Saturday, December 31, 2011

Battle over Florida Megachurch Pulpit

The ex-wife of Zachery Tims is suing the Orlando-area megachurch he founded because she wasn't appointed as pastor. Tims died unexpectedly in August and the church board tapped Paula White as the new pastor. Riva Tims wants the congregation of New Destiny Christian Center to vote on who takes the pulpit and says White is $26 million in debt. Tims was found in a Times Square hotel with a white substance in his pocket, leading to speculation he died of a drug overdose, since he had a history of it in his youth. His mother, Madeline Tims, has filed a lawsuit to stop the City from revealing the cause of death.

Poll on Jesus' Death Yanked

A division of Fox has removed an online poll from its Facebook pages and apologized to the Jewish community for it. The National Geographic Channel, part of Fox Latin America, asked viewers who was responsible for the death of Jesus. The options included Pontius Pilate, The Jewish People, and The High Priests. It was a promotional effort for a Christmas special.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Brawl in Bethlehem

A fight broke out at at the Church of the Nativity between monks who battled with brooms. The groups each claim the right to clean up the church after Christmas celebrations are over. Palestinian security forces intervened between Armenians and Greek Orthodox at the site, traditionally considered the place of Jesus' birth. The Orthodox church holds Christmas celebrations in early January. No serious injuries were reported. It has taken years for an agreement to be worked out between the groups over replacing the roof. Repairs on the deteriorating structure is supposed to begin in the next year.

Charismatic Growth

CNN reports on the growth of the Charismatic movement around the world here.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Maher Goes After Tebow... Again

HBO's Bill Maher is getting backlack from his tweet over the weekend criticizing Denver Bronco's quarterback Tim Tebow. After Tebow threw four interceptions during his team's lose to Buffalo, the comedian sent this message to his 872,000 Twitter followers:
"Wow, Jesus just [screwed] #TimTebow bad! And on Xmas Eve! Somewhere ... Satan is tebowing, saying to Hitler "Hey, Buffalo’s killing them."
Tebow did not respond but his fans are speaking out. Some are calling for viewers to cancel their HBO subscriptions in protest.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Fewer Christians in the UK

The number of people who call themselves Christians in England and Wales has fallen dramatically in the last few years. In 2005, 77% of of the people surveyed in the government-sponsored Citizen Survey identified themselves as Christians. But last year, only 70% of the 10,000 surveyed said they were Christians. The percentage who said they had no religion went from 15% to 21%.

How Luther went viral

Five centuries before Facebook and the Arab spring, social media helped bring about the Reformation. Read the story at The Economist.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Russian Cult

Here is a video in which VICE visits a commune in Siberia in hopes of meeting a man who claims to be Jesus and has a following of thousands.

SOPA Supporters

Several Christian publishers are among the groups supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act (also known as SOPA). The legislation would put more power into the hands of the federal government and copyright holders to go after internet violators. Opponents say it would dramatically change the way the Internet operates, stifling innovation and commerce. But among it's supporters are:
  • Christian Music Trade Association
  • Church Music Publishers’ Association
  • EMI Christian Music Group
  • Gospel Music Association

CNN's Piers Morgan learns to 'Tebow'

Here's a short exert of Pier Morgan on the subject of "Tebowing" on CNN.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Robertson Reacts to SNL skit about Jesus

Pat Robertson calls a Saturday Night Live skit "anti-Christian bigotry that's just disgusting." Watch the video of the 700 Club host below to get the full story.

Bible Giveaway Upsets Student's Mom

A North Carolina mother is unhappy that her fifth-grade son came home from school with a Bible. Read the story here.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Rally backs Nativity scene

Thousands gather near Dallas in support of a nativity scene outside a courthouse. Here a video report from WFAA-TV.

Tebow Meets Brain Tumor Survivor After Loss

NFL.com's Jeff Darlington detailed a brief discussion he had with Denver Bronco's quarterback Tim Tebow yesterday after his team lost 41-23 to the Patriots. The conversation was cut short because Tebow left to meet Kelly Faughnan, a 22-year-old who survived a brain tumor who has a special history with Tebow. Read the story here.

Grad Student Losses Case

A graduate student's attempt to overturn her expulsion from Augusta State University will stand. A federal appeals court has unanimously sided with a lower court and the school which both decided Jennifer Keeton doesn't belong in the school's counseling program. Keeton's lawsuit said she was told by school officials, in order to stay in the program, she would have to change her beliefs about homosexuality, which she says is based on her Christianity. But the court ruling said Augusta State only tried to get her to keep her own opinions out of the counseling process.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

SNL Skit: Tebow & Jesus

Last night's episode of Saturday Night Live included a sketch where Jesus visits Denver Broncos Tim Tebow. In the sketch, Tebow tells Jesus, “The Holy Bible is my playbook" but Jesus advises, “That's great. But you need to read the regular playbook” and to “take it down a notch.” As he leaves, he tells the team "Mormonism. All true, every bit of it." Here's the video.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Suspended for Tebowing

About 40 students at Long Island's Riverhead High School joined to commit an act of “Tebowing” Wednesday. All got in-school suspensions because school administrators deemed the praying poise "a safety hazard." Here's a Fox News report on it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lifeway Drops Bible

LifeWay will no longer publish the Here's Hope Breast Cancer Awareness Bible. Some of the proceeds from sales of the pink Bible goes to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. And some Komen affiliates give money to Planned Parenthood. Although LifeWay published the Bible, it was sold at retailers like Wal-Mart, not in LifeWay's own stores. Komen has released a statement saying "under no circumstances are Komen funds used to fund abortions or other non-breast services." The American Life League says 18 chapters of Susan G. Komen for the Cure donated money to local Planned Parenthood affiliates last year.

NJ Banner Controversy

The Freedom From Religion Foundation wants the Philadelphia-area town of Pitman, New Jersey to take a banner down from Main Street that reads Keep Christ in Christmas. It was put up by members of the local fire department and paid for by a Knights of Columbus group.  The Pitman City Council will take up the issue at its next meeting on December 27th.

Christians in Iraq pray for safe holiday

CNN offers a report on Iraqi Christians.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tim Tebow’s Gospel of Optimism

Read the story here in the New York Times.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pastor's Music Video Slams Gingrich

An Iowa pastor is sending out a satirical rap video against Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. Sioux City pastor Cary Gordon criticizes Gingrich for his three marriages and admitted marital infidelities on the tape. Gordon, an associate pastor at Cornerstone World Outreach, has endorsed Rick Santorum. See the video below.

