Monday, October 31, 2005

Drink Christ because He is the river
whose current gladdens the city of God;
drink Christ because He is peace;
drink Christ because from His side flow living waters;
drink Christ to drink the blood which redeemed you;
drink Christ to drink His words.

Lent and Beyond

Judge Rules Against NY Mayor Who Performed
Same-Sex 'Marriages'
Court Says New Paltz Public Official Unlawfully Exceeded His Authority
By Allie Martin and Jenni Parker
October 31, 2005

(AgapePress) - New York's highest appeals court has ruled that the mayor of one village does not have the legal right to perform homosexual "marriages." The Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court sided with
Liberty Counsel, a group that took legal action against a pro-homosexual official after he proceeded to solemnize same-sex weddings in defiance of the law.

In February 2004, Jason West, the mayor of New Paltz village near Rochester, announced he would solemnize same-sex marriages, even though state law defines marriage as being only between a man and a woman. However, a judge has now issued an injunction against West or any other village officials performing same-sex weddings.
The rest

ECUSA Average Sunday Attendance: Down as Expected

Well, at least as we expected.

Karen from
Lent & Beyond sends along this chart showing the steady decline since 2000. From my thumbnail calculation, there was a 7.2% decline in average Sunday attendance in between 2001 and 2004.

Of course, these are the numbers that reporting parishes and dioceses choose to report to 815. I know there are some folks out there on both sides of this debate waiting to spin these numbers up and down, so have at it.

Chart here at Stand Firm

Methodist Rulings Reinforce Traditional Church Policy on Ministers in Non-Celibate Same Sex Partnerships

An openly gay United Methodist minister lost her bid to return to the pulpit Monday (Oct. 31) when the church’s highest court upheld her conviction on charges of being a “self-avowed practicing” lesbian.

And, in a separate decision that could have even wider implications, the church’s Judicial Council said gays and lesbians have no automatic right to church membership and upheld the power of local pastors to turn them away.

The twin rulings represent a major setback for liberals who advocate greater inclusion of homosexuals in the nation’s second-largest Protestant denomination, and served to reinforce church policy on homosexuality as ironclad.
The rest at titusonenine

"Faith as a grain of mustard seed. . ." Matthew 17:20

We have the idea that God rewards us for our faith, it may be so in the initial stages; but we do not earn anything by faith, faith brings us into right relationship with God and gives God His opportunity. God has frequently to knock the bottom board out of your experience if you are a saint in order to get you into contact with Himself. God wants you to understand that it is a life of faith, not a life of sentimental enjoyment of His blessings. Your earlier life of faith was narrow and intense, settled around a little sun-spot of experience that had as much of sense as of faith in it, full of light and sweetness; then God withdrew His conscious blessings in order to teach you to walk by faith. You are worth far more to Him now than you were in your days of conscious delight and thrilling testimony.

Faith by its very nature must be tried, and the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God's character has to be cleared in our own minds. Faith in its actual working out has to go through spells of unsyllabled isolation. Never confound the trial of faith with the ordinary discipline of life, much that we call the trial of faith is the inevitable result of being alive. Faith in the Bible is faith in God against everything that contradicts Him - I will remain true to God's character whatever He may do. "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him" - this is the most sublime utterance of faith in the whole of the Bible.

Oswald Chambers

Conservative Anglicans warn liberal churches in West
Mon Oct 31, 2005 1:26 PM GMT
By Edmund Blair

(Reuters) -Traditionalist Anglican clerics warned the U.S. and Canadian churches on Monday that their liberal actions over gay rights were tearing apart the 450-year-old church and told them to change their ways urgently.

In some of the strongest language they have used so far in an already acrimonious dispute, churches from Africa, Asia and Latin America said they saw no evidence yet that U.S. and Canadian Anglicans were responding to calls for "repentance".

The 77 million-strong Anglican church has been divided since 2003 when the U.S. Episcopal Church (ECUSA) ordained a gay bishop and Canadian Anglicans began blessing same-sex marriages.

The move outraged traditionalists who dominate southern hemisphere churches, the so-called Global South. They say the Bible condemns homosexuality and that liberals in the West have introduced unacceptable "innovations" into biblical teaching.

Anglican Global South Meeting Draws to End
The Anglican Global South to South Meeting has ended with a call for urgent steps to be taken by liberal provinces to meet the demands of the Windsor Report.
Posted: Monday, October 31 , 2005, 12:37 (UK)

The Third Anglican Global South to South Encounter has come to an end in Egypt, after five days of close consultation and deliberation between conservative members of the Anglican Communion.

A total of 103 delegates from 20 provinces in the Global South, comprising Africa, South and South East Asia, West Indies and South America, met for the Encounter at Ain El-Sukhna by the Red Sea in Egypt.

The theme of the gathering, also briefly attended by the Archbishop of Canterbury on Friday, was “One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church: Being a Faithful Church For Such A Time As This”.

“The world of the Global South is riddled with the pain of political conflict, tribal warfare and bloodshed. The moral and ethical foundations of several of our societies are being shaken.

“Many of our nations are beset by problems of poverty, ignorance and sickness, particularly the HIV and AIDS that threaten millions, especially in Africa,” read a statement by representatives of the Global South Encounter.

The gathered delegates offered their prayers to the thousands of people who have suffered from severe drought in Africa, earthquakes in South Asia, and the hurricanes in the Americas, before proceeding to address the problems facing the Anglican Communion.

Christianity and the Dark Side: What About Halloween?
Albert Mohler

Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Monday, October 31, 2005

Over a hundred years ago, the great Dutch theologian Hermann Bavinck predicted that the 20th century would "witness a gigantic conflict of spirits." His prediction turned out to be an understatement, and this great conflict continues into the 21st century.

The issue of Halloween presses itself annually upon the Christian conscience. Acutely aware of dangers new and old, many Christian parents choose to withdraw their children from the holiday altogether. Others choose to follow a strategic battle plan for engagement with the holiday. Still others have gone further, seeking to convert Halloween into an evangelistic opportunity. Is Halloween really that significant? The rest

Casting a Spell
Chuck Colson

On Halloween night, and in Salem, Massachusetts, revelers gather at Gallows Hill, the site of the infamous witch hangings of 1692. Today – three centuries later – modern witches arrange an altar, form a circle, and begin to chant.

"Hear us, O great Goddess! Thou Great Mother whom we adore, grant us our passions," one woman shouts. Four hundred witches then join in. They link arms and dance to the beat of drums, as wide-eyed sightseers watch.

Welcome to witchcraft, twenty-first century style.

It's not just on Halloween that witches come out. Wicca has become hugely popular in recent years, attracting hundreds of thousands of young people. Our culture drives this interest through TV shows like "Charmed," about three witch sisters, and through films like "The Craft" and
"Bewitched." Many teen novels now feature witchcraft themes. Even pre-teens can get into the act through summer witch camps. The Internet makes it easy to seek out more information – or contact other witches across the country. And Wicca has been mainstreamed, with the military appointing Wiccan chaplains. The rest

Banned at the schoolhouse door: pint-size ghosts and goblins
Halloween gets a makeover at many schools, as religious parents object to the holiday.
By Patrik Jonsson

Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor RALEIGH, N.C. – School principals from Newton, Mass., to Denver find themselves increasingly haunted at Halloween by this refrain: Get out, ye ghoulies!
Bowing to concerns of a wide range of groups - from Christians who consider Halloween to have pagan or satanic overtones to church-state separatists who object to the holiday's religious roots - some elementary schools are canceling their customary costume parades and Halloween celebrations.

