Friday, September 30, 2005

I want to teach the world to surf, says the man who invented the $100 laptop
By David Usborne in New York
Published: 30 September 2005

One man in Boston has a plan that he hopes will bridge the world's gaping digital divide - and quickly. The visionary is Nicholas Negroponte, director of the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his idea consists of a new kind of laptop computer that will cost just $100 (£57) to buy.

It will also be a little different in design from the sleek machines some of us in the west have learned to love or covet. It will be foldable in different ways, encased in bump-proof rubber and will include a hand-crank to give it power in those corners of the globe where electricity supply is patchy.

The first prototype of the machine should be ready by November and Mr Negroponte - who was one of the first prophets of the internet before most of us understood the word - hopes to put them into production next year.


Anglican news:

Inhibited Rector of St. John's, Bristol, Offers Letter of Resignation
Letter here

Archbishop Peter Akinola’s Press Briefing in Full
(Church of Nigeria News)

Gentlemen of the Press,

I welcome you all to this special occasion of interaction and briefing on recent events in the Anglican Communion, where by the divine providence, I serve to lead and lead to serve.
I congratulate and thank you for the effective coverage of the just concluded 8th General Synod of our Church, held at the Cathedral Church of All Saints, Onitsha. An informed press which cannot be taken for granted contributes to the building of the person and the nation.

The Church of Nigeria upholds without restriction the authority of scripture and is unreservedly committed to mission and evangelism that results in conversion of people to the Lord, church-planting and the caring ministry.

the rest:

Bishops Form Property Task Force
The House of Bishops has created a 10-member task force of attorneys and other experts to help defend the Episcopal Church and its dioceses against attempts by congregations or other dioceses to secede from the Episcopal Church with their property.

Twenty-eight bishops from across the geographic and theological spectrum met during the House of Bishops’ San Juan meeting Sept. 22-27 and explored “the creation of a resource to assist congregations and dioceses in the challenging work of resolving property disputes,” a
press release by the group stated.

Motivated by a desire to be “good stewards of sacred places,” the bishops’ statement said they would pool their “experience, expertise, and other resources” to face the rising tide of property litigation.
The rest!

Six Connecticut Parishes File Lawsuit

The state of Connecticut gives special status to the canon law of the Episcopal Church, violating the First Amendment prohibition of government establishment of religion, according to a
lawsuit filed by five rectors and the vestries for six parishes in the Diocese of Connecticut.

The plaintiffs filed suit Sept. 27 in the U.S. District Court for Connecticut against the Rt. Rev. Andrew D. Smith, Bishop of Connecticut, and the diocese charging fraud, trespass and breach of fiduciary duty. Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold and the Episcopal Church were also named in the 67-page complaint, charged with “aiding and abetting” Bishop Smith. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal was also joined as a defendant, as the “Connecticut Six” argued Connecticut law violated the U.S. Constitution.

The state had “entangled itself in every aspect of the temporal and certain aspects of the spiritual, operations of all the Episcopal parishes,” the complaint said, in violation of the Constitution’s first and 14th amendments. The federal civil lawsuit follows a
canonical charge brought by the parishes against Bishop Smith Aug. 24. The rest

Nigerian Warns of Split From British Church
Rift Between Anglicans Over Homosexuality Could Be Mended, Archbishop Says
By Craig Timberg
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, September 30, 2005; Page A14

ABUJA, Nigeria, Sept. 29 -- Nigeria's top Anglican Church official warned Thursday that his 17.5 million members would have to sever their historic ties to the Church of England if it followed the lead of the U.S. Episcopal Church by accepting a gay bishop or otherwise condoning homosexuality.

Archbishop Peter J. Akinola, the leader of traditionalist forces in the Nigerian church, said its constitution had been rewritten this month in order to give its officials the freedom to break away if the British church adopted what he called a "revisionist agenda on homosexuality."


There is a communion with God that asks for nothing, yet asks for everything... He who seeks the Father more than anything He can give, is likely to have what he asks, for he is not likely to ask amiss.

George Macdonald

Evangelicals Urge House of Bishops to Revise Advice on Civil Partnerships
The conservative Evangelical umbrella group Anglican Mainstream has sent a letter to all the House of Bishops regarding the position the bishops have taken on Civil Partnerships.
Posted: Friday, September 30 , 2005, 12:03 (UK)

The conservative Evangelical umbrella group Anglican Mainstream has sent a letter to all the House of Bishops regarding the position the bishops have taken on Civil Partnerships.

In the letter sent last week to all Diocesan Bishops, Archdeacons, Deans and Diocesan secretaries in the Church of England, they were asked to reconsider and revise their pastoral advice on civil partnerships “in order that the church may be seen to act on its declared beliefs”.Therefore, the bishops were asked to give a clearer message in the light of the current confusion concerning civil partnerships. The provisions of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 will come into force in December 2005.

The rest

American’s Worshipping New God Called “Tolerance”---Phallic Demon Baal-Peor Resurrected
September 30, 2005 08:00 AM EST

“I’m a member of a lost generation. We have lost our values…our faith…And ourselves. Traditional authority figures—parents, community leaders, even God—have been discarded. Sex-ed instructors, university professors, advertisers, Hollywood actors, MTV artists, assorted celebrities—act as the new elders of a church of corrupt, shallow and materialistic humanism. The porn generation…inhabits a world where ‘empowerment’ means sex with no strings attached. Our new god is Tolerance of all behavior, our new credo “live and let live.” Ben Shapiro

The ‘porn elders’ worship upon the altars of various foully perverse academic and social Darwinian ‘scientism gods’ whose gospel of “fornication” they then preach to their ‘flock.’ Chief among their scientism gods is Alfred Kinsey, surely one of the most perverted beings of all time.

the rest

Warning-this article is somewhat graphic in its description of the porn culture of this nation.

UN Leader's Chief of Staff Testifies that "Reproductive Health" Does NOT Include Abortion
September 30, 2005

( - On Wednesday, in an official briefing before the House International Relations Committee, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan's Chief of Staff Mark Malloch Brown clarified that the term "reproductive health" does not include abortion.

"The UN refuted the idea that abortion is part of reproductive health. This is a clear rejection of the abortion lobby's efforts to use this term to pressure pro-life countries to remove protections for unborn children," said Congressman Chris Smith.

During the on-the-record public briefing, Congressman Smith referenced a section of the 2005 UN General Assembly World Summit Outcome document which refers to "Gender equality and empowerment of women." One of the priorities of Section 58 (c) is "ensuring equal access to reproductive health". During the following exchange, Congressman Smith asked for clarification as to whether the UN considers abortion to be part of "reproductive health"

The rest

Misinterpretation of 'Parents Rights Law' at Crux of Massachusetts Controversy
By Jim Brown
September 29, 2005

(AgapePress) - A Massachusetts school superintendent is instructing teachers not to inform parents when their children are being exposed to discussions about homosexuality in class. The action has roiled pro-family activists.

