Friday, October 14, 2005

Dear Readers,
I will be away this weekend at a retreat given by Psalm 19 Ministries at Camp of the Woods in Speculator NY. I hope to be back blogging by Monday the latest.
God's blessings to all! ..........Pat Dague


Sunshine let it be, or frost,
Storm or calm, as Thou shalt choose;
Though Thine every gift were lost,
Thee Thyself we cannot lose

. ... Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

What cause have they who have an interest in Christ, to glory in their Redeemer! They are often beset with many evils, and many mighty enemies surround them on every side, with open mouths ready to devour them. But they need not fear any of them. They may glory in Christ, the rock of their salvation, who appears so gloriously above them all. They may triumph over Satan, over this evil world, over guilt, and over death. For as their Redeemer is mighty, and is so exalted above all evil, so shall they also be exalted in him, They are now, in a sense, so exalted. For nothing can hurt them. Christ carries them, as on eagle's wings, high out of the reach of all evils, so that they cannot come near them, to do them any real harm.

Jonathan Edwards
The Works of Jonathan Edwards

Brother of Schiavo still upset over death
He says the courts and her husband mishandled case
By
Jennifer Toomer-Cook
Deseret Morning News

Bobby Schindler says his memory is seared with images of his sister, Terri Schiavo, after courts approved removal of her feeding tube in a high-profile right-to-die/right-to-life battle he says wasn't always fairly portrayed in the media.

"Fresh in my mind now is how they tortured her to death, how terrified she looked prior to her death. . . . That will be an image that stays with me and my family the rest of our lives," Schindler said in an interview. "She was beautiful, she was alive, she was a human being and had a family willing to . . . show her compassion as every human being deserves. But the courts decided she would be better off dead."
Story


Conference this Saturday in Camillus, NY
The heart-rending story of Terri Schiavo will be engrained in our memories for years to come.

Questions:
----Could you become another Terry Schiavo?
----Could a “Living Will” or “Advance Directive” or “Health Care Proxy” help avoid putting your family in such an excruciating situation?
----What happens to your assets in NY State if you don’t have a will?
-----Are you willing to let a probate judge who does not know your personal wishes, dictate who gets your property and custody of your children?

Answer:
Hear Attorney Raymond Dague discuss these crucial issues and assist you in evaluating and solving your concerns.

Where:
Christ Community Church (formally Immanuel Church of the Nazarene)
Corner of Onondaga and Split Rock Road
Camillus, NY 13031

When: October 15, 2005 at 10:00 AM sharp

Witch gets 'burned' by Supreme Court
Wiccan priestess angry that Christians favored for prayers at county meetings

Posted: October 11, 20054:44 p.m. Eastern
By Joe Kovacs

A practicing witch who sought to have her prayers heard at government meetings in a Richmond, Va., suburb had no magic before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Justices rejected an appeal by Cyndi Simpson, a Wiccan priestess and member of the Broom Riders Association, who wanted to offer a generalized prayer to the "creator of the universe" in
Chesterfield County, Va. The rest

A Darling of Social Conservatives Burns a Bridge
By Matt Friedeman
October 13, 2005

(AgapePress) - In the face of crisis, there is a way to act. The way not to act, of course, was exemplified by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco -- lack of preparedness, shifting blame, losing composure.

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour was, in most respects, the precise opposite. He was "can-do," confident, compassionate, composed, a team player with the feds, promising his place on the Gulf Coast would soon be "bigger and better."

So remarkable was his performance that none too few political pundits started the "Haley for President" talk.

The religious right of Mississippi might differ.

The "better" of "bigger and better" was not going to be debated in Mississippi. Just like it was barely debated over a decade ago when the Mississippi Senate, without giving the public a say in the matter, decided by two votes (with only 80 percent of the Senate voting) to allow off-shore boats for casinos. The "boats," of course, were barely off-shore, and the gamblers actually got a sweetheart deal: while a county on the Gulf Coast or Mississippi River water could vote gambling in, they could never vote it out. (
See related story) Story

College Guide Reveals 'Whole Truth' About Nation's Top Schools
By Jim Brown
October 13, 2005

(AgapePress) - A new college guide assesses which of America's top schools impose politically correct views on their students or have genuine academic freedom on campus.

The
Intercollegiate Studies Institute has released its 2006 edition of Choosing the Right College. Touted by syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell as "by far the best college guide in America," it includes reports on campus politics and intellectual diversity, and offers advice on which departments, professors, and courses to seek out and those to avoid. And World magazine says "if prospective students and their families want a critical look at what is taught at America's most powerful and celebrated schools, Choosing the Right College may be their only guide."
The rest

Anti-Christian Hostility, Militant Hindu Attacks Escalating in India
By Allie Martin
October 13, 2005

(AgapePress) -
Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), a ministry that provides support and advocacy for members of the persecuted Church around the world, is reporting that cases of attacks by militant Hindus against Christians are on the rise in India. Recently a group of Hindu fundamentalists attacked a Christian missionary compound, severely injuring several people.

In the latest attack, Hindu militants stormed the facility of the Gospel Echoing Missionary Society, the largest indigenous Christian missionary agency in eastern India. Before that attack, a mob of about 800 Hindu fundamentalists held the compound under siege for several days.
Story

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.
the rest

Thursday, October 13, 2005

"Books," said St. Augustine after his conversion, "could not teach me charity." We still keep on thinking they can. We do not realize ... the utter distinctness of God and the things of God. Psychology of religion can not teach us prayer, and ethics cannot teach us love. Only Christ can do that, and He teaches by the direct method, in and among the circumstances of life. He does not mind about our being comfortable. He wants us to be strong, able to tackle life and be Christians, be apostles in life, so we must be trained by the ups and downs, the rough-and-tumble of life. Team games are compulsory in the school of Divine Love -- there is no getting into a corner with a nice, spiritual book.

... Evelyn Underhill, Light of Christ

Staying together or walking together.
Vinay Samuel and Chris Sugden

What is driving the search for new relationships in the Anglican Communion? What is driving the realignment of the Communion?

Why have people been leaving their current relationships in the Anglican Communion, with their parish, bishop, diocese or province?

The situation of the diocese of Recife is a classic illustration of the situation: here is a diocese which has oversight of parishes in the United States, but itself is now under the oversight of another province than the one where it is located geographically.

Loss of Anglican Identity
The drivers of this change are that people are being dispossessed by bishops of their Anglican identity. Liberal action has actively dispossessed people of their Anglican identity by throwing them out of local Anglican polity – in Brazil and Connecticut. Or liberal pressure is putting pressure on them to sign up to things which in conscience they cannot do. The deal offered is compromise or lose your Anglican identity.
The rest at Anglican Mainstream

Euthanasia plans savaged in Lords
Date: Oct 14

Fierce opposition to euthanasia by bishops and other religious leaders this week has forced euthanasia campaigner Lord Joffe to water down his private member’s bill for ‘physician-assisted suicide’.

