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Pastor John MacArthur Could Face Fines, Be Arrested for Holding In-Person Church Services amid COVID-19

Pastor John MacArthur Could Face Fines, Be Arrested for Holding In-Person Church Services amid COVID-19 John MacArthurs California church is facing possible fines from the county if the church keeps hosting in-person services.According to The Christian Post, MacArthurs Grace Community Church is reopening despite lockdown orders from Gov. Gavin Newsom.We will obey God... Read more

Social Distancing Has Banned In-Person Gatherings. It Hasn’t Banned Church. | RELEVANT Magazine

A number of high profile Christian leaders have recently held in-person church gatherings in defiance of local orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This piece, originally published in 2019, is a reminder that there is no law in America against the Church because the Church was never about the building. Recently, I wrote... Read more

Why Single Moms Don’t Attend Church (And What We Can Do about It)

Single Moms. Just hearing those two words together immediately evokes a response. For some, you will think of the single mother who raised you, as your father passed away far too early, or maybe you think of a special co-worker, family member, or friend who has a unique story. Your heart is filled with compassionate... Read more

Archaeologists uncover 1,300-year-old church near the Sea of Galilee

Part of the mosaic flooring discovered by archaeologists in the remains of a Byzantine-era church near the Sea of Galilee.(Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority)A 1,300-year-old church has been discovered by archaeologists near the Sea of Galilee.  The church measures 12m by 36m, and may have been part of a monastery.  It was unearthed during excavations being... Read more

20 Quotes on (Better) Loving Your Church

I (Matt Smethurst) recently read Megan Hill’s new book, A Place to Belong: Learning to Love the Local Church (Crossway, 2020), which I highly recommend. Here were my favorite 20 quotes. Paul [experienced] many of the challenges of life in the local church. He was viewed with skepticism by church leaders (Acts 9:26). He suffered... Read more

Pastor, Church Member Die for Proclaiming Christ in Eastern Uganda

Pastor, Church Member Die for Proclaiming Christ in Eastern Uganda NAIROBI, Kenya, July 30, 2020 (Morning Star News) Christians in eastern Uganda had what seemed to be an effective strategy for bringing the gospel to Muslims on the banks of Lake Nakuwa, part of Lake Kyoga.The Christians from Namuseru village, Gadumire Sub-County in... Read more

Henry Louis Gates Is Making a Documentary About the Black Church for PBS | RELEVANT Magazine

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is a literary critic and academic who’s become well known as the host of the popularFinding Your Rootsseries, in which public figures and big names explore their ancestral histories often to surprising results. Now he’s turning his attention to a new documentary for PBS calledThe Black Church, which will study... Read more

John Ortberg Has Stepped Down From Leadership at Menlo Church | RELEVANT Magazine

Popular author and speaker John Ortberg has resigned from his position at Menlo Church, the San Francisco megachurch he has led for nearly two decades. The resignation follows revelations about his handling of a church volunteer who had admitted an attraction to children. I have considered my seventeen years as pastor here to be... Read more

Pastor John Ortberg Resigns from Menlo Church

Pastor John Ortberg Resigns from Menlo Church (RNS) John Ortberg, popular Christian author and speaker, has resigned as pastor of Menlo Church, a megachurch congregation outside of San Francisco.His resignation is effective Sunday (Aug. 2).I have considered my seventeen years as pastor here to be the greatest joy Ive had in ministry, Ortberg... Read more

Training Indigenous Church Leaders

The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy. Tony Merida: Welcome to “Churches Planting Churches,” a podcast on the theology and practice of church planting. I’m your host, Tony Merida. God commissions his people to be global disciple-makers. It’s our great... Read more

1,300-Year-Old Church Unearthed in Israel near Site of Jesus’ Transfiguration

1,300-Year-Old Church Unearthed in Israel near Site of Jesus' Transfiguration Archaeologists in Israel have unearthed a 1,300-year-old Christian church that is a short distance from the traditional site of Jesus transfiguration.The church, about 118 feet by 39 feet, includes ornate mosaic floors and was recently found in an excavation in the Israeli village... Read more

Christian Leaders Disagree with MacArthur’s Church: Bible Doesn’t Require ‘Civil Disobedience’ in Pandemic

Christian Leaders Disagree with MacArthur's Church: Bible Doesn't Require 'Civil Disobedience' in Pandemic Two leaders at a well-known Christian ministry say they respect John MacArthurs church for defying an order from the state of California but believe other churches can reach a different conclusion and still be obedient to Christ and Scripture.Mark Dever,... Read more

Nuclear weapons are ‘an evil’, says Church leader ahead of Hiroshima’s 75th anniversary

Birds fly over the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima, western Japan.ReutersThe Moderator of the Church of Scotland General Assembly has added his name to a statement calling for a world free of nuclear weapons ahead of the 75th anniversary of the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima. 6 August will mark three-quarters of a century... Read more

Barbecue Baptist Church Delivers Meals, A Message and a Little Levity amid Pandemic

