Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Koran Burning Comparable to Crucifying Christ, Says Piper
- Minority of Evangelical Leaders Say Bible Requires Tithing
- Court Rules to Protect N.C. Professor's Right to Religious Speech
- Survey: 14 Percent of Churches Use Online Giving
Koran Burning Comparable to Crucifying Christ, Says Piper
For Muslims, burning the Koran is similar to the crucifixion of Christ for Christians, according to well-known pastor John Piper. Christian Today reports that Piper's remarks were in the context of explaining Muslims' violent reaction over a Koran burning in Florida. Piper quoted British scholar Andrew Walls, founder of the Center for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World, in his book The Cross-Cultural Process in Christian History. The book notes the Koran is not for Muslims what the Bible is for Christians; rather, the Koran better parallels the importance of Christ. “The giving of the Koran is in Islam what the incarnation of Christ is to Christianity,” asserted Piper in a blog posting on the Desiring God website. “If this is so, then Koran-burning is parallel to Christ-crucifying.”
Minority of Evangelical Leaders Say Bible Requires Tithing
Most evangelical pastors don't think tithing is required by the Bible, CNN reports, but still believe it's a good idea. An informal survey, conducted by the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) among its 100-member board of directors, found that 42 percent of evangelical leaders believe the Bible requires tithing, while 58 percent do not. “Since there is such a strong evangelical tradition of tithing, I was a little surprised that a majority of our evangelical leaders say the tithe system of the Old Testament does not carry over to the New Testament or to us,” NAE President Leith Anderson said in a statement.
Court Rules to Protect N.C. Professor's Right to Religious Speech
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that University of North Carolina–Wilmington professor Mike Adams’ was denied a promotion based on his religious and political commentary. The Christian Post reports that Adams' conversion to Christianity and subsequent writings could not be considered part of his professional duties as a criminology professor, but are in fact protected by the First Amendment. University officials may be held liable for damages if the case continues. The appeals court said in its opinion, “No individual loses his ability to speak as a private citizen by virtue of public employment.”
Survey: 14 Percent of Churches Use Online Giving
As consumers in the United States shift increasingly to online banking and bill payment, their electronic financial habits are spilling over into the church. A new study by LifeWay Research found that 14 percent of all American Protestant churches offer online giving. The survey of 1,003 Protestant congregations was sponsored by LifeWay's Digital Church partner ServiceU. It found that large churches are most likely to offer online giving and that for the most part, electronic tithes and offerings are a recent development. "Fewer and fewer Americans cash their paychecks or carry a checkbook," said Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research. "Some churches are finding that the payment preferences of enough of their congregation have changed to warrant putting an offering plate online in addition to passing them in their worship services."