Saturday, October 08, 2005

THE EXCLUSIVENESS OF CHRIST
"Come unto Me." Matthew 11:28

Is it not humiliating to be told that we must come to Jesus! Think of the things we will not come to Jesus Christ about. If you want to know how real you are, test yourself by these words - "Come unto Me." In every degree in which you are not real, you will dispute rather than come, you will quibble rather than come, you will go through sorrow rather than come, you will do anything rather than come the last lap of unutterable foolishness - "Just as I am." As long as you have the tiniest bit of spiritual impertinence, it will always reveal itself in the fact that you are expecting God to tell you to do a big thing, and all He is telling you to do is to "come."

"Come unto Me." When you hear those words you will know that something must happen in you before you can come. The Holy Spirit will show you what you have to do, anything at all that will put the axe at the root of the thing which is preventing you from getting through. You will never get further until you are willing to do that one thing. The Holy Spirit will locate the one impregnable thing in you, but He cannot budge it unless you are willing to let Him.

How often have you come to God with your requests and gone away with the feeling - Oh, well, I have done it this time! And yet you go away with nothing, whilst all the time God has stood with outstretched hands not only to take you, but for you to take Him. Think of the invincible, unconquerable, unwearying patience of Jesus - "Come unto Me."

Oswald Chambers


Ah, I have kept Him waiting when I ought not, but He has waited even then. Always waiting - so patient with my foolishness, my weakness, my fear. Our fellowship is with God, and fellowship is friendship, and friendship means that partnership which, on His part, is the accommodating of His strength to my weakness.

G. Campbell Morgan

Lectionary readings for October 9, 2005

Isaiah 25:1-9
Psalm 23
Philippians 4:4-13
Matthew 22:1-14

Collect:
Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that we may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Philippians 4:4-13
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it. Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. link

History in the Making
The Rev. Dr. Leslie P. Fairfield

The “Hope and a Future” Conference in Pittsburgh (November 10-12, 2005) promises to be one of those rare events where you can watch history unfold.The Conference will showcase an historic alliance between the American evangelical mainstream and Anglicanism in the Global South. Speakers from each movement will include Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California and Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria.
more here

Conference information and speakers: Here

Schedule of events: Here

No Change in Marriage Teaching, Archbishop of Canterbury Pledges
10/07/2005

The Archbishop of Canterbury has written to the Primate of Nigeria, Archbishop Peter Akinola, assuring him of the Church of England’s orthodoxy, pledging it has not, and will not, put the Anglican Communion at risk by altering its teaching on marriage.

Archbishop Akinola disclosed the letter at a news conference in the Nigerian capital of Abuja following the Church’s triennial synod. In his remarks, Archbishop Akinola stated his Church’s decision to delete references to the Archbishop of Canterbury from its constitution had been misconstrued by some as a prelude to schism by Nigeria. This was not true, he said, as the Church of Nigeria “treasured its place in the Anglican Communion.”

However, Archbishop Akinola said “the disarray the United States and the Canadian churches brought on the Communion because of their revisionist agenda on homosexuality” prompted Nigeria to act. Adding a confessional clause to its constitution allows that “those who are bent on creating a new religion in which anything goes, and have thereby chosen to walk a different path, may do so without us” he said.
The rest

Christians Unite Against Religious Hatred Bill in London Prayer Rally
The Evangelical Alliance along with the Christian Lawyers Fellowship gathered today in Hyde Park's Speakers' Corner in a prayer rally against the proposed Racial and Religious Hatred legislation.
Posted: Saturday, October 8 , 2005, 18:14 (UK)

The Evangelical Alliance along with the Christian Lawyers Fellowship as well as numerous other Christian organisations gathered today in Hyde Park's Speakers' Corner in a prayer rally against the proposed Racial and Religious Hatred legislation.

The event drew speakers and prayers from various organisations including Andrea Minichiello Williams, Public Policy Officer from the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship; Revd George Hargreaves of Operation Christian Voice; as well as Revd Katei Kirby of the African and Caribbean Evangelical Alliance.Each lead the large crowd gathered, in prayer and praise, calling for the legislation to be rejected by the House of Lords next week.
The rest

Democrats to force Dobson to testify?
Senator wants to know if he's hiding Miers' pro-life views
Posted: October 8, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee might subpoena James Dobson during the confirmation hearings for Harriet Miers to probe the family advocate about "confidential" information he has about the Supreme Court nominee, a Capitol Hill source says.

Dobson recently said his endorsement of Miers was founded on "confidential" information he was "privy to" but "not at liberty to talk about," according to the political weblog
Ankle Biting Pundits.

Story here

TV review: Commander in Chief
Political junkies will probably prefer watching the seasoned operatives of West Wing, but ordinary viewers will be able to identify with the likeable woman who has greatness thrust upon her
by The Editors

The biggest hit of the new TV season looks to be Commander in Chief (Tuesdays, 9:00-10:00 ET, ABC), a drama about a woman who becomes president of the United States.

Mackenzie Allen (Geena Davis) was already the first female vice president, an independent chosen to help a Republican presidential candidate's poll numbers with women. The president has a stroke and dies, but not before he begs her to resign so that the conservative speaker of the House (Donald Sutherland) can take command. The arguments about the Oval Office being no place for a woman, of course, make her take the oath of office.
The rest

Worldly word
New Bible texts translate the Bible away
by Gene Edward Veith

As evangelicals debate the inclusive-language Today's New International Version (TNIV), many liberal mainline churches have slipped far down the slippery slope in what they have done to the Bible.

In 1990, the National Council of Churches published the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), an inclusive-language rendition of the well-accepted Revised Standard Version (RSV). This translation keeps masculine references to God and to Jesus, but changes them for human beings, getting rid of the generic "man," putting "brothers and sisters" where the original just has "brothers," and using awkward plurals and repetitions to avoid the generic "he." Never mind that the messianic title "Son of Man" is now "a human being." What the NRSV did to the RSV is pretty much what the TNIV did to the NIV.
Story

7.6-Magnitude Earthquake Kills More Than
3,000 People in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan
Saturday, October 08, 2005 02:53:54 PM

A powerful 7.6-magnitude earthquake near the Pakistan-India border Saturday reduced villages to rubble, triggered landslides and flattened an apartment building. More than 3,000 people were killed in both nations, and a Pakistan army spokesman called the devastation "a national tragedy."
The toll included 250 girls who died when their school in northwestern Pakistan collapsed. Another 500 students were injured, said Ataullah Khan Wazir, police chief in the northwestern district of Mansehra.
In the capitals of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, buildings shook and walls swayed for about a minute, and panicked people ran from their homes and offices. Tremors continued for hours afterward. Communications throughout the region were cut.
The rest


4.2-Magnitude Quake Hits Central Calif.
Sat Oct 8, 9:10 AM ET


CAMBRIA, Calif. - An earthquake shook central California early Saturday about five miles northeast of San Simeon, home to Hearst Castle.
The magnitude-4.2 temblor hit at 5:17 a.m., according to a preliminary report from the
U.S. Geological Survey.
Sgt. Rex Reece of the San Luis Obispo County sheriff's Cambria station said there were no injuries or reports of structural damage as a direct result of the quake.

