Saturday, April 07, 2007

O Lord, God of my salvation;
I cry out day and night before you.
Let my prayer come before you;
incline your ear to my cry!

For my soul is full of troubles,
and my life draws near to Sheol.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I am a man who has no strength,
like one set loose among the dead,
like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom you remember no more,
for they are cut off from your hand.
You have put me in the depths of the pit,
in the regions dark and deep.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
and you overwhelm me with all your waves.

You have caused my companions to shun me;
you have made me a horror to them.
I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
my eye grows dim through sorrow.
Every day I call upon you, O Lord;
I spread out my hands to you.
Do you work wonders for the dead?
Do the departed rise up to praise you?
Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
Are your wonders known in the darkness,
or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

But I, O Lord, cry to you;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
O Lord, why do you cast my soul away?
Why do you hide your face from me?
Afflicted and close to death from my youth up,
I suffer your terrors; I am helpless.
Your wrath has swept over me;
your dreadful assaults destroy me.
They surround me like a flood all day long;
they close in on me together.
You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me;
my companions have become darkness.
Psalm 88 art

Friday, April 06, 2007

"Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree."
1 Peter 2:24

The Cross of Jesus is the revelation of God's judgment on sin. Never tolerate the idea of martyrdom about the Cross of Jesus Christ. The Cross was a superb triumph in which the foundations of hell were shaken. There is nothing more certain in Time or Eternity than what Jesus Christ did on the Cross: He switched the whole of the human race back into a right relationship with God. He made Redemption the basis of human life, that is, He made a way for every son of man to get into communion with God.

The Cross did not happen to Jesus: He came on purpose for it. He is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." The whole meaning of the Incarnation is the Cross. Beware of separating God manifest in the flesh from the Son becoming sin. The Incarnation was for the purpose of Redemption. God became incarnate for the purpose of putting away sin; not for the purpose of Self-realization. The Cross is the centre of Time and of Eternity, the answer to the enigmas of both.

The Cross is not the cross of a man but the Cross of God, and the Cross of God can never be realized in human experience. The Cross is the exhibition of the nature of God, the gateway whereby any individual of the human race can enter into union with God. When we get to the Cross, we do not go through it; we abide in the life to which the Cross is the gateway.

The centre of salvation is the Cross of Jesus, and the reason it is so easy to obtain salvation is because it cost God so much. The Cross is the point where God and sinful man merge with a crash and the way to life is opened - but the crash is on the heart of God. ...Oswald Chambers

Thursday, April 05, 2007

And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Mark 14:26

How fitting that on this very night Christ, the coming King, would give voice to songs penned centuries earlier just for Him....Imagine the Son of God singing these words as the seconds ticked toward the cross...."The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?...The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; The Lord has done this and it is marvelous in our eyes."

Whatever Christ sang as the Passover meal concluded that night, the words had significance for Him that the others could never have comprehended. I wonder if His voice quivered with emotion. Or did He sing with exultation? Perhaps He did both, just as you and I have done at terribly bittersweet moments when our faith exults while our sight weeps. One thing we know: Christ, above all others, knew that He was singing more than words. That night He sang the score of His destiny. ...Beth Moore

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

"Behold, the hour cometh . . . that ye shall be scattered."
John 16:32

Jesus is not rebuking the disciples, their faith was real, but it was disturbed; it was not at work in actual things. The disciples were scattered to their own interests, alive to interests that never were in Jesus Christ. After we have been perfectly related to God in sanctification, our faith has to be worked out in actualities. We shall be scattered, not into work, but into inner desolations and made to know what internal death to God's blessings means. Are we prepared for this? It is not that we choose it, but that God engineers our circumstances so that we are brought there. Until we have been through that experience, our faith is bolstered up by feelings and by blessings. When once we get there, no matter where God places us or what the inner desolations are, we can praise God that all is well. That is faith being worked out in actualities. ...Oswald Chambers
the rest

UK: We've given up on churchgoing, but not on Christianity
3rd April 2007

Two in three of us never go to church, it has emerged.

Just one in ten attends a service every week, meaning most of the population only turn up for baptisms, weddings or funerals.

Britain has not, however, lost its faith.

More than half of us are still happy to describe ourselves as Christians, according to the survey by the charity Tearfund.

And around three million say they would only need the slightest encouragement to darken a church's door more frequently.
the rest

Bishop retires with Episcopal church unsettled
By Adam Bednar

The Rt. Rev. Robert Ihloff, 65, retiring bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, is regarded by many -- but not all -- as a unifying force in the sometimes deeply divided Episcopal church.

Ihloff is celebrating his last Easter as bishop before retiring April 19. He leaves behind a legacy of good will and accomplishments, such as the development of the Bishop Claggett Center, a 277-acre retreat, camp and conference facility in Buckeystown, Md., near Frederick, where supporters bid him farewell on April 1.

