Category Archives: Theology
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The grandson of evangelist Billy Graham resigned last week from his role as pastor of a Florida megachurch after admitting to being involved in an inappropriate relationship.
Tullian Tchividjian, 42, the son of Virginia Graham, took over the pulpit of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in 2009 following the passing of founder D. James Kennedy. However, the selection divided the congregation, as some approved and others disapproved of his leadership. Several months after he accepted the job, Kennedy’s daughter and others began calling for his removal.
When a vote was taken over the matter and it was decided to keep Tchividjian as pastor, some left the church and started their own congregation.
As an author, Tchividjian wrote against what he saw as “spiritual performancism” and legalism in the Church, outlining his beliefs in the hyper-grace book “One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World.”
“The Gospel of Jesus Christ announces that because Jesus won for you, you’re free to lose; because Jesus was strong for you, you’re free to be weak; because Jesus was extraordinary, you’re free to be ordinary; because Jesus succeeded for you, you’re free to fail,” he wrote.
“[I]t seems that the good news of God’s grace has been tragically hijacked by an oppressive religious moralism that is all about rules, rules, and more rules; doing more, trying harder, self-help, getting better, and fixing, fixing, fixing—ourselves, our kids, our spouse, our friends, our enemies, our culture, our world,” Tchividjian further explained the Religion News Service in 2013.
He also spoke negatively of the “religious right,” stating that its “close association between the church and politics has done big-time damage to the brand of Christianity in the public sphere.”
“I basically almost refuse to make any kind of public commentary on anything other than the gospel [from the pulpit],” Tchividjian told the Christian Post last year, opining that pastors should not be seeking to “champion a political or social agenda.”
On Monday, Tchividjian announced that he had resigned as senior pastor of Coral Ridge after admitting to leadership that he had inappropriately poured out his heart to another woman after he discovered that his wife had been having an affair.
“I resigned from my position at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church today due to ongoing marital issues,” he wrote in a statement. “As many of you know, I returned from a trip a few months back and discovered that my wife was having an affair. Heartbroken and devastated, I informed our church leadership and requested a sabbatical to focus exclusively on my marriage and family.”
“As her affair continued, we separated. Sadly and embarrassingly, I subsequently sought comfort in a friend and developed an inappropriate relationship myself,” Tchividjian continued. “Last week I was approached by our church leaders and they asked me about my own affair. I admitted to it and it was decided that the best course of action would be for me to resign.”
He said that he is sorry for his behavior and is asking for prayer as he seeks healing in his marriage.
“Both my wife and I are heartbroken over our actions and we ask you to pray for us and our family that God would give us the grace we need to weather this heart wrenching storm,” Tchividjian stated. “We are amazingly grateful for the team of men and women who are committed to walking this difficult path with us. Please pray for the healing of deep wounds and we kindly ask that you respect our privacy.”
Rob Pacienza, executive pastor at Coral Ridge, also released a statement to reporters.
“Several days ago, Pastor Tullian admitted to moral failure, acknowledging his actions disqualify him from continuing to serve as senior pastor or preach from the pulpit, and resigned—effective immediately,” he said. “We are saddened by this news, but are working with and assisting Pastor Tullian and his family to help them through this difficult time, and asking people to join us in praying that God will bring restoration through this process and healing to all involved.”
“No vertical condemnation does not mean no horizontal consequences,” Tchividjian posted on Twitter this afternoon. “Surrender early.”
British Pastor to Be Prosecuted for ‘Hate Crime’ of Calling Islam ‘Satanic,’ ‘Heathen’ During Sermon
BELFAST, Northern Ireland — A pastor in Northern Ireland will be prosecuted with a hate crime for denouncing the Islamic religion during a Sunday sermon last year.
As previously reported, James McConnell, 78, pastor of the Whitewell Metropolitan Church in North Belfast, discussed Islam during an evening sermon in May 2014. During the message, McConnell denounced the religion and said that the contrast between it and Christianity is stark.
“The God we worship and serve this evening is not Allah,” he proclaimed, according to a video of the sermon. “The Muslim god—Allah—is a heathen deity. Allah is a cruel deity. Allah is a demon deity.”
