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The News In Review newsletter is a service
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is a compilation of the news articles
on our site . Understand The Times does not
endorse these events but rather is
showing the church the current events.
purpose of posting these articles is to warn the church of deception from a
February 25 - New Age healer Braco brings his cure-all gaze to Miami Beach
Artical: New Age
He can make the blind see and the deaf hear just
with his gaze, they say of the New Age healer Braco. Braco - it's pronounced
braht-zo and means "little brother - is a 44-year-old Croatian superstar of
the New Age movement whose followers
believe he can shrink cancerous tumors and unkink twisted spinal cords just
with his penetrating stare. He started a series of two dozen or so of his
so-called gazing sessions Friday at the Miami Beach
Convention Center, where he'll continue through Sunday.
Faith healers have been with us for
centuries. What makes Braco unusual is that
he doesn't preach faith or philosophy or
religion as a condition of his healing. In fact, he doesn't say anything at
all - literally. He hasn't spoken in public in eight years. He just gives
you a look that fixes you, and moves on.
"He's not a yogi or a guru or
anything like that," says his biographer and chief handler, Angelika
Whitecliff. "You can come
from any religion or belief system or skin color and it doesn't matter. Lots
of scientists have studied him and some of them say he's able to activate
energy centers within the brain that people can't ordinarily access."
Along with about 90 others, I
attended Friday's first session. After watching a brief film clip of Braco
visiting various famous places - I held my breath as he strolled past the
Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, waiting to see if the crack closed up - the
man himself came on stage. Silently and stolidly he, well, gazed. And gazed.
And gazed. Nobody tossed aside crutches or kicked over wheelchairs or
shrieked that he could feel his withered heart valves blooming back to life,
not even after Braco left and Whitecliff asked about our reactions. She was
undismayed; before the
gazing, she had warned us that while some people would be affected instantly
by Braco's stare, others "have to go back to their lives before they feel
the change." (And, she added in the fine print for cynics and newspaper
reporters, "some people aren't affected at all.")
Now she coaxed us a little bit. Did
we notice anything, even something small... anything at all? Finally a
middle-aged blonde woman with an indeterminate European accent spoke up.
"I saw a bright white light," she ventured hesitantly, then beamed as the
room erupted into applause. "I, too, saw white light," agreed a man a few
rows away. "My mind wanted to discount it. So thank you for sharing." A
young woman chimed in: "I think we all got the same white light."
Well, at least one of us didn't.
But I was sort of relieved that
nobody reported seeing Braco shift shapes
during the gazing, a common enough claim among his audiences that the
Internet bristles with accusations from Christian fundamentalists that he's
not a healer but a demon.
Read Full Article....
February 28 - Justice Conference: Social Action Essential Part of Gospel
Artical: Social Gospel
Getting involved in solving social ills should be an essential part of
the Christian community, not an optional extra. That was the
resounding message heard by 4,000 people at the Justice Conference this
The second annual
Justice Conference, a two-day event to
promote dialogue about issues such as human trafficking,
slavery, poverty, HIV/AIDS and human rights
was held at the Oregon Convention Center in
Portland, Ore. Speakers including an all-star lineup of leaders fighting
for social causes were joined by representatives of 100 organizations to
challenge attendees to integrate action into their faith, event
"It's a deepening of the foundations of social
action especially from a solid evangelical and Christ-following
perspective," he said. "There are many practical
things [presented at the conference], but there was one idea that kept
coming through and it was this whole idea of really bringing the Gospel
to bear to the Church; that following Jesus necessitates putting things
right, right relationships particularly among the most vulnerable, the
forgotten, the voiceless.
Golden said World
Relief's goal at the conference was to
especially those having thoughts that engagement in social issues "could
be a slippery slope towards the social Gospel," see the biblical mandate
for doing so.
"I see the conference not as an end to a means,
but a means. I think it is a mechanism for God to stir the pot and
catalyze a lot of things from His end that we might not have recognized
going into the conference," Wytsma said.
"The conference is really trying to say something about a
of justice. It's something that we are hemmed into and it is a
theological necessity. Justice operates in all spheres of life and our
relationships need to be in right order with God and our neighbor,"
Wytsma said he was
certain that putting a priority on
building a foundation for social justice by asking for God's help
produced a favorable climate for the event.
Read Full Article....
February 27 - Rick Warren builds bridge to Muslims
Article: One World Religion
Understand the Times:
The fact that Rick Warren would
be building bridges with Islam forming "Chrislam" is not surprising.
Warren's purpose driven gospel works together with people of all
faiths "in order to do good." This is clearly a stepping stone
towards a one world religion that is just around the corner.
The Rev. Rick Warren, pastor of
Saddleback Church in Lake Forest and one of America's most
influential Christian leaders, has embarked on an effort to heal
divisions between evangelical Christians and Muslims by partnering
with Southern California mosques and proposing a set of theological
principles that includes acknowledging that Christians and Muslims
worship the same God.
The effort, informally dubbed King's Way,
caps years of outreach between Warren and
Muslims. Warren has broken Ramadan fasts at a Mission Viejo mosque,
met Muslim leaders abroad and addressed 8,000 Muslims at a national
convention in Washington D.C.
Saddleback worshippers have invited Muslims to
Christmas dinner and played interfaith soccer at a picnic in Irvine
attended by more than 300 people. (The game pitted pastors
and imams against teens from both faiths. The teens won.)
