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 >>
Actor Shia LaBeouf recently adopted Christianity as his religion, even though he was raised Jewish and frequently spoke of his upbringing.
LaBeouf was raised by a Jewish mother and a Pentecostal father, which he was proud of. He also had a bar mitzvah when he was 13, which symbolized his coming into full manhood in the Jewish tradition. LaBeouf identified as Jewish before converting to Christianity while working on the upcoming film "Fury" with Brad Pitt and director David Ayers.
"I have a cool lineage, a good group of people," the actor previously said of his faith. "I'm Jewish so I was named after my grandfather. Shia means 'gift from God,'" he told IndieLondon.co.uk several years ago. more >>
It seems like only yesterday that the Goth craze sent many teenagers out partying in graveyards – decked out like Monster High dolls, resurrecting their own version of the "Night of the Living Dead."
Over time, it seemed this fad had been put to rest but as we learned last week, some Christians have made the grave choice to participate in a similar tomb-side practice known as grave-sucking. They are not the first with such a morbid fascination, as we read in scripture we learn of a possessed man who actually lived amongst the tombs… unable to be confined by physical chains and shackles, yet a legion of demons bound his spirit.
Ironically, he knew exactly who Jesus was as he ran towards the Son of the most High God. I'd imagine we'd be no different than the swine owners, not only being in shock for having just witnessed 2,000 demon-possessed pigs run to their death, but even more astonishing would be seeing such a dramatic and spontaneous change in this once demonic man. more >>