Saturday, January 21, 2012

Discipling the Dragon: Christian Publishing Finds Success in China

Despite stringent controls, 1,300 Christian books are now available—legally—inside the communist country.
John W. Kennedy
1/20/2012

China's communist government may be constricting freedom of worship in some places, such as Beijing's Shouwang house church, but Chinese consumers are gaining access like never before to legally published books by best-selling American evangelical authors.

Since early April, the 1,000-member-strong Shouwang church has held services outdoors rain or shine, and eight of its pastors are under house arrest. The government, citing the church's lack of registration, pressured the church's landlord to cancel Shouwang's lease.

At the same time, there has been a surge across China in the availability of popular Christian titles by authors Rick Warren, Gary Chapman, and Beth Moore, as well as classic titles by C. S. Lewis and others. Statistics on Christian book sales are unreliable in China. But figures on Bible publishing provide one reliable snapshot of the phenomenal growth. Amity, the official publisher of Bibles inside China, increased Bible printing each year from 1998 (2.8 million) to 2008 (10 million). Other than Bibles, top sellers are Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life, with more than 100,000 in print, and the Francine Rivers novel Redeeming Love.

A big reason for this growth is the 2008 debut of the online-only retailer Baojiayin (GoodNewsinChina.com). For decades, the government heavily limited the retail sales of Christian literature. But all that changed with Baojiayin.

For instance, Paul Douglas, an Australian medical doctor living in China, uses Baojiayin to send about $140 worth of books to local churches, creating an instant lending library. Douglas can donate sets of theological commentaries, marital advice books, and biographies of Christian leaders. the rest

Rising violence in Nigeria has reached a critical point

Condemnation after escape of Christmas Day church bombing suspect
by Setrige Crawford
January 20, 2012

The rising violence in Nigeria has reached a critical point as the main Boko Haram suspect in the Christmas day bombings has escaped custody and officials are struggling to protect their citizens from the violent militant group.

The main suspect of the Christmas Day church bombings in Nigeria escaped after spending less than 24 hours in custody, according to Reuters. Now police officers involved in the case have been detained and will be investigated.

The suspect, Kabiru Sokoto, was arrested on Tuesday by Nigerian policeman. During a trip to his home in Abaji to conduct a search, their vehicle came under fire. the rest

Added:
 Boko Haram Islamists Slaughter 80 in Nigeria’s Second Largest City of Kano (Video)
Saturday, January 21, 2012
...At least 80 bodies were piled in a morgue in Nigeria’s second-largest city of Kano on Saturday after coordinated bomb attacks and shootouts the previous night, an AFP correspondent reported.

The journalist was able to count at least 80 corpses in the morgue at Kano’s main hospital, many with gunshot wounds, and the toll was expected to be higher...

Bankrupt Solyndra caught destroying millions of dollars in parts


...despite owing the taxpayer half a billion
21st January 2012

They are the green energy company that filed for bankruptcy while owing the American public half a billion dollars.

But the Fremont solar company have been taped smashing up millions of dollars worth of glass parts which they haven't even paid for yet.

Solyndra received a $535 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration in 2009 as part of the Energy Department’s drive to build a clean energy economy. the rest

Friday, January 20, 2012

Post Abortion Syndrome Healing Testimony


posted January 20, 2012

Sydna's Testimony

I'm not a medical doctor or a counselor -- just a woman who chose abortion and lives today without that child in my life. Truly if there was one thing I could go back and undo in my life, it would be that abortion. I was 19 years of age and in college. I had all the wrong reasons but especially because my boyfriend wasn't supportive of a life decision -- he insisted on the abortion. While my head said abortion was the eraser to my mistake, my heart knew the truth because I had already connected to my unborn child. Had my boyfriend been supportive, I would probably have not aborted but I will never know. You have a true choice, more than I did and that provides a great deal of freedom. And I'm glad you are seeking answers to your questions before you abort.

First of all, abortion has an extreme amount of emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual consequences. The fact that 43% of all women have experienced abortion is a good reference (www.agi-usa.org - The Alan Guttmacher Institute, "Facts in Brief: Induced Abortion," 2000). If nearly half of all women have had abortions, why is it that you never hear any of them sharing about their experiences?

I know from ministering to thousands of post-abortive women that the shame and grief keeps them from sharing. We expect judgment from most. Many of us never allowed ourselves to actually grieve our lost children until years afterwards when we couldn't erase the memory of the child from our hearts. While we may have initially felt relief, the forever pain of being the mothers of dead children has long outlasted any initial relief. the rest

Health plans ordered to cover birth control without co-pays

By Julian Pecquet
01/20/12

Most healthcare plans will be required to cover birth control without charging co-pays or deductibles starting Aug. 1, the Obama administration announced Friday.

The final regulation retains the approach federal health officials proposed last summer, despite the deluge of complaints from religious groups and congressional Republicans that has poured in since then. Churches, synagogues and other houses of worship are exempt from the requirement, but religious-affiliated hospitals and universities only get a one-year delay and must comply by Aug. 1, 2013.

“This decision was made after very careful consideration, including the important concerns some have raised about religious liberty,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. “I believe this proposal strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services."

