As the first head of the Roman Catholic Church to be from Latin America and winner of Time Magazine's Person of the Year, Pope Francis is kind of a big deal.
And like any person who is a big deal, he has said a lot of things on a lot of topics. Problem is, there is also a lot of stuff attributed to him that, well, might not be accurate.
From judging to atheism, from animals to launching a Third Vatican Council, below in no particular order are a few of the statements that Francis either did not make or that have been taken out of context. more >>
When Bishop Harry Jackson, chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Washington, D.C., first called up Bishop T.D. Jakes, one of America's favorite and most influential preachers and asked him to be a part of a summit to heal America's racial divide, one of the first emotions Jakes felt was fear.
The senior pastor of The Potter's House megachurch in Dallas, Texas, and New York Times best-selling author says he was afraid because his faith in people at that particular moment on matters of race had grown fragile. America was tense. Protests over controversial police actions in Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York, were sweeping the country. Jakes just didn't know. What if everything just went wrong?
"My faith in people was so fragile that when Bishop Jackson called me I said, 'Man, I'm scared. If this doesn't go right, I just don't know,'" he confessed during an evening service at his church hours after a diverse coalition of influential pastors and Christian faith leaders had met for the summit called "Healing the Racial Divide" on Thursday night — the birthday of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. more >>
Living solely for yourself can bring absolute misery according to two Christian writers who used Scripture to prove their point in a blog posted on The Gospel Coalition website Thursday.
"One of the barriers that holds many people back from knowing, being filled with, and being controlled by the love of Christ is the idea that true happiness can only be found if I am free to live for myself," writes Colin Smith, senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and a council member with The Gospel Coalition, and Kristen Wetherell, writer, speaker and the content manager of Unlocking the Bible.
Smith and Wetherell make that argument that living for yourself is the "default option for every person" and "unless something happens to bring about a change, we end up living for ourselves." They point out that the Bible says this quite clearly: "All seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 2:21). more >>
"Why didn't someone do something?"
Those five words still haunt my thoughts today. Sometime ago, I sat speechless as I listened to a man recount his trip to a holocaust museum with his young daughter. As they walked by photos of the death camps and gas chambers, his daughter silently contemplated the horrors that were unfolding before her eyes.
When the tour ended, they drove home without saying a word. The father wondered if she truly understood the significance of the event. Was she too young to view such depravity? Was she too fragile to cope with the truth of the holocaust? Would it make a negative impact on her life? Would it leave her fearful and wounded? Would she begin to doubt God? more >>
For many of us, going to church is a part of the Sunday routine. We hear a sermon, sing a few hymns, pray, and worship. We may reflect on a challenging message from the Gospels. Perhaps we satiate our longing for spirituality or just maybe we are wondering when the sermon will be over so we can catch the end of the football game. For some of us it is essential to who we are. For others, we go because our loved ones or friends go. Still others don't really even know why we go—it's just part of what we do.
Keeping a Sunday routine can be especially challenging during life's transitions: starting a new job, moving to a new community, getting married. Perhaps no transition is more challenging for religious practice than adjusting to university life or living on your own. According to a study by Jennifer Keup and Ellen Bara Stolzenberg, 83 percent of college freshman report attending church frequently at the beginning of the year but only 57 percent continued to do so by the end of their freshman year. Responsibilities and demands become much greater as time goes on, and finding the time to get everything done, while balancing other priorities, becomes a challenge. We often find ourselves choosing between homework and friends, extracurricular activities and family, church and work. Many times we give church the short end of the stick as other pressing needs demand our attention. There are many reasons, however, why this may not be in our best interest.
From a faith perspective, God holds the place of primacy in our lives. We should not place other gods before Him—not money or grades, friends or prestige. But faith aside, weekly church attendance has many practical benefits. Just take educational attainment as an example. more >>
A pregnant woman who was recently fired by a Virginia church's daycare center for not setting a date for her wedding to the father of her unborn baby says she might take legal action.
Apryl Kellam was fired from her position at the chid development center just days after she said she received a raise on Jan. 7.
James Coalson, Kellam's fiancé and the father of her soon-to-be born child, told The Christian Post that they've been mulling the idea of seeking legal counsel after Staples Mill Road Baptist Church's firing for her violation of the center's employee handbook. more >>