Saturday, November 19, 2005

Christ the King

From Brother Lawrence:

The Practice of the Presence of God

I pass over many things, that I may not be tedious to you, yet I think it proper to inform you after what manner I consider myself before GOD, whom I behold as my King. I consider myself as the most wretched of men, full of sores and corruption, and who has committed all sorts of crimes against his King; touched with a sensible regret I confess to Him all my wickedness, I ask His forgiveness, I abandon myself in His hands, that He may do what He pleases with me. This King, full of mercy and goodness, very far from chastising me, embraces me with love, makes me eat at His table, serves me with His own hands, gives me the key of His treasures; He converses and delights Himself with me incessantly, in a thousand and a thousand ways, and treats me in all respects as His favourite. It is thus I consider myself from time to time in His holy presence.

Augustine says that we may, out of our dead sins, make stepping stones to rise to the heights of perfection. What did he mean by that? He meant that the memory of our falls may breed in us such a humility, such a distrust of self, such a constant clinging to Christ as we could never have had without the experience of our own weakness.

James Stalker

Lutherans Act on Sexuality Recommendations
Saturday, Nov. 19, 2005
Posted: 10:58:41AM EST

Top leaders in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America avoided deciding on several controversial requests to change the current standards of ordination that prohibit sexually active gays and lesbians into the ministry.

During its regular fall meeting in Chicago earlier this week, ELCA Church Council declined a request to review the “Vision and Expectation” document that outlines ordination standards. The council also referred to a separate board a resolution related to the church’s discipline in cases where ordination standards are violated.

The council of the ELCA Southwest California Synod in Glendale forwarded a resolution requesting the Council to authorize the denomination’s Vocation and Education board to conduct a review of the ordination standards. Under current standards, ministers are expected to practice fidelity in marriage and chastity if single; homosexuals are expected to be celibate since same-sex unions are not recognized as marriages.
The rest

Bush to stress religious freedom in China
White Houses urges coverage by state-controlled media
Saturday, November 19, 2005; Posted: 1:30 p.m. EST (18:30 GMT)

BEIJING, China (AP) -- The White House on Saturday urged China to give wide media coverage to U.S. President George W. Bush's visit and said Bush would press Beijing about religious freedom, trade problems and the need for currency reforms.

Bush arrived Saturday evening in the Chinese capital. He was due to attend a church service on Sunday with his wife, Laura, before meeting with President Hu Jintao and other Chinese leaders.
U.S. officials have talked with their Chinese counterparts about coverage of Bush's visit by the entirely state-controlled Chinese media, said Mike Green, senior director for Asian affairs on the National Security Council.

"The basic expectation we have -- and we've made it clear to them -- is that they should give the Chinese people an opportunity to hear everything the president has to say on U.S.-China relations, just as we give the American people and the American press every opportunity to hear what President Hu has to say about U.S.-China relations," Green told reporters aboard Air Force One as Bush flew to Beijing.
The rest

Beijing pastor warned on eve of Bush visit
Authorities ship church leader's attorney to town 100 miles away
Posted: November 19, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern

On the eve of President's visit to Beijing, Chinese authorities instructed the leading defense attorney for a house church pastor to leave the capital, warning him not to engage in "unofficial activities."

A Public Security Bureau agent came to Zhang Xingshui, lawyer for Pastor Cai Zhuohua, a couple of days ago, the reported, telling him to stay in a verifiable temporary location in Tianjin City, about 100 miles from Beijing. Story

Friday, November 18, 2005

Diocesan Conventions in New York
by Raymond Dague

The mission of the church is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Most people think this means planting new churches. But not in the Diocese of Central New York or the Diocese of Rochester. Here churches close with few or no worshipers, and a convention prepares to declare "extinct" a worshiping congregation over the objection of their people, their vestry, and their rector. Somebody probably thinks to call this "ministry." The upstate New York landscape with its thin cold layer of the season’s first snow chills the bones of delegates as they trudge off to their annual diocesan meetings, but the cold weather is nothing compared to the iciness of these conventions.

At the opening of the Central New York diocesan convention in Syracuse, New York on Friday evening, November 18, 2005, Bishop Skip Adams of Central New York announced that this year he recently has or would soon "deconsecrate" four of the churches in the diocese. Those parishes are now gone, or soon on the way out, and the buildings will be abandoned and sold.

At the Diocese of Rochester’s convention which met at the same time as its counterpart in Syracuse, the diocesan chancellor spent time justifying to delegates why one of the 61 parishes in that diocese should be snuffed out of existence by a convention vote to be held Saturday, November 19, 2005. Bishop Jack McKelvey and his standing committee submitted a resolution to the convention that All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Rochester, New York be declared "extinct, its vestry dissolved, and its real property and tangible and intangible assets transferred to the Trustees of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester." The vote on Saturday afternoon is one which both sides expect the parish will loose. So long as we are snuffing out the next guy’s church and not mine, that is apparently ok, reason the delegates who will vote "yes" on the motion for extinction.

In Central New York it is little different. The credentials committee report is usually routine in most meetings. It reports on parishes represented and seats their delegates. The credentials report indicated that 69 parishes out of about 100 in Central New York had delegates present. The report went on to say that two parishes, St. Andrew’s in Syracuse and St. Andrew’s in Vestal, were not going to be seated. They had not paid their assessments to the diocese. This despite the fact that six other parishes were seated who had not paid their assessments. Why the difference between the two St. Andrews’ and the other six? Well, these two disagreed with the vote of Bishop Adams and the diocesan delegation for Gene Robinson to be a bishop, and to permit same sex blessings at the 2003 General Convention of the Episcopal Church. When a motion was made to seat the two St. Andrew’s parishes it lost by about a 2/3s margin. Once again, so long as it is the next parish, vote ‘em out.

The dynamic was the same in Rochester. Vocal opposition to revising Christian morality to allow homosexual behavior is what really landed All Saint’s Rochester in trouble.

And there is more. The diocesan board in Central New York distributed in the convention packet their "policy for parishes not paying full diocesan assessment" which permits the diocesan board to "begin the process for enabling the parish to move to unincorporated or chapel status and or a combined ministry with other parishes in the area." That is a nice euphemism for what the Rochester Diocese calls "extinct." At least Rochester is more honest with its blunt, albeit draconian, way of saying it.

And the Windsor Report? Well, last year’s Central New York convention referred it to the constitution and canons committee of the diocese. Paul Curtin, the diocesan chancellor, delivered their report to the convention Friday night after a year of consideration. The unanimous conclusion of the committee was that the Windsor Report "has no impact on the diocesan constitution and canons" and hence that committee had no authority to act on the report.