They say the center was in the works before he became bishop, but that the project could not have moved forward without his backing.

But he also leaves behind controversy.
the rest

Justice Rare for Victims of Christian Persecution in India
Michael Ireland
ASSIST News Service

NEW DELHI -- For the first time an all-India picture has emerged of anti-Christian violence from a people's tribunal. Victims of Christian persecution from across India shared their horrific stories and highlighted the denial of justice to them before an independent people's jury.

According to International Christian Concern (ICC), the depositions were part of "The Independent People's Tribunal against the Rise of Fascist Forces in India and the Attack on the Secular State," a three-day program which concluded here on March 22.
the rest

Images of Calvary
Contemporary Christian artists reflect on Good Friday.
Compiled by Susan Wunderink
posted 4/03/2007

During the Middle Ages, a tradition of prayer and reflection on images of the Passion formed into the Stations of the Cross, a sort of Via Dolorosa of the visual arts. This slideshow of contemporary art, although it doesn't stick to the traditional fourteen stations, can be used as a meditation on Jesus Christ's path to the Cross. Each artist's statement below the art explains how it connects to Christ's sacrifice.

Click here to view the slideshow.

Pakistan charges 11 yo Christian for blasphemy
Christian community claims Muslim neighbors reported five people to the police for blasphemy without evidence

Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Asia News

Police in Toba Tek Singh, Pakistan, opened an investigation into blasphemy claims against five local Christians, including an 11-year-old boy. Local activists and priests say the case has been fabricated and Christian families in the area barricaded themselves in their homes during Holy Week celebrations.

The group of five is accused of disrespecting Mohammad and of having desecrated pieces of paper bearing the prophet's name.

One of the five, Salamat Masih, has been arrested while other four are at large including 11-year-old Daniel. The police are searching the province for him. Upon apprehension, all will be tried under article 295 C of Pakistan's Penal Code, the blasphemy law. The law provides life imprisonment or a death sentence for infractions.
the rest

Easter's meaning split is between the sacred and the secular
For some, it's all about the bunny

April 3, 2007

When Sally Russ' children were young, some 30 people would come over for Easter dinner and a massive egg hunt in the yard.

Now that the kids have grown and moved away, the social activist will mail Easter to them.
"I'll spend some ridiculous amount of money on some Easter things for my kids and ship them away, and all their friends in college will think their families are really crazy," she said. "I did the same thing for Halloween."

Russ' Easter bills will add up to several hundred dollars, but it is tradition, she said. What her family tradition doesn't include is church.

"It is definitely a secular celebration," she said. "It was just all about the tradition for us and the ritual of it and the fun of it."
the rest

Missouri's most powerful Baptist takes on the 'emerging church'
Tim Townsend

For Roger Moran, the most powerful Baptist in Missouri, the past represents victory and personal grace.

He has spent nearly a decade building a political Baptist empire, one based on a conservative foundation that he put in place.

But when talk turns to the future — specifically, the future of the Missouri Baptist Convention — Moran is suddenly an Old Testament prophet of doom.

His target: a young band of moderate Christians that he believes is trying to steal back the convention, undercutting his empire. It's a growing movement he'd like to see disappear.
the rest

Albanians Rediscover God, If Not Old-Time Religion
Mary Jordan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, April 4, 2007

SHKODER, Albania -- The Catholic cathedral that communists turned into a basketball arena for two decades is now busier than ever, drawing more than 2,000 people to a single Sunday Mass. An ornate Albanian Orthodox church with three grand, peach-colored domes is readying for Easter celebrations and popular midnight candlelit processions. And a few days ago, the latest of more than 50 mosques in the area opened with fanfare and a call to prayer.

In a country that once officially outlawed God, religion is back -- but in a different way than before the long experiment in godlessness. Many Albanians have resumed spiritual practices with a faith strengthened by the years of suppression. At the same time, new practices and beliefs are being planted by a wave of foreign missionaries and money, making this tiny Adriatic country a remarkable example of the globalization of religion.
the rest

Pro-life activist blasts Senate stem-cell legislation
Jim Brown
April 4, 2007

A prominent pro-life activist is denouncing two measures the U.S. Senate is taking up next week, measures that would expand federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research. One of those is a measure sponsored by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) that is similar to a piece of legislation vetoed by President Bush last year.

An alternative to that bill is one sponsored by Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) that would direct the Department of Health and Human Services to establish guidelines for stem-cell research on those human embryos that are destroyed by fertility clinics because they are incapable of surviving in the womb.