Congressional Republicans slammed the decision as an assault on religious freedom. the rest

Albert Mohler: “Abortion is as American as Apple Pie”

— The Culture of Death Finds a Voice
Friday, January 20, 2012

Abortion is now one of America’s most common surgical procedures performed on adults. As many as one out of three women will have at least one abortion. In some American neighborhoods, the number of abortions far exceeds the number of live births.

Most Americans will pay little attention to the 39th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision. In 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that a woman has a constitutional right to arrange the killing of the unborn life within her. Since that decision was handed down, more than 50 million babies have been aborted, at a rate of over 3,000 each day.

One of the most chilling aspects of all this is the sense of normalcy in American life. Abortion statistics pile up from year to year, and each report gets filed. Moral sentiment on the issue of abortion has shifted discernibly in recent years, as ultrasound images and other technologies deliver unquestionable proof that the unborn child is just that — a child. Nevertheless, the larger picture of abortion in America is basically unchanged. the rest
“Abortion is as American as apple pie.” Hoffman made that statement in a recent interview about her book. She laments that abortion is the cause of shame in some women and that shame attaches itself to abortion in the larger culture, even now. In her view, if women would start talking more honestly and directly about their abortions, the shame would be removed and women would discuss their abortions like they speak of “a bikini wax.”

Germany's New Islamic Centers Funded by Taxpayers

by Soeren Kern
January 19, 2012

One of the oldest universities in Germany has opened the country's first taxpayer-funded department of Islamic theology.

The Center for Islamic Theology at the University of Tübingen was inaugurated on January 16 and is the first of four planned Islamic university centers in Germany.

The German government claims that by controlling the curriculum, the school, which is to train Muslim imams and Islamic religion teachers, will function as an antidote to "hate preachers."

Most imams currently in Germany are from Turkey and many of them do not speak German.

German Education Minister Annette Schavan, who attended the opening ceremony, said the Islamic center was a "milestone for integration" for the 4.3 million Muslims who now live in Germany.

But the idea has been fiercely criticized by those who worry the school will become a gateway for Islamists who will introduce a hardline brand of Islam into the German university system. the rest

Schools spying on students?

Bob Kellogg
OneNewsNow
1/19/2012

A number of schools throughout the United States are beginning to bypass parental permission and use electronic devices to monitor students as a way to combat obesity. But some critics are wondering how far officials will take the effort.

School officials in Bay Shore, Long Island (New York) recently purchased eight "Polar Active" monitoring devices to electronically monitor students. Schools in St. Louis and South Orange, New Jersey, are doing likewise. Bay Shore superintendent Peter Dion says the devices inform or motivate students by giving them immediate feedback about their fitness.

But John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, says schools "attaching devices to people, tracking their vital signs, and watching … what they eat and what they're doing, which is really none of anybody's business," is comparable to an electronic concentration camp. "Even with parental approval on this, I think this is still a very dangerous way to go." the rest

MA State Department of Health defends seeking forced abortion for mentally ill woman

by Christine Dhanagom
Thu Jan 19, 2012

BOSTON, January 19, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After news broke this week that the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) was seeking to force a mentally ill woman to abort her child, the state agency has dug in its heels in the face of widespread outrage, defending its decision in a statement to the Boston Herald this week.

The DMH had filed a petition to have the parents of a 32-year-old mentally ill woman appointed as the woman’s temporary guardians for the purpose of forcing her to have an abortion.

The woman, who is identified in court documents under the pseudonym “Mary Moe,” suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. According to court documents, she had a psychotic breakdown after a previous abortion and “believed people were staring at her and stating that she killed her baby.” She is also the mother of a son, born after the abortion, who is in the custody of her parents.

Despite the apparent link between the previous abortion and Moe’s mental illness, DMH Commissioner Barbara Leadholm told the Herald the Department believed that a second abortion would be in the patient’s best interest.

“The Department conveyed the request of health-care providers and the parents’ wishes in order to ensure the safety of a patient with severe mental illness,” Leadholm said.

Norfolk Probate and Family Court Judge Christina L. Harms had ruled in favor of the Department’s petition, ordering not only an abortion but a forced sterilization. the rest

Pope: America is “increasingly hostile to Christianity”

by John-Henry Westen
Thu Jan 19, 2012

 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a meeting with various U.S. Bishops today, Pope Benedict XVI said that the consensus which once existed in America supporting “ethical principles deriving from nature and nature’s God,” has faded. “Today that consensus has eroded significantly in the face of powerful new cultural currents which are not only directly opposed to core moral teachings of the Judeo-Christian tradition, but increasingly hostile to Christianity as such,” he said.

The Pope was emphatic in insisting that the threat posed by current trends threatens not only Christianity but “humanity itself.” He said: “To the extent that some current cultural trends contain elements that would curtail the proclamation of these truths, whether constricting it within the limits of a merely scientific rationality, or suppressing it in the name of political power or majority rule, they represent a threat not just to Christian faith, but also to humanity itself and to the deepest truth about our being and ultimate vocation, our relationship to God.”

