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Controversy Erupts After Student Asked to Leave Church Prom Over Dress, Behavior

By Garrett Haley RICHMOND, Va. – A 17-year-old homeschool graduate has generated an online firestorm after she condemned the organizers of a local prom for reprimanding her suggestive prom dress. Clare Schlaudt is a homeschool student from Chesterfield, Virginia, who participated in the Richmond Homeschool Prom last Saturday. The prom was held at a local Methodist church building, with several hundred guests in attendance. According to a blog post Schlaudt wrote earlier this week, she wore a “gorgeous, silver, and sparkly” dress to the prom. Schlaudt said her dress was “not trashy, but you definitely would look twice when I walked through a doorway.” Though Schlaudt believes her prom dress met the event’s dress code standards, one of the prom organizers—identified as “Mrs. D.”—told her, “Honey, that dress is too short.” Reluctantly, the administrator eventually allowed Schlaudt to enter the prom. However, after Schlaudt joined a group of friends on the dance floor, Mrs. D. approached Schlaudt and, according to the student, informed her that some guests at the prom had complained that her behavior was too provocative. Mrs. D. then asked her to leave the church building. After protesting, Schlaudt proceeded to leave the premises. Schlaudt was evidently incensed by the prom officials’ decision and condemned the …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Warren Buffett Has Donated $1.2 Billion to Abortion Groups

By Editor May 13, 2014, marks one year since Philadelphia abortion Dr. Kermit Gosnell was convicted of first-degree murder “in the deaths of three babies who were delivered alive and then killed with scissors at his grimy, ‘house of horrors’ clinic,” according to the Associated Press. Gosnell instantly became the face of abortion in the prolife community. But there’s another, more recognizable face pushing abortion in the U.S. – liberal billionaire Warren Buffett. The so-called “Oracle of Omaha” has donated more than $1.2 billion to abortion organizations from 2001 to 2012. That’s equal to the cost of roughly 2.7 million first-trimester abortions – more than twice the number of abortions that occur in an entire year in the United States. Unlike Gosnell, however, everything Buffett has done has been entirely legal. But Buffett does share something else in common with the abortionist. Both their stories have been largely unreported. Continue Reading this Story >> …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Dropouts and Disciples: How many students are really leaving the church?

By Ed Stetzer Are students leaving the church in droves? What can we do to stop the bleeding? Dropout is a key word in today’s evangelical churches concerning teenagers and young adults. The quote often sounds like this: “86% of evangelical youth drop out of church after graduation, never to return.” The problem with that statement (and others around that number) is that it’s not true. But that doesn’t mean there is no reason for concern. LifeWay Research data shows that about 70% of young adults who indicated they attended church regularly for at least one year in high school do, in fact, drop out—but don’t miss the details. Of those who left, almost two-thirds return and currently attend church (in the timeframe of our study). Also, that dropout rate is from all Protestant churches—evangelical and mainline. When? Church attendance among teens and young adults follows some important patterns. There are always some coming and some going. Yet something significant happens between the ages of 17 and 19 that accounts for the vast majority of those who leave. At age 17, the twice- monthly attendance of our study sample drops as follows: 16–17, drop 10% 17–18, drop 14% 18–19, drop 13% Between 17 and 19 is where the drop takes place. …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Pennsylvania ‘In God We Trust’ Bill Revised to Allow, Not Require Schools to Post Motto

By Heather Clark HARRISBURG, Pa. – A bill that would have required Pennsylvania schools to post the motto ‘In God We Trust’ has been altered in the legislature to encourage schools to display the phrase, but not mandate its posting. As previously reported, Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Allegheny County) has been known in Pennsylvania for sponsoring bills surrounding the acknowledgment of God in American history. He was behind a bill that declared 2012 “The Year of the Bible” in the Commonwealth. The resolution stated that not only has the Bible been an important part of the nation’s history, but that in difficult times such as the present, there is a “national need to study and apply the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.” Saccone, a Baptist, had also introduced a bill last year that honored the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation of a National Fast Day. The resolution overwhelmingly passed the Pennsylvania House 160 to 35, and was co-sponsored by over 25 representatives. Last fall, Saccone introduced a bill that would require schools throughout the state to post the motto “In God We Trust” in some form on school campuses. Dubbed the National Motto Display Act, the legislation sought to recognize the 150th anniversary …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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News: Should Christian Colleges Let Female Faculty Teach Men the Bible?

