It all started when I was in kindergarten. There was a kid in my neighborhood named Carter. (He was a year older than I was.) I remember him kissing me one day while we were playing. Just a peck on the lips. It startled me, but we laughed it off and I didn't think anything of it. A few months went by and that lead to exploring other areas of our bodies.
... As I began to mature, I developed attraction to the same sex. This lead to me explore my sexuality and try things with other guys. Before I knew it, I had fully opened a door, walked through it and heard it lock behind me. I had allowed the devil to trap me into a mess.
... The last night of youth camp I found myself standing in the back of the room. A longtime friend named Mikayela came up next to me. She noticed that the Holy Spirit was doing something in my heart. She knew the struggles I had walked through. She asked me, "Grayson. Are you ready to leave this mess here?" I said, "Yes" ...
In a postmodern culture obsessed with feelings and political correctness, the Church must stop apologizing for “the way that God thinks and acts and what He says is right and wrong,” Francis Chan recently said.
During a Q&A session at the 2019 Church Leaders Conference, held at the Zacharias Institute in Alpharetta, Georiga, Chan explained that in today’s culture, the pervasive mentality is that “we’re all fighting for our rights.”
“And these are real things, real pain, real feelings that we feel,” he said ... But amid the push to be inclusive and understanding, Chan said “one of the most important passages for our generation” is Isaiah 55:8-9 ...
A Gallup survey shows that between the late 1930s and late 90s the percentage of Americans who belonged to a house of worship was at around 70 percent. But in the last 20 years, that percentage dropped to 50 percent.
... there is a growing number of young people who are not following their grandparents' and parents' footsteps. They simply in some cases don't believe in organized religion, but the question is why?
"The family is especially under attack," stated Pope John Paul II, August 15, 1993. In 1979, Pope John Paul II appointed West African Archbishop Robert Sarah of Guinea. Archbishop Robert Sarah was appointed Cardinal in 2010.
On September 1, 2010, Cardinal Sarah rejected Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi's call for Europe to become Muslim as being disrespectful of all of Catholic Italy and the Pope: "To speak of the European continent converting to Islam makes no sense because it is the people alone who decide consciously to be Christian, Muslim or to follow other religions."
Cardinal Robert Sarah stated in his synod on the family, October 12, 2015: "Like two 'apocalyptic beasts' located on opposite poles: on the one hand, the idolatry of Western freedom; on the other ...
Ever since the divide of the Western and Eastern branches of Christianity in the 11th century, two of the greatest fears of once-united Christendom have been realized: fragmentation and division. Even in the 16th century, when Martin Luther’s protest against the Roman Catholic Church’s abuses sparked the Protestant Reformation, leaders hoped there would be only a few major expressions of the body of Christ. Never in their wildest dreams did the reformers envision all the denominations and various branches and networks of Christianity that have evolved since then. The end results have provided an opportunity for ...
Major theological issues can sometimes show up in the most surprising places ...
Edward Luce, the American Editor for the Financial Times, penned this article, which chronicles his visit to Lakewood Church, the most significant temple to the prosperity gospel in America. Luce marshals all his prowess and analytical skill to craft this insightful article—a story that explores the friction between the prosperity gospel of Joel Osteen and the historic, orthodox Christian faith.
Luce’s report not only details what is present in prosperity theology, but what is absent. He attended a men’s support meeting and wrote, “Optimism, hope, destiny, harvest, bounty—these are Lakewood’s buzzwords. Prosperity too.” Then, he reveals the glaring absence of crucial theological terms
When it comes to mixing politics and religion, New York's most prominent Catholic leader says it's a must. “A public square where religious values are absent is perilous,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York told "WSJ at Large" host Gerry Baker on FOX Business on Friday.
As we move closer to the 2020 presidential election, political and religious controversies dominate headlines. From gay marriage, abortion and contraception, to divorce and the sanctity of marriage, many in the U.S. find the Church’s position irrelevant or harmful and offensive. But Cardinal Dolan believes that those negative perspectives are "caricatures of the Church” which need to be replaced by ...
... Let me ask you a question. What is the goal of the witnessing encounter? We’re here to learn how to witness, how to be an evangelist, and when. What is the goal of our witnessing encounter? To make disciples. We know what we’re trying to do. We want people to be saved.
I just read an interesting article by one pastor and very important author, and he said, “It’s interesting. Jesus famously said, “Come after Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” He didn’t say, “I’ll make you fishers of fallacies.” And those of you who are steeped in apologetics, I want you to get the point. In other words, Jesus is calling us to save people, to be fishers of men, not just fishers of fallacies in order to win arguments ...