Although the second bill has been described as a compromise measure, Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics says it is a "baldfaced lie" for Isakson and others to claim those unused embryos from fertility clinics have lost the ability to develop into a human being, because an embryo is a human being.
the rest

Bishop faces gay claim tribunal
Wednesday, 4 April 2007

The Rt Revd Anthony Priddis denies any discrimination An Anglican bishop is expected to appear before an employment tribunal in Cardiff, accused of refusing to employ a man because of his sexuality.

John Reaney, 41, from Llandudno, Conwy, claims he was refused a job as a youth worker because he is gay.

He says the Bishop of Hereford, the Rt Revd Anthony Priddis asked him "humiliating" personal questions after an initial interview.

The Diocese of Hereford says the Bishop denies any unlawful discrimination.
the rest

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Christian community is a community of the cross, for it has been brought into being by the cross, and the focus of its worship is the Lamb once slain, now glorified. So the community of the cross is a community of celebration, a eucharistic community, ceaselessly offering to God through Christ the sacrifice of our praise and thanksgiving. The Christian life is an unending festival. And the festival we keep, now that our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed for us, is a joyful celebration of his sacrifice, together with a spiritual feasting upon it.
...John R. W. Stott art

Expert Research Finds Homosexuality More Dangerous Than Smoking
PHILADELPHIA, April 3, 2007

( - Studies have shown that years of smoking shortens the lifespan of the smoker from 1 to 7 years. Recent analysis of the age of death in Norway and Denmark for gays who are legally married suggests that engaging in homosexual behavior reduces lifespan by 24 years!

So reported Drs. Paul and Kirk Cameron at the annual convention of the Eastern Psychological Association on March 23.

"What justification is there for condemning smoking and endorsing homosexuality?" asked Dr. Paul Cameron, of the Family Research Institute, a Colorado-based think tank. "Today, all across the Western world, school children are being taught the acceptability of homosexuality and the wrongness of smoking.

According to the Cameron research, married gays and lesbians lived 24 fewer years than their conventionally married counterparts.
the rest

Archbishop's Summer Plans May Preclude Meeting With Bishops

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams’ withdrawal from the international Anglican scene this summer presents a smaller window of opportunity for him to accept the
invitation from the House of Bishops to meet before the primates’ Sept. 30 deadline to respond to the Dar es Salaam communiqué.

Archbishop Williams will take a two-month study leave in June and July, and will be on vacation in August. A spokesman for Lambeth Palace told The Living Church the three-month break for the archbishop has been listed in his calendar for several months. He added that Archbishop Williams intends to write a book during his leave.

In a March 21 interview, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said that while she and Archbishop Williams were together during the February primates meeting, she had invited him to visit the United States this year. She said he declined the invitation at that time, citing the press of other business and a full calendar. She added that she hoped he would reconsider the invitation in light of the House of Bishops’ formal request for a meeting.
the rest

'Windsor Bishops’ Unlikely to Meet Before August

Sculpture of Obama as Jesus Causes Stir
By Nathanael Hernandez
Associated Press Writer

Tue, Apr. 03 2007 CHICAGO (AP) - He wears Jesus' robes and a neon blue halo, looks like Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and is causing a stir at a Chicago art school. An undergraduate student's papier mache sculpture of Obama as a messianic figure — entitled "Blessing" — went on display Saturday at a downtown gallery run by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

By Monday, word of the piece had spread on political blogs, and the school had been flooded with calls.

David Cordero, 24, made the sculpture for his senior show after noticing all the attention Obama has received since he first hinted he may run for the presidency.
the rest

Court nixes Passover lamb sacrifice at Temple Mount
By Nadav Shargai and Amiram Barkat
Sun., April 01, 2007

In their efforts to sacrifice a live animal at the Temple Mount, the New Sanhedrin Council adopted an almost underground modus operandi. Rabbis Adin Steinsaltz, Israel Ariel, Yishai Baved and their associates secretly located a butcher, found a Cohen hailing from a lineage 1,000 years old and worked out a plan to quickly erect an alter on the Temple Mount.

They tried to revive the customs of the ancient Sanhedrin tribunal, which was the highest judicial body for the Jewish people in Israel some 1,600 years ago. They sought to slaughter a sacrificial animal across from the Western Wall.
the rest

Theft accusations called ‘fantasy’
April 3, 2007

In the latest volley in the battle for control of Grace Church and St. Stephen’s Parish, the Rev. Donald Armstrong wrote a blistering letter to his parishioners Friday calling theft accusations against him by the Colorado Episcopal Diocese and Bishop Robert O’Neill “a fantasy” and “spiritual attack.”

The two-page letter outlines Armstrong’s response to allegations after a months-long diocesan investigation. He is accused of theft and other financial improprieties. No decision has been made about pursuing criminal charges, diocesan spokeswoman Beckett Stokes said Friday.

