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Saturday, 30 July 2011

To hell with the American Prosperity Jesus: Truth about Congo comes out at last in latest video.

20And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. 21Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. 24But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. 25Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. (Luke 6: 20-21, 24-25)


19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.(Romans 12:19-21)



My brothers and sisters in Congo are beings killed, raped amidst the laughter and hypocrisy of USA and Britain. God will avenge for this. Can you imagine that Africans are being used to kill fellow Africans. How crazy!!!!See, the truth about the crisis in congo in this newly released video

http://congojustice.org/

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Influential Anglican Pastor and Theologian, Rev. John Stott, Passes Away at 90

FIRST READ:


I find myself hoping and praying that evangelicals worldwide will take more initiatives to develop friendly conversations with Roman Catholics based on common Bible study. It would be tragic indeed if God’s purpose of reformation were frustrated by our evangelical stand-offishness.’ ~ John Stott (https://curiouspresbyterian.wordpress.com/2008/05/29/john-stott-on-ecumenism/)


‘The [hell] fire itself is termed “eternal” and “unquenchable,” but it would be very odd if what is thrown into it proves indestructible. Our expectation would be the opposite: it would be consumed for ever, not tormented for ever. Hence it is the smoke (evidence that the fire has done its work) which “rises for ever and ever.”’ ~ John Stott (http://curiouspresbyterian.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/the-rob-bell-debate-john-stott-on-hell-and-christian-annihilationism/)


John Stott caused quite a stir among evangelicals in 1988 with his tentative support of Annihilationism. Surprisingly, Stott has not subsequently addressed his support of this issue in writing. The quote that caused the stir is given below:
"I find the concept [of eternal conscious punishment in hell] intolerable and do not understand how people can live with it without either cauterising their feelings or cracking under the strain. But our emotions are a fluctuating, unreliable guide to truth and must not be exalted to the place of supreme authority in determining it. As a committed Evangelical, my question must be -- and is -- not what does my heart tell me, but what does God's word say?"( http://www.theopedia.com/John_Stott)




Annihilationism is the belief that the final fate of those who are not saved is literal and final death and destruction. It runs counter to the mainstream traditional Christian understanding of hell as eternal suffering and separation from God. In contrast to the more traditional view, which holds that the wicked will remain conscious in hell forever, annhilationism teaches that, whether or not God may use hell to exact some conscious punishment for sins, he will eventually destroy or annihilate the wicked completely, leaving only the righteous to live on in immortality. This is essentially a moot point for Universalists since in their view all will be saved and hell will one day be empty. Each of the three views, Annihilationism, Eternal Torment and Universalism, has at least one major feature in common with the alternatives. Universalism and Eternal Torment both affirm that everyone will have immortality. Universalism and Annihilationism affirm that evil will one day no longer exist, and Annihilationism and Eternal Torment both affirm that some will be punished eternally, without remedy. For the annihilationist, however, eternal punishment is seen as "permanent elimination." (http://www.theopedia.com/Annihilationism)


Influential Pastor and Theologian, Rev. John Stott, Passes Away at 90

http://www.urbanchristiannews.com/ucn/2011/07/influential-pastor-and-theologian-rev-john-stott-passes-away-at-90.html
July 27, 2011 3:34 PM


The Rev. John Stott, who led a resurgence of evangelicalism in Britain and went on to become one of the most influential evangelical thinkers of the 20th Century, died Wednesday. He was 90.

Benjamin Homan, president of John Stott Ministries, told The Associated Press in a phone interview that Stott died surrounded by friends on Wednesday afternoon.

He did not give a precise cause of death but said Stott's health had deteriorated sharply in recent weeks and that he had been in severe pain near the end of his life.

"His body was just wearing out," Homan said.

Stott died at the College of St. Barnabas, a residential community for retired Anglican clergy in Lingfield, Surrey, 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of London, according to information posted on the All Souls Langham Place website Wednesday night.

He was an intellectual pioneer who in the years following World War II spearheaded an evangelical revival in England at a time when evangelical Christians had almost no influence and were often derided as uneducated.

Stott, who studied at Trinity College at the University of Cambridge, took a rigorous approach to Scripture that moved beyond the largely emotional appeals commonly used by preachers of his era.

In more than 50 books, he explained complex theology in a way that lay people could easily understand. Among his most popular books was "Basic Christianity," a primer on the faith which has been translated into more than 60 languages, according to his U.S. publisher, InterVarsity Press.

"The evangelical world has lost one of its greatest spokesmen," evangelist Billy Graham, 94, said in a statement. He called Stott "a friend and adviser." The two men had worked together since the 1950s.

Stott was one of the earliest Western evangelical leaders to recognize the importance of Christian churches in developing countries. He was a primary framer of the 1974 Lausanne Covenant, a declaration of beliefs that was used to build evangelicalism into a global movement.

The document was written at an international meeting that Graham organized at the height of his career and is considered a milestone in the rise of evangelical Christianity worldwide.

"While he was not as well-known as say somebody like Rick Warren or Billy Graham, they all knew him as sort of their mentor," said Michael Cromartie of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington.

Stott is credited with renewing an evangelical emphasis on social responsibility, along with spreading the Gospel.

He was born in London to an agnostic father who was a physician and a mother who was Lutheran but attended the Anglican church that her son would eventually lead, All Souls Langham Place. He embraced Christianity in 1938, according to InterVarsity.

He was ordained by the Church of England in 1945, going on to serve as All Souls' curate and rector until 1975.

Known as "Uncle John" to the many people he worked with, Stott was a lifelong bachelor who traveled the world for his teaching and funneled his book royalties into scholarships, especially for students from developing countries who went on to lead evangelical movements where they lived.

The church website said that Stott's close friends and associates were at his bedside reading Scriptures and listening to Handel's "Messiah" when he died.

"His preaching drew many to Christ and kept many on track in their Christian thinking and living," said Hugh Palmer, rector of All Souls Langham Place. "His books did the same for millions more and equipped pastors and lay people to become bible teachers themselves on every continent."

Christian Leaders Respond to Death of John Stott on Twitter:

@RickWarren
John Stott,one of my closest mentors,just died.I flew to the UK recently just to pray for him &sit by his bed.What a giant!

@PastorTullian
My granddad was both tearful and speechless when his assistant came in to tell us that his lifelong friend John Stott had died.

@PastorTullian
Sitting with my granddad and his assistant just came in to tell us that John Stott died. One of the greatest preachers who ever lived.

@albertmohler
You cannot explain English-speaking evangelicalism in the 20th century without crucial reference to the massive influence of John Stott.

@albertmohler
I am thankful for warm memories of conversations with John Stott, a man with a generous heart as well as a keen mind. We will miss him.

SOURCE: The Associated Press
Gregory Katz and Rachel Zoll

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Prosperity Parrots Call his life Weird: Pastor Francis Chan challenges the Bogus American Prosperity Gospel

FIRST READ AND WATCH : NSIDE EDITION Investigates TV Ministers' Lifestyles


http://www.insideedition.com/news/6332/inside-edition-investigates-tv-ministers-lifestyles.aspx



Chan Steps Down from Cornerstone, Moves to Asia


http://www.charismamag.com/index.php/news/29822-chan-steps-down-from-cornerstone-moves-to-asia


Wednesday, 22 December 2010 10:09 AM EST Jennifer LeClaire


Francis Chan has picked up and moved his family to Asia. Chan pastored the 4,000-member Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, Calif.


Chan was making quite a name for himself in Christian circles, penning two best-selling books, including Crazy Love and Forgotten God, and authoring a DVD teaching series. But he has resigned and left for an unnamed country in Asia. Chan reportedly told his church that he “wanted to disappear far a while” in late September.


“Even in my own church I heard the words, ‘Francis Chan’ more than I heard the words, ‘Holy Spirit’,” CNN’s Belief Blog reports Chan as saying. “I think there has been too much emphasis on me. I want to be used by God, but I think we have this desire to make heroes out of people rather than following God and the Holy Spirit.”


Chan is the founding pastor of Cornerstone Church. He started the church in 1994. This is not the first time he has left the church. In May he left to work directly in mission with the poor locally and internationally.



“When there is a large constituency, there’s a lot of voices,” Chan said in the Belief Blog. “It makes you arrogant or it makes you want to shoot yourself. When thousands of people tell you what they think, how can I be quick to listen, like the Bible says? I don’t want to be a jerk and tune everyone out. At the same time, you can’t love every single person and answer them.”


Chan is the chancellor and founder of Eternity Bible College and serves on the board of directors for Children’s Hunger Fund, an international humanitarian aid foundation to assist the poor, and on the board for World Impact, an inner-city missions organization dedicated to planting churches among the urban poor in America. Chan has given all author royalties for Crazy Love to the Isaiah 58 Fund.


Chan’s blog offers the following message:


“Francis appreciates that you have visited this site and that you may want to get in touch with him. However, due to the many e-mails that he was receiving with regard to his announcement of stepping down at Cornerstone and the many different requests and suggestions he was also receiving, he cannot answer them individually…

“With regard to going on a prayer walk with he and Lisa to the different cities they are praying about possibly moving, they plan to go alone in order to get away quietly to pray. He hopes you understand and certainly hopes you will continue to pray for them whenever you think of it…

“Francis is not currently accepting any speaking engagements until January 2011. After this time, if you are still interested, please refer back to this site for a speaking request form.”
________________________________________



Francis Chan to Critics: How is My Life Weird?


http://www.christianpost.com/news/francis-chan-to-critics-how-is-my-life-weird-47152/


By Michelle A. Vu | Christian Post Reporter


DULUTH, Ga. – With contagious passion, uncensored honesty, and rock-solid conviction, preacher and best-selling author Francis Chan took the stage at the Catalyst conference last week to “brag” about his relationship with God and to counter critics who say his recent ministry decision is “weird.”



