21 September 2017
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The Editor, 21/08/2012
PCUSA ORDAINS LESBIAN COUPLE AS MINISTERS
Days after America's largest Presbyterian denomination approved an amendment to its constitution changing its definition of marriage to include same-sex couples, a lesbian couple will be ordained as ministers Sunday at First & Central Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware.
Kaci Clark-Porter and Holly, who married three years ago, will be the first-ever same-sex couple to be jointly ordained, according to USA Today, which says the denomination couldn't point to other examples.
Last year, Presbyterian Church (USA) approved a vote on an amendment to change their official definition of marriage from "a man and a woman" to "two people, traditionally a man and a woman." And on Tuesday, the proposed change to PCUSA's Book of Order got the necessary number of presbytery votes.
The ordination service will be held Sunday afternoon.
JUDGE CENSORS BIBLE VERSES FOR PUBLIC PREACHING
A Christian street preacher has been convicted of a Public Order offence for using the wrong Bible verse in a public conversation with a man who identifies as homosexual.
But the preacher was acquitted of two other Public Order charges.
In a highly unusual judgment, Michael Overd, who regularly preaches on the streets of Taunton, was told by the Judge that he should not have referred to Leviticus chapter 20 to make his point but clearly indicated that he could have used chapter 18 of the book.
District Judge Shamim Ahmed Qureshi found that Mr Overd could have pointed to Leviticus 18:22 which describes homosexual practice as an 'abomination' but that reference to Leviticus 20:13 was inappropriate because the chapter refers to the death penalty.
Mr Overd points out that in his use of Leviticus 20 he never referred to the death penalty. "I am being punished for words that never passed my lips," he commented.
EUROPEAN WAR GAMES: RESPONSES TO RUSSIAN MILITARY DRILLS
Several events have coincided to demonstrate the dynamic, if not guarded, relationship between Russia and the Nordic and Baltic states. Ten NATO countries and Sweden launched a two-week planned exercise in the North Sea on May 4 to improve their anti-submarine warfare capabilities. On the same day, Finland — not a NATO member — began mailing letters to about 900,000 reservists informing them of their roles in a potential crisis situation. Meanwhile, Sweden's Foreign Ministry formally complained to Russian authorities that Russian navy ships were disrupting cable-laying work in waters between Sweden and Lithuania, the latest in a series of formal complaints over Russia's activity in the area. Concurrently, the Swedish and Lithuanian foreign ministers met with Moldova's pro-West leaders in Chisinau.
All of these events confirm that the Nordic and Baltic states are working to boost security cooperation in response to Russia's military activity in the region. Consequently, the security buildup will continue — on both sides.
Read full report from Stratfor -
LANCE LAMBERT HAS GONE TO BE WITH THE LORD
From Barry and Batya Segal
Lance Lambert, beloved brother in the Lord, friend to multitudes in Israel and abroad, and world renowned Bible teacher has passed away. Following severe health battles in Greece late last year, Lance was again hospitalized last month in Jerusalem, Israel, where he passed away peacefully Sunday afternoon May 10, 2015.
Lance, for decades, has been known as one of the most distinguished Bible scholars and speakers in Israel and for years had an itinerant teaching ministry worldwide. He was one of the great prophetic voices of our time. Born in 1931, He grew up in Richmond, Surrey and came to know the Lord at twelve years of age. He entered the school of African and Oriental studies at London University to prepare for work in China. He studied Classical Chinese, Mandarin, Oriental Philosophy and Far Eastern History, but the revolution closed the door to European missionaries and his entry into China.
In the early 1950's Lance served in the Royal Air Force in Egypt and later founded Halford House Christian Fellowship in Richmond, England. Having discovered his Jewish ancestry Lance became an Israeli citizen in 1980 and for many years until his passing resided in Jerusalem. His father and many members of his family died in the Holocaust. He produced a widely appreciated quarterly audio recording called the Middle East Update, which gives his unique perspective on current events in the Middle East, in the light of God's Word. He wrote numerous books including The Uniqueness of Israel and is presenter of the video production, Jerusalem, the Covenant City.
Those of us who have loved and known Lance throughout the years deeply mourn his departure from our midst. At the same time, we rejoice in his gain; the Lord Yeshua face to face, the gates opened wide to an eternity of heaven, the words of the Father, "Well done, My good and faithful servant."
Ed footnote: See message from Lance at a very significant meeting on Mount Carmel in 1986
APPEAL AGAINST NAMED PERSON SCHEME
from Christian Institute
Tomorrow we are in Scotland’s highest court, the Inner House of the Court of Session, fighting to protect parents from the intrusive Named Person scheme.
Those who support the idea of assigning a state guardian to every child in Scotland may have the best of intentions. That doesn’t make it right. Driving a coach and horses through family privacy and allowing state employees to advise children over the heads of their parents will cause far more harm than good. It creates the expectation that parents are no longer to be trusted.
Last week a senior civil servant said: “Every child deserves to have positive well-being” and noted – in a bizarre twisting of 1 Corinthians 13 – that indicators of wellbeing to be used by these state guardians could include “love, hope and spirituality”.
What could happen if a named person (usually a health visitor or senior teacher) assesses the spirituality of families? No doubt there will be some named persons who will be perfectly happy that parents teach their children that Jesus Christ is the unique and only way to salvation. But there will also be others who view this as a bigoted and narrow belief which is a danger to children.
Everyone accepts that there will be cases where the state does need to intervene when a child is at significant risk of harm. But requiring health visitors and senior teachers to monitor every family is a recipe for disaster. It will swamp social workers with unnecessary work and prevent vulnerable children getting the help they need.
