By Christy Barritt
Multisite Churches on the Rise
Currently more than 5,000 churches in America provide more than one location for worship according to the Leadership Network. That number has multiplied in the past decade, given that in 2002 there were only 200.
“Multisite is truly a ‘new normal’ in cities large and small, urban and suburban and even rural,” the Leadership Network said in a statement. “Today it’s hard to find a church leadership conference that doesn’t deal with some aspect of multisite.”
Dr. Warren Bird, director of Research and Intellectual Capital Development at the Leadership Network and the report’s lead researcher, explained the significance of this trend.
“What grew in popularity initially among megachurches has now expanded to churches of all sizes, especially those with attendances of 500 or larger,” he said in a statement. “This rapid rate of growth for the number of multisite now outnumbers and outpaces the number of megachurches.’
Hostility Growing Toward Christians in US
The Family Research Council and Liberty Institute released a 140-page report that revealed a pattern of hostility toward Christians and Christianity in the United States. The report included more than 600 incidents over a 10-year period.
The hostility ranges from judiciary branch rulings to public school discrimination. Some examples included a federal judge who threatened to “incarcerate” a high school valedictorian unless she removed references to Jesus from her graduation speech and a public university that banned a Christian organization because it required its officers to adhere to a statement of faith.
“America today would be unrecognizable to our Founders,” said Kelly Shackelford, president of the Liberty Institute. “Our First Liberty is facing a relentless onslaught from well-funded and aggressive groups and individuals who are using the courts, Congress, and the vast federal bureaucracy to suppress and limit religious freedom. This radicalized minority is driven by an anti-religious ideology that is turning the First Amendment upside down.”
Conservative States More Charitable
A study released by The Chronicle of Philanthropy showed that states where residents give the most money to charity tend to be the most religious and to vote Republican.
The study examined the itemized deductions of people making $50,000 or more annually in 2008. The authors determined that the eight most charitable states are Utah, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Idaho, Arkansas, and Georgia. The seven least charitable states are Wisconsin, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire.
Eight of the 10 most generous states voted for John McCain in the 2008 presidential election, while nine of the 10 least generous voted for President Obama.
America’s Smuttiest Cities
Men’s Health magazine recently released its list of “The Smuttiest Cities in America.” The rankings were based on the quantity of pornographic DVDs purchased, rented, or streamed; adult entertainment stores per city; rate of porn searches on the Internet; and the percentage of households that subscribe to a channel that shows soft-core porn.
Orlando, Florida took the top spot, followed by Las Vegas, Nevada. The number three spot was given to Wilmington, Delaware, followed by Raleigh, North Carolina. Charlotte, North Carolina came in at number five.
A ChristiaNet survey shows that 50 percent of Christian men and 20 percent of Christian women are addicted to pornography. According to Pure Life Ministries, 37 percent of ministers say that cyber porn is currently a struggle for them.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.