Chan declared to an arena packed with 13,000 young Christian leaders that he wants his life to fit in the Bible and that there is nothing weird about believing in the Holy Spirit and following the calling of God.

“When I don’t think biblically, I go nuts. I just go, ‘This is crazy,’” said Chan, founding pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, Calif., last Thursday evening. “But whenever I read this book (the Bible), I think my life fits perfectly.”

Critics have called Chan radical and questioned his theology after the Southern California preacher announced six months ago that he would step down from pastoring his megachurch to pursue a new adventure God is calling him to. Even fellow megachurch pastors have questioned Chan’s ministry decision to forsake everything to pursue a yet unclear calling.

Moreover, Chan shared Thursday during the nation’s largest gathering of young Christian leaders that his wife, Lisa, recently proposed to even sell their house before the family of six (four children) embark on their trip to Asia this week. The Crazy Love author noted that his family would not have a house to return to if they do come back to the United States.

While acknowledging that his life is crazy by most people’s standards today, Chan explained how un-radical his life really is by comparing it with the early disciples.

“If you put my life’s story in the book of Acts, chapter 12, [it would be] James killed, Peter imprisoned and Francis went to Asia,” said Chan to the laughter and applause of Catalyst attendees.

“Whoa, that is radical. He is so weird,” joked Chan, who says he’s been accused of subscribing to “poverty theology” because he gives away about 90 percent of his income and has donated all his book royalties to charities.

Continuing, the popular Christian speaker challenged those in the audience to compare their lives to the Bible and see if it also fits. He said it is more weird that some Christians change churches because of the service time, the music style, or the fight they got into with someone.

“Think biblically ’What is weird?' 'Who is weird?‘ based on the scripture and whether we fit in it,” Chan stressed. “So many things don’t make sense. I got to look at scripture and go ‘Does my life make sense?’ I want my life to fit in this book one day.”

Chan noted how his 14-year-old daughter, who he was the most nervous to break his decision to, ended up being the most supportive of his plan. She told him that she was proud of him for trying to be more like Jesus.

“The Bible says that 'if you try to save your life, you will lose it. But if you lose your life for my (Jesus’) sake then you’ll find it,'” Chan stated. “It’s like my kids; if I try to keep them safe and try to make them happy, I’m going to lose them. But if you let go and start to pursue the things of God, then God says, ‘I’ll take care of them.’”

Chan, who spent 16 years building Cornerstone Church, plans to travel to Asia to witness what God is doing in the Christian body there. He said he might work at an orphanage, but has no clear plan for ministry yet. But he and his family are willing to do anything that the Spirit leads them to do, he shared.

“I don’t know how to defend everything. All I know is when I try to listen to what God is asking me to do, when I take some of these passages, when I made that turn in my life and said I want to just be like Jesus,” he said, “all I know is the more I pursue that the more God listens to my prayers.”

The Crazy Love author shared at the beginning of his talk how God has been answering all his prayers lately to the point he wonders if God has anything else to do but listen and respond to him.

He said that he wants to get up on stage and brag that he knows and understands the God of the universe, and he hopes those in the audience will also brag that they know God.

“I am pursuing this thing,” Chan stated. “I am just trying to walk by the Spirit and it has been amazing.”

Chan was one of about a dozen speakers at this year’s Catalyst conference, which drew young leaders in for a three-day experience aimed at exposing them to cutting-edge ideas from top leaders in business, education, non-profit, and the church. Since its founding in 1999, the annual event has been attended by more than 90,000 leaders.

This year’s conference concluded Friday.



He lamented that Christians were too often “missing it” – the level of commitment and passion to spreading the Gospel demonstrated by the early church.

“You go to church these days and you stare forward and sing a couple of songs and listen to the message and go home,” he said.

“Haven’t you wondered how come everyone’s so content and everyone acts like this is the norm and this is okay when in your heart it’s driving you crazy and it doesn’t square with Scripture?”

He said it was easy for Christians to say “Amen” to sharing in the fellowship, resurrection and glory of Christ, but not so easy for them to say “Amen” when it came to sharing in His sufferings.

Even though it could be difficult, Chan told Christians it was in the midst of the danger and conflict that came with going out into the world and making disciples that the real peace of Jesus could be experienced.

“I feel very concerned for those people who walk into these buildings we call church and think they are Christians because they said a prayer and made a decision,” he said.

“Saying a prayer means nothing if there’s no follow through.”

He continued: “Where’s the obvious truth and where’s the obedience because I think we’ve missed some obvious things and created a system that doesn’t really make sense and we’ve done that because we don’t really want to live out Christianity, we don’t really want to become like Christ.

“Do you really want to be like Christ – rejected your whole life, spit upon, crucified? ... We don’t want that part of Christ and yet it is those times when we are rejected for the Gospel that we really feel the peace and come to remotely resemble Jesus.”

Chan’s appearance at this year’s international CRE comes just weeks after he announced to Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, Calif., that he was stepping down after 16 years as its senior pastor.

He said he had decided to leave the church he and his wife planted because he feared that he liked his popularity too much.

He spoke of his admiration for fellow evangelical pastor John Piper, who recently announced that he was taking some time off to tackle his pride.

Chan will deliver his final sermon at Cornerstone later in the month. He said he plans to move with his family to a developing country.


Francis Chan: Church Today Not What God Intended


http://www.christianpost.com/news/francis-chan-church-today-not-what-god-intended-50000/

By Lillian Kwon | Christian Post Reporter



The Christian Post > U.S.|Tue, Apr. 26 2011 08:01 PM EDT


Church today has become predictable, says bestselling author and influential preacher Francis Chan.


"You go to a building, someone gives you a bulletin, you sit in a chair, you sing a few songs, a guy delivers maybe a polished message, maybe not, someone sings a solo, you go home," Chan says in his latest "BASIC" video.

The Crazy Love author is concerned about the big disconnect between what the church looks like today and what it looked like 2,000 years ago.

"When you read the New Testament, you see the Holy Spirit was supposed to change everything so that this gathering of people who call themselves Christians had this supernatural element about them," Chan explains in the video series, produced by Flannel. His talk on the Holy Spirit premiered recently on RelevantMagazine.com.

It was the Holy Spirit, which came down after Jesus ascended to heaven, that empowered Christians thousands of years ago. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, people began speaking in different languages, people were being healed, and believers had a supernatural love for one another.

The fire that came down from heaven, that rush of wind, however, seems to have disappeared, Chan points out.

"Do you really see this supernatural power at work when the believers gather together for what we call church?" he asks. "Isn't it the same Holy Spirit that's supposed to be available to us today? Why is it so different?"

Chan's frustrations with the church today are what inspired the "BASIC" series. He was successfully leading a megachurch in Simi Valley, Calif., when he began to question and rethink "how we do church." He began feeling uncomfortable with people driving long distances just to hear him speak every weekend and with church having become a once-a-week routine.

After 16 years at Cornerstone Church, he let go of the reins in 2010 and traveled to Asia where he and his family spent time with persecuted Christians and orphans.

He has yet to announce his next ministry move but an update on his blog revealed that he is currently residing in San Francisco. "I am working on some projects that I believe can help the overall health of the church in America," he wrote earlier this year.

Chan filmed a seven-part short film series with Flannel that is aimed at challenging Christians to be the church that is illustrated in Scripture. The videos are being slowly released and the Holy Spirit installment is the third and latest one in the series being made available.

In it, Chan observes what church looks like today and what it's supposed to look like, according to the Bible.

"I heard one person say the church nowadays is neither super nor natural," he says. "Everything is predictable and everything is expected."

"There's a truth to that," he admits. "I feel bad about it. Being around a church culture, even leading a gathering of believers, I've gotten pretty good at predicting what's going to happen in a church service. Was that the way it was supposed to happen?"

"When Jesus said this power (of the Holy Spirit) would come upon you, it really did come upon them and they were powerful beings (Jesus' disciples)," Chan points out. "Why is it that in the church so many people are weak or defeated or we get so insecure because we look at ourselves rather than God? It doesn't make sense."

Though Christians believe in an almighty and all powerful God who places His spirit in believers, the response among His people today is: "Hi, welcome to church. Here's your bulletin. We'll get you out in an hour. Come back next week."

"I mean, really? Is that all God intended for us?" Chan challenges.

While pondering whether Christians really believe the Holy Spirit exists today and can work powerfully, he asks one poignant question: "What would the church look like today if we really stopped taking control of it and let the Holy Spirit lead?"

"I believe this is exactly what the world needs to see."


Calif. Pastor Frustrated with 'Comfortable' Christianity


http://www.christianpost.com/news/calif-pastor-frustrated-with-comfortable-christianity-45153/


By Maria Mackay | Christian Today Reporter



The Christian Post > U.S.|Fri, May. 14 2010 08:30 AM EDT


LONDON – Radical living was not only for the early church believers, but it's what the church today is also called to, said one pastor.



Francis Chan’s latest book, Crazy Love, has sold one million copies worldwide, a figure he says demonstrates the extent to which he is not alone in feeling a sense of frustration with "comfortable" Christianity.

