Thursday, March 02, 2006

"Jesus said unto him the third time, Lovest thou Me?" John 21:17

Have you felt the hurt of the Lord to the uncovered quick, the place where the real sensitiveness of your life is lodged? The devil never hurts there, neither sin nor human affection hurts there, nothing goes through to that place but the word of God. "Peter was grieved because Jesus said unto him the third time. . . ." He was awakening to the fact that in the real true centre of his personal life he was devoted to Jesus, and he began to see what the patient questioning meant. There was not the slightest strand of delusion left in Peter's mind, he never could be deluded again. There was no room for passionate utterance, no room for exhilaration or sentiment. It was a revelation to him to realize how much he did love the Lord, and with amazement he said - "Lord, Thou knowest all things." Peter began to see how much he did love Jesus; but he did not say - "Look at this or that to confirm it." Peter was beginning to discover to himself how much he did love the Lord, that there was no one in heaven above or upon earth beneath beside Jesus Christ; but he did not know it until the probing, hurting questions of the Lord came. The Lord's questions always reveal me to myself.

The patient directness and skill of Jesus Christ with Peter! Our Lord never asks questions until the right time. Rarely, but probably once, He will get us into a corner where He will hurt us with His undeviating questions, and we will realize that we do love Him far more deeply than any profession can ever show.

Oswald Chambers Art

Jesus Never Said That?
Matt Kennedy+

You’ve no doubt heard the “Jesus didn’t say anything about homosexuality” argument. It rears its ugly head almost as much as the infamous
shellfish argument. The shellfish argument reveals a distressing level of biblical illiteracy, but the argument from Jesus’ supposed silence reveals something a bit more serious than that and in so doing provides yet one more demonstration of the point I’ve been laboring the last few weeks: the differences between revisionists and the orthodox are irreconcilable.

First, let’s deal with the argument. Jesus, in fact, did address the issue of homosexuality during his earthly ministry.

He did so when he condemned
“porneia” in Mark 7:20-21 (Matt 15:18-20). In the NIV, the Greek word “porneia” is usually translated as: “sexual immorality” to underscore the word’s comprehensive meaning.

The rest at Stand Firm

Westlake Parish is First to Seek DEPO in Ohio

After more than two years of parish-wide discernment, the Church of the Advent in Westlake has become the first congregation in the Diocese of Ohio to receive delegated episcopal pastoral oversight. The vestry, the rector and the Bishop of Ohio have engaged the Rt. Rev. Edward S. Little, II, Bishop of Northern Indiana.

“We want to continue to be a witness to the Episcopal Church,” the rector, the Rev. Joe Maiocco, told The Living Church. At the same time we didn’t want to pretend as though nothing had happened.”

Fr. Maiocco said he and some of the other members at Church of the Advent felt as though the General Convention had departed from apostolic Christianity and were prepared to make a decision about their future in the Episcopal Church soon after the conclusion of the 74th General Convention in August of 2003, but after conversations with leaders in the Anglican Communion Network and the American Anglican Council, the rector and vestry decided to be patient and go through an intentional process of parish-wide discernment. The rest

Germany’s Carnival – OK to Bash Catholic Church but Islam off Limits
March 2, 2006

( - Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday and Pancake Tuesday are among the many names for the custom of keeping a festival on the last day before the beginning of the Christian penitential season of Lent. In most countries that have European roots, Mardi Gras has always included elements mocking Catholic ceremonies and customs.

But the tone has changed since the growth of what Christians are recognizing as a new militant secularism that specifically fosters hatred of Christianity. One skit planned for Cologne features the Pope and the Cardinal Archbishop of Cologne as homosexual pop stars who end up in bed together. Last year, a float in the Dusseldorf parade showed Cardinal Meisner striking a match to a pregnant woman tied to the stake, the words "I had an abortion" written on her. The float’s caption read, “Fostering Tradition.”

The custom for making fun of Cathlic symbols goes back to the middle ages said Matthias von der Bank, a historian from Cologne's Carnival Museum said, “In the Middle Ages, carnival was a festival of reverse worlds and a playful expression of this," von der Bank said. "So Christian symbols, for example, were turned upside down.”

VIDEO: Alabama Churches Unite After the Arsons


Yesterday The 700 Club aired a very good piece on what's been going on with the recovery of the Alabama Church fires. This is a long piece, but worth watching, which is why I've taken the time to upload it and capture it for you, in the event you missed the show.

The good news is that what the enemy has meant for evil, God means for good and the churches, both black and white, are unifying under the banner of Christ Jesus!

Top-50 List of Worst Christian Persecutors Released
Thursday, Mar. 2, 2006
Posted: 11:42:41AM EST

A Christian persecution watchdog released its annual list on Wednesday, ranking the top 50 countries according to the intensity of persecution.

The 2006 Open Doors World Watch List kept North Korea as the number one Christian persecutor for the fourth straight year, a ranking that is not a surprise among human rights groups. It also listed Saudi Arabia and Iran in the top three.

1. North Korea
"North Korea is the most repressive nation in the world," said Open Doors USA President Dr. Carl Moeller. "It breaks my heart to hear some of the atrocities against our brothers and sisters there."
The rest

Prayer Ministry Expands Through Technology
Thursday, Mar. 2, 2006
Posted: 11:04:17AM EST

What began as a prayer meeting over the phone when stormy weather kept a church group from gathering has turned into a vision for an international prayer ministry using the latest in telecommunications to join the prayerful to Christ.

Two years since that teleconferencing encounter the Pray Live prayer ministry has expanded to a system that is technically capable of handling hundreds of simultaneous calls. The number of participants has been increasing mostly through committed praying volunteers and now includes prayer leaders and pastors.

“There was someone who started calling the line every single day and now they’re one of the leaders,” said Wenda Royster, founder and president of Pray Live, a non-denominational prayer line. “It has grown, almost like an e-church. We’re even doing bible study and people are being connected through the line.”

Anglicans Address Key Issues of Identity, Authority, Relationships
Thursday, Mar. 2, 2006
Posted: 11:12:10AM EST

Top Anglican theologians and bishops are beginning a new round of talks on “key issues” that threaten to break apart the 77-million-member Anglican Communion, such as varying viewpoints on homosexuality and the changing structure of the global church.

In a letter issued late last month, the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission (IATDC) called on “all bishops and theological education centers” to offer their answers to “some of the key questions troubling the Anglican Communion.”

“I realize that you have many calls upon your time, but am sure that you agree with me about the need for the widest possible participation in the conversation that is now being resumed,” wrote the Rt. Rev. Professor Stephen Sykes, Chair of the IATDC.

