Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Episcopal Diocese Rejects Openly Homosexual Candidate for Bishop
- Pope Meets with Muslim Envoys to Defuse Anger
- 'Counterfeit' Label Placed on Prosperity Gospel Message
- See You at the Pole 2006: Be Still and Know
Episcopal Diocese Rejects Openly Homosexual Candidate for Bishop
Avoiding further controversy in the worldwide Anglican family, the Episcopal Diocese of Newark (New Jersey) has refused to elect an openly homosexual candidate for bishop, AgapePress reports. Rev. Mark Beckwith was elected bishop on the third ballot, taking more than half of the 477 ballots cast by clergy and lay representatives. Canon Michael Barlowe, an openly homosexual priest from California, got only one vote in the final round. Even in the first round, he only had 40 votes. Barlowe says Beckwith will make a good bishop, but adds that he believes God is calling homosexual men and women to be bishops and priests.
Pope Meets with Muslim Envoys to Defuse Anger
The Christian Post reports Pope Benedict XVI told Muslim diplomats Monday that Christians and Muslims must work together to guard against intolerance and violence. The Pope was seeking to soothe anger over his recent remarks about Islam. The pontiff also quoted from his predecessor, John Paul II, who had close relations with the Muslim world, calling for "reciprocity in all fields," including religious freedom. Benedict spoke in French to diplomats from 21 countries and the Arab League in his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo near Rome. He did not dwell on his own previously-contested remarks. Benedict's five-minute speech on Monday touched on religion and violence only briefly. He said that Christians and Muslims "must learn to work together... to guard against all forms of intolerance and to oppose all manifestations of violence."
'Counterfeit' Label Placed on Prosperity Gospel Message
A noted Christian author and teacher says the "prosperity" gospel is producing self-centered church members, AgapePress reports. A recent cover article in TIME Magazine focused on the growing popularity of the gospel message that claims God wants all Christians to be healthy and wealthy. But Ron Carlson, founder of Christian Ministries International, believes the "prosperity" message is not the true gospel. Carlson contends that a gospel that cannot be preached to every individual on the planet is a "counterfeit" gospel. "I turn on television and I see some of these preachers ... [who say] that God wants you healthy, wealthy, and prosperous," he says. "I often wonder why is it they never go to the Cambodian border or the Gulag or China and tell those Christians, 'Don't you know you're the King's kid? Don't you know God wants you healthy, wealthy, and prosperous?'" Carlson is concerned that such teaching reduces God to a servant's role. Carlson made his comments during a recent interview with Worldview Weekend creator Brannon Howse.
See You at the Pole 2006: Be Still and Know
Intent on making their lives count, millions of teenagers will pause to listen to God at See You at the Pole™ (SYATP) this Wednesday. “Be STILL and KNOW that I am GOD” is the theme for SYATP this year. The “Be STILL” theme is taken from Psalm 46:10, where God says, “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations.” In context, the admonition was God’s recommended response to the chaos of natural disaster and wartime conflict, two conditions that are as familiar to modern man as to the ancients. Americans were reeling from the impact of Hurricane Katrina at the time of last year’s SYATP. And in Quezon City in the Philippines, more than 1,200 gathered solemnly at Jubilee Christian Academy, praying for the world in spite of typhoon-driven weather. SYATP is a student-initiated and student-led movement that started in Burleson, Texas, in 1990. It originated with just one youth group. SYATP brings students to their school flagpoles to intercede for their leaders, schools, and families, asking God to bring moral and spiritual awakening to their campuses and countries. In 2005, more than 2 million teenagers met for See You at the Pole in all 50 states.