Speaking at the Christian Resources Exhibition Thursday, Chan said he had experienced resistance to the radical extent of his service for Christ, not from non-believers but from fellow believers.

He said that all Christians were called to live like the early church believers who denied themselves, took up their crosses, sold their possessions to the poor, and shared everything they had.

“To me it’s crazy to live any other way than a completely radical lifestyle,” he said.

“It wasn’t just for the apostles. It wasn’t just for the early believers. It’s for us today.”

He lamented that Christians were too often “missing it” – the level of commitment and passion to spreading the Gospel demonstrated by the early church.

“You go to church these days and you stare forward and sing a couple of songs and listen to the message and go home,” he said.

“Haven’t you wondered how come everyone’s so content and everyone acts like this is the norm and this is okay when in your heart it’s driving you crazy and it doesn’t square with Scripture?”

He said it was easy for Christians to say “Amen” to sharing in the fellowship, resurrection and glory of Christ, but not so easy for them to say “Amen” when it came to sharing in His sufferings.

Even though it could be difficult, Chan told Christians it was in the midst of the danger and conflict that came with going out into the world and making disciples that the real peace of Jesus could be experienced.

“I feel very concerned for those people who walk into these buildings we call church and think they are Christians because they said a prayer and made a decision,” he said.

“Saying a prayer means nothing if there’s no follow through.”

He continued: “Where’s the obvious truth and where’s the obedience because I think we’ve missed some obvious things and created a system that doesn’t really make sense and we’ve done that because we don’t really want to live out Christianity, we don’t really want to become like Christ.

“Do you really want to be like Christ – rejected your whole life, spit upon, crucified? ... We don’t want that part of Christ and yet it is those times when we are rejected for the Gospel that we really feel the peace and come to remotely resemble Jesus.”

Chan’s appearance at this year’s international CRE comes just weeks after he announced to Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, Calif., that he was stepping down after 16 years as its senior pastor.

He said he had decided to leave the church he and his wife planted because he feared that he liked his popularity too much.

He spoke of his admiration for fellow evangelical pastor John Piper, who recently announced that he was taking some time off to tackle his pride.

Chan will deliver his final sermon at Cornerstone later in the month. He said he plans to move with his family to a developing country.


Francis Chan Shares Details of Asia Trip at Passion



http://www.christianpost.com/news/francis-chan-shares-details-of-asia-trip-at-passion-48311/


By Michelle A. Vu | Christian Post Reporter



The Christian Post > U.S.|Mon, Jan. 03 2011 07:21 AM EDT


ATLANTA – Bestselling author and pastor Francis Chan shared details of his time in Asia on Sunday to 22,000 students at the Passion conference.


He talked about persecuted Christians he met in India and China who think it is normal for Christians to suffer for Christ, and orphans in Thailand who sing praise songs with so much joy that it left his whole family in tears.

“I heard these stories all my life and I got to meet some of these people. I just wanted to see if this is for real,” said Chan about his shocking decision to leave his megachurch and travel with his family across Asia.

Chan, the author of Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God, had not shared much publicly about his trip to Asia since leaving the country in October with his wife and four children. He announced earlier last year that he was resigning from the Southern California megachurch he founded, Cornerstone Church, to pursue a new adventure God is calling him to. He said his life, including how famous he has become in the Christian circle, no longer fit the Bible and he wanted to take time off to realign it with Scripture.

On Sunday, Chan clarified that he is not holy or godly for leaving the stability and comfort of life in the United States to pursue God in Asia. But rather he was “weak” and “ungodly” and that is why he left to seek wisdom and strength from persecuted Christians who are spiritually stronger and whose life he felt matched with the Bible.

“Can people look at your life and tell that you believe in hell? Can people look at your life and tell that you have been saved from that? Do they see that ultimate joy in you?” asked Chan.


In India, he met a woman who shared that her whole village tried to pressure her to reconvert to Hinduism after she and her husband became Christians. Everyone in the village came to her hut with lizards whose head was cut off and told the couple to drink the blood and convert back. At the time she was pregnant with their first child. The couple grabbed only their Bible and ran into the jungle where she gave birth with only her husband at her side. She shared that her husband struggled to find food to feed her and the baby during that time.

Another believer in India showed Chan scars on his head and body that resulted from his faith in Jesus. He told stories of incidents where he barely was able to crawl away alive from the crowd that was beating him.

Similarly in China, believers in the underground church told Chan about the persecution they endure from the government. But what surprised the American pastor was that they had so much joy and were laughing when they told stories of being chased by police and authorities shooting guns to scare them. They thought it was normal to be persecuted and that Christians everywhere suffered like them, explained Chan. The underground Christians in China pointed to Philippians 1:29, which states, “For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him.”

Chan shared that in America, Christians change churches over better worship music, service time, or daycare program. The Chinese Christians laughed at him thinking he was telling a joke because it did not make sense to him, Chan recalled.

“I think more and more of us are aware of that. Don’t you just look at certain things in your life and go that doesn’t make sense?” he posed.

“God, can you just raise us all up? Make us a whole new generation that sees the foolishness of a consumer-driven church. This is about us suffering for the sake of Christ and making disciples ourselves, not just hoping that our pastor would lead them to the Lord and our pastor would disciple them.”

He urged students to reflect on their life and check if it matches the Bible that they claim to believe. His message was based on Philippians 1:27-30, which says in part: “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ …”

“I am not asking you to be radical. I am not asking you to be extreme. I’m just asking you to make your life make sense,” Chan stressed.

“People go, ‘Francis, you are so extreme, you’re so out there.’ No I’m not. I’m not even trying to be those things. I’m just looking at what I say I believe and my actions don’t match up sometimes.”

While telling stories about his family and their trip to Asia, Chan also revealed that his wife, Lisa, is pregnant with their fifth child and the couple is in the process of adopting a handicapped boy that they met in China.

The Jan. 1-4 Passion conference in Atlanta will also feature speakers Andy Stanley and John Piper on Monday. Lead worshippers at the event include Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band, Matt Redman, Charlie Hall, Christy Nockels, and Kristian Stanfill.

In 1997, Louie Giglio organized the first Passion conference in Austin, Texas, which attracted about 2,000 people. The conference, which is part concert part Bible study, has grown to over 20,000 student attendees and began to take place outside the United States in 2008. In 2010, there was a Passion seven-city world tour that included cities: Kiev, London, Tokyo, Manila, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo and Vancouver.

When the Road Finally led to Rome: Crystal Cathedral Gets $50 Million Bid From Catholics

Crystal Cathedral Gets $50 Million Bid From Catholics


http://www.christianpost.com/news/crystal-cathedral-gets-50-million-bid-from-catholics-52755/



By Anugrah Kumar | Christian Post Contributor



The Crystal Cathedral, Orange County’s landmark but debt-stricken megachurch which birthed the “Hour of Power” TV show, has been offered $50 million in cash for its property, which could take pressure off the Roman Catholic Diocese with over 1.2 million parishioners in the area.



As “a pragmatic alternative to construction of a new cathedral, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange has submitted a formal bid for the Crystal Cathedral, adjacent campus property, buildings and memorial grounds,” the Most Rev. Bishop of Orange, Tod D. Brown, said in a statement Saturday.

After the Crystal Cathedral Ministries Board of Directors reviews the offer, the diocesan plan would be presented to the Committee of Creditors and the Bankruptcy Court, the statement said.

Ever since founder Robert H. Schuller, then 81, handed over the leadership of the megachurch to his family in 2008, the Crystal Cathedral has faced numerous challenges, including a leadership struggle and a growing debt. The church, which owes about $7.5 million to unsecured creditors, filed for bankruptcy last October.


“The offer is straightforward and would provide creditors maximum relief in the shortest possible time,” Bishop Brown assured. “If the proposal is accepted, creditors could see resolution within the year and possibly sooner.”

Alan H. Martin, a bankruptcy attorney of the diocese, said his client would pay $50 million in cash within 30 days of the bankruptcy court’s approval of the reorganization plan. The diocese was also willing to help Crystal Cathedral Ministries “phase out its operations by offering a three-year leaseback plan for some of the buildings on campus including the four-story Family Life Center on Chapman Avenue,” the Orange County Register quoted him as saying.


Martin also said the diocese was ready to offer the Crystal Cathedral even an alternative worship space at 90 percent of the fair market value for 15 years. “They could also choose to buy the same property at 90 percent of the fair market value within five years if they choose to do so,” he said.

Schuller’s church in California had earlier received $46 million offers, with leaseback and buyback agreements, from real estate developer Greenlaw Partners Inc. and Chapman University. My Father’s House Church International of Norco had also announced its offer of $50 million but it is not clear if the bid was made formally.

Explaining why the Catholic Church was keen on buying the property, Bishop Brown’s lay development adviser Tim Busch said the Crystal Cathedral sanctuary in Garden Grove, which seats 3,000 people, and its surrounding buildings could house the diocese’s entire administrative staff, school, and retreat center. In comparison, he said, the diocese’s biggest church, St. Columban in Garden Grove, could seat only 1,500 people.

“We have more than 1 million Catholics in Orange County and we need a facility for our liturgies – Easter, Christmas, for ordination of priests or installation of a bishop or even a place to have a funeral,” Busch was quoted as saying.

Earlier this month, senior members of the Crystal Cathedral started an online petition against the church board alleging nepotism and a doctrinal shift by Schuller’s daughters. They said they wanted to have their church back from the board and appoint trustees that had no self-interest.