The new round of dialogue comes during a time of heightened tension in the Church over issues of the autonomy, authority and subsidiarity of national denominations. While such conflicts developed through several decades, they were thrust to the fore in recent years following the ordination of a gay bishop in the U.S. denomination, and the subsequent frustration among “global south” churches over what they viewed as an inadequate punishment of their northern counterpart. The rest

Abortion Study Causes Stir in New Zealand
By Mary Rettig
March 1, 2006

(AgapePress) - The director of the Elliot Institute says a New Zealand study could have a big effect on abortion around the globe. The study reports that women who have abortions have a higher rate of subsequent mental problems that couldn't be explained by any pre-abortion mental issues.

Dr. David Reardon, a pro-life researcher from Illinois, has published reports in the U.S. on the effects of abortion on women. He says the lead researcher of the New Zealand study, Professor David Fergusson -- an abortion supporter -- had a difficult time trying to publish his findings. Reardon explains why that occurred.

"He ran into [something] we've long known about, which is that there's a bias against any research that questions that abortion is the greatest thing since sliced bread," Reardon says. "He had three rejections before he was finally accepted."
The rest

US Church speaks out against Pakistan anti-Christian attacks
The bishop of Orlando, who is chairman of the Committee on International Policy, wrote to the Pakistani Ambassador in the US to protest “in the strongest terms possible” the “terrorist attacks” against churches in Sukkur. The American bishops had already sent a letter to the diplomat when the events in Sangla Hill took place, but they never received a reply.

Orlando (AsiaNews) – The US bishops have launched a strong and direct protest to Islamabad against the latest attacks against churches in Pakistan and they have expressed solidarity with the country’s “defenceless” Christian community. Mgr Thomas G. Wenski, bishop of Orlando and chairman of the Committee on International Policy, sent a letter to the Pakistani ambassador to the United States, Jehangir Karamat, calling on him to convey to Islamabad “the deep sorrow and distress” felt by “many friends of Pakistan” in the USA about the “seemingly unchecked attacks against the loyal and peaceful Christian minority, both Catholic and Protestant, in your country”.
The rest

Williams meets Sudanese refugee children

On the traditional day of fasting for millions of Christians around the world, the Archbishop of Canterbury, took time to meet people in southern Sudan who depend on the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to keep hunger at bay and help rebuild their lives after decades of civil war.Rowan Williams, was greeted by hundreds of children and women as he visited refugee centres in southern Sudan on Ash Wednesday.The Archbishop also travelled by work boat along the White Nile to meet victims of Sudan’s 21-year civil war who still live in camps for internally displaced people more than a year after the signing of a peace agreement to end the war.

The rest

Chinese police raid underground church

Chinese police held 36 people in a raid on a bible school run by an underground Protestant church yesterday amid a nationwide crackdown on Christians worshipping outside Communist Party control.

About 50 officers armed with electric cattle prods and backed by more than 10 police vehicles surrounded the school in the eastern province of Anhui, according to the China Aid Association, based in Texas.

Those inside — including students, teachers, and leaders of the underground church — were taken away in police vans, the group said. The school’s owner, Chu Huaiting, was later arrested at his home, the association said.

It identified Chu as vice president of the Chinese House Church Alliance, which unites about 300,000 worshippers in unofficial congregations.
The rest

Praise the Lord and Pass the Joystick
Published: March 2, 2006

The battle is on for souls and Troy A. Lyndon refuses to lose. As non-Christians wander Manhattan in Mr. Lyndon's new video game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces, they are recruited to join the side of God or be judged following the rapture.

"People who don't care about Christianity love these stories," said Mr. Lyndon, chief executive of Left Behind Games, as he demonstrated the game in New York recently. "You recruit the neutrals and persuade them to come to your side."

Mr. Lyndon might well be talking about the Christian gaming business. The company is releasing its Left Behind game, which contains biblical messages and lessons, later this year after almost four years in development. It hopes to convert non-Christians into fanatical players.
The rest

Mainstream goes silent
By Joel Mowbray
March 2, 2006

Unbeknownst to most Americans, federal prosecutors opened their case last week in the terrorism trial of a young American who studied under two Taliban-tied imams in California and whose grandfather was Pakistan's minister of religion in the 1980s.

The trial of Hamid Hayat, 23, is neither taking place in the dark of night nor in a military tribunal from which the media is barred. It is in an open California courtroom, the very kind that has been overrun for trials of the likes of Scott Peterson and O.J. Simpson. Yet in the month of February, the New York Times had exactly one story on the alleged terror cell in Lodi, Calif. The Washington Post had none. And on the cable news channels, the trial has received scant attention.

Not that the trial suffers from lack of excitement. Mr. Hayat confessed that he had attended terror training in Pakistan, the video of which jurors saw last week. An FBI informant who had befriended the defendant -- while wearing a wire -- testified that Mr. Hayat would offer praise for "martyrs" and the Taliban, while professing disgust for America.
The rest

Speaking Truth to Dead Horses: My Oscar Predictions
Ann Coulter
March 2, 2006

This is my first annual Oscar predictions column, for which I am uniquely qualified by not having seen a single one of the movies nominated in any category. I've never even watched an Oscar ceremony, except once when a friend called me 35 minutes into Halle Berry's acceptance speech and I managed to catch only the last 20 minutes of it.

I shall grant my awards based on the same criteria Hollywood studio executives now use to green-light movies: political correctness. Also, judging by most of the nominees this year, the awards committee prefers movies that are wildly unpopular with audiences.

The box office numbers for this year's favorite, "Brokeback Mountain," are more jealously guarded than the nuclear codes in the president's black box. Hollywood liberals want the government to release everything we know about al-Zarqawi, but refuse to release the number of people who have seen "Brokeback Mountain."
The rest

Magma On The Move Beneath Yellowstone

Much of Yellowstone National Park is a giant collapsed volcano, or a caldera. In an enormous eruption roughly 640,000 years ago, this volcano spit out around 240 cubic miles of rock, dirt, magma and other material. Around 70,000 years ago its last eruption filled in that gaping hole with flows of lava. The area has enjoyed an uneasy peace since then, the land alternately rising and falling with the passing decades. New satellite data indicate that this uplift and subsidence is caused by the movement of magma beneath the surface and may explain why the northern edge of the park continues to rise while the southern part of the caldera is falling.

