Saturday, March 29, 2008

Devotional: The love I bear Christ...

The love I bear Christ is but a faint and feeble spark, but it is an emanation from himself: He kindled it and he keeps it alive; and because it is his work, I trust many waters shall not quench it. ...John Newton image

Not Your Father's L'Abri

The Swiss retreat now tends less to philosophical skeptics than to disaffected evangelicals.
Molly Worthen
3/28/2008

Amelia Hendrix, a tall brunette and the daughter of a Presbyterian Church in America minister, has spent her life as "a poster child for the church." Toward the end of her four years at the University of Tennessee, however, that role proved harder to play. Her "Christian bubble" dissipated as friends from church got married, and she found herself befriending people with different values: non-Christians, gay students, and pot smokers at the record store where she worked.

At university, Amelia took classes on modern American religion. "That was eye-opening," she said. "I did a lot on Jerry Falwell, the conservative party, and the consolidating of the Christian right. It made me question everything I'd been taught. I was raised conservative, pro-life, anti-gay; I was taught that Christians should be in power. I came out thinking nothing I was taught had been right." the rest

Students of Virginity

By RANDALL PATTERSON
March 30, 2008

There was a time when not having sex consumed a very small part of Janie Fredell’s life, but that, of course, was back in Colorado Springs. It seemed to Fredell that almost no one had sex in Colorado Springs. Her hometown was extremely conservative, and as a good Catholic girl, she was annoyed by all the fundamentalist Christians who would get in her face and demand, as she put it to me recently, “You have to think all of these things that we think.” They seemed not to know that she thought many of those things already. At her public high school, everyone, “literally everyone,” wore chastity rings, Fredell recalled, but she thought the practice ridiculous. Why was it necessary, she wondered, to signify you’re not doing something that nobody is doing? the rest

Episcopal bishop elected in disputed California diocese

Sat. Mar 29, 2008

LODI, California (Reuters) - A bishop loyal to the U.S. Episcopal Church was elected on Saturday to replace the deposed leader of a California diocese that was the first to break away over the church's support for gay and women's rights.

At a special convention at St. John the Baptist Church in Lodi, local delegates voted Bishop Jerry Lamb, 67, head of the divided 47-church San Joaquin diocese, which stretches from Stockton to Bakersfield in California's central valley.

Lamb immediately named three women priests -- the region's first -- and called for "dialogue" with church members about including gay and lesbians in local congregations as part of what he said would be his policy of "opening the doors wide." the rest image

Episcopal diocese reorganizes in Lodi, might allow gay priests

Church of Nigeria Executive Committee gives unanimous support for GAFCON

March 29th, 2008

Here: Anglican Mainstream

Full Communique

Psalms offer source of inspiration for prayer

Worshipers turn to ancient Hebrew verses to discover a powerful tool for intimacy with God.
By K. Connie Kang, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
March 29, 2008

The Psalms, says theologian Eugene H. Peterson, are God's gift to those who want to learn how to pray.

"If we wish to develop our entire heart, mind, soul and strength, the Psalms are necessary," the author of the bestselling "Message Bible" writes in "Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer." "We cannot bypass the Psalms."
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Uganda: Gay Row - U.S. Pastor Supports Country On Boycott

29 March 2008
Evelyn Lirri
Kampala

FAMED American pastor, Dr Rick Warren has said he supports the decision by Ugandan bishops to boycott the forthcoming Lamebth conference in England, United Kingdom.


The conference brings together Bishops of the Anglican Communion from all 38 Provinces of the Communion every 10 years.

"The Church of England is wrong and I support the Church of Uganda(CoU) on the boycott,"Dr Warren said on Thursday shortly after arriving in Uganda.

The Bishops are protesting the Church of England's tolerance a homosexuality. Announcing the boycott in February, Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi said that Uganda's action had been prompted by the invitation of bishops of The US Episcopal Church (TEC) who in 2003 elected as bishop, Gene Robinson, a divorced man living in an active homosexual relationship.
the rest

Greek study shows kids afraid to report porn

Friday, March 28, 2008
By Achilleas Topas

Nine out of ten Greek parents do not know how to protect their children from online child pornography, according to research conducted by the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.

Leila Ben Debba, manager at the centre, who has conducted research regarding child pornography disseminated through
Greek sites, says the findings are alarming.

"Generally, Greek parents do not guide their children or monitor how they use the internet and mobile phones. Parents focus more on the cost of the internet and mobile use, while 56 percent of parents do not know whom to report harmful internet content," she says.

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Gays Still Looking for Love from Christians

By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, Mar. 19 2008

To this day, the gay and lesbian community is looking to the Church for some verifiable evidence that Christians love homosexuals as they say they do, said a former gay activist.

Many Christians use the phrase "We hate the sin but we love the sinner" when responding to the homosexual community. But if the Church is going to continue to use that cliché, the burden of proof is on us, said Joe Dallas, program director of Genesis Counseling – a Tustin, Calif.-based ministry to men struggling with sexual addiction and homosexuality.

The Church must provide verifiable evidence of its hatred of sin of homosexuality and love for the homosexual, he explained at a past Love Won Out conference in Orlando, Fla. Dallas’ session was aired on Focus on the Family's radio broadcast on Tuesday.

"We have responsibility to be consistent to live what we preach," he said.
the rest

Dealing with turmoil

Saturday, March 29, 2008
By HEATHER TRAVIS

Rev. David Fuller believes his church is strong enough to withstand the turmoil that has polarized other congregations within the Anglican Church of Canada.

Fuller, who is the priest for the three churches within the Anglican Parish of Rondeau Bay, is upset with the division of some Canadian churches over the issue of blessing same-sex couples who were civilly married.

"It's a tough time," he said. "It's like a family fighting with itself."

