The Rev. A. R. Bernard, pastor of New York City's largest church and president of the Churches of the City of New York that represents 1.5 million Christians, called the multi-religious worship experience with Pope Francis at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum an "amazing experience." He also addressed concerns some Christians might have about "the concept of the papacy."
"I will tell you, it was beautiful, it was deep, it was moving and I think with the backdrop of 9/11 where it was religious extremism that created that situation and brought America to a whole new place in this country, as that being the backdrop and to have religious leaders from around the world, in terms of the religious expressions around the world, coming together like that was very, very special," Bernard said, reflecting on the Sept. 25 gathering during a broadcast of his radio program.
Bernard also revealed that he was chosen to greet Benedict XVI on behalf of the Protestant community when the then-pope visited New York City in 2008. The pastor of the 37,000-member Christian Cultural Center marveled that "here it is seven years later and I have the opportunity to actually go from greeting to worshipping with the new pontiff, Pope Francis." more >>
WASHINGTON – A conservative law firm saw a 400 percent increase in calls requesting legal help since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide.
At a panel event titled "Are You Ready for the Coming Legal Attack?" at the tenth annual Values Voters Summit on Saturday afternoon, Jeff Mateer, who served as the panel's moderator, of the Texas-based Liberty Institute explained that many religious organizations have contacted him and his colleagues with legal concerns centered around the possible fallout from the decision.
"At Liberty Institute we have seen our requests for legal help go up 400 percent just since the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision," said Mateer to those gathered. more >>
NEW YORK — Some young people fail to "walk in victory" because they have never been taught how the "weaponry of God's Word" can impact their lives, and instead rely on cliches and emotionalism when faced with tough situations, according to D.A. Horton, a Christian author and urban apologist.
Horton, speaking at the Urban Youth Workers Institute's RELOAD event earlier this month, compared the Christian's spiritual walk with a U.S. soldier assigned to fight against the Islamic State. In a fight against such an adversary, a soldier would want the best weaponry possible that his government has to offer. For the Christian, that elite weaponry would be the Word of God.
The problem, according to Horton, is that some youth ministry leaders, specifically those in urban environments, might feel ill-equipped themselves to adequately shore up the youth they are responsible for discipling in the faith. There just are not enough accessible resources tailored for the demographic that Horton, and Urban Youth Workers Institute (UYWI) President Larry Acosta, have in mind. more >>
WASHINGTON – As Pope Francis delivered the first-ever papal address to a joint session of Congress Thursday, Catholics who gathered on the Capitol lawn praised the content of the pontiff's speech, while Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, expressed disappointment that the pope did not explicitly condemn abortion.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Lankford, a former Baptist youth leader who attended the joint session, said that Pope Francis missed a golden opportunity to discuss the Catholic Church's historic opposition to the killing of unborn children at a time when the federal funding of Planned Parenthood is being hotly contested in the United States.
In his 50-minute address, Francis asserted that the "Golden Rule reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development." Although that line is generally used in relation to abortion and caring for the elderly and sick, Pope Francis used the line as a segway to argue for the global abolition of the death penalty. more >>
NEW YORK — Surveys have found that most Roman Catholics are head-over-heels in love with their new pope, and according to several of the faithful who turned out for Francis-led services this week in New York City, the surveys are absolutely right.
Everyone asked among the more than 2,000 people in attendance at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Midtown Manhattan for evening prayer (Vespers) on Thursday all said the same thing in a variety of ways: Pope Francis is different; he's a man of the people; he's humble; he's hands-on.
The sentiment was expressed by both older and younger generations of Roman Catholics. more >>
Salem Lutheran Church of Austin, Texas, a congregation long-known for its emphasis on inclusiveness regarding its worshipers, was abuzz with excitement over some unwanted guests.
A member of the theologically liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Salem's website includes a lengthy welcome statement for "all national backgrounds, all economic levels, all educational levels, all gender identities, all sexual orientations, all political leanings, all differently-abled people in mind and in body," among others.
But when it comes to those who inhabit its edifice, Salem Lutheran recently had to draw the line. In September, church leadership decided to remove approximately one million bees from within the structure. more >>