When Schuller founded the church over 55 years ago, it was known as the Garden Grove Community Church and its first services were held in a drive-in theatre. The construction of the Crystal Cathedral, which includes the main sanctuary designed by architect Phillip Johnson, was completed in 1980 and cost $18 million.

Gabe Lyons: Marriage Problem in U.S. Culture Isn’t Gay Marriage

End of Christian America is Good, Says Young Evangelical



http://www.christianpost.com/news/end-of-christian-america-is-good-says-young-evangelical-47159/


Interview: Gabe Lyons on the End of Christian America


http://www.christianpost.com/news/interview-gabe-lyons-on-the-end-of-christian-america-47156/

Gay Marriage New York City: Thousands of Protesters March


http://newyork.christianpost.com/news/gay-marriage-new-york-thousands-call-on-lawmakers-to-allow-ballot-vote-52768/


After Long Wait, Same-Sex Couples Marry in New York


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/25/nyregion/after-long-wait-same-sex-couples-marry-in-new-york.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all&src=ISMR_AP_LO_MST_FB


Gabe Lyons: Marriage Problem in U.S. Culture Isn’t Gay Marriage


http://www.christianpost.com/news/lyons-heal-traditional-marriage-dont-just-oppose-gay-agenda-52775/


By Anugrah Kumar | Christian Post Contributor


Gabe Lyons, author of The Next Christians, said the degrading health of traditional marriage, thanks to the hook-up culture and other maladies, was a far bigger problem for America than a possible proliferation of same-sex marriage legalization.



“Christians need to be having rigorous, civil dialogues about marriage and sexuality that go beyond the issues of same-sex relationships,” Lyons wrote in an article published in The Huffington Post Sunday, the day New York’s gay marriage law came into force.

The young evangelical leader pointed out that shame no longer kept divorce and infidelity from being “commonplace fixtures” in American culture. “This degradation of marriage is due, not to the 2.8 percent of those who identify as LGBT in our society, but to the heterosexuals with spoiled marriages and the increasingly popular hook-up culture in the younger generation.”

Lyons articulated what appeared to be the key point of his article by quoting Dr. Robert George of Princeton University: “The problem with marriage in our culture isn’t same-sex marriage. It lies in heterosexual sexual activity in and outside of marriage.”

Lyons, co-author of UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity and Why It Matters, said there were many ways to influence and to engage American culture’s definitions of marriage and sexuality.

“Only a small portion of the American population, after all, identifies as gay or lesbian,” he said, adding that while a few states legally recognized same-sex unions, the majority of states had laws defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

While New York has become the sixth state to allow same-sex marriage, there are 29 other states that have constitutional bans on gay marriage and 12 more that have laws against it. Of the six states with same-sex marriage provisions, Iowa, Massachusetts, and Connecticut were directed to allow gay marriage by court orders.


About the levels of acceptance of gay marriage among Americans, polls have not had consistent projections. However, a recent poll by the Calif.-based Alliance Defense Fund Christian legal group showed that 62 percent of Americans say marriage should be defined “only as a union between one man and one woman.”

Lyons said Christians had a great task ahead, and “fortunately for us, momentum plays in our favor.”

He cited the latest Census data pointing out that over 77 percent of couples married since 1990 made it to their tenth anniversary.

“That’s an increase from 74% in the 1980s, when divorce rates were at an all-time high,” he noted. “A stunning statistic, considering most divorces in first marriages happen within eight years, and many of us believe the well-publicized line that ‘over half of all marriages end in divorce.’”

With a sense of hope, the author said, Christians must be poised to lead a discussion not just about the biblical definition of marriage, “but also how to choose a spouse, how to maintain healthy marriages, and how to weather the storms of marriage that every couple must face.”

How can Christians who care deeply about traditional marriage move forward in this new era? “By focusing on what we can control – loving our spouses, serving our families, renewing our commitment to help others whose marriages are failing, and by engaging with the youngest generations on what it looks like for them to pursue healthy sexuality,” Lyons suggested.

Lyons comes across as an optimist in his writing, which is a contrast to many other evangelical leaders who paint a gloomy picture of America’s future. In his book, The Next Christians: The Good News About the End of Christian America, released in October 2010, he agrees that the current system of Christianity in America is dying, but he also shows that a new generation of Christians that is rising has a desire to restore the world as God intended. And that’s his hope.

The author is equally optimistic about the outcome of the New York gay marriage law.
“If the recent New York law becomes the impetus for Christians to stop reacting and start leading in these ways, it may be the best thing that’s happened to traditional marriage in more than a generation,” Lyons concludes, looking at the brighter side of what most evangelical Christians see as a tragic trend.

Ugandan President Buys Jet Fighters as poor Ugandans die of hunger


You don’t wait for war to buy fighter jets, says Gen. Museveni



http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/1207808/-/bl2f3iz/-/index.html

By Martin Ssebuyira


Entebbe

The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Gen. Yoweri Museveni, yesterday conceded calls by opposition for the government to give priority to infrastructure and healthcare ahead of military hardware are plausible but said defence cannot wait for war to purchase equipment.

Mr Museveni, who was inspecting the new planes at the airbase in Entebbe, said the delivery of Sukhoi Su-30 multirole fighters was after a long procurement process. He said he travelled to Russia last year to visit the factory that manufactured the newly-acquired fighter jets that cost government Shs1.2 trillion. He equated the long procurement process of the jets to the procedure a buyer goes through before a tailor finally makes clothes.

“In the 1950s, people had two options when walking in a shop to buy clothes; either to buy the available clothes or be measured by the tailor to make new clothes. I travelled to Russia in August last year to be measured and got brand new planes whose fruits are being seen now,” Mr Museveni said.

He acknowledged the calls by the opposition to build roads, schools and hospitals instead of buying military hardware but said military equipment is not procured during war times. “You don’t wait for war to buy military equipment in security. It’s normally advisable to buy when there is no war,” he said.

Opposition lawmakers have described the procurement as illegal, and accused the government of draining the central bank’s reserves without parliamentary approval.

The purchase of the jets has also been criticised by technocrats, including Bank of Uganda Governor Tumusiime Mutebile. Mr Mutebile in June told the UK’s Financial Times newspaper that he had disagreed with the President over the purchase of fighter jets. But the President said the jets will beef the security capacity of the UPDF. He said the army relied on the M16 helicopters to end the LRA war.

The Russian-built Sukhoi SU-30 jet fighter is a twin-engine, all-weather aircraft, which can be deployed in air-to-air and air-to-surface missions. It can undertake combat missions within a 3,000-kilometre range, affording the UPDF the legroom to strike distant targets with precision and efficiency.


Death, hunger in Namutumba



http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=14420&Itemid=59
Written by Irene Kiiza-Onyango

Sunday, 24 July 2011 19:43

It is no politicking; no exaggeration.
Namutumba district in eastern Uganda is faced with an appalling hunger situation that has already claimed lives. About 15 children have died of kwashiorkor in only one month.

The district has suffered a severe drought that has forced many families to survive on only a meal a day. The meal, made from cassava flour, has earned itself a name, lukoba, for its elastic nature when cooked. Lukoba is a Lusoga word for a band or string.

The privileged accompany lukoba with silver fish (mukene), while others settle for vegetables that grow wildly. Yet others accompany their lukoba with nothing at all. In recent weeks, with the harvesting of maize, some families are able to add maize porridge to their diet, making it possible for them to have at least two meals a day.

Namutumba, known for growing rice, which also doubles as a cash crop for many, was in May hit by a natural disaster – a rainstorm that damaged fields of rice, maize, beans, potatoes and cassava, rendering the food basket empty. Then, Richard Kayingo, the sub-county NAADS coordinator, warned that there was no hope for farmers to have any harvest for that season.

Nsiinze, Magada, Kibaale and Namutumba central parishes are the worst hit areas, according to district Woman MP, Florence Mutyabule. She says Namutumba urgently needs food aid, but there is a greater need for intensive sensitisation of the people on food shortage and its consequences.

The MP says she has had a tough time convincing her people that kwashiorkor is a disease that can be treated like any other. Mutyabule has been severally quoted by sections of the press calling for food aid for the people she represents.

Magada parish chief, Charles Balikoowa Gaalya, says the food shortage was unavoidable.

“We distributed the IDAK cassava cuttings, through the NAADS programme, the people planted fields of cassava, but because of the drought, the yields were bad.”

In Namutumba and many parts of Busoga, cassava is the food that saves many during dry seasons. So, without the tuber, disaster is inevitable.

“Originally, we fought famine with cassava, but because this time round the cassava yields were bad, we had to survive on maize, both for food and cash,” says Gaalya.

He says he is afraid this phenomenon could stretch into next year because the rains did not come at the time they were expected and, as such, there has been no sowing of new crops.

“I think what we are experiencing is a change in climate, but we need to understand what to do in such circumstances,” Gaalya says.

According to Fred Janga, another local leader, the district is also faced with a dangerous weed, wheat grass, locally known as kayongo, which affects mainly cereal crops. Janga says the weed dwarfs the crops and greatly affects their yields.

Thanks to MP Mutyabule’s call, the ministry of Relief Disaster Preparedness and Refugees has responded by dispatching 10 tonnes of food to the district. The minister of state, Musa Ecweru, is on a mission in eastern Uganda, distributing food aid in Pallisa, Bulambuli, parts of Teso and Karamoja, and Namutumba district – areas he says are worst hit by the drought.

