Religion Today Summaries - Dec. 12, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Dec. 12, 2007

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

  • Warren: 'Jesus Would be with People with AIDS'
  • Evangelicals Carry Darfur-Olympic Torch
  • Christian Bookstore Owner Arrested in China
  • Sun, Not Man, Main Cause of Climate Change, New Study Says

Warren: 'Jesus Would be with People with AIDS'

In an interview with ASSIST News Service, Rick Warren, the senior pastor of Saddleback Church, said that if Jesus was walking the earth today, he would be spending time with people with AIDS. During the recent 3rd Annual Global Summit on AIDS and the Church, Warren told ANS, “Jesus would be with people who have AIDS because, like the lepers of the first century, these are the people nobody wants to hang out with because they are afraid of them; they’re frightened. I know the most Christ-like thing we can do is to care for the people Jesus cares about most.” When asked why Christians should be involved in the present-day pandemic, Warren replied, “What I care about most of all is the Church of Jesus Christ. It’s going to outlast everything else. If Jesus hasn’t come back a thousand years from today, there probably won’t be a Microsoft or an Intel; there’re probably won’t be even a World Vision, or even a United States, because no manmade organization lasts forever. But the Church is going to last forever... We have this enormous pandemic called AIDS and I think it is our greatest opportunity. Since it’s the greatest pandemic, it is the greatest opportunity for us to show the love of Jesus Christ.”

Evangelicals Carry Darfur-Olympic Torch

The Christian Post reports that evangelical leaders carried the Darfur-Olympic torch in the nation’s capital on International Human Rights Day, calling the gesture a growing sign of commitment to engage the church on wider social issues. Many Christian leaders are efforting to challenge the stereotype of being narrow-minded and secluded. Hence, there is an emerging movement to expand the evangelical social agenda beyond abortion and homosexuality to include human rights, creation care, HIV/AIDS, poverty, and other issues. The Rev. Richard Cizik, vice president of the National Association of Evangelicals, said, "We as modern-day, 21st century evangelicals are recovering. We are grasping our history and our past and saying this (social activism) is in the finest tradition of the Gospel and the Christian faith and we are going to do it."

Christian Bookstore Owner Arrested in China

Beijing Public Security Bureau officials have detained the owner of a Christian bookstore located near the Olympic Village, along with one of his employees, according to a long-time friend of the businessman. Ray Sharpe said authorities detained 37-year-old Shi Weihan, a member of an unregistered Beijing church, late last week and have confiscated Christian literature from his bookstore as well as personal books from his home. Authorities at the Haidian district substation of the Beijing PSB have refused to tell his family the charges against him or where he is being held. Shi had never had any problems with authorities in the past, Sharpe said, and he sold only books for which he had obtained government permission, Compass Direct News reports.

Sun, Not Man, Main Cause of Climate Change, New Study Says

According to a new study on global warming cited by, climate scientists at the University of Rochester, the University of Alabama, and the University of Virginia found that the climate change models based on human influence do not match observed warming. That is contrary to the views held by former Vice President Al Gore, who accepted the Nobel Prize on Monday along with the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and who thinks that climate change is largely caused by human action. The new report was published in the December 2007 issue of the International Journal of Climatology of the Royal Meteorological Society. "Our findings basically are that fingerprints - that is to say the pattern of warming - that's predicted by greenhouse models does not match the fingerprints of observations, so there is a disconnect between greenhouse models and the actual reality of observations," said study co-author S. Fred Singer of the University of Virginia.