NEW YORK — Brian Houston, senior pastor of Australia-based Hillsong Church, was hit with a series of critical questions during a press conference in New York City on Thursday, just hours before he was to take the stage at Madison Square Garden to preach before more than 5,000 Hillsong Conference attendees.
Houston, 60, appeared visibly nervous as he sat alongside his wife and Hillsong Church co-pastor Bobbie Houston and his son and Hillsong United frontman Joel Houston, who also pastors at Hillsong NYC with Carl Lentz. Lentz rounded out the quartet of church representatives at the press conference, where the group welcomed local media to probe them about the conference kicking off that night and issues related to their ministry work through the multi-city megachurch.
Once the floor was opened up for questions, however, it became clear that some members of the press were more interested in hearing about the sex abuse committed by Brian Houston's father in the 1970s, how Hillsong Church spends its money, and how the senior pastor handles cultural relevancy, specifically when it comes to issues of sexuality. more >>
The Texas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and other liberal groups have expressed concern over Houston officials subpoenaing sermons that may have been critical of an LGBT discrimination city ordinance.
Recently the city subpoenaed various pastors' sermons due to their objection to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, a recently passed law that has strong conservative opposition.
When The Episcopal Church recently released its statistics on membership among its dioceses for 2013, the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina was listed along with the others.
There is one problem, however: the South Carolina Diocese's leadership voted to leave the denomination back in 2012, taking most of the members and congregations with them.
Since 2012, the diocese and the denomination have been fighting a legal battle for ownership of the numerous properties presently held by the breakaway leadership. more >>
The Madison County School Board in Georgia unanimously voted Tuesday to remove two Bible verses from a monument donated to its high school football team, fearing a lawsuit from a Washington, D.C.-based secular organization.
The board made its decision after hearing from Cory Kirby, the school district's attorney, who explained that the monument's Bible verses would likely not pass a legal challenge.
"Kirby told board members, in part, that the monument presented some legal problems in connection with the 1971 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Lemon v. Kurtzman. The case produced the so-called 'Lemon test,'" reported Jim Thompson of the Athens Banner-Herald. more >>
Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church, has resigned from the multi-city megachurch he and his wife helped found 18 years ago after a series of calls were made for the Seattle, Washington, preacher to step down from ministry due to his admitted "divisive" leadership style.
According to an announcement published on marshill.com:
On Tuesday, October 14, Pastor Mark Driscoll submitted his resignation as an elder and lead pastor of Mars Hill Church. The Board of Overseers has accepted that resignation and is moving forward with planning for pastoral transition, recognizing the challenge of such a task in a church that has only known one pastor since its founding. We ask for prayer for the journey ahead. more >>
Reports of the deadly Ebola virus are spreading faster than the highly-contagious virus itself. As the Center for Disease Control and its Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ) work to prevent further outbreak in the US, Ebola is the most feared virus on the planet because once it infects a person, its ability to spread and cause death is astounding.
But the fact is fear of Ebola is more infectious than the biological virus. Fear of the fever is what's driving our government to contain it. Fear is what's capturing the headlines, and spreading like wildfire.
Like the biological virus, fear is a spiritual Ebola that can infect even the most faithful God-fearing Christian. In the book of Numbers, chapters 13-15, the Bible tells the account of how the spiritual Ebola of fear infected the Israelites —even though they had just witnessed God's power to escape Egyptian slavery. more >>