Russell Moore, president of the ethics and public policy arm of the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., shares his frustrations with how some Christians fail to pursue racial reconciliation and the particular challenge he faces as a white man in ministry in a video recently shared online.
"The easiest thing in the New Testament would have been to say, 'Let's plant Jewish Christian churches and Gentile Christian churches and let's just go in that direction and keep them from getting together and killing each other.' But that's not what the apostles did, because that's a sign to the powers and principalities," Moore says in a videotaped discussion posted online Friday by ministry website The Gospel Coalition.
Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the more than 16 million-strong Southern Baptist Convention, went on to insist that racially and ethnically homogeneous black, white, Hispanic or other congregations should question why they do not have a diversity of ethnicities represented among their numbers. more >>
JERUSALEM — In a clarion call to a global gathering of Spirit-filled believers in Jerusalem Friday, Jentezen Franklin, senior pastor of the multi-campus Free Chapel Church, urged the anointed throng to start preaching "the truth about being filled with the Holy Spirit" and speaking in tongues to their families or risk losing a generation.
Franklin explained that speaking in tongues is the language of the Holy Spirit that was first shared with the church in the Upper Room in the book of Acts in the Bible, now known as the day of Pentecost.
That gift of the Holy Spirit, he said, has made its way down through generations of Spirit-filled believers, like those in his own family. He warned, however, that if those who have had the experience don't continue to share the gift beginning with their families, it will eventually die a slow death. more >>
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 >>