This blog is maintained on behalf of the Amy Foundation for the purpose of tracking the best Christian journalism we find on the Web. Our posts regularly identify those news articles or opinions in the mainstream media that represent good faith-based writing and example them for other Christian journalists.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Local Author Strives to Qualify ...

A couple of years ago now, Melvin Rhodes of Lansing, Michigan contacted me about an article/opinion I wrote, published in the Lansing State Journal, over which he disagreed. We struck up a friendship and now regularly meet and talk about world events from a Christian worldview (Melvin in a British ex-pat, minister, and former missionary to Ghana).

After my tenure on the LSJ Community Advisory Board (CAB), Melvin took my place as the CAB's standard bearer for Christian values and opinions and did a great job. Because he's slighty more conservative and outspoken than me, he proved a better lightening rod for criticism. (For example, one of his first opinions recommended starting a "Virgin Club" like they have in Ghana for educating kids about sexually-transmitted deseases.)

December 2006 marked the last month Melvin was on the CAB and, as a parting shot, he wrote an opinion on the Christian church's "gay" crisis, titled "Christian churches facing a gay crisis." Here is how he started out:

As 2006 closes, Christian churches are facing a gay crisis.

On Dec. 17, two congregations in Virginia voted to break away from the American Episcopalian church, joining with the more traditional Anglican Church of Nigeria. This news follows closely on the outing of Ted Haggard, former president of the National Association of Evangelicals, by a male prostitute with whom he had a

More than 200 years ago, everyone agreed on the subject of homosexuality. Today that is decidedly not the case.

Read More>>

To his credit, this excellently-written, well-reasoned opinion had 5 separate citations or references to Biblical scripture. Still, it didn't take long for Melvin to start receiving nasty emails over his opinion because of the sensative subject matter. This is unfortunate because the jest of his opinion is that churches have to stop being naive about homosexuality and start offering real options for those who struggle with same-sex attraction.

What's more, Melvin was able to get this article published "under the wire," that is 12/31/06, the last qualifying date for the 2006 Amy Writing Awards. Now all he has to do is send the tear sheet into the Foundation with his contact information by 1/31/07 and he's entered. (Yes, it's that easy.)
Amy Writing Awards
P. O. Box 16091
Lansing, MI 48901-6091
Good job, Melvin, and good luck the Amy Writing Awards contest!

Submitted by,
Bruce Umpstead