Saturday, February 11, 2006


All God's revelations are sealed to us until they are opened to us by obedience. You will never get them open by philosophy or thinking. Immediately you obey, a flash of light comes. Let God's truth work in you by soaking in it, not by worrying into it. Obey God in the thing He is at present showing you, and instantly the next thing is opened up. We read tomes on the work of the Holy Spirit when... five minutes of drastic obedience would make things clear as a sunbeam. We say, "I suppose I shall understand these things some day." You can understand them now: it is not study that does it, but obedience. The tiniest fragment of obedience, and heaven opens up and the profoundest truths of God are yours straight away. God will never reveal more truth about Himself till you obey what you know already. Beware of being wise and prudent.
Oswald Chambers


"The man that believes will obey; failure to obey is convincing proof that there is no true faith present. To attempt the impossible God must give faith or there will be none, and He gives faith to the obedient heart only."
Man the Dwelling Place of God
A. W. Tozer

Churches to mark Darwin's birthday
Hundreds to join `Evolution Sunday,' organized by a Wisconsin academic
By Lisa Anderson
Tribune national correspondent
Published February 11, 2006

NEW YORK -- Nearly 450 Christian churches around the country plan to celebrate the 197th birthday of Charles Darwin on Sunday with programs and sermons intended to emphasize that his theory of biological evolution is compatible with faith and that Christians have no need to choose between religion and science.

"It's to demonstrate, by Christian leaders and members of the clergy, that you don't have to make that choice. You can have both," said Michael Zimmerman, dean of the College of Letters and Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, who organized the event.
The rest

Church of England Synod Shows Overwhelming Support for Women Bishops Compromise
Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006
Posted: 3:08:38PM EST

LONDON – This week the introduction of women bishops into the Church of England seemed to move a step closer after the General Synod overwhelmingly offered to support a compromise plan on the issue.

Thursday at the Synod saw discussions continue, and a debate led by the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams result in just one member of the Church’s ruling body standing in opposition to proposals that could see women bishops introduced by 2012.

Overall, 348 members of the Synod backed the call for “further exploration” of the compromise proposal issued by Dr Williams. Therefore, the Church will now undertake further investigations of how exactly the proposals to allow parishes to opt-out of the care of women bishops can be implemented.

The proposed scheme has been titled Transferred Episcopal Arrangements (TEA), and is seen as a compromise that will welcome women bishops without completely isolating those against the plans.Dr Williams, the spiritual head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, said that the Church was in “uncharted territory,” but that keeping the status quo was not an option.
The rest

Teen Girls Tell Their Stories of Sex Trafficking and Exploitation in U.S.
International Sex Trafficking Is a Well-Known Problem, But It Happens Here as Well

Feb. 9, 2006 — - Fifteen-year-old "Debbie" is the middle child in a close-knit Air Force family from suburban Phoenix, and a straight-A student -- the last person most of us would expect to be forced into the seamy world of sex trafficking.

But Debbie, which is not her real name, is one of thousands of young American girls who authorities say have been abducted or lured from their normal lives and made into sex slaves. While many Americans have heard of human trafficking in other parts of the world -- Thailand, Cambodia, Latin America and eastern Europe, for example -- few people know it happens here in the United States.

The FBI estimates that well over 100,000 children and young women are trafficked in America today. They range in age from 9 to 19, with the average age being 11.
Story

Pro-Abortion Scientist Finds Abortion Causes, Rather Than Prevents, Serious Mental Disorders
Results indicate over 90% of abortions therefore likely committed in violation of law
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand,
February 10, 2006

(LifeSiteNews.com) – New research from a pro-abortion New Zealand scientist has found that abortion causes serious mental disorders. The study, by David Fergusson at Christchurch School of Medicine & Health Sciences, tracked approximately 500 women from birth to 25 years. It showed that women who have had abortions, even when previous indicators are taken into account, have a much higher than average experience of serious psychological disturbances.

Fergusson had anticipated that his research would prove the abortion advocate propaganda that abortion relieves anxieties and gives women a greater sense of control over their lives. He assumed that problems experienced by post-abortive women would be traceable to mental health problems that had existed before the abortion.
The rest

New FCC Report Reveals Truth -- Cable Choice Helps Consumers
By Allie Martin and Jenni Parker
February 10, 2006

(AgapePress) - Pro-family groups are welcoming an FCC report that finds consumers who subscribe to cable and satellite services could realize widespread benefits if they could pay for and receive only the channels they want.

On Thursday the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued its latest report on "a la carte" pricing for cable TV customers, giving new information that contradicted the conclusions of an earlier report on the issue. According to the Commission's latest findings, consumers could save as much as 13 percent on their cable or satellite television bill if they had the a la carte option.

Cable providers have claimed it would be cost-prohibitive to allow subscribers to bundle their own channel packages by making selections from a menu of channel options. Supporting their argument was a 2004 study by Booz Allen Hamilton that determined a la carte programming could not be offered economically.
The rest

Iranian president outlaws new converts.
February 10, 2006

Iran (MNN)--Sources with
Open Doors say Iran's President dealt a severe blow to believers by outlawing Muslims who convert to Christianity.

The trend against believers has been toward persecution since 2004. In mid-2004, church leaders were arrested. Since 2005's election, many have not only been rounded up for harassment, but many have been arrested and beaten.

The rest

Christians Pray, Prepare for Outreach as Winter Olympics Kicks Off
Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006
Posted: 11:38:27AM EST

The 20th Winter Olympics is now under way in Turin, Italy, after an opening ceremony that urged competing athletes to "inspire and motivate the future generations.”

"Athletes, you are role models. Please compete in a spirit of fair play, mutual understanding and respect, and above all please refuse doping," said International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge on Friday before a capacity crowd of 35,000 and a television audience of up to two billion worldwide.

"Our world today is in need of peace, tolerance and brotherhood and the values of the Olympic Games can deliver these to us,” he added, possibly alluding to the current protests taking place across the world over published depictions of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad in European media.

"May the Games be held in peace and in the true spirit of the Olympic truce. Show us how sport unites by overcoming political, religious and language barriers and you will show us the world we all long for."
The rest


Christians are excited about Olympics, but for a different reason
February 10, 2006

Italy (MNN) -- While the war on terror, drought, and political uncertainty continues around the world, people are now assembled in Torino, Italy for the 2006 Olympic Games. Security is tight. Tensions are high, but so is the excitement of athletes, spectators and volunteers, including Christians who are sharing their faith.

