Popular theologian and Desiring God founder John Piper says it's a good practice for Christians to make sure their pastors and church leaders agree with the teachings of the Bible. Pastors are not infallible, and should not be taken as the ultimate authority, he cautioned.
"The Bible is the ultimate authority and infallible, not the pastor and not the elders. And it doesn't mean that you believe everything he says without examining it," said Piper in a recent discussion about whether or not online sermons undermined local churches.
He explained that while the Bible advises Christians to submit to the authority of their spiritual leaders and encourages respect for the office of the pastor, it doesn't mean Christians are supposed to accept everything church leaders tell them as the infallible word. On the contrary, he noted, the Bible represents Christians who track the leadership of their pastors with biblical study as desirous. more >>
The producers of "T.D. Jakes Presents: Mind, Body & Soul" has put out casting calls for the brand new talk show coming from The Potter's House megachurch pastor and the BET network.
The series of announcements, shared by a casting agency on its Facebook page, appear to target men and women with relationship issues, those struggling with their weight, and community activists.
The show page on BET.com for "T.D. Jakes Presents: Mind, Body & Soul" describes The Potter's House pastor as a spiritual leader, educator and humanitarian and explains that the new talk show will feature "a wide range of topics including health and wellness, finance and relationships." more >>
Imprisoned U.S. Pastor Saeed Abedini has managed to get out a letter to his hundreds of thousands of supporters around the world through his wife, Naghmeh, in which he praised the unity Christians in various denominations have shown in praying for his release.
"I heard that the persecution, my arrest and imprisonment has united churches from different denominations, from different cities and countries, that would never come together because of their differences. That the churches have united together in prayer to put one request (my freedom) on one day (Pentecost) before God," the pastor said in a letter.
"You don't know how happy I was in the Lord and rejoiced knowing that in my chains the body of Christ has chained together and is brought to action and prayer." more >>
After some harsh online criticism, Christian author and college chancellor John Piper deleted two tweets quoting scripture from the Book of Job in the Bible posted late Monday evening, the same day that a devastating tornado flattened an Oklahoma City suburb, resulting in at least 24 deaths.
"The reason I pulled my tweets from Job is that it became clear that what I feel as comfort was not affecting others the same," Piper was quoted as saying to members of Desiring God, a ministry he founded. His explanation was posted in a blog by Desiring God content strategist Tony Reinke.
"When tragedy strikes my life, I find it stabilizing and hope-giving to see the stories of the sheer factuality of other's losses, especially when they endured them the way Job did. Job really grieved. He really agonized. He collapsed to the ground. He wept. He shaved his head. This was, in my mind, a pattern of what must surely happen in Oklahoma. I thought it would help. But when I saw how so many were not experiencing it that way, I took them down," said Piper, who recently retired as lead pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minn. more >>
A national network of hospitals in the U.S. called Cancer Treatment Centers of America is combining state-of-the-art medical care for patients in advanced-stages of cancer with spiritual support by a team of pastors, which is said to help patients live longer.
"The focus of Care that the Cancer Treatment Centers of America utilizes is a 'Holistic Model,' and in that model 'Spirituality' among several other modalities, and the support of such in a clinical environment, based upon a plethora of research strongly suggests that healing, and wellness can be directly related to those emphasis, which in this case would be 'Spirituality/Religious' support," the Rev. Percy W. McCray, Jr., pastoral care director at CTCA, shared with The Christian Post in an email on Tuesday.
While a team of oncologists, surgeons, radiologists and integrative care clinicians assist with the patients' medical needs, the pastors minister to their Christian faith. more >>
A Christian pastor at the Central Assemblies of God Church in Tehran was arrested during a prayer meeting at the church, which may be forced to close down in June due to pressure from Iranian authorities.
"There are lots of underground churches in Iran but the Assemblies of God, which the Church in Tehran is, is permitted to operate but with many restrictions. It has never been easy, but now they are considering closure," Kiri Kankhwende, press officer for Christian Solidarity Worldwide, told The Christian Post in an email on Wednesday.
While details are scarce about the arrest of the Rev. Robert Asserian, CSW, which works for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, noted that he was arrested on Tuesday morning while conducting a prayer meeting at the church. Iranian forces apparently raided his house and confiscated many of his belongings, including his computer and books. Asserian was taken to an unknown location. more >>