Satanism existing in the church seems as contradictory as a KKK member at a new black panthers meeting, but this controversial practice allegedly occurred in the past.
The HBO series True Detective, which had its season finale this past Sunday started some interesting conversations about the occult, its connection to the government and its ability to conceal itself in religious institutions, particularly those that are Christian.
One of the show's characters Billy Lee Tuttle runs a massive evangelical establishment in the rural South comparable to the churches of a Joel Osteen or T.D. Jakes. The case presented in the first season leads to the detectives Marty Hart and Rust Cohle connecting Tuttle to a string of murders, missing persons and even a video-taped child sacrifice. Although he ends up not being the main antagonist, Tuttle's institution provides the perfect cover for some of his more demented family members who kill in their worship of a Satan-like figure named the Yellow King on a regular basis. more >>
Megachurch leader Ulf Ekman of the Word of Life ministry in Sweden has announced that he and his wife Birgitta have converted to Roman Catholicism. The announcement, according to reports, has left some in his congregation "partially stunned."
In his explanation onhis website, Ekman says the conversations he and Birgitta had with Catholics challenged their "protestant prejudices" and led them to the realization that they "in many cases did not have any basis for our criticism of them."
"We needed to know the Catholic faith better. This led us to … realize that it was actually Jesus Christ who led us to unite with the Catholic Church," the pastor stated. more >>
Some of Singapore's biggest megachurches are seeking to expand their ministry on a global scale and engage the U.S. faith community, amid allegations of prosperity gospel teachings and misuse of church funds.
"We want to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth," said Pastor Bobby Chaw, the missions director of City Harvest Church, Reuters reported.
"Whatever method that can most effectively convey the message to our generation, we will do it," added Chaw, who is also the vice chairman of City Harvest's management board. more >>
Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight Vitor Belfort, nicknamed "The Phenom," has taken on a new role as "The Values Enforcer" in a comedic commercial recently released by Steven's Furtick's Elevation Church in North Carolina.
The commercial, narrated by the megachurch's creative pastor, c, shows the church's new solution to dealing with apathetic churchgoers: kidnap them from their Sunday service and dump them in a UFC ring with Belfort, who physically punishes them into being attentive and focused at church.
The commercial begins with Hubatka explaining that his team has decided to take a creative approach to communicating the Gospel each week, but they have run into small problems in the process, mainly churchgoers who remain unfocused during the Sunday sermons. more >>
The Sunday Assembly, the atheist "megachurch" started in the U.K., sold out its inaugural event in Los Angeles with more than 400 attendees, and launched a "40 Dates, 40 Nights" tour around the U.S. and Australia seeking to raise donations for its cause.
"There was so much about it that I loved, but it's a shame because at the heart of it, it's something I don't believe in," British comedian Sanderson Jones, one of the founders of the atheist church, said about attending Christian church, according to The Associated Press. "If you think about church, there's very little that's bad. It's singing awesome songs, hearing interesting talks, thinking about improving yourself and helping other people – and doing that in a community with wonderful relationships. What part of that is not to like?"
The atheist Sunday Assembly, with its roots in London, has spread to major cities like San Diego, Nashville and New York, proving popular among the 20 percent or so Americans who according to a Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life poll do not identify with a religious affiliation. more >>
1. Judah Smith
- Judah Smith, author of the best-selling Jesus Is: Find a New Way to Be Human, is the lead pastor of The City Church in Seattle, the fourth largest-growing church in the nation.