Portuguese abortion vote denied

Portugal's constitutional court has thwarted the government's plan to hold a referendum next month on relaxing the country's strict abortion laws.

Judges said the vote could not be held before September 2006 because the same referendum had been rejected by the president in the current legislature.

The government wants voters to decide whether abortions in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy should become legal.
The rest

Dutch Witches Get Tax Break for Studies
Oct 31 6:47 AM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer

APPELSCHA, Netherlands
Dutch witches are getting a tax break. A court has ruled that the cost of witchcraft lessons can be taken as a tax deduction.

Learning to cast spells and brew potions doesn't come cheap. Margarita Rongen runs the "Witches Homestead" in a northern province. Her witchcraft workshops cost more than $200 a weekend or more than $2,600 for a full course.

Rongen says she been a witch for 38 years and has a duty to pass along her knowledge. She notes her black cauldron and crystal ball stand at the ready for the next full moon.

Westside Anglican Fellowship

What are you hearing from the Holy Spirit?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

When night comes, list thy deeds; make plain the way
'Twixt heaven and thee; block it not with delays;
But perfect all before thou sleep'st: then say:
There's one sun more strung on my Bead of days.
What's good, score up for joy; the bad, well scanned.
Wash off with tears, and get thy Master's hand.

... Henry Vaughan

Prince Charles to plead Islam's cause to Bush
By Andrew Alderson,
Chief Reporter(Filed: 29/10/2005)

The Prince of Wales will try to persuade George W Bush and Americans of the merits of Islam this week because he thinks the United States has been too intolerant of the religion since September 11.

The Prince, who leaves on Tuesday for an eight-day tour of the US, has voiced private concerns over America's "confrontational" approach to Muslim countries and its failure to appreciate Islam's strengths.

The Prince raised his concerns when he met senior Muslims in London in November 2001. The gathering took place just two months after the attacks on New York and Washington. "I find the language and rhetoric coming from America too confrontational," the Prince said, according to one leader at the meeting.

It is understood that Prince Charles did not - and does not - believe that the actions of 19 hijackers should tarnish the reputation of hundreds of millions of law-abiding Muslims around the world.
The rest

Dobson's lawyers nix homosexual name grab
'Gay' church agrees to drop'Focus on the Human Family'
Posted: October 30, 2005

The installation of a new leader of the predominantly homosexual Metropolitan Community Church, held at the Washington Cathedral yesterday, was to be accompanied by the announcement of a new program called "Focus on the Human Family," but attorney's for Dr. James Dobson's "Focus on the Family" intervened to protect the Christian ministry's trademarked name.

The Reverend Nancy Wilson was installed as the Presiding Bishop as scheduled, but not before MCC committed to removing the "Focus on the Human Family" name from its
website. The service's program followed the original theme of "Unfinished World, Unfinished Calling," but references to the disputed name were not to be found.

Wilson, who in 1976 became the youngest person ever elected to the MCC Board of Elders and has served as an Elder since that time, takes over the denomination from Troy Perry, who founded it in 1968. Wilson lives with her partner of 27 years, Dr. Paula Schoenwether.

Christian girls beheaded in grisly Indonesian attack

Three teenage Christian girls were beheaded and a fourth was seriously wounded in a savage attack on Saturday by unidentified assailants in the Indonesian province of Central Sulawesi.

The girls were among a group of students from a private Christian high school who were ambushed while walking through a cocoa plantation in Poso Kota subdistrict on their way to class, police Major Riky Naldo said.

Document reveals strategy to 'fight religion'
Communists plan to 'eradicate' places of Christian worship
Posted: October 29, 2005

Vietnam officials in tribal areas vow to "fight religion," according to a secret document obtained by a U.S. group.

The document issued earlier this year by a local Vietnamese Communist party branch reveals an official policy of forcing ethnic minority Hmong Christians to give up their faith and of "eradicating" Christian meeting places, reports
Freedom House's Center for Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C. The rest

School Permits 'Do-Over' After Previously Prohibiting Student Prayer Rally
By Jim Brown
October 28, 2005

(AgapePress) - Christian students in New Jersey have chalked up a big win. After initially being barred from holding a "See You at the Pole" (SYATP) prayer rally, a group of middle school has been permitted to hold a "do-over" prayer event.

Last month, administrators at Brackman Middle School in Barnegat, New Jersey, told three students they were "mixing church and state" by praying before school in front of the campus flagpole. The students were then ordered to stop praying and move around the corner so other students arriving at school on buses would not see them praying.
The rest

The Third Anglican Global South to South Encounter Communique
A Third Trumpet from the South


The Third Anglican Global South to South Encounter

Red Sea (Egypt), 25-30 October 2005
The Third Anglican South-to-South Encounter has graphically demonstrated the coming of age of the Church of the Global South. We are poignantly aware that we must be faithful to God’s vision of one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. We do not glory in our strengths but in God’s strength. We do not shrink from our responsibility as God’s people because of our weaknesses but we trust God to demonstrate His power through our weakness. We thank God for moving us forward to serve Him in such a time as this.

The rest at titusonenine

Leaving church is more than just using door
The Times-Union

Imagine worshiping in the same building where your parents and grandparents worshiped, where their names are etched in foundation stones or on the panes of stained-glass windows.

Perhaps they are even buried beside the church -- the same church where your children were baptized, confirmed and married.

Now picture turning your back forever on a place made sacred by such memories and history because you believe your denomination has strayed dangerously far from biblical values.

Could you do it?

That's the painful question roughly 4,000 North Florida Episcopalians may have to answer after six conservative congregations leave the Jacksonville-based Episcopal Diocese of Florida and the Episcopal Church USA by Jan. 6.
The rest at Connecticut Six

Theology pair flips Bible upside-down on sexuality
'We must reject at the outset any notion of the supreme authority of scripture'
Posted: October 29, 2005

If a pair of visiting scholars, speaking this week at Florida Southern College's annual Bible Symposium, are correct, practically everything most people believe the Scriptures teach about sex is wrong.

The topic of this year's symposium, the Lakeland Ledger reported, was "Sex, Love and Marriage in Scripture and Tradition." Two of the presentations, however, were less than traditional, and many would say, unscriptural.

James L. Crenshaw, professor of Old Testament at Duke Divinity School, questioned Scripture's authority to govern matters of sexuality – the Old Testament text, he argued, was written over 12 centuries under a variety of shifting circumstances. It is the reader, he argued, that determines the text's meaning.

"We possess no statement describing a normative practice" of sex and marriage, he told the attendees.
the rest

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Court Rules in Favor of Breakaway Episcopal Churches
Friday, Oct. 28, 2005
Posted: 4:15:16PM EST

Three Southern Californian Anglican churches came one step closer to severing their ties with the Episcopal Church U.S.A. on Thursday while maintaining their property.

Orange County Superior Court Judge David Velasquez ruled that the national denomination did not have a valid claim of ownership to the local parishes’ land and buildings, Lynn Moyer, the attorney for All Saints church in Long Beach and St. David’s church in North Hollywood, told the Long Beach Press Telegram.

The three parishes have been locked in a battle over property ownership issues with the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles since August 2004 when they decided to split from the denomination over doctrinal disputes. Central to the disputes was the understanding of homosexuality and the denomination’s decision to ordain a gay bishop and allow the blessings of same-sex unions.

