Over the past week, TheBlaze has covered a number of faith-related stories. We talked to a Hollywood pastor who sees a bright future for Christianity, recapped a battle brewing over Bible verses at the U.S. Air Force Academy — and explored a mysterious $600,000 tithe theft at Pastor Joel Osteen’s Texas church.
And those stories only scratch the surface of the many events and happenings we’ve recently highlighted. Check out our recap below of some of TheBlaze’s most-read and thought-provoking faith and religion coverage of late:
First off, Pastor Touré Roberts, founder of One Church International, a nondenominational house of worship in Los Angeles, Calif., told TheBlaze that he believes there’s actually a bright future in store for Christianity, as he sees positive trends among actors, singers and executives in Hollywood.
Then there’s Michael Luo, a deputy metropolitan editor at the New York Times. He’s a Bible-believing Christian who spoke out last week about bias, his faith and how religion is handled in the newsroom.
Switching gears a bit, Pastor Ulf Ekman, a non-denominational preacher who served for decades at Word of Life Church in Sweden, stunned his congregation last weekend when he announced that he and his wife will be converting to Catholicism.
While we’re talking about pastors making surprising announcements, Bishop Bobby Davis of Miracle Faith World Outreach Church in Bridgeport, Conn. admitted his infidelity in front his congregation last Sunday then fell over dead of a massive heart attack.
And Westboro Baptist Church’s founder is reportedly nearing death.
Pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas also endured a major shocker when $600,000 in checks, cash and credit card statements — all part of last weekend’s tithe — were stolen from the church safe. Lakewood reassured its congregants that the funds were insured and will be restored; there are no updates regarding the search for those responsible.
And over at the Air Force Academy there’s a battle underway over Bible and Koran verses that cadets placed on white boards outside their bedroom doors. It all started with the verse, “I have been crucified with Christ therefore I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a group that advocates for the separation of church and state, complained that the message — which was posted by a cadet in a leadership role — was in public space outside the door; it was subsequently removed.
Then numerous cadets responded to the removal by posting verses on their white boards. Since then there’s been a back-and-forth and very public debate over whether the Air Force should allow such displays of personal religious sentiment.
While we’re talking about controversy, though, we also must mention this story about Pastor Mark Driscoll.
Also, have you caught the ongoing debate over Disney’s “Frozen”?
And speaking of movies, Pat Robertson recently indicated that watching certain films could leave the door open to demonic possession.
Another complicated and bizarre story out of Michigan involves college-age girls, a chiropractor and parents’ claims that their daughters have been brought into a cult-like belief system in which they refer to the doctor as a “prophet,” work at his massage parlor and live in communes.
Don’t forget to take a look at the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls that were rediscovered by an Israeli academic after having gone missing for six decades.
And as the search for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 continues, take a look at the clip of T.B. Joshua, a Nigerian pastor and founder of Emmanuel TV. The outlet claims he may have prophesied what unfolded during a July 2013 sermon about an incident involving an aircraft.
Finally, do you need to believe in God to be a moral person? See how people around the globe responded to that controversial question.
Featured image via Twitter/Shutterstock.com and Disney’s YouTube page