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Religion Today Summaries - Apr. 23, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Apr. 23, 2007

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

  • VT Minister Asks for Continued Prayer
  • Michigan Student Suspended for Wearing 'I'm Straight' Sticker
  • Vatican Commission: Limbo Reflects 'Restrictive View of Salvation'
  • Dr. Lois Evans Comments on Winkler Verdict

VT Minister Asks for Continued Prayer

Three days after the shootings at Virginia Tech, a leader at the Baptist Collegiate Ministry on campus issued a call for continued prayer for those affected by the tragedy, Baptist Press reports. "The mood is very solemn on campus. It's quieter," Mark Appleton, associate BCM director at Virginia Tech and a Mission Service Corps missionary with the North American Mission Board, said. "So many people have left just to get away from here, so it's just a quieter atmosphere besides all the media folks." Appleton asked for intensified prayer efforts even as the concern for the victims starts to subside. "People hear that all the time in a situation like this, but it's a real and absolute need," he said. "This is going to be a long-term thing. People are getting over the initial shock, but there's some stuff that's going to be dealt with for a long time here. "Students are going to have to start going back to class, and that's going to feel a lot different."

Michigan Student Suspended for Wearing 'I'm Straight' Sticker

According to OneNewsNow.com, a Christian student has been punished by his Michigan high school for demonstrating opposition to a school event celebrating the homosexual lifestyle. On the "National Day of Silence" at Oakridge High, duct tape was passed out for students to wear over their lips as a way to show solidarity with homosexual students who are purportedly suffering in silence. Pastor John Gardner says his 15-year-old son David was suspended for a day by Oakridge because he wrote "I'm straight" on a piece of duct tape and attached it to his shirt. When asked to remove it, "David [asked] why do the rest of the kids in the class get to wear theirs and I can't wear something about what I believe?" David was asked to leave class when he refused to remove the sticker. Gardner says every week he preaches that the day is coming when opposition to homosexuality will be banned, but he never imagined it would happen in his small Michigan town.

Vatican Commission: Limbo Reflects 'Restrictive View of Salvation'

After several years of study, the Vatican's International Theological Commission said there are good reasons to hope that babies who die without being baptized go to heaven, Catholic News Service reports. In a document published April 20, the commission said the traditional concept of limbo -- as a place where unbaptized infants spend eternity but without communion with God -- seemed to reflect an "unduly restrictive view of salvation." The church continues to teach that, because of original sin, baptism is the ordinary way of salvation for all people and urges parents to baptize infants, the document said. But there is greater theological awareness today that God is merciful and "wants all human beings to be saved," it said.

Dr. Lois Evans Comments on Winkler Verdict

According to a release from A. Larry Ross Communications, Dr. Lois Evans, founder of the Pastors' Wives Ministry, issued the following statement after Mary Winkler was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter late Thursday afternoon: "The system has ruled, but this tragedy is far from over for the Winkler family. I've never met Mary Winkler, and I don't know exactly what happened in the privacy of her home. But I've talked with hundreds of isolated and lonely women who have struggled with the burdens of being a senior pastor's wife. It's safe to say that her family needed help. It saddens me that they didn't have anyone to turn to for the help they needed." Dr. Lois Evans is the wife of Senior Pastor Dr. Tony Evans of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas. She will host the eighth annual First Lady Conference for senior pastors' wives June 7-9 in Dallas. For more information about her ministry, visit www.loisevans.org.