A conservative Presbyterian church that was founded in 2012 in response to the growing theological liberalism of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has reached its 200th member congregation.
The Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians gained congregation number 200 when First Presbyterian Church of Griffin, Georgia, joined the denomination earlier this month, following a unanimous vote.
"We have planned for it. We have dreamed about it. The hardest part has been waiting, but the wait is almost over," noted First Presbyterian in their May newsletter. "It will bring deep satisfaction to move into this next chapter together. It will also bring rest. And the truth is, we need both." more >>
A United States Marine was convicted at a court-martial for refusing to remove a Bible verse on her computer – a verse of Scripture the military determined "could easily be seen as contrary to good order and discipline."
The plight of Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling seems unbelievable – a member of the Armed Forces criminally prosecuted for displaying a slightly altered passage of Scripture from the Old Testament: "No weapon formed against me shall prosper."
Sterling, who represented herself at trial, was convicted February 1, 2014 in a court-martial at Camp Lejune, North Carolina after she refused to obey orders from a staff sergeant to remove the Bible verses from her desk. more >>
Once again the internet has been abuzz with discussions of whether women should preach in the local church gathering. Whenever the issue is raised, those who oppose it are quick to explain that the role is not withheld from women because they are less valuable than men. And that "equal value" assertion always shifts my eyes from the pulpit to a more pressing concern. As some continue to debate the presence of women in the pulpit, we must not miss this immediate problem: the marked absence of women in areas of church leadership that are open to them.
The women e-mailing me regularly are not worried about winning the pulpit. They're still facing opposition over teaching the Bible to other women. They are fighting to be seen as necessary beyond children's ministry and women's ministry. They are fighting to contribute more than hospitality or a soft voice on the praise team. They are looking for leadership trajectories for women in the local church and finding virtually nothing. They watch their brothers receive advocacy and wonder who will invite them and equip them to lead well. If the contributions of women are equally valued in the church, shouldn't we see some indication in the way we staff? In who we groom for leadership, both lay and vocational?
Because we don't see that. Not even close. And we must not ignore this problem. more >>
I almost never do this, but I felt it was very important to share a letter with you so that the whole world could understand what really happened in Ireland as this predominantly Catholic nation voted decisively to redefine marriage.
After the vote, I posted this on Facebook:
What can we learn from the vote to redefine marriage in Ireland, a traditionally Catholic country? more >>
Not many Christians know what they're talking about when they discuss racial reconciliation and their reliance on the modern social construct of "race," as opposed to the Bible's approach to the term, which leads to an "incomplete Gospel" and underestimation of the pervasiveness of racism, according to a New Testament scholar.
"I think when we in the Christian community, when you listen to a lot of folks talk about ... when they actually talk about racial reconciliation, I'm not convinced that many know what they're talking about," said Jarvis J. Williams, associate professor of New Testament interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. "There's a sense of confusion about what race is, in terms of the modern social construction of race and how race functioned in the biblical word."
He suggested that the "typical evangelical Protestant Christian" thinks the Gospel is limited to how one becomes a Christian. "And I'd be the first to say, 'Certainly, that's the foundation of what we find in the New Testament.' How does one become right with God, trusting Christ by faith, believe that God offered Jesus to die on the cross for our sins and He raised Him up from the dead. But the Gospel is not only that. It is that, but it's more," Williams insisted. more >>
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of the reality-show "19 Kids and Counting" have continued receiving the backing of evangelical voices amidst the molestation scandal revolving their oldest son, Josh Duggar. Evangelism Explosion International, a worldwide training ministry, said that while Josh Duggar's actions as a teenager were "reprehensible," he has admitted and abandoned his wrong conduct.
"Having met the Duggar family and been in their home, I have great admiration and appreciation for how Jim Bob and Michelle instilled Christian values in the lives of each of their children. They are a model family but not, as they will quickly tell you, a perfect family. And that, of course, is true for all of us. We have all sinned —violated the moral law of God — in thought, word, and deed," EEI President John B. Sorensen said in a statement.
"Josh Duggar's actions 12 years ago as a young teenager were wrong and reprehensible. But he acknowledged and abandoned his wrong conduct. His parents addressed it in his life and in the lives of his victims — providing correction for him and supportive counseling for them. He has not hidden or denied his immoral actions but openly acknowledged what he did — even telling his wife, Anna, and her family long before the two were even engaged," Sorensen added. more >>