The president of the Coalition of African American Pastors, the Rev. Bill Owens, is calling on Christians to not participate in gay marriage ceremonies by "refusing to obey unjust laws" in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.
Owens, who held a press conference in Dallas on Tuesday where he was joined by other prominent conservative leaders who support traditional marriage, said Christians in all areas of society should stand up and defend their constitutional rights.
"We are calling on Christians and people of faith in all areas of society, especially those in leadership positions, to refuse to obey unjust laws that have legalized same-sex unions, and to join our movement [called Real Marriage] that will take back our Constitution and our rights," said Owens in a statement posted on Facebook prior to the press conference. more >>
As a new, growing church plant with a four and a half year history, I am often asked about planting churches, pastoring, and choosing leaders. Among these questions, choosing the lead pastor often arises. This will be the focus of the article. In general, those considering the pastorate must…
…have a working knowledge of the truth: "He should be sure of what he means to say…and be ready to stake body and soul, goods and reputation, on its truth" (Martin Luther). In addition to studying and exegetical disciplines, one should read the Bible through once a year. I cannot emphasize this enough. The "primary" calling of a pastor is preaching and teaching. We must have a working knowledge of the Scriptures.
…have a desire to read. Many entering the ministry fail to cultivate a consistent devotional life. Lead pastors should be well versed in church history and all aspects of theology. Motivation to read should come from a desire to learn, not to impress. more >>
Bishop T.D. Jakes returned to the hit WE tv reality series "Braxton Family Values" on Thursday and urged the Braxton sisters to go back to their gospel music roots while spiritually counseling the family through recent trials. The women responded with a beautiful acappella rendition of the Lord's Prayer.
"I want you to come back to your roots," said Jakes to Tamar, Toni, Trina, Towanda and Traci "Braxton Family Values." "God gave you a voice! Sing! Sing something for me. Just take me back home for a minute."
The sisters heeded Jakes' words and stood together to harmonize the Lord's Prayer. more >>
Beyoncé Knowles and Mariah Carey are two of the many powerhouse singers who've named gospel legend Karen Clark Sheard as a vocal influence. But the the veteran gospel songstress says she hopes to be remembered for more than what she has done on stage.
Clark Sheard, 54, has been in the gospel music industry for over 40 years and is showing no signs of slowing down with her sixth album, Destined to Win.
While she says she's on a mission with her latest musical offering, Clark Sheard also values her role as a wife, mother and first lady of the Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ in Detroit, Michigan. more >>
Pastor Saeed Abedini, one of the four Americans imprisoned in Iran, said in a letter that he feels threatened and targeted following the announcement of the nuclear deal between the United States and the Islamic Republic earlier this week.
"I want you to know that as I wrote the thank you letter to President [Barack] Obama after he had visited my family in January of this year (which he read at the national prayer breakfast), that God is in control of all countries and leadership in the world when the body of Christ comes together in united prayer. He is in control and He is the One who beautifully writes the history over all governments, presidents, and any P5+1 negotiating team," the pastor said in a letter.
"We are all looking for a safer, more friendly world and because of this desire many of us are happy and others un-happy about the deal. Please join me in using these emotions that have been awakened to give fervor to united prayer for God's chosen people, America, and for the whole world." more >>
In the aftermath of Obergefell v. Hodges, pastors and church members are experiencing a wave of anxiety over what many of them deem the "nightmare scenario": lawsuits or government action designed to force them to perform or recognize same-sex marriages. While there are — so far — no meaningful judicial precedents that would permit such dramatic interference with churches' core First Amendment rights, lawsuits challenging church liberties are inevitable.
Indeed, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission has declared that prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity "sometimes" apply to churches and has stated that a "church service open to the public" is not a "bona fide religious purpose" that would limit application of the law. In 2012 a New Jersey administrative-law judge ruled that a religious organization "closely associated with the United Methodist Church" wrongly denied access to its facilities for a same-sex wedding.