Over 90 percent of messengers at the Southern Baptist Convention repudiated the Confederate flag in a vote Tuesday that calls on all Christians and member churches to remove the divisive symbol from public display.
Stephen Rummage, senior pastor of Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon, Florida, and chairman of the SBC Committee on Resolutions, spoke in favor of the resolution, saying, "We ask you to join us in calling Southern Baptists to take a further step in the right direction concerning racial unity for the sake of our witness to Jesus Christ."
Resolution 7 states: "With full respect of the autonomy of the local church, we call brothers and sisters in Christ who display the Confederate battle flag as a memorial … to consider prayerfully whether to limit, or even more so, discontinue its display. We urge fellow Christians to exercise sensitivity so that nothing brings division or hinders the unity of the Body of Christ to be a bold witness to the transforming power of Jesus." more >>
Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King Jr. and former member of the Georgia House of Representatives, believes she will see the late Muhammad Ali in Heaven, despite his conversion to the Islamic faith.
"While Cassius Clay was raised in a Christian home, he later converted to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali; in part, because he objected to the western characterization of Jesus Christ. Yet, I believe in my heart that the Christian message that he learned from my uncle, Martin Luther King, and Daddy A. D. was impacting him, too," King wrote in a statement, reflecting on the passing of Ali a week after his death.
"Ali was not only a great boxer, but also a great man; a man of character, integrity and faith. He loved his God, his family and the world. Yet, he was a very complex personality; and like everyone, was subject to human failings," she continued. more >>
Without once naming presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump in his speech, former President Bill Clinton warned congregants at a popular black California megachurch on Sunday that the billionaire's campaign slogan "Make America Great Again" is a code that means "way more than what it sounds like."
The former president made the comments in a speech during the worship service at the 24,000-member West Angeles Church of God In Christ where he stumped for his wife, Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton ahead of her battle with rival Bernie Sanders in California's Democratic primary set for Tuesday.
He argued that despite a recovery from the 2007-2008 financial crisis, people were still not happy because 80 percent of workers haven't received a pay raise after inflation since then. Rising inequality, stagnant wages, declining upward mobility and fear of immigrants are growing concerns around the world that have made some in Europe question the need for democracies. more >>
A new study released recently by Baylor University found that churches with the greatest growth of diversity also experienced the steepest declines in attendance. At a time when racial unity is needed most, these kinds of findings are discouraging.
When my wife and I first founded Christ Church in New Jersey in 1986, we wanted it to be about acceptance and diversity. We started with six people. After two years we were averaging about 50 members; half of them black and the other half white, Hispanic, and Asian. Through our intentional efforts to be diverse, our church grew exponentially over the years, and today we stand as an 8,000-member, multisite congregation representing over 60 nationalities.
What is important to consider regarding the Baylor study findings is that diversity can have a negative impact on attendance if diversity is defined in a restrictive manner. Many groups seeking to attract a racially diverse audience tend to unconsciously want a melting pot rather than a tossed salad. A melting pot is where each ethnic group is unconsciously asked to abandon their cultural uniqueness in lieu of the majority culture of the church. This perspective is sure to restrict growth on many levels. more >>
In a meeting where "we bled, sweat, cried and cussed," Pastor Jamal Bryant of Baltimore's Empowerment Temple church revealed Thursday that he has settled differences with grassroots activist PFK Boom and his "300 Gangstas" organization after an altercation last week in which he was chased off a Baltimore Street by Boom.
He made the revelation during a Periscope session Thursday featuring Boom whose real name is Davon Neverdon and Robert Wolfe, also known as Big Wolfe. Neverdon and Wolfe are co-founders of 300 Gangstas, an organization that seeks to reach the most dangerous people in the city of Baltimore.
"One week ago, we were just 3 miles away from here right outside of Gilmore Homes and brother PFK Boom and I had an altercation and we came together today as men, saying that we had a responsibility for a whole other generation that's coming behind us on how do you resolve your differences," explained Bryant in the session. more >>
After suffering an expletive-laden verbal assault from grassroots activist PFK Boom who bluntly told him to get out of Baltimore last Wednesday, one of the earliest reactions from megachurch Pastor Jamal Bryant was that God has anointed him to serve a generation "reared to eat out of a paper bag."
In a periscope session recorded just a day after his hair-raising encounter with Boom, whose real name is Davon Neverdon, Bryant explained that God told him that sometimes he has to be prepared to serve people who don't know how to behave.
Using table manners to explain his point, Bryant said he was called to serve a generation of people who don't know appropriate etiquette because of their "paper bag" upbringing. more >>