One Ohio pastor certainly is obeying Jesus when He warns against burying talents in the Gospel of Matthew.
Pastor Lawrence Bishop II, 48, of Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio, is an experienced bull rider and is known as the "Cowboy Pastor" for turning his church into a rodeo by frequently wrestling and riding bulls during service, a practice he uses to attract new believers.
"You know, the Bible said to compel them to come in, and so that's what we're doing," Bishop told ABC's "Nightline." "It didn't say how to compel them. It just said compel them to come in, so ... this is a tool." more >>
JERUSALEM — In a clarion call to a global gathering of Spirit-filled believers in Jerusalem Friday, Jentezen Franklin, senior pastor of the multi-campus Free Chapel Church, urged the anointed throng to start preaching "the truth about being filled with the Holy Spirit" and speaking in tongues to their families or risk losing a generation.
Franklin explained that speaking in tongues is the language of the Holy Spirit that was first shared with the church in the Upper Room in the book of Acts in the Bible, now known as the day of Pentecost.
That gift of the Holy Spirit, he said, has made its way down through generations of Spirit-filled believers, like those in his own family. He warned, however, that if those who have had the experience don't continue to share the gift beginning with their families, it will eventually die a slow death. more >>
The Church can experience long-lasting racial reconciliation when Christians finally choose to do three particular things that they apparently have been failing to do, according to three Christian leaders who recently took on the issue of how racial unity and the Gospel are intertwined.
In a conference call organized this week by The New York City Leadership Center in anticipation of its October Movement Day gathering, Brenda Salter McNeil, Pete Scazzero and Sherry Jones shared their concerns, suggestions and hopes for the Church in a time when headlines are populated with news of police-involved shootings, of mostly black males.
McNeil is an associate professor of Reconciliation Studies in the School of Theology at Seattle Pacific University and serves as associate pastor at Quest Church. Scazzero is founder of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York. His best-selling books, Emotionally Healthy Church and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, have been used by Christians in the area of spiritual formation. The third participant on race and Gospel call was Jones, who is the president and founder of Sonship Freedom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. more >>
Alec Hill, president of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, an influential Christian youth organization, has announced that he'll be stepping down from his position of 14 years after receiving the diagnosis that he has myelodysplasia, a form of bone marrow cancer.
Becoming president in 2001, Hill's tenure as head of InterVarsity saw considerable growth in the Madison, Wisconsin-based organization, which had a 10 percent increase in membership and a 23 percent increase in overall involvement.
Gordon Govier, a spokesman for InterVarsity, told The Christian Post that "Alec had planned on announcing his departure from the post in November and a presidential search task force has already been formed." more >>
Czech church reformer Jan Hus was burned at the stake 600 years ago this summer. Thursday evening I attended a commemoration at the Czech Embassy in Washington, DC, which included a thoughtful lecture followed by a delicious buffet meal. The room was packed. Apparently there's a Jan Hus subculture with few opportunities for self-expression!
The young Czech cultural attaché energetically introduced the evening by explaining that even though the Czech Republic is one of the most secular countries on the world, Hus is honored as a martyr for conscience. A Protestant theologian from Charles University in Prague, where Hus also taught, gave the lecture.
Hus was an heir to the English church proto-reformer John Wycliffe, whose themes of personal holiness and direct reading of Scripture in native language he reiterated. Wycliffe died a natural death, but a quarter century later he was condemned at the Council of Constance, where a still very much alive Hus was tried for heresy, defrocked and sentenced to death. Hus had earlier sardonically noted that his goose was ready to be cooked, and it literally was. Wycliffe's body was also disinterred and burned. Thorough! more >>
In hopes of encouraging fellow Christians to stay in Pakistan in light of religious tensions, a Christian businessman in the country's largest city is building a giant 14-story cross outside the entrance to the largest Christian cemetery in Karachi.
Parvez Henry Gill, a devout christian who lives in Karachi, recently told The Washington Post that God came to him in a dream one night four years ago and challenged him with the divine task of finding a way to relieve Pakistani Christians from the constant fear of persecution and abuse frequently perpetrated by Pakistan's radical Muslim community.
"I want you to do something different," Gill remembers God telling him. more >>