News: RELIGION - Including faith in ATHEISM (2005-2008)
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Humanists Launch ‘Godless Holiday’ Ads: "The American Humanist Association (AHA) announced the launch of a $40,000 'godless holiday'ad campaign in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday in which more than 200 placards will be placed in and on the city’s metro buses. The ads ask commuters, 'Why believe in a god?' and encourages them to 'Just be good for goodness sake.'"
But apart from God's grace and guidelines, we can't "be good." See Human Nature
All aboard the atheist bus campaign: "...the slogan 'There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life' could now become an ad campaign on London buses – and leading secularists have jumped on board to help us raise the money. The British Humanist Association will be administering all donations to the campaign.... Your donations will give atheism a more visible presence in the UK, generate debate, brighten people's day on the way to work, and hopefully encourage more people to come out as atheists. As Richard Dawkins says: 'This campaign to put alternative slogans on London buses will make people think – and thinking is anathema to religion.'" See Breaking Out of the Box
Church makes ‘ludicrous’ apology to Charles Darwin - 126 years after his death: "The Church of England will tomorrow officially apologise to Charles Darwin for misunderstanding his theory of evolution. In a bizarre step, the Church will address its contrition directly to the Victorian scientist himself, even though he died 126 years ago. But the move was greeted with derision... with Darwin’s great-great-grandson dismissing it as ‘pointless’....
"The Church is also anxious to counter the view that its teaching is incompatible with science. It wants to distance itself from fundamentalist Christians, who believe in the Biblical account of the creation.... An article to be posted on the Church’s website will say: ‘Charles Darwin, 200 years from your birth [in 1809], the Church of England owes you an apology...
"Dr Brown writes: ‘His [Darwin’s] theory caused offence because it challenged the view that God had created human beings as an entirely different kind of creation to the rest of the animal world.'"See Expelled! No Intelligence Allowed
Almost half of all Americans don’t really know what an “evangelical Christian” is: "The most common perception is that evangelicals are Christians who place a special emphasis on spreading their faith to other people. Sometimes this is phrased in a negative light (the word 'proselytizing' comes up frequently).... Five percent say evangelicals are not just devoted or zealous, but are actually defined by fanaticism. Four percent don’t really have any specific definition, but make highly critical.... Another 4% believe they are defined by being completely closed-minded. Three percent define evangelicals as being greedy... and 3% say part of what defines an evangelical is their drive to impose their beliefs on other people....
"Liberals are nine times as likely as conservatives to define evangelicals as being closed-minded, more than three times as likely to feel they are fanatics, four times as likely to level assorted criticisms at them....Evangelicals were called illiterate, greedy, psychos, racist, stupid, narrow-minded, bigots, idiots, fanatics, nut cases, screaming loons, delusional, simpletons, pompous, morons, cruel, nitwits, and freaks. ...they just know they can’t stand evangelicals.'" See An Evangelical Manifesto for an Interfaith World
The Problem With Eternity (for atheists): "Instead of trying to bring the dawn of immortality closer to us, they would bring us closer to the dawn of immortality. This forward motion is the idea behind cryonics: freezing people just after they expire but before brain damage begins and then 'resurrecting them'... when medicine is finally able to cure that 'fundamental problem of life -- death.' Companies that currently offer this service will typically freeze a person's severed head... with the idea of eventually thawing it out and transplanting it onto a robotic torso, one invulnerable to the ailments that killed the actual body.... British longevity guru Aubrey de Grey has put forth the notion of 'immortality in tiny steps.' ... But how desirable would cryonics or immortality in tiny steps be, even if they were possible?" Contrast such futile hope with Biblical hope
Salvation through myriad faiths: "Seventy percent of all Americans say their religion is not the only path to eternal life.... The poll showed 'an enormous diversity' in American religion.... Pew released the first part of the survey in February. ... About 92 percent of all Americans profess a belief in God.... However, only six in 10 say God is a being with whom one can have a relationship. Twenty-five percent of those polled - including large concentrations of Buddhists, Jews, Muslims and Hindus - said God is an impersonal force. .. Seventy-four percent profess belief in heaven, whereas 59 percent say they believe in hell.... Jews were the least religious of the 13 groups..." See Breaking Out of the Box
Oxford to Study Faith in God: "University of Oxford researchers will spend nearly $4 million to study why mankind embraces God. The grant to the Ian Ramsey Center for Science and Religion will bring anthropologists, theologians, philosophers and other academics together for three years to study whether belief in a divine being is a basic part of mankind's makeup.'... The study will be funded by the John Templeton Foundation." (Feb 19, 08) See The Templeton Foundation (and Rick Warren)
Too Much Faith in Faith: "Perhaps you believe, with that vigorous atheist Christopher Hitchens, that 'religion poisons everything'; or, with the Christian historian and sociologist Rodney Stark, that religion created modern science and ended slavery. Or, like a significant majority of the British public recently polled... that religion is a 'social evil,' a 'cause of conflict and confusion.'...
"Mr. Dawkins certainly thinks so: He is on record as saying that if we simply ceased to teach religion to our children we would soon have 'a paradise on earth.' ...But the idea that without religion people would stop seeking power, stop manipulating, stop deceiving, is just wishful thinking of the silliest kind."See Human Nature
Survey: More have dropped dogma for spirituality in U.S.: "Religion today in the USA is a salad bar where people heap on upbeat beliefs they like and often leave the veggies — like strict doctrines — behind. There are so many ways of seeing God, public policy expert Barry Kosmin says, that 'the highest authority is now the lowest common denominator.'... Such are the key findings in latest data from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life's U.S. Religious Landscape Survey of 35,000 Americans." See Heresy in high places
Religious Americans: My faith isn't the only way: "...a new survey finds most Americans don't believe their tradition is the only way to eternal life.... The findings, revealed Monday in a survey of 35,000 adults, can either be taken as a positive sign of growing religious tolerance, or disturbing evidence that Americans dismiss or don't know fundamental teachings of their own faiths. ...57 percent of evangelical church attenders said they believe many religions can lead to eternal life.... 70 percent of Americans with a religious affiliation shared that view, and 68 percent said there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their own religion."See The twisted "truths" of The Shack & A Course in Miracles
Civilization and the Texas Cult: "...the Texas polygamists are not pathfinders. Multiple wives are of course permitted in the Islamic religion, and co-wives are a feature of dozens of human groups in which powerful men control sufficient resources to be able to support more than one woman.... Again, the issue is cross-cultural. Osama bin Laden has at least five wives..." See The Angel of Light.
