“The stone was rolled away from the door, not to permit Christ to come out, but to enable the disciples to come in.”

– Peter Marshall

A voice of reason?

A would-be evangelist who planned to spread the gospel from the air over London has instead crash-landed with a criminal record.

John Holme was fined 1,050 pounds ($1,730) plus 250 pounds ($414) in costs for flying too close to a populated area in his paraglider. Holme planned to call people to repentance using a megaphone.

“I thought that maybe if they heard this voice booming out from the sky, they would think it was God,” the software salesman told The Times newspaper.

But it was Holme who almost met his Maker, as he was forced to zigzag to avoid trees and an electric fence. Residents who witnessed the spectacle said Holme had a look of horror on his face, but Holme said, “As a Christian, I would not have been frightened of dying. Considering it was the first time I had flown, I think my performance was not too bad.”

Upset about the color of Jesus

A black actor who portrayed Jesus Christ in a controversial New Jersey Passion play in 1997 is returning to the role this year.

Desi Arnaz Giles, who will play Jesus at the Park Performing Arts Center in Union City, said, “It goes with the part – a second coming. I had to come back at least once.”

The casting decision led to complaints, canceled tickets, and death threats. However, the casting was praised by local and national black church leaders, and the controversy may have boosted ticket sales overall.

Pigs can feel ‘safe’ in Israeli community

There may be no safer place to be a pig than Ashkelon, Israel. A judge in the coastal community has ruled that all butcher shops must stop selling pork.

Judge Yitzhak Yitzhak rejected arguments that banning pork was a form of religious coercion, saying that even nonobservant Jews are repulsed by pork. “Over the course of history, pork has become a symbol of national repugnance for the Jewish people,” he explained.

The city’s 25 butcher shops could face criminal charges if they continue to sell pork. Attorney Alexander Shmerling said he plans to appeal the ruling, noting, “For a democratic country at the end of the 20th century to rule on what people can and cannot eat is intolerable.”

Traditional Jewish dietary laws forbid the consumption of pork, but Soviet immigrants in Ashkelon buy and eat the meat.

Pastor arrested for crime 24 years ago

Former pastor Johnny Lee Riley had made no secret of the fact that he shot a motel clerk during a robbery 24 years ago. But even Riley didn’t know that the man had died. He found out recently when he was ordered to stand trial for first-degree murder, robbery and burglary in the March 1974 death of Dale Sechrist.

A Phoenix detective tracked Riley down. Riley became a Christian two years after the robbery and became a minister. He moved to Tacoma in 1984, and has lived a crime-free life, according to local police.

Easter ads in England feature Princess Diana

Churches in England have launched an Easter advertising campaign which uses the death of Princess Diana as a springboard for discussing the Christian faith. The poster campaign features images reminiscent of the tributes to Diana left by the public at Kensington Palace, and says “If all this started you thinking, carry on at church this Easter.”

The ad campaign was dreamed up by the Churches’ Advertising Network, a coalition of clergy and advertising experts. The Rev Robert Ellis, the Anglican clergyman heading the campaign, explained, “Another person’s death reminds us of our own mortality.”

– Compiled from E.P. News Service

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