Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 17, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 17, 2007

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

  • Churches Recruiting Clergy for Hispanics
  • Husband of 'Battered' Televangelist Will Not Fight Divorce
  • Turkey: Judge Pressured to Withdraw from Christians' Trial
  • Golf, Hunting Provide Paths for the Gospel

Churches Recruiting Clergy for Hispanics

According to an Associated Press report, "churches across the nation are actively pursuing clergy from Honduras to Argentina to meet the demands of an ever-growing number of Hispanic immigrant parishioners. Some Roman Catholic dioceses send recruiters to Latin America to bring priests or seminarians to the United States. The Episcopal Church, through its Central and South American Province, has a direct connection to Latin Americans who want to serve here. And Southern Baptist churches rely on word of mouth to find Latin American ministers. The reasons go beyond merely finding someone to conduct Spanish-language services. Churches also want to connect with congregants on a cultural level, and Latin American clergy can tailor services to immigrants from specific countries."

Husband of 'Battered' Televangelist Will Not Fight Divorce

The Christian Post reports that the Rev. Thomas Weeks, who stands accused of assaulting his wife, renowned televangelist Juanita Bynum, will not contest her petition for divorce. According to a statement released by Weeks' attorneys, Weeks "has come to the personal resolve, that if Juanita is insistent on a divorce, he will not stand in the way." Bynum filed a petition for divorce Monday, charging Weeks of "cruel treatment." She has accused Weeks of choking, pushing and stomping her in a hotel parking lot last month after the couple had met to try to reconcile.

Turkey: Judge Pressured to Withdraw from Christians' Trial

A Turkish judge announced his withdrawal this week from the case of two Christians charged with “insulting Turkishness.” Judge Neset Eren said at a hearing on Wednesday September 12 that he was quitting to “distance the court’s decision from any form of indecision or doubt.” Eren’s announcement came after the plaintiffs’ ultranationalist lawyer submitted a written request that he resign; Kemal Kerincsiz accused Eren of failing to deal impartially with the case, Compass Direct News reports. Eren had been expected to deliver a ruling at the hearing on Wednesday. Hakan Tastan and Turan Topal have been charged with insulting Turkish identity, but at a previous hearing, State Prosecutor Ahmet Demirhuyuk said there was “not a single piece of credible evidence” against the two converts from Islam. A new state prosecutor, Adnan Ozcan, replaced Demirhuyuk at Wednesday’s hearing. “If [Tastan and Topal] had been acquitted, there would have been a large protest,” said the Christians’ lawyer, Gursel Meric.

Golf Provides Path for the Gospel

According to Baptist Press, golf pro Scott Lehman discovered a principle that many church men's ministries are discovering as well: Where there is a common interest in an activity, there is an inroad to a man's heart. About 10 years ago, Lehman for the first time in his life entered a Christian bookstore seeking help for his then-failing marriage. He soon noticed a book with a golf theme -- the devotional "In His Grip" by Jim Sheard and Wally Armstrong. He picked it up and began reading it. "In golf, the most important key fundamental is the grip and how your hands are placed on the club," Lehman told BP. "The book started to talk about how the key fundamental in life is living a lifestyle in His grip. God began to open my heart to the message." Now Lehman's greatest passion is to reach other golfers through In His Grip Golf Association (, a ministry he founded that uses the golf course as a mission field and golf as an evangelistic tool. In 2006 Lehman focused full time on developing the ministry.