More Hillsong Pastors Step Down Following Leader’s Resignation, Doc Release

More Hillsong Pastors Step Down Following Leader’s Resignation, Doc Release

(Link): Hillsong pastors say they warned Brian Houston about Carl Lentz’s immoral behavior, were ignored

By Jeannie Ortega Law, Christian Post Reporter

Former Hillsong pastors Zhenya and Vera Kasevich allege that Hillsong founder Brian Houston was made aware of Carl Lentz’s immoral behavior, yet refused to address his actions due to the church’s culture of “secrecy.”

(Link): More Hillsong Pastors Step Down Following Leader’s Resignation, Doc Release

Excerpts:

March 28, 2022
By Hannah Frishberg

These shepherds are running to greener pastures.

Yet another set of Hillsong megachurch pastors stepped down this weekend, following the resignation of church founder and former leader Brian Houston last week, as well as the release of Discovery+’s three-part docuseries on the church, produced in association with The Post.

“After much prayer and pastoral counsel, we have decided to withdraw from Hillsong Church,” Terry, 57, and Judith Crist, 60, the now former lead pastors of Hillsong’s Phoenix, Arizona, branch wrote congregants in an internal Friday email that has been viewed by The Post.

Continue reading “More Hillsong Pastors Step Down Following Leader’s Resignation, Doc Release”

More Hillsong Pastors Step Down Following Leader’s Resignation, Doc Release

More Hillsong Pastors Step Down Following Leader’s Resignation, Doc Release

(Link): Hillsong pastors say they warned Brian Houston about Carl Lentz’s immoral behavior, were ignored

By Jeannie Ortega Law, Christian Post Reporter

Former Hillsong pastors Zhenya and Vera Kasevich allege that Hillsong founder Brian Houston was made aware of Carl Lentz’s immoral behavior, yet refused to address his actions due to the church’s culture of “secrecy.”

(Link): More Hillsong Pastors Step Down Following Leader’s Resignation, Doc Release

Excerpts:

March 28, 2022
By Hannah Frishberg

These shepherds are running to greener pastures.

Yet another set of Hillsong megachurch pastors stepped down this weekend, following the resignation of church founder and former leader Brian Houston last week, as well as the release of Discovery+’s three-part docuseries on the church, produced in association with The Post.

“After much prayer and pastoral counsel, we have decided to withdraw from Hillsong Church,” Terry, 57, and Judith Crist, 60, the now former lead pastors of Hillsong’s Phoenix, Arizona, branch wrote congregants in an internal Friday email that has been viewed by The Post.

Continue reading “More Hillsong Pastors Step Down Following Leader’s Resignation, Doc Release”

Rampant Sexual Abuse of Women, and Its Cover Up, at Hope Community Church, Gives Single Christians Another Reason to Be Leery of the Be Equally Yoked Rule or Looking for a Spouse at a Church

Rampant Sexual Abuse of Women, and Its Cover Up, at Hope Community Church, Gives Single Christians Another Reason to Be Leery of the Be Equally Yoked Rule or Looking for a Spouse at a Church

The following article needs to be read in full, because, among other things, one learns that the church staff of the church discussed victim-blamed a teen-aged girl for wearing shorts as the reason as to why a male hired by the church sexually assaulted her.

What I wanted to focus on in this article, however, were the comments the single women made about this church.

Remember as you are reading this, that many Christians will advise you, if you are a single woman who’d like to marry, to try finding “husband material” at your local church.

Also remember as you read this, that a lot of Christians still push the spinster-making teaching of “be equally yoked” in regards to dating or marriage. (It’s a Christian view that holds that a Christian single should not date or marry any Non-Christians.)

(Link): Women Came to Hope Community Church Looking for Fellowship and Healing. Disrespectful Behavior from Church Leaders Drove Them to Leave.

Excerpts:

Feb 10, 2021
by Katie Jane Fernelius

…As members of Hope Community Church streamed in for services, the protesters held signs confronting Hope’s leadership on its record of handling sexual abuse and assault.

Over the last few months, the INDY has worked to vet these allegations and the church’s response to them.