Religion. Muslims Now Outnumber Catholics: "According to the Vatican, Muslims make up about 19 percent of the world's population. Catholics make up about 17 percent.... High birth rates among Muslims, increased immigration, and new converts to Islam are all factors that some experts believe could radically transform the Western World.... The Muslim birth rate in Europe is three times higher than the non-Muslim one. If current trends continue, the Muslim population of Europe will nearly double by 2015.... In France there are now more than 4,000 mosques.... Meanwhile, it has been projected that Muslims will be the majority population in Germany by 2046."
Americans switching faiths, dropping out: "More than one-quarter of American adults have left the faith of their childhood for another religion or no religion at all, the survey found.... While nearly one in three Americans were raised Catholic, fewer than one in four say they're Catholic today.... Nearly half of all Catholics under 30 are Hispanic....
"Hindus claimed the highest retention of childhood members, at 84 percent. The group with the worst retention is one of the fastest growing -- Jehovah's Witnesses.
"...it's unclear whether people who called themselves Buddhists did so because they practice yoga or meditation, for instance, or claim affiliation with a Buddhist institution." See Emerging "Christianity-- Breaking Out of the Box
Santeria Surging in Venezuela: "The man says he is possessed by a god. He shouts, his body trembles and he lifts a sacrificed lamb to his lips, drinking its blood from the jugular. This initiation ceremony, seldom witnessed by outsiders, has become increasingly common in Venezuela, as the Afro-Cuban traditions of Santeria and other folk religions gain followers....
"Santeria has grown in popularity in New York, Miami and Puerto Rico in the past following influxes of Cubans.... Santeria was born in Cuba among Yoruba slaves from West Africa. They were forbidden to practice their own religion, so they fused their beliefs with the Catholicism of their masters, starting a tradition that has spread throughout the Americas..... the Virgen de Las Mercedes, a manifestation of the Virgin Mary... represents Obatala, a patriarch in the pantheon of Yoruba gods. Some pay up to $7,000 for the yearslong initiation process to become "babalaos," or Santeria priests. ....
"Black magic practitioners known as 'paleros' are known to gather human bones from cemeteries in order to seal pacts with the dead, to call upon their spirits for vengeance. At least some of the grave-robbing that plagues Caracas' main cemetery is thought to be due to the paleros, who according to some Santeria followers offer up to $5,000 for a skull." (2-7-08) See The Nature and Tactics of Satan
Scottish pagan gathering spells worry for some Christians [UK]: "The Pagan Federation is intending to hold its first summer camp in Inchberry.... The three-day event, scheduled for July 2008, will be a celebration of the ancient religion, which is based on the honouring of the natural order as an expression of the divine.... The event is open to 'all witches, druids, shaman and other pagans of good'. It will feature an opening ritual as well as a host of workshops and talks....
"...the Pagan Federation described as 'a huge stride in interfaith relations' the election of priestess Angie Buchanan to a three-year term as Secretary to the Council of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, one of the world’s oldest and most prominent interfaith organizations. She is the first Pagan to serve as an officer on the Executive Committee. In October 2007, Andras Corban-Arthen of the EarthSpirit Community in Massachusetts, USA, was elected as a member-at-large to the PWR executive committee."See Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft
Church Separation: "In an 'Official Declaration' issued on June 8, 1978, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints extended 'priesthood and temple blessings to all worthy male members of the Church.' The church announced that a 'revelation had been received' by its then-president Spencer Kimball. Until then, Mormonism was a defiantly apartheid faith that denied blacks full participation based on doctrinal beliefs that whites are 'pure' and 'delightsome'....
"By 1978, Strom Thurmond, who ran for president in 1948 calling for 'segregation of the races,' had endorsed integration and hired black staffers. Which is to say that in a decades-long march toward civil rights that eventually included even the likes of former Dixiecrats, the LDS church was still bringing up the rear.... In 1978, Mitt Romney was a 31-year-old vice president at Bain & Co. and a lifelong devout Mormon. Throughout his current campaign for the Republican nomination, Mr. Romney has declined to distance himself from the repugnant racial teachings of his church.... And for all his claims to the contrary, Mr. Romney has, in fact, been willing to distance himself from past teachings of the church -- just not those having to do with its treatment of black people." See Five Types of Religions
Trips to Lourdes to cut time spent in purgatory: "Pope Benedict XVI is offering relief from purgatory to Roman Catholics who travel to Lourdes over the next year, the Vatican said yesterday. Pilgrims to the shrine in south-west France will receive 'plenary indulgences' from the Pontiff, which the Church says reduce the time spent being 'washed' of sin after death. The indulgences will be available from this weekend until Dec 8, 2008." [Caption for Picture:] "Pope Benedict XVI prays to a statue of Madonna of Lourdes in St. Peter's Basilica")See Justification by Faith alone
Points of Light. No Religious Test for President: "Republican Mitt Romney, confronting voters' skepticism about his Mormon faith, declared Thursday that as president he would 'serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause.'...
"Serving as host at his presidential library, the elder Bush introduced Romney, pointed out members of the candidate's family in the audience and described Romney's father, former Michigan Gov. George Romney, as the father of volunteerism. 'He's certainly one of my mentors when it comes to points of light,' said Bush, who enacted a volunteer initiative while president, called 'Thousand Points of Light.' Bush said he had no intention of endorsing a candidate. "I simply have too much respect for all of the candidates," he said. He called Romney a "good man" and said he considered him and his wife "good friends." See A Chronological History of the New World Order & The emerging New World Order
Hillary Clinton wants religion in the public square: "'Not only did the media not object to Hillary's annihilation of any barriers separating church and state, but they loved it.... Clinton believes she ought to be permitted to bring her faith into politics." See Declaration on the Role of Religion
In India, 'Untouchables' Convert To Christianity -- and Face Extra Bias : "Every Sunday, women and children gather to pray in a tiny, whitewashed church on the edge of this southern Indian village.... The men don't dare to come. 'If they are seen in the church, the officials will be informed,' says Vatipally Aharon, Medipally's Baptist pastor.... 'Almost all the Christians here -- and the overwhelming majority across India -- hail from the so-called Dalit community, the former 'untouchables' relegated to the bottom of the Hindu caste hierarchy. Under India's constitution, Dalits are entitled to affirmative-action benefits. ...But there is a catch: Any Dalit caught abandoning Hinduism for Christianity or Islam loses these privileges...."
Church bans toddlers' yoga group: "Teacher Louise Woodcock from Taunton, Somerset, was told the Yum Yum Yoga classes for pre-school children did not share the church's Christian ethos....'We're talking about kids pretending to be animals and doing exercise routines to rhymes - there is nothing that could damage their minds,' said 41-year-old Mrs Woodcock." See Yoga
Our Religious Destiny: "Barack Obama proclaims a 'personal relationship' with Jesus Christ. Democratic candidate John Edwards is on the religious offensive, speaking for Jesus himself when he tells an interviewer he thinks Christ 'would be appalled' by our current policies regarding poverty and the war. Even the candidate who is arguably the least religious of the frontrunners -- Rudy Giuliani -- feels compelled to defend himself publicly on questions of whether he is 'Catholic enough.'...
