Religion Today Summaries, February 2, 2004

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries, February 2, 2004

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

  • Gunmen Open Fire at Pakistani Church Service-None Injured
  • Bible Club Fights for First Amendment Rights at Penn Public School 
  •  Renowned Bible Teacher Fuchsia Pickett Dies
  • Minister Calls for Christians to ‘Reclaim America’

Gunmen Open Fire at Pakistani Church Service-None Injured
Voice of the Martyrs News

At least three men entered St. Paul's Church (in Patoki, Pakistan) firing semi automatic weapons. No one was injured and it was apparently an attempt to intimidate rather than injure or kill. However, if this crime is not dealt with harshly there are fears that the problem will grow worse. The alleged attackers (whose names are known) have repeatedly harassed the pastor and parishioners. This latest attack happened after Church officials asked the men to stop harassing the Church. The authorities are often slow to help the minority Christian community and are attempting to sweep this case under the rug.

Bible Club Fights for First Amendment Rights at Penn Public School
Jim Brown, Agape Press

A Pennsylvania public school district is under fire for censoring the free speech of Christian students. At issue is a current Warwick School District policy that bars members of a student Bible Club from placing event posters on school bulletin boards. The district contends that allowing the group to post material such as advertisements for "See You At the Pole" and "True Love Waits" events would violate the so-called "separation of Church and State." However, attorney Leonard Brown with the Lancaster firm of Clymer and Musser believes the school district has a faulty interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. He says school officials singled the group out and told them they could not post their material because of its religious content. "In that situation it certainly infringes on their rights, specifically the right to free exercise of religion and free speech," Brown says. The attorney says the school district is on shaky legal ground. Brown is calling on the district to adopt poster and literature distribution policies that will accommodate all students and campus groups. The district has assured him that all posters will be reviewed. Also, Brown notes that the school has agreed to allow literature to be distributed while they are engaging in this discussion. Diane Gramley, president of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania feels it is essential for believing public school students and their parents to understand their rights under U.S. law. "Christians do not have to drop their constitutionally protected free speech at the schoolhouse door," she says.

Renowned Bible Teacher Fuchsia Pickett Dies
Charisma News Service

Fuchsia Pickett, renowned Bible teacher and author and a spiritual mother in the charismatic movement, died in her Tennessee home early Friday morning after her health started to fail recently. Pickett, whose 50-plus years of ministry impacted many Christian leaders, including Benny Hinn and Judson Cornwall, was 85. Pickett's friends and her pastor say she was recovering from pneumonia, but that she died of natural causes. Although she once traveled extensively, preaching, writing and teaching, Pickett's deteriorating health had prevented her from maintaining a rigorous speaking schedule. Judy Wirt, administrator of Fuchsia Pickett Ministries for the last three years, said that Pickett was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia in October. Respected Bible teacher and author Judson Cornwall, a close friend of Pickett, said that Pickett will be "greatly missed by Christians all over the world." "Her insight into the scriptures was phenomenal," says Cornwall.  Pickett did not fit the mold of a charismatic teacher. She was reared in a Methodist family, educated at John Wesley College, an ordained Methodist minister for seventeen years, and dramatically healed of Hodgkin's disease and filled with the Spirit in 1959 in a Pentecostal Holiness church. She stepped into the pulpit at a time when women's callings were typically confined to the nursery, and she taught on the importance of a crucified life when self-promotion and prosperity were the hallmarks of prominent ministries. Her teaching was a unique marriage of prophetic revelation and verse-by-verse exposition.

Minister Calls for Christians to ‘Reclaim America’
Agape Press

The founder of the Center for Reclaiming America (http://www.reclaimamerica.org ) says it's time for concerned Christians to demand that Congress put a stop to what many say is a runaway judiciary. Dr. D. James Kennedy says Congress has the power to remove federal judges who refuse to apply the law correctly and instead interpret law to suit their own liberal interests. "All manner of radical innovations are coming to pass in America; they're brought about by the judiciary because the liberals and radicals that are behind them know that they could never get them done if they went through the legislative process because the people of America overwhelmingly don't want them," the conservative minister says. Kennedy is spearheading a petition drive asking Congress to rein in out-of-control federal judges.

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