In the wake of this past weekend's tragic death of Matthew Warren, son of Pastor Rick Warren and wife Kay, Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, stressed the need for the church to address mental illness.
Along with shedding the shame and stigma that often accompanies mental illness, Stetzer recently wrote that he believes Christians need to address the issue of medicine relating to mental illness in the church.
Ocean Grove N.J., a one square mile town along the North Jersey seashore, is known for its state and national historic designation as having the largest aggregate of Victorian and early 20th century structures in America. Founded in 1869 during the holiness movement by a group of ministers and friends, its mission is to establish a permanent Christian camp meeting community with the purpose of providing opportunities for spiritual birth, growth, and renewal through worship, education, cultural, and recreational programs for persons of all ages in a Christian seaside setting.
While much has changed since its founding in 1869, much remains the same. The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a Christian ministry organization, owns all of the land in Ocean Grove and leases it to homeowners and businesses for 99-year renewable terms. It's still a dry town and the beach is still closed on Sunday mornings. 114 tents, which are occupied from May to September, continue to frame the Great Auditorium just as they have done since 1869.
However, a drive through the town of historic Victorian homes reveals more than latticed rooftops and widow's peaks. On many homes hang blue flags with yellow equal signs, which indicate support for same-sex couples being allowed to have civil union ceremonies on Camp Meeting Association property, such as the boardwalk pavilion. Historically, the pavilion has been used for bible studies, church services, gospel choir performances, and weddings. more >>
Let me humbly admit that I may have had a Starbucks latte in my hand on the morning my staff told me the unfortunate news. Starbucks doesn't want my money anymore.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz sent a clear message that he does not care about the business of anyone who believes that marriage is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman, pointedly telling one such investor at Starbucks' annual shareholders meeting, "You can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company."
Throwing sound business principles out the window, Schultz essentially stated, "I do not want your business." Seeing as this outburst reportedly followed Schultz's statement that he wanted to "embrace diversity of all kinds," it's clear his diversity does not include individuals who uphold the institution of marriage. So what are conservative coffee connoisseurs to do? This dilemma has left many believers and non-believers questioning if a boycott would be effective or even "Christian." more >>
Two weeks after the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) President & CEO Dr. Frank Wright announced his resignation from the organization, effective Oct. 4, some members remain surprised by the abrupt nature of his decision.
In his resignation letter to NRB Board Chairman, Richard P. Bott II, which was made public on March 21, Wright noted that the decision was a prayerful one. It appears, however, that the rumination on his exit from the NRB was kept mostly between him and God, until recently.
"I have prayerfully concluded that my season of service at NRB is drawing to a close," Wright wrote in a letter to Bott. "Accordingly, I do hereby resign my position as president and CEO of NRB, effective October 4, 2013." more >>
An article by a former single-semester student speculated recently that Liberty University, founded by Dr. Jerry Falwell Sr. 42 years ago in Lynchburg, Va., had taken a progressive stance on same-sex marriage due to the evangelical Christian college remaining "quiet" while members of the conservative community spoke out on the Supreme Court's review of two major marriage cases.
Kevin Roose, who shared his experiences at Liberty in The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University (2009), concluded in his article titled "At Jerry Falwell's Christian College, It's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' on Gay Marriage:"
"That newfound progressivism should worry some of the school's alumni, but it should cheer proponents of same-sex marriage. After all, politicians in both parties are converting to the gay-marriage cause in droves and forcing the movement's opponents to the fringes. And if the anti-gay-marriage movement can't get vocal, broad-based support in Lynchburg – at a school founded expressly to promote conservative Christian values – it may not be able to find it anywhere." more >>
The Evangelical Immigration Table, a group of evangelical pastors and organizations formed to support immigration reform, has bought airtime on Christian radio stations in four key states – Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, and Texas – to encourage members of Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
The ads began running just after Easter Sunday. They will feature the voices of pastors from the area in which the ads run.
In one example, the voice in the ad says, in part, "As Christians, we should be known by our love ... many of our neighbors come here seeking opportunity, but our dysfunctional immigration system breaks up families and causes suffering. Christ calls all of us to compassion and to justice. I invite you to join a growing movement of Christians asking our political leaders for immigration solutions rooted in biblical values that reflect each person's God-given dignity, respect the rule of law, protect family unity, guarantee secure borders, ensure fairness for taxpayers, and establish a path toward citizenship." more >>