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Americans Still Love Vacation Bible School–Even Non-Church Goers

VBS, however popular, is not without its critics.

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A survey conducted by LifeWay shows that most Americans hold a positive view of Vacation Bible School, the educational Bible program that thousands of churches across the nation put on for young children during the summer vacation.

“Six in 10 Americans say they went to VBS growing up. Two-thirds of American parents say they plan to send kids to VBS this summer — even if they skip church themselves,” says the report, “Even If They Don’t Go to Church, Americans Still Love VBS.”

This includes even those who don’t regularly go to church.

60 percent of parents surveyed said they are planning on sending their children to VBS programs put on by churches they don’t regularly attend, while 69 said they’d send their child to a different church if their child was invited by a friend.

“Each week of the summer there are thousands of VBS programs going on around America,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, in a statement following the release of the report last week. “It’s one of the things that people love about church.”

“People still believe Vacation Bible School is good for kids,” he added. “Even parents who don’t go to church want their kids to go to VBS.”

The Christian Post explains that the study drew from 1,200 American adults interviewed between March 7-10 at a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

“Other findings included 60 percent of respondents saying they attended VBS as kids, 88 percent of those who attended saying VBS helped them understand the Bible, 95 percent saying VBS was a positive experience for their children, and 61 percent of respondents who did not attend VBS still holding positive views about the program,” CP notes.

Thom Rainer, the president of LifeWay, is a vocal proponent of VBS, and, In a recent column published by The Christian Post, he referred to it as “the No.1 evangelistic tool in America” and urged churches to continue the program.

VBS, however popular, is not without its critics.

Pastor and author Peter M. Burfeind argued in a 2017 column for The Federalist that the programming relies on a “bait n’ switch philosophy” which he likened to “trying to get your child to eat vegetables by embedding them in a Twinkie.”

“Sure, the child will hear some good things about God, but the medium of the message — the razzle-dazzle theme, characterless music, throwaway crafts, forced theatrics, the theological minimalism — is what the child internalizes,” he wrote.

“The deeper message conveyed is that what is meant to be an eternal truth is derivative, unserious, inauthentic, forgettable, commercial, frivolous, and cheap.”

Frivolous or not, LifeWay clearly demonstrates that many adults still remember VBS fondly and are happy to send their kids to the program as well. Whenever the Gospel is preached, that’s a positive thing in my opinion–with or without the bells and whistles of a fun and entertaining children’s program.

(H/T The Christian Post)

Faith

Pelosi is Barred from Communion by Archbishop of San Fran

WHOA!

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Of all of the personal, bitter, hot topics that our nation is facing, perhaps none is quite as raw as abortion.

With the Supreme Court seemingly poised to overturn Roe v. Wade sometimes in the not-so-distant future, the issue is once again at the forefront of the American political theater, and the fervor is increasing by the minute.

Now, in a wild escalation of the national narrative, church is giving state a little bit of blowback.

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone announced Friday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is barred from receiving Holy Communion due to her pro-abortion stance — marking an escalation in a decades-long tension between the Roman Catholic Church and liberal Democratic politicians on abortion.

Cordileone has written to the California Democrat, informing her that she should not present herself for Holy Communion at Mass, and that priests will not distribute communion to her if she does present herself.

He did not hold back.

“A Catholic legislator who supports procured abortion, after knowing the teaching of the Church, commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of most serious scandal to others. Therefore, universal Church law provides that such persons ‘are not to be admitted to Holy Communion,'” he says in the letter.

And also:

Cordileone says in his letter that he wrote to her on April 7, informing her that “should you not publicly repudiate your advocacy for abortion ‘rights’ or else refrain from referring to your Catholic faith in public and receiving Holy Communion, I would have no choice but to make a declaration, in keeping with canon 915, that you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” He says that since that time, she has not done so.

“Therefore, in light of my responsibility as the Archbishop of San Francisco to be ‘concerned for all the Christian faithful entrusted to [my] care” (Code of Canon Law, can. 383, §1), by means of this communication I am hereby notifying you that you are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, until such time as you publically repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance.” he said.

And with Catholics making up a rather large voting bloc in America, (and California, too), Nancy Pelosi may have to get to praying.