The temblor came after a magnitude-4.4 quake hit the area Oct. 2. San Simeon is located about 200 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Story-

National Porn Sunday October 9

LOS ANGELES, October 7, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Hundreds of churches across the US plan to participate in National Porn Sunday, a one-day event designed to start the conversation about the issues surrounding pornography, “America’s ‘dirty little secret,’” according to Porn Sunday creators, xxxchurch.com.

The focus of Porn Sunday is to get churches and pastors talking about the issue of pornography and sexual addictions, according to its founders, California pastors Mike Foster and Craig Gross. The two founded xxxchurch.com in 2002, which they dub “the No. 1 Christian porn site.”

“Churches in the past have been accepting of drug abuse, alcohol abuse and these types of addictions ... but porn in the church is like ... the scarlet letter on you,” said Foster. “We hope it allows people to discuss it in a graceful, non-threatening way.”

Statistics reveal that 40 million people regularly visit internet porn web sites daily, while 47% of Christians said pornography is a major problem in the home; 10% of adults admit to internet sexual addiction – 65% are male, while 35% are female. Porn revenue is larger than all combined revenues of all professional football, baseball and basketball franchises, and exceeds the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, and NBC at $6.2 billion.
The rest

Women’s Ordination Groups All About Power,
Free Sex, Abortion, New Age Religion
OTTAWA, October 7, 2005

(LifeSiteNews.com) – The October 2005 issue of Toronto based Catholic Insight magazine contains a detailed report on two recent Catholic women’s ordination conferences. The insider account reveals that the internationally publicized ‘ordination’ events were more a front for a wider agenda to grab power and insert acceptance of homosexuality, abortion and a New Age type of anti-Christian religion into Catholic institutions.

The Catholic Insight article, The ‘ordination’ of ‘womenpriests’ by Donna O'Conner-Hunnisett, especially relates the content of various talks given by speakers at the second Women’s Ordination Conference which took place at Ottawa’s Carleton University. The conference concluded with the so-called ordination of four “priestesses” and five “deaconesses” on the St. Lawrence River which was heavily reported by the world media. What was excluded from almost all reports was the bizarre, militant, anti-Christian background to the movement as revealed at the Ottawa conference and a previous, similar conference in Dublin in 2001.
Story here

Christian evangelist arrested
Communist authorities detained father to get son
Posted: October 7, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern

Chinese authorities, who forbid any religious activity outside government control, arrested a father and son who both minister in the communist country's underground church.

Ma Shulei, a full time house-church evangelist, and his father, Ma Yinzhou, a house-church pastor, were arrested in Sanmenxia City, Henan Province, according to the
China Aid Association.

The rest

Ex-Gay Speaker Hopes Tour Will Set Connecticut Straight on Homosexual Issues
By Allie Martin
October 7, 200

(AgapePress) - This past weekend, a new law legalizing homosexual civil unions took effect in Connecticut. But a former homosexual who now helps those wanting to overcome same-sex attractions says there is nothing civil about the Constitution State's new law.

Stephen Bennett was active in the homosexual lifestyle for more than a decade before leaving that lifestyle in 1992. Now he runs
Stephen Bennett Ministries (SBM), a Christ-centered organization that helps educate the public on the truth about homosexuality while it offers help and hope to those seeking freedom from unwanted homosexual attractions.

Bennet says while all human beings deserve to be treated with love, all behaviors do not need to be encouraged or tolerated.In response to Connecticut's new law advancing homosexual rights, he comments, “America better wake up; that's all I say. I don't mean to sound harsh or angry, but it's gotten to the point right now where homosexuality is just so accepted now, it's being promoted on every television show.”

the rest

Friday, October 07, 2005

One of the cardinal rules of the spiritual life is, that we are to live exclusively in the present moment, without casting a look beyond. You remember that the Israelites in the desert followed the pillar of fire, or of cloud, without knowing whither it was leading them; they had a supply of manna but for one day; all above that became useless. There is no necessity now for moving rapidly; think only of laying a solid foundation; see that it is deep and broad by an absolute renunciation of self, and by an abandonment without reserve to the requirements of God. Let God, then, raise upon this foundation such a building as He pleases. Shut your eyes and commit yourself to Him. How wonderful is this walking with Abraham in pure faith, not knowing whither we go! and how full of blessings is the path!

God will then be your guide; He himself will travel with you, as we are told He did with the Israelites, to bring them step by step across the desert to the promised land. Ah! what will be your blessedness if you will but surrender yourself into the hands of God, permitting him to do whatever He will, not according to your desires, but according to His own good pleasure!

Fenelon

http://www.ccel.org/

Canadian Homosexuals to Demand Government Retaliation Against Conservative Churches

Even before Canada approved same-sex marriage, one of the nation's leading homosexual activists was quoted as saying that churches refusing to endorse homosexual's right to marry should have their tax exempt status revoked. That is just one example of what is hiding behind the mask of tolerance. Bob Knight, director of CWA's Culture & Family Institute has more on this and similar situations here in the U.S.
Click here to listen.

CWA

Interview: Rev Nicky Gumbel, Alpha Course Chaplain
Holy Trinity Brompton, home to the Alpha Course hosted a Prayer for London event last week. Christian Today managed to speak with Rev Nicky Gumbel about the event, the spiritual state of London and the Alpha Course.
Posted: Tuesday, September 20 , 2005, 9:12 (UK)

At the weekend Holy Trinity Brompton, home to the Alpha Course hosted a gathering of Christians and worshippers to pray together for the re-evangelisation of London. The evening included an exciting programme of events hosted with Pastor Agu Irukwu, the senior pastor at Jesus House, as well as Jeremy Jennings, the Finance & Pastoral Director at Holy Trinity Brompton, and Rev Nicky Gumbel, the Alpha Chaplain.


Interview here

Imprisoned Christian Sunday School Teachers in Indonesia Establish Church
The three Indonesian woman that are serving a three-year prison sentence after their convictions in Indonesia, have started a church within their prison walls.
Posted: Friday, October 7 , 2005, 12:07 (UK)

The three Indonesian woman that are serving a three-year prison sentence after their conviction of “attempting to coerce children to change their religion” under the Indonesian “Child Protection Act” after running a Christian Sunday school, have started a church within their prison walls, according to Christian Freedom International (CFI).

A huge outcry against their convictions has been heard by numerous Christian agencies, and CFI has called on the Indonesian government to release the three women immediately. It is also urging the U.S. government to ‘place all possible pressure on Indonesia for their immediate release.’
Story

Anglican Evangelical Assembly Calls for Bold Mission as Modern Witnesses
The annual meeting of the Anglican Evangelical Assembly took place this week at St Helen’s

Bishopsgate, London.
Posted: Friday, October 7 , 2005, 11:20 (UK)

The Chairman of the Church of England Evangelical Council this week spoke at the annual meeting of the Anglican Evangelical Assembly at St Helen’s Bishopsgate, London. According to the Church of England newspaper, Paul Gardner, the Archdeacon of Exeter said, “The gloves are off as we fight for the gospel now. The liberals see this as a fight to the death – and think we will lose.”

