Are you ready for this week’s faith and culture recap? To begin, let’s take a look at the church-state battles that have been raging in recent days.
And take a look at the four simple words a Texas tax collector added to his official stationary that have some critics up in arms.
“There are people who will see it and see a religious statement and there are others that will see it and see a patriotic statement. I look at it and see both,” the official told KTVT-TV.
In yet another case, a military recruitment center is being accused of improperly displaying and allowing the distribution of camouflage-covered Bibles, an alleged constitutional violation.
And what about churches taking political stances? One atheist group believes that’s a problem — and they did something about it by filing a lawsuit against the IRS.
“Our victory ensures that churches are not being singled out for preferential treatment as they were,” a leader of the Freedom From Religion Foundation said in a statement.
And as the Gaza conflict simmers, it seems the Israel Defense Forces allegedly obtained a copy of a Hamas “urban warfare” manual, which might imply and corroborate that Hamas is using human shields in its fight with Israel.
And before he left for Liberia, Dr. Kent Brantly — the American doctor being treated for Ebola — gave a sermon explaining why he decided to serve there.
“On difficult days when I want to give up or when I wonder if I’ve made the right decision, retelling my story reminds me of how God has brought me to where I am,” he said in his message.
And take a look at the unusual way that famous pastor and writer John Piper responded to tweets by Donald Trump about bringing Brantly and another American with the disease back to U.S.
If you’re looking for a longer weekend read, then don’t miss this profile of Matt Chandler, the prominent pastor who survived brain cancer.
And check out why a major Christian organization removed Pastor Mark Driscoll’s church from its ranks — a decision made with “deep sorrow,” according to a statement released on the group’s website.
Also: What are the most (and least) religious schools in America? The Princeton Review has the answer.
Finally, watch this video message to President Barack Obama by the children of an American pastor imprisoned in Syria. But make sure you have a box of tissues nearby first.
Front page image via Shutterstock.com