...thoughts expressed here are not necessarily final.

December 06, 2004 News tha depresses

Japan has been hit withmass suicide pacts facilitated by net communications. Prognosticators predict that the US may be hit with occurrances of the same type of pact that has hit Jpan over the past year. Charcoal stove induced carbon monoxide poisoning is a chosen means of death in several cases

Appealing to "church shopping" worshippers

A growing number of people now shop for their church as they do for a supermarket or fitness center. They could care less about what denomination a church is, and instead look for one that most suits their needs. see the story here.

There is evidence that the Internet can influence people to take their own lives. The term coined is 'cybersuicide.' What is beng seen in Japan may occur sporadically in other countries.

Christmas concerts

We enjoyed the annual christmas program of the Masterworks chorales last night. Despite the rain and cold, the trip was worth the trouble. We were treated witha beautifully orchestrated and unique experience of christmas music and atmosphere at St. Peter's Cathedral in Belleville. Did you know the sound has a 7 second echo there? That would make anyone sound good.

The haunting sounds"O Come, O Come Emmanuel" wasb accompanied by a candlelight procession in the darkened Cathedral, followed by the purity and beauty of young voices in the Masterworks Children’s Choruses. The Concert Choir also sang carols of the season, such as "Mary’s Lullaby,""Carol of the Bells" and "I Saw Three Ships". Audience carols accompanied by orchestra were also a part of the concert, as well as a grand finale that brought all the singers together for a festive conclusion. 

December 7, 2004- Seventy-nine percent of Americans believe...

that, as the Bible says, Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, without a human father, according to a new NEWSWEEK poll on beliefs about Jesus. advertisement Sixty-seven percent say they believe that the entire story of Christmas—the Virgin Birth, the angelic proclamation to the shepherds, the Star of Bethlehem and the Wise Men from the East—is historically accurate. Twenty-four percent of Americans believe the story of Christmas is a theological invention written to affirm faith in Jesus Christ, the poll shows. In general, say 55 percent of those polled, every word of the Bible is literally accurate. Thirty-eight percent do not believe that about the Bible.

Cheese exports

British baker Warburtons posed the question "What are your top three cheesiest moments in film?" to 2,000 U.K. moviegoers in celebration of the launch of their new cheese-flavored crumpets.

Apparitions of Jesus have appeared on walls and in chapels. Now, in Arizona, a patient at a dentist's office says he sees one on an x-ray. The dentist, and staff at a Phoenix dentist's office agree that the x-ray contains an image resembling Jesus.

Anti-Christmas Crusade Well Under Way

This year's anti-Christmas crusade appears well under way, with the latest example involving a parade this weekend in Denver, Colorado. WorldNetDaily reports that the annual downtown Denver event known as the "AT&T Parade of Lights" will include Hindu and Mestizo dance troupes, a kung fu group, belly dancers, Santa Claus, and even a homosexual (GBLT) American Indian society. But an area church has been told it is not welcome because its members wanted to sing seasonal hymns and proclaim a "Merry Christmas" message on their float. The parade website claims the event organizers are "proud to present an International Procession to celebrate the cultural and ethnic diversity of the region." However, a parade spokesman declared that religious content such as the church group's message is excluded because it might be offensive to some parade attendees. Pastor George Morrison says this exclusion is all part of the "anti-Christmas agenda" that has crept into the parade and which is "robbing us." However, the Christian group has come up with an alternate plan. Morrison says members of his church will be walking the parade route an hour before the event begins, singing Christmas carols to people on the street.  

Denomination's Pro-Gay TV Ad Is 'Masterful Propaganda,' Mohler Says
Jeff Robinson, Baptist Press

A new TV advertisement promoting the United Church of Christ says that God is now affirming homosexuality, but R. Albert Mohler Jr., appearing on ABC's "Good Morning America," said the commercial misrepresents biblical Christianity. "It is a piece of masterful propaganda but it is a diabolical misrepresentation of Christianity," said Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, on the national telecast Dec. 2. "... Jesus Christ did indeed come to seek and to save the lost but as He said to the woman caught in adultery, 'Go and sin no more,'" Mohler said. Jesus "did not invite persons to stay in sinful lifestyles. Rather, He came to save us from our sins and to make us what we otherwise could not be -- and that is victorious over all the sins that entrap us. Homosexuality is one of those." The 30-second spot began running on several cable channels on Dec. 1 and is part of the United Church of Christ's two-year campaign toward an inclusion that affirms "all persons who feel rejected" by the church, said Robert Chase, UCC director of communications, who appeared with Mohler on Good Morning America.

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