Operation Mobilization is just one organization that's on the ground. Luka Brignolo is a volunteer serving the American Delegation as an interpreter and country host. He hopes that as he does so he'll be able to share his faith in Christ. "Not directly in the village or in the sports venues. There's an agreement to avoid any kind of proselytizing with in those spaces. I meet so many people that it's easy to share about my faith and also trying to explain why I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ." Story

Wiccans challenge Bible tax exemption
Group claims it unfairly paid levy on satanic scripture
Posted: February 11, 20061:00 a.m. Eastern

Florida's Supreme Court will hear arguments in a lawsuit by a Wiccan organization against a state law that exempts Bibles, religious publications and ceremonial items from sales tax.

The Wiccan Religious Cooperative of Florida says it paid sales tax on the purchase of the "Satanic Bible" and the "Witch's Bible Compleat," but instead of seeking a refund, it filed suit claming Florida Statute 212.06(9) violates the Establishment Clause.

The U.S. Constitution's First Amendment says in part, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

Orlando-based
Liberty Counsel filed a brief in defense of the state law, arguing the Wiccan group has no standing to sue, because, even if the law were struck down, it would not receive the refund it claims is due. Story

Christian video games are scarce
BY D. PAUL HARRIS
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Christian video games are scarce in today's technologically advanced entertainment industry, but a growing interest to teach children about spiritual and moral values may change that.

The video gaming industry generated $25 billion in worldwide sales last year, with nearly $10 billion in this country alone, according to the National Institute on Media and the Family, which reports that "video games are excellent teachers."

However, Christian video and computer games make up only a critically small part of the multibillion-dollar industry.
The rest

Church's stand on gays strained by 'marriage'
By John Seewer
ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 11, 2006

The United Church of Christ's endorsement of homosexual "marriage" -- a lone stance among the largest Christian denominations -- has stirred debate and divided dozens of its churches. Some have stopped sending money to the church's national office; others have left the denomination.

A prime example occurred last month at Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Toledo, Ohio, where, after the last votes were counted, some members applauded the decision to end their 45-year affiliation with the denomination. Others wiped away tears and walked out in protest.

"It has caused people to really think hard about their faith," said the Rev. Stephen Camp, administrator of the UCC's Southern Conference, which includes eastern Virginia.
the rest

Travel Snarled As East Faces Snow Warning
Feb 11, 8:48 PM (ET)
By MATTHEW VERRINDER

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A developing nor'easter headed up the East Coast on Saturday with a threat of heavy snow, canceling flights and putting road crews on overtime but cheering up skiers in a region spared harsh weather for most of this season.

Blizzard warnings were posted from the New York City area into eastern New England, where up to 15 inches of snow was possible, and a winter storm warning was issued for most of New Jersey, the National Weather Service said. Heavy snow warnings were in effect from eastern Kentucky to New England.

More than 100 flights were canceled at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport, one of the New York area's major airports. There were scattered cancellations at New York's LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International airports.
the rest

Evangelical center coming to J'lem
By ETGAR LEFKOVITS

The Jerusalem Municipality has authorized the temporary establishment of an Evangelical Christian center for worship on the Mount of Olives for the benefit of those visiting the Holy Land, according to the city and the organizer.

The center, a large prayer tent, will be established at the end of March behind the Seven Arches Hotel on the Mount of Olives facing the Temple Mount.

A provisional permit for the site has been approved by the city for March and April, with possibility of renewal for two additional months, a city spokeswoman said Thursday.

The prayer tent, the brainchild of a Jerusalem-based Evangelical Christian leader who is directly involved in contacts between Asian Evangelical Christians and the Holy Land, will be able to host up to 500 people at a time.

A group of 300 Korean Christians is the first slated to use the center at the end of next month.
The rest

Married, ex-Episcopalian ordained a Catholic priest in California
Associated Press

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - A former Episcopalian priest who converted to Catholicism became the first married cleric ordained in the Diocese of San Bernardino under an unusual provision.

As his wife and two children looked on at Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, Gregory Elder was ordained into the Roman Catholic clergy Friday through a rarely invoked exemption to Canon Law called the Pastoral Provision.

"I'm humbled, it's an honor, and only God could have made this happen," Elder told The Associated Press. "I didn't leave the Episcopal Church because I was mad at them. I wanted to join the church of history. I love my Episcopal friends."

Since 1983, about 80 former Episcopal priests in the United States have been ordained as Catholic priests through the provision, said the Rev. William Stetson, director of the Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C.
Story

RU-486-A Mistake for Women’s Health
February 10, 2006 11:01 PM EST
by Nathan Tabor

The abortion industry and its supporters routinely say that they are engaged in the battle to keep abortion legal in order to safeguard the health of women. In fact, they say, if legal abortion is not available, thousands of women will die each year from “back alley abortions.”

However, the recent controversy over the abortion pill RU-486 clearly shows that abortion advocates are not interested in protecting the health of our sisters and friends. Instead, they are simply interested in protecting abortion—no matter what the cost.

You may not realize it, but eight women around the world have died after taking the abortion drug RU-486. Abortion advocates claimed that RU-486 was a safe, “effective” way to end an unwanted pregnancy. But nothing could be further from the truth. If abortion backers are truly concerned about women’s health, why would they defend a pill that kills women?

While eight fatalities may sound like a low death count, the toll could climb significantly. More than 800 women have experienced potentially life-threatening complications after using RU-486. This is not a miracle drug. This is a lethal drug. It kills a baby and has the potential of killing his or her mother.
The rest

Friday, February 10, 2006

IS YOUR IMAGINATION OF GOD STARVED?
"Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things." Isaiah 40:26

The people of God in Isaiah's day had starved their imagination by looking on the face of idols, and Isaiah made them look up at the heavens, that is, he made them begin to use their imagination aright. Nature to a saint is sacramental. If we are children of God, we have a tremendous treasure in Nature. In every wind that blows, in every night and day of the year, in every sign of the sky, in every blossoming and in every withering of the earth, there is a real coming of God to us if we will simply use our starved imagination to realize it.

The test of spiritual concentration is bringing the imagination into captivity. Is your imagination looking on the face of an idol? Is the idol yourself? Your work? Your conception of what a worker should be? Your experience of salvation and sanctification? Then your imagination of God is starved, and when you are up against difficulties you have no power, you can only endure in darkness. If your imagination is starved, do not look back to your own experience; it is God Whom you need. Go right out of yourself, away from the face of your idols, away from everything that has been starving your imagination. Rouse yourself, take the gibe that Isaiah gave the people, and deliberately turn your imagination to God.