A "Listening Forum" was set up instead so that the delegates could hear from people as the deputies prepare to head to General Convention 2006 next summer. A resolution to define marriage as a being between and man and a woman was withdrawn by the maker. But a resolution condemning the war in Iraq made it to the list of resolutions to be considered.

On Saturday, November 19th, both of these conventions continue. Lord, help us!

Raymond Dague is a member of St. Andrew’s Church in Syracuse, and was one of the delegates denied a seat at the Central New York convention

"By the discipline of obedience I get to the place where Abraham was and I see Who God is. I never have a real God until I have come face to face with Him in Jesus Christ, then I know that
"in all the world, my God,
there is none but Thee,
there is none but Thee."

The promises of God are of no value to us until by obedience we understand the nature of God. We read some things in the Bible three hundred and sixty-five times and they mean nothing to us, then all of a sudden we see what God means, because in some particular we have obeyed God, and instantly His nature is opened up. "All the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen." The "yea" must be born of obedience; when by the obedience of our lives we say "Amen" to a promise, then that promise is ours. "

Oswald Chambers

Europe's Muslims
By Jela De Franceschi
Washington, D.C.
17 November 2005

France's worst civil unrest in decades was sparked by the accidental electrocution of two Muslim teenagers who fled into a power substation while apparently avoiding police. The ensuing weeks of unrest have forced not just France but other European nations to examine the alienation of their Muslim immigrant communities.

European leaders are watching with apprehension the violence spread across districts of France that are heavily populated by disaffected Muslims, in what European media call the "French intifada". The riots that have shaken France and stunned the continent have been carried out mostly by African and Arab teenagers who see themselves as victims of racial and religious prejudice.

Most of France's Muslims live in poor neighborhoods separate from the white Christian mainstream, in suburbs often rife with crime and seething anger. Unemployment in these communities is 20 %, double the national average. It's more than 30 % among 21-to-29-year-olds.
The rest

A Christian Vision of Beauty, Part Three
Albert Mohler
Friday, November 18, 2005

The Christian vision of beauty not only tells us why the world is beautiful--but not quite. Secondly, the Christian worldview explains why the face of a child with Down's syndrome is more beautiful than the cover girl in the fashion magazine. The unity of the good, the beautiful, the true, and the real calls us to look below the surface and to understand that the ontological reality of every single human being is that we are made in the image of God. The imago Dei is the beauty in each of us, and the rest is but of cosmetic irrelevance.

Just as we, in our fallenness, are likely to see the fallen aspects of creation as beautiful, we are also likely to try to validate ourselves in an artificial humanism of worshiping the creature. When we look at our fellow human beings, or frankly, when we look in the mirror, we are likely to be led astray by prevailing concepts of prettiness and attractiveness rather than to gaze into the mirror or to gaze into our neighbor and see one made in the image of God. The imago Dei is the complete and transformative category here, and without it we are left with nothing but the superficial. The imago Dei explains why the child with Down's syndrome is far more beautiful in herself than the cover girl in the fashion magazine.
The rest

Prayer and action, therefore, can never be seen as contradictory or mutually exclusive. Prayer without action grows in powerless pietism, and action without prayer degenerates into questionable manipulation. If prayer leads us into a deeper unity with the compassionate Christ, it will always give rise to concrete acts of service. And if concrete acts of service do indeed lead us to a deeper solidarity with the poor, the hungry, the sick, the dying, and the oppressed, they will always give rise to prayer. In prayer we meet Christ, and in him all human suffering. In service we meet people, and in them the suffering Christ.

... Henri J. M. Nouwen, Compassion

Korean Reds Targeting Christians

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to watch a special that CNN did called
Inside the Secret State that showed horrific footage of people (who I believe were mostly Christians) being killed by executioners in North Korea. The footage that made this special was secretly shot by people who are sick of being prisoners in North Korea. If CNN re-airs the program, I'll do my best to inform you about it so you may watch.

In the meantime
The New York Sun has an outstanding article that discusses how North Korea is targeting Christians and killing them. Here are a few snippets....and be warned much of this article is graphic.

the rest at Persecution Blog

Modified 'Pieta' Sparks Controversy on NY Community College Campus
By Jim Brown
November 18, 2005

(AgapePress) - A community college in New York is being accused of anti-Christian bigotry for recently displaying a painting many felt was insulting to evangelical Christians and Catholics.
During its Hispanic Heritage Month,
Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie showcased a painting by Hugo Bastidas called "Magdalene Mourning Her Lover." It is a modified picture of Michelangelo's "Pieta," which portrays Mary holding her dead son Jesus.

Longtime educator Thomas Reynolds from the nearby community of Hopewell Junction was among the many individuals who protested the display and urged its removal. He believes there is a "disregard" for the beliefs of Christians. "I don't think there would be any doubt that they would not put a picture up there that blasphemed the Islamic faith or the Jewish religion -- a picture of Abraham in some situation that was clearly not in a good light -- or perhaps the Koran, desecrated," he states.

x-Gay Ministry Leader Refutes Protesters' Anti-Reparative Therapy Claims
NARTH Conference Speaker Argues for Homosexuals' Right to Seek Healing
By Jim Brown and Jenni Parker
November 18, 2005

(AgapePress) - Ex-homosexuals and "reparative therapy" advocates recently gathered in Marina del Rey, California, for the 13th annual conference of the
National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, or NARTH. Reparative or reorientation therapy is designed to help men and women in conflict with their homosexuality attain the goal of reaching their heterosexual potential.

NARTH comprises more than 1,000 therapists, sociologists, and psychoanalysts who believe homosexuality is not inborn and can be changed. However, the organization's November 11-13 gathering in Marina del Rey (Los Angeles County) attracted an angry group of protesters, many of whom argued that reparative therapy is dangerous and encourages self-hatred in homosexuals.
The rest

Faithful Episcopal church may be closed

Saints did offer to put the money in an escrow account until 2006, when the U.S. Episcopal Church holds its next general convention, but the local diocese turned down that offer.

“I, as Bishop and Chief Pastor, along with many others, have made numerous efforts over the past three years to address these concerns,” McKelvey wrote in a letter sent to delegates earlier this month. “I have met with the leadership of All Saints on many occasions. … I have offered to continue the dialogue around our theological differences ….”

That’s not enough for Bagdonas and others at All Saints. It’s OK to disagree and to question, he said, but the U.S. Episcopal Church should listen to what the worldwide church is saying, which is that the only morally acceptable sexual relationships are between a married woman and man.
The rest at titusonenine

Diocese of Central New York: Bp. Skip Adams

Episcopal Diocese session to start
Resolution defining marriage as commitment between man, woman might be topic.
Friday, November 18, 2005
By Renée K. Gadoua Staff writer

Syracuse Post-Standard

One local parish hopes this weekend's Episcopal Convention will include respectful dialogue about homosexuality, an issue some say threatens to split the church.