Friday, October 28, 2005

True fidelity consists in obeying God in all things, and in following the light that points out our duty, and the grace which guides us; taking as our rule of life the intention to please God in all things, and to do always not only what is acceptable to Him, but, if possible, what is most acceptable; not trifling with petty distinctions between sins great and small, imperfections and faults, for, though there may be such distinctions, they should have no weight with the soul that is determined to do all His will. To this sincere desire to do the will of God, we must add a cheerful spirit, that is not overcome when it has failed, but begins again and again to do better; hoping always to the very end to be able to do it; bearing with its own involuntary weakness, as God bears with it; waiting with patience for the moment when it shall be delivered from it; going straight on in singleness of heart, according to the strength that it can command; losing no time by looking back, nor making useless reflections upon its falls, which can only embarrass and retard its progress.

François Fénelon
Francis Fenelon Biography

Casting a Spell
The Appeal of Wicca
October 28, 2005

On Halloween night, and in Salem, Massachusetts, revelers gather at Gallows Hill, the site of the infamous witch hangings of 1692. Today—three centuries later—modern witches arrange an altar, form a circle, and begin to chant.

“Hear us, O great Goddess! Thou Great Mother whom we adore, grant us our passions,” one woman shouts. Four hundred witches then join in. They link arms and dance to the beat of drums, as wide-eyed sightseers watch.

Welcome to witchcraft, twenty-first century style.

It’s not just on Halloween that witches come out. Wicca has become hugely popular in recent years, attracting hundreds of thousands of young people. Our culture drives this interest through TV shows like Charmed, about three witch sisters, and through films like The Craft and Bewitched. Many teen novels now feature witchcraft themes. Even pre-teens can get into the act through summer witch camps. The Internet makes it easy to seek out more information—or contact other witches across the country. And Wicca has been mainstreamed, with the military appointing Wiccan chaplains.
the rest

Pakistan's Earthquake Aftermath Brings New Crisis
Victims of South Asia's colossal quake face yet another imminent crisis as lack of sanitation facilities is drawing the concerns of water and sanitation officers over the serious potential for the spread of diseases.
Posted: Friday, October 28 , 2005, 9:22 (UK)

Victims of South Asia's colossal quake face yet another imminent crisis as lack of sanitation facilities is drawing the concerns of water and sanitation officers over the serious potential for the spread of diseases.

It has been almost three weeks since the 7.6 magnitude earthquake – the largest in the last 100 years – devastated homes, buildings, roads and latrines in Pakistan. Although latrines may seem a small loss compared to collapsed 10-story buildings or the urgent need for blankets and shelters, the lack of sanitation facilities in the earthquake-stricken areas of Pakistan is a grave situation that can lead to the outbreak of contagious diseases among survivors, according to disaster relief groups in the area. Presently, thousands of people have no access to latrines.

"But even more important [than clean water supplies] is the lack of latrines. We think we have five or six hundred thousand shelters that have been wiped out – and then the toilets and latrines have also been wiped out,” said Bill Fellows, a senior regional water and sanitation officer for UNICEF in South Asia, according to Action by Churches Together (ACT) last Tuesday.
The rest

Canadian Government Caught Funding
Anti-Christian Bigotry - Minister Won't Apologize
October 27, 2005

( - A Conservative MP has discovered through documents obtained under Access to Information that Status of Women Canada has been funding anti-Christian bigotry and pro-abortion activism. However, in a startling exchange of correspondence, the Minister responsible for the funding neither offered to pull the funding nor to apologize to Christian Canadians for funding groups which defame them.

Writing to Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women Liza Frulla last month, Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott pointed out that the documents obtained through access to information requests revealed the government granted $27,400 last year to the BC Pro-Choice Action network (pro-CAN).

Case of Gay Worshiper in Va. Splits Methodists
By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 28, 2005

The man had been attending a Methodist church in South Hill, Va., for several months. He sang in the choir. He owned a business and was well known in the community. But when he asked to become a formal member of the church, the pastor turned him down, because he is gay.

Those are the bare facts of a case that has split a 650-member congregation in southern Virginia and that threatens to divide the 8 million-member United Methodist Church, the nation's second largest Protestant denomination.
the rest

A Growing Cloud of Confusion--The Supreme Court on Religion
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Friday, October 28, 2005

Over the past half century, the U. S. Supreme Court has accomplished a feat America's founders would surely have found to be inconceivable--they have created a perverse cloud of confusion over the question of religious liberty and the place of religious language and symbols in the public square.

Indeed, the confusion is now so pervasive that a consistent understanding of the Court's directives is practically impossible. In just a few short decades, the Court has decided that organized prayer must be removed from the public school classrooms, that religious symbolism must be removed from official seals and emblems, and that all references to a deity must be reduced to a merely ceremonial meaning if they are to be allowed. On the other hand, the federal courts have allowed for the military to pay chaplains, for the words "under God" to remain in the Pledge of Allegiance (at least so far), and for both houses of Congress to employ chaplains and to begin each session with prayer.
The rest

Gutsy Giving: Do You Trust God with Your Money?
Steve Diggs

No Debt No Sweat!
Financial Seminar Ministry

Sometimes people mistakenly think the
No Debt No Sweat! Seminar I present in churches around the country is simply about learning how to get out of debt. Sure, that is an important focus. But one of the most important parts of the seminar is learning to become Godly givers.

Stewardship is an overlooked spiritual discipline in many of our churches. Even churches that think they’re doing well and meeting budget are sometimes startled to learn that a disproportionate amount of the giving is being done by folks in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. In many churches, the teens through the forty-somethings have never learned much about biblical giving.
The rest

A Proposed Resolution in the Diocese of Vermont to Support the Episcopal Coalition to Abolish Biblical Literalism (ECABL)

Resolved, That the 173rd Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont support the creation of the Episcopal Coalition to Abolish Biblical Literalism (ECABL), provide funding for ECABL for a period of three years (2006-2008) at a minimum of $1.00 each year, and receive a report from ECABL regarding its activities while it is supported by the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont; and be it further

Resolved, That we of the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont support every effort to free our Episcopal and Anglican Church from the slavery of Biblical Literalism which might be used to separate us from our sisters and brothers made in the image of God and used to marginalize persons who may be different from us: persons of color, women, and gay and lesbian persons; and be it further

Resolved, That we call upon the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church to support all international efforts to free the church from the slavery of Biblical Literalism, especially as it is used to marginalize persons different from us: persons of color, women, and gay and lesbian persons; and be it further ....
the rest at titusonenine

Missing the Mark

During the past decade, the Most Rev. Robin Eames, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, has emerged as one of the most knowledgeable authorities on the Anglican Communion. As convener of some important international committees during that time, he has proved to be well informed on a variety of issues. Therefore it was surprising to read the archbishop’s remarks about the Episcopal Church when he delivered two lectures recently at Virginia Theological Seminary [TLC, Oct. 23]. Archbishop Eames spoke to Virginia’s Alumni Convocation about the current status of the Anglican Communion and the implications of being in communion.