Fuller is responding to the recent separation of 15 Anglican churches from the Anglican Church of Canada. These churches have gone on to form Anglican Network Canada, which holds a more conservative view of the church's teachings.
the rest

Friday, March 28, 2008

Devotional: Such is our dependence upon God

Such is our dependence upon God that we are obliged not only to do everything for His sake, but also to seek from Him the very power. This happy necessity of having recourse to Him in all our wants, instead of being grievous to us, should be our greatest consolation. What a happiness is it that we are allowed to speak to Him with confidence; to open our hearts and hold familiar conversation with him, by prayer! He Himself invites
us to it. ...Francois Fenelon image

Commentary: Without Christianity, our society is doomed

By Peter Mullen
The Rev Dr Peter Mullen is Rector of St Michael's, Cornhill and Chaplain to the Stock Exchange
21/03/2008

Excerpt: "Urgent though it is, the threat from a murderous jihad is not the worst we have to face at Easter 2008. Any civilisation has a hope of defending itself against even the most ruthless enemy so long as it preserves the integrity of its own culture and traditions. But for 40 years our governments in Britain have done nothing but undermine the essential quality of our way of life. Those elected to defend the realm have destroyed it. The shepherds are hirelings.

The authority of Parliament is a joke in an age ruled by spin and the Prime Minister's gang of party interest. New Labour has created its own client state out of millions on benefits and 800,000 new civil servants, bribed by the sort of job security and pension entitlements long vanished in the private sector. Public services are near collapse - try getting anywhere by road or rail this holiday weekend. The NHS is a disgrace. "State education" is an oxymoron. The Government loses our national records and lately there have been convictions for vote-rigging.

We might have expected the Church to resist the decay, but instead it has connived with the destructive sexual and social revolution begun in the 1960s. Back then, I voted for homosexuality to be decriminalised. But this meant "between consenting adults in private" - where "between" meant two, "adults" meant men over 21 and "private" meant behind locked doors. I did not foresee the obscene and coercive "Gay Pride" pantomimes that now disfigure our high streets.

Who would have thought we would live to see the Bishop of Hereford fined £47,000 and made to attend a re-education course because he refused to employ a practising homosexual in his diocese's youth services? How long before I am carted from the pulpit to the nick for preaching that sodomy is not morally equivalent to Christian marriage?

I voted also for abortion law reform, because I was told it would put an end to squalid back-street terminations. I did not think I would see the result: 200,000 abortions every year and most as a form of contraception."
Full commentary

Planned Parenthood Abortion Business Makes $1 Billion Profit for First Time

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 28, 2008

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- A new annual report from Planned Parenthood shows the nation's largest abortion business has made over $1 billion in profit for the first time in its history. The non-profit pro-abortion group shows the historical gain in its new annual report covering 2006-2007.

While Planned Parenthood made $972 milion in its 2005-2006 annual report, last fiscal year it brought in $1.017 billion.

On its web site posting of the annual document, Planned Parenthood says it "highlights our advancements in providing and protecting trusted health care services and medically accurate sexuality education."

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Planned Parenthood increases funds to influence elections

Very Creepy Widget From Huffington Post

March 28, 2008

The Huffington Post's
FundRace2008 widget is creepy. Plug in a person's name, a zip code, a profession, or an employer, and you can retrieve all the individual federal political donations that cross the $200 threshold by each person's name with address info and a map, the amount donated and to whom. Include 2004 contributions or exclude them to limit your search to only 2008 contributions. the rest

Attorney fears 'prayer police' could be reality in NY town

Jeff Johnson - OneNewsNow
3/28/2008

A liberal special-interest group based in Washington, DC, is asking the town of Greece, New York, to dictate to its citizens what is acceptable speech for starting prayers in the town council's monthly meetings.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is suing the town of Greece, New York, on behalf of residents Susan Galloway, who is Jewish, and Linda Stephens, an atheist. The pair is offended because, for past decade, town council meetings have been preceded by a voluntary prayer -- typically offered by a local clergy member.

Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United, argues that repeatedly offering Christian prayer at the meetings "sends a message to non-Christians that they are second-class citizens. That's not a message public officials should want to send ...." But Joel Oster, the
Alliance Defense Fund senior counsel representing the town, disputes claims by Lynn's gruop that the council is promoting Christianity by allowing the prayers. the rest

Diocese of South Carolina Protests Presiding Bishop’s Failure to Follow the Canons
Posted by Kendall Harmon
March 27, 2008

The Most Reverend Katherine Jefferts Schori

Presiding Bishop
The Episcopal Church Center
815 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017

Dear Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori:

We, as the Standing Committee and Bishop of South Carolina, write this letter to strongly protest what we recognize as a failure to follow the Canons of our Episcopal Church in the recent depositions of Bishops Schofield and Cox. We respectfully request that you and the House of Bishops revisit those decisions, refrain from the planned selection of a new bishop for the Diocese of San Joaquin, and make every effort to follow our Church Canons in all future House of Bishops decisions.

We believe that deposition is the most severe sanction that can be applied against a bishop.. Consequently, it is most important that both the letter and the spirit of the Canons be followed. In this instance, it is clear that the canonical safeguards in place were not followed.

Under Canon IV.9.2, the House of Bishops must give its consent to depose a bishop under the "abandonment of communion" canon. ". . . by a majority of the whole number of Bishops entitled to vote." The Constitution of the Episcopal Church, Article I.2, states in pertinent part that "Each Bishop of this Church having jurisdiction, every Bishop Coadjutor, every Suffragan Bishop, every Assistant Bishop, and every Bishop who by reason of advanced age or bodily infirmity . . . has resigned a jurisdiction, shall have a seat and vote in the House of Bishops."
the rest at TitusOneNine

Pope Reaches Out to American Catholics
Benedict XVI to visit Washington, D.C., and New York City in April

By Jay Tolson
Posted March 28, 2008

It won't be the easiest roadshow for the leader of the world's largest Christian church, a man who many thought would be a quiet but dogmatic transitional figure focused on preserving the church in an increasingly secular Europe. But Pope Benedict XVI has already upset expectations, and when he arrives this month for his first pontifical visit to the United States, many of his admirers believe that he will overturn more.

