The Southern Baptist Convention's official news service turned to the writings of the denomination's lead ethicist Thursday to criticize an op-ed asking that the blind eye the church has long given divorced and remarried Christians be given LGBT couples as an apple to oranges argument. While churches are maybe at fault for permitting biblically unlawful divorces and marriages within its fellowship, heterosexual remarriages are still considered marriages according to the Bible while same-sex marriage are not.
Danny Cortez, a California pastor who recently led his church New Heart Community Church in affirming same-sex relationships, published an opinion in the Huffington Post rejecting the traditional choice of embracing the Bible's teachings about marriage. He wrote that there is a "third way" where the Church can be united as the body of Christ yet have "deep disagreements." Cortez also asserted that the SBC already has such a pathway for divorced and remarried Christians.
He explained in the Tuesday piece "We all knew pastors who were officiating remarriages in our denomination that were the result of non-permitted divorces. And according to the SBC, this constitutes adultery. Therefore, the act of officiating these remarriages was in direct contradiction to Article XV. And yet, we don't dismiss the churches where these remarriages are taking place. In fact, within the same church, there are some pastors who hold the traditional view and therefore will not officiate these remarriages, and there are some pastors who will. These churches practice a third way where they give space to disagree. We don't draw a line of separation. We know how to extend grace to couples who are in these marriages. We know how not to condemn, even in the midst of disagreement." more >>
The Texas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and other liberal groups have expressed concern over Houston officials subpoenaing sermons that may have been critical of an LGBT discrimination city ordinance.
Recently the city subpoenaed various pastors' sermons due to their objection to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, a recently passed law that has strong conservative opposition.
Liberty University and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association announced Monday that on-campus students as well as those working toward their degree online can enroll in evangelism courses that feature presentations by the Rev. Billy Graham, Franklim Graham, and LU alumnus William Graham.
Students in all majors can take the courses, which began this semester through the university's School of Religion.
Will Graham, who's a 1997 graduate from Liberty University, said in a statement shared with The Christian Post that the collaboration is part of his grandfather's dream "to not just preach the Gospel, but to equip others around the world in the work of the evangelist." more >>
DALLAS — Pastor Greg Laurie shared his powerful Gospel message on God's grace and salvation through Jesus Christ with an overflow crowd of 19,000 at Dallas' American Airlines Center and Victory Park Sunday for his first Harvest America in the Lone Star State. Along with the overcapacity crowd, a total of 3,900 host venues throughout the country (1,200 of them churches), watched the livestream event.
Laurie, the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside and Harvest Orange County in Irvine, California, revealed that while it might surprise some people, he believes all paths lead to God, whether one is agnostic, atheist, Christian, Jewish or Muslim. But he emphasized that while everyone will meet God, only those who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will enter heaven.
"I believe all roads lead to God. I don't care if you're a believer, agnostic or an atheist. I believe whatever road you're on, you will get to God one day and you will stand before God one day. All roads lead to God. But only one road leads to heaven, and that's the road through Jesus Christ," Laurie asserted. more >>
The Southern Baptist Convention withdrew a California church known for its "third way" on gay unions and homosexuality from its church membership, officials announced Tuesday.
New Heart Community Church of La Mirada was removed SBC's Executive Committee by a unanimous vote.
SBC made the move after New Heart's pastor Danny Cortez and some of its members declared that homosexual unions could be blessed by God. more >>
Earlier this year I attended the International Christian Retail Show in Atlanta, an annual gathering of authors, speakers, and publishers from around the world. When I heard that my pastor, Dr. Charles Stanley, was doing a book signing in the conference exhibit hall, I sheepishly showed up. "I promise I'm not stalking you," I told him with a giggle. "I just came by to cheer you on."
If ever I start to get overly skeptical about humanity, I just need to show up to a Dr. Stanley book signing and watch as long lines of people tell him their stories of how his messages have impacted their lives and helped transform their relationships with the Lord. As I stood back and observed loyal listeners and readers light up when it was their turn to shake his hand, I teared up and thanked God that I had been given the immense privilege of sitting under his preaching and teaching for my entire life. "Thanks for letting me be part of the fan club," I whispered to Phillip Bowen, the CEO of In Touch Ministries, Stanley's broadcast organization. "You're part of the family," Bowen responded.
In that moment I was reminded of how First Baptist Atlanta has been more than just my church for the past 30 years. It is indeed my family. And Dr. Stanley has been more than just the pastor. He has been my pastor. Today, as he turns 82 years old, Dr. Stanley remains like a grandfather in the faith to me and countless others who have been personally shaped by his ministry over the years. more >>