Debating the Bible in Chalk

There's a controversy brewing on the campus of Salisbury University in Maryland. The Atheist Society of Salisbury and the Salisbury University Cru (formerly the Campus Crusade for Christ) have been battling in chalk. Students from each group are writing Bible verses on the sidewalk and then debating them on Facebook. The Student Government Association and the Dean have met with each side, trying to keep the discussion civil. Some people at the school have complained the verses are offensive to them. The janitorial staff washes the evidence away as they make their rounds while the administration simple "chalks it up" to an expression of free speech. There are two examples of the chalking below.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Perry: Obama's War on Religion

Rick Perry has a new TV ad out, charging that Barack Obama is fighting a "war on religion." Perry says, "You don't need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.. As President, I'll end Obama's war on religion. And I'll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage." See it below.

American Attitudes toward churches

A new LifeWay Research survey shows how favorable Americans are toward some denominations:

62% are favorable toward Methodists
59% are favorable toward Catholics
53% are favorable toward Southern Baptists
37% are favorable toward Latter-day Saints (Mormons)
28% are favorable toward Muslims.

This denomination is not for me:
35% strongly agree that a Southern Baptist church is not for them
33% strongly agree that a Catholic church is not for them
29% strongly agree that other Baptist churches are not for them
26% strongly agree that a Methodist church is not for them
20% strongly agree that a nondenominational church is not for them

44% Knowing a church is Southern Baptist would negatively impact their decision to visit or join the church
36% Knowing a church is Southern Baptist would have no impact
10% Knowing a church is Southern Baptist would positively impact their decision.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Graham Back Home

Billy Graham is out of the hospital. The 93-year-old evangelist was treated for pneumonia at Mission Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. He's now on oral medication and undergoing physical therapy.

Religion Powerful Force in 2012 Race

ABC News takes a look at the role religion will play in next year's political races here.

Christian Book Store Struggles in Internet Culture

Fox News takes a look at the financial struggles of Christian bookstores here.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Why Tim Tebow stirs debate

A look at Denver quarterback Tim Tebow and public displays of faith in the NFL in a USA Today article here.

Ban on churches in schools Upheld

A court ruling that churches can't use space in New York City schools during off hours will stand. In 1995, the Bronx Household of Faith sued the city but lost. The church appealed to the Supreme Court, but today the high court declined to take the case, letting the lower court ruling stand. Some 60 congregations in New York City use public school building for worship services.

Lawsuit over School Event

The ACLU is suing the Chesterfield County, South Carolina school board over a school assembly held in September at New Heights Middle School. It featured a Christian rapper and a youth evangelist. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Jonathan Anderson who is an atheist and his son, who attends the school. They say the rally was an unconstitutionally promotion of Christianity. The school district says it hasn't seen the lawsuit yet.

Church reverses interracial couple decision

A Kentucky church that recently banned mixed-race couples from joining the congregation has reversed itself. Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church voted unanimously yesterday to overturn the policy. The controversy started when the daughter of the church secretary brought an African born fiance to a church service where they sang.

A Christmas Quiz

1. What did the angels sing to the shepherds?
2. In what direction did the Wise Men see the star in the sky?
3. Where did the wise men go to see the baby?
4. How many wise men were there?
5. In which season of the year was Jesus born?
6. What did Mary ride on to Bethlehem?
7. What did the wise men ride on?
8. In what country did the Christmas tree originate?
9. In what century did Christmas celebrations begin?
10. Was there ever an original, real Santa Claus?
11. What Christmas tradition commemorating the birth of Jesus
did St. Francis of Assisi begin?
12. Did Jesus tell us to remember his birth?

Answers Here

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Church bans interracial relationships

CNN interviews a member of a church who's church has voted to ban interracial marriages.

Fox News: Bloody Truth About the Bible

Fox News talks to the author of Laying Down the Sword, which deals with the violence and the Bible.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thieves steal instruments of Georgia gospel quartet

Grammy Nods

Grammy nominations are out.

Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance
Do Everything~ Steven Curtis Chapman
Alive (Mary Magdalene) ~ Natalie Grant
Your Love ~Brandon Heath
Jesus~ Le'Andria Johnson
I Lift My Hands ~ Chris Tomlin

Best Gospel Song
Hello Fear ~Kirk Franklin (Songwriter Kirk Franklin)
Sitting With Me ~Erica Campbell, Tina Campbell, Gerald Haddon & Tammi Haddon, songwriters (Mary Mary)
Spiritual ~ Donald Lawrence, songwriter (Donald Lawrence & Co. Featuring Blanche McAllister-Dykes)
Trust Me ~ Richard Smallwood, songwriter (Richard Smallwood & Vision)
Window ~Canton Jones, songwriter (Canton Jones)

Best Contemporary Christian Music Song
Blessings~Laura Story, songwriter (Laura Story)
Hold Me ~Jamie Grace Harper, Toby McKeehan & Christopher Stevens, songwriters (Jamie Grace Featuring Tobymac)
I Lift My Hands ~Louie Giglio, Matt Maher & Chris Tomlin, songwriters (Chris Tomlin)
Strong Enough ~Matthew West, songwriter (Matthew West)
Your Love ~Brandon Heath & Jason Ingram, songwriters (Brandon Heath)

Best Gospel Album
The Love Album ~Kim Burrell
The Journey ~ AndraƩ Crouch
Hello Fear ~Kirk Franklin
Something Big ~Mary Mary
Angel & Chanelle Deluxe Edition ~Trin-i-tee 5:7

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album
Ghosts Upon the Earth ~ Gungor
Leaving Eden ~ Brandon Heath
The Great Awakening ~Leeland
What If We Were Real ~Mandisa
Black & White ~Royal Tailor
And If Our God Is For Us... ~ Chris Tomlin

Winners will be announced February 12.

Graham Hospitalized

Billy Graham is resting in a North Carolina hospital this morning. The evangelist was admitted yesterday for possible pneumonia. The 93-year-old preacher is at Mission Hospital in Asheville in stable condition. He last had a hospital stay in May, also related to pneumonia.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tweet The Bible

A group led by web developer Anthony J. Thompson has started a plan to post one verse of the Bible every day on Twitter. With over 31,000 verses in the Bible, the project will take 86-years to complete. It's called #TweetTheBible. The project was launched at 11:11am November 11th making it 11/11/11 11:11. You can follow their progress @tweetthebible86 or on Facebook at TweetTheBible.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Obama's 'Godless' Thanksgiving address

Comedian Jon Stewart went after Fox News for pointing out that President Obama did not mention God in his Thanksgiving remarks. See the video below.

Joel Osteen's Reality Show

Houston mega-church pastor Joel Osteen may star in his own reality series. Survivor producer Mark Burnett hopes to have the show on the air in 2012. Burnett wants to have some "ordinary people" go on a mission with Joel Osteen in the US.