The Pope used strong language to describe the grave situation he perceives in America. “(I)t is imperative,” he said, “that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realise the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres.” He continued, “The seriousness of these threats needs to be clearly appreciated at every level of ecclesial life.” the rest

New Definition of Autism Will Exclude Many, Study Suggests

By BENEDICT CAREY
January 19, 2012

Proposed changes in the definition of autism would sharply reduce the skyrocketing rate at which the disorder is diagnosed and might make it harder for many people who would no longer meet the criteria to get health, educational and social services, a new analysis suggests.

The definition is now being reassessed by an expert panel appointed by the American Psychiatric Association, which is completing work on the fifth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the first major revision in 17 years. The D.S.M., as the manual is known, is the standard reference for mental disorders, driving research, treatment and insurance decisions. Most experts expect that the new manual will narrow the criteria for autism; the question is how sharply.

The results of the new analysis are preliminary, but they offer the most drastic estimate of how tightening the criteria for autism could affect the rate of diagnosis. For years, many experts have privately contended that the vagueness of the current criteria for autism and related disorders like Asperger syndrome was contributing to the increase in the rate of diagnoses — which has ballooned to one child in 100, according to some estimates. the rest

Muslims in Egypt Burn Christian Homes and Shops, Attack Church

1-20-2012

(AINA) -- A Muslim mob attacked Copts today in the Upper Egyptian village of Rahmaniya-Kebly, Nag Hammadi, Qena province, destroying and torching their homes, straw huts and shops, while chanting Allahu Akbar. No one was reported killed or injured (video). According to reports, security forces were present but did not intervene and the fire brigade arrived 90 minutes late.

An eye-witness said that a straw hut belonging to a Copt was torched to clear the area for a mosque. There are more than 300 mosques in the village and one church.

According to Coptic residents, the reason behind the violence was the parliamentary elections. The Salafists wanted to prevent Copts, who number more than 50% of the inhabitants (20,000), from voting because they intended to vote for two moderate Muslims and not the Salafi candidates. "No Copt from Rahmaniya-Kebly was able to vote today, so the Salafists will win the elections," said a witness. Copts were forcefully prevented from voting.

US-based WAY TV, which covered live today's Rahmaniya attacks, called commander Osama, head of security at Rahmaniya, who said "everything was OK" -- despite live pictures on TV of the burning homes. Joseph Nasralla of WAY TV spoke to security and made them aware that the videos of the fires were being broadcast in the U.S. and Middle East, which caused the immediate dispatch of security vehicles. By late evening the violence had stopped. the rest

Begin Sex Ed in Kindergarten, Says New ‘National Standards’ Report

By Elizabeth Harrington
January 17, 2012

(CNSNews.com) – By the time they leave elementary school, children should be able to “define sexual orientation,” and by the eighth grade be able to “define emergency contraception and its use,” according to a report containing controversial new recommendations for sex education in U.S. public schools.

“Ideally, comprehensive sexuality education should start in kindergarten and continue through 12th grade,” says the “National Sexuality Education Standards” report, drawn up by a range of advocates, academics and public education officials.

The Future of Sex Education (FoSE), an initiative started by sex education advocates, developed the standards “to create a strategic plan for sexuality education policy and implementation.” the rest

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thou didst call, and cry aloud...

Thou didst call, and cry aloud, and break through my deafness. Thou didst blaze forth, and shine, and scatter my blindness. Thou wert fragrant, and I drew in my breath, and pant for Thee. I tasted, and I hunger and thirst Thou didst touch me, and I burned for Thy peace.  ...Augustine image

Nigeria: Believers Gunned Down "while their eyes were closed in prayer"

First-hand report of a native missionary ministry leader supported by Christian Aid.
Thursday January 19, 2012

Excerpt:
I received this message on 16 January from an indigenous missionary ministry leader supported by Christian Aid. He had called me late at night on 6 January to ask for prayer. He and his family were behind locked doors with others from the ministry, keeping vigil so they would not be slaughtered in their sleep.

"We could never have imagined what would happen next when those two buses drove into town filled with Boko Haram Muslim fanatics. Authorities did nothing, and the next day, two of their young men on a motor cycle sped toward the Christ Apostolic church, raised their AK47's, and coldly and brazenly opened fire on believers gathered for prayer. Twelve people were killed, openly gunned down in daylight, while their eyes were closed in prayer. Twelve died, including three Christian brothers who support our missionary work. Anyone could be a target as it is now. We have no weapon but prayer, and we want you to join with us as the Lord and His kingdom are attacked."

Those murdered comprise only a small percentage of the total number that have been massacred in ruthless attacks by Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist group intent on driving Nigeria's Christians from the nation's Muslim-dominated northern regions and imposing Shariah law throughout the nation.

After the church attack, still thirsty for blood, the killers went to a beauty salon, opened fire, and murdered four more. When several dozen Christians gathered together to mourn the loss of fellow believers murdered the previous day, Boko Haram members surrounded the crowd and began shooting, killing more than 20 people and leaving others severely wounded.

The attacks intensified throughout the Christmas season, leaving more than 50 people dead in a wave of bombings, mostly outside church buildings as services were ending. the rest

One Fifth of Human Race Being Aborted

Over the past three decades, about 20 percent of all pregnancies around the world have ended in abortion, according to the research.
By MIKAELA CONLEY
Jan. 19, 2012

Excerpt:
From 2003 to 2008, the abortion rate per 1,000 women of childbearing age (15 to 44) changed slightly, from 29 to 28 per 1,000. women But the proportion of unsafe abortions that took place across the world rose 44 percent in 1995 to 49 percent in 2008.

