Alabama Megachurch Builds $26 Million Entertainment Center with Bowling Alley, Night Club

Church Bowling Alley

A megachurch in Alabama recently held an open house to celebrate the opening of its $26 million dollar, six-dome entertainment center, which some are stating is far from biblical Christianity and the example of the early Church.

Faith Chapel Christian Center in Wylam, near Birmingham, completed the project on it 137-acre campus last year, all of which was funded by the tithes and offerings of its more than 6,400 members. The facility is located in a depressed area where a number of residents are low-income.

“We believe we can really meet the needs of the community,” leader Michael Moore, author of the book Rich is Not a Bad Word, told AL.com. “It will bridge people from the world to the Kingdom.”

According to reports, the facility features—among other amenities—a 12-lane bowling alley, a basketball court, a fitness center, a banquet hall and cafe, a teen dance club, and an adult alcohol and smoke-free night club.

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IRS agrees to monitor sermons in settlement with atheists

IRS - Public Domain

The IRS has agreed to pay closer attention to what is said in houses of worship after reaching a settlement with a secularist group in federal court last week.

On Friday, the IRS settled a lawsuit filed in 2012 by the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF). The Wisconsin group brought the lawsuit because it said the IRS was ignoring complaints about churches violating their tax-exempt statuses. Specifically, FFRF said many churches promote political issues, legislation, and/or candidates from the pulpit in violation of the 1954 Johnson Amendment, which requires that non-profits not endorse candidates.

According to FFRF, the IRS has not followed a 2009 ruling requiring it to hire someone to keep an eye on church politicking. The IRS says it hasn’t ignored the ruling, but merely failed to follow it.

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Catholics Flocking To Venerate Vial Of Blood From Deceased Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II - Photo by Ing Mgr Jozef Kotulič

Roman Catholics in New York City will observe what they call a veneration of a vial of blood drawn from the late Pope John Paul II this weekend, as others are expressing concern about the idolatry of such practices.

The relic tour was recently announced by the Knights of Columbus, which regularly hosts the vial at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C.

“There was no greater champion of human rights in our lifetime than St. John Paul, who reminded us that those rights begin with religious liberty and the rights of conscience,” said Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “He did this most memorably in the first year of his papacy when he returned to Poland and brought there the hope of freedom, and again when he spoke so clearly on behalf of religious freedom at the U.N. in New York.”

This Saturday and Sunday, the relic will appear at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, where Catholics will be invited to visit the vial following mass both days.

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Italian Newspaper Quotes Pope Francis As Saying That One Out Of Every 50 Catholic Priests Are Pedophiles

Pope Francis - Photo by Tania Rego

Pope Francis has been quoted as saying that reliable data indicates that “about 2%” of clergy in the Catholic Church are paedophiles.

The Pope said that abuse of children was like “leprosy” infecting the Church, according to the Italian La Repubblica newspaper.

He vowed to “confront it with the severity it demands”.

But a Vatican spokesman said the quotes in the newspaper did not correspond to Pope Francis’s exact words.

The BBC’s David Willey in Rome says there is often a studied ambiguity in Pope Francis’ off-the-cuff statements.

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Germany’s ‘House of One’: The First Church-Mosque-Synagogue For A One World Religion?

One World Religion

Berlin thinks it is making religious history as Muslims, Jews and Christians join hands to build a place where they can all worship. The House of One, as it is being called, will be a synagogue, a church and a mosque under one roof.

An architecture competition has been held and the winner chosen. The striking design is for a brick building with a tall, square central tower. Off the courtyard below will be the houses of worship for the three faiths – the synagogue, the church and the mosque. It is to occupy a prominent site – Petriplatz – in the heart of Berlin.

The location is highly significant, according to one of the three religious leaders involved, Rabbi Tovia Ben Chorin. “From my Jewish point of view the city where Jewish suffering was planned is now the city where a centre is being built by the three monotheistic religions which shaped European culture,” he told the BBC.

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Islamic Prayers To Be Held At The Vatican

Vatican

For the first time in history, Islamic prayers and readings from the Quran will be heard at the Vatican on Sunday, in a move by Pope Francis to usher in peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Francis issued the invitation to Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during his visit last week to Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority.

Abbas, Peres, and Francis will be joined by Jewish, Christian and Islamic religious leaders, a statement released by Peres’s spokesperson said, according to the Times of Israel.

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Religion in the Age of Cyborgs

Transhumanism

We have to overcome humanity itself to overcome religion. What happens to religion if the future belongs to the cyborgs?

To begin with: transhumanists are divided on the question of religion/spirituality. A clear majority identifies as secular, and many of those are self-proclaimed atheists. Some, such as the Brighter Brains Institute think-tank, dabble in militant atheism (their term) together with neuroengineering, biohacking, and radical life extension. But there are also various strands of explicitly religious transhumanists, such as the Mormon Transhumanist Association.

These Cyborgs for God see new technologies and radical modifications of human nature as ways of approaching salvation and becoming divine. Others, who would often self-describe as secular, still draw on religion-like narratives to talk about our imminent transhuman revolution through the “technological Singularity”. Some advocates, such as Ray Kurzweil, even see the singularity as a way to create God by rearranging all the matter in the universe and making it conscious.

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