By Compiled by Ruth Moon A Christian college changes its mind. Cedarville University’s new president is solidifying the CCCU school’s stance on gender roles. One example: Classes taught by the only female Bible professor are now open only to women. Complementarians (to whom we limited our question this month) disagree over whether this is necessary.(Responses are listed below on a scale, with “Yes” answers at the top and “No” answers at the bottom.) “A college is not a church. It does not baptize, exercise church discipline, have elders and deacons, and so on. Biblical restrictions refer only to office (usually elders) rather than function, and that view simply can’t be fairly transferred to a college or even a seminary.” Craig Blomberg, New Testament professor, Denver Seminary “I hope and expect our students to learn as much as I do from the lectures, publications, and personal ministry of female faculty members. The academy is not the church, and as a college we support the church best when we leave questions of doctrinal oversight to the authority of the local church.” Philip Ryken, president, Wheaton College “It comes down to your view of ecclesiology. I don’t think you take an 18-year-old, crank him through a 4-year degree, and once he has a …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Double-Bound: How Immigration Law Can Trap Trafficking Victims

By Jennifer Allen Jung, guest writer An attorney’s insight on the complicated legal setting for domestic trafficking. Stepping out of silent bondage and into freedom is a scary and painful journey for human trafficking victims. It’s a journey Christians don’t want victims to walk alone. So, we put red X’s on our hands; we post on Facebook and Instagram; and we give money to organizations such as International Justice Mission. We raise awareness that a modern-day slavery problem exists, even here in the United States, from labor trafficking and domestic servitude to sex trafficking. We know that immigrants are among the most vulnerable groups to be targeted by scheming traffickers. We’ve got to start somewhere, but awareness falls short of helping victims if we’re not equally working to expand the safety net for their journey to freedom. As the End It Movement advocates, awareness must lead to action. It’s a complicated issue, but one clear call to action comes with immigration reform. Immigration reform can be a powerful way to combat human trafficking in this country. Immigration status lingers as one of the biggest barriers facing human trafficking victims. Traffickers use threats of deportation as psychological leverage. Their status lies at the crossroads between bondage and freedom. …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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ACLU Urges South Dakota School District to Rescind Approval of Bible Distribution

By Heather Clark SOUIX FALLS, S.D. – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of South Dakota is urging a local school district to rescind its approval of a Bible distribution to fifth graders. The Miller School District voted unanimously last week to allow Gideon International to distribute pocket New Testaments to students in the area. However, the ACLU asserts that the distribution is unconstitutional. It sent a letter to district officials on Monday to request that the vote be reconsidered and overturned. “Under the Constitution, schools cannot intentionally, or unintentionally, advance religion or become too entangled with religious groups,” it wrote. “The courts have repeatedly said that schools must also avoid favoring or appearing to favor a religious view, and they may not create any situation in which students feel coerced to participate in religion,” the ACLU continued in its correspondence. “These constitutional protections ensure that students can find and follow their own faith with the guidance of their family and religious leaders, free from government intrusion.” “The distribution of religious materials to fifth grade students is deeply concerning, especially for students of minority religions who choose not to receive a Bible,” Executive Director Heather Smith, also commented in a press release about the matter. “For the …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Maryland Judge Lifts Ban on Prayers in Jesus’ Name Following Supreme Court Ruling

By Heather Clark CARROLL COUNTY, Md. – A federal judge in Maryland has lifted a ban on prayers in Jesus’ name during Carroll County Commissioner’s meetings following a recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court declaring such invocations lawful. As previously reported, U.S. District Court Judge William D. Quarles, Jr., who was appointed to the bench by then-President George W. Bush, issued a preliminary injunction in March against sectarian prayers by Carroll County Commissioners. The American Humanist Association (AHA) had filed a lawsuit asserting that the Christian invocations violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which declares that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” “ the name of a specific deity associated with any specific faith or belief,” Quarles ruled. But Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier said during the next county meeting that the judge’s order was “an infringement on First Amendment rights of free speech and religion,” and refused to stop using the name of Jesus even if it meant being placed behind bars. “I’m willing to go to jail over it,” Frazier declared. “f we cease to believe that our rights come from God, we cease to be America. We’ve been told to be careful. …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Morning Roundup 5/14/14

