"JOHN 3:16" reads the sign raised high by the rainbow-colored, afro wig-wearing man who uses televised sporting events to promote Jesus. Or, you've seen people carrying signs "REPENT" and handing out leaflets during major events that attract thousands of people, who typically are along for a good time – not a sales pitch, of any kind. Sometimes, you'll see well-meaning people standing on busy street corners holding signs about "KNOW JESUS, KNOW PEACE. NO JESUS. NO PEACE" and shouting, "Jesus loves you!"
Whenever I see people marketing Jesus like this, I just want to come up to ask them about their personal connection with their next door neighbors, or children, or spouses, other family and estranged relatives. Specifically, have they reached them in a meaningful way for Jesus? Are they living a life that attracts others to God, or repels them?
For every person who may have responded to these sign-holding, awkwardly-timed evangelists, there are thousands of others who immediately think Christians are weird. And, its human nature to draw the conclusion that if you were to become a Christian through one of these marketers, then you would think that you would also have to show up at events carrying signs. No thanks. more >>
An Iowa pastor is speaking out for the first time after his church's former youth leader was sentenced to 15 years for sexual abuse Monday.
James Snow, leader of Heritage Assembly in Des Moines, trusted Ryan McKelvey, 27, as youth pastor of the congregation but now considers him a "monster" that took advantage of two minors within the church.
"I realized that he had deceived all of his life. Twenty-seven years and no one had ever picked up on these issues except for the ones he had hurt," Snow said, according to KCCI 8 News. "Anyone who would do something like this to a child is a monster and they're not normal." more >>
A New York City church known for its controversial signs relating to homosexuality had its marquee vandalized over the weekend, with the culprit writing "God is Gay" on the church sign that previously read "Jesus Would Stone Homos."
Surveillance footage from the weekend shows that a male suspect spray painted his retaliatory message on the sign outside of ATLAH World Missionary Church in Harlem at around 12:24 a.m. early Saturday. The video shows the male suspect jumping the church's fence, pulling letters from the church marquee and then writing his message, "God is Gay," on both sides of the sign using black spray paint.
According to the New York Daily News, police spent seven hours at the crime scene on Saturday dusting for fingerprints in attempt to catch the vandal. James David Manning, the pastor of the church, told the local media outlet that he hopes the offender will be caught, as he and his congregants "have the right of freedom of speech." The pastor added that vandalism of his sign shows that members of the LGBT community are "outright bullies" and he "expected them to act in a very violent way." more >>
As the $600,000 theft at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church two weeks ago remains a mystery, the megachurch is offering a $25,000 reward offered to anyone who can provide clues.
The Associated Press reported on Saturday that Crime Stoppers, the national organization aimed at preventing and solving crimes in the U.S., announced the reward for information. No arrests have yet been made in the case.
The robbery occurred on the weekend of March 8. Lakewood told its 45,000-strong congregation in a message: "We were heartbroken to learn today that funds were stolen from the church over the weekend. This includes cash, checks and envelopes containing written credit card information, and it is limited only to those funds contributed in the church services on Saturday, March 8 and Sunday, March 9, 2014." more >>
Bestselling author Donald Miller has written a blog post arguing that conservative theologians and pastors often use the term "heretic" to defend territories of thought rather than to prevent misguided interpretations of the Bible, and as a result many Christians have stopped thinking.
Those who believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible believe that God created everything in seven days, writes Miller, whose writings generally focus on Christian spirituality as "an explanation for beauty, meaning and the human struggle."
There are also conservative theologians who subscribe to a less literal interpretation of the first few chapters of Genesis, looking at it as a story, "a poetic grunt toward a God-created world, which would then jive with science and not make us all look so silly," he adds. But they choose not to speak up "for fear of being labeled a heretic." more >>
More than 20 members of the Westboro Baptist Church held a protest outside a concert by pop star Lorde in Missouri. It was the controversial group's first protest since the death of the founder, Fred Waldron Phelps Sr., even as counter protesters held up a sign saying "sorry for your loss."
The protest was held outside the Midland Theatre in downtown Kansas City on Friday, KSHB reported.
The rival protesters wanted to send a positive message to the group that is known for picketing funerals and using the slogan "God hates fags." more >>