Study finds big differences in preaching
An analysis of nearly 50,000 sermons found church-goers experience a wide array of sermons, depending on their branch of Christianity. Pew Research Center’s study of the sermons (shared online by 6,431 churches) reported the median sermon length was 37 minutes. Historically black Protestant churches have the longest sermons—54 minutes—while Catholic homilies clocked in at 14.
Sermons from evangelical churches were three times more likely to include the phrase “eternal hell,” Christianity Today reported on the study. And sermons in black Protestant churches are eight times as likely to use the word “hallelujah.”
Former Harvest pastor sues radio host
James MacDonald, former pastor of Chicagoland’s Harvest Bible Chapel, is suing Chicago radio personality Matthew “Mancow” Muller for defamation. MacDonald was fired in February amid charges of poor leadership and financial mismanagement, and after Muller aired inappropriate comments allegedly made by MacDonald. In his lawsuit, the former Harvest pastor says Muller broadcast a private conversation that was recorded illegally.
Reform Jews support reparations for slavery
The country’s largest Jewish denomination will advocate for a federal commission to develop proposals for reparations to African Americans for slavery. Religion News Services reports the vote by the Union for Reform Judaism marks the first such effort by an American Jewish organization.
Churches minister to inmates at Christmas
For 40 years, Baptists in South Carolina have gifted inmates in the state with holiday packets. The ministry means every inmate in South Carolina receives a Christmas gift. Baptist Press reports churches and associations prepared 19,825 packets this year, including toiletry items, pens and notepads, a 30-day devotional, and a Christmas card.
Study: Every generation is tough on the one that follows
A phrase used to criticize young people is an actual cultural trend, according to researchers who say older generations tend to judge more harshly people who are younger than them. Wall Street Journal explains the “kids these days” effect.
Sources: Pew Research Center, Christianity Today, Religion News Service, Baptist Press, Wall Street Journal