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a lawsuit in federal court Friday against Washington state officials for forcing churches to pay for elective abortions in their health insurance plans. ADF attorneys represent Cedar Park Assembly of God in the federal suit, challenging the constitutionality and legality of a new state mandate that requires the Seattle-area church to fund abortion if it provides its staff members access to group health insurance.
“No church should be coerced to pay for abortions, least of all a church that dedicates its ministry to protecting and celebrating life,” said ADF Legal Counsel Elissa Graves. “Cedar Park believes and teaches that every human life begins at conception and is worthy of protection at every point until natural death. Further still, Cedar Park demonstrates ...
Much of the Body of Christ today merely thinks about renewal, revival, awakening, and manifestations of God’s power when they think of the Holy Spirit’s function. Although we would all love to speak about revival and renewal in the church, we have to realize that the Holy Spirit has many other significant functions that are vital to both the church and world. Case in point, an often overlooked function of the Holy Spirit in today’s Charismatic Churches is His assignment to bring conviction in the hearts of people.
Many preachers are merely trying to encourage, motivate, and inspire their congregation — when often times the Holy Spirit desires to bring conviction to their church because ...
As I write, the television set in this motel room is running the results of last night’s Iowa caucuses. At some point I noticed something about the [male] candidates for nomination for president. All were wearing suits and white shirts and ties. Why?
... At the same time, drop in on the typical church and you may be stunned to see that the fellow who looks like a hitchhiker just in from a day on the highway turns out to be the preacher ... Some in the congregation actually take pride in the sloppiness of the preacher’s attire.
At one point, the call for pastors to “dress down” was well-intentioned, I will grant ... But that trend has run its course in my judgment. In fact, it has flat run in the ditch.
The latest tax on nonprofits has many churches and ministries wondering if it applies to them. Most nonprofit organizations have parking lots, and many churches have reserved parking spaces for the church pastor or first time visitors. Although it’s a small gesture, reserving parking for first time visitors can have a positive impact on a visitor’s experience. However, the latest tax on parking lots may have some churches rethinking its use.
Under the Tax Cuts and Job Act, nonprofit organizations like churches, colleges, hospitals, ministries, and others may be responsible to pay ...
The relationship between church members and their pastor is special. Pastors often serve long hours and make themselves available at a moment’s notice in times of need. It is common for members to show honor and recognition to their pastors by giving a love offering.
Many churches and pastors alike fail to understand how to appropriately account for those love offerings. With good intentions, members give a love offering thinking their gift is precisely that— a gift ... But the IRS doesn’t view love offerings in the same way. Two pastors in Minnesota recently learned about taxable income the hard way.
My generation of believers loves the idea of radical Christianity. It’s edgy, compromises everything, it’s dangerously transparent and it’s simple. Phrases like “I just want Jesus” are its slogan—its very breath. Verses are tattooed on our backs, and Greek words are penned into our wrists and biceps. Our sweatshop-free clothes are ripped and dirty. Our coffee is fair-trade. Our books are doctrine-heavy and well-worn. And maybe we’ll even have a drink or a cigar here and there over a deep theological conversation.
... This kind of Christianity is dangerously cool. And that’s the thing…it’s dangerous ...
Hosted by Houston Baptist University’s Global Center for Mental Healthcare and Ministry, the American Association of Christian Counselors is offering an Opioid Addiction Crisis Specialized Training in Houston, Texas, featuring the United States Department of Health & Human Services Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiative on Saturday, February 16th from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Houston Baptist University. This is a must-attend event for Christian ministry leaders, mental health providers, concerned family members, community leaders, and more. The opioid crisis has left no demographic untouched. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that opioids were responsible for around 68% of the more than 70,200 drug overdose deaths in 2017.
Attendees will learn how to identify an opioid addiction, support family members, begin and strengthen local programs, and advocate for pain management as an alternative to opioid prescriptions. Dr. Tim Clinton, president of the American Association of Christian Counselors, commented, “The AACC is honored help lead the way with these specialized trainings for counselors, pastors, and more.”
The recent action by the boards of two organizations that have been nationally visible as representing conservative evangelicals is “The Great Evangelical Sellout” for a number of critical reasons, not the least of which is wrongfully capitulating to one of the most deceptive straw men of modern cultural and politics. The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) are supporting the inclusion of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in federal civil rights protections, a patent rejection of biblical truths, moral law and sound constitutional principles.
As reported by World magazine, “(CCCU and NAE) have formally ...
