A Pentecostal fellowship ended up opening more churches in the United States of America in 2011 than there were days in the year.
According to its records, the Assemblies of God, a denomination with around 3 million members, opened up 368 new churches in 2011.
Isus este a doua cea mai populară persoană din Statele Unite, conform unui sondaj care îl indică pe fostul preşedinte Abraham Lincoln drept cea mai populară persoană din America.
Analiştii de la Public Policy Polling au dezvăluit faptul că Abraham Lincoln se află în fruntea preferinţelor americanilor cu 91% dintre voturi, urmat de Iisus, votat de 90% dintre participanţi, preşedintele George Washington de 86%, Maica Tereza de 83%, Martin Luther King Jr. de 74%, iar Ghandi de 64% dintre americani.
Sondajul a fost realizat cu scopul de a vedea dacă vreun alt personaj din istorie va reuşi să depăşească recordul de popularitate atins de Aaron Rodgers, jucătorul de fotbal american de la Green Bay Packers, care a primit 86% dintre voturi în favoarea sa.
Who is the most influential Christian leader in the United States? The results of a new study show that no individual overwhelmingly stands out, and Americans are divided over the answer.
According to a study released by Barna Group on Monday, 41 percent of American adults were unable to identify who they believe to be the most influential Christian leader in our nation today. The most mentioned individual was evangelist Billy Graham, who was named by 19 percent of adults. It was also found that Graham’s name was more likely to be mentioned by the elderly – ages 66 and older – than by younger adults.
“Looking at the big picture, only a limited number of individuals come to mind when Americans considerleadership of Christians on a national scale,” said Lynn Hanacek, Barna Group vice president of research and project director. “However, bear in mind that a different type of measurement such as aided awareness, in which respondents are asked if they ever heard of a specific name, may have yielded different results.”
The study was conducted by asking individuals the question without giving them a list of options to choose from for their answer. This type of unaided survey is described as a “top-of-mind” survey, because the answer is not limited to a few names but could be any name that comes to the participant’s mind.
Pope Benedict XVI came in second in the results, with nine percent of those surveyed saying he is the most important Christian leader in the U.S., followed closely by President Barack Obama with eight percent.
Five percent of adults said Lakewood Church pastor Joel Osteen is most influential, while 2 percent each pointed to Charles Stanley or Joyce Meyer. Others who were named, but mentioned by only 1 percent of those surveyed, include Franklin Graham, T.D. Jakes, George W. Bush, Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou and James Dobson.
“There is an interesting but not surprising commonality among those top Christian leaders in this study,” said Hanacek. “All of them have a strong media presence – whether through their own active ministry efforts or through various types of media coverage.”
The study was conducted by surveying 1,007 adults located in the continental United States and, in addition to examining their responses, it also examined how their religious beliefs played a role in their responses.
Evangelical Christians, for example, were more likely to name Billy Graham, Joyce Meyer or Franklin Graham as most influential, while a majority of atheists, agnostics and those adults who believe in a non-Christian faith couldn’t pinpoint any one person as the most influential Christian leader. Thirty-one percent of Protestants had a tendency to name Billy Graham as that leader, while nearly the same number of Catholics, 32 percent, said that leader is the Pope.
Of those interviewed, no evangelical Christians consider President Obama, the Pope, former President Bush, Oprah, Maya Angelou, Charles Stanley or T.D. Jakes to be the most significant Christian leader.
A. Larry Ross, who has served as Billy Graham’s spokesman for over 30 years, spoke with The Christian Post on Monday and said he isn’t surprised that Graham’s name was mentioned most in the study.
„It’s not surprising when you consider he has been on the world stage, faithfully proclaiming the Gospel across the country and around the world, for more than six decades,” he said. Though the 93-year-old Graham ceased actively preaching about seven years ago, he released his 30th book,Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well, last month, and his influence is still strong today.
One reason Graham and other recognizable Christian leaders are important to the church in America, Ross suggested, is because they have the influence to help communities to better recognize and value their local churches.
One pastor told Ross, for example, that Graham “provided unity, visibility and credibility to the local church.” Local churches would come together to host Graham when he came to town to preach, and in turn he brought media exposure and a sense of credibility to those individual churches and to the local Christian community in general.
Graham has preached the Gospel to over 215 million people in live audiences in 185 different countries over the course of his lifetime, and has reached millions more through radio, television and the Internet. He has also had a significant influence in the founding of over 30 ministries.
Ross noted that Graham has managed to maintain his integrity – spiritual, moral and financial – over the years. He has preached to millions and has served as an agent of reconciliation in matters relating to the church, civil rights and other issues. But out of all that he’s accomplished, Ross said Graham “would probably say [his legacy is] more related to the training he’s provided to the next generation of evangelists … passing the baton to future generations.”
