Saturday, July 26, 2008

Questions over Copeland's Financies

Many of Kenneth Copeland’s friends and relatives have gotten rich, according to the Associated Press. In response, ministry officials say no one has improperly benefited from ties to Copeland. But AP says tax experts who have looked over some of the documentation on the ministry’s finances call the ministry's integrity into question because of the many “red flags” raised by the various relationships between it's investments and Copeland associates.

Gunman Killed at Christian Radio Station

Police in Pennsylvania shot and killed a man yesterday at Christian radio station WTLR in College Station. Ferguson Township Police arrived at the station after getting a tip about a possible gunman headed there. Sure enough, Brian Neiman of Pottersdale arrived and exchanged gunfire with officers in the parking lot. Station personel say they aren’t sure why they were targeted but there are reports he wanted to broadcast something about his life. Neiman’s ex-wife told local media he was mentally ill. WTLR is owned by Central Pennsylvania Christian Institute.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Evangelist's Son Killed

The son of evangelist Greg Laurie died in a car crash yesterday. Christopher Laurie ran into a truck in Southern California. The 33-years-old served as the art director at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside where his father is senior pastor. The church has more than 15,000 members.

Baylor President Fired

John Lilley is out as president of Baylor University. The Texas school’s regents fired him yesterday. Lilley served in the post for about two-and-a-half years and often battled the faculty of the world's largest Baptist university.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Men in Church

Percentage of denomination that is male:

Evangelical Protestant: 47%
Mainline Protestant: 46%
Orthodox: 46%
Roman Catholic: 46%
Mormon: 44%
Historically Black Protestant: 40%
Jehovah's Witness: 40%

Members who say they attend services at least once a week:

Evangelical Protestant
Male: 46%
Female: 54%

Mainline Protestant
Male: 31%
Female: 38%

Historically Black Protestant
Male: 49%
Female: 65%

Roman Catholic
Male: 36%
Female: 45%

Male: 75%
Female: 76%

Jehovah's Witness
Male: Not available
Female: Not available

Male: 30%
Female: 38%

Source: Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Christian PAC for Obama

A political action committee has been formed to promote Barack Obama to Christians. The Matthew 25 Network intends to spend half-a-million dollars on Christian radio and publications aimed at the evangelical community. The spots will run in swing states and focus on Obama’s faith. The PAC was named for the Bible verse that reads, "I tell you the truth, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me".

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Oldest Surviving New Testament

Bible scholars are excited that they’ll soon be able to take a look at the oldest surviving copy of the New Testament – on line. In the next year, the British Library plans to make the 4th century version of the Gospels and epistles available. It’s called Codex Sinaiticus and it was discovered in the mid-19th century by a German Bible scholar. Parts of it are in Britain, Russia, Germany and Egypt. It will be pieced together through the internet. The Book of Psalms and the Gospel of Mark have already been uploaded.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lieberman to Speak to Hagee Group

Senator Joe Lieberman will appear tonight at the Christians United for Israel summit in Washington. The annual conference is hosted by Texas pastor John Hagee. Republican presidential nominee John McCain rejected Hagee’s endorsement after videos can to light showing the megachurch pastor making controversial remarks about Adolf Hitler and the Catholic church. Liberal advocacy groups have urged to get Lieberman to cancel his speech.

Lawsuit over VBS Flyers

Patricia Regan has filed a lawsuit against Hudson, New Hampshire School District. School officials had refused to allow her to give out flyers about vacation Bible school for the Calvary Baptist Church at the Nottingham Elementary School. Regan points out that other nonprofit groups have been allowed to give out information to students.

Third Day's New Album

Third Day's 10th studio album drops a week from today. The Christian band has collected three Grammy Awards, 23 Dove Awards, one platinum album, a platinum DVD and six gold albums. The new project is titled Revelation and features Daughtry contributing vocals. It’s the band's first studio album since 2005's Wherever You Are. The Georgia-based rockers lost longtime guitarist Brad Avery earlier this year. Third Day has opted not to replace him. Third Day hits the road for a 23 city tour to support the album.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Pastor Injured during Sermon

An Indiana pastor injured himself during a sermon – with a dirt bike. Jeff Harlow, who pastors Crossroads Community Church in Kokomo, brought the bike for a illustration of unity. Only he wound up breaking his wrist when he lost control of it. He drove the motorcycle off the platform and into the empty front row pew.