At the Assembly, Rev Gardner was critical of the theological courses offered for ordination. He stated, “It is impossible to give students [on the courses] a full biblical and systematic approach to their future ministries. Ethics is not linked with Biblical studies and pastoral practice is not linked with doctrine and so on. Such atomism is catastrophic.”

The situation of the Church in Brazil was a major focal point of discussions at the Assembly. Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti from the Recife Diocese was one of 33 clergymen deposed by the Archbishop of Brazil. He said, “The great danger in a situation like ours is to spend all energies in the conflict in its several areas: theological, political, legal and paralyse the life and mission.
The rest

South Korea Catholic Church offers $10 Million for Adult Stem Cell Research

SEOUL, October 7, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Catholic Church in South Korea announced that it would fund adult stem cell research with its own funds. The Archdiocese of Seoul said it would provide 10 billion won (US$9.6 million), with most of the money coming straight from diocesan coffers.

Bishop Yeom Su-jeong, head of the funding committee said, “We plan to devote ourselves to saving human dignity above everything else ... and raise awareness of respecting lives.”

Contrary to the claims of much of the secular media, the Catholic Church does not oppose stem cell research. In Australia, the Archdiocese of Sydney contributed $100,000 to support research that led to a major breakthrough in adult stem cells.

The Catholic Church of Korea also plans to award an annual 300 million won grant to a scientist working in adult stem cell research. The bishop said in a statement, “We established the committee to encourage and support adult stem cell research which can help patients with incurable diseases essentially in line with the Catholic creeds.”

“Keeping and saving lives ... is the mission of the times that our church must accomplish in the face of whatever difficulties,” Bishop Yeom said.

The rest

Have Christians Lost Their Theological Nerve?
Albert Mohler

America's evangelical Christians are facing a critical testing-time in the twenty-first century. Among the most important of the tests we now face is the future of missions, and our faithfulness to the Great Commission. At a time of unprecedented opportunity, will our zeal for world missions slacken?

Just as doors of opportunity are opening around the world, the Church seems to be losing its voice. A virtual re-paganization of Western culture is occurring, indicating that the failure of the American Church is evident at home as well as abroad. What is the root issue?
The rest

Virginity Becomes a Commodity In Uganda's War Against AIDS
By Emily Wax
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, October 7, 2005; Page A01

KITATYA, Uganda -- Mousisi Anatolius moved from hut to hut, taking notes in a tattered ledger as he interviewed parents and their young daughters. He was searching for virgins.

"How are you faring? What is your status?" Anatolius, a community leader, gently asked Prossy Naluyombia. A haggard girl of 13, she was one of 11 children living in a dark, mud-floor room with soiled laundry stuffed in the corners.
The rest

ACLU vs. Abstinence
October 07, 2005
Janet Parshall

The ACLU is gearing up for another battle against abstinence education. A program called “Not in My State” was designed by the group to influence schools and politicians to reject abstinence education.

The director of the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom project charges that state officials need to be responsible for what’s taught in their classrooms. What they want is the promotion of condom usage. But the problem is that condoms fail and abstinence doesn’t.

The group wants schools to think that if they promote abstinence until marriage, they’re really advancing a religious concept—and that opens the door to the fear of litigation.

It’s a crafty plan—with one problem: Abstinence saves lives and it works every time. We know that when students sign virginity pledges they’re much more likely to have fewer sexual partners and more likely to postpone sexual relations until marriage. Being abstinent until marriage is a message that not only works but it’s getting through to a growing numbers of kids who are signing on to the concept—and that’s what is really making the ACLU mad.
Beyond the News

In da Bginnin: Bible is translated for text message generation
By Kathy Marks in Sydney
Published: 07 October 2005

The Bible has already been translated into more languages than any other book. Now, thanks to Australian evangelists, it is available in text message form, enabling uplifting verses to be sent by mobile phone.

In the excruciatingly abbreviated version, the first line of Genesis is rendered as: "In da Bginnin God cre8d da heavens & da earth". The verse 1 John 4.19 becomes "We luv coz God luvd us 1st".

The project, called "SMSBible", was launched yesterday, accompanied by a press release headed: "It's your Bible calling".

All 31,173 verses are available in text form, and can be downloaded from the website of the Bible Society in Australia direct to mobile phones. Its spokesman, Michael Chant, said the idea was to make it possible to spread the word of God to family and friends by mobile.
the rest

National Coming Out week on its way

Published:
Thursday, October 6, 2005

Boston College will celebrate National Coming Out Week with food and fashion, as well as events meant to tear down stereotypes and stigmas surrounding the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) community.

"National Coming Out Week is an opportunity to raise awareness about the coming out process and gay life in general," said Richard Hoffman, president of the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Community of BC (LGBC) and A&S '08. "I think that both BC and America is still very much in the dark in terms of seeing and understanding the gay communities that exist all around them."

National Coming Out Week began in October 1987 when 600,000 people marched on Washington, D.C. for gay rights. It has been celebrated in hundreds of cities and college campuses since.

Tuesday marks Coming Out Day. The GLBT Leadership Council (GLC) will be sponsoring a Bisexual, Bicurious, Questioning Barbecue on the Dustbowl at 1 p.m. GLC will also be hosting an event called "Opening Boston's Closet" at 8 p.m. in the Chocolate Bar.
The rest

“All-embracing partnership Act”

“Dr Cretney recognises that friends who simply share common interests may be deterred from registering as partners by the fear that their friends would wrongly assume that they were homosexual. But he points out that no less a body than the Bishops of the Church of England has explained that civil partnership is “not predicated on the intention to engage in a sexual relationship”.

In reality, the number of heterosexuals who enter civil partnerships is likely to be small. Would it therefore be accurate to describe the new relationship as “gay marriage”?

While the legislation was going through Parliament, Lord Filkin, the minister for constitutional affairs, said it would “create a parallel but different legal relationship that mirrors as fully as possible the rights and responsibilities enjoyed by those who can marry”. Marriage would be a “template for the processes, rights and responsibilities that go with civil partnership”, he added.

The rest @ Titusonenine

Study Indicates ADHD Children May Just Need Sleep, Not Medication
By Jim Brown

October 6, 2005
(AgapePress) - A study by Israeli researchers shows treatment of sleep apnea and other sleep disorders in children can lead to a significant reduction in symptoms associated with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

The study found that children diagnosed with ADHD had much higher levels of sleeplessness during the day than did non-ADHD youngsters. Dr. Giora Pillar is head of the Pediatric Sleep Lab at the largest hospital in northern Israel, and an associate professor at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, which conducted the study.

