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Church Purchased With His Blood

   Christian Leaders Respond to Grand Jury Decision Not to Indict Darren Wilson in Ferguson Case                     

 

Prominent Christian leaders quickly issued statements and used social media to voice their concerns shortly after a St. Louis grand jury decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9.

Bahamas Small Plane Crash Kills Prominent Pastor And His Wife Rev. Myles And Ruth Munroe

 

 FREEPORT, Bahamas (AP) — Severe weather was likely a factor in the small plane crash that killed nine people, including a prominent Christian minister and his wife, on approach to the island of Grand Bahama, the foreign minister said Monday.

Heavy rain was buffeting the region when the Lear 36 Executive Jet struck a shipping container crane in Freeport as it tried to land, Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell said.


Fed Appeals Court Upholds Right of States to Ban Same-Sex Marriage; Supreme Court Can No Longer Ignore Issue, Says Russell Moore

 

 

Protestors opposed to same-sex marriage carry signs outside the Federal Court House in Michigan where plaintiffs April Deboer and her same-sex partner Jayne Rowse managed to overturn Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage in Detroit, Michigan in a ruling on Friday March 21, 2014. A temporary stay was granted on Saturday.

 

A federal appeals court in Cincinnati upheld the right of states to ban same-sex marriage by a 2-to-1 vote on Thursday. The ruling overturns lower-court decisions in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee that found such restrictions unconstitutional.


 

  Analysis: 3 Big Losers of the 2014 Election

 

U.S. President Barack Obama gestures during a a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, November 5, 2014. The president addressed reporters one day after Republicans seized control of the U.S. Senate and captured their biggest majority in the House of Representatives in more than 60 years.

Overall, Democrats performed poorly in Tuesday's midterm elections but some of the biggest losers were not on the ballot.

Senate Candidates Who Championed Pro-Life, Social Conservative Principles Win Decisive Victories

 

 With the results of the midterm election giving control of both the House and Senate to the Republican Party, leaders of two prominent social conservative political action groups said in interviews with The Christian Post that those candidates who fully embraced their conservative stances on social issues were fully rewarded by the voters.

 

Tony Perkins, president of the social conservative advocacy group Family Research Council, and Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, agreed that Republican candidates who either supported abortion or hid their views on abortion and other social issues did not fare as well as those who fully supported the social conservative principles that many think hinders the GOP in the modern political climate.


Christian Exodus in Iraq and Syria Reached 'Biblical Proportions,' Open Doors Says on Day of Prayer for Persecuted Church

 

 

  A woman holds a cross during a rally organized by Iraqi Christians in Germany denouncing persecution by the Islamic State terror group against Christians living in Iraq, in Berlin, Aug. 17, 2014.

 

 Persecution watchdog group Open Doors warned that the exodus of Christians in Iraq and Syria fleeing terror group ISIS reached "biblical proportions" this year, and called for Christian unity during the International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church on Sunday.

 

 A number of Christian leaders and commentators spoke during the webcast, raising awareness and encouraging prayer for believers around the world who have faced persecution this year.


Mike Huckabee Asks Pastors Across the US to Send Sermons, Bibles to Houston Mayor

 

 

Former Arkansas Gov. Mick Huckabee said pastors from across the United States should send "thousands and thousands" of Bibles and sermons to the Houston mayor who demanded pastors turn over their sermons to the government due to their objection to an LGBT discrimination city ordinance. I hope she gets thousands and thousands of sermons and Bibles," Huckabee said on his Fox News show Saturday, referring to Mayor Annise D. Parker.

Second Dallas nurse with Ebola was on Frontier Airlines Flight 1143

 

CDC: Hospital's use of protective gear is area of 'active investigation'

DALLAS – A second nurse who cared for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan has been diagnosed with the deadly disease — a day after flying from Ohio to Texas, officials said.

Amber Joy Vinson, 29, reported a fever late Tuesday and was immediately isolated at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

"The second health care worker case is very concerning," CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said during a news conference. "Our thoughts are with the individual and the individual's family."

Doctor gives blood for Ebola-infected Dallas nurse

 

DALLAS (AP) — A Dallas nurse who caught Ebola while treating a Liberian patient who died of the disease has received a plasma transfusion donated by a doctor who beat the virus.

