Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Religion and Faith in Review

President Obama invited the Dali Lama to the White House for a visit on Saturday.

This was the first time for the Tibetan spiritual leader who is in Washington for an 11-day Buddhist ritual. The president last met with the Nobel Peace laureate in February 2010, infuriating Chinese officials. China accuses the Dalai Lama of pushing for Tibetan independence.

Try to keep a “low-key approach,” the White House has set the meeting in the White House Map Room, not the Oval Office, which is reserved for visiting heads of state.

The White House is keeping the meeting closed to the news media, as it did last year.
A White House official says Obama will urge that representatives of the Dalai Lama be allowed to engage with Chinese authorities and will call for the preservation of Tibetan culture. 

Robert Schuller was ousted from the board of the Crystal Cathedral

Schuller, 84, who began his ministry in an Orange, Calif., drive-in theater more than 50 years ago, was voted off the board of the Crystal Ministries, which has been plagued by financial problems and familial discord, according to the paper.

Robert H. Schuller has been at odds with his daughters over how they have chosen to run the church. The cathedral recently switched over from a traditional worship format to a Gospel-style choir -- much to the chagrin of many long-time members. Sheila Schuller Coleman also required choir members to sign a covenant acknowledging Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and the belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

The older Schuller publicly lashed out at the contract saying everyone is welcome in the church. Phillip Johnson, the architect who constructed the cathedral's iconic glass sanctuary, was an openly gay man.

Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life Survey 

In response to the entire hullabaloo over Rob Bell’s theory that God’s love will eventually overcome all human sin and resistance enabling every individual to enjoy heaven, an overwhelming majority of Americans believes in life after death. Some 74 percent believe in heaven and almost 60 percent believe in hell.

Unfortunately the majority of Americans also believe that many religions can lead to eternal life. American people are as a whole are unwilling to be dogmatic about which religion maybe the right one or the only one.

Evangelicals, though, are more likely to say that theirs is the one true faith that leads to eternal life. Fewer Evangelicals today however are willing to take a stand and say with Jesus that He is The Way!

C. J. Mahaney steps down from Sovereign Grace Ministries

Mahaney explains on his blog – “with a few potential exceptions, I will be taking a break from updating this blog for a while, and I want to share with you the reasons why and entreat you for your prayers while I am on leave.

Over the last few years some former pastors and leaders in Sovereign Grace have made charges against me and informed me about offenses they have with me as well as other leaders in Sovereign Grace. These charges are serious and they have been very grieving to read. These charges are not related to any immorality or financial impropriety, but this doesn’t minimize their serious nature, which include various expressions of pride, unentreatability, deceit, sinful judgment, and hypocrisy.

I believe God is kindly disciplining me through this. I believe I have by the grace of God perceived a degree of my sin, and I have been grieved by my sin and its effects on others.  I have had the opportunity to confess my sin to some of those affected in various ways by my sin. And I am so very grateful for their forgiveness.  But I want to perceive and confess any and all sin I have committed.  Although my experience of conviction has already started—and this is an evidence of God’s mercy—I’m sure there is more for me to perceive and acknowledge.  Even with the charges I disagree with it has been beneficial to examine my soul and ask for the observation of others.  And I am resolved to take responsibility for my sin and every way my leadership has been deficient, and this would include making any appropriate confessions, public or private.  Most importantly I want to please God during this season of examination and evaluation.”

Bill Maher is "An Apatheist"

Bill Maher states that he's an "apatheist" (an apathetic atheist), someone who doesn't waste his time thinking about God or religion. This is interesting, considering he has bothered to come up with a term to describe his non-belief in God, and that he put out a feature-length film devoted entirely to making a mockery of religion.

Maher certainly lives up to the description presented in Proverbs 21:24.

Join Gospel-driven Disciples each Tuesday for a summary, recap, and commentary on the religious news of the week.


Trisha said...

It's interesting to see Mahaney listed among bullets about the likes of men such as Schuller, Obama and Dali Lama, and then the especially vocal God-hating Maher.

We're reading one of Mahaney's books together, and the book is becoming a favorite. We're praying for grace-filled restoration for all involved....his stepping down is only temporary, I thought.

Larri @ Seams Inspired said...

I don't know Mahaney, but have of course heard of the others in your post. I'm off to check out Mahaney.

Apathetic Atheist? Sounds like an oxymoronic title.

Happy Tuesday! ☺

Josh Litton said...

Hey Gregg--Thanks for the updates! Great snapshots. This stuff is really interesting. The Mahaney article is interesting. At least it isn't a sexual scandal. That plot is a bit threadbare, I think--and how sad that it is!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Lovely photo's and such interesting reading. It's awe inspiring coming to your blog each day. Thanks Gregg kepp up the good work.

PS I was OUTSIDE the White House on May 30th this year, quite an ocassion.

Gregg said...

Trisha - Even though I think he is getting a bum wrap, his decision was still news. I certainly don't put him in the same camp as the rest of these guys. It is thought to be temporary, we shall see how it progresses.

Larri - Mahaney is the founder of Covenant Life Church and Sovereign Grace Ministries. He reformed and a believer in the charismatic gifts continuing in todays church age. He has been involved in church planting ministries through Sovereign Grace.

Josh Litton - you are welcome. Thanks! Thank God it isn't sexual or financial. I think much of it is his fault due to his convictions about non-cessation and how to run the organization. I not a fan of any para-church organization. I think from what I have read he may be getting a bit of a bum wrap.

Yvonne - thank you! I am glad you come each day and you find inspiration. I bet it was something to be outside the White House. I have driven by it once in my life and would love to visit it sometime.

Trisha said...

So sorry Gregg I didn't make it clear that I didn't think you had some agenda in listing him with the rest. :)

Penned Pebbles said...

Mostly sad and even ridiculous stuff except for Mahaney. I appreciate his decision and self-evaluation. I think this sets a good example for the rest of us.

Crystal Mary said...

I was amazed by the Schuller family problems. And that Robert senior was so liberal? And the Dalli Lama, can't spell it... and don't abide with it.