Pillar says sleep apnea or sleep disturbances can lead to daytime sleepiness -- and children who are sleep throughout the day do not fall asleep unintentionally like adults, but rather become hyperactive.
The rest

Ex-Homosexual Blasts Time's Teen Homosexuality Article as 'Pro-Gay Puff Piece'
By Jim Brown and Jenni Parker
October 6, 2005

(AgapePress) - A former homosexual turned Christian activist is denouncing a new Time Magazine article on homosexual teens. The Time cover story "The Battle Over Gay Teens" reports that kids are disclosing their homosexuality with unprecedented regularity, and they are doing so much younger.

Evangelist and recording artist Stephen Bennett, who spent 11 years in a homosexual lifestyle before becoming a Christian, believes the Time piece written by homosexual John Cloud derides Christians and former homosexuals. Meanwhile, Bennett contends, the article propagates false information and functions as a "major pro-gay puff piece."
the rest

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept Thy will for my life. I give myself, my life, my all utterly to Thee to be Thine forever. Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit. Use me as Thou wilt. Send me where Thou wilt. Work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever.

Betty Scott Stam

Bush: U.S. Has Disrupted 10 Al Qaeda Attacks
By William Branigin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 6, 2005; 11:55 a.m. ET

President Bush said today the United States and its allies have disrupted at least 10 serious plots by the al Qaeda network in the last four years, as he sought to rally the nation against international terrorists and warned foreign governments against supporting them.

In what the White House billed as a major speech, Bush told the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington that of the "10 serious al Qaeda terrorist plots" that he said have been disrupted since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, three involved "al Qaeda plots to attack inside the United States."
Story

Britain's War on Pigs
By
Robert Spencer
FrontPageMagazine.com
October 6, 2005

Pigs are disappearing all over England, but not because of some porcine variant of Mad Cow Disease: rather, the most implacable foe of the swine is turning out to be multiculturalism.

The latest assault came in the benefits department at Dudley Council, West Midlands, where employees were told that they were no longer allowed to have any representations of pigs at their desks. Some had little porcine porcelain figurines. Others had toys or calendars of cute little pigs. One had a tissue box depicting Winnie the Pooh and Piglet. All of this had to go, not because of new some new anti-kitsch ordinance, but because Muslims might be offended — particularly now, what with Ramadan beginning. How could a pious Muslim in the Dudley Council, West Midlands benefits department redouble his efforts to conform his life to the will of Allah with all these…pigs staring him in the face? It was an insult!
The rest

Conservative Students Emerge From the Political Closet
By
Rick Docksai
CNSNews.com
October 6, 2005

Conservatives apparently feel increasingly compelled to declare their political beliefs on the traditionally liberal turf of college campuses.

The first-ever National Conservative Coming Out Day was recently observed on more than 30 campuses, including Indiana State University, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Cornell University.

"National Conservative Coming Out Day was an excellent opportunity to show the Michigan State University campus that there are conservatives on campus and we are proud of who we are," said Justine Ivanoff, chairman of the College Republicans at Michigan State University. Ivanoff's group put up a giant poster that read, "I came out on National Conservative Coming Out Day." Students who wanted to "come out" could get their pictures taken as well.

Jonathan Moore, president of the Indiana State College Republicans, said the Sept. 21 "coming out" day was important because conservative students often feel outnumbered and intimidated.

Article

Serenity Soars, Violence Shocks, Game Plays Well
Christian film critics review.
Serenity, A History of Violence, The Greatest Game Ever Played, Oliver Twist, The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio, and Into the Blue. Plus, more reviews of Flightplan.
by Jeffrey Overstreet
posted 10/06/2005

If you've never seen episodes of the short-lived TV show Firefly, don't fret. The reviews of Joss Whedon's Serenity prove that you didn't have to watch the TV show to love the movie.
Firefly fans finally got satisfaction after spending three years bemoaning the premature cancellation of their favorite show. Universal Pictures gave writer/director Whedon the resources to bring some closure to his exciting, breathlessly entertaining "space Western," and he turned it into a film that has fans cheering and critics raving … even those who went in skeptical.

These big screen newcomers are earning better reviews than the blockbuster conclusion of the Star Wars saga that came out earlier this year. Sure, Serenity owes a great debt to George Lucas's inventions, as well as to Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek and to classic Westerns like Stagecoach. But it has wit and wisdom all its own.

Movie reviews

Canada Considers Further Legalizing Prostitution While Amsterdam Mayor Admits Legalization's Failure
OTTAWA/AMSTERDAM,
October 5, 2005

(LifeSiteNews.com) - A Liberal dominated government committee looking into prostitution is recommending the Canadian government legalize solicitation so that prostitutes may legally offer sex for money. Meanwhile the mayor of Amsterdam has for the first time admitted that the Dutch experiment to curb abuse by legalizing prostitution has failed miserably.

Policemen in Amsterdam's infamous red light district were quoted by Dutch media Friday as saying, "We are in the midst of modern slavery." Due to the legalization of prostitution in the Netherlands in 2000, police are hampered in confronting the horrors that are characteristic of the sex trade.
Story

Vatican Cardinal: Catholic Voters Can Never Be Justified in Voting for Pro-Abortion Politicians
ROME,
October 6, 2005

(CWNews.com/LifeSiteNews.com) - The president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care has stated flatly that Catholics cannot, in conscience, support a politician who favors legal abortion.

Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan made his remarks in an interview with the Italian daily La Repubblica. He was responding indirectly to an intervention by Archbishop William Levada during the discussions of the Synod of Bishop. Archbishop Levada-- the American prelate recently chosen by Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) to be prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith-- had asked other prelates to reflect on the question that had divided the US hierarchy during the 2004 election year: How bishops should respond to Catholic politicians who support abortion.
The rest

Malaysian court says conversion from Islam is illegal
October 6, 2005

(MNN) -- The superior court of Malaysia has dealt a blow to religious freedom in that nation.
According to
Voice of the Martyrs, Canada, a superior court in Malaysia upheld an earlier judgment that Malay people cannot renounce Islam. The country of Malaysia consists of four main ethnic groups: Malay, Chinese, Indians and tribal peoples. According to the Malaysian constitution, "A Malay citizen is a person who professes Islam." This means that the approximately 15,000 Malay Christians retain the official status of a Muslim, regardless of their religions beliefs.
Story

Homosexuality in Theological Perspective, Part Four
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Thursday, October 6, 2005

How will evangelicals respond to the challenge of the Homosexual Movement? And how will the evangelical Church respond to those persons struggling with homosexuality? These are critical questions that, when answered, will indicate the larger direction of the evangelical movement.


First, evangelicals must establish our understanding of homosexuality on the Bible and rest upon an undiluted affirmation of biblical authority. The Bible is unambiguous on the issue of homosexuality, and only a repudiation of biblical truth can allow evangelicals to join the moral revisionists.

Our only authority for addressing this issue is that of God as revealed in Holy Scripture. We can speak only because we are confident that the one sovereign God and Lord has revealed Himself and His will in an errant and authoritative Scripture. On the basis of that revelation, we cannot fail to speak and to confront the spirits of the age. The rest

Gay community outing public figures via blogs
Politicians, anti-gay black clergy targeted in hopes of limiting homophobia

Updated: 5:29 p.m. ET Oct. 4, 2005

NEW YORK - Though decried by many gay-rights leaders, “outing” — the practice of exposing secretly gay public figures — is expanding into new terrain as Internet bloggers target congressional staffers, political strategists, even black clergy whose sermons and speeches contain anti-gay rhetoric.

