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Friday’s religion wrap

The Journey team selects stories that got us talking this week.     

Easter eggs-iled from chocolate?

News.com.au reports on chocolate maker Cadbury’s denials that it removed the word “Easter” from their chocolate eggs. Following Footy Show presenter Erin Molan publicly questioning why her chocolate eggs didn’t have the word “Easter” on the packaging, Cadbury released an official statement pointing to their other products which had “Easter” on them, “We haven’t taken Easter off our packs. Our Easter products are sold at Easter time and the word Easter clearly features on numerous products in our range and on our communications.”

Many have not been happy by the apparent ditching of “Easter”, taking to the company’s Facebook page to complain; one user wrote, “Nope not buying Cadbury. I will continue to celebrate our Australian Easters with Easter eggs. You want to come to Australia you live the Aussie life. Stop this madness.” Another chimed in by writing, “I refuse to buy the politically correct Cadbury products. Only Lindt for me.”

Vicar’s home not all it’s cracked up to be

The Sun exposes a Church of England reverend who was caught in his million pound, Diocese-owned home inhaling crack cocaine and watching pornography. Rev Stennett Kirby was captured in footage obtained by the tabloid talking with a friend in his home while taking drugs telling his companion, “I’m a very happy man”.

Among other revelations from the footage, 64-year-old Kirby admits “he prefers hiring prostitutes to having real relationships with women” and that he was going to purchase poppers in London. In addition to inhaling crack, Kirby is also seen snorting cocaine.

WARNING: Link contains footage and descriptions of an adult nature. 

Crusader is gone but the legacy lives on

Relevant magazine profiles the life and legacy of Rev Billy Graham (aka “America’s Preacher”) who died on 21 February at the age of 99. Graham was considered a crusader for the Christian faith and leaves an immense global legacy of evangelism and socially-engaged Christianity.

He is famous for his mega-events known as Crusades which impacted the lives of countless converts to the Christian faith and in 2007 the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association estimated Graham had preached to 215 million people; many more would have caught his preaching on television or radio.

“Like few before him, Graham had a knack for tying salvation to emotional need, putting language to that universally felt need of some vague sense of absence,” writes Relevant. “And he did all this winsomely, placing among Gallup’s annual ranking of the top ten most admired men 51 times, earning praise from as diverse a coalition as Muhammad Ali, President Obama and Johnny Cash.”

Pastor shoots down Christianly gun ownership  

Time magazine explores the topic of Christianity and gun ownership, especially pertinent in light of recent school gun massacres in the United States of America, and speaks with an evangelical pastor who is questioning the distinctly American Christian love affair with guns.

Rev Rob Schenck, a Washington based evangelical pastor, began reflecting on his religious convictions and gun ownership around five years ago and is now asking serious questions of conservative Christian America about gun ownership and theology.

“The scripture says, ‘All things may be lawful, but not all things are helpful,’” says Schenck. “It’s a serious separation of the gospel from reality: ‘I’m creating a new world where people are saved by guns.’ It’s a theological disaster. This issue is terribly, terribly, terribly important for the existence of American evangelicalism.”

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