...thoughts expressed here are not necessarily final.

February 14, 2005 Amputated saints

Alarming Number of 'Stayaway Saints' Affecting Today's Church Charisma News Service

An alarming number of Christians are staying home on Sunday mornings and the trend is affecting today's church. Believers who have become "stayaway saints" are alternately worrying and exciting church leaders, pointing to what is being seen as either a serious threat to the spread of the gospel or the actual cusp of a revolution that could usher in the sort of revival many have prayed for and dreamed of for years. A recent study by The Barna Group, a California-based Christian research organization, found that about 13 million Americans whom the researchers identified as being born again were "unchurched ... not having attended a Christian church service, other than for a holiday ... at any time in the past six months." David Barrett, author of the World Christian Encyclopedia, estimates there are about 112 million "churchless Christians" worldwide. He projects that number will double by 2025 -- though it includes both nominal believers and those part of underground churches in nations where they face persecution for their faith. Concern about the growing number of Christians she had met who no longer attended church regularly prompted Pat Palau, wife of international evangelist Luis Palau, to collaborate last year on a book, "What to Do When You Don't Want to Go to Church."

What do you think- can you be a Christian without being a part of the body?

Sing the song of the soul that rejoices

Sing the song of the soul that rejoices
In knowing God through faith, not sight
For I know well the spring that flows
And runs, although it is night.

That eternal spring is hidden,
I know where it has its rise,
I do not know its origin,
It cannot be seen with eyes

But I know that every origin
In this stream has found its birth
And nothing else is so beautiful,
Drink there oh heavens and earth !

I know well that it is bottomless
None are able to cross , not one
Its clarity is never darkened,
Every light from it has come

I know that its streams are brimming
They water the lands of hell,
Below above and in between
the heavens, and earth as well

This eternal spring is hidden
With in the living bread
It floweth for our life's sake
And from it we are fed.

It is calling out to creatures;
And their thirst is satisfied
Although they drink in darkness,
The Living water is supplied.

After John of the Cross

Anthony Foster February 9, 2005

Senator Attempts To Remove Bibles From Chapel

Erin Curry, Baptist Press

A Democratic state senator ordered his staff to remove a cross, Bibles and hymnals from the nondenominational chapel in the rotunda of the North Carolina legislative building, saying the Christian emphasis was inappropriate in a public building used by people of different faiths. But a higher-ranking senator reversed Sen. Tony Rand's decision Feb. 3 after Republican lawmakers complained. "The cross and the Bible are going back in the chapel," Norma Mills, chief of staff for Senate President Marc Basnight, said, according to The Charlotte News & Observer. In recent years, a group of lawmakers began holding weekly services in the chapel, bringing with them privately donated Bibles, hymnals and a cross, which they left in the room. Rand was not opposed to such services, but he said worshipers should take their items with them when they leave to avoid offending lawmakers of other religions. Charles Haynes, a senior scholar at the First Amendment Center in Arlington, Va., told The News & Observer that Rand was probably correct in banning the permanent display of religious material. "Not only is it probably the sensitive thing to do to keep the chapel available to all, but it may also be the First Amendment thing to do," Haynes said.

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From the personal weblog of Anthony Foster @http://anthonyfoster.com/blog/