Few issues are as divisive within the gay community. Numerous gay organizations, such as the Human Rights Campaign and the Log Cabin Republicans, staunchly oppose outing, yet many other activists support it when the targets are public figures — or their aides — who work against gay rights or condemn homosexuality.
Story

Do Seeker-Driven Pastors & Missionaries Minimize the Bible?
John Piper
Desiring God

I have been pondering a possible relationship between the minimizing of the Bible in so-called seeker-driven churches and in some of the radical forms of contextualization that have emerged in missions. Perhaps there isn’t any connection. But I wonder. The common denominator that I am pondering is the loss of confidence that declaring what the Bible says in the power of the Holy Spirit can create and sustain the church of Christ.

This morning I just read John 2:11, “This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.” I bowed and prayed, “O Lord, this is how faith happens. People are given eyes to see your glory in your person and in your deeds. Please don’t let me turn away from the ministry that puts all the emphasis on the ‘gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God’” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
The rest

A Fool Nation
By Rev. Mark H. Creech
October 5, 2005

(AgapePress) - It's incredibly moving. Each time I hear it, tears well up in my eyes. I'm talking about
Red Skelton's rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance. On January 14, 1969, during his weekly CBS comedy variety show, Skelton introduced it as a lecture given by Mr. Laswell, the principal of the Harrison School in Vincennes, Indiana. Skelton said the man was a sage of his time. His recitation of Mr. Laswell's remarks concerning the Pledge of Allegiance have won 42 awards and twice been read into the Congressional record.

But Skelton's closing commentary at the end of Mr. Laswell's remarks is just as remarkable -- even downright prophetic. Skelton says: "Since I was a small boy, two States have been added to our country, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance: 'Under God.' Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said, 'That is a prayer' -- and that be eliminated from our schools, too?"

The rest

Author Points Out 'Sexless' Pregnancy's Threat to Families
By Mary Rettig
October 5, 2005

(AgapePress) - Author and Stanford University research fellow Jennifer Roback Morse is pointing out a trend she finds very disturbing -- the increasing incidence of "instant" or "sexless" pregnancies.

A recent article in the London Telegraph newspaper highlighted this rising trend among career-driven women in England who want to have children. Despite being perfectly healthy, many of these women either do not have the time or the inclination to start a relationship in order to create children naturally. So, instead, these career-focused women are turning in increasing numbers to in-vitro fertilization.
story

Anglican liberals attack Windsor report
Date: Sep 30

Anglican discussion on homosexuality has been superficial, claimed the Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, in a commendation for a new book which attacks the Windsor Report. Archbishop Morgan who was himself a member of the Lambeth Commission which produced the report, in contrast has praised a book of essays by leading Anglican liberals and gay theologians. He said that the book which criticises his predecessor, Rowan William’s handling of the crisis, presented a “formidable challenge to the Anglican Communion” which it could not “ignore”. In the collection of essays ‘Gays and the Future of Anglicanism’, Oxford theologian Andrew Linzey compares Anglican attitudes to homosexuals to the policy of the Nazis and accuses the Anglican Communion of “homophobia”. He also highlights the Archbishop of Canterbury’s own unenviable position in the current controversy pointing out Dr William’s previously publicised views on homosexual and the revelation that he had ordained practising homosexuals. “The Report [Windsor] sees no irony in wanting the Archbishop to become a visible focus of unity, and an “instrument” of discipline, despite the fact that he is already regarded, by those who want that view to prevail, as a “false teacher” himself.
The rest

We dont need this law
Date: Oct 7

By Peter SaundersBritain is teetering on the brink of legalising physician-assisted suicide (PAS) and possibly also euthanasia as the result of a powerful campaign by pro-euthanasia factions to change public, media, political and health professional opinion. On Monday October 10 the House of Lords will debate the Select Committee report on Lord Joffe’s Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill which was introduced to parliament last year in an attempt to legalise ‘assisted dying’ for terminally ill patients with ‘unbearable suffering’.
The rest

£4 million Anglican church centre to be built in Qatar
Date: Oct 7

A ‘modern’ Anglican Church Centre is to be built in Qatar to cater for Christians of multiple nationalities. Organisers of the project say it is ‘hugely significant’ in the ongoing dialogue and understanding between Muslims and Christians. The Church of the Epiphany in Doha will be used by many Christians from the Indian subcontinent, as well as serving an 18,000-strong expatriate community. It will have many rooms serving a variety of purposes including an education centre aimed at promoting interfaith dialogue. With a circular plan and two huge colonnaded wings sprouting from the main body its grandiose designs look more like an Italian Renaissance villa than a 21st century Anglican church. Jane Kellet, Treasurer of the Appeal Committee for the project, explained why it is aesthetically unique.


She said: “The whole thing will look unlike anything else. It is built with the very hot climate in mind. These wings are colonnaded all around so people can stand in the shade, unlike England where we dash out in the sun as soon as we can.” She continued: “The focal point of the building is the welcome court. It is a place of gathering, transition, preparation, accessibility and orientation. Limestone walls and floors will aim to keep temperatures to a minimum inside the church. The Anglican Bishop in Cyprus and the Gulf, the Most Rev Clive Hanford, highlighted the further benefits of such an undertaking. He said: “This Centre will serve people of many nationalities and backgrounds who live and work in Qatar. For many of them it will be a home from home. But we hope that it will also serve the wider community in the region and in the world.” Building is due to start early next year and will finish in time for the Feast of the Epiphany in 2007. A quarter of the £4 million needed for the project has been raised by the Anglican community in Qatar. An appeal for the remainder of the funds is to be launched at Lambeth Palace this week by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams. link

Strong Grounding in the Church Could Be a Clue to Miers's Priorities
By Michael Grunwald, Jo Becker and John Pomfret
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, October 5, 2005; Page A01

One evening in the 1980s, several years after Harriet Miers dedicated her life to Jesus Christ, she attended a lecture at her Dallas evangelical church with Nathan Hecht, a colleague at her law firm and her on-again, off-again boyfriend. The speaker was Paul Brand, a surgeon and the author of "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made," a best-selling exploration of God and the human body.

When the lecture was over, Miers said words Hecht had never heard from her before. "I'm convinced that life begins at conception," Hecht recalled her saying. According to Hecht, now a Texas Supreme Court justice, Miers has believed ever since that abortion is "taking a life."

Story

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Light and Dark
A Slice of Infinity
by Betsy Childs

If you have ever lived in a major city, you have encountered what has become known as "light pollution." Street lamps emit light in all directions instead of directing it downward where we need it, and the countless rays from billboards, marquees, and headlights mask the stars and even the clouds in the night sky. These days it seems hard to escape from the glow of artificial light that seeps in through closed blinds. Light pollution became such a problem in the Czech republic that last year the government passed a law intended to limit light pollution.

