News Briefs From Planet Earth - December 2003


(AgapePress) ...A pro-family group says retailer Best Buy has chosen to disregard corporate responsibility to its customers by choosing to use "drug-dealer logic" to promote a violent, sexually perverted, and profanity-laced video game. American Family Association has cheered major retailers like Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, and KB Toys for declining distribution of the new video game, BMX XXX, because of its decadent content. In an AFA ActionAlert, AFA President Tim Wildmon criticized the national retail chain for its plans to distribute the game, which was unabashedly described by its developers as "Live strippers, pimps, ho's and enough dog-doo to make you p-- your pants." Wildmon says it is not enough for parents to monitor what video games their children buy and play at home because many kids can find sex, violence, and profanity-laced games at a friend's house and experience them without their parent's knowledge.


(AgapePress) ?Many Christian and conservative leaders have been urging parents to remove their children from the public school system because of the social engineering, anti-God attitude of those who make up the education establishment. Will that weaken the public education system? Eagle Forum's Phyllis Schlafly says even with many parents taking their kids out of the public school system, the current education establishment will remain. She acknowledges that the education establishment has billions of dollars of taxpayer money, 89% of America's children, and properties that are quite valuable. But, Schlafly says, it is really telling the parents to "get lost." She says the establishment" is going to do it their way and parents ought to be alert to what is going on." Schlafly says the establishment is not reflective of the mainstream of this nation-mainstream parents or mainstream teachers. Critics feel it must be cleaned up from the inside out, if at all.


(AgapePress) ...A Messianic Jewish evangelist who lives in Israel says it should be easy to understand that Islam and democracy cannot easily co-exist - just read the Koran, he says. Marty Cohen was born in the United States, but now lives in Israel where he directs the ministry known as Messianic Messages. Cohen says the U.S. needs to understand that the Islamic world is not very compatible with democracy, which is a Judeo-Christian concept. Cohen says the Arab people are very tribal and because of that - in addition to their character and religion - a democracy, as Americans understand it, is out of the question. Cohen says the United States needs to scrap the idea of creating a "democratic Palestinian state." He says that if the American government would like to see a Palestinian democracy, then America should force Jordan to become one - something he says is hardly a possibility.


(AgapePress) ...A Christian author and speaker has a warning for believers when it comes to trendy worship. Ravi Zacharias of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries says too many Christians equate worship with pleasure - and that, he says, can lead to trouble. Zacharias is concerned that in many churches "we manufacture emotions - we engineer sentiments." And, he says, if Christians do not do that bound by truth and the beauty of God's holiness, "we, too, will come away empty with the experience." Zacharias says instead of pursuing pleasure in a worship experience, Christians should pursue Jesus.


(AgapePress) ...USA Today reports Israel is playing a key role in helping the United States prepare for a war against Iraq. The newspaper quotes intelligence sources who say the Israelis are helping train American soldiers and marines for urban warfare, conducting clandestine surveillance missions, and allowing the U.S. to place combat supplies in Israel. In contrast, Saudi Arabia - which supplied passports for most of the 9-11 hijackers - announced over the weekend it will not allow the United States to launch attacks against Iraq from within its borders.


(AgapePress) ...President Bush and the First Lady have sent their "best wishes for a blessed time" to Muslims and Islamic nations at the beginning of their holy month of Ramadan. In a White House statement, the Bushes called Islam "a peace-loving faith." However, most evangelical Christians disagree with the First Couple's assessment of the false religion. Muslim extremists hijacked four airliners and killed more than 3,000 people - mostly Americans - in September 2001, and Muslim doctrine in the Koran stresses the killing of Jews and Christians

Editor's Note: Islam instructs men to beat disrespectful wives. President Bush declares Islam a "peace-loving" faith. Is there a doctor in the house?


(AgapePress) ...A best-selling author and conservative columnist says the mainstream media is blatantly trying to cover up the fact that Beltway sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad is, in fact, a Muslim. Ann Coulter writes in that there are some cold, hard facts about the suspect. For one, he is a Muslim, converting to that religion 17 years ago; and he changed his name to John Muhammad. He also belonged to Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam and cheered the September 11 terrorist attacks on America. Coulter says inasmuch as America is at war against Islamic terrorists, the public might think it would be of passing interest that the sniper suspect is a Muslim. And yet, she says, The New York Times and other mainstream media outlets have decided that the crucial, salient fact about Muhammad is that he is a Gulf War veteran. In addition, Coulter says not to be outdone by the Times, CNN has valiantly insisted upon calling John Allen Muhammad by his Christian name - John Allen Williams.