"We're calling for a conversation," said the Rev. Craig Swan, rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Camillus.

Swan submitted a resolution calling that sexual contact be reserved for marriage, defined as the lifelong commitment between a man and a woman.

The resolution would "require all individuals seeking ordination, and all ordained individuals, to live in accordance with this teaching until a time occurs when the General Convention of the church amends this teaching based on Scripture, tradition and reason."

Swan said Thursday he is likely to withdraw the resolution because the conference includes a listening session at which his parishioners and other local Episcopalians can discuss their concerns about the denomination's policies on homosexuality and its relationship with the worldwide Anglican Church.

The rest

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Holy vision
Jill Woodliff prayers

Our Father in heaven, Creator of the universe,

The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. Your Spirit hovered over the face of the waters. Through Your Word all things were made. Without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Your Word was life, and the life is the light of mankind, shining in the darkness.

Send Your Spirit to hover over the hearts and minds and souls of the bishops of the one holy catholic apostolic church. Teach them to see with the eyes of Your Living Word, our blessed Savior Jesus Christ. Give them holy vision that no darkness may be part of their hearts, their minds, and their souls. Fill their bodies with Your light in order to shine forth in their lives and ministries.

In the name of Jesus, the Light of the World, we pray. Amen.

Genesis 1:1-2,
Luke 11:33-36,
John 1:3-5

From Lent and Beyond

Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) announces a covenant with two North American church bodies

The Church of Nigeria has released the following two press statements:
Covenant Between The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and the Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican Province of America.

In an historic moment, as part of the realignment of global Anglicanism, on November 12, 2005 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Most Rev. Peter J. Akinola, Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), the Most Rev. Leonard W. Riches, Presiding Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church, and the Most Rev. Walter H. Grundorf, Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Province of America, entered on behalf of their three Churches a Covenant Union of Anglican Churches in Concordat.

The rest

Massachusetts Pulls Church Financial Scrutiny Bill

A bill before the Massachusetts’ legislature that would have subjected churches to greater state scrutiny of their financial records was pulled from the debate calendar on the last day of the 2005 legislative session after lobbying by a coalition of church leaders convinced House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi to permit further debate by the public.

The Rt. Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, III, SSJE, Bishop of Massachusetts, and the Hon. Byron Rushing, a Democrat member of the legislature and co-chair of the diocesan General Convention deputation, and other concerned church leaders met to voice their concerns over the bill with Speaker DiMasi on Nov. 16. Speaker DiMasi later said he decided to put off the vote until next year’s legislative session in deference to concerns from the church leaders.

Bill S2267, “An Act Relative to Charities in Massachusetts,” was introduced in response to the sexual abuse scandals surrounding the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. The bill would require churches to submit annual financial reports and statement of assets to the Commonwealth’s Attorney General. On Aug. 9, the Rt. Rev. Roy Cederholm, Suffragan Bishop of Massachusetts
wrote to the clergy of the diocese urging them to enlist their parishioners in a lobbying effort to block the Bill. the rest

Global South Primates response to Archbishop Rowan Williams

Archbishop Rowan Williams
Lambeth Palace London
November 15th, 2005

Thank you, your Grace, for coming to join us at the Third South South Encounter in Egypt and sharing your thoughts on the four “marks” of the Church as “one, holy, catholic and apostolic.” Your attempt to take on this major topic in sweeping strokes was bold, and it was delivered with your usual scholarly eloquence. We agree with what you said. We were disappointed in what you left unsaid, in particular, the application of the Church’s identity to the current situation that has left the fabric of our Communion torn at its deepest level.

It should come as no surprise to you that we consider the crisis facing the whole Communion to be a crisis of Biblical authority. For that reason, one of the consistent themes of the entire South to South Encounter has been the supremacy of Scripture and the clarity of its teaching on matters of Christian faith and life.

The rest

It is not that we keep His commandments first, and that then He loves; but that He loves us, and then we keep His commandments. This is that grace, which is revealed to the humble, but hidden from the proud.

... St. Augustine

Primates challenge Williams over stance on homosexuals
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
(Filed: 17/11/2005)

Conservative Anglican leaders last night launched a stinging attack on the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, accusing him of a
failure of leadership over homosexuality.

In their most direct challenge yet to his authority, 17 primates, representing nearly half of the 38 provinces that constitute the worldwide Church, indicated that they were losing confidence in him.

Their letter criticised Dr Williams
following his visit to their Global South conference in Egypt earlier this month, and it will make schism in the 70 million-strong Church increasingly inevitable.

It will also been seen as containing an implicit threat to Dr Williams's historic position as the "first among equals" among his fellow primates if he fails to strengthen his opposition to the liberal wing of the Church.

The conservative primates said they were "troubled" by his reluctance to use his moral authority to challenge the liberal north American Churches, who triggered the crisis by consecrating Anglican's first openly gay bishop and endorsing gay blessings.

9th Circuit Judge Sets Standard for Liberal Activism
By Jeff Johnson Senior Staff Writer
November 17, 2005

( - The "right to privacy," which liberals maintain is implied in the U.S. Constitution and which was used by the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize abortion in 1973, apparently mattered little to Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this month when he ruled on a case involving parental rights.

On Nov. 2, Reinhardt wrote the Ninth Circuit Court's decision declaring that the "right to privacy" did not apply to parents who wanted to prevent public school officials in Palmdale, Calif., from giving their elementary school age children a sexually explicit survey. The ruling is but one of many that Reinhardt's critics say qualifies him as one of the most liberal and activist judges in the nation.

Church of England Synod Hears Warnings on Anglican Split Over Gay Priests
The spiritual head of the Anglican Communion, Dr Rowan Williams has given a sharp warning to the Anglican Communion on the final day of the Church of England’s General Synod in Church House, Westminster Nov. 16th
Posted: Thursday, November 17 , 2005, 6:57 (UK)

The spiritual head of the Anglican Communion, Dr Rowan Williams has given a sharp warning to the Anglican Communion on the final day of the Church of England’s General Synod in Church House, Westminster Nov. 16th.

The Archbishop of Canterbury told how splits over the ordination of gay priests are deeply shaking the foundations of the 76 million-member worldwide Communion.

Continued disputes within the Church over the past few years have seen a progressive deterioration of trust between Anglicans in Europe, the USA, Canada and Africa.

The Church’s General Synod, which has been held in London from Nov. 14-16, 2005 had seen the Queen open with a resounding speech where she told how the Christian faith has had a unique and enduring effect in the world despite the ever-changing society. Story

Tensions Rise as Presbyterian Church Ordains Gay Minister
Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2005
Posted: 4:42:07PM EST

A Presbyterian congregation on Sunday ordained an open and practicing gay man despite a denominational ban on sexually active homosexual ministers.

