The final countdown to Easter Sunday is here. Churches across the nation are putting the final touches on sermons, worship songs and preparation for large crowds on a day when many unchurched and dechurched decide to attend services.
Willow Creek Community Church is anticipating a crowd of more than 40,000 people at one of their six Easter services on April 7 and 8. Creative Director Blaine Hogan said that Easter services are a challenge because they come so soon after Christmas, and it's always a question of, "How do I make it new or different this year."
He noted on the South Barrington, Ill., church website that the hardest part of planning for services is coming up with the initial idea or theme for the year. But once that is done, things begin to fall into place. more >>
To celebrate Easter Sunday, a production company in Michigan will be performing a medley of popular musical pieces from religiously-themed productions.
The Fourth Wall, an arts and entertainment venue in Jackson, will be performing "The Bible According to Broadway" on Friday and Saturday evening.
The production will include talented locals from the Jackson, Michigan area. Songs performed by the extensive cast will include opuses from "Godspell," "Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," "Fiddler On The Roof," and "Jesus Christ Superstar." more >>
As Good Friday is being observed by Christians around the world, pastors have expressed their thoughts via Twitter on Jesus Christ's death on the cross.
The following are tweets by some of the nation's most well-known pastors:
Max Lucado, minister of Preaching at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas more >>
A recent Newsweek article, "Christianity in Crisis," has stirred quite a controversy. The article, written by Andrew Sullivan, a Christian author, editor, political commentator and blogger (ardent supporter of separation of church and state) and published during the Holy Week, makes a case that "Christianity has been destroyed by politics, priests, and get-rich evangelists," and that Christians should walk away from the church all together and follow the teachings of Jesus individually.
Being Jesus' disciple requires giving up all power (power pushes one towards violence, Sullivan argues, quoting Thomas Jefferson) and renouncing politics (Jesus was apolitical, the article argues). The church has become too politically involved and too far removed from the original teachings of Christ, who was humble and actually disliked crowds, according to Sullivan. The author does not spare Evangelical Christians and the "prosperity gospel," as well as the Catholic hierarchy, which "was exposed as enabling, and then covering up, an international conspiracy to abuse and rape countless youths and children."
"Jefferson's vision of a simpler, purer, apolitical Christianity couldn't be further from the 21st-century American reality," Sullivan concluded. more >>
Did the disciples think they saw Jesus after his death on the cross as the result of hallucination or did they really see a resurrected Christ?
Theologian Mike Licona, leader of Risen Jesus ministries, gives an answer to this question in a short video that is part of the "Top 10 Myths about the Resurrection" series that features his teachings on the subject. The ten video clips are available online through apologetics websites, including Credo House Ministries.
"The most common myth pertaining to Jesus' resurrection is the earliest Christians had visions of Jesus exalted in heaven and the visions were hallucinations," Licona told The Christian Post via email. more >>
A megachurch in Phoenix, Ariz., kicked off a clean water campaign today by having its college students walk for 12 miles across the city to raise money to build water wells in developing countries.
Palmcroft Church is behind a campaign to raise thousands of dollars to bring clean water to those in Haiti and Ethiopia in order to fight water-borne diseases. The World Health Organization estimates that unsafe water and poor sanitation kill more people around the world than all forms of violence, including war.
Jeff Wolfe, a pastor at Palmcroft, told The Christian Post that the four-hour walk symbolizes the four hours – often both ways – that women and children have to walk to find clean water in developing countries. more >>