News Update - November 2014


First "International Day of the Bible" to Launch Nov. 24
Bible ministry groups across the country are asking people to read or promote scripture publicly or online at noon on Nov.24 in what's been dubbed the first International Day of the Bible.

"This is a very simple act of faithfulness and honor to God about His word," Richard Glickstein, president of the National Bible Association, told The Christian Post. "God's word is meant to encourage us and bring us personal hope, but it is also meant to bring us together to realize that this is such a great gift ... and trust that He can change our world through it. The words of God changed my life and continue to. It's not our event, we hope it's an event for the body of Christ and those who love God, come together and thank Him."

The day is being sponsored by the National Bible Association along with support from the American Bible Society and the YouVersion Bible app.

"We're thrilled with the reception to the launch of International Day of the Bible so far and are encouraging everyone from faith groups to performing artists as well as business, sports, community and religious leaders to participate and share their appreciation via social media or in public at noon in their local time zones," said Glickstein. "Honoring God's Word and asking Him to bless our nations and bring peace to the world is particularly apt in this period of great turmoil."

Organizers are encouraging people to use the hashtag #BibleCelebration for posting online comments, videos, photos and creative expressions. 

Christian Headlines Daily

Is Houston Still Targeting Pastors' Sermons?
Houston Mayor Annise Parker officially rescinded controversial subpoenas for five pastors who supported a lawsuit challenging an anti-bias ordinance she supports, but she's still on the hunt for sermons and emails. 

Official court documents warn the mayor's legal team may request more sermons and private correspondence, this time from two African-American pastors named as plaintiffs in the suit against the city. None of the five subpoenaed pastors were listed as plaintiffs to the lawsuit.

Opponents of an LGBT anti-bias policy adopted by the city council sued on August 5 after Parker's administration invalidated a referendum petition to place the ordinance on the November ballot. Lawyers for the city had given five pastors involved in the petition effort an Oct. 10 deadline to hand over sermons and electronic communications containing their opinions on homosexuality and gender identity. The mayor claimed the subpoenas were necessary to defend the city against the lawsuit scheduled for trial in January. 

"The city will move to compel documents from the plaintiffs who filed this lawsuit and who have refused to produce any documents in response to the city's requests," lawyers claimed in a court document filed Friday. The city's lawyers pledge to refocus all of their pressure on the plaintiffs, rather than other petition organizers, according to the document. 

Christian Headlines Daily

Maryland School District to Remove Religious Holidays from School Calendar
Montgomery County schools in Maryland will no longer recognize Christian or Jewish holidays on school calendars after members of the Muslim community campaigned for their holy day of Eid al-Adha so to receive equal treatment. 

Fox News reports that starting in the 2015-2016 academic year, students will still have days off from school for holidays such as Christmas and Easter, but the calendar will refer to the days as "Winter Break" and "Spring Break." For Jewish holidays such as Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah, the school calendar will be marked as "no school for students and teachers" but not be associated with the religious holidays. 

The decision was voted upon by the school district's board. Montgomery County Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr reportedly recommended the move after feeling pressure from Muslim leaders to give students the day off of school to observe Eid-al-Adha. 

Saqib Ali, the co-chair of the Equality for Eid Coalition said, "By stripping the names Christmas, Easter, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, they have alienated other communities now, and we are no closer to equality. It's a pretty drastic step, and they did it without any public notification."

Christian Headlines Daily

Kentucky Baptists Expel Gay-Affirming Church
A church in Kentucky has been ousted from its denomination for its openness to performing and holding gay weddings. The Kentucky Baptist Convention decided November 11 to expel Crescent Hill Baptist Church of Louisville, stating that it could not be affiliated with a church that promotes homosexuality. 

Director of the convention Paul Chitwood said, "We're all sinners and we recognize that, but for a church to say ‘we're going to endorse the sin, we're going to call what the Bible calls wrong, [and] call it right', that becomes the issue."

According to the Crescent Hill website, the church believes, "God loves all people without condition." It continues, "In 2013 the church clarified its relationship with LGBTQ individuals. The congregation overwhelmingly voted to be open to grant ordination, hire, or perform wedding ceremonies for LGBTQ individuals."

Crescent Hill pastor Rev. Jason Crosby attended the meeting that ultimately decided the fate of the church. He said, "We are Bible-led, Kentucky Baptists to whom God has revealed a different perspective on (gay and lesbian) individuals to us, rather than to you I suspect, yet we still want to be with you." 

Only a few members of the Convention voted in favor of Crescent Hill. 

Christian Headlines Daily

Pastor Would Rather Go to Jail than Obey State Mandate to Provide Abortion Coverage
A pastor in California says that he would choose jail time over providing church employees with abortion coverage in their health insurance. Pastor Jack Hibbs is strongly opposed to the state mandate which requires all employers to cover abortion procedures in employee health plans. 

Christian Today reports that the pastor of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills has now joined forces with six other churches to challenge the new mandate. The churches hired Alliance Defending Freedom and Life Legal Defense Foundation to argue that the state mandate is a violation of their religious freedom. 

Hibbs said, "I felt violated; I felt forced. I love America and I love American history, and I have a lot of invested interest in defending the unborn." The pastor said he will stop at nothing to maintain his biblical stance on abortion. "We will take this to the point of being jailed, if necessary, being arrested, if necessary-whatever it takes," he said. "I cannot violate my biblical worldview. Once I have to do that, I no longer live in the United States our founding fathers gave me." 

"God is the engineer of life-He's the giver of life. I cannot think of a human being more defenseless than an unborn baby."

Christian Headlines Daily

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