Mark Harris, pastor of a North Carolina megachurch who is seeking the Republican nomination for a U.S. Senate seat, has come under scrutiny for accepting church offerings during his campaign.
Harris is currently on leave from First Baptist Church in Charlotte to focus on his campaign win the state's May 6 primary election. However, he has made several recent church appearances as an invited preacher where he has accepted money that could be a violation of campaign finance laws.
"I would hope the pastor would make it very clear that we're taking up a love offering for Mark Harris the pastor, not for the campaign," Harris said, according to North Carolina-based WRAL-TV. "Some of these guys are very aware that I'm on a personal leave of absence without pay, and I have no income. So, should the church take up a love offering, that would be no different from them taking up a love offering when I was preaching revival there or preaching any other meeting." more >>
NASHVILLE—Tony Merida, the founding pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, spoke on the topic of human sexuality during the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission's annual leadership summit that was held in Nashville last week.
Following his discussion on "the Gospel and human trafficking," Merida, an associate professor of preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, spoke with The Christian Post about the relationship between pornography and sex trafficking, explained why awareness is insufficient, and laid out how Christians can do more to fight "the darkest of sins."
The following is an edited transcript of the interview. more >>
NASHVILLE—University of Texas sociology professor Mark Regnerus addressed criticisms of his recent study that compared the outcomes of children raised by same-sex couples against those who are raised by their biological and heterosexual parents during a panel discussion at the Ethics & Religious Liberty leadership summit in Nashville, Monday night.
Regnerus' social science study found that children function best as adolescents and young adults when they are raised by their biological mother and father or are adopted by a mother and father who remain married.
During the panel discussion he commented that among the majority of same-sex headed families that he had studied, few had relationships characterized by "stability and longevity," and consequently his findings that children raised by heterosexual couples fared better than those in same-sex households could not been seen as a "slam-dunk." more >>
With the release of Matthew Vines' God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships, conservative Evangelicals are responding with warnings that the book should not cause confusion regarding Scripture's teaching on homosexuality.
The book, Andrew Walker – director of Policy Studies for the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission – says, "is the first step in a larger effort to fundamentally recast long-held, universally acknowledged norms pertaining to sexual ethics."
In his review, Walker notes that not only does Vines identify himself as a conservative evangelical and claim to uphold the authority of the Bible, but his book also comes at a strategic time for the gay rights movement as it was likely written to introduce confusion among Evangelicals – "one of the last remaining constituencies in America that has not embraced homosexuality with gusto." more >>
Liberal Christians often champion themselves as facilitators of deep, authentic dialogue about the cultural issues facing America's faithful. But when the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission gathered yesterday for their first-ever leadership summit to genuinely discuss a myriad of sexual morality topics - including same-sex marriage and sexuality, the premier cultural conundrum facing the Church - unexpected kickback erupted on social media.
Unsurprisingly, non-Christians and the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & Queer (LGBTQ) community was less than nice in their commentary surrounding the ERLC's biblical perspective on God's design for marriage between one man and one woman. What the ERLC didn't anticipate was women's rather off base resentments launched at the summit and its mission.
Ladies in the Twitterverse had this to say about the summit: more >>
NASHVILLE—A panel discussing homosexuality at the Southern-Baptist affiliated Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission created a stir on social media Monday night, after pastor J.D. Greear compared resisting gay marriage in the church to resisting slavery in the South in the 1860s.
"Preaching against homosexuality in our day is about as popular as preaching against slavery and racism in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1861," said Greear at the ERLC summit. "And back then, I'm sure the politically correct people were like, 'You're just creating a lot of waves that are unnecessary, just preach the Gospel.'"
"Oh man. Southern Baptists comparing their fight against marriage equality to the abolition movement. So ironic," tweeted Christian writer Rachel Held Evans. more >>