"The stall in the abortion rate coincides with a plateau in the level of contraceptive use, which had been increasing in prior years," said Dr. Gilda Sedgh, lead author of the study and senior researcher at the Guttmacher Institute in New York. "Before the abortion rate stalled, it was declining, and contraceptive use was increasing. Also more abortions are unsafe because a growing proportion of abortions are taking place in the developing world." the rest

Honor Killing in Germany

Muslim Beats His Girfriend and Kills Her Unborn Baby Because She Saw Male Doctor
January 18, 2012

A Muslim punches his pregnant girlfriend several times in the abdomen because she was examined by a male doctor.
Thanks to the heavy punches the unborn baby suffered cerebral haemorrhages while still in its mother's womb. It was possible for it to be delivered later through emergency Caesarian section, but it died of its serious injuries two days later in the hospital.

As the child was not born at the time of the action, the indictment against the 21-year-old refers only to "abortion" and not to murder.

The starting point for the fateful event was a routine gynaecological examination of the pregnant woman. As the female doctor who was usually responsible for her was on holiday, the examination was performed by a male substitute on an exceptional basis. For the then 20-year-old boyfriend of the heavily pregnant woman, a practising Muslim, this was horrific.   the rest

One Happy Dog!

Flood of ‘de-baptisms’ worries European church leaders

By Elizabeth Bryant
January 18, 2012

PARIS — A decade ago, Rene Lebouvier requested that his local Catholic church erase his name from the baptismal register. The church noted his demands on the margins of its records and the chapter was closed.

But the clergy abuse scandals rocking Europe, coupled with Pope Benedict XVI’s conservative stances on contraception, hardened Lebouvier’s views. Last October, a court in Normandy ruled in favor of his lawsuit to have his name permanently deleted from church records — making the 71-year-old retiree the first Frenchman to be officially “de-baptized.”

“I took the judicial route to get myself de-baptized because of the church’s excesses,” said Lebouvier, speaking by telephone from his village of Fleury, near the D-Day beaches.

“It’s a sort of honesty toward the church because they have a guy on their register who doesn’t believe in God.” the rest
The bigger worry, experts say, are plummeting rates of new baptisms. Half a century ago, for example, 90 percent of French children were baptized, said Sorbonne University religion professor Philippe Portier. Today, roughly one in three are.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Construction of 40 Russian churches to be underway in Moscow in 2012

18/01/2012

(Itar-Tass) – Construction of forty Russian Orthodox churches will be underway in Moscow City’s densely populated bedroom communities in 2012, Vladimir Ressin, an advisor to the Mayor of Moscow told reporters Wednesday.

All in all, the authorities plan building some 200 new Russian Orthodox churches in the city’s dormitory districts that have an apparent shortage of church facilities.

“Foundations of twenty church buildings have already been laid and we’re supposed to make arrangements on another twenty land plots this year,” Ressin said after a conference on the Program 200 that envisions the construction of 200 fast-to-build churches. the rest

Parents: Disabled Toddler Denied Kidney Transplant

Dale Hurd
January 18, 2012

Chrissy and Joe Rivera of Stratford, N.J., say they were shocked when a doctor at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia told them their 3-year-old daughter Amelia was not eligible for a

"He had told us she wasn't eligible for a transplant because of 'mental retardation,' was the word he used," Chrissy Rivera said.

"It was upsetting, and I think it was handled the wrong way," Joe Rivera added.

Amelia has Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a rare genetic condition that has mental and physical effects. She can't walk or talk, but she communicates with her eyes and smile.

"We just love her. She is part of the family," her mother said. the rest

Kuwait: The prince's mysterious conversion

In an audio file posted on a Christian satellite TV channel, prince Abdullah al-Sabah declared his faith in Jesus Christ. Muslims have attacked him saying “he isn’t a member of the royal family”
Marco Tosatti
01/16/2012

According to reports, a Kuwaiti royal prince has become a follower of Jesus Christ. In an audio file posted with his name, he affirms that if he is killed because of a recording he made where he talks about his conversion, he firmly believes that he will meet Jesus Christ face-to-face. The news comes from Middle Eastern sources which state that al-Haqiqa – a Christian satellite TV channel in Arabic that transmits Christian religious programmes – broadcast an audio file attributed to the Kuwaiti prince, identified as Abdullah al-Sabah. The al-Sabahs are the royal family of Kuwait, a country rich in oil. The name Abdullah (servant of God) frequently appears in the Emir’s family tree.

