God is interested in developing your character. At times He lets you proceed, but He will never let you go too far without discipline to bring you back. In your relationship with God, He may let you make a wrong decision. Then the Spirit of God causes you to recognize that it is not God's will. He guides you back to the right path. He will clarify what He wants. He will even take the circumstances of your disobedience and work that together for good (Rom. 8:28) as He corrects you and teaches you His ways. ...Henry Blackaby photo
Welcome to Transfigurations! This blog is intended to serve the orthodox Anglican community and the wider Christian community. We pray that all that is posted here will be faithful to the Scriptures as the inspired word of God, speak the truth in love, edify, bless and transform this local body of Christ, and be an impetus for revival, repentance, prayer and intercession!
Saturday, November 25, 2006
'On Faith' Conversations Shed Light on Religion
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Sat, Nov. 25 2006 12:02 PM ET
Newsweek Magazine and The Washington Post created a new online interfaith dialogue "On Faith" featuring opinions from some of the nation's top evangelical leaders and other religious heads.
Launched earlier this month, "On Faith" features conversations on religion with more than 60 panelists, including Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission; Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church; Madeleine Albright, the first woman Secretary of State; evangelist Luis Palau, head of the Luis Palau Association; and Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
The new dialogue comes out of a continued fascination on religion that is most pervasive yet least understood, as the makers of "On Faith" stated. the rest
Diocese could ask for split
Church's stance on gay clergy 'heretical,' S.J. bishop wrote
By Anna Kaplan
Record Staff Writer
November 25, 2006
The ripple effects of the American Episcopal Church having ordained an openly gay bishop three years ago continue, and the Diocese of San Joaquin could decide next weekend whether to split from the church because of it.
The bishop of the Fresno-based diocese, John-David Schofield, will introduce amendments to the diocesan constitution at its convention next weekend calling for such a split.
He will call for the organization of more than 50 parishes from Lodi to Bakersfield and eastward to Nevada to become affiliated with the parent church in England instead of the American church.
But the national office of the Episcopal Church says such a move is not allowed. the rest
'The Nativity Story' stands out
By Brent Bozell III
Friday, November 24, 2006
Excerpt: Those looking for the standard Hollywood fare will be disappointed. The story of Our Lord's passion is packed with drama and violence -- and similarly, though to a far lesser extent, are these elements present in the story of the birth of Christ. But whereas "The Passion" is replete with conflict -- the essential ingredient in the Tinseltown soup -- the story of the birth of Jesus has none of it.
Mary obediently accepted God's will, as did Joseph. The Magi, the shepherds, the peasants -- all who beheld the Child Jesus -- believed. Thus in the movie we see Joseph take Mary on a donkey to Bethlehem. She has a baby. Shepherds and kings arrive with awe. Without a religious background, it might seem too saccharine to excite the taste buds of your average popcorn-chomping cineplex citizen.
The makers of "The Nativity Story" have included action and (sanitized) violence in the story because they were present, too. Thus we watch the armored goons of Herod on horseback executing the terrible command to slaughter the firstborn sons in Bethlehem under the age of two in the futile attempt to foil the plans of God, while the Herod character chews the scenery with dead-eyed menace. Still, it seems a bit forced, the resignation to the reality that today's moviemaker must find some way to "entertain" today's moviegoer in this age of bombastic sound effects and computerized whiz-bangery.
But at its heart, this is a gentle, serene, beautiful story about the creation of the Holy Family -- how Mary quietly accepted that which logically could not be understand; how, facing a life as outcasts once their community in Nazareth learned Mary was pregnant before marriage, Joseph took Mary on the long, arduous trip to Bethlehem; and how, contrary to all human expectation, the King of Kings chose birth in the most humble of settings, the animal's manger. the rest
'Tweens' becoming the new teens
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Zach Plante is close with his parents – he plays baseball with them and, on weekends, helps with work in the small vineyard they keep at their northern California home.
Lately, though, his parents have begun to notice subtle changes in their son. Among other things, he's announced that he wants to grow his hair longer – and sometimes greets his father with "Yo, Dad!"
"Little comments will come out of his mouth that have a bit of that teen swagger," says Tom Plante, Zach's dad.
Thing is, Zach isn't a teen. He's 10 years old – one part, a fun-loving fifth-grader who likes to watch the Animal Planet network and play with his dog and pet gecko, the other a soon-to-be middle schooler who wants an iPod. the rest
Pop music's sex ed
By L. Brent Bozell IIIAugust 21, 2006
A few years ago, researchers at the Rand Corp. released a study that found heavy exposure to sexual content on TV shows relates strongly to teenagers' initiation of intercourse or their progression to more advanced sexual activities.
To some, those results seemed so reasonable because, well, aren't they so obvious? But there are always those who won't accept the obvious, even when it's presented for them on a scientifically documented silver tray. Critics were quick to raise a chicken-and-egg question: Couldn't it also be argued that teenagers already predisposed to sexual activity have a predilection for sexier TV shows?
In the scientific sense, it is certainly possible that cause and effect may not be as simple as "monkey see, monkey do." But it's odd that some activists can berate corporations for tempting children into eating Twinkies and drinking sugary sodas, but then don't see corporations pushing hypersexual entertainment as tempting the young into premature sexual activity.
Now the Rand Corp. has a new study, published in the August issue of the journal Pediatrics, taking on another major teenage influence: their music. The same alarming results jump off the page. According to the study, based on interviews with nearly 1,500 teens, those who said they listened to sexually explicit music were almost twice as likely to start having sex within the following two years than those who listen to little or none of that music. This holds true for boys and girls as well as for whites and nonwhites, even after accounting for a list of other personal and social factors associated with adolescent sexual behavior. the rest
Crossed what line?
By Cal Thomas
Nov. 23, 2006
Even more bizarre than the prospect of O.J. Simpson "confessing" to the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in a book and TV show and getting a few million for it (proving crime can pay) was the cancellation of both by Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corporation. The most often heard indictment of this project was that the deal had "crossed the line."
Given what passes for entertainment on TV these days, I am relieved to know some people believe there is a line to cross. I just wish they would tell me where it is and what happens when it's violated. Some thought the line was crossed in that fraction of a second that Janet Jackson's breast was exposed during a Super Bowl halftime show. The Federal Communications Commission did and slapped CBS with a big fine. the rest
Raymond Dague: Episcopal Bishop Subverts Judicial Ethics
When the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church met in Chicago from November 15 to 18, Bishop Stacy Sauls of Lexington, Kentucky was there and presented the work of his “task force” on legal matters related to the widening split in the church.
