A pastor who established a church and camp community for convicted sex offenders has been ordered to shut down his ministry.
Ricky Martin, who founded Triumph Church in Clanton, Alabama, in 2010 hosted more than 50 convicted sex offenders in his ministry's four years of existence before the state's legislature passed a law banning it on Tuesday.
The former host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" and current host of HBO's "Last Night Tonight" mocked an anti-gay pastor and current Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate on Sunday.
British comedian John Oliver, who spent most of his show this week focusing on the accomplishments of LGBT activists, also highlighted Scott Lively, who is currently the subject of a lawsuit filed by a Ugandan gay advocacy group partially blaming him for inciting violence against the country's LGBT population.
While homosexuality was already illegal in the country, earlier this year, Uganda passed a law expanding the criminalization of same-sex relations – "aggravated homosexuality" is punishable by life imprisonment and the "promotion" of homosexuality is also criminalized. It also requires citizens to report to the police anyone suspected of being gay. more >>
Evangelism can be intimidating. This is especially true for students who think that they're all alone in the effort. They walk up to their school feeling overwhelmed, like they're the last man standing. They're hesitant to post gospel truth on social media because it's not as appealing as everyone's selfies or "woman-crush-Wednesday."
They slouch in their desks because they're not sure how to raise an objection. Difficulty increases as feelings of intimidation and inadequacy come from people who are apparently uninterested. This often leads to isolation in evangelism.
Why is it like this? Pastor and evangelist, Greg Laurie, accurately describes this difficulty in evangelism: "There is one thing that both Christians and non-Christians have in common: they are both uptight about evangelism. Non-Christians are uptight about being evangelized, and Christians are uptight about evangelizing." So, how can we go from isolation to infiltration? How can we move from feeling uptight to starting an uprising? One primary way is to realize that you're not alone. more >>
Editors Note: This story has been updated to include Sovereign Grace Ministries' response to the dismissal of the sex abuse case.
Maryland's Court of Special Appeals has dismissed a case which alleged that leaders of Sovereign Grace Ministries had attempted to cover up a sex abuse scandal at the Bethesda-Covenant Life Church.
Last year, a civil lawsuit argued that CGC church leaders, including founder C. J. Mahaney, "conspired and continue to conspire" to "permit sexual deviants to have unfettered access to children for purposes of predation and to obstruct justice by covering up ongoing past predation." In May 2013, a judge threw out the lawsuit due to the statute of limitations. The defendents appealed the decision in early June 2014. more >>
Editor's Note: Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Warren Throckmorton, author of the cited Daily Beast article concerning Mark Driscoll's business relationship with Tyndale House Publishers, provided the following statement via email to The Christian Post:
"My reporting regarding Tyndale House and Resurgence Publishing was based on information disclosed to me by Todd Starowitz, senior public relations manager at Tyndale. I reported it accurately as Mr. Starowitz now confirms. Tyndale House had ample opportunity to provide additional information last week in response to multiple questions from me but did not choose to do so. I hope Tyndale House will now fully accept the responsibility for providing incorrect information. …" more >>
Pastors in the U.S. reacted quickly and joined the viral social media discussion on Monday about the Supreme Court decision that two Christian-owned businesses, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, do not have to comply with parts of the "Obamacare" birth control mandate that violate the owners' sincere religious beliefs.
"The Supreme Court made the right decision today and to me it is a hopeful sign that our country may be moving in the right direction," evangelist Greg Laurie told The Christian Post and also tweeted shortly after the announcement. "I applaud Steve Green, the CEO of Hobby Lobby, for making this bold stand in bringing this case to the highest court in our land, which clearly, the Lord has honored."
Most Christian leaders applauded Hobby Lobby for its owners' undaunted legal and public stand. Billy Graham's son, Franklin, who is also an evangelist, posted twice on Twitter. First, he tweeted, "Congratulations to the Green family, owners of @HobbyLobby, and a big thank you for their strong moral stand. #hobbylobby," and later, "The Green family is an inspiration to Christians all around the world. We thank God for answered prayer! #hobbylobby." more >>