An ugly and public Twitter war broke out last week between two Christians over allegations that one, a popular Christian writer, had inaccurately interpreted the other person's tweets. For a medium that attracts passionate and opinionated comments, the argument only exemplified the obvious: not all Christians think alike.
In a blog post titled "Setting the Record Straight on Jesus, 'the Friend of Sinners,'" Jonathan Merritt explained that after he tweeted in January "about Christian singer Natalie Grant walking out of The Grammys, Joe Carter, prominent Calvinist and director of communications for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission rhetorically asked, 'Didn't [Jesus] only welcome those seeking forgiveness?' He went on to agree with another that, "The sinners Jesus partied with were already followers."
"Theological sirens blared inside my head as Carter doubled down on his assertion that Jesus wasn't really a friend of sinners, but I assumed it was probably a fringe view I wouldn't likely encounter again," continued Merritt, who used his Twitter conversation with Carter as the lead for his story about Christ, embedding tweets at the bottom of his article to support his case. more >>
Televangelist Pat Robertson has recently stated that Jesus would not have baked a cake for a gay couple, adding his commentary on an ongoing debate in the United States.
On the Wednesday edition of "The 700 Club," Robertson spoke about how in Jesus' time a same-sex couple would not have been accepted.
"I think you got to remember from the Bible, you look carefully at the Bible what would have happened in Jesus' time if two men decided they wanted to cohabit together, they would have been stoned to death," said Robertson. more >>
Brian C. Houston, leader of one of the world's largest Christian churches, is denying allegations that he promotes "Chrislam," a theological blend of Christianity and Islam, after stating in a December 2013 sermon, "Do you know – take it all the way back into the Old Testament and the Muslim and you, we actually serve the same God. Allah to a Muslim, to us Abba Father God."
With a firestorm raging online among his critics for more than a week, the influential Sydney, Australian pastor of the 30,000-member Hillsong Church finally issued a statement Thursday night (or late Friday morning his time) regarding allegations that he was promoting "Chrislam."
"The spirit of the message was exactly the opposite of what some critics are claiming. If you listened to the message in its entirety, my point was that; who a Muslim extremist believes God is, determines what they believe God does, and what they believe God loves," Pastor Houston insists in the statement, titled "Correction of Misinformation," which can be read in full below. more >>
MIAMI BEACH – Worship services in evangelical churches do not mention sin, a major part of the Gospel message, Dr. Cornelius Plantinga, senior research fellow at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, said Monday at the Ethics and Public Policy Center's Faith Angle Forum.
"In very many evangelical and confessionally Reformed churches these days, sin is a rare topic," he said.
He came to this conclusion from his experience of speaking in different churches most Sundays for the past 30 years, talking to evangelical friends, observing the content of worship music used by evangelical churches, and reading the books and articles of Dr. David Wells, distinguished senior research professor at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, Plantinga explained to the conference of journalists. more >>
Author Rachel Held Evans, who has been described as a liberal evangelical, says the negative reaction against World Vision and its recent announcement that it will begin employing those who are in a same-sex marriage, shows "how out-of-control the evangelical obsession with homosexuality has become."
Reacting to evangelicals who have suggested that Christians should withdraw their support from World Vision, Held Evans stated, "[I]t puts into stark, unsettling relief just how out-of-control the evangelical obsession with homosexuality has become. Organizations don't get 'farewelled' for hiring divorcees. People don't get kicked out of their churches for struggling with pride or for not wearing head coverings when they pray.
"The notion that the way to 'punish' World Vision is to withdraw support from its efforts to feed, clothe, heal, comfort, rescue, and shelter 'the least of these' is so contrary to the teachings of Jesus – particularly Matthew 25:31-46-it's hard to know where to start." more >>
A United Methodist Church pastor based in Texas will undergo an investigation for performing a same-sex marriage in defiance of the church body's law.
Bishop Michael McKee of the North Texas Annual Conference announced Monday that retired clergyman the Reverend Bill McElvaney would undergo a "supervisory process."
"Administrative and pastoral in nature, this process seeks a just resolution in which God's work of justice, reconciliation, and healing may be realized in the body of Christ," said McKee. "It is my prayer that our members, both clergy and laity, affirm the goals of this process with their prayers and respect for the confidential nature of this process which seeks reconciliation as its ultimate goal." more >>