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Randolph County Herald Tribune - Chester, IL
  • Religion News: Historic Baptist church names lesbian couple as pastors

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  • WEEK IN RELIGION
    The historic 155-year-old Calvary Baptist Church in downtown Washington D.C. recently named a lesbian couple as its new pastors. On Jan. 8, Sally Sarratt and Maria Swearingen were presented to the congregation during worship services and will begin their new positions on Feb. 26. Although church officials didn’t know if Sarratt and Swearingen were the first gay couple to lead a Baptist church, the chair of Calvary’s ministerial selection committee said the committee was impressed by the couple. “We were impressed by how their gifts, talents, and experience matched our ministry priorities — and we are thrilled about their upcoming pastorate and the versatility the co-pastor model will provide our congregation,” Carol Blythe said. The church severed ties with the Southern Baptist Convention in 2012 over a number of issues, including same-sex marriage. Despite the split, Calvary Baptist is still affiliated with American Baptist Churches USA, the Alliance of Baptists, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the District of Columbia Baptist Convention.
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    SURVEY SAYS
    U.S. Congress remains Christian
    An overwhelming majority of members of the 115th Congress identify themselves as Christian, according to a new survey. According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, Congress is about as Christian today as it was in the early 1960s. The survey found that 91 percent of Congress members described themselves as Christian. The percentage is nearly the same as the 87th Congress (1961-1962), when 95 percent of members described themselves as Christian.
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    GOOD BOOK?
    “Jesus Among Secular Gods: The Countercultural Claims of Christ” by Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale
    The rise of these secular gods presents the most serious challenge to the absolute claims of Christ since the founding of Christianity itself. The Christian worldview has not only been devalued and dismissed by modern culture, but its believers are openly ridiculed as irrelevant. In “Jesus Among Secular Gods,” Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale challenge the popular “isms” of the day, skillfully pointing out the fallacies in their claims and presenting compelling evidence for revealed absolute truth as found in Jesus. This book is fresh, insightful, and important, and faces head on today’s most urgent challenges to Christian faith. It will help seekers to explore the claims of Christ and will provide Christians with the knowledge to articulate why they believe that Jesus stands tall above all other gods.
    — FaithWords
    THE WORD
    tawhid: Pronounced “tau-HEED.” The concept that denotes the oneness and unity of God; it is the basis of Islam.
    ReligionStylebook.com
    RELIGION AROUND THE WORLD
    According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Mexico is:
    — Roman Catholic: 82.7 percent
    — Pentecostal: 1.6 percent
    Page 2 of 2 - — Jehovah’s Witness: 1.4 percent
    — Other Evangelical: 5 percent
    — Other: 1.9 percent
    — None: 4.7 percent
    — Unspecified: 2.7 percent
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