At issue is an article in the Lexington Minuteman newspaper written by Lexington school superintendent Paul Ash. In the article, Ash says according to a Department of Education interpretation of the Parents Rights Law, he does not have to inform parents when homosexual relationships are discussed with children in elementary school classes.

Brian Camenker with the Massachusetts-based group
Article 8 Alliance says Ash's stance is "so arrogant and outrageous" he can hardly believe it.

"I am the one who wrote the Parents Notification Law in Massachusetts, so I'm very familiar with it -- and I wanted to see what [Ash's] interpretation was," Camenker recalls. "So we went to the [Massachusetts] Department of Education and got what they sent him -- and it turns out that he's not even interpreting their interpretation properly."

The rest

Author Accuses Christian Publisher of Dabbling in 'New Age' Spirituality
Publisher Sponsor of Three-City Annual Youth Workers Conference
By Jim Brown
September 29, 2005

(AgapePress) - A leading Christian publisher of youth ministry material is being accused of introducing young people to practices rooted in New Age Eastern spirituality.

Today, the 2005 National Youth Workers Conference kicks off in Sacramento, California, but not with criticism. The conference is sponsored by Youth Specialties, a group that one Christian author says introduces students to labyrinth walks, yoga, and contemplative prayer practices. For that reason, Cathy Mickels -- co-author of the book Spiritual Junkfood: The Dumbing Down of Christian Youth -- is advising youth workers and parents to distance themselves from the conference and Youth Specialties.

"One of their goals, they say, is to know God first-hand as a living reality. That's why they're putting kids into contemplative prayer-type situations," she explains. "How do we know God first-hand as a living reality? We read the Word of God because it is God-breathed and it is God-inspired. [What Youth Specialties is doing] is an undermining of God's Word; this is an undermining of the Christian faith."

Mickels also claims Youth Specialties teaches youth pastors to introduce students to ancient eastern spiritual practices.

The rest

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Angels in Scripture

Psalm 34:7 The angel of the LORD, who encamps with them, delivers all who fear God.

Psalm 91:11 For God commands the angels to guard you in all your ways.

Psalm 103:2
0 Bless the LORD, all you angels, mighty in strength and attentive, obedient to every command.

Psalm 148:2 Praise him, all you angels; give praise, all you hosts.

Matthew 18:10 "See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.

Luke 1:26 In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,

Rev. 7:11 All the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They prostrated themselves before the throne, worshiped God,

Rev. 12:7-9 Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it.

Rev. 22:1 Then the angel showed me the river of life-giving water, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb

Dutchman ‘marries’ 2 women

A Dutchman says he is legally ‘married’ to two women at the same time. Victor de Bruijn, 46, from Rosendaal, and his wife Bianca, 31, have signed a co-habitation contract with their friend Mirjam Geven, 35.Although bigamy is forbidden in Holland, there is nothing to stop Mr de Bruijn living with two women in this way. He told Het Nieuwsblad: “For me it was wedding, I love both women.” Victor and Bianca met divorcee Mirjam, from Middelburg, in an internet chatroom. Two months later, she moved in with them and they built a bigger bed.
courtesy ananova

found here

Archbishop of Wales' New Book - Gays and the Future of Anglicanism
Ekklesia Society
Archbishop supports Gays and the Future of Anglicanism -27/09/05

The Archbishop of Wales has welcomed a 'cogent' new book by 22 leading theologians that argues for gay people’s inclusion within the Anglican ministry.

Written by ‘some of the finest theological minds’, Gays and the Future of Anglicanismchallenges the moratorium on gay consecrations and same-sex blessings of the Anglican Communion. ‘This book throws down a formidable challenge to the Anglican Communion. It cannot afford to ignore it’ he commented.

The Archbishop, Dr Barry Morgan, who was himself one of the people responsible for the Windsor Report, which recommended the moratorium, made it clear that the issue is far from settled: ‘The arguments advanced for including gay people [in the church] deserve to be read and pondered by all who are involved in the debate about human sexuality.’

AAC blog

Mainline-Backed Group Affirms Abortion as "A Moral Religious Choice"
Mark Tooley

The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) convened a press conference September 6 on Capitol Hill, as the guest of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus.

RCRC, which opposes any restrictions on abortion, includes agencies of the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.),

and the Episcopal Church, among others.

“To be religious, as we see it, is to be pro-choice,” declared RCRC President Carlton Veazey, a minister in the National Baptist Convention USA. “To have a child is to have a sacred choice but to not have a child can be sacred choice,” he said.

The rest-IRD

Foetuses found at Bogota airport

Colombian police have found the bodies of three human foetuses hidden in statues destined for the United States.
The discovery was made by officers searching for contraband at Bogota Airport on Tuesday.
The corpses were wrapped in plastic and concealed inside statues of Christian icons, which were smashed open.
Colombian police chief Gen Jord Alirio Varon said the four- to five-month-old foetuses could have been intended for use in Satanic rituals.
Gen Varon said the foetuses were found alongside crucifixes and medals.
He said officials are trying to find out who sent the packages, which came from Barranquilla in Colombia and were destined for Miami in the US.

BBC news

Showers of Mercy
Dr. J. Vernon McGee

O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid; O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy. (Habakkuk 3:2)

Habakkuk's song is wonderful; it is a beautiful prayer. Habakkuk says, "O Lord, I have heard Thy speech." In other words, God has answered him. God has said to him, "You think that I am not doing anything about the sins of My people, but I am. I am preparing a nation. But when I am through with the Chaldeans, I am going to judge them, and I will judge them on a righteous basis." God was moving to bring Babylon down.

The very interesting thing is that Habakkuk now reverses himself. What is he afraid of? Well, he had thought that God wasn't doing anything. Now he is afraid the Lord is doing too much!

the rest

Ethics Interrupted
What does it mean when even embryonic stem-cell researchers have some qualms about their work?
by Christine A. Scheller
posted 09/29/2005 09:00 a.m.

You're in a burning room with a wheelchair-bound adult and a freezer full of blastocysts. You can't save both the tiny embryos and the adult, so whom do you save?

I was asked this question by Hans S. Keirstead, an embryonic stem-cell researcher at the Reeve-Irvine Research Center in Southern California. He wanted to show that, when push comes to shove, all of us grade human life on a sliding scale. What he didn't realize was that he was talking to a woman who had once chosen the life of the embryo growing inside her over her own life as she had envisioned it.

Ever since speculation over the healing potential of human embryonic stem cells began circulating after scientists isolated them in 1998, I have wondered what I would do if scientists ever extracted a cure for my child's incurable disease from tiny human lives like the one I had cherished. I set out to find answers by talking to two stem-cell scientists about the ethics of their work. It was a remarkable entry into a world of half-truths, hesitancy, and awkward logic.


Same-sex benefits OK'd despite amendment
Judge rules no conflict with voter-approved marriage definition
Posted: September 29, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern

Michigan is moving ahead on a proposal to extend health care benefits to same-sex partners of state employees after a judge ruled the plan doesn't violate a voter-approved marriage amendment.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm made the announcement Tuesday after Ingham County Judge Joyce Dragunchuk's decision, the first judicial interpretation of the 2004 amendment, which defines marriage as only between one man and one woman.

