Friday, August 16, 2013

Churches destroyed in Egypt

Egyptian mobs have attacked more than two dozen Christian churches and church-related facilities, including schools and cultural centers, according to CNN. The Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group once led by more recently deposed President Mohamed Morsy, is blamed for the violence. Read more here.

Getting to Know.. Rick Warren

Rick Warren
Born: 1954, San Jose, California
• Childhood: Raised a Southern Baptist in Redwood Valley, CA
• Residence: Trabuco Canyon, California.
• Family: 4th generation pastor, married, 3 adult children
• Dress: wears Hawaiian shirts and sandals when he preaches
• Education: Bachelor of Arts from California Baptist College in Riverside; Master of Divinity from Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas; Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California
• Church: Pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California; More than 23,000 people attend Saddleback regularly and the church has baptized more than 14,000 people in the past decade; it has more than 20 services that feature different styles of live music from heavy metal to reggae
• Books: The Purpose Driven Church (1995) has sold a half million copies and The Purpose Driven Life (2002) has more than 30 million in English-language sales
• Profits: Gave 90% of his profits from The Purpose Driven Life to his church
• Warren has given "purpose-driven training" to more than half-a-million pastors. One out of 20 US churches have taken the 40 Days of Purpose exercises.
• Favorite Bible verse: Acts 13:36, "He served God’s purpose for his generation. And then he died."

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

First woman as presiding bishop for Lutherans

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has northeast Ohio Bishop Elizabeth Eaton as it's first women to lead the denomination. Eaton won, 600-287, on the fifth ballot over Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson. He has held the position for a dozen years.The ELCA was formed a quarter of a century ago when three Lutheran groups merged. About a quarter of the clergy in the ELCA are now women. The smaller and more conservative Lutheran Church Missouri Synod remained independent and does not ordain women. Eaton takes office November first.  Read more here.

Getting to Know.. What is an Evangelical?

When conducting surveys The Barna Group defines an Evangelical as those who:
• Say they are "born again" Christians*
• Say their faith is very important in their lives today
• Believe they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs about Christ with non-Christians • Believe that Satan exists
• Believe that eternal salvation is possible only through grace, not works
• Believe that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on Earth
• Describe God as the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect deity who created the universe and still rules it today

* Barna says: A "born again" Christian is one who has "made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in your life today" and who believes that "when I die, I will go to heaven because I have confessed my sins and have accepted Jesus Christ as my savior."

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Getting to Know.. Church-State Legal Decisions

Some major church-state US Supreme Court decisions:

• 1947: Everson v. Board of Education A state may not pass laws "which aid one religion" or "prefer one religion over another."

• 1948: McCollum vs. Board of Education Rules against religious instruction in public schools

• 1971: Lemon v. Kurtzman A test for determining violations of the First Amendment prohibition of any law establishing religion.

• 1980: Stone v. Graham Struck down a Kentucky law requiring 10 Commandments displays in public classrooms

• 1983: Marsh v. Chambers Legislative prayer ruled constitutional

• 1984: Lynch v. Donnelly Allowed a nativity scene to be included in a city's multifaceted holiday display

• 1989: County of Allegheny v. ACLU Prohibited the display of a nativity scene at a county courthouse

• 1992: Lee v. Weisman Invocations and benedictions at public school graduation ceremonies declared unconstitutional

• 2002: Zelman v. Simmons-Harris Religiously affiliated schools may participate in taxpayer-funded tuition voucher programs

• 2004: Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow The court ruled that Newdow had no standing to bring the lawsuit asking whether the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance recited at public schools violated church-state separation

Monday, August 12, 2013

The brother of Benny Hinn returns to ministry-was it too soon?

Sam Hinn was re-ordained Sunday by a group of ministers seven months after he left his Florida church following his admission to a four-year affair, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Read the full story here.

Texas Pastor changes mind on proposed policy

Pastor John Hagee
Megachurch pastor John Hagee has dropped his opposition to a local ordnance that "seeks to protect the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people in San Antonio." here.
Read the story in the San Antonio Express