Friday, October 29, 2010

Completely Absurd

US woman faces fine for ‘Christian roommate’ ad

According to the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan, the woman's advert was illegal.

Wed, 27 Oct 2010

An American woman who advertised at her church for a Christian roommate is facing a legal case and massive fines after her action was branded “illegal”.

In a case which has been described as “completely absurd” by her legal backers, the 31-year-old single woman has been landed with a civil rights complaint accusing her of illegal housing discrimination.

She is being supported by a US religious liberty group, the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), which says the woman’s actions are “obviously legal” and protected by the US Constitution.


The woman, whose name is being protected for her privacy, posted the notice at her church asking for a Christian roommate but an anonymous civil rights complaint was subsequently filed with the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan.

The Executive Director of the Fair Housing Center said depending on the outcome of the case, the 31-year-old woman could face several hundreds of dollars in fines and “fair housing training so it doesn’t happen again”.

Joel Oster, from ADF, said: “Clearly this woman has a right to pick and choose who she wants to live with”.


Mr Oster commented: “Christians shouldn’t live in fear of being punished by the government for being Christians.

“It is completely absurd to try to penalize a single Christian woman for privately seeking a Christian roommate at church – an obviously legal and constitutionally protected activity.”

According to the Fair Housing Center, the advert expressed “an illegal preference for a Christian roommate, thus excluding people of other faiths”.

People are free to choose a roommate based on religion, but they cannot publish an advert with that intent, Nancy Haynes, the Executive Director of the Center said.


ADF said it had sent a letter to the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, who are now dealing with the complaint, but had received no reply.

ADF’s letter explains that the woman “is not a landlord. She does not own a management company. She does not run an apartment complex”.

It continues: “She is a single person seeking to have a roommate live with her in her house.

“She is not prohibited by either federal law or state law from seeking a Christian roommate”.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Healing To The Nations

Healing To The Nations
By Bob Fitts
Key: d

Verse 1

D A/C#
I hear a young child crying,

and see tears of unending pain,
Bm G

I've watched as war torn nations
Em A

treated life with such disdain.

My heart grieves to know that
D Bm

these haven't come to understand

that I suffered for their suffering

and died that they might live again.


Take My healing to the nations,

bind their broken hearts with love.

Stretch My hand throughout creation

with this message of My love.
D Dmaj7

That I came to bring light in their darkness,
D7 G

and bring joy where there once was pain.
Em A

Take My healing to the nations,
G D Em7 A D

bind their broken hearts with love.

Verse 2

For the fields they're ready for harvest,
and the labourers they're so few,
countless millions still that I want to fill
but the task isn't mine to do.
I gave My commandment:
go and preach good tidings of love,
for I finished the work on Calvary,
their healings already been done.

Protesting against the enforced reading of the Qu'ran to Christian children

Iranian Authorities to Execute Pastor for Apostasy
Posted on: 2010-10-27 14:06:07
By Joseph C. DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

After a court order temporarily delayed his death, a Christian pastor in Iran is again scheduled to be executed.

Worthy News reports that Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani will be executed this weekend for the crime of apostasy unless the court again delays his execution.

Before he was arrested in October 2009, Nadarkhani led one of the largest Christian communities in Iran. He was singled out by authorities for helping Muslims turn to Christ even though leaving Islam is punishable by death.

He was finally arrested after protesting against the enforced reading of the Quran to Christian children. His wife was also arrested and has been sentenced to life in prison.

Rights activists are petitioning for the release of both Nadarkhani and his wife.

Need to accumulate more for their old age

S’pore may need to raise retirement age to 68, says Lim Boon Heng
By Channel NewsAsia, Updated: 28/10/2010

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Lim Boon Heng has indicated that the country may need to raise its retirement age to 68.

Mr Lim, who’s in Finland accompanying President S R Nathan on his state visit there said Singaporeans need to work longer as their life span increases.

That is because they need to accumulate more for their old age.

Mr Lim who is also the minister in charge of issues on ageing in Singapore, cited Finland as an example, and will use this trip as an opportunity to study how the Finnish are dealing with their ageing population.

Mr Lim added there are areas that Singapore can emulate. One of which is to mobilise the elderly to organise themselves and form retirement communities that can provide mutual support and friendship.

A law that will make it mandatory for employers to offer re—employment to workers beyond the age of 62 will be in place by 2012.

