Helping Christians to make a difference
Dealing with current Issues
Helping Christian families to make a difference
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...
- The recent ‘debunking the myths’ conference addressed calls to ban assistance to people who want to deal with unwanted same-sex attraction.
- Some new research is analysed by Dr Christopher Rosik of NARTH
- Homophobia and transphobia… more 'phobia' words!
- Criticism of transgender surgery by Dr Paul McHugh
- A Christian perspective on sex and gender
1. UK Conference – ‘debunking the myths’ re changing same-sex feelings
The recent conference organised by Core Issues Trust and Christian Concern in London and Ireland was a great success!
Christian Concern reports, “Keynote speakers at a ‘Debunking the myths’ conference in London told the audience that objections to therapy for people who want to lose or reduce unwanted same-sex feelings, were based on political grounds rather than grounded on empirical scientific evidence. The conference highlighted the loss of freedom for UK citizens to seek professional help to change unwanted homosexual feelings. The conference was organised in response to the instruction from the Health Minister, Norman Lamb, that NHS England should block the health service providing such therapy. The conference also challenged the decision to ban change therapies, by professional bodies such as the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy.”
The keynote speakers included Dr Christopher Rosik, President-elect of the US National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), Anne Paulk, CEO of Restored Hope Network and Professor Robert Gagnon, of Pittsburg Theological Seminary….”
2. Dr Christopher Rosik reviews new studies on SOCE
An important Research Report by Dr Rosik - he analyses three new studies that he says will be used by those who oppose ANY attempt to assist people with unwanted same-sex attraction – or SOCE (sexual orientation change efforts)…
Dr Rosik writes, “Because this research is assuredly going to be uncritically trotted out in professional and lay discussions about SOCE, it is important that these studies be evaluated critically so that those concerned with clients’ rights and therapeutic choice are knowledgeable about what these studies actually tell us. This is the purpose of the present review. In what follows, I will analyze each study, providing a brief description and more in-depth critical discussion, before closing with some general observations.”
3. Homophobia and Transphobia
The use of the word ‘phobia’ is growing. As well as the misused name ‘homophobia’, activists are now promoting the word ‘transphobia’…
This article is an example of how prevalent these terms are…
Article: Homophobia vs Transphobia, Montreal Gazette, 17/6/2014.
4. Dr Paul McHugh criticises ‘transgender surgery’
The former head of the psychiatry section at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Dr Paul McHugh, has said for years that surgery is NOT the answer for people who experience transgender feelings.
A recent article by Dr Paul McHugh sets out the case for NOT doing sex re-assignment surgery. This is particularly significant, since Johns Hopkins Hospital regularly performed transgender (transsexual) sex re-assignment surgery – they STOPPED doing the operations when they realised that that the surgery wasn’t resolving the problems.
His comments about psychiatry in general are noteworthy – as they apply to any help for the 'mind' being requested... “Psychiatrists obviously must challenge the solipsistic concept that what is in the mind cannot be questioned. Disorders of consciousness, after all, represent psychiatry's domain; declaring them off-limits would eliminate the field.”
The problem is that it seems one can ask for ANY help you want from a psychiatrist or counsellor – EXCEPT help to deal with unwanted same-sex attraction!
Dr McHugh’s article was promoted by a recent decision by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) review board, which ruled that it is 'no longer reasonable to exclude such surgeries because they were experimental or risked serious complications'. The case was brought by Denee Mallon, a 73 year old US Army veteran. The decision means that US Medicare can now pay for transgender surgery.
Article: Transgender Surgery Isn't the Solution - a drastic physical change doesn't address underlying psycho-social troubles, Wall Street Journal, 12/6/2014.
Lifesite reported on the article:
Former Johns Hopkins head psychiatrist: ‘transgender surgery isn’t the solution’, Lifesite, 17/6/2014.
Article: Psychiatrist heaps fuel on fiery transgender debate, Michael Cook, BioEdge, 14/6/2014.
Article: Medicare ban on sex reassignment surgery lifted, AP, 30/5/2014.
5. A Christian perspective on ‘transgender’ - from creation.com
An article from Creation Ministries, written by Dr Kathy Wallace in October 2013, highlights the fact that God made male and female. Two follow-up articles respond to comments made by readers – including the difference between sex and gender…
- Male and female He made them …
- George Jamieson / ‘April Ashley’: A ‘model’ life for the ‘gender reassignment’ brigade?
- Transgender arguments hinge on sex versus gender – can you choose?