Noted as a mediator who recently chaired the Lambeth Commission on Communion, the Irish primate spoke boldly about the Episcopal Church’s response to the Windsor Report. Addressing the Windsor Report’s request that the American Church “be invited to express its regret that the proper constraints of the bonds of affection were breached” in the events surrounding the election and consecration of the Bishop Coadjutor of New Hampshire, he said, “In my opinion the decisions of the House of Bishops in the Episcopal Church (USA) met that request ... It is arguable the reaction exceeded what was asked for by the Windsor Report.”
The rest

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Miers Withdraws Supreme Court Nomination
Oct 27 9:22 AM US/Eastern
By TERENCE HUNTAP White House Correspondent

Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to be a Supreme Court justice Thursday in the face of stiff opposition and mounting criticism about her qualifications.

President Bush said he reluctantly accepted her decision to withdraw, after weeks of insisting that he did not want her to step down. He blamed her withdrawal on calls in the Senate for the release of internal White House documents that the administration has insisted were protected by executive privilege.

"It is clear that senators would not be satisfied until they gained access to internal documents concerning advice provided during her tenure at the White House _ disclosures that would undermine a president's ability to receive candid counsel," Bush said. "Harriet Miers' decision demonstrates her deep respect for this essential aspect of the constitutional separation of powers _ and confirms my deep respect and admiration for her."

Miers' surprise withdrawal stunned Washington on a day when the capital was awaiting news on another front _ the possible indictment of senior White House aides in the CIA leak case.
The rest

Four dead following rioting as Muslims take offense at Christian DVD release
By Nick Weinberg

SECTARIAN tensions escalated into violence last Friday in Alexandria, Egypt, sparked by a week of protests over a stage play deemed offensive to Muslims. Muslim and Christian leaders called for an end to the clashes on Saturday, a day after 5,000 Muslim rioters rampaged through two predominantly Christian neighbourhoods in the city, which resulted in four people dead and at least 90 more injured. The play, performed two years earlier in the St George’s Coptic Church, was recently distributed on DVD, angering a large section of Alexandria’s predominantly Muslim community.
The rest

Evicted worshippers attacked by militants
Date: OCT 28

INDONESIAN Christians, forced to pray in the streets following eviction from their churches, were attacked by Islamic militants as they met to worship last week. Congregations from three churches in the Bekasi area of West Java, closed down five weeks ago, were set upon by members of the radical Islamic group Alliance Against Apostasy. Around 300 militants prevented the congregation, who have been banned from worshipping in churches or their homes, from carrying out their own service in the street.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

In the last analysis, the service the Christian does is not his, but Christ's. Therefore he must not feel too keenly the burden of responsibility, because at the end of the day all he can say is, "We are unprofitable servants". This knowledge, far from inhibiting action, actually releases the Christian from that appalling feeling of responsibility that has driven so many high-minded humanists to despair, even to suicide... Work done conscientiously by the Christian is his share in Christ's service; but it is Christ's service, and therefore the Christian need neither be proud because it has succeeded or overwhelmed because it has failed. The service of Christ is supremely expressed in the apparent failure of the Cross.

... Anthony T. Hanson, The Church of the Servant

Conservative Anglicans meet as rift threatens church
Tue Oct 25, 2005 6:39 PM GMT
By Edmund Blair

CAIRO (Reuters) - Traditionalist Anglican clerics from the developing world said on Tuesday that liberal U.S. and Canadian churches had not done enough to heal a rift over gay rights that is threatening to tear apart the Anglican church.

The 77 million-strong Anglican church has been divided since 2003 when the U.S. Episcopal Church ordained a gay bishop and Canadian Anglicans began blessing same-sex marriages.

The move outraged traditionalists who dominate the Anglican church in Africa, Asia and Latin American, a grouping known as the Global South. They say the Bible condemns homosexuality and add that their position represents the majority of Anglicans.

"I still believe there is room for us to walk together," said Drexel Gomez, archbishop of the West Indies, speaking on the sidelines of a six-day meeting of the Global South group which began in Egypt on Tuesday.

"But if they (the United States and Canada) refuse to buy into what we call the Anglican consensus then I believe that those people who cannot accept the consensus are the ones who must leave," he told Reuters.

In a bid to end divisions in the 450-year-old church, a report by Anglican leaders called for steps by the U.S. and Canadian churches, including expressing regret for their actions. A dispute now rages about whether those conditions have been met.
The rest at Connecticut Six

Gathering of Conservative Anglicans Rekindles Debate on the Unity of Communion
Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2005

Posted: 12:25:46PM EST

Over 120 conservative Anglicans, mostly from the Global South, have gathered in Egypt for a major meeting as fear over the further division between liberals and traditionalists in the warring worldwide Communion intensified.

The six-day Anglican Global South to South meeting, which began Tuesday at All Saints Episcopal Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt, has brought together the leading opponents of the liberal stance on homosexuality from Africa, Asia and Latin America. It is the third of such meetings.
Story here

The Great Stem Sell and Other Mistakes
What Americans really think about science: astonishing new polling data.
by Nigel M. de S. Cameron
posted 10/26/2005 09:00 a.m.

If you read the mainstream press, you would be forgiven for believing that America is besotted with science, that only half-crazed, pro-life "extremists" have any doubts about the miracle cures that will spring any moment from embryonic stem-cell research, and that "therapeutic cloning" is the technology of the future.

According to a new
opinion poll conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), you would be very wrong. Polling, of course, depends a lot on the questions you ask. So you may have seen polls quoted this way and that on these key issues. The VCU poll is generally fair. It does not bend over in either direction, and while we may wish some of the questions had been asked a little differently, its results are clear enough to turn upside down many of the assumptions of advocates for destroying embryos for research or for "therapy." Americans are much more level-headed than many editorial boards and certainly than many members of Congress. Story

U.S. Former Homosexual Targets Canada with Streaming Radio Program on Homosexuality
October 25, 2005

( - Stephen Bennett, the famous former homosexual, now happily married to wife Irene and proud father of two children, has made it his mission to spread the hope of change for men and women struggling against homosexual inclinations. In an interview with yesterday, Bennet explained his latest venture to reach out to Canada with his message.

Bennett's US national radio program "Straight Talk Radio", which is to launch October 31 will broadcast in Canada via internet streaming radio.

Because of Canadian broadcast restrictions, Straight Talk Radio will provide a 1" square icon and code that can be downloaded for all interested Canadians to stream the daily broadcast from their blogs and websites, without taking visitors away from the pages they are visiting.

Raising Boys Without Men: The New Feminist Fantasy
Albert Mohler
President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Does a boy need a dad? Peggy Drexler argues that a new generation of boys is being raised by a corps of "maverick moms" who are redefining parenthood, reshaping masculinity, and proving themselves to be superior to fathers in the raising of sons.

In her new book, Raising Boys Without Men, Drexler claims to present findings from her research project on moms raising boys without men. An assistant professor of psychology and psychiatry at Cornell University and "a former gender scholar" at Stanford University, Drexler is an ardent advocate for the normalization of single motherhood and lesbian parenting. Her new book represents a manifesto for the redefinition of marriage, parenting, masculinity, and issues beyond. The book has been warmly received by the mainstream media and is likely to be cited long into the future.
The rest

Book Talk: Brother Lawrence's
"Practice of the Presence"
Margaret Becker
CCM Magazine

I got my first job in second grade. Every night, around six, I “clocked in” at the sink. I learned early how to get burnt Shake-n-Bake off Pyrex and what “dish-pan hands” meant in real life.