He revealed in Monday’s debate in the House of Lords that his bill would make it legal for doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to enable terminally ill patients to end their lives, but his proposals will not extend that right to doctors to administer the drugs. Active and retired Anglican leaders, including the Bishops of St Albans, Oxford and London, as well as former Archbishops, Lord Carey and Lord Habgood, opposed the bill in the House of Lords. But even more significant was a major campaign of religious leaders in the days leading up to the debate. Nine religious leaders from six different religions appealed to Parliament to reject assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia, basing their case on the sanctity of human life and rapid advances in palliative care.
Story

BLAIR’S BRITAIN has become a "deeply decadent" society where traditional morality has been replaced by "bogus virtues" and "a shiny bauble morality", a leading think-tank claimed this week.
Website Exclusive News Story
Date: Oct 14

Courage, love, prudence, fairness and honesty have been swapped for an untried "quasi-morality" of anti-discrimination, environmental concern, equality and self-affirmation, according to the study by the independent Social Affairs Unit. It argues that society has become "morally illiterate", with citizens finding it harder to distinguish between good and bad behaviour "except by accident or dying habits, using the moral capital of the past it so rejects.

"Dr Digby Anderson, the study’s editor and author of its introduction, laments the passing of an "old society" based on virtues which he says originate from Christianity, the traditions of the patriarchal family, and Victorian culture . In Decadence: The Passing of Personal Virtue and its Replacement by Political and Psychological Slogans, he describes the new virtue of equality as a political policy, rather than a personal quality.
The rest

Australia Anglican Church to Consider Constitution Amendment to Break from CofE
The Sydney Diocese of the Anglican Church in Australia will put forward a motion at its annual synod next Monday, proposing an amendment to the Church's constitution that would allow a possible break with the Church of England.
Posted: Thursday, October 13 , 2005, 11:05 (UK)

Leaders of the Sydney Diocese of the Anglican Church in Australia have proposed the church amend its constitution to make possible a split with the Church of England, following developments regarding the ordination of gay clergy and same-sex unions.

The leaders put forward the motion, to be debated at the diocese’s annual synod next Monday, saying that recent developments within the Church of England “may make it desirable” to amend the Australian church’s constitutional, making the traditional link to the “mother church” of the Anglican Communion optional, reports The Australian.

The Australian church, according to section six of the constitution, holds that unity depends on the acknowledgement that the Church of England continues to uphold biblical teaching.
The rest

Is the Sanctity of Human Life an Outmoded Concept?
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Peter Singer has seen the future, and it does not include the sanctity of life. To be more specific, Singer presents his argument about the future in a forum published in the September/October 2005 edition of Foreign Policy. The magazine asked a number of leading intellectuals to suggest what ideas, institutions, and features of contemporary life will be left behind as human beings rush into a bold new future. As Peter Singer sees it, confidence in the sanctity of human life must be abandoned in order for humanity to be redefined in the new millennium.

Singer is no stranger to controversy, of course. He currently serves as Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at the Center for Human Values at Princeton University. The very fact that Peter Singer holds a distinguished chair in the field of bioethics at a major American university should signal all morally sensitive persons that the world of academia is in big trouble.
The rest

Bankruptcy filings surge as law looms
Mass. debtors seek protection before complex, costly change
By Robert Gavin, Globe Staff
October 13, 2005

Struggling debtors are rushing to file for bankruptcy before Monday, when a new law that makes it more complex and costly to gain protection from creditors goes into effect.

In the first 11 days of October, more than 2,500 new bankruptcy cases were filed in Massachusetts, compared to 464 during the same period a year ago, according to the clerk's office at US Bankruptcy Court in Boston. More than 1,000 new cases were filed over the long Columbus Day weekend alone.

Bankruptcy Court Clerk James Lynch said he expects the deluge to continue through the weekend. Over the last few weeks, local bankruptcy lawyers say they are filing up to five times as many cases as they normally would.
The rest

New Club at Princeton Promotes Chastity
By REBECCA SANTANAASSOCIATED PRESS
PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) -

The students who started one of Princeton University's newest clubs remember the awkward moment when they realized they were in the minority: while watching a play called "Sex on a Saturday Night."

The play is put on for incoming freshmen to inform them about sexual health and safety. But to some students, there was just too much talk about sex.

"I remember sitting there and feeling really uncomfortable because every single character had either engaged in premarital sex or was talking about having engaged in premarital sex," said Christian Sahner, 20, a junior from Maplewood, N.J.

So about a year ago, the students formed a group promoting chastity. While similar groups exist at other universities, it is a first for the Ivy League. The groups first sprung up in the South, but the idea is catching on nationwide, said Jimmy Hester from "True Love Waits," a Nashville, Tenn.-based group that promotes abstinence.
The rest

Vatican offers swap deal to regain site of Last Supper
From Richard Owen in Rome

THE Vatican is hoping to regain control of the Room of the Last Supper in Jerusalem, one of the most sacred sites in Christianity.

It will, in exchange, hand over to the Jewish community the historic synagogue at Toledo in Spain, at present a Catholic church.

The proposals, contained in a draft agreement between the Israeli Government and the Vatican, come on the eve of a state visit to the Vatican next month by President Katzav. Final details on a long-delayed accord on the status of Roman Catholic properties in the Holy Land are expected to be agreed during the visit, marking a new era of reconciliation between Christians and Jews after centuries of hostility.

The Upper Room, where the Last Supper is said to have taken place, is held by Christians to be the place where Jesus broke bread and drank wine with the disciples on the eve of his Crucifixion and also where the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples at Pentecost.
Story

Colombian abortion law campaign is undermined by Washington
By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
Published: 13 October 2005

Monica Roa has been the victim of death threats and burglaries and even accused of plotting genocide. Bodyguards stand at her door and travel with her every where. Despite all this, she refuses to back down.

The 29-year-old lawyer is the centre of an effort to overhaul the abortion law in Colombia, which has the most restrictive such legislation in Latin America. In a few nations in the region, abortion is illegal under any circumstances.

Ms Roa's opponents are the most senior figures within the church, hugely powerful in a country where more than 90 per cent of the population is Catholic. Yet she said her campaign to change the law was also undermined by the administration of President George Bush and its controversial "Mexico City" policy which bans overseas aid for groups that support abortion.

"It's been crucial," Ms Roa told The Independent on the phone from Bogota. "I have had lots of people saying they support what I am doing but they cannot say so publicly. People cannot speak about it. They lose their funding from USaid [US Agency for International Development] that goes to other projects in Colombia."
Story

Sikhs, Hindus, Christians, Muslims united by quake
13 Oct 2005 07:47:09 GMT
Source: Reuters
By Zahid Hussein
MANSEHRA, Pakistan, Oct 13

(Reuters) - In a country known for religious intolerance, Radesh Singh -- a Sikh -- and his group of Hindu, Christian and Muslim friends have joined forces to help survivors of northern Pakistan's devastating earthquake.

They hope efforts to provide relief and care will send a clear message in conservative, predominantly Muslim Pakistan.

"We are here without any religious bias for people who are in dire need of help and care," Radesh told Reuters in Mansehra, a district in Northwest Frontier Province now in ruins after Saturday's disaster.