Grad Student's Counseling Case

Graduate student Jennifer Keeton is suing Georgia's Augusta State University for "punishing" her over her Christian views on gay rights, according to her attorney. Her case is now before an appeals court after a judge rejected her claim. Attorneys for both sides offered arguments to the appeals court today. Keeton's attorney told the judges she is "committed to the truth of the Bible." Keeton was placed on academic probation for saying it would be difficult for her to work with gay clients and claims she was threatened with expulsion if she did not go to events like the city's gay pride parade.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

TV Movie Tonight

The latest nonfiction book from Tuesdays with Morrie author Mitch Albom has been adapted into a television movie airing tonight on ABC. Here's a glimpse of what you can expect from Have a Little Faith.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Elvis Film Coming

A new film about Elvis Presley will focus on his relationship to gospel music. The Identical is a $3 million independent project from Nashville's City of Peace Films and stars Elvis impersonator Ryan Pelton. There are four Elvis films in the works right now.

Church Tells HIV Patients To Stop Treatment - And they Die

Some UK Churches are under fire for reportedly telling members they were cured of HIV and could stop taking medication. Six of them are now dead, according to Sky News. The evangelical churches are located in in London, Manchester, and Glasgow. There is a video report below.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Broncos Jerseys

Some fans of Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow are wearing altered versions of his #15 jersey with his name replaced with "Jesus" across the back. Tebow told the Denver Post, "I don't know what to think about that because I don't know where people's hearts are. It's important to not judge without knowing their hearts. If their heart is to honor the Lord, then it's a good thing. Only God can judge because only God knows what's truly in a person's heart."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reality Show for Christian Singers

Christian duo Mary, Mary is getting a reality show on WeTV. Erica and Tina Campbell have one 3 Grammys together and will hit the air at the end of March. Erica and Tina are married to men with the last name of Cambell who are not related to one another.

BJU Questions 'Fundamentalist' Label

A look at Bob Jones University here.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Herman Cain's Beliefs

Fox News takes a look the "Gospel of Herman Cain" here.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Megachurch Sold

It's official: The Crystal Cathedral has been sold to the Catholic church. The megachurch, founded by television evangelist Robert H. Schuller, is in bankruptcy and will use the $57.5 million from the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Orange to cover debt. A bankruptcy judge approved the deal this week. Members of the Crystal Cathedral will have to find a new place to worship.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Glenn Beck Steps into Bible Controversy

Glenn Beck is giving a Colorado Springs women's shelter $55,000 because the facility lost a federal grant. The executive director of Gospel Shelters for Women, Marilyn Vyzourek, refused to discontinue mandatory Bible studies for the women. The former Fox News host says he's giving to make up for the financial loss. Gospel Shelters operates Liza's Place and a companion program called Hope's Home, which helps drug and alcohol addicts just out of prison.

Monday, November 14, 2011

School Flyer Fight

The Supreme Court turned aside an appeal by a Christian group to give out flyers at schools in Missouri. The Victory Through Jesus Sports Ministry Foundation hosts summer camps and was excluded from distribution at Lee's Summit R-7 School District. A district court panel found that the school system did not take religious orientation into account when deciding to limit distribution of Victory's flyers.

Refugee Camp Bombed

Samaritan's Purse is accusing the government of Sudan of bombing one of its refugee camps in South Sudan, few miles from the border with Sudan. The Christian relief organization has dropped 420 tons of food to the refugees. South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan just a few months ago. Samaritan's Purse says the bombs did not injure anyone or damage an buildings but one landed a few feet from a boy yet did not explode. The White House has urged the government to stop the bombings, though Sudan claims it had nothing to do with the attack.

Church Hands out Money to Members

The First Baptist Church of Euless, Texas is asking its congregation to invest $30,000 and use the proceeds to support evangelism. Members were given 5, 10 or 20 dollar bills during yesterday's services. The Dallas-area megachurch did the same thing a year ago and members came back with $150,000.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Stephen Colbert: Does God Have a Sense of humor?

Stephen Colbert interviews Catholic priest James Martin, author of Between Heaven and Mirth, on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report.

Friday, November 11, 2011

CS Lewis on Twitter

C.S. Lewis has joined the social media revolution. HarperCollins has created the official Twitter account for the Christian apologist. It will feature quotes and news about his books. The account already has more than 7000 followers. This coming Wednesday (Nov 16) Douglas Gresham (Lewis’ stepson) will be hosting a live twitter event. You can find the Twitter feed here.

Ruling on Campus Police

North Carolina's highest court says the police working at religious college campuses in the state hold real authority - overturning a lower court ruling that said giving campus police power at religious institutions amounted to an illegal entanglement of government and religion. A North Carolina state law called the Campus Police Act allowed the state's attorney general to give authority to campus-police departments at private schools. The NC Supreme Court decision stemmed from a drunken-driving arrest at Davidson College (which is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, USA). When a campus officer arrested Julie Anne Yencer on charges of drunken and reckless driving, she pleaded guilty, but wanted the charges dismissed, based on the idea that the Davidson police officer did not have authority and that the Campus Police Act was unconstitutional.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Oprah at Megachurch

Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry showed up for Sunday services at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston. When Osteen introduced them he said, "Awesome to have you!" She interviewed Osteen as part of her new series Oprah's Next Chapter, which will premiere in January on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tebow Called "Nut"

Comedian Bill Maher calls NFL quarterback Tim Tebow a "religous nut" and "cuckoo for Christianity." See the video below.



Justin Bieber's Mom

Justin Bieber's mom is Tweeting Scripture as her son faces a paternity suit. Pattie Mallette, using the Twitter name StudioMama, has offered Bible verses and positive quotes such as this one, soon after news of the lawsuit came to light:

"Forgiveness in a nutshell means, 'Letting go of your right to get even.' Choose forgiveness. Be willing to be made willing to forgive."

A couple of days later, she re-tweeted her Justin's tweet:

"Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2."

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Night to Honor Israel

John Hagee Ministries just gave out $6 million to Israeli charities at Hagee's Cornerstone megachurch in San Antonio, Texas during the group's Night to Honor Israel. Here's how it broke down:

Nefesh B'Nefesh - $900,000
(encourages immigration to Israel from English-speaking countries)

Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon - $250,000

Herzog Hospital in Jerusalem - $250,000

Western Galilee Hospital - $250,000

Megachurch Founder Investigated

The founder of the world's largest Christian church is coming under scrutiny for his business dealings. Prosecutors are investigating prosperity teacher David Yonggi Cho of Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul. More than two dozen church elders complain that he has embezzled the equivalent of $20 million, and one reports say the funds were used to buy property in the US. Meanwhile, his wife is accused of selling a building for her own profit.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Irony of Request Seemingly Lost of Schuller Family

Members of the Crystal Cathedral in Southern California are upset over an email sent to the congregation asking that food be brought to the founder's wife, Arvella Schuller, who is sick. But rather than having people come to their home, the Schullers asked in the email that donations be dropped off at the cathedral's Tower of Hope - where the Schullers' limo drivers could then pick it up. The request even specified what type of food was acceptable.  After leading the church into bankruptcy, court documents now indicate the family took nearly $10 million out of the church's endowment funds.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tebowing Mocked

Tim Tebow says he's not bothered by what some commentators say is a mocking of his Christian faith. Detroit Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch struck a prayerful pose that's become known as "Tebowing" after sacking the Denver Broncos quarterback last week. The entire Lions team joined in the gesture during their 45-10 victory over the Broncos on Sunday. Comedian Denis Leary tweeted that "Jesus must be thinking even Judas had a better release than this guy" after the stunning loss. But one ESPN commentator says she was offended by it here. And a leader in the Nebraska Fellowship of Christian Athletes said it was "in bad taste and inappropriate, at best."

