News From Around the Web

In honor of a lazy Saturday, let’s take a quick trip around the internet for news involving or affecting Christians. Hang on . . . here we go:

*Indiana College Bans “Too Violent” National Anthem

Tiny Goshen College in Indiana has banned the “The Star Spangled Banner: at all sporting events because the Mennonite school’s president considers the National Anthem’s words to be too violent.

The 1,000-student school had already banned the words last year, but the band could still play the music for patriots in attendance. Now, the school has banned the song entirely, according to NBC Sports.

The school’s board of directors told college President Jim Brenneman to “find an alternative to playing the National Anthem that fits with sports tradition, that honors country and that resonates with Goshen College’s core values and respects the views of diverse constituencies.”

 *Troubled by Growth of Christianity, Iranian Regime Destroys Bibles

A Shi’ite cleric affiliated with the Iranian regime has warned about the “danger”  of Christianity spreading in the Islamic republic. This come amid reports of an anti-Christianity propaganda campaign and the seizure of thousands of Bibles.

According to Mohabat News, an independent Iranian Christian news agency, Ayatollah Hadi Jahangosha expressed concern about “the spread of Christianity among our youth,” citing the availability of Christian satellite television programs, books and objects.

“Everyone in society should feel responsibility in this matter and play his or her role in spreading of pure Islam and fight false and distorted cultures,” Mohabat quoted him as saying during a presentation on Mahdism – the belief in the so-called “hidden” or 12th imam, prophesied to emerge at a time of future chaos.

Last week, Mohabat reported that authorities had seized 6,500 pocket-sized Bibles in northwestern Iran. It quoted a parliamentary advisor, Majid Abhari, as telling the Mehr news agency that Christian missionaries were out to deceive Iranians, particularly the youth.

*Divorce Rates High in Southern, Bible Belt States

Dwayne Hastings, vice president of communications for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethic and Religious Liberty Commission, said of the data, “Couples are entering into the marriage relationship without an idea, a real solid idea of what they are getting into,” he described.

He continued, “They’re not entering into [marriage] with Christ as the center.”

The church is not immune to the divorce rate, Hastings emphasized.

“Unfortunately, it’s like a lot of issues across the board that … immoral behavior is practiced by, sometimes at equal numbers…those inside the church [compared to] those outside the church.”

Numbers released by Barna Group in 2001 seems to support Hastings’ notion.

The group reports that 33 percent of all born-again Christians who have been married have gone through divorce compared to 34 percent of non-born-again adults.

However, Focus on the Family’s Family Formation Studies Director, Glenn Stanton, believes a differentiation must be made between those who are truly practicing their faith and those that are simply affiliated with a church.

*Teacher Who Made Anti-Gay FB Post To Return To Classroom

On July 25, Buell posted on his Facebook page, “I’m watching the news, eating dinner, when the story about New York okaying same sex unions came on and I almost threw up.” 

“If they want to call it a union, go ahead. But don’t insult a man and woman’s marriage by throwing it in the same cesspool as same-sex whatever! God will not be mocked. When did this sin become acceptable???,” Buell added.

Moxley said she has issued Buell a list of directives, which will become public record in 10 days, to follow.

Buell said the decision is a victory for First Amendment rights, but the school district still maintains there are limits on what a teacher can say in their private lives if it impacts the classroom.

*Google Won’t Give Churches Same Break it Gives Other Non-Profits

The company whose unofficial motto is “Don’t Be Evil,” apparently has a new commandment: Thou shalt not give discounts to churches.

Tech giant Google has an entire suite of software, Google Apps,that it offers for businesses and non-profits. It used to be that Google offered the software, including GMail, for free or at a discount for non-profits, including churches.

But back in March, the company changed the policy such that the non-profit discount would not apply to  “any organization that considers religion or sexual orientation in hiring decisions” or that proselytizes, Christianity Today reporter Matt Branaugh noted on Wednesday.

* Dog Won’t Leave Fallen Navy Seal’s Side

* Finally, you must see this video clip of a 10-yard old performing Michael W. Smith’s Agnes Dei. Incredible!

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