Saturday, February 6, 2010

In Support of Tebow

A Facebook campaign launched by Americans United for Life Action in support of Tim Tebow and his Super Bowl ad has gathered more than 200,000 supporters. You can find the page here.

Meanwhile, a Wisconsin anti-abortion group is offering a mask of the University of Florida quarterback on its Web site.

Several feminist groups are objecting to the CBS decision to run it.

Fires Destroy Texas Churches

A string of fires at 8 east Texas churches has area congregations worried. The churches are no more than 150 miles apart and have all caught fire since the first of the year. Fire officials say the first 7 were set deliberately and the 8th is a possible arson as well. It took place just this past Thursday. No one has been injured but no one has been arrested either. The average loss has been a quarter-of-a-million dollars. While authorities haven’t tied the fires together, many people are assuming they are related. Some were Baptist, one was nondenominational and another Christian Scientist. The first happened in Athens on January first. After two more in the same city, there were two churches in Tyler set ablaze, then another in Temple and one in Lindale. This week’s fire took place in Wills Point. Police have increased patrols and members of congregations are on the alert.

Jackpot Winner Giving 60% to Charity

William Kiefer of Houston won the January 29th drawing of the Mega Millions jackpot. Kiefer says he's going to donate most of the $144 million in winnings to charity. In a statement released Friday by the Texas Lottery Commission he said:
“The greatest gift my parents gave me was to be raised a Christian. I plan to give 60 percent of all after-tax winnings to charity."

Pink Ouija board

Several Christian groups are complaining to Hasbro about it's pink-colored version of the Ouija board game. The edition was released two years ago and is sold at Toys R Us though company officials say it is being "phased out."

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tebow Issue Reaches Europe

The Tim Tebow - Super Bowl controversy is even being discussed in Europe. An Italian newspaper called Il Foglio published an article called The Implacable Unrelenting Tim Tebow.” The paper calls Tebow the "football player that’s dividing America" and the “son of missionaries who have made compassion for others the indelible mark of a faith experienced in the public arena.” In the commercial produced by Focus on the Family, Tim and his mother will tell the story of how he was born against the recommendations of her doctors, who suggested that she abort the baby. The Italian paper says liberals are “on the verge of a nervous breakdown” after having been “put in check by a mother, that as far as we know, will limit herself to just telling the story of how things went, without a slogan of propaganda.”

Baptists Worry About Future Mission Work

The Southern Baptist Convention thinks the arrest of 10 Baptists in Haiti could hurt its ability to find volunteers for its missionary and disaster relief work. The group, made up mostly Southern Baptists, tried to take more than two dozen children out of Haiti without proper documentation, according to Hatian officials. They now face kidnapping charges.

Church Leaders Accused Of Scam

Two ministers and their brother, a Christian music singer, are accused of orchestrating a Ponzi scheme. WSMV-TV in Nashville reports.

2 Years Ago: The Tennessee Tornadoes

February 5, 2008: Tornadoes sweep through Tennessee, trapping more than a dozen students in residence halls at a Baptist college. More than 60 students had to be treated for injuries at Union University in Jackson. Administrators canceled classes for days later. The city of Jackson suffered $100 million in damages from the tornadoes. About 500 homes were damaged or destroyed.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Missionary Killed

Newly released video of a fighter jet mistaking U.S. missionaries for drug runners, killing a mother and her baby.

Former Pastor Sues Church

An appeals court has ruled on a lawsuit involving a pastor who sued his former church. Tim Tubra was serving as interim pastor of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel in Vernonia, Oregon when he was asked to leave. He claims the church made false accusations against him. A jury agreed but a judge threw out the case. Now an appeals court has weighted in on the side of the jury. Read more here.

Lil Wayne on Going to Jail

Singer Lil Wayne will soon report to prison to serve a yearlong sentence for gun possession on his tour bus. He tells Rolling Stone his prison term is God's will and everything happens for a reason.
"I look at things as 'Everything is meant to be.' I know it's an experience that I need to have if God's putting me through it."
The real name of the tattoo covered star is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.

Obama at Prayer Breakfast

The president speaks at the National Prayer Breakfast.

National Prayer Breakfast

President Barack Obama spoke at the annual National Prayer breakfast this morning. The audience included Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow. He said, "You can question my policies without questioning my faith. Or, for that matter, my citizenship." Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility had asked the president to boycott the breakfast because the event is sponsored by The Fellowship Foundation.

AFA: Outlawing Homosexuality?

A heated debate on Fox News with American Family Association's Bryan Fischer, who says gays should be imprisoned and forced into therapy.

Hatian Pastor Defends Americans

A pastor who says he gave 10 U.S. Baptist missionaries permission to move a busload of Haitian children to the Dominican Republic says they didn't complete the required paperwork, but had approval from parents.

Osteen on Haiti

CNN's Anderson Cooper speaks with Joel Osteen about his church's missions in Haiti, and holding onto faith in the aftermath.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Jail or Church

A judge in Lenawee County, Michigan has given a teen the option of going to jail or going to church. Dylan Patrick Karle pleaded guilty to trying to break into a church. He agreed to apologize to the congregation of the United Methodist Church in Tecumseh and attend services for at least three Sundays. Karle's felony conviction will be expunged if he stays out of trouble for three years. the town is about 50 miles outside of Detroit.

ELCA Church Votes to Stay

The First English Lutheran Church in Wausau, Wisconsin has voted to remain a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The 153-64 decision has prompted pastor Scott Mann to resign. He takes issue with the ELCA's decision to allow gay clergy in the church.