Ebola has killed more than 4,000 people in an outbreak the World Health Organization has called "the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times." Federal health officials say they are ramping up training for medical workers who deal with the infected.

Nurse Nina Pham was among about 70 staff members at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, according to medical records. They drew his blood, put tubes down his throat and wiped up his diarrhea. They analyzed his urine and wiped saliva from his lips, even after he had lost consciousness.

Nina Pham identified as Dallas nurse with Ebola

 

DALLAS — The Texas nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for the first person to die of the virus in the U.S. has been identified as 26-year-old Nina Pham.

 

Health officials have not released the nurse's name, but Yahoo News identified Pham through public records and a state nursing database.

Then on Monday, Pham's family confirmed her identity to local Dallas ABC News affiliate WFAA.

Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan dies at Dallas hospital

 

 

DALLAS — The first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States died early Wednesday, officials with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital announced.

"It is with profound sadness and heartfelt disappointment that we must inform you of the death of Thomas Eric Duncan this morning at 7:51 a.m.," the hospital said in a written statement. "Mr. Duncan succumbed to an insidious disease, Ebola."

The Liberian citizen, who recently traveled from West Africa to Dallas to reunite with a long-lost son and girlfriend, had been in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian since Sept. 28

White House jabs Netanyahu over 'American values' critique

 

Washington (AFP) - The White House delivered an extraordinary public rebuke to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, after he said US criticism of Israeli settlement building ran counter to "American values."

It was another turn for the worse in the tense relationship between President Barack Obama's administration and Netanyahu, amid deepening fallout from a meeting between the two leaders last week.

After those talks at the White House, Washington strongly condemned reported Israeli plans to give the go-ahead for thousands more settler homes in East Jerusalem, prompting Netanyahu to return fire in an interview broadcast on US television Sunday.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said it seemed "odd for (Netanyahu) to try to defend the actions of his government by saying that our response did not reflect American values."

"It's American values that lend this country's unwavering support to Israel," Earnest said.

Anti-Poverty Efforts Need a Biblical Answer, But It's Not Socialism, Says AEI Panel

The panel for the American Enterprise Institute event "For the least of these: A biblical answer to poverty," held in Washington, DC on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. From left to right: Art Lindsey, vice president of theological initiatives at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics; Anne Bradley, vice president of economic initiatives at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics; Peter Greer, president and CEO of HOPE International; and Jay Richards, senior fellow at the Discovery Institute.

WASHINGTON — A panel of experts on economics and theology who have recently come together to author a book on poverty believe that anti-poverty efforts need a biblical answer, but the Bible does not teach socialism.

Three American Hospital Workers for Christian Charity Shot Dead by Afghan Guard

 


Afghan policemen stand at the gate of Cure Hospital after three foreigners were killed in Kabul April 24, 2014. Three foreigners were killed on Thursday when a security guard opened fire at Cure Hospital, an international hospital, in the Afghan capital,?Kabul, security sources said, in the latest of a series of attacks against foreign civilians.

Three American hospital workers for a Christian charity, among them a father and a son, were shot dead by an Afghan security guard on Thursday in Kabul. The suspected killer shot himself but survived and is currently in cust

CURE International and the U.S. embassy confirmed the deaths.

"We are grieved to confirm, as has already widely been reported, the CURE Hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, was the site of a shooting this morning. Three individuals, including a doctor who served at the hospital, were killed, and two others were injured," the Christian nonprofit said in a statement.

Russia tests Obama's ability to stop its advances

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is once again faced with the complicated reality of following through on his tough warnings against overseas provocations as the White House asserts that Russia is stoking instability in eastern Ukraine.

Obama has vowed repeatedly to enact biting sanctions against Russia's vital economic sectors if the Kremlin tries to replicate its actions in Crimea, the peninsula it annexed from Ukraine, elsewhere in the former Soviet republic. Despite those warnings, Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be testing Obama's limits, instigating protests in eastern Ukraine, the White House says, and massing tens of thousands of troops on the border, but so far stopping short of a full-scale military incursion.


"They have been willing to do things to provoke the situation that no one anticipated," Matthew Rojansky, a regional analyst at the Wilson Center, said of Russia. "It's such a high-stakes, high-risk situation, and here they are right in the middle of it."

