Saturday, August 23, 2008

Vampire Writer on Being Mormon

"Being Mormon is a big part of who I am, and I try very hard to live the right way, but I don't know that I'm an example. I hate to say, 'Yes, look at me. I'm a good example of being Mormon.' I want to be the best person I can be, so in that aspect, maybe I'm a good example." - Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight vampire saga in an interview with TIME magazine

Siblings Differ on Billy Graham Movie

Billy Graham’s children are at odds over a film about their father. Franklin Graham has been somewhat negative about the move Billy: The Early Years but older sister Gigi Graham has nothing but positive things to say about it. Franklin Graham has released a statement says the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association "has not collaborated with nor does it endorse the movie".

In one scene, Bob Jones Sr. the president of (at that time) Bob Jones College tells Billy Graham he’ll never amount to anything. Franklin Graham objects to it as a distortion of Jones but Billy Graham's own autobiography indicates that the exchange really happened.

Directed by Robby Benson, it hits the big screen October 10. Here the trailer:

Friday, August 22, 2008

Christian Publisher Drops Out of Dem Convention

The editor of Relevant Magazine has pulled out of his appearance at the Democratic National Convention. Cameron Strang was supposed to deliver a prayer Monday night. But the registered Republican worried that his decision to appear at the Denver meeting will be taken as an endorsement but as bridge-building gesture. Cameron's father is founder of Charisma magazine. Taking his place will be Donald Miller, who wrote the popular spiritual memoir Blue Like Jazz.

Presidential Swing Vote

White non-Hispanic Catholics:
  • McCain - 45%
  • Obama – 44%

Source: Pew Research Center

Presidential Support

White Evangelical Protestants:
  • John McCain - 70%
  • Barack Obama - 17%

Source: Wall Street Journal/NBC poll

Religion & Politics

Those who say, "Churches and other religious institutions SHOULD stay out of politics."

--------- 2008 compared to 2004

Everyone 52% / 44%

Conservatives 50% / 30%

Liberals 57% / 62%

Republicans 51% / 37%

Democrats 52% / 52%

Republican Protestants 46% / 28%

White Evangelical Republicans 36% / 20%

Source: Pew Research Center

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Prayer Dispute

There was a walkout on a counsel meeting this week over prayer. WRTV from Indianapolis has this report.

Republican Pastor to Close Dem Convention

A Florida pastor has been tapped to deliver the closing prayer at the Democratic National Convention after Barack Obama accepts the Democratic presidential nomination. Joel Hunter pastors Florida's Northland Church. The anti-abortion minister is also a registered Republican. He left the Christian Coalition after he failed to get the group to focus on the issue of global warming and poverty.

A Survey of Christian Women

In a ministry setting, I have personally experienced:
  • gender discrimination - 25%
  • demeaning comments – 19%
  • suggestive jokes – 18%
  • glances with sexual overtones – 16%
  • touching or sexual contact – 15%
  • a hostile environment – 14%

About half of those who have personally experienced sexual harassment said they did not report it because they didn't want to cause controversy. About 30% confronted the perpetrator, 28% reported it to their supervisor, 21% quit, and 1% took legal action.


More Accusations Against ORU

A former accountant of Oral Roberts Ministries claims money went into an unmarked account shared by the ministry and Oral Roberts University. The Associated Press is reporting that the unnamed employee says the funds were supposed to go toward scholarships or other needs at the school. But the earmarks were ignored, she says.

Another accountant has alleged that former president Richard Roberts and his wife spent university and ministry money on personal items. The Roberts deny the claims.

Another "Jesus Had Kids" Film in the Works

A comic book called The Magdalena is coming to the big screen. In this film, Jesus is said to have married Mary Magdalene and had children. Generations later, a women discovers she is party of this lineage of female warriors, descended from Mary Magdalene, who fight supernatural evil. Luke Goss and Jenna Dewan will star in the movie.

Chinese Bibles Returned

A group of Christians from Vision Beyond Borders is leaving the Kunming airport in China after customs officials decided to return their Bibles. More than 300 Bibles were confiscated from four members of the Sheridan, Wyoming-based group who then refused to leave the airport. They eventually left but returned to the airport to fly to Thailand and the Bibles were returned.

Film about Billy Graham Coming

A new film about Billy Graham will hit theaters October 10. More than 50 large churches will hold sneak previews in the next few weeks leading up to the premiere. Billy: The Early Years cost $6 million to make and comes with a soundtrack with contributions from such artists as Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, Sara Evans and Michael W. Smith. The movie was not approved ahead of time by Graham or his family.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bible College Being Forced to Move

Eminent domain is forcing a Bible college to move from its location in Louisville, Kentucky WHAS-TV explains.

Catholic Diocese to Pay $10 Million

A Roman Catholic diocese in Kansas City has agreed to pay $10 million to settle nearly 50 sexual abuse claims against the diocese and its priests. Fox 4 News WDAF in Kansas City has more:

Church for Humanists

Some 3000 people gather in New York on Sunday's at the Society for Ethical Culture. AFP reports on this church for humanists.

Three-Year-Old Used in Church Robberies

Connecticut's WFSB-TV has this report on theft at a church involving a toddler.

Church Breaks Ground in Salt Lake City

FOX KSTU Reports on plans for Christ Meat of The Word Sanctuary & Fellowship.

Johnny Depp & Alternative Church History

A new film starring Johnny Depp (who is also producing the movie) called Rex Mundi tells the story of a search for the Holy Grail involving "descendents of Jesus" (in other words, in this film Jesus had children). It’s based on a graphic novel where where Martin Luther is assassinated, there is no Reformation, and the Catholic Church reigns supreme.

