Hillsong NYC Pastor Carl Lentz has made it clear that he will not take a public stance on social issues like homosexuality because, as he said during media appearances this week, that is not the example Jesus Christ models in the Bible.
When asked during an interview with Katie Couric on her self-titled daytime show if he felt that he had a moral imperative to speak publicly about "some of these more controversial issues," Lentz said, "No, because we try to be like Jesus."
He explained, "Very rarely did Jesus ever talk about morality or social issues. He was about the deeper things of the heart. Often people want to talk about behavior modification, and our church isn't about that. … We're about soul transformation. You start talking about some of the symptomatic stuff, that's not what we're about. We're about talking to people about their heart and the condition of their soul, and some of that stuff out-works itself. But we're not trying to change anybody because we can't." more >>
Zachery Tims, the Florida megachurch pastor found dead in a New York City hotel room over two years ago, died accidentally from "acute intoxication by the combined effects of cocaine and heroin," according to the NYC chief medical examiner's office.
The autopsy report released Thursday revealing the cause and manner of Tims' death comes after a lengthy fight by his mother, Madeline Tims, to keep those details secret, and amid speculation that drugs had been involved in Tims' death all along. Tims' mother had said in court documents that revealing how her son died would prove embarrassing to his family.
The founding pastor of New Destiny Christian Center (NDCC) in Apopka, which has since been put under the leadership of Pastor Paula White, was found dead Aug. 14, 2011, in the W. Hotel in Times Square. Tims had reportedly been in the area for ministry-related activities. more >>
Pastor Ken Hutcherson, 61, of Antioch Bible Church in Kirkland, Wash., highly respected for his solid biblical teaching and a champion of the multi-ethnic church movement, died Wednesday after a lengthy battle with cancer.
"Antioch Bible Church sadly announces that shortly before noon today our Senior Pastor Dr. Ken Hutcherson was ushered in the [presence] of the Lord. Please pray for comfort and peace for the family," an announcement on the church website reads. "The family asked that you give them some privacy at this time."
During an interview with The Christian Post earlier this month, Hutcherson (known to his friends as "Hutch"), with a voice weakened by cancer and its required treatment, said the number one thing he wanted to talk about was the importance of having churches that not only accept, but embrace people of different ethnicities and races. more >>
Tyndale House Publishers defended bestselling author and pastor Mark Driscoll against accusations of plagiarism in a public statement released first to The Christian Post on Wednesday. In the same statement, Driscoll released an apology, including a chronological explanation of events, saying he was grieved by his mistakes. His statement came after a long silence on the matter in which many Christian media and bloggers questioned the wisdom of staying quiet.
"Mistakes were made that I am grieved by and apologize for," stated the Seattle-based Mars Hill Church pastor. "As a Bible teacher, I know that Jesus loves us and uses everything for good. I know he cares very much that we do things in a way that reflects his glory. As a result, I have been praying that he would help me learn through all of this to become more like him and more effective for him."
In the statement, Ron Beers, senior vice president and group publisher for Tyndale, said, "Because of the biblical manner in which Pastor Driscoll has handled this situation, Tyndale strongly stands behind him and looks forward to publishing many additional books with him. Tyndale believes that Mark Driscoll has provided a significant call to Christians to unite together in translating the message of Jesus faithfully to a post-Christian culture, to proclaim clearly, loudly, and unashamedly the Good News of Jesus." more >>
Joel Osteen, known for his best-selling motivational books and "megawatt smile," and Carl Lentz, dubbed by Details magazine as an "apostle of cool," recently sat down with Katie Couric on her self-titled daytime program to discuss the "modern face of religion in America." While both Christian pastors are popular, their ministry styles certainly differ. So what is it that draws people by the thousands to their churches – and garners Osteen millions of viewers around the globe?
In a 30-second preview of Couric's "Keeping the Faith" broadcast, airing Thursday, Dec. 19, the talk show host asks Osteen why he thinks "they come" – "they" being the 45,000 worshippers who flock to his Lakewood Church in Houston, making the Texas megachurch America's fastest-growing Christian congregation.
Unfortunately, the clip doesn't feature Osteen's response – it is a teaser, after all. more >>
Joel Osteen does not believe that churches should shy away from politics, states a source close to the best-selling author and pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas.
Donald Iloff Jr., senior executive for Joel Osteen Ministries and brother-in-law of pastor Osteen, told The Christian Post that Osteen "doesn't really believe" all churches should shun political matters.
"He'd never said that before and doesn't really believe it," said Iloff, adding that Osteen is friends with pastors like Rick Warren of Saddleback Church whose "gift [is] to be involved politically." more >>