In God We Trust reaffirmed

The House of Representatives reaffirmed the nation's national motto should be In God We Trust yesterday by a vote of 396 to 9. The decision to make it the national motto was originally passed in 1956 and reaffirmed in 2002 - followed by a vote to reaffirm the concept in the motto by the Senate in 2006. It comes from a verse in Francis Scott Key's Star-Spangled Banner. It appeared on coins during the Civil War and was later added to US coins and bills. The courts have rejected claims it is a violation of the separation of church and state. President Obama criticized congress for spending time on the measure instead of his jobs bill. See his comments in the video below.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Bible Apps Take Off

The Bible is beating Angry Birds as an app. Publishers Weekly says Bible Apps are more frequently downloaded than the popular game. For instance, LifeChurch.tv’s YouVersion, a Bible app with more than 150 translations has been downloaded more than 30 million times. That means the app has been installed on one out of every 17 iPhones, iPads and Android devices sold. And iPhone Life magazine reports that “BibleReader broke into the top 10 highest grossing book apps for the iPad earlier this year.”

Monday, October 31, 2011

Christian Publisher Sold

HarperCollins is buying Thomas Nelson. The Nashville publisher produces many Christian books and cut its staff by 10% in 2008. HarperCollins acquired Zondervan in 1988. A recent survey found sales of religious books and Bibles is flat over the past two years.

Captioning Exemptions Revoked

Hundreds of churches are about to get letter from the FCC warning them to include closed captioning in their broadcasts or face fines. Five years ago, the FCC gave 300 of them "permanent exemptions" ago because they showed providing captions would impose a burden. The video producers will have 90 days to challenge the decision. Only five will be allowed to maintain their exemption.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

School employees must sign statement on sex

Georgia's Shorter University is asking its employees to sign a statement rejecting homosexuality. The Personal Lifestyle Statement also requires staff members to reject premarital sex and adultery. Those who don't sign may be fired. Students do not have to sign the policy.

Christian Relic Discovered

Read about a tiny Christian relic found in Jerusalem here.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tebowing

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has kicked off a trend - dropping to one knee in a position of prayer. After the NFL star led his team back to win at the last minute this past weekend, the outspoken Christian dropped to his knees while teammates celebrated around him. It was given the name "Tebowing" by fans and soon the act caught on around the country. Some stories have given credit to Jared Kleinstein for starting the phenomenon. He started a website dedicated to Tebowing which you can see here. Fans are submitting photos of themselves on one knee and praying when others around you are doing something else. Even teammate Von Miller sent out a photo of himself on Twitter wearing a Tebow jersey and doing the pose.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Appeals Court: Almighty God OK

An appeals court has given the state of Kentucky to include a reference to God in its homeland security law. The vote was split over whether the state could require its homeland security director to promote a "dependence on Almighty God" in training and educational materials. That overturns a lower court ruling.

Megachurch Sold

Chapman University is buying the Crystal Cathedral in Southern California for $50 million. The megachurch is in the same amount of debt and was forced to get rid of the property. The church founded by Robert Schuller filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy a year ago. Schuller and his family have been accused by creditors of profiting from the church will bills went unpaid, which they have denied. The deal won't be finalized until next month.

Complaint: Crosses violate Human Rights

Muslim students at Catholic University in Washington DC say their rights are being violated because they have not been allowed to start a Muslim student group and because there are no rooms at the school set aside for their daily prayers without Christian symbols such as crosses. Federal officials are investigating because of a complaint filed by a law professor at George Washington University. Catholic University officials say they have not received any direct complaints about the issue.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Billboard Misquotes Jefferson

A billboard put up by an atheist group against Christianity quotes Thomas Jefferson as saying, "I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature. It is founded on fables and mythology." The only problem is that Jefferson never said it. The head of Backyard Skeptics said, "I should have done the research before I put my billboard up." The Jefferson Library says the quote shows up on many Internet sites, but there's no evidence he ever said it and its unlikely he would have taken the time to create his own version of the Bible if he agreed with the statement.

Bible Classes Fading in Georgia

The number of students taking Bible classes in Georgia has fallen so far that schools don't have the money to pay for them. Some districts have cut the number of classes being offered because of it. Schools also face the difficulty of finding qualified teachers. Only 21 of 180 school districts offered classes - down from 48 just four years ago. Georgia lawmakers allowed the classes to begin 5 years ago followed by Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, and South Carolina. Other states, like Alabama, did not pass laws on the classes but allow the curriculum in schools. Many states without laws on the matter offer voluntary Bible courses.

Baptists Slash Balyor Funding

Baylor is losing nearly $900,000 in funding from the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Baptist influence on the University has waned in the face of falling enrollment by Baptist students (they make up less than half of the student body) and funding from other sources besides the convention. Baylor will now get $1.9 million instead of $2.8 million.

Parents Charged in Death of WA Child

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Catholics in America

The face of Roman Catholics is changing in the US. Here's the findings of a new survey published in The National Catholic Reporter:

88% - agreed with the statement "how a person lives is more important than whether he or she is Catholic."

86% - agreed with the statement "you can disagree with aspects of church teachings and still remain loyal to the church."
30% - support the "teaching authority claimed by the Vatican."
40% - agreed with the statement that you can be a good Catholic without believing that in Mass, the bread and wine really become the body and blood of Christ.
40% say they do not attend mass because they not very religious.


The survey also finds attending services continues to drop:
1987 - 44% attended at least once a week
2011 - 31% attended at least once a week


1987 - 26% attend less than monthly
2011 - 47% attend less than monthly

No Churches inAfghanistan

The State Department says there is not a single, public Christian church left in Afghanistan a decade after the US invasion to overthrow the Taliban regime. Nor are there any Christian schools. The last Christian church was torn down last year when Afgani courts turned aside the congregations claim to have a lease to the property.

Christian Faith on Amazing Race

There are only 4 teams left in the CBS reality competition Amazing Race. During the last episode, the Christian faith of one of the teams was revealed. Snowboarders Andy and Tommy say the reason they've won so many legs of the race is it is "God's will." Andy said during the show, "God's always there with us, and he's going to help us." The teams are in Thailand, where Tommy said while visiting a Buddhist temple, "God is greater than the temple." Andy adds there is only “one true God,” which he knows because it’s in the Bible. See the full episode here.

