Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
Taliban Renews Threat to Kill Hostages
According to The Christian Post, the Taliban renewed threats Wednesday to kill its remaining 19 Korean hostages if their demands were not met but did not immediately set a deadline. “If the demands of the Taliban are not met, the Korean hostages face death,” said purported rebel spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed to Agence France-Presse by telephone from an unknown location. “Although we want this crisis to be solved through negotiations, it seems the U.S. authorities are creating problems,” he added. Mujahed also reported that most of the captives were sick from weather conditions and from lack of “proper food.”
Pastor's Wife/Musician Killed in Crash
Baptist Press reports that Tammy Litton, who led a large women's ministry at First Baptist North Mobile, Ala., and whose husband Ed is a past Southern Baptist Convention first vice president, died in an automobile accident Aug. 16. She was 47. Tammy Litton died after crashing into the back of a stalled 18-wheeler on U.S. 98 in Greene County, Miss., the Mobile Press-Register reported. Her 13-year-old daughter Kayla was in the car and was taken to an area hospital and released. Litton, a talented singer and musician, was taking her daughter to Hattiesburg, Miss., to meet a music professor and talk about possible cello coaching for Kayla, the newspaper said. Ed Litton has been pastor of First Baptist North Mobile since 1994. In addition to serving as SBC first vice president from 2001-02, he also has served on the SBC Committee on Committees and on Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary's board of trustees. The funeral was held Monday, Aug. 20.
Christian Apologist Writes Open Letter to Christian Muggles
Christian Newswire reports that Christian author and apologist Anthony Horvath is once again challenging Christians to consider how their own attitudes and actions are reasons why others are turning to unbelief. Horvath has written "An Open Letter to Christian Muggles" at his discussion forum. In the letter, he points to the denouncement on the part of Christians of the Harry Potter series. Horvath says Christians can be muggles by not understanding that some moving stories employ timeless themes that inspire us - but timeless themes belong to God. Horvath believes the real conflict is between secular humanists and everyone else of a faith, whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or even pagan. "A pagan at least believes in something and knows it, so that's a start... We should hope that America was becoming more pagan, because that would be an improvement in trends... If our young are so ill prepared to deal with content as obviously imaginary as Harry Potter, then that means the church's educational methods are so pathetic they should be scrapped immediately. If our answer to competing ideas is to completely isolate our youngsters from them we are only telling them that Christianity is too weak to be tested."
Mohler on CNN: U.S. Awash in Porn
America is saturated with sexual immorality, and the only solution is submitting to God's standards for sexuality, R. Albert Mohler Jr. told a CNN audience on Aug. 20, Baptist Press reports. "There is clearly a nation awash with pornography right now, and evangelical Christians are certainly concerned about that," Mohler said on the cable network's "God, Sex and Greed" special. "It's a sign of a culture that is increasingly seeking gratification in all the wrong places. And pornography... is a very glaring and graphic symptom of the problem we face in this country." Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., appeared in the opening segment of the hour-long program with author and media personality Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Irshad Manji, author of "The Trouble with Islam Today." Hosted by Roland Martin, the program focused on America's simultaneous fascinations with religion, lust and greed. Mohler argued that despite America's claims to be open-minded and tolerant, rejecting God's standards for sex is actually closed-minded. "There's no more closed mind than one that claims to be open to everything," he said.