One of the reasons of stultification in prayer is that there is no imagination, no power of putting ourselves deliberately before God. We have to learn how to be broken bread and poured out wine on the line of intercession more than on the line of personal contact. Imagination is the power God gives a saint to posit himself out of himself into relationships he never was in.
Oswald Chambers Photo

Truro Church Remains Committed to Departed Mission
02/10/2006

Following the Feb. 6 announcement that an assembly from the congregation of Holy Spirit Church, Ashburn, had voted unanimously to leave the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia the day before, the senior warden of Truro Church, Fairfax, said he anticipated no significant change to the future relationship between his parish and the mission congregation Truro planted about five years ago.

In announcing their departure, the Rev. Clancy Nixon, vicar of Holy Spirit, said he and the congregation of about 200 members had already transferred their allegiance to the Rt. Rev. Benezeri Kisembo, Bishop of Ruwenzori in the Anglican Church of Uganda. While saddened by the departure, Jim Oakes, senior warden at Truro, told The Living Church the strong bonds of familial affection and financial support between the two congregations will probably not be affected.

“We have watched with almost parental joy as [Fr.] Nixon was raised up from our congregation,” Mr. Oakes said. “The church went from nothing to where it is today in just five years and they have continued to grow since the 2003 General Convention. We will continue to feel as though they are part of our family.”

The rest-The Living Church

Churches Mark 'Evolution Sunday'
02/09/2006

Sixty-four Episcopal Churches in 34 dioceses are planning to designate Feb. 12 as “Evolution Sunday,” proclaiming, “religion and science are not adversaries.”

Created as part of the
Clergy Letter Project, the ecumenical service will mark the 197th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. It will be celebrated by 433 congregations in 49 states representing the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Reformed, Baptist, Unitarian, and the Protestant “mainline” traditions.

Dismayed by the inroads that “Intelligent Design” and “Creationism” have had in the science curriculums of some public school districts,
supporters of “Evolution Sunday” seek to support both “sound faith” and “good science,” refusing to choose one over the other.

The Rev. Daniel S. Appleyard, rector of Christ Church in Dearborn, Mich., told The Living Church his parish would celebrate the event by focusing on “our Christian understanding of creation and evolution” and reflect on
A Catechism of Creation, a document distributed through the Episcopal Church Center in New York City.

The rest-The Living Church

Judge Tosses Case of Atheist Vs. Priest
By MARTA FALCONI
The Associated Press


ROME - An Italian judge has dismissed an atheist's petition that a small-town priest should stand trial for asserting that Jesus Christ existed, both sides said on Friday.

Luigi Cascioli, a 72-year-old retired agronomist, had accused the Rev. Enrico Righi of violating two laws with the assertion, which he called a deceptive fable propagated by the Roman Catholic Church.

"The Rev. Righi is very satisfied and moved," Righi's attorney, Severo Bruno, said. "He is an old, small-town parish priest who never would have thought he'd be in the spotlight for something like this."

Cascioli, a former schoolmate of Righi's, said he had not expected the case to succeed in overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Italy.

"This is not surprising but it doesn't mean it all ends here," he said, adding that he's considering taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
The rest

Doc: Birth Defects Up in Polygamous Area
Feb 9, 7:38 PM (ET)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A rare, severe birth defect is on the rise in an inbred polygamous community on the Utah-Arizona border, according to a doctor who has treated many of the children.

Intermarriage among close relatives is producing children who have two copies of a recessive gene for a debilitating condition called fumarase deficiency. The enzyme irregularity causes severe mental retardation, epileptic seizures and other effects that often leaves children unable to take care of themselves.

Dr. Theodore Tarby has treated many of the children at clinics in Arizona under contracts with the state. All are retarded, the neurologist told Salt Lake City television station KSL-TV.
The rest

Delaware Catholics and Evangelicals Join Forces to Defeat Embryonic Stem-Cell Bill
Gudrun Schultz

DOVER, Delaware, February 9, 2006 (LifeSiteNew.com) – A Delaware bill authorizing human stem cell research was stripped of all anti-life components before passing in the house, thanks to the efforts of a concerted group of Christians.

Senate Bill 80 was passed in the Delaware House of Representatives this week after all references to human embryonic stem cell research were removed from the bill. Supporters of Bill 80 were not able to gather sufficient votes for the bill to pass in its original form.

The victory is being attributed to a campaign called “A Rose and a Prayer” undertaken by a coalition of Christians, who received an overwhelming response to calls for participation in opposing the bill.
Story

Church of England Synod Overwhelmingly Backs Women Bishops Compromise
This week the introduction of women bishops into the Church of England seemed to move a step closer after the General Synod overwhelmingly offered its support to a compromise plan on the issue.
Posted: Friday, February 10 , 2006, 11:19 (UK)

This week the introduction of women bishops into the Church of England seemed to move a step closer after the General Synod overwhelmingly offered its support to a compromise plan on the issue.

Thursday at the Synod saw discussions continue, and a debate led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams result in just one member of the Church’s ruling body stand in opposition to proposals that could see women bishops introduced by 2012.

Overall, 348 members of the Synod backed the call for “further exploration” of the compromise proposal issued by Dr Williams. Therefore, the Church will now undertake further investigations of how exactly the proposals to allow parishes to opt-out of the care of women bishops can be implemented.
The rest

Abortion Causes Mental Disorders: New Zealand Study May Require Doctors to Do Fewer Abortions
Pro-Choice Researcher Says Some Journals Rejected Politically Volatile Findings

Amy Sobie, for the
Elliot Institute,
217-525-8202
SPRINGFIELD, Il., Feb. 10

Christian Wire Service/ -- A study in New Zealand that tracked approximately 500 women from birth to 25 years of age has confirmed that young women who have abortions subsequently experience elevated rates of suicidal behaviors, depression, substance abuse, anxiety, and other mental problems.

Most significantly, the researchers – led by Professor David M. Fergusson, who is the director of the longitudinal Christchurch Health and Development Study – found that the higher rate of subsequent mental problems could not be explained by any pre-pregnancy differences in mental health, which had been regularly evaluated over the course of the 25-year study. The rest

Little Faith
Why Are the Mountains Standing Still?
By T. M. Moore
February 10, 2006

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith.” (
Matthew 17:19, 20)

For me, this account of Jesus and His disciples and the demon-possessed child captures as well as anything in Scripture the state of Christian faith in America today. Here are the disciples—highly visible, well-meaning, and feverishly busy in the work of the Lord—yet totally unable to affect the status quo, and not certain why.

Sound familiar?

