Oct 15 2012- Oct 21, 2012 
 News In Review
 Vol 7, Issue 34
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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.

 October 11 - Greetings of the WCC general secretary, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, to the Synod of Bishops XIII Ordinary General Assembly on 7-28 October 2013 in Rome
 Article: Bridges To Rome

It is the living word of God, revealed to us in the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is the Good News, the euangellion, those who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour are to proclaim in all dimensions of their lives. There is a logic in the sequence of the theme chosen for the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which recalled John 1:14: And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth, and the emphasis on the new evangelization of this XIII Ordinary General Assembly. Justification in Christ, the proclamation of the Gospel and the call to holiness belong together in the fellowship of believers, members of the one body of Christ (1. Cor.12:12ff).

The Church is built up when people are being transformed by receiving Christ, the incarnate word of God, in the power of the Holy Spirit. People become credible and visible disciples of Christ, celebrating the Holy Eucharist, meditating on biblical texts, and witnessing to the Gospel in their homes and families, on the streets or at the workplace as workers, entrepreneurs, researchers and in so many other professions.

We remember the Second Vatican Council as an extraordinary moment of evangelical renewal of the Catholic Church. This was underlined by the Moderator of the WCC's Central Committee, the Rev. Dr Walter Altmann, in his address to the recent meeting of the Committee in September this year in Crete. We expressed our gratitude and joy that through the Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio) the Catholic Church opened up to the ecumenical movement and gave new impetus to the search for visible unity. The decree gave hope and inspiration to Christians around the world.

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 October 9 - Protestants no longer the majority in US, study says
 Article: Miscellaneous

For the first time in its history, the United States does not have a Protestant majority, according to a new study. One reason: The number of Americans with no religious affiliation is on the rise.

The percentage of Protestant adults in the U.S. has reached a low of 48 percent, the first time that Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has reported with certainty that the number has fallen below 50 percent. The drop has long been anticipated and comes at a time when no Protestants are on the U.S. Supreme Court and the Republicans have their first presidential ticket with no Protestant nominees.

Among the reasons for the change are the growth in nondenominational Christians who can no longer be categorized as Protestant, and a spike in the number of American adults who say they have no religion. The Pew study, released Tuesday, found that about 20 percent of Americans say they have no religious affiliation, an increase from 15 percent in the last five years.

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 October 10 - US church calls to reevaluate military aid to Israel
 Article: Perilous Times

Fifteen leaders of US churches and other faith-based organizations have asked Congress to reevaluate US military aid to Israel. The religious leaders sent a letter to Congress members on Monday, calling for an investigation into possible violations by Israel of the US Foreign Assistance Act and the US Arms Export Control Act, which would make Israel ineligible for US military aid.

"As Christian leaders in the United States, it is our moral responsibility to question the continuation of unconditional US financial assistance to the government of Israel. Realizing a just and lasting peace will require this accountability, as continued US military assistance to Israel -- offered without conditions or accountability -- will only serve to sustain the status quo and Israel's military occupation of the Palestinian territories,"
the letter, signed by leaders of the Lutheran, Methodist, UCC churches, and the National Council of Churches, said.

"We request, therefore, that Congress hold Israel accountable to these standards by making the disbursement of US military assistance to Israel contingent on the Israeli government's compliance with applicable US laws and policies."

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 October 2 - New software uses smartphone camera for spying
 Article: One World Government

Researchers from the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center have developed malicious software that can remotely seize control of the camera on an infected smartphone and employ it to spy on the phone's user.

The malware, dubbed "PlaceRaider," "allows remote hackers to reconstruct rich, three-dimensional models of the smartphone owner's personal indoor spaces through completely opportunistic use of the camera," the researchers said in a study published last week. The program uses images from the camera and positional information from the smartphone's gyroscopic and other sensors to map spaces the phone's user spends a lot of time in, such as a home or office.

"Remote burglars" could use these three-dimensional models to "study the environment carefully and steal virtual objects [visible to the camera]      such as as financial documents [or] information on computer monitors," the researchers reported.

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 October 13 - UN warns of looming worldwide food crisis in 2013
 Article: Signs Of The Times

World grain reserves are so dangerously low that severe weather in the United States or other food-exporting countries could trigger a major hunger crisis next year, the United Nations has warned. Failing harvests in the US, Ukraine and other countries this year have eroded reserves to their lowest level since 1974. The US, which has experienced record heatwaves and droughts in 2012, now holds in reserve a historically low 6.5% of the maize that it expects to consume in the next year, says the UN.

"We've not been producing as much as we are consuming. That is why stocks are being run down. Supplies are now very tight across the world and reserves are at a very low level, leaving no room for unexpected events next year," said Abdolreza Abbassian, a senior economist with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). With food consumption exceeding the amount grown for six of the past 11 years, countries have run down reserves from an average of 107 days of consumption 10 years ago to under 74 days recently.

Prices of main food crops such as wheat and maize are now close to those that sparked riots in 25 countries in 2008. FAO figures released this week suggest that 870 million people are malnourished and the food crisis is growing in the Middle East and Africa. Wheat production this year is expected to be 5.2% below 2011, with yields of most other crops, except rice, also falling, says the UN.

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 October 17 - Representatives of Christian Denominations Address Synod
 Article: Ecumenical Movement - Protestants Uniting With Roman Catholics

Fraternal Delegates from several Christian denominations addressed the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization yesterday afternoon. Among the delegates who spoke were His Eminence Hilarion Alfeyev, Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, Russia, Rev. Dr. Timothy George who represented the Baptist World Alliance, and Sarah F. Davis, representing the World Methodist Council.

Speaking on behalf of the Russian Orthodox Church, Bishop Hilarion reflected on the anniversary and significance of the Second Vatican Council, stating that even 50 years ago, the fathers of the Council were aware of the importance of a closer cooperation between Christians of different traditions.

The Russian Orthodox prelate stressed the necessity of both the Catholic and Orthodox churches in combining their efforts to face the challenges of modern society. Bishop Hilarion cited the cooperation of both Churches "within the Orthodox-Catholic forum, in different international organizations and at other places of dialogue with the secular world."

Dr. George, who also serves as Dean of the Beeson Divinity School of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, underlined the biblical imperative for Christian unity, stating that ecumenism is "always in the service of evangelization." Concluding his third point, Dr. George stated that religious freedom is not rooted in political or social paradigms, but originates from the character of God himself. "The tradition of faith, he said, "resounds as an authentic response to our vast experiences and questions surrounding the Universe. We live, therefore, in an age of great opportunity to announce our faith through dialogue with both the natural and historical sciences."

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

Roger Oakland

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