To get a good view of the stars, one must find a place that is truly dark. I remember stumbling through a farm field in darkness, trying to recall the terrain as I had seen it in the day. I expected to trip and fall at any moment. Yet when I turned my dilated eyes heavenward, I was greeted by a brilliant canopy of lights set off against the unfathomable darkness of the sky. Regardless of whether or not they are observed, the multitude of stars waits patiently in the sky like jewels unmined. The one thing that allowed me to see those stars was the darkness, darkness that I had been missing for so many months in the city.

Those of us who experience a constant stream of artificial light rarely think about the natural ones we are missing unless an unintended blackout forces us into darkness. It is strange to think that one form of light, such as light emitted by electric and neon bulbs, could prevent us from seeing another more powerful light, such as the stars. In much the same way, there are many things that distract us and prevent us from seeing the light of Christ. In 2 Corinthians, Paul describes Satan as one who masquerades as an "angel of light." (Footnote 1: 2 Corinthians 11:14 (NIV).) Paul also writes, "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." (Footnote 2: 2 Corinthians 4:4 (NIV).)
Read the rest!

UK: Watchdog tells church it can keep advertising its belief in miracles
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
(Filed: 05/10/2005)

Religion recorded a rare victory over science yesterday when a church was allowed to retain a poster offering the prospect of miracles.

Critics complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that the poster, which pictured a man with a microphone hugging a child beneath the words "Miracles, Healing, Faith", was misleading and irresponsible.

They said that the Penial Pentecostal Church in Brentwood, Essex, was claiming an ability to cure medical conditions but could offer no scientific proof, and the poster "preyed on the credulity of vulnerable people".

But the church, run by Michael Reid, a former Metropolitan Police officer turned insurance salesman turned evangelist, said the poster did not specifically refer to cures or medical conditions.

The words "miracle, healing, faith" were merely a statement of its belief in the Christian Gospel, it argued, and most people were aware of the Christian belief in the miraculous.
The rest

Church of England’s First Black Archbishop Installed Wednesday
Dr John Sentamu, the Church of England's first ever black Archbishop, will take up his new post in the Church as Archbishop of York.
Posted: Wednesday, October 5 , 2005, 11:39 (UK)

A special ceremony will take Oct. 5th, 2005 to formally install the Church of England’s first black Archbishop at Mary-le-Bow Church, London.

Dr John Sentamu’s confirmation makes him the 97th Archbishop of York. The ceremony will be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and six senior bishops.

The Confirmation of the Election ceremony follows Dr Sentamu’s election to the seat by York Minster’s college of canons in July.

Today’s confirmation will be followed by another ceremony on 30 November to enthrone Dr Sentamu at which time he will begin his public ministry in the post – the second highest position in the Church of England.

Story

Attorney: gay priest gave dog Communion
October 05, 2005 12:00 AM EST
By Matt C. Abbott

In what seems to be one of the worst – if not the worst – archdiocese in terms of the presence of non-celibate homosexual clergy, the saga of Miami whistle-blowing priest Andrew Dowgiert continues.

The following is the most recent (edited) update from Father Dowgiert’s attorney, Sharon Bourassa:“We met with the canon lawyer on September 30 for four hours. He came in from Rome and is considered to be one of the best. We gave him all we have and he was shocked by the bigger picture of what is going on in our archdiocese.

“He has asked that we present him with a report of everything [Bourassa’s private investigator] has uncovered on the sexual and financial improprieties of the local clergy: homosexual activity, stealing, drugs, parties, and an incident in which the Sacred Host was given to a homosexual priest's dog at a Mass with other homosexual priests. [Bourassa was informed of that particular incident by an archdiocesan official.]

Story here

U.S. Presses Supreme Court to Block Doctors From Helping Terminally Ill Patients End Their Lives
Wednesday, October 05, 2005 10:42:46 AM

The Bush administration pressed the Supreme Court on Wednesday to block doctors from helping terminally ill patients end their lives, arguing that Oregon's law allowing physician-assisted suicide violates federal drug laws.

"The most natural reading of the (federal) Controlled Substances Act is ... this falls within the authority of the attorney general," said Solicitor General Paul Clement, arguing on behalf of the Bush administration.

Oregon is the only state that lets dying patients obtain lethal doses of medication from their doctors, although other states may pass laws of their own if the high court rules against the federal government. Voters in Oregon have twice endorsed doctor-assisted suicide, but the Bush administration has aggressively challenged the state law.
The rest

Cloning Still Haunts California
Remember Prop. 71? Stem-cell research supporters hope voters don't remember the promises they made.
by Nigel M. de S. Cameron
posted 10/05/2005 09:00 a.m.

Long ago in November of 2004, the people of California voted for a ballot proposition that would spend around $6 billion (including interest charges) on cloning and embryonic stem-cell research. It was a strange campaign, vastly lopsided (pro-cloning spending was around 50 times that of the opposition), aided greatly by the late and somewhat unexpected intervention of Gov. Schwarzenegger, and driven by some of the worst hype in the history of American politics. The people of the nearly bankrupt state were promised cures and also cash returns on their investment—within five years. It was said that before principal repayments fell due, there would be cost savings from the cures that would more than cover the vast costs of the project.

Story

American Baptist Exodus
Scripture, homosexuality divide another venerable denomination.
by Rob Moll
posted 10/05/2005 09:00 a.m.

The Pacific Southwest region of the American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) has begun defecting in the largest church exodus from any denomination over the presenting issue of homosexuality. Underlying issues, according to leaders, include the authority of Scripture and church discipline. Representing more than 300 churches, the region's board of directors voted September 8 to begin withdrawal. At least four other regions are considering leaving the ABCUSA, a member denomination in the National Council of Churches.

The ABCUSA officially states that "the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching." However, gay-affirming congregations remain affiliated with the denomination. When conservative regions have disfellowshiped such congregations, those congregations have simply affiliated with a more liberal ABCUSA region.

Story

Canadian Government Ignored Warnings Leading to Deaths of Two Young Americans
LAVAL Quebec,
October 4, 2005

(LifeSiteNews.com) - The mysterious deaths of two young Americans found at the bottom of a gorge in Laval Quebec was eminently preventable if Canadian government officials would have heeded the warnings of anti-trafficking organizations which contested the "exotic dancer" visas which allowed he men into the country. Mark Kraynak, 23, and Steve Wright, 20, entered Canada through an application by a male porn 'modelling' agency in the United States called French Connection Français (FCF) run by Stephan Sirard.

The exotic dancer program, which opened wide the doors to the importing of foreign strippers in order to fill so-called 'labour market needs' in Canada, has repeatedly come under fire by human rights groups, citing repeated instances of forced prostitution and other forms of exploitation and slavery. In response to numerous complaints from anti-trafficking groups, the Canadian government gave assurances to human rights advocates that "no new applications would be processed for any type of exotic performance until such time as the matter could be reviewed to eliminate the risk of extortion & injury".


