This has to be the strangest story I’ve seen this week.
Archive for February, 2010
It’s called the Book of Prophets, and you won’t find it in the Authorized Version.
By James Hider, Jerusalem
To have a dozen of your agents identified in police tapes after an extrajudicial killing is embarrassing. To have almost 30 operatives left with their covers blown — as appears to have happened after Dubai police released fresh details of the Hamas assassination last month — might be considered reckless.
On the official website of Mossad, Israel’s spy agency, is the biblical verse from Prophets, 11:14 — “where no counsel is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety”.
(Full story here)
That quotation from the book of Prophets bears a striking resemblance to another passage in Proverbs 11:14.
Top-notch Episcopal Church statistician Kirk Hadaway gave a presentation to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and other church leaders — and the numbers don’t look good.
After the ordination of openly gay bishop Gene Robinson in 2003, the Episcopal Church lost roughlyone-tenth of its members. Roughly One-seventh of its weekly churchgoers stopped attending.
Is there a big correlation between Robinson’s ordination and the plummeting membership and attendance figures? The presiding bishop doesn’t seem to think so, if this Episcopal News Service article is any indication.
“Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said after Hadaway’s report that she was struck that the most recent trend of declining membership began in 2000 and 2001, ‘long before the actions of General Convention 2003, which is often the spin that is out there.’ That meeting of convention consented to the ordination and consecration of New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson as the first openly gay and partnered bishop in the Anglican Communion. That decision caused intense debate across the church and the fracturing of some congregations and dioceses.”
But here’s what the church’s own statistics show:
Membership decline from 1998 through 2002 = 1%
Membership decline from 1998 through 2008 = 12%
The pattern is even more striking for church attendance.
Church attendance from 1998 through 2002 actually increased by 0.5% But average Sunday attendance between 1998 and 2008 decreased 16 percent.
This is a story that is flying under the mainstream media radar.
Televangelist’s spouse claims “irreconcilable differences.”
Hinn’s ministry has posted a statement here.
If the couple go to court to divide their assets, this could get really interesting…
But not the variety that FOX News senior political analyst Brit Hume had recommended.
Instead, Tiger Woods discussed his Buddhist beliefs during his televised mea culpa. (Full transcript here.)
“I owe it to my family to become a better person. I owe it to those closest to me to become a better man. That’s where my focus will be. I have a lot of work to do, and I intend to dedicate myself to doing it.
Part of following this path for me is Buddhism, which my mother taught me at a young age. People probably don’t realize it, but I was raised a Buddhist and I actively practised my faith from childhood until I drifted away from it in recent years.
Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes and unhappy and pointless search for security. It teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. Obviously I lost track of what I was taught.”
For those who watched it all this morning, what did you think of Tiger’s statement?
At least 45 dioceses (through their so-called “standing committees) have consented to the election of Mary Douglas Glasspool as suffragin bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, the LA diocese reports. Glasspool will need the backing of 56 dioceses (plus a majority of “bishops with jurisdiction”) in order to become the first openly-lesbian bishop in the Anglican Communion.
The 2010 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches is out. (An order form is available here.)
And it contains few surprises. Mainline Protestant churches are shrinking. So are most evangelical churches. Which groups are growing? Roman Catholics. Pentecostals. Jehovah’s Witnesses. And Mormons.
Which one? The one responsible for monitoring international religious freedom, according to the Washington Post.
Joseph Reyes, a non-custodial parent, had his child baptized without his Jewish ex-wife’s consent. And he brought the child with him to church in defiance of a judge’s order.
For more, click here.
The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina is postponing its diocesan convention after getting a flurry of letters from an attorney purporting to represent the Episcopal Church.
Archeologists are digging in 300 separate locations across Israel, looking for clues about the history of the Holy Land, Time reports.
This year, Israel is celebrating the 3,000th anniversary of the Israelites’ conquest of the City of David — Jerusalem.
The lawmakers argue that the Bible is the most influential book in Western civilization and that biblical literacy is a worthy academic pursuit for the students of Kentucky.
An atheist activist, predictably, is up in arms about the proposal. For more, click here.