"We are raising the retirement age, through the process of re—employment from the current 62 to 65 in January 2012. Beyond that we would have to examine how we can further raise the retirement age. In Finland, they have raised it to 68, so it gives us an indication about where we should be heading.Because the Finns are not living longer than us, we have a life expectancy of about 80, I think the finns are little less than us," said Mr Lim.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Time will end within the next .... 3.7 billion years?

Time, like all good things, may come to an end: study
AFP - Saturday, October 16

Time, like all good things, may come to an end: study

WASHINGTON (AFP) - – The end of the world as we know it cannot be avoided, but it can be predicted, according to a group of astrophysicists who see a 50 percent chance of the final countdown ending in 3.7 billion years.

"Time is unlikely to end in our lifetime, but there is a 50 percent chance that time will end within the next 3.7 billion years," according to the team of US and Japanese scientists, who are challenging a long-standing theory of the universe.

While scientists have long concluded that the universe is expanding, and will do so for an infinite period of time, the researchers say the very rules of physics suggest that "an eternally inflating universe" is far from given.

"The point of this paper is to show that certain methods and assumptions that have been widely used by physicists for years -- most prominently, the use of a time cutoff in order to compute probabilities in an eternally inflating universe -- lead to the conclusion that time will end," Raphael Bousso of the University of California, Berkeley told AFP.

"In other words, the time cutoff, which we may have thought was just a calculational tool, actually behaves like a physical event, whether we like it or not," said Bousso, lead author of the study published on

Current theories of the universe begin with the "Big Bang," which cast our living space into being some 13.7 billion years ago in a massive explosion.

Since then, theorists have assumed the universe will simply continue to expand forever, but have also used a theoretical expiration date to help calculate the laws and rules of physics.

But Bousso and his colleagues says the discipline simply cannot have it both ways.

He cautioned however that the complex thought experiment and calculations proposed by the research could not be used to draw definitive conclusions.

"It's very important to understand that we are not saying that we are certain of the conclusion that time will end (though we cannot rule out that it may be correct)," he wrote.

But he said even if the theory was false, discovering why that was the case would help scientists better understand the universe.

"In science, this kind of reasoning is often valuable: you realize that your reasonable-seeming theory predicts something that sounds crazy, so you have to come to grips with that," he told AFP.

"Either you have to abandon the theory, or you have to understand why the crazy-sounding thing may not actually be so crazy."

For astrophysicist Charles Lineweaver, of Australian National University's Mount Stromlo Observatory, Bousso's conclusions are simply incorrect.

"Bousso's average life of a universe is a set time, only because that's what happens when you introduce a cutoff point to get a reasonable probability," he told ABC Television.

"It's a statistical technique being taken probably too seriously," he added.

But Bousso said he and his team had not invented or introduced anything.

"These cutoffs have been used by many leading physicists for years," he told AFP. "We merely pointed out that it's not such an innocent thing to do.

"The cutoff on time is inevitably physical and hence requires a physical justification. It cannot be considered a mere mathematical trick."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cities are where churches can reach the next generation

Tim Keller: Churches Worldwide Need to Move into Cities
Thu, Oct. 21, 2010 Posted: 06:45 AM EDT

CAPE TOWN, South Africa – New York pastor Tim Keller awed the crowd Wednesday evening with his well thought-out argument on why churches around the world need to move into cities.

Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan told attendees of Lausanne III that if Christians want human life to be shaped by Jesus Christ then churches need to go into cities.

Cities are where churches can reach the next generation (young adults want to live in the city); reach more unreachable people (people are far more open to the Gospel in the cosmopolitan city than in their hometown); reach people who have a big impact on the world (filmmakers, authors and businessmen); and reach the poor (about one-third of city dwellers live in shanty towns).

“Human beings, according to Genesis 1, are made in the image of God and reflect God’s glory more than anything else in creation,” said Keller, whose Redeemer City to City has planted more than 100 churches around the world.

“In these cities you have more image of God per square inch than anywhere else in the world,” he said. “So God makes the numbers argument.”

The influential pastor known for his deep thinking shared a story about a missionary friend. Keller’s friend once quipped that the country is where there are more plants than people and the city is where there are more people than plants. And because God loves people more than plants, He has to love the city more than the country.

About 300 years ago, less than three percent of the world’s population lived in cities. Today, more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in cities and the number is growing rapidly. It is estimated that eight million people, or about the population of Bangkok, move into cities every two months.

“The people are moving into the cities faster than the church is,” Keller emphasized. “If you love what God loves then you will love the cities. If you want to go where the people are you got to go into the cities.”