10 killed as bus, truck carrying students collide

 

ORLAND, Calif. (AP) — The long bus ride north from Los Angeles for a group of high school students who planned to visit Humboldt State University had been fun: The hours whizzed by as they watched movies, chatted up new friends, and jammed to hip-hop on the radio.

Steven Clavijo, 18, a senior at West Ranch High in Santa Clarita, was looking forward to his visit to Humboldt, where he planned to enroll. Just as Clavijo was trying to catch a nap Thursday afternoon, he said he felt the big vehicle begin to shake from left to right and then he heard a loud boom. "We knew we were in major trouble," he said.

A FedEx tractor-trailer had crossed a grassy freeway median and slammed into the bus. Ten people were killed in the fiery crash, including both drivers, authorities said.

Pa. High School Stabbing Suspect Described as 'Confused, Scared and Depressed'

Police tape is seen outside Franklin Regional High School after a series of knife attacks in Murrysville, Pennsylvania April 9, 2014. A 16-year-old student wielding two knives went on a stabbing rampage in the hallways of the Pittsburgh-area high school early on Wednesday, injuring 21 people before he was tackled by an assistant principal, officials said.

The suspect who went on a stabbing rampage at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville near Pittsburgh, Pa., on Wednesday that left 22 people wounded has been identified as 16-year-old sophomore Alex Hribal. His attorney described him as "confused, scared and depressed."

"I think he understands what he did," attorney Patrick Thomassey told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Thursday.

"I don't think he at this point understands the gravity of what he did. I don't think he realizes how severely injured some of these people are. And, hopefully, there's no death involved in any of these. We're praying that everybody is all right."

 

Group Starts #OpenZilla Campaign to Ensure 'Tolerance' Extends to Christian Employees at Mozilla

 

Faith Driven Consumer launched an #OpenZilla campaign in response to the recent resignation of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich whose support for California's Proposition 8 in 2008 caused uproar. The #OpenZilla campaign seeks to ensure the software company expresses inclusiveness and respect toward its religious employees who may oppose same-sex marriage.

Faith Driven Consumer, a group that seeks to connect Christian consumers with faith-compatible companies, has requested the Silicon Valley-based software company provide clarification on its diversity policy to ensure employees will not be discriminated against for their religious beliefs. Recently, Eich resigned from his newly-appointed post as CEO of Mozilla, known for its Firefox web browser, after it was revealed that he donated $1,000 to California's Proposition 8 in 2008.


 


Supreme Court Will Not Hear Case of Photographer Who Refused Gay Wedding

 

The exterior of the U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington March 5, 2014. U.S. Supreme Court justices on Wednesday appeared to look for a compromise that would enable them to avoid overruling a 26-year-old precedent that made it easier for plaintiffs to negotiate large class action settlements.

 The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a case, Elane Photography, LLC vs. Willock, in which a wedding photographer was punished for declining to photograph a same-sex wedding ceremony.

"This essentially means the end of legal options for John and Elaine Huguenin for now," Alan Sears, president, CEO and General Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, said. ADF represented the Huguenins, owners of Elane Photography.

In 2006, Vanessa Willock sent an email to several wedding photographers in New Mexico asking if they would be willing to photograph her same-sex "commitment ceremony." (New Mexico did not redefine marriage to include same-sex couples until December 2013.) Report's the Christian Post


Russell Crowe and Mark Burnett Engage in Twitter War of Biblical Proportions

 

Mark Burnett, the producer of the hit television shows “Survivor,” “The Voice,” “The Amazing Race” and the Son of God movie, tweeted a friendly message to actor Russell Crowe about his newly released film, Noah, last night that kicked off a two-hour Twitter battle of biblical proportions. 

Noah, the hotly debated film by Darren Aronofsky, soared to number one at the box office this weekend—taking in $44 million in domestic ticket sales. So far, in its fifth week, Burnett’s “Son of God” has taken in more than $57 million. 

A source close to Burnett says it started out with this harmless tweet: “Hey @RussellCrowe Son of God trumps Noah every time.” But, as our source says, “Russell didn’t take the friendly tweet the way it was intended.” This short tweet began a Twitter battle between producer and actor over artistic quality, biblical accurateness and box office potential. Reports Church Leaders

Hollywood's 'Noah' Tops Box Office With $44M Debut

 

"Noah," the controversial biblical epic starring Russell Crowe, topped the box office in its debut over the weekend, grossing $44 million in the U.S. and Canada and outselling "Divergent" and Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Sabotage."

