April 23, 2012- May 6, 2012 
 News In Review
 Vol 7, Issue 15
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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.

 April 27 - Same-Sex Marriage, Gay Clergy on Table at Methodist General Conference
 Artical: Perilous Times

The United Methodist Church's (UMC) General Conference is currently taking place in Tampa, Fla., and will feature its continuing debate on gay clergy and same-sex marriage. Some have suggested that, in order to keep its membership from dwindling, the Methodist church must come to a compromise on its long-held doctrines on such issues.

Nearly 1,000 delegates, 40 percent of whom live outside the United States, are present at the General Conference, which happens once every four years. At each assembly for more than 40 years now, the UMC has debated its position on homosexuality. The conference, which takes place between April 24 and May 4, announced that this year there are more than 70 petitions on homosexuality, many of which seek to rewrite articles 161F and 161B in the 2008 United Methodist Book of Discipline that address homosexual clergy and same-sex marriage.

The debate on those issues is centered on a decades-long drop in membership the Methodist church has experienced, with numbers down to 7.8 million members in the U.S. Gay rights activists have suggested that in order to attract young Americans, the church needs to loosen its stance on homosexuality and recognize gay unions and clergy. Conservatives, however, are warning against abandoning or revising long-held church doctrines.

Last year, almost 1,200 Methodist clergy pledged to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies despite official church teachings, but many of those churches have since split from the UMC. An even greater split is evident at the General Conference, the Houston Chronicle claimed - in attendance are delegates from U.S. states where homosexual marriage is legal, as well as representatives from countries like Liberia, where practicing homosexuality is considered a crime.

A suggestion of a compromise has been argued by some delegates who believe that Methodist attitudes toward gay marriage should reflect the locality of each church - meaning that pastors who live in states where same-sex marriage is legal should be free to perform such marriages, while clergy in other states should adhere to official teachings of the church.

Read Full Article.... 

 April 27 - Study: Millennials Rejecting Religious Doctrine
 Artical: Perilous Times

College campuses are among the least religious places in America, largely because people tend to drift away from faith when they are young. But a study focusing on 18-to-24-year-old Americans finds many rejecting religious doctrine and orthodoxy in general.

Findings of the Millennial Values Survey, a joint survey of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), and Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs, indicate that many of the youngest millennials - members of the so called "millennial generation" - are leaving their childhood faith and ending up mostly unaffiliated. Around one quarter of respondents said they don't identify with any religion, more than twice the 11 percent raised in households without any particular faith.

According to Dr. Robert Jones, PRRI's CEO and one of the study's lead researchers, this group is changing the way Americans view and practice religion. "Basically all the varieties of Christian religion are in negative territories," said Jones, adding that Catholics and white mainline Protestants saw the largest losses away from childhood religious identification.

"In my own personal experience dealing with other millennials my age, there's a lot of those kinds of stories of 'Well, I was raised like this, but I am now this, or I'm not religious at all,'" she said. "There's a lot of shifting, and people don't tend to be as committed to one strict set of doctrines or dogmas, even if they might be spiritual still."

Clauhs, a religion major at Boston University, was raised by a southern Baptist father and a Roman Catholic mother. "I actually identify as Unitarian Universalist now," she said, explaining with a chuckle that "you're allowed to believe what you want."

Only 23 percent of the survey's respondents said they believe the Bible is the word of God and should be taken literally. And while 76 percent agreed with the statement that Christianity "has good values and principals," more than six in ten said the way the faith is practiced today is "judgmental" and "anti-gay."

But Jones said results do suggest millennials are seeking spirituality, albeit with less commitment than "the traditional structured church experience."

Read Full Article.... 

 May 2 - Fujitsu develops world's smallest and slimmest palm vein biometric authentication sensor deployable in tablet devices
 Artical: Technology For Global Monetary System

Fujitsu Laboratories Limited today announced development of the world's smallest and slimmest palm vein authentication sensor that is capable of being employed in tablet devices. By upgrading the technology's design with new image sensors and other optical components, Fujitsu Laboratories has successfully slimmed down the new sensor to a thickness of 5 mm.

