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Religion Today Summaries - August 2, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - August 2, 2005

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

  • Frist's Friday Flip-Flop Gains Him Few Conservative Kudos
  • “Voices Of The Faithful”: Missionaries Speak In New Beth Moore Devotional Book
  • Year-Long Prayer Emphasis Centered Around “Voices Of The Faithful”
  • Prayer Needed as Floods Increase  

Frist's Friday Flip-Flop Gains Him Few Conservative Kudos
Agape Press

A prominent, pro-life, conservative Republican -- the Senate majority leader, no less -- has apparently changed his stripes on the issue of embryonic stem-cell research. To say pro-life advocates are disappointed would be an understatement. "It isn't just a matter of faith, it's a matter of science," the Tennessee senator said of embryonic stem-cell research during a Senate speech. "The president's policy should be modified." Frist's background as a heart-lung transplant surgeon is certain to add weight to his comments. In 2001, President Bush placed restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research, limiting it existing stem cell lines. Initially a supporter of that policy, Frist now sees it as too limiting -- and he wants to open it up to include excess embryos from in vitro fertilization that parents may want to donate for research in lieu of having them discarded. Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family questions the senator's call for expanding the stem-cell lines and says, "To push for the expansion of this suspect and unethical science will be rightly seen by America's values voters as the worst kind of betrayal -- choosing politics over principle." Concerned Women for America, based in Washington, DC, says Frist's change of heart brings into question his commitment to the unborn. "It certainly gives one pause in trusting his commitment to the sanctity of life," states Lanier Swann, director of government relations for CWA.

'Voices Of The Faithful': Missionaries Speak In New Beth Moore Devotional Book
Jesse Lyautey, Baptist Press

Author and speaker Beth Moore calls Christians to unite in prayer for missionaries around the world in her new daily devotional book, "Voices of the Faithful." Moore and missionary Kim Davis, her partner on the project, collaborated with nearly 300 Southern Baptist missionaries who contributed to the 366-day devotional with stories of sacrifice, hardships and joy in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. The idea for “Voices of the Faithful” book was born during a trip in 2002 when Moore was in southern Africa with her husband, Keith, to lead a retreat for International Mission Board missionary women. Davis, a longtime missionary to Africa, accompanied Moore on the trip and the two discussed the possibility of a book of missionary stories. After a year of prayer, Moore and Davis decided to work together on the book. Davis took the idea to Jerry Rankin, president of the International Mission Board. With his support, she began to contact missionaries about writing for the project. Within four months, more than 650 devotionals came in to Davis from missionaries all over the world. Moore, who wrote introductions for the book and each monthly set of devotionals stated, "My earnest prayer is that once you feel like you know a handful of missionaries personally, your motivation to remember them, pray for them and support them in any of many ways will explode into a full-fledged partnership." (www.voicesofthefaithful.com)

Year-Long Prayer Emphasis Centered Around “Voices Of The Faithful”
Jesse Lyautey, Baptist Press

The Southern Baptist International Mission Board has developed a new initiative to partner with churches through Lift Up Your Voice, a year-long prayer emphasis centered around “Voices of the Faithful.” Lift Up Your Voice is a special invitation for your church to lift up hearts, minds and voices in prayer and devotion in support of missionaries and for lost people around the world," said Jerry Rankin, president of the International Mission Board. The emphasis encourages individual church members and families to use “Voices of the Faithful” at home each day. Church groups can meet monthly to pray and discuss what God has been teaching them through prayer. Through the book and prayer emphasis, Rankin said he hopes Christians will understand the significance of praying daily for missions as they read about missionaries' triumphs and struggles -- in their own words. (www.voicesofthefaithful.com)

Prayer Needed as Floods Increase
Gospel For Asia

Gospel for Asia and Believers Church leaders are calling for intense prayer as relief teams reach out to minister to tens of thousands of families affected by India's heaviest rains in 100 years. After being bombarded with 26 inches (660mm) of rain in one day, Mumbai (Bombay) and other parts of western India suffered flooding that has killed at least 1,500 people. And the latest forecast is for more rain! GFA President K.P. Yohannan called the floods a "huge tragedy of unbelievable magnitude." "More than 283,000 homes have been destroyed," he explained, "and 16,000 villages have been hit. "These are people who live in shacks with dirt floors, and everything they owned was swept away." Brother K.P. said that while the government is estimating that 5.5 million people have been affected, the number could be double that. The GFA Compassion Services teams—including more than 100 pastors, staff and students—have been joined by dozens of Believers Church members in providing food and other relief services in the face of continuing heavy rains. (www.gfa.org/gfa/)