McConnell then criticized the “foolish” British government for attempting to appease Muslims financially, saying that Islam is “Satanic” and “a doctrine spawned in Hell.” He also noted that Christians around the world are persecuted for their faith by the “fanatical worshipers” of Allah.
According to the Belfast Telegraph, McConnell’s remarks were inspired by the plight of Meriam Ibrahim—a Sudanese woman who was sentenced to hang after she was convicted of apostasy for refusing to deny her faith and convert to Islam.
But following McConnell’s sermon, the Police Service of Northern Ireland investigated the preacher for allegations of a hate crime. Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness described the preacher’s comments as “hate mongering” and said the anti-Muslim statements “must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.”
John McCreedy, assistant pastor at Whitewell Metropolitan Church, also soon resigned from his position because McConnell would not retract his statements. McConnell apologized for any offense he may have caused, but would not recant his sentiments.
“I spent many days trying to sort this, without success, and I could not continue after the pastor’s initial remarks were not withdrawn,” McCreedy told the Belfast Telegraph.
“The theological arguments presented by the pastor are a contradiction to my own beliefs—religious, political and moral—in relation to New Testament evangelism,” he continued. “Neither are they the views of many others I have spoken to at Whitewell, who have for years reached out to others from every ethnic background and denomination.”
Now, because McConnell refused a lesser punishment by the government following police questioning, prosecutors have decided to move the matter forward in court. The hate crimes charge appears to be related to the sermon being streamed online.
“I can confirm that following consideration of a complaint in relation to an internet broadcast of a sermon in May 2014, a decision was taken to offer an individual an informed warning for an offence contrary to the Communications Act 2003,” a spokesperson for the Northern Ireland’s Public Prosecution Service told the publication Premier.
“That offence was one of sending, or causing to be sent, by means of a public electronic communications network, a message or other matter that was grossly offensive,” he continued. “The offer of an informed warning was refused by the defendant and accordingly the matter is now proceeding by way of a summary prosecution in the Magistrates Court.”
It is not yet known when McConnell’s trial will begin.
Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are officially dead in the U.K.
McConnell shouldn’t have even bothered apologizing for any offense caused; the Gospel will offend, and moreover, it’s not like that will protect him from prosecution, anyway. But glad he refused to retract his remarks. May the Lord give him courage and strength, and resolve to stand firm.
McCreedy, meanwhile, is a gutless, spineless coward. Glad he has resigned; there are plenty of dhimmi mainline ‘churches’ he can join instead.
Pope buys into ‘scientific consensus’ of man-made ‘global warming'; calls for a ‘cultural revolution'; Jeb Bush shows he’s an idiot in his response
Pope Francis says the world urgently needs a “bold cultural revolution” to tackle the looming challenge of catastrophic climate change while addressing the needs of the poor.
In a much-anticipated, 184-page encyclical, the reformist Pope endorsed the scientific consensus that humankind is causing a dramatic shift in the world’s climate, which will have the greatest impact on the world’s poor. But he rejected the notion that market mechanisms or technological approaches alone can provide the solution.
And from here:
Francis, saying he was “drawing on the results of the best scientific research available,” called climate change “one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day” and said poor nations will suffer the most.
In several passages in the six-chapter encyclical, Francis confronted head on both climate change doubters and those who say it is not man-made.
“A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system,” he said. “Humanity is called to recognise the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it.”
He said greenhouse gases were “released mainly as a result of human activity.”
Francis called for policies to “drastically” reduce polluting gases, saying technology based on fossil fuels “needs to be progressively replaced without delay” and sources of renewable energy developed.
A ‘cultural revolution’, eh?
And now, a Latin American, Liberation Theologian phrase, too, it would seem…
As for a ‘scientific consensus’, there is far from one on Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming, even if it is a view held by the majority of scientists; moreover, scientists of all people ought to know that empirical truth is not decided by a consensus, but by the facts. (And so should Christian leaders, for that matter…)
Meanwhile, in reaction, Jeb Bush shows he’s an idiot:
Catholic Republican presidential candidates said they don’t necessarily agree with the pope on climate change and that he shouldn’t be getting involved in it.
