The Assemblies of God issued a statement Tuesday encouraging its churches and individual members to gradually shift support away from the U.S. branch of World Vision towards Assemblies of God World Missions, and other Pentecostal and Evangelical charities "that maintain biblical standards of sexual morality."
Denouncing World Vision's decision to allow people who are in a legal same-sex marriages to be employed at the nonprofit organization, George Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, said in a statement shared with The Christian Post on Tuesday that, "On behalf of the General Council of the Assemblies of God, I am writing to express disappointment with the recent policy change of the U.S. branch of World Vision permitting its employees to enter legally valid same-sex marriages."
Wood added that while making this transition in financial support, he "encourages Assemblies of God churches and individuals to remember and continue to put into practice James 1:27 (NIV): 'Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.'" more >>
Starbucks Coffee plans to expand its wine and beer selection to 40 locations throughout the United States by the end of this year, and thousands more in the years to come.
"The concept is a natural progression for Starbucks as we seek to create a new occasion for customers to gather, relax and connect with each other in the evenings," spokeswoman Lisa Passe said, according to USA Today.
The international coffee chain began experimenting with alcohol sales at a lone location in Seattle, Wash., in 2010. more >>
American philanthropist Melinda Gates talked about her Roman Catholic faith and funding contraceptives in the global fight against AIDS, noting that many Catholics disagree with official church doctrine on the contraception issue.
"Even though I am Catholic I believe in contraceptives, just like the majority of Catholic women in the United States who report using contraceptives, and I shouldn't let that controversy be the thing that holds us back," Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, shared at the TED 2014 conference in Vancouver on Tuesday, The Vancouver Sun reported.
The Catholic Church teaches against the use of contraception, defining it as "any action which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act (sexual intercourse), or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible." This includes sterilization, condoms and the birth control pill. more >>
Gene Robinson, recognized as the first openly gay bishop in a major Protestant denomination, has called on Pope Francis to change the Roman Catholic Church's official doctrine that defines homosexuality as a disorder, arguing that such a teaching is "the basis for discrimination, rejection and violence the world over."
The Vatican has repeatedly said that Pope Francis is not seeking to make doctrine changes, however.
"If Pope Francis is to be believed in all the kindly pronouncements of his first year (and I do), his good tone should be followed by the tough work of changing the systems of belief, doctrine and religious practice which perpetuate the victimization of those he seeks to serve," Robinson, who was installed as bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church in 2004 and retired in 2013, wrote in an article for The Daily Beast on Sunday. more >>
With church attendance dropping and the youth losing interest in faith, leaders from all over the world are scrambling to find ways to better engage those who are disillusioned. British-born ministry 3DM proposes an interesting solution to that very problem and already saw great success in the European Union, planting over 500 churches in just five years.
Last month The Christian Post attended a Discipleship and Missions Workshop in Foxboro, Mass. held by the innovative ministry. The event basically functioned as a preview for those in the New England area interested in what it had to offer that could help their ailing congregations. 3DM aims to reshape church culture to something that closely resembles the 1st-century church by returning it to an extended family model.
The ministry uses its own tools and language to do so. More about its Huddles, Missional Communities and Shape Language can be read about in Part 1 and Part 2. The Christian Post had the opportunity to sit and speak with 3DM Central members Eric Pfeiffer and Kristine Blaess. Here's what they had to say about the way we do church, and if their tools could help to keep people inside and outside the faith engaged with the body. more >>
The Swedish Evangelical Alliance has responded to former megachurch leader Ulf Ekman's decision to convert to Roman Catholicism, praising him for all his efforts in bringing the Word of God to Swedes and people around the world, but also highlighting the "crucial dividing lines" between Catholics and Evangelicals that can not be ignored.
"Ulf Ekman, despite all the controversies along the way, is undoubtedly the most dynamic and influential Christian leader we have had in Sweden during the past half century. His international significance goes far beyond what most Swedes understand; countless people around the world thank God for the ministry of Ulf Ekman," Stefan Gustavsson, general secretary of the Swedish Evangelical Alliance, stated, as reported by IRD President Mark Tooley on Tuesday.
"In other matters, there are crucial dividing lines which can't be avoided," he added. more >>