The rest

Court strikes down limit on churches

County ordered to eliminate 'ludicrous' requirement
Posted: September 29, 2005

A Georgia trial court ruled against county officials who refused to issue a permit to a church.

The court said Douglas County officials acted in violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act when they refused to issue a special land use permit to the Victory Family Life Church.

Officials denied the church's permit application because it did not meet the county's three-acre requirement for houses of worship.
But Joel Oster, senior legal counsel for the
Alliance Defense Fund, which helped fund the church's case, called it an illegal ordinance that "only served to restrict churches and did not further any legitimate county interest."


Anglican leadership in Iraq feared dead
By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent, and Jenny Booth

The entire lay leadership team of the main Anglican church in Iraq is presumed to have been killed after they were attacked while returning from a conference in Jordan.

The team of five Iraqi-born Anglicans including the lay pastor and his deputy, should have returned two weeks ago from the conference.

Canon Andrew White, of the Foundation for Reconciliation in the Middle East, who is the clergyman in charge of the church, said: "Anglican leaders in Baghdad have been missing for two weeks and they are presumed dead."


Abortion-Drug Abuse Link, Study Claims
By AFA Journal
September 29, 2005

(AgapePress) - Abortions and drug abuse once again have been linked, according to a study co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and reported by Christian Wire Service.

Drug abuse is three times more common during a subsequent pregnancy among women who have had abortions in the past than among those who have never ended a pregnancy. However, there is no evidence of the trend among women who experienced miscarriages or stillbirths.

The rest

Theory of Evolution -- Not Intelligent Design -- Is Most Like Creationism
By Brian Fahling
September 29, 2005

(AgapePress) - Dover, Pennsylvania finds itself in the national spotlight as the putative successor to Dayton, Tennessee, the rural community where the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial played out on the national stage.

This small, blue-collar community in rural Pennsylvania finds itself in the crosshairs of an ongoing and heated national debate about the propriety, even constitutionality, of public schools offering an alternative to and critical examination of the theory of evolution.

Last year, the Dover School Board voted to adopt a policy that makes students aware that evolution is a theory and not fact. The policy also states: "Intelligent design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin's view."

Representing 11 parents who object to the policy, the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State have sued the school district claiming the policy violates the First Amendment's Establishment Clause. The trial began on Monday.

Armed with a 1987 Supreme Court decision declaring that teaching creationism in public schools is a violation of the Establishment Clause, the ACLU will argue that intelligent design is creationism repackaged. But is it really?

The rest

Bishop backs panty parties to spread Church message
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
(Filed: 29/09/2005)

Evangelism and erotic underwear are rarely linked outside the tabloid newspapers. But a new book backed by a Church of England bishop urges Christians to spread the message to their friends and neighbours by hosting lingerie parties.

The book, Open the Door, argues that in an age when more people know their zodiac signs than the Ten Commandments, Christians have to use unconventional methods to reverse the decline in churchgoing.


(I can't even make up something like this!)

BELARUS: Second massive fine for organising religious worship
By Geraldine Fagan,
Moscow Correspondent,
Forum 18 News Service

On 23 September, two months after a regular Sunday morning service of the embattled New Life charismatic church in Minsk was raided by police, a court fined the church's administrator Vasily Yurevich the equivalent of 160 times the minimum monthly wage for organising an "illegal" service. Yurevich told Forum 18 News Service that Judge Natalya Kuznetsova ignored church members' insistence that he had not organised the service, while the court decision maintained that the judge "believes offender Yurevich is trying to evade responsibility for what has been committed". This is Yurevich's second massive fine and he fears further fines in the wake of a police raid on the church's 4 September service. In separate cases, one Baptist punished for organising "illegal" worship was able to overturn his fine in August, but two other Baptists have been fined in recent months. One was ordered to take down the church sign.

The rest

Making the Muslims love us
By Suzanne Fields
September 29, 2005

Karen Hughes has her work cut out for her. She's the undersecretary of state assigned to persuade foreigners, particularly Muslims, to love us. On her "maiden voyage" to the Middle East this week, she's in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, trying to win friends and influence people. This requires a sail through the Scylla and Charybdis of multicultural paradox.

As a professional woman, she embodies Western emancipation and stands as a bold rebuke to Muslim misogynists who are determined to keep women in their place. She wears a pantsuit like a woman who wants men to treat her like a man. Muslim women who have carved out careers will no doubt see her as a champion for women's rights. Women who cheerfully tolerate the indignities of an aggressively male religion and the men who want to keep it that way will see in her all they hate about America. For them, freedom is frightening. This is the most difficult of the issues Karen Hughes faces. She was stunned when several Saudi women told her they like the restrictions men put on them. When a Turkish woman criticized the war on terror, she was reduced to repeating Bill Clinton's mantra: "I feel the pain you are feeling."


Calif. county rejects Islamic school
Sept. 28

(UPI) -- San Joaquin County, Calif., supervisors rejected a proposed Islamic school whose founders were deported to Pakistan in a federal terrorism investigation.

The supervisors insisted their unanimous vote Tuesday was based on land-use concerns and not the federal investigation of the school near Lodi, Calif., the Sacramento (Calif.) Bee reported.
The Farooqia Islamic Center would have included an elementary school, worship hall and community center. Neighbors objected, saying traffic congestion would ruin their rural life.

"I know these are good people and mean well," Supervisor Leroy Ornellas said, "but churches, mosques and temples should be located in cities."

"I know you're desperate for a location, but this isn't it," said Supervisor Dario Marenco.


Roberts confirmed as chief justice
Bush poised to name O'Connor replacement
Thursday, September 29, 2005;
Posted: 12:09 p.m. EDT (16:09 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Judge John Roberts was easily confirmed Thursday to be the 17th chief justice of the United States, winning Senate approval with a solid majority.
He is expected to be sworn in to the post later in the day.

The 78-22 vote ended a nearly three-month roller coaster ride for the 50-year-old federal appeals judge.

He was originally nominated to fill the vacancy created by the pending retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. But following the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist September 3, Roberts was quickly named by President Bush to take over the court's top spot.

All 55 Republicans were united in their support. They were joined by 22 Democrats and one independent senator. Twenty-two Democrats voted no.

The rest

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I thirst, but not as once I did,
The vain delights of earth to share;
Thy wounds, Emmanuel, all forbid
That I should seek my pleasures there.

It was the sight of Thy dear cross
First weaned my soul from earthly things;
And taught me to esteem as dross
The mirth of fools, and pomp of kings.

I want that grace that springs from Thee,
That quickens all things where it flows;
And makes a wretched thorn like me
Bloom as the myrtle or the rose.

Dear fountain of delight unknown!
No longer sink beneath the brim,
But overflow, and pour me down
A living and life-giving stream!

