Saturday, August 05, 2017

Saturday Lagniappe: "Suicide rate hit 40-year peak among older teen girls in 2015" and Much More

Suicide rate hit 40-year peak among older teen girls in 2015

The suicide rate among girls between the ages of 15 and 19 reached a 40-year high in 2015, according to new data from the National Center for Health Statistics. In the shorter term, the suicide rate for those girls doubled between 2007 and 2015, the research indicates. Read More
We are in the midst of what may be described as a suicide epidemic affecting teenage girls and young women. In future editions of Anglicans Ablaze I plan to publish advice and suggestion about how the local church can help to prevent this needless waste of life.
'13 Reasons Why' tied to rise in suicide searches online

When it comes to the hit Netflix series "13 Reasons Why," many viewers find themselves on either side of a controversial debate.... Now, a new research paper aims to advance the debate, using Google search data. Read More

As Artificial Intelligence Grows, So Do Perceived Threats to Human Uniqueness

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk got into a spat recently on Twitter with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg over the dangers of artificial intelligence....The two divergent views on AI reflect the existential questions humans face about their uniqueness in the universe. Read More
From the roboti of Karel Capek's 1920 play RUR (Ransom's Universal Robots) to the Replicants of the Blade Runner movies, the humanoid Cylons of the Battle Star Galatica TV series, the cyborg assassins of the Terminator movies, the Cybermen and Darleks of the Dr. Who TV series and the Borg of Star Trek TV series and movies, writers have explored the dangers of artificial intelligence, artificial life forms, and human-machine interface.
The Utter Devastation of Sin

Sin isn’t here for a moment and then gone. No, sin is so evil that it leaves its lingering scent behind. Read More
See also The Lingering Stench of Sin
Mentoring Relationships that Make Sense

As I’ve grown older in ministry, younger pastors sometimes ask if I can mentor them, even if for a limited period of time. These relationships are always a blessing. But, there are mistakes pastors make when seeking a mentor. Three such mistakes are 1) thinking your mentor has to be a celebrity pastor, 2) that mentoring is always one person teaching the other, and 3) that only young pastors need mentors. Not. True. Read More

The Art of Being Mentored

You can have the most brilliant mentor in the world, even a famous one, but if you aren’t ready to pay the price, dig in, learn and change, it won’t matter. There are many stories of men and women who receive an hour or so of someone’s time who arrived ill-prepared. They had no written questions. They talked more than listened and expressed very little gratitude. It was almost as if they had some time to kill and thought it might be fun. When someone does say yes, show up prepared. So, if you want a meaningful mentoring relationship, let me offer more good advice. Read More

Breaking News: Science Disproves the Bible

A study in genomic sciences that was on most counts not newsworthy has made big headlines in recent days, both in the media’s initial declarations and in the ensuing reaction. The cynic in me suspects that the whole thing was predictable from the very get-go. Read More

Seven Reasons God Commands Us to Sing to Him

First of all, God doesn’t need anything from us. He doesn’t need our worship or our songs or our money or our obedience. He is infinite and lacks nothing. Everything he commands us is for our joy and benefit. If God commands us to sing, then it is to bless us and add to our joy in him. What are some reasons God commands us to sing? Read More

Channel Volume Balancing – The First Step in Mixing the Band

The band is on stage and the gain levels are set. It’s the perfect time to reach for an EQ control. Or so you think. Instead, the next step should be to balance the instrument and vocal volumes so every musician is heard in the right relationship to the others. In short, the first part of mixing the band is putting everyone in their right spot. As I call it, volume balancing. Read More

The ‘Prophets’ and ‘Apostles’ Leading the Quiet Revolution in American Religion [Book Review]

A quiet revolution is taking place in America religion, say Brad Christerson and Richard Flory, authors of The Rise of Network Christianity: How Independent Leaders Are Changing the Religious Landscape. Largely behind the scenes, a group of mostly self-proclaimed “apostles,” leading ministries from North Carolina to Southern California, has attracted millions of followers with promises of direct access to God through signs and wonders. Read More
Two developments in this movement raised a red flag for me. The first is the belief that spiritual power flows down from the movement's leaders, those who style themselves "prophets" and "apostles," and others can access it through their ministry. The second is that the same leaders have no accountability. What I have observed in some individuals who have become caught up in the charismatic and "third wave" movements is to go from one leader to the next in search of intenser and more dramatic "signs and wonders" and other experiences, which they view as manifestations of the Holy Spirit.

The Scriptures does not say anything about self-identified "prophets" and "apostles" who are able to serve as a conduit of the Holy Spirit in a way that no other Christian can. Nor does it infer that through their ministry is the only way that Jesus followers can receive the Holy Spirit and his gifts. It does, however, warn against false teachers who may lead believers astray.
Massive Conflict of Interest Taints South Carolina Ruling

Allan S. Haley examines in depth the decision of the South Carolina Supreme Court forcing the Diocese of South Carolina to return 29 churches. He shows how the decision glosses over a massive conflict of interest on the part of Justice Kaye Hearn. Read More

Retired South Carolina Bishop Recalls the Events of His Long Career

David Virtue interviews the Rt. Rev. Dr. C.Fitsimons Allison, the former Episcopal Bishop of South Carolina, now retired, on the occasion of his 90th birthday. In a denomination that has increasingly drifted away from Biblical Christianity, Dr. Allison has upheld the teaching of the Holy Scriptures and the principles of the historic Anglican formularies. Read More

The No. 1 Reason Churches End Up in Court Is No Longer Child Abuse

Child abuse is no longer the most common reason that churches go to court.... But last year, the top reason for church litigation became a different problem: property disputes. More churches went to court in 2016 due to their building itself rather than any abuse that occurred inside of it. Read More

Robbing God, Literally: 1 in 10 Protestant Churches Experience Embezzlement

Churches and other faith groups collect tens of billions of dollars in donations each year. But not all of it ends up where it’s supposed to. About 1 in 10 Protestant churches has had someone embezzle funds, according to a new survey of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors from LifeWay Research. Read More

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