The new film, which some criticized for deviating from the Bible upon which it is based, exceeded the projection that it would garner $41 million, reports The Christian Post  Paramount Pictures says that the $44 million weekend box office sales the film generated from 3,567 screens include $1.6 million from Thursday night preview shows. Paramount was expecting a $30-$33 million debut of the film that cost $125 million to produce.

 

"I was asked if the film has been a success in spite of the controversy or due to the controversy," Don Harris, president of domestic distribution at Paramount, told Bloomberg. "But movies work commercially because the movies themselves work. This film works as an epic." Faith-based movie "Son of God" raised $25.6 million in its February debut. Film analysts believe that "Noah" attracted a wider audience, and not just the religious, due to Hollywood touches given to the film by Director Darren Aronofsky.

 

Hillsong Church Pastor Brian Houston Denies Promoting 'Chrislam;' Says Sermon Taken Out of Context

Critics Blast Megachurch Leader for Saying Christians, Muslims Serve Same God; Houston Insists Flub Caused Misinterpretation

 

 

Brian C. Houston and Bobbie Houston, founding pastors of Hillsong Church, appear in a photo shared on Facebook in March 2014.

Brian C. Houston, leader of one of the world's largest Christian churches, is denying allegations that he promotes "Chrislam," a theological blend of Christianity and Islam, after stating in a December 2013 sermon, "Do you know – take it all the way back into the Old Testament and the Muslim and you, we actually serve the same God. Allah to a Muslim, to us Abba Father God."

 

With a firestorm raging online among his critics for more than a week, the influential Sydney, Australian pastor of the 30,000-member Hillsong Church finally issued a statement Thursday night (or late Friday morning his time) regarding allegations that he was promoting "Chrislam." report's The Cristian Post

World Vision President Richard Stearns

World Vision President Grieves Over Children Hurt by Controversial Decision on Hiring Married Gays

 

World Vision U.S. President Richard Stearns expressed grief over the child sponsorships that were canceled after the organization announced its original policy change on hiring those in same-sex marriages.

After receiving feedback from supporters and faith leaders who were opposed to World Vision's decision to employ Christians who are in same-sex marriages, Stearns said in a press conference call Wednesday that the board decided to reverse its earlier decision and reaffirm the nonprofit's commitment to core biblical principles and the belief that "marriage is an institution created by God, between a man and a woman," report's The Christian Post.

Malaysia Flight 370 'Ended in Southern Indian Ocean;' 'All Lives Are Lost,' Says Family Member

 

Any inkling of hope for a survival story coming out of the agonizing search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was definitively dashed Monday when Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak revealed that the flight ended in the middle of the remote southern Indian Ocean, "far from any possible landing sites."

 

It was a grim and somber end for the families of the 239 people who boarded the ill-fated flight which went missing on March 8.

 

"They have told us all lives are lost," a family member explained in a CNN report which said the news gutted the families. Screaming and crying could be heard after the news was delivered, explained the report.

 

Prime Minister Razak cited new analysis of satellite data by British satellite company Inmarsat and the British Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

 

"This evening I was briefed by representatives from the U.K. Air Accident investigation branch, or AAIB. They inform me that Inmarsat, the U.K. company that provided the satellite data which indicated northern and southern corridors, has been performing further calculations on the data, using a type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort," he said.

 

Bishop Dies of Apparent Heart Attack After Wife Allegedly Pushed Him to Confess Infidelity to Church

 

Bishop Bobby Davis (r) and his wife of 50 years, Christine (l) of Miracle Faith Outreach Church in Bridgeport, Conn.

A Connecticut bishop died in front of his congregation Sunday after his family reportedly publicly confronted him about a past act of infidelity that his wife of 50 years, Christine, pushed him to confess.

The Connecticut Post reported that Bishop Bobby Davis of Miracle Faith World Outreach Church, who was also a certified marriage and family therapist, was pronounced dead at Bridgeport Hospital after the ordeal.

