Religion Today Summaries - May 27, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - May 27, 2008

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

  • Myanmar, China Receive Aid Via Radio
  • High School Principal to Resign Over Formation of Gay Club
  • Liberty University Officials Criticize 'Evangelical Manifesto'
  • Female Anglican Bishop 'Won't Split' Australian Church

Myanmar, China Receive Aid Via Radio

While relief agencies rush to provide the people of Myanmar and China with necessary physical supplies, another type of aid is pouring forth as well: a continuous flow of Christian information. According to OneNewsNow, Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC) spokesman Craig Harris says his organization tries to provide aid via radio programming. Unlike hard-line communications such as phone lines, battery-powered radios may still be serviceable after natural disasters. FEBC switched its programming in both countries to present the Gospel as well as additional help information. "We are also offering special programs comforting people," explains Harris. "We have medical doctors on the air explaining how to deal with health-related issues in a disaster like this." FEBC is also shipping windup radios into China to make sure Christian programs and informational interviews can continue to flow into the earthquake area. After the tsunami disasters of several years ago, 10,000 such windup radios were distributed to survivors in Indonesia.

High School Principal to Resign Over Formation of Gay Club

FOX News reports that Eddie Walker, the principal of Irmo High School in Columbia, S.C., announced Wednesday that he will resign after the 2008-09 school year. According to his letter to school district officials, Walker cited the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance Club for students as conflicting with his "professional beliefs and religious convictions. Meanwhile, the school district feels it cannot exclude such clubs. "Attorneys have advised the school district that prohibiting the formation of this club would most certainly result in a costly lawsuit," the district said in a statement posted to its Web site. "Similar lawsuits in other parts of the country have been defended unsuccessfully." Walker's letter stated that the club — which he said would be the first based on sexual orientation, preference or activity at the school — conflicts with the school's abstinence-only education.

Liberty University Officials Criticize 'Evangelical Manifesto'

The Lynchburg News & Advance that Liberty University officials are staunchly opposing portions of the recent “Evangelical Manifesto," which downplays political activism and involvement that their founder, Jerry Falwell, did so much to promote. “That word evangelical has taken on increasingly political connections,” said David Neff, editor-in-chief of Christianity Today and a committee member. “That’s not what we’re about. Our identity is promoting faith in Jesus Christ and all that goes with that.” One section of the manifesto reads that neither the religious right nor religious left should “politicize faith," or else Christians become “useful idiots” for political parties and interests. Commenting on the manifesto's attempts to unify evangelicals, Ergun Caner, president of the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, said, “To me, it’s like coming out to a Pittsburgh Steelers game wearing a Cleveland Browns jersey,” Caner said of the manifesto. “It’s a document that has great intentions but will never happen.”

Female Anglican Bishop 'Won't Split' Australian Church

The Anglican Church says the appointment of Australia's first female bishop will not cause a split within its ranks. According to the Australian Broadcating Corporation, the Right Reverend Kaye Goldsworthy has been consecrated at a service in Perth. The church ruled last that nothing in the church's constitution prevented women being elevated to the role of bishop. The Anglican Archbishop of Perth, the Most Reverend Roger Herft, says opposition to the appointment isn't a concern. "[I] respect the people who have a conscience in that regard, and I hope that they will respect us for our own position." Goldsworthy says she's received messages of support from other Bishops opposed to her consecration. "I think the bishops have done very well, on their work together, to maintain unity in this matter," she said.