Nearly 1,500 U.S. pastors reportedly have agreed to flex their free speech muscles this weekend and preach politically-charged sermons on the occasion of Pulpit Freedom Sunday. Their act of civil disobedience, which involves putting their churches' tax exempt status on the line, is meant to draw attention to what they believe is an unjust law. And if they manage to spark the ire of the IRS and any atheist organization willing to argue it out in court, then an activist legal group is more than ready to take up their case, for free.
"The message we've been telling pastors for years now in regard to Pulpit Freedom Sunday is, 'We've got your back. Pastor, stand, preach from your pulpit what God lays on your heart to tell your people and you have the free exercise and the free speech right that's enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution to do that," Alliance Defending Freedom senior legal counsel Erik Stanley told The Christian Post.
Chuck Smith, Jr., has responded in strong opposition to a lawsuit shortly after it was filed by his sister and apparently supported by his brother on Friday, that alleges elder abuse against the late Pastor Chuck Smith and wrongful takeover of his property by the church board at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, and includes current pastor Brian Brodersen.
"For the record, I want it to be known that I do not support the lawsuit my sister Janette and brother Jeff have filed against Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa," Smith wrote in a letter that was distributed at the church on Sunday.
"In my opinion it is groundless, deplorable, dishonoring to our father (and to his work, not to mention the people to whom he dedicated his life). It is another sad stain on the representation of Christianity. The only motivation I can see for the suit is malice and greed. Any pretense to honor my father's name or provide adequate care and support for my mother is nonsense." more >>
The Southern Baptist Convention withdrew a California church known for its "third way" on gay unions and homosexuality from its church membership, officials announced Tuesday.
New Heart Community Church of La Mirada was removed SBC's Executive Committee by a unanimous vote.
SBC made the move after New Heart's pastor Danny Cortez and some of its members declared that homosexual unions could be blessed by God. more >>
The center of the Roman Catholic Church has put a defrocked archbishop under house arrest, pending his criminal trial over accusations of sexual abuse.
Vatican City officials placed 66-year-old Jozef Wesolowski, former ambassador of the Holy See and archbishop, under house arrest due to the city-state lacking a proper jailhouse.
"It is the first time the Vatican will hold a criminal trial on charges of child sexual abuse, and it comes as Pope Francis has been trying to set a new tone of rigorous attention in the long-running abuse scandal," reported the New York Times. more >>
The head of The Episcopal Church has announced that she will not seek re-election, ending speculation as to whether or not the mainline denomination will have a change in leadership.
The Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori announced Tuesday that she will not seek a second nine year term as Presiding Bishop.
Craig Gross, the founding pastor of XXXchurch.com, recently appeared on the Bad Christian podcast where he discussed Christian actor Kirk Cameron and why pastors need to talk more about the subjects of sex and porn from the pulpit.
His criticism of Cameron stems from differences in strategies for evangelizing. While Gross claims to take a prolonged approach to reaching someone with the Gospel by befriending them long-term, he feels Cameron and his mentor Ray Comfort attempt to save someone in "3 minutes."
"They don't like XXXchurch, so we don't like them," said Gross during the podcast. "[They don't like us] because we hang out with porn stars, they'll never have us on their podcast and they actually take clips from us and play it on their podcast, but they'll never have me on." more >>