Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Rick Warren: Pastors Shouldn't Endorse Politicians

Saddleback megachurch pastor Rick Warren was recently quoted in an CNN interview saying,

I don’t think it’s right for pastors to endorse [a political candidate] in the first place,

when asked if he thinks presidential candidate John McCain was right to disavow controversial pastors Rod Parsley and John Hagee. He added,

I would never endorse a candidate. I would never campaign for a candidate ... I think as a pastor my role is to pastor all the flock regardless of their political persuasion, so I wouldn’t have wanted endorsements anyways.
Warren, however, is inviting both McCain and Barack Obama to his highly-anticipated leadership and compassion forum on 16 Aug, to answer questions about faith and moral issues such as poverty, HIV/AIDS, climate change and human rights.

I believe in the separation of church and state, but I do not believe in the separation of faith and politics because faith is simply a worldview and everybody’s got a worldview ... We make our decisions based on our values, based on our worldview so I think it’s entirely appropriate for America to say not only what is your faith – whether it is in Christ or someone else – but what is your worldview because that is going to influence how we live in the next four year,

In terms of how evangelicals will vote this year, Warren expressed that they are not monolithic and are open to both Democratic and Republican candidates.

I do think that a lot of people, not just evangelicals, have reserved judgments. I think a lot of America hasn’t made up its mind yet between these two candidates and I’m hoping that this forum will allow these two guys (McCain and Obama) to speak for themselves without an interpreter or any spin on it.

Read the full article here.
http://christianpost.com/article/20080729/rick-warren-pastors-shouldn-t-endorse-politicians.htm
by Michelle A. Vu, Christian Post
29 Jul 2008

Pastor snags Obama, McCain for joint appearance
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/07/22/warren.qa/
CNN, 22 Jul 2008

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New Faith-Based Sports Ministry Presented to the Vatican

5 organisations have launched the John Paul II Foundation for Sports, to promote the values of the Gospel through sports. They join other faith-based groups that have combined society's love of sports and using the platform for athletes to share their testimony and faith in Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

A series of marathons will take place between Bethlehem and Rome, starting on 24 Apr and ending 21 Jun with a international symposium on "The Social and Education Value of Sports" in St. Peter's Square.

The foundation's six values taught by sports are: respect for one's body, knowing how to lose, knowing how to win, discipline, practice and hard work (based on quotes from Pauline epistles).

Read the full article here.
http://christianpost.com/article/20080729/new-faith-based-sports-ministry-presented-to-the-vatican.htm
by Josh Kimball, Christian Post
29 Jul 2008

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Sunday, 27 July 2008

Christians, Muslims Seek 'Common Ground' at Historic Conference

http://christianpost.com/article/20080727/christians-muslims-seek-common-ground-at-historic-conference.htm
by Katherine T. Phan, Christian Post
27 Jul 2008

Top Christian and Muslim leaders have convened at Yale University for a historic conference that is expected to promote understanding and peace between Christianity and Islam on an unprecedented level.

The conference, “Loving God and Neighbor in Word and Deed: Implications for Muslims and Christians,” will officially be held July 28-31 but leaders from both faiths have initiated dialogue on peace during closed-session workshops since Thursday.

The gathering is a direct response to a letter signed by 138 Muslim leaders last fall that called for peace between Muslims and Christians for the sake of world peace.

The letter, entitled “A Common Word Between Us and You,” urged followers of the two faiths to find “common ground” in the love of God and engage in more sincere discussions on peace rather than simply just “polite ecumenical dialogue” between certain religious leaders.

Yale scholars responded with a statement that pledged more open dialogue to "reshape" the two communities to “genuinely reflect our common love for God and for one another." Some 500 Christian leaders – including prominent Christians including Saddleback pastor Rick Warren, theologian John Stott, National Association of Evangelicals president Leith Anderson – endorsed the Yale statement.

But several withdrew their names from the letter following criticism by respected theologians.

(read more)

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2 killed in Tennessee church shooting: suspect charged

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/07/27/church.shooting/index.html
Aaron Cooper, Carol Cratty & Rusty Dornin, CNN
27 Jul 2008

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (CNN)
-- A shotgun-wielding man opened fire at a Unitarian church during a children's play Sunday morning, killing two adults and wounding seven others before being overpowered by congregants, officials said.

Jim Adkisson, 58, was charged with first-degree murder after Sunday's shooting at the Knoxville church.

One of the victims, Linda Kraeger, 61, died at a hospital several hours after the shooting at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, Knoxville municipal spokesman Randall Kenner said.

Also killed was Greg McKendry, a 60-year-old usher and board member at the church, police said earlier in the day.

