JERUSALEM — George O. Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God Church (USA) and chairman of the World AG Fellowship, considered the world's largest Pentecostal denomination with more than 67 million adherents, said Wednesday that young people are leaving traditional churches that have "abandoned a belief in the authority of Scripture."
Wood, who also serves as global co-chair of the Empowered21 global Spirit-empowered movement along with William Wilson, president of Oral Roberts University, made his comments during a press conference at the Empowered21 Global Congress that officially opened in spiritual fanfare in Jerusalem, Israel, on Wednesday.
Responding to a question asking how the Empowered21 movement is doing among young people, considering reports that many are moving away from the church in general, Wood explained that it's not the case for Empowered21. more >>
The Coptic Catholic Bishop of Assiut has condemned the death sentence handed down by the Egyptian court to former President Mohamed Morsi, despite the oppression and incitement of deadly crimes committed against Christians during his rule. Anba Kyrillos William said that the church does not compromise on defending life, which he called an "inviolable right."
"The Church respects the independence of the judiciary, but believes that life is an inviolable right, and remains opposed to the death penalty. The fact is that this type of sentence is still contemplated in the Egyptian legal order," William told Fides News Agency.
The number of congregations belonging to Presbyterian Church (USA) fell below the 10,000 mark during 2014, according to statistics released by the denomination.
PCUSA earlier this month reported that it had 9,829 congregations in 2014, which represents a decline from the 10,038 congregations it had in 2013.
110 congregations were listed as dissolved and another 101 were dismissed to other denominations. In contrast, in 2014 PCUSA had 15 new congregations organized. more >>
A common question for many is, "Can I lose my salvation?" I've heard both sides of the argument, and only God truly knows a person's heart, but I can share a few thoughts. The reason there is a debate is because the Scriptures teach that salvation is a gift from God that cannot be earned, but they also offer warnings about falling away. There should be a healthy tension between God's sovereignty and man's responsibility. This issue should not create a spirit of division, elitism, or theological superiority.
One school of thought suggests that salvation cannot be lost, as in losing your car keys, but that it can be left, as in walking away from it. This may be why Jesus spoke of the man who said in his heart "my master delays His coming; therefore, I will turn from living a godly life". When the master returned unexpectedly, the servant was banished because he chose to turn from what he knew to be right.
In another passage, Jesus said, "You have left your first love," when speaking to the church in Ephesus (Revelation 2:4). James 5:19-20 adds, if anyone wanders from the truth and someone turns him back, a soul is saved from death. If anything, these Scriptures, and many more, reinforce the fact that we have certain responsibilities. more >>
Speaking to graduates of Dillard University in New Orleans on Saturday, Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington advised those at the ceremony to "put God first" during his 10-minute commencement speech to the graduating class.
"Number one: put God first," said Washington, getting a loud ovation from those gathered. "Put God first in everything you do."
"Everything that you think you see in me and think that I have accomplished, everything that you think I have … everything that I have is by the grace of God. Understand that. It's a gift." more >>
WASHINGTON — Religious and political conservatives are complicit in the rise of the "no-fault" divorce policies in the United States, which has led to the dissolution of countless families in America in the last 40-plus years, a prominent conservative author asserted Friday.
While speaking on a panel discussion at the Family Research Council, Ryan MacPherson, author of the book Rediscovering the American Republic and The Culture of Life: Ten Essential Principles for Christian Bioethics, stated that conservatives deserve some share of the blame for allowing America to accept divorce laws that make it possible for married individuals to be granted a divorce without having to claim any wrongdoing of their spouses.
MacPherson, who is the history department chair at Bethany Lutheran College in Minnesota, explained that "liberal theologians" and "progressive lawyers and state legislatures" are responsible for initially advocating and passing America's first no-fault divorce legislation in California. more >>