World Newspaper Publishing Circa 2008

 

This was the official website for the World Newspaper Publishing, whose stated purpose is to "bring journalism informed by a distinctly Christian worldview to major cities across America."
Content is from the site's 2008 archived pages showing examples of the articles published in the The Charlotte World .

Archived Content Is Underwritten By:

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Archived Content Is Underwritten By:

janitor supplies
Batman t shirts
maritime lawyers

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World Newspapers

 

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EP News is a twice-weekly news service for religious print and broadcast media outlets throughout the United States and Canada.

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The Charlotte World 2008 Articles

 

A Secure Treasure

Giving Generously In Uncertain Times

By: Rusty Leonard and Warren Cole Smith

EP News--- When shares of Wall Street powerhouse Bear Stearns lost over 90 percent of their value in one weekend, stock markets around the world shuddered.

So did some charities. About 1000 of Bear Stearns’s highly compensated senior managers have been required to give 4 percent of their substantial incomes to charity as a condition of employment. This unique policy has been in place since the 1970s, and in 2006 alone, Bear Stearns employees gave almost $50-million to mostly secular charities.

But what about Christian ministries? Will market jitters hurt them as well?

Daryl Heald is president of Generous Giving, which encourages Christians to give, and is senior program officer at the Maclellan Foundation, one of the nation’s largest Christian philanthropic foundations. Heald says major ministry leaders are “very upbeat.” He said, “Last year was a very good year for Christian charity. For ministries with large and diverse donor bases, things are not bad.”

Heald said, “Christians with a giving mentality and heart” sometimes actually revel in the down cycles of the economy. “The Bible says we should store up riches in heaven because treasure in heaven is secure,” he said. “The people who are nervous are those with their assets in the markets, not in the Kingdom.”

A quick survey of some of the nation’s largest Christian ministries confirms Heald’s impressions. Dr. K.P. Yohannan, founder and president of Gospel for Asia, said GFA saw a 12 percent increase in donations last year. Yohannan added that during the last recession, following the tech bust and 9/11, gifts also grew. He speculated that the kind of people who contribute to Christian ministries are “serious about sacrifice and following the Lord.”

Yohannan added, though, that the decline in the value of the dollar has been a factor for ministries with overseas operations. “A year ago, one U.S. dollar would buy 49 Indian rupees. Today, it will buy only 38 rupees,” Yohannan said. “It takes more U.S. dollars to do the same thing we did a year ago.”

These trends were confirmed by Mark Hanlon, Compassion International’s Sr. Vice President of U.S. Sponsor and Donor Development. He said, “Compassion has not seen a decline in giving” largely because “the majority of our sponsors in the U.S. support one Compassion child.” However, Hanlon said the dip might be ahead. “If we do see a drop in donations from [major donors], it usually lags the overall U.S. economic situation.”

Philanthropy expert Arthur Brooks said the experience of these ministry leaders is typical. “We’ll probably see some impact,” he said. “And it will lag the general trends in the economy. But it surprises some people to learn that charitable giving, while not recession-proof, is remarkably recession resistant. Most people are not like Barack Obama. If they’re givers, they’re givers in good times and bad.”

If tough times are yet to come, Heald says that may not be a bad thing. “Sometimes it takes a major correction to cause people to re-align their priorities,” he said. “We’ve seen people who lose wealth in major down cycles become more generous. They realize what’s important and start doing more of their investing in activities that have an eternal gain. Money invested in the kingdom has no cyclical risk.”

The charities that depended on Bear Stears’ “four percenters” might be at risk. Bear spokesman Russell Sherman told WORLD that their new boss whether the giving tradition continues depends on new owner J.P. Morgan. According to Gospel For Asia’s Yohannan, the good news for Christian ministries is the source of their financial blessings is far more reliable.

“We’re spending more time in prayer and fasting,” Yohannan said. “Whatever the future holds, we don’t know, but we’re learning to trust God more and more, and that’s not a bad thing.”

 

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"Hope Is On The Way"

Medical Teams International Determined To "Show Jesus In Action"

By: Michael Barrick and Warren Cole Smith

EP News--- Wherever it goes, Portland-based Medical Teams International (MTI) declares, “Hope is on the Way.”

In the U.S., MTI is known for its fleet of Winnebagos – 10 in all -- that have been converted to mobile dental clinics. Around the world, the group is known for often being first on the scene at disasters and conflicts. Currently, MTI is working in Kenya, Cameroon, Uganda, and 30 other countries. And everywhere, the mission is the same: “Demonstrate the love of Christ to people affected by disaster, conflict and poverty around the world.”