Armstrong said in his letter that O’Neill’s “determination to destroy me” has made it impossible for anyone to grant him a fair hearing in the ecclesiastical system. He said he has not been allowed to dispute the accusations formally and has been treated as “guilty until proven innocent.”
the rest

National Episcopal body to hear bishop's case
The head of the Pa. diocese is accused of allocating more than $6 million without proper authorization.
By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer
Sat, Mar. 31, 2007

A special committee of the Episcopal Church USA will consider allegations that Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. has spent more than $6 million in diocesan funds without proper authorization, and decide if he should face a church trial.

In an unrelated matter, the leaders of several major diocesan boards advised Bennison last week that the diocese faced a deficit of as much as $500,000 this year, and warned that it might not be able to pay bills by mid-summer.

Bennison, who heads the five-county Diocese of Pennsylvania, said yesterday he was confident he would not be charged and said he was working with diocesan leaders to resolve the financial crisis. He called the situation serious but said, "We will pay our bills."
the rest

Judge: Banning fliers about Jesus violated student's rights
April 2, 2007

SYRACUSE, New York (AP) -- A school district violated a fourth-grader's constitutional rights to free speech and equal protection by refusing to allow her to distribute "personal statement" fliers carrying a religious message, a federal judge has ruled.

The Liverpool Central School District in upstate New York based its restrictions on "fear or apprehension of disturbance, which is not enough to overcome the right to freedom of expression," Chief U.S. District Judge Norman Mordue wrote in a 46-page decision Friday.

"School officials had no right to silence Michaela's personal Christian testimony," attorney Mat Staver said Monday.

Staver is executive director of Liberty Counsel, the Orlando, Florida-based conservative legal group that represented Michaela Bloodgood and her mother, Nicole.

Liverpool school district lawyer Frank Miller said the school district was studying the decision and "reviewing its options."
the rest

Monday, April 02, 2007

With the veil removed by the rending of Jesus' flesh, with nothing on God's side to prevent us from entering, why do we tarry without? Why do we consent to abide all our days just outside the Holy of Holies and never enter at all to look upon God? We hear the Bridegroom say, `Let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice and thy countenance is comely.' (Song of Sol 2:14) We sense that the call is for us, but still we fail to draw near, and the years pass and we grow old and tired in the outer courts of the tabernacle. What doth hinder us?...

Let us beware of tinkering with our inner life in hope ourselves to rend the veil. God must do everything for us. Our part is to yield and trust. We must confess, forsake, repudiate the self-life, and then reckon it crucified. But we must be careful to distinguish lazy `acceptance' from the real work of God. We must insist upon the work being done. We dare not rest content with a neat doctrine of self-crucifixion. That is to imitate Saul and spare the best of the sheep and the oxen.

Insist that the work be done in very truth and it will be done. The cross is rough, and it is deadly, but it is effective. It does not keep its victim hanging there forever. There comes a moment when its work is finished and the suffering victim dies. After that is resurrection glory and power, and the pain is forgotten for joy that the veil is taken away and we have entered in actual spiritual experience the Presence of the living God.

Lord, how excellent are Thy ways, and how devious and dark are the ways of man. Show us how to die, that we may rise again to newness of life. Rend the veil of our self-life from the top down as Thou didst rend the veil of the Temple. We would draw near in full assurance of faith. We would dwell with Thee in daily experience here on this earth so that we may be accustomed to the glory when we enter Thy heaven to dwell with Thee there. In Jesus' name, Amen. ...
AW Tozer photo

“Pot Is More Dangerous than LSD or Heroine” - Liberal UK Newspaper Apologizes for Efforts to Legalize Cannabis
25,000 of 250,000 schizophrenics in UK could have avoided affliction if they had not used cannabis says psychiatry prof
By Meg Jalsevac
ENGLAND, April 2, 2007

( – The Independent on Sunday, a British newspaper notorious for its vigorous efforts to persuade the British government to decriminalize marijuana, has issued an apology for its previous position and announced that, due to new evidence concerning the dangers of cannabis, it will cease advocating decriminalization of the drug. This latest development should give serious pause to efforts in Canada, the US, Mexico and other nations attempting to legalize marijuana use.

On March 18, The Independent published an article by writer Jonathon Owen in which Owen listed some of the more detrimental effects of pot use and informed readers the newspaper would no longer continue its campaign to decriminalize pot. Owen’s article, entitled “Cannabis: An Apology” lamented the newspaper’s previous decriminalization efforts and began with the subtitle: “In 1997, this newspaper launched a campaign to decriminalize the drug. If only we had known then what we can reveal today...” the rest

Old Church Becomes Mosque in Uneasy Britain
Published: April 2, 2007

CLITHEROE, England — On a chilly night this winter, this pristine town in some of
Britain’s most untouched countryside voted to allow a former Christian church to become a mosque.

