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Religion Today Summaries - August 30, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - August 30, 2005

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

  • Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Volunteers Headed To Louisiana, Mississippi & Alabama

  • Pat Robertson Apologizes for 'Call for Assassination' Remarks

  • Churches Open As Shelters As Katrina Blows Through 

  • 'Elite' Colleges Not Always Best for Young Christians, Says Home School Advocate

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Volunteers Headed To Louisiana, Mississippi & Alabama
Martin King, Baptist Press

With Hurricane Katrina having roared into three Gulf Coast states, the nation's third largest disaster relief operation, the Southern Baptist Convention, began mobilizing the first wave of volunteers from its supply of 30,000 trained disaster volunteers Monday, Aug. 29. "Mobile kitchens, shower units, cleanup and recovery units and communication equipment from more than 20 states are being moved today to staging areas near Memphis, Tenn., and Marshall, Texas," said Jim Burton, volunteer mobilization director for the North American Mission Board. "By Tuesday morning we'll have more than two dozen disaster relief units on the road to the areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The units will be manned by the first wave of SBC volunteers who are trained and committed to minister to the tens of thousands affected by this disaster." Burton said the American Red Cross has requested Southern Baptists to prepare 300,000 meals a day by mid-week, increasing capacity to half a million meals a day by the end of the week. Probable assignments include units from Tennessee, Texas Baptist Men, Louisiana and Oklahoma going to Louisiana locations including possibly Slidell, Kenner, Houma, Alexandria, Covington and Baton Rouge. Disaster relief units from Mississippi, Georgia, Florida and Missouri will most likely be sent into Mississippi including Biloxi, Pascagoula, Gulf Shores, Hattiesburg and McComb. Robert E. (Bob) Reccord, NAMB president, said Southern Baptists are blessed to have one of the most experienced and well-equipped disaster relief forces in the world. (www.namb.net/dr)

Pat Robertson Apologizes for 'Call for Assassination' Remarks
Charisma News Service

Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson has apologized for calling for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) and the Christian Coalition came under fire after he implied that Chavez should be killed during "The 700 Club" telecast on Aug. 22, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Last Wednesday, Robertson "clarified" his remarks on www.patrobertson.com. "Is it right to call for assassination? No, and I apologize for that statement. I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the U.S. is out to kill him," he said. Robertson, though, initially denied having called for Chavez to be killed, and said the AP had misinterpreted his remarks. "I didn't say 'assassination.' I said our special forces should 'take him out,'" Robertson said on his show." "'Take him out' could be a number of things, including kidnapping." He later issued the apology on his Web site. Last week, the State Department called Robertson's remarks "inappropriate." Chavez, a close ally of Cuban President Fidel Castro, has said in the past he believes the United States is trying to kill him and vowed that Venezuela, which accounts for more than 10 percent of U.S. oil imports, would shut off the flow of oil if that happened, CNN reported. www.charismanews.com

Churches Open As Shelters As Katrina Blows Through
Baptist Press

Baptist churches and association buildings across the region were being opened as shelters for those fleeing Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall near Grand Isles, La., early Aug. 29 as a Category 4 storm with maximum winds of 140 mph battering the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary President Chuck Kelley issued a mandatory evacuation for everyone on campus Saturday morning as Katrina approached. Parkway Baptist Church in Natchez, Miss., is housing about 350 people, mostly from the New Orleans area. Jason Cole, an associate pastor at the church, told Baptist Press about 40 church members have joined forces with the Red Cross to provide food and medical assistance. First Baptist Church in Orange, Texas, is serving as a shelter for 115 people, according to Pam King, the church's financial secretary. About 50 people sought refuge at Southside Baptist Church in Mansfield, La.. The Clarke County Baptist Association in Quitman, Miss., on the state's eastern boarder was prepared to house up to 70 people. Among other churches serving as shelters during the storm were Antioch Baptist Church, First Baptist Church and Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Florien, La.; Hornbeck Baptist Church in Hornbeck, La.; First Baptist Church and Southside Baptist Church in Mansfield, La.; First Baptist Church in Kosciusko, Miss.; North Carrollton Baptist Church in Greenwood, Miss.; First Baptist Church in Purvis, Miss.; and Seventh and James Baptist Church in Waco, Texas.

'Elite' Colleges Not Always Best for Young Christians, Says Home School Advocate
Allie Martin, Agape Press

A leader in the home-schooling movement is calling on Christian parents to help their children find colleges that are academically excellent -- and faithfully Christian. Michael Farris is a constitutional attorney; founder, chairman, and general counsel of the Home School Legal Defense Association; and president of Patrick Henry College in Virginia. As the father of ten home-schooled children, Farris has a personal interest in ensuring that his children's education furthers the principles and values instilled in them at home. In his new book – “The Joshua Generation” -- Farris examines the philosophical shift made by "elite" universities during the past century. He says Christian parents must thoroughly examine any university or college before their child attends. "We cannot assume that our kids are going to go off to college and that it will be either a positive experience spiritually or a neutral experience," he shares. According to Farris, there has been a dramatic philosophical shift at most of the nation's elite colleges, many of which were once solidly Christian schools. Farris contends that professors at many secular elite colleges twist the truth, the Constitution, and history to support their own agendas and beliefs.