"We are also hoping that our efforts will give out a message that people from different religious backgrounds and communities can live peacefully together and help each other."
An estimated 96 percent of Pakistan's population are Muslim, about 1.7 percent are Christian and some 2.0 percent are Hindu, others accounting for less than 0.5 percent.
The rest

Christian Coalition falls on lean days
By Julia Duin
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
October 13, 2005

The Christian Coalition, once one of the most powerful forces of the religious right, is running a much leaner operation these days.

The group -- once based in Washington -- now has its headquarters in Charleston, S.C., where it is coping with a vastly reduced budget of $1.3 million, down from the $26 million it enjoyed a decade ago.
story

Staff at New Orleans hospital debated euthanizing patients
Investigation continues into what occurred during Katrina ordeal
By Kathleen Johnston
Thursday, October 13, 2005; Posted: 8:08 a.m. EDT (12:08 GMT)

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- Three days after Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans, staff members at the city's Memorial Medical Center had repeated discussions about euthanizing patients they thought might not survive the ordeal, according to a doctor and nurse manager who were in the hospital at the time.

The Louisiana attorney general's office is investigating allegations that mercy killings occurred and has requested that autopsies be performed on all 45 bodies taken from the hospital after the storm.

Orleans Parish coroner Frank Minyard said investigators have told him they think euthanasia may have been committed.

"They thought someone was going around injecting people with some sort of lethal medication," Minyard said. the rest

Beheadings are Bad PR, Terrorist Tells 'Sheikh of Slaughter'
Patrick Goodenough

International Editor

(CNSNews.com) - Iraqi-based terrorists have been urged by Osama bin Laden's deputy to stop beheading foreign hostages and shoot them instead - not because decapitation is wrong but because it may be counterproductive in the battle for Muslims' "hearts and minds."

A lengthy letter from al Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri, and evidently written to terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq, has been made public by the staff of John Negroponte, the U.S. director of national intelligence.

In the letter, Zawahiri, a 54-year-old Egyptian, sets out plans for taking control of as much of Iraq as possible after American forces leave, spreading the jihad to neighboring secular countries including Egypt and the Levant - Syria and Lebanon - and establishing an Islamist superstate in the Middle East, culminating in a final showdown with Israel.
Story

Dobson Clarifies Insight Offered by White House on Nominee Miers
But Conservative Icon Weyrich Reluctant to 'Trust' Again
By Jody Brown and Bill Fancher
October 12, 2005

(AgapePress) - If any Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee had plans to subpoena Dr. James Dobson and force him -- under oath -- to reveal what the White House had told him about Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, the pro-family leader may have just taken the wind out of their sails.

The
Focus on the Family founder says during a conversation with Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove -- two days before President Bush announced Miers' nomination to the high court -- it was revealed to him that Miss Miers is an evangelical Christian who attends a "very conservative church, which is almost universally pro-life." Since that time, all that information has become public knowledge. But at no time during his talk with Rove, says Dobson, was the nominee's possible stand on Roe v. Wade mentioned. The rest

the gay priest imposture

This week's NCR has an interview with -- don't be shocked --
an anonymous gay priest. The editorial aim is to demonstrate the irrationality of the Church's stance on homosexuality; in fact, the article does just the opposite. A few observations:

The priest interviewed identifies himself not simply as homosexual but as gay. He's not pointing to a condition but to an elected identity. Affirming this identity entails a rejection of the Church's teaching that the homosexual inclination is intrinsically disordered. To call himself a gay priest is equivalent to calling himself a Calvinist priest or a monophysite priest, which amounts to saying, "I'm Catholic, except where the Church is wrong." Well, so is Louis Farrakhan.

Asked the reaction of gay priests of his acquaintance to the Doomsday Doc and the seminary visitation, the interviewee says, "They're angry and they're hurt and they're scared. They're terrified." Why terrified? How many Catholic clergy can you name that publicly acknowledge themselves as gay? Even priests like Robert Nugent of New Ways Ministry and James Schexnayder of NACDLGM stay one micro-millimeter inside the declarative closet, on the grounds that their personal orientation is irrelevant to their politics. So what do they have to fear from a new policy, even supposing it called for defrocking gays?
The rest

Bolivian Bishop Makes Pastoral Visit to Anglican Church in Elizabethtown KY

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. -- The Rt. Rev. Frank Lyons, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Bolivia, will install the Rev. Kent Litchfield, a retired Episcopal priest, as rector of Holy Apostles Church this Sunday, Oct. 16.Bishop Lyons will also baptize, confirm and receive members into the church which was formed in July by several former Episcopalians who walked away from Christ Church in Elizabethtown.

According to Rev. Litchfield, the recent practices and teaching of the Episcopal Church are in violation of scripture and go against the tradition, faith and order of Anglicanism and Christianity. The crisis in the Episcopal Church erupted in 2003 when its general convention voted to approve the development of rites to bless same-sex unions and to consecrate a non-celibate homosexual bishop. What is more telling is the church's failure to affirm the basic tenets of the faith during that same general convention, Litchfield said. Proposed resolution, B001, sought to affirm such basic beliefs as: the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments contain all things necessary to salvation; it is not lawful for the Church to ordain or approve anything contrary to God's written word; and the Apostles' Creed and Nicene Creed are sufficient statements of the Christian faith. This "mom and apple pie" resolution was rejected by the House of Bishops and never made it to the House of Deputies for a vote.

Holy Apostles is the fourth Anglican church to be established in Kentucky and the only one under Bolivian supervision. Two other new Anglican churches in Kentucky, St. Andrew's in Versailles and Apostles in Lexington, are under the supervision of Ugandan bishops. A third church, St. Patrick's Anglican in Lexington, is part of the Anglican Mission in America which has several American bishops who serve under the authority of the Anglican archbishops of Rwanda and Southeast Asia. Bishop Lyons provides episcopal oversight and pastoral care for 14 Anglican churches throughout the United States, including All Saints Anglican Church in Evansville, Indiana.
AAC blog

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Praying in Spite of Yourself
by
Mary Wilder Tileston

Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it.--MALACHI 1:13
My soul cleaveth unto the dust; quicken Thou me according to Thy word. --PSALMS 119:25
Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. --EPHESIANS 5:14

THERE are some who give up their prayers because they have so little feeling in their prayers--so little warmth of feeling. But who told us that feeling was to be a test of prayer? The work of prayer is a far too noble and necessary work to be laid aside for any lack of feeling. Press on, you who are dry and cold in your prayers, press on as a work and as a duty, and the Holy Spirit will, in His good time, refresh your prayers Himself.

--ARTHUR F. WINNINGTON INGRAM

You do not feel in the spirit of prayer; you have no spiritual uplift; you are simply indifferent. Give that unhappy mood no heed. You know very well what you ought to do. You ought to present yourself before God; you ought to say your prayers. Do that, and the devout attitude, the bended knees, the folded hands, the quiet and the silence, the lips busied with holy words, will induce the consciousness of the divine presence, and help you to pray in spirit and in truth.

--GEORGE HODGES link

Islamic law still applies in Sudan
By Tanalee Smith
ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 11, 2005

JOBORONA, Sudan -- Having just ended a 21-year civil war that divided Muslims and Christians, Sudan has a new government and a new interim constitution guaranteeing religious freedom. But for Marko Mayoren, the new deal exists largely on paper.