Raymond Bagnuolo, who has repeatedly and publicly stated that he is a practicing homosexual and that he is not willing to submit to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s standards on sexuality, was ordained at the South Presbyterian Church in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.

According to the Associated Press, Bagnuolo said during his ordination ceremony that he believed in one God and the Creator and accepted the Scriptures, but that he is unwilling to abide by the church’s constitutional standards that call for its ordained leaders to practice fidelity in marriage or chastity if single.

"This is a happy and wonderful indication of what can happen when you don't give up and when you wait and see what God has in store for you," Bagnuolo was quoted as saying.

The ordination is likely to ignite more flames within the PC(USA) – a denomination already struggling over the divisive issue of gay clergy.

Ban the culture
It's the only way to protect schoolchildren from Christian lit
by Gene Edward Veith

Many public schools already use The Chronicles of Narnia in their reading curriculum. But after Florida governor Jeb Bush started promoting The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in a statewide reading contest called "Just Read, Florida," the critics are wanting to ban that book.

C.S. Lewis' classic, set to premiere as a major motion picture Dec. 9, has a clear Christian message, culminating in the Christ-figure, Aslan the Lion, giving himself to the devil figure, the White Witch, to die in the place of the rotten little kid, Edmund. Then Aslan rises from the dead, which brings salvation to Narnia.

Such a clear gospel message, according to some civil libertarians, has no place in the public schools. Barry Lynn, director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, says, "This whole contest is just totally inappropriate because of the themes of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It is simply a retelling of the story of Christ."

Ironically, those comments came out a week after Banned Books Week, celebrating books people have tried to censor. (According to the Banned Books Resource Guide from the American Library Association, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is on the list. So is the Bible.)
The rest

Radicals threaten to burn Christians to death
Warn of consequences if they don't reconvert to Hinduism by Sunday
Posted: November 17, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern

More than 60 Christian converts in northern India will be burned to death if they refuse to return to Hinduism by Sunday, a group of extremists has warned.

The radical Hindus severely beat the converts' pastor, Feroz Masih, in a Nov. 4 attack in the state of Himachal Pradesh, accusing him of "forcibly converting" Hindus, reported Compass Direct, a news service that monitors persecution of Christians.


A Christian Vision of Beauty, Part Two
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Christian vision of beauty opens an entirely new awareness for us. We now begin to understand that there is a moral context, a truth context, to every question about beauty. We can no longer talk about beauty as a mere matter of taste. Instantly, by affirming the unity of the transcendentals, we are required to see beauty fundamentally as a matter of truth to which taste is accountable, rather than a matter of taste to which truth is accountable.

Let me follow through with three basic implications of the Christian vision of truth and beauty. First, the Christian vision of beauty explains why the world is beautiful, but not quite. We are often struck by the beauty of the created order, and this feeling is validated for us in Genesis chapter 1, where the Creator's own verdict is that the creation is good. The goodness of creation is therefore nonnegotiable, and again the unity of the transcendentals reminds us that if it is good, then it is also necessarily true, and real, and beautiful. Thus our metaphysic and our aesthetic, our understanding of truth and our evaluation of ethics, all come together in creation. The creation as God made it was good and beautiful and true and real.
The rest

Adrian Rogers (1931-2005)
-- 'Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant'
Christians Mourn His Loss, Celebrate His Home-Going
By Allie Martin and Jody Brown
November 16, 2005

(AgapePress) - Dr. Adrian Rogers, a three-time president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and pastor emeritus of the 28,000-member Bellevue Baptist Church near Memphis, Tennessee, went home to his eternal reward on Tuesday (Nov. 15). Tributes are pouring in from around the United States for the man many credit for helping the SBC remain faithful to its conservative roots.

Dr. Rogers, 74, passed away on Tuesday after battling cancer and double pneumonia. He had been hospitalized earlier this month for treatment. In addition to pastoring Bellevue for 32 years, he also founded
Love Worth Finding Ministries, which produces broadcasts heard on Christian radio and television stations around the world. Bill Skelton, executive vice president of Love Worth Finding, says Rogers wanted the broadcasts to continue after his home-going.
The rest

Researcher says find is evidence of Biblical Goliath
Monday, November 14, 2005
Reuters News Agency

RAMAT GAN, ISRAEL -- An Israeli researcher said he has made a Goliath of a find, the first archeological evidence suggesting the biblical story of David slaying the Philistine giant actually took place.

A shard of pottery unearthed in a decade-old dig in southern Israel carried an inscription in early Semitic style spelling "Alwat and "Wlt," likely Philistine renderings of the name Goliath, said Aren Maeir, who directed the excavation.

"This is a groundbreaking find," he said of the rust-coloured ceramic. "Here we have very nice evidence the name, Goliath, appearing in the Bible, in the context of the story of David and Goliath . . . is not some later literary creation."
The rest

Traditionalists prepared for period of suffering
Date: Nov 18

AMERICAN and Canadian traditionalists must be prepared for a season of suffering, the Rt Rev Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh, told a three-day rally of traditionalists called “Hope and a Future”, but the final result of the battle for the soul of Anglicanism was not in doubt, he said. The 2003 Dallas rally of traditionalists “was our Palm Sunday. The Pittsburgh Conference, ‘Hope and a Future,’ has been our Maundy Thursday. Next is Good Friday. Be watchful. Be ready,” he said. “But after that comes the resurrection and the release of mission in the power of the Holy Spirit.” Approximately 2,350 Anglicans from across the Communion gathered at the Pittsburgh Convention Center from Nov 10-12 for the traditionalists’ rally, held to bolster conservative morale in the run-up to the Episcopal Church’s 2006 General Convention to be held next summer. An eclectic series of speakers: Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda, Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti of Recife, Canon Michael Green of Wycliffe Hall, Baroness Caroline Cox, Rick Warren — pastor of California’s Saddleback Community Church and author of The Purpose-Driven Life, as well as bishops and leaders from the Episcopal Church’s traditionalist factions, addressed the crowd over three days.

The rest: The Church of England Newspaper

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Christ our God, who is worshipped and glorified at all times
and in every hour in heaven and on earth;
who is most patient, loving and kind;
who loves the just and shows mercy to sinners;
who calls all to salvation through the promise
of the blessings to come;

Lord, at this time receive our prayer and
direct our lives according to Your will.
Bless our souls and bodies.
Correct our thoughts and purify our minds.
Protect us from all evil and distress.
Surround us with Your holy angels, that guided and guarded by them, we may attain the unity of the faith and the knowledge of Your unapproachable glory, for you are blessed forever and ever. Amen.


