, crime, drug use and suicide among LGBT youth] can be attributed to religious teaching," Anderson claims. "A pastor who counseled parents to turn their backs on their gay son, or submit their lesbian daughter to conversion therapy. Flippant comments about 'sissies' thrown carelessly about from the pulpit. more >>
The Church of England will seek a compromise between traditional marriage supporting Christians and LGBT-affirming voices at its next General Synod in July, looking to prevent Anglicans from formally splintering due to differing views on homosexuality.
The Guardian reports that as many as 550 Anglican representatives around the world are set for three days of intense talks about human sexuality next month. While the CofE is not hoping to reach an agreement between the divisive viewpoints, it will seek to achieve dialog and mutual understanding.
Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, has talked at length about the need for Anglicans to stick together as one body despite the conflicting viewpoints they have on controversial issues, and has said he's hopeful that conversations between Church representatives will begin healing some of the wounds caused by the rift. more >>