The rest

Soviet Union ordered Pope shooting: Italy commission
Thu Mar 2, 2006 8:50 AM ET
By Philip Pullella

ROME (Reuters) - Leaders of the former Soviet Union were behind the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II in 1981, an Italian parliamentary investigative commission said in a report.

A final draft of the report, which is due to be presented to parliament later this month, was made available to Reuters on Thursday by the commission president, Senator Paolo Guzzanti.

"This commission believes, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the leadership of the Soviet Union took the initiative to eliminate Pope John Paul," the report said.

"They relayed this decision to the military secret services for them to take on all necessary operations to commit a crime of unique gravity, without parallel in modern times," it said.

The report also says "some elements" of the Bulgarian secret services were involved but that this was an attempt to divert attention away from the Soviet Union's alleged key role.
The rest

Seven quit charity over policy of bishops
Deplore effort to exclude same-sex adoptions
By Patricia Wen, Globe Staff
March 2, 2006

Seven members of the board of Catholic Charities of Boston, including prominent business and media leaders, announced their resignations yesterday, saying that the Massachusetts bishops' effort to prohibit gays from adopting children from Catholic social service agencies ''threatens the very essence of our Christian mission."

Among those who quit was Peter Meade, executive vice president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and chairman of the board until last month. Meade expressed concern that the bishops' position on gay adoptions will alienate Catholics in the state and reduce much-needed donations for the agency's charitable work.

We ''cannot participate in an effort to pursue legal permission to discriminate against Massachusetts citizens who want to play their part in building strong families," the seven members said in a statement.

The resignations are the latest development in a high-profile collision between leaders of the state's largest religious group and a population that increasingly embraces gay rights.
The rest

Teacher caught in Bush "rant"
The Overland High educator is on administrative leave. Cherry Creek's superintendent said a balanced viewpoint will be given to students.
By Karen Rouse Denver Post Staff Writer

An Overland High School teacher who criticized President Bush, capitalism and U.S. foreign policy during his geography class was placed on administrative leave Wednesday afternoon after a student who recorded the session went public with the tape.

In the 20-minute recording, made on an MP3 player, teacher Jay Bennish described capitalism as a system "at odds with human rights." He also said there were "eerie similarities" between what Bush said during his Jan. 28 State of the Union address and "things that Adolf Hitler used to say."

The United States was "probably the single most violent nation on planet Earth," Bennish also said on the tape.

Bennish, who has been part of Overland's social studies faculty since 2000, did not return calls seeking comment Wednesday. Cherry Creek School District officials are investigating the incident, but no disciplinary action has been taken, district spokeswoman Tustin Amole said.
Bennish was placed on leave "to take some of the pressure off of him" during the investigation, which could wrap up in a week, Amole said.

Minister Faces Reprimand for Marrying Gays
By LISA LEFF Associated Press Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A Presbyterian minister accused of marrying two lesbian couples in violation of the faith's position that marriage is between a man and a woman could face a reprimand or be forced to leave the ministry after more than 30 years.

The Rev. Jane Spahr of San Rafael was scheduled to be tried by a church judicial commission on Thursday for the ceremonies, conducted in 2004 and 2005.

Spahr, 63, argues she was honoring her personal conscience and relationship with God when she officiated at the ceremonies. If found guilty by the regional governing body of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Presbytery of the Redwoods, she could face anything from a rebuke to being removed from the ministry, said one of her lawyers, Timothy Cahn.
The rest

All Too Common: Taking Up Our Cross Daily
This is the third in a series of Lenten devotionals by a group of
Anglican bloggers and friends. Today’s entry is by Andy, of All Too Common blog. You can read other entries in the series here.

—Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Thursday After Ash Wednesday
Excerpt: "Today we remember the atonement of our Lord and how we are to follow Him, no matter the cost. The martyrs old, and those of today, are prime examples of someone giving their all to uphold the faith and to preach the gospel of salvation to all. For if we are not willing to stand, even in the hardest of times, what will it profit us?"

The rest at Lent and Beyond

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

O merciful Creator, hear;
In tender pity bow Thine ear:
Accept the tearful prayer we raise
In this our fast of forty days.

Each heart is manifest to Thee;
Thou knowest our infirmity:
Repentant now we seek Thy face;
Impart to us Thy pardoning grace.

Our sins are manifold and sore,
But spare Thou them who sin deplore;
And for Thine own Name’s sake make whole
The fainting and the weary soul.

Grant us to mortify each sense
By means of outward abstinence,
That so from every stain of sin
The soul may keep her fast within.

Blest Three in One, and One in Three
Almighty God, we pray to Thee,
That Thou wouldst now vouchsafe to bless
Our fast with fruits of righteousness.
Greg­o­ry I, 6th Cen­tu­ry Art

More denominations join Lent observance
Sense of purpose in ritual attracts people, minister says
Staff Writer

Immanuel Baptist Church in Belle Meade tonight will hold its first Ash Wednesday service, another in a growing number of denominations that once rejected Catholic and Anglican practices but are taking another look at them.

Immanuel won't actually use ashes, though. Congregants will read biblical passages related to sin and forgiveness for the church's observance of the beginning of Lent.

Along with Eastern Orthodox churches and the Roman Catholic Church, various Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian denominations observe Ash Wednesday, and millions mark it by going to church for special services and getting ashes in the shape of a cross smeared on their foreheads.

The day launches a period of penance and reflection that leads up to Easter, the holiest time of the year in the Christian tradition.
The rest

Archbishop's Sudan plea for tolerance
Date: March 3

A passionate appeal for tolerance towards religious minorities in Sudan was issued on his first visit to the country by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Williams this week. Dr Williams’ first visit to the country is also the first by an Archbishop of Canterbury since last year’s historic peace agreement between the mainly Christian South and the Islamist government of Khartoum.

Many Christian leaders nevertheless believe that the peace deal is being implemented too slowly. A Commission to protect the rights of non-Muslims has yet to be formed, more than a year after it was signed. “The official position of the government is that non-Muslims are welcome in the new Sudan and the hope is that they will be full citizens,” he said. “Now the details of that needs to be worked out and I think it is imperative that it should be.” He urged the government to encourage goodwill between the communities by returning church property which has been confiscated. He pointed to the example of the Episcopal Church guest house which was irregularly sold off. “If one wants to look for signs of goodwill towards a minority these are crucial signals,” he added. The most notable loss to the church is the Cathedral in Khartoum, which is now a museum in the grounds of the Presidential Palace.
The rest

UK: Lichfields bishops live Lent on minimum wage
Date: March 3

All of the bishops in Lichfield Diocese have agreed to live on the minimum wage during Lent. For Bishop Jonathan Gledhill, who is in charge of the diocese, he will be foregoing over £2,000 that he would usually receive for his stipend to try to learn what it is like to live on the breadline.

