Pastor James MacDonald of the Chicago-based seven-multicampus Harvest Bible Church, issued an apology statement on Sunday saying that the board of the megachurch unanimously agreed to lift a discipline ban from three excommunicated elders.
Harvest ousted Daniel Marquardt, Scott Phelps, and Barry Slabaugh in 2013 after they protested against what they claimed was a culture of fear and intimidation and a lack of transparency among church leadership.
"For many months, we have labored under the awareness that our church discipline of a year ago was a failure in many respects, not the least of which was the complete lack of biblically required restorative component, which wronged the brothers that we were attempting to help," said MacDonald. more >>
Doubt has been cast on the success of a bill being debated in Spain that would increase restriction to abortion access in the European nation.
The Spanish publication El Mundo has recently published an article noting that multiple sources within the current government see the proposed legislation as being tabled.
"There's no consensus within government around the bill," said one source in the Partido Popular government headed by Mariano Rajoy, adding that "if an agreement cannot be reached -which seems unlikely - the draft bill will be dropped." more >>
A report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office showed that the Affordable Care Act, also called "Obamacare," is providing coverage for abortions.
Contrary to the claims of many proponents of the health care law, the GAO's Monday report found that the rules were not clarified and thus ignored.
The Affordable Care Act required that qualified health plans (QHPs) be provided that may include coverage of abortion services. more >>
"Submission never means abuse," Pastor Tony Evans told his Dallas, Texas, congregation on Sunday, making it clear what he believes the Christian position is on domestic violence.
"We've been hearing about one kind of struggle here lately — domestic abuse," said Evans, referring to recent news headlines concerning Ray Rice, who was suspended indefinitely by the NFL after being caught on tape punching his wife.
"Ladies, you do not have to submit yourself to any man abusing you. You do not submit yourself," he added. "No man has the right to put his hands on him. You shouldn't be putting your hands on him either, but no man has the right to put his hands on you in a violent fashion." more >>
Popular recording artist Carman Licciardello recently spoke out in defense of Joel Osteen, whom he called "a God ordained bridge between the mainstream world and the church," and called for Christian critics to stop "terrorizing" the successful megachurch pastor.
Osteen is often criticized by some Christians for promoting a watered-down Gospel and teaching positive thinking and prosperity instead of preaching about sin and repentance. The megachurch pastor and best-selling author leads along with his wife and other ministers America's fastest-growing church, Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. Osteen always invites listeners at the end of his sermons to make Jesus their Lord and Savior, and encourages them to get plugged into Bible-based local churches.
But those actions matters very little, according to critics, when they are weighed against the content of what Osteen teaches (read Michael Brown's open letter to the Osteens), which some observers feel was typified in a recent YouTube clip posted online of Victoria Osteen making controversial remarks about Christians and worship of God. more >>
Perry Noble admits that he loves taking the offering in church as much as he enjoys giving money because he does not see it as an obligation but rather as an opportunity. Moreover, he believes "there is not a better investment on the planet than the local church!"
Noble made his comments about taking and giving money in a blog post after his South Carolina church, NewSpring, kicked off "The Church Just Wants Your Money" sermon series on Sunday.
"I love taking the offering in church. I'm sure you expected me to say that; after all, I am a megachurch pastor and it's really easy to take shots at guys like me when we talk about money," said Noble. more >>