The new sensor preserves the same authentication performance as existing technology while halving thickness of current models. This also enables easy deployment to mobile devices, such as tablets and slate PCs, which are becoming increasingly slimmer, and helps to expand the range of applications for palm vein authentication. More customers will now be able to perform secure authentication using simple operations.

In recent years, to prevent damage caused by information leaks and identity fraud at companies and financial institutions, biometric authentication technologies, which leverage a user's biological information, have become prevalent as a means to verify an individual's identity.

Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a biometric authentication technology based on the vein patterns in a user's palm. This approach has a number of advantages that are unique even among biometric authentication technologies, including high authentication accuracy and the measurement of data from inside of the body, which makes it difficult to falsify.

The technology has been commercialized by Fujitsu as a non-contact palm vein authentication system called PalmSecure,
which is used, for instance, by banks to authenticate customers, for computer log-in, and in room-entry/exit management systems.

Fujitsu Laboratories will continue R&D into the commercialization of ultra-small palm vein authentication, while aiming to quickly bring to market miniature devices that employ them.

Read Full Article.... 

 May 4 - US bishops reflect on their role in the new evangelization
 Artical: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

Celebrating Mass in Pope Benedict XVI's cathedral, Rome's Basilica of St. John Lateran, a group of U.S. bishops prayed for the pope and reflected on what they need to do to respond to his call for a new evangelization.

On the eve of the bishops' meeting with Pope Benedict, Bishop Sheridan led his fellow bishops in a reflection on the pope's insistence that strengthening the faith of Catholics, reviving the faith of those who have fallen away and sharing the Gospel with others means they must preach that Jesus is the son of God and continues to live in the church and the Eucharist.

The pope "warned us of preaching a Jesus who was not alive in our midst, entering into some sort of nostalgia in which we lift up Jesus the wise man who lived long ago, but doesn't seem to have any reality now -- it's his memory that we exalt," the bishop said.

"Our proclamation must be the proclamation of the living Jesus; the one who died -- yes -- for our sins, but who was raised, who lives now never to die again, who is in our midst," he said.

"Let's pray today that the Lord will fire us up with his Holy Spirit so that we may join in this new evangelization in the most effective way," Bishop Sheridan said.

Read Full Article.... 

 May 4 - Anglican Preacher Pulled From Pulpit After Advocating Traditional Marriage
 Artical: Perilous Times

An Anglican lay minister has been temporarily banned from preaching at a church in the U.K. after a service in which he advocated for the traditional definition of marriage upset some of those in attendance.

Peter Gowlland, a retired science teacher, apparently encouraged worshippers to sign a petition against the government's plan to introduce same-sex weddings. The preacher asked of church-goers to be "bold like the apostles" in their vote in support of the traditional definition of marriage. The Telegraph reported that what followed was a "brief and polite" disagreement with two other lay readers in front of the congregation and a retired bishop.

Gowlland shared that he was told "we don't do that here" by one of the other lay leaders in regards to his promotion of the petition. The Right Rev. David Atkinson, the retired Bishop of Thetford, reportedly explained to Gowlland that the service "was not the correct time and place" to raise such a debate, which has largely divided the Anglican community in the U.K.

Although the Church of England stands firm in its support of traditional marriage, the All Saints Church in Sanderstead, Surrey, where Gowlland was preaching, told him to step down from the pulpit at least for two months.

Gowlland revealed that a week later he went to a meeting with the Rev. Canon Dr. Barry Goodwin, the acting Archdeacon of Croydon, who explained that his license would not be renewed, at least for two months. The Archdeacon told him that his comments had led to a public show of disunity and he had brought up such a sensitive topic without consulting the other lay preachers and wardens.

The church, however, has defended its decision and clarified that it has not suspended or revoked Gowlland's preacher's license, just told him to stay away for two months to "settle the dust." It also claimed that it was not his defense of traditional marriage that created the issue, but the way he raised the debate at church.

The debate on same-sex marriage in the U.K. was muddied further after a group of influential Church of England leaders recently published a letter opposing the Anglican Communion's official stance on gay marriage and expressing a desire to have practicing homosexual couples accepted by the church.

Read Full Article.... 

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

Roger Oakland

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