The rest

About i-Lifetv

Inspirational Life Television (i-Lifetv) is a 24 hour-a-day digital cable network - designed to bring unique, fresh and distinct inspirational programming to your world. It is a lifestyles network, filled with practical and inspirational programs on better finances, health, families, relationships, marriages and more.

i-Lifetv includes the best in programming designed for children of all ages, as well as a special block for teens, plus exclusive and original music concerts, movies, sports, documentaries and exciting family entertainment. i-Lifetv is NOT a simulcast of it's sister network INSP.

website here

Not available locally as far as I know.

Christian Conservatives Cautiously Support Miers
Tuesday,
Oct. 4, 2005
Posted: 9:27:26AM

EST WASHINGTON – As newly confirmed Chief Justice John Roberts began his first term at the Supreme Court on Monday, President Bush tapped Southern Methodist University graduate Harriet Miers as his second High Court nominee, prompting mixed reactions from politicians and Christians alike.
Story


Miers Was Leader in Effort Within Bar to Rescind Support for Abortion
By
ROBIN TONER
Published: October 4, 2005

Correction Appended

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 - Abortion rights activists were prepared for a climactic struggle over the successor to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a critical swing vote on the constitutional right to abortion. But the choice of Harriet E. Miers presented them with a very different challenge - not a clear-cut opponent of abortion, but someone with very little record on the issue at all.

Most of their attention was focused Monday on what public record existed on the issue: Ms. Miers's leadership, as president of the State Bar of
Texas from 1992 to 1993, in an effort to roll back the American Bar Association's support for abortion rights.
Abortion rights leaders said it was "troubling," as Karen Pearl, interim president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, put it.

The rest NYT

Homosexuality in Theological Perspective, Part Three
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Few modern concepts have been as influential as the psychosocial construct of sexual orientation. The concept is now firmly rooted in the national consciousness, and many Americans consider the concept to be thoroughly based in credible scientific research.
The concept of sexual orientation was an intentional--and quite successful--attempt to redefine the debate over homosexuality from same-gender sexual acts to homosexual identity. That is, from what homosexuals do to who homosexuals are.

Yet, this concept is actually of quite recent vintage. In fact, even within the past decade, the more common concept employed by the Homosexual Movement was sexual preference. The reason for the shift was clear. The use of the term "preference" implied a voluntary choice. The clinical category of orientation was more useful in public arguments.


The rest

Cultivating Faith with the 'Unplugged Gospel'
Book Review by Cindy O'Halloran
October 4, 2005

(AgapePress) - Rich Wagner, author of The Gospel Unplugged: Turning Up the Volume on Songs That Rock Your Soul (Revell, 2005), has plugged into a whole new way of expressing faith in Jesus through song.

"I actually approached Unplugged totally as an author who is a music fan, not as a professional or even an amateur musician/songwriter. However, I've seen how God has been able to use music to majorly impact my Christian walk, even if He's not gifted me in that area," says Wagner.

Wagner was amazed at how God used Unplugged to speak to him as he wrote the book. "It seemed like each chapter enabled me to deal with an aspect of my walk," he recalls. Wagner harkens back to writing the "More" chapter featuring the songs "Meant to Live" by Switchfoot and "We Have Forgotten" by Sixpence None the Richer. Each song deals with the issue of making the most of your life.

The rest

Unwed Births Plague United States
By Rebecca Grace and Mary Rettig
October 4, 2005

(AgapePress) - The National Center for Health Statistics recently released the latest numbers on births to unmarried women, and in 2003 1.4 million babies fell into that category.

Bridget Maher, analyst on marriage and family issues for the
Family Research Council, is concerned that over one-third of all babies born in the United States are born out of wedlock, likely resulting from a reliance on contraceptives.

"Many young people are taught, especially in sex education programs, that contraceptives are the best protection against pregnancy," Maher explains. "But that's not true. Abstinence is the only 100 percent effective way to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, and more young people need to hear the message of abstinence."

The rest

Florida Bishop tries to rally church

Dudley and his followers have formed a new church, St. Peter’s Anglican Church, which will hold its first service Sunday. On Monday, Dudley said he and his followers were leaving because of the national Episcopal Church’s departure from Bible-based teaching and because of his dissatisfaction with Bishop Howard’s leadership.

Howard, the bishop of North Florida for two years, urged listeners Tuesday to bear no grudges to the departing clergy and church members. He drew laughter with an apocryphal story about a small town with four Baptist churches: The second broke away over an argument about Jesus, the third in a dispute about atonement and the fourth “because we disagreed about the color of the carpet.”

“I’m convinced this is a moment for good humor, it’s a time for humility, it’s a time to put the past behind us,” said Howard, who was an attorney before being ordained 16 years ago. “I will speak no ill of any (former) leader or member of this church, and I ask everyone to join me in that.”

The rest at titusonenine

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

St Francis of Assisi

The great wonder is the living fountain of love and joy which Christ poured into and through this 'poor little man'. [Francis] always knew where the real miracle lay. It was not in things that happened to his body, though they were wonderful enough. It was not to be found in the fact that birds and beasts, even the wolf of Gubbio, felt the spell of his spirit. It was the radiance of light and love breaking across the darkness and hate of the world and his time. He loved lepers. He loved robbers and changed their lives. He loved beggars in their rags. He loved rich men, too, and members of the Church, who needed him as much as the robbers did. He brought Christianity out of forms and creeds and services into the open air, in action and into the movements of life. He changed the entire line of march of religion in the Western World. Brother Masseo, half jesting, asked him once why the whole world was running after him, not very comely, not very wise, not of noble birth. "Why after thee?" "God chose me," Francis answered, "because He could find no one more worthless, and He wished by me to confound the nobility and grandeur, the strength and beauty and learning of the world." But the real answer is that here at last in this wonderful man was an organ of that Spirit which was in Christ, and a marvelous transmitter of it to the world. The divine agape went out into men's lives through him. Here was a childlike lover of men, ready, if need be, to be crucified for love, but also ready in humble everyday tasks to reveal this love. ... Rufus M. Jones, The Luminous Trail

May the fiery and sweet strength of Thy love, I pray Thee, O my Lord, absorb my soul, and make all things under heaven as nothing unto me, that for the love of Thy love I may die, as Thou didst deign to die for love of mine. Amen.
... St. Francis of Assisi

A Former Reformed Episcopal Deacon Interviews Bishop Spong
Brad Drell @ 8:31 am

Check it out. This is important because it offers help in the area of apologetics, as it discusses Spong’s latest book, the sins of scripture.

I also find it interesting about Bishop Spong’s background, that being fundamentalist. He seems to be raging against his upbringing, to the point of turning even on the Episcopal Church and its doctrine. I also found it interesting to “listen” to him speak these words. There is a lot of subtlely there, even a certain pain in his voice.

