Harvest Crusades with Greg Laurie returns to the 45,000-seat Angel Stadium of Anaheim, California, celebrating 25 years of evangelistic outreach in Southern California with a three-night program called the "2014 SoCal Harvest."
Organizers say the event, planned for August 15-17, will feature "the trademark message of hope that has been delivered by pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie at every Harvest Crusades event since 1990."
"For 25 years, it has been a privilege to deliver a message of hope to millions of people across Southern California and around the world through the Harvest Crusades, and to watch God work in ways we never could have imagined," said Greg Laurie. "The Gospel message we've delivered at each and every Harvest event since 1990 is simple and unchanging, and as a result, more than 421,000 people worldwide have made commitments to put their faith in Christ." more >>
The negative view held by Non-Evangelicals about Evangelicals, as reflected in a recent poll, is because believers have lost sight of the Gospel's core message, said Billy Graham's grandson and Florida pastor Tullian Tchividjian.
"The core message of the Christian faith has been lost in the public sector because what we are primarily known for is our political ideology or opinion," Tchividjian told The Christian Post.
Over the last 30 years, the Religious Right has replaced Christianity's foremost message of the Gospel with that of a political movement, argued the current pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. more >>
As I mentioned yesterday, story matters. In fact, it matters so much, it can overwhelm and hide the facts of the case so as to harm one party and benefit another. An example resides in a recent article by Politico that asserts that young evangelicals are giving up their convictions on marriage. The article posits that Millennial evangelicals are starting to adopt same-sex marriage as compatible with Christian teaching. There, one finds mention of a Pew study regarding attitudes toward marriage.
First of all, a new and more in-depth study by Mark Regnerus undercuts Politico's use of the Pew research. As Russell Moore and Andrew Walker point out, "[O]nly 11 percent of young Evangelicals actively expressed support for same-sex marriage." In other words, the actual sexual ethic of young evangelicals proper isn't going anywhere. What is changing is the rest of culture and–by extension–how Millennial evangelicals are going to deal with that conflict.
The story also cites examples of cultural retreat from evangelical leaders and cites Matthew Vines as the shining champion of evangelical acceptance of the LGBT agenda. The author, Jim Hinch, seems to believe that the Presbyterian Church, USA counts as an evangelical denomination. Oddly, one of the article's subjects, Amy Tincher, leaves a United Methodist congregation to join the United Church of Christ (which is notorious for its plummeting membership). These are all Protestant Mainline denominations rather than the usual traditions that fall under the Bebbington quadrilateral. The UCC as well as liberal United Methodists and Presbyterians reject biblicism, crucicentrism, and conversionism; and thus hardly qualify as evangelical. Denny Burk commented on this a couple days ago. more >>
The New York Times ran a profile on the 4th of July that caught my attention. The article highlighted a young woman, Sarah Jones, who works for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, a progressive organization that champions secularism. The intriguing hook is that Ms. Jones is from a fundamentalist background in Bristol, VA and attended Cedarville University. What follows is Jones' abandonment of Christianity and conservatism for atheism and progressivism. Her story reveals struggles with depression and even sexual assault by one of her fellow students. It is a terribly sad story.
Some may wonder why this story ran in the Times, a newspaper that generally seems somewhat uninterested in matters of religion, at least in terms of individualized stories about people coming to faith. The Times has quite a bit of heft in terms of readership and platform. It is always noticeable how it handles that power. After all, people convert to Christianity every day. Why was Jones-someone leaving the faith-chosen as an example? Obviously, the tie-in was that Jones worked to combat against the pro-religious liberty alliance that surrounded the Hobby Lobby/Conestoga case.
On the other hand, the principles of serious journalism still undermine the worth of the story. My friend Tristyn Bloom at the Daily Caller pointed this out to me a couple days ago. The Times has seen it fit to cover someone who was raised to believe in a thing, then changed their mind about that thing, and now in turn works against that thing. When you think about it, this happens on both sides of the church wall and the political aisle all the time. Different crises and painful experiences encourage people to espouse Christianity and/or conservative principles or vice versa. Moreover, Jones claims a trustworthy perspective on religion and secularism because of her past struggles. As Ms. Bloom (alumna of Yale) wryly observed, "A lot of bad things happened to me at a largely atheist secular school, let me rattle them off as though that has bearing on atheism and secularity." more >>
In an effort to ensure a division among networks of Hispanic and Latin churches and organizations globally is not created, the newly merged group named NHCLC/Conela (National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and Conela) recently responded to a disagreement coming from the World Evangelical Alliance about which association truly represents "evangelical Christians in Latin America and beyond."
"The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC)/Conela affirms and blesses every effort of unity in the Evangelical church," a joint statement from Mathew D. Staver, dean of the Liberty University School of Law and NHCLC/Conela's general counsel, and Ricardo Luna, executive director of NHCLC/Conela, released on Friday reads.
Last May, NHCLC, which represents "millions of Evangelicals and more than 40,000 churches in the U.S.," formally merged with Conela, a Latin America-based organization that "serves over 487,000 Latin churches across the world in a community of nearly 110 million believers as identified by the research center of PROLADES," according to the group, led by Hispanic evangelical leader the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez along with Luna. more >>
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 >>