"Forty-five lashes for being drunk," the man said bitterly, raising his shirt to show crisscrossed wounds on his stomach, some still red and tender.

Mr. Mayoren, 50, had been released a day earlier after a night in jail and a brief trial that convicted him of breaking Islamic law by drinking alcohol

. The new constitution took effect in July, promising less stringent application of the rules on alcohol and women's dress.

But Mr. Mayoren said he was taken to a veranda of the Muslim Court of Conduct and lashed front and back with a leather whip, then ordered to pay a fine of about $20.
the rest

Churches near last rites, says Carey
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
(Filed: 12/10/2005)

Britain's Churches are in such serious decline that if they were shops, they would have been declared bankrupt long ago, Lord Carey, the former archbishop of Canterbury, said last night.


In a bleak assessment of the future of Christianity in this country, he said that the Churches were approaching meltdown and the "last rites" could be administered at any moment.

In a lecture in a Buckinghamshire church, Dr Carey expressed his exasperation that his efforts to revive the Church of England in the 1990s had been frustrated by lack of support from the clergy.

He delivered a warning to his successor, Dr Rowan Williams, that his initiatives could meet a similar fate.
the rest

Christian Groups Deliver Message to Blair Against Religious Hatred Bill
Premier Media Group and The Lawyer’s Christian Fellowship have delivered a message against the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill to Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Posted: Wednesday, October 12 , 2005, 11:22 (UK)

Premier Media Group and The Lawyer’s Christian Fellowship have delivered a message against the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill to British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The two organisations received permission to deliver their statements of objection regarding the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill to Prime Minister Tony Blair yesterday – the same day the bill was debated in the House of Lords.

Premier Media Group and The Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship have openly stated their concerns about the Bill which could affect Christians legitimately proclaiming their faith if passed.

Chief Executive of Premier Media Group, the Reverend Peter Kerridge stated in his letter to the Prime Minister, Tony Blair: “Many Christian organisations, including Premier Media Group are concerned that if the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill is passed in its current form, the Bill will create a barrier to open communication on religious issues and endanger an individual’s right to freedom of speech.”
Story

Anatomy of right-to-die law
Proponents, hospice industry given rare authority to change Florida statute
Posted: October 12, 20051:26 a.m. Eastern

Editor's note: The following article is by Diana Lynne, whose powerful, comprehensive book on Terri Schiavo's life and death, entitled "Terri's Story: The Court-Ordered Death of an American Woman," is now available at WorldNetDaily's online store.
By Diana Lynne


In June of 1997, the United States Supreme Court ruled the Constitution does not grant Americans the right to assisted suicide under the Fourteenth Amendment but simultaneously reaffirmed citizens have a constitutionally protected right to refuse lifesaving hydration and nutrition, along with other medical treatments. The decision was hailed by both advocates for the right to die and the right to life. The latter cheered that the door was closing on legalized assisted suicide. Right-to-die activists welcomed the fact the justices left the door ajar, by deferring to the states to legislate the prickly issue.
Story


Conference this Saturday in Camillus, NY
The heart-rending story of Terri Schiavo will be engrained in our memories for years to come.

Questions:
----Could you become another Terry Schiavo?
----Could a “Living Will” or “Advance Directive” or “Health Care Proxy” help avoid putting your family in such an excruciating situation?
----What happens to your assets in NY State if you don’t have a will?
-----Are you willing to let a probate judge who does not know your personal wishes, dictate who gets your property and custody of your children?

Answer:
Hear Attorney Raymond Dague discuss these crucial issues and assist you in evaluating and solving your concerns.

Where:
Christ Community Church (formally Immanuel Church of the Nazarene)
Corner of Onondaga and Split Rock Road
Camillus, NY 13031

When: October 15, 2005 at 10:00 AM sharp

In Christ, troubles are turned into triumph, so in Him we look at what is coming as the times of the greatest triumphs the world has ever known! The conclusion of all things is that we win! The cross will prevail. This is the foundational truth that all of our understanding of these times must be based on. There will be no retreat in those who walk in the true light. When you open your shades at night, darkness does not come in and flood the room. Rather the light shines out into the darkness because light is stronger than darkness. The darker it becomes, the brighter our light will be. Where sin abounds, grace will that much more abound.

Rick Joyner
MorningStar Ministries

PG-13 Movies of Today Resemble R-Rated of 1992: Study

CAMBRIDGE, Mass, October 11, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Harvard study has concluded that the sexual content of modern movies has become far more explicit than even 13 years ago – to the degree that a movie rated PG-13 today would have garnered an R-rating in 1992.

The researchers concluded that “the MPAA [Motion Picture Association of America] applied less stringency in its age-based ratings over time for the period of 1992-2003.” In other words, as time went on, a PG rating became more and more meaningless, and was no guarantee that the film was free of the graphic sexual imagery that parents would not normally be comfortable allowing a 13-year-old to watch.
The rest


Hollywood Created Film Exposes Partial Birth Abortion Via Courtroom Thriller

LOS ANGELES, October 11, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A soon-to-be released motion picture about the partial birth abortion debate is already attracting comment says its creator. A Distant Thunder is an independent 35-minute film created by Jonathan Flora, a writer and director who works for Disney.
“A Distant Thunder… is a supernatural, courtroom thriller that ... is generating awareness and dialogue about a topic surrounded by a great deal of misinformation and controversy,” said Flores.
In an online interview, Flora said, “This project is not the norm for Hollywood. It has a very specific viewpoint and it goes against the current flow of what we hear Hollywood saying...I’m amazed at how many people have no idea what partial birth abortion is.”
The rest


Finding Their Way Home
Husband-wife filmmakers Lawrence David Foldes and Victoria Paige Meyerink bring two lifetimes of film experience to every movie they make. Finding Home is the story they've been waiting 20 years to tell.
by Carolyn Arends
posted 10/11/05

Excerpt: "The film is the story of a young woman (Lisa Brenner) who returns to her deceased grandmother's New England inn, where she confronts the repressed memories that haunt her dreams. The movie includes veterans like Louise Fletcher (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), Jason Miller (The Exorcist) and a particularly strong performance by Genevieve Bujold (Oscar nominee for Anne of The Thousand Days). Newer faces like Brenner, Misha Collins and Johnny Messner give Finding Home a youthful energy and credibility.

Funded in part by the non-profit organization Christian Life Resources, Finding Home takes on issues like sexual responsibility, the value of family, and the legacy of choices good and bad. Foldes doesn't want his film branded a "Christian movie," but the experience of making it has cultivated his own faith. We talked to him via telephone from the couple's home in LA."
Review

Largest Paper in Canada Prints Hate Column Against Catholic Church
TORONTO, October 11, 2005

(LifeSiteNews.com) - The Toronto Star, the largest circulation paper in Canada, has printed a column which is being regarded by some Catholics as a clear case of inciting hatred towards the Catholic Church. Celebrated Star columnist Joey Slinger's column entitled "With this Vatican, all's fair in faith and war" appears in the 'news' section of today's paper on page A2. The Star, often referred to as the Red Star by critics, has a long history of bias in its reporting of stories related to traditional morality and any institutions supporting that morality.