According to an Episcopal News Service story and media accounts of the event, “Sauls says that lawyers, including several diocesan chancellors and a judge on the 11th U.S. District Court of Appeals, are helping the bishops prepare” for litigation.
This task force, according to the Associated Press story, has been working to “developed a ‘brief bank’ of court filings and legal research to help dioceses with litigation and has also identified potential expert witnesses” for the litigation. (Expert witnesses are used at a trial to convince the jury or judge that one side in the litigation should prevail.) The task force is also “working on a position paper ‘setting forth possible common grounds which could be sought so that the split in The Episcopal Church which is feared by the task force might be avoided.’”
There is nothing wrong with lawyers meeting to plan legal strategy. That is what lawyers do. As an attorney, I know how prudent it is to plan for litigation, both to avoid it, and if it cannot be avoided, to handle it well once the lawsuits start to fly. I do not begrudge any attorneys brainstorming with one another. Lawyers are advocates, and our roles of advocacy certainly involve advising clients and preparing for lawsuits.
It is distasteful (to say the least) to scheme to sue another diocese of the church. I cannot imagine participating in a “task force” to sue another diocese. I may disagree with the theology and practice of New Hampshire or Newark (and I vehemently disagree with them), but I am not part of any plan to sue them, nor will I be. If these dioceses choose to walk apart from the faith once delivered, that is their concern. They will have to answer to God, but they should not have to answer to the courts. Apparently several of my fellow chancellors have no such compunction, and are willing to be part of Stacy Sauls’ task force to sue.
What is a federal judge doing in all this? The press story ambiguously says that the judge in question is on the “11th U.S. District Court of Appeals.” This is a confusing reference, since there is in the federal system a “district court,” and a “circuit court of appeals,” but no “district court of appeals.” The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals is the federal appeals court below the U.S. Supreme Court which hears appeals from the nine district courts located in Alabama, Florida and Georgia. But whether this un-named federal judge is a circuit court or a district court judge is irrelevant. Why is a federal judge on a task force plotting legal strategy for anticipated litigation?
It is wrong for a federal judge to participate in a “task force” planning to sue parishes and dioceses in the Episcopal Church. Such conduct violates Canons 2(b) and 5(b)(1) of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges. If a judge wants to quit the bench and head back to the practice of law, he is free to advise clients and be a part of the task force Stacy Sauls has assembled. But while he remains on the bench, this sort of behavior violates judicial and legal ethics.
Lawyers as well as judges have an ethical duty to protect the impartiality and fairness of the legal profession. It is just as illegal for a lawyer to offer a bribe as it is for a judge to accept a bribe. Neither a lawyer nor a judge should be part of trying to recruit a judge to take sides in a legal battle. Stacy Sauls is a bishop of the Episcopal Church, but he is also a lawyer. Apparently he feels that his duties as a bishop do not bar him from subverting the judiciary into violating their ethical duties.
I am not a bishop, so I will not lecture Stacy Sauls about his ethics as a bishop. I’ll leave that to his fellow bishops. But as a lawyer, I can say that it sure looks like he is violating his oath as an attorney in doing this.
Christians are not supposed to sue one another in the courts, says 1 Corinthians 6:4-8. But apparently this bishop/lawyer takes as loose a view of the scriptures as he does of legal and judicial ethics. This is sordid behavior for one who once took an oath to uphold the rule of law. One wonders whether this bishop/lawyer will claim that the Holy Spirit somehow told him to "Go For It" as he ropes diocesan chancellors and a judge into his schemes to sue parishes and dioceses.
Raymond Dague is a New York attorney and an assistant chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Christ made it clear that His coming, far from meaning peace, meant war. His message was a fire that would set society ablaze with division and strife. ...Billy Graham photo
Should pain and suffering, sorrow, and grief, rise up like clouds and overshadow for a time the Sun of Righteousness and hide Him from your view, do not be dismayed, for in the end this cloud of woe will descend in showers of blessing on your head, and the Sun of Righteousness rise upon you to set no more for ever. ...Sadhu Sundar Singh
An Open Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury from the Episcopal Diocese of Washington Regarding requests for alternative primatial oversight
Dear Archbishop Williams:
We write as members of The Episcopal Church to express our deep concern about the requests for "alternative primatial oversight" that have come from eight of our dioceses since the 2006 General Convention. Such a request is unprecedented, and we believe that granting any of these requests would pose a grave danger to the Anglican Communion. While we intend to publicize the contents, we are sending this to you in advance of publication in the hope you will have the opportunity to see it first.
An important aspect of our Anglican identity is our comprehensiveness as a reformed and catholic church in which our unity is expressed in common prayer rather than adherence to a formal confession of faith other than the Creeds.
Historically, Anglicans have been willing to live together with a wide spectrum of theological perspectives. As you remind us in your June 2006 statement "The Challenge and Hope of Being an Anglican Today," our distinctive Anglican inheritance includes "a reformed commitment to the absolute priority of the Bible for deciding doctrine, a catholic loyalty to the sacraments and the threefold ministry of bishops, priests and deacons, and a habit of cultural sensitivity and intellectual flexibility that does not seek to close down unexpected questions too quickly."
Drawing on these three components together, we are rooted in Christ, and our focus in Christ enables us to live with diverse and even at times conflicting points of view. Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane has recently commented: "It is because Jesus Christ, second person of the Trinity made flesh, is our goal, our end, our telos, the central focus and direction of our lives, that Anglicanism has found through the ages that we can afford to live with messiness, ambiguity and anomaly at the edges." the rest at the AAC blog
Deadly toll of botched abortions
Unsafe abortions in the developing world kill 68,000 women a year, research suggests.
They also lead to at least five million other people going to hospital for infection and other complications, the Lancet study estimates.
A team from New York's Guttmacher Institute made their estimate after analysing data from 13 countries.
They suggested around 19 million unsafe abortions take place around the world each year. the rest
COMMON DECLARATION of Pope Benedict XVI and the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams
From the Vatican, 23 November 2006
Forty years ago, our predecessors, Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey, met together in this city sanctified by the ministry and the blood of the Apostles Peter and Paul. They began a new journey of reconciliation based on the Gospels and the ancient common traditions.