“We are distributing maize flour and beans. All aid is handed to district leaders who will oversee its distribution,” he says.
The minister hopes people can supplement this food with whichever little they can gather on their own to provide a healthy meal, especially for the children.

“We do not have children’s food in the stores so far, and since we receive that from outsourcing, we hope the parents can try to supplement what we have given, to rescue the children,” Ecweru says, in reference to the deaths occurring from kwashiorkor.

ikiiza@observer.ug

Uganda faces food shortage

http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/12/761104

Monday, 25th July, 2011

By Moses Mulondo

RESEARCH carried out by the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness which is yet to be announced has established that several parts of the country will experience severe food shortage between August and January when the next harvesting period will be.


The ministry experts have advised the Government to set aside a reasonable amount of money not less than sh10b to embark on a drive of stocking food for emergency relief.


The Ministry of Disaster Preparedness is already undertaking measures to ensure that the Ministry of Fnance, Planning, and Economic Development allocates funds for feeding Ugandans.


Already, the Karamoja region is experiencing food shortage with over 1,200,000 people facing starvation.


Households in the pastoral and agro-pastoral areas of Amudat, Kaabong, Kotido, Moroto, Nakapiripirit and Napak are likely to continue facing food shortages for the remaining months of the year requiring relief food support from the Government.


The ministry had red-zoned 15 districts which are likely to experience food shortage that might lead to starvation and deaths of people if there are no relief interventions.


These vulnerable districts include Moroto, Napak, Kotido, Amudat, Kaabong, Nakapiripirit, Abim, Amuria, Katakwi, Adjumani, Arua, Koboko, Moyo, Yumbe and Bulambuli.


The disaster preparedness ministry has established that over 35 districts are likely to experience acute food shortages and these include Nebbi, Kyenjonjo, Amuru, Gulu, Pader, Kitgum, Dokolo, Apac, Lira, Amolatar, Sironko, Kapchorwa, Isingiro, Tororo, Busia, Budaka , Butaleja, Palisa, Sembabule, Lyantonde, Nakaseke, Mubende, Kooki, Kabula, Luwero, Rakai, Nakasongola, Bugiri, Namutumba, Iganga, Kaliro, and Kamuli.


Districts that are likely to experience moderate food shortages include Kamwenge, Bushenyi, Hoima, Bulisa, Ibanda and Kiruhura. Food shortage in these areas is likely to be result of sudden shocks such as excessive sell of household stocks.


The areas that will experience severe food shortage had seasons of poor rainfall, crop failure, and poor agricultural performance. There are also areas that have not recovered from the impact of last season’s drought and areas that experienced crop destruction by hail and windstorms. A prolonged dry spell is the the other factor many areas of the country, especially those around the cattle corridor experienced.


If more focus is put on the northern Uganda region which unlike other parts of the country has been currently experiencing a rain season since May, more food can be produced to feed other parts of the country.


According to the meteorology department’s forecast for the period between June and August, the northern region is expected to continue receiving rainfall.


“The northern region has a rain season which is different from other parts of the country. That region is right now having a rainfall season which is expected to go up until the end of the year. If measures are undertaken to ensure that there is increased food production in that area, the country will have enough food,” said Deus Bamanya, the assistant commissioner for meteorology in-charge of data processing and analysis.


Bamanya said at the peak of the harvesting period in August, food supply will increase and the food prices are expected to go down.


“The Ministry of Agriculture people should come out and sensitise Ugandans on food security. Let them use our weather forecast to advise Ugandans on what to grow where and the need for stocking food in other parts that will experience food shortage. The sensitisation should be done early enough before it is too late,” Bamanya advised.


Meanwhile, experts have also warned that the long dry spell that has been experienced in the neighboring countries of Somalia, Kenya, Ethopia, and Sudan has created famine in those areas and they will all be running to Uganda to buy off the country’s food that will be realised from the August harvest.


As part of the preventive measures, the Uganda government might have to emulate Kenya by stopping traders from taking food out of the country.


The spokesperson for the Uganda Food and Agriculture Organisation of United Nations, Rachael Nanderenga, said the situation is likely to be bad.


“We have not yet done any survey except that we have done with government jointly on the Karamoja region. Since most parts of the country got adequate rainfall, there are high prospects for a good harvest in most parts of the country. But rains are not enough to guarantee food security. The high fuel prices are likely to lead to higher food prices than it would have been,” Nanderenga argued.


The head of the Ministry of Agriculture’s early warning department, Anunciata Hakuza, said they would carry out a thorough countrywide survey and produce report to guide the farmers.


“We had not yet received funds from government to embark on research for our early warning reports. Probably in two weeks time we shall embark on that because the releases have started coming,” said Hakuza.


Gangster’s paradise: The Feudal Republic of Uganda


http://www.independent.co.ug/column/insight/3601-gangsters-paradise-the-feudal-republic-of-uganda


Tuesday, 02 November 2010 09:37


By Timothy Kalyegira


National events at Kololo Airstrip in Kampala like Independence Day, Labour Day and others used to last about two hours. Since 2008, they have started taking on the feel of mammoth, all-day festivals.

The main reason is that as President Yoweri Museveni has gotten more insecure in power and in his mind, a whole movement has developed to reassure him that he is still loved by his people and his stay in power is not something that should worry him.


To demonstrate this (and, no doubt, to secure their jobs and gain favours), Resident District Commissioners and NRM party officials a few days before Independence Day made it their primary assignment to mobilise as many crowds, businesses, NGOs, government ministries, hospitals, schools, and paramilitary groups as possible to take part in the parade at Kololo Airstrip.

On October 9, 2010, this entered a new phase: for the first time in Uganda’s history, nursery school infants were drafted into the march-past parade at Kololo.


Like the rest of society, these marching groups at Kololo have grasped the essential nature of Museveni’s regime in its latter stages.


It is essentially the Feudal Republic of Uganda that is now in place. Under this Feudal Republic, there is no law, no order, no standard, there is no defining national ethos except that which flows from the person of Museveni.


If this feudal lord, who governs Uganda, decrees that your bank loan be forgiven or that you get millions of dollars from Bank of Uganda, you be appointed ambassador, your goods come in tax-free, you be given land to build a factory in a wetland or national park, or that your company is given the budget to promote Uganda’s image abroad, then that is it. His word becomes legal writ and law.


If Museveni looks favourably upon you today, your life can be instantaneously transformed like in the children’s fairly tales: today you are in rags; tomorrow you are a minister. Today you are selling maize at a street corner; tomorrow you are the Chief Mobiliser for the NRM in eastern Uganda.


The question, then, is how do you get Museveni’s attention? You can send your school to march at Kololo, or you can publicly declare your undying support for him.


As a struggling Ugandan singer, you can compose a song titled “Amelia” whose lyrics sound curiously like an anthem in praise of the former Principal Private Secretary to the President, Amelia Kyambadde or you can write a song in praise of Museveni.


Either way, you will be guaranteed, not sales, but that one of these two will buy your master copy for 5,000 dollars, or that small radio stations in the countryside will be forced by RDCs to play these songs, as a way to justify their jobs, or when you the singer gets into trouble next time after fighting in a bar, the police will let you go scot-free or the president will pay your medical bills.


The Ugandan singer Bobi Wine captured this new order of things best in his 2006 song Kiwani, in which he had the lyrics “Buli omu asiba kiwani” (“Everybody engages in fraud”).


A good illustration of how deep this state of national kiwani has penetrated every corner and area of life, came in the Miss Uganda beauty contest in September. Apparently, there were three leading contenders: the contestant who was favoured by the audience, the one who was the choice of the judges, and the one preferred by the organisers.


Like so many such events, from elections to Uganda’s football administration, to the Pearl of Africa Music Awards, to the Miss Makerere beauty contest, to simple things like the choice of a cover subject for a newspaper or news magazine, the Miss Uganda contest resulted in the kind of controversy that flows from corruption, bribery of judges and officials that is now the Ugandan national character.


There are fraudsters in Kampala nicknamed “Cubans” and also termed “mercenaries”. These are the young men and women who perform an important role in the economy. Their work is to sit exams or write academic theses on behalf of busy civil servants and corporate executives.


These ghost writers are the real brains behind most of the Bachelors, MBAs, and PhDs in Uganda that Uganda’s middle class boasts today.


At another level, there is a whole group of professionals who have also developed and flourished around this fraudulent society.


Gynecologists and other personal doctors, lawyers, auditors, accountants, personal physical fitness trainers, and others who are contracted by Uganda’s corrupt class are doing brisk business.


Whole industries, from airlines, travel agents, property brokers, chartered surveyors, architects, private schools, banks, hotels, telecom companies etc, have all risen to meet the needs and ride on the purchasing power of this wealthy, corrupt, embezzling class.


A world of NGOs to fight or report on corruption has become a permanent feature of Ugandan life. So too have the NGOs, local and foreign, that have come to fill in the gap in the provision of basic social services and relief aid that has been created by the erosion of the state under Museveni.


Newspapers and radio stations that champion or claim to champion the fight against corruption have done well with audiences and publishing adverts and tenders by NGOs claiming or actually fighting corruption.


The media in general has also gained much by way of advertising from the many companies, investors, and individuals who either should never have been allowed to enter Uganda, or should have been expelled by now, or who should be in jail.


Journalists who have reported on corruption have become national stars. Those who take bribes in order to suppress damaging stories on corruption have also done well, judging by the flashy cars and expensive property they own.