"The salience of religion in our presidential politics perplexes Europeans, who generally see religion as a weird relic from the pre-scientific past. ...As the head of a French think tank put it, 'The biblical references in politics, the division of the world between good and evil, these are things that [Europeans] simply don't get. In a number of areas, it seems to me that we are no longer part of the same civilization.'...
"...an American is four times likelier than a Frenchman to attend a house of worship regularly, and eight times likelier than a Norwegian." See Five Types of Religions
Chinese Teacher Veers Away From the Material World: "More Chinese now seem to be becoming enraptured by Buddhism after decades of the religion being discouraged and even oppressed.... Yechen speaks in ancient aphorisms with ease and without pretension. One of my most memorable Beijing trips was last winter when Yechen took me to Baiyuan Guan [White Cloud Temple], Beijing's most revered Taoist temple.... As a monk, he will have a simple life, spending most of his time meditating and studying scriptures." See The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis
If it isn’t Roman Catholic then it’s not a proper Church, Pope tells Christians: "The document said that the Orthodox church suffered from a 'wound' because it did not recognise the primacy of the Pope. The wound was 'still more profound' in Protestant denominations, it added. It was 'difficult to see how the title of ‘Church’ could possibly be attributed to them', said the statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Roman Catholicism was 'the one true Church of Christ'.” See Called by God
In Europe, God Is (Not) Dead: "...a Swedish hotel guest named Stefan Jansson grew upset when he found a Bible in his room. He fired off an email to the hotel chain, saying the presence of the Christian scriptures was 'boring and stupefying.' ... Scandic chain, Scandinavia's biggest, ordered the New Testaments removed.
"In a country where barely 3% of the population goes to church each week, the affair seemed just another step in Christian Europe's long march toward secularism. Then something odd happened: A national furor erupted. A conservative bishop announced a boycott.... A young evangelical Christian organized an electronic letter-writing campaign, asking Scandic: Why are you removing Bibles but not pay-porn on your TVs? ...
"God's tentative return to Europe has scholars and theologians debating a hot question: Why? ... Mr. Stark first developed the notion of a 'religious market' in the 1980s as a way to explain America's persistent faith.... Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels viewed religion as a symptom of capitalist ills that would be cured by socialism...." (7-14) See The Rising World Religion
Three Removed From Senate During Hindu Prayer: "[Hindu chaplain] Zed addressed his prayer to 'the supreme one' and requested that 'he stimulate and illuminate our minds.' 'May your spirits be as one,' Zed said.... Zed addressed a mainly empty Senate chamber.... After the prayer, Reid took to the floor to thank Zed for opening the Senate. He spoke of a statue of Gandhi he keeps in his office, and encouraged his colleagues to 'think of Gandhi.'" See The Rising World Religion
A Master Class on Global Worship: "This dizzyingly diverse corner of Queens is an urban showcase for the varieties of religious experience, where traditions brought over by Asian immigrants coexist alongside those of Catholics, Jews and mainline Protestants. For one week [in collaboration with The Interfaith Center of New York], it was also a laboratory for seminary professors.... They visited a mosque... a Sikh temple... a troupe of Christian breakdancers....
"'People are living in the same community, but within little sections of their own,' he said. 'I find it very strange. I think it further solidifies their insecurities. Are you integrated into American society? Are you really part of the whole process?"
Notice the references to James Morton and Steven Rockefeller at the Interfaith Center. See the next link:
Anti-Christian Paranoia: "The old argument against Christianity was simply that it is not true. Modern science, evolutionary theory, rational argumentation, and the like were said to disprove the existence of God and the claims of the Bible. But this line of attack does not work well anymore. Postmodernists themselves distrust science and rationality....
"So instead of arguing that Christianity is not true, the more popular argument today is that Christianity is evil. Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris last month reached No. 10 on the Amazon bestselling list and No. 6 on the New York Times nonfiction list.... Harris argues that belief in God causes the world's suffering....
"What postmodernists do believe in is power. They teach that all truth claims are 'constructions' that can ultimately be traced back to one group trying to exercise power against others. That is, 'imposing' beliefs on other people is a way to seize power."See Biblical versus Postmodern Thinking
A Brief History of Disbelief [Fom an atheist perspective]: "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false and by rulers as useful. To uncover the story of disbelief, we have to understand the background of belief." SeeGod's Wisdom or Human Foolishness
"The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.' Psalm 53:1
National Day of Prayer, 2007: A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America: "Americans of many faiths and traditions share a common belief that God [which of all the world's gods?] hears the prayers of His children [Who are His children?] and shows grace to those who seek Him. ... There is a power in these prayers [to diverse gods and forces] , and we can find comfort in the grace and guidance of a loving God.... I ask the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, each according to his or her own faith, for the freedoms and blessings we have received and for God's continued guidance, comfort, and protection." See Idols and unholy gods
Texas Senate prayer excludes Christians: "A controversial Texas imam... offered a prayer to open the state Senate that excluded both Christians and Jews. 'Oh, Allah, guide us to the straight path, the path of those whom you have favored, not of those who have earned your wrath or of those who have lost the way,' prayed Imam Yusuf Kavakci of the Dallas Central Mosque.
"Islam, of course, teaches that Jews and Christians both have earned the wrath of Allah by failing to follow Islam.... Kavakci concluded 'with an Islamic chant that sounded eerily like it was coming over the loudspeakers in Tehran,' according to a statement from the U.S. Pastor Council....'Imagine if an evangelical Christian pastor prayed in Jesus name, ONLY FOR CHRISTIANS, before the government of Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, etc., during Ramadan.'" See Five Types of Religions
The Fatal History of Misplaced Faith: "Science and culture, along with militant nationalism, filled the role that churches had once played, and the pattern replicated itself beyond Germany. A traditional outlook gave way to cultural pessimism, intensifying throughout the 1920s. In such a cultural atmosphere, Adolf Hitler emerged as a prophet of neo-paganism. ... Once Hitler took power, the Nazi Party became a new civil religion.
"Communism explicitly sought to destroy religion (an enemy to the new society) and enshrine itself as an alternative faith.... By the 1960s... consumerism in Western Europe and the U.S. had become a substitute faith. The effect was the kind of debased popular culture...
"Alienated youths find meaning in Islam, and governments leave such communities to their own devices, allowing radical subcultures to grow. ... Absolute tolerance... makes Western societies particularly vulnerable to those who play by other rules, particularly when self-doubt hobbles Western leaders." See Power of Purpose
By Zeus! "Not since the late fourth century AD, when the newly Christian Roman state outlawed all forms of pagan worship, had a high priestess officiated on the sacred site. ...we were finally able to call on Zeus, our king-god, to bring peace to the world.'...