By Ed Stetzer Catholics from Outer Space; Irreplaceable Encore; 5 Evangelism Essentials Newsflash: We are being visited by Catholics from outer space (probably…)—1964 You really need to read this. Nationwide Encore of “Irreplaceable” May 15!—Focus on the Family Focus is having an encore. I’ve seen it and you should too. 5 Essentials for Evangelism Now—Outreach Magazine My friends Outreach ran my article on evangelism. I hope you find it helpful. Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, joined me at the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville, Tenn., to discuss his story, the new direction of the organization, cultural engagement, his book ReFocus and the new documentary Irreplaceable. Daly’s book, ReFocus, is available here. In this clip, Jim talks about the importance of the family. Don’t forget to join me every Tuesday at 3:00 PM Eastern for The Exchange. … …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Review: Locke

By Brett McCracken Tom Hardy’s one man show explores a lot about contemporary masculinity. mpaa rating:R (For language throughout.) Genre:Drama Directed By: Steven Knight Run Time: 1 hour 25 minutes Cast: Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson, Andrew Scott Theatre Release:April 18, 2014 by A24 Can a film set entirely in a car, with just one actor driving and talking to a handful of unseen characters on speakerphone, make for a compelling hour and a half at the movies? Thanks to a star-making performance by Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises), Locke powerfully answers in the affirmative. Written and directed by Steven Knight (Redemption), Locke joins the ranks of a growing genre of what might be called “minimalist actor showcase” films, which leverage a fairly simple concept (almost always a survival story) to explore a solitary character in depth. Think Castaway with Tom Hanks (2000), Buried with Ryan Reynolds (2010), 127 Hours with James Franco (2010) and last year’s Gravity (Sandra Bullock) and All is Lost (Robert Redford). Like the latter film, which stars Redford as a seaman trying to survive alone after his yacht starts sinking, Locke is about one man doing his best to control a personal crisis, in this case while driving a car rather than …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Report Finds Conflicting Trends at Christian Bookstores

By Kate Tracy CBA assesses last year’s overall sales and store closures. Sales at Christian bookstores increased by almost 3 percent last year, though the Black Friday bump that saved 2012 failed to materialize again in 2013. While the 2012 sales surge masked mixed results for Christian booksellers, this year’s CBA State of the Industry Report says stores are competing less on price and focusing more on personal engagement with customers. However, 49 stores still closed across the country, according to the Association for Christian Retail. This was an increase from the previous year’s 39 stores, but lower than the all-time high of 63 store closures in 2011. Additionally, 18 new Christian bookstores opened in 2013, an increase from 15 in 2012. Shoppers bought early in 2013, with second-quarter sales increasing by 12.6 percent and third-quarter sales increasing by almost 9 percent. However, the fourth quarter, which usually includes a bump from Christmas shopping, saw sales decrease by almost 7 percent. It’s a dramatic contrast with the previous year’s Black Friday sales, which rose 22 percent and were one of the main reasons the industry saw a 9 percent overall gain in 2012. CT previously reported how 38 Cokesbury retail bookstores shut down in …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Matt Chandler, the Preacher Stung by Joy

By Joe Maxwell The young Reformed pastor is supposed to take the Acts 29 Network to the ends of the earth. Why he may be just the man to do it. A three-day stubble adorns Matt Chandler’s handsome, boyish face, belying his booming voice. It’s actually “six-day” stubble, says Chandler, 39, laughing. Over lunch, Chandler’s metaphor-driven mind is busy condensing big ideas into practical concepts, a trademark of his preaching and writing. As someone who preaches both “the gospel on the ground” (how Christ came to save individual sinners) and “the gospel in the air” (how Christ came to redeem all of creation), he may be well positioned to take a Reformed church-planting movement to new corners of Christendom. “I think I’m intrinsically gifted when it comes to metaphors,” he says. “I am constantly thinking, This resembles that.” He tosses humor into sermons and conversations like pitching salt, so fast that listeners may miss words but get the flavor. His energetic preaching makes him a fitting choice to lead one of the fastest-growing international movements of “churches planting churches” today. … A leader at the Village Church for 12 years, Chandler is entrancing if demanding to hang with. “His intensity is one of the first things …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Student Group Cancels Satanic ‘Black Mass’ at Harvard Following Outrage

