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Evangelicals, Reconciliation, Justice & the Powers that Be

March 31, 2015 --

Photo credit: All Nite Images — John Lussier
New WineSkins,
Oregon Blog

Photo credit: All Nite Images

“…the concept of reconciliation is empty of content unless it is built upon the firm foundation of justice.”
— David P. Gushee

As evangelical groups like the Southern Baptist Convention start to address issues of race and reconciliation I’d like to remind us all that we can’t talk about racial reconciliation without first talking about issues of justice in and outside the church.
We can’t talk about racial reconciliation without first talking about justice in and outside the Church.

The injustices that have happened in Ferguson, New York, and elsewhere are finally coming to the attention of evangelicalism. Race has become a hot topic for conferences, meetings, lectures, sermons, chapels, and discussions. Books are being written. Blogs are being posted. We’re standing up and taking notice as an evangelical church culture.

But what I’m afraid of, as we talk about race, is that we will have a lot of discussions, say how sorry we are, and then never change/organize. I’m scared we’ll show up, have an expert come in, pray, end with a rocking worship song, feel better, and then leave the topic.

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The ethics of “Right to Try” laws

March 30, 2015 --

cascadepolicySteve Buckstein
Cascade Policy Institute

If you or someone in your family had a terminal illness, would you want the right to try an experimental drug that might save a life? That’s what eleven-year-old Diego Morris of Phoenix wanted when he was diagnosed with a rare, deadly form of cancer. Traditional treatment didn’t work; and after an exhaustive search, his family found a “miracle drug” that was approved in much of the world but not in the United States. So, the whole family moved to England where Diego was successfully treated. Now back in Phoenix, Diego has been cancer-free for two years.

Now thirteen years old, Diego Morris was the Honorary Chairman of the campaign that saw 78 percent of Arizona voters approve a Right to Try referendum last November. It will give terminally ill patients the right to try to save their lives by allowing access to investigational medicines that have not yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Diego supported the measure because he said “…hope was the most important thing to him and giving hope to others is what he thinks the right to try law will do.”

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Portland Dine-Out to Fight Aids

March 28, 2015 --

By Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon


Dining Out for Life® is a simply delicious way to support a worthy cause!

On Thursday, April 30, 2015, more than 3,000 restaurants will donate a portion of their proceeds from this one special day of dining to the licensed AIDS service agency in 60 cities. Through Dining Out for Life, more than $4 million dollars a year is raised to support the missions of outstanding HIV/AIDS service organizations throughout North America.

In Portland, over 30 participating restaurants will donate between 20 to 30 percent of that day’s profits to the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EMO) HIV Day Center and OHSU Partnership Project. Great Portland metro area restaurants are lined up to participate this year, including Bazi Bierbrasserie, Gracie’s, Las Primas, Lincoln, the Original, Red Star Tavern, The Bad Habit Room and 15 McMenamins locations—and more restaurants are signing on daily. Dine out at one of these restaurants on April 30, and be sure to mention that you’re there for “Dining Out.”

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60 Minutes: ISIS persecution of Christians

March 27, 2015 --

The CBS News magazine 60 Minutes did a report on the state of the religious minority of Christians in the Middle East facing persecution from ISIS. Watch the video below.

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A different faith look to presidential candidates

March 25, 2015 --

By Tom Krattenmaker

 Award-winning Portland-based writer
Recent book: The Evangelicals you Don’t Know
– Article Also featured on..
Ah, the perils and pitfalls of the Christmas … er … holiday season.

And they’re off!

Now that it’s 2015, we can say it: There will be a presidential election next year. Public and news media interest will build toward the frenzied crescendo that characterizes these races. After all, in a country that loves competition, what could be more riveting than the contest for the most powerful political office in the land?

Yet for all Americans, especially people of faith and values, there’s more to this quadrennial exercise than the thrill of victory and agony of defeat.

“It is not about which candidate will win, but which candidate, if elected, will help make us a better people,” says Miroslav Volf, a theology professor at Yale Divinity School and author of the book A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good.

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Easter = you don’t need a Bucket List

March 23, 2015 --

By Randy Alcorn
Eternal Perspectives Ministries, Sandy Oregon

Please visit his blog

The term “bucket list” was popularized by the 2007 movie of that name. It’s an inventory of things people want to do before they “kick the bucket.” The idea is, since our time on earth is limited, if something is important for us to do, we have to do it now, because this is our only chance to do it.

