South African cricket player who allegedly fixed match is one of world's most famous born-again athletes

Hansie Cronje, whom the Associated Press called "perhaps the country's most revered sports hero," is accused of fixing a cricket match for about US $15,000. The Times of India calls it "a 'death blow' to 'born-again' believers." That may be overstating the case a bit ( Weblog predicts that born again believers will probably survive the scandal), but there's no denying that the Christian witness of Cronje, one of cricket's most prominent Christians, is hurt worldwide.

Breakaway church can keep assets until ruling, judge says

From the Heart Church Ministries left the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in July. The denomination sued for the congregation's $38 million worth of assets, including a Learjet, two sanctuaries, and a school. The resolution of the case isn't expected for a while, but arguments over who controls the assets in the meantime have already reached Maryland's highest court. When Chief Judge Robert M. Bell said From the Heart could hold on to the assets for now, trial judge E. Allen Shepherd resigned from the case.

Pat Robertson not the only conservative against death penalty

For the most part, anti-death penalty conservatives like Robertson don't oppose it because they believe the death penalty itself is immoral, writes Steven A. Holmes in The New York Times. They believe it's applied immorally. Of course, there are plenty of Christians who oppose the death penalty itself because they believe in the sanctity of life.

Washington Post weighs benefits of Weigh Down

Deneen Brown's lengthy article looks at what happens when women literally diet religiously. A sidebar suggests programs like Gwen Shamblin's Weigh Down workshops work well because they provide especially strong social support and accountability.

Crusade aimed at prostitution paying off

As repeatedly reported in the Weblog, Chicago's St. Sabina's Roman Catholic Church is offering to pay prostitutes for their time and use it to share the gospel with them. The campaign has garnered attention from newspapers around the world. The Washington Post's Thursday article was one of the most recent and complete accounts, reporting, "In its first week, the effort resulted in 37 'concrete interventions' in which street hustlers, mainly prostitutes but including some drug dealers, took time to listen to the parishioners' appeals to discover or renew their faith and to seek help. … Of those, 10 showed up at Mass on the first Sunday of this month, three others moved into shelters or found different housing, two agreed to enter drug rehabilitation and one initiated steps to return to school."

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Christian tomato growers in England quit over feng shui mandate

Seeking a higher output of tomatoes, Arreton Valley Nurseries instituted the Chinese art of feng shui, which attempts to create a mystical balance of space and energy. Baptist Martin Kelly and his son Paul quit their jobs in protest. "I had no choice," said the elder Kelly. "I made it clear that the reliance of the company these forces compromised my position as a Christian."

Abuse allegations at church-operated youth center calls 'charitable choice' into question

Roloff Homes, a Corpus Christi, Texas, home for troubled teens operated by People's Baptist Church is accused of abuse. Critics of allowing faith-based organizations to have more of a role in government social programs are using the case to call 'charitable choice' into question.

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