In his audio file, Abdullah declared: “First of all, I fully agree with the distribution of this audio file and I now declare that if they kill me because of it, then I will appear before Jesus Christ and be with him for all eternity.” In this statement, the prince demonstrates his awareness of the fate in store for a martyr of the faith, according to Christian doctrine. The television channel stated that Abdullah is a member of the royal family, and that he recently renounced his faith in Islam and became a Christian, without specifying which particular branch of Christianity he had chosen. After stating his full name, the prince declared: “I will accept whatever they do to me, because the truth in the Bible has guided me towards the right path.”  the rest

Bp. Julian Dobbs: The Anglican Moment

January 17, 2012
(In the comments section it was noted that this was shared at Sacred Assembly in Raleigh)

Excerpt:
Our risk, even at this very early stage of our development, is that as we establish this new expression of biblical missionary Anglicism it becomes so much an expression of the former structures that it is very difficult to observe the difference between the past and the present. Hierarchical structures, infighting, power struggles, committees, attorneys, insecurities, leaders who say one thing and do another while some take care to secure their own positions at the expense of others. Let us never forget that Moses discovered that not everyone who departed Egypt with him was united with him in his unwavering commitment to obey the commandments and guidance of Almighty God; should we be surprised to discover that we are not immune from these same trials and challenges?

Crucial to the rebuilding process is refurbishing and refining, as the prophet Malachi writes: ‘And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. (Malachi 3:3)

Part of any true work of God is the refiners’ fire. No one looks forward to the searing heat and the burning away of the dross; personal and communal…but the Word of God promises us that the result is heavenly gold.

In our refurbishing process, we must also recognize that used bricks are very attractive and sought-after for walkways and fireplaces in new suburbs across America and Canada, but, we must remember that not everything in building materials ages well...

...We are witnessing such a new wave. A prime example is the Anglican Communion - an international community of more than 75 million in 164 countries, ordered into 38 separate provinces.

In the good old days mandates, money and missionaries flowed from the traditional power base of London and, more recently, New York to their grateful recipients in the developing world.

In a nutshell, the flattening of hierarchical structures is a way to be as big as a dinosaur and as nimble as a cat at the same time. Consider a swarm of bees: it can effectively be an animal twenty feet wide, a hundred feet long, with a thousand eyes and sophisticated complex behavior--bigger and smarter than most dinosaurs--but it can turn on a dime (in several directions at once, no less!) and is unburdened by the metabolic overhead of a single huge body.

I want to prayerfully and carefully caution our new Anglican movement, let us not be complacent and reinvent the less effective structures of the past. We must be constantly vigilant against an all-too-human temptation to feel that ‘the past was good enough;’ to live in the continual ‘afterglow’ of the great acts of God in past decades. the rest

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Anglican Unscripted Episode 24


posted January 17, 2012

Ruth Miller Dague 9/20/23-1/16/12

January 17, 2012

Raymond's Mom, Ruth Miller Dague, died yesterday. Raymond was blessed to have visited her in Milwaukee over the weekend and learned of her death while in Atlanta for a board meeting. Funeral services are pending. This is her WWII Navy picture-quite lovely!
-PD

Monday, January 16, 2012

Muslims Converting Empty European Churches into Mosques

by Soeren Kern
January 16, 2012

Muslims in Europe are increasingly converting empty Christian churches into mosques.

The proliferation of mosques housed in former churches reflects the rise of Islam as the fastest growing religion in post-Christian Europe.

There are now more practicing Muslims than practicing Christians in many parts of Europe, not only in large urban centers, but also in smaller towns and cities across the continent.

As Islam replaces Christianity as the dominant religion in Europe, more and more churches are set to become mosques, which increasingly serve not only as religious institutions but also function as the foundational political building blocks for the establishment of separate, parallel Muslim communities in Europe that are based on Islamic Sharia law. the rest

In Germany as a whole, more than 400 Roman Catholic churches and more than 100 Protestant churches have been closed since 2000, according to one estimate. Another 700 Roman Catholic churches are slated to be closed over the next several years.

Muslim Extremists Strike at Christians in East African Isles

January 15th, 2012
By Simba Tian

NAIROBI, Kenya (Compass Direct News) – Far from the world media’s gaze in remote islands off the eastern coast of Africa, church buildings are razed and Christians are ostracized and imprisoned for their faith.

On Tanzania’s island of Zanzibar, in one week-long stretch last month Muslim extremists destroyed two church buildings, Christian leaders said. The extremists torched the building of the Pentecostal Evangelical Fellowship of Africa in Mtufani Mwera, about 12 kilometers (seven miles) from Zanzibar town, at 7 p.m. on Dec. 3, said Pastor Julius Makoho. Damages were estimated at 1.5 million Tanzania shillings (US$9,350).

“When I arrived at the scene of incident Sunday morning, I found that the church had been reduced to ashes, with bottles seen close by that could be petrol or paraffin that could have been used for the burning of the church building,” Pastor Makoho said.

As the assailants fled, said one church member who requested anonymity, “I heard them shouting, ‘We do not want a church in this area!’”

To date no arrests have being made. the rest

Texas Gives Women a Choice, Planned Parenthood Goes Apoplectic

Steven Aden
Jan 15, 2012

The basic components of a choice are easiest understood as a selection of one option out of the two or more options that are presented at any given time. Often choices are simple: vanilla or rocky road, for example. But sometimes they are difficult, especially if the choice in view carries life-altering—and perhaps even life-ending—consequences. One thing, however, is for sure—when only one avenue or one side is presented there is no real choice to be made.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott understands this and also understands that Planned Parenthood hasn’t really been providing mothers in Texas with a choice when it comes to abortion. Therefore, he supported passage of a new law that requires doctors to show mothers a sonogram of their babies before aborting them. Once they see the child, they can make a real (informed) choice to allow Planned Parenthood to kill him or her. Or not, more than likely, since studies have shown that mothers who see their babies before making that decision overwhelmingly choose life.

