January 31, 2011- February 6, 2011 
 News In Review
 Vol 6, Issue 6
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Dear Ron,

The News In Review newsletter is a service provided by Understand The Times that is a compilation of the news articles previously posted on our site . Understand The Times does not endorse these events but rather is showing the church the current events.  The purpose of posting these articles is to warn the church of deception from a Biblical perspective.

 January 27 - Theologian integrates bodily movement into church practices
 Article: Unbiblical Christianity

When the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary recently pronounced yoga incompatible with Christian practice, the Rev. Marcia Mount Shoop saw an opening for a wider conversation. Her new book, "Let the Bones Dance: Embodiment and the Body of Christ" (Westminster John Knox Press), argues that many Protestant Christians feel uncomfortable in their own skins and have opted to silence the body.

"The uniqueness of Christianity traces itself back to a well-known miraculous event in a barn in Bethlehem in which Christians proclaim that God - yes, God - took on a flesh and blood body in the form of Jesus Christ," she wrote on her blog in response to the Rev. Al Mohler's attack on yoga. "The body for Christians was, and is, a crucial point of contact with God."

Shoop, whose husband, John, is the offensive coordinator for the UNC-CH football team, is herself a daily yoga practitioner. She is also an avid horseback rider and a former competitive runner. Over the past few years, she has made it her mission to integrate bodily movement into church practices, whether it's body prayers, breathing exercises or labyrinth walks.

One way Shoop gets in touch with her own body is riding horses. "Riding is a way for me to get out of my head and embody my connection to a bigger world that is more than thinking, but feeling," she said.

If she has one wish for the church, it's that it too would break free from its cognitive straitjacket. "The body is a partner," she said. "It has wisdom. It's not just a sinful vessel but a spiritual vessel that's part of our Christian walk."

Read Full Article .... 

 January 28 - Sen. Paul Calls for Cutting U.S. Aid to Israel
 Article: Israel And The Last Days

A new Republican senator favors cutting U.S. aid to Israel as part of a deficit-driven effort to slash government spending by $500 billion this year, drawing criticism from Democrats and Republicans who argue the U.S. must be unwavering in its support for the longtime Mideast ally. 

Sen. Rand Paul, who is backed by the conservative tea party movement, unveiled his budget proposal this week that would make significant cuts in education, housing and energy while reducing money for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq by $16 billion. Paul's plan also would cut some $20 billion in overseas aid, and he said he wants to eliminate the $3 billion the United States provides to Israel annually in foreign military assistance. 

"The overwhelming majority of Americans agree with Senator Paul -- our current fiscal crisis makes it impossible to continue the spending policies of the past," Paul spokesman Gary Howard said in a statement responding to the criticism. "We simply cannot afford to give money away, even to our allies, with so much debt mounting on a daily basis." 

"We share Senator Paul's commitment to restraining the growth of federal spending, but we reject his misguided proposal to end U.S. assistance to our ally Israel," said Matthew Brooks, executive director for the Republican Jewish Coalition, in a statement Thursday. Rep. Nita Lowey, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees foreign aid, said the United States cannot renege on its commitment to the only Democratic nation in a dangerous region. 

"Using our budget deficit as a reason to abandon Israel is inexcusable," Lowey said in a statement. "It is unclear to me whether Rand Paul speaks for the tea party, the Republican Party or simply himself. I call on all those who value the U.S.-Israel relationship to make it clear that our nation will not abandon our ally Israel." 

Read Full Article.... 

 January 27 - Brian McLaren: Christians in Denial Over Evolution of Faith
 Article: Emerging Church

Controversial emergent church leader Brian McLaren said recently that Christians are in "deep denial" over the continuous evolution of the Christian faith which allows the work of Charles Darwin to be celebrated, not feared.  McLaren, who argued for an overhaul of the Christian faith in his 2010 book A New Kind of Christianity, joined a panel discussion Tuesday that addressed the evolution of the church and the Christian identity in postmodern or "post-postmodern" times.
The telecast discussion is part of "The Advent of Evolutionary Christianity," a project that seeks to bring together a diverse panel of "evolution-celebrating" Christians who don't believe one has to settle on either Jesus or Darwin. Michael Dowd, author of Thank God for Evolution, is host and moderator of the series.

"Evolutionary Christianity is a fact of history about which a lot of Christians are in deep denial," said McLaren during a session entitled "Evolving Church." "The fact is the church has constantly been evolving. So many Roman Catholics are shocked to learn that priestly celibacy wasn't required for quite a while. It was several centuries ago that it became a universal requirement."

