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Condom Distribution At Church

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 1 comments

The Institute on Religion & Democracy is blasting the religious denomination of President Barack Obama for its recent stance on condom distribution inside houses of worship.

Recently, the HIV and AIDS Network of the United Church of Christ (UCC) said condoms should be handed out at places of worship. The statement was issued during a presentation to the denomination's Wider Church Ministries Board and also advocated making condoms available at faith-based educational settings.

A UCC executive said that condom distribution is a matter of life and death and that condoms should be made available to save the lives of young people.

Calling it the denomination's "moral responsibility" to make condoms available, the UCC's executive for health and wellness advocacy said "people of faith make condoms available because we have chosen life so that we and our children may live."

Alan Wisdom, with the Institute on Religion & Democracy, believes the UCC's statement is dangerous. "It sends a message to youth particularly, the kids who meet in their Alan Wisdom (IRD)Sunday schools, that the church really has no expectation of them in terms of sexuality, that it expects them to enter into multiple sexual relationships in the same way the world does, and that its only concern is they not pick up diseases," he notes.

The UCC's condom distribution is the latest step in the denomination's departure from its Puritan roots, Wisdom concludes.



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Covetness of Money

Monday, March 30, 2009 2 comments

Ecclesiastes 5:9-10

"Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them? The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep."

This reminds me of game shows. Such as Deal or No Deal, where a contestant has already earned a lot of money, yet continues to risk it all for more. Or Wheel of Fortune, the answer is obvious, but they keep spinning the wheel to try and add their winnings only to end up spinning on bankrupt.

It is easy to sit back in your chair watching them on television and criticize. But,would you make the humble and content decisions? Better yet, how do you react to your own finances? (That is a rhetorical question, I do not expect people to comment about personal matters.)

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Poll Tests Women's Shallowness

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 4 comments

A poll of 2,000 women aged 18-34 reveals that they find it hard to choose between brains, beauty and being nice.

* 25 percent would rather win America’s Next Top Model than the Nobel Peace Prize.
* 88 percent would give up their cell phones, jewelry or makeup to keep a friendship.
* 75 percent would shave their head to save the life of a stranger.
* 25 percent would make their best friend fat for life if it meant they could be thin.
* Half of the 18-24 year olds would marry an ugly man if he were a millionaire.

Link to Poll

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Joyce Meyer Agrees To Finance Investigation

Tuesday, March 17, 2009 24 comments

I made a post about this issue before. I am just glad that Joyce Meyer is making an effort and maybe it will clear her name from suspicion. I am still skeptical. Story below:

A US Senator says televangelist Joyce Meyer has shown a "good faith" effort to comply with a congressional review of nonprofit laws affecting churches and religious ministries.

Last week the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) announced it granted accreditation to Joyce Meyer Ministries and Oral Roberts University. Joyce Meyer is one of six televangelist ministries under investigation by the Senate Finance Committee for alleged violations of their tax-exempt status.

Meyer has been accused of lavishly spending ministry money on, among other things, a $23,000 marble-topped commode and an $11,000 French clock. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, who initially launched the probe, says he is encouraged that Meyer has accepted ECFA oversight.

"She wants to reassert to her givers that she's using the money in the fashion of which they intended it when it was given to her," he explains. "And that's important to me because when an organization has nonprofit status, they are a trustee for that money, and then it also backs up another goal that I have [which] is maintaining the credibility of the tax-exemption that goes with charitable and church giving."

Grassley says four of the six ministries he has been scrutinizing have chosen to continue stonewalling his investigation -- Randy and Paula White of Without Walls International Church, Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries, and Creflo and Taffi Dollar of World Changers Senator GrassleyChurch International.

Although he is still holding out hope the four ministries will voluntarily comply with his probe, Grassley admits he is "getting close" to asking Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus to issue subpoenas.

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Spirtiual Lessons In Parenting

Thursday, March 12, 2009 0 comments

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Detroit Church Face-Lift Angers Atheists

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 5 comments

Atheists have sued downtown Detroit for including churches in a local community improvement project.

Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) attorney Dale Schowengerdt says downtown Detroit wanted image repairs in preparation for the 2006 Super Bowl, so the City of Detroit Downtown Development Agency struck a deal with local establishments.

"Here the city of Detroit wanted to spruce up its downtown in anticipation of the Super Bowl and to spur some economic development, and so they offered all property owners downtown a matching grant to spruce up the exterior of their buildings," he explains.

According to an ADF press release, the contract between the city and local property owners said the city would reimburse half of the exterior improvements, up to $180,000. Dozens of properties entered into agreements to do just that, including three churches.

"Before the churches could be [reimbursed], even though they had already spent the money, American Atheists sued to enjoin the payment saying that it violated the so-called separation of church and state," Schowengerdt adds.

