The Vatican announced Tuesday that Pope Francis will set up a panel to help process the "backlog" of appeals from priests who've been accused of committing sexual abuse against minors. The new judicial body, or college, will be overseen by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
"Hearing the appeals is a very important job, especially those on abuse of minors, and the backlog of cases is at risk of absorbing all the time of the congregation," Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi told The Tablet, a Catholic news weekly.
"[The accused] shall have his case examined by the whole body of members of the congregation, the ordinary session, which may also examine other specific cases upon papal request, and/or examine cases referred to it by the newly created college," he added. more >>
Pastor Perry Noble of NewSpring Church recently shared that he believes that Christians for too long have been putting unnecessary focus on telling people what not to do instead of simply asking people to "follow Jesus" in order to make disciples.
Noble, claiming that tax collectors and sinners were viewed as "scum of the earth" in first century Palestine during Jesus' time, insisted that still today, "All of us, whether we want to admit it or not, we have certain categories that we label people in, as far as sinners."
The founding and senior pastor of the multi-campus NewSpring Church in South Carolina spoke on the topic of Christian Civility for The Nines 2014 online conference last week, which was themed "Culture Clash: When Church and Culture Collide." more >>
Pastor Dwayne Black made headlines this week along with fellow pastor Mark Sims and 90-year-old Arnold Abbott, for his for being arrested for feeding the poor and homeless in Fort Lauderdale. Pastor Black took time to speak with The Christian Post about his calling to feed the homeless.
Black, Sims and Abbott were all arrested on Sunday for feeding the homeless in a public area in the city. Just two days prior, Mayor Jack Seiler had signed a new law into place that places a restriction on feeding groups of people within city limits. However, the three men saw a need in their community and decided to take action, even if it meant legal trouble.
"We fed about six or seven people when the police approached," Black told CP. "We actually said a prayer and then gave communion to the homeless. If feeding them is going to get me arrested, let me get arrested for giving them communion. The police stayed off to the side, but then they suddenly made a move forward, and Abbott and I stayed." more >>
Answering a listener's question, John Piper told followers of his podcast that a bullying pastor is a leader who abuses his authority. The retired Bethlehem Baptist Church pastor said bullying pastors should be admonished and gave listeners of his Ask Pastor John program a scriptural litmus test to identifying such a leader.
Bullying or abusive church leaders manifest themselves in a number of ways, Piper explained. One of those manifestations is tearing down church members.
"One of the reasons you have to rebuke one person in the church is because they are hurting the sheep. They're hurting other people and out of love and the up-building of the other people, you may have to get tough with a sheep-hurter or destroyer or a wolf in sheep's clothing," he explained. more >>
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 >>