One of his main points is that he won’t allow anyone to have their own facts. I find it interesting in that he seems to put himself as the final arbiter of facts. What he fails to realize is that the facts are almost always in dispute. The scientific evidence regarding homosexuality, and its ill-health effects especially as to male homosexuality, does not favor Spong’s position. It must be quite difficult to discuss things with Bishop Spong. He also refuses to be pinned down by what he himself says. He says it is impossible to be a Christian and be a rascist, a homophobe, and so on, but then he won’t say this is a litmus test for who is Christian and who is not.


Drell's Descant's

Parents Sue so Son Can Read His Bible During Recess
By JIM BROWN

(
AgapePress) A federal court has been asked to order a Knoxville, Tennessee, elementary school to stop prohibiting a ten-year-old student from reading his Bible during recess.

Luke Whitson and his parents have filed a motion for preliminary injunction against Knox County School officials, who allegedly threatened to punish the boy for reading his Bible during recess at Karns Elementary School. The district claims the Bible reading jeopardizes student safety and that, because recess is not "free time," they can prohibit Bible reading during that time.

the rest

First Temple-era seal discovered
Etgar Lefkovits,
THE JERUSALEM POST
Sep. 27, 2005

A First-Temple period seal has been discovered amidst piles of rubble from Jerusalem's Temple Mount, an Israeli archaeologist said Tuesday, in what could prove to be an historic find.

The small - less than 1 cm - seal impression, or bulla, discovered Tuesday by Bar-Ilan University archaeologist Dr. Gabriel Barkay amidst piles of rubble from the Temple Mount would mark the first time that an written artifact was found from the Temple Mount dating back to the First Temple period.

The 2,600 year old artifact, with three lines in ancient Hebrew, was discovered amidst piles of rubble discarded by the Islamic Wakf that Barkay and a team of young archaeologists and volunteers are siftingthrough on the grounds of a Jerusalem national park.

The seal, which predates the destruction of the First Jewish temple in 586 BCE, was presented Tuesday night to the press at an archaeological conference at the City of David sponsored by the right-wing Elad organization.

Barkay said that the find was the first of its kind from the time of King David.


Story

Canadian Hospital Ordered to Pay Lesbian $19,000 for Refusing In Vitro Fertilization
MONTREAL, October 3, 2005

(LifeSiteNews.com) – A lesbian woman from Quebec has won a human rights suit she filed after being denied in-vitro fertilization allegedly because of her sexual orientation, forcing the hospital clinic to pay her $19,000.

Helen Zylberszac charged that the McGill reproductive centre in Montreal's Royal Victoria Hospital allegedly denied her IVF treatment in 2002 because she was not accompanied by a male partner. “One of the doctors said if I had of shown up with a man, they would have treated me,” she told CTV News.

The Quebec Human Rights Commission decreed that the hospital pay her $10,000 in moral damages and $9,000 in physical damages. The ruling may be appealed into the regular court system.

The rest

Evangelicals to live their faith with festival
By Amy Doolittle
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
October 3, 2005

Tens of thousands of evangelical Christian youths, families and leaders from more than 800 area churches will converge on the District Saturday and Sunday for the D.C. Festival, with music, activities and faith.

The free festival is open to Christians and non-Christians alike, said organizer Luis Palau, an Argentina-born evangelical minister whom some call the "new Billy Graham."

"We want people to realize that following Jesus is a normal part of everyday life," Mr. Palau told The Washington Times. "Symbols become passe and people would instantly turn it off. We want to draw in people who would be turned away by something 'religious.'?"

Story

Homosexuality in Theological Perspective, Part Two
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

The issue of homosexuality is a "first-order" theological issue as it presents itself in the current cultural debate. Fundamental truths essential to the Christian faith are at stake in this confrontation. These truths range from basic issues of theism to biblical authority, the nature of human beings, God's purpose and prerogatives in creation, sin, salvation, sanctification, and, by extension, the entire body of evangelical divinity.

Put bluntly, if the claims put forward by the Homosexual Movement are true, the entire system of the Christian faith is compromised, and some essential truths will fall.


The rest

Restoring the Reality Principle
By Paul M. Weyrich
October 3, 2005

(AgapePress) - Herbert Marcuse, who did more than anyone else to inflict the ideology of cultural Marxism on America, set up an interesting dichotomy in his vastly influential book, Eros and Civilization (in the 1960s, it was virtually the bible of the New Left). The basic challenge facing the cultural Marxists, as he saw it, was nothing less than replacing the Reality Principle with the Pleasure Principle. The result would be endless pleasure, endless love (in reality, endless sex) in a society where work would be unknown and "liberated eros" would unleash the delights of "polymorphous perversity." Dionysius would triumph over Apollo and decree a New Eden.

That indeed became America's road, and we've come a long way down it, baby. The result, of course, was not a Dionysian paradise but endless decline, decay and degradation. America of the 1950s, the last decade when our country had its rightful mind, is now more of a foreign country than Tibet or Upper Volta.

The rest

Baylor Univ. Applauded for Yanking Starbucks Coffee Cups
Containers Display Homosexual-Affirming Quotation from Author
By Jim Brown
October 3, 2005

(AgapePress) - A pro-family leader is praising the largest Baptist university in the world for pulling coffee cups from its Starbucks store that featured a quote from a homosexual author.

Baylor University in Waco, Texas, has removed the offending coffee cups from its Starbucks store, citing the school's opposition to the homosexual lifestyle. The cups that were removed display a quote from homosexual author Armistead Maupin lamenting that he waited so long before embracing his homosexual identity.

The rest

Franklin Graham sees 'revival' for New Orleans
Evangelist: 'The good news is that God loves sinners'
Tuesday, October 4, 2005;
Posted: 10:08 a.m. EDT (14:08 GMT)

LYNCHBURG, Virginia (AP) -- Evangelist Franklin Graham told an audience that Hurricane Katrina could lead to a spiritual rebirth of what he called a sinful New Orleans.

"There's been satanic worship. There's been sexual perversion," Graham said Monday in an appearance at Liberty University. "God is going to use that storm to bring revival. God has a plan. God has a purpose."

Graham's comments, reported by The News & Advance of Lynchburg, were made at Thomas Road Baptist Church's Super Conference 2005 at Liberty. Both the church and the university were founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell.

"The good news is that God loves sinners. Jesus Christ is coming back and he's alive," said Graham, son and designated successor of the Rev. Billy Graham.

Story

Republicans, Democrats Alike Conflicted Over Miers Nomination
October 4th, 2005 @ 8:30am
By JESSE J. HOLLAND Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush's decision to make White House counsel Harriet Miers his second Supreme Court nominee is causing some strange friction on Capitol Hill, with some Republicans unsure about her conservative credentials and some Democrats seemingly supporting her
.
The mixed signals create some uncertainty about how Miers will be received in the Senate as the Judiciary Committee prepares for another round of confirmation hearings before the end of the year.

The rest

Monday, October 03, 2005

He is my Altar, I His holy place;
I am His guest, and He my living food;
I'm His by penitence, He is mine by grace;
I'm His by purchase, He is mine by blood;
He's my supporting elm, and I His vine:
Thus I my Best-beloved's am; thus He is mine.

... Francis Quarles