Young, modern churches are much like independent coffee shops in that they tend to forget who they are serving and lack the humility of traditional establishments that came before them, says Christian author and spoken-word artist Jefferson Bethke.
While the comparison between churches and coffee shops is unconventional, Bethke argues that the similarities between the two are based on creating a culture of exclusivism. more >>
Young adults are currently experiencing a revival of interest in apologetics in order to defend their faith, especially since society questions the biblical narrative on hot button issues now more than ever, says Dan Kimball, leader of the teaching and mission ministries at California's Vintage Faith Church.
Kimball, whose congregation is largely comprised of college-aged students, urges churches to instill biblical doctrine and theology in the current generation because going to church is not enough, they also need to know what Christians believe and why.
"Because people don't know the Bible's story, different stories have emerged, sometimes portraying Christians as hateful, Jesus as just one more teacher among the world's religions, and the God of the Bible as a jealous, violent deity … to counter these caricatures of Christianity, we must be proactive, using apologetics to teach what the Bible really does and does not say …," writes Kimball, in a recent Church Leaders article. more >>
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal by a group suing California for its recently passed state ban on sexual orientation change therapy for youth struggling with same-sex attraction.
America's highest court decided Monday to not review an appeal by a non-profit legal group, letting stand a lower court decision upholding the California law, known as Senate Bill 1172.
The U.S. Supreme Court's Monday decision allowing owners of closely held for-profit corporations with certain religious convictions to opt-out of parts of the "Obamacare" birth-control mandate was a win for religious freedom, some Christian leaders have said.
Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, said in a statement that the decision "shows that religious freedom continues to be the lifeblood of a country founded on the inalienable rights afforded to us by our Creator."
"Religious groups and business owners should not have to violate their faith in order to follow the law. It's not the role of government to define what we believe or what our faith includes," said Daly. more >>
An effort to repeal a controversial anti-discrimination ordinance in Houston, Texas, that purportedly would allow men to use women's bathrooms has until Thursday to garner enough signatures to be considered or put to a vote on the November ballot.
In May, after an 11-hour meeting, the Houston City Council approved an "Equal Rights Ordinance" by a vote of 11 to 6. The ERO amends Chapters 2, 15 and 17 of Houston's Code of Ordinances, prohibiting discrimination in public facilities and private employment on the basis of "protected characteristics."
Critics of ERO have claimed that it will have several unintended consequences, such as allowing transgendered men to use women's bathrooms. more >>
In a landmark religious freedom case the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods Specialties, stating that corporations can refuse to provide certain drugs that may abort a fetus on the basis of religious objection.
In a five to four decision, the highest court in the land ruled that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act applies to privately owned businesses like Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods Specialties.
The decision was narrowed to only the contraceptive mandate and is not necessarily applicable to all insurance mandates, like blood transfusions or vaccinations. more >>