Evangelist Greg Laurie, who is scheduled to lead the nation in prayer at events hosted by government officials in Washington D.C. during the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, chose not to respond to gay activists who demanded that he be disinvited because he holds a biblical view that homosexuality is a sin. Instead, Laurie asked for prayer Monday in a post to his blog.
"I would appreciate your prayers as I pray for our nation. We all need to take the very real challenges facing our nation seriously," Laurie wrote. "America need God's help. We cannot back away from what He says in Scripture. The enemy will always attack when we seek to do God's work, so let's keep praying!"
Homosexual activists are labeling evangelist Greg Laurie as the "anti-gay California pastor" and are asking government officials to rescind Laurie's invitation to lead National Day of Prayer-related events in Washington, D.C. as the event's honorary chairman.
The Human Rights Campaign, the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) advocacy group in America, contends that Laurie has a history of speaking out against LGBT Americans. And OutServe-SLDN, an association of actively serving LGBT military personnel, is calling on the Pentagon to remove the pastor from the agenda, citing "his blatantly anti-LGBT message."
"Pastor Laurie's message is out of step with what the majority of people of faith across this country believe," said Dr. Sharon Groves, director of HRC's Religion & Faith Program. "In greater numbers than ever before, people of faith are feeling compelled to speak up and organize for equality – because of their faith." more >>
While most churches say they already have or are working on having a multicultural congregation, the majority fall short when it comes to reflecting a diverse community of believers coming together during church services on Sundays, said an expert on multi-ethnic church planting and staffing.
"If you were to judge church brochures across America you would say that there is not a multicultural problem in the American church," Tony Kim, former pastor at Newsong Church in Irvine, Calif., told The Christian Post recently. Kim is the Communication Lead Associate for Slingshot Group. The Orange County-based organization specializes in church staffing and coaching pastors and leaders. "So everyone is open to it, but very few are willing to make a decision to step into that."
Kim said the Internet has created a deeper transparency between the church and the community. Someone new to a community, looking for a church to attend, can simply go to a church's website, take a look at the staff page, and make assumptions as to whether the church is representative or accepting of their ethnicity. more >>
Four years after his exit from the White House in 2009, more Americans now see former President George W. Bush's reign as a success, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll.
In January 2009, the poll showed that just 31 percent of Americans saw Bush's presidency as a success while a whopping 68 percent classified his time in office as a failure.
Numbers from the new poll conducted April 5-7, however, show that Americans now hold a warmer view of his time in office four years later. A total of 42 percent of Americans now view Bush's presidency as a success while the number of Americans who see his presidency as a failure fell to 55 percent. more >>
Pastor Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church tells Esquire magazine in its newest issue how he overcame extreme nervousness and finally found the confidence to speak before thousands. The evangelical Christian leader of America's largest church also reveals the biggest mistake he has made as a preacher, which he says happened early in his career.
Talking with Rachel Richardson for the Esquire essay on public speaking, or "How to Own the Room," the megachurch pastor said that before taking over full-time for his father in the pulpit, he used to be a nervous wreck just making church announcements.
"I was so nervous and I so dreaded doing it, I had to hold on to the podium because I felt like my hands would shake," Osteen told Richardson. "My first thought was 'Why are all these people staring at me?'" more >>
After completing the U.S. portion of a 2,400-mile relay from Atlanta to Guatemala City in Guatemala, a Christian-based global leadership development organization plans to hand over the baton to their Guatemalan partners at the Mexican border near Laredo, Texas, on Friday. The purpose of the approximately 120-day journey by foot (and bicycle in parts of Mexico and Central America) is to bring awareness about plans to activate Christians in leadership positions, first in Guatemala and then elsewhere around the world.
"It's a big initiative and we felt like we need to do something very bold that would be consistent and bring attention to such a worthy cause," John Hull, president and CEO of EQUIP Leadership, told The Christian Post by phone call from Laredo on Wednesday.
"The EQUIP World Relay is a journey that represents what leadership is all about – a journey full of extraordinary challenges, hard work, sacrifice and daily-mile markers that ultimately reach a goal that is bigger than oneself, a goal that could never be accomplished alone," he said. more >>