"The exoticism of pagan rituals undoubtedly adds to the allure. Enter the Athens headquarters of YSEE, an umbrella organisation of pagans, and the first thing you encounter on feast days are white-clad believers offering libations before a life-size marble kouros symbolising eternal youth. Busts of Athena, Aphrodite, Hermes, Hera and Zeus cast their stony eyes on to an altar replete with burning incense, herbs and flowers."See Olympic gods & C. S. Lewis
Religion does more harm than good - poll: [UK] "... an overwhelming majority see religion as a cause of division and tension -- greatly outnumbering the smaller majority who also believe that it can be a force for good. ... Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, added: 'The perception that faith is a cause of division can often be because faith is misused for other uses and other agendas." See UNESCO's Declaration on the Role of Religion in the Promotion of a Culture of Peace
Richard Dawkins and the 'new atheists' come to America: "Dr. Dawkins has come to America to promote his book [The God Delusion] and expand the ranks of the 'new atheists'—those who unashamedly 'come out of the closet' to proclaim their atheism. ...they are 'a band of intellectual brothers … mounting a crusade against belief in God.' ...
"Dr. Dawkins’ intellectual assault—against all religions, but anti-Christianity in particular—is both scathing and relentless.... 'I’m quite keen on the politics of persuading people of the virtues of atheism,' Dawkins explains.... Wolf summarizes the atheist prayer: '[T]hat our reason will subjugate our superstition, that our intelligence will check our illusions, that we will be able to hold at bay the evil temptation of faith.'"See Merging Religion & Science
Dalai Lama: 'Mischievous' Muslims Hurting Islam: "The Dalai Lama said after meeting Pope Benedict on Friday that 'a few mischievous Muslims' should not be allowed to give the Islamic faith a bad name."See The Dalai Lama
Christian Schools Introducing Teens to Mysticism Proponent: "Lighthouse Trails has been contacted by several concerned parents and grandparents whose teens are being introduced to the teachings and films of emerging church leader, Rob Bell (a strong proponent of mysticism, i.e., contemplative). Bell, the creator of the Nooma films, is pastor of Mars Hill Bible Churchand the author of Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith." Emerging 'Christianity'
The nexttwo links are old, yet they are relevant to understanding the new Church emphasis on management based on futuristic visions of worldly unity. All lead to the World Network of Religious Futurists. Its award-winning members include occultist Barbara Marx Hubbard and Jay Gary. Yet Gary has been very influential within the management of Christian global evangelism. As a teacher at Regent University [founded by Pat Robertson of the 700 Club] he will soon launch a new Master's degree in strategic foresight. MetaNexus to Host Science & Religion Conference: "A new curriculum proposal for more effective science education and current perspectives on the evolution/intelligent design controversy highlight the Metanexus Institute's [One of the Templeton Foundation's assortment of spiritual projects] annual international conference on science and religion....
"The conference, Continuity + Change: Perspectives on Science and Religion, presents leading international scholars whose work delves into important new and emerging ideas at the intersection of science and religion scholarship and research....
"Spiritual Capital....This interdisciplinary forum will explore the economic and societal consequences of religion and spirituality as part of the emerging social science of “spiritual capital.”See Power of Purpose
The Religious Left is Back: "Long overshadowed by the Christian right, religious liberals across a wide swath of denominations are engaged today in their most intensive bout of political organizing and alliance-building since the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements of the 1960s....
"After prayers from a variety of different religious traditions, the conference erupted in enthusiasm as Catholic nun Joan Chittister, my national co-chair of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, presented a compelling analysis of culture and spirituality, followed by Peter Gabel... who provided an engaging account of the spiritual psychodynamics of contemporary society. ...
"Gabel was one of the many 'spiritual but not religious' people who spoke at the conference and presented a perspective that spoke in a language that bridged the gap and showed how humanists could equally find a home in the Network of Spiritual Progressives along with progressive spiritual people. ...
"A central part of the conference was the presentation of the Spiritual Covenant with America.... The good news from Washington, D.C. is that we are not alone.... Senator Obama was very much in sync....
"I also led prayers for the healing of the brokenness and fear-driven consciousness of the people in the White House."
WNRF Marks 25 Years of Religious Futurism: "For 18 months before 1999, Jay [Gary] also served as Executive Director of the World Network of Religious Futurists... turning it into a worthy successor to the periodical publication Global Visions....
"I do not think we have come very far yet in bringing spiritual reflection methods such as prayer, meditation and worship to the process of the futurists skills.... We want to progressively integrate our prayers with our thinking, and to progressively integrate our worship services and liturgies with group inquiry processes, in seeking the future. We want to train up a school of prophets who will be able to listen to the fresh word of God and deliver it to the people." See The Global Church
Darwin versus God. Heaven can wait (Review of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins): "Dawkins sets out to demolish God; to assess the costs of religion and the evils to which it can be put; and to re-orient the debate on the whys and wherefores of life and humans within it.... Knowing, as he writes, that we are the products of Darwinian evolution, what pressure or pressures exerted by natural selection originally favoured the impulse to religion? [Recent research on DNA and the complexities of living cells have demolished Darwin's simple views of Natural Selection and the basis of new species.]...
"Certainly, mature humans are often disposed to believe in almost anything, even against the evidence.... [Interesting how Dawkins defends Darwinian evolution in spite of the evidence!]
"From examining the roots of religion, Dawkins goes on to the roots of morality. He asks the question: if there is no God, why be good? His answer is that morality, which has much in common within all societies, goes far wider than religion, and has clear Darwinian origins.... Dawkins rightly underlines thelimited character of all human understanding, which he compares with the vision of a woman looking at the world through the narrow slits of a Muslim woman’s burqa."
Apart from God, that last claim makes sense. But when we belong to God, He opens our eyes to know Him and discern His ways:
"...as it is written: 'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.' But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.... Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.... But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him..." 1 Cor. 2:9-16
Religion: "[Richard Dawkins -- mentioned above] is an ardent and outspoken atheist, an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society, vice-president of the British Humanist Association and a Distinguished Supporter of the Humanist Society of Scotland.... In January 2006, Dawkins presented a two-part Channel 4 documentary entitled....The Root of All Evil?, addressing what he sees as the malignant influence of organised religion in society. Critics claimed the program gave too much time to marginal figures and extremists, and that Dawkins' confrontational style did not help his cause ...
"Oxford theologian Alister McGrath, author of Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life, has accused Dawkins of being ignorant of Christian theology and mis-characterising religious people generally."
