Several large Bible ministry groups are calling for the first International Day of the Bible and are encouraging groups of any size to read or articulate Scripture in creative ways publicly or online without any commentary at noon local time on November 24.
"This is a very simple act of faithfulness and honor to God about His word," Richard Glickstein, president of the National Bible Association, told The Christian Post. "God's word is meant to encourage us and bring us personal hope, but it is also meant to bring us together to realize that this is such a great gift ... and trust that He can change our world through it. The words of God changed my life and continues to. It's not our event, we hope it's an event for the body of Christ and those who love God, come together and thank Him."
Organizers ask in their announcement: "Have a favorite Psalm? Or, a special passage that has helped you through tough times? Want to share with the world how much the Bible means in your life? Or ask Him to bless your nation?" People of all ages are being invited to participate in International Day of the Bible by taking pause for a few minutes to read or even sing Scripture or otherwise creatively express their love of The Good Book. more >>
Arnold Abbott, the 90-year-old man who was arrested for feeding the homeless in Fort Lauderdale was re-arrested 24 hours later for the same offense.
"I am both enthused and humbled," Abbott told local10.com after being arrested the first time on Tueday. "The good news is that there is pressure being put on the city of Fort Lauderdale to do something about a law that is not only unfair, it's repressive. We've heard from every continent. The last I heard was from Kenya and Moscow. I've heard from South America, any number of people from Canada, three newspapers from the United Kingdom."
Abbott and two pastors were all arrested on Tuesday for violating a new law that went into effect last week, preventing people from feeding the homeless. All three men face fines of $500 and up to 60 days in jail for their charitable work. And while Abbott has received a lot of support from people around the world, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler is not a fan. more >>
Reaction to the dissolving of Mars Hill Church called for by its elders two weeks after the resignation of its founding pastor, Mark Driscoll, has been varied, including high praise for the controversial pastor's impact on the lives of people who attended his church, a letter of repentance to two former pastors signed by 18 former elders, and fond memories of an edgy congregation meeting in the Seattle area and taking on the world around them.
"Eleven years ago, I walked into a dimly lit former warehouse with crazy art hung up everywhere, tattooed and pierced guys and girls handing out pamphlets, hard rock reverberating through the dark-painted walls, and a short, kinda thick guy up on stage yelling at everyone," wrote Seth MacGillivray, a former long-time member and deacon at Mars Hill, in a post on his Facebook page Friday evening.
"The place was called Mars Hill Church. I was a new Christian, and had a view of most Jesus-followers as a cross between Ned Flanders and high school girls who listened to DC Talk. Here was something new: an ultra-orthodox view of the bible combined with a liberal view of the world," he continued. more >>
Kerry and Chris Shook, New York Times bestselling authors and pastors at Woodlands Church in Houston, Texas, are challenging church leaders across the United States to schedule a national "Be the Message Sunday," during which they will shorten their services and sermons to pack meals for people in Ebola-stricken countries.
"As we watched the death toll continue to rise in West Africa, we asked ourselves, 'What can we do to make a difference in the Ebola-affected areas?'" said Kerry Shook. "Ebola not only affects one's health, but their entire life. Thousands affected by the virus are unable to work or provide food for themselves or their families. That is why Be the Message Sunday is so important. One of the most immediate ways individuals can help is by supplying much-needed food to those living in West Africa."
A number of churches from all over the U.S. have already signed up to join the Shooks and Woodlands Church, and pastors are encouraged to announce their participation in national Be the Message Sunday on Nov. 16, organizers said. Over the coming months, the Shooks anticipate thousands of churches accepting the challenge and cutting their services short on a weekend that works for their congregation. more >>
A three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit voted to review a case that claims police officers in a Michigan town failed to protect the freedom of speech for 12 evangelizing Christian street preachers who were pelted with stones and water bottles by a crowd of Muslims while preaching at an Arab festival in 2012.
Although the same court voted 2-1 in August that police officers in the town of Dearborn did not violate the free speech of the the preaching group that calls itself the Bible Believers, the court voted in favor of a review, which is a rare occurrence and, according to 6th circuit rules, "intended to bring to the attention of the entire court a precedent setting error of exceptional public importance."
Ruben Israel, a Los Angeles based street preacher who organized the Bible Believers' mission to Dearborn and filed the initial lawsuit against Wayne County, said that the fact the appeals court is reviewing the case is a sign that they will help "set the record straight" when it comes to protecting the rights of "unpopular" speech in America. more >>
A Colorado public school district defended its teachers and principals who came under fire by a humanist group lawsuit alleging that the school officials used their positions to promote student involvement in missions established by Christian evangelical organizations.
Last week, the American Humanist Association (AHA) filed a lawsuit claiming that officials from various schools in the Douglas County School District used their official positions to endorse and sponsor two Christian evangelical missions groups, Samaritan's Purse's Operation Christmas Child and Adventures in Missions, and their proselytizing efforts.
"Douglas County School District supports student-driven community and fundraising efforts to aid those in need. We applaud our students for being leaders and giving back to others, and will vigorously defend their right to continue to do so," the statement provided to The Christian Post reads. "We are also proud of our employees who, on their own time and with donated resources, selflessly serve those who are less fortunate." more >>