A suspect, Jim Adkisson, 58, of Powell, Tennessee, was charged with one count of first-degree murder, Kenner said Sunday evening.

Adkisson is not believed to have been a member of the Knoxville church, and investigators have not determined a motive for the shooting, Knoxville Police Chief Sterling Owen told reporters.

"[The motive] is one thing we're obviously aggressively pursuing," Owen said.

Five others were hospitalized in either critical or serious condition, police said.

(read more)

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Prosperity of Televangelist's Friends, Family Raises Flags

http://christianpost.com/article/20080727/prosperity-of-televangelist-s-friends-family-raises-flags.htm
Eric Gorski, AP
27 Jul 2008

NEWARK, Texas (AP) - Here in the gentle hills of north Texas, televangelist Kenneth Copeland has built a religious empire teaching that God wants his followers to prosper.

Over the years, a circle of Copeland's relatives and friends have done just that, The Associated Press has found. They include the brother-in-law with a lucrative deal to broker Copeland's television time, the son who acquired church-owned land for his ranching business and saw it more than quadruple in value, and board members who together have been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for speaking at church events.

Church officials say no one improperly benefits through ties to Copeland's vast evangelical ministry, which claims more than 600,000 subscribers in 134 countries to its flagship "Believer's Voice of Victory" magazine. The board of directors signs off on important matters, they say. Yet church bylaws give Copeland veto power over board decisions.

While Copeland insists that his ministry complies with the law, independent tax experts who reviewed information obtained by the AP through interviews, church documents and public records have their doubts. The web of companies and non-profits tied to the televangelist calls the ministry's integrity into question, they say.

(read more)

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Saturday, 26 July 2008

Faith outshines music as Steven Curtis Chapman returns to the stage

http://christianpost.com/article/20080726/faith-outshines-music-as-steven-curtis-chapman-returns-to-the-stage.htm
by Josh Kimball, Christian Post
26 Jul 2008

Over the course of two weeks, award winning Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman has hit six different cities throughout the United States, touching the lives of his fans with his family’s story of faith and perseverance.

The July 17 concert in Clarkston, Mich., Chapman’s fourth since the tragic death of his daughter in May, had the crowd of about 2,500 “laughing and crying and praying and rocking, often at the same time," committee member Phil C. Giesken told The Saginaw News.

"It's beyond expectations," Lori Chatten from Carol Stream, Ill., said of the most recent Chapman concert, held just this past Thursday in Wheaton, Ill.

She told the local Daily Herald that she was surprised at how openly Chapman discussed his family's struggles and pain over the last few months.

"It's a blessing that he shared that with us," she said.

Earlier this year, in May, Maria Sue Chapman, the Grammy-winning music star’s 5-year-old daughter, was accidentally struck and killed by a sport utility vehicle driven by one of her brothers as he was pulling out of the driveway of the family's home.

(read more)

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Thursday, 24 July 2008

Media, Mission, and Batman

http://christianpost.com/article/20080724/media-mission-and-batman.htm
by Brian Fisher, Christian Post
24 Jul 2008


Consider the state of the American media culture, straight off today’s front pages:

“The Dark Knight,” the latest in the Batman movie series, took in a record $155 million in its opening weekend, knocking off another superhero flick, “Spider-man 3,” to claim the top-grossing box office ever.

The television reality show “American Idol” is raising millions of dollars for charity over the past two years, using its talent-oriented, interactive format as a platform for connecting with Americans and their generous tendencies.

Social networking sites are growing at exponential rates, as people of all ages connect and reconnect over the Internet.

It’s a far cry from the original Batman TV show many of us grew up watching. (Remember Adam West?) Or “Star Search.” Or rotary phones.

It’s obvious that Americans continue to use and consume developing media at a rapidly growing pace. That we live in a fast-changing media world is no surprise. That the Church has been painfully slow to communicate in that world is unfortunate to say the least.

(read more)

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Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Selective Preaching - Good Quote, Ironic Source

http://blog.9marks.org/2008/07/good-quote-iron.html
by Michael Mckinley, 9Marks
23 Jul 2008

A rough transcript from a 13/07/08 broadcast --

Now, I'm going to say something controversial, but the truth is controversial all by itself... you've got to be careful who you let preach to you. Listen, I'm very selective who preaches to me... some guy can get up and preach something that he really believes, but it's just not in the Bible. If I receive what he said, then that's going to become a part of my life and then all of the sudden I'm going down a dead end road because I received something that wasn't even scriptural in the first place... you've got to check out who's doing the feeding, because I'm opening my life up, I'm opening the ground of my life up to somebody's seed.

