A nascent growing conservative Presbyterian denomination has reported rapid growth over the past year.
The Evangelical Covenant of Presbyterians, a new reform body founded in 2012, concluded its National Gathering in Dallas on Wednesday.
The Rev. Dr. Dana Allin, synod executive for ECO, noted that since the last gathering, held in 2013, the Presbyterian denomination had experienced fantastic growth in the number of member churches. more >>
Lecrae, outspoken Christian and award-winning recording artist, has taken to his social networks to speak out on the frustration he feels in light of responses to the killing of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson. The rapper also has received pushback for suggesting that hip-hop artists lose credibility by rapping about "lawlessness" and then demanding "equality and justice."
"Regardless of your view on #Ferguson. If [you] have zero compassion for that community you are not loving your neighbor as yourself. These are my cousins, aunts, nieces, uncles, nephews, and our ethnic bond is strong," Lecrae wrote on Instagram Friday. "It does not supersede my bond of faith but at times it feels like my eternal family could care less about my earthly family."
He added, "I feel I'm only accepted if I perform well and don't act like my 'cousins.' I am the same as them but the grace of God has granted me opportunities they didn't get." more >>
News about court cases that involve same-sex marriages usually travels fast. But when a judge in Tennessee recently upheld that state's constitutional authority to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman, it went almost unnoticed.
The case involved a same-sex couple married in Iowa that sought a divorce in Tennessee. Because Tennessee does not recognize same-sex relationships as marriages, it was unable to divorce the couple.
Judge Russell E. Simmons, Jr., cited the Supreme Court's decision in the federal Defense of Marriage Act case, U.S. v. Windsor as support that Tennessee has the right to define marriage for itself. "The Windsor case is concerned with the definition of marriage, only as it applies to federal laws, and does not give an opinion concerning whether one State must accept as valid a same-sex marriage allowed in another State," he wrote. more >>
Wilfredo De Jesus, pastor of a Chicago megachurch that oversees more than 130 ministries to the poor and disenfranchised, believes Christians in the U.S. have been playing it safe for far too long. He says many are unwilling to stick their necks out for the marginalized who are suffering in the cracks created by society's broken systems and abusive structures.
De Jesus, pastor New Live Covenant Church, the largest Assemblies of God congregation in the U.S., says it is fear of being ridiculed or ostracized that has paralyzed some leaders and kept them confined to their churches, limiting their engagement with a world in desperate need for people willing to help bridge those gaps.
"A gap is a place of weakness, vulnerability, and danger — a place of real threats," explains De Jesus in his new book, In the Gap. He explains in the book that while gaps can be as broad as illiteracy and human trafficking, they can be as personal as an unfaithful spouse or an abusive family member. more >>
Like many Americans, I have carefully followed the news from Ferguson, MO involving the tragic shooting of an 18-year-old African American, with the notable exception that he carries my name. And so, every day, I'm reading about the shooting of Michael Brown and the death of Michael Brown and the autopsy of Michael Brown, all of which reminds me of the very real loss of life involved.
As I reflect on what is happening in Ferguson and interact with callers to my radio show, there are five obvious lessons to be learned.
1) The racial divide in America remains wide and deep. more >>