"Zionist" is not a term I would use to describe myself, at least, not before last Tuesday. As I found myself huddled and shaking in a bomb shelter along the Israel/Gaza Strip border as missiles fired overhead, my perspective started to change.
Last week, I participated in a "Solidarity with Israel" trip hosted by the National Religious Broadcasters and hosted by the nation's Ministry of Tourism. The trip served not only as a pilgrimage of personal faith renewal, but my life-changing encounter with a nation I have always supported but never fully understood why. Until now.
Tours of Jerusalem's Old City were thrilling, the delicious Middle East foods were unending, and the Israelis I met were warm and welcoming to everyone who came in peace. As I stood on a balcony overlooking Jerusalem, I cried as my visual senses absorbed the Garden of Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives reminding me of the ransom Jesus Christ had paid for my sins. more >>
Liberian Christians in Greensboro, North Carolina, gathered Sunday to offer prayers and raise money for missionary group Samaritan's Purse in its ongoing battle against the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, which has killed over 1,400 people.
"Hopefully people will continue to pray and do what they can do so that eventually we will be able to fight this terrible disease," Rev. Wheigar Bright of Praise Chapel International said in an interview with WFMY News 2.
The fundraising efforts collected nearly $1,000 that will go in helping Samaritan's Purse, which has been treating patients at a clinic in Liberia, one of the countries most severely affected by the current outbreak. more >>
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 >>