Pope Francis is set to release an encyclical letter which calls the environment the "ultimate pro-life, pro-poor, pro-family" issue that Christians are called to engage in. The Vatican has said that this is not a political statement, but one stemming from biblical teaching.
Catholic News Service reported that Pope Francis is finishing up his encyclical on the environment, set for publication early in the summer, which is set to build on the statements of his predecessors who have urged Christians to focus more on preserving and caring for the environment.
Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said that Francis' pro-environment initiative is not part of a political agenda, but based in biblical teachings. more >>
Nashville, Tennessee-based LifeWay Christian Resources is in the process of removing literature from bookstore shelves that focus on "heaven tourism," or stories purportedly based on the accounts of people who claim to have visited heaven.
"We stopped re-ordering heaven visitation resources last summer. All remaining such items have been removed from our stores and website, and will not be replenished," King said. "We have more work to do aligning the LifeWay Retail Division with LifeWay's vision and values, so we covet your prayers as we continue to provide trustworthy biblical solutions for life." more >>
Afshin Ziafat, a former Muslim who's now a Christian pastor, said at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission's Leadership Summit on racial reconciliation that Christians must reach out to others with love, even when society is expected to hate them.
"Racial reconciliation is not just a good idea because racial equality is a politically correct idea, but it's because the message of the Gospel is at stake. The name of Jesus is at stake. And so the Gospel tells us that it's by grace alone that we can be restored to God," Ziafat, the pastor of Providence Church in Frisco, Texas, said on Friday.
The pastor shared his personal story of how he came to faith in Christ during the summit, which took place on March 26-27 in Nashville, Tennessee. He said that his story reflects the call for Christians to get out of their comfort zones and reach out to others. more >>
Too many influential Evangelicals are willing to compromise anything that current culture dictates. This is cause for concern since the future of the family, missions, cultural health and success will be shaped by the worldview of Millennial Evangelicals. Current trends, unfortunately, suggest that much of the next generation of leaders is Evangelical in name only.
Liberal ideology under the cloak of Evangelicalism is a growing trend. Just this month, the Evangelical magazine Christianity Today founded by Rev. Billy Graham published a blog post whitewashing Margaret Sanger —the infamous racist and eugenicist founder of Planned Parenthood. The article, "Contraception Saves Lives," was written by Rachel Marie Stone, who also serves on Christianity Today's editorial board, and champions Sanger as a women's rights advocate while touting harmful hormonal contraceptives. Not exactly the Evangelical sentiments you'd expect for a flagship Evangelical magazine.
Also this month "Evangelical" writer Rachel Held Evans "defended" her "exit from Evangelicalism" in an interview with Religion News Service columnist Jonathan Merritt. While Evans resists characterizations that she has abandoned Evangelicalism, and talks about embracing the liturgical tradition of the Episcopal Church (her new home), she also indicates that that denomination's evolving attitude on homosexuality was part of the reason for her move. In her book A Year of Biblical Womanhood, she had already distanced herself from Evangelical views of salvation and biblical authority. more >>
I recently read an interesting article in The Christian Post where Pastor Ed Young said anger could be a "gift from God." I thought I'd kindly respond and offer an alternative view:
Dear Pastor Young,
You're wrong. more >>
A parable is a simple story conveying a moral or spiritual lesson. We often don't like direct confrontation, thus God uses parables to open our eyes. Self examination is very healthy.
I recently heard a contemporary parable that is also a true story. A young girl, devastated by the choice her father made to leave her family for a younger woman, had a nightmare following his announcement. She dreamt that she, her mother and sister all died in a horrific car accident. When she told her dad about the dream, he simply replied, "I'm sorry to hear that. I'm glad it was only a dream." Her response searched his soul, "Dad, right before we were hit, I looked through the window and saw that you were driving the other car."
This broke the man. He repented and restored his marriage. Some of you reading this may need to examine yourself. This may be exactly what you're doing to your family. But pride and spiritual blindness are preventing you from seeing it (men and women). more >>