For sure, if all the plants that share
The notice of Thy Father's eye,
None proves less grateful to His care,
Or yields Him meaner fruit than I.
... William Cowper

We say, then, to anyone who is under trial, give Him time to steep the soul in His eternal truth. Go into the open air, look up into the depths of the sky, or out upon the wideness of the sea, or on the strength of the hills that is His also; or, if bound in the body, go forth in the spirit; spirit is not bound. Give Him time and, as surely as dawn follows night, there will break upon the heart a sense of certainty that cannot be shaken.
Amy Carmichael

Network Bishops Ask Presiding Bishop to Forward Complaint
Source: Anglican Communion Network Press Release
September 28, 2005

Thirteen bishops of the Anglican Communion Network have asked that Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold forward a complaint against Bishop Andrew Smith of Connecticut to the Episcopal Church's Title IV Review Committee.

In a letter dated September 27, the bishops say that sending the complaint to the review committee would "obviate the need for us to proceed further at this time to formalize and file charges against Bishop Smith for conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy."

The complaint, filed in late August by priests and laity of the diocese, says Smith has denied due process to the priests known as the Connecticut Six: Allyn Benedict, Christ Church, Watertown; Ronald Gauss, Bishop Seabury Church, Groton; Mark Hansen, St. John's, Bristol; Donald Helmandollar, Trinity, Bristol; Christopher Leighton, St. Paul's, Darien; and Gilbert Wilkes, Christ and Epiphany, East Haven.

AAC blog

Adult stem cells restore feeling in paraplegic
Apparent major breakthroughwith patient paralyzed 19 years
Posted: September 28, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern

In an apparent major breakthrough, scientists in Korea report using umbilical cord blood stem cells to restore feeling and mobility to a spinal-cord injury patient.

The research, published in the peer-reviewed journal Cythotherapy, centered on a woman who had been a paraplegic 19 years due to an accident.

After an infusion of umbilical cord blood stem cells, stunning results were recorded:
"The patient could move her hips and feel her hip skin on day 15 after transplantation. On day 25 after transplantation her feet responded to stimulation."

Umbilical cord cells are considered "adult stem cells," in contrast to embryonic stem cells, which have raised ethical concerns because a human embryo must be destroyed in order to harvest them.

The rest

Ontario Health Minister Invites US Homosexual Medical Workers to Move to Canada
TORONTO, Ontario, September 27, 2005

( – The ongoing fallout from the imposition of gay culture on Canadians manifested itself again this past week when Ontario’s health minister, George Smitherman, actively courted gay and lesbian medical workers at a Montreal conference.

Delegates at the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association's annual conference in Montreal, most of whom were visiting from the United States, heard a keynote address from the cabinet minister (who is described as openly gay by the website extolling the virtues of working in Ontario.

The rest

Eight Hundred Pastors Lining Up to Understand How to Resolve Church Conflict
Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2005
Posted: 12:16:44PM EST

A ministry that takes its name from Matthew 5:9 will be holding their annual conference to equip and assist Christians and their churches to respond to conflict biblically.

Beginning tomorrow, 800 pastors will be attending the Peacemaker Ministries’ national conference on biblical peacemaking in Dallas, which ends Oct. 1.

"At this conference, we’ll be able to touch 800 lives and give them the tools they need to deal constructively with conflict,” said Executive Director Ken Sande.

According to Sande, there are 19,000 major church battles every year, while 1,500 pastors leave their church every month and 35 percent of American Christians get divorced.

"We believe that because the seemingly unresolvable conflict between God and humanity was resolved totally, joyously, and eternally through the Cross, then by faith we can regard every conflict as resolvable," stated Sande.

Since 1982, Peacemaker Ministries has been committed to helping Christians realize there are ways to reconcile every conflict. The network of ministries believes that conflicts arise from unmet desires.


Confident Christianity: Living a Solid Rock Faith
David Jeremiah

Almost everybody knows how the Jeopardy game on TV works: I'll give you an answer, and you give me the question that goes with it.

Here's the answer: "The geographical landmark, standing like a sentinel where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea, that a major financial services company has used as a logo for years."

If you said, "What is the Rock of Gibraltar?" you are correct. The Rock of Gibraltar stands guard over the Strait of Gibraltar, the eight-mile-wide neck of water that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea. The Strait of Gibraltar was the only way into or out of the Mediterranean Sea prior to the construction of the Suez Canal in 1869.

the rest

Stemming the Embryonic Tide
Pro-lifers face a scientific and public relations juggernaut.
by Stan Guthrie with Agnieszka Tennant, Sheryl Henderson Blunt in Washington, and Rob James in the United Kingdom
posted 09/28/2005 09:00 a.m.

Three years ago, Kim and Adam Lewis decided they wanted to start a family, and like most people they hadn't given much thought to what an embryo actually is. Then Kim's doctor gave the married couple from Johnson City, Tennessee, some bad news. Kim, then just 22, had been diagnosed with premature ovarian failure. The condition, similar in effect to menopause, meant that she had no healthy eggs with which to become pregnant.

To use an old-fashioned term, Kim was barren. Wanting to bear a child nonetheless, Kim carefully considered her options and God's leading. A year later, when her physician mentioned something called embryo donation, Kim went home and searched the Web. There she learned about the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC). The center, in nearby Knoxville, seeks to match married couples with "excess" embryos created through in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Article here

1 woman and Jesus change a nation
Posted: September 27, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern

Could you change a nation by yourself?

Heidi Baker is doing it – without political clout or decent funding.

When she arrived in bleak, war-ravaged Mozambique in 1995, this American missionary had a few resources, but God told her to give away everything she owned and go sit by the side of the road. (She doesn't "hear voices"; she just has sharp spiritual ears.)

So there she sat in the dirt, homeless, a 5'4" blonde with a Ph.D. in systematic theology from the University of London ... and little else beside the clothes on her back. "Great plan, Lord," she grumped to the Father. "Now what?"

It was a hazardous time, barely a year after the 20-year civil war. "They were still shooting at us and stuff," Heidi casually explains. Even Red Cross trucks would not brave the crossfire at that time.

But after a few hours at the dusty roadside there in Maputo, a white lady came striding by in a great hurry. Without even introducing herself, this total stranger plopped some keys into Heidi's hands and wheezed, "I've got to go to the north part of the country. Could you housesit for me? Eat all the food or the rats will get it. Bye." Heidi was stunned.

The rest-amazing!

Poll: Muslim students protect terrorists
10% in UK wouldn't expose coreligionist plotting attack
Posted: September 28, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern

A new survey of Muslim students in Britain shows 10 percent would not inform police if they knew of a fellow Muslim planning a terrorist attack.

While 72 percent said they would inform police right away, some said they "would never grass on a Muslim," according to the poll of 466 students by the Federation of Student Islamic Societies.

Others said they would not inform because they didn't trust police, the Times of London reported.

Britain's Higher Education Minister Bill Rammell told the paper he found the findings extremely worrying.