The narrow vote by the municipal authorities marked the end of a bitter struggle by the tiny Muslim population to establish a place of worship, one that will put a mosque in an imposing stone Methodist church that had been used as a factory since its congregation dwindled away 40 years ago.

The battle underscored Britain’s unease with its Muslim minority, and particularly the infiltration of terrorist cells among the faithful, whose devotion has challenged an increasingly secular Britain’s sense of itself.

Britain may continue to regard itself as a Christian nation. But practicing Muslims are likely to outnumber church-attending Christians in several decades, according to a recent survey by Christian Research, a group that specializes in documenting the status of Christianity in Britain.
the rest

Amish Schoolhouse Reopens After Massacre
April 2, 2007

NICKEL MINES, Pa. -- Amish children carrying lunch pails arrived Monday morning at a new school symbolizing a new beginning for the students who survived a shooting that killed five of their classmates exactly six months ago.

The New Hope Amish School, a few hundred yards from the spot where the massacre took place, is protected by more sophisticated locks on its doors and is reachable only by a private drive.

It replaces the West Nickel Mines Amish School, which was torn down Oct. 12. Ten days earlier, milk truck driver Charles Carl Roberts IV shot 10 girls inside the school and then committed suicide as police closed in.
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First Things: Dutch Euthanasia
By Wesley J. Smith
Monday, April 2, 2007

In his book Seduced by Death, Herbert Hendin reported that one reason the Dutch people have not turned against their euthanasia law is that doctors and the media in Holland do not candidly report about the many abuses and violations of the law that occur with regard to their country’s euthanasia policy.

recent news report on Radio Netherlands, to commemorate the fifth anniversary of formal legalization, gives a good example. It contained no discussion of the approximately 1,000 patients who, without requesting euthanasia, are nonetheless killed by Dutch doctors. It contained no discussion of the Dutch Supreme Court permitting the depressed to be assisted in suicide. It contained no substantive dissent at all.

It did, however, contain quotations from Dr. Bert Keizer, author of the book Dancing with Mr. D, in which he describes his euthanasia work as a nursing home doctor. He said, for instance, “People who ask for euthanasia are not put under pressure, they are under the burden of suffering.”
the rest

Cultures unite for a Passover tradition
Houston Chronicle

April 2, 2007

Shirley Warshaw has celebrated the traditional seder meal her entire life. Until recently, Dean Coffer knew nothing about the symbolic dinner.

The two came together last week when Congregation Brith Shalom in Bellaire shared a seder table with members of Brentwood Baptist Church.

"I never heard of a seder until maybe a month ago. Ever," said Coffer, who came as a guest of the Brentwood congregation. "So when I began to discover the importance in the Jewish tradition, I just wanted to know more. I just wanted to learn."

The interfaith ceremony was not unlike the traditional seder that Jews around the world will share tonight, when the eight-day holiday of Passover begins.
the rest

Anglican women pledge solidarity at UN meeting
Apr 1, 2007

A group of Anglican women have reiterated their commitment “to remaining always ‘in communion’ with and for one another” amid deep divisions over sexuality in the Anglican Communion.

“We remain resolute in our solidarity with one another and in our commitment, above all else, to pursue and fulfill God’s mission in all we say and do,” said the women, who attended the 51st session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, in a statement. “The sisterhood of suffering is at the heart of our theology and our commitment to transforming the whole world through pace with justice. Rebuilding and reconciling the world is central to our faith.”

The Anglican delegation of about 80 women and girls was the largest non-governmental representation at the UN session, which took place Feb. 26 to Mar. 9. The annual assembly of women from around the world advocates for gender equality and the empowerment of women, reported the Episcopal News Service (ENS).
the rest

Cleric's decision saddens his flock
Former Episcopal bishop returned to Roman Catholic Church in wake of divisions over consecration of a gay bishop
MARC PARRY, Staff writer
Monday, April 2, 2007

SCHENECTADY -- Daniel Herzog received the gift upon his ordination as bishop of Albany: a ring from the Schenectady parish he served before rising to his new position. The Episcopal ring, like a wedding band, signified Herzog's bond to his church.

On Sunday, the start of Holy Week, parishioners at Schenectady's Christ Church gathered for first Sunday services since the stunning revelation that their former rector had severed his Episcopal bonds to rejoin the Roman Catholic Church.

"I'm heartbroken about the fact that he's leaving, because he had so much to offer," said Nancy White, 84, a parishioner for more than 60 years. "He did so much."