The Bishops of Shrewsbury, the Rt Rev Alan Smith, Stafford, the Rt Rev Dr Gordon Mursell, and the Bishop of Wolverhampton, the Rt Rev Michael Bourke, will also take £5.05 an hour, on the basis of a 40-hour week, giving the surplus to the diocesan Lent appeal. They said that they will also cut down on energy and the use of their private cars. “It sends the message that poverty still matters in society and is not something the Church should be ignoring,” said Bishop Bourke, who has done the experiment for Lent before.
The rest

Standing and Leaving
Matt Kennedy+

There has been a good deal of panic/anxiety lately over recently posted talks/reflections by bishop
Stanton of Dallas and bishop Duncan of Pittsburg.

I think it has been overblown.

Both bishops said what they have said from the very beginning. The orthodox are not leaving. They are standing. If you read back over Network speeches and sermons you will see the same theme repeated time and time again. The decisions of GC2003 represent a departure from Christian faith and practice. From the very beginning AAC and Network leaders have said that they will stand within the clear stream of the scriptures and Christian tradition stretching back to the Apostles and Christ himself and not follow ECUSA into the brackish waters of heresy.
The rest

Washington prayer too true for school
Judge rules against image in classroom, says teacher's rights limited on campus
Posted: February 28, 20068:24 p.m. Eastern

A federal judge has ruled against a public school teacher who filed a lawsuit after administrators removed Christian-themed postings from his classroom, including a depiction of George Washington praying at Valley Forge and news clippings about the faith of President Bush and former Attorney General John Ashcroft.

William Lee – a Spanish teacher at Tabb High School in York County, Va. – was represented by the Christian public-interest group
Rutherford Institute in U.S. District court, arguing his free-speech rights were violated.

The postings, removed at the beginning of the 2004-05 school year after a parent complained, included news articles about Bush's Christian faith and Ashcroft's prayer meetings with staffers.
The rest Painting:The Prayer At Valley Forge

For God's Sake
What 147 elk taught me about prayer.
by Philip Yancey
posted 03/01/2006 09:00 a.m.

The author Brennan Manning, who leads spiritual retreats several times each year, once told me that not a single person who has followed his regimen for a silent retreat has failed to hear from God. Intrigued and a bit skeptical, I signed up for one of his retreats, this one extending over five days. Every attendee met for an hour each day with Brennan, who would give us assignments in meditation and spiritual work. We also met together for daily worship, during which time only Brennan talked. Beyond this, we were free to spend our time as we wished, with only one requirement: two hours of prayer per day.

I doubt I had devoted more than 30 minutes to prayer at any one session in my life. The first day I wandered to the edge of a meadow and sat down with my back against a tree. I had brought along Brennan's assignment for the day and a notebook in which to record my thoughts. How long will I stay awake? I wondered.

To my great fortune, a herd of 147 elk (I had plenty of time to count them) wandered into the very field where I was sitting. To see one elk is exciting; to watch 147 elk in their natural habitat is enthralling. But I soon learned that to watch 147 elk for two hours is, to put it mildly, boring. They lowered their heads and chewed grass. They raised their heads in unison and looked at a raspy crow. They lowered their heads again and chewed grass. For two hours, nothing else happened. No mountain lions attacked; no bulls charged each other. All the elk bent over and chewed grass.
Meditation continues-Excellent!

HHS Removes Pro-Gay Web Page After Complaint By Family Research Center
By Gudrun Schultz
WASHINGTON, D.C., United States,
March 1, 2006

( – The Family Research Center (FRC) has succeeded in convincing the federal Department of Health and Human Services to remove pro-gay content on the department’s website.

In January 2006 the FRC sent a letter to Michael Leavitt, secretary for Health and Human Services, (HHS) complaining that the website was “loaded with biased, politically-charged language, such as condemnations of so-called ‘homophobia,’ ‘heterosexism,’ and ‘sexual prejudice.’” The FRC also objected to the website’s use of material from pro-homosexual activist groups, such as Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).

Peter Sprigg, with the FRC, said the web page focused on celebrating homosexuality, while useful health information on the site was minimal.

“There were links to outside organizations as information sources that people could go to and virtually all of those links were to pro-homosexual organizations. There was no balance,” he told Family News in Focus, a website of Focus on the Family.
The rest

Talkin’ ’Bout MySpace Generation
Activism as a Judicial Philosophy
March 1, 2006

Note: This commentary was delivered by Prison Fellowship President Mark Earley.

With the song “All by Myself” playing in the background, a teenage boy in the commercial confesses, “I skipped school just to do it. I wouldn’t hang out with my friends. I have to admit, I was addicted.” And then an announcer describes the symptoms of this “debilitating condition”: MSA, or “MySpace Addiction.” The fake commercial ends with a plug for a church youth group, “a place for real friends.”

If you’re 35 or older, the term MySpace probably does not register with you. But for many young people, this “social networking” website is the “place” to be. In just two years since it was launched, MySpace’s membership has jumped from zero to 47.3 million.

The way works is this: Members, mostly between the ages of 14 and 34, develop a profile, offering information about themselves, as well as photos. Besides talking about themselves, members mainly spend their time visiting the pages of “friends,” who, of course, are nearly all people they’ll never meet in “real life.” How should we as Christians think about this growing phenomenon?
The rest

Corrupt Translations and Distorted Doctrine
by Albert Mohler
Posted: Wednesday, March 01, 2006 at 5:23 am ET

Richard N, Ostling takes on the very idea of an "inclusive" language Bible translation in a
recent article. Here is how he describes the project:

Should the Bible call God the "Father" or "Lord"? Should Jesus be termed the "Son" of God or "Son" of "Man"? Should masculine words such as "king" and "kingdom" be allowed? Should Holy Writ have so many male pronouns?

Not if militant feminists have their way, as they do in an awkward rewrite of the complete Bible issued in four volumes: The Inclusive Hebrew Scriptures (three volumes subtitled The Torah, The Prophets, and The Writings) and The Inclusive New Testament (all from AltaMira).

These "degendered" Scriptures were produced for the liberal Roman Catholic Priests for Equality. The revisers say that "most scriptures read in worship services are still grossly sexist," and "the continued self-destructiveness of an all-male clergy" only worsens matters.
the rest

Bishop helps to launch new gay group

A bishop is giving his support to lesbian and gay equality in the Church of England, by helping to launch a new gay Christian group in his diocese.

