Resurgence Roundup, 11/22/2013
In the weekly Resurgence Roundup, I compile some of the most interesting content I find online, as it pertains to the church and the people God has called us to reach. Keep in mind, I don’t endorse or agree with everything you’ll see included in the roundup.
A sharply divided Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed Texas to continue enforcing abortion restrictions that opponents say have led more than a third of the state’s clinics to stop providing abortions. The justices voted 5-4 to leave in effect a provision requiring doctors who perform abortions in clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
Christian News Network:
A Portland-area teacher who was escorted from his local high school by police over his continued opposition to Planned Parenthood will face a misconduct hearing as district officials consider declaring him “unfit to teach.”
The acceptance of drugs is growing in our country. In fact, I surprisingly have found friends and students unwilling to take a stand against drugs. In response to this growing acceptance, I want to argue very clearly that drugs intrinsically undermine culture. They are not simply a fun relief from the stresses of life, but rather an escape that removes one from reality in an escalating fashion.
Seattle voters have elected a socialist to city council for the first time in modern history. Kshama Sawant’s lead continued to grow on Friday, prompting 16-year incumbent Richard Conlin to concede. . . . While city council races are technically non-partisan, Sawant made sure people knew she was running as a socialist—a label that would be politically poisonous in many parts of the country.
The number of permits pulled to make porn films in Los Angeles County has declined an estimated 95 percent—from about 480 issued in 2012 to only 24 through the first nine months of this year—since a law requiring adult film actors to use condoms took effect, officials said Friday.
The governors of California and New Jersey have recently signed bills into law that violate First Amendment protections of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. These new laws ban licensed counselors from engaging in talk therapies that reduce the level of same-sex attractions in minors for whom such reduction is a personal goal.
Michelle Obama shared one with her “first dog” Bo, [and] Hillary Clinton tweeted one with her daughter Chelsea. Now “selfie”—the smartphone self-portrait—has been declared word of the year for 2013, according to Britain’s Oxford University Press.
Better sleeping is known to provide lots of health benefits. These can include better heart function, hormonal maintenance and cell repair as well as boosting memory and improving cognitive function. Basically, sleeping gives your body a chance to deal with everything that happened during the day, repair itself, and reset for tomorrow.
Nearly half of houses of worship in the United States now allow gay and lesbian members who are in long-term relationships to be members, while close to one in three now let gay and lesbian members hold voluntary leadership posts, according to a new study of more than a thousand American congregations.
In her recent First Things article, Elizabeth Corey makes a bold critique of contemporary feminism. She argues that we contemporary women, as inheritors of feminism, have been told that we can “have it all,” that we ought to pursue excellence in the same manner as men—that is, in our education and in our careers. But, we have discovered, these pursuits come at a high cost.
A jury of clergy Tuesday night suspended for 30 days a pastor who officiated at the wedding of his gay son, telling him he must decide whether he can embrace church rules—or, if not, leave the Methodist ministry. . . . During testimony Tuesday, Schaefer said he would “not go back to being a silent supporter” of gay people. Three of his four children are gay.
Evangelical Christianity, it seems, is moving back to a confessional centering on the Gospel. I find this to be good news. But that does not mean that the next generation of Gospel-centered Evangelicals should retreat from social and political engagement. As part of a reaction to their parents’ or grandparents’ errors, a Gospel-focused, missional Evangelicalism could become not only separatist and isolationist but just as politically idolatrous though from a different direction, all the while reassuring its members that they are avoiding culture wars or social gospel.
North Korea publicly executed as many as 80 people—some for infractions as minor as watching South Korean movies or possessing a Bible—in the first known mass executions in the Kim Jong-un regime, South Korean media reported. . . . About 10,000 men, women and children were forced to watch the killings.
Religion News Service:
A former archbishop of Canterbury has warned that the Church of England faces extinction in less than 25 years unless it can attract more young people now. . . . “We ought to be ashamed of ourselves. We are one generation away from extinction and if we do not invest in young people there is going to be no one in the future.”
Christianity is in danger of becoming extinct in its ancient homelands because of a rising tide of sectarian attacks, [a senior British minister warns]. Violence against Christian worshippers and other religious minorities by fanatics has become a “global crisis” and is the gravest challenge facing the world this century.
The Church of England is preparing for a debate at its ruling general synod about how to create women bishops. It is due to consider an accelerated programme for introducing women bishops and the appointment of an independent arbitrator to resolve disputes.
A giant statue of Jesus apparently survived Typhoon Haiyan unscathed, even as the massive storm flattened many parts of Tanauan, a coastal town in the central Philippines.
Shiite Muslims observe [the Islamic day of mourning] Ashura through mourning rituals such as self-flagellation and reenactments of the martyrdom. [Warning: Article includes graphic photos of the rituals, including self-flagellation and walking on hot coals.]