In the column, Slinger takes issue with the Pope and Bishops of the Catholic Church who are considering refusal of communion for those Catholics who obstinately persist in grave public sin, such as pro-abortion and pro-same-sex 'marriage' politicians. "So the Pope is thinking about excommunicating our Prime Minister, is he? In the religion game, that's called hardball," writes Slinger.
Story

Apologetics in a Postmodern Age, Part Three
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The postmodern age is a very strange time to proclaim and defend the Christian faith. In an age when the reality of truth itself is denied, the church finds itself faced with several distinct challenges. In Acts 17:16-34, we find Paul standing at the very center of apologetic ministry in the first century. As we considered
yesterday, a Christian apologetic begins in a provoked spirit, is focused on Gospel proclamation, and assumes a context of spiritual confusion.

the rest here

Why Integrity Matters
J. Drew Conley, Ph.D.
Today's Christian Preacher Magazine

Integrity. Everyone ought to possess it, but a leader undergoes greater public scrutiny to see if he has it, and he suffers greater consequences when he does not. Even if there is no legal fallout, the damage to his reputation is real. Even more serious is the soul disease that violations of integrity reveal.

A politician may lose credibility with his supporters, but an under-shepherd that exhibits flaws in his integrity jeopardizes the health of God's flock and clouds the honor of his Lord. In so doing, he brings into question whether or not he belongs in the pastoral ministry at all.
The rest

Project Encourages Home Educators to Mentor
New Home-Schooling Families
By Jim Brown

October 11, 2005

(AgapePress) - An effort is under way to bring one million additional children into home education over the next five to seven years. The campaign, launched by Exodus Mandate, is called "Homeschooling Family-to-Family" (HFTF).

Exodus Mandate was founded by Bible teacher and retired Army chaplain E. Ray Moore, Jr., to encourage and assist Christian families to leave government schools in favor of Christian schools or home education. The ministry is now asking experienced home schoolers to share their heart for home education by offering to mentor families they know into home schooling their own children.

A designer of HFTF, author Bruce Shortt, says the project targets people who have expressed interest in home schooling but are afraid to get started. "What we're suggesting is that we become, in a sense, a little bit more evangelical as home schoolers," he says. "When those conversations come along, what we need to do is reach out to these people and come alongside them and say, 'Come on, you can do this. We can do it together.'
The rest

ECUSA House of Bishops, Adding Insult to Injury
By: The Rev.Canon Dr. Bill Atwood

I suppose I naively believed that the depths of heartbreak in the Episcopal Church had already been plumbed, but I was gripped by a new wave of grief when I read the communication from the Episcopal leadership after their gathering in Puerto Rico.

Most painful was the unanimously supported task force to maintain control of property in situations where there is conflict with clergy and parishioners who refuse to accept unbiblical innovations in the Episcopal Church.

They said they acted to limit the "profound loss [which] does harm to the past generations who contributed to the mission of the Episcopal Church and denies future generations rightful resources."

These same leaders have failed to give any thought to their actions that repudiated the Gospel of transformation that was the heart and soul of the faith of past generations who consecrated property to serve Biblical mission. To hijack the sacrifices previous generations made to erect Gospel serving buildings and divert those resources for the vapid and spiritually bankrupt message of uncritical "acceptance," may sound good to them, but it squanders the opportunity for redemptive change offered by the Cross. It forfeits the chance to become more like Jesus and know His peace. Picking and choosing which parts of our heritage to preserve is selective responsibility and it is reprehensible.
The rest

My Daughters Have American Girl Dolls - Why Must Something So Nice Be Matched Up With Abortion, Other Sexuality?
From the American Family Association:
American Girl teams with pro-abortion, pro-lesbian group

Dear Brad,


Visit the new AFA Superstore today! Possibly some of you have daughters who play with the American Girl dolls or read their books. You may even be thinking about buying a doll or books for Christmas. Well, it turns out American Girl (owned by Mattel) is partnering with a group called Girls Inc. to sell a bracelet, the “I Can” band, which financially supports Girls Inc. Seventy cents of every purchase goes to Girls Inc. The band is sold on the American Girl webpage with a large ad and a link to the Girls Inc. webpage. In addition, the webpage says American Girl is giving $50,000 to Girls, Inc.

The problem here is that Girls Inc. has on their webpage a statement saying they particularly support abortion and a girl’s right to abort an unwanted baby. They were quite clear about their support for Roe, so there is no mistake or room for confusion on that count. Additionally, Girls Inc. supports contraceptives for girls.

They also support and offer resources encouraging lesbian and bi-sexual lifestyles, actually offering resources for girls. One of their publications states, “The emergence of a lesbian identity is an ongoing process, rather than an event.”
The rest Drell's Descants

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The valley of the shadow of death holds no darkness for the child of God. There must be light, else there could be no shadow. Jesus is the light. He has overcome death.

... Dwight L. Moody

Overwhelmed at Quake's Ground Zero
At Least 10,000 Estimated Dead in Capital of Pakistani-Controlled Kashmir
By John Lancaster
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, October 11, 2005; Page A01

MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan, Oct. 10 -- The earthquake that ripped through this once-picturesque town Saturday did more than topple houses and send hillsides tumbling onto the streets. It also destroyed the main government hospital, so the injured were taken to a soccer stadium instead.

On Monday afternoon, many of them were still there.

Story

Apologetics in a Postmodern Age, Part Two
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The church is faced in the postmodern age by several distinct apologetic challenges. Internally, the church must defend the faith against ignorance, against compromise, against doctrinal apathy, and against denial. The church now suffers from a breathtaking deficit of doctrinal instruction and biblical truth. In some churches, the great truths of the Christian faith are unknown, and in others, these truths are left dormant and untaught. Beyond this, the very real dangers of doctrinal corrosion and heresy threaten.

Externally, the Gospel must be defended against secular atheism, postmodern relativism, naturalistic scientism, materialism, and current syncretisms. The Gospel must be proclaimed in the face of rival systems of belief and alternative worldviews, new and old.
The rest

Bishop of Albany Calls for a Coadjutor
10/10/2005

The Bishop of Albany, the Rt. Rev. Daniel W. Herzog, issued a pastoral letter which he asked the clergy of the diocese to read at Sunday services Oct. 9, 2005. In the letter he addressed two matters: the election of a bishop coadjutor and a diocesan fund drive.

At the annual convention of the diocese in June, Bishop Herzog informed the diocese that he was considering calling for the election of a bishop coadjutor. In his comments to the convention he noted that an election in the spring of 2006 would mean that the confirmation of the bishop-elect would take place at the next General Convention. While he did not issue a formal call for an election at that time, he did ask the diocesan convention to adopt some changes in its rules to streamline the election process. As a result of those changes, the diocese will not be required to undergo the extensive self-study most dioceses engage in when electing a bishop.
The rest

Quotable Quotes From The Unitarian Polyamory Website

A snippit from a post to the HOBD listserv I sent:


“Here is the clincher, in my opinion, from one of the sermons on the UUwebsite, that closely tracks our Baptismal Convenant: “What can be wrong with that, from a Unitarian Universalist viewpoint, so long as the inherent worth and dignity of each person is honored?” Another quote that tracks arguments I’ve seen on this list regarding same sex blessings: “So whether we choose - or know ourselves - to be asexual, monogamous, or polyamorous, our fidelity to our covenant, individually and collectively, is what ultimately makes relationship(s) work.”