As Benedict well appreciates, his upcoming six-day visit to Washington and New York City will bring him into direct contact with a nation that has not only the third-largest Roman Catholic population in the world but also the most diverse. In ethnic terms, that variety may be taking on an increasingly Hispanic cast—at almost 30 percent and rapidly growing—but most of America's 195 dioceses can boast of parishes with a mini-United Nations of national flavorings as well as those in which the melting pot has effectively left no particular ethnic imprint at all.
the rest

Churches to Hold Web Focus Day April 27

"How can we use this new-fangled Internet thing to share the gospel?" Christians are asking. A worldwide "web evangelism focus day" is helping to provide answers. Sunday, April 27, has been designated as Internet Evangelism Day. Churches can download free materials from the Internet Evangelism Day website. These materials make it easy for churches to create a short presentation about online outreach on or near that Sunday. A PowerPoint, video clip testimonies, drama scripts, music and handouts can be used to create their own customized program lasting from one minute to 50.

Church leaders who have already used these materials are excited. "This is a huge help for small churches such as ours," writes a church leader from California.

The Internet Evangelism Day team emphasizes that web evangelism is for anyone, not just the technically gifted. "There are many ways to share your faith online, without any technical background at all," says IE Day Coordinator Tony Whittaker.

Christian leaders are also enthusiastic: "I am glad to commend Internet Evangelism Day," says Dr. John Stott.


Churches can start planning their focus day now.
More information: here

Free Church Website Tool Released

'A Tale of Two Golf Clubs'

Six Candidates for Bishop Coadjutor in Texas
March 28, 2008

Six candidates have been announced for the election of a bishop coadjutor in the Diocese of Texas. Five of the nominees currently are involved in ministry in the Diocese of Texas, and the sixth functions in Dallas.

The nominees are: The Rev. David W. Alwine, rector of Christ Church, Temple; the Rev. Canon C. Andrew Doyle, canon to the ordinary in Texas; the Rt. Rev. Dena A. Harrison, Bishop Suffragan of Texas; the Rev. Gary Dixon Hill, rector of Christ Church, Nacogdoches; the Rev. Canon Neal Michell, canon for strategic development in the Diocese of Dallas; and the Rev. Jim Stockton, rector of Church of the Resurrection, Austin.

The special electing council will be held May 24 at Christ Church Cathedral, Houston. The person elected will succeed the diocesan bishop, the Rt. Rev. Don Wimberly.
The Living Church

ENS: San Joaquin diocese prepares for its future
Reorganization effort to continue by 'taking care of people'

By Mary Frances Schjonberg, March 28, 2008

[Episcopal News Service] Members of the
Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin are gathering in Stockton, California, March 28 to take two major steps in reorganizing the diocese.

The first step will be a "service for healing and forgiveness" at the
Episcopal Church of St. Anne in Stockton, the temporary home of the diocese. House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson will preside at the service and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will lead the litany for healing. The Presiding Bishop and a number of other clergy will be available to anoint people during the service.

Prior to the service, St. Anne's will host a reception for Jefferts Schori and Anderson. After the service, the Presiding Bishop will engage members of the diocese in a question-and-answer session at the church.
the rest

Stand Firm:
The Dean of Nashotah House Writes About the Bishop MacBurney Deposition

Battle over homeschooled teen's welfare moves to European Parliament
Posted: March 28, 2008
By Bob Unruh
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

The parents of Melissa Busekros, the German teen who was taken by police from her home and placed in a psychiatric ward because she was homeschooled, now are being billed by the government for the cost of her forced stay, according to attorneys who are working on her case.

attorneys who are working on her case.

WND originally reported more than a year ago when Busekros, then 15, was taken into custody from in front of her shocked family by police officers bearing the following court order:
"The relevant Youth Welfare Office is hereby instructed and authorized to bring the child, if necessary by force, to a hearing and may obtain police support for this purpose."


She eventually was detained for several months, until she turned 16 and was subject to different German laws, when she simply left the custodial foster family where she had been ordered to stay and returned to her parents, Hubert and Gudrun Busekros, and her five siblings.
the rest

Islam to be primary religion in Brussels within twenty years
Thursday, March 27, 2008

Today, one third of the population is Muslim and younger generations are more religiously active.

The European capital will be Muslim in twenty years. At least this is what is confirmed by a study published last week in the daily La Libre Belgique. According to Olivier Servais, a sociologist at the Catholic University of Louvain, nearly a third of the population of Brussels is already Muslim and, due to their high birth rate, practitioners of Islam should be in the majority "in fifteen or twenty years". Since 2001, Mohamed has consistently been by far the most popular first name given to boys born in Brussels.
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Belgian politicians propose allowing euthanasia to terminally ill kids

Evangelicals urged to attend Lambeth
March 28, 2008
Posted by geoconger

The Archbishop of the West Indies has urged the evangelical wing of the conservative Global South coalition of provinces not to boycott the Lambeth Conference.In an interview broadcast March 12 on the
Australian Broadcasting Corporation Archbishop Drexel Gomez urged evangelicals to reconsider their position. “I prefer to be at the table where the discussion is taking place than to view it in absentia,” he said, “and the future of Anglicanism - to a large extent - will be determined by the outcome of Lambeth.”

