Religion Today Summaries - August 11, 2011

Religion Today

Religion Today Summaries - August 11, 2011


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

  • In London, IMB Workers Reach Out During Riots
  • PA Pastor Charged with Flashing Two Women
  • Christian Artist Makes Controversial Song About Gay Teen
  • Priest Faces Expulsion for Supporting Women's Ordination

In London, IMB Workers Reach Out During Riots

Baptist Press reports that International Mission Board missionaries are looking for ways to serve Londoners in the midst of widespread rioting and looting in London and across England. "London is usually an incredibly safe city, but these riots bring to light the nature of sin in all humanity," said an anonymous IMB missionary in London. "Please pray that out of these shocking circumstances people will hear and understand the Gospel." Other IMB missionaries said they hope to bless and encourage the people of their communities in the midst of shock, disbelief and fear. They are actively seeking open doors to share the Gospel. And they invite believers to join them in prayer. Riots, arson and looting have spread from the capital to other parts of England in the days following the death of a police-shooting victim, Mark Duggan. Peaceful protests of the shooting turned violent after Duggan's death. Homes and businesses have been ransacked and burned in parts of London, Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool and Bristol.

PA Pastor Charged with Flashing Two Women

An Associated Press release states that a Methodist pastor in suburban Philadelphia has stepped down from his church after being accused of exposing himself to two women. 46-year-old Richard Rogers is allegedt to have flashed women on two separate occasions. Rogers was arrested Monday and resigned his post at Jarrettown United Methodist Church in Dresher, PA. According to investigators, the victims were members of an organization outside the church. Bishop Peggy Johnson, who oversees about 900 Methodist congregations in the region, says the church began investigating Rogers after learning of the complaints against him in May.

Christian Artist Makes Controversial Song About Gay Teen

The Christian Post reports that Christian rap artist Theory Hazit's latest single "Concealed Sorrow" tells the story of a harassed gay teen who ends up taking his own life. Hazit took his inspiration from minister Tony Campolo, who has told a true story of having bullied a gay classmate named Roger who later committed suicide. Hazit says he touched on the controversial issue in hopes of getting the church's attention. "I wrote 'Concealed Sorrow' hoping that the church would listen, watch, and perform the love of Christ to all that struggle." Campolo, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Eastern University, says he “regrets not befriending and showing the love of Jesus to Roger.”

Priest Faces Expulsion for Supporting Women's Ordination

According to Religion News Service, a Roman Catholic priest who has campaigned for the ordination of women has been told he will be expelled from his religious order if he does not publicly recant. The Rev. Roy Bourgeois was issued a "second canonical warning" on July 27, and told that he would be dismissed from the Maryknoll order within 15 days if he continues to advocate for women priests and does not recant. The warning letter from Maryknoll Superior General Edward Dougherty was obtained by the National Catholic Reporter and said that Bourgeois has "remained unmoved" despite being asked "to consider the effects of your actions on the Society and the Church." Bourgeois said he would not retract his statements, however. "What you are asking me to do in your letter is not possible without betraying my conscience," he wrote in response. "In essence, you are telling me to lie and say I do not believe that God calls both men and women to the priesthood. This I cannot do, therefore I will not recant." Bourgeois has vowed to appeal to the Vatican, though he is not likely to get a sympathetic hearing.