By Melissa Wuske
What to Do About Ministers and Porn
Pornography is an issue among ministers and church leaders, and the church at large is divided about how to respond. (This according to a Barna Research study commissioned by Josh McDowell Ministries.)
Of those surveyed, 21 percent of youth ministers and 14 percent of ministers say they presently struggle with using porn, and around 12 percent of youth ministers and 5 percent of ministers see themselves as addicted to pornography.
What do churchgoers see as the proper response to a minister using pornography? Around 40 percent of adult Christians think a minister who views porn should be fired or asked to resign; nearly 30 percent said these ministers need to take a leave of absence until they deal with the problem; 16 percent think ministers should be able to teach while they’re seeking help. A few of those surveyed (5 percent) don’t think ministers should face consequences from the church.
Josh McDowell weighed in on the the overall problem of pornography: “I’ll tell you right now, there is not one church, one Christian leader, one minister, including myself, that has an answer for it. . . . You cannot understand pornography if you don’t understand neurology. And 95 percent of ministers don’t understand neurology.”
A New Look at the Wealth Gap
How rich does a person have to be to be considered the richest 10 percent of the world’s population? A net worth of $68,800 puts a person in that group, and $760,000 is the threshold for the top 1 percent (according to a report by Oxfam). But what’s more shocking is that, as a group, the richest “62 people have as much wealth as half of the entire world—that’s more than 3.5 billion people.”
The report made recommendations to narrow the gap and transform the global economy into one “that works for the prosperity of all” rather than only for the wealthy. Oxfam recommends all workers be paid a living wage, executive rewards be minimized, that men and women have equal pay and property rights, and that people be taxed based on wealth rather than consumption.
The Appendix: What’s the Point?
The appendix may play a role in the immune system, suggests a recent study published in Nature Immunology. The study looked at innate lymphoid cells that reside in an appendix-like organ in mice that have gut infections. When they removed the innate lymphoid cells from the affected area, there was increased inflammation in the colon.
The results lead researchers to conclude that the human appendix may exist to bring good bacteria back to the gut after an infection. “This highlights that simply disposing of this organ may not always be in our best interests,” said Gabrielle Belz, of Melbourne’s Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.
Museums Cater to People with Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Ten museums in Minnesota and Wisconsin are participating in a new initiative called SPARK! The goal is to provide stimulation and welcoming space for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia, using “artwork and other sensory input to help stimulate long-term memory retention among patrons.”
Marv Lofquist was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago and regularly visits one of the SPARK! museums: “If you asked me right now what I remember about the last time we were in the Bakken Museum, I’d be able to give you a few details but not very many. I have trouble recalling it later, but what’s important is that I get that stimulation regularly.”
Melissa Wuske is a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband, Shawn, live and minister in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Find her work online (melissaannewuske.com).