Centuries of estrangement between Anglicans and Catholics were replaced by a new desire for partnership and co-operation, as the real but incomplete communion we share was rediscovered and affirmed. Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Ramsey undertook at that time to establish a dialogue in which matters which had been divisive in the past might be addressed from a fresh perspective with truth and love.
Since that meeting, the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion have entered into a process of fruitful dialogue, which has been marked by the discovery of significant elements of shared faith and a desire to give expression, through joint prayer, witness and service, to that which we hold in common. Over thirty-five years, the Anglican - Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) has produced a number of important documents which seek to articulate the faith we share. In the ten years since the most recent Common Declaration was signed by the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the second phase of ARCIC has completed its mandate, with the publication of the documents The Gift of Authority (1999) and Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ (2005). We are grateful to the theologians who have prayed and worked together in the preparation of these texts, which await further study and reflection.
True ecumenism goes beyond theological dialogue; it touches our spiritual lives and our common witness. As our dialogue has developed, many Catholics and Anglicans have found in each other a love for Christ which invites us into practical co-operation and service. This fellowship in the service of Christ, experienced by many of our communities around the world, adds a further impetus to our relationship. The International Anglican - Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) has been engaged in an exploration of the appropriate ways in which our shared mission to proclaim new life in Christ to the world can be advanced and nurtured. Their report, which sets out both a summary of the central conclusions of ARCIC and makes proposals for growing together in mission and witness, has recently been completed and submitted for review to the Anglican Communion Office and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and we express our gratitude for their work. the rest
Sexuality separates Catholics, Anglicans
November 24 2006
By Frances D'Emilio
Vatican City - Pope Benedict XVI and Anglican leader Rowan Williams said there were "serious obstacles" to closer ties between their churches, a blunt acknowledgement of Vatican disapproval of gay bishops, women priests and blessings of same-sex unions in the Anglican church.
Benedict and the Archbishop of Canterbury, talking privately on Thursday in the papal library and then praying together in a chapel, came together to celebrate 40 years of dialogue aimed at uniting the churches split apart in 1534 by King Henry VIII's anger over the Vatican's refusal to annul his marriage.
But their frank assessment of where relations stand now underscored the challenges. the rest
The Bones of Saint Stephen, Now on eBay
Sales of Religious Relics Draw Protest
By Brian Murphy
Friday, November 24, 2006
Hardly an hour goes by without Thomas Serafin or one of his cyber-sleuths checking what eBay has to offer.
They're not hunting for bargains, and they never place a bid. Their interest is bone shards, bits of wizened flesh and a contemporary twist on the sacred and the profane: How the ancient trade in the most coveted religious relics has moved into the global flea market of online bidding.
"You can find bone fragments supposedly from Saint Augustine being hawked on the Internet along with trinkets and antiques. There is something very wrong here," said Serafin, a professional photographer and Catholic activist based in Los Angeles. Since the late 1990s, Serafin has led an expanding campaign to block the online sale of objects purported to contain the remains of Christian saints. the rest
Homeless ministry gets Back to Basics
By Julia Duin
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
November 23, 2006
"He who gives to the poor lends to the Lord" -- Proverbs 19:17
From the Heart Back to Basics is a church for the homeless, the drug addicts, the criminals, the mentally ill, the hopeless and the lost.
"Isn't this what Christianity is supposed to be about?" asks the Rev. Milt Matthews, 59, its founding pastor. "Aren't we supposed to be seeking the lost, helping the poor and getting people functional? If we can't change people, then why are we Christians?"
Back to Basics, located in an industrial park in Forestville just off the Capital Beltway in Prince George's County, sends a bus every Sunday morning to homeless shelters in Washington in search of lost sheep. On any given Sunday, 80 percent of the church's congregation comes from the streets. the rest
Bishops back student fight for religious freedom on campus
November 24, 2006
Some of Britain’s most senior religious figures call today for an end to “intolerant and unlawful” attempts to restrict the rights of Christian Unions on university campuses.
In a letter to The Times, eight Church of England and Roman Catholic bishops, as well as Lord Carey of Clifton, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, are among those who urge student associations and university authorities to take action to halt the alleged discrimination.
Thousands of Christians on campuses across Britain claim that their right to freedom of expression is being challenged by student associations attempting to force Christian Unions to allow anybody, regardless of faith, ethnicity or sexuality, to sit on their ruling committees and to address their meetings. The Christian Unions say that they should be allowed to restrict committee membership to those who share their core beliefs. the rest
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Blessed are you for ever!
May all created things praise you, O God,
for loving us so much that we can truthfully speak
of your fellowship with mankind, even in this earthly exile;
and however virtuous we may be,
our virtue always depends
on your great warmth and generosity, dear Lord.
Your bounty is infinite.
How wonderful are your works!
St. Teresa of Avila
Matt Kennedy: The Presiding Bishop's Top Five
Over the course of writing my latest set of articles on the doctrinal positions of the new Presiding Bishop, I've collected quite a large body of her interviews, sermons, and articles. The following is a summary of what I have found. I've already published some of the material below under other titles, but this is the first time I've put it all together in a cohesive summary.
Essay at Stand Firm
Primates Pledge Solidarity After Meeting APO Diocese Leaders
Representatives from eight dioceses of The Episcopal Church as well as clergy and lay leaders affiliated with the Anglican Communion Network met at an undisclosed location in Northern Virginia Nov. 15-17 with the Anglican primates of Kenya, Nigeria, West Africa and the West Indies.
A statement issued Nov. 8 by the Global South Steering Committee said the purpose of the private consultation was to “to investigate their appeal [for alternative primatial oversight] in greater detail and identify possible responses.” The primates moved the gathering to another location after an earlier published report named The Falls Church in suburban Washington, D.C., as the meeting's location.
Minimal information has been provided on the deliberations which were led by archbishops Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya, Peter Akinola of Nigeria, Justice Akrofi of West Africa and Drexel Gomez of the West Indies. U.S. participants in the gathering told TLC they had been asked to refrain from commenting and that all public statements would be made by the visitors, the Global South Steering Committee. Meeting participants did say the discussions included testimony about the problems of The Episcopal Church, and discussions of structural solutions to these problems that could implemented by overseas primates.the rest
Bishops warn students over Christian society bans
Stephen Bates, religious affairs correspondent
Thursday November 23, 2006
Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops warned student unions last night that they would be acting illegally if they banned Christian societies from campuses. They claimed Christian students were facing "considerable opposition and discrimination" at universities.
