Friday, April 15, 2011

Protestant Movement Growing In Russia

Christian Broadcasting Network

MOSCOW -- In a land where the Russian Orthodox Church dominates, one evangelical charismatic church is creating spiritual waves.

"The Protestant movement is growing very strongly," said Rick Renner, senior pastor of Moscow Good New Church.

Renner and his wife Denise are at the forefront of the movement. In 1991, the couple moved their family to what is now the former Soviet Union with the goal of reaching Russians with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Nine years later, in September 2000, they started Moscow Good News Church in the Russian capital city.

"Moscow church is approximately 3,500 people in regular attendance," Renner told CBN News. That's big for Russia, where most Protestant churches attract less than a thousand people to each of their congregations.

Reaching the Upper Crust

While the goal is to reach a broad section of those living in the Moscow metropolis, the church puts a special emphasis on reaching the upper class.

"Specifically, as a part of our vision is to reach a higher class of people," Renner said.

That's because "they need God too and there aren't many churches that they can actually feel comfortable in," he explained.

Most Russians belong to the Orthodox Church. Currently, there are an estimated 30,000 churches dotting the Russian landscape.

The church is gaining more prominence after decades of persecution under the Soviet system. Yet, this new found role isn't necessarily translating into regular attendance or observance.

"Most people don't even know the tenants of the faith," Roman Lunkin of the Slavic Center for Law & Justice, explained. "They don't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Nowadays, it is hip to be religious in Russia."

A Whole New Experience

But Renner says something different happens at Moscow Good News. Those from an Orthodox background find the evangelical church community a whole new experience.

"Some of them are shocked!" he exclaimed. "Some of them think, 'Wow, I've only seen this in movies!'"

Along with the preaching of the Gospel, worship and style of music played in church is a big draw too.

Read More from CBN

Video Parody Of Call Of Duty Video Games Has Parents Concerned


ROCKLIN, CA - Some would-be filmmakers at Rocklin High school are raising eyebrows with their latest production.

It's a parody of the popular video war game, Call of Duty: Black Ops, but in this video it's students, not soldiers being shot for extra points. The student video was filmed on the Rocklin High campus and was posted on YouTube.

While the student filmmakers are seen in the video chuckling, parent Liz Hunter said she's not laughing. "It's in bad taste," Hunter said. "It's too real and too much like the Columbine tragedy."

Read More From News 10

Army Grants Soldier Leave To Attend "Sons" Funeral After Community Protests

GARDEN CITY, Kansas - A soldier overseas, who was told he couldn't attend the funeral of the boy he calls his son, is actually on a plane to Kansas. The Army changed its mind after an outcry of thousands who thought Owen should be granted the request.

It all started when the army told Owen that he couldn't come home to attend the funeral of her fiance's son Kaylien.

Owen made the request because he raised Kaylien and considered him his own.

"DNA should not matter,” said Owen. “That does not make you a father. I don't care who you are."

Thousands took to facebook to share his story. Supporters created a “Bring Nick Home” page with over 11,000 supporters.

A constant flow of posts crowded the page with people saying things like, “Nick I'm so happy you get to come home for Kayliens funeral," and "Praying works and never underestimate the power of facebook."

"I’m at a loss for words honestly; it's really amazing what people have done for me,” said Owen.

Early Thursday morning, Owen got the good news that the Army had changed its mind.

Look how much pressure we put on them,” said Owen. “They understood that me and my supporters back home don't take no for an answer as being a parent."

Read More From KSN.com

Why You Should Care About BRICS

Atheists Using Social Media Sites To Attack Christian Ministries

One News Now
Ken Ham, co-founder of the Creation Museum, was recently shocked to learn that an atheist had placed pornographic images, extreme profanity and vile statements about Christianity on his Facebook page.

Creation Museum spokesman Mark Looy sees the web as a wonderful tool for Christians, but he says many critics of the gospel and those who hate Christian ministries are using social networking sites like Facebook to promote their own agenda.

"In this instance, we know who the person is who went to Ken Ham's Facebook page, [and] we know who his employers are," Looy reports. "The employer's code of conduct indicates what this individual did was against their policy, and I hope they'll take the appropriate action."

The Patriot Update identifies the guilty party as Bob Seashols, a coordination center officer for the Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) at Richmond International Airport who is also an administrator for Atheists United's Facebook page.

Looy points out that so-called "angry atheists" and other secular humanists have become much more aggressive with their attacks against ministries that proclaim the Bible, "but you'd think some modicum of decency would prevail amongst even some of the angry atheists -- [that they would] not...resort to using vile language...horrible images and ad hominem attacks [but] just present their arguments in at least a civil manner."

Read More from One News Now

7th Circuit Court Upholds National Day Of Prayer

Posted on Apr 14, 2011 | by Staff WASHINGTON (BP)

A federal appeals court reversed April 14 a 2010 ruling that had invalidated the National Day of Prayer.