Graham has been “an influencer of influencers on the world stage, and so there are a lot of different ways that you could define what his legacy is,” his spokesman commented. “It’s been said that we will not see another like Mr. Graham in our lifetime, and I think his influence has been so broad and his impact so far-reaching that we won’t know this side of heaven the extent of that legacy no matter how clearly you define it.”
O familie din California a fost amendată de primărie pentru că a găzduit o întâlnire de studiu biblic.
La doar câteva zile de la vestea că SUA critică România pentru libertatea religioasă, publicaţia The Christian Post relatează despre un incident inedit care a avut loc într-un stat american. O familie din California a fost amendată de primărie pentru că a găzduit o întâlnire de studiu biblic.
Cuplul din San Juan Capistrano au primit o amendă de 300 de dolari pentru activitatea religioasă care, potrivit autorităţilor, a încălcat codul municipal. Regulamentul cu pricina interzice funcţionarea organizaţiilor „religioase, non-profit sau a fraternităţilor” în zone rezidenţiale fără un „permis condiţional”, relatează Capistrano Dispatch.
Stephanie Fromm, proprietarul casei, s-a arătat indignat de decizia autorităţilor: „cum îndrăznesc să ne spună că nu putem face ce vrem la noi în casă? (…) Normal ar fi să pot fiu ospitalieră în propriul cămin.”
Codul municipal este o lege „reactivă”, scrie Christian Post, indicând că este aplicat pe baza unei plângeri. Fromm a recunoscut că este o persoană care s-a plâns de activităţile respective, însă a menţionat că studiul s-a desfăşurat în casă şi că singurul zgomot ar fi putut fi cel al radioului, care era pus în surdină în timp ce musafirii conversau.
Brad Dacus, președintele Pacific Justice Institute a emis o declaraţie de presă în care apreciază că „a impune necesitatea unui permis pentru studiul biblic acasă este ceva scandalos.”
Some churches today are not allowing children into the main worship hall for Sunday services. This has prompted a debate on whether or not church’s should try to limit interruptions during worship time.
At South Carolina‘s NewSpring Church, children are not allowed to attend the worship service and the doors are even locked after the sermon starts, according to staff representatives at NewSpring.
An article published recently in Christianity Today brings to light some of the sensitive issues discussed today about limiting disruptions during church worship services.
Churches like North Carolina’s Elevation Church reportedly removed a young boy with cerebral palsy from the church service because he was disrupting the service one Sunday.
Actions like this prompt the question on whether or not children should be allowed to attend “big church?” Should churches try to minimize disruptions in services or should the entire family be allowed to attend worship?
There are two sides to this debate.
One group of religious leaders and churchgoers say people should not be considered as “disruptions” and congregations should have a choice whether to bring their children to church. The other argument poses a more difficult stance. Some say disruptions take away from the worship experience and allowing noisy children to disrupt a worship service should be disallowed.
NewSpring staffers say children are not allowed in the worship service because the worship service material is above their heads.
“We offer children’s church because children can worship at their level and the children really enjoy their programs. Right now for instance, we are talking about sex in the adult worship hour,” a NewSpring staff representative told The Christian Post.
Read more on http://www.christianpost.com/
As Americans prepare to reflect on the physical and emotional scars left behind by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Awakening America Alliance and Cry Out America are leading a national effort to pray for God to usher in a spiritual awakening in the United States.
(Photo: REUTERS/Jason Reed)The entrance to the Pentagon Memorial is shown near Washington, August 23, 2011. The United States will commemorate the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001 attacks next month.
In addition to asking churches to pray during Sunday morning services on Sept. 11, the date of the 10th anniversary of the attacks, there are also prayer gatherings scheduled to take place in thousands of different counties across the United States later that same day.
Billy Wilson, executive director of the International Center for Spiritual Renewal and the chair of the Awakening America Alliance (AAA), describes 9/11 as “one of the greatest wake-up call days of our generation.” Cry Out America was formed with the hope that God would lead the country into an even greater spiritual awakening.
Outspoken atheist and director Matthew Chapman said he hopes his new film, „The Ledge,” will help audiences view atheists in a more positive way.
Speaking to CNN recently about the new thriller about an openly atheist hero and a Christian Villain, he compared the film to “Brokeback Mountain,” a film which he feels made people more accepting of the gay community.
“My hope was to make an emotional appeal,” Chapman said.
The plot of “The Ledge” pits a conservative Christian husband against an atheist man trying to seduce his wife. The film, released Friday, stars Terrence Howard and Liv Tyler and is nominated for best drama at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
“People of faith, especially Catholics are used to being trashed by Hollywood but they are not accustomed to films that promote atheism,” said Bill Donahue president of the Conservative Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in regards to the film.