Unfortunately, church leaders, including founder and lead pastor Mike Lee, have not responded to multiple inquiries, effectively stonewalling the INDY’s reporting around a fraught topic.

Sara Dye, who joined the megachurch looking for healing after she was raped by a stranger and went through a divorce, says she was assaulted by a member of the church’s worship team.

Continue reading “Rampant Sexual Abuse of Women, and Its Cover Up, at Hope Community Church, Gives Single Christians Another Reason to Be Leery of the Be Equally Yoked Rule or Looking for a Spouse at a Church”

Pew Report: Religion Plummeted During Obama Era

Pew Report: Religion Plummeted During Obama Era

(Link): Pew Report: Religion Plummeted During Obama Era by T D Williams

Excerpts

January 2017

In a new study of President Obama’s legacy, the Pew Research Center found that religious affiliation and practice dropped off dramatically during his two terms in the White House.

“When it comes to the nation’s religious identity, the biggest trend during Obama’s presidency is the rise of those who claim no religion at all,” Pew notes in a report released this week titled “How America Changed During Barack Obama’s Presidency.”

When Barack Obama took office, those who identified as atheists or agnostics along with those who said their religion was “nothing in particular” totaled only 16 percent of the U.S. adult population. On leaving office 8 years later, the non-religious in America now make up nearly a quarter of the population.

On the contrary, the percentage of Americans who say they believe in God, consider religion to be very important in their lives, pray daily and attend religious services at least monthly have all dropped during the Obama years, Pew found.

Continue reading “Pew Report: Religion Plummeted During Obama Era”

Single Adults Among Largest Groups Leaving Mormon Church – Parallels to Evangelical Christianity

I regard Mormonism as being a cult, not a form of legitimate Christianity (Mormons don’t believe in the Jesus of the Gospels, for one thing), but I think there are some parallels between Mormons and Christians, such as the over-emphasis upon marriage.

When your church makes an idol out of marriage, as Mormons and Christians do, it drives people away. Because sometimes people stay single by choice, or due to factors beyond their control.

And if you’re single in a religion that over-values marriage, there is a tendency to be ignored, set aside. Churches care more about marriage than singlehood. Churches care more about meeting the needs of married couples than they do adult singles.

There is no incentive for a single adult to remain in a church or denomination that marginalizes them constantly, or that behaves as though singleness is a disease or a second-rate life station.

(Link):  Who is leaving the LDS Church? by Jana Riess

Excerpts

We know, or can infer, some things about them from prior research. There is a correlation between certain life situations and leaving. This does not mean that being any one of these things will cause a person to leave, only that there is a relationship.

  • Being single. There’s been some tantalizing research over the last two years about singles in the LDS Church.

Continue reading “Single Adults Among Largest Groups Leaving Mormon Church – Parallels to Evangelical Christianity”

Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted / Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan

Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted / Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan

Even though the details of my life and situation are different, I sure did relate to this lady’s story.

My eye brow did raise at one or two points of this essay, such as her claim that people at her church encouraged her to get an abortion when she became pregnant out of wedlock, and from the way she discusses her church, they sound pretty conservative and legalistic.

Perhaps she is telling the truth and that really did happen, it’s just that most conservative Christians are pro-life, not pro-choice, so I am having a hard time picturing any of them advising a pregnant woman to get an abortion.

With possibly a few wacko Protestant church exceptions, (Link): like this one, where the church’s preacher allegedly encouraged the women members to get abortions. But then, of course, there is information such as this: (Link): 2015 Poll: 70% of American Women Who Have Abortions Identify As Christian

By and large, though, most churches are pro-life, not pro-choice.

At one point in this essay, Sheehan says that although she and her male friend were not having sex, that due to being constantly suspected and accused of having sex by Christians at her church, is actually what in large measure drove her and her boyfriend to become sexually active with one another.

Major irony there. Or maybe not…

As I have said time and again at my blog, most Christians, just like secular culture, just blindly assumes that celibacy is impossible for anyone over the age of 25 or so, and that it is impossible for men and women to be platonic friends.

It is entirely possible for men and women to remain friends, and it is entirely possible for an adult to stay celibate for months or years at a time.