We have been hearing a good deal in recent years about the resurgence of fundamentalist and evangelical Christianity in America and its impact in the social and political arenas. While there are some encouraging signs, it seems way too early to confirm the onset of a new reformation. One need only scan the popular culture—television, pop music, and film, in particular—to recognize that the vast majority of Americans are still in the grip of spiritual forces that want to burn them alive with lust or drown them in a sea of relativism and self-seeking. Churches are growing, ministries are glowing, and leaders are crowing about the new evangelical influence; yet for all our visibility, earnestness, and frantic activity, the child we’re struggling to redeem and restore just keeps getting sicker.

Jesus’ answer to the disciples’ query concerning their manifest inability to heal this child must have caused them no small amount of chagrin. What did He mean, “little faith”? What more could they have done to show good faith in the Lord?

the rest-Excellent!

Can Homosexuals Really Change?
A Christian Response to Dan Savage
Posted: Friday, February 10, 2006 at 3:36 am ET

Dan Savage, no stranger to controversy, thinks he has found a "clincher" argument on the question of homosexuality. Writing in Friday's edition of The New York Times, Savage mentions the lead characters in the movie, Brokeback Mountain. Savage's argument is that evangelical Christians should abandon the idea that homosexual men can "go straight" and assume normal heterosexual identities. His argument makes slight mention of actor Chad Allen and the controversy over his role in the film, End of the Spear, but that angle is very indirect.

Instead, his main concern is to undermine the belief that homosexuals can change their sexuality. His "clincher" argument is that not even evangelicals would want their daughters to marry an "ex-gay."

The rest-Albert Mohler

Dad Says His Son 'Damaged' by Homosexual Indoctrination at State-Sponsored Program
By Jim Brown
February 9, 2006

(AgapePress) - Two Christian parents say their son was a victim of homosexual indoctrination at the prestigious "Governor's School of North Carolina."

The
Governor's School of North Carolina describes itself as "program for intellectually gifted high school students, integrating academic disciplines, the arts, and unique courses." But one North Carolina couple is suffering some after effects of their son's involvement in the program. Jim and Beverly Burrows say after their son attended a Governor's School seminar called "The New Gay Teenager," he began telling them he was unsure of his "sexual orientation."

The parents believe the seminar was intentionally scheduled as the last optional one before classes ended in order to leave a strong, lasting impression on the students and bypass any parental notification about the seminar.
The rest

Judge: No credible evidence underage sex always harmful
ROXANA HEGEMAN
Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan. - A federal judge hearing a constitutional challenge to a Kansas law requiring doctors, teachers and others to report underage sex between consenting youths said the state presented no credible evidence that underage sex is always harmful.

U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten stopped short of issuing a decision from the bench, but he repeatedly interrupted Thursday's closing arguments by Assistant Attorney General Steve Alexander to challenge his assertions.

"Motives are irrelevant - I want to deal with facts," Marten said. "Where is the clear, credible evidence that underage sex is always injurious? If you tell me because it is illegal - I reject that," Marten said.

The lawsuit filed by The Center for Reproductive Rights, a New York advocacy group, stems from a 2003 opinion issued by Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline's opinion requiring health care providers and others to tell authorities about consensual sex by underage youths.
Story

Santorum electrifies CPAC crowd
Feb 9 2006 03:43 PM
By Tim Chapman

Conservatives may quibble with Rick Santorum on some issues. He shouldn’t have proposed an increase in the minimum wage. He has some non-conventional ideas on the role of government in civil society. He actively campaigned for the passage of the Medicare prescription drug act.

But on social issues there is no stronger voice within the party…none. And if for no other reason than that, his re-election is of paramount importance.

Santorum just finished addressing the CPAC audience. The room was more packed for him than any other speaker, and he did not disappoint. Santorum told the crowd that conservatism is fundamentally about three things: faith, family and community organizations. He explained that conservatives care deeply about the individual and that is why we are pro-life.
Story

Air Force sets revised rules for prayers by its chaplains
By Julia Duin
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
February 10, 2006

The Air Force yesterday released revised guidelines on religious observance that say chaplains need not recite prayers incompatible with their beliefs, but that also encourage "non-denominational" or "inclusive" prayer in public situations.

The move won tepid praise from evangelicals, who see the move as progress but not close to a guarantee that they can pray "in Jesus' name."

Meanwhile, White House domestic policy adviser Claude Allen, a key aide who had sided with evangelicals on the issue, resigned abruptly Wednesday after five years with the Bush administration. His short letter to the president called it "the best decision for my family."

In a Jan. 22 conversation with Rep. Walter B. Jones reported in The Washington Times, Mr. Allen promised the North Carolina Republican that President Bush would pressure Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld into allowing military chaplains to be more explicit about their faith.
The rest

Caterpillar: Rowan Williams writes to Chief Rabbi
Friday, 10 February 2006

Lambeth Palace SE1 7JU, Friday 10th February 2006

Dear Jonathan, There has been much adverse comment on the resolution passed last Monday by the Church of England Synod to review its investment in certain companies involved in the Palestinian territories, and much distress has been caused, especially to our Jewish friends and neighbours here and elsewhere. This distress is a cause of deep regret; as one who was present, it may be helpful for me to clarify what this resolution did and did not say and, even more importantly, what it did and did not imply.

The Synod has not, by this action, resolved to disinvest; although the resolution was a response to a call from our sister church in the region to disinvest, our response took the form of deciding (in accordance with the resolution of the international Anglican Consultative Council last June) to continue to examine our policy, to engage with companies about whom we had concerns and, specifically, to encourage a fact-finding visit to the Holy Land. This, of course, is in line with the existing advice from the Church’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group. The rest

Dad Slams Attack On Bush At King Rite
HOUSTON
Feb. 10, 2006

Former President George H.W. Bush has expressed dismay and anger at attacks on his son, President Bush, at the funeral for Coretta Scott King.

"In terms of the political shots at the president who was sitting there with his wife, I didn't like it and I thought it was kind of ugly frankly," the former president said in an exclusive radio interview with CBS News White House correspondent Peter Maer.

"Anybody that shoots at the president of the United States at a funeral, I just didn't appreciate that," Mr. Bush added.
Story

CULTURE WARS: S.D. House approves sweeping abortion ban
Bill aims to set up court challenge to Roe v. Wade
Associated Press

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota House overwhelmingly passed a bill Thursday that would ban nearly all abortions in the state, ushering the issue to the Senate.

Supporters are pushing the measure as a means of drawing the attention of the U.S. Supreme Court, hoping to set up a legal challenge that ultimately will result in reversal of the high court's 1973 decision legalizing abortion.