Barbecue Baptist Church Delivers Meals, A Message and a Little Levity amid Pandemic (RNS) Before the barbecue trailer, there was the toilet paper popemobile.With toilet paper hard to come by as stay-at-home orders took effect in many states earlier this year to flatten the curve of the coronavirus, Chad McMillan put the pastor... Read more

U-turn on threat to church weddings in Northern Ireland

(Photo: Unsplash/Maico Pereira)Authorities in Northern Ireland have U-turned on a threat to de-register churches if they did not state their position on conducting same-sex weddings. Churches in the province were given just a few weeks to respond to a letter from the General Register Office (GRO) informing them that they needed to fill in a... Read more

Church investigating Archbishop’s handling of abuse complaints

The Church of England is investigating the Archbishop of Canterbury's handling of allegations of abuse by the late John Smyth QC. Smyth died in 2018, shortly after a Channel 4 News expos into the sadistic abuse of young men groomed at Iwerne Camps, run by the trust he chaired, in the 1970s. Archbishop Justin Welby worked... Read more

Church Planter, Get Ready for Crisis Shepherding

Acts 29: Churches Planting Churches In gearing up to plant Cornerstone Church in Detroit, I thought I had most of my bases covered. Vision statement? Check. Website? Check. Growing team? Check. Discipleship plan? Check. But I was quickly blindsided by an urgent need among our people that I hadnt anticipated: robust, gospel-centered counseling. Ministering in... Read more

John MacArthur Is Drawing Scrutiny After Holding a Church Service in Defiance of Local Orders | RELEVANT Magazine

Famed pastor, author and theologian John MacArthur conducted services before a packed congregation at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California in defiance of local social distancing orders. In a blog post, MacArthur wrote that California’s ban on in-person church services a ban which includes restaurants, bars, fitness centers, hair salons, barbershops and other... Read more

John MacArthur’s Church Defies Order to Close: ‘We Must Obey God Rather Than Men’

John MacArthur's Church Defies Order to Close: 'We Must Obey God Rather Than Men' California pastor John MacArthur said in a sermon Sunday his church will continue to meet in-person despite a state-mandated ban on such gatherings, saying that Christ not the state is the head of the church.I can't think of anything... Read more

Hate crime law will have ‘detrimental effect on free speech’, warns Church

(Photo: Unsplash/EmranYousof)Concerns have been raised about the free speech implications of plans to extend hate crime legislation in Scotland.  The proposed Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill "seeks to modernise and extend existing hate crime legislation". One proposed addition to existing laws would create new offences relating to stirring up hatred that apply to... Read more

Coronavirus ‘has hit church income hard’ – Stewardship

(Photo: Unsplash/Nick Fewings)Many churches have experienced a drop in income since the start of the pandemic, says Stewardship, which is encouraging them to consider online giving as a way to reverse the decline. While many churches have started to re-open for Sunday worship in the past few weeks, Stewardship said that the months of lockdown... Read more

5 Books to Read by Church Fathers

One of the questions I often get abouttheological retrievalis where to start. Lots of people see the value of reading ancient texts, but are unsure where to dive in. So I thought it might be useful to identify five classic texts from the church fathers that (1) are significant theologically and historically, (2) are relatively... Read more

John MacArthur says Grace Community Church will remain open despite coronavirus prohibitions

John MacArthur(Photo: Grace Community Church)Pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church in California has declared that his church would continue to hold in-person services with full congregations, in breach of restrictions in the state that ban in-person church services. Pastor MacArthur explained the Biblical basis for his decision in an announcement made on Friday, stating:... Read more

The Church needs its prophetic imagination now as much as ever

(Photo: Unsplash/Aaron Burden)I am convinced that if any of Israel's prophets were alive today, their preaching would be powerful and prolific (although not always popular). When we look at their preaching of the past, just one trajectory dominates the books of the Prophets. That trajectory is from judgement to hope. Messages following such a trajectory... Read more

My Church Fired Me as Pastor. Now What?

Ill never forget the phone call informing me the church had overwhelmingly voted for me to become their pastor. I was excited, and church members were too. The future seemed bright. Three years later, I received another unforgettable call: a number of families within the church were demanding my removal.They were done with me, and... Read more

Yes, the World’s Gone Crazy; Here’s Why That’s Good for the Church

Jennifer Slattery JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com Sometimes it feels as if our world’s imploding—with ongoing threats of nuclear war, hate groups, school shootings, and economic experts predicting financial doom. But what if all this chaos has the capacity for good? What if, contrary to what our fretful brains tell us, God is still in control and is, even... Read more

10 Church Phrases That Really Need to Go Away | RELEVANT Magazine

The church environment can be a funny one. In it, we often use words and phrases no one else uses and sometimes the are very good reason that they dont. Christians can use a language that’s all but foreign if youre not used to it. Some of the language is helpful and some of... Read more

Should Same-Sex Unions Be Recognized in the Church?

You might think that with killer germs, racial tensions, church and school closuresand political wars captivating public attentionother hot topic issues that truly demand a biblical response from the church might have been placed on the back burner. But youd be wrong.Even with many churches shutting their doors and scrambling to find their equilibrium in... Read more