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Religion Today Summaries - April 18, 2012

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - April 18, 2012

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.

In today's edition:

  • New English Bible Translation Omits 'Jesus Christ,' 'Apostle'
  • World Silent as Saudi Arabia Works to 'Destroy' All Churches
  • Atheists Demand Camp Pendleton Marines Remove Crosses
  • Komen Still Giving to Planned Parenthood


New English Bible Translation Omits 'Jesus Christ,' 'Apostle'

A new English translation of the Bible does not contain the name "Jesus Christ" or the word "angel," and prefers the word "emissary" over "apostle," the Christian Post reportsThe Voice, which replaces "Jesus Christ" with terms such as "Jesus the Anointed One," was released by Thomas Nelson Publishing last month. Frank Couch, Thomas Nelson's lead editor for the project, said the purpose of The Voice was to make the Bible easier to understand for modern audiences. "The Voice has not claimed to be more accurate than any other translation, rather, it is more easily understood than any other translation," he said. "Scripture is presented not as an academic document, but as an engaging story." The name comes from the translation's rendering of the Greek word logos in John 1:1 -- the typical English Bible translates logos to "Word," but here it is translated "Voice." The first verse of John, which in the New King James Version reads "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God," is translated in The Voice as "Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking. The Voice was and is God." Despite the approval of Thomas Nelson, The Voice has raised controversy among Christians. The apologetics blog "Extreme Theology," for example, said The Voice "blatantly mangles and distorts God's Word in order to support a peculiar and aberrant theological agenda."

World Silent as Saudi Arabia Works to 'Destroy' All Churches

As Saudi Arabia's highest Islamic authority has recently called for the destruction of all the churches on the Arabian Peninsula, religious rights groups are wondering why there hasn't been a global outcry over the persecution, CBN News reports. Cliff May, president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, wrote in a recent Townhall.com column: "Imagine if Pat Robertson called for the demolition of all the mosques in America. It would be front-page news. It would be on every network and cable news program. There would be a demand for Christians to denounce him, and denounce him they would -- in the harshest terms. The president of the United States and other world leaders would weigh in too. Rightly so. So why is it that when ... the Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia declares that it is 'necessary to destroy all the churches in the Arabian Peninsula,' the major media do not see this as even worth reporting?" May added that he believed U.S. leaders and others had kept quiet on the issue to avoid promoting the notion of "Islamophobia," but warned that "the world cannot stay silent much longer."

Atheists Demand Camp Pendleton Marines Remove Crosses

The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers has threatened to file a lawsuit and possibly hold protests outside the gates of California's Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base if two 13-foot crosses planted atop a remote hill in the middle of the base are not taken down, Fox News reports. Originally erected in 2003 by seven Marines grieving over lives lost in the war on terror, the site of the crosses has become "a place for the Marines to grieve and to grow, to let go of their burdens of what they had in their soul, so they can go back down that hill and back into battle and put their own lives on the line," according to Marine widow Karen Mendoza. Until last fall, when a newspaper report detailed the location and posted a picture of the crosses, "these two memorials [had] been sitting out here largely unknown outside of a very small group of Marines and family here at Camp Pendleton," said retired Marine Colonel Nick Marano. As the site of the crosses became more known, several groups filed complaints with the Marines, arguing it was a violation of separation of church and state and that the crosses should be moved to private land and replaced with flags or other symbols. Amid the threats from the MAAF and their supporters, many Marines continue to fight to protect the crosses; the commandant of the Marines is expected to rule on the controversy any day.

Komen Still Giving to Planned Parenthood

Susan G. Komen for the Cure continues to fund Planned Parenthood even as it appears to be taking a hit following recent controversy, Baptist Press reports. The world's leading breast cancer charity will fund at least 17 Planned Parenthood affiliates this year, one fewer than it funded last year, according to a report by the Washington Post. The total given to Planned Parenthood this year has yet to be determined, but Komen's grant to the abortion provider last year totaled $680,000. This news follows various accounts that donations to Komen and participation in its popular fundraising races have declined since early February, when it announced it would defund Planned Parenthood but then backtracked three days later. Komen recently acknowledged it had struggled to meet its goals in about half the events held since the controversy, and the organization fell from No. 2 to No. 56 in the yearly Harris Poll ranking the "brand health" of nonprofits. "In reality, Komen has alienated both ends of the ideological spectrum now," said pro-life blogger Jill Stanek. "But it would have fared better sticking with pro-lifers."

Publication date: April 18, 2012