The Church of England announced last week that it is establishing a panel to review the ever increasing controversies surrounding gay marriage and the Church, though some liberal Anglicans have criticized it for only including members who adhere to the biblical definition of marriage.
The CofE explained last week that the "Bishops' Reflection Group on Human Sexuality," as the panel is called, will take a look at "theological, biblical, ecumenical, Anglican Communion, pastoral, missiological, historical and societal considerations" that the church is facing, especially in regard to same-sex relationships.
"A wide ranging agenda included presentations and discussions on Safeguarding, the Renewal and Reform program, the post-Brexit political landscape, clergywomen in leadership, clergy wellbeing and issues of sexuality," read a statement from the College of Bishops about discussions in the wake of the formation of the panel. more >>
Before releasing her memoir detailing her life with her famed basketball legend husband, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Cookie Johnson is dedicating her upcoming book to God.
"The time is here, in one week on 9/20 'Believing in Magic' will be released!! I dedicate this book to God," Cookie wrote on Instagram. "Without Him, my obstacles would have been unconquerable. Always, He is by my side, guiding, directing, and carrying me when I cannot stand on my own. #BelievingInMagicBook #TheCookieJ."
Johnson's Instagram message came along with a graphic image of the scripture Hebrews 12:2 which states, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (KJV) more >>
World-renowned ministry Hillsong released their highly anticipated feature film "Let Hope Rise" this weekend, and Hillsong UNITED member Jad Gillies says the Pure Flix film will highlight how a mighty God used a group of ordinary devoted people to impact the world for Him.
In the film, Senior Pastor Brian Houston explains that the success of Hillsong is not about themselves but instead it's all about God. "Let Hope Rise" features various clips of the band in their highest and lowest points – praying, touring, with their family, writing songs and more.
Hillsong has grown from a single church in suburban Sydney Australia to an international ministry that now extends to cities on five continents, including London, Paris, Sao Paulo, Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro, and Phoenix. In America, Hillsong is recognized for their thriving congregations in New York and Los Angeles. Combined, the ministry reaches over 100,000 people weekly. more >>
The United Methodist Church's highest court will be reviewing a decision to overrule a regional body's resolution calling for churches to defy the denomination's rules that bar clergy from performing same-sex marriages and being in a same-sex relationship.
Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar of the New England Conference overruled most of the regional body's resolution, passed during the summer, calling for a refusal to enforce rules regarding homosexuality as outlined in the Book of Discipline.
The United Methodist Judicial Council, the highest legal authority for the Mainline denomination, is scheduled to review Bishop Devadhar's ruling of law. more >>
The Christian owners of an Oregon bakery who were fined over $135,000 by a state government agency for declining to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding are continuing to fight for their First Amendment rights.
After Aaron and Melissa Klein of Sweet Cakes by Melissa were fined by the state's Bureau of Labor and Industries $135,000 last year for declining to bake a cake for the wedding of Rachel Bowman-Cryer and Laurel Bowman-Cryer in 2013 on the grounds that it would have violated their religious convictions, the Kleins paid their fine last December and filed an appeal with the Oregon Court of Appeals in April in hopes the court would rule that the government agency violated their religious freedom rights.
In response to a brief defending the government's actions against the Kleins filed to the Oregon Court of Appeals last month by state lawyers, the Kleins filed a reply brief to the court earlier this month. more >>
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., says that the core American principle of religious freedom should not be "denigrated" even though many liberals today claim that the First Amendment right has become "code words" for the right to discriminate against the LGBT community.
In an interview with CNS News, Hoyer was questioned about a recent report from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which states that "religious exemptions to the protections of civil rights based upon classifications such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity, when they are permissible, significantly infringe upon these civil rights."
In the 307-page report, the chairman of the commission, Martin R. Castro, who was appointed to the commission by President Barack Obama in 2011, argued that "the phrases 'religious liberty' and 'religious freedom' will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance." more >>