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Church is not important: 51% of U.S. adults say

Americans Divided on the Importance of Church - Sacred Roots: Why the Church Still Matters (Credit: Barna Group) What helps you grow in your faith?  The Barna Group, a Christian polling organization, asked American adults that question.  They listed prayer, family, friends, reading the Bible, even having children.  But going to church did not crack the top-10 list.

Half of us (49 percent) say church attendance is "somewhat" or "very" important, but half (51 percent) say it is "not too" or "not at all" important.  The younger we are, the worse the numbers get.  Only two in 10 adults under the age of 30 believe church is important; more than a third take an anti-church stance.

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March Madness: Why Baylor has already won

Baylor gets a boost from Kenny Chery, who delivers in overtime with 12 of his 20 points (Credit: USA Today Sports Images) REVISION: We thought Baylor played Friday night when writing this Cultural Commentary.  We have revised the essay below to reflect the fact thay they played Thursday night, and apologize for the error.

As March Madness continues, Baylor played last night for a chance to continue in the NCAA men's basketball tournament.  The Bears had already gone further than most expected.  Though they lost to Wisconsin, they have already achieved what matters most, in athletics and in life.

FOX Sports Southwest headlined the story: "Baylor's 'extraordinary' season has left lives changed."  It begins with the Bears' loss to Kansas last February 4, their seventh defeat in eight games.  Head coach Scott Drew stopped one of the team chaplains after the game and said, "We may not win another game this year, and I may be a horrible coach, but if any of these guys leave without knowing Christ, that will be the real loss."

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World Vision board reverses same-sex marriage stand

The sign for the headquarters of the World Vision international humanitarian group in Federal Way, Washington (Credit: Amy Ashcraft via Flickr)World Vision U.S., one of the largest benevolent ministries in the world, made global headlines this week with its decision to begin hiring employees engaged in legal same-sex marriages.  Now the board has reversed its position.

Here is how its open letter begins: "Today, the World Vision U.S. board publicly reversed its recent decision to change our employment conduct policy.  The board acknowledged they made a mistake and chose to revert to our longstanding conduct policy requiring sexual abstinence for all single employees and faithfulness within the Biblical covenant of marriage between a man and a woman."

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World Vision's same-sex marriage stand: what does God think?

Richard Stearns, president, World Vision U.S. (Credit: World Vision) UPDATE: On the afternoon of Wednesday March 26th, 2014, World Vision reversed its decision to make changes to their employment conduct policy regarding same-sex marriage.  Click here to read more.

World Vision is one of the world's largest benevolent organizations, and has been extremely effective in serving the poor around the world.  Now, according to President Richard Stearns' letter to their employees, their board has chosen "to allow a Christian in a legal same-sex marriage to be employed at World Vision."  What does God think about this decision?  Consider four biblical principles.

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Why the Hobby Lobby case is so significant

Hobby Lobby President Steve Green and his mother Barbara Green stand outside the federal courthouse in Oklahoma City on Friday, July 19, 2013. (Credit: The Oklahoman/Brianna Bailey) Today the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius.  In question is whether for-profit religious employers can be forced to provide abortion-causing drugs to their employees.  Other writers offer introductions to the arguments; I'm focusing this morning on an even more fundamental issue illustrated by these cases.

Let's begin with Damon Linker's fascinating new essay in The Week: "Why churches should brace for a mass exodus of the faithful." 

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