Few people are truly aware of the constant requests, complaints, and criticisms pastors and other church leaders receive. I must admit, however, I was surprised when I asked church leaders on Twitter to share some of the more unusual comments they have received.
I was first surprised at how many responded. But I was most surprised at the really strange things people tell pastors and other church leaders.
Many of the comments related to using the Bible too much or to being too evangelistic. I should make those a blog post by themselves. more >>
WASHINGTON — Emmy-winning filmmaker Martin Doblmeier and Journey Films have produced a new two-hour documentary called "Chaplains" that will air on PBS stations in 2015, which seeks to enlighten the general public about the role that American chaplains play in their various arenas of work.
The film shadows chaplains from various faiths and theatres — from a Muslim police chaplain who serves as a middleman between cops and the hostile Muslim community, to a Buddhist chaplain who fulfills the spiritual needs of prisoners in an Oregon state prison — and provides a sense of the benefits that chaplains provide to the communities they serve.
At the film's premiere screening Thursday night at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., Doblmeier, who has produced over 25 films focused on religion, faith and spirituality, explained that the reason for producing the documentary is that most people don't understand the importance that the chaplaincy has to society as a whole. more >>
In days of seeking God deeply, I have been asking Him for insights about all that is happening in the world now. While my understanding grows, I want to share what is on my heart today in relation to three areas of crisis.
1. Global Crises
Across the globe, crises abound. The global spiritual crisis continues to grow as lostness escalates. Billions of people are in need of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As more than one-half of the global population is now living in the cities of the world, missional strategies must emerge that address reaching these cities. more >>
A diverse group of clergy and legal experts sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to keep a rule allowing religious organizations with government grants to maintain hiring practices consistent with their religious beliefs.
Sent to the White House on Thursday, the letter pleads that President Obama reject calls by many progressive organizations to bar federal grants to religious organizations that use religious affiliation as a parameter for employment.
The letter was organized by the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance and signed by liberals and conservatives, religious leaders and religious freedom experts. For instance, Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; Ron Sider, president emeritus of Evangelicals for Social Action; and Douglas Laycock, Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia Law School, were among the 69 signers. more >>
Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of imprisoned American pastor Saeed Abedini, is fasting for 21 days until Sept. 26 to mark the date her husband was thrown in an Iranian prison three years ago. She said that she's also fasting for Christians persecuted around the world, and called on others to join her.
"I will be fasting from pleasant food (Daniel 10:3 — 'I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled'). I plan to abstain from coffee and chocolate. You are free to abstain from food, social media, TV or skip a meal or two ... the point is to spend that time in prayer," Naghmeh shared on social media about the fast that began on Sunday.
"The Scripture that the Lord has given me for this time of prayer and fasting has been Hebrews 12:1-2. That as we remember Saeed and the persecuted Church (the 'witnesses'), we would look at our own walk with God and get rid of all of the sins that are so easily ensnaring us. The Lord is showing me that as we pray for Saeed and the persecuted Church and remember the witnesses, revival can be brought into our own life and in our country." more >>
A New Orleans pastor and seminary professor who was among of the millions of people outed by hackers for having used the online adultery website Ashley Madison has committed suicide.
The body of 56-year-old John Gibson, who taught at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, was found by his wife, Christi, late last month after his name was included on a list of over 32 million other members of the Ashley Madison marital affair coordinating website that criminal web hackers revealed in August.
Christi Gibson told CNN Money that she discovered her husband's body after she arrived home from work on Aug. 24, just six days after the hackers exposed the list of people who had signed up to use the website. She explained that his body was accompanied by a suicide note. more >>