A three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago struck down in a unanimous decision federal judge Barbara Crabb's opinion that a law establishing a day for the observance was unconstitutional. The appellate ruling came almost one year to the day of Crabb's controversial ruling.

Last year's 66-page decision by the judge from Wisconsin's Western District had threatened a tradition as old as the American republic and a specific observance in effect for nearly 60 years. Congress passed a resolution in 1952 calling on the president to establish the National Day of Prayer as an annual event, which President Truman initiated the same year and which presidents since have recognized with proclamations. In 1988, Congress amended the law to set the first Thursday of May for its observance.

Critics of last year's ruling by Crabb applauded the Seventh Circuit's decision.

"I'm grateful that sanity still reigns at the appellate court level, at least in the Seventh Circuit," said Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. "The idea that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional is absurd on its face. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.

"Americans have been having national days of prayer long before the Constitution was ratified and ever since the Constitution was ratified, and, God willing, we will have them for many centuries into the future," Land said.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, whose organization filed a friend-of-the-court brief opposing last year's opinion, commended the appeals court "for rejecting even the idea of a federal lawsuit that demands this kind of religious expression be scrubbed from the public square."

"Today's ruling sends a message to Judge Barbara Crabb and any other activist judge who would rewrite the Constitution to advance a hostile treatment of religion in public life," Perkins said in the written statement. "This is a perfect example of a harassing lawsuit that should have been dismissed at the outset."

In writing for the panel, Frank Easterbrook, the Seventh Circuit's chief judge, required only nine pages to express the court's opinion that the Freedom From Religion Foundation did not have legal standing to sue the president of the United States over the observance. The organization -- based in Madison, Wis., and consisting of atheists and agnostics -- had filed suit in 2008, saying the law violates the First Amendment's clause barring government establishment of religion.

Neither the law nor presidential proclamations implementing it injure those bringing the suit, Easterbrook wrote. The law "does not require any private person to do anything -- or for that matter to take any action in response to whatever the President proclaims," he said.

Though the annual presidential proclamation regarding the National Day of Prayer "speaks to all citizens, no one is obliged to pray, any more than a person would be obliged to hand over his money if the President asked all citizens to support the Red Cross and other charities," Easterbrook wrote. "It is not just that there are no penalties for noncompliance; it is that disdaining the President's proclamation is not a 'wrong.'"

No sensible person would assume a court should censor a president's speech to remove statements that might offend some in the audience, said Easterbrook, who was nominated by President Reagan.

He cited President Lincoln's mention of God seven times and prayer three times in his second inaugural address, which is engraved in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. "An argument that the prominence of these words injures every citizen, and that the Judicial Branch could order them to be blotted out, would be dismissed as preposterous," he wrote.

After Crabb's ruling last year, the National Day of Prayer Task Force said the tradition of designating an official day of prayer began with the Continental Congress in 1775. Afterward, President Washington issued a National Day of Thanksgiving Proclamation.

Read More from Baptist Press

California To Pass Bill That Would Mandate Schools Teach "Gay History"

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people would be added to the lengthy list of social and ethnic groups that public schools must include in social studies lessons under a landmark bill passed Thursday by the California Senate.

If the bill is adopted by the state Assembly and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, California would become the first state to require the teaching of gay history.

Supporters say the move is needed to counter anti-gay stereotypes and beliefs that make children in those groups vulnerable to bullying and suicide.

Opponents counter that such instruction would further burden an already crowded curriculum and expose students to a subject that some parents find objectionable.

The legislation, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco, passed on a 23-14 party line vote. It also would add disabled people to the curriculum.

The bill gives school districts flexibility in deciding what to include in the lessons and at what grades students would receive them.

But starting in the 2013-14 school year, it would prohibit districts and the California Board of Education from using textbooks or other instructional materials that reflect adversely on gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

Appealing to colleagues for support, Leno said gay children still struggle routinely with verbal and physical abuse at school, even though society is more accepting than when he was a gay youth in the 1960s.

"We are second-class citizens and children are listening," he said. "When they see their teachers don't step up to the plate when their classmate is being harassed literally to death, they are listening and they get the message that there is something wrong with those people."

Republican Sen. Doug La Malfa of Butte opposed the bill.

"I'm deeply troubled kids would have to contemplate at a very, very early age, when many of us are teaching abstinence ... what is sexuality," he said.

California law already requires schools to cover the contributions to the state and nation of women, African Americans, Mexican Americans, entrepreneurs, Asian Americans, European Americans, American Indians and labor.

Read More from Yahoo News/Associated Press

Obama Says GOP Tried To Sneak Their Agenda Into Budget

In what he thought was a private chat with campaign donors Thursday evening, President Obama offered the most revealing behind-the-scenes account to date of his budget negotiations with GOP leaders last week.