The Rt Rev Richard Lewis, Bishop of the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese, will launch the group when he is the keynote speaker at a new branch of Changing Attitude.

Changing Attitude is a worldwide group that works for gay and lesbian affirmation within the Anglican communion and Bishop Richard is one of the organisation's 13 episcopal patrons.

Its goal is to create a church which "fully accepts, welcomes and offers equality of opportunity to lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

"A spokesman for the bishop told a local newspaper: “This is a subject that is close to his heart. Lesbian and gay Christians have made, and will continue to make, an important contribution to the work of the Church.

Court rules pro-lifers not racketeers
By Joyce Howard Price and Julia Duin
March 1, 2006

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled yesterday that federal extortion and racketeering laws cannot be used against protesters at abortion clinics, ending a legal battle that has gone on for 20 years.

The high court's 8-0 decision effectively bars efforts by pro-choice groups to bankrupt the pro-life movement by using federal anti-mob laws against protest groups, claiming that such organizations were violent criminal conspiracies.

But in his 15-page decision for the unanimous court, Justice Stephen G. Breyer ruled that "physical violence unrelated to robbery or extortion," such as demonstrations by abortion opponents at clinics, "falls outside the scope of the Hobbs Act," the federal extortion statute enacted in 1946.
The rest

Mississippi Moves to Ban Abortions
Wednesday, March 1, 2006 12:17 a.m. EST

A state House committee voted to ban most abortions in Mississippi, which already has some of the strictest abortion laws in the nation.

The bill approved by the House Public Health Committee on Tuesday would allow abortion only to save the pregnant woman's life. It would make no exception in cases of rape or incest. The bill now goes to the full House, which could vote next week, and then to the Senate.

South Dakota lawmakers passed a similar bill last week that was intended to provoke a court showdown over the legality of abortion.

The Mississippi lawmaker who introduced the near-ban, Democrat Steve Holland, said he acted because he was tired of piecemeal attempts to add new abortion restrictions year after year.
The rest

The House's Catholic Democrats Detail Role Religion Plays
Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Still reeling from the attacks on Sen. John F. Kerry's brand of Roman Catholicism during the 2004 presidential race, 55 House Democrats issued a joint statement yesterday on the central role that the Catholic faith plays in their public lives.

The signers said they were fed up with being labeled "good Catholics" or "bad Catholics" based on one issue -- abortion. They said their religion infuses their positions on many issues: poverty, war, health care and education.

"Some of us are pro-choice and some of us are pro-life," said Rep. William J. Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.). "But we respect each other and we're going to defend each other, because we're all operating in good conscience."
The rest

'Rapid Warming' Spreads Havoc in Canada's Forests
Tiny Beetles Destroying Pines

Doug Struck
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, March 1, 2006

QUESNEL, B.C. -- Millions of acres of Canada's lush green forests are turning red in spasms of death. A voracious beetle, whose population has exploded with the warming climate, is killing more trees than wildfires or logging.

The mountain pine beetle has infested an area three times the size of Maryland, devastating swaths of lodgepole pines and reshaping the future of the forest and the communities in it.

Mo. Court Upholds 24-Hour Abortion Wait

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld the state's 24-hour waiting period for abortions, a decision that turns the focus of the legal battle to federal court.

The unanimous ruling Tuesday by Missouri's highest court focused on whether the 2003 law ran contrary to the state constitution. The judges rejected arguments that it was overly vague and deprived people of liberty and privacy rights.

"It's a victory for the women of Missouri who find themselves in a crisis pregnancy but need the information and time to consider what's best for them," said Patty Skain, executive director of Missouri Right to Life.

Although considered a victory for anti-abortion groups, the ruling may not be the end of the matter. That's because Planned Parenthood affiliates, which filed the state case, also have challenged the law in federal court.
The rest

Americans and Jews villains in blockbuster
By Tony Paterson
March 1, 2006

BERLIN -- A virulently anti-Semitic film about the Iraq war has provoked a storm of protest in Germany after it sold out to cheering audiences from the country's 2.5-million-strong Turkish community within days of being released.

"Valley of the Wolves," by the Turkish director Serdan Akar, shows crazed American GIs massacring innocent guests at a wedding party and scenes in which a Jewish surgeon removes organs from Iraqi prisoners in a style reminiscent of the Nazi death-camp doctor Josef Mengele.

Bavaria's interior minister conceded last week that he had dispatched intelligence service agents to cinemas showing the film to "gauge" audience reaction and identify potential radicals.

Edmund Stoiber, the state's conservative governor, has appealed to cinema operators to remove what he described as "this racist and anti-Western hate film" from their programs.
The rest

Wisconsin: Same-sex marriage goes to voters
Measure to define marriage as being between man, woman will be on Nov. 7 ballot
Posted: Feb. 28, 2006

Madison - The state Assembly on Tuesday put the final legislative stamp on a constitutional amendment that would bar same-sex marriages in Wisconsin, sending it to voters in a statewide referendum in November.

The Assembly voted 62-31 to approve the Republican-sponsored amendment.

Now, it goes on the ballot for the Nov. 7 election, in which Democratic incumbents Gov. Jim Doyle and Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager are up for re-election.

With a wide margin of support expected, the final step for the amendment was all but a done deal by the time lawmakers took the floor late Tuesday afternoon. Groups that have mobilized to back or oppose the bill were already looking past the final vote toward the campaign that kicks off today.
The rest

'Heretical' Unitarians cast out by cathedral
By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
Ruth Gledhill's weblog

CHESTER CATHEDRAL has denounced the Unitarian Church for heretical views and banned its ministers and members from holding their annual service there.

The service, the high point of the Unitarian Church’s General Assembly, has been held three times at Chester since 2001. It has also taken place at Guildford Cathedral.

But Chester Cathedral has rescinded its booking after a “review” of the cathedral statutes and the doctrines of the Church of England and the Unitarian Church. The decision by the Dean and Chapter, which consists of laity as well as clergy, has caused dismay among Unitarians. One said: “In the entrance to Chester Cathedral there are signs saying ‘welcome’ in 26 languages. A Unitarian could be forgiven for doubting their sincerity.”

Unitarians have been excluded after the Bishop of Chester, the Right Rev Dr Peter Forster, a leading evangelical, received a complaint about the unorthodox beliefs of some Unitarians.
He asked Canon Christopher Burkett, his chaplain and a residentiary canon at the cathedral, to carry out a review.