Pastor's Protest over Mascot

A central Georgia pastor has filed a lawsuit for his arrest while protesting a high school's demon mascot. Donald Crosby, pastor of God’s Kingdom Builders Church of Jesus Christ, says city of Warner Robins violated his First Amendment rights. He gathered with a couple of dozen members of his congregation outside of the city's high school on the first day of classes. Officers told him that he needed a permit and he got one, but was arrested both times.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Lawsuit against Souther Baptist Convention

Ron and Beverly Nollner are suing the the Southern Baptist Convention for $1.5 million. The Nashville couple says they were fired from their jobs overseeing construction of an office building for the Convention's International Mission Board for speaking out about illegal and unsafe building practices and bribery by some of the people involved in the work. The Mission Board hasn't responded to the lawsuit yet.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Star on Hollywood Blvd

The 2,452nd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame goes to BeBe & CeCe Winans. The brother-sister gospel singing duo will get the honor today for 7 chart-topping albums and singles and 15 Grammy Awards.

Suit Against Megachurch Pastor

The pastor of an Atlanta megachurch is accused in a lawsuit of leading his church into a bogus investment scheme. Eddie Long, pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church sponsored seminars two years ago and ten church members say they lost more than $1 million. The former chief executive of Chicago's City Capital Corp. who led the investment seminars wasn't licensed to sell investments or give investment advice.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The liberal church of Herman Cain

CNN offers background on GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain and his church here.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tim Allen's Religion

Parade Magazine asked Tim Allen, "What would people be surprised to know about you?" The star of the TV show Home Improvement and now Last Man Standing said, "On a philosophical level, I’m very religious. I call myself an intellectual Christian. I’ve been seeking answers and information about Christianity, as well as Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism, since my father died [in a car crash, when Allen was 11], trying to explain life and death. My brother put it best a long time ago when he said, “You’re a lot more perceptive than I ever imagined.”

Friday, October 14, 2011

Evangelical Political Divide

The Associated Press takes a look at the divide among Evangelicals when it comes to Iowa politics here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Arthur F. Holmes

Christian philosopher Arthur Holmes has died at the age of 87. Holmes made a impact on many Wheaton College students, coming from England to study at the school in the early 50s and he began teaching at the school in 1951. He chaired the Philosophy Department for 37 years and wrote numerous books on philosophy from a Christian perspective.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pastor Steals $650,000

The pastor of a Roman Catholic church in Las Vegas took $650,000 from his parish over nearly a decade. Kevin McAuliffe stole from the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton mission fund, the gift shop fund and even from a pot of money intended for candles. McAuliffe pleaded guilty last week and could be sent to prison for 60 years. He built it into one of Nevada’s largest Roman Catholic parishes, but used the funds for a gambling addict.

Romey wants Perry to Reject Texas Pastor

Mitt Romney is calling on Rick Perry to "repudiate" remarks by Texas pastor who said Mormonism is a cult. Romney says it is "poisonous language." Perry has said doesn't consider it a cult, but also won't disavow pastor Robert Jeffress. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie endorced Romney and also condemned Jeffress' remarks.

Taking The Reins Of Billy Graham's Legacy

NPR looks at whether Billy Graham's daughter can take the reigns of his ministry here.

Is Mormonism a Cult?

CNN offered a segment on the subject.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mormon Flap

The pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas has stirred controversy by saying Republicans shouldn't vote for Mitt Romney because he's a Mormon and he said Romney is a member of a cult. Robert Jeffress introduced rival Rick Perry at the Values Voter Summit in Washington tonight and then told reporters, "I think Mitt Romney's a good, moral man, but those of us who are born again followers of Christ should prefer a competent Christian."

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Amish on Amish Violence

Read the story of attacks on Amish by a cast-off group in Ohio here.

Teacher Loses in Court

An Ohio public school teacher has lost his case against the Mount Vernon school board. John Freshwater sued for wrongful termination, after he was let go for talking about his beliefs in class and keeping a Bible on his desk. He was also accused of burning a cross into the arm of a students, but that allegation was resolved outside the courtroom. Freshwater may file an appeal.

Steve Jobs

CNN offers a story about the spiritual side of Steve Jobs here.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Schuller Lawsuit

Creditors of the Crystal Cathedral are taking the megachurch's founder and family to court, accusing Robert H. Schuller of taking $10 million from the ministry's endowment fund to cover the salaries of his family, going back to 2002. Schuller says it's not true. He recently tried to raise money to prevent the selling of the land on which the Crystal Cathedral stands - but the Schullers failed to raise even half of what is needed. The highest bid comes from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange for $53.6 million. Other potential buyers include Chapman University and Hobby Lobby.

Monday, October 3, 2011

ADA and Churches

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in a case that could decide whether churches can avoid lawsuits that other employers cannot. A teacher at a Lutheran school in Redford, Michigan was fired and she claimed discrimination under ADA laws. The school is claiming it's exempt from facing the lawsuit because it falls in area that bans lawsuits against clergy performing their religious duties. Teacher Cheryl Perich and her lawyers say her claims against Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church are not a religious matter. She was let go after she was diagnosed with narcolepsy and she says that's a clear violation of ADA law. A district court ruled in favor of the school. An appeals court overturned that ruling.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Political Pulpit

The New York Times takes a long at Pulpit Freedom Sunday here.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Faith Healing Convictions

Two more members of a faith healing church in Oregon will spend time behind bars. A jury found Dale and Shannon Hickman guilty of of manslaughter in the death of their infant son David. Five other members of Christ Church have been convicted as well for other similar crime. The Hickman's prayed and rubbed oil on their son when he had trouble breathing just nine hours after has birth. An autopsy showed he had a bacterial infection and underdeveloped lungs - and hospital treatment would have ensured his survival. The Hickman's claimed the charges was nothing more than religious persecution. The couple will be sentenced at the end of October.

Why young Christians aren't waiting anymore

CNN has an article about abstinence among Christian teenagers and young adults. Read the story here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nearing Home

Billy Graham's 30th book will be out soon. Nearing Home will hit store shelves shortly before his 93rd birthday in November. The idea for the book came a few years ago when he realized, "I had been taught all of my life how to die, but no one had ever taught me how to grow old." In the book, Graham finds examples of seniors who embrace their age and he offers verses of encouragement to do the same.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Obama Heckler

A heckler interrupted President Obama's fundraiser in Los Angeles last night shouting, "Christian God is the one and only true living God" and then "Jesus Christ is God!" He was soon outshouted by other people chanting "four more years!" There are reports that when the man was being taken away he added, "Barack Obama is the antichrist!" Afterward, Obama said "first of all, I agree Jesus Christ is the Lord. I believe in that." Here is a video showing Obama's reaction.