This statement, which appeared in a Unitarian Universalist church newsletter noted on the UUPA website also ought to make us all really think when we say polyamory is different and shouldn’t be accepted: “To stigmatize those who seriously seek to explore the question of whether human nature is such that more than one intimate and sexually active relationship at a time is responsibly possible, with terms such as wife swapping and group sex is the equivalent of calling people in loving relationships with someone of their own gender perverts and fags.”

The way I see it, if we are going to have same sex blessings, we need to have polyamory blessings. There doesn’t seem to be a difference to me.

Drell's Descants

Monday, October 10, 2005

The world, indeed, seems to be weary of the just, righteous, holy ways of God, and of that exactness in walking according to His institutions and commands which it will be one day known that He doth require. But the way to put a stop to this declension is not by accommodating the commands of God to the corrupt courses and ways of men. The truths of God and the holiness of His precepts must be pleaded and defended, though the world dislike them here and perish hereafter. His law must not be made to lackey after the wills of men, nor be dissolved by vain interpretations, because they complain they cannot -- indeed, because they will not -- comply with it. Our Lord Jesus Christ came not to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them, and to supply men with spiritual strength to fulfill them also. It is evil to break the least commandment; but there is a great aggravation of that evil in them that shall teach men so to do.

... John Owen, Sermons

PRIEST WHO MADE SEXUAL ABUSE CHARGE IS INHIBITED BY CENTRAL NY BISHOP
Diocese is in chaos and starved for money, say reports
By David W. Virtue
http://www.virtueonline.org

SYRACUSE, NY (10/10/2005)--The Bishop of Central New York, Gladstone "Skip" Adams III has inhibited Fr. David Bollinger, priest for 20 years at St. Paul's, Owego, NY for supposed financial irregularities allegedly in order to shut the priest up after he had a dispute with the bishop at last year's diocesan convention following allegations of a sex abuse scandal, which the priest says Adams is trying to cover up.

Bollinger named Fr. Ralph Johnson as the unmarried priest for his alleged pedophile activities at St. Paul's parish in the 1970s and says that the inhibition, recently extended for a second term of three months, was also because of the cover-up of the Diocesan Controller's invasion of his private savings account.

"I believe I have been inhibited as a punishment for trying to seek the truth about Johnson's alleged pedophile activities when I received an affidavit from one of 16 victims of my parish charging the former parish priest with sexual abuse."

Bollinger sent the signed complaint to the bishop and pastoral response team. As a result of doing this, and because he blew the whistle on the former parish priest, the bishop turned on Bollinger and inhibited him and then accused him of misusing his Discretionary Fund, he says.

The rest at Virtueonline

We prevent God from giving us the great spiritual gifts He has in store for us, because we do not give thanks for daily gifts. We think we dare not be satisfied with the small measure of spiritual knowledge, experience, and love that has been given to us, and that we must constantly be looking forward eagerly for the highest good. Then we deplore the fact that we lack the deep certainty, the strong faith, and the rich experience that God has given to others, and we consider this lament to be pious. We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts. How can God entrust great things to one who will not thankfully receive from Him the little things?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Smoking Out the Truth
What (Most) Stem-Cell Researchers Really Want
October 7, 2005

It was the kind of news that should have had scientists jumping for joy.

A few weeks ago, the journal Science announced a major breakthrough in stem-cell research: A Harvard research team had found a way to create embryonic-type stem cells without the need to create and kill embryos, raising all those moral questions.

This is tremendous news. Researchers have told us for years that embryonic stem cells are vitally important in the race to find cures for a host of diseases. And now, they have the means of creating embryonic-type stem cells that won’t kill human embryos—something most Americans object to. So why aren’t they breaking out the champagne? The probable reason, as Princeton Professor Robert George puts it, is “ominous.”
The rest

Arabian Sex Tourism
by Daniel Pipes
FrontPageMagazine.com
October 7, 2005

Indian media have been publishing exposés documenting the foul behavior of Gulf Arabs in the southern Indian town of Hyderabad "
Fly-by-night bridegrooms," by R Akhileshwari in the Deccan Herald and "One minor girl, many Arabs," by Mohammed Wajihuddin in the Times of India are two important examples. Wajihuddin sets the stage:

They are old predators with new vigour. Often bearded, invariably in flowing robes and expensive turbans. The rich, middle-aged Arabs increasingly stalk the deprived streets of Hyderabad like medieval monarchs would stalk their harems in days that we wrongly think are history. These Viagra-enabled Arabs are perpetrating a blatant crime under the veneer of nikaah, the Islamic rules of marriage.
The rest

Why Are Christians So Indifferent to Gambling?
Gambling has infiltrated our culture, but Christians are silent. There could be many reasons why that is so.
by John H. Redekop

A generation ago, when gambling in this province consisted of little more than betting at racetracks and secretive selling of Irish Sweepstakes tickets, Christian churches campaigned against gambling.

Today, gambling is big business in British Columbia, with more than $2 billion spent on it annually. Gambling establishments have mushroomed across the province, and B.C. Lotto and other agencies have made gambling accessible to everyone who owns a computer.

Why, as The Langley Times noted, did that city's newly opened Cascades Casino get its licensing "almost without one word of protest at an empty public hearing"? Why are Christian voices mostly silent about our gambling culture? Many possible rationalizations come to mind.
Story


Irish Billboards of Gambling Jesus Pulled

DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) -- Ireland's largest bookmaker, Paddy Power PLC, withdrew a billboard campaign Wednesday that portrayed Jesus and his disciples at the Last Supper table - and playing poker and roulette alongside the slogan, "There's a place for fun and games."

The Dublin-based company was responding to legal threats from Ireland's Advertising Standards Authority, which reported receiving scores of complaints from the public in this predominantly Roman Catholic country.

At all 89 locations across Dublin, the offending billboards were replaced Wednesday with new Paddy Power ads that said: "There's a place for fun and games. Apparently this isn't it." Story

Homosexual Issue Plagues Denominations
By AFA Journal

October 10, 2005

(AgapePress) - The issue of homosexuality continues to put pressure on mainline Protestant denominations. Here is a brief recounting of what has happened among some of those churches over recent months:
Read all about it here!

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
Episcopal Church in USA (ECUSA)
United Methodist Church (UMC)
Presbyterian Church (USA)

Pupils' Persistence Pays Off in PA; Principal Permits Prayer
By Jim Brown

October 10, 2005

(AgapePress) - A group of Christian students at a Pennsylvania high school are rejoicing after finding out they are no longer barred from praying together in their school.

Fifteen students at Girard High School had been repeatedly told by principal Gregg McClelland that prayer was not allowed anywhere, anytime in the school. Now, following their attempts to persuade McClelland to have a change of heart, the principal has relented.