Certain Pentecostal churches whose pastors are close to State House or which are generally sympathetic to the NRM government have gained much in prestige, contributions by their parishioners and occasional moral support or political and legal cover from the state.


On average, the salaries of most people in the civil service, the corporate and NGO community is only about one third of their monthly incomes. The other two thirds is topped up in this climate of hustling, bribes, tax evasion, raising vouchers and allowance claim forms, inflating invoices and tenders and outright theft.

Last month, David Mukholi, the editor of the Sunday Vision newspaper, said on a Wednesday journalists’ show on Vision Voice that news and investigation stories on corruption no longer sell.

This might be partly because the public has grown weary of reports on corruption, since they know nothing will be done about them anyway; but also it might suggest that corruption is now a majority culture, in the same way Christianity is the majority religion in Uganda, and so few are interested in having it exposed.

The state of lawlessness that characterises Uganda today has been amazingly beneficial to hundreds of thousands of Ugandans, especially in Kampala. This is because, like all systems once entrenched, it has taken on a formal, organised, routine, checks and balances character of its own.

And like all systems, to disrupt it is destabilising and can be a source of national instability as disrupting a system founded on merit and the observance of law and order.
When UPC party president Olara Otunnu called for a boycott of the 2011 general election unless the current Electoral Commission is reformed or changed, his call was opposed by the main opposition party the FDC and by a surprising number of UPC members.

This was odd, since the FDC has been a victim of rigged elections for a decade and should know better than to have faith that the 2011 election will be different. Once again, what normally defies logic in Uganda is, surprisingly, logical in its own way.

Most Ugandans know that the forthcoming election will be rigged. The NRM party primaries alone were a foreshadow of what is to come. However, there is more than meets the eye. Whenever elections loom, with them comes a whole industry from which many thousands of Ugandans gain and it trickles down to the ordinary people.

It is not just the impoverished villagers who the media usually portrays as receiving a pathetic bribe of sugar and soap.

Campaign managers, touts who traverse the villages rallying support, the printers who get the jobs to produce campaign posters, treasurers of candidates, candidates themselves, boda boda cyclists who blow their horns and transport supporters, the bars that sell booze to crowds, those who cook food to sell at rallies, journalists who take bribes to write in praise of or interview certain candidates on radio, men who spend all day playing Ludo or arguing about Manchester United who are suddenly elected councillors or even MPs--- all these gain in a major way from the elections, even though the occupant at State House might not change.

This election industry, with it characteristic bribes, unexplained money coming in from governments in the region trying to influence the outcome of the election in Uganda or political parties and trade unions in Europe, western embassies in Kampala, plays a vital role in the Ugandan economy and so there was no surprise that political parties that know for certain that 2011 will see, if anything, much more rigging than before, still felt they had to take part in it.

When Museveni finally leaves power some day, this is the legacy that will last the longest and take the longest and the greatest effort to uproot.

A generation of Ugandans will have been born that has no understanding whatsoever of what institutions mean, what merit is, what procedure and method are, and how to earn a living by the process of systematic, incremental work, followed by payment and personal savings.

They will not know or have the patience to queue up for anything, to wait for longer than a week for a tender or results of an interview to be made public.

The only thing they will have known and which works for them is the life of what in Kampala slang these days is termed “Okuyiya”, a term describing the gambling, scheming, lying, issuing bouncing cheques, acting the sycophant, bending or breaking laws and rules and evading taxes or doctoring academic certificates that is life in Uganda and how most people survive.

To every obstacle in their path, the solution is to call afande so-and-so, call somebody or State House, call up a cousin in intelligence, a brother in the army, a contact on the job interview panel, a friend in the Uganda Revenue Authority, or somebody at border immigration control.

Many Ugandans and foreigners lament the state of affairs in Uganda today, from the rundown infrastructure, roads, police stations, to the nepotism on corruption. In truth, this is largely a moralistic cry, usually characterised by crocodile tears.

The fact is, for the majority of Ugandans there is no system and way of life they can enjoy better than what they have grown used to in Uganda today.

In Uganda, you can toss a mineral water bottle out of a car window. You can drive on the left or the right, depending on what pleases you. You can zoom past pedestrians at a zebra crossing etc.

You can use three different names to transact business. A newspaper with a circulation of only 1,200 copies can get the same full-colour, full-page advert as a newspaper with a circulation of 35,000 copies, depending on who one bribes for the adverts.

At first one is tempted to feel sorry for doctors who work in government hospitals or police officers in their shabby offices, until one realises that they don’t seem to be that bothered.
This is because amid that confusion and broken down infrastructure are hefty benefits to be enjoyed. Families of arrested suspects and criminals can pay a CID officer or District Police Commander to release a relative.

Traffic policemen who stand on duty along roadsides are often not exactly suffering, when it is learnt how much they earn in bribes from offending drivers.

Teachers in miserable government schools or at Makerere University can either be paid to award marks to students for cash or sex.

Foreign businessmen and companies have also discovered this about Uganda and, while there is much lamentation by purists that Uganda is too corrupt to do business in, actually Uganda is just the right environment in which certain types of crafty companies and entrepreneurs can do business. It is a gangster’s paradise.

You import expired goods? No problem. Nobody will ask. You bring in unskilled labour from India. Kawa, life will go on. You evade taxes? Who pays taxes, anyway?

In this sense, Uganda has shaken off the last vestiges of the old colonial system of order, merit, method, standards, bureaucracy and moved on to a strange state of nature in which the country has one of the highest rates of social mobility on earth.

Office sweeper today, RDC tomorrow. Failure at school today, MBA holder tomorrow. Sergeant today, Brigadier tomorrow. Struggling small-time trader today, property mogul tomorrow. Teacher today, women’s MP tomorrow. Convicted thief today, presidential advisor tomorrow. Freelance reporter today, Managing Editor tomorrow. Wanted by police today for fraud, operations director at the Internal Security Organisation tomorrow.

This is why many Ugandans don’t seem as bothered by the potholes in Kampala as the media expects them to be. Not that they don’t see or suffer through them. It is just that there are so many benefits that have also come with operating in Uganda, benefits that more than compensate for the lack or order, accountability, merit, bureaucracy and the rule of law.

Cabinet ministers do not have any real powers and they know it. However, they also know something else: what apparently appears like offices without powers actually do have certain hidden powers.

A prospective investor flies into Uganda from China or France and at some stage he gets to meet the minister in charge of the investor’s area of interest. To obtain the minister’s signature, the investor pays handsomely in a bribe.

So in that sense, all of Uganda’s cabinet ministers, ministers of state, resident district commissioners, members of parliament, permanent secretaries, commissioners, and a whole host of other public and civil service officials, while appearing to have no real authority in a system that barely functions, actually have much greater power than they would have enjoyed had Uganda had institutions that work.

Because of this, an entire middle class has emerged since 1986 that is built on dishonesty and fraud. So entrenched is it that any attempt to reform Uganda and genuinely root out corruption would destabilise the country.
Museveni found Uganda a struggling military-dominated, post-colonial republic in 1986. He will leave it a feudal state similar to an African kingdom of the 19th century.

Makerere University vice chancellor accused of rape

Makerere University vice chancellor accused of rape



http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/1207798/-/bl2fn0z/-/index.html


Posted Tuesday, July 26 2011 at 00:00

Kampala

The Uganda Human Rights Commission is investigating Makerere University Vice Chancellor Venansius Baryamureeba over the alleged rape of a 26-year-old female.
The inquiry follows a complaint filed with the rights body on July 15 by the woman, who says she is now more than two months pregnant as a result of the alleged rape. The complainant, whose name cannot be divulged for legal reasons, claims she was raped on March 3 at her home in Kamwokya, a Kampala suburb.

The Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission, Mr Med Kaggwa, confirmed that his office had received the claim from the alleged victim. But he declined to divulge any information about the complainant.

Mr Kaggwa, however, said he will be appointing a committee later this week to investigate the claims. He added that the complaint is being treated as a sensitive case because of the high profile of the defendant.

Accosted at 2am


The complainant, in an interview with Daily Monitor last night, said she could not comment on the matter because it is now before the human rights body. But in her statement to the Uganda Human Rights Commission, a copy of which Daily Monitor has seen, the complainant accuses Prof. Baryamureeba of forcing her to have sex with him despite her protests.

The claimant says she met Prof. Baryamureeba for a drink with two other male friends on March 3 this year. She says the university don later insisted on driving her home and, after entering her house at around 2am, refused to leave because he was “drunk and it was late.”

Prof. Baryamureeba then allegedly agreed to sleep on the sofa chair but later in the night moved to the complainant’s bed and forcibly had sex with her. “He moved into my room and bed and in my deep sleep only realised that someone was on me. He then forcibly had sex with me, amidst my protests that I am not safe and I don’t have intimate relations with you and you could be sick,” she wrote.

She added, “He overpowered me, completed his sex round and immediately dressed up and rushed out. He also requested me over and over not to report to police for the sake of his position and future political ambitions.”

The complainant’s statement is supported by a medical report from Kitante Medical Centre. The report says the alleged victim “was assaulted and raped by a boyfriend last evening around 3am” and describes the injuries she suffered.

Pregnancy claim


Since the alleged incident, the complainant has emailed Prof. Baryamureeba at least three times, on April 29, May 2, and July 8, telling him that she was pregnant with his baby but she claims she has received no reply.