Falwell's Funds from Sun Myung Moon

Jerry Falwell saved his ministry through a cash infusion from the church of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. That’s according to a new book called Falwell Inc. Reporter Dirk Smillie says Moon's Unification Church gave Falwell 5-and-a-half million dollars in the early 90’s. The money allowed Falwell to buy up $29 million of debt. The Moral Majority and Liberty University founder died last year.

Pastor’s Son Wounded in Drive-by Shooting

The youngest son of the pastor an Evangelical Covenant Church in Seattle is recovering from gunshot wounds in a local hospital. Terren Drake was hit during a drive-by shooting Sunday morning near Qwest Field. He went through eight hours of surgery to repair his jaw and is expected to undergo another surgery within the next two weeks to replace a bone in his chin. The 26-year-old says he did not know his assailants. His father, Harvey Drake, is pastor of Emerald City Bible Fellowship.

The Twilight Series

A young, Mormon mother of three has become a publishing sensation with a series of books called Twilight. Stephenie Meyer work includes Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and now Breaking Dawn. Thousands of teenage girls lined up at bookstores all over the country to get a copy of the latest one. Time magazine and USA Today have compared her to J.K. Rowling (who wrote the Harry Potter series). Look for the first Twilight movie to come out at the end of the year. The series is about a typical girl who falls in love with a vampire. The books are fairly innocent and promote abstinence. There’s even a group of mom’s who are into the series. You can read about their enthusiasm for the book at


The Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia produced the film Facing the Giants. It took just $100,000 to make the story of a small-town football team. The movie went on to take in more than $10 million. The church has another movie coming out September 26th. Fireproof is about a firefighter who struggles to save his marriage.

Prayers at the White House

President Bush has asked his staff to compile some of the prayers that have been offered at White House cabinet meetings. The president always a cabinet secretary begins each session with an acknowledgement of the Almighty. Public affairs aides are now on the hunt for some of the prayers and may publish them in a book.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Gathering in DC

Tens of thousands of Evangelical Christians hit Washington this past weekend. Organizers of TheCall DC say 70,000 people turned out for a time of fasting, prayer and music. Among the speakers: Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, and Anita King, niece of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. This is the 8th time the event has taken place.

Did John McCain Get an unfair Advantage

When the presidential candidates met at Rick Warren's this weekend, they were supposed to be asked the exact same questions by the megachurch pastor while the other candidate couldn't hear his opponent's responses. But some have accused Warren of letting McCain hear what Barak Obama said before McCain had to answer. Here's Warren's response to that charge when he appeared on CNN's Larry King Live last night.

Mormon Massacre

A new book called Massacre at Mountain Meadows draws on documents previously unavailable to scholars to put together what happened September 11, 1857. On that day, 120 men women and children on a wagon train bound for California were killed. The Mormon church has always played down its role, first blaming Indians and then church member John D Lee. Some pointed fingers at church president Brigham Young for ordering the massacre. But the three authors, each of whom are former or current employees of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, say the southern Utah church leaders were to blame but not Young.

Bibles Confiscated

A group of Christians from Vision Beyond Borders is refusing to leave the Kunming airport in China after customs officials confiscated more than 300 Bibles from them. Four members of the Sheridan, Wyoming-based group paid more than $350 in luggage fees to bring the Chinese language Bibles with them.

Ski Slope at Liberty University

Construction is slated to begin in the next few weeks at Liberty University – on a ski slope. It will be located right beside the school’s Virginia campus. The Liberty Mountain Snowflex Center will include a ski lodge and more than 40,000 square feet of skiable area. Snowflex is a type of artificial snow that has been used in Europe but not in the US. The Jerry Falwell founded school will open the ski slope to students and the public at the start of next year.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Divine Intervention

God's intervention could save my family member even if physicians declared treatment would be futile.
  • Patients - 57.4%
  • Doctors - 19.5%

Details of the survey are in the Archives of Surgery.

Purity Pledges

Purity pledges are surprisingly effective, according to a study by the RAND corporation. Students between the ages of 12 and 17 who made purity pledges were one-fifth less likely to have sex within three years of making a pledge than teens who say they wanted to avoid sex before marriage but did not make a pledge. Details of the study are in the Journal of Adolescent Health. True Love Waits, run by Southern Baptist publisher LifeWay, says more than one million teens have signed its purity commitment cards.

Rick Warren on Larry King

Pastor Rick Warren visits Larry King Live at 9 pm Eastern tonight. They'll discusses the Saturday forum where he interviewed Barak Obama and John McCain.

I Kissed A Girl

Katy Perry’s parents are not happy that their daughter’s song I Kissed A Girl held the top slot on the Billboard singles chart for six straight weeks. Both are evangelical Christian preachers and have told interviewers the song is “shameful and disgusting.” Perry's mother, Mary Hudson, says she prays whenever the song comes on the radio.

Kentucky Christian Station Sold

Christian radio station WRVI-FM 105.9 in Louisville, Kentucky is changing hands. WAY-FM Media Group out of Colorado Springs is purchasing the radio station from Salem Communications for $3 million. The deal still needs FCC approval. If the commission approves the sale, Salem will still own three stations in the market: WFIA-FM 94.7, WGTK-AM 970 and WFIA-AM 900.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Obama & McCain on Abortion

Here's a short part from the forum at Saddleback Church this weekend. Saddleback is the megachurch loctaed in Southern California run by the Rick Warren. In this clip, Barack Obama and John McCain explain their views on abortion.