N7N383 News

 

Christians and the American Election.

 

With election fever running high in the United States church goers are being urged to “Vote Christian” on November 2.  Evangelical websites such as Christians Unite are asking voters to think of pro-life and traditional family values when they go to the polls.

 

Despite presidential contender John Kerry coming from a Catholic background some Catholic Bishops are telling their parishioners to vote Bush due to Kerry’s pro-abortion and pro-homosexual views.  This has brought a strong reaction from Pax Christi, an international peace movement which has placed ads in Catholic and secular papers pointing out there are many other “Christian issues” to consider including the opposition to a war the pope has called unjust and unnecessary. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has stated, Choose the candidate whose policies will make the world a better place, who will work to avoid war unless just and necessary, and who will take care of all people.

 

Pornography a big threat to the church.

Internet pornography poses a huge threat to the church, this according to Care, a UK based charity that just held a London conference on the whole issue entitled, “In Search of Intimacy”.

While many people see pornography as a harmless activity the conference pointed out that the ease of access to internet pornography may lead many thousands of people away from their church and their families.

Steven Hall is a lecturer, trainer and counselor in family issues:

{Actuality} We are seeing pornography, and particularly internet, playing an increasingly large role in the break down of relationships. And I think one of the key problems that we see is that it tends to break down the intimacy in relationship.  

Pornography is not an issue easily talked about in church, but Steve believes Christians need to be more open.

{Actuality 3 awareness} I think awareness is one of the key things.  It’s a topic that’s not often talked about at church, its one of those hot topics. I know in my experience of talking with Pastors they are not perhaps aware of the importance of it.  Thinking that they have bigger problems. But once again, raising awareness is always the first step to improving things in these areas.

Care for the family executive director, Rob Parsons, made an emotional plea for purity pointing out that “Nothing you can do can make God love you more, and nothing you can do can make him love you less.  When you were his enemy, he loved you.

Nevertheless the fear is that pornography not only breaks up families, but also destroys faith. Steve again:

{Actuality2) The Christian knows that something they shouldn’t be doing, shouldn’t be involved in, so you get the whole guilt thing which again tends to drive the whole relationship with God thing further apart and again the relationship with God is intimacy and it’s the intimacy tends to suffer in these circumstances.

The conference pointed out that God has answers, and contrary to expectation they are basic and Biblical. 

And there’s more details on that story on our website.

Assemblies of God Minister at risk of death penalty.

 

AisaNews reports that an Iranian  minister of the Assemblies of God church has been arrested along with 86 other church leaders at a town 30km west of the capital Tehran. 

 

The arrests took place during the churches annual council but all were released within 3 days except for Hamid Pourmand, who has been held at an undisclosed location.  Hamid converted to Christianity several years ago and it is possible that he is being used as an example.

 

AsiaNews quotes Shiite cleric Hasan Mohmmadi of the Ministry of Education that, on average, 50 young Iranians a day secretly convert to Christianity.  There are about 360 thousand Christians in Iran out of a population of 65 Million.

 

Maranatha celebrates 35 Years.

Maranatha Volunteers International celebrated 35 years of church building projects at their recent convention in Michigan, USA.  During that time it has utilized the skills of over 55 thousand volunteers to build churches and educational institutions in 61 different countries.  Marantha is made up of Adventist Volunteers who give of their time, skills and money to support church building and outreach projects in some of the more difficult parts of the world. 

Dr Ron Watts was guest speaker at the convention.  As president of the Adventist Church in Southern Asia he particularly praised Maranatha for the projects it has worked on in India calling it a “revolution in the hearts of many who were once without hope.”

 

Religious leaders seek to boost immunisation rates in Africa.

 

African Religious and traditional leaders met along with media representatives from across the continent in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last week to seek ways of using their unique influence to boost immunization rates and support child survival efforts.

 

UNICEF points out that 42% of child deaths world-wide take place in sub-Saharan Africa and that the rate has got worse in recent years. 

 

Noting that while many communities may lack schools or health care facilities, most have a place of worship, UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy stated, "We believe that without the engagement of people with direct and immediate community influence, even the best health programmes will not reach all the children who need them. The active participation of religious and traditional groups is crucial to the success of any child survival effort.”

In addition, UNICEF and Religions for Peace believe that the media should help people make informed decisions, and that they have an irreplaceable role to play in creating demand for life-saving health care for children.

World Health Organization commends Seventh-day Adventist Church.

At the same time Adventist News Network reports that Religious denominations in Africa are being told to emulate Seventh-day Adventist churches as models "of health and healing and treatment" for HIV/AIDS patients.

The World Health Organization (WHO), an agency of the United Nations, made special mention last week of Adventist churches, whose emphasis on healthy living has been a hallmark of its message since its earliest days.

Anglican bishop Rev. Canon Ted Karpf  stated that, "As a special recognition of the work of the Adventist communities, the WHO committee also adopted the idea that every church should be a place of health and healing and treatment”  He went on to say that, "This level of sharing and commitment will indeed make the world a healthier place and give us the opportunity to bring God's people into a healthier and more responsive relationship."

VOAR 75th anniversary.

 

This month sees the start of celebrations for VOAR, Canada’s largest Christian Radio Station and one of the oldest.  Sherry Griffin is the Station Manager and talked to us on the phone from the station in Mt Pearl, Newfoundland:

 

{Actuality}  We’ve been around, basically, almost at the beginning of radio.  VOAR came into being as a vision of an Adventist pastor, Pastor Harold Williams back in 1928 and he actually started the station in a back room of his home, way back in 1928.  And then in 1930 we had our official opening.  We started of as 8BSL which meant the Bible Study League, 1930 we had our official opening.

 

As the second oldest Religious Station in North America VOAR is designated as a heritage station and is one of only three stations permitted to keep the VO call sign.

 

Over the past two years the station has expanded to be heard right across Canada on Bell ExpressVu channel 950 with a rich mixture of Christian Programmes and music.

 

Jesus “Top of the Pops” for Blacks.

 

And Finally,

 

Jesus is number 1 in the list of the top 100 black icons, this according to the “New Nation” black newspaper.  Martin Luther King and Malcolm X come in second and third place.  The paper characterises them as figures of substance and longevity.  Interestingly, along with some academics opinion of Jesus likely appearance, the paper depicts him as black.

 

Justin Onyeka, New Nations deputy editor, stated that many of his papers readers would think of Jesus as having been black.  “In the Bible he is described as being dark skinned.  Throughout history we have been presented with him having blond hair and blue eyes, but that idea is not commonly believed.”

 

The list comes as the climax to the celebration in the UK of Black History Month.

 

For Network 7 News, I’m . . . .