A massive public memorial service for Pastor Chuck Smith planned for this Sunday (Oct. 27) includes a long list of influential Christian leaders and musicians who are scheduled to pay tribute to the gifted preacher credited for being instrumental in both the Calvary Chapel and "Jesus People" movements.
"I look forward to celebrating a life well lived," said evangelist Greg Laurie, who told The Christian Post he was asked to give the Gospel message at the 18,000-seat Honda Center arena in Anaheim, Calif. The memorial service will also be available for viewing by free live webcast. More than 420 churches around the world have registered to host the service via the webcast.
Smith, who was the pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, died after a battle with lung cancer in the early morning hours of Oct. 3 at the age of 86. He was active as a preacher from the pulpit and in his ministry up until the very end of his life. more >>
Pastor Steven Furtick, founder of the 14,000-member Elevation Church in Charlotte, N.C., is under heavy scrutiny from critics who contend that his newly built $1.7 million, 16,000 square-foot home is "unseemly" and does not reflect the lifestyle of a servant pastor.
According to Ole Anthony, the president and one of the founders of the Trinity Foundation, a nonprofit foundation that monitors and investigates religious fraud, Furtick is just one example of a problem afflicting churches in which the pastors are creating a profit-making business that is hurting the church and their congregations.
"What happens is these pastors are on television or on radio and they write a book, and it's based on their sermons," Anthony told The Christian Post on Thursday. "But then what happens is the church is paying for the time and the place to write the book, and then the church is paying for the airtime to advertise the book. And it's just unseemly." more >>
Seattle-based Mars Hill Church encountered a major stumbling block this week in its effort to move their main office from the Ballard area to Bellevue, Wash., when the owners of a huge former paper mill property sold it to a transit company instead of the church, which had promised to pay a quarter of a million dollars more than the highest bid.
"We were disappointed when we made a pretty generous offer for the property to International Paper and Sound Transit took it instead," Mars Hill spokesperson Justin Dean told The Christian Post. "We have a desire and vision to put our headquarters and our biggest church all together under one roof so that we can really support the pulpit better with our central operations. We'll be able to get a lot more done and steward our resources better with everything under one big building."
Mars Hill Church leaders announced last Friday that the organization with about 120 employees intends to move its headquarters to Bellevue and expand the existing Bellevue Church into a larger facility, including an organizational headquarters and eventually a fully accredited Bible college. more >>
Benny Hinn, Kerney Thomas and Robert Tilton lead this list of six controversial Charismatic Christian preachers known for carrying out their ministry work in seemingly spectacular ways.
1. BENNY HINN (LET THE BODIES HIT THE FLOOR)
Televangelist and global preacher Toufik Benedictus "Benny" Hinn is known for travelling the world for his "miraculous healing crusades" and encouraging Christians to "sow seeds" into his ministry. What Hinn is most known for is the way in which he claims God anoints him with the Holy Spirit to lay hands on and heal people. The very popular YouTube video titled "Benny Hinn: Let the Bodies Hit the Floor" illusrates it best. more >>
Craig Groeschel, founding pastor of megachurch, LifeChurch.tv, and co-creator of the popular YouVersion Bible App, writes about the need for men to "man up" and embrace their roles as leaders in his new book Fight: Winning the Battles That Matter Most, while explaining how every man is equipped with the strength and tools to overcome life's battles.
Groeschel uses the Biblical story of Samson throughout Fight as an example to convey what he says are three elements today's man deals with often: pride, lust, and entitlement. He also emphasizes that these are the downfalls that hinder a man from fulfilling his purpose as a true warrior while focusing on the positive power of fighting a righteous battle.
An edited transcript of Craig Groeschel's interview with The Christian Post is below: more >>
Hip hop artist and actor Ja Rule said in a recent interview with HuffPost Live that Hillsong Church NYC's "come as you are" atmosphere helped him welcome God into his life.
The rapper, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, spoke with Marc Lamont Hill about his experience touring churches to promote his new movie, "I'm In Love With A Church Girl." He was regularly asked during the tour if he was saved or if starring in the film impacted him spiritually, he shared, and he would respond by saying he loved God and believed in Him, but was taking his faith slowly.
"But what I was really saying is: 'I don't feel like I'm a part of this yet. I don't feel welcome,'" he said. more >>