Archive for February 20th, 2006

Pro-Evolution Clergy Sign Letter Affirming Faith in Darwin’s Theory

Monday, February 20th, 2006

In second Timothy 4:1-5 we read:

1In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

I’ve read the Bible through several times and you know, I’ve never once run across “evolution”. Hummm…could that be because it’s not in there?
I’ve said it many times. Either you believe the Bible or you don’t. Stop fence sitting and make up your mind.

(AgapePress) – Thousands of mainline church leaders and pastors have signed a letter rejecting a literal interpretation of the creation story in the Bible’s Book of Genesis. The “Clergy Letter Project” signatories are urging school board members to “preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge.”
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh administrator Michael Zimmerman, who founded the project, says the letter has been signed by more than 10,000 clergy members in every state and territory of the United States. The signatures from leaders of Methodist, Episcopal, Presbyterian and other mainline churches represent a “groundswell of support for the compatibility of science and religion,” he contends.
Zimmerman notes that about 450 churches across the U.S. took part in “Evolution Sunday” observances last week by holding Bible studies or offering sermons on the purported compatibility of evolution and Christianity. But those church leaders who took part in the Clergy Letter Project are asserting a very different proposition, he explains.
“These 10,000 members are saying that intelligent design, creation science, is not only bad science as defined by the world scientific community,” Zimmerman says, “but that it is also bad religion. It is not consistent with their view of their faith.”
Evolution, on the other hand, is compatible with these Christian leaders’ faith and interpretation of scripture, the University of Wisconsin official says. However, when asked to what particular faith he himself subscribes, Zimmerman declined to answer. “I’ve stayed away from that question because the issue is more who the 10,200 clergy [who have signed the letter] are and what their message is,” he says.
“I’m just a college administrator and a biologist,” the Clergy Letter Project’s founder explains, “so one person’s faith who is not a member of the clergy really is irrelevant for this particular project. The Project isn’t about my belief, but it’s about the belief of Christian leaders around the country.”
Zimmerman says the Clergy Letter Project was initiated in response to efforts to get intelligent design or biblical creation taught in schools. Specifically, he notes, he and the clergy with whom he worked to draft the letter were “called to action” by a series of anti-evolution policies passed by the school board in Grantsburg, Wisconsin.

Israel announces sanctions on Hamas

Monday, February 20th, 2006

Israel held back yesterday from imposing an all-out embargo on the incoming Hamas-led Palestinian administration but announced sanctions that were still likely to cripple the authority.
While committing itself not to block humanitarian aid, Israel said it would actively work to stop assistance of whatever sort – financial, military or diplomatic – reaching the Palestinian Authority while it was run by Hamas.
The £30 million monthly tax refund that Israel has traditionally paid the authority would be frozen from the beginning of next month and Israel would work to persuade other countries to impose the same financial block.
The loss of the money will be felt immediately by the Hamas-led government as it is needed to pay about 135,000 public sector employees.
Israel reiterated that all Hamas members were still regarded as belonging to a terrorist group and were banned from moving through Israeli-controlled checkpoints. This includes the 74 newly elected Hamas members of parliament.
Israel said the sanctions were intended to hurt the Palestinian Authority, not its people. It held back from imposing a full closure of its borders and checkpoints with Palestinian areas, which means thousands of migrant workers will still be allowed to commute into Israel subject to security clearance.
While acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert described the incoming Palestinian government as a “terrorist authority” he pointedly did not declare it a hostile body in a state of war with Israel.
The sanctions came a day after the
new Palestinian parliament was sworn in, a historic day that paves the way for the first Islamist regime in the modern era of the Holy Land.

Mystery surrounds ‘God’s’ billboards

Monday, February 20th, 2006

This really touched me. I hope that God will really bless the people doing this.

There’s one billboard that stands out among the crowd advertising health care, car sales and upcoming political figures.
It’s completely white with a few black words that read things like “You think it’s hot here?” and “Let’s meet me at my house Sunday before the game.
”The advertiser isn’t someone you can directly call or e-mail. The “advertiser” is God.
“The messages are often playful but are generally positive in na-ture,” said the Rev. Robert E. Maher of St. Joseph’s church in Edinburg. “I applaud the effort to gently remind people of some of the more important things in life.
”Though Maher hasn’t spoken about the billboards to his congrega-tion, he acknowledges their effectiveness and realizes the advertiser’s sincere motives.
But, the advertiser cannot be contacted or praised because no one knows who it is.

In 1998, an anonymous donor contacted an advertising agency with an idea for a local billboard campaign that would get people to think about a daily relationship with God.
The agency came up with the idea of creating a series of quotes from God to be placed on billboards, according to Godspeaks.com, the billboard’s Web site.
The idea was simple. White boards with black type all signed by God, according to the Web site.
The Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), an or-ganization comprised of companies that own and rent billboards, offered to use the sayings as their national public service campaign for 1999. About 10,000 billboards emerged in 200 American cities — all free-of-charge. The space to display the billboards amounted to an equivalent $15 million.
Attempts to contact Lamar Advertising Agency, which owns many of the local billboards, for comment were unsuccessful.
“I don’t know how affective they are,” said the Rev. Scott Luckey of the Faith Presbyterian Church on Los Ebanos Road. “But sometimes, you have to get things across very quickly, so in that sense, I think they can be affective.”
According to Godspeaks.com, the OAAA said the billboards are “a positive way to get people thinking about spirituality and increase the numbers of those who are going to church.”
“No one has ever come to our church because of the billboards to my knowledge,” Luckey said. “But, I’m sure someone out there has been spiritually affected by them.”
Zenya Pepin, a self-proclaimed agnostic, can’t help but “chuckle” when she drives by them.“I just think it’s great advertising,” she said. “But, they don’t make me want to get up and go to church the next day or anything.”