The bill banning abortion, HB1215, was passed 47-22 in the House after more than an hour of debate.

Rep. Roger Hunt, R-Brandon, said the recent appointment of two new members on the Supreme Court and the prospect of one or two more replacements within a few years as older members retire makes it a good time to mount a challenge to the earlier Roe v. Wade decision.
The rest



Lies exposed by photos and videos
By Barbara Kralis
MichNews.com
Feb 10, 2006

Supporters of the abortion movement have deceived mankind with bumfuzzling statements that Partial Birth Abortion is a rare occurrence, being performed less than 500 times a year on only fetuses that are severely deformed. However, as early as November 1995, Ron Fitzsimmons, then executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, admitted on ABC's Nightline that he lied when he asserted the procedure was used rarely and only on fetuses and women whose lives were in danger. At that time, Fitzsimmons estimated 5,000 Partial Birth Abortions were performed annually and primarily done on healthy women of healthy fetuses.

Since that time, it has been reasoned by William F. Buckley that Partial Birth Abortion is performed approximately 130,000 times a year in the United States. Los Angeles abortionist Dr. James McMahon admitted in l995 to performing over 2,000 partial birth abortions himself at that time. Cincinnati abortionist Dr. Martin Haskell admitted in l992 of having 'routinely' and easily performed over 1,000 partial-birth abortions himself, and that 80% of them are for purely elective [whimsical] reasons, such a depression or vomiting of the mother.
The rest

Britain: Christians 'are being ignored' as ministers court other faiths
By Dominic Kennedy
February 10, 2006

MINISTERS are being accused of anti-Christian bias after spending more to mark Ramadan, Eid ul-Fitr, Diwali and Chinese new year than they do on Easter and Christmas.

The Home Office spent more than £15,000 in a week on events celebrating Muslim and Hindu religious feasts, according to figures released to Parliament. The Department for Transport (DfT) sent staff to minority events in Birmingham and Swansea but did nothing for Christmas except tell workers about carol concerts. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office hosted VIP receptions to mark dates on the Muslim and Chinese calendars but has no plans to observe the main Christian festival of Easter.
the rest

WILL EUROPE BECOME EURABIA?
February 09, 2006 10:02 PM EST
by Mona Charen

"Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder." -- Arnold Toynbee

As Danish embassies and European Union offices smolder in Beirut, Damascus, Gaza and Tehran -- the result of a junior varsity jihad -- the time could not be more apt for Bruce Bawer's "While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within," due out at the end of this month. Bawer is a gay American with a flair for languages who moved to Europe in 1999 to escape what he perceived to be the narrow-mindedness of the Christian right in America.

The move changed him. It also afforded a front row seat at the clash of civilizations now flaring into flames. If American Christian conservatives seemed intolerant to Bawer, they were cream puffs in comparison with the Islamofascists who are multiplying in Europe. Theo van Gogh produced a film about the mistreatment of women in the Islamic community and was assassinated by an unrepentant Islamist who defiantly told the dead man's mother, "I cannot feel for you because I believe you are an infidel." A rumor swept the Muslim world that American soldiers in Guantanamo flushed the Koran down a toilet, and violence erupted worldwide. European newspapers published cartoons insulting to Mohammad, and death threats poured in, embassies were set ablaze, and red-faced Muslims now vow jihad throughout the world.
the rest

Thursday, February 09, 2006


"If the devil were wise enough and would stand by in silence and let the Gospel be preached, he would suffer less harm. For when there is no battle for the Gospel it rusts and it finds no cause and no occasion to show its vigor and power. Therefore, nothing better can befall the Gospel than that the world should fight it with force and cunning."
Martin Luther Art

Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering. ... The love of God did not protect His own Son. ... He will not necessarily protect us - not from anything it takes to make us like His Son. A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process.
Elisabeth Elliot Gateway to Joy

Episcopal Diocese of Miss. vote addresses developing split

The Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi voted at its 179th annual council to affirm its historic connections to the worldwide Anglican Communion and voice concern about bishops from the global South crossing international boundaries to exercise pastoral oversight in American congregations.

The resolutions at the Saturday council in Jackson addressed the developing split between Anglicans in various portions of the world over theological and jurisdictional issues.


The rest

Lord Carey 'ashamed to be an Anglican'
By GEORGE CONGER

The former archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday he was "ashamed to be an Anglican" following Monday's vote by the Church of England to disinvest from companies whose products are used by the Israeli government in the territories.

The February 6 divestment vote, which was backed by current Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, was "a most regrettable and one-sided statement," Lord Carey said, and one that "ignores the trauma of ordinary Jewish people" in Israel subjected to terrorist attacks.

Lord Carey joined Jewish leaders protesting the vote by the General Synod, the church's legislature, to adopt a "morally responsible investment in the Palestinian occupied territories and, in particular, to disinvest from companies profiting from the illegal occupation, such as Caterpillar Inc., until they change their policies."
Story


Wholly wrong: a holy mess
Oliver Kamm

EVEN TO an atheist, there is much to be said for antidisestablishmentarianism. The Church of England may be a constitutional oddity in a democratic age, but Primates such as William Temple and Michael Ramsey have contributed much wisdom to the nation’s political affairs.

Part of that wisdom has lain in heeding the observation of one of the best recent Anglican ethicists, the late Canon Ronald Preston: “It is impossible to conceive of any particular moral or Christian responsibility in politics . . . without involving ourselves in technical problems which are rarely simple and clear.” The rest

The Connection Between Discipline and Delight in Nanny McPhee
by Marc T. Newman, Ph.D.

Neil Postman, in The Disappearance of Childhood, notes that one of the symptoms of our decaying society is the way we treat children as little adults. He does not mean expecting children to behave responsibly; he means blurring the lines between adulthood and childhood until the protective barrier is erased and adults feel free to victimize kids. An example of this cultural tendency is when filmmakers decide to sexualize or vulgarize children in their movies. In the recent remake of Yours, Mine, and Ours, one of the eighteen children from a blended family leeringly suggests that a good way to get back at their parents for marrying is for two of the girls to engage in improper sexual behavior. I cringed.