The Episcopal Diocese of Albany announced Thursday that Herzog, who retired in January after eight years as bishop, had become one of only a handful of bishops ever to join another church.
the rest

Comments at titusonenine

Gay man takes bishop to tribunal
Sunday, 1 April 2007

The bishop carried out a "humiliating" interview, it is claimedThe Bishop of Hereford is being taken to an employment tribunal by a man who claims he was refused a job as a youth worker because he is gay.

John Reaney, 41, of north Wales, said he was told after an interview that a job offer was a "formality" but was later summoned to meet the bishop.

He claims the Rt Revd Anthony Priddis then asked him "humiliating" personal questions about his private life.

The diocese said Mr Reaney had never been offered the job.

The two-day tribunal is due to begin in Cardiff on Wednesday.
the rest

Episcopal breakaway lays claim to church
By Valerie Richardson
April 2, 2007

COLORADO SPRINGS -- The Palm Sunday face-off at Grace and St. Stephen's Episcopal Church ended yesterday in a draw, with the conservatives keeping the historic church building for now, but parishioners who wish to stay with the liberal Diocese of Colorado nabbing the choir robes.

Not bad, considering it was the first service since the Rev. Don Armstrong and the vestry announced that the church would secede from the Episcopal Church and join the Nigerian-based Convocation of Anglicans in North America.

More than 600 worshippers attended Mr. Armstrong's three services at the towering stone sanctuary, which he has refused to relinquish to the Diocese of Colorado. Another 400 opted to worship a few blocks away at Shrove Chapel on the Colorado College campus, where the diocese held a hastily called service for members who want to remain with the Episcopal Church.
the rest

Sunday, April 01, 2007

This Word played life against death and death against life in tournament on the wood of the most holy cross, so that by his death he destroyed our death, and to give us life he spent his own bodily life. With love, then, he has so drawn us and with his kindness so conquered our malice that every heart should be won over. ...Catherine of Siena art

Tsunami Hits Solomon Islands; 4 Missing
Apr 1, 9:05 PM (ET)

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (AP) - A powerful earthquake struck in the South Pacific Monday off the Solomon Islands, triggering a tsunami several yards high that destroyed a village and left at least four people missing, officials and residents said.

Judith Kennedy, a resident of the western town of Gizo, said water "right up to your head" swept through the town.

"All the houses near the sea were flattened," she told The Associated Press by telephone. "The downtown area is a very big mess from the tsunami and the earthquake," she added. "A lot of houses have collapsed. The whole town is still shaking" from aftershocks.
the rest

Iris Seismic Monitor

About 600 attend first services at Grace since Episcopalian breakup
Carol McGraw/The Gazette
April 1, 2007

As he promised, Father Donald Armstrong had returned.

Dressed in flaming crimson church vestments that denote martyrdom and the suffering of Christ, he marched down the aisle with the processional at Grace Church and St. Stephen’s Parish during three Palm Sunday services that attracted more than 600 people to the venerable stone church.

Standing in front of the altar and dwarfed by a soaring stained glass window where edifices of ancient Christian saints gazed down — he led his congregation in the somber liturgy that proceeds Easter week.

It was the first time in months that he had officiated. Looking out at the sea of familiar faces in the pews, “My spirit was lifted,” Armstrong said later. The breakaway rector — who has served the 132-year-old Colorado Springs congregation for 20 years — was there without permission of the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado.
the rest

Grace members supporting Episcopal Church worship at alternative site
Jennifer Wilson/the Gazette
April 1, 2007

Wearing white and black robes, members of the Grace Church choir slowly walked the aisles. Outside the main doors, a white sign propped on a wooden easel read “Grace Episcopal Church — Grace Church and St. Stephen’s Parish.”

This Palm Sunday service, however, was unfolding at Colorado College’s Shove Chapel, three blocks away from Grace Church. About 250 people attended the 1 p.m. service organized for Grace members who wish to retain ties to the Episcopal Church that were severed last week by the Grace vestry. Many said they came to worship God, not be distracted by controversy.

“The church is not a building,” said Bill Hinkle, who was confirmed and married at Grace Church.

“I’ve been Episcopal for some years, and I want to support that,” said Bruce Barton, who sings tenor in the choir. the rest

The Grace sing Praise and worship

Gideons facing charges for being on public land
Florida says men cannot be within 500 feet of schools
April 1, 2007

By Bob Unruh

Two Florida men who wanted to give Bibles to children in their community are being charged under a
state law that bans anyone from being within 500 feet of the land on which schools are built unless they have "legitimate business" or "prior authorization."

As WND reported earlier, Anthony Mirto and Ernest Simpson of Monroe County were arrested, booked into jail and charged with trespassing because they were handing out Bibles while standing on a public sidewalk adjacent to a school. the rest

Rise in radical Islam last straw for Lebanon's Christians
By Michael Hirst in Beirut

Sunday Telegraph

Christians are fleeing Lebanon to escape political and economic crises and signs that radical Islam is on the rise in the country.