Earlier, actress Tyler told PopEater that she doesn’t view the film as anti-religious but noted that it illustrates how people are quick to judge based on religion, among other things.
Chapman, who also happens to be the great-great grandson of Charles Darwin, said he didn’t make the film for atheists, “but for people in the middle of the country questioning what it’s all about.”
“Really, The Ledge is at the beginning of a movement toward more open discussion of atheism and agnosticism,” he stressed, according to My Fox Houston.
Atheists hold a valid point of view, according to Chapman who is urging Christians and all believers to see the new film.
“There are a lot of us; we are thinking people; we care about many of the same issues as believers, and yet we are rarely heard and widely hated,” Chapman commented.
“I hope atheists who are still in the closet will take heart from the film and think. I am not alone.”
Modern society frequently challenges the Bible as the actual word of God. However, a recent Gallup poll reveals that three in 10 Americans interpret the Bible literally, saying it is the actual word of God to be interpreted literally, word for word.
Gallup polls have tracked whether Americans take the Bible literally for the past 40 years.
The overall findings from Gallup show that the percentage of Americans taking a literal view of the Bible has declined over time, from an average of 38 percent from 1976-1984 to an average of 31 percent.
However, highly religious Americans, particularly those of Protestant faiths, still commonly believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible.
Fifty-four percent of those who attend religious services on a weekly basis believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible, which is more than twice the percentage of those who attend church less often, according to Gallup. (…)
A new survey of the British public has found that most people, 57 percent, still identify themselves as Christians.
In a poll of more than 2,000 adults, 57 percent of people said they were Christian.
Thirty-five percent of the population said they had no faith, while eight percent said they were of another faith.
Un sondaj naţional efectuat de Alianţa Evanghelică şi organizaţia Christian Research, pe un eşantion de 17.000 de evanghelici englezi, a dezvăluit existenţa a numeroase asemănări și diferenţe de opinie între aceştia.
Evanghelicii au perspective diferite asupra Bibliei, avortului, eutanasiei şi homosexualităţii, în ciuda ideii larg răspândite, potrivit căreia evanghelicii ar avea un set uniform de credinţe. În același timp temele principale, de bază ale creștinismului sunt confirmate de o majoritate a credincioșilor. „Acest studiu ne ajută să vorbim cu mai multă încredere despre comunitatea noastră evanghelică, despre lucrurile care sunt importante pentru noi şi despre contribuţia semnificativă pe care o aducem comunităţii din jurul nostru.”, spune Steve Clifford, directorul general al Alianţei citat de Christian Post.
Sondajul a arătat existenţa unui consens clar cu privire la unicitatea lui Hristos: 91% dintre evanghelici consideră că El este singura cale spre Dumnezeu. Optzeci şi opt la sută cred cu tărie că religia este cel mai important lucru din viaţa lor, iar 83% declară că aceasta a fost un factor important în luarea deciziilor. Nouăzeci şi patru la sută dintre evanghelici au convenit că una dintre datoriile creştinilor este să aibă grijă de mediul înconjurător şi 81% au spus că au fost implicaţi în vreun soi de muncă voluntară cel puţin o dată pe lună.
Divergenţele apar atunci când intră în discuţie probleme precum inspiraţia Bibliei. În timp ce evanghelicii sunt în general de acord că Biblia este Cuvântul inspirat al lui Dumnezeu, doar 54% au confirmat credința că Biblia pe care o deţin astăzi este în acord perfect cu manuscrisele originale şi nu conţine erori. În ceea ce priveşte atitudinea faţă de avort, diferenţele sunt de asemenea considerabile. Aproximativ 20% dintre cei chestionaţi spun că avortul nu poate fi justificat sub nicio formă, în timp ce 17% susţin exact opusul.Mai puţin de jumătate dintre evanghelici cred cu tărie că eutanasierea, ca sinucidere asistată, este întotdeauna un păcat (42%). Circa 24% dintre respondenţi au mărturisit că nu ştiu ce să credă cu privire la acest subiect.
Studiul a constatat de asemenea că în timp ce doar 13% au declarat cu tărie că a avea sentimente homosexuale este greşit, 59% s-au declarat complet convinşi că actele homosexuale sunt întotdeauna greşite. Şi mai multă incertitudine o ridică subiectul iadului . aproximativ 31% dintre evanghelici au spus că sunt nesiguri cu privire la existenţa unui loc de condamnare veşnică a celor păcătoşi. Cu toate acesta, aproximativ o jumătate dintre respondenţi fie cred cu tărie, fie sunt doar de acord că un astfel de loc există.
Rezultatele sondajului au fost semnalate și de Alin Cristea pe România Evanghelică sub titlul Survey: Most British Evangelicals Say Jesus Is the Only Way to God