My career skills followed me to college, where I worked long, hard, sweaty hours at Duke’s Grill as a “professional” dishwasher. As far as jobs go, the only perk was the solitude. No one in his/her right mind wants to stand in the steam of hot water, handling mounds of other people’s table scraps. I escaped by daydreaming about what I would do with my paycheck.

I guess that is why I have always been fascinated with
Brother Lawrence and his timeless book, "The Practice of the Presence of God" (Whitaker House).

A “lay brother” among monks in the 1600s, Brother Lawrence went to serve in a monastery at the age of 55. Among his menial tasks were cooking and cleaning up for the order. Unlike me, while his hands did common work, he discovered his life’s passion: the discipline of constant prayer and praise. He considered it his honor and his duty.
The rest
This is a book that I have read many times. You will be blessed by it! -PD

And another book of interest:
Amazon reviewers give 'Marketing of Evil' 5 stars
'Powerful,' 'eye-opening,' 'I have not been able to put this book down'
Posted: October 26, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern

WND Managing Editor David Kupelian's new blockbuster book –
"The Marketing of Evil: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised as Freedom" – has garnered a rare five stars on, based on reader reviews.
Book review here

Campus Paper's Publications Targeted by Anti-Conservative Vandals
By Jim Brown
October 25, 2005

(AgapePress) - The publisher of a conservative student newspaper at the University of Georgia says he finds it ironic that liberal students who champion tolerance on campus have apparently demonstrated extreme intolerance by vandalizing his fliers and newspapers.

David Kirby, publisher of the campus paper the Georgia Guard Dawg, says he recently put up 30 flyers advertising "Conservative Coming Out Day," a national holiday that recognizes how conservative views are often kept out of classrooms. But within a day of posting his flyers, he reports, all but three had been torn down.

In addition, Kirby says he discovered about 25 copies of the Guard Dawg had been removed from a distribution bin and tossed in a trash can. So far, no individual or group has yet been implicated in the vandalism against the fliers or the newspaper.

the rest

Syrian show: Jews cut Christian throats
Jordanian TV airs 'documentary' of Zionist history
Posted: October 26, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern
By Aaron Klein

JERUSALEM – A rabbi cuts the throat of a Christian boy, drains his blood into a bowl and then eats blood-baked matzo. A Jewish official plots the destruction of German Jewry with Nazi strongman Adolf Eichmann. A member of the Zionist Agency discusses the "small matter" of Japan, after which scenes of a nuclear attack on Hiroshima are superimposed over the Star of David.

All this and so much more can be viewed in "The Diaspora," a Syrian-produced television series airing this month on Al-Mamnou, an independent Jordanian satellite network, reports
Palestinian Media Watch. the rest

Mormon Church Withdraws Its Missionaries in Venezuela
Published: October 26, 2005

Colombia, Oct. 25 - Amid rising tensions in Venezuela between President Hugo Chávez and various religious orders, the Utah-based Mormon Church has withdrawn all 220 of its American missionaries from the country, a spokesman at the church's headquarters in Salt Lake City said Tuesday.

The church, known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said it had been having months of trouble renewing visas or getting new ones for American missionaries working in Venezuela. The first group of American missionaries began leaving Caracas last week for new assignments in Latin America, and the withdrawal was completed by Monday night, said Michael Purdy, the spokesman.

The development comes two weeks after Mr. Chávez ordered the expulsion of the
Florida-based New Tribes Mission, an evangelical group that he accused of aiding the Bush administration in what he claims is a plan to invade Venezuela. "They are agents of imperial penetration," he said in an Oct. 12 speech. Story

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

God of our life, there are days when the burdens we carry chafe our shoulders and weigh us down; when the road seems dreary and endless, the skies grey and threatening; when our lives have no music in them, and our hearts are lonely, and our souls have lost their courage. Flood the path with light, run our eyes to where the skies are full of promise; tune our hearts to brave music; give us the sense of comradeship with heroes and saints of every age; and so quicken our spirits that we may be able to encourage the souls of all who journey with us on the road of life, to Your honour and glory.

Works and Biography

Once Again, Florida Finds Itself Recovering From Powerful Hurricane;
6 Million Without Power
Tuesday, October 25, 2005 09:17:57 AM

Beginning an agonizing, all-too-familiar process, Floridians lined up for generators, chain saws and other clean-up supplies only hours after Hurricane Wilma cut a costly, deadly swath across the peninsula.

The storm slammed across the state in about seven hours Monday, causing billions in insured damage and leaving 6 million people without electricity. Wilma was blamed for at least six and possibly as many as eight deaths statewide.

Officials in the state's three most populous areas _ Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties _ were prepping to distribute ice, water and other items to storm-struck residents Tuesday, while utility-restoration efforts could stretch into weeks.

"It will be days or weeks before we are back to normal," Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez said.

UK: Witches see an opportunity in new hate bill
Jon Ungoed-Thomas

THE government faces new embarrassment over the religious hatred bill with a warning that witches and satanists could use it to trigger police investigations of their critics.

The Racial and Religious Hatred Bill, now passing through parliament, has been used by Labour to bolster support among Muslims. Charles Clarke, the home secretary, says the bill is of “vital importance” to protect Muslims and other groups from “religious hatred”.

Opponents of the bill — including Rowan Atkinson, the comedian, and Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury — have said that it could be used to censor films, books and television programmes.

Last week they warned that it could also be abused by members of religious cults who could complain to the police about anyone who insulted their beliefs. A similar law in Australia was used by a jailed witch to launch a criminal prosecution of the Salvation Army after it criticised witchcraft.

Quake kids sold to sex trade
Dean Nelson,
October 24, 2005

SIX-YEAR-OLD Aisha loves the orange blouse and jeans given to her by the kind woman who rescued her from the chaos of the Kashmir earthquake. She snuggles up to the woman, trying to forget the devastation of her village home and the deaths of her parents 16 days ago.What Aisha does not know is that the woman, Kausar, is a prostitute who has bought her from relatives for 50,000 rupees ($1500) and plans to put her to work in the sex trade as soon as she reaches puberty.

Aisha is not alone. According to welfare agencies, many of the hundreds of girls and boys orphaned by the October 8 earthquake are being targeted by gangs intent on turning them into prostitutes or street beggars.

Other children are being sold for adoption by their parents in acts prompted by the destruction of homes and livelihoods.
The rest

Homosexual party sunk by Wilma?
Fantasy Fest had been reset for Wednesday, but 'debauchery' could be canceled
Posted: October 24, 20058:25 p.m. Eastern

Despite the attempt to dodge the impact of Hurricane Wilma by changing the dates for the annual
Fantasy Fest, the storm has deluged any hopes for the homosexual debauchery party this week, and could force a complete cancellation.

"We know Fantasy Fest is on everyone's mind," City Commissioner Bill Verge said at a news conference this afternoon. "We have a problem with the infrastructure. We will have to work together. There is still tons and tons of debris."

God is Not Our 'Buddy'
Kirk Dearman
Contributing Writer

Many years ago, my wife and I were extremely blessed to be a part of a genuine and sovereign visitation of God that was taking place in two particular churches in our area. We realize now that what we experienced in those days was the exception and not the norm for most local congregations.