Modern filmmakers are required to journey into the past to recapture truly childlike (as opposed to childish) behavior. And as Postman notes in another of his books, Building a Bridge to the Eighteenth Century: How the Past Can Improve Our Future, if a culture is getting it wrong, the appropriate course of action is look back to where things went amiss, and try to make things right before proceeding forward Nanny McPhee director Kirk Jones commented that “people are still looking at traditional ways of raising their children.” Nanny McPhee, a screen adaptation of the Nurse Matilda stories, transports us to the past in hopes of recapturing that tradition and using it to improve our future if we, like the children Nanny McPhee governs, incorporate her lessons.
The rest

Little town lessons
Israel: Hamas learned to win big by starting small, but now faces an aid embargo
Mindy Belz

One way to understand the Hamas victory in last month's parliamentary elections is to look at Bethlehem. Western tourists who remember Manger Square with its clogged churches and bustling vendors will find it much changed.

About 12 years ago the city of Jesus' birth had a population under 100,000 that was roughly 60 percent Christian. Unemployment, thanks to commerce with nearby Jerusalem and a steady tourist trade, rested at just 2 percent. That changed after Israel signed on to the Oslo accords in 1993 and began turning over towns in Gaza and the West Bank to then-Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat.

In 1994 Mr. Arafat redrew Bethlehem's municipal boundaries to incorporate three Palestinian refugee camps—adding 30,000 Muslims to the city's roster. Mr. Arafat championed Muslim immigration to Bethlehem from nearby Hebron, a city also newly given to his control.
Story

Iranian Christians, New Converts Face Deteriorating Situation
Thursday, Feb. 9, 2006
Posted: 10:58:38AM EST

As a relatively peaceful decade continues to take a sharp turn for the worse for believers in Islamic Republic of Iran, Iranian Christians are frightened, according to an international ministry to the persecuted church.

"The last 10 years were relatively calm," said Open Doors staff worker Stefan Van Velde. "Between 1990 and 2004, Christian life wasn't easy, but we counted fewer arrests and fewer incidents of torture than in the period before 1990.

"But in the last phase of Mohammad Khatami’s presidency, the situation deteriorated for the Christian population," he added.

The staff worker counted nearly 90 church leaders who were arrested in September 2004 with persecution worsening since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected in June 2005.
The rest

Church offers apology for its role in slavery
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
(Filed: 09/02/2006)

Two hundred years after Anglican reformers helped to abolish the slave trade, the Church of England has apologised for profiting from it.

Last night the General Synod acknowledged complicity in the trade after hearing that the Church had run a slave plantation in the West Indies and that individual bishops had owned hundreds of slaves.

It voted unanimously to apologise to the descendents of the slaves after an emotional debate in which the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, urged the Church to share the "shame and sinfulness of our predecessors".
Story

Bush Says Cooperation Thwarted 2002 Attack
Feb 9, 1:36 PM (ET)
By DEB RIECHMANN

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush said the U.S.-led global war on terror has "weakened and fractured" al-Qaida and allied groups, outlining as proof new details about the multinational cooperation that foiled purported terrorist plans to fly a commercial airplane into the tallest skyscraper on the West Coast.

"The terrorists are living under constant pressure and this adds to our security," Bush said. "When terrorists spend their days working to avoid death or capture, it's harder for them to plan and execute new attacks on our country. By striking the terrorists where they live, we're protecting the American homeland."

But the president said the anti-terror battle is far from over.
the rest

WMD Gear Found In British Mosque
Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2006 10:51 p.m. EST

A radical British imam was stockpiling protection gear for a weapons of mass destruction attack in a notorious North London mosque, British police revealed on Wednesday.
London authorities told Reuters that the discovery of the WMD-gear actually happened in 2003, but could not be disclosed until Tuesday, after Abu Hamza al Masri was convicted of 11 charges related to terrorism - including soliciting murder and possessing a terrorist training manual.
The rest

Arab paper published cartoons 4 months agoNo outrage when Egyptian publication headlined drawings on Ramadan cover
Posted: February 9, 20061:00 a.m. Eastern
While Muslims across the world have rioted in the past week against countries whose newspapers have published cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, there was no uproar when the same caricatures were prominently displayed in an Arab newspaper four months ago.
Story


Islamic scholar who disseminated cartoons of Prophet speaks out

Last Updated Wed, 08 Feb 2006 10:53:08 EST CBC News
The Danish Islamic scholar who brought cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad to the attention of Muslim leaders around the world says he was only trying to boost his campaign to get an apology from the Danish newspaper that first published them.
The rest

E-Mail, Blogs, Text Messages Propel Anger Over Images
In Hours, Rumors in Denmark Galvanize Opinion Elsewhere
By
Kevin Sullivan
Washington Post
Foreign Service
Thursday, February 9, 2006

COPENHAGEN, Feb. 8 -- Mohammad Fouad Barazi, a prominent Muslim cleric here, received a text message on his cell phone last week. It was a mass mailing from an anonymous sender, he said, warning that Danish people were planning to burn the Koran that Saturday in Copenhagen's City Hall Square out of anger over Muslim demonstrations against Danish cartoons of the prophet Muhammad.

Hundreds of people -- Muslims and ethnic Danes -- turned out in response to the messages and the rampant rumors they sparked, and by the end of Saturday, police had arrested 179 people. In the end, no Koran was burned.

The rest

Pope honours priest's 'sacrifice'

Pope Benedict XVI has paid tribute to an Italian priest shot dead in Turkey.
The Pope said he hoped the "sacrifice" of Andrea Santoro would contribute towards dialogue between religions.

There has been speculation that the shooting may have been linked to the controversy over cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad.

A 16-year-old boy is under arrest in connection with the killing, which took place at the priest's church in the Black Sea port of Trabzon.

Story

FBI hunts church arsonists
By Harry Mount
(Filed: 09/02/2006)

The FBI and local sheriffs were yesterday investigating a string of arson attacks - nine in less than a week - on Baptist churches in rural Alabama.

Four churches with black congregations in western Alabama have been damaged or destroyed only days after five in the centre of the state, with mostly white congregations, were set on fire. The second group of churches attacked were all within an hour of each other on small, out of the way roads.

The authorities are following up reports of a car with two white men in it seen near the scene of both waves of attacks.