His remarks came the same week as the Diocese of Sydney reaffirmed its decision to boycott the conference, with the Dean of Sydney arguing that the reputation of any bishop who went to Lambeth “knowing that unrepentant homosexual activity is wrong’ would ‘always be tarnished.” the rest

The Cemetery Evangelist
Charles R. Swindoll
Insight for Living

When I was growing up in Houston, our family lived across the street from a man and woman who had married later in life. Ms. Brill met and married Mr. Roberts after her childbearing years had passed, so the two of them enjoyed a honeymoon that lasted well into retirement. He was a wonderful, doting husband who loved her deeply, and she found great joy in the man of her dreams. Mr. Roberts was not only the light of her life; he provided much of its meaning. Then, a sudden heart attack took him from her. Her grief knew no bounds.
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Chinese believers to print Olympic Bible in China
28 March, 2008

China (MNN) ― As Tibetan Monks continue to protest against the Chinese government, Chinese believers are excited about the possibility of outreach during the Olympics games in Beijing this year.

China Partner works with the registered church in the country. China Partner's Erik Burklin says, "The China Christian Council is right now working with the Olympic committee to print a New Testament of the Bible both in English and Chinese. It will be handed out as a gift to incoming athletes and foreigners attending the Olympics this summer in Beijing and for the media personnel that are coming in." the rest

Islam’s ‘Public Enemy #1’
Coptic priest Zakaria Botros fights fire with fire

By Raymond Ibrahim

March 25, 2008

Though he is little known in the West, Coptic priest
Zakaria Botros — named Islam’s “Public Enemy #1” by the Arabic newspaper, al-Insan al-Jadid — has been making waves in the Islamic world. Along with fellow missionaries — mostly Muslim converts — he appears frequently on the Arabic channel al-Hayat (i.e., “Life TV”). There, he addresses controversial topics of theological significance — free from the censorship imposed by Islamic authorities or self-imposed through fear of the zealous mobs who fulminated against the infamous cartoons of Mohammed. Botros’s excurses on little-known but embarrassing aspects of Islamic law and tradition have become a thorn in the side of Islamic leaders throughout the Middle East.

Botros is an unusual figure onscreen: robed, with a huge cross around his neck, he sits with both the Koran and the Bible in easy reach. Egypt’s Copts — members of one of the oldest Christian communities in the Middle East — have in many respects come to personify the demeaning Islamic institution of “dhimmitude” (which demands submissiveness from non-Muslims, in accordance with Koran 9:29). But the fiery Botros does not submit, and minces no words. He has famously made of Islam “
ten demands,” whose radical nature he uses to highlight Islam’s own radical demands on non-Muslims. the rest

Peggy Noonan: Getting Mrs. Clinton
March 28, 2008

I think we've reached a signal point in the campaign. This is the point where, with Hillary Clinton, either you get it or you don't. There's no dodging now. You either understand the problem with her candidacy, or you don't. You either understand who she is, or not. And if you don't, after 16 years of watching Clintonian dramas, you probably never will.

That's what the Bosnia story was about. Her fictions about dodging bullets on the tarmac -- and we have to hope they were lies, because if they weren't, if she thought what she was saying was true, we are in worse trouble than we thought -- either confirmed what you already knew (she lies as a matter of strategy, or, as William Safire said in 1996, by nature) or revealed in an unforgettable way (videotape! Smiling girl in pigtails offering flowers!) what you feared (that she lies more than is humanly usual, even politically usual).

But either you get it now or you never will. That's the importance of the Bosnia tape.
the rest

Castro champions gay rights in Cuba
By Michael Voss BBC News, Havana
Thursday, 27 March 2008


There is a Castro who is fighting to introduce radical changes in Cuba.

Not the new president, Raul, although he has promised to push through "structural and conceptual" changes to this communist island in the Caribbean.

It is Raul's daughter, Mariela Castro.

As head of the government-funded National Centre for Sex Education, she is trying to change people's attitudes towards minority groups in the community.
the rest

'The man with the plan wins'
Friday, 28 March 2008

By Kendal Egli

Excerpt: "Bulmer was known during his tenure at St. John’s for his tenacity in urging the Anglican Church to approve the blessing of same-sex unions, even threatening not to bless heterosexual unions himself. The Anglican Diocese of Ottawa approved a motion put forward by Bulmer last October allowing clergy to choose to perform same-sex blessings in church.

“I felt vindicated,” he says.

About 15 years earlier, Bulmer personally blessed a same-sex union before about 150 parishioners from St. John’s church, prompting the bishop at the time to issue a letter to all clergy condemning the practice and warning others they would be fired if it happened again. Bulmer says this was the first and only public same-sex blessing in the city’s Anglican Diocese.
the rest

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. James 4:8

The nearer we come to God, the more graciously will He reveal Himself to us. When the prodigal comes to his father, his father runs to meet him. When the wandering dove returns to the ark, Noah puts out his hand to pull her in unto him. When the tender wife seeks her husband's society, he comes to her on wings of love. Come then, dear friend, let us draw nigh to God who so graciously awaits us, yea, comes to meet us.

Did you ever notice that passage in Isaiah 58:9? There the Lord seems to put Himself at the disposal of His people, saying to them, "Here I am." As much as to say—"What have you to say to me? What can I do for you? I am waiting to bless you." How can we hesitate to draw near? God is nigh to forgive, to bless, to comfort, to help, to quicken, to deliver. Let it be the main point with us to get near to God. This done, all is done. If we draw near to others, they may before long grow weary of us and leave us; but if we seek the Lord alone, no change will come over His mind, but He will continue to come nearer and yet nearer to us by fuller and more joyful fellowship. ...CH Spurgeon
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The Economist: Angry Anglicans
Mar 27th 2008

VANCOUVER
From The Economist print edition

The schism over gays

SINCE Canada is a generally liberal-minded place, it is no surprise that Anglicans there are among the prime advocates of blessing homosexual unions. What was less predictable was that the conservative backlash against this attitude should be so strong. The upshot is that the country's Anglican church is breaking apart, mirroring the strife in the worldwide Anglican communion.