Network Strengthens Resolve at Pittsburgh Conference

The Anglican Communion Network promised to make the road to the 2008 Lambeth Conference of bishops an increasingly problematic one unless the Episcopal Church starts paying more attention to the recommendations contained in the Windsor Report.

More than 2,300 clergy and laity and 20 bishops of the Episcopal Church heard impassioned talk from an eclectic series of speakers that included author-pastor Rick Warren and seven Global South primates. The Nov. 10-12 “Hope and a Future” conference in Pittsburgh also included the ordinations of one priest and three deacons by the Bishop of Bolivia to serve ministries in the United States.

“We are going to do what we can to help [the leadership of the Episcopal Church] talk about the Windsor Report,” the Rt. Rev. Robert W. Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh and moderator of the network, told The Living Church after the closing Eucharist. “We would love for them to commit to the Windsor Report, but we don’t think that is at all likely. The truth, then, is that we have no choice but to listen to what the Primate of Nigeria has said that you are going to have to make a choice.”

the rest at The Living Church

What are you afraid of? Let God act. Abandon yourself to Him. You will suffer, but you will suffer with love, peace and consolation. You will fight, but you can carry off the victory, and God Himself, after having fought with you, will crown you with His own hand. You will weep, but your tears will be sweet, and God Himself will come with satisfaction to dry them. You will not be free any longer to give yourself up to your tyrannic passions, but you will sacrifice your liberty freely, and you will enter into a new liberty unknown to the world, in which you will do nothing except for love.

François Fénelon

All Saints, Rochester, on its possible “extinction”
November 16th, 2005 at 9:31 am

Bishop and Diocesan Leaders seek to declare our parish “extinct”

The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt. Rev. Jack M. McKelvey, and the members of Diocesan Council in the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester have called for the involuntary dissolution of a parish in their diocese. Misapplying a part of diocesan canon law (Canon 13: Applications by Parishes for Diocesan Assistance), Bishop McKelvey is seeking to have a fully functional parish, All Saints Protestant Episcopal Church in Irondequoit, declared “extinct” by a vote of Diocesan Convention on November 18-19. This action contradicts the laws of New York State regarding a duly incorporated and functional congregation like All Saints.
the rest at titusonenine

Richard John Neuhaus writes:

The New York Times regularly serves up a target-rich supply of news and commentary and, as with shooting fish in a barrel, pointing out its gaffs is a sport of which one can quickly tire. Yet from time to time there is an item that makes irresistible the question, “What on earth do these people think they are up to?” Such an item was given prime space on the front page of last Sunday’s “News of the Week in Review.” The story was that the word “abortion” does not appear in the Bible, and that there are different and sometimes conflicting interpretations of the Bible passages conventionally cited in support of the prolife cause.

That’s it. That’s the entire story. Who was this story intended to persuade or instruct? Certainly not the typical reader of the Times who, according to the Times’ self-published readership profile, doesn’t give a fig about what the Bible says about abortion or anything else.
The rest

ACLU: Extend tax break to all religious books
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 11/15/05

A retired Atlanta librarian and a Sandy Springs bookshop owner are challenging a state law that grants a sales tax exemption for purchases of the Bible and other books pertaining to "Holy Scripture."

Their lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, said if such works are exempt from sales and use taxes, other philosophical, religious and spiritual works should be as well.

"The law is written in such a way that minority religions don't get the same tax exemption as better-known religions such as Christianity and Judaism," said Maggie Garrett, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, which represents the two plaintiffs.

US panel releases chilling report of North Korean religious persecutions
Wed Nov 16,12:23 AM ET

WASHINGTON, (AFP) - The United States government released chilling interviews with North Korean refugees who witnessed bloody executions of religious believers, to highlight suppression of religious freedom in the hardline communist state.

Young children were assembled to witness the punishment, according to the interviews contained in a report by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Another refugee related an incident in which two people were shot dead by the North Korean authorities because they were caught with Bibles, said the commission, an independent government agency that monitors freedom of religion abroad and gives recommendations to the US president.

One of the 40 North Korean refugees interviewed -- none of whom were identified to protect their safety -- said "I saw an old man and his daughter executed because the daughter had dropped a Bible while washing clothes."

"Seven police (personnel) fired three shots each into the two victims, who had been tied to stakes a few meters from the 'trial' area," the report quoted a refugee as saying.
The rest

Religious Freedom: A Critical Right for All
November 16, 2005
Janet Parshall

The State Department has just released their annual report on religious freedom around the world and it identifies eight countries where particularly severe abuses are practiced: Burma, North Korea, Eritrea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Vietnam and China. In China, an underground church leader was just sentenced to three years in prison for distributing Bibles. When President Bush visits China later this month, he’ll continue to talk about the importance of promoting human rights and human dignity for all.

Before her visit to Saudi Arabia, Secretary of State Rice has authorized a 180-day waiver of action against that country in order to facilitate discussions on important religious freedom issues.
This annual report, mandated by Congress in 1998, is critical for two reasons: First, those nations trampling on religious liberties need to be held accountable; and secondly, it reminds us to never take our own freedom to worship for granted.

Queen extols the 'unique' power of Christianity
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
(Filed: 16/11/2005)

The Queen opened the Church of England's General Synod yesterday with a ringing endorsement of the "uniqueness" of the Christian faith.

In a speech that reflected her personal beliefs as well as her role as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, she contrasted the enduring nature of Christianity with the rapid changes in society.
The rest

The tendency is to look for the marvellous in our experience; we mistake the sense of the heroic for being heroes. It is one thing to go through a crisis grandly, but another thing to go through every day glorifying God when there is no witness, no limelight, no one paying the remotest attention to us. If we do not want mediaeval haloes, we want something that will make people say - What a wonderful man of prayer he is! What a pious devoted woman she is! If you are rightly devoted to the Lord Jesus, you have reached the sublime height where no one ever thinks of noticing you, all that is noticed is that the power of God comes through you all the time.
Oswald Chambers

PLANO, TX: Country's largest Episcopal church uses purpose driven principles to grow
by Lauri Arnold
PLANO, Texas

(PD) - A scroll down the testimonial section of the 40 Days of Purpose Web page of Christ Church in Plano, Texas, reveals the impact felt by members of the church who went through the campaign a year ago. That impact is far from over for this Episcopalian congregation, as well as the communities that surround it.

"I think that the most wonderful surprise was that we discovered how thirsty people were to find their purpose," said Jill Kinsella, director of communications at Christ Church. "Finding a purpose in life was something that many people had never considered before.

