Christians need to question if they are growing or going backwards, as there's no other alternative, said Pastor Greg Laurie of megachurch Harvest Christian Center in his explanation of why believers and the Church need each other.
"If you're not growing as a Christian, if you're not advancing in your faith, that would begin the process of you going backwards," Laurie said as he began his message last week, as part of a series called, "What Every Growing Christian Needs to Know."
A believer doesn't backslide overnight; it's a slow, but sure, process, he said. Things of the world gradually start looking more appealing than things of God. more >>
Prominent English social critic and author Os Guinness preached at Pastor Rick Warren's Saddleback church in California on Sunday, explaining to the congregation the real meaning of the word "calling" and how it applies in the life of each Christian.
Meaning, purpose and identity are things that everybody needs and yet there is a great deal of confusion about what they mean, said Guinness, author of the Global Charter of Conscience, launched at the European Parliament in Brussels in June 2012.
There is confusion also in the United States, he suggested, calling it a "cut-flower civilization." Our ideas were rooted in the Scriptures, Jewish and Christian ideals, he said. "But in the last generation, they've cut them. So the flower still looks beautiful, but in many parts of the country, they are dying." more >>
Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, director of the Vatican Observatory, has commented on the recent NASA discovery that suggests there might be flowing water on Mars, by stating that finding alien life could paint a different picture to who God is for Christians.
"The important thing is to recognize that the universe is created by God, and however God did it tells us something about God's personality," Consolmagno said, according to Vatican Radio.
"If God chose to make a universe where we are the only creatures, that is interesting, that tells us something about God and us," he added. more >>
Hillsong Worship, the internationally renowned worship group from Australian megachurch Hillsong in Sydney, is set to release a new live album in October called Open Heaven/River Wild.
Described as Hillsong's "congregational expression" of worship, the project was recorded live at the church's annual conference in Sydney back in June, which was the first time that has ever been done. More than 25,000 congregants, including pop star Justin Bieber, attended the five-day conference and the new album features songs written by several Hillsong worship leaders, including Hillsong United's Joel Houston and Taya Smith.
"In Jesus … Heaven opens, and in us He stirs a 'River Wild' ... a passionate explosive love for God and for the humanity He created," said Hillsong's Global Creative Director Cassandra Langton, as she described the inspiration behind the album name on Tuesday. "This is the premise of the album and our prayer is that these songs would ignite and stir within you a passion for God and a love for people." more >>
Muslim extremists burned down three churches in Tanzania last week and issued threats to the area's Christians, a leading persecution monitoring group has reported.
According to pastors who spoke with Morning Star News, three churches in northwest Tanzania were set ablaze last Tuesday causing everything inside them to burn. Fortunately, no one was injured.
The churches that were torched were the Pentecostal Assemblies of God, the Evangelical Assemblies of God and the Living Water International Church, all of which are located in the Kashfa village area in the Bukoba district. more >>
In continuing with her trend of End Times theorizing, former Republican Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann opined over the weekend that thanks to Planned Parenthood and the legalization of gay marriage, God may soon engulf the United States with fire and brimstone just like he did the biblical towns of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Bachmann, who is a frequent guest on the "Understanding the Times with Jan Markell" radio program, was again a guest to the program last weekend and reasoned that given Iran's desire for "nuclear destruction" and the social direction of America, the apocalyptic "season is approaching."
The 59-year-old criticized pastors throughout the country for not educating their congregants about the biblical significance of the days in which we are living in, suggesting that "no one is fighting back against Barack Obama's dangerous policies" that are "pointing America in severe decline." more >>