All have followed the same pattern, with an apparent break-in followed by a fire set inside the church.
the rest

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

If the Christian penitent dares to ask that his many departures from the Christian norm, his impatience, gloom, self-occupation, unloving prejudices, reckless tongue, feverish desires, with all the damage they have caused to Christ's Body, be set aside, because -- because, in spite of all, he longs for God and Eternal Life: then he must set aside and forgive all that the impatience, selfishness, bitter and foolish speech, and sudden yieldings to base impulse by others have caused him to endure. Hardness is the one impossible thing. Harshness to others in those who ask and need the mercy of God sets up a conflict at the very heart of personality and shuts the door upon grace.
... Evelyn Underhill, Abba

When we choose to forgive the victory is attainable. When bad things happen, good CAN come out of it! Romans 8:28 declares it is so! My life declares it is so and I am not alone in that statement. So many people have looked evil in the face and said, "I will find good in this." Some times the evil and bad things are changed or converted or whatever and sometimes it is US that is changed. But ALL things work for good and can bring about change for the good. Elizabeth Fabiani Website

Powder Keg
By Matt Kennedy +

The lines are beginning to harden. The four nominees for PB, as I noted last week and as this recent Living Church
editorial makes clear, are distinctly immoderate. Even the “moderate” nominee is not at all moderate when it comes to enforcing institutional loyalty to the detriment of the orthodox in his diocese. In fact, the common thread (if you were looking for one) that ties all four of these nominees together is their unflagging commitment to the institutional decisions of the Episcopal Church.

Moreover, so far two dioceses, Newark and DC, have been frank enough to reject the Windsor Report and the Dromantine Communiqué outright. Other more traditionally centrist diocese have produced and approved more or less subtle resolutions that essentially do the same.

There is little doubt ECUSA as a whole will follow suit in June. The biggest question is whether the deciding resolutions will look more like those in Newark and DC or like those in Virginia and Southern Virginia. The rest

A Bracing Sermon: Are You Ready?
(Touchstone)

I received this from contributing editor Anne Gardiner--a more bracing sermon than the usual fare, coming from the new Roman Catholic bishop Philip Tartaglia of Paisley in Scotland:

Today's gospel begins with a brief but arresting summary of the mission of Jesus to his contemporaries. It bears repeating. 'The time has come·and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent and believe the Good News.'

The time has come. What time are we in? I think we are in a key time, possibly a defining moment, for our society and for the Church in our society. Recently the Scottish Parliament has enacted legislation that allows for same-sex partnerships to be registered in what are officially termed civil partnerships. The purpose of this legislation is to give same-sex partnerships recognition in law similar to the legal status previously accorded only to the institution of marriage, including the right to apply for the adoption of children. . . .

Commentary

Episcopal Minister Opposes Canonizing Popular Civil Rights Hero
By Allie Martin and Jenni Parker
February 8, 2006

(AgapePress) - Episcopalians may soon be celebrating the "Feast of St. Thurgood" if the Episcopal Diocese of Washington (DC) has its way. The diocese, which represents churches in the District of Columbia and the Maryland counties of Charles, St. Mary's, Prince George's and Montgomery, recently voted to ask the 2006 General Convention of the Episcopal Church to grant sainthood to the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and to include him in the church's official book of Lesser Feasts and Fasts.

If the resolution is approved by the denomination, Episcopal Churches will celebrate May 17 as Marshall's feast day. On that date in 1954, Marshall, then chief counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), won the landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka school desegregation case, having argued that racially segregated public education, though touted as "separate but equal," was inherently unconstitutional because it could never be truly equal.
Story

Second Episcopal congregation bolts over gay clergy
By Julia Duin
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
February 8, 2006

The Church of the Holy Spirit in Ashburn, Va., has become the second congregation to leave the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia over disagreements on biblical authority, church discipline and homosexual clergy.

Meeting after their Sunday morning worship service, adult members of the church voted 88-0 to leave the 90,000-member diocese, the country's largest, and affiliate with the Anglican Diocese of Ruwenzori in Uganda.

The five-year-old congregation, which has minimal assets and no church building of its own, changed its name to Church of the Holy Spirit, Anglican, and altered its Web site address to www.holyspiritanglican.org. It will continue to meet at Mill Run Elementary in Ashburn's Broadlands development.
The rest

Bush Rebukes Muslim Violence, Chides Press
Feb 8, 6:51 PM (ET)
By TERENCE HUNT

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush condemned the deadly rioting sparked by cartoons of the prophet Muhammad on Wednesday, and his secretary of state accused Iran and Syria of trying "to inflame sentiments" across the Muslim world.

Bush urged foreign leaders to halt the spreading violence and to protect diplomats in besieged embassies.

The president spoke out about the controversy for the first time, signaling deepening White House concern about violent protests stemming from the publication of caricatures in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten and reprinted in European media and elsewhere in the past week.

"We reject violence as a way to express discontent with what may be printed in a free press," the president said.
The rest

Anglicans Dump Israel Investments
Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2006 5:10 p.m. EST

The Church of England is facing a backlash from Jewish leaders for voting to divest from companies whose products are used by the Israeli government in the occupied territories.

According to the U.K.'s Times newspaper, the church's General Synod unexpectedly and overwhelmingly voted to support a plea from the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East to practice "morally responsible investment in the Palestinian occupied territories" and to disinvest from "companies profiting from the illegal occupation", such as Caterpillar Inc, a US company that makes the bulldozers used in clearance projects in the occupied territories, and also used by Palestinians in their own rebuilding work. ''

The motion passed despite strong opposition from what the Times described as "leading members of Britain's Jewish community, noting that they were "concerned that Israel's right to protect itself from suicide bombers and other Palestinian terror attacks should not be compromised.
The rest

Abortion foes gain on new front
State fetal pain' bills advance
By Joan Biskupic
USA TODAY

A new front in the debate over abortion is emerging in legislatures across the nation. Abortion foes are gaining ground with proposals to require doctors to tell women seeking abortions that their fetuses might feel pain during the procedure.

State fetal pain bills began popping up last year in the wake of other statutes that have drawn attention to the interests of fetuses, including bans on a procedure that its critics call partial birth abortion.


Story

Fires Reported at 4 More Ala. Churches
Wednesday February 8, 2006 9:16 AM
By JAY REEVES
Associated Press Writer

BOLIGEE, Ala. (AP) - Fires damaged or destroyed four more Baptist churches across the Alabama countryside Tuesday, less than a week after a string of five blazes that were ruled arson.

``I'm not prepared to talk about the evidence yet ... but common sense tells you there is a clear indication these fires are going to be linked,'' FBI acting assistant director Chip Burrus said in an interview with The Associated Press in Washington, D.C.

Rich Marianos, a spokesman for the federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agency, said more than 50 agents were assigned to the case in Alabama.

"This is our No. 1 priority nationally,'' he said.
the rest

General Synod tries to smooth path for first woman bishop
By Jonathan Petre,
Religion Correspondent
(Filed: 08/02/2006)

The Church of England edged closer
to consecrating its first woman bishop yesterday despite unease at proposals to minimise divisions on the issue.