"Christ Church has the largest average attendance of all Episcopalian churches in America, with approximately 2,200 in attendance over the course of four weekend services. The church also has approximately 80 small groups woven into the makeup of the church. And when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast region, this purpose driven church had small groups ready to help.
The rest at Virtueonline

Bill softens bestiality statute
Massachusetts pols push measure lessening punishment for animal sex
Posted: November 16, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern

Four state legislators in Massachusetts have introduced a bill that would soften the crime of bestiality, a move pro-family activists say is a natural progression of the state's legalizing same-sex marriage.

Stated traditional-values organization
Article 8: "State Sen. Cynthia Creem, Sen. Robert O'Leary, Rep. Michael Festa and Rep. David Linsky have some interesting things in common.

"They're all strongly endorsed by the state's three major powerful homosexual lobbying groups. They're all Democrats. They're all vocal supporters of homosexual 'marriage' and whatever else the homosexual lobby bids them to do.

"And now all four have introduced
Senate bill 938. Even the left-wing Weekly Dig can't believe that the Massachusetts Legislature is poised to go this far." The rest

Forget monogamy and swinging.
We're seriously polyamorous
A new frankness about simultaneous relationships is sweeping the US, reports Paul Harris in New York
Sunday November 13, 2005
The Observer

Sometimes Nan Wise's in-laws pop round on Sunday afternoons. They settle down with Nan, a psychotherapist, her husband John, a lawyer, and their two children to watch American football on TV.

So far, so all-American: a slice of suburban life on the outskirts of New York. But sometimes John's long-term girlfriend drops by, as does Nan's boyfriend. The Wises are not divorced. In fact, Nan says her marriage to John is as strong as ever. 'We are very normal, well-adjusted people,' she said.

China Reports Its First Three Human Cases of Bird Flu
Two Cases in Hunan Province, One in Anhui
Wednesday, November 16, 2005 07:33:19 AM

Chinese health officials Wednesday confirmed the country's first three human cases of bird flu.
Two cases were confirmed in the central province of Hunan and one in the eastern province of Anhui, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The report did not elaborate. But Chinese and World Health Organization experts had been studying the case of a 12-year-old girl and her brother, both of whom fell ill after their village in Hunan suffered a bird flu outbreak in poultry. The girl died.

A Christian Vision of Beauty, Part One
Albert Mohler
Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I have been asked tonight to talk about a Christian vision of beauty, and I am first struck by the fact that this conversation would be so rare. There are altogether too few opportunities for Christians to ponder some of the biggest questions of life. We tend to focus on the questions of urgency and the questions of immediate interest. That is not to say that such questions are improper, but it is to say that Christian thought can sometimes fall out of balance. One of the realities we face is that in a conversation like this, we are not exactly sure where to begin. Where should we begin talking about beauty?

Allow me to make a couple of preliminary observations, the first of which is this: There is something intrinsic to humanity that is drawn to beauty. There is something of an aesthetic desire in us--an aesthetic appetite. Even infants are attracted to certain objects and even faces because of complexity and color and light, those elements which aesthetic theorists have considered the very substance of beauty, form, and attractiveness. Moreover, this desire for and recognition of beauty is something unique to human beings. Dogs do not contemplate a sunset. Animals do not ponder the beauty of the landscape. It is true the heavens are declaring the glory of God, but most of the creatures on the planet are oblivious to this fact. They neither make nor observe nor appreciate art. They stage no dramas, write no music, and paint no portraits. The desire for art is something unique and nearly universal among human beings.

The rest-excellent!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

O Lord God who art all in all to me, Life of my life and Spirit of my spirit, have mercy on me and fill me with Thy Holy Spirit and with love that there may be no room for anything else in my heart. I ask not for any blessing, but for Thyself, who art the giver of all blessings and of all life. I ask not for the world and its pomp and glory, nor for heaven, but I need Thee Thyself, for where Thou art, there is heaven. In Thyself alone is satisfaction and abundance for my heart; Thou Thyself, O Creator, hast created this heart for Thyself, and not for any other created thing. Therefore this heart cannot find rest in aught but Thee: only in Thee, O Father, who hast made this longing for peace. So now take out of this heart whatever is opposed to Thee and abide and rule in it Thyself, Amen.

Sadhu Sundar Singh link

Maryland Won’t Recognize Ordination

The “irregular” ordination of the Rev. Eliot Weeks in Pittsburgh on Nov. 12 to serve as an Anglican campus minister at Maryland’s Towson University has no connection with the Episcopal Church, according to the Bishop of Maryland, the Rt. Rev. Robert W. Ihloff, who wrote to the clergy of the diocese the following day.

Fr. Weeks, a deacon licensed in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, was ordained priest by the Rt. Rev. Frank Lyons, Bishop of Bolivia in the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. The Diocese of Maryland had been advertising for a part-time campus minister. Fr. Weeks applied for the position, but was rejected, Bishop Ihloff said.

“Our action was based on his unwillingness to work under the direction of our Campus Ministry Board, and we were not impressed with his credentials,” he wrote. “Obviously our judgment has proven sound.”

Because the new church plant is not an Episcopal parish, Bishop Ihloff said he could not intervene. He criticized those who took part.
The rest

Special Commission Named in Virginia

The Bishop of Virginia, the Rt. Rev. Peter J. Lee, has created a special committee to facilitate the unity of the diocese in the wake of the divisions caused by the 74th General Convention and to follow up on the work of the diocese’s 2004 reconciliation commission.

A Nov. 11 press release from the diocese stated the purpose of the special committee was “to help churches continuing in conflict over the decisions of the 74th General Convention in 2003 to get on with their mission in as close a union as possible with the diocese.”

Bishop Lee appointed the diocesan chancellor, Russell V. Palmore, Jr., as chair of the committee. The other members of the committee are standing committee president the Rev. Caroline Parkinson, rector of Grace Church, The Plains; the Rev. John Yates, rector of The Falls Church, Falls Church; the Rev. Andrew Merrow, rector, St. Mary’s, Arlington; former diocesan chancellor Hugo Blankingship, a communicant of The Falls Church; and Thomas Yates, former junior warden of Truro Church, Fairfax. The rest

Christian Village Attacked in Pakistan, Church Leaders Express Solidarity
Church leaders in Pakistan have expressed their solidarity with the residents of the Christian community of Sangla Hill following the destruction of their property by around 2,000 Muslims.
Posted: Tuesday, November 15 , 2005, 11:30 (UK)

A delegation of church leaders to the Christian community of Sangla Hill, Pakistan, expressed their solidarity after around 2,000 Muslims destroyed churches and Christian properties, following allegations that a young Christian had burned a copy of the Qu’ran, reports AsiaNews.

Members of the delegation included Monsignor Lawrence John Saldanha, Archbishop of Lahore Catholic diocese, Bishop Alexander John Malik, Moderator of the Church of Pakistan, Victor Azraiah, National Council of Churches in Pakistan.

