In a recent sermon, Texas megachurch pastor Matt Chandler proclaimed that showing favoritism and partiality toward the rich while turning a blind eye to the weak and poor is as much of a sin as murder or adultery.
Preaching on the first chapter of James on March 1, Chandler challenged his congregation at The Village Church in Flower Mound not to "cuddle" up with the rich and powerful just because they have elite status and are seen as relevant. He explained that Jesus called on his followers to help the poorest and weakest in society and it "dishonors God" for his followers to be more interested in cozying up to the wealthy.
"We hear about partiality, we hear about favoritism, and the unregenerate heart says, 'I didn't kill nobody. I didn't commit adultery. I didn't break any major law.' And James' point is, so what if you didn't murder or commit adultery, if you are showing impartiality, you have broken the law," Chandler asserted. "You discriminate; you broke the law. [If] you are a racist, accidentally or not, you have broken the law. If you avoid the poor, you have broken the royal law of love. You have sinned against God." more >>
The largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States is only seven votes away from having enough regional bodies favor changing its official definition of marriage to include homosexual unions.
At last year's general assembly, Presbyterian Church (USA) approved an amendment changing their Book of Order's definition of marriage from being between "a man and a woman" to "two people, traditionally a man and a woman."
A 55-year-old Boston, Massachusetts, pastor who was allegedly running a drug ring at a local high school while working there as a coordinator was charged with multiple crimes, including attempted murder after he reportedly shot a 17-year-old student "execution style" in the back of the head.
The Rev. Shaun O. Harrison Sr. was arraigned in Roxbury District Court Thursday on charges of armed assault with intent to murder and other offenses stemming from last Wednesday's shooting of the teenager on Magazine Street, according to The Boston Globe.
Harrison, who was reportedly mentoring the teenager in English, also had him selling marijuana as part of his drug business. The allegations against the man of God come in stark contrast to a pastor who's known for organizing gun buybacks and speaking out against violence. Police officials said he hid gang tattoos below his clerical collar. more >>
A Texas organization that has investigated financial fraud in the American religious community is in the process of expanding their efforts globally.
The Dallas-based Trinity Foundation recently announced their plans to investigate religious fraud on a global scale following the release of research earlier this year indicating that religious fraud globally may total $100 billion in the next decade.
In a recently released statement, the Trinity Foundation noted that for 2015 alone it's estimated that international religious fraud will exceed donations to global missions. more >>
"Preachers of Detroit," the Midwest spinoff of the controversial and popular "Preachers of L.A." reality show, has put front and center in its early episodes the debate about what roles women are permitted to hold in the church.
Christians remain divided over what perimeters they believe the Bible lays out for women called to ministry.
Some believers point to passages like 1 Timothy 3:2, which states that a bishop, or overseer, is to be "faithful to his wife ..." — indicating that a Christian holding that position must be male. more >>
The Rev. Chris Schuller, former rector at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in St. Petersburg, Florida, who posted a video on YouTube calling on people to "thank God for marijuana" and stop being judgmental by "throwing stones at people who are already stoned," might soon face punishment from his bishop for the public statements supporting the recreational use of the drug.
While the video was posted back in December it was recently brought to the attention of Bishop Dabney Smith, head of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida.