R. Albert Mohler Jr.

Megachurch Pastors Leave Reformed Evangelical Network Amid Child Abuse Scandal

C.J. Mahaney, who has left the Gospel Coalition council, in a 2006 photo. Photocourtesy of james.thompson, via Wikimedia Commons

Two pastors are no longer listed on a Reformed evangelical group’s leadership after a different pastor from their church confessed to covering up sex abuse claims. Pastors Joshua Harris and C.J. Mahaney have left the Gospel Coalition council after a trial involving child abuse in the church they have both overseen.

A criminal trial that concluded last week has raised questions about which pastors at Covenant Life Church, a megachurch in Gaithersburg, Md., knew what about the abuse in which years.

Nathaniel Morales, 56, was convicted Thursday of sexually abusing three young boys between 1983 and 1991 when he was a youth leader.

Former Covenant Life pastor Grant Layman suggested while testifying about allegations against Morales that he withheld information from the police about the abuse.

“Did you have an obligation to report the alleged abuse?” public defender Alan Drew, who represented Morales, asked during cross-examination. “I believe so,” Layman said. “And you didn’t,” Drew responded. “No,” Layman said.

Are Atheists Smarter Than Believers? Not Exactly.

Person taking an IQ test. Photo courtesy RNS/shutterstock.com

Person taking an IQ test. Photo courtesy RNS/shutterstock.com

A new study of almost a century’s worth of data shows that the smarter you are, the less likely you are to believe in God.

The study, conducted by Miron Zuckerman, a psychologist at the University of Rochester, examined the findings of 63 earlier studies — one dating back to the 1920s — that measured intelligence and religiosity. The majority of those studies found that more intelligent people were more likely to lack religious beliefs.

“The relation between intelligence and religion is negative,” Zuckerman said. “It was very early in the study that we realized that.”

But Zuckerman is careful to point out that his work — known as a “meta-study” because it examines a range of other studies — does not mean only dumb people believe in God.

Rather, he said, it shows only that more intelligent people may have less need for religion.

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