The public debate over Indiana's new religious freedom law is (almost) enough to drive this Baptist to drink. The conversation has been the most uninformed and ignorant I've seen in years. This culminated in a panel on one of the Sunday talk shows suggesting that the law would return us to the days when signs would hang in stores detailing who would not be welcome to do business there.
"I wear busyness like a badge of honor. Most of the time, I manufacture urgency in hopes that it will create urgency in others. Instead, it only creates anxiety, resentment and spite." And he's not alone! The American Psychological Association's says that a majority of Americans acknowledge that their stress levels exceed what's necessary for good health. The number one reason they cite—you guessed it—they're too busy.
Almost seven months after the fateful, fatal encounter between Michael Brown and former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, Attorney General Eric Holder officially announced a truth he had been holding close for months – that the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" mantra that had been used since August was based on a lie.
A black pastor who dared to be different by challenging racially stereotypical church models to become a leader in a white church in Louisville, Kentucky, explained at The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention's leadership summit Friday that he did it in pursuit of the unity of the faith.
In his final remarks during a Thursday panel discussing racial reconciliation in America and the importance of urban ministry, African-American pastor, author and syndicated radio broadcaster Tony Evans boldly stated that many of the issues surrounding race in America stem from the social irresponsibility of those within the African-American community.
John M. Perkins, a civil rights leader and father of the racial reconciliation movement, criticized pastor Creflo Dollar's former fundraising campaign for a new $65 million private jet as "evil," "heresy," and "exploitation," as he explained the damage prosperity preachers have done to black communities.
Words are wonderful when they are used in a good way. They can encourage, edify and give confidence to the hearer. A right word spoken at the right time can actually be life-changing (Proverbs 15:23). However, they can also keep us from experiencing God's plans for our lives. Proverbs 18:21 (AMP) says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue…."
Proponents were also angry – very angry at times. Much of that anger was directed at me because I've been at the center of the opposition to proposals for medicinal marijuana in the Tar Heel state since they were first introduced in 2009. When the Committee Chairman called on me to speak, one of the medical marijuana supporters jumped up from his seat and interrupted the proceedings with a bogus claim that I wasn't on the speakers list. The Sergeant-at-Arms had to intervene and insisted the man be seated and quiet.
Ever since the first two people walked on earth, man has sought to clothe his body. In the case of Adam and Eve, it was only after they sinned that they felt this need for clothing. "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves." (Genesis 3:7) Prior to their sin, Adam and Eve felt no shame over their physical nakedness.
Herbert Spencer said, "How often misused words generate misleading thoughts." This is especially true when attempting to explain what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. The terms which Scripture uses to describe believers say a lot about our new identity, our new life, and our new priorities.
The movie breaks new ground in the faith-based category not only in genre but in its large number of impressive CG effects, which rival anything out of Hollywood. The storyline is fast-paced, the acting solid, and the 1776-era characters will entertain anyone who enjoys colonial history. (Yes, George Washington and Ben Franklin make an appearance.) It's a fun and gripping family-friendly movie that children and teens will enjoy.
Determining the effectiveness of a pastor is a highly subjective exercise. While certain metrics may prove helpful, they do not tell the whole story. In that context, I reviewed my 40 years of serving churches in a variety of capacities and noted several very effective pastors I knew well. My list was lengthy: nearly 30 pastors total.
An expert on the history of American evangelical denominations is taking issue with the claim by some that Reconstructionism, a strict faction within conservative Christianity, is America's version of the Islamic State.
Revelations that Germanwings Flight 9525 co-pilot Andreas Lubitz was treated for "suicidal tendencies" before receiving his pilot's license has sparked a discussion on doctor-patient confidentiality in Germany, with some lawmakers suggesting doctors should have a duty to speak out if a person's condition potentially puts other lives at risk.
As the high-profile nuclear deal negotiations between the U.S., Iran, and several other countries entered the final scheduled day of talks on Tuesday, the American Center for Law and Justice reminded President Barack Obama of his promise to do all he can to get Iran to release imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that he will allow churches to use public schools for worship space following the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to take up an appeal on the matter.
A Christian florist and grandmother who declined to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding because of her Christian belief in traditional marriage has been fined $1,001 by a Washington court and will be held liable to pay the legal fees incurred by the gay couple, which could "devastate" her financially.
A Republican lawmaker accused of saying that a recent attack on a pregnant woman whose baby was cut from her womb was a "curse from God," has apologized and says that he was misquoted by the media.