I have also explained before, in previous posts, that one reason there is so much fornication among Christian singles is precisely because most Christians have such low expectations: they expect that single adults will, or have, had sex outside of marriage. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy quite often.

The couple discussed in this post were expected, assumed to be, and suspected by their fellow congregants of sleeping together; this couple got tired of being falsely accused, so they figured, well, we might as well have sex, since everyone is already assuming we are and harassing us over it.

I also notice that one reason this woman’s husband, who was a Christian at one time, but is now an atheist or agnostic, began losing his faith over how miserably his grief (over the death of his father) was mishandled by Christians.

Oh yes, I relate: after my family member’s passing a few years ago, rather than receiving love, empathy, and encouragement from Christians in my family or churches I went to, I instead received judgment, criticism, platitudes, or indifference. This in turn is one of several things that caused me to partially leave the Christian faith.

One of a few things that caused Sheehan to leave the faith is over how one church she attended mishandled her abusive marriage – her priest told her to stay with the abusive husband.

This advice is also usually given in Baptist or Protestant situations. Christians often put keeping an (abusive) marriage before the welfare of the two persons who comprise the marriage.

Abused wives are usually instructed to stay with the abusive spouse and submit to the abuser more, or just pray about things. None of this resolves the situation but actually prolongs it.

I am not surprised in light of all the insensitive treatment that she and her husband endured at the hands of other believers, that they both developed major doubts about Christianity and walked away from it.

There were a few supportive comments to the woman who wrote this, in the comments area under the essay, but there were also a lot of hateful, judgmental, or naive posts left to her by Christians.

There were also a few annoying posts by atheists who were just there to say “all religion is idiotic, there is no God” to any of the well-meaning, yet naive Christians who were telling her to hold on to the faith, in spite of the Christians who had been mean to her at her prior churches.

Honestly, I wish those types of atheists would refrain from posting under articles like this one by Sheehan. I find their opportunistic, anti-theism drivel and rants to be about as bad as the nasty posts by the Christians who scolded Sheehan for leaving Christianity.

(Link): Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted 

  • Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan
  • My family has always been part of the Catholic Church, including being actively involved in fighting for those beliefs in Ireland and France through the centuries. It is all I knew and I never imagined a life without it. Even in today’s permissive society, divorce is still a huge don’t in the Catholic Church.

    When my priest advised me to stay in an abusive marriage rather than lose access to the Catholic religion, I stayed — until my husband left me for one of the many women he had been seeing.

    I went back to my priest for help but instead found myself without a church.

    Confused and directionless, I ended up seeking help at a Word of Faith Christian Church in Texas.

    Although the church and I both believed in Jesus, the similarities ended there. Everything was so different from what I had grown up with, it made the transition very difficult.

    They kept trying to break down my identity by using scripture to suggest that everything about me, from Catholicism to my Irish culture, was evil and against God. It was like going through spiritual boot camp as they attempted to rebuild me into a person that could gain access to heaven.

    During my time there, I met my current husband. He was also having a tough time as his father had died suddenly the year before, causing him to question the church he had been raised in and even the existence of God due to how they handled his grief.

    We became really good friends who spent hours talking as we each struggled with our sheltered worlds collapsing around us, no matter how hard we tried to fight to keep the walls intact.

    The damage in our lives, caused by blind devotion to a religion, forced us to question all the truths we had been raised to believe.

    Continue reading “Leaving Christianity gave me the fairy-tale ending I always wanted / Divorce and pre-marital sex destroyed my relationship with Christianity by T. Sheehan”

Baptizing “Masculinity”: The Real Reason Men are Leaving the Church by Luke T. Harrington

Baptizing “Masculinity”: The Real Reason Men are Leaving the Church

The link to the page by Luke T. Harrington is farther down the page.

Churches sure do invest a lot of time investigating why men are supposedly fed up with church and churches then bend themselves into pretzels trying to cater to men to retain them.

If churches cared as much about women and appealing to them, perhaps more and more women would not be abandoning churches or the faith (I’ve seen studies come out the last few years saying more and more Christian women are either leaving churches, or leaving the faith itself, because they are not being welcomed due to their gender).

Churches need to be just as concerned they may be offending or excluding women as they are men, but they don’t. Most of them remain stubbornly fixated on soothing the egos of injured males, but don’t care how they are hurting or alienating women.