In 2002 the diocese of New Westminster (which includes Vancouver) became the first in the world to authorise the blessing of same-sex partnerships. Conservatives object that homosexuality is harshly condemned in several verses in the Bible. Liberals call this scriptural fundamentalism and note that being gay is not a matter of choice. In an uneasy compromise, the 1998 Lambeth Conference—a once-in-a-decade gathering of Anglican bishops—declared that homosexual acts were incompatible with scripture but that gays were loved by God. In an effort to preserve unity, the communion has called for a moratorium on blessing same-sex unions.
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Mugabe calls for 'Africanisation' of churches in Zimbabwe
Thursday, 27th March 2008
By: George Conger

Robert Mugabe has called for the “Africanisation” of Christianity in Zimbabwe, calling upon the nation’s churches to break free from foreign overlords.

In a reference to Dr Nolbert Kunonga’s battle with the Anglican Communion and to his long-running battle with the Roman Catholic Church, President Mugabe said ecclesiastical authority in Zimbabwe’s churches should be held by Zimbabweans.

Speaking in the Bulawayo suburb of Lobengula on the final Sunday before the March 29 General Elections, Zimbabwe’s president said "independence means power has come to the indigenous people of the country. In every area we should show that we could exercise that power.”

After crushing Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in what was widely viewed as a corrupted election in 2000, the Roman Catholic Church’s Archbishop of Bulawayo, Mgr Pius Ncube emerged as the country’s leading democracy advocate. While Archbishop Ncube resigned last year in the wake of what his supporters say was a plot concocted by the country’s secret police the Catholic Church has remained an outspoken supporter of human rights and democratic freedoms.
the rest

Monks Protest During Press Tour of China
By DAVID BARBOZA
March 28, 2008

SHANGHAI — Tibetan monks shouting pro-independence slogans caught Chinese officials by surprise on Thursday during a highly scripted tour for Western journalists in Lhasa’s central Buddhist temple. The protest disrupted China’s effort to portray the recent Tibetan rioting as the work of violent thugs and separatists.

“Tibet is not free! Tibet is not free!” yelled one young Buddhist monk, who then started crying, according to an Associated Press correspondent in the tour. the rest image

AT&T CEO says hard to find skilled U.S. workers
Wed Mar 26, 2008

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - The head of the top U.S. phone company AT&T Inc (T.N) said on Wednesday it was having trouble finding enough skilled workers to fill all the 5,000 customer service jobs it promised to return to the United States from India.

"We're having trouble finding the numbers that we need with the skills that are required to do these jobs," AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson told a business group in San Antonio, where the company's headquarters is located.
the rest



"Raining McCain" Meghan McCain

I just came across one of the weirdest, craziest, funniest YouTube videos I've seen. Be sure to watch to the end for the floating head and "fatherly" downpour... it's pretty hilarious! link

Meghan McCain Has Offbeat Campaign Blog

Bible rewrite includes binge-drinking Goliath and sex-obsessed Adam
By Laura Clout
27/03/2008

Goliath was a celebrity binge drinker, and Adam was obsessed with Eve's naked body - according to a retelling of traditional Bible stories by an Anglican vicar.

The Must Know Stories, written by the Rev Robert Harrison, feature a reworking of the top ten Bible stories, which were chosen in a poll by the Christian charity Scripture Union.

In the book, the tale of David and Goliath is retold from the perspective of the giant, portrayed as a "depressed alcoholic" who is hung over on the day of his fateful encounter with David.
the rest

Albert Mohler: Is Belief in God Just a Natural Phenomenon?
Thursday, March 27, 2008

The attempt to explain every dimension of the cosmos in purely natural terms is one of the monumental projects of the modern age. If the existence of a supernatural Creator is denied, then everything -- everything -- must be explained by purely natural and material causes.

Explaining some aspects of human experience will pose an especially difficult challenge for those committed to a naturalistic worldview, but some scientists are working hard toward meeting the challenge.

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TLC: Bishop Lawrence: 'Faithful Preaching' Key to Church Growth
March 26, 2008

Shortly before he was consecrated Bishop of South Carolina on Jan. 26, the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence predicted that the Diocese of South Carolina would “light a torch” for internal reform of The Episcopal Church during remarks at diocesan convention.

A few days before the House of Bishops’ spring retreat March 7-12 in Texas, Bishop Lawrence spoke with a reporter about reform and maintaining the enviable growth record begun under the 16-year tenure of his predecessor, the Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr. Bishop Salmon accompanied Bishop Lawrence to the first House of Bishops’ meeting since his consecration. the rest



RC Sproul Interviews Ben Stein about the movie "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed"

Call for review after trial ‘flouted Church rules’
March 27, 2008
Posted by geoconger

US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori failed to follow the procedural rules governing the trial of Bishop William Cox for “abandonment of the Communion” of the Episcopal Church an investigation by The Church of England Newspaper has found.

In a March 12 press conference, Bishop Schori stated she had not followed rules governing the requirement that the 88-year old retired bishop be granted a speedy trial, that he be informed of the charges against him in a timely fashion, and that the consent of the church’s senior bishops be solicited by the Presiding Bishop to suspend him from office pending trial. A subsequent investigation by CEN in conjunction with The Living Church magazine revealed an insufficient number of votes to convict were cast also.

The Bishop of Central Florida has called for a review of the proceedings, and the president of the church’s appellate court of review for the trial of bishops is understood to have agreed to look into the proceedings.
the rest

Catholics could join the royal succession
By Simon Johnson and Christopher Hope
27/03/2008

Gordon Brown is to consider abolishing the Act that prevents Roman Catholics marrying into the Royal Family or becoming king or queen, in a move that could lead to the disestablishment of the Church of England.

