Religion News Summaries - Oct. 9, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion News Summaries - Oct. 9, 2009

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:

  • Starvation Adds Threat to Philippines Storm Survivors
  • Missouri Synod Leaders Declare Worship Wars 'Sinful'
  • Banned From Churches, Sex Offenders Go to Court
  • Conservative Bible Project Aims to Deliberalize the Bible

Starvation Adds Threat to Philippines Storm Survivors

Mission News Network reports that as typhoon victims recover from last week's storm, they must face a devastated harvest. According to Debbie Toribio with Food For The Hungry, the typhoon "devastated our agriculture. The province that was hit by the second typhoon is our rice granary. It's really bad because there will be a rice shortage." The group has mobilized partner churches to clean up the affected areas and aid injured victims, and is bringing in short-term supplies. Long-term needs will be harder to meet. "Most of the people are still needing food and other non-food items," Toribio said. "Some areas are still flooded up to the waist-level. Many people could not really work, and the spread of disease is starting."

Missouri Synod Leaders Declare Worship Wars 'Sinful'

Religion News Service reports that the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has warned congregations that disagreements over worship styles that developed into full-fledged worship wars are "sinful." The eight-page "Theses on Worship" was adopted unanimously in September by the denomination's Council of Presidents, which includes its leaders of its 35 regional districts. The document describes worship as a command of God but says the Scriptures and doctrinal statements permit "considerable freedom" in choosing the rites and ceremonies used for worship. "We recognize that different affinities in music and worship expressions exist among us," LCMS President Gerald B. Kieschnick wrote. "Yet we believe that our future with one another as brothers and sisters in Christ must be firmly grounded in the light of Christ's forgiveness, grace, and mercy."

Banned From Churches, Sex Offenders Go to Court

Fox News reports that a group of registered sex offenders have filed a federal suit to stop state government interference in their return to church. As men like James Nichols, 31, have discovered, laws in many states prevent registered offenders from places where children gather -- and in many states, that includes churches. "I believe wholeheartedly if it wasn't for God, I don't know where I'd be today," he said. "God's blessed me with learning how to live a better life." Nichols was arrested at his apartment after visiting a church in March. "This case is part of a much larger group of cases dealing with the expansive sex-offender laws," said Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University. Thirty-six have "zones" where offenders may not live or enter, all geared toward protection of minors.

Conservative Bible Project Aims to Deliberalize the Bible

New York Daily News reports that the Conservative Bible Project is out to save the Bible from centuries of liberal translation efforts. The Conservative Bible Project is leading the charge to deliberalize the Bible by using a Wikipedia-like Web site to correct what it calls "errors in conveying biblical meaning." The group says modern translations lack the "precision of the original language," which include "express free market principles" in the parables of Jesus. The re-translation effort will focus on not "dumbing down" the Bible; not emasculating the Bible by using "gender inclusive" language, and not downplaying the "very real existence of Hell or the Devil." The group does plan to "utilize powerful conservative terms," according to their Web site. One commentator on said, "It's like what you'd get if you crossed the Jesus Seminar with the College Republican chapter at a rural institution of Bible learnin'."