This makes sense from a naturalistic worldview, one which doesn’t recognize any afterlife. It also makes sense from various religious worldviews that maintain there may be existence after death, but without resurrection and physical properties, and with no continuity between this life and the next. The one worldview in which the bucket list makes no sense is biblical Christianity.

Don’t misunderstand. My wife Nanci and I enjoy life—going new places and doing new things. I don’t believe this is wrong, nor is it wrong to list things you’d like to do if God gives you the resources and strength. But the “bucket list” mentality, that this life is our only chance to ever enjoy adventure and fun, is profoundly unbiblical. It disregards the teaching of the resurrection:

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Ex-Scientologist on celebrity wiretapping, prison camp

March 21, 2015 --

Marty Rathbun, who was a former member of the Church of Scientology before he left, is interviewed by NBC Today show on his experience as a high level staff member within Scientology. The interview relates to a new HBO documentary called Going Clear. With every controversial story there is another side as the Church of Scientology is attacking the documentary as a complete lie. Below is the interview followed by a second news clip on the documentary and Scientology’s response. (see full official letter response here)


Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Free speech case over flag t-shirts

March 20, 2015 --

rutherford-institute-logoThe Rutherford Institute

Rejecting claims that student “hecklers” can silence patriotic speech, The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review and reverse a lower court ruling that declared it unsafe for California public school students to wear American flag t-shirts to school. In a reply brief filed with the Supreme Court in the case of Dariano v. Morgan Hill, in which several students were ordered by school officials to cover up their American flag t-shirts on May 5, 2010, allegedly because officials feared that other students celebrating the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo would be offended, Rutherford Institute attorneys argue that the school should not have censored the pro-American speech but should instead have controlled any unruly students.

The Rutherford Institute’s reply brief in Dariano v. Morgan Hill is available at

“There are all kinds of labels being put on so-called ‘unacceptable’ speech today, from calling it politically incorrect and hate speech to offensive and dangerous speech, but the real message being conveyed is that Americans don’t have a right to express themselves if what they are saying is unpopular or in any way controversial,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State. “Whether it’s through the use of so-called ‘free speech zones,’ the requirement of speech permits, or the policing of online forums, what we’re seeing is the caging of free speech and the asphyxiation of the First Amendment.”

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Oregon Psychic caught in $15M swindle

March 18, 2015 --

courtOregon psychics swindle timber heir out of millions
By Oregon Faith News Note;

A mother-daughter team of psychics swindled Ralph Raines Jr., the heir to a Washington County logging company, out of an estimated $15.5 million. The lonely 66-year-old Raines was never married and had no children. He lived for more than a decade believing that a young woman who called herself Mary Marks was his wife and the boy who called him “Daddy” was his son. He thought Rachel Lee was helping him care for his elderly father and manage his timber company. In reality, Rachel Lee was transferring millions of dollars out of Raines’ accounts into her own personal accounts, and Mary Marks was Rachel Lee’s daughter, Porsha Lee. Porsha Lee and Raines were never married, and the boy was the son of Porsha Lee’s sister. The psychics managed to scam Raines by going to elaborate lengths to create a dream state and keep him confused.

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Iraq War vet plants NW church

March 16, 2015 --

By NW Baptist

(Photo Jeff Guillard (left) and Pastor Michael Johnson review the Sunday worship schedule before The River Church core group meeting at Moxee City Hall in Moxee, WA. Johnson arrived in Moxee and began planting The River Church in January after concluding his service).

 Michael Johnson learned a million little things in the U.S. Army. He learned to make his bed Army-style. He learned to march in the Army band. He learned to shoot an M-16 rifle and throw a grenade.

But the most important lessons he learned during close to a decade was a how to be a leader and to look at everyday life as a mission field. Those lessons continue to serve him well as a church planter in Moxee, WA, near Yakima.

“The Army — really any military service — it is a huge mission field,” Johnson said. “The values that the Army espouses — loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, integrity — are completely things that a Christian would affirm, that the church would affirm, but when you get into the military culture itself, you realize that most of the people are lost.”

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