In a poll to be published next month which was exclusively leaked to The Sunday Telegraph, nearly half of all Maronites, the largest Christian denomination in the country, said they were considering emigrating. Of these, more than 100,000 have submitted visa applications to foreign embassies. Their exodus could have a devastating effect on the country, robbing it of an influential minority which has acted as an important counter-balance to the forces of Islamic extremism.

About 60,000 Christians have already left since last summer's war between Israel and Hezbollah. Many who remain fear that a violent showdown between rival Sunni and Shia factions is looming.
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By Lisa Miller

March 26, 2007 issue - What would Jesus download? One of the hottest sites on the Internet is, the Christian answer to YouTube. It's a goofy, fascinating window into the world of Christian youth. There's a clip of Ray Comfort, the popular evangelical preacher, demonstrating the perfection of God's creation with an actual banana. It's hard—OK, impossible—not to see it as an (unintentional?) dirty joke. Another clip sends up the hip-hop anthem "Baby Got Back": This version is called "Baby Got Bible" and contains hilarious lyrics like "Bless me, bless me and teach me about John Wesley."

GodTube is the brainchild of Chris Wyatt, an excitable 38-year-old student at the Dallas Theological Seminary and former television producer and Internet entrepreneur. In 1999, he says, he "hit a bump in the road, and my mother told me I had to get to know the Lord." Within six weeks he had found Jesus, and in the years that followed, he tried his hand at various Christian enterprises, including a Christian version of Netflix. After moving to Dallas last year, he started working with a Christian marketing firm. Hoping to demonstrate to his clients, the mostly technophobic leaders of megachurches and ministries, all the cool stuff the Internet could do, he paid $400 for the GodTube name and built the site as a demo. A test version went up in January. The site gets between 50,000 and 60,000 unique users a day and it hasn't officially launched yet.
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U.S. Churches Go ‘Green’ for Palm Sunday
Published: April 1, 2007

Mexico, March 29 — Clutching a tiny knife in his big calloused hands, Laizon Corzo wound his way through the thick foliage in one of southern Mexico’s forested areas in search of living treasures.

When he found them — big, leafy palm fronds — he did not cut right away. Instead, he inspected the leaves, back and front, for stains and other imperfections. “This one, no,” he said, pushing aside one and grabbing another. “This one — see how perfect it is?”

Mr. Corzo is one of the indigenous farmers who puts palms in the hands of North American churchgoers on Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter. He is also on the cutting edge of a new movement to harvest what are being called “eco-palms.”
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Outcry cancels chocolate Jesus show
By LARRY McSHANE Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK- A planned Holy Week exhibition of a nude, anatomically correct chocolate sculpture of Jesus Christ was canceled Friday after Cardinal Edward Egan and other outraged Catholics complained.

The "My Sweet Lord" display was shut down by the hotel that houses the Lab Gallery in midtown Manhattan. Roger Smith Hotel president James Knowles cited the public outcry for his decision.

The reaction "is crystal clear and has brought to our attention the unintended reaction of you and other conscientious friends of ours to the exhibition," Knowles wrote in the two-paragraph cancellation notice.

Matt Semler, the gallery's creative director, resigned in protest.
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Study Finds 49% of US College Students Are Abusing Drugs or Alcohol
By Hilary White
March 30, 2007

A new report by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University found that forty-nine per cent (3.8 million) of full time college students binge drink and/or abuse prescription and illegal drugs.

The study, titled Wasting the Best and the Brightest: Substance Abuse at America’s Colleges and Universities, also found that 1.8 million, 22.9 per cent, met the medical criteria for substance abuse and dependence, two and a half times the rate of the general population.
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The Teflon Naturalist
Giving Darwin a Pass

By Chuck Colson
Christian Post Guest Columnist

Sun, Apr. 01 2007

Since its publication in 1859, tens, if not hundreds, of millions of people have been killed in the name of ideologies that cited Darwin’s Origin of Species as justification for their actions.

Yet, despite this bloody history, Darwinism, and especially Darwin himself, have benefited from a Teflon coating that would have made Ronald Reagan jealous. Darwinists have characterized any connection between Darwinism and these ideologies as aberrations and distortions. And they have been particularly keen to absolve Darwin himself of any responsibility.

But a recent article in the liberal religious journal Commonweal gives us ample reasons to question that absolution.

In it, writer Peter Quinn describes the attempt by Darwin’s defenders to “[insulate Darwin] from any unpleasantries associated with his ideas or their consequences.” Instead of presenting the historical Darwin, they create what Quinn calls this “gentle Darwin”—a “benevolent naturalist fighting against entrenched ignorance.”
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Jr. College Coach Resigns After Religious Signs Removed
By The Associated Press
Sun, Apr. 01 2007

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. (AP) — Central Alabama Community College baseball coach Don Ingram resigned after the school removed two signs bearing religious messages from the outfield fence.