Love Won Out Tackles Homosexual Issues With Information, Compassion, Biblical Truth
By Jenni Parker
September 28, 2005

(AgapePress) - Earlier this month,
Focus on the Family brought its international Love Won Out conference to Birmingham, Alabama, for a one-day gathering designed to educate and equip participants to wrestle with key issues surrounding homosexuality and to offer hope for those struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions. Speakers included experts on homosexual issues straight from the front lines of the culture wars as well as former gays and lesbians whose personal testimonies affirmed the possibility of freedom in Christ.

One of the featured speakers at the Birmingham LWO Conference was former lesbian Melissa Fryrear, a gender issues analyst for Focus on the Family. She says even though homosexuality and same-sex marriage are becoming increasingly politicized in contemporary culture, the conference focuses on love and hope in Christ. “We are here to offer a perspective that is rarely heard anywhere else,” she says. “There is a way out of unwanted homosexuality.”


An Open Letter to the Diocese of Southern Virginia
from titusonenine

To: Our Brothers and Sisters in the Diocese of Southern Virginia
From: The Vestry of the Church of the Messiah, Chesapeake
The Vestry of Christ Church, Emporia
The Vestry of Grace Church, Purdy

We write this letter to you today, because as Ezekiel writes of the responsibilities of the watchman, we are called to alert you to the crisis occurring within the church we all love. We believe that there are many who are unaware of what is occurring within the Episcopal Church, and we want to ensure that you are informed.

At General Convention 2003 (GC2003), the Episcopal Church approved the selection of a non-celibate homosexual man as the Bishop of New Hampshire. At the same time, a resolution was passed by the convention declaring that the blessing and celebrating of same-sex unions was “within the bounds of our common life.”

In a direct violation of Scripture and historical Anglican teaching and tradition, with these two declarations, the Episcopal Church has crossed a line that will possibly separate it forever from its relationship with the worldwide Anglican Communion. With the exception of Bishop David Bane, the entire delegation of the Diocese of Southern Virginia - your delegates -voted unanimously in favor of both of these acts. Are you, as a member of the Diocese of Southern Virginia, in agreement with this? Are you aware that these two acts have caused grave concern among the majority of the provinces of the Anglican Communion?

The rest

Does Hawaii Want To Secede From The Union?
September 28, 2005 12:00 AM EST
by Phyllis Schlafly

Does Hawaii want to secede from the Union? That sounds like a preposterous question, but the official Office of Hawaiian Affairs advertises on its website that the legislation scheduled to be voted on soon in the U.S. Senate will give Native Hawaiians "self-determination" to choose "total independence" or any other form of government.

Hawaii is asking the U.S. Senate to create a Hawaiian race-based government for persons with Native Hawaiian blood living anywhere in the United States. I'm not making this up; it's real.

According to S. 147, a Native Hawaiian is anyone of the "indigenous, native people of Hawaii" who is a "direct lineal descendant of the aboriginal, indigenous, native people" who resided in the Hawaiian Islands before 1893 and "exercised sovereignty" in that region. That convoluted definition must have been written by lawyers.

The rest

Again, it’s about Abortion
September 28, 2005 12:00 AM EST
by Fr. Frank Pavone

In the confirmation hearings for Judge Roberts, many Senators have conducted themselves in exactly the way pro-life leaders said they would. Abortion, the issue that won’t go away, was again at the center of their concerns.

“Respect for precedent” was a code word for “Respect for Roe vs. Wade,” and concerns about “privacy” were really concerns about abortion. When Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont declared that he would vote for Judge Roberts, despite many reasons that would make him vote otherwise, he explained it was because he thinks Judge Roberts will not take away a woman’s “right to choose.”

the rest

The Christian Paradox
How a faithful nation gets Jesus wrong
Posted on Thursday, September 15, 2005.
What it means to be Christian in America. An excerpt from this report appeared in August 2005. The complete text appears below.

Originally from August 2005.
By Bill McKibben.

Only 40 percent of Americans can name more than four of the Ten Commandments, and a scant half can cite any of the four authors of the Gospels. Twelve percent believe Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife. This failure to recall the specifics of our Christian heritage may be further evidence of our nation’s educational decline, but it probably doesn’t matter all that much in spiritual or political terms. Here is a statistic that does matter: Three quarters of Americans believe the Bible teaches that “God helps those who help themselves.” That is, three out of four Americans believe that this uber-American idea, a notion at the core of our current individualist politics and culture, which was in fact uttered by Ben Franklin, actually appears in Holy Scripture. The thing is, not only is Franklin’s wisdom not biblical; it’s counter-biblical. Few ideas could be further from the gospel message, with its radical summons to love of neighbor. On this essential matter, most Americans—most American Christians—are simply wrong, as if 75 percent of American scientists believed that Newton proved gravity causes apples to fly up.

The rest here-excellent!

More mischief in CNY diocese

From titusonenine:
Reappraiser’s Exclusivism in Central New York

The Rev. Tony Seel's blog:

As always, this is a call to prayer!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

O Lord God who art all in all to me, Life of my life and Spirit of my spirit, have mercy on me and fill me with Thy Holy Spirit and with love that there may be no room for anything else in my heart. I ask not for any blessing, but for Thyself, who art the giver of all blessings and of all life. I ask not for the world and its pomp and glory, nor for heaven, but I need Thee Thyself, for where Thou art, there is heaven. In Thyself alone is satisfaction and abundance for my heart; Thou Thyself, O Creator, hast created this heart for Thyself, and not for any other created thing. Therefore this heart cannot find rest in aught but Thee: only in Thee, O Father, who hast made this longing for peace. So now take out of this heart whatever is opposed to Thee and abide and rule in it Thyself, Amen.

Sadhu Sundar Singh

Civil Suit Alleging Constitutional Violations Filed Against Multiple Defendants Including Episcopal Bishop of Connecticut, Presiding Bishop of Episcopal Church
September 27, 2005

Six Episcopal Churches, their elected officers [wardens and vestries], a number of parish communicants, and five priests in Connecticut today filed a civil complaint against Andrew Smith, Episcopal Bishop of Connecticut; the Diocese of Connecticut; Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold; and nine other individuals and/or entities. The lawsuit accuses the 12 defendants of working together to infringe upon the rights of the plaintiffs in violation of the First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. In addition to these federal issues, the complaint outlines multiple violations of Connecticut statutes.

The civil suit follows months of theological dispute and hostile actions by Bishop Smith, who stands in “opposition to traditional Christianity and Anglican teaching.” Bishop Seabury Church, Groton; Christ Church, Watertown; Christ & The Epiphany Church, East Haven; St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Darien; Trinity Church, Bristol; and St. John’s Episcopal Church, Bristol, have consistently supported traditional Christian belief and teaching regarding human sexuality, also upheld by the Four Instruments of Anglican Unity. In light of the serious conflict, the six churches requested alternative episcopal oversight, a request denied by Bishop Smith. Central to the complaint is the contention that Bishop Smith’s actions are motivated by a desire to impose “his own singular views of canon law, church polity and theology” on the congregations and clergy because they reject his revisionist views on theology, particularly on human sexuality.

