Tuesday, September 30, 2008

33 pastors make presidential endorsements from pulpit

Most pastors get a bit squeamish when the subject of politics and the pulpit arises. For at least 33 pastors this past Sunday, the subject was tackled from head-on:

33 Pastors Flout Tax Law With Political Sermons

By Peter Slevin

Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, September 29, 2008; A02

CROWN POINT, Ind., Sept. 28 -- Defying a federal law that prohibits U.S. clergy from endorsing political candidates from the pulpit, an evangelical Christian minister told his congregation Sunday that voting for Sen. Barack Obama would be evidence of "severe moral schizophrenia."

The Rev. Ron Johnson Jr. told worshipers that the Democratic presidential nominee's positions on abortion and gay partnerships exist "in direct opposition to God's truth as He has revealed it in the Scriptures." Johnson showed slides contrasting the candidates' views but stopped short of endorsing Obama's Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain.

Johnson and 32 other pastors across the country set out Sunday to break the rules, hoping to generate a legal battle that will prompt federal courts to throw out a 54-year-old ban on political endorsements by tax-exempt houses of worship.


Asked why he felt the need to discuss the candidates by name and to be explicit in rejecting Obama and his pro-choice views, Johnson said he must connect the dots because he is not sure that all members of his congregation can do so on their own.

The congregation greeted Johnson's reasoning and his criticism of Obama with applause.

"When things of the world don't line up with Scripture," said Ed Kraus, 61, who executes reverse mortgages for a living, "he has a right to say they don't."

Ruth Stiener went a step further. "He has a duty," she said. "Heaven forbid that that is ever taken away from our pastors."


"Senator Obama is a committed Christian and a man of deep faith," said Joshua DuBois, Obama's national religious affairs director. "And the notion that there is only one way to address issues like abortion, or that people of faith cannot support full civil rights for all Americans, is absurd."

Read the rest here.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A long Sunday at home...

...recuperating from a sinus infection. Saw this, and wanted to share:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Son, I'm Home": More parents move in with kids

Ran across this little bit today...read it but whatever you do, don't let your in-laws see this!

More parents move in with kids
In-laws, too, and others

By Greg Toppo and Anthony DeBarrosUSA TODAY

In the 1990s, your family came for dinner. Now they're moving in.

The number of parents, siblings and other relatives who live with adult heads of households grew 42% from 2000 to 2007, according to data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Leading the way: parents, up 67%, to 3.6 million.

The figures suggest it isn't only elderly parents moving in. The number of parents under 65 in these households increased by 75%, and those 65 and older were up 62%. Both groups outpaced the rise in the number of people in family households overall, which is up 6% since 2000.

"This is just a major trend," says Stephanie Coontz, a family history professor at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., who directs research at the Council on Contemporary Families.
Coontz suspects that a host of factors — among them higher housing costs and the USA's struggling economy — are prompting families to combine expenses. Also, intergenerational households are more common among the country's growing number of immigrants, she says.

But Coontz also notes that parent-child relationships are closer now than in the past. The downside, she says, is the emergence of the so-called helicopter parent who may hover too closely, but the upside is a tighter bond between generations and, in many cases, closer friendships between grown children and their parents. "I don't know how many of my students have told me, 'This may sound weird, but I talk to my parents more than I talk to my friends.' "

Read the rest here.

Sunday AM Series: Romans

Pastor Joel Santti: Romans 13

"Be Subject"

-Submission one of the chief earmarks of the child of God.

Submission to Government

Subject because of Wrath (v. 1-4)
-this type of submission is less about personalities, and more about authority.
-one doesn't have to fear authority if one submits.
-obvious exception to this: when government edict conflicts with God's law (see Acts 5:28-29)
-the Christian should respect, esteem, and pray for public officials (this echoes Rom. 12:18)
-see also I Peter 2:13-17

Subject because of Conscience (v. 5-7)

Subject because of Love (v. 8-10)

Subject because of Our Redemption (v. 11-14)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Our Missionary Families

Last night was another milestone in the life of our church. The first missionary families supported by Reconciliation Church were selected by a vote of church members. We'd like to welcome the following missionaries to the Reconciliation Church family:

-Jim & Becky Carter, Alaska
-Adam & Brandie Crabtree, Greece
-Rich & Mindy Krecl, Israel
-Lionel & Carol Martin, Portugal
-Rick & Cheri Moeller, South Africa/Scotland
-New Testament Church Planting, USA

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Coming Monday...

...we have missionaries to introduce. One of our new missionaries' countries flag is below. Can you guess where?

P.S. Sermon notes also on the way...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mickey Mouse: target of Jihad?

I'm not kidding. The loveable American icon is the target of an Muslim cleric's fatwa (religious decree) which labels Mickey as "a soldier of Satan" who "should be killed in all cases". You can't make this stuff up:

"Saudi cleric Sheik Mohammed Munajjid said the cartoon character Mickey Mouse should be killed. Munajjid said in an interview with a religious Web site that under Islamic law, rats and mice are considered "repulsive" and as "soldiers of Satan."

"For children they've become something great and beloved. Like this Mickey Mouse, who is seen as a great figure, even though under Islamic law, Mickey Mouse should be killed," said Munajjid."

No word on Donald Duck's fate...