(AgapePress) ...The founder of a Wisconsin-based Christian activist group says it is time for the Christian Church in American to stand up to the unbiblical claims made by homosexuals. Mel White, leader of the pro-homosexual group Soulforce, and his male partner recently moved into a house directly across the street from Pastor Jerry Falwell's Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia. Pastor Ralph Ovadal, director of Wisconsin Christians United, says Christians need to stand against the claims made by homosexuals who use their interpretations of the Bible to support their amoral beliefs. Ovadal says they are trying to disciple the world around them into accepting those beliefs which, he says, are "of the devil." Having read their literature and knowing their "clever" methodology, Ovadal declares it "a total assault on God's Word." He warns that if unsuspecting people do not understand the Bible and what it really says about homosexuality, some of them are going to be convinced the homosexual viewpoint is acceptable.


(AgapePress) ...A pro-family group is taking a major home improvement retailer to task for compromising family values in the name of profits. Randy Sharp is director of special projects for the American Family Association. Sharp says the stock price of Home Depot has been a bit sluggish lately, so the company has decided on what it calls an "aggressive advertising campaign." The problem, according to Sharp, is that Home Depot does not care where they buy and place their advertising message. He points out that Home Depot has begun advertising on television's "nastiest" shows - programs that contain explicit and graphic violence, sex, and profanity. Sharp, who says this is very unlike the Home Depot of the past, acknowledges that when AFA contacted Home Depot, the response was basically: "We're trying to reach a market, and it's all about selling our product. It's not about morality and what's right or wrong." Unfortunately, Sharp says, Home Depot's attitude of "profit above principles" is reflective of many of today's companies.


(AgapePress) ...A bio-tech firm has announced it has women who are three months pregnant with human clones. That is one aspect of cloning that both sides of the issue have condemned. "Clonaid," a group associated with the Raelian cult, reports previous attempts to clone humans among its members has resulted in miscarriages. Dr. David Stevens of the Christian Medical and Dental Association, suggests firms like Clonaid are damaging an otherwise very good industry. Stevens says only about half-a-dozen biotech firms out of thousands of firms in the bio-tech group are actively involved in human cloning. But those few, he says, make a lot of noise and are working very hard to move the human cloning procedure forward, ahead of any potential congressional ban on the science. Stevens believes the bio-tech industry has done a lot of good for mankind, but he says it is struggling today with ethics - because technology is advancing ahead of ethics much faster than ever before. He believes such advancements need to be tempered.


(AgapePress) ...The president of a Christian relief organization says a famine in southern Africa is the worst he has ever seen. As many as 14 million people may go hungry because of the famine that is threatening the region, and crop failures and food shortages are leading to an alarming increase in malnutrition rates. Clive Calver, president of World Relief, says there is still a chance to help these peoples. Calver says he has walked among "walking skeletons" and watched people dying of hunger before. He added that he has seen mothers put their babies on the ground to die - but, he says, "I've never seen a situation where a famine is literally just beginning in front of my eyes and where we could, as [the] Church, save the situation."


(AgapePress) ...Emory University is short one professor following a report from a committee of scholars who claim Michael Bellesiles "ground-breaking" book, Arming America, was somewhat less than factual. Critics say that in the book, Bellesiles insisted the founding fathers hated guns, most colonists did not own guns, and the Second Amendment did not mean citizens have the right to bear arms. Pro-gun author Steve Halbrook knew immediately something was amiss. "When this book came out," Halbrook said, "I read it immediately and I detected numerous errors." Halbrook, who says authors do not make errors like Halbrook did if they claim to know about the topic, claims page-after-page of Bellesiles' book contained falsehoods. The review committee report also mentioned "evidence of falsification," "egregious misrepresentation," and "exaggeration of data." Bellesiles has since resigned his position at Emory University.


(AgapePress) ...For years, he was known as the "Minister of Defense" in the National Football League. Now, Reggie White is on a crusade to call the Church back to righteousness. Several years ago, White made headlines when he made a speech before the Wisconsin legislature in which he said homosexuality was a "sinful lifestyle." White believes the Lord was preparing him to call the Church to holiness - much like the Old Testament prophets did with Israel. White made clear that the Old Testament prophets were raised up to call people back to God. Today, White says, Christians tolerate too much un-Christ-like behavior in the Church. "We let people get away with living any way they want to," he says. And White wonders if the Church is sometimes allowing unholiness in many situations to keep the resources coming through. White made his comments on James Robinson's Life Today television show.

Editor's Note: Non-profit groups such as United Way come under attack by our secular society, and rightly so, when regional directors earn $150,000 per year and up, for soliciting donations. What a shame it is that some pastors push and prod their congregations to donate more money for their church and then take similar six-figure salaries and benefits. Jesus set the example for leaders. Jesus became poor to make many rich so that His followers would follow His example. You're only suppose to follow Christian leaders as they follow Christ. When they're not following Jesus, you don't have to follow them.

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