Gospel Singer Dies

Gospel music singer Jessy Dixon has died at the age of 73. He passed yesterday at his home in Chicago. Dixon recorded five gold albums. During the 1970s he was the opening act of Paul Simon and recently he played a roll on Bill Gaither's popular "Homecoming" series.

Belieber! in print

A new book about Justin Bieber explores his Christian beliefs. Belieber! Fame, Faith, and the Heart of Justin Bieber written by Cathleen Falsani describes his journey from singing Christian songs on YouTube to international stardom. His mother, Patricia Mallette, attends Jubilee Christian Fellowship, a nondenominational church in Stratford, Ontario. The book compiles information from articles, social media and interviews with the seventeen-year-old Canadian who had never concealed his faith.

Religious Rights Battle at Vanderbilt University

Below is a video from Fox News about a battle on the campus of Vanderbilt University over the religious freedom of a student group.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rob Bell Leaves Church

Michigan mega-church pastor Rob Bell is leaving his Mars Hill Church. His book Love Wins drew criticism from conservative evangelicals for suggesting that hell may close one day after everyone leaves to go to heaven. Bell did not speak with the congregation before releasing the news publicly. He's planning a Fit to Smash Ice tour and is already scheduled to speak in at least eight places. Below is an ABC video about Bell.
video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Southern Baptist Name Change

The Southern Baptist Convention may change its name. Current President Bryant Wright has set up a study group to research the idea - something that has stirred controversy because he didn't work through the executive committee. The effort to rebrand the denomination may mean dropping "Southern" and possibly "Baptist."

Ted Haggard will "Swap Wife"

Former megachurch pastor Ted Haggard will swap wives with actor Gary Busey for an upcoming episode of Celebrity Wife Swap. The episode of the ABC reality series is being taped in Colorado Springs. Busey is an active minister with Promise Keepers while Haggard has returned to the ministry as a pastor of a non-denominational church following his departure from a Colorado megachurch following a public scandal.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

God and the Economy Survey

A new survey finds 8 in 10 political conservatives see God stepping in to their daily lives believe God is steering the economy. The Baylor Religion Survey (conducted by Gallup) found 73% of Americans agree with the statement "I know God has a plan for me." Out of this group:

•49% say "the government in Washington is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and private businesses."

•79% say "able-bodied people who are out of work shouldn't receive unemployment checks if they are passing up jobs they can do."

•92% say "anything is possible for those who work hard."

Monday, September 19, 2011

NRB: Social Media Censoring Christians

The National Religious Broadcasters claims the social media are targeting Christians and censoring their viewpoints. The organization says it studied Apple, the iTunes App Store, Google, Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, AT&T, Comcast and Verizon and found what it calls "institutionalized religious discrimination.” The one bright spot, according to the report, is Twitter. The social media site has shown "fairness toward Christian opinions" in its written policies. The NRB points to decision's like one by Apple to pull two iPhone apps — one created by Exodus International and another that included the text of a document called the Manhattan Declaration. According to the NRB, only these two apps were removed solely on the basis of their viewpoints on homosexuality.

Church Shooting

A former church member is accused of critically wounding the church's pastor and associate pastor in Lakeland, Florida.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pastor & Associate Pastor Shot in Church

A gunman is in custody after shooting two people at a central Florida church this morning. Jeremiah Fogel burst into the sanctuary of the Greater Faith Christian Church in Lakeland, wounding pastor William Boss and associate pastor Carl Stewart. Fogel was tackled by parishioners and held until deputies arrived. He had already killed one man at a home before coming to the church. He owns a limousine service.

Atheist group Demonstrates

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Christian book retailers see Opportunity

The Washington Post takes a look at how the closing of Borders bookstores may impact Christian retailers here.

Handwritten Bible

The first handwritten Bible in 500 years is now on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. A Minnesota Abby recently finished the 15 year project with goose quilled pens, calf-skinned paper, and homemade inks. The Saint John's Abbey in Collegeville work is two feet tall and three feet wide. Its 1100 pages include pictures, symbols, and imagery.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Megachurch Pastor Launches Site

Controversial megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll has launched a new website focused on theology and culture. PastorMark.tv joins several other sites that Driscoll is involved in - including Resurgence which is designed for church leaders and Acts 29 Network which is for leaders of new churches. Driscoll has made extensive use of new media - he has more than 117,000 Facebook fans and more than 167,000 Twitter followers. The pastor of Seattle's Mars Hill church has found himself in the middle of several controversies, including a recent move into Portland by his church that brought protests from gay rights groups.

Tearing Out Pages of the Bible

A atheist group in California is threatening to rip out pages of a Bible tomorrow afternoon. Backyard Skeptics says it plans to gather at the the Huntington Beach pier and tell people about parts of the Bible that are immoral. The same group posted a billboard this summer that said “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone.”

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Obama Reads Psalm 46

President Obama read from Psalm 46 as part of the ceremony at the World Trade Center site to mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. See the video below.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

What would Jesus hack?

The Economist looks at "Just how much does Christian doctrine have in common with the open-source software movement?" here.

Mel Gibson Plans Maccabee Movie

Mel Gibson plans to make a film about Judah Maccabee, the Jewish hero whose story is commemorated in the celebration of Hanukkah. Gibson says he sees parallels between Maccabee’s story and the modern day church because of corruption in organized religion. The film will follow Maccabee who joins his father and four brothers to lead the Jewish revolt against the Greek-Syrian armies in the second century B.C. It's possible Gibson could act in the film, but he is more likely to remain behind the camera and direct.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ad Campaign Banned

Britain has banned a mobile phone company ad commercial showing a cartoon Jesus who winks and offers a thumbs-up sign. The Phones 4 U campaign, which carried the slogan, "Miraculous deals on Samsung Galaxy Android phones," was nixed by the country's advertising watchdog group because the ad appears to be mocking the Christian faith. Phones 4 U said it regretted the ad campaign and that it offended people.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Jefferson Bible

Thomas Jefferson’s edited bible will be published in color in November. Although it was once called The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, it's typically referred to as “The Jefferson Bible.” The founding father hoped to crop all but the most critical parts of Christ’s teachings from the Bible. HE literally cut and pasted his selections with a razor, creating a single story from the four Gospels. He left out anything miraculous and references to divinity. The final product was not published until after his death. It was intended to be a primer for the Indians on Jesus' teachings. The new version will be printed by Smithsonian in hardcover with introduction by Smithsonian curators Barbara Clark Smith and Harry Rubenstein.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Theology a hot Topic on the Campaign Trail

Read the story here.

Megachurch Gets Kicked out of Facilities

A Kansas megachurch is losing its home. Read the story here.

