Missions organizations, spiritual warriors face off

In June, 31 representatives of evangelical mission groups signed a statement calling for the immediate halt to the inappropriate use of war imagery in mission work. They urge organizations to stop using words like crusade, conquer, advance, enemy, and beachhead and use words like blessing, healing, inviting, sowing, and fishing instead. "[Warfare words] have become increasingly counterproductive to mission work, sometimes endangering the lives of local believers, and are being used by opponents of the church to indict and impede its work," says the statement. But spiritual warfare folks like C. Peter Wagner are upset with the statement. "They've developed some sort of pacifist paradigm I can't track with," he tells the Colorado Springs Gazette. He sees the June declaration as "a direct statement against me and others who track with me." (The article appeared in the Gazette August 19, but ChristianityToday.com Weblog didn't see it until it was reprinted in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram yesterday.)

See You at the Pole prayer meeting takes on air of memorial service

At North Crowley High School in Fort Worth, Texas, the See You at the Pole gathering was apparently overshadowed by memories of last year's shooting at a See You at the Pole-affiliated prayer meeting at Wedgwood Baptist Church. "I was afraid the shooting would scare people away," 16-year-old Jennifer Moore tells The Dallas Morning News. "But it has brought more people together." About 250 students showed up at North Crowley, and the newspaper says that organizers estimate 3 million other students across the nation showed up to pray around their schools' flagpoles.

Amy Grant is pregnant

She's due in March, says her husband's publicist. Grant married country singer Vince Gill six months ago.

Relief organizations continue to be bombed in Sudan

"When residents of this small town in southern Sudan hear an airplane overhead, they think of relief food—or bombs," begins this sad Associated Press story. One of its more interesting anecdotes is that aid workers overheard the pilot of a Sudanese bomber and an airport control tower, tracking the flight of a Red Cross plane so the bomber could strike wherever the Red Cross plane landed.

Hindu nationalists deny Christians are persecuted

Elliott Abrams, chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, wrote to President Clinton during the recent visit of Indian Prime Minister Atal Vajpayee, asking him to press the Indian leader on religious freedom issues. The nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh group calls the letter "blatant lies." "This is a canard floated by the Church," says an RSS spokesman.

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Susan Bergman's sister to write memoirs

Actress Anne Heche, famous for dating comedian Ellen DeGeneres, is set to write her memoirs for Scribner. Why is this in the ChristianityToday.com Weblog? Because the memoirs will reportedly focus largely on Heche's childhood. Her sister, Susan Bergman, is a celebrated author and (though she eschews the term) evangelical whose book Anonymity also recounts their childhood. It will be interesting to compare the two.

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