Hyping “masculinity” to appeal to men alienates a lot of women.

One way in which this occurs is that churches think the way to build up the masculine is to mock anything and everything feminine, so by extension, Christian women, who are taught to express so-called (stereotypical) feminine traits in the extreme (be nurturing, passive, quiet, sweet, etc) end up feeling even more like trash.

The very characteristics Christian women are told by pastors to possess (such as be passive, gentle, meek) are the very same ones that the churches denigrate week in and week out, and that they try to stamp out in churches, and at that, in order to attract men.

This is not a winning strategy for keeping women active and involved in a church.

It also turns off “normal” men, the ones who are maybe Non-Christian, secure in their manhood, who find the super “cave man,” manly man antics of some churches totally bizarre and irrelevant.

(Link): Baptizing “Masculinity”: The Real Reason Men are Leaving the Church by Luke T. Harrington

Excerpts:

  • …The dominant narrative at the moment is that, while church attendance is down across the board, men in particular are staying home on Sunday mornings ( (Link): some stats here). And while there has been much hand-wringing over this reality, there has, to my knowledge, been very little serious introspection over it.

Continue reading “Baptizing “Masculinity”: The Real Reason Men are Leaving the Church by Luke T. Harrington”

Some of My Thoughts Regarding ‘Why do evangelicals lose their faith?’ – Podcast by Unbelievable

Some of My Thoughts Regarding ‘Why do evangelicals lose their faith?’ – Podcast by Unbelievable 

The other day, I posted this (part 1 to this post):

I have re-listened to the podcast this evening and wanted to comment on some of what I heard.

In the program, there is a guy named Rodney who was once a conservative Christian, who drifted into liberal theology, and who now says he has a “deistic philosophy” and he says he is “agnostic about most religious questions.”

He says he has same sex attraction, and was put off to Christianity for (among other reasons):

How American conservative Christianity tends to over-identify with, or promote, the Republican Party (right wing American party), and that some preachers are too condemning of homosexual persons.

Rodney also says he does not accept the notion of an eternal Hell.

A few times, Rodney mentions that he has a deist- like view of God. He thinks all of us humans are rats, the earth is a big laboratory, and God is a scientist in a white lab coat observing us all but not intervening.

Rodney thinks if God is involved with human life, that God should do things like cause all members of ISIS (terrorist group) to drop dead of heart attacks. He does not believe that God helps people to pass school tests, find parking spaces, or cures diseases.

The show had a Christian author and guest on named Os, who replied to some of Rodney’s points.

_Some of my thoughts on the show and the topics Rodney raised._

1.) Politics and Liberal Vs Conservative Christianity

I am right wing politically and have been a Republican (GOP) my entire life.

I have very large misgivings about the GOP the last few years, though, so I’m not totally sure where I stand politically, though I do not ever see myself becoming a liberal or a Democrat.

I do agree with Rodney that too many conservative Christians conflate Christianity with the Republican party.

But then, a lot of liberal Christians or liberal Christian denominations entwine a lot of liberal beliefs and causes with the faith too, (such as support of abortion, the Democratic Party, liberalism, and homosexual marriage).

Continue reading “Some of My Thoughts Regarding ‘Why do evangelicals lose their faith?’ – Podcast by Unbelievable”

Why do evangelicals lose their faith? – Podcast by Unbelievable

Why do evangelicals lose their faith? – Podcast by Unbelievable

Off to the right hand side of this blog I have a blog roll. Linked there is “Unbelievable,” a podcast by a Christian guy who normally covers topics pertinent to Christian apologetics. He usually has some pretty interesting shows.

I was (am?) a life long Christian but one who’s been doubting the faith the last few years.

I have not totally left the faith itself, but there are parts of it that I’m having trouble accepting or grasping now.

At times, I am disappointed in or by, or angered by Christians, or the behavior of other Christians. That plays into some of the struggles I’ve been having with the faith.

I don’t think I can ever hop on board the Atheist train. I don’t think atheism is intellectually feasible. It seems so devoid of hope, too. And some of its adherents seem just as fundamentalist as some religious theist types. Some of the militant atheists are also smug and condescending as all get out, traits which I have always reviled.

