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FBA Does Not Endorse TNIV, Billy Graham in Cincinnati & more

FBA Does Not Endorse TNIV, Billy Graham in Cincinnati & more

In Today's Edition:
  • Forum Of Bible Agencies Does Not Endorse TNIV
  • Christianity Harmful to Animals, Says Animal Rights Activist
  • Cincinnati Sees New Spirit Of Unity During Billy Graham Visit
  • Papuan Christians Fear Onslaught

Forum Of Bible Agencies Does Not Endorse TNIV ... Contrary to a June 11 news release issued by the International Bible Society (IBS) and Zondervan, the Forum of Bible Agencies (FBA) recently announced it has neither approved nor disapproved Today's New International Version (TNIV) of the Bible. In addition, the FBA emphasized it has never endorsed the TNIV, as strongly implied in the release issued by Forum member IBS in conjunction with Zondervan. Other Forum members are aggrieved by the release because of the confusion it has generated among their constituents, as it is not the policy of the FBA to approve, endorse or support members' translations.

The Forum has adopted basic "principles and procedures for Bible translation." This set of guidelines for best practice translation is mutually agreed upon and accepted by all members. Forum Members include: The Bible League, Book of Hope International, Evangel Bible Translators, Hosanna Ministries, Institute of Bible Translation, International Bible Society, The Jesus Film Project, Lutheran Bible Translators, New Tribes Mission, Open Doors International, Pioneer Bible Translators, Scripture Gift Mission, Scripture Union International, SIL International, SIM International, Trans World Radio, United Bible Societies, World Bible Translation Center, and Wycliffe Bible Translators International.

The Forum of Bible Agencies is a collaborative venture and voluntary association of the principal international Bible translation and distribution agencies. The Forum meets annually for fellowship, mutual encouragement, and the sharing of news of each other's activities and plans. The group also formulates strategic thinking, develops cooperative projects and discusses matters of mutual interest.

Christianity Harmful to Animals, Says Animal Rights Activist ... From CNS News ... Princeton University Professor Peter Singer, dubbed the 'godfather' of animal rights, says Christianity is a "problem" for the animal rights movement. According to CNS, Singer, author of the book "Animal Liberation" and a professor of bioethics at Princeton University's Center for Human Values, criticized American Christianity for its fundamentalist strain that takes the Bible too "literally" and promotes "speciesism." He defined speciesism as the belief that being a member of a certain species "makes you superior to any other being that is not a member of that species."

In an address to the national Animal Rights 2002 conference in McLean, Va., on Saturday, Singer also reiterated his controversial position that a "severely disabled" infant may be killed up to 28 days after its birth if the parents deem the baby's life is not worth living. "I think that mainstream Christianity has been a problem for the animal movement," Singer told about 100 people attending a workshop entitled "When Is Killing OK? (Attacking animals? Unwanted dogs & cats? Unwanted or deformed fetuses?)"

He singled out the "more conservative mainstream fundamentalist views" that "want to make a huge gulf between humans and animals" as being the most harmful to the concept of animal liberation. Singer rejected what he termed "the standard view that most people hold" -- that "just being human makes life special."

Cincinnati Sees New Spirit Of Unity And Cooperation During Billy Graham Visit ... Individuals throughout Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky were anxious to hear what evangelist Billy Graham would have to say about the Gospel and the racial tensions the area has been dealing with for the last year and a half, and his messages delivered. Graham condemned any form of racism or bigotry as a sin and an obstacle to a relationship with Christ. "There's the problem of racism in many areas of the world, the nation, and in Cincinnati - bigotry of any kind is a sin in God's eyes," he said. "So is anti-Semitism. In Europe today it is raising its ugly head . . . and probably underneath in this country. We need to do everything we can to be friends and neighbors of the people who have been chosen by God to be His chosen people - the Jewish people."

"The Bible says we're to love each other," Graham shared with crowds averaging more than 47,000 gathered each evening, June 27-30, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. Altogether, 20,000 volunteers from 964 churches representing 67 different denominations worked together to bring the Mission to fruition, involving individuals from a variety of racial, cultural, and religious backgrounds. "It's been amazing to see the involvement and the community coming together through this process," said Mission Chair Anthony Munoz, former star offensive lineman with the Cincinnati Bengals. "And I believe Mr. Graham's message has brought healing to this community.

Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken appeared briefly at a mission reception, stating his belief that "what this city needs is Billy Graham." Ohio Governor Bob Taft agreed. "We are blessed that Billy Graham has decided to return to Cincinnati for his third mission here, and we are grateful to God for giving him strength," he said. "We hope this mission will strengthen our resolve to unite toward reconciliation of our families and our communities." Gov. Taft also stated his belief that "we are surely one nation under God."

Papuan Christians Fear Onslaught ... According to a report from Barnabas Fund News Service, Christians in the Indonesian province of Papua (Irian Jaya) are fearful that a violent campaign could be unleashed against them later this year as Laskar Jihad Islamic militants continue to flood into the province with the apparent collusion of the authorities. A recent report from Australia's Uniting Church details the concerns of local Christians, who make up over 70 percent of the province's population. A number of Laskar Jihad military training camps are now situated in the province and military instruction is taking place quite openly in the compounds of some mosques every afternoon.

BRS reports that local Christians believe the failure of police and army units to stop Laskar Jihad from expanding its military campaign into Papua implies complicity in the Jihad's activities. Four Laskar Jihad members carrying homemade guns were recently seized by Christians and handed over to the authorities. No action was taken against them. Others who have reported Laskar Jihad activities to the authorities say that they have been harassed, threatened with arrest themselves, and even received intimidating phone calls late at night.

Melanesian West Papua was annexed by Indonesia in 1963, since which time the majority-Christian Papuan people have struggled for their independence from repressive Indonesian rule. The arrival of the Laskar Jihad, which since May 2000 has been responsible for murdering, or forcibly converting and circumcising thousands of Christians in a genocidal holy war in Indonesia's Moluccas and Sulawesi regions, has prompted fears that the group could be used as a militia by the military to repress the local Melanesian Christian population.