Saturday, June 8, 2013

Who are Evangelicals?

The National Association of Evangelicals defines an Evangelical as someone who believes:
• The Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God. That there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
• In the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in his virgin birth, in his sinless life, in his miracles, in his vicarious and atoning death through his shed blood, in his bodily resurrection, in his ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in his personal return in power and glory.
• That for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
• In the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
• In the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
• In the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Southern Baptists Membership Declines

As Southern Baptist representatives get ready to meet next week in Houston, word is out that the denomination is still losing members. There were about 100,000 fewer U.S. members in 2012 than the previous year. The numbers were just released by the SBC's Lifeway Christian Resources. This is the sixth drop in a row for the largest Protestant denomination . Baptisms also fell--by 5.5% from 2011 to 2012.

Narnia Book facts

  • Written by Christian apologist CS Lewis
  • Published in 1950
  • Seven Books in the Series
  • Sold more than 100 million copies in 47 languages
  • A lion named Aslan is a Christ-like figure
  • Rights Owned by HarperCollins
  • First editions are selling on the web for as much as $20,000
  • JRR Tolkien's response to Wardrobe: "It really won't do, you know"
  • JK Rowling says she adored Lewis' stories and they influenced Harry Potter

  • A music video on Saturday Night Live featured a hip hop song entitled Chronicles of Narnia (Lazy Sunday). You can see the video below.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Getting to Know.. Scientology

• 1911: L. Ron Hubbard is born in Tilden, Nebraska
• 1930's: Hubbard becomes known as a science fiction writer
• 1940's: Hubbard serves in the Navy during World War II
• 1950: Dianetics is published, putting forth the view that man is immortal, basically good and has loops of memory from past lives called "engrams" that must be cleared to bring unity with the universe and psychological and physical health. Drugs and other tools of psychology just create needless suffering
• 1953: Hubbard formally establishes the Church of Scientology (no relation to Christian Science)
• 1977: The FBI raided Scientology centers in Los Angeles and Washington and found evidence that Scientologists had been wiretapping
• 2000: Battlefield Earth is released, a movie based on a Hubbard novel starring John Travolta; it cost more than $100 million to produce and market but earned only $21 million
• 2000's: Scientology is considered a Cult by the governments of Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Canada, etc.
• 2007: Financial gifts to the Church of Scientology by various celebrities are revealed, including:
Tom Cruise - $5 million (over the previous four years)
Kirstie Alley - $5 million (in 2007)
John Travolta - $1 million (in 2007)
Kelly Preston - $1 million (in 2007)
Priscilla Presley - $50,000 (in 2007)
• 2008: Actor Jason Beghe leaves the Church of Scientology. He took courses from the organization for 14 years and even appeared in promotional spots, but in a YouTube video he calls Scientology “destructive” and a “rip-off." Beghe had roles G.I. Jane and X-Men: First Class, and has been featured in numerous TV dramas.
• 2009: A New Jersey teenager is given a year in prison for orchestrating a cyber attack on Church of Scientology Web sites almost two years ago. 19-year-old Dmitriy Guzner pleaded guilty to computer hacking charges. He has denied being part of an underground group that protests the Church of Scientology as prosecutors claim.
• 2009: A French court convicts the cult and six of its members of organized fraud.
• 2009: The Church of Scientology buys a church building in Northern Kentucky. Scientologists pays $1.64 million for a building that once housed The Florence Baptist Church until the congregation moved into a new $15 million facility.
• 2010: The city of Clearwater fines Scientology more than $410,000 for not getting its new building up to snuff fast enough.
• 2010: A lawsuit brought against the Church of Scientology as former members claims the religious group is tied to human trafficking incidents.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Laws vs Church Doctrine

A teacher who was fired for having a child through artificial insemination has gotten the support of an Ohio jury. They said the Catholic archdiocese violated anti-discrimination laws by firing Christa Dias when she became pregnant and order she be paid $170,000. The church's lawyer said the dismissal was for violation of church doctrine and having a contract saying she would follow it. The school argued that Dias, who is gay, never intended to abide by that contract. WCPO-TV has this video report:

Monday, June 3, 2013

Getting to Know… Bill Hybels

1951: Born in of Dutch ancestry and raised in Calvinist theology in Kalamazoo, Michigan
1974: Hybels married his longtime sweetheart. They have two adult children (Shauna and Todd) and two grandchildren. 
1975: founded Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois with about 12,000 members. Willow's annual leadership summit, draws some 50,000 pastors and key volunteers attend or tune in via satellite.
1980s: Served as a chaplain for the Chicago Bears
1990s: One of President Bill Clinton's closest spiritual advisers.
More than 2000 non-Catholic pastors chose Willow Creek as the most influential congregation in the US.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Iran hauls off Christian pastor in new sweep

CNN interviews Lisa Daftari on the increasing tensions between Christians and Muslims in Iran.

Lutheran Church Votes in First Openly Gay Bishop

Guy Erwin is now a Lutheran Bishop in California. Here's a video report.

Pastor says Boy Scouts can no longer meet at his church

Church leaders at an Alabama church are unhappy with the decision by the Boy Scouts to allow openly gay members. Watch a video report from WBRC-TV below.

Getting to Know.. the Church of God in Christ

• Also known as COGIC
• more than 6 million US members
• National headquarters in Memphis
• Founded in the early 1900s by Charles Harrison Mason, a son of slaves and a former Baptist preacher
• America's largest black Pentecostal denomination
• Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his last sermon, at Mason Temple, COGIC's mother church