Sentences Of The Lambs

While media attention was focused on Operation Rescue’s (OR) efforts in Wichita, Kansas, a group of more than 100 people affiliated with the Lambs of Christ, an activist prolife group that uses tactics similar to OR’s, picketed and conducted sit-ins at an abortion clinic in Fargo, North Dakota. Of the 105 Lambs of Christ who were eventually arrested, 75 were convicted of criminal trespass; 21 of them were sentenced to 30 days in jail, the maximum sentence allowed.

Among those arrested was Michael Gerrety, police chief of Redwood Falls, Minnesota. Following his arrest, the Redwood Falls city council voted not to rehire Gerrety. Gerrety had been jailed for 101 days awaiting trial for participating in sit-ins at the Fargo clinic.

Falwell Expels Students

Three United Pentecostal students were ousted from Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, in part because they would not stop telling others about their beliefs, according to Religious News Service. United Pentecostals claim about 2 million members worldwide and hold to some deviant Christian doctrines, including baptizing only in the name of Jesus, not the Trinity. The denomination also teaches that the Godhead has three offices, but is only one person.

In a written statement, Falwell said he had an obligation to ensure that students at the school “do not become victims of cultic or heretical influence.”

The three students, who were among about eighteen who had been baptized at a local United Pentecostal church, declined to sign a statement agreeing to stop attending the church’s weekday services, which conflicted with Liberty’s chapel services. They also refused to stop speaking about the church’s beliefs on campus.

Governor Vetos Rights Bill

Religious groups are applauding California Gov. Pete Wilson’s veto in late September of a bill they say would have given homosexuals added leverage in opposing the hiring practices of certain churches and businesses.

Wilson denied that heavy lobbying by conservative Republicans and religious groups affected his decision. But Tom Minnery, vice-president of public policy for Focus on the Family, says the lobby sent a strong signal to Wilson.

“We were elated [at Wilson’s decision],” Minnery told CHRISTIANITY TODAY. Minnery said Wilson got an estimated 115,000 phone calls or letters opposing the bill.

The bill would have added the specific term “sexual orientation” to California’s existing antidiscrimination laws. Minnery said the wording would have given homosexuals more explicit rights, which would have made it harder for churches or businesses to refuse to hire a practicing homosexual.

O’Hair Won’T Swear

A federal appeals court in New Orleans has ruled that an atheist juror cannot be required to swear an oath that he or she perceives to be “an expression of religious faith.”

The suit involved prospective juror Robin Murray O’Hair, the granddaughter of atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair. The appeals court voted 2 to 1, overturning an earlier decision and suggesting that an appropriate, neutral statement for atheists might emphasize a “commitment to truth and integrity in the jury box.”

Briefly Noted

Acquitted: controversial evangelist Tony Alamo, of threatening a federal judge in Arkansas. Alamo remains in jail, facing a child-abuse charge out of California, an Internal Revenue Service claim of $7.9 million in unpaid taxes, and a judgment that he owes his followers nearly $400,000 in wages. Alamo and his wife founded a communal ministry in Arkansas after moving their church from California during the 1960s. He ran a lucrative business producing high-fashion denim jackets, using his followers for labor.

Reduced:Jim Bakker’s prison sentence, from 45 years to 18. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Graham Mullen means Bakker, 51, will be eligible for parole in 4 years.

Elected:David Le Shana, as the fourth president of Western Evangelical Seminary, Portland, Oregon. Le Shana announced his retirement as president of Seattle Pacific University in July.

James Draper, as president of the Southern Baptist Convention Sunday School Board. He is a former president of the convention.

Died:Paul Jewett, senior professor of systematic theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California, at age 71, of cancer.

Named:Arthur Gay, as executive director of World Relief. Gay has been senior minister at South Park Church in Park Ridge, Illinois.

John Bowling, as president of Olivet Nazarene University in Kankakee, Illinois. Bowling has been pastor of College Church of the Nazarene in Bourbonnais, Illinois.

John Vawter, as the seventh president of Western Conservative Baptist Seminary in Portland, Oregon. Vawter has been pastor of Wayzata Evangelical Free Church in Minneapolis.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.