So, this particular episode of Unbelievable looks to be pretty interesting, though I’ve not actually listened to it yet – I’ll probably listen to it later (if so, I may edit this post at a later time with my thoughts on it):

(Link):  Why do evangelicals lose their faith? Os Guinness & Rodney Wilson (pod cast / audio / radio show)

  • Christian author and cultural critic Os Guinness’ new book called “Fools Talk: Recovering the art of Christian persuasion” is aimed at helping Christians develop a confident and winsome approach to engaging those who are closed to faith.
  • He engages with ex-evangelical Rodney Wilson who has researched the reasons why evangelical Christians lose their faith in his book “Killing God” as they discuss the cultural and doctrinal barriers to embracing Christian faith.

EDIT: new post reflecting on this podcast:

—————————

Related Posts:

(Link): No Man’s Land – Between Agnosticism and Christianity / Also: It’s Emotional Not Intellectual (PART 1)

(Link):  Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour (part 1) 

(Link): Permissiveness, Cheap Grace, and Easy Forgivism Run Amok in Christianity – Dallas Preacher Todd Wagner Says Christians Can Use Heroin / Why some Christians turn agnostic

(Link): Guilt Tripping or Shaming the Hurt Sheep to Return to Church

(Link): Why People Don’t Go To Church (various links and testimonies March 2014)

(Link): Christians Who Take the Bible Literally Cannot Agree On Much of Anything 

(Link): Power Point, Boring Churches, It’s all about Jesus, Church Quitters, No Community, Selfish Preachers, Churches As Stalkers / (Re: Why Some Drop Out of Church)

When Christians Love Theology More Than People by S. Mattson

When Christians Love Theology More Than People by S. Mattson

I first saw this mentioned on Defend The Sheep’s Twitter account.

I’ve been thinking the last few months of writing a similar essay. The guy who wrote this arrived at some of the same conclusions I have.

(Link):  When Christians Love Theology More Than People by S Mattson

Here is how the introduction starts:

  • Beyond the realm of churches, religious blogs, and bible colleges, nobody really cares about theology. What does matter is the way you treat other people.

Continue reading “When Christians Love Theology More Than People by S. Mattson”

Should a Christian Try Online Dating and Other Insights Into the Single Life by J. Justice

Should a Christian Try Online Dating and Other Insights Into the Single Life

Well, goodness knows that the ‘pray, wait, have faith, and attend a local church’ advice to get a spouse has not worked for myself or boatloads of Christian single women.

The article also addresses how singles should not put their lives on hold until they marry, and other things.

(Link):  Should a Christian Try Online Dating and Other Insights Into the Single Life

Excerpts:

  • by J. Justice
  • Thirty-six year-old  (Link): Mandy Hale says she’s determined to live her best life now, even without the man the church always seems to think she needs.
  • Throw her age in with the fact that she works from home and in the church there are “like 98 percent amazing, single women and 2 percent single guys,” Hale is taking a stand for singles.
  • “I feel like singles—we fall through the cracks,” Hale says. “Once you get past a certain point, you have (ministries to) college age, singles, you know, young careers. But I’m 36 now, I don’t feel 36, it’s kind of like at certain age, stick out like a sore thumb.”

Continue reading “Should a Christian Try Online Dating and Other Insights Into the Single Life by J. Justice”

White Christians No Longer Majority in U.S.A. (2015 Pew Study)

White Christians No Longer Majority in U.S.A. (2015 Pew Study)

Possibly one good thing about white Christians being in the minority is that perhaps they will re-evaluate how they treat marginalized groups, such as adult singles.

(Link): Pew: White Christians No Longer in Majority

  • by Nick Glasss, November 2015
  • White Christians now make up less than half of the U.S. population, largely receding from the majorities of most demographic groups, with one notable exception: the Republican Party.
  • According to the latest results from Pew Research Center’s Religious Landscape survey published Monday by (Link): National Journal’s Next America project, just 46 percent of American adults are white Christians, down from 55 percent in 2007.

Continue reading “White Christians No Longer Majority in U.S.A. (2015 Pew Study)”