“We have been left with no choice but to seek intervention by the civil courts in order to protect our constitutional rights and serve our congregations without interference and harassment,” said the Rev. Christopher Leighton, rector of St. Paul’s, Darien. “We are being punished for upholding Biblical truth as well as Anglican teaching, faith and practice, and our ability to proclaim the Gospel is being dramatically hindered.”

The rest at the AAC website

"Lord, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest." Luke 9:57

Our Lord's attitude to this man is one of severe discouragement because He knew what was in man. We would have said - "Fancy losing the opportunity of winning that man!" Fancy bringing about him a north wind that froze him and "turned him away discouraged!" Never apologize for your Lord. The words of the Lord hurt and offend until there is nothing left to hurt or offend. Jesus Christ has no tenderness whatever toward anything that is ultimately going to ruin a man in the service of God. Our Lord's answers are based not on caprice, but on a knowledge of what is in man. If the Spirit of God brings to your mind a word of the Lord that hurts you, you may be sure that there is something He wants to hurt to death.

Oswald Chambers

D.C. bishop scolds his Nigerian equal
By Julia Duin
September 27, 2005

The Episcopal bishop of Washington has lambasted the archbishop of Nigeria for ignoring poverty and AIDS in Africa while criticizing U.S. and Canadian churches for ordaining and "marrying" homosexuals.

"Why does this archbishop spend so much time on human sexuality issues while so many of his countrymen and women are oppressed by poverty?" Bishop John B. Chane wrote in a Sept. 1 column in the Washington Window, the diocesan newspaper.

"Where is the strong voice of the Nigerian Anglican church in opposing the continued neglect of vulnerable women and children or in advocating on behalf of the poorest of the poor?" he wrote.

The rest

The Da Vinci crew films under a code of silence
By Auslan Cramb, Scottish Correspondent
(Filed: 27/09/2005)

A small chapel linked to the search for the Holy Grail was closed to the public yesterday to allow filming of The Da Vinci Code.

The best-selling novel by Dan Brown is being adapted for the screen with Tom Hanks and Audrey Tatou in the lead roles.

The 15th century Rosslyn Chapel, which the novel claims was built to house the secret of the Holy Grail, will be shut for a week.

Autograph hunters were kept well away from the building by police and security staff.


'Intelligent Design' Court Battle Begins
By MARTHA RAFFAELE, Associated Press Writer
Tue Sep 27, 4:00 AM ET

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The opening day of a landmark trial over whether a school district should require students to hear about "intelligent design" felt a lot like a science lecture.

Brown University biologist Kenneth Miller, the first witness called Monday by lawyers suing the Dover Area School District for exposing its students to the controversial theory, sprinkled his testimony with references to DNA, red blood cells and viruses, and he occasionally referred to complex charts on a projection screen.

Even U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III was a little overwhelmed.

"I guess I should say, 'Class dismissed,'" Jones mused before recessing for lunch.

Dover is believed to be the nation's first school system to mandate students be exposed to the intelligent design concept. Its policy requires school administrators to read a brief statement before classes on evolution that says Charles Darwin's theory is "not a fact" and has inexplicable "gaps." It refers students to an intelligent-design textbook for more information.

the rest

FEMA Plans to Reimburse Faith Groups for Aid
As Civil Libertarians Object, Religious Organizations Weigh Whether to Apply
By Alan Cooperman and Elizabeth Williamson
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, September 27, 2005; Page A01

After weeks of prodding by Republican lawmakers and the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said yesterday that it will use taxpayer money to reimburse churches and other religious organizations that have opened their doors to provide shelter, food and supplies to survivors of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

FEMA officials said it would mark the first time that the government has made large-scale payments to religious groups for helping to cope with a domestic natural disaster.


Purported al Qaeda Newscast Debuts on Internet
Masked Anchorman Lauds Gaza Pullout, Iraq Attacks, Hurricane Katrina

By Daniel Williams
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, September 27, 2005; Page A16

ROME, Sept. 26 -- An Internet video newscast called the Voice of the Caliphate was broadcast for the first time on Monday, purporting to be a production of al Qaeda and featuring an anchorman who wore a black ski mask and an ammunition belt.

The anchorman, who said the report would appear once a week, presented news about the Gaza Strip and Iraq and expressed happiness about recent hurricanes in the United States. A copy of the Koran, the Muslim holy book, was placed by his right hand and a rifle affixed to a tripod was pointed at the camera.


Things that Offend Islam
September 27, 2005 12:07 AM EST
by Barbara J. Stock

Burger King will be withdrawing and changing the logo for its ice cream cups because, if one looks very closely and has a good imagination, the logo appeared to some Muslims to look sort of like the word Allah in Arabic if it was viewed from just the right angle.

Not wanting to offend, Burger King caved in to the constantly complaining and whining Muslims who seem to find some offense in just about everything these days. One has to wonder just how many Western Muslims can even read Arabic.

The Taliban found offense in the ancient statues of Buddha in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, and blew them to bits. These Muslims also found offense in several smaller and much easier to destroy ancient clay and wood-carved statues at the same location. All of these irreplaceable pieces of history were destroyed because some Muslims found them “offensive.” Should the great pyramids of Egypt be destroyed if someone finds them offensive?

The rest

Chick List
A look at the women who may replace Justice O'Connor.
Sunday, September 25, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT

If Edith Jones is nominated for the Supreme Court, at least she'll know what she's in for. The confirmation process for federal judges has deteriorated into "trench warfare," she told The American Enterprise magazine in June. "Every time I think it can't get any worse, it does."

John Roberts's confirmation may be the exception that proves Judge Jones's rule. During his hearings, Sens. Arlen Specter and Dianne Feinstein asked insulting questions about his Catholicism; Ted Kennedy called his Reagan-era writings "mean-spirited"; and several Democrats roughed him up over his views on civil rights. By modern standards, that's a love fest.

But the next confirmation is another matter. In selecting a nominee, one factor the White House must weigh is who would have the best chance of surviving what is sure to be a fight and, probably, a filibuster attempt.

The rest

Missions at Risk--A Failure of Nerve
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

America's evangelical Christians are facing a critical testing-time in the twenty-first century. Among the most important of the tests we now face is the future of missions, and our faithfulness to the Great Commission. At a time of unprecedented opportunity, will our zeal for world missions slacken?

Just as doors of opportunity are opening around the world, the Church seems to be losing its voice. A virtual re-paganization of Western culture is occurring, indicating that the failure of the American Church is evident at home as well as abroad. What is the root issue?

At base, the issue is a failure of theological nerve--a devastating loss of biblical and doctrinal conviction. The result is retreat on the mission fields of the world and regression on the home front. Since the middle of the last century, the mainline Protestant denominations have been withdrawing from the missionary enterprise, some even declaring a "moratorium" on the sending of missionaries charged to preach the Gospel. Among these denominations, the total missionary force is now a fraction of that during the 1950s, and many of those who remain on the fields have been assigned duties far removed from conversionist witness.