As we gathered to worship the Lord during those exciting days, there was such a sense of expectation and a tangible awareness of God’s presence. Many times we would be so overwhelmed by His presence that we could only respond by falling to our knees, or lying completely prostrate in an attitude of deep reverence. Often the pastor would be compelled to set aside his sermon and we would worship... sometimes for as long as two hours! The goal of our worship was to touch God’s heart; to connect with Him in such a way that He would, in turn, respond to us, individually and corporately. We understood that we were coming together to meet with God, to “commune” with Him. It wasn’t at all about us, it wasn’t about the songs or the band. It was all about Him. The prevailing attitude of the congregation during those unforgettable times of corporate worship was one of profound reverence, wonder and awe. I have often said over the years that once you have experienced such times of corporate worship, you can never be satisfied with anything less.
The rest

Upstart Anglican newspaper banned in Brandon
Last Updated Mon, 24 Oct 2005 18:12:46 EDT

CBC News
A new Anglican publication aimed at offering a more conservative alternative to the official church newspaper is spurring controversy and has been banned by a Manitoba bishop.

Bishop Jim Njegovan of the Diocese of Brandon said the upstart The Anglican Planet is "sowing the seeds of distrust and disdain within the Church, and that the publishers have no respect for those in authority over them."

He has banned the monthly newspaper, which launched in May, in his parishes. "As bishop, I do not endorse any such material. Nor do I wish to see it distributed in, or to, our parishes."

Reverend David Harris, a parish priest in Charlottetown who co-edits the new publication, said the censorship has only served to make the Anglican Church of Canada's establishment look bad.
the rest

Bishop FitzSimons Allison on Bishop Mark Dyer
and the Lambeth Commission

The sole ECUSA representative on the Windsor Commission was Mark Dyer, erstwhile bishop of Bethlehem and now teaching at Virginia Seminary. No one better personifies the denigrations of theology and the elevation of polity in ECUSA’S leadership than he. He seems to have been the first to express this substitution of unity over truth, polity over principle and territorial autonomy over biblical faith with his infamous dictum: ‘Schism is always worse than heresy.’

This claim comes from one who left the Roman Catholic Church for the Anglican Communion whose very identity is based on the doctrinal issue of biblical faith that resulted in separation from Roman Catholicism at the Reformation. Obviously Mark has left Rome for no reasons of faith and doctrine. It is something of a puzzle as to his reason when he claims that issues of doctrine can never justify separation. It is an impossible position for authentic Anglicans to take. Separation from Marcianism, Arianism, Donatism, etc. is simply a part of the history of the Christian Church, each over issues of heresy.

The rest at titusonenine

Monday, October 24, 2005

I lay my head upon Thy infinite heart,
I hide beneath the shelter of Thy wing;
Pursued and tempted, helpless, I must cling
To Thee, my Father; bid me not depart,
For sin and death pursue,
And Life is where Thou art!


Vestry of St John's Bristol responds to Bp Smith
Bristol, Connecticut

The Right Reverend Andrew Smith
Diocese of Connecticut
1335 Asylum Avenue
Hartford, Connecticut 06105
October 24, 2005

Dear Bishop Smith:

We, the rightful Vestry of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Bristol, Connecticut, write to inform you that the Rev. Dr. Mark H. Hansen has resigned as Rector of St. John’s Church on September 23, 2005. We will begin the process of searching for a new priest.

At the same time, we want to express our objections to the unlawful actions that continue to be exercised by those who claim to be acting with your permission or authority.

On September 26, the Rev. Susan McCone sent a registered letter to the Vestry of St. John’s Episcopal Church, in which she requested the written resignations of all members of the Vestry on the unspecified grounds of “many actions” that had “violated [our] trust” as Vestry members and for failing “to attend the scheduled meetings of the Vestry as called by me and required by the By-Laws of St. John’s.”

The rest at Connecticut Six Website

Worldwide Anglican Meeting Brings Spotlight
Back to Tensions in Communion
Analysts are predicting divisions will only be sharpened between liberals and conservatives in the Anglican Communion, as delegates from 20 Anglican provinces gather in Egypt this week
Posted: Monday, October 24 , 2005, 12:34 (UK)

With delegates from across the Anglican Communion gathering in Egypt this week, analysts are expecting conservative opposition to liberal trends developing throughout the western provinces of the Communion to come out stronger than ever before.

The 77-million strong Anglican Church has faced the threat of a split since the U.S. Episcopal Church ordained gay Gene Robinson and Canadian Anglicans began blessing same-sex marriages.

The developments have been met with hostility mainly from southern hemisphere churches in Africa, particularly Nigeria, as well as parts of Latin America. The traditionalist clerics, mainly from Africa, Asia and Latin America, however, assured that the homosexual debate and a possible split from the more liberal Western churches would not overshadow the meeting in Alexandria, near the Red Sea, reports Reuters.

How staged sex crime fooled Supreme Court
Landmark sodomy case faked from start, shrouded in murder mystery, says judge
Posted: October 24, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern
By Joseph Farah

WASHINGTON – Was the U.S. Supreme Court fooled by a make-believe sodomy case in Lawrence v. Texas – one manufactured by homosexual activists to entrap police and ensnare the judicial system in a conspiracy to change the law of the land?

That is the compelling verdict of a new book,
"Sex Appealed: Was the U.S. Supreme Court Fooled?" by Judge Janice Law.

the rest

Abortion Linked to Increased Risk of Child Abuse Reveals New Study
Authors Say Emotional Healing After Abortion Will Increase Likelihood of "Violence Free" Families

SPRINGFIELD, Il., October 24, 2005 ( - A new study published in the medical journal Acta Paediatrica has found that women who have had an abortion are 2.4 times more likely to physically abuse their children.

The study, led by Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University, looked at data taken from a survey of 518 low-income women in Baltimore who were receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children and who had at least one child aged 12 years or younger. The data compared rates of child abuse and neglect among women who had experienced either an involuntary (miscarriage or stillbirth) or voluntary (induced abortion) pregnancy loss.

The results showed that women with a history of one induced abortion were 2.4 times more likely to physically abuse their children than women who had not had an abortion. In addition, the increase in risk among women who had experienced an abortion was more significant than the increase among women who had experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth.

'Satanism flourishing in Russia'
No arrests in vandalism at Murmansk church
Posted: October 24, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern

Satanism is running rampant throughout Russia, according to a priest at a Murmansk church defaced by vandals.

Earlier this month, according to an Interfax report, the Church of the Savior-on-the-Waters, built in memory of lost seamen was targeted with Satanic symbols and animal blood.

"We are alarmed with the increased activity of the Satanists in the city," said Rev. Andrei, the rector of the Orthodox church. "We think that they perpetrated the sacrilege of the church."

The priest said young people with inverted crosses on their breasts were often observed in the church.

"Satanism is flourishing in our country and can be seen not only in the painting of church buildings by young people," said the priest. "For example, a cross has been erected recently on the hill in Vidyaevo (a military settlement of the North Fleet submariners), but was sacriliged the next day."
The rest

Nigerian Churches Tell West to Practice What It Preached on Gays
Christians Express Sense of Betrayal as European and U.S. Bodies Move to Accept Homosexuality, Once Denounced by Missionaries
By Craig Timberg
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, October 24, 2005

ABUJA, Nigeria -- Little more than a century ago, legions of Christian missionaries arrived here from Europe with an imposing agenda for changing traditional African practices. Worshiping animistic gods, they told people, was sinful. So was keeping carved idols at home. And in a land where polygamy was common, the missionaries taught that marriage was a sacred union between one man and one woman, period.