For years I have seen and heard Ray Comfort and the Living Waters team going out onto the streets proclaiming the gospel. Often, we see them jeered and mocked as they lovingly answer critics and point to hope in Christ. I watched Ray’s latest movie, “The Fool,” and I was greatly encouraged by how Ray used the way he was mocked for even more ministry zeal.
How do people exhibit so much confidence in what they are doing that their motivation increases when they face opposition and accusation? If you asked Ray, you may find a similar answer to what you might get simply by reading Paul’s letters to the church at Corinth. Paul answers his own critics by
Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Tom Perez on Wednesday complained that voters are influenced by what they hear in church on Sundays. Perez claimed that Republicans have an advantage because “people buy” what they hear at church.
“And we all have to make sure that we’re fluent in what’s happening across our ecosystem so we can come to each other’s defense because we need to build a bigger orchestra. They’ve had a big orchestra for some time and they’ve got the megaphones to amplify it, whether it’s Sinclair at the local level or Fox at the national level,” Perez said at an event for Demand Justice, a left-wing political group.
90% of the African American vote in Atlanta went to the Democratic Party. We know that there are many black mega churches in Atlanta. It is impossible that only non-Christians voted last Tuesday. We are left with the inescapable conclusion that born-again and Spirit-filled Christians in large numbers voted for the Democratic Party. That is not racist it is simply a fact.
This is not just true in Atlanta. It is also very true in Houston. For that matter every city in America.
It is no surprise how this happened. It is the pulpit’s fault. Believers are fed ...
As always, of course the KHOU 11 story involving Dr. Ed Young’s remarks on election night are just clips of his overall comments and prayer, however even with their typical spin they could not mask the legitimate principles that Dr. Young presented and the issues raised. Because of his courageous and biblical stand ...
Spiritually active Christians who hold politically conservative views believe that churches should be more involved in the political process. In particular, they are eager for their pastors to teach them what the Bible says about today’s social and political issues. While most conservative churches have provided some biblical teaching on current issues to congregants, it clearly has not satisfied the appetite of those adults. In fact, a majority of these church-goers said it is extremely or very important for their church to teach them biblical truths related to each of the 22 different issues studied in this research!
However, the survey of pastors revealed that most conservative pastors ...
A mega-pastor of one of the largest “evangelical” churches in the U.S. is attacking the Old Testament again, this time insisting Jesus rendered the Ten Commandments null and void, issuing one new law “as a replacement for everything.”
Andy Stanley, pastor of the 34,000-member North Point Community Church in suburban Atlanta, who famously advised his flock to “unhitch” from the Old Testament in a sermon last spring, has now penned an article promoting his new book saying laws such as “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” and “Thou shalt not kill” are no longer relevant to Christians living in the New Covenant era.
Pastors, elected officials, candidates and community leaders gathered at Houston’s First Baptist Church on September 13 for a briefing on a proposition being voted on – again – by City of Houston citizens that proposes a “lock box” for drainage fee revenues. The luncheon also included an opportunity for candidates on the ballot in November and who were in attendance an opportunity to share about their position and credentials. Candidates included ...
A group of our HAPC Executive Council pastors (Pastor Garrett Booth, Pastor Hernan Castano, Pastor Willie Davis and Dave Welch) met on September 5 with Houston Mayor Turner to determine if there are any content standards for materials or programs in the Houston Public Library(HPL). Shockingly, we found out that the answer is that there are NO STANDARDS. In addition, we confirmed that ...
Houston, TX – U.S. Pastor Council, the inter-denominational, multi-ethnic coalition of pastors that includes the “Houston Five” pastors of Houston Area Pastor Council who were subpoenaed by the former Mayor, is speaking out and standing with Hawaiian pastors following a “overtly threatening” letter from Hawaii’s Attorney General, Russell Suzuki.
“Hawaii Attorney General Suzuki has no authority over the pulpits of the Aloha State whether in a church, synagogue or mosque, let alone the authority to issue ..."
"... America is a nation of believers. And tonight we’re joined by faith leaders from across the country who believe in the dignity of life, the glory of God, and the power of prayer. Everybody agree with that?
... So many great, great leaders. Incredible leaders. I know you, I watch you, I see you. Yours are the words we want to hear ... We’re here this evening to celebrate America’s heritage of faith, family, and freedom. As you know, in recent years ..."
... Someone once said that God created man in His image, and man has been returning the favor ever since. Most of us are guilty of fashioning a god in our own image. Our god doesn’t mind lust, or a fib here and there. He doesn’t have any moral dictates. In truth, our god doesn’t exist. He is a figment of our imagination, shaped to conform to our sins.
