Pastor Creflo Dollar of World Changers International Church has joined the list of megchurches using satellite technology to spread the Gospel and expand their ministries globally, by planting a new congregation on Australia's Gold Coast, his ministry's first-ever international plant.
While the megachurch pastor already has a presence in Australia through his Creflo Dollar Ministries, the church is the premiere World Changers fellowship, or satellite church to launch in the Asia-Pacific country. Just two months after Dollar revealed his plans for the new congregation, World Changers Church International Gold Coast officially launched on Sunday, June 22.
Dollar does not minister at the church in person, but instead his sermons are streamed live from World Changers Church International's New York City campus during Gold Coast worship services. Live broadcasts or high-definition videos have been long employed by U.S. churches with multi-campuses in the United States and abroad as a means of unifying congregations. more >>
Must Evangelical churches change or downplay their position on homosexuality to attract millennials?
Millennials, generally defined as those ages 18 to mid-30s, are the most supportive of redefining marriage to include same-sex couples, many polls show. A recent Public Religion Research Institute poll had their support at 69 percent, the highest of any age group.
Even among self-described Evangelicals, the millennials showed the highest level of support at 43 percent (though the poll only included white Evangelicals), compared to 33 percent for generation X, 22 percent for Baby Boomers and 19 percent for those 68 and older. The poll also found that 70 percent of millennials "believe that religious groups are alienating young adults by being too judgmental about gay and lesbian issues." more >>
Wesleyan and Anabaptist perfectionisms are the emerging dominant forms of Christian social witness in America, according to this fascinating piece in First Things by Dale Coulter of Regent University. He's certainly right about their pervasive influence but unduly optimistic about their plausibility and sustainability, much less desirability.
As a Methodist, I hope thoughtful Calvinists will provide a corrective dose of realism and sturdy doctrine to the social cul-de-sacs and Utopianism towards which both perfectionist traditions seem to spiral when untethered from church teaching about the limits of fallen humanity. It's not fair to fault Methodism exclusively for the excesses of the Social Gospel, whose key early proponent, Walter Rauschenbusch, was a liberal northern Baptist. It was fueled by German romanticism and New England, post-Congregationalist Unitarian transcendentalism. But Wesleyanism, once liberalized and unhinged from supernatural teachings about Christian cosmology, generously watered the roots of the Social Gospel movement and ultimately fully embraced it.
Methodism as a mass movement provided much of the activist machinery for Social Gospel energy if not much of the intellectual formation. This storyline is often repeated. Wesleyans are more comfortably doers than deep thinkers, Much of official Methodism, as it transitioned through its Prohibition crusade, easily abandoned traditional Methodism's affirmation of human nature's total depravity and complete need for transformation through the new birth. The new imperative, displacing evangelism and holiness, became earnest intent and constant activity for societal improvement. No human condition was beyond the reach of social and political reform. more >>
Last week the Supreme Court voted 5-4 that the Obama administration and the Affordable Care Act could not force "closely held companies" (in this case, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties) to furnish abortifacients in corporate insurance plans. The case has been hailed a serious victory by religious freedom advocates and pro-life groups.
The Left has been declaring scorched earth since the decision, from Justice Ginsburg's apocalyptic dissent to various expressions of unbridled outrage across the blogosphere. Such feral shrieking is disturbing enough, but Harry Reid recently upped the ante by promising to "do something" to ensure that abortion-inducing contraceptives are provided by all employers despite "the values of 5 white men." We'll assume the Senator misspoke and did not mean to imply that Clarence Thomas's rejection of the administration's arguments amounts to a defection to Caucasia.
Such gaffes are understandable, considering that today's liberals are not accustomed to losing in court. This year alone has been a banner year for the cause of same sex marriage; the laws of 13 states defining marriage traditionally have been thrown out by judges in 2014. The last year has seen an astonishing amount of socially conservative photographers, bakers and other businesspeople be forced to surrender either their convictions or their businesses. There can be no serious question which side of the political spectrum has been on the winning end of the judicial stick. more >>
In a newsletter emailed to supporters this week, Florida pastor Paula White claims that God has shown her that "this is a season of victory for His people." The Christian minister also reveals a strong feeling "that a seed of $229 in accordance with 1 Chronicles 22:9 is a breakthrough seed for the month of July," and declares to recipients of her newsletter, "Do not hesitate to follow a prophetic instruction!"
White, who formerly led Without Walls Church International with ex-husband Randy White, is senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida.
In a newsletter emailed on Thursday to Paula White Ministries supporters, and titled "This Email Will Change Your Life!" White asserts: "YOU are on the verge of complete breakthrough in every area of your life. Spiritually, Financially, and Relationally God has shown me that this is a season of victory for His people." more >>
Pastors and churches have been banned from helping the thousands of illegal immigrant children housed in border detention facilities run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, clergy in Texas and Arizona tell me.
"Border Patrol told us pastors and churches are not allowed to visit," said Kyle Coffin, the pastor of CrossRoads Church in Tucson, Arizona. "It's pretty heartbreaking that they don't let anybody in there -- even credentialed pastors."
A public affairs officer for the Border Patrol confirmed that ministers and church groups have been banned from the Nogales Placement Center. more >>