Canon Burkett concluded that the Unitarian service was in breach of the cathedral statutes, which stipulate that worship must be in accordance with the doctrines of the Church of England.
The rest

Lent and Beyond: Karen B: Seek the Lord and Live

This meditation for Ash Wednesday is the second entry in the Anglican Bloggers Lenten Collaboration series of daily devotionals that will be posted on Lent & Beyond throughout Lent. Most entries will be by guest bloggers, but today’s entry is by Lent & Beyond coordinator Karen B.

"Do we truly believe that in Christ is life, and that to live we must submit to our heavenly Father?

I don’t just mean this in terms of salvation and eternal life and the debates about apologetics, and the uniqueness of Christ in which we so often get caught up. I am asking myself this question today and challenging each of us to ask it of ourselves daily throughout Lent. Is Christ our life? Are we willing to submit our wills and desires to God? To choose to do what pleases Him? Do we believe that the joy, life and freedom He offers, that we find in yielding to and obeying Him is better, more satisfying that the empty pleasures of this world?"

The rest here

Lent 2006 - Pope Benedict XVI
Here is
Benedict XVI's message for Lent 2006, published on January 31, 2006 by the Holy See.

"Jesus, at the sight of the crowds, was moved with pity" (Matthew 9:36)

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Lent is a privileged time of interior pilgrimage towards Him Who is the fount of mercy. It is a pilgrimage in which He Himself accompanies us through the desert of our poverty, sustaining us on our way towards the intense joy of Easter. Even in the "valley of darkness" of which the Psalmist speaks (Psalm 23:4), while the tempter prompts us to despair or to place a vain hope in the work of our own hands, God is there to guard us and sustain us. Yes, even today the Lord hears the cry of the multitudes longing for joy, peace, and love. As in every age, they feel abandoned. Yet, even in the desolation of misery, loneliness, violence and hunger that indiscriminately afflict children, adults, and the elderly, God does not allow darkness to prevail. In fact, in the words of my beloved Predecessor, Pope John Paul II, there is a "divine limit imposed upon evil," namely, mercy ("Memory and Identity," pp. 19ff.). It is with these thoughts in mind that I have chosen as my theme for this Message the Gospel text: "Jesus, at the sight of the crowds, was moved with pity" (Matthew 9:36). The rest

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Let thy desire be the vision of God,
thy fear the loss of Him,
thy sorrow His absence,
and thy joy in that which may take thee to Him;
and thy life shall be in great peace.
Teresa of Avila photo

Movies and the marketplace
Big studios sanitize scripts while independents clean up on awards
Gene Edward Veith

When Sony Pictures acquired The Pink Panther, the $80 million Steve Martin showcase was all finished and ready to be released. But top Sony movie executive Amy Pascal was not pleased. That version depicted Inspector Clouseau as a dirty old man in a picture filled with crude sex jokes. She demanded cuts of the offensive material. And then more cuts.

"I saw a great family movie in the movie," Ms. Pascal told the Los Angeles Times, "but not everything was appropriate for a family audience." She demanded not only cuts and re-edits, but expensive re-shootings. And then Ms. Pascal would tell the director, "You ain't done yet."

After spending $5 million on changes, the tamed Pink Panther earned a PG rating. And though filmmakers might have cut a little bit more (see "
The Pink Panther review," Feb. 25), the resulting movie appealed to all ages and became a bonafide hit. Story

Teamwork Essential for Effective Leadership, Reveals New Study
Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2006 Posted: 10:15:20AM EST

More senior pastors of Protestant churches now consider themselves to be effective leaders, according to a new survey by The Barna Group. Few, however, say they are effective at strategic leadership.

The Barna study, released Monday, found a number of challenges when it comes to understanding strategic thinking and team-building. Few pastors understand the different types of leaders and thus tend to misdiagnose a leader's attributes. Additionally, they fail to understand how to best operate in a team-based environment.

Leaders range from those who direct and strategize to those who build teams and operate. In most cases, senior pastors are directing leaders, according to the study. Directing leaders major on motivation, empowerment, resource acquisition and vision casting. In those aspects, more than nine out of every 10 senior pastors consider themselves effective leaders - a high jump from 2001 when less than three-fourths deemed themselves as effective. However, only one out of every seven says they are effective at thinking and acting strategically.
the rest

Court weighs $3 billion Calif. stem cell agency's future

HAYWARD, Calif. (AP) — The financial future of California's $3 billion human embryonic stem cell research institute went on trial Monday as taxpayer groups tried to block the state-funded research.
Two lawsuits seek to invalidate the law that created the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, which is authorized to hand out an average of $300 million in research grants annually. The lawsuits claim the agency violates a constitutional mandate that the state control spending of taxpayer dollars.

Robert Taylor, who represents the People's Advocate and National Tax Limitation Foundation, told a judge that the 29 members who oversee the institute and the people they appoint to research committees do not report directly to the state.

"The delegates who were selected from time-to-time were acting as free agents," Taylor told Alameda County Superior Court Judge Bonnie Lewman Sabraw during his opening statement.
Sabraw is hearing the trial without a jury. The second lawsuit was filed by the non-profit California Family Bioethics Council, which describes itself as a stem cell research watchdog.
The rest

Archbishop Offers Sudan Christians Continuous Prayer Support
Dr Rowan Williams has continued his pre-Lent visit to Sudan, telling the Christian community that they have been in his prayers.
Posted: Tuesday, February 28 , 2006, 16:13 (UK)

Dr Rowan Williams has continued his pre-Lent visit to Sudan, telling the Christian community that they have been in his prayers.

The passionate Archbishop of Canterbury said, “Day by day we remember you in our prayers. You are not forgotten here and when I return it will be a joy to share with fellow Christians in Britain what I have seen here and what I have learnt from you.”

The address came as the spiritual head of the 77 million-member worldwide Anglican Communion was visiting a displaced people’s camp in the suburbs of Khartoum.

Dr Williams also spoke on the role of the Church: “As we try to show one another the love of God we make a light in the darkness; we make it possible for those who live in darkness or despair to see glory. Wherever we are, whatever the difficulty, whatever the challenge before us, we are still able to make that light shine.”

Later, outside the Episcopal Church of Sudan, Dr Williams praised the Church for its faithfulness during the devastating civil war conflict. Story

Binding Charity
Massachusetts and Religious Freedom
Chuck Colson
February 28, 2006

If I told you that someone’s religious freedom was being violated or they were being persecuted, you would immediately think that I was talking about what’s happening in China or Vietnam.
And while these are certainly the most egregious examples, religious freedom is also being trampled in a place that is, for me at least, closer to home: Massachusetts.

