September 23, 2013- September 29,2013 
 News In Review
 Vol 8, Issue 39
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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.

 September 17 - Will Israel be the World's First 'No Cash' Society?
 Article: Israel And The Last Days

The government on Tuesday authorized establishment of a committee that will examine ways to eliminate cash from the Israeli economy - the better to prevent citizens from cheating on their taxes. The committee will be chaired by Harel Locker, director of the Prime Minister's Office.

Cash is easily passed from individual to individual, and transactions using cash can take place without the tax man's supervision. Not so electronic transactions; with modern computers, banks can keep tabs on how much people deposit into their accounts and how much they withdraw, while credit card companies have an up to the second record of how much people spend.

Read Full Article.... 

 September 20 - Homeland Security to test BOSS facial recognition at junior hockey game
 Article: One World Government

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will test its crowd-scanning facial recognition system, known as the Biometric Optical Surveillance System, or BOSS, at a junior hockey game this weekend, according to the Russian news agency RT.

With assistance from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, DHS will test its system at a Western Hockey League game in Washington state. The test will determine whether the system can distinguish the faces of 20 volunteers out of a crowd of nearly 6,000 hockey fans, to evaluate how successfully BOSS can locate a person of interest.

According to DHS, BOSS technology consists of two cameras capable of taking stereoscopic images of a face and a back end remote matching system. Stereoscopic images are two images of the same object, taken at slightly different angles that create an illusion of three-dimensional depth from two-dimensional images. The cameras transfer the pair of images to the remote matching system by way of fiber optic or wireless technology. The system then processes and stores the two images into a 3-D signature, which is the mathematical representation of the stereo-pair images that the system uses for matching.

Read Full Article.... 

 September 23 - Pope expresses good will to Muslims in letter to Sunni imam
 Article: Ecumenical Movement - Other Religions Uniting With Roman Catholics

Pope Francis has indicated respect "for Islam and Muslims" in a letter to the head of the main cultural institution of Sunni Islam, marking the end of Ramadan.

Ahmed el-Tayeb, grand imam of al-Azhar University, perhaps the highest authority in Sunni thought, received the Pope's letter at the hands of Archbishop Jean-Paul Gobel, apostolic nuncio to Egypt, on Sept. 17, Fides News Agency reported.

A statement from the Cairo-based university said that the Holy Father's letter expressed hope in the attempt to further "understanding among Christians and Muslims in the world" and "to build peace and justice."

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 September 22 - Seek God through his Mother, Pope encourages faithful
 Article: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

During his Sunday homily in Sardinia, the Pope explained how we should seek Christ through the intercession of our Blessed Mother, whose life was an example of faithful prayer and trust in God.

"Let us not grow tired of knocking at God's door," he told crowds Sept. 22 in Cagliari, Sardinia. "Let us go to the heart of God through Mary, our whole life, every day, knocking at the door of God's heart! Mary prays - prays together with the community of disciples, and teaches us to have full faith in God, in his mercy. This is the power of prayer!" he told the faithful.

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 September 17 - Archaeologists may have found town named in Bible
 Article: Biblical Archaeology

Sometimes, archaeologists discover a sweater; other times, they uncover entire towns. The latter turns out to be the case in Israel, where a town has been found - and it could be one mentioned in a well-known Bible story. LiveScience reports that it was found along the northwest side of the Sea of Galilee, and British archaeologists suggest that it is Dalmanutha, a place that factors into the Gospel of Mark's recounting of Jesus feeding a great crowd of people with just a few fish and loaves of bread: Dalmanutha is where he briefly sailed after that miracle.

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 September 19 - Pope Says Church Is 'Obsessed' With Gays, Abortion and Birth Control
 Article: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

Six months into his papacy, Pope Francis sent shock waves through the Roman Catholic church on Thursday with the publication of his remarks that the church had grown "obsessed" with abortion, gay marriage and contraception, and that he had chosen not to talk about those issues despite recriminations from critics.

His surprising comments came in a lengthy interview in which he criticized the church for putting dogma before love, and for prioritizing moral doctrines over serving the poor and marginalized. He articulated his vision of an inclusive church, a "home for all" - which is a striking contrast with his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, the doctrinal defender who envisioned a smaller, purer church.

Read Full Article.... 

 September 25 - World needs the Church's witness of unity, Pope teaches
 Article: Ecumenical Movement - Misc.

Today during his general audience, Pope Francis drew attention to the rich diversity within the universal Church, saying that such differences are in fact a sign of unity.

"Dear Brothers and Sisters: in the Creed, we confess that the Church is 'one.' When we consider the rich diversity of languages, cultures and peoples present in the Church throughout the world, we realize that this unity is a God-given gift
," the Pope said told pilgrims in St. Peter's Square on Sept. 25. "In effect, the Church is one and it is in that same unity, even though it is dispersed throughout the world and there are many diversities."

"Like a big family, united like brothers in one same faith and hope, in charity and in the sacraments, in the apostolic ministry instituted by Christ."

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 September 25 - New Bridgeport bishop calls faithful to build 'spiritual bridges'
 Article: Bridges To Rome

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano was installed as Bishop of Bridgeport Sept. 19, telling his new flock to "leave no one behind": to build bridges with non-Catholics and with those who have left the Church.