"I think of lot of Protestants assume that when the Apostle Paul was establishing house churches they had Sunday School, bulletins and hymnals," he continued. "So many of things, even doctrines that are very precious to a lot of people, particularly doctrines of atonement, for example, have evolved greatly over history."

The emergent church pastor, who views the Bible more as an "inspired library" rather than a legal constitution, also praised "Evolutionary Christianity" as a faith perspective that allows for the discussion of Darwin and evolutionary theory as opposed to orthodox views that raise arguments to the theory.

Though McLaren was recognized as one of Time magazine's "25 Most Influential Evangelicals" in 2005, many conservative evangelicals are happy to distance themselves from him, calling him "unbiblical" for rejecting the Bible's narrative of Eden, the fall, condemnation, salvation, and heaven or hell/damnation.

Other panelists that spoke during the session with McLaren included Gretta Vosper, a progressive Christian in Canada who advocates that the Bible is not the authoritative word of God for all time; Ian Lawton, a minister at C3 Exchange, a church that recently made national headlines for the controversial decision to remove the cross from their church; and Bruce Sanguin, a minister at Canadian Memorial United Church in Vancouver, who wrote a book combining science, scripture, and poetry into 21st century prayers.

Read Full Article .... 

 January 30 - British Anglicans Preparing Mass Defection to Roman Catholic Church
 Article: Bridges To Rome

Hundreds of disillusioned Anglicans were preparing Sunday to defect from the Church of England to the Roman Catholic Church in time for Lent, Sky News reported.

It follows a campaign by a former Anglican bishop in protest at its stance on the ordination of women and gay clergy.

Father Keith Newton has encouraged Anglicans to join the Ordinariate -- a special branch of Catholicism established by the Pope -- to welcome protestant defectors.

Despite the efforts of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Anglo Catholics have begun leaving following the conversion of three Anglican bishops in mid-January.

At St. Barnabas church in Tunbridge Wells, southeastern England, the parish priest said that a majority of his parishioners want to defect -- and he is considering going too.

Read Full Article .... 

 February 3 - Church must make women bishops, say MPs
 Article: Miscellaneous

A group of influential MPs will tomorrow call for Parliament to intervene over the historic reform as fears grow that the Church will reject plans allowing female bishops. The cross-party group, including former ministers Frank Field and Stephen Timms, and Simon Hughes, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, is concerned that the General Synod, the Church's parliament, may not pass legislation designed to end the glass ceiling for women clergy.
Traditionalists believe that a rise in the number of opponents of female priests to the Synod has improved their chances of blocking the law, which can only pass if it receives a two-thirds majority in the houses of laity, clergy and bishops. Many of them feel that the current legislation does not provide sufficient concessions to those who cannot accept women as bishops.
However, Mr Field has tabled an early day motion, which could abolish the Church's current exemption from equality laws relating to gender discrimination and ultimately force it to consecrate women.
"We're only acting because we sense there's an overwhelming wish in the Church of England to have women bishops."

"The Church has repeatedly made it clear it wants women bishops so it would be unthinkable if it were to fall at the last hurdle."

Three bishops have already left to join the Roman Catholic Church and scores of clergy could follow them if the reform is passed.

Read Full Article .... 

 January 31 - A Profile of This Year's Freshmen: Causes for Concern
 Article: Perilous Times

The UCLA Higher Education Research Institute has released "The American Freshman:  National Norms for 2010."  The data have troubling implications for the future of religious liberty, both on campus and beyond.

First, the #2 "current religious preference" (after Roman Catholic, which was #1 at 26.6%) is "none" (23.0%).  It is my sense -  based admittedly upon experience and anecdote rather than empirical study - that those who profess no religious beliefs are often least likely to respect and acknowledge the religious freedom of others.

Second, 76.5% agreed that "gays and lesbians should have the legal right to adopt a child."  Those who support the homosexual legal agenda are frequently unwilling to accommodate religious exercise perceived to be in conflict with that agenda.  For example, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts told Catholic Charities it would either have to place adoptive children with same-sex couples in violation of its religious beliefs or get out of the adoption business.  Although support for adoption by same-sex couples does not necessarily mean opposition to religious freedom, it usually does.