The 8-foot by 12-foot signs, sold to sponsors for $1,000 apiece, were taken down after the community college received complaints because of their religious nature.

An individual paid for a sign reading "John 3:16" that was sponsored by the school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter. The second sign, sponsored by Prospect Baptist Church, read: "True success is finding out what God wants you to do, then doing it."

"I resigned because I will not compromise my commitment to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ," Ingram said in a letter mailed to his latest signing class. He added that he didn't fault school administrators for the decision.
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Pastor: Christ did not die for sin
Calls Easter message 'repulsive,' 'insane' – makes 'God sound like a psychopath'

Posted: April 1, 2007

Church of
England traditionalists, wearied by the battles over homosexuality in the church and the clergy, are about to take it on their spiritual chins once again when a leading "gay" cleric will tell listeners to BBC Radio 4 that Christianity's traditional teaching on Christ's crucifixion for the sins of mankind is "repulsive," "insane" and makes "God sound like a psychopath."

Rev. Jeffrey John, who was
forced to withdraw before assuming a position as bishop in 2003 after it was learned he was in a longterm homosexual relationship, is scheduled to appear on Wednesday and will criticize ministers who use their Easter messages to preach that Jesus was sent to earth to die as an atonement for sin, reported the London Telegraph.

Christian theology has taught the doctrine of "penal substitution" – that humans, alienated from God by their sins and unable to save themselves, could only be forgiven by God sending Christ as a substitute to suffer and die in their place.
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Theology pushes Episcopalians to Nigerian church
April 1, 2007

Today is Palm Sunday, one of the most important Christian holidays, and it will be especially so for the 2,000 registered members coping with the splintering of Grace Church and St. Stephen’s Parish.

They must decide which Grace Church to attend: one service to be held at Colorado College’s Shove Chapel under the umbrella of the Episcopal Church and led by Grace’s associate rector, Michael O’Donnell; or one at the Grace downtown church led by Grace’s longtime rector, Donald Armstrong, who is backed by board members who voted last week to affiliate with a Nigeria- based Anglican church led by a controversial conservative archbishop.

In December, the Colorado Diocese placed Armstrong on leave as it investigated and accused him of theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars. No criminal complaint has been filed and Armstrong and the board vehemently deny the accusations.
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Church divide?

THE LOOMING DIVIDE between Anglicans and the United States Episcopal Church may force Bajan and other West Indian priests to choose between the two churches by the end of the year.

In short, if the rupture occurs, priests wouldn't be able to move easily from say Barbados to New York and back to the Caribbean island as now happens.

That dire warning has come from West Indies Archbishop Drexel Gomez, a former Bishop of Barbados. He made it clear that if the worldwide Anglican communion of which Barbados is a part, and the United States Episcopal Church go their separate ways over the United States ordination of openly gay bishops and the American church's decision to bless same-sex gay marriages, then Bajan and other West Indian priests who accept appointments in the United States would have to leave the Anglican church.
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Anglican group buying old Hebronville church
Sunday, April 1, 2007

ATTLEBORO - Just two months after being forced to leave the parish property on North Main Street, the All Saints Anglican congregation that broke away from the national Episcopal Church is on its way to acquiring a permanent home.

The congregation is in the process of purchasing the former Hebron United Methodist Church on South Main Street near the Seekonk line that had been operated as the Hebron Village Outreach Center in recent years.

The Rev. Lance Giuffrida of All Saints Anglican said the congregation voted last weekend to buy the church, and is negotiating a purchase-and-sales agreement."We're very excited," he said. "This is a church that wants to come back as a church. We will be breathing new life into it."
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What it Means to Be Anglican in the 21st Century
Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Sun, Apr. 01 2007

Heightened controversies mainly around homosexuality in the Anglican Communion have forced the worldwide denomination to address more deeply what it means to be Anglican in the 21st century.

"To speak of Anglicanism today, either as a church tradition or as an ecclesial communion, is to speak of one of the most vibrant and unstable expressions of Christianity within the world," said the Most Rev. Drexel Gomez, archbishop of the West Indies.

The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian body in the world with around 77 million members. Many, however, predict a breakup as the Communion's U.S. wing - the Episcopal Church - shows no sign of pledging not to consecrate another gay bishop, as it did in 2003.

The homosexual debate among Anglican churches has gone on for decades. And conservative leaders say the Episcopal Church has departed from Anglican tradition and scriptural authority. But Gomez says the gay debate is only "the tip of the iceberg."
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