Pull Your Pants Up

A Gospel Rapper by the name of Dooney Da Priest (Duwayne Brown) has gotten some airplay around the country with his single Pull Your Pants Up. Dooney’s album drops this week. He made an appearance on the Dr. Phil Show after his tune about the fashion trend was selected as the theme song for an ordinance that would ban sagging pants in his hometown of Dallas. The proposal failed to pass in Dallas but several Louisiana cities have passed similar ordinances and Jackson, Mississippi is considering one. Here's a local report on the song and Dallas ordnance.

Boaters vs Baptizers

The City Commission of Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee has voted to require churches to call city hall and get permission from the town before performing baptisms near public boat ramps. The decision came after reports that a boater decided to launch his vessel while baptisms were being held for several dozen people. Someone decided to call the police and complain about the impatient boat owner. So, the issue wound up before leaders of the Chattanooga-area community. Even though one commissioner wanted to put up a sign, they unanimously voted to have churches call officials so it can be determined whether too many baptists were planned, possibly tying up the public docks.

Changing Churches

A new survey shows nearly 7 out of 10 Americans have attended more than one place of worship as an adult. The Ellison Research study shows only 3 out of 10 say their current place of worship is the only one they have regularly attended since age 18. Here are some other findings about American Protestants:

  • 43% have moved to a larger congregation
  • 45% switched to a smaller one
  • 11% are attending a place that is about the same size of the place they left
  • 31% say their current church has a more contemporary worship style
  • 42% say their new church is more traditional in worship
  • 51% have switched to a place similar in worship style
  • 28% moved to a place that is more theologically conservative
  • 12% changed to one that is more liberal
  • 52% moved to a place that is theologically different from their old church


  • 25% moved to a place that is theologically different from their old church

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Obama & McCain to Meet at Church

Barack Obama and John McCain will appear together before their party conventions – thanks to Rick Warren. He’s talked them into attending a forum at his Saddleback Church in southern California. The presidential candidates will appear onstage together and then Warren will interviews them separately. The megachurch pastor tells the New York Times, “I’ve known both the guys for a long time, they’re both friends of mine, and I knew them before they ran for office, so I just called them up.” Warren plans to get come up with questions based on input from various religious groups.

Dobson May Switch Positions

A shift may be underway in conservative Christian politics. Focus on the Family’s James Dobson is leaning toward an endorsement of Republican presidential hopeful John McCain - something he previous has said he could not do in good conscience. In a radio broadcast to be aired Monday, Dobson says, “While I am not endorsing Senator John McCain, the possibility is there that I might." Dobson has criticized McCain for his votes on gay marriage and embryonic stem cell research. He also talks on the program with Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Albert Mohler about Barack Obama. Dobson says Obama, “contradicts and threatens everything I believe about the institution of the family and what is best for the nation.” Dobson came under fire recently for an attack on Obama, accusing him of distorting the Bible and calling Obama’s take on the Constitution a "fruitcake interpretation".

Lambeth Conference Begins

The Lambeth Conference has started in England. The once-a-decade summit draws together Anglican bishops from around the world. Church leaders are hoping to avoid a split over the issue of gay clergy. A large number of theological conservative Bishops (most of them from Africa) are boycotting the conference over the issue. At the center of the controversy is Gene Robinson of New Hampshire – the denomination’s first openly gay bishop. Robinson was barred from attending Lambeth. The Anglican Communion has 77-million-members worldwide. The Episcopal Church is the Anglican body in the US.

Christian Singer Joins Classic Rock Band

The band Boston has two new members handling duties as vocalists for the multiplatinum classic-rock band (hits include the 70’s songs More Than a Feeling and Hitch a Ride). One of them is Michael Sweet – best known for his work with Christian-metal band Stryper. He and obscure singer Tommy DeCarlo are filling the shoes of Boston's original singer, Brad Delp. He committed suicide last year. The group played Friday night at the Great Jones County Fair in Monticello, Iowa and thousands came out to hear them - one of the largest crowds in the fair's history.