Terry Miller, a youth leader at Erie Christian Fellowship Church, where the group of teens attends, believes the principal initially displayed an anti-Christian bias and ignorance of the Constitution.
The rest

Pacifiers reduce sudden infant deaths: study
Mon Oct 10, 2005 10:08 AM ET
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Infants should be put to sleep on their backs only, not their sides, and pacifiers can be used to help prevent sudden infant death syndrome, U.S. pediatricians said on Monday.

Revised guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics issued on Monday also discourage parents from sleeping with their infants at all, saying babies are safer in their own cribs.

SIDS, the sudden, unexplained death of an infant in the first year of life, is the third leading cause of infant mortality in the United States, causing the deaths of 2,500 infants each year.

Campaigns to encourage parents and other caregivers to put babies to sleep on their backs instead of their tummies slashed the death rates from SIDS, also known as crib death or cot death, in countries such as Britain and the United States in the 1980s and 1990s.
The rest


Harassing Breast-Feeding Mothers Could Lead To Fines
Wis. Law Already Protects Mothers
UPDATED: 11:18 am EDT October 10, 2005


MADISON, Wis. -- Asking a breast-feeding mother to cover-up could soon cost people in Wisconsin $200.
A proposed bill by state Sen. Fred Risser would protect mothers who breast-feed in public from being harassed.
Under Wisconsin law it is perfectly legal for a woman to breast-feed her child in a public place.
Story

'Do-it-yourself' euthanasia clinic to open in Britain
By Severin Carrell
Published: 09 October 2005

A controversial Swiss clinic which has helped nearly 40 British people commit suicide is to open an office in the UK because of growing demand, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

Zurich-based Dignitas has begun discussions about setting up a British branch, even though it is illegal here to help someone commit suicide. In the past three years, 37 Britons have killed themselves at its clinic. It claims to have hundreds more British members.

The move comes as Britain's most senior church leaders this weekend mounted a concerted campaign to counter fresh moves in Parliament to legalise assisted suicide.
Story

Over 200 Eritrean Christians
Captured & Detained in New Persecutions
Posted: Monday, October 10 , 2005, 11:30 (UK)

Over two hundred Christian Eritrean evangelicals and members of minority churches have been captured and detained, according to Release Eritrea.

The operation which was carried out by Eritrean security forces is said to have been the worst of its kind thus far, with having been detained without their whereabouts being known.

Email sources indicated that the development project of Kalehiwet Church has been shut down, according to Release Eritrea. The development project is responsible for projects across the country with emergency aid and feeding programmes. But it was forcibly shut by Eritrean security forces on 3 October.

The whole team of staff, including all administrative staff, drivers and secretaries, have all been detained for the past week. The general secretary of the project Mr Ukbay, his administrator Mr Ghebre Michael and many others have been detained.
Story

England Faith Leaders Lobby Parliament Against Euthanasia
Monday, Oct. 10, 2005 Posted: 11:41:44AM EST

Major faith groups in the United Kingdom published a joint letter to both Houses of Parliament on Friday in a bid to lobby against legalizing any forms of euthanasia ahead of this week’s debate on the proposed Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill in the House of Lords.

"We, the undersigned, hold all human life to be sacred and worthy of the utmost respect and note with concern that repeated attempts are being made to persuade Parliament to change the law on intentional killing so as to allow assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia for those who are terminally ill," the letter read, according to the Church of England.
The rest

Barna Book Discusses Pursuit of God Beyond the Local Church
Monday, Oct. 10, 2005 Posted: 11:19:35 AM EST

For decades the primary way Americans experienced and expressed their faith has been through a local church. That reality is rapidly changing, says the founder of the group whose published polls are most quoted within Evangelical circles.

According to a new book Revolution by Barna Group Founder George Barna, there is a group of 20 million Christians in America who are trying to find alternate ways to fulfill their spiritual thirst.

After having been personally frustrated by the local church, Barna initiated several research projects to understand what other frustrated Christians were doing to maintain their spiritual edge, and he realized that there was a large and rapidly-growing population of Christ-followers that want to follow in the footsteps of the believers in the book of Acts.

These "Revolutionaries" may leave the local church for alternate methods of faith expression and experience. Others stay on with the local church, but supplement with other modes of expression. In either case, revolutionaries simply have a wider range of options than do people who are solely focused on a local church, according to Barna.
Story

Christian Relief Groups Respond to Massive Quake
Monday, Oct. 10, 2005
Posted: 10:30:57AM EST

As people half a world away mourn the deaths of family members and friends, the destruction of homes and the lost sense of security, Christian relief agencies in the United States are quickly responding to the massive earthquake that shook Pakistan and neighboring countries on Saturday morning.

Since the 7.6 magnitude earthquake hit South Asia on Saturday, Christian organizations have been responding to the aftermath with assessment teams, emergency assistance and formulations of long-term relief plans. Faith-based groups such as CWS/PA (Church World Service Pakistan/Afghanistan), World Vision International (WV), Christian Aid, and MAP (Medical Assistance Program) International are among the Christian relief organizations that have announced their plans to help victims of the quake.

“The greatest need is for the living,” said Sig Hanson, national director of World Vision Pakistan, in reference to the 700,000 survivors, of which almost all have lost loved ones and are without shelter or clean drinking water.
The rest


'A generation has been lost'
By Simon Freeman, and agencies in Pakistan

International donors rushed to ferry relief supplies to northern Pakistan today as the estimated death toll from the country's worst earthquake climbed towards 40,000.

More than two million people have been left homeless by the 7.6-magnitude earthquake, which hit Pakistani-administered Kashmir on Saturday morning and sent tremors across the region between Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.
Story

Strange Things to Our Ears: Apologetics in a Postmodern Age
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Monday, October 10, 2005

Christians today are called to serve the cause of Christ at one of the crucial turning points in human history. The generations now living have witnessed an explosion of knowledge, the collapse of distance, the rising and falling of empires. Cultures and societies have been radically transformed, and expansive wealth has brought great material comfort even as the most basic structures of society are undermined. Families are fractured, lawlessness abounds, violence invades, and the media bring a constant stream of chaos into our lives.

The reality of truth is itself denied. Postmodern Americans accept meaning as a replacement for truth, and exchange worldviews as quickly as they try on new clothes.
The rest

ECUSA in Arkansas Standing Ready to Bless Same Sex Unions
From the Arkansas Democrat
Congregation backs blessing of gay couples
BY CHRISTIE STORMARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE

St. Paul¹s Episcopal Church in Fayetteville recently became the first congregation of its denomination in Arkansas to support a rite of blessing for gay couples.

However, any ceremonies must wait until at least next summer, pending action by national church leadership.

The Sept. 19 decision by the Fayetteville church came after years of discussion and four weeks of small group meetings of its parishioners and church leaders. They overwhelmingly supported the resolution.
Although St. Paul's is the first of the state's 55 churches in the Episcopal Church USA to approve a rite of blessing for same-sex couples, it is not the first congregation in the state to consider holding such ceremonies. Congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Fayetteville and Little Rock have offered commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples.

