Pastors in a county in the heart of South Carolina are expressing their opposition to a local government proposal that would remove the zoning buffers between bars and houses of worship.
Richland County Council is presently considering a move to drop the buffer system, which would allow bars to be built and to operate right next to churches. At a Council meeting held Tuesday evening, churches from multiple neighborhoods protested the possible removal of a 500-foot buffer between bars and churches in the Richland area.
The Reverend John W. Culp, pastor at Virginia Wingard United Methodist Church in Columbia, told The Christian Post that "our ground is sacred too." "A bar shouldn't be near a church that has a nursery or a preschool. I have an AA that meets in my church. Why should I want a reformed alcoholic coming out and there he is facing a bar?" said Culp. "I have a Montessori School that meets in the basement of my church, I got an AA that meets in my church and they were trying to say that church only meet at 11:00 on Sunday which is ridiculous." more >>
American businessman Donald Trump criticized President Barack Obama's failure to negotiate with Iran for the release of imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini. The pastor's wife, Naghmeh, expressed her gratitude toward Trump.
"I am very happy to hear that he is doing this, because this is the first example of anyone outside of the legal and political areas speaking out. I hope that more people like him will speak out," Naghmeh Abedini told WND.com.
"I would very much like to meet him and thank him for what he has done in bringing awareness to this issue," she added. "Every voice counts and especially voices like Mr. Trump's. I'm just thankful he's using his voice to speak out against this injustice." more >>
The Episcopal Church has filed a new motion against a diocese that broke away from the liberal mainline denomination over theological differences and the treatment of its bishop.
In a motion delivered Monday against the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, The Episcopal Church named four diocesan leaders including its bishop, the Rev. Mark Lawrence.
The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC), the group within the Diocese that remains with the national denomination, is arguing that the diocesan leadership violated state law. more >>
They are single by default, by circumstance, or by choice. They may have visions of marriage and family while others have totally given up. The rarest of all in the Body see their relational context as a gift. But regardless of perspective and desire, all these men face unique moral and spiritual struggles which require more, not less, character than their married friends.
Strong beliefs are required to support stronger (but culturally disapproved) behaviors that preserve spiritual integrity. It's ironic that the most influential man who ever walked the planet was unmarried, yet was self rooted in God and had a purpose that transcended the broken male culture of his day. Jesus, as well as a host of other examples in the Bible, provide the template for our conversations with and ministry to unmarried men. Here are the top three issues, examples and principles we should be addressing with this group of men God wants to use mightily.
The family of Pastor Saeed Abedini said in a recent interview that they are "devastated" that the Obama administration failed to secure Abedini's release during recent negotiation talks with Iran, in which the Middle Eastern country agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for lighter economic sanctions. Abedini is an American pastor who has been imprisoned in Iran over the past year for his Christian faith.
"As a wife and a mom, it's devastating," Naghmeh Abedini, the pastor's wife, told Fox News Radio. Naghmeh and her family saw these recent peace talks between Iran and the U.S. as a possible opportunity for Abedini to be released from his eight-year prison sentence. The pastor was sentenced in January 2013 under the charges of "planting house churches that are intended to undermine national security."
Naghmeh added to Fox News Radio that she now believes the U.S. has no leveraging power since making the nuclear program deal. "Iran has no incentive for them to release him. I don't think we have any more leverage. We now have to consider other avenues and having other countries speak out because our country when we could have used our leverage chose to stay silent." more >>
Americans are being encouraged to leave an empty dinner place on Thanksgiving Day for Saeed Abedini as a sign of solidarity with the imprisoned American pastor. A group is also setting up a Thanksgiving display in front of the White House to petition for his release.
"While Americans enjoy the blessings of spending Thanksgiving Day with family and friends, it is important to remember that millions around the world are being brutalized, persecuted and attacked for their Christian faith. Thousands are in prison," said the Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition.
"Pastor Saeed will not be able to spend this special day with his wife and two young children, but instead will be spending it in a cramped prison facing constant violence and persecution." more >>