Emily McFarlan Miller
According to a new survey, more Protestants reported they believe salvation comes through a mix of faith and good works (52 percent) — the traditionally Catholic position — than through “faith alone” (46 percent). That belief — “sola fide” in Latin — is one of five “solas” that form the backbone of Protestant Reformers’ beliefs.
The theological differences that led to the Protestant Reformation 500 years ago have dwindled since in both the United States and Western Europe.
That’s the finding of a Pew Research Center survey released Thursday (Aug. 31), weeks before late October’s 500th anniversary of the schism in western Christianity.
Among U.S. Protestants, many seem unaware of the differences, voicing beliefs today that are more traditionally Catholic than they are Protestant.
“I think it’s fair to say the differences between the two groups have diminished to a degree that might have shocked Christians of earlier centuries,” said Greg Smith, associate director of research at Pew Research Center.
“Maybe it’s not a huge surprise in the context of modern-day United States, but if you look back at the longer term – at the 500th anniversary of the Reformation – that would be quite surprising to a Christian of 300, 400, 500 years ago.” Continue reading “U.S. Catholics and Protestants agree: 500 years after Reformation, they have more in common than not”
Stoyan Zaimov The Christian Post Hundreds of Portuguese evangelicals are reportedly planning to engage with Roman Catholics at the massive Fátima two-day event, where Pope Francis is set to canonize two shepherd children who 100 years ago claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary. Evangelical Focus reported on Friday that Francis is visiting the famous Marian sanctuary near Lisbon on May 12 and 13, which has become … Continue reading Hundreds of Evangelicals to Share Word of God With Catholics at Massive Fátima Event
John Burger Aleteia The pacifistic religious group known as Jehovah’s Witnesses has been declared an “extremist group” in Russia and forbidden to carry out public activities. Russia’s Supreme Court on Thursday accepted a request from the justice ministry that the Jehovah’s Witnesses be considered an extremist group and ordered its national headquarters in St. Petersburg and all 395 local churches closed. It banned all their activity … Continue reading Pacifist Jehovah’s Witnesses now banned in Russia as “extremists”
It’s official. Jehovah’s Witnesses can no longer practice their faith freely in Russia, where the Supreme Court on Thursday declared the pacifist religious organization an “extremist group” and banned all of its activity.
The judge ordered all 395 local chapters and its Russian headquarters to close and authorized the government to seize all property. Under the ruling, distributing copies of the Watchtower, discussing their beliefs in public, or even worshipping at a meeting hall has become a crime. Continue reading “Russia Bans Jehovah’s Witnesses as Extremists”
A congregation in Kentucky could soon be evicted from its church building by its regional Presbyterian Church (USA) governing body after the congregation voiced disapproval with the denomination‘s decision to recognize and allow gay marriage.
The Presbytery of Western Kentucky has given First Presbyterian Church of Calvert City until April 19 to vacate its church building.
Paul Ambler, clerk of session and husband of the church’s pastor, told The Christian Post on Tuesday that the congregation received a notice to vacate the building, which is owned by the presbytery, last week. Continue reading “Kentucky PCUSA Congregation Being Kicked Out of Church Building After Rift Over Marriage Definition”
AP MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – The Alabama Senate has voted to allow a church to form its own police force. Lawmakers on Tuesday voted 24-4 to allow Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham to establish a law enforcement department. The church says it needs its own police officers to keep its school as well as its more than 4,000 person congregation safe. Critics of the bill … Continue reading Alabama Senate votes to allow church to form police dept.
North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists
Recent events by both the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. Government have brought the Johnson Amendment and participation in elections by non-profits (including churches) to the forefront. The Johnson Amendment is the 1954 amendment to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code prohibiting tax exempt organizations from endorsing or opposing candidates for office. This amendment is so named because of its sponsorship by then Senator Lyndon Johnson who had been targeted by a non-profit during an election.
While not controversial when passed, it is now viewed by some as an infringement on the religious liberty and speech rights of churches. Critics contend that it regulates what can be said from the pulpit, normally one of the most sacrosanct places free from government intrusion. Others have raised concerns that it creates an environment for further regulation of churches via the tax code. Continue reading “Church in North-America Reinforces Position on Church and State Separation”
A satellite campus of a United Methodist congregation in Kansas has left the mainline denomination over the church body’s homosexuality debate.
Asbury United Methodist Church of Wichita’s west campus, which had an average 350 regular attendance, decided to cut ties with both the main campus and the denomination.
The vote came at a meeting held last Thursday which featured Asbury Church Senior Pastor Rick Just and West Campus Pastor Aaron Wallace. Continue reading “United Methodist Congregation’s Satellite Campus Splits From Church Over Homosexuality Debate”
Rome Reports The Vatican will examine the figure of Luther from both an academic and historical point of view. It is more than theological issues that explain the beginning of the Reformation. P. JOHANNES GROHE Professor of Medieval History, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross “Luther does not act in union with the Emperor. It is the regional princes in Germany who take the reform … Continue reading Vatican Scholars will study the figure of Luther to understand why the Reformation occurred
Zenit ‘Luther 500 Years Later. A Rereading of the Lutheran Reformation in the Historical, Ecclesial Context’ Historical studies and their perspective enable one to understand today that the Protestant Reformation cannot be explained by theological reasons alone. And although there were misunderstandings at the root of the break, there was above all an historical, political and economic context, without which a rupture of Christianity would … Continue reading Rome Congress: The Reformation Is Not Explained by Religious Differences Alone‘Luther 500 Years Later. A Rereading of the Lutheran Reformation in the Historical, Ecclesial Context’