The move followed decisions by student guilds and associations at three universities, Exeter, Birmingham and Edinburgh, to suspend Christian groups from membership or use of premises on the grounds that their constitutions or meetings are exclusionary and discriminate against non-Christians and particularly gay people. Other university unions, including Heriot-Watt University and some London medical schools, are said to have taken similar action. the rest
Episcopal bishops preparing for potential lawsuits over property
Wed, Nov. 22, 2006
CHICAGO - The Episcopal task force on property disputes related to the church fight over the Bible and sexuality is monitoring the Pittsburgh diocese and others it considers "problems" for the church.
Bishop Stacy Sauls of Lexington, Ky., head of the House of Bishops Task Force on Property Disputes, says his panel is maintaining contact with Episcopalians in those dioceses who wish to "remain loyal to The Episcopal Church."
Among the dioceses are Pittsburgh; Quincy, Ill.; Springfield, Ill.; Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas; San Joaquin, Calif.; and Rio Grande, which covers parts of New Mexico and Texas. They have each, to different degrees, distanced themselves from the national denomination.
Since the 2003 consecration of the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, some traditionalist parishes have split from the U.S. denomination. Church leaders are trying to prepare for any legal fights over the properties.
Sauls says that lawyers, including several diocesan chancellors and a judge on the 11th U.S. District Court of Appeals, are helping the bishops prepare. the rest
F.C. Episcopal Church Faces Fight to Keep Property After Voting to Exit Denomination
By Nicholas F. Benton
Wednesday, 22 November 2006
The Falls Church Episcopal Church’s hopes that it could hold onto its property in downtown Falls Church even as it exited the mainstream Episcopal Church denomination took a turn for the worse last week.
Two days after the local conservative church’s ruling body, called a vestry, voted 15-2 to leave the larger denomination, the denomination’s Richmond-based regional diocese reacted by denying that any “protocol” was in place to settle resultant property disputes.
The leadership of Falls Church Episcopal Church, with the Rev. John Yates as rector and a membership of 2,484, reacted strongly against the November 2003 Episcopal Church consecration of the openly-gay Rev. Eugene Robinson as a bishop. Since then, the church and an ally, the Truro Episcopal Church of Fairfax, have spearheaded a movement of churches to exit the denomination, citing what they claim was, in fact, “a disagreement spanning the past four decades over basic truths of the Christian faith.”
But under the rules of the 2.2-million member Episcopal denomination, each of its diocese own all the real estate of the churches under its control. By those rules, if the Falls Church Episcopal finalizes its decision to leave the denomination at a vote of the entire congregation early next month, the church members will have to vacate the historic downtown Falls Church site, and its church-owned surroundings, where George Washington was once a vestryman. the rest
Not Much Thanksgiving for Episcopalians
By Mark Tooley
The spiritual descendants of those early English/Virginia Anglican pioneers are now correcting the divine record. New Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori recently told the New York Times that her fellow Episcopalians are proudly not procreating so as to spare the environment.
The Presiding Bishop was asked how many Episcopalians there are in the U.S. "About 2.2 million," Schiori responded. "It used to be larger percentagewise, but Episcopalians tend to be better-educated and tend to reproduce at lower rates than some other denominations. Roman Catholics and Mormons both have theological reasons for producing lots of children."
"Aren't Episcopalians interested in replenishing their ranks by having children," the New York Times asked.
"No," Schori replied. "It's probably the opposite. We encourage people to pay attention to the stewardship of the earth and not use more than their portion."
True to Schori's boast, the Episcopalians have done magnificently in reducing their numbers and, purportedly, sparing the earth the ravages of an enlarged Episcopalian presence. Forty years ago, the Episcopal Church was over 50 percent larger than today, even while the U.S. population was 40 percent smaller. the rest
Anglican, Catholic Delegates Gather in Rome
By Daniel Blake
Christian Post Correspondent
Wed, Nov. 22 2006
Anglican and Roman Catholic delegations have gathered in Rome this week for the historic meeting of Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and the Pope Benedict XVI, and to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Anglican Center in Rome.
On Tuesday night, Williams addressed a congregation at St Anselmo Church and Religious Community, saying that modern civilization needs to discover a proper sense of the values of time, authority and participation if it is to renew its sense of purpose and enable communities to cope with modern pressures.
In his lecture, Williams drew from the sixth century Rule of St Benedict to illustrate how societies might consider ways in which they served a common purpose. the rest
Anne Kennedy: It's probably the opposite
I was in the very middle of writing a brilliant and insightful piece on 1 Timothy 2:11, when KJS so providentially bestowed this and this upon us today. I would just like to hone in on that most excellent interchange:
KJS: About 2.2 million. It used to be larger percentagewise, but Episcopalians tend to be better-educated and tend to reproduce at lower rates than some other denominations. Roman Catholics and Mormons both have theological reasons for producing lots of children.
Times: Episcopalians aren’t interested in replenishing their ranks by having children?
KJS: No. It’s probably the opposite. We encourage people to pay attention to the stewardship of the earth and not use more than their portion.
More than their portion, wow. And there’s no way 815 is using ‘more than their portion’ sitting in elegance in Manhattan spreading heresy around the globe like so much thick sweet junk food peanut butter.
But I digress. the rest
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Skyboxes, club cards woo 'church customers'
FRESNO — On Sunday morning at the 18,000-member Calvary Church, tithers flash green Costco-like cards at greeters, who let them in early and usher them to special seating areas.
"The seats have more padding, and they recline," says tither Dan Phelps, kicking back before the sermon. "I feel a little guilty, but you can't knock the comfort."
Calvary is believed to be the first church in America to use membership cards to dole out privileges to certain members. First-time visitors are offered the best seats — plush recliners in the orchestra section — while non-tithing attendees carry orange membership cards and are forced to sit in hard, stadium-style seats on the mezzanine.
"We give honor to whom honor is due," says pastor Jerald Dennis. "If you tithe or volunteer in some way, you deserve a special thank you."
Churches like his are drawing wealthier "church consumers" by promoting luxury and social stratification inside the sanctuary. As rich people attend, the theory goes, tithe revenues increase and the church better promotes the gospel. the rest
Democrats call for ouster of health official
Tue Nov 21, 2006
By Andy Sullivan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Several Democratic lawmakers asked the Bush administration on Monday to replace its new family-planning chief because he has worked for a health provider that opposes the use of birth control.
