April 4, 2011- April 10,2011 
 News In Review
 Vol 6, Issue 15
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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.

 March 26 - Growing Intolerance for Christianity in U.S.
 Article: Perilous Times

"In a world of political correctness devoid of the rule of law, tolerance has come to mean total rejection of Christianity and moral standards. Modern tolerance redefines words like 'marriage,' 'discrimination,' 'equality,' 'morality,' and even 'absolutes.' The word 'tolerance' as it is used today never includes opposing arguments or competing worldviews. Tolerance has become Orwellian and decidedly intolerant." - Matthew Staver, Dean and Professor of Law at Liberty University School of Law. A few examples of recent intolerance for Christianity:

The Supreme court determining to exclude anyone who prays in Jesus name from a rotation of officials who open city business meetings

The removal of US military Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt, over the issue of praying in Jesus Name

UCLA's prohibiting a graduating student from thanking her "Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" in her graduation speech

Colleges making special accommodations for foot baths and Muslim only prayer rooms, while a Muslim group membership may be suspended or revoked for 57 reasons including but not limited to: unbecoming behavior, insubordination, or inactivity; but denying Christian groups campus recognition "because it requires its officers and voting members to agree with its Christian beliefs"

These incidents have raised several questions that Brannon Howse, author and founder of Worldview Weekend, agreed to answer:

CP: Would you consider these examples of intolerance shocking or unexpected?

Howse: Not at all. Jesus said all nations will hate you. If you are a Bible-minded believer such persecution should not be uncommon or a surprise," he stated, quoting 2 Timothy 3:12 "all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

Without a sound theological foundation, when persecutions increase, and they will, according to scripture, many who call themselves believers won't want to be marked as Christians. Those only committed to culture war will give up with no hope.

Our culture is doing what Scripture said - getting worse and worse. The books of James and 1 Peter tell us not to be surprised at fiery ordeals ...[when they come - not if] as though some strange (or foreign) thing were happening to you. Suffering, intolerance and persecution are building us up for the best part of life - which is yet to come.

Intolerance for righteousness is to be expected and embraced as an opportunity to live so that anytime Christians are persecuted, the world will watch and wonder why are they willing to persevere and not compromise.

Read Full Article .... 

 April 7 - Group Says Spies Have Found Secret Iranian Nuclear Facility
 Article: Wars And Rumors Of Wars

A new facility in Iran is being used to secretly produce components for the country's renegade nuclear program, a well-known Iranian dissident tells FOX News.

Alireza Jafarzadeh and his organization, Strategic Policy Counseling, have released a report that claims a clandestine facility, called TABA, has played an integral part in Iran's nuclear ambitions. Though Fox News cannot independently confirm the facility or Iran's intention for it, Jafarzadeh and his group are leading sources on the Islamic state's activities.

"This site is one of the secret centers affiliated with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) and plays a significant role in producing centrifuge parts and advancing the secret portions of the Iranian regime's nuclear program," the report says. "Over the course of the past four-and-a-half years, parts for tens of thousands of centrifuges have been manufactured at this site and secretly relocated  "

The report Thursday on Iran's nuclear program claims several parts of nuclear centrifuges are manufactured at the TABA site including centrifuge casings, composite tubes, centrifuge magnets and molecular pumps at the secret location. Since centrifuges are a vital component of uranium enrichment, they have been a focal point in the monitoring of Iran's nuclear program.

"[The facility] strongly suggests to me that there are other also hidden also unknown locations that are producing the next generation of centrifuges," Bolton said.

"Today's revelation shows the Iranian regime's heightened deception and concealment policy in order to get to the bomb as rapidly as possible," the report concludes. "This continuing and systematic effort has made it abundantly clear that international sanctions, albeit necessary, have not had the desired impact in halting the advancement of Tehran's nuclear weapons program, its support for terrorism and crackdown at home."

Read Full Article.... 

 April 4 - Many yoga practitioners find spirituality - and some religious leaders object
 Article: Miscellaneous

She grew up dancing, and in her 20s decided to look into yoga. She thought it would be good exercise. And now Gina Kilpela, 36, thinks of yoga as more than a workout - it has become a big part of her spiritual life.

"I really have come to see the mind, body, spirit connection, for me, is very important," said Kilpela, who lives in Park Hill with her husband and twin 18-month-old boys. She was raised Catholic, in Pittsburgh. She doesn't attach herself to a specific religious faith anymore.

Meanwhile, other religious scholars are decrying what has happened to yoga in America, lamenting its divorce from Hinduism and calling for a reunion of the physical exercise and the ancient East Indian religion.

"I think it's a shame" that the Hindu roots of yoga are often opaque, said Sheetal Shah, senior director of the Hindu American Foundation, in New York City. The foundation recently launched a program called "Take Back Yoga" that aims to introduce yoga practitioners to links between the physical practice and Hinduism.