Bishop Samuel Azariah, representative of The Salvation Army, Fr. Emmanuel Yousaf Mani, national director of the National Commission of Justice and Peace (NCJP), and Fr. Andrew Ansari, Vicar General of Lahore Catholic dioceses, were also among the delegation.

Mgr Lawrence John Saldanha, Archbishop of Lahore Archdiocese and Chairman National Commission for Justice and Peace, told AsiaNews that, "the attack seems to have been planned and organized as the attackers were brought to the site in buses and instigated to commit violence and arson.

U.S. Scientist Pulls Out of Stem Cell Research Project over Ethical Concerns
Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2005
Posted: 9:45:19AM EST

A U.S. scientist who had been working on controversial embryonic stem cell research with a world renowned South Korean scientific team said he would end his collaboration with the group, alleging ethical breaches over how eggs for research were obtained and lies to cover them up, according to a report.

University of Pittsburgh researcher Gerald P. Schatten had worked together with South Korean researcher Woo Suk Hwang of Seoul National University in recent years on projects involving cloned human embryos to make what some scientists referred to as major breakthroughs in "therapeutic cloning" to create stem cells that were genetically matched to patients.

The research involved creating and destroying blastocysts, early stage embryos, to harvest stem cells. The stem cells would be used to regenerate tissue that could be used to heal patients. Scientists hope that embryonic stem cell research can be used to find cures for diseases such as Parkinson’s and diabetes as well as to heal damaged spinal cords.

Some pro-life critics of embryonic stem cell research say that because embryos are destroyed to harvest stem cells, the process is tantamount to ending a life. They proposed alternatives such as adult stem cell research, which does not involve embryos.

Web site to blend journalism with blogs
AP Internet Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- A media Web site scheduled to debut Wednesday will seek to blend traditional journalism with the freeform commentary developed through the emerging Web format known as blogs.

Some 70 Web journalists, including Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds and David Corn, Washington editor of the Nation magazine, have agreed to participate in OSM - short for Open Source Media.

OSM will link to individual blog postings and highlight the best contributions, chosen by OSM editors, in a special section. Bloggers will be paid undisclosed sums based on traffic they generate.

The ad-supported OSM site will also carry news feeds from Newstex, which in turn receives stories from The Associated Press, Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service and other traditional media organizations.

Catholic Schism Being Revealed as Homosexual Priest Document Readies for Release
By John-Henry Westen
November 14, 2005

( - As the publication of the new Vatican document on homosexuality and the Catholic priesthood is about to be published at the end of the month, several Catholic leaders including an American bishop have publicly stated their views against the long-standing Vatican position against ordaining men with homosexual inclinations to the priesthood. Rochester, NY, Bishop Matthew H. Clark, was the latest to come out in favour of homosexual priests in a column in his diocesan paper Saturday.

Homosexual priests in Canada and the United States have condemned the Church's position in mostly anonymous statements to the media. However some US and Canadian priests have also identified themselves while publicizing their rejection of the Catholic position on the matter. In recent weeks the former head of one of the largest religious orders in the Catholic Church did so, and his statements are closely followed by those of Bishop Clark.

Rev. Timothy Radcliffe, the international leader of the Dominican Order from 1992 to 2001, last week slammed any suggestion of barring homosexuals from the priesthood, and suggested barring "homophobes" instead. "Any deep-rooted prejudice against others, such as homophobia or misogyny, would be grounds for rejecting a candidate for the priesthood, but not their sexual orientation," he said.

Library forced to drop limit on 'controversial' speech
Barred 'biblical marriage' forum unless it included 'opposing view'
Posted: November 15,
20051:00 a.m. Eastern

An Ohio library dropped a policy that barred a public interest group from holding a forum on traditional marriage without also inviting someone to argue for "same-sex marriage."

The agreement by the Newton Falls Library Board of Trustees settled a lawsuit filed by Florida-based
Liberty Counsel, which applied to the library to hold a meeting last spring that would include prayer and Scripture reading.

The library denied Liberty Counsel's application, citing a policy that said, "If a program deals with a controversial subject, then all sides of the issue must be presented."

The policy made the room available to "nonprofit organizations" for "programs of a civic, cultural or educational nature."

A Patriarch Passes
-- The Death of Dr. Adrian Rogers
Tuesday, November 15, 2005 at 11:45 am ET

The news from Memphis brings to a close one of the greatest pulpit ministries of our times.
Dr. Adrian Rogers died early this morning after a brave fight against cancer. Few men have left such an impact on a church, a denomination, and the larger world.

Dr. Rogers was a lion in our midst -- the man God used to serve as leader and voice for a great resurgence of biblical Christianity. He was a man of tremendous gifts, whose booming voice was matched by a gift for words and a powerful delivery. He dominated the pulpit as few men ever have, preaching the Word and calling sinners to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He was a modern-day "Prince of Preachers" whose personal example served to encourage thousands of others to greater faithfulness in preaching the Word of God.

Adrian Rogers was a man of courage and conviction. He defended truth with verve and vigor. His personal defense of biblical inerrancy and the great truths of the Gospel awakened a generation of Southern Baptists to a crisis in our midst -- and he put his own ministry and reputation on the line for the sake of a denominational recovery and reformation. He matched his defense of the truth with a deep personal respect for the Word of God. To know him was to sense his living faith, his abiding conviction, and his deep love for the Lord.
The rest

U.S. Believers Urged to Intervene in Indonesia's Persecution of Christians
By Allie Martin
November 15, 2005

(AgapePress) - As violence against Christians continues to escalate in Indonesia, the president of a Christian human-rights group is urging believers to put pressure on authorities there to take action against those who are responsible.

Last week two teenage Christian girls were shot in the face near a Pentecostal church in Poso, Indonesia. That attack follows the beheadings of three Christian high school students at the end of October.

the rest

Monday, November 14, 2005

"A chasm is opening between the men who believe their Bibles and the men who are prepared for an advance upon Scripture. Inspiration and speculation cannot long abide in peace. Compromise there can be none. We cannot hold the inspiration of the Word, and yet reject it; we cannot believe in the atonement and deny it; we cannot hold the doctrine of the fall and yet talk of the evolution of spiritual life from human nature; we cannot recognize the punishment of the impenitent and yet indulge the "larger hope." One way or the other we must go. Decision is the virtue of the hour."

Charles Haddon Spurgeon
The Spurgeon Archive

"Tolerance is the virtue of those who don't believe anything."

Gilbert Keith G. K. Chesterton
Biography and Bibliography


Anglican Communion Network's new website here.
John A.M. Guernsey on hope
“Hope and a Future” Conference
Opening EucharistNovember 10, 2005

Jeremiah 29:10-14
Romans 5:1-5
Matthew 7:24-29

Ten years ago, at the Global Conference on the Decade of Evangelism, when mission leaders from throughout the Anglican Communion gathered to report on their progress in spreading the Gospel (or, in the case of the Episcopal Church, our sad lack thereof), then Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey lamented the form of Anglicanism which he memorably described as: it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you don’t believe it too strongly.

