Religion Today Summaries - November 1, 2005

Religion Today Summaries - November 1, 2005


ASSIST News Service

WACO, TEXAS (ANS) -- A Baptist pastor has died after being electrocuted while performing a baptism at his church in Waco, Texas.


The accident happened on Sunday, October 3, when Kyle Lake, pastor of University Baptist Church and the author of two recent books, was electrocuted during a Sunday morning baptismal service.

Lake, 33, was partially submerged while performing the Sunday morning baptism to a crowd of over 800. He was electrocuted after grabbing a microphone so the crowd could hear him speak. The woman he was baptizing was not injured.

Lake was the pastor for the last seven years at UBC and is the author of two books, Understanding God's Will and the new release Understanding Prayer.

”We're grateful to have had the opportunity to partner with Kyle on two phenomenal books, “Cameron Strang, president of Relevant Media Group said. “It's reassuring to know that the printed word is permanent, and many, many lives will still be impacted by his life and message through these works. Our prayers go out to his family and church.”

Lake is survived by his wife and three young children. The family would like donations in lieu of flowers to be sent to University Baptist Church, the church where Kyle was pastor and deeply loved. The address is 1701 Dutton Avenue, Waco, TX 76706


School Permits 'Do-Over' After Previously Prohibiting Student Prayer Rally


By Jim Brown
October 28, 2005


(AgapePress) - Christian students at Brackman Middle School in Barnegat, New Jersey, initially barred from holding a "See You at the Pole" (SYATP) prayer rally, have been permitted to hold a "do-over" prayer event.


Last month, administrators told three students they were "mixing church and state" by praying before school in front of the campus flagpole. The students were then ordered to stop praying and move around the corner so other students would not see them praying.


Attorney Jeremy Tedesco with the Alliance Defense Fund threatened to file a federal lawsuit against the school, at which point school officials allowed the students to go ahead with their "do over" gathering. The student-led assembly ended up garnering more attention than it would have had the students been allowed to proceed with their original plans.


Around 20 students showed up at the make-up event. Community members, parents, apparently the mayor of the town, and a local radio station all came in support of the kids' right to pray. The pro-family attorney feels school officials should be applauded for doing the right thing. SYATP is not necessarily a "household word" in every schoolhouse, but Tedesco notes that Brackman Middle School "certainly is aware of it now.”





October 31, 2005


(The Barnabas Fund) -- On Saturday, October 29, a group of Christian school girls in Indonesia was attacked, apparently by Islamic militants. Three were beheaded and a fourth was severely wounded.


The girls were making their way to their Christian school through a cocoa plantation, a mile from the village of Sayo, when a group of men attacked them with machetes. Half an hour later the three decapitated bodies were discovered. Later in the morning one head was found outside a church - leading many to suspect a religious motive to the murders - and the other two heads were found near a police station five miles from Poso.


The murdered girls were Theresia Murangke (14), Ida Lambuaga (15) and Alfina Yarni Sambue (15). Another girl, Noviana Malewa (14) was able to escape the attack, despite receiving severe machete wounds to her face. She is under guard in Poso General Hospital.


The Poso area has been the scene of much anti-Christian violence since 1998. Many Christian villages have been systematically burned. A government-brokered agreement in December 2001 eventually led to a decrease in violence, but it has never ceased, with murders of those in Christian leadership positions still common.


Pastor takes open approach toward sexuality

TorontoGlobe and Mail

October 28, 2005

WINNIPEG, Ontario - The black metallic billboard blaring “Sex: Live Chat Room” makes for an unconventional advertisement for a church.


New Beginnings, a nondenominational Protestant church on the southern edge of Winnipeg, is unapologetic about the shock tactics they’re using to entice people through the door. Pastor Ivor Grant, 42, said, "Our aim is to connect with people who would not darken the doors of a church. God has an interest in our sexuality. God invented it. Clearly he had an understanding of what could give us pleasure."


No other church in Canada, Grant believes, has properly addressed sex and the Bible. He’s currently offering an evening class he describes as "blunt and explicit,” adding that ‘’we live in a sex-obsessed society. For the church not to talk about it seems to make us irrelevant."


Despite his novel approach, Grant holds to traditional beliefs that sex before marriage and abortion are outside God’s intent. He also believes the Roman Catholic Church was misguided when it forbade priests from having sexual relations or marrying.


Grant said his strategy is working; the word of God is getting through to people who wouldn’t otherwise be interested. Eight newcomers, all women, have joined his congregation since the sex-talk began.