"After the service on Sunday the bishop's family asked us to remain in the church and the bishop confessed to us something that happened long ago," Judy Stovall, an elder at the church, said. "He wanted to come clean with all of us. He wanted to ask our forgiveness."

"We were shouting, 'We forgive you, we love you.' But the stress of all of it -- he had a heart attack," an emotional Stovall continued. "I held his head as he lay on the floor. … Our congregation is hurting now."

One source, who asked not to be identified during an interview with The Christian Post on Thursday, said the confession wasn't that clean-cut based on what they were told, and feels the situation could have been handled better.

 

Pastor Saeed Abedini Pinned Down, Shackled in Iranian Hospital; Refused Surgery

 

American Pastor Saeed Abedini’s case has taken a turn for the worse.  He has been shackled and refused medical treatment at a hospital, as Iranian guards forcibly ban visitors.

A little over a week ago, Pastor Saeed – a U.S. citizen – was  moved from Rajai Shahr Prison to a private hospital in Iran.  He was told he would receive further tests on his deteriorating medical condition and undergo surgery to address chronic pain in his stomach area – the result of numerous prison beatings.

For the past week and a half, he has undergone various tests and received much needed nourishment.  This had been a very positive development and much needed reprieve for Pastor Saeed.

 

"Jovial" Iowa Pastor Commits Suicide Behind His Parsonage; Church Shocked

 

The Rev. Allen "Tommy" Rucker, 54, of First Baptist Church in Dunkerton, Iowa, killed himself on Feb. 12, 2014.

A popular and jovial pastor from Dunkerton, Iowa, described as a "godly man" who "constantly read the Bible" fatally shot himself Wednesday behind the parsonage where he lived leaving his congregation in shock and confusion. Dunkerton Police Chief Tim Schultz confirmed with the WCFCourier Thursday that the Rev. Allen "Tommy" Rucker of First Baptist Church, popularly known as pastor Tommy, died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and there is nothing to suggest that it wasn't a suicide. "There is nothing suspicious [about the death]," he said. On his webpage on the church's website, pastor Rucker is noted as a graduate of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary of Louisville, Ky. "He and his wife, Kay, have been happily married since 1981 and are the proud grandparents of seven beautiful and intelligent grandchildren," noted his bio on the page. Dick Ede, a member of Rucker's congregation as well as the treasurer, said the 54-year-old pastor participated in a deacons' meeting Tuesday night and he seemed happy. "He was as jovial and was cutting up just like he always was in situations like that," Ede said. "There was no indication of anything wrong at all." Ede said when Chief Schultz called to inform him of his pastor's death, he was in disbelief.

Pot and Pastors: Faith Leaders Debate Morality of Marijuana Legalization

As public opinion has shifted in support of legalized marijuana, religious leaders are wrestling over competing interests, including high prison rates and legislating morality.

 

 

Sunday’s Super Bowl was dubbed by some as the “pot bowl,” as the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks hail from the two states where fans can soon get marijuana as easily as they can get pizza. As public opinion has shifted in support of legalized marijuana, religious leaders are wrestling over competing interests, including high prison rates and legislating morality.

 

According to a 2013 survey from the Public Religion Research Institute, 58 percent of white mainline Protestants and 54 percent of black Protestants favor legalizing the use of marijuana. On the other side, nearly seven-in-10 (69 percent) white evangelical Protestants oppose it.

 

Catholics appear to be the most divided Christian group, with 48 percent favoring legalization and 50 percent opposing it. Opinions on how states should handle those who possess or sell marijuana varies among Christian leaders.

No Smokers Here!

CVS Caremark will phase all tobacco products in all their 7,600 stores.

 

 

CVS Caremark will phase all tobacco products by the fall in all their 7,600 stores. Many are calling it a bold move as the company will lose an estimated two billion in revenue.

President of Cohn & Wolfe, a corporate branding firm, said that he was fascinated that the company was putting the brand before dollars and told Digiday that the move “wasn’t a revenue play.”

 

“This is such a move of a classically well-managed brand: they understand who they are and what they offer and what their customers want.” CVS was applauded from the White House to John Hopkins for the decision. First Lady Michelle Obama Tweeted “we can all breathe a little easier, and our families can live healthier.” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius also Tweeted a thumbs up for president and CEO Larry Merlo’s decision.

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