Saturday, September 20, 2008

FBI Raids Cult Compound

The FBI has raided the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries near Texarkana, Arkansas today. The cult is under investigation for involvement with child pornography. Some children have been taken from the compound. Tony Alamo has already faced child abuse charges and was convicted of tax evasion in the mid-90’s.

Episcopal Bishops Toss Out Conservative

Bishops in the Episcopal church has removed one of their own from the pulpit. Robert Duncan has been at odds with his denomination over the ordination of actively gay priests and bishops. The group decided on a vote of 88-35 to remove Duncan had been leading his Pittsburgh diocese toward a vote on realigning with another branch of the Anglican church that does not support gay clergy. The vote on secession is still expected to take place on October 4th. Millions of dollars in church property is at stake as other Episcopal groups have broken away and are fighting the denomination over ownership of the assets. This includes groups in Southern California and Northern Virginia. A vote is set to take place over the same issue this November in Fort Worth, Texas.

A Survey of American Adults on Religion

92% of conservative Christians believe hell absolutely or probably exists
82% of Americans believe heaven exists
79% of Roman Catholics believe hell absolutely or probably exists
73% believe hell absolutely or probably exists
69% of Liberal Protestants believe hell absolutely or probably exists
55% of Americans believe in a 'guardian angel'
46% are at least "quite certain" they will go to heaven
45% report having at least two religious encounters
14% take part in a community prayer group
12% take part in faith-based programs not affiliated with or sponsored by a congregation
9% take part in a Bible study group
4% say they are atheists

Source: Baylor University's Institute of Studies of Religion

Friday, September 19, 2008

Christian Magazine Taken Off Shelves

Lifeway Christian Bookstores have yanked one of its magazines from it store shelves. But the Southern Baptist Convention (owner of the bookstores) will still sell you copies of Gospel Today magazine, you just have to ask for it. The latest issue of the Georgia publication has been put behind the counter because the latest issue shows five women pastors on the cover. That’s a no-no for Southern Baptists who believe only men can take the pulpit.

Washington Post Cartoon on Pentacostals

The Washington Post is taking heat for a cartoon it published that many critics (including those from other newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle) are saying is an attack on Pentacostals. Here's the cartoon.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

University Damage from Hurricane

Houston Baptist University has an estimated $8 to $10 million in damages from Hurricane Ike. There is significant wind and water damage to buildings. The campus is still without power and classes have been cancelled this week.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Poll of White Southern Evangelicals

53% of white Southern evangelicals believe the government uses torture in its anti-terrorism campaign, despite claims by government officials to the contrary. (A Pew Research Center poll earlier this year found that 48% of the general public think torture can be justified)

57% of respondents said torture can be often or sometimes justified to gain important information from suspected terrorists.

32% said it was never or rarely justified.

32% say the government does not use torture as a matter of policy.

65% support McCain

14% support Obama

21% are undecided

Source: Faith in Public Life and Mercer University

Monday, September 15, 2008

Threats to Behead Christians

A Colorado Springs man who called himself an atheist is in custody after threatening to behead two women because they were Christians. The Colorado Gazette says he showed up at the women’s apartment welding a knife. Another resident pulled out a shot gun and ordered him to drop the knife. He refused and attacked the women. The man was injured so severely he now faces losing an eye from the altercation.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Apology to Charles Darwin

The Church of England is officially apologizing to Charles Darwin today for misunderstanding his theory of evolution. Darwin’s great-great-grandson dismissing the move as ‘pointless’ since Darwin died 126 years ago. Two years ago, the Church of England apologized for its role in the slave trade.

Getting to know.. Christian publisher NavPress

  • Founded by The Navigators 75 years ago
  • Relocated in 1953 from Southern California to Colorado Springs
  • 4,200 employees
  • Missionary operations in dozens of countries
  • Revenue $97 million in 2004, $112 million in 2007

Author Claims BBC Banned Him

The book Shadowmancer spent more than a dozen weeks at the top of the British book sales charts a couple of years ago. But the author says a producer told him off the record that the BBC dropped him from a series of programs after learning he’s a Christian. G P Taylor has sold millions of books worldwide and Shadowmancer is being made into a film. The Anglican priest is working on a new series under an assumed name. Taylor says he plans to hire an actor for public appearances to prevent further discrimination. The BBC denies his claim.