Dr. Eric Keroack's record as an opponent of birth control and abortion makes him a poor choice to oversee a $280 million reproductive-health program, seven House of Representatives Democrats said in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt.
"We are concerned that Dr. Keroack has promoted policies -- including the refusal to distribute contraception even to married women -- that directly conflict with the mission of the federal program," the letter said. the rest
Fort Worth diocese leaves Episcopal church
Nov 21, 2006
FORT WORTH, SK, United States (UPI) -- The Episcopal diocese of Fort Worth has withdrawn from the national denomination in the culmination of years of theological estrangement.
Meeting in its 24th annual convention on Nov. 17-18, the diocese adopted four resolutions, including one that withdraws the diocese`s consent to membership in Province VII of the Episcopal Church, and another that provides a mechanism for parishes to remove themselves from membership in the conservative Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes, also known as the Anglican Communion Network, Episcopal News Service said Tuesday.
Calif. Diocese Lays Groundwork to Secede from Episcopal Church
Ruth Gledhill Weblog: Jefferts Schori to Pope 'We're more intelligent than you!'
Tuesday, 21 November 2006
Asked in a New York Times interview how many episcopalians there are, new TEC Primate Katharine Jefferts Schori ressonded: "About 2.2 million. It used to be larger percentagewise, but Episcopalians tend to be better-educated and tend to reproduce at lower rates than some other denominations. Roman Catholics and Mormons both have theological reasons for producing lots of children." I am indebted to StandFirm for this gem. As a former oceanographer, she'll know all about fishy reasons for reproduction. But is this really what Rowan Williams needs as he prepares to meet Benedect XVI in Rome on Thursday? Amy Welborn has picked this up in characteristically robust style, in a post titled 'an interview that will go down in infamy'. Peter Ould also highlights the questions that maybe one journalist might like to ask her one day. For more on the subject of religious reproduction, see the recent Breeding for God paper in Prospect magazine. I am indebted to Squaring the Boston Globe for this marvellous picture of the Anglican Communion's first woman Primate.
Paranoia and Straws in the Wind
"The other straw in the wind is much closer to home and comes in the form of a letter sent by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to Bishop John-David Schofield of the Diocese of San Joaquin. This letter has all the delicacy and finesse of a velvet fist in an iron glove, with Schori, in effect, accusing Bishop Schofield of abandoning his ordination vows to defend the "doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Episcopal Church.
"Here is a diocesan bishop, faithful to the rich mainstream of Anglican Christianity, and who is seeking to defend his diocese in the midst of the maelstrom which was unleashed upon the Episcopal Church by the actions of the 2003 General Convention, being threatened by a woman whose every pronouncement suggests she would theological be more comfortable in some variety of unitarianism. I recently broke bread with a colleague who is well to the left of myself, and he was shaking his head in disbelief over the lady's opening gambits.
Schori threatens Schofield with litigation, says that the people of his diocese will suffer, and suggests that the time has come for Schofield "to renounce your orders in this Church and seek a home elsewhere." What audacious arrogance! Katharine Schori does not seem to realize is that Bishop Schofield is actually being faithful to the vows he made when ordained to the priesthood, for like me he affirmed that he would “with all faithful diligence… banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrines contrary to God’s word.”
the rest at The Kew Continuum
Small Nevada Hotel Hosted Polygamist Weddings
November 19, 2006
FLDS weddings in Caliente came in bunches, said Carolyn Jessop, a former FLDS member, who ran the motel for a year. Once or twice a month, beginning in the spring of 1999, Jessop would get a telephone call, telling her to plan for a weekend of weddings - some say as many as 10 in one day.
"Room 15 would have to be cleared out the day before and cleaned," she said. Jessop would scurry to see if guest reservations could be changed or canceled. When it wasn't possible, the weddings would wait.
Wedding parties and church elders would arrive in a caravan of cars about midmorning, not long after checkout for guests.
"They did not want anybody on the property," said Jessop, whose husband Merrill Jessop owned the 18-room motel with her father, Art Blackmore, for seven years until he sold it in 2004.
Each wedding was different, but girls usually arrived with their parents, including "other mothers," their father's plural wives. the rest
Banned Evangelical Group at Odds with Liberal R.I. University
By The Associated Press
Tue, Nov. 21 2006
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Leaders of a conservative Christian student fellowship suspended from using campus resources at Brown University are wondering whether they were singled out for their beliefs and are pressing school officials to explain the punishment.
Brown University has not publicly explained why it suspended the Reformed University Fellowship, which is allied with the conservative Presbyterian Church in America, as an official student group, except to say the group failed to follow university guidelines.
The fellowship's leaders acknowledge they can't prove their conflict is a religious or cultural clash. But they are suspicious and are trying to publicly shame Brown, which has a reputation as the most liberal school in the Ivy league, into offering a more detailed explanation.
By Jack Estes
I have heard it said that the United States and England are two nations separated by a common language. For even though both share a common heritage from the past, today the words and the meanings are set in the context of different cultures, different histories, and a matrix of knowing and perceiving the world that is peculiar to each country. The language sounds the same, but much of what is said means something different.
The same holds true for liberal Episcopalians and conservative Anglicans. We are two churches separated by a common language. Although we share a common heritage, the priorities and practice of our faith are set in the context of different theologies, different views of the surrounding culture, and a matrix of knowing and perceiving God and the world that is peculiar to each.
Much of what is said in conversation with each other sounds the same, but the meanings are substantially different. Each community may be able to hear the words of the other, but in the end both walk away perplexed, not understanding what the other really meant. Perplexion turns to confusion, confusion to frustration, frustration to anger. We get angry because the others just don’t seem to get it. We seem to say the same thing, but then act in ways that are radically different.
the rest at The Living Church-Excellent!
Global South Steering Committee Report from the meetings on Nov 15-17, 2006
The Global South Steering Committee, at the request of the Global South Primates, recently met with bishops and representatives of eight Anglican Communion Network Dioceses who have appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Global South Primates for various forms of Alternative Primatial Oversight. Representatives of other Windsor-compliant Dioceses and the more than one hundred congregations that are now separated from the Episcopal Church also joined us.