In Massachusetts, adoption agencies must be licensed by the state and adhere to the state’s anti-discrimination laws, including laws prohibiting discrimination against gay couples.

This puts Catholic Charities in a bind. The Vatican has called gay adoptions “gravely immoral” and said that they do “violence” to children. By “violence” it means taking advantage of the children’s “dependency” to place them “in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development.”
The rest

Pre-implanted embryos have right to life, pope says
In vitro procedure opposed because birth often not the goal
By Nicole Winfield
The Associated Press

Vatican City - Pope Benedict XVI said Monday that embryos developed for in vitro fertilization deserve the same right to life as fetuses, children and adults - and that that right extends to embryos even before they are transferred into a woman's womb.

The Vatican has long held that human life begins at conception, but Benedict's comments were significant because he specified that even an embryo in its earliest stages - when it is just a few cells - is just as much a human life as an older being.
the rest

Why the Left doesn't blame Muslims for Muslim violence
Feb 28, 2006
Dennis Prager

There's a certain consistent pattern regarding the worldwide Left's assessment of culpability for Muslim terror. It is the fault of the murdered.

The most recent example is the blaming of Denmark, or at least the Danish newspaper, for publishing cartoons of Muhammad. From Kofi Annan to The New York Times -- and the other American newspapers that declared respect for religious symbols a new journalistic virtue -- liberal and leftist opinion always condemns violent Muslim demonstrations, but always with a "but." The "but" is that in the final analysis, it was the Danish and other European papers' faults for insulting the Muslim prophet.

This is only the latest example of finding the victims of Islamic violence responsible for that violence.
the rest

Chocolate linked to lower blood pressure
Tuesday, February 28, 2006 09:44:01 AM

Leave it to the Dutch to help demonstrate the health benefits of chocolate. A study of older men in The Netherlands, known for its luscious chocolate, indicated those who ate the equivalent of one-third of a chocolate bar every day had lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of death.

The researchers say, however, it's too early to conclude it was chocolate that led to better health. The men who ate more cocoa products could have shared other qualities that made them healthier. Experts also point out that eating too much chocolate can make you fat _ a risk for both heart disease and high blood pressure.

"It's way too early to make recommendations about whether people should eat more cocoa or chocolate," said Brian Buijsse, a nutritional epidemiologist at Wageningen University in The Netherlands, who co-authored the study.

Still, the Dutch study, supported by grants from the Netherlands Prevention Foundation, appears to be the largest so far to document a health effect for cocoa beans. And it confirms findings of smaller, shorter-term studies that also linked chocolate with lower blood pressure.

Study: New York Tops In Taxes
Monday, Feb. 27, 2006 9:18 p.m. EST

Thanks to its sky-high personal income, sales and business taxes New York state has the least business-friendly climate in the nation.

According to a study by the tax foundation, the State Business Tax Climate Index (SBTCI): "Taxes matter to business. Taxes affect business decisions, job creation and retention, plant location, competitiveness and the long-term health of a state's economy.

"Most importantly, taxes diminish profits. If taxes take a larger portion of profits, that cost is passed along to either consumers (through higher prices), workers (through lower wages or fewer jobs), or shareholders (through lower dividends or share value). Thus a state with lower tax costs will be more attractive to business investment.
The rest

Senior Iran cleric says attacks on embassies permissible
Tue. 28 Feb 2006
Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Feb. 28 – A senior Iranian cleric has approved attacks on foreign embassies in Tehran over the publication of insulting cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in European dailies, a website belonging to the office of hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reported.

“Muslims must take the most ferocious stance against insults to Islamic sanctities”, the senior cleric told Ayatollah Dorri Najaf-Abadi, the country’s Chief State Prosecutor, according to the Persian-language website Khedmat.

“If setting fire to embassies of countries that insult the Prophet aims to show that these countries no longer have any place in Islamic countries then this act is permissible”, the senior ayatollah was quoted as saying.

“Anyone who dies in this path [of protests against the insults] is a martyr”, he said.

Toll in Iraq's Deadly Surge: 1,300
Morgue Count Eclipses Other Tallies Since Shrine Attack
Ellen Knickmeyer and Bassam Sebti
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, February 28, 2006

BAGHDAD, Feb. 27 -- Grisly attacks and other sectarian violence unleashed by last week's bombing of a Shiite Muslim shrine have killed more than 1,300 Iraqis, making the past few days the deadliest of the war outside of major U.S. offensives, according to Baghdad's main morgue.

The toll was more than three times higher than the figure previously reported by the U.S. military and the news media.
the rest

Iran to allot $250 million to PA
Feb. 28, 2006 16:20

The London-based Dar al-Hiyat newspaper reported on Tuesday that Iran would allocate $250 million to the Palestinian Authority to replace the funding withheld by Israel and the United States following Hamas' election victory.

In an interview with the newspaper, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said that he officially approved the Iranian support for the new Hamas-led PA.
the rest

Supreme Court rules against abortion clinics
Justices rule anti-abortion protests may not be banned using extortion laws
Updated: 10:26 a.m. ET Feb. 28, 2006

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court dealt a setback Tuesday to abortion clinics in a two-decade-old legal fight over anti-abortion protests, ruling that federal extortion and racketeering laws cannot be used to ban demonstrations.

Anti-abortion groups brought the appeal after the 7th Circuit had asked a trial judge to determine whether a nationwide injunction could be supported by charges that protesters had made threats of violence absent a connection with robbery or extortion.

The 8-0 decision ends a case that the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had kept alive despite a 2003 decision by the high court that lifted a nationwide injunction on anti-abortion groups led by Joseph Scheidler and others.
The rest

100,000 copies of new Bible sold

A compact version of the Bible has sold 100,000 copies since it was unveiled at Canterbury Cathedral last September.

The 100-Minute Bible was edited by the Reverend Michael Hinton, from Dover, in Kent, who said it could be read in less than two hours.

It has been launched in Australia and will be heading for the US and Canada.

The rest

Captain Yips: Making Room in Our Imaginations for God

This meditation for Shrove Tuesday is the first entry in the Anglican Bloggers Lenten Collaboration series of daily devotionals that will be posted on Lent & Beyond throughout Lent. Today’s entry is by guest blogger Captain Yips.——

Ash Wednesday and Lent are upon us. It’s Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, and although our culture has mostly turned from the ascetic deprivations of Lent, we’ve kept the Tuesday blow-out. We won’t fast on Wednesday, but we’ll sure eat and drink on Tuesday.

