Fierce battles over whether classic hymns or contemporary tunes should be the linchpins of Christian worship may have subsided, but the arena is still messy, according to worship pastor and recording artist Lincoln Brewster. Some Christians are more excited about turning up for a concert than they are about getting to worship on time, he says from experience. Others have placed facilitating genuine God-connections on the back burner for the sake of being "cool."
Brewster, in his 40s, was such a maestro on the guitar as a youth that by the age of 19, he was considering a major recording contract. But he passed on the golden opportunity for what he believed was a more sure-fire deal — serving at his local church. He has since released seven albums in partnership with Integrity Music, and has produced for the label such worship anthems as "Everlasting God" and "God You Reign."
Bayside Church in Granite Bay, California, where Brewster has served as the worship arts pastor for the last 14 years, describes him on its website as "a multi-talented guitarist, singer and songwriter" who "speaks to the hearts of people who are hungry for non-traditional, passionate worship." His accolades surely attest to his skills, but Brewster, a married father, is reluctant to take on the "rock star" title. more >>
Some religious freedom advocates have raised concerns that the Barack Obama administration's recent changes to the Health and Human Services Department's "preventive services" mandate have not adequately addressed their religious freedom concerns.
In light of recent major court defeats, HHS will now allow for-profit employers to contact the government directly for an exemption rather than a third party.
Last week, the federal government released a document about new "interim final regulations" regarding exemptions to the HHS mandate for entities to provide birth control coverage to their employees. more >>
Evangelist Jay Lowder struggled with suicidal tendencies while in his twenties that led him to put a gun to his head, finger hooked into the trigger. He would not be alive today had his roommate not unexpectedly walked through the door. Today, the leader of a Christian outreach ministry offers hope to those dealing with suicidal thoughts.
"One of the most effective preventatives for those struggling with thoughts of self-violence is the ability to connect with others who have escaped," Lowder told The Christian Post in a recent interview. "For many, hearing how my faith and relationship with Christ has healed my past struggles has provided them with courage and hope for their own personal change. Hurting people have to have the ear of those who can identify with their pain."
Lowder has been a full-time evangelist for more than 20 years. Founder of Jay Lowder Harvest Ministries, he has participated in hundreds of community-wide events, rallies and conferences around the world. He has appeared on various national radio and TV shows in the past, and is also author of Midnight in Aisle 7. more >>
A nascent growing conservative Presbyterian denomination has reported rapid growth over the past year.
The Evangelical Covenant of Presbyterians, a new reform body founded in 2012, concluded its National Gathering in Dallas on Wednesday.
The Rev. Dr. Dana Allin, synod executive for ECO, noted that since the last gathering, held in 2013, the Presbyterian denomination had experienced fantastic growth in the number of member churches. more >>
Mars Hill Church officials confirm that Pastor Mark Driscoll will have a special announcement this Sunday on the heels of the latest public accusation against him – improper leadership. However, no further details were released Friday.
"We take these allegations seriously and we are thankful that we have a process in place established in our Bylaws where allegations will be reviewed by our Board and our elders," Communications Director Justin Dean told The Christian Post. "As it is relatively new that these former elders submitted this, at this time we don't have any information on how long that process will take or what the outcome will be but we look forward to hearing from our pastor on Sunday."
Lecrae, outspoken Christian and award-winning recording artist, has taken to his social networks to speak out on the frustration he feels in light of responses to the killing of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson. The rapper also has received pushback for suggesting that hip-hop artists lose credibility by rapping about "lawlessness" and then demanding "equality and justice."
"Regardless of your view on #Ferguson. If [you] have zero compassion for that community you are not loving your neighbor as yourself. These are my cousins, aunts, nieces, uncles, nephews, and our ethnic bond is strong," Lecrae wrote on Instagram Friday. "It does not supersede my bond of faith but at times it feels like my eternal family could care less about my earthly family."
He added, "I feel I'm only accepted if I perform well and don't act like my 'cousins.' I am the same as them but the grace of God has granted me opportunities they didn't get." more >>