The president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod recently issued an apology after reprimanding a pastor for participating in a December interfaith prayer vigil for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
This past weekend, Matthew C. Harrison, president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, issued both a video and a letter on the denomination's website, apologizing for how he handled the conflict with the Rev. Rob Morris of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Newtown, Conn., who took part in a nationally televised interfaith prayer vigil in December 2012.
Participating in interfaith prayer vigils goes against the denomination's rules of joint worship, as the denomination believes it gives the impression that theological differences among faiths do not matter. more >>
Several evangelical Christian leaders gave high praise to Pope Benedict XVI for his advocacy for the dignity of human life after hearing about his plans to resign Monday. They chose to focus on common biblical ground shared with some of the Pontiff's beliefs rather than dwell on the doctrinal differences between Catholicism and the Protestant faith.
"As a Baptist Christian, I disagree with Rome on many things, of course, and some of those things relate to the nature of the Petrine ministry, the relationship of the Bishop of Rome to the rest of the church, the merging of civil and ecclesial power, and so on," Russell D. Moore, dean of the school of theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote in a column. "It might surprise previous generations of Protestants, though, that one of the primary emphases of the Vatican in the last generation has been on the dignity and liberty of the human person."
Moore stated that the Pope "has constantly spoken for those whose lives are seen as a burden to society: the baby with Down syndrome, the woman with advanced Alzheimer's, the child starving in the desert, the prisoner being tortured. "These lives aren't things, he has said, but images of God, and for them we will give an account." more >>
Although some people poke fun at professional athletes like Ray Lewis, who glorified God throughout his journey to the Super Bowl, a new study has found that Americans look to these types of high-profile individuals more than they do to faith leaders for inspiration.
The Barna Group, a market research firm that specializes in studying religious beliefs among Americans and how they impact faith and culture, recently released a study claiming that athletes have more influence than pastors. An estimated two-thirds of Americans- about 64 percent- believe that professional athletes influence people in American society more than professional faith leaders, according to the report released on the Barna Group website.
This belief seems to be most prevalent among whites, parents, people who have graduated college and those who make more than $60,000 a year. However, some still believe that faith leaders impact their lives the most, including those who attend church weekly and take in earnings of less than $40,000 each year. more >>
Regis College, a Jesuit-run theology school at the University of Toronto, is surprising some people by offering a course on atheism. But the course is not what people might expect.
"This is an outreach class offered in the middle of the day. We have 125 students in attendance; normally we have half that number," said Dean Gordon Rixon of Regis College to The Christian Post on Wednesday. "There has been such an interest that we have decided to offer a one-day course on a Saturday."
The course was created as a response to Canada becoming more secular, Rixon shared. "This is not a course to villainize but to understand," said the dean of Regis College. "This is more of a reflecting course that allows us to form a Christian response to atheism." more >>
WASHINGTON – An influential United Methodist pastor who delivered the sermon at the 57th Inaugural Prayer Service stated in his message that America needs a "compelling vision" that unites the country in a time of strong political partisanship.
Adam Hamilton, author and senior pastor at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan., said on Tuesday morning to those gathered at the Washington National Cathedral, including President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden:
"To many Americans we can feel like a house divided that cannot stand," said Hamilton, regarding the apparent intractability of the current political climate at the federal level and the desperation to find a "common vision….that brings us all together." more >>
An interfaith group of leaders commended President Barack Obama over his recent gun control efforts and are looking toward Congress to continue to advance more gun control.
Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, a group comprised of 40 faith-based organizations and denominations, stated their support for the new efforts to reduce gun violence that were announced Wednesday.
Jim Winkler, chief executive of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society and chair of the coalition, said in a statement that Congress should seek to ban assault weapons and high-capacity gun magazines. more >>