But among non-profit executives, MTI is known as one of the best run and most financially efficient ministries in the world, with less than five percent of its budget going to operating overhead. MinistryWatch, Charity Navigator and Forbes have all recognized the group with top ratings.

So how did MTI become one of the largest – with $90-million in 2007 income -- and best run ministries in the world, all while remaining one of the least known? MTI President Bas Vanderzalm said, “We measure. We have a three-year strategic plan developed in conjunction with the board of trustees, the executive management team, key staff and longtime volunteers. And we’re constantly learning.”

Such planning is necessary given the volume and complexity of the ministry’s activities. “In the first six months of this fiscal year, Medical Teams International responded to six international disasters – disasters that didn’t receive huge play by the major media,” he said. Efficiency and planning means being able to move quickly. “Our ability to get aid within the first days of disasters means thousands of families, especially children, get life-saving help,” he said.

Vanderzalm said a key element of MTI’s work – and its biblical mission -- is extensive use of volunteers. “We provide everyone with an opportunity to make a difference for the Kingdom by caring for the poor,” he said. By utilizing volunteers, MTI leaders believe they help to unify the Body of Christ while providing opportunities for believers to use their talents while “being blessed” by those whom they serve. “Some plant, some water, and others see the harvest. Those of us in relief and development are doing land clearing and cultivation that will result in the harvest,” Vanderzalm said.

The end result is somewhere between the “short-term” mission trip, and the full-time vocational missionary. “Our teams are volunteer professionals,” said Vanderzalm. “We recruit professional medical, dental and work teams who volunteer their time. Development teams cover their expenses and sometimes gather donated supplies for the hospitals and clinics where they serve.”

To ensure the impact lasts, Vanderzalm said MTI works “within existing church structures” to provide expert medical and technical expertise that locals don’t have, or don’t need on a day-to-day basis. “Our task is to make sure that people who have a heart and have the call are effective,” Vanderzalm said.

Another long-term impact MTI has had is the establishment of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) programs in Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan and Cambodia. “For many developing countries, the lack of basic emergency medical services – trained paramedics, ambulances or 911 systems – means millions of premature deaths annually,” Vanderzalm said. The EMS system in Sri Lanka grew out of its tsunami disaster relief. Today, three years later, Sri Lanka is implementing a country-wide EMS program, with MTI’s training and other help.

Vanderzalm said the Sri Lanka experience pointed to two other keys to MTI’s effectiveness: that the ministry and all working with it must always be learning – and it doesn’t matter who gets the credit. “I don’t really care if people see our name or logo,” Vanderzalm said. “I do care if they see God in action, through people who love Jesus and cared for them in His name.”

 

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The Manifesto Is The Message

By: Warren Cole Smith

EP News--- If all goes according to plan, on or about May 7, a group of evangelical leaders -- including the Rev. Rick Warren (of Saddleback Church and “Purpose Driven Life” fame) and Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals – will publish a document to be called “An Evangelical Manifesto: The Washington Declaration of Identity and Public Commitment.”

Though the document has been circulating around the Internet for a month, it has been “embargoed.” For purposes of our discussion here, I will honor the embargo and not delve here into the contents except to say this: it contains, like other documents of this kind, both virtues and flaws. It’s better than most, worse than some. But the contents are not my main concern here: In the end, I fear that the contents, however worthy, will be overshadowed by the process of its writing and gathering signatories for it.

Os Guinness, one of the “Manifesto’s” primary authors, told me that a “representative group” has been asked to sign it, and that “scores of people have given input.” In defense of his assertion, I will say that in my investigating, I have determined that, in addition to Warren and Anderson, theologians Timothy George and Richard Mouw have been a part of the drafting process. Jesse Miranda, Richard Ohman, and John Huffman also reportedly had a hand. Best-selling author Dallas Willard and Christianity Today’s David Neff were also involved.

Guinness claims the document is not political in the sense that it says “Christians are not to be defined culturally or politically” and that it is first and foremost a “charitable call to reform.” Nonetheless, the timing of the document’s release, during the “home stretch” of the presidential election season and during a week when many states will be holding primaries, makes the claim disingenuous.

