Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 21, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 21, 2007

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

  • Study: Men Lack Church Support
  • Episcopal Church Faces Large Departures over Gay Bishops
  • Kentucky Ten Commandments Display Upheld
  • UMC's Proposed Social Creed Seeks Global Acceptance

Study: Men Lack Church Support

The Christian Post reports that the majority of men in the United Methodist Church attend worship service almost every week but most feel they lack support from friends and from the pulpit, a new report revealed. With churches struggling to keep men in the pews and women more likely than men to attend church, the Commission on United Methodist Men conducted the Study of Men report. The top finding on why the church doesn't reach many men is a lack of interest in religion, survey respondents said. They also listed "societal emphasis on individualism/materialism" and "distrust of organized religion" as common reasons churches struggle to reach men.

Episcopal Church Faces Large Departures over Gay Bishops reports that Ralph Webb, the Institute on Religion and Demoracy's director of Anglican Action, says the U.S. Episcopal Church is at a crossroads this week as the House of Bishops plans to meet with church primates. The conservative leaders will ask for assurance by September 30 that the church will no longer approve the consecration of bishops living in homosexual relationships, or approve same sex blessings. But according to Webb, liberal leaders have given no indication they will meet the demands. "They have expressed dismay at the primates, for making such requests of the church. And, so, sadly, it doesn't look like we're going to see something positive."

Kentucky Ten Commandments Display Upheld

The Associated Press reports that a display of the Ten Commandments at an eastern Kentucky courthouse does not violate the Constitution, but a lawsuit challenging a similar display in another county can proceed, a federal judge has ruled. The Ten Commandments display at the Rowan County Fiscal Court, part of an exhibit on the foundations of American law and government, "does not have the effect of endorsing religion," U.S. District Judge Karl Forester said in a ruling released Wednesday. Earlier this month, Forester refused to dismiss a similar suit in Garrard County, saying that "a reasonable person would conclude that the county's display has the effect of endorsing religion."

UMC's Proposed Social Creed Seeks Global Acceptance

Fresh off its world tour, a "user-friendly" United Methodist Social Creed faces its biggest audience next spring in its bid to become the church's "roadmap to making disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world," United Methodist News Service reports. A small task force of six under the leadership of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society has been working on a 2008 Social Creed to replace the revised 1972 version. The original creed was written in 1908 as a denominational statement decrying child labor and supporting the economic rights of workers, better workplace conditions, better wages and worker safety. The new document was presented and approved at the directors meeting of the Board of Church and Society Sept. 13-16. The creed now goes to the 2008 General Conference, the denomination's top legislative body, which meets April 23-May 2 in Fort Worth.