We are also guilty of idolatry when we picture God as a benevolent Santa Claus figure who dispenses good things and won’t punish us for our sins, believing that He is too loving to send anyone to Hell. But consider what the Bible reveals about our Creator. The book of Genesis tells us that ...
Ambivalence and ambiguity seem to be the new cool in some facets of Christianity.
Perhaps it is only in the safe sanctuaries of sensate western culture that notable evangelicals can dally with doubt and ambiguity regarding the Bible, when they should be declaring boldly, "Thus saith the Lord!"
Ambiguity and ambivalence are unaffordable indulgences in our age.
Churches today are struggling....
Documents filed with the United Methodist Church's top court are shedding first light on specifics of long-awaited proposals to avoid schism in the second-largest Protestant denomination in the United States.
The three plans were published Tuesday (July 17) as part of the docket for the United Methodist Church Judicial Council's October meeting. The denomination's Council of Bishops is asking its top court for a decision ....
Through the years, I have discovered that the average Christian and a large number of church ministers lack a biblical worldview; by “BWV” I am referring to interpreting all of life through the lens of Scripture. That is to say, your view of politics, sanctity of life, marriage, economics, education, science and law is derived from biblical principles. The average believer only has a piecemeal understanding of Scripture instead of a comprehensive world and life view which has resulted in the church becoming irrelevant in the public square.
If we are going to fulfill our assignment as the salt of the earth and the light of the world, we need to shift the Body of Christ towards....
We presented several specific concerns to City Council at the June 12 council meeting and now recap as well as expand on those concerns as follows ....
As we see the daily political and social turmoil in our society, Christians are praying for God to send a spiritual revival to stir the church and ignite the fire of repentance throughout the land. But some Christian leaders are wondering if revival is possible at this point.
Dr. Ted Roberts, former senior pastor of East Hill Foursquare Church in Gresham, Oregon and host of the 12-DVD Conquer Series, explains ....
During the first days of July in 1776 the Continental Congress was considering one of the most significant events of all time—the declaration by thirteen colonies to become the new nation of the United States of America.
On the issue of independence all the colonies were agreed, but a few of the most cautious delegates still were not sure about the timing. Rev. John Witherspoon, a delegate from New Jersey, answered their concerns as he said ....
Because accidents can happen at any moment, many churches require all participants in such activities to complete and submit medical permission and release forms. Such forms are intended to help protect participants and release the church of any liability in the event one gets injured.
However, do release forms actually hold up in court? A Kentucky court* recently ruled that a minor who was injured during her church’s summer camp program could not be prevented from suing the church even though her mother signed the church’s release form.
In the biggest religious liberty case of the year, the US Supreme Court sided 7–2 against a state commission that unfairly singled out a Christian baker who declined to decorate a cake for a same-sex wedding.
The high court ruled that state penalties levied against Jack Phillips, the Colorado business owner at the center of Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, violated his First Amendment rights to free exercise of religion since the regulations were not applied neutrally.
There is really no city on earth like Jerusalem, and it stuns me every time I'm there. The beauty. The majesty. The history. The different world religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – living side by side. There is no place on earth like it.
.... It is the city in which all the prophetic purposes of God will one day culminate. And from a pragmatic, not prophetic point of view, it is and has been the functioning capital of Israel. That's why I have said it is both right and righteous for our administration to recognize this by relocating our embassy.
The steady and intentional destruction of one of the most revered institutions in America representing all that we once aspired young men to be is essentially complete. The insidious takeover of the voting leadership of the Boy Scouts of America by radical LGBTQIA activists and sympathizers led to the open acceptance of homosexual scouts and scoutmasters just a few years ago, a 180 degree turn from it’s historic standard for boys to be “morally straight.”
The Ministerial Housing Allowance is under legal attack. A federal court in Wisconsin struck down this tax exemption as unconstitutional, and the case is now on appeal at the Seventh Circuit.
Pastors, you have the unique opportunity to make your voice heard on this issue by signing onto Alliance Defending Freedom’s friend-of-the-court brief.
For decades now, pastors across the country have benefitted from the ministerial housing allowance. This allowance permits “ministers of the Gospel” to exclude from their gross taxable income a rental allowance paid to them as part of their compensation package.
If you think, like I do, that Christian colleges are hugely important, especially in this culture, you should be concerned.