The Creator of all. Secret Worlds: The Universe Within
Maitreya Has Come and Will Save the World: "...'All major religions are expecting a divine messenger, albeit under different names, says [Benjamin] Creme, and Maitreya has come in fulfillment of the prophecies of each. He has come earlier than anticipated by many religious groups because of the urgency of the times, in order to offer his counsel to a world in crisis. His priorities are simple: food, shelter, health care and education for everyone as guaranteed rights. His advice to humanity is just as simple. 'Share and save the world.' When the plight of the poor and starving millions is alleviated then the recovery of the environment will become the first priority.'...
"The false christ will come promoting practical social welfare. That's it. Help for all who need it." See UNESCO's Declaration on the Role of Religion
Yoga Renamed Is Still Hindu: (A Hindu shows the absurdity of the label "Christian Yoga." The article is worth reading as a warning, but we don't recommend the Hindu website): "'...yoga originated from the Vedic or Hindu culture. Its techniques were not adopted by Hinduism, but originated from it.' ...
"The effort to separate yoga from Hinduism must be challenged because it runs counter to the fundamental principles upon which yoga itself is premised, the yamas (restraints) and niyamas (observances). These ethical tenets and religious practices are the first two limbs of the eight-limbed ashtanga yoga system which also includes asana (postures), pranayama (breath control), pratyahara (sense withdrawal), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (contemplation/Self Realization). Efforts to separate yoga from its spiritual center reveal ignorance of the goal of yoga....
"...we are witnessing an initiative toward yoga from ordinary Christians.... If this attempt to co-opt yoga into their own tradition continues, in several decades of incessantly spinning the untruth as truth through re-labelings such as 'Christian yoga,' who will know that yoga is -- or was -- part of Hindu culture?" See Dalai Lama Celebrating the Medicine Buddha
Children scapegoated as witches in fallout from Congo's civil war: "Jocelyn is a 'child-witch' -- or so her family claims.... 'It started when my little brother got sick. No one knew what was wrong with him, but my stepfather said I was behind it,' said Jocelyn.... 'They took the boy to a church sect, and after examining him, the pastor stood up and announced to everyone that I had put a curse on him. After that, they began to blame me for everything.'...
"Children accused of witchcraft often undergo humiliating and painful public 'exorcisms' presided over by self-appointed pastors. The more abusive ceremonies involve forced vomiting, sleep deprivation and cuts with razors to drive out the 'evil spirits.' ... 'The irony is that many of these pastors were witch doctors who have embraced Christianity because the tribal beliefs are now seen as primitive.'... 'They retain the same beliefs but do it under the guise of Christianity.
"Jeff Mobinda, 13, came to Kinshasa with his father after escaping the fighting in eastern Congo. But... his new stepmother refused to look after Jeff, threatened to poison him and accused him of witchcraft.... 'My stepmother didn't want to bother with me,' Jeff said. 'I don't hate for her what she did. It is not for me to punish her -- that is for God to decide.'" See Pastors and Prophets who mislead their flock
Hindu American Foundation Welcomes Statement on Conversions: "The inter-faith meeting was entitled, 'Conversion: Assessing the Reality'.... The meeting was attended by representatives of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism.... Delegates agreed that freedom of religion enjoins upon everyone the equally non-negotiable responsibility to respect, and never to denigrate, vilify or misrepresent others’ faiths for the purpose of affirming superiority of one’s own beliefs. The statement also called upon everyone 'to heal themselves from the obsession of converting others.'....
“'The reflections and recommendations from the inter-faith summit, while not unanimous, are nevertheless consonant with the pluralistic tenets of Hinduism,' said Ishani Chowdhury, Executive Director of the Hindu American Foundation. 'Hinduism’s acceptance of a multitude of paths to the divine is critical to fostering peace in today’s global society....'
“Hindu traditions are not unfamiliar with the religious motive of sharing one's conviction...,” said Prof. Anantanand Rambachan, Professor of Religion, Philosophy and Asian Studies at [Lutheran] Saint Olaf College, Minnesota, a Hindu participant at the conference.”
Yet, Hindu persecution of Christian converts in India is rising. See also Declaration on the Role of Religion
Christian actress worships at temple, kicks off stir: "Indian actress Meera Jasmine, a Christian by birth, has owned up worshipping at a temple which is out of bounds for non-Hindus.... She had gone there after worship at another temple and believed in the power of Rajarajeswara. The temple strictly prohibits entry of non-Hindus and women are let in only after 8 pm after the evening prayers are over.... Meera said... 'But I believe God has no religion. We create differences among ourselves on caste and creed.'" See Who defines the Kingdom of God?
Putin cautions world of disastrous consequences: "Over 200 delegates of prominent world religions from 40 countries are taking part in the three-day World Religion Summit..... Putin called for launching the interfaith dialogue of civilisations "to counter the ideologues of extremism, who exploit the sentiments of believers." See Reinventing the World: The Mind-Changing Process
The divine Miss Winfrey? "After two decades of searching for her authentic self.... Oprah Winfrey has risen to a new level of guru.... In Ellen DeGeneres' stand-up comedy act several years ago, she included a joke about getting to heaven and finding that God is a black woman named Oprah. ... In a November poll... 33% of 6,600 respondents said Winfrey has had 'a more profound impact' on their spiritual lives than their clergypersons....
"'I live inside God's dream for me. I don't try to tell God what I'm supposed to do,' she told the crowd. 'God can dream a bigger dream for you than you can dream for yourself.' ....
"'Our culture is changing,' he [Chris Altrock] says, 'as churches are in decline and the bulk of a new generation is growing up outside of religion.' Instead, they're turning to the Church of Oprah." See The Rising World Religion and Chart: Five Types of Religions
Maharishi to Build World Capital of Peace in Kansas: "Followers of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, known for founding the transcendental meditation movement, recently broke ground on a complex they are calling the World Capital of Peace. The $14 million project will sit on 480 acres of land in north-central Kansas.... 'I really felt good about it,' said Smith Center Mayor Randy Archer....'I think they will blend and mesh with the community and the county.'" See Reinventing the World: The Mind-Changing Process
Africans Need African Theology: "According to Joe Kapolyo, a theologian from Zambia, many of his African colleagues simply copy Western theology, which is influenced by rationalism.... A truly African theology must deal with subjects like poverty, tribalism, corruption, sexuality, and spiritism....
"Despite its fast growth in Africa Christianity has not succeeded in penetrating African culture, said Kapolyo. In many instances Africans have only been touched superficially. They often mix the Christian faith with paganism: They are good Christians during the day and consult the witchdoctor at night."