The Government signalled that it would look at abolishing the 307-year-old Act of Settlement because it is "antiquated" and discriminates against a section of society.
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Vote could see women bishops in Wales
March 27, 2008

The Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, is urging his clergy to vote in favour of women bishops in a referendum on the issue next week.

Dr Barry Morgan, said that after the ordination of women priests he did not see how the church could "logically exclude women" from the episcopate. "That is why I and my fellow bishops will be asking members of the Governing body to vote in favour of the Bill,” he said.
the rest

Church in Wales talk about possibility of women bishops

Vienna Cathedral Museum Exhibits Lewd, Blasphemous Homosexual "Religious" Art
Artist said to be very pleased his works displayed in museum associated with the Church
By Hilary White

VIENNA, March 26, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Dommuseum in Vienna, the art gallery attached to the historic Catholic cathedral of St. Stephen, is running an exhibition of works by a self-avowed Marxist atheist, titled "Religion, Flesh and Power", that includes depictions of explicit homosexual sex acts in "religious" themed art. Prominent among the works is a rendition of the Last Supper with Christ and His Apostles depicted as homosexuals engaged in an orgy. Another work depicts Christ on the cross without a face but with uncovered genitals. The Last Supper rendition is displayed in a prominent place near the entrance to the exhibition.

Vienna sculptor and painter Alfred Hrdlicka is said to be very pleased that his works are being displayed in a museum associated with the Church.
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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Creation Praise
An early Celtic prayer

I offer Thee
Every wave that ever moved,
Every heart that ever loved,
Thee, my Father's Well-Beloved,
Dear Lord.

Every river dashing,
Every lightning flashing,
Like the angel's sword.
Benedicimus Te!

I offer Thee every cloud that ever swept
O'er the skies and broke and wept
In rain, and with the flowerlets slept.
My King.

Each communicant praying,
Every angel staying
Before Thy throne to sing.
Adoramus Te!

I offer Thee
Every flake of virgin snow,
Every spring of earth below,
Every human joy and woe,
My love!

O Lord! And all the glorious
Self o'er death victorious,
Throned in heaven above.
Glorificamus Te!
...Calvin Miller
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Penalty for Pharmacist's Refusal Upheld
By ROBERT IMRIE Associated Press Writer
Mar 25, 2008

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- A state appeals court upheld sanctions Tuesday against a pharmacist who refused to dispense birth control pills to a woman and wouldn't transfer her prescription elsewhere.

The 3rd District Court of Appeals ruled that the punishment the state Pharmacy Examining Board handed down against pharmacist Neil Noesen did not violate his state constitutional rights, specifically his "right of conscience" to religiously oppose birth control.

"Noesen abandoned even the steps necessary to perform in a minimally competent manner under any standard of care," the three-judge panel said. The decision upheld a ruling by Barron County Circuit Judge James Babler.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin praised the ruling as important for women's access to reproductive health care. Several states have been wrestling with the issue of pharmacists who refuse on religious grounds to dispense birth control or "morning-after" pills.
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Ruling will not impact homeschooling parents
By HEATHER DODDS
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Daily News Staff Writer

YREKA - A Feb. 28 California court ruling that forbid parents without teaching credentials from legally home-schooling their children will not change the state’s home school policy, according to the California Department of Education.

Last month, when the immediate impact of the ruling was unknown, some home-schooling parents feared they needed to either obtain a bachelor’s degree and complete multiple examinations or enroll their child in public school.
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Calif. Court of Appeal agrees to reconsider homeschooling case

96 Catholic Colleges have pro-homosexual clubs or activities
Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sounds like a poor joke, right? Well, it's true.

From the TFP Student Action center:

... TFP volunteers examined the official web sites of 211 Catholic universities and colleges listed by Granley’s Catholic Schools in America. Their research discovered that 45% have pro-homosexual clubs. Many of these clubs share in the movement’s radical goal – to force social acceptance of unnatural vice on Christian America, and gag expressions of free speech that oppose the movement’s ideological agenda.
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See the list of Catholic colleges with pro-homosexual clubs

Stand Firm: DioOregon: Bishop Johncy Itty Announces Resignation
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Via email:

OPEN LETTER TO THE DIOCESE OF OREGON
March 25, 2008

Dear Diocesan Leaders,

Monday I received a letter from Bishop Itty stating, “I am writing to inform you that I am hereby transferring Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese of Oregon to the Standing Committee, effective midnight March 23, 2008.” We feel the seriousness of this responsibility and our pledge to you is that we will maintain open communication and prayerfully consider each decision. We are blessed to have Paul Dakopolos as our Chancellor who will walk this journey with us.

Today I attended Morning Prayer and then gathered staff for a discussion about the day-to-day business of our diocese. Margaret McMurren+, Vice President of the Board of Trustees joined us. The staff is truly faithful and dedicated to our diocese, and all of us appreciate their open willingness to work with us.
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ENS: LONG ISLAND: Court rules for diocese, wider church in property case
By Mary Frances Schjonberg
March 26, 2008

[Episcopal News Service] The Supreme Court of Queens County, New York, recently ruled that the property of St. James' Episcopal Church, Elmhurst, is held in trust for the
Diocese of Long Island and the Episcopal Church.

The majority of the members of St. James, Elmhurst voted in March 2005 to leave the Episcopal Church and join the
Anglican Church in America. Those members formed what is now known as St. James Anglican Church, which is listed on the Anglican Church in America's website.

The departing members then sued the diocese and the Episcopal Church, asking for a ruling that neither entity had an interest in the parish property. The dissidents relied heavily on the fact that the parish was originally established as a part of the Church of England, arguing that the parish predated the Episcopal Church and they were therefore independent of the church and free to leave. St. James Church was founded in 1704 and officially chartered in 1761 by King George III. It was the first parish in Elmhurst, called Newtown in colonial times.

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You'd Look Sweet Upon the Seat of a Spaceship Built for Two
By Eliza Strickland

03.26.08

The fledgling business of blasting rich tourists to the edge of space is getting competitive.