The U.S. Navy received a petition Monday that calls for the reinstatement of a chaplain allegedly disciplined for his Christian beliefs, and who is now facing possible discharge and the loss of his military retirement.
A Christian fellowship student group is no longer being recognized at California State University, Stanislaus because its requirement that student leaders be Christian is considered discriminatory and a violation of a statewide non-discrimination order.
Republican Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana addressed the backlash over his Religious Freedom Restoration Act on Sunday in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos.
One of New Jersey's fastest growing Christian churches will be hosting the state's largest Easter egg hunt ever by hiding more than 100,000 eggs in its campuses in four counties for children and families on Easter Weekend.
Rapper and pastor Trip Lee believes music has the power to unite people from different cultures and races within the church, but adds that Christian unity must be biblical and reflect the kingdom of God because it's about more than bringing different races together under one roof on Sunday mornings.
Urging Presbyterian Church USA to "repent and be restored to fellowship," the National Black Church Initiative, which represents 34,000 churches from 15 denominations, has declared it has severed ties with PCUSA after it amended its constitution changing their definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.
Barna Group has released its 2015 study on the state of atheism in America, and has revealed that one in four unchurched adults in the country now identify as atheists or agnostics. The study also found that rejection of the Bible and lack of trust in the church are two main reasons why people are turning away from faith.
Afshin Ziafat, a former Muslim who's now a Christian pastor, said at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission's Leadership Summit on racial reconciliation that Christians must reach out to others with love, even when society is expected to hate them.
Roma Downey and Mark Burnett are bringing women in the Bible to life while shedding light on the persecution of Christians both past and present with "A.D. – The Bible Continues."
Bill O'Reilly, host of the Fox News program "The O'Reilly Factor," spoke briefly at the premiere of the new National Geographic mini-series "Killing Jesus," which is based on his best-selling book, and talked about his controversial decision to cast a Muslim actor for role of Jesus in the film.
Hillsong United's Jad Gillies said recently that his band's forthcoming film offers a "new perspective" on what it means to be a modern-day believer. He also hopes the film can draw more people to the church.
The upcoming National Geographic miniseries "Killing Jesus," which is based on Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly's bestselling book of the same name, tells the story of the historical Jesus and leaves the supernatural claims made by believers out of the equation.
One of the most controversial books amongst the Christian community to come out in recent years, The Shack underwent intense scrutiny and criticism from Christians for its depiction of the Holy Trinity in ways that veer away from the Bible and the basis of Christian beliefs. Despite the book being described as a "Christian novel," Bible experts question the fictional relationships inside of the Holy Trinity and the Trinity's relationship with man as described in the novel.
The al-Shabaab terrorist group in Somalia has released a new ISIS-style execution video purporting to show the execution of a group of male Somali civilians who were forced into the sea to swim for their lives and fatally gunned down by a firing squad of militants using machine guns.
Media reports have surfaced indicating that the Islamic State has burned down the homes of 10 Christian families in the northern Ninevah province of Iraq, while a leading human rights organization has reported that Iraqi Security Forces burned down two whole Sunni civilian villages in Iraq last September.
A mixed Sunni-Shia family that once lived in ISIS' Iraqi stronghold of Mosul but has fled to live in the Kurdish north after the militant group took over the town last June, has provided deeper insight and revelations about the horrors that people living under the jihadis brand of sharia rule must deal with.
Terror group ISIS has reportedly released a video showing the conversion of one kidnapped Assyrian Christian into Islam. Previous reports have stated that the 200-plus Christian hostages have refused to deny Christ during ISIS' conversion attempts, but the latest video shows a man from the village of Tel Temit declaring that Muhammad is God's prophet.
A mass grave of about 70 to 100 corpses, with the majority of them having their throats slit, was discovered near the Nigerian town of Damasak last week, and is believed to be the brutal handiwork of the Islamic State's newest affiliate group, Boko Haram.
As an unmarried homeless couple stood on a street corner in northern California with their four children holding up a sign that read "Family Needs Help God Bless," little did they know that within 10 years they would be living comfortably in their own house overlooking Lake Elsinore and living their lives by "God's design."
Why should physical fitness be a mundane or dreaded activity if you can spend time exalting God while doing so? While some may raise their eyebrows at this notion, others are making this budding belief system their reality. Celebrities such as Kierra Sheard, the 27-year-old gospel singer who released her fifth studio album Graceland last summer, recognize the power of incorporating fitness and faith.