This law—the Sonogram Bill—was immediately challenged in court upon its passage, and federal district court Judge Sam Sparks halted parts of the law’s implementation just two days before they would have gone into effect. In turn, Abbott appealed Sparks’ decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, which reversed Sparks’ decision by declaring the law constitutional earlier this week. the rest
But not everyone was happy with the fact that Texas women now have a choice. Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, referred to the 5th Circuit’s ruling as “abhorrent.”

Strange isn’t it? The very organization which has framed the abortion argument around a woman’s “right to choose” is now repulsed by the fact that women have a choice.

It’s a girl: The three deadliest words in the world

By Ram Mashru
Monday, 16 January 2012

It’s a girl, a film being released this year, documents the practice of killing unwanted baby girls in South Asia. The trailer’s most chilling scene is one with an Indian woman who, unable to contain her laughter, confesses to having killed eight infant daughters.

The statistics are sickening. The UN reports approximately 200 million girls in the world today are ‘missing’. India and China are said to eliminate more female infants than the number of girls born in the US each year. Lianyungang in China has the worst infant gender ratio on record with 163 boys born for every 100 girls. Taiwan, South Korea and Pakistan are also countries in which unwanted female babies are aborted, killed or abandoned.

Gendercide in South Asia takes many forms: baby girls are killed or abandoned if not aborted as foetuses. Girls that are not killed often suffer malnutrition and medical neglect as sons are favoured when shelter, medicine and food are scarce. Trafficking, dowry deaths, honour killings and deaths resulting from domestic violence are all further evils perpetrated against women. This femicide has led the Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces to report in ‘Women in an Insecure World’ that a secret genocide is being carried out against women at a time when deaths resulting from armed conflicts have decreased.

The brutal irony of femicide is that it is an evil perpetrated against girls by women. The most insidious force is often the mother in law, the domestic matriarch, under whose authority the daughter in law lives. Policy efforts to halt infanticide have been directed at mothers, who are often victims themselves. The trailer shows tragic scenes of women having to decide between killing their daughters and their own well-being. In India women who fail to produce sons are beaten, raped or killed so that men can remarry in the hope of procuring a more productive wife. the rest

AU: Porn blamed for children's problem sexual behaviour

Adrian Lowe
January 14, 2012

VICTORIAN children as young as five are being referred to specialist programs to address sexually abusive behaviour - and the number of minors exhibiting such behaviour is exploding.

The availability of pornography through portable devices drastically affects a child's understanding of acceptable sexual behaviour, according to experts, and is being blamed for the rapid escalation in cases. the rest

The Abolition of Gender

January 15, 2012
By Fay Voshell

Excerpt:
It appears that the powerful group of leaders within the CTA wants to brainwash children into believing that gender neutrality (androgyny) is the new ideal for society.

Maybe our children will learn the new androgyny in ways similar to those being advocated in British Columbia, where a gender coach recently was videotaped earnestly assuring elementary schoolchildren that they can be any sex they choose. The video is found here.

What does all this madness, now being inserted into our public schools, mean?

Quite frankly, if our society accepts gender redefinition as a merely societal construct, it means the end of civilization as we know it -- not mere reformation or transformation, but the abolition of civilization itself.

The entire social construct of any given society is based on gender distinction -- man and woman. The differences in gender are the first and most essential ways in which human beings relate to one another: mother and father, husband and wife; brother and sister, aunt and uncle, daughter-in-law, brother-in law -- just to name a few.

The beginning of individuation is gender; the elimination of it ensures the destruction of individuality and absorption into an amorphous, indistinct communality.

Elimination of gender distinctions means entering a Brave New World in which everybody belongs to everybody else, and all belong to the state. It is to achieve the disappearance of the "other" that complements us. It is to attempt to absorb all of humanity into the All by eradication of distinctions. the rest

Focus on the Family TV Commercial: John 3:16



Focus On The Family Unveils Tim Tebow-Inspired John 3:16 Ad

The virtual world is her parish

By Jennifer Armitage
Jan. 13, 2012

When you look at Nicole McGlashen’s trendy photos on her Facebook page, you might not guess that she is a pastor. She is, indeed, a pastor, and her parish is in a virtual world of social media. As pastor of social media for Skyline Church (Wesleyan) located in San Diego, Calif., she is impacting scores of lives that she may never meet in person.

Social media is one of the rising ministries in The Wesleyan Church. Skyline is on the cutting edge of that ministry with a full time staff pastor specializing in missional outreach and discipleship online.

As a fellow colleague in social media outreach, I was interested in hearing more about Nicole’s thoughts on the church’s role in using social media for ministry.

What does your job as social media pastor consist of?
It is a very unique position, to say the least. And maybe it’s even a little weird. But we find ourselves in a weird time. Social settings are changing; relationship dynamics take place in spaces that are no longer limited to physical locations or in person interactions, so I basically try to meet people there. I meet and engage Skyliners and “friends” in the spaces of the internet, mainly through Facebook. I am responsible for maintaining Facebook, Twitter accounts for Skyline, in addition to facilitating an online small group.

