Saturday, November 22, 2008

Janet Paschall

Christian singer Janet Paschal tells her story of battling breast cancer in the book Treasures of the Snow. She has a new album to accompany the book called Treasures. It’s filled with songs she has re-recorded.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Arizona Choose Life

Arizona will soon have its own Choose Life specialty license plate. The Arizona License Plate Commission had turned down a request by the Arizona Life Coalition for the plate but an appeals court has ordered the agency to accept the application. The decision came out of a law filed in 2003.

Religious News Stories During the Election

The religion storyline that got the most attention during the general election was rumors that Barack Obama is a Muslim (30%). According to a new Pew Forum study, there were only 283 stories in which religion or religious issues played a significant role.

Jeremiah Wright, Michael Pfleger and John Hagee alone made up 11% of religion coverage in the general election.

Five percent of the religion-focused coverage dealt with James Dobson’s criticism of Obama’s positions.

Less than one percent of campaign news coverage related to abortion issues gay marriage or stem cell research. Most of the stories on abortion involved Sarah Palin’s parenting choices and the Saddleback forum at Rick Warren’s church.

Bob Jones Apologizes

Bob Jones University is apologizing for its "racially hurtful" policies. The 81-year history South Carolina school refused to admit blacks until 1971 and prohibited interracial dating until 2000. The grandson of the man who founded the school, Bob Jones III, issue this statement.

Ordination of Gay Man Move Forward

The Presbyterian Church, USA is allowing a gay man to enter the final stages of ordination. John Knox Presbytery (covering parts of Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin) voted to let Scott Anderson more forward in his bid for ordination. The Princeton Theological Seminary graduate was ordained by Sacramento Presbytery in 1983. But when two members of Sacramento’s Bethany Presbyterian Church publically announced he was gay, Anderson set aside his ordination. He worked for the Northern California Council of Churches for more than a decade and now leads the Wisconsin Council of Churches. A final vote on his candidacy will take place a year from now.

Report: CIA at Fault for Missionary Deaths

The CIA was negligent when it helped Peru’s air force shoot down a small plane carrying missionaries in 2001. That’s the finding of the agency's inspector general. A new report says a CIA surveillance plane was confused over whether or not the missionary aircraft was running drugs. But procedures were ignored and the plane was shot down – killing Veronica Bowers and her infant daughter. The report says the program to intercept drug-runners was poorly run Congressman Pete Hoekstra, the top Republican on the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, criticized the CIA, saying the agency caused "needless" deaths. Three years ago, while the report was still classified, the Justice Department decided not to bring charges against those at fault.

Church Can Use Santuary Again

Guatay Christian Fellowship near San Diego can use its sanctuary again. The church had been barred from meeting there since May because it had been zoned for a bar. It was alright to serve liquor there but not hold religious services. A federal judge overruled the county yesterday. County officials said there were eight serious code violations when they inspected the church.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Potluck Law Almost Stops Church Gathering

An 85 year celebration was put in jeprody when the city of Albuquerque told a church it could not serves food at the gathering. KOB-TV explains how the community has rallied to help the church.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

EHarmony and Same-Sex Matches

EHarmony has agreed to offer same-sex matches. It’s part of a civil rights settlement. The Pasadena-based dating website was founded by Neil Warren and has been endorsed by Evangelical leaders. Eric McKinley complained to New Jersey's Division on Civil Rights when his subscription was turned down because EHarmony has never allowed gay matches. Warren has said part of the reason for not making same-sex matches is that he didn't know enough about gay relationships. As part of the deal, the company must:

▪ Implement the new policy by March 31
▪ Give the first 10,000 same-sex registrants a free six-month subscription
▪ Pay $50,000 to the state for administrative costs
▪ Give $5,000 to McKinley

ORU Makes Cuts

Oral Roberts University is cutting about 10% of its workforce by January. That’s nearly 100 jobs at the Tulsa school. ORU has just under 1000 employees.

The school just recently announced it had cut ties with Richard Roberts – former president and son of the school’s founder. Trustees agreed to pay Roberts $223,600 a year for the remainder of a three-term appointment. Robert’s resigned last year under a cloud of suspicion, after former professors filed a lawsuit. The accused him of misusing school funds for personal use.

