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 >>
In the newest edition of its apocalyptic English-language propaganda magazine, the Islamic State terrorist organization refutes the long-standing mantra that Islam is a "religion of peace" and insists that Islam is a "religion of the sword."
Countering the popular opinion that Islam calls for peace among Muslims and non-Muslims alike, an article in the seventh edition of Dabiq magazine states that Allah calls for Islam to be a religion of violence and any Muslim who believes otherwise holds a heretic view.
"There is a slogan repeated continuously by apologetic 'du'at' [callers for Islam] when flirting with the West and that is their statement: 'Islam is the religion of peace,' and they mean pacifism by the word peace," reads the ISIS article, which was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute. more >>
"The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel."
With these two compelling sentences – as recorded in the Gospel of Mark – Jesus inaugurates his ministry and sums up what his mission is about: to break the shackles of sin that enslave humanity, to put us on the path of liberation from all oppression, and to teach us how to unconditionally love one another.
But what does it mean to repent? more >>
UPDATE: 2:44 p.m. ET Feb. 16, 2015
Chad Killebrew, executive editor of The Dispatch, responded to criticsm stemming from its decision to publish Thomas' letter.
"The Dispatch publishes almost all letters to the editor that arrive. ... "Some folks would like me to censure letters and have a stricter threshold for what publishes," he said. "But I believe in allowing as many people to voice their opinions as possible, whether I personally agree with their position or not. I do my best to make sure their points are accurate and edit out anything I know is wrong. Sometimes a person will take a fact and then interpret it in a rather odd way, or they will use what I consider dubious sources to support their position. Those can be challenging to deal with." more >>
The head of a North Carolina-based organization that aids ministries for singles has said that too many churches consider the unmarried to be "invisible."
Kris Swiatocho, director of The Singles Network Ministries, told The Christian Post that "for most churches single adults are invisible. Mainly because most pastors, secretaries, deacons/elders are married with children. When they are in the pulpit they typically preach and identify with those that are like themselves."
"I have actually spoken with churches who are not sure they have any singles there mainly because they view singleness has a particular age-range vs. someone who isn't married from 18 to the grave." more >>