Would a mythical blend of preferred beliefs fit better than Biblical truth, which is historical and rational? The result would be an African version of Western occultism, which includes many "christian allusions" and symbols. SeeWarnings - How mysticism & the occult are changing the Church
Man became Wiccan after leaving Episcopal church: (High school history teacher) "I left the Episcopal priesthood in 1997. My sense is that the strain of leading a Christian flock while not fully being able to believe the message I was preaching finally dropped me into what might be called a very early mid-life crisis.... During that time I read the Harry Potter books along with my children. My curiosity about the world of Harry Potter led me to do an Internet search on magic, which led me to Wicca. Online, I became acquainted with people from a Wiccan group in Flint. Eventually my wife and I went there and immediately felt we had finally found our spiritual home."
"Q: What are your sources of inspiration, your role models?
"For storytelling, we got back to Greek and Roman and Egyptian mythology, as well as ancient Chinese, Hindu, Buddhist, Norse, Irish, Scottish and other traditions.
"...we are very much part of the world and of our communities, quietly living our lives and practicing our religion. We strive to model our lives on the lessons of nature herself." See Harry Potter and the Power of Suggestion
The “Jesus” of the Cults: "Jehovah’s Witnesses say that Jesus is actually Michael, the Archangel... the first creation of God. ...
"Mormons (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) teach that Jesus is the spirit brother of Satan. He was once a human being like you and I, but through good works he evolved spiritually to become a god. However, Jesus is just one god amongst a pantheon of gods....
"Christian Science and Mary Baker Eddy say that Jesus was only a man and that Christ is a Divine idea....
"Sun Myung Moon (the Korean messiah) claims that Jesus was a man who failed his divine mission and he, Rev. Moon, is the second coming of Christ to unite the world under the banner of the Unification Church....
"Freemasonry teaches that Jesus was only a moral teacher. He was no better than Buddha, Confucius, Moses or Mohammed. They deny that Jesus was the light of the world and claim that Freemasonry is the true light of humanity.
"Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard claim that Jesus is a false dream;
"Spiritists say that Jesus is an advanced medium in the 6th sphere of the astrological projection."
A good question to ask someone who claims to be Christian, yet seems unfamiliar with God's Word is: "Who is Jesus to you?" See The Names of God: Jesus
Environment. Evangelical Leaders Join Global Warming Initiative: "...86 evangelical Christian leaders have decided to back a major initiative to fight global warming, saying 'millions of people could die in this century because of climate change.... Among signers of the statement... are the presidents of 39 evangelical colleges... and pastors of megachurches, including Rick Warren.... The statement calls for federal legislation that would require reductions in carbon dioxide emissions through 'cost-effective, market-based mechanisms'....
"Some of the nation's most high-profile evangelical leaders, however, have tried to derail such action. Twenty-two of them signed a letter in January declaring, 'Global warming is not a consensus issue.'... E. Calvin Beisner... said Tuesday that 'the science is not settled' on whether global warming was actually a problem or even that human beings were causing it. And he said that the solutions advocated by global warming opponents would only cause the cost of energy to rise, with the burden falling most heavily on the poor....
[But scientific facts are not slowing the first group.] The Evangelical Climate Initiative... is being supported by... the Pew Charitable Trusts... and the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation."
A key leader in this "evangelical" environmental network is Paul Gorman, former head of the occult Temple of Understanding first housed at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine. See The eco-council and the next two links:
Churches duped by green extremists: "Paul Gorman, director of the NRPE, was director of the Temple of Understanding, housed at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. He organized a 'Joint Appeal,' consisting of 22 scientists and 100 religious leaders that became the NRPE. Mikhail Gorbachev hosted a conference for the group in Moscow, where James Lovelock, author of The Ages of Gaia, was the featured speaker. Dr. Robert Muller , thirty-year deputy Secretary General of the U.N., and Thomas Berry, served on the Temple's board of directors.... "Mikhail Gorbachev, and the U.N.'s Maurice Strong have promoted the Earth Charter, which is expected to replace the Ten Commandments as the basis for social and religious organization." See Robert Muller and Theosophy and The Earth Charter's unholy Ark
Center for the Study of World Religions: "Paul Gorman is the executive director of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment.... A graduate of Yale and Oxford, he worked in Congress in the 1960s where, among other projects, he organized... the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on Vietnam.... Prior to his present position, he was vice-president for Programs at the The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, where he... organized international environmental conferences in Moscow, Oxford, and Assisi."
The Old Cross and The New and The Global quest for Solidarity and Where is Christ in Christmas?
Pagans prepare for solstice: "As Christians and others look forward to the celebration of Christmas, Mainers who describe themselves as pagans prepare to mark the shortest day of the year and the anticipated 'return of the light' as days grow longer.... Some celebrate Yule, a Germanic/Scandinavian-rooted term for winter solstice, which is one of eight pagan high holidays. Others celebrate the more lengthy Saturnalia, the Roman midwinter festival of the home....
"While pagan and Christian practices are often viewed as wholly different, many Christmas rituals and symbols are rooted in pagan practices, including kissing under mistletoe, burning yule logs and giving gifts. Some Christians embrace the connection between the two religions."
America is fast approaching the "diversity" needed for high scores on the UN's assessments of "social capital" in all our communities, while Biblical truth becomes increasingly offensive. See
Deism Defined: "Belief in God as revealed by nature and reason combined with a disbelief in scripture, prophets, superstition and church authority. Deism is a free-thought philosophy, much like Agnosticism, Atheism or Pantheism in that it rejects the dogmas and superstitions of religion in favor of individual reason and empirical observation of the universe. Deism differs from these other free-thought philosophies in that it sees an order and architecture to the universe that indicates a Creator."
A Man's Spiritual Journey From Kierkegaard to General Motors: "...at age 19, Mr. Drucker came across the works of the [existentialist] theologian and philosopher Soren Kierkegaard - and was bowled over. He studied Danish in order to read Kierkegaard's yet-untranslated writings....
"The future was with 'pastoral churches,' he argued, ones that put a higher priority on answering people's needs than perpetuating some specific doctrine or ritual or institutional structure....
"'Making a difference in the way people see what's truly important in life' was his ultimate test for both individuals and churches. 'I don't know,' he acknowledged, 'that you can measure this - certainly not by the bookkeeping of this world - but I'm reasonably sure that some sort of bookkeeping is going on someplace.'
"In this world, he said in a characteristic marriage of the visionary and the practical, the ones who best understand what can make a difference are the saints. 'That's the definition of a saint,' Mr. Drucker said, 'somebody who sees reality.'"
