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Canadian Christian Law School Sues to Obtain Recognition for Grads

By Editor The largest Christian university in Canada on Tuesday announced it will pursue legal action to secure two provincial recognitions for its future law school graduates. Trinity Western University (TWU) is planning to open Canada’s first Christian law school in fall 2016, but gay activists have vehemently opposed the proposal because TWU requires employees and students to sign a community covenant pledging to abstain from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.” Unlike in the United States, where law schools open and then gain accreditation, Canadian schools must submit proposals for accreditation beforehand. In December, the British Columbia Minister of Advanced Education and the Canadian Federation of Law Societies issued back-to-back approvals for TWU’s law school. Since then, provincial law societies—which essentially hold veto power over the federation’s decisions—in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island have followed suit. this story >> …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Christian Girl Raped in Pakistan Kept from Medical Care for Two Days

By Editor LAHORE, Pakistan (Morning Star News) – Threats by the Muslim family of a villager in Punjab Province who raped a 7-year-old Christian girl prevented her from receiving hospital care for two days, sources said. Targeted under the assumption of impunity for Muslims who attack Christians, the young daughter of a farmhand in Malhe Ki village in the Daska area had gone out on April 20 to a neighborhood shop when Fakhar-e-Alam Nagra, known as Phool, and another man attacked her from behind, relatives of the girl said. The two men blindfolded her and took her to an abandoned outhouse, where Phool raped her, according to the relatives. The girl’s brothers, Shahbaz and Emmanuel Masih, set out to search for their sister, whose name is withheld, when she did not return home that afternoon, according to the First Information Report (FIR No. 152/14) filed on April 22 at Daska Saddar Police Station. this story >> …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Egyptian Christian Teacher in Exile Awaiting Appeal of Blasphemy Case

By Editor ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – One year after Muslim extremists in Egypt accused her of committing blasphemy during class, a Christian teacher who suspected she would not get a fair trial remains trapped in exile. Demyana Abd Al-Nour, 25, a first-year social studies teacher at Sheikh Sultan Primary School in a village in Upper Egypt, fled the country last May, before she was formally charged with violating Article 98f of the Egyptian Criminal Code. Although human rights organizations across Egypt roundly condemned the allegations against her as false and a violation of human rights, prosecutors brought charges against Al-Nour, and the court refused to dismiss the case. Human rights groups also condemned the charges because they came at a time of widespread hostility toward Christians, with blasphemy accusations increasingly used to persecute Copts. Al-Nour’s decision to flee Egypt and seek protection in France appeared to be justified when the court later refused to admit witnesses and reports demonstrating her innocence. On June 11, 2013 she was convicted and fined an exorbitant amount, 100,000 Egyptian pounds (US$14,270), far beyond her low-income family’s ability to pay. this story >> Photo: Yasser Nazmi …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Family Planning Through a Global Lens

By Jenny Eaton Dyer, Ph.D – guest writer The developing world requires us to look at contraception as a pro-life cause. As Hobby Lobby and others fight for exemptions from the Obama administration’s health care mandate, there has been much discussion about the array of contraceptives available to women in the United States, which we should use, which our employers should cover. But here in the U.S., we have the luxury to even have this debate at all. In the developing world, access to tools for healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies can be a matter of life or death, for both the mother and the child. To women in these countries, the debates we have here would seem like a privilege. There are 220 million women around the world who say they wish to avoid pregnancies but lack access to any effective contraceptives, counseling, or services. Reaching just 120 million of these women in the next decade could save millions of lives – including preventing an estimated 51 million abortions. While some Americans may associate the widespread use of birth control with the sexual revolution, sex outside of marriage, and today’s hookup culture, the developing world has a different reality. In many cases, the women who want to prevent pregnancies are married—very …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Morning Roundup 5/7/14