The commercial space company Xcor Aerospace is announcing its entrance into the space-tourism business at a press conference this morning, where company executives are expected to unveil a model of the Lynx, a two-seat suborbital spaceship that is smaller than a business jet.

Company spokesman Doug Graham says the company has charted a course that leads to fully orbital vehicles. "The Lynx is not where we're going to stop," he told Wired.com.

No company has yet launched a commercial suborbital spaceflight, and
Xcor is not staking its claim on being the first to send tourists into the mesosphere. story and image

If Foreigners Could Vote in '08
Presidential Candidates Inspire Allegiances On Every Continent
By DAVID LUHNOW in Rio de Janeiro, JOHN W. MILLER in Brussels, and SARAH CHILDRESS in Nairobi
March 26, 2008

For America's presidential candidates, the global electoral map is looking as divided as the domestic one.

When foreigners look at the three contenders, Sen. Barack Obama seems to have the lead among Europeans and Africans. Sen. Hillary Clinton is popular among Mexicans and Chinese. Sen. John McCain just returned from a campaign swing through the Middle East and Europe.
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Many Muslims Turn to Home Schooling
By NEIL MacFARQUHAR
March 26, 2008

LODI, Calif. — Like dozens of other Pakistani-American girls here, Hajra Bibi stopped attending the local public school when she reached puberty, and began studying at home.

Her family wanted her to clean and cook for her male relatives, and had also worried that other American children would mock both her Muslim religion and her traditional clothes.
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UK: Bishop's death threat after mosque support
Wednesday, 26th March 2008
George Conger

THE BISHOP of Oxford told a community meeting last week that he had received a death threat for backing a proposal to allow the Muslim muezzin’s call, the Adhan, to be broadcast five times a day at the Oxford Central Mosque.
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TLC: Retired Quincy Bishop Faces Church Trial
March 26, 2008

A canonical case against the Rt. Rev. Edward H. MacBurney, retired Bishop of Quincy, will be heard by Court for the Trial of a Bishop. It will be the first such case since the canons were amended by General Convention in 2006 to include members of the clergy and laity among the judges in a disciplinary case against a member of the episcopacy.

Bishop MacBurney has been served with a presentment, an ecclesiastical indictment. It charges him with violating Article II, Section 3 of The Episcopal Church Constitution and Title III, Canon 12, Section 3 which states: “No Bishop shall perform episcopal acts or officiate by preaching, ministering the sacraments, or holding any public service in a diocese other than that in which the Bishop is canonically resident, without permission or a license to perform occasional public services from the ecclesiastical authority of the diocese in which the bishop desires to officiate or perform episcopal acts.”

Bishop MacBurney, 80, was Bishop of Quincy from 1988-1994. In June of 2007 Bishop MacBurney confirmed several persons at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in San Diego. An overwhelming number of members of Holy Trinity voted to leave The Episcopal Church and affiliate with the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone in 2006. The Rt. Rev. James R. Mathes, Bishop of San Diego, filed the initial complaint against Bishop MacBurney.
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Canada: Nursing Association Attempts to Silence Christian Activist, Fellow Nurse at Supreme Court
By Hilary White

REGINA, Saskatchewan, March 25, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Saskatchewan Association of Licensed Practical Nurses (SALPN) will attempt to take a Christian activist member to the Supreme Court of Canada to attempt to silence his objections to abortion, "sex education" and Planned Parenthood.

Six years ago, after Bill Whatcott, a licensed practical nurse, protested outside Planned Parenthood offices in Regina, Saskatchewan. SALPN retaliated by suspending his license and levelling a $15,000 fine, calling the protest "professional misconduct".
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EU parliament president backs boycott of Games opening ceremony
Tue, 25 Mar 2008

Parliament’s president Hans-Gert Pöttering has backed growing calls for an EU-wide boycott of the opening ceremony of this summer’s Olympic Games. Pöttering is the most senior Western politician to argue in favour of an Olympic protest if the Chinese government continues with its hardline response to unrest in Tibet.

Speaking ahead of a parliament debate this week on the crisis, the centre-right MEP told Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper "boycott measures" could be justified if the Chinese failed to negotiate a "compromise" with the Tibetan protest leaders.
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China Moves to Tighten Control Over Religion in Tibet
By Maureen Fan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, March 26, 2008

BEIJING, March 25 -- China's security chief called for stepping up "patriotic education" in Tibet's monasteries, the state-run Tibet Daily said Tuesday, as prosecutors for the first time charged demonstrators in the largely peaceful, monk-led protests that later exploded into riots in the region.

Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhu led the first high-level central government visit to Tibet since the riots broke out this month. In the face of international criticism of China's crackdown, he stressed that the government would "fight an active publicity battle" and solicit the help of Communist Party cadres.
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Dalai Lama's threat shakes Buddhism

Episcopal leader to head diocese reorganization
By Keith Reid
Record Staff Writer
March 26, 2008

The national leader of the Episcopal Church will be in Lodi this weekend to lead a major reorganization of the embattled San Joaquin Diocese and to elect a new bishop.

The diocese, which had 47 member churches, voted in December to secede from the national church body over disagreement on issues such as biblical interpretation, women in leadership roles and whether the church should ordain openly gay clergy.
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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Vineyards in the Wilderness

"I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness…And I will give her her vineyards from thence" Hosea 2:14-15

A strange place to find vineyards--in the wilderness! And can it be that the riches which a soul needs can be obtained in the wilderness, which stands for a lonely place, out of which you can seldom find your way? It would seem so, and not only that, but the "Valley of Achor," which means bitterness, is called a door of hope. And she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth!

