More newsy stuff this week, rather than blog links per se…I get to play news anchor…
- Tennessee teachers supervising students at the annual See You At The Pole events are in trouble for praying along with the students at the event. “Teachers have not been banned from praying, but if they do – it must be done out of sight and earshot of students, the newspaper reported.” Read more on this confusing development at The Tennessean.
- Young abolitionist Zach Hunter is now 19, and his three books, including the popular Be the Change have been reissued by Zondervan to reflect his current look. He recently did a guest post at Huffington Post. “When I was 12 I started a campaign to end modern-day slavery. I wasn’t a theological prodigy. I was just an awkward, pre-adolescent kid trying to follow Jesus. I heard about people being bought and sold and abused day in and day out and I couldn’t imagine Jesus being O.K. with it…. Occasionally, I’ve received some criticism about encouraging this kind of passion in my generation. Mostly, it comes from people who share my faith — I’ve even been told, ‘It’s great what you and your friends are doing, but why aren’t you just preaching the gospel when your whole generation is going to hell?‘ …Continue reading at Huff Post…
- “I believe modalism is unbiblical and clearly outside confessionalism, but I do not believe it represents Bishop T.D. Jakes’ current thinking. Whether I am right or wrong is something that will be discovered in the Elephant Room where our purpose is, as Pastor Mark [Driscoll] posted, ‘to talk to people rather than about them.’” Read more at James’ blog, Vertical Church.
James MacDonald finds himself defending the decision to include T.D. Jakes in next year’s sequel to the one-day Elephant Room Conference.
- Oh, and here’s a recent sample of what he’s defending himself against. Thabiti Anyabwyle writes, “This isn’t on the scale of [John] Piper inviting [Rick] Warren. This is more akin to Augustine inviting Muhammad. This invitation gives a platform to a heretic… Can the Lord squeeze lemonade out of this lemon? Absolutely. I pray He does… What should MacDonald do now? I’m not even sure.” Read more of this at TGC.
- If the above word, modalism, is new to you, it was covered on this blog in a lengthy article back in February, Why Are Non-Trinitarians Included Among ‘Christians’?
- Mexico considers solving the divorce problem by issuing a marriage license that expires in 24 months. ” Mexico City lawmakers want to help newlyweds avoid the hassle of divorce by giving them an easy exit strategy: temporary marriage licenses… that would allow couples to decide on the length of their commitment, opting out of a lifetime. The minimum marriage contract… could be renewed if the couple stays happy. The contracts would include provisions on how children and property would be handled if the couple splits. ‘The proposal is, when the two-year period is up, if the relationship is not stable or harmonious, the contract simply ends,’ said Leonel Luna, the Mexico City assemblyman who co-authored the bill.” Read the full article at Reuters Faith World.
- Another news story from Reuters Faith World… A few years back, this was one of the few Christian blogs to look at the ban on minarets (Muslim prayer towers) in Switzerland. Now the country’s lower parliament has voted to ban face veils as well. “By enacting a ban, Switzerland would follow other European countries such as France, the Netherlands and Belgium which have either already proscribed veils or are debating such measures, sometimes encountering sharp condemnation from civil rights and Islamic groups.”
- The supreme court will not hear a case brought against World Vision in regard to hiring practices. “The Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari lets stand an August 2010 decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of World Vision and against three employees who were fired after the organization concluded that they did not believe that Jesus Christ is fully God.” More details at Christianity Today.
- A Texas oil change shop will service your car for only $19.99 if you will quote John 3:16 from memory. Legal experts in the state can’t find the owner is in violation of anything from a consumer retail business standpoint. But one customer didn’t recite the verse and got billed for over $46. Is this a positive move for the business owner or a liability? And is it a definite liability for Christians who abhor this evangelism methodology. Dallas attorney Andy Siegel said, “The study of Bible has many rewards, [but] I’m not sure if God intended for a lube discount to be among its many riches.” More, with video at CNN Religion.
- Also at CNN, an in-depth review of Belieber, the book examining the faith factor in the life of pop star Justin Bieber. The star told Rolling Stone, “I feel I have an obligation to plant little seeds with my fans. I’m not going to tell them, ‘You need Jesus,’ but I will say at the end of my show, ‘God loves you.’ “ Read more at CNN.
- Time Travel Piece of the Week: A short word bite from Steven Furtick on Church Hopping, It’s Time to Stop The Hop. “If you’ve fallen into the trap of church hopping, let me encourage you: embrace your place somewhere where God can use you. At the end of your life, God’s not going to be impressed or pleased that you saw what He was doing at ten different churches. He’s going be more pleased that you were a part of what He was doing at one church.”
- If you think all the great ministry ideas have been covered, you could always start an underwear ministry. No, it’s not a reference to Mormon underwear, rather: “Every day with no fanfare, the Union Gospel Mission in Vancouver… receives all kinds of donations… But one recent drop-off was so unique it could not go unnoticed — a donation of 3,500 pairs of men’s underwear. Calgary residents Robb Price and Brent King delivered the gift…the first of 10 deliveries they plan to make at homeless shelters between Vancouver and Halifax. Read more at Christian Week.
- Wrapping it up this week with the graphic that’s been on so many blogs; How The Denominations See Each Other. The bottom right corner credits this to ThomasTheDoubter.com where it was posted on September 15th, and also to the Subtle Designer blog, where it’s described as being a copy of a similar infographic done about higher education. (You might need to switch to full screen.) Enjoy!