Monday, June 30, 2008

The Pew Report

Survey Shows U.S. Religious Tolerance

Sweet Land of Tolerance

LifeWay study adds doubt about Pew poll's claims regarding evangelicals' 'universalism'

There is a debate brewing tied to the polls and speculation that Democrats can win over Republican voters in the 2008 elections. Behind the debate in a research study by the Pew Forum that looks into the beliefs of the so called Evangelical person; their views on faith and politics or the relationship between their political thought and their faith. Pew conducted a very large poll, 35,000 people from May 8 to Aug. 13, 2007.

The study was published in the New York Times as a political side line. It was commented on by Chuck Colson on the Break Point website. Mr. Colson has a different concern about the implications of the survey than The Times. He sees the report as a source of concern that the supreme value of our culture, tolerance, is wearing away the ability of people of faith to hold true to their doctrinal beliefs. People of all faiths seem to be sliding into an undefined, noncommittal approach to faith because of politics. Instead of the definition of tolerance being allowing others to freely express their faith be it different from mine, tolerance has become having no real belief system at all, both in matters of religion and morals.

The Baptist Press sees a problem with the study and has their own more defined questions for the more defined evangelical, but with far less of a range of respondents. Where it may seem they want to argue the validity of the Pew report, there is instead a real concern with the question, who is sitting in the pew? There should be a real concern whether doctrine in being taught or not. There should be a real concern that if it is being taught to what effect. Why is it important for those who sit in the pews each Sunday to know what they believe? The answer is more important than the implications to the election. It has implications to the elect that are eternal.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Who is Responding to the World Food Crisis?

Photo by Baptist Press
I want to comment today on world hunger from the Good News Now point of view. Our view is to see who is at work within the crisis. Good News Now believes that in every disaster there is the miraculous, the good and often open doors for the gospel.
The challenge of hunger comes from many sources that need to be addressed. Experts blame the growing dependence on bio fuels, high oil prices, natural disaster, difficult weather conditions both draught and flooding, war, and corrupt governments for the crisis that is arising amongst the world’s most vulnerable populations.
How do we respond as a believing people? As the church? As a nation? As the international community? This problem will take more than money. It will take communities and organizations in agreement working together. What we cannot afford is to ignore the growing food shortage. Food prices so high that food becomes unavailable to the world’s poor is unacceptable.
Within this crisis there is a change or challenge for the church. The church is stepping up its humanitarian aid and becoming a greater witness.

Baptists respond to growing hunger crisis around world

In crisis the gospel is being preached while relief work increases.

Myanmar Relief Continues Amid Difficulties, Hundreds Open to Christ

Groups, secular and faith based, are responding. Many find the situation unacceptable and want to do something more. They have the experience and know how to lead in this crisis. In that we can rejoice.

Oxfam Report: Impact of rising food prices

World Vision International President Dean Hirsch finds hope in Myanmar

For those of you who ask what is the U.S. government doing?

USAID Announces Additional Emergency Food Assistance for Haiti

How is the international community reacting?

EU demands Zimbabwe lift aid ban immediately

For those of you whose heart is touched by this issue help us report the response of individuals, churches, organizations and nations that continue to address the problem by letting us know, by submitting the article to our site. We encourage you to get involved in some personal way particularly through your local church. Ask what your church is doing to help solve world hunger, then ask what you can do.

Heifer International and the food crisis