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 >>
The World Evangelical Alliance recently voiced its disagreement with Hispanic evangelical leader the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez's claim that the merger of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and Conela, a Latin America-based organization that serves more than 487,000 Latin churches globally, gives representation to perhaps the largest network of evangelicals in the world and is the representative of evangelicals in Latin America.
"The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) has been surprised to read in recent weeks of claims about evangelical networks seeking to represent evangelical Christians in Latin America and beyond," a statement from the organization read. "Following these claims, the WEA has been asked by the leaders of the 19 national Evangelical Alliances in Latin America to publicly contribute to clarification."
In a recent interview with The Christian Post, Rodriguez said that NHCLC/Conela, which is the new name of the group merge, has more than 500,000 churches and "may very well be the largest evangelical network in the world." He said he came to his conclusion by looking into current studies by researchers. more >>
A new video message from Billy Graham is in production and is set to be released in honor of his 96th birthday on Nov. 7. The program, called "Heaven," is being released to churches as an evangelistic tool, in conjunction with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's My Hope 2014 with Billy Graham campaign.
"Evangelism is clearly the hardest activity of the Church, but it's also the one most closely tied to the health of the local church," said Steve Rhoads, vice president for My Hope. "We want to come alongside pastors and help them as they motivate their congregations to reach out in love. The local church holds a unique position of influence in our communities."
A recent Barna Group study found that while 73 percent of "born-again" Christians believe they have a personal responsibility to share their faith, only half (52 percent) have actually done so in the past year. Among "evangelicals" – the group which overwhelmingly believes they have a responsibility to share their faith – less than one-third (31 percent) have in the past 12 months. more >>
A group of Christians protesting the Seattle gay pride parade as an "abomination" clashed in the streets of that city with a drag queen called "Mama Tits," who dismissed their actions as satanic.
"Not today, Satan. Not today," said the drag queen after telling the Christian group that they were being hypocritical in their application of the Bible. A YouTube video of the encounter posted a week ago has been viewed nearly 1.5 million times.
"Actually, if they followed all the teachings of this book (the Bible) that they use to hate, they themselves are sinners. They are wearing cotton-poly blend — that is an abomination," argued the drag queen pointing to Levitical law in the Old Testament. more >>
NEW YORK — Christian hip-hop has made some notable inroads in the last few years, especially in the mainstream market. Popular rapper Lecrae has won Grammy, Stellar, and Dove awards, and he, along with other Christian artists, appear regularly on networks like BET and MTV. Does this mean the movement that emerged in the early '80s as Gospel rap has finally arrived?
The question might be especially relevant after it was reported that recording artists Flame, Lecrae, and others filed a lawsuit against pop singer Katy Perry and Capitol Records for allegedly stealing and "irreparably tarnishing" a 2008 song of theirs titled "Joyful Noise." The rappers claim Perry's "Dark Horse" single released in 2013, infringes on the copyright of their "Christian gospel song," and therefore are demanding an "injunction, damages and the defendants' profits gained from the unauthorized use of "Joyful Noise.'"
Lecrae is arguably the most popular Christian rapper in recent years who has managed to garner cross-over appeal among a mainstream audience. He and his Reach Records label have been credited with opening the doors and providing exposure and a platform for many other artists in the Christian music industry. Andy Mineo, a New York City rapper who is also on Reach Records, has been following in Lecrae's footsteps, with outlets like BET and MTV making much of his latest album and EP releases, Heroes for Sale and Never Land, respectively. more >>
A few years ago pastor Farris Wilks of Cisco, Texas, and his brother, Dan, became billionaires from the sale of their hydraulic fracturing business called Frac Tech. Now they are "using the riches that the Lord has blessed" them with, according to CBN, to bring back the Bible in schools and other conservative causes.
Farris Wilks is pastor of his family church in Rising Star, called Assembly of Yahweh 7th Day Church which believes:
"That the Bible, as originally given, was true and correct in every scientific and historical detail. Every translation of the Bible is not necessarily one hundred percent correct, however." more >>