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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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Police have identified the man who they believe shot two women in an Ellicott City church, killing one and critically injuring the other before turning his gun on himself....
The two women shot at St. Peter's Episcopal Church were identified Friday morning as the church's co-rector, Mary Marguerite-Kohn, and its administrative assistant, Brenda Brewington, according to the county Police Department.
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No new surveys have been allowed to be published for two weeks and pollsters warn the result may be a surprise.
"We voted for them since the 1980s and we feel cheated," municipal worker Christina Theodorakou, 50, said of the two big parties. She has seen her monthly salary cut by 500 euros since the crisis began.
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Filed under: * Economics, Politics Economy Credit Markets Currency Markets Euro European Central Bank The Banking System/Sector * International News & Commentary Europe --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010 Greece
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...the mostly single professionals and students were brought here by Charlotte ONE, a collaboration of 40 or so area churches trying to reach this demographic. Such regular and extensive cooperation of mainline and evangelical Protestant churches from every major denomination is not a typical feature of American religious life. They are more likely to be competing for each other's members. But desperate times call for desperate measures.
Many of the more than 700 churches in this area (and all over the country, for that matter) have tried to run so-called young-adult ministries—but with little success. James Michael Smith, a co-founder of Charlotte ONE, tells me that a common problem is the return on investment: "Young adults are the least reliable, the most mobile and they don't give financially either." In order even to get them in the door, he adds, churches have to offer "the wow factor."
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God’s revelation of himself and the deeds he performed are narrated in the Bible, which is the single source of our Christian faith. The so-called Wesleyan quadrilateral is not Wesleyan at all. It ought to be named the Albert Outler quadrilateral, naming as it does the source of our religion as the Bible, reason, tradition, and experience. The latter three are really interpretive tools to help us understand the contents of the Bible. They supply no revelatory material themselves. John Wesley, in the preface to his sermons, said that God gave us a book which provides us with his plan for our salvation. The Bible tells us all we need to know, indeed, can possibly know about how to be saved and win a place in heaven. He, therefore, called himself a man of one book.
The Bible then is God’s gift to us, not a book humans have composed for themselves and given to themselves for their own edification. It is his chart for their happiness and satisfaction here, and their blessedness in heaven. Therefore, to change one jot or one tittle of it, to try to make it conform to some human interest, concern, or cause is to risk damnation. We are to receive it as it is written, with open hearts and eager minds, and through it to be instructed in the ways of God. To attempt to rewrite it or in any way modify it from a racist, feminist, liberationist, liberal, conservative, or any other perspective not its own is the most dangerous of all heresies and an abomination of desolation too awful to conceive.
It is time we heed Saint Augustine’s warning against the juggling and misuse of Scripture to suit our own predisposition. “If you believe what you like in the Gospel and reject what you dislike, it is not the Gospel you believe but yourselves.”
–Bishop William R. Cannon served from 1968 to 1984 as a UM Bishop of the Raleigh, Richmond (Virginia) and Atlanta Areas.
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The leader of Nigeria's bishops is criticizing the government's response to the growing threat from radical Islamist groups, saying Christians are increasingly at risk of attack.
Archbishops Ignatius Kaigama, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria, along with Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja spoke with Aid to the Church in Need about the plight of Christians in the country, and how the government is handling the situation.
The statement came after at least 21 people were killed and more than 20 others were injured last Sunday in coordinated attacks targeting worship services at a university campus in Kano, and a chapel in Maiduguri belonging to the Church of Christ in Nigeria.
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Many of the nation’s leading newspapers serve as advocacy agents for the normalization of homosexuality and the legalization of same-sex marriage. Leading this charge for some time, The New York Times regularly promotes same-sex marriage in its editorials and news coverage. Even so, the paper’s latest editorial serves as a display of how the argument for homosexual marriage is often pressed with what can only be described as undisguised intellectual dishonesty....
We are living in an age marked by what philosopher John Haldane calls “erotic entitlements.” Those promoting these entitlements now demand marriage as the ultimate recognition and normalization of their relationships.
The New York Times has the right to press the case for same-sex marriage, but it does bear the responsibility to make its arguments with intellectual honesty. Just where would the paper draw the lines of rightful discrimination in marriage law, and for how long will it be willing to hold those lines?
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The delegates defeated another compromise proposal by an even wider margin: 61 to 39 percent. The resolution would have acknowledged a "limited understanding" of human sexuality and called on the church to "refrain from judgment regarding homosexual persons and practices until the Spirit leads us to new insight."
The Rev. Steve Wendy of Texas argued that the compromise would cause confusion and lead the church to "stumble in our witness."
"If you look at our largest congregations, and crunch the numbers, they are all reaching young adults successfully," Wendy said. "And, overwhelmingly, they teach and proclaim God's truth without compromise."
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After an emotional debate, Methodists at a national legislative meeting Thursday upheld the denomination's policy that same-sex relationships are "incompatible with Christian teaching."
Delegates at the General Conference voted by about 60% to 40% against softening the language on homosexuality in their Book of Discipline, which contains church laws and doctrine. The meeting is held once every four years, which means the policy won't come up for a conference vote again until 2016.
Advocates for gay and lesbian Methodists gathered in the convention hall wearing rainbow stoles and protested the vote by singing and interrupting the meeting. Some cried when the vote tally was announced. Methodist leaders briefly shut down business in response to the protest.
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The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) is not trying to establish a shadow Anglican Communion, the Archbishop of Kenya, Dr Eliud Wabukala, said at the end of a meeting in London last Friday.
Speaking to the press after a conference at St Mark’s, Battersea Rise, in London (News, 27 April), Dr Wabukala said: “We are a Communion: we are together. What we are doing is that we are in a Communion and spiritually recognising the need for us to be scriptural, to uphold the tenets the Bible has taught us, and wanting to make them louder, and to possibly help to form and help others. We are helping ourselves within the Communion to hear more about what God is saying.”
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The final polls before France's presidential election on Sunday show President Nicolas Sarkozy making up ground on Socialist challenger Francois Hollande - but still predict a Hollande victory.
Mr Sarkozy on Friday predicted a "surprise" and Mr Hollande urged his voters to avoid complacency as the bitter campaign neared its climax, driven by fears about joblessness, immigration and France's economic future.
A poll by the BVA agency shows 52.5 percent support for Hollande and 47.5 percent for Sarkozy. A poll by the agency CSA shows 53 percent for Hollande and 47 percent for Sarkozy.
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O Lord, who through spiritual discipline didst strengthen thy servant Monnica to persevere in offering her love and prayers and tears for the conversion of her husband and of Augustine their son: Deepen our devotion, we beseech thee, and use us in accordance with thy will to bring others, even our own kindred, to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever.
O God, who knowest that we are not sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but that all our sufficiency is of thee: Assist us with thy grace in all the work which we are to undertake this day. Direct us in it by thy wisdom, support us by thy power; that doing our duty diligently, we may bring it to a good end, so that it may tend to the greater glory of thy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone, and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's servant in the gospel of Christ, to establish you in your faith and to exhort you, that no one be moved by these afflictions. You yourselves know that this is to be our lot. For when we were with you, we told you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction; just as it has come to pass, and as you know. For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent that I might know your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and that our labor would be in vain. But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you-- for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith; for now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord.
--1 Thessalonians 3:1-8
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