Yes, God knows our need of the wilderness experience. He knows where and how to bring out that which is enduring. The soul has been idolatrous, rebellious; has forgotten God, and with a perfect self-will has said, "I will follow after my lovers." But she did not overtake them. And, when she was hopeless and forsaken, God said, "I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her." What a loving God is ours! --Crumbs

We never know where God hides His pools. We see a rock, and we cannot guess it is the home of the spring. We see a flinty place, and we cannot tell it is the hiding place of a fountain. God leads me into the hard places, and then I find I have gone into the dwelling place of eternal springs. ...Streams On The Desert
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UK: Muslims 'to outnumber traditional churchgoers'
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
25/03/2008

The increasing influence of Islam on British culture is disclosed in research today that shows the number of Muslims worshipping at mosques in England and Wales will outstrip the numbers of Roman Catholics going to church in little more than a decade.

Projections to be published next month estimate that, if trends continue, the number of Catholic worshippers at Sunday Mass will fall to 679,000 by 2020. By that time, statisticians predict, the number of Muslims praying in mosques on Fridays will have increased to 683,000.
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Excessive emails and text are a mental illness
March 23, 2008

PEOPLE who send excessive texts and emails may have a mental illness, according to an article in a leading psychiatric journal.

As more people leave the office computer, only to log on as soon as they get home, the American Journal of Psychiatry has found addiction to text messaging and emailing could be another form of mental illness.

The article, by Dr Jerald Block, said there were four symptoms: suffering from feelings of withdrawal when a computer cannot be accessed; an increased need for better equipment; need for more time to use it; and experiencing the negative repercussions of their addiction.
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NY Gov. Paterson's,
ex-lover's trips coincide
Hotel stays, including those to work on Clinton's presidential bid, were billed to state credit cards

By JAMES M. ODATO
Tuesday, March 25, 2008

ALBANY -- Gov. David Paterson and an aide identified as his former lover traveled together to South Carolina last October, apparently to work on the campaign of U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, and billed the state for the trip, state comptroller records show.

Errol A. Cockfield Jr., Paterson's spokesman, could not explain why both Paterson and the woman, an employee of the governor's office who makes almost $151,000 annually, were both at an inn identified on bills as InterContinental Hotel SA in South Carolina, last October.

A person familiar with their schedules said Paterson worked on Clinton's presidential campaign in South Carolina last October and the woman served as Paterson's staff on the trip. Her state job title does not seem to cover such assignments, but she was said to be on her personal time.
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N.Y. Gov. Paterson Spokesman Refutes Report He Used State $$ for Travel

New Governor of New York Admits to Past Drug Use

Anglican anger over embryos
Mon Mar 24 2008

The Church of England has weighed in to the controversy over human embryos.

Supporters of the Government's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, which will allow scientists to create "hybrid" embryos from animal eggs and human nuclei, have been hitting back after attacks from senior Catholic clerics.

Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien said the bill would allow "grotesque procedures" which would "attack the sanctity and dignity of human life".

But fertility expert Lord Winston, a Labour peer, said: "His statements are lying. They are misleading and I'm afraid that when the Church, for good motives, tells untruths, it brings discredit upon itself."

The Anglican Archbishop of Cardiff Peter Smith said: "I refute any suggestion that the Catholic bishops have been lying about this bill or misleading people as to its contents and import.


"What is needed is a calm, reasoned debate based on the facts."
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Aspiring Pol Changes Name To Pro-Life
Idaho Strawberry Farmer Vying For Larry Craig's Senate Seat Trumpets Abortion Stance

LETHA, Idaho
March 18, 2008

(AP) A Senate candidate has legally changed his name to Pro-Life and will appear on the ballot that way this year, state election officials say.

As Marvin Pro-Life Richardson, the organic strawberry farmer from Letha, 30 miles northwest of Boise, was denied the use of his middle name when he ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2006 because the state's policy bars the use of slogans on the ballot.

Now, though, officials in the Idaho secretary of state's office say they have no choice because Pro-Life is his full and only name. He says he will run for the highest state office on the ballot every two years for the rest of his life, advocating murder charges for doctors who perform abortions and for women who obtain the procedure.
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Global Anglicans: an attack on us all
by Chris Sugden in Evangelicals Now for April 2008

A leading Anglican layman has written to the press about the news that Dr Jim Packer has been served with a ‘notice of presumption of Abandonment of the Exercise of Ministry’ by the Diocese of New Westminster in Canada.

Professor Glynn Harrison is Professor of Mental Health at the University of Bristol, Church Warden of Christ Church, Clifton Bristol, a member of General Synod, and of the Crown Nominations Commission. He wrote: "Even with the turmoil engulfing the Anglican Communion, many evangelicals have focused on getting on with the job.
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Prominent convert asks converts to stand up
High-profile Muslim baptized by Pope asks Muslim converts to "come out"

ROME, Mar 24, 2008

A day after he was received into the Catholic Church by Pope Benedict XVI during the Easter vigil, Magdi Allam, a widely known Italian Muslim, wrote a letter to his own paper on Easter Sunday in which he issued a twofold call: first he encouraged other Muslims who have converted to Catholicism to come out publicly and secondly he called on the Church to be “less prudent” about converting Muslims.The 55-year-old Egyptian-born convert is deputy editor of “Corriere della Sera,” one of Italy’s leading newspapers, and often writes on Muslim and Arab affairs.
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Albert Mohler: Has the Notion of Sin Disappeared?
Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cathy Lynn Grossman of
USA Today asked the question, "Is sin dead?" The headline of her article in the paper was: "Has the 'Notion of Sin' Been Lost?"

Early in the article, Grossman answers her own question -- "No, not by a long shot." Still, her report raises some important issues about just what many people -- and preachers -- believe about sin. She also points to a question that should trouble the Christian conscience: "How can Christians celebrate Jesus' atonement for their sins and the promise of eternal life in his resurrection if they don't recognize themselves as sinners?" That question demands an answer.
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