A recent NPR web headline ran “Christian colleges are tangled in their own LGBT policies.” A more accurate headline would have been “Christian colleges struggle to maintain their identity in the face of pressure from without and within.”
The pressure from without is financial. While there are some elite universities living off enormous endowments, most schools, including almost every Christian college, don’t have endowments. They depend on government assistance to students, through things like Pell Grants and guaranteed student loans. Which, of course, come with strings attached.
Just four days after Easter, George Washington University will host a training session for students and faculty that teaches that Christians — especially white ones — “receive unmerited perks from institutions and systems all across our country.”
The April 5 diversity workshop is titled “Christian Privilege: But Our Founding Fathers Were All Christian, Right?!”
Hosted by the university’s Multicultural Student Services Center, the event will teach that Christians enjoy a privileged, easier life than their non-Christian counterparts, and that Christians possess “built-in advantages” today, according to its online description.
Walt Heyer, who used to live as a transgender woman, now travels the country speaking about his experiences and reaching out to those who regret their own gender change.
The Daily Signal spoke with Heyer on camera about his story, as well as the lies he says society and the media tell young people today about gender. An edited transcript of the interview, conducted last month at the Bringing America Back to Life convention in Independence, Ohio, is below....
We all know America is obsessed with youth. But what about the church, and what do we do about it?
The magazine Psychology Today calls it “America’s Obsession with Never Growing Old.” Dale Archer writes, “It’s difficult to believe that our founding fathers powdered their wigs gray in order to appear older and wiser. That’s right—being old was in. No more! From hair dyes to Botox to Viagra to wrinkle creams to a plethora of surgical procedures, the race is on to remain forever young.”
When the Dennis Quaid starring movie I CAN ONLY IMAGINE released last weekend, few thought that it would gross $17 million in its opening weekend, with a per-screen average of $10,400. Considering the movie had a production budget of $7 million, this is an outstanding return no matter how you slice it. In comparison, 21st Century Fox’s LGBT teen romance movie which opened in 800 more theaters than I CAN ONLY IMAGINE grossed only $11 million with a per-screen average of $4,700. It also beat out ....
There will be nine awards totaling $7,500! Six scholarships awarded at $1000 each and three stipends awarded at $500 each.
The Holocaust Remembrance Scholarships, are created in honor of Holocaust survivors, Leizer and Rose Horowitz. Educating and empowering students to become ambassadors of breaking the veil of silence surrounding the issues of the Holocaust is a key goal. The world needs future leaders to actively do their part to stop current prejudices and prevent future atrocities.
The March of Remembrance is a part of the Global March of Life, where memorial walks are taken annually throughout the world on Holocaust Remembrance Day. The 2018 Houston area event will occur on Sunday, April 15th, near Rice University. Details including location and times TBD. Check March event page.
President Trump, at the annual National Prayer Breakfast Thursday, declared the U.S. a “nation of believers” as he told listeners that God’s grace could be seen in every facet of American society.
“America is a nation of believers and together we are strengthened by the power of prayer,” he said in Washington, D.C.
Noting that the American Founders invoked the Creator four times in the Declaration of Independence, he said that no earthly force can take away the rights found in America’s founding documents.
“Today we praise God for how truly blessed we are to be American,” he said.
The Polish Senate passed a bill Thursday making it illegal to claim Poland was complicit in Nazi atrocities committed on Polish soil during World War II. Violations would be punishable by up to three years in prison. The bill awaits a presidential signature to become law; Polish President Andrzej Duda has indicated that he intends to sign it.
When I hear the name Thomas Sowell, it gets my immediate attention. Dr. Sowell, recently retired from his position as Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, is an American economist turned social theorist, political philosopher, and best-selling author.
Born in North Carolina in 1930, Sowell grew up in Harlem, New York. He dropped out of high school at age 17 due to financial difficulties and problems at home, but went on to serve in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. Following the war, he received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1958. The following year, he received a master’s degree from Columbia University. In 1968, he earned a Doctorate in Economics from the University of Chicago.
Franklin Graham comments on "Dreamers", sin nature, etc. (VIDEO)
Pastors, as we enter 2018 there is a test on the immediate horizon that will reflect our hearts, minds and priorities. This test is not “political”; it will be a direct linkage to how important we take our role as God’s stewards of His creation just as surely as we naturally responded en masse to Hurricane Harvey.
It’s been a while since my last post on efforts to hold a national referendum in Romania to decide the fate of same sex marriage. In 2015 the Irish voted for it, and the results of a national plebiscite, held from September to November in Australia, shows that over 61% of Australians favor legalizin...