Theft of Christian CDs

Music CDs stolen from Knoxville Christian bookstore. Read the story here.

School Sells TV Station

Baylor is selling its Waco, Texas PBS TV station to a pastor who says three people tried to extort millions of dollars from him to stay quiet about an affair. Marcus Lamb founded the DayStar Television Network and heads the group buying the TV station, Community Television Educators for a quarter of a million dollars. It went off the air a year ago because of financial problems. Lamb says he decided to admit to the affair publicly because of the extortion attempt.

Santorum's View on Marriage Challenged

CNN’s Piers Morgan accuses presidential candidate Rick Santorum of bigotry. Read the story here.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The New Yorker and Francis Schaeffer

Ryan Lizza wrote an article in the The New Yorker about Michele Bachmann’s intellectual formation. It includes a negative portrayal of Christian theologian and philosopher Francis Schaeffer. Read a rebuttal here in the New York Times.

College Loses Religious Speech Case

The Supreme Court has decided not to hear an appeal by the University of Wisconsin in a case involving funding religious speech. A student group called Badger Catholic Inc. asked for $253,000 in funding from UW Madison's fee system which supports hundreds of student organizations. The school withheld $35,000 of the amount that was going to go for activities the University deemed “proselytizing, religious instruction and worship.” Badger Catholic sued, arguing that the decision amounted to discrimination against religious speech. The 7th Circuit Court agreed in a 2-1 decision.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Earthquake Church to Rebuild

A church located near the center of the Virginia earthquake plans to rebuilt. WTOP radio files a report here.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Koran-Burning Pastor to Ground Zero

Florida pastor Terry Jones says he'll be in New York during ceremonies marking the 9/11 terror attacks. Mayor Michael Bloomberg is leading the anniversary events. Jones says he will protest the exclusion of first responders and clergy from the program. He came to national attention when he threatened to burn a Koran.

School lnvestigates Singers

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is investigating a Christian singing group. Officials are questioning a decision to remove a member who is gay. Members of the group say the decision had nothing to do with the singer's sexual orientation, but UNC is looking into whether the cappella group Psalm 100 broke the university’s nondiscrimination policy.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Egyptian Leader

Egyptian telecommunications billionaire Naguib Sawiris wants to become the next president of the country. He has started a political party called the Free Egyptian Party and wants to create a secular democratic government in Egypt. What many in the West will find interesting is that he is a Coptic Christian who stands in opposition to the Muslim majority and Islamist threat his country faces.

A very muscular brand of Christianity

The Guardian takes a look at "Why Jesus has undergone a macho makeover" in an article here.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Saving Aimee

Kathie Lee Gifford is telling the story of faith healer Aimee Semple McPherson through her musical Saving Aimee at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. The promotional material for the show describes the story this way:
Tangled with scandalous love affairs and a tabloid-frenzied trial, this powerful new musical tells the real-life story of Aimee Semple McPherson — the charismatic leader of a theatrical super church in 1920s L.A. who was equally passionate about saving souls and making headlines.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Scientology fined $413,000

The Church of Scientology owes the city of Clearwater more than $410,000 in fines. The city's code enforcement board unanimously to fine the church for not getting its new building up to snuff fast enough. The church first applied for a building permit in 1999 and work started the next year, but stopped in 2004. After two years passed with no progress, the city started fining the group for allowing its permit to lapse to the tuen of $250 day. That ended in June of this year when the city finally issued the certificate of occupancy. The church has 30 days to pay the fine or appeal.

Clergy Banned from 9/11 Memorial Service

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg won't allow clergy to attend a memorial service marking 10 years since the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Here is a report on the story from Fox News.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Eddie Long Accusers Speak Out

Two of the men who accused megachurch pastor Eddie Long of coercing them into sexual relationships gave an extensive interview to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Read an excerpt here.

Jay Bakker on CNN

Monday, August 22, 2011

Pastor Never Attended Liberty

Liberty University says a South Carolina pastor who faces rape charges never attended the school founded by Jerry Falwell. Dale Richardson is the pastor at Freedom Free Will Baptist Church in Ladson, South Carolina. Prosecutors say he kidnapped three women at gunpoint, assaulting one of the women behind the church sanctuary.

Mega church makes mega commitment to Charlotte

WBTV reports on what Elevation Church is calling its "Orange Initiative."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pastor Accused of Raping Women at Church

A Baptist preacher is facing charges he raped three women, at least one of them behind his church. WCIV-TV has a video report.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Machine Gun Preacher

A movie poster is stirring controversy for its depiction of a pastor with a gun. Machine Gun Preacher is the story of a drug dealer converted to Christ. The film is based on the true story of brawling biker Sam Childers, who became an evangelical preacher, traveling to Sudan where he organized armed missions to rescue children kidnapped by gorilla fighters and forced to become soldiers or sex slaves. The film will be shown at Toronto Film Festival next month and in some US cities starting September 23. The action-drama was directed by Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, Quantum of Solace) who says at his first meeting with Childers they nearly came to blows. Childers still runs the mission he built. Here's the trailer.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Dead Sea Scroll Video Game

The Dead Sea Scrolls come to vivid and surreal life in the new, elaborately named video game, El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron. Read the story in the USA Today.

The Bible: The Musical

A new musical called The Bible: The Beginning will open in New York in about a year. Director Philip William McKinley is producing the project with Spider-Man's Michael Cohl. The show will reportedly include tumblers, jugglers, singers, aerialists and fighters to re-enact the Creation, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah's Ark, Moses and his clash with the Pharaoh, the plagues of Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea, all culminating in the delivery of The Ten Commandments. Angels will serve as narrators.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Future of Ichthus

Kentucky's Christian music festival may not make it another year. CNN reports on the country's oldest music gathering here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Church Sign: "Turn or Burn"

Controversy over a church sign leads to protests in Wilmington, North Carolina. Read about the story here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tim Tebow accused of Blasphemy

Sports columnist Gregg Doyel says he's getting a major backlash from his CBS Sports column that accuses quarterback Tim Tebow of "blasphemy" for believing his faith will help him become an NFL success. Tebow told the Denver Post that he is "relying as always on my faith." Here's part of Doyel's column:
Tebow has been a great billboard for Christianity -- just as Muhammad Ali has been a great billboard for Islam, and Sandy Koufax a great billboard for Judaism -- but that doesn't mean he will be rewarded with a starting job in the NFL. Maybe deep inside his heart Tebow knows that, but from the outside it doesn't look that way. From the outside it looks like Tebow equates his love for God in heaven with tangible rewards here on earth. And that's more than wrong. It's blasphemy.
Read the entire article here.