The effort by a prominent
Christian leader to bridge what polls show is a deep rift between
Muslims and evangelical Christians culminated in December at a
dinner at Saddleback attended by 300 Muslims and members of
Saddleback's congregation. At the dinner,
Abraham Meulenberg, a Saddleback pastor in charge of interfaith
outreach, and Jihad Turk, director of religious affairs at a mosque
in Los Angeles, introduced King's
Way as "a path to end the 1,400 years of misunderstanding between
Muslims and Christians."
The men presented a document they co-authored
outlining points of agreement between Islam
and Christianity. The document affirms that Christians and Muslims
believe in "one God" and share two central commandments: "love of
God" and "love of neighbor." The document also commits both faiths
to three goals: Making friends with one another, building peace and
working on shared social service projects. The document quotes
side-by-side verses from the Bible and the Koran to illustrate its
"We agreed we wouldn't try to
evangelize each other," said Turk. "We'd witness
to each other but it would be out of 'Love Thy Neighbor,'
not focused on conversion."
Saddleback representatives declined to make Warren available for
comment. Tom Holladay, associate senior pastor at Saddleback, said
the outreach to Muslims is part of
Saddleback's PEACE Plan, a wide-ranging effort to solve major world
problems by mobilizing governments, businesses and faith
Gwynne Guibord, an ordained Episcopal priest and co-founder of a
Los Angeles outreach group that fosters relationships between
churches and mosques nationwide, said
Saddleback's effort is unprecedented. "I'm not
aware of any other evangelical church reaching out to the Muslim
community," she said.
Turk said the relationship
between Saddleback and Muslims, though still in its infancy, has
already produced results. "People (at the December dinner) were
talking about the bonds they've formed and they were crying," he
said. Both sides realized they shared misconceptions about each
"He calls me his Muslim
brother," Barakat said.
"It all started with a friendship."
Read Full Article....
February 22 - Bars, stores to use facial recognition technology to increase sales
Article: Technology And Global Monetary System
A decade ago, in the
Dreamworks movie "Minority Report," billboards spoke directly to the
characters in the movie and even knew their names.
In just weeks, that science fiction plot
will become reality as some businesses in Central Florida will know who you
are when you walk through their door. It's thanks to enhanced facial
It's not unusual to see surveillance cameras. They're
inside businesses, outside of homes, even on the streets. In public places,
people are comfortable with knowing those cameras are there for safety,
but this new technology allows cameras to not just see what people do, but
know who they are. Shops and malls across the country are already taking
this a step further. There are now billboards, made by Immersive Labs in
Manhattan, and kiosks that cater ads to your age and demographic.
For example, if a woman was to
walk up to a mall directory, a camera inside would take a photo.
It will recognize her gender, age and race and instantly provide an ad for
the appropriate products. So, if the shopper is a 30-year-old
woman, she might see adds for makeup, shoes and clothing.
Industry expert Rafe Needleman believes
it's just a matter of time before stores not only to recognize you, but
track your spending habits.
But not everyone wants to be recognized.
"It's not out of the question that 10 years from now
we'll walk down the street and people will be wearing camouflage so they're
not picked up by facial recognition trackers all over the place,"
said Mark Eichorn of the FTC.
In fact, researchers with Carnegie Mellon University used facial recognition
technology to identify college students who volunteered to be photographed
for their study. By taking those photos and
comparing them to photos found on social networking sites, such as Facebook,
they were able to identify almost a third of them. That means they had
profiles, 'likes,' interests and possibly family information. Researchers
took the study a step further and used other publicly available data to
predict partial Social Security numbers.
Banks are using it to identify customers
and prevent fraud. Hotels are using it to know when honor program guests
This spring, bars in Gainesville will begin using
cameras that will do more than just capture the faces of the people inside.
The technology will also determine their gender and age. Using an app called
SceneTap on their smartphone, potential patrons can use that data before
deciding whether to go inside.
Read Full Article....
March 1 - Maryland Becomes Eighth State to Legalize Gay Marriage
Article: Perilous Times
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley
signed into law Thursday a bill recognizing
making Maryland the eighth state to do so.
O'Malley, formerly a vocal
opponent of gay marriage, signed the bill at 5:00 p.m. local time
in a ceremony.
"For a free and diverse
people, for a people of many faiths, for a people committed to the
principle of religious freedom,"
O'Malley said, "The way
forward is always found with greater respect for the rights of all."
At the same time, groups who oppose the
bill have proposed a ballot measure that would overturn the law.
The Maryland Marriage Alliance, the
Maryland Catholic Conference, and the Maryland Family Alliance have
joined with others to officially sponsor a referendum next November
that would maintain the definition of marriage as a union between a man
and a woman. For the referendum to make the ballot,
these groups will need to collect 56,000 voter signatures, or about
three percent of the number of voters in Maryland's 2010 gubernatorial
"Every time this issue has been brought
to a statewide vote, the people have upheld traditional marriage," said
the Maryland Catholic Conference in a statement on its website. "When
this issue reaches the November ballot, we are confident that the
citizens of Maryland will join voters in 31 other states in upholding
marriage between one man and one woman."
Washington, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York,
and Vermont, plus Washington, D.C. in recognizing same-sex marriage.
Read Full Article....
We hope the Weekly News In Review has been a
blessing to you.