Heretic. It's a favorite word that many Christians have no problem dropping on the heads of their fellow sisters and brothers.
In common parlance, the term is used to describe any person who disagrees with "orthodox Christian teaching." The problem, of course, is that there are different perspectives on what exactly constitutes orthodox Christian teaching.
Some claim this for Calvinism, while others claim this for Arminianism, or for Roman Catholicism, or for Eastern Orthodoxy. And we must not forget the many Fundamentalist groups who reserve the term "orthodox" only for people who agree with every one of their distinctive beliefs and/or practices. more >>
The United Methodist Church's internal struggle over the Protestant denomination's stance on homosexuality has become increasingly public over the past few years.
Although the UMC's official position is that of declaring homosexuality sinful and barring practicing homosexuals from the ministry, a number of clergy, groups, and congregations want the church to change. One group, known as the Reconciling Ministries Network, seeks to unite churches under their banner, creating a more inclusive atmosphere for the LGBT community.
Back in the 1980s, RMN created a program in which UMC congregations could become "Reconciling Congregations." more >>
NEW YORK — While some Christians might certainly agree to disagree on some issues, others believe that there are certain elements of their faith that are not up for debate. But instead of warring over those differences, Christians should find a way to "come back to Jesus," according to a philosophy professor and author of the new book, The Second Truth.
"It's amazing to me that 500 years ago, 400 years ago, Christians (were) killing Christians, burning them alive in the name of Jesus over really minor points," Dr. James P. Danaher, professor of Philosophy at Nyack College and chair of its Philosophy Department, shared in a recent discussion with The Christian Post.
Even today, Christians at odds over otherwise hot-button topics like marriage and abortion are still squabbling over minor stuff, as far as Danaher sees things. Instead of tearing at each other's throats over doctrinal differences, and divergent political and social opinions, Christians should just stick to Jesus. more >>
STUDIO CITY, Calif. – Pastor and author Erwin McManus, founder of Mosaic Church in Los Angeles, told hundreds of current and aspiring entertainment industry professionals that God's gift of imagination is license to create at the highest level during the keynote session at the Biola Media Conference Saturday.
"I am so convinced that part of the artistic process, part of the power of being a storyteller is to resonate with the voice that calls humanity back to the God who always calls us to Him, to silence all the voices that tell us what we lack," said McManus. "I don't want us to spend our lives worrying about all the stories that others are telling about us."
In his recently released book, The Artisan Soul, McManus pens "a manifesto for human creativity and the beginning of a new renaissance." During his talk at the conference and in his book, he "not only calls us to reclaim our creative essence, but reveals how we can craft our lives into a work of art." It is evident that he celebrates the spiritual process that can help people discover their true selves. McManus demonstrates that "we all carry within us the essence of an artist." more >>
A new documentary set to premiere on "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife" repeatedly reminds viewers that while testing shows the papyrus fragment indeed is an authentic ancient document, its contents do not actually prove that Christ was married. Yet, that does not keep the hour-long TV program from exploring, with titillating dramatizations, the possibility that Jesus was more than Mary of Magdala's savior.
While speculation that Jesus and Mary were an item are nothing new, "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife" documentary airing on the Smithsonian Channel asks important questions and wonders how the acontextual lines found on the ancient papyrus add weight to the argument.
"The Gospel of Jesus's Wife" first became known to Karen King, the Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School, in 2010 when she received an email from a man claiming to be in possession of a piece of ancient Coptic papyrus. The artifact, belonging to a private collector who wants to remain anonymous, is a 1 1/2 by 3-inch fragment of a fuller document that contains 33 words written in Coptic script, and which include the translated blockbuster line: "Jesus said to them, 'My wife ...'" While testing strongly supports that the papyrus originates from between the 6th and 9th centuries, the words themselves are believed to possibly have been written as early as the second to fourth centuries. more >>
Ellen Page, most commonly known as Juno, burst out of the closet in her emotional speech at a Human Rights Campaign event supporting LGBTQ youth in February. I watched her speech a few days later. She was bold… yet vulnerable. It truly was emotionally stirring. For years Ellen lived in the spotlight of Hollywood, but made note to keep her attraction to women out of that spotlight. If I remember her speech correctly, she said she felt she needed to "be" a certain way in order to attain a successful acting career, etc. But over time hiding this part of herself grew to be a tiresome ordeal…. and on February 14th, in front of multitudes, she came out as gay.
I remember my own coming out. I remember the tremendous amount of freedom that came with the release of my biggest, darkest secret. The secret that I had always been so ashamed of. The secret that I had sworn to myself I would never let be discovered. Like Ellen Page, I eventually got to a point where I was just beyond done hiding this part of myself. I was done with pretending to like girls. I was done with trying to date girls. I was done with overanalyzing every conversation and interaction I had that I thought could lead to someone questioning my sexuality. Coming out was the best thing that I ever did in the first 20 years of my life. To this day, I am glad I came out. I believe I am where I am today in part, because I decided to be real with myself and everyone else about who I really was.
About a month after Ellen's coming out speech, she shared on her twitter account that while on a plane, a pastor slipped her a little note. The note said, "While God thinks it's lovely that you stood up for your beliefs, perhaps you've never had the loving arms of a father." And then he signed it, "Your Heavenly Daddy."…..lol. He really did. more >>