Saddleback Church's Pastor Rick Warren is scheduled to give the congregation at the Seattle-based Mars Hill Church, hosted at a dozen regional locations, its last sermon via video this Sunday, as the megachurch, founded and once led by Pastor Mark Driscoll, officially dissolves.
"As we reflect on over eighteen years of ministry, and ultimately close the doors on Mars Hill Church, we are thankful that many of our churches will continue as new independent, autonomous churches," officials stated Tuesday on the church's website. "While Mars Hill Church will cease to exist, God's work through his people will continue."
As Mars Hill staff were busy closing the final chapter on the church that once rocked the Seattle area and beyond with its edgy, strict orthodox preacher who had his share of leadership problems that led to his resignation in October, there were no official reaction statements coming from the church other than an announcement on its website. Both Driscoll and Warren declined to comment, according to their respective media representatives at press time. more >>
There is a significant shift in the church today to avoid controversial truths, such as sin and repentance. God's Word says to confront, confess, and turn from sin, whereas many encourage us to ignore, overlook, and continue in it. Silence about sin minimizes the cross and makes it less offensive. Silence about sin is also a sign of a false teacher.
If a pastor avoids difficult truths they are not a pastor; they are a motivational speaker, or a false prophet offering false hope (cf. Jeremiah 23). The cross only makes sense in light of the consequences of sin. "To convince the world of the truth of Christianity, it must first be convinced of sin. It is only sin that renders Christ intelligible" (Andrew Murray; 1794-1866).
Many mistakenly believe that Jesus didn't mention sin—after all, He was "a friend of sinners." However, Scripture reveals quite the opposite. For example, in John 5:14 Jesus exhorted a man to sin no more or a worse thing would happen to him. He also told the woman caught in the act of adultery to "go and sin no more." In Luke 10:13-14, Jesus reprimanded cities that did not repent and turn from sin, and in the fifth chapter of Matthew He said to remove anything that causes us to sin. It's clear that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15). Why, then, is there a move within the church to avoid mentioning sin? John 12:43 may reveal the answer, "They loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God." more >>
George H.W. Bush, America's oldest living president and vice president at 90-years-old, was rushed to a hospital in Houston, Texas Tuesday night after experiencing shortness of breath.
"President Bush was taken by ambulance to the Houston Methodist Hospital as a precaution after experiencing a shortness of breath earlier this evening," said a statement from Bush's staff, highlighted by the USA Today. "The former president, age 90, will be held for observation, again as a precaution."
Bush was reportedly treated for nearly two months in the same hospital for a bronchitis-related cough and other health issues before being discharged in January 2013. He also recently began using a wheelchair. more >>
The chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court recently stated that a city that allowed atheist and Wiccan invocations at their council meetings was "foolish" for doing so.
"We're having prayers [by] atheists? We're having Wiccans say prayers? How foolish can we be? … I'll say this in Huntsville because I think it needs to be said in Huntsville," said Roy Moore, known as the "Ten Commandments Judge" for once putting a large Decalogue monument in the rotunda of Alabama's highest court, earlier this month.
Speaking before the Madison County Republican Men's Club, Moore specifically denounced Huntsville City Council for their allowance of non-Christian prayers at their government meetings. more >>
Some voices in the Cuban-American community have expressed displeasure with Pope Francis due to his involvement in getting the United States to lift its embargo of the Republic of Cuba.
Pope Francis, the first Latin American pontiff in the Catholic Church's history, was a strong proponent of the United States lifting its restrictions on the Caribbean island nation.
In response to his connection to the U.S. normalizing relations with Cuba, some have vetted their frustration at the pope. more >>
Washington, D.C., passed a bill that attempts to counter a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing for closely-held businesses to be exempted from the federal birth control mandate.
In a unanimous vote taken Wednesday, the Council of the District of Columbia passed a bill that apparently conflicts with the Supreme Court decision in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby.
B20-0790, or the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014, was introduced in May by Councilmember David Grosso a few months after the Court heard oral arguments in the case. more >>