You mentioned doing small groups online. What does that look like? Who is it for? Why does it work to connect with people?

Basically, the online small group is another “location” for one of the many Skyline small groups to gather on a weekly basis to discuss and process the chosen curriculum. I read the same assigned chapter the rest of the groups are going through and then compose a reflection/ discussion prompt on a blog I created for this very purpose. To maintain a consistent communication flow and accountability for the group, I e-mail the updated post to group members every week, and they can respond either on the blog or their Facebook group.

Many people think social media is causing disconnection between people. Why is it an effective medium ministry?
Sure, there are drawbacks to the medium. Yet they are some real positives. For one—if you are in any way an observant or nosey person like me—it’s not difficult to notice how a “friend” is really doing in life. Oddly enough, there is a high level of candor people are willing to display online. Now obviously this can pose some challenges, but yet it invites (if directed properly) a healthy transparency which furthers a deeper conversation of faith and the deeper meaning of everything.
the rest

Man’s Life Saved With Artificial Trachea Using Stem Cells

by David Prentice, Ph.D.
1/16/12

A 30-year-old Baltimore man is now back home recuperating from surgery in Sweden that implanted an artificial trachea made with his own adult stem cells.

Christopher Lyles was diagnosed with inoperable tracheal cancer. He found Italian Dr. Paolo Macchiarini, who is a Visiting Professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, who has constructed and transplanted replacement tracheas, using the patient’s own bone marrow adult stem cells to build the new tissue. Lyles traveled to Sweden in November to have the surgery; he returned home this week with his new implanted trachea.

In a telephone interview, Lyles said he was “feeling good”, and “just thankful for a second chance at life.” He was looking forward to watching his 4-year-old daughter grow up.

“He went home in very good shape,” said Dr. Macchiarini. Macchiarini said that Mr. Lyles adult stem cells were placed onto the synthetic windpipe scaffold and grown in a bioreactor for two days, then transplanted into his body after removal of his tumorous trachea.
the rest

Church of England faces court battle by gay clergyman who claims he was blocked from becoming a bishop

Church sources say the Very Rev Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans, believes he could sue officials under the Equality Act 2010
By Jonathan Petre
16th January 2012

A gay senior clergyman who claims he was blocked from becoming a bishop has threatened to take the Church of England to court.

Church sources say the Very Rev Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans, believes he could sue officials under the Equality Act 2010, which bans discrimination on the grounds of sexuality.

He has instructed a leading employment lawyer after being rejected for the role of Bishop of Southwark in 2010.

The dean is one of the most contentious figures in the church.

In 2003 he was forced to step down as Bishop of Reading by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams after it became known that he was in a gay, though celibate, relationship. the rest

Added: Jeffrey John 'likely to lose' sexuality lawsuit against Church of England

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Christian community...

Christian community is not an ideal that we must realize, but rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we may participate. The more clearly we learn to recognize that the ground and strength and promise of all our community is in Jesus Christ alone, the more calmly shall we think of our community and pray and hope for it. ...Dietrich Bonhoeffer image by James Thompson

Site of Hindu Attacks on Christians Sees Conversions

Many of those who persecuted Christians in India are themselves becoming Christian. Kandhamal proves Tertullian right.
by ANTO AKKARA
01/13/2012

GADRAGAM, India — Two dozen Christians were dancing excitedly to the tune of Christian hymns on New Year’s Day at Gadragam village in the Indian state of Orissa.

That may not be a surprise, considering the red-letter day. But this is the Kandhamal jungles of eastern Orissa state, where just a few years ago, fundamentalist Hindus let loose a severe attack on their Christian neighbors, taking the lives of more than 100 people.

Plus, the rejoicing was in front of the remains of a burnt-out house in which a disabled Christian youth had been burned to death during the widespread violence.

“Our people are no longer afraid; they are ready to profess their faith boldly,” exclaimed Rabindra Pradhan, elder brother of 28-year-old Rasanand Pradhan, who was torched alive in his house during the orchestrated anti-Christian violence in Kandhamal.

“The martyrdom of my brother has not gone in vain. Half a dozen Hindu families are now regularly attending our worship,” pointed out the retired Indian soldier. the rest
The unfaltering witness of the Christians in Kandhamal, with many of them harboring no ill will towards their tormentors, Father Pradhan said, has touched the hearts of hundreds of Hindus.

Doctors Recommended Football Star Tim Tebow Be Aborted

by Randy Alcorn
1/13/12

Excerpt:
In 1985, the Tebow family, with four children, was living in the Philippines as missionaries. Pam Tebow contracted amoebic dysentery, likely from contaminated drinking water. She fell into a coma and received strong drugs to combat the infection.

It turned out she was pregnant with her fifth child. Those drugs caused the placenta to detach from the uterine wall, depriving the fetus—which I prefer to call the child—of oxygen.

When it was realized that she was pregnant, doctors stopped the drugs but said that the high doses of medicine had already damaged the fetus (you don’t call him or her a baby when you want him aborted, but in fact that “product of conception” was Timmy Tebow, the same person who is now just older and bigger).

The doctors believed there was danger to Pam and that the baby would not survive, or if he did, would have very serious problems.