But that's not the definition of a saint according to the Bible. SeeThe Old Cross and The New and Salvation
Dalai Lama Will Join Stanford Experts to Discuss the Nature of the Mind: "Because craving, suffering and choice are principal aspects of Buddhism and neuroscience, conference participants will seek to identify the common ground between the methodologies used by the two disciplines." SeeTempleton: Merging Religion & Science
Gibson's action movie in ancient tongue: "Mel Gibson... is in Mexico to shoot an action movie shot in an ancient Mayan tongue.... 'It's set before the Conquest, so there are no European faces, and we are using mostly indigenous people and actors from Mexico City,' Gibson said.... 'There's still a lot of mystery to the Mayan culture... it's just the backdrop to what I'm doing - creating an action adventure of mythic proportions.'" See Chart: Five Types of Religions
Mel Gibson Shares 'Apocalypto' Vision: "Gibson told a press conference in Veracruz, Mexico that the plot of 'Apocalypto' (in Greek it means 'new beginning') is about a Mayan father 'and his woman, his child and his father, his community,' who he said.... 'has to overcome tremendous odds to preserve what he values the most.'" See Mel Gibson's "Passion"
Potter in the Polders: "A Dutch witch has won a legal battle to make the cost of her witchcraft lessons tax-deductible. ... According to Margarita Rongen, a teacher at the Appelscha School of Witchcraft, the school teaches students 'how to make spells, prepare magic potions and heal with stones.'" See Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Synagogue 3000 shakes up the Jewisth world from New York to Los Angeles: "Synagogue 3000 had a pathbreaking meeting with Rick Warren (The Purpose-Driven Life)... to explore what synagogues can learn from megachurches and small groups. Examples: ... Los Angeles: Young female rabbi attracts vast crowds of next generation hipsters to Yom Kippur yoga and disco break-fast....
"The objective of Synagogue 3000 is to encourage Jews to recommit to Jewish tradition and synagogue life by creating new 21st century spiritual arenas where relationships with God and with each other define everything the synagogue does.... They utilize traditional teachings along with theater, music, dance, exuberant singing, yoga, meditation, community activism and other creative methods to engage individuals in spiritual pursuits and active community life." See The Rising World Religion
Christian Yoga: "Mission statement - To honor God in body, mind and spirit by developing our potential for strength, flexibility and balance.... First Baptist Church, Jackson, MS." See Holistic Health and The Rising World Religion
Monumental surrender: "...the official Flight 93 memorial unveiled last week is now embroiled in overdue public controversy. Funded with a mix of public money and private cash (including a $500,000 grant from Teresa Heinz's far-left Heinz Endowments), the winning design, titled the "Crescent of Embrace," features a grove of maple trees ringing the crash site in the shape of an unmistakable red crescent. The crescent... 'is the symbol of ritual and religious life for Muslims.'... Some design contest jury members reportedly raised concerns about the jarring symbol of the hijackers' faith.... But their recommendations to change the name of the memorial (to "Arc of Embrace," or some such whitewashing) were ignored."
Youth Ministers Say Kids -- Including Evangelicals -- Are Dabbling in Wicca: "The number of devotees to Wicca has increased exponentially in the last two decades.... Two ethical implications of Wicca seem to make the religion particularly appealing to teens. First, Wicca advocates moral autonomy as opposed to accountability to the God of the Bible....
"Wicca devotee Amber Laine Fisher plainly states the implications of goddess worship for sexual ethics: "Goddess religion and goddess spirituality endeavor to release us from the taboos of sex and sexuality, to untie our hands, freeing us from certain paradigms or ideals that we are taught to accept as 'normal.'
"...some Christian teens and adults attempt to combine what they perceive to be the 'best' in Wicca with the 'best' in Christianity." See The Rising World Religion
Goddess called in to scare off tsunami ghosts: "With Asian tourists still shunning its southern beaches, Thailand is calling in a revered Chinese sea goddess to ward off the restive spirits of the thousands who died in last December's tsunami.... Mazu, a Taoist goddess of the sea, has a huge following among fishermen and shipworkers in coastal provinces of southern China and Taiwan." See From Father God to Mother Earth
Is Yoga Debased by Secular Practice? "Yoga is a lucrative and growing business. About 16.5 million Americans now spend nearly $3 billion annually on classes and products....
"The sun salutation, perhaps the best-known series of asanas, or postures, of hatha yoga -- the type most commonly practiced in America -- is literally a Hindu ritual. 'Sun salutation was never a hatha yoga tradition,' said Subhas Rampersaud Tiwari, professor of yoga philosophy and meditation at Hindu University of America in Orlando, Fla. 'It is a whole series of ritual appreciations to the sun....' To think of it as a mere physical movement is tantamount to 'saying that baptism is just an underwater exercise,' said Swami Param..."
In other words, yoga is not spiritually neutral exercise program!See Yoga and Twist of Faith, Chapter 4
Bringing new blood into church: "...the Rev Archie Motaung holds up a carved figure and begins his address in a mixture of Zulu and English.... 'Who is this man?' Fr Motaung asks his congregation. He represents, the priest says, the ancestors, the good and worthy family members who have died. They are nearer to God, and are in a position to intercede with God for people who are still alive. We must still pray for them, as they are praying for us....
The Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches are seeking to make their message more relevant to local congregations. The use of African languages and music is one example of this. Invoking cultural references, such as the ancestors, is another. Inculturation, as this process is known, is hardly new. ...
"The ancestors can intercede with God for people, bring matters of concern to God’s attention, and protect the living. Mr Mekoa wants to follow the traditional way of communicating with his deceased family members, who remain close to the living — through the slaughter of an animal. The blood is a symbol of life, and becomes the means of communication.... Making the transition from ancestors to the Holy Spirit is easy, but Christ has no role." This extreme example of today's inculturation or contextualization shows how God's truth is corrupted when leaders try to please the world rather than God. See Idols and unholy gods
North Dakota Hospital Adds Meditation Room: "Sherman Iron Shield used to sneak his son behind some elevators at St. Alexius Medical Center so he could burn sacred herbs to chase away evil spirits without setting off the hospital's fire alarms and sprinklers. He believes the practice, known as smudging, along with modern medicine, helped his son, George, recover from a gunshot wound....
"'I think this is the first of its kind in a privately owned hospital,' Hall said of the St. Alexius meditation room. 'It's a long time coming and a tremendous step forward for native people. I think we'll see much better healing and recovery.' ...John Eagle Shield, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, helped push to get the meditation room at the hospital so American Indians could practice their sacred traditions.'" SeeBlending of the Gods
Buddhists Start Worldwide Meditation Campaign: "Tens of thousands of Buddhists around the world are about to embark on a meditation campaign to promote compassion and understanding. They are attempting to recite the words 'om mani...' 100 million times from July 24 –27 .... Buddhists believe that the recital, known as the Mantra of Compassion, will release positive energies." See A Twist of Faith, Chapter 2
Evangelicals Are a Growing Force in the Military Chaplain Corps: "It was the opening ceremony of a four-day Spiritual Fitness Conference at a Hilton hotel here last month organized and paid for by the Air Force for many of its United States-based chaplains and their families.... The chaplains, who pledge when they enter the military to minister to everyone, Methodist, Mormon or Muslim, attended workshops on 'The Purpose Driven Life,'... on how to improve their worship services....