By Heather Clark CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A student group at Harvard University has canceled a reenactment of an ancient Satanic ritual on campus following outrage and protests from religious groups. As previously reported, Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club had agreed to allow the New York-based Satanic Temple to perform the Black Mass on Monday during its meeting at Queen’s Head Pub at Memorial Hall. The Satanic Temple is the group known to be behind the “homage to Satan” that has been proposed to be placed adjacent to a Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma state capitol. The student club, which was approached by Satanic Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves, said in a statement last week that it viewed the upcoming Black Mass as being an educational experience. Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club also stated that the ritual, which largely is reflective of witchcraft, is not meant to mock any religion, although it traditionally has been used as a parody of Roman Catholicism. “The performance is designed to be educational and is preceded by a lecture that provides the history, context and origin of the black mass,” the club stated. “Our purpose is not to denigrate any religion or faith, which would be repugnant to our …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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16-Year-Old Christian Teen Graduates High School, College in Same Week

By Heather Clark HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – A sixteen-year-old Christian Florida teen is making headlines after she graduated high school and college in the same week. Grace Bush of Hollywood recently received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a 3.8 GPA, one week before she graduated from high school. She now plans to pursue her master’s degree and work toward enrolling in law school. Bush was homeschooled until age 13, when she began taking classes at Broward College. “I wasn’t exposed to things most kids are exposed to—drugs in school, fights,” she told reporters. “Being homeschooled helped keep me on the straight and narrow.” Her parents, Gisla and Bobby Bush, stated that they discussed schooling years ago as Gisla worried how the couple could afford to send their children—now nine of them—to college. “I said, ‘What happens if they don’t get scholarships? What are we going to do?’” she stated. “He said, ‘God blessed us with these children, and He will provide.’” The Bush’s soon discovered that Florida Atlantic University High School (FAU) in Boca Raton offers dual enrollment programs for high-performing students, so that they might earn college credit at Florida Atlantic University while attending high school. Most students obtain three years credit, but because Bush already had …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Miami Dolphins Fine, Suspend Safety Don Jones for Tweet Against Same-Sex Kiss

By Heather Clark MIAMI – The Miami Dolphins have fined and suspended safety Don Jones for Tweeting his disapproval of a same-sex kiss that aired on ESPN this past weekend. ESPN carried footage of Michael Sam’s reaction on Saturday as he learned that he had been selected by the St. Louis Rams, making their 249th choice overall. Sam and his partner Vito Cammisano embraced and kissed each other on national television upon receipt of the news, drawing applause from some and disapproval from others. Miami Dolphins safety Don Jones was among those who expressed his disagreement of the public act, commenting on Twitter that he found it to be “horrible.” He later removed the Tweet and one other surrounding the matter, but on Sunday, team officials leveled Jones with a fine—the amount of which has not been announced—and suspended him from the team until he participates in sensitivity training. “We were disappointed to read Don’s Tweets during the NFL Draft,” Coach Joe Philbin wrote in a statement. “They were inappropriate and unacceptable, and we regret the negative impact these comments had on such an important weekend for the NFL. We met with Don about respect, discrimination and judgment. These comments are not consistent with the …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Interview: Why the World Is Becoming More Violent

By Interview by Daniel Philpott Sociologist Rodney Stark unearths why global religious hostility is on the rise. In a late February, predawn raid in Buni Yadi, a town in northeast Nigeria, Islamic militants locked the doors of a boys’ dormitory and set it on fire. At least 59 students perished in the flames. The militants were linked to Boko Haram, a terrorist group that seeks to establish an Islamic state in Yobe, Nigeria. The mainstream media cover these kinds of horrific attacks, which are often motivated by simmering religious hostility, according to recent data from the Pew Research Center. But rarely do media cover the larger, global story of religious intolerance. That’s the challenge that Rodney Stark, professor of social sciences and codirector of the Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) at Baylor University, and Katie E. Corcoran (an ISR postdoctoral fellow) took on in their new book, Religious Hostility: A Global Assessment of Hatred and Terror. They found that one critical difference between conflicts of the distant past and today is that national armies once fought wars on religious grounds, whereas today, militant civilians—not soldiers—are the main combatants. Daniel Philpott, professor at the University of Notre Dame and author of Just and Unjust Peace, interviewed Stark, …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Lesbian Houston Mayor Promotes Ordinance to Allow Men in Women’s Restrooms

