Church Should Bless Gay Relationships so claims Episcopal bishop John Spong. He advocates that the Episcopal Church should start blessing mature homosexual relationships as a way of stabilizing gay life and discouraging promiscuity and AIDS. He also thinks "the church should evangelize non-believers by embracing the scientific view of the world and discarding beliefs such as the literal virgin birth of Christ and his ascension into heaven." Spong claims to be a "believing doubter" who does not believe the Bible is "the word of God in any literal way." There seems to be more and more clergy of this kind. Is it any wonder religion is so washed out and morals on such a decline?

Wealthy Churches: Foundations of two Protestant denominations lately have received some hefty gifts. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) received a trust estimated at $8 million from the estate of Othel Fiers Brown of Charlotte, N.C., believed to be the largest single bequest to a church body in the history of Protestantism.

The Presbyterian Church (USA) foundation received a gift of $2.9 million from Miss Irene Nunemaker, of Topeka, KS, an active member and philanthropist, described as the largest ever received by that denomination.

Have you ever thought about all the wealth of all kinds that is owned by Churches. Some Churches are very, very wealthy. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is one of them. Of course, the Roman Catholic Church exceeds all others. No one has any factual and substantial information on this, not even the U.S. government. Some Churches own more property, businesses, investments, buildings, and money than any non-religious organization in this country; probably even more than the U.S. government. Churches are big business indeed!

Churches of Christ are right in there with the rest of them. These Churches, along with all of their related organizations like universities, colleges, publishing com-panics, and benevolent organizations are becoming more and more wealthy. And they want more and more as they grow larger and larger. Like the grave they are never satisfied. Probably no one knows the real facts or condition of all of them. Churches have put millions upon millions into Church buildings and property.

More and more the financial condition of Church of Christ Churches, especially their para-church organizations, is kept secret from the people. It would be amazing, if not shocking, to know precisely of the great wealth invested in Churches (some of them owning rental property and businesses), but especially in all the Church-related universities, colleges, and schools.

All of this is a part of denominational growth. More and more the Church of Christ Churches are getting "fat and rich;" and money and property become more and more important; more wordly, less spiritual.

Mormon Church Membership Multiplies: It grew by an estimated 23,000 people in 1987, bringing the total to 6.4 million members worldwide, church officials reported, according to a UPI news release. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, as they denominate their institution, experienced steady growth during 1987 and worldwide membership is expected to reach 6.5 million during the first half of 1988, the church said. "There are nearly 16,000 congregations spread throughout every state in the union and in more than 100 countries and territories," according to their statement.

The 140-year old Church has opened 12 new proselyting missions in the last year, with seven more expected to begin operation in January 88. They have a total of 212 of these proselyting missions, and apparently they are doing the job for that church

They claim to have "more than 35,000 full-time Mormon missionaries, which is up for 1987 by over 3000 from 1986."

Our Welfare System "Creates" Poverty: Two Ohio University economists advance the argument in a paper recently published that our welfare system does not reduce poverty, but rather increases it.

"At least 5.7 million, people" the authors say, "are living in poverty by choice as a result of the generosity of public welfare."

Each additional $1 billion in welfare spending increased the poverty population by 250,000. Put simply, we are experiencing more poverty because we have been increasing the amount we pay people to be poor." - Pulpit Helps

Moving Away From God's Truth: "Members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) refused to call homosexuality a sin and lifestyle unacceptable for Christians, saying medical science has yet to determine how humans come to their sexual orientation.

"A resolution that would have condemned homosexuality while telling those who follow that lifestyle 'to go and sin no more' was voted down by a majority of delegates to the Disciples' biennial general assembly'' in Louisville, KY in October 1987. That denomination ranks right up there with the liberal Episcopal Church; almost anything is acceptable.