Respective presentations were received expressing the increasingly difficult and, in some cases, untenable situations in which they attempt to live out apostolic faith and historic order. We were distressed to hear of the legalistic and autocratic environment in which some now find themselves as they seek to remain faithful Anglicans within The Episcopal Church.
The Steering Committee will be making its report and recommendation to the Global South Primates when they next meet and will also be sharing them with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Deeply touched by the oftentimes painful and gravely disconcerting testimonies that we heard, the Global South Steering Committee feels morally and spiritually compelled to reassert its deepest solidarity with these orthodox and faithful bishops and representatives.
We express our unequivocal support and heartfelt recognition for their faithful stand and struggles. We urge all faithful members and parishes of these concerned dioceses to remain steadfast in their commitment to Christ as our one and only Lord and Savior during these turbulent days. We will do all in our power to bring about the desired outcome of the ³Windsor process² so that the refined global Anglican Communion can be faithful to its vocation as part of the ³One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic² Church.
A Sad Scene
Miles Douglas on the jealousy, ageism, and sexual intrigue of gay men's lives.
"Throughout the gay media, consumerism is extended to the human person, who is reduced to a disposable item. Just as the ideology of victimhood is pervasive, so is the low-grade pornography, criticism of which is taboo. Any notion of self-restraint is condemned as oppressive.
Any spiritual aspiration any hope for anything beyond material and sexual satisfaction is derided as irrelevant. The vicissitudes of gay life, notably the culture of promiscuity, are alternately ascribed to the legacy of oppression (and therefore not our fault) and celebrated as a form of 'liberation'. Gay activism, which angrily expects our gratitude, perpetuates the idea that heterosexuals, especially heterosexual men, represent a hostile force. When I reveal that many of my closest friends are straight men, this is viewed as unusual, even slightly suspicious, as if to integrate were somehow to be letting the side down. This is despite the fact that homosexual law reforms have been enacted by parliaments consisting largely of heterosexual men.
The result of all this is a male homosexual culture that is simultaneously turned in on itself and unable to address its own shortcomings. It confuses morality and conscience with moralistic repression. Through this confusion, we become afraid to question the casual acceptance of promiscuity and pornography, and the shallow materialistic values that underpin it, lest we be accused of hypocritical puritanism. When we criticise the gay lifestyle, we are accused by activists of self-oppression, but the true oppression comes from within that lifestyle rather than from hostile external forces. In an age of equal rights, we have become our own victims, devoured by the movement we created." the rest
Church fire called act of intolerance
Police say religious zeal led Bible student to burn Episcopal church
By LEIGH HORNBECK, Staff writer
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
POTTERSVILLE -- The Bibles were safe the night Christ Episcopal Church turned to tinder, allegedly at the hands of Caleb Uriah Lussier, police said Monday.
Lussier, 20, allegedly confessed to police that he used gasoline to torch the church in late May after he gathered the Bibles in a bag and placed them outside the reach of the flames.
Lussier, of Plymouth, Mass., is a student at the Word of Life Bible Institute in Schroon Lake, not far from Christ Episcopal. Investigators said he acted out of a religious zeal that also may have played a role in a fire at another church in his hometown and in threats against three other houses of worship.
Warren County Sheriff Larry Cleveland said Lussier thought the members of Christ Church were hypocrites who deviated from the teachings of the Bible and the word of God. He allegedly robbed the church twice in May. On one occasion he left behind a message written in a Bible: "You've been warned." On May 30, a fire at the 77-year-old church burned out of control before firefighters arrived. the rest
Muslim birthrate worries Russia
By Michael Mainville
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
November 21, 2006
MOSCOW -- Low domestic birthrates and rising immigration from the former Soviet republics are producing explosive growth in Russia's Muslim community, which is on a track to account for more than half the population by midcentury.
"Russia is going through a religious transformation that will be of even greater consequence for the international community than the collapse of the Soviet Union," said Paul Goble, a specialist on Islam in Russia and research associate at the University of Tartu in Estonia.
Two decades ago, the Sobornaya Mosque was the only Islamic house of worship allowed in the Soviet Union. It stood largely empty, filling only with the occasional large foreign delegation from an Islamic country. the rest
Web Sites Not Liable for Posts by Others
By JORDAN ROBERTSON
November 20, 2006
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Web sites that publish inflammatory information written by other parties cannot be sued for libel, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday.
The ruling in favor of free online expression was a victory for a San Diego woman who was sued by two doctors for posting an allegedly libelous e-mail on two Web sites.
Some of the Internet's biggest names, including Amazon.com, America Online Inc., eBay Inc., Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc., took the defendant's side out of concern that a ruling against her would expose them to liability. the rest
Polygamists Fight to Be Seen As Part of Mainstream Society
By John Pomfret
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY -- In her battle to legalize polygamy, the only thing Valerie hasn't revealed is her last name. The mother of eight has been on national TV; her photo along with that of her two "sister-wives" has graced the front cover of a glossy magazine dedicated to "today's plural marriages."
She has been prodded about her sex life: "He rotates. It's easy -- just one, two, three." Quizzed about her decision to share a husband with two other women: "You really have a good frame of reference when you marry a man who already has two wives." Interrogated about what it's like to live in a house with 21 children: "Remodeling a kitchen, that's no small feat with three wives and a husband involved." the rest
City goes light on invocations
By Carlos Illescas Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated:11/21/2006
Aurora - Jesus and Muhammad are out. But God, in a general sense, is OK.
New guidelines on what can be said during invocations at the beginning of City Council meetings have led to a ban on specific references to religious figures.
Many clergy members have objected to the restrictions. They say if they can't pray the way they want to, then they don't want to pray at the meetings at all.
"I really am disappointed," said the Rev. Jay Yousling of Prairie Ridge Community Church, who has given the invocation several times but won't likely do so again under the current guidelines. "I was proud of Aurora (leaders) that they were not extreme in their thinking.
"Tolerance doesn't mean only one way. Tolerance allows for differences."
Now the city is struggling to book anyone to give the invocations. For the past half-dozen or so meetings, Mayor Ed Tauer has given ecumenically ambiguous invocations. At Monday's council meeting, instead of an invocation, he asked for a moment of silence. the rest
Churches remain divided on issues
By David Willey BBC Rome correspondent
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, is due to arrive in Rome to meet Pope Benedict XVI.
