Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- UK: Christian Workers Have No Right to Wear a Cross
- 'New' Ten Commandments Rewritten by Popular Pastor Draw Criticism
- Study: Kids of Lesbians More Likely to Be Gay
- India Militants Attack Prayer Meeting, Pastors
UK: Christian Workers Have No Right to Wear a Cross
As two British Christian women are defending before the European Court of Human Rights their right to wear a cross to work, British officials are preparing to make the case against them, CBN News reports. According to the London Telegraph, officials plan to argue that since wearing a cross is not a "requirement" of Christianity, employers can prevent workers from doing so -- and even fire them for it. The case has drawn criticism from many Christians, who argue that people of other religions, such as Sikhs and Muslims, have been given special protections for their clothing and symbols. Lord Carey, the former archbishop of Canterbury, said it was just another example of Christianity being marginalized in the public square. "The reasoning is based on a wholly inappropriate judgment of matters of theology and worship about which [the courts] can claim no expertise," he said.
'New' Ten Commandments Rewritten by Popular Pastor Draw Criticism
A DVD teaching series by a popular British pastor featuring a "revamped and modern" re-wording of the Ten Commandments is reportedly being used by 600 churches around the world, but some have expressed concern about it, arguing that "tampering" with Scripture takes away from God's word, the Christian Post reports. The "Just10 for Churches" series by Canon J.John changes, for example, "You shall not steal" to "Prosper with a clear conscience" and "You shall not commit adultery" to "Affair-proof your marriage." As for "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God," J.John rewrites it as "Take God seriously." The series has been praised by religious leaders worldwide, and pastors using it in their churches say it has helped people see the Commandments in a "new and fresh way," but many others insist the "modern" take on the Commandments is detracting from God's word. "I have shared the Gospel with [many] people on the streets of the UK using the Ten Commandments and never once [had] to simplify them," said Nigel Williams, one of J.John's Facebook followers. The Bible is clear about "taking away from or adding to God's word," Williams added. "Why do you need to do [so] now (reinvent the wheel, so to speak), when God's word is as relevant now as it has always been through history?"
Study: Kids of Lesbians More Likely to Be Gay
According to a recent study published in the Archive of Sexual Behavior, 64 percent of children raised in lesbian households consider having homosexual relationships, compared to 17 percent raised by heterosexual parents, Baptist Press reports. Girls raised by lesbian mothers are seven times more likely to consider a same-sex encounter and twice as likely to identify as lesbian or bisexual than girls raised by heterosexual parents. "We already know that girls who grow up without fathers are more likely to be sexually adventurous, and it has a lot to do with being fatherless," says Glenn T. Stanton of Focus on the Family. "Two lesbians ... can't give a girl the kind of positive attention and other-gendered affirmation she needs from a dad." While girls raised by lesbians tend to be more sexually experimental, boys raised by lesbians, on the other hand, tend to be more sexually reticent. "Boys without male role models tend to be either overly super-macho, trying to see how many girls they can get, or wallflowers," Stanton said. "It's not that they don't want to go in the water -- they're not inclined to go anywhere near the water. ... They haven't developed emotionally and psychologically in the same ways."
India Militants Attack Prayer Meeting, Pastors
Suspected Hindu militants in India's southwestern state of Karnataka broke up a Christian prayer meeting and forced two women leading the gathering to stop evangelizing, International Christian Concern reports. Local Christians said as many as 20 Hindu "radicals" raided the March 3 prayer meeting, insulted worshippers and ordered the two women leading the service -- both converts from Hinduism -- to stop the prayers immediately. The women, Parimala and Padmavathi, also lead a 60-member congregation that often gathers for prayer services at a rented home, and they have recently been distributing evangelical publications to local residents. The Hindu militants filed a police complaint against the women on charges of "forceful conversion" and pressured them to write down that they would stop prayer meetings and no longer conduct evangelical activities. The women were briefly held at the police station before the advocacy group Global Council of Indian Christians successfully intervened for their release.
Publication date: March 13, 2012