But churches that want to go into the cities need to be contextualized in order to be effective, he said. Just like how urban China is different than China and urban America is different than America, an urban church is different than a church in the countryside.

An urban church, which has people from many cultures, is required to be extremely patient about accusations of cultural insensitivity and should expect to be accused of such. Pastors of urban churches need to accept that they can never fully solve complaints of cultural insensitivity, but that they can learn from criticisms.

Churches in cities also need to show people how their faith relates to their work because jobs are a much bigger part of urban dwellers’ life, Keller said.

“I had only known how to disciple people by bringing them out of the work world and into my church world,” the New York pastor shared. “But if you are in an urban church you can’t do that. You have to help people apply their faith to their work.”

Urban churches also need to expect disorganization and changes; be intensely evangelistic but at the same time famous for its concern for justice; be committed to the arts; and cooperate with other denominations and faith, he said.

“Look at the cities of this world. Look at the masses of these cities, God says. Why aren’t you moved by them? Why aren’t you going there?” Keller asked. “So let’s go.”

The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization, also known as Cape Town 2010, has drawn more than 4,000 Christian leaders representing over 190 nations to Cape Town, South Africa. The conference was founded by American evangelist Billy Graham in 1974 in Lausanne, Switzerland, to bring together the global body of Christ for world evangelization.

This Congress is unique in the diversity of its attendees and for discussing a wide range of global problems faced by today’s church, including secularization, Islam, HIV/AIDS, prosperity gospel, nuclear weapons, and environmental concerns. The conference program will conclude on Sunday.

Michelle A. Vu
Christian Post Reporter

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Megachurch Crystal Cathedral has filed for bankruptcy

Calif. Megachurch Enters Bankruptcy amid Lawsuits
Tue, Oct. 19, 2010 Posted: 01:56 PM EDT

After years of leadership transitions and struggles with declining donations, renowned megachurch Crystal Cathedral has filed for bankruptcy.

In an announcement Monday, the Southern California church said it found it necessary to seek the protection of a Chapter 11 because of pending lawsuits by creditors.

The church had been facing at least three lawsuits for the more than $2 million in debts it owed vendors for services rendered for its 2009 "Glory of Christmas" production. Though creditors had agreed to work things out by providing a grace period, ultimately negotiations did not move fast enough to satisfy all parties.

Church officials said they will work with the Creditors Committee to finalize a payment plan "that is fair to all vendors and consistent with our belief as a Ministry and emerge from Chapter 11 as quickly as possible."

While the church addresses past due expenses and revenue decline, Dr. Sheila Schuller Coleman, senior pastor of Crystal Cathedral, said ministry operations will continue as is. This includes Sunday services, the weekly "Hour of Power" television program, weekly church activities and the Crystal Cathedral Academy & High School.

"Just as we have taught for years, this is an opportunity to model God's sustaining strength through anything," Coleman said. "Many of the persons who support our Ministry are facing similar challenges and when they hear our message of hope, they know we are speaking from a point of true understanding."

Coleman expressed that she was not daunted by the financial woes.

"Challenging situations are nothing new to our 55-year Ministry," she said. "Many people said we'd fail when we started our church in a drive-in theater. But look how successful that was! Many said we'd fail in 1970 when we made the commitment to televise our first worship service in Los Angeles and then New York...but look how far we've come!

"We've always believed in a big God ... a God Who is greater than any problem or challenge we could ever face. Our announcement today to file for the protection of Chapter 11 is just one more chapter in the book that He is continuing to write – and we know that God's plans are good – we have no doubt His chapter will be good!"

Rumors that the Crystal Cathedral, based in Garden Grove, was headed toward bankruptcy began last year as the church put up for sale a four-story office on its campus along with a 170-acre piece of land. It also laid off some staff and canceled for the first time in 27 years its "Glory of Easter" production this year. And in August, the family of the ministry's founder, Robert H. Schuller, announced that they would take a voluntary 50 percent pay cut for two months.

But church officials reported that they are bouncing back as the most recent financial reports "indicate the best cash flow the ministry has experienced in 10 years."

The Crystal Cathedral claims to have over 10,000 members and is internationally known for its televised program. The leadership of Crystal Cathedral was handed to Schuller's son, Robert A. Schuller, in 2006. The younger Schuller resigned a couple years later following disagreements over the direction of the church's popular "Hour of Power" television program. In 2009, the Crystal Cathedral announced that the eldest Schuller child, Coleman, would co-lead the church with her father. She now serves as the senior pastor.

Audrey Barrick
Christian Post Reporter