Constitutional protections of religious freedom (and of many other freedoms) reflect an unassailable empirical reality:  that majorities sometimes do not respect freedom.  Growing support of the homosexual agenda, combined with a significant numbers of those professing no religion, is cause for concern - concern that majorities will not give religion the space to operate that our constitution requires.

Read Full Article .... 

 February 1 - Obama and Jesus Ranked Equal as Teen Role Models
 Article: Miscellaneous

One is the president of the United States. The other, the Son of God. But to American teens, Barack Obama and Jesus Christ are equal when it comes to who they see as their role model, a new study shows.
A Barna Group study, released Monday, on teen role models found that while two out of three teens named someone they know personally as a person they looked up to, some did mention high-profile leaders on their list.

Teens in the study, aged 13 to 17, also mentioned teachers and coaches (11 percent), friends (9 percent), and pastors or other religious leaders they know personally (6 percent) as their personal role models. At least 6 percent of teens listed entertainers as their role model of choice compared to 1 percent who said they admired science or medical professionals. Other types of people mentioned were sports heroes (5 percent), political leaders (4 percent) and faith leaders (4 percent).

President Obama and Jesus Christ were commonly named as teen role models, each receiving 3 percent of the votes. Teenagers looked up to Obama for his hard work and self-confidence. Jesus resonated among teens because of his concern for others and being an example to follow.

Kinnaman observed that faith and religion played a small role in the choosing of teen role models.

"Even among young Christians, their role models are virtually no different than other teenagers," he noted.

Read Full Article .... 

 February 2 - UFO spotted hanging over Jerusalem
 Article: Rising Interest In The Supernatural

A UFO has been spotted hovering over one of the holiest sites in Islam, the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

It is the place where the prophet Muhammad is said to have ascended to heaven, built on top of a site sacred to Judaism.

The event was captured on camera by an American tourist and posted on YouTube.

It could easily be dismissed as a hoax, but someone else filmed what appears to be same event from a different angle.

The glowing ball of light dropping until it hangs just over the Dome of the Rock, before suddenly shooting off as if disturbed.


Read Full Article.... 

 February 4 - Extreme weather is just the beginning: Garnaut
 Article: Signs Of The Last Times

IF YOU are worried that Australia's floods, fires and cyclones are getting more intense, the federal government's key climate adviser says the scientific advice is clear: ''You ain't seen nothing yet.''

Launching the first of eight updates to his landmark 2008 climate change review, Professor Ross Garnaut said Australia was seeing an intensification of extreme weather events consistent with warnings from climate scientists.

But Professor Garnaut said any intensification of weather events experienced to date, when the world has warmed by about 1 degree since industrialisation, was only a fraction of what could be expected under higher rises.

''The science says that without mitigation - and with the sorts of emissions growth that my analysis shows will follow the industrialisation of China, of India, of Indonesia and the acceleration of economic growth in Africa - then that first degree is just the beginning,'' Professor Garnaut said.

''So if we are seeing an intensification of extreme weather events now, you ain't seen nothing yet.''

Professor Garnaut said scientists predicted there would be more frequent extreme cyclones - though not necessarily more frequent cyclones - due to greenhouse gas emissions.

He said despite concern that a carbon price would increase electricity prices, it would be only a small part of the total price rise, which was mainly due to rising coal and gas prices, infrastructure upgrades and the resources boom.

Read Full Article .... 

 February 2 - Nasa space telescope spots odd new solar system
 Article: Creation/Evolution - Misc.

NASA has announced the discovery of a strange new solar system with six planets orbiting around a sun-like star. The discovery is mystifying astronomers and illustrates just how much variety is possible in the universe. Five of the planets were found to be in a closer orbit to their star than any planet in Earth's solar system.

"We really were just amazed at this gift that Nature...has given us. And with six transiting planets, five so close to their star, and getting the size and masses of these five fairly small worlds, there's only one word that I can think of that adequately describes the new finding we're announcing today - supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," Nasa scientist Jack Lissauer said at a news briefing in Washington DC, referring to the word made famous in the 1964 Disney movie, "Mary Poppins."

The team at Nasa and a range of universities has named the system Kepler-11, after the orbiting Kepler space telescope that spotted it.

The star resembles Earth's own sun. But five of the planets orbiting it are packed into a space equivalent to the distance between Mercury and Venus in our own solar system.

Astronomers have now found more than 500 exoplanets. Most are giant, because they are so far away that only the biggest are detectable. But some researchers are certain there are Earthlike planets out there.

Read Full Article .... 