His parents went to the best doctor in their area of the Philippines. The doctor told his mother in a slow monotone that “An abortion is the only way to save your life.” the rest

Stop anti-Tebow knee-jerk reaction

Neat photo!

Lawyers Join Forces to Create Formidable Organization

posted January 15, 2012

Having collaborated for over four years on many high-profile cases, attorneys David Yerushalmi and Robert J. Muise have decided to formalize their working relationship by together launching the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC). Yerushalmi, an orthodox Jew, and Muise, an orthodox Catholic, describe AFLC as the Nation’s first truly authentic Judeo-Christian, public interest law firm.

According to Yerushalmi and Muise, they formed AFLC because they share the firm conviction that the strength of our Nation lies in its commitment to a Judeo-Christian heritage and moral foundation and to an enduring faith and trust in God and His Providence. This intersection between our Judeo-Christian values and the preservation and security of our Nation has garnered the interest and support from several prominent leaders, including former CIA Director R. James Woolsey; former Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Ronald Reagan and current President of the Center for Security Policy Frank Gaffney; Notre Dame law professor Charles Rice; former Inspector General for the Department of Defense Joseph Schmitz; and former Assistant U.S. Attorney and current contributing editor to National Review Andy McCarthy, all of whom will be serving on the AFLC advisory board.

Through AFLC, Yerushalmi and Muise seek a return to what they describe as “America’s founding commitment to receive God’s continued blessing for America.” Yerushalmi commented, “AFLC will fight for faith and freedom by advancing and defending America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral foundation through litigation, education, and public policy programs. Fighting for our Judeo-Christian values is more than simply defending religious liberty; it is fighting for the very survival of our Nation.” He added, “Throughout history, great nations have fallen from within. Make no mistake, America is a blessed Nation, but only so long as it remains faithful to the Judeo-Christian values upon which it was founded.” the rest

India: Islamic court charges Anglican and Catholic with prosyletism

Final sentence within days. Grand Mufti of the region claims the two men are guilty of forced conversions. Rev. Khanna: "I fear for my life." John Dayal of the All Indian Christian Council (AICC): "Islamic Court has no authority, India is a secular and democratic state".
Friday, January 13, 2012

"I fear for my life. I am in danger”, is the cry of alarm launched by Rev. CM Khanna,...pastor of All Saints Anglican Church to AsiaNews after he was indicted by a Islamic court in Kashmir for proselytism and forced conversions to Christianity. With him, the Shariah court (which has no legal authority in the State, ed) has also indicted Fr. Jim Borst, a Catholic priest from The Netherland and a Mill Hill missionary on the same charges. The Grand Mufti Muhammad Nasir region-ul-Islam said that the court will announce the sentence "as soon as possible."

In November 2011, the Islamic court had summoned the Rev. Khanna, charging him with having led 7 young Muslims to baptism in exchange for money. To these accusations - always strongly rejected by the pastor and the converted themselves – led to the man being arrested and only released after a week. A similar fate for Fr. Jim Borst: the missionary had to respond to allegations of proselytizing before the Shariah court of Kashmir state in which he has lived for 49 years. the rest

A.S. Haley: Full Analysis of the Virginia Decision

Once Burned, Twice Shy: the Cautious Jurisprudence of Judge Randy Bellows
January 14, 2011

Excerpt:
But once Judge Bellows placed the Episcopal Church (USA) into the "hierarchical" category, the result under Virginia law and precedent followed, as the night follows the day. And it is not right, under our First Amendment, that there should be such a profound dichotomy in our religious jurisprudence. The States (and the federal Government itself) are forbidden from establishing any Church. That means they cannot favor any one church over another -- but that is exactly what the courts do when they call a church "hierarchical", and then allow it to circumvent all manner of civil property law and recorded notice.

The irony is that the distinction was introduced in the first place as a means of keeping the courts from getting too involved in the internal polity of churches -- by way of respecting the restrictions imposed through the First Amendment! But the distinction has now been carried way too far to the other extreme, so that the courts have erected a privileged class of religious litigants who are able to control real property in a way that no other citizen can. The consent necessary for such an arrangement has to be implied, because it is rarely express or explicit. And to imply such an all-yielding consent requires judges to fill up a hundred pages with minute details of every sort, just to make it appear as though there really is some substance there -- that by using ECUSA's Hymnal and Prayer Book, and by putting a sign out front that they are an "Episcopal" church, the parishes in question really did mean to surrender final control of all of their property and bank accounts to outside entities who do nothing to sustain that property.

Not only that, but the consent thus "implied" has to be taken to cover even the case where neither the Diocese nor the national Church has any use for the properties, except to turn them into cash and prevent their continuing use for purposes of worship.

Passing national canons in General Convention does not excuse the bishops from their fiduciary duty to advise and warn parishioners constantly and in advance of the consequences of giving money to their local church. For as Bishop O'Neill of Colorado famously testified in court there, "No one expects church members to know about the canons." It is up to the Bishops to see to it that every parish is made fully aware of the consequences of belonging to ECUSA, and they have failed miserably to do that. And for that very reason, we have the spectacle of the shock and surprise that comes after contributing millions and millions of dollars -- only to be told that what you were supporting really belonged to distant authorities who would never be able to put your good works to the use that you did, for so long.
 the rest