In his homily, Bridgeport's new bishop said Catholics must begin by strengthening their own unity and serving the body of Christ in their own way. They must love one another and "serve those in greatest need," including the poor, the sick, the disabled, the lonely, the unborn, those who "live in fear in distress," and those "who have given up hope in life."

Bishop Caggiano, who was born to Italian immigrants in Brooklyn in 1959, reflected on the unifying power of bridges in both his native Brooklyn and in his new hometown of Bridgeport. He said the mission of Catholics is about "strengthening and building spiritual bridges in our midst.

Read Full Article.... 

 September 20 - Methodist Pastors Defy Church Laws to Bless Same-Sex Unions
 Article: Perilous Times

The Rev. Steve Heiss presided at his first same-sex marriage ceremony in a field in upstate New York on July 7, 2002. At the time, gay marriage was not legal in New York, and it remains illegal in the United Methodist Church.

But his daughter was getting married, and he wanted to bless her relationship. As pastor of Tabernacle United Methodist Church in Binghamton, N.Y., he knew he was violating church law, but he saw no reason the women should not be treated as any other couple.

"Even then I knew it was worth the risk," he said. "It was so right. You only have one opportunity to do this in your lifetime. I couldn't imagine anyone would be so upset about it."  In 2011, same-sex marriage became legal in New York state. Within a week, Heiss officiated at a same-sex marriage, and he has presided over six more since. Five of those weddings took place at his church.

Read Full Article.... 

 September 21 - Christian Group Meets In Kansas to Discuss Whether or Not the Bible Condemns Homosexuality
 Article: Perilous Times

A Kansas man whose online lecture about the Bible and same-sex relationships gained considerable attention has gathered about 50 Christians from around the country to delve into his belief that the Scriptures do not condemn homosexuality as a sexual orientation.

Matthew Vines, of Wichita, grew up attending a conservative evangelical Presbyterian church in the city and relies heavily on intensive study of the Bible for his presentations. He said liberal and moderate Christian churches have adopted more gay-friendly stances, but conservative churches remain steadfast in their opposition to homosexuality.
The 23-year-old Vines wants to bring change with his message that the Bible doesn't actually say same-sex orientation is a sin or condemn loving gay relationships. Out of 100 applicants, Vines selected 50 people with ties to conservative churches to participate in his three-day conference, which started Wednesday in Prairie Village and ends Saturday.

Read Full Article.... 

 September 26 - Like Benedict, Pope Francis doesn't want Church of 'moralists'
 Article: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

While Pope Francis' mention of the Church's priorities in a recent interview grabbed worldwide attention, few remember that Benedict XVI said substantially the same thing seven years ago. Pope Francis' interview with La CiviltÓ Cattolica published Sept. 19 led to headlines such as CNN's "Pope Francis says religion does not have the right to interfere spiritually in the lives of gays and lesbians" and the New York Times' "Pope Bluntly Faults Church's Focus on Gays and Abortion."

Among other things, the Roman Pontiff had said that the Church "cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods     when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context."

He continued, "The church's pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus      the proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow."

Read Full Article.... 

 September 25 - Rob Bell Speaks With Oprah Winfrey on 'Super Soul Sunday'
 Article: Emerging Church

Controversial Christian author and former megachurch pastor Rob Bell sits down with Oprah Winfrey for an interview in an upcoming episode of her spirituality-theme program "Super Soul Sunday." Bell's latest book, What We Talk About When We Talk About God, has been listed as the first recommended title in "Oprah's Super Soulful Book of the Month" club.

"The Emmy Award-winning series 'Super Soul Sunday' delivers a thought-provoking, eye-opening and inspiring block of programming designed to help viewers awaken to their best selves and discover a deeper connection to the world around them," reads a press release from Winfrey's network.

Winfrey has written on Oprah.com about her time talking with Bell, whose books she said opened her heart and mind.  "When Rob Bell - pastor, best-selling author, provocative thinker - recently joined me on the show, we talked for two and a half hours, and I could have kept going," wrote Winfrey. "The ideas Rob sets forth in his books Love Wins and What We Talk About When We Talk About God opened my heart and my mind. People like him are the reason I set out to build OWN in the first place: to be able to gather a global community of like-minded seekers."

Read Full Article.... 

 September 22 - Dolan Calls Pope's Tone on Sexual Morality a 'Breath of Fresh Air'
 Article: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

Three days after Pope Francis set a new tone for the Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the archbishop of New York, embraced the "magnificent interview" in which the pope chastised the church for its obsession with sexual morality, and called him "a breath of fresh air."

After Sunday Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Cardinal Dolan, who has himself softened his language on homosexuality in the past year, likened the pope to the Yankees' retiring relief pitcher: "I think he's our Mariano Rivera. He's a great relief to all of us."

Last Wednesday, Pope Francis surprised Catholics and non-Catholics alike with the publication of a lengthy interview in which he reprimanded the church for emphasizing dogma and moral doctrines over ministering to its people, including "those who have quit or are indifferent." He laid out a vision for a more inclusive church as a "home for all" and said the church could not afford to be "obsessed" with same-sex marriage, abortion and contraception.

Read Full Article.... 

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

Roger Oakland

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