By Ed Stetzer Free J.I. Packer Book; Evangelical Prophets; Multicultural Ministry Free eBook: J.I. Packer’s “Keeping The Ten Commandments”—The Gospel Project We are giving away another e-book through The Gospel Project. Make sure you grab it. Do Evangelicals Have Room for Prophets?—Gary Burge This is a powerful story. 2 Thoughts on Multicultural Ministry—Eric Geiger Geiger continues to kill it at his blog (and he pastored a multicultural church in Miami not long ago). Andy Crouch is the executive editor of Christianity Today, a leading thinker in evangelicalism and the author of Playing God and Culture Making. In this episode, Ed and Andy discuss churches reaching their communities, social justice and Christianity Today’s “This Is Our City” effort. In this clip, Crouch talks about creating churches for our children’s children. 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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Virginia Christian Warns Proposed Zoning Law May Shut Down Home Bible Studies

By Heather Clark FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. – A Virginia resident who recently began a home Bible study is expressing concern over a proposed zoning ordinance that he says may make such gatherings illegal. Matthew Clark of Fairfax County recently wrote an article warning about the proposal, which he states is unnecessary and intrusive. The ordinance at issue pertains to large home gatherings that are held on a frequent basis, and limits such meetings to three times every 40 days, with a maximum of 49 attendees. “These gatherings can create parking, noise and other concerns for the neighborhood,” the county writes in an explanation on its website. “Although occasional, large gatherings—such as private parties, house concerts, religious meetings and social clubs—are expected and permissible activities at a home, gatherings that occur on a regular basis involving numerous people can detract from the residential nature of a neighborhood because most residential structures and neighborhoods are not designed to accommodate such events,” it said. But Clark says that very few complaints have been lodged over the issue, and that there are better way to handle the matter. “Because six people complained, the county is poised to violate the right to free speech, the right to religious expression, and the …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Iowa Newspaper Editor Fired for Criticizing ‘Queen James Bible’ on Personal Blog

By Heather Clark DES MOINES, Iowa – A newspaper editor in Iowa has been fired for opining on his personal blog that the Queen James Bible is an attempt by homosexuals “to make their sinful nature ‘right with God.’” Bob Eschliman has worked as the editor of the Newton Daily News since 2012, and has served as the publisher of the Clarinda Herald-Journal. But he found himself out of a job this past week when he spoke his mind about the Queen James Bible on his personal blog. “It’s pretty easy to brush off a nonsensical contrived version of the Bible, but that’s not the deceivers’ end goal,” Eschliman wrote. “No, they want all Christendom to abandon their faith. They do that by ‘proselytizing’ to church leaders to change their view on homosexuality.” “ said there would be deceivers. He said those deceivers would cause Christians who remain true to His teachings to become reviled. He said false prophets would follow to deceive even more, and that lawlessness will abound,” he continued. “If you ask me, it sounds like the Gaystapo is well on its way. We must fight back against the enemy.” However, journalist and commentator Jim Romenesko then picked up on Eschliman’s post and wrote …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Islamic Nigerian Terrorist: Allah Commands Me to Sell Kidnapped School Girls

By Heather Clark CHIBOK, Nigeria – The leader of a notorious Islamic terrorist group has threatened to sell over 200 kidnapped girls into slavery at the command of Allah, reports state. “I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah,” Abubaker Shekau of the African militant group Boko Haram stated in a video released on Monday. “There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. … They are his property and I will carry out his instructions.” Boko Haram had stormed an all-girls secondary school in Chibok, Borno State last month, kidnapping 276 students while they were taking their final exams. Over 50 girls later escaped, but more than 200 remain missing. “They … started shouting, ‘Allahu Akhbar,’” one of the abducted teens told the Associated Press. “And we knew.” She stated that she and others escaped by jumping out of one of the vehicles carrying the students. “We ran and ran, so fast,” the girl explained. “That is how I saved myself. I had no time to be scared; I was just running.” Boko Haram, being translated, means “western education is sinful.” Shekau reiterated the group’s opposition to the West during …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Do Evangelicals Have Room for Prophets?