There’s a meteorological Lent, too. Although we’re in a transitional period as daylight increases daily, Ash Wednesday is in my mind always a grey, austere day, a day of thin, watery light, damp chill, and a certain lack of vigor. A fragment of a poem I wrote long ago always bubbles up, though the rest is long forgotten:

We meet in small company in the grey morning,
to share our little meal of bread and wine.

The rest at Lent and Beyond

To the readers of this blog:
Lent and Beyond has gathered together a team of Anglican bloggers to prepare a meditation for each day of Lent. Many will be specifically written just for this effort and I will trackback each day to Lent and Beyond, but feel free to go there yourself (put it in your favorites!) and see what else they have to offer.

Some of the people and blogs involved:
Announcing an All-Star Anglican Lenten Blogging Collaboration
Updated: Feb. 27, 12:00 EST

We at Lent & Beyond are very excited to announce that throughout Lent 2006 we will be posting daily Lenten devotionals from Anglican bloggers (and a few non-Anglican friends) from all over North America, and even a few from overseas.

We have more than 20 contributors who have signed on to this project (not counting the
four Lent & Beyond bloggers: Karen B., Jill Woodliff, Tim Fountain & Torre Bissell). A list of some of the blogs/bloggers who will be contributing Lenten devotionals includes:

All Too Common
Becca Chapman (
Becca & Bella)
Fr. Binky (
CaNN empire founder & ruler)
Captain Yips
Todd Granger (
The Confessing Reader)
Brad Drell (
Drell’s Descants)
David Ould (
Drinking at the Whitehorse Inn)
Gadget Vicar
Fr. Richard Kew (
The Kew Continuum)
Jeffrey Steel (
Meam Commemorationem)
Fr. Patrick Allen (
Mine Iron Heart)
Rather Not
Townsend Waddill (
Romans 12:2)
Fr. Rob Eaton (
St. John’s Tulare, CA)
Chip Johnson (
South Dakota Anglican)
Rick Harris (
Stand Firm Alabama)
Pat Dague (
Fr. WB (
Anglican Catholic Blog – a/k/a Whitehall)

And there are MORE! The above list represents those for whom I have specific posting dates nailed down. I’ll add additional names as their posting dates are confirmed. You’ll be able to find each day’s entry, along with other Lenten prayers and resources by clicking on the
Lent 2006 category Karen B. at Lent and Beyond

Monday, February 27, 2006

If you will study the history of Christ's ministry from Baptism to Ascension, you will discover that it is mostly made up of little words, little deeds, little prayers, little sympathies, adding themselves together in unwearied succession. The Gospel is full of divine attempts to help and heal, in the body, mind and heart, individual men. The completed beauty of Christ's life is only the added beauty of little inconspicuous acts of beauty -- talking with the woman at the well; going far up into the North country to talk with the Syrophenician woman; showing the young ruler the stealthy ambition laid away in his heart, that kept him out of the kingdom of Heaven; shedding a tear at the grave of Lazarus; teaching a little knot of followers how to pray; preaching the Gospel one Sunday afternoon to two disciples going out to Emmaus; kindling a fire and broiling fish, that His disciples might have a breakfast waiting for them when they came ashore after a night of fishing, cold, tired, discouraged. All of these things, you see, let us in so easily into the real quality and tone of God's interests, so specific, so narrowed down, so enlisted in what is small, so engrossed in what is minute. ... Charles Henry Parkhurst Art

Collop Monday

Well, if you think people might ask you what a "Shrove" is, think of the blank looks you'll get when you inform them that it is "Collop Monday."

What, you ask, is a collop? It is a slab of meat. A steak, if you will. The picture is of a collop of venison, sufficiently larded, and spitted. Today was the day when slabs of meat would be salted and hung up until Lent was over.

The rest at Apostolicity

I learned something new today!

Making War-Talking Peace
The Battle for American Anglicanism is a fight worth having
by Matt Kennedy

One of the more disturbing aspects of the current Episcopal turmoil is the obsession many leaders have with language that denies the true extent and depth of our divisions.

There is, these leaders say, much more that unites us than divides us. We must “get on with the mission” and “agree to disagree.” That, after all is the essence of Anglicanism. Peace in our time.

This quote from bishop Peter Lee of Virginia's pastoral address is a prime example:
"One of the historic strengths of our Anglican tradition is our capacity to hold together persons with different emphases, even conflicting emphases in their understanding of the gospel. That historic Anglican tradition is threatened by the differences that now capture our attention. And our differences are too often leading us to focus on our internal life, rather than on the world to which we are sent by Christ’s great commission and great commandment."

The rest at Stand Firm

Is Abortion a Moral Issue? A Fascinating Debate on the Left
Albert Mohler
Monday, February 27, 2006

America has been embroiled in a seemingly endless debate over the issue of abortion for four decades now, but the most fascinating dispute on this issue may now be among those who consider themselves, in one way or another, advocates of abortion rights.

An unprecedented view into this debate is available on the pages of prominent Web site that features some of the liveliest reporting available anywhere today. Nevertheless, this exchange between writers William Saletan and Katha Pollitt did not begin on the Internet, but in the pages of The New York Times and The Nation.

Saletan fired the first salvo, suggesting in an op/ed commentary published in The New York Times that pro-choicers should admit that abortion is "bad" and that those who support abortion rights should work toward a truly dramatic reduction in the total number of abortions.

Saletan's argument is not exactly new, either for himself or for the movement he supports. In his 2004 book, Bearing Right: How Conservatives Won the Abortion War, Saletan offered some of the most incisive and perceptive analysis of the national abortion debate. In essence, Saletan argued that America has settled on a fragile consensus he described as "conservative pro-choice." Americans are quite squeamish about abortion itself, but have resisted efforts to eliminate access to abortion altogether.
The rest

Churchgoers Rattled, Resolute After Sunday Service Shooting
Monday, Feb. 27, 2006
Posted: 9:43:39AM EST

Churchgoers at Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit were rattled but resolute in moving forward after the fatal shooting of one of their members during a service on Sunday, the result of an apparent domestic dispute.

"The sanctity of our sanctuary has been disturbed," said the Rev. Curtis R. Grant, Zion Hope's pastor for eight years, according to the Detroit Free-Press. "We're just trying to get the families and the children through this tragedy."Police said gunman Kevin L. Collins, 22, of Detroit had walked in to the 11 a.m. service looking for his girlfriend but instead saw her mother, Rosa Williams, 38, also of Detroit. Witnesses say he demanded to know where Williams’ daughter was. When Williams refused to say, Collins left. He later returned to the balcony and shot Williams, police said, according to the Free-Press.