A New Cold War

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In a recent interview, the Soviet Union’s former premier Mikhail Gorbachev warned “The world is on the brink of a new Cold War. Some are even saying that it has already begun” (Agence France-Presse, November 8, 2014). He cautioned, “Let us remember that there can be no security in Europe without German-Russian partnership” (ibid.). In addition to the escalating situation in the Ukraine (UPI, November 12, 2014), Russian military presence is increasing around the globe. Last month a Russian submarine was found in waters just outside of Stockholm (Newsweek, October 21, 2014). This followed a simulated Russian missile attack on Stockholm last year (ibid.). In September, Russian bombers and fighters were intercepted by Canadian fighters just 40 nautical miles from the Canadian coast line (Christian Science Monitor, September 20, 2014). Russia has made airspace incursions over Europe in recent months (AFP, October 31, 2014). Russia also “plans to send long-range bombers to the Gulf of Mexico in what appears to be Moscow’s latest provocative maneuver in its increasingly frosty relations with the West” (CNN, November 13, 2014). 

In a recent interview, the Soviet Union’s former premier Mikhail Gorbachev warned “The world is on the brink of a new Cold War. Some are even saying that it has already begun” (Agence France-Presse, November 8, 2014). He cautioned, “Let us remember that there can be no security in Europe without German-Russian partnership” (ibid.). In addition to the escalating situation in the Ukraine (UPI, November 12, 2014), Russian military presence is increasing around the globe. Last month a Russian submarine was found in waters just outside of Stockholm (Newsweek, October 21, 2014). This followed a simulated Russian missile attack on Stockholm last year (ibid.). In September, Russian bombers and fighters were intercepted by Canadian fighters just 40 nautical miles from the Canadian coast line (Christian Science Monitor, September 20, 2014). Russia has made airspace incursions over Europe in recent months (AFP, October 31, 2014). Russia also “plans to send long-range bombers to the Gulf of Mexico in what appears to be Moscow’s latest provocative maneuver in its increasingly frosty relations with the West” (CNN, November 13, 2014). 

Anglicans Look to Rome

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“Anglicans are increasingly looking to the Vatican to take the lead in standing up for Christians around the world, a prominent bishop has said” (The Times, November 1, 2014). “In an address to the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, a body set up in 2011 allowing Anglicans to join the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop Nazir-Ali said the Holy See was the main voice defending Christians under threat.” He further noted, “The Catholic Church has both a great opportunity and also a great responsibility” and he also called for “boots on the ground” to protect Christians in places like Iraq (ibid.). 

“Anglicans are increasingly looking to the Vatican to take the lead in standing up for Christians around the world, a prominent bishop has said” (The Times, November 1, 2014). “In an address to the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, a body set up in 2011 allowing Anglicans to join the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop Nazir-Ali said the Holy See was the main voice defending Christians under threat.” He further noted, “The Catholic Church has both a great opportunity and also a great responsibility” and he also called for “boots on the ground” to protect Christians in places like Iraq (ibid.). 

Churches Healing Ancient Breach!

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Anglican and Eastern Orthodox church leaders continue their efforts to mend long-standing differences. “For more than 1,500 years, a theological row has festered to become one of the biggest and bitterest schisms in Christian history. While the two wings of the faith may never be fully reconciled… the boil was lanced this week. The ink is drying on a document that brings together the Anglican Communion and its counterparts in the Middle East in an agreement on the nature of Christ. Fifty years of negotiations in venues from Cairo to Woking have resulted in a statement that could begin to heal centuries of wounds around the heart of Christianity” (The Times, November 1, 2014). 

Anglican and Eastern Orthodox church leaders continue their efforts to mend long-standing differences. “For more than 1,500 years, a theological row has festered to become one of the biggest and bitterest schisms in Christian history. While the two wings of the faith may never be fully reconciled… the boil was lanced this week. The ink is drying on a document that brings together the Anglican Communion and its counterparts in the Middle East in an agreement on the nature of Christ. Fifty years of negotiations in venues from Cairo to Woking have resulted in a statement that could begin to heal centuries of wounds around the heart of Christianity” (The Times, November 1, 2014). 

Will God “Surprise” the Pope?

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In October, leaders of the Catholic Church held a two-week synod to discuss homosexuality, divorce, remarriage, and homosexual couples (Reuters, October 19, 2014). The goal of the synod was to enable the Roman church to develop more definitive doctrinal revisions on these family-related issues. During the synod, which was filled with heated debate, the pope commented “God is not afraid of new things. That is why he is continuously surprising us, opening our hearts and guiding us in unexpected ways” (ibid.). The pope also cautioned synod attendees to beware of “hostile inflexibility, that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word, and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God” (BBC, October 18, 2014). Catholic religious writer John Thavis stated, “Pope Francis clearly placed the Church on a new path, toward an evangelizing style that is less focused on doctrine and more willing to invite people in, no matter what their status” (Reuters, October 19, 2014). 

In October, leaders of the Catholic Church held a two-week synod to discuss homosexuality, divorce, remarriage, and homosexual couples (Reuters, October 19, 2014). The goal of the synod was to enable the Roman church to develop more definitive doctrinal revisions on these family-related issues. During the synod, which was filled with heated debate, the pope commented “God is not afraid of new things. That is why he is continuously surprising us, opening our hearts and guiding us in unexpected ways” (ibid.). The pope also cautioned synod attendees to beware of “hostile inflexibility, that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word, and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God” (BBC, October 18, 2014). Catholic religious writer John Thavis stated, “Pope Francis clearly placed the Church on a new path, toward an evangelizing style that is less focused on doctrine and more willing to invite people in, no matter what their status” (Reuters, October 19, 2014). 

Homosexual Couples Question Same-Sex Marriage

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Ironically, as same-sex marriage is legalized, homosexual couples are increasingly uncertain about getting married (Associated Press, October 24, 2014). “When gay marriage became legal in Pennsylvania earlier this year, Elissa Goldberg was ready to say ‘I do.’ Her longtime partner’s reaction, however, was ‘I’m not so sure’” (ibid.). Homosexual couples are questioning whether they should legally wed, even though most states now allow same-sex marriage (30 states so far) (ibid.). One family rights lawyer commented, “With rights come responsibilities… When you lawfully marry… you have certain obligations to that spouse” (ibid.). Growing numbers of homosexual couples are writing prenuptial agreements in case of a future divorce. And more are choosing not to wed and instead just “live together” to avoid the commitment required by legalized marriage (ibid.). 

Ironically, as same-sex marriage is legalized, homosexual couples are increasingly uncertain about getting married (Associated Press, October 24, 2014). “When gay marriage became legal in Pennsylvania earlier this year, Elissa Goldberg was ready to say ‘I do.’ Her longtime partner’s reaction, however, was ‘I’m not so sure’” (ibid.). Homosexual couples are questioning whether they should legally wed, even though most states now allow same-sex marriage (30 states so far) (ibid.). One family rights lawyer commented, “With rights come responsibilities… When you lawfully marry… you have certain obligations to that spouse” (ibid.). Growing numbers of homosexual couples are writing prenuptial agreements in case of a future divorce. And more are choosing not to wed and instead just “live together” to avoid the commitment required by legalized marriage (ibid.). 

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