Some say just doing the poses invites a unique brand of spirituality, one that comes without texts or dogma.  On the other end of the yogic spectrum are places like Shoshoni Yoga Retreat, in the mountains near Nederland. There, participants are invited to take part in ceremonies involving dancing, singing, East Indian music, meditation and chanting in a temple adorned with different Hindu gods, such as the elephant Ganesh.

"I see both sides," said Swami Kripananda, the ashram's resident swami, or leader. "I think absolutely we should respect the roots of this amazing tradition. But everybody doesn't have to be a Hindu to practice it."

Like Potocnik, Kripananda doesn't preach. At the same time, her connection to yoga is deeply spiritual. The two become entwined, she said, not through texts, but through practice.  "Even if somebody doesn't think about it spiritually, if they do it under a good instructor, that will come alive in them," she said. "Something starts to happen."

Read Full Article .... 

 March 23 - King Warns Gadhafi May Strike Against US
 Article: Wars And Rumors Of Wars

The United States is running the risk of suffering a major terrorist attack at the hands of Libyan proxies because of its military intervention in Libya to overthrown dictator Moammar Gadhafi, according to Rep Peter King, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

King told The Hill that he backs the multinational campaign to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya, but he warns of retribution from Gadhafi, who has a long history of terrorist activity.

"In the long term, it is [in U.S. national security interests], but we also have to be concerned about terrorist attacks by Libya, either in the United States or more likely in Europe," King told The Hill. "We have to realize that the risk of attack from Libya is certainly greater now than it was two weeks ago."

The chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), also noted Gadhafi's history of terrorism. "In assessing U.S. security interests and objectives, the president must also keep in mind Gadhafi's attacks on Western targets resulting in the deaths of Americans in the 1980s," she said in a statement Sunday. Gadhafi's government was implicated in the bombing of a nightclub in West Berlin in 1986 - which prompted President Ronald Reagan to order retaliatory military strikes - and the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, The Hill pointed out.

"Our counter-terrorism, law enforcement, intelligence and Homeland Security communities are staying vigilant and are taking steps to prevent any attempts, here or abroad, to exploit the current situation in Libya," said Matthew Chandler, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, in a statement responding to King's comments.

Read Full Article .... 

 March 25 - Giving up Christianity for Lent
 Article: Unbiblical Christiianity

As a former Episcopalian, I can sadly report that this story doesn't shock me. The Rev. Steve Lawler, a part-time rector at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Ferguson, Mo., is practicing Islam for Lent.  According to a report in Christianity TodayLawler on Ash Wednesday began praying five times daily to Allah, studying the Quran, and adhering to Islamic eating restrictions.  During Holy Week, he plans to fast from dawn to dusk, in imitation of Ramadan.

Lawler claims that his goal is merely to learn more about Islam than he could by, say, reading books on the subject.

Bishop George Wayne Smith of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri is not quite as sanguine about this unusual priestly practice of Lent. In fact, he's pretty clear that it's not acceptable. "He can't be both a Christian and a Muslim," he said. "If he chooses to practice as Muslim, then he would, by default, give up his Christian identity and priesthood in the church." Smith threatened punitive action if Lawler continues.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Lawler wasn't upset by the bishop's reaction. "It's a conversation, so I don't feel excluded or ordered about, and I understand Bishop Smith's concerns about what this would mean. I knew I was stepping into this as a discovery. It's turning out to be different than I thought, but also richer than I thought."

Lawler told Christianity Today that he gave up the Roman Catholicism of his youth because it was too conservative. "The Episcopal church is a fairly open church," he said.

And that's precisely the problem. While I'm glad to see Bishop Smith taking a strong stand against this inanity, the fact that an Episcopal priest could possibly think this was a good way to spend Lent speaks volumes about the state of the Episcopal Church today.

Read Full Article .... 

 March 23 - Canadians losing faith as religion faces extinction
 Article: Signs Of The Last Times

Religion may be on the road to extinction in Canada - mathematically speaking, that is. Travelling with us are Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland.

A study presented Tuesday at the American Physical Society meeting in Dallas noted a steady rise in the percentage of those countries' residents who claim no religious affiliation, and explained how social factors could help push religion toward the dustbin of history.

Richard Weiner, a University of Arizona researcher and one of the study's authors, explained the formula's conclusions. "There'll be a continuing loss of membership among people that identify themselves as belonging to a religion. Over time, we could reach a time where society is dominated by people who claim religious non-affiliation," he said.

The study attempted to link these countries' religious identities with the social motives behind belonging to particular groups. Researchers said that as the masses who claim religious non-affiliation swell, it becomes more appealing to join the ranks of that group. "The model predicts that for societies in which the perceived utility of not adhering is greater than the utility of adhering, religion will be driven toward extinction," the study said.

Weiner speculated that social pressures are contributing to the decline in religious identification in these countries. "People no longer see the slate of benefits as being as great as they probably did 100 years ago. It's become less socially useful."