By Gary Burge Canon Andrew White lives dangerously for God. Why we need more leaders like him. Andrew White is a favorite speaker at Wheaton College, and he was with us again last week. He is an Anglican priest whose parish is in downtown Baghdad. Yes, Iraq. He’s affectionately called the “Vicar of Baghdad,” and it’s a rough job: In the past ten years, some 1,200 of his church members have been killed. When he travels on pastoral visits, he is accompanied by a couple truckloads of armed guards. Just in case. I’ve heard Canon White address our students now three times. And in every case he ends the talk with his pastoral mantra. The students know it so well, they finish it before he can. White tells how many times people caution him while he’s in Iraq. They say “Take care.” It annoys him; taking care is the last thing he wants to do. So he thunders to all 2,600 of our students, “Don’t take care . . .” and they chime in: “Take risks.” He currently has a Wheaton graduate as his personal assistant. One of my students, Sally, may join him this summer as an intern. Imagine telling your parents that …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Interview: Andrew White: Being Jesus in the Kill Zone

By Interview by Timothy C. Morgan and Kate Tracy Amid Baghdad’s daily carnage, 2014 Wilberforce Award winner models reconciliation to Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Iraq is worse than ever. So says Andrew White, vicar of St. George’s Anglican Church in Baghdad, where he pastors the only Anglican church in Iraq. Since March, 2,100 people have died in sectarian violence. With 260,000 Christians left in the country, where 1.5 million Christians used to live, White works for reconciliation between religious and political factions in one of the world’s most volatile areas. As Beeson Divinity School’s Timothy George puts it in First Things, “If Jesus came back to the Middle East today, I think he would look a lot like the Reverend Canon Dr. Andrew White.” That’s one reason why White is the newest recipient of the William Wilberforce Award, presented by the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. The organization recognized White with the honor Saturday, May 3, in Virginia for his work and influence in the Middle East. It’s also one reason he is called a “prophet” by other supporters in the United States. White heads the High Council of Religious leaders in Iraq, where he brings together Sunni and Shia Islamic leaders. He is also the president of …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Oklahoma School District Bans Baseball Coaches from Leading Student Prayers

By Heather Clark OWASSO, Okla. – Following receipt of a demand letter from a prominent atheist activist organization, an Oklahoma school district has advised that it has barred its baseball coaches—and any other district employee—from leading student prayers at school events. As previously reported, the Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to Owasso Public Schools Superintendent Clark Ogilivie last week, urging the district to put an end to alleged coach-led prayers at Owasso High School. The organization specifically cited Coach Larry Turner, 56, who it accused of leading his team in prayer, as well as some of Turner’s assistant coaches. Turner was named the best high school baseball coach in the United States last year as he was dubbed the 2013 National Baseball Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations. He has won ten state championships over his 32-year tenure and averages 31 wins per season. In addition to coaching youth at Owasso High School, Turner also focuses on teaching youth to be a blessing to society. According to reports, the team has supported the Special Olympics, visited war veterans and has spent time reading to children. But FFRF states that it received a complaint …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Florida Teacher Bars Fifth Grader from Reading Bible During ‘Free Reading’ Period

By Heather Clark LAUDERDALE LAKES, Fla. – A Christian legal group is demanding an apology after a fifth grade teacher in Florida recently banned a Christian student from reading his Bible during the class free reading period. Giovanni Rubeo, who attends Park Lakes Elementary School in Lauderdale Lakes, says that he was recently reading his Bible during the designated reading period when his teacher—identified as Ms. Swornia Thomas—told him to put his Bible on her desk. She then told him to call his father so she could speak to him. “Giovanni called you because I asked him to. I noticed that he has a book—a religious book—in the classroom. He’s not permitted to read those books in my classroom,” a voicemail message from Thomas stated that day. “He said, if I told him to put it away—you said not to do that. So, please give me a call; I need to have some understanding on direction to him about the book he’s reading as opposed to the curriculum for public school.” Giovanni’s father, Paul, then contacted the both Thomas and Principal Cynthia Diaz to express concern. Diaz advised that the legal department would be consulted about the matter. A week later, Rubeo called Diaz to check …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Supreme Court Upholds Prayer at Town Meetings, Warns of ‘Threatening Damnation’

