Late last week, on Friday afternoon, while most of us were checking out of work (mentally if not physically) and focusing on the weekend, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a press release informing of yet another revision to its contraceptive/abortion pill mandate. As it turns out, we didn't miss much.
The HHS was obliged to make changes following the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case, which struck down the Mandate as it applies to closely held for-profit corporations. Also, the HHS could hardly ignore the string of subsequent court rulings casting doubt on the propriety of an "accommodation" the department set aside for religious non-profits.
Like a number of federal courts figured out, the "accommodation" given to religious non-profits is not very accommodating. The HHS decided they'd make the insurance company, and not the ministry, pay for contraceptive and abortion services, conveniently ignoring the real-world effect of increased premiums that cause employers to cover the additional costs in a back-door way. And, HHS glosses over the actual concern: More than just paying for it, Christian ministries are compelled to be deal-brokers between their own employees and providers of highly objectionable services. But for the employment, their employees do not receive free abortions. more >>
There is a myth of church success in America that says, "The bigger the building, the bigger the budget, the bigger the attendance, the more successful you are."
In the sight of man, this might equal success, but in the sight of God, it might have nothing to do with success. In fact, it might simply be the beautiful façade hiding all kinds of spiritual rot and decay.
To be clear, I have had the privilege of preaching in some of the finest mega-churches in America, replete with large buildings, big budgets, and multiplied thousands of attendees. And I can personally attest to the fact that some of these churches are healthy in many ways: focused on Jesus, reaching the lost, making disciples, and giving themselves to prayer. more >>
About two years ago over 30 of the nation's pro-life leaders issued an official statement against an environmental campaign spearheaded by the Evangelical Environmental Network calling mercury regulations "pro-life."
Instead of correcting its claims, EEN doubled down and expanded them, further obscuring the meaning of "pro-life" and diluting its usefulness to identify people working to end abortion on demand. First they aligned global warming to the "pro-life" cause, and then they expanded the definition of "life" beyond human beings to include caring for all of life.
For EEN and CEO Mitchell C. Hescox, being "pro-life" doesn't simply mean opposing abortion or other actions that intentionally kill human beings. It means opposing any action that some environmentalist thinks creates any risk, however great or small, to any life, human or non-human. more >>
"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 >>