What were the most talked about topics discussed within the evangelical community in 2014? The Christian Post had a chance to chat with Ed Stetzer, author, speaker, and executive director of LifeWay Research Division and go over what issues seemed to gain the most attention among both pastors and congregations.
The following issues and topics are in no particular order.
1. LGBT inside church and ministries. When World Vision U.S. decided in March of 2014 to first, hire Christians in same-sex marriages and then, only two days later reverse its ground-breaking decision as the result of intense criticism from evangelical leaders, the conversation about gays within the Christian community increased in intensity. more >>
Evangelical pastors and leaders agreed during a panel discussion livestreamed on Tuesday from the historic Lorraine Motel and National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis about the need for the church in America to be more centered on the Gospel and not be swayed by the media when it comes to racially charged issues currently confronting the nation. Meanwhile the leader of a multi-ethnic church plant movement watching the conference said that it's long past time for only dialogue about race within the local church, and it's time to see results.
"The increased frequency of racially painful, polarizing, dialogue in our society is today forcing the American Church, and more specifically Evangelicals from a much broader base of denominations and networks than ever before, to address their own systemic segregation," said Pastor Mark DeYmaz, who is executive director of the multiethnic church movement Mosaix Global Network and who watched the livestream of the event, to The Christian Post. "And this we must do in order to present a credible witness of God's love for all people in an increasingly diverse and cynical society.
"That said, as I'm sure organizers of this event will agree, many believe it is long past time to speak about race within the local church." more >>
Christian pastors and leaders are expected to voice their concerns at what may turn out to be a historic gathering next week for "It's Time To Speak," a live stream event focusing on race, the church and "where to go from here," in light of recent events in Ferguson, Missouri; Cleveland, and New York.
The eleven leaders, including event organizer Pastor Bryan Loritts, theologian John Piper, and pastors Matt Chandler, Darrin Patrick, and Derwin Gray, are scheduled to meet at the historic Lorraine Motel and National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis for A Time to Speak, on Tuesday (Dec. 16).
"Twenty years from 'It's Time To Speak' will be viewed as a reformational moment," Gray, pastor of Transformation Church in Indian Land, South Carolina, told The Christian Post on Friday. "This event will be a call for the local church to be what she was meant to be – a multi-ethnic and multi-class of communities of reconciliation, love, and unity." more >>
A secular organization has released a poll which states that over a third of Americans support removing the phrase "Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.
The American Humanist Association released on Tuesday a study done for their organization by The Seidewitz Group indicating that 34 percent of Americans support removing the phrase.
BALTIMORE – Southern Baptists have taken aim at the theology behind afterlife experiences like the one described in the bestseller book and Hollywood film Heaven is for Real by stating that such accounts "cannot be corroborated" and are not in line with biblical accounts of from the apostles.
The Southern Baptist Convention adopted a resolution Tuesday stating messengers representing its 46,125 churches "reaffirm the sufficiency of biblical revelation over subjective experiential explanations to guide one's understand of the truth about heaven and hell."
While the resolution did not single out Heaven is for Real – Committee on Resolutions member Chris Osborne told an inquiring messenger "We did not want to single out anyone" – a motion raised by Community Church Pastor Tom McCracken did. more >>