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Religion Today Summaries, April 8, 2004

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries, April 8, 2004

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

  • Intercessory Ministry Urges Prayer for U.S. Government Leaders
  • Bibleman Tour Returns With Lead Role Change
  • Evolution Website Encourages Promotion of 'Religious Darwinism'
  • Falsely Accused Missionary’s Appeal Dismissed

Intercessory Ministry Urges Prayer for U.S. Government Leaders
Allie Martin, Agape Press

The founder of a Texas-based ministry is encouraging Christians to engage in intercessory prayer for those in positions of leadership in America. Mark Williamson is president of Federal Intercessors, an outreach of Foundation Restoration Ministries based near Houston, Texas. The ministry leader says God can use a small number of committed believers to rescue the country from its moral downslide. While many Christian leaders talk about the nation being past the point of redemption, Williamson holds out hope. "I believe it is already settled: God is going to redeem America. We just have to line up with what He's doing, and do what we're supposed to do," he says. The intercession advocate says it is no time to stop praying, and he is calling on believers to remember those Christians on Capitol Hill in particular. He says when it comes to spiritual welfare, Capitol Hill is a very strategic place, and more Christians need to get involved. The president of Federal Intercessors sees the ministry as an opportunity for Christians to become activated, motivated both in their spiritual giftings and their prayer life. And perhaps even more importantly, he says, "I believe this is an opportunity for the Church in America to become unified." Williamson notes that a core group of believers exists in the U.S. House of Representatives as well as in the Senate.

Bibleman Tour Returns With Lead Role Change
Charisma News Service

The Bibleman tour returns this month, but the Christian super-action hero who triumphs over evil by quoting Bible verses will feature a change in the lead role. Robert "T" Schlipp, former children's pastor of one of the largest churches in Northern California, replaces Willie Aames, the original Bibleman who toured the country the last eight years. His accomplice in good deeds, Biblegirl, is his wife, Anayansi. Initially, Schlipp worried there would be a resistance to anyone other than Aames being the Bibleman. But he's been reassured by an open-arm reception. Schlipp, 28, first met Aames six years ago at a Bibleman performance at Schlipp's church. Schlipp served as children's pastor there for seven years until February 2003. Aames first asked him to join the Bibleman tour as a villain. In June, he became the lead. "The impact that Bibleman has had on our nation's youth has been nothing short of miraculous,” Aames says. The Schlipps will begin an eight-and-a-half month tour this month, doing between 80 and 100 performances, traveling across the country and living in a mobile home. In one year, 16,000 children and adults committed their lives to Christ in Bibleman outreaches.

Evolution Website Encourages Promotion of 'Religious Darwinism'
Jim Brown, Agape Press

A Seattle-based think tank is expressing outrage over an effort to promote "religious Darwinism" in public schools. The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) and the University of California Museum of Paleontology have spent nearly half-a-million dollars in federal money creating a website to help teachers better teach the theory of evolution.  Part of that website, called "Understanding Evolution," encourages teachers to explicitly use religion to endorse evolution. Dr. John West with the Discovery Institute is hopeful the government will investigate the function and funding of the website because, in his opinion, it is unconstitutional. "This is clearly a violation of existing precedents dealing with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment," West says.  "The government isn't supposed to be promoting theology, let alone in the science classroom. You can have an objective and neutral discussion of religious beliefs, but that's not what they're advocating here." West wonders what the use of religion as an approach to teaching evolution has to do with science education.  "What business is it of the government to tell students what their religious beliefs about evolution should be?" he asks. West says the NCSE once advocated that teachers send out their biology students to interview local ministers to show them that most ministers think evolution is okay.

Falsely Accused Missionary’s Appeal Dismissed
Charisma News Service

In Nepal, an appeal by a Gospel for Asia (GFA) native missionary who ministry officials say was falsely accused and convicted of murder recently suffered another setback. Just before Manja Tamang's case was to be heard by the country's Supreme Court on March 18, an opposing lawyer petitioned some of the judges to cancel the case. "The case has been dismissed and will have to be completely restarted," said GFA officials, noting that some of GFA leaders were able to meet with Tamang in prison to tell him the news and encourage him with the story of Joseph in Genesis 39-41. In 2002, a Nepali court sentenced Tamang to 20 years in prison for a murder supporters say he did not commit. Last year, he had two unsuccessful appeal hearings before the Supreme Court. "Please continue to pray with us for quick release and justice for our brother Manja," a GFA leader said.