Last Friday, the Institute on Religion and Democracy's (IRD) Chelsen Vicari met with Deamon Scapin, the pastor of a new Capitol Hill church plant called Triumph D.C. According to the new church plant's website, Triumph seeks to be "a network of life-giving churches and a movement of leaders to influence a city that influences the world." Deamon, his wife Kristine, and their three children moved from suburban Texas in 2013 to join the revitalized movement of church planting happening inside the Washington D.C. Beltway.
Chelsen Vicari: When did you first recognize the call to lead a church plant in Washington D.C.? And, by the way, uprooting your family from suburban Texas to this crazy, chaotic, awesome city is quite daunting. What were your thoughts and feelings during such a hectic, exciting time?
Pastor Deamon Scapin: That is a huge story, but I'll try to condense it. Just out of college and newly married, we moved from Pensacola, Florida to Texas through a relationship with a spiritual father of mine to be on staff there at a church. At the time, we knew that when we were joining the staff—this was sixteen years ago or so—that we weren't going to be there forever. We were going to Texas for ministry training, development, and experience. At some point we knew we would plant a network of churches that we would have the opportunity to lead. We ended up taking over the 30-year old founding campus over and we lead there for about six years. But my wife and I knew God was leading us to do the work that we had done in Texas in another place. more >>
In 1992 I visited Wheaton College and met the members of a really cool student band called "____ ton bundle". These young guys, only five years older than me, were indie before there was indie. Their shaggy hair, quirky glasses, and almost hipster grunge-style, before there ever was grunge, brought an edge to an otherwise white male middle class Midwestern band.
I still have my cassette tape of their only album, "Taking My Donkey to Town," even though I no longer own a cassette player. Fortunately, the album is online including one of my favorite songs, Decorations of You.
The song's lyrics are personal, raw, humble; the melody, sweet. The singer croons about his heart being a home, a home full of fear that he asks to be changed, cleaned, and renovated. He invites the God of the Bible into his home. God enters, strips it bare, and begins redecorating. After renovation begins, he sings: more >>
Belinda Ekua Amoah, a musician popularly known as Mzbel in the predominantly Christian country of Ghana, is facing serious backlash from Christians for publicly declaring Jesus a fictitious figure while asserting her faith in God and her ability to speak in tongues.
Speaking on a local television show, "Restoration With Stacy," hosted by Stacy Amoateng on Sunday, Mzbel was asked: "Do you believe in Jesus Christ?"
Her response caught the public off guard. more >>
1) Murder is illegal.
The only thing preventing abortion from being included in the definition of murder is that it's currently not "unlawful." But basic science proves that an unborn child is a "human being." No mention of "personhood" is necessary for basic murder definitions. Killing a "human being" or a "fellow creature," even, is enough. more >>
An amendment to the rules of the United States' largest Presbyterian denomination to recognize gay marriage has gained considerable support in its regional bodies, with 51 of 172 presbyteries already voting in favor of redefining marriage to include same-sex couples. The denomination's remaining presbyteries having until June to cast their votes to make the final decision.
Over the weekend several presbyteries belonging to Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to approve Amendment 14-F, which would change the denomination's definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.
A "motion for reconsideration" has been filed on behalf of The Episcopal Church of South Carolina against a diocese that voted to break away from the denomination, and is seeking to take over the local church's properties that are estimated to be worth $500 million.
A group loyal to the national denomination, called The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, filed the motion against the Diocese of South Carolina, which earlier this month won a court judgement in which it retained ownership of dozens of church properties.
Although District Court Judge Diane Goodstein ruled on Feb. 4 that the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina rightfully owns the church properties and not The Episcopal Church, it was expected that the national denomination was going to file a motion in an attempt to gain control of the church's assets. more >>