On July 8, she wrote; “Mr. Baryamureeba, you raped me, leaving me pregnant and homeless. You have managed to split me and my family members. You have not done anything to help me with the current situation apart from telling me lies and ask me to sleep with you every time we meet.”

The victim ends her email with a threat, saying, “I am going to kill myself and you will have my blood on your hands.” According to her statement to the Uganda Human Rights Commission, the alleged victim and Prof. Baryamureeba have also held five meetings. But, she writes, “In all the meetings (5 times) he has demanded for sex which I have since refused.”

She says she also went with her relatives to meet Prof. Baryamureeba on July 1 at his office in Makerere but he declined to meet them, saying he was not meeting anyone that day. Prof. Baryamureeba could not be reached for comment.


Baryamureeba rape case dropped


http://www.sundayvision.co.ug/detail.php?mainNewsCategoryId=7&newsCategoryId=123&newsId=762030

By Andante Okanya and Conan Businge

THE woman who accused Makerere University vice-chancellor Prof Venansius Baryamureeba of rape and impregnating her, has withdrawn the complaint.


She also apologised to the professor and said they had resolved the matter amicably.


In a letter of August 4, 2011, to the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) chief, Medi Kaggwa, Tracy Ninsiima says she was neither raped, nor sexually assaulted.


“I wish to state categorically and unequivocally that I was not raped by Prof. Baryamureeba; I was not in any way whatsoever sexually assaulted by him.”


She added: “I am sorry for the harm, pain and embarrassment caused to Professor Baryamureeba. Accordingly, I am withdrawing the complaint against Prof. Baryamureeba.”


Ninsiima confirmed to Sunday Vision that she had withdrawn the charges. “The rape allegations are not true as reported in the press, I was not raped; I have put this in writing at the Human Rights Commission and we have settled amicably.”


Kaggwa confirmed to Sunday Vision that the two parties appeared at the commission on Friday and resolved to sort out the issue harmoniously.


“The case file is closed; the case will not go to the courts of law or the tribunal as per the parties’ agreement,” Kaggwa said.


The agreement was hammered out on Friday a day after Baryamureeba’s lawyers made a presentation to the commission. Baryamureeba was present when the final Memorandum of Understanding was signed.


Kaggwa reiterated his earlier statements that the case before the commission was not of rape, but paternity. Asked about Ninsiima’s claims to be pregnant, Kaggwa said that would “depend on the parties involved”.


Baryamureeba’s lawyer Sam Ahamya said if Ninsiima is pregnant, that would be another case. “The question is by whom?” he asked. He said a pregnancy cannot take place by a mere meeting in a pub over a drink. “Unless it is by osmosis or telepathy; the professor never had sexual intercourse with her.”


Ahamya said his client had learnt his lesson to be careful when meeting people in future. “As a public figure, he has to be free, but free within a cage.”


Ahamya said Baryamureeba would not sue Ninsiima for defamation, saying that would not repair the damage she had intended to inflict on his reputation. He said the professor did not have time for such issues.


“He has a university to run and many important issues to handle,” he argued.

Baryamureeba also ruled out charges against the media which he accused of publishing a story without proof.


Asked if any money had exchanged hands, Ahamya said: “No money exchanged hands; no money will exchange hands in future.”


On why Ninsiima withdrew the charges, Ahamya said: “If you have a good case, you stand by it; if you don’t, you think twice.”


He said Ninsima thought the public did not know her character and past, but when her background was unveiled, it showed a “certain trend”.


He said the commission advised her accordingly. He said a lot of things attributed to Ninsiima did not add up and the truth would emerge.


Ahamya said the memorandum of understanding requires both parties to desist from speaking to media, and Ninsiima to admit that her claims are incorrect and not file any further claims or charges against the professor.


“The matter is closed; she cannot say later that she has had a change of heart,” Ahamya said.


He said each party will “move in their own direction, nothing like settling costs or compensating the other”.


In a reaction, Baryamureeba said he “was relieved” but blamed the matter on infighting at Makerere. “I am innocent. Many staff at the university know the truth,” Baryamureeba said.


“I am going to live up to my duties and steer the university forward. I don’t want anything beyond this. I am the vice-chancellor and I want us to move forward.” He said he would not “pursue” Ninsiima because she was being used by insiders. “We want to focus on Makerere, not individuals.”


The matter has provoked heated debate among the university community. Fingers seem to point at Dr. Tanga Odoi, the head of the academic staff association. In an email to staff, B. Rukooko, the dean of the School of Liberal and Performing Arts, said an insider “could have originated the saga in a bid to destroy another.”


Unfortunately, he argued, the move had “turned out to hurt the reputation of this great institution, the individual at the helm, ourselves, our children, wives, grandchildren and many people.”


He challenged Tango Odoi to explain his role in the matter. “Did you realise that you were using your position and MUASA to fight a private war?”


Rukooko also said it was “morally wrong to destroy other individuals who are perhaps innocent”


In support of Rukooko, another academic wrote: “If the cries of RAPE be taken seriously, we must condemn the abuse of the power to cry “rape” when there is no evidence to support it.”


However, another academic described Rukooko’s analysis as “merely simplistic” and intended to undermine “critical issues raised by second voices”.


On his part, Tanga Odoi recently advised Baryamureeba to face the allegations squarely. He argued that the reputation of the university was more important than any individual. Yesterday, he dismissed claims that he was the architect of the saga and advised Baryamureeba to “take blame for his self-inflicted problems”.

Published on: Sunday, 7th August, 2011

Monday, 25 July 2011

Oslo Suspect Wrote of Fear of Islam and Plan for War

Oslo Suspect Wrote of Fear of Islam and Plan for War


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/world/europe/24oslo.html?_r=2&hp#h

By STEVEN ERLANGER and SCOTT SHANE

Published: July 23, 2011

OSLO — The Norwegian man charged Saturday with a pair of attacks in Oslo that killed at least 92 people left behind a detailed manifesto outlining his preparations and calling for a Christian war to defend Europe against the threat of Muslim domination, according to Norwegian and American officials familiar with the investigation.

As stunned Norwegians grappled with the deadliest attack in the country since World War II, a portrait began to emerge of the suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, 32. The police identified him as a right-wing fundamentalist Christian, while acquaintances described him as a gun-loving Norwegian obsessed with what he saw as the threats of multiculturalism and Muslim immigration.

¶ “We are not sure whether he was alone or had help,” a police official, Roger Andresen, said at a televised news conference. “What we know is that he is right wing and a Christian fundamentalist.”

¶ In the 1,500-page manifesto, posted on the Web hours before the attacks, Mr. Breivik recorded a day-by-day diary of months of planning for the attacks, and claimed to be part of a small group that intended to “seize political and military control of Western European countries and implement a cultural conservative political agenda.”

He predicted a conflagration that would kill or injure more than a million people, adding, “The time for dialogue is over. We gave peace a chance. The time for armed resistance has come.”

¶ The manifesto was signed Andrew Berwick, an Anglicized version of his name. A former American government official briefed on the case said investigators believed the manifesto was Mr. Breivik’s work.

¶ The manifesto, entitled “2083: A European Declaration of Independence,” equates liberalism and multiculturalism with “cultural Marxism,” which the document says is destroying European Christian civilization.

¶ The document also describes a secret meeting in London in April 2002 to reconstitute the Knights Templar, a Crusader military order. It says the meeting was attended by nine representatives of eight European countries, evidently including Mr. Breivik, with an additional three members unable to attend, including a “European-American.”

¶ The document does not name the attendees or say whether they were aware of Mr. Breivik’s planned attacks, though investigators presumably will now try to determine if the people exist and what their connection is to Mr. Breivik.

¶ Thomas Hegghammer, a terrorism specialist at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, said the manifesto bears an eerie resemblance to those of Osama bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders, though from a Christian rather than a Muslim point of view. Like Mr. Breivik’s manuscript, the major Qaeda declarations have detailed accounts of the Crusades, a pronounced sense of historical grievance and calls for apocalyptic warfare to defeat the religious and cultural enemy.

¶ “It seems to be an attempt to mirror Al Qaeda, exactly in reverse,” Mr. Hegghammer said.

¶ Mr. Breivik was also believed to have posted a video on Friday summarizing his arguments. In its closing moments, the video depicts Mr. Breivik in military uniform, holding assault weapons. Rarely has a mass murder suspect left so detailed an account of his activities. The manifesto describes in detail his purchase of chemicals, his sometimes ham-handed experiments making explosives and his first successful test detonation of a bomb in a remote location on June 13.

¶ He intersperses the account of bomb-making with details of his television-watching, including the Eurovision music contest and the American police drama “The Shield.”

¶ The manifesto ends with a chilling signoff: “I believe this will be my last entry. It is now Fri July 22nd, 12.51.”

¶ Indeed, the operation appeared to have been extremely well planned.

¶ According to the police, Mr. Breivik first drew security services to central Oslo when he exploded a car bomb outside a 17-story government office building, killing at least seven people.

¶ Then he took a public ferry to Utoya Island, where he carried out a remarkably meticulous attack on Norway’s current and future political elite. Dressed as a police officer, he announced that he had come to check on the security of the young people who were attending a political summer camp there, many of them the children of members of the governing Labor Party.

¶ He gathered the campers together and for some 90 hellish minutes he coolly and methodically shot them, hunting down those who fled. At least 85 people, some as young as 16, were killed.

¶ The police said Saturday evening that they expected the death toll to climb. There were still bodies in the bombed government buildings in Oslo, and at least four people missing on Utoya.