His six-day stay in Rome marks the 40th anniversary of the ground-breaking visit of his predecessor Michael Ramsey to the Vatican.
Monday, November 20, 2006
From a heart overflowing with gratitude, we will want to honour and glorify God by gratefully offering back to Him the many good gifts He has bestowed on us. We will not go to church to be entertained, to see "what we can get out of it" for our own private gratification, but rather to praise and worship the triune God of grace and glory ...Anonymous
Liberal Professor Targeted Me From Day One, Says Christian Student
By Meghan Mulhern
November 20, 2006
(CNSNews.com) - A Christian social work student who took Missouri State University to court after a liberal professor targeted her for refusing to lobby for homosexual adoption said Thursday she and the teacher had clashed over her beliefs from day one.
Emily Brooker was vindicated when the university agreed to an out-of-court settlement, and the professor was disciplined.
In her suit, Brooker, who has since graduated, accused the university of violating her First Amendment right to free speech by exercising her Christian convictions.
Brooker brought the case after the professor, Dr. Frank G. Kauffman, filed a "level three" grievance against her - the most serious in the school's disciplinary system - after they clashed over an advocacy assignment.
She told Cybercast News Service that the class was required to write a letter to their senator advocating for homosexual adoption and foster care. Brooker said she opposes homosexual adoption because of her beliefs as a Methodist. the rest
Normalizing Pedophilia Continues: UK Police Chief Says 13-Year-Old in Porn Not Child Porn
By John-Henry Westen
LONDON, November 20, 2006
(LifeSiteNews.com) - Terry Grange, the leading officer on child protection of the UK's Association of Chief Police Officers' has ignited controversy by commenting in an interview with The Sunday Times that pornography featuring children at 13 years of age should not be considered child porn. Grange also said that the term "pedophiles" should only apply to adults who have sex with 12 and under.
Grange's comments match those of the pedophilia party launched recently, with court approval, in the Netherlands. The 'Charity, Freedom and Diversity' (NVD) party of the Netherlands formed last Spring introduced itself to Dutch politics as a champion of children's rights. In a press release, the NVD's spokesman and co-founder, Ad van den Berg said among their goals is lowering the age of consent for sexual activity from 16 to 12 and eventually eliminating it completely. the rest
New Anglican Parish Birthed Outside of ECUSA
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Nov. 20 2006
An interdenominational church in Richmond, Va. started a new Anglican congregation under the oversight of an offshore bishop. The church plant is one of a number of new congregations that was never a part of the Episcopal Church.
Eternity Anglican Church had its first official worship service early this month with more than 75 people representing over 25 nations. Its vision is "Many Nations, One Communion" and is now part of the Anglican Communion Network's International Conference under the Anglican Diocese of Luweero in the Province of Uganda.
The daughter church of Eternity Church, the new Anglican parish is one of some 20 to 30 new church plants that the conservative Network has made in the last 18 months.
"We have a lot of church plants that have left ECUSA," said Anglican Communion Network spokesperson Jenny Noyes, who added that the church plants have been reformed as Anglican parishes with oversight from bishops in the worldwide Anglican Communion. "This plant (Eternity Anglican) never was a part of ECUSA." the rest
In the beginning: scientists get ready to hunt for God particle·
Giant machine to recreate conditions of big bang·
Collider may create miniature black holes
Ian Sample, science correspondent
Monday November 20, 2006
At security posts dotted around the fields between the Jura mountains and Lake Geneva scientists are installing hi-tech retina scans above shafts descending 80m down - and leading to the largest scientific instrument ever built.
The machine is being bolted together inside a tunnel 17 miles (27km) long, and when the power is thrown on next year it will recreate conditions unknown for 14bn years since the extraordinary fireball that marked the beginning of the universe - the big bang which blasted time and space into existence. the rest
Bishop Sauls: Not All APO Requests Violate Canons
The members of the House of Bishops’ Task Force on Property Disputes have come to no conclusions as to impermissible dissent from General Convention by diocesan leadership, but the acting chair said the six official and four informal members have been asking that question.
Lexington Bishop Stacy Sauls has been asked by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to serve as acting chair. Bishop Sauls distributed an eight-page report to his colleagues on executive council Nov. 15 during a regularly scheduled meeting in Chicago. The report identified “problem dioceses” that it said “merit special observation”: Dallas, Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Quincy, Rio Grande, San Joaquin and Springfield. An earlier report had erroneously also included San Diego on the list. The rest at The Living Church
Amy Wellborn: An interview that will go down in infamy
Well, there's been worse. But the Bishop Kate Schori interview in the NYTimes Magazine is gaining fast. Especially this part.
How many members of the Episcopal Church are there in this country?
About 2.2 million. It used to be larger percentagewise, but Episcopalians tend to be better-educated and tend to reproduce at lower rates than some other denominations. Roman Catholics and Mormons both have theological reasons for producing lots of children.
Episcopalians aren’t interested in replenishing their ranks by having children?
No. It’s probably the opposite. We encourage people to pay attention to the stewardship of the earth and not use more than their portion.
[ENS] San Joaquin bishop sent letter from Presiding Bishop
Mon, 20 Nov 2006
Episcopal News Service
November 20, 2006
San Joaquin bishop sent letter from Presiding Bishop
[ENS] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori -- concerned by current affairs in the Fresno-based Diocese of San Joaquin, California -- has written to its bishop, the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield. The diocese, which is scheduled to meet in convention December 1-2, includes an estimated 10,000 Episcopalians in some 48 congregations. The text of Jefferts Schori's November 20 letter follows.
comments at Stand Firm
comments at titusonenine
Virginia Diocese to Choose New Head Amid Gay Row
By Audrey Barrick
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Nov. 20 2006
"Nominees for the bishop of the Diocese of Virginia are: the Rev. Dr. Robert S. Dannals of Christ Church in Greenville, S.C.; the Rev. Canon Gay Clark Jennings of CREDO Institute Inc. of Memphis, Tenn.; the Very Rev. Shannon Sherwood Johnston of All Saints' Episcopal Church in Tupelo, Miss.; the Rev. Canon Erwin Morgan Lewis, Jr. of the Diocese of Southern Virginia; and the Very Rev. Caroline Smith Parkinson of Grace Church in The Plains, Va."
