Religion Today Summaries - May 18, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - May 18, 2007

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

  • OBI Philippines Awarded NGO of the Year
  • Falwell's Funeral Set for May 22
  • Church's Homeless Ministry Back after Permit Delayed
  • Man-to-Monkey Billboards Used to Challenge Evolution


OBI Philippines Awarded NGO of the Year

Operation Blessing Philippines was cited as the 2006 Non-Governmental Organization of the Year by the 8th Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The award was given in recognition of OBI's efforts in promoting peace and helping to rebuild the nation in impoverished provinces, specifically the Samar province. "In the Philippines, this award is the equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize," said OBI President Bill Horan. OBI Philippines has conducted large-scale humanitarian outreaches across Samar throughout 2006, providing healthcare to the residents, emergency aid to disaster victims, livelihood assistance to families and feeding and education to children. Doctors, nurses, dentists, other medical staff as well as volunteers conducted six week-long medical missions during the year, extending free medical and dental checkups, minor surgeries, optical examination and giving away medicine and vitamins to more than 26,000 residents in 20 villages across Samar.

Falwell's Funeral Set for May 22

Baptist Press reports that Jerry Falwell's funeral will be Tuesday, May 22, at 1 p.m. at Thomas Road Baptist Church, the congregation he founded in Lynchburg, Va., officials announced May 15. Falwell, a founder of the modern conservative Christian movement, will lie in repose in the Arthur S. Demoss Learning Center’s Grand Lobby at Liberty University for public viewing from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. May 17 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 18. A second viewing at Thomas Road will be from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 20 and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 21, according to a news release from Ron Godwin, executive vice president of the university. Burial will be private. Instead of flowers, the Falwell family requests that memorials be made to the Founders Scholarship Fund at Liberty University "to further Dr. Falwell's vision of spreading the gospel around the world." The Associated Press reported that Falwell seemed spiritually prepared for his death, mentioning the possibility just two weeks earlier from the pulpit of Thomas Road. Falwell apparently told the church that a man is indestructible until he has finished God's work, and he said he was at peace about death.
 
Church's Homeless Ministry Back after Permit Delayed

OneNewsNow.com reports that a suburban Chicago ministry that provides food, counseling and direction for the homeless is operating inside its home church again after being forced out last year by city officials who said there were code violations inside the building. Municipal leaders created other delays in restoring operations, according to the law firm representing the ministry. HELPS (Hope, Encouragement, Love, Prayer and Salvation) had to operate out of mobile locations and at other churches for over six months. John Mauck of Alliance Defense Fund says after the alleged violations were corrected and the permit approved by a zoning board, the Elgin City Council refused to cast a vote to affirm the zoning commissioners' decision. "They took it off the agenda -- it should have been approved in late November or December -- and wouldn't say why, and wouldn't say if they were going to vote on it. They just stonewalled."

Man-to-Monkey Billboards Used to Challenge Evolution

Billboards that show a man turning into a monkey and an online game entitled "Let's See How Evolution Works" are two elements of a new national campaign launched by a Christian group to call attention to the "lack of proof" for the theory of evolution, CNSNews.com reports. Billboards at six locations in Oregon and Georgia ask "Are They Making a Monkey Out of You?" and additional signs are planned for Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri, according to Julie Haberle, founder of the Who Is Your Creator non-profit organization. The billboards direct viewers to the group's website, which presents a step-by-step summary of evolution and arguments against the theory. Haberle told Cybercast News Service that the billboards were designed to be "a parody of evolution" since many scientists "now say that the process is not just going forward, it's also going backward." "It's kind of funny because the theory of evolution is based on chance mutations and natural selection," she said. As a result, "the process can go either way." Also this week, the site's forum began the "Let's See How Evolution Works" game, in which the hypothetical stages of evolutionary transitions used as proof for the theory are being presented and critiqued. "If evolution is true, it still must be occurring around us as random mutations would continue to occur," the first posting stated. "So, aside from simple speciation, where are all the living transitional forms that are evolving into other forms?"

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