As the new year is already upon us, The Christian Post would like to offer a brief look back at the major issues and events of 2014.
Pastors in Houston were almost forced to hand over all their sermons that touched on the topic of homosexuality, a major U.S. megachurch became nonexistent, Christians around the world saw a rise in attacks especially with the rise of terrorist group ISIS, and fear spread around the world as the Ebola virus spread rapidly in West Africa. Below is the full top ten list.
1. Liberal Intolerance: 'Duck Dynasty,' Mozilla, Benham Brothers and Houston Mayor Subpoena Scandal more >>
Pastor Rick Warren encouraged the congregation at Mars Hill Church during its final Sunday service to trust Jesus and give grace to its leaders, including Mark Driscoll, who resigned from the church as its founding and lead pastor amid much controversy in October.
The Seattle-based megachurch officially dissolves at the end of the year and the individual campuses still meeting become independant churches.
In his sermon via pre-recorded video, Warren said, "Let me suggest this: number one, refuse to be bitter about what's happened. If you hold onto bitterness you'll only hurting yourself. Bitterness prolongs the pain." more >>
Saddleback Church's Pastor Rick Warren is scheduled to give the congregation at the Seattle-based Mars Hill Church, hosted at a dozen regional locations, its last sermon via video this Sunday, as the megachurch, founded and once led by Pastor Mark Driscoll, officially dissolves.
"As we reflect on over eighteen years of ministry, and ultimately close the doors on Mars Hill Church, we are thankful that many of our churches will continue as new independent, autonomous churches," officials stated Tuesday on the church's website. "While Mars Hill Church will cease to exist, God's work through his people will continue."
As Mars Hill staff were busy closing the final chapter on the church that once rocked the Seattle area and beyond with its edgy, strict orthodox preacher who had his share of leadership problems that led to his resignation in October, there were no official reaction statements coming from the church other than an announcement on its website. Both Driscoll and Warren declined to comment, according to their respective media representatives at press time. more >>
More than 12,000 bags of cookies along with a note and voucher for free hot meals at a local eatery were given to residents and workers on Christmas Eve near the four locations of the New Jersey-based Liquid Church. The gift bags were distributed by more than 5,000 people who attended one of 12 services at the church in what was called a "spiritual flash mob."
"It's exciting to see the enthusiasm to go out and share God's love after each service," said Liquid Church Pastor Tim Lucas. "And we just heard from some police officers in Times Square sharing that they just received a bag from a Liquid Church family. It made their day to know that they matter, especially on a day like today. Now that's what we call putting our faith into action."
Those who attended Christmas Eve services at Liquid Church throughout the day were given the bags of cookies and vouchers with instructions from Lucas to "fan out" and show God's love after the services. more >>
Stephen Broden, pro-life activist and pastor of the Fair Park Bible Fellowship Church in Dallas, Texas, is urging black megachurches to join him in protesting a sprawling 17,000 square-foot Planned Parenthood abortion center with an 8-foot concrete wall he believes was intentionally placed in their predominantly black neighborhood.
"Planned Parenthood has built a wall to shield their clients from the presence of God's prayer warriors who pray to end abortion at one of Texas' largest abortion facilities. This death trap is located in the middle of the black community, within a 1 mile radius of six of Texas' black mega churches. And 5 miles of seven. A wall cannot hide their bloody hands from the presence of an omnipresent God," wrote Broden in a Dec. 6 post on his Facebook page.
Broden, who's been a long time pro-life advocate, noted in a One News Now report that he believes it's the duty of the churches in the neighborhood to raise their voices against the ungodliness of abortion. more >>
Director Steve Carr opened up about his final, awe-inspiring film chronicling famed evangelical Ed Dobson's fight against ALS, this time offering a powerful message of hope for those ravaged by today's racial tensions.
The only thing more striking than the fact that Dobson has lived with Lou Gherig's disease for the past decade is that he has done so with undeterred optimism. Previously the emeritus pastor at Calvary Church, the 64-year-old Irishman first thought his life was over in 2001 after being diagnosed with the degenerative disease also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. However, Dobson heard the voice of God urging him not to give up, and that hope has persisted 14 years and counting.
"Ed's Story" includes seven short films with the first "It Ain't Over" released in 2011 to the last "Healing" released just recently. The seventh and final short by Carr arrives at a pivotal time of racial unrest in American history. "Healing" takes a deeper look at Dobson's friendship with Pastor Clifton Rhodes Jr., an African-American who is also suffering from ALS. more >>