The rest

1,200-plus churches vow to adopt damaged churches on Gulf
Sep 26, 2005
By Tim Yarbrough
Baptist Press

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)--More than 1,200 Southern Baptist churches have committed to help SBC churches in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The Adopt A Church partnership was initiated by the North American Mission Board the week after the hurricane destroyed thousands of homes and business along the Gulf Coast including hundreds of SBC churches.

Adopting churches from across the United States and Canada are being assigned to affected state Baptist conventions which will then match them with damaged and destroyed churches in their respective states. Adopting churches are asked to make a commitment of 12 to 24 months or however long it takes for the affected church to get back on its feet.


Supreme Court May Hear Abortion Case
Sep 26 12:56 PM US/Eastern

The Bush administration has asked the Supreme Court to reinstate a ban on a procedure that critics call "partial birth" abortions, setting up a showdown that could be decided by the president's new choice for the court.

The appeal, which had been expected, follows a two-year, cross-country legal fight over the federal law.

An appeals court in St. Louis said this summer that the ban on late term abortion is unconstitutional because it makes no exception for the health of the woman.

the rest

Katrina Takes a Toll on Truth, News Accuracy
Rumors supplanted accurate information and media magnified the problem. Rapes, violence and estimates of the dead were wrong.
By Susannah Rosenblatt and James Rainey, Times Staff Writers

BATON ROUGE, La. — Maj. Ed Bush recalled how he stood in the bed of a pickup truck in the days after Hurricane Katrina, struggling to help the crowd outside the Louisiana Superdome separate fact from fiction. Armed only with a megaphone and scant information, he might have been shouting into, well, a hurricane.

The National Guard spokesman's accounts about rescue efforts, water supplies and first aid all but disappeared amid the roar of a 24-hour rumor mill at New Orleans' main evacuation shelter. Then a frenzied media recycled and amplified many of the unverified reports.

The rest

This is too funny to miss

Sound needed.

Found through titusonenine

Monday, September 26, 2005

Deep unto deep, O Lord,
Crieth in me,
Gathering strength I come,
Lord, unto Thee.
Jesus of Calvary,
Smitten for me,
Ask what Thou wilt, but give
Love to me.
... Amy Carmichael

If I am a son of God, nothing but God will satisfy my soul; no amount of comfort, no amount of ease, no amount of pleasure, will give me peace or rest. If I had the full cup of all the world's joys held up to me, and could drain it to the dregs, I should still remain thirsty if I had not God.
... G. A. Studdert Kennedy

Porn Comes to Church
America's dirty little secret is neither little nor secret. So these pastors are taking it on.

The number one Christian porn site on the internet. That is how youth pastors Craig Gross and Mike Foster advertise their ministry intended to help those addicted to online pornography. With humor and candor, warns about the dangers of pornography with unconventional campaigns like the Porn Mobile and the NoHoZone, advising modest dress. Both ordained ministers in Southern California, they are featured in a new documentary Missionary Positions and have appeared in GQ and on the 700 Club. We spoke with Gross in the only free time he had during a recent spate of appearances, 6:30 a.m. on a Thursday.


Clergymen 'won't send Christian children to Muslim schools'
Press Association
Tuesday September 27, 2005

Two senior clergymen today risked reigniting the controversy over faith schools after they signalled their unwillingness to send Christian children to Muslim schools.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, said he would not want large numbers of Catholic children attending Muslim faith schools as he would not want them brought up in "that particular atmosphere."

His remarks were echoed by Tom Butler, the Bishop of Southwark, who said he would not have sent his children to a Muslim school. He said: "Although religion is taken seriously in a Muslim school, I think the particular insight of Islam is ... is not mine."


Convocation Speech with Jesus Reference Sparks Controversy at Dartmouth College
Monday, Sep. 26, 2005 Posted: 6:34:40PM EST

A convocation speech made last Tuesday by Dartmouth College's Student Body President with references to Jesus has sparked controversy on the Ivy League campus, leading to the publishing of a retaliating cartoon and the resignation of the Assembly's Vice President.

Addressing Dartmouth students at the university's convocation, Student Body President Noah Riner delivered a speech on the importance of character. "[I]t takes more than a Dartmouth degree to build character," said Riner, pointing to stories of corrupt Dartmouth alumni such as murderer Daniel Mason from the class of '93 and indicted rapist P.J. Halas from the class of '98.

"Character has a lot to do with sacrifice, laying our personal interests down for something bigger. The best example of this is Jesus," continued Riner, praising Jesus' decision to take up the cross despite the consequences.

"He knew the right thing to do. He knew the cost would be agonizing torture and death. He did it anyway. That's character."

Some students took offense to the speech's references to Jesus, saying that convocation was an inappropriate forum for the topic.

the rest

Tate Britain Museum Pulls Artwork
Monday September 26, 2005 12:31 AM

LONDON (AP) - The Tate Britain museum has removed a work made up of sacred texts from Christianity, Judaism and Islam torn and mounted on glass to avoid offending religious sensibilities following the July transit bombings in London, the museum said Sunday.

The museum said it was particularly concerned that John Latham's piece ``God Is Great'' could upset Muslims. It pulled the work from an exhibition of Latham's art despite his objection.

"Having sought wide-ranging advice, Tate feels that to exhibit the work in London in the current sensitive climate, post July 7, would not be appropriate,'' the museum said in a statement.

Three of the four men suspected of carrying out the July 7 attacks, which killed 52 victims and the bombers, were young Pakistani Britons. All were Muslim, and much political debate in Britain has since focused on homegrown Islamic extremism.

The rest

Creek Baptisms Endure
Mountain Faithful Still Immerse in Streams in Spite of Polluted Waterways
The Associated Press

VAN LEAR, Ky.The Rev. Ted Dawson stood waist-deep in an eastern Kentucky creek preparing to dip two new converts beneath the water in a baptismal service that many Appalachian churches prefer -- outdoors in free-flowing water, evoking Jesus in the Jordan River.

These Protestants believe full immersion in water for professing youths and adults is a necessity, and that there's no better place for Christianity's initiation rite than the great outdoors.

"We were raised that way," said Susie Hall, who was baptized with her husband by Dawson in Johns Creek earlier this year. "I feel closer to God in nature."

The rest

Fighting Canada's secularist tide
Lorne Gunter
National Post
September 26, 2005

Canada's religious right has had a tough time of it in recent years. For the past decade, conservative Christians have watched as first human rights tribunals, then courts and finally Parliament have drawn an increasingly tighter circle around traditional values and religious beliefs in an attempt to banish such attitudes from public life.

The reaction by Christians has been an almost dream-like disbelief: This can't be happening. Sanity and reason will once again prevail before things go seriously wrong. The truth shall set us free.


Damage from Katrina Could Bring Change in Gambling Laws
By Allie Martin and Jody Brown
September 26, 2005

(AgapePress) - A pro-family group in Mississippi has come alongside Baptists in the state to counter any move to allow casinos to build on land because of extensive damage from Hurricane Katrina.

The special session of the Mississippi Legislature, set to open on Tuesday (September 27), is expected to deal with a wide range of issues, including allowing casinos to move onto land, allowing voters to vote gambling out of their area, and raising casino taxes. Current Mississippi law requires casinos to be built only over waters of the Mississippi River or the Gulf of Mexico. Several casinos along the states Gulf Coast suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Katrina.


