The Episcopal Church, a theologically liberal denomination that has strong historic ties to the former Confederacy, voted at their General Convention in favor of a resolution calling for the removal of Confederate battle flags from public display.
"[The] 78th General Convention recognize that icons and symbols are and have always been important to the liturgical life and practice of The Episcopal Church in leading us to Jesus Christ and in inspiring us to share the Good News that is at the heart of our ministry," read Resolution D044 that was introduced by the Rev. Betsy Baumgarten.
"That as our Baptismal Covenant calls Episcopalians to 'respect the dignity of every human being' and as the fourth Mark of Mission calls Episcopalians to 'transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation,' we consider the continued display of the Confederate Battle Flag to be at odds with a faithful witness to the reconciling love of Jesus Christ …" more >>
Jewish author Avi Lipkin claimed Monday that "all" churches in America have been infiltrated by Muslim spies who frequently pretend to have found Christ but are really looking to provide intelligence to radical Muslims who will try to kill all Jews and Christians when jihad is ordered upon the U.S.
Lipkin, who has authored a number of books critical of radical Islam, frequently speaks at Christian churches around the U.S. to emphasize the importance of unity between the Jewish and Christian communities in standing against the advance of radical Islam. Lipkin, who immigrated from New York to Israel in 1968, spoke at this week's Future Conference held at Skyline Church in San Diego where he proclaimed that the world is facing the "most interesting" biblical period since the days of Jesus Christ and contended that the coming of the Messiah is just around the corner.
"We are realizing with our own very eyes fulfillment of more Bible prophecy than in any other generation in 2,000 years," Lipkin asserted. "I believe the Messiah is in our time and I believe Israel will realize its borders." more >>
Pope Francis has said that it's the devil himself who keeps evangelicals, Catholics, and Christians from other denominations divided, and rejected the notion that it's heretical to believe that all Christians are one.
"Division is the work of the 'Father of Lies,' 'the Father of Discord,' who does everything possible to keep us divided," Francis said in a video message to a gathering sponsored by the John 17 Movement, according to Catholic Herald.
"I feel like saying something that may sound controversial, or even heretical, perhaps," he added. "But there is someone who 'knows' that, despite our differences, we are one. It is he who is persecuting us. It is he who is persecuting Christians today, he who is anointing us with (the blood of) martyrdom." more >>
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, has warned that pretending that all faiths are the same or united is "dishonest," and may be helping to fuel religious extremism.
Welby, who leads the Anglican Communion, said that some faith leaders hide behind "bland" and "anaemic" statements about unity and ignore the fact that there are "profound differences" between faiths, according to The Telegraph.
Welby, who was speaking before the Board of Deputies of British Jews in London, told Jewish, Muslim, and Christian leaders that the rise of persecution and religious violence around the world, particularly in the Middle East and Africa, is a "generational" threat that needs to be tackled with an "alternate vision." more >>
Religious leaders from a wide array of denominations have released a joint statement reaffirming their support for traditional marriage ahead of the Supreme Court's hearing of oral arguments on Tuesday. The Christian leaders have said that reaffirming marriage as being between one man and one woman is vital for protecting children and offering them both a father and a mother.
"As religious leaders from various faith communities, we acknowledge that marriage is the foundation of the family where children are raised by a mother and a father together," the statement reads, in part.
The Rev. Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, the Most Rev. Foley Beach, the archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, and Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone, the archbishop of San Francisco and chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, are just some of the notable names that have signed the letter. more >>
An interfaith imperative that brings together over 30 leaders from major world religions, including the World Evangelical Alliance, has launched a call to action to end extreme poverty by 2030 and tackle issues such as climate change.
"What does it mean for the Church to understand that God loves all the world?" asked Christine MacMillan, WEA's director for public engagement, in a phone interview with The Christian Post on Friday.
"There are two questions that you cannot change the answer to for yourself, or anybody else: Who your parents are, and where were you born. And the answer to those questions for some people in this world is devastating. We need to acknowledge that we do not live on an equal plane on this Earth, and God gives us a challenge to create some form of equality by loving our neighbors as ourselves." more >>