Today, many devout Christian Nigerians adhere firmly to the view that homosexuality is ungodly, and they have been rankled by its growing acceptance among church leaders in the United States and Europe. As the descendants of Nigerians who abandoned their traditional values under the influence of Western preaching, some Christians here say they feel betrayed and offended that the spiritual descendants of those missionaries are now trying to change the rules.

"The trees of the Lord are full of sap."—Psalm 104:16.

WITHOUT sap the tree cannot flourish or even exist. Vitality is essential to a Christian. There must be life—a vital principle infused into us by God the Holy Ghost, or we cannot be trees of the Lord. The mere name of being a Christian is but a dead thing, we must be filled with the spirit of divine life. This life is mysterious. We do not understand the circulation of the sap, by what force it rises, and by what power it descends again. So the life within us is a sacred mystery. Regeneration is wrought by the Holy Ghost entering into man and becoming man's life; and this divine life in a believer afterwards feeds upon the flesh and blood of Christ and is thus sustained by divine food, but whence it cometh and whither it goeth who shall explain to us? What a secret thing the sap is! The roots go searching through the soil with their little spongioles, but we cannot see them suck out the various gases, or transmute the mineral into the vegetable; this work is done down in the dark. Our root is Christ Jesus, and our life is hid in Him; this is the secret of the Lord. The radix of the Christian life is as secret as the life itself. How permanently active is the sap in the cedar! In the Christian the divine life is always full of energy—not always in fruit-bearing, but in inward operations. The believer's graces, are not every one of them in constant motion? but his life never ceases to palpitate within. He is not always working for God, but his heart is always living upon Him. As the sap manifests itself in producing the foliage and fruit of the tree, so with a truly healthy Christian, his grace is externally manifested in his walk and conversation. If you talk with him, he cannot help speaking about Jesus. If you notice his actions you will see that he has been with Jesus. He has so much sap within, that it must fill his conduct and conversation with life.

CH Spurgeon

Episcopal liberals prepare for split
By Julia Duin
October 24, 2005

A liberal Episcopal group is crafting a strategy to disenfranchise about 16 conservative bishops if the denomination's pivotal General Convention next year in Columbus, Ohio, results in a church split.

Informally named the "Day After" for the aftermath of the June 13-21 event, the strategy outlines a way to file canonical charges against conservative bishops, unseat them from their dioceses, have interim bishops waiting to replace them and draft lawsuits ready to file before secular courts for possession of diocesan property.

The strategy was revealed in a leaked copy of minutes drafted at a Sept. 29 meeting in Dallas of a 10-member steering committee for Via Media, a network of 13 liberal independent Episcopal groups.

"It was a worst-case scenario -- what people in various dioceses would need to do if their bishop and much of their diocesan leadership decided to walk away from the Episcopal Church," said Joan Gundersen, the steering committee member who drafted the minutes.

Greg Griffith: What do the Via media Minutes teach us?

The real significance of this brief report by Via Media’s Dallas chapter - one that seems to be about a power struggle between Stanton and Duncan - is that it assumes as inevitable a formal split in the Episcopal Church. Someone should tell Via Media Dallas that, according to Presiding Bishop Griswold and the rest of the revisionist power brokers and diocesan fence-sitters in ECUSA, all is well in the Episcopal Church; that this will all die down, that we’re moving on, we’re focusing on mission, that we have much bigger things to worry about than one gay priest in some backwater diocese, and, most of all, that a split in the Episcopal Church USA is - pish tosh! - unthinkable.

The rest at titusonenine

Wilma makes landfall as Category 3 storm
By MIKE SCHNEIDER Associated Press Writer

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) -- Hurricane Wilma crashed ashore early Monday as a strong Category 3 storm, battering southwest Florida with tornados, 125 mph winds that shook the sturdiest buildings and pounding waves that flooded parts of this area and Key West. At least one death was blamed on the storm.

A man in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Coral Springs died when a tree fell on him, Broward County spokesman Carl Fowler said. Fowler had no other details.

More than 316,000 homes and businesses lost power. More than 33,100 Floridians spent what almost certainly was an anxious night in dozens of shelters across the state's southern half. Virtually the entire peninsula was under some sort of storm-related watch or warning.

The center of Wilma's eye made landfall around 6:30 a.m. EDT near Cape Romano on an uninhabited island of the same name, 22 miles south of Naples in Collier County on Florida's southwest coast, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. But severe weather began long before.

Why Isn't "Spirituality" Enough?
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Monday, October 24, 2005

Hypermodern America has become a collectivity of "spiritualities" even as the contours of American culture become increasingly secularized. How is this possible? The emergence of spirituality as an alternative to historic Christianity is itself a product of secularism--offering universal "meaning" without doctrine, truth, or specific content.

For the last twenty years or more, observers of American religion have noted the proliferation of diverse models of spirituality, ranging from New Age innovations to the reemergence of ancient paganisms. The mainstream sociological explanation for this phenomenon is rooted in the assumption that the modern age marginalizes the exclusivistic and truth-oriented doctrines of Christianity and leaves the public square open for the emergence of less demanding belief systems and worldviews.
The rest-Excellent!

Walgreens' Wayward Wisdom -- Supporting Gay Games
By Randy Sharp

October 21, 2005

(AgapePress) - Someone at Walgreens deserves a huge bonus for the idea to increase sales by helping drive events that result in the need for the company's drugs.

Next July, when the 2006 Gay Games take place in Chicago, historical precedent promises that homosexual encounters will take place by the thousands, in bars, public parks, and shopping mall restrooms. The Gay Games Social Committee almost guarantees it by stating on their website: "Chicago's LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] scene is fierce no matter what time of year it is, but during that one week in July 2006, we are committed to making sure you have the time of your life."

This is where Walgreens' profiteers put their heads together to insure they get their piece of the pie.

No doubt large numbers of gays will become exposed to HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. A glance at online pictures from past Gay Games' nightlife is a clear indication that the party scene is designed for "hooking up," with casual and anonymous sex in mind.

Walgreens must be salivating at the prospect of new customers this will create.

And how better to become the official "drug dealer" of the Gay Games, than to donate $100,000 and become the top sponsor for incredible exposure? It's a brilliant marketing investment!

ACLU allied with porn industry?
Former Justice consultant blasts group's support of 'live sex shows'
Posted: October 22, 20052:40 p.m. Eastern
by James L. Lambert

Two recent Oregon Supreme Court cases demonstrate the American Civil Liberties Union's commitment to the pornography industry, claims an internationally respected expert and Justice Department consultant on the subject.

According to Judith Reisman Ph.D., the cases – State of Oregon v. Ciancanelli and City of Nyssa v. Dufloth/Smith – demonstrate that the ACLU will defend the most extreme elements of a business that now, as these cases show, includes "live sex shows."
The rest

The Gospel According to Anne
The queen of the occult has been gone awhile. What's Anne Rice been up to? Getting healthy, finding God—and writing her most daring book yet.
By David Gates

Oct. 31, 2005 issue - Sometimes Anne Rice won't leave her bedroom for days on end—and neither would you. Glass doors open onto a terrace that looks over the red-tiled roofs of La Jolla, Calif., to the Pacific Ocean. A live-in staffer brings meals to the table at the foot of her ornately carved wooden bed, which faces an ornately carved stone fireplace. She exercises in a huge bike-in closet. She's got two computers and enough books to last her a year. Splendid isolation? Splendid, sure. But she's often got family visiting in a downstairs guest suite, she reads The New York Times every morning—"Nicholas Kristof is a hero to me"—watches news "till I can't stand it anymore," and spends up to an hour and a half a day e-mailing with her extraordinarily faithful readers.
The rest

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The spiritual life is a life beyond moods. It is a life in which we choose joy and do not allow ourselves to become victims of passing feelings of happiness or depression.
--Henri Nouwen

Asian Bird Flu Spreads to England
Oct 23 4:06 PM US/Eastern
By MICHAEL McDONOUGH Associated Press Writer

The British government said Sunday that a strain of bird flu that killed a parrot in quarantine is the deadly H5N1 strain that has plagued Asia and recently spread to Europe.

