Top of the Week: Minister's Heretical 'Sparkle Creed' Sparks Controversy and Criticism

TOTW Sparkle Creed YT

(Screenshot, YouTube/ECLC)

Following are snippets of the top stories posted over the past week on We encourage you to visit the links to read the stories in full.

Minister's Heretical 'Sparkle Creed' Sparks Controversy and Criticism

A Lutheran minister has sparked controversy and captured public attention with a recitation of a heretical "Sparkle Creed" during a recent church service.

Anna Helgen,co-pastor at Edina Community Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, led the congregation in the recitation, which has drawn criticism for its departure from biblical teachings.

In this creed, Helgen proclaimed her belief in a nonbinary God, assigning plural pronouns to the divine. Such a portrayal deviates from the biblical understanding of God's nature and character. The Scriptures clearly refer to God in masculine terms and emphasize the unity and oneness of the divine being (John 1:18, 1 Cor. 8:6).

Pastor Steven Furtick's Elevation Megachurch Severs Ties With SBC

In a recent blow to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), Elevation Church, one of its prominent congregations, has made the decision to withdraw its affiliation with the denomination. This development comes less than a month after the permanent expulsion of Saddleback Church for having women pastors.

Elevation Church, known for its multiple campuses and influential role in contemporary Christian worship music, formally notified the SBC of its withdrawal on June 26.

The church's correspondence did not explicitly state the reason behind the decision. Notably, Elevation Pastor Steven Furtick's wife, Holly Furtick, delivers sermons to both men and women at the church and shares links to her messages on her website.

Conservative Commentator Todd Starnes Permanently Banned From YouTube

Conservative commentator and radio talk show host Todd Starnes says YouTube has permanently shut down his account.

In a recent blog post, Starnes explains that he had posted a video of a recent gay pride parade in Seattle. He criticized the event because it featured naked male cyclists "exposing themselves in front of children".

"Within minutes – my entire YouTube account was terminated. It was the last straw," he wrote. "YouTube accused me of severe and repeated violations of their community guidelines."

Is God Sending a Message of Hope to America?

Although I am a believer, not a skeptic, I'm a thinking believer. I'm not impressed with the "discovery" of the face of Jesus in a piece of wood. Or the map of America appearing in a bowl of melting ice cream.

My Ph.D. is in ancient Semitic texts and languages, and I look for hard data. For facts rather than speculation.

It was also his very first book.

NBA Player Defends American Values Against WNBA Player Tirade

Enes Kanter Freedom, an outspoken advocate for freedom and human rights, responded to Natasha Cloud, a player in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), after her recent criticisms of the United States following key Supreme Court rulings last week.

In a tweet on Friday, Cloud expressed her dissatisfaction with the country, stating that "our country is trash in so many ways" in response to the Supreme Court's rulings on affirmative action and the case involving artist Lorie Smith. Kanter Freedom, hailing from Turkey, chimed in, emphasizing that people often fail to recognize the privileges and opportunities they have in the United States.

"Just ask your colleague Brittney Griner how 'trash' America is," Kanter Freedom tweeted. "Calling America trash huh? Let me know when your season is over, I'll buy your ticket and we can go together to counties like China, Russia, IRAN, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba & Turkey."

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