The rest at Drell's Descants

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Like Him We Rise
Betsy Childs

We usually remember to consider the idea of resurrection in the springtime. People draw parallels between the new life of the budding trees and reproducing wildlife and the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. If one thinks about it, however, the recurring cycles of nature, of death and birth, are startlingly different from Christ's resurrection from the dead.

We live in a world of death. The growth of living plants depends on the decomposition of dead ones. If the Lord tarries, every one of us will die, and this truth is brought home when a person known for his or her vivacity is diagnosed with a terminal disease. On his deathbed, Matthew Henry (the well-known Bible commentator) is reported to have said, "Tomorrow I am not sure whether or not I will be in the land of the dying." (Footnote 1: qtd. By Paul Kooistra in Network Magazine, Summer 2003.) He spoke well when he called this the land of the dying, for every day leads us closer to our end. For those who die a natural death, death may come gradually. The body weakens, experiences pain, and little by little slips into death. The poet John Donne in his Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions chronicled twenty-three stages of sickness preceding death. Those of us whom God blesses with long life will come upon death in stages and in due season, just as summer turns into fall.

Resurrection, on the other hand, is an abrupt and rare occurrence. It has more in common with an immediate death by a tragic accident than with the customary dying process. One moment Christ was dead; the next he lived. I love the archaic term for bringing to life: to quicken. One moment Christ was among the dead; the next he joined the quick. Songwriter Michael Card penned these lyrics: Love crucified arose/ And the grave became a place of hope/ For the heart that sin and sorrow broke/ Is beating once again. The resurrection was a case in which a heart that had not beaten for three days suddenly began pumping blood again. If Christ's death in the middle of the afternoon caused the sky to go black, what must have happened when he opened his eyes in the middle of the night?

This abrupt reversal of the natural order of things is the key to all our hopes. Our hope is not that spring will come again; spring is always followed by fall and then winter. Rather, we believe that the death-cycle will be reversed. Christ's resurrection is the precursor to the resurrection of those who believe in Him. 1 Corinthians 15:20 says, "But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

"One of the best poetic texts on Christ's resurrection is Charles Wesley's hymn "Christ the Lord is Risen Today." The final verse says:

"Soar we now where Christ has led,
Following our exalted Head;
Made like Him, like Him we rise;
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies."

Let us ponder the meaning of resurrection in every season, not just in the spring, as we wait in hope for the day when we too will undergo that dramatic transformation.
link

Postbag of hate for a black archbishop
The Church of England’s new No 2 has endured racial abuse, he tells Christopher Morgan and Jasper Gerard

THE new Archbishop of York, Ugandan-born John Sentamu, has been receiving racist hate mail since his appointment. He reveals today that since he was chosen as the Church of England’s second in command in June he has received letters daubed with swastikas and containing excrement.

“I have been victim of all sorts of things,” he said in an interview at Lambeth Palace. “I have had a lot of terrible racist hate mail even since my appointment as archbishop.”
Story

Death Toll Surpasses 30,000 in Asia Quake
Oct 09 9:01 AM US/Eastern
By SADAQAT JAN Associated Press Writer
BALAKOT, Pakistan

Villagers desperate to find survivors dug with bare hands Sunday through the debris of a collapsed school where children had been heard crying beneath the rubble after a massive earthquake killed more than 30,000 people in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir alone.

"I have been informed by my department that more than 30,000 people have died in Kashmir," Tariq Mahmmod, communications minister for the Himalayan region, told The Associated Press.

Saturday's magnitude-7.6 quake also struck India and Afghanistan, which reported hundreds dead.
Pakistan's army called the earthquake the country's worst-ever disaster and appealed for urgent help. Rival India, the United States, the United Nations, Britain, Russia, China, Turkey, Japan and Germany all offered assistance.

The rest

Targeting Salvation Army

Disappointed last year by similar news, I am not happy to hear it basically repeated for 2006, with a little addition. From the American Family Association:
Target Corporation will continue to ban the Salvation Army from their 1,351 stores this Christmas season. The Army will not be allowed to place their red kettles in front of Target stores.

Many observers feel that the ban by Target is a result of pressure put on the company by homosexual groups. Homosexual activists have targeted the Salvation Army for years because of the Army's refusal to recognize their lifestyle. Target is a supporter of various homosexual causes. [Target has denied such pressure. jmk]

While Target contributes to homosexual groups, the company publicly states that they will not contribute to any religious groups. For Target, homosexual organizations are worthy of financial support, Christian and Jewish organizations are not.

While Target continues to ban the Salvation Army, competitors such as Wal-Mart are increasing their donations to the Salvation Army. Wal-Mart and others continue to welcome the Army's kettles.
The rest

The Beginning of Education
The new Bible Literacy Project curriculum is impressive—as far as it is able to go.
by Mark Galli
posted 10/07/2005 09:30 a.m.

A traveling exhibit of Russian icons came to Chicago's Art Institute a few years ago. Soft lighting accented the icons, which were hung on walls and room dividers placed to create a labyrinthine path through which viewers wound their way. Neatly printed plaques beside each icon told the date of the icon's creation, the name of its creator, and any artistic techniques of interest.

As I walked through the exhibit, I realized that though I saw icons up close and learned a bit about their origin and design, I hardly understood them at all. To grasp their real significance, I would have to attend an Orthodox service and observe how Orthodox Christians use them. I would have to meditate on one in the context of worship. And though my Protestant sensibilities would prevent me from doing so, I knew that if I really wanted to grasp their meaning, I would have to pray through them, as do the Orthodox.

In short, I could not become icon literate by studying icons in a museum. You cannot rip icons out of their natural setting and expect to understand them.

Some call the Bible the icon of Protestants. It is the physical object more than any other that opens to us a window into heaven. I think about this, and my experience at the icon exhibit, every time I hear about another effort to teach the Bible as literature in the public schools.
the rest

Abortion Proponent Dismisses Challenge to Arkansas's "Choose Life" License Plate
Friday, October 07, 2005

Abortion proponent Tamara Brackett dismissed her federal lawsuit in Fayetteville, Arkansas, which sought to strike down the Choose Life Statute along with the entire system of authorizing specialty and vanity license plates.

Last year, Judge Harry Barnes
granted Liberty Counsel's request to intervene on behalf of several pro-life groups to defend the Arkansas "Choose Life" license plate. Mathew D. Staver, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel, and Rena Lindevaldsen, Senior Litigation Counsel, represent Hannah Medical Center, Life Choices, Inc. (crisis pregnancy centers), Rose Mimms and Debora Griffin (who purchased the plate).

In order to prevent the "Choose Life" specialty plate, Tamara Brackett sought to eliminate every specialty plate. Sponsors of other specialty plates include the Disabled American Veterans; Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients; Purple Heart Medal Recipients; Ex-Prisoners of War; Military Reserve Members; U.S. Armed Forces Retirees; Pearl Harbor Survivors; Active and Retired Firefighters; Universities and Colleges; World War II, Korean War, Vietnam and Persian Gulf Veterans; Armed Forces Veterans; Retired Arkansas State Troopers; Distinguished Flying Cross Recipients; Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Education, Research and Awareness; and Organ Donor Awareness, to name just a few.

The rest