By Garrett Haley HOUSTON – The Houston City Council is currently considering an ‘equal rights’ ordinance which would allow men and women to use restrooms and shower rooms designated for the opposite sex, as long as they identify with the opposite gender. Houston Mayor Annise Parker, an open lesbian, is promoting an “Equal Rights Ordinance” designed to quell any discrimination in America’s fourth largest city—including any discrimination on the basis of “gender identity.” “Gender identity means an individual’s innate identification, appearance, expression or behavior as either male or female,” the most recent ordinance draft states, “although the same may not correspond to the individual’s body or gender as assigned at birth.” Many people are especially concerned by the “Public Accommodations” section of the ordinance, which would allow men to use women’s restrooms, and vice versa, if they identity with the opposite sex. “It shall be unlawful for any place of public accommodation or any employee or agent thereof to intentionally deny any person entry to any restroom, shower room, or similar facility if that facility is consistent with and appropriate to that person’s expression of gender identity,” the ordinance states. The only stipulation, according to the ordinance, is that people who use the opposite sex’s facilities …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Professors Resign from Christian College As Creation/Evolution Rift Continues

By Garrett Haley DAYTON, Tenn. – Several professors at a Christian college in Tennessee have announced they will be resigning after the school’s leadership affirmed that Adam and Eve were historical people, specially created by God. As previously reported, Bryan College is a small evangelical Christian school in Dayton, Tennessee, with a total enrollment of approximately 1,400 students. In February, the school added a brief clarification to its statement of belief in order to clear up any ambiguity about the school’s stance on the origin of humans. “We believe that all humanity is descended from Adam and Eve,” the statement says. “They are historical persons created by God in a special formative act, and not from previously existing life forms.” In an email interview with Christian News Network last March, Dr. Stephen Livesay, president of Bryan College, said the historicity of Adam and Eve is important for two reasons. “First, if Adam and Eve were not historical people, then the credibility of all scripture is at stake,” Dr. Livesay said. “When the Genesis account of humanity’s first parents is reduced to myth or allegory, how can any portion of the Bible be understood as true in word and meaning?” “Second,” he continued, “Adam and …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Satanists to Reenact ‘Black Mass’ at Harvard University

By Heather Clark CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A student group at Harvard University has accepted an invitation from a Satanist organization to present a reenactment of an ancient Satanic ritual on campus. Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club has agreed to allow the New York-based Satanic Temple to perform the Black Mass on Monday during its meeting at Queen’s Head Pub at Memorial Hall. The Satanic Temple is the group known to be behind the “homage to Satan” that has been proposed to be placed adjacent to a Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma state capitol. The student club, which was approached by Satanic Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves, said in a statement this week that it views the upcoming Black Mass as being an educational experience. Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club also stated that the ritual, which largely is reflective of witchcraft, is not meant to mock any religion, although it traditionally has been used as a parody of Roman Catholicism. “The performance is designed to be educational and is preceded by a lecture that provides the history, context and origin of the black mass,” the club stated. “Our purpose is not to denigrate any religion or faith, which would be repugnant to our educational purposes, but instead …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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The Sixth Chapter: The Proving of a True Lover

By TomTruex The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à KempisBOOK THREE: INTERNAL CONSOLATIONThe Sixth Chapter: The Proving of a True Lover The Voice of Christ MY CHILD, you are not yet a brave and wise lover. The Disciple Why, Lord? The Voice of Christ Because, on account of a slight difficulty you give up what you have undertaken and are too eager to seek consolation. The brave lover stands firm in temptations and pays no heed to the crafty persuasions of the enemy. As I please him in prosperity, so in adversity I am not displeasing to him. The wise lover regards not so much the gift of Him Who loves as the love of Him Who gives. He regards the affection of the Giver rather than the value of the gift, and sets his Beloved above all gifts. The noble lover does not rest in the gift but in Me Who am above every gift. All is not lost, then, if you sometimes feel …read more Source: Imitate Christ     ...
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