Religion Today Summaries - September 21, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - September 21, 2005

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

  • “See You at the Pole” Day Around the World

  • Religious Leaders Urge Congress to Protect the Food Stamp Program from Budget Cuts

  • Evangelist Says Everyday Illustrations Best Communicate the Gospel 

  • Bible Can be Taught in Public Schools from Literary and Historical Viewpoint

“See You at the Pole” Day Around The World
Agape Press

Today is "See You at the Pole" day at schools across America and around the world.  More than two million teens in all 50 states and numerous foreign countries are expected to participate in this year's event, the theme of which is "PRAY: call 2 me" -- based on the scripture Jeremiah 33:3.  The national organization, which provides promotional material and guidance for groups planning a SYATP event, also provides information on students' rights to gather on school grounds for the sole purpose of praying for their nation, their campuses, and their families.  The group encourages SYATP participants to be prepared for possible opposition from school officials, and to know their rights, plan their response, and -- above all -- remember they are representing Christ.  Since its inception in 1990, SYATP has occurred every third Wednesday in September.  But beginning next year, the event will be moved to every fourth Wednesday of that month to allow students more time to organize their observance after their school year begins.

Religious Leaders Urge Congress to Protect the Food Stamp Program from Budget Cuts
Religion News Service

Every member of Congress will receive a letter today from a prominent group of Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders asking representatives to protect the Food Stamp Program from funding cuts during the federal budget reconciliation process. This letter is the next step in the anti-hunger efforts of leaders who came together on June 6, 2005, for the first Interfaith Convocation on Hunger at the National Cathedral, representing more than 100 million people of faith, to call on Congress and the President to make a new national commitment to fight hunger. This diverse group of signers includes His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Catholic Archbishop of Washington D.C.; Commissioner W. Todd Bassett, National Commander, The Salvation Army, United States; Rev. Mark S. Hanson, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Rt. Rev. Philip R. Cousin, Sr., Senior Bishop, African Methodist Episcopal Church. “It is unthinkable that in a time when hunger and poverty are on the rise in the United States, Congress is considering trying to balance the budget on the backs of hungry and poor people,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “Hurricane Katrina exposed poverty anew to our nation and highlighted the importance of supporting safety-net programs for those in need. The religious leaders sending this letter to Congress are imploring our representatives to listen to the will of the American people and protect the food stamp program.”

Evangelist Says Everyday Illustrations Best Communicate the Gospel
David Sanford, Assist News Service

Many Christians want to be able to share their faith effectively, but most don’t know where to start. How do you bring up Jesus Christ in an everyday conversation? How do you explain biblical truths to someone who doesn’t know Christ yet? “All Christians have some idea of the basic beliefs of Christianity. We know that Jesus Christ is God’s Son, who died on the cross, was buried, and rose on the third day to pay for our sins,” says Mike Silva, an internationally recognized evangelist. “We know the message, but how do we share it?” For years, Silva has been presenting the gospel message in countries all over the world, using everyday objects to explain many of the key ideas of Christianity. Silva has found more than 100 ways to simply and easily communicate biblical truths through everyday illustrations, and he has published three new downloads on his website . “These new illustrations are a resource to help you picture God’s offer of salvation when you’re talking with others.” Silva encourages Web site visitors to send his new downloads via e-mail to family and friends. Each of the “Would You Like Fries with That?” downloads features artwork by Matt Williames, best known for his work on some of Hollywood’s most successful new animated feature films.

Bible Can be Taught in Public Schools from Literary and Historical Viewpoint
Agape Press

The National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools brought its revised curriculum to Washington, DC, in an effort to dispel false charges against its use. Council attorney Mike Johnson told a recent press conference just why it is important to have a Bible curriculum taught in the public schools. "The first public education laws in America actually made Bible study compulsory," he points out. "There was a reason for that: the founders saw biblical values as the basis of our republic and the foundation of public education." Johnson asserts that the Bible can be taught in public schools from a literary and historical viewpoint, contrary to what secular opponents of such courses lead people to believe.