Cover Story

2013 news of the year

"2013 news of the year" Continued...

Issue: "2013 News of the Year," Jan. 11, 2014

In short, the goals of ABS and many America leaders were similar, and they came from the same stalks. ABS provided the first pocket Bibles for soldiers (during the Civil War), gave more than one million Bibles to poor individuals and families in the post-war years, and by 1934 had sent 70 million volumes of Scripture to China, planting seeds that finally sprouted in recent decades. 

In recent years, ABS has been wealthy, but our Department of State hampers rather than helps missionaries, and ABS has to decide how counter-cultural it wants to be. Our article later in this issue—see "Going public" in this issue—views the ABS dilemma as in many ways indicative of the pressure American Christianity faces. As WORLD’s news coverage over the years demonstrates, we’re not out to find scandals that finish off organizations with a loud bang. More often, we’re called to report on small storm clouds that together create gloomy skies like those many of our readers see.

THAT LEADS ME to the ray of hope. For many years I was mistaken regarding the origins of a beloved hymn, “The Church’s One Foundation.” Seeing its initial publication in 1866, and singing verses like “’Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war, she waits the consummation of peace forevermore,” I thought it emerged from the American Civil War, which split not only a nation into North and South but Protestant denominations as well. 

Uh-uh. Samuel Stone wrote the hymn regarding church conflicts in South Africa. It could be and has been sung in just about every country in just about any era over the past century and a half—which means that a normal part of the Christian life is what we’d like to think is abnormal. The Church Triumphant? No, “with a scornful wonder, this world sees her oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” We can pray that the sad state of America and the church in America does not mean that God has abandoned us, but that He’s maturing and disciplining us—and He disciplines those He loves.

“The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord. … From heaven he came and sought her to be his holy bride. With his own blood he bought her, and for her life he died.”

Amen. Come, 2014. Come, Lord Jesus.

The Year in Photos

April 15

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Runners continue to run in the Boston Marathon as an explosion erupts near the finish line of the race. Two nearly simultaneous explosions ripped through the crowd, killing three persons and injuring an estimated 264 others. (Photo: Dan Lampariello/Reuters/Landov)

February 13

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A Syrian boy holds in his hand a bird that was injured in a government airstrike that hit the neighborhood of Ansari, in Aleppo, Syria. (Photo: Abdullah al-Yassin/Associated Press)

May 10

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Rescue workers pull a still-alive woman from the rubble of a garment factory 17 days after the building collapsed in Savar, Bangladesh. killing more than 1,000. (Photo: Sohel Ahmed/Reuters/Landov)

January 15

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Rochelle Claitt reacts as she gets her free flu shot from nurse Gloria Oniha at the Laurel Regional Hospital, Laurel, Md. A widespread flu epidemic peaked in January with the highest number of cases reported in five years. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times/Landov)

September 29

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A man carries an injured child away from the site of a car bomb explosion in Peshawar, Pakistan, that killed 40 persons. It was the third blast to hit the city in a week. (Photo: Mohammad Sajjad/Associated Press)

May 20

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Teachers carry children away from Briarwood Elementary after an F-5 tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City. No one died at the school, but seven students were found dead at nearby Plaza Towers Elementary. Ten children were among the 24 total killed by the tornado. (Photo: Paul Hellstern/The Oklahoman/AP)

August 14

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Supporters of Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi clash with police and army in Cairo. (Photo: Giulio Piscitelli/Contrasto/Redux)

August 25

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Inmate firefighters walk along state Highway 120 to battle the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park, Calif. Started in Stanislaus National Forest on Aug. 17 by a hunter’s illegal campfire, the Rim Fire was California’s third-largest wildfire since the 1930s and the biggest ever in the Sierra Nevada mountains. (Photo: Jae C. Hong/Associated Press)

September 21

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Kenyan security forces search for gunmen at Westgate Mall in Nairobi. The Somali terror group al-Shabaab, an affiliate of al-Qaeda, attacked the upscale shopping mall, killing 67 persons and wounding more than 200. (Photo: Tyler Hicks/The New York Times/Redux)

November 30

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Auburn cornerback Chris Davis returns a missed field goal attempt 109 yards on the last play of the game to defeat No. 1-ranked Alabama, one of the most memorable finishes in the history of college football. (Photo: Dave Martin/Associated Press)

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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