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 >>
The Supreme Court of the United States handed down a ruling today in the rather controversial Hobby Lobby religious liberty case. It was extremely significant in that it ultimately upheld the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and made it clear that closely held corporations cannot be separated from the individual identities of their owners. I, along with many other Christians, are elated that the decision went the way it did. It will be used to uphold religious freedom for individuals (acting as individuals and on behalf of their business entities) for decades to come.
As I've read comments and heard the opinions of "progressive" Christians, I think there exists a lack of knowledge about why so many religious people (I think evangelicals, Catholics, and many religious Jews as well have seen the merits of this decision) see this decision as a "big win." While you are more than welcome to disagree, and I hope to write my own opinion in a respectful tone, I wanted to share from the heart of one Pastor why I'm excited by today's decision.
First, you should know that I'm a Baptist who identifies strongly with ancient Anabaptists on issues of religious liberty and the separation of church and state, a phrase you would never have heard of had it not been for Thomas Jefferson's conversation with a Baptist congregation. (The phrase is a comment on the First Amendment but is not found in any official government document.) more >>
Southern Baptist Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas said the celebration surrounding the U.S. Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling will be short lived.
Reacting to the excitement surrounding the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods Specialties Monday — which allows for-profit businesses to opt out of covering drugs that can lead to the early termination of a pregnancy — Jeffress said that while the Supreme Court has "stopped the greatest attempted assault on religious liberty in history," he also believes "people of faith are going to increasingly come into conflict with governmental mandates that violate their personal faith."
"I do believe (the decision) was a great victory. But I have to say — and I'm not trying to stop the flow of Champagne — I think this victory will be short lived," he asserted during an Interview on Fox News Monday after the decision was announced. more >>
An Apostolic church in Brazil has atrracted controversy online after a photo was posted on their Facebook account in which the pastor is seen praying and kneeling on the floor over 110 lbs. of anointed salt.
Apostolic Church Full of God's Throne based in Sao Paulo held a service last week where the practice took place. The criticism was triggered by the image of the church's lead pastor Agenor Duke, as he is shown surrounded by other kneeling church members who then marched over the salt barefoot as they fervently prayed.
"This is a witchcraft practice, very different from what the Scripture reflects on the use of salt," commented Jonathan Martinez, a Facebook user on the church's account. "That method is only used for witchcraft and for calling upon negative things." more >>