Family Seeks Legal Relief So Son Can Read Bible During Recess
By Jim Brown
September 26, 2005

(AgapePress) - A federal court has been asked to order a Knoxville, Tennessee, elementary school to stop prohibiting a ten-year-old student from reading his Bible during recess.

Luke Whitson and his parents have filed a motion for preliminary injunction against Knox County School officials, who allegedly threatened to punish the boy for reading his Bible during recess at Karns Elementary School. The district claims the Bible reading jeopardizes student safety and that, because recess is not "free time," they can prohibit Bible reading during that time.

But Whitson's attorney, Nate Kellum with the
Alliance Defense Fund, says school officials are wrong to claim reading the Bible on a school playground violates the so-called "separation of church and state."

the rest

Porn: It's here, it's there, it's everywhere ...
By Kimberly Marlowe Hartnett
Special to The Seattle Times

"Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families"
by Pamela Paul

"Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture"

by Ariel Levy
Free Press, 224 pp., $25

An elderly woman seated next to me on a recent flight asked about the books I was carrying. I showed her "Pornified" and "Female Chauvinist Pigs," both bristling with bookmarked pages. I hurriedly explained the books were about pornography, not actually the smutty stuff itself.

She patted my arm. "Even if they were dirty books," she said firmly, "no harm in just reading 'em!" We chuckled together, two open-minded civil libertarians in confident agreement.

Well, maybe.

Article and review of the books

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Key to the Treasury
Ephesians 1:2,3; John 15:1-10

The believer's resources--all spiritual blessings--are "in Christ" (Eph. 1:3). Christ is the life of the believer and thus provides for him all that he needs.Before salvation the individual was in Adam, but after salvation he is in Christ. In Adam the individual possessed only a sinful nature, but in Christ he possesses a divine nature. The divine nature of the believer causes him to want to do the will of God.

Apart from Christ, a person has no relationship to God and God has no relationship to him. Before a person receives Christ, he is unable to benefit from the spiritual blessings God has provided.

Only after a person becomes "in Christ" are all the resources of God available to him. God's wealth for the believer is deposited in Christ, and it is only when a person receives Christ that this spiritual wealth becomes available to him.

Without Christ one has no spiritual strength, but in Christ he is able to achieve any spiritual victory. However, even the believer must rely on spiritual provisions if he is to experience spiritual victories.

Jesus told believers, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5).
Because Paul knew his spiritual resources he said, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Phil. 4:13).

In Christ a person has position--where He is, the believer is; privilege--what He is, the believer is; possession--what He has, the believer shares. The two words "in Christ" open up all God's treasures for the believer.

"He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5).

Theodore Epp link

Botched abortion kills both mother & baby
Posted: September 24, 2005 1:00 a.m. Eastern

I have written only a handful of columns that required fighting back the tears. This is one of them.

I got a call last Thursday from a colleague-in-arms asking me for help. He wanted me to write the story I am about to tell because it has been buried by a conspiratorial level of silence rooted in political and media bias.

This is the story about an incredibly loving young girl named Christin. A very active high-school graduate and a beloved member of her softball team and community, she was sweet beyond the norm as so often is the case for children with her diagnosis. She had Down syndrome. (I have heard it said, anecdotally, the extra chromosome which characterizes Trisomy 21, encodes for love. For those of you blessed enough to know anyone with Down syndrome, you will likely agree.)


With storm's passage, worshippers give thanks
By MATT CURRY Associated Press Writer

TYLER, Texas — Reaching into a white plastic bag Sunday, pastor Michael W. Massar pulled out a broken tree limb — a symbol of Hurricane Rita.

"The winds are going to blow, it says in the Bible, and we want you to be strong," Massar told the church's children during Sunday services at the packed First Baptist Church on an unexpectedly sunny day

Hurricane Rita blew through East Texas and western Louisiana on Saturday, but did far less damage in Texas than expected.


In Evolution Debate, Creationists Are Breaking New Ground
Museum Dedicated to Biblical Interpretation Of the World Is Being Built Near Cincinnati
By Michael Powell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 25, 2005

PETERSBURG, Ky. -- The guide, a soft-spoken fellow with a scholarly aspect, walks through the halls of this handsome, half-finished museum and points to the sculpture of a young velociraptor.

"We're placing this one in the hall that explains the post-Flood world," explains the guide.

"When dinosaurs lived with man."

A reporter has a question or two about this dinosaur-man business, but Mark Looy -- the guide and a vice president at the museum -- already has walked over to the lifelike head of a T. rex, with its three-inch teeth and carnivore's grin.


Bishop defends transsexual curate

The Bishop of Hereford has defended the decision to ordain a transsexual woman as a priest.
Assistant curate Sarah Jones, 43, from Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire, was born as Colin Jones and spent the first 33 years of her life living as a man.

Evangelical group Evangelical Alliance said there was no "Christian acknowledgement" of gender realignment.

But the Right Reverend Anthony Priddis said Ms Jones - being ordained on Saturday - was "made and loved by God".

The rest

Sin Has Consequences
By Jason Storms

"In recent years there has been a deliberate attempt by many Christian leaders to improve the public image of Christianity. While this is not entirely a bad thing, at times it can go too far. An example of this is the way that natural disasters and similar tragedies are immediately declared to be innocent of God's handiwork by so many spokesmen for the Christian community. In some cases I am sure that this is so; accidents happen; God often times simply allows laws of cause and effect to take their course. But, to say such disaster is out of character for God is not only inaccurate but is not doing Christianity nor it's Author any favors."

The rest

National Security Agency gets fix on Internet users
Top secret group applies for patentto ID physical address of Web surfers
Posted: September 25, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern

Internet users hoping to protect their privacy by using anti-virus software,
Web anonymizers, false identities and disabled cookies on their computer's Web browser have something new to worry about – a patent filed by the National Security Agency (NSA) for technology that will identify the physical location of any Web surfer.

Patent 6,947,978, granted this week, describes a process based on latency, or time lag between computers exchanging data, of "numerous" known locations on the Internet to build a "network latency topology map" for all users. Identifying the physical location of an individual user, reports CNET, could then be accomplished by measuring how long it takes to connect to an unknown computer from numerous known machines, and using the latency response to display location on a map.

The rest

Scouts targeted in San Diego
Homosexual, atheist activists to march on camp
Posted: September 25, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern

A coalition of homosexual activists and atheists plan to march on a Boy Scout camp in San Diego next month demanding the organization open its membership and leadership to them.

The group
Scouting For All plans to march and rally at a Boy Scout camp Oct. 9.

Beside demanding the Boy Scouts open their ranks to practicing homosexuals and atheists, the group also apparently seeks the admission of girls to the organization.

Scouting For All's mission statement say it is "to influence the Boy Scouts of America to serve and include as participating members all youth and adult leaders, regardless of their spiritual beliefs, gender, or sexual orientation."

The rest