Religion

Vatican to UN: Don’t equate sexual abuse of minors with torture

By Josephine McKenna VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican’s chief spokesman, urged the U.N. committee to resist pressure to include the sexual abuse of minors in a discussion about torture. The post Vatican to UN: Don’t equate sexual abuse of minors with torture appeared first on Religion News Service. …read more Source: Religion news Service     ...
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Christian

Syrian Islamists Carry Out Mock Public Crucifixions in City Square

By Heather Clark RAQQA – Islamic militants in the Syrian city of Raqqa carried out two mock crucifixions in the public square this past week, hanging two men accused of fighting Muslims, reports state. A group called the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) is said to be behind the crucifixions, which occurred on Tuesday. In total, seven prisoners were executed in the city, which were held responsible for a grenade attack on Muslims in the Euphrates Valley. The men were captured by members of the group, some being shot in the head. “Ten days ago, attackers on a motorbike threw a grenade at an ISIS fighter at the Naim roundabout. A Muslim civilian had his leg blown off and a child was killed,” the group posted on Twitter. “Our fighters immediately set up a roadblock and succeeded in capturing them. They were then able to detain other members of the cell.” One eyewitness, Abu Ibrahim, posted photographs of the crucifixions on the popular social media site. The men were reportedly already dead when they were tied to metal poles with makeshift wooden crosses attached. Their faces were blindfolded and covered with blood. One man had a banner wrapped around his torso, which read, “This …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Christian

"Fresh Expressions" of Church in the United Kingdom

By Ed Stetzer Christianity in the United Kingdom is not dead. In fact, it may have new life in “Fresh Expressions of Church.” Recently, there has been talk of the identity of the United Kingdom as a Christian nation. Prime Minister David Cameron first made mention of it a couple of weeks ago, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, agreed. Faith expression in the U.K. is certainly in flux. Part of that is a decline, but part of that is reconfiguration. That’s where this research comes in. Below is a summary of a study on “fresh expressions” (yes, that’s a thing) in the United Kingdom. You can download the full report here. Between January 2012 and October 2013, the Church of England’s Church Army‘s Research Unit studied over 1000 cases of church planting and church growth from 10 dioceses of the Church of England. They looked at data from 1992 – 2012. Of the 1000 cases studied, 518 met criteria necessary to be labeled as what they call a “Fresh Expression of Church.” “What is a Fresh Expression of Church?” one might ask. There are 10 basic parameters: Was something Christian and communal brought to ‘birth’ that was new …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Christian

Maybe Jesus Wants Us to Get Things Done

By Jen Pollock Michel Discovering women’s place in the time management conversation. My pastor recently approached my husband to lead a “Gospel and Productivity” class for our church. He’s an executive at a Fortune 500 company, a logical choice for talking about time management. But, as he would admit, he doesn’t read the volume of productivity books I do. A writer and church staffer, chief laundress and cook, chauffeur and lunchbox-packer extraordinaire, I have felt it more necessary to learn the skills of time management. I recently read Matt Perman’s book, What’s Best Next, written especially for an age of being constantly busy and chronically overwhelmed. In a provocative blend of Jonathan Edwards and David Allen, Perman defends productivity as a discipleship matter and argues for the Christian’s call to get things done. (In his chapter entitled, “Managing Email and Workflow,” Perman reminds us that, “Keeping on top of your email is a way of serving people.” Preach it, brother.) To love God and love neighbor requires skilled stewardship of our time, and Perman defends that obedience to these two greatest commands makes productivity not just a marketplace virtue, but a Christian discipline. “Sometimes when things get overwhelming, it is suggested that we need to ‘take a retreat …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Christian

A World Vision for Church and Parachurch

By Mark Galli Why the organizations that come alongside must also lead. “IT is difficult to overstate the significance of parachurch organizations in contemporary American evangelicalism.” So writes historian John G. Turner in Bill Bright and Campus Crusade for Christ: The Renewal of Evangelicalism in Postwar America. That’s due in part to the size and scope of such organizations. Evangelical Christians donate billions of dollars annually toward humanitarian, political, and evangelistic causes, from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) to Youth with a Mission to Young Life to Prison Fellowship to the Evangelical Environmental Network—the list goes on and on. The extraordinary anxiety—and relief—over World Vision’s (WV) twin policy statements about hiring married gay men and women signaled again the centrality of parachurches to evangelical life. In fact, the incident suggests that parachurches do not merely come alongside the church in ministry, but also lead it in crucial ways. Parachurches have played a long and important role in our movement, beginning with the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions in 1810. But since World War II, evangelicalism has more or less been defined by parachurches like BGEA, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Compassion, and WV. Michael Lindsay, in Faith in the Halls of Power, argues that cosmopolitan …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Religion

Prayer politics * Faith v. Fact * Tea Party Jesus : Friday’s Roundup

By Kevin Eckstrom (RNS) Everything’s political now, folks, from the National Day of Prayer to scientific facts to even Tea Party Jesus. Get caught up in today’s Religion News Roundup. The post Prayer politics * Faith v. Fact * Tea Party Jesus : Friday’s Roundup appeared first on Religion News Service. …read more Source: Religion news Service     ...
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Christian

