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I'm often stunned at how much happens in any given week.... whilst we cover a number of major items in this News Update, it is really only the 'tip of the iceberg' for what we could report on!
In other words, the people completing the survey VOLUNTEERED to do so. Some of those, like Jacqui Tomlins, are activists for homosexual rights - read her account of completing the survey and urging others to participate. (She's the person who recently successfully campaigned for Kew Primary School to stop SRI Christian Education!)
The book ‘The Story of Mohammed’ is available free online and Reports on the ‘Trojan horse plot’ in Birmingham UK schools. . .
Tomorrow we will send out our monthly Prayer Update – our next general News Update will be at the end of next week!
1. GOOD NEWS about marriage - Marriage, divorce and churchgoers
Sometimes we’ve heard reports that ‘the divorce rate in the church is the same as that in the world’. But how true is that?
Shaunti Feldhahn, a researcher and author, recently published a book about marriage after eight years of research – titled ‘The Good News About Marriage - Debunking Discouraging Myths about Marriage and Divorce”.
Shaunti says, “A subconscious sense of futility about marriage is everywhere, as everything we hear says marriage is ‘in trouble’. And while some of the bad news is accurate (for example, 41% of children are born out of wedlock), many of the most demoralizing beliefs just aren't true. For example, the notion that half of all marriages end in divorce or that the divorce rate is the same in the church… neither are anywhere close to true."
Here is the overview of the book’s findings, from Shaunti’s webpage…
“Divorce isn’t the greatest threat to marriage. Discouragement is.”
“You’ve probably heard the grim facts: Half of all marriages end in divorce. The divorce rate inside the church is the same as outside. And, most marriages are just holding on. But what if these “facts” are actually myths?
In The Good News About Marriage, best-selling author Shaunti Feldhahn presents groundbreaking research that reveals the shocking, incredibly inspiring truth:
- The actual divorce rate has never gotten close to 50 percent.
- Those who attend church regularly have a significantly lower divorce rate than those who don’t.
- Most marriages are happy.
- Simple changes make a big difference in most marriage problems.
- Most remarriages succeed.
For too long, our confidence in marriage has been undermined by persistent misunderstandings and imperfect data. This landmark book will radically change how we think and talk about marriage—and what we can dare to hope from it."
Read an interview Shaunti did with Christian Post –
Author Debunks Myths About Divorce Rates, 16/5/2014.
Read about the book on Shaunti’s website: The Good News About Marriage
Click here for an overview of the research.
Shaunti provides links to buy the book, but in Australia, see the Booko site info – the cheapest is Book Depository ($15.40 delivered). On Kindle for US $10.07.
2. Praying for Muslims during Ramadan
The international ministry '30 days of prayer' provides an opportunity for you to pray for people in the Muslim world during the time of 'Ramadan' - which started on 28 June.
Visit the 30 Days website
The 2014 Prayer booklets is in 39 languages...
Downloadable e-book pdf is available from 'World Christian' - cost $2.50 - click here.
3. Ramadan - Woolworths celebrates Islamic ‘Ramadan’ festival
The Woolworths supermarket chain has LARGE ‘Happy Ramadan' signs at 239 of their supermarkets around the country. Apparently they are often placed at supermarkets in areas that have a large Muslim population - the number of stores participating has increased this year.
Woolworths said they celebrate lots of ‘festivals’, including “Diwali, Lunar New Year and Passover”.
Bill Muehlenberg responds by documenting the connection between Ramadan and jihad, using the example of Mohammed and Islamic websites to show that jihad activities were often connected to Ramadan. One Islamic website he cites states, “The month of Ramadan in the life of the Prophet (pbuh) and the righteous ancestors was a month of forthcoming. The greatest battles during the lifetime of the Prophet (pbuh) occurred in this blessed month, the month of jihad, zeal and enthusiasm.”
Bill concludes, “So given the very real connection between Ramadan and jihad, blood-letting and death, it is utterly bizarre to see groups like Woolworths and Coke actually celebrating this gruesome month. This is called creeping sharia, and groups like Woolworths and Coke are tragic examples of dhimmitude in action.”
Article: Happy Ramadan signs at 239 Woolworths stores creates a stir with some customers threatening to boycott stores, Herald Sun, 26/6/2014 (Photo from Herald Sun).
Commentary: Ramadan and Jihad, Bill Muehlenberg, 2/7/2014.
4. BOOK - 'The Story of Mohammed'
Recently we mentioned a new book by Harry Richardson – it is available as a paperback or on Kindle.
Harry provides information about Mohammed’s life and the religion of Islam - important reading if you want to know more about Mohammed and Islam...
Harry, the author, has made the book available online so you can read it on your computer for free… click here, read the Introduction and click the link for the next chapter!
Read the Appendix to find out WHY Harry wrote the book – he responds to criticism from some people (mostly who haven’t read the book!).
Also available on Kindle or as a paperback – Kindle US$1.00 and paperback US$5.90 – click here for details.
BOOK WEBSITE: The Story of Mohammed
5. UK: The ‘trojan horse’ plot in Birmingham schools
Birmingham City Council has been investigating reports of a ‘plot’ regarding the take-over of Birmingham schools by ‘hardline Islamist groups’ – now referred to as the ‘trojan horse plot’. In April 2014, the BBC reported that the investigation had widened to include 25 schools – the Council “had received more than 200 reports in relation to its Inquiry’. Investigations were conducted by the Education Department ministry and Ofsted, a watchdog body.
Ofsted conducted a review – and published the results of their reports on 9 June, 2014.
They “put six schools in special measures and said five had not done enough to protect children from extremist ideas”. Some of the schools have protested against the decision.
The Board of one school resigned in late June.
Christian Concern reported, “In the wake of the so-called Trojan Horse inquiry into Islamic extremism in schools in Birmingham, Sharia expert, Sam Solomon, co-founder of Christian Concern, says that the Ofsted investigation rings a “warning bell” about the strategic aim that drives Islam – the imposition of sharia throughout British society. Sam Solomon lectures on Islamic affairs to international audiences and is an adviser to governments including American, British and European politicians. He converted to Christianity after reading the New Testament.
"In a detailed analysis of the lessons to be learned from the alleged ‘plot’ to apply sharia in Birmingham schools, Sam warns that Britain must safeguard its value system against an on-going plan by Islamists to subjugate the British way of life to sharia…”
In another insightful article, Dr Martin Parsons writes about the schools investigation and warns that ‘Islamism’ is a strategy employed by Islamic groups.
Article: Sharia expert warns of threat from Islam following ‘Trojan Horse’ inquiry, Christian Concern, 13/4/2014.
Article: Martin Parsons: The Trojan horse – Islamism is a strategy, not an abberation by individuals, Conservative Home, 6/5/2014.
Article: Trojan Horse: 25 schools probed over alleged takeover plot, BBC, 14/4/2014.
Article: 'Trojan Horse': Schools trust hits out at special measures decision, BBC, 9/6/2014.
Article: Saltley school governors resign en masse in wake of 'Trojan horse' inquiry, 21/6/2014.
Reports from OFSTED:
“Following the recent inspections of 21 schools in Birmingham between 5 March 2014 and 1 May 2014, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has written to the Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP to advise him of the findings. The advice note draws on evidence from all 21 inspections and meetings that Sir Michael held with lead inspectors, headteachers, professional associations and representatives from Birmingham City Council."
Advice Note to the Minister of Education regarding the inspection of 21 schools - click here.
Inspection reports for all schools – click here.
Lots of news from the past week...
Read our NEWS Update...