Scientists determined that the parrot, imported from South America, died of the strain of avian flu that has devastated poultry stocks and killed 61 people in Asia the past two years, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The virus is spread by migrating wild birds and has recently been found in birds in Russia, Turkey and Romania, spurring efforts around the globe to contain its spread.
The rest

European Evangelicals Committed to Transform Europe with Biblical Truth
Saturday, Oct. 22, 2005
Posted: 11:40:56AM EST

Evangelicals in Europe have committed to the holistic mission of transforming Europe on all levels with a larger network during the largest European Evangelical Alliance assembly in Portugal this week.

We are here to win souls but we are also here to transform Europe," said Leonardo De Chirico, vice president of the Italian Evangelical Alliance, on Thursday during the 2005 EEA in Tavira, Portugal. The annual assembly, which began on Wednesday and ends on Sunday, follows the theme, "Gospel Relevance in Europe Today.”

On the second day of its gathering, the EEA welcomed two new members, the United Christian Council in Israel and the Protestant Evangelical Alliance in Bosnia and Herzegovina, into its network.
the rest

Charges Dropped Against Father Who Objected to Promotion of Homosexuality in School
CONCORD, Massachusetts,
October 21, 2005

( – A local district attorney has decided not to pursue trespassing charges against David Parker as a result of an incident at his son’s school. Parker spent a night in jail in April for refusing to leave a meeting because his 6-year-old son’s teacher and director of education refused to assure the father that he would be notified when issues of homosexuality and transgenderism were to be discussed.

Middlesex County District Attorney Martha Coakley informed the court this morning that her office has decided not to pursue the criminal trespassing charge against the Lexington parent. The jury trial had been scheduled to begin this morning in Concord District Court.

Parker was arrested on April 27 during the scheduled meeting at his son's elementary school. School officials ordered him to leave, and ordered him charged with trespassing when he refused. The case has become a national outrage. Wednesday night it was featured on the ABC-TV World News Tonight.
the rest

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Keep clear of concealment -- keep clear of the need of concealment. It is an awful hour when the first necessity of hiding something comes. The whole life is different thenceforth. When there are questions to be feared and eyes to be avoided and subjects which must not be touched, the bloom of life is gone.
... Phillips Brooks

A man may blaspheme against the Son of Man and be forgiven; but the sin against the Spirit of Truth -- what can God Himself do with or for the man who will not acknowledge the truth he knows, or follow the light he sees?
... Alexander Miller, The Renewal of Man

Lord, when we are wrong, make us willing to change; and when we are right, make us easy to live with.
... Peter Marshall

A Christian Lawyer’s Approach to Divorce:
A Personal Testimony
by Raymond Dague

I handle all kinds of legal work. I do real estate closings, probate wills, file bankruptcy, defend criminal charges, do guardianships, and represent churches and not-for-profit organizations, and plenty else. That is the way of general practice; something new every day, depending on who knocks on the door or the calls the office. Everything in the law has ethical implications, and is a challenge in this secular legal culture. But nothing is more ethically challenging than family court and divorce.

When I started my law practice over 26 years ago, I never imagined that I would get involved in divorce. Doesn’t Jesus frown on divorce in the Gospels? Other Christian lawyers I knew would not do them. My initial assumption was that this is an ungodly business which I would be best to avoid.

But two things changed my mind. I represent people in divorce, and a good number of those people are Christians. One thing which changed my mind is the people who have come my way with their personal stories. The other thing is a reflection on the scriptures.

A long time ago I saw a woman in my office whose daughter was abused by her husband. She had three other children, no job, little formal education and no prospect for a future. Another Christian lawyer told her to go home and pray for her husband, since Christians should not get divorced. She tried that, and then even more desperate she came to me.

When her estranged husband hot-wired her car one Wednesday night as she was at her church for a service, and took it from the church parking lot while she was inside at prayer, I realized that action is sometimes necessary. I took the case, and prosecuted a divorce. The case was personally gut wrenching for me, but the end was a “win.” It ended when the husband’s lawyer came to me and said that his client could not withstand a trial with the disclosures that would follow about his conduct. He asked for our terms for reconciliation. It did not happen immediately, but after much counseling and repentance, they were reconciled.

I rejoiced in the Lord at such a result, but said in prayer, “Please don’t send me any more of these clients; they are just too gut wrenching for me to handle.” That next week I got two more such clients with personal stories just as hair-raising as the first.

For some time I quietly handled divorce and family court cases. I did not widely advertise the fact, but people somehow found their way to my door. Selectively I took some of them. I tried to use spiritual criteria in doing so, but my thinking was not clear with a solid Biblical justification.

A few years ago the Christian Legal Society asked me to conduct a seminar for attorneys who handle family law cases. It turns out that there were a lot of Christian lawyers across the country doing so. It’s pretty tough to teach other lawyers about something unless you have thought it through pretty well. This forced me to reflect on the Biblical reasons in a way which I had never done.

I have long realized that Jesus and his seemingly absolute prohibition of divorce is not so absolute on the subject. Depending on which Gospel passage one reads there are exceptions for adultery, and other unfaithfulness. Jesus’ strong preference is that marriages stay together, but he made accommodation for man’s sin. Indeed his entire life, death, and resurrection is an accommodation for man’s sin. He is the escape from sin.

And then there is Moses. Jesus said that divorce was for man’s hardness of heart, but that God’s plan is for marriages to endure. Yet somehow God made accommodation for man’s hardness of heart and allowed divorce. God knew that sin was a fact of life.

The scripture tells us that Moses was a judge as well as God’s lawgiver. When the people of Israel were wandering in the wilderness they didn’t have much money or property to fight about. So what did Moses judge? Criminal violations of God’s laws, no doubt. But human nature being what it is, one of his principal jobs as a judge must have been dealing with what today is called family law. And the first record of a child custody case is in the Bible. Solomon had to decide which of two prostitutes was to be the custodial mother of a baby. Both claimed the child as her own. Pretty gritty stuff, yet God’s chosen had to deal with it all.

Divorce is not a good thing. The damage is threefold: spiritual, financial, and psychological. Yet God, as always, makes a way out for man’s sin. That is not to say that every divorce is one which a Christian lawyer should take. There must be a process of discernment. Even in the face of serious sin, one must somehow be faithful and listen to the Lord. Divorce should be a rare and extreme thing for the Christian, and for the Christian lawyer. But there does seem to be a place for family law in the practice of the Christian attorney.

Raymond Dague is a Syracuse NY attorney who has practiced family law for many years but who has never advertised that portion of his law practice until recently. He can be found at (315) 422-2052 and on the web at