So let’s be plain: Despite Os Guinness’s protestations, this is --unavoidably – a political document. Also, it’s important to be plain about another unfortunate reality: There is an unseemly power struggle going on in the evangelical world these days. It is a struggle for leadership and dominance, for the right to be the unofficial spokesperson for evangelicals. The “religious left” has put forth men such as Jim Wallis. Rick Warren has had everyone from Bono to Barack Obama in his pulpit to help him assert his claim. The Emergent Church is putting forth Tony Jones and Brian McLaren, among others. And, of course, there are the “traditional” leaders of the so-called “religious right,” including Gary Bauer, Tony Perkins, Chuck Colson, and James Dobson.

This unfortunate and unseemly power struggle should not be ignored in evaluating this “Manifesto.” The list of people who have not been asked to sign it, or who have chosen not to, is as revealing as the list of those who have, or will. Former presidential candidate Gary Bauer and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins both told me they had not seen the “Manifesto.” Tom Minnery, executive vice president of Focus on the Family and the organization’s “point person” on public policy issues said neither he nor James Dobson has been asked to sign or give input. Other conservative evangelical leaders who often speak out on political issues have been kept out of the process. That list includes Rick Scarborough of Vision America, former White House speechwriter and Beverly LaHaye Senior Fellow Janice Crouse. Also shunned, at least so far: the Southern Baptist Convention’s Richard Land, Ohio-based Phil Burress of Citizens For Community Values, Faith2Action’s Janet Folger, homeschool guru Michael Farris, and Concerned Women For America President Wendy Wright.

There is also a growing list of evangelical heavyweights who have been asked to sign but have (so far) refused – due either to flaws in the document or, as one prominent evangelical leader told me, to the “exclusivity” of the list of signatories.

So a reasonable question remains: What is the true purpose of this document? If it really is, as Os Guinness maintains, a “charitable call to reform,” why not let voices from the “conservative” or so-called “pro-family” wing of the evangelical movement have input? The worst that could happen is this: the drafters could ward off a nagging concern that they are backroom schemers, attempting to assert an exclusive claim to leadership over a sometimes (regretfully) fractious, though still powerful, evangelical movement. And what is the best thing that could happen? The signatures of Jim Wallis, Rick Warren, Billy Graham, and Jim Dobson on the same carefully crafted document. Now that would be truly historic.

It seems to me that this is a goal worth striving for -- unless, of course, the assertion of power and control, and not a “charitable call to reform,” is what this document is really all about.

Warren Smith is the publisher of the Evangelical Press News Service.
(4/11/2008)

 

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Coleland and Dollar Fail To Comply With Grassley-Baucus Demands

MinistryWatch.com Calls For Complete Transparency

By: Warren Cole Smith

Matthews, N.C.--- The Senate Finance Committee announced today that two of the six televangelists who have been asked for information continue to refuse to comply, almost five months after the original request went out from Sen. Charles Grassley.

Atlanta-based Creflo Dollar has failed to provide any information to Sen. Grassley and Sen. Max Baucus, who joined Grassley in his call for financial transparency. Texas-based Kenneth Copeland has turned over some documents, but is no where near full compliance, according to a Grassley spokesperson.

“It is truly unconscionable that these ministries have failed to comply,” said Rusty Leonard, rounder of MinistryWatch.com, a group that advocates for the rights of donors. “First of all, what Senators Grassley and Baucus are asking for is nothing more than what these ministries should be disclosing as a matter of course,” Leonard said. “But for five months to go by without even an attempt at compliance – as is the case with Creflo Dollar – is a true slap in the face both to the Senate Finance Committee and, tragically, to their own donors.”

According to Grassley’s office, four of the ministries are either in substantial compliance with the requests, or have taken significant steps toward compliance. Joyce Meyer Ministries has complied with all requests, and Benny Hinn has made significant progress in complying. Eddie Long and Paula and Randy White, who had been non-compliant, have taken significant new steps toward compliance, according to Grassley’s office.

“The fact that Sen. Baucus and Sen. Grassley worked together to on this new March 31 compliance deadline seems to have made a difference,” said Leonard. “Now the non-complying ministries know that Grassley and Baucus together could, without a vote of the additional members of the committee, issue subpoenas.”

Leonard added, though, that “it would be unfortunate if these Christian ministries were to have their non-compliance be their testimony to the world, rather than open and transparent dealings with both their donors and the Senate Finance Committee. The cloud of suspicion raised by this non-compliance affects not only the public’s perception of these ministries, but also undermines the reputations of the many ministries that do voluntarily inform their donors and others of their financial activities.” (3/31/2008)

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