In more than half of the states in the U.S., Mormonism is the fastest-growing religion. Although Mormons consider their church to a restorationist movement within Christianity (they believe the Great Apostasy occurred between the time of the New Testament church and it’s restoration under Joseph Smith), Mormonism differs radically from the orthodox Christian teachings and beliefs. Here are nine things you should know about Mormon beliefs:
ICC Note: Iraq, a country with a long Christian history stretching to Jesus’ time, is facing the extinction of one of its oldest living communities. From the 1.3 million Christians that once occupied Iraq in 2003 to the 400,000 left today, many communities fear that they will witness the end of Christian life in Iraq. Many have fled to neighboring countries. Many more are still attempting to escape the violent persecution felt through government crackdowns and ISIS (ISIL, IS) related persecution. Many large communities have been broken up and scattered all over the world, congregating in places like San Diego, California, Arizona, Chicago and Las Vegas. As the sectarianism worsens in Iraq, many still cling to the hope that their country will return to peace and Christians may safely return to their communities.
ICC Note: As religious freedoms continue to come under attack both domestically and internationally, many opinions arise on the issue of religious liberty. The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention worked with LifeWay Research to conduct a survey on what Southern Baptists Pastors think of various religious freedom issues. Perhaps most alarming was that “41 percent of those surveyed felt their community lacked a clear understanding of the religious freedom protections recognized by the First Amendment.”
By Chuck Lawless
Several years ago, more than one study showed large percentages of unchurched would consider attending a church if someone simply invited them. The problem is not the attitude of the unchurched; rather, it is often the failure of church members to invite others. When my church consulting teams have asked church members about their reticence to invite others to church, here are ten responses we have often heard (listed in no particular order):