Georgia Baptists Reject Money from Church

The Georgia Baptist Convention is no longer accepting contributions from the First Baptist Church of Decatur, who has a woman as senior pastor. Julie Pennington-Russell came to the pulpit a little over a year ago. First Baptist has been a part of the Southern Baptist Convention for nearly 150 years.

Licence Plate Rejected

Elizabeth Ferris is suing the state of Indiana after officials refused to renew her personalized license plate. It says Be God's. The Cambridge City woman has has had the message on her license plate for eight years.

Chapman's Daughter Marries

The oldest daughter of Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman has gotten married. Emily Chapman married Tanner Richards last month at the Chapman’s Franklin, Tennessee home.

Just six months ago, the Chapman's 5-year-old daughter Maria Sue was killed in a car accident by a vehicle driven by her brother. The family buried her in a bridesmaid dress to match those worn at her oldest sister's wedding.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More Children Taken From Alamo Ministry

Nearly two dozen more children from the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries in Arkansas are in state custody. KATV has more on Alamo and the child sex charges he faces.

Prince: Very Angry

Rolling Stone is reporting that Prince is “very angry” because of the way he his religious views and opinion about gays is portrayed in a recent New Yorker article. The pop singer says the magazine misquoted him.

Layoffs at Focus on the Family

Focus on the Family is laying off about 200 of its employees. That’s about 20% of its workforce. James Dobson’s group would still have about 950 employees – down from a high of about 1500.

Focus was the seventh largest donor to contribute to the effort to pass Proposition 8 in California which bans same-sex marriage. The ministry put $539,000 in cash and $83,000 in non-monetary support into the effort. More than $73 million was spent by both sides.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Demonstration in Church

A group interupted services at a Michigan church this past Sunday to protest the church's view on gay marriage. Fox News has the story.

Church Sign Draws Protesters

KWCH-TV reports on a confrontation over a Kansas City church sign about Barack Obama.

Prince on Gay Marriage & Abortion

This week’s New Yorker includes an interview with pop singer Prince. He became a Jehovah's Witness seven years ago and was a asked about social issues like gay marriage and abortion. The New Yorker writes:

Prince tapped his Bible and said, “God came to earth and saw people sticking it wherever and doing it with whatever, and he just cleared it all out. He was, like, ‘Enough.’ ”

Priest Rebuked for Obama Letter

A South Carolina priest wrote a letter to parishioners at St. Mary’s Catholic Church saying those who voted for Barack Obama shouldn’t take Holy Communion because of his support for abortion rights. But the Diocese of Charleston says Jay Scott Newman shouldn’t have done that. Here’s background on the story from CNN.

Largest Gift in Ministry's History

Do we need more translations of the Bible? Someone apparently does. Someone with a lot of money. An anonymous donor is giving Wycliffe Bible Translators $50 million to support the organization’s literacy and Bible translation program. The gift for Wycliffe's Last Languages Campaign is the largest in the ministry's 75-year history. The campaign gets an official launch this Saturday at Wycliffe US headquarters in Orlando. The campaign’s goal is to speed up the process of translating the Bible for the world's remaining language groups from 125 years down to 17 years. Besides supporting literacy, Wycliffe supports developing communities with water purification systems and Aids education.

The Bible’s Buried Secrets

PBS goes after the Old Testament again in a two-hour show tomorrow called The Bible’s Buried Secrets. A preview last summer proved controversial. The program challenges a literal reading of the first five books of the Bible. The producers argue largely from silence. Suggesting that since archeologists haven't found items related to many of the stories in the Bible, they never happened. Actress Stockard Channing reads verses during the show. It airs at 8pm Eastern.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Focus on the Family Shoppers' Guide

The political action arm of Focus on the Family is posting an online shoppers guide. There are three categories: Christmas-friendly retailers, Christmas-negligent retailers and Christmas-offensive retailers.

The friendly retailers are so designated because they prominently use Merry Christmas and other Christmas-specific references in their catalogs and in-store promotions.

Those on the Christmas-offensive list use secular phrases such as happy holidays and have "apparently abandoned" the use of the word "Christmas."

Christmas-negligent companies "marginalize" their message by using Christmas in some cases and holidays in others.

Focus launched its first shoppers guide during the 2007 holiday season.