Edinburgh Univ. bans Christian ethics course
Nov 20, 2006
EDINBURGH, Scotland (UPI) -- Edinburgh University`s decision to forbid members of the Christian Union from teaching a campus course on homosexual abstinence is drawing fire.
School officials determined recently that the six-week course violated the institution`s equality and diversity rules because the course included testimonies of people who had been 'cured' of their homosexuality, the Scotsman reported Sunday.
The Christian Union is considering legal action against the university under human rights laws.
'The university is effectively closing down free speech,' said Laura Stirrat, vice-president of Edinburgh University`s Christian Union.
And Peter Kearney, a spokesman for Scotland`s Catholic Church, said: 'This is nothing more than blind and unthinking political correctness.' story
Sunday, November 19, 2006
"O that I knew where I might find Him!"—Job 23:3.
In Job's uttermost extremity he cried after the Lord. The longing desire of an afflicted child of God is once more to see his Father's face. His first prayer is not "O that I might be healed of the disease which now festers in every part of my body!" nor even "O that I might see my children restored from the jaws of the grave, and my property once more brought from the hand of the spoiler!" but the first and uppermost cry is, "O that I knew where I might find HIM, who is my God! that I might come even to His seat!" God's children run home when the storm comes on. It is the heaven-born instinct of a gracious soul to seek shelter from all ills beneath the wings of Jehovah. "He that hath made his refuge God," might serve as the title of a true believer. A hypocrite, when afflicted by God, resents the infliction, and, like a slave, would run from the Master who has scourged him; but not so the true heir of heaven, he kisses the hand which smote him, and seeks shelter from the rod in the bosom of the God who frowned upon him. Job's desire to commune with God was intensified by the failure of all other sources of consolation. The patriarch turned away from his sorry friends, and looked up to the celestial throne, just as a traveller turns from his empty skin bottle, and betakes himself with all speed to the well. He bids farewell to earth-born hopes, and cries, "O that I knew where I might find my God!" Nothing teaches us so much the preciousness of the Creator, as when we learn the emptiness of all besides. Turning away with bitter scorn from earth's hives, where we find no honey, but many sharp stings, we rejoice in Him whose faithful word is sweeter than honey or the honeycomb. In every trouble we should first seek to realize God's presence with us. Only let us enjoy His smile, and we can bear our daily cross with a willing heart for His dear sake. ...CH Spurgeon photo
Bishop Jack Iker's Diocesan Address
November 18, 2006
"Our highest loyalty is not to a denomination, but to the Lord Jesus Christ. However much we might love our church, we must not love it more than God. It becomes idolatry when we place anything else before Him. I say this because some would make an idol out of The Episcopal Church, it appears, and claim for it an infallibility that they deny the Holy Scriptures. If we deny biblical infallibility and papal infallibility, surely we must deny General Convention infallibility. Councils of the church can and have erred. It is troublesome to me when some talk more about why they are an Episcopalian than why they are a Christian. Evangelism is not bringing more people into the Episcopal Church, but bringing more people into a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We are first Christians, who follow the Anglican way of being evangelical catholics, and we must be careful that denominational loyalty does not lead us away from biblical truth and order. I love The Episcopal Church most when it talks least about itself and more about Jesus Christ. I love The Episcopal Church most when it is true to our heritage as a biblical church, standing under the authority of the Word of God, not as an American denomination, but as an integral part of the historic church of the ages that is one, holy, catholic and apostolic."
Appeal for new leader is affirmed
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
November 19, 2006
ARLINGTON -- Delegates at the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth convention on Saturday overwhelmingly affirmed Bishop Jack Iker's appeal for an alternative denomination leader to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who this month became the first woman to hold that post.
About 80 percent of the 188 clergy and lay delegates voted in favor of Iker's appeal to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, leader of world Anglicanism, which includes the Episcopal Church.
Many who oppose Schori's leadership say her support of same-sex unions and views on other issues violate Scripture and church tradition.
Delegates meeting at St. Peter and St. Paul Episcopal Church also affirmed by about 80 percent Iker's request to disassociate from Province 7 of the Episcopal Church of the United States. That resolution states that the diocese wants to remain part of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, but wants to affiliate with a proposed new province based on like-mindedness rather than geography. Province 7 includes much of the Southwest. the rest
Professors profess less, study finds
By Jeffrey Weiss
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS
College professors aren't all godless heathens, but they are more secular than the general population, according to a new study. And the more elite the school, the more secular the professors are likely to be.
The study was done by two sociologists, Neil Gross of Harvard University and Solon Simmons of George Mason University. They contacted 1,471 professors at religious and secular colleges and asked about politics and faith.
The purpose of their report, released on the Internet, was to assess the observation by many religious conservatives that America's universities are "a haven largely freed from religious perspectives." the rest
Minister’s Own Rules Sealed His Fate
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: November 19, 2006
COLORADO SPRINGS, Nov. 15 — The four ministers who assembled here two weeks ago to decide the fate of the Rev. Ted Haggard were facing a painful choice.
A male prostitute had accused Mr. Haggard, one of the nation’s most prominent evangelical ministers, of engaging in a three-year affair with him and of using drugs. Then, in a private emergency meeting, Mr. Haggard promptly confessed to the ministers — his handpicked board of overseers — that he had engaged in sexual immorality.
Now, the question was, what punishment did Mr. Haggard deserve? The board had two options: discipline him or dismiss him as senior pastor of New Life Church. Could he take a leave of absence, repent, receive spiritual counseling and return to ministry?
The answer became clear the next morning, the overseers said, when Mr. Haggard gave an interview to a television news crew as he pulled out of his driveway with his wife and three children in the car. He denied having sex with the male prostitute, and said he had bought methamphetamine but never used it. The overseers said they watched Mr. Haggard, affable as ever, smile grimly into the television camera and lie. the rest
Evangelicals revive Christianity in Europe
Nov. 18, 2006
Evangelical Christian churches are growing in Europe, with most of their membership immigrants from Asia and Africa.
The evangelical movement comes at a time when the traditional European churches are shrinking, the Washington Times reports. While only about 2 percent of the population belongs to evangelical churches, they are also influencing the practices of protestant denominations and the Catholic Church.
"Non-belief, doubt and secularization continue to progress, but increasingly we're witnessing a spiritual turning in recent years," said Christopher Sinclair of the University of Strasbourg.
"What's striking about the evangelical movement is that it's growing. You can see this throughout Europe. It's answering a spiritual need." the rest