Well, it is a great joy and privilege to be here at this conference with so many who know that it matters a great deal what you believe and who — thanks be to God — believe it with such great passion.

The focus of our conference on this opening day is Hope. In the Scriptures, hope is not some vague wishful thinking, as in, “I hope things work out for our Church, but they probably won’t.” No, hope is a sure expectation, a confident looking to the future because of the victory won on the cross by Jesus, who is called our Hope.
The rest

Archbishop Tutu: Communion Should Accept Bishop Robinson

The Most Rev. Desmond Tutu, Nobel laureate and former Anglican Primate of South Africa, voiced support for the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire, during a tour of the United States.

During a Nov. 6 visit to All Saints’ Church, Pasadena, Calif., and at a Nov. 12 stop at the University of North Florida, where he received an honorary doctorate, Archbishop Tutu told the congregation and student audience that homosexual behavior is not a sin. “All belong” to Christ, he told the congregation. “Gay, lesbian, so-called straight, all are meant to be held in this incredible embrace that will not let us go.”

Archbishop Tutu chided the current leaders of the Anglican Churches in Africa, saying their preoccupation with sexual sins displaced the Church’s proper focus on social witness. The Anglican Communion had been “known for embodying the attribute of comprehensiveness, of inclusiveness, where we were meant to accommodate all and diverse views.”

The Living Church

Alito: ‘No Constitutional Abortion Right’ and Americans Like Him
By Hilary White
November 14, 2005

( - The Washington Times has reported that US President Bush’s latest nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., wrote in 1985 that he believed “very strongly” that “the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion.”

The document obtained by the Times was an application to become deputy assistant to Attorney General Edwin I. Meese III during the Reagan administration.

Alito wrote that he had always considered himself a conservative. “I am particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government has argued in the Supreme Court that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion,” he said.

The Times quotes an anonymous source in the Republican party who denied that the 1985 document means that if appointed, Alito will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The rest

Anglican Bishop Opposed to Gay “Marriage” Elected Archbishop for BC, Yukon
By Terry Vanderheyden

RICHMOND, BC, November 14, 2005 ( – Yukon Anglican bishop Terrence Buckle, seemingly the only Canadian Anglican bishop who openly opposes same-sex “marriage,” has been elected as archbishop for British Columbia and Yukon Territory.

Buckle’s only contender for the position was Vancouver bishop Michael Ingham. A number of BC parishes voted by an overwhelming majority in 2003 to accept Buckle as ‘alternative Episcopal oversight’ to Ingham, after he introduced same-sex “blessings” for their congregations.

“I personally believe that we do not just stand by and watch the church fall apart over this,” Buckle said, as reported by the CBC. “I really believe God would have something different than that. So I seek to be prayerful, and to give that kind of leadership that listens, the kind of leadership that perhaps does not have to compromise, but it’s how you give the leadership with strong conviction and fairness to all.”
the rest

How C.S. Lewis Managed to Be All Things to All People
Chuck Colson
Prison Fellowship

How does a Christian talk about faith with a seeker?Sometimes it's hard to know where to start. So much depends on the seeker: what he or she already knows, their questions and objections – and these days there is an overwhelming number of questions.

That's why a wonderful new book written by my friend
Art Lindsley, "C. S. Lewis's Case for Christ," is so valuable. In it Art shows how one of the greatest Christian thinkers of the twentieth century managed, in his life and in his work, to be nearly all things to all people.
the rest

Research Indicates Adverse Effects of Daycare, Preschool
As Data Emerges, Home-School Advocate Hopes State Officials Take Heed
By Jim Brown
November 14, 2005

(AgapePress) - Two new studies indicate parents might want to reconsider sending their children to daycare or preschool. In one study, Stanford University and University of California researchers found that children who spend more than six hours a day in center-based care outside the home showed poor social skills. According to the researchers, the children in the investigation showed "diminished levels of cooperation, sharing, motivated engagement in classroom tasks, and greater aggression."

And in another study, this one conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a researcher found that kids who spent long hours in daycare and preschool exhibited "poorer work habits and poorer social skills through third grade." These children, according to the study, tended more than others to have trouble concentrating and completing their school work.
The rest

"I being in the way, the Lord led me. . ." Genesis 24:27

We have to be so one with God that we do not continually need to ask for guidance. Sanctification means that we are made the children of God, and the natural life of a child is obedience - until he wishes to be disobedient, then instantly there is the intuitive jar. In the spiritual domain the intuitive jar is the monition of the Spirit of God. When He gives the check, we have to stop at once and be renewed in the spirit of our mind in order to make out what God's will is. If we are born again of the Spirit of God, it is the abortion of piety to ask God to guide us here and there. "The Lord led me," and on looking back we see the presence of an amazing design, which, if we are born of God, we will credit to God.

We can all see God in exceptional things, but it requires the culture of spiritual discipline to see God in every detail. Never allow that the haphazard is anything less than God's appointed order, and be ready to discover the Divine designs any where.

Beware of making a fetish of consistency to your convictions instead of being devoted to God. I shall never do that - in all probability you will have to, if you are a saint. There never was a more inconsistent Being on this earth than Our Lord, but He was never inconsistent to His Father. The one consistency of the saint is not to a principle, but to the Divine life. It is the Divine life which continually makes more and more discoveries about the Divine mind. It is easier to be a fanatic than a faithful soul, because there is something amazingly humbling, particularly to our religious conceit, in being loyal to God.

Oswald Chambers

List of Hope and A Future Videos on

Excellent! Here

Christian channel opens in Egypt
By Heba Saleh
BBC News, Cairo

The first Christian satellite channel in Egypt is due to start broadcasting on Monday.

Aghapy Television was established by the Coptic Christian church, the main church in Egypt.

Copts make up an estimated 10% of the Egyptian population and they complain of discrimination.

Three people died in Alexandria in October after Muslim demonstrators attacked a church which had put on a play seen as offensive to Islam.

Aghapy TV will be the first ever television channel in Egypt to broadcast programmes with a purely Christian outlook.
The rest

Violence follows 'Koran burning'
By Shahid Malik

BBC News

Lahore Police in the Pakistani province of Punjab have arrested 90 people after protests against an alleged desecration of the Koran.

Police officials say the unrest began after rumours spread that a Christian man had set fire to a library containing copies of the Koran.

The crowd set fire to two churches, two school buildings and some houses.
The incidents took place in Sangla Hill, more than 100km from Lahore, but there are no reports of any injuries.