By Heather Clark WASHINGTON – In a divided 5-4 opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday upheld prayers at government meetings that are presented predominantly in Jesus’ name, while simultaneously warning against patterns of invocations that “denigrate nonbelievers or religious minorities, threaten damnation or preach conversion.’ As previously reported, the court accepted the case of Town of Greece v. Galloway in May of last year, a legal challenge that centers on the invocations that are offered at town hall meetings in Greece, New York, just outside of Rochester. The matter stems back to 2010, when local residents Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens sued the town, asserting that its preponderance of Christian prayers violate the Constitution. Represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the women noted that most of the invocations were in Jesus’ name or referenced the Holy Spirit. Galloway and Stephens contended that the prayers made them feel “marginalized” as they are not followers of the Christian faith. Galloway is Jewish and Stephens is an atheist. After some residents first complained to town officials about the matter, other faiths were incorporated into the meetings, including at one point, the Wiccan religion. However, as prayers continued to be in Jesus’ name more often …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Major Ministry Kicked Out of Evangelical Alliance UK over Homosexuality Stance

By Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra EAUK cites irreconcilable differences with Steve Chalke’s Oasis Trust. Oasis Trust, a sizable ministry founded by a prominent but controversial British Christian leader, has been “discontinued” as a member of the United Kingdom’s largest evangelical group after its board refused to adjust online resources and social media to “equally profile the traditional Christian view” on human sexuality. “After many months of prayerful discussion, the Evangelical Alliance UK—which encompasses 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, and 750 organisations—concluded that a relationship between an organisation and one of its members in which the member felt it could not comply with a reasonable request from council, was not tenable,” announced the EAUK in a press release (full text below). Oasis Trust, which took in nearly $350 million USD in 2012, had been a member since 1987. While the Oasis board says it has “no corporate view on this matter,” Steve Chalke shocked British evangelicals by coming out in favor of same-sex relationships last year. He announced his belief that monogamous same-sex relationships are not sinful and that churches should support them in the February 2013 issue of Christianity magazine. The Oasis board was “deeply saddened” by the EAUK decision, and said that Chalke’s views had …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Boko Haram Threatens To Sell 165 Kidnapped Christian Girls to Traffickers

By Kate Tracy #BringBackOurGirls gains momentum as Nigeria search spreads to Cameroon and Chad. International outcry over last month’s kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls during final exams has grown large enough to make terrorist group Boko Haram a trending topic on Twitter. But even as efforts like “#BringBackOurGirls” gain steam, few of the students have been found. The kidnappings occurred April 14, when the girls were taken from the predominantly Christian town of Chibok in the predominantly Muslim state of Borno. An estimated 50 of the teenage girls have since escaped. Now, media reports indicate that Boko Haram, which has killed an estimated 1,500 people so far this year, has taken the girls into the neighboring countries of Chad and Cameroon where they risk forced marriages and human trafficking. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) recently released the names of 165 Christian girls and 15 Muslim girls it says were kidnapped from Chibok. Many are affiliated with the Church of the Brethren. Meanwhile, the overall number of abducted girls has risen past 275, according to The New York Times, because reports of girls taken from other schools were …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Moving Toward Church Multiplication Movements: What Can Seminaries Do?

