Nearly a year after a now former elder filed charges of mistreatment against Pastor Mark Driscoll and other leaders at Mars Hill Church, a board of advisors and accountability for the church said the charges were determined to be non-disqualifying. At the same time, the church has taken the charges seriously and "corrective actions" have been taken.
In a letter to church elders and leaders sent late Wednesday, Michael Van Skaik, who is chairman of the Board of Advisors and Accountability for Mars Hill, wrote that the Board made an effort to substantiate the charges made by former elder Dave Kraft (although his name was not mentioned in the letter) and at least seven unnamed witnesses.
"In an effort to substantiate the validity of the anonymous charges, we immediately sent out over one hundred letters to former elders and staff at Mars Hill Church from the previous two years, inviting their feedback and perspectives regarding their time on staff at the church, particularly their interactions with Pastor Mark and the Executive Elders," Skaik stated in the letter (full letter below). more >>
An Oklahoma pastor has suggested that his anti-drought prayers inadvertently caused massive flooding in the Midwest.
John Benefiel, who founded and pastors Church on the Rock with his wife, Judith, explains that he used a "divorce decree" to remove a demonic hold that had kept rain from Texas and Oklahoma in 2007.
"There was no rain in sight, no rain forecast at all," Benefiel said on the Christian Internet broadcast Generals International on Monday. more >>
Oprah Winfrey will be touring the U.S. this fall to help "lead people to an empathy space… a gratitude space" in an effort to find their calling and fulfill their greatest potential. Helping Winfrey in the tour hitting cities on both coasts will be influential and controversial Christian author Rob Bell, and other "handpicked thought leaders and pop culture icons."
"All of my life I have wanted to lead people to an empathy space. To a gratitude space," said Winfrey in a press statement. "I want us all to fulfill our greatest potential. To find our calling, and summon the courage to live it."
Each stop on the national tour will run two days, with the first night featuring Winfrey "bringing her personal story and insights to life in a one of a kind intimate evening" and the following will have the media mogul and Bell, or another one of her handpicked guests, "lead a day-long gathering of thousands." more >>
Groups supporting the usage of the "So Help Me God" oath for the military have posted a billboard in Colorado near the United States Air Force Academy.
The Chaplains Alliance for Religious Freedom and the Restore Military Religious Freedom coalition erected the billboard in Colorado Springs earlier this week.
Featuring a photo of Mount Rushmore, the billboard has an upper caption that asks, "Air Force cadets, are you free to say so help me God?" and a lower caption that says, "They did," in reference to the presidents on Rushmore. more >>
Several of the more than 80 amicus curiae briefs filed for the Hobby Lobby case, Kathleen Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, included references to the work of New York City megachurch pastor Tim Keller.
Keller, the founding and lead pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian, authored Every Good Endeavor with Katherine Leary Alsdorf, the founder of the Center for Faith & Work, in 2012.
The book was cited in friend of the court briefs in favor of Hobby Lobby by the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities and a joint briefing from the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, the Coalition of African American Pastors, the Manhattan Declaration, InStep International and 38 protestant theologians, including Rick Warren, Eric Metaxes and Ravi Zacharias. Neither Keller nor Alsdorf co-signed either document. more >>
"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 >>