CBS Radio News White House correspondent Mark Knoller listened in to an audio feed of Mr. Obama's conversation with donors after other reporters traveling with the president had left the room.

In the candid remarks, Mr. Obama complains of Republican attempts to attach measures to the budget bill which would have effectively killed parts of his hard-won health care reform program.

"I said, 'You want to repeal health care? Go at it. We'll have that debate. You're not going to be able to do that by nickel-and-diming me in the budget. You think we're stupid?'" recalled the president of his closed-door negotiations on the bill to fund the federal government until September. (listen to the remarks in the video at left)

Mr. Obama said he told House Speaker John Boehner and members of his staff that he'd spent a year and a half getting the sweeping health care legislation passed -- paying "significant political costs" along the way -- and wouldn't let them undo it in a six-month spending bill.

Read More from CBS News

Study Shows 17% Of Women Addicted To Online Porn

A study found that 17% of women describe themselves as ‘addicted’ to online porn.

It was an ordinary weekday morning when Caroline first noticed how much pornography was taking over her life. With 15 minutes to go before she was due to leave for a job interview, she opened up her laptop to print off an extra copy of her CV and there, onscreen, was a grab she'd saved from pornhub.com.

"I remember the feeling of being sucked in, really wanting that two-minute fix, that numbness I got when I used porn," says Caroline. "I was stressed out, and I risked being late for my interview, but I pressed play anyway and fast-forwarded it to the bit I wanted. It took two minutes." But the relief was to be short-lived. "Afterwards I just hated myself for giving in and getting off on images that treated women like pieces of meat. But I kept going back."

Although there is much debate about whether "porn addiction" even exists, Caroline, a 21-year-old English graduate, has just finished seeing a sex addiction therapist to help get her porn habit under control. Having started watching porn out of curiosity when it became available over the internet in her mid-teens, she and her mates used it as a graphic form of sex education. She saw nothing wrong with it, particularly as she was raised in a generation of girls for whom it was seen as hip and liberated to enjoy watching sex.

Then, as she entered a depressed job market after university, it became a form of escape, a default she turned to whenever she felt anxious or bored. "I'd be stuck at home in front of my laptop on my own all day. I'd wake up with all these ideas for the day – and end up surfing for porn, trying to distract myself, eating and then going back for more porn. No one would ever have known. But I didn't get much done. It was like a constant battle between my sexual urges and my self-control. I'd think to myself: 'It's not doing any harm.' But then I started to loathe myself for giving in and wasting so much time on it."

Caroline is not alone. While it's accepted that women are watching – and enjoying – porn more and more, it's less recognised that some are also finding it hard to stop. At Quit Porn Addiction, the UK's main porn counselling service, almost one in three clients are women struggling with their own porn use, says founder and counsellor Jason Dean. Two years ago, there were none.While more than six out of 10 women say they view web porn, one study in 2006 by the Internet Filter Review found that 17% of women describe themselves as "addicted".

Dean says: "I remember getting my first woman contacts about two years ago and thinking that was fairly unusual. Now I'm hearing from about 70 women a year who are coming for their own reasons, not because their male partners have a problem."

There is little difference in the way the genders become hooked, says Jason. There is the same pattern of exposure, addiction, and desensitisation to increasingly hardcore images. The main contrast between male and female porn addicts is how much more guilty women feel. "Porn addiction is seen as a man's problem – and therefore not acceptable for women," says Dean. "There's a real sense among women that it's bad, dirty, wrong and they're often unable to get beyond that."

Read More From Guardian.co.uk

Arizona To Pass Presidential Birther Bill

PHOENIX (Fox News)-- The Arizona Legislature gave final approval late Thursday night to a proposal that would require President Obama and other presidential candidates to prove they are U.S. citizens before their names can appear on the state's ballot.

Arizona would become the first state to require such proof if Gov. Jan Brewer signs the measure into law.

Republican Rep. Carl Seel of Phoenix, the author of the bill, said the bill wasn't about opposition to Obama. "This bill is about the integrity of our elections," Seel said.

Thirteen other states have considered similar proposals this year. The proposals were defeated in Arkansas, Connecticut, Maine and Montana.

The bill won final approval from the state House in a 40-16 vote.

So-called "birthers" contend since the last presidential election that Obama is ineligible to hold the nation's highest elected office because, they argue, he was actually born in Kenya, his father's homeland. The Constitution said a person must be a "natural-born citizen" to be eligible for the presidency.

Hawaii officials have repeatedly confirmed Obama's citizenship, and his Hawaiian birth certificates have been made public. Even though the courts have rebuffed lawsuits challenging Obama's eligibility, the issue hasn't gone away.