I'm going to tell you something. Based on who you're getting fed by, you may wake up one day looking just like them. So I take this very seriously, and I'm going to have to give an account for this. What I sow into your life and what your life turns out to be... I'm going to have to stand before God to make sure I sowed the correct seed from His Word to produce the correct life that he wanted produced in your life.

The source: Creflo Dollar.

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Monday, 21 July 2008

Pope meets sex abuse victims as Australia trip ends

http://news.sg.msn.com/topstories/article.aspx?cp-documentid=1579552
MSN news, 21 Jul 2008


Pope Benedict XVI met victims of child-abusing clergymen before flying out of Australia on Monday after a visit in which he made a historic apology for the scourge of paedophilia in the church.

The pope, who two days earlier had publicly expressed his "shame" over the "evils" of sex abuse committed by members of the order, held mass with four Australian victims and offered them consolation, the Vatican said.

"Assuring them of his spiritual closeness, he promised to continue to pray for them, their families and all victims," a statement said.

"Through this paternal gesture, the Holy Father wished to demonstrate again his deep concern for all those who have suffered sexual abuse."

The pontiff met two male and two female victims at St Mary's Cathedral House in Sydney shortly before flying out after a nine-day visit during which he led hundreds of thousands of pilgrims in World Youth Day celebrations.

(read more)

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Saturday, 19 July 2008

Pope apologises for 'evil' of child sex abuse

Pope Benedict XVI offered a historic full apology for child sex abuse by predatory priests Saturday, saying he was "deeply sorry" and calling for those guilty of the "evil" to be punished.

The pope strayed from a prepared speech to express his shame and make his first direct and explicit apology to victims of corrupt clergymen in Australia, during a mass for Australian clergy in Sydney.

"I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured and I assure them that, as their pastor, I too share in their suffering," he said in a line absent from the prepared text of his homily circulated to journalists.

His remarks to Catholic bishops, seminarians and novices in Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral were the strongest he has used in confronting the scourge which has rocked the Catholic church globally.

(read more)

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Thursday, 17 July 2008

World Council of Churches in Indonesia to strengthen efforts against violence

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/world.council.of.churches.in.indonesia.to.strengthen.efforts.against.violence/20610.htm
17 Jul 2008

Churches working for peace in Indonesia - a country which over the last decades had to cope with repeated outbreaks of ethnic and religious conflicts, the integration of internally displaced people as well as refugees from outside its borders - will receive a solidarity visit of an international ecumenical delegation sent by the World Council of Churches (WCC) from 17 to 24 July.

The delegation members will learn about peace-building projects by Indonesian Christians and share experiences made in their own churches in Australia, USA, Germany, Korea and Sudan.

(read more)

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Monday, 14 July 2008

Filipino church leaders risk death for advocating change

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/filipino.church.leaders.risk.death.for.advocating.change/20482.htm
by Ingrid Yap, Christian Post
14 Jul 2008


Bishop Eliezer M Pascua leads a church that lives at the intersection of uncertainty and faith.

Pascua, General Secretary of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), has seen 26 pastors and lay leaders killed over the past five years for the Christian positions they have maintained on a number of social issues.

Church leaders who continue to speak out for the nation’s marginalised do so not knowing how the military and government might react. Imprisonment or death could result.

Nevertheless, the UCCP holds fast to its conviction that faithfulness requires the church to be advocates for people who are disenfranchised.

(read more)

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Saturday, 12 July 2008

Song - This Kingdom by Geoff Bullock


Jesus, Gods Righteousness Revealed (This Kingdom) - Geoff Bullock

1. Jesus God's righteousness revealed
The Son of Man, the Son of God
His Kingdom comes
Jesus redemption's sacrifice
Now glorified, we're justified
His Kingdom comes

And this Kingdom will know no end
And its glory shall know no bounds
For the majesty and power
Of this Kingdom's King has come
And this Kingdom's reign
And this Kingdom's rule
And this Kingdom's power and authority
Jesus God's righteousness revealed

2. Jesus the expression of God's love
The grace of God, the Word of God revealed to us
Jesus God's holiness displayed
Now glorified, we're justified
His Kingdom comes

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Wednesday, 9 July 2008

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Saturday, 5 July 2008

Song - Mighty to Save by Hillsong United

Mighty to Save - Hillsong



1. Everyone needs compassion
Love that's never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Everyone needs forgiveness
The kindness of a Saviour
The hope of nations

Chorus:
Saviour, He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Forever, Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

2. So take me as You find me
All my fears and failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
Now I surrender
(Chorus)

Bridge:
Shine Your light and let the whole world see
We're singing for the glory of the risen King
Jesus, Shine Your light and let the whole world see
We're singing for the glory of the risen King
(Chorus)

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