Hope Hilley Carpenter, wife of Pastor Ron Carpenter, has addressed for the very first time their marital woes that were made public last year before the congregation she and her husband founded over 20 years ago. Mrs. Carpenter repented and apologized to members of Redemption World Outreach Center, but did not cite the specific sins or behavior she regards as stumbling blocks to her husband, family and church community.
This past Sunday, Pastor Carpenter took a few minutes before his wife joined him before the congregation to touch on his sermon series, "What Makes a Man?" Carpenter referenced Ephesians 5:25 and 1 Corinthians 13, the first a Bible passage that call on husbands to love their wives like Christ loved the Church, and the second a reminder to believers that love is the greatest virtue.
When Carpenter finally transitioned from his brief sermon to call his wife before the congregation, worshippers stood to their feet, many of them clapping and some of them hooting in joy, according to a video recording of the service. more >>
The Arabic "nun" symbol, or N, which stands for Nazarene and refers to Christians, ominously began appearing, stamped in red, on Christian homes in Mosul, Iraq, two weeks ago.
By mid-July, it was accompanied by another statement, painted in black, "Property of the Islamic State." And with that, the Christians found their worst fears confirmed.
On July 19, ISIS, the Sunni Muslim insurgent group declaring itself the Islamic State, carried out unabated and unabashed religious cleansing against Christians and the non-Sunni Muslim communities. Today, in this place of Nineveh of the Bible, the ancient heart of Iraqi Christianity, there's not a single Christian left. All have been stripped of their possessions and deported. more >>
A new documentary, "When God Left the Building," slated for release in August, will examine the decline of the American church and the overall deteriorating spiritual condition of the United States.
Thom Schultz, director and president of Group Publishing, set out to examine the fall of several churches and found that in addition to internal issues, external cultural factors are playing a part in the decay of the church.
"The American church as we know it is dying," said Schultz in a statement. "What was once the heart and soul of the community is going away. The majority of churches across the country are either stuck or in a state of decline …" more >>
One of the primary critiques of religion popular among New Atheists and secularists generally is that it is arrogant and close-minded for any group to claim a monopoly on truth. The idea that a divine creator had a plan and ordered things a certain way, that he (or she, or it) revealed the Truth to an elect group and that all mankind will be judged by how closely they aligned their lives with the Truth... nothing could be more offensive to the secular progressive worldview. On the contrary, secular progressives claim the mantle of open-mindedness and tolerance. They understand that what feels true for some may not be true for others. They value individual perspective and individual experience and recognize that nothing in life – not morality or values or culture or lifestyle – is one-size-fits-all.
The tolerance that secular progressives boast, however, is little more than a hollow facade. There is nothing tolerant about the secular progressive worldview, and secular progressives are just as arrogant as the most self-righteous Holy Roller when it comes to their certainty that their version of "the Truth" is the correct one. Offenses against the established secular orthodoxy are increasingly met with a fiery scorn that would have shamed the most zealous of Puritans.
First Things editor R.R. Reno recently addressed this issue in a short essay entitled The Bolshevik Moment. Drawing parallels from the revolutionary movement that transformed Russia after the fall of the Tsar in 1917, Reno observes: more >>
This is the first in a five-part debate series on same-sex marriage between James W. Doig and Robert P. George. It originally appeared on The Witherspoon Institute's Public Discourse. You can read Part One here.
Thanks for agreeing to this exchange about the nature and meaning of marriage. My experience with exercises like this one, conducted in a spirit of friendship and goodwill, is that they lead to deeper understanding, even if the interlocutors do not achieve agreement. more >>
Meriam Ibrahim, arrested last August in Sudan and sentenced to death after being accused by family members of apostasy and adultery, was not only pressured to recant her Christian faith and thereby nullify her marriage, but was kept in shackles while giving birth to her second child in prison. At least one Christian woman, also from Africa, was lauding the 27-year-old's resilience, and thanking her for bearing "heroic witness to the virtues of faith, marriage, and motherhood."
"I am a Christian and I will remain a Christian," Ibrahim resolutely declared in a Sudanese courtroom in May, where she was sentenced to death for alleged apostasy and 100 lashes for adultery.
As the married mother of two told reporters last week after finallly gaining her freedom, "Thanks to God we are all fine. I trusted God from the first instant. I knew that He would not abandon me." more >>