Teen Murders Newborn Out of Fear of Losing Boyfriend as Baby Resembled Ex

By Heather Clark CHICAGO – An Illinois teenager is facing first-degree murder charges after she allegedly suffocated her newborn son out of fear that her boyfriend would leave her because the child resembled her ex. Ana Rosa Mora, 18, of Chicago is accused of placing her baby in a plastic Walmart bag following birth on April 19th and leaving him outside to die. A construction worker located the child hours later, but the baby was already deceased. Mora then returned to school at Kelvyn Park High School, where staff members recognized that she had given birth. The student then pulled out her iPad, where she began showing pictures of a baby girl to staff. Mora also asked about a dead baby that was discovered near her home, and asked whether police might be able to locate the mother. An on-campus police officer soon approached and congratulated Mora, asking the teen how old her baby was. After one of the staff members heard Mora claim that the child was six months old, knowing that she had given birth just recently, she later expressed concern to the officer. The officer then phoned a detective, and days later, Mora was arrested. While she initially denied that the infant found near her …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Christian

Dobson Defies Obamacare Abortion Pill Mandate: ‘Come and Get Me’

By Heather Clark WASHINGTON – Dr. James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family and Family Talk Radio, expressed his defiance of the Obamacare abortion pill mandate on Thursday, stating that the president would have to “come and get ” as he would not “yield to wicked regulations.” Dobson, 78, made his remarks during his speech in Washington, D.C. at Thursday’s annual National Day of Prayer event. He read a letter that he had circulated to his supporters as to why he chose to buck the system and fight the requirement in court. “I believe in the rule of law, and it has been my practice since I was in college to respect and honor those in authority over us. It is my desire to do so now,” he stated, according to video footage from WND.com. “However, this assault on the sanctity of human life takes me where I cannot go. I will not pay the surcharge for abortion services.” “To pay one cent for the killing of babies is egregious to me, and I will do all I can to correct a government that lies to me about its intentions and then tries to coerce my acquiescence with extortion,” Dobson declared. “It would …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Education

Lawyers for Literacy Guest Reading Campaign

As part of the Lawyers for Literacy Guest Reading Campaign, guest readers will visit Pre-K and Kindergarten classrooms at several Broward County schools throughout the month of May 2014. The event is sponsored by the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division and the Broward County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section. …read more Source: Broward County Public Schools     ...
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Education

High School Academies Earn Distinguished and Model Status

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) J.P. Taravella High School Academy of Finance has earned Distinguished status based on the National Academy Foundation’s (NAF) annual assessment. Taravella High is one of only 22 academies in 38 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands receiving the Distinguished merit. …read more Source: Broward County Public Schools     ...
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Christian

The Good News About Bad Churches

By Diane Leclerc They’re broken and messy. But God is remaking them in his holy image. Charlie was an active 11-year-old with autism. His parents had been thinking about attending church. They decided it was time to try to find a congregation that would love them, and love their son. About halfway through Sunday school one morning, Charlie’s parents were summoned. The volunteers couldn’t handle him. They were asked to find another church, because this church “just couldn’t meet his needs.” Other churches conveyed the same sentiment. The family finally gave up and decided that attending church was too hard. We all know people who have been hurt by the church. People who have been so offended, wounded, or even abused that they have given up on it. Perhaps you’ve had this experience yourself. Church is sometimes dysfunctional, uncomfortable, cross-purposed, and painful. We have pastors who fail God, themselves, and their congregations. We endure grumpy, self-righteous criticism reminiscent of the Pharisees. We fight each other, sometimes to the point of parting ways for good. Some observers say we are in danger of losing a whole generation of embittered souls who believe the church has lost its relevance and neglected their needs. And yet we continue to call …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Christian

Week 18, One Year Bible Challenge: “Unforgiven”

By Tom Truex Christ the Rock Community Church, Saturday Morning Men’s Bible Study Samson and Delila, by Pompeo Batoni (1708–1787) This week’s reading April 30 to May 61Judges 11:1 – Ruth 4:22John 1:1 – 4:54Psalm 101:1 – 105:36Proverbs 14:13 – 14:27 Next Week’s Reading May 7 to 131 Samuel 1:1 – 14:52John 5:1 – 7:53Psalm 105:37 – 109:31Proverbs 14:28 – 15:7 Discussion Questions:Old Testament Samson killed himself, together with a lot of Philistines. Should we construe this story to mean that Suicide is sometimes justified? Who were the “good” and the “bad” people in the story of “the runaway concubine?” Judges, chapters 19-20. New Testament What is the significance of the phrase, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us?” John 1:14 (RSV). Why did Nicodemus come to see Jesus at night? Are we ever guilty of behaving the same way for the same reasons? FOOTNOTE: If you are participating in the Saturday morning class, “The One Year Bible Challenge,” …read more Source: K_Line Christian Online (ReadTheWholeBible.com)     ...
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