 February 2 - 1,500-year-old church found in Israel
 Article: Biblical Archeology

Israeli archaeologists presented a newly uncovered 1,500-year-old church in the Judean hills on Wednesday, including an unusually well-preserved mosaic floor with images of lions, foxes, fish and peacocks.

The small basilica with an exquisitely decorated floor was active between the fifth and seventh centuries A.D., said the dig's leader, Amir Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority. He said the floor was "one of the most beautiful mosaics to be uncovered in Israel in recent years. It is unique in its craftsmanship and level of preservation," he said.

Though an initial survey suggested the building was a synagogue, the excavation revealed stones carved with crosses, identifying it as a church. The building had been built atop another structure around 500 years older, dating to Roman times, when scholars believe the settlement was inhabited by Jews.

Hewn into the rock underneath that structure is a network of tunnels that archaeologists believe were used by Jewish rebels fighting Roman armies in the second century A.D.

Stone steps lead down from the floor of church to a small burial cave, which scholars suggest might have been venerated as the burial place of the Old Testament prophet Zecharia.

Israel boasts an exceptionally high concentration of archaeological sites, including Crusader, Islamic, Byzantine, Roman, ancient Jewish and prehistoric ruins.

Read Full Aricle .... 

 January 29 - Dissident Anglicans step closer to Rome
 Article: Bridges To Rome

The path to Rome detours by the Gold Coast for those disaffected Australian Anglicans planning to take up Pope Benedict's offer to join the Catholic Church.

Up to 50 clergy and laity will gather for the first time nationally at St Stephen's College at Coomera for three days from Tuesday to discuss the Australian Anglican ordinariate - the local framework which will allow them to keep their married clergy, liturgy and church structures within Catholicism.

The national meeting comes after three married British bishops, similarly unhappy with the liberal direction of the Anglican Church - such as allowing women clergy - became the first to be ordained as Catholic priests within a British ordinariate, at Westminster Cathedral earlier this month.

But Archbishop Hepworth, who first visited the Vatican 21 years ago seeking to bring a Reformation church back into communion with the Holy See, said it felt ''strange but good'' that the long-sought-after arrangement was coming to pass.

Father Warren Wade from the parish of St Mary the Virgin, Sydney's only Traditional Anglican Communion parish, which operates out of a rented church space in North Turramurra, said his paperwork for re-ordination was in.

''I think this is a tremendous thing and the Holy Father has been very generous in having an understanding of where we come from, to the point where we can keep so much of the tradition that we've gained over the last 500 years,'' he said. ''All my parishioners - all 15 of them who come to Mass every Sunday - they're all for it.''

Read Full Article .... 

 January 31 - As Egypt goes offline US gets internet 'kill switch' bill ready
 Article: One World Government

As Egypt's government attempts to crackdown on street protests by shutting down internet and mobile phone services, the US is preparing to reintroduce a bill that could be used to shut down the internet.

The legislation, which would grant US President Barack Obama powers to seize control of and even shut down the internet, would soon be reintroduced to a senate committee, Wired.com reported.

Senator Susan Collins, a co-sponsor of the bill, said that unlike in Egypt, where the government was using its powers to quell dissent by shutting down the internet, it would not. "My legislation would provide a mechanism for the government to work with the private sector in the event of a true cyber emergency," Collins said in an emailed statement to Wired. "It would give our nation the best tools available to swiftly respond to a significant threat."

The proposed legislation, introduced into the US Senate by independent senator Joe Lieberman, who is chairman of the US Homeland Security committee, seeks to grant the President broad emergency powers over the internet in times of national emergency. Last year, Lieberman argued the bill was necessary to "preserve those networks and assets and our country and protect our people".

One of Australia's top communications experts, University of Sydney associate professor Bjorn Landfeldt, had previously railed against the idea, saying shutting down the internet would "inflict an enormous damage on the entire world". He said it would be like giving a single country "the right to poison the atmosphere, or poison the ocean".

"In an action unprecedented in internet history, the Egyptian government appears to have ordered service providers to shut down all international connections to the internet," James Cowie of Renesys said in a blog post.

"We had no warning, it was quite sudden," a spokesman for Telecom-Orange told AFP in France. The shutdown in Egypt is the most comprehensive official electronic blackout of its kind, experts said.

Read Full Article .... 