¶ The police also said that unexploded munitions were still in some downtown Oslo buildings, and they had not ruled out the possibility that Mr. Breivik had accomplices.

He was equipped, the police said, with an automatic rifle and a handgun; when the police finally got to the island — about 40 minutes after they were called, the police said — Mr. Breivik surrendered.

The police also said he had registered a farm in Rena, in eastern Norway, which allowed him to order a large quantity of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, an ingredient that can be used to make explosives. The authorities were investigating whether the chemical had been used in the bombing.

Besides the manifesto, Mr. Breivik left other hints of his motives.
A Facebook page and Twitter account were set up under his name days before the rampage. The Facebook page cites philosophers like Machiavelli, Kant and John Stuart Mill.

His lone Twitter post, while not calling for violence, paraphrased Mill — “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests” — suggesting what he saw as his ability to act.

Those postings, along with what was previously known about Mr. Breivik publicly, aligned with but hardly predicted the bloody rampage he would undertake on Friday.
Before then, he had been a member of the right-wing Progress Party, which began as an antitax protest and has been stridently anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim.

Joran Kallmyr, a member of the party who is now Oslo’s vice mayor for transportation, said he met Mr. Breivik several times in 2002 and 2003 at local party meetings. “He was very quiet, almost a little bit shy,” Mr. Kallmyr said. “But he was a normal person with good behavior. He never shared any extreme thoughts or speech with us. There was absolutely no reason to expect that he could do something like this. We’re very shocked.”

Mr. Breivik quit the party in 2006, apparently disappointed by the party’s move toward the center.

“He didn’t like our politics, I guess, and moved on,” Mr. Kallmyr said.
His Internet posts also indicated contempt for the Conservative Party, which he accused of having given up the battle against multiculturalism.
But on Friday he directed his firepower at the center-left Labor Party, which leads the coalition government.

“Breivik feels that multiculturalism is destroying the society and that the enforcing authority is the prime minister and the Labor Party, the lead party of contemporary Norwegian politics,” said Anders Romarheim, a fellow at the Norwegian Institute for Defense Studies.

But the attacks, along with what appear to have been years of preparation for them, raised questions about whether the Norwegian security authorities, concentrating on threats of Islamic terrorism, had overlooked the threat from the anti-Islamic right.
“This is the Norwegian equivalent to Timothy McVeigh,” the right-wing American who bombed a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, said Marcus Buck, a political scientist at the University of Tromso in northern Norway. “This is right-wing domestic terrorism, and the big question is to what extent Norwegian agencies have diverted their attention from what they knew decades ago was the biggest threat” to focus instead on Islamic militants.

The unclassified versions of the last three Norwegian Police Security Service reports assessing national threats all played down any threat by right-wing and nationalist extremists. Instead, the reports emphasized the dangers posed by radical Islam, groups opposed to Norway’s military involvement in Afghanistan and Libya, and others.

The 2011 report, released early this year, concluded that “the far-right and far-left extremist communities will not represent a serious threat to Norwegian society.”

Even after the attacks, that appeared to be the official position.
“Compared to other countries I wouldn’t say we have a big problem with right-wing extremists in Norway,” Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg told reporters at a news conference on Saturday. “But we have had some groups, we have followed them before, and our police is aware that there are some right-wing groups.”

Even if the authorities had focused on right-wing groups, it was unlikely that they would have noticed Mr. Breivik.

Kari Helene Partapuoli, director of the Norwegian Center Against Racism, said Mr. Breivik did not belong to any violent neo-Nazi groups that she was aware of, and his Internet postings, before those of last week, did not espouse violence.

“The distance between the words spoken and the acts that he carried out is gigantic, because what he did is in a different league of what the debates have to do about,” she said.

Arild Groven, secretary general of the Norwegian Shooting Association, a sports group, confirmed that Mr. Breivik had belonged to Oslo Pistolklubb, one of the 520 clubs in the association.

“We all read and watch the news about the shootings in the United States,” Mr. Groven said. “But it doesn’t happen here.”

Mr. Romarheim said in some ways the homegrown nature of the attack made it harder for Norwegians to accept. “With 9/11 in America, people could ask, ‘Who are they?’ and could pour their rage out on someone else,” he said. “But we can’t disavow this person, he’s one of us.”

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Christian author questions Murdoch's ties to Zondervan amid ethics storm

FIRST READ:


A little known fact: In 1988 Zondervan and the NIV was purchased by Harper & Row, Publishers (now HarperCollins Publishers). HarperCollins publishes "pro-homosexual" books such as Making Out, The Book of Lesbian Sex and Sexuality described as "Beautifully illustrated with full-color photography,. . . Making Out is the complete illustrated guide to lesbian sexuality and relationships. . .the intricacies of love play. . ." and many other pro-homosexual books! HarperCollins is a subsidiary of the global media empire, The News Corporation, owned by Rupert Murdock. The News Corporation empire include Fox Broadcasting, Twentieth Century Fox, and more than 128 newspapers. Fox Broadcasting produces some of the most sexually lewd shows on television. Murdock also publishes the British newspaper, the Sun, notorious for its nude pin-ups. (http://www.dividedbytruth.org/Bible/FB/nive.htm)


'Largest' Christian Publisher Zondervan, is a Division of HarperCollins, published the satanic bible


http://truthinheart.com/Zondervan.htm
Zondervan and Satan Share Parents
http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Bible/zondervan_and_satan_share_parent.htm


NIV Exposed!


http://www.dividedbytruth.org/Bible/FB/nive.htm

The NIRV EXPOSED!


http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Bible/NIRV/exposed.htm


NIV Blasphemy!


http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Bible/NIV/blasphemy.htm

The King James Bible Defended!


http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Bible/1611_authorized_king_james.htm

What do the NIV, Satan and Gay sex have in common


http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Bible/NIV/niv-gay-satan.htm


NIV Teen Study Bible Exposed!


http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Bible/niv_teen_study_bible_exposed.htm



Christian author questions Murdoch's ties to Bible publisher amid ethics storm


http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/07/22/murdoch-owns-the-rights-to-the-bible/?hpt=hp_t2

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)—It just so happens that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which is weathering a storm of criticism around newspaper ethics, also owns the rights to the world's best-selling English Bible, the New International Version.

Zondervan, a U.S.-based Christian publishing house that’s part of the News Corp. empire, has 300 million copies of the popular Good Book translation and is also home to some of the biggest names in Christian publishing, including megachurch pastor Rick Warren.

The phone hacking scandal has become a sticky wicket for at least one Zondervan author, who says Murdoch's ownership could create an "ethical dilemma."
Shane Claiborne, Zondervan author, Philadelphia-based Christian activist and occasional CNN Belief Blog contributor, recently told a Christian blogger:
"The current issues . . . in England raise all kinds of ethical questions and I would hope that a company whose mission is explicitly Christian, as Zondervan’s is, would take the opportunity to bear witness and to speak into the culture which is so terribly fallen.”

Other Zondervan authors have apparently stayed mum on this issue.
Claiborn’s comments came in an interview with Will Braun, who blogs for Geez, a magazine he co-founded “for the over-churched and out-churched.”

"For those us of who care about the Christian scriptures, what are we to make of this mix of billionaire media tycoonery, allegations of phone hacking and bribery, and the Holy Word of God?” Braun wrote. “What are we to make of the fact that every time we buy a Zondervan product we contribute to Murdoch’s mogul-dom, which includes a personal fortune that Forbes pegged at $6.3 billion last year."

Braun makes no bones about his dislike for News Corp. "Perhaps I overstate the link between News of the World and Zondervan,” he wrote. “It’s just that I believe there should be absolutely no link at all. Bald greed has no place in Bible publishing."
Braun's piece is getting a lot of attention after it made the rounds on popular blogs this week and getting picked up by USA Today and the New York Observer.

Zondervan spokeswoman Tara Powers reacted to questions about Murdhoch’s involvement with the publisher in a Friday statement to CNN:
“Throughout our 80-year history as a leading Christian publisher, Zondervan has always operated with autonomy, editorial independence, and the freedom to fulfill our mission to meet the needs of people with resources that glorify Jesus Christ and promote Biblical principles.”

She added that Murdoch is not involved in the marketing of Bible: “As CEO of News Corp, Mr. Murdoch is not involved in the day-to-day business operations of Zondervan.”

That assertion was backed up by Lyn Cryderman, a former Zondervan publisher.
"In my role as publisher of the book group I do not recall anything that could even be remotely considered 'involvement in day to day operations' by Rupert Murdoch," he said. Cryderman was Vice President and Publisher at Zondervan from 2004-2007.
Zondervan operates under the banner of HarperCollins, a News Corp. company, which acquired the Christian publisher in 1988.

Zondervan is also the go to publishing house for many popular Christian authors, especially on the evangelical side.

In addition to the NIV Bible, it published 200 other Christian themed books a year from authors like Warren, Claiborne, C.S. Lewis, Lee Strobel, Karen Kingsbury and Rob Bell.

Zondervan took a principled stand earlier this year when it declined to publish Bell's latest book, “Love Wins.” The Grand Rapids pastor had published several other books with Zondervan, selling over a million books.

When Bell wrote "Love Wins," which led to a firestorm of controversy, Zondervan passed, saying the work did not meet their editorial mission. HarperOne, another News Corp. property, scooped up the book, which debuted at #3 on the New York Times Best Seller list.