Drugs Found on Dead Megachurch Pastor

News outlets are reporting there were drugs in the possession of Zachery Tims when he was found dead in a New York City hotel last Friday. The megachurch pastor of Florida's New Destiny Christian Center had battled drug addiction before his conversion. His 2006 book talked about his experiences with gangs and selling drugs. He made regular appearances on the TBN network. While the drugs found on him have not been confirmed as illegal, police say it is possible Tims died of an overdose. A wake is planned Friday and a funeral on Saturday in Orlando.

Stolen Rembrandt is dropped off in L.A. pastor's office

Read the article written by the LA Times here.

Kobe Bryant in Church Altercation

Kobe Bryant is being accused of attacking a man while attending church. The NBA star was attending services at San Diego’s St. Therese of Carmel this past Sunday when the man used his cellphone to take pictures of Bryant and his wife. Bryant told him to stop and grabbed the phone, twisting the man's wrist. The man went to the hospital for treatment. Here's a video report from KTLA.

CNN: Girl spanked to death in the name of God

Prof Leaves Christian College over Evolution

John Schneider has left his position as a religion professor at Michigan's Calvin College. The trouble started when he wrote a paper earlier this year "suggesting that evidence of genetics and evolution raised questions about the traditional, literal reading of Genesis about creation, the story of Adam and Eve, and the fall of humanity out of an initial idyllic state," according to Inside Higher Ed. An investigation by the school led to Schneider's departure, though another professor who has made similar comments is still at the college. Daniel Harlow says he won't back down from his views.

Islam Hotline

Monday, August 15, 2011

Megachurch Pastor found Dead

The pastor of a Florida megachurch has bee found dead at a New York City hotel room. An autopsy is planned for Zachery Tims though police say they don't expect any foul play. Tims was senior pastor of the New Desnity Christian Center in Apopka, Florida, which has some 8000 members. The church plans a meeting tonight to discuss his passing. Tims divorced in 2009 and had four children. He often appeared on the Trinity Broadcast Network (TBN).

Sunday, August 14, 2011

How Rembrandt saw Jesus

Here's a Washington Post article about “Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art through Oct. 30. Read the story here.

Friday, August 12, 2011

In Jerusalem, scholars trace Bible's evolution

A look at efforts by scholars at Hebrew University to publish an authoritative edition of the Old Testament. Read about it here.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Colbert: God Could Use an Ad Campaign

Comedian Stephen Colbert takes a look at a new Mormons new ad campaign and suggests one for Catholics and God.

10 Years Later

Read about singing God Bless America at major league baseball games here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Starbucks & Willow Creek

Starbucks' CEO and founder has abruptly cancelled an appearance at Willow Creek Community Church. Howard Schultz was supposed to speak at the Chicago megachurch Friday, but an online petition insisting he denounce the congregation's views on homosexuality started bringing negative publicity to the company. His talk was titled “How Starbucks Fought for its Life Without Losing Its Soul.” Willow Creek holds a leadership summit each year. The company would not confirm the cancellation had to do with the campaign.

Creditors Threaten Legal Action

The Garden Grove Church must sell the Crystal Cathedral or creditors say they will sue the southern California megachurch. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange County is offering more than $50 million for the 40 acres.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

CNN Segment on Religion and Politics

Adam And Eve

NPR takes a look at Evangelicals and the story of Adam and Eve here.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ministry Layoffs

Prison Fellowship, founded in 1976 by former Nixon aide Chuck Colson, is laying off more than 70 employees. The ministry to inmates blames the economy. Former Michigan past Jim Liske is taking over as CEO and former Atlanta pastor Garland Hunt is now president. Some 8,500 churches and 14,000 volunteers work with Prison Fellowship in support of prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families.

Fight at Mobile Church

Police in Mobile, Alabama say a pastor was tasered by his former minister of music. Daryl Riley of New Welcome Baptist Church fired Simone Moore and in a dispute over the amount of Moore's final check, Moore alledgedly tased Riley. Several church members, including Moore's own mother got involved. Officers say she was stabbed by a church deacon Harvey Hunt.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Getting to Know.. TBN

Trinity Broadcasting Network..
• Programming on over 6,000 stations in 75 countries
• Audience of 5 million houses each week in the US
• Programs are dubbed in 11 different languages
• 3 spinoff channels:Enlace USA a Spanish-language, channel JC-TV offers youth-oriented Christian programs, The Church Channel broadcasts church services
• Headquarters: Costa Mesa, California (a similar complex is located in Texas)
• Owns Trinity Music City USA, near Nashville (paid more than $13 million to acquire)
• TV Stations: 23 full-powered, 252 low-powered
• Yearly Revenue: $170 million (surpluses averagedabout $60 million a year since 1997)
• 400 employees
• The board of directors: Paul & Jan Crouch, & Ruth Brown (Paul's sister)
• Pastors on the network can solicit donations only during the last 30 seconds of a half-hour show or the last 60 seconds of a one-hour show

Paul Crouch..
• 77 years old
• Salary: over $400,000
• Parents: Pentecostal missionaries
• Homestate: Missouri• Bible College: Central Bible Institute(Springfield, Missouri)
• Former Employer: Assemblies of God in Springfield, Missouri
• Duties: Overseeing a Film Library

Jan Crouch..
• 73 years old
• Maiden name: Bethany
• Father: Assemblies of God pastor
• Salary: more than $360,000 Perks..
• The Crouches use TBN's $7 million Turbo jet to fly around the world
• The Crouches use 2 mansions in Newport Beach & about 30 other ministry-owned houses

Family..
• Paul Crouch, Jr (their oldest son) makes about $91,000 as TBN's administrative VP
• Matthew Couch (son) has gotten more than $30 million to make movies like The Omega Code

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Getting to Know.. Jay Sekulow

Jay Sekulow hosts a daily radio program and heads up the Pat Robertson founded American Center For Law & Justice. Here are some of his court victories:

1987: Wins the right for religious groups to distribute material in airports if other organizations are grantedsuch access

1990: Wins the right for students to form voluntary Bible clubs in public-schools

1993: Wins the right of religious organizations to use public school facilities after-hours

1997: Wins ruling that declares unconstitutional the creation of movable classes zones around abortion clinic clients where protesters are banned

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Rapture Profiteers

Business Week takes a look at the apocalypse industry in an article here.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Church Disfellowshipped

A North Carolina Baptist group is expelling one of its members for picking a woman to serve as pastor. The Surry Baptist Association in North Carolina is dropping Mount Airy' Flat Rock Baptist Church for installing 28 year old Bailey Nelson as pastor last month.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Meryer's Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Joyce Meyer's insurance company, Essex Insurance, says it will not pay her legal bills related to a wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of murder victims, killed by one of her former bodyguards. The family of the victims is suing the televangelist, saying she and her ministry are liable in the deaths. Meyer's former security chief and personal bodyguard, Christopher Coleman, was convicted for murder in the deaths of his wife and their two sons. Coleman had used the phone and computer provided by the ministry to threaten his wife. He's now serving life in prison