Of all of the personal, bitter, hot topics that our nation is facing, perhaps none is quite as raw as abortion. With the Supreme Court seemingly poised to overturn Roe v. Wade sometimes in the not-so-distant future, the issue is once again at the forefront of the American political theater, and the fervor is increasing by the minute. Now, in a wild escalation of the national narrative, church is giving state a little bit of blowback. San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone announced Friday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is barred from receiving Holy Communion due to her pro-abortion stance — marking an escalation in a decades-long tension between the Roman Catholic Church and liberal Democratic politicians on abortion. Cordileone has written to the California Democrat, informing her that she should not present herself for Holy Communion at Mass, and that priests will not distribute communion to her if she does present herself. He did not hold back. “A Catholic legislator who supports procured abortion, after knowing the teaching of the Church, commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of most serious scandal to others. Therefore, universal Church law provides that such persons ‘are not to be admitted to Holy Communion,'” he says in the letter. And also: Cordileone says in his letter that he wrote to her on April 7, informing her that “should you not publicly repudiate your advocacy for abortion ‘rights’ or else refrain from referring to your Catholic faith in public and receiving Holy Communion, I would have no choice but to make a declaration, in keeping with canon 915, that you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” He says that since that time, she has not done so. “Therefore, in light of my responsibility as the Archbishop of San Francisco to be ‘concerned for all…

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Faith

SCOTUS Rules Against Boston After City Refused to Fly Christian Flag

The decision was seen as a win for Christians everywhere.

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In the United States, we are guaranteed the freedom to practice whichever religion we should choose, and have been since the inception of this great nation.

What we are not guaranteed, however, is freedom from religion.  We are allowed to believe what we wish, but we must also understand that this means we may bear witness to the beliefs of others who are exercising their rights.  Maybe we’ll see a yarmulke at the grocery store, or get stuck in traffic as a baptist megachurch lets out on Sunday.

It also means that all religions must be treated equally – something that the City of Boston is learning the hard way this week.

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a program of the city of Boston that allows outside groups to fly flags at city hall must permit the flying of flag with a cross that a camp referred to as a “Christian flag.”

The question before the court was whether flying the flag as part of a government program was considered government speech if the flag belonged to a private organization, in this case, Camp Constitution. The Supreme Court ruled that it is not.

The ruling left no room for interpretation.

“We conclude that, on balance, Boston did not make the raising and flying of private groups’ flags a form of government speech,” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in the court’s opinion, stating that as a result the city improperly violated Camp Constitution’s free speech rights.

And that’s not all:

The court’s opinion pointed to how Boston said their goal is “to accommodate all applicants” looking to hold events in the city’s “public forums,” including City Hall Plaza, and the flag flying application only asked for contact information and a short description of the event being requested.

Breyer noted that the city employee who fields flag applications testified that before Camp Constitution’s application, he had never even asked to see a flag before granting approval or even before they were raised.

“The city’s practice was to approve flag raisings, without exception,,” Breyer wrote.

The news comes as the mainstream media continues to equate the religious right with the lesser opinions they hold of conservatives in general, thereby creating a soft vilification of Christianity in the process.

In the United States, we are guaranteed the freedom to practice whichever religion we should choose, and have been since the inception of this great nation. What we are not guaranteed, however, is freedom from religion.  We are allowed to believe what we wish, but we must also understand that this means we may bear witness to the beliefs of others who are exercising their rights.  Maybe we’ll see a yarmulke at the grocery store, or get stuck in traffic as a baptist megachurch lets out on Sunday. It also means that all religions must be treated equally – something that the City of Boston is learning the hard way this week. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a program of the city of Boston that allows outside groups to fly flags at city hall must permit the flying of flag with a cross that a camp referred to as a “Christian flag.” The question before the court was whether flying the flag as part of a government program was considered government speech if the flag belonged to a private organization, in this case, Camp Constitution. The Supreme Court ruled that it is not. The ruling left no room for interpretation. “We conclude that, on balance, Boston did not make the raising and flying of private groups’ flags a form of government speech,” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in the court’s opinion, stating that as a result the city improperly violated Camp Constitution’s free speech rights. And that’s not all: The court’s opinion pointed to how Boston said their goal is “to accommodate all applicants” looking to hold events in the city’s “public forums,” including City Hall Plaza, and the flag flying application only asked for contact information and a short description of the event being requested. Breyer noted that the city employee who…

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