Schowengerdt is representing St. John's Episcopal Church in the case of American Atheists v. City of Detroit Downtown Development Agency. He contends the reimbursement contracted to the church was for non-religious purposes, does not establish religion, and therefore does not violate the Constitution.

He also notes that separation of church and state is not a part of the Constitution. Schowengerdt took the case to the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

Charlie Butts and Marty Cooper - OneNewsNow - 3/10/2009

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Did Reagan Try To Convert Gorbachev?

Monday, March 9, 2009 0 comments

It was the question that preoccupied President Ronald Reagan: Was Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev a religious believer? Reagan held a series of summits with Gorbachev from 1985 to 1988, and as their meetings proceeded, Reagan sometimes speculated to his aides that Gorbachev's use of phrases such as "God bless" might be an expression of religious faith. Many of the summit sessions involved large groups of U.S. and Soviet officials, discussing issues like arms control and regional conflicts. But in one-on-one talks with Gorbachev outside the presence of other senior officials like Secretary of State George Shultz, Reagan sometimes ventured off in directions of his own. The eternal optimist, Reagan was convinced that Gorbachev was capable of changing the Soviet system, and he thought the key to such a turnaround might be religion. Finally, during their fourth summit meeting in 1988, Reagan launched into a private conversation with Gorbachev, one that he promised the Soviet leader he would deny had ever taken place.

It was during the first one-on-one session in Moscow that Reagan engaged in a bold but questionable endeavor well beyond his mandate as president of the United States. According to the memo of their conversation, which was based on notes taken by two Reagan aides and has now been declassified and made available at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., Reagan secretly attempted to persuade Gorbachev of the existence of God.


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Kalamazoo Homosexual Rights Ordinance Challenged

Sunday, March 8, 2009 0 comments

Concerned Christians in Kalamazoo, Michigan, are being asked to call city officials and urge them not to approve an ordinance that would grant special rights for homosexuals.

Last year, city commissioners in Kalamazoo approved an ordinance granting protections to homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people. However, the commission rescinded it after petitions were filed in protest.

Now, a public forum will be held Monday on the issue. Mary Balkema, Kalamazoo County treasurer, says it is vital for people to speak out about the issue.

"We're excited that we got enough signatures to overturn the ordinance and had enough commissioners to vote that way," she admits. "But we're afraid they're just going to vote in a bigger and better ordinance, so we certainly want people to come to the meeting and have their voice be heard."

The city has opened a telephone hotline for people to record their comments about the proposed ordinance.


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Thursday, March 5, 2009 1 comments

This is a very funny video. There is much truth to how people complain and they have no reason to. I myself am guilty of it sometimes. With all of the luxuries it is easy to overlook what we do have.

Philippians 2: 14-16

"Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain."

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Church Government

Monday, March 2, 2009 2 comments

With all of focus on theology and doctrinal issues, many times the governance of the local church is overlooked. All of the different titles can be confusing. However, the most important position to know is that Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18). This post will hopefully help clear up any confusion anyone may have.

Before I began looking at each position, lets look at what positions are actually biblical. Philippians 1:1 says "Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons" From this verse we see the people of the church are the saints, bishop(s) and deacons. I will look at these each individually.

The Saints

By calling the Philippian believers saints, Paul was not saying his readers were sinless. The Greek word he used, hagioi, means "those set apart." This is a reference to everyone who by salvation has been sanctified (set apart from sin in Christ). 1 Corinthians 1:2 "To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours"

The Bishop(s)

The first thing to understand about the title Bishop, is that it is also called other names. The Bible uses Pastor (Ephesians 4:11), Elder (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5), and Bishop (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:7). All of these titles mean the same. In Philippians 1:1 Bishop is plural. My understanding is that the plurality is dependent on the size of the congregation.

The primary duty for a Pastor is to instruct the congregation in God's truth (1 Timothy 4:13-16; 2 Timothy 4:2). They are also to be overseers and shepherds (Acts 20:28). The qualifications for this position can be found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9.

The Deacons

Many reference Acts 6: 1-7 as to the purpose of deacons. Deacons provide a voluntary leadership position under the Pastor to assist him. The qualifications found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 are similar to that of a Pastor. Notice verse 8 starts with "Likewise." I find it odd how some churches are correct by not supporting female pastors, but allow female deacons.

Lastly I will look at different styles. There is much debate over Pastor led, plurality of elders, and congregation led forms of government. After looking at the roles of each position, my conclusion is that a congregation led church has the least amount of biblical support. I tend to favor a Pastor led style. How I came to this conclusion is based on the role of the Pastor. How is he suppose to be an overseer and a shepherd if he is not leading? Do not misunderstand me, I am not advocating a dictatorship. As far a a plurality, I only find this necessary if the congregation is very large. I will end by making a comment in regards to denominations, the early churches were autonomous and did not report to any central office.

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