Bestselling author and Christian minister David Platt will be teaching on the end times in the upcoming Secret Church meeting that expects to virtually gather anywhere from 50,000-60,000 Christians in over 50 countries in a six-hour simulcast scheduled for Good Friday, March 29.
The theme of the upcoming Secret Church global gathering is "Heaven, Hell, and the End of the World," and will have Platt speak to the confusion, fear and hope among Christians and non-Christians who may be unsure of what the Bible says about the afterlife. The Birmingham, Ala., preacher argues, however, that what is most important is what the Bible's eschatology, or end-times teaching, says about the Christian's life and purpose in the here and now.
The Secret Church Simulcast, led by Platt and hosted by LifeWay, is described as "six intense hours" of teaching and prayer primarily focused on the persecuted church. It was the minister's experience with underground house church leaders in Asia that inspired the first event in November 2006, which was held at Platt's The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham and attracted more than 1,000 people. more >>
Robert A. Schuller, who took over for his father for two years as the leader of the Crystal Cathedral, said during a leadership conference about pastoral succession this week that had his father simply let go of his responsibilities seven years ago, the church would still be in the hands of its own ministry.
"The Crystal Cathedral Ministries, the assets and the buildings, would still be in the hands of the ministries if my father would have simply walked away," said Schuller during the webcast hosted by Leadership Network on Tuesday. "When I accepted the role as the next senior pastor he had agreed to be an ambassador-at-large and raise funds for the endowment fund. He didn't do that. He became a sounding board for my sisters and other people that didn't particularly care for the new direction for whatever reason.
"There's no question in my mind whatsoever," he added, talking about the founding pastor of the church, his 86-year-old father, Robert H. Schuller, "had I been given the proper authority and all of the responsibility I had, and had my father simply turned to those that came to them and said, 'I don't have anything to do with that anymore' that it would have been a very, very successful transition because we did lots of things very right." more >>
John and Charica Daugherty, youth pastors at the Victory Christian Center megachurch in Tulsa, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor of waiting two weeks to report a rape crime, and were handed five-year deferred sentences and no jail time on Friday.
"We respect the judge's sentence and we look forward to helping other churches and organizations learn how to best protect their children and promptly report child abuse," the Daughertys said in a statement following the sentence. "We hope these actions will help in the healing process of all who were affected."
Special Judge Bill Hiddle explained that the son and daughter-in-law of Victory Senior Pastor Sharon Daugherty, who leads the 17,000-member congregation, did not carry as much blame for the incident as their three other co-workers who were sent to 30 days in jail last week on the same misdemeanor charges, The Associated Press reported. more >>
More than 28,000 people were in line on Saturday, March 16, to tour The Ark, a Noah's Ark-inspired children's building at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas.
The Ark's public grand opening was held on March 16, and on March 17 it opened its doors to 13 Sunday school classes and an 840-person worship room for children ages 3 to 7. During the week, The Ark is used for mother's-day-out events and other programs for children and church members.
Within the first hour of its opening last weekend, thousands of people waited in line to be among the first to experience the 28,400 square foot Ark firsthand. more >>
Dr. Joel C. Hunter, senior pastor of the 15,000-member Northland church in Florida, has released a new documentary titled "Our Father's World," where he reminds Christians that God made people stewards, not owners of the planet, and that environmental issues are Christian issues.
"Scientific evidence now is very much backing up the Scriptural mandate that we need to take care of this Earth. All of the credible scientific organizations of the world are showing the degree to which the environment is being harmed by our pollution, by the disobedience to the first commandment that He (God) gave us," Hunter says.
The 26-minute long documentary is available for viewing and download free online, and includes interviews with leading evangelical scholars, including Bill and Lynne Hybels, Tony Campolo, James Merritt and Mark Liederbach. more >>
Jack Schaap, former pastor of First Baptist Church in Hammond, Ind., is facing at least 10 years in prison and an additional 10 years of supervision upon release for taking a teen girl across state lines for sex. Lurid details of the illicit relationship have been revealed as the minister awaits sentencing, which is expected next week.
Schaap's attorney and state prosecutors worked out a plea deal after the married father of two pleaded guilty last year to the federal offense, although he claimed he had no idea that it was illegal to transport the minor, an FBC member who was 16 at the time, out of state for sex.
As part of the sentencing process, a memorandum was presented to the court by prosecutors that revealed the content of some of the 637 text messages exchanged between Schaap, 55, and the unnamed 17-year-old parishioner who had initially turned to the minister for counseling. Among those messages, sent between June 21 and July 21, were texts from Schaap claiming that Jesus Christ had sanctioned their relationship, the Chicago Tribune reports. more >>