 January 28 - Catholic church silently supports GMOs
 Artcile: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

Yet another leaked report reveals the truth about the Vatican's real stance on genetically-modified organisms (GMO). For years, the "Holy See" has held a dubious stance on the issue, with its Pontifical Academy of Sciences having given GMOs preliminary approval in 2000 while its public communiques expressed opposition. But a new cable exposes the Vatican's secret approval of "Frankenfoods," dismantling the Vatican-promoted illusion of neutrality on the issue.

"Recent conversations between the Holy See officials and USAID ... confirmed the cautious acceptance of
biotech food by the Holy See," wrote Christopher Sandrolini, a U.S. diplomat to the Holy See, in an August 26, 2005, cable. The same cable explains that the Vatican has never really been concerned about the safety of GMOs, and its only concern is that "these technologies are going to make developing world farmers more dependent on others, and simply serve to enrich multinational corporations."

Again in 2009, another leaked cable states that "Vatican officials remain largely supportive of genetically-modified crops," referring to Pope Benedict's November 16, 2009, speech at the World Food Security Summit. At this event, Benedict expressed support for global "development," which Monsignor James Reinert from the Vatican Council for Justice and Peace said was "a small but significant step towards more vocal Vatican support of biotechnologies."

In December 2010,
NaturalNews covered a leaked report from June 2009 that revealed the Pope Benedict's personal support for GMOs (http://www.naturalnews.com/030807_t...). The report is linked to the one in November, both of which emphasize overall support for GMOs by the Vatican and its scientific academy.

The Holy See is slowly trying to convince both the general public and
GMO opponents within its ranks, such as outspoken bishops, to embrace the technology. This agenda clearly defines the Vatican's role in working to cement a relationship between governments and commerce in order to propagate GMO technologies around the world.

Read Full Article .... 

 February 3 - White House, Egypt Discuss Mubarak Exit Plan
 Article: Wars And Rumors Of Wars

The Obama administration is in talks with top Egyptian officials about the possible immediate resignation of President Hosni Mubarak and the formation of an interim government that could prepare the country for free and fair elections later this year, U.S. officials said late Thursday. 

Creation of a military-backed caretaker government in Egypt is one of several ideas being discussed as anti-Mubarak protests escalate in the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities, the officials said. Those protests are expected to grow in size and intensity on Friday and the administration fears they may erupt into more widespread violence unless the government takes tangible steps to address the protesters' main demand that Mubarak leave office.

Chaos already prevails in the streets of Cairo, where pro- and anti-government groups clashed for a second day Thursday in a central square, and further escalation is expected Friday.

Mubarak told ABC he is troubled by deadly violence in Cairo's Tahrir Square and that the government is not responsible for it. In the interview at the presidential palace, Mubarak blamed the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood for the violence.

Among the options being discussed is a proposal for Mubarak to resign immediately -- which the embattled president has refused to do -- and for him to cede power to a transitional government run by Suleiman.

"It could well be that this is in anticipation of events tomorrow," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said. "We are bracing for a significant increase in the number of demonstrators on the streets and the real prospect of a confrontation."

Read Full Article .... 

 February 3 - 'Chrislam' in Protestant churches
 Article: Ecumenical Movement - Christians Uniting With Other Religions

A Protestant renewal organization is concerned about the recent efforts of some mainline Protestant churches to produce an ecumenical reconciliation between Christianity and Islam. 

According to a recent blog post from The Last Crusade, congregations in several metropolitan areas -- Houston, Atlanta, Seattle, and Detroit -- preached sermons and held Sunday school lessons recently on the founder of Islam, Mohammad, whom Muslims consider a prophet. Qurans were also placed in the pews next to Bibles.

Proponents of the movement, which has been dubbed
"Chrislam," claim that Christians cannot love their neighbors without having a relationship with them.

Alan Wisdom, director of the Presbyterian Action committee and vice president for research and programs at The Institute on Religion & Democracy (IRD), contends that Islam should never be viewed as an equal to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Moreover, Qurans should never be placed next to God's Holy Word.

"I think that that implies some kind of equal authority there, and I don't think that's the case," Wisdom explains. "The Bible is God's unique revelation to us.
The pulpit of a church is for preaching the Word of God, and we believe that that is the scriptures of the Old and New Testament. When we go to worship God, we worship Jesus Christ, and we can't mix that worship with any other allegiance."

The IRD committee director adds that while he believes it is important for Christians to study and understand religions like Islam, he does not think believers should ever cross the line and blend Christianity together with a religion that is antithetical to Christian teachings.

Read Full Article .... 

We hope the Weekly News In Review has been a blessing to you.

Roger Oakland

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