In the Netherlands, where close to 50 percent of the population identifies as not belonging to a religion, Weiner said they found that by mid-century close to 70 percent of the country will be made up of non-believers. "That's very substantial growth over four decades," Weiner said. "It's not saying that religion will not exist,
but it will very strongly change the makeup of society. Maybe in 100 years in some of these countries if this trend continues, there will be a very small percentage of people that still identify themselves as belonging to a religion."

Read Full Article .... 

 March 22 - My View: Decent of the dollar: On the end of America's purchasing power
 Article: One World Government

Comment from Understand the Times:
The following article explains in easy to understand language the demise of the American economy to be followed by other economies of the world. We are headed towards a One World economy headed by a One World New World Order and a One World Religion, headquarters in Rome.
Read the Bible for more information

Many of us witnessing inflation in the price of goods and services accept it as the result of limited supply or increased demand. However, the major cause of "inflation" these days is neither. Rather, it is a symptom of the devaluation of the dollars we use to buy these goods due to an oversupply of those dollars. Where all these dollars are coming from is the single, most important issue everyone with savings or investments must understand.

The federal budget this year is $3.51 trillion. Of this amount, $1.65 trillion is in deficit. Over 43 percent of the entire budget is borrowed. So from where are such vast sums to be found?

We can't finance the budget deficit from a trade surplus. The United States has been running trade deficits since 1976, which has only made the problem worse. In that time, America has gone from being the world's greatest creditor to becoming its largest debtor nation.

The money cannot be borrowed from other countries running a trade surplus, either. According to Bloomberg, China's 2010 surplus of $190 billion is expected to decline this year. Also, on March 8, China's leading economist, Li Yining, in his speech before the CPPCC National Committee, stated, "China should increase the size of gold in its foreign exchange reserves." They no longer want to lend us more money.

Excess revenue from Social Security taxes can no longer finance the federal budget. In the past, these funds have bankrolled over $2.5 trillion of our national debt. In 2011, for the first time, Social Security will experience a deficit in the amount of $45 billion. The Congressional Budget Office projects Social Security deficits to total $547 billion through 2021.  In truth, there is not enough money in the world to finance the continuous budget deficits of the United States government. The sole option remaining is called "monetization of debt."

Consider Bill Gross. He is the founder of Pacific Investment Management Co. and manages portfolios amounting to $1.23 trillion. On March 9, Gross announced that PIMCO Total Return, the world's largest mutual fund, had eliminated all dollar-denominated bonds from its portfolio.

A leading central banker, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, called on Feb. 10 for a new global currency to replace the dollar. His voice is but one in a chorus of world leaders calling for an end to the dollar's dominant status as the global reserve currency.

When titans of the financial industry begin to openly state their disdain for Treasury debt and dollars, one can only imagine what is being discussed behind the closed doors of boardrooms across the globe. If you have ever lamented that those in the know have preserved their wealth while leaving you to sustain the losses they've gamed into the system, then consider this your memo that the investment world is about to change yet again.

Read Full Article .... 

 March 21 - Young Evangelicals Find Faith in Emerging Church Movement
 Article: Emerging Church

Comment from Understand the Times:
The present church trend that tends to leave the Bible and embrace postmodernism will be the destruction of Christianity as we once knew it. The emerging church is just another road to Rome. The Bible states that we should come out of the harlot, not embrace the harlot.
It's Sunday morning at the Jammin Java cafe in Vienna, Virginia. A group of people have gathered in the back - to pray. The sticky floors and low lighting are not exactly inspirational. But this is no ordinary church. It's a new kind of worship that has sprung out of Evangelical Christianity and is being called the Emerging Church.

Only a generation ago, Evangelical Protestants were flocking to so-called megachurches with congregations that numbered in the thousands. The worshippers were fundamentalists, including Evangelicals, who view the Christian Bible as the literal truth. The churches were often led by a charismatic pastor who gave fiery sermons against abortion or homosexuality. Now, a new generation of Evangelical and other Christians is seeking a more personal experience with a different political tone. They are meeting in more intimate settings, like the corner cafe, and no one is told what to believe.
Stavlund says it's okay to question anything - even the most basic tenets of Christian belief.  "To me it feels like an honesty, when we have doubts to say we've got doubts, when we've got faith to say we've got faith, but in all of it to be able to be accepting of everybody else," he says.

Many Common Table members are just starting families and searching for a way to practice their faith differently from how their parents did.

Still, the Emerging Church movement is treading on ground that traditionalists call unorthodox, if not heretical.  Rob Bell, an Emerging pastor from Michigan, has drawn criticism over his new book. It argues that people of all faiths can go to heaven - something many Americans believe but Evangelical theology rejects.

But young Americans are increasingly shunning them. One study found that adults aged 18 to 29 who say they don't identify with any denomination have more than doubled in the last two decades.

"Just as the Megachurch as we know it today recreated what it meant to belong to a church and gave people a sense of community in a period where other civic institutions were failing, there's going to be some style of religion - maybe it's this Emerging Church, maybe it's some other movement - that will reach these young people."

Read Full Article.... 

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

Roger Oakland

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