Christian filmmakers release "Courageous" this week
ALBANY, Ga. (AP) - The latest movie from the church-based
filmmakers who produced "Facing the Giants" and "Fireproof"
will debut in theaters this Friday.
Stephen Kendrick says "Courageous" is a film about policemen
struggling to be good fathers.
He and his brother Alex Kendrick have written and produced
multimillion dollar movies from an unlikely base -- their own
Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga.
Stephen Kendrick says, "With every movie, God has done more
than we can ask or imagine."
He's praying that "Courageous" will "challenge men to step up
and become spiritual leaders of their kids, their homes -- to
become the providers, the protectors that their kids need."
SEE YOU AT THE POLE
Students plan prayers around school flagpoles
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Christian students at schools nationwide are
planning to get up early Wednesday to gather and pray before class
around their school flagpoles.
Organizers of the annual "See You at the Pole" event estimate
that between one million and two million students participate every
year on the fourth Wednesday in September.
"See You at the Pole" began 20 years ago in Burleson, Texas,
and offers young Christians a chance to pray for each other, their
schools and their country at the beginning of each academic year.
National coordinator Doug Clark says the gatherings are
permissible at public schools because they're student-led and take
place outside of class time.
Suicide bombing at Indonesian church injures 22
SOLO, Indonesia (AP) - Police in Indonesia say a suicide bomber
blew himself up inside an Indonesian church as hundreds of
worshippers were filing out after Sunday's service, injuring at
least 22 people.
The bomber's mangled body lay at the entrance of the Tenth
Bethel Gospel Church in Solo City on the main island of Java.
Around him, screaming people were splattered in blood.
The Rev. Rick Warren of California's Saddleback Church announced
the bombing on his Twitter account, referring to Bethel Gospel as a
"sister church" in his Purpose Driven Network.
A woman working at an Internet cafe near the Indonesian church
said the bomber had visited her shop an hour before the explosion
and had browsed websites about al-Qaida and a local Islamist group.
She said he left a bag behind containing a copy of the Quran, a
mask and a cellphone charger.
HELL QUESTIONING PASTOR
Pastor who questioned hell discusses his departure
GRANDVILLE, Mich. (AP) - The pastor of a Michigan megachurch who
raised a storm of controversy within evangelical Christianity with
his book questioning traditional beliefs about hell has told his
congregants they'll do fine without him.
The Grand Rapids Press says Rob Bell made the comment Sunday at
Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville. He announced plans to write
and pursue new opportunities in Los Angeles.
Bell says he and the congregation he led for 12 years have had a
"beautiful thing," but added that church members are "going to
be great" without him.
Bell's book "Love Wins" questions the traditional Christian
belief that only those who trust Jesus Christ will spend eternity
in heaven while everyone else is tormented in hell. He has said he
wrote it because the Christian message that "God is love" became
Ohio churches debate gay issue with billboards
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - The ongoing debate in churches regarding
homosexuality is being argued through billboards with opposing
viewpoints in northwest Ohio.
Toledo's Central United Methodist Church posted a roadside
billboard in April that said, "Being Gay Is a Gift from God,"
prompting the Rev. Tony Scott of the Church on Strayer to offer an
Scott's megachurch in a Toledo suburb bought nine billboards
last week that proclaim, "Being Gay is NOT a Gift from God --
Forgiveness, Love, and Eternal Life Are."
Scott told The Blade that he's getting hate mail from gays and
lesbians, but he said, "I love them too much to let someone
believe a lie."
Central United Methodist recently replaced its original
billboard with another one that says, "Creating a Space for All
God's Children Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender
Ex-football player dies after church boxing event
TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A former University of Tulsa football player
who died after an unsanctioned boxing match at a church looked
"very panicked," according to a fellow boxer who saw him there.
George Clinkscale died after a "Fight Night" event last
Wednesday at Guts Church in Tulsa.
Another fighter, Dwayllen Lyles, told the Tulsa World that he
believes the fighters were in danger at an event he described as
"almost like a bunch of guys in a backyard brawl."
Others saw the 24-year-old Clinkscale beginning to cramp in the
Joe Miller, director of the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission,
says Clinkscale was taken to a local hospital, where he died.
Miller said he believed the event was held illegally and is
investigating what happened.
Scalia urges Duquesne Univ. to keep Catholic identity
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has urged
officials at Duquesne (doo-KAYN') University to preserve the
school's Catholic identity.
In a weekend speech at the Pennsylvania school, Scalia said the
educational establishment insists on diversity but "seems bent on
eliminating diversity of moral judgment -- particularly moral
judgment based on religious views" from universities.
Scalia said he hopes Duquesne "will not yield -- as some
Catholic institutions have -- to this politically correct
insistence upon suppression of moral judgment."
The Supreme Court justice said, "The here and now is less
important than the hereafter."
Pope leaves Germany after calling for spiritual renewal
FREIBURG, Germany (AP) - Pope Benedict has ended a visit to his
native Germany with a call for spiritual renewal among the German
The pope drew hundreds of thousands to services during his trip,
including a final Mass Sunday that attracted about 100,000 people
to an airfield beside the airport in the southern city of Freiburg.
During the four-day visit, he also addressed parliament and met
with victims of clerical abuse.
In his parting words before leaving for Rome, Benedict wished
Germans "strength and confidence" in their faith. He said even
those who doubt God's existence "are closer to the kingdom of God
than believers whose faith is routine and who regard the church
merely as an institution."
The Catholic church in Germany lost 181,000 members after last
year's clerical abuse scandal there.
POLAND-PRAYING FOR THE EU
Polish church and state leaders pray for the EU
WARSAW, Poland (AP) - With the European Union in crisis, Polish
church leaders have held a special Sunday Mass to pray for European
unity and for Poland's success as it holds the EU presidency.
The service in Warsaw, attended by Foreign Minister Radek
Sikorski and other political leaders, came after Polish church
leaders held similar prayers for EU unity five days earlier in
With the Masses, predominantly Roman Catholic Poland is putting
its own characteristic stamp on a bloc dominated by more secular
Western European nations.
Though Germans and others might be getting fed up with bailing
out the Greeks and the Portuguese, the benefits of membership feel
very tangible in Poland: EU subsidies have created an economic
boom, while Poles enjoy unprecedented freedoms to live and travel
Ukraine's nationalists protest Jewish pilgrimage
UMAN, Ukraine (AP) - Police have detained about 100 activists of
Ukraine's nationalist party who protested the annual pilgrimage of
Hasidic Jews in southern Ukraine.
About 300 supporters of the nationalist party Svoboda, or
Liberty, demanded that Hasidic Jews not be allowed to gather in the
town of Uman.
Close to 30,000 Hasidic Jews from around the world are expected
in Uman this week to celebrate Rosh Hoshana at the grave of Rabbi
Nachman of Bratslav, who died in 1810.
The protesters shouted "Ukraine for Ukrainians" at Sunday's
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)