For most people, including the church, today’s Supreme Court decision is no surprise. But we must not confuse the roles of church and state. It is the responsibility of civil government to defend the rights of all its citizens, and to define civil marriage; it is the responsibility of a religious group to interpret its scriptures and act accordingly, including defining the parties and parameters of holy matrimony.
Ultimately, it is our joy as a church to welcome everyone seeking a closer relationship with God, no matter what their marital status or views on various issues.
— Dr. Joel C. Hunter
Wednesday, June 24, 2015An Evangelical Christian Pastor Is Called to Support a Values-Aligned Bank
In March, Reverend Joel Hunter attended the Global Alliance for Banking on Values Annual Meeting in Paris in his role as a member of the board of directors of First Green Bank. Hunter is the…
Christian Leaders Respond to ‘Literally Satanic’ Shooting at Charleston Church; 4,000 Residents Gather for Vigil
Christian leaders and organizations condemned the killing of nine African-American men and women at the Bible study of a Charleston church this week, acknowledging the “sin of racism” in America, even as more than 4,000 residents and leaders of different faiths came together for a vigil in the shaken city.
Monday, June 8, 2015Orlando Faith Leaders: Improving Race Relations Means Building Relationships
Is racism a sin? And if so, who must repent? A panel of faith leaders met Thursday evening at Northland, A Church Distributed in Longwood to tackle these and other weighty issues, during a discussion about the role religion can play in improving race relations in Central Florida and beyond.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015All Children Deserve a Healthy Climate
Pope Francis’ increasingly powerful statements on global warming highlight that climate action is becoming a growing moral imperative for all people of faith. Why? Because climate action is about saving people. The pope’s highly anticipated encyclical will come after a long history of the Christian community pushing for climate action.
As pockets of East and West Baltimore erupted in flames and riot on Monday night over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray who died on April 19 after suffering serious injury while in police custody, a diverse coalition of Christian leaders from across the country gathered at First Baptist Orlando church in Florida Tuesday to discuss ways in which the church can intervene and prevent these eruptions before they even start.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015Sanford, Ocoee Show Complexities in Search for Racial Harmony
Sanford and Ocoee have tried what other cities only talk about: bridging the divide between black and white. In 1999, Ocoee created its West Orange Racial Reconciliation Task Force. In 2012, black and white pastors formed Sanford Pastors Connecting following the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
Monday, April 27, 2015Central Florida Pastors Search for Common Ground Between Blacks, Whites
In an Altamonte Springs movie theater, several hundred members of black and white churches gathered together to watch the movie “Selma.” Afterward, pastors led a discussion of the movie. “Most of the blacks wanted to express their feelings about how they felt about it.
Friday, April 24, 2015Activists Demand Obama Appoint Envoy for Persecuted Middle Eastern Christians
WASHINGTON (RNS) Beheadings, enslavement, kidnappings and rape plague minority religious communities across the Middle East, and it’s time for President Obama to fill a job created to address their plight, a group of prominent evangelicals, scholars and other religious leaders told the White House.
Friday, April 17, 2015Interfaith Leaders Urge Lawmakers to Expand Medicaid for the Poor
Central Florida faith leaders have signed letters to Florida lawmakers urging the state legislature and Gov. Rick Scott to expand health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of Floridians who can not afford insurance.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015Christian Leaders Intensify Campaign against Mideast Persecution
80 leaders sign letter. Pope Francis critical of weak response to ‘unacceptable crimes.’
Monday, April 6, 2015What the Climate Movement Must Learn From Religion
Last September 40,000 people attended London’s largest ever climate march. This was a big achievement for an issue that struggles to catch people’s attention. After all, as psychologists point out, it is notoriously hard to mobilise people around issues that are invisible, uncertain, set in the future and require them to make sacrifices.
Wednesday, January 7, 2015Legalizing Gay Marriage: How Should Christians Respond?
How should Christians respond to the legalization of gay marriage in Florida and across the country? Dr. Joel C. Hunter, senior pastor of Northland, A Church Distributed, talks to WKMG 6 Orlando.
Monday, December 29, 2014OP ED: “Working together, we can find real solutions for the homeless”
“Home for the holidays?” As many of us take that option for granted, there are thousands among us for whom a home is only a dream. Yet, I take heart in our community’s new robust commitment to help the homeless across our region.
I’m excited: In almost 30 years as a spiritual leader of Northland Church and as an involved citizen in Central Florida, this is the highest level of focus and passion to help the homeless across this region that I have ever seen. As a board member of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness, and a participant in CFCH’s recent trip to Houston, I am seeing firsthand Read more…
Monday, December 1, 2014Pastor ‘Boldly’ Opposes Execution
That Scott Panetti killed his in-laws with a hunting rifle is indisputable. So is the fact that Texas plans next month to execute the man with a lengthy history of schizophrenia who defended himself at his 1995 trial dressed in cowboy togs and summoned John F. Kennedy and Jesus Christ to testify.
Joel Hunter, senior pastor of Northland, A Church Distributed, joined over 50 evangelical leaders who signed a letter to Texas Gov. Rick Perry decrying Panetti’s execution. In an email interview, Hunter told the Editorial Board why he got involved. Read more…