After a three-hour debate, the General Synod agreed to "take note" of a report by a House of Bishops working party intended to smooth the path towards women bishops and archbishops by making concessions to opponents.

But in a foretaste of the battle to come, speakers on both sides of the debate said that the proposals could increase disunity, institutionalise sexism and damage the Church's image.
The divisions are expected to become sharper during another debate tomorrow in which the Synod will have to decide how to proceed over the next six months.

Under the proposals, drawn up by a working party headed by the Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Rev Christopher Hill, all bishops' posts would become legally open to women, possibly by as early as 2012.
The rest

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

For the people of St. Andrew's in the Valley,
Syracuse NY

1:1 After Moses the Lord’s servant died, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant:
1:2 “Moses my servant is dead. Get ready! Cross the Jordan River! Lead these people into the land which I am ready to hand over to them. 1:3 I am handing over to you every place you set foot, as I promised Moses. 1:4 Your territory will extend from the wilderness in the south to Lebanon in the north. It will extend all the way to the great River Euphrates in the east (including all of Syria) and all the way to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 1:5 No one will be able to resist you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not abandon you or leave you alone.

1:6 Be strong and brave! You must lead these people in the conquest of this land that I solemnly promised their ancestors I would hand over to them. 1:7 Make sure you are very strong and brave! Carefully obey all the law my servant Moses charged you to keep! Do not swerve from it to the right or to the left, so that you may be successful in all you do. 1:8 This law scroll must not leave your lips! You must memorize it day and night so you can carefully obey all that is written in it. Then you will prosper and be successful. 1:9 I repeat, be strong and brave! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic, for I, the Lord your God, am with you in all you do.” Net Bible
art Pitts Theological Library


Therefore with mind entire, faith firm, courage undaunted, love thorough, let us be ready for whatever God wills; faithfully keeping his commandment, having innocence in simplicity, peaceableness in love, modesty in lowliness, diligence in ministering, mercifulness in helping the poor, firmness in standing for truth, and sternness in keeping of discipline.
The Venerable Bede


"Arise, and depart."—Micah 2:10.

THE hour is approaching when the message will come to us, as it comes to all—"Arise, and go forth from the home in which thou hast dwelt, from the city in which thou hast done thy business, from thy family, from thy friends. Arise, and take thy last journey." And what know we of the journey? And what know we of the country to which we are bound? A little we have read thereof, and somewhat has been revealed to us by the Spirit; but how little do we know of the realms of the future! We know that there is a black and stormy river called "Death." God bids us cross it, promising to be with us. And, after death, what cometh?
What wonder-world will open upon our astonished sight? What scene of glory will be unfolded to our view? No traveller has ever returned to tell. But we know enough of the heavenly land to make us welcome our summons thither with joy and gladness. The journey of death may be dark, but we may go forth on it fearlessly, knowing that God is with us as we walk through the gloomy valley, and therefore we need fear no evil. We shall be departing from all we have known and loved here, but we shall be going to our Father's house—to our Father's home, where Jesus is—to that royal "city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." This shall be our last removal, to dwell for ever with Him we love, in the midst of His people, in the presence of God. Christian, meditate much on heaven, it will help thee to press on, and to forget the toil of the way. This vale of tears is but the pathway to the better country: this world of woe is but the stepping-stone to a world of bliss.

"Prepare us, Lord, by grace divine,
For Thy bright courts on high;
Then bid our spirits rise, and join
The chorus of the sky."


CH Spurgeon photo

The abject cowardice of the mainstream media

The
trumped-up Danish cartoon crisis in which three vicious and pornographic cartoons were secretly spread around the Islamic world, claiming that they were published by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, throws a harsh light on the moral cowardice of our mainstream media.
We have learned in the last few years that the media have no problem with spreading obviously forged documents, as in the Rathergate affair. We have discovered from CNN’s Eason Jordan that his media company was in bed with Saddam Hussein for a decade, broadcasting Baathist propaganda to keep its Baghdad office running.
The rest


Found over at CANN : THOSE MUHAMMAD CARTOONS! … by all the top cartoonists! …. (cagle.com)

Contextualizing the Law
Matt Kennedy

The diocese of Newark recently passed
two resolutions with regard to the Windsor Report and human sexuality. In these resolutions the diocese makes the popular distinction between doctrine and discipline. Doctrine is unchanging and eternal, they admit, but discipline is to be applied contextually.

To some extent this is true. Take the Lord’s command against lust for example. The teaching is, “do not lust.” Do not reduce a fellow human being to a mere object of sexual desire. Thus, we are obliged as believers to keep away from those situations that might evoke lust. However those situations differ according to context. A teenage boy from Kansas probably should not go to a beach where women trot about topless. At the same time, a teenage boy who grew up in a part of the world where women never wear tops might go to the same beach and have no problem. So following Jesus’ command in one part of the world, one context, can look different than it does in another (I remember reading a very similar illustration of this in CS Lewis’ Mere Christianity)
Notice that in both contexts the desire and aim is to maintain adherence and obedience to the command against lust. Both young men obey the letter and the spirit of the command.

The rest at Stand Firm

Church of the Holy Spirit, Ashburn VA, Realigns with Biblically Orthodox Anglicans
Press release

February 6, 2006

Ashburn, Virginia - Church of the Holy Spirit (CHS), a Biblically faithful congregation in Ashburn, voted unanimously yesterday in a congregational meeting to end their affiliation with the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) and the Diocese of Virginia. They requested and have already received jurisdictional oversight from the Anglican Church of Uganda. The Rt. Rev. Benezeri Kisembo, Bishop of the Ruwenzori Diocese, is the new bishop providing spiritual oversight to this church of 230 people. CHS has now returned to full communion with a large majority of the worldwide Anglican Communion, which has declared either broken or impaired communion with ECUSA.

CHS was founded in 2001 as a mission of Truro Church of Fairfax. CHS does not own any land or buildings. As a result of this realignment, Truro Church will receive the assets of CHS.

Church of the Holy Spirit (Anglican) is loyal to the traditional life-giving teachings of the Bible and the Anglican Communion. It is a “Three Streams, One River” church, meaning that it is evangelical, charismatic and sacramental.

“We believe in what the Church has always taught, so we have learned how God’s love changes us to be more like Jesus. However, ECUSA’s leadership is endorsing an expanding array of non-Christian beliefs and behaviors. ECUSA leaders have been given ample opportunities through many reasoned pleas to repent, both privately and publicly, but they have not. Our consciences have compelled us to seek spiritual oversight from an orthodox Anglican Province,” said Ron Doucette, a lay leader at CHS.

The rest at the AAC website