"Statistics on enlistees provided by the Air Force show there are now about 3,500 who say they are either Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, pagans, druids or shamans. There are 1,600 who say they are atheists and about 50,000 who say they have no religious preference, out of a total of 280,000."
Christianity Vanquished(UK): "In 2000, the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. George Carey, also noted Britain’s moral decline. 'A tacit atheism prevails. Death is assumed to be the end of life. Our concentration on the here-and-now renders a thought of eternity irrelevant.'... "A year later, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor... spoke of the rising popularity of New Age and occult beliefs... .
"... many respondents complained that their ministers hardly seemed to believe in Christianity themselves.... 'Many who used to attend church are now filled with apathy,' the report summarized. 'They no longer see any point in attending, because the message they have been given is that ‘God loves me anyway,’ regardless of whether or not they attend church or change their lives, so why bother?'" The Rising World Religion
Children to study atheism at school(UK): "Children will be taught about atheism during religious education classes under official plans being drawn up to reflect the decline in churchgoing in Britain. Non-religious beliefs such as humanism, agnosticism and atheism would be covered alongside major faiths such as Christianity or Islam under draft guidelines being prepared by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority ....
"Religion in schools is a sensitive subject, with France renewing a ban on the wearing of the hijab...." See Ban truth - Reap Tyranny
Jedi 'religion' grows in Australia: "More than 70,000 people in Australia have declared that they are followers of the Jedi faith, the religion created by the Star Wars films. A recent census found that one in 270 respondents - or 0.37% of the population - say they believe in 'the force', an energy field that gives Jedi Knights like Luke Skywalker their power in the films.... Most of the 70,509 people who wrote Jedi on their census forms were suspected to have done so in response to an e-mail encouraging all Star Wars fans to get it recognised as an official religion." See Star Wars
The call to global oneness and Star Wars Joins United Religions at the Presidio
Light in a New Dark Age: "St. Benedict was born in 480, in a small Umbrian village....The Roman empire was in rapid decline, beset by wars, economic dislocation, and social disorder. ...classical culture might have gone the way of the Mayans. That it didn't had a lot to do with Benedict. His monks... transformed that civilization by infusing a biblical understanding of the human -- person, community, origins and destiny -- into the classical culture they preserved for future generations in their scriptoria and libraries. The result of that fusion of Jerusalem, Athens and Rome was what we know as 'Europe,' or, more broadly, 'the West.'...[That fusion produced religious and cultural synthesis, not Biblical Christianity]
"[The new pope] Benedict XVI has long been concerned that the West risks the possibility of a new Dark Age. What he described in a sermon on the day before his election as a new 'dictatorship of relativism' is one dimension of the problem. ... Pope Benedict also senses that a new Dark Age may be aborning in those laboratories where human begetting is turned into human manufacture -- the Dark Age of Huxley's brave new world. ... He has been betrayed by... former colleagues (like Hans Kung, a man of far less scholarly accomplishment and infinitely less charity)."
Read more about Hans Kung in
Jews, Mormons to Review 'Dead Baptisms': "Jews and Mormons decided Monday to jointly scrutinize a Mormon database that includes the names of thousands of deceased Jews -- including Holocaust victims -- who were given unwanted, posthumous baptisms. ...The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (search) believes individuals' ability to choose a religion continues beyond the grave. Through its unique practice of proxy or vicarious baptisms, names are forwarded for baptism, and church members stand in for deceased non-Mormons. The church believes the ritual is required for the dead to reach heaven." See the next link:
Repeat Evangelical preaches at Salt Lake Tabernacle: "With Evangelicals and Latter-day Saints sitting together in the Salt Lake Tabernacle for an "Evening of Friendship," internationally renowned Christian philosopher Ravi Zacharias told them Sunday night that Jesus Christ's unique claim upon humanity is that he embodied truth and sacrificed himself for a world that often does not recognize him. ...
"Mouw [President of Fuller] noted the 200th anniversary of Joseph Smith's birthday next December and several scholarly events planned to celebrate during the coming year. 'I hope many in the evangelical community will take part in those events,' he said."
Christians and Jews unite to slam proposed summer Jerusalem gay fest: "Warning of divine retribution and possible violent protest, evangelical Christians and rabbis from the United States have joined forces with ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel to fight plans to hold an international gay festival in Jerusalem this summer...News sources report the WorldPride Parade, last held in Rome in 2000, is a 10-day event including street parties, workshops and a gay film festival." Jerusalem
John Paul II --The Man and His Legacy: "We should be unembarrassed and unhesitant to declare our admiration for John Paul II's courageous stand against Communism, his bold defense of human dignity and human life, and his robust and substantial defense of truth in the face of postmodernism....
"...we must also recognize that John Paul II also represented the most troubling aspects of Roman Catholicism. He defended and continued the theological directions set loose at the Second Vatican Council.... Like the church he served, John Paul II rejected justification by faith. Beyond this, he rejected the biblical doctrine of hell, embraced inclusivism, and promoted an extreme form of Marian devotion, referring to Mary as 'Co-Redemptrix,' 'Mediatrix,' and 'Mother of all Graces.'" See Catholicism Unveiled
Pagans work magic at San Jose hotel: "The pagans have invaded San Jose! The city's going to hell! Well, maybe not. Pagans don't actually believe in such things. Many of them, however, do believe in ghosts, sprites, fairies and witches. And some of them actually are witches. ...
"A witch, he said, is someone more in touch with the earth and the elements. 'They can see and move energy, but they can't force it, they're asking for it to move.That's a power for good that can be used for healing.'" See A Twist of Faith, chapters 1 and 4
Templeton Foundation - Merging Religion & Science: "...to the Templeton Foundation, the term ‘God’ is not confined to the God of the Bible. The Foundation's Web site says: 'The Prize is intended to help people see the infinity of the Universal Spirit still creating the galaxies... 'The Templeton Prize... seeks to encourage understanding of the benefits of diversity.’...
"...it is hardly surprising that the views of many of the Prize recipients are detrimental to the very foundation on which Christianity is built—the Bible. One of the current judges is Monshu Koshin Ohtani, ‘spiritual leader of Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, one of Japan's largest Buddhist institutions. ’And former judges have included the Dalai Lama, Prof. Paul Davies, Prince Charles....
"Templeton Prize recipients have included some Bible-believing Christians, such as Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ in 1996, Chuck Colson in 1993... and Billy Graham in 1982.... ’However, others have been from Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism...." See Templeton: Merging Religion & Science
Perhaps some of you need the encouragement of reading The Three Myth of Homeschooling
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