“I don’t think we should politicize our faith,” Jeb Bush, a Catholic convert, said before the encyclical’s release. “I think religion ought to be about making us better as people and less about things that end up getting into the political realm.”
No, you fool: religion is about salvation and redemption far more than it is about personal improvement (though that is a part of it), and moreover, I’ll bet you’re not bothered in the least by Christians’ social conservatism influencing their political views and/or votes, so don’t tell us that religion has no place in the public square!
Clowns to the left; jokers to the ‘right'; here we are, stuck in the middle with them…
When I first heard of grave sucking I assumed it must be a joke. Surely no one would buy into something so silly. Well my friends, this is for real. Grave sucking or mantle grabbing is the belief and practice of pulling the supposed Holy Spirit powers from the dead bones of a previously empowered believer. It is taught that when a Spirit empowered individual dies their mantle or mission dies with them. In other words God’s mission for that believer was thwarted when that believer died.
I have been following the related convo on Dalrock’s previous post (which inspired this one) with interest, since the Gospel Coalition who are promoting this post are mostly Reformed and Reformed Baptists, many of them prominent in the North American scene. I’m dismayed to see them getting behind this, but I’m not surprised, given what Doug Wilson and Mark Driscoll and their ilk have been like, in promoting Blue Pill churchianity… All too typical these days, alas…
Originally posted on Dalrock:
Barnabas pointed out a sermon by Pastor Jason Meyer titled Fooled by False Leadership. In the sermon Paster Meyer offers an example of “Servant Leadership”, a modern Christian term numerous readers have asked for a definition of. I would say this example pretty much sums it up:
Showing his embarrassment is a way to show that this is not what he is comfortable doing. It is a little bit like when your wife asks you to carry her purse. There is no manly way to carry a purse. If you sling it on your shoulder, you show that you are a little too comfortable with it. But you can’t refuse because you really want to serve your wife and help her out. So you carry the purse in a way that shows your discomfort. You hold it by scrunching the handle and holding it out several inches from your body—just…
View original 62 more words
(We know it’s a myth, but he hasn’t got the memo yet.)
Calls it ‘scandalous’:
Pope Francis added his voice Wednesday to the feminist anthem of equal pay for equal work, saying it’s “pure scandal” that women earn less than men for doing the same job.
Francis also lambasted the attitude of those who blame the crisis in families on women getting out of the house to work. He said such attitudes are a form of “machismo” that shows how men “want to dominate women.”
Francis made the comments during his Wednesday general audience, which he has been devoting to different aspects of family life before a big meeting on family issues in October.
Francis said the “radical equality” that Christianity proposes between husband and wife must bear new fruit.
“We should support with decisiveness the right to equal pay for equal work,” he said. “Why is it a given that women must earn less than men? No! They have the same rights. The disparity is pure scandal.”
Francis has spoken out frequently about how the Catholic Church in general must give greater value to the “feminine genius,” and has called for women to take on greater decision-making roles in the church, though he has ruled out women’s ordination or having women head Vatican congregations.
Only about 18 per cent of Holy See employees are women, up from 17 per cent four years ago. Currently, only two women hold the rank of undersecretary in a Vatican department.
While speaking out about the need for a greater role for women in the church, the 78-year-old Argentine Jesuit has raised eyebrows with some seemingly tone-deaf comments: He has said Europe in many places resembles an “infertile” grandmother. He has urged nuns not to be “old maids.” And he once welcomed new female members of the church’s most prestigious theological commissions as “strawberries on the cake.”
On Wednesday, he came to women’s defence. He took the biblical Adam to task for having blamed Eve for having given him the forbidden apple. “It’s always the women’s fault,” Francis said sarcastically. “Poor woman! We must defend women!”
Well, the Fall of humanity is the fault of both… Adam may have been wrong to blame Eve, but Eve was wrong to partake in the first place…
So, Christianity proposes ‘radical equality’ between husband and wife?
That’s not what God’s Word says…