These ‘early intervention’ ideas are extremely fashionable and could well come in the same way to other parts of the UK.
So do pray for us at the Court of Session tomorrow and Thursday.
Please pray that:
• the legal arguments will be well presented
• we will win our case against the Named Person scheme and succeed in protecting parents and children
• the media will fairly report the issues.
Yours in Christ,
The Christian Institute
PALESTINIAN FLAG FLIES AT UN HQ
The Palestinian flag has been raised for the first time at United Nations headquarters in New York.
The ceremony was attended by the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas.
Addressing the UN General Assembly, Mr Abbas said it was unconscionable that the question of Palestinian statehood remained unresolved.
He also warned that the PA no longer felt bound by agreements with Israel he claimed were "continually violated".
"As long as Israel refuses to cease settlement activities and to release of the fourth group of Palestinian prisoners in accordance with our agreements, they leave us no choice but to insist that we will not remain the only ones committed to the implementation of these agreements," Mr Abbas said.
"We therefore declare that we cannot continue to be bound by these agreements and that Israel must assume all of its responsibilities as an occupying power."
FOR PRAYER: ASHERS BAKERS CASE
Please read the following Press Release from the Evangelical Alliance (6 May 2016) as information for prayer.
Part of the following states:
“If this appeal is lost, freedom of conscience and religion will effectively be banished from the public square for everyone in Northern Ireland."
>>>> Press Release>>>>>>
Ashers Bakery back in court for vital freedom of speech case
On Monday morning, two years to the day since the infamous ‘gay cake’ was ordered, Ashers Baking Company will appear before the Court of Appeal seeking to overturn a decision against them by the County Court. In a sign of the importance of the case, the Attorney General has now intervened, challenging the very laws under which Ashers Bakery was found guilty.
The McArthur family, who own Ashers bakery, run a successful family business. Gareth Lee, a gay rights activist, asked Ashers bakery to make a cake with the slogan ‘Support Gay Marriage’ on it. Ashers were happy to sell Mr Lee a cake, but not to promote a view contrary to their firmly-held religious beliefs. When they ultimately declined his order, Mr Lee went to the Equality Commission who supported his claim alleging discrimination.
Peter Lynas, a former barrister and NI director of Evangelical Alliance, commented:
“Ashers discriminated against an idea, not a person. While the law rightly prohibits the latter, the former is not only allowed, but encouraged in a healthy democratic society. Many people don’t realise that Mr Lee had used the bakery before, and the company was, and remains, happy to serve him. However, they will not, and should not, be forced to promote a view contrary to their firmly-held religious beliefs.
“The Attorney General has been given permission to intervene in the case, challenging the lawfulness of the Sexual Orientation Regulations. Northern Ireland’s chief legal advisor will argue that this legislation directly discriminates against those who hold certain religious beliefs or political opinions and should therefore be struck down.
“Many people will be surprised to hear that the Equality Commission, which is backing Mr Lee, actively supports same-sex marriage. They are spending tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money taking a family business to court who simply want the law to remain as it is.
“If this appeal is lost, freedom of conscience and religion will effectively be banished from the public square for everyone in Northern Ireland. This is not about special protection for Christians. The mark of a free and democratic society is that competing views are discussed and debated. Forcing someone to promote a view that they fundamentally disagree with is the antithesis of a free and fair society.
“Our hope and prayer is that the Court of Appeal places a higher value on freedom than the Commission or the lower court, and rules in favour of Ashers or strikes down the legislation as discriminatory.”
<<<<< ends <<<<<<
CHRISTIAN TAPED TO CRUCIFIX
A SCOT and three other men tied a young Christian to a “crucifix” and daubed his face and body with crosses during a sustained campaign of bullying, a court has heard.
PRO-LGBT TEACHING IN SCOTTISH SCHOOLS
The Christian Institute reports:
School children in Scotland could be ‘indoctrinated’ by teaching on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) issues, as a controversial campaign pushes for a nationwide roll-out.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and other leading politicians have pledged their support for the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign, which aims to promote homosexuality, transsexualism, same-sex parenting and pro-LGBT sex education in schools.
Glasgow and Edinburgh schools will pilot a training scheme by TIE in October, but the group wants training to be rolled out across the country as a “required qualification” for teachers.
For full report see -
Christian teacher shot dead in front of his pupils in Kenya
It’s the news every parent dreads: a gunman has walked into their child’s school and opened fire.
Sadly in northeast Kenya that’s exactly what happened recently. Al-Shabaab militants walked into Fafi Primary School, 60 miles from Garissa, and shot dead a Christian teacher, Elly Oloo Ojiema – right in front of his pupils. They kidnapped another Christian teacher, Joseph Kamau, and a Muslim colleague who tried to protect him.
Please pray that God will comfort Elly’s family and that the two kidnapped teachers will be freed soon.
The Muslim teacher of Somali descent who was abducted tried to shield Joseph, saying he was prepared to die with him. ‘We are going to teach you a lesson for protecting the infidels,’ his kidnappers told him. The militants also beat Muslims of Somali descent at the school as a punishment for associating with Christians.
Local pastors are now calling on the Kenyan Government to provide more security for the Christian community. Al-Shabaab militants appear to have stepped up their campaign of violence in areas bordering Somalia in the past few weeks.
Pray that God will comfort, protect and provide for Elly’s family.
Pray for the safe and swift return of Joseph and his Muslim friend. Thank God for the way that his friend stood up to the militants, at huge personal cost.
Pray for our Christian family in northeast Kenya who are under extreme pressure and living in fear. Pray that God will uphold them with his ‘righteous right hand’ (Isaiah 41:10).
(Source: Morning Star News)
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