A recent post appearing on the Joel Osteen Ministries Facebook page suggests that a Bible passage commonly interpreted as God's invitation to the Messianic King was also applicable to believers. Amid an overwhelming number of "amens," however, there were a handful of people who insisted that the popular passage had been taken wildly out of context.
The post that ruffled the feathers of a few Osteen Facebook supporters was centered on Psalm 2:8, part of a fuller passage that theologians interpret as applying specifically to the Davidic king, in this case, Jesus Christ: "Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations as Your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth as Your possession."
According to the JOM Facebook page, which has more than 7.7 million followers: "God is saying, 'Ask Me for those hidden dreams that I've planted in your heart. Ask Me for those unborn promises that may seem unlikely to happen in the natural.'" more >>
Not wanting to remain "anonymous" as implied by Pastor Mark Driscoll, former members of his Seattle-based Mars Hill Church plan to express their frustration over the lead pastor's recent apology for his and his leadership team's transgressions at a "Peaceful Protest" at the church's main site on Sunday.
Earlier this month, Driscoll, 43, released a 30-minute long video where he acknowledged that under his tenure, church leaders had been dismissed from Mars Hill in a brusque fashion. Former church members, however, took umbrage with the megachurch leader's claims about what had stymied his response to criticism.
"One of the things that has been complex is the fact that a lot of the people that we are dealing with in this season remain anonymous," he said, in a video posted on the church website on July 21. "And so we don't know how to reconcile or how to work things out with people because we're not entirely sure who they are. And so that has made things a little more complex and difficult as well." more >>
Hope Hilley Carpenter, wife of Pastor Ron Carpenter, has addressed for the very first time their marital woes that were made public last year before the congregation she and her husband founded over 20 years ago. Mrs. Carpenter repented and apologized to members of Redemption World Outreach Center, but did not cite the specific sins or behavior she regards as stumbling blocks to her husband, family and church community.
This past Sunday, Pastor Carpenter took a few minutes before his wife joined him before the congregation to touch on his sermon series, "What Makes a Man?" Carpenter referenced Ephesians 5:25 and 1 Corinthians 13, the first a Bible passage that call on husbands to love their wives like Christ loved the Church, and the second a reminder to believers that love is the greatest virtue.
When Carpenter finally transitioned from his brief sermon to call his wife before the congregation, worshippers stood to their feet, many of them clapping and some of them hooting in joy, according to a video recording of the service. more >>
Pastor Kong Hee's City Harvest Church, one of the biggest megachurches in Singapore, has celebrated its 25th year anniversary despite the ongoing high-profile trial of Kong and five other church officials accused of misusing millions in church funds.
"Thank God for His faithfulness the past 25 years. Happy Birthday, CHC," Kong wrote on Twitter, posting a photo of himself and other CHC members, including his popstar wife, Sun Ho, blowing out candles on a large birthday cake on stage.
The Straits Times reported on Tuesday that the 2 ½ hour celebration was held at Suntec City Convention Hall, and the two services, themed "Because Of You" in honor of the church's members, attracted 18,360 people in total. more >>
A new documentary, "When God Left the Building," slated for release in August, will examine the decline of the American church and the overall deteriorating spiritual condition of the United States.
Thom Schultz, director and president of Group Publishing, set out to examine the fall of several churches and found that in addition to internal issues, external cultural factors are playing a part in the decay of the church.
"The American church as we know it is dying," said Schultz in a statement. "What was once the heart and soul of the community is going away. The majority of churches across the country are either stuck or in a state of decline …" more >>
"Preachers of LA," the faith-based reality show that sparked controversy and critical debate over its flashy season one premiere, returns to the Oxygen network next month with what appears to be more sobering developments in the ministries and lives of its star Christian ministers.
"Season two is full of self-discovery and change with growing families and ministries, incredible women of strength beside them, and ever-changing relationships," according to a press release from Oxygen Media.
What is clear from a new season two supertease trailer is that Bishop Noel Jones and his longtime friend and potential love interest, Loretta are confronted by Bishop Ron Gibson and his wife about the pair's unusual relationship. The confrontation over the status of Jones and Loretta's relationship, which Gibson insists the world needs to know about, apparently causes a "devastating rift" between the couples. more >>