Pastor Kong Hee appeared before his congregation at Singapore's City Harvest Church on Sunday, following his guilty verdict of misusing millions of church funds into his popstar wife's career, and said that he is sorry for the suffering they faced during the trial.
"I am saddened with the outcome of the trial. But this I do want to say: You have suffered much over the past few years because of your commitment to City Harvest Church and your commitment to me," Kong told his followers, according to Today Online.
The message was delivered to roughly 4,500 congregants, with a number of church members reportedly seen crying and embracing each other. more >>
The Institute on Religion & Democracy has accused the National Association of Evangelicals of dumping traditional church teachings in favor of pursuing wider social support due to the recent revision of its historical position on the death penalty.
"Clearly NAE's drift and intent is toward critique of capital punishment," IRD President Mark Tooley said in a statement on Thursday.
"Church bodies should address moral issues through the lens of historic Christian thought, reflecting with the whole church, past and present, and not striving to align with transitory secular trends. But there's little theology in the NAE's new resolution, which instead focuses on differences of opinion in their constituency, while implicitly inclining toward the supposedly 'growing number' on the liberal side," he continued. more >>
Two dozen Christian families, or close to 158 people, have reportedly been left to starve in the remote village of Mariano Matamoros in Mexico, after local government officials raided farmlands in an effort to drive out Protestants from the region.
International Christian Concern said the raids took place last week, and resulted in the theft of close to 15 acres of crops owned by the Protestant Christian community.
"This latest incident in Chiapas is emblematic of a pervasive climate of religious intolerance that is strangling the life out of rural communities across Mexico. Perhaps the worst part is that this is happening in almost complete obscurity. Officials at every level of the Mexican government have either been ignorant of or willfully turned a blind eye toward religiously based attacks that clearly violate Mexico's own Constitution and international human rights norms," said Isaac Six, ICC's advocacy director. more >>
While recounting the struggles and highlights of their old NFL playing days on a Washington, D.C. ESPN sports talk radio show Tuesday evening, two former Washington Redskins fan favorites agreed that former head coach Jim Zorn "lost the locker room" because he criticized players who didn't pray and didn't live their lives the Christian way.
During his weekly visit on "The Drive" AM radio show with co-hosts Chris Cooley — a former Redskins tight end — Steve Czaban and Al Galdi, former Redskins running back Clinton Portis explained the difference between hall-of-fame head coach Joe Gibbs and the failed Zorn, who finished with a 12-20 record during his two seasons with the Redskins.
When asked if current Redskins head coach Jay Gruden is in danger of losing the confidence of his players after his first season with the franchise ended with a 4-12 record and his second season has begun with a 2-4 record, Portis responded with a resounding "no" because Gruden still has the support of his locker room. more >>
Bernie Sanders spoke to Liberty University a few weeks back, presenting himself and his convictions boldly and honestly, and in response, a Liberty alumnus and Evangelical pastor "Tim" gave a rather impassioned speech about how his conservative Christian beliefs were now obliging him to vote for Bernie, because Bernie cares for the poor, the needy, and the weak. Salon offers a similar take on Bernie, saying that Bernie's speech is a political earthquake. But what's remarkable about these responses is that Bernie's moment is completely unremarkable.
I'm not commenting on Bernie's rhetorical stylings, and I'll take him at his word about his concern for the poor and needy. But it's not as if Christians who vote Republican have suddenly had scales torn from their eyes by Bernie's speech (except, apparently, pastor Tim). Many of these Christians have already been shouldering their duty to care for the poor and needy. It's just that they see this as a personal duty and not as the government's job. This makes sense of the fact that states dominated by Christian conservatives give more than their liberal counterparts. If Sanders and Pastor Tim are to be believed — wouldn't you expect the opposite? more >>
The National Association of Evangelicals has revised its historical position on the death penalty in the United States, admitting that there are various opposing views among its members.
"Evangelical Christians differ in their beliefs about capital punishment, often citing strong biblical and theological reasons either for the just character of the death penalty in extreme cases or for the sacredness of all life, including the lives of those who perpetrate serious crimes and yet have the potential for repentance and reformation. We affirm the conscientious commitment of both streams of Christian ethical thought," read the statement by the NAE Board of Directors, releasing a new resolution on capital punishment.
NAE President Leith Anderson added: "A growing number of Evangelicals call for government resources to be shifted away from the death penalty. Our statement allows for their advocacy and for the advocacy of those of goodwill who support capital punishment in limited circumstances as a valid exercise of the state and as a deterrent to crime." more >>