Pastor Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, is preaching his Easter message on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in a sermon titled, "Jesus: The Passion and the Promise."
As a guest on Alan Colmes' Fox News radio program earlier this week, he was asked this question: "Which is more important to you? The death of Jesus or the resurrection of Jesus?"
"I thought that coming from someone of the Jewish faith that was a very interesting question," Jeffress shared with The Christian Post Thursday. "And as I thought about it, I thought, both are of equal importance." more >>
Pastor Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of the 11,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, says the resurrection of Jesus Christ is good news for people of all faiths who seek His forgiveness and make the decision to believe in Him.
"It doesn't matter whether you're Catholic, Baptist, Jewish, Muslim or atheist – anybody who trusts in Christ and asks for forgiveness can be assured of a guaranteed reservation (in heaven)," Jeffress asserted during an interview with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly that aired Tuesday night.
As he answered O'Reilly's questions about the afterlife, forgiveness and God's judgment, Jeffress emphasized that the best evidence believers have for there being an afterlife is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. more >>
About 800 to 1,000 Southern Baptist congregations cease to exist annually, largely due to a stagnant vision among the leadership and lack of impact within their communities, says a church planting director. However, church leaders say the closures are often the symptom of a greater problem.
"Churches are closing in large part because they have either become disconnected from culture and, or disconnected from Scripture. When this happens, life leaves the church," Joshua Hedger, director of Center for Church Planting at Midwestern Seminary, told The Christian Post.
Although the Baptist convention opened 1,300 new churches last year, Hedger says they are not gaining enough new ground and will rely on church planters to create a movement that will hopefully put an end to dying congregations. The church revitalization process usually involves new leadership taking over a declining church, who then implements a strategy on how to grow the congregation again. more >>
Nearly 50 percent of Christians believe that prayer alone is powerful enough to treat mental illness, according to a recent study. But while psychologists of faith might agree that prayer certainly helps, one expert insists that spiritual disciplines are only one part of a holistic approach to treating mental illness.
The results of that noted survey, published in September by LifeWay Research, revealed that 48 percent of "self-identified born-again, evangelical, or fundamentalist Christians" believe that Bible study and prayer alone can help overcome mental illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Furthermore, only 21 percent of survey respondents who attend worship services at least once a week said they believed they would be welcomed at most churches if they had a mental health issue.
How can Christians concerned that they or a loved one might be suffering from mental illness discern when it is time to rise from their knees and find a psychologist or psychiatrist? more >>
Central to a Christian worldview is the belief that humanity exists in a fallen world and that, as a result, everyone is born in sin and susceptible to conditions that affect them physically, mentally, emotionally and in other ways. Yet, Christians are at odds when it comes to mental illness, with some suggesting that such maladies are simply the result of personal sin, lack of faith or spiritual attacks.
While there have been recent efforts to help destigmatize mental illness, studies show that many American evangelical, fundamentalist, or born-again Christians view such health issues solely as a spiritual condition to be treated with Bible study and prayer. Prior studies also have shown that religious leaders are most often the ones sought out among those suffering from mental illness, who, in some cases, have their ailments dismissed.
Dr. Eric L. Johnson, author of Foundations for Soul Care: A Christian Psychology Proposal and professor of pastoral care at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, explains that "the whole body can be affected by human fallenness." more >>
Since Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church first began receiving extensive media coverage for its public and coarse denouncement of homosexuals, and picketing funerals and churches, members of the Southern Baptist denominaton have been quick to draw the line between themselves and the unaffiliated church.
With 15 million members, the Southern Baptist denomination is the second-largest faith group in the United States, behind Roman Catholicism.
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention, provided an example to The Associated Press in a recent interview to make the distinction between Phelps and the Southern Baptist denomination by comparing the group to the "Book of Mormon." more >>