Left Behind lawsuit dismissed
A federal judge has dismissed Left Behind coauthor Tim LaHaye's lawsuit against Cloud Ten Pictures, which created film versions of the first two books in the popular series, the film company says in a press release.

"Obviously the Federal Court has vindicated Cloud Ten," says Cloud Ten president Edwin Ng. "We are extremely pleased with the result and continue to look forward to making future Left Behind films, television programming and films based on the Left Behind: The Kid's Series."

LaHaye sued Cloud Ten and Namesake Entertainment in July 1999, saying the companies breached their contract by making a film of lower quality than promised. According to Publishers Weekly, he had promised to drop the suit if Cloud Ten released the rights to the children's series. The company is currently developing Left Behind: The Series, which will air only in Canada.

Tim LaHaye has not posted a response either on his website or on the Left Behind site, nor have other media outlets picked up the story. If he responds, we'll note it in a later weblog.

Worldwide Church of God settles, will allow Armstrong books to be published
In another book-related lawsuit, the Worldwide Church of God has settled its legal battle with the Philadelphia Church of God over works written by the group's founder, Herbert W. Armstrong.

The Worldwide Church of God (WCG) has repudiated Armstrong's teachings and has joined the National Association of Evangelicals, but splinter groups like the Philadelphia Church of God, which broke away when the WCG began becoming more orthodox, fought to keep the WCG from suppressing the works.

Joseph Tkach Jr., pastor general of the WCG, had said it was the church's "Christian duty [to keep the book out of print] because we believe Mr. Armstrong's doctrinal errors are better left out of circulation."

But WCG chief financial officer Bernard Schnippert told the Pasadena Star News today that it would be "financially imprudent" not to accept a $3 million settlement offer from the Philadelphia Church of God for control of the copyrights to 19 of Armstrong's books.

"We came to an end where we received a considerable sum of money and the other party received a number of works that are out of date and inaccurate according to most of the Christian world," he said. He had earlier told the Star News that the church's income dropped from $170 million before the split to $25 million this year.

Some are upset with the decision. "They're willing, in effect, to support what they condemn," said Reginald Killingley. "To permit the perpetuation and promotion of heresy for the sake of money."

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The Worldwide Church of God's article on the copyright battle is available here. The Philadelphia Church of God's take is available here.

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War with Iraq:

Prayer and services in a time of war:

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War protests:

Iraq war aid and relief:

Life ethics:

Persecution and violence:

  • ZANU-PF will not listen to the voice of God | That a bishop from the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe among many other men working for God's people has already fallen victim to this regime's no-nonsense police force should have told the Christian delegation from South Africa that this is not a place where dialogue is included as part of any diplomatic initiative (Marko Phiri, The Financial Gazette, Zimbabwe)

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Supreme Court hears Texas sodomy case:

Film, TV, and radio:

Missions and ministry:

  • Students join Bono's AIDS efforts | Three months after U2's Bono and his gang of humanitarians visited Wheaton College to raise consciousness about AIDS in Africa, students and alumni are continuing to heed his call to action (Chicago Sun-Times)

  • Canoes for Christ | Project Pure Light blends ministry with ocean (Honolulu Star-Bulletin)

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  • 'Faith is a touchy-feely thing' | Once a traveling evangelist, David Forrest is now pastor of Trinity Pentecostal Church in LaSalle. He's a storyteller who loves to make people laugh, but his preaching can sometimes make them cry (The Montreal Gazette)

  • College crusader condemns students | George "Jed" Smock uses a "Saturday Night Live" approach to his preaching method, he said (The State Hornet, California State University)

  • Chaplains vital link for prisoners | Prison chaplains can play a vital role in helping to reduce reoffending by forming a link between jail and the outside world for inmates, a conference in Birmingham heard yesterday (Birmingham Post, U.K.)

  • Putting biblical principles to work | Job-searching, soul-searching go together in this ministry for the unemployed (The Dallas Morning News)

  • Brazil's Lula appeals to pope on hunger | "For us it will always be of fundamental importance to continue counting on the support, the participation and the critical conscience of the Church … in ending an unjust society model … that contradicts the elementary beginnings of humanism and of Christianity," president  wrote (UPI)

  • X-treme faith | Skateboards, rock bands, street festivals—religious groups woo the MTV generation (The Miami Herald)

  • Residents fear 'covenant' | Reverend wants to turn old school into treatment center for ex-prisoners (Mansfield [Oh.] News-Journal)

Clergy sex abuse:

  • Bishops to play no role in sex abuse inquiries | The recommendation is included in a draft document outlining new national protocols for handling clergy sex abuse expected to be released by the church's national Child Protection Committee in July (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Priest, church seek post-controversy life | The new priest at St. Peter's, which formed from an acrimonious split at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Mountain Brook last year, is poised to help move the upstart congregation beyond the controversy that led to its founding (The Birmingham News)

  • Sexual misconduct allegations brought against deceased pastor | Adult woman filed the allegations with the St. Paul Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America before pastor was diagnosed with disease (East Central Minnesota Post Review)

  • Judge lays into priest pedophile | "You took her spiritual life away," says Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Albert Tomei (New York Post)

  • Sex abuse bill sent to floor of Minnesota Senate| Would allow victims of child sex abuse to sue their abusers as long as six years after discovering the link between the abuse and the injury it caused (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

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