By Ed Stetzer Seminaries can equip students with a passion for church planting and the Great Commission. I’ve been focusing on how denominations might facilitate church planting—being a part of what might be (or become) a Church Multiplication Movement. A denomination must hold to the value of multiplying churches for a multiplication movement to occur in– rather than in spite of– that denomination. Part of that is having seminaries be an effective partner. In the past, I’ve written about the importance of seminaries equipping students to live on mission. Now to be fair, seminaries are not tasked exclusively– or even primarily– with the role of making church planting pastors and missionaries, but it is certainly part of how they can participate in the Great Commission. Furthermore, many are indeed doing these very things, so this is written more toward those who are not yet significantly involved. What Seminaries Do Seminaries are often shaped to produce theologically-formed scholar/pastors who may very well serve in a church planting or other ministry context. Yet, it is an unfair expectation to ask any seminary to specifically become a church planting school unless that is why it was founded. However, I do think it is very appropriate to ask a …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Why I'm Not Cheering Today's Supreme Court Prayer Decision

By Carl E. Esbeck Be careful what you pray for, warns a constitutional law scholar. A divided Supreme Court said today that a municipality to beginning its business meetings with prayer did not violate the U.S. Constitution. For ten years a suburb of Rochester, N.Y., has followed an unwritten policy of asking a member of the local clergy to give a prayer as the first item of city business. The prayer exercise was rotated among willing clergy from houses of worship in the town. The board did not review the prayers in advance, but along with others in attendance heard each prayer for the first time at the start of the meeting. The lawsuit was brought by two local citizens who attended numerous board meetings. Their complaint was that many of the prayers were given “in Jesus’ name” or were otherwise explicitly Christian, and that the clergy leading the prayers would often begin by inviting all present to “join with me” or similar words, as well as suggesting a posture of bowed heads and folded hands. The remedy requested by these two complainants was surprising. They did not ask the court to do away with the prayers altogether. Rather, if there was to be prayer, …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Why We Pray Before Public Meetings (and Let Pagans Do, Too)

By Ted Olsen Are invocations worth it if it means city leaders will bow for false gods? ‘Great Goddess Athena, great god Apollo, we ask that you impart wisdom in these proceedings today,” Jennifer Zarpentine, a Wiccan priestess, prayed at the town board meeting of Greece, New York, in April 2008. “Help the board to make the right, informed decisions that will benefit the greater good of this community. This we ask of you.” As board members contin...
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Supreme Court Permits Jesus Prayers at Government Meetings

By Ruth Moon (UPDATED) Requiring nonsectarian prayers to a ‘generic god’ would be more problematic than allowing sectarian ones, Kennedy argues. A divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that explicitly Christian prayers at government meetings do not violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment. At least in the 94,000-person town of Greece, New York, which may continue to open its council meetings with sectarian prayer after the court’s 5-4 reversal of an appeals court’s ban on the tradition. Requiring prayers to be nonsectarian would require courts to “act as supervisors and censors of religious speech,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy for the majority opinion, “thus involving government in religious matters to a far greater degree than is the case under the town’s current practice of neither editing nor approving prayers in advance nor criticizing their content after the fact.” Two residents of Greece had sued the town board for its practice of beginning meetings with prayer, saying the practice violated the establishment clause (full summary below). The Second …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Forgiving the Sins of My Father

By Leslie Leyland Fields How he taught me the deeper meaning of mercy. Ten years had passed since I had seen my father. At the time I had no photographs of him, just a vague memory of his face from our last visit. When we pulled up in a rented van to the VA housing complex in Sarasota, Florida, my husband saw him first. “There he is.” Duncan tipped his head to point. I turned my eyes slowly. A man was standing under the awning of the complex. I saw his dark skin, his head, nearly bald and square, and a barely visible neck. It was him. He was just as I remembered but bigger, maybe 40 pounds heavier than the last time, when I had left my young children to fly down for three days. I had not forgotten those three days of silence. Now I stared at him, frozen. How do I play this scene? I thought. Loving daughter greeting long-lost father? Kind daughter bringing her children to meet their grandfather for the first time? Angry daughter wanting just a few words from her father? Duncan stopped the van. I got out slowly and opened the doors for the kids, holding my breath. They piled out one …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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