Faith Healing Verdict

An Oregon couple who practice faith healing are found guilty of neglecting their son before he died. KATU has a video reports.

One Year Ago.. Fuller Passes

The man who started Habitat for Humanity died one year ago today. Co-founder Millard Fuller was 74. He was on the way to a south Georgia hospital after complaining of chest pains. Fuller separated from Habitat after a conflict with the board of directors in 2005. He objected to how the organization was being run and started a new organization called the Fuller Center for Housing.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Still Held in Haiti

Kansas man among missionaries being held in Haiti for trying to smuggle orphans out of the country. KCTV reports.

Celebrity Scientology

The voice behind the cartoon character Bart Simpson is a Scientology supporter. Actress Nancy Cartwright donated $10 million to the group in 2007. That’s about twice her annual salary. In return, Cartwright’s been given Scientology's Patron Laureate Award. Here’s a rundown of other celebrity gifts given to the cult. Each member was given an award at a secret ceremony in Florida:
  • Tom Cruise - $5 million (over the last four years)
  • Kirstie Alley - $5 million (in 2007)
  • John Travolta - $1 million (in 2007)
  • Kelly Preston - $1 million (in 2007)
  • Priscilla Presley - $50,000 (in 2007)

Debating the Super Bowl Ad

Focus on the Family and NOW representatives debate the Super Bowl anti-abortion ad featuring football star Tim Tebow on CNN's Larry King. Here's the video.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Church-created Ad May Make Super Bowl

Doritos plans to air three consumer-created ads during the Super Bowl. A pastor produced one of the six finalists. Erwin McManus, leads Mosaic, a megachurch in Whittier, California. He submitted an ad in which a guy stages his own funeral so he can eat Doritos and watch football undisturbed in a casket. The three winners will be picked in online voting and get $1 million bonus each if their ads win the top three slots in USA TODAY’S annual Super Bowl Ad Meter. As of yesterday, the Mosaic ad had 92,000 views. The finalists won't know if they've won until they watch the Super Bowl, said Chris Kuechenmeister, spokesman for Frito-Lay.

Arrested Baptists May Come to U.S.

Haitian officials may send 10 American Baptists arrested trying to take children out of the country to the US for prosecution. They were arrested while trying to take 33 children out of Haiti into the Dominican Republic. Their attorney says they are receiving poor treatment and lacking in food and medical care. One has been hospitalized. The group is from Central Valley Baptist Church in Meridian, Idaho and the East Side Baptist Church in Twin Falls, Idaho. The pastor of Central Valley says the group believed they did not have to have permission to take the children out of Haiti. Both churches are part of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Pastor Defends Church Members

The Idaho pastor defends members of his church detained in Haiti.

Friendly Toward Religion

Here's a Pew Research Center survey showing the percentage of Americans who say these people/organizations are friendly toward religion.

Republican Party - 48%
Obama's administration - 37%
Democratic Party - 29%
news media - 14%
scientists - 12%
Hollywood - 11%

Shea Turns 101

George Beverly Shea is 101-years-old today. Shea holds the record for singing to the most people in person because he has been a part of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Team for so many years. Here are some other personal facts:

▪ Birthplace - in Winchester, Ontario
▪ Father - Wesleyan Methodist minister
▪ First time to publically sing – in the choir of his father's church
▪ Honors - nominated for 10 Grammy Awards, won a Grammy in 1965, the Gospel Music Hall of Fame by the Gospel Music Association in 1978, inducted into the National Religious Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 1996

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Grammy Winners

Here are the 2010 Grammy winners for the Christian music categories.

Gospel Performance
“Wait on the Lord,” Donnie McClurkin featuring Karen Clark Sheard

Gospel Song
“God in Me,” written by Erica Campbell, Tina Campbell and Warryn Campbell

Rock or Rap Gospel Album
“Live Revelations,” Third Day

Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album
“The Power of One,” Israel Houghton

Southern/Country/Bluegrass Gospel Album
“Jason Crabb,” Jason Crabb

Traditional Gospel Album
“Oh Happy Day,” Bill Hearn, Ken Levitan, Ken Pennell, Jack Rovner and Cedric Thompson, producers

Contemporary R&B Gospel Album
“Audience of One,” Heather Headley

Baptists Accused of Child Trafficking

The Haitian government is holding 10 US Baptists, accusing them of taking part in a child trafficking scheme. Most are from two churches in Idaho and say they were told they could take 32 children across the border to the Dominican Republic but were stopped and could not produce papers for the children. The pastor of the Central Valley Baptist Church in Meridian, Idaho says it is a terrible misunderstanding.

German Homeschoolers Get Asylum

A German family has been granted political asylum in the US because they wanted to home school their children. The Christian couple have five children. Germany has mandatory school attendance rules. Uwe and Hannelore Romeike are from the town of Bissingen in the southwestern German state of Baden-W├╝rttemberg and say the public schools teach an anti-Christian worldview. The decision was announcing in a Memphis courtroom. Tennessee Judge Lawrence Burman ruled that the Romeikes' were entitled to political asylum because family's basic human rights were being violated in Germany. The Romeikes now live in Morristown, Tennessee.

The German consul general for the southeastern US says his country has many education options including private and religious schools. But home schooling is prohibited in Germany.

Holy Blackberry!

President Barack Obama uses his Blackberry to support his faith, according to this article from ABC News.

Webcast for Church

This morning the worship services for Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis have been canceled because of bad weather. In an indication of what the future may hold for many churches, the pastor is offering a sermon through a live webcast.